LA Prom Held Friday
Ward System Dissolved, At-Large Vote Instated
Matt Eldridge Resigns As LA Football Coach
Dewain E. Peek/OCN
The 2001 Livingston Academy Prom took place at the
Cookeville Holdiday Inn on Friday, May 4. Livingston Academy students
arrived in style, some in limousines such as this group carried
to the prom in a stretch Ford Excursion.
Prom King Grant Ellis and Prom Queen Lorna Kadunce
dance together after being named as royalty.
LA Principal Gary Ledbetter checks out Robert Richardson's
duct tape suit. His date, Mallory Sells, also wore duct tape attire.
The couple could win money for the school through an online contest
for using duct tape.
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Dissolved, At-Large Vote Instated
By Dewain E. Peek OCN staff
Members of the Livingston Board of Aldermen will be
elected by at-large vote in the future, a result of action taken
during the regular monthly meeting Monday, May 7.
The action was taken to make sure each vote in a city
election carries the same weight.
City Attorney Kelly Williams was out of town, so before
taking a vote, the Board asked John Roberts, executive director
of the Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce, his opinion
on the matter. Roberts has practiced law as an attorney and has
been a federal judge.
Roberts said, "I have read the formal opinions
that have been issued by research firms that have looked into this
issue, and I have also read some of the case law, and the answer
is very clear. It's not something that's subject to much discussion.
"The U.S. Supreme Court decision, the way they
interpret the U.S. Constitution, is to the effect that one person's
vote is supposed to count as much as another person's vote."
He explained that other governing bodies reapportion
districts every 10 years. He also pointed out that in Livingston
Ward 1 is twice as big as Ward 3 and Ward 2.
"So the people in Ward 1 are being cheated,"
Roberts said. "Their vote doesn't count but half as much as
what the people's votes in Ward 3 and Ward 2 count."
Reapportioning the wards would be costly to the city,
and could be protested if an alderman did not want to represent
the ward he was placed in or did not want to give up a certain part
of his ward to another ward.
In other old business, the second reading was approved
on ordinances 2001-4-1, 2001-4-2, and 2001-4-3, concerning mobile
The first reading of a zoning ordinance on adult bookstores
and adult video stores was approved. A public hearing will be held
at 10 a.m. Friday, May 25.
The Board approved asking the state for a traffic
light at the junction of Bilbrey and West Main streets. Aldermen
Johnny Halfacre and James "PugÓ Lee voted against the request
because some businesses in the area have objected to it.
The Board voted to do away with the trees and planters
at the corner of Broad Street and Church Street in order to widen
the road so trucks can turn the corner easier.
In new business, the first reading of a day care ordinance
was approved. Aldermen Curtis Hayes and Thurman Langford voted against
the ordinance. A public hearing on this ordinance will also be held
Mayor Hosea Winningham informed the Board that the
recent car and equipment auction brought back $21,260.
The Board approved an agreement between the city and
The city has received a $10,000 grant for street
signs. The Board voted to take bids on stop signs.
The low bid of Low Cost Heating & Cooling at $13,889.86
was accepted for air conditioning and heating at City Hall.
All bids on mulching were rejected. A new request
for bids will be issued.
The Board voted to build a small field for the younger
age classes of girls softball.
The purchase of 300 fish at $5.45 each for Livingston
City Lake was approved. The fish are needed to control algae.
Harold Watson was given authority to call off play
at the ball fields at Livingston City Park.
A motion by Alderman Robert Jolley to remove the speed
bumps on Chestnut Street failed to receive enough votes. Aldermen
Jolley, Lee, and Hayes voted for the measure, and Aldermen Johnny
Halfacre, Bill Winningham, and Langford voted against.
The meeting adjourned.
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Eldridge Resigns As LA Football Coach
By Dewain E. Peek and Deborah Forsman
The Overton County Board of Education accepted the
resignation of Matt Eldridge as coach of the Livingston Academy
Wildcats Tuesday, May 1 during the school board's regular monthly
Eldridge's letter of resignation read, "First,
I would like to express my gratitude for the privilege of being
head coach of the Livingston Academy football team for the last
five years. I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with these fine
young men and the people involved with the program over these years.
"I would like to thank the director of schools,
school board members, and the community for all their support and
encouragement. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the
assistant coaches during this time. I would also like to thank the
administration and faculty at Livingston Academy for their continued
"At this time, I would like to resign my head
football coaching position. It has been a great experience, and
I have thoroughly enjoyed it. But due to the increasing time football
requires, I feel like I will miss being with my own family. I have
three children now under the age of 7, and they demand a lot of
"Once again I would like to thank everyone for
their support for myself and the Livingston Academy football team.
I would also like to extend my support for the upcoming Wildcat
team and their coaching staff. I offer my assistance to them in
any way they deem appropriate."
In other new business, the Board extended Bill Needham's
contract as director of schools through June 30, 2002.
Board member Donald Brown said, "I think Bill
came in at, if there's a bad time, I think he came in at a bad time,
with all that's going on in the building program, and I think he's
done an excellent job. He's kept the Board informed, because there's
a lot going on out there, not just the building program. He's worried
about academics. I think he's brought us a long way through his
Teachers approved for tenure were Leigh Caldwell,
Bridgette Carwile, Edith Cunningham, Jennie Geesling, Lori Mosley,
Vickie Phillips, Carla Pierce, Kelly Rose, and David Sadler.
Michael Savage was given a leave of absence for the
2001-2002 school year.
An elementary school sports rule change was approved.
Elementary sports in Overton County will follow TSSAA rules, and
a committee will be formed to enforce the rules.
The Board gave approval for second, third, and fourth
grade accelerated reading students at A.H. Roberts Elementary to
take a trip to Dollywood on Saturday, May 19.
Amendment #2 of the IDEA Part B program for 2000-2001
project was approved.
A proposal from Judy Dillon's second period Economic/Government
class at Livingston Academy was taken under consideration. Some
of the students proposed charging each student who will be driving
to school $10 per year for parking as a means of raising money to
repair, resurface, and restripe the LA student parking lot. Assigning
parking spaces was also suggested in the proposal.
The Board voted to present the request to the Livingston
Academy administration for the school's study of costs involved
and how the proposal could be implemented.
Director Needham said, "I feel like it is a very
worthy idea." The Livingston Academy administration will have
to present a recommendation before the proposal will be voted on
by the School Board.
In executive action, a contract was approved with
Linda Leslie to perform the school audit for the 2000-2001 school
year. The school system had a contract with Kim Burks Blaylock,
but she has been appointed as the county executive of Putnam County.
Blaylock asked to be relieved of the contract with Overton County.
Of Leslie, Director Needham said, "She comes
highly recommended, and will perform the audit at the same cost
as Kim was to do that."
A change order was approved to remove the chimney
at Hilham. The cost will be $2,100.
The Board approved Sarah Bilbrey's request to attend
the National FCCLA Conference in Anaheim, CA, from July 7 through
The Director's Report was issued to the School Board.
Actions taken by Director Needham were as follows:
Barbara Allen was hired as a replacement aide at Wilson
Betty Alcorn was hired as a certified substitute teacher.
Richard Evans was hired as the J.T.P.A. director and
Youth Program manager for the 2001-2002 school year.
Addressing a televised report about fire protection
at Rickman Elementary, Director Needham said, "I hope nobody
gets the misunderstanding that the Rickman Volunteer Fire Department
has refused to provide fire protection for Rickman School. That
is not the case.
"The only thing that they have had a problem
with is signing a waiver which practically asks them to guarantee
that they could put out a fire at Rickman School."
The problem Rickman School has is inadequate flow
from hydrants located near the school property, according to Needham.
Solutions to the problem are under consideration.
"We will do whatever is necessary, though, to
provide the safety for the students of Overton County," Director
The meeting adjourned.
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570