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News - Friday, February 23, 2018

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Finding joy in the law and the art of ‘persuasive writing’
Reynolds revels in a well-turned phrase, ensuring ‘the better argument’ prevails

The old guard of the Chattanooga Bar Association can rest easy knowing they have passed the mantle to the next generation of local attorneys.

During their time in the halls of justice, they balanced civility with the zealous representation of their clients. They held themselves to high standards of decorum in the courtroom and ethical behavior when no one else was around. And they served their community well as they met the needs of less fortunate fellow citizens.

View from the Hill: Consensus on gun legislation? Not on your life

That burning smell emanating from the General Assembly isn’t coming from the flame of bipartisanship. More likely it’s the result of scorched-earth politics.

Even though a weapons measure called the “carry-like-a-cop” bill died recently in a House committee, the gap between Republicans and Democrats on gun legislation is, for the most part, about as wide as the range of a Barrett .50-caliber rifle, more than 2.5 miles.

Clemmons: UT football fiasco at heart of Haslam's plan to shrink Board

Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to shake up the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees is getting blitzed by legislators, some contending it’s linked to the hiring of the Tennessee Vols football coach.

“I think this is the Haslam family’s last gasp to maintain control, maintain their iron grip on the University of Tennessee,” said state Rep. John Ray Clemmons, a Nashville Democrat critical of the governor’s plan to outsource facilities management at universities statewide. So far, none of the UT chancellors at four campuses have opted into the outsourcing contract, which was opposed by a majority of lawmakers in 2017.

Bredesen: U.S. Senate win possible for Dems

The last Democrat to win statewide elected office in Tennessee eight years ago acknowledges times have changed.

“The Democratic brand is damaged in Tennessee,” former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said in Memphis. “The Republican percentage has stayed the same over the last decade. What’s changed is people have abandoned the Democrats and started calling themselves independents.”

Berkshire Hathaway marks big year

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Center kicked off a new year of home sales in grand fashion: with a 30-foot Southern breakfast buffet served at the elegant Chattanooga Golf and Country Club.

The locally-owned real estate firm also distributed awards celebrating the work of its agents in 2017.

Help needed to root out UPL offenders

The annual meeting on Jan. 31 at The Westin had the largest attendance in the Chattanooga Bar Association’s 121-year history. Our association is strong.

At the meeting, we recognized members who have worked to make our wonderful community a better place. Thank you, Matt Brock, Sheri Fox, Nora McCarthy, the Hon. William Brown, Bill Colvin (immediate past president) and Frank Pinchak for all you have done.

January 2018 home sales review

Greater Chattanooga’s housing market continued to be strong and competitive throughout January 2018. With the inventory of homes for sale at an all-time low, median home sales prices increased more than 10 percent from January 2017.

Even with the recent volatility of the stock market, not much has changed from last year in terms of a healthy housing market and cautiously optimistic economists.

It truly takes a community of craftsmen to build a home

Very few professions connect a community or region like the residential construction and remodeling industry. Long before the foundation is poured and walls are framed, the process of building or remodeling a residence brings together dozens of professionals that contribute individual expertise that ultimately concludes with either a new home or an upgrade to an existing residence.

What should you do with your tax refund?

You may not get much of a thrill from filing your taxes, but the process becomes much more enjoyable if you’re expecting a refund. So, if one is headed your way, what should you do with the money?

The answer depends somewhat on the size of the refund. For the 2017 tax year, the average refund was about $2,760 – not a fortune, but big enough to make an impact in your life.

Critic's Corner: ‘Black Panther’ is a Marvel-ous step up for superhero genre

There’s no mistaking “Black Panther” for anything but a Marvel superhero film. Its DNA places it squarely in the family of movies that make up the studio’s cinematic universe. That said, a few alterations to that DNA resulted in something as unique as it is familiar.

Thompson is Chattanooga’s 2017 Firefighter of the Year

Chattanooga firefighters and their families gathered at The Westin Chattanooga on Feb. 12 to honor their own. With Chief Operating Officer Maura Sullivan and Fire Chief Phil Hyman presiding, more than 100 firefighters were recognized for their outstanding efforts during emergencies in 2017.

Library’s Chattanooga Memory Project opens to public

The Chattanooga Public Library has created a platform to collect stories, photos, videos, oral histories and other memorabilia from local residents and organizations. The website, www.chattanoogamemory.com, is now open to the public.

Ronald McDonald House volunteers raise $101K

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga kicked off its annual Share-A-Night Campaign with three nights of calls to supporters. Volunteers raised a record $101,000 in pledges during the annual event, which was held at the Ronald McDonald House on Feb. 5, 6 and 12. The amount raised will pay for the entire 28-bedroom facility for about 56 days.

Ruby Falls features new light show

Ruby Falls is sporting a new light and sound show that emphasizes not just the waterfall but the entire waterfall room. Ghost Light Studios increased the length of the show, developed a new musical score and doubled the number of LED color-changing fixtures.

Tennessee American Water performs a little maintenance

As part of its maintenance program and capital projects, Tennessee American Water has rehabilitated and re-painted two of its water tanks in Hamilton County and installed a new one in Marion County.

In Chattanooga, the tank located on Missionary Ridge dates to 1924, while the “South End” tank was installed in 1962. (The South End tank is on a street off Central Avenue, near Alton Park and St. Elmo).

Newsmakers: Ministries appoints program manager

Metropolitan Ministries has tapped Rebecca Ruggieri to be its program impact manager. Ruggieri, who has earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Georgia, will monitor the effectiveness and impact of Metropolitan Ministries’ programs in order to better assess and modify client service practices. Metropolitan Ministries is a 39-year-old agency that provides emergency financial support, support services and stability navigation.

Tri-state Home Show scheduled for March 2-4

The Tri-State Home Show, hosted annually by the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga and presented by EPB Fiber Optics, will kick off its 52nd edition the first weekend in March at the Chattanooga Convention and Trade Center. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on March 2-3 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on March 4.

Events: Crime prevention training

The Chattanooga Police Department is sponsoring free crime prevention training designed for business owners and managers interested in making their facility and employees as safe as possible. A nationally accredited crime prevention specialist from the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center will cover a variety of topics during the four-hour training session, including lighting, access control, video surveillance, emergency management, glazing, environmental design and more. Participants can choose from one of four sessions taking place at the Edney Innovation Center from 8 a.m. to noon Monday, Feb. 26 through Thursday, March 1. Registration: 423 643-5000.