Monthly Archives: June 2018

Request from Anti-Drug Coalition

Posted on June 26, 2018 7:07 am by Kim Swindell Wood

We have a request for a set of bunk beds for White County foster children. The beds will follow these children wherever they go. Please call Beth Kirby, with the White County Anti-Drug Coalition,  at 931-269-3500 if you have an available set of beds or want to help.


Willard Norris is retiring after 50 years in the grocery business

Posted on June 26, 2018 5:05 am by Rima Austin

The walls were decorated with checkered flags and pictures of vintage jukeboxes. There were mini jukeboxes on the tables, streamers across the ceiling, and a DJ playing music from the 1950s and 1960s, but the most popular attraction was Willard Norris walking around talking to his friends and family who had come out to celebrate his big day.

Norris is a staple in Sparta. If anyone has done any grocery shopping, in Sparta, over the last 50 years, they have most likely seen or talked to Norris. On June 21, 2018, Norris kicked off his retirement with a rock-n-roll drumbeat at Sparta Civic Center.

“I started working at … Read More


Jail escapee, convicted child rapist added to TBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted

Posted on June 25, 2018 3:03 pm by Kim Swindell Wood

Joel Blanton

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a new addition to its ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list: Joel Ernest Blanton.

Blanton (DOB 2-10-81) is wanted by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department and the TBI after escaping from the Van Buren County Jail at approximately 1:00 AM today. On April 17th, Blanton was found guilty of four counts of Rape of a Child and two counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery. He was awaiting a Wednesday sentencing when he escaped this morning.

Blanton is a white man who stands 5’11” and weighs approximately 236 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes, and several tattoos on his face, hands, … Read More


Sobriety Roadside Safety Checkpoint

Posted on June 25, 2018 2:02 pm by Kim Swindell Wood

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting sobriety roadside safety checkpoints starting on 06-24-18 through 06-30-2018 on U.S Hwy 70S in Van Buren County.

Impaired driving is a serious crime that kills more than 16,000 people and injures 305,000 others every year in the United States. Troopers will evaluate drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment. Troopers will target those who operate a vehicle while impaired and take corrective actions for other violations observed while ensuring the protection of all motorists.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol recognizes that sobriety checkpoints are highly visible and effective tools in the battle against impaired driving.


Van Buren Mountain Homecoming

Posted on June 25, 2018 1:01 pm by Kim Swindell Wood


City board says no to shutting down Liberty Square for July 4th event

Posted on June 25, 2018 1:01 pm by Kim Swindell Wood

Jim Ward, candidate for White County executive, addresses the Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen during a June 21 meeting about why his permit was denied for a July 4th celebration on Liberty Square. (Photo by RIMA AUSTIN)

Concerned residents spoke to city officials Thursday in an attempt to garner an answer as to why the Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen denied a permit for a July 4th celebration in downtown Sparta.

Candidate for White County executive, Jim Ward, addressed the board about his desire to close the Sparta square for a Fourth of July celebration. Ward stated that he was addressing the board to get an … Read More


Posted on June 25, 2018 9:09 am by Kim Swindell Wood

Paid for by The Angie Mackie Wilhite for Trustee campaign fund


Gaines John D. Davis

Posted on June 24, 2018 4:04 am by Kim Swindell Wood

Gaines John D. Davis went to be with the Lord, on June 22, 2018, at the age of 71.

Mr. Davis was born Feb. 13, 1947, in Sparta to Odas and Fancie Davis.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Jimmy Davis and Tony Davis.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Ruby Davis; daughters, Donna Davis, Teresa (Ricky) Dean, LeAnn Davis (Josh Simmons); grandchildren, Nick Rittenberry (Katrina Phillips), Logan Dean, Diania Witt, Cody Dean; one great-granddaughter, Avery Rittenberry; sisters, Geneva (Tom) Donelson, Wilma Hensley, Joene (Jim) Whitworth, Janie Stroup (Joe Brasel), Sarah Vance, Henry Davis; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Funeral service … Read More


Sherry M. Baker

Posted on June 24, 2018 4:04 am by Kim Swindell Wood

Sherry M. Baker, 51, of Augusta, Georgia, formerly of Sparta, Tennessee, passed away June 17, 2018.

Ms. Baker was born Feb. 6, 1967, in Dayton, Ohio, to Marita Ann Gross and Arles R. Baker.

She grew up in White County and was a White County High School graduate. For years, Sherry was a dedicated worker of the Richmond County Board of Education, in Georgia, later retiring due to health issues. Regardless of her health, Ms. Baker always kept a smile on her face and love in her heart.

She was proceeded in death by her mother, Marita A. Gross; maternal grandparents, Herbert and Lois Gross; and paternal grandparents, … Read More


Faison Young Whitaker Jr.

Posted on June 24, 2018 4:04 am by Kim Swindell Wood

Faison Young Whitaker Jr., 88, of Cookeville, passed away June 20, 2018, in Sparta.

Born on May 27, 1930, in Durham, North Carolina, to Faison Young Whitaker Sr. and Margaret Louise O’Kelley Whitaker, Whit was a proud member of the Durham High School Class of 1948.

Born with a passion to work and to serve, in 1950, he  volunteered for the United States Air Force during the Korean War. As a radio repair technician, Whit was assigned to Hickam Field, in Honolulu. It was in Hawaii that he was married to his high school sweetheart, Martha Jane Johnson, on Sept. 4, 1952 – a marriage that would go … Read More


Break occurs in main line at Spencer water treatment plant

Posted on June 23, 2018 2:02 pm by Kim Swindell Wood

By Hansel Moore

The City of Spencer responded to a water main break, at approximately 5:30 a.m., June 20, 2018. According to Spencer City Mayor Mickey Robinson, “ A 12-inch main line break occurred at the water treatment plant, and it began to affect the valley area. We on turned the access to the McMinnville water to minimize the impact to the residents.”

Within hours of that initial break being repaired, a construction error severed the line at the Hickory Valley Road area.

“There were actually four breaks all together within a 24-hour period. Two of them were because of the age of the system, and two were … Read More


Lacy’s memory honored with installation of Little Free Library

Posted on June 23, 2018 2:02 pm by Kim Swindell Wood

Avalyn Kaye Lacy, a 32-year-employee of Ben Lomand Connect, who passed away March 15, 2018, was honored, on June 22, 2018, with the dedication of a Little Free Library that has been erected at the front of the office, on Ben Lomand Drive, in Sparta. Present at the dedication were her parents Alvin and Barbara Lacy; her brother, Jeff Lacy; numerous other family members and friends; and Ben Lomand Connect management and staff.

The purpose of a Little Free Library is to inspire a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. More than 60,000 public bookcases are registered with … Read More


Spencer quilter wins awards

Posted on June 23, 2018 1:01 pm by Kim Swindell Wood

Sara Bradshaw, of Spencer, received awards for two of her creations at the 38th Annual Quilt Show, hosted by the Smoky Mountain Quilters of Tennessee, June 15-16, in the Knoxville Expo Center.

The event featured nearly 150 stunning quilts and approximately $6,000 in awards. Next year’s show is scheduled for June 14-15, 2019.

Bradshaw’s quilt, named “Swatch,” was awarded second place in the Modern Quilts category. Her quilt, titled “Ocean,” received an honorable mention in the Large Appliqued and/or Mixed Techniques – Team category.

The Smoky Mountain Quilters of Tennessee meet on the first Tuesday of each month, at Messiah Lutheran Church, at the intersection of PapermillPreviewRead More


TennGreen and partners make gains in Scott’s Gulf

Posted on June 23, 2018 1:01 pm by Kim Swindell Wood

Conservation success in the Mid-Cumberland Corridor of Scott’s Gulf expands public lands for recreation and protects wildlife habitat for future generations

Today the Tennessee Parks & Greenways Foundation, in partnership with Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, announced the perpetual protection of Dry Creek Headwaters—a 582-acre property in the Mid-Cumberland Wilderness Conservation Corridor of Scott’s Gulf.

Acquisition of the tract allows TDEC and TWRA to trade management of the lands between Lost Creek State Natural Area and Virgin Falls State Natural Area, offering a promising location for a hiking trail to connect the two iconic destinations.

“Linking Lost Creek and Virgin Falls has … Read More


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