Woman critically injured in head-on collision
Wife and husband killed in apparent murder-suicide
New completion dates set for schools
critically injured in head-on collision
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
A Livingston woman is in critical condition after
a head-on collison on Highway 52 shortly after noon Wednesday, April
10. According to reports, Sharon D. Willis, 34, was driving a 1987
Ford Tempo east on Highway 52 when, just past Tower Hill Road, the
car crossed the center line into the path of a 2001 GMC two-ton
box truck driven by Darryl E. Moulden, 30, of Antioch. Willis was
transported to Livingston Regional Hospital then taken by AirEvac
to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Moulden, who was wearing a
seatbelt, was apparently uninjured. THP Jimmy King investigated
top of page
husband killed in apparent murder-suicide
An Overton County woman apparently shot her husband
twice before taking her own life Tuesday night, April 9.
Sgt. Ryan Allred and deputies Sean Allred and Kenny
Cherry with Overton County Sheriff's Department were dispatched
to 896 Rock Crusher Road at approximately 10:30 p.m., where they
found Dawn Willis, 39, with a gunshot wound to the head.
The officers also discovered her husband, Jackie
Willis, 31, had suffered a gunshot wound to his forehead and another
in the left shoulder.
Overton County Ambulance Service responded to the
scene and called Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga for Life Force
assistance. EMS workers then transported the couple to Livingston
Dawn Willis passed away before the helicopters arrived.
Jackie Willis was airlifted to Erlanger, where he
remained in critical condition until his death at 3:06 p.m. on Wednesday,
Two children were at the Willis home at the time of
the incident, one said to be around 11 years-old and the other 13.
One of the children reportedly ran to a neighbor's home and called
911 just after the shooting.
Recovered from the scene by officials was a .22 rifle,
which was ostensibly used in the tragedy. Sheriff Kelly Hull said,
"It's looking like a murder-suicide."
Sheriff Hull said the wife is suspected to be the
shooter in the incident.
The children are now living with relatives, according
to Sheriff Hull.
top of page
dates set for schools
By RACHEL SMITH, OCN staff
School Board members, along with Director of Schools
Bill Needham, met Thursday, April 11 for a work session to discuss
the current status of the school building program.
Needham reported that he, Board Chairman Milton Raines,
Terry Webb, and Karen Cowan met with Scotty Wallace and Ricky McGee,
representatives of Wallace Construction, and sub-contractors Cookeville
Heating and Cooling and Carwile Mechanical that day to oversee payments
to these and other subcontractors.
"Wallace Construction issued payments to Cookeville
Heating and Cooling and Carwile's for January and February,"
Needham said. "Cookeville Heating and Cooling also received
payment for March. Cherry Creek was not present, but payment was
issued to them as well. Several other payments were mailed from
this office this afternoon that brought everyone up to date on contracts
through February," .
According to Needham, the contractors present then
signed a waiver of lien stating they had been paid for services
rendered. March payments were to be submitted to the architect by
Monday, April 15, with the group to meet again today, Wednesday,
April 17, to receive those payments. Needham also stated that future
payments to Wallace Construction, and their subsequent payments
to subcontractors, will be handled in this same manner.
Needham then informed the Board members present that
Wallace Construction had, once again, given him estimated dates
of "substantial completion” for Wilson, Rickman, and Allons
Based on the information provided him, Needham reported
that "substantial completion" should occur at Wilson on
April 26, at Rickman on or before May 3, and at Allons by June 3,
excluding grading, paving, landscaping work to be completed behind
When asked by Board member Russell Gray to define
substantial completion, Needham said, "That's when we agree
with the architect and the contractor that we're ready to accept
that building and place it then into warranty. It's when the construction
phase is basically over, and we enter the one year period where
they are to fix anything that we find wrong during that period."
Prior to this, the architect, contractors, and school
representatives will complete a walk-through of each facility, compiling
a "punch list" of items that need to be corrected before
substantial completion will be accepted.
With the contractor having submitted completion dates
before, it was not unexpected that those present show some skepticism
about these dates.
Board member Donald Brown said, "We'd just like
to see it get done. Our patience is worn out. We've told the schools,
the PTO's and all the people in the community each time you've met
with us, and they just think we're not telling the truth."
In response to Brown's comments, Architect Richard
Williams said, "I feel confident about these dates. That is
to say, as confident as one can be about Wallace Construction right
now. If Cookeville Heating and Cooling and Cherry Creek will get
in there and finish their work, these jobs are almost over. Except
for a few finishes and cleaning up, that's all that's left."
Needham added his confidence to that of Williams by
telling the Board, "I feel better than I have. I want to see
them back at work and then I'll feel real good about it. I want
to see people out there meeting these deadlines."
Knowing that these dates may or may not be met, Board
member Tim Coffee asked the architect, "Is there something
we can do if on these dates they are nowhere near being done?"
Williams replied, "What we must do is to stick
with the terms of the contract. We can't micromanage these projects.
The alternative to them not finishing these projects is to turn
it over to the bonding company, but you don't want to do that because
the bonding company might just turn right around and hire them to
finish the project."
Based on the terms of the contract signed by Wallace
Construction, they have been in a penalty phase since October 26,
2001. At a rate of $150 per day per school, this will amount to
approximately $27,000 per school as of April 26. According to Needham,
these penalties will be withheld from the final payment made to
Williams informed the Board, "There are extenuating
circumstances that goes with that too. You're not going to be able
to collect that across the board because you've occupied a lion's
share of the facility. You'll have to deal with the contract date
regardless of any verbal commitments.
"The state has done this on several projects.
They'll prorate and you won't get that much money per day. Because
you didn't get the whole building, they take the portion of the
building you've occupied and prorate that towards the amount of
Williams went on to advise the Board, "Inevitably
somebody bought a box of nails that we don't know about. We can't
be responsible for that. What you should do as a Board before final
payment is made is to make an advertisement, for whatever period
the legal requirement is, stating that final payment is about to
be made and anyone owed money should step forward. We're only going
to protect the interest of the contract and that's all."
After concluding the discussion about the building
program, Needham introduced the subject of budgeting to the group.
"We still have no word about what the state's
going to do," he said. "We should know something one way
or another around the end of April. We need to proceed with our
budget process as usual, but as we make the budget out, we need
to look at contingencies. The very last thing we need to look to
cut is classroom instruction. Every program will have to be looked
at and where the funding comes from."
Board Chairman Milton Raines wanted to reassure Overton
County citizens that this year's budget has not been overspent as
some people have thought.
"We have not overspent this year," he said.
"If we have a shortfall it will be due to the state withholding
our BEP payments. If this happens, we have enough money in our fund
balance to complete the year."
Other issues of concern discussed during the work
session included the electronic transmittal of attendance records
next school year and the effect this would have on 2003-2004 budgets,
the requirement of teachers aides to have two years college equivalence
by 2004, new mandates for the special education program, and the
requirement for technology instructors to have a BS degree.
The work session concluded.
top of page
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570