Oh Tannenbaum

Johnson County 4H Chapter with their submission to the Festival of Trees “Best Tree” contest. Ornaments are from their recycled ornament contest that was used to promote recycling
in our area. Photo by Bethany Anderson


Mountain City resident Jose Marcos, 19, finishing up his creation, (left), thanks to plenty of snow courtesy of the 2018 season’s first major snow storm. As the weather cleared, local residents went to work to display their artistic style and flair of building a snowman, or snowwoman. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

Snow Angels

With schools closed for the day in Mountain City, McKayla Campbell, 8, Emily Houser, 10, Ryleigh Campbell, 3 and Emma Brown 9, are enjoying the season’s first major snow in the region on Monday. The children did not at all mind the major weather event, which ended with more than 12 inches of snow covering the region. Several inches more fell in some parts of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

A Royal Visit

Cheri Doane speaks to seniors about the importance of senior citizens volunteering during her recent visit at the Johnson County Senior Center. Doane is the current Ms. Senior Tennessee United States. Submitted photo.

Big Spud

“Four year old Zeak Timbs, son of Danny & Chassie Timbs, shows off this 2 lb. 10 ounce potato grown by Gerald & Louise Lawrence.” Submitted photo.

Conference champs

Conference Champs

Johnson County Longhorns running back, Nathan Lane (4) is filled with pride while leading his teammates toward a major 35-12 Region One 3A Championship victory against Unicoi County. Lane found the end zone five times during the game helping Johnson County repeat as conference champions in their derailing of the No.10 Blue Devils. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

Imagination Library thanks Chris Mullins

Mullins family

Chris Mullins, owner of Mullins Real Estate and Auction is reading one of this month’s free books to his daughters, Lexi, and Allie. Johnson County Imagination Library would like to thank Mullins, for his participation in the
Hometown Labels program. The program is presently serving 722 pre-K children in Johnson County. Pleasecontact the library at 727-6544 for information on how to sign up for pre-K and to receive a free book each month until age five. Photo Submitted.

Fall is in the air on Main Street

Constance Blankenship

Mountain City Elementary student, Constance Blankenship, 10, of Laurel Bloomery poses with a pumpkin last week after she was enjoying lunch with her mom. The beautiful sunny day was the perfect time to checkout the annual “Scarecrows on Main” displays now going on in downtown Mountain City. Photo by Tamas Mondovics.

Cleaning up

Watauga Lake Cleanup

A young volunteer, Vera Genille, proudly takes part in the 2018 Annual Watauga Lake Clean up. The event organizers would like to thank all 65 volunteers who participated in this year’s event held last month, as parents and grandparents brought their little ones to help the cleanup effort.  The children have learned the valuable lesson of refraining from casually tossing trash out their car windows or leave it behind in a public campsite, while helping to keep Watauga Lake one of the cleanest bodies of water in America.
Photo by Dennis Shekinah

Get your motor runnin’


Mountain City TN resident, John Wayne Jeffries enjoys a photo op, while taking his 1967, Dodge Coronet, 440 for a spin aroundtown. The region boasts of many classic car enthusiasts who make use of local events to show off their prized possessions. Photo By Tamas Mondovics.

First responders on the job

Firemen Laurel Bloomery

Johnson County Emergency Communications director and District 1 Fire Chief, Kevin Colson, left, instructs firefighters as they are entering an Eastridge Lane home last week following a call to dispatch of a structure fire. According to preliminary reports, the fire was electrical that started around the entertainment center in the family room but was quickly attended to by three units from District 1, 2 and Mountain City. Following the initial response, firefighters continued to put out hotspots, mopping up and removing burned and charred materials from the home. Photo By Tamas Mondovics.

Everyone loves a parade

Johnson County senior attendant, Renie Morrow, smiles while she is driven down Main Street during the 2018 Homecoming Parade in Mountain City. The annual parade made its way through town, ending at Paul McEwen Stadium ahead of the JC Longhorns 35-7 football game victory against the West Greene Buffaloes. Please see our complete Homecoming coverage in our “B” section. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

RCE August students of the month

Roan Creek Elementary August Students of the Month Roan Creek elementary students Blake Greene, Vada Clifton, Claira Porter, Kayden Epperly Maria Olmedo, Josie Cox, Lexie Faircloth, proudly present their certificates as the students of the month of August. Not Pictured: Desirea Robinson Aleya Hargett. Photo Submitted.




Doe Elementary leaders of the week

Doe Elementary Leaders of the Week 2018 09 12

A group of Doe Elementary School students smile big for a photo after a chance to be in the spotlight as leaders of the week. This year Doe has implemented “Leader in Me”! that selects
leaders from each homeroom and recognizing them throughout the week. Front row (left to right) – Nicole Leigh, Kaleb Walker, Abagail Garland, Danielle Dugger, Jasmine Katsaitis. Back row (left to right) – Jaycee Bunting, Skyelyn Lawley, Daniel Palmer, Parker Lundy, Ryleigh Perry, Gavin Lunceford, Keiana Wastell, Ian Lewis. Photo Submitted

Afternoon delight

Front Cover Photo Officers

Mountain City Police Sgt. Matt Mullins, left, and Assistant Chief of Police Joey Norris pause for some treats last week in Mountain City. Mullins had a sandwich, while Norris enjoyed a banana split during the afternoon break. Photo By Tamas Mondovics.

Double wedding ring quilt

Earning ‘Best of Show’ a Double Wedding Ring quilt hangs proudly at the 2018 Annual Appalachian Fair held earlier this month in Gray, TN. The quilt was pieced by Virginia McAninch, 90, a member of the Mountain City Senior Quilters last year. The Double Wedding Ring quilt is a traditional quilt design with a rich history of romance and love stories to tell but that continues to inspire quilters today. The interlocking rings are a symbol of the marriage – two people joining together to become one story. Historically made by mothers and grandmothers for their children to be given on their wedding day or anniversaries, and treasured for many years to follow.

MCFD in Action

flaming vehicle

Mountain City firefighter Capt. Johnny Roark works to extinguish a car fire last Saturday afternoon at the Marathon gas station across the Pioneer Village Shopping Plaza on South Shady Street. According to Mountain City police officers that were first on the scene, the vehicle owned by Tommy Johnson, 51, caught on fire while he was repairing the fuel pump. It took a little more than a half hour before a pair of MCFD units, and the assistance of firefighters Mark Arnold and Kenneth Dickens were able to bring the flames under control following the call to dispatch around 5:30 p.m. No injuries were reported. Photo by Tamas Mondovics.

Harvesting fruits and fun with You-Pick farms

By Marlana Ward
Freelance Writer

Autumn is right around the corner and with it cooler temperatures not to mention harvest season. Many are rediscovering the joys of harvesting their fall treats with the help of you-pick farms that bring the fun of the season to families and friends looking to get out and experience the old-time joy of gathering fruits to enjoy together. For some in Johnson County, apple-picking season is a time of traditions and remembrance. Such is especially the case for the Guy family of Mountain City. Bonnie Guy, along with her children Grace, Rosie, and Jaylyn look forward to this time each year.

“Every fall my dad, myself, and my kids go and pick apples to use for apple butter,” Bonnie said. “Together as a family, we make enough apple butter to use for the year and to give as Christmas gifts.”

In the Appalachian Mountains, fall brings the ripening of heirloom variety apples as well as pumpkins of all sizes for decoration and delicious recipes. Not only is there fun to be had at the farms but also in most cases, the drive to the farms offers great views of fall foliage and the chance to leave behind modern-day distractions.

The Internet offers a number of directories featuring nearby farms and what products they have available. The website www.pickyourown.org has a searchable database you can use to find farms in any state. The farms listed on the site give an overview of what items or services they offer, growing methods, hours of operation, and directions to the farm, and contact information. A quick call to the farm is advised to ensure that the listing is still valid and that this year’s crop
allows for the fun farm festivities. Also available online are guides to help you know how to choose the best produce as well as recipes for baking, canning, and other tasty treats. Many of the fruits and vegetables harvested in the fall months are well suited for long-term storage or preservation. For example, apples can be used to produce jam, apple butter, cider, or dehydrated for easy snacking. The National Center for Home Food Preservation website at www.nchfp.uga.edu offers free food preservation guides for download. Other preservation guides and ideas are provided at local county extension offices.

One of the biggest benefits to harvesting your own produce from local farms is the opportunity to taste heirloom variety fruits that most grocery stores do not carry. Apples with names like Carter’s Blue, Crow Egg, Dixie Red Delight, and Virginia Beauty, promise a world of taste outside the rows of ordinary Red Delicious in the mega-mart as well as a link to the past when early settlers began propagating these hearty varieties. Pumpkin farms are another popular destination for those seeking autumn activities. Some nearby pumpkin farms offer hayrides, corn mazes, picnic areas, and fresh baked goods to enjoy while you visit. The site www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org is a great way to find local fall festivities to enjoy on an area farm.

Whether your family wants to browse the branches of an apple orchard featuring heirloom apple varieties or search the field for the biggest pumpkin in the patch, you-pick farms are an excellent choice for family fun and lasting memories.

“My dad and I began our yearly apple butter tradition some 15 years ago after my mom passed,” Bonnie added. “It was a way to keep her with us one spoon of apple butter at a time.”