Jail Facing Decertification Again
A special thank you to Chantay Collins for videoing the December 10th Commission meeting.
At the December 10th Union County Commission Regular Meeting, Bob Bass from Tennessee Corrections Institute informed Commissioners that the jail was in danger of losing its certification not only because of overcrowding but also because of an outdated facility. Mr. Bass and his staff help jails in Tennessee meet the standards for certification by asking County Commissions to establish a County Correction Partnership Committee (CCPC) comprised of commissioners, judges, district attorneys, public defenders, and police officers. The CCPC studies all aspects of the jail while they rely on Mr. Bass to provide the technical support to gather data and reports. Most of the current inmates are being jailed for misdemeanors related to probation issues, mostly the inability to pay fines ranging from $25 to $75. So the CCPC will look at probation practices and providers, alternatives to jail such as ankle bracelets, educational programs for prisoners. In addition the CCPC will study the jail to determine options and plans for upgrading the current facility and perhaps building a new jail. Mr. Bass noted that there is no secure area for admitting a prisoner to the jail, no room devoted to family visitation, and no modern cells with steel doors instead of bars. The Commission voted to set up the CCPC in January and to notify Mr. Bass to set a meeting in February. The public can read the Tennessee Department of Correction Jail Summary Report for Union and all counties at https://www.tn.gov/correction/statistics-and-information/jail-summary-re....
Sheriff Breeding reported the following for November, 2018,: 708 calls, 5 wrecks with injury, 26 wrecks without injury, 126 prisoners booked into jail, current jail population 85. The jail's current bed capacity is 76 so the jail is continuously at over 100% capacity. Many months the jail was 121% to 131% over capacity.
On a positive note, the UCHS Agricultural Issues Committee demonstrated a mock county commission meeting to discuss the pros and cons of Union County establishing a Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT). Students pointed out the job opportunity, potential for population growth, possible reduction in poverty, increased potential for revenue from out of county patrons and visitors, and the convenience of attending college in our own community. Some of the negatives were the possible increase in traffic that would necessitate a traffic light at Durham Drive and Hwy 33, funding that may cause an increase in taxes, and young people leaving the family farm for higher paying jobs outside Union County. The student commissioners sent the motion to establish the TCAT to the Education Committee for further discussion and to return with a funding proposal. Mayor Jason Bailey and Wanda Cox Byerley complimented the students on their research and leadership. Several commissioners asked questions and all applauded the efforts of the students to research such a timely issue.
Mayor Bailey updated the status of various grants. The cost of fencing will most likely exceed the $25,000 for the dog park from the Boyd Foundation. The playground equipment will be finished this winter for the Access to Health Grant in Wilson Park. The ambulances have been purchased to complete the Community Block Development Grant. A new CBGD application due February 1 is being revamped to possibly provide equipment for the volunteer fire departments since not enough patrons applied to connect to a waterline in the Big Ridge area. Another grant will provide $120,000 to renovate the lobby of the Health Department at no cost to our taxpayers. Finally, Union County will cooperate with the state to connect bike trails in Union, Anderson, and Campbell Counties at the state's expense.
Tim Long from Sunset Digital reported that the Broadband Grant had been submitted and had a very strong possibility of being approved. He noted that the grant could only be implemented where Tennessee had identified areas of extreme need. In Union County these areas are mostly in Sharps Chapel, just north of Maynardville, and in Big Ridge.
In other reports, Oak Grove School has now been placed on the Tennessee Registry of Historic Places due to the efforts of Betty Bullen and Preservation Union County.
Beginning in January, the County Commission will move the regular meeting to the 4th Monday of each month. The Budget and Finance Committee will be meeting on the 3rd Tuesday and Commissioner Larry lay will be the chairman. The Road Commission will continue to meet on the 1st Monday. The School Board will return to the 2nd Thursday. These changes are to enable commissioners to receive the financial report and budget amendments and transfers prior to the meeting. January Meetings are the following: January 7-Road Commission, January 10-School Board, January 15-Budget & Finance Committee, January 28-County Commission.
The City of Plainview hosted a ribbon cutting to mark the Grand Opening of the Dollar General Store at 1900 Tazewell Pike. Mayor Gary Chandler welcomed the crowd and thanked all who made this day possible. Mayor Chandler stated that Plainview is a growing community of caring individuals and that the city will continue to strive to “meet the needs of our citizens”.
Summer is in full swing at the Union County Farmers Market. The market is located in Wilson Park and open on Saturdays from 10am – 1pm. Our new Saturday hours allow our farmers to harvest early on Saturday morning bringing you the freshest possible produce. We hope the later hours will also encourage you to take advantage of the food trucks that are joining us! Enjoy a snack, breakfast or lunch.
A few days ago I had just risen from my chair to go to the great room for a cup of coffee. I really stood up and took notice, stopping dead in my tracks. There came a sudden crack of lightning with a deafening roar of thunder. All at the same time. That was not only close, it had to be right on top of us. My immediate worry was if there was any damage.
Being old has its disadvantages, but something I’m glad it allowed me to witness (at age 15) was the first moon landing and walk that occurred 50 years ago this month. It was one of those moments you remember exactly. In my case it was at my boyhood home in Middlesboro, Kentucky at 10:30 on a Sunday night. Me and my dad (mom was out of town) sat there watching a small black and white television totally mesmerized as these two guys walking around on another world. I remember lots of goosebumps and feeling so happy (I was a bona fide science geek by then).
I have always liked red table grapes, but have previously looked in vain for a way to cook them. A few years ago our church group took a trip up to Cumberland Falls in Kentucky. While there, we had lunch at their tearoom. Grape Salad was on the menu. It was delicious and new to all of us. We asked for the recipe. The one they gave us didn't turn out at all like the tasty salad we had there. Don't you hate that? When someone gives you a recipe and its not quite like their dish.
Enthusiasts from around the world traveled to spectate the picturesque landscapes of unique blooms at the Twentieth Annual Oakes Daylily Bloom Festival on Friday and Saturday June 28 and 29. The weather was usual for East Tennessee’s late June days, very hot and muggy, but the temperatures did not slow down the masses of guests attending.
On June 29, Main Street exploded with color. Union County Platinum Athletics hosted a Paint Party to youths and families of the community. The children, as well as the children at heart, excessively enjoyed a paint slip-n-slide, shaving cream twister, canvas painting with squirt bottles, water balloon fight, and an over the top paint war. The paint war is exactly that, a war, everyone throws powder paint at everyone who came for a fun mess of a time, creating a beautiful, colorful rainbow mess.
At the Union County Historical Society Meeting on Sunday, July 21, at 2:30 at the UC Museum, Bill Landry of Heartland Series fame will share stories from his new book, WHEN the WEST was TENNESSEE. Lisa Oakley will relate information on the East Tennessee History Center's new exhibit, “Mountain Dew”.
A class for Tennessee's divorcing parents. Held in Union County on the last Monday each month. Preregistration required at 865-992-8038 or email@example.com
Moore about the program at https://extension.tennessee.edu/Union/Pages/FCS-Co-Parenting.aspx
Enjoy a day of family-friendly fun! Children can compete in fun contests like "corniest joke," "fastest corn eater," and "fastest corn shucking." There will be door prizes and live music. Local vendors may sell corn products at no cost to them. In addition to corn-related shopping, local produce and craft vendors will be at the farmers market. There will be games, history exhibits, and fun demonstrations for everyone. We'll see you there!
This will be a simple self serve buffet. It will include Buttered Grits (cheese optional), Fresh- Baked Banana Muffins, Toast with homemade Strawberry and Fig Preserves, Fresh Fruit Salad, and Quiche Florentine. We will serve Orange Juice, Milk, Tea, and Coffee to drink.
Jerry Lynn Hubbs, Jr.-age 46 of Knoxville passed away Thursday, July 11, 2019 at his home following a brief battle with cancer. He was a member of Fairview Baptist Church, Luttrell. Preceded in death by father, Jerry Lynn Hubbs, Sr.; mother, Joyce Bailey Cline; grandparents, Frank and Mary Bailey; granddaughter, Riley Hubbs.
Reverend Luther Vineyard Cox – age 93 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 peacefully at home with his family by his side. He was a lifelong member and former pastor of Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Luther was retired from Dempster Brothers and was a United States Army Veteran serving in World II.
Lowell Edward George, Sr., age 81 of Knoxville went home to be with the Lord on Friday, July 5, 2019 at 11:05 am with his family surrounding him. He was a longtime member of Central Baptist Church, Fountain City and lifelong resident of Knoxville. He was greatly loved by his family and all who knew him and was a father figure to many. Lowell is preceded in death by mother and father Eva and Tom Newberry.
Samuel “Sam” E. Hampton, age 70, formerly of Beckley, WV, passed away peacefully at home in Knoxville, TN on Thursday, July 4, 2019. He loved football and was an avid fan of the Cleveland Browns. He was also a lover of animals.
Survived by his wife of 46 years, Sharron Hampton and daughter Jennifer and her husband John Morris.
A service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2019 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel with Minister Brad Hood officiating.
Clarence Henegar, age 85, lifelong resident of Knoxville, went to be with the Lord on July 3, 2019. He was a member of Salem Baptist Church for 50 years, and served as a deacon for 40 years. He was a graduate of Central High School, and went on to graduate from Cooper Institute. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 32 years of service. In his younger years he enjoyed bowling, and was an avid golfer. He was very well known in the dancing community. As a young man he enjoyed square dancing, and in later years, ballroom and country dancing.
Donald L. Fowler, age 80, of Knoxville passed away Tuesday, July 2, 2019. He enjoyed spending time with his family and eating out. He is preceded in death by wife of 26 years Carol Fowler, parents; Hugh & Hester Fowler, brothers; Albert, Billy, Glenn and James, and by dog Peanut. He is survived by son Keith Fowler, brother Wilbur Fowler of Springfield, Tennessee and many nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends from 2:00pm-4:00pm on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at Grove Heights Baptist Church (818 Frank Street Knoxville, TN). A service will follow at 4:00pm with Rev.
Lois Ann Lee – age 67 of Maynardville, went to be with the Lord on July 2, 2019.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Wayne Lee; parents, Clarence and Dorothy Effler; sister, Linda Sexton; brothers, Bobby and Charlie Effler. Lois is survived by her daughter, Sheila (Kenneth) Lawler; son, Bobby (Tammy) Tharp; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; sisters, Emma (Bill) Collins, Karen (Randy) Chamberlain and Gerri (Mark) Ford; brother, Sandy (Peggy) Effler; and a host of loving nieces and nephews and other family members.
Mickie D. Faulkner-age 43 of Corryton passed away Tuesday morning, July 2, 2019 at her home with her family by her side. She was a member of True Life Ministries Church. She was a loving and selfless person who loved to make others smile and be happy. She was preceded in death by father, George Lee Poindexter; mother, Anna B. Collins; sister, Lisa Poindexter.
Gene Autrey Ford – age 75 of Luttrell, passed away Thursday, June 27, 2019. He was a member of Piney Grove Baptist Church, Karns. Gene was a military veteran and a retired electrician, IBEW Local 760.