Deer Sign: Clues to See the Unseen

White-tailed deer are widespread in our area and can be often seen along wooded edges or making a mad dash across the road. Even if you don’t see them, there are signs to look for when hiking in the woods that show their presence.

Tracks: Deer tracks show a cloven hoof with 2 long narrow toes that vary from 1 ½ to 3 inches long. They are wide towards the front and taper towards the back. A print made in snow or deep mud may have 2 marks behind the cloven hoof. These are from the dewclaws, which are 2 small toes farther up on the deer’s foot. When walking, deer place their hind feet in or near the prints of their forefeet, so the prints often overlap.

Scat: Most of the year deer droppings are small piles of dark cylindrical pellets. Each pellet often has a pointed end and a flat or concave end and average about ¾ inches long. During the spring and early summer, when deer are feeding on succulent vegetation, the pellets are softer and may stick together and form into large, soft droppings.

Trails: Deer often use regular routes through their home range that become worn-down trails, looking like narrow footpaths. They are usually clear of shrubs and low vegetation, but often not worn down to bare earth. Other animals often use the trails, including me, because they usually take the easiest routes through rough terrain.

Bedding: this will be a matted, flattened area of vegetation 3 to 4 feet long and 2 to 3 feet wide. Deer usually bed in areas of dense cover and may return to the same spot over several days. I have also seen bedding sign in hay fields near woodland edges. There may be several bedding areas in the same vicinity.

Rubs: These are bark scrapes on trees and shrubs made by a buck rubbing his antlers against the vegetation. Early rubs are made around September when the antlers have fully developed and the buck rubs off the velvet that covers the antlers during their development. These early wounds may only tear a little bark. More conspicuous rubs show up in October where large sections of bark may be torn. These are territorial markings and meant to be seen. Scent markers are often placed on the tree at the same time by an enlarged scent gland located on the buck’s forehead. Research shows that bucks favor certain sizes and species of trees. One study showed that rub trees tended to be about 1 inch in diameter and 6 feet tall. Pine, cherry, red-cedar, and sumac appear to be favored species. They all have aromatic bark and perhaps give added scent to the rub mark. Other characteristics of rub trees include few lower branches and generally smooth barked. Each rub is used only once, and they tend to be clustered in a given area.

By Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park



Feeding Union County Families Since 1997

Volunteer Pat Blackburn presents donation to Kitty Lewis - Union County Food Pantry Director

Union County Food Pantry started in 1997 when the current Director, Kitty Lewis, had a close friend from church who shared with her the struggles that people in our area were having with getting enough food to last the entire month. One lady was rumored to stretch her budget by eating cat food. These unfortunate circumstances spurred these two ladies to take action. Lewis and friends turned to local churches and have been supported by congregations and individuals ever since.

Chiropractic leads in patient satisfaction/clinical Effectiveness

Three in four people who saw a chiropractor in the last year (77%) described chiropractic care as “very effective.”

In a consumer survey, chiropractic outperformed all other back pain treatments, including prescription medication, deep-tissue massage, yoga, pilates, and over-the counter medication therapies.

Autumn Coloration: the Tree Paint Palette

Seeing the hills and valleys ablaze with color is a special Autumn event. Many variables influence how bright the colors will be, such as sunlight, temperature, rainfall, and soil conditions. These will cause color variations in a given tree from one year to the next or even differences in various portions of the same tree.

Thanks for Sharing the Ride of Life

I have always thought it my destiny to own a Lincoln. Car, that is. Yet it never quite seemed to work out for me.

It did work out for my sister Anna Mae, my mother’s only daughter. She once bought a beautiful four door Lincoln sedan that had belonged to a judge. I don’t remember the model, but I can see that car in my mind. It had a steel blue exterior, dark blue leather interior, and looked practically brand new. It had an electronic dash and air shocks.


I know this sounds strange, but BooBoo is the pet name I use for my daughter, Sara. How did I come up with it? Well, that is also somewhat strange.

It began when I was a little girl. Sometimes, when I was at my grandparent’s house, my uncle would tell me, “Shh, listen.” I just didn’t listen. Oh no. I completely stopped what I was doing and didn’t move for I knew what was coming next. Thump. Thump. Thump. After we heard those knocks, my uncle would say, “That means BooBoo’s on his way.”


Taco Dogs

Here is a hot dog recipe, South of the Border Style. Let's say you don't have any fresh buns on hand, but you do have some flour tortillas in the fridge. Make Taco Dogs. This is a great recipe for anytime. It is best to make these in the kitchen, not on a picnic. You need to prepare the fixings near your appliances. Since you will be preparing the Taco Dogs individually, you need to be near a heat source.

Grasshopper Pie

I remember when this pie first started appearing at potlucks. Those who made it tried to suggest that it was hard to do. Not just anyone could make it, they said. Not so. It takes a bit of fussing but nothing even a novice cook couldn't do. Try it. Cooks today will still think you are something special when you set this on the dessert table. Let them fuss over you.

Tennessee House of Representatives Candidate Information

Tennessee House of Representatives Candidate Information
District 35:
            Jerry Sexton—Republican Party. Serving Claiborne, Grainger and part of Union Counties in District 35 since 2015. He was born on March 9, 1957 in Claiborne County, TN. He is married to Marsha Sexton and has two children, Matthew and Terri. Jerry Sexton Graduated from Walter State University and his profession prior to politics is the owner of a furniture manufacturing facility as well as a Baptist Minister. 
            Some Things Jerry Sexton Stands for: 

Serving Citizens from Behind a Seal and Behind a Badge

Jerry Lawson, Luttrell Mayor and Union County Sheriff’s Deputy pictured with his family: Sara ,Kyle ,Noah ,Kenzlei, Beau ,Kaitlyn

Like many of our local leaders, Jerry Lawson wears many hats while serving our communities. Sheriff’s deputy by day, Mayor for the City of Luttrell in the evening. Lawson began serving as mayor on July 1, 2019 and has made some large strides in a short amount of time. Although the position of Mayor, which is the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality, may conger images of administrative office work only, the job bears a lot more responsibility than presiding over meetings—although that is an important aspect of the position.

Mischievous Man

For no apparent reason at all yesterday and today, my mind wandered back to memories of my brother, J. C. Truthfully, I think of him often, most probably daily if truth be told.
Particularly in the days of my early childhood, J. C. (James Clyde) Mincey was in many respects very much like Archie Bunker. (Oh, younger generation, Google and learn!)
J. C. was probably rougher than Archie in the days of his own youth, but I wasn’t around for that.

No Where to Go

I shoved my key into the lock in the front door and turned it. It wouldn’t open. I tried again. It still wouldn’t open. I wiggled and jiggled the key, but it didn’t work. The door refused to open. As I stood in front of it, I realized that for the first time in 45 years, I had nowhere else to go. That was not a pleasant experience. At all.

Let me back up a little here. This happened right after we had bought my dad’s place. Prior to that, Tim and I had bought my parents’ house and remodeled it. So, I had lived in that house for all of my life.


Easy Batter Rolls

I am always looking for an easier yeast roll recipe. I found one. It only makes a dozen. Just enough, even if we are having company. We didn't have homemade rolls during the Great Depression. Mother yearned for a good homemade yeast bread. Her only cookbook was that old 1936 Detroit Times Cook Book put together by subscribers. Some of those recipes were downright awful. Either a mistake was made in transcribing them or they weren't any good in the first place. It's a shame what some people will call good. They say you can get used to almost anything.

Chiropractors: a first line of defense against pain

The essential services provided by chiropractors represent a primary approach for the prevention, diagnosis and conservative management of back pain and spinal disorders that can often enable patients to reduce or avoid the need for riskier treatments, such as prescription opioid pain medications and surgery.

In 2017, the American College of Physicians released an update to its low back pain treatment guideline that recommends first using non-drug treatments, such as spinal manipulation (a centerpiece of chiropractic care), for acute and chronic low back pain.

Celebrate Heritage Crafts at home with locals on video

The leaves are turning, the temperature is cooling, the days are waning. It's fall y'all!
In Union County, fall ushers in the Union County Heritage Festival. This tradition has graced Maynardville for the last 15 years. But this year a coronavirus changed how we celebrate.
In 2020 the Festival Committee has transformed the Heritage Festival into Heritage Crafts for the season!

"Rock Star" Finance Director Ann Dyer to retire in 2021

Ann Dyer, Director of Finance, notified the Union County Finance Committee at the regular quarterly meeting in September that she would be retiring July 1, 2021.
Referencing scripture and the numbers seven and ten, Dyer believes that she was brought to Union County as a divine appointment to be secretary to Mayor Mike Williams in 2011.
From there she was called to become the first Union County Finance Director in 2013. She continued by saying that the number seven means completion and that describes her job to establish the finance department.

Under the Tree in 2020

Angel Tree at Food City

Look for the Angel Trees at local businesses

Union County Children’s Charity, Inc. (UCCC), a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is on a mission to ensure that every child in Union County receives a present on Christmas morning. With the COVID-19 pandemic afoot, many noble efforts and events have been derailed, but the UCCC is committed to doing whatever is necessary to see that this program survives. Gina Buckner, the current president of the UCCC, says, “It may look different this year, but extensive plans are underway now to safely distribute toys to families in need again this winter.”

Teacher incentive pay postponed; Coppock and Gibbs re-elected

Dr. Jimmy Carter, Director of Schools, remarked that his staff was preparing a rubric (rules for evaluation) for teacher incentive pay.
He further explained that the plan would not be ready for the Union County Board of Education September meeting and would need to be placed on the October agenda.

Union County grants top $1.6 million

“Union County has received the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in the amount of $253,143,” announced Mayor Bailey at the September Union County Commission Meeting.
The CDBG money will be used to purchase a fire engine for the Northeast Union Fire Department. Any remaining funds will be offered to the other fire departments to purchase needed equipment. However, Bailey stated that most likely the amount would just cover the cost of the truck.

UCBPA awards 2020 scholarships

Girl receiving a plaque for an academic scholarship

Savannah Jones receives the Jeffreys Memorial Academic Scholarship from UCBPA President Martin Shafer.

Union County Business and Professional Association awarded their 2020 scholarships at a recent meeting.
Receiving the Jeffreys Memorial Academic Scholarship is Savannah Jones. Savannah is currently attending UT Knoxville and majoring in food and agricultural business. She will receive a total of $3,125 to further her education.

Key Facts and Figures about the chiropractic profession

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. These disorders include, but are not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches. Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) practice a conservative approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment.

Election Day: Less than a month away

With Election Day approaching there is much discussion in America and Union County about who to vote for, especially with the election or re-election of a Commander-in-Chief. However, as is typical of any election, there are other offices which must be filled and many voters lack key information:
“What is the position in question?”
“Who is on the ballot?”
“What are their policies?”
These are often asked questions asked on election day or very shortly before.

Tennessee farmers and producers, apply now

Registered Angus Cattle on Cedar Crest Farm in Maynardville, TN photographed by Ashley Mike

Farmers and producers, October is here and with it brings the time for 2020 Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program (TAEP) Applications to be submitted. Following suit of recent years in the program, Application A can be completed between October 1 and 7, 2020, postmarked or online. This is the only time that applications are accepted all year. Check the website for more details , or call (865) 992-8038.

UCBPA seeks nominees for Man and Woman of 2020

Union County Business and Professional Association is seeking nominees for the Man and Woman of 2020, and the public is invited to participate. If you know of a person who is a resident of Union County or gainfully employed Union County, you may want to send the name, the reasons for the nomination, your name, and your phone number to Shannon DeWitt by email to or by mail to UCB&PA, PO Box 696, Maynardville, TN 37807. Nominations are due by October 20, 2020.

Earl Bull: Man of the soil, man of music

Earl Bull was cutting and baling 100 acres of hay, but still found time to talk to me. We were going back to our days spent on the farm as boys to help the family make it.
“Make it” meant to have food, wood cut for the winter, hay for the livestock and hopefully a cash tobacco crop to pay the farm taxes and put brogan shoes on our feet for winter, a couple of pair of jeans and flannel shirts for school.

The voyages of Christopher Columbus

(Morison, 1979) This great seafaring genius was born in the seaside port of Genoa in Italy in 1451 with the exact date unknown. His father was a poor wool weaver who owned a tavern where Christopher heard tall tales of the sea. The Portuguese had invented a new type of ship, the caravel, which could (Roselle, 1966) gain ground against the wind. Prince Henry the (Grove, 1997) “Navigator” set up a school for sailors to teach seafaring skills in Sargres, Portugal, improved the compass and made alterations in design of ships which gained multiple masts and studier sails.

The early history of Big Ridge leading to the creation of Norris Lake

The relationship between early settlers and Native Americans was and still is a very controversial subject.
Although it was a significant part of the history of early America, it was a short time period. It was not long after the first settlers of European descent had settled here that the hills and hollers were filled with people etching out a living.

A taste on the wild side: Jerusalem artichoke

The late summer/early fall season puts on a good flower show in our area, especially asters, those daisy-and sunflower-like species that come in a variety of colors, yellow in particular. One species that is not only pretty to look at but can also be enjoyed as a seldom-used vegetable is Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus).

The man of God

You cannot trust the man of God. Many people waver or lose faith in God, when a “man of God” fails. Men of God fail all the time. We have a recent example of an immoral failure of the leader of one of the largest Christian colleges and churches in America.


Early Bird

I don’t mind it when people call me an “Early Bird.” But it’s a little different when others say, “She’s a morning person.” At times, their tone of voice makes it sound as if that’s a bad thing.
I can’t deny it. God hard-wired me to be an early riser. Even as a small child, I looked forward to hopping out of bed and greeting a new day. What new adventures were awaiting me? What was I in danger of missing by staying inside?
As I grew older, I discovered the hard way that most people don’t share my perspectives on mornings.

Teacher Depot

Luttrell Elementary would like to thank district administrators who teamed up with generous donors and sponsors to have the UC Teachers' Depot. Teachers were able to "shop" from a wide variety of items for their classrooms, and they received tokens of appreciation for all their hard work, patience and dedication while facing the overwhelming challenges of reopening schools.

Being a Big Wig

A colleague once told me that someone who had known me practically my entire life (a person I had considered a life icon) made a statement to the effect that I had forgotten where I came from. This was purportedly because I would neither heed to nor seek this person’s advice at work. May I respectfully disagree.

Oatmeal Rolls

I like anything with oatmeal. Those recipes usually call for brown sugar. Most yeast dough requires kneading. This one does, too. That's okay. The texture is different than what is usually a yeast bread. I make these rolls every once in a while.

Maintaining Your County Roadways since 2012

David Cox - Union County Road Superintendent

Willie David Cox Jr., known by friends and co-workers as David, was elected as Union County Road Superintendent in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. In this vital county position, Cox is responsible for directing, planning, and organizing the county road maintenance program. He oversees and performs many duties required to keep our county roads safe and traversable, such as paving, maintenance and repairs, striping, placing guardrails, culvert cleaning, ditching—as needed—and mowing. The Union County Highway Department is also responsible for the maintenance of the Union County Ferry.

Union County High School football update

The Union County Patriots Football team played a great fifth game against Northview Academy Friday, September 25. Although they did not come out with a win, they definitely did not leave without having taken away something from this experience.

With Senior Night against Sullivan South coming up, the football team is hoping to come away with a win. In preparation for the next game they are treating it like any other game, with the singular focus of winning, and this upcoming game can change the rest of the season for the better.

Rocker bottom shoes help reduce chronic low back pain

A new study confirms that rocker bottom shoes help strengthen back muscles, improving the spine’s curvature and thus reducing low back pain.

Researchers in sports physiotherapy have confirmed, in a new study of their research work into back pain, that unstable shoes improve the strength of back muscles by forcing them to maintain balance and stability when walking. This muscular strengthening contributes to reducing low-intensity chronic low back pain, which can be disabling for those who suffer it.

Yellow Fall Asters

When most folks consider a wildflower season, spring is usually what comes to mind, and rightfully so based on the sheer number of species that bloom then. But autumn also offers an impressive burst of color when some wildflowers make one last push to propagate before the killing frosts. Asters are particularly easy to find blooming now, especially yellow ones.


Christmas Wishes for 2020

With Christmas less than three months away and Covid-19-20-21 (who really knows) going as strong as ever, it’s anyone’s guess how the holiday will play out this year for shoppers.

According to sources on the internet, normal holiday shopping between November and December increases approximately 13 percent year over year. In May of 2020, with Corona surging and quarantine/lock-down/shelter-in-place raging, online shopping increased in popularity by 77 percent in a single month, a surge that generally takes four to six years over each twelve month period.

Country Chat

I don’t think it’s a southern thing as much as it is a rural thing.

When I was growing up, having conversations while being parked in the middle of the road wasn’t that uncommon. We didn’t have cell phones yet, so if you saw somebody you knew, you put your vehicle in park and you visited for a spell.

The people who happened to drive upon them, knew what was going on. Usually they would stop and wait for the exchange to end. I’m sure they had done the same themselves many times.


If You've Got the Money . . ."

“You've got to get out more if looking through the phone book is fun.” That's what my daughter, Anne, said to me a while ago. You know, she might be right.

Well, maybe not. I was looking through the menus from restaurants in an old phone book. The selections were a bit different than what is offered now. I looked in vain for my favorite, “Liver and Onions.”

On This Harvest Moon

By Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

On October First be sure to look to the east at sunset and behold the most famous of all full moons, the Harvest Moon. Its nostalgia goes back to the days before electricity, when it was used as a night light by farmers to work longer in the fields to get the fall crops in, hence the name. But the Harvest Moon stands out for other reasons as well.

Circuit Court Clerk on a Mission

Barbara J. Williams, Union County TN Court Clerk

Mission Statement: “Union County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office strives to promote a high standard in the Judicial System as we provide courteous and efficient service to the citizens of Union County, judges, attorneys, law enforcement agencies and all the people having business with the Courts.”

Just a Sewing

It’s a good thing we don’t have to make our own clothes any more. My family and I would be in big trouble. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mom and Mamaw Jo’s ability to sew.
Technically, they were talented seamstresses, especially Mamaw Jo.


In Conclusion

Picture it—church on Sunday morning. The pastor has delivered the points of his message, and the congregation has responded in many ways. Some follow the pastor’s every word, focusing on him intently.

There are others, however, that rarely if ever focus on the Sunday morning sermon. What is going through these people’s minds?

Remorse for a Pigeon

There are times I feel sad that I did not get to see things that are long gone. The American chestnut tree was once the dominant tree in our forest but is now reduced to scattered surviving stump sprouts. The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was once considered the most abundant bird on the planet, with flocks that could darken the sky for days as they migrated. This bird is now only a stuffed animal in the Smithsonian museum.



Alvin V. "Goat" Patterson

Alvin Venice “Goat” Patterson-age 78 of Blaine passed away Monday, October 19, 2020 at his home. He was preceded in death by parents, Harold and Vada (Smith) Patterson; sister, Shirley Rutherford; brothers, Dallas and Glen Patterson.

Survivors: son, Dustin Patterson; four sisters, Geneva Williams; Linda O’Brien and husband, Rodney; Penny Ramsey and husband, Larry; Marilyn Black, all of Blaine. Several nieces and nephews along with a host of friends.

Betty Lowry

Betty H. Lowry – age 89 of Maynardville, passed away Friday, October 16, 2020. She was a member of Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Halls. She enjoyed needle point, knitting and watching basketball.

Ralph Ray

Ralph Ray-age 73 of New Tazewell, born September 14, 1947; he was born and raised in Sharps Chapel and passed away Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at Turkey Creek Medical Center in Knoxville. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Tipprell, Tennessee. Preceded in death by parents, Lowe and Lassie (Pratt) Ray; daughter, Margie Ray; grandson, Dustin Ray; sisters, Martha, Anna Mae and Lorene Ray.

Keith Thomas

Keith Henry Thomas-age 52 of Washburn, born July 7, 1968 went to be with his Savior Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. Keith was saved at an early age. Preceded in death by parents, John and Virgie Thomas.

Roland David Seymour

Roland David Seymour

Roland David Seymour, 77, transitioned from this life to be with his Lord on Saturday, October 3, 2020.

David was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. David was the son of James and Nellie Pauline Seymour. He graduated from Halls High School (1960), The University of Tennessee (1965), and The University of Florida (1968). David served in the Tennessee Air National Guard 1960-1966. Service included being activated for the duty at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, during the Berlin Crisis. He retired from Bellsouth Telecommunications after 33 years of service in Florida and New York City.

Eugene D. Monroe

Eugene “Gene” Monroe-age 85 of Maynardville passed away Monday, October 12, 2020 at his home. He was a graduate of Horace Maynard High School and served in the United States Army Reserve. He was preceded in death by his parents Raymond and Bonnie Palmer Monroe; brother, Gareth Palmer Monroe and wife Zena; sisters Mary Josephine Meyer and Willa Sue Cox.

Phyllis Jarboe

Phyllis Jarboe – age 85 of Knoxville, born October 7, 1935 in Evarts, Kentucky, passed away peacefully, October 10, 2020 at Baptist Health of Corbin, Kentucky. She was a retired West High School teacher in Knoxville, teaching Business and Economics for 30 years. Phyllis was also a dog lover.

Mary L. Hayes

Mary Louise Hayes-age 79 of Maynardville passed away peacefully Monday, October 12, 2020 at her home. Mary was a proud Navy wife of 30 years and a member of Mountain View Church of God of the Union Assembly, Luttrell. She was the 1988 woman of the year of the Paisano E. H. Club in Kleberg County, Kingsville, Texas. Mary was preceded in death by parents, Oscar Ray and Ella Kate Johnson; brother, Leonard Ray Johnson.

Ronnie E. Perry

Ronnie Eugene Perry-age 51 of Luttrell passed away peacefully 12:05 P.M. Saturday, October 10, 2020 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. He was preceded in death by father, Alfred Perry; brothers, Alfred (Cotton) Perry, Jr. and David Perry; nephews, Anthony Brogan, Bradley, Brandon, Andy and Adam Coffey.

Survivors: mother, Edna Perry; sisters, Sue (Clyde) Coffey, Mary (Duane) Chandler; brothers, Mike Perry and Bobby (Charolette) Perry. Several nieces and nephews; one special great niece, Latoshia Hunter and a host of friends.

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