Around and About Chattanooga

Wednesdays at 10 am & 8 pm

Around and About is a Chattanooga, Tennessee public radio show featuring news, interviews, and arts coverage. The show's host and reporters cover human-interest stories, Southern literature and current events & issues affecting the Tennessee Valley. 

Many guests are Chattanooga residents; others are national authors, experts and celebrities speaking on topics relevant to our community. The show is broadcast Wednesdays on WUTC NPR 88.1 FM, and the podcast is available here.

You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Comments? Story ideas? Email us.

Greater Tuna, the second smallest town in Texas, is the setting for the play opening at the Signal Mountain Playhouse on Friday February 11th. The play features twenty different characters , but only two actors. Richard Winham talked to the actors, Mark Oglesby and Dennis Parker, along with the play’s director, Michelle Ford.

Fendall Fulton

Candles lit up Coolidge Park Wednesday evening when an estimated 1,200 Chattanoogans attended a vigil for refugees banned by President Trump’s immigration order.

They chanted in unison with speakers that represented various immigrant, refugee, and religious groups.

“We all belong here,” they said “Let them stay.”

The executive order has halted refugees and citizens from 7 majority Muslim countries for up to 4 months. Syrians have been banned from coming altogether. Mr. Trump said the ban is to prevent terrorist attacks.

Joel and Melanie Krautstrunk moved to Chattanooga three years ago planning to open a micro-brewery and a taproom. By the end of this year they hope to be running Chattanooga’s largest independent brewery.  Richard Winham talked to Joel Krautstrunk about his passion for beer and how he and his wife have managed to go from a micro-brewery to a macro brewery in such a short time.  

If Tennessee legislators say yes to everything Governor Bill Haslam touted Monday evening, you'll pay more while driving to the grocery store, but you'll save while shopping. 

And if you've never earned a college degree, you could get one tuition-free.

Practically on a whim, Joan Kroc made the biggest public radio pledge in history: around $250 million dollars to NPR. 

She could afford it. Her husband was McDonald's corporation founder Ray Kroc, and Ray and Joan were worth billions. Ray's life was well-publicized, most recently in the Michael Keaton film The Founder.

That film is based on a true story.

Fendall Fulton

The day after the Presidential inauguration, protesters flooded the streets in Washington, D.C. and all over the globe. It was a movement originally planned as an anti-Trump protest--but quickly morphed into a march for women’s rights. Chattanooga organizers sent a bus full of protesters to D.C., but here in the Scenic City, thousands more local residents met downtown for a rally and march.

The scope of it surprised everyone--organizers, participants, and city officials.

WUTC

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.

Area businesses, restaurants and schools are invited to take part in Pink! Week, January 23 through 28. It benefits the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center, and precedes the 12th annual Pink! Gala (which is now sold out). Listen to this story for more information. 

Riverworks Marketing Group wants to design a website—or upgrade an existing site—for a local non-profit—for nothing. Gratis. Free. So they decided to run an on-line competition. Richard Winham talked to the owners, Jackie and Steve Errico, about web marketing and why they decided to donate as much as $10,000 worth of design work to a local non-profit. The deadline to nominate non-profits is January 31.

Copyright Rayon Richards

Chattanooga State received a $15,000 NEA Big Read Grant in 2016 to support a citywide reading project, and the first chapter begins Thursday.

Elizabeth Azen thisisDYNASTY.com @thisisdyNASTY

Women from Chattanooga are buying bus tickets and lacing up their sneakers in preparation for a march on Washington, DC.  They are joining in a national grassroots effort to protest for equality the day after the Presidential inauguration. They hope to have a large enough presence to send their message to the government: that women’s rights are human rights.

The march will take place the day after the Presidential inauguration, January 21st, near the Capitol Building. Everyone is invited, regardless of gender or gender identity. 

Noted local drummer Josh Green has set himself a goal. Every day this year, the drummer, who has played with a number of local bands including Infradig, The Distribution and Summer Dregs, is going to upload a collection of drum and percussion tracks to his website. He records these original beats so other musicians can download them for use in other compositions. He began the project on his birthday last November.

Julie Babb

As part of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, Steve Babb and Fred Schendel are stars…in Japan and in Europe…and yet here in Chattanooga, their hometown, they are relative unknowns—and they like it that way. Richard Winham visited the two musicians in their recording studio recently to talk about their new album, their upcoming tour, and the work they do as producers for other musicians in Chattanooga.

Chattanooga Fire Department

A federal class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the Woodmore bus crash victims alleges Hamilton County school officials could have prevented the deadly wreck.

Two law firms--Murphy, Falcon & Murphy and Berke, Berke & Berke--filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on behalf of the six children killed and dozens more injured in the crash that occurred on November 21, 2016.

Prior to the wreck, 24-year-old bus driver Johnthony Walker had trouble enforcing discipline on the bus. The lawsuit alleges Walker threatened the children and drove recklessly, slamming on the brakes and swerving, in a sadistic attempt to restore discipline.

Days before the fatal crash, two students wrote complaints about Walker, saying he went too fast, and emails show officials were aware of those complaints and other concerns about Walker's driving.

When Chattanooga's Judge Raulston Schoolfield died in 1982, the New York Times noted his passing:

Judge Raulston Schoolfield, removed from the criminal bench on charges of bribery and extorting campaign help from racketeers but later elected as a lesser jurist, died Wednesday of a heart attack. He was 76 years old. Mr. Schoolfield's impeachment and conviction by the state Senate in 1958 led to his disbarment and removal as a County Judge...

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