Around and About Chattanooga

Mondays & Wednesdays at 10 am & 8 pm

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.

Comments? Story ideas? You can contact the public affairs desk at (423) 425-2224.

Early voting is already underway, and on today's show, we're speaking with four of the candidates running in the Hamilton County primaries.  Three of them are on the Republican ballot for Criminal Court Judge, Division 2: Boyd Patterson, Tom Greenholtz, and Mike Little.  (There is no Democrat candidate).  We're also speaking with Sterling Jetton, a Republican running for Assessor of Property.

   As part of their South Bound Lectures series, the Southern Lit Alliance is bringing Adrian Matejka to Chattanooga on Wednesday, February 10th.  In this interview, Matejka talks about The Big Smoke, his Pulitzer-nominated (and National Book Award-nominated) collection of poetry about Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion.

The Rock City 4 are one of two barbershop harmony quartets available to sing for your valentine. They will come to his or her place of work or home, sing them a song chosen by you and present them with a rose and a box of chocolates. Richard Winham joined them in the studio as each member of the quartet sang his favorite song.

American Heart Association

February is National Heart Month and Friday February 5th is National Wear Red Day. 

CIA

  So it turns out the U.S. embargo against Cuba isn't a total embargo.  American businesses are allowed to export food, and Tennessee is sending about 1.3 million dollars' worth of chicken leg quarters to the island.

Adelina Bryant joins us to explain why chicken legs from the Volunteer State are so popular in Cuba, and how the state's exports to grow by $100 million if the embargo were lifted.  Bryant is with Engage Cuba, a nonprofit advocacy group that supports doing away with the embargo.

  Jared Bigham joins us to talk about education and the future of Chattanooga.  He’s the coordinator for Chattanooga 2.0, an initiative that's exploring ways to build "the smartest community in the South," according to their Web site.

Alex Friedman is the president of Private Corrections Institute, Inc., which he describes as "a non-profit citizen watchdog organization that works to educate the public and policymakers about the significant downsides associated with the privatization of correctional services."  Recently, the Hamilton County Commission voted in favor of paying up to $460,000 for a study regarding potential privatization of future correctional facility operations in the county.

  The statistics on military veterans suicides are a national tragedy. A group of songwriters in Nashville made the decision several years ago to do whatever they could to help. They started a program called Operation Song in which veterans are encouraged to share their memories are then taught how to turn them into a song. The program has been here in Chattanooga for about a year. Beginning today we are going to be talking to some of the veterans in the program and sharing the songs they have written.

Meg Vogel/NPR

  Today, Bob Boilen is best known as the creator and co-host of the NPR podcast All Songs Considered, but he started his NPR career working with the news reporters and hosts—for 18 years, he directed the flagship show All Things Considered. 

In this interview, he tells us how the small music clips between news stories led to the creation of his music show.  We also talk about his voracious appetite for live music—in 2015, he saw 506 shows.  And we discuss NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest, and he gives some tips for bands who are entering.

This Saturday night, January 23, the Bessie Smith Hall is hosting an evening of the blues with Drew Sterchi and Blues Tribe. The concert will also feature Husky Burnette, Marlow Drive and The Jon Harris Band. Drew Sterchi and Blues Tribe will headline the concert playing a set celebrating the history of the blues from its roots in the early part of the last century through to today. Richard Winham sat down with Drew Sterchi and his niece Virginia Sterchi as they played a couple of the songs from the show.  

CHI Memorial Foundation

The eleventh annual Pink! Gala will be hosted by the CHI Memorial Foundation at the Chattanooga Convention Center, Saturday, January 30th 2016.

Kevin Livinggood

  Chattanooga City Councilman Moses Freeman is one of the people featured on the new M.L. King Mural, and in this interview, he remembers the rich history of the surrounding neighborhood.  He also talks about events coming up on January 18th.  The city is seeking volunteers to participate in service projects that day, and the mural will be officially dedicated.

WUTC

  Artist Meg Saligman is known for creating monumental works of public art, and her Chattanooga mural is her largest ever, at about 40,000 square feet.  It's so large that it wraps around the entire AT&T building.  The photos in this post show all four of the mural's sides.

It will be publicly unveiled on January 18th--Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The dedication will happen at noon, and Saligman will give a presentation at 1 p.m.

  Last week, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke asked staff at the city’s Youth and Family Development Centers to proactively address hazing and bullying.  Mayor Berke made this directive after an incident involving basketball players from Ooltewah High School.  The rest of Ooltewah’s basketball season has been canceled.  Some parents of team members say the incident was part of a pattern of bullying and harassment.

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