Rock City Holds Earth Dayz

By Reginald Owens


Cherry trees are among the first to bloom in the spring.

Cherry trees are among the first to bloom in the spring.

Lookout Mountain, GA (UTC)— As the spring season settles itself in and the cherry blossoms bloom, Lookout Mountain’s Rock City venue is the place to be as major conservation groups come together for “Earth Dayz”.


Starting April 4th, Rock City Gardens will be hosting “Earth Dayz”, an outdoor event exploiting the wonders of natural fun. As Rock City’s 4, 100 ft. walking trails boasts a flurry of caves, gardens, and rock sculptures, the added entertainment will be a pleasant bonus for attendees.

On the list of activities is the Rock City Birds of Prey Shows, offered three times a day at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. During the shows people will be able to interact with the rare likes of a hawk, an owl, and the majestic bald eagle.

Jim Pfitzer, “Chattanooga’s Storyteller”, will be on duty along with mascots Rocky and the Gnome. On top of that, the Critter Classroom will offer kids hands-on environmental art activities.

Andrew Kean, president of See Rock City, Inc., looks forward to the event.

“As Rock City Gardens partners with conservationists like Jim Pfitzer and John and Dale Stokes with Save Out American Raptors (S.O.A.R.), one of the most wondrous natural settings in the southeast comes to life in new ways,” Kean said.

“Our growing festival and event calendar is a testament to how serious we are about providing high level cultural entertainment to our hundreds of thousands of guests, all while creating memories worth repeating.”


Rock City is hosting an Earth Day celebration.

Rock City is hosting an Earth Day celebration.

As Rock City is largely committed to recycling, they have teamed up with Orange Grove Recycling for the second year. Orange Grove will provide park-wide recycling pickup during the Earth Dayz event.


Beginning the first week of April, event times and dates are as follows:

·      April 4-12; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

·      April 16-19; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

·      April 23-26; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event’s schedules merits time for gemstone panning, Fairyland Forest Makeovers, and rock climbing among many other activities. Also, an outdoor sculpture by Roger Halligan called “Iron Age” is set to be onsite during the event.

To buy tickets to Rock City’s Earth Dayz, click here. For more information about Rock City and Lookout Mountain, take a look at this

P.A.W.S. Mentoring Program

By Reginald Owens


Participants in the P.A.W.S. program.

Participants in the P.A.W.S. program.

CHATTANOOGA(UTC)—  At First Christian Church UTC students mentor elementary school students from the neighboring school Brown Academy for the P.A.W.S. mentoring program. With a catchy acronym, the program is sure to be a success:


  • P- Positive
  • A- Action
  • W- With
  • S- Success


“P.A.W.S. means Positive Action With Success. It’s a mentoring program. We’re here to teach the kids about college. Being so close to campus, that is exactly what we want to do. We want to, at this early age- 4th and 5th graders, we want to let them know that you can go to college and want to get that in their heads right now,” P.A.W.S. director Wendy Yates said.


UTC’s Phil Odem explains the impact a college degree can have.

“A college graduate, in their life time will earn on average $1 million more than a non-college graduate,” Odem said.


“Knowing that I’m getting ready to go to college, its help them to prepare themselves,” parent T.J. Doyle said.




Volunteers help kids through the P.A.W.S. program.

Volunteers help kids through the P.A.W.S. program.

Volunteers express their feelings about the program.


“I volunteered because I love children and I think it’s a great program to interact with the kids and it’s a great way to give back to the community and I love it,” volunteer Poscha Boyd said.


P.A.W.S. volunteer Whitney Wyatt said, “I really like to help them and see what they get out of it, the success rate that comes from programs like this.”


Children are excited to come back to the program this year.

“ I got to meet new people that were in college and learn more about college.”


To find out more about Brown Academy, click here.   Also, UTC’s website lists other developmental programs on their informative website here. 





Vice Chancellor Richard Brown presented a plaque to the First Christian church, showing appreciation for their





partnership. See a behind the scenes look at the P.A.W.S. Mentoring program in the video below.  

UTC Rowing Fundraiser

By Reginald Owens

Chattanooga, TN (UTC/AP)– To some people, the best past time is directing a canoe down a steady river with a group of their closest friends while being at one with the water. To others, the best past time includes anything with food.

That is why the UTC Rowing team has combined the best of both worlds with a fundraiser event at the Outback Steakhouse located near Hamilton Place. The event will be this Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009. Beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 12:30 p.m., the buffet feast is sure to please everyone.

The cover charge for the buffet is $13 for adults and $7 for children under 10-years-old. The buffet will include steak, chicken strips, mashed potatoes, french fries, salad, dessert, and a drink. Tickets are limited so it is best to be first in line to this annual event. 

“This is now the sixth year we have done this and all have been very successful,” UTC Rowing Coach Robert Espeseth said.

There will also be a bidding for their annual Silent Auction fundraiser during Saturday’s event.

All proceeds will help fund the UTC rowing team and their competitions. Tickets can be bought from any UTC Rower, or by contacting Coach Espeseth. 

Memphis Drug Arrest

By Reginald Owens

Memphis, TN (UTC/AP)– Federal authorities say a 16-month investigation in Memphis finally ended with criminal charges against 12 suspected members of a major drug-dealing ring.


Stacks of money were confiscated during the drug bust.

Stacks of money were confiscated during the drug bust.

The investigation employed wiretaps, informants, and undercover surveillance. Also, FBI agents were brought in to assist the Internal Revenue Service and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. The drug bust led to a seizure of $2 million, 110 pounds of cocaine, and several firearms.


Authorities announced the arrests Tuesday. The accused criminals were charged with a variety of offenses including drug dealing, money laundering, and immigration violations.

Investigators also said they had not yet determined the nationalities for all of the accused and several may be citizens of Mexico.

The charges filed by the U.S. attorney’s office carry prison terms of 10 years to life.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

UTC Dining Services: A Filling Review

By Reginald Owens

Chattanooga (UTC)– As the students of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga work through the hustle and bustle of the academic school year, the quality of the food may be overlooked.  The food a student eats fuels their ability to learn and study with success. So how good is the food UTC students are using to fuel their brains?

 The scorecard includes availability, price range, employee interactions, and simply the taste of the food. Beginning with the availability of the food, UTC Dining Services offer a range of membership packages called Meal Plans that entail how much and what a student can eat.

·      The Square Mealer- This plan costs $1,495 and includes 19 meals per week in the University Center.

·      The Social Light- This plan costs $1, 545 and includes 14 meals per week and $200 in Mocs Bucks.

·      The Mocs Mix- This plan costs $1,165 and includes 10 meals per week and $200 in Mocs Bucks.

·      The Lite Weight- This plan cost $795 and includes 7 meals per week and $200 in Mocs Bucks.

·      525 Gold Club Fund- This plan costs $525 ad provides the student with the ability to use that amount at any dining service.

UTC also offers two eateries. One is the University Center and the other is Crossroads. The University Center, or the UC, closes at 8 pm and has a number of brand name food services. Quiznos, Bene Pizza, Grille Works, Home Zone, and Chick-Fil-A crowd the UC eatery. Crossroads, a more casual eatery that is open until midnight for the late night cravings, includes their own version of Grille Works and the ever-so-popular Subway.

 With all of these choices, are the students satisfied? As incoming freshmen have a lot of expectations for college, a first-year student expresses his take on the food. Dustin Cornell Smith, a freshman from Fayetteville, TN, said, “The pizza is the worst. I wish they had a bigger variety.”

Although the selection seems to vary widely enough, anything can get old when crammed into the stomach day after day. Suggestions have been made to switch the current brand names out for new ones, but changes obviously take time.

“I like Quiznos though because everything else gets old,” Smith said.

Even students that once indulged in the vast ocean of food that is the UTC Dining Service are reminiscent of the ups and the downs of the quality. Christopher Shane Batts, a Memphis, Tennessee resident, attended UTC from Fall 2006 to Spring 2008 and currently attends Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

“I miss the food there because they actually have a nice food facility there compared to the one at the school I go to now,” Batts said. “I didn’t like Chick-Fil-A too much because it just seemed like a watered down version of the real Chick-Fil-A.”

Both Smith and Batts said Quiznos was their all-time favorite food stops in the UC. Besides complaints about a lack of variety, students seem to have no problem with the way UTC food tastes. Maybe the lack of appreciation for food variety is a case of it tasting so good they eat it too much.

GM Gets Rid of 2,000 People

    By Reginald Owens

Detroit (UTC/AP)— The recession takes a toll on the automobile industry. General Motors Corp. said Monday it will cut 2,000 jobs at two plants and freeze production at nine other plants over the next six months.

    One plant cutting jobs is the Delta Township facility in Lansing, Michigan. The plant’s production has been on hold. That will change Feb. 2 but only one shift will work at a time. On March 30, GM will cut their  second shift which will impact 1,200 employees according to spokesman Chris Lee. The plant is responsible for making the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and the Saturn Outlook.

    The other plant GM decided to cut employees is the Lordstown, Ohio location near Cleveland. Out of the 4,250 employees at the plant, GM will eliminate 890 on April 6, eliminating the third shift. The Ohio location makes the Chevorlet Cobalt and the Pontiac G5. 

    Unemployment benefits and “sub-pay” are usually given for 48 weeks to laid-off workers. Once those benefits end, workers enter a jobs bank where the company tries to find them a job while paying them most of their salary. GM has been given a sum of $13.4 billion in federal loans. However GM leaders have not said if employees would be eligible for the jobs bank. 

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Inkheart Review: Less Is Better

By Reginald Owens

LOS ANGELES (UTC/AP)– This Friday a miracle will happen in movie theaters everywhere. The act of transferring what is in a writer’s brain to a movie film is usually a hard feat, but the movie “Inkheart” seems to capture every random splash of imagination that the writer could muster. Whether or not that is a good thing is another story.

The best selling novel written by Cornelia Funke is known for its fanciful, playful realm of fiction. While on paper this quality can be refreshing, on camera it is overwhelming. Iain Softley, the director, tried his best at attempting to mesh all of these characteristics into a logical movie. Although whimsical, the story line has a sort of moral to it.

Brendan Fraser, the lead role, plays a bookbinder named Mortimer Folchart who is desperately in search of the “Inkheart” saga. Mortimer, or “Mo”, was endowed with the gift to bring characters to life from a book just by reading it. Unfortunately, when he read “Inkheart” his wife was sucked inside the book as a trade for one of the characters. Now, in attempt to bring his wife back, Mo is in search of the book to read it again and hopefully reverse what he had done. The problem is that once the characters get out of the book, they do not want to go back.

Mo’s daughter, Meggie, was unknowingly endowed with the same gift of “Silvertongue” as they call it. She inevitably reads to life the dog Toto from The Wizard of Oz, a glass slipper from Cinderella, and a monster named The Shadow.

The movie’s base on fantasy would lead one to believe that the special effects in “Inkheart” were dazzling and imaginative, but they were in fact not that special at all. The New Line Cinema release runs 106 minutes long and is rated PG for fantasy adventure action and some brief language.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.