Two Killed, One Severely
Burned In Wednesday Oil Tank Explosion
Cattle Rustling Sting Conducted By Sheriff's
Alderman Meeting Held Monday
County Tax Rate To Remain
Same As Last Year
Killed, One Severely Burned In Wednesday Oil Tank Explosion
By Dewain E. Peek
An oil tank is sprayed down following an explosion Wednesday morning,
June 30 that killed two men and severely burned another.
Details are still unclear about how the explosion occurred. The
men were reportedly independent contractors hired to patch leaks
in crude oil storage tanks in an area less than a mile north of
Livingston just off of Haney Judd Road. They had reportedly finished
repairing one tank the previous day. As they were working on the
second tank around 7:45 Wednesday morning, it exploded, reportedly
sending flame more than 150 feet into the air. The tank flew approximately
40 feet from where it had stood, with the bottom of the tank separated
from the main hull.
Natural gas, a by-product of crude oil, is believed to have built
up in the tank and a spark from some source is believed to have
ignited it, causing the explosion.
According to reports, Rob Schoettle of the Overton County Sheriff's
Department arrived on the scene and met Kelly Jack Daniels, burned
on more than 65 percent of his body, walking toward him.
Marty Geesling, 24, and Johnny Garrett, 46, were both dead at the
scene. Daniels, 25, was transported to Erlanger Medical Center in
Chattanooga. Daniels has since reportedly been given artificial
skin grafts on his back.
A discharged fire extinguisher was reportedly found near Garrett's
body, near the welding truck. A fully charged fire extinquisher
was reportedly found on the ground near one of the other trucks.
Another man thought to have been working at the site was found
to have stayed home that morning.
Agencies responding to the scene along with the Sheriff's Dept.
included the Livingston Police Department, Livingston Volunteer
Fire Department, Overton County Ambulance Service, Fairgrounds Volunteer
Fire Department, TEMA, EPA, TOSHA, OSHA, and a member of the Monroe
Volunteer Fire Department.
Sting Conducted By Sheriff's Dept.
An investigation by the Overton County Sheriff's department uncovered
a suspected cattle rustling ring in Hilham on June 22.
During the past several months a number of cattle and bulls have
disappeared from farms in Hilham, according to the Sheriff's Dept.
The disappearances occurred in a localized area. In an attempt to
determine what was happening to the cattle, the deputies put red
paint in the ear of three cows. The cows were then released on the
rightful owner's property.
The Sheriff's Dept. then set up a stake out.
According to the sheriff's department, a few hours after the operation
began, undercover officers observed the three marked cattle on a
suspected neighbor's land, near a group of the neighbor's cattle.
A short time later the three marked cattle were placed into a corral
At approximately 5:30 a.m. the next morning the three marked cattle,
only, were reportedly taken from the corral and transported by truck
and trailer to Crossville, where they were allegedly sold for $1,000.
The cows were recovered at a stockyard after being identified by
the red paint and the owner a short time later.
The investigation is ongoing and will be presented to the Overton
County Grand Jury.
Anyone with information regarding cattle theft is asked to contact
Sgt. Robert Garrett or Deputy Greg Etheredge at (931) 823-5635.
By Dewain E. Peek
The Livingston mayor and Board of Aldermen held their regular monthly
meeting Monday, July 5 with Alderman Johnny Halfacre absent.
The "Do Not Enter" sign on spring street will be moved
close to the sidewalk and another sign will be placed next to the
sidewalk on the other side of the street.
A company was hired to draw up the plan for the Livingston Airport.
First reading on rezoning Hershell Wilson property near the old
Tri-Con building from R-1 to I-1 was approved. A public hearing
was set for 10 a.m. Friday, July 23.
County Commissioners Stanley Carter and Frank Martin were appointed
to the Airport Committee.
Mike Gilpatrick was hired at the water department to replace Mike
Michael Presley was hired at the street department to replace Danny
Greer who took another job.
The Board will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 14 for a public
hearing and consider a second reading on the budget for 1999-2000.
The meeting adjourned.
County Taz Rate
To Remain Same As Last Year
By Dewain E. Peek
The Overton County Legislative Body held a called meeting Thursday,
July 1. Commissioner Johnnie Webb was absent.
A resolution was adopted to fix the tax levy at $1.89, the same
as last year.
According to Executive Mitchell, the county's tax base increased
$111,000. "That's not much growth, but it's better than going
in the other direction," Mitchell said. "It did have some
"So, we only had $111,000 new money to work with and we were
still able to keep the tax rate the same. I'm really proud of that.
"There are 85 counties that have a higher tax rate than Overton
An appropriating resolution was adopted for General Fund, Courthouse
& Jail Maintenance Fund, Solid Waste Fund, Drug Fund, General Purpose
School Fund, Highway Fund, Central Cafeteria Fund, and Debt Service
The first reading of the non-profit resolution was approved. The
County Commission adopted a salary schedule for county personnel.
County Executive Richard M. "Ossie" Mitchell said of
the salary schedule, "It's not perfect. It's got a starting
salary; it's got an ending salary. It can be adjusted by the County
Commission each year, but it has to be adjusted equally to everybody.
It can't just be adjusted for one person. That's for fairness. The
whole purpose behind this thing is to try to be fair."
The meeting adjourned.
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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570