LMS students learn with Fast ForWord software
Bond lowered on shooting suspect
State Approves Overton-Pickett 911 Merger
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
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
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,"
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
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
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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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
During a bond hearing last week, Malchow's attorney
Randy Chaffin asked that a previously set $100,000 bond be lowered
"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
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
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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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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David Hunter announces bid
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
"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
Roger Phillips candidate for
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
"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,
"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