Kudzu, or Japanese Arrowroot, is native to Asia. It was first imported to the US for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 and was brought down as an ornamental vine used to shade Southern porches. The story of kudzu begins at the height of The Great Depression.
The government offered as much as $20 an acre incentive for farmers in the South to plant kudzu in an attempt to reduce widespread soil erosion. By 1946, farmers had planted around 1.2 million acres. Over the second half of the century, kudzu lost its USDA recommendation for erosion control. Kudzu is now considered an invasive species in many states, and the truth of the stories told about kudzu varies.
“Now embedded in the South, as well as in parts of Oklahoma, Texas, and some Northern states, kudzu can be found on at least a million acres of federal forest land, and probably millions more acres of private land.”
“Kudzu has appeared larger than life because it’s most aggressive when planted along road cuts and railroad embankments— habitats that became front and center in the age of the automobile… But, in fact, it rarely penetrates deeply into a forest; it climbs well only in sunny areas on the forest edge and suffers in shade.”
Planted by depression-era farmers at the advice of the government, kudzu was a creative idea. After it became problematic, so were the Missionary Ridge goats.
“Safety just will not let you get in on some of those slopes with equipment or even people trying to clear it by hand… And that’s where the goats come in,” said Ray W. Burden Jr., Institute of Agriculture at UTK.
Guffaws aside, that’s the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that makes this Northern transplant proud to call Chattanooga home.
Channel your inner kudzu and spread this story. 👇
Weather ○ 92º | Sunny | 20% chance of rain ☀️
Announced ○ Kim White, president + CEO of River City Company, announced her Chattanooga mayoral candidacy Thursday. If elected, she will be the city’s first female mayor. White will be running against Chattanooga Football Club chairman Tim Kelly, Chattanooga City Councilman Russell Gilbert, business consultant Monty Bruell, and activist/entrepreneur Christopher Dahl. (NewsChannel 9)
Civic ○ Beginning Oct. 1, Hamilton County Waste Water Treatment Authority customers will begin paying 12% more for sewer bills. The price hike comes so that the WWTA can be in compliance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, or the Clean Water Act. The money will go toward long-term improvements to make the Hamilton County and Chattanooga sewer system federally compliant. (NewsChannel 9) ○ The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau is now offering burning permits for local residents. This allows Hamilton County residents to burn brush and trash on their property through Apr. 30. Due to COVID-19 concerns, permits are offered online. Click here for more information and to claim a permit. 🔥
State ○ On Sep. 9, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee launched its “Vote Like Your Rights Depend On It” campaign, which seeks to mobilize Tennesseans to vote safely by mail or by early voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign is focused on reaching communities of color, which have disproportionately borne the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tennessee. ○ On Sep. 10, Governor Bill Lee announced recommendations from the State’s Law Enforcement Reform Partnership to strengthen policing policies, improve information sharing around disciplinary actions, and increase officer training. In addition to enhanced policies, a total of $300,000 in CARES Act funding will be utilized for 90 additional cadet scholarships for the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy. (Tennessean)
Edu ○ Girls Preparatory School announced that five students from the Class of 2021 are semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program — Lily Duplooy, Hunter McVay, Maggie Parsley, Annie Thrash, and Jennifer Wu. Semifinalists are the highest scorers in each of the 50 states and represent fewer than one percent of each state’s high school seniors. In February 2021, semifinalists will be notified if they have advanced to finalist standing. Congrats, ladies. 🎉
DYK ○ Chattanooga’s chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women is beginning its Sister-Nomic$ workshop on Sat., Sep. 12 from 12-2 p.m. The four-part workshop series will address overcoming economic challenges while working toward economic empowerment, and will take place here via Facebook live.
Noogan ○ Southern Literature Alliance announced Roy Morris Jr. as the winner of the annual Barnett Prize for Local Distinguished Author. The Barnett Prize is awarded to one outstanding author in the Chattanooga area. Morris is an alumni of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and has published nine books in his career. The award will be presented to Morris via a virtual event on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. For more information about the Southern Literature Alliance, click here. 📚
TryThis ○ Local arts center Townsend Atelier is launching a new virtual art demo series. The demos will be held live via Zoom so that participants can listen to and talk with artists about their process, materials, and inspiration while they work. Learn more + sign up for the demos here. 💻
Watercooler ○ Four Chattanooga Mocs — Buster Skrine, C.J. Board, Tae Davis, and Isaiah Mack — found themselves on active NFL rosters for this coming season. The Chattanooga Mocs lead the Southern Conference, as they are one of eight FCS programs with four or more players in the NFL. 🏈
TodayIs ○ The 19th anniversary of September 11, 2001, when 2,996 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
FeaturedJob ○ TVFCU is looking for an Internal Audit Specialist to perform internal audit projects under the direction of the Internal Audit Manager. The Internal Audit Specialist will assist in the evaluation of internal controls over processes and projects to support the achievement of business objectives. Ⓟ
Events ○ Percussion & Friends | Fri., Sep. 11 | 7 p.m. | Tennessee Riverpark, 4301 Amnicola Hwy. | Free | Percussion & Friends will be the first public performance in the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra’s First Horizon Foundation Instrumental Series, and will feature a combination of beloved classical works, patriotic favorites, and modern percussion pieces. 🥁
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
If you’ve missed going to games, there’s some good news: Chattanooga Football Club is hosting matches in Finley Stadium again. CFC will play the NY Cosmos on Sat., Sep 12(tomorrow) — kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $13, and all ticketing for this match will be digital. Annual Pass cards, local rec soccer jerseys, flex tickets, or any other type of ticketing is not allowed for this match.
Seats are limited to ensure social distancing, so get tickets while they’re still available. ⚽
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○ On Sep. 9, Hamilton Countyreported 54 new COVID-19 cases — the new total is 8,533. There are currently 1,011 active cases and 7,440 (87%) Hamilton County residents that have recovered from the virus. (Chattanoogan.com)
○ On Sep. 10, Tennessee reported756 positive COVID-19 cases at schools around the state with more than half of the districts reporting. The numbers include students + staff. Officials expect all districts to report by Sep. 22. You can keep up with case numbers in schools here. (NewsChannel 9)
○ US Rep. Jim Cooper + others in the music and restaurant industry are asking Congress to pass three bills that would help industries impacted by COVID-19. The bills include the RESTART Act, the SOS Act, and the RESTAURANTS Act. The bills are also supported by TN lawmaker Steve Cohen. (NewsChannel 9)
○ Beginning on Oct. 1, EPB will resume its normal business practices and disconnect customers who have not made arrangements to begin paying for past due bills. If you are a customer with past due bills, EPB encourages you to call + learn about the assistance options that are currently available to customers. EPB is now offering both the Low Income Energy Assistance Program and special COVID-19 utility assistance.
Was learning a new language on your quarantine to-do list? It’s not too late.
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Ways Babbel works: • bite-sized, 10-15 minute lessons • taught by real language teachers (not AI) • focus on practical, real-life conversations • get conversational after 3 weeks of consistent practice Ⓟ