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VOL. 12 NO. 6 |

Catchin’ up with Ken Venable

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February 8, 2017


Propelling student growth By Sandra Clark Union County has done something Knox County could not do – Dr. Jimmy Carter has introduced state education reforms with teacher buy-in and demonstrated progress on Jimmy Carter test results. Dr. Jim McIntyre tried much of the same, only to encounter teacher resistance that led to his loss of employment and a virtually all-new school board. Every principal addressed the Union County school board’s January meeting. In a report to the community, Carter said the test results “reflect hard work by our teachers.” And Dr. Lauren Effler said “all of these things are happening in all of our schools.” Trevor Collins also facilitated the program. We’ve written previously about Union County’s improved test scores. The county’s schools are improving at a pace that exceeds the state average. These reports are how the principals and teachers are supporting student learning. Carmen Murphy talked about teacher teams and teacher/student leadership teams at the high school. UCHS has stimulated community involvement with a new Facebook page and closed-circuit televisions in the hallways. She talked about the Patriot Closet, where kids can shop free of charge for needed clothing and personal hygiene products. Murphy said 228 kids qualified and 115 signed up for the lunchtime “open campus” – a program launched with school board approval after a recommendation by the school’s leadership team. Students who qualify can leave campus during lunch; for those without transportation, the school library is open during lunch. To page A-6

Pick up extra copies at Union County Senior Citizens Center 298 Main St. Maynardville NEWS (865) 342-6622 Sandra Clark | Shannon Carey ADVERTISING SALES (865) 922-4136 Amy Lutheran | Patty Fecco Beverly Holland | Mary Williamson

Grandfather, teacher, chicken whisperer By Seth Norris Treat others as you want to be treated. Everyone knows this saying, but very few actually live it. Consider one of those few, Ken Venable, or as you know him, K.V. If you went to Horace Maynard or Union County High School from 1973 to 2013, you’ve likely had him as an English or history teacher. K.V. put away the marker and white board in January 2013 after 40 years of teaching. “When I was in seventh grade I had a history teacher that just kind of made everything real,” said K.V. “He had a positive influence on me.” Much like his seventh-grade teacher, K.V. had a positive influence on his students. Other than the fact this article is written by a former student who wanted to give the man some praise, all you have to do to see his impact is take a look at his Facebook page.

Ken “K.V.” Venable with one of his six dogs, an Anatolian Shepherd named Badger. Photos submitted.

Retired Union County High School teacher Ken “K.V.” Venable enjoys being a granddad and is pictured here with wife Teena Venable and grandchildren Kaylee and Kolton Venable, at Kaylee’s kindergarten graduation.

To page A-2

PVEC vows no Sharps Chapel spraying in 2017 Residents have attorney, may sue By Shannon Carey Powell Valley Electric Cooperative’s board of directors pledged in a recent meeting to abstain from spraying herbicides along power line easements in Sharps Chapel, according to Sharps Chapel resident and community activist Tara Coy, but other communities served by the utility received no such assurance. During the Jan. 19 board meeting, Coy, along with resident Rhonda Parks, presented a petition with more than 350 signatures, along with reports from those who experienced health issues that they claim began when PVEC contractor Progressive Solutions sprayed a mixture of six herbicides to control vegetation growth under power lines. “They indicated that they would not be spraying in Sharps Chapel in 2017, and I asked about the other communities and was told ‘That’s not been determined yet,’” Coy said. “I was very disappointed to hear that.” Coy called the meeting “kan-

garoo court,” because representatives from Progressive Solutions and chemical provider Bayer were already in the room when she and Parks arrived. “We were kind of surrounded by these people,” she said. “They were still there when we left the room. They got to hear our arguments, and we did not get to hear theirs.” Both Coy and Parks have reported serious health concerns themselves, and so have many residents of Sharps Chapel, Tazewell and New Tazewell. Pets and livestock were also affected. Coy said the spraying was “haphazard,” and residents received no notice. They went about their business, including coming into direct contact with the chemicals, because they did not know what had happened. Reported symptoms include extreme fatigue, severe and recurring rashes, kidney failure, sleeplessness, and much more. (See sidebar for a list.) “The people who are the sickest are the people who handled the brush right after the spraying,” said Coy. “They didn’t know. It happened while they were at work,

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According to Sharps Chapel resident and community activist Tara Coy, 27 adults and nine children reported health effects that could be connected with the summer 2016 herbicide spraying. “There’s just too many incidents for this to be coincidence,” Coy said. Symptoms run Tara Coy the gamut and include severe breathing problems, nosebleeds, hoarseness, sore throat, extreme fatigue, severe headache, vomiting, high blood pressure in previously healthy people, sleeplessness, dizziness, joint pain, new moles and rashes. Many of these symptoms are recurring. Some specific instances include: ■■ Several young boys suffered rashes accompanied by swollen genitalia.

Livestock and pets were also affected. ■■ Eighteen dogs were reported sick. ■■ Four died shortly after spraying. ■■ Some developed tumors on faces or feet. ■■ One cat developed balance problems and died shortly after spraying. ■■ Two goats and six calves died. All developed balance problems, then could not stand up, then died. ■■ One resident reported that a chicken coop and turkey pen were sprayed. Water supply impacts include:

■■ Two people developed growths on their necks, and one developed a growth in her throat, all of which had to be surgically removed. ■■ One person who walked barefoot in his yard after spraying developed chemical burns on the

To page A-3

bottoms of his feet. ■■ Five people have reported abnormal kidney function, and two are in Stage 3 kidney failure. All were in good health and had no kidney problems prior to the spraying.

■■ Five families reported their ponds or drinking water springs were sprayed. ■■ Five said the ground over the top of their wells had been sprayed. ■■ Families have switched to bottled drinking water if they can afford to do so. One hooked into HallsdalePowell water.

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A-2 • February 8, 2017 • Union County Shopper news



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Ken Venable There are people constantly commenting on his status or his personal wall, and he’s always guaranteed to get hundreds of likes, especially when he tries to be a comedian. For a retired teacher, seeing all the love on the social network makes the 40 years of service worthwhile. “It’s nice to know that they still remember me, and it’s been great for me because I’ve been able to keep in touch with some of the students I had 35, 38 years ago. It’s really good because a lot have accomplished what they wanted to do. It gives me a good feeling to know that.” So just what has this influential man been up to since his retirement? Instead of herding students, he’s just herding animals on the farm. With 40 cows, 50 chickens, ducks, geese, horses, and only six dogs running around, he’s staying pretty busy as a fulltime farmer now. “There was no adjustment (from teaching), I’ve been on the farm all my life,” said K.V. “It was just like a typical summer day when I was out for the summer from teaching.” He also made sure to mention that he’s a chicken whisperer with a first place win in an exhibition poultry show. Aside from playing farmer, he’s also been playing granddad to his granddaughter and grandson.

From page A-1 By the looks of things, his grandson, Kolton, might actually give him more trouble than the animals. Just ask K.V.’s credit card. He says when he opened the bill he knew exactly who it was. “I knew those little fingers had been doing something,” said K.V. “I was like ‘Oh my gosh! Am I going to have pay $613?” Luckily, the company didn’t make him pay, and his grandson won’t have to hit the workforce for another few years. As for his plans, he wants to continue to spend his time on the farm with his wife, Teena, who is also a retired teacher of 40 years. He just wants to continue to “love” his critters and family in his spare time. However, with the occasional reminders from former students about him being the “favorite teacher,” it makes him miss being around them. “It makes me humble,” said K.V. “It really makes me proud to know that they still respect me and love me.” In typical K.V. fashion, whether he meant to or not, he offered up some words that show he still knows how to set a good example for students, and people in general. “If you let somebody know you care,” said K.V., “you’ve got the situation whipped.” So in other words, after four years of retirement, K.V. is still K.V.

Union County Shopper news • February 8, 2017 • A-3

Big Ridge Elementary School student Hayden Johnson consults with Arts Council member Mary Ann Brantley about his art career book. Photos submitted

Kailyn Walters and Emma Gayle Malone of Big Ridge Elementary School envision possible arts careers with the Union County Arts Council book project.

Arts Council hard at work in Union County Schools By Shannon Carey

Savannah Gerber and Tiffany Stratton paint emojis during the Horace Maynard Middle School Victory Club’s Pizza and Painting event.

The Union County Arts Council has been busy promoting the arts with Union County students with help from an East Tennessee Foundation grant. The Arts Council visited Big Ridge Elementary School Jan. 21, to lead fourth-graders in a bookmaking project. Arts Council members asked students to envision careers in the arts for themselves, create artwork showing those careers and write about what form the career might take. Students chose a variety of arts careers, including painting, photography, becoming a pastry chef, woodworking, blacksmithing, game design, acting, and even designing swimming pools. “The students were very creative with their ideas and

Horace Maynard Middle School student Sarah Wright shows her work during the Victory Club’s Pizza and Painting afterschool event hosted by the Union County Arts Council. learned how the arts affect our lives in many different ways,” said Carol Pratt of the Arts Council. “Several students wanted to travel, be famous and of course become wealthy.” Each student’s work will be printed into a hardback book and presented to the students when the books are ready. At the teachers’ request, the books will be dedicated to the late Sara

Longmire, a Big Ridge Elementary School teacher who passed away last year. Arts Council members also led the Horace Maynard Middle School Victory Club in a Pizza and Painting after-school event Jan. 26. Students painted emojis with direction from Arts Council painters. Teacher Tommy Shoffner organized the event as a reward for students.

Sharps Chapel

From page A-1

and that evening or weekend they cleared brush or got out the weed whacker or carried it close to their bodies, or even burned it and breathed the smoke.” Coy said most residents didn’t realize the spraying had happened until several weeks later when vegetation along easements started turning brown. “People certainly have a right to know and certainly to have advance notice,” she said. On the Friends of Sharps Chapel Facebook page, Coy reported that there is an attorney interested in pursu-

ing a case against PVEC on behalf of those reporting health issues related to the spraying, but she is unwilling to disclose the attorney’s name or any details about a possible lawsuit. Her announcement came just a few days after the Claiborne Progress reported that a former PVEC employee, Jo Ann Dillingham, is suing the utility for wrongful termination. Dillingham claims that she was terminated in retaliation for calling auditors’ attention to “illegal activities” within the utility. Coy said she would pre-

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fer not to sue, but the harm and financial burden on the members of the community is too much. “I’m not happy about litigation,” she said. “It’s certainly not a road I would have wanted to go down, but when I saw people being harmed, when my phone just started blowing up with people, I thought, ‘Wow, this is so much bigger.’ These people have been

harmed, and this could just be the tip of the iceberg. “I feel that PVEC has taken advantage of us because we’re a poor community, and they think we can’t fight back. No one would pull this kind of thing in Farragut. For some of these people, they can’t go to the doctor. They can’t afford a doctor. They can’t afford groceries. “But we’re not going to stop. They’re not going to

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A-4 • February 8, 2017 • Union County Shopper news

Big Ridge kids study ‘Flat Stanley’

Jamie Beeler’s second-grade class at Big Ridge Elementary School show their own “Flat Stanleys” in the school’s library. The students made the cutouts after completing a book study of “Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown, said librarian Heather Sizemore. “We read the book together, and the children talked about what it would be like to be flat and all the places they could go,” Sizemore said. Pictured are (front center) Connor Serna; (back) Caylee Wilson, Payton Long, Alexis Canter, Chloe Lloyd, Walker Graves, Dylan Ray, Brody Biggs, Daniel Shephard, Nevaeh Braden, Hallie Shelton, Madison Longmire, Sierra Lloyd and Danielle Denney. Photo submitted

Horace Maynard Middle honor roll Horace Maynard Middle School administrators recently announced the school’s honor roll for the third nine weeks grading period. Eighth-graders making all A’s are: Emily Bentley, Brooke Black, Hailey Blevins, Dalton Bradshaw, Josh Brantley, Aaron Bravo, Noah Conner, Christian Craddock, Katy Effler, Andrea Goforth, Nayana Howard, Nylavia Howard, Tucker Jones, Emajenn Lovely, Caitlin Mays, Emma Moyers, Tori Naglitch, Kyla Pressnell, Carson Raby, Ariel Roach, Lora Rutherford, Brooklyn Sharp, Bryson Sharp, Sydney Shupperd, Nicolas Sizemore, Gabriella Tamowski, Raley Tolliver, Ashlyn Walker, Jordan Walker, Mason Weaver, Lauren Williams, Jadyn Wolford, Kaitlyn Woodie and Cheyenne Wyrick. Eighth-graders making all A’s and B’s are: Samantha Asher, Bridget Atkins, Seth Bates, Stephanie Bates, Hunter Boggs, Nathaniel Branum, Ty Cooke, Ethan Corum, Cera Davis, Andrew Edmondson, Breaunna Ferry, William Garland, Landon Gray, Tyler Greene, Alex Gross, Jacob Jackson, Cheyenne Lawson, Natalia Leonard, Nathan Merriman, Jaima McCoy, Nick Moore, Justin Muncey, Megan Nicely, Kyla Powell, Logan Rawlinson, Nate Reynolds, Ethan Ritter, Emily Russell, Justin Savage, Ronnie Stevens, Paige Strickland, Kayla Tanner, Kalei Tharp, Christopher Treece, Draven Vermillion and Hannah Wilson. Seventh-graders making all A’s are: Cayden Brown, Riley Cole, Kadynce Collins, Mikayla Deloach, Koby Dyer, Eli Edds, Makenzie Foust, Savanna Gerber, Gavin Graves, Nicole Heath, Peyton Helms, Macey Hutchison, Morgan Johnson, Makenna Satterfield, Dennae Schubert, Rachel Sharp, Tiffany Stratton, Melanie Tharp, Joy Turner, Sebastian Villar, Dakota Webb and Madison Wood. Seventh-graders making all A’s and B’s are: Austin Acuff, Patricia Anderson, Jennifer Arwood, Trinity Aslinger, Jordyn Begley, Sharakei Berkeley, Josh Blanton, Allison Blevins, Sarah Branum, Dakota Burgess, Zach Caldwell, Jacob Chaffin, Kaylee Chisum, Ashlan Collins, Mckayla Cooper, Emma Cox, Ashlynn Deluca, Sierra Doane, Abigail Dunn, Elliot Gibbs, Tyler Graham, Blakley Hall, Rachel Hall, Gracie

Hickman, Faith Hughett, Kelly Hunter, Kaitlyn Johnson, Jacob Keck, Malikie Lay, Madison Lowe, Kya Matthews, Lexus Matthews, Isaac McClure, Presley Merritt, Jada Miller, Mallory Moore, Dustin Murphy, John Perry, Daiyanis Rodriguez, Halli Seal, Derrick Shelton, Makenzie Stewart, Amanda Tharp, Kailyn Tolliver, Kendra Tyler, Lexi Vickery, Dakota Webb, Austin Western, Jacob White, Keylee Widner, Jordan Wilson, Harmonie Winters, Hannah Wood, Ethan Woods, Sarah Wright, Corey Wynn and Britney Zamarron. Sixth-graders making all A’s are: Brooke Adams, Cade Ailor, Gracie Atkins, Seth Begley, Lauren Bentley, Amelia Bills, Jessica Birchfiel, Lakin Brock, Courtney Cook, Kendra Cooke, Makayla Davis, Robin Davis, Kattie Emge, Laken Evans, Gage Flatford, Preston Hall, Eben Hansen, Kenlei Johnson, Fayth Kitts, Chloe LeFevers, Bridgett Maples, Makayla Mason, Alexxus Miller, Kailey Muncey, Cole Nease, Chase Odom, Matthew Parson, Savannah Paul, Max Richardson, Joseph Rodriguez, Emma Sexton, Dewayne Shupperd, Evan Singletary, Amelia Skibinski, Chloe Stubblefield, Kendra Thomas, Aubrey Truan, Gabby Vandergriff, Liberty Wade, Delaney Weaver, Johnnie Williams and Noah Wolfenbarger. Sixth-graders making all A’s and B’s are: Kaliyah Allmon, Danielle Bailey, Jacob Bailey, Malea Boggs, Chelsie Boling, Tessa Braden, Ely Causey, Hailey Causey, Xanderia Cline, Victoria Coffey, Rileigh Collins, Gracie Cooper, Spencer Cox, Emilee Crawford, Marcus Creekmore, Madisyn Doane, Anna Douglas, Cayden Duncan, Dylan Forsythe, Tristan Foust, Kayden Goodman, Aiden Gwaltney, Sarah Hampshire, Mattison Hancock, Savannah Hatcher, Tesseria Hughes, Alexis Litteral, Benji Lock, Patrick Middleton, Cailey Mills, Conner Mills, Toni Anna Moyers, Preson Patterson, Kaiden Paul, Kaylee Ratliff, Tessa Ray, Adrian Reeser, Tatum Ridenour, Brodie Roberts, Jasmine Shaw, Lakota Shelton, Alexis Shepherd, Caitlin Shope, Mia Simpson, Maya Tajen, Leia Tanner, Ethan Tamowski, Gavin Tharpe, Caden Walker, Waylon Whitaker, Haley Williams, Jordan Williams, Kaylee Williams, Rylee Wilson and Matthew Woolford.

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Georgia Brantley and Willie Nicely celebrate their January birthdays at the Union County Senior Center in Maynardville. Photos submitted

Seniors celebrate birthdays

Tony Ozuna celebrates his January birthday at Sharps Chapel Senior Center.

SENIOR NOTES ■■ Valentine’s Day party, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, Union County Senior Center. All seniors welcome. ■■ Union County Senior Citizens Center 298 Main St. Monday-Friday • 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Info for all seniors groups:

Melanie Dykes 992-3292/9920361 ■■ Plainview Seniors Plainview City Hall, 1037 Tazewell Pike

Park Road Meets each third Monday • 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Meet each first Monday • 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

■■ Sharps Chapel Seniors Sharps Chapel Community Bldg. 1550 Sharps Chapel Road

■■ Luttrell Seniors Luttrell Community Center, 115

Meets each first and third Wednesday • 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Come to the Water ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is law. But thanks to be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 15:5456)

Last month, a 90-year-old woman and a child under 10 where buried on the same day in Grainger County. One might say, “How merciful of God to take the elderly woman home to heaven, but how cruel for such a young child to die so soon.” Fr. Steve Pawelk

As a pastor, I buried my grandfather, who lived for 99 years, and my nephew, who lived for only 2½ years. Yet God was merciful to both. My grandfather always said he did not want to live to be 100. A few weeks after his 99th birthday, he slipped quietly into death. His prayer and his faithfulness were rewarded. My nephew died in a very tragic farm accident. Yet he did not have to endure all the pain, suffering, confusion and difficulties of a long life. He went immediately to heaven into the arms of Christ his brother. It is harder to see God’s mercy in the loss of a child and easier to see KN-1465824

God’s mercy in the death of an elderly person who lived a good life. Yet God is merciful to all. “Be merciful just as also your Father is merciful.” (LK 6:36). As Christians, we should not fear death. Death is simply a passage, a new birth, from this earthly life into our permanent home in heaven. We are promised that in heaven, “He (Jesus) will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” (Rev. 21:4) Death of a loved one, especially of a child, a spouse, a parent, is one of the most difficult moments of life. It will always test our faith. Yet I take great comfort in Mary, the mother of Jesus. She witnessed her only Son dying on the cross, innocent and pure, but she held the faith. What greater suffering could a mother have, but she is present at the resurrection and Pentecost. She believed her Son when he said, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” (John 11:25). Do you?

Union County Shopper news • February 8, 2017 • A-5

Interior castles

Journalist-turned-novelist is living her dream

Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts. … (1 Chronicles 6:54 KJV)

By Shannon Carey

It was St. Teresa of Avila who coined the phrase “interior castles.” She was a nun who lived in Avila, Spain. Amid the castles of Spain, St. Teresa built her own mental castles: Her prayers, thoughts, beliefs, convictions were formed, shaped, and honed by that place and by her intellect and her faith. Her most famous writing, Nada Te Turbe (Let Nothing Disturb You), was a prayer found in her breviary, written in her own hand in 1577 and published in 1588. I am intrigued by that phrase. Now I have never been one to go ballistic, to saddle up and ride off in all directions, but I freely admit that some things do disturb me! (I will refrain from listing them here, because a) why should I burden you with my complaints, and b) I am sure you have your own.) There are some battles I am willing to fight, but there are a great many smaller

FAITH NOTES Community services

Author and former Shopper News reporter Cindy Taylor gets ready for a book signing at the Union County Heritage Festival. Photos submitted Light,” by the end of this year. But, that happy email came at a difficult time in Taylor’s life. A death in the family made it difficult to celebrate. “It was up and down,” said Taylor. “For the longest time, it wasn’t real. You start to look at life differently when you have a death in the family, and it didn’t feel right to celebrate.” Six months later, when the first publisher’s copy arrived at Taylor’s house, it finally sank in that it was real, she had achieved her life’s dream. “Now it has become my life, and it’s what I’ve wanted to do for so long, sometimes I think, ‘Is this really happening to me?’ I just try to stay focused on who I am. I love where I’m at right now,” she said. Taylor said she enjoys marketing the book, going to conferences, and even being a guest blogger on some of her favorite websites. She

How the spine wears down

got to meet one of her favorite authors, Janet Evanovich, at a conference, too. The Front Porch in Powell hosted Taylor’s book launch and signing. The books are available at Hardin’s Mountain Organics in Maynardville, and also on Amazon. com and Barnes and Noble. In fact, Taylor’s first Barnes and Noble signing is set for 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Knoxville store. She has plans to write a young adult scifi/fantasy novel, plus plans to co-write a novel with her daughter, Christa. She also likes the amount

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of freedom she has to volunteer at KARM and her church, along with time to visit her grandchildren. Husband Brent will be retiring soon, and the pair plan to travel to research future books. To others who would like to become authors, Taylor said, “Just start and see where it goes. That’s what makes writing fun, and to me, writing is all about fun. It’s fun to see where a story can take you.” Info: www. c y nt aylor2016.w i x.c om/ blog or cyntaylor2016@

Cross Currents

Lynn Pitts

squabbles in which I am willing to follow what I think of as my troika: “Let it go; give it up; and set it free!” Or as a friend of mine was fond of saying: “Whatever.” But it is the “interior castles” that I keep thinking about. There are some folks who have never had an unspoken thought. Whatever is on their mind falls right out of their mouth like a gumball out of a machine. There are thoughts that bear reconsidering. There are others that should be locked up in some interior castle, never to be thought again, much less spoken. There are some thoughts that are so precious and dear that they must be spoken, as a gift to the world!

Special services

■■ Hansard Chapel Methodist Church, located on Highway 33 across from Tolliver’s Market, hosts a food pantry 6-7 p.m. each third Saturday. Gently used clothing is also available. Info: the Rev. Jay Richardson, 776-2668.

■■ UPLIFT, a nondenominational study/prayer group for Universal Peace, Love, Inspiration, Faith & Truth, meets 11 a.m.-noon Sundays in the conference room at Hardee’s, 2825 Maynardville Highway, Maynardville. Info: Eva, 9920185 or

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Shopper News readers may well remember Cindy Taylor’s byline in our pages. She covered community news in Halls and Union County for many years before retiring in summer 2016. But Taylor has not put her pen and keyboard away yet. She’s turned over a new leaf in the writing world, this time as a published author and novelist, which was her dream all along. Writing under the name Cyn Taylor, her first novel, “Blue Mountain Sky,” was published last year. She had written it quite some time before then, though, and the ideas for the book started coming together long before she started writing for the Shopper. Back then, Taylor was an EEG technician who monitored sleep studies, and she turned to writing as a way to keep her mind occupied during the long hours. “It started as a creative outlet because I had all these words in my head and didn’t know what to do with them,” she said. “The first book just flew out of my head.” The book started as a classic romance, and Taylor revised it several times before settling into the genre of faith-based romantic suspense. She liked the genre because it was a way to express her faith, and she liked writing “clean” fiction that was fun to read. Set in Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains, “Blue Mountain Sky” focuses on a woman who lost her husband in a plane crash and her journey toward finding peace and love again. For Taylor, writing was the easy part. Then came the difficult work of finding a publisher. She sent out submissions, researched publishing houses, and worked hard to find a good fit. “It’s an almost impossible task,” Taylor said. Then, she received an assignment to write about author Brooke Cox for the Shopper News, and that proved to be a fateful meeting, as Taylor was impressed enough to purchase Cox’s book, “Deadly Doll.” She noticed the publisher, Mantle Rock Publishing, and submitted a synopsis of “Blue Mountain Sky.” By December 2016, Mantle Rock sent her a contract to publish her first book. She plans to publish the next two books in the series, “Red Morning Glory” and “Dawn’s Gray

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Chiropractic Outlook By Dr. Darrell Johnson, DC

Like any other body part, the spine is subject to the stress put on it by the activities of daily life and can wear down. Particularly susceptible to injury are the discs that cushion the individual vertebrae that make up the spine, and through which the spinal cord passes. The discs have a tough exterior and a gelatinous interior. They can rupture and they can slip out of position. This will cause discomfort not only in the back but in the body part controlled by the nerves that emanate from that damaged part of the spine. Even if your spine has never endured the trauma of a fall or a car accident, the normal process of ag-

ing takes its toll on the spine. And stress, whether it’s brought on by physical, emotional or chemical factors, can also affect the spine and compound back pain. Regular visits to your chiropractor and periodic spinal adjustments to keep the vertebrae in line can mitigate the effects of aging. Chiropractic treatment has also been shown to ease the consequences of stress. Just as you regularly visit your other health-care providers, so too should you see your chiropractor. Presented as a community service by Union County Chiropractic, 110 Skyline Drive, Maynardville, Tenn. 992-7000

Our compassion and caring are only surpassed by our dedication to the communities we serve! Personalized services to best reflect the life of your loved one and the wishes of the survivors. Values and caring have been a tradition at Mynatt Funeral Home for over 100 years! • Pre-arrangement available • Full-service funerals tailored to your needs • Cremation alternative • Two locations to serve you! 2829 Rennoc Road in Fountain City • 688-2331 KN-1392674

4131 E. Emory Rd. Halls • 922-9195

A-6 • February 8, 2017 • Union County Shopper news

Rush Strong: a person, a school, or both?

HAPPENINGS ■■ Sharps Chapel Neighborhood Watch, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, community center, 1542 Sharps Chapel Road. Info: 278-2143. ■■ VFW meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, 140 Veteran St., Maynardville. All veterans invited. Info: 278-3784. ■■ Solar workshop, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, Narrow Ridge’s Mac Smith Resource Center, 1936 Liberty Hill Road, Washburn. Workshop fee: $30; overnight accommodations available: $20. Registration deadline: Friday, Feb. 3. Info/ registration: 497-2753 or community@ ■■ Paulette 6th District Neighborhood Watch meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, Paulette Elementary School cafeteria. Info: 992-5212. ■■ Plainview 7th District Neighborhood Watch meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, Plainview Community Center. Info: 9925212. ■■ Honor Guard meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 140 Veteran St., Maynardville. All veterans invited. Info: 256-5415. ■■ Big Ridge 4th District Neighborhood Watch meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2, Big Ridge Elementary School library. Info: 992-5212. ■■ American Legion meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, March 6, 140 Veteran St., Maynardville. All veterans invited. Info: 387-5522. ■■ VFW meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday, March 9, 140 Veteran St., Maynardville. All veterans are invited. Info: 278-3784. ■■ Student Led Technology and Innovation Conference, Friday, March 10, Luttrell Elementary School, 241 Tazewell Pike. Students create and produce their own presentations on technology. Info: principal Sonja Saylor, 992-3441 or ■■ “My School Color Run” for Union County High School Track and Field, 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 11, Union County High School, 150 Main St., Maynardville. An untimed 3.1-mile fun run for all ages and fitness abilities. Registration: UHSmscr. Business sponsorship opportunities available. Info: Aileen Beeler, 992-5232. ■■ Paulette 6th District Neighborhood Watch meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, Paulette Elementary School cafeteria. Info: 992-5212. ■■ Plainview 7th District Neighborhood Watch meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, Plainview Community Center. Info: 992-5212. ■■ Honor Guard meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, 140 Veteran St., Maynardville. All veterans invited. Info: 256-5415.

A man in Knoxville who, as I understand it, was originally from Jefferson County, wrote in his will: “I desire to assist in some degree in the work of education in the counties listed below because much of the business given me as a merchant came from the people of these counties.” Out of his estate he had set aside $7,000 – $1,000 for the use of each of these counties: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Grainger, Jefferson, Sevier and Union. The money was to be paid to the county clerk to be used to build a schoolhouse in the part of the county that, in the opinion of the county clerk, was most needed – provided, however, that either the citizens of the locality or the county court itself first furnish and con-

Propelling student growth The high school held an academic pep rally, and when students collected items to assist wildfire victims in Sevier County, they filled a trailer. At Luttrell Elementary, principal Sonja Saylor discussed PLCs, professional learning communities, with monthly meetings. “All teachers attend, and the purpose is to improve student learning,” she said. The PLC uses a book, “Teach like a Champion 2.0.” All teachers get technology coaches. “Our teachers are encouraged to try new techniques. They discuss student data, and they complete a self-evaluation form.” Big Ridge Elementary principal Kim Turner talked about the school intervention program. From 8:05 to 8:50 is designated “Tiger Time.” Students are dispatched to either intervention or enrichment classes. Big Ridge has 32 students in intervention, catch-up teaching with just 3-5 kids per group. The school has 175 students in enrichment, where up to 32 kids meet to explore academic topics in depth. Horace Maynard Middle School introduced one-to-one technology this year, and principal Greg Clay says that’s work-

Larry & Laura Bailey PE


time they called him “Bitty” beI do not have information on cause he was so small. As some all seven counties, but a new will remember, he grew to be Rush Strong School at Blaine has Bonnie been built to replace the quite tall. Peters The first classes in one built in 1922. The the newer building Rush Strong School were begun on Sept. in Lead Mine Bend 3, 1935. still stands, and This school the building still vey to the county a suitable site serves as a place of not less than four acres; and, still stands as a where people can when the building was finished memorial to the play their instruand used, it should be known as generosity and appreciation for eduments or where the Rush Strong School. people can come The first Rush Strong School cation by this gentle and witness a hoewas built on Lead Mine Bend man and gentleman Rush Strong down, learn to square Road in 1924 and was dis- named Rush Strong. dance or just visit with mantled at the end of the 1934 For more information neighbors. These sesschool year and reconstructed and pictures of some of the classes, see “Union County sions are held on the fourth above the floodplain. Palmer “Bit” Rouse, a well- Schoolday Memories,” which is Saturday night of each month. known musician, was a third- available at the Roy Acuff Mu- There is no admission charge, grade student of Dorothy Lee seum and Okie’s Pharmacy at but donations are accepted and appreciated. Turner. She told me that at that Maynardville and Blaine.

ing great. “We’re overwhelmed with technology.” Each student has a Chromebook and the kids are really engaged, he said. The benefit to teachers is “instant feedback” on tests and work in progress. Language arts teachers can give real-time comments, as students’ work is visible on their teachers’ Chromebooks. HMMS has created tech teams of seventh- and eighthgraders, and Clay said 18 teachers are Level 1 Google certified and two are Level 2 certified. “We have 700 Chromebooks (in the school) and are now upgrading the Wi-Fi in the building.” He said Google trainers must pass a three-hour test. “There are 2,000-plus Level 3 certified Google trainers in the world, and we have three of them in Union County.” Lisa Carter has launched a “Read to the Principal” program at Maynardville Elementary School. Teachers post an A and B honor roll with various incentives such as prizes and certificates. MES recognizes students of the week and month. Kids can win the “bucket filler” award for random acts


From page A-1 of kindness. Carter makes contracts with kids and gives lavish praise for showing growth. “We celebrate the good and positive.” Jason Bailey talked about the “data walls” at Paulette Elementary School. He said 71 percent of PES students met or exceeded their 15 percent (improvement) goal for the first semester. Classroom data walls show gains, but each individual is identified by number. “They know how they’re doing” in comparison with others, he said. And the sharing of information increases student buyin for year-end testing. “We post grade level goals for every grade and every subject. At the semester break, 71 percent of kids had reached their growth goal and four students made perfect scores.” Bryan Shoffner discussed student conversations at Sharps Chapel, saying, “Our main goal is to have every student doing their best.” He sits with each student to discuss where she/ he falls in the continuum of advanced, proficient, basic and below basic in both math and language arts. Pie charts have colored “slices” that change as

students improve. “We want to move children from red to yellow to blue to green,” he said. Trevor Collins summed up: “We want the kids to understand the data; we want them to improve; we want them to feel successful.” Teachers have data goals as well. “We want growth – 15 percent from the beginning of the year until the end of the first semester and 10 percent during the second semester – 25 percent total,” he said. “We want our teachers to feel successful.” In other school board news, Carter said he’s working with U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann to establish an ROTC program at the high school. It could start as soon as fall. He asked the board to consider a higher rate of pay for interim teachers who work three months or more. “The interim pay should be more than the (substitute’s daily rate).” Carter said a recent audit of federal programs in special education had Union County as one of just three systems in the state with “no findings.” The next board meeting is 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the high school.

Justin Bailey


UNION CO - This Move in Ready LUTTRELL – 18.41 Acres with Norris Lakefront – 3Br 3Ba Basement Rancher sits on a gently sloped lakefront lot. Single slip floating dock with 4000 lb lift & 2Br 2Ba features 2 bedrooms barn. Approximately 8 acres of upper deck. Year round water main channel & summertime on main and Rec Rm with pasture and utilities available cove. Over sized 2-car garage great for boat storage & 20x24 closet & full bath down. 1-Car drive thru carport. Lots of possibilities down that could be additional living quarters. $724,900 (988440) at road. $129,900 (981786) $99,900 (984172) POWELL - 20.53 acre Cattle Farm convenient to I-75. This property has it all. The property has two residences: Custom built brick 4Br 3Ba 2900 sqft & 2Br 2Ba 2000 sqft rental home. Plenty or work space with 52x48 metal barn with underground utilities, 40x70 metal barn with 14ft roll up doors & Pond. $1,000,000 (981058) SHARPS CHAPEL - Private wooded 9.5 acre setting with seasonal Norris Lake view. This property is 3 parcels and features: 2Br 2Ba basement rancher with attached 2-car garage. Detached 20x36 2-car garage with circular driveway & Storage bld with electric. Neighborhood has Norris Lake boat launch. $144,900 (984639) KN-1459306

NORRIS LAKE - Private and gated 2.08 acre lakefront peninsula on Norris Lake. 4Br 3Ba features: year round deep water on all sides, elevator, open floor plan, custom kitchen,w/breathtaking views of Norris Lake views, boat dock, launch ramp, concrete/steel catwalk and handicapped accessible. $899,000 (981728)

Union County Shopper news • February 8, 2017 • A-7

Depends on who you believe Butch and Tennessee assistant coaches talk as if they recruited well, assembled an excellent class of future Volunteers. Maybe they will be good enough to help win championships – which hasn’t happened around here in a long, long time. Fans seemed a little disappointed there was no late drama, no prize that switched at the last moment and went orange. Oh well. Recruiting analysts, almost ordinary people who get paid for perusing video and seeing stars, sound as if Tennessee finished in the middle of the Southeastern Conference pack, well behind the big boys but safely ahead of Vanderbilt. Based on that limited information, you can choose optimism, realism or pessimism, depending on who you believe. No matter how you view the recruiting scoreboard, whether your glass is half empty or half full, Tennessee is no closer to beating Alabama than it was last October. The Tide had more talent, has more talent and will have more next year.  That reassigns the burden of victory to coaching or luck – development, strategy, precise execution or who drops the ball or misses a tackle. None of that has been a recent Tennessee strength. The Vols gathered several three-stars with great potential. When you hear

Marvin West

about upside in recruiting, it usually means somebody else signed the top prospects and you got the couldbe guys, hopefuls and possibilities. Alabama was awesome, as usual. Georgia, with new coaches, came on boldly. LSU exceeded expectations. There are several compelling thoughts about Tennessee recruiting. (1) Securing offensive tackle Trey Smith, 6-5 and 310, of Jackson was a big win in more ways than size and need. It was very smart to have his sister employed in the athletic department. Perfectly legal. Also astute. Illustration of family atmosphere. (2) The fence Butch built around the state has a hole in it. Clemson and LSU slipped through and hit us hard.  (3) Tennessee filled some vacancies but may not have signed the offensive gamebreaker or future all-American on defense. Here we go again: development can make up the difference. (4) Recruiting gets more difficult as you go along. In the beginning, Butch presented an exciting plan for

restoring Tennessee credibility. Brick by brick. Some called it a vision. It was contagious. There were glaring gaps in his inheritance. He could offer immediate playing time. Sign right here, young man, fill this void. Lyle Allen “Butch” Jones Jr., a very good salesman, essentially solved the roster problem. The cupboard is no longer bare. The Vols are not juveniles. They have matured into adults. Lots of seniors on the next team. OK, some on defense contributed to record yards allowed. Unfortunately, the great goal in the sky has been capped at 9-4 and 9-4. Butch is 30-21 in four seasons. He is 1-3 against Florida, 2-2 versus Georgia, 2-2 against Vandy and not very good at all against the SEC West. The dream has been scarred by results. Prospects with medium intelligence might wonder how could you possibly lose to South Carolina? What if a parent sought an explanation of the Vanderbilt game? Forget it, that is past tense. The Vols won their bowl game. Recruiting was pretty good or at least soso. New coaches brighten the horizon. Some of the injured are healing. Spring practice is not far away.  If you chose optimism … (Marvin West invites reader reaction. His address is

TennCare Kids provides services TennCare Kids is Tennessee’s commitment to see that children and teens have the best start to a healthy life. TennCare Kids is a free program of check-ups and health care services for children from birth to age 21 who are TennCare eligible, including health history, complete physical exam, lab tests as appropriate, immunizations, vision and hearing screening, developmental and behavior screenings as appropriate, and advice on healthy living. Union Countians interested in the program should contact the Union County Health Department’s community outreach representative, Pam Williams. Info: 992-3867, ext. 131.

News from Rocky Top Family Practice

Who’s in control?

Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is on Sunday, Feb. 12, this year. The Great Emancipator once said, “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.” The accuracy of his statement has been debated by historians for years, especially as Lincoln’s law partner William Herndon once said Lincoln’s “…ambition was a little engine that knew no rest.” I have considered Lincoln’s statement with regard to my own life. To what extent have I controlled or been controlled by events? Do I have ambition, and where does it rest? To extend this thought to you the reader – do assumptions lead to (sometimes unreasonable) expectations, or do expectations lead to (sometimes unreasonable) assumptions? Perhaps we might as well consider the old cliché, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Both taste good when cooked right. In other words, does it really matter? I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a teacher. I intentionally with great ambition made that a life goal. I was advised early on to certify in elementary education as

Ronnie Mincey Teacher Time that is the area where jobs are most plentiful. I went my own way and got a degree in English. I certified to teach English in grades 7-12 and happened along the way to take enough courses to certify in history grades 7-12. I wanted to return to Union County and teach at Horace Maynard High School. During my senior year at Lincoln Memorial University, it became apparent that there probably wouldn’t be a position at HMHS, so I started taking courses at the master’s level to certify in elementary education. Union County hired me in 1987 on a three-year waiver to teach at Luttrell Elementary. In 1990, I received my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with elementary certification in grades 1-9. After I got used to the lower grades, I really liked elementary and no longer had a desire to teach

Sweetheart supper is Feb. 11 Women In Action of Mountain View Church of God are hosting a “Valentine Sweetheart Supper” 4:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Union County High School. Menu: Turkey and dressing or roast beef w/gravy, vegetables, dessert and drink; cost is $20/couple or $12/individual. Carryout will be available. Each couple will receive a picture and a heart-shaped red velvet cake. Mavis Hughes will provide entertainment.

high school. How different might life have been if I had started teaching high school! Did I control events, or did they control me? A few years later, colleagues Deanie Carver and Sandra Price told me they were going to enroll in LMU’s new Ed.S. program and invited me to join them. All classes were to be held on Saturday. Why not, thought I? I did my master’s program by myself and found it a lonely experience. Here was a golden opportunity to have a meaningful educational experience with friends. Had these ladies not approached me, I might never have gone back to school. I was content with what I was doing. I decided that this time I would seek administrative certification, as I was tired of curriculum classes. (Interestingly, at least half of the Ed.S. program revolved around curriculum.) I graduated in 1994 with another degree and added certification as principal PreK-12 and supervisor of attendance. Next week I’ll share more of my experiences with friends as we pursued (and thankfully caught) higher education.

Mobile clinic visits Washburn and Rutledge St. Mary’s Legacy mobile clinic sees patients at the Northside Community Center in Washburn each first Wednesday and the Blessed John Paul II Catholic Mission, 7735 Rutledge Pike in Rutledge, each second Thursday. Appointment: 2125570. Info:


5 signs your thyroid is on the blink By Joanna Henning According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, an estimated 15 million Americans have undiagnosed thyroid problems. This small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your throat produces a hormone that helps regulate many of your bodily functions including your metabolism, heartbeat and temperature. If your thyroid develops a problem, it begins to either produce too much or too little of this critical hormone. Unfortunately, the symptoms of a malfunctioning thyroid can be subtle or easily overlooked, so a blood test is the best way to determine the health of your thyroid. There are, however, a few symptoms that can point to a thyroid problem, especially when several of these symptoms are experienced simultaneously. Here are a few signs that could indicate a thyroid problem:

Increased Appetite Sudden, unexplained weight gain and an insatiable appetite can be a sign of hypothyroidism. On the other hand, if you’re eating like a college football player and not gaining weight, your thyroid might be overactive. This might seem like a gift from Heaven to some, but if left untreated, an overactive thyroid can lead to a long list of additional health problems.

with your thyroid. If you’re producing too much thyroid hormone you might have problems concentrating, but if you’re producing too little, you might become forgetful and absentminded. Women approaching menopause sometimes assume that it’s simply part of that time in life, but many times, with proper diagnosis and treatment, this brain fog feeling will disappear surprisingly fast!

Constant Fatigue Who isn’t tired, right? Well, if you feel unbearably tired most of the time, something is wrong. This symptom can point to countless health issues, one of them being a sluggish thyroid.

Constipation Another common symptom that can be traced to a laundry list of problems is constipation. Still, if you struggle with constipation for an extended period of time, it could be a sign of an underactive thyroid, since the thyroid hormone helps with digestion.


Believe it or not, an unhealthy thyroid can even cause depression! Why? Because that little butterfly-shaped gland produces a hormone that can affect the levels of serotonin in your brain. Low thyroid function can lead to lower levels of serotonin, which means you feel down and depressed. Brain Fog As we said, these symptoms can stem Feeling fuzzy headed? If you’re get- from any number of health issues, and ting rest and you’re suddenly experienc- the only way to truly determine whether ing brain fog that seems to be getting your thyroid is healthy is by getting a more intense, it could point to a problem blood test.

ROCKY TOP FAMILY PRACTICE 598 John Deere Drive, Maynardville, TN 37807 (865) 745-1160



A Night to Rise Up Friday, February 17, at 6:30 P.M. Union County High School Maynardville Highway Attendance is by reservation only. Table Hosts and Sponsors needed. Please call 865-992-2811 or visit 5 Platinum tables have been added this year. You can still buy Gold, Silver tables and individual tickets. Table sales will begin on Jan. 16, 2017. Platinum tables will be sold to the first 5 people to pay for them. Union County Chamber of Commerce 1001 Main St., PO Box 848, Maynardville, TN 37807

A-8 • February 8, 2017 • Union County Shopper news



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A great community newspaper serving Maynardville and Union County

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A great community newspaper serving Maynardville and Union County