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80 Years Ago

Archives 04-28-2004



Cicadas predicted to return after 17 years
Allons man seriously injured in boating accident on Dale Hollow
Limited funds available through LIHEAP program



Cicadas predicted to return after 17 years

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
After molting, a cicada emerges from its shell.

It happens every 17 years, and in some areas the "song" can be deafening. This spring, the 17-year cicadas are predicted to return.

Designated as Brood X, or Brood Ten, this periodical insect should emerge from subterranean dens in early May, about the time the soil temperature (four inches deep) reaches 67 degrees F.

Infestations should be particularly widespread throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana, as well as parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and northern Georgia.

In terms of volume, their distinctive call is truly one of nature's most impressive love songs. Male cicadas "sing" to attract mates, and with populations numbering in the hundreds of thousands of cicadas per acre more than a million in some locales Dr. Frank Hale, an entomologist with University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, says the noise will be hard to escape.

He also notes their sheer numbers can make these insects quite a nuisance to people and that they are attracted to some running lawn mower or garden tractor engines. They can also threaten young trees and ornamentals.

"Females can damage young trees when they slit the bark to make furrows for their eggs," Hale said.

He recommends property owners take damage prevention measures in areas that have a history of high cicada populations.

"In young fruit tree plantings, delay pruning until after the cicada emergence so you can remove damaged branches and establish a proper scaffolding of branches. If you prune before the eggs hatch, which is five weeks or less after the eggs are laid, burn the damaged twigs," he said.

When it is feasible, Hale recommends covering small, valuable shrubs, trees, and ornamentals with cheesecloth or spun row cover for protection while cicadas are present.

Those with extensive nursery holdings or who may need more extensive control should consult with their local county Agricultural Extension agent, Hale said.

"The good news is that periodical cicadas do not eat foliage or crops," he said. "That's locusts. Locusts are certain species of grasshoppers."

In addition to the myth of causing total defoliation, cicada emergences have been associated with predictions of war because of the distinctive "W" formed by the pigmented veins on the outer end of their front wings. Hale says they have also been incorrectly accused of poisoning fruit by stinging.

"Cicadas cannot sting," he said.

A detailed publication about periodical cicadas is listed at utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/. Click on the category "Insects, Pests and Plant Diseases" and follow the link for Periodical Cicada.

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Allons man seriously injured in boating accident on Dale Hollow

Allons man seriously injured in boating accident on Dale Hollow

An Allons man was seriously injured in a boating accident on Dale Hollow Lake around noon Monday, April 26.

According to reports, Ronnie Melton, of Allons, was driving a bass boat on Dale Hollow Lake near Hendricks Creek when the boat hit debris in the water, throwing both Melton and his passenger, Rex Stannard, also of Allons, into the water. The driverless boat circled and struck Melton, causing severe cuts to his left leg and knee area.

The men were picked up by a couple, who were fishing while visiting from Oklahoma. They brought the men to Willow Grove Resort.

Melton was reportedly transported to Livingston Regional Hospital for treatment, and then was transported to Cookeville Regional Medical Center.

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Limited funds available through LIHEAP program

Upper Cumberland Human Resources Agency has announced that a limited amount of funds are available for summer cooling assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

UCHRA will be distributing applications for summer cooling assistance in 10 counties on Thursday, May 6 only.

Cooling assistance is available only to households of elderly or disabled members or households that have obtained a signed statement of medical need by a physician, nurse, or medical social worker.

Applicants must provide proof of income and Social Security numbers for all household members, and must bring an electric bill.

Benefit levels will be either $175 or $275, based upon the total number of household priority points. Households qualifying for a benefit may choose to apply the total award amount to its utility bill, use the award to purchase an air conditioner or a fan (if they have not previously received one with LIHEAP funds), or a combination of the two.

Applications for summer cooling assistance will be distributed at the UCHRA offices in Cannon, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Van Buren, Warren, and White from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 6.

Medical statement forms will be available one week prior to application date. Persons wishing to apply should go to the UCHRA office in the county of their residence.

Applicants receive notification of their approval or denial by mail.

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Overton County News
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