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Archives 02-13-2002

News

 

 

 

 

LMS students learn with Fast ForWord software
Bond lowered on shooting suspect
State Approves Overton-Pickett 911 Merger
Candidates Announce

 

LMS students learn with Fast ForWord software

By Becky Meredith, OCN staff

 

Becky Meredith/OCN staff

Fifth graders at LMS are experiencing Fast ForWord, a software teaching method awarded to the school recently through a state grant. The state awarded the school a grant recently to purchase the Fast ForWord learning program, which advances students’ ability to think, identify sounds, read, pay attention, and concentrate.

 

Teachers at Livingston Middle School have spent the past few weeks testing out the waters on a new computer program instituted at the school.

The program, called Fast ForWord, is designed to improve students' learning skills and is also intended to develop reading and listening skills, among improvements in many other areas and subjects.

The program was introduced by Scientific Learning Corporation of Berkeley, CA, in 1997, after a reported 25 years of research by neuroscientists.

Each morning, around 50 students at LMS spend around 100 minutes sitting quietly at their computer with headphones on, completing the commands given by the program.

LMS Vice Principal Gwen Smith said, "We've pulled in about every computer we've got in the building. We've got two labs set up of 25 computers.

"Right now we're using it in the fifth grade,” Smith continued, "and when they're finished, we'll move on to the sixth and into the seventh. We hope to get those three this year. We'll just have to wait and see if we get them all in."

Very few schools in the area are using the software. Smith believed the nearest schools using Fast ForWord were in Manchester and Oneida.

Students at LMS have only been using the program since around January 15, so whether or not they are progressing is undetermined.

"Some of the teachers feel like they can see a difference. Of course, it's not been long enough to really tell," Smith said.

Teacher Esther Maynord has not yet decided how she feels about this new learning system.

"Well, we really don't know a lot about it, but we're hoping that it will increase the language and reading skills.”

Any computer learning program must be appealing to students to do its job, and Fast ForWord seems to take the cake.

"They seem to be enjoying it, Maynord said. "But sometimes they get tired. They spend about two hours a day on the computer,” she added.

The motivational key to this learning tool in particular is its computer game-like effect.

The program gives commands and asks questions to the students; when they complete the commands and answer the questions correctly, they pass on to the next level.

"They're excited when they get to move up to the next level. Several of them have moved. A lot of them are in the process of moving," Maynord said.

Also supervising in one of the labs is teacher Linda Buford.

She said of the program, "I think they're definitely enjoying it. Just the time on the computer, if nothing else. But the ones who have been able to move into a different program (level), the others who are not in the next program yet keep looking to see what is going on, and are excited and anxious to get to go to the other program."

Buford believes the brief time learning with Fast ForWord might have done some good so far.

"I don't know if it's my imagination or not, but when we get back to the class and try and do science, they're listening better; they're paying better attention.

The thought has crossed Buford's mind that the students might be missing what they would have learned if they had completed the school work the program is replacing.

"I feel panicky because Terra Nova is coming up, and there are things in this six weeks that we should have covered that we haven't covered yet. So we'll just have to wait and see – see what the test scores do."

Buford cannot deny, though, that she is curious and hopeful about the newest teaching method at the school.

"I'm excited about it, and I hope that we do see some drastic improvement in things – not only in reading, but in all subject areas.

"We're concentrating right now on reading, then reading to language, but if a child can read, they're going to be able to do better in all subjects. And if their attention span is better, if they're more careful about picking up on the things that they're hearing to get the right meaning, then that's going to help them in all areas. If a child can read and comprehend, they're going to do better in math."

The school does have enough faith in the program to use Fast ForWord again next year.

"If we get the grant again next year, we will go on with it," Vice Principal Smith said.

An estimated 2,100 schools nationwide are reportedly using the programs that make up the Fast ForWord package.

 

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Bond lowered on shooting suspect

By ROBERT FORSMAN, court reporter

A $100,000 bond on Ryan Malchow, 21, charged with attempted first degree murder for allegedly shooting a man, was lowered to $40,000 last week in Overton County General Sessions Court, Judge John Officer presiding.

After being treated for a gunshot wound to the neck, the alleged victim was released from the hospital.

Malchow, who reportedly fled the scene on January 14 following the shooting, turned himself in to the Overton County Sheriff's Department on January 30. He had been incarcerated since that time.

During a bond hearing last week, Malchow's attorney Randy Chaffin asked that a previously set $100,000 bond be lowered to $25,000.

"He has 10 brothers and sisters," Chaffin said. "He's lived in the Amish community of Overton County all his life."

Assistant District Attorney Tony Craighead objected to reducing the bond to $25,000. Craighead said Malchow had prior convictions for misdemeanor marijuana and theft charges in Putnam County.

According to Craighead, Malchow was on probation in Putnam County for those convictions when the shooting occurred. Putnam County authorities have reportedly filed a probation violation charge against Malchow as the result of the attempted murder charge.

Sheriff Kelly Hull said explosives were found at the scene of the shooting. Charges related to the explosives will probably be filed against Malchow in the near future, according to Hull.

Setting the bond at $40,000, Judge Officer said, "It can be corporate or property."

A corporate bond requires a non-refundable payment of 10 percent of the bond to a bonding company. A property bond requires an unencumbered property value of at least one and a half times the bond amount.

Judge Officer deadlined the case for March 7.

 

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Two indicted on murder solicitation

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff

A Livingston man and his wife were arrested Monday, Feb. 11 for allegedly trying to hire someone to commit murder.

The arrests were made after a Livingston Police Department investigation, which was carried out after Police Chief Roger Phillips received a tip.

"Early last week, information came to me that there was a plot of a fellow trying to find someone to murder his ex-wife," Chief Phillips said.

Chief Phillips called LPD Capt. Tim Emerton and TBI Special Agent Steve Huntley.

"We sat down and discussed the case," Chief Phillips said, "and after an investigation, it was determined that the information that I had received was valid.

"The information gathered from the investigation was presented to the Overton County Grand Jury today."

The grand jury handed down indictments against Jeff G. Loftis, 38, and his wife, Paula Loftis, 41, of Livingston. Mr. Loftis was indicted on two counts of Solicitation to Commit First Degree Murder, and Mrs. Loftis was indicted on two counts of criminal responsibility for Solicitation to Commit Murder. The two were placed in Overton County Jail under a $100,000 bond each.

"Just by the nature of the offense, we felt it very critical that we move as quickly as possible," Chief Phillips said. Mr. and Mrs. Loftis will be arraigned in Overton County General Sessions Court on Monday, Feb. 25.

 

 

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Candidates Announce

 

David Hunter announces bid for Sheriff

David Hunter has informed Overton County News he plans to run for the election of Overton County Sheriff. His statement is as follows:

"I, David Hunter, want to take this opportunity to announce my candidacy for sheriff of Overton County. For those who don't know me, I am a native and lifelong resident of Overton County. I graduated from Livingston Academy and also attended Tennessee Technological University.

"My parents are the late James "Tib" Hunter and the late Anna Dean (Cole) Padgett. My wife, Misty, is the daughter of Glenda Lewis, and the late Kioto Johnson of Livingston. I have four children, Casey, Coty, Brea, and Chase.

"I am currently a detective with Algood Police Department, and have been involved in law enforcement since 1986. I also own and operate Hunter's Total Fitness Center.

"First, I would like to thank my family and all my supporters who believed in me four years ago, and continue to believe in me and the ideas I have for a better law enforcement.

"As a husband, parent, and resident of this county, I am concerned with the safety and well-being of all our citizens, especially our youth and senior citizens.

"As sheriff, one of my goals will be to create and maintain a safer enviroment for them. I envision an effective and modern law enforcement department that protects this county, but also works with its citizens to create a better community.

"I believe a sheriff is more than just someone who catches criminals and puts them in jail. A sheriff can help prevent and reduce crime in this county by working closely with its youth and other citizens who care. I want a department that is proactive, not reactive.

"With my experience in law enforcement as a police officer and deputy sheriff, I feel I know the business of law enforcement. I have also successfully managed my own business for a number of years, working with budgets, employee management, and public relations.

"Misty and I feel blessed to live in such a great state and county. I want my children and yours to grow up in a safe atmosphere of joy and hope, not fear and anxiety. I decided to run for sheriff after a great deal of thought and reflection. I believe I am the right person at the right time for Overton County. After you get to know me better, I hope you will feel the same.

"As I campaign across the county these next few months, I will try to see as many of you as I can. If I should miss you, I would like to take this time to ask for your vote and support.”

 

Roger Phillips candidate for OC Sheriff

Roger Phillips has informed Overton County News he plans to run for the office of Overton County Sheriff. His statement is as follows:

"Fellow citizens of Overton County, I, Roger Phillips, announce my candidacy for the Democratic nomination to the office of Overton County Sheriff.

"I am 53 years-old. My parents are the late Earl and Agnes (Carter) Phillips of Hilham. My wife, Sharon (Glasscock) Phillips, is the daughter of the late Howard and Katherine (Allen) Glasscock of Timothy.

"We are the proud parents of six fine children, and "Nana" and "Pa" to nine wonderful grandchildren.

"I was born and spent most of my life in the Greenbriar Community, near Hilham. For the last 20 years, I have been in law enforcement.

"I served 7 years as chief investigator for Overton County Sheriff's Department. I was chief detective captain of Livingston Police Department for 3 years. I am the Livingston Police chief, a position I've held for 9 years.

"Before entering law enforcement, I worked in supervisory and management positions in the private sector. I have extensive leadership training and many years of administrative experience that I have put to work at Livingston Police Department with positive results.

"With your vote and your support, I will use that experience and work hard to build a Sheriff's Department we can be proud of.

"I will seek alternative methods to fund and to utilize the labor force of the Sheriff's Department and the jail as economically and as effectively as possible.

"I will absolutely not tolerate citizens being treated rudely or mistreated in any manner. The job of law enforcement officers is to serve and to protect. I take that commitment seriously.

"I will work with our judges to make court as efficient as possible. The officers I supervise will be in court as scheduled to prosecute their cases. I will not allow my personnel to delay the legal process. That type of conduct costs us, the taxpayers, money.

"Throughout the years, we have laughed together, cried together, and prayed together. I look forward to the opportunity as your sheriff to be there for you when you need help or just a friend to talk with.

"If you have questions about my campaign to be Overton County Sheriff or want to discuss something else, my home phone number is (931) 823-4472.

"I urge you to vote on May 7 for Roger Phillips, Democratic candidate for Overton County Sheriff. Together we can make a difference.”

 

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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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