Community Notes:

A Pioneer Christmas at Thompson-Brown House
The public is invited to the Thompson-Brown House located across from Blount Memorial Hospital between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Friday Dec. 1 for an old fashioned open house.

The 200-year- old log cabin will twinkle with period decorations provided by the Blount County Garden Clubs. There will be displays of Cades Cove miniature replica buildings and antique tools and toys. A light lunch will be provided for all visitors by the Blount County Historic Trust and Keep Blount Beautiful at no cost.

At noon, a special presentation will be made to honor the contribution of Melissa Nance, former director of the Little River Watershed Association.

For more information, call 865-681-4809 or email

Christmas Open House at Sam Houston Schoolhouse
Sam Houston Historic Schoolhouse will host a Christmas Open House, from 1 - 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Raven Hall Pavillion located on the hill at the Sam Houston HIstoric Schoolhouse site. There will be plenty of entertainment and refreshments. The site will be decorated in the manner it might have been during the time Sam Houston taught at the Schoolhouse in 1811. Tour guides will be dressed in period dress, walking around the site grounds to show guests the schoolhouse, museum and gift shop.

Musical groups performing include:

  • Rhythm Pickups from Music Row, at 1 p.m.
  • First Christian Church Choir at 2 p.m.
  • Don Brakebill Singers at 3 p.m.
  • Sisters of the Silver Sage at 4 p.m.

There will be rides offered up the hill for all persons who can’t walk up the sidewalk to the Pavilion. This event is free and open to the public.

Sam Houston Historic Schoolhouse is located at 3650 Sam Houston School Road in Maryville. For more information, call 865-983-1550.

Santa makes phone calls to children
Parks and Recreation is now accepting registration for the "Santa Call the Children" program. Thanks to the Maryville-Alcoa Civitan, this Hometown Christmas event has become a community tradition and allows children ages 3-7 an opportunity to enjoy a very special telephone call from Santa Claus. For more than 20 years, Civitan volunteers have been arranging calls from Santa to hundreds of children in Blount County and plans for this year’s event are well underway.

Registration applications are available at Parks and Recreation, 316 S. Everett High Road with the deadline set for Dec. 1.
Children ages 3-5 will be called on the evening of Dec. 5 between the hours of 5-9 p.m. and ages 6 and 7 will receive calls on Dec. 7 from 5-9 p.m. For those who have submitted registration for members of their family to receive a call, parents are encouraged to make sure their children are available on the days and times specified.

For more information on this and other Hometown Christmas programs sponsored by the Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks and Recreation and Blount Today, please call 865-983-9244 or visit

Townsend Library is a top 10 American library
The Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library in Townsend has been ranked number 2 in its population category by Hennen’s
American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR) 2006. HAPLR identifies the public libraries in America with the highest input and output measures. Scoring is similar to an ACT or SAT score with a theoretical minimum of 1 and a maximum of 1,000, although most libraries score between 260 and 730. The Mary Tippitt Library scored 895. The listing is featured in the November 2006 issue of American Libraries magazine, a publication of the American Libraries Association. For more information visit the HAPLR website at

The Mary Tippitt Library is located at 120 Tiger Drive in Townsend. Hours are Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m., and Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a drop box by the front door for after-hours returns.

Computer access is available to residents and visitors at no charge. Faxing, printing, and copying services are available for a small fee.

For more information, call 865-448-1441, fax 865-448-1875, email:, or visit the website at

Maryville High School to hold holiday concert
The Maryville High School Orchestra, Maryville Singers and Trebelettes will present a Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the auditorium of First Baptist Church, Maryville.

The concert will feature the choirs and orchestra performing Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi under the direction of Dr. Ken Hawkins. Special guests for the evening will be Dr. Wei Tsun Chang, violin, and Seanad Dunigan Chang, viola, performing the Sinfonie Concertante by Mozart with the high school orchestra under the direction of Bill Robinson. Dr. Chang teaches violin at Tennessee Tech University and at the Blair School of Music in Nashville. Mrs. Chang teaches viola at Tennessee Tech and is a member of the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. The concert is free to the public, but donations will be collected for the Mission of Hope.

For more information contact Bill Robinson at 865-659-8596.

A Secret Safe Place to hold "Breakfast with Santa"
A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee will hold a "Breakfast with Santa" from 7 - 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 2, at Applebee’s on Alcoa Highway.

Children of all ages and their families can enjoy pancakes with Santa, as well as participate in table activities. There will also be an opportunity to purchase special Christmas ornaments. Tickets are $5 for adults and children and include pancakes, sausage, and a drink. Tickets are available in advance from the Secret Safe Place Business Office at 865-254-2208 or at the door of the event. All proceeds benefit A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee.

The goal of the organization is to raise awareness of Tennessee’s Safe Haven Law in order to prevent newborn abandonment. The law allows the anonymous surrender of unharmed newborns up to three days old to hospitals, birthing centers, community health clinics, and walk-in clinics without fear of prosecution for the mother. For more information, please contact the business office at 865-254-2208 or access the website at Women in crisis should call the Helpline at 865-982-4224 or 1-866-699-SAFE.

Give the gift of life with Medic Regional Blood Center
Medic Regional Blood Center encourages all eligible donors to please give the ‘gift of life’ this holiday season. "This time of year donations start to drop off due to sickness and preparations for the holiday season," said Christi Fightmaster, public relations for Medic. "We are asking for everyone to please make blood donation a priority to ensure an adequate supply of blood for the community," Fightmaster continues. Medic reports that the summer months and holidays are when donors are needed most.

Medic needs A Positive and O Negative blood types. Please give blood at Medic’s headquarters 1601 Ailor Avenue or visit a community blood drive in your area.

n Wednesday, Dec. 6, Fairview United Methodist Church, 2505 Old Niles Ferry Road, from 12 p.m. - 8 p.m., Medic Mobile.
n Saturday, Dec. 9, Village Market, 7949 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Medic Mobile.

All donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh more than 110 pounds and have positive identification. Donors receive a free t-shirt, cholesterol evaluation (no fasting required) and a year’s membership toward Medic’s Family Blood Coverage program. This program exempts the donors and their IRS dependents from paying blood collection or processing fees at any U.S. hospital if a transfusion is needed.

Medic, a non-profit organization, is the sole blood provider for 28 area hospitals located in 21 counties.

© 2006 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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