County Commission Sets June 10 for FY20 Budget Approval

By Marilyn Toppins

Monday, June 10 at 7:00 pm, the Commission will meet in special session to consider the FY20 Union County Budget. Mayor Bailey announced, “The budget is balanced.” According to Finance Director Ann Dyer, 1.06 pennies were moved from debt service and 2.97 pennies were taken from capital projects to balance the budget. The tax rate remains the same as last year.

Union County Solid Waste collected 421 pounds of household hazardous waste during its event on Saturday, May 18.

Dakota Fields from UCHS designed the Union County Seal and received a $50 gift card from Mayor Bailey for his efforts. A local business, Foxy Wraps, is digitizing the seal. The seal can be viewed on the Union County Facebook page.

Minutes of the April 22 meeting were approved. Debra Henderson was approved to make a Public Comment, but never arrived to speak. The commission approved three notaries.

Under the Mayor’s Report, Mayor Bailey updated several items. The Safe Route to Schools Grant has been resubmitted with the changes requested by the state. The mayor is hoping to hear the results of the Home Grant within a week. Union County has been trying to purchase the Optimist Building for several months. Mayor Bailey related that the survey and title search have been completed and the next step is to meet with the remaining members of the Optimist Club to secure ownership for the county.

After decades of no new development, two businesses have expressed interest in the Luttrell Business Park. Mayor Bailey will discuss the information with the Business and Industry Committee.

Continuing on, Mayor Bailey related that courthouse improvements including painting, landscaping, and pressure washing have been included in next year's budget. The phone and internet systems upgrades should be completed in June. The maintenance vehicles are at the dealer in Nashville for state inspection and could arrive within a few days. The mayor met with about fifteen people from the 13th District to hear their concerns. These concerns will be discussed by various committees in the coming weeks.

Sheriff Billy Breeding reported for April 738 calls received, wrecks with injury 9, wrecks without injury 22, admitted to the jail 150, released from the jail 144, and the current jail population 111. In addition, the sheriff offered for approval a contract that would allow a phone line visitation service that did not involve relatives of inmates having to purchase phone cards in person at the jail. The jail budget would receive 62% of the funds paid for this service. The contract was approved.

Finance Director Ann Dyer gave the Finance Report for all departments. The commission approved budget amendments to add revenues and clean up for the end of fiscal year budget 2019. Gail Corum from the Union County Audit Committee asked that the Audit Report be delayed until the July Commission Meeting due to vacations of committee members and some information from the state regarding the audit procedure.

Doris Martinson from Knox County Archives informed the Commission of the importance of storing and indexing county records in a way that hard copies would be preserved for legal as well as genealogical and historical purposes. Genealogy has become the most popular U.S. hobby behind stamps and coins. Court documents are a necessary part of finding one's heritage. She also noted the need to teach cursive writing so documents in cursive can be read in the future. Finally, she admonished that climate control is imperative to preserve these documents. Mayor Bailey thanked Ms. Martinson and stated that, currently, documents are archived in the original form in the appropriate office or a building at the Union County Road Office. Also, most offices have either digitized a portion or all of the past records.

Sick leave to be used toward retirement continues to cause debate. Sick leave has been part of the county employee handbook since 1998. However, the 2008 handbook specified that sick leave could not accrue and must be used or lost annually. “Use it or lose it” was the policy that was in effect in 2011 according to Ms. Dyer when she was hired to begin centralized finance. Further, Commissioner Larry Lay (6th) maintained the 2008 policy did not mention using sick leave for retirement since sick leave could not be accrued until the 2016 policy update. The debate centered on the fact that the 2008 policy was not signed by the former sheriff and now employees who have served under the previous and the current sheriff want to use their sick leave toward retirement. Recent litigation as well as statements from the current sheriff and finance director confirm that no records of employee sick leave days accrued were kept before Sept 1 2014 when the current sheriff was elected. Jeff Brantley (5th) moved to reject the request to allow accrual of sick leave to count toward retirement. Danny Cooke (4th) seconded the motion. But when Mayor Bailey asked Mr. Brantley for a date to be included in the motion, debate resumed with some commissioners voicing opposition to a date prior to the 2016 policy change. Finally, Mayor Bailey asked Mr. Brantley to withdraw his motion to enable more study by the county attorney to properly proceed. Commissioner Brantley agreed and the request will be revisited at another meeting. Allowing the request could increase the amount that Union County would be required to contribute toward the state retirement.

In the April Commission Meeting, County Commission voted to give the Union County Historical Society the large map plotter printer that had been surplussed by one of the courthouse offices. Since that meeting, Mayor Bailey has been advised by CTAS to bid the printer. The county attorney spoke with the state auditors who gave a conflicting opinion that the gift was legal. But the motion to bid the plotter failed by a vote of 7 Yes, 4 No [E. Cox, Jessee, Keck, and Munsey] and 2 Pass [Brantley and Hill]. Absent were Jody Smith (2nd) and Jeff Chesney (1st). When Mayor Bailey asked Attorney Myers for a recommendation, Mr. Myers stated that a vote could be done at the next meeting to bid the printer.

Renae Williams addressed the commission regarding the condition of her road. She lives on a private road and suffers from numerous serious health conditions. Ms. Williams said that she needs the road repaired so medicine can be delivered to her door instead of a half mile away at the main road. It is also difficult for an ambulance to reach her in an emergency. County road funds are prohibited by law from repairing private roads. The road would have to be privately improved to the current standards to be placed on the county road list. Mayor Bailey related that ETHRA is researching options for Ms. Williams. The mayor and some commissioners volunteered to explore other opportunities for aid for Ms. Williams.

The next meeting of the Union County Commission will be on June 10, at 7:00 pm.



Arevalo School in Big Ridge

Arevelo School, built around 1940

Big Ridge Elementary School opened in 1960-1961 as the consolidated school assigned to receive Pine Grove students. Central View, Hickory Valley, Arevalo, and part of Burkhart were also included in the consolidation.
Arevalo Elementary School opened to students in 1st through 8th grade circa1924. Bonnie Heiskell Peters relates the origins of the name of the Arevalo School in Union County Schoolday Memories.

Congratulations to Van Richardson

Union County Extension is thrilled to announce that Van Richardson has won multiple awards at the 2024 Tennessee State Junior Beef Show this June!
These are spectacular accomplishments that are literally years in the making. Winning a Grand Champion award requires commitment, dedication, and perseverance. Winning a Grand Champion award 4-H member bred and raised the animal is amazing. Van’s hard work, dedication, and passion for the beef industry have truly paid off. At this prestigious event, he showcased exceptional talent and skill, earning accolades that reflect his commitment to excellence.

Chiropractic and Your Hips

Your hips, which bear considerable weight, can become painful as a result of injury or disease. They can also suffer from stress brought on by the improper alignment of other parts of the body. The hip joint, like the body’s other joints, is a point at which tendons, muscles and bones come together to allow particular movement. As with the other joints, the hips are susceptible to pain and discomfort.

Bearly Walking

It was one of those times when I had to do a double take. We were within a few miles from our house when Tim pointed and said: “Look, there’s a bear standing at the edge of the woods!” I have to admit that I was a little frightened at seeing one so close to my home. I don’t know about you, but back in the day, I don’t remember them being seen so far from The Smokey Mountains

Do All (Any) Dogs (Cats) Go to Heaven?

There is a wonderful episode of The Twilight Zone that features a hunter portrayed by the late Arthur Hunicutt. The hunter takes his dog and goes hunting, but both drown. The story relates how the hunter and his faithful dog make their journey to the hereafter. The farmer is almost lured by trickery into entering hell (which the gatekeeper tries to disguise as Heaven). The gatekeeper tells the farmer that dogs are not allowed in Heaven, so the hunter says he’ll just keep going down the road. A little further the farmer indeed finds Heaven, to which his dog is also welcome.

Shrimp Mushroom Alfredo

Artwork by Shirley McMurtrie

Chicken Alfredo is great, but so is this dish with the shrimp. Don't buy raw shrimp you have to fuss with. Instead use a bag of frozen cooked salad shrimp. the only prep needed is cutting off their tails. Over medium heat, heat olive oil and garlic in skillet until starting to be bubbly. Add thawed shrimp (tails removed), cooked until heated through. Add mushrooms, tossing to combine. add chicken broth and the softened cream cheese. Simmer and stir until a smooth sauce emerges. Add grated Parmesan cheese and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Plants That Announce Supper Time

This wild black cherry is showing a red color stage, announcing that ripe fruit is on the way.

In mid to late summer if you’re out and about you will likely see plants bearing fruit going through color stages, especially blackberries right now. Blackberry and several other wild fruits go from green to red and finally black or blue when they fully ripen. As is almost everything in creation, there is a purpose to the color change.

Pine Grove reunion recalls fond memories

Wanda Woods Cox Byerley

In the fall of 1986, Wanda Woods Cox (later Byerley), a former teacher at Pine Grove Elementary, a school with grades first through eighth, organized a reunion of former students and teachers.
Since the school was located close to the county line, students attended from Anderson and Union County. Most walked to school. Many of the early students went home for lunch.

Earlier Retirement for People with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Frequent musculoskeletal pain is linked with an increased risk of exiting work and retiring earlier, according to a new study from the University of Portsmouth. The paper found the association between musculoskeletal pain and retiring earlier persisted even after accounting for working conditions, job satisfaction and gender. The researchers found that people with musculoskeletal pain complaints tended to retire earlier compared to pain-free participants.

Daddy Drawing

“It’s here!” Carefully I opened the cardboard envelope that my step mother had mailed to me and pulled out the yellowing piece of paper. When I first looked at it, I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds. On it was a drawing I had made for my daddy when I was a child. I was simply amazed that it hadn’t been lost or torn after everything it had been through.

Curried Corn Chowder

When fresh corn is in season this is a good soup for a rainy day. In large pot, stir together the celery sou. 4 cups corn, curry powder and 2 cups water. Over medium heat , bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook until flavors blend, 10 minutes. Serve topped with remaining corn. Sprinkle with chopped green onions, tomato and parsley. Makes 6 servings.

The Liberty Tree

It interests me how trees are so often intertwined with our culture and history. The July celebration of our independence is a good time to review the history of the Liberty Tree, a symbol for individual liberty and resistance to tyranny.

Asher is scooping up cones for a cause

Asher makes an OMAVOL Orange snow cone for a waiting customer.

Last summer Asher Effler, a 10-year-old with an amazing work ethic, was trying to find something to keep him busy. He wanted something that he could organize, raise some money, and help somebody all at the same time. So he discussed his options with his parents and together they decided to set up a table in the front yard and give away snow cones for a donation. Then he would use the money to purchase stuffed animals for the children at East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

Commission: no tax increase; 6% raise for most employees

Unanimous vote on budget resolution with no tax increase.

The Union County Commission approved all documents relating to the FY25 Budget unanimously, except for one negative vote by 3rd District Commissioner Kenny Moore on the Non-Profit Budget. The tax rate will remain the same.
The sheriff’s department will get a step increase of two percent. as will EMS. Other county employees will receive a six percent raise which moved them three steps on the pay scale.

BOE extends Director Clay's contract

Chairman Marty Gibbs explains the results of Director Greg Clay's evaluation while Andrew Reed reviews the proposed contract extension in his chrome book.

In the June meeting the Union County Board of Education extended Director Greg Clay’s contract to June 30, 2028.
Clay received high marks from teachers, administrators and school board members during the evaluation process.

Plainview elects Beeler mayor

Election Administrator Candy Booker continues a time honored tradition as she announces the Plainview and Maynardville election results from the courthouse steps in Union County.

The Plainview election has buzzed with anticipation as a record 171 votes were cast in the early voting. For the first time in recent memory, two candidates, current Mayor Gary D. Chandler and Commissioner Lynn Beeler, ran for Mayor of Plainview. Three candidates, Keith Brantley, Gordon Bright and Rebecca Lock challenged for two seats. On election day, 206 voted.

Lane closures halted for 4th of July traffic


NASHVILLE – Road construction won’t slow motorists across Tennessee over the July 4 holiday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at noon on Wednesday, July 3, through 6 a.m. on Monday, July 8, to provide maximum roadway capacity for holiday travelers.
AAA predicts record travel in Tennessee this year, with 1.4 million Tennesseans taking a road trip.

Corum Bookkeeping wins BPA golf tourney

UCBPA President Tammie Hill awards Corum Bookkeeping Service First Place in the UCBPA Scholarship Benefit Golf Classic of 2024.

Union County Business & Professional Association hosted the 2024 Scholarship Benefit Golf Classic on June 15 at Three Ridges Golf Course.
Golfers enjoyed a complimentary lunch by Lil Jo's BBQ. Eight teams competed for the top prizes. Corum Bookkeeping Services was the tournament champion. The City of Plainview team was second and Union County Education Association took third.

Taste of the Market

Market shoppers looking over the beautiful greens available at the Thompson Farm booth. Photo by Holly Rainey

Do you remember those Saturday mornings when you attended the market and were able to taste some of that farm fresh produce? That’s the Farmers’ Market Fresh program and … we’re back! The market is in full swing at the Heritage Park pavilion with lots of farm fresh produce; spring produce, like all those healthy greens are still available, and tasty summer produce like heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and blueberries have already turned up at the market. Of course, meat, eggs, crafts and more (there are even dog treats!) can also be found at the Union County Farmers Market.

Good and Bad News for People with Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a major cause of disability around the globe, with more than 570 million people affected.

A systematic review and meta-analysis, conducted by an international team of researchers, included 95 studies with the goal of understanding the clinical course of low back pain.

For people with new back pain, pain and mobility problems lessened significantly in the first 6 weeks, but then recovery slowed. Many people with persistent low back pain (more than 12 weeks) continue to have moderate-to-high levels of pain and disability.

Food for Thought

“Grandma, I’m hungry,” the little five-year-old girl said to her grandma. “Honey,” her grandma said back to her. “We are about out of food, but we will make it some way ’til Monday and get help with food from the Union County Food Pantry. You see, grandma and her husband, called Grandpa, were raising three grandchildren, the children of their daughter who left her kids with Grandma and Grandpa three years ago due to her being a heavy drug user. Her whereabouts are unknown and they don’t know if she is still alive.

A Mirrored Dinner Table

A Mirrored Dinner Table created by HUC

A test: It’s been a long day at work. You meet your deadlines or finish your current project with no acknowledgement from your boss. Arriving at home, in your vehicle that is paid for but has very high mileage, you walk in the door and speak the words “hey I’m home”. Your family replies with “hey’s”and “I’m glad”. You’re hungry but supper isn’t on yet. You look at your garden growing out the window as you pass your refrigerator and freezer that are full of higher priced groceries. This gives you pause and you ask yourself, how are things going in my life right now?

The Ones That Got Away

Ray Lewis, Gail Bradley (my mom), Doug Clark, Mike Overton, and sitting next to him is his brother Carl Overton. Standing in the background is my uncle, Estell Clark. Sitting behind Carl is my daughter Sara Bunch.

If you know me, then you know that I’m not a fisherman. I struggle with being quiet, sitting still, and not falling into the creek. As for my husband and daughter, they not only love to fish, but they are also very good at it.
That being said, I have occasionally heard them fuss and get frustrated when they were trying to reel in a rather large fish. Unfortunately, some of the fish would fight and manage to get off the hook. That’s when they usually say: “You ought to have seen the one that got away.”

Banana oatmeal cookies

Do you have bananas hanging out on your kitchen counter? Are they a lovely shade of yellow flecked with brown? Those bananas are ready for these cookies. Bake 'em! Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix shortening, sugar, egg, and mashed bananas well. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir in quick oats and chocolate chips or chopped nuts.

Some Fourth of July History: An Appeal to Heaven

Trees and American history collide. Art Work by Bella Roark.

Trees and American history collide.

The first American Navy consisted of six schooners paid for and pressed into service by none other than General George Washington in 1775. He pleaded with the Continental Congress that he needed a Navy immediately, but true to form, the Congress endlessly debated on the need for a Navy, how to organize and fund ships, and so on until Washington’s patience was at an end, so he funded the ships himself.

What Am I? What Are You?

I love the following poem written by Emily Dickinson.
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
I don’t know about you, Dear Reader, but I think I might be neurotic.
I first thought this because I repeatedly wake myself up at night pulling my hair, then rubbing my hand against my lips to see if I have pulled out any loose hair.

The Indian Battle of Sharp’s Station

December 1794
Nicholas Gibbs stood on the banquette (baNGˈket) of the fort overlooking the wooded forest and mountain ridges. He had risen early from a light sleep before dawn to stay on watch for any uninvited guests. He had been there all day trying to get a glimpse of the Indian war party known to be in the area.

Anatomy of the back

Your back and spine are made up of a complex latticework of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves that are critical to the functioning of your entire body. The spinal cord, after all, the highway on which signals travel back and forth between the brain and the other parts of the body, runs down the middle of the back.

Zoo girl

Did you have lots of pets when you were a kid? Not me and there’s a reason for that. The first one I ever had was Heidi. She was a German Shepherd puppy we got from a family friend. I was so excited when my daddy brought her home. At that time, I hadn’t developed my fear of dogs yet. Let me tell you, I loved that little dog. I played with her and she followed me around everywhere. Heidi was my little buddy. Then she became very sick. Apparently, the vet had given her liter too much worm medication. Unfortunately, Heidi didn’t make it. Needless to say, I was heartbroken.

Most Missed

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a new replacement for it. I traveled to Murfreesboro for a meeting last Wednesday evening. I attended the meeting and returned home the following evening. On Friday morning I arose and proceeded to dress in old clothes to assist with the food distribution at Union County High School. As I was emptying pockets from the pants I wore on Thursday, I could not locate my checkbook.

Picking up stones

Don't ask any of my three children, Tom, Anne and Elizabeth, if they want to go pick up stones. Why? Because they have already done more thantrheir share. I have never purchased stone to lay up a wall, etc.,not with so many stones out there just waiting for me to grab. Fieldstone makes a good wall. there are so many different shapes, colors and sizes. If the stone doesn't fit, it can be hammered down to size.

Pimiento cheese deviled eggs

There are many ways to flavor deviled eggs. Some have pimiento cheese as an ingredient. Yes, this one does, too. Place eggs in large saucepan. Cover with 2 inch of water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Heat over medium low heat until lightly bubbling, Cover, turn off heat and let stand until cool. Drain and cover with cold water. Carefully peel eggs and rinse in cold water. Cut eggs in half lengthwise.

Dandelion, a Yard Wildflower

Dandelion is one of the few plants most people can name.

Dandelion is one of the few plants most people can name.

Everyone knows the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), which is usually found somewhere in your lawn unless herbicides are heavily used. This European import is probably enemy number one on the lawn weed list, but it is still an interesting study, being both an edible and a medicinal.

Union County Extension 1972 Records

Old yearbook ads around 1972 that had photos of some local businesses. Submitted by Carol Pratt

Old yearbook ads that have photos of some local businesses. Photo submitted by Carol Pratt

The Extension Office from 1972 records recorded the following written by the Agent. The Problems faced, what Extension did. Within five to ten years the Union County Extensions Office gathered information to help the county with establishing a council to assist with Planning Commission and other government on Resource Development. They gathered information to resolve problems in our rural community.

Union County 4H Camp

2024 Jr. 4-H Camp

Union County 4-Her’s had a blast at 4-H camps this summer. Junior 4-H Camp was held June 10-14 with 31 Union County 4th-6th graders, 5 adult leaders, and 2 teen leaders attending. Junior High 4-H Camp will be held July 8-12th. Both camps are held in Greeneville at Clyde Austin 4-H Center, Monday through Friday annually.

Family Community Education Club

FCE Cultural Arts 2024

The FCE club of Union County has been busy the last couple of months. In April, we attended the Spring Fling luncheon at Temple Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN. The Spring -Fling consisted on crafts, lunch, hat parade, awards ceremony, garden shop, and guest speakers Neal Denton and Heather Kyle from Knox County. On May 16th, we gathered at the Union County Extension Office for the annual Spring Luncheon!

Berry Spinach Salad

Berry Spinach Salad

In a large bowl, toss together baby spinach, blackberries, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, green onion, and walnuts
-Place berries in the refrigerator, unwashed, because excessive moisture can make them mold quickly.
-Spinach should be loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
-Store cherry tomatoes on the counter at room temperature for the best flavor and texture. Wash just before eating.

The value of massage

Chiropractors may be best known for the procedure of spinal adjustment, but they have a variety of techniques at their disposal. one of them is massage therapy, an effective way to ease pain and loosen stiff muscles. Getting a massage is not just a way to pamper oneself at the spa. And there are different types of massage.

The Path

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see,
and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein,
and ye shall find rest for your souls.
But they said, We will not walk therein. (Jeremiah 6:16 KJV)

The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places;
yea, I have a goodly heritage. (Psalm 16:6 KJV)

If Thermometers Could Talk

How forgetful are you? While my age is a part of it, I have always struggled with my memory. For instance, back in high school I was desperately searching for my glasses one day before class. I worried about my mom having to buy me another pair. My teacher simply stated: “They’re on top of your head.” I reached up and pulled them down. Yep, that really happened.

Fresh Tomato Salad

Fresh tomatoes in the summertime are a treat. The winter hothouse ones are pretty but lack flavor. This is a summertime salad, place prepared vegetables in large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Pour over vegetables and lightly toss. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve on lettuce leaves.

The Fun of Doodlebugs

Doodlebugs dig these funnel shaped holes and lie in wait at the bottom for ants to fall into.

Doodlebugs dig these funnel shaped holes and lie in wait at the bottom for ants to fall into.

My Uncle (Cas Newton Day) remained a kid at heart to his last days. I loved him for it, for I think (and hope) a little of it rubbed off on me. To illustrate, he and I, both grown adults, were helping hang tobacco in a barn that had very dusty soil in front of the doors. We noticed funnel shaped indentions in the soil and asked what it was.

Time is running out!

Will you help the Union County Lions Club provide needed eye exams and glasses for residents and screening exams for all pre-school students? One way to contribute to the work that the Lions do in our community is to buy a Reverse Raffle ticket. Tickets are $10 each. The money raised goes directly to the Lion Charities. Tickets can be purchased from Union County Lions members Pastor Kathy Chesney (865) 566-3289; Ronnie Mincey (865) 278-6430; Debbie Sylvia-Gardner (865) 603-5081; or Shirlee Grabko (865) 310-6874.

Delicious Feast for Veterans

Delicious food aromas hit you as you walked in the door of the American Legion Hall on June 3. If you thought you weren’t hungry before, the wonderful smells of the Chicken Alfredo dinner immediately changed your mind. And there was so much food – all expertly prepared by the cooks of the Veterans Volunteers. In addition to the huge pan of the Alfredo (see photos), there were pans of Caesar Salad and individual loaves of garlic bread that were baked to perfection.

Be careful how you sit

Many of us spend a good portion of our workdays sitting at a desk. Too much sitting, of course, is not good for anyone. We are not meant to be sedentary creatures. And recent research has concluded that it’s important for anyone who needs to sit for extended periods of time to get up and walk around at least once every hour.

Wilma Dykeman left a legacy of environmental awareness

Wilma Dykeman on her porch in Newport during the 1960's (the height of her career), with Mt. Guyot in the background (to the far right).

“Shaconage—Place of the Blue Smoke—the Cherokees called it, the long range of forested pinnacles and plunging valleys crowning the boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee. Eden was the description bestowed by early botanists on this virgin wilderness. But thickets of intertwined laurel and tough rhododendron were known to hunters and settlers as hells.”
Very few writers have captured the essence of the Great Smoky Mountains as accurately as these words written by Wilma Dykeman in her book Explorations, published in 1984.

Turtle Trot

“Guess what I just did,” my husband Tim asked as he bounded into the kitchen. As my Mamaw Jo would say: “He’s smilin’ from ear to ear.” It was obvious that he was happy about something.
But I went with what would make me happy: “You bought a large box of chocolates?” Hey, a girl can dream.


Spring Tour With Museum Mike!

"Come by the Lenoir Museum at 1:00pm on Saturday's throughout the spring for a tour with Museum Mike! These tours will occur on a weekly basis. These tours are completely free, but please consider registering and donating to the Museum! 100% of your donation stays in our Lenoir Museum and is used for programs, interpretive displays, and other improvements. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Free Wacky Wednesday Summer Camp at Irwin’s Chapel

Join us for faith based, fun filled afternoons of music, games, crafts a prizes!
Lunch & snacks will be provided!
Every wednesday beginning May 29th thru July 31st 12 Noon til 5:00 PM
ALL ages Welcome! (must be Potty trained)
Free Admission!!
Irwin's Chapel UMC - 358 Old Valley Rd - Sharps Chapel
Reserve your spot by clicking on the QR code below OR
RSVP by calling or texting: Pastor Kathy at 865-566-3289 or Mrs. Crystal at 305-495-7714


Eloise B. Dyer

Eloise Bates Dyer-age 79 of Powder Springs passed away Wednesday, July 10, 2024, at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by husband, Glen E. Dyer; granddaughter, Kelley Dyer Mink; father, Virgil (Blackie) Bates; mother, Annie Wolfenbarger Bates; brother, Billy Joe Bates; sister, Helen Atkins.

Survivors: sons and daughters-in-law, Darrell (Christie) Dyer; Dwight (Jeannie) Dyer; sister, Brenda Atkins; special friend, Blanche Thomas. Several other relatives and a host of friends.

Luna Sharp

Luna Sharp-age 78 of Maynardville, formerly of Sharps Chapel passed away Monday, July 8, 2024, at his home after a lengthy illness. He was of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by his parents, Pascal (Big Eye) Sharp and Alma (Sowder) Sharp; brothers, Ralph Sharp, James Claudie Sharp, Monteray Sharp; sisters, Bessie Jane Johnson, Dottie Williams, Hilda Braden, Lorene Collins; nephew, Mike Sharp.

Gary Chandler

Gary D. Chandler, 63 of Plainview, formerly of Luttrell, passed away suddenly early Friday morning. He was a member of Cedar Ford Baptist Church in Luttrell. Growing up with a single mother, him and his sister, Marsha, grew up “poor” by today’s standards. His mom and his other family members made sure he had a great childhood. Gary was proud to be from the “old” Luttrell, and often referred it being similar to Mayberry from his favorite TV show, “The Andy Griffith Show”. He was a teacher in the Union County School System for 41 years.

Wilbert Paul Finley

Wilbert Paul Finley – age 78 of Andersonville, passed away Thursday, June 27th 2024 at his home. Wilbert was a U.S. Air Force Veteran. He was of the Baptist Faith. He was born in Sevierville, Tennessee and was the son of the late Grady Willie and Josie Stella Mae (McGill) Finley. Preceded in death by his daughter, Judy Finley; sons, DeWayne Finley, Michael Finley; sisters, Mildred Finley, Shirley Finley, Oma Finley, Jean Finley; brother, J.T. Finley.

Cathy M. Williams

Cathy M. Williams-age 66 of Maynardville, formerly of Knoxville, passed away Thursday, June 27, 2024 at Willow Ridge Center, where she had been a resident for 10 years. She is preceded in death by her parents, Harry Elmer Schuiten and Ina Ruth (Robinson) Schuiten.

She is survived by her niece, Tabitha Tapp and the many friends she made at Willow Ridge.

No services are planned at this time. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Ritchie Maxwell Rose

Ritchie M. Rose-age 68 of Corryton went to be with the Lord Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at his home. He was a member of Dutch Valley Baptist Church. He loved singing and playing music. He was a part of The Washam Family gospel music group for many years. He loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing. Preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Rose; parents, Jack and Arlene (Washam) Rose; sister, Tesha Rose.

Kenneth Wayne Mayes

Kenneth Wayne Mayes-age 63 of New Tazewell passed away suddenly Monday, June 24, 2024. He was of the Holliness faith and a member of The Church of the First Born, Middlesboro, Kentucky. Preceded in death by his wife, Linda Mayes; daughter, Samantha Mayes; parents, Ralph and Josephine (Brooks) Mayes; sister, Kathy Williams; brother, Curtis Mayes and other family members.

Casandra D. Fritts (Jones)

Casandra D. Fritts (Jones) – age 28 and unborn son Jonathon Chad of Luttrell, went to be with the Lord Friday, June 21, 2024. She was a member of Circle Assembly of God. Casandra was a beautiful girl loved by everyone and will be dearly missed. Preceded in death by her great-grandparents, Rev. Louis Fritts, Madge Wallace, Amos and Lucille Massengile, Ruth Tracy, Mike Evans.

Dorothy Jean (Shoffner) Wyrick

Dorothy Jean (Shoffner) Wyrick – age 93 of Luttrell, went to be with the Lord Friday evening, June 21, 2024 at her home. She was a lifetime member of New Friendship Baptist Church. Preceded in death by her husband, Theodore C. Wyrick; parents, David L. and Linda Shoffner; sister, Betty Turner Wright; brothers, L.D. Shoffner, Gerald Shoffner.

Loretta Faye (Oaks) Sherrod

Loretta Faye (Oaks) Sherrod – age 76 of Maynardville, passed away Friday, June 21, 2024 in the presence of loved ones. She was a longtime professing believer and follower of The Lord Jesus Christ. Born July 7, 1947 to Claude “Chili” Oaks and Nancy Effler Oaks, Loretta was a beloved daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to many.

Timothy DeWayne Beeler

Timothy DeWayne Beeler-age 40 of Minot, North Dakota passed away Saturday, June 15, 2024, at his home. T Bo enjoyed fishing and also loved the outdoors. He was a fun and loving person. Preceded in death by his parents, Timonthy and Kathy Beeler; grandparents, Joann and Burt Beeler.

Survived by his children, Cameron Beeler, Kristin Beeler, Landon Lineham; siblings, Dennie Beeler, Jason Beeler, Burt Beeler, Doris Tharp, Scotty McPherson, Derick Beeler; many other family and friends.