From The Archives: Frank Newson & Mai Bell Hurley

Chattanooga (WDEF) –  Sure, the rest of the country knows Chattanooga natives Bob Corker, Samuel L. Jackson, Usher & Lauren Alaina.

But it took a lot of other people to make the town we now call home.

This week, we lost a pair of them.

And we want to pay tribute with a trip back into the Archives.

Mai Bell Hurley was a civic, business and political leader.

She would become the city’s first female council member.

But Hurley first emerged in the 1980s when she headed Chattanooga Venture, the organization that would help change the old rundown city, into the new one we love today.

Our story (to the left) comes from 1984, when the city announced the goals of the new Venture, and the lady who would lead it.


Frank Newson was also a trailblazer in Chattanooga.

He was part of the first class of African American police officers who joined the force in the 1960s.

Newson would go on to head the Narcotics division of the Chattanooga Police Department.

So he was there for the Cocaine wars of the 1980s and 90s and the emergency of gang life here.

In 1991, he had a frank discussion about the Chattanooga drug trade with our Ted Perry.

(second video on the left)

Categories: Bonus Stories, From The Archives

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