From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, March 13, 1980

Blount stays dry

Results from last week’s wet/dry referendum:

No – 5081 Yes – 2929

Whether Blount County would stay dry or go wet brought greater numbers to the polls March 11 than anything else on the ballot. Blount County refused to legalize liquor sales by casting 64% of the votes in the referendum in the dry column.

More unexpected perhaps was the size of the vote cast in the Republican Presidential Primary. March 11 the ballots cast in the Republican column amounted to 41 2/3% of the total vote. A sharp increase from the 1976 primaries, which saw better than 91% of the votes cast in the Democratic race.

One change this year was that voters had the freedom from declaring themselves members of either party at the polls. Instead, voters could simply ask for the ballot they wanted. Apparently there were large numbers of Blount Countians, independents or Democrats or both, who felt more at home with former California Governor Reagan than President Carter.

Primary totals
Democratic Republican
Jimmy Carter…3714 Ronald Reagan…2332
Ted Kennedy…257 George Bush…504
Jerry Brown…113 Phil Crane…60

Future dim for program without Congressional action

More than 60 programs and 2300 clients will suffer if U.S. Congress doesn’t pass HR3434, according to Blount County teacher-director Jeanette Pass. The persons she speaks of are those participating in mental health programs throughout the state.

Blount County Development Center (BCDC), located in the basement of Lester Memorial United Methodist Church annex, has facilities to work with 15 qualifying mentally retarded countians 21 or over. Some of the 14 presently attending the special school have been together as long as 13 years, and now the department learns that the program funding may cease in May.