Meet Diane Black

Gubernatorial candidate Diane Black

U. S. Representative Diane Black says that hard work and accountability are Tennessee values she learned from her parents. Black, a registered nurse, small businesswoman, and former educator, is a candidate in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Black recently took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for Historic Union County. Below are our questions with her direct and unedited responses.

HUC: Dealing with illegal immigration, you say that as governor you will not allow sanctuary cities in the state of TN. Will there be steps you need to take to ensure that? Additionally, what will your methods be to eliminate illegal immigration in TN? Specifically, what tools will you provide law enforcement, and will there be a protocol to be followed throughout the state?

BLACK: With me as your governor, we will have no sanctuary cities in Tennessee.
Sanctuary cities breed lawlessness, and terrorists who enter our country illegally want to destroy everything our country stands for.
As governor, I will withhold state funds from sanctuary cities, and I will work to form a partnership between state law enforcement and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
I have already urged Governor Haslam to sign the anti-sanctuary cities bill passed by the General Assembly this session.
The last two governors have outsourced refugee resettlement in Tennessee and I think it’s time for our state to take it back.
I will fight for our safety and ensure our law enforcement has the funding and resources they need to enforce our immigration laws.

HUC: You mention you’re A+ rating with the NRA, but other than stating you are pro 2nd Amendment is there a limit to the 2nd Amendment? What about bans on assault rifles? Additionally, you state that it is the mentally impaired that commit school shootings, but how will you keep weapons out of their hands and in the hands of the law abiding citizens? How do you feel about arming school staff?

BLACK: I do have an A+ rating from the NRA, and I have been a lifetime member for decades. I support the second amendment, and I believe the gun laws in our state are right where they should be.
Tennessee is home to hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners. They should not be blamed for the actions of a madman.
Many liberal politicians are calling for firearm bans and are willing to sacrifice our Constitutional rights instead of recognizing the glaring issues all of these tragedies have had in common; mental illness.
Government can’t redeem broken souls, but we can do more to recognize mental illness in young people and prevent them from getting their hands on guns. The sad truth is that there are mentally ill people out there and some will always find a way to do people harm.
I believe we should give more authority to law enforcement when red flags are raised, as they were with the Parkland shooter and the Waffle House shooter. We must empower parents, teachers, counselors and students to wave the red flag when they have concerns. Just like at the airport: “if you see something, say something.”
In addition, I believe we should invest in real security measures for every school in Tennessee. Students and teachers shouldn’t have to worry about a madman coming to their schools.
It’s time to get serious about the mental health issues that prompt these attacks and do all we can to make sure they never happen again.

HUC: There is much debate about healthcare and Obamacare. Unfortunately, many Tennesseans participating in the healthcare exchange are down to one option. You mention bringing healthcare back to health departments for Medicaid patients, but can you tell us what your plans are for those who do not benefit from workplace health benefits or qualify for Medicare or Medicaid? Do you have a plan if Congress gets rid of Obamacare, and do you have a plan if Obamacare remains law?

BLACK: I was proud to author the first bill signed into law that successfully repealed a healthcare provision of Obamacare - which saved taxpayers $13 billion - and I have continued voting to defund and repeal this law in full. I am confident that Congress will fully repeal Obamacare.
We know that Obamacare has failed our state, and expanding Medicaid would be just as big of a disaster and bankrupt our state in the process.
The Democrats, and even some moderate members of my own party, have fallen for this lie that government can provide solutions to every problem.
As governor, I will work with the Trump Administration to get a block grant for Medicaid. Then we can design a system specific to Tennessee. My plan will feature a sliding fee scale for primary care at health departments for those without workplace benefits and who don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. This works very well in the states that have tried it, especially for folks on the exchange who cannot afford their deductible.
In addition, I believe there is an economic and community development aspect of the health care debate that often goes overlooked.

High quality jobs and education are as important to healthcare as health policy itself. The more people who can escape from poverty, get jobs that include health benefits or pay well enough to afford insurance and become participants in the commercial market, the less are relying on TennCare.
I believe it is up to the next governor to recruit and retain high quality jobs that provide benefits for Tennesseans.

HUC: Can you talk more about your Veterans Coalition? What is it exactly, and how will it aid our veterans?

BLACK: My Veterans Coalition is made up of veterans from across the state who will advise me on the issues impacting Tennessee veterans, particularly ensuring that they have access to quality health care.
As the daughter, wife and mother of veterans, I am committed to doing everything in my power to support our great veterans and active duty military personnel as Tennessee’s next governor.
These men and women served our country with honor, and they will always have a listening ear with me in the governor’s office. I will fight for our veterans because they fought and sacrificed for us.

HUC: You declare that you want, “No town left behind.” You state that you want to provide local businesses with the incentives that out-of-town businesses enjoy. Can you tell us more about those incentives and how they will benefit small towns without adding to the tax burden?

BLACK: Past administrations have overlooked homegrown Tennessee businesses when it comes to providing incentives. Instead, they have focused on recruiting businesses from outside the state and nation.
My administration will prioritize businesses owned by Tennesseans and encourage them to expand to grow and meet the needs of our state. I will prioritize investments in the infrastructure, which our state’s rural communities need to attract business.
As I’ve traveled the state, one thing I have heard from East to West is the need for good roads and broadband.
I will prioritize the infrastructure needs of rural communities. I will support bringing broadband to all areas across our state as soon as possible, and I will expedite roads, bridges, sewer/water projects and planning assistance in rural communities.

HUC: You say you will be a “decisive” governor who will “defend our culture.” In a country where those wearing police uniforms or a MAGA hat are refused service with no repercussions, while others lose their business by refusing service to those who violate their religious beliefs, what exactly does “defending our culture” look like for you?

BLACK: Our culture really is special here. Tennessee can lose its culture and our traditional values if we are not careful.
Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Once our religious freedoms are gone, they’re never coming back.
Everyone who believes in traditional values is at risk. Even if you don’t believe in traditional moral values, you should be afraid of your constitutional freedoms being taken away.
Under President Obama, businesses and organizations were required to provide contraception - even if they opposed it on moral and religious grounds - like the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Last year, President Trump announced that religious ministries and non-profits would no longer be forced to choose between violating their religious beliefs or violating the law.
I fought alongside the Little Sisters of the Poor. As governor, I will continue to defend our religious freedoms.

HUC: Governor Haslam's disapproval rating is just at 24%. Knoxville’s radio host Hallerin Hilton Hill called Haslam a “rock-star governor.” It can be challenging to follow someone who has had some success. What are some of his policies that you will continue? For example, you mention protecting the value of the Hope Scholarship, but will you also maintain TN Promise and TN Reconnect? Additionally, are there any of Haslam’s policies that you would like to dissolve?

BLACK: As governor, I will maintain the Tennessee Promise and Reconnect. I am committed to completing the Drive to 55.

Black’s concluding statement:
I believe Governor Haslam has done an admirable job in bringing our state from the bottom of the pack in education to the middle, and I will continue that progress until we reach the top.

The Tennessee gubernatorial election will take place on November 6, 2018, to elect the next Governor of Tennessee.




Book Signing

Book Signing

Sheri Hensley, my daughter, and I had a great book signing Saturday at Okie’s in Maynardville.

Sheri did the cover illustration for More Tales. Look for us next Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Plainview Spring Festival. The festival is being held at the Plainview Community Center from 9 am until 6 pm. We’ll plan to be there signing from 10 am until 1pm. We’ll be at the west end of the building near the deserts. If the deserts are anything like last year you won’t want to miss the opportunity to sample more than one.

Shag Rugs

Shag Rugs

Name the hardest rug to clean. Did you say shag? If you did, you are right. Shag rugs are a bugger to clean. Eating supper in the living room while watching TV on your portable TV tray? Did some baked beans roll off your plate and onto the rug? Sorry. The pile will instantly snap them up. Watch where you step. Smashed baked beans are hard to find and hard to remove.

Do You Believe You Have a Destiny or a Calling?

East Tennessee Hospital for the Insane

Do you believe that you have a destiny or a calling? One of the greatest reformers in U.S. History, left a legacy in word and action that continues to inspire me today. Of her motivation, she explained “In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do.”

Can We Get There From Here?

Can We Get There From Here?

Since Mother’s Day was Sunday, I want to pay tribute to my feisty mom who tries to get a laugh whenever she can. It’s part of her charm.

Before GPS, Google Maps, and cell phones, if you were lost, you stopped and asked a stranger for directions. My mom had her own unique and humorous (in her mind) way of doing that: “Can we get there from here?”

Let There Be Light

Sun Beams

Light is something we don’t think about much, but almost everything that’s alive on the planet needs light for sight and energy. Human eats cow, cow eats grass, grass grows on light… you get the picture. Scientists have studied light for centuries, but still don’t fully understand it.


31 Million Americans Experience Low-Back Pain at Any Given Time

31 million americanS experience low-back pain at any given time.

A few interesting facts about back pain: low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the global Burden of disease 2010. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.



We have been studying God’s Covenant with mankind, in particular the “Terms and Conditions.” In the previous two editions of this subject we first examined the “Verbal Agreement” between God and man. Next, we examined the “Terms and Conditions” of the “Written Agreement”. This written agreement is commonly known as the “Ten Commandments.” Nearly every Christian is familiar with the Ten Commandments; however, most don’t know or have conveniently forgotten that there are “Terms and Conditions” attached to God’s Law.

Deep Fried Catfish

Deep Fried Catfish

Catfish? That's not a panfish. I grew up eating sunfish, bluegills and such, really whatever Dad could catch. The closest we came to catfish were bullheads and suckers. There would be sucker runs in the spring near where we lived. As a fish, they left a lot to be desired with tiny barbed bones throughout the flesh making them difficult to eat. I didn't much care for bullheads, either. They looked like small catfish, same whiskers and skin. Yeah, skin. They had to be skinned. Dad had a flare for doing that. I never did get the hang of it. I preferred bluegills.


May 10th Several Pastors, Deacons, & Members of area Churches came together at the Luttrell Ball field to pray for the Community Worship and Revival scheduled to begin July 30th, Jeff Leach, Pastor of Cedar Ford Baptist Church Began the meeting making sure everyone understood this Revival is not about any one Church but this is a Revival with one goal “Preaching Jesus” and reaching out to the entire community.


Need A Ride To Church

Need A Ride To Church

Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.

Worship Services

Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M


Please join us as we celebrate "Older Americans Month" at Union County Senior Center. Live music, lunch & door prizes will be provided. We will recognize ALL of our Union County Senior Center volunteers and elect a new Senior King & Queen! This is for ALL senior citizens!....... 10:00-1:00 .........Call Melanie at 992-3292 for more info!

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

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!" Margaret Chesney


Robert Wilson Johnson

Robert Wilson Johnson – was born on August 12, 1930 and passed away on May 16, 2018. He was a member of Church Street United Methodist Church of Knoxville and a graduate of Central High School. Robert was a veteran of the United States Air Force. He received a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Agriculture Economics from the University of Tennessee and was retired from the United States Department of Agriculture after 29 years of service.

Edna Kidwell Keen

Edna Kidwell Keen-age 81 of Maynardville passed away Thursday, May 17, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Milan Baptist Church and was a very active member of the Union County Senior Citizens. Preceded in death by husband, Dewey Keen; parents, Ervon and Opal Kidwell; brothers, Tom and John Kidwell; sisters, Marie, Mae, Lillia and Twila Kidwell.

Survivors: brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Rosemary Kidwell of Knoxville; sisters, Ineal Kidwell of Knoxville, Doris Abbott of Sevierville. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

John J. Ridenour

John J. Ridenour, Sr.-age 73 of Knoxville went to be with the Lord Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Preceded in death by wife, Charlotte Alana Ridenour; son, Randy; parents, Elzie and Tishie Ridenour.

Elizabeth Ann Vitatoe

Elizabeth Ann Vitatoe-age 76 of Maynardville passed away Thursday evening, May 10, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center.
Graveside service and interment were held 6 P.M. Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at the Narrow Ridge Cemetery, Washburn. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Lawrence Bruner

Lawrence Monroe Bruner – age 86 of Maynardville, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Friday, May 11, 2018. He was a member of Free Fellowship Pentecostal Church. Lawrence was a United States Marine Veteran and was retired from the United Iron Workers Local #384.

Douglas Lee Hensley

Douglas Lee Hensley-age 37 of Knoxville passed away Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at U.T. Medical Center. He was of the Baptist faith and attended Fairview Baptist Church, Corryton. Preceded in death by grandparents, Verlin and Ruth Hensley; Geneva Powell Dyer; aunt, Rhonda Kay Powell Leeper.

Virgie Asher

Virgie Asher-age 75 of Sharps Chapel, formerly of Hazard, Kentucky went home to be with her Heavenly Father Monday afternoon, May 7, 2018 at Physicians Regional Medical Center. She was retired employee of Clayton Homes of Maynardville. Preceded in death by father, Thomas Stacey; mother, Pauline Stacey.

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