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.



Good Clean Fun at Big Ridge State Park

Homemaking soaps is a centuries old skill that many have the desire to learn. Recently, Big Ridge State Park has offered a class teaching these skills to pupils from the community. Ranger Hannah Paschall, who has been with the park for ten years, has led three sessions, only generating more interest. Classes were held in January, February, and are scheduled for March at the Big Ridge State Park Rec Hall. Ranger Hannah says that she expected the first class to fill up quickly, but she did not realize a second class would fill up in a day.

Pancake Flips Equal Scholarships

L to R - Kelvin Ryder, Gary Prater, Don Mason, Ty Blakely, Chuck Holloway Sr, Roger Ball, Robert Monroe Jr, Calvin Cox

Union County’s JC Baker Lodge hosted a Scholarship Fundraiser Breakfast on Saturday, February 16. Members began to arrive for preparation at 4:00am with the breakfast being served from 7:00 – 11:00am. The goal of the breakfast was for lodge members to do their part in helping students from the community further their educations. Initially the goal was to kick this off as an annual event and with much support and success that goal seems hopeful.

In the Beginning God!


Genesis 1:1 KJV
[1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Mankind has a penchant, propensity or knack, call it what you will for asking the wrong question. Wrong headed thinking is the cause of much confusion in regards to understanding what the Bible is communicating on many subjects and in particular the creation story. In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul instructs Timothy to study, so that he may "rightly divide the word of truth". We cannot study without asking questions and it stands to reason one cannot learn the "right" or correct answer apart from the truth.


Humble Pie

Brooke Cox

“Miss Brooke! Miss Brooke!” I felt the tug on the back of my blouse.

I turned around and looked down into the wide blue eyes of a little boy in my Sunday school class. “Did you know an angel argued with Satan over Moses’ body and the angel didn’t use any bad words?”

At that time, I taught 2nd grade Sunday school. On this particular Sunday, the other teacher and I had talked to the children about not using bad words. We used examples of when we are upset or get into an argument.

How Chiropractors Can Help Arthritis Pain

How Chiropractors Can Help Arthritis Pain

Are you looking for a holistic way to take the edge off of those painful joints? Chiropractic medicine may be for you, as long as you remember to listen to your body.

Unlike what you see on TV, most of what chiropractors do today is more gentle than cracking backs or popping necks into place. In fact, there are more than 150 techniques that chiropractors use to manually adjust the spine, joints and muscles with varying degrees of force.


It was in the fall of 1942 when my brother, Rod, approached me with an offer to take me hunting. “I will teach you how to hunt squirrel,” he said. Wait a minute! Where did he get off using such a big word? Rod could take school or leave it. He wasn't an educator. Not at all. I did figure I was teachable, however.

Reservations, Please!

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Nine

I was part of a conversation last week that revolved on horrible motel experiences. It seems that anyone who has traveled much at all has a horror story or two to tell about overnight travel accommodations.

I had a nephew who was graduating from Marine basic training at Paris Island, South Carolina. There is much I could tell you about that trip, and I believe I will share that experience with you next week. But for now, the only part I’ll share is about the hotel.

When is Spring?


In our area Spring seems to be a crap shoot with all the cold snaps in between warm ups. And when I looked into it, I found that there is more than one opinion of when Spring begins, and so here is a rundown of the possibilities.


Union County Visit

Fog Lifting - Union County, Tennessee

I had the pleasure of visiting your beautiful county in November of last year. Many of my ancestors have their final resting place in old cemeteries in Chuck Swan State Forest. I was able to find several of them. I'm sharing a photo I took from Highway 33 a few miles east of Maynardville, shortly after dawn of November 18, 2018 as the fog was lifting. My mother, Retha Shelby Elrod, told stories of her visits there and how proud she was of the place where her mother and father were born. I was happy to find that her pride was well founded.

Tennessee Caves

Ruby Falls

When I was glued to my TV set last year watching the rescue of those soccer boys trapped in a cave in Thailand, I thought about times I had been in caves. Most of those experiences were in Tennessee. Caves in Tennessee are fascinating. One of my encounters was in a primitive cave near South Pittsburgh. Usually a primitive cave is one that is undeveloped, with no pathways, no paid guides, and no admission fees. Those types of caves are on private property. Of course, all of the well-known caves were once primitive, until someone saw the opportunity to make a little money.


4-H County Baking Contest

Monday, March 18, 2019 - 17:00

After youth have participated in school during February, they will be awarded a blue ribbon to move forward to the county contest. The entries at the county will be due for judging on March 18 then displayed with awards at the Extension Month Open House on March 19 for sampling.

Luttrell neighborhood watch

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 19:00
Luttrell neighbourhood watch

Luttrell neighbourhood watch meeting every 3rd Tuesday at 7:00pm It takes place in the community building behind the library with speakers each month this can be a great tool for our community to assist one another in brotherly love by watching out for each other. If you need more information contact Jim Bailey at 865-809-4472

Thank you so much
Union County Sheriff's Office
130 veteran’s street suite B Maynardville Tennessee 37807
Phone 865-992-5212
Fax 865-992-2349

MPL Small Business Expo

Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 09:00

Small Business Expo
Hosted by Maynardville Public Library
296 Main St, Maynardville, Tennessee 37807
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 9 AM – 1 PM
Our 3rd Annual Expo to showcase the many small businesses in Union County. Drop by to see what our county has to offer and support these local businesses.
If you are a business owner looking to attend fill out the following google form by March 15th

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, March 28, 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.


John W. Dukes

John W Dukes of Maryville passed away Friday, March 15 2019. He is preceded in death by wife Jo Dukes; parents Robert & Vina Mae; brother Larry “Bud” (Sue); and sister Nancy. He is survived by daughters Anita Craig of Ooltewah; Lori Nelson (Bryan) of Sweetwater and son Spencer of Nashville; grandchildren Jason (Jessica) Cooper of Maryville and Hillary Cooper of Indianapolis; 6 great-grandchildren; several nieces & nephews; and Dr. Bob Dukes, Rock Dukes and Susan Pilkay with whom he had a special bond.

Alvin Doyle Atkins

Alvin Doyle Atkins, age 78, passed away March 15, 2019. Preceded in death by mother, Ruth Keeney and father, Dana Atkins. Survived by wife Dorothy Williams Atkins, sons Alvin and Tonya Atkins and Brian and Leslie Atkins, grandchildren Charles, Elizabeth, Bridget, Brandon, and Brayden, step-grandson Austin (Charity), great-grandchildren Mercedes, Aiden, and Thea, several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Monday, March 18, 2019, at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with service to follow.

John Thomas Keck

John Thomas Keck-age 27 of Corryton passed away Tuesday evening, March 12, 2019 at his home. Preceded in death by mother, Regina Ann Keck.

Survivors: father, Carl Johnny Keck, Corryton; sisters, Emily Keck of Maynardville; Hannah Gillespie of Lebanon, TN; brothers, Justin Keck of Nashville; Aaron Anderson of Huntland, TN; grandmother, Linda and Rodney O’Brien of Blaine; uncle, David Kitts of Halls. Several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.

James "J.D." Killion

James Douglas "J.D." Killion passed away, March 15, 2019, at Norris Health and Rehab Center, following a lengthy illness. He was born November 2, 1933 in New Tazewell, TN. He was a member of Emory Pike American Christian Church. J.D. was a member of the U.S. Air Force. He is preceded in death by his parents, James M. and Mossie V. Killion; his first wife, D. Blanche Cox Killion and by his second wife M. Jane Cole Killion. J.D. is survived by his daughter Sheila K.

Fred Parrott Jr.

Fred Parrott, Jr., age 85, passed away March 13, 2019. He was a member of Alice Bell Baptist Church. Fred was a proud veteran of the US Army, serving during the Korean War. He was a devoted father and grandfather who loved his family deeply. Left to cherish his memory are wife of 66 years, Marykate "Katie" Parrott; sons Phil (Connie) and Todd (Chris); grandchildren Christopher (Melissa), Krystle (Daniel) and Abbey (Sean). In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Alice Bell Baptist Church Building Fund, 3305 Alice Bell Road, Knoxville, TN., 37917.

Volley H. Cunningham

Volley H. Cunningham age 60 of Knoxville went to be with Jesus on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. He was such a kind and loving person, and was always concerned for his family. He loved his family, friends and the family pets. Always willing to lend a hand to help anyone in need. He loved woodworking and making things, one of his hobbies was building things including houses for the family pets and other various projects. He loved gardening and created many family garden projects. He grew prize winning tomatoes which he lovingly gave away to others. He enjoyed singing country and gospel songs.

Tammy Denise Jordan

Tammy “Bright” Jordan age 54 of South Knoxville, TN went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. She was a graduate of West High School, class of ’82. Preceded in death by grandmother, Susie Bright, grandfather, James White, grandmother Lillie Mae White and father, Fred Bright.

Geneva "Ginger" (Murr) Ailor

Geneva “Ginger” Bessie (Murr) Ailor, of Maynardville, passed from her earthly home to her new heavenly home on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at the age of 69 years. Ginger was a dedicated member of Alder Springs Baptist Church. She taught grades 8-12 at Horace Maynard High School for 35 years. Ginger always put family and everyone else before herself and could cook the best pumpkin pie in the country. She was loved and will be missed by many. Praise the Lord we will see her again!

DeeAnna Tharp Cooper

DeeAnna Tharp Cooper-age 52 of Luttrell departed this life Monday, March 11, 2019 at Ft. Sanders Regional Medical Center. She was preceded in death by parents, Coy and Velma Tharp; brother, Michael L. Tharp, Sr.; sister, Linda Washam.

Berta Jean Knight

Berta Jean Knight of Luttrell, TN went to be with the Lord while surrounded by family on March 11, 2019. Known as Jean, she loved her Lord and Savior and was loved by her husband, Louie, of 65 years and seven children. She led a prayer ministry for many years, loved to cook, fish, and garden. She was a talented seamstress and baker, creating wedding cakes and gowns for her own daughter’s weddings. She sponsored the first Brownie Troup in Titusville, FL and served as Girl Scout Leader for many years.

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