Hamilton Herald Masthead

News - Friday, February 28, 2014

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Return To Today's News

Seasoned lawyer enjoying new home at small firm

Some people want to be a lawyer from a young age. Others fall into the profession. Attorney Jeffrey Billings belongs to the latter group, but there are no outward signs of bruising or other injuries. In fact, he appears to have landed nicely.

Local court reporters and captioners celebrate 2014 National Court Reporting and Captioning Week

Local court reporters and captioners last week celebrated  2014 National Court Reporting and Captioning Week during a gathering Thursday, Feb. 20 at Universal Joint in downtown Chattanooga. Nancy Varallo, president of the National Court Reporters Association, said National Court Reporting and Captioning Week is the NCRA’s way to spotlight for the public the importance of what court reporters and captioners do. “Court reporting and captioning are part of the lifeblood of law and culture in our society. I encourage everyone in this profession to let their enthusiasm inspire a student to explore this profession.” Pictured are (L-R): Robin Fouraker (Fouraker Reporting Service); Erin Flatt (Flatt Reporting Service); Kathy Kimsey (Chattanooga Reporters Associated); Pat Gildea (Wilson Reporting Agency); Lori Wells (L.A.W. Reporting); Melissa Smith (Elite Reporting Services); Linda Hershey (self-employed); and Sheila Wilson (Wilson Reporting Agency). (David Laprad)

Baker Donelson renews lease at Republic Centre

Baker Donelson, the state’s largest law firm, has entered into a multi-year agreement to renew the lease for its Chattanooga office space in Republic Centre. 

As part of the renewal, Baker Donelson will modernize and renovate its existing 37,440 square feet of office space at Republic Centre, which is the tallest building in Chattanooga’s central business district and is managed by Jim Berry Company. The renovated office space will include a state-of-the-art conference center and will accommodate at least 55 attorneys, versus the current capacity of 43 attorneys, without adding any additional square footage. The firm also obtained certain building signage rights under the agreement.

Chattanooga starts new fire academy

The Chattanooga Fire Department last week started a new fire academy. Most of the 27 new recruits are from this area, but others came from as far as California, Wisconsin, and Florida to start their careers at Chattanooga firefighters. The recruits will go through a tough six-and-a-half months of rigorous mental and physical training, including instruction on fire suppression, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials, and other related disciplines. The firefighters must also be EMT-IV certified to be a Chattanooga firefighter. If they successfully complete the tests and physical fitness training, they will graduate on Sept. 5, 2014. Chattanooga Fire Chief Lamar Flint is on the far left and Training Chief Phillip Hyman is on the far right. (Photo provided)

Sen. Watson on unions, how critics use his words

State Sen. Bo Watson, a Republican from Hixson, has been showing up in the national media lately, thanks to his public statements against unionization effort at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

Last week, officials announced workers had voted not to join the United Automobile Workers by a 43-vote margin.

View from the Cheap Seats
Faded memories

I went to the races in Hot Springs last week. I went up Friday night for a Valentine’s dinner with three beautiful women and then spent Saturday at the races. I stayed at the Arlington Hotel Friday night and went home Saturday after the races. I bet on one race and lost miserably, and could not bring myself to make another bet all day. I enjoy the track, the races, and the people watching, but I’m not much of a better, and I definitely don’t like to lose. The only reason this introduction is important is to explain how I ended up at the Arlington Hotel last Friday night.

Financial Focus
Smart financial moves for women

On March 8, we observe International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s economic, political and social achievements. Yet women everywhere still face challenges — and here in the United States, one of their biggest challenges may be to gain the resources they need to enjoy a comfortable retirement. So, if you’re a woman, what steps should you take to make progress toward this goal?  

Local mediation company launches new website

Most Chattanooga residents are familiar with the name Dr. Carol Berz, and with Private Dispute Resolution Services, her company. One of the only collaborative mediation and training companies in the region, PDRS has received recognition and accolades nationwide. To better serve its growing customer base, PDRS has launched a new website: www.4pdrs.com.

U.S. Attorney Killian speaks at Think Tank

William C. “Bill” Killian, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, was the guest speaker at the Community Think Tank hosted by the Hamilton County Coalition and the U.S. Department of Justice last week. The topic of discussion: the Smart on Crime Initiative, including: arrest, prosecution, and sentencing at the federal level; prescription drug abuse and designer drugs; and victims’ rights. Pictured are (L-R): Hugh Reece, Coalition policy and community safety consultant; Camilla Bibbs-Lee, Coalition executive director; Killian; and Calandra Smith, Coalition community mobilization outreach consultant. (Susanne Reed)

Chattanooga Film Festival Q&A

Festival Director Chris Dortch reveals new information about the upcoming event.

When will movies be playing each day?

On Thursday and Friday evening, we’re trying to be respectful of folks that work 9 to 5 and start later so no one has to miss anything. On Saturday and Sunday, there will literally be wall to wall films all day and even a midnight movie series.

Chattanooga gets its geek on at Con Nooga 2014

Chattanooga’s first and only multi-fandom convention took place at the Chattanooga Convention Center last weekend, with celebrities, artists, authors, filmmakers, and fans celebrating their favorite science fiction, horror, fantasy, anime, and comic book addictions through a variety of activities including concerts, shows, contests, games, seminars, workshops, and more.

Are We There Yet

I have been neglecting my email spam folder, so this week, finding myself with a few rare spare moments, I decided to skim through and see if anything important had slipped through, like that gazillionaire Nigerian who has no family or friends.

Kay's Cooking Corner
Cat head biscuits and squirrel gravy

Hubby and I are at a newspaper convention in San Antonio, Texas. We were looking forward to a break from the wet, cool weather at home; however, that did not happen. So far, we’ve had one foggy, wet day after another. Hopefully, it will clear up tomorrow, which has been the forecast since we arrived.

Mabee thrives in real estate market

When Realtor Pamela Mabee says she went to the School of Hard Knocks, she isn’t kidding. Fortunately, she graduated with flying colors.

Mabee tells her story with a staccato flair: “I’m a Chattanooga girl. Born and raised. Graduated from Red Bank High School. I did not have a silver spoon in my mouth, so college was not an option. I went to the School of Hard Knocks. I had to scratch out what I wanted to do and figure out how to be successful at it.”

The now and later of selling your home

President Greater Chattanooga Assocation of Realtors

Now that the cold weather seems to be behind us, it’s time to look toward spring, which is typically when the real estate market picks up. With local inventory remaining tight, it’s a seller’s market for the Greater Chattanooga area. Sellers, who soon will be entering the market, will want to consider a few steps now to be ready for showings as soon as the listing agreement is signed - and reap the benefits of getting close to asking price and a shorter time on the market.

The Critic's Corner
Avoid '3 Days to Kill'

"Avoid, avoid, avoid.”

I posted these words on my Facebook page moments after seeing “3 Days to Kill.” I wanted to leave no room for doubt. By any of the standards by which the quality of a movie is measured, this film misses the mark more than a blind archer would miss his.

Health Corner
Thieves are stupid!

I know this is supposed be a health-related article, but I received an email from a friend this morning that I thought was worthy of passing on. And I guess it could be considered health because if this ever happened to you, you might explode!

I Swear
Oxymoronic and iconic

The phrase “civil war” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. And, of course, it’s generally used to refer to open hostilities between factions that occupy a common geographical sphere. The second word in the phrase, though, has been used figuratively in reference to litigation for ages. It’s hard to figure, then, just what went wrong with a certain TV show. Though never quite ready for prime time, apparently, it has now become iconic. And yet it’s practically unavailable.

100 Years Ago ...
What was going on in Chattanooga in 1914?

Saturday, February 29

Ethan Bixby, a Chattanooga boy, will appear at the Majestic Theatre Monday in the musical comedy “The Isle of Ginger.” One of the songs sung by Miss Hazel McGinnis is “Stop in Chattanooga.”

50 Years Ago ...
What was going on in Chattanooga in 1964?

Saturday, February 29

Miss Margaret E. McMahan, member of a pioneer Chattanooga family, died this morning in a local hospital.

Herbert Alec Wallace, founder of Wallace Printing, died unexpectedly this morning in a Clearwater, Fla. hospital. A Chattanoogan, he made his home in Florida during the winter months.