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80 Years Ago

News 9-22-99

Marble Festival Draws Diverse Crowd
Legislative Body Meeting Held Monday




Marble Festival Draws Diverse Crowd

By Gretchen Hollars

The Standing Stone International Marbles Festival held Saturday, Sept. 18 drew a diverse crowd.

People from many different countries and states including Mauritania, Africa, New Zealand, Great Britain, Vietnam, and states ranging from Oklahoma to Michigan attended the event. Approximately 1,100 people attended this year's festival, according to Park officials.

Sonny Harden, 57, of Ooltewah was just one of the people looking to take part in the action in the National Rolley Hole Marbles Championship.

"This is the first time I've shot marbles in 45 years," he said, as he was speaking about entering the competition. "I like the enthusiasm involved. Everyone seems so excited."

Bob Fulcher, natural and cultural resource educator with Tennessee State Parks said, "This is the only marble festival in the world that tries to bring it all into one spot."

Fulcher said that he hopes to see the festival continue to thrive and have more people from different parts of the world to demonstrate marble games. Also, he said that he hopes next year's festival will have more of an emphasis on children, and be able to offer more music bands.

Fulcher is responsible for making the arrangements to fly people in from various parts of the world to participate in the festival.

He also helps make the arrangements for housing some of the participants.

"Communication is not a problem," said Fulcher. "Marbles is the most universal game in the world."

He said that the game of marbles has a way of uniting people, breaking through both language, social, and cultural barriers.

"I think the people of Overton County should really be proud of their park. If Overton County wasn't supportive the festival wouldn't go," said Fulcher.

The festival offered a variety of different activities and marble games including: the National Rolley Holes Marble Championship, the Tennessee Square Tournament, Cherokee Indian Marbles, the Standing Stone Ringer Tournament, the British Ringer Tournament, a section of marble games demonstrated by people from various states and countries, marble games and demonstrations set up for children, several gospel and bluegrass bands performing throughout the day, and marble making demonstrations.

According to Park Ranger David Gore, this marks the 17th year of the National Rolley Hole Marbles Championship.

He said that the Marbles Festival has gained a lot of popularity since the beginning when the Park's resources only allowed for the Rolley Hole Tournament and maybe a little bluegrass music in the background.

Most of the monies to hold the marbles festival came from Friends of Standing Stone, and whatever funds the organization collected gets filtered back into some of the Park's programs, according to Mike Gilpatrick, president of Friends of Standing Stone.

As pertaining to the marble festival, Gilpatrick said, "We would like to see it go back to a true children's activity but with an international flare."

Anyone wishing to join Friends of Standing Stone or wishing to make a donation to the organization should call Mike Gilpatrick at (931) 823-2587, or call Park Manager Billy Martin at (931) 823-6487.


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Legislative Body Meeting Held Monday
By Dewain E. Peek

The Overton County Legislative Body held its regular monthly meeting Monday, Sept. 20 with all members present.

The County Commission authorized the Sheriff's Department to charge for accident reports. The Sheriff's Dept. asked for the charge to be $4 per report, but Commissioner Wayne Sells made the motion to authorize a $5 charge for the reports, which was unanimously approved.

A resolution was adopted to establish the fixed rate reimbursement for housing state prisoners. According to County Executive Richard M. "Ossie" Mitchell, the rate is about $18 per day for state prisoners, but would have been about $38 per day if the jail met state certification instead of being condemned.

The Commission approved a tax anticipation note not to exceed $300,000. According to Executive Mitchell, the county may not have to borrow any money, but the county may need to borrow some to meet operating expenses until tax revenue comes in.

The low bid of J.C. Bradford & Co. of 5.2761 percent for the $9,500,000 series 1999 school bonds was approved.

The first reading of a resolution to clarify, amend and designate the proceeds from the Motor Vehicle Privilege Tax for school purposes was approved with Commissioner Donnie Bull voting no. According to Executive Mitchell, the action was recommended to put the $30 wheel tax in one resolution because the tax was first approved at $10 and a later legislative body added another $20 with a different action. The action did not change the cost of the wheel tax, which remains at $30.

The Commission approved donating proceeds from the sale of timber on county property in Hanging Limb to the Hanging Limb Recreation Association to be used for improving the park in Hanging Limb.

A budget amendment for the school system was postponed to the next Legislative Body meeting. Road names approved for emergency purposes were Wagon Trail Lane and Bush Lane.

Delta Country Lane was approved as a county road.

Dodson Branch Road was renamed Stoney Creek Road.

R.D. Todd Jr. addressed the Commission asking that a bridge that leads to a cemetery be kept up by the county. The Commission voted to have the county maintain the bridge.

Approved as notaries-at-large were Pat Huckeby, Patricia Hensley, Edward Poston, and Donna Bilyeu.

A representative from Prudential made a presentation to Mountain First Responders President Tom Clark concerning a $1,529 matching funds grant awarded to the Mountain First Responders by the Prudential Life Insurance Company of America to purchase a portable cardiac defibrillator.

The meeting adjourned.

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