You’ve got this!

Landon asks: I am dreading the winter and feeling lonely and isolated, what do you suggest I do?

Hello Landon, winters can be discouraging if you don’t have good social or emotional supports. I would suggest that you get started now in making some commitments to connect with others, create indoor projects and have a good solid list of options to keep yourself engaged.
1.Look at classes that are local or on-line. Winters are a good time to learn new things, and this keeps your mind healthy.
2.Frequent the local library for books to enhance your knowledge about topics of interest, or for general entertainment.
3.Join Meetup.com which is a free online app that connects people that have similar interests and hobbies off all types. Please note it is NOT a dating app, its for fun.
4.Look into local groups for gathering, hiking, music, etc.
5.Despite the cold weather make sure you do get out in, bundle up and take a walk.
6.Make sure you get some exercise, even if you just get on the floor and stretch for 20 minutes a day.
7.Do your best to keep your diet healthy with as much fresh foods as possible.
8.Look into joining a church or spiritual group.
9.Find a creative outlet by searching for simple things you can do inside your home.
10.Keep a schedule for yourself by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
Organize your day, not so it is full, but so that you have a variety of things on it to keep yourself interested.
Please know that you aren’t alone in this feeling and don’t be afraid to reach out to others, cook a meal together, go for a walk, listen to music, watch a movie and have a laugh or two. If you do these things, you will make it through happier and healthier. All the best and You’ve Got This.
Please submit your questions to [email protected]

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

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

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

This ‘n’ That By Jack Swift

Coach (General) Robert R. Neyland

As I was growing up on a small farm in rural Johnson County I was greatly interested in sports, especially the Tennessee football program. During my younger year, I kept up with Volunteer football via newspapers and radio. While I didn’t have much interest in current events in that era, I sure read the newspapers and listened to the games soaking up all the news I could about the Volunteers. Some of the players that stand out were: Hank Lauricella, Johnny Majors, George Cafego and others.
Francis Edward “Hank” Lauricella was one of my favorites. He is noted as one of the University of Tennessee’s greatest running backs. He played from 1949 to 1951 under famed General Robert R. Neyland. One of the things that I admired about him was that he only weighed 75 lbs. and that is pretty light for a college football player. I felt that at that weight and being able to play so well he must be tough. During his senior year at Tennessee he was named All-American and was the first runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Johnny Majors was both a player and a coach. He was a standout halfback at Tennessee and went on to be Tennessee’s head coach from 1977 to 1992. As a player at Tennessee, he was an All American in 1956. He finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in that year.
George Cafego became one of Tennessee’s backfield stars. He was a native of West Virginia. He ultimately returned to Tennessee as an assistant and coached 30 years. He retired in 1984.
Now I want to put my spotlight on who in my opinion was one of the greatest coaches Tennessee ever had. General Robert Reese Neyland was born February 17, 1892, in Greeneville, Texas. After graduating West Point in 1916, he was ordered to a number posts. He returned to West Point as an assistant adjutant and an assistant coach in football, baseball and basketball. He also served as aide-de-camp to Academy Superintendent General Douglas MacArthur. His career found him at The University of Tennessee as R.O.T.C. Commandant. In 1926 He became head football coach at the university of Tennessee from 1926 to 1934. During that period, his teams won 75 games, lost seven and tied 5. He was sent to the Panama Canal Zone, in 1935. He retired from the Army and returned to Tennessee as head coach. Under his coaching, the Volunteers won 11 games in 1938; 10 in 2939 and 10 in 1940. Coach Neyland was called back into the military but he returned to coaching in 1946. He was very successful during the remainder of his coaching career. He retired in 1954 but continued as
athletic director at Tennessee. He died on March 28, 1962.

You’ve got this! Licensed counselor Tracy Becker answers your questions.

Sam asks: I am my own worst enemy. How can I be a better friend to myself?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Hello Sam, thank you for this great question. It is unfortunate that many, if not most of us, go through situations in our lives where we know we aren’t being our best, we are sabotaging our success, practicing a lot of negative and self-deprecating thoughts, and behaving in ways that will never turn out in our favor.

I have often said that the longest relationship you are going to have in your life is the one you have with yourself. Thus, this relationship has to be strong, positive, forgiving, honest, disciplined and uplifting. That’s a lot to ask, right? But it is what is required for undoing what’s already been done.

I would suggest a simple exercise to get started. Write down all the qualities that you believe a good friend would have. Spend some time on it, read a book or article on friendship, and ask a few people you admire about this.

Then examine this list to determine which qualities you have – which you do have some – and ask yourself what it would take to enhance them. An example would be: if you have the quality of kindness, what can you do daily to enhance this quality? Create a plan and follow through. Do this until you are working on enhancing all the good qualities you have.
Secondly, choose one quality on the list that you would like to have, but feel you may be lacking. Do the same thing. An example would be: Maybe you find yourself telling “little white lies” for no reason, and you want to be an honest person.

Make a decision to monitor your urges to lie. Then take the time to evaluate what made you, in each of those moments, want to tell a lie? This will take commitment and time, but you can work through this. In a very short time, you will notice that you are being a better person to yourself. That makes it easier to be a better person to others. Best wishes, Sam.

Please submit questions to [email protected]

Bankers turn out for Financial Literacy Week

By John Muse

As a long-time member and current chairman of the Tennessee Bankers Association, I know firsthand the contributions that bankers make to help their communities grow and prosper, and to help people succeed individually.
Simply put, bankers do a lot more than just keep your deposits safe, keep track of your balances, and lend money for homes, businesses, and personal needs—they are actively involved in their communities in a number of ways, all aimed at improving the quality of life not just for their customers, but also in their hometowns.
A case in point is bankers’ outreach on improving financial literacy in the state, something that was on full display April 8-12 as part of Tennessee Financial Literacy Week, which we celebrated during National Financial Literacy Month, held annually in April. There were hundreds of presentations across the state made to a variety of groups, from elementary students to senior citizens and to people at all stages in their financial lives.
While we often tend to emphasize lessons for students and young people, financial literacy is a constant learning process. The knowledge and skill that a person has to manage their financial resources properly and responsibly is integral to success in school and in life. Each lesson you learn builds on another as you move from one life stage to the next.
For young students, financial literacy can mean learning to save an allowance or money from a gift and identifying wants versus needs. High school students need to learn how to handle paychecks for the first time. As a college student and young adult, living within your means, using credit wisely, and paying student loans are top of mind. Financial literacy then starts to look further ahead, starting and maintaining a 401k, saving for a new car or your first home, and eventually avoiding financial scams that
prey upon our elderly neighbors.
We took April 8-12 of this year to put a spotlight on the importance of financial literacy, but bankers provide these resources year-round in communities across the state. If you’re a teacher who wants a speaker for your class or run a senior center and would like a presentation on living in or near retirement—or anything in between—please reach out to your local banker to ask about setting something up. You can also get in touch with the Tennessee Bankers Association (contact information can be found at www.TNBankers.org). The TBA would be glad to assist you.
Remember, improving your financial literacy skills is a life-long endeavor—and your local banker is here to help.
John Muse, chairman of the Tennessee Bankers Association, is chairman, president and CEO of Farmers State Bank in Mountain City.

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

You’ve got this! Debra asks: Some people like to “stir the pot” and cause trouble. How can I get it across to them it isn’t kind or effective to do this?

Hey Debra, I recognize your dilemma as you can’t change another person and this is often frustrating. However, you can ask them to change. I would suggest instead of telling them how hurtful and unkind their actions are ask them to speak more kindly when you are around.
You might have to prepare yourself ahead of time by having some topics you are willing to talk about, and know the topics you are unwilling to talk about. If they get started on the “pot stirring” kindly tell them you aren’t willing to participate in this type of conversation, and walk off, if you can. Most people who do this, do it by habit. It is likely they’ve been surrounded by others who do this and have taken on this unfortunate way of communication.

You will actually be helping them by asking them to stop, as long standing habits are hard to break for most people. It is also a possibility that no one else has ever asked them to clean up the way they communicate.

Therefore, you might be the one to lead them down a road of better living and certainly better relationships.

Be sure to always be grateful to people you are going to engage at a level of change or healing. You either value your relationship with them, or you are forced to be in relationship with them through family or work commitments. Either way tell them how much you appreciate them and why. Make sure that they know you want to be able to communicate and/or work with them in a more positive way.

Wishing you all the best in this endeavor, Debra.

You’ve got this! Kathleen asks: How can I deal with my constant anxiety?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Kathleen asks: How can I deal with my constant anxiety?

Kathleen. I’m so sorry you haven’t found any relief for the anxiety you are experiencing. Any mental health professional would want to know how long you have been having anxiety; what you’ve done thus far to help yourself; if you have seen a counselor or doctor; are you on any medications for anxiety, if so, what are they and how long have they not been working; and if you know the original source or timeframe in which it started?

Having said that, it makes it bit difficult to specifically guide you. However, I would ask you to visit YouTube and search for Solfeggio Tones (also known as Binaural Tones). These tones come in 9 different hertz, you must take the time to listen to all 9 hertz with earbuds to find the one that creates a relaxing sensation in your body, i.e., your shoulders drop, your stomach softens and you begin to breathe easier.

Make sure you note what hertz it is, as that is the hertz that activates your own Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS), the rest and recover aspect of your nervous system. Listening to this with earbuds twice a day for 20 minutes will help “rewire” your neurotransmitters so the PSNS will kick into action resulting in relaxation and ease. This allows you to respond with a more reasonable and rational approach.

When we have anxiety for extended periods of time our Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) can get “stuck” in on. Resulting in our Fight or Flight system to be in overdrive. When this happens, we filter many incoming situations as a “warning” or even “danger”, much like a traffic light that is constantly on yellow or red.

Of course, Kathleen, this is just one of many tools that can help. If you are not under the care of a counselor or a psychiatrist, I would highly recommend it, mostly because no one doesn’t deserve to live like this. Wishing you all the best.

Please submit questions to [email protected]

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.

You’ve got this! Licensed counselor Tracy Becker answers your questions.

Michael asks: How do I know if someone is depressed?

Great question, Michael, as we often overlook symptoms. Thus, I will go over each clinical symptom of depression for you and our readers.

Moods
Anxiety, irrational fears, apathy, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interests, shame, decrease in fun activities and increase in sadness.

Sleeping issues
Sleep issues are also a major part of depression. Waking early, excessive sleepiness, insomnia in all its forms and restless sleep. i.e., waking tired, napping.

Physical symptoms
Physical symptoms can be excessive hunger or loss of appetite – resulting in weight gain or loss, fatigue, restlessness, unaccounted for aches and pains to include headaches and/or digestion issues triggered by thoughts or feelings, decrease in exercise and/or physical strength. Self-harming activities. Loss of desire to shower, dress and take care of one’s appearance.

Emotional changes
Emotional changes can include agitation, anger, rages, irritable, excessive crying spells and a desire to isolate.

Mental cues
Mental cues are an inability to concentrate, loss of focus, loss of memory, slow to get things done or get motivated and not wanting to wake-up in the mornings. Ruminating on a single thought with a seeming inability to let it go.

Addictions
Addictions, if the person has a history with them will likely increase be it drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc. Addictions come in many forms.

Suicidal thoughts
Suicidal thoughts must be attending to by a professional immediately. In addition, if they have a plan and a means to carry out the plan call the police, an ambulance or to take the person to the nearest emergency room instantly.

The age range for suicides is highest for people between 45-54. A very close second is 85 years old and over. However, do not underestimate the younger community. If you know anyone who is consistently experiencing a combination of these symptoms for 2 weeks or more, it is recommended that you assist them in getting professional help.

Resources
Safe Haven Hotline: 423-727-1914; Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-928-8255 (TALK); Crisis Response: 1-877-928-9062; Crisis Center Bristol: 276-466-5246

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

Can Frogs Adapt To Traffic Noise?

Laura Reinert, left, Louise Rollins-Smith, PhD, and colleagues are studying how frogs adapt to harmful traffic noise. Photo by Anne Rayner

Submitted by Craig Boerner

Frogs don’t like living near noisy highways any better than people do, but research from Vanderbilt suggests that frogs, like hardened city-dwellers, can learn to adapt to the constant din of rumbling trucks, rolling tires and honking horns. And, just like those urbanites who can’t get a good night’s sleep without the sporadic sounds of sirens, some frogs have grown accustomed to the rattle and hum of the highway.
“The broad interpretation is that frogs adapted to noise are better able to cope with noise,” said Vanderbilt professor Louise Rollins-Smith, PhD, who conducted the research in collaboration with Penn State and three other institutions. “It suggests that these populations that are exposed to noise from the time of road building, which is 1940s, 1960s onward, have actually kind of evolved to accept these kinds of noise conditions.”
Published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the study suggests that traffic noise is harmful to frogs, yet frogs can adapt.
To accomplish the study, researchers collected eggs of the wood frog Rana sylvatica from ponds in quiet locations and noisy locations, such as near major highways. Back in the laboratory, the eggs were allowed to hatch and undergo metamorphosis, and then the frogs were split into groups and exposed to a recording of either ambient noise or traffic noise for eight days.
“The main thrust of this,” said Rollins-Smith, “is that the ones from quiet places actually were stressed by the [traffic] noise and the ones that came from noisy places were not so much bothered.”
One of the findings was that traffic noise reduced the ability of frogs originally from quiet ponds to produce the antimicrobial peptide (AMP) brevinin-1SY. AMPs are short proteins which confer protection against a wide range of threats, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. In frogs, AMPs are secreted from specialized glands in the skin. “Most species [of Rana] make quite a number of them, and this [species] makes only one well defined and tested antimicrobial peptide,” said Rollins-Smith, a professor of Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology.
AMPs, like brevinin-1SY, inhibit Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, an aquatic fungal pathogen that is associated with global amphibian declines. The fungal pathogen “enters through
the [frog] skin. And so, this layer of antimicrobial peptides in the mucus of the skin is one of the protective defenses,” Rollins-Smith said.
This finding suggests that traffic noise may contribute to global amphibian declines by reducing the ability of wood frogs to defend against infection.
Traffic noise also impacted frogs’ immune and stress responses. When frogs originally from quiet places were exposed to traffic noise, researchers saw an increase in the number of monocytes, a particular type of white blood cell. But for frogs from noisy places, it was ambient noise that caused an increase in the number of monocytes.
A similar trend was observed for a hormone that becomes elevated in response to stress. Rollins-Smith said, “they were more accustomed to noise, so when it was too quiet, they responded differently.”

The work was supported by The Pennsylvania State University, Sigma Xi, the American Society for Ichthyology and Herpetology, and by the National Science Foundation.

You’ve got this! By Tracy Becker, licensed counselor answers your questions

Jessica asks: I feel unheard and unimportant to my mate. Is there anything I can do about this?

That is so unfortunate, Jessica, when we feel this way about our loved ones. This causes so much stress and strain in a marriage, or any loving relationship.

For this question I am going to quote one of the greatest relationship teachers of our time, Dr John Gottman of The Gottman Institute and University of Washington in Seattle. I promise you, whatever you want to know about good, sound and lasting love you can learn it from him and his team.

Nevertheless, here is a simple format to consider – ATTUNE, sometimes referred to as attunement. Awareness of your partner’s experience and feelings; Tolerance that there are two different and valid viewpoints for negative emotions; Turning Toward one another by recognizing your partner’s needs; Understanding, or attempting as best you can, to understand your partner’s experienced, and their perspectives;

Non-defensive listening means to listening to your partner’s perspective without concentrating on victimizing yourself or reversing the blame; Empathizing by responding to your partner with an understanding, awareness and sensitivity to their experience and needs.

I want to emphasize that all of these aspects of ATTUNE are skills. And, as in most things in life, if you are WILLING to LEARN and PRACTICE NEW SKILLS you can easily change your life and your relationship for the positive.

I would also like to say, Jessica, these are basic needs in developing a long-lasting loving relationship. They are also basic needs of respect, honor, love and communion. I would suggest that you invite your husband to read together some of Dr Gottman’s books, watch the multitude of videos on YouTube, attend one of his seminars together, or find a counselor in your area who has studied with him.

May you both find the love that you want and intended to create.

Please submit questions to [email protected]

You’ve got this! By Tracy Becker, Licensed Counselor

Roseanne Asks: How do I stop myself from having so many negative thoughts?

What a great question, Roseanne. This is something that plagues many people as it is a difficult task. Research says that we have approximately 65-85 thousand thoughts a day, thus making the it nearly impossible to assess what you’re thinking.

Knowing this, one of the best ways to stop the negative thought pattern, and create new thought patterns. There are a multitude of ways to do this, but I would suggest by starting simple by finding ways to relax – through laying down listening to relaxing music, specifically binaural tones (found on YouTube), with your earbuds so that you aren’t disturbed. You can also practice deep breathing exercises, meditation or listening to an inspiring and uplifting lecture.

Get out in nature away from your typical noises. Allow yourself to simply listening to the wind, the trees, water flowing you can clear your mind from the clutter. After a big rain you can go and scoop up a mason jar full of water out of the creek and attempt to look through the jar.

It will be difficult because the water has been stirred up by the rain it will be cloudy. But if you let it sit on the counter for some time the sediment will sink to the bottom and the water will be clear. This is what you want for your mind on a regular basis.

Engage in a hobby. When you put your brain power toward learning something new you get distracted from the things that bug you. We are thinking new thoughts and creating new patterns of thinking and creativity. Creativity and eager learning always soothes the mind.

Recommending reading
The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton; Words Can Change Your Brain by Dr Andrew Newberg

Please submit questions to [email protected]