Since 1985, there has been a grassroots effort to make sure that every child in Union County has gifts from Santa on Christmas morning. That effort started out under the name Union County Toys for Tots and operated under the Union County Business and Professional Association. Now, it's called Union County Children's Charities Under the Tree, and this year it will serve 427 children right here at home.
Oak Ridge Pool Cross Springs
In the early 1940s, the unincorporated community of Robertsville, Tennessee began to disappear from the maps having been quickly depopulated by the Army Corps of Engineers. An important crossroads since pioneer days, the space occupied by this community was needed to secure war time facilities being constructed for the Clinton Engineering Works (CEW) - the code name for the Anderson County portion of the Manhattan Project site.
The original plan for the Secret City centered around the commercial district along Broadway at Jackson Square. The Corps would soon learn that more housing would be needed. Duplexes and an additional commercial district, Grove Center, were constructed at the site of the old Robertsville community.
A portion of the former Anderson County School at Robertsville, originally constructed as a gymnasium but later converted to be used as an auditorium, is still in use by Oak Ridge City Schools. Its colonial style architecture stands in sharp contrast to the adjoining main wing of the 1950s era Robertsville Middle School.
Most likely Robertsville evolved as a crossroads because of the Cross Spring, a particularly large spring, where travelers would stop to water their horses. Today, East Tennesseans flock to the Atomic City to bathe in the waters of the Oak Ridge Municipal Swimming Pool, fed by the same spring from which early travelers watered their horses.
First time visitors to the Oak Ridge Municipal Pool may be surprised to find themselves greeted by a penguin named Bosco, a whimsical creature constructed of steel that has served as a trash can since the late 1960s or early 1970s. A Municipal Pool tradition, he is well cared for and protected from the elements during the off season when the pool is closed. Steeped in tradition, each of the life guard stands also have names. These include Lightening, Head, Baby Board, Exile, Chlorine, Baby, Pointless, Little Pool, and Front. As you might expect, Exile is on the far end of the pool off to itself. Additional lifeguard stations, designated High and Low, are situated on the island near the center of the pool.
Perhaps the army set the tempo years ago; because, the operational procedures go well beyond efficiency to bordering on precision. Every fifteen minutes the guard stationed at “Head” sounds a horn and the guard rotation begins. Various taps of the button that activates the horn are also used to notify the staff of an emergency or a situation requiring the attention of the head guard as well as closing time.
Enforcement of the rules that keep everyone safe have always been fair and consistent. The rules themselves have changed little since my own childhood. Safety is always an overriding issue.
Throughout East Tennessee, most public swimming pools will be closing long before temperatures begin to drop. Local school superintendents and the boards that appoint them are directly responsible for the abbreviated allotment of time in which area public swimming pools are available for our enjoyment as the opening of the new school year triggers the closing of the pools. Because most pools are staffed by students, there is no other option other than to close for the season when the school year begins.
Prior to the proliferation of the air-conditioned school building, launching a new school year in early to mid-August would not have been possible in our area. Do school administrators really believe that the additional weeks in the classroom in front of the test will produce significantly higher scores? Do they not realize after years of repeated high electricity bills and cooling system failures that such results are to be expected? Perhaps some lessons remain unlearned.
Although Oak Ridge City Schools are back in session, the Municipal Swimming Pool will be open on a limited schedule through August 18 depending on public participation. More information is available from the city’s recreation department at (865) 425-3450.
Teacher of the month is quite the honor to win. Who wouldn’t want the special recognition, especially out of the many wonderful teachers here? Our very own Mrs. Hayley Sexton accomplished just this. She started teaching biology at Union County High School about two years ago. During her interview, Mrs. Sexton explained how one wins teacher of the month, as well as what brought her to become a teacher. What really caught my eye about her interview was how humble she was about the accomplishment. Anyone can tell she genuinely cares about the children she teaches.
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!
The true spirit of the season is giving and doing for others with no expectation of return. The simple act of kindness can work magic on a person’s heart. Gifts are not always in the form of an item but more so in the love that it takes to make or volunteer to do something. Being oriented in service learning, this season UT Extension Union County groups are in a giving spirit.
A community shows its strength when it works together to do good things. That's what Union Countians are doing. When the new bridge opened over Clinch River/Norris Lake on State Highway 33 between Maynardville and Tazewell and the old continuous truss bridge was being taken down, Preservation Union County worked with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to salvage pieces of the old structure. On May 24, 2016, we met with TDOT District 18 Specialist and the contractor that was removing the steel and acquired several pieces of wind bracing beams and bridge railing.
Knoxville TN: Local author Jim Hartsell will hold a book sale and signing at the Ijams Holiday Market Sunday December 9 for his Boone series of novels, Pushing Back, Matching Scars and Keeping Secrets. The books will be rereleased with new covers through a new distributor December 1. The genre is coming of age Appalachian Fiction.
UNION COUNTY COMMISSION - UNION COUNTY COURTHOUSE Monday, December 10, 2018 – TIME 7:00 P.M.
Watch live at https://www.HistoricUnionCounty.com/live
UNION COUNTY COMMISSION - UNION COUNTY COURTHOUSE Monday, December 10, 2018 – TIME 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
REGULAR WORKSHOP UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION THURSDAY, December 13, 2018 6:00 p.m. Union County High School
REGULAR WORKSHOP UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2018 6:00 p.m. Union County High School
1. Discuss School Trips
William Ralph Mink went home to be with the Lord on December 8, 2018. He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving wife Peggy of 58 years and his children after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Ralph was born on October 23, 1938 to Buford and Addie Mink from New Tazewell, Tennessee. He attended Hiwassee College where he met Peggy and later attended the University of Tennessee where he received a degree in Pharmacy. His 46-year career as a pharmacist included 36 years at Appalachian Regional Hospital in Middlesboro, Kentucky.
Roy L. Southers, Sr. (R.L), age 86, passed peacefully on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. He was preceded by parents, Worley and Gracie Southers; brothers, Gene, John and Frank Southers; and sister, Anna Ruth Chapman. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Christa Sparre’ Southers; children, Daniela Pinkerton, Roy Jr. and wife Kathy, Rickie and wife Rhonda Southers and Randy Southers; grandchildren, Jesse Pinkerton, Justin and Austin Southers, Morgan Southers and Remington Brown; and many family and friends. Roy was a loving, humble and honest husband, father and friend.
Leona J. Lankford, age 88, of Corryton, passed away on December 6, 2018. She was a member of Friendly Chapel Baptist Church. She was a loving and devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her family and her faith were the most important things in her life.
Leona was preceded in death by husband Grant Lankford; and son Stanley Lankford.
She is survived by children Diane Baxter, Tracey Rucker, Mark Lankford, and Terry Lankford; sisters Betty Hancock and Connie Beja; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Joseph Lance Morton, age 48, of Knoxville passed away Monday, December 3, 2018. He enjoyed being a chef and was previously employed for many years by the Chop House. He was a loving husband, father, son, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend. He will be remembered as a kind and caring man with a big heart. He will be sorely missed.
Mary Belle Wilkerson – of Halls, passed away peacefully Tuesday, December 4, 2018. A lifelong resident of the Halls Community, “Mimi”, as she was lovingly known, was a member of The United Methodist Church of Halls, and beforehand, for many years, was an active member of The Church of the Good Shepard. She was involved in many organizations which included the DAR, Halls Women’s Club, and was a Worthy Matron in the Fountain City Eastern Star. For the past three years she was a happy, active resident of Elm Croft Assisted Living in Halls.
Wanda Lee Key Wright. She was 75 years old of Knoxville, Tennessee entered the Heavenly gates to be with her lord and Saviour on Dec. 4th 2018 of natural causes. Proceeding in death by Parents Frank and Nena Key of Harriman, Tennessee and brothers Rodger, Earl, Blaine, James, Donald, Ferrell, Steve Key. Also proceeding in death Daughter Pamela. Survived by sister Shelia Alcorn and husband Darrell Self. Survived by Harry Phillips of a 12 year relationship. Children: Melissa Evans, Crystal Hughes, Robert Wright (Bobby) and Gary Wright.
Thelma Elizabeth Ramaglia – age 90 of Washburn, passed away on December 4, 2018. Thelma was a member of Saint Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Church.
She is preceded in death by husband, John Ramaglia. Thelma is survived by daughters, Susan Ramaglia and Judy Ramaglia; sons, John (Denise) Ramaglia and Richard Ramaglia; five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren with one expected in July.
Edward Leo Oliver, age 82, of Corryton, went to be with The Lord on December 1, 2018. He was a member of Emory Valley Baptist Church. He was a 50 year member of Corryton Masonic Lodge #321, P.M. twice and held many positions during his time there. Leo proudly served our country in the U.S. Army during a two year tour of duty overseas and was honorably discharged in 1958. Leo fully retired in 2002 from Plasti-Line, Inc. after 14 years and more than 23 years at Tucker Steel Company. He enjoyed gardening, college and professional football and Nascar racing.
On Saturday, December 1, 2018, Wendy Turner, wife, mother, daughter and sister passed away at the age of 51. Wendy will be forever remembered by her loving husband and best friend of 28 years Johnny Turner; their wonderful son, Brandon Turner (Sage); father, David Cooper (Brenda); siblings, John Cooper (Elizabeth), Darrell Cooper (Jennifer), Nina Goode (Roger) and Amanda Shaffer; she will forever be remembered by her numerous nieces (4), nephews (5), and extended family and dear friends.
Marie (Rutherford) Kidwell, age 91, passed away on December 2, 2018. She was a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Preceded in death by husband Swan Kidwell; parents Tom & Rova Rutherford; sister Edith Flatford and infant brother Arthur Rutherford.
Survived by sister Bernice Flatford; special friends Lawrence & Ethel Weaver and Karen Hawks; many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Family will receive friends 6-8pm Thursday at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel, with funeral service to follow at 8pm, Rev. Mike Keck officiating.