Johnson County Commodity food distribution December date

December 14, 2018

(Mountain City, TN) the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency will begin a Commodity Distribution December 18, 2018 at the National Guard Armory 1923 S. Shady Street. Items will be distributed on a first come first served basis to income eligible households until all commodities are gone. All recipients must be residents of Tennessee. This project is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Each recipient must now have a purple colored commodity ID card in order to pick up their commodities. An ID card is obtained by completing an application at the Neighborhood Service Center. We strongly encourage each recipient to complete the application prior to December 13, this will be helpful in reducing wait time. However, staff will be available on site during the Distribution to assist in acquiring a commodity card. If someone is picking up your commodities, they must have your ID card and be authorized on your application; limits to pickup are five (5) orders.

The distribution will begin at 12:00 pm. and will end at 2:30 pm. or earlier if food is no longer available. Also, volunteers may be available to help elderly and disabled persons carry their commodities.

Misrepresentation of need, or sale or exchange of USDA commodities is prohibited and could result in a fine, imprisonment, or both. USDA’s Emergency Food Assistance Program is available to all eligible recipients regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency

Head quartered in Kingsport at the VO Dobbins Complex, UETHDA has been providing the tools, education, and support for a better life for over 50 years. The agency is one of thousands of Community Action Agencies in the United States operated by the National Community Action Partnership. UETHDA serves eight counties in northeast Tennessee: Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Hancock, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington and Unicoi. UETHDA has a variety of programs from emergency assistance to more long terms paths for self-sufficiency, including national programs such as Head Start, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and more. UETHDA operates nine neighborhood service centers in those eight counties.

To learn more visit


Community Calendar


Safe Haven available to victims of abuse
Johnson County Safe Haven, Inc. offers services for victims of domestic violence. We provide a 24- hour crisis line (423-727-1914) and a public office (423-727-0202) located at 311 South Church Street in Mountain City. If you are a victim of domestic violence, we can help.

New 60+ Transportation Program
MY RIDE Johnson County is a new program being implemented through Johnson County Senior Center. This program will provide rides within Johnson County to citizens 60 plus. Ride could be to doctor appointment, grocery store, pharmacy, beauty shop, etc. Membership applications for volunteer drivers and for riders are available at Johnson County Senior Center. For further information call 727-8883.

Charity Quilt Applications
The Tennessee Sunrise Quilt Guild will be accepting applications from Johnson County non-profits and charitable organizations for the 2019 Charity Quilt. Every year the guild completes a bed size quilt to be donated to a local qualifying organization for their use as a fund raising tool. Application forms may be obtained on our website Applications will be accepted on or before 15 Dec 2018. For further information please contact Shirli Pollard at or 423-768-0331.

Town Holiday Schedule
The Town of Mountain City offices will adhere to the following schedule for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Friday, December 21, 2018-City Wide Garbage Pickup
Monday, December 24, 2018-Closed, No Garbage Pickup
Tuesday, December 25, 2018-Closed, No Garbage Pickup
Wednesday, December 26, 2018-Closed, No Garbage Pickup
Thursday, December 27, 2018-City Wide Garbage Pickup
Tuesday, January 1, 2019-Closed, No Garbage Pickup
In the event of a water/sewer emergency, please call 727-5200. The Town would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Letters to Santa- Nov. 28- Dec.17
The Tomahawk will be collecting Letters to Santa for our Christmas edition. Let Santa’s little helpers give Santa another chance to see your list! To submit letters or find out more, contact Meg Dickens at

Santa’s Mailbox- Nov. 21- Dec. 19
Calling all kids! Santa’s Red Letter Box will be back out in front of the court house starting Wednesday, November 21. Letters mailed to Santa in this mailbox will be delivered directly to the North Pole and will NOT need postage. Children will need to be sure to put their name and address in the letter so that Santa will know who wants what and where to find you! The Red Letter box will remain in place until December 19th. Don’t delay too long, start thinking about your own letter today!


Food Donation Drop at Mullins RE- Dec.
In the spirit of the season, we at Mullins Real Estate are proud to announce that for the month of December, we are partnering with Hale Community Ministries as a non-perishable food drop-off point. Simply stop by our new offices at 812 South Shady Street, during our normal business hours, 9-5 Monday through Friday and 9 until noon on Saturdays, to drop off your food donations. At the end of the month, all donations received at our site will then be taken to Hale Community Ministries. Your generosity will be greatly apprediated by those in need durint this time of year! *Items must be of a non-perishable variety: canned goods, pastas, cereals, etc. From all of us at Mullins Real Estate and Auction, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Senior Center Rescue DOG Donations
The Johnson County Senior Center will be collecting donations for the Rescue DOG End of Life Sanctuary. The sanctuary welcomes all donations such as food, warm clothing and treats for the animals. Donations can be sent to End of Life Sanctuary, Care of Melissa Gentry at 254 South Shady Street in Mountain City. Gentry can be reached at 423-956-2564. Find out more at the Johnson County Senior Center at 128 College Street in Mountain City, TN.

Old Mill Ministries – Dec 15
A Christmas Celebration on Saturday, December 15, 2018, 11:00 – 2:00 at Army National Guard Armory 1923 S. Shady Street, Mountain City.Enjoy lunch, we will have new and lightly used clothes, shoes, coats, household items, etc. kids from 0-12 get to choose a new toy as they leave.

Trade Turkey Shoot – Dec. 22
There will be a “Turkey Shoot” on Saturday, December 22 at 1 PM at the Trade Community Center, 228 Modock Road, Trade, Tennessee. Competition will be open to anyone shooting 12, 16, 20, and 410 gauges. Stock arms only. No modified chokes allowed. Multiple cash awards will be offered to winners. Refreshments are available. Proceeds go to maintain the Mill and Trade Community Center grounds and other community projects. For more information, please contact Bill Roark at 423-895-2213.


American Legion meeting December 14
American Legion Post 61 and Auxiliary will meet on Friday, December 14 at 6 PM. at the Legion Post at 318 N. Church St.
This is our annual Christmas dinner, so the Post will provide hams. Members are encouraged to bring a seasonal covered side-dish/dessert. Current and potential members should plan to join us for an evening of good food and fellowship The Ladies Auxiliary will hold their annual gift exchange,.please bring a gift valued at $15 or less. The Legion will donate their gift money in support of a local charity. We will also be wrapping presents for our nursing home veterans. This will be another chance to pay dues for membership year 2019, before becoming delinquent at the first of the year.If schools are closed due to inclement weather, the meeting will be cancelled.
For more information, call 727-5935 or 727-6372.

Democrats Meeting- Dec. 15
The December meeting of the Johnson County Democrats has been moved to Saturday, December 15 from 2-5pm and will be held in conjunction with a holiday social at 1935 Dug Hill Rd, Mountain City. For additional information please call 423-440-5689.

Disabled Access Committee- Dec. 17
The Disabled Access Committee will meet on Monday, December 17 at 5 p.m. in the lower courtroom of the johnson County Courthouse located at 222 West Main Street, Mountain City, TN 37683.

Commission Meeting- Dec. 20
Johnson County Commission will meet Thursday, December 20 at 7 p.m.The meeting will be held in the upper courtroom of the Johnson County Courthouse, 222 West Main Street, Mountain City, Tennessee. The budget committee will meet at 6 p.m. in the lower courtroom prior to the commission meeting

Mtn. City Board Meeting- Jan. 8
The Town of Mountain City Board of Mayor and Aldermen regular meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The public is welcome to attend. If any additional information is needed, please contact City Recorder Sheila Shaw at 423-727-8005.


Johnson County Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 AM- Noon at the Johnson County Welcome Center Lower Level.

Johnson County Arts Center- Dec.
Johnson County Center for the Arts is your destination for locally made art and fine craft from the East Tennessee Mountains. You can sign up for scheduled classes or use the materials in our Maker Space anytime. Volunteers are always ready to help get you started. We serve coffee and pastries.“ART is for ​Everyone!”
Thursday, Dec. 13- 1:30PM Read Aloud: The Birthday Present Dottie Harmon will treat us to a read aloud of her short story in progress, a magical tale set in her childhood home on the backside of Sugar Mountain. FREE. ALL ARE WELCOME! 4 to 6:00PM Pictures With Santa 6 to 7:30PM Family Gingerbread House Decorating PartyWe will provide the gingerbread house, decorations, and royal icing glue. You supply the fun. Create a Holiday Memory. Cristy Dunn will facilitate. The Cost is $25 per family (one house is included per family registration) Pre-registration is required as space is limited.

Heritage Hall News- Dec. 13-15
Dec. 13, 14, & 15 at 7pm, Living Christmas Tree, Christmas is in the Heart, directed by Ms Nancy Davis, and presented by a talented group of singers from several different areas of the County. General admission: a food pantry donation. Please plan to be inspired by the music of the season and to support this group. For tickets, reservations, group or youth pricing, call 423-727-7444 and leave a message.

Senior Center Christmas Party- Dec. 14
The Johnson County Senior Center is having a Christmas Party on Friday, December 14 at 11: a.m. A Christmas Meal will be served at 11:30 for $8. Holiday ham and turkey with all the trimmings. No advance tickets required. Randy Dandurand will be preforming and a visit from Santa Claus with treats for members. A special Christmas BINGO sponsored by H&R Block after lunch. Be sure to wear your ugly Christmas attire. You might win a special cash prize sponsored by Farmers State Bank giving First place $75 Second place $50 and Third place $25. Lots of great entertainment and fun for all senior citizens of Johnson County. Come out and join us!

Senior Center Storytelling- Dec. 17
Storytelling at the Johnson County Senior Center for this month will be on December 17 at 11:30 during lunch. The featured storyteller will be Frances VanLandingham, the author of Back on Nowhere Road. She is an outstanding Appalachian author and a wonderful storyteller. She will be accompanied by her musically talented daughter, Jennifer Gillenwater, who will perform an original song. Everyone 60 and over is invited to come out to the Center, have lunch with us, and hear a special performance.

Court Report 12/12/2018

The following information reflects the actual filed documents or docket entries which are considered to be public record and contained in the official case files. The information provided herein includes the offense(s) with which an individual was charged/cited and the disposition(s) if the case has been concluded. No information is contained herein regarding charges/citations that have been expunged pursuant to state law. The information is subject to change at any time. It is important to note the Tennessee General Assembly has made it a criminal offense for information to be made public once it has been expunged pursuant to T.C.A. 40-32-101. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you update any search before using the information for official purposes. In no event shall The Tomahawk be held liable for damage of any nature, direct or indirect, arising from the use of this information.

General Sessions Court Johnson County,
The Honorable
William B. Hawkins,
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018

Jason Thomas Augustine

Justin Ty Banner
Gs-18-Cr-779/Domestic Assault/Dep R Mink

Heather F Burchett
Hearing/Stnaw Viol Date 11-12-18 Pd
Gs-18-Cr-864/Agg Child Abuse/Dep J Ferguson

Walter Canter
Gs-18-Cr-926/Domestic Assault/Inv B Sutherland

Jack Edward Church
Gs-18-Tr-559/Failure To Yield/Sgt C Dunn

William Jeffery Corum
Viol Date 11-28-18 Pd
Gs-18-Cr-904/Dep C Lipford
Ct-1/Domestic Assault
Ct-2/Violation Bond Conditions
Ct-3/Violation Order Protection
Ct-4/Interference W/Emergency Calls Ct-5/Vandalism

Joseph Michael Courtner
Status Viol Date 11-27-18 Pd
Gs-18-Cr-902/Dep T Brown
Ct-1/Poss Sch Ii For Resale
Ct-2/Poss Sch Vi-Consp
Ct-3/Poss Weapon Commission Dangerous Felony
Ct-4/Poss Drug Para
Ct-5/Felony Poss Of Weapon
Ct-6/Dosl 2Nd

Kevin Lee Cuddy
Thp R Wills

Mark Evans Flahart
Gs-18-Cr-906/Fugitive From Justice/Inv B Sutherland

Travis Keith Gentry
Gs-18-Cr-920/Lt M Cress
Ct-1/Agg Burglary
Ct-2/Theft Over $1000
Gs-18-Cr-921/Chief Inv S Brown
Ct-1/Theft Under $1000
Ct-2/Agg Burglary
Ct-3/False Report
Gs-18-Cr-922/Chief Inv S Brown
Ct-1/Theft Under $1000
Gs-18-Cr-923/Inv B Sutherland
Ct-1/Agg Burglary
Ct-2/Theft Over $1000
Gs-18-Cr-924/Theft Over $1000/Chief Inv S Brown
Gs-18-Cr-925/Chief Inv S Brown
Ct-1/Theft Over $1000
Ct-2/Agg Burglary

Andrew James Gwinn Canter
Gs-18-Tr-557/Dep B Sexton
Ct-1/Reckless Driving
Ct-2/Dl Violation
Ct-3/Financial Responsibility
Gs-18-Cr-816/Dep B Sexton
Ct-1/Evading By Mv
Cts 2-3/Poss Sch Ii For Resale
Cts 4-5/Poss Sch Vi For Resale
Ct-6/Poss Drug Para
Ct-7/Driving W/O Motorcycle Endorsements
Gs-18-Cr-893/Ptl J Johnson
Ct-1/Poss Sch Ii For Resale
Ct-2/Poss Drug Para
Ct-3/Simple Poss Sch Vi
Gs-18-Cr-894/Simple Poss Sch Vi/Ptl J Johnson
Gs-18-Cr-895/Felony Evading/Dep B Sexton

Tyler Dillon Hassan Loughrin
Gs-18-Cr-820/Underage Driving W/Impaired/Dep J Ferguson

Cora J Hayworth
Hearing/Stnaw Fallin
Gs-18-Cr-288/Ptl M Mullins
Ct-1/Dui 1St
Ct-3/Poss Drug Para
Ct-4/Simple Poss Sch Vi
Ct-5/Poss Legend Drugs
Gs-18-Tr-514/Financial Responsibility/Sgt J Norman
Gs-18-Cr-518/Agg Domestic Assault/Dep J Ferguson
Gs-18-Cr-702/Sgt J Norman
Ct-1/Dui 1St
Ct-2/Poss Legend Drugs
Ct-3/Poss Drug Para
Ct-4/Open Container

Brandon Rainey Hicks
Gs-18-Cr-919/Domestic Assault/Lt M Mullins

Christopher James Hickes
Status Pro Se
Gs-18-Cr-896/Fugitive From Justice/Dep T Brown

Michael Dewayne Laws
To Have Atty
Gs-18-Cr-654/Assault/Tyler Stanley

Kenneth W Mcqueen
Tbi Cert & Div Fallin
Gs-18-Cr-230/Poss Sch Ii/Dep R Mink

Ashley M Miller
Gs-18-Cr-857/Domestic Assault/Dep J Ferguson

Travis Allen Mink
Gs-18-Cr-825/Dep J Ferguson
Ct-1/Intro Contraband Into Penal Fac
Ct-2/Poss Drug Para

Stormie N Morefield
From Justice/
Lt M Mullins

Matthew Jesse James Osborne Hearing/Stnaw Curtis
Gs-17-Cr-874/Dorl 5Th/Ptl T Brown
Gs-18-Cr-612/Domestic Assault/Inv M Cress

Sonya D Osborne
Preliminary Hearing Roberts
Gs-18-Cr-683/Dep R Mink
Ct-1/Poss Sch Ii For Resale
Ct-2/Poss Sch Iii For Resale
Ct-3/Poss Drug Para

Jake Harrison Potter
Gs-18-Tr-581/Dep R Mink
Ct-1/Light Law
Ct-2/Registration Violation
Gs-18-Cr-867/Simple Poss Sch Vi/Dep R Mink

John Ray Mccormick
Gs-18-Tr-523/Speeding/Thp R Wills

Christopher D Reid
Preliminary Hearing Viol Date 10-4-18 Pd
Gs-18-Cr-759/Intro Contraband Into Penal Fac/Inv B Sutherland

Ricky Ray Shelton
Gs-18-Cr-903/Lt M Cress
Ct-1/Theft Under $10,000

Amanda Carol Sluder
Gs-18-Cr-827/Dosl 1St/Dep J Ferguson

Arin C Smith
Gs-18-Tr-566/Left Of Center/Dep R MinkGs-18-Cr-833/Driving W/O License/Dep R Mink

Lara Michelle Snyder
Gs-18-Tr-568/Lt M Cress
Ct-1/Light Law
Ct-2/Financial Responsibility

Danielle Blake Soule
Dep R Mink
Ct-1/Expired Registration
Ct-2/Financial Responsibility
Ct-3/Left Of Center
Gs-18-Cr-834/Dosl/Dep R Mink
Gs-18-Cr-835/Dui 1St/Dep R Mink

Scarlett C Sprague
To Have Dl Viol Date 6-27-18 Pd
Gs-18-Cr-754/Dep C Lipford
Ct-1/Dosl 1St Ct-2/Resisting Arrest

Renee Hope Stansberry
Gs-18-Tr-596/Move Over Law/Dep M Gladden

Joseph P Storie
Dep J Ferguson

Robert Trivette
Gs-18-Cr-927/Cpl J Peters
Ct-1/Poss Sch For Resale
Ct-2/Maintaining Dwelling
Ct-3/Unlawful Poss Of Weapon
Ct-4/Poss Weapon During Comm Of Dangerous Felony
Ct-5/Poss Drug Para
Ct-6/Criminal Simulation
Gs-18-Cr-928/Dep R Mink
Ct-1/Agg Assault W/Mv
Ct-2/Driving W/O License

William T Vaughan
Gs-18-Cr-856/Domestic Assault/Dep J Ferguson

James Daniel Wallace
Preliminary Hearing Viol Date 9-6-18 Pd
Gs-18-Cr-658/Agg Domestic Assault W/Firearm/Dep J Ferguson

Daniel Ray Winters
Gs-18-Cr-775/Dep R Mink
Ct-1/Domestic Assault
Ct-2/Leaving The Scene Of Acc
Ct-3/Failure To Report Acc

Safety takes center stage during the holiday season

By Tamas Mondovics


The 2018 holiday season is in full swing while local officials including members of law enforcement and fire rescue are ready to offer residents some appropriate safety tips.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Mountain City Police Department are very much aware of the potential for thefts as well as distractions that the holiday season brings.
“Many forget the very basics about safety either at home or when out shopping,” said JC Sheriff Eddie Tester.
WalletHub’s recent Holiday Studies and Reports offer many safety tips relating to protecting the consumer’s pocketbook.
The report mentioned that most consumers already have access to little-known credit card benefits that can come in handy over the holidays, including price-drop protection and coverage for damaged or stolen items.
All store credit cards do not charge an annual fee, and the average card offering rewards in the form of discounts give shoppers more than 29 percent off their first purchase, according to WalletHub’s 2018 Store Card Landscape Report.
Most of the major retailers offering zero percent financing use a dangerous feature called deferred interest, which has the potential to make holiday purchases up to 27.5 times more expensive than expected.
While for some, the joy or chore of the holiday shopping is winding down, for many a mad dash to the mall, or where they may find that perfect gift before it is too late, is yet to come.
Either way, to ensure this holiday season will not end in disappointment or disaster, putting safety first could help prevent possible crimes.

A few tips listed below may come in handy.

•When shopping, lock your car doors and roll up your windows.
•Limit the amount of cash you carry. If possible, pay with a credit or debit card.
•Keep your purse close to your body and your wallet in an inside jacket pocket if possible.
•Place all packages in your trunk, not visible to individuals walking close to your vehicle.
•Remember where you parked. Have your car keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.
•Don’t leave cell phones, purses or other items in your parked car where they can be seen.

When using ATMs:
•Use one in a populated area and pay constant attention to your surroundings.
•If possible, use ATMs during daylight hours.
•If anyone is lurking near the machine, pass it up and find another.
•Remember to retrieve your credit/debit card after a transaction.

At Home:
•Be cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your home.
•Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.
•Leave a light or a television on when away from home, so it seems the house is occupied.
•Be wary of strangers coming to your door asking for charitable donations.
•Do not leave boxes from gifts outside for the trash collector. Take them to a dumpster so that your house is not targeted by thieves that are looking for homes that have just bought new appliances, etc.

On Vacation:
•Before you leave, provide the Sheriff’s Office or Police department, with the dates of departure and return. Your home can be periodically checked by deputies or officers patrolling your area while you are gone.
•Notify the post office to hold your mail or arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail daily.
-Have a neighbor pick up your newspaper each day.
-•Make arrangements to have your grass cut and watered while you are gone.
•Move valuables so not to be seen from windows.
•Have someone pick up flyers and circulars from your doorway.
•Leave your number with a trusted neighbor so that they may contact you should anything be suspicious.

Always report any / all suspicious persons, vehicles, or activity to local law enforcement.
In the event of an emergency, please dial 911.

For more report/ statistics please visit WalletHub:

Winter gardening tips to prepare for Spring

Winter is the best time to plan for the Spring season. Performing maintenance and prepping both your plants and yourself makes for a successful season.

The days are shorter, the wind is cold and plants are dormant. But this is one of the best times to start planning for spring! We should be preparing for another successful season of gardening in winter.

Here are some tips to consider:

• Start by cleaning and sharpening your garden tools so they are ready for spring. Make sure to store your tools indoors to avoid them rusting. Drain garden hoses and store them away to avoid freeze damage. Sharpen hand pruners, loppers, saws, and make sure to oil moving parts.

• Make a note of tools and supplies you will need for the next growing season and get a head start on purchasing them while there are holiday discounts.

• Prepare to prune trees and shrubs during their dormant winter season. Cutting into live tissue during the winter will help prevent the spread of diseases such as fire blight, which is a bacterium that can be spread on pruning tools in warm wet weather.

Removing dead branches in the winter will allow for good wound closure when spring arrives. Make sure you know how to properly prune. Remember, once you cut it off, you can’t glue it back on.

• Scout the landscape for signs of insects and diseases. Look for egg masses on trees and shrubs.

• Plan your vegetable garden for the coming year, keeping in mind the need to rotate crops. Keep a record of your garden plans for each year to see what is growing well and what struggled. Also keep track of varieties of plants you are growing.

• Read seed catalogues to familiarize yourself with new plant varieties and determine which will work for your climate, and site conditions.

•Learn more about gardening by attending Extension…..sponsored workshops or webinars. Yes, you can learn lots sitting at home this winter watching lectures that broadcast live over the internet (webinars) or previously recorded lectures that are archived.

For further information or to find out about different online trainings, contact your local Extension Agent, Rick Thomason at or call at (423)-727-8161.

Source: Gardening Prep during the Cold Winter Months from Penn State Extension Service

Producers now have a new online option

November 28, 2018

Farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers have new online options to access US Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. Through USDA’s new streamlines process, producers doing business as an individual can now register, track and manage their applications for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and 2017 Wildfires Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017Whip) on the secure and convenient Producers doing business as an individual firest need to sign up for the Level 2 eAuthentication access.

Currently USDA eAuthentication does not have the mechanism to issue accounts to businesses, corporations, other entities or for anyone action on behalf of another individual or entity.

Step 1: Create an online account at

Step 2: Complete identity berification by either using the online self-service identity verification method or by completing the identity verification in-person at your USDA Service Center.

Step 3: You are enrolled.

Step 4: Contact your local USDA Service Center to have your new level 2 account linked with your USDA customer record.

Step 5: You are ready to Log in.

Or go to your local USDA Service Center and our supportive staff will help you sign up for Level 2 Access right in the office! They will get you online so you can create an online account at

You’ll complete identity verification right on the spot. Enrolled Users with a secure Level 2 eAuthentication ID linked to their USDA customer record can apply for select USDA programs, view and print farm maps and farm records data. Enrolling is easy. Visit the site listed above to learn more.

To locate a service center near you or use online services not requiring eAuthentication access, visit For technical assistance, call the eAuthentication help desk at 1-800-457-3642. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

JCHS trio support Longhorn football

November 28, 2018

Alexis Allen, Taylor Cox and Tiffany Cox help supply water to the JCHS Longhorns. Photo by Tamas Mondovics.

Johnson County High School students Alexis Allen, 16, is joined by Taylor and Olivia Cox, during a Longhorns home football game earlier this season. The girls were always ready to supply the needed water for the players. The happy and positive- spirited trio, has managed to encourage and serve the program with a smile, and was a valuable part of the Longhorns exceptional winning fall football
season. Go Longhorns!

Johnson County seeks TN Promise mentors

November 28, 2018

Staff Report

With only one month remaining before the application deadline, TNAchieves, the organization that administers TN Promise, still needs several mentors in Johnson County. Mentors provide each scholarship applicant a local support system who ensures the transition from high school to college is as easy and successful as possible. Many of the students that apply for TN Promise will be the first person in their family to attend college and the support of a local volunteer helps ease some of the unknown. Mentors remind students of important deadlines, serve as a trusted college resource, and, most importantly, encourage students to reach their full potential.

“As the first person in my family to go to college, I understand the intimidation often associated with attending college,” said TNAchieves Executive Director Krissy DeAlejandro. “I had an incredible support system but it was brand new to all of us. Having someone to walk with you through this journey and encourage you along the way can really provide the sense of confidence our students need. Mentors are the heart of the TNAchieves program.”

Mentors are only asked to give one hour of their time per month. Each mentor attends a mandatory training and then two, one hour meetings with their assigned students over the course of the year. The time commitment is small but the impact can be life changing for a first generation college student. The deadline to apply as a mentor to work with the TN Promise Class of 2019 is November 30th. Interested volunteers can learn more and apply at mentors/apply.

“Our mentors recognize that the college going process can be overwhelming,” said TNAchieves Deputy Director of Outreach, Graham Thomas. “Admissions, financial aid, class registration and the entire process can be challenging to navigate. To have a cheerleader in the background saying, ‘We can do this together,’ can be the difference maker for our students.”

Launched in 2008, TNAchieves is a privately-funded scholarship and mentoring program that seeks to provide an opportunity for every Tennessee student to earn a post-secondary degree. For information on TNAchieves, contact Graham Thomas at 615.604.1306 or

Big day shopping small

November 28, 2018

Johnson County was the place to be on Small  Business Saturday! The Reindeer Run, sponsored by Johnson County Arts Council, brought droves of  shoppers into locally owned businesses, where they enjoyed discounts, hot chocolate, artist  demonstrations, and shopping for one of a kind  gifts. Photos submitted by Cristy Dunn.


Local elementary 1st nine weeks honor roll

November 21, 2018

Submitted by local elementary schools

Roan Creek Elementary


All A’s
Lillian Bendon
Charlotte Canter
Edith Collette
Tanner Hampton
Fernando Linares
Kitiana Poteat
Adalynn Winters

A’s & B’s
Josie Baker
Lily Potter
Gunner Shull

1st Grade

All A’s
Elijah Beam
Darren Eggers

A’s & B’s
Vada Clifton
Carson Icenhour
Hayden Isaacs
Kylee Mink
Brooklyn Morefield
Austin Shaw

2nd Grade

All A’s
Marley Burgos
Nicholas Cano
Gabriella Crowder
Kagen Townsend

A’s & B’s
Alyssa Beam
Joseph Bendell
Jacob Bentley
Mason Brown
Emma Cannon
Elijah Danner
Brie Epperly
Jenna Forrester
Lucas Gentry
Taylor Jennings
Madison Johnson
Sophia Meade-Hernandez
Macie Morefield
Olivia Roark
Prailey Roop
Karly Seatz
Savannah Simcox
Cameron Snow
Brenden Terrell

3rd Grade

All A’s
Elsie Clifton
Karter Cox
Braiden Folsom
Claira Porter
Ariya Toth

A’s & B’s
Luke Anderson
Jake Anderson
Ezzy Aguilar
Dade Eggers
Bradley Henderson
Avonna Humphrey
Dominic Ruiz
Audrey Shaw
Amelia Stout
Connor Stout
Dylan Vanover

4th Grade

All A’s
Kayleigh Crotts
Daniel Gunter
Roma Lipford
Anna Potter
Chloe Rhymer

A’s & B’s
Hunter Bently
Riley Brown
Damien Church
Allison Colson
Kaleigh Dunn
Grayson Espinoza
Tyler Hicks
Aiden Holdaway
Emily Ibarra
Chris Key
Catie McFadden
Maria Olmedo
Trevor Rawls
Shelby Reece
Marley Snyder

5th Grade

All A’s
Madison Baldock
Madeline Bendon
Ansley Clifton
Josie Cox
Layla Crotts
Jack Csillag
Landon Greene
Elizabeth Jennings
Shayla Sileo
Destiny Stout
Chloe Sutherland
Trinity Winters

A’s & B’s
Liddy Arnold
Haiden Cobb
Myleigh Crowder
Logan Davis
Zoe Epperly
Kloi Hopkins
Abel Johnson
Emma Lipham
Olivia Lynch
Makaela Mabe
Alexis McCauley
Parker Miller
Katelyn Osborne
Harris Perry
Emily Roark
Charlie Salmons

6th Grade

All A’s
Jack Able
Jackson Clifton
Eli Dickens
Savannah Dowell
Emma Eller
Gunner Hutchins
Meleah Johnson
A.J. Laing
Kemora Lipfird
Amberlynn Reece
Trinity Slimp
Stephen Swift
Desirea Robinson
Marley Townsend
Addison Ward

A’s & B’s
Elijah Anderson
Carson Brown
Dominick Black
Jayden Bryant
Tyler Campbell
Ashton Dollar
Alana Gaud
Bailee Grindstaff
Kylie Hampton
Flor Hernandez
Hannah Johnson
Joe Johnson
Maleia Leonard
Savanna Lewis
Lanie Mink
Kylie Morefield
Sarah Morris
Anna Porter
Vincent Stout
Emilie Vanover
Nathanael Walker
Johnalyn Yates

Laurel Elementary

All A’s
Johnny Blankenship
Dylan Blevins
Jasper Eckert
Ellie Owens
Sofia Perez
Mazie Phillips
Emma Savery
Lily Savery
Kaylee Stanley
Lily West
Micah West
River Younce

A’s & B’s
Emily Blankenship
Aleah Hampton
Kendon Keith
Skylar Mason
Marley Matheson
Rayley Matheson
Zoey Muncy
Benjamin Nelson
Zach Owens
Rebekah Perez
Rileigh Reece
Ava Taylor
Owen Taylor

Mountain City Elementary

Superior Honor Roll

Lucas Cretsinger,
Tristan Eckert,
Lena Hammons,
Emerie Hoyle,
Evan Perkins,
Millie Thomas,
Daniella Eppard,
Mariano Espinoza,
Nola Furches,
Casen Lewis,
Madden Reynolds,
Mason Roark,
Zane Spicer,
Levi Bishop,
Jacob Brown,
Natileigh Dollinger,
Karsen Edes-King,
Paislee Evans,
Landen Johnson,
Kaylee Mahala,
Judah Norman,
Lucas Reece,
Faith Roberts,
Easton Snyder,
Mason Tolliver,
Kyla Vincent,
Savanna Younce,
Sara Beth Pennington,
Allie Mullins,
Elizabeth Mann,
McKenzie Jennings,
Elijah Dunn,
Lilly Berger,
Aliyah Farrow,
Molly Lipford,
Hannah Sharp,
Braylin Hansen,
Ellie Beth Icenhour,
Marley Jenkins,
Addison Joyce,
Barrett Parker,
Gracey South,
Karoline Thompson,
Reece Bulliner,
Michelle Chambers,
Macie Farrow,
Lauren Henley,
Eli Hammons,
Alicia LittleWhirlwind,
Katey Marshall,
Evan Stamper,
Addie Ward,
Peyton Edes-King,
Kearstan Jennings,
Camden Johnson,
Tanner Leonard,
Hailey Lipford,
Clara Wilson,
Savannah Mains,
Zach Roark,
Amillia Eckert,
Ja’Kevyon Beard,
Isaiah Eller,
Haidyn Farrow,
Liyah Hillman,
Hayley Keating,
Gavin Mahala,
Jillian Perkins,
Maddison Price,
Johnny Ray Caygle,
Makenzie Dickens,
Jillian Hatley,
Sophia Lin,
Sawyer Marshall,
Hunter McElyea,
Emma Miller,
Bobby Sexton,
Zack Lipford,
Jayleigh Kope,
Carter Atwood,
Ella Icenhour,
Graham Long,
Kacelyn Dunn,
Eli Horne,
Emma Roark,
Eli Tester,
Jackson Bauguess,
Jill Jenson,
Alexis Juarez,
Aleela Reece,
Addy Snyder,
Karleigh Sutherland,
Gavin Condor,
Josie Grindstaff,
Carson Jennings,
Katie Timbs,
Kaden Blevins,
Isabella Ferguson,
Lyric Fritts,
Lexi Mullins,
Julia Crews,
Harris Perkins,
Ethan Smith,
Nate Sutherland,
Maliya Collins,
Sadie Hood,
Alen Lin,
Sydney Prater,
Jace Stout,
Ariel Tester,
Tory Torbett,
Allison Trivette,
Ghania Baig,
Kylah Henley,
Destiny Johnson,
Tara Schoolcraft,
Ariana Spencer,
Noah Brown,
Cameron Crowder,
Bella Lowe,
James Kelly
Kaylee Roark.

All A’s & B’s

Addison Arnold,
Braxton Jones,
James Kyte,
Zackary McKinnis,
Charlee Wells,
Joseph Gambill,
Lorelei Lowe,
Layla Maddy,
Riley Potter,
Eva Walters,
Brantley Jones,
Konner Self,
Rylynn Snyder,
Skyler Robbins,
Haley Potter,
Kingston Mills,
Haley Jones,
Charles Jones,
Kyleigh Horne,
Aubrionna Dunn,
Kylee Cannon,
Mason Gregg,
Coleman Rider,
Sheylin South,
Ethan Wilson,
Aaliyah Barnett,
Mason Luckett,
Nathan Supplee,
Zoe Baker,
Lindsey Bryan,
Isabella Eckert,
Bentley Forrestor,
Sebastian Johnson,
Jerimiah McEwen,
Jayden Anderson,
Avery Blevins,
Kelsey Forrester,
Rylan Jones,
Reese Wells,
River Burgess,
Nicole Eppard,
Marin Feely,
Ivy Abernathy,
Josh Harmon,
Madelynn Long,
Chea Vanover,
Carter Wallace,
Daniel Yax,
Stephen Grissom,
Brock Jones,
Arraya Mounts,
Abby Sluder,
Cadence Townsend,
Alex Wright,
Carson Dorman,
Clayton Furches,
Aiden Hope,
Jaylinn Johnson,
Lyric Mosely,
Zoey Pope,
Emilynn Sedgwick,
Connor Wallace,
Jacob Frauenthal,
Rylee Henson,
C.J. Lipford,
Maelie Luckett,
Ethan Robinson,
Tessa Schoolcraft,
Mason Spicer,
Brayden Taylor,
Summer Wells,
Braxton Bragg,
Emma Brown,
Jada Furches,
Chloe Johnson,
Lanaya Joyce,
Emmie Lamarr,
Gustavo Martinez,
McKenzie Mosley,
Trinity Poe,
Kaden Jones,
Jalyn Blevins,
Karlie Jo Fletcher,
Kyle Maple,
Cypress Rohrbaugh,
Constance Blankenship,
Emma Dugger,
Colton Grindstaff,
Michelle Holman,
Cameron Lewis,
Isaac Lewis,
Tareiona McClenon,
Josh Potter,
Dylan Warren,
Keegan Wright,
Hailey Lewis,
Jaun Mejia,
Emily Orr,
Hunter Paisley,
Eli Stamper,
Chris Canter,
Reagan Greene,
Gracie Hammett,
Landin Lipford,
Paola Vargas,
Taylor Chapman,
Jasmine Cunningham,
Christopher Nelson,
Carter Rhudy,
Mimi Zaldivar,
Derek Baird,
Emily Brooks,
Nate Dorman,
Madisyn Farrow,
Chloe Ferguson,
Chloe Main,
Lacey Payne,
Caden Self,
Tristan Bunting,
Trinity Fortener,
Sarah Johnson,
Ivy Lakatos,
Zachary Lunceford,
Alyssa McElyea,
LaRue Mills,
Cole Smith,
Peyton Woodward
Sara Ward


Johnson County hunters can feed hungry, win muzzleloader by donating deer

November 21, 2018

By Tamas Mondovics

Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry program has begun. More than 80 processors throughout the state are now accepting donations of whole deer to help feed local families in need.In Johnson County, that includes Real Life Taxidermy & Game Processing. Contact information and a full list of processors is available at

According to TWF officials, one deer can provide nearly 200 meals. Through the generosity of hunters in the past two decades, Hunters for the Hungry has provided more than 6.5 million meals worth of healthy, much-needed protein to the hungriest  Tennesseans. Officials said that as a thank you for those years of support, hunters will be entered in a drawing for each whole deer they donate to win one of four made-in-Tennessee muzzleloaders by Knight Rifles.

“This is a really exciting year,” said Matt Simcox, Hunters for the Hungry manager. “Even with the tough season for hunters last year, we still saw incredible giving. This program works because of Tennessee’s volunteer spirit in our hunters and processors. Without them, there would be fewer full bellies this time of year.”

When hunters harvest a deer, they can donate it—in part or whole—to the program at a participating processor. The deer is processed, and the venison is delivered to local hunger relief organizations where it gets in the hands of hungry children and families.

“Hunters for the Hungry is thankful for contributions by many companies,” said Simcox.

For more information about Hunters for the Hungry or to purchase a Deer Coin, visit

Hidden in Plain Sight: highlights signs of teen drug use

November 21, 2018

By Jill Penley
Freelance Writer

Determining if your child or grandchild is using drugs can be challenging. Most of the signs and symptoms of drug use are attributed to a typical teen or young adult behavior, and drinking and drug paraphernalia could easily masquerade as everyday items leaving oblivious parents in the dark as to their teen’s dangerous habits.

“Drug use simply cannot be ignored,” said Denise Woods, Prevention Coordinator with the Johnson County A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition. “It is imperative to start a dialogue early on about drugs and drinking, and to monitor your child’s behaviors, and sometimes space is essential.”

Sometimes the signs are vividly present yet camouflaged, and this is the premise behind the initiative “Hidden in Plain Sight.”
The coalition, with the help of Quality Furniture, recently highlighted the Hidden in Plain Sight campaign to inform parents how to recognize the signs of drug and alcohol use and put a stop to it before the problem becomes life threatening.

“With permission of the owner, we created a display in the window of Quality Furniture to simulate a teen’s bedroom,” explained Woods, “to highlight items that might indicate possible drug use.”

According to Woods, room décor, hidden compartments, and items to conceal use were located throughout the display room, and parents and caregivers were challenged with pointing out the potential items indicative of drug use. “

Kids are now hiding drugs inside everyday items. What looks like air freshener or even a battery might be a warning sign,” said Woods.

Some of the “hidden in plain sight” items used in the display include dryer sheets, which could be used to disguise the smell of marijuana on clothing, when smoking or storing, and sports drinks or other colored and flavored drinks, which can be mixed with clear alcohol. Everyday items such as a book, could actually be a safe and flasks, used to store and hide alcohol, now come in various shapes and sizes and can be purchased to appear as other inconspicuous items such as lotion bottles, tampons, phone cases, and pens.

Regular marijuana smokers often create kits to help them hide use. These kits might include eye drops to get the red out, mints to freshen their breath, perfume to hide the smell and hand sanitizer to mask the smell on their hands. Mint tin breath mints and gum are used to mask the smell of alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes. Additionally, empty boxes can be used to store marijuana or prescription pills. If a teen is lying about using drugs or alcohol, looking the other way is a dangerous mistake. Numerous studies verify that parents’ involvement plays a vital role in preventing adolescent drug use. And the earlier problem is addressed, the better your chances of containing potential damage.

Karen Bogenschneider of the University of Wisconsin Madison wrote a piece called “Other Kids Drink, But Not My Kid.” She found that although all the high school students in the study drank, only one-third of parents were aware of it. More surprising, many parents knew – or suspected – that teens in general drank and that many of their own child’s friends drank. But not THEIR kid.
Informed parents are better able to spot the signs of drug and alcohol use and put a stop to it before the problem becomes life threatening. For more information, visit the A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition office at 138 East Main Street in Mountain City. TN, or call 423-727-0780.

Senior Center celebrates Veterans Day

November 14, 2018


DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution, Blue Ridge Mountains Chapter) presented certificates of appreciation to every veteran member of the senior center. Photo by Paula Walters

By Paula Walter

The Johnson County Senior Center was packed this past Friday, November 10, to honor and recognize those Johnson Countians, who served their country.   Hugh Walker, 98 years old, was the oldest veteran in attendance.
Of the approximately 130 seniors present at the special event, 60 were veterans who served in all branches of the military.

Everyone present, stood to be recognized, when the branch of the military they served was called. Following the pledge to the flag, led by Kingsley Cornett, Dick Dionne, of the Johnson County Honor Guard, reflected on the meaning of Veterans Day. There were many who made this event possible, from those that served 129 lunches and those that donated desserts.

Marie Jo Thum sang a tribute to the veterans, and the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution issued certificates of appreciation to all veterans present. They also received a copy of the book “When a blue star turns to gold,” by Janet Cress Payne. Each veteran received a free lunch, courtesy of the senior center.

An event of this size could not be possible without the support of the community in making this a special day for Johnson County veterans.

Johnson County FFA compete in leadership contest

November 14, 2018

4H Leadership

Members of the Johnson County FFA gather for a photo following a recent leadership contest. Photo submitted.

On Monday, November 5, Johnson County FFA competed in two leadership contests at the district level at Daniel Boone High School. The freshman Conduct of Chapter Meeting contest included team members Leann Crosswhite, Andrew Woerner, Emma Hodges, Shea Duperry, Montana Pugh, Maddie Furches, and Alondra Hernandez. This team placed first in the Watauga District. Additionally, the upperclassman Parliamentary Procedure contest included team members Andrew Dugger, Colton Long, Omar Hernandez, Harlen Savory, Haeleigh Thompson, Keith Rice and Brett Ward. The team also placed first in Watauga District. They advance to the regional contest on November 15.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. To accomplish its mission, FFA:

•Develops competent and assertive agricultural leadership.

•Increases awareness of the global and technological importance of agriculture and its contribution to our well-being.

•Strengthens the confidence of agriculture students in themselves and their work.

•Promotes the intelligent choice and establishment of an agricultural career.

•Encourages achievement in supervised agricultural experience programs.

•Encourages wise management of economic, environmental and human resources of the community.

•Develops interpersonal skills in teamwork, communications, human relations and social interaction.

•Builds character and promotes citizenship, volunteerism and patriotism.

•Promotes cooperation and cooperative attitudes among all people.

•Promotes healthy lifestyles.

•Encourages excellence in scholarship.

The agriculture education program is built on the three core areas of classroom/ laboratory instruction, supervised agriculture experience programs, and FFA student organization activities/opportunities. The program is designed for delivery through these three components as follows: Classroom/Laboratory Instruction – quality instruction in and about agriculture that utilizes a “learning by doing” philosophy. Supervised Agriculture Experience Programs – all students are expected to have an agriculturally related work-based learning experience while enrolled in agriculture education courses.

FFA Student Organization activities/opportunities– FFA activities are in integral part of the agricultural
education program that all agricultural education students should participate are to fully benefit from their enrollment in the program. The FFA motto gives members twelve short words to live by as they experience the opportunities in the organization.

Founded in 1942, the FFA Chapter has enjoyed both state and national recognition in various competitions. The innovative agriculture department at the Johnson County CTE is taking agriculture well into the future. The program has generated national attention and has brought thousands of visitors to tour the state-of-the-art facilities built in 1997. Students are experimenting with growing plants and fish using hydroponics and aquaponics technology.

FFA’s local, state and national programs and activities help members develop public speaking skills, conduct and participate in meetings, manage financial matters, strengthen problem solving abilities and assume civic responsibility. Degrees earned at local, state and national levels recognize members’ increasing accomplishments.

Competitive events and award programs in areas such as public speaking, commodity marketing and agriscience recognize students’ achievements, encourage them to excel beyond the classroom and develop career skills. Community service programs help students contribute to society.

Mountain City Elementary School recognizes 2018 “Stampede” winners

November 14, 2018

Stampede Group Photo 2018

Mountain City Elementary School students enjoy the spotlight as winners of the recently held 2018 Stampede winners. Photo submitted

Submitted by MCE

It was another great year for the Mountain City Elementary Stampede as students, staff, and parents enjoyed walking laps while raising money for their school. Prizes were recently awarded to all students who participated and school wide winners were announced.

School Wide Winners: Miley Reynolds and Mack White; Top Five: Westin Payne, Easton Snyder, Landon Johnson, Clara Wilson, and Karlie Jo Fletcher.

Grade Level Winners: Pre-K/Head Start-Cooper Ingle, Kindergarten-Paisley Wilson, First Grade-Sara Beth Pennington, Second Grade-Bentley Forrester, Madeline Davis and Henry Cross; Third Grade-Gavin Mahala, Fourth Grade-Ella Icenhour, Fifth Grade-Isaac Lewis, Sixth Grade-Jasmine Cunningham.

Poster Design Winners: Mrs. Arnold’s Class (PreK-2nd) and Mrs. Childer’s Class (Grades 3-6) $1.00 Ticket Donation: Mack White and Christopher Canter.

A total of $17,814.45 was collected to purchase instructional supplies and materials for Pre-K/Head Start-sixth grade. Mountain City Elementary School would like to thank the students, staff, parents, volunteers, community, NECC, McDonald’s, Tweetsie, the Aquarium of the Smokies, and the Titantic for supporting this event.

With more than six decades of commitment to education excellence, Mountain City Elementary is proud of its heritage and tradition and we are dedicated to the total development of every Pre K/Head Start through sixth grade student. A Title I school with an economically disadvantaged rate of seventy percent. However, although our population has a large number of economically disadvantaged students, parents value education for their children and this is reflected in the 2017- 2018 attendance rate of 96 percent. Goals are set and met through a team effort and we are blessed to have a dedicated school family that supports our quest to educate all children.

Senior spotlight: this month at the Johnson County Senior Center

November 14, 2018

Diabetes class

Local seniors enjoy one of the many classes offered at the senior center. Photo by Meg Dickens.

November 14
Silver Sneakers 10AM
Sing Along 9:30AM
Senior Jam 11AM
Advisory Board Meeting 12PM

November 15
Breakfast 7-8:30AM
Arthritis Class 10AM
Line Dancing 12:30AM
Health Fair & Blood Work Day $10 8AM

November 16
Silver Sneakers 10AM
Bridge Club
Bingo Day

November 19
Silver Sneakers 10AM
Line Dancing 12:30PM
“Up Look” Women’s Bible Study with Fauna Fay
Walmart trip and IHOP

November 20
Quilting Bees
Arthritis Exercise 10AM
Thnksgiving Meal $10
Crafts with Mary Gale

November 21

November 22
Open at 11AM for Thanksgiving meal.
Must call DHT for reservations.

November 23

November 26
Silver Sneakers 10AM
Line Dancing12:30PM
Storytelling with Minnie
Book club with Janet Rhea Payne 12:30PM

November 27
Quilting Bees
Arthritis Exercise 10AM
Christmas shopping at the Pinnacle

November 28
Silver Sneakers 10AM
Sing Along 9:30AM
Senior Jam 11AM
Arts Center Crafts 12:30 PM with Cristy Dunn
Men’s Bible Study

November 29
Breakfast 7-8:30AM
Line Dancing 12:30PM
Senior Support Group 12PM

November 30
Silver Sneakers 10AM
Bridge Club

LaunchTN to engage high school students in entrepreneurship

November 7, 2018

Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) last week announced a new program that will introduce high school students across Tennessee to the startup community and skills essential to success in today’s marketplace. Through the Discover Entrepreneurship Program, high schools can apply to incorporate one of three of LaunchTN’s partner programs into their curriculum, all designed to help students gain entrepreneurial knowledge that can be used to build lasting businesses.

“A critical component of LaunchTN’s mission is to create a robust talent pipeline to fill existing and future needs of Tennessee companies.” said Morgan Dent, talent manager at LaunchTN. “The Discover Entrepreneurship Program provides an opportunity for high school students to gain insight into the entrepreneurial process, meet with mentors and broaden their business skill sets, in hopes of preparing them for successful careers in the future.”

Applications are now open through Dec. 3, 2018 to Tennessee high schools interested in hosting one of the three partner programs below to its students:

• DevCatalyst – Dev- Catalyst improves technology  education and growing technology talent through education in website development, physical computing, user experience (UX) and data management.

• LAUNCHing BrightIdeas – This program engages interested and motivated students with a simulated entrepreneurship experience, providing real-world lessons needed to start a business. Over the course of a semester, the program immerses students in business fundamentals like market opportunities, innovation, viability, feasibility and business plan development.

• Fathom – Fathom is a social enterprise to inspire and equip young people as architects for the 21st century and leaders for sustainable and equitable communities,
companies and commodities. Fathom’s Change Agents curriculum and project-based learning framework prepares young people to develop transferable skills for work life success and spanning student learning from the classroom to their local communities  and workplaces.

Each high school selected will receive curriculum for teaching students entrepreneurial and computing skills, as well as training for facilitators implementing the course. LaunchTN will announce the names of high schools selected to participate in the Discover Entrepreneurship Program on Dec. 10. Host school applicants should be able to provide a facilitator to be trained by LaunchTN, space and time for the course, laptops for participants, and volunteers to act as mentors and judges.

For more information about the Discover Entrepreneurship Program or to apply visit student-programs/discoverentrepreneurship- program/.

Local program provides support to new parents

November 7, 2018

By Kelly Rupard

Parenting is a huge responsibility, and let’s be honest – it’s not an easy job. But we also know that parents set out wanting the very best for their children, and the free, local program, Healthy Families Tennessee, is there to make sure that parents have the caring, non-judgmental support they need to create a happy, healthy childhood for their children.

Parents are a baby’s first teacher, first friend, and first love. Our goal is to support that relationship, so it can thrive. The first three to five years of life are crucial to a child’s physical, cognitive, and social-emotional well being over a lifetime. Children of families who participate in evidence-based home visiting programs like Healthy Families are more likely to have good health and education outcomes and are less likely to enter the foster system.

Since 2013, Healthy Families Tennessee, a program of Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee, has been supporting new parents by providing the latest information on child development, parenting skills, and parent-child bonding and attachment. Through in-home visits, parents have fun while learning with interactive games and toy making. As a lifelong resident of Johnson County, I know how hard it can be to find the resources you need. As a home visitor in the Healthy Families program, I help connect families with those needed resources and help parents to set and achieve goals.

Wanda, a mother who has been participating in the Healthy Families program for over a year, says, “I personally LOVE the program. They have helped me set and
achieve goals. This process has helped me to be the best mommy I could be. Other than support from loved ones, this has been the best support I’ve had to help me through my pregnancy and after.”

If you are interested in receiving honest support and helpful guidance, please call or text (423) 440-1298 for information on how to get started. You can also email If you enroll before the end of November, you will receive a free pack of diapers. For more information about in-home support, visit pcat.
org/support-for-parents. You may also email program supervisor, Jessica Anderson, at or call at 423-834-1267.

For over 30 years, Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee (PCAT) has been supporting parents, educating communities, and building safe, stable, nurturing environments
where children can thrive. Through in-home support, crisis intervention, and advocacy and education, PCAT is strengthening families and building stronger communities across the state. Learn more at Rupard, is a Home Visitor with Healthy Families Tennessee.

Mark Gladden; Teacher, Enforcer, Mentor

November 7, 2018

By Tamas Mondovics

Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy SRO, Mark Gladden is recognized for his decade long service as a School Resource Officer at the Johnson County High School and Middle School.  Deputy Gladden has managed to form strong relationships at both campuses and has been a great mentor to the students. His presence alone has been a feeling of peace and security to all the teachers, staff and students. School officials, students and teachers all view Gladden as part of their family. Gladden’s presence will now be seen at the elementary schools as school officials are excited to send Deputy Carl Hatley to step in at the High School to continue the relationship with all the staff and students.

Thousands in Johnson County participate in early voting

November 7, 2018

By Jill Penley
Freelance Writer

Is it Governor Lee or Governor Dean? Senator Blackburn or Senator Bredesen? Will Johnson County follow suit with surrounding counties and allow liquor stores or alcohol sales in restaurants? At press time, votes were still being cast, but based on the number of early and absentee votes cast, it is clear local voters wanted a voice in this mid-term election.

Whether it was the referendum issues on liquor-by-the-drink and retail package stores or one of the hotly contested political races, Johnson Countians voting early and by absentee ballot is higher this year, at 3,648, than it was in 2012 voting officials say. For perspective, there were 3,162 votes cast in early and absentee in Johnson County for the August 2 County general and state primary. Friday, October 19, the third day of early voting, saw the highest number of votes cast during the period in Johnson County at 364.

The number of early voters also soared statewide. On Friday, the Secretary of State’s office announced 1,378,840 people had voted early, just 50,000 fewer than the total votes cast in the last midterm. The early voting turnout has been so high this election, Mark Goins, Tennessee’s coordinator of elections, has said elections officials have shifted to comparing numbers to the 2016 presidential election rather than the 2014 midterm.

While most states have a method for an eligible voter to cast a ballot before election day, either during the early voting period or by requesting an absentee ballot, in 13 states early voting is not available, and an excuse is required to request an absentee ballot. Reasons voters take advantage of early voting varies; however, convenience is the main response given.

“I chose to cast my vote during the early voting period,” said Byran Merritt, “because I travel 15 to 20 days a month and couldn’t guarantee to be here on Election Day.”

Others like to avoid the lines on election day. “It’s easier to get in and out,” said Kathy Wilson, “and all the people aren’t standing out there campaigning.” Liz Hot agrees. “It’s easy peasy,” she said. “There’s no line, and now I don’t have to go after a long day at work on Tuesday.”

Regardless of whether voters took advantage of early voting or cast their vote on election day, by the time this issue hits the newsstands, Tennessee will have elected a new governor, and the Blackburn/Bredesen advertisements will finally be a thing of the past, but Tennesseans definitely chose to have a voice in this election.