Around and About Chattanooga

Weekdays, 10am - 10:30am & 8pm - 8:30pm

Around and About Chattanooga is a local weekday radio program with interviews, feature news stories and information about the Tennessee Valley.

Comments?  Story ideas?  Questions about an interview you heard?  You can contact the public affairs desk at (423) 425-2224 or email Mike-Miller@utc.edu.

Chattanooga is transforming into one of the nation's most progressive, vibrant cities.  Guests on the Around and About program discuss the cultural events, art communities, environmental initiatives and other creative forces that are helping continue this transformation.

The concert calendar airs every Thursday with a look at what's happening around town in the music scene.

Looking for a story or an interview you heard?  Scroll down for streaming audio of recent Around and About segments.  You can also subscribe to the Around and About Chattanooga podcast feed.  iTunes link here.

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2:11pm

Mon July 21, 2014
In Chattanooga 7/24

Janisse Ray’s ‘The Seed Underground’ Explains Startling Loss of Seed Diversity

'The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food' by Janisse Ray. She will be in Chattanooga on July 24th.

“[I]n the last one hundred years,” Janisse Ray writes in The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, “94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”

Her book explains why so many seed varieties have vanished, and how this loss could pose serious environmental dangers.

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3:36pm

Fri July 18, 2014
Community

Velo Coffee Turns to Kickstarter to Fund New Roaster

Velo Coffee Roasters has been on Chattanooga's Main Street for almost five years, selling coffee by the cup and delivering bags of beans by bike to businesses across the city. Their original business plan was for slow but steady growth, but now they’re ready to take a big step forward. The coffee roaster they’ve been using is too small and they’d like to replace it.

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10:57am

Wed July 16, 2014
Community

Chattanooga Ambassador Program Helps At-Risk Kids Stay in School

Chattanooga's Department of Youth and Family Development is working with at-risk kids by using a holistic approach to keep them in school.  City Administrator Lurone "Coach" Jennings discusses the Chattanooga Ambassador Program.

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10:50am

Wed July 16, 2014
Destinations & Diversions

Chattanooga Nature Center Is a World Away, but Only Minutes from Downtown

The Chattanooga Nature Center and Arboretum and Reflection Riding is a peaceful oasis just minutes from downtown. Circling the foot of Lookout Mountain, Reflection Riding is acres of open pasture and woodland bisected by miles of trails that wind through the woods and beside the river that snakes though the property. Michael Green, one of the dozens of volunteers who run the Nature Center, takes us for a short walk through the property, stopping at the animal sanctuary, which is one of the center’s biggest draws.

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9:48am

Wed July 16, 2014
Books

Supernatural Suspense for Young Shapeshifters in 'Island of Fog' Series

Keith Robinson shows off several of the Island of Fog books.

Keith Robinson's Island of Fog series first launched in 2009.  Aimed at children ages 9 and up, the books have found a following among adult sci-fi/fantasy fans as well.

The protagonist, Hal Franklin, is a twelve-year-old shapeshifter who can turn into a dragon.  Along with his friends, he must keep an uneasy peace between humans and mythical creatures such as dragons, ogres, and centaurs.

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11:05am

Tue July 15, 2014
VW

Analysis: VW Chattanooga Expansion Involves More Than SUVs

The VW Chattanooga plant.
Credit Copyright Volkswagen of America, Inc.

WUTC's Michael Edward Miller and Nooga.com's Chloe Morrison discuss the broader implications of Volkswagen choosing Chattanooga as the site to build its new seven-passenger SUV and a special research center.

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10:05am

Tue July 15, 2014
Community

Food For Summer With the Children's Summer Feeding Program

The Chattanooga Area Food Bank received a grant from Conagra to help provide food for the Children's Summer Feeding Program. 

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10:41am

Mon July 14, 2014
VW

VW Chattanooga Not Only Gets New SUV; Also Gets New Research Center

New midsize SUV from Volkswagen to be produced in Chattanooga (Concept car shown)
Credit Copyright Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Saying that the United States "is and will remain one of the most important markets for Volkswagen," officials at Volkswagen announced that the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant will assemble the company's new midsize, seven-passenger SUV.  About $600 million will be invested in new production, and 2,000 new jobs are expected to be added.

"This is also a strong signal for the US as an industrial and automobile production location," said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in a prepared statement.

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3:22pm

Fri July 11, 2014
Happenings

Signal Mountain Playhouse Presents 'The King and I' Throughout July

For the next three weekends, The Signal Mountain Playhouse is mounting a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King & I. The two leads in the musical are both opera- trained singers, which is increasingly common in musical theater.  Seth Carico  plays the king and Jennifer Arbogast) is Anna, the English teacher whose relationship with the King of Siam and his children is the core of the story on which the musical is based.

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10:04am

Fri July 11, 2014
Arts & Culture

Wiggy Wanda: A Book That Helps Explain Cancer to Children

Credit Kathy Washburn

Children’s books delight and entertain but sometimes they serve a more serious purpose.  Some of the books written by children’s author Kathy Mashburn have valuable lessons embedded in their colorful pages. 

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9:17am

Fri July 11, 2014
Community

Here's Why UAW Thinks This New Push In Chattanooga Will Be Different

UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel speaks at a press conference announcing UAW Local 42 in Chattanooga.

The United Auto Workers' newest local union is forming in Chattanooga with workers from the same plant where the UAW was rejected earlier this year.  Called UAW Local 42, it's UAW’s latest effort to organize in the South.

In February, the UAW tried to unionize the entire VW Chattanooga auto plant, with cooperation from the company itself.  That bid was rejected in a 712-626 vote.  But UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel says he believes this renewed effort will succeed.

"The main reason," Casteel says, "I think, is because there's no election involved here.  There's no opportunity for third-party interference."

During the UAW’s original bid to unionize the plant, Senator Bob Corker and other conservative politicians had weighed in, urging workers to reject the union.  Formation of this new local union doesn’t require a vote—just signatures from 15 employees.  But it also lacks official recognition from Volkswagen.  If the local union grows to represent the entire VW Chattanooga workforce, it would be the first foreign-owned auto plant to unionize in the South.

Many questions remain: is this new union a step toward a German-style works council at the plant?  What, if anything, does this have to do with the new SUV that may be produced at the plant?  This audio features excerpts from the press conference and analysis from Chloe Morrison, a reporter at our news partner Nooga.com.

UPDATE 7/11/14 at 1:30 p.m.: Senator Bob Corker's office has responded to the UAW annoucement.

“There has been some confusion about what happened yesterday related to the UAW’s announcement that they are opening an office in Chattanooga and its impact on Volkswagen's expansion considerations,” said Todd Womack, Corker’s chief of staff, in a prepared statement. “The fact is, nothing happened. Any union can rent space in any city and open an office. Volkswagen made it very clear in their statement that they have no agreement whatsoever with the UAW."

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12:36pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Arts & Culture

Almost Complete: A New 'Choo-Choo' Music Video

Behind-the-scenes footage for the Choo Choo video is available on Youtube.
Credit https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HVFqCqCRWyU

Tiffany Muff and Landon Steele are working on an ambitious project: they want to record a new version of the famous song "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" and release a music video for the song.  Last year, they sought Kickstarter funding for the project.  They met that goal, but need additional support to finish the video editing and music recording. 

Landon Steele joins us to talk about the project.

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10:06am

Thu July 10, 2014
Happenings

Summer Chess Camp Ready to Prepare Future Chess Champs

Rabbit Zielke is joined by Signal Mountain Chess Association members Nicholas Barrett, Daniel Miranda, Adrian Andreescu, Coach Bill Cheal, and camp counselor George Andreescu to talk about Summer Chess Camp with the Mountain Education Foundation July 14 - 18.
Credit Stacy Miranda

If you want to keep your game sharp, you have to keep practicing it.  That is part of the idea behind the Summer Chess Camp that is being offered by the Mountain Education Foundation

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1:25pm

Wed July 9, 2014
When Pigs Fly?

Did Cleveland, TN Really Redefine 'Mile High Club' With $42 Million in Pork?

The Beacon Center of Tennessee's 2014 Pork Report roasts government spending that the center claims is wasteful, including $42 million for a private jetport in Cleveland, Tennessee.

"Apparently," the report says, "Cleveland officials felt our well-to-do comrades should not be relegated to commuting with the common folk from the Chattanooga airport."

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12:36pm

Wed July 9, 2014
Arts & Culture

City of Chattanooga Pipe Band on a Winning Streak

In this Youtube video, the City of Chattanooga Pipe Band competes at the Loch Norman Highland Games.
Credit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfkxz3Y5YAQ

The bagpipe players and Scottish drummers in the City of Chattanooga Pipe Band have won all three competitions they've entered this year.  Bagpipe player Diron Cundiff joins us to talk about the band's success and how the band is open to new members as well as experienced musicians.

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