What is Life?

Sophia the Robot

Back in 1989, an episode of the television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, aired that posed an intriguing question. It’s a question that thirty years later generates even more head-scratching. The title of the episode was “The Measure of a Man.” At the focus of the story sat an android who represented the pinnacle of contemporary artificial intelligence.

Nease Nets Maryville

Barron Nease, seated center, with grandmother Mary Merritt –L and grandmother Barbara Nease-R; Back: Father Kelvin Nease, mother Joy Nease, sister, Brooke Nease, brother Brady Nease and UCHS Head Coach Shane Brown.

Union County High School senior Barron Nease signed with Maryville College April 5, where he will continue his academic and basketball career.

Horace Maynard FFA Members Recognized at National and State Conventions

Pictured, John Fugate with Tyler Sweet after receiving his American FFA Degree at National Convention
Pictured, John Fugate with Tyler Sweet after receiving his American FFA Degree at National Convention

The Horace Maynard FFA Chapter is active in making a positive difference in the lives of Union County High School students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. The 91st Annual Tennessee FFA State Convention was recently held in Gatlinburg. Long time FFA Advisor John Fugate, along with new advisor Bailey Licata, accompanied a group of twenty heavily involved Union County students in attendance.

A Box of Blessings

When your luck is down you should always look up. Throughout a lifetime, it is given that any human will find a spot where they are down on their luck. When you find yourself in that position, when you just need a small item or two to get by, where do you turn? Where can you find a blessing to get you by?

The Definition of Freedom

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Thirteen

To many he was a burden from the moment of conception. He was so unwanted by his birth mother that she tried to abort him six months into her pregnancy. Her efforts failed, but resulted in his premature birth with handicapping conditions that he was to endure for his entire life. There were many who pitied him and felt him nothing more than a prisoner in a deformed body.

More on Back Pain and Association With Mortality Among Older Women

More on Back Pain and Association With Mortality Among Older Women

Researchers found that frequent, persistent back pain is associated with earlier death in a study of more than 8,000 older women. The researchers found that disability measured after back pain helped explain the association.

Take the Wheel

I watched the sky grow darker and darker. Each passing second brought the severe storms closer and closer.

It was May 2016 and I was attending a writer’s conference with my dear friend and fellow author, Paula Mowery. It was held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center, which is about 17 miles west of Asheville, NC.

Planting by Moon Signs

Planting by Moon Signs

In an earlier article I discussed the use of astrological signs to know when to plant garden and farm crops and have kin that still hold to them. Another method is using moon signs, or more properly moon phases to tell not only when to plant but also when it’s a good time to kill unwanted vegetation. In researching the subject, I have found no scientific backing for using the Zodiac or body signs, but planting by the moon may have something to it. The moon exerts strong influences on the earth, such as light, gravitational pull, and magnetism.


Double Chocolate Cookies

I have been hungry for cookies lately. Today I broke down and made some. They were from an old cookbook I found somewhere or other. What a disappointment. I have many tried and true recipes that turn out fine every time. Why, oh why, do I continue looking for new ones. Anne reminds me of that fact every time I have a cooking disaster.



Depending on who you talk to, ramps are either the world’s most noxious, disgusting smelling plants or the nectar of the gods.

I was first introduced to ramps when my family was invited up to Tellico Plains one spring by a dear friend, Verlin. Every year, Verlin and his wife made this a family reunion, and friends were considered family. Several days before the Saturday festivities, he would go up the Cherohala Skyway, at least as far as it was completed at the time. Parking by the side of the road, he’d go down into the hollers and find ramps.

It’s the Bees Knees – Or Actually, Eyes

If you follow my online writing, you might recall my last article about honey bees and how they forage for the stuff of survival using surprisingly complex methods. If you don’t recall or haven’t read my ramblings before, then go read that article now. I’ll wait here.


The Four Most Dangerous Words

Jim Hartsell

Like many of my contemporaries, I had a collection of things (drawings, sports photos, awards, short essays, and so on) from when my two children were growing up and still at home. In my case, one wall of my study was covered in family memorabilia. Not organized in any way, just accumulated as the years went by. The last memento was pinned up over ten years ago.

Patriots Football Recognizes Players

Left to Right Starting in Front: Row 1 – Coaches: David Pierce, Josh Kerr, Steve Smith, Lukas Kidwell, Gino Alonzo, Larry Kerr, Vincent Alonzo. Row 2 - Anthony Schneider, Max Ellis, Jacob Newton, Dalton Truan, Brady Mills, Colby Dawson. Row 3 - Tyler Spencer, Joey Chamberlain, Conner Nicely, Carson Nicley, Wyatt Hall, Jeremiah Williams, Zach Pierce. Row 4 - Dustin Dawson, Noah Monroe, Kristian Britt, Alonzo Creech, Will Brantley. Row 5 - Matthew Brantley, Austin Britt, Michael McLaughlin, Braxton Samford. Row 6 - Justin Suddath, Clay Calloway, Austin Acuff, Jacob Cox, Dalton Bradshaw. Row 7 - Gavin Collier, Emory Odum, Trey Harrison, Alex Padgett. Row 8 - Eli Welch, Waylon Branch, Zach Caldwell

Larry Kerr took on Union County Patriots Football as a challenge a few years ago. With blood, sweat, tears and good old fashioned hard work, the Patriots are once again a team to be proud of, thanks to Kerr and his coaches. He has completed one of his first main goals that he set when coming on board in Union County, to make the boys feel proud and important. Along with the school and community, this is certainly the feeling he has created among comradery.

Commission Buries Mortuary, Buys Optimist Building, Approves Constable Bonds

Commission Buries Mortuary, Buys Optimist Building, Approves Constable Bonds

On a roll call vote at Monday's March regular meeting, Union County Commission voted to table the discussion of the Byrd Property. During the Mayor's Report, Mayor Bailey stated that a lot of people had asked him to bring the issue of the Byrd Mortuary property up for discussion.

Historical Tribute Show - Union County Opry

Union County Opry

It begins on the night of Saturday, April 20, 2019 in the Union County High School Auditorium when the announcer introduces the Union County Opry Band to play a musical tribute to entertainers that have come from Union County including Lois Johnson, Carl Smith, Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff and Jim Wyrick. “The good Lord above has poured out a special bucket of talent on Union County,” said Danny Cooke.

Pratt Paints Life's Blessings

Left to Right: Mary Johnson, Carol Pratt, Judy Sexton, Jeri Lett, Frances Russell, Judi Gerew

Nearly twenty years ago, after the death of her father, Carol Pratt was handed the realization that time is dearly precious. She accordingly decided to take action on things that she wanted to try, that maybe had been put off. In turn, she never regretted a moment of this decision.

Cops in Court

On Friday, March 15, 2019 District Attorney General Jared Effler and staff, in conjunction with the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference and Tennessee Highway Safety Office, hosted Cops in Court on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate.

Back Pain Shows Significant Association With Mortality Among Older Women

Back Pain Shows Significant Association With Mortality Among Older Women

Researchers at Boston Medical Center found that frequent, persistent back pain is associated with earlier death in a study of more than 8,000 older women who were followed for an average of 14 years. After controlling for important sociodemographic and health factors, women who reported frequent, persistent back pain had a 24 percent increased risk of death compared to women with no back pain.

Easter Egg Casserole

It's that time of year again: “Easter Egg Time.” What do you do with all of those colored hard boiled eggs?

I remember when my kids were of Easter basket age. After the drabness of winter (it had been a long time since Christmas), they needed some cheering up. With no birthdays since December, there had been little to celebrate. They were ready!