Today: Mostly sunny and warmer through the afternoon with a high in the upper 60s.
Tonight: Clouds returning and not as cold with an overnight low in the mid to upper 40s.
Friday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance ... More...
Are Government Legal Notices A Waste Of Tax Dollars?
By John Pless
Many people believe if you dig deep enough you can find where government wastes your tax dollars. So we're beginning a new, on-going series of reports called Waste Watch where we are going to find those wasted dollars.
We begin with a closer look into governments spending money to buy ads in newspapers that few people read.
Times are changing as fewer people subscribe to and read printed papers in favor of getting information on-line. So should the Tennessee law be changed so that governments no longer have to spend your money on something seldom used?
According to the Tennessee Press Association 70% of Americans read newspapers either in print or on-line. But what about all those legal notices that city and county governments are required by law to publish?
We posed that question to a number people who said they never read the legal notices. We did find a few people who said they do read some legal notices like announcements of marriages, divorce and foreclosures.
The City of Chattanooga spends about $75,000 a year to buy space in newspapers to let the public know about meetings, bids and purchases according to city media relations director Richard Beeland.
"Well we've always been concerned about the amount of money we're spending on legal notices," Beeland said.
Last year City Hall asked State Senator Bo Watson, R-Hamilton County, to introduce a bill that would change the requirement for governments so they could publish legal notices on-line without having to pay for printed notices in newspapers.
"What I wanted to do with this bill was begin the dialogue of how do we transition from a print media system to a system that's electronic and still meets those four tenants of being independent, verifiable, achievable and accessible," Senator Watson said.
The measure failed. The Tennessee Press Association lobbied against the change which would have resulted in lost income for newspapers. TPA said the change would water down the press's role of keeping people informed.
Frank Gibson, policy director for the Tennessee Press Association, said "of course that removes an important ingredient and purpose of public notice and that is that the notice be independent of government and verifiable."
TPA cites several studies showing why going exclusively on-line would keep a substantial number of people in the dark. At least 36% of Tennesseans don't have broadband access. 25% of Tennesseans don't have computers -- of those who do have computers only one-in-four visit government web sites.
Vickie Jefferson, a reader of those printed legal notices, said "I think they should keep doing it solely because everybody doesn't use on-line."
The city's spokesman agrees, going on-line would limit access for some but these days it's more about the cost considering how few people even read the printed notices.
"We're just trying to save taxpayer dollars by eliminating the requirement that we put it in print," Beeland said.
We are looking into other government projects and programs where there may be wasteful spending of tax dollars. If you know about a government program that needs attention we have set up a special e-mail address where you can share the information: email@example.com.
More Business News
Last Update on April 17, 2014 07:32 GMT
HONG KONG (AP) -- Asian stock markets were mostly lower today, with Japan's Nikkei leading the retreat as investors locked in profits after a strong rally.
Profit taking set in following a sharp rise in Tokyo the day before and as comments from the country's central bank governor left investors unimpressed.
Other regional benchmarks were unable to find direction in spite of optimism in the U.S., where major benchmarks closed at least 1 percent higher, and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank would continue to provide stimulus for the job market.
Trading in some markets such as Hong Kong and Australia was subdued ahead of a long weekend.
Benchmark crude oil rose above $104 a barrel.
The dollar slipped against the euro and the yen.
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
Major business and economic reports scheduled today
WASHINGTON -- Investors today will be taking a close look at the government's weekly jobless claims report.
Also due out is Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate report.
There are a slew of companies set to report their quarterly financial results today. All results will be released before the bell.
Among the major companies reporting are industrial giants DuPont and General Electric.
Two big investment banks, Goldman Sachs; and Morgan Stanley, will report earnings.
Also set to release quarterly results today are PepsiCo, Philip Morris International, Union Pacific, Mattel, UnitedHealth and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- An official familiar with the investigation says the New York Attorney General's Office has issued subpoenas to six firms and sent a letter to another for details about split-second stock trading and any unfair advantages.
The official tells The Associated Press the subpoenas went last week to trading firms including Chicago-based Jump Trading LLC and Chopper Trading LLC and Tower Research Capital in New York. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the subpoenas.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has said advantages in computer hardware and placement enable some traders to get millisecond timing advances on trades.
His office, with New York authority to investigate securities fraud, is seeking details about trading strategies and special arrangements with trading venues.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A man will plead guilty to securities fraud and pay regulators around $801,000 for using insider information to profit from Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009.
According to the deal filed in Los Angeles federal court Wednesday, Toby Scammell learned from his then-girlfriend, a Disney corporate strategy employee, that Disney would acquire a well-known company she didn't name.
Scammell learned from his consulting company that Disney had previously wanted to acquire Marvel. He bought call options in Marvel stock for around $5,500, and later sold them for $192,000 in profit.
Last month, Scammell agreed to settle a parallel civil case and pay $801,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will be credited to his fine in the criminal case. He also faces prison time.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fight over whether workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee can unionize is moving to Washington.
Two House Democrats said Wednesday they will investigate whether Republicans in that state may have violated "or otherwise run afoul" of any federal laws ahead of a February vote in which workers narrowly opted against joining the United Auto Workers.
Congressmen George Miller of California and John Tierney of Massachusetts say they want to know if any Tennessee Republicans attached any inappropriate strings to the state's $300 million incentive package to get VW to expand the Chattanooga plant.
The union claims the election was tainted by Republicans including U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.
Corker and others have denied doing anything inappropriate.
A hearing on the UAW's complaint is set for Monday in Chattanooga.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo's recently fired chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, left the Internet company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job.
The disclosure in a regulatory filing may lead to more second-guessing of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to hire de Castro as her second-in-command in October 2012.
Mayer dumped de Castro in January after concluding he wasn't executing on her plan for reviving Yahoo's lackluster ad growth. De Castro had been in charge of ad sales.
Yahoo Inc. previously disclosed de Castro would be getting a severance package, but didn't reveal the amount until Wednesday.
The company's board said most of the severance stemmed from the costs of luring de Castro from his previous job at Google Inc.
The Good Life
Celebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
SideroadsTake a ride with Don Welch to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Road TrippinCome Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
Closings and DelaysThese are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
Educator of the WeekEach week WTVC will profile a teacher in Southeast Tennessee and acknowledge their part in the advancement of the education of their students and the contributions to their profession.
Deaf & Hard of HearingInformation provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
Sponsored EventsCheck Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!