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Archives 03-01-2000

News

Student's Plan Trip To Antarctica

County Purchases Trash Truck
Libel Suit Filed Against Local Newspaper

 

Students Plan Trip To Antarctica

By Rachel Smith

All bundled up, Justin Gore prepares to head out into the frigid Antarctic air.
Photo bybDarren Oliver/Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every fall as a new school year begins, teachers are faced with a dilemma that is age old. "How will I teach the same thing again this year without boring my students?"

Just as the movie industry must continuously find new ideas to keep their customers' interest, just as the music industry tries to write songs that no one else has written, so must a teacher find new ideas each year to teach the same subject they taught the previous year.

Nancy McCormick, third grade teacher at A.H. Roberts, is no exception. Teaching geography to third graders, whose minds tend to wander to what cartoons they watched the night before, can be very challenging.

"The ability to implement new technology has given a new freshness to teaching," McCormick said.

So, when she discovered one night last October during a gospel meeting that Joyce Ramsey's grandson was visiting from Antarctica, her wheels began to turn. McCormick approached Ramsey, a retired principal of Livingston Academy and supervisor of instruction in the Overton County school system, with an idea. She asked Ramsey if she would talk to her third grade class about Antarctica.

Ramsey agreed to help the students expand on their earlier study of the seven continents with a special unit on Antarctica, including "taking a trip" to the South Pole.

Ramsey visited McCormick's third grade class to share with them the idea of a "visit" to the South Pole. The students were excited but they wanted more. They wanted to know what life is like at the South Pole, to see it for themselves and to talk to someone who lived there.

Evan Ramsey, an employee of Antarctic Support Services and grandson of Joyce Ramsey, became their personal contact with the South Pole. He provided pictures so the students would know what the South Pole looked like, as well as several e-mail's answering student's questions about the weather, living accommodations, and whether he had seen any penguins.

The students learned that the only life that can survive the harsh conditions near the South Pole are certain species of algae and bacteria, and that penguins are only found up the coast of Antarctica. Average temperature during the summer, which is opposite our summer, is around minus 50ˇF with a windchill of minus 87ˇF.

Evan Ramsey told the class that the area around the South Pole is flat land with no mountainous ranges, and that it is also the world's driest desert.

Using the Internet and their new I-Mac computers, they were able to take a virtual tour of Antarctica.

According to McCormick, a project such as this would have been near impossible if not for the new I-Mac computers purchased for her classroom through the Goals 2000 grant.

After several weeks of studying Antarctica, the time finally came for the students to begin preparing for their "journey."

The Trip

As part of their preparations, students had to learn about budgets, travel documentation, and how to pack for the trip.

Jo Little, of The Travel Agency, helped the students choose a travel route and plan their itinerary. They learned that a 10-day trip to the South Pole would cost over $22,000 per person, not including any cost for candy and bubble gum.

They also learned that they would have to get passports to travel outside the U.S. Mrs. Ramsey brought passport applications to the classroom so each student could take one home to get their parents help in filling them out. They returned these to McCormick, who created make-believe passports for each student.

Once all the travel arrangements were in place, the students "packed their bags." An e-mail from Evan Ramsey helped them make choices about what to pack.

"Every day I wear heavy-weight long underwear tops and bottoms, insulated overalls, a very big coat, a hat, a pair of gloves with a pair of mittens over them, two pairs of thick socks and special cold weather boots. I wear sunglasses a lot because the sun is very bright here when it reflects off the snow. Sometimes I have to wear a face mask that covers my nose and mouth." Ramsey said.

Finally, the big day arrived. The students said goodbye to their parents, carried their bags into the classroom, and got ready to "board the plane." They soon learned that it was easier said than done.

First, they had to make it through the passport checking station. After that, Livingston Police Chief Roger Phillips took the students through a simulation of the metal detectors found in airports. Some of the students found out how easy it is to make the detectors beep and force you to empty pockets and purses.

McCormick said, "We appreciate the opportunity to work with Joyce Ramsey and her grandson Evan on this project. Evan's experiences provide a good example to the kids of what you can do if you work for it, even making a trip to the South Pole."

When each had passed inspection, the group gathered together for a final picture prior to getting on the plane.

At press time, they were somewhere over the Pacific Ocean having a great time in the big 727 airplane, heading for the adventure of their life.


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County Purchases Trash Truck
By Dewain E. Peek

Overton County took possession of a 1990 Mack truck for garbage collection Monday, Feb. 28. On hand to receive the truck are, from left, Vaden Thompson, supervisor of operations, Ron Taylor, Central Tennessee Mack Sales, Bobby McCoin, project coordinator, County Executive Richard M. "OssieÓ Mitchell, and Owen Savage, truck driver. The truck was purchased for $103,000. The money for the truck is part of a six-year $350,000 capital outlay note for equipment. The truck, which hauls rollaway garbage receptacles, will be used for picking up at convenience centers, schools, and Overton County Nursing Home and bringing the waste back to the recycling center. The truck the county has been using will be kept in reserve.


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Libel Suit Filed Against Local Newspaper

A libel suit has been filed against the Livingston Enterprise, a local newspaper, concerning an advertisement.

The complaint filed on Tuesday, Feb. 22 by Donna Beaty asserts that on May 19, 1999, the Livingston Enterprise negligently and maliciously published a paid advertisement by Jackie Trapp concerning Donna Beaty that was false, slanderous, and libelous.

The advertisement contained four excerpts or questions from an alleged polygraph test taken by Trapp. The suit alleges that the full polygraph report was never reviewed by the Livingston Enterprise prior to publication and no efforts were made to determine accuracy or the reason for publication.

The suit states, "Plaintiff alleges that Defendant knew or should have known that the "advertisementÓ was not an advertisement but slanderous accusations and was false. Defendant acted negligently and maliciously towards Plaintiff by publishing this matter."

Beaty's suit alleges that her attorney, Lana Lennington, contacted the newspaper's publisher, Richard Knight, and informed him there was ongoing litigation in the matter and told him the advertisement was false.

After the advertisement ran in the Enterprise, Beaty's attorney allegedly asked for a retraction on July 12, 1999. The attorney then allegedly sent a proposed retraction to the Enterprise on July 22, 1999 asking that a retraction and apology to Beaty be placed on the newspaper's front page.

The suit asks for compensatory damages of $250,000 and another $250,000 or more for punitive and special damages, plus other related costs.

The suit states, "Mrs. Beaty has been successful in obtaining a very favorable settlement in the lawsuit which was brought against Overton County."

The suit also points to a retirement order against Trapp that, as part of that case's resolution, required him to publish an apology in the Livingston Enterprise, which he has done.

The Livingston Enterprise announced last week that Mitchell Media, Incorporated, founded by Andy and Vanessa Mitchell, has recently purchased Enterprise Printing Company, Incorporated, publishers of the Livingston Enterprise and the Jackson County Sentinel newspapers, from Richard and Louise Knight and Austin and Carmine Jennings.

Overton County News was approached to run the advertisement in question at about the time the ad was placed in the Enterprise. OCN declined it.


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Overton County News
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