How Has the Recession Affected American Citizens?

By: Ashley King 

CHATTANOOGA (UTC)–Pantry food staples such as milk and eggs are more costly than ever, and the number of Americans receiving food stamps are at a record high. The depth and severity of the economic recession in the United States has caused many US citizens to be affected either directly or indirectly, resulting in a nation of fear.

Gross Domestic Product, employment, business profits, investment spending, business profits and households income all fall during time of economic recession. Many US citizens have experienced significant decreases in 401K plans, mutual funds, and other accounts during this time of economic downfall. 

Patsy Sutton, 67, said that her elderly mother, 89, has seen a vast decrease on her mutual fund statements over the past 6 months, losing over half of her life savings. This is a significant issue because people that have saved their whole lives can’t afford to get the medical care they need because the economy is in such poor condition.

According to Barack Obama, more than 600 thousand people have lost their jobs since January and according to other sources the number of people unemployed is actually higher. 

Highly qualified people are looking for jobs and being demoted to lower-level job opportunities. College students that are seeking to find internships are actually having a difficult time because of all the people that are applying for internships just to boost their resume before entering back into the work force.  


Unemployment is the highest it has been in decades.

Unemployment is the highest it has been in decades.

“Because of the recession, it makes hard to even find free work at an internship said MTSU student, Lynsey King, 23.


People that haven’t lost their jobs have encountered other problems with the economy. 51-year-old Mike Arnold says that working off commission in the housing industry has been a big disadvantage in this time of financial strain, because people just are building houses until the housing market turns back around. 

A famous philosopher, George Santayana, once said “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This quote refers to the economic standing in the United States because decades ago the recession led to a The Great Depression. 

United States Government officials are working around the clock to fix the United States economy. “How long will the recession last, and will get it worse?” is a question asked by American citizens everyday. It will take everyone working together to pull this economy back to its full potential. 

Although this time of recession is a time of economic slowdown, it could also be viewed as a time of opportunity. According to the Associated Press, Barack  Obama stated that although it will still take a lot of hard work to turn the economy around the economy has begun to show “glimmers of hope.”

Barack Obama on the Economy 

Mother Charged after Abandoned Sons Found in Sequatchie County

By: Ashley King

DUNLAP, Tn (UTC)–Two boys were found abandoned in a Sequatchie County home Sunday, March 22 around 1:00pm after a blaze had been set by the nine year old boy found in the home.

Nichole Manery surrendered at the Sequatchie County Justice Center Wednesday March 25 around 1:30pm after a search went on for several days.

Sequatchie County Map

Sequatchie County Map

Dunlap Volunteer Fire Department responded to the brush fire Sunday in the area of 49 Old State Highway 8. Officers went to the child’s home to speak with the parents, when officials discovered that the nine year old and his 11 year old brother had been abandoned by their mother for at least three days.

The mother was identified as 31 year old Nichole Manery. She reportedly had left with her boyfriend, identified as 30 year old Christopher Pugh, in a black 1976 Chevy Pick-Up, bearing TN tag number 104-TDS, three days earlier.

Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock says the boys were caring for their mentally challenged, handicapped adult uncle and had only eaten one meal, bologna sandwiches, while they were alone. One officer immediately went to buy food for the victims while the other officials investigated.

There was no food found anywhere in the residence, the children had no money, and there was no phone available.

In addition to neglect and abandonment, Officers discovered both illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the residence.

The children were released to Child Protective Services, after they were found caring for their handicapped uncle.

Nichole Marney

Nichole Manery

Manery has been charged with two counts of Child Abuse, Neglect and Endangerment and one count each for Simple Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Christopher Pugh is still being sought is is charged with Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia.

No charges were filed against the nine year old boy in regards to starting the fire.

Authorities believe Mr. Pugh may still be in the black 1976 Chevrolet pickup truck he and Ms. Manery were last seen driving. Anyone with information on Mr. Pugh’s whereabouts should contact the Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Department at 423-949-7750 or the Sequatchie County E-911 Center at 423-949-9912.

Video Link of WRCB News Channel 3 

Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Office News

Mother Charged After Young Sons Found Abandoned- Knox News

Supergirls Speak Out

Supergirls Speak Out

By: Danielle Wright and Ashley King 

CHATTANOOGA (UTC)– UTC organizations came together bringing an inspiring, break out author to speak on campus aimed towards reaching overachieving women on our campus.  Liz Funk is a speaker, journalist and author who focuses on Generation Y young women and the pressures they feel to be perfect.

 Liz, who will graduate from Pace University in May, spoke on how to identify your inner “Supergirl” and find yourself. Funk defines a Supergirl as young women who feel the pressure to be everything- a straight “A” student, a perfect daughter and friend, the prettiest girl around, the most fun girl at the party, all while being a master at everything she attempts.

A large number of UTC women turned out to meet Funk and hear her advice on how to recognize their inner worth. That number included many Greek women at UTC. The room was full with women who balance their social life, academic life, personal relationships and responsibilities.

Liz studied close to a hundred women. She compiled her thoughts and others’ in her recently released book named Supergirls Speak Out.  In it, she talks about the inability for some young women to be media literate and recognize the line between information and entertainment and how in the past there was a more flexible female ideal.  

Funk recognizes that women are surrounded by media influence. She brought up the Hollywood lives on the women in “Gossip Girl” and how they affect collegiate women.

Funk challenged the room by asking, “ Why are the girls who are the most entitled dumbing it down by night?” She pointed out that the transition from high school to college is the highest rise in substance abuse among women. She also said a woman’s view on substance abuse in college reflects on her views later in adult life. 

UTC got a glimpse of fame after Funk mentioned her time in Chattanooga in her blog where she wrote, “I was amazed to see that 150 people–many of them sorority women–came to see me give a lecture about my research for Supergirls Speak Out.  I had an amazing time–Chattanooga is SO beautiful–and I’m completely in love with the south now.”

The UTC Women’s Center is working to promote an equitable and empowering environment for all UTC students faculty and staff. Sara Peters, Director of UTC Women’s Center, brought Funk to campus to encourage personal growth within the women on UTC’s campus. 

For more information on UTC’s Women’s Center and outreach programs contact Sara Peters at 425-5605.




Peanut Corporation of America Refuses to Testify to Congress

By: Ashley King

WASHINGTON (AP/UTC)– The owner of a Peanut Corporation refused to testify to Congress after he pleaded with federal health officials that he should be able to  “turn the raw peanuts on the floor into money.”

The Salmonella outbreak has been the possible result of 9 death, made nearly 600 people ill, and has brought over 1,800 items to a product recall. Stewart Parnell, Owner of Peanut Corp. of America, invoked his right to hold a hearing on the national salmonella outbreak blamed on his company. 

“Their behavior is criminal, in my opinion. I want to see jail time,” said Jeffrey Almer, whose 72-year-old mother died Dec. 21 in Minnesota of salmonella poisoning after eating Peanut Corp.’s peanut butter.  Other relatives of victims urged lawmakers to approve mandatory product recalls and improve public notice about contaminated food.

Parnell sat stiffly, his hands folded in his lap at the witness table, as Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., held up a clear jar of his company’s products wrapped in crime scene tape and asked him if he would be willing to eat the food.

“Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, on advice of my counsel, I respectively decline to answer your questions based on the protections afforded me under the U.S. Constitution,” Parnell said.

In January after the national outbreak was tied to his company, Parnell told FDA workerst that his company “desperately at least need to turn the raw peanuts on our floor into money.” He also told his plant manager to “turn them loose” after products once deemed contaminated were cleared in a second test.

“Obviously we are not shipping any peanut butter products affected by the recall but desperately at least need to turn the raw peanuts on our floor into money,” he wrote. “We have other raw peanuts on our floor that we would like to do the same with.”

Charles Deibel, president of Deibel Laboratories Inc., said his company was among those that tested Peanut Corp. products and notified the Georgia plant that salmonella was found. Peanut Corp. sold the products anyway, according to an FDA inspection report.

“What is virtually unheard of is for an entity to disregard those results and place potentially contaminated products into the stream of commerce,” Deibel said.

Deibel said he hopes the crisis leads to a greater role for FDA in overseeing food safety and providing more guidance to food makers.

The Peanut Corp. of America now makes only about 1 percent of U.S. peanut products. But its ingredients are used by dozens of other food companies. The company is currently under FBI investigation.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Rock Climber’s Found Dead on Suck Creek Mountain

By: Ashley King

CHATTANOOGA (AP/UTC)–A Chattanooga resident was found dead Wednesday at the foot of Suck Creek Mountain in Hamilton County after what appears to be an accidental fall. 

A relative found 23-year-old, Jesse David Brude, inside Prentice Cooper State Park. Brude had left for his climbing trip Monday.


 "Mountain comparable to Suck Creek Mountain located in Prentice Cooper State Park"

"Mountain comparable to Suck Creek Mountain located in Prentice Cooper State Park"

According to relatives he had plenty of experience and equipment. and he was apparently climbing alone.

“Something just went wrong,” said Dusty Stokes, Hamilton County Sheriff Sgt. 

AP Copyright 2009

2009 Brings Change for UTC Housing Department

By: Ashley King

CHATTANOOGA (UTC)–The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga works hard each year to create a comfortable, yet affordable residence life for incoming and existing students. Due to an increase in economic living expenses and an increase in student enrollment UTC Housing is looking to make a few changes in the 2009-2010 school year. 

According to Steven Hood, Director of Housing, during the 2008-2009 school year housing rates ranged from $1,735  to $3,231 per semester, but with a 20% increase in electricity and a 5% increase in cable this year students should expect a 4%-5% increase in housing costs in the fall.  Although many face tough circumstances with the economic crisis,  housing officials do not believe the increase will have a huge impact financially on housing projects. 

“We want to be good fiscal stewards by making sure that we will sustain both the campus and housing enrollment before building additional housing,” said Hood.  Additional housing has been considered but there are no specific plans to build so at this time. 

Probasco South Campus, previously known as UTC Place, is still owned by the UC Foundation. UTC was asked to manage the housing that they own. This major change became effective January 1st. Students can now pay for South Campus Housing through the Bursar’s Office along with other tuition and fees. 

UTC officials managing South Campus Housing hope to create some changes to campus life to deliver a consistent campus experience to each student, regardless of where they live. 

“Housing is set on making sure students feel comfortable here on campus by creating a second home here on campus,” said Alex Cooze, RA in Johnson Obear Apartments. 

970 Campus Housing Residents made the Fall 2008 Dean’s List, an increase of more than 160 students from Fall 2007. 

“This is a truly wonderful accomplishment and worthy of recognition,” Hood stated as he congratulated these students. 

Students are encouraged to check their UTC email on a regular basis and pay attention to campus flyers around campus so they can be aware of updates on signing up for housing for the 2009-2010 school year.

Room Renewal Dates for Current Residents include:

  • February 5-6     Where residents can change room within the same building
  • February 9-10   Where residents can move to any available bed space anywhere on campus
Annual Scholar’s Residence Program
  • February 16       

2009-2010 Housing Contracts

Rising Utility Costs Increase Housing Department Expenses

UTC Student Housing

Obama Forced by Top Chefs to Improve Food Policy

By Ashley King 

WASHINGTON (UTC/AP)–Top chefs from all over the US traveled to Washington for Obama’s inauguration with high hopes that Obama’s taste for good food will encourage people to feast on food out of the ordinary. 

While President Bush rarely dined out, Obama enjoys exploring different foods, according to Rick Bayless, the chef of the restaurant, Topolobampo. Bayless says, by looking at his table manners, Obama is clearly there to enjoy himself.  “What I’m hoping is that he’s going to recognize that we need to do what we can in our country to encourage real food for everyone,” Bayless said. 

These chefs seek to cook food with the finest, locally grown, and most nutritional ingredients available on the market. They encourage restaurants to shop at local farmers markets, or even grow their own vegetables. 

Many chefs believe that American food is grown with no caution on what its doing to our environment and it’s over processed and not safe for people to consume. This actually makes it hard for local owned farmers to sell their health foods at high profit because food is available processed, yet cheaper. 

Dan Barber, Chef at New York’s popular Blue Hill restaurant, hopes that Michelle and Barack Obama will advertise the healthy foods they are feeding their children because good food needs more publicity. 

Barber cooks fresh food grown at his own local farm.

Although most chefs realize that government support for better food policy will take time, they have dozens of suggestions to improve the policy. 

Publicity on what you eat can go a long way. 

“Everyone’s going to want to be like the Obamas,” Bayless said. 


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press


Michelle Obama makes Inaugural Fashion Statement

By Ashley King

WASHINGTON (UTC/AP)–Michelle Obama proved to America that she was ready to dress like the 44th First Lady during the Inauguration Tuesday as she showed support for new designers apparel. 

Obama wore an ensemble to the inaugural ceremony that exceeded expectations from the public compared to previous clothing she has worn in the past. Her attire during the ceremony was made of a lemongrass-yellow and the public was very pleased by her appearance.

Michelle Obama wore accessories to emphasize her day look by dressing up her ensemble with J.Crew green gloves and Jimmy Choo green patent leather pumps.

“Her support means so much to designers who can’t afford to advertise,” said Nicole Phelp, executive editor at

Obama’s attire at the rounds of balls Tuesday night was designed by upcoming designer Jason Wu, 26. She wore a stunning white gown dotted with beads and covered with fabric petals. 

“I wanted it to look like a sign of hope,” Wu said. 

Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan also wore white inaugural gowns. The gown will be donated to the Smithsonian, according to tradition. 

“She’s a modern woman who is fashionable and even flamboyant in her style and she is still taken seriously,” said red-carpet and magazine stylist Mary Alice Stephenson.

AP Copyright 2009