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.




The Balanced Budget

The Balanced Budget

Historians will record 2018 as the second year in a row of a balanced budget for Union County; likely the most significant legislative accomplishment of the County Commission in a generation. Union County’s budget is one of the most important pieces of public policy the Commission enacts every year.

A New Family Addition

Leyton Taylor Campbell

“God’s most beautiful gifts bloom into children.”

Jordan and Allison Campbell recently received a new blessing to their family. Their son, Leyton Taylor Campbell, was welcomed into the world on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 12:42 pm at UT Medical Center.

Keepin' the Old Ways

Macedonia Methodist Church at Andersonville

In order to appreciate how it is or how it might be, our youth need a lesson in the “Old Ways.” Understanding what our ancestors endured will instill a greater respect for their survival and how they prospered.

Pounding Down the Well

Pounding Down the Well

My husband's widowed mother married her former brother-in-law in our living room. Uncle Charlie had hurt his leg putting down our well on the property of what was to be our new home, closer to my husband's work. The minister said it wasn't written anywhere that you had to stand to be married. We were all seated.

Back to the well. The water table was high at the new place. We didn't need to drill a well, Uncle Charlie said. He would help us pound down a well. It was cheaper to do than drilling a well. The three of us could do it.

Fearless Running

Fearless Running

Some spices I am privileged to experience from the side line.

That spring evening, my daughter Sara’s softball team was playing the number one, undefeated team in their league. The other team were all 12 years old whereas Sara’s teammates were barely 10. We went in with no illusions of victory. If we were lucky, we may get one run.

At the top of the third inning, Sara went up to bat. At this point, none of ours girls had made it to first base, which was no surprise. At least they looked cute in their red, white, and blue outfits.

The pitcher threw. Sara swung.

Chicken Biscuit Stew

Chicken Biscuit Stew

I remember when I worked full time in a sewing factory. My mind would wander while sewing. After you do the same stitching over and over, it doesn't take all your attention to do the job. My mind would wander to wondering what I would fix for supper that evening. My kids were in the lower grades in school and came home about the same time I did. They had a long bus ride.

Snake Bit


When you run across a snake, their normal reaction is to get away. But if they feel threatened enough all snakes will bite defensibly. If you are bitten, here are some recommended first aide treatments.

Try to determine if it’s venomous or not. If you’re confident it’s not you can treat the bite like you would a puncture wound. Check with your doctor to see if you might need a tetanus shot booster.



Music Jam

Music Jam ~Featuring Dixie Nicely & Wendal Sturgill Saturday, July 21, 6:30 -10:00 p.m.

Narrow Ridge invites our friends and neighbors to join us for our open music jam on Saturday, July 21 at our outdoor stage just up the road from our Mac Smith Resource Center at 1936 Liberty Hill Rd. We are happy to announce that local artists, Dixie Nicely and Wendal Sturgill, will kick off the festivities from 6:30 to 7:00 pm. 7:00 will begin the open mic/jam portion of the evening when we invite guests to share their talents in a forum that provides equal time to all who wish to participate.

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

Union County Board Of Education


The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.



1. Discuss School Trips

· None at Time of Publication

2. Budget Amendments and Transfers/Director’s Monthly Report—Ann Dyer

Community Worship & Revival

On February 22, 2018, A Call To Prayer was made in the Luttrell Community. Several community pastor agreed to go back to their respective churches and call on their members to pray for the Lord to guide in an effort to unite our churches with a common goal of a Community Worship & Revival leading folks to Jesus the only begotten son of God.


Melvin E. Ingram

Melvin E. Ingram, age 79 of Knoxville, passed away July 17, 2018. Family will receive friends 6:00-8:00pm Friday July 20, 2018 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel with service to follow. Family and friends will meet 10:45am Saturday July 21, 2018 at Pleasant Piney Grove Cemetery in Strawberry Plains for an 11:00am interment. Please leave online condolences at

Sandra "Sandy" Jean Estep

Sandra “Sandy” Jean Estep passed away Friday July 20, 2018 at West Hills Health and Rehab Center. She was preceded in death by mother Helen G. Estep, father Paul D. Estep and brother Danny G. Estep. She is survived by sister Ann Estep Jones, niece Amy Norman Logan (Rhodes), nephew Dale Norman (Melissa), great-nieces Lindsey, Tessa and Wendy; great-nephew Alex, and special friend Brenda Jenkins. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Tuesday July 24, 2018. Family and friends will meet 10:45am Wednesday July 25, 2018 at Greenwood Cemetery for an 11:00am graveside service.

Benjamin "Benny" Reece King

Benny went to sit on the lap of his LORD and SAVIOR Saturday July 14, 2018 at children's hospital.

Benny our sweet angel is the son of April King. Grandson to Sherri and Matt Bridges. Benny was also a brother to Kyle King and Jesse Perry. Great Grandchild of Barbara Brown along with Ronnie and Tina Bridges. Benny was the nephew of Alley King, Jacob King, Ethan Muehliesen, Leah Bridges, Isaiah Bridges, Faith Bridges and Noah Bridges.

Proceeded in death by great grandfather W.L. Carmon Our love for our sweet Benny will forever be. Always our sweet Angel!!

Donald H. Norris

Donald H. Norris-age 64 of Maynardville passed away Monday morning, July 16, 2018 at his home. He was a member of Cedar Grove Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Roy and Maude E. Norris; brother, David Norris.

Barbara Kay "Momma" Burkhert

Barbara Kay “Momma” Burkhert, age 72, went to be with the Lord on July 15, 2018. She had 3 kids, John J. Viglasky, Liesa Canupp, and Greg Viglasky. She also had 3 grandkids Ashley Taylor, Stacey Canupp, Taylor Viglasky, as well as, 4 great-grandkids. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Thursday July 19, 2018 at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with service to follow. Family and friends will meet 10:45am Friday July 20, 2018 at Fort Sumter Cemetery for and 11:00am interment. Please leave online condolences at

LaVerne McLain Cummings

LaVerne McLain Cummings, of Knoxville, suddenly went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 at Parkwest Hospital. Preceded in death by parents Ed and Mildred McLain, grandson Chad Breeden, and sister Sandra Leach. Survived by loving husband Harlan J. Cummings, daughter Angelia (Bob) Love, son Brent Cox, grandson whom she raised Matthew (Amber) Cox, granddaughters Amanda Dykes and Brittney Russell, sisters Faye (Roger) Neff and Burlene Tolman, as well as 6 great grandkids. She was looking forward to seeing her great grandson Grantley expected in August.

Michael Ernest Smith

Michael Ernest Smith – age 53 of Maynardville, passed away suddenly Saturday, July 8, 2018.

Michael is preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Mary Smith; and sister, Barbara Smith. He is survived by his son, Daniel; sister, Debra (Stacy) Lynn; special niece, Emily; special nephews, Derrick and Aaron Lynn; several aunts, uncles and other nieces and nephews.

Barbara Carol Spradlen

Barbara Carol Spradlen, age 68, of Powell, passed away on July 8, 2018. She was preceded in death by father, Andrew M. Vanover and mother, Betty Ann Galloway; special great aunt, Bessie L. Galloway Johnson and her husband, Harrison "Hat" Johnson Jr., and their daughter Helen Jean Johnson York.

Jackie Owen Carpenter

Jackie Owen Carpenter, age 83, passed away at home on July 9, 2018. Jack was born October 28, 1934 in Claiborne County and graduated from Claiborne County High School in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957-1960. He earned his BA from University of California, Northridge in 1972. Jack accepted Christ at an early age and was a member of Salem Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday School for many years. He retired in 1998 from Harrison-Chihowee Baptist Academy (The Kings Academy) after 22 years of working as Business Manager.

Carolyn Lee England Underwood

Carolyn Lee Underwood-age 52 of Maynardville went to be with the Lord, Monday, July 9, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Grace Full Gospel Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Richard Williams; grandson, Richard Dylangaddy.

Survivors: daughters, Alicia Williams, Chassitty Williams; son, Cory Underwood; husband, Randy Underwood; sisters, Charlene Gouldie, Sandra Bryant, parents, Alice and Robert England; two granddaughters, Mackenzie Mixon and Alyssa Gaddy; many nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

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