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.

We’ve all been through what Caleb Thomas calls ”The Experience.” Thomas, a poet and songwriter performs as Phenom, The Creative. Together with a group of poets and songwriters he will be celebrating love from infatuation to commitment in a show called The Experience. He talked to Richard Winham.

A new art exhibit at the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga looks at how artists use modern tools to make work that comments on our relationship to technology. WUTC’s Will Davis talked to the show’s curator.

Soon after Alan and Nicole Parker were married, they began having children. Within three years, they had a daughter and two sons. The children had arrived a little more quickly than they had planned, but they were happy, despite Nicole’s nagging feeling that they were supposed to have another daughter. Richard Winham picks up the story from here, and talks about the benefit concert coming up 3/31.

On Saturday, local middle and high school students will race electric cars they built at the inaugural Chattanooga Green Prix. WUTC 's Jordan Thompson has the story.

From the event's Facebook page:

WUTC

After a diesel emissions scandal that cost Volkswagen billions in fines and slumping sales of its Chattanooga-made Passat sedan, Tennessee lawmakers (who have granted the automaker hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives to build and expand Chattanooga's VW plant) worried about the future of their investment, because Volkswagen was looking to cut back on certain operations.

Now things are looking up. Volkswagen's new Chattanooga-made, seven-passenger Atlas SUV is selling so well that the company plans to start building a new five-seater model, which means VW will put $340 million toward expanding the plant.

"What they're doing as far as ramping up their operations, we anticipate there'll be additional jobs," said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, although the company isn't yet saying how many--if any--new jobs will be created.

Volkswagen North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken says, for him, the success of the Atlas symbolizes a "turnaround for our brand here in the United States."

A report published in the January 23rd, 2018 issue of Forbes magazine looked at diversity in the workplace across the country. Working with a research firm called Statista, the magazine compiled what they termed “the definitive list of the best employers for diversity in America.” "Statista surveyed 30,000 U.S. employees in August 2017 to inform the list, asking questions about diversity, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and disability.

Dancing at Loughnasa is a semi-autobiographical play by the Irish playwright, Brian Friel. It tells the story of five sisters living in the country in Southern Ireland just before the Second World War. Told through the eyes of the 7 year old son of the youngest sister, Chris, it’s a memory play about a pivotal moment in all their lives. The play is a production of The Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga.

There’s a new place in town to get a beer, and as WUTC’s Will Davis reports, this place is uniquely Chattanoogan. Davis takes us to American Draft, a pour-your-own beer hall housed inside a historic train car at The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry unexpectedly announced she was resigning Tuesday morning--after appearing in court and pleading guilty to theft of property over $10,000. Just how sudden was the announcement, and how does her guilty plea relate to an affair she had with the head of her security, Sgt. Rob Forrest?

 The Chattanooga Theatre Centre is mounting a new production of Tennessee Williams’s play The Glass Menagerie. Directed by Todd Olson, the new executive director of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, it was the playwright’s first big success in New York in the period immediately following the Second World War. Richard Winham talked to Todd Olson and Rob Inman, who plays the lead role of Tom Wingfield.

A jury has found former school bus driver Johnthony Walker guilty of criminally negligent homicide, following a 2016 crash that killed six children. 

Police aren’t saying why a North Georgia teacher allegedly brought a handgun to school and fired it out a classroom window, but a police representative says apparently the teacher didn’t intend to harm any students. Jesse Randal Davidson teaches social studies at Dalton High, and the principal, Steve Bartoo, describes Davidson as an “excellent teacher.”

He says he’d be surprised “with any of our teachers” if an incident like today’s happens.

“Our teachers care about our kids. They love our kids, they take care of our kids, and it's certainly shocking to any principal if one of their staff members took a gun out in a classroom and fired it.”

The incident is sparking debate about President Trump’s proposal that some teachers start carrying concealed weapons, to defend students against school shooters.

Singer/songwriter IMAJ and Cam Busch join us to talk about the 18th annual Cam Busch Endowed Arts for Health Lecture Series.  

From a media release:

CHI Memorial Foundation and the Hunter Museum of American Art are co-presenting the 18th annual Cam Busch Endowed Arts for Health Lecture Series.  This year’s event will be Thursday, March 8, 2018, at the Hunter Museum of American Art.  IMAJ is the featured guest.  The reception will begin at 5 p.m., followed by IMAJ’s presentation at 6 p.m.

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