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Home Holidays for the


A special publication of The Advocate & Democrat.


Sweetwater • Madisonville • Vonore • Tellico Plains

Keeping money local helps everyone TOMMY MILLSAPS Editor

Keeping money at home is one of the most important decisions residents can make to support their community, schools, businesses, friends and family. That’s why The Advocate & Democrat is working with local government leaders and businesses to support a major shop at home campaign designed to support local businesses and help educate Monroe Countians on the importance of spending their money locally. While this campaign starts during the holiday shopping season, the importance of keeping money local necessitates a shop at home drive be stressed year around. According to figures from the County Trustee’s Office, Monroe County as a whole collects more than $8.3 million a year in local option sales tax revenue. That figure includes the local option sales tax collected in the county’s four cities and the total for businesses in the county outside any city limits. “That’s money that comes back to the county we can use,” Monroe Economic Development Director Shan Harris said. That revenue comes from the sales tax charged at the point of sale on thousands of items. The state gets

the first 7 cents of the 9.25-sales tax charged, while the remaining portion goes back to the county or city where items are bought with a portion of that going to local schools. In Sweetwater, the local option sales tax rate is 2.75 cents as opposed to 2.25 cents elsewhere in the county. But while sales tax revenue is a major income source for local governments and schools, it is actually only a small portion of the income generated in the county when people spend their money at home, county leaders point out. The rest is income for local businesses that support jobs. Shopping in Monroe County means more jobs stay local, keeping your friends and family employed. Monroe County is located in the middle of more populated and retail-heavy counties and that can mean a conscious effort by consumers is needed at times to keep money here. However, the rewards to residents and the county are great when money is kept local. Keeping dollars in Monroe County saves you money and time, lowering your gas bill and keeping you from spending time on the road. Monroe County has a growing retail base and many unique shops and businesses that offer items you don’t often find in bigger communities.

File photo

From left: Monroe County Mayor Tim Yates and The Advocate & Democrat Publisher Tommy Wilson are working with local businesses to support a strong shop at home campaign. You will see this decal on local business fronts as they support the Shop Monroe effort.

Shopping at Home helps COMMUNITY

Shopping at Home helps YOU

•Dollars you spend in Monroe County support local schools. •Local shopping supports local governments. •Your local purchases supports local merchants. •Local merchants care about local groups and charities, and support them in turn. •Strong local merchants and governments keep important decisions local. •Shopping local protects the environment by using less gas..

•You save money and gas when you shop at home. •You save time when you shop at home. •You build relationships with local merchants who are more likely to help you. •You know the merchants and can trust their products. •You avoid big crowds and traffic jams by shopping local. •You can enjoy the unique shopping experience and products offered in Monroe County.

2 — Home for the Holidays 2012

The Advocate & Democrat

Jingle All the Way The hot toys for Christmas Jessica Cross Staff Writer

It seems every Christmas, there are a few hot toys or one in particular that has Santa Claus and parents rushing around to find them. Whether it is Tickle Me Elmo, a Cabbage Patch Doll, or some high-tech electronic gizmo for today’s children, it’s a rush to find it. To make Santa’s shopping list easier to complete, we have compiled a list of hot toys this Christmas and most of them you can find right here in Monroe County if you don’t procrastinate.

Back to the Future This year it seems, everything old is new again. Many of the toys loaded onto Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve night will look familiar to parents, teenagers, or college students—they were on the hot toy list in Christmases past and each have received significant upgrades.

This one’s for the girls Barbies, it seems, will always be a popular gift for girls, but Santa Claus is getting a lot of requests for a few other different brands of dolls this Christmas.

Lalaloopsy Lalaloopsy is a line of rag dolls from MGA Entertainment, which was originally released in 2010 as Bitty Buttons. Later changed to Lalaloopsy, the dolls come to life from the fabric used to make them. Lalaloopsy doll characters are created with a fictional theme, reflecting the day she is born, the fabric she is sewn from and her pet. They are often in bright colors and retails based on product from $20-$60.

Monster High

Furby Furby has been resurrected from hibernation with technology upgrades. The gremlin-like robot from Hasbro first rolled off the assembly line in 1998 and sold millions in its first few years on the market. The introductory year for Furby left parents searching frantically for the in high-demand toy, which interacted with its owner. The new evolved Furby used emoto-tronics to portray realistic lifelike emotions and movements and has voice recognition. With a mind of its own, Furby develops its personality based on how it is played with. It will dance to music, interact with other Furbies, and loves being petted. Furby speaks its native tongue, Furbish, and English. Rusty on Furbish? Furby comes with basic words and Furbish translations are available using the Furby App, which also allows you to feed Furby. The more you play with Furby, the more English it will speak. Furby runs on four AA batteries and retails for $54.

Hot Wheels R/C Terrain Twister Hot Wheels continue to remain on the popular list of toys, releasing the Hot Wheels R/C Terrain Twister. No mission is too ambitious, and no terrain is too tough for this RC vehicle. The Terrain Twister is engineered to conquer almost any terrain, including dirt, sand, grass and water. The RC controller puts kids in the driver’s seat and allows them to direct the vehicle using a simple two-button control. The Hot Wheels R/C Terrain Twister uses an included rechargeable battery pack and retails for approximately $69.

LEGO and LEGO Friends Don’t rule out LEGO anytime soon. The popular building-block kits have been around for generations, and the company is continually adding new sets to appeal to different audiences, including something for“Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” and “Lord of the Rings” fans. Now, the LEGO Friends line appeals to girls, as well. The LEGO Friends feature “mini-doll” figures and settings, such as a beauty shop and bakery. LEGO sets range in retail value and sets.

Cooney‛s Corner Cooney's Corner offers four rooms packed with an eclectic mix of antiques.

Specializing in country store items, advertising signage, primitive furniture, antique tools, unique smalls, glassware, and unusual decorative items, Cooney's Corner has something for everyone. Located on the corner of Morris and Main streets in Sweetwater, across from the Southern Railroad Car, Cooney's Corner is housed in two historic downtown buildingsJ.J. Ward & Co. General Merchandise in 1896, Browder's Hardware Store in 1906, and later McKinney's Clothing Store.

Welcome to the world of Monster High! Monster High is a line of fashion dolls released by Mattel in July 2010. The characters are inspired by horror fiction, distinguishing them from most fashion dolls, and many include fangs, animal ears, bandages, etc. A majority of the characters are depicted as being related to famous monsters, such as Dracula and Frankenstein. The Monster High franchise also includes other products like stationery, bags and books. Monster High dolls retails for between $15-$20 each.

Brave A 2012 release from Disney Pixar, “Brave” is set in the Highlands of Scotland and centers around a new Disney princess, Merida. “Brave” is Pixar’s first fairy tale, and Merida isn’t your typical princess— she would rather shoot her arrows than learn the proper etiquette of a future queen. Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom and brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, she must spring into action to set things right, relying on her bravery and archery skills to undo the beastly curse. The popularity of the film among girls launched a plethora of dolls and toys based on the strong, courageous character. Not only is the movie “Brave” a popular item on Christmas wish lists, but the Merida doll is particularly popular among girls and the items vary in price.

Game on For the rough and rowdy boys, Christmas isn’t Christmas unless it’s action filled. While Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifles like Ralphie wanted in “A Christmas Story” aren’t recommended, there are several option that won’t allow your child to “shoot his eye out.”

NERF Elite Hail-Fire Blaster This is the highest capacity NERF blaster from the popular brand so far. It can shoot up to 75 feet and holds up to 144 darts. The Hail-Fire Blaster delivers a semi-auto barrage of darts as fast as you can pull the trigger. The toy includes an ammo rack cover, four quick reload clips, and 24 elite darts. The product can expand to hold up to eight clips. Clips are sold separately. The NERF Elite Hail-Fire Blaster requires four AA batteries and retails for $34. Additional NERF darts can be purchased separately for $5.

y r r e M


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Hwy 411 1 & Hwy 360 360, Vonore

4500 Hwy Hwy. 411 411, Madisonville



Sloan’s Village Home Center 200 Mialaquo Center, Loudon


Cooney's Corner Is Open Seven Days A Week Mon-Sat 10am-5pm • Sunday 12pm-5pm

From Great Deli Specials to Hardware, Sporting Goods & a Complete Supermarket

Visit Sloan’s for all Your Holiday Needs! Your One Stop Shopping Center

The Advocate & Democrat

Home for the Holidays 2012 — 3

Air Hogs Hover Assault Radiocontrolled Helicopter Similar in popularity to the new Hot Wheels Terrain Twister, the Air Hogs Hover Assault allows boys to not only conquer the ground, but command the sky. The Hover Assault is the ultimate fusion of ground and air R/C technology. Turn any room into the ultimate battleground with the Air Hogs Hover Assault R/C Helicopter. The manufacturer invites explorers to drive, jump and fly with this hybrid radio-controlled device. Speed across the ground as you engage the intelligent propeller system and hop or soar over obstacles. Fire quick bursts of aerial navigation or launch your way into full on flight. The Hover Assault also allows controllers to unleash plastic missiles on included targets. The Air Hogs Hover Assault requires six AA batteries and retails for $40.

Call of Duty Black Ops II/Halo 4 Among the top items for boys, video games continue to top wish lists. The “must have” games for video gamers right now includes Call of Duty Black Ops II and Halo 4. Both installments of the popular games were released in November. Both games retail for $60.

For Little Tikes Toddlers get to experience Christmas for real this year, maybe for the first time. Keep your little tike thrilled long after Christmas has passed with something unique and built to endure the toddler years.

Pillow Pets Dream Lites The Pillow Pets Dream Lites is not only a playtime companion, but a night-lite that makes bedtime fun. The stuffed pet is available in a variety of animals and features a nightlight that turns turns the room into a starry sky. Simply press a button and the stars will project onto the ceiling and walls, creating a tranquil environment that helps kids ease into sleep. The face of the particular pet is also projected along with the stars. The built in timer shuts off after 20 minutes and the pet folds up into a stuffed animal or opens to lay flat like a pillow. All Dream Lites come with four light options: steady blue, amber, green, or multicolors that transition every four seconds. Pillow Pets Dream Lites retail for $29.99 and requires three AAA batteries.

Fisher-Price Jake and the Neverland Pirates Musical Pirate Ship Bucky

Technology Revolution Many children are asking for high-end electronics for Christmas this year, like iPhones, iPods, and cell phones. There are several products new to the electronic scene this Christmas.

LeapPad 2 Explorer Tablet Tablets are increasing with popularity for both children and adults, and the LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer Learning Tablet is high on many children’s Christmas lists. The LeapPad 2 Explorer inspires kids to imagine and explore. The tablet features a touch screen, front and back cameras and video recorders, 4 GB of memory and a library of more than 325 cartridges and downloadable apps, including books, videos, music and more. The LeapPad 2 Explorer runs on 4 AA batteries and retails for $99.

Wii U The Wii U GamePad controller is a video game console from Nintendo. The successor to the Wii, the Wii U was released in late November and removes the traditional barriers between the gamer and the television by creating a second window into the video game world. Wii U incorporates a 6.2inch, 16:9 LCD touch screen, and includes motion control, a front-facing camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, rumble features, a sensor bar, and more. The system is backward compatible with Wii. The console can be used to play games on the television screen and with the Off Tv Play function, the screen can also be used to play a game strictly on the GamePad screen, without the use of a television display. Conversely, non-gaming functions can be assigned to it as well, such as the ability to use it as a television remote. The Wii U GamePad is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and retails for approximately $300-400.

iPad Mini The recent release of the iPad Mini has children itching with excitement to get their hands on the interactive device. The Apple tablet PC offers the features of the full-size iPad but in a smaller format, similar in size and weight to the Kindle Fire, so it can easily be held in your palm. The hand-held touchscreen tablet features thousands of apps, a 10-hour battery life, fast and fluid performance with advanced Wi-Fi, FaceTime and iSight cameras, Siri, and more. The product retails from $329 and up, depending on the storage size.


Home of AfFORDable Cars & Trucks

Based on the Disney cartoon, “Jake and the Neverland Pirates,” this toy set allows kids to set sail straight from Neverland to their living room with Jake and the Neverland Pirates. The musical pirate ship is fully equipped to battle Captain Hook and his crew to defend Jake’s treasure. The set includes Jake and Skully features and three water ball projectiles. Bucky the ship is packed with 25 action phrases and a pirate adventure song, and has a real working cannon and Tick Tock Croc, who explores from a hidden trapdoor to scare away Captain Hook. Jake and the Neverland Pirates Musical Pirate Ship Bucky requires three AA batteries and retails for approximately $40.

Disney Baby Sing Along Choo Choo Train The Fisher-Price Disney Baby Sing Along Choo Choo Train is a push train that features three favorite Disney friends from “Dumbo,” “The Lion King,” and “101 Dalmatians.” The friends are removable and have moveable joints and textured feet. Toddlers will love the bright colors, chunky bodies and fun sounds the train has to offer. Each train car features unique themes, including rattle sounds, sing-along songs, sound effects, and more. The toy encourages development of sight, sound and touch, and rolls for pull-along fun. The train requires three C (LR14) 1.5-volt batteries (included) and retails for $30.

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4 — Home for the Holidays 2012

The Advocate & Democrat

Shopping at home supports education TOMMY MILLSAPS Editor

It is not difficult to find great reasons to shop at home. Arguably, the best reason to keep your money in Monroe County is the impact local shopping has on our schools. Local sales tax revenue provides millions of dollars to the two local school systems combined each year. If indeed children are our future, most everyone agrees education is the most important thing a community can do to ensure its future. In this day and age of constant threats of cuts or freezes in federal funding to schools, local dollars are now more important than ever. According to Sweetwater City Director of Schools Dr. Melanie Miller, the sales tax revenue the city system received from the county last year was $843,431. The sales tax revenue goes into the general purpose bud-

get, so it funds a variety of programs and line items for city schools. That amount of sales tax revenue nearly covers the operations and maintenance budget for an entire year for the city schools or you can look at it in terms of the teaching, nursing, school resource officer or other positions funded by shopping at home. “In our system, we split personnel among many of our buildings just to try to offer services,” Miller said. “Over the last few years, we have cut and trimmed as much as possible, so that now when our funds are down we have to look at cutting personnel, which means services to students.” Monroe County Director of Schools Mike Lowry agrees with Miller on the impact local sales tax revenue has on local education. “I am a big proponent of shopping locally and doing what we can to support local

businesses,” Lowry said. Lowry points to the cycle of how local shopping helps the entire county, providing the jobs and along with it, the community and financial support schools need. With the Christmas shopping season in full swing, now is the time to make an impact by shopping at home. As you might expect, December brings in the most local option sales tax collections each year. In 2011, December shopping brought in nearly $792,000 in local option sales tax revenue to Monroe County and its four towns. That figure is $60,000 more than the next highest local option sales tax month, March. Now is the time to make an impact, stay home for the holidays and shop local. Then follow that up by shopping at home year around and watch your dollars make a difference for the children of Monroe County.

Four towns; Four unique shopping experiences TOMMY MILLSAPS Editor

Santa Knows What You Really Want! A Gift Card from

Sweetwater-New Highway 68 Madisonville-New Highway 68 Tellico Plains-Bank Street Vonore-Highway 411

Wil-Sav Drugs of Sweetwater

While any small community has retail leakage to larger communities, it is also not uncommon for those same small communities to attract shoppers from other counties as well. That is especially true in Monroe County. You can go to any store in the county and find shoppers from other areas who have skipped Turkey Creek in Knox County and other congested areas for the friendly atmosphere of Monroe County. They know what locals sometimes forget, Monroe County has a great and often unique variety of stores both large and small. Each of the county’s four towns has its own character and unique stores that make for their own shopping experience. The shopping attractions can be enhanced by what there is to eat, see and do as part of your day out. Madisonville has a downtown with shops and has a variety of events year around through the Downtown Madisonville Association and city and civic leaders. Madisonville has accessible eateries within walking distance. The town has major retail shopping up and down the four-lane Highway 11 and Highway 68. Vonore is a small city, but its own tourism attractions, such as Fort

Loudoun State Historic Area and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, not to mention Tellico Lake in the warm months, serve to add much to shopping local in Vonore. A new Food City grocery store will open in Vonore in 2013 and several retail stores are expected to locate by the large grocery store. Sweetwater for more than a decade now has had a thriving downtown. Its antique district is recognized as one of the best in the region and a growing event schedule, including A Small Town Christmas and the National Muscadine Festival, make Sweetwater not only a great place to visit but a great place to stay home. A new Walmart will open in Sweetwater later in 2013 and its location across from the Kmart and Ingles will give the town a shopping area that rivals that of some nearby larger cities. Tellico Plains in 2011 celebrated its centennial. The little city on the plains also has its own charm and brand of book stores and diverse shopping and dinning. Tellico knows how to show visitors and residents alike a great time with an Independence Day Celebration and holiday events like the Candlelight Walk and its Christmas Parade. Tellico Plains used to just be considered a gateway to the Cherohala Skyway and the Cherokee National Forest, but now the town is a destination in its own right.


787 New Highway 68 Sweetwater, TN 37874 Ph. 337-9381 Fax 337-9382

Fill Your Prescriptions Accurately and Fast Most Prescriptions Filled In Less Than 10 Minutes We are a Compounding Pharmacy. We can prepare individualized dosages for you and your pet. Veteranary compounds are our specialty. We accept most major credit cards and most third party insurance plans including all Medicare Part D Plans. Pharmacists: Don LeCoultre DPh. Lisa McHan DPh. Open 8:00 am til 6:00 pm Monday - Friday 8:00 am til 1:00 pm Saturday Closed Sunday

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The Advocate & Democrat

Home for the Holidays 2012 — 5

Located Across from McDonald’s Hours:

Monday-Friday • 8:30am-5pm | Saturday • 8am-4pm Funeral Delivery Available on Sundays

Merry Christmas from the Staff at Madisonville Petals & Gifts!

From our family to yours we wish you a Merry Christmas & wonderful new year! We greatly appreciate the business and support of our community!

Buy One Yankee Candle Get One 50% Off!

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20% Off Dec. 3rd-14th Pick Up Dates: December 15th & 22nd

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4656 Highway 411 • Madisonville

6 — Home for the Holidays 2012

The Advocate & Democrat

Staff photo by Michael Thomason

Melanie Phillips poses with some of the gifts available at her store Madisonville’s Petals and Gifts. Phillips recently changed careers, going from directing the Boys and Girls Club of the Monroe Area to the retail world.

Madisonvil e Petals and Gifts: A great reason to shop at home MICHAEL THOMASON Staff Writer

MADISONVILLE-Melanie Phillips steered the Boys and Girls Club of the Monroe area for more than a decade, then decided it was time for a career

change. And in her words, boy, did she get one. Phillips now owns and operates Madisonville’s Petals and Gifts, formerly Hall’s Florist, and she’s traded the days of running all over the county every day for being in place for

“Sometimes what you need is right here. I had a customer come in and find something she’d already bought in Knoxville but we had it for $30 less.” Melanie Phillips

hours at a time. “I used to be out for meetings and appointments all the time,” Phillips said. “Now I’m here. I still see a lot of people, but now it’s from the retail side.” Phillips is a supporter of shopping at home and thinks people need to make sure what they’re wanting isn’t available at home before they go to another town or county. “Sometimes what you need is right here,” she said. “I had a customer come in and find something she’d already bought in Knoxville but we had it for $30 less.” Madisonville Petals and Gifts offers everything from home decorations to jewelry. The store is the only local source for Vera Bradley and

the Kameleon jewelry line. “We also do flower deliveries for any occasion,” Phillips said. “There was a rumor that we had stopped offering that after buying Halls. But we do it for holidays, anniversaries and funerals. Whatever the need may be.” Phillips said it took some time for people to realize they weren’t going to tear down everything Halls had built up. “We’re doing traditional things while offering new and different pieces,” she said. Phillips hasn’t forgotten her days with the Boys and Girls Club, knowing how important local businesses are to charitable foundations. “I used to go out to local businesses all the time looking for support,” she said, “and they were always the ones to

help the most. Now we want to give back to the community. We do as much as we can locally, supporting other local businesses.” Phillips says her impeccably kept store might lead some to think it’s an expensive place, but she says that’s not true. “We have prices ranging from $1.99 to several hundred,” she said. “We’re for everybody. I’d like for people to think of us before they head out of town.” Phillips has 10 employees and is thinking of the future, already planning out her Valentine’s Day specials. “We appreciate all the support the community has given us,” she said, “and we’re giving back everything we can.” • | 442-4575

A Deed is All You Need! Use your land to get your new home!

office in Madisonville is

NOW OPEN Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm Closed 1:00pm-2:00pm for lunch



Our Madisonville branch is located at 4500 Hwy 411, unit 5, inside the Sloan Center

Stop in and see us!

Home for the Holidays 2012  

Shop local this holiday season.