Board Orders Guardrail Removal, Passes Budget

[Writer's Note: The Union County School Board meets the second Thursday of each month at UCHS. The Board uses a workshop prior to the meeting to discuss agenda items. After the workshop, the Board approves, rejects, or takes no action on individual items during the meeting.]

The Board discussed these agenda items during the workshop.

John Fugate requested approval for fifteen UCHS students to attend FFA Chapter Development Training from July 26-28 at Big Ridge State Park.

Finance Director Ann Dyer offered Budget Amendments to add the Safety Grant, move money to proper line items, and generally cleanup the budget for the yearend report. In SB 177 (Capital Outlay) Ms. Dyer noted that the cost of two new buses be added to meet the required 120 days needed to have the buses before the start of the school year in August 2019. Andrew Reed (6th District) asked how many buses had already been bought. Transportation Supervisor Lenny Holt explained that with this purchase, the system would now own five buses that are two years old or less.

Ms. Dyer reported that all parts of the school budget were functioning as planned. She further stated that Food Services Supervisor, Ms. Mary Effler, through careful money management had brought that budget from a negative balance when Ms. Effler assumed the job to the currently mandated three months of operating expenses in the fund balance.

Ms. Dyer recommended that the Food Service Contract with HDS be extended for one year and that the Grace Rehabilitation Contract be renewed.

Dr. Ronnie Mincey announced that the required TSBA Workshop for Planning would be June 7-8 at the Hyatt Regency. Dr. Jimmy Carter noted that the Central Office Administrators would be giving their views on the Strategic Plan on Friday. Dr. Mincey said that no definite start time was available at the moment but Saturday would be a half day.

Dr. Mincey advised the board that he was not ready to report the results of the Director's Evaluation since he needed time to calculate the ones submitted just before the meeting.

Dr. Mincey stated that there were virtually no changes from the First Reading to the Second Reading on the TSBA recommended Board Policy Changes to 4.701-Test Security, 1.803 - Tobacco Free Schools, 4.209 - Alternate Credit Opportunities, and 4.603 - Promotion and Retention.
Ms. Roxanne Patterson, Attendance Supervisor, requested that Board Policy 6.204-Attendance be amended by deleting the required notice and allow nonresident and out of zone students to make applications during the school year.

Dr. Mincey explained the Consolidated Application for Federal Funds. Title I at $1,112,534 decreased by over $29,000 and caused the cutting of one paraprofessional position. But due to a cost sharing arrangement between the Federal and the General Fund, no employee will be cut. Title II at $139,236 decreased nearly $17,000. This fund is used mostly for professional development training and supplies for teachers and a portion funds only one salary, the Professional Development Coordinator. Title III is used to supplement teaching supplies and instruction for English Language Learners. The funds decreased by nearly half to $807.07 because so many tested out of the ELDA, a test for students whose primary language is not English. Dr. Mincey stated that this decrease was “really a good thing”. Title IV saw an increase by nearly $3000 to $82,467. Title IV funds portions of salaries for a music teacher, a social worker, and the purchase of STEM materials and supplies. Title V will have $75,482.08 to support Title I and II and provide a paraprofessional position at SCES and a county wide Family Interventionist. Dr. Mincey also remarked that from FY 2016 to FY 2020 the overall Title Funds had decreased by $182,876.81 meaning “there would most likely be an overall decrease in funding each year”.

Dr. Mincey continued to explain that Federal funding also includes IDEA Part B at $1,103,455 and IDEA Preschool at $24,010. IDEA Part B increased by $127,182 while IDEA Preschool realized a $240 increase. The total amount of Federal funding for FY 2020 is $2,538,051.15.

Dr. Carter and Ms. Dyer noted that the Board would need to bid the security project funded by the Governor's Safety Grant, since the amount exceeds the purchase limit of $25,000 and the vendor that was originally contacted is not under an approved state wide contract. Dr. Carter further applauded Sheriff Breeding and the 911 Office including Ms. Marty Smith for “spotting an intruder in one of the schools about 4:00 A.M.”

Ms. Dyer and Dr. Carter offered a balanced school budget to the Board. Some $80,000 in Chrome Books as well as $50,000 in transportation were cut from the SB141 in order to achieve this result. Ms. Dyer stated that this budget is based on the current BEP Proposal sent in April. Both believe that BEP Funds will increase by June when the final BEP funding projection arrives. In any event, Ms. Dyer said that there was an alternate plan to fund the chrome books if the increase does not occur. She stated that funds could be moved from SB177 if necessary. Dr. Carter expressed gratitude to Ms. Dyer and her staff for doing all of the budgets, not just the School Board. Dr. Carter also individually thanked Missy Brown for her efforts to oversee the day to day school finances and commended her on her knowledge of the budget operations. Gerald Smith (7th District) said that he thought Ms. Dyer and this kind of handling of finances was the “best thing that we have ever done”. Ms. Dyer and Dr. Carter also explained that the actual amount of projects for SB177 was $791,000 but some two million was budgeted due to some FY 19 projects not being completed until FY2020.

Brad Griffey (2nd District) recommended that the UCHS Softball Field be named in honor of Lance Lay. Mr. Griffey cited Mr. Lay's record of excellence not just in win/loss but also in district, regional, and state tournaments. He stated that Mr. Lay works concessions alongside players and parents at UT Football Games to raise money for the team. He also noted that Mr. Lay attends social functions, even baptisms, to show support for his girls on the team.

Marty Gibbs (1st district) was unable to attend the meeting, so Dr. Carter related his concern regarding the transporting of athletic teams by school bus. Dr. Carter said that he hoped the Board could begin a conversation and discussion regarding how to fund bus transportation to away games as well as how to determine which sports to transport and from which schools. As an example, the transportation cost for football is $8,000 to $12,000 per year. Title IX requires that sports be treated equitably without discrimination. Dr. Carter noted that the boy’s basketball team cannot be transported and not provide a bus for the girls basketball team. Mr. Holt also mentioned that bus drivers were needed. Dr. Carter said that coaches need to look at getting CDL's (Commercial Driver's License) and wished more teachers would also. “I would love to have every teacher have a CDL. Then I would never have to want for a bus driver again”, he exclaimed.

The Ground Lease with the Union County Historical Society was discussed. Andrew Reed (6th), who missed the April Board Meeting called Dr. Carter and inquired if the Board had taken action or changed its position on a guard rail at the Union County Museum. When Dr. Carter told him the guardrail was not on the agenda nor discussed, Mr. Reed informed Dr. Carter that a guardrail had been erected. Dr. Carter related that he traveled to the museum and took pictures of the guardrail and sent them to Ms. Mary Ann Stackhouse, the Board's attorney. According to Andrew Reed, the Board met a year ago and agreed not to put up a guardrail. “We agreed to do nothing, said Mr. Reed. There were two conflicting surveys and they were supposed to work together until this was settled.” According to Mr. Reed, the Historical Society was to make no modification without the Board's approval and he stated that he felt the Board had been disrespected by going around and there should be some legalities, too.

Dr. Carter explained that the Board had not seen two different surveys. Mr. Dyer, the business owner, said that he had a survey that was different from the survey which the Union County Historical Society purchased and paid for with its own funds.

Mr. Reed continued by asserting that the guardrail was blocking access to the residences by emergency vehicles and the residents themselves. Ms. Stackhouse stated that according to the ground lease, the Historical Society had no right to put up a guardrail saying, “I don't know if it was a unilateral executive decision or one made by the Board.”

Danny Wayne Collins (5th District) inquired if Ms. Stackhouse could send a letter. Ms. Stackhouse responded that she could. But she also stated that she told Dr. Carter that the lease was made until 2066 at which time both Dr. Carter and she would be deceased. Ms. Stackhouse further explained that she was also concerned that the Board may not be a named insured which would allow the Board to declare the lease in material default. Then the Board could renegotiate a four (4) year lease as is the current law for contracts. She then requested to send two letters: one on the guardrail and the other on the insurance and suggested 10 days to remove the guardrail or the Board would remove it and send the Society a bill. Some Board members commented that it did not take long to put it up, so could it not be removed sooner. Mr. Reed and Mr. Collins asked who would fix the holes and Ms. Stackhouse answered that since the Historical Society had damaged the property, they would have to fix it back. Mr. Collins said that he had talked to Greg Dyer and Mr. Dyer has no ill feeling toward the Board, that Mr. Dyer just thought “we had an agreement”, and that the Society had come over and asked him to sign so they could use his property to park cars during an event cause they don't have enough parking.

In response to Mr. Collins and an agreement, Ms. Stackhouse stated that the minutes indicated, “Frankly, the Board would do nothing”. Discussion then ensued on the width of the drive between the building and the guardrail as well as the wording of the letter.

Dr. Carter turned to another matter about vacation days and when they could be used. A new policy is causing confusion in that some employees accrue one vacation day a month but the policy states that they must accrue 6 days before any can be taken. Dr. Carter suggested that the wording be deleted and employees take days as they are accrued until a statement regarding a probationary period can be inserted.

The Workshop was completed and the Board meeting began.

The agenda was approved. No one from UCEA addressed the Board. No special recognition and the TSBA Planning Workshop was the only announcement. The consent agenda was approved. Budget amendments passed on a roll call vote. Contracts with HDS and Grace Rehab were approved. Permission to bid out the camera project was approved.

The UCHS Softball Field was named in honor of Lance Lay on a voice vote of a motion and seconded by Mr. Griffey and Mr. Moore. The second reading of Board Policies passed. The first reading of the Attendance Policy 6.204 changes passed. The 2020 Consolidated Application for Federal Funding was approved on a motion and seconded by Mr. Collins and Mr. Reed.

Ms. Stackhouse requested clarification that two letters would be sent to the Union County Historical Society. The letter on the guardrail would state that the guardrail should be removed forthwith, the property fixed, and if this is not done then the Board would remove the guardrail and invoice the Society. The other letter would be for the insurance. Dr. Carter asked if both letters could be done in one motion. Ms. Stackhouse agreed. Andrew Reed moved and Danny Wayne Collins seconded the motion to send both letters. Approval was by voice vote.

Two items were in the Addendum. Vacation Days will be taken as accrued. The 2020 Budget passed on a motion and second by Mr. Collins and Mr. Griffey with a roll call vote.

The next School Board Meeting will be Thursday, June 13, at UCHS.

Board of Education sends workers to remove guardrail.

Union County Public School maintenance worker repairs holes left by recently removed guardrail.

Union County Public School maintenance worker repairs holes as guardrail is removed by order of the Board of Education.



KidsSight Outreach

A great deal of childhood early learning occurs through the eyes. Healthy vision is important for children’s early development. Lions Club KidSight’s screenings detect vision problems early. The program helps parents get their children treatment before it’s too late to avoid the permanent vision loss that can result from some eye conditions.

Agent Represents Union County 4-H at Statewide Showcase in Nashville

TSU Agent Ann Ramsey represents Union County 4-H in Nashville, TN

4-H Youth Development Agent Ann Ramsey represented Union County in middle Tennessee earlier this month when she attended the Agent Showcase and Small Farm Expo on the main campus of Tennessee State University (TSU). The two-day event, which was held September 6th-7th in Nashville, Tennessee, was the 19th annual Small Farm Expo and the first time a Union County 4-H Agent participated. Ms.

Grill Master Challenge – Accepted!

Senior Grill Team members Shelby Adkins and Gracie, Jeremiah, and Jonathan Tindell show off their first and second place prizes for winning the Grill Master Challenge in Maryville, TN.

The Union County Senior Outdoor Meat Cookery Team strutted their stuff at the Eastern Region 4-H Grill Master Challenge held on Tuesday, September 19, in Maryville, Tennessee. Sporting new team shirts and armed with aprons and tongs, they fired up their charcoal grills as the competition kicked off midday at the Blount County 4-H office. Teams from counties all across East Tennessee crowded the grounds with their tents and grills and entourages of coaches and sponsors, vying to earn bragging rights as the best grillers in four categories: beef, pork, chicken, and lamb.

Gardening Class Offered Mondays in October

The October 23 class will highlight flowers

Welcome Home to your Tennessee Garden
Join the Union County Extension Office for our new Fall Garden Series every Monday in October from 4-5:30 pm. These classes will take place at our office location: 2721 Maynardville Hwy, Maynardville in the historic Fred Booker Building between Guided by Grace and Union Nutrition.

Strengthen The Core

It’s good, of course, to keep all your muscles strong and limber. But the strength of the body’s core — the muscles in your belly and mid- and lower back — is one of the keys to long term health and stability as you grow older.

A Dollar of Gas

The older I become, the more I realize just how much I am like my Papaw E.O. Both of us are awkward, we have the oddest experiences, and we love to tell our stories to others.
There was this one story that made papaw laugh when he told it. It happened to him in the early 1970s. At this time, he and his friend Mr. J were on the board of directors for a local insurance company. They were required to wear suits when they attended the board meetings and they usually rode together.

Patiently Impatient

On most Saturdays I am not obligated to do anything other than mow my yard or “piddle” around the house. One such Saturday I was hauling my trash to throw away. There was a lot of stuff that could only be placed in a “big” dumpster.
It just so happened on that particular day there were two men, each with a truck, also depositing into the “big” dumpsters. It seemed both had already thrown their trash away, but they were in the lot, talking at great length to each other, just exactly in position to block my access to get rid of my own junk.

Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

I like a moist cookie. Crisp ones are good for dunking, but I don't do that. Give me a moist cookie anytime. In mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in oatmeal. Chill in fridge for 1 hour.

Water Witching, a Time-Honored Mountain Tradition

Water witching is an old mountain tradition still in use today.

I’ve heard of water witching all my life and heard many a story about people doing it successfully. I even played around with it some with interesting results that I’ll share later. It perked my curiosity enough to learn more about the topic.
Water witching, also referred to as dowsing or divining, is the art of locating a good underground source of water that is reasonably close to the surface to make digging a well easier and less expensive.

NLPA Norris Lake Cleanup

The Norris Lake Protection Alliance “NLPA” organized a lake cleanup project on September 10th and 11th. Working in conjunction with Norris Lake Project “NLP”, the NLPA continues to make a positive difference for all who enjoy Norris Lake. The Team of 26 volunteers donated their time, boats, fuel, and trucks to remove trash from Norris Lake. The effort was focused in four locations: Dollar Island, Gull Island, the shore area of Chuck Swan across from Sunset Bay and Island 23.

Millions at high risk for vision loss

One of my memories of elementary school was thinking I was just not very smart. In 1st 2nd and 3rd grades, I was having trouble understanding things that the other students seemed to grasp. Most of the class instruction in the mid-1950’s was done on a blackboard. We used worksheets to show our comprehension of what was being taught. I was not doing well. I was struggling to see the world around me. At some point in the 3rd grade our school had a vision screening. My parents were advised that I needed an eye exam. Mom took me to the ophthalmologist for a vision test.

Age With Grace And Health

We are living longer and, if you play your cards right and have taken care of yourself, this is a wonderful thing. Good genes certainly help, but healthy lifestyle practices are just as important in continuing to live a productive life. Here are some tips the American Chiropractic Association recommends for aging with grace and health:

Rock of Ages

Have you ever had an eye-opening experience? I did when I was thirteen years old. That’s when one I went on a day trip to Cades Cove with my friend and her family. Early that Saturday morning we all piled into her parents’ van. I love the Smokey Mountains, so I was very excited.

Puff Pastry Pumpkins

I am always looking for a special cookie for the Fall season. Here is an easy one. Cute, too. In large bowl, combine pumpkin purée, brown sugar and maple flavoured syrup. Next, roll out 2 sheets of thawed frozen puff pastry. Cut out shapes using 3 inch pumpkin cutter


A Katydid's familiar chirping at night is a sign that Fall is on its way.

It’s hard to spot Katydids because they are so well camouflaged. But anyone who sits on their porch on a late summer’s night has enjoyed hearing their “katy did….katy didn’t” song, along with their chirping cousin, the cricket.

Union County Senior Attends Boys State

Each state in the United States (except Hawaii) holds an annual educational learning camp called Boys State. Boys State is among the most respected and selective government service educational programs. This is an annual forum, conceived 1935 by the American Legion to teach civic training. It has been going strong ever since and has been held at Tennessee Tech since 1965.

Vigil Brings Community Together For International Overdose Awareness Day

Miller's Chapel UMC, beautifully lit up with donated stage lights

Samantha Brantley stood in front of 30 attendees from the community at Miller’s Chapel UMC, with purple lights and beautiful stained-glass windows positioned behind her, and a memorial board in the foyer in front of her. The memorial board displayed some of the many faces and names of people in our community who have been lost to substance use and addiction.

Sharps Chapel Music Festival

The Sharps Chapel Fall Music Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 30th from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Sharps Chapel Community Park. Sharps Chapel has historically held an Annual Octoberfest which hasn’t happened in many years. It feels wonderful to revive a Chapel tradition!

Chiropractic Care And Stress

Managing the stress in your life — and most of us experience stress to one degree or another — is essential to keeping a healthy lifestyle. Stress comes from many directions and makes itself known in a variety of ways. It might manifest as a headache, tight muscles, nausea or back pain.

Painted Spider

I am rather proud of myself. Recently, I dealt with one of my biggest fears. Wait a minute, make that two of them.
It started with the renovating of our back deck. As you may know, we have been working on it for quite some time. If we want to get technical about it, Tim and I actually rebuilt the uncovered section. After we replaced the floor joists and the skirt boards, it was time to lay down the new floor. At first this made me a little antsy since the deck is about 10 feet high. As you probably know, I have a fear of falling.

We Call It ?????

I remember when I was a kid in the 1970s and 1980s there was a Mazola Corn Oil commercial. I searched Google to see if I could find that old commercial.
I was, of course, successful, and I learned some things that I had forgotten, and other things that I did not know.

Depression: Childhood Games

During the Great Depression, kids had few resources outside of their imagination and old-timey games from a long ago era. My two brothers and myself had no outside resources until I began school. Then the world opened up. We played games in the school yard during recess time and inside when it rained.

Pork Chop Stew

You don't usually think of pork chops in the same sentence as "Stew," but here it is. Preheat oven to 350 F. In skillet over medium heat, brown pork chops. Add salt, pepper and poultry seasoning to taste. When browned on both sides remove from skillet and place in 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

Fall Tree Planting

Fall is a good time to plant trees but do your homework and pick the right tree for the right spot

While spring is the traditional season to plant trees and shrubs, fall may be better. The soil is still fairly warm on into December, and it gives the tree a chance to rest and get well settled into the soil before the spring growth spurt. The following are a few guidelines on choosing and planting trees.

School board reports on construction projects

The Union County Board of Education shared tentative timelines for school building projects at its August board meeting and workshop.
According to Chairman Marty Gibbs, the new middle school is on track to be bid in the spring of 2024, to begin construction in the summer of 2024, to be completed in the spring of 2026, and to open to students in August of 2026. Chairman Gibbs noted that the wings had been rotated 90 degrees to allow for expansion and the sports fields had been relocated on the site.

Operation Christmas Child Area-Wide kicks off

Have you ever wanted to meet a shoebox recipient? To experience first-hand the life-changing power of a simple shoebox gift when sent in Jesus' name?
Well, here's your chance.
Join us at Milan Baptist Church in Maynardville on September 9, 4 to 6 p.m., for our Project Leader Weekend OCC Area-Wide Kickoff Event. You have an amazing opportunity to hear from and meet in-person shoebox recipient Evangeline from the Philippines.

The biggest small farm this town has ever seen

"From the unique & rare Meishan to the tried & true American Guinea Hog, we have quite the collection of heritage breed hogs for you to meet and greet during your farm tour."

From Connecticut to the hills of Union County, Tennessee, Olivia Hill and her husband have settled into a slice of serenity.
While this serenity has come with challenges and is an ongoing work in progress, the Hills are ecstatic to share their slice with the community.

Take A Walk

Walking may be, pound for pound, the most accessible, beneficial and inexpensive form of exercise available. The American Chiropractic Association recommends it as a way to stay fit.

Thinking outside the box

I usually don’t brag on my own work, but this article surely must be a good one. At least it was that good. How do I know? My computer “ate” it just as I was copying it to a jump drive. Let’s see if I can re-create it and make it even better.
I was going into the men’s bathroom at work a few weeks ago when a sign to the left caught my eye: Meals And Memories Are Made Here

Hamilton Cemetery Association Gathering is September 16

“The Gathering of the Generations” is planned for September 16, with a welcome and general information to begin at the Union County Museum and Genealogical Library at 3824 Maynardville Hwy, in historic Maynardville at 11:30 a.m.
For those those folks who may be traveling from other parts of the country, Maynardville is the home of Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Kenny Chesney, Lois Johnson, and Carl Smith ...

Veggie Salad

Here is a good salad to make for a holiday meal. Of course, it is delicious anytime. You should have everything in your pantry. It's cheap to make, easy and tasty. Put first six ingredients in large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients, except salad greens, and add to first mixture. Toss well. Chill overnight before using. Drain and serve plain as a relish or on greens for a salad. Makes about 1 quart. Mixture will keep several days in the fridge. Drain only amount required for each meal.

Granddaughter Trophy

Do you remember the first prize you ever won? I do.
When I was very small, I played a game at a birthday party. Somehow, I won the prize, which was a kaleidoscope. I couldn’t believe it. In fact, I tried to give it back to them. When they finally convinced me it was mine to keep, I was absolutely thrilled. Let me tell you, I liked the feeling of winning that prize.

And such were some of you

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
[10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
[11] And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

From Elvis to Rap

Here it is September again. Again, the nights are cooler with warm afternoons. It’s now dark at 6:30 a.m. as the days get shorter with nights getting longer. Time is marching toward fall and then winter.
The kids are back in school, terrorizing the teachers and waiting for fall break. The school buses are loaded to the brim as there’s a shortage of school bus drivers. Knox County started school in August with a shortage of 31 drivers. Less drivers/more kids means problems for bus contractors. Many contractors have to combine different loads to be able to get the kids home. So parents, allow a little leeway for the bus drivers.

Forestry is a big deal

Many consider forestry to only mean growing trees to cut for lumber, and in the old days that was true. But the forest is much more than a place to produce wood fiber and it has multiple uses it can be managed for. Many of these uses can be managed simultaneously with proper planning.
Here is a list of the major uses.

Our trip to Hawaii and Maui

Leaving for my trip on September 4, I took the long drive to Atlanta’s famous Hartsfield International Airport. (A local wit said that on the way to hell one now has to pass thru Hartsfield International Airport.) After 8 hours and 40 minutes in the air, this non-stop flight finally landed at Honolulu International Airport!

Cherokee Spirit Mustang Rescue and Equine Refuge

Molly May Mule and Autumn

Right here in Union County is a family deeply involved in Mustang rescue. Loretta Morris and her teenagers Ariana and Ayden have prevented these horses from being shipped to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. The Morrises care for these animals on a daily basis. Today, there is a total of 52 Mustangs, donkeys, mules, and mulestangs (part mule and part Mustang). Some arrive at the Cherokee Spirit Mustang Rescue in Washburn fairly healthy, while others are in need of extra care, nutrients and feed.

Frozen Shoulder

‘Frozen shoulder’ is a term sometimes used loosely in connection with any type of persistent shoulder pain. But specifically it is the loss of arm movement at the shoulder joint.

The shoulder is the part of the body that is the third most common subject for chiropractic treatment, the lower back and the neck being the two most common. Frozen shoulder can be brought on by the trauma of a fall or car accident, or it may come on gradually as a result of muscle imbalance, overuse and irritation.

Chug a Lug

Have you ever chug-a-lugged a drink? That’s when you turn the drink container up and guzzle it down as fast and as noisily as you can.
Unless I was playing ball on a hot summer day, I wasn’t allowed to chug -a-lug a drink. Why? If you have ever read any of my articles, you know that my family was and still is very steeped in southern etiquette. Part of that was how you ate and drink. For one, you didn’t make any unnecessary noises such as smacking your lips or slurping. When somebody (usually me) slipped up and did that at the table, they were met with scowls and an uncomfortable silence. That experience stayed with me for years. That is until I was carrying my daughter Sara.


This past year, I have been watching a lot of reruns on television. Two that come to mind are Perry Mason and Johnny Carson. I enjoy seeing the actors of that era performing. I usually study the credits to see who else I remember.

Cheesy Pizza Bread

This bread snack goes well with pizza and just about anything else. Spaghetti, for instance. Add more garlic, if you like. Prepare pizza crust according to package directions. Pat onto a 12 inch round pizza pan. In small bowl combine melted margarine, garlic, Italian seasoning and seasoned salt. Brush onto prepared crust. Sprinkle generously with cheese.

The House That Saved the South

Who knew the lowly outhouse would improve the southern
economy in the early 1900s.

Let me warn you that this story is not for the squeamish. Way back in 1908 the millionaire John D Rockefeller wanted to make still more money, but most of his markets were saturated, so he began looking at the southern United States as an untapped marketplace. But there was a problem…the South’s economy was lousy. The people were illiterate, dirt poor, and were perceived as lazy. Farms weren’t fully operational, and the economic engine seemed to be turned off.

UC Humane Society fundraiser ride is Sept. 9

Riders at Veterans Overlook 2016. Photo by Laurie Oppel

Calling all motorcyclists to “Ride like an Animal” in the Annual Union County Humane Society Motorcycle Ride.
This year marks the 16th annual motorcycle ride to raise funds for the humane society.
The Union County Humane Society is a no fee animal shelter for unwanted or abandoned pets. The shelter also provides a low cost spay, neuter and vaccine clinic. Alongside these services, they work closely with local law enforcement to assist in animal-related issues across the county.

Passionate Pickin' at the Opry

Tim Shelton Syndicate played and sang with passion and emotion at the Union County Opry on August 5, 2023. The band opened with a fast paced song from their debut album titled Ain't got No Woman with Shelton carrying the melody. They followed with Middle Age Crazy by Jerry Lee Lewis. Then covered songs by Ralph Stanley and the Stanley Brothers. Joe Booher nailed Killin in Griffin and proceeded to wow the audience with his mandolin picking throughout the performance. Jr. Williams, who played guitar and banjo, owned Roving Gambler.

UCBPA enjoys informative programs

Sharon Hudson from the Red Cross speaks to the UCBPA.

Union County Business & Professional Association has enjoyed a variety of speakers at its meetings this spring and summer.
In August, Sharon Hudson, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of East Tennessee, shared the mission and services of the nonprofit. Hudson stated that besides disaster relief, the Red Cross operates an international blood bank that specializes in the storage of rare blood. She noted that the bank has been used in not only recent tornadoes and storms but also in Ukraine.

Plainview passes dwelling ordinance

Plainview Mayor Gary Chandler and Alderman Gordon Bright study Ordinance #157 regarding dwellings in Plainview.

The Plainview Board of Aldermen passed Ordinance 157 to establish a minimum dwelling size and prohibit recreational vehicles as permanent dwellings on first reading at its August meeting.

Try Oakleaf Lettuce To Avoid Icebergs As You Sail Into Fall Garden Season

The chef type of oakleaf lettuce named ‘Salanova’ will bring a sophisticated gourmet touch to your table. Photo courtesy of Natalie Bumgarner.

This fall would be a great time to take another look at lettuce and experiment with some new options in your fall garden. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is the vegetable cousin in one of the largest ornamental plant families, Asteraceae. As the third most consumed fresh vegetable in the United States, it hardly flies under the radar for gardeners. However, lettuce often doesn’t get the love it deserves because many gardeners may feel limited to leaf types if they have struggled with the more challenging iceberg or romaine lettuces. If that is you, this is the year to check out beautiful oakleaf lettuces that can be a tasty, productive and unique crop.

UT Extension Assists with Farmers Market Development

Owner of Kelley’s Berry Farm at the 12 South Farmers Market after selling out of berries on a market day in June was excited to hold a copy of the new publication in which he is featured. Photo by R. Painter, courtesy UTIA.

New Publication Now Available Online

KNOXVILLE- Tenn. –- Although National Farmers Market Week is coming to a close, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture reminds all those managing farmers markets and vendors who participate in direct sales that resources are available all year long through UT Extension.


Authors Guild of Tennessee

The Authors Guild of Tennessee (AGT) will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 11:00 am at the Faith Lutheran Church in Farragut. Social time and book exchange begins at 10:30. Published authors are invited to attend. AGT is now accepting applications for associate membership from authors who have written a book but are not yet published. Serious authors only. In the event of inclement weather, check the AGT Website for updates and information:

Reverse Raffle Deadline Approaches !

Have you purchased your Reverse Raffle ticket yet?? You better hurry! The drawing is scheduled for Saturday June 17th. Third prize is $500, second prize is $1000. And the Grand Prize winner will receive $2000! The proceeds from the ticket sales support the Lions Club excellent humanitarian projects. And you can help by purchasing a ticket. Tickets for this Reverse Raffle are only $10 each and are available from Ronnie Mincey at 865-278-6430 or Shirlee Grabko at 865-310-6874.

Story Thyme

Hey everybody, I will be at the Farmer's Market this Saturday for Story Thyme. It will begin around 10AM. I will be reading out of my book: "Dinosaur Eggs." Hope to see you there.

Fellowship Christain Church Fall Festival is Oct. 14

FCCLTN Church Logo

Come join with us in fellowship at our outdoor fall festival on October 14, 2023, at Fellowship Christian Church in Luttrell.
Chairs may be limited so feel free to bring your own to enjoy the gospel singing from 3 until 6 p.m., and the free food will be served from 4 until 6 p.m. or while supplies last.
We’ll also have games and fun activities for the children and antique cars for the adults.

Pickin' in the Park

Photo by C.S. HIGHTOWER PHOTOGRAPHY Submited by Norris Dam State Park

There is nothing quite like a fall October evening spent outdoors enjoys natures beauty while enjoying the good sound of music in the background, the smell of food in the air and meandering through the fine displays of craft and artisan booths.
The 15th Annual Pickin’ in the Park event will be held this year on Friday, October 6th from 5:30-9:30 at Shelter # 2 located on the East Side of Norris Dam State Park.
This year’s line-up will include Sleepy-Eyed John’s, The Real McCoy’s, and Ethan Ferguson.

8th Annual Clays for Children Sporting Clays Tournament Upcoming on October 6 and 7, 2023

The Office of District Attorney General Jared Effler, in partnership with the Children's Centers of Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott and Union Counties, will be hosting the 8th Annual Clays for Children Sporting Clays Tournament on Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7, 2023 at Iron Mountain Sporting Clays in Kodak, TN. The purpose of this event is to raise funds to support the Children’s Centers as they serve abused and neglected children.


Glenn Paul Buckner

Glenn Paul Buckner-age 83 of Maynardville passed away Sunday, September 24, 2023, at home. He was a retired employee of Dempster Brothers, Knoxville. As long as his health permitted, he loved hunting and fishing, baseball and football along with U.T. sports. Preceded in death by his parents, Troy E. and Ruby (Cox) Buckner; sister, Susie Cooke; brother, Allen Buckner.

Alvin Glen Brock

Alvin Glen Brock-age 84 of Washburn born March 29, 1939, passed away peacefully Monday September 25, 2023, at his home. He was a member of Pennington Chapel Baptist Church. Alvin was a retired employee of Kroger’s in Halls. Preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Lois Brock; son, Ray Brock; sister, Ruby Idol; brother, Raymond Brock; grandson, Anthony Brock.

Justin Taylor Brown

Justin T. Brown-age 34 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, September 23, 2023, at UT Hospital after a lingering illness of pulmonary hypertension. Justin had a big heart and loved animals, especially Blue. Preceded in death by his mother, Tammy Brown; grandparents, Charles and Sheila King, Billy Brown.

He is survived by his father, Michael (Shannon) Brown; brother, Corey (Carol) Brown; grandmother, Donna Brown; best friend, Randy and Jennifer Lambert and many uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins along with all of his fraternity brothers and sisters at LMU.

Jeffrey Jackson Bailey

Jeffrey Jackson Bailey-age 40 of Maynardville passed away Thursday, September 21, 2023, at Fort Sander’s Regional Medical Center. He was a graduate of Union County High School, Class of 2001. Preceded in death by wife, Tabitha (Dunbar) Bailey; grandparents, Lee and Margaret Bailey; Willard Selvey, uncle, Billy Joe Bailey.

Sonny Hensley

Sonny Hensley-age 65 of Corryton passed away Sunday, September 17, 2023, at U.T. Medical Center. He was a member of Heavenly View Missionary Baptist Church, Knoxville where he was a faithful member. Preceded in death by his parents, Verline and Ruth Hensley; son, Douglas Hensley; great grandson, Tyler Nuchols; brothers, Wayne Hensley, Kenneth Hensley; nephews, Chad Sayne, Jimmy Beason; niece, Brenda Sharp.

David William Douthit

David William Douthit-age 24 of Luttrell passed away suddenly Thursday, September 14, 2023, at his home. He was a follower of Jesus and went home to be with Him. Preceded in death by grandfather, William Craigo; uncle, Stan Douthit.

Paul "Tony" Anthony Harrell

Paul Anthony “Tony” Harrell-age 67 of Corryton passed away peacefully at his home while surrounded by his family, Friday, September 15, 2023. He was a member of Little Flat Creek Baptist Church. He was a retired employee of the City of Knoxville. Preceded in death by his father, Samuel Carson Harrell, Sr.; mother, Barbara Sue (Lee) Harrell; brother, Samuel Carson Harrell, Jr.

Vicky Lynn Westbrook

Vicky Lynn Westbrook-age 63 of Tazewell passed away Thursday, September 14, 2023 at her home. She was born in Tacoma, Washington and resided in Michigan for most of her life and recently moved to Claiborne County, to be with her son and daughter-in-law. She attended Midway Baptist Church, New Tazewell. She spent most of her life working as a C.N.A. and caring for other people. Preceded in death by her parents, Gerald and Leona Vogelsong; daughter, Candy Koob; nephew, Jason Vogelsong; grandson, Bretten Allen; brother, Roger Vogelsong; sister, Susan Martinez.

Barbara Witt

Barbara Jane (Blackburn) Witt – age 81 of Andersonville, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family September 13, 2023. She was of the Baptist faith.

Rickey Wayne Hunter

Rickey Wayne Hunter-age 67 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at his home. He was a former employee at Huttig Sash & Door. Preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Minnie Paul Hunter; stepdaughter, Mesha Young; brother, Larry Hunter.

Larry Kenneth Pursiful

Larry Kenneth Pursiful-age 82 of Knox County, TN passed away Friday, September 8, 2023 at Claiborne Medical Center. He was born March 23, 1941 in Harlan, Kentucky. He was of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by parents, Oscar and Georgie Violet (Peace) Pursiful; son, Kenny Ray Pursiful; brothers, Roger, Jimmy and Sonny Pursiful; sisters, Wanda Leforce, Donna Pursiful.

Rhonda Hayes

Rhonda Lynn Hayes – 53 of Maynardville, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at her home. Although she struggled with addiction for most of her life, Rhonda had the biggest heart and loved to laugh. She professed faith in Jesus Christ at an early age, and the family is taking comfort in knowing she will not be fighting this battle anymore.

Dyllen Fagg

Dyllen Ray Fagg – age 27, passed away suddenly and will be forever missed by so many, especially his family. He was the funniest, most loving man you could ever meet. His quick wit and kind heart made him loved by everyone. Dyllen was a very loyal, compassionate, thoughtful and loving father, son, grandson, brother, fiancé, uncle, nephew and cousin.

Willis Douglas Warwick

Willis Douglas (Dud) Warwick-age 87 of Andersonville went to be with the Lord Thursday evening, August 31, 2023 at his home while surrounded by his family. He was a life long resident of the Big Ridge (Blue Mud) community. He worked as a plumber for over 40 years. He loved farming and spending time with his family, especially his grandson and great-grandchildren. He loved his church and church family at Hines Creek Baptist Church where he had been a member for many years and had a perfect attendance in Sunday School for 35 consecutive years.

Drake Logan Washam

Drake Logan Washam – age 30 of Luttrell, passed away suddenly August 29, 2023. He loved to fish and enjoyed woodworking and gardening.

He is preceded in death by brother, Colby Washam. Drake is survived by parents, Gary and Janice Washam; grandparents, Norman and Rose Wallace; brothers, Jordan (Paige) Washam; Frankie (Crystal) Wallace, Lucas Wallace and Markus Wallace; and nephew, Alexander Washam.

Linda Darlene Bays

Linda Darlene Bays-age 77 of Maynardville passed away peacefully Thursday, August 31, 2023 at Willow Ridge Center, Maynardville. She was of the Church of God faith. She was born October 13, 1945 in Lilbourn, Missouri and a graduate of Lilbourn High School, class of 1964. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. Preceded in death by parents, Virgil and Beulah Earnheart; sisters, Rebecca Sisk, Virgie Bailey; brother, Will Earnheart; step-children, Angela Pollard, Dave Childress, Jerry Childress.

Ella McCurry

Ella Claire McCurry – age 20 months, passed away suddenly August 29, 2023. She always was happy and could make anyone smile no matter what, with a personality that could light up a whole room. Ella loved music and loved to dance. She loved to run and play with her big sisters. Ella was perfect in every way.

She is survived by parents, Robert “Bob” and Rebecca McCurry; sisters, Shiloh, Olivia, and Loretta; Grandparents, Reverend Robert McCurry, Sr. and Sandra; and Martin and Barbara Green; uncle and aunt, Dustin and Melissa Welch; and cousins, Eli, Lucas, Seth and Levi Welch.

Francis A. "Frankie" Vallone, II

Francis A. Vallone, II (Frankie)-age 49 of Luttrell passed away Wednesday, August 30, 2023. Frankie was saved a few months ago and was of the Christian faith, his words were “I’m me, I’m real and I’ve turned my life around 380 degrees, I work and am now getting the things I gave up back.” He was a graduate of West High School, Class 1992. Frankie worked in the music industry for major musical artists and was an avid Ford Mustang lover. Preceded in death by grandparents, Luigi and Ruth Vallone; mother, Wilma Vallone; sister, Wendy Vallone