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80 Years Ago

Archives 04-16-2003






Marijuana shoots found Thursday
Commission authorizes funds for county roads
Nursing home passes survey with good report


Marijuana shoots found Thursday

Becky Meredith/OCN staff
Investigator Mark Ramsey shows the size of the baby pot plants seized in Hardy's Chapel last week by the Sheriff's Department. The patch had 42 plants.


An Overton County man heading out for a turkey hunt in the Hardy's Chapel area found more than poultry on Thursday, April 10 around noon.

On the way to his decided hunting locale, the hunter reportedly spotted an unfamiliar truck pulling into a private road in the community, grew suspicious, and called Investigator Mark Ramsey of Overton County Sheriff's Department.

"He was afraid to go check it out, so I went down this logging road and found them,” Inspector Ramsey said.

The "them” Ramsey was referring to were 42 marijuana plants, newly sprouted.

While Investigator Ramsey did not mention any suspects, members of the department are keeping an eye out for the truck described by the turkey hunter.

"It's still under investigation,” Ramsey said. "I kind of have an idea of the truck; we've still got to find the truck first."

Sheriff's Department officials went ahead and seized the marijuana, instead of scoping the site and trying to catch the growers.

"It's too hard to do that,” Ramsey explained.

Apparently, letting the plants go and surveying the area would be taking too big a chance on the growers coming back to the site, retrieving their plants, and taking them elsewhere for replanting.

Although no arrests have been made, the department is thankful that 42 plants are being kept out of the hands of drug users in the area.


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Commission authorizes funds for county roads


Overton County Legislative Body authorized funds for oiling and chipping county roads in action taken during the Monday, April 14 regular monthly meeting. Commissioners Stanley Carter Jr., David Dorminey, and Frank Martin were absent.

Approved was an initial resolution for $1,120,000 authorizing up to $1 million to oil and chip existing gravel roads in Overton County and $120,000 for runway expansion at Livingston Airport.

Commissioner John Phillips asked if the road work would be divided up among the districts. ]

County Executive Kenneth Copeland said Road Superintendent Joe Garrett told him he would spend it in all districts.

Commissioner Gail Arney asked if the money would be paid back from highway funds.

Executive Copeland said, "Yes, Joe will pay it back through his gas tax fund."

The airport money will come from the county's Debt Service fund.

The resolution was adopted, with Commissioner John Phillips voting no.

Bruce Myers was hired as the delinquent tax attorney, as recommended by County Trustee Peggy Smith.

Approved as notaries at-large were Paulette Sidwell, Christy Sidwell Sells, Brandy L. Sisco, Donna J. Beason, Sandra L. Roberts, Jonell Speck, and Janet Ramsey.

A motion was made to adjourn and seconded.

Commissioner Alan Atnip spoke up saying he believed someone in the crowd attending the meeting wanted to address the County Commission.

Executive Copeland said, "You need to let me know seven days before the court meeting, and I'll put you on the agenda. Then you can address the court. That's a rule that I've got, and I'm going to stick to it, because I've just had another person that wanted to address us about another thing and he's waiting until next month."

The motion having already been made and seconded, the Legislative Body voted to adjourn.

Executive Copeland exited the room, but the county commissioners remained in the room to listen to a woman who said she was speaking for a group in attendance. She read from a prepared statement that made accusations of a long list of malfeasance the group alleged against the nursing home administration.

After pages of vague allegations were read, some implicating misconduct by an unidentified member of the Nursing Home Board of Directors, Commissioner Jeff Keyes, a member of the Nursing Home Board, asked if she or the group had anything to back their allegations.

No one spoke up.

Commissioner Keyes warned that the accusations could be considered slanderous.

The woman, who had identified herself as Gail Norrod and later said she was not a nursing home employee, then continued reading from the prepared statement, which went on with more allegations of malfeasance.

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Nursing home passes survey with good report

Overton County Nursing Home Board of Directors held its monthly meeting Friday, April 11.

Chairman Grant Pennington told the Board that the nursing home was surveyed by the state April 7 through April 9, and received the best survey the facility has received in the last five years.

He said the report said the nursing home had no citations of quality of life or quality of care issues, no citations requiring civil monetary penalties, and had three minor citations, which require only a written response.

"My hat's off to everybody that was in on getting us that good of a survey after last year," Chairman Pennington said.

Board member Jeff Keyes brought a matter before the Board concerning meals. The nursing home has been giving each employee a free meal each day.

Keyes said, "Last month it cost us a little better than $3,400."

He also pointed out that visitors pay $1.50 per meal.

"We've got to figure the cost of meals are more than the visitors' meals."

He proposed charging employees and visitors $2 per meal. He said that would bring in around $40,000 to the nursing home.

"That's a lot of money," he said.

"Anything that we can bring in to put towards our residents to make the facility better, we need to think about that,” he continued. "And that would be quite a bit of money there that we could use for that."

Board member Gary Hollars wanted to talk to some of the employees about it.

A woman in attendance said, "I thought it was an employee benefit.”

Keyes told her it was voted in by the Board years ago.

Board members Keyes, Pennington, and Frank Martin voted for the proposal, with Hollars voting against it.

The dress code was changed from allowing shorts to requiring ankle-length pants.

Greg Rector, the new director of nursing, said, "Above-knee shorts, I just don't think's very appropriate."

He said he believes changing to ankle-length pants will make the staff look more professional.

The holiday pay period was changed to allow employees to receive holiday pay over two different pay periods instead of having to get it in one.

James P. "Pug" Lee addressed the Board, asking to be paid for work performed for the nursing home in 1997.

Martin said good naturedly, "There ain't no question he did the work. I'm just questioning what took so doggone long."

Lee said he had tried to be heard about the situation before, but couldn't get anyone to listen to him.

The Board voted to pay Lee, with the stipulation that the Board will have 60 days to do so.

The Board voted to take bids on a copier contract. The current contract will end May 18.

Chairman Pennington informed the Board that a leaf blower and a weed trimmer have been stolen from the nursing home, and that a police report has been made.

Chairman Pennington also brought up a proposed change in Board policy.

"Anybody that wants to address the Board of Directors, they need to be placed on the agenda 10 days prior to the meeting date," he said.

The change was approved.

Two women wanting to address the board were told they would have to do so in closed conference because the topic they wanted to discuss was a personnel issue.

Chairman Pennington announced that the next Nursing Home Board of Directors meeting will be Monday, May 5.

The meeting adjourned.


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Overton County News
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