Frontier Health to present ‘Exploring the Culture of Homelessness’ training

From Staff Reports

Frontier Health is offering an APA training, “Exploring the Culture of Homelessness,” on Thursday, Aug. 11, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Millennium Center Ballroom in Johnson City.

The program explores the “culture of homelessness” and learn strategies to help end homelessness and understand cultural challenges, issues, and key evidence-based practices to engage individuals experiencing homelessness, deliver services, build collaboration internally and within the community, according to a press release from Frontier Health.

This workshop is designed to help participants explain the cultural challenges related to homelessness and how to minimize; examine language, practices, beliefs, values, customs, relationships etc. related to homelessness and behavioral health care delivery; emphasize cultural responsiveness and solution-oriented approaches to overcome barriers; Identify evidence-based and/or promising practices and discusses gaps/challenges; Discuss methods to increase collaboration; Highlight the importance of organizational and recovery readiness; Summarize the importance of community-wide collaboration; Examine the rationale for community-wide collaboration to raise awareness and reducing duplication of services

The program is for psychologists, psychiatrist, psychotherapists, educators, social workers, pastoral counselors, crisis intervention counselors, guidance counselors, alcoholism and drug abuse counselors, marriage and family therapists, other health care professionals and community members.

Steven Samra, M.P.A., is an Associate at the Center for Social Innovation, C4., and serves as Deputy Director and Consumer Advisor on SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy project. He provided leadership on consumer involvement for HHRN Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH), and Services in Supportive Housing (SSH) consumer involvement roles.

After beginning recovery in 1999 from homelessness, complex trauma, substance use, criminal justice involvement, and mental health challenges, he dedicated his career to assist and advocate for marginalized, disenfranchised populations. He provides presentations and training on motivational interviewing, Housing First, self-care and wellness, advocacy, infrastructure development and sustainability, harm reduction, Recovery Oriented Systems of Care, medication assisted treatment and recovery, and person-centered Trauma Informed Care.

Frontier Health is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Frontier Health maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Three hours of credit. Full attendance is required to receive credit; variable credit for partial attendance may not be awarded based on the APA guidelines.

Cost is $85. Three hours credit. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. To register: Diane Whitehead, Ph.D., Frontier Health, P.O. Box 9054 Johnson City, TN 37615 or fax, 224-1023 or email

For more information, visit or call 467-3600.

Johnson City Community Theatre presents ‘How the Other Half Loves’

From Staff Reports

This August, the Johnson City Community Theater will bring to the stage Sir Alan Ayckbourne’s ingenious comedy, “How the Other Half Loves.”

Set in 1970, New York City, the play is at once timeless in its themes, and yet caught in a moment of time like no other. It is an era of revolutions of all sorts, but most importantly for Ayckbourne, and the subsequent 80 plays he would write after “How the Other Half Loves,” is the revolution of women’s roles and a breaking down of strict class structures, which all play a part in this imaginative farce comedy.

The play itself depends on unique characteristics of the era, such as having only one family telephone for communication, which makes having secret conversations, like those between characters Bob and Fiona, nearly impossible. Yet for all of its connections to the year 1970, the play speaks to audiences as if it were written today. As long as couples argue and cheat on each other, as long as company CEO’s remain capable of being addlebrained oafs, as long as there are gender divides, economic divides and a race toward social status, this play remains a timely treat.

Much of the fun of this play lies in its ingenious staging. Directors Sabra Hayden and Angus Walton remain true to much of the original direction, which asks the audience to take an imaginative leap and pay close attention to small details, as they experience two families simultaneously sharing the same stage. Frank and Fiona Foster are among the upper crust of society, and occupy an area not set apart from, but within the world of Bob and Theresa Phillips, a young couple at the bottom of the social ladder. It is a true audience challenge to keep up with where and when the scenes are happening, as small clues are dropped here and there by the characters.

Two of these four characters are having a secret affair, and when questions are raised, another couple, working hard to make their way into higher social circles, are thrust into a realm of confusion and hilarity.

Frank Foster, (the addlebrained CEO), is brilliantly portrayed by Larry Bunton, who has a knack for comic timing. Bunton, a veteran actor in this region, is regularly seen in productions at the JCCT, and recently performed in Jonesborough Repertory Theatre’s “Noises Off.” Married to Frank is the elegant Fiona Foster, played by Jules Corriere, and together, they represents the dear yet often dull routine of a couple in long-term relationship. Contrasted to this is the Phillips family, newly married, often not happily, played by a rebellious Chris Jones, who most audiences will remember for his role in “Farce of Nature.” Bob Phillip’s wife (and often-time opponent) Terry, is a force to be reckoned with, in a fierce performance by Carolee Mabe, most recently seen in “RENT” and “White Christmas.” Countering these two couples are the meek Detweilers, doing everything they can to rise in the ranks of the upper-middle class, including attending social functions for which they have no experience to glean from, providing plenty of awkward and hilarious moments in the play. Audiences may have seen Matt Quick, who plays the brown-nosing William Detweiler, in last year’s production of Like Kissing Moonlight, or in Greeneville’s Capital Theater as a member of the improve group “Blue Plate Special.” William often boasts of grooming and molding his mild-natured wife, Mary, into the kind of woman he thinks she should be. Mary is played by Kaylie Crain, who is making her stage debut at the JCCT in a role that accomplishes what the other female characters in the play are striving toward- a change in the status quo.

The play opens Aug. 12 and runs three weekends through Aug. 27. Tickets are $15, with senior and students prices of $12 and are available by calling the box office at 926-2542. For questions and information, please email or call 926-2542.

‘Canning College’ workshop begins Aug. 8

From Staff Reports

UT Extension in Unicoi County will be offering “Canning College: Preserving Food Safely” in four sessions to be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, 15, 22, and 29 at the Tourist Information Center in Unicoi. The cost is $50.

Led by Rachel York, FCS Extension Agent, this hands-on workshop is for anyone of all experience levels who would like to learn more about pressure canning in their own home. Participants will learn and practice proper canning methods with recipes that have been thoroughly researched to ensure safety. Topics to be covered in the four sessions include preserving jams, green beans, tomatoes and dill pickles.

The registration fee covers all produce and supplies. Participants will receive a jar of what was canned during each session, as well as many publications and handouts. Participants will also receive a copy of “So Easy to Preserve” from the University of Georgia, which will serve as a textbook for Canning College and a source for future recipes.

Space is very limited. In order to ensure your space, register by Friday, Aug. 5.

Register for Canning College by contacting UT Extension Unicoi County at 735-1637. For more information about other exciting events, visit

Love Chapel open house set for Aug. 2

From Staff Reports

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the new Love Chapel Elementary School on Tuesday, Aug. 2. The ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled to begin at 5:45 p.m. at the school, which is the former Unicoi County Intermediate School. The open house will begin at 6 p.m.

Centenary UMC Women host yard sale Aug. 5

From Staff Reports

On Friday, Aug. 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Centenary United Methodist Women will hold a yard sale in the Centenary House at Centenary United Methodist Church, 203 N. Elm Ave.

Lots of items will be available and priced to move. All proceeds will go to local and national missions.

Downtown Yard Sale set for July 30

From Staff Reports

The town of Erwin and the Erwin Downtown Merchants Association will host the Erwin Downtown Yard Sale on Saturday, July 30.

The public is invited to come to downtown Erwin and shop from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine.

Those who would like to have a booth to sell items are encouraged to register as soon as possible because spaces are limited. Only individuals or non-profit organizations may register for a booth.

Booth spaces are available for $15 each or two for $25. The spaces are 15-feet wide and 10-feet deep.

To register, contact Kathy Cooper at 388-8547.

Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic returns Aug. 13-14

From Staff Reports

Amateur and professional photographers can now register for the Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic, a two-day seminar that offers presentations from outstanding photojournalists and opportunities for participants to improve their skills.

The clinic, set for Aug. 13 and 14, also allows participants the rare prospect of photographing scenic Grandfather Mountain at dawn and dusk and chances to network with others interested in the craft.

The 2016 speakers include:

Nick Oza, staff photojournalist at the Arizona Republic and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service as part of the Biloxi Sun Herald’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina;

Marie Freeman, chief photographer at Appalachian State University, freelance photographer and winner of 14 NCPA photography awards;

Mark Dolejs, Durham, N.C.-based freelance photographer and winner of the NCPA Hugh Morton Award;

Grant Halverson, celebrated sports photographer, graphic designer and multimedia producer, based in Durham, N.C.

The Camera Clinic was originally organized in 1952 by the late Hugh Morton, developer of Grandfather Mountain and a distinguished photographer.

“The Camera Clinic is definitely one of the highlights of the year for those who love not only photography, but shooting at Grandfather Mountain,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit that oversees the Linville travel attraction. “Even those outside the photojournalism field will find these presentations enlightening and educational.”

Admission to the event is free for working photojournalists and active members of the N.C. Press Photographers Association. Admission for all others is $50 and includes a buffet dinner on Saturday.

Online registration opened July 13 at Anyone wishing to secure a spot must purchase a $50 pass online; the charge will be refunded to those who show valid press credentials or an NCPPA membership card at check-in.

A discounted two-day admission ticket is available for $30 for guests of Clinic participants who wish to enjoy the park but do not plan to attend the seminars. This ticket allows guests to come and go as they please Aug. 13 and 14. Guests may also purchase tickets for the Saturday buffet dinner for $10.

Basic campsites are available in the Grandfather Mountain Woods Walk Picnic Area for those participating in the clinic.

For more information, visit

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call 800-468-7325, or plan a trip at

Little Chicago festival to debut in Johnson City Aug. 12-13

From Staff Reports

The Johnson City Downtown Merchants Association (JCDMA) will debut its first annual Little Chicago Downtown Music and Arts Festival in the streets of downtown Johnson City on Aug. 12-13, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. This will be a free festival for the public with something for everyone to enjoy.

The JCDMA is a newly formed association of approximately 30 downtown merchant members. “The merchant’s association was formed to give downtown businesses a conduit for promoting the downtown corridor and to give the merchants a voice regarding decisions that impact them,” JCDMA President Travis Woodall said.

Building on the region’s rich heritage in music, arts and food, the Little Chicago Downtown Arts & Music Festival is a great opportunity to bring the community together by filling the streets, celebrating what makes downtown Johnson City awesome, a press release from JCDMA said. Merchants encourage everyone to stop in and shop at many of the wonderful downtown businesses while strolling through and enjoying the festive atmosphere.

This year’s music lineup will host some of the biggest and best regional bands and artists from the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas on two stages flanking both ends of the festival. Local buskers will also be stationed throughout the streets for an eclectic spin on the festivities.

Featured areas of the festival will include local artisans in the arts and crafts area to browse and shop, a wonderful food court area with local food vendors and downtown restaurants, a kid’s play zone, and activities such as a roller derby and car show. The Umoja Unity 5K Race will be held on Friday evening in conjunction with the festival for those who want to enjoy the sound of music on their run or walk.

The support of so many individuals, businesses and local government have been crucial in the development of this festival. The City of Johnson City has been a great partner in providing the JCDMA with public safety, services and emergency personnel to make this event such a success.

For more information on the Little Chicago Downtown Music & Arts Festival, please visit, and keep engaged with the JCDMA through social media via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

Judd keynote speaker at Frontier Health galal

From Staff Reports

Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actress, Ashley Judd, is the keynote speaker for the Frontier Health Foundation inaugural gala, Stigma Stops Now, on Nov. 4. The event is set to take place at the Millennium Center in Johnson City.

Judd has traveled around the world visiting grassroots programs on varying issues that focus on poverty alleviation, mental health, maternal health, child survival, human rights, family planning and social justice.

“Not only is she an extraordinary and celebrated actress, she is a tremendous voice for mental health awareness and ending social stigma,” said Joy McCray, Frontier Health Foundation director.

A live Stigma Stops Now pre-Gala presentation will be held at East Tennessee State University for students and community members.

The Frontier Health Foundation serves to help promote sustainability of the highest quality mental health, addiction and intellectual disabilities services for individuals in our region.

The Frontier Health Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that exists to help promote sustainability of the highest quality mental health, addiction and intellectual disabilities services for individuals in our region. Established in 1957, Frontier Health is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving more than 50,000 individuals each year by providing behavioral health, mental health, substance abuse, co-occurring, intellectual and developmental disabilities, recovery and vocational rehabilitation services.

The Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes.

If you’re interested in sponsoring this event, please call the Frontier Health Foundation at 467-3742. Purchase your tickets for the Gala at:

Animal Shelter to participate in ‘KITTY PALOOZA’ July 23

From Staff Reports

The Unicoi County Animal Shelter will participate in “KITTY PALOOZA” on Saturday, July 23, from noon to 4p.m. at Pet Smart in Johnson City.

The shelter will have some wonderful cats and kittens available and adoption fees will be reduced for this special event.

If you are thinking of welcoming a new pet into your home, be sure and stop by and meet your new furry friend.

For further information, contact the shelter at 743-3071.

King University to host open house June 28 for Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

From Staff Reports

King University’s is hosting an Open House event for master’s-level nurses interested in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. The event will take place on King’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn., on June 28 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in room 109 of Nicewonder Hall.

“The DNP is the terminal degree in nursing practice,” says Dr. Rhonda Morgan, associate dean for Graduate Studies for King University’s School of Nursing. “The preparation and knowledge gained in the DNP position nurse leaders to affect change in outcomes by translating research into practice and bringing new knowledge to the arena – whether it is at the bedside or the boardroom.”

King’s DNP program is a practice-focused platform, which contributes to the expansion of knowledge underlying advanced professional nursing practice. This program places emphasis on essential knowledge development in areas including translation of research into practice, evaluation of interdisciplinary teamwork for performance excellence, and dissemination of new knowledge for outcomes improvement. The program was designed using the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice specified by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The DNP program is an online degree program which includes participation in three face-to-face colloquia at King’s Hardin Valley campus in Knoxville, Tenn. The program consists of 36 prescribed semester credit hours, 1,000 documented post-baccalaureate clinical hours, a culminating translational research project, and demonstration of identified final degree competencies. Some of the courses include Applied Statistics for Evidence-based Practice, Nursing Informatics, Leadership of Complex Systems and Organizations, and Ethical Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at King University is open to qualified applicants who hold a master’s degree in Nursing from an accredited school and a current unencumbered license as a registered nurse, including practitioners, educators, nurse specialists, generalists, and administrators.

In May of this year, King University received full accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for the DNP program.

For more information, email King’s Office of Admissions at or visit

ETSU to host 33rd East Tennessee Suzuki Flute Institute International

From Staff Reports

East Tennessee State University will host the 33rd East Tennessee Suzuki Flute Institute International from June 24-July 2.

This institute, which is attracting participants from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States, includes concerts, recitals and instruction for Suzuki flute students of all ages. It is led by Rebecca Lile Paluzzi, professor of flute and director of the Suzuki Studies Program in the ETSU Department of Music.

Students will receive daily instruction with Suzuki Flute Method founder Toshio Takahashi from the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan, and other distinguished Suzuki instructors from the U.S.  Students will also take part in chamber music and performance classes.

As a contribution to the community, the Suzuki Flute Institute offers a series of public concerts.

A Guest Artist Recital featuring flutist Dr. Takeaki Miyamae, accompanied by ETSU faculty pianist Jerilyn Paolini, will be held Thursday, June 30, at 7 p.m. in the Mathes Hall auditorium.

A native of Japan, Miyamae has performed in Europe, North America, Taiwan and Japan and has won top honors in numerous international competitions. He began his studies at age 9 with Takahashi and continued his training for several years with Marcel Moyse and Louis Moyse.  He put his music on hold to earn his medical doctor degree, followed by a Ph.D. in medicine, at Yokohama City University in Japan. He worked as a neuroscientist for 10 years before resuming his musical career.

In addition to performing and recording, Miyamae is a faculty member of the Westmoreland Suzuki School of Music in Greensburg, Pa., and frequently serves as guest faculty at Suzuki flute institutes and academies in both the United States and Japan.

Tickets for Miyamae’s recital are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students with ID. These may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 439-4276.

The annual Suzuki Celebration Concert concludes the week with performances by students, flute teachers and institute faculty. This free public concert will be held Friday, July 1, at 7 p.m. in the Mathes Hall auditorium.  Families are encouraged to bring young children.

In addition, a flute master class led by Takahashi will be held Saturday, July 2, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Carter Hall lobby. This class is open to observers for a fee of $10, which may be paid at the door.

For more information, call the ETSU Department of Music at 439-4270 or email For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 439-8346.

Natural History Museum to host ‘Fossil and Artifact ID Night’ on June 28

From Staff Reports

One doesn’t have to be a scientist to find fossils or other artifacts, but identifying them is a different story.

The East Tennessee State University and General Shale Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site will assist the public in identifying such specimens during a “Fossil and Artifact ID Night” on Tuesday, June 28, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Community members are invited to bring fossils, rocks, minerals and artifacts to be identified and photographed by the museum’s team of experts.  Light refreshments will be served.

“Several scientists will be at the museum to help identify finds,” said Brett Woodward, collections manager for the museum.  “Our scientists have backgrounds ranging from paleontology, archaeology and geology.  Because we have scientists with different interests and areas of expertise, we are able to better identify more types of specimens.

“We enjoy seeing what visitors bring to ‘Fossil and Artifact ID Night.’ It really helps us to better understand our region’s past.”

The museum will not appraise fossils or artifacts.

The Natural History Museum is regularly open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and is located 1.8 miles off Exit 13 on Interstate 26.

For more information, call the museum at 866-202-6223 or visit   For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 439-8346.

St. Michael’s announces Summer Fest

From Staff Reports

Final preparations are underway for the St. Michael Mission Summer Fest coming up Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Volunteers have been working hard to get the property at 657 N. Mohawk Dive mowed,” said Fr. Tom Charters, “I was on the riding lawn mower for about an hour until I broke it last week.” The pavilion is finished with the concrete floor installed. A temporary pole has been erected and approved to have electricity at the site and there will also be water running. Lots of games for the kids with prizes including a duck pond, ping-pong toss for tad poles, bull’s eye, and kid crafts will be offered.

Fr. Tom will be seated on the platform in the dunk tank loaned by our Volunteer Fire Department – “the youth group is especially excited about that,” he said.  A 16 feet inflatable double water slide and a bounce house provided by Fun Time Inflatables in North Carolina will also be available for the young and the young at heart to play on, so bring a towel.

The huge array of Mexican food for sale is all homemade as are the desserts in the “Sweets Booth.”There will also be American hot dogs, chili dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers (with all the “fixins”) plus homemade apple pie squares.

A large number of vendors will be on hand and several car clubs and motorcycle groups have been invited to display their vintage cars. A silent auction with several home made quilts, collectable Christmas villages, a hand painted vase, collector dolls, a 7” Kindle Fire, framed movie poster, remote control airplane and more will be displayed to bid on.

The folks at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Mission are raising money to build a permanent building on the land.  Last Sunday there were over 225 parishioners at the Confirmation Mass led by Cardinal Rigali.  “We need to have a permanent worship space,” said Fr. Tom.  “Last weekend we had to open the garage doors in the basement and people were outside in the rain for Confirmation,” he said.  The plan is to begin having two Masses in the fall, one on Saturday evening and one on Sunday morning to accommodate our growing congregation. “Our aim is to have a festival where all the community can see what we are doing, come out and enjoy a fun day in the warm sunshine with some wholesome family entertainment,”  Fr. Tom said, “everyone is invited.”

Jams and Jelly Canning Workshop set for June 30

From Staff Reports

UT Extension Unicoi County will be offering a Jams and Jelly Canning Workshop on Thursday, June 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tourist Visitor’s Center in Unicoi.

Led by Rachel York, FCS Agent, this hands-on workshop is for anyone who would like to learn more about canning in their own home. Participants will learn a variety of canning methods and safety procedures with tested recipes that have been thoroughly researched to ensure safety.

The registration fee covers all produce and supplies. Participants will take home a jar of strawberry jam, as well as many publications, recipes, and handouts.

Space is very limited. In order to ensure your space, please register by Wednesday, June 29, at 5 p.m.

Several more workshops will be provided throughout the summer, including a Green Bean Canning Workshop on July 28 and a special Canning College program throughout the month of August. For more information about these exciting classes, please visit

Register for the Jams and Jelly Canning Workshop by contacting UT Extension Unicoi County at 735-1637.

Class to teach TCAT students how to start own businessess

From Staff Reports

Students and graduates of TCAT Elizabethton will learn how to start their own business from the director and assistant director of the ETSU Innovation Lab at 1 p.m. June 22. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of the Administration Building at the TCAT Main Campus, 426 Highway 91 North, Elizabethton.

Innovation Lab Director Dr. Audrey Depelteau and Assistant Director Liz Lewis will discuss business incubation with a focus on the essential elements of creating a business model.

“In addition to the technology-based residential members, the ETSU Innovation Lab has assisted approximately 50 individuals and companies, including medical device developers, neutraceutical companies, farmers, students, etc. in developing their business model,” Depelteau said. “Because starting a business is never predictable, ever changing and an adventure, the title of the presentation at TCAT will be A Walk on the Wild Side,”

Several recent graduates of TCAT Elizabethton programs in automotive, electricity, HVAC, and computer information technology have started their own business, according to TCAT Director Dean Blevins. Eleven training programs at TCAT Elizabethton may be completed in 12 to 20 months.

“Lessons learned from the ETSU Innovation Lab will go a long way in helping TCAT students be successful as they consider job opportunities in the workplace,” Blevins said.  

The ETSU Innovation Lab is a high-tech business incubator. Among business incubators, 54 percent are mixed-use, 37 percent are technology, six percent have a service/niche, i.e. art, kitchen, and three percent are manufacturing, Depelteau said. The Innovation Lab is one of 31 incubators worldwide that has received the prestigious International Soft Landings Designation to recruit and assist international companies as they enter the United States market.

Contact the ETSU Innovation Lab at 439-8500, visit or contact TCAT Elizabethton at 543-0070 or visit for additional information.

Last chance for ETSU’s Carter Railroad Museum spring train excursion

From Staff Reports

A limited number of seats remain for the East Tennessee State University’s George L. Carter Railroad Museum and the George L. Carter Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society train excursion on The Star of Knoxville paddle wheeler along the Tennessee River and then to the Secret City Scenic Excursion Train near Oak Ridge on Saturday, June 18. The trip includes a visit to the Southern Appalachian Railway Museum. Ticket requests must be made by June 13.

A fee of $95 for adults and $80 for children over the age of 2 includes the bus ride from Johnson City to all the excursion venues and back; a lunch buffet cruise on The Star of Knoxville; the train ride; and admission to the Southern Appalachian Railway Museum.

The train departs from the Heritage Center near Oak Ridge. Each round trip covers approximately 14 miles and lasts about one hour. The trains are pulled by 1950s vintage Alco diesel locomotives. The air-conditioned coaches and dining car are all restored from 1940s era passenger railroading.

On the day of the excursion, passengers should arrive at ETSU’s parking lot 22a on Go Bucs Trail by9:30 a.m. for check-in and loading. Riders may take a small carry-on cooler, if it will fit under the seat.

The estimated arrival time in Knoxville is 11:30 a.m. for the riverboat departure at noon. Buses will leave at1:30 p.m. for the Secret City Train ride and board the train for the 3 p.m. ride. At 5 p.m., buses will leave for the return to ETSU, arriving around 7 p.m.

Ticket order forms and liability waivers can be picked up at the Carter Railroad Museum on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. or printed off by visiting

Checks or money orders should be made payable to George L. Carter Chapter, NRHS.

For further information, contact Charlene McLeod at 386-717-2925 or

Rock Creek Presbyterian hosts Vacation Bible School

From Staff Reports

Rock Creek Presbyterian Church will host its annual Vacation Bible School June 13-17 at the church, located at 800 Rock Creek Road in Erwin. Children of all ages are invited to attend. The program begins at 6 p.m. with pizza served in fellowship hall; and it concludes at 8:30 p.m. each day.

Using the theme, “God’s Barnyard: Jesus Gathers Us Together,” the staff and volunteers at the church have organized a week of activities that include music, Bible study, skits, games, food and fun both inside and outside the church.

Teachers and others are excited about the week ahead, said the Rev. Joan Gandy, minister at the church.

“The key Bible verses for the week are from Psalm 23,” she said. “The other stories will include Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Jesus as feeder of 5,000 people, the parable of the sower and the parable of the lost son.”

On Friday, the Bible school week will conclude with a program presented by the children for their families. After the program, children and their families are invited to a supper in fellowship hall including grilled hamburgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings and favorite side dishes.

For more information, parents or guardians may call the church, 743-9622. Leave name and number for a call-back. Pre-registration also is available by calling the church. Registration will open at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Free smoking cessation classes available

From Staff Reports

Even thinking about quitting?

The Unicoi County Health Department is offering free American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking classes beginning Tuesday, June 14. The eight classes will be taught over a seven week period and will will be held each Tuesday night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Unicoi County Health Department located at 101 Okolona Drive in Erwin.

Participants who attend at least seven out of the eight classes will receive a $200 gift card to Walmart. For more information or to register, contact Ashley Davies at 979-4648 or via email at

Space is limited and registration is required.

TSBDC to host ‘Services for Those Who Have Served’ event June 17

From Staff Reports

Veterans in Northeast Tennessee are invited to a free event to acquaint them with available services, “Services for Those Who Have Served,” on Friday, June 17, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Christian Life Center at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 E. Market St.

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at East Tennessee State University is among the participants at the event, which will highlight ways veterans can immediately access benefits that are available to those who have served in the nation’s armed forces.

In addition to remarks by U. S. Congressman Phil Roe of the first Tennessee congressional district, the event includes representatives of federal agencies and service providers. With skills learned in military service, returning soldiers can pursue starting a small business and finding housing or employment.

“Ensuring our service members have a better quality of life for the sacrifices they made is always at the forefront of my mind,” Roe said. “That is why I am pleased to host such an important event that will create new opportunities for our veterans. As a veteran, I support action to better the health and well-being of our service members and their families through my work in Congress, and as a member of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.”

In addition to TSBDC, representatives will be on hand from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Mississippi State Veterans Business Outreach Center, Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, the Johnson City Housing Authority and other veterans support service organizations.

The main speaker will be Bob Seitz of Mississippi State University’s Business Outreach Center, who will deliver information on a program called “Boots to Business.”  

To pre-register, visit the TSBDC website at or call 439-8505.