Maintaining Your County Roadways since 2012
David Cox - Union County Road Superintendent
Willie David Cox Jr., known by friends and co-workers as David, was elected as Union County Road Superintendent in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. In this vital county position, Cox is responsible for directing, planning, and organizing the county road maintenance program. He oversees and performs many duties required to keep our county roads safe and traversable, such as paving, maintenance and repairs, striping, placing guardrails, culvert cleaning, ditching—as needed—and mowing. The Union County Highway Department is also responsible for the maintenance of the Union County Ferry.
Cox, a lifetime resident of Union County, was introduced to road maintenance by his father, who also worked on Union County roads. When Cox was a young boy he rode in the plows and dump trucks clearing roadways of snow and became very fond of working with big equipment. Something that fortified his liking of equipment and machinery beginning at a young age was a lifetime of farm work. Cox still works with cattle and hay, and is a newly appointed member of the Board of Directors at the Union County Co-op.
Cox graduated from Horace Maynard High School in 1982, and took a position in road maintenance at the age of 19 working for Renfro construction. On recommendation from his uncle, Cox was hired to run the road grader, and with on-the-job training soon perfected the job. He stayed with Renfro Construction for 24 years, working his way up the ranks to Foreman and then Superintendent. Harrison Construction acquired Renfro Construction, and Cox stayed with them another five years.
Cox proudly relays that he built the road through Maynardville that runs from Highway 61 to Hickory Star Road. Since being elected Union County Road Superintendent in 2012, the county has improved at least 150 of the 380 miles of roadway running through Union County. His goal is to pave all 380 miles of county road before he retires! Cox has a strong sense of responsibility to the community, stating, “We try to do the right thing for the people of Union County. We can’t do it all, but what we can do, we do right.”
Cox also stated that he enjoys what he does and tries to answer all calls for road maintenance needs swiftly. He is very thankful for the trust placed in him as he begins to serve a third term as Union County Road Superintendent. He thinks it is important to work close to home, living in the community in which one serves. Cox thoroughly enjoys his work and appreciates the continued opportunity to serve Union County. When asked for his thoughts on the future of Union County, Cox indicated, “We’re definitely moving in the right direction.” For incoming businesses, Cox advises that offering benefits to employees makes a huge difference in their longevity with the company. Low turnover of employees is one of the key elements of business success.
When asked how one might successfully pursue a job in road maintenance, and then perhaps a road superintendent position, Cox stated that it helps to be mechanically inclined. He stated that a large aspect of the job is learned with on-the-job training, and added that a background in asphalt would be very helpful since that's a large part of what they do. An example of how being mechanically inclined contributes to the success of this position: a couple of years ago a tractor rolled off a bank and broke in two. Cox sought advice from other mechanics and decided to save the equipment (and Union County taxpayers’ money) by repairing it. They pulled it into the garage tore it completely apart and put it back together. The transmission had literally been broken in half, but to this day that tractor is running well.
Cox asserts that the department used to struggle with equipment in the early days of his career but now they have an almost new fleet, although very little debt! This helps them get their work done in a timely manner because they're not spending a lot of time working on equipment, which frees their hands to work on the roads and just maintain existing equipment.
The Union County Road Superintendent office is located at 707 Highway 61 East, Maynardville, TN 37807. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm and the office phone number is 865-992-5286.
Have you heard? June is National Dairy Month! This month is dedicated to raising awareness of the nutritional benefits of dairy and the vital role that the dairy industry plays in our food systems and economy. UT Extension Union County does not miss this chance to get 4-H students involved. We are kicking off the month by announcing our Union County 4-H Dairy Poster Contest Winner: Emily Graves!
It was kind of embarrassing now that I think about it. Birds have more luck planting seeds than I do.
Our first house had a fairly large flower bed in the front of it. Tim was usually the one who tended to the pretty flowers and little bushes. Sometimes, I tried to help him by pulling the weeds, but that didn’t always go so well. To be honest, there would be times I couldn’t tell the difference between a weed and a flower.
I looked at Facebook today in a way I never have before. I looked at only the first ten posts that popped up from the “friends” in my current algorithm. I safely (hopefully) assume that what a person takes time to post is important to them. Personally, I rarely if ever post anything. I am content to occasionally comment on what my Facebook comrades choose to post.
No doubt you have heard plenty of news stories about the 17-year cicada emerging this year. I have yet to see or hear them in my area yet, but I look forward to hearing the male cicadas’ persistent and often loud chorus. The combined drone of thousands of cicadas singing at once hides the fact that there are three species of cicadas out there, each singing a different song, which chances depending on the proximity to a possible female mate.
My father, Owen Stimer, grew up in a rural farm community in the early twentieth century. Dad's beloved mother was of the Wesleyan Methodist faith. She was in church every time the doors opened, so to speak. In Dad's early years, he was, too. Dad came to resent sitting on the hard wooden pews during the long boring church services. He decided church was not for him. His father's attitude probably confirmed his decision, but went too far.
Mike Chesney, Maynardville City Manager, treated UCBPA to more than a taste of the upcoming Maynardville projects at the May meeting of the Union County Business and Professional Association.
Chesney began with a splash from the new water park, which the pandemic has delayed to 2022 with maybe a quick bite at the end of this summer. The new guardrail on SR 33 will help provide a safer experience when the park opens.
You may recall the story we published in March 2020 introducing the SLOTH reading program, encouraging children to Slow down, Learn, Overcome obstacles, Think, and be Happy. No doubt you also recall the rapid closings that year due to the Coronavirus. Although the SLOTH launch didn’t go exactly as planned, the program has moved forward. Kids are picking up their SLOTH reading buddies at the library and turning in their participation reports to earn prizes.
One of the best things you can do to prevent and/or eliminate back pain is to exercise. Both an inactive lifestyle and being overweight contribute to back pain. Exercise benefits you in so many ways, such as lowering blood pressure, helping you maintain a healthy weight, lowering your risk for diabetes, and the list goes on!
Orthotics can help you maintain a healthy spine by stabilizing the lower extremities and pelvis. Devices that you wear in your shoes, orthotics align all three arches of your foot to provide a balanced foundation for your spine and body.
Jason Lawson Jr., born and raised in the Thorn Hill community of Hancock County, is excited to join the staff at UT Extension Union County for the 2021 summer internship.
He graduated Hancock High School in 2017 then went on to Walters State Community College, graduating with an Associate of Applied Science in Agriculture in December 2019.
Many things have changed over the past year, but one thing we have had the pleasure to see remain constant is the hard work and dedication of our Union County 4-H youth. Regardless of the challenges sent their way, students in Union County 4-H and across the state have learned, served and developed. This hard work has produced incredible impact in the county as 4-H has not slowed down.
The City of Plainview awarded its 2021 Academic Achievement Scholarship to Mason Weaver. The annual scholarship for $500 is given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average who resides in Plainview. Mayor Chandler congratulated Mason for his outstanding academic achievement and and thanked his parents for all of their support for him.
Late one afternoon while sitting on the porch, shadows getting long, a song came on the computer. It was a pretty song by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood and released in 1966.
The first line lyrics were, “Strawberries, cherries and an angel kiss in spring.” The name of the song was “Summer Wine.”
While listening to the song I drifted back to 1956 and the summer when I turned eleven years old.
Just as surely as a purple finch is crimson, the stories I share with you in this article are true to the best of my ever-aging memory.
I was probably about 12 years old. I was visiting with my sister Ruby’s family at her house in East Knoxville. Ruby was actually my half-sister, the oldest daughter and second child from my father’s first marriage.
Ruby’s husband was Alfred John “Buddy” Foulks, Sr., a captain with the Knoxville City Fire Department. They had four children, though the first three were older than me, grown and living on their own.
Humans seem hardwired to fear snakes, and it is useful to help us be cautious around poisonous species.
But most snake species found in our area are harmless and perform a useful service of keeping rodent populations in check.
There are two well-known poisonous ones in our woods where caution is advised, though.
I bet you’ll never guess what my favorite jewelry was when I was a girl. Here’s a hint: it could be rather itchy at times.
When I was kid, we mainly played outside. No smart phones or computer games. Just us and the great outdoors. This was especially true at school where the schoolyard was blessed with little wildflowers. At the time, we didn’t know their names. All that mattered was the fact that we could make jewelry out of their blooms.
2 Timothy 4:3 KJV
 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Have you ever scratched a hound dog behind its ears? Dogs just can’t seem to get enough ear scratching. I can recall countless times when my boyhood hound dog Sam would cozy up to me, nudge my hand and encourage me to scratch behind his ears. Seems like Sam especially enjoyed this if I told him he was a “good dog.”
Imagine you are seven years old and you have just been awakened in the middle of the night, maybe by police officers or apologetic social workers, and ripped from your parents’ arms.
If you’re lucky, you’re handed a trash bag to toss your entire life into. If not, then you may find yourself arriving empty-handed to a state office where a frazzled, full-time employee will try to wash the lice out of your hair in the bathroom sink, then stick you under a waiting room chair to sleep for the two days you’ll most likely be there.
Visiting the company website GRIID.com, you will learn that they are an American infrastructure company that procures low-cost, renewable energy to build, manage, and operate their growing portfolio of vertically integrated bitcoin mining facilities. Hansel further explains that they are a blockchain data center, blockchains being the crypto part of cryptocurrency that verifies the transaction and keeps it secure when transferring from one entity to another. Those shipping container-looking units are full of computers crunching numbers for encryption such as crypto coin.
UCHS Lady Patriots: Front, L -R: Savvy Paul, Blakley Hall, Makenna Satterfield, Caitlin Mays, Morgan Dyer, Asst. Coach Bryan Mays
Back, L-R: Asst. Coach Kelly Cooper, Morgan Johnson, Jordyn Brantley, Emma Sexton, Makayla Cooper, Marah Johnson, Tessa Ray, Macey Hutchison, Tori Mullins, Makenzie Foust, Coach Lance Lay
The UCHS Lady Patriots are only one of 8 teams left in AA softball in the state of TN to advance to the state tournament.
Coming out the Division I AA District softball tournament as runners-up behind Gibbs High School, the Lady Patriots traveled to Alcoa High School on Monday, May 17th and beat Alcoa 4-2 to advance to the Regional Championships where they would face Gibbs High School again. This time the Lady Patriots beat the eagles 7-6 to become the Division I Regional Champions.
A new Gallup-Palmer survey that tested public assumptions about chiropractic care discovered that a lack of knowledge about health insurance coverage for chiropractic care and sensitivity toward costs may be preventing some adults in the United States from using chiropractic services. Nearly half of U.S. adults reported not knowing whether their insurance plans covered chiropractic care. In addition to uncertainty about insurance coverage, the survey found that perceptions about the cost of chiropractic care could also be a factor preventing some individuals from seeking it.
If I were to meet a king or any other member of royalty, I’d certainly want to know the social rules for appropriate behavior. One thing’s for certain—I would want to know how to address King George VI, especially since his actual first name was Albert. I doubt in any case it would have been appropriate for even his natural mother to have addressed him as “Al”.
It had been a long, tiring day at work and I had stopped by the Ingles in Halls on my way home. I didn’t really want to stop, but we needed a few things. You know how it is.
After racing through the store, I threw my bags into the car and slid into the driver’s seat. I turned the key. Nothing. No dash lights. My car didn’t even make any noise. So, I called Tim and told him my car wouldn’t do anything. He asked what I meant by that. I replied, “It isn’t doing anything. No lights. No noises. Nothing!”
By: Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
You have no doubt noted the large swaths of yellow flowers in pasture and hayfields this Spring. Those are buttercups, and while picturesque, are not welcome to farmers because they can poison cattle and take up growing space that should be growing grass.
That is a strange title. I will explain. Skin cancer is the basis for this story. Last August, I noticed a small lump on my face. I didn’t think much about it. After all, I have had my share of lumps over my 93 years. I would just keep an eye on it. It didn’t go away. It didn’t get any bigger, either, as the season changed to cooler weather. That was unusual. By Christmas, it was crusty but no bigger. My yearly appointment with the dermatologist would be coming up in March. I would have it checked then.
May is National Foster Care Month. It is a time to acknowledge the more than 8,000 children and youth of Tennessee who live in or are in desperate need of a foster care home and the family members and foster parents who care for them. I recently interviewed Rebecca Horton, Recruitment Specialist Team Leader for The Omni Family of Services (Omni Visions), to learn more about foster care and the needs of foster families.
Gibson Calfee says he has lived his life by one motto. Hard work pays off.
It certainly has for Calfee. The 2017 Union County High School graduate will be graduating with honors from LMU this year with a bachelor’s degree in Biology, and a minor in chemistry and pre-med. He will begin the Physician Assistant program at Lincoln Memorial University in less than a month,
According to a new Gallup-Palmer report that tested public assumptions about chiropractic care, 57 percent of U.S. adults are likely to visit a doctor of chiropractic (DC) if they experience back or neck pain. This first-ever nationally representative survey, commissioned by Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, found that 33.6million Americans sought chiropractic care in 2014, compared to a previously reported estimate of 20.6 million in 2012.
I wasn’t the only one who suffered from my eye problem. My parents did as well.
It all started when my parents noticed my left eye wasn’t moving the same as my right one. At time, I was around 3 years old. They took me to an eye doctor who told them I would outgrow it. Unfortunately, I didn’t. So, they took me to another eye doctor when I was 6.
I don’t know a lot about the Canary Islands, other than that they were named not for birds, but for dogs. You guessed it, I had to do a Google search. Per that search, I found that “the name for the islands actually came from the Latin term for the island, Insula Canaria, meaning ‘island of the dogs’.”
I think a trip to the Canary Islands might make a lovely vacation. I am sure there would be many tourists that would indeed be sights to see. But one does not have to go to the Canary Islands to find interesting, entertaining people to observe.
Picture this: You take a package of bacon from the fridge, open it and work to separate the slices (That is not easy to do since the bacon is cold..) Then you carefully lay each slice in the skillet and set the heat to medium. Do the slices remain flat? Of course not. You fuss over them until you have cooked them to the desired crispness.
Mulching around trees and flower beds offers several benefits, such as soil moisture retention, reduced weeding, and keeping yard equipment a safe distance away from plants. Shredded bark is a popular mulch to use, which requires periodic touch up as it gradually decomposes. However, I have seen landscapes where a lot of mulch was routinely added every year whether it was needed or not, creating an overly thick layer of mulch that can injure or even kill the plants you are trying to benefit.
Maynardville residents, kick up your boots and enjoy a nice, ice cold glass of tap water as it is the Best Tasting in the state. At the monthly Maynardville City Council meeting on May 11, 2021, Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD) representatives, Michael Keaton and Kevin Byrd, attended to proudly present the award of Best Tasting Water in Tennessee to the Union County’s very own Maynardville Utility Department (MUD).
Join us on Saturday, May 22, as the Union County Farmers Market kicks off our Nourish Kids program. This will be the second season that the market has partnered with Nourish Knoxville to present this program. Through a grant, Nourish Knoxville has been able to assist markets like ours throughout East Tennessee, providing materials and Produce Bucks making this program possible.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — By now you’ve heard the cicadas are coming. In fact, they are practically here. Entomologists predict the periodical cicada that are on a 17-year reproduction cycle will start emerging from the soil in mass within the next several days, and some early emergence has been documented in parts of Tennessee. What you may not have heard is that those young fruit trees you planted this year, or maybe in the last few years, are in danger if you have a large cicada population in your area.
Dave Chesney, a native of Union County and father of country music chart-topper Kenny Chesney, gifts the Historical Society with a donation of official Kenny Chesney memorabilia. Record labels recognize their artists’ achievements with record milestone awards, such as gold (500,000 albums sold) and platinum (1 million albums or 500,000 singles sold). These keepsakes are also presented to those who support an artist’s career; as such, Chesney has received several awards commemorating his son’s achievements.
The Union County 4-H Public Speaking Contest allows youths to highlight their exceptional presentation abilities in a supportive environment. Youth learn from professionals as well as their fellow 4-H members.
Robert Sterling “Bob” Kitts-age 62 of Knoxville, born September 1, 1958 spread his wings and headed for home Wednesday, June 16, 2021 to join his Heavenly family. Bob was of the Christian faith and knew were he was going. A devout family man always lending a helping hand and a true devoted rock to many. Wonderful father, exceptional brother and personal caregiver to both his parents when they needed him most. Bob loved and played music, enjoyed NASCAR, sports and working on cars. Bob made his living working on cars as an auto body technician his entire life and worked on the side.
Edwin Charles Young passed away at his home on June 15, 2021 surrounded by his wife of 65 years Julia Lee Collier Young, his son Steven Craig Young from Corryton, Tn and his daughter Robbi Sue Young from Amelia, Oh. He was born in Memphis, TN to Nell and Al Young of Paducah, Ky on January 18, 1933. He attended George Rogers Clark Elementary, Brazelton Junior High and Augusta Tilghman High in Paducah. He transferred to the University of Kentucky in 1952. He attended UK for a year and ½ before being drafted.
Robert ¨Bobby” Lee Cox - age 61 of Maynardville, was born on November 21st, 1959 and passed away suddenly and peacefully at his home in Maynardville on Monday, June 14th, 2021. A man of faith, Bobby gave his life to God at age 19, and was an ordained minister and member of Bethel Baptist Church. He has now found everlasting peace and is rejoicing with the Lord.
Bradley Eugene Warwick, age 42, of Blaine passed away suddenly at his home to be with the Lord on Thursday, June the 10th. He was a member of Little Valley Baptist Church. Preceded in death grandfather/grandmother Daniel and Loretta Warwick, grandfather/grandmother Eugene and Eula Faye Ramsey, brother Jason Warwick, Uncle/aunt Grady and Polly Warwick, and cousin Kimberly Danielle Warwick.
Brandon Todd Johnson – 34 of Maynardville, went to be with the Lord and his father, Wayne Johnson on Friday, June 11, 2021. He was a member of Hickory Valley Baptist Church.
He is preceded in death by his father, Wayne Johnson; and grandparents, Louis and Winnie Hall. Brandon is survived by his sons, Thomas, Christopher and Jonathan Johnson; mother and stepfather, Shelia and Joey Yadon; sister, Cassie Yadon; grandparents, Steve and Marie Johnson; and a host of family and friends to mourn his loss.
Larry W. “Black” Sharp – age 74 of Sharps Chapel, went to be with the Lord on June 10, 2021. He was a lifelong farmer, always working on the farm, and loved to hunt and fish. Black retired from Union County Highway Department after 8 years and the TN Division of Forestry after 20 years.
Jim Houston-age 80 of Sharps Chapel passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at his home.
Proceeded in death by parents: Ottis and Grace (Walker) Houston, sister Ada Mae Houston, and brother Samuel Houston.
Survivors: Wife Meryl Linkous Houston, daughter Jamie Rhodes (Stacy), son Jason, and daughter Julie, stepdaughter Ashley McCann (Bryan), grandchildren Chase Rhodes (Ally), Caleb Rhodes, Kaylee Houston, Brooklyn and Rachel Sharp, Augustus and Eleanor McCann. Great grandchildren Kinsley and Rhett.
Sister Linda Ruth Houston Ousley, and several nieces and nephews.
Amber Nichole Warwick Beason-age 21 of Knoxville passed away Sunday evening, June 6, 2021 at North Knoxville Medical Center. Amber was preceded in death by her adopted mother, Betty Beason; sister, Debra Smith; biological father, Rick Warwick; grandparents, Harvey and Carol Warwick.
Survivors: mother, Kim Rogers of Maynardville; brother, Christopher Lowery; sisters, Amy Lowery and Katie Keisler. Several other relatives and friends.
The body will be cremated and no services are planned at this time. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.