Expressing gratitude

Dear Editor,

When you think of the Cranberry Festival, you may think of a nice little gathering of food vendors, crafters, children’s activities, entertainers, and parade supporters, which it is.
But it is really so much more. It is a time and place for families and friends to reunite to visit each other and share the memories of their times at the cherished 81-year-old rock school.
People travel into the valley from other towns and states to enjoy the bean supper and participate in the auction headed up by none other than the former Tennessee Lieutenant Governor, Ron Ramsey, and other auctioneers who so graciously donate their time. Politicians may be spotted in the crowd waiting to bid on those items that have caught their eye, especially the beautiful cake made each year by Chris Mahala. All of these contribute to giving those who attend the festival many wonderful memories.
During this Thanksgiving season, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who had a part in making our 27th Cranberry Festival a great success. (It is believed by many to be the largest crowd yet).
From the continual work of the festival committee to all those who contributed auction items, monetary donations, the volunteers who donated their time, and to those who attended and supported us in our efforts, we are sincerely grateful.
Through all this hard work and generosity, we are able to support the education of the children of the valley, now and in the future.

Shady Valley Elementary
Cranberry Festival Committee
Olan Bentley Scholarship

Thanks for giving

Dear Editor,
The Johnson County Heating for Seniors Fund Wishes to Say:
As we enter this holiday season with a very cold start, I might add, I am feeling very thankful to all the wonderful Folks who answered my request for a donation for the JC heating for Seniors fund with a check.
It is proving once again that this county has the most generous people in the world in it.
All the individuals, businesses, churches, and organizations that gave freely of their hard-earned money to help those less fortunate.
I again say a whopping THANKS to each and every one of those who contributed to our cause. We provided heat for 68 seniors last year and never turned any eligible senior away. Thanks to folks just like you last year.
This endeavor for the 2019-2020 winter, raised a grand total of $11,250.00 for our fund, all from the people listed below:
Johnson County Bank,Carol Redd,Danny Herman Trucking,Shouns Methodist Church,First Christian Church,Jeanne Courtney,Farmers State Bank,Mountain Loan,Danny Herman, Anonymous,Family Prescription Center,Iron Mountain Construction CO,Big Johns Close-outs, Adams Pharmacy,Trade United Methodist Church,Uptown Hair,Hawkins Jewelers,Central Baptist Church,Appalachian Land Survey,Mountain City Dental,Lisa Freiss,Wesley Chapel Methodist,Bill Farmer Roofing,FUMC Unique Boutique,Mountain City Funeral Home,Joyce Bell, Jackie Torres,Shady Valley Presbyterian Church,McQueen Farm Equipment,Dick Grayson,Laurel Springs Community Church,Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Capt. Jim’s Seafood Restaurant, TN LLC The Tennessee Book, First Baptist Church Main Street, Levi Retirees Doug, and June Gundon.
So folks, pat yourselves on the back our fund in the blue once again, we are ready and willing to help any Senior in Johnson County who Is low income and needs help to heat their homes.
God Bless Johnson County and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Gwen Bell, President Sr. Heating Fund.

Christmas on Main

Dear Editor
In response to the Mtn.City business owner’s concern for the Chamber not having Christmas on Main this year…the Chamber board will again light the trees on Main Street. Placing lights on the trees and finding operating power sources takes time and effort, but we feel the results are appreciated by the community.
Mr. Coolahan either left the meeting early or did not hear the discussion that the lights will be done but not the festivities as last year. Because the vendors pay for their spots, they should at least have a power source.
Hopefully, the city can one day solve this issue. The downtown merchants do a wonderful job decorating their storefronts, bringing much festivity to viewers. The Chamber Board will be offering 1st, 2nd, and third place ribbons as well as gift cards to the winners. We encourage all businesses to decorate their windows and make our lovely brick sidewalks and wreathed lamp posts little town look amazing and festive!
The Scarecrows on Main are awesome again this year, and we appreciate the hard work and artistic talent displayed.
In closing, your Chamber of Commerce board will have the Christmas parade on December 7, with Santa lighting the large tree at the conclusion of the parade. We are hopeful we will have a large participation for entries, and many will come out for it.
We hope this has answered any questions pertaining to Christmas on Main.

Thank you
Johnson County Chamber of Commerce Board

Accountable

Dear Editor,
Accountable, adjective, obliged to account for one’s acts, responsible, capable of being accounted for; explainable.
With the misappropriated monies from the Johnson County School transportation department and the recent Johnson County School Board meeting it would seem more accountability by School Superintendent Michelle Simcox had not been undertaken by Ms. Simcox or the Johnson County School Board.
The Johnson County School Boards consideration of paying Mr. Bishop a large sum and allowing him to retire instead of terminating his contract of employment is egregious to say the least. Ms. Simcox said that she would “not comment on these rumors” but did not deny the allegations. So a question to Ms. Simcox is it true or not true – are they rumors or allegations or both. If they are allegations then they should be addressed in a public forum.
Mr. Carlton stated that the board had previous information and communicated about the case – who had this information and why was the public tax payers not advised. Ms. Simcox stated that this was a personnel issue and could not be discussed at that time. Why have a board if information cannot be discussed in an open public forum. Ms. Simcox needs to realize the Sunshine Law that the Johnson County School board is required to address issue in a public forum and not behind closed doors.
It seems advisable that Ms. Simcox, the Johnson County School Board and Johnson County Commissioners need to be more accountable for public monies. I don’t understand how the board received a Board of Distinction award from what criteria did they receive the award. It is obviously not from the handling of the misappropriated funds from the Johnson County school transportation department.
The issue of misappropriated funds and the lack of over-site by the School Board seems like a cover up of a serious affront to the Johnson County tax payers intelligence. Perhaps it is time for a leadership change as Director of Schools by the Johnson County School Board is mandated. The Board and the Johnson County Commissioners should become more proactive in carrying out their duties and responsibilities to Johnson County taxpayers.
We need not seek to blame but rather to what is required of our elected and/or appointed officials to adequately protect the assets of Johnson County. Only time will tell when the citizens/tax payers of Johnson County will be fully trustful of those elected/appointed officials to be mindful of their responsibilities.

George A. Spreyne

Letters to the Editor

Shocked and outraged

Dear Editor
I am shocked and outraged as a Johnson County taxpayer, which includes school taxes that the school board would allow a severance package to an employee, Barry Bishop, who has been indicted for missing fees from the school system before his trial even begins.
If that is the procedure they are planning, they should deduct the $50,000 allegedly missing from his severance/retirement package. If he is innocent, then refund him the $50,000.
Inmates who are already in prison, do receive their Social Security benefits but not till they acquire retirement AGE – 62.
His wife is employed by the school system, so they still have the means to pay their bills.
Gary Matheson from Shady Valley wanted answers, but the school board danced around them and had him removed. Shame on them! Carlton Howard should have been removed not the taxpayer. Please note, the President of the school board lives directly across the Bishop’s for many years and are neighbors.
The next school board meeting in November was posted in this week’s Tomahawk but FAILED to print the TIME of the meeting. Odd?

Betty J Remis
Mountain City TN

Schools and economic development

Dear Editor,
My name is Richard Price, a teacher with the Johnson County School system since 2006 and Principal/Teacher of Shady Valley Elementary School for ten years.
With this as a reference I’d like to make some comments concerning the impending decision coming up at the next school board meeting.
During my time at Shady Valley Elementary each year it became more and more obvious that something needed to be done to maintain the viability of the school; maturing of the families and fewer young families moving in was a real problem.
School population numbers steadily decreased. It should have been obvious to the citizens of the valley and the county.
A member of the school board indicated to the citizens of the valley recently that if they could come up with a plan to increase the school population he would change his vote to keep it open; whose responsibility is this? Who should be working to keep jobs and families in Johnson County?
The Economic Development element of the county has a responsibility to consider the need, even if the “powers that be” do not see this as a need.
In 2015 I was working with SkyLine and two call centers to move an operation to the Valley. This could have provided 200 plus jobs and kept the housing in the Valley up, not like it is today with over two dozen homes vacant. In order for the school to be viable it must have more students.
Again, who should be doing this?
I urge the school board to table item 6 on the agenda for this coming Thursday. I further ask that the Mayor, along with other county resources, begin working with the citizens of the Valley to assist them in the development of a plan. This plan would be looking at avenues to make the Valley more viable economically and to encourage families to want to live in a truly beautiful part of the world.
The county owes this to the Valley. If you Google “howNOT close a community school” you would get the situation we find ourselves in today. Then Google “how to properly close a community school” and there are numerous options on how to carry this out.

E. Richard Price

Kudos TDOT

Dear Editor,
In response to last week’s article “Chopped, lopped and dropped” I just want to say thank you to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for maintaining the road right of ways.
By cutting back brush and trees from the road it allows me to see that deer a little bit sooner before it jumps out in front of me. It opens up the line of sight for people turning onto the roadway.
It makes room to push snow off the road in the winter. I have not been through the Backbone Rock area since they did the work there but I thought they did a great job around Watauga Lake.
As far as TDOT creating an aesthetic monstrosity goes, come next spring with the new growth you won’t even be able to tell with the exception of you will be able to see around that next corner or observe the wildlife getting ready to dart in front of you.
Thank you TDOT for making my commute that much safer.

Sincerely,
Jen Skarsaune

Editor’s note:
Thank you, Jen, for your letter. I couldn’t agree with you more. We all appreciate the hard work TDOT is doing and, of course, the safety of our roadways should be on the top of the list. There is no doubt we all benefit from the project mentioned in the article. However, on a side note, I wanted to emphasize that Katie Lamb’s story was not about the necessity of clearing vegetation along our roadways but the unsightly debris, left behind giving the impression of a job incomplete. We are proud of our beautiful trees that line our roads and cover the surrounding hills and mountains. It is what draws so many visitors to the region. We hope that our story will contribute to and draws further attention to our desire to maintain the natural beauty that we all have the privilege of freely enjoy.
Thank you again for your excellent letter

Thank you to our Fire Department

Dear Editor,
When our 90-year-old neighbor fell in her yard a couple weeks ago, breaking her hip, we had a chance to witness the Shady Valley Volunteer Fire Department in action.
What a fabulous group of folks. We are so blessed to live in Shady Valley, TN. They were here to help us within minutes with all the necessary equipment and knowledge. They were calm and so helpful as we waited for the paramedics to arrive from Mountain City.
Once she was moved into the ambulance and on her way to the hospital, the team said goodbye and went back to whatever they were doing before our call. I was so impressed.
If you already support our fire department ‘thank YOU,’ (we’re going to increase our donation). If you haven’t done so yet please consider even a small donation…you might need them one day!
Thank you Shady Valley Volunteer Fire Department you are the best!

Nancy Lucas,
Shady Valley, TN

Letter to the Editor

In response to the article titled, “Lee gets an earful during stop in Mountain City”, featured on the front page of the July 24th edition of the Tomahawk, I would like to clarify what I said to Governor Lee regarding Johnson County’s need for daycare. I did say that Johnson County parents are in desperate need for more daycare options, immediately. However, I didn’t complain about the current cost of daycare in our county, I complained about the lack of daycares operating in Johnson County. I told the Governor that most in-home baby sitters had been forced to close in early June due to strict regulations that has been placed on the childcare providers here. I told the Governor that in order for in-home baby sitters to abide by the present state regulations, the cost for them to operate would inflate our daycare expense by approximately 40%. Basically, the current regulations are unattainable for rural areas like Johnson County. I did say that DHS has not been cooperative, but I didn’t say that they wouldn’t talk to us on the phone. I would also like to clarify that I was not referring to DHS at the local level, I was referring to the DHS office in Nashville not cooperating with concerned residents that have been directly affected by these strict rules. My primary reason for speaking to Governor Lee was to request that he create a waiver form, that parents could sign stating they are aware their childcare provider is not within the state regulations. In my opinion, if a parent trusts the in-home babysitter to watch their child, the state should not get to dictate that parent’s decision. Finally, I completely agree with Governor Lee’s response to my concerns, he said, “the state is concerned with children’s safety above all else, but I understand that sometimes the government overreaches.” I truly believe that the current regulations DHS is imposing on in-home babysitters is an example of government overreach and hope that Governor Lee will find a solution that works for Johnson County as quickly as possible.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sally Snyder

 

Thank you from Kathy Motsinger for 50s show support

Dear Editor,

“Since I have been a director at the Senior Center, Mr. Brookshire would occasionally come into the senior center to bring treats and visit with all the seniors.
He would always ask if I needed anything. He gave donations several times for different things, and he sponsored our 1st Billiards Tournament and has continued to be an ongoing sponsor since. He would also bring out apples and oranges at Christmas time, and other gifts for special occasions and I would always ask him when he was going to join the senior center. He always said he would join “when he was old enough.”
He died this past year at the age of 85. We all loved “Mr. B” at the Senior Center and considered him family. I talked with the Johnson County Shrine Club and Order of The Eastern Star to collaborate with them on doing an outside project together and expand some square footage for our activities. Space would be a shared space for all involved. They were excited and quickly came on board. We raised the money to begin the Veranda project, which is now complete and the grassy area is now landscaped beautifully thanks to Adams Lawn Service and Humphrey Masonry.
That brings me to this note as Matt Adams, owner of Adams Lawn Service, and his crew did an amazing job in just two days to get ready for our 50’s day event held last week.
The idea for this project really did turn out wonderful. I was so happy to purchase two benches that are sitting in the new landscaped space in memory of “Mr. B.” The benches have a plate that states, “In memory of Bill Brookshire, age 85 – who wasn’t old enough to join the senior center.”
Johnson County Bank also showed their support on Friday for the 50’s day event by dressing in poodle skirts and leather jackets and came with their Cash Minion to give away changes for free money. It was so exciting to see how happy the people were when they pulled out money. Some got $20.00 bills, while one lady, Betty Davis, grabbed $41. She was very happy.
Mountain Electrics, Steven Bishop, was busy non-stop making snow cones for everyone. We had face painters, Kim Kleine, and Sandra Moody, that stayed busy as well.
The food booths went well thanks to Vanessa Nelson and the Shrine Club and Eastern Star members. Many people said the barbeque was the best in town.
Brian Eller worked hard during the week smoking the pork for the event.
We are looking forward to having another Heritage Square event and appreciate the Town of Mountain City for allowing us to use the parking area. Plans for a Fall Festival are being planned now.
There was approximately 300 plus that attended the 50’s Day Event. We appreciate Farmers State Bank for always letting us use their parking for overflow. Unfortunately, parking is always an issue at the Senior Center.
We are also looking for more volunteers at the senior center to help out with some of our programs such as our Meals on Wheels through FTHRA and MyRide Johnson County.”

Kathy Motsinger

Education

Dear Editor,

It seems that every time I read an article in the Tomahawk I am amazed at the lack of common sense “our” politicians possess.
The latest lack of common sense is directly related to the Tennessee school vouch program that passed in the House (narrowly) and Senate. It has been demonstrated, according to Mary Mancini, that voucher programs have not been successful in any other state. How can you take X number of children from a poor producing education school and place them in a very successful school system? You are mixing poor achieving students with high achieving students which will bring down the high achievers because the teacher must spend more time with the poor achievers. Teachers, our most valuable educational resource, will attempt to bring the poor achievers up to par with the high achievers. This, in my view, will bring down the higher achievers to lower achievement standards. What about the all students left behind in the poor achieving schools who will not benefit from this legislation? Does this mean that once you get some of the low achievers transferred mean that those still in the low achievement school will improve?
Perhaps what is needed is a common sense approach to the problem without getting politicians directly involved. One commission should be developed to determine why the poor achieving school system children are failing and one commission set up to determine why the achieving schools are succeeding. Then have the two commissions meet to discuss and really learn what problem(s) exist. These commissions should include educators, teachers and school leaders, principals and school board members with legal advisers, assisting to handle legal matters only in guiding the commissions along the legalities involved in the political process. Governor Bill Lee never discusses why the failing schools are failing only that the children should go to a high achieving school.
I think that the parents of poor achieving students are not learning what their children are learning in school and need to be more proactive in their children’s education.
This means supporting the school systems through an active partnership. Government should not be in the business of raising children but ensuring that they are all getting the best public education possible. Parents should learn that schools are nota baby sitting service.
To spend 125 million over five years, not counting the additional monies parents would be required to spend out of their own pockets, is ludicrous to say the least. Mr. Lee should realize that it is NOT an important day for the children of Tennessee. This money should be spent to retain and better support the teachers in the public school systems. Teachers and school administrators need to be better supported to enable them to improve the education of Tennessee children. This voucher system exemplifies another failure of the politicians to improve the standards of higher education in Tennessee. It is merely throwing money in the wrong direction.
Politicians seem to not vote for their constituents view points but rather their own personal view(s).

George A. Spreyne

Thank you

Dear Editor,

On behalf of Delta Kappa Gamma International and its Johnson County chapter, Gamma Mu, I wish to thank those who generously donated to the contents of the “Goodie Bags” that were presented to the recipients of The Good Neighbor Award at a reception in their honor May 1, 2018.
Elizabethton Federal, Farmer’s State Bank, Johnson County Bank and Mountain Electric contributed generously, much to the students’ delight. THANK YOU for helping us recognize and affirm the five Middle School students who were named Good Neighbors for consistently demonstrating the qualities we want in our neighbors: compassion, kindness, and generosity.
In addition to local support, the students were especially honored by Rep. Timothy Hill, who sent each one a Proclamation which had been read on the floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives in their honor, and Sen. Jon Lundberg, who personally presented to each student a flag that had been flown on the Capitol Building in Nashville in their honor. Their support of our students means a great deal!

Sheila Cruse
Chair, Educational Excellence Committee
DKG/Gamma Mu

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I never could understand what the “water war” was all about. It seems that the City of Mountain City was running a deficit in collecting water and/or sewer rates for sometime.
It seems that the State Water and Waste water Financing Board wanted to know why. It would have been more cost effective if the Mayor and Alderman would have corrected the deficiency in rates long before it became an issue with the State of Tennessee. It seems that, they the mayor and Aldermen, should have complied with the state’s mandate originally without having to expend finances to travel to the WWFB.
It seems that even after months of discussions between the Mayor/Aldermen and WWFB and the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) nothing changed. It seems the MTAS first recommendation was approved and, as the Tomahawk reported, it was an unnecessary trip to appear before the State.
As stated by City Recorder Sheila Shaw the increase will commence in July 2019 and will take at least three years to get out of the red. This could all have been avoided if the City had been more proactive in addressing the rate increase prior to being mandated to do so.
The Mayor’s response that there was a difference between inside and outside the city lacks credence. The rates collected were not sufficient to balance the budget, therefore it makes sense to increase rates prior to having to become ordered to do so. Greater oversite should be undertaken by the Mayor and/or Aldermen in reviewing the city of Mountain City’s various departments to ensure they comply with local, State or Federal requirements. Sometimes common sense seems to disappear when needed most.

George A. Spreyne

Letter to the Editor

Dear fellow workers,
It’s been almost six years since I came to the Tomahawk not knowing anyone over there and very little about the town of Mountain City. I can now say that it’s been six of the best years of my life and many of you are the reason why.
I want to thank Bill Thomas who has not only been my boss, but a special friend to me. Thank you for taking a chance on somebody you didn’t know anything about and let me have a free reign of the sports here. You are one of the best men that I ever worked for.
I want to thank Tamas, Rita, Meg and David because you all have been very special to work with. Tamas has a passion for what he does and will do wonders with the Tomahawk.
Rita is a go-getter who could sell snowballs in July and she is excellent at what she does. So are Meg and David. Thank you for being so good to me.
I’ll never forget Angie Gambill and Paula Walters for what they meant to me. They are and will always be like a family
member because I love them dearly.
But father time has finally caught up with me and now it’s time to retire and be more involved with my grandkids, while my health is good. My eyes have been an issue; trying to cover games and my doctors advised me to give it a rest.
I also want to devote more time to my ministry and trying to build up our church.
Please don’t hesitate to call me if I can ever help you in any way. It’s time for me to make like Roy Rogers and ride off into the sunset.
May God bless and all of you are in my prayer. You’re the best.

Tim Chambers

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

The Johnson County Community Foundation (JCCF) would like to thank all of the sponsors who supported the 14th Annual Johnson County Talent Show. These businesses, organizations, and individuals, not only support JCCF, but they also help make it possible for our talented young people to perform in a professional setting.
Platinum Plus Sponsors of $500 or more were: Danny Herman Trucking, Inc. Herman Enterprises LLC, Donald & Carole Tarr, Joe & Marian Ashley, Farmers State Bank, Johnson County Bank, Mountain City Medical Center, Maymead, Inc. and JCCF Board Members. Platinum Sponsors of $200-$499 were: Beta Theta Club, Inc. Bob and Minnie Miller, Adams Pharmacy LLC, Swan James, Heritage Hall, Positive Thinkers, Three Sisters, LLC, Elizabethton Federal, and Rush Oil Company. Gold Sponsors of $100-$199) included: Mountain City Funeral Home, Wednesday Music Club, Hux Lipford Funeral Home, Inc., Mike Taylor, Carey Pritt & Son Trucking, Levi Retiree Club, Mina P. Norfleet, Realtor, Kenneth & Mina Norfleet, Keith & Shirley Stewart, and Betty Brown. Silver Sponsorship of $50-$99 was Suba’s Restaurant, Johnson County Builders Supply, Mullins Real Estate, Snyder Surveying, Inc., Damascus Motor Sales, Dr. Mischelle Simcox, Quality Furniture, Janice A. Russell, Atty at Law, Larry & Brenda Potter, Hendrik G. Sijthoff, Johnson County Farm Bureau, Family Prescription Center, and Freida May Gwinn, Register of Deeds. Hardee’s and KFC of Mountain City provided gift certificates to the students who received Honorable Mention. We encourage people to support these businesses who in turn support local events.
In addition, the talent show would not
have been nearly as successful without the
help of the school system’s music teachers, Kim Franklin, Nathan Jones, Kaitlyn Cole, Michael Eggers, and Kathy Ransom, Homeschool. We also appreciate the coverage
given to the talent show by The Tomahawk and WMCT. We value the Heritage Hall volunteers, who give so much of their time and a special thanks to Randy Danderand, Alice Glenn and Bob Morrison along with Chase McGlamery. Jeanie Royston was a great asset for being the contact person.
JCCF is made up of volunteers who love Johnson County and give their time and money to support scholarships, youth leadership, schools, and non-profit organizations in Johnson County. Anyone wishing to make a donation to JCCF or discuss leaving something in the will to JCCF should contact Jane Ann McGee, Chair person of JCCF at 727-1059.

Respectively,
Carol Stout
Talent Show Chair
JCCF Board Member

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) since 1987, this year’s theme is: “Changing Attitudes: It’s not a ‘rite of passage’.” No other substance is more widely used and abused by America’s youth than alcohol, making alcoholism and alcohol-related problems the number one public health problem in the United States.
Fostering healthy and responsible attitudes, talking openly and honestly, encouraging supportive relationships, and showing children that their opinions and decisions matter, are all ways to help prevent the use of alcohol and drugs. Parents often forgive underage drinking as a “rite of passage.” They can simply sit back and hope their kids will “get through it,” or they can change their attitude and take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and help their kids do the same.
It can be challenging to develop the communications skills needed to talk with your children about drinking and drugs, but it will be well work the effort you put into it, as you get to know your children a little better and help them build the coping skills they need to handle the anger, stress, peer pressure, loneliness and disappointment that are part of being an adolescent.
So let’s get started. We can’t afford to wait any longer.

Sincerely,
Denise Woods
Prevention Coordinator, A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition, Inc.

Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

It seems that Mr. Parson’s feels he is innocent of charges leveled by the Johnson County Sheriffs Office.
I have always been taught to respect the law enforcement community as they are the ones that place their lives on the line defending the citizens, this includes Mountain City and Johnson County.
From what I gather from the article in the Tomahawk, January 16, 2019 edition, it seems that after many requests from the Deputy and the Sheriff of Johnson County, Mr. Parsons continued to deny the name of the person present in his vehicle only that he was a friend. When Mr. Parsons refused to answer, the officer then asked the “friend” his name twice and the “friend” would not respond.
Now it seems that the Sheriff, Mr. Tester, arrives and asks Mr. Parsons if the passenger (friend) was his brother in law Mr. Parsons stated “I don’t know, I’m not at liberty to say that.” I wonder why Mr. Parsons was not at liberty to say who his passenger was other than to cover up that his passenger had active warrants for failure to pay child support (what about the child) again that “I don’t know”. Finally stating that “it’s my brother in law, yes.”
I believe this whole unpleasant event could have been averted if Mr. Parsons had been truthful and honest with the officers. I believe Mr. Parsons, feels Mountain City and Johnson County citizens should be open with one another in support of the law enforcement community.
It is those law enforcement officers that respond to the same incidents, day in and day out, sometimes with repeat offenders. This officer was only doing his job of following the law as the political process mandated in making the laws dictated. I believe that this incident should teach us all a lesson of showing respect to one another and be resolved amicably between Sheriff Tester, the Deputy and Mr. Parsons and the judiciary court system.
Let’s endeavor to put positive thoughts and lessons learned toward improving Mountain City and Johnson County without putting a bad light on our community.

George A. Spreyne

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor

I would like to express my concern of the lack of clean lakes and streams for the sake of native fish for which I feel that the state of Tennessee should be responsible even if it means hiring people to use boats to do the job.
Thank you,
Kenneth Paul Sluder
P.S. Happy New Year

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor
Since pricing of gasoline is very HIGH in Johnson County compared to other counties around us, WHY isn’t someone doing anything to fix the problem or investigate? Crude oil as of Jan 4th, 2019 was going for $47.96! There is NO reason for high prices in our county.
In Butler, gas was listed at a store/gas station for $2.40. In Town it is going for $2.31. If you drive to Carter County in Hampton, gas was $1.99 last week at the Shell station next to Dunkin Donuts.
This week I got gas at the Wal-Mart station and shopped in Lowes in Abingdon VA, which was advertised for $2.02 less three cents discount for $1.99. It is only 26 miles from my home and have the chance to purchase donuts at DD.
I would shop more in Johnson County, however it is TOO expensive!
Elizabeth Remis

Dear Editor,
I recently read the large article that Mr. Tom Hastings wrote this past week regarding fake news. I believe that everyone has the right to express their views and Mr. Hastings made it perfectly clear that he has no respect for our elected President calling him quote “a peerless disgrace.”
He also defends left wing news media personalities such as Jake Tapper, Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper as being reliable sources, even though they have called our President everything from a Nazi to a terrorist to a racist and so on.
The best defense was that of George Soros, the left wing radical billionaire who is behind funding Antifa and other violent, destructive demonstrations. All you have to do is ask them, since several of them have admitted they are being paid by him to terrorize and destroy American citizen’s properties.
You may not like our President Mr. Hastings, but he was elected fairly and loves this country and everything it stands for.
Sheryl Courtney