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UAW Files for Union Election at Volkswagen

The United Auto Workers Union with headquarters in Detroit issued a News Release today regarding another election for maintenance and production employees at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant.  Here is the Complete News Release.

Chattanooga Volkswagen workers filed a petition with the NLRB for an election Tuesday, pointing out that they are fed up with not having the right to bargain like other VW employees worldwide.  The filed petition Tuesday is  for an election with all production and maintenance workers in Chattanooga.

“Why are Chattanooga workers treated any differently than other VW workers in the world?” said Steve Cochran, President of UAW Local 42 in Chattanooga. “Why are Chattanooga workers treated differently than even other auto assembly workers at plants like GM Spring Hill?”

In filing the petition, Chattanooga workers are asking for the opportunity to vote this Spring.

“It’s time,” said Annette Stallion, a Chattanooga production worker on the day shift. “Our maintenance workers voted to form a union and VW still refused to bargain. They said they would bargain if production and maintenance workers voted – so let’s vote.”

“Why are Chattanooga workers treated differently?” Ashley Murray a Chattanooga production worker on the night shift. “Why are we in Chattanooga not treated like other VW employees around the world? Why in Chattanooga do we have to make suggestions, not sit down and bargain like every other VW plant?”

“This isn’t about politicians. It’s not about outsiders. It’s about Chattanooga workers,” Cochran added. “We deserve the same rights as Spring Hill workers and every other VW worker in the world.


No response yet from Volkswagen.



Chattanooga Firefighter Johnson is First Responder of the Month

There’s probably no greater calling for a firefighter than saving the life of someone in a burning home.

That’s what Chattanooga firefighter George Johnson did, and he was recognized for his quick work by his department at their annual banquet.We’re proud to name George Johnson our First Responder of the Month.

Here’s News 12’s Bill Mitchell.

In June of 2018, Chattanooga firefighters were called to an early morning blaze on Windsor Street.
Firefighter George Johnson was part of that crew.
What he did when he arrived at the burning home was daring..and successful.
George Johnson was honored at the annual firefighter awards banquet last week with the annual heroism award.

GEORGE JOHNSON, CHATTANOOGA FIREFIGHTER  “People that were already out of the house, home, let us know that there was someone still in..I reached the front door, went in..heavy smoke and fire …thanks to our thermal energy camera that would help me and assist me in finding the patient as quickly as possible …I was almost out of gas..getting her out ..so I got the the door and Captain Randy Steele was there to assist me and we both got the victim out.”

Captain Randy Steele received the Medal of Valor for his part in that rescue.
CAPT. RANDY STEELE  ” For me its great, but for George Johnson..for firefighter George Johnson..he really went above and beyond in my opinion..” “you have to make a choice of whether you’re gonna be scared or be brave..and uh.. George went..he blew that line right out the door.”

That 33 year old woman was critically burned but she survived..thanks to George Johnson.

GEORGE JOHNSON  “That’s the best reward of this job…is making a difference …the difference you make may be the difference between life and death ..giving their family that reassurance that they’ll be able to see their loved one as the end of the night..is my greatest honor.”

There were dozens of other firefighters honored at the annual meeting…and we thanks them all for their service to our community.
But, for heroism in the line of duty we salute Firefighter George Johnson of the Chattanooga Fire Department as our First Responder of the month.

JAMES WETTERMARK “First Responders are not just the professionals who save our lives, put out fires, and stop crime,,,they are also our neighbors. Its an honor on behalf of Wettermark and Keith to honor these first responders.”

The Hardest Part Of Marine Boot Camp

Paris Island, SC (WDEF-TV) Every year, nearly 16-THOUSAND recruits take on the challenge to endure 13 weeks of boot camp in Parris Island to earn the title of Marine.

While Boot camp can be a physical journey, recruits say that isn’t the hardest part.

It takes 13 Weeks of Running, Studying, and Training. To Join the United States Marine Corps.

Parris Island gave me a little taste of what going through Marine Boot Camp is like.

A group of Civilians and I spent 4 days going through recruit training.

It was tough but the real recruits say that isn’t the hard part the most difficult thing is being away from their families.

One recruit I spoke with that is from Ringgold Georgia said he just really misses his sister.

The first time the recruits are able to speak to or see their families is on Family day, the day before graduation.


Chattanooga Police Officer Killed in Hit-and-Run on Hamill Road

Updated at 4:25pm: Chattanooga Police say they have found a car consistent with the description of the one that hit and killed an officer. For more on the investigation, click here.

Updated at 11:04am:

Hixson, TN (WDEF) – On Saturday at approximately 11:04pm, Chattanooga Police Officer Nicholas Galinger was struck by a vehicle while on duty. The incident occurred on the 2900 block of Hamill Road in Hixson.

Officer Galinger was transported to a local hospital by Hamilton County EMS and later succumbed to injuries sustained in the incident.

Officer Galinger was on a call with his Field Training Officer (FTO) checking a hazard in the roadway. He was out of the patrol vehicle when a vehicle passing by struck him.

The vehicle is described as a 2017/2018 Honda CRV with front end damage.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Officer Galinger was 38 years old. He graduated from the Chattanooga Police Department Academy on January 24, 2019.

“The Chattanooga Police Department and this community lost not just an officer,” said Chief David Roddy. “We lost a son, a father, a friend, and a protector.”

Sheriff Jim Hammond also offered the following statement:

“As Sheriff of Hamilton County I would like to offer our condolences to our brothers and sisters with the Chattanooga Police Department as they mourn the loss of Officer Nicholas Galinger after he passed away from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run on Hamill Road.

Law enforcement is a dangerous career and those who heed the call to serve do so willingly and selflessly. Despite the dangers of the profession, each day men and women across our Nation choose to don the uniform of their local law enforcement agencies to serve and protect. They leave their homes not knowing if they will return. Unfortunately, due to the times we live in, more and more of our dedicated public servants in law enforcement are not returning home.

In the case of last night’s tragic incident, our community, our Nation, lost another brave public servant.

On behalf of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to ask our Heavenly Father to bless the officers of the Chattanooga Police Department as they mourn the loss of Officer Galinger. I also wish to offer our prayers and support to Officer Galinger’s family. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is here to help in any way necessary.

As I am still recovering from knee surgery, I have instructed Chief Deputy Austin Garrett to offer any support and assistance from the HCSO necessary to the men and women of the Chattanooga Police Department during this difficult time.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident, the driver, or the location of the suspect vehicle is asked to call 911, 423-698-2525, or submit a tip via the free Chattanooga PD Mobile app. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

The Chattanooga Police are working with Officer Galinger’s family on arrangements.

Press briefing:

Previous story:

Hixson, TN (WDEF) – A Chattanooga police officer was struck and killed in a hit-and-run late Saturday night.

Shortly after 11pm, the Chattanooga Police Department Traffic Division responded to the 2900 block of Hamill Road on a Pedestrian Struck / Officer-Involved call.

CPD Officer Nicholas Galinger, 38, was out of his patrol vehicle inspecting a manhole cover when a vehicle traveling northbound on Hamill Road struck the officer and fled the scene.

Officer Galinger was transported to a local hospital and later died from his injuries.

Chattanooga Police ask anyone who recognizes a Honda CRV (2017/2018) with heavy front-end damage to call 423-698-2525, or submit a tip anonymously in the Chattanooga PD mobile app.

The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when available.

Ooltewah Students Being Kept Indoors After Social Media Threat

Ooltewah students are being kept inside after a threat was made on social media.

Hamilton county sheriffs office School Resource Officers are currently investigating a threat that a student received on social media .

The school has been placed on Lock-Out.

Investigators are working to determine the threats validity to ensure the safety of our students, school faculty, and the community.

Arson Inspector Called After 3 Buildings in Polk County Burned to the Ground


Benton, Tn (WDEF)- The Mercy tabernacle church that has been apart of the Benton community for more than 40 years is being called a total lose after flames burned through the churches 3 buildings early Wednesday morning.

The blaze was so strong that by the time firefighters arrived on scene they felt like they were fighting a losing battle.

“The main problem we had was it was so involved and when you have a fire that is this involved you are fighting a losing battle from the get go” said West Polk County Fire Chief Keith Jeske.

After battling the fire for nearly 4 hours and dumping thousands of gallons of water on the flames fire crews left the scene with flames still visible around the church.

“It is contained with it self it is not going to spread it is just going to burn and smolder out but for the most part the fire is not going to go anywhere it is contained and it is the safest way to do it.”

As The Mercy tabernacle congregation deals with lose of their place of worship fire investigators are working to figure out what started the blaze… Arson investigators have been called and will be inspecting what’s left of the church today.

“It is better to cover all aspects at this point in time so go ahead call them in and let them investigate it im not going to go out on a limb and say it was or was not because it is really at this point in time to hard to tell.”


Firefighters in Polk County received a call of a structure fire around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Three buildings, including a church, have now been burned to the ground.

Dispatch told News 12 that West Polk Volunteer Fire was on the scene, and they had to call back up later in the morning.

An arson inspector has been called in to investigate the fire and determine if it was deliberately set.

All buildings are a total loss.

News 12 will continue to update you as more information becomes available.

New details emerge about Bahamas boat explosion that killed a Chattanooga Native

(CBS NEWS) Police are still working to determine what went wrong when a boat carrying 10 U.S. tourists exploded in the Bahamas on Saturday. One person, from Chattanooga Maleka Jackson, was killed and 22-year-old Stefanie Schaffer lost both of her legs. Jackson was celebrating her 15th wedding anniversary.


A passenger told “CBS This Morning” the group of 12, including two crew members, was just a few minutes into a half-day wildlife excursion ahead of the blast. He said there was no sign of trouble before the trip turned into a nightmare, reports CBS News’ Michelle Miller.

Maleka Jackson’s father, Malvin Grimes, said she was a loving mother to her 12-year-old son and believed in giving back to her community.

“Maleka would be I guess what I call a shooting star,” Grimes said. “She had a life that kind of stayed straight on the course and it was a life that brought a lot of joy and a lot of support and love into the lives of others.”

Jackson’s husband also suffered burns and was transported to a Florida hospital Monday. A passenger aboard a nearby boat captured the chaos on his cell phone as others helped pull people from the burning vessel.

Stefanie and Brooke Schaffer were on vacation with their mother and stepfather. Relatives said Stefanie, a dancer and avid soccer player, was sitting at the back of the boat by the engine when the explosion occurred.

“Her legs, below her knees, had to be amputated,” Stefanie’s uncle, Mike Schaffer said.

He said the 22-year-old was put into a medically induced coma. Her mother Stacey also suffered a fractured leg and at least two broken ribs. Schaffer said he’s still trying to process what happened.

“Family right now is everything. So many friends are reaching out… You see this stuff on TV, but you never think it’s going to be somebody you know, and it’s my own blood, my own nieces and it’s a miracle that Stef’s even alive,” Mike said.

A GoFundMe page for the Schaffer family has raised more than $90,000. CBS News reached out to the company that operates the tour boat, but it declined to comment.

Pick up locations for Riverbend Shuttles

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Riverbend has several changes for us this year, from stages to Cool Zones and even a hot tub.

Find out what’s new in the video.

But one thing we always need is parking space.

Here is what you need to know this year.

A shuttle ride to your destination at Riverbend.

The ride costs $1 for one way.

There are seven pickup locations:

Finley Stadium

Chattanooga Choo Choo

YMCA-6th Street

Broad Street & 10th

Market Street & Houston

West 11th Street & Carter

7th Street and Chestnut

Also Listed online at riverbendfestival.com, on their free app, and a program guide can be found at Food City locations and Harry’s.

Whitfield County Teacher Resigns, Facing More Charges

WHITFIELD COUNTY, Georgia (WDEF) – The Whitfield County School system says they are working with the Sheriff’s Office in their investigation of their teacher who may have had a sexual relationship with a student.

The Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation. This week we learned Raquel Spencer was facing drug charges. 

The Sheriff’s Office says that in concluding the initial investigation involving the teacher, officials found out she was also romantically involved with a student at Northwest High School.

Communications Specialist for Whitfield County Schools Eric Beaver says they are working with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office on this case involving former teacher Raquel Spencer. With their assistance, the student was able to be identified and interviewed.

As a result of the investigation, officials say it was determined that the teacher is currently involved in a sexual relationship with a male student and that relationship has been ongoing for about one year.

Spencer will be charged with sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority.

The school district says she has turned in her letter of resignation.

Eric Beavers says, “safety is a top priority. It is embedded in our mission and our beliefs.”

Mary Smith has worked almost two decades with the Family Support Council who has educated thousands of people about child abuse prevention. They are still working to educate the community and she says that cases like this boil down to a matter of trust.

Smith says, “It’s really difficult when you have like a 14 or 15-year-old and they have absolutely fallen head over heels with an adult… Whether it’s a teacher whether it’s a somebody in the church or a coach or whatever. The people who pray on children are master manipulators and they have room that child to believe that they are doing the right thing.”

Beavers reassures parents that, “We want to be sure that students are safe always. Psychologically safe, physically safe and we will continue working to make sure that they are safe and we are working with the sheriffs department now to see if there is anything we need to handle on the school side of things”

The Whitfield County School System says they want their parents to continue to trust that they are doing what’s best for their students.

Mary Smith believes, “We trust… Particularly at think into churches or schools or wherever else, we really trust the people that are there. When we have that much stress then sometimes we let things go that might have been a little inkling that something is not quite right. ”


UPDATE: A grand jury has indicted Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd

5pm UPDATE: Tim Boyd issued this statement on his indictment on Tuesday:

“This action by the District Attorney today is perhaps the most flagrantly political, despicable, desperate thing any of us has ever seen in Hamilton County. It reeks of politics and is exactly the kind of government overreach that voters are sick and tired of. I welcome all the facts around Mr. Lambert’s charges, and I will take my case for re-election to the voters in District 8.

The facts about Mr. Lambert’s taking money from the Exit 1 developers, putting it into his campaign account and then putting it in his pocket are well known. They were public before I talked with Mr. Lambert and I used these FACTS in a mailer to voters this week. Is there any question about the motivations of those involved with this?

My attorney and I will cooperate with the Sheriff and move forward to defend my name and win an election.”

East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert is running against Boyd for his seat on the Hamilton County Commission.


HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has been notified that Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd has made arrangements through his attorney to turn himself in to jail personnel at a time to be determined.

A Hamilton County grand jury has indicted Commissioner Boyd on at least one criminal charge.

Authorities say the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Division received the indictment early this morning from the grand jury in response to a T.B.I. investigation involving the commissioner.

The charge is believed to be related to his most recent campaign.

More information will come out once Boyd has been served the indictment.

Stay with News 12 as we work to get more information on this developing story.





30 ft. wooden art structure set on fire at Sculpture Fields

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)  – A 30 foot sculpture was set on fire at Sculpture Fields Saturday night.

The large wooden sculpture called Aster Origamus was created by artist Andrew Nigh.

The structure was put together, so that when it was set on fire and started to burn the sculpture opened up like a lotus.

The burn comes as Sculpture Fields celebrates its second anniversary with Spring in the Park.

“Sculpture Fields is 33 acres of beautiful green land and and we have 36 sculptures here.  It’s international.  Sculptors from all over the world.  Well, Andrew has a little something different.  We can’t leave his sculpture here.  So, it’s almost like performance art,” Sculpture Fields Executive Director Kathie Fulgham said.

The burn ended a day worth of fun during the the spring in the park event.

Residents remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during bell tolling ceremony

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Shortly after seven Wednesday afternoon, around the time Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis 50 years ago, a bell rang 39 times in Chattanooga.

“The 39 times marked the number of times that Dr. King lived on the earth and we are remembering not only the work that he did do, but the current call to action,” Unity Group Correspondence Secretary Eric Atkins said.

“That bell was housed in the first stone building in Lookout Mountain elementary school, which in the 1960’s Hamilton County, that was the first planned desegregation school in Hamilton County,” Bessie Smith Cultural Center President Paula Wilkes said.

People gathered on the lawn to watch a bell tolling ceremony at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

Memphis native Terri Rodriguez brought her daughter and granddaughter.

Rodriguez said she was only six-years-old when Dr. King was assassinated.

“For all of the things he did to change the way our lives are today, as one of those individuals, that’s why we’re here I wanted to share that with my granddaughter today,” Rodriguez said.

“I want to do great things just like Martin Luther King, Jr,” Rodriguez’s granddaughter Teryn said.

“We’re very happy to continue his legacy. Not only just here in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but worldwide to continue to promote that legacy by implementing the fact that kindness does matter, and that respect and importance for all cultures is a very important thing. Not only yesterday, but today,” Rodriguez said.

The bell tolling ceremony was a part of other ceremonies happening nationwide with the first bells ringing at 7:01 p.m. ET at the place where Dr. King was assassinated, what is now the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.


No Heroic Comeback For Lookouts Against Birmingham on Superhero Night

(lookouts.com) The Chattanooga Lookouts could not complete their comeback on superhero night at AT&T Field in their 7-6 loss to the Birmingham Barons. Tonight’s loss is the Lookouts fourth in a row to Birmingham and drops the Lookouts to second place in the North Division.

In the first inning, Joe DeCarlo smacked a two-run homer off of left-hander Nick Lodolo. Lodolo finished his night allowing three runs in four innings of work and striking out nine. He now owns an ERA of 1.58.

In the fifth, Chattanooga overtook the lead on a two-run double by Lorenzo Cedrola. With the Lookouts leading 5-3, DeCarlo belted his second home run to pull the team within one. They then tied the game later in the inning on a Tyler Neslony RBI single.

Heading into the eighth inning with the game tied, Birmingham was able to take the lead on two bases-loaded walks. In the ninth, Chattanooga came close to pulling off the comeback. Wilson Garcia lined an RBI single to make it 7-6, but the team could not bring home the tieing run.

On Saturday the Lookouts are aiming to stop the streak, and get back into first place. The first 1,000 fans to tomorrow’s game will receive a Joey Votto Bobblehead courtesy of Great Clips. The game is also Used Car Saturday presented by TVFCU. Game time for tomorrow’s contest is at 7:15 with gates opening at 6:00.

Notre Dame Eager to Regain Championship Form

After playing for a state title in 2017, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish haven’t had much fight the last two years, winning a total of three games.
Time to wake up the echoes as the Irish get the 30-in-30 spotlight.

For Notre Dame to play like a champion again, head coach Charles Fant knows it doesn’t take some fancy plan.
Said Fant:”You play the best players, and if you do the right things, they make plays. Our job right now is we don’t worry about stats.”
Doesn’t sound like Coach Fant has to worry about his team’s work ethic.
Said Fant:”This is probably our best off season we’ve ever had here.”
Said running back Alex Osborne:”We start practice at like 8:30 in the morning, but we have players out there in the morning at 7:30 putting in the extra work.”
Said tight end Andy McGann:”I think we focus on detail and effort more than anything at practice. I think we all want it. We all want to make a name for ourselves and for the team. I think that’s going to make us really dangerous this year.”
Said receiver Jermaine Smith:”We have three of those transfer players coming this year. We’re all a threat. Nobody knows about us. We’re just going to sneak up on them. We are a secret weapon.”
If Notre Dame is going to sneak up on people, they’ve got to settle on a quarterback.
Said Fant:”We’ve got a freshman quarterback in Cash Bandy, and we’ve got a sophomore quarterback called Carl Robinson, and those two guys are working hard. The best part of young quarterbacks is that they don’t have those, those bad habits that sometimes you get when you get a seasoned quarterback coming in.”
Fant’s system has worked well in the past, and he hopes it will produce once again.
Said Fant:”I think our kids understand what we used to be. What this program was like when we had the Cameron Wynn’s, and we had the Kareem Orr’s, and the Patrick Johnson’s. Patrick and Kareem are playing in the NFL right now. They see where they can be, but I don’t want them to be those kids. I want them to be their own best selves.”

Phillies Move Ahead of Braves For Second Place After 5-1 Win Over Atlanta

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Zack Wheeler returned to his All-Star form for seven innings, Bryce Harper stole three bases, including home, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 5-1. J.T. Realmuto hit his 10th homer and Jean Segura had a tiebreaking, two-run double in helping Philadelphia snap a three game losing streak. The Phillies moved ahead of Atlanta into second place in the NL East, four games behind the division-leading New York Mets. Wheeler (8-5) has been stellar at Citizens Bank Park this season, going 5-2 with a 2.08 ERA in 12 starts at the notoriously friendly hitter’s park.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

Mocs Coach Rusty Wright Ready to See the Benefits of Competition

Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Mocs football coach Rusty Wright threw out the first pitch at the Lookouts game on Thursday. This season UTC is making a pitch to be one of the top teams in the country. They’re currently ranked in the top 25 of several preseason polls.

Said Wright:”I mean I think it just goes to show what we’re trying to do. The product we’re trying to put out there, but I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to them. I couldn’t tell you where we were picked last year or a few years ago. Whatever it was the last time we played a full fall. I have no idea. I think we’ve got good competition in a bunch of different spots. I think if a guy has an average day or bad day, he can get passed up. I’m excited to go watch that competition in practice and watch guys push each other. That’s something we haven’t had since I’ve been here. I’m really excited about that.”

Wright added that the Mocs expect to hold their first fall practice on August 4th.

Search for bodies concludes at Florida condo collapse site

MIAMI (AP) – Firefighters have officially ended their search for bodies in the debris of the collapsed Surfside condo building. The decision concludes a month of painstaking work removing layers of dangerous debris that were once piled several stories high. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s urban search-and-rescue team pulled away from the disaster site Friday in a convoy of firetrucks and other vehicles, slowly driving to their headquarters for the announcement. The June 24 collapse at the oceanside tower killed 97 people, with at least one missing person yet to be identified. The site has been mostly swept flat and the rubble moved to a Miami warehouse.

Associated Press

DOJ says no probe into state-run nursing homes in New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – The Justice Department says it has decided not to open a civil rights investigation into government-run nursing homes in New York over their COVID-19 response. Under former President Donald Trump, the department’s civil rights division requested data from several states about COVID-19 deaths in public nursing homes. The request came amid questions about whether New York inadvertently worsened the pandemic death toll by requiring nursing homes to accept residents previously hospitalized for COVID-19. In a letter sent Friday to several Republican members of Congress, the Justice Department said it had decided not to open an investigation after reviewing data sent by the state.


Associated Press

I-40 bridge in Tennessee likely won’t reopen until August

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Department of Transportation now says it will likely be early August before the Interstate 40 bridge between Arkansas and Tennessee can reopen to traffic. Contractors are working on phase 3 of the repairs that began after a crack was found in May in the Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River. Transportation Commissioner Clay Bright previously said construction was expected to run into at least late July. The department said Friday it would have more schedule information next week about reopening. All interstate traffic in the Memphis area is being diverted to I-55.

Covid vaccinations going up again, back to school recommendation

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Health Department reports that the number of people getting the Covid vaccine has ticked up this week after concerns of a third wave.

“It is our hope that people are realizing the seriousness of this virus and making a decision to get vaccinated,” says Administrator Becky Barnes.

The Health Department on Friday also issued their back to school guidance for Hamilton County:


School Reopening Guidance


In alliance with CDC guidelines, the Health Department recommends that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals continue to wear masks while inside, particularly in crowded settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained. This recommendation extends to the reopening of schools in Hamilton County.


“As schools start to plan for reopening this coming fall, the Health Department recognizes how important it is for schools to consider a safe return for their students and teachers, as well as the importance of in-person instruction,” says Health Department Interim Health Officer Dr. Fernando Urrego. “Assuring that students are able to attend school in-person is a top priority.  In order for a safe return, Covid-19 prevention strategies are critical to protect individuals, especially in areas of high transmission levels.”


Given low vaccination rates and recent increases in COVID-19 cases, including in children, schools are encouraged to closely monitor community transmission levels for guidance of adding additional prevention strategies if needed. These measures are to protect those that have not been vaccinated, particularly children under 12 years of age that are not yet eligible to receive vaccine. The Health Department will continue to recommend schools follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated Covid-19 K-12 School Guidance Prevention Strategies.


Eviction moratorium and its conclusion

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)- Buddy Presley With Presley Law Firm said although the CDC eviction moratorium runs through the end of the month, evictions have already started back up.

“There were some federal court cases that determined the CDC did not have authority to issue a moratorium nationwide,” said Presley.

He said North Georgia counties including Catoosa and Walker had far fewer evictions than expected due to rental assistance programs.

“You have some people who are getting their rent paid partially by some different programs. State and Federal level, so I don’t think it’s as bad as they thought it was going to be,” said Presley.

Hamilton County and the surrounding counties did have more than usual.

“In Hamilton county, You’re talking about a docket in size of maybe 100 which is a pretty good size docket of cases,” said Presley.

Presley said since the eviction moratorium is no longer in place in the area, it puts everything back to normal for the property owners and judges.

“Judges are pretty smart and they know that people have been getting some form of payment. So they know that they could actually probably pay the rent and sometimes it’s just a decision not to pay it,” said Presley.

He said are struggling to make ends meet several assistance programs can help preventing boxing everything up and moving due to an eviction.

“Now in this environment, post-pandemic, post-moratorium, there’s even more assistance out there,” said Presley.

Hospital seeks to identify patient unable to say his name

RIVERDALE, Ga. (AP) – A Georgia hospital is turning to the public for help in identifying a patient who has been unable to say his name or offer information about his identity.

WSB-TV reports that the man has been at Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale south of Atlanta for nearly 10 days.

Authorities say he arrived at the hospital’s emergency department on July 14 after he was found in Fulton County.

Hospital staff and police have not been able to identify the man.

They believe he is in his 50s or 60s.

He’s white, about 5 feet and 11 inches tall, and weighs about 150 pounds.

The hospital shared a photo of the man with local media in hopes that someone who knows him will see it and contact them.