Study Looks at Improvements to Big Ridge Park
Fourth District Commissioner Danny Cooke received unanimous support at the November Union County Commission meeting for his resolution to initiate an economic impact study looking at improvements to Big Ridge State Park.
Big Ridge State Park is arguably the most important place based economic asset in Union County. Tennessee’s tourism industry is our state’s No. 2 industry, contributing $19.3 billion in economic impact in 2017 and contributing more than $1.7 billion in state and local sales tax revenue to the state’s bottom line. Union County is currently ranked #86 out of 95 counties by Economic Impact of Tourism, generating only $6.89 million annually in direct tourism expenditures.
The economic success of Big Ridge State Park is reliant on investment in services and amenities. Such investments will lead both to more visitors and to higher per capita expenditures per visitor. The result of such investment will be higher revenues to the state and more jobs and income to residents in Union County.
Parks traditionally have not been evaluated in economic terms. The park is a facility, but it is only a shell. Merely providing a facility is no guarantee of economic success. Economic success is dependent on what happens inside the park. The last decade of experience at Big Ridge State Park clearly exemplifies this analogy. From FY09-10 to FY12-13, park visitation decreased by 45% or about 524,000 visitors. Using economic impact estimates from the 2009 Economic Impact study of Tennessee’s State Parks by the University of Tennessee, this resulted in an approximate direct revenue loss of $67 million with a corresponding economic multiplier loss of $142 million to the local, regional and state economy.
The current Big Ridge Park Manager, Keith Montgomery, and his staff are to be commended for recent improvements to Big Ridge State Park, reversing years of neglect and failure to maintain or modernize facilities, declining park visitation, park occupancy rates and park revenues. The impact of Park Manager Keith Montgomery's efforts and the potential economic benefit of state investment in Big Ridge State Park are exemplified in total park visitation numbers during 2016, when 1,627,061 visits (park visitation is a record of gate traffic only) were recorded making Big Ridge State Park the number three most visited state park in Tennessee.
Commissioner Cooke insisted that any improvements to the park not impact the current park structures built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and that the park continue to market the charm and design of that time in a designated historic portion of the park. He also noted that the park should continue with its short term goals of improving the existing structures with modern amenities such as air conditioning, heat, broadband, restroom facilities, etc.. The proposed economic impact study by The University of Tennessee would look at improvements focused on the following six segments of consumers; Adventure Travelers, Ecotourism Seekers, Heritage Tourism, Corporate and Business Retreats, State of Tennessee Business, and Programming and Events.
Commissioner Cooke is also partnering with Martin Shafer, President of the Union County Business and Professional Association, and a number of concerned citizens to reestablish the Friends of Big Ridge State Park. In 1993, Tennessee passed legislation authorizing private, non-profit groups to organize for maintaining and enhancing the purposes, programs and functions of the state park system. These groups, more commonly known as Friends, are concerned citizens who have banded together to assist in protecting, preserving and promoting the beauty and the splendor of their favorite state park. They give selflessly of their time, talents and energy to help ensure the parks integrity is intact for future generations to enjoy.
Being home to Norris Lake, Big Ridge State Park, and Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area, place based economic investment is fundamental to Union County's economic future.
“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.