'In the black' plates draw 600 Tennesseans

The Millennial Debt Foundation, a Chattanooga-based advocacy group started by Weston Wamp and other millennials to encourage Congress to limit the growing U.S. debt, has attracted nearly 600 purchasers of a new all-black license plate in Tennessee designed to promote a more responsible "in the black" budgeting process in government.

Wamp and Chattanooga MDF founding board members Adam Boeselager and Nick Macco spearheaded the black license plates which were designed by the Chattanooga creative agencies Whiteboard and RVRB.

"We teamed up with state Rep. Jeremy Faison and state Sen. Todd Gardenhire to pass a specialty plate bill through the General Assembly, and with the signature of Gov. [Bill] Lee, our symbol, Tennessee's only all-black license plate, was born," said Tucker McClendon, a spokesman for MDF. "But the plate is only the symbol. In the Black was envisioned as a community of Tennesseans who believe less is more, in government and in everyday life."

The license plates were an outgrowth of one of the MDF regional "Stewardship Series" events two years ago with current and former Govs. Phil Bredesen, Bill Haslam and Bill Lee, who each talked about how Tennessee's state government balances its annual budget while the federal government continues to run deficits.

The black license plates are among nearly 100 such specialized license plates sold at premium prices in Tennessee to help raise funds for various causes. To be produced by the state, 1,000 pre-orders must be received before the licenses are manufactured.


Regal Theaters add Uber Eats delivery

Regal and Uber Eats announced a nationwide partnership Tuesday that makes Regal's concession items available for purchase in the Uber Eats app.

For the first time ever, consumers will be able to order their movie theater favorites from more than 150 Regal locations on Uber Eats, including Regal Theater at Hamilton Place in Chattanooga. Customers will be offered a $5 discount on any purchase of more than $25 from Nov. 23-29.

"The concessions offered at Regal are a must-have when viewing the latest blockbuster at our theaters and can now be enjoyed at home when watching your favorite team on game day with family and friends, thanks to Uber Eats," said John Curry, senior vice president of food service at Regal. "We invite guests nationwide to treat themselves this holiday season to the best theatre popcorn along with other delicious items from our concession stand."

Regal, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group, operates one of the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuits in the United States, consisting of 6,885 screens in 514 theatres in 42 states.


Regulators block merger of sugar company rivals

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block a major U.S. sugar manufacturer from acquiring its rival, arguing that allowing the deal would harm competition and consumers.

The suit was filed in federal court in Delaware. It comes about eight months after U.S. Sugar announced it reached an agreement to acquire the Imperial Sugar Company, one of the largest sugar refiners in the nation.

The lawsuit is the latest example of the Justice Department's approach to aggressive enforcement of federal antitrust law that officials say is aimed at ensuring a fair and competitive market. It comes months after President Joe Biden signed an executive order that called on the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to vigorously enforce antitrust statutes and promote market competition.

"Robust antitrust enforcement is an essential pillar of the Justice Department's commitment to ensuring economic opportunity and fairness for all," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. "We will not hesitate to challenge anticompetitive mergers that would harm American consumers and businesses alike."

U.S. Sugar said it plans to fight the lawsuit. It argued that the acquisition will increase production and distribution of refined sugar and provide a more secure supply.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner