Oven Baked Zucchini Spears

Here is a use for that zucchini that got away from you in the garden and grew too large for most zucchini dishes. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and continue. If you don't have a “biggie”, make something else with your smaller ones.

2 large zucchini peeled and seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup bread crumbs,
or seasoned crumbs for added flavor
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut off ends to peeled zucchini. Cut into “fries.” Toss with olive oil making sure each piece is well coated. In small bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and salt. Cover the oil coated spears with the bread crumb mixture. Shake off excess crumbs. Place spears on prepared baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes or until the zucchini is crispy and golden, and is soft when tested with a fork. Serve warm with marinara sauce if desired.



Heritage Festival rolls to 2021

Stuart Wyrick is tuning and picking a banjo

Stuart Wyrick, noted banjo player and baritone vocalist from Luttrell will perform with Flashback at the 2021 Union County Heritage Festival.

At the July meeting, the Union County Heritage Festival Board and Committee voted to postpone the Heritage Festival to 2021. “We decided to take that country road right on into next year,” commented Director Marilyn Toppins. "With every East Tennessee county experiencing spread above the CDC containment threshold, the risk overcame the ability to keep our patrons and volunteers safe."

Mayor Bailey optimistic about Union County momentum

When Mayor Jason Bailey was elected in 2018, Historic Union County interviewed him, and he stated his aim to promote everything positive about Union County.
In a recent interview, Bailey was asked to revisit our previous article, which can be found at historicunioncounty.com/article/mayor-bailey-looks-ahead, for an update.
Parks and Recreation:
Bailey believes “Parks and recreation are a huge part of the county.”

Plainview seats elected officials

Mayor Gary Chandler has his right hand raised and is reciting the oath of office with Vice Mayor is holding a Bible with the Mayor's left hand lying on the Bible.

Mayor Gary Chandler takes the oath of office to start his third term as Mayor of Plainview while Vice Mayor Richard Phillips assists.

City Judge Darrick Edmondson administered the oath of office to Mayor Gary Chandler, Alderman Gordon Bright, and Alderman Rebecca Lock at the July meeting of the Board of Aldermen.
Chandler and Bright are incumbents while Lock is a newcomer who takes the seat voluntarily vacated by Marilyn Toppins at the end of her appointed term.

Good neighbor in uncertain times

David McCollough

You just never know where life is going to take you, but David McCollough is so thankful that life landed him here, serving and enjoying Union County communities. McCollough was raised in Alabama, and has come far to settle into his Tennessee home.
As a young man attending Troy University, he considered a career in either business or coaching but ultimately decided business was the path for him. Fresh out of college he initially secured a logistics position in the transportation industry. After some time, McCollough observed that sales appeared to be a better opportunity.

How to text message and avoid pain

While it is well known that excessive text messaging can result in sore thumbs, less is known about its possible effects on the neck, arms and hands. Young adults with symptoms in these parts of the body use a different technique when texting, according to a new study.

Ergonomist Ewa Gustafsson studied mobile phone habits among 56 young adults who text- message on a daily basis. Half of the subjects reported problems with the neck, arms or hands, while the other half had no such symptoms.

Farmers’ Market Fresh returns to the market

We all know that farmers markets, or your own garden, are the best place to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, but did you know you can learn a lot while at the market? Check in at the Union County Farmers Market information booth when you arrive, as the “Farmers Market Fresh” program has returned to the market.

Moonshining In Union County Part III

Continuing from "Of Hearth And Hoe" by Bonnie Heiskell Peters:
"Although the government began to clamp down on the illegal handling of sugar by requiring store operators to keep records of sugar purchases, there was still little problem in obtaining sugar. Store operators simply juggled their books and falsified their reports. Often merchants sold sugar to still operators and received payment for sugar plus a bonus for allowing the purchase to be made.

In my Father’s house are many mansions

John 14:2 “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (KJV)
Jesus spoke the words recorded in John 14:2 during the final week of His earthly ministry before His crucifixion! Jesus had been dropping hints to his Disciples about his true intentions as the Lamb of God from the moment he first called his Twelve Apostles, nearly three-and-a-half years earlier.


Fast Words

If I could be a cartoon character, I would have to choose Speedy Gonzales.
Why? Not because I have mouse ears and whiskers. Which I don’t, by the way. It’s because I am always in a hurry. Needless to say, that has caused me a few problems.
One such problem is my handwriting. Ironically, I’m a writer who has horrible handwriting. I am so thankful for the modern convenience of computers. Unfortunately for me (and my teachers) we didn’t have one when I was in high school.

Food preservation yesterday and today

I learned how to preserve food from my mother, sister and mother-in-law. Sadly, just a few years back, canning and preserving had almost become a disappearing ritual due to the busyness of today’s life.
These days, home canning and preserving food is regaining popularity due to the empty grocery shelves that have accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abraham Lincoln (practically) slept at my house

It used to be popular, and may still be, for a place to announce, “George Washington [or other historical figure] slept here.” Goodness knows that if could ever make such a claim, I would want to be able to say, “Abraham Lincoln slept in my house.” Interestingly enough, I have come close to being able to truthfully say this.

Chigger trouble: A pain in the belt line

By: Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Being outside is normally a lot of fun, but sometimes you pay a price when you run into a nest of chiggers. For their size, these little guys are a real pain in the belt line.
Chiggers are actually baby mites. They are almost too small to be seen with the naked eye, and are red with eight legs. The adults, which can be seen, feed only on plants and are not a problem for us, except for their laying eggs that make more baby chiggers.


I have been watching the Turner Classic Movie channel quite a bit lately. I found a mystery series based in the 1920s that piqued my interest in that era. The Great War was over. Veterans were trying to adapt to civilian life. Gone were the hobble skirts and ostrich- feathered ladies hats. It sort of reminds me of the aftermath of World War ll. We were in a time of transition then, too.

Country Style Potato Sausage Casserole

Bulk pork sausage is one my favorite "go-to" meats for supper. It's cheap to buy and stores well in the freezer. No worries about getting freezer burnt. It comes well wrapped from the store.
I remember when I was a housewife with small children at home. It seemed that my husband's paycheck had a hard time covering enough groceries to last until the next paycheck, but I always had potatoes and onions. Bulk pork sausage from the freezer was the basis for a number of meals.

We the People

Do you remember seeing School House Rock between Saturday morning cartoons as a kid? Those animated short films offered tidbits in three- to five-minute helpings, introducing otherwise sophisticated concepts of civics, economics, grammar, history, and mathematics to young minds in a way kids could easily digest them. One of my favorite episodes was The Preamble (Season 4, Episode 4 - Nov.

Ants on the Green

I still say it was the ants’ fault.

A few years ago, we were visiting some relatives in Ormond Beach, Fla. On every trip, we have a tradition of driving south to Pirate’s Cove Miniature Golf in Daytona. It’s a lot of fun and they have pirate trivia signs everywhere. Who knew pirates could be so interesting?


Hearts of Color

What do you see?

I was born a Caucasian female. I am neither proud, nor ashamed of that fact. It has probably influenced the course of my life, but was beyond my control. Therefore, it is just a fact. What I have done with that fact during my formative years and to date was, and is, somewhat within my control. As with every human being.

The President Has My Number

Picture it—I’m sitting in my living room in my usual spot on the loveseat. It’s the evening of the day of my latest medical procedure. I was not able to eat solid food for one full day before the procedure, so I am indulging in a delicious supper of fried egg and bacon sandwiches that my wife prepared especially for me.

I can remember a time when all my meals were eaten at the kitchen table with my mother and father. At that time it would have been unthinkable to eat a meal in the living room in front of the television. A snack, maybe, but never a meal.

Dog Days, a Hot Topic

I’d heard of Dog Days all my life, but only knew that it referred to the sweltering heat of late summer when dogs laid around more and were more prone to go mad (with rabies). I had a request from a reader to write on the subject in more depth, so if you’re curious as well, read on.

Chicken Pot Pie

Here is an easy version of chicken pot pie. The hard work of cooking the chicken, preparing the veggies and making the sauce and biscuits is all done for you. It does take a while to bake, but you can be doing other things while it does. Nothing beats finding an easy entree for supper.

Summer Fun—Things to Do!  

The Union County Farmer’s Market is still up and going on Saturday’s (10am-1pm) lasting through October in the parking lot of Wilson Park, next to the high school. This farmer’s market is essential for the farmers around the county. Here they have the chance to promote their products as well as make a profit. Isn’t that what we all want? Fresh produce from the farm to the table is a nice exchange for processed foods or even some that are “fresh” in your local grocery store may not be as fresh and tasty as what you will more than likely find at your local farmer’s market.

New study: low back and neck pain tops u.s. Health spending

Seeing a physician or other health specialist for low back and neck pain? You’re not alone, according to a new scientific study. Americans in 2016 spent an estimated $380 billion on low back and neck pain, as well as on joint and limb pain, and other musculoskeletal disorders.

It’s Blackberry Season

The blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis) is a plant known for its delicious fruit this time of year and nasty thorns any time of year that make walking through a colony of them difficult and painful. It is normally found on disturbed areas such as timber harvests and neglected farmland.

The canes grow up to 6 feet tall, are green to red in color depending on age, and have leaves that form in clusters of 3 to 5. The flowers are white with five petals, and bloom late spring, identifying one of the many cold snaps (blackberry winter) common during that time of year.

The Homecoming Shed

I simply can’t help it. Whenever we drive by a country church, I look for a homecoming shed and wonder if they still use it. Then my mind goes back to my childhood.

Like most kids, I looked forward to certain dates with anticipation: Christmas, birthdays, Field Day at school, and last, but not least, Homecoming at church.

The excitement for me started as soon as I woke up the Sunday morning of Homecoming. We quickly got ready for church and went down to my grandparents’ house. The smell that greeted us at the door was simply heavenly.



I signed the many papers required to buy my house on May 1, 1991 and moved that weekend. My colleague Deanie Carver used her pickup truck to help me move several boxes of books (of course, these important items were first to be moved). The late Adrian Shoffner and Rev. Joe McCoy helped me move the household furnishings. Preacher Joe has never forgotten the ordeal moving that upright freezer into the basement turned out to be. I felt so guilty that I didn’t go to church that Sunday, but I couldn’t find my dress shoes in time to get ready!

Do the Math

After finishing the patio area in our backyard there was an open area inside the arc of crepe myrtles that my wife said would be the perfect place for a picnic table. After much discussion we decided on a modification of a design we found on the net, shortening the length from eight feet to seven and making it eight 2x4’s wide instead of seven. The only place I could buy cedar lumber was at the other end of Knox County, a mildly inconvenient trip made more so by the pandemic. I bought two extra of both 2x4’s and 2x6’s, which turned out to be a good thing.

Potatoes with Canned Luncheon Meat

Have you noticed the canned luncheon meat on the grocery shelf, next to the Spam? It resides there because it really is the same as Spam, just in a plain wrapper and cheaper. Use whichever one you like. I personally think the Spam tastes better. This simple recipe is delicious. It doesn't look like much as you stir it together, but you are in for a surprise. It tastes great.

Library Summer Reading Program

It’s that time of year when children are out of school and need something productive to do that will keep themselves, and their parents, sane. Flying to the rescue comes a summer reading program which will motivate children to not only fill time productively, but expand their knowledge by reading. Entering a different world where imagination is key, time is no longer, and nothing else exists is often the highlight of a summer break for many children.

Artificial intelligence can scan doctors’ notes to distinguish between types of back pain

About 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain in their lifetime; it is the most common cause of job-related disability. Many argue that prescribing opioids for lower back pain contributed to the opioid crisis; thus, determining the quality of lower back pain in clinical practice could provide an effective tool not only to improve the management of lower back pain but also to curb unnecessary opioid prescriptions. Several studies have documented increases in medication prescriptions and visits to physicians, physical therapists, and chiropractors for lower back pain episodes.

Who Was Abraham Lincoln?

In the spirit of “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” a hit game show that challenges adults to answer grade-school questions, I find myself wondering if the average adult remembers important lessons learned about the historical figures who helped shape our great nation. Recently, I was pondering Abraham Lincoln. Hopefully, we all remember that Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president, delivered the Gettysburg Address, and signed, by Executive Order, the Emancipation Proclamation. Today, however, my thoughts flow beyond historical events and more toward who he was as a person.

Pride or Prejudice?

This very day I received the following statement in my email:

Every Southerner knows that tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; that scrambled eggs just ain’t right without Tabasco, and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

There has been since the beginning of American history a distinct difference between the northern and southern parts of our country. Many of these differences are God ordained, such as the geographical features. Allow me to provide a very simplistic view.

Squishy Toes

Most people wouldn’t consider this to be a fond childhood memory, but I do.

As a child, I was such a tomboy. Actually, I still am, or so I like to think. Anyway, if it was a warm and sunny day, I was running and playing outside. As my Mamaw Jo used to say about me, “I swannie, she goes wide open.” I think that meant I was running with everything I had. If so, she was right, I was.


Life in the Great Outdoors?

Teepee in the glade constructed by the Taylor/Brogan grandchildren in 2020

With social distancing a very real thing these days, I have been extremely impressed with how my husband, Brent, and I have handled the forced togetherness. For many months now, it has been just the two of us. We were already isolated on our 30 acres where we can’t see any neighbors and no neighbors can see us; but C-19 has taken self-isolation to a whole other level.

Now I'm wondering if maybe I’ve been a bit too smug in thinking we had this covered.

The Mountain Lore of Removing Warts

I really like learning about our local mountain culture and am blessed to have grown up in a family that has held onto that culture for generations. One example of an old cultural belief that has been around ever since it was brought over from Europe is charming warts off.

Some summer events canceled, Oct. 3 Heritage Festival plans proceed

Contestant Eric Nafziger fiddles his best tune with Ken Nafziger to try to win the 2019 Fiddle Contest during the Union County Heritage Festival at Wilson Park.

Contestant Eric Nafziger fiddles his best tune with Ken Nafziger to try to win the 2019 Fiddle Contest during the Union County Heritage Festival at Wilson Park.

Tennessee Valley Fair canceled
“It is with great sadness that we announce the Tennessee Valley Fair Executive Committee has decided that the 2020 fair, scheduled to be held September 11-20, will not be taking place.

Skylar Bates receives 2020 Plainview Scholarship

Picture of Mayor Gary Chandler awards the Plainview Scholarship for Academic Achievement to Skylar Bates

Mayor Gary Chandler awards the Plainview Scholarship for Academic Achievement to Skylar Bates

The City of Plainview made several donations at its June 2020 Board of Aldermen meeting. Mayor Gary Chandler awarded the Plainview Scholarship in the amount of $500 for outstanding academic achievement to Skylar Bates for having the highest grade point average as a graduating senior who resides in Plainview.

Don’t need no rocking chair

Always on Call - Rev. Gary Beeler

I met with the Reverend Gary Beeler in early May when I had the pleasure of learning about his inspiring spiritual journey and career. Although he retired as pastor of Fairview Baptist Church some 15 years ago, his work for the Lord did not end there.
But let’s go back to the beginning.
Rev. Beeler grew up the son of a proprietor of a general store and service station, his family business dating back to 1905 in the area where Union County Boat Dock is today.

Quarantine: 4-H Style

Savannah Jones and Kennedy Hill

Savannah Jones and Kennedy Hill

While many found quarantine boring, endless, and unprofitable, some people made excellent use of their extra time.
Among these are the Union County 4-H members. In spite of having some events postponed or canceled, many 4-H students stepped up to the plate with enthusiasm. No small thanks to the leadership skills and abilities possessed, the students adapted very well to the online platforms they switched to during quarantine and COVID-19 regulations.


UCBPA hosts 26th scholarship golf tournament

First Place winner KCB Excavating, Kyle Beeler, captain

KCB Excavating edged out First Place at the 26th UCBPA Charities,Inc.Scholarship Tournament.
Offering congratulations is Martin Shafer, President of UCBPA.

The Union County Business & Professional Association hosted the 26th Annual UCBPA Charities Scholarship Benefit Classic at Three Ridges Golf Course in Knoxville on January 27.

Betsy Stowers Frazier: from Entertainer to Angel

Early Picture of Mike and Betsy Stowers Frazier and their daughters Nancy Lee and Beth

Early Picture of Mike and Betsy Stowers Frazier and their daughters Nancy Lee and Beth

In 1933, the northeast corner of Union County, Tennessee, saw a new business open in Luttrell. A short fifteen years later, after surviving the Great Depression, and World War II with most of the young men serving in the armed forces, the property that consisted of a general merchandise store and a small brick home was sold to Bethel Reed Stowers and he moved his family there.


Free Line Dance classes Tuesday 10am Wilson Park Pavilion

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 10:00

Until the Union County Senior Center opens, line dance class are still being held outside at the pavilion in Wilson Park rain or shine. We have a great group who won’t give this fun activity up. New people joining all the time. Don’t let Covid stop you from getting out. We have lots of room to social distance.

UCBPA Meeting

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 12:00

Reconnect with other business owners and professionals who want Union County to prosper. Plan to attend the UCBPA meeting at a NEW Date & Place: Wednesday, August 12, Noon at Pete’s Place. Mailing address PO Box 696 Maynardville, TN 37807

Speaker: Mayor Jason Bailey
Topic: Growing Union County in a Pandemic
Lunch: $10.00
BPA Scholarship recipients recognized
New Calendar of Events shared
Adjourn by 1:00

Union County Board of Education

Thursday, August 13, 2020 - 18:00

The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education was scheduled for Thursday, August 13, 2020 at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.




Mary Martha Collins Chance

Mary Martha Chance-age 62 of Knoxville passed away Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at her home. She was a member of Wooddale Freewill Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Herbert and Zola Collins; step-father, Jim Steele; brothers, Donald, Delmar, James and Ronnie Collins; sisters, Della Waldrop, Doris Ford; Dorothy Collins, Dora Williams and Ann Wilson.

Mary E. "Bill" Rouse

Mary Elizabeth (Bill) Rouse-age 83 of Sharps Chapel passed away Monday, August 3, 2020 at Willow Ridge Center. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and friend to many. Mary was a long time member of the Union County Home Demonstration Club, a member of the former Blazing Star Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star and was a cook at Sharps Chapel Elementary School for several years where she treated all the children as her own and also worked at the Union County Senior Citizens Center.

Roger Kenneth Witt

Roger Kenneth Witt, age 73 of Knoxville passed away on July 31, 2020. A graduate of Fulton High School and a veteran of the United States Army. He was a member of Charles H. McKinney Lodge #433, The American Legion Post 0172 (Clinton) and Amvets Post 2 (Oak Ridge). Member of Lincoln Park Baptist Church. Retired from CNS Y12 with 40 years of service. Preceded in death by his parents Roger K. Witt Sr. and Virginia Rose Witt.

Sammy Joe Bounds

Sammy Joe Bounds, 70, passed away peacefully at his home Saturday, August 1, 2020. Sam was a proud Marine Corp veteran, Vietnam veteran and retired with 23 years devotion to the Corp. Sam also retired from the Knox County District Attorney’s office. He is preceded in death by his father Eugene Bounds, mother Laura Bounds, and brother Bobby Bounds.

Stevie Cassell

Stevie Martin Cassell - age 56 of Knoxville, passed away on August 1, 2020 at UT Medical Center surrounded by his wife and children after a long battle with Vascular Dementia. Steve was born on Dec. 29, 1963 to Fred and Rose (Williams) Cassell. Sadly, Steve lost his mother before his first birthday. God blessed him with another loving mother when his father married Betty. She raised Steve as her own and he loved her dearly. Steve was known for his awesome sense of humor and quick wit, if you spent any time with him you went away happy.

Anthony Hutchison

Anthony Todd Hutchison – age 36 of Maynardville, passed away suddenly July 30, 2020. He was a member of Valley Grove Baptist Church.

He is preceded in death by his father, Todd Hutchison; grandparents, Billy Lee Hutchison and Arthur and Wilma Amos; and aunt, Terri Amos. Anthony is survived by his mother, Kathy (Tim) Shoffner, grandmother, Agnes Hutchison; brothers, Bradley (Kristen) Hutchison and Victor (Kayla) Hutchison; nieces and nephews, Leslee, Graycee, Annzlee, Leeland; and special nephew, Levi.

Lester Carl Coram

Lester Carl Coram-age 93, two months shy of 94 of Knoxville passed away Friday afternoon, July 31, 2020 at his home. He was a member of Emory Valley Baptist Church and a retired employee of Roden Electric with 45 years of service. Born September 27, 1926 the son of the late Houk and Dora Chesney Coram; also preceded in death by brothers, Edgar, Sanders and Arte Coram; sisters, Virginia Cate and Alice McCoy. First wife, Darlene Bailey Coram.

Martha Lois Deyarmond

Martha Lois Deyarmond, 89, of Knoxville, TN, passed away on July 29, 2020 from a long illness.

Mom was a beloved mother, grandmother of eight, and great grandmother of thirteen. She is survived by her children: Allen Toole (Sue), Debbie Karnes (Donny), Jimmy Toole (Terry), and Sandra Huff (Jay).

Mom was preceded in death by her spouse Dallas Deyarmond, daughter Cindy Toole and great granddaughter Ambriel Karnes.

A private family ceremony will be held.

Online condolences may be left at www.mynattfh.com.

Mary Ann Tharpe

Mary Ann (Needham) Tharpe died peacefully at her home in Fountain City, a suburb of Knoxville, Tenn., on July 30, 2020. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease eight years ago, but did not suffer. She was able to remain in her home of 60+ years during that time thanks to the loving care of her niece, Robin Delph, Miranda Corum and her daughter LaKaya, and Teresa Kay Collins, who became her full time caregiver and companion four years ago. Teresa and her family adopted Mary Ann as one of their own and included her in their many gatherings.

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