The sky did not look good at all as the big Navy truck was transporting 28 Navy men to Point Lomo, out of San Diego, the morning of Jan. 6, 1959.

    We were there to continue our survival training with what they called helicopter pickup or rescue at sea. One by one we would jump into the cold water (48 degrees) and the helicopter would drop a sling down for us to grab onto and be rescued.

  • It seems every rural community has that one store that is there to meet their needs.

    In Petros, Brushy Mountain Market fills that role as owner Joe Duncan wants to give back to the community that has given him so much.

    Special to the News

    I have always had great respect and admiration for the men and women who go to war for our great nation. I appreciate the great sacrifice they have made and will make in the future to see that our country remains free.

    I love my country and if I had been three years older I would have been in the Korean War. I had a brother who served during World War II, one who served during the Korean War and three of us served during the Vietnam War. We all served in the U.S. Navy.


    When I got out of the Navy in 1962, I wasted no time in getting back to Tennessee Tech to work on my degree.

    In the spring of that year I met Wanda Stronger and we fell in love. She was to become my wife in 1963. This required me to drop out of school and get a job so I went to see Dr. Wilson about a teaching job.

  • Thanksgiving was a little more enjoyable for approximately 100 families in need last Wednesday, as Morgan-Scott Project in Deer Lodge added additional holiday items to its normal weekly food line.


    I had been through aerial photography school in Pensacola, Fla. And then sent to San Diego to go through two weeks of the roughest survival training the Navy had at this time. All pilots and crew members, who would be flying over water, were required to take this training.  Since I was going Guam to be a crew member in VCP-61 squadron, I fit into that category.

  • The Wartburg Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) is there to help the community 365 days a year.

    In return, the department hopes the community will show its support nine times a year, as the second Saturday of each month the fire department hosts a fish fry to raise funds that helps keep the organization afloat.

    Special to the News

    Do you remember the days of the little county stores? It seems that every few miles there was a Mom and Pop business that sold the conveniences of life like bread, milk and luncheon meats, along with candy for the kids and soda pop for the thirsty.

    Well, we had one that was south of Wartburg on Highway 27 where we lived in the 40s. Mom and Dad decided to walk down to Walter Grace’s store to get some things for Dad’s lunch.

  • Mom and Pop stores are known for taking care of small communities.

    In Chestnut Ridge, it’s not a Mom and Pop shop, but rather a Daughter and Pop shop that takes care of the community.
    Roland Hall is the owner of Hall’s County Line Grocery, but his daughter, Sherry Harris, takes care of the day-to-day operations. Hall actually owned the store more than 30 years ago, but purchased it again a year ago for his daughter.

    Special to the news

    He was born on Oct. 13, 1898, the fifth child in a family of 16 children. His dad was a sharecropper or tenant farmer and they lived in a 16x20 one-room cabin until nine children were brought into the world. They believed in the grace of God and hard work.

    So begins the story of Sam Knisley, who would come to Morgan County in 1933 with his wife Sally. He came into the world of dire poverty. He was a cripple who did not walk until he was almost five years old.

  • A small store that opened earlier this spring is offering residents of Chestnut Ridge a little bit of everything.

    Dino and Rhonda Geracci opened Plateau Trading Post about four months ago with a goal to help those in the community buy goods close to home.

    “There’s nowhere for the locals to go anymore,” Rhonda Geracci said. “This used to be Howard’s Grocery and it was here for a long time, but when they closed there was nowhere for the older generation to go and hang out anymore.

  • By Tommy Redmon
    Special to the NEWS

    Most of the sports world has heard about Coach Homer Rice. He knows every big name in sports, past and present. He has coached at three levels, high school, college, and the NFL, and he has been a winner at all three levels.

    Coach Rice started his coaching career at Wartburg Central in 1951. He had completed his college degree at Centre College, and after deciding he wanted to get into coaching, Wartburg offered him a position. Rice led the Bulldogs to an undefeated season, the only one that Wartburg has had.

  • Rural communities often have that one stop where people like to hang out.

    In Deer Lodge that place is Pack-N-Snack market and Deli.

    Located at 1665 Deer Lodge Highway, Pack-N-Snack has been open for decades and is currently operated by Linda Hull and her daughter Jennifer Scott.

  • This Sunday, Sept. 30 will be a special day as First Baptist Church of Oakdale will be celebrating 125 years of service.
    A special morning service featuring a slideshow showing the church’s history will begin at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will follow at noon before former pastors of the church will speak in the afternoon.

  • Two of Morgan County’s biggest history buffs are now recognized for the work they’ve done to share important moments in Morgan County’s rich past.

    The Julia Ann Marcum Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the Union, 1861-1865, honored Jean Pollard and Julie Cromwell with the Civil War Remembrance Award for their work on the publication of Civil War Stories of Morgan County, Tennessee.

    “The book brought the Civil War history of Morgan County to life,” said Lynn Constan, Julia Ann Marcum chapter regent.


    Miss Marjorie Waddell taught school for 37 years. She taught elementary school at Potter’s Chapel, a one room school, and at Lancing, Deer Lodge and Sunbright. She taught high school at Sunbright and Wartburg.

    She no doubt was the most respected teacher in Morgan County. You could tell that she loved what she was doing because she always had a smile on her face.

  • Rhett Richardson lived just 99 days, but his memory lives on through others. Hundreds of those others gathered Saturday at Frozen Head State Park to participate in the Heart and Sole 5K, which is a fundraiser for Rhett’s Heart Foundation.

    Rhett was born last September with multiple heart defects. Those defects eventually took his life and now his family is hoping to help other families who are going through a similar battle.

  • Almost every weekend Matt Thomas’ smoker is filled with succulent meats, from brisket to wings.

    Those who know him are already recognizing him, whether that is providing meat for a festival or a wedding rehearsal, but he got props on a bigger stage when he recently finished fifth place in the overall Big Kahuna Tennessee State Championship and third place in the FIRE sauce category with his special hot barbecue sauce.

  • Morgan-Scott Project is known for helping the Deer Lodge and Morgan County community in a number of ways.

    Camping isn’t a way that many people think of, but Morgan-Scott Project recently hosted a week long day camp aimed at allowing kids grades K-8 to have a good time while learning about Jesus Christ.

    “It’s Camp in the Community,” Morgan-Scott Project Assistant Director Crystal Tompkins said. “It’s a faith based camp. It’s for kids.”

  • Morgan County hosted a pair of special visitors recently as Jorg Tissat and Frank Lucas visited Wartburg as part of a 52-day trip in which the duo have seen many landmarks across America.

    Along the way, Tissat and Lucas have visited large cities such as New York City and Los Angeles and they have also visited landmarks such as Mount Rushmore and Niagara Falls.

    So how did Wartburg fall into the list of must-see places for the duo?