Commission discusses business, refugee resettlement, mayor's goals

Commissioners Present: Jeffrey Brantley, Danny Cooke, Bill Cox, Earl Cox, Gary England, Dawn Flatford, Kenny Hill, Janet Holloway, Sidney Jessee, Jr., R. L. Jones, Larry Lay, and Becky Munsey
Commissioners Absent: Jeff Chesney, Debra Keck, Joyce Meltabarger and Jody Smith
- Notaries approved: Shannon Brooks, Elbra Davis, Jennifer Helms, Travis Patterson, Sheila Ann Rice, Carrie Elizabeth Rule, Teresa Lynn Satterfield, Barbara J. Williams
- County Sheriff's Report by Sheriff Breeding: 826 total calls for service, 9 vehicle accidents with injury, 29 vehicle accidents without injury, total inmates booked 123, released 122, current jail population 100. Breeding shared that regarding the robbery on January 26th at Tollivers Market, suspects are in custody: William Gary Morgan and son Benjamin Gary Morgan, both of Knox County.
- David Cox, Union County Highway Superintendent: Tennessee Road Report for the Year 2020; Motion to approve by England, second by Jessee, approved.
- Ann Dyer, Finance Director:
a. Monthly Finance Report: All departments within the parameters of normal spending, no questions.
b. Budget Amendments & Transfers: General Fund 101 primarily contributions from United Way for the Luttrell and Maynardville libraries, entering from restricted funds into the jail budget, and insurance recovery into the sheriff's budget. Motion to approve by Flatford, second by England, approved.
c. Surplus Fund 118: Ambulance service, and insurance recovery and anticipated increase in patient care charges. Motion to approve by Jones, second by Bill Cox, approved.
d. Annual Debt Report: Fund 122 Drug Fund receiving assets forfeitures from seizures; Motion to approve by Jessee, second by Lay, approved.
e. Fund 131 Highway Fund: Entering insurance recovery funds and transferring funds within the appropriated budget. Motion to approve Holloway, second by Flatford, approved.
f. Fund 141 General Purpose School Fund: Entering insurance recovery funds and miscellaneous refunds from workers’ comp, Walters State dual enrollment funds, and moving money into Pre-K and Gear Up grants to maximize those grants. Motion to approve by Bill Cox, second by Earl Cox, approved.
g. Fund 142 Federal Programs Fund: Moving sums of money around, re-budgeting to cover Title II expenditures, a carryover from FY19 budget, and sub-fund 901 transferring to increase speech pathologist hours. Motion to approve by Holloway, second by Hill, approved.
h. Surplus Equipment: Election registrar's non-operable printer, Luttrell library 1 printer and 5 computer desks, and jail 5 office chairs. Motion to approve by Lay, second by Jessee, approved.
i. 2020 Annual Debt Report: Net debt 5.5 million, 292 per capita. 2020 is the last year of high school and ambulance service debts. UC sales tax rate is higher than Knox County's, receipts are approximately 10% of Knox.
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program Resolution: The essence of this resolution is that Union County will take advantage of 3-star status and apply for up to $420,000 in federal funding with local matching 11% for a total project total not to exceed $471,910. This grant request is for fire service improvements. Mayor Bailey shared that although we did not receive the last CDBG grant we applied for, we did learn how close we came. Grant funding is done on a scoring basis, and the top ten scores receive funding. Union County's score placed UC at 11. The fire chiefs voted to determine which department would get the new fire truck and decided on Northeast Union, with the remaining funds being divided among all fire departments. Motion to approve by Holloway, second by Jessee, approved.
- Resolution Concerning Refugee Resettlement – Sponsored by Commissioner Brantley: Per Brantley, this is based on the framework of a similar resolution proposed and passed by Loudon County. The essence of this letter to the governor is that Union County is unable to meet the needs of the refugees due to our citizens already struggling financially. The premise is that accepting unskilled, non-English speaking refugees will cost the county in many ways: SNAP (food stamps), Cash benefits, increased need for jails, and second language teachers. There is also the concern that incoming refugees would carry TB. Citing Germany's experience, Brantley asserts that these refugees could be more successfully resettled in neighboring Middle Eastern countries. Brantley proposes that the county commissioners request that the governor either:
1. Retract his consent for resettlement in Tennessee, or
2. Declare Union County exempt from the resettlement area.
Brantley stated that under Governor Lee in 2019, refugees have increased by 46%, despite President Trump's emergency executive order to stop refugee resettlement in January 2017. Brantley also cited issues in Venezuela due to refugees and shared that these refugees have already been vetted and rejected by Australia.
Public Comments: Jim Johnson agrees with resolution and urges commissioners to vote in favor of resolution due to the vetting being done by the United Nations instead of by Americans. Johnson supports Governor Lee in many ways and looks forward to great things from him, but disagrees with the governor on this issue. Johnson states that this is not a question of Christianity or sharing our wealth, it's about keeping us safe and our community moving forward. Johnson moved to Union County from Ohio and appreciates his kind welcome here. He cautions that Columbus, Ohio, now has between 45,000 to 60,000 refugees from Somalia and they depend on handouts from the community that cost the community greatly. If the governor wants to help these refugees, he needs to contact the larger counties with greater incomes. Johnson urges commissioners not to think of this as a litmus test for the goodness of your heart, but what is best for our county.
Per an email read by Danny Cooke, Union County is already exempt, the resettlement only applies to the four largest counties in Tennessee. Per David Myers' knowledge, Union County has not received any refugees. Motion to reject by commissioner Lay, seconded by Jessee, approved. Brantley was the only dissenting vote, having cited concerns about being within 50 miles of the resettlement area.
- Resolution Concerning Salary Increase for County Highway Commissioners: which is already within the budget to "…increase the monthly compensation paid to each county highway commissioner by the sum of $250.00…" Motion to approve by England, second by Hill, approved.
- Andrew Reed, Union County EMS Director, shared that the resolutions he is proposing have been reviewed by attorney David Myers. Reed's department tried to do the billing in-house, but it proved to be more than could be done by one person in the EMS office. When his office was previously contracted with EMS Consultants, Union County saw an increase in revenues.
a. Billing Service Agreement between Union County EMS and EMS Consultants, Ltd. Motion to approve by Jones, second by Jessee, approved.
b. Resolution Encouraging the Support of Legislation Which Directs TennCare to Reimburse Ground Ambulance Providers at a Rate Not Less than the Current Medicare Fee Schedule and Adding Funding to the 2020-2021 State Budget: Meaning approximately $200,000 increase in revenue for Union County. Motion to approve by Flatford, second by England, approved.
- Addendums:
a. Resolution for Delinquent Property Tax Sale/Epperson "…239 Hogskin Road, Washburn, Tennessee 37888, at the price of $10,100.00, with closing and payment in full to Union County on or before February 29, 2020…" Of approximately 10 properties identified for sale due to delinquent taxes, the county only received 2 bids on this one piece of property, and the amount listed represents the winning bid. Motion to approve by Cox, second by Hill, approved.
b. Sheriff Breeding sought permission to apply for the Cops Grant, a community-oriented policing grant for two new officers’ salaries and their benefits. This would be a 75/25 split requiring the county to provide 25% of the funding. Currently, Union County has 15 deputies. Motion to approve by Jessee, second by Holloway, approved.
- County Mayor's Report – Mayor Jason Bailey presented three requests to the budget committee:
1. Repairs to the 47-year-old jail, identified by the new jail administrator Steve Rouse. The mayor recommends that the work be bid out, and then maintained by the county maintenance department. The total estimated cost is $80,000.
2. Need to hire two part-time officers (with no benefits, <28 hours per week) to provide security for the courthouse. Union County has three courts but only two courtrooms, sometimes requiring the use of the jury room for the third court. Last month, after court, needles were found in the bathroom. Motion to approve by Holloway, second by Bill Cox, approved.
3. Funding for the Union County Farmers Market to construct a permanent location. The farmers market is currently located at Wilson Park, which is technically on school property. Mayor Bailey suggested applying for a grant for a permanent open-air building on county-owned property. Fund 172 for Industrial and Community Development had existing funds but Union County has this week sold part of the Luttrell Industrial Park to the one business there, for an additional $67,790 for a total in this fund of $142,300.59. In addition to the farmers market, the structure could also be used for open shows, etc. Union County is the only county in our area that doesn't have a permanent location for their farmers market. David Myers advised that we need to do a current survey on this approximately 3-acre lot, and also need to get title insurance on the property, both of which are easy to do. Motion to approve by Jessee, second by Earl Cox, approved. Dawn Flatford and Larry Lay voted against.
- Mayor Bailey added a jail committee meeting on February 25th to the calendar.
- The mayor explained the grant received for a dog park states that if the money is not utilized for its stated purpose by 2021, it will go to the animal shelter. Funds allocated are insufficient to adequately develop the dog park, so at the end of the grant cycle $25,000 grant money will be given to the animal shelter.
- Tennessee Department of Health has a grant UC can apply for recreational fields.
- Capital upgrades for the roof of the finance/library/senior center will begin soon.
- Courthouse interior painting will begin soon.
- Courthouse parking lot and signage to be installed in the spring.
- The community center and park renovations to continue through this summer.
- Union County has recently brought in quite a bit of money through delinquent tax property sales.
- Clearing property on Durham Drive for future use such as the farmers market. The remainder of the property to be developed for sports fields, etc.
- Reminded the county that as mayor, Bailey has the prerogative to declare how the community buildings will be used. He has talked to several people and established rules for the use of community centers. $50/event rental fee, although departments can use the facilities at no charge (for example, neighborhood watch meetings, etc). Bailey presented two special provisions effective February 1, 2020:
a. Use of Cedar Grove Community center for the food pantry will be allowed to continue for $80/month through the end of the fiscal year. Union County will consider allowing the Union County Food Pantry to apply for an in-kind contribution after the food pantry obtains its 501c3 without attachment to a religious organization.
b. Use of Sharps Chapel Senior Center for the Lutheran church will be allowed to continue for $40/week for 2 half days per week, through the end of this fiscal year.
- In the news: Keep Union County Beautiful featured on Channel 10, and Sheriff Billy Breeding on WVLT for work he's done with security in local churches.
- Finance Departments audit with no findings
- Mayor Bailey's top three goals for Union County:
1. Workforce Development: We've been trying for years to get big companies to come here; but first, we need to train our current workforce and the jobs will come. Our citizens need access to secondary education such as TCAT, which currently has a 2-year waiting list. Community colleges would come here if we had a place for them. CTE (Career and Technical Education) Partnership, received a $50,000 grant to help with nursing and automotive classes after school.
2. Community Development: New middle school, and re-purpose old middle school into a community center. Develop Park Road Park in Luttrell to add ball fields and considered as a possible location of the farmers market.
3. Tourism: Need to increase visibility as a tourist destination. Thomas Skibinski, current president of the Chamber of Commerce, has done a great job, and is an out of the box thinker. Ohio is a huge source of visitors to our area. We need to work harder to promote both the lake and our heritage. The Union County Opry is doing a great job. Signage coming from the state for Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, and Lois Johnson; all on the Tennessee Musical Pathways, driving tourists to our area. Baily also wants to use part of our hotel/motel funds for new welcome signs at the four main entrances to the county. Thunder in the Park is a huge success, as is the Heritage Festival; need to add something different for spring and summer. Have a committee of both commissioners and representatives from the school system working together. Also shared Union County vision for the repurposing of the middle school, which could be moved to be utilized by several departments.
The mayor encourages us to be informed, be involved, to be open-minded, and to work together and get things done.
Commissioner Larry Lay requested that we draw up a letter of resolution about Hwy 33, for David Myers to review. Union County is #1 on the list, just waiting for funding.
All reports can be reviewed on the Historic Union County website; they are attached under the live streaming of this meeting.



Circuit Court Clerk on a Mission

Barbara J. Williams, Union County TN Court Clerk

Mission Statement: “Union County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office strives to promote a high standard in the Judicial System as we provide courteous and efficient service to the citizens of Union County, judges, attorneys, law enforcement agencies and all the people having business with the Courts.”

Just a Sewing

It’s a good thing we don’t have to make our own clothes any more. My family and I would be in big trouble. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mom and Mamaw Jo’s ability to sew.
Technically, they were talented seamstresses, especially Mamaw Jo.


In Conclusion

Picture it—church on Sunday morning. The pastor has delivered the points of his message, and the congregation has responded in many ways. Some follow the pastor’s every word, focusing on him intently.

There are others, however, that rarely if ever focus on the Sunday morning sermon. What is going through these people’s minds?

Remorse for a Pigeon

There are times I feel sad that I did not get to see things that are long gone. The American chestnut tree was once the dominant tree in our forest but is now reduced to scattered surviving stump sprouts. The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was once considered the most abundant bird on the planet, with flocks that could darken the sky for days as they migrated. This bird is now only a stuffed animal in the Smithsonian museum.


Baked Fillets and Onions

You wouldn't expect onions to go so well with fish, but it does. Just don't use the onions raw. Fried in butter or margarine until golden brings out a delicate flavor that complements the fish. Of course, a little bacon is always welcome.

UT Extension Union County Brings Afterschool Program to Big Ridge Community

Kelly Irick, Site Director of BRIGHT afterschool program

Kelly Irick, Site Director of BRIGHT afterschool program

Union County is quite a special place when it comes to community recognizing opportunity and making it happen. This year of changes due to Covid-19 has been proof that all the effort Union County, and its organizations, put forth is “one step ahead.” UT Extension Union County has been staying “one step ahead” in a variety of ways during 2020. One example is by bringing an afterschool program to Big Ridge Elementary School for the next 5 years.

An Honorable Profession

Judge Darryl Edmondson

A Butcher, a Baker, a Candlestick Maker…Mother Goose nursery rhymes of yore had youngsters thinking of various professions in a fun and lyrical manner. Then, in the mid-twentieth century, as television entered America’s family rooms, the possibilities were more easily imagined. Wide-eyed kids began to imagine being an Astronaut, a Police Detective, a Rock-n-roll Musician, a Soldier, a Wilderness Explorer, or even President. Honorable Darryl Edmondson, General Sessions Court Judge, was one of those kids.

Wright wins Writing Award

Award-winning author Tilmer Wright

Award-winning author Tilmer Wright

Historic Union County readers know the name Tilmer Wright Jr. from his many interesting and informative articles written for HUC. Wright was recently honored by Reader’s Favorite for his book "The Bit Dance" in its annual international book award contest, winning the Bronze Medal in the Fiction - Science Fiction category.
Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities.

Chiropractic in the military

The very nature of the job puts soldiers at an increased risk for developing chronic pain. The regular demands and stress are often multiplied when a tough-it-out mentality does not seek medical attention until serious, chronic pain results ... and it often does. Cumulative stress, single-event trauma, and surgery are all contributing factors. Although these will likely remain a constant of military service, chiropractic care may be a helpful solution.

The Need for Alternative Treatments

In Suspense

I just shared a Facebook past with a very special classmate of mine from my undergraduate days at Lincoln Memorial University. We were recalling how simple times were then. I was thinking about how smart I thought I was then, and how misguided I was in reality.
I remember a visit I made during my freshman year to the girls’ dormitory lounge. It was the one place in the female dormitory that males were legitimately allowed to visit every day, but only at prescribed hours.

On the Line

It was the one time where you didn’t hide your unmentionables.
As a child, I don’t know how many times we visited somebody else’s home and they had their clothes hanging out on the line. I mainly remember seeing bedsheets and underwear flapping in the wind.


Folks who would like a taste of some wild food ought to get out and hunt persimmons here soon when they get ripe. They are abundant in our area and easy to find in fencerows and woodland edges.

There are many varieties of persimmon trees in tropical areas of the world, but only two in the United States. The one growing here is called "common persimmon" (Diospyros Virginiana), or "possum tree" by some.

Waldorf Salad Plus

Apple picking time will soon be here. There are so many things you can do with apples, from cider to apple pie. Waldorf Salad is an old timey fruit salad. The traditional one had apples, walnuts and celery. This is not a traditional recipe. Back in the day, we didn't buy seedless table grapes or canned pineapple on our limited grocery budget. What a difference seventy years make. Back then it was hard to come up with variety in our diet. Now, Food City carries just about everything and we can afford to make this salad.

Grants fix up Union County, says Mayor Bailey

At one of Mayor Bailey's early commission meetings, he promised to seek as much funding from grants as possible.
True to his word, he requested acceptance of another state grant, the Tourism Enhancement Grant, for $75,000 with a 5% county match of $3,750, at the August Union County Commission meeting. Commissioners eagerly approved the motion and second by Commissioners Bill Cox and Keck along with multiple seconds.

UCEA president says teachers frustrated, worn out, exhausted

When Chairman David Coppock realized that the Union County Board of Education lacked a quorum and would need to postpone the meeting, he called on UCEA President Carolyn Murr to speak during the workshop.
Murr quickly described the current school situation, “Teachers are frustrated, worn out, and exhausted,” she admonished. “ Some are working until 2 a.m. to record lessons and do distance learning after they teach during the day.”

Election Commissioner Debra Viles assures ballots secure

By Laura White and staff
In a recent interview with the Election Commissioner in Union County, Debra Viles explained the process of voting, absentee voting and mail-in voting.
With the upcoming presidential election, many are hearing the arguments that votes are changed or that they weren’t right. As far as Union County goes, something like this happening is nearly impossible, if not actually impossible.

US Census last count day is September 30

By now you may have received the census worker's “knock at your door.” You may also have received a second census form in the mail if you have not already responded. Please respond by mail, by phone or by internet ( If you receive a visit, please cooperate with the census worker.

Entrepreneurial spirit alive and well

Amanda and Jeff Smith in front of their new bright green totes!

There is a new garbage collection service in Maynardville. No matter how much we reduce, reuse and recycle, every household generates waste.
What to do with it is the question.
Introducing Jeffrey and Amanda Smith, the owners of Garbage Buddy, a new trash pickup service that opened on July 6 of this year. The business, officially Smith Sanitation, LLC, is off to a great start, staying busy, and adding customers daily. They already have plans to expand to Grainger, Anderson, and Knox counties, as they are receiving service requests from those areas.

New groomer at Thunder Road Vet

Groomer Mitzi Eiler recently began grooming at the Thunder Road Veterinary Services in Maynardville. Grooming was not something she planned on doing as a career, but a turn of events changed her vocational goals.
The new groomer has been in this profession for nearly 15 years. She began her work here in Union County in April, after working at PetsMart. While working in Oak Ridge (where she’d worked for almost 17 years), Mitzi was taking her pet to be groomed when the opportunity to be trained as a groomer was presented. She took the chance to do something she says she now loves.

Chiropractic treatments for kyphosis

Kyphosis is an excessive forward curvature or “hunch” of the upper spine in older adults.

Your chiropractor may use a type of spinal manipulation—also called a spinal adjustment—to improve joint motion. Spinal manipulation is an active, hands-on treatment, and there are multiple variations of this technique.

Flexion-distraction technique is a gentle, non-thrusting spinal manipulation that is used for people with kyphosis that is associated with degenerative disc disease and/or motion restrictions in the thoracic spine (mid-back).

World War II 75 Anniversary

Jim Heiskell 488th Quartermaster Depot Company
APO 517 United States Army

The second World War officially ended 75 years ago on Sept 2, 1945 — V Day. The documents were signed abord the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
More than 16 million men and women served our nation during World War II. Forty-five thousand gave their lives and 55,000 were wounded.
My uncle Jim Heiskell was one of those who served. Uncle Jim is now passed on but when reviewing some of his belongings I found his military papers along with an article from his unit of the history of the unit.


The decline and fall of the Roman Empire

Trevi Fountain in Rome (1762) made famous by Frank Sinatra’s song, “Three Coins in the Fountain,” (1953). The water was supplied by aqueduct built in first century. photo by F. Sharp

Figure 1
The dramatic phase “the fall of the Roman Empire” is a misnomer and is in fact a shorthand for the long, slow process for the exchange of one lifestyle for another. The Roman Empire had 100 years of peace called the Pax Romana — then the lull before the storm.
(Harrison, 1965) The most pressing problem of the third century was that of imperial succession. During the period of the “good emperors” (A.D. 90-180) each ruler had chosen an able, experienced man to succeed him.

Qualified to be a devil

The Apostle James in his letter says, “faith without works is dead.”
The Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians that salvation is: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Do we have a contradiction in the pages of the Bible? Is James disagreeing with Paul regarding salvation?
At first glance it seems Paul and James do disagree and we have a contradiction, which is often the problem with first glances without knowledge.


Church and my PJS

Just so you’ll know, I didn’t go to church in my PJs. Well not in the sanctuary anyway.
Over the last few years, I have noticed more and more people wearing their PJs out in public. But, I was the most shocked by that during a Christmas concert a few years ago.
When our daughter was attending the University of the Cumberlands, she was in The Cumberland Singers. One Christmas, we went up to hear them sing during the traditional “Hanging of the Greens.” So there we sat in the chapel. I was wearing my “Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes” as was Tim.

Tree mathematics

By Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Confession time: I am not good at math. I use it, it’s great, we went to the moon with it, yada yada.
I don’t think well mathematically and must strive to understand it. But I was amazed to discover that trees use mathematics to arrange their leaves on a twig to optimize their collection of sunlight for the photosynthesis thing.


Misconceptions of incompetence

Ruth Suckow was an early- to mid-twentieth century American writer. She is worth a Google search and a Wikipedia read. One of Ms. Suckow’s short stories, “A Start in Life,” was published in school literature texts during the latter half of the twentieth century.
“A Start in Life” recalls an episode of a poor country girl named Daisy who was “hired out” to work for a well-to-do family that lived a respectable distance from her home. This is both her first time away from home and her introduction to the world of work.

Easy Skillet Tacos

Who doesn't like Tacos or Taco Salad? Try this recipe. If salt is a problem for you, you can limit the salt. These tacos get their flavor from the chili powder and the cumin. If you don't have any taco shells on hand, make your own. Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you. It goes together easily.

Melba Greene - a child of God

Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
1936 was a good year and a bad year. The depression was still raging. The Nazis were being emboldened by the pacifist actions of both Britain and the United States, although the United States had ramped up air and army support against the Japanese military and their savagery in China and Burma. There was peace in the United States and Roosevelt’s programs were improving poverty in most of the U.S. But war clouds swirled.

Union County Farmers Market

If you’re ever looking for produce and fresh vegetable plants, meats, honey, flowers, and yummy baked goods, the Union County Farmers Market is the place to go. Not only will you get a good price for local, wholesome goods, but you get the unique chance to meet the producers too! You can speak with them and learn firsthand how best to prepare or store the goods you are purchasing. And no worries about second-hand items or repackaged things, everything you find at the Union County Farmers Market is first-rate and has been picked or prepared that day, or the day before.

Meet the Union County, Tennessee, County Attorney

David Myers, County Attorney

Whether an elected official or appointed official, there are hundreds of people serving Maynardville and its neighboring communities within Union County in local, county, and state government offices every day. Some carry familiar titles (thanks to fictional TV characters and highly publicized local elections), such as City Commissioner, Mayor, or County Sheriff. There are dozens of other titles, not as commonly known but no less vital, that are given to people who are as dedicated to our communities as high-profile positions.

State Rep. Dennis Powers announces grant to expand broadband in Campbell County

State Rep. Dennis Powers, R- Jacksboro, today announced a $221,516 emergency broadband grant would be awarded to Campbell County through the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund allotment from the federal government.

The grant is part of $61 million in emergency broadband package for 62 projects announced by Gov. Bill Lee last week and distributed by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) to improve access to broadband internet across the state.

Boomers: how to exercise safely

Baby boomers have become increasingly active as they age. One thing to keep in mind is that
when you are 50, you may injure your body more easily than when you were 20. Joints,
tissues and muscles may not be as flexible as they used to be. So as boomers age, they should
take extra steps to protect themselves from injuries when exercising. A little extra stretching
before and after exercise, for example, goes a long way.

Here are some tips to help boomers prevent exercise-related injuries:

Air and Water, the Building Blocks of Trees

When I ask kids why trees are important their number one answer is that they produce oxygen. Plant leaves are solar collectors that take sun energy to produce food through the miracle of photosynthesis, a complex chemical process where carbon dioxide and water are converted to a glucose sugar. This sugar is used for food energy or converted to a starch called cellulose for building the plant’s body (stem, limbs, etc.). In trees we call this wood, something we use a lot of.


How many of us old-timers remember the television theme song to Cheers—“sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name”? Sometimes we are the exact opposite—we want to go where no one knows anything about us.

I received an email today that gave me pause for thought. Some people worry about being in the “in” crowd. That is usually a place I do not crave, as the admission price is sometimes greater than I wish to pay. According to the thoughts expressed in the email, I may have tried, possibly even succeeded, more often that I thought.

Tractor Treat

You would think my papaw’s barn was some kind of tourist attraction.

Whenever any of my cousins or friends came over to play, they usually asked if we could go to the barn. To be honest, I didn’t want to go there. To me it was a stinky place that I tried to avoid.

I even heard stories from my cousins who were my mom’s childhood playmates. And guess what? They all wanted to play in the barn too. Their favorite thing was to jump out of the loft and onto the hay. I have to admit, that does sound like fun, but it’s something my mom would have never let me do.


Making Biscuits

We have had no company since the pandemic begin last spring, that is until Jackie came to spend a week with us. Jackie is married to Anne's brother Brian. They live in Albion, Michigan. She quarantined in place before coming to Tennessee to visit us.

One of the highlights of her visit was our biscuit making project. Jackie can make a decent biscuit. I made biscuits the day after she arrived. She loved them and wanted to know how I made them.


Fried corn cut fresh from the cob is great, but this recipe is prettier and just as tasty. Try it.

4 cups very fresh corn, cut from the cobs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped red peppers
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup, butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste

Union County Plans to Proceed With Sports

With all the new changes going on in the school system due to Covid-19, sports is something I know many are concerned/curious about. It is something some schools have chosen not to do, and some inter-collegiate sports are not being held this semester. Following TMSAA guidelines, Union County Schools are continue their sports, but there will be some things students and fans will find different.

Postmaster Griffey of the USPS Delivers for You

Brad Griffey pictured with wife Laura, son Weston, and daughter Kailyn

You have likely heard a lot of talk in the news lately about the United States Postal Service (USPS), which is an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. Despite the varying opinions and impressions of the USPS, it has always been, and continues to be, a revered and well-regarded institution in the minds of its fellow Americans.

A Very Present Help

I once attended a service at Loveland Baptist Church when Rev. Oliver Wolfenbarger was pastor. He rose to preach and announced his text. It was the same text he had used the previous Sunday.

Preacher Wolfenbarger said, “I know what you’re thinking—poor ol’ Wolfenbarger’s losing it. He don’t remember that he preached on these same verses last week. I just want you to know, that I know I preached this last week, but I didn’t get finished. What’s more, I’m just as crazy as you think I am.”

Who You Gonna Call

I didn’t expect to see Tim at all, but God had other plans.

My good friend Gwen and I stood on the sidewalk in front of the high school. We were waiting on our school bus that was running late due to mechanical problems. All of our friends who had vehicles had already left. Or so we thought.


Backpack safety

Picking out the latest and greatest backpack is an end-of-summer tradition for many young
students, but this essential back-to-school item has the potential to cause a lifetime of back
and neck ailments. Here are some tips to correctly choose and use a backpack:

Much Ado about Dew Point

When you watch the weather forecast you invariably see a listing of current conditions: temperature, wind speed, relatively humidity, and dew point. Like you or I use those readings to predict how the weather is going to impact my comfort if out in it. But why is dew point important enough to be listed, and how does it impact your day?

Floating Island

Now this is really an old timey dessert. I remember first making it when I was a 15 year old cook and housekeeper during World War II. (I was too young to get a job in a factory.) The lady of the house taught me to make it. It takes a while to make but is worth it. You should have everything in your pantry.

Fried Red Cabbage

I don't usually cook with red cabbage, but every once in a while a head of red cabbage looks so good. This is the only recipe that I have found that meets my taste test. Oh yes, I like a few strands of red cabbage in coleslaw sometimes, but this is my favorite way with the red.

Backpacks can mean backaches

Millions of children struggle under the weight of an overstuffed backpack, putting themselves at risk of injury.

Parents should inspect their child’s backpack from time to time. They often carry much more than they should with extra shoes, toys and other unnecessary items.

A backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 15 percent of the child’s weight, or about seven pounds for a child who weighs 50 pounds. If it is textbooks that are making the bag too heavy, parents should speak with the teacher—sometimes these books can be left at school.


Union County Board of Education

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 18:00

There will be a Special Called Meeting of the Union County Board of Education on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School to discuss Capital Projects.

The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education was scheduled for Thursday, October 8, 2020 at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.


Ophelia Graves Washam Williams

Ophelia Graves Washam Williams-age 85 of Luttrell gained her angel wings Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at her home. She was a lifetime member of Mountain View Church of God, Luttrell. She loved her Jesus, her family and to know her was to love her. She is preceded in death by her husbands, Bobby Washam and Doffise Williams, her parents, Theodore and Bonnie “Rouse” Graves along with four brothers.

William Mitchell Weaver

William “Mitchell” Weaver – Age 77 of Luttrell, TN made heaven his home September 9, 2020. He was a huge fan of both Nascar and the Atlanta Braves. He began his career in outdoor advertising and continued in the sign business until retirement.

Hazel Morris

Hazel Louellen Morris, 72, of Maynardville, Tennessee went to be with her Lord and Savior on (Tuesday), 15 September 2020. She passed from this mortal coil at her family home in Maynardville, Tennessee.

Shelma Jean Dunn

Shelma Jean Dunn, age 83 of Knoxville, passed away at her home on September 15, 2020. She was a member of Clapps Chapel United Methodist Church.
Preceded in death by parents, Clayton and Nellie Loope; sister, Mary Ruth Loope; brothers, Junior, Earl, Winfred, and Don Loope.

Deborah Elaine Wolfenbarger

Debbie Wolfenbarger, age 62 of Powell, passed away September 16, 2020. Preceded in death by parents Nellie Rose and Willie Clark Arnold, sister Judith Johnson, brother Gary Arnold. Survived by husband Kenneth Lloyd Wolfenbarger Jr., brothers Greg (Joann) Arnold and Spencer Arnold, brother-in-law David Johnson, sister-in-law Kathy (Kirt) Senft; nephews Tyler Arnold, Brandon Seeber, Tim Johnson, Aaron Johnson, Robby Arnold, Scott Arnold, nieces Brittany Arnold Lett, Lexie Arnold, Ceati Seeber, and several great-nephews and nieces and other family members and acquaintances.

Edward Clayton Shipley "Ed"

Edward Clayton Shipley “Ed” age 78 of Mascot passed away Sunday, September 13, 2020. Ed was a prominent business man and friend to many. He operated Ed Shipley Guttering for over 40 years. A member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Preceded in death by his parents Eston and Mildred Shipley; siblings Myra Ann Shipley, Jackie Ray Shipley, Barbara Ruth Cartwright, Melba Jean Ferguson.

Rodney Collins

Rodney Lynn (Rod) Collins-age 46 of Washburn passed away unexpectedly Thursday morning, September 17, 2020 at his home. He was preceded in death by mother, Kathy Bell; father, Earl Collins; sister, Laura Wilkerson; brother, Christopher “Outlaw” Dyer.

Ola Mae Wilkerson

Ola Mae Wilkerson, age 88 of Halls Crossroads, passed away Thursday, September 17, 2020 at Tennova North Medical Center. She was a member of Bethany Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents Oliff and Maggie Wilkerson, siblings Elizabeth, Sophie, Mildred, Teresa, Cecil, Holbert, Carl, and Bob Wilkerson, Geraldine Hansard, and Annabelle Lyons. Survived by son Terry (Angie) Wilkerson, siblings Helen Monroe, Ruth Martin, Pearl Wilkerson, Clifford (Charlotte) Wilkerson, and several nieces and nephews.