Locker room cameras cause parent unrest
Legislative Body meeting held January 13
Collision at square linked to lights
room cameras cause parent unrest
Cameras such as this are placed outside and inside
schools in Overton County.
An ill-advised camera placement has many parents in
All schools in the Overton County system have security
cameras, 16 per school. Cameras around locker room areas are placed
on the exterior of the outside entrance/exit door, usually. Livingston
Middle School apparently was an exception.
At Livingston Middle School, cameras for the locker
room doorway were installed inside instead of outside. The cameras
were brought into question after girls on a visiting basketball
team noticed them on Thursday, Jan. 9. The cameras were positioned
in an area that allowed some of the locker room area to be seen.
Authorities were notified.
The cameras, which were apparently digital still-shot
models that feed into a processing unit, were reportedly taken down
the following day.
According to an informed source, a TBI agent, along
with an investigator from Livingston Police Department and an Overton
County deputy, went to the school Friday evening to meet with school
officials. The area in question was investigated and the processing
unit for the school's camera system was removed at that time for
Each school reportedly has access to other schools'
cameras, provided they have the password. The cameras were installed
at Livingston Middle School in July.
Director of Schools Bill Needham gave the following
statement: "After learning that two of the school system's
security cameras at one school might be picking up a portion of
an inappropriate area, immediate action was taken to determine the
"The two cameras were removed, and the computer
system has been secured with the local police department. The school
system intends to cooperate fully with local authorities in investigating
Criminal charges appear unlikely though, because authorities
indicate the placement of the cameras point more to bad judgement
than to criminal intent.
District Attorney General William E. Gibson issued
the following statement: "Our office has been made aware of
a situation involving the placement of school security cameras in
proximity to the boys' and girls' locker rooms at Livingston Middle
School. It is our understanding that the matter has been investigated
by the Overton County Sheriff's Office, although at this time we
have received no formal report from that department.
"At the present time, it is our understanding
that security cameras were installed in all Overton County Schools.
The cameras were installed by a company from Dyersburg, Tennessee,
under contract with the Overton County School System. The cameras
were not hidden cameras, but rather security cameras that were placed
at various locations in the schools. The cameras in question were
aimed primarily at exterior doors, which provide entrance from outside
to the school. Within the lens angle was captured a small part of
the locker room.
"I have no information to suggest this was done
for any illegal purpose and no understanding that any camera angles
were modified after the installation by the security company. At
this point in time, we are not contemplating any criminal prosecution.
If the investigation reveals any additional facts which suggests
criminal intent, we would at that time consider prosecution of those
"It is my understanding that the cameras in
question have now been removed. Any specific questions concerning
the acquisition or placement of the cameras should be directed to
the Director of the Overton County Schools."
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Body meeting held January 13
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Overton County Legislative Body held the regular monthly
meeting Monday, Jan. 13, with Commissioner Stanley Carter Jr. absent.
When approval of the minutes of the December 2002
meeting was brought before the County Commission, Commissioner Shaun
Hale pointed out an incorrect item in the minutes. The minutes apparently
stated that only persons living in Overton County can serve on the
volunteer fire departments. He said the resolution allowed persons
outside the county to be members, but not to serve on the board
The correction was approved unanimously. Commissioner
Hale was appointed to the Nursing Home Board as the 3rd District
member. Ronald Dishman was appointed as Overton County Historian.
Dr. Michael Cox was appointed as Overton County Medical
Examiner, and Dr. Jim Nelson was appointed Overton County Assistant
Craig Story was appointed as a warrant writer.
County Executive Kenneth Copeland said, "We had
a warrant writer that passed away last month, and I appointed Craig
Story to do it until this time."
Applications were taken and Story was the only person
who submitted an application for the job, according to Executive
The County Commission voted to withhold $12,000 from
the state to go directly into Overton County Health Department in
accordance with the understanding Andy Langford, director of Overton
County Health Dept., has with the state.
The need for keeping the money in the local health
department is the result of more personnel being assigned to Overton
County. According to Langford, the Cookeville office, which was
the hub for this region, was closed because of mold. The personnel
there were distributed to surrounding counties to carry on their
duties. Overton County was one of the counties gaining additional
staff, which in turn required additional furnishing, equipment,
and other items."
We're bypassing Nashville, more or less, and it's
coming straight into our local budget where I can pay the electric,
the utilities, etcetera. It will cost Overton County nothing."
Langford also informed the County Commission of the
efforts of the Health Department in coordinating a smallpox vaccination
plan of action, should an outbreak occur.
A capital outlay note was approved for Overton County
Solid Waste Department to purchase a backhoe, not to exceed $50,000.
The Commission also voted to give the budget director permission
to transfer approximately $50,000 from Solid Waste Capital Outlay
Reserve to Debt Service to retire the Capital Outlay note used to
purchase the old backhoe. Because of the specific wording used by
the County Commission when the backhoe now in use was purchased,
approximately two years ago, no capital outlay note can be taken
for a new backhoe until that purchase is paid off.
Approved as notaries at-large are Hosea Winningham,
Misty Buck, and Glenda S. Norrod.
Commissioner John Phillips spoke concerning a fax
circulating through the community. The fax suggests prisoners at
Overton County Jail are eating steak. Commissioner Phillips presented
documentation of how much meals are costing per prisoner.
"We're running anywhere from 64 cents a day per
prisoner to 78 cents a day to feed each prisoner," he said.
Commissioner Alan Atnip addressed the Commission about
the rate structure at Overton County Nursing Home. The state pay
rate changed to $107.75 in August, but the private pay rate at Overton
County Nursing Home was changed to only $99, up from $88. According
to Commissioner Atnip the rate must be the same for the state as
for private because the state will pay according to the lowest rate.
He suggested an immediate meeting of the Nursing Home Committee
to change the rate.
Members of the Nursing Home Committee said they would
meet after the Legislative Body meeting ended.
The meeting adjourned.
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Becky Meredith/OCN staff
A two-vehicle collision at the corner of Spring Street
and West Main Street on Thursday, Jan. 9 was very similar to a collision
at that corner on December 11. As Amber R. Hooks, 17, of Livingston,
was heading east on West Main Street, the 1990 Honda she was driving
collided with a 1995 Plymouth Neon driven by Audra S. Jone, 22,
of Cookeville. The Honda ended up in a hole where utility construction
is underway for the square beautification project. A passenger in
the Honda, Samantha Hooks, 16, was injured. Both drivers said they
had the green light. A witness told the reporting officer, Sgt.
Chris Halfacre of Livingston Police Department, that the light was
not working properly. Sgt. Halfacre stated in his report that he
then observed that both traffic lights were green at the same time.
A systems check by Athens Technical Specialists Inc. found no problems
when testing the Church and Main and Spring street lights later
the same day. In the December collision at the same location, a
truck ended up in the hole, and both drivers involved said they
had a green light.
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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570