A Cricket County Christmas Wedding

Y’all come on out to Roan Creek Baptist Church and see Glenda Mae finally get hitched to Elmer Crick at the Cricket County Christmas Wedding. Performances are Saturday December 15th at 5:00 pm and December 16th at 6:00 pm. By the way beware of Grandma Taylor’s fruitcake. Admission is free. Photo submitted

Kudos

A new beginning

I felt I should share this with all of you seniors out there.
Moving to Tennessee was filled with pleasant surprises. It was suggested that I join the Senior center.
At first I could not imagine doing this as i have never thought of myself as a senior (lol) but in doing so a new life opened up for me. The Johnson County Senior Center directed by Kathy Motsinger was more like a youth center. There are sio many fun and health related programs that I could not even begin to tell you all of them. You name it, and there it is.
Then there is the center’s van driver, Terry Hodges, who drives you to and fro and is patient and kind and helpful in any way you ned.
All you seniors out there come to the Senior Centerand enjoy a fun-filled life. you will feel young and spry, once again.
I can not say enough wonderful things about the Johnson County Senior Center.
Sincerely, Valerie Edes

Open enrollment is here, don’t go through the process alone

Editor’s note: Janet Trautwein is CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters. For more information, visit www.agent-finder.org.

By Janet Trautwein

It’s time to sign up for health insurance. Between November 1 and December 15, millions of Americans will head to Healthcare.gov or the online exchange in their state to shop for coverage for 2019.

Selecting the right health plan can be daunting. Patients have six weeks to evaluate dozens of plans, each with different networks, benefits, premiums, and deductibles. If they fail to purchase a plan during this open enrollment period, they risk forgoing insurance entirely next year.

Choosing wisely could save consumers thousands of dollars and guarantee they get the care they need. To ensure that they choose wisely, they should consider consulting free, expert resources — particularly licensed, professional agents and brokers.

The plans available through the exchanges provide coverage for ten essential health benefits, including primary care visits, substance abuse treatment, and mental health care.

Consumers with annual incomes below 400 percent of the poverty level — about $48,000 for an individual or $100,000 for a family of four — can receive subsidies from the federal government to help pay for coverage through the exchanges. Nearly 10 million Americans claimed such subsidies this year.

Those who do not qualify for subsidies may find better deals on comprehensive coverage outside the exchanges.

Regardless of what type of policy they choose, it’s critical that consumers choose something. Uninsured patients are twice as likely to struggle to pay their medical bills. And they’re less likely to receive preventative care for chronic health conditions — which is both dangerous and expensive. Lacking health insurance is also associated with higher mortality rates.

Picking through all those options can be difficult. Six in 10 Americans don’t feel confident in their ability to pick the right plan. Just 14 percent of Americans have a “pretty good” understanding of how much health insurance actually costs.

That’s where health insurance agents and brokers can help. They’re well-versed at identifying consumers’ coverage needs. They can guide individuals to the right carriers, coverage levels, and plans at the best possible prices.

Agents and brokers are experts at what they do. Nearly 70 percent have ten or more years of experience. They’re licensed by the states in which they do business. And they adhere to continuous education and professional development requirements as conditions of their licenses.

The job of an agent or broker doesn’t end once they’ve helped a consumer find the right plan. Many serve as advocates for their clients, resolving billing issues or claims disputes.

More than 7 in 10 agents spend “most” or “a lot of” their time explaining coverage to their clients.

Picking a health insurance plan can be among the most important decisions a person makes each year.

Fortunately, consumers needn’t make those decisions alone.

This ‘n’ That Old Readers Digests Bring Back Memories

By Jack Swift

Johnson County Historian

While looking through my books and magazines the other day, I came across a couple of editions of the Readers Digest that I had acquired sometime ago. Both were of interest in that they were published near the time of my birth. It was the Digest’s 17th year of publication. One was dated March 1938 and the other was published in December of 1938. I was born March 22, 1938.
Now that has been a long time ago, but I like to reminisce about the past. Both magazines were full of interesting stories. I noted it was before the Digest began accepting advertising. It would be hard for me to pick out one of the articles as being best because all of them were interesting. Some of the headlines drew me to read some of the stories included in those editions. Oh, by the way, the price per magazine and the yearly subscription tells a little about the way things were as far as costs are concerned.
While the prices per products and services were low, the value of a dollar was much more then than now. The magazine per copy was 25 cents and a year’s subscription was only 3 dollars per year. A topic of interest to me in the March issue was one entitled “We Are What We Eat” condensed from Collier’s Magazine. Collier’s will be remembered by some as a popular magazine of general interest that was published for several years. The article explores the place diet has in our lives, comparing various diets of certain nationalities as to how they developed. I noted that there is a lot of emphasis on diet today as well.
Another topic caught my eye. The article was titled “Leading a Dog’s Life” It was interesting to note that the author pointed out that dogs who do heroic things such as rescuing people from burning buildings take no thought about the consequences of their actions, whereas sometimes people have an underlying motive such as glory and honor when they are heroic.

WIN the 12-Days of Christmas

A lucky ticket holder will win an entire holiday tree full of decorations and prizes! The Johnson County Arts Center is featuring a fund-raising winter tree adorned with not only festive decorations of silver and gold but also a number of delightful gifts, certificates and prizes. These items represent the 12-days of Christmas and the winner gets all; the tree, the lights, the decorations and the prizes! Don’t need a tree? It would make a very special gift, or just take your favorite ornaments and the prizes! Tickets are $1 each. There will be a second and third drawing for prizes as well. Inspecting the tree, you will find:
12 Shining Stars
11 Silver Bows
10% Off Something
9 “Next Drawing” Tickets
8 Picture Notecards
7 Works of Art
6 Balls of Soap
$50 worth of Certificates
4 Snowflake Napkin Rings
3 Pairs of Earrings
2 Heritage Hall Tickets
“And a golden bird for our fund raising tree!”
Stop by the Arts Center, (10-5 M-W & F, Th 10- 8, Sat 10-2) 127 College Street in Mountain City, to see if you can find all 12-days of Christmas represented! Enjoy their complimentary Hot Coco Bar too! Proceeds will benefit the Arts Center Operating Costs. Drawing will take place Dec 20th.

History books for sale at Welcome Center

With the very important day of Christmas approaching, it’s time to start the process of getting ready for it. At our house The Christmas tree is up and you can see signs of Christmas around the house, thanks to my wife, Mary. She usually gets into the Christmas spirit before I do.
The hustle and bustle has already set in with people out and about and trying to purchase perfect gifts for their loved ones in the crowded malls, department stores and other retail establishments.
As I thought about the gift giving dilemma that we often face, I thought of some great gifts that I believe would make most folks happy. If you visit the Johnson County Welcome Center on South Shady Street, you may find a gift that will keep on giving over the years. Kelly Turner is the Welcome Center Director and she will be glad to help you.
I recommend the Johnson County History Books that were published by the Johnson County Historical Society. The first one was published in 1986 and includes a great deal of Johnson County History with photographs and other information. The book has many family histories and is valuable for genealogical research. It is a large “coffee table type” book and is impressive with its red cover and the Johnson County seal embossed on it. Much work went into getting it compiled and published. A second book was published in 2000. It includes more pictures and more family histories and is a great companion set with the 1986 volume. In 2015, several people that saw the first two volumes regretted that they didn’t get their family histories in either of the first two books and a third book was printed. Either of the books or the three-volume set would make great Christmas gifts.
Moreover, there are several census books and marriage record books for sell at the Welcome Center. While there you may want to check out the Johnson County Museum. I believe you’ll find several items of interest there.
I recently visited the Johnson County Arts Center on College Street and was very impressed with the facility. There are a number of art objects for sale there. The paintings were impressive and would make a nice addition to your home.
I recommend that folks shop locally if possible. Somewhere in Johnson County and Mountain City is a nice gift for you to purchase to give to someone or maybe even to yourself.

Corrections from November 21 Basketball Edition

November 28, 2018

JCMS Lady Longhorns Use

Front Row, L-R: Patty Lipford, Peyton Gentry, Marissa Summerow, Autumn Lewis and Audrey Savery. Back Row, L-R: Head Coach Sarah Swift, Sarah Arnold, Brookanna Hutchins, Amy Gunter, Aubrie Baird, Ryleigh Icenhour and Assistant Coach Haley Miller.

JCMS Longhorns Boys Varsity USE

Front row, L-R: Riley Tester, Skylar Lawson, Brayden Gentry, Graham Reece, Christian Lipford, Dominic Kelly and Dalton Robinson. Back row, L-R: Head coach Devin Shaw, Isaiah Curd, Dalton Osborne, Connor Simcox, Peyton Pavusek, Nick Speed, Chris Grill and Asst. Coach Chris Dunbar.

 

Improve your memory with these tips

November 28, 2018

Forgetfulness can affect anyone. For example, few, if any, adults can say they have not experienced moments when they could not find their keys. And once the keys are found, people move on without giving much thought to why they did not immediately remember where they left their keys. Isolated incidents where people cannot recall where they placed their car keys or other minor bouts with forgetfulness do not occur by accident. In fact, the Harvard Medical School notes that they are likely byproducts of age-related changes in thinking skills. When people reach their 50s, chemical and structural changes in the brain may begin to occur, and these changes can affect a person’s ability to process memories. Father Time may be a formidable foe, but people can take steps to give their memories a boost as they get older.

Embrace recognition instead of trusting recall
•Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist who specializes in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, notes that human beings are better at recognition than recall. That means people are more likely to remember something they read, such as a note or a list, than something they’re simply told.

Recognize the value of repetition
• The Harvard Medical School notes that people might be more inclined to remember what they hear if they repeat it out loud. Names and addresses might be more easily remembered after they’re repeated out loud because repetition increases the likelihood that the brain will record the information and be capable of retrieving it later. When studying for exams, many students repeat important points to themselves time and again, and that same approach can be applied by adults who are trying to improve their memories.

Eat a healthy diet
• A study published in 2015 in the journal Neurology found that people who eat healthy diets with lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish and little alcohol and red meat may be less likely to experience declines in their memory and thinking  skills. Authored by Andrew Smyth of McMaster University in Ontario and the National University of Ireland in Galway, the study following more than 27,000 people in 40 countries for an average of roughly five years. All participants were 55 and older and had diabetes or a history of heart disease, stroke or peripheral artery disease. Those who ate the healthiest diets were 24 percent less likely to experience cognitive decline than people with the least healthy diets.

Break things down
• Breaking things down into small chunks also can help improve memory. If tasked with remembering something extensive, such as a speech, focus on a single sentence at a time, only moving on to the next sentence when you’re confident you have successfully committed the preceding sentence to memory.

Periodic memory lapses are often nothing to worry about. But men and women concerned about maintaining their memories can employ various strategies to do just that.

Unexpected benefits of hobbies

November 21, 2018

Finding time for hobbies can be difficult. Commitments to work and family take up the bulk of many people’s free time, making it hard to squeeze in a favorite hobby. But hobbies can benefit people in some interesting ways. Understanding those hidden benefits may compel some people to make more time for their favorite downtime activities.

Improved efficiency
Penciling more activities into your day planner may not seem like something that will help you create more time for hobbies, but it just might. For example, if you know you have a softball game or choir practice at night, then you might waste less time surfing the internet or talking around the water cooler during the workday. In a 2017 study conducted for the staffing firm OfficeTeam, researchers found that the average office employee spends about five hours per week on his or her mobile phone doing things that have nothing to do with the job. That’s five hours you could be working, opening up more time for hobbies before or after work.

Foster social connections
In his 2000 book, “Bowling Alone,” political scientist Robert Putnam described a reduction in in-person social intercourse that once enriched Americans’ social lives. By making more time for hobbies, particularly those that promote interaction with other adults, men and women can foster social connections that otherwise might never blossom.

Health benefits
The American Institute of Stress notes that some hobbies can help people reduce their stress. The AIS notes that some 56 million women in the United States now knit or crochet. That marks a 51 percent increase over the last decade. That revival is attributed to the stress-reducing properties of knitting and crocheting. Men and women coping with stress need not learn how to wield a sewing needle to alleviate their stress. Activities that promote slowing down and induce a relaxation response similar to knitting and crocheting can be equally beneficial.

Increased quality time with your children
Parents with hobbies can double dip, using the time they would ordinarily spend with their children to teach them some of their favorite hobbies. Take kids along when you go fishing or teach them how to plant flowers and tend to a garden. This is a great way to increase quality time with your children while also affording you a chance to continue engaging in your favorite hobbies.

Hobbies can benefit people in ways they never imagined, making them worthwhile pursuits no matter how much or how little time you may have.

Making your favorite foods healthier

November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving dinner

Make meals much more healthy with a few easy tweaks this holiday season.

 

Staff Note: The holidays are here. Overindulgence is hard to avoid. Here are some simple tips to make those delcious meals a little better on your health.

After the whirlwind of the holiday season, the season of resolutions takes over. Many people to resolve to live healthier, and they may not have to give up their favorite foods to do so. Research from the National Institutes of Health suggests American adults between the ages of 18 and 49 gain an average of one to two pounds every year. Grazing and overeating tends to increase when the weather cools down. A 2005 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that, in the fall, people tend to consume more calories, total fat and saturated fat. In the spring, people seem to prefer more carbohydrates. In addition, less powerful sunshine in winter coupled with people bundling up translates into less vitamin D being absorbed by the body. Some researchers believe there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and weight gain as well.

To ensure that certain foods do not sabotage healthy eating plans, people can employ some easy modifications and make healthier versions of the foods they like to eat.

Choose crunchy foods
Those who are prone to snacking can reach for noisy foods. These include crunchy items like apples, carrots and pretzels. Scientists say that when people listen to what they are chewing – called the “crunch effect” – they eat less of that item.

Tone down the cream
Delicious dishes like fettuccine alfredo typically are made with lots of butter and cream. Replace cream sauces with a healthier base made of low-fat milk thickened with flour. Increase the flavor with favorite spices.

Fry with care
Use healthy oils like olive or coconut sparingly. Many foods that are traditionally fried also can be lightly coated with cooking spray and baked for a crunchy texture.

Choose sodium-free seasonings
The USCA recommends limiting sodium to less than 1 teaspoon of salt per day. Try options like fresh herbs or lemon juice to add some sodium-free flavor.

Increase fiber content

Fiber helps one feel fuller longer and can also be helpful for digestion and heart health. Choose the “brown” varieties of rice, pasta and breads.

Replace meat with leaner forms of protein
Lean chicken, turkey and pork can replace red meats in many recipes. Some traditional meat dishes, such as burgers, also can be modified using vegetables or seafood. Lean meats dry out quickly, so keep foods moist by watching cooking times.

Stock up on yogurt
Greek and other varieties of yogurt can replace sour cream and mayonnaise in many dishes.

Resolving to eat healthier can be easy by making some simple swaps when preparing your favorite foods.

The benefits of turkey

November 21, 2018

If turkey is not normally on your lunch or dinner menu, come the holiday season it’s bound to show up in abundance. As soon as the weather cools and the crispness of late autumn is in the air, thoughts turn to more hearty meals, and of course, the fall pièce de résistance: Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey takes center stage on many Thanksgiving dinner tables, even though history suggests it likely wasn’t served at the first Thanksgiving. Despite this historical discrepancy, turkey and all the trimmings continue to be traditional fare for big holiday dinners. Much more than just delicious and filling, turkey boasts many nutritional benefits, making it a worthwhile addition to your diet regardless of the season.

Protein
Turkey is often overshadowed by other meats in refrigerated display cases, but it remains an excellent source of protein in a low-fat package. A typical 3.4- to four-ounce serving of skinless turkey breast (about the size of a deck of cards) contains around 30 grams of protein, providing about 65 percent of the average person’s recommended daily allotment of protein. Protein helps the body feel full and serves many essential functions in the body. Proteins regulate the entry of nutrients through cell walls, help the body grow and help it to generate antibodies that fight against illness.

Low-fat
A serving of turkey is only 161 calories and contains just four grams of fat, which is low in saturated fat.

B-vitamin benefits
Turkey is an excellent source of B vitamins, including B3, B6 and B12. Having enough B3, also known as niacin, is important for overall health, and higher levels of niacin can improve cholesterol levels and lower a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. B6 is also called pyridoxine. It’s involved in the process of making certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin and norepinephrine, which transmit signals in the brain. Important for neurological health, B12 helps decrease levels of homocysteine, which can contribute to cognitive decline.

Immune system effects
People may not know turkey contains selenium, which is key to healthy thyroid function. It also helps boost the immune system by playing a role in the body’s antioxidant defense system. Selenium may help eliminate free radicals in the body that would otherwise contribute to cancer risk.

Relaxation
Many people are aware of turkey’s ability to induce feelings of relaxation, particularly when eaten in abundance at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which plays a role in triggering production of serotonin. Serotonin can induce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. Turkey is lean, full of essential nutrients and low in saturated fat, making it a worthy addition to your diet no matter what time of year .

This ‘n’ That: There is Much to be Thankful for

November 21, 2018

By Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian

This Thursday, November 22, is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day has special meaning for me. Although I am thankful every day for the many blessings that my Lord has bestowed upon me, I believe it is good to have a special day set aside to give special emphasis on counting our blessings and being thankful for them. Family, friends, the freedom to worship, living in this great country of America, and living in beautiful and historic Johnson County are just a few of all the blessings that I am thankful for. Many folks will travel to be with family and friends on Thanksgiving Day. They’ll brave the congested traffic on the highways and byways of this great land or they’ll go through all the stress of getting to the airport and going through the trouble at the airport to travel to see loved ones and be with them for just a while.

Oh yes, the food! Many folks will have an abundance of food on the table for Thanksgiving. If they have enough food, they should be thankful indeed. I am so grateful to the agricultural community and especially the farmers of America. With hard work, know how, and determination, the American farmer battles insects, weeds, bad weather and a number of other things to produce an abundance of food and fiber for America and other peoples of the world.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day it would be well to be mindful of its origin. In 1620 more than one hundred people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World. These pilgrims had come to this new land for religious freedom. Unfortunately their first winter was difficult. They arrived too early to grow many crops and they were unprepared for the harsh winter. Consequently, many died.

In the fall of 1621, the colonists had a bountiful harvest. The first Thanksgiving Day celebration in America occurred when the Pilgrims, on order of Governor William Bradford, held a three-day festival to commemorate their harvest in the fall of 1621. The Indians had been kind to the colonists, teaching them to hunt, fish and grow a number of crops that were unfamiliar to the colonists. So, as a gesture of appreciation, Indians were invited to attend the Thanksgiving feast. Many Indians came bearing venison, turkey and other wild game.

It was after the U. S. became an independent country that Congress recommended one annual day of thanksgiving for the nation as a whole. George Washington suggested November 26. After a long and bloody Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln asked all Americans to set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving. That date held until 1939 and 1940 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date one week earlier so there would be a longer shopping period before Christmas. That didn’t set too well with many folks, so Congress ruled that the fourth Thursday in November would be a federal holiday proclaimed by the President each year.

Have you ever heard of Sara Josepha Hale? I didn’t think so. I hadn’t either until I started my research for this column. She was a magazine editor who was a strong advocate for having the Nation set aside a day to give thanks to God for His blessings. As editor of a popular widely read women’s magazine, she wrote many editorials arguing for a Thanksgiving Day. She also wrote many letters to anyone she thought would help her cause including Presidents, Governors, Congress and others. She is credited with being a primary influence on President Lincoln’s decision to declare a Thanksgiving Day.

Tennessee ranks second-highest in risk of Black Friday violence

November 21, 2018

A Reviews.org report
Editor’s note: Reviews.org released its annual list of the five states with the highest risk of Black Friday violence on November 19, 2018. Tennessee ranked as the state with the second-highest chance of violence this Black Friday.

By: Trevor Wheelwright
Published 11/19/2018

Here in the good ol’ USA, we take our sales events seriously, and none more so than Black Friday. After all the Thanksgiving turkey and football, we feel justified in getting a pair of sick new kicks, that giant-screen 4K Ultra HD 3D TV, or whatever toy will be bigger than Tickle-Me-Elmo this year. Yes, we save money at these events, but at what cost? Sometimes people take things a little too far in their quest for the ultimate holiday gift glory. We’re here to help raise awareness regarding just how cold the holidays can be when folks are unwilling to share the holiday spirit. Don’t be a Grinch out there, homies.

The five most dangerous states are primarily in the South. There have been no reports of Black Friday violence in the top five safest states in the last 10 years.  The survey reported that West Virginians have the most search volume interest in the query “Black Friday deals, while Alaskans have the least interest in “Black Friday deals.”

Highest risk of Black Friday violence:
1. Arkansas
2. Tennessee
3. West Virginia
4. North Carolina
5. Alabama

Lowest risk of Black Friday violence:
1. Vermont
2. Oregon
3. Rhode Island
4. Pennsylvania
5. Wisconsin

Black Friday data
breakdown
We took three data sets to help figure out which states have the highest likelihood of Black Friday violence this year. While we’re not saying you should bet your grandmother’s Christmas gift on this conjecture, we think we have a pretty good guess.

We based our predictions on the following:
• Violent crime rates per 100,000 in each state (20%)
• bSearch volume for the term “Black Friday deals” by state (20%)
• Previous reports of Black Friday deaths and injuries per 100,000 by state (60%)

All of the reported Black Friday incidents included were covered by the press and involved the police.
Basically, we took high violent crime rates, perceived interest in Black Friday deals, and previous Black Friday problems to find out which states may live in the deal danger zone and end up on Santa’s naughty list.
Check out the full report here: https://www.reviews.org/trends/high-risk-states-for-black-friday-violence/

Tennessee’s farmer veterans serve twice

November 14, 2018

 

Running Hog Farm

Farmer and former Marine Dennis Scales tends to his hog farm in Rutherford County.

NASHVILLE – This Veteran’s Day, we will honor the brave men and women who have served our country, but did you know that some Tennessee veterans are now serving by producing the food we eat and the fiber we use?

Tennessee has more than 400 farmer veterans. One of them is Dennis Scales, owner of Running Hog Farm in Rutherford County. Scales served in the United State Marine Corps, and now raises pastured, heritage breed hogs.

“Having the opportunity to do what I love while providing for my community is highly rewarding,” Scales said. “The local support for farmer veterans here in Tennessee is unmatched.”

The Farmer Veteran Coalition is one source of support for farmers like Scales. This national nonprofit organization offers the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund grant program, which provides direct financial assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming and ranching. In 2018, Tennessee farmers received more Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund grants than any other state.

“After all that our veterans have sacrificed for us, they deserve our support,” Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “Our farmer veterans have given and continue to give for their communities. By purchasing local food, joining Community Supported Agriculture groups, and buying directly from the farm, we can give back.”

Are you looking to support farmer veterans the next time you buy groceries? Look for the Homegrown By Heroes label. Homegrown By Heroes is the official farmer veteran branding program of America. The label shows that agricultural products were produced by U.S. military veterans, and it can be found on more than 70 food items throughout the state.

Pick Tennessee is a service of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture that connects consumers to farms, farmers, farmers markets, artisan foods and farm related activities across the state. Look for the Homegrown By Heroes logo when visiting www.PickTNProducts.org and follow “PickTNProducts” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Senior center site Friday for honoring veterans

November 14, 2018

By Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian

Turnout was great Friday for observance of the annual Veterans Day activities at the Senior Center. The program was perhaps the largest crowd to assemble to honor veterans at the Johnson County Senior Center. While Veterans Day falls normally on November 11, this year due to it being on Sunday, some organizations chose Friday or Saturday for the observance. Friday was the time set for this year’s program at the center.

Patriotic songs were sung, including a rousing rendition of “God Bless the USA,” by Lindsey DeBord Yoggerest. Kathy Motsinger is the Senior Center Director. Ms. Motsinger introduced her grandfather Hugh Walker who is 98 and a veteran of WWII. He and Kathy’s grandson who is also his great, great grandson led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.

A delicious meal was served to those in attendance. The Blue Ridge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was on hand to honor veterans and to show appreciation for their service. Each veteran present was presented a very interesting Book and some other gifts. The book titled “When A Blue Star Turns To Gold “ was written by Johnson County Author Janet Cress Payne. At a time in the service each veteran was asked to stand as their service song was sung.

Following the end of World War I (originally called The Great War) an Armistice (temporary suspension of hostilities) was signed between the Allied Nations and Germany on the 11th hour, the 11th day and the 11th month. On November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with these words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with great gratitude for the victory, both from the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” And it became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. It is a day to honor America’s veterans for their love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Know more about the Flu

November 14, 2018

Staff note: Flu season is here. Know more about this viral infection and how it works to be prepared. Flu shots are also highly recommended

Antibiotics are not effective in preventing or treating the flu. Antibiotics are used when bacteria is the cause of illnesses and help kill bacteria or stop them from reproducing, indicates Medline Plus. Influenza is a viral infection, meaning antibiotics will be useless against it. The only times when antibiotics may be prescribed during a flu illness is if flu symptoms have contributed to secondary or tertiary illnesses, such as strep throat or ear infections. Requesting antibiotics without the presence of a bacterial infection will not help a person feel better faster, and taking antibiotics unnecessarily could compound the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Improve indoor air quality in advance of winter

November 14, 2018

Improving and maintaining indoor air quality in winter can help inhabitants stay healthier during colder months.

Routinely inspect bathrooms for mold.
During winter, mold can grow in rooms that are exposed to moisture but not properly ventilated. In many homes, that’s the bathroom. Even if a bathroom has a ventilation fan, routinely inspect the ceiling and shower for mold growth. Exposure to mold can cause a host of negative side effects, including nasal and sinus congestion and sore throat. Mold also can exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Upon the arrival of winter, people in regions where winter is marked by cold weather tend to spend significantly more time indoors. Because windows tend to be closed during winter, indoor air quality can suffer, making conditions inside a home less than desirable.

According to the American Lung Association, poor air circulation in a home can promote the spread of bacteria and viruses. Once such bacteria or viruses are inhaled, coughs, colds and flu can spread. In addition, asthma and allergy sufferers may experience worsening symptoms thanks to the presence of endotoxins, which are substances that come from the broken-down cells of dead bacteria.
Because many people spend significantly more time indoors during winter than other times of the year, it’s essential that they take measures to improve indoor air quality in the months ahead.

Cut back on chemicals.

It’s ideal to avoid heavy chemical usage inside a home throughout the year, but it’s especially important to do so during winter. Solvent-based cleaners or cleaning products with strong fragrances can negatively affect indoor air quality and potentially trigger allergic reactions. In lieu of chemically-enhanced cleaning products, use natural products that get the job done without sacrificing indoor air quality.

Stop smoking indoors.
Tobacco smoke can affect smokers and nonsmokers alike. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children. Those include more frequent and severe asthma attacks and respiratory infections.

In addition, reports from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have linked secondhand smoke to an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Adults exposed to secondhand smoke are at greater risk for coronary heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of pollutants that can greatly diminish indoor air quality, so make sure smokers limit their smoking to outside the home throughout the year, but especially during winter.

Take off your shoes when entering the home.
Snowy conditions often require a home’s inhabitants and guests to remove their footwear upon entering a home, but it helps to remove footwear in a mudroom or just inside the front door when entering a home even when it’s not snowing. Shoes can pick up dirt, dust and a host of other particles during winter, and if tracked inside those unwanted guests can negatively affect indoor air quality.

Routinely inspect bathrooms for mold.
During winter, mold can grow in rooms that are exposed to moisture but not properly ventilated. In many homes, that’s the bathroom. Even if a bathroom has a ventilation fan, routinely inspect the ceiling and shower for mold growth. Exposure to mold can cause a host of negative side effects, including nasal and sinus congestion and sore throat. Mold also can exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Winter soon to come with its snow and ice

November 7, 2018

By Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian

You know, it won’t be too long until winter’s frosty weather will be nipping at our heels. Unlike many other areas in the world, we feel its effects very personally here in Johnson County. Icy roads, the necessity of heat and many other problems comes with the advent of winter. The choices we have for heat varies but there are at least five choices: Electric (heat pump, or various types of electric heaters), propane, oil, coal or wood. Coal or wood was my families’ choices when I was growing up in Johnson County. We didn’t have electricity until the ‘40s or ‘50s and certainly no propane. Oh I almost forgot; for a number of years we heated the house with a fireplace and you could use either coal or wood with it.

Fortunately, it is easier to cope with the cold and breezy weather now than when I was growing up in Johnson County. Those of you who haven’t experienced the trouble of starting the car and keeping it going in the dead of winter as many had to do to go to work in the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s may not appreciate the complexity of that task. I don’t readily know when the first four-wheel-drive vehicles were available, but they sure beat going out on a bitter cold day and attaching chains to the rear tires so the rear wheels could gain traction and hopefully get you where you needed to go without winding up in a ditch or worse Jack the wheel up, attach the chain, let the wheel down and repeat on the other wheel were the actions taken to get a measure of stability on the roads. One thing I always dreaded was the inevitable clang, clang, clang or the thud, thud, thud of the chains when they broke about a mile down the road. Of course, there were few if any four-wheel-drive vehicles on the roads then. Most were rear-wheel-drive which made for hazardous driving anyway.

The first time that I knew about four-wheel-drive cars was upon seeing advertisements about them in magazines. It was later in my life that I drove a Jeep in the Army and found out that you sure could get one stuck in snow. Anyway, whether we like it or not, ice and snow will be a part of our lives in the not too distant future. I guess we’ll just have to put up with it. Some people like the winter weather and that’s all right too. I like it too if I don’t have to go anywhere.

How to keep your horses healthier this winter

*Source: Dr. Jennie Ivey, UT Extension Equine Specialist

As the winter months approach, it is important to consider the impact of winter weather on equine management practices. Often, horses acclimate well to cold temperatures, and are typically maintained well outdoors, but Jennie Ivey, University of Tennessee Extension Equine Specialist, says special considerations should be given to the horses’ nutritional needs, and overall maintenance to ensure they maintain good health and welfare in the cooler months.
Despite horses having a higher water intake requirement per day in cold ambient temperatures, colder water temperatures can reduce how much horses will drink per day.

“On average, a 1000-pound horse will consume approximately 10 gallons of water per day, but this amount can vary greatly depending on the horse’s diet, activity level, and general health,” said Ivey. “Make sure water troughs or buckets are defrosted at least twice a day and let horses drink their fill during these times. Also, if using an electric water heater, make sure to keep the cord and other hazards away from curious horses.”

The equine specialist adds that snow and ice are not adequate sources of water intake for horses in Tennessee.​​

Low temperatures, high winds and precipitation can increase the amount of energy horses need per day in order to maintain body temperature. “It is best to provide extra energy to horses by feeding extra hay or other forage rather than increasing concentrates,” Ivey states. “Since the amount of heat produced from fermentation of fiber contained in hay is greater than the amount of heat produced when the horse digests concentrates. Supplementation with grain or concentrate is needed when a horse is having difficulty maintaining weight or body condition.”

Ivey also recommends owners make sure to check a horse’s body condition regularly by feeling the horse’s body, especially since the long winter hair coat can easily hide weight gain or loss.

“Ideally, a horse should consume two percent of their body weight (dry matter basis) in forage per day. For example, a 1000-pound horse will eat 15 to 20 pounds of hay daily. That’s the equivalent of roughly one small square bale of 40-60 pounds every 2 to 3 days.”

Ivey says the exact number of bales needed for winter feeding will depend on the weight of the bale, how much the horse consumes per day, amount of waste and the horse’s activity level. She recommends owners submit forage samples for testing to determine the nutritional content and the amount of nutrients provided to your horse daily.

A horse’s winter hair coat does an excellent job of insulating from the cold winter temperatures. Although horses may not choose to seek protection from the elements, horses should have access to shelter from wind, precipitation and other winter weather conditions.

Ivey says, “Shelter can be natural, such as a tree line or rock formation, or constructed, such as a run-in or stall barn. Ensure shelter is large enough to accommodate all horses in the turn out area to prevent any horses being excluded based on herd hierarchies.”

Constructed shelter should allow for 150 square feet per mature horse, at a minimum, she advises.

If possible, maintain exercise programs and turnout throughout winter months. “Confinement and limited exercise can lead to respiratory issues, lower leg swelling (edema or stocking up) and colic,” cautions Ivey. Use care to avoid icy areas, and spread sand, salt or wood ash to increase traction.

Tennessee farmers planting more corn, soybeans, cotton

November 7, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its Acreage and Grain Stocks reports today, based on the June Area and June Agricultural Surveys conducted earlier this month.

“Tennessee producers plan for increased acreages of corn, soybeans, cotton and hay in 2018,” said Debra Kenerson, Tennessee State Statistician. “All types of tobacco acreages are expected to decline, with burley taking the largest impact, decreasing 3,000 acres from 2017 and even showing a 500-acre decrease from producers’ March 2018 expectations.”

Soybeans planted in Tennessee were estimated at 1.75 million acres, up 60,000 acres from 2017. Acres harvested for grain, at 1.72 million acres, was 60,000 acres above acres a year ago. U.S. soybean planted area for 2018 was estimated at 89.6 million acres, down one percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 88.9 million acres, is down one percent from 2017.

Acreage planted to corn in Tennessee was estimated at 780,000 acres, up 30,000 acres from 2017. Acres harvested for grain was estimated at 730,000 acres, up 20,000 acres from last year. The U.S. corn planted for all purposes in 2018 was estimated at 89.1 million acres, down one percent from last year. Growers expect to harvest 81.8 million acres for grain, down one percent from last year.

Upland cotton acreage in Tennessee was estimated at 350,000, up 5,000 acres from 2017. The U.S. total upland cotton acreage is estimated at 13.3 million acres, up seven percent from the previous year.

Farmers in Tennessee intend to set an estimated 9,000 acres of burley tobacco for harvest. This was 3,000 acres below the 2017 level. Dark fire-cured tobacco acreage set was estimated at 6,800 acres, down 700 acres from the previous year. Dark air-cured tobacco acreage was estimated at 1,500 acres, down 100 from a year ago. Burley producing states acreage for harvest was estimated at 69,800 acres, 14 percent below last year.

Winter wheat seeded acreage in Tennessee was estimated at 390,000 acres, 20,000 acres above the previous year. Acreage harvested for grain was estimated at 295,000 acres, 20,000 acres above 2017. The U.S. winter wheat planted area was estimated at 32.7 million acres, up slightly from 2017. Area harvested for grain was forecast at 24.8 million acres, down two percent from last year.

Alfalfa hay acreage in Tennessee was estimated at 18,000 acres, up 3,000 from the 2017 crop. All other hay was estimated at 1.80 million acres, up 100,000 from a year ago. The U.S. All other hay acreage was estimated at 55.1 million acres, up two percent from 2017.

To view the complete Acreage report, visit https://release.nass.usda.gov/reports/acrg0618.pdf. To view the complete Grain Stocks report, visit https://release.nass.usda.gov/reports/grst0618.pdf. For more information about all Tennessee surveys and reports, call Debra Kenerson at the NASS Tennessee Field Office on (615) 891-0903, or (800) 626-0987, or visit https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Tennessee/.harvest graph