UTC’s Campus Crossroads undergoes renovations

By Laura Milton


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/TheLoop) — From the old murals on the wall from years past, to the photos of alumni Mocs in

Crossroads renovation sign

Crossroads renovation sign

their prime, any UTC student that has been inside the UTC Crossroads can tell that Crossroads holds a lot of memories and history, but Campus Crossroads will soon offer more than nostalgia for UTC students.

UTC’s Campus Crossroads will get a face lift over the summer.  It will be transformed into a new dining facility that offers students the first place on campus that is all-you-can-eat.

In the University’s master plan, there are many improvements for UTC’s future and Crossroads is next on the list.  This coming school year Crossroads will be renovated into a state of the art dining facility offering UTC student the first “All-You-Care-To-Eat dining location.”

There are big changes next year to UTC’s dining plans, not only are meal plans going to change but where you eat will also change.

The University will now offer only four meal plan choices including: “The Unlimited” that allows students to eat as much as they want at Campus Crossroads, “The Weekly” which offers 14 meals per week and $275 Mocs bucks, “The Mocs Block” which offers 160 meals total a semester and $475 Mocs Bucks, and finally the “$600 Club Fund” which is a declining balance where student can eat anywhere that accepts the club fund.

Paige Pertuit, and employee for the University Center expects great things to come from the new Campus Crossroads.  “I think that the University can only improve from this change.”

Some students are excited about the change of the dining style on campus.  Annie Peretz, a Farragut, Tenn. freshman, is interested in the new variety Crossroads has to offer, “I would love to be able to get refills on drinks and food and not have to worry about paying for them every time.”

Outside Campus Crossroads

Outside Campus Crossroads

Other students are not excited about the change, Tiffany Walpole, a Nashville freshman is uninterested about the changes to Campus Crossroads.  “I went to Crossroads once, but I didn’t even buy anything because they don’t accept meal plans.”  Once Walpole learned about “The Unlimited” meal plan she still was not excited to go to Crossroads “I could never eat that much, it’s too expensive anyway, I think I’m going to get the $600 meal plan, so I’m not limited to one place.”

Three of the four new meal plans cost $1312.50, which is much more costly than in years past.  In one semester (which is typically 16 weeks) the total cost of a week of 14 meals is $82 a week with the new system.

The new crossroads will include many different menu choices that students have not seen before in crossroads or even in the UC.  The revamped crossroads will feature a Wood-Fired Pizza place, an International Cuisine option, and a Home Cooked Favorites section for us hungry Mocs.

UTC has made a lot of changes over its 125 years and with the renovations of one of UTC’s most favorable dining locations, Campus Crossroads’ will have a lot to offer for many years to come.




Possible election in Thailand’s future

By: Laura Milton


BANGKOK (AP) — A brief interruption in some television broadcasts Thursday stoked fears of a military coup in Thailand, where an election is expected to be called within weeks, but the government said a satellite glitch was the problem.

A technical difficulty in operating a ThaiCom satellite blacked out signals for several stations over a wide part of the country, Songporn Komolsuradet, an official from the Ministry of Information and Technology, told the TPBS TV network. She said the exact cause of the problem was not immediately clear. The duration of the blackout varied, about a minute to much longer.

It set off jitters that a coup might be underway, because it seemingly confirmed widespread speculation that the military was set to seize power. Taking control of broadcasting outlets is a basic coup tactic, and Thailand’s politically assertive military has made a series of truculent statements and actions this week in a show of strength.

Military coups have been frequent in modern Thailand: 18 of them since the 1930s.

King-Bhumibol-Adulyadej of Thailand

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

Thai politics is in a period of high anxiety as Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is expected to dissolve parliament in the next few weeks for general elections. He said Thursday the elections would be held as planned and he expected the new government to be formed in August.

The election will be the next in a series of battles between opponents and supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in a 2006 coup after being accused of corruption and disrespect to Thailand’s constitutional monarch, 83-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The country has been politically unstable since then, most dramatically last year when the Red Shirts — made up mostly of Thaksin supporters — staged aggressive demonstrations in the middle of Bangkok seeking to drive Abhisit from power. Protest-related violence and the army crackdown that restored order killed about 90 people and injured more than 1,400.

Leaders of the Red Shirt movement just hours before Thursday’s broadcast disruption accused the army of preparing for a coup, citing two military exercises held in the capital this week, along with other actions.

The top brass have all specifically denied planning a takeover.

However, army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has frequently stressed the military’s duty to protect the monarchy. Last week, he ordered a complaint lodged with police charging Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan and two others with lese majeste, alleging they insulted the monarch in speeches at an April 10 rally.

There are fears the army would not accept an election victory by the Puea Thai Party, who are the political allies of the Red Shirts and standard bearers for the cause of Thaksin, who fled into exile before being sentenced to two years for corruption.

Another key Red Shirt leader, Nattawut Saikua, said the army’s recent moves could be seen as registering dissatisfaction over alleged remarks against the monarch, but he claimed he had information that it actually amounted to “the Army’s roll call for preparedness to stage a coup.”

“Some units even announced how soon they could be ready in minutes or hours,” Nattawut said at a news conference, without revealing the source of his information.

Nattawut also claimed a high-ranking Army source said the military has been planning to block the polls because “all signs and polls have concluded that the Puea Thai Party will win the elections.”


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Students could learn from local alumnae, Pam Ladd

By Laura Milton


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) — This UTC alumnae has worked her way up to be a major voice in the city of Chattanooga.

Pam Ladd, the councilwoman for Chattanooga’s City Council’s Public Works Committee is a driven woman.  Locally raised in Hixson, her beginnings were humble says City Scope Magazine.

Starting out as a custodian, she worked her way through college to become an entrepreneur and prominent city figure. She currently presides over District 3, which includes Hixson, Dupont, Northwoods, as well as her current home neighborhood Murray Hills, Chattanooga.gov tells us.

Councilwoman Pam Ladd Photo Courtesy of The Chattanooga City Council

Ladd is a graduate of UTC, earning her masters degree in industrial organizational psychology.  Not only is she the Vice-Chair of the City Council, but she helps the community in many other ways.  She is the president of her own business Custom Custodial, Inc., and acts as the President of her Murray Hills neighborhood’s Neighborhood Association, just to name a few.

In her campaign for District 3 she was supported by the SEIU, or Service Employees International Union, that may have given her that extra push for the lead.  A devoted member of the Democratic Party, Ladd ran for the position in 2009 for District 3.  She defeated opponent, George Patten, by only a slim margin, and has been working hard ever since.

Ladd’s company, Custom Custodial, Inc., was started over 14 years ago.  The business cleans large buildings and schools etc.    It employs over 130 employees, the Chattanoogan.com says.  She used the experience of owning a business as an example of her leadership ability for the election.

Ladd believes that Chattanooga is a growing city.  She proclaimed at her bid launching in 2008, “With opportunities comes responsibility, and I want to be a part of the public conversation in making sure that our City is well prepared for the growth that is coming.”


  • Chattanooga.gov
  • Chattanoogan.com
  • wdef.com
  • seiu205.org
  • City Scope Magazine
  • Timesfreepress.com

UTC gets the OK to purchase Engel Stadium

By Laura Milton


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/TheLoop) — The Chattanooga City Council voted to give UTC the right to use Engel Stadium until the University can officially purchase it in the next few months.

Most students may know of Engel Stadium as the lot where you can park, or play intramurals, but Engel Stadium has an interesting history that student may not know.

Engel was the home to the Chattanooga Lookouts until 1999, until the team moved to AT&T Field downtown.

Earlier this year the stadium was boarded up because of its unsafe conditions.  Tennessee Temple University was the only team that has played on the field since the Lookouts left. However, TTU has had problems with the stadium since that time.

Inside Engel Stadium Photo Courtesy of jacklail.com

Inside Engel Stadium Photo Courtesy of jacklail.com

“I’d say it’s a permanent thing [to close it down] unless somebody comes up with a couple million dollars to fix it up,” Greg Bartley, the Tennessee Temple baseball coach said in a March 2011 Chattanooga Times Free Press article.  But, because of UTC’s interest in buying the stadium it may just get that money it needs to benefit many people in the community.

In 2008, Hamilton County commissioners and the city of Chattanooga gave the UTC the “approval for the University to officially acquire the Engel Stadium property” while Tennessee Temple University sub-leased the stadium for its baseball program.  UTC did not officially own it but they were allowed to improve its conditions for students, such as building an intramural field.

UTC has claimed Engel Stadium for many years, they even list it on the school website under their Administrative Services Buildings page, but now UTC can finally call Engel Stadium a part of the University.

Richard Brown, the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations at UTC, made an appearance at a city council meeting to discuss what the stadium will be used for in the future.

Richard Brown’s soundbite offers a better explanation of the University’s interest and plans for the Stadium.

In the future we can look forward to UTC to improve Engel Stadium so it can continue to be an icon in Chattanooga.






Increased freshman attendance at UTC leaves upperclassmen without a place to live

By Laura Milton


CHATTANOOGA(UTC/The Loop)– It is no secret that housing on UTC’s campus is limited if you ask any student on campus, but this year it has grown even worse with increased freshman acceptance, leaving the university with little options.

When you access the UTC campus housing website a pop-up appears reading “UTC Housing upperclass rooms are currently full for Fall 2011 – Spring 2012.  For waiting list information, click here.” It immediately directs students to a waiting list information page, explaining their options to get a room.

Stophel - UTC place

UTC Place 3000 Building on a typical school day.

Rosie Smith, a Nashville freshman, was one of these students who wanted to return to campus housing, however, she wanted to change complexes, which is how her dilemma began.  Students who wanted to change complexes had to wait until the very last day to register.  But little did Smith know that by the time it was her turn to register all rooms on campus were full, leaving her and her three roommates homeless.  “Our plan at the moment is to live off campus unless we can scheme a way to get back on campus, because FAFSA doesn’t give as much money for when you live off campus.”

All freshmen have to live on campus, meaning there are fewer rooms for upperclassmen that want to live on campus. With the increased enrollment each year, more “freshman only” rooms have to be reserved for the incoming class. Which leaves upperclassmen to find their own place to live.

About 3,000 students live on campus, but the UTC spring 2010 demographics statistics indicate that 1,966 freshman attended school last year.  That only leaves about 1,000 rooms for the remaining upperclassmen, and even those statistics are outdated.

The university has tried many things to house all students on campus, like putting students in hotels, putting six people to a room in Lockmiller, and talks of renovating Stagmeier Hall.  However, the university may have one more trick up it’s sleeve.

Stephen Turner, an Assistant Resident Director for the university said the UTC has discussed plans of adding another complex.  “[UTC] has a plan for a new complex, it’s not set in stone, but it has been brought up.”

“We are doing all we can to make living on campus a great experience for students, but the university just keeps accepting students and there’s nothing we can do about that.” Turner continues.  Usually all freshman are moved out of the hotel by the Spring semester from transfers and drop-outs.

Along with big changes already made on campus, there may be new changes for next school year.  Turner also explains that “Guerry, or the 1000 building, will be an all freshman apartment beginning in the fall, and that certain floors in each complex will also be all freshman.”

Hopefully, in the future upperclassmen students will have more options than living off campus.

Spring Hill theme park

By: Laura Milton


SPRING HILL, Tenn. (AP) — Aldermen in Spring Hill, Tenn., have agreed for now to annex 200 acres that would be part of a planned $750 million theme park.

But some board members said they need more information about the project before a final vote next month.

Dennis W. Peterson, CEO of Big International Group of Entertainment Inc., earlier this month announced plans for Festival Tennessee that he said would create 15,000 to 20,000 jobs by building a theme park, two resort hotels, restaurants, a charter school and a sports complex designed to lure an NBA team.

According to The Daily Herald of Columbia, Mayor Michael Dinwiddie said the month before the final vote would give the city time to gather credible information from the developer about the project.


Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.columbiadailyherald.com


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


Kip Moore is excited about air-play on the radio

By Laura Milton


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kip Moore long ago got over the jitters playing in front of a live audience. Then he stepped on the Ryman Auditorium stage this week.

With hundreds of country music radio executives from around the nation watching during Universal Music Nashville’s Country Radio Seminar showcase and his first single out March 14, it was arguably the most important performance of his career.

And he had just a little bit over 3 minutes to try and earn spins.

“It had to have been easily the most nerve-racking experience that I’ve ever had, hands down,” Moore said.

Moore nailed it in the Wednesday performance and got an enthusiastic reaction from the crowd. If he persuaded a few program directors to play his new song, “Mary Was the Marrying Kind,” he might just have taken the first step toward superstardom.

Hundreds of country acts make their way to Nashville each year with the same goal as Moore. It’s one of the largest gatherings of country radio executives and almost every major, minor and aspiring country artist roams the halls of the Nashville Convention Center.

No expense is spared wining, dining and wooing coveted airplay, still the golden ring for artists seeking to exploit the reach of the nation’s largest radio format. There’s swag, manicures, exclusive performances, food and a river of booze.

Acts usually travel the country on nomadic radio tours, hitting stations one by one in weeks — or even months — long journeys that Moore described as “emotionally draining.” The fish-in-the-barrel quality of CRS gives artists a unique opportunity to sing for a mass of key contacts.

Kasey Buckley and Amanda Watkins of new duo Miss Willie Brown decided to skip the road work for now and focus on CRS. They want radio executives on their team, and CRS gives them three days to introduce themselves to as many potential teammates as possible.

“We can’t just like hold a meeting with them” Buckley said. “This is everyone we want to have relationships with, build relationships with in one place. So we know they’re going to be here. We dress up, put some makeup on, do some push-ups and come here.”

There is plenty of proof out there that the glad-handing and back slapping works. Radio play remains the most direct way for country acts to reach record and ticket buyers. A No. 1 single can mean millions of dollars and push an act from the bar scene to arenas.

Jason Aldean, whose duet with Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” is the No. 1 song on Billboard’s country chart this week, started attending CRS with producer and mentor Michael Knox long before he had a record deal.

Knox “kind of took me under his wing when I first got to Nashville. I was like his pet or his little brother,” Aldean joked. “He used to take me around and just introduce me to everybody, and he said, ‘Look, if you ever get a recording career, this is what you’re going to have to do. Get used to it.’ So that’s what we did.”

The work — and the quality of his songs — paid off. “Don’t You Wanna Stay” is his sixth No. 1 song and he’s the hottest male act in the genre right now.

For every Aldean, though, there are hundreds of artists who fail to connect for one reason or another. Hit-level radio airplay is hard to come by and it’s almost impossible to gain admittance to the club.

Making it more maddening is no one can really quantify what makes a hit or why certain acts resonate with program directors. The Randy Rogers Band tours relentlessly, just earned its third Academy of Country Music Awards nomination for top vocal group and recently played on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. They have some supporters in radio, but have mostly gotten a lukewarm response despite a reputation as one of country’s best live acts.

Rogers has spent a lot of time trying to figure out what causes that disconnect.

“There is a magic formula,” Rogers said. “I just don’t know what it is.”

Fellow Texan Hayes Carll has been through it all before with little to show for it. He’s built a following on the strength of his live show and the quality of his music. But he marches on with a kind of quixotic optimism in pursuit of a few spins.

“It’s kind of like going to a job interview where you know you’re not going to get the job,” Carll said with a wry smile. “But why not?”

He knows plenty of acts who have given up and doesn’t think that’s the answer either. So he got on a plane at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday after a late-night gig in Houston, played his new song “Chances Are” for the radio executives at the Ryman and hotfooted it back to the airport for a 2:50 p.m. flight to Texas for a show that night.

“I keep thinking the wheels are going to turn and tastes are going to shift, and at some point there’s this whole seedy underworld of country musicians that I like that will get on there some day,” Carll said. “I figured I’d come up, do the deal, at least introduce myself if they don’t know me yet and go home, go back to my life. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll get the call that some radio station somewhere took a chance and played it.”





Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


Leon disappoints Nashvillians

By Laura Milton


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rock band Kings of Leon has been forced to postpone several international tour dates because their drummer is injured

A news release from the band says Nathan Followill’s surgery for a torn right bicep and labrum will force postponements of tours in South Africa and Australia until October and November.

The band will still play a few scheduled dates, including an appearance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 15.

Spokesman Ken Weinstein says Followill hurt himself while working out. The surgery will require several months of rehabilitation, but Followill is expected to play all shows with the band this spring, starting with Cochella and including European dates in May, June and July.

Kings of Leon, made up of Followill, his brothers Caleb and Jared, and cousin Matthew, is up for two Grammy Awards on Feb. 13.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Zodiac Sign Shifting

By Laura Milton


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis astronomy professor said Friday that he’s stunned by the attention he’s getting for suggesting the signs of the zodiac are all wrong.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.