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Archives 01-19-2005

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High winds destroy barn, knock out county's power
Town hall meeting held for Vol State expansion
School Board approves sign at LA

 

 

High winds destroy barn, knock out county's power

Carson Oliver photos
The roof of Dr. Larry Mason's barn on North Oak Street in Livingston was shredded by high winds Thursday, Jan. 13. The metal roofing was scattered throughout an adjacent field.

High winds swept throughout Tennessee on Thursday, Jan. 13, leaving Overton County without electrical power.

The wind from the storm deposited metal debris in the Livingston electrical power substation shortly after 11 a.m. and left the county without electricity for 41 minutes, according to Carl Ledbetter of Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (UCEMC).

"All six breakers within the substation lost power, and from that point, UCEMC employees were evaluating the damage and maintaining communication with TVA, UCEMC's power supplier, to restore power to the system," Ledbetter stated.

"Outages caused by nature, such as what we experienced on Thursday, are not restored just by reclosing a breaker. When an outage of this magnitude occurs, TVA must be contacted to make certain that putting the UCEMC substation back in operation will not endanger the TVA system's operation and not endanger linemen who may be working on a power line or anywhere throughout the system."

UCEMC expressed how fortunate they were to have the substation back on line within an hour and that no injuries resulted from the storm.

 

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Town hall meeting held for Vol State expansion

By BETH UNDERWOOD, OCN staff
Although the governor has temporarily shut down the proposed $5 million dollar expansion at Volunteer State Community College, local residents and college administrators kept their eyes on the future at the Thursday, Jan. 13 town hall meeting held at Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Warren R. Nichols, Ph.D., president of Volunteer State Community College, said, "We are beginning a five-year strategic plan, and we have to identify what our goals are for 2005 to 2010.

"Part of that is to do a community needs assessment to identify what the communities in our 12 counties are needing and looking for from Volunteer State Community College."

For some in attendance, providing students with a jump-start on secondary education remains a top priority.

Ralph Robbins, director of Tennessee Technology Center at Livingston, said he has seen firsthand the benefits of having a local campus.

"There are a lot of students who've gone to Vol State from this community who probably wouldn't have gone to college if they hadn't had those first two years, my son being one of them," Robbins commented.

The college, which began offering classes locally in 1991, has seen enrollment increase from its original 10 students to more than 500 students currently.

The expansion will mean increased course offerings, including all required courses for the proposed Allied Health Programs, and will triple the size of the current facility when completed.

But before the first shovel of dirt can be turned, $2.8 million must be in the bank. To date, about $1.65 million has been raised, with verbal commitments and additional money being given by the college, bringing the total to about $2 million.

Nichols explained, "Until we get that $800,000, we go nowhere with it. We'll keep talking to individuals and we'll get those $5 and $10 donations. When we get the money, we'll build a building. It's just cold hard economics; that's all it is."

Administrators hope to have the money to begin phase one by mid-April.

Dr. Charles Lee, vice president of Academic Affairs, said the expansion will be a facility worthy of the community it is in.

"The community needs and deserves a facility of this quality," he said. "We're talking about putting in this facility a state-of-the-art science lab that will be better than anything else within several hundred miles, so students from Overton County, Jackson County, and Pickett County can come here and get the very best experience they can get in the very best facility."

 

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School Board approves sign at LA

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
During the Tuesday, Jan. 11 regular monthly meeting, Overton County Board of Education approved the placement of an electronic sign at Livingston Academy.

The new Livingston Academy sign is sponsored by First National Bank.

The low bid from Dixie Roofing of Lafollette for roofing A.H. Roberts Elementary School was approved at $192,443.

Director of Schools Bill Needham issued the Director's Report to the school board. Actions taken by the school director are as follows:

Linda Archer's employment was increased from 4.5 days per week to 5 days per week effective January 1. The cost will be paid from IDEA, Federal Special Education Funds.

Kim Dillon was hired to cover Tamara Crowder's maternity leave for the remainder of the 2004-2005 school year.

Donald Staggs was hired as a substitute bus attendant effective January 1 at $5.50 per hour, not to exceed 2 hours per day. The cost will be paid from IDEA, Federal Special Education Funds.

Cindy Smith was granted medical leave of absence from December 1 through January 3.

Jennifer Dillon was granted maternity leave from January 31 through May 25.

Heather Bowman was granted maternity leave from March 28 through May 13.

Before adjourning, the Board listened to a presentation from Livingston Middle School Principal Rick Moles and a couple of members of the school's Junior Beta Club. Beta Club members Allie Baltimore, Lee Gatts, and Kavan McAlpin recently attended the state convention, and McAlpin won 2nd place in the Tennessee History competition.

 

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Overton County News
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