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80 Years Ago

Archives 06-06-2001




Sheriff's Dept. Assists In Search For Bank Robber
City Budget Approved With Same Rate
Former Livingston Resident Charged In Fentress Murder


Sheriff's Dept. Assists In Search For Bank Robber

Dale Welch/Hilltop Express

Overton County Sheriff Kelly Hull and Fentress County Sheriff Ray Atkinson check out the vehicle believed used by the bank robber.

Overton County SheriffÕs Department personnel assisted in the search for a bank robber last week.

For the second time in the span of two months, the Union Bank of Clarkrange was robbed. According to reports, around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, May 29, a white man of medium height and heavy build wearing a toboggan mask over his head and face threatened bank employees with a silver semi-automatic pistol and demanded money. The robber took an undisclosed amount of money.

No one was apparently injured in the robbery.

The robber took off in a green Jeep, but a member of the Fentress Rescue Squad tried to block his path. The robber pointed his gun and forced the Rescue Squad member to back away.

Another Rescue Squad member soon picked up the pursuit and followed the robber north on Highway 127 and down Martha Washington Road, where he lost sight at a 4-way intersection with Campground Road in Fentress County. The vehicle was later reported seen on the part of Campground Road that leads into the Muddy Pond Community.

Law enforcement personnel from several agencies searched the area. A Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter assisted in the search, after being dispatched from Chattanooga.

A green Jeep Wagoneer was found later found abandoned off Union B. Road, but the robber had gotten away.

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City Budget Approved With Same Rate
By Dewain E. Peek OCN staff

The Livingston City Council approved the first reading of the 2001-2002 budget during the Monday, June 4 regular monthly meeting, with Alderman James P. Lee absent.

The tax rate remains the same at 1.16.

The Council voted to donate $325 to the Southern Poison Center, to be given out of the drug fund. The Livingston Police Department has used the center to identify drugs in the past, according to Police Chief Roger Phillips.

Chief Phillips said, "We do use them from time to time. ItÕs not a service that we use every day or every week, but we do use them from time to time. When we do call them itÕs generally when we are just at a loss as to a certain substance or certain kind of a pill that we run across that we donÕt know what it is.Ó

According to Chief Phillips, the center provides the information for free.

The Council agreed to give Overton County Public Library more money than the $2,000 budgeted if more money can be found for it.

An ordinance concerning worker safety was approved.

A resolution was adopted concerning funding for the proposed turn lane on the square at Church and Broad streets. A resolution setting pipeline codes was adopted.

Harold Fletcher was named to fill Richard KnightÕs position on the Planning Board and BZA. Knight resigned from the positions.

The City Council gave permission for a clock to be placed in a parking space on the south side of the courthouse.

In old business, the second reading of a zoning ordinance on adult bookstores and adult video stores was approved.

The second reading on an ordinance concerning day care facilities was also approved.

The low bid of $1,500 from New World Landscaping was approved for mulching. Alderman Curtis Hayes voted no.

The low bid of $11,150.33 from G&C Supply Co. Inc. was approved for street signs.

The meeting adjourned.

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Former Livingston Resident Charged In Fentress Murder

A former Livingston resident has been arrested and charged in the death of an 85 year-old Fentress County woman, according to a report in Fentress Courier.

Officers from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the District Attorney General's Office, the Fentress County Sheriff's Department, the Jamestown Police Department, the Fentress County Coroner's Office, and others conducted a three-week investigation into the death of Deloris Kuhar.

The investigation led to the arrest of Ute Ferrell, 45, manager of the Jamestown Manor Apartments where Kuhar lived. Ferrell was arrested Thursday, May 24 and charged with first degree murder, aggravated arson, and theft in connection with the death of the elderly woman, whose shot and badly-burned body was discovered Saturday, May 5 in her apartment.

Kuhar was last seen Thursday, May 3. Authorities believed she was killed that day, and that her killer returned to the apartment on the following Saturday and set fire to her body and the apartment.

Kuhar's daughter, who lives in Illinois, had contacted the Fentress County Sheriff's Department early that Saturday, stating that she had been unable to contact her mother by telephone, and asked that they send an officer to check her apartment.

An officer was dispatched to the apartment at 209 Smith Street, Apt. D-1, where he found the door locked and a note on the door stating that she had gone to the foot doctor.

The daughter called back late that Saturday, stating that she had been trying all day to reach her mother by telephone, but had been unsuccessful, and asked that they send another officer to check on her.

Jamestown City Policeman Jeff Hancock was dispatched to the apartment, and upon arrival, noticed smoke coming from the apartment. He then summoned the fire department.

When Officer Hancock approached the residence, the note that had been there earlier was still on the door, but when he looked through a window, he saw a chair engulfed in flames, and forced open the door to enter the living room of the apartment, where he discovered the burned body of Kuhar in the still-burning chair.

Officer Hancock was soon joined by other officers from his department and firemen. Also responding to the scene were Fentress County Coroner Gary Peters and personnel from Fentress County Sheriff's Department, Attorney General's Office, and the TBI, who conducted an investigation.

After evidence at the scene revealed what appeared to be a gunshot to the head, authorities called in TBI's special portable crime lab to conduct a more extensive investigation of the apartment and surrounding area.

Evidence that the crime lab uncovered, combined with extensive interviews of residents of the complex and other information gathered in the course of the investigation led to Ferrell's arrest.

Assistant Attorney General John Galloway, who would not elaborate on the evidence, said that even though an arrest has been made, the investigation is continuing.

He praised the cooperative efforts of all the law enforcement agencies, stating, "This is an example of what we can accomplish with teamwork.

"No one agency by itself could have done this. All the various agencies involved contributed to the end result."

Ferrell was placed in jail under a $2 million bail, pending a preliminary hearing in General Sessions Court.



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