Category: Daily Life

Raising the Flags




In 1970 members of Ringgold Georgia community started a tradition to honor the deceased Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, who were residents of Catoosa County at some point. At the time there was only one flag honoring all veterans, but members of the VFW decided each veteran should have a flag of their own. The tradition began with 12 flags that were placed in the Anderson Cemetery in Ringgold. Over the next 46 years the number of flags grew tremendously.

Each year, a week before Memorial Day and a week before Veterans Day volunteers from the Catoosa County area and surrounding areas place American flags along Ringgold’s streets and highways. They are placed on metal poles and a white wooden cross with the name of the veteran, their branch of service, and the war from the American Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan. A week before and after the two holidays the flags are up for display to honor the Veterans.

For many years Ralph Teems, his cousin Charles Teems (both VFW members) and Wallace Hall who made some of the first crosses volunteered labor initiative. The position was then given to Gilbert Childer, Head of the Volunteers. Dozens of volunteers have help put this event together each year. From Ringgold, Ridgeland, and Heritage middle and high school students making, painting, and placing the cross to volunteers from all ages, churches, civic organizations, and more. Today there are over a thousand of flags that are displayed and each year a hundred flags are added.





Meet the Storytellers

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Allie Schrenker

Allie Schrenker is a committed athlete studying Communications and Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with plans to graduate in May 2019. She is one of the editors for UTC’s literary journal and is currently pursuing a career in photojournalism.


Tiffany Closson

Tiffany Closson is a senior marketing major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She studied luxury fashion in Paris and has spent time in photojournalism working with local stories. As a marketing intern she has knowledge in website analytics and social media management.



Brianna (Charlye) White

Brianna (Charlye) White is in her senior year at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, majoring in Communications. She is the Community Outreach Assistant for the Bethlehem Center, and a Writer and News Anchor for her school news media, Mocs News. to view her work and email her at to learn more.

Jackson Hollis

Jackson Hollis has been a photojournalist for the UTC Echo for almost a year. He has shot many events for the paper including including parades, rally’s, sports events, and more. Jackson has lived in Chattanooga for over 3 years and loves sports and the outdoors. Jackson can be contacted either by cell (615) 479-5115 or by email




Copyright 2018, Rising Rock Media, all rights reserved.


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What is time? Three UTC students sat down with Dr. Joshua Hamblen, a UTC physics professor, who contemplates the meaning of time and its effects on us. With the time change coming up on November 4, 2018, everyone will set their clocks back one hour, effectively losing one hour of daylight each day.







Meet the Storytellers

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Katie Haremski

Katie Haremski is a senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Outside of contributing to Rising Rock, she is the Creative Coordinator at Counsel Creative and the Features Editor at The Echo. Katie is a storyteller, writer, designer, social media marketer and photographer.


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Ashley Rutledge

Ashley Rutledge, a Chattanooga native and senior communication student at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, plans to work in the marketing industry after graduation. Her skills include social media management, public relations and graphic design.


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Phillip Kiefer

Phillip Kiefer is an international Musician and amateur photojournalist with skills in multimedia production and marketing strategies. He is a senior at UTC studying communication and anthropology. His interests in local music and the outdoors drive him to produce fun and informative stories.










Copyright 2018, Rising Rock Media, all rights reserved.

Barber Kings – Chattanooga One Snip at a Time


Chris Palmer edges a clients hair on September 10, 2018 (Photo by Troy Stolt).

Barber Kings, a well-known barber shop on MLK Boulevard in Chattanooga, Tenn., creates a space where area neighborhoods find community.

Established in 2013 by owner Victor Bronson, Barber Kings has been a place where the people of the MLK Neighborhood Association frequent on a daily basis.

Not only can people walk in to receive a professional cut or shave from one of their barbers, they can also come in to spend hours of time with their neighbors.




According to Master Barber Chris Palmer, Barber Kings is a place to not only receive a good haircut, but also a good conversation. By growing up spending time in barber shops himself, Palmer understands the effect a barber shop can have on people.

“As a kid, going to the barber shop was like going on a field trip. It was a place to sit and listen, to have conversations with the barber and the people who lived in this community,” Palmer said.  

By having a personal experience and understanding of the effects a barber shop can have on someone, Palmer and the other barbers work hard to make this shop a place for community.

Messiah waits for a haircut at Barber Kings on Martin Luther King Boulevard on September 8, 2018 (Photo by Troy Stolt).

“We try to make this a place where boys can learn how to become young men,” Palmer said, “We want to be there to help mentor the children that come and sit in our chairs.”

Even with all of their passion for their work and the people they encounter, Barber Kings recently changed locations due to the gentrification of MLK Boulevard.

The landscape of MLK and the neighborhood has drastically changed over the years. What used to be a street made up of predominantly black business owners has been flooded with people from the nearby neighborhoods and has changed to appeal and conform to a younger, middle-class taste.


Terrance Bragg cuts a client’s hair at Barber Kings on Martin Luther King Blvd on September 8, 2018 (Photo by Troy Stolt).

These changes have allowed new shops, bars and restaurants to open up along MLK Boulevard as well as allow more college students, tourists and locals enjoy what this part of Chattanooga has to offer. The new businesses like OddStory Brewing Company, 2 Sons Kitchen and Market, Hutton & Smith Brewing, and The Camp House to name a few, fall under the category of change on this street. Unfortunately, because of this change, Barber Kings could no longer stay in their previous location on MLK.

With these changes, Barber Kings had to face the choice of leaving a neighborhood they had spent years building a community with or work hard to stay and continue being involved with their neighborhood.

The shop ended up remaining on MLK, but changing locations to a little ways down the road. Barber Kings is currently located next door to Hutton & Smith Brewing and across the street from Champy’s Restaurant at 517 East Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Terrance Bragg shaves his face with a straight edge razor on September 10, 2018 (Photo by Troy Stolt).

Having been around this community for many years, the barbers have seen shops come and go. They are aware of these changes, but they are prepared to face them together and adapt how they see fit.

“I know lots of families who have moved out of this neighborhood. They talk about the way things used to be around here, how it made them strong,” Palmer said.

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Terrance Bragg finishes a clients hair September 6th, 2018. Jessica Boggs

By seeing other businesses let these changes move them out, Palmer and the shop understand how different this neighborhood used to be. However, it is also important to them to be a part of this newly formed community inhabiting the neighborhood.

The Barber kings staff cut clients hair on September 7, 2018 (Photo by Troy Stolt).

“These are the streets that musicians like Bessie Smith and James Brown used to roam. As this neighborhood experiences a shift from gentrification, it’s important to us to be an example for other ethnic owned businesses in this community. We don’t want to lose that history,” Palmer said.

Barber Kings is a business that does not let gentrification force them out of a place they call home. These barbers and this company represent strength, community and history in an important part of the city of Chattanooga.



Meet the Storytellers:


Troy Stolt

Troy Stolt is a student photojournalist based out of Chattanooga Tennessee, where he is the photo editor of the UTC student newspaper, the University Echo, he has experience covering news, sports, in the creation of multimedia, studio portraits as well as making featured photos. His work has also been published University relations,, and the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Abigail Frazier

Abigail Frazier is a senior communications major at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She works for the student newspaper, The University Echo, as the News Editor. Frazier hopes to pursue print journalism or an online publication in News Media.



Jessica Boggs

Jessica Boggs, Senior at UTC, is pursuing a degree in Communication and minoring in International Relations. She is an experienced international photojournalist as well as feature photographer for The Echo. Jessica is passionate about speaking for those without a voice through the lens of a camera.




Copyright 2018, Rising Rock Media, all rights reserved.





chattahooliganposterFINALjpg.jpgThe Chattahooligan feature is designed to do two things: to familiarize the viewer with the Chattanooga Football Club fan base known as The Chattahooligans, and to highlight their influence in the city by showing their support for Operation Get Active (an organization started through the CFC Foundation).  

In this multimedia piece, three Chattahooligans are interviewed at an OGA event, and while each are interviewed separately, they all touch on the importance of building community through organizations like OGA, which emphasizes inclusiveness, and giving everyone the opportunity to participate.  Inclusiveness and opportunity are two core ideals in the The Chattahooligan fan base, and while they are comprised of many members, with each having varying levels of interest in the game, each ultimately share the same passion for cultivating community in Chattanooga.




Meet the Storytellers

savannahcSavannah Champion

Savannah Champion is a Junior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  She also works as a Marketing Coordinator for a local infrastructure company, where she utilizes her love for content writing and graphic design to create clear and consistent messaging.


Cade Deakin ECHO WEBCade Deakin

Cade Deakin is a photographer and videographer based in Chattanooga, who has worked at the student newspaper, The University Echo, while completing a communications degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and completed a media internship making promotional photos and videos at Songbirds Guitar Museum. 


nik jones portraitNik Jones

Nik Jones is a senior communications student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with experience in photojournalism. He is passionate about art in its many forms, but more importantly people and the stories they have to tell.




Copyright 2018, Rising Rock Media, all rights reserved.

New Life as a Single Mother

Alek Ferguson holding her baby daughter, Aurora Ferguson, in their home.
Alek Ferguson holding her baby daughter, Aurora Ferguson, in their home. (Photo by Rachel Garcia)

Alek Ferguson is a first-time single parent living in a small apartment in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Earlier this year, Alek and her husband found out they were pregnant, and within the first three months, her husband decided he was not ready for the responsibilities of having a child, so he moved out leaving Alek to go through the pregnancy alone.

Continue reading “New Life as a Single Mother”