published Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

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

Top 5 things to know in the Chattanooga area today

1) CITY COUNCIL KILLS CHATTANOOGA VILLAGE COMMERCIAL PROJECT

Critics of a plan to build a controversial $100 million Hixson apartment and commercial project celebrated victory Tuesday after the City Council turned back the proposal.

Developer Duane Horton expressed disappointment with the vote, having claimed the Chattanooga Village project on 190 acres at state Highway 153 and Boy Scout Road could create 2,000 jobs and spur $2 million annually in real estate taxes.

2) SEN. BOB CORKER SEEKING REVIEW OF STATE DEPARTMENT

As the new top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker wants an immediate “top-to-bottom review” of the State Department.

The former Chattanooga mayor’s first big moment as the No. 2 senator on the Democratic-led committee comes this morning as the panel questions Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The former first lady is appearing because of the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

3) TWO PRISONERS CHARGED IN HAYS INMATE'S DEATH

The third inmate killed at Hays State Prison in a month's time was ambushed in the prison's courtyard by at least two other inmates, sources confirmed.

State investigators said 30-year-old Nathaniel Reynolds was killed as he was being escorted to another prison building. Two inmates have been charged in connection with Reynolds' death.

4) SURPRISE, CHATTANOOGANS! YOUR PAYCHECK SHRANK

Chattanoogans are starting to see the effects of the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations when they examine their first paychecks of the year. Checks are slimmer, if only slightly.

For those who didn't follow the ins and outs of every element of the negotiations, here's a basic explanation: In each paycheck, Americans earning up to $106,800 used to lose 6.2 percent of their wage as a Social Security tax. Then, in 2010, Congress passed an act that lowered that tax rate to 4.2 percent. Those who are self-employed also saw a drop in their Social Security tax, going from 12.4 percent to 10.4 percent.

5) VOLKSWAGEN AD FOR CHATTANOOGA-MADE PASSAT NAMED BEST OF ALL TIME

A Volkswagen ad starring a pint-sized Darth Vader using "The Force" on an all-new, Chattanooga-made Passat has been named the best Super Bowl car commercial of all time by Edmunds.com.

The company that provides car shopping and automotive information said the 30-second spot "captured America's heart."

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