Good Clean Fun at Big Ridge State Park

Homemaking soaps is a centuries old skill that many have the desire to learn. Recently, Big Ridge State Park has offered a class teaching these skills to pupils from the community. Ranger Hannah Paschall, who has been with the park for ten years, has led three sessions, only generating more interest. Classes were held in January, February, and are scheduled for March at the Big Ridge State Park Rec Hall. Ranger Hannah says that she expected the first class to fill up quickly, but she did not realize a second class would fill up in a day. The third class went even faster filling up in three hours!

The class was restricted to six participants per session in order to give everyone personal attention and assistance with whatever they need. Also because of working with lye, which if mishandled can cause severe burns, a small class allows her to focus on everyone to make sure all safety measures are followed. She focuses on teaching class members all the steps to correctly and safely make cold process lye soap. Ranger Hannah jokes, “We’re just having some good clean fun!” Although the class is filled with fun and laughter, her number one tip is to always, always follow proper safety procedure.

There are many benefits to making soaps at home. Homemade soap is made with all natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. The naturally occurring glycerin is perfect for moisturizing your skin and the addition of essential oils and botanicals can provide relief and healing to several skin conditions. If attending one of the park’s sessions, all you need is to show up in the appropriate clothing, everything else is provided. But, to make the soap at home you’ll need bowls, gloves, a mixer, fats and oils for the soap base, lye, scent oils, and colorants. In Ranger Hannah’s classes, participants make cold process lye soap, made with olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil. Every participant makes the same base but is offered a variety of scents, essential oils, and natural colorants to customize their soap. For those who have attended one of these soap making classes, be on the lookout for an advanced class where she will teach a more detailed, more decorative technique.

Ranger Hannah had been curious about soap making for some time and thought, “If this is something I would want to learn, then there’s probably several other people who want to as well.” So, she did her research and taught herself. She started out making melt and pour soaps purchased from craft stores, eventually purchasing a book with step by step instructions on making lye soap. After reading the book, binge watching YouTube videos, and some trial and error, she had the process mastered. Since providing programs is her favorite part of her job, she dove in and scheduled the sessions.

When asked why they were interested in learning the skill, class members heavily varied in response. One participant had skin sensitivity issues and had to spend a lot of money purchasing handmade soap from a variety of vendors, so she jumped at the chance to learn to make it herself. A classmate makes and sells homemade items and wanted to learn this skill to add to her repertoire. Several partakers expressed a sense of nostalgia from watching their grandmothers make soap, and they wanted to learn to do it themselves. Ranger Hannah enjoys getting to know the people who attend. She says, “Providing programs like this lets me meet people from all walks of life. And especially with these workshop type programs, there’s always the sense of pride afterwards, when people have not only made something with their own hands but also gained a new skill.”

Over the last several years Big Ridge has been going through a revitalizing phase. Part of that revitalization is with the programs offered to the community. Dozens of free programs and community service projects allow them to teach visitors about the environment and the park’s story. They have also started adding in several fee based programs, like the soap making class. This allows the park to bring in some additional revenue that can be put directly back into the park. During the winter months’, workshop type programs are hosted. The rest of the year they host a wide variety of programs for the public, from big programs like weekend long backpacking trips and Jr Ranger Camp, to smaller guided hikes and guided kayak floats. During the summer, a seasonal worker is hired whose entire job is to provide free programs for the public. Any programs at the park provide an opportunity for the community to get the whole family out for some fun, learning, and adventure. The rangers believe that appreciation leads to conservation. When the community enjoys and appreciates the park, they’ll play a more active role in its conservation and preservation for future generations.

For anyone interested in the programs, Ranger Hannah can be contacted by email at Hannah.Paschall@tn.gov, and anyone who has questions about the park, facilities, and programs offered, call the office at 865-992-5523. Watch for future programs on social media, Facebook, Instagram, etc., but all upcoming events can be seen on the official Big Ridge State Park webpage at Tnstateparks.com/parks/big-ridge. Anyone can register for programs through the website as well.

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Union County Celebrates National Ag Day

Agriculture is a highly under recognized aspect of each person’s daily life. From clothing to nutrition, it all starts with agriculture. Americans must understand the value of farming and recognize the importance it holds. President Donald Trump proclaimed that March 14, 2019 be recognized as National Ag Day across America as a salute to the contributions of America’s farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses.

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Finding Old Home Sites

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My Holey Bucket

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Pancake Flips Equal Scholarships

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Events

MPL Small Business Expo

Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 09:00

Small Business Expo
Hosted by Maynardville Public Library
296 Main St, Maynardville, Tennessee 37807
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 9 AM – 1 PM
Our 3rd Annual Expo to showcase the many small businesses in Union County. Drop by to see what our county has to offer and support these local businesses.
If you are a business owner looking to attend fill out the following google form by March 15th

https://goo.gl/forms/pVrShemJAPtgzaiB2

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 07:30
Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"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.

Norris Lake Cleanup

Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 09:00

The Norris Lake Project Team is looking for volunteers to help with the 10th biannual Five County Norris Lake Cleanup on Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Union and Grainger Counties.

Obituary

Stephen E. Griffith

Stephen E. Griffith, age 65, of Corryton, TN received his angel wings Monday, March 18, 2019. He is preceded in death by his parents, Claude Warner Griffith and Doris Jacqueline Griffith. He is survived by his wife, Debbie; children, Carrie Griffith, Samantha (Frank) Lord, Marcus (Kayla) Atkins and Chris Griffith; sister, Susan (Bob) Tebbitt; brother, Scott (Laura) Griffith; grandchildren, Samuel, Ethan, Sarah Elizabeth, Ella Kate, Zane, Caleb, Daniel and Ava.

Michael E. Nicley

Michael E. Nicley age 61 of Maynardville passed away on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at his home. Retired auto mechanic from Treece Auto Repair. Preceded in death by his father Edward Nicley and sister, Christine Nicley. Survived by his wife of 38 years, Shelia Nicley; mother, Madge Workman; children, Jonya Coffey (Bryan), Bubby King, Jonathan Nicley (Christy), Jamie Cheeks, Jennifer Graham (Jay); fifteen grandchildren; one great-grandchild.

Earl B, Walker

Earl B. Walker-age 100 of Knoxville passed away Monday morning, March 18, 2019 at his home. He was a U. S. Army Veteran of World War II. He loved singing with the old harp singers. Earl loved his family and his happiest memories were of his family. He was also very proud of reaching his 100th birthday and celebrated it March 10, 2019 with his friends and new family at Deane Hill Place where he had lived the last 10 years. Preceded in death by wife: Cleo Nicely Walker; infant son, Bobby Walker; parents, Oscar and Coker Walker; siblings, twin-sister, Ireland D.

Helen M. Harris Burrell

Helen M. Harris Burrell, 87 of Knoxville, passed away on March 17, 2019 following a short illness. She was a member of Redemption Harvest Church of Knoxville.

She was preceded in death by her parents Dotha Hughes and Eunice Hughes; first husband Verlon Lionel Harris; second husband Max E. Burrell; as well as all her brothers and sisters.

She is survived by her son David Harris (Sharon), grandson Timothy Harris (Christy) and two great-grandsons Nolan and Luke Harris, in addition to many nieces and nephews.

John W. Dukes

John W Dukes of Maryville passed away Friday, March 15 2019. He is preceded in death by wife Jo Dukes; parents Robert & Vina Mae; brother Larry “Bud” (Sue); and sister Nancy. He is survived by daughters Anita Craig of Ooltewah; Lori Nelson (Bryan) of Sweetwater and son Spencer of Nashville; grandchildren Jason (Jessica) Cooper of Maryville and Hillary Cooper of Indianapolis; 6 great-grandchildren; several nieces & nephews; and Dr. Bob Dukes, Rock Dukes and Susan Pilkay with whom he had a special bond.

Alvin Doyle Atkins

Alvin Doyle Atkins, age 78, passed away March 15, 2019. Preceded in death by mother, Ruth Keeney and father, Dana Atkins. Survived by wife Dorothy Williams Atkins, sons Alvin and Tonya Atkins and Brian and Leslie Atkins, grandchildren Charles, Elizabeth, Bridget, Brandon, and Brayden, step-grandson Austin (Charity), great-grandchildren Mercedes, Aiden, and Thea, several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Monday, March 18, 2019, at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with service to follow.

John Thomas Keck

John Thomas Keck-age 27 of Corryton passed away Tuesday evening, March 12, 2019 at his home. Preceded in death by mother, Regina Ann Keck.

Survivors: father, Carl Johnny Keck, Corryton; sisters, Emily Keck of Maynardville; Hannah Gillespie of Lebanon, TN; brothers, Justin Keck of Nashville; Aaron Anderson of Huntland, TN; grandmother, Linda and Rodney O’Brien of Blaine; uncle, David Kitts of Halls. Several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.

James "J.D." Killion

James Douglas "J.D." Killion passed away, March 15, 2019, at Norris Health and Rehab Center, following a lengthy illness. He was born November 2, 1933 in New Tazewell, TN. He was a member of Emory Pike American Christian Church. J.D. was a member of the U.S. Air Force. He is preceded in death by his parents, James M. and Mossie V. Killion; his first wife, D. Blanche Cox Killion and by his second wife M. Jane Cole Killion. J.D. is survived by his daughter Sheila K.

Fred Parrott Jr.

Fred Parrott, Jr., age 85, passed away March 13, 2019. He was a member of Alice Bell Baptist Church. Fred was a proud veteran of the US Army, serving during the Korean War. He was a devoted father and grandfather who loved his family deeply. Left to cherish his memory are wife of 66 years, Marykate "Katie" Parrott; sons Phil (Connie) and Todd (Chris); grandchildren Christopher (Melissa), Krystle (Daniel) and Abbey (Sean). In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Alice Bell Baptist Church Building Fund, 3305 Alice Bell Road, Knoxville, TN., 37917.

Volley H. Cunningham

Volley H. Cunningham age 60 of Knoxville went to be with Jesus on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. He was such a kind and loving person, and was always concerned for his family. He loved his family, friends and the family pets. Always willing to lend a hand to help anyone in need. He loved woodworking and making things, one of his hobbies was building things including houses for the family pets and other various projects. He loved gardening and created many family garden projects. He grew prize winning tomatoes which he lovingly gave away to others. He enjoyed singing country and gospel songs.

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