The Tragic Loss of a True Hero

207d85a87a54d3750a88b69eff7a7ce773157_mediumIn these tumultuous times, stories of selfless Samaritans are almost always drowned out by the seemingly endless stream of headlines involving senseless violence.

While it might not seem like it, heroes do still exist. We just have to look a little harder to find them. Michael Brady was one such hero.

Last Friday afternoon, Brady was walking down Tunnel Boulevard when he noticed a fire on the roof of Moss’ Place restaurant. Feeling compelled to help a neighbor in need, Brady ran to the business next door to alert them to the situation and ask for a fire extinguisher.

After being handed a portable extinguisher, Brady ran back over to Moss’ Place, grabbed a ladder and climbed to the roof to put out the fire. When Chattanooga police and firefighters arrived on the scene minutes later, Brady yelled down to them to let them know he had already extinguished the blaze.

Then, tragedy struck.

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Why David Carroll should be our next superintendent

b383c5d1e1534a7fc6ecf6c774fb06e447145_mediumAs you’ve probably heard by now, the Hamilton County School Board will vote on Superintendent Rick Smith’s request for a buyout March 7. Whether the school board agrees to the buyout or not, Smith’s time as superintendent is essentially over, as he’s requested (through his attorney) to be placed on paid leave through June 30.

Smith’s departure means that, once again, the school board will have to find a new superintendent sooner than it had planned or wanted. And though the selection process has yet to begin, I’d like to nominate someone: WRCB co-anchor and “School Patrol” reporter David Carroll.

Many in the community would likely agree that there is something slightly off with our superintendent recruitment and retention efforts. We could stand to shake things up a bit. We would do well to explore new avenues in our search for candidates, while at the same time looking for someone with a solid knowledge of the school system.

I propose that Carroll is that candidate.

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A recipe for combatting hate

844b02dc47fe1035d49de63f75270e1c51019_mediumA couple of Aprils ago, a group of Nazis came to Chattanooga. They were part of a group called the National Socialist Movement (NSM), and a few days before they arrived, I penned an open letter to the organization, asking them to reconsider. (You can read that letter here.)

I had no illusions that my letter would change their minds. And it didn’t.

(In all fairness, I never actually sent them a copy. I figured the surprisingly tech-savvy separatists probably had a Google Alert set up that would let them know about pieces like mine, but I have no idea if they actually read my letter or not. If they did read it, they disregarded it, much like they disregard the dignity of anyone not exactly like them. But I digress…)

A few days after my letter was published, roughly two dozen members of the group gathered in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse, struggled to be heard over a bigger and louder crowd of protesters, and then left town. And that was that.

As the Nazis’ visit faded from the headlines, I couldn’t shake one of the half-serious questions I had asked the group in my letter: Did their hatred of other cultures also apply to other cultures’ food?

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