CARTA Helps Parking Games at UTC

By: Drew Flora

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – Everyone has heard of the Hunger Games, but at UTC we have the parking games.

Mocs Express Route

Mocs Express Route

Ruthless savages all fighting to the death to get that last spot.  Ok, maybe it’s not quite to the death, but it’s close.  If you are a student at UTC and have a general parking pass (especially those with general passes), you all can relate to me. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

CARTA, Chattanooga’s most popular busing company, offers students two ways of travel with the Mocs Express as well as all other CARTA buses.

The bus runs about every seven minutes leaving from Engel Stadium to UTC from 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m..  After 8:30 students can hop on CARTA buses and can go where ever their hearts desire.

Just kidding, this isn’t Burger King, you can’t have it your way.  Students can hop on any bus heading all over Chattanooga.  Students be warned, the bus stops running at 12:30 a.m..

Students have mixed feelings about the CARTA bus system on campus. Many of whom don’t like riding with “strange people.” Others don’t seem to mind.

Senior Jon Kwasniki said, “I wouldn’t say I love riding the Mocs Express, but I don’t hate it. I don’t have a parking pass, and I usually don’t get ticketed for parking at the stadium. I believe I can ‘rough’ it for a few minutes.”

Carta Bus Route

Carta Bus Route

Sophomore Sarah Smith, doesn’t mind riding the Mocs Express but the other bus routes aren’t really for her.  “I’m honestly terrified to ride   the bus as stupid as it may sound.  It smells horrible and I got weird vibes from the other passengers when me and some friends took the bus downtown for a night out, and we haven’t rode it at night since,” Smith said.

The bus system may not be ideal for every student, but it does get students from point A to point B. Besides, it beats getting a ticket and having to fork up $20 to pay it. Few minutes of your time or some of your cash the choice is yours.

Whatever route you choose, may the odds be ever in your favor.





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Affordable Housing In the Works for Downtown Chattanooga

By: Drew Flora

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) Calls for affordable housing in downtown Chattanooga resulted in a year long study about the new needs residents are bringing to the Scenic City.

Downtown Chattanooga

Downtown Chattanooga

A 15-member panel that included city officials, developers, realtors, bankers, residents, along with others, came together to discuss the findings of the housing study presented by the Chattanooga Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency (RPA).

John Bridger, executive director for the RPA, presented an overview of the 83-page study and suggested Chattanooga form a Housing Task Force and put policies into place that would encourage livable, safe, and affordable housing for current and future residents of the city.

Summarizing the changes to demographic trends, RPA director of information and research, Yuen Lee said, “a combintation of smaller and single-parent families, higher unemployment rates and baby boomers transitioning into retirement correlated with an increase demand for smaller, more affordable housing.”

The presentation shared that an average Chattanoogan has $620 per month for rent, but the average rent in Chattanooga is $732.

Walnut Commons is an apartment complexes in the works, but despite several new apartment buildings going up around downtown, officials say there is a shortage of affordable housing in the downtown region. The average Chattanoogan has $620 per month for rent, but the average monthly rent in Chattanooga is $732.

“Sixty or 70 percent of households that make less than $30,000 are spending more than 30 percent on housing, which is considered, that’s over what’s recommended nationally,” said Bridger.

“Demand for lower-priced homes is increasing, especially affordable, quality homes in the urban overlay zone,” Lee said.

The city’s overlay zone is the area consisting of neighborhoods between Missionary Ridge and the Tennessee River.

The study showed that current multiple listing services (MLS) listings show only 325 properties in the downtown zone are priced at $100,000 or less. Two hundred homes are listed in the $75,000 or less range, failing to meet demand.

The RPA reported that the majority of people who make less than $20,000 a year live downtown even with a lack housing options.

City Council Chair Pam Ladd stressed that, in order for future housing initatives to be successful, additional elements besides facilities would need to be taken into consideration, specifically the livability and economy of a development.

“You’ve got to make sure the housing that we have available for low income has all the other elements of success: transportation, grocery stores, schools,” Ladd said. “It’s got to be a tighter environment.”






Country Star Kills Dog Before Killing Self

By Drew Flora

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say they found country singer Mindy McCready’s body on the same porch of her northern Arkansas home where her boyfriend was found dead of an apparent suicide last month.

Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss said Monday that it appears McCready killed her late boyfriend David Wilson’s dog before she turned the gun on herself Sunday. The dog and McCready were found dead next to one another the home in Heber Springs, a vacation community about 65 miles north of Little Rock. Moss says the dog’s body was next to McCready’s.

Authorities are investigating Wilson’s shooting death as a suicide, but Moss says an official determination hasn’t been made.

Moss says he expects McCready’s official cause of death to be released soon, but that “all indicators” point to suicide.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Watch Out For That Cloud!

By Drew Flora

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn- (AP/THE LOOP)- Let’s set the scene. You’re walking to class on the UTC campus and then, BAM! A cloud of cigarette smoke hits you out of nowhere. Has this happened to you? How did you feel?

Many students don’t mind, but the majorities are annoyed with the situation and hope a solution or compromise could be made.

Corey James, a non-smoking senior, wishes there could be some kind of compromise made.“It’s just annoying walking to class behind someone that is smoking,” James said. “I wish there were designated areas around campus and maybe have the smokers not smoke in busy walk ways [on the way to class].”

UTC has placed regulations about smoking on campus that states smokers aren’t allowed to smoke in front of doorways entering buildings but doesn’t quite help the people getting hit with smoke walking to class.

Larry Miller, a smoking senior, feels there isn’t a problem with smoking on campus, but did agree with James that designated areas aren’t too impractical. Being a smoker myself, I’m fine there being a ban from smoking on my walk on the way to class.

As long as I have somewhere convenient and covered to smoke under near buildings I’m on my way to, I’m good. It’s not a restriction of smoking they are asking for. They are asking us to be more courteous of others around us, and that’s quite fair.

No MLB Hall of Fame Class for 2013

NEW YORK (AP/ The Loop) — No players elected to Hall of Fame by baseball writers.