Libraries Rock with Summer Reading

A young Summer Reader feeds a tortoise at the Healthy Kids Day kickoff at Maynardville Public Library.

It's that time of year again.

Time for Union County's libraries to welcome that onslaught of kids, fun, laughs, and excitement known as Summer Reading. Both Luttrell and Maynardville libraries will host Summer Reading this year, with opportunities for prizes, food and great programs at each.

Maynardville Public Library director Chantay Collins said this will be her 18th year of Summer Reading. The program started with about 25 children taking part and has grown to about 400. Luttrell has been doing Summer Reading every year since the new library opened in 2007, hosting about 50 readers each summer.

Kids who participate in summer reading track the number of pages they read and are entered into prize drawings based on the amount of reading they get done over the summer.

"We're trying to get those kids to read, read, read," said Todd. "It's important because we take up that slack when the school session is out, to keep those kids engaged in reading until school starts again. It's also about finding a safe place in the summer for community gathering. Instead of the kids getting into trouble, they're setting goals and being productive."

"Last year, we had a little girl in Pre-K come in and say, 'I'm going to read this summer. I'm going to learn to read.' And now she's reading on a second grade level and is in Pre-K," said Collins. "It's just watching those kids learn the magic of books. Those kids who have struggled in school and they don't like to read, and it clicks when they find a book that works for them, that's the fun thing for us."

Both libraries are running the "Libraries Rock!" theme, with plenty of programs and activities planned around the theme.

At Luttrell, programs are Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m., with some "wild Wednesdays" thrown in. Programs include:

1 p.m. June 5, magician Michael Messing.
11 a.m. June 8, live music plus a double-lane inflatable slide (reschedule from rained-out kickoff).
1 p.m. June 12, Jason and Company ventriloquist and balloonist.
11 a.m. June 13, Cattywampus Puppet Council puppet show and puppet making.
11 a.m. June 15, Science Guy Mr. Rich.
1 p.m. June 19, Water Day with a water slide, water guns, bubbles and more.
11 a.m. June 22, The Dirt on Rocks by The Muse Knoxville.
June 29, Awards Day.

Luttrell will host storytime at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays, plus 12:30 p.m. Fridays. Mojo the Reading Beagle will visit the library some Tuesdays and Fridays, too. The Luttrell Elementary School cafeteria will provide lunch at noon every Tuesday and Friday.

"The staff and I are just excited to have the kids come in and have a good time and go on adventures in their books," said Todd. "We're busy preparing. We promote lifelong learning and creativity. I hope those who have never visited our library would do so. If someone has never used the library at any time of the year, they just don't know what they are missing. All are welcome."

At Maynardville Public Library, storytimes are Tuesdays and Thursdays with breakfast provided by ETHRA at 10 a.m., and Lego Club every Tuesday 4-5 p.m. Programs are 1 p.m. every Friday, with lunch provided at 12:30 p.m. Maynardville's Summer Reading kicked off last Saturday with Healthy Kids Day. Programs include:

June 8, Union County Sheriff's Office K-9s.
June 15, Science Guy Mr. Rich.
June 22, dance and crafts.
June 29, making puppets and puppet shows.
July 6, Mr. Berry and Sam the Turtle.
July 12, last day to turn in tickets.
July 14, Awards Day at 10 a.m. with 100-foot slip-n-slid, watermelon and summer fun.

Also, Collins said not to forget the Union County Veterans kids fishing rodeo June 16, at Big Ridge State Park.

"We're going to be rocking it out," said Collins. "There's going to be a lot of music played this year. We're going to teach kids to enjoy books. Kids just need to slow down a little and enjoy what they're reading and comprehend what they're reading and find out books are fun. We do bribe them to read, but they get to where they really enjoy it. It's not just about the prizes."

Info:, or, or search either library on Facebook.



Let Go and Let God

Photo by Sue Tharp

With the passing of time, it is essential to have the understanding of the importance of cherishing the little moments in life. Being able to enjoy these seconds to their fullest means the outburst of laughter, sharing of wisdom, and enhanced intuitiveness. Sandra Greene’s life is a depiction of this wisdom and peace.

Its Time for Chocolatefest


The Knoxville Chapter of the Kidney Foundation started Chocolatefest more than twenty-five years ago at Knoxville Center. Eventually, the chapter decided to forego the yearly event.When one of the former board members had an urge to bring the festival back, she asked past Chocolatefest judge and local radio personality Jennifer Johnsey if she would help. Luckily, Jennifer was happy to oblige.

What a Joke!

What a Joke!

Mincey’s Musings Year Two, Week Two

A frustrated conductor once asked a band player with issues, “Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?” The player replied, “I don’t know, and I don’t care.”

This is a slightly tweaked missive that came my way via email. It reminded me of a joke I once heard at a meeting which I shall attempt to embellish for your reading pleasure.

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Grandma made the best cookies, didn't she? She didn't work outside the home. Those were the days when she washed, starched and ironed her ruffled curtains and had time to crochet frilly doilies for the end tables next to the sofa. Ruffled curtains are things of the past as are crocheted doilies. She didn't have to get the kids properly dressed for school and then get herself to her job on time. She did have time to polish up on her cookie recipes.

Abraham and Carl

Abraham and Carl

Scratching your head? Who in the world are Abraham and Carl?

When we see the word “and” between two names, we assume they are connected in some way. For instance, I love the comedy teams of Andy and Barney (Mayberry), Lucy and Ethel and (one of my favorites) Laurel and Hardy.

For the record, Abraham and Carl are not a comedy team. In fact, they never even met for they lived thousands of years apart.

Scratching your head again?

Lemon - Cheese Salad

Lemon - Cheese Salad

I saw an article online the other day. It listed recipes that are outdated and thankful to be gone. I don't agree. Everyone of them are on my “favorites” list. I think the reason they are outdated is that they were over-used back in the day. I remember when I first discovered canned tuna fish. We had a Tuna Noodle Casserole about every other week. I have a good recipe for that, too.

Agriculture Creates Opportunity

Agriculture Creates Opportunity

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.


Wine and Canvas with Betty Bullen

Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 18:00

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!

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, January 31, 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.

Wine and Design

Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 18:00

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.

February Pick Up Party at The Winery

Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 12:00

It's that time again and everyone is invited.
February is a Pick Up month for our Wine Club and we are having a party to celebrate.

Saturday, February 2nd from Noon till 8

Live Music From:
45RPM Noon - 3:30 pm
They will be playing music from the vinyl era, the tunes that you know and love!!

Overdrive 4-8 pm
Overdrive is a band dedicated to filling the dance floor at any venue they play at! Be sure to bring your dancing shoes!


Dale Wesche

Dale R. Wesche – age 39 of Heiskell, passed away Thursday, January 17, 2019 as a result of an automobile accident. He was a member of Fairview Free Will Baptist Church. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing and 4-wheeling with his friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Wilma Wesche. Dale is survived by his canine companion, Gretchen; and a community of friends.

Nancy Byrum

Nancy Byrum, age 57, passed away Saturday, January 19, 2019. Proceeded in death by father George Byrum Sr., sister Debbie Patterson, brother Timmy Byrum, nephew Brent Byrum; and many aunts and uncles. Survived by mother Margret Byrum, daughter Fran Hancock, son Michael Scott Rolen; grandchildren Jared and Genny; brothers and sisters-in-law George and Maryann, Dennis and Teresa, Steve and Susan, and significant other Calvin Stafford; many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Gladys B. Ledford

Gladys B. Ledford, age 96, of Knoxville, passed away on January 20, 2019.
She attended Salem Baptist Church.
Preceded in death by husband David L. Ledford; daughter Patsy J. Price; grandson Brian Schwartz.
Survived by daughter M. Annette Rummell (Barry); son Charles “David” Ledford (Joy); 10 grandchildren; many great grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren.
Family will receive friends 4-6PM Wednesday at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with funeral service to follow, Rev. David McGill officiating.

Rosemary Gail (Wilkerson) Johnson Obituary

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.

Obituary of Lloyd Russell Lee Sr.

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 George Jones

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

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

The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.