It’s Happening All Around Us

It’s Happening All Around Us

With gigabit fiber internet slowly proliferating around the country because of municipal fiber projects, Google Fiber, startup ISPs, and new investment from incumbents spurred by grants and competition, America is quickly dividing into two additional segments, no longer is it those that have internet and those that do not, now we are seeing further divide between those that have fast internet and those who do not. According to Jason Koebler, “Jobs—in any meaningful number, at least—will not continue to exist in towns and rural areas that lack fast, accessible internet access.” (

"For smaller towns, building a network becomes a question of economic survival—they're emptying out because kids grow up and there's no jobs for them," said Masha Zager, editor in chief of Broadband Communities magazine. "Sometimes, it's a question of keeping businesses and allowing them to grow, sometimes it's about enabling teleworking, sometimes it's about attracting businesses to come to town."

Look no further than Morristown, for an example of job creation facilitated by next generation fiber optic communications and workforce development thanks to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Morristown ( The city took advantage of its local electrical utility, Morristown Utility Systems, to provide gigabit speeds, and businesses jumped at the opportunity.

The list is expansive; July 2018, Oshkosh Corp., 300 jobs, May 2018, Petoskey Plastics, Inc. investing $29.6 million/70 jobs; April 2018, Van Hool investing $47 million/600 jobs; Colortech, Inc., Rockline Industries, SkyMart Venture Place, Sykes Enterprises, etc.. In addition, Morristown was just ranked sixth among southern cities for employment growth and 14th in the nation. In a recent study, USA Today reported on the top 25 US cities where incomes are growing the fastest, Morristown made the list at number 5.

Morristown’s success has been enabled by a number of factors in addition to next generation fiber optic communications technology. The U.S. News & World Report’s list of America’s Best High Schools included Morristown-Hamblen High Schools West and East on America’s Best High School List. In 2016, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Morristown, received a second Labor and Education Alignment Program (LEAP) grant in the amount of $983,440 in addition to being the recipient of a $110,020 Rural Business Development grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that same year. The USDA grant was used at the Morristown & Hawkins County campuses to assist with the purchase of state-of-the-art technology equipment to be used in advanced manufacturing programs.

“Receiving a second LEAP grant speaks of the dedication and hard work of our academic partners,” said LEAP project manager Chris Edmonds. Funds were distributed throughout six counties and seven school districts including the three LEAP 1.0 recipients (Hamblen, Hawkins and Grainger) and four additional school systems expanding into Cock, Greene and Sevier counties with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology of Morristown at the lead. According to Edmonds, “The teachers, counselors, CTE directors and school system directors in Grainger, Hamblen, Hawkins. Cocke, Greene and Sevier counties understand the pipeline of skilled workers begins in the middle and high schools”.

This region’s LEAP grant is a part of the $10 million annually budgeted for LEAP allocations by Gov. Bill Haslam in support of his Drive to 55 Initiative. Tennessee’s Drive to 55 Initiative, supported by Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect, which provide cost paid Associate Degrees or training certificates for High School Seniors and Adults, will meet its goal of having 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificates by 2023, two years ahead of schedule. For Union County to achieve the Governor’s goal, 412 degrees/certificates need to be awarded to Union County residents per year through 2025.

Approximately 30 miles separate Morristown and Newport, but the two are joining forces to better connect local businesses and residents as entrepreneurs take up residence in the region's newest high-tech work space. ( Morristown was on the forefront of implementing city-wide Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) back in 2006. Today their gigabit network, MUS FiberNET, is fostering innovation in this thriving co-working space and helping neighboring communities bridge their connectivity gaps. Morristown Utility Commission (MUC) is partnering with Newport Utilities (NU) to expand Internet connectivity in the region. Newport recently received a $21 million loan from the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to expand their smart grid project, which will allow them to bring high-quality connectivity to their entire service area.

“Job opportunities are drying up in towns without broadband. Chattanooga, Tennessee turned around its fortunes by building the fastest internet in the United States”. “Chattanooga became one of the first gig cities almost by accident”, said Jason Koebler. The city-owned utility, Electric Power Board, started installing fiber-optic cable in 2009 to create a “smart” electric grid that could address power outages more quickly and better manage energy usage. By the end of 2010, despite fierce opposition from telecommunications companies, EPB began offering 1 gigabit internet service to its electric customers. Entrepreneurs and global companies, including Volkswagen and Amazon, are moving here, drawn in part by the city’s superfast gigabit internet, nicknamed “the Gig” by locals. The city is now one of the most connected places on earth, with one of the fastest internet speeds in the world.

Koebler noted that “At a time when small cities, towns, and rural areas are seeing an exodus of young people to large cities and a precipitous decline in solidly middle class jobs, the Gig has helped Chattanooga thrive and create a new identity for itself.”



Out of the Attic Interiors

One of Union County’s newest businesses shows promise of opportunity for both, today and tomorrow. Out of the Attic Interiors is owned by Duayne and Toni Huddleston of Corryton. “Where there is a will, there’s a way; and God made a way.” says business owner, Toni Huddleston. This new venture opened on April 5, 2019 and is planning its Grand Opening Celebration for late April with items so unique that there is always something new to see.

Veterans: How to Receive Services Provided by a Doctor of Chiropractic

Many VA primary care providers are routinely discussing the services provided by DCs as an option with their patients.

VA provides chiropractic services on-site at one or more VA facilities in each VISN. VA facilities that do not have on-site chiropractic clinics provide these services via Community Care mechanisms. A list of VA facilities that have established on-site chiropractic clinics is available at ...

Ever Lasting Arms

Brooke Cox

Isn’t it funny how you can look back on things and see them differently after you are grown?

Back in the ancient times of the 1970s, there were no SUVs. When we went on family trips, we took one of Papaw’s station wagons. At least once a year, we all piled in one and headed south and east to Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains. We always packed a picnic. Sometimes Papaw would stop at the KFC in Maryville and pick up a bucket of chicken to have with it.

Which Came First, the Egg or the Basket?

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Fifteen

When I got to work this morning after the Easter weekend holiday, I was clearing my email when I came across this interesting subject line: Do you have all your eggs in one basket? It is a question perhaps best not contemplated first thing on Monday morning of a work week.

Trip to Missouri

The year was 1981. My nephew, Chris Bouldry, had been attending Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. He came home for the Christmas holidays and decided not to return to school. That left one problem. He needed to retrieve his possessions from his room there. The second problem was how to make the trip. He didn't have a car or any money.

Tick Season Never Ended

Since I’m in the woods a lot it’s reasonable to assume that I would have more ticks get on board and use me as a meal. But for the first time that I can remember I pulled ticks off every month of the year, including the winter months when they are normally dormant. That’s not right people! All of them have been the smaller deer tick, which are harder to see and feel crawling around. Now that your family is outside more with the warmer weather, best start body checking yourself and the kids. Since it’s good to know your enemy, here is a rundown on the tick lifestyle.


Tennessee Bats and Eagles

Little brown bat. Photo in the public domain, Wikipedia

My son’s Eagle Project, back when he was in Boy Scouts, was planning and overseeing the construction of bat houses and distributing them on a state tree farm located next to the Hiwassee River in Polk County. At first, he was reluctant. Who, after all, wanted to do anything for bats? They were scary, ugly, carried rabies, get in your hair, and they lived in caves and old houses spreading guano.

Quantum Computing - A Leap Ahead

A Quantum Processor

Photograph of the D-Wave TwoX 1000 Qubit quantum annealing processor chip introduced in 2015

You’ve been told since the first time you heard the term “computer” that they are all about bits and bytes, right? Computer geeks (like me) are sometimes referred to as “bit twiddlers”. I even wrote a novel called The Bit Dance that has a bunch of ones and zeros on the cover. Computers are all about binary choices, right?

Fettuccine Alfredo

The Olive Garden is our favorite restaurant. A few years ago we celebrated my eighty-ninth and half birthday in July. (When you approach ninety, every day is a luxury.) We had an Alfredo dish. My daughter Anne had chicken and I had shrimp. We decided we could make a recipe at home that tasted just as good.

Truan Targets Cumberland

Pictured, seated L-R: Dalton Truan, Cathy Norris, aunt; standing L-R: Cumberlands head wrestling coach Travis Barroquillo, UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez, UCHS head football coach Larry Kerr and UCHS assistant football coach Josh Kerr.

Pictured, seated L-R: Dalton Truan, Cathy Norris, aunt; standing L-R: Cumberlands head wrestling coach Travis Barroquillo, UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez, UCHS head football coach Larry Kerr and UCHS assistant football coach Josh Kerr.

Union County High School senior Dalton Truan signed to wrestle with University of the Cumberlands Patriots April 10.

“Dalton is the hardest working guy, day in, day out,” said UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez.


Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, April 25, 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.

Project Planning Workshop

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 19:00
Project Planning Workshop

There will be a “Project Planning Workshop” Thursday, April 25 at 7:00pm at the Union County Courthouse. This meeting is the second planning session to include the public, along with elected officials, to discuss and determine future projects. The meeting will begin with ...

Union County 10k/5k and Fun Run

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 08:00

Come out and run on some beautiful East Tennessee country roads, right here in Maynardville!
Registration starts at 7am and the run starts at 8am.
Entry fees start at only $25.

2 courses to choose from.
5k = 3.1 miles
10k = 6.2 miles

The fun run will be held in Wilson Park and open to all ages.
Free admission to the fun run with 2 canned goods to benefit the Union County Food Pantry,

A portion of all funds raised will donated to the American Cancer Society.

May Pick Up Party

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 12:00

It's that time again!
May is a Pick Up month for our Wine Club and we are having a party to celebrate!

Saturday, May 4th from Noon till 8 PM

Live Music From:
A Pair of Jokers Noon-3:30 pm
KUDZU, the band 4-8 pm
Rocking the soul of country and all its relatives! They grab pieces of all the best music and stitch them together to make something new but familiar.


Jeanette Mahan

Jeanette C. Mahan, age 75, of Anderson County, passed away peacefully at home on April 23, 2019. She is survived by children Lynn Hewitt, Jeffery Weaver, and Clyde Mahan; grandsons Dustin Ray Hewitt and Travis Shawn Hewitt; granddaughters Cassandra Frye and Whitney Mahan; great-granddaughter Grace Cox; and brother Roy Childress; special son-in-law Frank Courrier. Family will receive friends Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel. Funeral service to follow with Louise McKinney and Gordon McKinney officiating.

Stanley "Shorty" Max Joyce

Stanley "Shorty" Max Joyce, age 82, passed away on April 20, 2019. He was of Baptist Faith. He served his country valiantly in the U.S. Army. Stanley retired from the Knox County School Janitorial Department.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Newt and Edna Joyce; brothers, Robert, Kayo and James; and sisters, Mildred, Zelma, Mayme, Jenny and Lockey. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Linda Joyce; daughter, Rhonda Womack (Guy); grandchildren, Joshua Womack (Miranda) and Ashley Duffey (Luke); great-grandchild, Baby Duffey; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Alice A. (Lody) Guinn

Alice Annalou Lody Guinn-age 81 of Maynardville, born September 9, 1937 passed away Tuesday morning, April 23, 2019 at Willow Ridge Center. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Maynardville. Preceded in death by mother, Trula Lody; father, Cecil Lody; sister, Lena Mae Tharp; brother-in-law, Fred (Red Eye) Tharp; grandparents, John E. and Lennie Monroe.

Survivors: daughter, Dyane Lody; grandson, Blake Hopson along with five great-grandchildren. Nephews: Denny, Conley, Randy, Fred Allen and Charlie Tharp and their families. Special aunt, Bobbie Johnson and several cousins.

Jason Mathew Dobbins

Jason Mathew Dobbins, born April 15, 1977, passed away April 19, 2019, losing his battle to cancer. He was a member of Sutherland Baptist Church. He is preceded in death by mother Jackie Juanita Maples Dobbins, and grandmothers Dorothy Maples and Lorene Doane. Survived by father Sammy Dobbins, son Cody Cummings, daughters Jayla and Jaylan Dobbins, step son Isaac Mashburn, brother Sammy Dobbins Jr., sister Dottie Maples, and girlfriend Sara Cunningham.

Helen Maples Foust

Helen Maples Foust, age 86 of Knoxville, passed away on April 22, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents Charlie C. and Dorothy E. Maples. Helen is survived and will be greatly missed by her sons, Steven R. Tallent and Charles A. Monroe; 4 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; as well several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Thursday, April 25th from 5:00-7:00pm at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel. Friends and family will gather at Joppa Cemetery on Friday, April 26th at 9:45am for a 10:00am interment, Rev. Donald Daniels officiating.

Dorothea Elizabeth Cox

Dorothea Elizabeth Cox – age 90 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on April 21, 2019. She was a longtime member of Milan Baptist Church. Dorothea enjoyed reading her Bible and enjoyed her friends at the Union County Senior Citizen Center. She was a retired nurse from San Joaquin Hospital in Bakersfield, California.

Ralph Robert Lane

Ralph Robert Lane, age 85, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 19, 2019, after a brief struggle with cancer. He was of Baptist faith. A wise saint once said, “The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.” If that is true, then Ralph Robert Lane was one of the strongest men in the world. Ralph was a kind and gentle soul, with a generous and giving spirit. He was a man who brought out the best in all who were around him.

Joyce Louise Ridener

Joyce Louise Ridener, age 80, of Knoxville passed away peacefully at home on April 20, 2019. She was a member of Valley View Baptist Church. She was a Devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her and her husband loved traveling together. Preceded in death by husband Bob Ridener; parents Ennis and Glenna Robertson; and sister Bobbie Henderson. Survived by sons Mike Ridener and Ronnie (Brenda) Ridener; 9 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister Donna (Ronnie) McConkey; as well as a niece and nephews; and cousin Jeanne Rose.

David Allen Berry, Sr.

David Allen Berry, Sr., age 67, of Corryton passed away on April 19, 2019. He was a member of Rockydale Primitive Baptist Church. He owned Berry’s Wrecker Service and Auto Shop for over thirty years. He enjoyed farming in his spare time. He is preceded in death by parents Elmer and Lorene Berry; and brother Donald Berry. He is survived by daughters Connie Berry and Abigail Berry; son David Berry, Jr.; grandchildren Brent Allen Berry and Jessie Lynn Berry; and siblings Mike Berry and Janice George.

Denise Hurst Caudill

Denise Jean Hurst Caudill, age 45, of Tazewell, Tennessee, was born on September 23, 1973, and passed away at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, TN on April 16, 2019, with family by her side. She professed faith in God at an earlier age and had a personal relationship with God.

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