​County Commission Grapples with Rezoning

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

September’s County Commission meeting saw the appointment of Carolyn Wiseman to the seat left vacant in District 2 after Director of Schools Stanley Bean’s departure in July.
Commissioner for District 3 Dave Van Buskirk, who nominated Wiseman, said she will be a great addition to the commission.
“Carolyn ran in the election last time against Stanley Bean and narrowly lost. This is basically the way the commission has replaced the candidates who move on, at least for the last two years. I know her very well from working with her through the Chamber of Commerce, and I know she is very passionate about Franklin County. She is very thorough on the things she investigates, and above all, she has great common sense. I think she will be a great addition,” said Van Buskirk.
Also heard at the meeting was the highly disputed request for rezoning by Woody Ashley of Woody’s Tree Service. The Franklin County Regional Planning Commission recommended the rezoning of 5.63 acres of land near Highway 64 from agricultural and residential to industrial.
Back in July, the county purchased land from Ashley to prevent the smoke from his tree service making its way through the county.
“He owned a parcel of land that joined the industrial park. He had the property up for sale. Purchasing the property did help the atmosphere in the park since he did burn there,” said County Commission Chairman Eddie Clark. “No one complained to me, but my understanding is that the high school is right behind it, so there were some complaints.”
John Meeks, a self-proclaimed lifetime resident of Franklin County, was against the rezoning.
“My property is the next house down, and in that area, within a half mile radius, there are three churches and approximately 30-35 homes. That’s where I was raised, that’s where I raised my family, and that’s where we’re raising our grandkids,” he said. “I don’t want to wake up in the morning and smell smoke. That’s why you moved it from Winchester. I oppose it, and I want it to be known that I do.”
Also against the rezoning was resident Randy Butner.
“The only objection is that we don’t need the health hazard going to all the homes. You know what it did to Medina Road. That smoke is going to go all over and surround even more than a half mile if the wind blows,” said Butner.
Russell Leonard, Ashley’s attorney, told the commission the land is needed for Mr. Ashley’s work.
“To prevent this gentlemen from operating his business is a bit drastic. There’s burning all over the county on occasion. I see it from where I live. There are all kinds of industries and individuals who burn often. I hope you would consider the need that this man has for disposing of these materials in a fashion that is not bad for the county and necessary for him to complete his work. Unless the county is willing to donate grounds for Mr. Ashley and others with a tree service, then I would suggest that burning is the most efficient and logical way to dispose of these things,” he said.
State representative and Franklin County resident David Alexander said his recommendation would be to vote no on the rezoning.
Ashley’s motion for rezoning failed.
“I’m happy that it was rejected and I don’t want to get up every morning and smell smoke. It affects the whole community. They bought the property to get rid of him, and they’re wanting to send him out to our area. They’re no better than we are. We’re tax payers just like them,” said Meeks.
Approved at the meeting was a contract between Franklin County and Simplex, a company specializing in sprinkler systems for protection in the case of fires.
“This has to do with the sprinkler system in the Senior Citizens’ Center,” said Clark. “Their system wasn’t working, and we have an agreement with these people in some other county buildings.”
Finance Director Andrea Smith said there is an annual maintenance fee over the length of the contract.
Several elections and appointments were made before the conclusion of the meeting.
Eddie Clark was appointed to serve another year as chairman. Angie Fuller was appointed as chairman pro temp. Lindsay Ladd was appointed to serve the rest of Brandi Scott’s term on the Animal Control Board. Barbara Lucas was appointed to a 4-year term with the Board of Zoning Appeals, and David James to the Regional Planning Commission.
The next county commission meeting will be Monday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

​School Board Considers New Middle School Sites; Elects Officers

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

Accessibility issues dominated the Franklin County School Board’s discussion about proposed sites for the new middle school at the Sept. 14 meeting. Research by board member Lance Williams identified four prospective sites: Bible Crossing Road, Sharp Springs Road, Baxter Lane in the vicinity of Franklin County High School, and a site near North Middle School.
Tim Little representing the engineering firm Oliver, Little, and Gipson (OLG) said three of the proposed sites met the 40-acre minimum requirement.
Board member Christine Hopkins said the site that was too small was “the most accessible,” offering three entrance opportunities.
“Purchasing adjoining parcels is a possibility,” Williams said. The school system would need to purchase four parcels to put together 40-acres at the 28-acre Baxter Lane site. The site also borders Hwy. 64 and Modena Road. Franklin County owns the 28-acre tract.
Hopkins stressed the importance of determining whether the sites under consideration were serviced by city, county or state highways. Board member Chris Guess will research the issue. The board will continue the discussion at the Oct. 2 work session.
The board elected Cleijo Walker to continue as board chair and Lance Williams to continue as vice chair for the 2017-2018 school year.
The board approved several minor policy revisions. Significantly, the revised School Support Organizations policy requires a school system employee to serve as a liaison between support organizations and the school system.
Assistant Superintendant Linda Foster stressed the “vital role” parent organizations and parent teacher organizations played. The policy, however, prohibits school employees from serving as officers in support organizations, since the organizations frequently collect donations and make contributions to the schools and school programs. For a school employee to serve as an officer “would make this a school activity,” Foster said. The liaison “cannot touch the money” and serves in an advisory capacity.
Having a school employee liaison also has the advantage of providing continuity, Director of Schools Stanley Bean pointed out, since support organization governing officers often change from one year to the next.
The board also approved a Voluntary Pre-K Attendance policy recommended by the Tennessee School Board Association. The new policy sets criteria for student dismissal in cases of repeated absence.
Pre-K is voluntary, and there are limited spaces available. The new policy provides a means of making spaces available if students are not attending, board member Sara Liechty noted.
The board reviewed suggested policy changes streamlining the approval process for field trips and excursions. Bean recommended further simplification. He proposed assigning final approval for overnight trips to the director of school and final approval of day trips to the principal. The board will revisit the policy amendment at the Oct. 2 working session.
Kelly May, director of the nonprofit Rain Unlimited, appealed to the board to transfer ownership of the Townsend School property to the organization for use as a teen center and hub for nonprofits, providing office and meeting space. The board received a similar request from a group seeking to establish a Head Start program at the former Townsend School. Other entities have expressed an interest in purchasing portions of the property. The neighboring community favors tearing down the building and using the site for a park and memorial.
The board’s next regular meeting is Oct. 9.

​Sewanee Deer Hunt Begins Sept. 23

The 2017 hunting season in Sewanee begins Sept. 23 and runs discontinuously until Jan. 12, 2018. Hunters approved by the University may take part in this hunt. This year marks the 15th year of organized hunting on the domain after a resolution passed by the University Trustees in 2001 requested that the deer herd be controlled.

Since that beginning, the program has continually evolved in response to herd populations, community input, and ever-expanding datasets on the impacts of the herd on the ecological and human community.
The current hunt is organized around the 2016 White tailed deer management plan, http://www.sewanee.edu/media/offices/domain-manage.... This document outlines both the population and habitat goals, and the steps involved to reach those goals. In general, our goal is to bring the population down to the population the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency feels is sustainable (approximately 25-30 deer per square mile) in a way that maximizes safety, minimizes impacts to the non-hunting members of our community, and maximizes student-led monitoring of the ecological and social impacts.
This year there are significant changes to some of the hunting areas around Brakefield Road and a newly formatted community map to ensure that hunting areas are easier to locate. The changes are intended to: 1) focus hunting in areas where census data shows unsustainable populations; 2) pause hunting in areas where population targets have been met; and 3) provide non-hunted recreation areas when possible.
The area north of the water tower on Brakefield Road, including the water tower trail, KA Point and all firelanes around the equestrian center, are closed to hunting this year. This area has seen significant hunting pressure over the last 10 years and census data indicates the population is at a healthy level. Hunting continues this year on the south side of Brakefield Road from just past Wiggins Creek subdivision to Gate 11, and on the north side of the road from Gate 3 to beyond Gate 7. These areas are expanded from last year’s hunt to reduce browse pressure on the forest understory. The hours of hunting will remain unchanged from last year and as always, all trails and firelanes remain open to recreational use during the season.
As in previous years, there may be a surplus of animals available for local families. If you are interested in picking up a field dressed deer for processing, please email domain@sewanee.edu. For more information on the University hunting program and specific rules and times, please visit http://www.sewanee.edu/offices/oess/the-domain/eco...


​Jail Art Program Show and Sale

Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum in partnership with the local nonprofit organization, Arts Inside, is pleased to announce an art show created by the women in the detention center’s art program. The event will be at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Grundy County Courthouse in Altamont. The public is cordially invited to attend to enjoy refreshments and the art display. Artwork created by the women will be displayed and offered for sale. Prices range from $5 to $50.

Class participants apply and go through a selection process before admission to the program. The class meets weekly and at each session participants create a different form of art including basic line drawing, weaving, basket making, painting and more. The program teaches participants to tap into their creative potential to help bring beauty and joy into their lives.
The art program is offered through the Recovery and Reentry program at the jail. The Recovery and Reentry program is led by Alicia Shadwick, Pre-Release Case Manager and Americorps VISTA, Tim Moser. Arts Inside is led by former South Cumberland Community Fund Americorps VISTA, Hilda Vaughan and local resident and volunteer, Millicent Foreman.
The art program began in January 2016 and is a new initiative of the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office Recovery and Reentry Program, which offers inmates educational programs, a dog training program, career readiness courses, a greenhouse and gardening program, a brain health program, and peer-based recovery groups.
The art show is co-sponsored by the Sheriff’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, the South Cumberland Community Fund, the Americorps VISTA program, and The University of the South. Refreshments are provided by Chef Rick from Sewanee Dining.


​University of the South Choir to Perform Evensong on Sunday

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

The University of the South Choir will sing a special evening service at All Saints’ Chapel on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 4 p.m.
Part of the Anglican tradition, Choral Evensong, essentially singing the evening prayer, dates back to the Reformation in the 16th century. Sophomore Oliver Postic, the choir’s bass section head, said Sunday’s service will be moving and sacred.
“Our purpose of leading worship every Sunday morning becomes more important during Evensong because the music is the focal point of the service,” he said. “I believe that by singing the evening prayer, a choir is able to make the words transcend the books that bind them.”
Soprano section leader Matti Hitel, a sophomore from Riverside, Conn., and daughter of a choirmaster, said she loves the experience of performing.
“The feeling of singing during Evensong is unlike any other service,” she said. “Whether we are singing an eight-part blaring anthem or a unison plainsong chant, there is something so meditative about it all. To me, the silence is the most mesmerizing. In the rests of a piece, even more so than the notes, I feel chills in my bones.”
Geoffrey Ward, University organist and choirmaster, explained what people can expect on Sunday.
“People will experience a service that is primarily sung from different parts of the chapel,” he said. “The University Choir will sing an introit from the back of the chapel before processing to the front of the chapel leading a congregational hymn. Most of the service is sung from the front of the chapel, both accompanied by the organ and acappella.”
Rev. Melissa Hartley is officiant for Evensong and William Stokes, seminarian and 2016 Sewanee graduate, is the service organist, Ward said.
The University Choir has about 50 members and about half of them are singing their first Evensong.
In getting ready for the performance, Ward said much of the preparation involves the transitions.
“The introit flows into a hymn and then responses and a psalm before the first reading,” he said. “It is something that the first-time choristers need to experience more than anything. Evensong moves at a quick pace when you are immersed in leading the worship service.”
Another Choral Evensong is scheduled for Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. at All Saints’ Chapel.
“Choral Evensong is a meaningful aspect of the worship experience for members of the University Choir as well as the Sewanee community,” Ward said. “We hope to see more interaction and engagement with students, staff and faculty of the University, as well as the greater Sewanee community.”
The choir’s biggest performance of the year, the Festival of Lessons and Carols, is Dec. 2-3.

​Werner Museum a Trove of Military History

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

In the front room sits an M3 Stuart tank parked next to a M20 Ford Greyhound armored vehicle equipped with a 50-caliber Browning machine gun, both from the WWII era.
There are a few other military vehicles, impressive and interesting, but the collection seems small—hold on, there’s another room.
“We opened the door last Friday and there was some guy who was like, ‘Wow!’ He was like a kid in a candy store; he’d never seen nothing like this,” said Freddy Cunningham, a board member of the Sam H. Werner Military Museum in Monteagle.
The back room of the museum is expansive, with a convoy of military history parked on the gleaming floor. The interior is 28,500 feet housing 55 pieces, mostly vehicles, ranging from WWI to Desert Storm, with at least 20 more pieces to come, said Ron Alred, executor of the Werner estate.
“Check us in a year from now. We’ll be totally different,” he said.
The museum opened on May 3, made up primarily from Werner’s private collection in Tracy City. “Bud,” as everyone called him, died in 2011, two days shy of his 78th birthday, and in his will he tasked six friends with opening a museum in his name.
Alred and Cunningham were among those six who appreciated the eccentric man and his vast array of military vehicles.
“Well, we’ll use the word ‘different,’” Alred said about Bud. “He was reclusive but could be your best friend in the world.”
“He was our best friend,” Cunningham added.
The Werners were a pioneering and influential family in Tracy City, who operated a coal business and later a large lumber mill. The mill at one time employed 75 men, but closed in 1942. Alred said the Werners helped bring water and electricity to Tracy City, as well as a phone co-op now known as Ben Lomand.
Alred, 66, first met Bud and Bud’s dad Sam when he was a little kid and Alred’s dad would visit the Werners to purchase parts. Cunningham, 67, also got to know the Werners as a child because his grandfather would hunt with Sam. Cunningham worked for Bud for a year after high school.
“They started buying (military) surplus right after WWII,” Alred said. “They started buying trucks and truck parts and that’s how they got started. Then they figured out they’d make a little money selling surplus and salvage.”
Bud, a Georgia Tech grad, served in the military in Germany from 1956-58. Alred and Cunningham said he loved military history and had a particular fascination with Camp Forrest, a WWII training facility and German internment camp in Tullahoma.
There are a number of items on display from Camp Forrest, including the last U.S. flag to fly there. That same display case also includes a map reportedly from the Nazi headquarters known as Kehlsteinhaus, or the “Eagle’s Nest,” where Adolf Hitler and other Third Reich leaders met in the German Bavarian Alps.
But the museum’s center pieces may be the four small prototype jeeps, which were designed for the combat glider program in WWII, but never went into production. The military was seeking jeeps light enough to go on the engineless aircraft, which allowed for stealth invasions but had many deadly crashes, Alred said.
“This is the only place you’re going to see this collection together. Period. Nobody else has them,” Alred said.
Chevrolet built two of the prototypes, he said, and the museum has serial No. 1. They also have one of the 37 that Kaiser built, along with No. 13 of the 16 that Crossley Motors built. Of the six that Willys built, Alred said the museum has the only one still in existence.
The Sam H. Werner Museum, at 1148 W. Main Street, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A $5 donation is requested, but not required.
“We’re not here to make money. We’re here to save a little bit of history,” Alred said. “Giving back and giving a little bit of thanks through the display of the vehicles for veterans and families of veterans.”
Alred noted that the museum plans to hold special days for VFW and American Legion members as well as other events such as a cruise-in on Oct. 28 and a military vehicle show and swap meet in spring 2018.
For more information call (423) 580-0472.

​Poet Marilyn Nelson Reading for the Haines Memorial Lecture

The English Department is pleased to announce that the Stacy Allen Haines Memorial Lecture this year will be a reading by poet Marilyn Nelson.

The reading will take place on Thursday, September 21, at 4:30 p.m. in Gailor Auditorium. Both the reading and the book signing to follow are free and open to the public.
Nelson, who taught at Sewanee in the spring of 2011 and received an honorary degree in 2014, is the author of “Faster Than Light” (LSU Press), which won the Milton Kessler Poetry Award. “The Homeplace” (LSU Press) was a finalist for the National Book Award. “The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems” (LSU Press) won the Poets’ Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN Winship Award, and the Lenore Marshall Prize. “The Cachoiera Tales and Other Poems” (LSU Press) won the L.E. Phillabaum Poetry Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.
Her young adult books include “Carver: A Life in Poems” (Front Street), which received the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, was a National Book Award finalist, and was designated both a Newbery Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Another of her young adult books, “A Wreath for Emmett Till” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers), also won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and was designated a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book.
In 2012, Nelson was awarded the Frost Medal. In 2013, she was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. In 2016, her book “My Seneca Village” (namelos) won the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and she received the NSK Neustadt Prize in Children’s Literature.
Her latest books are “American Ace” (Dial) and “The Meeting House” (Antrim House). Most recently she has served on the faculty of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

​McIntosh to Deliver the 2017 DuBose Lectures

The annual DuBose Lectures will be held on Sept. 27 and 28, on the campus of the University of the South’s School of Theology. This year, the School of Theology will welcome the Rev. Mark McIntosh, Endowed Chair of Christian Spirituality at Loyola University, Chicago, as the guest lecturer. His lectures will cover “Green Trinity: Creation’s Mending and Trinitarian Life in an Age of Environmental Crisis.”

McIntosh’s three lectures explore Christian theological and mystical traditions that affirm the Trinitarian origin and destiny of the created universe, its inherent goodness, and the human vocation towards our fellow creatures.
Lecture 1, Sept. 27, Guerry Auditorium, 9–10:30 a.m.—The Book of Creation: The Disenchantment of Nature and the Silencing of the Supernatural;
Lecture 2, Sept. 27, Guerry Auditorium, 2–3:30 p.m.—Deeper Magic: The Mind of God and the Mystical Life of Creation;
Lecture 3, Sept. 28, Guerry Auditorium, 9–10:30 a.m.—Everlasting Day: The Resurrection of Christ and the True Life of all Creatures.
The general public is welcome to attend the three lectures in their entirety or individually. There is no admittance fee or reservation required; however, meals and other events associated with the lectures are reserved for the School’s alumni.
For additional details about the lectures and the lecturer, go to http://theology.sewanee.edu/seminary/academics/dub...


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​Fall Heritage Festival

The Fall Heritage Festival is a celebration of life in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau, engaging regional communities through the educational and inspirational experience of history, music, arts and civic involvement.

Held in Cowan the third weekend of September, the festival will include food, music, entertainment, juried arts and crafts, living history, classic and antique car cruise-in, beauty pageant, cornbread contest and activities for children of all ages.
Festival hours are today (Friday), Sept. 15, 3–9 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 16, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For a complete schedule of activities, go to http://www.fallheritagefestival.info. Call (931)563-3868 or email for more information.

​SCA Plans for 2017–18

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Aug. 30 Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) Welcome Back picnic, members had the opportunity to chat and break bread with representatives from the fortunate organizations receiving Community Chest funding last year. During the business portion of the meetings members learned about a film-screening fundraiser scheduled for Oct. 7 and approved the budget for the 2017–18 fiscal year.
Sponsored by the SCA, the Community Chest has provided financial assistance to area programs and projects since 1943. Applications for the 2017–18 funding cycle are being accepted through Sept. 15. To apply visit sewaneecivic.wordpress.com.
To help fund the 2017–18 Community Chest, the SCA will host the fun and inspirational documentary film “Look to the Sky.” Highlighting Superman-like heroes inspiring us to look to tomorrow, the film will be screened at 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7, at the SUT, with both the film screening rights and venue donated. All proceeds from the $5 admission will go toward the Community Chest fundraising effort. Free popcorn will be available.
SCA members approved the budget for the coming year, with $2000 allocated to the Parks Campaign, $1,000 to the Emergency Fund and $200 to Group Spaces, the host for Sewanee Classifieds, a community email subscription service where members share announcements and for sale items.
The 2016–17 Community Chest awarded funds to 26 community organizations. At the meeting some of the recipients spoke about their organizations’ missions and goals. Many Community Chest awardees improve the quality of life and make life richer in the community at no cost to residents. In an ambitious project that began in 2004, the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance is constructing a nearly 40 mile walking and biking trail following the path of the old Mountain Goat Railroad. Beginning its 42nd year of outreach, the Community Action Committee works to break the cycle of poverty by distributing food, assisting with utility and medical bills and providing housing. The Sewanee Senior Citizens’ Center serves more than 30 meals each day, hosts games and exercise classes, and offers free flu shots. Angel Park sponsors free musical events and Angel Fest, a day-long family games and fun extravaganza. And likewise free of charge, the Dog Park on Lake Cheston Road can be used by anyone and is open 24 hours a day.
SCA secretary Megan Roberts urged SCA members and friends to follow the Sewanee Civic Association on Facebook for updates on news and events.
The SCA meets next on Oct. 18. Questions about the SCA? Email sewaneecivic@gmail.com.

​Swimming Researcher Recaps 652-Mile Swim

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer

As the first guest speaker in Sewanee’s “The Year of Water” series, professor Andreas Fath addressed a packed Gailor Auditorium on Aug. 30, one day after completing a record-setting 652-mile swim of the Tennessee River.
Fath, a professor at the University of Furtwangen in Germany, finished the swim in Paducah, Ky., where the Tennessee meets the Ohio River, setting a new world record by completing the feat in 34 days. Fath and Sewanee geology professor Martin Knoll partnered on TenneSwim to raise awareness of water quality and perform scientific testing all along the river.
“In the months to come, as the analytical results come trickling in from all the water samples we’ve taken, we’ll really be able to have an unprecedented look at the quality of the water in the Tennessee River and in the Tennessee River Watershed,” Knoll said.
The project includes testing for things like pharmaceuticals, industrial and household chemicals, microplastics and other pollutants in the watershed, which is home to about 5 million people, including those in the Sewanee area.
“This will make people aware of their impact and how they can change their behavior,” Fath said.
Fath’s “swim for science” started on July 26 north of Knoxville, and those helping along the way included family members, scientists, Sewanee students and others. Zach Blount of Sewanee and his friend Sam McNair swam with Fath on the river west of Nashville for two days of the expedition.
Blount said he swam about six miles each day, but could not keep pace with Fath.
“I think Sam and I both consider ourselves pretty strong swimmers as it goes, but I remember it was the last day I was on the boat and I hopped in to swim Andreas’ last mile of the day, so it was mile 16 for him. I couldn’t hold his pace at all, he was just gone,” Blount said. “It was so humbling to see such an amazing swimmer accomplish this feat.
“He seemed not to be touched by it all, he was just there doing his research. He’s a very humble person,” Blount added. “It was just a great experience to be a part of such a cool project.”
Three years ago, Fath swam the 766-mile Rhine River in Europe in a similar swim for science that took 28 days. During his talk at Gailor, Fath explained that the Rhine is not only longer than the Tennessee, but also colder and faster, and the watershed is much more populated, with about 50 million people, which impacts the level of contamination. But he noted that he expects to find the same types of pollutants which are common to life both here and in Europe.
Knoll said the Tennessee River appears clean visually, and Fath said initial testing shows that the Tennessee is below allowable levels for nitrates and phosphates in drinking water, but there were a few hotspots with high levels or organic materials, which further testing will help explain.
Among the testing equipment was a small membrane attached to Fath himself, called a passive sampler, which collects materials that come in contact with the swimmer.
One area the researchers are especially interested in is microplastics, which can break down into harmful substances. Other pollutants also adhere to the small plastic particles, which are consumed by fish.
“We only took (plastic) samples 15 centimeters underneath the water surface, so you find mainly plastic particles which have a lower density than water, so polypropylene polyethylene and polystyrene are floating. If you do a depth profile you will find other plastics as well, heavier plastics,” Fath said.
The swimming scientist noted that the journey saw very few thunderstorms, but Knoll said one storm was encouraging in the lack of debris it generated.
“We did have some severe storms when we went by Huntsville, Ala., and there was some flash flooding so I expected with that storm water runoff from all those parking lots and roads, a huge raft of garbage, and we didn’t see that. We saw hickory nuts, leaves, twigs, (grass clippings) and all that kind of thing, so that was a pleasant surprise.”
Responding to an audience question, Fath downplayed the exertion of swimming roughly eight hours each day. He said he had time to think about things like water treatment projects and his family’s next vacation.
“When you’re riding a bicycle you have to care about the traffic,” he said. “In the water it’s only you, and the water carries you. You see the shores, you see nature, you have your family beside you, your son beside you swimming, and it’s a nice experience that you will never forget. For me, if you are used to it and you know how to glide on the surface a bit, it’s not that hard.”
For more information visit tenneswim.org.

​Hunger Walk Raises $17,000 for Food Ministries

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

More than 250 walkers and 65 sponsors came together to raise upwards of $17,000 at the third annual Hunger Walk.
Last year’s number was just over $13,000. The firstHunger Walk in 2015 had more than 200 walkers and 44 sponsors, raising just under $9,000.
Funds raised will go to support local food ministries at Morton United Methodist Church and the Community Action Committee at Otey Parish. A portion of the money will also go to Blue Monarch to be matched by three other Rotary Clubs in the state.
“The funds we raised will help Morton Memorial cover purchase of additional food that the federal government is not able to provide due to current budget constraints.
“It is equivalent to roughly five months worth of purchase for Morton food bank,” said John Noffsinger, Rotarian, Morton Memorial attendee and member of the Hunger Walk planning committee.
Betty Carpenter, Director of Community Action Committee (CAC) at Otey, said the program has been in existence for 42 years. The money raised by the Hunger Walk will continue to allow the CAC to support community members.
“The money will go directly to the services that we provide—directly to our food pantry. We distribute approximately two tons of food every 5–6 weeks, and we’re able to provide food and other assistance just as the needs arise. With food stamps being cut, we’re getting more requests. I’m just so grateful for the efforts. Making people aware of the great need by profiling the two entities that address food insecurity, I think it increases people’s awareness and increases people’s knowledge of food insecurity,” she said.
Carpenter said the money raised will cover about five months of services at the CAC.
Planning is already underway for the fourth annual Hunger Walk. To stay up-to-date, visit www.facebook.com/SewaneeHungerWalk/.


​Register to Vote Online in Tennessee

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

Tennessee residents now have the option to register to vote and update personal information from their smart phones and computers.
House bill 1742, sponsored by House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga and passed with bipartisan support, states that the election coordinator in the Secretary of State’s office is required to “establish a website which permits an applicant to submit a voter registration application, submit information necessary to establish an applicant’s eligibility to vote and swear or affirm to the oath required on the registration form.”
Margaret Ottley, Administrator of Elections at the Franklin County Election Commission, said the site will be a great tool for Franklin County residents.
“So many young people can just register on their phone, and a lot of older people are into the internet too. I think it will be good for service members that might be overseas as well. When it comes to election time, if someone has forgotten to change their address or something, they have to do a lot of paperwork at the polling place. I think we can remind people with this to get things taken care of before election day to streamline things,” she said.
According to the language in the house bill, there will be an increase in local expenditures of $237,500 and an annual maintenance cost of $500 per county. Ottley said the state will cover those costs.
For residents who do not have access to internet, updating personal information and registering to vote can still be taken care of at the polling office.
To take part in an election, Tennessee voters are required to register at least 30 days prior to election day, must be a U.S. citizen, and must have a Tennessee driver’s license or photo ID to complete the process. Each online submission is checked against the department’s database while securely obtaining an electronic signature already on file with the state.

The next election in Franklin County will be in May of 2018. To register to vote or to update your information, visit https://ovr.govote.tn.gov>.

​Franklin County Arts Guild Honors Anderson

Establishes Endowed Scholarship

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
When Anna Kathryn Anderson was just a little girl, her interest in art began.
Painting with acrylics, egg tempera and oils, she couldn’t get enough. She wound up spending 38 years as an art teacher.
“One of the earliest things I can remember doing is coloring with crayons,” she said. “Thirty-eight years and three degrees later, I retired. I loved my career as an art teacher and as an artist. That is all I know.”
In 1986, after being with the Franklin County Arts Guild for about 15 years, she insisted that there be an endowment scholarship for students living in Franklin County.
Pat Richards, Franklin County Arts Guild public relations volunteer, said it is evident how important arts education is to Anderson.
What began as a $500 dollar scholarship in 1986 has grown to a $2,000 grant this year. The endowment check was for $10,000.
On Wednesday, Anderson and the Arts Guild met to sign the endowment check and honor Anderson as the longest-held member of the Arts Guild and to celebrate her nomination for the 2017 Governor’s Arts Leadership Award.
“Just to have an endowed scholarship—something I know will carry on after I am not here—is very important. We have been working of this for a long time,” said Anderson.
The scholarship, which will be handled by the Community Fund of Middle Tennessee out of Nashville, will provide a means for local students to receive education in the arts.
“We’ll do the very best we can to follow the criteria the Guild has set up. We hope to get to come back next year to come celebrate with the recipient,” said Pat Cole, scholarship coordinator for the Community Fund of Middle Tennessee.
Since its beginning in 1967, this group has developed projects and workshops for the county, aimed at arts education, arts access and support of local artists. Its mission has remained the same since its early years—to promote and support the arts and arts education in Franklin County.
“I want to say to the Arts Guild, you are all the best people to work with. We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but didn’t know how to do it. To support this scholarship, I really appreciate you all giving from your heart for the local kids. I appreciate all this group does for our young people,” said Anderson.

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