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Ellis Smith

Stories by Ellis

America's aging population is spurring a boom in medical visits that has taxed hospitals' ability to bill patients, forcing medical providers to either funnel more funds toward call centers, software and legal compliance, or else outsource their business operations to third-party vendors.

The cash was just a means to an end. Former used car dealer Carey Vaughn Brown wanted to save souls, and money was the easiest way to reach the world's downtrodden.

A trio of Miller & Martin attorneys fended off two hours of blistering attacks from a packed crowd Monday as litigators, City Council members and former city officials blasted a taxpayer financing agreement that would subsidize a road from a Chattanooga golf course community to access 3,000 undeveloped acres on top of Aetna Mountain.

Payday lender Carey Brown, along with associates Joanna Temple and Ron Beaver, will face criminal charges in New York nearly three years after an investigation by the Chattanooga Times Free Press concluded that the trio had created a syndicate of shell companies designed to market, make and collect payday loans considered illegal in many states.

First Security Group, the Chattanooga-based holding company for FSG Bank, bounced back to its first profitable quarter in years after more than $140 million of losses since 2008.

A cascade of new public and private deals to bolster shopping, dining and entertainment venues in downtown Chattanooga has boosted hopes for a second renaissance in the core of the Scenic City.

Payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, agreements are a favorite tool for attracting investments and jobs from companies like Volkswagen, Coca-Cola and Chattem.

As Chattanooga officials hash out subsidies to attract affordable rental developments to the city's downtown core, a half dozen new housing projects are moving forward without any help from taxpayers that will add more than a thousand apartments from the Southside to the Riverfront.

The NAACP on Thursday blasted a number of local tax incentives offered to developers and corporations as undermining a "grand pillar of democracy."

Publix has cleared the final hurdle in what has become a nearly two-year series of challenges between it and a planned opening next Wednesday.

Mohawk Industries' boasted a record-setting quarter as the world's largest flooring company reported its highest-ever earnings per share, when adjusted for unusual charges.

Calhoun, Ga.-based flooring giant Mohawk Industries’ profits jumped 20 percent in the second quarter to $162 million, excluding unusual charges, or $2.21 per share, up from $134 million in the second quarter of 2013.

Publix today cleared the final hurdle in what was a nearly two-year series of challenges prior to the planned opening on Wednesday, Aug. 6.

Chattanooga-based Unum Group grew at a brisk pace in the second quarter, beating Wall Street estimates and brushing aside the memory of previous years that saw rising profit per share but slipping revenues.

Chattanooga-based Unum Group grew at a brisk pace in the second quarter, brushing aside the memory of previous years that saw rising profits but slipping revenues.

Hundreds of fast fingers flew across strips of navy blue fabric, navigating the seams and stitches as Singer sewing machines pounded tirelessly through reams of cloth.

Hardwick Clothes announced today it is launching Hardwick.com, a new e-commerce site for America's oldest tailored clothing maker.

Chattanooga-owned municipal broadband provider EPB on Thursday applied to become the first of possibly many electric utilities to begin offering gigabit Internet and TV service across the traditional boundaries set up over years of cable TV dominance.

A Chattanooga board faces a decision on whether to appeal a judge's ruling that chastised the city for awarding taxpayer dollars to developers during secret meetings.

A pair of audits released Tuesday did little to banish the confusion and contention surrounding EPB's streetlight bills, which stem from what city auditor Stan Sewell called "systemic problems" in the way such costs are calculated by Chattanooga's electric utility.

A new audit of EPB concludes that the utility underbilled the city of Chattanooga for street lighting, but that claim was immediately challenged by Chattanooga's internal auditor.

A blighted Chattanooga community could receive a life-saving injection of new blood if a $35 million apartment complex at an abandoned factory moves forward as planned.

First Horizon Corp., the holding company for First Tennessee Bank, nearly doubled its net income in the second quarter, growing earnings to $76 million from the $40 million in the second quarter of 2013.

A handful of robots bounce up and down in front of a medieval castle daring their enemies to come forth and face them on the field of battle.

The Chattanooga-based TV conglomerate that syndicates and broadcasts shows across the U.S. moved one step closer to the auction block on Thursday, as attorneys for Luken Communications argued successfully in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Chattanooga that they be allowed to sell the company built by businessman Henry Luken.

The name of Helen Burns Sharp was on the lawsuit, but it was the taxpayers who won when a judge voided a deal that gave $9 million in public money to the developers of the high-end Black Creek Mountain golf course community.

A Chattanooga judge cut off $9 million in taxpayer support for the Black Creek Mountain golf course community, ruling against a powerful group of developers and government officials in a closely-watched case.

Beaulieu International Group, not to be confused with Beaulieu of America, will establish its U.S. headquarters in Cartersville, Ga. and create 350 new jobs over five years.

Paying bills on time is difficult. Especially a bill with seemingly few consequences for nonpayment.

Chattanooga utility EPB will consider asking the Federal Communications Commission within weeks to allow it to expand gigabit fiber-optic Internet, TV and phone access to the Tennessee communities surrounding the Gig City.

Chancellor Frank Brown on Friday shot down the flawed tax increment financing deal between taxpayers and a group of developers who wanted government assistance to build an estimated $9 million road through a $500 million golf course development.

Chattanooga utility EPB announced that it will consider asking the FCC to allow it to expand gigabit fiber optic Internet, TV and phone access outside of Chattanooga to the communities surrounding the Gig City.

Chancellor Frank Brown issued a stinging rebuke to Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials Thursday afternoon, arguing that there is something "fundamentally wrong" with the secrecy and conflicts of interest surrounding the government's role in the $500 million Black Creek Mountain development near Marion County.

In the final days before the total depletion of the U.S. Highway Trust Fund, construction companies are warning that its insolvency could spawn more than just potholes and blown tires.

The David and Goliath story of a private citizen who sued Chattanooga and Hamilton County to stop a high-end development financed by taxpayers took another turn this week, after the government suffered a setback in Chancellor Frank Brown’s courtroom.

Moe Songy, vice president of operations at the Chattanooga Airport, enjoys grabbing a bite to eat in Chattanooga at Flying Squirrel, shopping on Brainerd Road and attending the Riverbend festival.

Fireworks sales boomed across Tennessee, with clear skies and a long weekend igniting a blast of interest at stores from East Ridge to South Pittsburg.

People loved the idea of Enzo's Market.

The food stations are packed and the parking lot is full, as hungry Southside residents crowd in to sample the prepared foods dreamed up by Daniel Lindley, the former head chef at St. John’s Restaurant.

Josh Rineheart, better known as Wah Wah Walley, steps quickly to the left as a salvo of accurate gunfire glances off his blue helmet.

Panicked callers clogged Chattanooga's 311 help lines on Tuesday after the city announced a crackdown on the approximately one in three ratepayers who haven't paid their sewer bills.

The world's largest carpet manufacturer is targeting Ringgold, Ga., as the new home for a $17 million carpet recycling facility and 70 new full-time jobs on the site of what was once a 650,000-square-foot rug distribution center.

To survive, human beings require food, shelter, a job, perhaps even love.

Janet Brown, wife of deceased Soddy-Daisy Ponzi schemer Jack Brown, will spend a year in federal prison for admittedly concealing assets during bankruptcy proceedings associated with a $12 million Ponzi scheme.

People need help to get things done.

The wood frame of the Delta Queen steamboat creaks and groans as the old lady tugs passively against her moorings.

When it rains, it pours raw sewage into the Tennessee River.

Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, though stung by the loss of $200,000 in city funding, is set to reclaim its role as a provider of low-cost rental housing with the ultimate goal of improving living conditions for 2,000 Scenic City families by 2017.

The broadcast TV networks owned by Chattanooga multimillionaires Henry Luken and Forrest Preston could go to the highest bidder following a legal setback in in Arkansas, as the entrepreneur prepares to appeal his case before a federal appellate court.

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