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80 Years Ago

Archives 03-13-2002






Vehicle overturned in Monday morning wreck
School Board considers modified calendars
Masters kidnapping case set for new trial appeal
Candidates Announce


Vehicle 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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School 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 approval.”

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 on now.”

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 are positive.


Proposed/Tentative 2002-2003 Overton County School Calendar

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 levels.”

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,” Needham explained.

“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 March 8-10.
•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 chemistry students.

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 performance.

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 operating budget.

“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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Masters 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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Candidates Announce

David G. Webb bids for office of Sheriff

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 would be:

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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