County shows love for Knife Troop
Commissioners vote to keep beer distance at
Tennessee unemployment rate decreased
shows love for Knife Troop
photos by Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Hundreds of Overton County and Fentress County residents
lined Highway 111 South early Thursday, June 17 to show love and
support for Tennessee Army National Guard Knife Troop 3/278th ACR
as the men headed out for Camp Shelby, MS, for training that may
be followed by deployment overseas. Flags and banners adorned vehicles,
bucket trucks, hillsides, and medians along the highway. The buses
rolled out of the Livingston armory shortly after 8:30 a.m., a bit
earlier than the 9 a.m. leave time that had been publicized. A long
parade of cars and trucks followed the buses on their way out of
Overton County. Truck drivers, delivery men, and others pulled to
the side of the road on the north bound side and got out to salute
the troops as they went by.
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vote to keep beer distance at 2,000 feet
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
The 2,000-foot rule will stay in place and permits issued in violation
of the rule will be revoked, such was the decision of Overton County
Legislative Body during the Monday, June 21 regular monthly meeting.
County Commissioner Chris Neal was absent.
"That's what it's all about, is trying to do
the right thing," County Commissioner Donald Jeff Keyes said
during discussion pertaining to Overton County's beer ordinance.
The 2,000-foot rule is the distance required between
a place of public gathering and an establishment selling beer. The
county ordinance was first set forth in October 1944, and a similar
ordinance was passed in March 1984.
The validity of the ordinance came into question
when C&H Food Mart was denied a beer permit in April because the
store is 1,487 feet from Rickman Church of God of Prophecy. C&H
Food Mart, owned by Chris Neal and his wife, filed suit against
the county, alleging the Overton County Beer Board discriminated
against the business. The suit asserts that permits have been issued
in violation of the ordinance, thereby negating its validity.
County Attorney Daryl Colson had advised County Mayor
Kenneth Copeland that the county had two options Ð either reduce
the distance requirement to the shortest distance currently in use
or revoke the improperly issued beer permits.
When bringing the subject before the County Commission,
Mayor Copeland said, "That's not something that myself or these
county commissioners have enjoyed doing. It's something that was
dropped in our lap.
"Some licenses were issued in 1981. When they
did that, it violated our footage requirement. Then in 1988, there
were some more issued.
"There was litigation. We were sued by a person
wanting their beer license. And Daryl Colson, the county attorney,
has researched this a whole lot. And I know these 13 court members,
and myself, they've thought about it long and hard, and the decision
they'll make tonight will be on, not really probably what they would
like to, but it, hopefully, will be according to law what they should
Commissioner John E. Phillips then said, "I make
a motion to leave it at 2,000 feet."
Then, placing a stack of papers on a table in front
of him, he said, "Here's about 1,500 signatures, the voice
of the people."
Commissioner Keyes said, "I second that."
In a roll call vote, the motion passed 7-6. Commissioners
Gail Reed Arney, Randall Boswell, Stanley Carter Jr., Ben Danner,
Shaun R. Hale, and Keyes and Phillips voted to keep the ordinance
Commissioners Alan Atnip, David Dorminey, Gary Hollars,
Frank Martin, Jean Moore, and Johnie Webb voted no.
Commissioner Webb asked County Attorney Colson about
what the situation was at that point.
Colson said, "Based upon the vote, we'll have
to begin issuing revocation proceedings. That's the next step if
we want that to prevail. We'll have to revoke the illegally issued
beer permits that are in the county."
Commissioner Phillips made a motion to revoke the
licenses in violation of the 2,000-foot rule, and Commissioner Keyes
Before the vote, Colson cautioned, "The revocation
we'll have to seek to revoke those licenses, that may not be successful,
but we'll still have to proceed with it."
Concerning the lawsuit at hand, Colson told the Commission,
"That license will be issued by court order, and, therefore,
you should go into this with the understanding that that license
probably will be granted, and the revocation process against that
individual may not be successful."
Commissioner Phillips then said, "Let's just
be clear. This is not a grudge or an individual thing, this is about
what's wrong and what's right."
The motion was approved with the same 7-6 vote as
the previous motion.
The County Commission voted to refund $565.95 to James
Matthews, who had bought land sold at a tax sale on February 12,
1997. The property did not exist.
The Commission also voted to refund $10,429.74 to
East Tennessee Natural Gas. The Tennessee Board of Equalization
ruled that the utility has paid on over-assessments for 1997, 1998,
1999, 2000, and 2001.
A resolution was adopted to allow for a continuing
budget and tax rate for 2004-2005.
Year-end budget amendments were approved for both
the school system and for the county.
A Litter Grant resolution was adopted to provide
for 2004-2005 participation.
The Director of Accounts' bond was approved.
Roads were added to the county road list as requested
by Road Superintendent Joe Garrett.
A budget resolution was adopted concerning a $1 million
loan the county procured for Overton County Highway Department.
Mayor Copeland said, "It's money that the highway
superintendent decided he didn't want and sent back. We've got to
have this resolution in order to complete that paperwork."
John Alcorn, Jason Garrett, and Richard Winton were
reappointed to Overton County Planning Commission.
The Legislative Body approved the following as notaries
at-large: James R. Johnson, Margaret Stout, Thomas E. Stephens,
Sandra Heaton, Fred Amonett, Danny Langford, and Clifford Jones.
The meeting adjourned, and the crowd clapped in approval
of the actions taken concerning the beer ordinance.
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unemployment rate decreased
Tennessee's unemployment rate continues to decline
slightly, registering 4.8 percent for May, down from 4.9 percent
in April, according to Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development
The national rate is 5.6 percent for May, the same
as it was in April.
"We're seeing normal seasonal patterns in the
May figures as businesses get ready for summer," Neeley said.
"Construction added 2,400 jobs over the month, and food services/drinking
places increased by 2,500. State government educational services
declined by 2,800 as schools began closing for the summer."
Neeley noted that the slight increase in durable
goods manufacturing over the year continues, as the sector added
700 jobs from May 2003 to May 2004.
Other yearly gains were in trade/transportation/utilities,
up 7,100; education/health services, up 6,600; and leisure/hospitality,
Decreases from May 2003 to May 2004 were in state
government, down 1,000; nondurable goods manufacturing, down 800;
and electrical equipment/appliances manufacturing, down 800.
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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570