Courtney Stout is cheering for all the right reasons

Courtney and Connor Stout

Courtney and Connor Stout

By Tim Chambers

Cheering comes natural for one Johnson County senior and Saturday was the perfect example. Courtney Stout was in the stands pulling for her younger brother, Connor, in addition to being the Marlins’ bookkeeper. Her cheering will continue in the fall when football season rolls around.
Stout is a key member on the Johnson County High School cheerleading squad and is looking forward to her final season.  She and the other 14 members are getting ready for their first camp during the month of July.
“We have a camp that comes around the last week of July,” said Stout. “Our coaches have professional cheerleaders come in and work with us. They teach us stunts, cheers and dances. I’m looking forward to this.”
Stout and her squad got the opportunity to cheer at a Vanderbilt football game last fall. They’ll make a return trip to Nashville this year but in a much bigger environment.
“We’ve been invited to cheer at a Tennessee Titans game,” said Stout. “It’s something we all look forward to because it’s an honor. I loved our trip to Nashville last year and I can’t wait to go back. Last year we went to the zoo as our fun thing. This year I think we’ll do the Andrew Jackson tour.”
Stout smiled when asked which sports she loved to cheer for most.
“I love cheering at the football and basketball games because I don’t have a preference. Basketball is more upbeat and you really get into it. Football is fun because the crowds are large and the fans can get loud.”
Stout spoke about her goals in a sport where they don’t keep score unless you’re in competition.
“I think we need to continue being one of the loudest squads in our conference. A loud crowd helps get our teams motivated and ready to play. We can make a difference too and be part of the game. It’s all about having pride and school spirit.”
Stout is the daughter of Bobby and Robin Stout. She plans to attend college after graduation. But for the next two weeks her job will be a simple one.
“I’m going to be at all of Connor’s games,” added Stout. “I’ll always be cheering for him to do well.”

Atwood to take Athletic Director position for Johnson County Schools

Austin Atwood

Austin Atwood

By Tim Chambers

Johnson County didn’t have to look very far to find its third athletic director in three years. Austin Atwood will fill that role replacing Dr. Stephen Long, a supervisor at the central office.
Atwood who also serves as head boys’ basketball coach will remain in that position but will relinquish his role as head golf coach. Matt Bray will fill those duties after serving for seven seasons as junior high head football coach. Devin Shaw will take over for him and will be assisted by head baseball coach Pete Pavusek.
Atwood embraces his new role on the hill. It’s something he has envisioned doing.
“I’ve always been interested in the AD role,” said Atwood. “I think it will work out with me being a coach because you know what everyone expects. Jim Crowder was a former coach and he got AD of the year statewide a couple of times. Stephen did a fantastic job as AD and has everything in great shape. I’m just hoping to do as good a job as he did, plus try and improve on some things. I hope to take some stress off our head coaches. We’ll all work together to try and make this work.”
Long was over the testing ing at building a youth football field possibly in the future. That would help with practices in addition to revenue and other things. Charlie Jennings took over the youth football league and he’s been great to work with. Our goal is to make everyone happy. We can do that with the right kind of facility.”
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.

It’s A Woman’s World

Bellamy & Bikes

Flo Bellamy was named Volunteer of the Year by the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce for 2016. See a feature about Bellamy and some of the volunteer work she provides for our county. The Tomahawk is on sale in newsstands now.

The Tomahawk celebrates women and the important role they play in our lives personally and
professionally. Pick up a Tomahawk today and enjoy the features throughout this week’s paper!

Town of Mountain City denies winery’s request for signs in town

By Bonnie Guy

The June session of the Town of Mountain City Council Meeting came to order on Tuesday, June 7th with Mayor Keeble, Vice Mayor Crosswhite, and all aldermen in attendance. There were no scheduled community presentations, however, Mayor Keeble did alter the agenda by moving the discussion of Watauga Lake Winery’s request to place signs within the town limits at the head of the agenda.
Keeble explained the city must deny the request within the city limits due to an existing city ordinance prohibiting off premises signs. Signs are not allowed except directly on the business property. Linda Gay of Watauga Lake Winery informed the council that the wine trail and designation as an American Viticulture area similar to the Napa Valley Area in California will be a tourism booster for both the city and county. Many wine enthusiasts travel to these unique wineries thus increasing tourism revenue. According to Gay, if the issue isn’t reconsidered, then Mountain City would be the only town along the wine trail without proper signage directing visitors and supporting the trail.
Following this issue, the original agenda was continued with approval of the consent calendar and questions and concerns from the council members. Vice Mayor Bud Crosswhite brought forward a request from Melissa Gentry regarding her dog rescue. Currently when Gentry takes in a dog from the city and places it for adoption through North Shore Shelter she must pay the full $50 adoption fee to the city although she is simply assisting with placing the animals. Gary Phillips informed the aldermen that there is a statute in Tennessee stating that city and county shelters must charge a re-homing fee to anyone receiving an animal from the shelter. This is mandatory with no way around charging this fee. The fee, which is basically a deposit toward the spay and neuter program, is a state requirement. The $50 fee is a hardship for Gentry’s rescue, which is nonprofit and strictly operates through donations. After asking several questions about the statute, Alderman Morrison made a motion to reduce the fee to $25 for any reputable, nonprofit shelter whose sole goal is to aid in the adoption of these animals. This would meet the state requirements while giving some relief to Gentry’s rescue. The motion was approved unanimously.
Next following questions from Alderman Jordan about the status of the lot the city has for sale in town, a motion was made to place the property with a realtor. The sale price will be set at $60K. This motion quickly passed with an all yes.
Morrison stated he wanted to first and foremost say thank you to the city workers and the city police department for jobs well done over the Memorial Day weekend. Morrison had received very positive feedback regarding how helpful a city officer was to the riders participating in a Memorial Day charity ride through our area. Thanks to all the city employees’ efforts, the Memorial Day celebration was very successful.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.

Johnson County School Board honors service of late Bill Gambill at June meeting

Brenda Gambill 6-15-2016

Johnson County School Board Chairman Kevin Long presents a plaque to Brenda Gambill in memory of her late husband, long time board member Bill Gambill.

By Bonnie Guy

June’s Johnson County School Board Meeting came into session with the visible absence of beloved member Bill Gambill. His nameplate and flowers occupied his place at the board’s table. Gambill was first elected to the Johnson County School Board in August 1994. He faithfully served for some 22 years until his recent passing. The board, including Chairman Kevin Long and Director of Schools Dr. Michelle Simcox presented Brenda Gambill with a plaque honoring her late husband’s service to the board and the county. Also in attendance were several generations of Gambill’s family. Perhaps one of the greatest testaments to “Mr. Bill’s” legacy was when his young grandson stood and participated in the pledge of allegiance in a strong, clear voice.
Next on the agenda was the recognition of nine retirees. These included: Diane Bauguess, who retired after teaching at both Laurel and Doe elementary for the last 22 years; Kathy Greever with 23 years of service teaching eighth grade English, high school English and adult education; Kim Kittle, beloved by 35 years of students at Johnson County High School; Charles Lentz, a former Mountain City Elementary music teacher and principal at Laurel elementary, and Diane Pennington, A third grade teacher at Mountain City Elementary with 28 years of service and Janet Reece with 39 years as kindergarten teacher at Mountain City Elementary.  Also honored were Linda Davis, custodian at Johnson County High; James Forester with the maintenance department, and Nancy Forrester, a Shady Valley bus driver for the past 35 years. Simcox thanked them all for their years of service and dedication and presented service plaques to each.  She also pointed out to the board that with these nine retirees they would be losing 247 years of service and experience.
William Sutherland was up next to deliver his final report as student school board representative. Sutherland congratulated Chase McGlamery for being selected as the upcoming junior student board member as well as Marley Eggers, who will be this year’s student board representative. According to Sutherland, both were outstanding students who had unlimited potential. He went on to say that he wanted to express his sincere gratitude to each of the board members. “Serving as the student board member has been a great experience and opportunity” said Sutherland. Simcox and the board presented Sutherland will a service plaque for his efforts as student board representative. Simcox recommended educator Laura Beard from Doe elementary for tenure. After hearing a glowing report from Simcox about Beard, the board unanimously voted for granting tenure.
For the rest of the article, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.

Johnson County receives $7,571 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in county

Johnson County has been awarded federal funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.
Johnson County has been chosen to receive a $7,571 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.
The selection was made by a National Board that is chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; the Jewish Federations of North America; the Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The local board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.
A local board made up of local representatives will determine how the funds awarded to Johnson County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.
Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must 1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive federal funds,  3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.
Public or private agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds must  submit a written application that includes the amount of EFSP funding requested by program area (food, rent, utilities, etc.) to  Local EFSP Board, PO Box 46, Kingsport, TN 37662. The deadline for applications to be received is June 24, 2016.

House Republicans move full steam ahead with pro-military, pro-veteran legislation package

Timothy Hill - 3rd District

Timothy Hill – 3rd District

By Rep. Timothy Hill

This year, House Republicans moved full steam ahead with multiple pieces of legislation designed to help military members and their families from across the state.
One of those bills will allow the five soldiers killed in the Chattanooga terrorist attack that occurred in July of last year to be eligible for the ‘Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal.’ Currently, the medal is awarded to honor residents of Tennessee killed while serving on active duty or engaged in military support operations involving a conflict with an opposing foreign force.
As passed, this new legislation expands on this criteria to also allow the honor to be bestowed on those military men and women killed on Tennessee soil during an attack specifically targeting service members.
The medal is awarded solely by the Governor or the Governor’s designee to the immediate survivor of the recipient.
A second piece of legislation, the National Guard Force Protection Act, enhances protection at Tennessee National Guard facilities and military installations. The bill follows hearings regarding the safety of military installations by the state’s top leaders.
To fund the bill, the 2016-2017 budget includes $1.6 million for emergency phone systems, window film, magnetic locks, security camera systems, privacy screens, and bollards to protect soldiers at state military installations.
Additionally, legislation passed the full House this year that will strengthen and make the Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) program available to private, non-profit institutions of higher education throughout the state.
Passed in 2014, the highly successful VETS program encourages colleges and universities to prioritize outreach to veterans and successfully deliver the services necessary to create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education. Currently, there are 13 public institutions that claim VETS Campus Certification. The certification recognizes and promotes schools that make veteran enrollment a priority. Higher education institutions that satisfy veteran-friendly criteria, such as specialized orientation and the availability of mentoring programs, can receive the designation.
Also on the veteran front this year was House Bill 1491, which will make it easier for veterans across the state to obtain a handgun carry permit. Under the legislation, a carry permit applicant would not be required to comply with the mandatory classroom and firing range hours if the applicant is an active, honorably discharged or retired veteran of the Unites States Armed Forces. The person would have to present a certified copy of their certificate of release or discharge from active duty, a Department of Defense form 214 (DD 214), that documents a date of discharge or retirement that is within five years from the date of application for the permit. The legislation aims to eliminate an unnecessary burden on the state’s veterans in the permitting process.
Legislation to help support Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) counseling for combat veterans and their families also received approval this year. As passed, the bill creates a specialty license plate which can be customized with a sticker to represent the veteran’s specific military branch with proceeds going to support these services.
Tennessee requires new specialty earmarked license plates to be subject to a minimum order of at least 1,000 plates prior to initial issuance. Any plate that does not meet the minimum order requirement within one year after passage of the authorizing act becomes invalid.
Under the bill, the money raised from these license plates is to be used exclusively in Tennessee to provide resources and support to veterans, service members, and their families, being equally allocated to Centerstone Military Services and SAFE: Soldiers and Families Embraced.

Lawmakers, Farmers Celebrate Annual ‘
Ag Day On The Hill’ Event
House lawmakers joined with farmers and agriculture groups from across the state in March to celebrate Tennessee’s annual ‘Ag Day on the Hill’ event at the Legislative Plaza in Nashville. Governor Bill Haslam has also proclaimed the date ‘Agriculture Day’ as part of the annual national observance to recognize the important contributions of farmers and forestland owners provide to the state and nation.
This year, ‘Ag Day on the Hill’ activities included farm animals — horses, cows, goats, sheep, piglets, and chicks — and a variety of farming equipment on display at the entrance to the Legislative Plaza in Nashville. Representatives from agricultural organizations and agencies were also available to discuss programs and opportunities for those interested in farming and forestry in Tennessee.
In addition, a corn shucking and shelling contest between House and Senate lawmakers took place, with House Speaker Beth Harwell leading the House to a blowout victory over their Senate counterparts. Following the contest, the Farm & Forest Families of Tennessee organization presented a check to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee in honor of contest participants.
The day’s events also included a sweet potato bagging project to benefit the Society of St. Andrew and a silent auction benefiting Second Harvest and the Ag in the Classroom program.
Tennessee has more than 67,000 farms representing 10.9 million acres in production. More than half of the state, 14 million acres, is in mostly privately owned hardwood forests. Tennessee’s top agricultural commodities include cattle, soybeans, corn, poultry, cotton, timber, greenhouse and nursery products, dairy products, wheat, tobacco, and hay. The industry has a $75 billion a year impact on the state’s economy and supports nearly 350,000 jobs.

House Legislation To Ensure Transparency
And Accountability Garners House Approval
Legislation to help ensure transparency and accountability in state government regarding contracts received unanimous approval this year on the House Floor.
As passed, the legislation requires vendors that are contracting with the state to notify state officials if the vendor’s business is being investigated by a law enforcement agency. These notifications will be submitted to the Chief Procurement Officer in the Office of General Services. Additionally, if a business fails to properly report any investigations, the Chief Procurement Officer can assess fines in excess of $10,000.
Supporters agree this legislation will add even more transparency to state government, a policy of great importance to House Republicans. By requiring notification from vendors, upon the occurrence of any investigation brought against that business, the state can better protect the investment of Tennessee taxpayer dollars.
Additional information regarding this legislation can be found on the General Assembly website at

Focus On College And University Success Act Passes House With Bipartisan Support
Legislation will aid state in meeting Drive to 55 challenge
Education moved front and center this year as the Focus on College and University Success (FOCUS) Act passed on the full House floor with bipartisan support.
As passed, the legislation better aligns the state’s colleges and universities to meet the Drive to 55 challenge: the goal of getting 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025 to meet the demands of the 21st Century job market.
The FOCUS Act places Tennessee on a direct path to meeting the Drive to 55 by providing a sharpened focus on the governance of community colleges and colleges of applied technology, while also granting four-year state universities additional autonomy to make local decisions.
Currently, the Tennessee Board of Regents oversees 46 institutions — six public state universities, 13 community colleges, and 27 colleges of applied technology. The University of Tennessee system oversees three public state universities as well as three institutes and a health science center.
Because of new initiatives put into place through the Drive to 55 program — such as the Tennessee Promise — there has been a shift in the higher education landscape that raises questions as to whether the existing higher education structure, established in 1972, is organized appropriately for today’s needs. Last fall alone, Tennessee saw a 10 percent increase in overall first-time freshman enrollment at Tennessee universities and a nearly 25 percent increase in first-time freshman enrollment at state community colleges. With 46 institutions under its belt to look after, proponents agree it is difficult for the Board of Regents to meet all of the diverse challenges of today’s educational system.
With the FOCUS Act, the massive 46 institution conglomerate under the Board of Regents will be shifted and given their own local governing boards, allowing community colleges the ability to focus at a system level, while giving the state’s four-year universities the benefit of greater overall autonomy and decision-making.

Jai Templeton Named New Tennessee Commissioner Of Agriculture
Sixth generation farmer, current deputy commissioner to lead department
Governor Bill Haslam announced in late March the appointment of Jai Templeton, a sixth generation Tennessee farmer, as commissioner of the Department of Agriculture effective May 1. Templeton will replace Julius Johnson who announced his retirement earlier in the year.
Templeton, 44, currently serves as the department’s deputy commissioner, leading the day-to-day operations and directing programs and services that range from food safety to animal and plant health to agricultural development.
Prior to joining the department in 2011, Templeton served as mayor of McNairy County. He and his family have farmed in McNairy and Hardin counties for decades, producing grain, cotton, hay, timber, and cattle.
From 1995 to 2003, Templeton served as field representative for former U.S. Representative Ed Bryant. He is a former McNairy County commissioner and former president of the McNairy County Chamber of Commerce, where he helped form the McNairy County Regional Alliance to focus on economic development in the area.
A native of McNairy County, Templeton has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Union University in Jackson. He is also a graduate of the University of Tennessee Certified Public Administrator program.

Legislation Strengthening Asset Forfeiture Laws,
Further Protecting Tennesseans Receives Unanimous Support
This year, the House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation that strengthens state asset forfeiture laws and further protects Tennesseans from unfair seizures of property.
As passed, House Bill 1772 prohibits a general sessions judge from authorizing a magistrate or judicial commissioner that is not licensed to practice law in Tennessee from issuing a civil forfeiture warrant. The legislation requires all appointed magistrates to either be licensed attorneys or judges to help prevent unwarranted seizing of assets.
Civil forfeiture is a legal process in which assets are taken from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. A magistrate, once authorized by a judge, can issue a warrant if they deem probable cause exists.
Over the years, this practice has caused concern and raised questions as to whether forfeiture warrants issued by those magistrates who are not licensed attorneys or judges have the necessary qualifications under Tennessee law to make such forfeiture determinations.
Proponents of the legislation agree the bill is a strong step forward in strengthening asset forfeitures laws and working to further protect the people of Tennessee from unfair seizures

Heritage Hall news from Mountain City

Heritage Hall news from Mountain City

Saturday, June 25 at 7pm, Katie Deal of Barter fame will be presenting Today, Tomorrow & Forever, a Tribute to Patsy Cline, sponsored by Johnson County Bank, Maymead, Inc., and Vistas Land & Sea Restaurant. Having sold out two national tours of “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline,” Katie takes the stage with her own story of how the music and style of Patsy Cline have changed her life forever. Katie’s one-woman show features a live band, tight harmonies and a powerhouse singer. In this tribute, you’ll learn a little bit about Katie, a little bit about Ms. Patsy, and a lot about why Patsy’s music is loved by so many. While there will only ever be one Patsy Cline, Katie Deal sure does play a mean second fiddle. Tickets just $20 Adv and $23 at Door, $10 Youth. Saturday, July 9, 7pm, The Malpass Brothers in concert, sponsored by Mountain View Nursery & Landscaping, Amedysis Home Health Care, & Hux-Lipford Funeral Home. traditional country music is the ‘real deal’ – every song portrays life’s joys, heartaches, problems and happiness. It comes from the heart, and has depth and truth. Our goal is to see this music be revived. Being able to introduce what we love to another generation feels like a great accomplishment for us. We want this music to be around for our children’s children…” This group has a great sound very reminiscent of the Jerry Lee Lewis style. Tickets, adv $15/$18 Door, all youth $10. Heritage Hall is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the Area with quality entertainment at affordable pricing. Most evening shows start at 7pm; most tickets are $10 advance and $12 at door, and most youth seats are $5. For tickets, or reservations, call 423-727-7444 and leave a message. The Box Office is open on Tuesday – Friday, 12 – 2 pm at 126 College Street, For more information visit

Hikers Club heading to Jones and Elk Falls in NC

Hikers Club heading to Jones and Elk Falls in NC

The Johnson County Hikers Club is open to everyone. You do not have to be highly experienced though the ability to hike the length of the trail is essential. Beginners and supervised children are welcome. We will meet in the parking lot of the Food Lion on the Hwy. 421 at 8:45 and leave at 9:00 sharp unless otherwise stated. We carpool from there to the hike sites. If you can’t meet us at Food Lion, we will be happy to look for you at the Trailhead. Bring a walking stick, lunch, plenty of water and sunscreen and a hat often comes in handy. All hikes are on Saturday unless otherwise stated. Because of weather conditions or unexpected events we may need to substitute our stated destination for something more fitting that day. If you have questions call Carol at 727-5947 or check us on Facebook. June 25 – Today we will head just over the North Carolina line to hike Jones and Elk Falls, so we will need to leave at 8:30. The total distance is just over five miles and about 1/3 of that will be uphill. This trail might be better done in long pants rather than shorts since we walk through a field early on. If two waterfalls are not enough to tempt you, we will be passing the lovely Davis sisters fruit stand on the way home. Yum…

Lundberg to speak at Republican Women’s meeting

Lundberg to speak at Republican Women’s meeting

Republican Women to meet Thurs. June 16th at 12:30 at the Tributary Restaurant on Main Street . Our guest speaker is Jon Lundberg :Candidate for Ron Ramseys open senate seat.. The public is invited and Mr. Lundberg will answer as many questions as time permits. Bring a friend.

Water + Me water aerobics classes

Water + Me water aerobics classes

Water + Me is a unique opportunity to get physically active during the summer months. Sarah Ransom of the UT/TSU Extension Johnson County Office, is excited to offer summer water aerobics classes. Water aerobics allow for a full-body workout without exhausting your body. Benefits can include stronger muscles, improve balance, weight management and increased mobility. Classes are open to all individuals. Chair access is available and a life guard is on duty during classes. One participant told us that “Before coming into class, my knee hurt to move, and I couldn’t walk right. But after this, I didn’t even notice it at first, but I wasn’t having to walk stiffly”. Water + Me classes will be offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 am until 11:00 am at the Cunningham Park Pool (beside the community center). Cost is $2.00 per class attended.

If you have any questions or would like to join us, please call Sarah Ransom at (423)-727-8161 or e-mail at sransom@utk. edu. We look forward to having you join us this summer!

Canning 101 classes this summer

Canning 101 classes this summer

Canning 101 is a hands-on class that teaches participants how to safely preserve foods. The UT/TSU Extension Johnson County Office will be teaching water bath and pressure canning safety this summer. Participants attending the classes will receive a book on canning, lots of experience and canned goods to take home with them. Class registration cost is $50 for a class. The two-day class option is Tuesday and Wednesday, June 14th and 15th from 2:30-5:00pm. The one-day class option is Saturday, July 2nd from 10:00-3:30 pm. In class, Sarah Ransom, Family and Consumer Science Agent, will be teaching participants how to can jams, pickles, tomatoes and beans. If you’d like to register for the class or get more information please call at (423)-727-8161 or e-mail at

Walnut Grove Baptist Church to hold monthly VBS day

Walnut Grove Baptist Church to hold monthly VBS day

Walnut Grove Baptist Church, on Falls Branch Road will be having our monthly VBS day on Saturday, June 17th, from 10am till 1pm. Everyone is invited, we will have something for everyone, including Moms and Dads. We will be serving pizza for lunch this time and leave at 1pm. Moms and Dads be sure to come back in time to have lunch with us, if you don’t stay and join the fun. If you need a ride you can call 727-9612, leave a message and we will call you back. We had a great time last month and looking forward to seeing YOU on the 17th.


Shady Valley Baptist Church Youth to hold annual yard sale

Shady Valley Baptist Church Youth to hold annual yard sale

Shady Valley Baptist Church Youth will be having their annual Yard Sale. This is everything must go, all you can stuff in a bag for a dollar, if it doesn’t fit in a bag make an offer!! All proceeds will go to fund faith based activities, supplies and small mission projects. Come out and join us Friday June 17th and Saturday June 18th 8:00am-2:-00pm! See you there!!

Patriotic pancake breakfast

The Shady Valley Ruritan Club will be hosting a patriotic pancake breakfast on Monday, July 4 from 8:00 until 11:00 AM. This event will be held at the Ruritan Picnic Shelter, located at the Shady Valley Elementary School. Strawberries, Pancakes, Blueberries with sausage or bacon, coffee or orange juice will be served. Cost is $6 per person. Proceeds to support scholarships for Shady Valley 2016-2017 graduating seniors from Johnson County High School. This year, nine graduating seniors received scholarship funds to further their post-secondary school education.

Red Cross, Nexcare Bandages and supermodel Niki Taylor urge blood donation in honor of World Blood Donor Day

The American Red Cross is partnering with Nexcare Bandages and supermodel Niki Taylor to urge eligible blood and platelet donors to give this June in honor of World Blood Donor Day on June 14.

“I am proud to team up with the NexcareGive Program each year, with the mission of sparking a critical dialogue around the vital need for blood donation,” said supermodel and Nexcare Give spokesperson, Niki Taylor. “For me, the cause is also a personal one. Following a car accident 15 years ago that left me in critical condition, the efforts of the American Red Cross and their brave donors saved my life. In honor of World Blood Donor Day, I am sharing my story and encouraging people around the world to support blood donation, inspiring their friends and families to join the cause.”

This is the eighth year that the Red Cross and Nexcare Bandages have partnered for the Nexcare Give program. To honor those who “give” around the world, Nexcare Bandages has developed a limited-edition collection of bandages with the theme “Feel the Beat, Give Blood,” featuring five vibrant dance-inspired designs reflecting different styles and cultures from around the globe. The limited-edition bandages will be available to those who come out to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross now through World Blood Donor Day on June 14.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a lifesaving blood transfusion. The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood donations every day to meet the needs of patients at 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

Donors of all blood types are currently needed. For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities, June 10 to 30:

American Red Cross Johnson City Blood Donation Center, 818 Sunset Drive, #100
Tuesday, 2:30 to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; third Saturday of the month, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Mountain City 6/21/2016: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Northeast Correctional Complex, Highway 67 East


Johnson City 6/15/2016: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., QEP, 2225 Eddie Williams Road

How to donate blood

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit and follow the instructions on the site.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Zoning in on landscaping your place

Yards to Paradise by Max Phelps

Many folks begin landscaping by shopping. Others by hiring someone. Some can afford to spend ten percent of the value of the home, while others can just make the payments with little budget for the landscape. I’ve always liked the old concept of “killing two birds with one stone”, and would suggest it in landscaping. I’d like to explain ways of doing that, and also making a plan, and picking a ‘zone’ for getting started with landscaping your place.

Let’s begin with a plan. Decide on what you’d like, make a ‘wish list’ to help. It may be a 5 year plan or a 25 year plan—just put things you would eventually like to have or see in your landscape down on paper. For most of us, we can only complete a portion now. Perhaps we can break the master plan into what’s most important, or into sections I’ll call ‘zones’ and pick one or two and get started.

A list is good. A simple drawing is better. On a drawing (and it can be a simple little drawing on a piece of graph paper or copy paper) try to sketch in the house, the driveway, walks, etc. Also big trees, patios, outbuildings, and so on. How about a garden spot? Or, maybe you would like the practice of permaculture—a permanent planting that needs little care and produces food or other products besides just serving as landscaping or woods.

Multi-purpose or multi-use landscaping elements could include some of the following. Let’s say you need a tree for shade. Could it also have pretty blossoms or maybe bear fruit you could eat (or at least that would be a treat for the birds)? If a hedge along a property line is desired, could it be planted with edible plants or fruit-bearing plants? Or, possibly, for security, could it be composed of closely planted thorny plants?

Rather than a traditional foundational planting, could you use berry bushes instead of boxwoods and taxus? Certainly you can. And it might surprise many to know that there are edible landscaping plants that will look as good as more traditional landscape shrubs.

Frequently when a new owner begins with a new home, he wants to begin making it look pleasing and lived-in, but the landscaper he calls comes up with a fanciful plan that is not do-able with the financial limits the new homeowner must live with.

To the extent possible, the size of plants can be shrunk, and perhaps a cheaper mulch can be used than one might prefer. However, often the problem is much worse. If you need retaining walls, shade trees, a patio, a work shed, a fence or hedge, a paved drive, storm cellar, garden beds—simply trying to use cheaper materials may not be the solution. Even doing it yourself rather than paying someone else may not be the solution.

Picking a zone to begin this year, many a large and lovely landscape can be put in place within just a few years. Whether starting with drive and patio, with shade trees or with foundation plants, with a fence or a hedge, with perfect lawn including sprinklers, with a terrace or a playset for the kids, a well-thought-out decision on where to zone in and begin can get you on the road to the paradise you dream your place can be.

The author, Max Phelps, is a landscaper. Email: or visit

Miller, Bellamy, Jones, Bauguess and Cress honored at Johnson County Chamber annual awards dinner

Friday night at Red Tail Golf Course was spent celebrating the accomplishments and good work done by local leaders and citizens in Johnson County. The Johnson County Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet was filled with food, friends, and fellowship. This night is special because it honors the men and women in the community who strive to be positive influences in their personal and professional lives.
The evening began with a welcome and introductions of special guests, which included Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, U.S. House Rep. Dr. Phil Roe, State Representatives Timothy Hill, Jon Lunberg, and former State Representative Tony Shipley. Lunberg and Shipley are currently running for state senate.
Once introductions were made, prayer was led by Pastor Ron Drake and the meal began. Dinner was prepared by Red Tail’s culinary team, which is led by head chef, Craig Cox. Those in attendance were able to feast on a prime rib, chicken breast, roasted rainbow carrots and tri-colored potatoes, brocolini, salad, and dessert.
After dinner, Celeste Dunn honored those who had completed the year-long Leadership Program. These students and adults are sponsored by local businesses and organizations in order to prepare and motivate “community-minded leaders through education and training.” This year, nine people were able to participate in the program. Members of Leadership were able to experience many exciting opportunities in the past year.
“I enjoyed going to Nashville, it was pretty eye opening,” said Justin Hamilton. Elizabeth Stout enjoyed the time they spent at the Mountain City Care and Rehab Center. “I really enjoyed seeing the century room and appreciate the thoughtfulness of the staff to create that room to help residents.”
Bud Crosswhite, Chris Reece, Isabella Dunn, Chance McQueen, Jaime Jennings, Justin Hamilton, Dylan Nichols, Elizabeth Stout, and Sally Tugman all received certificates for their work in the program.
Next honored was Minnie Miller, who received the Mack Wright Citizenship of the Year Award. Miller has dedicated her life to education. Miller spent many years as a classroom teacher and then moved up through the administrative ladder. After her years of teaching she became the first woman in Johnson County to hold the position of Director of Curriculum, Assistant Superintendent, and Director of Schools. During Miller’s time in the Johnson County School System, she assisted the school board to improve school buildings without a tax increase, helped to start the GED program in the jail, and helped to increase test scores. Even though Miller retired in 2006, she remains active as a member on several boards in the community, is a member of The Positive Thinkers and the Eastern Star, and continues to teach in her Sunday school class at First Baptist.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of  this week’s Tomahawk.