Remember those cozy evenings as a child when your mother or grandma invited you up in the lap of her rocking chair and tucked you under a soft quilt that she had made with her own hands from old hand-me-downs. She would let you pick a favorite book or two and you would spend the evening reading, giggling, and creating memories, all the while you were inhaling undetected skills that you did not perceive to be a part of the experience. “It’s never too early to start reading to your kids,” shares UT Institute of Agriculture Assistant Dean and Professor, Dr. Matt Devereaux.
Letter to commissioners warns to heed the law
Mayor Jason Bailey reported that he had received complaints of harassment from some county employees and public officials. Since County Attorney David Myers is a contracted employee, he could not offer advice due to a conflict of interest.
Bailey consulted H. Stephen Gillman, attorney from Pryor Priest Harbor, who is also representing the county in the lawsuit brought by the Union County Historical Society.
From the wording in the letter that Gillman addressed to Bailey as a representative of the Financial Management Committee, someone had been seeking information from the finance director that was not considered the routine public information, had been questioning other department members outside the normal chain of command, and requesting information “off the record”.
Then this person or persons used conversations and social media to disseminate misinformation. The letter clarified that commissioners are private citizens when not seated at an authorized county meeting and that the practice of communicating outside the standard could cause misinformation, violate the open meeting law, splinter the chain of command or even trigger a lawsuit under the tort of false light invasion of privacy.
Finally, any official or employee who refuses to follow the regulations as stated in TCA 5-21-125 commits a Class C misdemeanor and is subject to removal from office or position. The letter also warned that any official acting outside the regulations and communicating outside the standard would be considered acting contrary to the expectations and opinions of Union County and would be subject to the consequences outlined in the law.
Bailey summed it up by saying “You have the letter. Be careful what you say and what you do because you might find yourself and Union County in a lawsuit.”
The mayor updated several grants. The county maintenance department will install playground equipment purchased through the Access to Health grant at Sharps Chapel Park in the bottom land near the front of the park, probably over the next two weeks.
The Safe Routes to School Grant to provide a paved pedestrian access route from Luttrell School to LaFollette Housing is still being reviewed by the state. The CDBG proposal to provide turnout gear to all fire departments was declined and therefore not funded by the state.
Property owned by the county on Durham Drive next to Union County High school is being reviewed for a site for the Farmers Market. County maintenance and UCHS Building Trades have nearly completed renovations on the community buildings. The Union County Senior Building will receive a new roof.
A portion of the Luttrell Industrial Park is in the process of being purchased by a Mr. Mink. Another part of the same industrial park is being reviewed for a sports facility.
The new phone system is on track to save over $13,000, and the Eshare has added $7,659.15 to the Drug Fund
The Veterans Place Wall has been restored and will be rededicated along with the flagpole provided by the late Donna Jones, former Assessor of Property, on Saturday, November 2, at 2 p.m.
Sheriff Billy Breeding reported for September that his office received 781 calls, worked 11 wrecks with injury and 24 wrecks without injury, booked into the jail 138, released 142, and currently has a jail population of 90.
Chief Deputy Melissa Brown gave the financial report for Director Ann Dyer.
All budgets are in range and correct for the time frame of the fiscal year. All Budget Amendments were approved.
Ray Butler, Tennessee Forestry Technician, updated commission regarding improvements at Chuck Swan State Forest and the Wildlife Management Area. Tennessee Forestry Service purchased a Cat 120 road grader, two heavy duty John Deere tractors, and a Cat 420 backhoe.
Butler called Chuck Swan the state's crown jewel in wildlife areas due to having a variety of land forms that include ridges and wide valleys on nearly 27,000 acres. He reported all roads are open and currently in good shape. Two full-time forestry employees and an area forester serve Union County.
The current office is on Fox Hunter Road. A forestry work center to include an emergency management staging area is planned at a cost of $1.75 million in state money to be used to fight fires and manage the forests for Union County. Plans call for a 400 square feet conference room, equipment storage, restrooms with showers, office space, and three 1500 square feet bays. Equipment will include two bulldozers and a truck for hauling equipment.
Butler expressed a concern that the area has no public water source, and sought the advice of commission regarding potential water sources. He is researching the possibility of drilling a well and has talked with Darren Cardwell from Hallsdale-Powell regarding a water line with an estimated cost of $555,000.
Commissioners asked the mayor to explore the possibility of securing a Community Development Block Grant to install the water line. The mayor will be meeting with grant writers this week.
Commission approved Charles Dale (Kermie) Holloway's constable bond with a date change to August 2020 because the constable position must be on the 2020 ballot. Holloway is filling an unexpired term by appointment and could then run for election to the office of constable in 2020.
In previous meetings, the mayor has noted the lack of regulations regarding the rental of county buildings. He has proposed a policy and asked the commissioners to offer their opinions.
Currently, at least two county buildings are being used by a long-term verbal agreement at no cost to the individuals involved. The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd has used the Sharps Chapel Center for nearly four years. The food pantry has been distributing from Cedar Grove, but no verification of their nonprofit status was available. Utility costs exceeded $4000 for the buildings last year.
The consensus of the commission was that individuals should pay for using the buildings and no one should have a long-term agreement. With this in mind, Commission approved the current rental payment of $40 per day to begin on January 1, 2020. This policy would nullify any long-term agreements.
The mayor was asked to bring a proposal to be discussed at the November meeting regarding setting a more complete rental policy for county buildings and parks. The mayor expressed his desire to have a more comprehensive policy in place before January. The motion was made by Jeff Brantley and seconded by Jody Smith. Kenny Hill (5th) voted to pass, but all others voted for the motion. Jeff Chesney was absent.
The commission also took affirmative action on the Fiscal Confirmation letter for ThreeStar, a state community development program. Accepting the letter verifies that commissioners are aware of the financial status of the county and the cash flow to cover any debts or programs outlined in the ThreeStar plan. All voted for the proposal except Dawn Flatford who passed since she was absent from the meeting when the original ThreeStar plan was discussed.
In routine order, the minutes and one notary were approved. There were no Public Comments.
The next meeting of the commission is Monday, November 25, at 7 p.m. to discuss Rules and Regulations for Community Buildings and Parks and changing the date for the December meeting.
Scouts and leaders from one hundred forty-three countries gathered in West Virginia for the 24th World Scout Jamboree. It has been more than fifty years since this event has been held in the United States. Four years ago, it was held in Japan, will be in Korea in four more years, then Brazil.
More than 45,000 Scouts from around the world gathered at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve near Beckley to “Unlock a New World” the theme of this year’s Jamboree.
World War One had far-reaching impacts on American society and its citizens. Union County, Tennessee, was not excluded from these impacts. As we celebrate Veterans Day, we should all take time to remember those brave men who fought to "make the world safe for democracy," but also remember the citizens who suffered, worried and rationed to support the war effort.
There are many examples of such sacrifice. But, there are also examples of the joy these citizens felt when loved ones returned from the far-off battlefields of Europe.
Those of you who served in Vietnam remember the draft. I remember when the draft was activated at the start of World War II. It has been around a long time. My two brothers, Rodney and Russell were 12 and 10 when the '40s war began. Rodney joined the Navy when he turned 17. With the war over, most of his two year tour of duty was spent in a good-will tour of Europe and North Africa, ending at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Recently I went to a local pizzeria to purchase the evening’s supper. My hair was in pretty bad need of cutting, so bad in fact that it looked slicked down because it didn’t have time to dry in the morning before I dressed for work. The young girl behind the counter said that I looked so professional except for my wild tie and slicked back hair. She asked, “Are you a car salesman?” I replied, “No, worse, I work for the school system!”
As old as I am, it is still difficult for me. No matter how much I struggle, I simply cannot stay within the lines when I color.
As a child, I often glanced over at the color pages of other children in my class. This included Sunday school as well. Their pages had pretty uses of colors and defined edges. My page looked as if I had colored while wearing a blindfold.
It really is no better now. When my daughter Sara was small, I would sit with her and color. I often heard, “Momma, you’re going out of the lines again.”
There are those who will say that dogs and cats are always natural enemies. That may have been true hundreds of years ago when canines and felines were competing for the same prey, but I contend the relationship today is much more complex. I give, as example, the friendship of Boots and Butch.
Boots was an orange Tabby kitten, with huge white polydactyl paws. He was a neighborhood stray, being cared for temporarily by friends who suddenly had to move. As the last box of dishes was being loaded in the rental truck, my friend asked, "What are we going to do with Mittens?"
Do you like pumpkin pie? Then you will like sweet potato pie. Sweet potatoes are a favorite of mine. Every October a farmer from the Carolinas brings a truck load of sweet potatoes to the parking lot in front of Janet's Hair Salon. I buy a big box of them, about 20 pounds. It takes me all year to eat them,. Thank goodness they store well at room temperature. Come August, there are a few green sprouts, but the sweet potatoes are still fine. This recipe is a good way to use up those from last year as you wait for the new crop.
Union County High School seniors were honored for their exceptional devotion and work for the Patriots at the UCHS football game on October 25. The Patriots faced the Sullivan South Cougars in a cold pouring rain. Luckily, UCHS pulled off the win in an 18-12 final score.
Football, cheer, band and color guard seniors marched onto the field at 7 p.m. accompanied by their parents and family members. God Bless America played as the Patriots and families filled the field. Football teammates were carrying American flags in the presentation, creating a beautiful patriotic scene.
“With less than two percent of our population actively involved in production agriculture, many students have no firsthand knowledge of how food is raised and produced,” stated Julie Giles, event co-chair. “Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week is a great opportunity to focus on agriculture and share valuable information in our local schools about how farmers grow and harvest the products that provide food, fiber and fuel for our country.”
4-12th grade students gather and build their sewing skills at the Extension office on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Students must RSVP in advance to ensure there are enough supplies. Contact email@example.com
6-12th grade students interested in learning about companion animals and conducting service learning and volunteer hours are invited to attend the monthly 4-H project group each 3rd Thursday monthly. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Maynardville Public Library would like to invite everyone to a very special celebration on Saturday Nov. 16th from 10am to 12pm @ Maynardville Public Library located @ 296 Main Street in Maynardville to help us celebrate our ONE MILLIONTH Imagination Library book being sent out!!! That’s Right ONE MILLIONTH BOOK!!!! Everyone is welcome to attend this very special event! We are so excited to share this with everyone and hope that you can come! Also if your child is not a part of the Imagination Library this will be a great time to sign up your child age 0 to 5yrs!!
4-12th graders are welcomed to participate
Weekly meetings will be held on Mondays from 3:30-4:45pm at the 4-H office
October 21, 28, Nov 4, 11, 18, 25, Dec 2, 9
Oct 19 - Weigh-in, Eartagging, and Deworming at Jones Farm 9am
Oct 20- Ownership Deadline
Nov 1 - Eartag Deadline
Dec 13 - County Show in Knoxville
Dec 14 - Region SHow in Knoxville
Jan 6-9 - State Show in Murfreesboro
Ted Todd, Sr.-age 79 of Maynardville passed away peacefully at his home while surrounded by family and loved ones Sunday, November 10, 2019. He was born May 30, 1940 to the late Marshall Todd and Geneva Todd Swindle. He was a member of Grace Full Gospel Baptist Church, Corryton where he served as a Deacon. Ted was also a member of Waverly Lodge No. 615, Martinsville, Indiana where he joined in 1962 and always remained a member in good standing with Indiana Freemasonry.
Randy Leo Relford-age 61 of Sharps Chapel passed away Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. He was born February 3, 1958, one of fifteen children of the late Clifton and Ima (Wright) Relford. He was also preceded in death by half-brother, Clarence Evans; brothers, Bill Wright, Terry, Gary and Darrell Relford; sisters, Phyllis Thompson, Mary Ann and Darlene Relford.
Margaret “Maggie” Vera Parker, age 12 weeks, passed away on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. She was the 1,274th ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) patient and she fought for weeks to stay on earth with her family while waiting for a heart transplant. She will be deeply missed by her family who treasures what time they had with Maggie. Preceded in death by grandfather Dan Parker.
Jerry Lynn Simmons Sr., age 83, was called home by his Lord and Savior on November 5, 2019. He worked over 40 years in construction and land surveying. He was a man of integrity and deeply loved his wife of 61 years. They were inseparable and an inspiration to all who knew them. He traveled all over the country and shared life’s adventures on the farm and lake house. Jerry was a wonderful man with a sweet spirit, and he was an amazing daddy, pops, and papaw.
Roy Vaughn Graves, Jr. – 68 of Maynardville, went to his eternal home, November 4, 2019, surrounded by family and friends. He was a member of Hansard Chapel Methodist Church. His new life has begun, a life that will never know sickness, disease, sorrow or loss again. He is finally healed and made whole. Vaughn was so grateful for all his family and friends that were so supportive of him through the good and the hard times. He was owner and manager of Union Parts and Equipment in Maynardville for over 30 years, but his true legacy is his family, who he loved deeply.
Susie L. Haynes- age 84 of Luttrell gained her wings Monday morning, November 4, 2019 at her home. She was a devoted Christian. Preceded in death by husband, Bobby R. Haynes.
She leaves behind daughter and son-in-law, Cathy and James Hensley of Maynardville; grandsons, Stephen Hensley of Luttrell; Dustin Hensley of Maynardville; three great-grandchildren, six great-great grandchildren. Brother, Clyde and June Mallicoat; special friends, Stephanie and Polly. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Wanda Browning Lett, age 87, passed away Sunday November 3, 2019. She was a member of Sharon Baptist Church. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and sister. Preceded in death by husband of 42 years James Edsel Lett, parents Vaughn and Gladys Browning, sisters Helen Wright Reasor and Jewell Flenniken. Survivors include sons Greg Lett and Jeff (Robin) Lett, daughter Jennifer Lett, brothers Ronald V.