Warden to Check Consciousness in Execution

By Molly Farrell


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/UTC) — Prison warden Ricky Bell says he is prepared to check an inmate for consciousness during an execution despite a lack of medical training.

His qualifications to ensure the inmate is properly sedated will be at the center of court hearings in Davidson County Chancery Court. The hearings were ordered by the Tennessee Supreme Court after all scheduled executions were put on hold.

Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman last month decided the current three-drug method of execution put inmates at risk of death by suffocation during a legal challenge brought by death row inmate Stephen West.

In response to Bonnyman’s concerns that the inmate may still be conscious, the state added a provision that would require the warden to perform checks for consciousness during the process.

The Tennessee Supreme Court put West’s execution, scheduled for last Tuesday, on hold as well as upcoming executions for three other inmates while Bonnyman considers whether the warden is qualified to determine whether an inmate is unconscious.

Bell, who is the warden at Nashville’s Riverbend Maximum Security Institution where Tennessee executions are carried out, told The Tennessean he is comfortable with the change required by the court, which would have him brush his hand over an inmate’s eyelashes and gently shake the inmate.

“I feel comfortable that I can do what the court has asked of me,” Bell said. “Our staff just adjusts to what we’re asked when it comes to the executions. It’s something that we do. It’s in our mission.”

West’s attorneys argued during hearings held last month that three-drug lethal injection procedure does not adequately anesthetize prisoners, violating the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Bonnyman said in her ruling that the 5 grams of sodium thiopental, the first drug meant to render the inmate unconscious, was insufficient. She said the state should adopt some method to determine whether the inmate was awake before being injected with the second drug, a paralyzing agent.

Under the new rules, if the warden determines the inmate is still conscious after the first injection, he will order a second injection of sodium thiopental.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Chattanooga Consignment Boutiques are THE Place for Great Deals

By Molly Farrell


With the holidays looming, shoppers are looking for ways to save money, especially college students. Consignment and resale shops are the answer to financial woes for those who are looking for an inexpensive way to wear the season’s hottest trends”

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC) — For many students and other bargain hunters, consignment and resale shops are the best place to find name brand clothes at a fraction of the selling price.

Chattanooga is home to a number of these popular places. Plato’s Closet, a young men and women’s store that sells gently worn items, is a popular place for students to find inexpensive steals on the latest styles.

Whether it’s a night out or a change of season, consignment clothing stores are a favorite for Alexandra Gellis, UTK junior. “I love Plato’s Closet because they have a little of everything; if I am in a hurry to find a dress or something to go out in, I always look there first.”

For the more designer-conscious, Encore Consignment, owned by Sherry Gravitt, has a plethora of top designer clothing at unbeatable prices.  Encore also has a great selection of women’s suits and dresses for those with a more subtle attire.

If vintage is what you’re looking for, Collective Clothing, located in the heart of St. Elmo, is the perfect place to find unique pieces.

Sondra Aten, owner of Collective Clothing, says her purpose for opening the store was to give Chattanoogan’s a unique shopping experience. ” I wanted to give people in Chattanooga an opportunity to be able to purchase [vintage clothing] without having to drive to Nashville or Atlanta.”

Sondra explains the driving force behind resale shops is availability. “I try to find more unique things that are timeless, rather than ‘fast fashion’, that just comes in and out.” Consignment shops thrive on customer participation like bringing in new items to sell.

Plato’s Closet, Encore Consignment, and Collective Clothing are just some of the resale shops Chattanooga has to offer.

Who: Plato’s Closet                                                                    

Where: 2200 Hamilton Place Blvd, Chattanooga, TN

Sells: Gently used young men and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories

Hours: Monday-Friday 10 am-9 pm, Saturday 10 am-10 pm, Sunday 12 pm-8 pm


Plato’s Closet of chattanooga offers consignment clothing at great prices.  The store is organized by racks of jeans, shirts, jackets, and dresses in a variety of colors and sizes.

They also sell a wide selection of gently used shoes and accessories for both men and women.

Plato’s takes name brand clothing items that are gently used (no tears, holes or stains) for a reasonable cash payout. Most stores take clothing year round, not just seasonal clothing.

Positives: Great selection of clothing for both genders, new merchandise arrives daily

Negatives: Pays customers only a fraction of the selling cost for consigned clothing, does not recognize designer brands

Who: Encore Consignment Boutique

Where: 11500 Hixson Pike, Suite C, Chattanooga, TN

Sells: Upscale ladies apparel and accessories

Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 11 am-4:30 pm, CLOSED Sunday and Monday


Encore Consignment carries primarily upscale ladies apparel, including dresses, suit pieces, and designer accessories. The store has been awarded by the Chattanooga Times Free Press as “readers choice” since 2002.

Encore only takes clothing that is of a designer brand and in excellent condition, and primarily buys from consignors.

Positives: Great selection of high fashion designer brands, pricing is very reasonable

Negatives: Store is very small and crammed, most clothing is geared towards an older crowd

Who: Collective Clothing                                                                

Where: 3933 St. Elmo Ave, Chattanooga, TN

Sells: Vintage/Unique clothing and accessories

Hours: Monday-Friday 1 pm-8 pm, Saturday 11 am-8 pm, CLOSED Sunday


Collective Clothing has something for everyone. The small store is crammed with vintage pieces mixed with new, trendier clothing.

Collective offers a wide selection for both men and women, and the clothing is organized into type and size.

The back of the store features a small room of accessories, and shoes from every decade can be found along the walls. The vintage, thrifty feel of the establishment is a far cry from most clothing stores.

Positives: Great selection of vintage pieces/ unique styles

Negatives: The prices are on the high side for older pieces, some clothing shows signs of wear


Chattanooga Skatepark Unpopular with Older Patrons

By Molly Farrell


Chattanooga’s only skatepark leaves some visitors wanting an alternative. An indoor park is in the works to meet the needs of advanced skaters.  The new park offers thousands of feet of skating space and obstacles.

Chattanooga, Tenn. (UTC/ TheLoop) — Chattanooga boasts popular attractions like the aquarium and numerous hiking trails, but for skateboarding fans, the city is bleak.

In Chattanooga and the surrounding area there is only one skateboard park for visitors and residents. Deemed Chatt Town Skatepark, the site offers both a skatepark and roller hockey rink.

The park is run by the city of Chattanooga and features ramps and boxes for rollerbladers, skateboarders, and BMX riders.

Stephen Sherwood, a visitor of the park, is disappointed with Chattanooga’s slim offerings for skateboarding.  “You really only have a choice between the one skatepark or the street, and that’s really dangerous,” he says. ” They definitely need to build another one.”

Though the park is popular, its many rules and a costly entrance fee keep some from visiting more regularly.  Visitors must pay $8 to skate; the park does offer a $50 membership, but each visit costs an extra $2.

The park also requires a signed waiver for under 18 skaters, and a helmet must be worn at all times by all ages.

Stephen Sherwood, who is 20, thinks the helmet rule is unnecessary. “I’ve been to other parks that don’t make you pay a fee or wear a helmet. The feeling there is much more casual. Why should you have to wear a helmet if you’re over 18? I just don’t get it,” he says.

Plans for an indoor park in Chattanooga are in place under a popular rock climbing facility, 801 Riverfront. The park will offer 20,000 feet of ramps, bowls, boxes, and rails. Visit this website for more info.

West Tennessee Post Office Shooting Leaves Two Dead

By Molly Farrell


HENNING, Tenn. (AP/UTC) — Two gunmen opened fire Monday at a post office in a rural West Tennessee town that was home to “Roots” author Alex Haley, killing two workers during what a survivor and authorities described as an attempted robbery.

The shooting happened Monday morning at the post office in Henning, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department said. Officers were searching for a maroon Chevrolet Malibu with two men inside, and no arrests have been made.

District Attorney Mike Dunavant said the case involved “disturbing violence” but did not elaborate.

The post office, which sits between a self-service car wash and a coin-operated laundry called “Mom’s” in this town of about 1,200 people, often has residents coming in to pick up their mail. Home delivery isn’t provided in Henning, some 45 miles northeast of Memphis.

Beth Barnett, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said that five people usually work in the post office but that she was not sure how many were there at the time of the attack.

Mary Hammock, who works at a nearby market, said Monday afternoon that she had been in the post office about 8:25 a.m. and noticed it was not as loud or busy as normal.

“I knew something didn’t feel right because it was real quiet,” she said. She returned to the market and heard police sirens about 15 minutes later.

“I might have been real close probably to losing my life,” she said.

Around midday, plainclothes investigators were scanning the area along a railroad track that sits behind the post office. Lines of yellow police tape kept people away from the building as a crowd gathered nearby, some sitting in chairs, waiting for more information about what happened.

Crime scene investigation trucks were parked outside, including one from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Ella Holloway, who lives within walking distance of the post office, said she knew one of the women killed. Holloway said she would be greeted by the woman’s smile when she went to the post office to buy stamps.

“She was a real nice person,” Holloway said.

Tony Burns, a state employee at the Tennessee Capitol in Nashville, said his sister-in-law is a postal service worker who was assigned to the Henning office Monday. She told him that the shooting happened during a robbery attempt, but that she escaped unharmed. The sheriff’s department also said earlier in the day that the incident may have been a robbery.

Standing on a street corner near the post office, city resident Emmitt Hennings, a 71-year-old retiree, said it was hard to comprehend what happened.

“I just couldn’t believe it, not in this town,” Hennings said. “It’s too quiet.”

Postal officials offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

The post office is less than a half-mile away from the museum dedicated to the “Roots” author Haley, who died in 1992. The 1976 book won a Pulitzer Prize and was the basis for a top-rated TV series. The story chronicled his family history from Africa to slavery and freedom in the U.S., and it inspired many people to research their own families’ roots.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

HES of Chattanooga Aims to Give Homeless Pets a Bright Future

By Molly Farrell



CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop) — There are many organizations in Chattanooga that strive to help pets, but none claim to be as dedicated as the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga.

Executive Director, Guy Bilyeu, says the center first opened in the early 1900’s. “It’s been open a hundred years, and this year was our 100th-year anniversary. We had a celebration this past April.”

The facility acquires almost 15,000 pets each year. Currently, it houses over 500 pets. “We keep more animals than anyone I know of in the region,” says Bilyeu.

The main goal of the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga is to find lost and abandoned animals safe homes.  The shelter advocates spay and neuter and even has a free program for qualifying residents.

More information about the free program and others are on the group’s website.

The society maintains a reasonable fee of $85 to adopt a dog or cat. The fee includes spay or neuter, all necessary shots, a microchip, and deworming if necessary.

The Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga has many unique and special programs to offer Chattanooga residents. They have a special program in December for the holidays called the Tree of Hope, where adoptions are free.

On October 10, the society will host Paws in the Park, a dog walk to raise money for HES at the Baylor School. Information on both programs can also be found on the website.

Neil Young’s New Sound

By Molly Farrell


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/UTC/TheLoop) — Some of your louder rock ‘n’ roll bands can make the Ryman Auditorium floorboards rattle a little. Few, though, have shaken the pews like Neil Young with just his electric guitar.

Young has been known to make a racket with a distinctive guitar sound that has influenced two generations of musicians. The low rumble he sent through the foundation at the Ryman in June, employing the technology he used on his new Daniel Lanois-produced album, “Le Noise,” was something very different, however. In the audience, the air seemed to vibrate — as well as the listener’s ribcage.

“Even though it was shaking the building it wasn’t loud enough to hurt you,” Young said recently in a phone interview from California.

It was that sound that drew Young to Lanois, whose all-star collaboration list includes U2, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel. Lanois has given over his Los Angeles mansion to the pursuit of new sounds: Many of the rooms are crammed with gear, set up to make something unique and new. Young was immediately intrigued when he plugged into the elaborate system built by Lanois and engineer Mark Howard.

“The house is alive,” Young said. “The music was all through the house.”

What emerged from those recording sessions is new, even for the ever-restless Young. “Le Noise” is full of interesting sounds and experiments, on both acoustic and electric guitars.

In a sense, it’s Young as he first emerged as a performer — alone with his guitar singing about things completely personal and wholly universal. But 45 years worth of technological advances make it a very different experience. Lanois’ setup allows Young to inhabit all the spaces that a band would — high guitar notes, low bass notes, the rhythm, the melody — simultaneously.

“We might’ve just reinvented rock ‘n’ roll to a degree, to have it just being one person and for the record to have all that power; it’s something, man,” Lanois said. “It’s the opposite to where other people are going. Most rock records now are just piling more stuff on top and compressing it more and (equalizing) it more. Well, we went the other way. We decided to feature the landscape more so you could see what the center of it was.”

At its center, of course, is Young. Two of the 64-year-old’s three most recent albums of new material have carried heavy messages about things like electric cars and energy consumption (“Fork in the Road”) and the Bush administration (“Living With War”). Young acknowledges “Le Noise” is much more personal than those albums, but he’s not going to label it.

“I think it’s a — I don’t know — a spiritual record in some kind of ways,” Young said. “There’s a lot to do with love on the record. Love is in almost every song, and so it had a spiritual layer to it. It’s not trying to do anything. It’s just trying to be itself.”

And on a handful of songs — “Walk With Me,” ”Sign of Love” and “The Hitchhiker” — that description sounds about right.

Other times, it feels like Young is as contrarian and relevant as ever. On “Angry World,” with its looped vocals working like the background noise that fills our lives these days, Young points out, “It’s an angry world for the businessman and the fisherman,” perhaps shining a light on the fight over the oil spill.

“Peaceful Valley Boulevard” is cast in the mold of classics like “Aurora Borealis” and “Cortez The Killer,” showing how mistakes made centuries ago grow and magnify over time until God cried tears that were a “pounding rain” and “a child was born and wondered why.”

And then there’s the brittle and beautiful “Love and War,” on which Young lays down this shocking statement: “When I sing about love and war/I don’t really know what I’m saying.”

Isn’t that a profoundly confusing statement from the artist who gave us “Ohio” and “Impeach the President”?

Young chuckles before answering.

“It’s such a deep subject and there’s really no one answer,” he said. “There’s nobody who really knows. It just seems to be a part of the human condition is to get in wars over and over again for as long as human beings have been around. So I have opinions but I’m not so sure that they’re right.”




Copyright Associated Press 201o.

The Divas Come to Hamilton Place

By Molly Farrell



CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop) —  A delicious new kiosk came to Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga on June 14, 2010. Cupcake Divas, the Cleveland, Tenn. based company, opened their second place of business in the popular mall. Their fun and girly kiosk is hard to miss.

Copyright Cupcake Divas 2010

Daphne Floyd, co-owner, says the Cleveland “cupcakery” was the first to open in Nov. of 2009.  ” It was really my sisters idea to open a cupcake place, I just financed it.  She had been dreaming of it for years.”

The Cupcake Divas offer a wide variety of cupcake flavors, with something for everyone.  Guests can enjoy Grooms Cake, Wedding Cake, Plush Red Velvet, and Birthday cake daily.

The Divas feature a cupcake menu exclusive to each day of the week. Check their website for daily offerings.

Customers can get a taste of cupcake bliss for around $4. The Divas also offer an option to buy a dozen, and fill special orders when requested.

To add to their sweet appeal, the Cupcake Divas won the 2010 “Taste of Hamilton Place” smack-down for best dessert.

Copyright Cupcake Divas 2010

Sept. 25, 2010 the Cupcake Divas and J103, a Chattanooga radio station, will be hosting a tasting event of their confectionary masterpieces at the Hamilton Place location.  Join them from 2-5 PM and sample their exquisite treats.

Want more info about the Divas? Click here.

France’s Sarkozy Targets Illegal Immigrants

By Molly Farrell


BRUSSELS (AP/UTCTheLoop) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy upended a European Union summit to defend his own nation’s honor, vowing Thursday to keep clearing out illegal immigrant camps despite accusations that France is being racist and unfairly targets Gypsies.

The summit was supposed to be a forum for molding a unifying European foreign policy, but it turned into a drama of discord — with the outspoken Sarkozy usurping the podium to preach his policies and lash out at his critics.

Sarkozy said comments by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding that linked the expulsions to the mass deportations of World War II were “disgusting.”

“I am head of the French state. I cannot let my nation be insulted,” Sarkozy told reporters.

The wartime comparison stung many in France and other members of a bloc designed to overcome and prevent the kind of hostilities that divided Europe in the past. France deported some 76,000 Jews from France to Nazi concentration camps, and interned thousands of Gypsies in camps in France during the war.

Sarkozy insisted France’s expulsions of Gypsies, or Roma, are a matter of security and said France doesn’t have to take lessons from anyone, as long as it respects human rights. He called more than 100 Roma camps dismantled in France in recent weeks havens of crime and undignified living conditions.

“We will continue to dismantle the illegal camps, whoever is there,” Sarkozy said. “Europe cannot close its eyes to illegal camps.”

Participants at the summit lunch said emotions flared between Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso over the expulsions. Barroso did not want to comment on his exchange with Sarkozy, brushing off “useless rhetoric or unnecessary controversies.”

“Let’s put this behind us, let’s work now on substance,” he said.

Sarkozy downplayed the exchange. “If there is someone who keeps his calm, and abstains from excessive comments, it is surely me,” said the French leader — who has a reputation for having a volatile temper.

Britain, so often at loggerheads with France over all issues European, backed Sarkozy.

“Members of the Commission have to chose their language carefully as well,” said Cameron, a fellow member of the center-right. He added that “you should, of course have the right to remove people from your country if they are there illegally.”

Reding’s office has said she expressed regret over the wartime comparison, but maintained her threat to take France to court for targeting an ethnic group in the expulsions.

“All heads of state and government said it was profoundly shocking that one would speak in this way, with historical references that were deeply hurtful to the entirety of our compatriots,” Sarkozy said.

“It is an insult, an injury, a humiliation and an outrage,” Sarkozy said, the kind of comment rarely heard about any of the EU’s top officials.

The expulsions of more than 1,000 Roma from France in recent weeks, mainly to Romania, have also highlighted persistent divisions between richer, older EU members and poorer, newer ones.

Romanian President Traian Basescu accused EU leaders of “hypocrisy” over the Roma expulsions to his country, and warned that those expelled from France may quickly return.

“If we are not honestly recognizing this reality, we will not find solutions,” he told reporters in Bucharest.

While Thursday’s tensions centered on the Roma, the EU leaders talked little about them, a group that is among the continent’s poorest, most mistreated minorities.

“What political power do the Roma have in Europe?” Asked Florin Manole of the Center for Roma Studies at Bucharest University. “I doubt things will change, especially as we have an economic crisis.”

Beyond the Roma issue, the government leaders did find unity on some other issues.

They agreed to temporarily waive World Trade Organization tariffs on key Pakistani imports to help boost the flood-devastated country’s economy.

The EU already has committed millions of euros in humanitarian aid to help Pakistan recover from the devastation. It also wanted to craft a long-term strategy to help the country get its economy back on track amid fears Islamic extremists could exploit the crisis to strengthen their hold on northwestern regions close to the border with Afghanistan.

The EU also agreed Thursday to a free trade pact with South Korea that will slash billions of dollars in industrial and agricultural duties, despite some countries’ worries that the auto industry could be hurt by a flood of cheaper cars.

The deal — the first such pact between the EU and an Asian trading partner — will be signed at an EU-South Korea summit on Oct. 6 and come into force on July 1, 2011, said Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere, whose country holds the union’s rotating presidency.

However, it first has to be approved by the EU and South Korean parliaments and European carmakers are still hoping lawmakers will ensure safeguards for their industry.


Associated Press writers Mike Corder in Brussels and Alison Mutler in Bucharest contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

French Cuisine Comes to Chattanooga

Molly Farrell


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop) — A taste of French cuisine came to Chattanooga, Tenn. on Aug. 27.  Crêpe á Delic, a traditional crêperie, was opened by Thompson Galetovic in the North Shore District.

The atmosphere of the quaint restaurant is distinctly European.  Unique local art hangs on the walls while café tables await customers outside. Beautiful stained glass doors line the back wall of the building.

Galetovic describes his restaurant as French cuisine redefined. His love for crêpes began at a young age and grew when he toured Europe with his family.

His idea for a crêpe-based restaurant was sparked by his enjoyment for preparing crêpes for friends and family. He admits the thin French pancakes have always been his favorite food.

“I came up with the idea for this [restaurant] and I came to Chattanooga because I thought it would really work well here. A crêpe restaurant works with the atmosphere.”

The menu at Crêpe á Delic is centered on crêpes.  Both sweet and savory batters are used to prepare the French delights.  The restaurant has a wide selection of crêpes to please any palate.

Some of Crêpe á Delic’s menu items:

  • “The Gnarly” ($5.50) – creamy peanut butter, nutella, banana
  • “Early Bird” ($6.00) – fresh scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and your choice of ham or bacon
  • “The Boot” ($6.50) – mountains of mozzarella, steamed spinach, chunky marinara sauce
  • “The Yo Berry” ($5.50) – refreshing yogurt, blueberries, strawberries

Galetovic plans to add new menu items soon, such as sandwiches and soups.  A dinner menu is also being considered. He promises, “We have different specials daily and weekly.”

For more information about Crêpe á Delic, click here.

New Progress on ARC Additions

By: Molly Farrell
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop) — Completion of exciting new aquatic additions are underway at the ARC. Over 30 truck loads of concrete were poured last Friday for the swimming pool and lazy river. MocsNews reported on the new part of construction.
Trucks came during the early hours of Friday morning to unload the concrete. Although the rebar still shows from the forms, completion is near.
The new facilities will be enjoyed by UTC’s growing number of students. UTC expects the new swimming pool and lazy river to be completed by Spring 2011.