Next Generation Fiber Optic Broadband – Now, It’s All Up to YOU
A $3.5M grant to bring next generation fiber optic broadband to the Sharps Chapel Community of Union County was submitted by Sunset Digital Communications to the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant Program. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) will announce the grant recipients in March 2019. A public comment period on all grants submitted begins on 28 November and ends on 20 December. YOU can help!
This is the largest grant application on behalf of Union County citizens ever submitted and is the first step in bringing next generation Fiber Optic Broadband to all of Union County. TNECD will post a description of the applications received including the proposed service areas at https://www.tn.gov/ecd/rural-development/tennessee-broadband-grant-initi.... From November 28 to December 20, comments may be submitted online in regards to these pending applications. Public comments will significantly impact the proposals score and funding. Almost half of the 200 points used to score proposals under this grant program are determined by community support.
In anticipation of the grant being funded, residents in Sharps Chapel will need to let Sunset Digital Communications know that they are interested in service by filling out a residential sign-up form at https://www.sunset-fiber.com/residential/sign-up/. This is not a commitment or a contract with Sunset Digital, it only shows you’re interested in being contacted if and when Sunset Digital receives grant funding to begin work in the Sharps Chapel community.
What needs to be done now? Individuals in Sharps Chapel will need to do two things. First, those with terrestrial internet need to document their current access speed at http://www.speedtest.net/. The speed test will record your current “Ping”, “Download”, and “Upload Speeds”. This information will need to be provided as part of your public comment to validate the request for grant funds to bring Sunset Digital’s next generation fiber optic broadband network to your home or business in Sharps Chapel. You can find the link to the TNECD Public Comment Portal at this URL https://www.tn.gov/ecd/rural-development/tennessee-broadband-grant-initi....
This grassroots effort is required, as the maps being used to determine eligible areas for grant funding are built using data from current service providers and many times do not reflect the actual service being provided at the home or business. Importantly, in order for an area to be considered served, service at or exceeding 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload must be available to ALL residential customers in the defined area.
Many Union County individuals, businesses, homeowners associations and government bodies have brought us to this point. Union County is the only county in Tennessee to have Broadband Ready Community Resolutions unanimously passed by the county’s governing body and each county municipality, Maynardville, Plainview and Luttrell. Union County citizens have submitted hundreds of support letters, e-mails and requests for service to TNECD and Sunset Digital Communications. Union County businesses, homeowners associations, and individuals along with the Union County Business and Professional Association have made commitments of matching funds to Sunset Digital Communications should the grant be approved by TNECD. Letters of support for this grant were also submitted by the Knoxville Utilities Board and Powell Valley Electric Cooperative.
This unprecedented outpouring of support is a result of the desire and recognition that there is no greater need for next generation fiber optic broadband in Tennessee than in rural Union County. County residents also recognize that Sunset Digital is hard at work in Claiborne and Hancock County, and individuals in those counties have uniformly expressed their overwhelming satisfaction with the service provided by Sunset Digital’s next generation fiber to home/business broadband network. Without this state grant funding support, there is little hope that next generation fiber optic broadband will be deployed in our County anytime soon. Existing dated DSL networks in the Sharps Chapel Community are beyond capacity and new residents in certain areas are without options for terrestrial broadband service. Many residents have no options at all for terrestrial broadband, as current providers limit service to areas of higher population density.
To aid community residents, the Union County Business & Professional Association will post this article on the Association’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/UCBPA/, and answer any questions that individuals may have. The Union County Chamber of Commerce is doing the same on their page, https://www.facebook.com/UnionCountyTnChamberOfCommerce/. You can like and follow these Facebook pages to stay current on the progress of the grant and get answers to any questions you may have. Help is also available at the Sharps Chapel Book Station for residents with no current service or questions on how to do the speed test or enter information at the TNECD Portal.
If we work together, we can bridge the digital divide in Union County.
“Here you go.” Timmy lays his red and green house shoe down on his bed in front of Tripp.
“This will be a comfortable bed for you.” He pushes down inside it with his finger. “See? It has a thick foam insole.”
Tripp looks up to Timmy and raises an eyebrow. “You want me to sleep in your stinky house shoe?”
“It’s not stinky!” Timmy protests. “My Mamaw gave them to me last year and I only wore them when she was here.”
Tripp pulls glitter out of his pocket and sprinkles it inside the house shoe. “Just in case.”
“Very funny. Now hop in the shoe please.”
Year One, Week Forty-Eight
It was forty years ago this very month that I received a Christmas gift that I would even now not trade for thousands of dollars.
I’m not even sure how it came about, but somehow my mother began saving S & H green stamps. At some point Hensley’s IGA must have issued them, for I don’t remember my mother ever shopping anywhere else. Perhaps she had my sister Anna Mae, my brother Jerry, or Cousin Lizzie Norton get them for her, as they lived and shopped in Knoxville.
Chiropractic’s integration into professional sports medical teams has resulted in the creation of the Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society (PBCS). The first annual PBCS workshop was held in March 2015. Many of the team chiropractors in Major League Baseball were in attendance as well as a few from Minor League Baseball. This first seminar even included a surprise visit from former MLB manager Joe Torre, who took some time to address those in attendance on how beneficial chiropractic was not only to him, but also to the players on the teams he managed.
Can you parallel park? I did once, only once. I quit while I was ahead. It is hard to do. I need a forty acre field on a good day. How I ever got through life without bumping fenders trying to park, I'll never know. Yes, I do. I always looked for a diagonal parking space or a parking garage where the attendant parked my car.
A lot of folks had their first taste of snow recently, and since snow is more welcome during the Christmas season, I decided to use it as this week’s topic. Trouble is I’ve written several articles about snow in the past, so I had to dig harder to find something fresh to write about. I did find something surprising, that I’d have to classify as weird science. It involves something called heavy water, so prepare to go sub-atomic.
My favorite kind of chocolate to work with is cocoa. However, that doesn't work for making dipping chocolate. At least I don't know how to do that. I have several candy recipes I make every Christmas, but Anne's favorite is my Chocolate Bon Bons.
I came across this candy recipe a few years ago. It certainly didn't look like a candy recipe. What candy lists flour among its ingredients? This is the only one I know of.
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.
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.
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.
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
Union County Election Commission meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 2:30pm in room 101 of the Union County Courthouse to conduct election business which comes before the commission pursuant to its duties listed in, but not limited to TCA $2-12-116, and to conduct any other business that may come before the election commission at that time. Union County Election Commission, 901 Main Street, Suite 108, Maynardville, TN 37807, (865) 992-3471 http://www.electionsunioncountytn.com
Tony Lynn Brogdon, Sr. “Pap”-age 58 of Knoxville passed away Monday, December 17, 2018 surrounded by members of his close family. He was a member of Stonewall Baptist Church. Tony was a dump truck driver but worked with skills second to none.
He is survived by his five children, Tony Brogdon, Jr., William Brogdon, Brandy Brogdon, Sheridan Brogdon and wife, Janet; Dixie Hopson and husband, Josh. He had many grandkids and siblings who loved him dearly and he will be missed. In lieu of flowers, the family ask for donations to be made toward Pap’s funeral service in his name.
Martha E. Berkley, age 92 of Knoxville passed away December 16, 2018. She was a member of Washington Pike Baptist Church. Martha retired from Knox County Circuit Court. She was a strong Christian woman, a devoted mother, and a loving wife. Preceded in death by William G. Berkley; parents Herman E. and Cassie Turner; brother H. Eugene Turner Jr.; granddaughter Jill Berry. Survived by daughter, Sharon B. Kirkland and husband Garrett; sons, Tobe Cowden and wife Chela, and Mike Berkley; 5 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren.
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.