Tue March 4, 2014

WTCI Wins Emmy Award for PSA

Emmy Award Winning WTCI Producer Emily Compton
Credit WTCI

WTCI worked with the Children's Advocacy Center of Hamilton County to create a public service announcement (PSA) encouraging people to take a stand against child abuse. 

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Fri February 28, 2014

Pastor Jamie Coots Remembered As More Than A Serpent Handler

The Chattanooga Times Free Press published 'Even Unto Death,' a special report on serpent handling in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Serpent-handling Kentucky pastor Jamie Coots recently died from a rattlesnake bite.  Coots, who starred in the National Geographic show "Snake Salvation," was credited with helping put the long-hidden practice of serpent handling in the limelight.

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Thu February 27, 2014

Federal Judge Rules Kentucky Must Recognize Gay Marriages

Greg Bourke, front, and his partner Michael Deleon speak to reporters following the announcement from U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn striking down part of Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban.
Timothy D. Easley AP

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn ruled on Thursday that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Heyburn's decision strikes "down portions of a 1998 state law and a 2004 state constitutional amendment defining marriage in Kentucky as between one man and one woman, and that prohibited the state from recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed in other states."

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Mon February 24, 2014

Radon: Is Your Home Killing You?

Radon Zones in Tennessee. Red = Zone 1 Highest Potential. Orange = Zone 2 Moderate Potential. Yellow = Zone 3 Low Potential. Radon gas has been found in homes in all three zones across Tennessee.
Credit / EPA

Radon gas is harmless in small concentrations and can be found everywhere in the United States but in concentrated levels it becomes a serious health concern. 

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Sun February 23, 2014

Gay-Marriage Battle Moves South, And Religious Right Fights Back

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:02 pm

Nick Van Sickels (right) with his husband, Andrew Bond, and their daughter, Jules. The couple was legally married in Washington, D.C., but because same-sex marriage is banned in Louisiana, Bond has no parental rights.
Janet McConnaughey AP

The legal battle over gay marriage is moving to the Deep South. Buoyed by federal court victories in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Virginia, gay-rights activists are taking on traditional marriage laws in the very states where those laws enjoy overwhelming public support.

Take Alabama, where Paul Hard is suing the state for violating his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process following the death of his partner, David Fancher, whom he legally married in Massachusetts. Alabama has a constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriage.

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Fri February 21, 2014

UAW Appeals VW Vote In Chattanooga

The United Auto Workers are appealing last week's election results at Chattanooga's Volkswagen manufacturing plant.  In the UAW's objection, filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the UAW claims that Tennessee politicians such as State Senator Bo Watson "conducted what appears to have been a coordinated and widely-publicized coercive campaign... to deprive VWGOA workers of their federally-protected right, through the Election, to support and select the UAW as their exclusive representative... free of coercion, intimidation, threats and interference."

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Fri February 21, 2014

Georgia Clears The Road For Confederate-Themed License Plate

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:02 pm

The Sons of Confederate Veterans submitted this license plate design to the state of Georgia, which recently approved it.

The Confederate battle flag is back in the news in the American South, as civil rights leaders in Georgia decry the state government's approval of a new specialty license plate.

The design is actually an updated version of what has been available for years. The original had one small flag in the corner. This new version adds a background image of the Confederate emblem across the entire width of the plate.

The design was submitted by the Georgia chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Spokesman Ray McBerry says they see the flag as a symbol of their roots.

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Thu February 20, 2014
Librarian of the year

Changing Library Space: A Conversation With Corinne Hill

Each year, Library Journal names a Librarian of the Year. For 2014, the journal chose Corinne Hill, the executive director of the Chattanooga Public Library system.

Corinne Hill joined the library in 2012. Since her arrival, the Chattanooga Library has become a hub for technology, learning, and books.

In this conversation, Hill talks the changes made to the Chattanooga Public Library, obsessive personalities of librarians, and the evolution of space within the library.

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Wed February 19, 2014
VW Vote

AFL-CIO's Trumka: Keep VW Union Vote In Perspective

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:10 pm

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations President Richard Trumka addresses members during the quadrennial AFL-CIO convention at Los Angeles Convention Center in Sept. 2013.
Nick Ut AP

When workers at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga narrowly rejected the United Auto Workers in a recent vote on whether to unionize, it was a stinging setback for a labor movement looking for a big organizing victory in a Southern state.

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Wed February 19, 2014
VW Vote

UAW Could Return To Chattanooga Next Year (Maybe Sooner)

The United Auto Workers failed to unionize Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant last week, but how soon might they return? reporter Chloé Morrison joins WUTC's Michael Edward Miller for a discussion of what's ahead.

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Wed February 19, 2014
Oak Ridge, TN

Nun Who Broke Into Nuclear Complex Gets 35-Month Jail Term

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:15 am

Anti-nuclear activists (from left) Gregory Boertje-Obed, Sister Megan Rice and Michael Walli, pictured Feb. 6 in Knoxville, Tenn., were sentenced to prison terms on Tuesday for the 2012 break-in at Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
Linda Davidson The Washington Post/Getty Images

"An 84-year-old Catholic nun was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium, a demonstration that exposed serious security flaws at the Tennessee plant," The Associated Press writes from Knoxville, Tenn.

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Tue February 18, 2014
Personal Finance

Questions About Debt? 'Ask Doctor Debt' Can Help

Dallas Bunton, the President-CEO at North American Credit Services, Inc, and Michael Rainwater, President of the Tennessee Collectors Association, join us to talk about Ask Doctor Debt, an online resource for people who are in debt and need answers, or who want to report unscrupulous debt collectors.

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Sat February 15, 2014
The Two-Way

For The South, Add Earthquake To Snow, Ice And Power Outages

Multiple crews work to restore power after a winter storm on Thursday that brought down lines in Fairburn, Ga. Friday night's small quake was the latest event to rattle nerves in the region.
John Amis AP

The Deep South has been shaken up this winter in more ways than one: First, there was the unusual ice and snow and the ensuing power outages. And now, an earthquake.

The late-night 4.1 temblor, with an epicenter about 150 miles northwest of Charleston, was not strong enough to do any damage, but it did rattle folks in both South Carolina and Georgia.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck at 10:23 p.m. ET Friday night.

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Sat February 15, 2014
VW Vote

UAW Voted Out of VW Chattanooga, But Works Council Still Sought

Workers at the Volkswagen auto assembly plant in Chattanooga have rejected representation from the United Auto Workers.  The vote was a disappointment for the UAW, which lost by a narrow margin.  About 1,300 workers voted, and anti-union forces won by only 86 votes. UAW President Bob King said that to lose by such a close margin is very difficult.

"Obviously, we’re deeply disappointed," King said after results were announced.

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Fri February 14, 2014
VW Vote

President Obama Comments on VW Vote

After a week of local and state politicians speaking out about the ongoing unionization vote at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant, President Obama has joined the discussion, "accusing Republican politicians who oppose unionization of being more concerned about German shareholders than U.S. workers," according to Reuters.

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