The Tennessee North Rural Planning Organization (RPO) meets on Thursday the 13th of December to prioritize TDOT funded road projects in the RPOs seven county region. Union County does not have any TDOT projects under construction, although the SR-33 project from the Knox County Line to South of SR-144 was recently moved to the Construction Phase.
Meet 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.
What a wonderful time of the year! Celebrating Christmas and the New Year with family and friends, good food, memories of Christmas’ past and creating new memories. The New Year is a time for making resolutions and planning for changes we would like to experience in our lives in the coming year. With only four weeks remaining in 2018, we are running out of opportunities to take advantage of tax planning.
Most of us probably do not even recognize the name of Arthur Ernest Morgan; yet for those of us living in the the rural communities of the Tennessee Valley, Morgan should be remembered every time we switch on our lights or plug in our computers. Arthur Morgan was the first Director of the Tennessee Valley Authority, but he was much more than just a political appointee or bureaucratic figurehead. Morgan, a civil engineer, was an expert in water flow and water control. He was a hands on director who busied himself with the most intimate parts of the TVA: the inner workings of the dams and the communities they served. As an engineer, he designed the dams, made the earth move, mined the rock, and poured the concrete. As a visionary, he designed communities with energy efficient housing and environmental consideration. As an educator, Morgan saw the need to teach the people to use better farming practices and to train people to use electricity to make their daily chores easier.
Almost everyone recognizes the late Thomas Kinkade (1958 - 2012) as the "Painter of Light". His paintings feature glowing highlights in pastel colors of gardens, streams, stone cottages, light houses, and mainstreets most likely inspired by his hometown of Placerville, CA. It is said that 1 of every 20 Americans own a copy of one of his beautiful light filled paintings. Kinkade protected the phrase "Painter of Light" through Trademark. Though the phrase was originally used to describe English painter J. M. W. Turner (1775 - 1851), a child prodigy described as an artistic genius.
My aunt, Bonnie Heiskell Peters, is the family genealogist. In fact, she has published three books celebrating the history and people of Union County, Tennessee. When I first became interested in exploring family history, she warned me that misspellings could be roadblocks to research.
Here’s one story:
Timmy throws his legs over the back of the couch as he gazes at the Christmas tree upside down. Sigh. He just isn’t into Christmas this year.
It all started a couple of weeks ago during lunch at school. All of his friends talked about not believing in Santa Claus anymore. That was for little kids. Timmy agreed with them. Third graders were too big for silly stuff like that.
It seems the greatest and happiest moments of our lives are tinged with a bit of sadness at the realization that they can’t last forever.
Every year on Christmas Eve, all of my sister Anna Mae’s family would gather at her house to eat, but mainly to exchange gifts. Mother and I were always invited, and Anna Mae always gave me most enjoyable gifts. I remember so many of them.
One was a candle lamp with a hurricane globe. I still have that lamp, though I broke the hurricane globe long ago and had to find a slightly differently shaped globe for replacement. Anna Mae also once gave me a wind-up carousel with many mirrors to reflect light. I still have it on a library shelf, though one of the three horses has broken off and been lost.
“There he is Momma!” My hearted pounded. Could it be? I pressed my nose against the back car window and pointed toward the night sky. “I see Rudolph’s red blinking nose!”
My mother gazed out of her side window. “Sorry honey. That’s a blinking light from an airplane.”
“You sure momma?”
She paused for a second. “Yes, I am.”
Anticonvulsant drugs are increasingly being used to treat low back pain, but a new study in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) finds they are ineffective and can have adverse effects.
Clinically, the prescription of anticonvulsants for back and neck pain, including radicular
pain in primary care, has increased by 535% in the last 10 years.
Goneau Gentry Heath was born August 20, 1921 and went to her heavenly home on December 13, 2018 at the age of 97. Goneau was a longtime member of North Knoxville Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her father, Cleve Gentry and her mother, Bonnie Stooksbury Gentry; Aunt who raised her, Cora Stooksbury; husband of 51 years, K.C. Heath; Brothers, Ray and Carson Gentry; Sister, Jessie Beeler; Granddaughter, Julie Hourigan; Son-in-law, James "Jim" Bean.
Wanda Faye Henry, age 81, of Corryton joined her husband in heaven on December 12, 2018 at Tennova Powell. Member of Clear Springs Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband Harvey Henry; parents Luke and Elizabeth Everett; sisters Juanita Boling, Iola Chandler, Lelia Davis; and brother David Everett.
Rev. Gains Harrell Lewis, Sr.-age 86 of Maynardville went to his Heavenly Home Friday morning, December 14, 2018. Harrell, above everything else, loved the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and preached and witnessed so others would do the same. He was saved and was a member of Hubbs Grove Baptist Church and attended Fellowship Christian Church. He had pastored Leatherwood Baptist Church and Head of Barren Baptist Church. He was proud to be a lifetime citizen of Maynardville, Tennessee and was well-known and had many friends and family.
Betty Sue Baumgardner – age 77 of Washburn, passed away on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She was a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville. Betty was a loving wife and enjoyed crocheting and quilting.
She is preceded in death by parents, Edgar and Dorothy Glover; sisters, Mary Ann Glover and Nell Harper. Betty is survived by loving husband of 60 years, Reverend Albert “Dick” Baumgardner; sister, Jenntte; brother, Edward Glover; and several nieces and nephews.
Nicole “Nicky” Tyson, age 42, passed away on December 11, 2018. She was an outgoing woman who never met a stranger. She was the happiest when surrounded by family, friends, and her fur babies, whom she was very passionate about. Nicky could light up any room she walked in and will be missed by many. She is survived by fiancé Kenny Thomas, daughter April Tyson (Boo), sons Nicholas Gene Beaver and Hunter Dylan Leon Foster, parents Janice and Jim Shipley, granddaughter Payton McKenzie Abshire, close cousin/sister Kelly Williams, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Campbell, Charles "Charlie" Winton, age 68 of Corryton, adored daddy and the most treasured grandpa, was welcomed into the arms of his Lord and Savior on, Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Awaiting this great reunion day was Charlie's sweetheart and the love of his life, Glenda Kay Campbell, his beloved wife. Also preceding his death are; parents Henderson & Ruth Campbell and sister Katherine Ann Campbell.
Sonja Denise Brown-age 53 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Mynatt Road Baptist Church in Halls. Preceded in death by father, Leonard Allen Ridenour.
Survivors: husband, David Lee Brown; mother, Reba Evelyn Ridenour; brother, Ronnie Lynn Ridenour and wife, Donna; sister, Donna Michelle Gordon and husband, Gerald. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Graveside service and interment 12 Noon Saturday, December 15, 2018, Dyer Cemetery, Powder Springs. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.
Tommy Ray Bray, age 59, passed away on December 11, 2018. He was a member of the Elks Lodge 160, and was an avid fisherman.
Preceded in death by mother AnnaLou Bray, father John Bray, sisters; Kathy West and Robin Burress, brothers; Harold Bray, Larry Bray, and Randall Bray.
Survived by loving wife of 35 years Pamela Bray, brothers; Danny (Judy) Bray of Briceville, Patrick Bray of Rocky Top, Kirk (Tina) Bray of Rocky Top, Clifford (Marika) Bray of Briceville, and special brother-in-law Jerry and Dennis Parton and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Regena Kaye Keller – age 65 of Knoxville, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She was a member of River of Hope Church.
She is preceded in death by father, Richard Lee Miller; sister, Beverly Faye Murphy; and brother-in-law, Charles E. Keller. Regena is survived by her husband of 33 years, Larry “Joe” Keller; mother, Barbara Jean Pellegrino; sister, Sharon Hess; sister-in-law, Renee´ (Chris) Branum; nieces, Kristina Hess, Kirsten Keller Pruitt and Zoe Branum; nephews, Nate and Christian Branum.