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80 Years Ago

Archives 02-02-2005



County nursing home evacuated. . . twice!
Livingston man dies in three-vehicle crash
"Wormy" water rumors stopped fast by Monterey



County nursing home evacuated. . . twice!

photo by Carson Oliver/OCN
The Livingston Middle School gymnasium was used as a temporary holding area for Overton County Nursing Home residents after a chemical mishap. According to reports, two cleaning chemicals were mixed that caused an odor in the kitchen and corridor of the nursing home. All 121 nursing home residents and 54 employees were evacuated.

A chemical mishap caused the complete evacuation of Overton County Nursing Home on Wednesday, Jan. 26, and a heater fire caused the evacuation on wings 1 and 2 a few days later.

According to reports, the first evacuation was called for when bleach was mixed with de-limer last Wednesday. The chemicals caused an odor in the kitchen and corridor of the nursing home.

The administrator ordered the evacuation of the facility, and emergency service personnel from Livingston, Overton County, and surrounding counties, as well as other volunteers soon arrived and all 121 nursing home residents and 54 employees were evacuated in 15 minutes.

All nursing home residents were transferred to Livingston Middle School within an hour. Five employees and two residents were transported to the emergency room at Livingston Regional Hospital for treatment of respiratory distress. Every person was checked before re-entering the building. The entire incident from beginning to completion lasted about two hours.

Then, on Saturday, Jan. 29, a heater fire in wing 2 caused an evacuation of both wings 1 and 2. Residents of wing 1 were moved to wings 3 and 4, while residents of wing 2 were transported to Livingston Regional Hospital to be checked out. When LRH could take no more patients, the rest were transported to Cookeville Regional Medical Center. No one was seriously injured, according to reports.

LPN Helen Fossey saw smoke coming from a room around 10:19 a.m., pulled the fire alarm, and grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the flame, according to reports. Livingston Fire Department personnel soon arrived to make sure the fire was out and, after the residents were evacuated, proceeded to clear the building of smoke.

Just as in the earlier evacuation, members of area fire departments arrived to assist in moving the nursing home residents. Ambulances were called in from Putnam, Fentress, Clay, White, and Jackson counties to assist in transporting the 35 residents of wing 2 to be examined at LRH and CRMC.

After Livingston Fire Chief Rocky Dial had the wing's CO level checked and found it acceptable, residents were returned to the nursing home. By 2 p.m., all but two residents were back at the facility. The two were kept at LRH for observation, as was an OCNH staff member.


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Livingston man dies in three-vehicle crash

Emergency workers place a tarpaulin over a 1997 Nissan pickup driven by Danny E. Allen, 39, of Livingston, after a three-vehicle wreck occurred on Highway 111 South, just inside the Livingston city limits, last Tuesday, Jan. 25.

According to reports, Allen was driving north around 11 a.m. when the truck crossed the center line into the southbound lane and struck a 1996 Jeep Laredo driven by Glynn Lafever, 60, of Cookeville. The truck overturned onto the top of a 1987 Buick driven by Jeremy C. Perry, 32, of Monroe, and landed off the shoulder of the roadway.

Allen was pronounced dead. Perry was also injured in the collision and was transported to Livingston Regional Hospital. Lafever was apparently uninjured.

The incident was investigated by Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers Marty Philpot, Jeff Cook, Travis Ryans, and Lt. David Allread.


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"Wormy" water rumors stopped fast by Monterey

By DALE WELCH, Hilltop Express with permission
Town of Monterey officials said they want to assure its customers that water from the town's water supply is safe and exceeds state requirements. That is something that cannot be guaranteed by even drinking bottled water, which is not state-regulated.

As far as town officials can determine, a rumor that the town's water, and maybe all Putnam County's water supply, had an "amoebic parasite" began after a patient visited the Monterey Rural Health Clinic.

Contacted by the Hilltop Express, Dr. Jane Kissane, head of the rural health clinics in Putnam County, said, "It was a total misunderstanding."

Dr. Kissane said the physician's assistant was trying to explain the difference in symptoms of the flu and other possible causes of diarrhea and vomiting.

The rumors were alleged to start from there that something was wrong with the water. Town water officials and city hall began getting phone calls about the water, saying it was infected with an amoebic parasite.

Monterey Water Department employees, who test the water every day anyway, tested the water immediately, finding absolutely no contamination. They began investigating where the information came from.

When it appeared the information may have came from the rural health clinic, Duane Jarrett, water treatment supervisor, and Bobby Farley, water distribution supervisor, went to the clinic to ask questions. They said they were told they would have to make an appointment.

They made an appointment for later in the morning and went back. They allege that after they returned, they were told the physician's assistant would not talk with them and that they would have to "take it up somewhere else", and were told to contact Dr. Kissane.

Jarrett and Farley also tested the water at the homes of those who called in about the water. Water quality was found to be just fine.

A complex formula is used to calculate factors needed to ensure safe potable water. Over the last year, testing of the Monterey water supply showed numbers that were seven times better than what the state requires.

Water department officials, state water quality officials, and Dr. Kissane all told Hilltop Express that it is almost impossible to be infected by an amoebic parasite from a municipal water supply. A more likely cause would be not washing your hands or your fruit and vegetables.

Rumors usually travel faster than real viruses. State law makes it unlawful for any person to make any untrue or misleading oral or written statements regarding the presence of one or more contaminants in drinking water.

Mayor Ken Wiggins said the town's commitment to safe water is an ongoing and a never-ending process.

If there should ever be a threat to the water supply, the town will notify the state, as well as the newspaper, radio, and TV stations, and quickly disperse information.


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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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