USA Network And Charter Honor Whitwell Resident With Characters Unite Award

Monday, October 21, 2013

Local resident Linda Hooper is among the 10 winners selected by USA Network, along with its distribution partners, for the 2013 Characters Unite Awards.  Characters Unite is USA’s public service campaign to combat hate and discrimination and promote greater tolerance and acceptance – on-air, online and in communities across the country. 

 The 2013 winners were selected from hundreds of nominees for their efforts to champion civil and human rights in their communities.  Each honoree will be acknowledged during a hometown award ceremony and will receive a $5,000 grant from USA and participating local distribution partners to support his/her project or related nonprofit organization. Additionally, honorees will be featured on-air in a PSA and online at   

Ms. Hooper, while serving as principal at Whitwell Middle School, founded a grassroots Holocaust education program that drew worldwide attention to the community and brought together students, teachers, families and the entire town in support of religious tolerance and the fight against discrimination. In a region with little religious, racial or ethnic diversity, Ms. Hooper decided to found a voluntary after-school program that would teach students about the impact of the Holocaust by collecting a paperclip to represent each victim lost. The students wrote letters, and as the program grew, they began to receive letters from Holocaust survivors and supporters around the world. Today, the project has received over 30 million paper clips from 20 different countries, inspired an award-winning film Paper Clips and led to the establishment of a Children’s Holocaust Memorial at the school. 

A believer in the power of education as a vehicle to tolerance, Ms. Hooper brought to fruition a program that has touched the lives of many, officials said. She has since served as a motivational speaker, traveling around the country speaking about The Paper Clips Project and about teaching as a means to positively change the world.

The awards ceremony will be Monday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. CST at Whitwell Middle School.  

Enterprise South Nature Park Has Trick Or Trail Saturday

Hamilton County Parks and Recreation will host the first Trick or Trail at the Enterprise South Nature Park, 8015 Volkswagen Dr., on Saturday from 5-10 p.m.   The event will feature a haunted trail, kid friendly train ride, read alouds by READ 20, free face painting, glow in the dark bracelets, flashlights, Halloween bags, popcorn and hot apple cider. Admission is $5 ... (click for more)

Wally's Friends Spay And Neuter Clinic Is Oct. 24

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Planning Commission Votes 6-5 To Reject 7-Story Apartment Building On Cowart Street

After lengthy discussion on Monday before the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, historical neighborhood advocates won a victory in the Southside area when the commission narrowly rejected a request to allow developers to build a seven-story apartment building on the 1200 block of Cowart Street.   The Belle Investment Co. & BYD Coward, ... (click for more)

Charges Upgraded Against Avery To Murder After Victim of Chair Leg Attack At Moccasin Bend Dies

Charges have been upgraded to murder against Leviticus Avery, 37, after a man he allegedly attacked with a chair leg has died. Avery initially was charged with aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder in the incident last Thursday at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health facility. Kevin Green, 38, remained in critical condition until he died. He was struck in ... (click for more)

Ole Man River Just Keeps Rollin

Citizens are hearing yet another new chapter in Chattanooga’s 21st Century Riverfront concrete repair saga. It seems it will require more repair, more delays and more tax dollars to do it. When will it end? Construction of the Riverfront concrete structures began in 2003. Before it was finished, designers, engineers, contractors, Public Works officials, Mayor Littlefield and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It Was Our Tool Shed

Some said the huge beams had been soaking in creosote for two or three years when the men finally stacked them to dry. They were long, about 20 feet each, and thick – maybe eight inches. I remember they were 14 inches wide but the biggest thing I remember was that it was the ugliest lumber I ever saw. They cured the beams for one entire hot summer in the Tool Shed, a huge building ... (click for more)