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Rocky Top library hosts seminar on planting flower, vegetable seeds

UT Agricultural Extension Service master gardener Jan- et Donaldson, right, explains the intricacies of starting flower and vegetable plants from seeds during a recent seminar at the Rocky Top Public Library. - G. Chambers Williams III
Growing flowers and vegetables from seeds takes a bit of effort and know-how, attendees at a short seminar at the Rocky Top Public Library found out last Friday.

Master gardener Seth Whitehouse and colleagues from the UT Agricultural Extension Service in Anderson County put on the training session for people who are interested in setting up their own gardens this spring.

They offered the same program recently at the Oak Ridge and Norris libraries, both of which now offer seed packets at no charge to library patrons wanting to start gardens.

Leading the Rocky Top seed-starting session was master gardener Janet Donaldson of Norris, who is well known in her own community for her prowess in cultivation of plants.

Also assisting from the UT Extension Service were master gardeners Debra Reed and Yvonne Webb.

“Gardening is just a big science experiment,” Donaldson told the seminar attendees.

She said planting of flowers “should be started early,” and that planting of vegetables should wait until about May 1, after the last possible date for frost.

Whitehouse said that in this area, “There is a 90% chance of no frost after April 28,”

“Don’t put vegetables out too early,” he said.

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Armstrong Rubber Company retirees hold reunion

Clark is pictured here with her son Keith Clarke, her granddaughter Melissa Renee Crawford, and her great-granddaughter Bristol Renee Crawford.
We are happy to showcase possibly the oldest returning member of the Armstrong Rubber Company Retirees held a reunion on Wednesday, April 17. Members of the group recognized Jeannene Clark as one of the oldest returning members. She worked at the plant with her daughter and son for more than 20 years.

“We all love her determination and spiciness; she is a blessing to her family for sure,” said Al Walker, a group member.

St. Joseph holding special celebration on April 28

St. Joseph Catholic Church in Norris will hold a special 75th anniversary celebration on April 28 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

There will be vespers, dinner and a special program.

The church is at 3425 Andersonville Highway.

Tickets are $25 for ages 15 and up. and $10 for ages 5-14. There is no charge for children under 5.

Event organizers are looking for photos of church activities and parishioners from all eras.

Anyone with photos to share may scan and email them to

Famed Fisk Jubilee Singers perform in Oak Ridge fundraiser

A hush fell over the more than 500 people in attendance at Oak Ridge’s Grove Theatre when the Fisk Jubilee Singers entered the auditorium on Good Friday evening.

The famed group of Fisk University students from Nashville brought history to life in singing old spirituals like “Great Day” and “Down by the Riverside” to a full audience. The Fisk Jubilee Singers are an a cappella group with roots dating to 1871.

Among those present in the audience were a stalwart few of the remaining Scarboro 85, the students who desegregated Oak Ridge Schools in 1955. Cali Foster, a fourth grader at Glenwood Elementary School introduced the singers. She is the great granddaughter of Ernestine Avery, one of the Scarboro 85 students.

The Scarboro 85 Monument Committee organized the event as a fundraiser for a future monument in Oak Ridge’s A.K. Bissell Park honoring the Scarboro 85. The 85 attended Oak Ridge High School and Robertsville Middle School, but the name Scarboro 85 refers to the school and neighborhood from which they came.

Oak Ridge historian Rose Weaver, a member of the committee who put on the event, felt moved by the performance.

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