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Sheriff-elect names Chief of Staff and General Counsel

Sheriff-elect names Chief of Staff and General Counsel

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hamilton County Sheriff-elect Austin Garrett announces top spots in his new administration. He has chosen Ron Bernard as his Chief of Staff. Bernard will handle the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office. He is a 15 year veteran with HCSO and has 25 years of management experience. He most recently was the… ... Continue Reading

Man killed in early morning crash

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – An early morning crash that claimed the life of a man is under investigation. Police responded to a crash around 4 AM where the vehicle hit a pole. When they arrived at the scene on Bonny Oaks Drive near Silverdale Baptist, Alfredo Wilson was already dead. They are still investigating what happened.… ... Continue Reading
Weather Update: Monday’s Forecast – August 8, 2022

Weather Update: Monday’s Forecast – August 8, 2022

WDEF TV:  A Few More Afternoon Storms Returning, & Higher Rain Chances This Week! Monday Morning: A few areas of fog possible, otherwise partly cloudy & muggy, but a dry start. Temperatures area-wide between 65 & 75. Monday Afternoon: Partly sunny, clouds increasing throughout the day hot, and humid with scattered afternoon showers and storms. Some… ... Continue Reading

TECH BYTE: Disney Introduces New MagicBand Features

ORLANDO, Fla. (WDEF) — If you’re planning a trip to Disney soon, the company has added some more tech to make your experience even more magical.

It’s part of Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

The My Disney Experience smartphone app isn’t the only tech you can take advantage of at the theme parks.

MagicBand+ actually pairs with the app.

It’s a new, upgraded version of the MagicBand, with even more features. The device is more interactive!

The original MagicBand gets you into the Disney parks and resorts, and you can use it to buy food, drinks, and merchandise.

It also gets you through the Lightning Lane and virtual queue entrances more easily, and connects your PhotoPass pictures to your account.

With MagicBand+, you can do all of that plus interact with the Fab 50 Character Collection, and nighttime spectaculars at the parks.

If you like Star Wars, you can use it to become a Bounty Hunter at Galaxy’s Edge.

The device’s vibrations help you find virtual bounties through that area of Hollywood Studios.

It also has a rechargeable battery for those customizable color-changing lights it displays.

MagicBand+ comes in several colors. And yes, you can even get them with your favorite Disney characters.

If you don’t want the extra features and spend more money, you can still buy a regular MagicBand that works just as well.

You can, of course, buy these new MagicBands on Disney property, but if you want to have them before your trip, there are several styles available on shopDisney.com.

The good news is, if you have a Disney hotel reservation, or an annual pass, you can get a special discount on a customized MagicBand+.

Categories: Local News, Tech Byte, Technology
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New attraction coming to Dollywood plus a behind the scenes looks at Dolly’s tour bus where you can now stay

SEVIERVILLE. Tennessee (WDEF)- A new family coaster is coming to Dollywood. Big Bear Mountain will be a $25 million expansion. It’s nearly 4,000 ft long and is the longest roller coaster at the park. It will have a Top speed of 48 MPH and 3 launches.

Everything we do a Dollywood is about families as Dolly said it today its about bringing families closer together.

View it as a major expansion to the Golden ticket winner Wildwood Grove.

Big bear mountain is the largest single attraction that we have ever built at Dollywood. It comes right after us building Wildwood Grove in 2019 which was the largest overall expansion we’ve ever done.

This is part of the half a billion dollar investment into the park over the next 10 years which will bring plenty of tax revenue into the state.

Another Dollywood addition, you can now stay in Dolly Parton’s tour bus.

This is where she spent 12, 13 years of her life. She travel 360,000 miles across North America in this bus. She did everything in this bus she wrote backwoods Barbie, that album. 9 to 5 the musical, pretty much any project the dollies done the last few years she’s done in this bus.

It’s been fully customized by Dolly. And when we say fully customized we mean fully customized.

This area the bus most buses have bunk-beds  on both sides. Dolly had more clothes than she had people she wanted traveling with her so this side of the door bus became a full size closet. As you can see her dress and shoes and her necklaces are still in here.

Categories: Entertainment, Featured, Local News, Regional News
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As school begins across the area, say goodbye to the free meal program for all students

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Expect a major change at elementary, middle and high schools in the cafeteria.

Every family qualified for the free meal program at schools the last two years because of the pandemic.

Not so any more.

The Department of Agriculture’s food waivers at schools ended July 1st.

Several schools in Hamilton County will still offer free meals to all students.

If you’re not at one of those schools, though, the pre-pandemic rules return.

To know if you qualify, head to your school district’s website.

It’s all income-based.

Each district should have a way to apply on the website, as long as the district participates in the free and reduced-price meal program.

Also, the USDA had a higher reimbursement rate to the districts during the pandemic.

With that gone, school cafeterias will be required to charge more for meals.

Categories: Catoosa County, Chattanooga, Dade County, Featured, Grundy County, Hamilton County, Local News, Marion County, Meigs County, Murray County, Polk County, Rhea County, State News – Georgia, State News-Tennessee, Walker County
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Flooding at intersection of Pinewood & Dellwood Saturday night causes power outage

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Saturday night’s rainstorm did quite a bit of damage.

A 911 call came in to Emergency Services just before 9 Saturday night about flooding happening at the corner of Pinewood Avenue and Dellwood Place.

That corner is the point at which two roads on the descent meet.

According to the woman who lives at that intersection, a tree fell just up the road from her on Pinewood, and her garbage can was down the road in the opposite direction.

Debris was strewn about on the street this morning.

The power also went out and didn’t return until 2 this morning.

At this point, there haven’t been any reports of injury or death.

Most of the damage was cleaned up by the early morning.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Weather News
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Booker T. Washington Park to close due to storm damage

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Saturday’s storms did a number on Booker T. Washington State Park.

According to the park’s Facebook page, the park is closed until further notice due to the recent storms that caused total power outages and no restroom facilities were available.

There is no estimated time of repair for all the damage done.

News 12 will update you on its reopening when we have that information.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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It’s back to school time! When does your child return to school?

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – This was the final weekend before most schools in the area return to classes.

Let’s give a short rundown on when your child is supposed to head to class…

Starting in Tennessee, Polk, Bradley, Marion, Grundy and Rhea County schools already began this past Friday.

Meigs and Bledsoe Counties begins tomorrow.

And Cleveland City Schools open their doors tomorrow, but it’s a split “Reconnection Day.”

Students with last names starting with A through F starts tomorrow, G through N is Tuesday, and O through Z starts Wednesday.

Hamilton County is bringing everyone back at the same time on Wednesday.

We didn’t forget McMinn County. Schools there began August 1st.

To Georgia, now…

A few counties already started classes.

Walker County began last Thursday.

Dade and Whitfield Counties started Friday.

Catoosa County begins tomorrow, and Murray County students are a lot like most cities around the country…

They begin after Labor Day.

Categories: Bledsoe County, Bradley County, Catoosa County, Chattanooga, Dade County, Education, Featured, Grundy County, Hamilton County, Local News, Marion County, McMinn County, Meigs County, Murray County, Polk County, Rhea County, Walker County, Whitfield County
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Mowbray Pike to close for eight hours Monday-Wednesday to fix storm drain tile

HAMILTON COUNTY (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Highway Department will close Mowbray Pike for parts of the next three days.

According to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Mowbray Pike will shut down from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting tomorrow to replace storm drain tile.

It will also close those same hours on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The road will close to all traffic between Millsap Road and Indian Ridge Road, since there will be an open trench for most of the day.

Detours will be posted, and drivers are asked to use Montlake Road or Hotwater Road as alternate routes to and from Mowbray Mountain.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Chattanooga Police: argument leads to the stabbing of a 64-year-old man Saturday

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Chattanooga Police Department reports a man was stabbed Saturday afternoon.

This one happened at the Alden Apartment Homes in the 5500 block of Hixson Pike.

CPD says two 64-year-old men got into an argument and one stabbed the other.

The perpetrator then tried to drive the victim to the hospital, but stopped to ask for directions.

Police found them at the Hardee’s on McCahill Road.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, while the suspect was arrested.

Categories: Chattanooga, Crime, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Chattanooga Police: 28-year-old man stabbed along Highway 58 Sunday morning

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Chattanooga Police Department says a man showed up to a local hospital this morning with minor stab wounds.

The victim is a 28-year-old man, and the investigation revealed it happened in the 4300 block of Highway 58.

There isn’t a lot else the police know about the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Chattanooga Police Department.

You don’t have to give your name.

Categories: Chattanooga, Crime, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Back To School Bashes help thousands of families across Hamilton County

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – This is the final weekend before school starts in Tennessee.

Several groups, including the Hamilton County School District, wanted to get students and parents ready for what’s to come next Wednesday.

The district held its Back To School Bash at the First Horizon Pavilion this morning.

Thousands of families showed up to get free backpacks and supplies for their children.

Some of the families that attended today’s festivities weren’t able to take advantage of last weekend’s school supply sales tax holiday.

The schools’ superintendent, Dr. Justin Robertson, says the district was prepared.

“To get several thousand families through here this weekend shows that there’s a need and we saw a lot of happy faces. A lot of kids were getting supplies that will help them get off to a good start next Wednesday.”

Dr. Robertson says parents will see a lot more engagement from the individual schools and the districts in hopes that there will be better communications in all aspects of a student’s learning experience.

Then, there were some back to school events in the community, for the community.

One example is Nothing But Net out by the airport.

Owner Kenny Henderson and community partners also gave away backpacks and school supplies to families in need this morning.

Henderson says building trust in the community helps to strengthen it.

“It’s often that the community we’re in is often times overlooked. Although we can’t control how many people come out to us, we can control what we give to our people. Right? So, we just want to continue to provide Nothing But Net as a safe space for our community.”

Henderson says he will continue to serve the community, and expects his next big event to happen around Thanksgiving.

Just a couple miles from Nothing But Net was another backpack giveaway at Shepherd Community Center.

Volunteers from several organizations in the city bought and brought supplies for kids.

What came in also went out, and organizers of the event says this shows a city united.

Sgt. Jasin Holmes of the Chattanooga Police Department says, “You have people that showed up here that couldn’t make it downtown. So, just to be able to say ‘If you can’t make it downtown, you can make it here … a little bit closer… get school supplies. If you want to do both, you could have done both. But, like I say, there’s never enough. There’s always plenty. There’s always more to hand out and give.”

Among the organizations in attendance were the Chattanooga Police Department, HeadStart, and The Black Employees Network of Amazon.

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Storm brings down power lines & starts fires in Chattanooga

Storm brings down power lines & starts fires in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Chattanooga Fire Department says it is dealing with several calls of wires down and flooding due to the rain in the area.

One viewer called in saying several parts of East Brainerd have water along the street due to sewer backups.

The fire department says the heavy rain may have caused two house fires due to lightning strikes.

The first call came just after 7:30 this evening in the 4000 block of Caine Lane.

Firefighters were able to locate the blaze in a crawl space and quickly extinguish it.

No injuries were reported at that scene.

Less than ten minutes after that, the fire department got a call about a house fire in the 2200 block of Tristram Road.

A neighbor called 911, and fortunately, no one was home at the time.

The fire was found in the attic of the newly constructed home.

And a dog was rescued from the property.

No one was injured.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Weather News
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Chatt State holds registration ‘resort’ day.

Chatt State holds registration ‘resort’ day.

It’s almost time head back to class and Chatt State kicked off the semester with a registration resort day.

The event had food vendors, access to help with registration, and information on clubs and extracurriculars. Dr. Kisha Thomas is the Director of recruiting at Chatt State, she said she wanted to provide an atmosphere for students to get ready.

“So, we decided to do something fun to try to get students back on campus so last year was our first year doing an actual registration resort and this year is our second year which is exciting. We probably have seen about 200 students already that came out.” said Thomas.

Classes start back on August 15th. You can register online at chattanoogastate.edu/registration 

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Hamilton County, Local News
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21st Annual Minority Health Fair held this weekend at UTC

21st Annual Minority Health Fair held this weekend at UTC

The 21st Annual Hamilton County Minority Health Fair was held Saturday at the UTC University Center. This event addresses a major need in the community by providing free health services to underserved communities in Chattanooga. 


Tony Sammons is the Co-Chair, he said this all started from a desire to educate. 

“The Minority Health Fair started 21 years ago as an initiative of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity incorporated and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. We had an initiative of addressing the health disparities in African American men. And so we came together to meet to see how we could put together some type of activity to do that,” said Sammons.

Dr. Douglas Reeves with P.T. Solutions participated in the event as a vendor. He said he was there to support Sammons vision.

“All of us here as representatives of the health care community want to do our part to educate the community and provide everyone the best chance possible to lead a healthy life despite all the current barriers to quality health care,” said Reeves.

Mayor Tim Kelly was in attendance, he said events like this help address the health care disparities in our city

“It’s a really important event the 21st year for the minority health fair, because the health disparities in Chattanooga are far, far too broad. We have some zip codes here that are at the top of the state in terms of health outcomes, and very near the bottom in the state and so that that gap is way too broad, which is why we established an Office of Community Health has the city. This health care is a really important part of helping close that gap,” said Kelly.

Organizers said that since the event, they have had over 10,000 people receive free educational and screening services at the minority health fair.


Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Health, Local News
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Chattanoogan Sam Gooden dies at 87, co-founded The Impressions

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame died this week in Chattanooga.

Sam Gooden was 87.

Gooden formed the group The Impressions with brothers Richard and Arthur Brooks along with songwriter Curtis Mayfield and lead singer Jerry Butler.

The group had hits in the 1950’s like “For Your Precious Love.”

After Butler left for a solo career, the hits kept coming in the 1960s with Mayfield on lead vocals.

“People Get Ready”.. “Keep on Pushing”.. and Gypsy Woman were just a few.

But they were more than just hit-makers. Their positive songs of empowerment became the soundtrack for the civil rights movement of the sixties.

When Mayfield left in the 1970’s, Gooden and fellow Chattanoogan Fred Cash kept going as The Impressions.

They continued recording (with 3 more hits) and touring the world.

The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

After celebrating 60 years together and completing their first ever tour of Japan, The Impressions finally retired from the road in 2018.

The Tennessee Music Pathways honored their career with a marker at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in 2019.

At the time, Gooden told us “It’s something that my kids and grandkids can walk by and they can see.. something they can remember when I’m Gone and Away from here.

And his partner Fred Cash added “There’s one more thing I want to say. Keep on Pushing.”

Categories: Entertainment, Featured, Local News
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Balloon Glows event returns to East Ridge

EAST RIDGE, Tenn. (WDEF) — There were plenty of residents looking to catch a ride in a hot air balloon Friday night or just to watch those that were airborne with the sunset fading, but Mother Nature had other plans.

Although Friday’s weather kept the fleet grounded, the event’s organizer is still optimistic for the weekend ahead.

The family-friendly Balloon Glows Event has returned to East Ridge yet again.

Over the weekend, residents of all ages will be able to enjoy plenty of food vendors, bounce houses and, of course, tethered hot air balloon rides.

“A lot of people don’t know what a tether ride is but that gives you an opportunity to go up and down in a hot air balloon,” said Event Director Vicki Fogue. “But it’s tied off to the ground, so you won’t actually be doing a flight over town. They just get a taste of what it’s like to go in a hot air balloon.”

Fogue says the East Ridge community has always been welcoming to the event — something she sees as a perfect spectacle for those who can’t make it to bigger events, such as Albuquerque, New Mexico’s International Balloon Fiesta.

It’s a weekend that doesn’t just feature a variety of hot air balloons, but a variety of pilots, as well, such as 20-year-old Connor Fogue — Vicki’s son.

“It’s a fun experience,” Fogue said. “I always got told from my grandma, ‘something new and different’s always good’ — this was the ballon grandma, of course.”

The fear of heights isn’t uncommon or unwelcomed among visitors.

Fogue says during her time overseeing the festival, she’s seen residents throw caution to the wind and face their fears.

“I’ve had people just white-knuckling, holding on to the uprights and they’re scared to death until they get out,” Fogue said. “This one lady I took the other night, she kind of squealed the whole time and I said, ‘just take some deep breaths, look out,’ and she was so glad she did it and checked that off her bucket list that she got to go in a hot air balloon.”

For those who aren’t afraid of touching the sky and taking a ride this weekend, the event will be held both Saturday and Sunday at Camp Jordan from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Connor Vogue says if there are still lines in the late hours, they aren’t afraid of staying open just a little longer.

Categories: East Ridge, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Sheriff arrests 3 in Scottsboro tattoo shop on drug charges

Sheriff arrests 3 in Scottsboro tattoo shop on drug charges

SCOTTSBORO, Alabama (WDEF) – Sheriff’s officials say they found multiple drugs at a Scottsboro tattoo shop.

Jackson County And Scottsboro officers searched the SkinWorks Tattoo shop on South Broad Street.

They say they found methamphetamine, alprazolam, hydrocodone, suboxone, diazepam and marijuana plus drug paraphernalia.

Officers arrested Ashley Wayne Kimbrell of Scottsboro, Stacey Michelle Stephens of Fort Payne and Ryan Elizabeth Thurmond of Scottsboro.

They all face a variety of drug charges.

Tatoo Parlor Bust

Categories: Crime, Jackson County, Local News
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Weather Update: Saturday’s Forecast – August 6, 2022

Weather Update: Saturday’s Forecast – August 6, 2022

WDEF TV:  A Few More Afternoon Storms For Your Weekend! Saturday: Partly sunny, hot, and humid with scattered PM showers and storms. Some storms could contain brief heavy rainfall leading to possible localized flash flooding. Highs around 90. Heat index: mid to high 90’s. Winds: Southerly @ 5 MPH.  Any leftover showers will diminish tonight,… ... Continue Reading