Union County Public Schools is seeking feedback from different community stakeholders, such as parents, students, employees, and special interest groups, to survey how funds are being spent adequately. Some of the questions in the survey also address Union County's Safe to Return to School Policy implementation to this point.
Board extends director's contract four years
At the September meeting, Union County School Board voted to extend Dr. Jimmy Carter's contract for four more years. School board attorney Mary Ann Stackhouse explained that his current contract would not have expired until 2020 since the same contract had been extended in 2013 to 2017, in 2017 to 2020, and with no changes, the current contract would be extended four more years to 2024. Brad Griffey from the Second District authored the motion. Casey Moore could not attend due to work responsibilities.
Carolyn Murr, Union County Education president, thanked the Board for her recognition at the last board meeting. She commented that the Maynardville Elementary copier was not working much of time and noted that larger schools had two copiers, but now her school had only one that was not reliable. Murr also expressed a concern for mowing that was occurring with children present and during instruction time. Dr. Carter agreed that mowing with children present was a safety concern and would be addressed with the mower. Finally, the UCEA President questioned the decision to continue to cut off the air conditioning at 3:30 during these extremely hot temperatures. She said that janitors as well as teachers who work after hours were having to work in very hot conditions. Dr. carter also agreed to look at the issue and afford some relief by overriding the setting when temperatures were this hot.
Discussion had occurred during the workshop regarding the condition of copy machines. Lenny Holt addressed the board to explain that the original contractor had lost the franchise and Image Solutions was performing maintenance and service. Holt requested that the service contract be renewed for another year at an increased cost. Finance Director Ann Dyer explained that the service contract would be a $9000 increase that resulted in a total cost of $40,000 and would automatically renew each year. Brad Griffey (2nd) stated that the principal at Luttrell Elementary School was not happy with the current service. Dr.Carter responded that the copy machines are wearing out and “will have to bid a new contract to purchase machines in the future.”
On the bidding note, the board approved a new position of purchasing agent for central finance during the Budget Amendments and Transfers. The school system would pay approximately 70 percent of the salary cost since the cost would be shared by other departments that have items to be bid. Dyer also stated that the number of bid items had increased by some 189% with several bids currently in progress. The remainder of the budget amendments dealt with adding grants and moving funds to better reflect actual spending. The board placed a mower under surplus that was no longer needed to mow sports fields.
Marty Gibbs, First District board member, noted a concern from the baseball coach that the farmers market was interfering with summer baseball tournaments and other fundraisers during the spring and summer. Carter said that the misunderstanding occurred due to the parking lot where market sets up being owned by the board of education, while the park is owned by county. Carter plans to discuss the issue at a meeting with the market board this fall.
In other action, the board approved a program, Upslope, to deal consistently with employee concerns and approve appointments to the Sick Leave Bank Committee. Sarah Maness and Carolyn Murr will represent UCEA on the committee. The board also raised the assistant cheerleader coaching supplement to be half of the head cheerleader coaching supplement. The board updated several board policies on second reading.
Stackhouse reported that she had agreed to postpone the hearing regarding dismissal of the suit brought by the Union County Historical Society. She explained that the society's lawyer injured his knee on his farm and had to have surgery. The hearing has been moved to November 12, 2019.
Mayor Jason Bailey sought permission to erect a sign recognizing Roy Acuff on the property of the Union County Museum. The sign is part of a state project called Tennessee Musical Pathways and recognizes musicians who fundamentally impacted music in Tennessee and the nation.
The next Union County BOE Meeting was held on October 3, with the workshop at 6:30. The meeting was changed because the regular meeting date falls during Fall Break from October 7 to October 11.
Farmers across Tennessee have been carbon farming for years without realizing it. Common practices such as no tile and cover crops are prime examples of implementations that allow for this so-called carbon farming.
Big companies such as Delta, General Motors, Honeywell, Microsoft, Target, and many others have started to become interested in these endeavors.
Plainview has plenty of curvy roads and has installed some rdar speed signs to remind everyone to slow down and avoid an accident. Chief Brandon Ford reported in the January meeting of the Board of Aldermen that the radar speed signs recently installed on two roads in the City of Plainview seem to be encouraging drivers to obey the posted speed limit, The sign located in Whispering Pines where the speed limit is 20 mph yielded data showing the average speed since December 14 to be 22.29 mph with only two of the 5,394 cars traveling over 40 mph.
Each year Tennessee celebrates Agriculture Literacy Week as an opportunity for teachers and volunteers to share valuable information in TN schools about growing and harvesting food and by-products. Food, fiber, and fuel for our country are invaluable materials that many youths never really understand where they come from or their significant importance.
Muscle relaxant drugs are largely ineffective for low back pain, despite being widely prescribed for this condition, suggests an analysis of the latest evidence published by The BMJ. The findings show that muscle relaxants might reduce pain in the short term, but the effect is too small to be considered clinically meaningful, and there is an increased risk of side effects.
My little adventure started out because I was bored. Needless to stay, I didn’t stay bored long.
I guess you could say it was a prefect Sunday afternoon. The temperature was pleasant and there was plenty of sunshine. Tim and I were with some friends and family on the banks of Bull Run Creek. He and his sister were fishing while his parents were chilled out in their lawn chairs. As for me, I couldn’t just sit there in a lawn chair and relax. Sitting still isn’t my thing.
It does not surprise me in the least that when the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden that food was involved. The old adage says that a person should not live to eat, but eat to live. The problem with a lot of people is knowing where to draw the line at eating just enough to live, particularly during holidays and celebrations.
With these harsh cold snaps we’ve been having, staying warm has become more of a challenge. Wearing the right clothing when getting outside can make all the difference between a pleasant outing and misery. The phrase "dress in layers," is used by Moms the world over, but remains good advice. Layers of clothing help trap air around the body and insulates it from the cold. Layers can also be removed to adjust to temperature changes or physical activity. Clothing layers are broken down into three parts: inner, middle, and outer.
In March of 2020 the world came to a halt for many as the COVID-19 pandemic took us away from school, church, social events and many other activities.
With school closures and virtual learning in way, teachers adjusted, students began to learn mathematics from their kitchen tables and parents had to find a way to work while also helping their children in a new way.
Now, almost two years later, the community is still trying to figure out how to live and learn with this pandemic.
It’s officially scholarship season; well, if it ever isn’t time to apply for educational assistance!? Union County Farm Bureau has opened the application period for up to two $1,500 scholarship awards this year. If you are a member of the Farm Bureau, do continue reading, this is a wonderful opportunity.
Widespread pain is linked to a heightened risk of all types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, finds research published online in the journal Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine. This association is independent of potentially influential factors, such as age, general health, and lifestyle, the findings indicate.
Have you ever felt lost in your own home? I did back when I was teenager and it was scary.
Way back in the 1970s, my parents added a larger living room onto our house with a basement underneath it. And in that basement, they put in a woodstove. Let me tell you, it kept the living room nice and warm all winter.
My sister Icy Madelene (aka Pat) McMurray is famous in our family for her belief in the restorative and healing properties of Vicks VapoRub. She has told me that this marvelous ointment can treat/cure anything.
Because of this, I was most interested in a Facebook post concerning the uses for Vicks VapoRub. I did a quick Google search on Vicks VapoRub and will relate below from memory some of the interesting things I discovered. You can do a Google search for more detailed information, but the Facebook post listed the following uses:
The Northern and Midland Baptist Associations are prayerfully seeking a man of high moral character who is fully committed to the Lord and to Christian ministry to serve as a bi-vocational or semi-retired Director of Missions. He must be a mature, stable Christian who is able to relate well to other people. This person needs to have a thorough knowledge of Southern Baptist church life and be grounded in Southern Baptist doctrine and polity. His primary role is to assist the churches of our Associations in fulfilling the Great Commission Jesus has given to His church.
In order to show support for the Union County Christmas Parade, Union County Business & Professional Association decided to encourage its members to participate.
Several of the UCBPA members decorated floats or vehicles including Five Star Waste, Home Town Pest Control, Tammie Hill Realty Executive Associates, UT Extension Union County, Maynardville Mayor Ty Blakely, Union County Government and Maynardville Drug & Express Care.
For over 100 years now, Farm Bureau has shone a light on rural America by giving farmers and ranchers a voice.
Throughout those 100 years, the Farm Bureau Federation has undergone numerous changes along the way.
Now, Union County is undergoing one of those changes, the transition of agency management as Paul Smith retires from his position.
The Union County Board of Education approved Lewis Group of Knoxville as architects for the proposed middle school in its December meeting.
Carrie Cooke, Purchasing Agent for the Union County Finance Office, chaired the nine-member committee. After several meetings over more than two months, the committee interviewed the highest qualified from the eleven firms who were interested in the project. Those firms made presentations and were ranked by the committee.
You know, there is just something to me about the challenge of fitting all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together into a complete picture. Recently, I came to the conclusion that this challenge could be one of the reasons I love to write. Instead of fitting pieces of a picture together, I place words together to come up with a complete, and hopefully meaningful, story.
Winter hiking is wonderful. The air is crisp and clean. The forest is still.
With the air so clear it makes for some amazing sunrises and sunsets. So much is missed by those who only hike in the warmer months.
Hiking around the lake in the winter months will produce lifetime memories of wildlife, God-made ice sculptures and scenery.
Many other outdoor hobbies lend their own rewards for being out in the winter months—like bird watching, fishing, kayaking and viewing the night sky.
I have caught some of my largest fish during the coldest times.
James 2:23 KJV
 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
I can’t read James 2:23 without the simple lyrics of “I Am a Friend of God, by Israel Houghton and Michael Gungor, playing in my mind. It’s the kind of lyric that can get stuck on replay in your mind for hours. Which in this case is probably not a bad thing, especially if we associate it with the scriptures the lyrics are based upon.
Thomas Andrew Dorsey was born July 1, 1899, to a religious and gospel music family in Vila Rica, Georgia. At the age of 17 he moved to Chicago and attended the College of Composition and Arranging. This set him on his life’s course as a gospel singer and songwriter.
During his life, Thomas wrote 3,000 songs with 1,000 being gospel songs. Two songs you may remember are his 1932 song, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and in 1937 he wrote “Peace in the Valley.”
Medical guidelines help doctors understand the best way to treat health conditions. Surprisingly, many doctors do not adhere to them, and this is a problem, according to a new study by scientists at the University of Utah, studying health and MD guidelines. People with lower back pain injury miss 11 more days of work in a year when they only receive treatments for lower back pain that are not recommended by medical guidelines compared to people treated according to guidelines. The findings were published in PLOS ONE. Among the nearly 60,000 people whose medical claims were analyzed:
Roark Tree Farm in Claiborne County has been recognized by The American Forest Foundation for being an established Tree Farm for 25 years. A certified Tree Farm manages forests for multiple use benefits such as wood production and wildlife habitat in a sustainable manner. Steve Roark, who owns Roark Tree Farm with his wife Rhonda, has managed a number of projects over the decades.
As the young showmen drive their hogs around the show ring they all intently look at the judge and make every turn smoothly and at the perfect time.
Every showman has their own way of doing things, but each one makes an impression on the judge. The crowd sets on the edge of their seats wondering who will be chosen as the grade champion showman.
According to the Global Burden of Disease Study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, neck pain is ranked as the fourth leading cause of global disability. One of the main reasons for neck pain has been attributed to lifestyle, particularly when people spend long durations of time with their necks bent forward. however, a systematic, quantitative study has been lacking on how personal factors, such as sex, weight, age and work-related habits can affect neck strength and endurance.
“I don’t want to and I won’t go to Grandma’s house this year! She’s old and I never liked her or Grandpa anyway. They always treat me like a child!” Fourteen year old Maisie stomped her foot as she stormed out of the kitchen. Her mother’s gaze followed as her daughter made her way up the stairs to her bedroom, clomping her foot as hard as possible on every step as she went; more like a child than a teenager.
My mother was so excited when she came into my house carrying a small bag. As for me, I soon regretted it.
You see, she had just bought a box set of Christmas movies for Sara. VHS tapes. Yep, this was a few years ago. Anyway, at this time, Sara was a toddler and mom wanted her to enjoy all of the old TV shows we had enjoyed over the years. One of these movies was, “Frosty the Snowman.”
I was talking recently to a lady. In the course of our conversation, she told me that she has two children, one a post high school graduate, the other an early elementary student. I remarked that there was a lot of years between her two children’s ages. She told me that she lost a lot of weight before conceiving her second child. We determined then and there that Big Macs were a good form of birth control.
You can learn a lot from talking with elders. In a conversation about Christmas with my mother some years ago I learned that the Christmas of her childhood had an extra bit of celebration. Her father Sillus Day would always hold back some candy from Christmas in a big, locked chest and would give it out on January 6, a day he called “Old Christmas”.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – High-quality, locally sourced ‘UT Beef’ is now being served on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus.
Produced at UT’s Northeast Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Greeneville, and being prepared and served through an agreement with UT Dining Services managed by Aramark, the farm-to-table effort supports sustainable agricultural production by utilizing locally grown beef as a reliable food source while maximizing supply chain resiliency.
Back Row - Connie Wilder, Gloria Holcomb, Glenda Cooke, Carol Pratt, Shirley Grabko, Leslie Sharpe
Bottom row - UT Extension Agent Alyshia Victoria, Brenda Osborne, Sharon Hansard, Linda Effler, Margie Collins, Lyndora Lindsay, Sherry Jones, Kaye Whaley, Ashley Mike UT Extension Administrative Assistant.
The Big Ridge Family Community Education Club celebrated with a festive lunch on Dec. 16th at St.Teresa’s Catholic Church. After a short business meeting and donations made to a local Food Bank and a needy family, the group exchanged small gifts. A game of Secret / Dirty Santa was played and enjoyed by everyone. Lunch consisted of lots of delicious Finger Foods.
There’s nothing like a good last-minute adventure, especially one on Christmas Eve. This happened to me many years when my daughter Sara was still small.
It started on December 23rd when we went to a cousin’s house for an early Christmas gathering. I so enjoyed being with my family and watching Sara open her gifts. That is until she opened the one with a doll.
It is rarely that anything seems to surprise me. I suppose that is common as one grows older, but occasionally I am reminded that there might be a few surprises yet to come.
I went to the credit union to pay my car payment earlier in the week. I walked in just barely before the lobby closed. I walked up to the only available teller, a friendly young lady who grew prettier in my estimation throughout our brief encounter.
I like sweet potatoes about any way you can fix them. In fact, I buy a 20 pound box of sweet potatoes every fall from a man who brings them up from the Carolinas and parks in front of Janet’s Hair Salon in beautiful downtown Maynardville. It takes me all year to finish that box. I am always looking for new ways to fix them. I come up with this recipe the other day. It is a variation of a rutabaga recipe I tried. They are spicy but not like a pumpkin pie. Try them and see what you think.
"Friday nights lights" is a phrase used quite often by many community members and fans as they talk about the excitement around their hometown football games.
Whether the team has a winning or losing streak for the year, there is a nostalgia surrounding Friday night lights.
High school students celebrate the event with face paint and cow bells, while the football players prepare themselves by wearing their jerseys to school that day.
Do you love decorating for the holidays? Do you love driving around to see Christmas lights? We have a fun contest for everyone who likes Christmas lights.
UT Extension Union County will host its annual Light Up Union County Contest in 2021 to get our town decorated for the holiday season. Whether your skill is closer to the Charlie Brown tree or Clark Griswold, we want to see your lights.
Periodic absences for various reasons continue to cause the Union County Board of Education to barely have a quorum.
At the November school board meeting, Chairman David Coppock and Vice Chairman Marty Gibbs were absent along with Brad Griffey from Luttrell. Dr. Jimmy Carter, Director of Union County Schools, chaired the workshop and oversaw the election of Andrew Reed, who represents District 6 (Paulette), as the Chairman Pro Tem to preside at the November meeting.
Marie Wallace-age 83 of Louisville, Tennessee, formerly of Luttrell passed away Friday, January 21, 2022 at Select Specialty Hospital. She was a Christian and of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by parents, John and Mamilee Canada; brothers, Clarence Canada, Dave Canada; sisters, Juanita Chamberlain, Johnny Mae Baker, Minnie Idol.
Stelmo Estell (Dalton) Branson-age 85 of Washburn passed away Saturday morning, January 22, 2022 at the home of her daughter in Tazewell, Tennessee. She was born September 11, 1936 the daughter of the late Walter B. and Sarah Jane (Atkins) Dalton. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 46 years, Paul E. Branson; daughters, Donna M. Throesch and Doris E. Curran; brothers, Hubert Stanley Dalton, Aaron “Boot” Buford Dalton, Bedford Conley Dalton and Elvin Burnace Dalton, Fernly Clifford Dalton; sisters, Thelma Dalton Collins, Reva Mae Dalton Wilmouth.
Alfred Gene Shope, Sr. – age 66 of Maynardville, passed away Thursday, January 20, 2022.
He is preceded in death by parents, John A. and Mable Marie Shope. Alfred is survived by wife, Linda G. Shope; son, Alfred Gene Shope, Jr.; daughters, Jenny Marie, Taylor Leanne and Abigail Rose Shope; grandsons, Ezekiel Chase Klimek; along with a host of family and friends.
George Edward Brown, Jr. “Butch”-age 63 of Maynardville, formerly of Petal, Mississippi passed away Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at Parkwest Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, George E., Sr. and Patsy Brown.
Survivors: wife of 28 years, Diana “Kandy” Brown; five children, Joey Brown, Nicole Taylor, Jessica Elliott, Robby Carroll, Joey Carroll; 14 grandchildren. Brother, Kenneth Brown; sisters, Cindy Berry and Patricia Daughdrill. Several nieces and nephews along with a host of other family members and friends.
Ina R. (Ogle) Lane-age 82 of Luttrell, born June 21, 1939 in Sevier County passed away Thursday, January 13, 2022 at her home. Ina entered into her eternal celebration that she had the assurance of from her teenage years. She was a member of Union Chapel Baptist Church, Maynardville and was a loving grandmother, mother, sister and friend who always put the needs of others before her own.
Geraldine (Richards) Bailey-age 79 of Maynardville passed away Wednesday morning, January 12, 2022 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was a member of Macedonia Baptist Church. Preceded in death by mother, Nora Bell Richards; brothers, Benny Richards and Steve Richards; son, Roger Lynn Treece; daughter, Patricia Ann Treece.
Joyce Vandergriff Turner - age 67 of Maynardville, passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 10, 2022. She is preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Martha Vandergriff and Della Mae Oaks. Joyce is survived by son, Charles Gentry and daughter-in-law Natasha; daughter, LeeAnn Turner Large and son-in-law Eric; grandson, Dakota Gentry; granddaughters, Evelyn Gentry, Destiny and Emma Large; and siblings, Michael Vandergriff, Kyle Vandergriff, Tony Vandergriff and Patsy Mallicoat. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Anna Leora “Lee” Graves Pollard Kitts went home to her Heavenly Father January 10, 2022 at the age of 89. She had a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ her Lord. Anna adored her children and all of her siblings. She enjoyed showing kindness to others by sending bouquets of flowers to her shut-in friends. She loved her plants, music and a good road trip. Anna was also an excellent seamstress, working for many years at Hall Brown and John H. Daniels.
Clyde L. Monroe-age 93 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, January 8, 2022 at Willow Ridge Center. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Maynardville; a graduate of Horace Maynard High School, class of 1945 and a U. S. Army Veteran 1950-1951. Preceded in death by parents, Raymond and Bonnie (Palmer) Monroe; siblings, Gareth P. Monroe, Mary Jo Meyer, Willa Sue Cox, Eugene D. Monroe.
Johnie Marie McCurry - age 80 of Corryton, went to her heavenly home January 8, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. peacefully surrounded by her loved ones. Johnie Marie was born February 7, 1941 in Luttrell. Her love and humor were adored by everyone who knew her. Johnie was a mother, sister, mamaw, friend and devoted care giver to many. She was one of the founding members of Fellowship Christian Church where she spent her Sundays serving her savior.
Joshua Dustin (Dusty) Sexton, age 34, of Maynardville passed away Saturday, January 8, 2022. He was born on October 14, 1987. Dusty is preceded in death by his mother, Janice Sexton and grandparents. Dusty is survived by his father, Jerry Sexton and step-mom, Brenda Sexton; his children, Aubree and Konnor Sexton; his siblings, Toni (Tim) Brown, Chris (Kayla) Sexton, Gina (John) Hale, Jennifer (Jeremy) Brake and his nieces and nephews.
Barbara Sue (Wyrick) Rutherford-age 71 of Maynardville, born October 25, 1950 passed away Thursday morning, December 30, 2021 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was a member of New Friendship Baptist Church. Preceded in death by son, Russell Luke Tolliver; daughter, Rebecca Pierce; parents, Calday and Francis Wyrick; brothers, Fred Wyrick, O. G. Wyrick, Theodore Wyrick; sisters, Carolyn Kitts, Othella (Sally) Corum, Pearl Atkins, Hester Atkins.