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Joy Lukachick

Stories by Joy

One thing was clear by the end of Thursday night's community forum to discuss how to make the city's streets safer — city officials have their work cut out.

An idea to hike Chattanooga fire and police employees' pension contributions by 40 percent or more and set the retirement age at 58 provoked a frenzy in the ranks Thursday, though City Hall denounced it and a city consultant said it wasn't seriously being studied.

Live updates from the SPEAK NO EVIL forum.

During today's Fire and Police Pension Board meeting, firefighters and officers balked at the latest round of cuts Mayor Andy Berke's task force is considering.

The Chattanooga City Council voted 8-0 to extend the current 5-year-old contract with McKamey Animal Center for animal control services through June.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has extended the deadline for his 18-member task force to find ways to cut the police and firefighters retirement plan.

In the midst of a massive transformation in how Chattanooga fights crime, the city's police department is losing a century's worth of senior police leadership.

The Hamilton County Election Commission formalized on Monday what officials have already announced — that petitioners gathered enough valid signatures to force the city to repeal the same-sex benefit ordinance or let the public decide in a vote next year.

Hamilton County Election Commission attorney Chris Clem resigned from his position this morning.

When Tim Moreland talks about his work to use government data to solve community dilemmas like insufficient affordable housing, he watches as people's eyes glaze over.

Neighbors in Lincoln Park say a top city official threatened that Mayor Andy Berke might pull the plug on an initiative to save their historic park if they don't stop complaining.

Nonprofit organizations that rely on money from Chattanooga taxpayers to fund after-school programs, adult disability education, programs for rape victims and a plethora of other social services will be required more than ever to defend their need for money in the next city budget.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke gave a communitywide update Wednesday on his plan to reduce violence in the Scenic City. It occurred at an invitation-only meeting at City Hall.

The legal morass sparked by the beating of a federal inmate at the hands of two Chattanooga police officers has stretched over nearly a year, but city officials hope to end it by Jan. 1.

A local developer was shut down Tuesday night by a City Council 6-2 vote to expand his upscale strip mall in East Brainerd to include a restaurant.

City officials estimate that only about 2 percent of the businesses Chattanooga contracts with are minority-owned firms.

Pension administrators are balking at suggested changes that would significantly alter police officers' and firefighters' retirement plan while saving the city $400 million over the next 30 years.

For the third time, theMcKamey Animal Center's governing body attempted to kick off a board member who questioned the former executive director's $10,000 bonus and triggered a city investigation.

A conservative group seeking to overturn a new domestic partner benefits ordinance has already managed to effectively stop enrollment planned for the spring.

Hixson Pike residents left the Chattanooga City Council angry Tuesday night after being on the losing side of a 5-4 split vote to prevent their annexation.

The Hamilton County Election Commission has verified enough signatures on a petition to repeal the city's controversial domestic benefits ordinance.

Today is the deadline for a local conservative group to submit enough signatures to force a public vote on whether Chattanooga city employees' gay or straight unmarried partners should receive health insurance and other benefits.

Ten years ago, Scott McKenzie gave the city money to fly an American flag across Veterans Bridge when his father, a retired Coast Guard captain, turned 90.

Chattanooga's credit rating for its existing general obligation bonds was upgraded from a AA+ credit rating to AAA, the highest possible rating assigned to bonds.

The Chattanooga City Council recently approved a $7.8 million project to seal pipes from East Brainerd to the edge of Ooltewah, one of the biggest projects in the long list of federally mandated fixes to the city's 130-year-old sewer system.

Chattanooga Lookouts owner Frank Burke plans to donate the AT&T Field stadium to River City Co., attorneys said, making a future deal for the sale of the team franchise more attractive for a potential buyer.

Across Chattanooga, many pastors of large church congregations are asking their members to sign a petition that would force the City Council to either repeal the controversial domestic partner ordinance passed last week or put it on the August 2014 ballot.

With five weeks to go to meet the Chattanooga mayor's deadline, some members of a task force working to reform the city's fire and police pension plan aren't sure if they can come up with a solution in time.

Petition begins to put same-sex benefits ordinance to public vote in Chattanooga

Petition attempt approved amid spat, 4,460 signatures needed

The Hamilton County Election Commission chairman said Wednesday that state officials put him in a compromising situation when they advised him to call a special meeting to review a petition aimed at repealing the city's newly approved domestic partner benefit ordinance.

The Hamilton County Election Commission approved a petition, giving opponents the green light to start collecting signatures to request the domestic partner benefit be put forth as a referendum vote.

With a final 5-3 vote, the Chattanooga City Council paved the way for employees to sign up next year to add their domestic partners, whether gay or heterosexual, to their insurance plans for the first time.

Tonight, Chattanooga could become the third city in Tennessee to offer benefits to employees' gay or unmarried straight partners -- an option that didn't exist for public workers anywhere in the state three months ago.

A proposal to expand city benefits to employees’ domestic partners has already won preliminary approval from the Chattanooga City Council, but opponents aren’t giving up.

After two months of public debate among residents across the Scenic City, members of the City Council spoke their mind en route to taking the first step toward making Chattanooga the third city in Tennessee to offer benefits to employees in same-sex and other domestic partnerships.

Chattanooga City Council passes the first reading of a controversial bill to expand benefits to city employees in domestic partnerships, which includes gay couples.

After weeks of speaking out against Councilman Chris Anderson's proposal to extend benefits to city employees in same-sex relationships and to update the city's nondiscrimination clause, Councilman Larry Grohn introduced his own bill.

Before Chattanooga City Council members vote tonight on whether to expand benefits to domestic partners of city employees, a local police union wants them to examine what benefits the current 2,700 city employees receive.

When the Chattanooga City Council takes up a same-sex benefits proposal Tuesday, the nine members will do more than just vote. Each will make a statement about where he or she stands on one of the most controversial issues of the day -- one that divides churches and families.

The highest-ever water runoff fee levied on Chattanooga business owners this year is the latest blow for a city forced to find a solution to the decades-old problem of clogged pipes, polluted runoff and blocked ditches.

People flocked to City Council. Supporters wore red in favor of equality, while opponents clutched well-worn Bibles to stand up for traditional marriage.

As dozens of people were turned away from the City Council Chambers this afternoon, city officials outlined the cost to expand employee benefits for couples in domestic partnerships, including gay couples.

As the crowd streamed from last week's Chattanooga City Council meeting, Collegedale Detective Kat Cooper stood on the lawn and faced a gathering group.

The Trust for Public Land is working with Chattanooga officials to identify which of the city's 71 parks or greenways need a makeover and the neighborhoods in need of a place for families to play outdoors.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke named a member of top leadership team Thursday to replace outgoing Andrew Kean as the city's chief operating officer.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke announced today that his Chief Innovation Officer Jeff Cannon will replace outgoing Andrew Kean and take over the city's day-to-day operations.

A Chattanooga judge is questioning the state's decision to close the county's only center that reinstates driver's licenses, saying it will lead to more unlicensed drivers on local roads.

The Chattanooga City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to give Mayor Andy Berke nearly $100,000 to bring in a consulting firm to help implement the key part of next year's city budget.

The first firm proposal put forth to stabilize Chattanooga's public safety retirement fund and rein in spiraling costs would save the city $126 million over the next 25 years.

After eight weeks of debate among residents over whether it's fair or immoral to extend benefits to partners of city employees in same-sex relationships, city officials announced a public hearing next week.

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