America is a “Free Speech Zone” except at city board meetings

Posted by | November 9, 2017 8:33 am

Language of Liberty – By Karen Lees

I don’t usually write Language of Liberty articles since I’m the editor of the series. I prefer the work of our brilliant students, distinguished guest columnists, and the talented members of our administrative staff. All of the above are much better writers. But when something happens in my own community that triggers alarm bells, I am compelled to write. And this subject provides an excellent learning opportunity, which is one important purpose of the series.

Last Thursday, Nov. 2, the City Board of Alderman, in Sparta, Tennessee, declined a motion to allow citizen input at City Board meetings. Their decision is … Read More

Woodland Park Elementary donates more than 300 pounds of pull tabs to Ronald McDonald House

Posted by | November 9, 2017 8:30 am

L-R: Dr. Larry Thompson, principal Woodland Park; Chase Lewis; and Rachel Billingsley, PTO president Woodland Park

One of White County’s schools recently showed its unity and compassion as the students, parents, faculty, and staff united to help families of children who are enduring a stay in the hospital.

Two brothers, 14-year-old Dylan Lewis, a ninth grader at White County High School, who is receiving treatments for a recurring brain tumor, and 10-year-old Chase Lewis, who is in fifth grade at Woodland Park Elementary, have been working on collecting pull tabs from canned drinks to donate to the Ronald McDonald House. Their goal was to collect the most tabs possible to help families who stay at the facility.

Classmates, teachers, faculty, and the community donated … Read More

Freshman Academy Awards

Posted by | November 9, 2017 8:26 am

The winners of the three drawings were: Stephen Meadows - Coffee, Jessica Randolph - ice cream, and Shawn Haire - donuts. Also pictured are Jennifer Murphy - WCHS school counselor, Kelsie McCulley - Advise TN advisor, and Alex McGehee - WCHS school counselor

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Jessica Burton–Good Attitude

Joey Palmer–Good Attitude

Marissa Palmer–Good Attitude

Markeese Coleman–Citizenship

Zachary Hicks–Academically Most Improved

Mackenzie Johnson–Highest Average


Good Attitude–Alexis Maxwell, Lindi Smith, Hannah Spears

Academically Most Improved–Johnathon Maybery

Highest Average–Jackson Gill

Citizenship–Jerrika Brown


Good Attitude–Carrie Coombs

Academically Most Improved–Samantha Lynch

Highest Average–Molly Whittenburg


Good Attitude–Carrie Combs, Alexis Dishman, Alishia Hoover

Academically Most Improved–Reonna Bonner

Highest Average–Jonathan Wilkerson

Citizenship–Alyssa Bilbrey


Good Attitude–Anna Ervin, Addison Frazier, Jarrett Glass

Citizenship–Tucker Green


Good Attitude–Jessica Hawkins, Madison Holtzclaw, Alishia Hoover


Good Attitude–Austin Bumbalough, Ashlyn Hanna, Dustin Hawkins

Academically Most Improved–Macey Tollison

Highest Average–Daniel Gentry

Citizenship–Rhett Robinson


Jerricka Brown–Good Attitude

Jarrett … Read More

Sparta and White County firefighters are recognized for response during the 2016 Smoky Mountain wildfires

Posted by | November 9, 2017 8:00 am

Firefighters from across Tennessee and Kentucky were recently honored by Pigeon Forge for “Answering the Call” last year during the Smoky Mountain Wildfires. (Photo by BOBBY MCCULLEY)

In an effort to honor and say thank you to the hundreds of firefighters who answered the call almost one year ago to assist the City of Pigeon Forge and other Sevier County communities, a monument has been resurrected in their honor.

Almost one year ago, in late November 2016, Sevier County was faced with the one of the largest wildfires to hit the Great Smoky Mountains. Over 300 firefighters from across Tennessee responded to the mutual aid request made by Pigeon Forge and other Sevier County communities.

On Nov. 7, 2016, of the approximately 70 different fire departments that answered the call from Pigeon Forge, over 40 … Read More

City of Sparta board approves new utility pole attachment regulations

Posted by | November 9, 2017 7:53 am

During the Nov. 2 City of Sparta board meeting, the members voted to approve new regulations submitted by the Tennessee Valley Authority for utility pole attachments.

The City of Sparta purchases all of its electricity from the Tennessee Valley Authority to be redistributed to Sparta electric customers. Under the contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority, the TVA provides the rules and regulations for attachments that are made by cable and telecommunication companies onto the city’s utility poles.

Currently within the City of Sparta, other utility service providers that utilize the city’s utility poles to distribute their services include Ben Lomand Connect, Frontier Communication, Ben Lomand Telecommunication, and Charter … Read More

Firefighters respond to truck fire on Old Stage Coach Road

Posted by | November 9, 2017 7:14 am

Firefighters utilized thermal imaging in a recent truck fire on Old Stage Coach Road to search for hot spots. (Photo by BOBBY MCCULLEY)

Multiple fire departments were recently dispatched to a truck fire that was located on Old Stage Coach Road.

On Nov. 5, 2017, at approximately 5:22 p.m., the White County E-911 Emergency Communications Center received a call about a possible vehicle fire. Initials reports stated that a pickup truck located on Old Stage Coach Road had caught on fire.

Hickory Valley, Doyle, Central View, and Mt. Gilead volunteer fire departments were dispatched to the scene, along with the White County Sheriff Department.

Upon arrival, emergency responders found a pickup truck in the ditch area of Old Stage Coach Road partially on fire. Firefighters worked quickly to extinguish the fire … Read More

White County Sheriff department receives new K-9 unit patrol vehicle

Posted by | November 9, 2017 7:10 am

L-R: Carolyn Turner, Tyler Brandes, Sharon Langford, Oddie Shoupe, William Whitson, Ponch, and Rachael Robinson.

Thanks to the efforts of several organizations, businesses, and community members, the White County Sheriff Department recently received a new K-9 Unit patrol vehicle.

Over the course of the past year, the White County Sheriff Department has received the help of numerous organizations, Friends of White County Animals, businesses, and community members in raising funds to help purchase a new K-9 unit patrol vehicle. Thanks to the generosity of many, the sheriff department was able to recently take ownership of a new patrol vehicle.

This vehicle has been customized and equipped with several features to support the operation of a K-9 unit. It is equipped with a kennel … Read More

Findlay Elementary honor roll

Posted by | November 9, 2017 7:05 am

1st Quarter Honor roll

3rd grade

“A” Honors: Wyatt Blaylock, Nick Byrge, Isabella Carmichael, Dayla Cavanah, Tallon Colwell, Katie Eller, Andrew Groff, Solomon Hawkins, Conner Liner, Ily Madge-Osbourne, Emma Nash, Kylie Nowicki, Taylor Poteet, Kaylee Sanders, Ashlyn Selby, Bruno Sergio, Jack Walker

“A-B” Honors: Abigail Austin, Avah Baker, Callie Bowman, Tailor Cox, Alivia Davis, Ashlyn Dodson, Cole Gentry, Phoebe Hale, Mattalin Hargrove, Lesean Harville, Laney Kinnard, Amber Kollmorgen, Makenna Laws, Abram Lawson, Eva Loveland, Aubrey Price, Avree Stover, Jaxon Vincent

4th grade

“A” Honors: Langley Austin, Lorelei Bouldin, Paisley Bryant, Jayde Bumbalough, Kameron Caldwell, Gracie Clark, Angel Clark, McKenzie Cline, Shelby Gibson, Ashley Gibson, Matthew Judd, Jonathan Lohorn, … Read More

Carrel Vernon Dockins Sr.

Posted by | November 9, 2017 7:01 am

Carrel Vernon Dockins Sr., 81, passed away Nov. 7, 2017, at NHC Healthcare of Sparta.

Mr. Dockins was born Sept. 8, 1936, in Datto, Arkansas, to Len Dockins and Trellis Forbes Dockins

Mr. Dockins and his wife, Mae, were the proud parents of two girls and one boy whom they raised in Williamsville, Missouri, on 30 acres outside of town. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Army.

Carrel and Mae Dockins had lived in Sparta for the last 10 years. They were blessed to have three children, nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Mr. Dockins also had four brothers and two sisters.

He was preceded in death … Read More

Dortha Lee Chalt Brock Rigsby

Posted by | November 7, 2017 2:04 pm

Dortha Lee Chalt Brock Rigsby, 90, passed away Nov. 7, 2017, at Life Care Center of Sparta.

Mrs. Rigsby was born Dec. 20, 1926, in Bledsoe County, to Walter Brock and Frances Hitchcock Brock.

She was a member of Bellview Community Church.

Mrs. Rigsby was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Ricky Rigsby; and brother and sister-in-law, Vince and Dovie May Brock.

Survivors include her husband of 71 years, George Lee Rigsby; children, Shirley (Ray) Madewell, Gwen Rigsby, Jerry Rigsby, Sandra Layne, Michael (Beverly) Rigsby; 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law, Mary Lou Rigsby Prater; special pet, Ginger; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral service … Read More

Cherry Creek breakfast

Posted by | November 7, 2017 12:27 pm

Saturday, Nov. 11

Who: Cherry Creek Volunteer Fire Department

What: Breakfast (country ham, city ham, bacon, sausage, hash browns, biscuits, white gravy, chocolate gravy, red-eye gravy, pancakes on request, orange juice, milk)

When: 6-10 a.m.

Where: Fire hall, 124 Montgomery Rd.

Gospel singing

Posted by | November 7, 2017 12:21 pm

Saturday, Nov. 11

Who: Right on Time

What: Gospel singing

When: 6 p.m.

Where: New Hope The Baptist Church

Contact: (931) 261-4558

Parkes Robert Johnson

Posted by | November 7, 2017 12:00 pm

Parkes Robert Johnson, 80, of Sparta, passed away on Nov. 5, 2017, at his residence.

Mr. Johnson was born Oct. 2, 1937, the son of Charles Johnson and Della Nichols Johnson.

Survivors include his wife, Cathie Johnson, of Sparta; daughter, Stacy (Larry) Carden, of Westland, Michigan; three grandchildren, Kyle Johnson, of Sparta, Koby Johnson, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Kathi Johnson, of Sparta; one great-grandchild, Kinsley Qualls, of Sparta; brothers, Bruce Johnson, of Trenton, Michigan, Doug Johnson, of Monroe, Michigan, Cliff Johnson, of Monroe, Michigan; and two sisters, Ruby Sowler, of

Petersburg, Michigan, and Elma Magee, of Monroe, Michigan.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m., Nov. 8, 2017, at … Read More

Imogene Wiseman Knowles

Posted by | November 7, 2017 11:50 am

Imogene Wiseman Knowles, 90, passed away peacefully, Nov. 6, 2017, at Southern Manor, in Winchester.

Mrs. Knowles was born Dec. 7, 1926, the daughter of David Wiseman and Johnie Wright Edwards Wiseman. She was raised in the Harmony community outside of Winchester.

Mrs. Knowles loved children and taught young children’s Bible classes at Harmony Cumberland Presbyterian Church. After marrying Lloyd, she became a member at First Methodist Church, in Sparta.

After a career in banking, she married Lloyd J. Knowles, in 1969. With his work, they traveled throughout the United States and made many friends with whom they corresponded. They also made many friends through gospel singings. They … Read More

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