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80 Years Ago

Archives 02-06-2002






Albert Gore Jr. visits Chamber of Commerce
City Council meeting held Monday night
State Approves Overton-Pickett 911 Merger
Candidates Announce


Albert Gore Jr. visits Chamber of Commerce

By Becky Meredith, OCN staff

Former Tennessee Senator and United States Vice President Al Gore was warmly welcomed at Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Jan. 29 by a tremendous amount of cheers and applause from local Democrats.

More than 200 persons attended the afternoon meeting to endorse their support and care for the Tennessee native.

"I'm overwhelmed with the size of this turnout; I had no idea there would be this many people," Gore said. "I've heard of standing room only, but this is sure enough standing room only! he laughed.

"Let me start out by saying I am Al Gore.I used to be the next President of the United States," he joked. "Well, you know, my attitude is you win some, you lose some, then there's that little-known third category, if you know what I mean.

"I wanted to just come here and tell you what was in my heart on election night a year ago in November," he continued. "It was a long election night. As a matter of fact, it lasted 36 days if you will recall," he said, as the audience laughed. "And one of the things that really got me through that and has lifted me up since is looking at the county-by-county returns, and thinking about all of you all, and realizing what happened here on Election Day, and realizing all of the hard work that was put in, leading up to Election Day. I never will forget it."

He further expressed his sentimentality for the area, mentioning that his grandfather was raised in Overton County and his father was born just across the Jackson County line.

With strong roots in the Upper Cumberland, Gore has tried to keep strong his relationship with Middle Tennessee residents during his time in political office.

"For the last 26 years, I've been coming here and having open meetings, and talking with folks, especially when I was in the House of Representatives. And then in the Senate, I had 95 counties then, so it was a little less frequent. And of course, having 50 states, that made it really hard."

Since the 2000 Presidential Election, Gore says he's been enjoying life.

"I'm teaching now, teaching down at Middle Tennessee State, and at Fisk University in Nashville. I'm a visiting professor, or you could say VP' for short, he joked. "It's a way of hanging on, you know.

"I'm enjoying learning a little bit about the business world, and making some speeches round and about. I've been doing my best to try to strengthen the hand of Democrats."

Gore spoke on the nation's current status, as the economy has recently met a decline.

"You know, I'm getting worried about this economy," he said. "I was the first one laid off, back in January," he laughed. "Unfortunately, there have been a bunch more since then," he said on a more serious note.

"You know that big surplus that was built up? Where is it now?" he asked the crowd.

"I don't care what anybody says, I think Bill Clinton and I did a good job for this country, for the economy, he said, followed by applause from the audience.

Gore expressed to the crowd how important he believes it is to fight for those with smaller incomes.

"You've got to stand up and fight for the working men, the farmers, the ones who have trouble making ends meet. And the basic question is whether you're going to fight for the working men and women, or whether you're going to fight for the Enrons of the world. And they don't need more. They've had too much. But the ones who are having a hard time are people who are hit the hardest when the economy goes back into recession. Now we've got big deficits again and we've got a recession again."

Gore has, however, commended the current administration on their stance against terrorism.

"I've complimented President Bush on his handling of the business in Afghanistan. I think they've done an excellent job there. And I think Democrats and Republicans alike have joined together in the way Americans ought to. We're doing that right, and I hope it continues going right.

"But we've got a lot going on here, at home, with healthcare and education and people who've been laid off. You know, it makes a difference. It makes a difference whether the policies are aimed at the right targets or not," he said. "That's one of the reasons I want to ask all of you to take a look at what's going on in the state of Tennessee, because we've got deficits here in Tennessee."

Gore told the crowd he was uncertain whether he would be a candidate again.

"But I do know that I'm going to do everything possible to make sure that Overton County, and Jackson County, and Smith County, and Putnam County, the whole Upper Cumberland area, and our state of Tennessee and our country have the better of it, instead of going on this rollercoaster that we're on now economically."

He went on to stress to the youth on hand the importance of government involvement.

"Get involved in politics, stay connected. Don't let anybody turn you into a cynic. Things go wrong you bet they do. If you don't think they do, hey, take it from me," he laughed. "If I can get back up and tell you to get involved and not get discouraged, you should not be set back by anything that happens in your lives where involvement in politics is concerned."

He continued by bragging on the strong political leaders from the area who have represented Middle Tennesseans throughout the years.

"This area in Tennessee, this Upper Cumberland region, has had a tradition going back to Cordell Hull, and before that, of sending national leaders who can deliver your common sense to the Capitol of this nation."

In his closing remarks, he praised the family values strongly enforced in the region.

"Those values are what our country needs. And you've got a very precious heritage here."


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City Council meeting held Monday night


Livingston City Council held the regular monthly meeting Monday, Feb. 4 with all aldermen present.

The aldermen voted to enter into a gas contract with a fixed rate of 2.74 from March 2002 to March 2003. The Council could have gone with a month-to-month rate instead of a fixed rate for a year, but the price could vary by an unpredictable rate each month.

Mayor Hosea Winningham said, "It could go down or it could go up. If it goes up a right smart bit, we've done a good job. If it goes down, we've done a bad job."

A facility use agreement was approved for Livingston City Park to protect the town from liability.

A statement from the town's insurance provider states, "The TML Pool liability agreement provides coverage for activities that are organized, supervised, and directed by the town. The Little League and any special tournaments do not fall under this definition, and therefore, injuries that stem from these activities may not be insured through the TML Pool. The TML Pool strongly recommends the town verify that the leasers have adequate insurance before they are allowed to use the fields."

The facility use agreement establishes a written contract with organizations requiring the following:

A certificate of liability, which names the town as an additional insured.

Minimum limits of $350,000, which reflects the town's limit of liability under the Governmental Tort Liability Act.

The leaser obtain from each participant or the participant's parents or legal guardian a release of liability for any injuries that might occur as a result of organized play.

The third party leaser state the town shall be held harmless from any injuries that occur as a result of participation in the league or tournament.

Inspection of the field/facility before and after the use of the third party.

The town retains the exposures for any defective conditions that may exist in the facility. The TML Pool recommends that documented inspections be conducted to identify and eliminate any conditions that might cause an injury.

The Council voted to turn the city election over to the Election Commission. The municipal election will be held June 5.

Beginning with this municipal election, the three aldermen positions whose terms are up will be determined by an at-large vote. Instead of one alderman being voted for one seat in each city ward, the top three in the overall voting will be elected to the three open seats on the City Council.

The Council approved the purchase of a Hi-Jet pump for the sewer department at a cost of $7,500. The pump to be purchased is a 1993 model, according to department supervisor Tim Coffee.

Perry Kingery was hired to fill an open position at Livingston Police Department. The Council also voted to place Jarman Hicks and Troy L. Story as the next two, respectively, to be hired at the police department when positions become available.

Mayor Winningham informed the Council that the city would again file for a fire grant for fire department equipment.

The aldermen voted to donate the light poles recently replaced on the square to area churches. Churches have asked for the poles for use as flag poles, according to Mayor Winningham.

The meeting adjourned.


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State Approves Overton-Pickett 911 Merger

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance's Emergency Communications Board approved the merger of Pickett and Overton counties 911 districts on Thursday, Jan. 31. The merger creates the first multi-regional emergency communication district in the state. Frith Sellers, executive director for the Emergency Communications Board, said, "The merger is the most cost effective and efficient way to improve emergency 911 service to the residents in that region. By combining resources, these counties will be able to purchase the necessary equipment to provide the enhanced service which can reduce response time and help save lives. With the new service, the 911 caller's name, telephone number, and address is traced and automatically displayed on the 911 operator's screen. The Pickett-Overton Emergency Communications District will be the central communications center allowing residents in both counties access to the same state-of-the-art emergency 911 service, and can dispatch to EMS, fire, and rescue agencies. New computer equipment and trained operators will contribute to the improvements with emergency training to describe to the responder the specific nature of each emergency. "We are thankful to the Chamber of Commerce, mayor, and local 911 districts for their cooperation and support in the merger, Sellers said. "We look forward to continuing our goal of implementing enhanced 911 communications to residents in all communities.



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Candidates Announce

Copeland to run for office of County Executive

Kenneth Copeland has informed Overton County News he plans to run for the office of Overton County Executive in the upcoming Democratic Primary. His statement is as follows:

"I am 50 years-old and have lived my entire life in Overton County. My wife, Linda, and I have two children and three grandchildren.

"I owned and operated a grocery store and service station prior to being elected as Overton County Trustee in 1978, where I served the people of Overton County until 1990. At that time, I entered private business where I was employed until 2001. The business was sold at that time.

"I have valuable experience in running a successful business, working with city, county, and state officials. I am familiar with the operations of Overton County government, having worked with former county executives during my time as trustee.

"I pledge to the citizens of Overton County that I will work to recruit and bring new industry and new businesses to our county. When elected, I will do my best to keep our property taxes and other forms of taxation as low as possible and still provide the services that the citizens of Overton County need and deserve.

"With the state having financial trouble, it is very important to have strong qualified leadership at the local level. When elected, I will provide that leadership.

"I believe Overton County is one of the best places in the world to live, work, and raise a family. I am looking forward to visiting with the citizens and voters of Overton County during the coming months and asking for your vote and continued support. Should I not see you personally, your vote and support on May 7 would greatly be appreciated. Together, we can and will make a difference."


Hull seeks re-election for County Sheriff

Kelly Hull has informed Overton County News he is seeking re-election as Overton County Sheriff in the upcoming Republican Primary Election. His statement is as follows: "

After weeks of consideration and encouragement from hundreds of supporters, I have decided to seek re-election to the office of Sheriff of Overton County.

"Four years ago, you, the good people and citizens of Overton County, said you wanted law enforcement equally and fairly for all, and that law enforcement should be firm and fair. We have done this to the best of our ability, and I, like you, still stand for the same.

"Drugs and drug dealers have been our main objective. Since we began our objective, drug use in our school system is down 30 to 40 percent over the last three years.

"The Sheriff's Department has worked as a team with educators, teachers, parents, other law enforcement agencies, and citizens from each community to make a difference in the availability of illegal drugs in our county.

"Roadblocks and patrolling roads in each section of the county has helped to confiscate drugs and to keep drunk drivers off the road.

"Other things that we have been able to accomplish are that we have been able to stay within our budgeted monies and have actually returned monies to the county at the end of the fiscal year.

"We have gotten the jail prisoner population working at the recycling center, as well as on our roadways, picking up trash while the more dangerous prisoners are kept behind bars as they should be.

"A boot camp has been started for juvenile offenders in which help is received from volunteers such as judges, district attorneys, nurses, and law enforcement personnel from Overton County and surrounding counties, and from the military. The boot camp tries to teach the juvenile offender right from wrong, discipline and respect for other people and their property. The program has proven to be a great success as juvenile calls have dropped 50 percent since the boot camp began.

"I am running on my record since taking office. The Sheriff's Department has made some mistakes since I have been in office, and I, like the department, have learned from the same and continue to learn daily about how better to manage and operate the Sheriff's Department for the safety of our citizens.

"I appreciate your support in the past and would ask for your continued support now and over the next four years.

"Your vote and influence would be greatly appreciated."


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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
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