Bank Robbery Suspect Caught
Martha Grace Clark Receives New Heart
Graduated License Law Now In Effect
Robbery Suspect Caught
A Cookeville man proved true the old saying "you
can run but you can't hide" when he sped away from a Cookeville
bank with an undetermined amount of stolen money Tuesday afternoon,
June 26. Several hours later, the suspect was arrested and charged
with the crime.
Joseph William Moore, 24, is in custody of Putnam
County officials after allegedly robbing Union Planters Bank on
10th Street in Cookeville.
Just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, a young man walked into
the bank and handed a young female teller a note demanding money.
According to reports, the thief did not display a
weapon. He wore a disguise of some type of paint or makeup, and
he had a goatee and sideburns which appeared fake.
Witnesses allegedly saw a two-door black Grand Am
parked in clear view in front of the bank and gave the description
of the suspect's getaway car to officials.
Reports stated the suspect was wearing a baseball
cap, blue shirt, and jeans during the robbery; however, a description
came over local law enforcement radios around 1 p.m. stating the
suspect was "a white male with a goatee and no shirt."
The suspect fled the bank toward Overton County on
Highway 111 North, then turned on Rickman Road (Old Highway 42).
Just after the suspect passed East Paran Road in Rickman, he reportedly
left the roadway and proceeded to flee from law enforcement off
Right after he left the roadway, driving parallel
with the main road, the suspect lost control of the vehicle, slid
down a hill, and the car came to rest in a ditch on Rickman Road.
The vehicle undriveable, the suspect jumped out of
the car and fled on foot. He was seen moments later near a corner
of the Highway 111 Mini Mall and Trade Center building in Rickman
Members of several local and state law enforcement
departments showed up at the scene to search for the suspect. Some
officers were already on the scene, having followed the suspect
Combing the area for several hours in search of the
suspect, the officers finally apprehended him Tuesday evening. Putnam
Sheriff Deputy Pat Storie had reportedly glimpsed a man running
into the woods north of Paran Road on Highway 111. A tracking dog
then reportedly sniffed out the suspect who was lying in a ditch.
Overton County dispatchers announced at approximately
6:54 p.m. that the suspect was in custody of Putnam County officials.
Bond was set for Moore at $50,000.
Officers involved in the case represented Overton
County Sheriff's Department, Algood Police Department, Federal Bureau
of Investigation (FBI), Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), Putnam County
Sheriff's Department, and Cookevile Police Department.
Three tracking dogs, courtesy of Putnam County officials,
were provided for the search. An airplane was also used, circling
the area for around 10 minutes to catch a possible aerial view.
top of page
Grace Clark Receives New Heart
By Rachel Smith, OCN staff Martha Grace Clark, the
23 month-old daughter of Darwin and Patricia Clark of Livingston,
underwent life-saving heart transplant surgery Friday, June 29 at
Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.
The much-awaited phone call to the Clark family came
early Friday morning letting them know a donor heart was available
and that Martha Grace would be taken into surgery immediately.
According to Ann Clark, Martha Grace's grandmother,
she was taken into surgery around 8 a.m. with the heart arriving
about 8:30 a.m. Approximately three hours later, the family received
word from doctors that the surgery had been completed successfully
with no complications and Martha Grace's new heart "was a perfect
match and seemed to be made just for her."
"It takes a special family to allow their child's
organs to be donated to save the lives of other children. We don't
know who this family was, but they are very special to us. We thank
them from the bottom of our heart, as they saved not only Martha
Grace's life but that of another child who received a liver."
With the first two weeks after a transplant being
perhaps the most critical, Martha Grace is being watched very carefully
by doctors and nurses for any signs of infection or rejection of
"When we went to see her Sunday, she was sitting
up in bed eating eggs, drinking juice, and watching her favorite
cartoon, Barney. She's doing just great!
"Sometime this week, possibly Tuesday, she will
be moved to the main floor where she will be monitored for one week.
If she keeps improving like she is now, she will then move to the
Ronald McDonald House next to Vanderbilt.
"She will have to stay there for six weeks to
receive daily medications and monitoring before being allowed to
"The Clark and Gore family want to thank everyone
for their prayers and kind words over the past several weeks. We
appreciate all the support, emotional and financial, everyone has
given us during this time. We just ask that everyone continue to
pray for Martha Grace as she begins the next phase of her life,
learning to live with her new heart."
top of page
License Law Now In Effect
Tennessee's graduated license law is't taking away
a teenager's license to drive, but simply places certain restrictions
on some teen drivers.
The law, passed by the General Assembly last year,
took effect Sunday, July 1.
Safety Commissioner Mike Greene said, "Some teenagers
have expressed concern that they will not be able to get a license
until they are 18 under this new law.
"We want to assure them they will still be able
to get a license at 16, but after July 1, they will receive a restricted
license. Many of these restrictions are already placed on teen drivers
by their parents."
Due to increased activity at driver testing stations
and because many teenagers are traveling during the summer, a two-month
extension will be given to those 16 year-olds who meet all requirements
for a regular Class D license.
Driver License Issuance Director Vona Lasater said,
"If all other requirements are met Ð the teenager is 16 before
July 1, has held a learner permit for three months, and passes the
skills test Ð that teen can still get a regular license throughout
the month of August.
"We are offering the extension because we realize
some teenagers may qualify for the regular license but simply won't
be able to come to a station and take the skills test before July
Governor Don Sundquist signed the graduated license
program into law last year, making Tennessee the 41st state to have
a graduated licensing system.
The graduated license program increases the minimum
period a teen must hold a learner permit from three months to six
and prohibits those with learner permits from driving between 10
p.m. and 6 a.m.
When a teen reaches 16 they may apply for an intermediate
restricted license, which prohibits driving between 11 p.m. and
6 a.m. Those with intermediate restricted licenses can have only
one other teen in the vehicle unless a licensed driver 21 or older
Exceptions are made for those driving to and from
school sponsored events or work and for those transporting siblings
Under the graduated license program, 15 year-old drivers:
- must be accompanied by a licensed driver until age 21 or older;
- are restricted from driving between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6
- must wear seat belts, along with any passengers 17 and under in
Under the graduated license program, 16 year-old drivers:
- must hold a learner permit for a minimum of 180 days or be licensed
in another state for 90 days;
- must wear seat belts, along with any passengers 17 and under in
- must have certification from a parent or guardian that the driver
has accumulated 50 hours of driving experience, including 10 hours
of night driving;
- are restricted from driving between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6
a.m. unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, or licensed driver
over 21 years of age who is designated by the parent or legal guardian
- cannot have more than one passenger in the vehicle unless one
or more passengers are 21 years-old or older (limited exceptions).
Effective July 1, accumulation of six or more points
(equivalent of two minor traffic citations) or involvement in an
at-fault crash extends the intermediate restricted period an additional
90 days for 15 and 16 year-old drivers. The court is required to
notify the parent(s) or guardian(s) of 15 and 16 year-old drivers
who are convicted of a moving violation or second seat belt violation.
Under the graduated license program, 17 year-old
- must have a restricted intermediate license for one year prior
- cannot have accumulated six or more points, cannot have been involved
in an at-fault accident, and cannot have been convicted of a second
seat belt violation;
- will continue to hold an intermediate license, but the license
will indicate restrictions have been removed.
Greene said, "The graduated license law will
help save the lives of our children by helping us ensure that our
teen drivers are ready for the responsibility of being behind the
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570