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.

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"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."

 This year’s Poetry vs Hip Hop face off between local poets and rappers is in The Camphouse on Martin Luther King Boulevard this Friday August 24th. The billing for the show suggests a head to head competition which it is, but for the organizers it’s more a showcase for young talent.

Richard Winham talked to some of the poets and rappers who will be engaging in a friendly tussle of words on Friday night.

The second installment of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke's summer reading series, Books with Berke, is a memoir about mentorship. Marian Wright Edelman's Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors will be discussed on Thursday, August 23rd at Waterhouse Pavillion, along with a mentorship fair. 


Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the United Way will hold a mentoring fair and panel on Thursday, Aug. 23 at Waterhouse Pavilion.

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.

When Gwen Douglas Hester first met Robert Sparks Walker, a notable Chattanooga author and naturalist, she had no idea who he was.

“I just thought he was this guy,” Hester says, “that was crazy about birds and flowers and knew more than anybody I’d ever heard talk about them.”

Will Davis

This year, the Tennessee Valley Authority is celebrating their dams and plants with the Built For The People program where they invite the public to tour their facilities. WUTC’s Will Davis takes us to Raccoon Mountain.

UPDATE 8/14/18 at 7:45 PM: The council voted to table the resolutions and wait for more information about the potential financial impact of the proposed building sale.

The Chattanooga City Council is scheduled to vote this evening on declaring three city-owned buildings as surplus, but a citizen coaltion is questioning the process.


More than a century ago, Chattanooga city planners intended MLK Boulevard (at the time, it was named Ninth St.) to extend all the way to the Tennessee River. For some reason, construction never made it quite that far. Now it's finally happening. City officials on Thursday broke ground on a new extension that will take MLK through the Blue Goose Hollow area. The project is estimated to cost $3.5 million, and road construction could be completed by early 2020.

Fifty percent of all the fish eaten around the world comes from a fish farm, according to James Miller. Mr. Miller has spent most of the past fifty years helping people in a number of countries in Africa and the Caribbean build sustainable fish farms. He talked to Richard Winham about the work and the profound impact it has had on the lives of very poor people living in often desperate situations.

A robocall from a (bad) Trump impersonator was one point of interest in a mostly drama-free Hamilton County primary season. Looking toward November, the real Trump is already involved in Tennessee politics, endorsing U.S. Rep Marsha Blackburn as she faces former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen in the race to win the U.S.

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.

Chattanooga has numerous outdoor sculptures, statues, murals and other works of public art. City officials, in partnership with consultants Barbara Goldstein and Gail Goldman, are seeking your input as they plan for the future of public art around town.

Angela Foster/University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

After years of rejections, controversial NFL legend Terrell Owens is finally in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He accepted the honor—but rejected the invitation to join other players on Saturday at the induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio.

Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic join us to discuss their new bestseller INDIANAPOLIS: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man.

They'll have a book signing at Chattanooga's Star Line Books on 8/4 at 6 pm.