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.

Stephen Voss/NPR

"I'm anticipating life unassigned," NPR's Robert Siegel says as he looks forward to retirement. "No deadlines, no stories."

Whether he will come back on occasion, he doesn't know.

I hope he does.

Because he's been hosting NPR's All Things Considered for decades, I grew up listening to Siegel's voice every weekday afternoon. Like many WUTC listeners and employees, I'm going to miss hearing him.

Late in 2017, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new CEO—Christy Gillenwater—and she’s making history. WUTC’s Jinho Lim tells us why.

When Nashville native Ryan Taylor served in Iraq, he says, he was alert constantly.

"You hear that mortar rounds just went off. How close was it.... you start staying awake at night, and so to drown out the sounds, we would start, you know, tapping on our foot lockers. And we would start just like freestyle rapping. Some of us, all of a sudden, was like, 'Hey, you know, we're making some pretty good songs here.' I mean, we would just sit back and write music at night till four, five, six o'clock in the morning."

Dave Connis's young adult novel The Temptation of Adam is about a boy recovering from a type of addiction rarely seen in books for teens, something that’s uncomfortable to acknowledge. So the protagonist, 16-year-old Adam Hawthorne, starts the story in denial.

Adam is addicted to pornography.

Will Davis

Chattanooga has a new artisan cheese shop, and WUTC’s Will Davis takes us there to meet shop owner Jesse Watlington. The Bleu Fox Cheese Shop is now open at 330 East Main Street in Chattanooga’s South Side.

The male Choo Choo Chorus and the female Scenic City Chorus are joining together to present  Christmas in Harmony: An Acapella Extravaganza in the Frierson Auditorium at GPS this Saturday December 16th at 4pm. One of the quartets in the Choo Choo Chorus stopped by our studios yesterday to talk to Richard Winham and share a couple of songs.

Chattanooga residents had a chance to tell city officials how to spend more than $200 million dollars. That’s how much the city is expected to budget for fiscal year 2019. 

Recently, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke invited ordinary citizens to sit at tables with officials, pens and paper in hand, and help decide who gets a slice of the $200 million dollar pie.

For the past six years, Muse of Fire has been taking plays written by 10 – 12 year old budding playwrights and staging them with a repertory group of adult actors. Richard Winham talked to some of the playwrights and the actors about the newest batch of plays they will be performing in the McCallie School Theatre this weekend.

Southern author Janie Dempsey Watts has written two novels: Moon Over Taylor's Ridge​ and Return to Taylor's Crossing. Both were set in North Georgia, the area where she resides. But she’s also spent decades in California and traveled globally. Her newest work is a collection of short stories, Mothers, Sons, Beloveds, and Other Strangers​, and the collection is divided, geographically, into three sections: stories set in the South, stories set in California, and stories in Europe.

This Saturday, Chattanooga’s annual Southside showcase, Mainx24, kicks off early in the morning and continues for 24 hours straight. Richard Winham talked to Kelly Allan, one of the organizers, who told him that while the board oversees the event, it is truly curated by the community .

Friday, December 1st is World AIDS Day, a day to reflect on the impact of HIV and AIDS and memorialize those we lost to the virus. This year, an event will take place at the Waterhouse Pavilion in Miller Plaza.

WUTC’s Will Davis spoke to the keynote speaker, Jeanne White-Ginder.

Her son Ryan White was one of the first children with hemophilia to be diagnosed with AIDS back in the early 1980s.

This time last year EsDEX, a local charitable organization, organized a clothing and blanket drive for Chattanooga’s homeless. They invited people to drop off winter clothes and blankets through the month leading up to Christmas. A few days before Christmas the four partners in EsDEX and a group of volunteers packaged the donations as gifts and handed them out to the homeless on the street. It was so successful they want to expand it this year. Erwin Davis, one of the partners in EsDEX, talked to Richard Winham about their plans.

Experiential learning is learning through experiences outside of the traditional classroom. WUTC’s Will Davis speaks with Ashley Ewald, a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate student who spent her summer very far outside of the classroom, teaching yoga to prisoners. 

Democrats in Hamilton County, Tennessee sound energized as they look ahead to next year’s elections, and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a potential candidate for Governor, won a straw poll at the Hamilton County Democrats' annual fundraiser .

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