Archive for July, 2010

Friends of the Park Plan for the Sesquicentennial Celebrations

July 30, 2010


The Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is one of our regions national treasures and brings more than a million visitors to our area each year.  The parks are supported by a volunteer network that not only helps maintain the trials and monuments, but also preserves the history at the foundation of the parks.  The Friends of the Park are working on projects to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the civil war battles at these parks.

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Wild Trails

July 29, 2010


Wild TrailsThe Wilderness Trail Running Association is changing their name, and with this comes a change in the mission of the this 501(c ) 3 organization.  For several years now this group has been hosting wilderness trail races and running the Rock/Creek Trail Race Series.  The organization has primarily focused on wilderness trail running events, trail preservation, and development of new trails in the Chattanooga region.  Wild Trails is the new name and the new mission of this nonprofit expands their enthusiasm for wilderness trails to include other recreational trail users.

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Chattanooga Author David Magee Wins Independent Publishing Award

July 28, 2010


Chattanooga author David Magee recently won an IPPY award for his newest non-fiction book, The Education of Mr. Mayfield.  The IPPYs are independent publishing prizes, and they honor books that take chances, break new ground, and bring about societal change.

The book won the South East – Best Regional Non-Fiction Award.  Set both before and during the civil rights movement, it tells an unusual story about art, racism,and a secret student at Ole Miss.

Listen to an interview with David Magee about the book.

Read an excerpt of the book.

The Oil Pollution Act and BP

July 28, 2010


The Oil Pollution Act is a federal law that determines responsibility and liability in the event of an oil spill disaster. Dr. John Tucker, specialist in environmental law and professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga discusses the impact of this law on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Library Sponsors Free Memoir Writing Class

July 28, 2010


The Chattanooga Hamilton-County Bicentennial Library is hosting a memoir writing class for senior citizens.  It begins on August 5th, and Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Silver Life Center is also sponsoring it.

The six-week class is called, “Pen to Paper: A Beginning Course on the Art of Memoir Writing.”  It’s free, and although it is designed for people over 50, anyone of any age may participate.

Listen to the story.

From the press release:

The Public Library in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Silver Life Center is offering “Pen to Paper: A Beginning Course on the Art of Memoir Writing.”

Classes begin Thursday, Aug. 5, 10-11:30 a.m. at the Silver Life Center, 401 West ML King Blvd.

The class is designed for adults over 50 years of age, and is a free, six-week class. Free parking is available adjacent to the center.

Columnist and freelance writer Angela Beairsto will teach participants how to document personal stories. No previous writing experience is required.

The course will focus on learning the basics of writing a memoir as a living legacy for family and friends.

For more information or to register, contact Becky McMahon, Senior Services coordinator, the Public Library, at 643-7711 or by email at

Sallie A Crenshaw Bethlehem Center celebrates 90 years of Service

July 27, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

The Bethlehem Center, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee is an award-winning, faith-based agency dedicated to transforming lives and communities through programs and ministries focused on Character Development, Education/Literacy, and Leadership

The Bethlehem Center seeks empowerment for Chattanooga’s inner city community through providing spiritual growth, education and leadership development.        Named after Sallie A. Crenshaw, the first female black Minister to be ordained in the United Methodist Church, the Bethlehem Center has been in service in Chattanooga for 90 years.     As part of the celebration, the Beth center has established a history exhibit in their building at 200 W. 38th Street which houses photos of the great Reggie White of NFL and former city Commissioner John Franklin Senior along with a history of performing and visual arts, the Civil Rights Movement, and a memorial to Sallie A Crenshaw who opened a successful mission in 1947 to provide spiritual nourishment for the Alton Park Community along with an adequate day care for the children in the community, according to Common Ground from the Department of Neighborhood Services and Community Development.

The Bethlehem Center serves over 200 youth each Summer with “educational enrichment, food assistance, mentoring, recreation and counseling,” according to the SE Career Center.

Chattanooga Creek reports this about the Bethlehem Education Program:

The Beth’s education programs strive to cause dramatic, positive changes in the
lives of children trapped in an environment of poverty, illiteracy, violence, substance
abuse, brokenness, and hopelessness through no fault of their own. Secondarily, the
goal is to provide youth and adults with “second chances” to acquire the tools to make
the same dramatic and positive changes in their lives.

“Coach” Lurone Jennings is the Executive Director for the Bethlehem Center.     With a background in education and the distinction of having coached both Reggie White and Venus Lacy in their youth, Jennings is one of the founders of the Bethlehem Community Development Credit Union which is the first of its kind to be chartered in the state of Tennessee.      Jennings has written a book entitled, “Crisis in Urban America” which can be purchased here through the Bethlehem Center website.

Jennings is also the creator and co-host of the radio show, “Pep Talk” that ‘offers sound and encouraging advice to listeners” on WGOW each Monday at 7:00p.m..       For more information about the work of Coach, Lurone Jennings and the history and mission of Chattanooga’s Bethlehem Center, click here.

In cooperation with Brainerd United Methodist Church, the Beth will be opening the new Bethlehem Resource Center at 4311 Brainerd road on October 1st, 2010.      Headed up by Operations Director Lori Carter, the resource center will feature local shopping, consignment, resale, promotion of local food and culture along with health and wellness classes, support groups, job opportunities and training for the under served citizens and the list of resources goes on.      More about the new Bethlehem Resource Center will be fourth coming.

Listen to the Story with Coach Lurone Jennings:

Hamilton County Principal Leadership Academy

July 27, 2010


The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has collaborated with the Hamilton County Department of Education, the Public Education Foundation, and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce to develop the Principal Leadership Academy.  The Academy provides a one year leadership program to help develop future leaders in our school system. Each month the program participants will study aspects of leadership with an emphasis on schools.  The initial 14 participants began the leadership experience last month.

The program also has a business mentoring component where area business leaders agree to mentor the aspiring principals in areas of decision-making and solutions.  Each program participant will have the opportunity to learn directly from business leaders and gain insights into the future employment needs in the region to help better prepare the emerging workforce.

Selection of the Executive Director for this Academy followed a National search.  Dr. Godfrey Saunders brings 32 years of experience in education with 13 years as a high school principal.  While leading the largest high school in Bozeman Montana, Dr. Saunders trained emerging principals and helped develop leadership and professional development programs.  His doctoral studies also included a focus on mentoring programs for school principals. Dr. Saunders has been invited to join the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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Student Led Infant Mortality Public Awareness Campaign for Tennessee

July 26, 2010


Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

T.J. Ojehomon and Jelani Morson are passionate about having an impact in bringing down high infant mortality rates in Tennessee.       These two high school students work as volunteers for a program called  Impact through Chattanooga’s Girl’s Incorporated, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote gender equality through education and development of leadership skills for girls.

The Impact group is made up of 10 students who advocate for those who may be affected by infant mortality.

Chattanooga Girl’s Incorporated Blog describes Impact:

“The I.M.P.A.C.T. program was formed in 2008 to address the infant mortality crisis in Tennessee,” said Tracy Windeknecht, manager of special programs for Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga. “The program works to increase awareness about infant mortality and related risk factors and to reduce behavioral choices associated with poor birth outcomes in underserved communities.”

Through I.M.P.A.C.T., teens advocate for public policies that reduce the contributing factors leading to infant mortality such as access to health care, reproductive education, nutrition, and substance abuse. Additionally, they created public service announcements that are aimed at their peers and are building an in-school task force to directly contact students in Hamilton County schools.

Facts about infant mortality in Tennessee:

  • Tennessee is ranked 45th in the nation for infant deaths. Hamilton County’s infant mortality rate is higher than the state average.
  • Every 12 hours, an infant in Tennessee dies before her or his first birthday.
  • Black infants are 2.5 times more likely to die within the first year of life than white babies.
  • African-American babies in Hamilton County die at a rate higher than babies in Romania, Bulgaria and Cuba.

The Times Free Press continues with the article, “Chattanooga students bring infant mortality awareness campaign to Washington.”

Hamilton County has one of the highest infant mortality rates in Tennessee, at 11.2 infant deaths for every 1,000 births, according to the state health department. Tennessee has a rate of 8.7 deaths per 1,000 births, while the nation as a whole has a rate of 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the department.

The Infant Mortality public awareness program was launched with a two-year grant from the Governer’s Office of Children’s Care Coordination in Hamilton, Davidson and Shelby Counties-the 3 counties with the highest infant deaths in Tennessee, according to Kelly Gauthier of the TFP.      And in March of this year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee’s Health Foundation granted Girl’s Inc. $165,000 to continue the I.M.P.A.C.T. program.

Gauthier also gives some startling statistics regarding infant mortality:

* Nearly seven U.S. babies die out of every 1,000 live births.

* More than 28,000 American babies die each year before their first birthday.

* Low birthweight babies are 19 times more likely to die in their first year.

* Black mothers are more likely to have premature babies than white mothers.

* Infants born to women who wait until the seventh month or later to start prenatal care or received no care were twice as likely to die as women who started care in their first trimester.

* The average first-year cost for a full-term baby is $3,325; the average first-year cost for a premature baby is $32,325.

Source: Girls Inc.

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Chattanooga’s Office of Sustainability

July 26, 2010


The City of Chattanooga established an Office of Sustainability to oversee the Green Initiative, administer the Climate Action Plan, and continue work that has helped make Chattanooga a leader in urban innovation. David Crockett is the Director of the department and is taking concepts from his professional experience to develop the decision process for this emerging department.  With a focus on quality and aspects of the Total Quality Management approach, Crockett intends to address decisions with an eye to the big picture and an understanding of the impact on other departments and programs.

The position of Director of  Sustainability was established through funds awarded from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which is part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.   The department works through partnerships and community action committees to implement the Climate Action Plan that was developed in 2009.  To contact Green Chattanooga call 423-668-2262.

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Preserving Engel Stadium

July 23, 2010


For 80 years Engel Stadium has been Chattanooga’s favorite hometown baseball field.  The field was the home of minor league baseball team  Chattanooga Lookouts until 1999 and has a rich history of exhibition games and community events spanning back before the great depression.  The stadium was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2009 in celebration of its past but the future was the topic of speculation once the Chattanooga Lookouts moved to their new field.

Hamilton County and the City of Chattanooga are in the process of turning the stadium over to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  UTC has been developing the surrounding land for a track complex and plans to lease the stadium facilities to a nonprofit organization, the Engel Foundation.  The stadium needs some major repairs but according the Janna Jahn, a member of the Engel Foundation, a recent engineering study of the facility reported the structure to be in good shape for its age.  Most of the repairs are standard maintenance such as plumbing, roof repair and some wiring.  The focus of the foundation is to preserve and reinvigorate the historic stadium.  Plans for the future of the stadium include an inner city baseball league, southern league baseball museum, and community events.

To contact the Engel Foundation call Janna Jahn at 423-314-1378.

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