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.




Allyson Hanna Wins 4-H State Round-Up

Allyson Hanna (fourth from left) won her division at the State 4-H Round-Up.

Allyson Hanna has done her hometown proud by bringing home a state-level win from the Tennessee 4-H Round-Up and All-Star Conference. The 16-year-old homeschooler is a junior this year, and she won her division with a Senior Level 1 consumer education project on the Consumer Bill of Rights.

Hanna has been active in 4-H since she was in the fifth grade, and she credits the program with helping her grow as a leader and a team player.

The Digital Divide

The “digital divide” is the gap that exists between individuals advantaged by the internet and those individuals disadvantaged by lack of access to the internet. The divide has widened as technology has advanced with the advent of next generation fiber optic broadband that can make 1 GB broadband speeds available. The growing gap disproportionately affects rural areas as rural residents have few choices of internet service providers – or none at all. They pay higher prices for lower quality service.

Twenty-one Lessons

Twenty-one Lessons

Not everyone should take music lessons. There are some that have a hole in their bucket, like me. Mother thought it would be nice if one of her children learned how to play the Hawaiian guitar. Island music was popular back in the days before World War II. She picked the wrong kid, me.

Reborn and Still Kicking

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Thirty-One

Hello, everyone. My name is Oak Grove. I am a two room school building in the Sharps Chapel area of Union County.

For the past two weeks my “scribe” Ronnie Mincey has written articles about me, detailing pertinent points of my history for school terms 1932-1933 and 1934-1935. His main source for information has been the old registers on file at the Union County Board of Education’s Central Office, my “diaries”.


Sumac smooth

Sumacs are very common in our area, most often found in overgrown fields and areas that have been disturbed. While considered a weed by many, it does have the virtues of providing cover and food for wildlife, and nice fall coloration for human enjoyment.


Gumball Machine

I have always been just a little different. For instance, my idea of a fun place was not the same as most other kids’ back in the 70s. They wanted to go to the pinball arcade or the skating rink, whereas I wanted to go to the laundromat.

The only time we washed clothes there was when the electric pump on our well messed up. No pump. No water. No washing clothes at home.

Moral Authority

Archie Wilson

Seems like everyone has a Twitter, Facebook or some kind of social media account, well everyone except me. Thus far, I have avoided social media platforms, unless of course, you count the occasional religious article like this. But, I do read and listen to a lot of news, much of it digital. So even though I have no social media accounts, I still have exposure to everyone else’s social media rants via the news. I liken social media to the 1970s phenomenon of “Streaking”. Sooner or later you are going to get flashed! “Look out Ethel” If you don’t get the reference look up Ray Stevens song, “The Streak”.

Avoiding Recurring and Chronic Back Pain

Avoiding Recurring and Chronic Back Pain

Are you experiencing these symptoms?
• low back pain
• buttock soreness
• radiating leg and thigh pain
• pain while sitting
• tightness, burning, or feeling of a knot
• gluteal pain while driving

Here are the risk factors for developing these recurring and chronic pains:
• poor fitness levels and spinal stability (core muscle strength)
• poor posture
• previous episodes of back pain
• pain for more than 8 days

Corn Relish

Corn Relish

Years ago when I had a big garden, I tried to “put up” as much as I could. It seemed that if I had a full cupboard of home canned fruit and veggies, the winter would go well. If my cupboard was meager, the winter usually meant hard times for my family. It happened often enough to warn me to be prepared.



Clay Edward Smith

Clay Edward Smith, age 57, passed away on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. He is preceded in death by father, William Smith; mother, Thelma Smith; and brother, Billy Joe Smith. Clay is survived by sisters brothers, Helen Williams, Linda Collins, Joyce Sheffield, David Smith, William Smith, Fred Smith and Michael Smith as well as several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel on Sunday, August 19th from 5-7pm. Family and friends will gather at Water Cemetery on Monday, August 20th at 10:45am for an 11am graveside service.

Frances Kilgore Norman

Frances Kilgore Norman, age 83, of Lakeland Florida, formerly of Knoxville, Tennessee passed away on August 12, 2018 at her home in Lakeland Florida. She was of Methodist faith. She was a member of Eastern Star, Mascot Tennessee Order. Frances was a certified nursing assistant. She worked at Lakeland Regional Medical Center and in Home Health Care. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and friend to many.

Dorothy Dean Hatmaker Weaver

Dorothy Dean Hatmaker Weaver, 83, is now with her creator and keeper, Jesus Christ. She died August 13, 2018.
She is survived by her son, Daniel Weaver; sister, Aileen Hatmaker Ruland; nieces, Kim, Tracy, and Renee; a great-nephew and a great-niece.
She is preceded in death by daughter, Candace Weaver Ayers; sister, Barbara Hatmaker Sizemore, and parents.

Thomas "Tommy" Edward Lawless

Thomas Edward Lawless, July 27,1940-August 11, 2018, Thomas (Tommy) Edward Lawless of Maynardville, Tennessee passed away peacefully, Saturday afternoon, surrounded by his loving family at his home on August 11, 2018. Tommy was a graduate of Clinton High School class of 1958. He continued his education at East Tennessee State College and then served in the United States Navy (Vietnam) on a Mine Sweeper as Second Lieutenant for four years. He taught high school math and retired from Frontier High school in Ohio.

Joseph Andrew Weaver

Joseph Andrew Weaver, 62, departed this life to be with his Lord and Savior August 11, 2018. He attended Gospel Light Church of God in Norris, Tennessee. He is preceded in death by father, Charles Weaver; step-father, George Duncan; grandparents, Dora and Jahue Brantley and Pearl Weaver.

Bessie Mae Delozier

Bessie Mae Delozier-age 87 of Luttrell passed away Wednesday morning, August 8, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center. The Lord has called. I must go home. I take this time to say goodbye to my family and friends. I was born May 10, 1931 to a pretty little part Indian girl, age 16, Grace Dotson, who married Bill Line. I married at age 16. God gave me 5 wonderful children, 14 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. I am so blessed with two wonderful step-daughters, three step-grandsons and one step-granddaughter. I leave lots of good friends.

Taniciah Montana Little

Taniciah Montana Little-age 60 of Speedwell was born March 31, 1958 in Middletown, Ohio. She went home to be with the Lord Monday, August 6, 2018. Taniciah was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Little; mother, Lucetta Jane Hodson, father, Pierce Hays; sister Gloria Prater; brother, Perry Hays; nephew, Joey Prater.

Carson Munsey

Carson Munsey-age 82 of Washburn passed away 5:35 A.M. Monday, August 6, 2018 at Ft. Sanders Regional Medical Center following a sudden illness. He was saved at an early age. Retired employee of Star Construction. Preceded in death by parents, James “Bud” and Alma “Dee” Munsey; children, John Munsey, LouAlma Graves; brother, Verlin Munsey.

Mary Ann Reynolds

Mary Ann Reynolds - 79 of Maynardville passed away Friday, August 3, 2018 at Willow Ridge Center. She is preceded in death by husband, Esco Reynolds; sons, David and Jeffrey Reynolds. Mary Ann is survived by granddaughters, MacKenzie and Brianna Reynolds. No services are planned at this time. Trinity Funeral Home, LLC, Maynardville, has the honor to serve the family of Mary Ann Reynolds. 865-992-5002

Andrew J. Brewer

Andrew “Andy” J. Brewer, age 91, passed away on Friday, August 3, 2018. He was a proud member of New Beverly Baptist Church. He is survived by wife Shirley Ann Brewer, son Ronnie Brewer, step-daughter Sheila Picquet, and many other loving family members. Family will receive friends on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 from 6-7 p.m. at New Beverly Baptist Church. A service will follow at 7 p.m. with Reverend Eddie Sawyer and Reverend Mike Vincent officiating. Online condolences may be expressed at

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