A kind-hearted group of quilters in Sharps Chapel finished a true labor of love this summer. The Norris Lake Quilting Bee, who meet in Irwin's Chapel United Methodist Church, completed a quilt started by an Ohio woman who passed away due to cancer and returned the completed quilt to her husband, Jeff Sutherland.
Paving the Way for Economic Prosperity in Union County
Improvements to State Route 33 and State Route 61 in Union County were a popular topic at the Republican Rally on 2 June in Wilson Park. Several candidates for Commission and Mayor cited the need for these improvements. Representative Dennis Powers confirmed that construction for the SR 33 and SR 61 improvements were included in the 2017 IMPROVE Act, Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads, and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy, introduced by Governor Bill Haslam to the 109th Tennessee General Assembly. In the first year of the IMPROVE Act’s implementation, 288 – 30 percent – of the 962 projects designated in the legislation are under way and TDOT anticipates project bids to increase by about $100 million later in 2018. Funding for the SR 33 and SR 61 projects are not on the TDOT three year plan and were not included in the 2019-21 Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Multimodal Program. The Tennessee Department of Transportation budget for fiscal year 2019 revealed that there is uncertainty surrounding the 47 percent of the department’s budget that comes from federal funding which puts the 962 projects listed in the IMPROVE Act in jeopardy.
Improvements to SR 33 and SR 61 are needed. Traffic history shows a steady increase in average annual daily traffic count with an average of over 12,000 cars daily traveling SR 33 from the Knox County Line to Maynardville and almost 4,000 daily on SR 61 East from Maynardville to the Grainger County Line inclusive of the Walker Ford connector near the SR 33 intersection. According to Tennessee's Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN) Fatal Crash Locations, three fatal crashes have occurred in the last 15 months on SR 33 from the Knox County Line to Maynardville, 81 accidents have occurred on this same stretch of highway, 30 involving injury, from 10 October 2015 to present, and during this same period 86 accidents occurred on SR 61 East from Maynardville to the Grainger County Line, 20 involving injury. According to TDOT, 11 fatalities occurred on SR 33 from Maynardville to Tazewell, most in Union County, in 2003 and 2004. The construction of Paulette Elementary School on SR 33 from the Knox County Line to Maynardville has created an additional hazard for commuters, parents and children. According to TRIP, a National Transportation Research Group, the fatality rate on Tennessee’s non-interstate rural roads in 2015 was more than two and a half times greater than on all other roads in the state.
State Law, TCA § 54- 5-102, calls for all county seats to be connected by a four-lane highway to the nearest interstate highway by the best route available and the Commissioner of Transportation is to receive financial aid for their construction. The region’s industries and commercial businesses require adequate transportation facilities to operate at their peak potential with SR 33 and SR 61 serving as a major link to the economic hub of Knoxville and the converging interstate system in Knox County. SR 33 and SR 61 provide the most direct link for Union and Claiborne County residents to travel to jobs in the Knoxville area. The 30th Annual Survey of Corporate Executives conducted in 2016 found highway accessibility ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor, and an enhanced regional transportation system to attract new commercial and industrial employers would be expected to provide new jobs for Union County residents.
Economic investment is needed in Union County. Union County is one of only 6 counties in the state of Tennessee to not have a jobs announcement under the 8 years of economic expansion fostered by policies of the Haslam Administration. Union County is one of only three counties in the state of Tennessee where the school system and county government are the number one and two employers. Union County has only 13% of residents who both work and live in the same city compared to the Tennessee average of 57% of people who both work and live in the same city. The mean travel time to work is 34.1 minutes and 1.51% of the workforce in Union County have "super commutes" in excess of 90 minutes. According to the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, Union County is experiencing population decline that began in 2011, a marked reversal of the 30% population growth rate observed from 1990 to 2000, and without intervention the population decline is expected to extend beyond 2040. Union County is experiencing out-migration, mainly among 20 – 29 year olds. Union County’s negative population growth and out-migration brings with it severe negative economic consequences including fewer workers available to businesses, fewer customers to buy their goods and services, and a shrinking tax base, all resulting in a severe impact on the finances of government.
Transportation infrastructure improvements are vital to Union County. An efficient, safe and well-maintained transportation system provides economic and social benefits by affording individuals access to employment, housing, healthcare, education, goods and services, recreation, entertainment, family, and social activities. It also provides businesses access to suppliers, markets and employees, all critical to a business’ level of productivity and ability to expand. With an economy based largely on manufacturing, agriculture, natural resource extraction and tourism, the quality of our transportation system plays a vital role in the county and state’s economic growth and quality of life.
The need for improvements in SR 33 and SR 61, based upon both public safety and economic intervention in Union County, should be a priority for Tennessee as economic expansion and job growth outside the county is exacerbating the economic conditions in the county and without support from the Governor, the Commissioners’ of Transportation and Economic and Community Development, and Union Counties elected state representatives it could now be up to 14 years or more before these projects are completed.
A resolution is going to be presented before the County Commission at the 11 June meeting by 1st District Commissioner Stan Dail to recognize that one of the single most important state investments in Union County to bring jobs and prosperity is an adequate transportation system as it directly correlates to economic viability and vitality and the improvement of the SR 33 and SR 61 corridor is fundamental to our economic future. The resolution will call for a reassessment by state officials as to the importance and timing of the SR 33 and SR 61 projects and individuals in the county are encouraged to attend the meeting and show their support.
We are all unique with the capacity for creativity and artistic expression. Through purposeful creation we form physical manifestations of our uniqueness. Of course, there is not simply just one correct way to do anything and with that idea we find that there is infinite strength in individualism. What one person may envision and create given a blank canvas can be, and often is, vastly different from another person's creation. That was greatly displayed at the Union County Heritage Festival's Art Show on Saturday, October 6, 2018.
With Halloween coming up, it is time for us to talk about the Boogerman/Boogerwoman.
At the time I was growing up, child psychologists were unheard of. In most cases, no one even got to a doctor unless they were seriously ill. I don’t remember any “cures” dealing with behavior. These were the common cures and most could be bought at local grocery stores:
Last time, we discussed the statement from 2 Corinthians 6:17 about being a separate people and how this separate means different. Christians are in the world but not of the world, so we are set apart in that we do not follow our own path but rather the path of our Savior. A Savior who purchased our sins and gave His Righteousness to us. (See Jerimiah 23:6) He had to do this because of our inability to keep God’s Law. Our sin nature made it impossible for us to make atonement for our failures. (See Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6)
Year One, Week Forty
I have for some time been writing down words that people use in “quirky” ways. I find it interesting the way people often misspeak words unintentionally, often rendering thought provoking meanings. A few examples follow.
A country woman had an opportunity to eat in a fancy restaurant. Trying to impress her companions, she ordered a “ward off” salad. Though that was not on the menu, the waiter directed the lady to the Waldorf salad as an excellent choice to ward off unwanted calories.
This zesty adventure started late one evening as I was walking in the dark by myself. I had just dug my cell phone out of the floorboard of my husband Tim’s truck. Being an old geek, I was gazing up at the stars. It dawned on me that I hadn’t locked Tim’s truck back after retrieving my phone. Without taking my eyes off of the night sky, I tossed my hand back and pressed the lock button on the clicker. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.
Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.
I came to a dead stop and stood there alone in the darkness. Goose bumps ran up my arm.
Back pain, especially chronic back pain, can make life miserable; this condition is quite common in the military. Randomized trials have found that spinal manipulation can be effective for lower back pain. One 2013 study specifically compared chiropractic therapy to general medical care in military personnel, 18-35 years old. The results suggest reduced pain and improved physical wellbeing and function as compared to patients who only received the standard care.
Anyone who knows me knows of my taste for black walnuts. When my kids were small and money was tight, I would load the three youngest ones in the pickup. After a fall's hard freeze, we would head for my favorite walnut trees along country roads. Each child would have his or her own pail. “Pick 'em up as fast as you can,” I would yell.
Sometimes, neighbors took offense with our picking up the walnuts, even if the walnuts were out in the roadway. We did get run off occasionally, but it didn't take long to fill the pickup bed with the ones we could get.
I like corn salsa. It is best made in the summertime with fresh vegetables. Red tomatoes in the winter don't taste as good as tomatoes fresh from the garden. That goes for sweet corn, too. We like sweet corn freshly cut from the cob and fried with butter, salt and sugar. Oh well, that is another dish. For this salsa, canned whole kernel corn can be used as well. I learned to appreciate red onions while working at Arby's in Halls. I was introduced to jalapeno peppers when we moved to Tennessee. Before that, I only used the yellow hot banana peppers.
"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!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.
REGULAR WORKSHOP UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2018 6:00 p.m. Union County High School
1. Discuss School Trips
2. Budget Amendments and Transfers/Director’s Monthly Report—Ann Dyer
3. Discuss TSBA Recommended Changes to Board Policy (Due for Approval on Second Reading in October, 2018): School Bus Seat Restraint Systems —Lenny Holt
4. Discuss Capital Projects—Dr. Carter
5. Discuss Contracts—Lenny Holt
6. Discuss Teacher Tenure—Dr. Carter
Haunts and History October 26-27 3pm- 9pm
Haunts and History will feature old-fashioned treats along the pioneer trail, with homemade and vintage candies, as well as local storytellers sharing true and inspired stories about our Appalachian ancestors. Guests can also enjoy hay rides, live music, blacksmithing, pumpkin carving demonstrations, and festive snacks.
For an additional charge, attendees can pick pumpkins from the patch or choose a pumpkin to paint and take home.
Advance Tickets may be purchased by October 15:
Glenn Thomas Kitts, age 91, of Knoxville passed away on Thursday, October 18, 2018. He Served his County well as a United States Marine during World War II era. He retired from the Knoxville Transit Lines after 52 years. He coached little league at Fountain City Ball Park for ten plus years. Preceded in death by wife Barbara Jean Kitts; Sons Martin Thomas Kitts and Gary Steven Kitts; grandson T.J. Lewis and Chris Turner; parents Arlie and Jessie Kitts; four brothers; and four sisters.
Kenneth “Kenny” David Coffman, age 48 of Luttrell, Tennessee went home to be with the Lord on October 18, 2018. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Maynard & Eva Coffman and Millard & Cora Munsey. He is survived by parents Rev. Donnie and Lola Coffman; brothers Ricky (Sharon) Coffman and Donnie (Sherry) Coffman; nieces Kayla (Jamie) Moore and Danielle (Matt) Tindell; nephews Brandon (Miriah) Coffman and Josh (Mary) Coffman; great nephews Brylan, Wesley, Brentley, Hudson, Branson and Bobby; great nieces Ellis and Emersyn. Also survived by uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends.
Dewey (Merl) Keck-age 74 of Corryton, born October 18, 1944 passed away Friday, October 19, 2018 at his home. Preceded in death by parents, George and Mary Keck.
Survivors: wife, Joyce Keck; daughters, Robin Carringer; Doris (Greg) Selvidge; grandchildren, Ashley White, Tiffany Grooms; great-grandchild, Brayden Chaney.
Rueben Scott Holloway-age 55 of Luttrell passed away Wednesday night, October 17, 2018 at Select Specialty Hospital at North Knoxville Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, Bill and Sarah Holloway; wife Darla Holloway; children, Amber, Willie, Erin and Reanna Holloway.
Survived by best friend, Trusty; sisters, Jackie (Jerry) Clapp; Brenda (Tim) Wyrick; brothers, Russell (Mary) Holloway and Paul Holloway; friends, Linda Waggoner and Violet Ward. Special aunts, Brenda Stone, Beulah Hayes, Carolyn Langley and Susie Langley. Several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Catrina Kailynn Maggard-age 18 of Knoxville passed away Saturday morning, October 13, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center as the result of an automobile accident. She was a graduate of Gibbs High School, 2018 Class. She was a loving daughter and friend, full of life and always had a smile on her face. Preceded in death by grandfather, Frank Maggard; great-grandmother, Grace Lynn.
Debra Marlene Lynch
April 26, 1959 – October 2, 2018
Debra Marlene Lynch was born in Detroit, Michigan to Helen and Nolan Graves on April 26, 1959. -Marlene’s parents meant the world to her. Her father, Nolan was her personal hero and her mother, Helen was her measuring stick for how a Christian woman should live. Marlene had one sibling, Keith Graves. She loved her younger brother very much and often spoke of Keith’s big heart.