Feeding the community with a helping hand and food

Posted by | July 12, 2018 7:39 am

Elder Nathan Evertt and Elder Kaleb Morris help out at Feed the Need in Van Buren County.

By Hansel Moore, contributor

There are two young men who are making a positive impact with residents of Middle Tennessee.

Elder Morris and Elder Evertt spend time throughout the week by helping persons in need. On Thursdays, this determined duo volunteers, and they are available and ready to assist persons with carrying items at the “Feed the Need” food distribution in Spencer. It is an opportunity for them to serve and meet a variety of residents.

“There are a lot of great people here – they are unbelievably nice,” said Elder Kaleb Morris, of Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Elder Nathan Evertt of Bountiful, Utah, agreed with the observation and … Read More

Safety measures developed to keep Van Buren County students safe

Posted by | July 12, 2018 7:37 am

A security measure that will be put into place in the near future will be a call box at the front entrance of the school’s office, where visitors will be on surveillance and will be granted access to the building.

By Hansel Moore, contributor

These days, school security is a priority in budget meetings and resource utilization. In the past 20 years, violence against children in schools has increased and caused worry for parents.

Recently, Van Buren Elementary School got a “facelift” and added another level to the security measures to protect their students Capitalizing on the benefits of a school security grant, Cheryl Cole, director of schools, solicited suggestions from teachers as to the best way to utilize the funding.

According to Beth Delong, “One area of concern was the fifth grade hallway at the front of the elementary school, which is all windows. At any given … Read More

Spencer Fire and Rescue partners with State Fire Marshal to provide home smoke alarm installations

Posted by | July 12, 2018 7:34 am

Top row, L-R: Chief Chris T. Russell, Assistant Chief Steve Turpin, Firefighter Chance Smith, Firefighter Dayne Argo, Cadet Dara Baker; bottom row, L-R: Firefighter Roger Manus, Cadet Austin McKinney, Training Officer Elizabeth Clemens, Firefighter/EMR Cathy Corvin; Not pictured: Firefighter Lashay Kirby, Cadet Deb Manus (Photo by ALEXIS SLATTON PHOTOGRAPHY)

The State Fire Marshal’s Office recently presented Spencer Fire and Rescue with a supply of 10-year battery smoke alarms to be installed in homes within the community at high risk of fire.

This statewide distribution of smoke alarms launched in November 2012 and is part of the State Fire Marshal’s effort to both educate and equip Tennesseans to incorporate fire safety into their daily lives.

“We want residents to make sure they have functional smoke alarms in their homes, as well as a rehearsed fire-escape plan,” said State Fire Marshal Julie McPeak. “These are tools proven to save lives – because even one fire death is one too … Read More

Jim Ward announces candidacy for White County executive

Posted by | July 12, 2018 7:25 am

To my fellow citizens of White County,

I am honored to announce my candidacy for White County executive, running as an Independent.

I have been humbled by the outpouring of support and encouragement by so many of you, and will look forward to serving all the people of our county if I am elected.

I am a native son of White County, a direct descendant of the Davis pioneer family, who were among the first settlers. Many of you remember my father, Tom Ward who ran the Ward Insurance Agency, in Sparta, for many years, my grandfather, C. Ray Ward, and my maternal grandmother, Rae (Davis) Kirby Lollar.… Read More

So, you think you’re tolerant?

Posted by | July 12, 2018 7:22 am

Language of Liberty – By Dave Rubin


It’s a word we hear a lot these days. So, let’s define it.

Tolerance is “the ability to live with people whose opinions and behavior you don’t agree with.” That’s essentially how Oxford defines it, how Merriam-Webster defines it, and how we, as a society, have always defined it.

You might be for the death penalty, and your cousin might be against it. You might be against a $15 minimum wage, and your coworker might be for it. Your dad might have voted for Trump, your mom might have voted for Clinton, and your brother may not have voted at … Read More

Library Summer Reading Program

Posted by | July 12, 2018 7:20 am

Natural History Educational Company of the Midsouth director and wildlife biologist Bob Tarter visited the White County Library Summer Reading Program, on July 5, at First United Methodist Church. Tarter, wildlife biologist and owner of NHECM, is the primary wildlife programmer. Since the beginning of NHECM, in 2005, Tarter has offered and presented numerous varied wildlife exhibits, all while presenting different elementary, middle school, and high school curriculum with foundations in biology and life science, geography, social studies, and even foreign languages.

The power of a tune…or two

Posted by | July 12, 2018 7:15 am

Playl’s Ponderings – By Steve Playl

On July 3, Sammie and I made a spur-of-the-moment decision. We decided to spend the Fourth in Williamsburg, the Colonial capitol of Virginia. As you may – or may not – know, Williamsburg is like a second home to us, but we had never been there to celebrate the birth of the U.S.A. before.

The Declaration of Independence, which could be considered the birth announcement, was made in Philly. All of us know that. At least we should know enough American history to have that fact stored away somewhere in our brain. However, the conception of the new nation may have taken … Read More

Sparta’s own underwater diver reflects on Thailand rescue

Posted by | July 12, 2018 6:23 am

David Jordan, underwater diver with Sparta-White County Rescue Squad, is shown teaching some Junior Squad members the proper setup of a diver’s equipment. (Photo submitted by SPARTA WHITE-COUNTY RESCUE SQUAD)

It takes a certain kind of person to be a first responder at the Sparta-White County Rescue Squad – someone who may be afraid to hike down into a steep ravine or even dive into murky water, but they do it anyway.

1st Lt. David Jordan, of the rescue squad, knows the feeling all too well. When asked if he has been on a call like the recent incident, in Thailand where 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued from a watery cave, he responded that he has not been on one exactly like it but almost as bad.

“The Thailand rescue was an extremely unique situation … Read More

Business owner and community advocate honored by state senator

Posted by | July 12, 2018 6:21 am

State Senator Paul Bailey, of White County, recently presented the family of the late Alan Tatum, pharmacist and owner of Payless Family Pharmacy, with a Senate proclamation honoring the memory of Alan Tatum. L-R: Gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd (R), David Cranford (son-in-law), Joyce Tatum (wife), Jennifer Tatum-Cranford (daughter), Jonathan Cranford (grandson), State Representative Paul Sherrell, State Senator Becky Duncan Massey, and State Senator Paul Bailey. (Photo by RIMA AUSTIN)

Happy Trails Brewing Company will soon be open in downtown Sparta

Posted by | July 12, 2018 6:20 am

Jessica Upchurch takes a look at the bar area that is under construction in the new business that she co-owns with her husband, Trey Upchurch.

Downtown Sparta is getting a new business, and the public is getting a new brewery.

Happy Trails Brewing Company will soon be open in the back of the old Sparta TV and Appliance building, at 36 W. Bockman Way, in downtown Sparta.

Trey and Jessica Upchurch moved to White County from Fentress County to make a new home and open up their new brewery. Jessica Upchurch is a pre-K teacher, and Trey Upchurch is a school principal. Jessica Upchurch said she and her husband had been home-brewing for a few years before they finally decided to open up their own brewery.

Jessica Upchurch said she enjoys the process … Read More

Woman rescued from fall near Burgess Falls, airlifted to hospital

Posted by | July 12, 2018 6:17 am

Members of Sparta-White County Rescue Squad prepare to remove a female who was discovered in a wooded area, on July 10. Kayakers heard the woman yelling for help and called E-911. (Photo submitted by SPARTA-WHITE COUNTY RESCUE SQUAD)

Sparta-White County Rescue Squad was called at approximately 1:04 p.m., on July 10, in response to an E-911 call placed by kayakers.

According to Ray Brown, rescue squad chief, the kayakers were coming from the area of Burgess Falls when they heard what sounded like a woman yelling. The boaters dialed authorities, and what turned out to be a four-hour rescue was underway.

“We put our boat in the water and went to the back side where we could hear her yelling,” said Brown. “We climbed up the hillside. It took us a little over an hour to climb up where she was laying at.”

The 44-year-old unnamed … Read More

Saint Thomas Health provides free medical, dental and vision for uninsured and underinsured

Posted by | July 12, 2018 6:11 am

Saint Thomas Health will host a free healthcare clinic at Warren County High School, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., July 28.

The Saint Thomas Health Medical Mission at Home is partnering with community organizations to provide free medical care including pharmacy services, dental services, mammography screening, vision services, foot care, lab services, and behavioral medicine. More than 250 volunteers from Saint Thomas Health, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, chaplains, senior leaders and other hospital staff, will participate. Visit the Warren County Medical Mission at Home event page on Facebook to learn more.

“Many Middle Tennesseans are uninsured or underinsured and need access to affordable healthcare, and our Medical Missions … Read More

Bailey and Sherrell announce $498,000 grant for Sparta

Posted by | July 12, 2018 5:59 am

State Senator Paul Bailey and State Representative Paul Sherrell announced, on July 12, that Sparta will receive $498,000 in a Community Development Block Grant administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. The purpose of these grants is to assist cities and counties with infrastructure needs. More specifically, this grant for Sparta will help wastewater collection system rehabilitation efforts.

“This major investment will assist Sparta in vital projects that will enhance the public health and quality of life for our community, as well as improve economic development opportunities,” said Bailey. “I appreciate the hard work of the local officials, in Sparta, for securing these funds.”

“I … Read More

Earl Ryan Barnes

Posted by | July 11, 2018 12:16 pm

Earl Ryan Barnes, 36, of Sparta, passed away July 8, 2018, in Sparta.

Mr. Barnes was born Jan. 28, 1982, in Houston, Texas, to Leslie Barnes Jr. and Wanda Roberts Barnes.

Funeral service will be 5 p.m., July 13, 2018, at Oak Lawn Funeral Home, with burial at a later date, in Highland Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be 2-5 p.m., July 13, at the funeral home.

Oak Lawn Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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