Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Cherokee County Extension and Community Association was host to the West District Spring Activity Day on May 10th at the First Baptist Church in Murphy. Sue Rhodes, the West District ECA president presided over the meeting that focused on the theme “Make New Friends, Cherish the Old.” Mayor Bill Hughes welcomed the group as well as Dan Smith, the West District Cooperative Extension Director. Teresa Goley, Cherokee County Family and Consumer Sciences agent, provided a brief discussion of the health benefits from eating a rainbow of colors. There was also a silent auction and door prizes during the meeting. West District ECA members also submitted a multitude of beautiful items for the Cultural Arts contest. Cherokee County won a total of eight ribbons! Congratulations to the ECA members of Cherokee County! Barbara Lovingood won Best of Show. Carolyn Willer created this beautiful basket. Ethel Fisher made these beautiful Christmas ornaments. A bouquet of flowers was placed in memory of deceased ECA members. A table of fresh fruits and vegetables carried the theme of eating a rainbow of foods. Helen Dockery made these beautiful pillowcases. Madelyn Rose won a blue ribbon for this beautiful quilt. Ann Mingus won a red ribbon for her quilt. Robin Johnson created this cute and colorful bear. Every table was decorated with beautiful spring flowers. Glenda Sneed won with her beautiful oil painting and painted gourd.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The following pictures are from the Agriculture Learning Center Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less group that met from January 19 until March 26, 2012. The group lost a total of 60 pounds with Linda Michel winning the award for the most weight lost at 12 pounds. In addition, Linda Michel and Debbie Reeves also received good reports from their doctors with their blood work reports. Linda's blood sugar level had improved to the point where her diabetes medication could be reduced. In addition to her weight loss,, Debbie Also improved her cholesterol readings, her blood pressure and her triglyceride levels. Pictured Left to Right front row: Diane Kimbrell, Teresa Goley, Cathi Klopping Back Row: Linda Michel, Wanda Matthews, Barbara Parrado, Debbie Reeves, Janet Motts, Margie Brownback. Not pictured: Sue Cubulus
Teresa Goley with Linda Michel - the group's biggest loser
Left to Right: Cathi Klopping, Barbara Parrado, Linda Michel, Sue Cubulus, Diane Kimbrell, Janet Motts

Thursday, April 26, 2012

ESMMWL grand finale participants at the Hiwassee Valley Pool and Wellness Center on April 26, 2012. Left to right: Theresa Paive, Sandra Buck, Martha Palmer, Nancy Mills, Lorraine Meltz,and Elizabeth Roberts.
Left to Right: Participants who met their goal! Sandra Buck, Theresa Paive (also the biggest loser of the group at 16 pounds), Martha Palmer (lost 4 inches off her waist) and Nancy Mills.
ESMMWL Participant Appreciation - Left to Right: Theresa Paive, Sandra Buck, Martha Palmer, Nancy Mills, Lorraine Meltz, Elizabeth Roberts. Seated, Instructor: Teresa Goley THIS GROUP LOST A COMBINED WEIGHT OF 87.8 POUNDS! WE ARE SO PROUD OF THEM!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Before, During and After the Storm

Looking back over Cherokee County’s recent experience with a category 2 tornado, it seems that many people may think that they are safe from similar storms for a while. We have all heard the old saying, “lightening never strikes the same spot twice.” What about feeling that we are safe since the last significant tornado was in 1974? Keep in mind that many residents in the Chattanooga area were just finishing up with their rebuilding efforts from storms that ravaged the area in 2011 when they were struck again with severe weather last week. In short, it could happen again and it is in everyone’s best interest to take precautions now, even if your property was spared damage from last Friday’s tornado.

According to, a compilation of sound advice from many experts across the country, there are many things that we can do to protect ourselves in the event of future storms. has an extensive assortment of helpful websites. A few selected articles that seem particularly relevant to our area are highlighted below. EDEN, extension disaster education network is one such resource. “EDEN works through extension educators, specialists to assist citizens throughout U.S. Whether it’s the devastation of deadly tornadoes, the toll taken by flooding, or the wrath of wildfires, disasters take a huge economic and personal toll every year. A network of educators throughout the United States is working to help citizens better prepare for, and recover from disasters.”
EDEN is a partner with the United States Department of Agriculture, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.
More information about EDEN is available on the website or by contacting Morgan at 334-844-5699 or or Steve Cain at 765-494-8410 or

Considering Cherokee County’s recent tornado now is the time to make a plan-just in case.
First and probably the easiest precaution would be to make your own “Grab and Go” box.
“Use a durable, sealed waterproof box or backpack. Put in copies of everything that is in your emergency file, and add other important papers:

• Medical prescriptions, including eyeglasses
• Copies of children’s immunization records
• Copies of all insurance cards and policies
• Copies of the back and front of your credit cards
• Cash or traveler’s checks for several days of living expenses (credit cards may not work)
• Rolls of quarters (banks might not be open for several days)
• List of bills and when they are due
• Copies of the tax form 1040 for the last three tax years
• Copies of your home inventory list, which should include everything you own with serial numbers and purchase prices as well as photographs and/or video of these items
• Copies of any wills, durable powers of attorney, deeds, marriage certificates, military discharge papers, divorce papers and birth certificates”
If your home was built before building codes were initiated in the county, a closer inspection might be advisable. Most existing structures can be reinforced to protect against structure shift or to keep the roof intact in the event of damaging winds. Apparently gable walls are a particularly weak point in most buildings. “Gable walls must be able to withstand considerable pressure in high-wind storms. They are weak points in many homes. Reinforce gable end walls by bracing the gable wall to the attic floor.” gives the reader excellent information on these two topics as related to reinforcing your home. Check the local building codes for area requirements at this time if you have questions about reinforcements.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Teresa and Grady Are Cooking it Up!!!

Teresa Goley and Grady Norton preparing Caribbean Casserole at the Meal Planning Class held each Thursday at the Hiwassee Valley Pool and Wellness Center.
Each week a dish is featured demonstrating a healthier food preparation technique. This week's lesson focused on using beans as an economical meat substitute.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nine in 10 US Adults Get Too Much Sodium

Nearly all Americans consume much more sodium than they should, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the sodium comes from common restaurant or grocery store items.

The latest Vital Signs report finds that 10 types of foods are responsible for more than 40 percent of people’s sodium intake. The most common sources are breads and rolls, luncheon meat such as deli ham or turkey, pizza, poultry, soups, cheeseburgers and other sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes such as meat loaf, and snack foods such as potato chips, pretzels and popcorn. Some foods that are consumed several times a day, such as bread, add up to a lot of sodium even though each serving is not high in sodium.

“Too much sodium raises blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “These diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated $273 billion in health care costs.”

The report notes that the average person consumes about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, not including any salt added at the table, which is more than twice the recommended limit for about half of Americans and 6 of every 10 adults. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day. The recommendation is 1,500 milligrams per day for people aged 51 and older, and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease, and African Americans.

Key points in the Vital Signs Report:

Ten types of foods account for 44 percent of dietary sodium consumed each day.
65 percent of sodium comes from food sold in stores.
25 percent of sodium comes from meals purchased in restaurants.
Reducing the sodium content of the 10 leading sodium sources by 25 percent would lower total dietary sodium by more than 10 percent and could play a role in preventing up to an estimated 28,000 deaths per year.

Reducing daily sodium consumption is difficult since it is in so many of the foods we eat. People can lower their sodium intake by eating a diet rich in fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables without sauce, while limiting the amount of processed foods with added sodium. Individuals can also check grocery food labels and choose the products lowest in sodium. CDC supports recommendations for food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the amount of sodium added to foods.

“We’re encouraged that some food manufacturers are already taking steps to reduce sodium,” said Dr. Frieden. “Kraft Foods has committed to an average 10 percent reduction of sodium in their products over a two year period, and dozens of companies have joined a national initiative to reduce sodium. The leading supplier of cheese for pizza, Leprino Foods, is actively working on providing customers and consumers with healthier options. We are confident that more manufacturers will do the same.”

To learn more about ways to reduce sodium, visit For more information on heart disease and stroke, visit Reducing sodium is also a key component of the Million Hearts™External Web Site Icon initiative to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. To learn how to reduce sodium using the DASH eating plan, visit Web Site Icon.

Vital Signsis a CDC report that appears on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the CDC journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report provides the latest data and information on key health indicators. These are cancer prevention, obesity, tobacco use, motor vehicle passenger safety, prescription drug overdose, HIV/AIDS, alcohol use, health care-associated infections, cardiovascular health, teen pregnancy, asthma, and food safety.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Burning 'Em Up

These ladies are burning calories AND enjoying themselves at the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less class at the Agricultural Learning Center.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less 2012

Here's Teresa at the first class of Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less preparing Lemon Velvet Supreme with participant Elizabeth Roberts. Contact Teresa at 837-2210 for more info about Eat Smart.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Spring Gardening Classes to be Held

You have the plants? Now what? We are offering classes to help guide you with planting, maintaining, harvesting and preserving your garden. Classes will be offered on Wednesday, March 7, at L & N Depot during the annual 4-H plant sale pickup day. Classes are open to anyone interested in growing fruit trees and berries, as well as preserving them. You do not have to purchase plants to attend the classes. Following is the schedule of classes:
10:00-10:30 Planting, Pruning, Maintaining Fruit Trees
12:00-12:30 Planting and Care of Berries and Grapes
2:00- 2:30 Preserving Fruits and Berries

No need to pre-register.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Radon - A Silent Killer

Radon – A Silent Killer

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas. Radon is released harmlessly from the ground into outdoor air, but it can accumulate and reach harmful levels when trapped in homes and buildings.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Since radon does not have an odor and is invisible, people tend to downplay the health effects and ignore the possibility that there might be a silent killer within the walls of their home.

Cherokee County has been designated as a Zone 1 County by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which means the average home will test over 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), the level at which it is recommended that you fix your home. Houses in the same neighborhood can have very different levels, so every home should be tested. Testing homes for radon is simple and inexpensive. Radon test kits can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores, directly from radon testing companies, or are available for free during January from the NC Radon Program. A limited number of radon kits will be available in the Cherokee County Cooperative Extension office in January. They will be available on a first come basis. The Cooperative Extension Office is located in downtown Murphy at 39 Peachtree Street, suite 103. Should your home be found to have elevated levels of radon, the problem can be fixed by qualified contractors for a cost similar to that of many other home repairs. In our area, the cost can be from $1,000 to $2,500 depending on the home.

The NC Radon Program urges residents to take action during this year’s National Radon Action Month by testing their homes for radon. Radon poses a serious threat to our community’s health, but there is a straightforward solution. For more information on radon and to receive your free radon test kit, please contact your Cooperative Extension office at 837-2210 or visit the NC Radon Program’s website at

A New You for 2012

A new you is within reach. With New Year’s resolutions we see the age-old commitment to lose weight and improve eating habits. Just as other habits that we try to change sometimes need help, this challenge is no different. There are many resources available to help but there is one in Cherokee County that may be your best option. Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less is a national and state supported initiative sponsored by Cooperative Extension.
This program features weekly strategies, group support, and educational materials to help you with your weight management goal. While there is a weekly weigh in, pounds lost are not the only benchmark of success. Many people realize inches lost before actual pound reduction. Call the Cherokee County Cooperative Extension Office today and sign up for the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less program. There are two different opportunities that you can take advantage of:
Session 1 Hiwassee Valley Pool and Wellness Center, Murphy
Each Thursday starting January 19th 9-10 am

Session 2 Agriculture Learning Center, Ranger
Each Tuesday and Thursday starting January 19th 4-5 pm

Session 2 is different in that a workout is included with the program. You only need to bring an exercise matt and a set of light dumbbells for each class.

The cost for session 1 is $10.00.
The cost for session 2 is $20.00.

Both programs will run for approximately 15 weeks.
Contact Teresa Goley at 837-2210 to register and obtain more information.