SMPOA Police & Fire Appreciation Week

The Sweetwater Merchants and Property Owners Association (SMPOA) is hosting its annual Police & Fire Appreciation Week this week. SMPOA encourages all businesses to share information, post a comment on social media to support Sweetwater Police Department and Sweetwater Fire Department, or take a note/item to the locations in town. If you’d like to email an encouraging note, please email to and she will print them and place them in the department mailboxes for Police Chief Eddie Byrum or Fire Chief John Anderson to pick up. If you stop by the police or fire stations, take a photo and share with SMPOA. Cash Express will also host a short ceremony at the gazebo in downtown Sweetwater on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. to honor law enforcement.

Ballplay Ruritan moves meetings to Tellico

Ballplay Ruritan Club has announced that after much thought and consideration, it is moving its meetings to Tellico Plains so the club can continue to grow and help more people. The first meeting at the new location of the Tellico Plains Community Center will be held on Monday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. The Ballplay Ruritan Club supports projects in both the Ballplay and Tellico Plains communities. Everyone is invited to see how the club benefits the area and how you can help them on their mission.

SPL updated hours

Due to the continuing increase in positive COVID-19 cases, Sweetwater Public Library will be operating under the following guidelines until further notice.

The library will be open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, however, are for high risk patrons — those who are 65 years old and older or persons with compromised immune systems. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for families and low risk individuals. Fridays the library will only be open for curbside service, printing/faxing and a 30-minute express computer will be available in the lobby. The library will be closed on Fridays for any in-person browsing or checkouts.

Curbside pickup, printing and faxing services and the express computer will be available all week long during open hours. All other computer usage is available by appointment only by calling ahead to 423-337-5274.

TN Serves at Fort Loudoun

Tennesseans have been challenged to get out and serve in their communities. September has been designated to serve Tennessee State Parks.

On Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon, participate in TN Serves at Fort Loudoun.

As the most visited site at the park, Fort Loudoun sees thousands of people each year and park staff needs your help in keeping it in tip-top condition. Projects will include sweeping the buildings and evicting spiders and wasps. Some minor trail work will also be done on River Gate Trail, located outside of the fort. Trail work will include clearing the trail corridor and cleaning interpretive paneling.

This volunteer work day is limited to 10 participants. If interested, please register in advance.

A liability waiver must be completed to participate. Wear appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes, and bring work gloves and plenty of water. All other tools will be provided.

For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Spay/neuter voucher session cancelled

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Sept. 12 free spay and neuter voucher session has been cancelled. The next Monroe County Friends of Animals (MCFA) Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) voucher session will be on Oct. 10. More information will be released closer to that date.

Fort Loudoun tour

Join Ranger Lauren Baghetti for a tour of Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. As you tour the buildings of Fort Loudoun, Ranger Baghetti will explain the roles of the fort and its many parts. Together, you will step back in time to experience Fort Loudoun on a more personal level, examining the lives of those who both thrived and struggled within the walls of this wilderness outpost.

The cost to participate is $5. Participants should meet at the Visitor Center.

For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Overhill Trade at Fort Loudoun

Join Park Ranger Will Kinton at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Friday, Sept. 18, from 2-3:15 p.m. in the Cherokee Summer House to explore the powerful bonds once formed between the Cherokee and Colonial South Carolina, bonds that were cemented through trade.

Participants will gaze upon various trade items and discover the impact trade had on both cultures. This program will offer insight into the over harvesting of fur-bearing animals, the growing dependence upon outside cultures for necessities, and even the heroic efforts of Abraham, a black slave brought into the Cherokee country by one of the traders.

The cost of this presentation is $5 for ages 13 and older. Ages 12 and under can participate for free. Registration is required. Space is limited to 25 participants.

To register, call Fort Loudoun at 423-420-2331.

Fort Loudoun Island Kayak Paddle

Join Ranger Lauren Baghetti at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Monday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a paddle around the island. Along the way, the group will enjoy scenery of Unicoi Mountains, trees and perhaps waterfowl. The group will also learn some of the history of Fort Loudoun, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the importance of waterways in Tennessee.

The tour will depart from and end at the boat dock/kayak launch located next to the main parking lot. This paddle is recommended easy to moderate.

Kayaks and kayak equipment are available for those who do not have their own. Anyone with their own kayak and equipment is welcome to bring it. The cost to participate is $20 without a kayak rental or $30 with a park kayak rental. Please bring a life jacket if you have one and bottled water. Space is limited to 10 participants, so register asap.

For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

Evolution of Colonial Firearms

Meet Park Ranger Will Kinton at Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore on Friday, Sept. 25, at 2 p.m. for a presentation on Evolution of Colonial Firearms. During this presentation, Ranger Kinton will discuss and demonstrate the earliest black powder weapons.

The cost to participate is $10 for ages 13 and older. Ages 12 and under can participate for free.

Participants should meet at the fort sidewalk. For more information or to register, contact the park office at 423-420-2331. All programs require pre-registration.

RAD class

There will be a free RAD class on Monday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m. at Chota Community Health Services in Madisonville.

RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) is an abduction avoidance self-defense program designed just for women. This class is three hours long, during which participants discuss risk reduction and learn physical self-defense techniques to have as viable options for avoiding aggressors.

This course will be facilitated by a licensed instructor with Monroe STOPe at Chota Community Health Services, free of charge. Pre-registration is required. There are three ways to register: through the Facebook event page, online at or by calling 423-519-1232.

The number of participants will be limited to 10 due to social distancing guidelines. Registration spots are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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