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Weather Update: Wednesday’s Forecast – June 29th, 2022

Weather Update: Wednesday’s Forecast – June 29th, 2022

Tennessee Valley (WDEF):  Very Warm And More Humid, With Increasing Temperatures By The Holiday Weekend! This Morning: Partly cloudy, dry, and pretty quiet through the morning.  Our lows will settle into the upper 60’s to the mid 70’s. A few areas of fog are also popping up. This Afternoon:  Partly sunny to partly cloudy, very… ... Continue Reading

Chattanoogans receive pair of Blue Alerts from state authorities

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — A blue alert is sent out if a police officer is killed or seriously injured and the offender is seen as a threat to fellow officers and the general public. Additionally, a description of the suspect or the suspect’s vehicle needs to be available to broadcast statewide. Tonight, not one, but two… ... Continue Reading
TBI Most Wanted Escapee caught

TBI Most Wanted Escapee caught


JASPER, Tennessee (WDEF) – Johnny Lewis Payne is back in custody, but we’ll see how long this will last.

Payne has a knack for escaping from law enforcement.

A few weeks ago, he escaped from an Alabama prison where he was serving 20 years for receiving stolen goods.

He was recaptured a few days later back in his old Bridgeport stomping grounds… on the Tennessee side of the border in Marion County.

But Payne escaped again while being taken for a mental health evaluation in Chattanooga.

On Friday, the TBI put him on their latest 10 Most Wanted List.

Then on Monday night, he was spotted by officers in the Huntsville area.

After a police chase, he crashed and was taken into custody.


Categories: Local News, Marion County
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Weather Update: Tuesday Night’s Forecast – June 28th, 2022

Weather Update: Tuesday Night’s Forecast – June 28th, 2022

Tennessee Valley (WDEF):  Very Warm And More Humid, But Still Not Hot For The Mid-Week! Partly cloudy, dry, and pretty quiet through the nighttime.  Overnight lows will settle into the upper 60’s. Tomorrow:  Partly sunny, very warm, and slightly more humid for Wednesday.  A stray late-day shower or storm is remotely possible with highs back… ... Continue Reading

Redevelopment of Old DuPont Property Moves Ahead

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Rise Partners and the City of Chattanooga are moving ahead with their plan to redevelop 88 acres of what used to be the DuPont Chemical Plant on Access Road.

Four buildings will be constructed on the property, totaling eight hundred thousand square feet in industrial work space.

“The project will be roughly a 100 million dollar investment. It’s projected to create 600 jobs at full completion. We have about 20 million dollars of public infrastructure work that will take place, including utility relocation, road improvement, signalization that will occur on access road,” said Matt Phillips of Rise Partners.

The development could become home to business at the local, national, and international levels.

“We’re currently talking to a number of future employers that would locate here from out of state, regionally and even nationally, but we’re also talking to local businesses that are looking for opportunities that are looking for opportunities to expand their business, so that they can stay in Chattanooga,” said Phillips.

The industrial space will be subject to a tax increment financing system where a portion of the tax revenue will be cycled back into the development.

The other portion will be used for Hamilton County School System, increasing their revenue from the site by roughly nine hundred percent.

“The schools right now are receiving about $16,000 dollars a year in tax revenue from that site. Once that site is developed, once there are Class A industrial space there and we’re able to produce things on that site again, we’re talking about going from sixteen thousand to almost $430,000 a year for schools. That’s a huge jump,” said Ellis Smith, Director of Special Projects for the City of Chattanooga.

Categories: Business, Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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9 year old critically injured while crossing the street

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – A 9 year old girl was hit by a pickup truck Tuesday afternoon while crossing the street.

It happened at 1420 Dodson Avenue near Wilcox Boulevard just after 2PM.

Police report that she was seriously hurt.

They report the driver of the pickup remained on the scene and is cooperating with Police.


Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News
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Drive by shooting in Bradley County neighborhood

CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting in the Rolling Brook community outside of Cleveland.

Investigators say the shots were fired from a vehicle into the home around 1 AM.

No one was hit, but two adults, two juveniles and a child were inside at the time.

They told deputies that several shots traveled through the home.

Categories: Bradley County, Crime, Local News
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Driver dies in Harrison crash

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tennessee (WDEF) – A driver in one of the vehicles that crashed Monday evening in the Harrison area, has died.

The wreck happened on Highway  58 near the Harrison-Ooltewah Road intersection.

89-year old Marvin Beemer from Harrison died at the hospital from his injuries.

Two other people in the other vehicle were taken to the hospital with more minor injuries.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit is investigating the crash.

Categories: Hamilton County, Local News
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Weather Update: Tuesday’s Forecast – June 28th, 2022

Weather Update: Tuesday’s Forecast – June 28th, 2022

Tennessee Valley (WDEF):  Briefly Drier & Warm, But Not Too Hot! Some leftover clouds, but dry through the morning. Plus, it’ll be a bit less humid and a little milder as well, with lows in the mid & upper 60s. For Tuesday Afternoon: Some clouds, but dry and pleasantly warm for your Tuesday.  Afternoon highs… ... Continue Reading

Catoosa Co. Commissioners motion funds for more SROs

CATOOSA COUNTY, Georgia (WDEF) — There are 18 Catoosa County public school campuses, but only 11 school resource officers available to students and the facilites.

Sheriff Gary Sisk addressed this tonight to the local Board of Commissioners, who unanimously agreed that, after recent events, you can’t spend too much on safety.

Each Catoosa County public school will soon have a dedicated SRO to stand guard over the county’s kids.

In a 5-0 vote Monday evening, the county’s Board of Commissioners motioned to direct nearly $110,000 towards hiring seven new SROs for the upcoming school year.

“We want parents to be happy about their children going to school, we want children to feel safe,” said Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk. “We want them to come into an environment where they’re going to learn. That’s what this is all about is just to try to create a nice, safe and comfortable environment.”

Catoosa County Public Schools Superintendent Chance Nix, a former SRO, said that safety for students has been emphasized following the recent tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

However, the desire to place an SRO in each of the county’s 18 public schools was always “the next step.”

“When a kid has a good relationship with you, they’ll talk to you,” Nix said. “So, our SROs spend a lot of time working with kids to build those relationships. That’s invaluable.”

Nix says the money to make this possible was already available in the county budget thanks to federal ESSER funds.

Sisk says there have been no threats made to any county public schools so far this year.

With an SRO in each school moving forward, he hopes it stays that way.

“One of our safety protocols is a run/hide/survive drill where the teacher has to determine ‘is it better for me to run out of this building and get away from the danger?'” Sisk said. “Or ‘do I need to hide in this building because danger’s too close?’ Or ‘does it come down to I need to survive?’ Hopefully, that SRO’s going to be there taking care of business long before that needs to happen.”

Nix says the ESSER funds will pay for the schools’ new SROs for the next two years.

Sisk says that finding seven qualified personnel to fill the roles before school begins in early August will be challenging.

But for the county’s children, a “conscious effort” has to be and will be made.

Categories: Catoosa County, Featured, Local News
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Alabama paying to improve Stevenson road for Taylor Manufacturing

Alabama paying to improve Stevenson road for Taylor Manufacturing

Goggle Maps

STEVENSON, Alabama (WDEF) – The state of Alabama is providing the funds to help out a company in Stevenson.

Governor kay Ivey’s office announced the $200,000 grant for Taylor Manufacturing and other nearby businesses.

The money will go towards upgrading Adams Street to the businesses.

“It is always pleasing to see locally owned businesses expand and grow, creating new job opportunities for Alabamians. That is a tribute to the management and employees of Taylor Manufacturing,” Gov. Ivey said. “I am pleased to announce this grant to improve an important road and support job growth in Stevenson.”

Taylor Manufacturing is a metal fabrication business that has 75 employees.

They began working in an abandoned plant and have expanded several times.

But their progress has worn out Adams Street because of the heavy trucks.

The money will be used to reconstruct the 1,700 foot street for better traffic to Taylor and their neighbors.

Taylor hopes to hire another 30 workers in their expansion.

Adams Street

Categories: Business, Jackson County, Local News
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Hamilton Flourishing group celebrates abortion ruling

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The anti-abortion group Hamilton Flourishing called Friday’s Roe v. Wade ruling the – quote – D-Day – for abortion. Today’s press conference was in cooperation with thousands across the country who held a solemn celebration for the protection of life and the unborn. The founder of the group, Doug Daugherty, says the… ... Continue Reading

2022 Fireworks shows in our area

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Two years ago we had the pandemic, then last year we had a fireworks shortage.  But this year, it looks like just about all of the Fireworks shows are back.



New Salem, GA

Rainsville Freedom Fest



Chattanooga Lookouts

Ten Mile, TN

LaFayette Freedom Festival

Eton, GA



Chattanooga Lookouts

Pops on the River Coolidge Park

Soddy Lake

Jasper, TN

Tracy City, TN

Coalmont, TN

Spring City Shake The Lake

Meigs Co.  Cottonport Marina

Ducktown City Park

Etowah Depot

Catoosa Co. Northwest GA ampitheater

Chickamauga downtown

McCaysville, GA

Cohutta Shugart Park

Chatsworth next to high school

Stevenson, AL



Collegedale Freedom Fest

Middle Valley/Camp Columbus

Benton Community Fellowship Church

Ocoee Church of God

Trenton Jenkins Park

Varnell/Highland Forest Community



Chattanooga Lookouts

Lakesite city park

Dunlap downtown

Cleveland Bradley Square Mall

Athens Regional Park

Decatur Downtown Summer Nights

Beersheba, TN

Monteagle, TN

Gruetli Laager, TN

Altamont, TN

Summerville Ag Center

Blue Ridge Dam

Goose Pond Scottsboro, AL


Categories: Featured, Local News
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Grand Opening of Buc-ee’s in Crossville

CROSSVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Buc-ee’s chain of super gas and convenience stores has made their debut in Tennessee.

The company opened their first Volunteer State location Monday in Crossville.

Hundreds of fans lined up for the opening around noon.

The Buc-ee’s is at exit 320 on Interstate 40 on the plateau between Knoxville and Nashville.

It includes 100 gas pumps, hundreds of employees, Beaver Nuggets and lots and lots of merchandise.

This is one of the largest travel centers in the south, until a new Buc-ee’s opens (probably next year) in Sevierville.


Categories: Business, Local News, Regional News
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Weather Update: Monday Night’s Forecast – June 27th, 2022

Weather Update: Monday Night’s Forecast – June 27th, 2022

Tennessee Valley (WDEF):  Briefly Drier, Warm, But Not Too Hot! Some leftover clouds, but drier through the nighttime.  Less humid and a little milder overnight with lows in the upper 60s. Some clouds, but dry and pleasantly warm for your Tuesday.  Afternoon highs will settle into the mid 80s.  Partly cloudy Tuesday night with lows… ... Continue Reading

What’s Right With Our Schools: Tennessee Stem Explorers Television Show

CHATTANOOGA, TN  (WDEF) – News 12 is delighted to be a partner with Tennessee Stem Explorers for an exciting new program that will air right here this Fall. Student hosts will be doing a variety of exciting stem experiments.

Mike Ousley is the Executive Producer for Tennessee Stem Explorers.

He explains, “We’re excited about Tennessee STEM Explorers and WDEF being our TV partner here in Chattanooga.”

James Harrison is a rising 7th grader at Chattanooga Christian.

He’d also like to host the show.

James explains his motivation, “There was a thing for STEM, and I do a bunch of STEM. So, I just wanted to go do it. So, I could like talk about it.  I guess.”

His father Andrew Harrison adds, “It is such a good experience to be able to talk in front of people; to talk clearly, to command a room. Just experience that you get from being on live television or even taped television in this case. You’re never more alive than you are at that moment when that camera light is on. If you can keep your cool in that situation, it’ll really take a long way in life.”

Sydney Lucious attends East Brainerd Middle School.

She says, “I really have gotten into acting, and I really like to talk a lot, and even though I may not know everything about Science, I love all the projects and the experiments that you get to do.”

Mike Ousley explains what he’s looking for, “We find a great student that loves STEM and can just jump off the screen and with excitement about learning, and we take that kid and we find experts to answer questions they might have.”

He continues, “There’s 350 000 kids in Tennessee that don’t have access to STEM Education. So we’re trying to bring that STEM education to these 350 000 kids as well as all the kids in Tennessee.”

He concludes, “If you are not able to come out today and audition, you can go to camproductionsnc.com. Submit a little two-minute video of yourself, and you could possibly be the host of Tennessee STEM Explorers.”



Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Local News, What’s Right With Our Schools
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What Can You Expect from Riverbend 2023?

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Friends of the Festival is calling Riverbend 2022 a resounding success.

The festival anticipated 15,000 attendees, and exceeded that goal on Saturday and Sunday.

According to festival organizers, it’s not yet clear how much money the festival generated, but enough money was made to warrant another festival in 2023.

“I don’t have all of the numbers in yet, but I can say that we will have a Riverbend 2023, fortieth anniversary, so I can say it in those terms that yes there will be a Riverbend 2023,” said Mickey McCamish, Executive Director of Friends of the Festival.

Now the organizers are looking to next year’s festival, which may draw a larger crowd.

“We’ll just have to see. Of course, the medical emergency, the health pandemic, forced us to look at smaller numbers. We’ll have to see how financially it works out, and what will be a good fit financially to the community,” said McCamish.

Festival Organizers are beginning the artist selection process for next year’s festival.

Depending on the length of that process and the time at which wristbands go on sale, tickets may be sold before the artist lineup is announced.

“Certainly I realize that people like to know what they’re paying for. It’s that simple. You buy a product; you want to know ‘what am I paying for.’ So, I’m a believer in that. So, I will advocate for that. We’ll see how the other team members feel,” McCamish said.

Actor Leslie Jordon was the Grand Marshall of Riverbend 2022.

McCamish said he’d like to see Jordan become a permanent fixture of the festival.

Categories: Chattanooga, Entertainment, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Riverbend
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Police have person of interest in Monday shooting

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga Police have taken a suspect into custody from a shooting in Lookout Valley this morning.

The 46 year old male victim suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound on Kellys Ferry Road.

Police say they found a person of interest in the shooting nearby.

They say more information is pending.

Categories: Crime, Hamilton County, Local News
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Two charged with animal hoarding in Walker County

ROSSVILLE, Georgia (WDEF) – Walker County Sheriff’s Officers stumbled across an animal hoarding case while investigating something else.

They were looking for another suspect when they searched a home at 1906 Blossom Road in Fairview community, they found several malnourished and dead animals.

They called Animal Control and removed 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, two ducks and four chickens.

The officers also removed the bodies of 15 dead animals.

29-year old Steven Owensby and 27-year old Makayla McDonald face a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals, with additional charges pending.

Categories: Crime, Featured, Local News, Walker County
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Suspect arrested for weekend homicide in western North Carolina

MURPHY, North Carolina (WDEF) – North Carolina officials have charged a suspect with a weekend murder in Marble.

Erick Lowe’s body was found in his home early Saturday on High Falls Road.

Investigators identified Hayden Drake Norris from Andrews as a suspect later in the day.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “We thank Cherokee County Emergency Service, Cherokee County Emergency Communications and the North Caroling State Bureau of Investigation on the invaluable assistance. The investigation is ongoing, and we ask that anyone that may have information pertaining to this case please call the Tip Line and leave your name and number and an investigator will get back with you.”

Categories: Cherokee County, Crime, Local News
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