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News - Friday, April 11, 2014

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Beard says practicing law is ‘tons of fun’

Thirty-five years ago, attorney John Stophel gave an associate, John Beard, advice about life as a lawyer. He said to the young man who was working for his firm, “You have to balance your faith life, family life, vocational life, community life, and recreational life. If you get too busy in one, it will squeeze out the others.”

Pratt named in 2014 Professional Builder Magazine’s ‘40 Under 40’

Professional Builder Magazine recently published its 2014 list of “40 Under 40” winners. James E. Pratt III was named one of the young superstars of the home building industry nationwide.

Under Pratt’s leadership, Pratt Home Builders has built more than 1,000 homes with a 90-percent-plus customer satisfaction rating. They were also recently named “Developer of the Year” by the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga. Pratt Home Builders is a family-owned regional homebuilder offering a diverse portfolio of homes and neighborhoods.

Victim’s Rights Luncheon honors those hurt by violence, poor choices

The mother of a young man killed by a drunk driver reminded those attending the 12th Annual Victims’ Rights Luncheon Tuesday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of the importance of making good choices. Tiki Finlayson’s son, Kevin Daniel Yates, was hit head on by a drunk driver on July 31, 2011, and succumbed to his injuries the following day.

Keller Williams hosts Chambliss Center benefit

Keller Williams this week hosted its 2014 Vendor Fair, which benefitted Chambliss Center for Children. The event took place Tuesday afternoon and evening at Black Creek Clubhouse.

Dozens of vendors of interest to Realtors showcased their goods and services at booths promoting their businesses, while those who attended the fair enjoyed free food, beer, and wine.

WCR speaker urges Realtors to become agents of change

Broker Sabrena Turner, owner of Sabrena Realty Associates, encourages Realtors to enage in community activism in their neighborhoods and districts.

Turner spoke Wednesday at the monthly luncheon meeting of the Women’s Council of Realtors at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel.

A weekend to remember
River City Roundabout

“Do you mind if we bring beer in here to sell?” a staff member of the Chattanooga Film Festival (CFF) asked the crowd gathered see “The Sacrament” Saturday night at The Majestic.

The question must have been rhetorical. If it wasn’t, the hoots and hollers given in response made everyone’s feelings clear. By that point, most of the people in the room were already drunk on three days of cutting-edge cinema and heady discussion about movies.

The Block announces kids-only climbing gym

The anchor tenant of The Block, High Point Climbing and Fitness, is creating a 3,000 square foot kid’s only climbing gym that will be called Funtopia by High Point.

Located at the corner of Chestnut and 3rd Street, Funtopia by High Point will fill the last remaining retail space in The Block.

Hamilton County to begin address verification this month

Hamilton County residents may soon have a knock on the door as part of a new county wide program to improve public safety. 

Between April and October 2014, representatives from GeoComm will be driving all the roads in Hamilton County, verifying both road names and addresses throughout the county. This field verification process will enhance the accuracy of the countywide Address Point Layer.

Captain America sequel clever, smart
The Critic's Corner

As I sit down to write this review of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” the movie has already grossed $95 million   dollars domestically, and even more internationally.

These are record numbers for April, so if you were looking forward to seeing the movie, chances are you probably already have. If you haven’t, I hope you will. It’s not just a great superhero, comic book, or action film – it’s a great film.

‘Solid, Christian belief’ guides Pody’s work in Legislature

Helping people with insurance requires the ability to plan for multiple scenarios. 

That’s something Rep. Mark Pody, a Republican from Lebanon, has taken with him to the state legislature, and he says it helps even when everyone is in agreement on a bill’s final outcome.

Tennessee Appellate Court ruling provides roadmap to debtor bar for avoiding 12(b)(6) dismissal?

The Tennessee Court of Appeals issued an opinion late last year that will make it harder for mortgage lenders/servicers to win dismissal of borrower litigation alleging MERS related irregularities.

Although the case, Berry v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., 2013 Tenn. App. LEXIS 682, 2013 WL 5634472 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 15, 2013), should not affect the ultimate outcome of lawsuits against lenders and servicers, it has given the debtors’ bar boilerplate language that guarantees survival of a motion to dismiss in Tennessee state courts.

Tax humor
I Swear

To file or not to file? For an extension, that is. Indeed, this is the question. For mid-April is upon us yet again.

In desperation, if not also procrastination, I seek the ease that only humor can bring. Read that: I decide to try my hand at writing tax jokes. Which proves to be a bit of a problem, as I am not by trade a joke writer. Not one to be deterred by such technicalities, I press onward:

Move your car
Cheap Seats

How many times have you found yourself in a traffic jam, and then when you finally got up to the problem, it was nothing more than one car that has rear-ended another car with minimal damage?

Instead of moving the cars out of the way and limiting the traffic jam to the slow-down caused by gawkers, they just sit in the middle of the road and wait for help to arrive. Oblivious to the pain and needs of others, their problems are put above the needs of the masses trying to get on with their lives.

The ruling that comes in spring
Under Analysis

Despite my general objection, I guess things change with time. This somewhat disconcerting reality was brought home to me by disparate examples last night and this morning.

As I was fading off to sleep, and simultaneously patting myself on the back for the brilliant way I had trapped an expert witness yesterday afternoon on the stand, Dave Letterman began a long and almost painful story about his preoccupation with a bird that may, or may not, have been a baby bald eagle.

Prepare for health care costs in retirement
Financial Focus

As you save and invest for retirement, what are your ultimate goals? Do you plan on traveling the world? Purchasing a vacation home? Pursuing your hobbies? People often think and plan for these costs. Yet, too often, many of us overlook what potentially could be a major expense during our retirement years: health care. By preparing for these costs, you can help yourself enjoy the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned.

What do millennials want?
REALTOR ASSOCIATION president’s message

The numbers are in, and Millennials take the top spot as the largest group of recent home buyers in the U.S. According to the 2014 National Association of REALTORS Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluates the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers, Millennials (those age 33 and younger) comprised 31 percent of recent home purchases.

April’s Simple Chicken Salad
Kay’s Cooking Corner

We attended a birthday party/potluck over the weekend, and were asked to bring a side item.

Leave it to me to find the most delish side item to bring! I knew no one else would think about making chicken salad or anything close to it.

I was supposed to make a pasta salad, but that wasn’t making my skirt fly up when thinking about it. Chicken salad sounded much more appealing to me.

Would you know if it were more than hives?
Health Corner

Almost two weeks ago, my 3-year-old daughter woke up covered in a rash of some sort. Not one part of my precious baby’s body was left untouched.

I did what I thought would be the best start, which was Benadryl, I figured this way if it was an allergic reaction, then it would help downplay the rash.

Brainbuster – Make your brain tingle!

1. People who have elurophobia would not be able to visit my house. Why is that? They have a fear of golf; a fear of stairs; a fear of cats; a fear of cooking.

2. True or false: The blue whale’s heart is the size of a small car.

3. Hoplophobia is the fear of: Rabies; glass; mercurial medicines; firearms.

Are We There Yet?

It’s my Rotary Club’s 100-year anniversary, and each week, we’re treated to what was happening around the state 100 years ago. That got me to thinking about events from all over the world back in 1914, and here are a few of them.

He walked on water
Read All About It

During my more than 44 years on the job, I spent a lot of time on our Tennessee roads. When that sort of time involves interstate driving, you find yourself quite often looking at the double doors of the rear end of an 18-wheeler. Over the years, I found a lot of verbiage on these rolling billboards that was both entertaining and educational, plus some that make me want to pass just to get the verbiage out of my sight. You know the ones like, “I may be slow, but I’m ahead of you,” and “Your mama is so fat that blankety blank-blank-blank and unmentionable.” Those I don’t appreciate, and freedom of speech may be pushed to the limit.

Douglas Elkins joins Miller & Martin’s Chattanooga office

Miller & Martin PLLC has announced that Doug Elkins has joined the firm’s Chattanooga office.

Elkins, a native of the city, is returning to Chattanooga to continue his focus on corporate law.

Prior to joining Miller & Martin, Elkins worked with Bradley, Arant, Boult Cummings LLP in Nashville and Hunton & Williams LLP in Atlanta. He graduated from McCallie School, received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College, and earned his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

YPAC accepting Protégé Chattanooga mentorship program applications

Protégé Chattanooga, a team-based mentor program for emerging leaders, is currently accepting applications for its 2014-2015 class.

A collaboration between the Young Professionals Association of Chattanooga (YPAC) and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Protégé Chattanooga is the first program of its kind in Chattanooga.

Chambliss ranks among top firms with excellent client relationships

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel ranks in the top 25 percent of law firms with the best client relationships, according to an independent study by BTI Consulting Group.

The study analyzes more than 500 interviews with corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 and other large organizations, including more than 15 industry sectors. Driven by candid feedback from leading corporate counsel, BTI’s analysis quantifies interviews to determine which law firms have the strongest relationships with their clients.

State Fair looking in Hamilton County for talent to perform

Tennessee State Fair - Sept. 5-14, 2014

The 2014 Tennessee State Fair is singing a few bars of what’s been sung before but this year the tune has a slightly different verse.

The State Fair is combing the state for musical talent including a search for talent here in Hamilton County.

To the next 50 years at Reflection Riding!

Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center, a popular outdoor adventure destination in Lookout Valley for the past 58 years, is envisioning its future and planning for the next half-century. 

The first of many advances is a renaming of the organization, acknowledging its historical roots through the new title, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center.

Tennessee Appellate Court Opinions

State of Tennessee v. Angela K. Pendergrass

Case Number: E2013-01409-CCA-R3-CD

Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.

Originating Judge: Judge Don W. Poole

Date Filed: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The defendant, Angela K. Pendergrass, appeals her Hamilton County Criminal Court bench trial conviction of driving under the influence. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Downtown is cleaner, greener thanks to volunteers

Clean and Green brought businesses, civic groups and community members together to make downtown brighter and cleaner in one big sweep this past Saturday, April 5th. More than 550 volunteers met at Miller Plaza for a fun-filled day of collecting trash and recyclables, removing graffiti, painting, planting and helping out where needed.