published Monday, January 21st, 2013

Top 5 things to know in the Chattanooga area today (with video)

Top 5 things to know in the Chattanooga area today

1) 3 PEOPLE SHOT ON ROSSVILLE BOULEVARD

Sunday school was letting out at New Covenant Church on Clio Avenue. Sunday school teacher Nicole Reeves was walking out into the dark when the rapid pop-pop-pop of gunfire sounded nearby.

"It was about 6:30 or 7. I was bringing the kids out of Sunday school," Reeves said.

2) INAUGURATION DAY DRAWS CHATTANOOGANS TO WASHINGTON

Wilhelmina Hogg missed President Barack Obama's first inauguration. She was determined not to miss his second one.

Hogg, 63, is one of an estimated 800,000 people from across the country, including hundreds from Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tenn., who are descending on the nation's capital for the second swearing-in of the nation's first black president.

3) 7 CHATTANOOGA-BASED HOSPITALS STAND TO LOSE $400 MILLION

The next nine years could prove tough financially for Chattanooga-based hospitals because of changes in federal reimbursements for patient care under the Affordable Care Act, an industry analysis projects.

Seven hospitals collectively stand to lose nearly $400 million in special Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements through 2021, according to Tennessee Hospital Association figures obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

4) HAMILTON COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CHIEF RETIRING

Bill Tittle was there at midnight on New Year's Eve 13 years ago, sitting in Hamilton County's emergency command center as the world expected mass blackouts once computer clocks rolled into the new millennium.

For 14 years, Tittle, Hamilton County's chief of emergency management, has been there -- in command centers, in emergency shelters, and the wilderness -- for the worst. He has spent 14 years of long days and late nights guiding response efforts through some of the most alarming disasters the county has seen.

5) ART LACKING IN MOST ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

With only 13 of 44 elementary schools staffed with an art teacher, students are lucky to get any art instruction at all. On the other hand, music has a presence in every elementary school.

Officials estimate it would cost $2 million to $3 million a year to hire the extra teachers. Superintendent Rick Smith said he supports the idea of adding more art teachers, but isn't sure where the money would come from. And with school security and technology upgrades at the forefront now, it's unclear whether art will be made a top priority come budget season this spring.

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