Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’

Welcome To Shelbyville – A Documentary That Tackles Immigration Fears In Tennessee

November 10, 2011


On November 14th at 6:30 p.m., The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers will continue in Chattanooga with a documentary called Welcome To Shelbyville.  It will be screened on Nov 14.  In this segment, we talk with Kim Snyder, the documentary’s producer and director.  We also speak with members of the Chattanooga Film Society, the organization bringing this film series to town.

Kim Snyder will be at Loose Cannon for discussions before and after the screening, as well as representatives from local organizations such as La Paz and the St. Andrews Center.


The screening will happen at the Loose Cannon Gallery on Rossville Avenue.  The doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at:

From the film’s Web site:

Welcome to Shelbyville is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. In this one small town in the heart of America’s Bible Belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Just a stone’s throw away from Pulaski, Tennessee (the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan), longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim Somali refugees.

Set on the eve of the 2008 Presidential election, the film captures the interaction between these residents as they navigate new waters against the backdrop of a tumultuous year. The economy is in crisis, factories are closing, and jobs are hard to find. The local Tyson chicken plant is hiring hundreds of new Somali refugees, and when a local reporter initiates a series of articles about the newcomers, a flurry of controversy and debate erupts within the town.

Museum Center Features Cherokee Language, Art

August 4, 2011

Nearly one hundred Cherokee artists worked together to create “Generations: Cherokee Language Through Art,” a traveling exhibit that opened June 30th at the Museum Center at Five Points in Cleveland, Tennessee.  The exhibit will be on display until October 15th.

In the exhibit, artists took symbols from the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah and transformed them into paintings, drawings, mixed-media pieces and other works of art.

Drawing by Robert Lewis/Courtesy Museum Center at Five Points

Painting by Dorothy Sullivan/Courtesy Museum Center at Five Points

Cornbread Festival Helps Revitalize S. Pittsburg

May 11, 2011


Searching for the most unusual slice of cornbread I would ever taste, I went to the 15th Annual National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, TN.  But I discovered that despite the name, the festival is about more than just cornbread.  It’s about revitalizing South Pittsburg and ensuring a future for this small Tennessee town.

Listen to the story.

The entrance to Cornbread Alley.

Different groups serve different types of cornbread in Cornbread Alley.

From the festival’s Web site:

The National Cornbread Festival was an idea that came about from a group of local leaders and citizens concerned about the pride in their community and the long term future of South Pittsburg, TN. They decided to start a “Grand Annual Festival” to promote the sights, sound, taste, people and history of South Pittsburg by allowing its citizens to volunteer, the civic organizations and churches to participate and share in the rewards of the festival. Because of the erosion of the tax base in our small town of 3,500 people caused by the big shopping centers and a heavily traveled corridor built to by pass our city, we knew that “helping ourselves” was our only hope.

Since the Festival began we have landscaped streets, helped build ball fields, supported boy scouts, schools, churches, given to theaters, day care, libraries, and improved our community immensely. People come from everywhere to see the sights and hear the music, feel the history and taste the cornbread that is cooking in our town. We have seen our “closed” buildings be occupied with restaurants and new stores, our small town has come back to life. More than that the people take great pride in show casing their very best, the last weekend in April as others come from all over to see “What’s Cooking” in South Pittsburg, TN.

Musicians play bluegrass on the sidewalk.

The festival features a carnival with a Ferris wheel.

Federal Disaster Assistance Available to Tennessee Survivors

May 2, 2011

From the news release:

ATLANTA – Survivors of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from

April 25-28 in Tennessee should apply now for federal assistance.

The Presidential declaration on May 1 made funding available to affected individuals in Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington counties.

Assistance is available in the form of grants for rental assistance, basic home repairs, other serious disaster-related needs and low-interest disaster loans. Renters, homeowners and business owners may apply for help through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

However, you must register first. The process takes 15 to 30 minutes.

You can apply for federal assistance directly through Web-enabled mobile devices or smartphones. Registration through the mobile site takes three steps:

  1. Go to and click “Apply Online for FEMA Assistance.” You will be directed to;
  2. Click on Start Registration; and
  3. Fill out the registration form.

You can also register online at or call 800-621-FEMA (3362). Operators speak many languages. Those with hearing or speech impairment can use TTY 800-462-7585.

FEMA will ask you for the following information:

  • The telephone number where you can be reached;
  • The address where you lived at the time of the disaster and the address where you are staying;
  • Your Social Security number;
  • A general description of damage to your property and other losses;
  • The name of your insurance company and your policy number or agent if you have property insurance; and
  • Your bank account routing information if you want FEMA to use direct deposit.




The toll-free FEMA registration numbers are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

local time.

Individual assistance helps eligible applicants with rental assistance, uninsured personal property losses and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster, along with other disaster-related expenses and serious needs. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not covered by insurance.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis in Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington counties for debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.


FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

East Ridge Turns 90

April 21, 2011

From a press release:

East Ridge 90th Birthday Celebration April 30
EAST RIDGE, TN – East Ridge turns the big 90 on April 4th and it’s time to celebrate. On April 30th from noon until 6:00pm, East Ridge will host one big block party. The day kicks off with a parade at noon from the new East Ridge Elementary School along Ringgold Road leading to the festival grounds at City Hall. City history, classic cars, food, vendor’s entertainment, a kid’s area and yes, even birthday cake will be on the agenda for the day.
Civic organizations, businesses, citizens and the City have come together to pay tribute to their hometown and want to make this birthday party one to remember. “The people make the town,” Mayor Brent Lambert said. “This is a celebration of our history and our citizens.”

Author Jay Searcy Pens The Last Reunion

January 26, 2011


Imagine this: out in the wilderness of East Tennessee, an entire town appears practically overnight.  Thousands of people live and work in this small, strange city, and all those people are keeping a secret.  What these people are doing in the town is, arguably, the greatest military secret of all time.

It’s a true story, and today, we’re going to hear an eyewitness account.  Jay Searcy grew up in the small town with the big secret.  If his name sounds familiar, he used to be a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times.  He also used to work at the The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer.  He’s been writing professionally his whole life, and he recently published a memoir called The Last Reunion: The Class of 1952 Comes Home to The Secret City.

I interviewed Searcy at the River Gallery in Chattanooga, where he was signing copies of his book.

Listen to the interview.

River Ridge Farms Protects Lands for Traditional Farming

December 20, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

River Ridge Farms is located along the river in Meigs County, Tennessee.    Owned and operated by Dave and Verlinda Waters, River Ridge raises 100% grass-fed cattle, free-range chickens, turkeys and pigs and more for local consumption.

Our juicy and delicious chicken is raised in protected pens right on the green grass of our pastures. The birds are moved to fresh pasture daily to supplement their all-natural certified organic feed. Our certified organic feed is hormone, anti-biotic and soy free.

We currently raise Tarentais cattle which are renowned for the delicious flavor and are introducing Red Devons, a heritage breed.

River Ridge Farms beef is 100% grass-fed and free of antibiotics and steroids.

Dave Waters returned to farming after 30 years away and is committed to growing food, “the way nature intended.”      He is working toward retaining a conservation easement for his 150 acres and an adjacent 150 acres as a way to protect the land for future farming with help from the Land Trust for Tennessee.

The Land Trust for Tennessee has saved
52,377 acres in 47 counties.

Land Trust for Tennessee has a donation page set up for River Ridge Farms at their website.   The non-profit organization is also assisting the Waters to obtain a grant from the USDA towards this effort.

River Ridge Farms sells through  Market Square Farmers’ Market in Knoxville and the Main Street Farmers Market in Chattanooga.   Main Street Farmers Market will be open through the winter months from 4-5pm on Wednesdays.

River Ridge Farms

Pastured Beef, Pork, Poultry, Eggs and Honey

In December of this year, the FDA reported that  just under 29,000 pounds of anti-microbials had been sold for use in farm animals in 2009.    This is the first time that such a report has been given but future reports on amounts and types of anti-microbials sold for uses in farm animals will be given annually.

There is growing concern that the overuse of antibiotics could increase the chance for resistant strains of harmful bacteria to develop.

I read an article in E-Science entitled, “Antibiotic Resistance: It Takes a Village,”   I have quoted the last paragraph from it below:

“The chance that we’ll have new and dangerous super bugs emerging is quite high, and I’m worried that our arsenal of antibiotics is dwindling,” Collins says. “We have time to respond now, but we need a movement backed by political will to expand antibiotic research and development.”

Listen to the Story:

St Elmo Fire Hall hosts Holiday Market December 11th, 2010

December 6, 2010

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

The St Elmo Fire Hall says about this upcoming event:

Make your Holidays beautiful and unique by purchasing hand-crafted gifts this year.  Local artists and artisans will collaborate to create a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in the heart of Historical St. Elmo.  With a selection of gifts to suit both modest and healthy budgets, the St. Elmo Holiday Market is a must-see for anyone looking to find beautiful and memorable presents.

Holiday Market Hours:  Saturday, December 11, 2010, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (vendors, music, food)

This is a rear view of the Fire Hall which has been landscaped with reclaimed wood from the Walnut Street Bridge.     Owner Emerson Burch  and his construction company, Artisant Homes are responsible for the new look of the old Fire Hall and Burch plans to rent the hall as a mixed-use space.

The Community Association of Historic St. Elmo is one of the oldest neighborhood associations in Chattanooga.      On December 11th, CAHSE plans to celebrate 125 years with  the bi-annual St Elmo Tour of Homes with transportation by Lookout Trolley and free parking at the Incline Railway.   This is from the press release:

Two stops on the Tour will provide the opportunity for local and sustainable Christmas shopping (Tour ticket not required for admittance):

The St. Elmo Holiday Market at the old
Firehall (4501 St. Elmo Ave.) from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and the Fair Trade Market at St. Elmo Presbyterian from 2-6 p.m.

Additionally, from 6-8 p.m., the Trolley will take guests for the price of $1 to see the homes in the St. Elmo Christmas Light Contest. Proceeds will benefit the St. Elmo Public Art Project.

Thankful Espicopal Church will host Caroling in the Gardens at 6:15 p.m.
Also, from 6-8 p.m., the St. Elmo Merchant Holiday Open House will feature coffee and wine
Pasha Coffee & Tea will be offering a free coffee tasting of three different coffees: Uganda Peaberry, Moka Java, and Peru. Visit Chattanooga’s only organic coffee house and get 10% off when you purchase two bags of coffee or more this evening.

Making Arrangements Florists will be featuring examples of fresh Christmas flowers and gifts for you and your home. While browsing enjoy a taste of European Christmas markets with authentic Mulled wine imported from Nuremburg, Germany.

Shagedelic Salon will be hosting a Holiday Open House and wine tasting with hors d’oeuvres. They will be featuring wines from regions in South America. There will be a drawing for a Grand Gift Basket in the salon.

BodyWisdom Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork will be offering free five minute massages, appetizers and the much anticipated festive wine, Beaujolais Nouveau, from the region of
Burgundy, France.

Umbra Essence Candles & Gifts will be celebrating their third year anniversary with a wine tasting of Italian reds, hors d’oeuvres, and tours of the candle making studio by their own Christmas elf. In honor of the 125th anniversary of St. Elmo, they will be giving away 125 holiday votive candles to the first 125 attendants to the store, and will offer specials in the gallery this evening.

Listen to the Story:

Hiking Chattanooga’s Newest Wilderness Sanctuary, Stringer’s Ridge

May 26, 2010


On Saturday morning, the Tennessee River Gorge Trust and the Trust for Public Land had an event showing off the new Stringer’s Ridge wilderness sanctuary.

Although the trails aren’t quite yet cleared off, the public was allowed a sneak peek at the natural beauty and the spectacular views.

Listen to the story.

The view from atop Stringer's Ridge. Landmarks like the Tennessee Aquarium can be seen, as well as the Walnut Street Bridge.

Saturday morning, the Trust for Public Land asked people to help save Stringer's Ridge

Old asphalt roads form the basis for many of the trails on Stringer's Ridge.

Jim Ogden, the historian for the Chattanooga and Chickamauga National Military Parks, explains the history of Stringer's Ridge.

Jim Ogden, the historian for the Chattanooga and Chickamauga National Military Parks, explains the history of Stringer's Ridge.

Listen to the complete audio of Ogden talking about Stringer’s Ridge.

This is the map Ogden used when explaining the Civil War history of Stringer's Ridge.

More trails and markers on Stringer's Ridge.

A Morning on Stringer’s Ridge

May 20, 2010


The view from Stringer's Ridge in Chattanooga, TN.

Listen to the story.

From the press release:

Have you heard about Stringer’s Ridge, but never been? Know exactly where it is, but not how to access it? This is your chance!

Join the Tennessee River Gorge Trust, Trust for Public Land, and Outdoor Chattanooga on Saturday, May 22nd for “A Morning On Stringer’s Ridge” from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Stringer’s Ridge is a natural sanctuary in the heart of North Chattanooga and will eventually offer hiking and biking trails with spectacular views of the Scenic City and its surroundings.

This family-friendly event will serve as an opportunity to preview the property that TRGT and TPL have partnered to protect. Activities will include two guided tours of the wilderness park (at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.), self-guided tours of the park, brief talks by Civil War historian Jim Ogden, and activities such as nature bingo for children. The guided hike will be moderately strenuous. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and pack a picnic lunch. These trails are not suitable for strollers, so carrying small children would be preferable.

Parking is available near the entrance of Old Bell Avenue off of Cherokee Blvd. (right behind Nikki’s Restaurant). Be sure to look for signs and volunteer parking attendants!

For more information, please visit, call Sarah Quattrochi, Tennessee River Gorge Trust, at 423.266.0314 x.3 or e-mail OR Rick Wood, Trust for Public Land, at 423.265.5229 or e-mail