September 2014

EPB admits to overcharging city $1.2 mil for moonlight

Moon (Used under the CC-BY-2.0 license. Source:
Moon (Used under the CC-BY-2.0 license. Source:

After a recent audit investigating billing discrepancies made by EPB when billing the city of Chattanooga for power service, EPB representatives admitted that it had overcharged the city $1.2 million for moonlight.

Chattanooga officials were disappointed to learn that EPB, which is owned by the city of Chattanooga, had grossly inflated the price of moonlight, which is light from the sun reflected off the moon during the evening hours.

“We trust that EPB will correct their wrongs and charge us a fair price in the future,” said Chattanooga official Robin Neddison. “Despite this, at least we know that Tennessee American Water is giving us a fair market value when they bill us for having them make it rain.”

Chattanooga launches website to track city smells

Chattadata web site
Chattadata web site

Yesterday, the office of Mayor Andy Berke unveiled a new website to track various city performance metrics including crime rate, economic development, literacy and unpleasant smells.

The chronic displeasing odors throughout the city have been challenging problems to tackle, sometimes overshadowing the city’s successes, and Chattanooga’s putrid stenches have received national attention, including the article “The Not-So-Sweet Smell of Success” in Automobile magazine.

At first, the website will have three odor focus areas–the North Shore sewer stench, the Pilgrim’s Pride chicken processing plant and the Moccasin Bend wastewater treatment plant–but may expand to include more areas in the future, and other non-smell-related metrics may also be added, such as the number of knocked-down signs.

East Ridge to offer free Wi-Fi by holding activities at McDonald’s

McDonald's (Used under the CC-BY-SA-2.0 license. Source:
McDonald’s (Used under the CC-BY-SA-2.0 license. Source:

After the city of Chattanooga announced plans last week to provide free Wi-Fi Internet access in city buildings and public areas, the bordering city of East Ridge in Hamilton County also revealed its plan to offer free Wi-Fi service by holding all meetings, city-related business and civic activities inside McDonald’s restaurants.

The giant fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s offers free Wi-Fi access at most of its locations, like other establishments such as Starbucks Coffee and Panera Bread.

“With the state of the economy as it is today and the lack of gainful employment, we are finding ourselves both eating more at budget fast-food restaurants and working there more,” said East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert at a press conference. “Therefore, it makes sense to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi already provided at McDonald’s restaurants, for the city of East Ridge to conduct its business.”

Reportedly, Mayor Lambert had a mayor-to-mayor meeting with Mayor McCheese last week in order to confirm that this new arrangement in East Ridge would be acceptable for all involved.

In order to accommodate all citizens who wish to attend the bi-weekly City Council meetings, the meetings will be held at the PlayPlace playground ball pit at the McDonald’s on Ringgold Rd, and weekly City Court sessions will be held at the same location, with Officer Big Mac in attendance to provide security.

Hackers leak topless photos of Harrison Keely

Harrison Keely
Harrison Keely

Over the Labor Day weekend, hundreds of private photos and videos of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst were released to various online forums after hackers are believed to have exploited a security vulnerability in Apple’s Find My iPhone service that allowed for brute-force password guessing attacks, and it was revealed that local Chattanooga Times Free Press journalist Harrison Keely was among those affected.

The celebrity photo leak–also known as “The Fappening”–included private, topless photos of Harrison Keely plus over one hundred other celebrities, including A-list actresses, models and singers.

Harrison Keely’s lawyer issued a statement, condemning the actions and claiming that the selfie photos featuring Keely without clothing from the waist up were not authentic and likely the creation of fans using sophisticated photo-editing software to doctor actual photos.

Keely–who manages social media for the Times Free Press and provides the daily “Chattanooga Update” video newscast–was not the only local victim of the celebrity photo leak, as scandalous snapshots of downtown celebrity Shirtless Dave emerged, featuring him wearing a shirt.

City approves $2.8 Million Miller Plaza statue of Ralphie May

It was announced earlier this morning that the City of Chattanooga has approved a $2.8 million statue of Chattanooga Native and funny man Ralphie May.

The statue will be erected in the heart of Miller Plaza. Officials say much of the area’s seating will have to be removed.

ralphieThe project has been granted to River City Company, who placed the project ahead of any plans for revamping the Miller Plaza area.

“Since Mr. May is a larger individual, and he will be the first to tell you that in a grueling hour and a half set, a larger supply of materials are needed to complete the statue, no pun intended” said chief River City statue architect Todd Dabble.

Future plans of local celebrity monuments include Dennis Haskins, whose statue will pop up at random places for people to take a picture with and post on random social networking websites.