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Archives 03-16-2005

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County delegation headed to State 4-H Congress
Man pleads guilty in child molestation case
Coleman named to State Wildlife Commission

 

 

County delegation headed to State 4-H Congress

Leah Thomas/OCN staff
Meeting before the trip to 4-H Congress are volunteer leader Wendy Sherfield, Charles Maynord, vice president of First National Bank, Megan Harris, 4-H Senator, Matt Copeland, 4-H Representative, Tom Stephens of The Swallows Agency, Josh Danner, 4-H Senator, Christie Key, agent for Overton County Farm Bureau, Tara Blankenship, 4-H Representative, Albert Jenkins of American Bank & Trust, Bruce Harris of Bank of Overton County, Kaysha Walker, 4-H Representative, Randy Dodson, vice president of Union Bank & Trust, and Mary Heather Maynord, 4-H Representative.

By GENE MEDLEY, Extension Director
Since its beginning in 1948, the 4-H Congress has given more than 28,000 4-H'ers and volunteer leaders firsthand experiences in state government.

The 4-H Congress, to be held Sunday, March 20 through Wednesday, March 23, is a citizenship experience. In addition to experiencing life in the state capital, 4-H members learn about civic engagement, including things such as state government, service to others, and the election process.

At Congress, each delegate will serve either as a senator or representative from their own county, and form a "junior" State Congress. They will also participate in a service project.

4-H Congress is designed for 9th and 10th graders in the state to become better leaders in their communities. Each of Overton County's six delegates wrote an essay on this year's theme -"Youth at Work: A Generation to Lead the Nation".

The educational trip is made possible by local sponsors. The Overton County delegation is made up of Megan Harris and Josh Danner, Senators, and Kaysha Walker, Matt Copeland, Tara Blankenship, and Mary Heather Maynord, serving as Representatives. The delegation will be led by volunteer leader Wendy Sherfield.

While in Nashville, the delegation will tour downtown Nashville and debate four bills and one resolution on the House and Senate floors.

Overton County's delegation will ride down the Cumberland River on the General Jackson, and finish up the three-day conference by experiencing the awards banquet, followed by the Governor's Ball.

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State announces tax collections for February

On an accrual basis, February is the seventh month in the 2004-2005 fiscal year. Department of Revenue tax collections were $634.9 million.

February revenues were $12.8 million more than the budgeted estimate, Finance and Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz announced recently. The general fund had a $9.9 million overcollection and the four other funds overcollected by $2.9 million.

Sales tax collections were $2.1 million more than the estimate in February. For seven months, revenues are undercollected by $87.2 million. The February growth rate was 4.83% and year-to-date growth was 4.03% or 0.89% less than the budgeted estimate.

Franchise and excise taxes combined were $7.5 million more than the estimate of $27.1 million. For seven months, revenues are $128.1 million overcollected, which may be overstated. An alternative estimating model indicates year-to-date overcollections of $76.3 million. The two models come together in April, and that will be a more accurate indicator of overcollections.

Gasoline taxes and motor vehicle registrations were $2.6 million more than the budgeted estimate of $90.7 million.

Year-to-date collections for seven months are $47.5 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund, because of franchise and excise tax collections, is overcollected by $49.6 million, and the four other funds are undercollected by $2.1 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates and the revised estimates presented in the new budget document are the same in total revenue and general fund revenue. The individual estimates are different. The revised estimates assume a $65 million shortfall in sales tax collections, a surplus of $60.4 million in franchise and excise taxes, and a surplus of $4.6 million in all other taxes when compared with budgeted estimates for the full fiscal year.

The budgeted revenue estimates are based upon the State Funding Board's consensus recommendation adopted by the second session of the 103rd General Assembly in May 2004.

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Legislative Body approves $25 booking fee

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Overton County Legislative Body held the regular monthly meeting Monday, March 14, with Commissioners David Dorminey, Shaun Hale, and Chris Neal absent.

A resolution was adopted to authorize Overton County Sheriff's Department to institute a $25 fee per person booked into the jail for confinement.

The Overton County School System's quarterly report was approved.

Kim Foster and Thomas Windle were approved as notaries at-large.

Members of Overton County Fair Board addressed the County Commission to tell of the recent success at the State Fair Convention, including being named the best fair in the state.

Commissioner John Phillips gave a report on the Education Committee's recent meeting with Director of Schools Bill Needham.

"We talked about grants on SRO officers," Commissioner Phillips said, "and Mr. Needham and the Board members who were there really welcomed the idea about seeing if the county would help get some SRO officers."

Commissioner Phillips presented a copy of a grant for an SRO officer.

"For a couple of cents a year, we could get educational help and tell our kids about the drugs and stuff," he said.

Commissioner Phillips further said, "With the rising meth problem that we have, I think it would be the duty of this court to try to come up with them, at least, 2 cents to help educate our children and keep them out of trouble."

Commissioner Stanley Carter Jr. replied, "I think it would be a good thing to have that, but with the pending litigation that we have, with this 47 cents looming over the county as it is, I'm not going to obligate us to any more for anything right now. I just don't see how we can. That's my 2 cents worth."

Commissioner Carter was referring to Sheriff Bud Swallows' lawsuit asking for more money from the county. The Budget Committee was recently informed that the tax rate would need to be raised 47 cents to pay for the funding asked for in the suit.

Commissioner Jean Moore said of the SRO grant, "It would be nice if the county could fund that, but at this particular time, nobody knows whether the funds would be available."

Later in the meeting, Commissioner Jeff Keyes acknowledged the contribution of the city's SRO officer.

"The city has one, and we do appreciate that," Keyes said. "We do realize that he's got his plate full. And we'd just like him to have more help.

"We don't want to leave him out, because he does a good job."

Commissioner Alan Atnip gave a report on the Nursing Home Board. On behalf of the Board, he expressed appreciation to Road Superintendent Chig Parrott for work done at Overton County Nursing Home.

Overton County Highway Department employees have been clearing and removing a fence row behind the nursing home. A new fence and a gated emergency road will be built between the nursing home and Overton County Senior Center. An emergency walkway to Livingston Middle School is also planned, according to Commissioner Atnip.

"Mr. Parrott's Highway Department did the work free. We just bought the materials," Atnip said.

Overton County Mayor Kenneth Copeland added, "It has improved the looks of the Senior Citizens Center and the Nursing Home by cleaning that out."

The meeting adjourned.

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