School Board hears concerns over attendance letter language
At the February Union County Board of Education meeting, Sydney Jessee, a parent of two school-aged children, addressed the board during the workshop.
Jessee had received an attendance letter regarding his older child's absences due to flu and a stomach virus. He related that his child had doctor notes for all but one day and he had written a parent note for the stomach virus.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Carter also noted that one day in question was a day when school was closed for flu. The letter notified Jessee that the student’s absences had reached tier 2 and a meeting with a school social worker was necessary and possibly a plan of intervention by DCS if the absences continued.
Jessee stated that he found the language offensive and he felt threatened by the letter. In his opinion, the language would not cause a parent to respond positively, but rather cause parents to disregard the note for fear of losing their children to DCS if they complied.
He said that Carter had explained that a school social worker is a school employee, not connected to DCS. Carter then explained the reason for the attendance policy, the three-tier system required by the state, and the local measures to implement the policy.
Attendance Supervisor Roxanne Patterson explained that the attendance policy has to cover those who abuse the attendance policy, show that the system made an honest effort to intervene, and provide services so instruction is not interrupted.
Jessee replied that the fact that a student is making A grades should be taken into consideration regarding the impact on instruction. Jessee said that he had no problem with the attendance policy, but thought the letter was harsh and requested that another version be formulated.
Carter said that the letter would be reviewed and revised without changing the policy and then both letters would be reviewed by the board. Carter thanked Jessee for bringing his concerns directly to him and the board because misunderstandings can be cleared and the system improved.
Jessee also thanked his school board member, Brad Griffey, for his help although Griffey of second district and Gibbs of first district were absent.
Finance Director Ann Dyer reported that expenditures were within normal parameters for the current year. The board approved Budget Amendments and Transfers that included changes due to the grants and other routine changes in the General Purpose fund.
Money was moved into Capital Projects to accommodate the grant match for the sewer system upgrade at Sharps Chapel Elementary School. The SCES project will begin immediately but the bulk of the work will occur during spring break and then finish in the summer if needed.
The parking lot will have paving done during summer break, according to Carter in response to a question by Collins.
School trips by band, FFA, and wrestling were approved. Carter noted that a band member is participating in the regional band competition.
Carter distributed school audits and noted that there were no major findings. Carter complimented school bookkeepers on good job.
The board again postponed policy 6.300 Code of Conduct to allow board members and school personnel to attend a conference later this month to gather more information and make sure that all of the requirements could be met before the board approved the policy.
The board discussed an increase in the cost of use of school buildings, especially UCHS, from $125 to $200. Apparently, the amount paid no longer covers the amount needed to pay custodians and other employees to be at events. Board member Reed suggested that Dr. Carter look at a sliding scale for costs. Carter offered to bring a proposal to the next meeting
The board adjourned until its next meeting on Thursday, March 12, with the workshop to begin at 6 p.m. and the meeting to follow.
The impact of COVID-19 on learning, especially in elementary reading and math, continues to be a concern for Union County as well as our state and nation. To mitigate some of the pandemic's impact on learning, Dr. Jimmy Carter announced at the March Union County Board of Education meeting that summer school will be from June 1 through June 25 with a maximum class size of eighth students per teacher.
Beginning Thursday, April 8, the Union County Health Department is moving its vaccine clinic to Alder Springs Church at 708 Hickory Star Road across from the Union County Humane Society.
Vaccines will still be administered by appointment only, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Extended appointments are available only on Tuesday. To make an appointment, call 866-442-5301 or 865-549-5343 or to book an appointment online, go to vaccinate.tn.gov.
Local agriculture partners collaborated and hosted the annual National Ag Day Farmer Appreciation Breakfast on March 23. Farmers and producers from across Union County were invited to celebrate their hard work and dedication in honor of the nationally recognized day.
The farmers received a complimentary breakfast and a bag full of promotional items in recognition of their efforts throughout the year to preserve our county's farmlands and rich agricultural history.
The Master Beef Producer program is an extensive educational program developed to provide information to assist you and other Tennessee cow-calf producers in improving the profitability of your cow-calf operations. The classes provide opportunities to gain knowledge in current beef cattle management practices that are important to the profitability and sustainability of the industry.
The 2021 Union County Business and Professional Association Golf Classic will be played at the beautiful Three Ridges Golf Course, 6101 Wise Springs Road, in Knoxville on June 19. Tee time is 1 p.m. with a barbeque lunch by Li'l Jo's included in the entry fee. Golfers will receive goody bags, door prizes, as well as compete for Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive.
As we look forward to having our routines return to near-normal, a good attitude is still essential for tackling the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and the changes it has created in our day-to-day lives. Taking care of your health by addressing pain and then finding time for physical activity, rest, time in nature, and safe socializing can help lessen stress and anxiety.
Country Connections by James and Ellen Perry
“Time Changes Everything” was recorded in 1940 by Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan: “Heavenly shades of night are falling, It’s twilight time, Out of the mist your voice is calling, ’Tis twilight time.”
These beautiful lyrics were sung by Tony Williams and The Platters in the late spring of 1958. It was an international hit with lyrics written by Buck Ram in the ’40s. He later became the manager of The Platters.
Dr. Lauren Effler, Pre-K director for Union County Public Schools, announces that registration is now open for Pre-K students enrolling for in-person learning next fall.
The Pre-K curriculum, designed to get kids ready for kindergarten, teaches important things such as letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. Children are also taught social skills like interacting with other kids, cooperating and working with others, and how to problem-solve.
By Harlen Hunley and Ty Edds
On March 8, the Lady Red Devils got the season off to a good start with a solid win over Claiborne County with a score of 3-0. They got hits and runners on at the right time to push across the runs needed and solid pitching from Aleyia Satterfield to shut out the Lady Bulldogs.
Lady Devils win over Clinton
By Harlen Hunley and Ty Edds
HMMS vs. Seymour
The Horace Maynard Baseball team has been rolling since an opening day loss on Tuesday March 2, as they traveled to Seymour in a 2-1 loss.
The Red Devils played solid defense with solid pitching as eighth grader Ty Edds toed the rubber and was relieved by Garret Graves trying to prevent the go-ahead run from scoring. As a bloop hit to left scored the winning run from third base in the last inning. Edds, Maddix Wyrick, and Aiden Bowman all had hits in the game for the Red Devils.
Big Ridge State Park has a large diversity of trees. The park is around 3,600 acres in size with only a couple hundred acres at most that is mowed and not wooded.
Of course, one of the purposes of our Tennessee state parks is to preserve and protect our natural resources.
This was not always the case. Before the park was set aside for preservation it was farmland with little of it wooded.
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
One of the more popular trees in the spring is the eastern redbud (Cercis Canadensis), which blesses us with a beautiful bloom of purple pea-like flowers that pop out on the trunk and large branches as well as on twigs. Another common name for redbud is Judas tree, which comes from the belief that Judas hung himself from a Middle Eastern redbud after betraying Christ.
Philippians 4:6 is one of those verses which many Christians have hidden in their hearts. It is Paul the Apostles version of 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.”
We find Paul once again in prison for preaching the Gospel. He has written this letter to the Philippians so that they will not lose hope in Christ, because of the situation in which Paul finds himself.
Let’s think about what is going on by imagining ourselves as part of a possible conversation between two first century new believers in the city of Philippi:
Most fishy tales are probably tall tales about the one that got away. Mine are just the opposite in that I have never had any luck with fish in any capacity.
For instance, the last time I went fishing, I fell into Bull Creek. That wonderful experience is in my story, “In the Creek.”
My woeful fish tales started at a very young age. You see, my mother always had a fish tank.
Union County High School girls’ basketball coach Roger Murphy is stepping away; but he isn’t going too far.
Murphy has coached the girls team for the past fourteen years and says the timing is right. Murphy’s tenure was highlighted by winning the district tournament championship in 2015-16, the first for the program in over thirty years.
We have a TV star in our midst, Union County! Kara Cooke was modeling when she graduated from Union County High School in 2018. She then enrolled in classes at Gage talent agency in West Knoxville, going once a week for a couple of months where she learned skills such as working the runway, how to pose for the camera, and how to apply make-up. She also took acting classes. One of her instructors started The STAIR Agency for models and actors and she followed him. Her career took off after auditioning and being selected for a spot in Knoxville Fashion Week.
Nothing has ever been simple for me, not even riding the school bus home when I was a child.
When I was in the first grade, my mom would always pick me up after school. From her car, I would watch my friends board their school buses. Of course, I wanted to do that too. I thought they were having a fun party with no teachers around.
If you’re like most people, most of the time you definitely want to be in the “in” crowd. There you’re accepted, adored, idolized, and never alone.
That is, you’re never alone until your thinking starts to depart from the “status quo” of your “in” crowd. Then you risk becoming an outcast, as most groups struggle with a free thinker within their “in” crowd.
I am fond of cats nowadays. That was not always the case. I remember back in my childhood when I thought my dad was perfect and knew everything about anything. He hated cats! So I did, too. I would express my dislike at every opportunity. Then we moved to Summers Road in Union County. We had mice galore. They were everywhere and didn’t care if we saw them or not. All food had to be stored covered and sealed.
I dropped by Maynardville Public Library to see what is going on and man is there a lot! In addition to their amazing way of seeing us through the pandemic with their interactive website, which offers online reading and something for everyone, library staff members have been busy refreshing and revitalizing the building inside and out, as we all look forward to getting out and once again enjoying public spaces together.
On Friday, March 12, Luttrell Elementary School students from each homeroom class who logged the highest amount of reading on their own time were invited to attend Donuts with the Principal.
"We are very proud of these hard-working students and look forward to seeing who will win next month's prize,” said Instructional Facilitator Steva Bates.
Every year, the Smoky Mountain Home School 4-H Club takes an active approach with getting involved in our community. This past year has presented its own unique problems with COVID and the restrictions to club events and activities that have come along with those restrictions. But, in spite of this, we want Union County to know that we are still here.
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
This story is about a memory from my early childhood that I don’t remember. At all. But I have been told about it several times over the years.
First, I need to give you a little bit of background information. I’m sure most of you all are aware of how much I love chocolate. As much as I love it; my Mamaw Jo loved eggs. And she was very proud of that fact.
You may have noticed that the farmers market is accepting applications for a manager, an assistant manager and a demonstration chef but, it is also the time of year to turn in your vendor applications. Perhaps you have wondered if the Union County Farmers Market is the place for you – we think you’ll agree that it is!
More than 250 people logged onto The Quarantine Happy Hour on Facebook Sunday, March 7 to hear Union County native Sarah Morgan weave her beautiful music.
Morgan started with the dulcimer then moved to guitar. Her angelic voice made for a splendid ending to a beautiful day here in East Tennessee.
One of the most common and well known therapeutic procedures performed by doctors of chiropractic is spinal manipulation (sometimes referred to as a “chiropractic adjustment”). The purpose of spinal manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile—or restricted in their movement—as a result of a tissue injury.
If you are as old as I, you will recognize the quoted title above from many episodes of the 1970s television situation comedy Sanford and Son. Junkman Fred Sanford, portrayed by Redd Foxx, called his son Lamont a “big dummy” in practically episode of the series. If you are not as old as I, thanks to the wonders of cable television and retro channels such as METV and Antenna TV, these old shows can become favorites of a new generation.
We weren’t sure how she did it. If I hadn’t seen it myself, I don’t know if I would’ve believed it. Who am I talking about? Our dog Pobby. She was the one that gnawed on my bible in my story: “Eating the Word.”
She was a tiny stray puppy that we took into our home and our hearts. Before she was housebroken, we didn’t want her to go into our living room while Tim and I were at work. At that time, the living room had bifold doors, so we just closed them. The doors were difficult for us to open, so we assumed Pobby wouldn’t be able to open them either.
The first Friday in March is when Tennessee celebrates Arbor Day, while Kentucky, Virginia, and the nation designate Arbor Day as the last Friday in April. The dictionary defines a tree as "a woody perennial plant having a distinct trunk with branches and foliage at some distance above the ground". This simple description falls short of what a tree is to humans and other life forms. What is a tree? Let me count the ways:
Mayor Chandler called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM
Prayer by Gordon Bright
Present: Mayor Chandler, Vice-Mayor Philips, Gordon Bright, Josh Collins, Rebecca Lock
Reading of Previous Minutes: Mary Ann Brantley. Motion by Richard Phillips, Second by Gordon Bright to approve as read. Motion carried.
Police Report: Chief Eddie Muncey said March has been busy but smooth. He commented the City received a check for $1900 from Union County for drug related fines processed.
Bobby Glenn, Race Director at Knoxville Track Club (KTC), describes the third race of 2021’s “dirty dozen” as, “In the wooded hollows of Big Ridge State Park east of Norris near Maynardville, the 11-mile course delves into long forgotten, mud-slogged crevasses thought to be haunted by haints, demons, banshees, phantoms, and poltergeists” No doubt in reference to Big Ridge’s ghost hikes in October!
The Paulette Elementary School team left to right:
April Bull- 4th Grade Math Teacher, Casey Hurley- Instructional Facilitator, Missy Fugate- Principal, Katelyn Shetterly- Kindergarten Teacher, Chris Justice- Music Teacher, Allie Giles- Special Education Teacher. Not pictured: Michelle Branscomb- 3rd Grade Science and Social Studies Teacher
The Tennessee Behavior Supports Project (TBSP) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (funded by the Tennessee Department of Education) is proud to announce that Paulette Elementary School has been selected as a 2020-2021 bronze level RTI2-B Model of Demonstration School.
Nestled right in the heart of downtown Maynardville, you will find a new business, Mission Hope Pediatric Therapy, LLC. Back in September, founder and owner, Brittany Buckner, opened the doors to her dream business, doing exactly what she loves - helping others.
The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help the body’s potential to heal itself. It is based on the scientific principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function and performance. Chiropractic care is non-invasive, non-surgical and drug-free. The type of chiropractic therapy provided depends on the cause of the patient’s sciatica. A sciatica treatment plan may include several different treatments such as ice/cold therapies, ultrasound, TENS, and spinal adjustments (sometimes called spinal manipulation).
As a child, I spent many a spring or summer day romping through the yard as I chased flying insects. If it had fluttering wings, it fascinated me. Whether it was a butterfly, bee, or lightning bug, I followed it with envy. Fortunately, I didn’t do that with birds. That may have gotten a little messy.
Multi-published local author Brooke Cox will hold a book launch and signing Sunday, April 25 from 2-4 p.m. at Beaver Dam Baptist Church.
Cox will launch her latest novel Dinosaur Eggs, Two Guys, a Girl, and a T-Rex. The book has 5 star reviews with one reviewer calling the book a “Wonderful middle-grade allegory.”
Cox is also re-launching her first mystery novel with a new title and cover. Until the Moon Rises, A Conniving Cousins Mystery. Cox plans to create a mystery series from the book.
Cox will also have her Saucy Southern Stories books available.
Homeschooling Mothers are invited to an evening of encouragement on Monday, April 26, 2021 in the Hardees Meeting Room in Maynardville at six p.m. Speaking will be Christine Brackney, a veteran homeschooling Mom who will focus on keeping your vision and choosing the educational choice that best meets the needs of your child. Info: 865-992-3629-Connie Dickey
Maggie Dykes – age 93 of Sharps Chapel, passed away peacefully at home with her family by her side on Thursday, April 8, 2021. She was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church.
Voyd C. Keck, age 90 of Halls, formerly of Union Co., passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, April 4, 2021. He was a member of Christ United Methodist Church of Halls. Graduated class of 1950, Horace Maynard High School. Retired from University of Tennessee Physical Plant as General Supt. of structural maintenance. He was a 49-year member of Masters Lodge #244 F. & A.M. K.C.C.H. Scottish Rite of Knoxville, Areme Chapter #466 O.E.S.
Mitchell Steven Beason-age 68 of Luttrell passed away Friday morning, April 2, 2021 at his home. He was a Christian and had a great love of dogs, cats and all animals. Preceded in death by parents, Mitchell Lee and Martha (Woods) Beason; siblings, Lucille Ford, Gene Beason, Agnes Dyer, Bernice Vaught, Mary Beeler along with several nieces, nephews and other family members.
Arlene “Leigh” McFarren-age 63 of Corryton passed away Thursday, April 1, 2021 at her home. She was a member of Mountain View Church of God of the Union Assembly, Luttrell. She was an employee of Knox County Sheriff’s Office for the past six years, formerly with T.V.A.
She was a loving wife, mother and nana. Preceded in death by granddaughter, Sophie Holly and Grandma Betty who raised her.
Rev. Clarence E. Bull-age 92 of Maynardville passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at his home. Preceded in death by parents, Silas A. and Murlie Burke Bull; brothers, Lloyd Bull, Junior Bull; sisters, Billie Bruner, Edith Pratt and infant sister, Sue Ann Bull; great-grandson, Brayden William Frye; father and mother-in-law, Rev. Fate and Etta Oaks; brother-in-law, L. G. Oaks.
Larry Eugene Norris – age 76 of Andersonville, born June 10, 1944 passed away at U. T. Hospital at 3:30 a.m., March 26, 2021. He was saved at age 12 at Snoddley Baptist Church and joined Macedonia Baptist at age 14.
He is preceded in death by father, Tommy Norris; brother, David Norris; and grandson, Adam Norris. Larry is survived by wife, Dora Johnson Norris; son, Roger Norris; mother, Mable Norris; aunt, Ruby McBee Hutchison; brother-in-law, Gary Johnson; cousin, Yvonne Foust; special friends, Ricky Hutchison and Betty Waggoner; and pets, Oscar and Lily.
Angela Renee Ballard-age 40 of Rutledge went home to be with the Lord Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at U. T. Medical Center. Preceded in death by sister, Christina Lee; nephew, Skylar; father, Richard Ballard, Sr.; grandfather, Bud Givens; grandmother, Naomi Ballard.
Survivors: son, Jayden Reed; mother, Jama Gibson; grandmother, Polly Givens; brother, Richard Ballard; nephews, Christopher, Trey and Terry; great-niece, Neveah. Special friend, Tony Winstead.