January 2020 Budget & Finance

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Union County Schools seek feedback

Union County Public Schools is seeking feedback from different community stakeholders, such as parents, students, employees, and special interest groups, to survey how funds are being spent adequately. Some of the questions in the survey also address Union County's Safe to Return to School Policy implementation to this point.

Carbon Credits: Are They Something We Need to Think About?

Farmers across Tennessee have been carbon farming for years without realizing it. Common practices such as no tile and cover crops are prime examples of implementations that allow for this so-called carbon farming.
Big companies such as Delta, General Motors, Honeywell, Microsoft, Target, and many others have started to become interested in these endeavors.

Radar speed signs keeping Plainview safe

Policeman seated and speaking at a meeting

Chief Brandon Ford explains the statistics captured from the radar speed signs recently installed in Plainview.

Plainview has plenty of curvy roads and has installed some rdar speed signs to remind everyone to slow down and avoid an accident. Chief Brandon Ford reported in the January meeting of the Board of Aldermen that the radar speed signs recently installed on two roads in the City of Plainview seem to be encouraging drivers to obey the posted speed limit, The sign located in Whispering Pines where the speed limit is 20 mph yielded data showing the average speed since December 14 to be 22.29 mph with only two of the 5,394 cars traveling over 40 mph.

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Agriculture Literacy, Generation to Generation

Union County Farm Bureau volunteer Ashley Mike reads to Kindergartners at Big Ridge Elementary during Tennessee Ag Literacy Week 2021

Each year Tennessee celebrates Agriculture Literacy Week as an opportunity for teachers and volunteers to share valuable information in TN schools about growing and harvesting food and by-products. Food, fiber, and fuel for our country are invaluable materials that many youths never really understand where they come from or their significant importance.

Muscle Relaxants Largely Ineffective For Low Back Pain

Muscle relaxant drugs are largely ineffective for low back pain, despite being widely prescribed for this condition, suggests an analysis of the latest evidence published by The BMJ. The findings show that muscle relaxants might reduce pain in the short term, but the effect is too small to be considered clinically meaningful, and there is an increased risk of side effects.

Without a Paddle

My little adventure started out because I was bored. Needless to stay, I didn’t stay bored long.
I guess you could say it was a prefect Sunday afternoon. The temperature was pleasant and there was plenty of sunshine. Tim and I were with some friends and family on the banks of Bull Run Creek. He and his sister were fishing while his parents were chilled out in their lawn chairs. As for me, I couldn’t just sit there in a lawn chair and relax. Sitting still isn’t my thing.

Oh, How Sweet It Is!

It does not surprise me in the least that when the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden that food was involved. The old adage says that a person should not live to eat, but eat to live. The problem with a lot of people is knowing where to draw the line at eating just enough to live, particularly during holidays and celebrations.

Winter Dressing to Stay Outside

With these harsh cold snaps we’ve been having, staying warm has become more of a challenge. Wearing the right clothing when getting outside can make all the difference between a pleasant outing and misery. The phrase "dress in layers," is used by Moms the world over, but remains good advice. Layers of clothing help trap air around the body and insulates it from the cold. Layers can also be removed to adjust to temperature changes or physical activity. Clothing layers are broken down into three parts: inner, middle, and outer.

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Something to look forward to: Dr. Carter’s look at the past and future

In March of 2020 the world came to a halt for many as the COVID-19 pandemic took us away from school, church, social events and many other activities.
With school closures and virtual learning in way, teachers adjusted, students began to learn mathematics from their kitchen tables and parents had to find a way to work while also helping their children in a new way.
Now, almost two years later, the community is still trying to figure out how to live and learn with this pandemic.

Local Scholarship Opportunity

It’s officially scholarship season; well, if it ever isn’t time to apply for educational assistance!? Union County Farm Bureau has opened the application period for up to two $1,500 scholarship awards this year. If you are a member of the Farm Bureau, do continue reading, this is a wonderful opportunity.

Widespread Pain Linked To Heightened Dementia And Stroke Risk

Widespread pain is linked to a heightened risk of all types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, finds research published online in the journal Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine. This association is independent of potentially influential factors, such as age, general health, and lifestyle, the findings indicate.

Holy Smoke

Have you ever felt lost in your own home? I did back when I was teenager and it was scary.
Way back in the 1970s, my parents added a larger living room onto our house with a basement underneath it. And in that basement, they put in a woodstove. Let me tell you, it kept the living room nice and warm all winter.

Rub It In, Rub It In

My sister Icy Madelene (aka Pat) McMurray is famous in our family for her belief in the restorative and healing properties of Vicks VapoRub. She has told me that this marvelous ointment can treat/cure anything.
Because of this, I was most interested in a Facebook post concerning the uses for Vicks VapoRub. I did a quick Google search on Vicks VapoRub and will relate below from memory some of the interesting things I discovered. You can do a Google search for more detailed information, but the Facebook post listed the following uses:

Seeking Director of Missions

The Northern and Midland Baptist Associations are prayerfully seeking a man of high moral character who is fully committed to the Lord and to Christian ministry to serve as a bi-vocational or semi-retired Director of Missions. He must be a mature, stable Christian who is able to relate well to other people. This person needs to have a thorough knowledge of Southern Baptist church life and be grounded in Southern Baptist doctrine and polity. His primary role is to assist the churches of our Associations in fulfilling the Great Commission Jesus has given to His church.

Bill Dance betting his favorite lure on this one

As people drive through Union County, they find a common theme.
Whether it be in Big Ridge as they drive through the state park, or as they move toward Hickory Star and sit on the swings watching boats come in from a long day of basking in the sun or throwing bait into the water.

UCBPA lends support to Christmas Parade

Float with house decorated for Christmas in a parade

Tammie Hill of Realty Executives Associates and her Candyland float took the award for Best Commercial Float by a UCBPA Member.

In order to show support for the Union County Christmas Parade, Union County Business & Professional Association decided to encourage its members to participate.
Several of the UCBPA members decorated floats or vehicles including Five Star Waste, Home Town Pest Control, Tammie Hill Realty Executive Associates, UT Extension Union County, Maynardville Mayor Ty Blakely, Union County Government and Maynardville Drug & Express Care.

New manager brings a bright future to Farm Bureau

For over 100 years now, Farm Bureau has shone a light on rural America by giving farmers and ranchers a voice.
Throughout those 100 years, the Farm Bureau Federation has undergone numerous changes along the way.
Now, Union County is undergoing one of those changes, the transition of agency management as Paul Smith retires from his position.

BOE names architect for middle school, fieldhouse named for Coach Kerr

The Union County Board of Education approved Lewis Group of Knoxville as architects for the proposed middle school in its December meeting.
Carrie Cooke, Purchasing Agent for the Union County Finance Office, chaired the nine-member committee. After several meetings over more than two months, the committee interviewed the highest qualified from the eleven firms who were interested in the project. Those firms made presentations and were ranked by the committee.

Puzzle pieces falling into place

You know, there is just something to me about the challenge of fitting all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together into a complete picture. Recently, I came to the conclusion that this challenge could be one of the reasons I love to write. Instead of fitting pieces of a picture together, I place words together to come up with a complete, and hopefully meaningful, story.

Winter wonders outdoors, First Hike at Big Ridge

Winter hiking is wonderful. The air is crisp and clean. The forest is still.
With the air so clear it makes for some amazing sunrises and sunsets. So much is missed by those who only hike in the warmer months.
Hiking around the lake in the winter months will produce lifetime memories of wildlife, God-made ice sculptures and scenery.
Many other outdoor hobbies lend their own rewards for being out in the winter months—like bird watching, fishing, kayaking and viewing the night sky.
I have caught some of my largest fish during the coldest times.

What kind of friend are you?

James 2:23 KJV
[23] And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
I can’t read James 2:23 without the simple lyrics of “I Am a Friend of God, by Israel Houghton and Michael Gungor, playing in my mind. It’s the kind of lyric that can get stuck on replay in your mind for hours. Which in this case is probably not a bad thing, especially if we associate it with the scriptures the lyrics are based upon.

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You Can Make it if You Try

Dalton Dintleman, Halls McDonald's manager, and his family.

Thomas Andrew Dorsey was born July 1, 1899, to a religious and gospel music family in Vila Rica, Georgia. At the age of 17 he moved to Chicago and attended the College of Composition and Arranging. This set him on his life’s course as a gospel singer and songwriter.
During his life, Thomas wrote 3,000 songs with 1,000 being gospel songs. Two songs you may remember are his 1932 song, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and in 1937 he wrote “Peace in the Valley.”

People With Back Pain Miss Far Fewer Workdays When They Receive Recommended Treatments

Medical guidelines help doctors understand the best way to treat health conditions. Surprisingly, many doctors do not adhere to them, and this is a problem, according to a new study by scientists at the University of Utah, studying health and MD guidelines. People with lower back pain injury miss 11 more days of work in a year when they only receive treatments for lower back pain that are not recommended by medical guidelines compared to people treated according to guidelines. The findings were published in PLOS ONE. Among the nearly 60,000 people whose medical claims were analyzed:

Local Tree Farm Reaches 25-year Mark

Roark Tree Farm in Claiborne County has been recognized by The American Forest Foundation for being an established Tree Farm for 25 years. A certified Tree Farm manages forests for multiple use benefits such as wood production and wildlife habitat in a sustainable manner. Steve Roark, who owns Roark Tree Farm with his wife Rhonda, has managed a number of projects over the decades.

Let Your Swine Shine

Abigail Foust and the Union County judge after the county show.

As the young showmen drive their hogs around the show ring they all intently look at the judge and make every turn smoothly and at the perfect time.
Every showman has their own way of doing things, but each one makes an impression on the judge. The crowd sets on the edge of their seats wondering who will be chosen as the grade champion showman.

Body Mass Index, Age Can Affect Your Risk For Neck Pain

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, neck pain is ranked as the fourth leading cause of global disability. One of the main reasons for neck pain has been attributed to lifestyle, particularly when people spend long durations of time with their necks bent forward. however, a systematic, quantitative study has been lacking on how personal factors, such as sex, weight, age and work-related habits can affect neck strength and endurance.

The Forgotten Christmas Card

“I don’t want to and I won’t go to Grandma’s house this year! She’s old and I never liked her or Grandpa anyway. They always treat me like a child!” Fourteen year old Maisie stomped her foot as she stormed out of the kitchen. Her mother’s gaze followed as her daughter made her way up the stairs to her bedroom, clomping her foot as hard as possible on every step as she went; more like a child than a teenager.

Rewind Momma

My mother was so excited when she came into my house carrying a small bag. As for me, I soon regretted it.
You see, she had just bought a box set of Christmas movies for Sara. VHS tapes. Yep, this was a few years ago. Anyway, at this time, Sara was a toddler and mom wanted her to enjoy all of the old TV shows we had enjoyed over the years. One of these movies was, “Frosty the Snowman.”

Big Macs and Birth Control

I was talking recently to a lady. In the course of our conversation, she told me that she has two children, one a post high school graduate, the other an early elementary student. I remarked that there was a lot of years between her two children’s ages. She told me that she lost a lot of weight before conceiving her second child. We determined then and there that Big Macs were a good form of birth control.

Old Christmas

You can learn a lot from talking with elders. In a conversation about Christmas with my mother some years ago I learned that the Christmas of her childhood had an extra bit of celebration. Her father Sillus Day would always hold back some candy from Christmas in a big, locked chest and would give it out on January 6, a day he called “Old Christmas”.

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UT Launches Farm-to-Table Beef Program

Cuts of beef from the UT Northeast Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center are now being prepared and served as part of a new farm-to-table program on the UT Knoxville campus. Image by M. Patterson, courtesy Aramark, which operates UT Dining Services.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – High-quality, locally sourced ‘UT Beef’ is now being served on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus.

Produced at UT’s Northeast Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Greeneville, and being prepared and served through an agreement with UT Dining Services managed by Aramark, the farm-to-table effort supports sustainable agricultural production by utilizing locally grown beef as a reliable food source while maximizing supply chain resiliency.

Big Ridge FCE

Back Row - Connie Wilder, Gloria Holcomb, Glenda Cooke, Carol Pratt, Shirley Grabko, Leslie Sharpe
Bottom row - UT Extension Agent Alyshia Victoria, Brenda Osborne, Sharon Hansard, Linda Effler, Margie Collins, Lyndora Lindsay, Sherry Jones, Kaye Whaley, Ashley Mike UT Extension Administrative Assistant.

The Big Ridge Family Community Education Club celebrated with a festive lunch on Dec. 16th at St.Teresa’s Catholic Church. After a short business meeting and donations made to a local Food Bank and a needy family, the group exchanged small gifts. A game of Secret / Dirty Santa was played and enjoyed by everyone. Lunch consisted of lots of delicious Finger Foods.

Panicked Papas

There’s nothing like a good last-minute adventure, especially one on Christmas Eve. This happened to me many years when my daughter Sara was still small.
It started on December 23rd when we went to a cousin’s house for an early Christmas gathering. I so enjoyed being with my family and watching Sara open her gifts. That is until she opened the one with a doll.

Back Pain Shows Association With Increased Mortality Risk In Women Part II

New research from Boston Medical Center identifies elevated mortality risk for women with back pain when compared to women without back pain.

The research cites chiropractic care among the treatments that are effective and safe for managing back pain.

Beautiful Clichés

It is rarely that anything seems to surprise me. I suppose that is common as one grows older, but occasionally I am reminded that there might be a few surprises yet to come.
I went to the credit union to pay my car payment earlier in the week. I walked in just barely before the lobby closed. I walked up to the only available teller, a friendly young lady who grew prettier in my estimation throughout our brief encounter.

Old Christmas Superstitions

Christmas has been well entrenched in our culture for centuries, with most of our traditions coming over from Europe with the early settlers. It’s not surprising that superstitions about Christmas worked their way into the holiday. Here are a few that have hung around

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Smashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes

I like sweet potatoes about any way you can fix them. In fact, I buy a 20 pound box of sweet potatoes every fall from a man who brings them up from the Carolinas and parks in front of Janet’s Hair Salon in beautiful downtown Maynardville. It takes me all year to finish that box. I am always looking for new ways to fix them. I come up with this recipe the other day. It is a variation of a rutabaga recipe I tried. They are spicy but not like a pumpkin pie. Try them and see what you think.

UCHS welcomes new head coach Steve Smith

"Friday nights lights" is a phrase used quite often by many community members and fans as they talk about the excitement around their hometown football games.
Whether the team has a winning or losing streak for the year, there is a nostalgia surrounding Friday night lights.
High school students celebrate the event with face paint and cow bells, while the football players prepare themselves by wearing their jerseys to school that day.

String up your Christmas lights

Do you love decorating for the holidays? Do you love driving around to see Christmas lights? We have a fun contest for everyone who likes Christmas lights.
UT Extension Union County will host its annual Light Up Union County Contest in 2021 to get our town decorated for the holiday season. Whether your skill is closer to the Charlie Brown tree or Clark Griswold, we want to see your lights.

Reed elected BOE chair pro tem

Periodic absences for various reasons continue to cause the Union County Board of Education to barely have a quorum.
At the November school board meeting, Chairman David Coppock and Vice Chairman Marty Gibbs were absent along with Brad Griffey from Luttrell. Dr. Jimmy Carter, Director of Union County Schools, chaired the workshop and oversaw the election of Andrew Reed, who represents District 6 (Paulette), as the Chairman Pro Tem to preside at the November meeting.

Obituary

Marie C. Wallace

Marie Wallace-age 83 of Louisville, Tennessee, formerly of Luttrell passed away Friday, January 21, 2022 at Select Specialty Hospital. She was a Christian and of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by parents, John and Mamilee Canada; brothers, Clarence Canada, Dave Canada; sisters, Juanita Chamberlain, Johnny Mae Baker, Minnie Idol.

Stelmo E. Dalton Branson

Stelmo Estell (Dalton) Branson-age 85 of Washburn passed away Saturday morning, January 22, 2022 at the home of her daughter in Tazewell, Tennessee. She was born September 11, 1936 the daughter of the late Walter B. and Sarah Jane (Atkins) Dalton. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 46 years, Paul E. Branson; daughters, Donna M. Throesch and Doris E. Curran; brothers, Hubert Stanley Dalton, Aaron “Boot” Buford Dalton, Bedford Conley Dalton and Elvin Burnace Dalton, Fernly Clifford Dalton; sisters, Thelma Dalton Collins, Reva Mae Dalton Wilmouth.

Alfred Gene Shope, Sr.

Alfred Gene Shope, Sr. – age 66 of Maynardville, passed away Thursday, January 20, 2022.

He is preceded in death by parents, John A. and Mable Marie Shope. Alfred is survived by wife, Linda G. Shope; son, Alfred Gene Shope, Jr.; daughters, Jenny Marie, Taylor Leanne and Abigail Rose Shope; grandsons, Ezekiel Chase Klimek; along with a host of family and friends.

George E. Brown, Jr.

George Edward Brown, Jr. “Butch”-age 63 of Maynardville, formerly of Petal, Mississippi passed away Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at Parkwest Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, George E., Sr. and Patsy Brown.

Survivors: wife of 28 years, Diana “Kandy” Brown; five children, Joey Brown, Nicole Taylor, Jessica Elliott, Robby Carroll, Joey Carroll; 14 grandchildren. Brother, Kenneth Brown; sisters, Cindy Berry and Patricia Daughdrill. Several nieces and nephews along with a host of other family members and friends.

Ina R. (Ogle) Lane

Ina R. (Ogle) Lane-age 82 of Luttrell, born June 21, 1939 in Sevier County passed away Thursday, January 13, 2022 at her home. Ina entered into her eternal celebration that she had the assurance of from her teenage years. She was a member of Union Chapel Baptist Church, Maynardville and was a loving grandmother, mother, sister and friend who always put the needs of others before her own.

Geraldine (Richards) Bailey

Geraldine (Richards) Bailey-age 79 of Maynardville passed away Wednesday morning, January 12, 2022 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was a member of Macedonia Baptist Church. Preceded in death by mother, Nora Bell Richards; brothers, Benny Richards and Steve Richards; son, Roger Lynn Treece; daughter, Patricia Ann Treece.

Joyce Turner

Joyce Vandergriff Turner - age 67 of Maynardville, passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 10, 2022. She is preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Martha Vandergriff and Della Mae Oaks. Joyce is survived by son, Charles Gentry and daughter-in-law Natasha; daughter, LeeAnn Turner Large and son-in-law Eric; grandson, Dakota Gentry; granddaughters, Evelyn Gentry, Destiny and Emma Large; and siblings, Michael Vandergriff, Kyle Vandergriff, Tony Vandergriff and Patsy Mallicoat. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

Anna Kitts

Anna Leora “Lee” Graves Pollard Kitts went home to her Heavenly Father January 10, 2022 at the age of 89. She had a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ her Lord. Anna adored her children and all of her siblings. She enjoyed showing kindness to others by sending bouquets of flowers to her shut-in friends. She loved her plants, music and a good road trip. Anna was also an excellent seamstress, working for many years at Hall Brown and John H. Daniels.

Clyde L. Monroe

Clyde L. Monroe-age 93 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, January 8, 2022 at Willow Ridge Center. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Maynardville; a graduate of Horace Maynard High School, class of 1945 and a U. S. Army Veteran 1950-1951. Preceded in death by parents, Raymond and Bonnie (Palmer) Monroe; siblings, Gareth P. Monroe, Mary Jo Meyer, Willa Sue Cox, Eugene D. Monroe.

Johnie Marie McCurry

Johnie Marie McCurry - age 80 of Corryton, went to her heavenly home January 8, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. peacefully surrounded by her loved ones. Johnie Marie was born February 7, 1941 in Luttrell. Her love and humor were adored by everyone who knew her. Johnie was a mother, sister, mamaw, friend and devoted care giver to many. She was one of the founding members of Fellowship Christian Church where she spent her Sundays serving her savior.

Dusty Sexton

Joshua Dustin (Dusty) Sexton, age 34, of Maynardville passed away Saturday, January 8, 2022. He was born on October 14, 1987. Dusty is preceded in death by his mother, Janice Sexton and grandparents. Dusty is survived by his father, Jerry Sexton and step-mom, Brenda Sexton; his children, Aubree and Konnor Sexton; his siblings, Toni (Tim) Brown, Chris (Kayla) Sexton, Gina (John) Hale, Jennifer (Jeremy) Brake and his nieces and nephews.

Rev. Glen E. Beeler

Rev. Glen E. Beeler went home to be with his heavenly Father on Friday December 31st . More than anything Glen loved Christ fiercely and reflected his love for Christ through the way he adored his family, served his community through pastoring, and encouraged others to get to know his risen Savior.

Barbara Sue (Wyrick) Rutherford

Barbara Sue (Wyrick) Rutherford-age 71 of Maynardville, born October 25, 1950 passed away Thursday morning, December 30, 2021 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was a member of New Friendship Baptist Church. Preceded in death by son, Russell Luke Tolliver; daughter, Rebecca Pierce; parents, Calday and Francis Wyrick; brothers, Fred Wyrick, O. G. Wyrick, Theodore Wyrick; sisters, Carolyn Kitts, Othella (Sally) Corum, Pearl Atkins, Hester Atkins.