Development board to be busy in 2021

Commissioner Debra Keck

County Commissioner Debra Keck enlightens us regarding the Joint Economic Community Development Board (JECDB) and their current and upcoming plans and projects. I have known Debra Keck for years as Mayor Mike Williams’ assistant, and we interacted often, especially when working together on functions of the Chamber of Commerce and as members of the JECDB. Recently, Keck and I discussed the progress being made in Union County.
The JECDB facilitates communities’ receipt of grants through Tennessee’s ThreeStar program, which is a strategic community development program that assists with community transformation projects—not only for today but for generations to come.
The board explores what would help our county through development and/or improvements in the following sectors: the Chamber of Commerce, Education, Finance, Health, and Safety. Regional stakeholders include representatives from Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), Tennessee Economic & Community Development (TNECD), and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). These grants are available annually and require feedback showing the progress made with the dollars invested.
The JECDB meets quarterly, which was interrupted in 2020 by the COVID-19 outbreak in the spring, thus the last meeting was held on January 29, 2020.
Those present at the meeting were me (Kathy Chesney), Commissioner Keck, Superintendent, Big Ridge State Park Keith Montgomery, and Administrative Assistant to Union County Mayor Ginger Fields. The projects discussed were:
1. Reapplying for the Home Grant and the need for a county with which to partner.
2. The plan to build a permanent structure for the Farmers Market on Durham Drive in Maynardville.
3. Heather Sizemore (Executive Assistant to Mayor Bailey) has applied for a grant for a ballpark in Luttrell, which if granted will include soccer, football, and baseball fields, and a concession stand. It is foreseen as a great place to host tournaments.
4. Claytons is exploring purchasing the old Matlock building. Barriers are pricing, TVA releasing a lien, and completion of an environmental study. Benefits would be the creation of 70 new jobs, especially welders, training available through the Union County Public Schools Career & Technical Education (CTE) program.
5. Keith Montgomery shared plans to resurface the tennis courts (now completed), the possibility of adding pickleball court lines, and a study being conducted for adding an event center. The state had trimmed the 2020 budget due to rebuilding in other state parks. Montgomery was presenting budget requests to the legislature, and believes the current administration is “pro-parks.” Big Ridge Park has 19 cabins, which Montgomery expects to refurbish rather than rebuild, as these cabins have enjoyed a huge upswell in rentals after air conditioning units were added. There is no Wi-Fi available, but park visitors report good cell service, especially with US Cellular and Verizon. The park hosts five significant hikes throughout the year, the most recent being the annual First Day Hike on January 1. They also host a huge Easter Egg Hunt on the day before Easter, which has four age categories for the children. Another big hit in the community is the Bluegrass Festival on the third Friday in August. For more information about the park visit, or Big Ridge State Park at 1015 Big Ridge Park Road, Maynardville, TN 37807 Phone: 865-992-5523
Hours of park operation are April to November: Sunrise to 10 p.m.; November through April: Sunrise to sunset
Hours of park office operation are April to November: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily; November to April: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M-F
Keck plans to continue working toward several key goals during the second half of her term:
1. Farmers Market: Move the market to a new permanent location; this program benefits young farmers, retirees, the 4H program, and the entire community with a social opportunity while providing a market for fresh produce.
2. Luttrell Ballpark: Get it completed; bring in food vendors/food trucks to boost turnouts.
3. Music! (And the beat goes on!): Perpetually included in community culture and plans is, of course, music. Keck shared that although her brother introduced her to the basics of bass guitar in her pre-teen years, she didn’t seriously pursue learning to play until about 10 years ago. Her husband finally got an answer to his annual question, “What do you want for Christmas?” She said, “A bass guitar and everything that goes with it.” They visited Woods Music and got her all set up with her guitar, amplifier and supplies, and she took lessons one hour per week for three years from Phil Davis. She now enjoys playing both in church and performing locally.
4. Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT): Bringing this educational opportunity to our county would benefit graduates as well as the existing workforce, and current or new businesses. It would help to overcome the transportation barrier which restricts a segment of our population.
5. Tourism Boost: Seeking ways to increase tourism; Keck particularly believes a bed and breakfast would do well here, especially if developed in a historic home.
6. Training: Complete state-sponsored training for county commissioners; Keck is ahead of the minimum seven hours per year requirement and is excited to take advantage of all learning opportunities to be best equipped to fulfill her role.
7. Union County Opry: Resume scheduling/holding live performances as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are no longer a hindrance.
I find Commissioner Keck’s willingness to take on new challenges and master them inspiring! Keep an eye out for future JECDB activities as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and we get back to the business of making Union County a great place to work and play.



UCBPA to host drive-in prayer breakfast

Picture of a cross with words telling about UCBPA Prayer Breakfast at Milan Church

UCBPA Prayer Breakfast

Union County Business & Professional Association will host its annual Prayer Breakfast as a drive-in event at Milan Baptist Church on Good Friday, April 2.
Pastor Jody Winstead will offer the prayer and the message. The choir will provide music. Members of the church will direct the parking.
Tindell's Farm House Bakery will offer a modified breakfast of juice or water, sausage-egg casserole, and a slice of honey bun cake for $10.

County Commission appoints K. David Myers as tax attorney

At the regular February meeting, the Union County Commission continued to prepare for the next fiscal year. Each spring the County Commission approves the appointment of a tax attorney to carry out the procedure for collecting delinquent property taxes in arrears by more than two years.

School board approves teacher bonus

Teachers and all certified personnel paid on the teacher scale will receive a salary bonus this spring due to action at the regular February meeting of the Union County Board of Education. Director Jimmy Carter explained that Governor Lee had proposed a starting teacher salary of $40,000 for the state teacher pay scale.

Union County Farmers Market hiring for new positions

The Union County Farmers Market is getting ready for a new season. Thanks to recent grants, they will hire staff to help improve the market. Here are the three new positions:
Market Manager
This top-level staff position is a year-round part-time job. The position requires a dependable person who can plan, organize and promote events and communicate well with the public.

Mathematics teacher by degree, steam engine locomotive engineer by dreams

Alva Cunningham, Engineer

As far back as he can remember, Alva Cunningham always wanted to be a train engineer.
He was fascinated by trains, particularly steam-powered locomotives, and has collected steam whistles since the age of 15. He says it’s been “in his blood” his whole life.

Called to Serve and Protect - Eddie Muncey, Plainview Chief of Police

One of Plainview Chief of Police Eddie Muncey’s favorite activities as a young boy was playing baseball and, like many young boys, he dreamed of being a professional baseball player.
Muncey also had a great admiration for police officers and was enthralled with the lights, the sirens, and the dignity of the uniform. Growing up in Union County Muncey played baseball until high school when his priorities changed and his new passion was to get a set of wheels. He got his first job at Hensley’s IGA and with his earnings bought his first pickup truck.

Upcycling at its finest: Jeannie Cox of Rustic-Re-Do

Several years ago, when painted furniture rose in popularity, Jeannie Cox just had to try it. Her first project was a small side table that she found a delight to do and it turned out great. She laughs and says, “Of course there were many disasters along the way!”
The best-kept secret of success is that failure is part of the formula.

No drug relief in sight for those suffering from sciatica

A drug increasingly being prescribed for treating sciatica has been revealed to be no better than placebo, in research recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers also found that people taking the drug pregabalin reported nearly twice as many adverse effects as those receiving the placebo reported.

Frank Carter, the legend

Country Connections by James and Ellen Perry
Circa 1954: Rose Hill School, five miles north of Maynardville, Tennessee, on Highway 33
Jerald, Johnny Milton, Howard, Dan, Jerry, and Larry, let me tell you what I heard the teachers talking about. I just heard the big room teacher tell the little room teacher that Frank Carter will be here Monday in the big room ’til he gets all the big boys straightened out. I heard that he has three or four boys beginning with Ken to get a lesson in humility by his paddle Monday morning.

Is today Wednesday or Thursday?

That may seem like a strange question, but when you are in your nineties and have been retired as long as I have, you would understand. Retirement is not all it’s cracked up to be. Oh yes, I have Social Security and a small pension from my husband’s work. Money is not the problem. Mine is a “people” problem.

Old home site in Big Ridge Park

The land that is now Big Ridge State Park was once an area filled with small family farms. It is hard to picture what the landscape might have looked like a hundred years ago. The wooded forest hides most of the evidence. No structures were left standing after the TVA first acquired the land.

Chicken and Rice Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu conjures up a picture of a complicated dish. This one is not. Make it with rice. I am always looking for easy recipes that mimic complicated ones. There is more than one way to get a flavorful dish out of a chicken breast. Try this one and see what you think.

Jesus loves me

“Jesus Loves Me” is called a child’s song, but I sometimes still sing it for myself, even as a grownup. The lyrics are by Ana Bartlett Warner but they were first published in 1860 by her sister Susan Warner as a poem in a novel entitled Say and Seal. The music was later added by William Bradbury in 1862. In the novel, the words are spoken to comfort a dying child.
I especially love the beginning lines from the first stanza:
Jesus loves me this i know,
for the Bible tells me so

Ain't Gonna Do It

My poor mother. I still remember the look of frustration on her face. No, she wasn’t trying to get me take a bath, or worse, sit still. She was trying to get me to take my medicine.
As a child, I had a mental block about taking pills because I was terrified of getting of getting choked on them. Had that happened to me? Nope. Had I seen that happen to anybody else? Nope. It was a byproduct of my overactive imagination.

Flee the wrath to come

At some point during my high school years, I remember attending an assembly that seemed to occur on the spur of a moment. At least to my memory there was no announcement other than the one given for us to go to the auditorium.
I don’t remember if girls were present at this assembly. I do remember that Principal Joe Day introduced to us the speaker, a man with a common-sounding name. He turned out to be anything but common.
The speaker’s name was Jack Brown. He told us his life story that day.

A Very Good Day

I remember well the first time I suffered a back problem. I was a teenager, probably about sixteen, and I was at the home of Marie, my youngest sibling on my father’s side. I was playing with her son Billy, my nephew, who was a few years younger than me. Other of my nieces/nephews/Billy’s cousins might have been there, but I only recall for sure the two of us.

The American College of Physicians guidelines for treating low back pain recommend chiropractic before drugs

The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends that doctors avoid prescribing drugs, especially narcotics, for patients with acute or subacute low back pain. Patients should be treated first with non-pharmaceutical therapies, such as superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation.

Winter Survival With Evergreens

Evergreen trees are more prominent in the winter in our area, being the only bright color seen among the bleak, bare hardwood trees. Besides their visual appeal, evergreens provide important food and shelter for many wildlife species. Common evergreen trees in our area include several species of pine, cedar, and hemlock.


Pasta Bean Soup

This is a good cold weather soup that's hearty enough for supper. To make it more hearty, saute a 1/2 pound of ground beef, breaking into small chunks, then add to other ingredients just before simmering. It reminds me of an Olive Garden soup

Kevin Brown, Executive Director Willow Ridge Center

Kevin Brown, Executive Director
Willow Ridge Center

What are the makings of someone in a prominent position? The short answer is, there is no singular path. As a young man struggling to find his way, Kevin Brown admits he had poor study habits in high school, preferring to goof off; that was until he worked a few manual labor summer jobs, which was good incentive to “work smarter, not harder.” Brown realized that a good education was necessary to broaden his scope of career opportunities. He didn’t know what he wanted to be, but he did know that he wanted to help people.

Maynardville Elementary 4-H Poster Winners

Savannah Weaver, Emmie Hardin, McKinley Wyrick and Kenny Greene

Maynardville Elementary has announced their 4-H Poster Contest Winners.
For 4th grade the first place winner is Kenny Greene.
For 5th grade, Savannah Weaver took first place. In second place is Emmie Hardin and in third place, McKinley Wyrick.
In order for a poster to qualify the students must promote 4-H on the poster and include the 4-H emblem as specified by the national 4-H guidelines.

One More Demise

Fond memories from years past

I am thankful that this time it isn’t a person, and it can’t be entirely contributed to Covid. Along with many other beloved pastimes, family reunions and church socials seem to have taken the path to extinction.

Patients Don’t Realize That Their Improper Back Position Is Provoking Pain

Patients with improper back position have movement control impairment. They often have difficulties in controlling the position of their back when sitting down, standing or doing back bending. Impaired movement control is often caused by an earlier episode of back pain and may result in chronic lower back pain. The situation is problematic because patients don’t realize that their incorrect back position is provoking pain.

Countless Cousins

Here in the south, we love our cousins. My family is no exception. In fact, I have been surrounded by cousins for most of my life. They were my first playmates and best friends and I am still close to many of them. But there is a little oddity with these relatives. While I have no first cousins, it seems as if I have countless second and third cousins.
Scratching your head?


It’s Weird Being the Same Age as Old People

I recently received an email with the phrase, “It’s weird being the same age as old people.”

My father had three full sisters who lived to maturity—Duskie, Fleetie and Vallie. One of them was once talking about their names. One sister said, “They gave Frank [my dad], Fred and Faustine normal names.” Another sister replied, “Well, Mother sure whopped it to us!” My uncle replied, “Who ever heard of a man named Purse?”

Life Listing, a Natural Hobby

Life lists are written documentations of things seen and identified. If you’re a birder you keep a list of birds you’ve personally seen. If you’re a railroad enthusiast, you keep up with what trains companies you’ve seen going down the tracks. In England they even have clubs for airplane watchers. These folks gather up around airports and watch planes with binoculars, making security people very nervous.

Caring Medical Center - Caring Medical Doctor

Srinivasa R. Chintalapudi M.D

Srinivasa R. Chintalapudi M.D., known by his patients as “Dr. Chinta,” is a third-generation physician. As a boy in Vijayawada, India, a young Chinta was inspired by his uncle, a country doctor whose hospital served a rural community. Chinta was not interested in watching tv or movies and many other youthful activities; he preferred spending his summers with his uncle, the country doctor who inspired him. Chinta enjoyed carrying his uncle’s medical bag as he accompanied him on house calls.

Lady Patriots Wrestling Team Takes Titles

Pictured are: Assistant coach Bobby Hampshire, Jaden Blanton, Kenlei Johnson, Kayla Faulkner, Coach James Ramirez, Brianna Cook, Angel Dyer, Leslie White, assistant coach Glenn Helton. Center front: Emily Shultz.

The Union County High School Lady Patriots Wrestling Team competed and won both the East Region Duals and the Traditional Tournament.

Quiz Bowl Competitors

Quiz Bowl Competitors pictured left to right: Cade Ailor, Lakin Brock, Kayla Faulkner, and Caden Walker

Union County High School students Cade Ailor, Caden Walker, Lakin Brock, and Kayla Faulkner competed in the Tennessee FFA Quiz Bowl Contest. All students are members of the Horace Maynard FFA Chapter.

Orville Gets Credentials

Pictured left to right are: District Attorney General Jared Effler, MacKenzie Adkins, and Tracie Davis.

Pictured left to right are: District Attorney General Jared Effler, MacKenzie Adkins, and Tracie Davis.

On February 1, 2021, District Attorney General Jared Effler joined MacKenzie Adkins and Tracie Davis from the Campbell, Claiborne and Union County Children's Centers in presenting their facility dog, Orville, with his new badge. Orville joined the Children's Center this past October and has already proven himself to be an invaluable member of the team responsible for serving abused and neglected children. Orville reduces the stress and anxiety of child victims by accompanying them throughout the investigation and prosecution of their case.

Fleischmann Visits Chickamauga Lock

Photos courtesy of the Office of Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

Photos courtesy of the Office of Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

CHATTANOOGA, TN — U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) issued the following statement after meeting with Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and touring the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project:

Is The Pain Coming From Your Hip, Spine Or Both?

Many patients live with low back pain that radiates to the buttock, groin, thigh, and even knees. The challenge for patients, and often their doctors, is determining the origin of the pain—the hip, the spine, or both. A new article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons outlines the identical symptoms associated with hip and spine pain and discusses the diagnostic steps and tests required to treat them appropriately.

Climbing Up

I thought once I became an adult, I wouldn’t have to climb any more. Boy, was I wrong.

As a child, I didn’t like to have to ask for things I wanted on the kitchen counter or in my closet, so my parents bought me a little stepping stool. I absolutely loved it. It was red with a poem written on top in large white letters. I can’t remember the exact words, but the poem went something like this: I use this stool to reach things I couldn’t and lots of things I shouldn’t.


Why Work?

Why Work?

The Union County Public School System lost one of its very best teachers to retirement this year. Not only was Ms. Kerrie Scruggs a wonderful educator, she was a caring person and good friend. Ms. Kerrie’s husband Steve wrote a book, and my fellow Gideon brother gave me a copy. The book explained why Steve’s father always ate a good lunch at work. I’ll return to that thought shortly.

The Local Underworld

The geology of our area is unique in that it creates two worlds: a surface world and an underworld of caves, water, and stone. The type of terrain we live on is called "karst" and is characterized by rocky ground, caves, and sinkholes, underground streams, and areas where surface streams disappear into the ground. This type of terrain is the result of the eroding effects of underground water on limestone.

Cheesy Beef Dip

We all know and love the cheese dip made with Velveeta cheese. There are only three ingredients in that dip. This recipe is longer, but you are more apt to have all the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Be sure to add the cinnamon. That spice goes especially well with chili powder, Three cups is a lot of dip, but it will go fast.

County Commission voting virtually transparent

Mayor Jason Bailey unveiled the new voting technology for Union County Commission at the regular meeting on January 25, 2021. The mayor, his staff and Maynardville Librarian Chantay Collins assisted the commissioners in a practice session to learn the process of clicks to make motions and vote on business items.

UCBOE applies for schools to be vaccine site for employees

January 2021 School Board meeting

At the regular January meeting of the Union County Board of Education, Dr. Jimmy Carter announced that the school system is applying to be a distribution site for COVID-19 vaccine in order to vaccinate school employees according to the established age groups.


Strengthening Families

Monday, March 8, 2021 - 12:00

The Strengthening Families Program has NEW virtual parenting classes starting in March! This is a FREE parenting education course for parents and caregivers, with additional "coached" home assignments for parents to work on strengthening relationships with their children. Classes in March will begin March 8th and 9th. Please see the links belong to register.

Monday's Afternoon Class:

Union County Board of Education

Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 18:00

The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education is scheduled for Thursday, March 11, 2021 at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.


Union County High School THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2021 6:00 p.m.



Dexter Granville Loveday, Jr.

Dexter Granville Loveday, Jr.-age 78 of Knoxville passed away Sunday morning, March 7, 2021 at Creekview Health and Rehab. He was the son of the late Dexter Granville, Sr. and Velma McInturff Loveday.
Survived by nieces and nephews.
No services are planned and the body will be cremated. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Tony Lynn Brown

Tony Lynn Brown-age 52 of Maynardville passed away suddenly Sunday morning, March 7, 2021 at his home. He was a member Pennington Chapel Baptist Church. Preceded in death by wife, Karen Hensley Brown; daughter, Tonya Brown; parents, Wayne and Bea (Asbury) Brown; sister, Mary Brown; brother, Michael Brown; sister-in-law, Sheila Brown.

Helen (McBee) Cox

Helen Marie (McBee) Cox – age 93 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, March 6, 2021, peacefully at home with her children by her side. She was saved when she was 16 years old and was a member of Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church.

Larry Keith Merritt

Larry Keith Merritt-age 58 of Maynardville passed away Friday afternoon, March 5, 2021 at Dyersburg Hospital, Dyersburg, Tennessee and had been a resident of Reelfoot Manor Nursing Home. He was saved at First Baptist Church of Maynardville. Preceded in death by parents, Roy and Johnnie Lou (Heiskell) Merritt.

Joy Richardson Corum

Corum, Joy Richardson- age 72, born June 22 1948, passed away March 1, 2021 suddenly during an extended illness. Preceded in death by husband of 40 years, Richard Edgar Corum, infant daughter, Mary Ruth Corum. Maternal grandparents C.H. (Charlie) and Roma Jessee Laws. Paternal grandparents Luther and Susie Sexton Richardson. Parents Willie Edgar (Bill) and Louise Laws Richardson, Mother and Father-in-law Edna (Booker) and Edgar Corum. Nephew, Todd Richardson.

Betty Ann Sanders

Betty Ann Sanders-age 61 of Sharps Chapel passed away suddenly Saturday, February 27,2021 at her home. Preceded in death by son, Bradley Douglas; parents, John H. and Carrie (Sharp) Sanders; brother, Raymond Sanders; brother-in-law, Hershel Dyke.
Survivors: Grandson, Max Douglas of Knoxville; three sisters, Louise and Harold Brantley of Sharps Chapel; Barbara Dyke, Linda and Mike Lane of Knoxville; three brothers, Donnie and Sue Sanders; Bobby and Carolyn Sanders, all of Seymour; John Sanders of Maynardville. Several nieces and nephews along with a host of friends.

Nicole Lockhart

Nicole Marie (Shaner) Lockhart- age 48 of Luttrell passed away Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was a member of The Little Brown Church in Sharps Chapel. She was a longtime employee for the Union County Public Schools and worked for a wonderful boss, Eddie Graham.
She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Carl and Martha Shaner and Edward and Elnora Topp; father-in-law, Daniel Lockhart and brother-in-law, Matt Clevinger.

Delphine Evans Thomas

Delphine Evans Thomas-age 58 of Knoxville, formerly of Union County passed away Saturday, February 27, 2021 at Blount Memorial Hospital. Preceded in death by father, David Evans; mother, Loriene Nicely.
Survivors: brother, Ronnie Lynn Evans; sister, Crystal Gail Cooke; nephews, Daniel Evans, Cory Goforth, Benjamin Cecil, Adam Evans; aunt, Clayrissa Hill; uncle, Jimmy Evans along with a host of friends.

Misty Michelle Norton

Misty Norton-age 41 of Knoxville passed away Friday, February 19, 2021. Misty had a kind and generous heart and will be immensely missed!

She is preceded in death by her father, Ronnie Houston.

She is survived by her 9-year old daughter, Abigail Makenzie Guyton; mother, Angela Keck; brothers, Casey Houston and Matthew Houston; sister, Paige Houston along with several nieces and nephews.

No services are scheduled at this time, the family has chosen cremation. Donations can be made at the funeral home.

Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary in Maynardville.

Harold Wayne Beason

Harold Wayne Beason – 69 of Maynardville, passed away March 1, 2021 at North Knox Medical Center. He was a member of Community Baptist Church. Harold enjoyed painting, vintage cars, hunting and fishing.

He is preceded in death by parents, Paris “Short” and Sally Beason. Harold is survived by daughters, Tonia and Jason Heiskell and Shelby Beason and Conner Forward; grandson, Jacob Heiskell; sister, Linda and Steve Branum; nephew, Brandon Henry; and special friend, Carolyn Warwick.

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