UTC Students Speak Out About Online Access Codes

By: Megan Montgomery

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) — The times of technology are advancing and so are the prices of online websites used in the classroom. In addition to the price of textbooks, students are now asked to buy online access codes for some classes in order to do homework and other activities.

PasswordThe biggest problem facing students is the hefty price of an access code in addition to a textbook. Forty-two percent of students in a class requiring online access are asked to purchase a textbook as well, according to a survey recently conducted.

One professor at UTC says that she was unaware of the initial price of the online access code when it was first required for her students. She has seen more effective learning with the additional practice outside of the classroom and considers the online work a necessity.

Sophomore Alexis Scott says she likes online work because it shows you the correct answer right away, unlike having to wait on a test to see what you need to work on.

Freshman, Jenna Stewart uses a website to complete work for her Spanish class. She says, “The answers are really obscure and way too specific so I end up missing the questions.”

Stewart doesn’t believe the material is worth her money because she learns more from the lecture and the book.

This isn’t a problem faced only by students at UTC. University of Maine student Luke Thomas took to the internet when he and his fiance at the time were both forced to buy a $150 bundle for an English class. They attempted to share a book and access code, but the code, which could only be purchased in addition to the textbook, was essential to participation in the class discussion.

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UTC offers direct access to buying textbooks online through the Barnes and Noble campus bookstore

The situation presented by textbook providers is that access codes are very rarely offered separately from a textbook, forcing students to spend the extra buck. This process makes the value of textbooks near to nothing because bookstores are unwilling to buy back a book that can only be sold with an access code.

This extra investment in online access only lasts a limited amount of time. In the survey conducted, only six percent of students have been able to use an access code for longer than two semesters.

College is stressful time without extensive financial burdens. One student suggests that online access only be mandatory if it is used extensively in the classroom not just for additional exercises. Another student suggests that the purchase of students’ online access be included in the technology fee of tuition.

Online codes and website access are a fairly new concept in the classroom. One way to help prepare for the price is to make sure you are getting a good deal on the other textbooks you purchase.

One blogger took the time to analyze the prices of the average price of textbooks at leading bookstores and compare their prices as well as include tips on how to buy smart on ExtraBux.com.

Textbook average prices from store to store according to ExtraBux.com

 

For more information about buying textbooks cheaper and more efficiently, check out some other students’ research:

1. “UTC student are going broke due to textbook prices” by Taylor Ellis

2. “How Do Teachers Choose Textbooks: A Guide for UTC Students” by Rose Street

3. “Bookstore Buybacks: Things You Need To Know About The UTC Bookstore” by Arielle Henson

4. “Students pay for textbooks they don’t use” by Kami Rowe

Click Here to Take the Survey!

Two Children Left in Car for a Mother’s Job Interview

pnitayloruseBy: Megan Montgomery

PHOENIX (AP/The Loop) — A Phoenix woman who left her two young children in her vehicle during a job interview has pleaded not guilty at her arraignment.

Shanesha Taylor’s case has attracted attention with her tearful police mugshot and people rallying to her defense online to raise money for the 35-year-old mother. She faces two counts of child abuse.

Court documents say Scottsdale firefighters found hot air coming into the car and both children sweating profusely.

The baby was described as wearing a short-sleeve shirt over a long-sleeve shirt, as well as a blanket. The documents say Taylor arrived back at the car more than an hour after her interview time.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery says it’s too soon to determine if Taylor will receive a prison term or face losing custody of her children.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Like any busy mother, Shanesha Taylor was trying to do it all.

The 35-year-old Phoenix woman, who relies on food stamps, left her two children in her car last month during a job interview in Scottsdale.

That decision has led to Taylor being scheduled for arraignment Monday morning on two charges of child abuse.

But Taylor’s booking mugshot, where tears are streaming down both her cheeks, has also won her supporters and donations.

A New Jersey woman set up a fundraising website for Taylor which has now collected nearly $90,000.

According to court documents, a witness on March 20 reported to police that Taylor’s 2-year-old son and 6-month-old baby were unattended in the car.

Scottsdale firefighters say they found both children sweating profusely and hot air coming into the vehicle.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

If you were the Phoenix mother would you have risked leaving your children unattended to interview for a job to provide for them?

Law Attempts to Soften Financial Blow of 2010 Nashville Flood

By: Megan Montgomery

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/The Loop) — For many Tennessee property owners in flood-prone areas, a move by Congress to soften steep increases to subsidized insurance policies may come as little comfort.

A new law signed by President Barack Obama last week dials back some of most dramatic hikes in the price of national flood insurance, but Federal Emergency Management Agency statistics reviewed by The Associated Press show that 7,780 flood insurance policies in Tennessee still face soaring insurance rates.

About 5,550 policies covering mostly primary residences could be raised by up to 18 percent per year, though FEMA hasn’t said how high the rate increases will be. Another 2,300 businesses and vacation homes in Tennessee will see their rates go up 25 percent per year.

Property owners in Nashville, where residents are still recovering from more than $2 billion in damage caused by the May 2010 floods, have the most subsidized policies in the state that could be affected by the law.

At the beginning of last year, Davidson County, which is mostly made up by the city of Nashville, had 1,687 policies that fall under the rate hikes. That’s nearly double the next highest statewide total of subsidized polices in Hamilton County. Rounding out the state’s top five are Shelby, Williamson and Carter counties.

Democratic state Rep. Bo Mitchell’s district includes Bellevue neighborhood of Nashville, one of the areas hardest hit by the 2010 floods He said the prospect of heavy rate increases is hard to swallow for homeowners still on the path to recovery.

“You’ve already got people who have the mortgage on their home, the second mortgage to rebuild their home,” Mitchell said. “And then coupling that with the increase to their escrow from the flood insurance is going to be even more crippling to them.”

“You’re already not seeing that new car in the driveway. You’re not seeing them take elaborate family vacations anymore,” he said. “You’re adding insult to injury.”

As many as 1.1 million policyholders are subsidized through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is $24 billion in debt because of a series of catastrophic storms.

The new law rolls back parts of the 2012 overhaul of the flood insurance program after vocal complaints about skyrocketing premiums based on the real risk of flooding, rather than the artificially low rates of the past.

Yet the new measure still allows homeowners receiving subsidies to get hit with rate increases of up to 18 percent each year until the program is collecting enough revenue to cover its shortfall. Owners of businesses and second homes will see their rates rise no less than 25 percent each year until their premiums reach rates that match what building elevation surveys indicate is the true risk of flooding.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, who represents Nashville, supported the original legislation that aimed to bring the National Flood Insurance Program into balance. The new law represents a step back, he said.

“This bill unraveled a compromise that Congress passed in 2012 to start moving the NFIP toward solvency,” Cooper said in an email. “It is so rare for this Congress to do anything constructive, I thought it was a big step backward to start retreating.”

Nashville policyholders have received $146 million in insurance payments since joining the federally subsidized program, while overall flood insurance premiums total $5 million per year.

Similarly, policyholders in neighboring Cheatham County has received $14.2 million in payouts on annual premiums of $186,000. In the city of Millington outside Memphis program payouts have totaled $3.4 million on annual premiums of $96,000.

On the other end of the spectrum are cities like Germantown, Soddy-Daisy and Sevierville that pay more in flood insurance premiums each year than their policyholders have received through claims over the history of the program.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

North Shore Publix Granted Construction Requests

By: Megan Montgomery

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) — The Chattanooga City Council passed an ordinance to grant wall tiebacks in the construction of the North Shore Publix at the February 25 meeting. The tiebacks will provide more stability for the walls along the blocks of Hamilton Avenue, Woodland Avenue, and Kent Street.

Neighbors of the construction are hoping that Publix will bring stability in more areas than just physical structure.gallery.53691

Rylee Johnson, Junior, lives in an apartment complex near the construction area. She is excited about the convenience of of a grocery store in the area.

Some residents fear that the store will threaten the local business in the area. Shervin Dadkhahi-Poor is hopeful about the increased traffic in the area according to an interview from News Channel 3 in April.

“I just hope the intent stays good and we keep Chattanooga original.” says Dadkhahi-Poor.

Johnson agrees that the convenience store could threaten the local novelty of the area, but believes that the increased traffic for businesses could out-weigh that risk in the long run.

Mary Alice Ozment, a Signal Mountain resident, says that a grocery store is an essential part of a community, and she thinks Publix can offer this to the North Shore area.

The ordinance to use wall tie-backs in the construction originally appeared at the February 18th meeting of Chattanooga City Council. It then was approved on the 25th. City Council members Sally Robinson and Deborah Scott said they believe it will “raise property values and bring in new sales and property tax collections” according to a 2012 interview by the Chattanoogan.

Other Publix locations in the area include:

  1. Creek Plantation Village
    5928 Hixson Pike Ste 112
    Hixson,  TN  37343-4839
  2. Hurricane Creek
    8644 E Brainerd Rd
    Chattanooga,  TN  37421-8325
  3. Snow Hill Village
    5958 Snow Hill Rd Ste 168
    Ooltewah,  TN  37363-7834
  4. Mouse Creek Crossing
    635 Paul Huff Pkwy NW
    Cleveland,  TN  37312-2970

You can find a location closer to you with the Publix Store Locator.

Frigid Temperatures Don’t Frighten Students

By: Megan Montgomery

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) — Our city has experienced some of the coldest temperatures in years this winter, but even the presence of Jack Frost doesn’t deter the outdoor desire of a true Chattanoogan.

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A student captured this frozen falls on a trail at Lookout Mountain

According to some students, the outdoor culture and opportunities in Chattanooga are part of the allure of UTC. Students are travelling from all across the state to attend school and live in the land of Moon Pies, mountains, and a multitude of Rock Creeks.

Junior Ethan Buyer says he gets outdoors at least once a week. In the last month, he has fought the treacherous temperatures while hiking, climbing, and backpacking.

“Sometimes the weather is the adventure,” says Buyer, who spent the Martin Luther King holiday hiking miles of snow covered paths on the Appalachian Trail.

Freshman Abigale Lawrence especially enjoys hiking when the weather is warmer, but she hasn’t let the cold drive her inside for the season. She embraced the wintry weather with her friends last week when campus was covered in snow.

Junior Luke Johnson hiking a snowy trail

Junior Luke Johnson hiking a snowy trail

The cold conditions call for many different kinds of preparations, but some activities are more enjoyable in the cold according to Junior Luke Johnson. When climbing in warm weather, he says, humidity and sweat can cause more moisture on the rock making it harder to climb. The cold weather creates a natural grip for climbers.

Although, frozen temperatures are not every student’s cup of tea. In this case, the Aquatic and Recreation Center (ARC) and UTC Outdoors offer a range of opportunities to get moving and get outside. Senior Emma Tinius  exercises at the ARC three times a week to stay out of the cold.

“I prefer working out in the ARC when it’s cold outside. It’s just harder to find a machine to use because it’s crowded.” says Tinius.

photo by Joakim Roth

photo by Joakim Roth

UTC Outdoors encourages students to get outside by offering trips all throughout the semester for students to participate in such as:

  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Caving
  • Kayaking
  • Climbing
  • Hiking
  • Sky Diving

Chattanooga is a natural sanctuary no matter the weather, and UTC students are always diligent to stay active and appreciate the sights and surroundings of our city.

 

8 Things to Know About Octomom

By: Megan Montgomery

LOS ANGELES (AP/UTC The Loop) — Much has transpired since Nadya Suleman became “Octomom” by giving birth to eight premature but otherwise healthy children on Jan. 26, 2009. She’s gone from medical marvel — hers are the only known full set of octuplets to live past their first week — to national punch line for her various money-generating efforts

The 38-year-old single mother of 14 children (she had six before the octuplets) has been a porn actress, nude model, celebrity boxer and birth-control pitchwoman as she’s struggled to support herself and her children. She’s lost a home to foreclosure, teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and fought with nannies and others who tried to help her, leaving in her wake a string of publicists, lawyers and good-Samaritan types who no longer want to talk about her.

Suleman was back in the headlines earlier this month when she was charged with welfare fraud. She pleaded not guilty and is free on her own recognizance pending a pretrial hearing next month.

Despite all the attention she’s generated, Suleman has kept her octuplets largely out of the public eye and shared little about them. As they turn 5, here are eight things to knowabout “Octomom:”

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Octomon with her children after they were born in 2009

1) BEFORE SHE WAS OCTOMOM: Suleman worked for a state mental hospital in 1999 when she said she suffered a back injury during an inmate riot. She went on to collect more than $165,000 in disability payments and used some of the money to help pay for in-vitro fertilization treatments that produced her first six children. She has a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development from California State University, Fullerton, and was studying for a master’s in counseling when she became pregnant with the octuplets.

2) THE DOCTOR: All 14 of Suleman’s children were born through IVF treatments provided by Beverly Hills physician Dr. Michael Kamrava. He faced harsh criticism when it was learned he implanted 12 embryos that resulted in the octuplets. Medical guidelines recommend no more than two embryos. Kamrava said he was trying to please an insistent patient. The California Medical Board revoked his license, citing gross negligence.

3) NAME GAMES: Suleman picked Biblical names for all eight of her octuplets: Noah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Josiah, Isaiah, Makai, Nariyah and Maliyah. All have the same middle name, Angel. No explanation was given for why Suleman chose to spell their last names Solomon. But then no explanation was given for why she altered her own first name from Natalie to Nadya, something discovered only this month when she was charged.

4) SHE SUPPORTS BIRTH CONTROL — FOR DOGS AND CATS: In 2010 People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals paid Suleman $5,000 to endorse spaying and neutering for pets. The organization also provided a month’s supply of vegetarian hot dogs and hamburgers.

5) CELEBRITY BOXING STAR: Suleman launched a short-lived boxing career in 2011, explaining she was stepping into the ring with a string of D-List celebrities because she was broke. Her opponents included “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher, who became famous for shooting her much older lover’s wife in the face in 1992. Suleman won decisions over Fisher and a Florida bartender, but took a pounding from Philadelphia radio personality Jen Posner, though the referee ruled the bout a draw.

6) ON THE MOVE: The house Suleman bought after the birth of her octuplets was put on the auction block in 2012 after she defaulted on a loan. She tried to save it by filing for bankruptcy but a judge dismissed the case when she never completed the paperwork. She has gone on to live in rental houses.

7) AWARD-WINNING ACTRESS: Suleman’s porn video, “Octomom Home Alone,” won the 2013 AVN Award for Best Celebrity Sex Tape, the adult film industry’s equivalent of an Oscar.

8) WHO’S THE FATHER? Suleman, who was married from 1996 to 2008, has never publicly identified the father of any of her children. She has said it wasn’t her ex-husband, but a friend who donated the sperm used to create the 60 embryos that authorities say Kamrava implanted in her over the years.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Missing Memphis Baby

By: Megan Montgomery

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP/UTC The Loop) — Police have suspended the search for a missing 7-week-old girl who disappeared under suspicious circumstances in northeast Memphis.

Over the weekend, the Memphis Police Department said the search for Aniston Walker was suspended. It lasted three days. Officers used cadaver dogs near the home where the baby lived with her mother and two siblings, but they had no results.

According to police, the baby’s mother, 33-year-old Andrea Walker, said she left the baby at home with her 3-year-old son while she took her 5-year-old son to school Thursday. When she returned, the baby was gone, but the 3-year-old was still in the house.

Walker was due in court Monday morning to be arraigned on charges of aggravated abuse and neglect. Police say they consider her a suspect in the disappearance.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.