Dr. William Gene “Doc” McConnell

Posted by | May 16, 2019 4:16 pm

Dr. William Gene “Doc” McConnell,  95, formerly of Sparta, passed away March 12, 2019, in Crossville.

Dr. McConnell was born Oct. 17, 1923, in Council Grove, Kansas, to Charles Martin McConnell and Aida Whitely McConnell.

He was their first of two sons. He was a fighter pilot instructor in the U.S. Navy, in World War II.  He practiced and was the owner of White County Veterinary Clinic for over 30 years.

He loved to spend time with friends and family over good food and telling tales of his youth, his Navy days, and memorable veterinary calls.  He spent countless hours playing bridge and other card games. Most of … Read More


James Herbert Simmons

Posted by | May 16, 2019 4:08 pm

Master Sgt. James Herbert Simmons, 88, passed away May 15, 2019, at Life Care Center of Sparta.

Master Sgt. Simmons was born June 7, 1931, in Van Buren County, to Dennie Thurman Simmons and Irene Hollingsworth Simmons.

He was raised by his grandparents after his mother died when he was 2 months old. Master Sgt. Simmons retired from the U.S. Air Force after proudly serving his country during his 20-year career with the military. He taught woodworking for 17 years at the Vocational School for White County and was a member of the Holly Springs Church of Christ, in Livingston. He is best remembered as a soft-spoken, good … Read More


Verla Virginia Young Knowles

Posted by | May 16, 2019 3:58 pm

Verla Virginia Young Knowles, 92, of Sparta, passed away May 14, 2019, at NHC Healthcare of Sparta.

Mrs. Knowles was born March 2, 1927, to George and Alma Lee Young.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Frank Knowles; daughter, Carlee; granddaughter, Julia; and sisters, Marlene Dodson, Reta Young, and Martha York.

Survivors include her daughters, Gail (Johnny) Judd, Christy (Jason) Bradley; grandchildren, Micheal (Wendy), Wesley (Erin), Olivia, Roy, Robert (Willene), Micheal (Vickie); sisters, Marie Fields, Mildred Scott, both of Kentucky; brother, Bobby (Nona) Young, of Sparta; eight great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; special cousins, J.B. and Marie Rittenberry; and special friend, Bubba … Read More


Elizabeth Joyce Neal

Posted by | May 16, 2019 3:51 pm

Elizabeth Joyce Neal, 69, of Mitchell, South Dakota, formerly of Sparta, passed away May 13, 2019, at Avera Brady Health and Rehab, in Mitchell.

Mrs. Neal was born Sept. 6, 1949, in Sparta, to Charles Akins and Josephine Hale Akins.

She graduated from White County High School. She married Curtis Neal, on Nov. 23, 1968, in Sparta. The couple moved to West Memphis, Arkansas, and lived in many places. After Curtis passed away, Mrs. Neal moved to South Dakota to be close to her grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband and three brothers, Charles, Ed, and Rob.

She is survived by her daughters, Joy (Steve) … Read More


Gina Nicole Allen

Posted by | May 16, 2019 3:28 pm

Gina Nicole Allen, 34, of Sparta, passed away May 15, 2019, as a result of an automobile accident.

Ms. Allen was born June 16, 1984, in Cookeville, to James Steven Allen and Penny Kay Ashworth Allen.

She was a manager at Jimmy John’s restaurant, in Cookeville. Ms. Allen was an amazing mother to her four children that she adored. She had a vibrant personality, caring spirit, and was very artistic and crafty.

Ms. Allen was preceded in death by her grandfather, Richard Ashworth; grandmother, Mildred Ashworth; and grandfather, Gary Brooks.

Survivors include her beloved children, Chelsea Dillard, Tailor Cox, Kylie Cox, Logan Cox; mother, Penny Allen; father, Steve … Read More


Will Cheek earns first team All District award

Posted by | May 16, 2019 3:20 pm

White County High School soccer players earned All District awards, on May 13. Cheek, a junior, was the leading scorer for the Warriors this soccer season. He was named first team All District by the district coaches. Earning honors and being named to the All District second team were Isaac Miller and Tyler Seals.


Sparta Head Start celebration

Posted by | May 16, 2019 3:11 pm

LBJ&C Sparta Head Start celebrated their last day of preschool with a fun music program for the families. Sparta Drive-In hosted the event this year.


Global persecution of Christians on the rise

Posted by | May 16, 2019 3:08 pm

Language of Liberty – By Tony Perkins

To a lot of us in the first world, the idea of Christian persecution seems far-off and unreal. Most of us go about our day without any thought to the dark shadow of oppression that holds our brothers and sisters captive. Despite the challenges that Christians have faced in this country over the last decade, it’s hard to wrap our minds around that kind of evil and suffering that many are facing. It’s not that we mean to be complacent — it’s just human nature. We all take our health for granted until pain strikes. We also take our freedom for … Read More



Beginning farmer short course

Posted by | May 16, 2019 3:05 pm

 By Scott Swoape, U.T. Extension agent

Are you a beginning farmer looking to diversify your operation? Maybe you’d like to get started in agriculture but don’t know where to start. Perhaps you’ve bought some property and want to learn how you can make money off of it.

If any of these describes you, I’d invite you to consider participating in the inaugural Upper Cumberland Beginning Farmer Short Course. The Upper Cumberland Beginning Farmer Short Course is a five-month certificate program designed for those with an interest in becoming agricultural entrepreneurs, or diversifying their current venture.

The five sessions will be held monthly from May – October at different … Read More




Every hand’s a winner…and a loser

Posted by | May 16, 2019 3:00 pm

By Topher Wiles

My mom used to sing along with a sad old Kenny Rogers song on the car radio.  This morning I woke with those pensive lyrics on my mind about winning and losing.  The Gambler’s chorus reads like this:

“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, Know when to fold ‘em

Know when to walk away, And know when to run

You never count your money, When you’re sittin’ at the table

There’ll be time enough for countin’, When the dealin’s done”

The chorus is easy to sing, but one line of the song jumps out at me today, “Every hand’s a winner and every … Read More


Honoring Mom…and being proud of her, too

Posted by | May 16, 2019 2:59 pm

Playl’s Ponderings – By Steve Playl

Mary Green Johnson received her B.S. degree in math from Murray State University, when it was still Murray State Teachers College, back in the 30s, when fewer young women graduated from college than nowadays. She did it in three years, including summers, while working in the college cafeteria.

After earning her teaching certificate, she landed a job at Marion (KY) High School, teaching math and English. During summer break, she attended the University of Michigan in pursuit of a master’s degree. Her career in education was cut short by her marriage to my dad, but her love of learning never ended.

Known … Read More


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