Celebrate Recovery updates

Madisonville Church of God has reopened its Celebrate Recovery meetings on Tuesday nights. Refreshments begin at 6 p.m., followed by worship at 6:30 p.m. Small groups will start around 7:45 p.m. Small groups are divided into men's and women's groups and are safe places to give and receive positive support for individual needs.

Celebrate Recovery meetings on Mondays at Sweetwater First Baptist, however, continue to remain cancelled.

Watts Bar Church of God in Decatur holds Celebrate Recovery meetings on Thursday nights each week. Refreshments and fellowship begins at 6 p.m. (free meal!) with worship and a lesson following at 6:30 p.m. Small groups begin around 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit wattsbarchurch.com.

Red Sand Project

The Red Sand Project, a statewide human trafficking awareness initiative, is scheduled for the week of July 27 through Aug. 2. This initiative is being led locally by Monroe STOPe. To request a red sand installation at your place of business, or to request the materials to perform your own installation, please call 423-519-1232 or send a message through Facebook @MonroeSTOPe or on Monroe STOPe's Red Sand Project event page. Materials will be made available to the public free of charge while supplies last on a first-come, first-serve basis.

School reopening survey

The Monroe County School System is seeking parent, student, staff and community stakeholder feedback on the reopening of schools. The district asks any interested stakeholders to please take a few minutes to complete a survey concerning important factors in planning the reopening of our schools. Responses will be analyzed in order to plan for the 2020-21 school year, in conjunction with guidance from the Tennessee Department of Education and the Department of Public Health. The estimated time to complete the survey is 10 minutes. To take the survey, visit: https://forms.gle/PC5YZRU9zB3bjXwN6

SPL contest

As part of its Summer Reading Program, Sweetwater Public Library is holding a children’s story contest. Contest rules and guidelines are as follows:

Create a children’s story consisting of 32 pages or less with illustrations;

The story must focus on Engleman Park’s Splash Pad and answer the following two questions: Who lives behind the door in the tree, and why don’t they answer when we knock?

Participants may work together with credits given for each individual, but only one $50 winning cash prize will be given per age group.

Age groups are as follows: 4 to 8 years old, 9 to 11 years old, 12 to 17 years old, and 18 and up.

Stories must be submitted at the library or emailed to AssistantDirector.spl@gmail.com no later than 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 16.

The $50 cash prizes will be given out to the four winners on Thursday, July 30.

Sweetwater’s Independence Day Celebration

The City of Sweetwater will hold its annual Independence Day Celebration on Saturday, July 4. There will be live music featuring The Crew at the bandstand at the Duck Park from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., vendors and a fireworks show by Pyro Shows at dark. City officials ask that attendees bring their own chairs and use proper social distancing measures with people outside of their households.

Vonore Duck Drop

The annual Vonore Duck Drop, a fundraiser for the Vonore Historical Society, will be held on Saturday, July 4 at 10 a.m. Ducks will be dropped from the Vonore Baptist Church yard and cross the finish line across from the Vonore Heritage Museum. Ducks are $5 each and can be purchased from Vonore Historical Society members. There are several prizes up for grabs, including a $300 first-place prize. For more information, call 423-884-2989 or 423-351-4611. Due to the coronavirus, it is not required to be present to win.

This year’s National Muscadine Festival cancelled

The Monroe County Chamber of Commerce has announced that this year’s National Muscadine Festival has been cancelled.

“While we are disheartened at the thought of a September without this event, we feel that moving forward would be a risk to our community and that seeking the monetary support it takes to hold the festival is not in the best interest of our local business community, who have had to deal with so many challenges,” wrote Chamber officials on its Facebook page.

Organizers say they plan to be back and better than ever for the 2021 festival.

SPL updates

Sweetwater Public Library is now open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with limitations. A maximum of 10 people are allowed inside the library at one time. Guests can only be inside the library for a period of no more than 30 minutes.

Computer use for one-hour limits is by appointment only. You will need to call the library to book a session. Patrons must wash hands before computer use, or will be given the last appointment of the day.

Express computer access is available. A 30-minute workstation is open in the library lobby, set up for black and white printing.

Curbside pickup is available from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. Reservations can be placed by phone or online using the card catalog at sweetwaterpubliclibrary.org.

Printing, faxing and copying services are available.

At this time, there will be no library programming to protect patron and staff health. This is in compliance with CDC recommendations for group gatherings.

The Summer Reading Program is available online at splsummerreading.readsquared.com/

For more information, call the library at 423-337-5274 or send library staff a message on the library’s Facebook page.

SPL Summer Reading Program

With the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, Sweetwater Public Library will offer a free online Summer Reading Program through READsquared. For anyone wanting to participate in the program without internet access, reading slips will be available at the Mayes Avenue entrance to the library.

On June 25, the staff of the library will continue to create fun and imaginative crafts you can use to tell your own stories and adventures in an Imagine Your Story program.

MPL Summer Reading Program

Madisonville Public Library has moved its Summer Reading Program online this year. The program can be accessed at madisonvillelibrary.readsquared.com. Follow the link and create an account for your child and they can log reading or listening minutes to earn prizes. Children will earn a price for the first 100 minutes reading or listening. After that, they will receive a prize bag with 10 items each time they reach about 500 minutes. For each 100 minutes, they will be entered into a random drawing at the end of the program. For more information, call the library at 423-442-4085 and ask for Children’s Librarian Sandy.

VPL Summer Reading Program

This summer, Vonore Public Library will have an at-home, family fun Summer Reading Program. The theme for 2020 is “Imagine Your Story,” and the library will be exploring stories about dragons, unicorns, knights, superheroes, giants, mermaids and many more.

Families will be able to come to the library to check out books and pick up activity packets centered around the theme of the week.

Participants can track the number of times that they take home books to read from the library, with prizes being awarded for regular visits.

Call the library at 423-884-6729 to register for the program and get started. This year’s program will go through Aug. 1.

The library’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday each week. For now, that visit includes wearing masks and gloves.

TPL Summer Reading Program

Tellico Plains Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is also underway. If you were unable to attend the kickoff and want to participate in the program, stop by the library to register or register online at www.tellicoplainspubliclibrary.org. Summer Reading Program events will be held every Thursday at 6 p.m. until July 23 (but no event will be held on July 2).

Curbside service at MPL

Madisonville Public Library has started curbside pickup services. Patrons can reserve up to 10 items in advance online, or over the phone using their library card. Call the library at 423-442-4085 to schedule a pickup appointment. You can drop off any books you have checked out at your scheduled pickup time or put them in the drop slot.

Tom-Forgery at Fort Loudoun

Swing the hammer with all your might! Meet the blacksmith inside his shop at Fort Loudoun on Thursday, June 25 and get ready for a fiery journey. Join Seasonal Ranger Eric Collins as he makes hooks for the garrison coat racks, nails for reinforcing ramparts and other metal hardware. Fundamentals of a blacksmith’s work will be demonstrated, along with a historical look into one of the most important roles of a settlement. There will be three separate programs: from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to stay afterwards for additional information. The programs are free, but registration is required. To register, call Fort Loudoun at 423-420-2331. This program will also be held on Monday, June 29.

A Soldier’s Life for Me

Curious to see if you can handle the life of a British soldier? Join Fort Loudoun State Historic Area’s Seasonal Ranger Eric Collins on Friday, June 26 for a day of living history at the fort. Grab your canteen and head to the Grand Barracks to talk about life as a British soldier on the frontier during the French and Indian War. A musket demonstration will also be provided for attendees who are not opposed to loud noises. There will be three separate programs: from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to stay afterwards for additional information. Call Fort Loudoun at 423-420-2331 for more information or to register for a program.

Trader Joe at Fort Loudoun

Grab your moccasins and string your beads! Meet Seasonal Ranger Eric Collins inside Fort Loudoun on Saturday, June 27 to interact with an 18th century frontier merchant. Hear stories of faraway villages and haggles for priceless treasures. Recount the life of a trader on the frontier and browse the goods he has for sale. There will be three separate programs: from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Each program is limited to nine participants. Registration is required. To register, call Fort Loudoun at 423-420-2331.

18th Century Medicine at Fort Loudoun

Join Seasonal Ranger Eric Collins at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Sunday, June 28 in the fort’s infirmary to delve into the fine arts of 18th century medicine and surgery, covering aspects that range from early amputations to medicinal treatments still used today. There will be three separate programs: from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration is required. To register, call Fort Loudoun at 423-420-2331. Visitors are welcome to stay afterwards for additional information.

TPL is open

Tellico Plains Public Library is now open with limitations. The library has limited hours and is limiting the number of patrons inside the building and using the computers. There will be no programming, however, until further notice, but virtual programming options, including Facebook Live story times and Zoom meetings, are in the works.

For curbside pickup, patrons can reserve books online or by phone and the librarians will place materials in a bag outside the door when the patron arrives. Patrons who need copies and faxes can call ahed for services, and it will be handled through the book drop slot.

New limited hours are as follows: Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with curbside pickup from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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