Jacqui Helbert

News Producer

Jacqui Helbert hails from deep in the hollows of the Appalachian Mountains, specifically Southwest Virginia. She dabbles as an artist, roller derby girl, and writer. But her real passion is creating radio stories. She attended the Fall Transom Storytelling workshop in 2015 and is the creator of her own podcast series, Backwoods.


Hamilton County Republicans gathered at Puckett's Restaurant to cheer and clap as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Other Chattanoogans gathered at the Bitter Alibi and reacted more somberly, recalling Trump's sometimes-harsh and divisive campaign rhetoric.

In this audio piece, they speak of their hopes, fears and expectations regarding Trump's promise to make American great again.

Englewood, Tennessee Fire Chief Billy Roach says one of his crews had worked about 20 hours fighting wildfires in Gatlinburg that killed at least seven people. Then when deadly winds blew in from Alabama, the Englewood firefighters rushed home to McMinn county, to help storm-related rescue operations.

“They’re wore out,” Roach said at a press conference. “They’ve had very little sleep. I know I’ve had two hours since Monday morning. We’re just to the limits.”

You may have noticed that lately Chattanooga looks like a dystopian movie, with plumes of thick smoke looming over the city and people wearing face masks. But it isn’t the end of the world. Just fallout from local wildfires. We spoke Dr. Pamela Sud, a pulmonologist at CHI Memorial, about the nearly 100 patients the hospital has treated for smoke-related breathing problems. Another local hospital, Erlanger, has treated more than a hundred as well.

Dr. Martha Summa-Chadwick nerds out about the power music has to affect the quality of life. She is the Executive Director of Music Therapy Gateway in Communications, Inc. She joins us today to talk about how music is an ancient language that can help patients suffering from autism, PTSD, and Parkinson's disease. MTGIC has a free concert, Quartet for the End of Time, coming up November 18th, and Dr. Summa-Chadwick is also telling us composer Oliver Messiaen had a neurological disorder, synesthesia, and composed the quartet while being held captive as a POW during World War II.

In The Hidden Brain, NPR's Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to unearth patterns, biases, and triggers that drive human behavior. He is speaking with us about the new season of the podcast and what illuminating topics listeners can anticipate. The new season includes a series exploring issues on the minds of voters during the political season; specifically, a nuanced and surprising discussion about immigration and how immigrants who've been settled in the United States for twenty years can be wary of new comers.


A new election race has begun in Chattanooga. With so much focus on Trump and Clinton, you might have missed the kickoff.

On August 30, Larry Grohn, the District 4 Councilman in Chattanooga, announced he would be running for mayor.

That vote is about five months away, in March of 2017. 

Grohn says violence in the city, a lack of housing, and a lack of workforce development are issues he wants to address in his campaign. 

“As well as our city is doing,"he says, "we can do better in these regards."