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Surgoinsville BMA votes to remove two-hour parking signs on Palmer Court

SURGOINSVILLE — Palmer Court was again a main topic of discussion at Surgoinsville’s Sept. 9 BMA meeting, as the board voted to remove the two-hour parking sign that was placed in May. As the Review reported in Angry citizens complain to Surgoinsville BMA about parking restrictions on Palmer Court, this topic has been brought up at numerous meetings in the recent past.

Signs enforcing the two-hour street parking limit were placed around Palmer Court at the end of May after Alderman Ken Bass brought the issue to the attention of the BMA during May’s meeting. Bass explained that numerous cars were repeatedly parking on the very short street.

“He (Bass) said that, at some points, there would be seven or eight cars parked on the street that is only a few hundred feet long,” Surgoinsville Chief of Police James Hammonds told the Review. “It would get really crowded. A couple of them were actually cars that were broken down and weren’t running. All of our streets are not wide enough to have parking on them all the time. Right now, there is no parking on the pavement. Most of them are even marked ‘no parking’.”

These restrictions did not go over well with Palmer Court residents, however, as angry residents attended both the June and July BMA meetings demanding that the signs be taken down.

During September’s meeting, Mayor Merrell Graham told the board, “I’d like a motion and a second to remove the two-hour parking limit sign on Palmer Court. Of course, that would leave the ‘no parking’ (enforced by a city-wide ordinance). There’d still be no parking (on public roads). Just as advice to them (residents of the street), if they do have to park on Palmer Court to be very sensible about it. Like we talked about in the last two meetings, if they would just use common sense, there won’t be a problem.”

Alderman Dale Byington explained that, whether or not there was a two-hour parking limit on the street, residents should not be allowed to leave non-running vehicles on the street. Graham agreed and stated the town “will not put up with that.”

“There needs to be a stipulation in there that, if the car doesn’t have tags and doesn’t run, it can’t be there,” Byington said.

“Well, that’s in the ordinance (that governs street parking),” Vice Mayor Bobby Jarnigan replied.

“This would be based on them using common sense,” Graham added.

When Byington noted that “we can’t just pick on one street,” Graham again explained that Surgoinsville has a town-wide no street parking rule, which he said “will remain.”

In the end, of those present at the meeting, Jarnigan, Graham, Byington and Matthew Sommers voted to remove the sign, and Bass voted to leave it.

Hammonds also noted that, in light of this decision and in an effort to be fair to all residents, he and his staff will be more strictly enforcing the town-wide no street parking rule.

A full copy of Surgoinsville’s Code governing motor vehicles, traffic and parking can be found along with the online version of this article at http://www.therogersvillereview.com.

Lawn clippings in public roads considered ‘littering’Jarnigan also asked Hammonds if a letter could be sent to town residents asking them to stop blowing lawn clippings into public roads, as he mentioned that there were several problem areas throughout the town.

“I don’t think we would have to do that,” Hammonds responded. “It’s been advertised — the state has even been advertising a lot about the grass. Grass and leaves (in public roads) is considered littering. The cases I’ve worked so far, I’ve done education and explained the laws to them than I give them an opportunity to clean it up.”

If it is not cleaned up, the guilty party will then receive a littering citation.

It is important to note that this is enforced not only to maintain the cleanliness of public roads but also to ensure the safety of those traveling. Lawn clipping and other debris can be especially hazardous to those riding motorcycles and bicycles, as it can cause them to overturn.

150 YEARS: Mount Carmel Baptist Church celebrates milestone anniversary

MOUNT CARMEL — On Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, Mt. Carmel’s Oak Grove Baptist Church celebrated its 150-year anniversary with special music, a guest speaker and a homecoming dinner.

A large crowd gathered for the celebration, and members were visibly proud to celebrate the legacy of their church. The sanctuary was also decorated with numerous quilts that are family heirlooms of church members.

Senior Pastor Todd Haley read a letter that the church had received from Dr. Randy Davis, the president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board that read “on behalf of the 3,200 sister Tennessee Baptist Churches, I want to congratulate you on your 150th anniversary. It’s an incredible milestone in the life of Oak Grove Baptist Church and one which reflects decades of dedication and faithfulness to our Lord.”

A place where people stayDuring the service, Haley also congratulated music director Doug Wagner on 45 years of service to the church. The President and Exec. Director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board also wrote a letter to congratulate Wagner that read in part, “It is not every day that you find someone who has been in the same ministry position for that length of time. Even though you took the job on a temporary basis as a favor to a friend, God had bigger plans. How God has used you, my dear brother.”

Wagner is not the only one who has dedicated many years to Oak Grove.

Three of the “Carpenter sisters,” Noonie Bennett, Frances Whitmore and Patsy Byerley, also spoke during the service. Though each sister has since married and taken a new surname, longtime members of the church still immediately knew the “Carpenter sisters.”

“I want to thank God for my mother and daddy,” Bennett said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. It never got too bad for them to bring us to church. We had no transportation, and we had to walk everywhere. Our dear friends would come by in their car. Now, there were eight of us (in the family), and they tried to get all of us in that car.”

Bennett explained that this story took place in the days before seatbelts, as several of her siblings would often ride on the running boards of the car as it drove to Oak Grove. She went on to say that she had been attending the church for 80 years, her sister Frances has attended for 78, and Patsy explained that she has attended “all [her] life.”

Even the guest speaker, Dr. Chuck Frazier, grew up in Oak Grove, as his father, Clay Frazier, served as pastor of the church from 1974 to 1985.

Longtime member Joan Ingram, who longtime member Kathy Salyer referred to as the “church historian,” also explained there are numerous branches of her family within Oak Grove.

Ingram grew up attending the church. After living in Georgia for 30 years, she returned to Mt. Carmel and began attending the church again.

When asked about her favorite memory of her time at Oak Grove, Ingram responded, “seeing my mother sitting on the fifth pew and bringing my own daughter here for the first time.”

She explained that her daughter actually wrote a song about Ingram’s mother sitting in “her pew” week after week. For Ingram, life really has come full circle at Oak Grove.

Missions at Oak Grove“Missions has always been a big part of what this church does,” Haley told the Review. “This church, over the years, has been one of the top 10 percent of givers towards mission projects in the state of Tennessee in the Tennessee Baptist Convention. We don’t want to just talk about the love of Christ, we want to live it out.”

Salyer told the Review that the church has a “blessing box” in their parking lot that was built in honor of a member who recently passed away. The church’s Girls in Action group built the box, which is filled with non-perishable food and toiletries that people in need can take for free.

This year will mark 17 years of the church’s involvement with Upward Basketball. They host a Harvest Festival each fall where community members can enjoy free food and games. The church partners with Samaritan’s Purse to participate in their Shoebox Ministry each November. They host a Valentine’s Day Play, which often takes the form of a reenactment of the Andy Griffith Show. Each Christmas, the church hosts an Angel Party where families can enjoy a meal, hear a Bible story, play games, and receive gifts. The church youth group is also very active in mission work.

Salyer also noted that Oak Grove was instrumental in starting both Ridgeview Baptist Church in Church Hill and Belmont Baptist Church in Mt. Carmel.

Church historyThe church began in the Oak Grove School House in 1869 with seven charter members.

In May of 1870, the church members began planning to build a small church building. Though they weren’t able to accomplish their goal at that time, records show that they still made their first pledge of $7 to Home Missions. They later began to worship in a house at Pump Springs and the Liberty School in addition to the Oak Grove School.

“Finances were a problem with the young church,” reads a church bulletin from the church’s 1986 Homecoming. “Sometimes the collection would be just 80 cents or perhaps $1.41. At times the offering would be products of the labors of the members, such as wheat or corn. These offerings were meticulously logged in the minutes.”

By 1900, the group had finally constructed a humble church building, which was located near the present location of the church’s entrance sign.

Though membership went up and down in the early 1900’s, the 1930’s saw the membership begin to outgrow the old building. Thus, a new building was built and officially dedicated in 1936. Church records show that many members furnished much of the lumber from their own property.

The first brick structure, which is part of the current educational building, was built in 1953. From there, the church has continued to grow in both size and membership, as the building has received numerous additions and renovations to achieve the present structure.

They don’t plan to stop at 150 years, though. As a handout given to visitors at Sunday’s service explained, the church has celebrated 150 years, but their story is still unfolding.

REAL ID ... WHAT IS IT? Very 'real' if you plan on flying, entering certain federal buildings after Oct. 1, 2020

SNEEDVILLE — Beginning July 1, 2019, Tennessee began issuing REAL ID Federally-compliant drivers licenses and ID cards that, effective Oct. 1, 2020, will be mandatory for persons who fly on commercial aircraft, or who have need to enter certain government buildings or nuclear facilities, including power plants.

Hancock Co. Clerk Jessie Royston told the Eagle that while his office can handle renewals of such REAL ID driver’s licenses or ID cards, it cannot process first-time requests.

“People will have to go to a full-service driver license office to apply for a REAL ID for the first time,” he said.

The REAL ID Act of 2005 was passed as a result of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, and establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.

Persons will NOT, however, need a REAL ID card to drive, vote, purchase alcohol or cigarettes, enter hospitals, Post Offices, access Federal courts, or to apply for and receive federal benefits, such as Social Security or veterans’ benefits.

And while Tennessee residents are not required to obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card, Royston said that if anyone has plans to do any travel on or after Oct. 1, 2020, that involves flying on a commercial aircraft, they may want to go ahead and get the new REAL ID certification when it comes time to renew their standard driver’s license.

“It doesn’t cost any more than it does to renew your existing driver license,” he said. “But to get the REAL ID for the first time you will have to go to a full-service driver license office and take with you the documents that prove you are who you say you are.”

A list of those documents accompanies this article and may also be found online at https://www.tn.gov/tnrealid.

All documents MUST be originals ... photocopies, faxes, etc., are not acceptable. These documents are required even if you are already a Tennessee license or ID holder and are applying for a REAL ID compliant credential for the first time, or if you are a new resident to the Volunteer State and were previously issued a REAL ID in a different state, according to the state’s website.

The air travel restriction is important to remember because as of Oct. 1 of next year, if you don’t have a REAL ID, you will not be permitted through an airport’s security checkpoint, and consequently, won’t be allowed to board your plane.

A REAL ID costs the same as current Tennessee licenses and IDs. If it is time to renew your license, the cost to obtain a REAL ID driver license or Identification credential will be the standard renewal fee of an eight-year license or ID card.

However, if you are not within your renewal period and you wish to obtain a REAL ID compliant credential, you will be charged a duplicate fee.

For more information, readers may visit: www.tn.gov/tnrealid/what-is-real-id.html, or go by the Clerk’s office in Sneedville.

Volunteer won 25-8 and 25-11 to take the best-of-three junior varsity match.