One of the most important ways to invest in the future of agriculture is to invest in the people who will become tomorrow’s agriculture industry leaders. Students pursuing the agriculture industry often look for careers in planning, implementation, production, management, processing, education, or marketing ag products and services. Tennessee Department of Education predicts that over 60,000 high-skilled agricultural jobs open annually in the United States with just around 35,400 graduates in the Ag, Food, and Natural Resources program studies to fill the openings.
Big Improvements Coming to Big Ridge State Park
Big improvements are afoot at Big Ridge State Park, and park superintendent Keith Montgomery said what park guests see now is just the beginning.
Montgomery has been superintendent for about three years now, and along with park staff he's been working to address a list of issues with infrastructure and aesthetics at the park. At the top of the list are safety concerns, followed by subjects of complaints from visitors.
"It's a menagerie of reasoning," said Montgomery.
All the improvements have been funded with state money, he said. While some comes from specific funds, like TDEC Sustainability Department funding for new water heaters, energy-efficient windows and new HVAC systems, most of the money has come from a change in the way the state handles park revenue.
"For many years, anything the state parks made in revenue just rolled back into the general fund," said Montgomery. "But with better budgeting and accounting in Nashville, now the parks keep it in the deferred maintenance fund. That's what paid for a lot of this stuff. We've been really lucky. We've gotten a good bit."
Last year, park staff were hard at work addressing issues that had been put off for lack of funding, including removing more than 300 dead ash trees, replacing timbers and gravel for camp pads, trail clearing and stabilization, buying new tables and chairs for the Group Camp and Rec Hall, removing chain link fencing behind the swim beach, and much more.
Projects underway for 2018 are numerous, including replacing fencing damaged by 2017 floods, replacing way-finding signage at the trailheads, putting a new surface on the boat dock, and installing a new exercise station along the lake.
A few high-profile and noticeable projects will be a huge relief to frequent Big Ridge visitors.
First off, Bathhouse 3 at the Big Ridge campground has been gutted and is in the process of a complete renovation.
"It was deplorable," said Montgomery. "It was the number one thing we got complaints on."
The Rec Hall also got a facelift, with the logs restored to a wood finish and non-log surfaces painted to match. Montgomery called the change "a world of difference."
But, perhaps the biggest project of all centers around the park's swim beach. Many years ago, the valve on the park's lake dam broke, leaving staff unable to lower the lake level to perform maintenance at the beach. Fixing the valve enabled a lot of maintenance, not just at the beach, but around the park.
Park staff have cleared the concrete bottom of the swim area of years of silt and pressure-washed the concrete. They're also repairing rock walls built by the Civilian Conservation Corps following the Great Depression. They rebuilt the swim platform with new wood, carpet and edging, and the swim area's pontoon platforms are being rehabbed, too.
With the lake level low, park staff have also been removing trash and treefall debris from the lakeside around the park, making lakeside areas safer for use.
Montgomery said "the reaction was just overwhelming" when park staff posted photos of the swim beach improvements on Facebook, but one question remained.
"What about the beach house?" he said.
The beach house, also built by CCC workers and with a distinctive stonework veranda, has been closed for many years. In fact, Montgomery said it was on the demolition list when he came to Big Ridge, but he asked that it be spared.
"It is one of the original structures of the park," he said. "Part of our mission is to preserve the cultural features of the park."
The beach house is also home to paintings by the park's former lifeguard staff, and Montgomery hopes to preserve those in some way, too.
"I'm hoping to turn it into something like a pavilion," he said. "But it would require capital funding, and that is a whole different pot of money that takes a number of years to push through."
Montgomery invited the community to visit Big Ridge State Park to see the changes themselves. He also encouraged folks to visit http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/big-ridge and leave feedback for the park.
"We're making great headway, but we've still got a long way to go," he said. "We're just trying to address those projects that have been hanging around for a long time, and I'm trying to get it back to a higher quality."
Who says you have to give up farm life if you move to a subdivision?
Not Homer Johnson. Born in Union County and now living in the Cedar Chase subdivision in Halls, Johnson has kept farming and selling his produce. Just this year, he sold 1,500 ears of peaches and cream corn, along with sweet potatoes, okra, tomatoes, peppers, watermelon and cantaloupe. All this is thanks to a lot of just over two acres he bought from Knox County. It sits in the floodplain and has a TVA easement running through it, so a vegetable garden is just about all he could do with it.
Did you know that every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the U.S.? Many survivors of this abuse do not say anything because they are afraid no one will believe them. Often times a survivor will tell a friend or family member and they are accused of lying or "asking" to be assaulted. As the Sexual Assault Advocate and SART Coordinator for the Union County area I am taking the 'Start By Believing" Pledge to show that I am fully committed to believing each and every person that comes to me as a current victim or survivor.
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”
In Matthew 13:26, what did Jesus mean by the “coming in the clouds” part of His statement? Three of the four Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark and Luke) all record Jesus’ discussion with His disciples in what is commonly referred to by theologians as “The Olivet Discourse”. We are not going to keep you in suspense, “coming in the clouds” is a figure of speech, or metaphor for Judgement. More specifically the word, “clouds” in this context is a Biblical Metaphor for Judgement.
I have had this recipe for years. I love doughnuts, either cake or yeast. I don't eat them much any more. They quickly add pounds to this old frame. With no exercise and a healthy appetite, Anne limits my diet as best she can. However, sometimes we do splurge.
Krispy Creme is on my “do not even look that way” list as we drive by. I do sneak sweets at Revival Vision Church of God's Sunday morning coffee hour before Sunday School. Pat Hunt makes some tasty goodies.
New Years 2019 is here ready to start us on another year long adventure. Black eyed peas are supposed to bring good luck. Maybe so, but they taste good anyway. Here is an easy recipe to make. You probably already have the ingredients in your pantry. No need to trudge out to Food City. Let's get marinating!
Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.
Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M
Every Tuesday at 10:30 am (unless closed due to holiday) Luttrell Public Library volunteer, Celeste Lanzon, teaches and inspires babies to Pre-K students (siblings are welcome) to learn and engage in fun activities including music and movement and always a story. Highly qualified, Mrs. Celeste has an education degree and professional teaching experience, so that your child is benefiting immensely during this program.
Betty is teaching another wonderful Wine and Canvas Class! This class we will be painting Red Breasted Blue Birds!
Sip on some wine and learn to paint from one of Union Counties best! Supplies are included.
Tickets are only $35 and must be purchased in advance by calling (865) 745-2902 or by coming into The Winery.
Seating is limited and fills up very fast so make sure you reserve your ticket today!
"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.
Join us at The Winery for a fun Wine and Design event.
During this class, get ready for Valentine's Day by painting
and crafting a wine bottle and wooden love sign. The class is only
$25 and includes all the materials needed as well as a glass
of wine or juice. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased
in advance by calling The Winery at (865)745-2902.
Class starts at 6 so please come early to taste our wines and choose your favorite.
Rosemary Gail (Wilkerson) Johnson, of Halls/Plainview, went to be with our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ on Friday January 18, 2019. Rosemary spent 4 years fighting a rare mantle cell lymphoma. Rosemary loved her family, was a believer in Christ, an animal lover, and an all-around genuine person. She was preceded in death by her loving parents, Roy & Mary Lynn Wilkerson; father in law, Raymond Johnson; and brother in law Ray Johnson.
Lloyd Russell Lee Sr., age 68, of Knoxville, Tn was born July 6, 1950 and departed this earthly life on January 17, 2019 to gain his new body in heaven. His life was filled with the love of Nascar, Semi-Trucks, and Family. Lloyd was a self employed over the road truck driver for his entire life to provide for his ever-growing family. Married to Sandra “Sandy” Lee on January 4th 1969, they shared their love of 50 years with their 3 sons Rusty (spouse Mary Duso), Jimmy (wife April), and Billy (spouse Becky Litton).
Ted Jones, age 67, of Knoxville passed away on January 17, 2019. He was a bus operator for Knoxville Area Transit for over 43 years, and a member of Amalgamated Transit Union. He was a member of West Side Baptist church. Preceded in death by parents George & Neoma Jones, grandparents William Ellis & Flora Shuemaker, father-in-law Jack Jones.
Nathan Samuel Davis – age 23 of Maynardville, passed away Sunday, January 13, 2019.
He is survived by his parents, Luther and Julia Davis; and sister, Gabriela Eby.
A celebration of life service is being planned for a later date. Trinity Funeral Home, LLC, Maynardville, has the honor to serve the family of Nathan Davis. 865-992-5002 www.trinityfuneralhome.net
Edward Robert Collette went to be with his Lord and Savior January 10th, 2019.
Ed was born September 19, 1964. Ed graduated the University of Florida with a degree in Environmental Engineering. He was elected and served as international president of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He loved the ocean and spent a better part of his life on the beaches in Florida. His hobbies included fishing, scuba diving, body building, hunting and wood working.
Jack Ray Bohanan, age 78 of Powell, passed away peacefully on January 16, 2019 surrounded by his family and close friends.
He was a longtime member and deacon of Smithwood Baptist Church.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Ruby Bohanan; father and mother-in-law, LeRoy and Nellene Buckner; and brother, Jerry Bohanan.
Jason Shane Hubbs Jr., age 31, went home to be with his heavenly father January 13, 2019 while surrounded by his family and friends at UT Hospital, due to an automobile accident. He is preceded in death by his papaw and grandmaw Marvin and Twila DeCost, papaw Joe T. Hubbs; uncles Jeff Humphrey, Tony Hubbs, and Steve Buckner. Jason was the son of Jason and Crystal Hubbs and was the most amazing brother to Dustin, Justin, and Autumn. He was also the most amazing, loving, and caring father. His whole world was his son Cason Shane Hubbs.
Barbara E. (Hunter) Acuff-age 88 of Corryton passed away Monday, January 14, 2019 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was a member of Clear Branch Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Bill Acuff, parents, Clarence and Mossie (Wallace) Hunter; sisters, Geniva and Roy Burnett; Elise and Ken Beeler, Wanda and Don Beeler, Lois and Heral Kitts, Joyce Williams, brothers, Author, Earl, Ralph and Paul Hunter.
Survivors: sister, Carolyn (Leroy) Hensley of Luttrell; special sister-in-law, Lorene Hunter of Knoxville; several nieces and nephews along with a host of friends.
Charles King - age 85 of Maynardville, passed away peacefully at his home on January 14, 2019. No services are planned at this time. Trinity Funeral Home, LLC, Maynardville, has the honor to serve the family of Charles King. 865-992-5002 www.trinityfuneralhome.net