Plan Trip To Antarctica
Purchases Trash Truck
Libel Suit Filed Against
Plan Trip To Antarctica
By Rachel Smith
bundled up, Justin Gore prepares to head out into the frigid Antarctic
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
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."
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."
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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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
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
The suit states, "Mrs. Beaty has been successful in obtaining
a very favorable settlement in the lawsuit which was brought against
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
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570