Vehicle overturned in Monday morning wreck
School Board considers modified calendars
Masters kidnapping case set for new trial appeal
overturned in Monday morning wreck
Becky Meredith/OCN staff
A morning mishap Monday, March 11 on East Main Street
in Livingston overturned one vehicle and crushed the front fender
of another. According to reports from Livingston Police Department,
Judy Savage, of Allons, was driving westbound on East Broad Street
in a 1999 GMC Jimmy, when she decided to change from the right lane
to the left. As she moved into the left lane, she struck a 1998
Ford Mustang, which was apparently in her blind spot. The low profile
of the Mustang, driven by Elsie Lewis, of Livingston, reportedly
caused the Jimmy to overturn, landing on its top. Savage, Lewis,
and Lewis’ passenger, John Madewell, of Livingston, walked away
from the scene with minor injuries. All were reportedly wearing
their seatbelts, and the passenger side airbag in the Mustang deployed
on impact. Chief Roger Phillips and Captain Tim Emerton responded
to the scene.
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Board considers modified calendars
By Rachel Smith, OCN staff
Overton County Board of Education held its regular
monthly meeting Tuesday, March 5, with Board member Edith Key absent.
Possibly the most important issue on this month’s
agenda was the consideration of a modified school calendar for the
2002-2003 school year.
Bill Needham, director of schools, said, “After several
meetings and discussions at our schools, the Calendar Committee
has voted to present a modified school calendar to the Board for
With rumors circulating about a “year-round” school
being implemented next school year, Needham was quick to explain
that this is not the case.
“A lot of people have termed this incorrectly by calling
it a year-round school,” he said. “In no way is this a year-round
school. It doesn’t even pretend to be that.
“It’s what some school systems call a 9-2 calendar,
where you are in school for nine weeks, then out two. You would
have four 9-week grading periods, which the high school is already
Many school systems in the state have already adopted
a similar calendar, and several more have already approved one for
next year. One such system is neighboring Pickett County.
Pickett County implemented this type of calendar for
the 2001-2002 school year, and according to Needham, all comments
Proposed/Tentative 2002-2003 Overton County School
July 25-31 Teacher In-Service
Aug. 1 Students Register (Abbreviated #1)
Aug. 2 Administrative Day #1 (no students)
Aug. 5 First Full Day for Students
Aug. 6 Staff Development #1 (no students)
Sept. 2 Labor Day Holiday (no school)
Oct. 7-18 Fall Break Nov. 5 Staff Development #2 (no students)
Nov. 27 Administrative Day #2 (no students)
Nov. 28-29 Thanksgiving Holidays (no school)
Dec. 20 Abbreviated Day #2
Dec. 23-Jan.2 Christmas Break
Jan. 3 Administrative Day #3 (no students)
Jan. 20 Administrative Day #4 (no students)
Mar. 17-28 Spring Break April 18 Good Friday (no school)
May 26 Administrative Day #5 (no students)
May 30 Staff Development #3 (no students)
May 31 Last Day of School (Abbreviated Day #5)
“I’ve not heard anything negative about it. It’s all
been positive,” he said. “It’s helped with discipline problems,
the attendance rate, and overall morale of students. Students are
eager to get down to business because they know that they will have
a break in just a few weeks, possibly making a difference in achievement
The main difference between the proposed modified
calendar and the traditional calendar is a two-week fall break,
an additional week of spring break, and a summer break of only two
months. (See chart for proposed 2002-2003 calendar.)
After explaining the proposed calendar to the Board,
Needham suggested that no action be taken this month so Board members
have an opportunity to meet with parents in their respective communities,
along with teachers and PTO groups, to get their feedback and comments.
He encouraged parents to voice their opinions by calling their Board
member or school.
“I hope that everyone who has a concern about this
makes a point to attend a PTO meeting and voice their opinion,”
he said. “That’s what the Board needs to make a decision.
“If this calendar does not make educational sense
for the students of Overton County, then we don’t need to mess with
it, but based on comments we’ve heard from other systems who have
tried it, the calendar does make educational sense for the students.”
In executive action, the Board approved the educational
field trip honor roll students at Allons Elementary took to Mammoth
Cave, KY, on February 22. Also approved in executive action were
low bids for band instruments at Livingston Academy.
“We took each bid submitted and picked the instrument
that we felt was the best bid in each category for each company,”
“Just because an item is on this list does not mean
we will be buying it. It simply means if there is a need for a clarinet,
for example, we know where to get it. Mr. Dingwall has a budget
to stick to. He will just be able to pick and choose what to buy.”
In new business, IDEA Part B 2002-01 amendment #15,
State Budget Amendment #1 was approved.
Also approved were the following field trips:
•LA Interact Club to attend the Interact Conference in Pigeon Forge
•LA Lady Wildcats softball team to travel to Cincinnati, OH, on
April 12. The trip will require the use of a bus and driver.
•A class trip to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, KY, on
May 9 for Livingston Academy physics, advanced math, and advanced
Approval for textbooks, as recommended by the Social
Studies Textbook Committee, was also given.
With all members in agreement, the Board voted to
approve a spring track team at Livingston Academy, with Merl Smith
serving as coach. Smith will receive $750 and two extra weeks as
a supplement, comparable to that of the cross country coach.
LA Principal Gary Ledbetter said, “We’ve had several
kids over the past few years express an interest in track, but we’ve
never offered it to them.
“We’ve got 13 students, boys and girls, who have signed
a list indicating their interest in the sport, some of whom are
probable scholarship winners down the road.”
Board Chairman Milton Raines reported that Needham’s
director of schools’ contract will expire on April 1, and as is
customary, Board members have completed an evaluation of Needham’s
Needham received a 4.16 score, out of a possible 5.0,
with 1 being “Never Meets Expectations” and 5 being “Exceeds Expectations.”
Areas evaluated were the director’s relationships with board, community,
and staff, along with educational leadership, business and finance,
and planning skills.
When Raines asked if he would accept an extension
to his contract if asked by the Board, Needham replied, “Yes, sir,
I would. I’ve enjoyed working with this Board. We’ve had a good
relationship, and I see no reason not to continue on my part.”
With state legislators projecting a $400 million shortfall
this fiscal year, Board members discussed what, if any, impact this
would have on Overton County schools.
Needham reported that no impact is expected this school
year, but that a substantial impact could be seen next year if legislators
approve a proposed budget that would cut Overton County’s educational
payments by almost $1.75 million, about 10 percent of the year’s
“I don’t think that it will be quite that drastic,”
he said. “Hopefully not, but it may be. It may even be worse than
that when they get finished. There’s a lot of things to be considering
and looking at as we move into our budget preparation time.”
Director Bill Needham issued the Director’s Report
to the Board. Actions taken by the school director are as follows:
Hired as non-certified substitute teachers were Coleen
Meade, Brenda Jones, Donna Lamb, Emily Hamock, and Kimberly L. Dillon.
Hired as substitute bus drivers were Waymon Baltimore and John Phillips.
Hired as substitute cook was Glenna Holcomb.
Medical leave of absence was approved for Agnes Hamilton,
beginning February 18.
The meeting adjourned.
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kidnapping case set for new trial appeal
By ROBERT FORSMAN, court reporter
An appeal for a new trial in the case of Carter Masters,
76, convicted in October by an Overton County jury of two counts
of especially aggravated kidnapping, one count of aggravated assault,
and one count of aggravated burglary, has been scheduled for a hearing
June 3 at Overton County Justice Center.
Masters was convicted of the aggravated kidnapping
charges for confining his wife and her granddaughter at gunpoint
in the granddaughter’s residence on March 18, 2001. Masters fled
the state with his wife. According to testimony, Masters told his
wife, if she turned him in, he would call a hitman to kill her granddaughter.
Masters was arrested five days later after exiting
a Daytona Beach motel room to investigate an accident staged by
police involving his vehicle. His wife was discovered uninjured
in the motel room.
At a sentencing hearing in December, Judge Leon Burns
sentenced Masters to 20 years in prison.
“This sentence is applicable to serve 100 percent,
with credits of no more than 15 percent,” Judge Burns said.
If Masters qualifies for credits at that rate, he
will be eligible for parole in 17 years at age 93.
After sentencing, Masters was transported to a special-needs
prison in Nashville, where he is serving his sentence.
The appeal for a new trial in Masters’ case is part
of a standard procedure. Such appeals are seldom successful.
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David G. Webb bids for office
David. G. Webb has informed Overton County News of
his candidacy in the upcoming election for Sheriff. His statement
is as follows:
“Hi. I would like to introduce myself to the voters
of Overton County who don’t already know me. My name is David G.
Webb and I am a candidate for the nomination for the Democratic
Party to the office of Sheriff of Overton County.
“I realize that the list of people seeking to attain
this nomination is quite large this election, and that those of
you who have never met me will be asking why I think I would be
better at the job of sheriff than some of the other candidates that
you do know.
“Simply put, I have been training for the job nearly
all of my life. I was born in Cookeville in December of 1950 in
the new Cookeville General Hospital. My father was Dan Webb and
my mother was Myrtle (Reed) Webb of the Spring Creek area of Rickman.
I spent my first year there on Spring Creek and the next 18 years
in northeast Ohio. I returned home every summer and first returned
to Overton County in 1975.
“Since then, I have raised my own three children here
and have been able to call this home ever since. This tells you
a little bit about who I am, now you will want to know why I think
I’m qualified for the position I seek.
“I grew up in a household that the local sheriff’s
deputies felt free to stop at all the time. Most of these deputies
were from someplace close by to Overton County and were friends
with my parents. While listening to them talk around the table at
supper made me interested in law enforcement at an early age.
“When I turned 16, Sheriff Roebusky started a new
cadet program. I was asked to be one of its members by him. When
I left the program at age 18, I held the rank of cadet lieutenant.
I then moved into the position of deputy.
“I have been in some field of police work ever since,
most of which has been to work in undercover investigations. During
these years, I have constantly been schooling for the job to keep
up with the challenging laws and procedures of the country.
“My experience also includes learning the managerial
skills that are needed to run the office of Sheriff. This is something
that few people think about when they run for this position and
it is every bit as important as being able to act as a police officer.
This is one thing that I have noticed over the last
few terms of office. The Sheriff’s Department is always at odds
with the county trustees over the cost of running the department.
This is one thing that I would strive to eliminate. “This brings
up the question of what I would do to make the sheriff’s office
better. Having worked throughout the country, I have been exposed
to hundreds of different systems and attitudes toward law enforcement.
Many of these could be adjusted to fit in with the social structure
of Overton County and would work well here.
“I also have some ideas of my own and some such things
1) to hire qualified personnel and have them constantly
training to maintain their proficiency.
2) initiate cross training of my officers to such
things as EMTs and stock their patrol units to enable them to act
at least as First Responders. There are so many areas of this county
that are not readily accessed by an ambulance and many times a deputy
would be the first to arrive to an accident or other medical emergency.
This would greatly enhance the emergency medical services for the
citizens of this county.
3) The officers of my administration would always
act in a professional and courteous manner in dealing with the citizens
of the county.
4) to establish a cadet program from which future
officers could be readily hired as trained officers.
5) Most importantly, I would have an open door to
the citizens of this county. A sheriff is only effective if he has
the confidence of those he serves and he can only have this if he
talks with the people around him.
“These are but a few ideas I have but by no means
all of them. For the most part, I would have to be elected and established
in the office to determine what would work the best. The Overton
County I returned to has changed over the years and will be changing
along with the rest of the world in the future.
“Thank you for your consideration and even if you
don’t vote for me, please vote. This is a very important right guaranteed
to you by the Constitution and should be cherished and exercised
by everyone. Again, thank you."
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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570