Tennessee

The first woman from Tennessee elected to a full term in Congress has died at age 89.

A personal tragedy put Chattanooga Democrat Marilyn Lloyd into the race for the U.S. House in 1974. Originally, her husband was the Democratic nominee for East Tennessee in that election. After he died in a plane accident, she replaced him and won, beating the Republican incumbent.

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Former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn are both proposing ways to close the federal budget deficit, which is increasing despite a strong economy. Both Bredesen, a Democrat, and Blackburn, a Republican, are November candidates for the U.S.

WUTC is speaking with Democratic, Republican, and independent candidates ahead of the November 6th midterm elections. Today, Joda Thongnopnua joins us. He's a Democrat running for Tennessee State House District 30, which includes East Ridge and East Brainerd. He faces Republican Esther Helton and independent J. Michael Holloway.

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The opioid crisis affects children as well as adults. Community leaders gathered in a conference room at the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce to talk about those sometimes-forgotten victims during a panel Council For A Strong America organized.  Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy discussed how new training is teaching officers to be more empathetic toward children, and Major General Leslie Purser talked about the opioid crisis's effect on military recruitement.

Paul Sableman

Let America Vote founder Jason Kander joins us to talk about voter suppression and how his organization is encouraging young people to vote. Kander will be in Chattanooga Wednesday, August 29th for Cap, Gown, Vote! At the event Wednesday evening, Kander, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, and members of the Mayors Youth Council will build strategies for registering, mobilizing, and energizing first-time voters in our community.

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Retiring U.S. Senator (and former Chattanooga mayor) Bob Corker met with Chattanooga Christian School students in an auditorium, and he invited them to ask him questions on any topic. He also spoke with WUTC after the event.

Some highlights (listen to the story for more):

"I travel with a crystal ball," Rebecca Ryan jokes. As a futurist, she does a lot of travelling--and a lot of predicting. Of course, she uses data rather than mystic arts--she says she's informed by trends in five areas: society, technology, economy, environment, and politics. Lately, she's visited the Scenic City, and she's coming back next week. It's part of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce's visioning process, tentatively titled "A Vision for Economic Prosperity."

Phil Bredesen, the former Governor of Tennessee now running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat, has a proposal. If elected, he would work toward legislation allowing a governmental agency, the Tennessee Valley Authority, to provide broadband in underserved rural areas. His Republican opponent, U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn, agrees rural broadband is a big priority--but she favors free-market solutions. In this story, they discuss their points of view.

The Chattanooga City Council is not in a hurry to decide whether three city buildings should be declared as surplus—not until they get more information from Mayor Berke’s office about the finances involved and the potential economic impact.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, the agenda included three resolutions about surplusing these three buildings, which are all located downtown around the Innovation District. Rather than voting yes or no on the resolutions, the council voted to table them.

Two local organizations have come together to create a non-profit “special needs” trust to help people with disabilities at risk of losing their government benefits because they have excess resources. WUTC’s Will Davis talked to Theresa Whitton, Trust Officer for Southeastern Trust Company, and Anne Stone, president of Friends of Special Children.

Michael Edward Miller, WUTC

Elena Santizo sat by the departure gate in El Paso, Texas on Friday with a rosary around her neck, waiting nervously to board a plane for the first time in her life. Simply riding the escalator up to airport security gave the 39-year-old mother the jitters. She opted for the stairs instead.

"To tell my story is difficult," she said. "Everything I've lived through, so much, ever since I left Guatemala."

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.

Counting Endagered Gray Bats In a Tennessee Cave

Jul 3, 2018
Will Davis

Nickajack Cave is one of the most important caves in the Tennessee Valley for biologists because it’s a maternity roost for the federally endangered Gray Bat. If you’re wondering how many bats are in the cave, WUTC’s Will Davis has the answer.

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.

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