New Chattanooga Forward Report Recommends Ways To Grow Local Economy, Tackle Digital Divide

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke’s office released the first of several Chattanooga Forward recommendation reports on Thursday. The report, from the Technology, Gig, & Entrepreneur task force, was the culmination of several months of focus on how to capitalize on the technological assets of Chattanooga.

“Over the last four years, Chattanooga has attracted interest from around the world due to our high speed fiber optic infrastructure. The fact is, we have the fastest, most pervasive, and least expensive Gigabit service in the Western Hemisphere. This positions Chattanooga at the head of the curve - and ready to be a leader in the innovation century,” said Mayor Andy Berke.  “Our job now is to take these incredible assets and utilize them to grow our talent pool, attract capital investors, bridge the digital divide, and provide platforms for small businesses to succeed.”

The Tech, Gig, & Entrepreneur report combines the previous work on utilizing the gig with more recent recommendations on how to grow the city’s innovation economy and bridge the digital divide.

“We reviewed accomplishments and lessons learned over the last several years to develop a work plan that we believe will strategically position Chattanooga for the future,” said Task Force chair Sidney Crisp. “This was a collaborative effort and I am extremely encouraged to know that Mayor Berke is taking this initiative seriously. I look forward to seeing some of these recommendations become a reality.”

A key recommendation from the task force is the creation of an entity to implement the task force’s work plan on a daily basis. The report outlines that a newly created entity should explore creative strategies like “co-location of capital, business support, housing, and research to spur innovation” as well as support digital inclusion initiatives.

The Chattanooga Forward initiative kicked off last year with the creation of six task forces that were charged to thoroughly investigate a multifaceted topic and create action plans to be presented to Mayor Berke for consideration.

To learn more about the Chattanooga Forward initiative, visit: http://www.chattanooga.gov/mayors-office/chattanooga-forward


Attorneys Batts And Taylor Elected To Lead State Drug Court Association

The Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals has elected attorneys Kevin Batts and Richard Taylor to leadership positions in the statewide group. Mr. Batts will serve as president and Mr. Taylor will serve as vice president of the association in 2015. Mr. Batts is director of the Drug Court in the 23rd Judicial District, serving five counties of Middle Tennessee. He ... (click for more)

Karen Tindell And Kelly Still Join Southern Community Bank

Robert Stahl, Chattanooga city president of Southern Community Bank, announced Karen Tindell and Kelly Still have joined the Chattanooga branch. “Karen joins the staff as assistant vice president and Kelly joins the staff as a commercial lender,” said Mr. Stahl.  “Together Karen and Kelly collectively have over 50 years’ experience in the financial industry with regional ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Beating Man With Stick, Taking His Wallet

Two men are charged with beating a man with a large stick while he slept on the steps of a downtown church, then taking his wallet. Jerry Quincy Allen, 45, and James Leo Boas, 40, both of 727 E. 11th St., are charged with aggravated robbery. In the incident on Wednesday, Bradley Casehart said he and a friend were asleep at Tompkin Chapel Church on Palmetto Street. He ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)