Get Ready for a ‘Hot Diggity’ Fourth of July in Sewanee

Let’s celebrate “Hot Diggity All-American Dogs!” More information at <http://www.sewanee4thofjuly.or...;. 

July 3 Street Dance

The celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m., Sunday, July 3, in Angel Park, with a water slide for the children, plenty of food vendors, and all-around family fun. The Street Dance will start at 7 p.m. featuring live music by EagleManiacs. This event is sponsored by the Sewanee Business Alliance.

Sunrise Yoga

The Sewanee Community Center is hosting a Sunrise Yoga session at 7 a.m., Monday, July 4, in Manigault Park. The class is free and for any level of yoga ability. Please bring your own mat. The rain location is in Sewanee Community Center.

Pub Run

Join the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly in celebrating their 43rd annual Pub Run starting at 8 a.m. Runners will meet at the MSSA Front Gate and run to Shenanigans (6.4 miles) on the Mountain Goat Trail. Walkers may start at Dollar General. The fee for the run is $20. Pre-register at the MSSA Office or call (931) 924-2286 for more information. All are welcome to participate. There will be awards for winners and beer at the finish line.

Flag Raising

Rise and shine on the Fourth of July with local Boy Scout Troop 14 at the 49th annual Flag Raising ceremony. This year the ceremony kicks off at 8 a.m. at Juhan Bridge in Abbo’s Alley with a pot-luck breakfast following in the shared driveway of the Smiths, Gardners, and Beaumont Zuckers. Come join us in this festive celebration and tradition of patriotic song, accompanied by the Sewanee Summer Music Festival Brass Quintet, flag raising, and fellowship. Bring something to share for potluck breakfast. The Friends of Abbo’s Alley provides juice and coffee. Everyone is welcome, please come. Enter Abbo’s Alley at 143 Florida by Avenue. Chairs in the breakfast area will be available for those who want to listen to the music and sing.

Arts & Crafts Fair Vendors

Join us in Shoup Park starting at 9 a.m., Monday, July 4, to find gifts for your friends and family or a treasure for yourself at the arts and crafts fair. Browse the booths for a wide variety of artisanal artifacts that just might be exactly what you were looking for.

All-American Food

Vendors along University Avenue will begin selling food and drinks at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Visit the Munchie Map tab on <> to view all the food vendors and their planned locations.

Mutt Show

Enter your favorite pooch in the 2022 Fourth of July Mutt Show! All dogs are welcome to compete — no talent necessary. Registration for the Mutt Show will take place from 9–9:45 a.m. in Manigault Park. The show begins at 10 a.m. Ribbons will be awarded for these canine categories: Best Dressed, Owner/Dog Look-Alike, Best Theme, Best Trick and Judges’ Choice. Entrants may register to compete in two categories. The registration fee is $5 per category, and all proceeds will go to the Fourth of July Fireworks. Audience members may contribute to Animal Harbor and MARC. In case of rain, the Mutt Show will take place in the Equestrian Center.

SSMF Pop-Up Brass Quintet

The Sewanee Summer Music Festival Brass Quintet will be performing outside of All Saints’ Chapel beginning at 11:30 a.m. Keep an ear out for their inspiring patriotic performances.

Annual Cake Baking Contest

Calling all cake bakers! It is time to put your cakes on display. Do you have a favorite cake recipe or a talent for cake decorating? Showcase your skills by entering your cake in the Sewanee Woman’s Club Annual Cake Contest. Entering is free of charge.

The categories are Best Tasting, Best Decorated and Best Representation of Theme. Let your creativity shine with this year’s theme – “Hot Diggity All-American Dogs.”

Adult winners of the Best Tasting, Best Decorated, and Best Representation of theme will receive gift cards from the Piggly Wiggly and Mooney’s Market and Emporium.

Adult winners of the Best Tasting, Best Decorated, and Best Representation of the Theme will be entered in the Best All-Around Category. The winner of Best All-Around category will receive $100 courtesy of The Sewanee Mountain Messenger and a $50 gift certificate from The Lemon Fair. And, thanks to Ken Taylor of Taylor’s Mercantile, the baker of the best all-around cake can display the beautiful first place ribbon in the parade.

Youth (under 13) winners will receive $10 from The Sewanee Mountain Messenger and a card for ice cream from The Blue Chair.

Bring your cake to the American Legion between 9-9:45 a.m. on Monday, July 4, to register. If you want to write a short description of the cake, please bring it with you and we will put it alongside your entry. Winners will be announced at noon.

If you have questions, please email <>.

Breslin Tower Bells

At noon, the University of the South Guild of Change-Ringers will perform at Breslin Tower.

Carillon Concert

Charlene Williamson, Joseph Wehmeyer, Marian Dampier, and Raymond Gotko will perform a Carillon Recital at 1 p.m. Bring a chair to All Saints’ Chapel to enjoy the music outside.

Sewanee Fourth of July Parade Entries

There are so many creative ways to strut your stuff down University Avenue, and they range from traditional and elaborate to simple, elegant, memorable, and bizarre.

Anything with wheels is good: flatbeds, cars, Wienermobiles, convertibles, golf carts, wagons, wheelbarrows, bikes, big wheels, scooters.

But on foot (or hooves) could be even better, especially if you’ve got a colorful banner (and/or signs, big hats, hotdog costumes, confetti, giant pinwheels, hotdogs glued onto your person) declaring who you are and what you do for this diverse community.

The parade begins at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 4; lineup begins at noon on Georgia Avenue, and judging begins at 1 p.m. Please enter on Mississippi Avenue from University Avenue, and our tent will be set up catty-cornered from Benedict Hall and the parking lot on the corner.

We will have trophies for best float, best decorated vehicle, and best horse, and blue ribbons for best decorated bicycle, best banner, best costume, and judge’s favorite.

Fill out the parade entry form <http://www.sewanee4thofjuly.or...;.

Let’s Ride, Y’all!

Every parade needs a bike brigade! Join us for a short ride down University Avenue to show our colors and create more positive awareness for bike riding in our community. All ages and types of bikes are welcome. Parents must accompany any children who are too young to ride independently. Meet at 1:30 p.m., Monday, July 4, in front of Guerry Auditorium.

Parade Observers

PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON UNIVERSITY AVENUE. All vehicles must be moved before Noon to make room for the parade. Some parking will be available at the Sewanee Community Center/Sewanee Senior Center behind the Sewanee market. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. starting at the caution light at the intersection of Georgia and University Avenues and will travel downtown. Please note that sirens will be on for the duration of the parade.

Fireworks Blowout & Food Truck Alley

There will be plenty of food vendors lined up along Breakfield Road, starting at 5 p.m. to feed your appetite while you wait for the fireworks to start. Visit the Munchie Map tab on <> to view all the food vendors that will be available. After dark, the Fireworks Show will be at Lake Cheston. There will be a suggested donation of $1 to contribute to next year’s fireworks. As in the past, this is a walking or biking event for most participants. Please plan accordingly to walk or bike to Lake Cheston. Parking at the Lake will be limited to disabled and special needs only. You will need to display your Disabled Driver Decal or Placard to be allowed to park at Lake Cheston.

The Sewanee Fourth of July is sponsored by the University of the South and the Sewanee Community Chest, with leadership from the Sewanee Fourth of July Committee.

Back to School Supply Drive

The Sewanee Civic Association is inviting individuals, local groups and businesses to help collect donations of elementary school supplies.

Items elementary students need for the school year include 24 count Crayola Crayons, 10 count of washable Crayola Classic Color markers, Elmer’s school glue, Elmer’s glue sticks, tissues, Fiskars pointed scissors, Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils, 12 inch stiff ruler with centimeters, three ring pencil pouch, a package of colored pencils, headphones (for use with Chromebooks), yellow highlighters, wide-ruled loose leaf paper, college-ruled loose leaf paper, composition journals, disinfecting wipes, and EXPO dry erase markers.

This is where you can help. Collect the school supplies and then deliver from 1–3 p.m., Wednesday, July 27, to the CAC at 216 University Ave., Sewanee. Individuals may also take their donations July 11–26 to donation bins located at Regions Bank in Sewanee, the Sewanee Mountain Messenger office and the University Bookstore. The University Bookstore will also offer a 15 percent discount on one item for anyone/family that makes a donation.

For those who wish to make monetary donations, money is accepted through July 26 at the Blue Chair Bakery, the Lemon Fair, Shenanigans and Taylor’s Mercantile. Please make checks payable to the CAC.

The CAC will oversee the distribution of the donations to those in need during its last South Cumberland Summer Meal Program, noon–1 p.m., Thursday, July 28.

The CAC is an outreach ministry of the Parish of St. Mark and St. Paul, with generous support from the Sewanee Community Chest, other organizations and individuals across the Mountain. For more than 48 years, the CAC has provided food, financial assistance, and educational support for persons in the greater Sewanee community.

This event is part of the Sewanee Civic Association Treasures for the Chest initiative, a campaign to help promote community-wide service of giving time, support and donations. Volunteers are needed. To volunteer contact <>.

Historic Highlander

When it opens in August 2022, the Highlander Folk School Library building, located just east of Monteagle, will serve as a premier historic site that gives visitors the opportunity to explore the story of the organized labor and Civil Rights movements in the South, as well as the power of music to inspire and bring people together.

In 1932, Myles Horton, Don West, and Jim Dombrowski established the Highlander Folk School in the midst of economic collapse during the Great Depression. Their vision for social justice included adult workshops for the region’s miners, timber workers, and other exploited laborers to help them overcome their lack of education and to organize against low wages and poor living conditions. As Horton noted, however, “Our talk about brotherhood and democracy…was irrelevant to people in 1932. They were hungry. Their problems had to do with how to get some food in their bellies and how to get a doctor.”

In the 1940s Highlander’s mission coalesced around education workshops for industrial workers. In Monteagle, they trained beleaguered laborers to unionize, called for the desegregation of national unions, and educated Appalachian mining families on how to fight against the abuse of coal companies. Though energetic, the school failed to alter the balance of power in the region. Social justice programs gained little traction.

Almost from the start, education workshops at Highlander included music programs. Beginning in the mid-1930s Myles Horton’s wife, Zilphia, conducted music workshops for union workers. Her efforts attracted iconic folksingers Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Zilphia also created, rearranged, and catalogued protest songs. One song in particular, however, transcended all others. In 1945, black members of the Food, Tobacco, and Agricultural Workers Union from Charleston, South Carolina brought to Highlander a revised version of an old slave spiritual, “I’ll be all right someday.” Zilphia later introduced the tune to Peter Seeger, who made several changes, including rewriting the verse “We Will Overcome” to “We Shall Overcome.” In the 1960s, the song became the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. was so moved that he recited the lyrics in his final Memphis sermon before his assassination in 1968, and “We Shall Overcome” was played during his Atlanta funeral.

After World War II advocates for social change used the American victory over fascism as a catalyst to combat segregation in the South. On the heels of the 1954 landmark Supreme Court decision, Brown vs. Board of Education, Highlander’s attention turned toward community leadership training and non-violence workshops for early movement activists. The school was one of the few places in the South where integrated adult education meetings were held. In 1955, Rosa Parks attended Highlander workshops on non-violence in the months prior to the Montgomery bus boycott. When later asked what the school meant to her, she answered, “everything.”

That same year, Highlander helped establish Citizenship Schools in Georgia, Alabama, and West Tennessee where African American adults in need were taught basic literacy skills, including the knowledge necessary to register to vote. These schools were Highlander’s most important Civil Rights-era program. Their success, however, brought scorn, retribution, and eventually closure and confiscation of the campus by the State of Tennessee.

Between 1954 and 1960 Highlander continued to attract supporters, both white and black. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, baseball great Jackie Robinson, actor Harry Belafonte, and Martin Luther King, Jr. became admirers. Roosevelt, along with King, Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks, and Pete Seeger attended the school’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1957. Highlander was quickly recognized as a leader in developing Civil Rights activists and in voter registration. Workshops attracted activists from across the South, including young college students. Marion Barry, James Lawson, Diane Nash, Bernard Lafayette, John Lewis, and James Bevel all came to Highlander. Andrew Young, at the behest of King, also visited the school. As John Lewis remembered, “This school played a major role in shaping the future of the South and maybe the future of the nation. It gave us the tools, the techniques, and the tactics to redeem the soul of America.”

Following unsubstantiated accusations by investigators, a police raid, false assumptions, and two dramatic courtroom trials, the state of Tennessee revoked Highlander’s charter and confiscated the Grundy County property in 1962, all in retaliation for their involvement and leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. The school relocated to Knoxville and then to New Market, Tennessee, where they carry on the work of the Highlander Folk School as the Highlander Research and Education Center.

For many years after the Summerfield campus closed, only an historic marker on Hwy. 41 identified the site. However, in 2014, the Tennessee Preservation Trust purchased the Highlander Folk School library building, along with eight additional acres from the original campus, and restored the structure to its appearance at the height of the schools’ involvement in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s.

David Currey, TPT director for the Highlander Library building restoration project, is partnering with Todd Mayo, owner of The Caverns in nearby Pelham, to reclaim the property for use as a premier historic Civil Rights venue, music education facility, and tourist destination for Tennessee’s South Cumberland region.

Visitors can enjoy exhibits on the history of social justice movements in the South, learn about the agricultural school that existed at Summerfield before Highlander, explore the Highlander library building, and experience the power that music played and continues to play in inspiring cooperation and change.

Meet the Candidate: Brandon Williams on Schools, Taxes, and God

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of interviews with some of the local candidates running for office. State Primary and County General Election voting is Aug. 4.

District 5 Franklin County Commission Candidate Brandon Williams was raised in Alto and now calls Garnertown Road home. His roots hail back to Sherwood and Garnertown Road area families. Williams has lived in Franklin County all but seven years of his life. He will not send his five-year-old son to Sewanee Elementary School. If elected, one of his goals is to bring prayer back into the schools.

“I didn’t want to run for county commissioner,” Williams said, “but with my son being five-years-old and me being a single dad, I have to be very aware of what’s going on.” Williams started attending county commission meetings. “Some of the commissioners just show up to get their packet and check. Some try to fight for the community and their constituents.”

“When it comes to District 5 there is a lot of disunity between the families that have been here over 100 years versus the University,” Williams said. “The biggest thing with the airport [tree cutting controversy] was disrespect. A handshake and looking someone in the eye go a long way.” The residents of Keith Springs and Sherwood “are overlooked” in county government, Williams insisted. “Just because moves are made to benefit the University, that does not mean they will benefit all the constituents that live in the area.” As a commissioner, Williams wants to “be a bridge.”

Williams advocates a three-part platform for making schools safe. “The first thing is getting prayer back in the schools,” Williams said. “If God’s present, you’d be surprised how much safety goes up. Secondly, getting the camera systems up to par. The other is giving teachers the option to be able to carry firearms.”

Williams cited the absence of surveillance cameras at the rear of SES and prayer not being allowed as the two reasons he would not send his son to the school. He spoke with Director of Schools Stanley Bean about bringing prayer back into public schools. “I would have to get enough people on board to where they would be okay with removing government funding from our schools, which is probably about 15-20 percent. I’m sure we can find resources elsewhere.”

Asked if the county commission should lower the property tax rate to keep residents whose property values increased from paying more taxes, Williams said, “I think 100 percent the tax rate should be lowered. I don’t see anything on my personal property that raised the value, so why should I be paying more property tax … In some cases, property values almost doubled. Part of that is to be able to weed out the farmers and lower income people. People are going to be driven out of their homes.”

Williams stressed as a District 5 Seat A commissioner his guiding principle would be, “God is good, and Jesus Christ is king. I value other people’s opinions, but I will not trade the Word for someone’s opinion. I’ll honor the word first. If it honors the Word, I will move forward on their behalf.”

MSSA Woman’s Association to Host 58th Annual Cottage Tour & Bazaar

The Woman’s Association of the MSSA (Monteagle Sunday School Assembly) will host its 58th annual Cottage Tour & Bazaar on Friday, July 22. The much anticipated event will include tours of five representative cottages; a self-guided tour of historic buildings; the always-popular bazaar with fine art, jewelry, home décor and much more; Butterfly Boutique (resale); special presentation by Elizabeth Heiskell, Debutante Farmer; lunch options from the Corner Market; and the “famous” Bake Sale.

The annual event is designed to share with the public the Assembly’s unique history and mission, to showcase its representative turn-of-the-century structures, and to highlight the Chautauqua Movement and the Assembly’s association with the Chautauqua Network. This year’s tour will feature five distinctive cottages: Mint Julep, Comfy Cozy, Wayside, Balcony Place and Leaning Oak.

The bazaar, open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature local arts and crafts and splurge-worthy fine art and jewelry from more than 40 selected local and regional artisans. The nearby Butterfly Boutique sale of donated items from members and friends is a bargain-lover’s delight held in the Writers’ Grove located near the Woman’s Association Winfield House.

At 10:45 a.m., guests are invited to attend a special presentation by Elizabeth Heiskell, instructor at the Viking Cooking School; TODAY Show contributor; special guest on Food Network’s The Kitchen and Chopped, CMT’s Pickler and Ben and The Hallmark Channel. She is also a cookbook author and creator of Debutante Farmer, a bloody Mary mix that won acclaim as Southern Living’s food award for one of “the best new products in the South.”

Emily Frith of Corner Market Catering in Nashville will offer box lunches to be enjoyed in one of the Assembly’s green spaces (must be pre-ordered for $18). The grill at Harton Dining Hall will also be offering a buffet lunch featuring soups, salads, and an array of comfort food specialties, sides and desserts. Guests will also enjoy the annual bake sale where the Assembly’s best cooks bring their sweet and savory specialties, and the Snack Shop will be open for popcorn, chilled candy bars, bottled water and souvenir T-shirts.

Be sure to stop in at cottage 116, The Gallery. In addition to art and gifts, the Gallery is one of a select few to carry award-winning McCarty Pottery. Created by Assembly members, the late Lee and Pup McCarty, Mississippi-based McCartys has earned international recognition. The Gallery is a mainstay of the Assembly history a must-stop, must-shop during any visit.

Advance tour tickets ($15, $20 day of) and box lunches ($18) must be reserved and paid for in advance on the MSSA website ( using PayPal or by calling the MSSA office at 931-924-2286 or by stopping by the office. Parking passes ($5 per car) can be purchased on the day of the tour at the North Gate entrance.

Schedule of Events

Bazaar, Butterfly Boutique and bake sale: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cottage tours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lecture by Elizabeth Heiskell, The Debutante Farmer: From the Fields to the TODAY Show, 10:45 a.m. in the Auditorium

Harton Dining Hall: Buffet available 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pre-ordered box lunches can be picked up 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Gallery: cottage 116, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Organized in 1887, the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly (MSSA) Woman’s Association has played a vital role in the development of the Assembly by providing hospitality, funds and meeting space for all aspects of the summer program. The Association’s cottage, “Winfield,” is the center for many activities during the Season, from Sunday School to parents’ meetings, workshops, children’s story hours, and card parties. It also houses the Assembly library and is staffed by a resident hostess/librarian. The MSSA Culinary Guild, a program of the Woman’s Association, celebrates and supports the local South Cumberland food and farming community and the production and enjoyment of great food. Members maintain the Assembly’s Humphreys-Martin Family Herb Garden and enjoy coming together for food, beverages, and fun several times during the program season. Woman’s Association Motto: Each for the other, all for Monteagle.

Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club and Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Last month, a mother of five boys, ages 4-14, completed her court-ordered drug rehabilitation class. She appeared in front of a judge on the Tuesday after the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club had assembled and delivered beds for her sons. She informed the judge that she was rebuilding her sober life and now all five of her sons have beds and are no longer sleeping on blankets or clothes on the floor.

It is too soon to gauge the long-term economic, social, and emotional effects of the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary’s involvement in Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) volunteering initiative on the Mountain. But at least for that mother, the effect was monumental. The Club joined this national organization in February when it pledged to support the local chapter by setting up a satellite team.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is an American nonprofit organization founded in 2012 in Idaho. It is dedicated to building and delivering beds to children so that “no kid sleeps on the floor in our town©” as the organization’s motto states. As of February 2022, the organization had 200 chapters in the U.S. and had built more than 100,000 beds. The South Pittsburg Chapter was founded by Norm Flake, a Rotarian, and his wife in May 2021, at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Thirty percent of the requests the South Pittsburg chapter receives are from our area on the mountain. In response to this need, the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club created a team to support this effort. This has now become a community project. Volunteers from the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club, The Grundy County Rotary Club, and Morton Memorial United Methodist Church received training on client screening and vetting, bed building and delivery. Volunteers from other organizations like the Sewanee Woman’s Club provided bedding. Eleven beds, complete with their bedding, have been delivered on the mountain so far. Additionally, the Grundy County Rotary Foundation supported the effort with a sizable grant and the American Legion Sewanee is providing space, rent free, for storage of bed frames and mattresses . Many other community members have generously donated through the website at <;.

All beds are hand-made by volunteers from donated lumber. Single beds can be assembled within 12-15 minutes, while bunk beds may take twice that long. But the clients’ screening process is probably the most time-consuming segment of the process. The request for beds may come from a family member, a government agency, or a foster parent online or by phone. A meeting is then scheduled, and a trained chapter screener evaluates the legitimacy of the request and works out the logistics of delivery and placement of beds.

The goal of the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club is to continue supporting the South Pittsburg chapter of SHP by training more Rotarians and other community members to build beds, screen recipients, transport the sturdy and permanent beds for children who now sleep on floors, or blankets or clothes. Additionally, the new Isaiah 117 House in Monteagle will receive six beds whose cost has been paid by a generous donor from Morton Memorial Methodist Church.

Although the ultimate effects of the Rotary involvement in SHP SP are yet to be felt and measured in our communities, the immediate “happiness and pure joy of the children is what makes this project so rewarding and worth the effort,” as one volunteer said.

Sewanee Sleuth Helps Identify Man Missing 37 Years

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

Thirty-seven years ago, a parallel sequence of events occurred that left the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation searching for the identity of a man whose partially decomposed body was discovered in Battle Creek and left a family searching for a loved one last heard from when they made Thanksgiving plans. Thanks to the diligence, intuitiveness, and creative sleuthing of Sewanee resident Barbara King Ladd, the searches of both the TBI and family recently came to an end. Through wheels Ladd set in motion, DNA evidence identified the John Doe found in Battle Creek as Donald Boardman from Chamblee, Ga., missing since November 1985.

On January 29, 2018, the Chattanooga Times ran a story at the urging of TBI investigator Larry Davis who hoped readers might offer information about a 1985 Marion County case that had haunted him for over 30 years, the probable murder of a man with fatal fractures to the base of his skull and fractured rib and vertebra. The autopsy indicated the man had been dead about a month when a fisherman discovered the body in Battle Creek, badly decomposed due to unseasonably warm weather. There were no identifying papers or records on his person, although his dress suggested expensive tastes. Davis speculated the case might be linked to two other homicides occurring in the same region of southeast Tennessee.

Ladd, a stay-at-home mom in 2018, read the Chattanooga Times story and as soon as she had the children bedded down, she started searching the internet. “It piqued my curiosity,” Ladd said. “Battle Creek is just 20-30 minutes from Sewanee.” Ladd had recently learned about the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). She started her search there, on a hunch, focusing on Georgia. “I’m highly intuitive,” she confessed. That same night she zeroed in on Boardman as the unidentified Marion County John Doe. Another internet source, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (“Man believed foul play victim,” Dec. 13, 1985), revealed Boardman last spoke with his parents in Florida on November 16, and on November 29, law enforcement located Boardman’s new Camaro and credit card in the possession of a body shop owner, his girlfriend, and a male companion. Ladd contacted Larry Davis. “He thought [Boardman] looked like a good match,” Ladd said.

But then things stalled. Ladd speculated the possible murder was being investigated. In 2021, though, through her new job as a Life Skills teacher for the Campora Family Resouce Center, Ladd had business at the district attorney’s office. Her interest in Boardman renewed, Ladd attempted to reach Davis, and failing at that, she contacted the Chamblee Police Department via Facebook. Her message landed on the desk of Administrative Assistant Lori Bradburn. “Lori got the message, and she ran with it,” Ladd said. “I was intrigued,” Bradburn said. “I love true crime podcasts.” Ladd contacted Davis, located Boardman’s sister in Florida, retreived a scan of the 40-page police report, and a copy of the 1987 civil suit filed by Boardman’s parents against the individuals found with his car.

The police report said the individuals possessing Boardman’s car were stopped on suspicion of intoxication. The body shop owner claimed he had the car for repairs. A license plate search showed the car as “wanted.” All three had criminal records. The woman was wanted for armed robbery and in possession of a “white powder.” The officers impounded the car and took the woman into custody. The civil suit ruling found the defendants financially liable for “assuming dominion and control over Donald Boardman’s property.” The ruling did not address the allegation “Assuming arguendo…Boardman is deceased…the defendants caused his death.”

Two DNA matches to Boardman’s sister confirmed his identity. According to Bradburn, the men found with Boardman’s car are deceased. In conversation with Davis, Bradburn said Davis questioned who had jurisdiction to bring charges against the woman since it was not known where the murder occurred. Davis speculated Battle Creek was just a “dump site.”

Modest about her role in the identification of Boardman, Ladd said, “God was just lining up everybody needed to bring closure to this case…It took all of us working together for this case to be solved.”

Monteagle: Water Plant AC, Infrastructure Capacity, Playgrounds

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the June 27 meeting the Monteagle Council approved the operations-critical purchase of an air conditioning unit for the water plant. City engineer Travis Wilson reported on grant funding to increase water and sewer capacity. On the fun and recreation side, the council announced July 4 plans and a grant to purchase playground equipment for Hannah Pickett Park.

Utilities manager John Condra said temperatures at the water plant rose to 88 degrees last week when the air conditioner failed. “We’ve got to keep it cool on account of the chemicals and equipment,” Condra stressed. Cooling the facility with fans from the fire department did not help. The recommended operating temperature is 72-75. The council approved purchase of a new air conditioning unit from budgeted funds, cost not to exceed $12,000.

Reporting on water levels at Laurel Lake, the city’s drinking water source, Condra said the lake was down 8 inches, from the 11 foot 8 inches high water mark. There is no drought concern currently. Mayor Marilyn Campbell Rodman said the city was investigating the possibility of constructing a lake or impoundment, but state regulations “might not allow” the project.

Wilson said the city had received two grants to correct inflow and infiltration (I&I) of storm water into the sanitary sewer. The rehab will increase sewer capacity. On the water supply side, the city has applied for a grant for additional storage tanks. A study is underway to address questions about water and sewer capacity. “We’re proceeding as quickly as we can,” Wilson said. Plans call for video inspecting the sewer, but the inspection needs to be done in wet weather so I&I defects can be detected.

Alderwoman Jessica Favaloro announced Monteagle’s July 4 plans. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Parade participants should line up at the VFW at 9 a.m. Local military veterans will serve as grand marshals. Veterans wanting to ride on the float should meet at townhall at 9 a.m. The fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m. at the ball field.

Reporting on parks, Favaloro thanked the South Cumberland Community Fund for a $7,000 grant for playground equipment for Hannah Pickett Park. The city has an addition $3,000 available from community donations. Rodman said proceeds from a fundraiser planned for this summer would also go to the playground. Favaloro said adult equipment was being considered.

Alderwoman Dorraine Parmley called attention to the disrepair of the gazebo at Harton Park. Parmley and Condra will investigate possible solutions. “I don’t want to take it down,” Parmley insisted. The mayor said someone might want to donate money for restoration.

The council approved on first reading an ordinance to allow campgrounds in R-3 (medium density residential) zoning as a “special exception.” Rodman noted “special exception” meant the request for a campground would need to go before the board of zoning appeals.

Monteagle resident and businessman Dean Lay raised two zoning ordinance questions. Lay wants to store shipping containers on a fenced lot and asked if a site plan was needed since there would be no buildings. Lay also brought to the council’s attention a possible contradiction in the ordinance governing distilleries and breweries. Rodman recommended Lay attend the July 5 Planning Commission meeting.

LiveWell on the Mountain: Informational Meeting

Community members will have the opportunity to learn more about the LiveWell program at an open meeting at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 5, in the Torian Room in the duPont Library. Anyone wishing to attend is encouraged to contact Jane Kelley at <> or (615) 665-0694.

LiveWell on the Mountain, part of a Nashville based non-for-profit that includes the well-regarded Blakeford at Green Hills, offers independent-living to Monteagle and Sewanee residents. LiveWell, an at-home continuing care program for those who wish to remain in their homes as they age, is a program that was first introduced to the Sewanee/Monteagle community in April at a Sewanee Inn reception sponsored by Arcadia at Sewanee and Folks at Home.

Several community members have already submitted formal reservation agreements to be among the initial charter membership group. Arcadia Board president, George Elliott, sees this as a very promising response: “Arcadia has been searching for a more comprehensive retirement solution for this community, and we believe LiveWell is an important piece of that solution.”

LiveWell memberships will include, among other services, a Folks at Home membership, personalized care coordination, wellness programs, transportation for essential services, home care assistance, and, when necessary, priority access to the Blakeford residential communities.

St. Mark’s Heritage Trail Unveiling

Save Sewanee Black History will be unveiling five signs at key historical locations to St. Mark’s history. There will be signs at the St. Mark’s church, the Kennerly school, the black cemetery, the black swimming pool, and the Willie Six field. Join us for driving tours of the signs. The event will begin at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 3, at the St. Mark’s Community Center, on Alabama Avenue.

tnAchieves Expands College Coaching and Non-Tuition Funds to TN Promise Students

As Tennessee seeks to reverse negative college-going rate trends due to the pandemic, tnAchieves will expand its nationally celebrated college success model, Knox Promise, statewide. Launched in 2019 as a pilot program supported by the Haslam Family Foundation and TN SCORE, Knox Promise created additional layers of support for TN Promise students in Knox County as they transitioned from high school to a college credential.

In only 3 years, Knox Promise has increased the likelihood of an economically disadvantaged student retaining in college by 156 percent. With the foundation of TN Promise and the expansion of student-level supports, tnAchieves experienced a 2-percentage point increase in its college graduation rate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to Gov. Bill Lee and the General Assembly, tnAchieves will provide a full-time proactive coach to every economically disadvantaged TN Promise student. The expansion, known as COMPLETE, also allows eligible students to access up to $3,000 dollars in non-tuition funding during an academic year. tnAchieves will address barriers such as food, housing and technology insecurities as well as ensure eligible students have access to the books, tools, class fees and computers needed to successfully earn a college degree via access to COMPLETE grants.

“The 9 percentage point drop in Tennessee’s college-going rate created a renewed sense of urgency at tnAchieves,” said Krissy DeAlejandro, President and CEO of tnAchieves. “We believe in the resiliency of our students but understand it is our responsibility to level the playing field so that ALL students can find success in college. You cannot be hungry and focus on your classwork. We plan to boldly and compassionately address these issues to not only help our students but also to ensure the economic viability of our state and communities.”

Students from the graduating Class of 2022 will not only have access to their tnAchieves volunteer mentor but also to their tnAchieves COMPLETE coach in August 2022. tnAchieves will also make COMPLETE grants available to students in August 2022.

tnAchieves is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that has been providing scholarships with mentor support since 2008. It now serves as the partnering organization to the TN Promise program in 83 Tennessee counties. To learn more about the program, please visit or contact tnAchieves President and CEO, Krissy DeAlejandro at (865) 621-9223.

July 5 is the Registration Deadline to Vote in the Aug. 4 Election

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennesseans who want to cast a ballot in the Aug. 4 State and Federal Primary & State and County General Election must register or update their voter registration before the voter registration deadline on Tuesday, July 5.

“Going into this 4th of July holiday, I can’t think of a more patriotic thing to do than to register to vote,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “With our convenient online voter registration system, it’s never been easier or safer for Tennesseans to register to vote or update their registration.”

Registering to vote, updating your address or checking your registration status is fast, easy and secure with the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system. Any U.S. citizen with a driver’s license or a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security can register online in minutes from any computer or mobile device at

Voters can also download a paper voter registration application at Completed paper voter registration applications must be mailed to your local county election commission office or submitted in person. Mailed voter registrations must be postmarked by July 5.

Election Day registration is not available in Tennessee.

Early voting for the Aug. 4 election starts Friday, July 15, and runs Monday to Saturday until Saturday, July 30. The deadline to request an absentee by-mail ballot is Thursday, July 28. However, eligible voters who will be voting absentee by-mail should request the ballot now.

For up-to-date, accurate information about the Aug. 4 election, follow the Secretary of State’s social media channels Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate.

For more information about registering to vote, voter eligibility and other Tennessee election details, visit or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

tnAchieves to Introduce Reimagined Mentoring Program in 2023

tnAchieves is introducing a reimagined mentoring program in 2023 to combat a nine percentage point drop in the state’s college-going rate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mentoring program will combine proven, time-tested strategies with virtual tools to allow volunteers to make a greater impact for local students pursuing a post-secondary degree.

The fundamentals of tnAchieves mentoring will remain the same; however, the 2023 mentoring role will introduce several key elements that lead to a longer-lasting, more meaningful mentor/student connection.

· Mentors will return to an in-person meeting with their students. For the first time since the pandemic, mentors will gather at a tnAchieves team meeting in December or January to begin relationship building with their assigned students.

  • Mentors will begin work with their 2023 students earlier than ever before. tnAchieves will provide mentors with their student’s contact information in November of 2022, allowing mentors to have earlier access to their students during their college-going planning.

· tnAchieves will continue to leverage familiar virtual tools. During the pandemic, tnAchieves introduced online tools to assist mentors in maintaining effective student connections. The mentoring role will continue to rely on and encourage use of these tools for effective mentoring.

“We are incredibly excited to be announcing these updates to the mentoring program,” said tnAchieves Senior Director of Mentors Tyler Ford. “By providing our volunteers with earlier access to their students and facilitating an in-person meeting opportunity, we believe tnAchieves mentors will play a significant role in reversing some of the downward trends we have seen through the pandemic.”

While tnAchieves mentors will support students in completing requirements and navigating the college-going process, their greatest impact may be in the encouragement and support they provide to students. Ultimately, any individual who has one hour per month and is committed to making a difference in the lives of local students can serve as an effective tnAchieves mentor.

To ensure every student is supported, tnAchieves needs more than 9,000 mentors by October 21, 2022. Mentoring takes just one hour per month and all volunteers are provided a training as well as ongoing support from the tnAchieves team. Those interested in applying or learning more can visit

tnAchieves is a privately‐funded scholarship and mentoring program that seeks to provide an opportunity for every Tennessee student to earn a post‐secondary degree. If you have questions about the tnAchieves mentoring program, please contact Tyler Ford at (309) 945-3446 or

Grand Marshals Announced for Sewanee Fourth of July

Nancy J. Berner and David B. Coe met and married while in graduate school, and moved to Sewanee in 1992, when Nancy was hired by the University as an Assistant Professor of Biology. She wasted no time making herself an integral part of the University community. In just her second year as a faculty member, she proposed and helped establish “Scientific Sewanee,” which later developed into “Scholarship Sewanee,” an annual event that highlights undergraduate research, scholarship, and artistic works. She served as Chair of the Department of Biology, and secured many grants that allowed her to maintain an active research laboratory where she mentored undergraduates. In 2009, she was named the William Henderson Professor of Biology.

In 2012, Nancy joined the University Administration, serving as Associate Provost, Vice Provost for Planning and Administration, and then Provost. During her time in these positions, she was Title IX coordinator for the University and eventually established the Title IX office. She led efforts to diversify the University’s faculty, staff, and student body, and she oversaw the reaffirmation of the University’s accreditation.

In January of 2022, with the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Reuben Brigety, nominated by President Biden to become U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, Nancy became Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South, the first woman in the history of the school to serve as Vice-Chancellor.

David, after completing his Ph.D. in United States history, embarked on a career as a writer of fantasy. Over the past 25 years, David has published, under his own name, and also under the pen name D.B. Jackson, more than two dozen novels and as many short stories. He is a recipient of the William Crawford Fantasy Award as well as an Audie Award. His novels have been translated into a dozen languages. He has also edited four short story anthologies, and has published a collection of his own short fiction.

Together, Nancy and David have raised two daughters, Alexis (Alex) and Erin. Both attended Sewanee Elementary School and St. Andrew’s-Sewanee before leaving Sewanee to attend college, Alex at New York University and Erin at Elon University.

Nancy has been a soccer league referee, and a summer swim league timer and scorekeeper. David has been treasurer of the soccer league, and a swim league stroke and turn judge. He has also served as Vice President and President of the SAS Parents’ Council and as coordinator of the Sewanee Food Buying Club. Both Nancy and David have served on the Sewanee Community Council.

They are proud and honored to be chosen as Grand Marshals for the 2022 July Fourth parade.

SUD’s Waiting-for-a-Decision Plans

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

Sewanee Utility District manager Ben Beavers learned at a recent Franklin County Finance Committee meeting that SUD would not receive a decision on its request for American Recovery Plan (ARP) funds until the new administration took office following the August county commission and mayoral elections. At the June 21 SUD Board of Commissioners meeting, the board and Beavers strategized on how to proceed.

“I’ve asked for a couple small things,” Beavers said. “The big thing is the waterline replacement. What we might consider doing is purchasing the smaller items and ask for the whole thing on the waterline replacement project.” SUD already purchased one request item, variable speed drives to cut power consumption at the Water Treatment Plant. SUD is researching the cost of another request item, a bar screen to filter out disposable wipes and face masks which clog and damage sewage pumps and create a health hazard for employees tasked with repair.

Beavers questioned the wisdom of waiting for ARP funding to purchase the bar screen. “What are the consequences in the meantime to our operations?” he asked.

SUD President Charlie Smith agreed with Beavers about “doing projects we’ve got to do, that we know we’ve got to do, out of pocket.”

Beavers pointed out SUD has two to three years to comply with the federal law to identify waterlines with lead fittings and longer still to do the actual waterline replacement. SUD only has 25,000 feet of cast-iron pipe which may have lead fittings. To Beavers knowledge SUD never had lead service lines.

Beavers said the hydro-excavator SUD requested ARP funding to buy would be used for the waterline replacement project. He suggested other water utilities might want to join with SUD for a cost-share purchase.

Commissioner Johnny Hughes brought a question to the board raised by his constituents: given the push for low-income housing in Sewanee, would SUD offer a lower tap fee for low-income builders? “SUD’s policy has always been everybody pays the same amount,” Beavers said. “Even when selling water to Monteagle during the drought, we had to sell it at the same rate,” said Commissioner Doug Cameron. Beavers commented that the tap fee might increase “depending on the University’s response to our request for reimbursement on the highway project.”

Updating the board on the lagoon’s inspection, Beavers said, “There are a few issues. Nothing unexpected or catastrophic. The biggest thing is to get the vegetation off the dams so the sunlight can get to them and dry them out. We have to do [vegetation control] by hand, because it’s so wet.” The dampness was caused by seepage and shade from vegetation and large trees, Beavers explained. Smith proposed some tree cutting. Beavers concurred. He observed SUD employees would likely welcome firewood from the trees and in the past SUD had tree removal done at no cost in exchange for the timber.

Beavers encourage the board to consider updating the 2008 long range plan created when the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation cited SUD for a spray fields runoff violation. “Creating a plan made us examine our operations and decide where we wanted to go and how to get there,” Beavers said. The plan looked at the entire district and how many people the water plant and wastewater treatment plant could support. At present, SUD has roughly 200 more customers than projected. “A lot of the footwork [for the long range plan] has already been done,” Beavers said. “We would just need to update the data.”

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