Michael Edward Miller

News Producer & Host

A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Michael Edward Miller is WUTC's News Director and the Executive Producer of Around and About Chattanooga. His favorite radio programs and podcasts include This American Life, Radiolab and Everything Is Stories. During WUTC fund drives, he looks forward to cats clawing out another Pet Wars Day victory.

Ways to Connect

Hamilton County, Tennessee elections are coming up August 2. In this interview, we're speaking with Marc Gravitt and Vickie Schroyer. Both are running for Hamilton County Register of Deeds. Gravitt is a Republican; Schroyer is a Democrat.

More information about the upcoming primary and general elections is here.

WUTC

In this interview, I'm speaking with a Philadelphia sculptor who brought Clarence Darrow back to Tennessee--back to the site of the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial. In July of 1925, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan fought in court over whether it should be legal for public schools to teach evolution.

Darrow fought for science. Bryan fought for faith.

It was one of the most famous 20th-century trials; the first-ever broadcast on national radio, and continues to bring tourists to the Tennessee courthouse where it took place. For many years, a statue of Bryan stood alone on the courthouse lawn. But Philadelphia sculptor Zenos Frudakis decided that was unbalanced, and a statue of Clarence Darrow should be there too.

WUTC

Vice President Mike Pence mostly got a warm reception Saturday at evangelical Lee University in East Tennessee. Speaking inside a school building, Pence encouraged the crowd, "Pray for America! "

He was campaigning for Republican primary candidates, touting Trump’s tax cuts, and pledging support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at an event organized by America First Policies.

WUTC

Chattanooga police cadets train in different ways: they improve their aim at the firing range, endure obstacle courses, and maneuver through driving courses.

Also, they go out into the community and get to know the people they’ll be protecting--in particular, underserved, minority and LGBTQ communities.

U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tim White was in charge of Chattanooga's Navy Operational Support Center on July 16, 2015--the day a homegrown terrorist shot at the center, killing five--and White was the first person to fire back at the terrorist. Later, while dealing with the stress of the experience and sorrow over the losses, he found solace through songwriting.

WUTC

After writing two novels for adults and a short-story collection, Chattanooga author Janie Dempsey Watts has published her first book for children, Pap Pap Goes to Paris: And so does Ricky. She joins us to talk about it.

Publisher's description:

Seeing a snow globe of the Eiffel Tower, Ricky wants to go to Paris with his grandfather to climb the famous monument.

After convincing his parents, he travels to Paris and experiences everything from cobblestones to croissants.

He sees the gigantic tower up close, and wonders how he will make it up the almost 700 stairs. With encouragement from his grandfather, Ricky tackles the stairs and learns the importance of teamwork and persistence.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press hosted the forum Monday evening on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus. Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh participated, as well as Republicans Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell, and Bill Lee. Watch below.

Sybil Baker’s While You Were Gone is the story of three sisters dealing with their father's death and uncovering secrets about him and other relatives who have passed away. They grow up in a large house on beautiful Missionary Ridge overlooking Chattanooga, and their extended family is part of the city's upper class. But the sisters feel shunned, and slowly learn why their family is fractured.

Austin Kleon visits Chattanooga on Wednesday, June 20th for an event at the Downtown Public Library at 6 pm. Kleon's Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative is the first selection in Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke's Books With Berke club, examining themes of creativity, collaboration and changing the world. 

In Tennessee, we're ready to fight for freedom. We're known as as the Volunteer State because of our reputation for military service. But during the past few years' elections, we've been far less willing to get out and vote--our turnout numbers have been among the nation's lowest.

Why? And how does it affect who gets elected?

Shanna Singh Hughey, President of ThinkTennessee, discusses it with us. They're a Nashville-based, nonpartisan think tank studying voting issues, election security, and other challenges in the state.

The Chattanooga area has already produced one Idol finalist. In 2011, a fifteen-year-old girl from Rossville, Georgia auditioned for the American Idol judges:

Lauren Alaina made it all the way to the end of the show's tenth season, finishing in second place overall, which launched her chart-topping county career. 

Why is Ernest Hemingway still so well-known decades after his death, but not his friend/contemporary John Dos Passos?

In this interview, James McGrath Morris, author of the biography The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War, joins us to talk about it.

The Rise of the Rest seed fund team stopped in Chattanooga and invited eight local startups to compete for a $100,000 investment. Led by AOL co-founder Steve Case, Rise of the Rest seeks to help businesses rise up in areas outside of Silicon Valley.

Welcome Home of Chattanooga's second annual Demystifying Death and Dying is coming up Friday, April 27. Open to both caregivers and the general public, the conference features Dr. Martha Jo Atkins (author of Signposts of Dying: What You Need to Know) as the keynote speaker. She and Welcome Home Executive Director Sherry Campbell join us for an interview about the conference and caring for loved ones in their final days and weeks.

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."

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