UTC Parking Costs

By: Zandi Richey

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – How much did you spend on parking last year? What about how much do you plan to spend next year?

There are numerous ways to park on campus, from buying a pass to parking in the garage to paying a meter. Regardless of what you choose, you should be prepared to spend money.

Paying meters and parking in the garage are popular options for students not wanting to buy a yearly parking permit

Paying meters and parking in the garage are popular options for students not wanting to buy a yearly parking permit

Parking passes are the most popular way to park on campus. General passes allow parking in any lot marked general, and cost $120 per year. Reserved passes are for specific parking lots only, and give you a better chance at finding a spot. The reserved passes cost $276 per year.

For a full outline of all parking permit costs, click here.

Those not wanting to shovel out hundreds of dollars at the beginning of the year try other options such as meters and the parking garage, but those can be pricey as well.

It costs $1.50 for the two hour limit at most of the meters, and it is imperative to make sure your meter stays filled.

Brent Matthews of Carta Parking said there are about 250 meter spots on campus. At those 250 spots, they wrote 850 meter tickets in March 2013. The tickets are $11 a piece, and go upwards of $40 if not paid on time.

Carta Parking has recently updated the meters so you can pay with a card and even download an app to pay your meter without having to leave class. Jennifer Rudd, senior, said, “The new meters are a huge relief. It still adds up having to pay meters all day, but at least I don’t have to worry about having change all the time.”

The parking garage seems to be a popular option for many students, several of whom say they wait until after the garage closes so they won’t have to pay. It costs four dollars to park in the garage all day.

You can find a map of UTC and parking lots here.

Green Energy For Hixson and East Lake Fire Houses

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – A proposal for geothermal heat pumps in two local fire houses was approved by City Hall March 5th.

The proposal calls for the installation of geothermal heating and cooling units in Fire House 9 in East Lake and Fire House 11 in Hixson.

Greenspaces is located next to Niedlov's Breadworks on Main Street.

Greenspaces is located next to Niedlov’s Breadworks on Main Street.

Fire Chief Randall Parker says there are considerable advantages to using geothermal energy. He  explains that it will reduce costs and cut back dependence on fossil fuels. Parker says, “We are taxpayer funded so anything we can do to control costs is a good thing for the citizens as well as being responsible users of fossil fuels precious natural resources”.

Geothermal energy has become increasingly popular in the area over the years. Hamilton County Schools and Greenspaces have both made the switch.

Greenspaces is a local company located on Main Street. Director Anj McClain says, “I think this is only the beginning of a tremendous environmental change for America and I’m glad Chattanooga is on board”.

McClain ads, “It just makes more sense. To get this building at 70 degrees, we don’t have to start with 30-degree air, we get heat from the already warm earth. It’s much more efficient than standard heating and cooling systems”.

In this way, geothermal pumps move water in and out of the building.

In this way, geothermal pumps move water through pipes to heat and cool the building.

Geothermal pumps work by using the heat inside the earth to cool and warm buildings. Water contained in the pipes absorbs heat to transfer it into the building in the winter and carry heat out in the summer. More information about geothermal energy can be found here.

A complete list of places in Tennessee using geothermal energy can be found by clicking here.





Southern Storms

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP/The Loop) –

Jeff Revette ran from his car and lay face-down in the grass next to the red-brick wall of a church as a tornado roared toward him, with debris scattering and electrical transformers exploding. Twenty seconds later, bricks were strewn across a flattened pickup truck a mere 10 feet away amid toppled trees and power lines.

Revette, a 43-year-old National Guard soldier who returned from a deployment to Afghanistan about a year ago, stood up unharmed. A woman who had been driving the smashed pickup and had taken cover near him was pinned by some insulation and other debris, but she was OK after Revette lifted the wreckage off her.

“It’s just amazing,” he said. “God is real. I am one blessed man.”

The powerful twister tore a path across at least three counties, injuring more than 60 people — but residents marveled that no one died. Officials said several circumstances converged to ensure no lives were lost in what should have been a deadly storm: Sirens and TV broadcasts gave people as much as 30 minutes of warning; the University of Southern Mississippi was emptier than usual because of Mardi Gras; and most businesses were either closed or quiet because it was a Sunday.

Forecasters were able to closely track where the storm was headed and had confirmed reports from both people on the ground and from radar, making it easier to give warning, said weather service meteorologist Chad Entremont.

The sheer scope of the damage made it difficult to do a full assessment. Some 50 roads were closed at one point because of felled trees, downed power lines and debris. About 200 homes and mobile homes were damaged or destroyed, with another 100 apartments left uninhabitable. Several thousand remained without power, though the electricity was expected to be restored to most customers later Monday, Gov. Phil Bryant said.

Bryant said the twister carved a path of destruction roughly 75 miles long, though National Weather Service officials have not yet determined the tornado’s exact path or how long it was on the ground. However, early indications show it was an EF3 tornado with wind speeds reaching 145 mph in parts of Hattiesburg, Entremont said.

This twister was part of a storm cell moving faster than usual, meaning it was likely to cover more ground. Many tornadoes travel just a few miles, Entremont said.

While more tornadoes were not in the forecast, heavy rain was expected into Tuesday. And that could make cleanup efforts even more difficult, said National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Bryant in Jackson, Miss.

On Monday, rain seemed to be adding to the misery as people tried to put tarps over leaky roofs and move belongings to dry ground. Chainsaws could be heard around Hattiesburg as people tried to cut up trees that fell onto homes. Crews were removing debris, but flooding and blocked roads hampered their work.

John Cline was among those trying to salvage his already damaged home as he worked to find a way to shut off a broken pipe filling his house with water. A massive pine tree about 4 feet around split his home nearly in two.

Cline had just gotten home from work Sunday when he turned on the news and realized the tornado was headed his way. He said he opened the back door and could hear the roar, so he ran to a closet in the hallway. He said it wasn’t long before the tree came crashing through the ceiling and landed about 3 feet to his right. He struggled to keep the closet door closed because the wind kept pulling it open.

“I was fighting the tornado,” he said.

On the USM campus, trees were snapped in half around the heavily damaged Alumni House, where part of the roof was ripped away. Windows in a nearby building were blown out, and heavy equipment worked to clear streets nearby in a heavy rain after the worst of the weather had passed.

The university was under a state of emergency and told people to stay away from campus until further notice.

Dot Peek had just arrived home about five minutes before the tornado hit and huddled in her bedroom with her son, adult grandson and other relatives. That bedroom was the only room not substantially damaged by falling trees and debris. The rest of the home was a wreck. Peek’s truck was smashed; boards and debris floated in her swimming pool; a tree crushed her pontoon boat.

Peek heeded the warning of sirens, saying “they don’t go off for nothing. But people who don’t pay attention to them are stupid.”

However, when asked if it was the alarms that saved her family, Peek shook her head and replied: “It’s God. My grandson was praying as loud as he could.”


McConnaughey reported from New Orleans.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Proposal for New Gun Law in Schools

Chattanooga – Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)  – Do you want your teachers carrying a gun?

Bill HB 006 was filed on Jan. 10

A bill filed by Tennessee Representative Eric Watson aims to make that a reality.

If passed, the bill would allow schoolteachers from kindergarten up to twelfth grade to possess a firearm on school property. Watson’s proposition includes specifications such as a requirement for 40 hours of school policy training and the use of frangible bullets.

Brianna Grey, a concerned mother said, “ There are better ways to handle all of this. While it should be okay for them to feel safer what if our kids were able to get a hold of it? And what message does it send?”

Those in favor of the bill argue for the safety it will create.

Katelynn Brooks, UTC Senior and part-time teacher at Battle Academy, says she would feel better about being able to protect her students and herself but would like for the gun to be in the emergency bag in each classroom rather than in personal possession.

Gun legislation is expected to be debated heavily this year, and several bills have already been filed for the state of Tennessee.

For more information, go to http://advocacy.tennessee.edu/ or http://www.capitol.tn.gov/.

Nissan announces all-electric car to be produced in Tennessee

Nashville, Tenn. (AP/The Loop) – The 2013 Nissan Leaf is now being produced in Tennessee.

2012 Nissan Leaf

Nissan announced in a news release on Wednesday that production of the all-electric car had begun in Smyrna, next door to the company’s lithium-ion automotive battery plant.

The new Leaf features faster charging and what will likely be an extended driving range, although that will be determined by Environmental Protection Agency testing.

In addition, 2013 will see a new lower priced entry-level Leaf S grade. Meanwhile, the SL grade will see enhancements like leather-appointed seating and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Nissan Division Vice President and General Manager Al Castignetti said in a news release that the “refinements and enhancements for 2013 hit at the core of customer requests during Leaf’s first two years.”

 Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.