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Sunday, March 7, 2021


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Thanks for joining us for news good evening.

I'm emily cassulo.

Thanks for joining us for news 12 now at 11.

Andrew has the night off.

The race for the white house is still too close to call, as vote counting continues.

The trump campaign is preparing for legal challenges as the president's path to re-election narrows, with joe biden projected to win two more battleground states -- wisconsin and michigan.

Natalie brand has the latest, as we cover the nation.

Joe biden picked up two key battleground states wednesday.,, as cbs news projects him the winner of michigan and the presumptive winner in wisconsin.

That puts the former vice president within striking distance of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

16;10;57;16 ''i am not here to declare that we won.

But i am here to report, that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.'' biden currently leads president trump by 40 electoral votes.with north carolina, pennsylvania and georgia still considered toss-ups--arizona and nevada are leaning democratic.

President trump falsely claimed victory overnight and is now mounting legal challenges.

He's demanding a recount in wisconsin.

And suing to stop the vote count in georgia, pennsylvania and michigan.

"nats protest" in detroit, supporters of president trump demanded entry to a ballot processing center to watch the vote count.

"nats" in philadelphia, demonstrators called for every vote to be counted.election officials there say it could take days before the winner of the keystone state is known.

16:39:28 ''we're going to win pennsylvania but they're trying to cheat us out of it because they know it's their only path to victory.'' election officials across the country said the vote-counting process has gone smoothly with few if any irregularities.

It's estimated around 160 million americans voted, on pace for highest turnout in more than a century.

Natalie brand/cbs news/washington as votes continue to be closely counted in some states, many are wondering about the polling data that proved to be inaccurate in states like florida.

Robin derryberry with derryberry public relations says the main cause of these polling errors had to do with fewer people having landline phones to conduct interviews.

"in the past you might've been able to do some polling toward a specific precinct or location and you could do that based on the numbers from your local election commission.

Where you could go and pull addresses and match those to home phone numbers.

Well that kinda went out the window when we all started giving up our home phones."

Most of the current polling is showing a lead for biden, with votes still being counted in states, like pennsylvania.

Election season isn't over for georgia voters.

The peach state will have a special election in january for one of its u-s senate seats.

No candidate received at least 50 percent of the vote.

Georgia was the only state with both senate seats up for grabs.

Democratic nominee reverend raphael warnock lead the way with 41 percent of the vote.

Republican kelly loeffler received more than 33 percent, while fellow republican doug collins got 26 percent.

The runoff election will be between warnock and loeffler.

Political science professor doctor ken ellinger says the runoff will be like another election, and expect to see a lot of political ads.

I think you can count on group that have spent many millions of dollars trashing the other candiate.

There will be lots of negative advertising as me saw in the perdue ossoff race.

David perdue currently leads jon ossoff in the race for georgia's other senate seat.

In tennessee, republican bill hagerty won the state's open u-s senate seat.

He defeated marquita bradshaw, who's an environmental justice activist.

Hagerty will replace g-o-p senator lamar alexander, who decided not to run for re- election.

Also in tennessee, chuck fleischmann was re-elected to his u-s house seat.

He defeated democrat meg gorman, who's from chattanooga, securing a sixth term.

Fleischmann says he's thankful to get to serve once again.

"fortunately every time i have run, i have won in the general election all of the 11 east tennessee counties.

That was the case tonight.

I'm so so thankful for that.

The voters have spoken.

We had a great night.

I'm looking forward to going back and representing the people of he 3rd district once again.

Serving on the appropriations committee, bringing those much needed federal dollars really to our entire state.

More than two million people voted during the entire 20-16 presidential election season in tennessee.

This year two million plus votes were cast before election day.

Secretary of state tre hargett talks about the significant voter turnout before and during election day.

I think tennesseans felt comfortable going to vote in clean,s ecure and safe environments and show their confidence by going to vote in person.

Obviously everbody was interested in the president trump election or the u.s. senate race or other races.

We're just so delighted so many tennesseans chose to make their voice heard.

Again, voter turnout in this election cycle was among the highest in recent memory.

It's been reported that close to 100 million ballots were cast - far outpacing the total votes counted in the 20-16 election.

Nate foster with the election commission says hamilton county saw the most number of ballots cast ever.

"in terms of actual turnout, we had 172,079 people cast their ballot, unofficially again, up until this point.

And that is a, that is a very large number, as a matter of fact that is to my knowledge, that's the most ballots we've ever had cast and i think a lot of other jurisdictions around the country are experiencing the same thing.

Many states are still counting votes.

Republicans dominated tennessee yesterday, but some democratic officials believe it's because of possible gerrymandering.

Hamilton county democratic party chair rodney strong says district lines are drawn out to give republicans an advantage.

Strong says it's one reason why democratic candidates struggle in political races, despite dominating the polls in certain counties.

Before 2010, senate district district 10 included marion county and hamilton county, which is more democratic.

When they redrew the district lines after the 2010 census and were able to move to bradley county rather than marion county, it was clear that they had given the republicans the advantage by drawing lines that way.

Strong says the coronavirus also played a role in impacting candidates' campaigns.

The hamilton county health department is reporting a covid-19 exposure at the texas roadhouse near hamilton place.

Someone worked in the restaurant during their infectious period from october 26th through november 3rd.

The health department recommends anyone who visited the restaurant during that period to get tested.

Health department officials say it's important to stay home if you're feeling sick.

They also remind employers to review their employee illness policy with their staff.

Chattanooga police are investigating an afternoon shooting at an apartment complex.

Police say it happened at the parc apartments on gunbarrel road, shortly after noon.

Investigators say a man was shot, and his injuries are life threatening.

Another house fire this morning in lafayette marks several similar fires in walker county in the last 6 days.

This one was on baker drive off magnolia street around 6:30.

Everyone was able to get out of the trailer home safely.

It was a total loss.

Other recent fires in the county were in chattanooga valley friday night, napier chapel rd on lookout mountain sunday night, and hamilton drive in chickamauga last night.

Now, from the epb fiberoptics weather center, tomorrow's storm team 12 forecast.

Up next on news 12 now at 11, what happens to all of those pumpkins after halloween?

We'll show you, after the break.

Here's a live look from our c-h-i memorial camera at lee pointe from the e-p-b fiber optics weather cam network.

Now, from the epb weather center, your storm team 12 forecast.

Your morning forecast satellite and radar imagery shows morning lows afternoon highs at the 11 o'clock hour , temperatures our forecast supercast shows our 7 day forecast our storm team 12 7 day forecast: millions and millions of millions and millions of pumpkins are produced every year in the u-s, many of which end up with consumers during halloween.

But what happens when the celebrations are over?

News 12's dorothy sherman explains how one local composting comapny plans to use your holiday leftovers post- halloween.

Newterra compost co-founder normand lavoie: "in the us alone they estimate every year 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins go to the landfill just from halloween."

Newterra compost is working with hixson high school and utc to collect those pumpkins you don't want.

Just drop them off at the hixson high school greenhouses or u-t-c academic services office.

Newterra compost co-founder normand lavoie: "our goal is to raise awareness by working with students at both schools we hope that they understand that their decisions made locally, make a difference globally for global warming." sherman: "at the end of the week they'll take the pumpkins to area farms to use as chicken food and whatever can't be used to feed the animals, they'll use to make soil."

Newterra compost co-founder normand lavoie: "the soil is then going to, it's going to take about 6 months for us to process it and after that it's going to go to gardeners and farmers around the chattanooga community."

It's a way to keep pumpkins out of landfills.

Newterra compost co-founder normand lavoie: "when food goes to the landfill it actually creates methane and that's the number three source of greenhouse admissions in the united states."

Newterra compost co-founder normand lavoie says tennessee is above average per capita in waste sent to the landfill.

Newterra compost co-founder normand lavoie: "per person and per home we're sending more waste every day to the landfill."

Lavoie says they'll be collecting pumpkins all week.

In chattanooga, dorothy sherman, news 12 now.

The pandemic forced many people into remote working situations.

Find out why some say many companies may keep their employees working from home permanently.

That's next.

"you're watching news 12 at 11.

Your news now."

The publix slated to be built in south chattanooga is now making progress.

Demolition crews cleared debris on the property today.

A series of setbacks slowed down the project, but now the grocery giant is set to open next year.

Retail stores will also be placed on the 32 acre site.

U-s cruise lines have canceled sailings through at least the end of the year.

That's because of new safety guidelines related to the covid-19 pandemic.

U-s cruise lines had been set to resume sailings as of december first.

But on friday, the c-d-c announced a new framework for resuming sailings.

Now the industry trade group, cruise lines international, says they'll work with the c-d-c to resume sailings as soon as possible.

All the cruise line brands for carnival, royal caribbean, and norwegian are impacted.

Millions started working from home when the coronavirus shut down office buildings, and it looks like the trend will continue, even after the pandemic is over.

Naomi ruchim explains, in our consumer news.

Akshay arora used to work in the office everyday for the real estate website zillow.

But he now at home because of the pandemic.

Naomi: "did you ever see yourself as a work from home person" akshay 03:50 "i have worked remotely in the past, i did not see this happening anytime soon, this is huge, this is a big shift in the industry."

In a recent survey 87 percent of remwant the option to keep doing so.

Several major corporations are offering many of its employees the ability to do their job at home permanently.... including zillow.

07:20 "most measures of productivity have increased."

Zillow chief people officer dan spaulding says even with the move to remote work the company is keeping offices.

"we believe that in the future, even if people are working from home it's going to be important that they have our offices to get together, collaborate."

A study from staffing agency robert half found 61 percent of companies are advertising fully remote jobs and 60 percent are now expanding their search geographically to access a wider candidate pool.

"i think this is the new normal and that data shows that as well."

Akshay says performing his job at home... works for him.

"it's been great that zillow has given us a flexible schedule where i have this time that i didn't have before, that's been amazing."

That extra time is now spent with his kids who are just steps when the work day is over.

Naomi ruchim, cbs news, new york.

Kohl's department stores will be opening up at five a-m on black friday.

The company's chief marketing officer says he expects a lot of people to be there to shop in-person this year-- so folks at each store have been working on preps to make sure people can shop safely.

The stores will be closed thanksgiving day -- along with a number of other major retailers.

The stakes will be extremely high for the georgia-florida game.

Here's rick nyman with sports.

Plus, jarrett guarantano is still the man for the vols offense.

And walker valley earns a home playoff game after a historic season.

"now from the news 12 sports desk."

Vols coach jeremy pruitt says jarrett guarantano will remain the starting quarterback saturday against arkansas.

Pruitt says j-g understands the expectations, and he's better at getting the guys around him to play at a higher level.

Pruitt hopes guarantano and his supporting cast are in sync against the razorbacks.

Pruitt:"you know you can have 10 guys do exactly right and maybe the left guard gets beat or doesn't do it the right way and it messes up the entire play.

It only takes one guy that can create a bad play offensively.

That's why you've got to be able to play as a unit."

Georgia gets ready for their annual showdown with florida in what will basically be the s-e-c east title game.

The dawgs and gators each only have one conference loss, while all the other teams in the east have three or more.

Kind of hard to ignore the importance of saturday's match-up, even for gators coach dan mullen.

Mullen:"yeah i don't know.

It doesn't clinch it or seal anything, but i mean it certainly whoever wins this game certainly is putting themselves in the driver's seat.

Certainly in the driver's seat to get to atlanta.

You're two games up on this team, and you're really two games up on everybody else in the league at that point."

Before this season, walker valley had won a total of five games over the last three years.

But the mustangs stormed out of their shell this year, setting a school record for wins and earning a rare, home playoff game.

The drum beat of victory has been rather silent over the years at walker valley.

Jackson:"i mean i can barely remember the last time we had a winning season."

Swafford:"i haven't had a winning season in a football since i was in 5th grade."

But last week, the mustangs capped off the regular season with a 55-0 win over soddy daisy to capture a school record eight wins on the year.

Swafford:"i think it has been four years since we beat soddy.

I was talking to one of their players as we were on the field in the second half.

He was like dude, what happened to y'all."

Akins:"for us to get to eight last week and celebrate with our band and with our cheerleaders and with our student section.

It was a great celebration.

It shows how far we've come in two short years."

Yes walker valley can score a lot of points with quarterback tucker pope and company, but the difference is their defense.

Akins:"building a defense that's going to fly to the football.

That's going to play with great violence, and it has been fun to watch.

And like i said, because of that mentality, it has turned out to be the best defense in school history."

This friday, the mustangs host their first playoff game in 16 years.

But it's another playoff drought walker valley would like to see come to an end.

Jackson:"and i think we've only won one playoff game ever."

Walker valley will have to earn their second ever playoff victory.

They host 5th ranked powell.

Akins:"you know we have one of the best football teams in the state coming here on friday.

But we're one of the best football teams in the state too.

It really is a quarterfinal game in the first round, so we're excited to compete.

These are the games we want to be apart of."

That's it for sports.

Vols coach jeremy pruitt says jarrett guarantano will remain the starting quarterback saturday against arkansas.

Pruitt says j-g understands the expectations, and he's better at getting the guys around him to play at a higher level.

Pruitt hopes guarantano and his supporting cast are in sync against the razorbacks.

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