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80 Years Ago

Archives 03-29-2006


Head Start kids receive special visit from K Troop
Blues singer returning for encore fundraiser

Overton to receive pumper unit to improve fire protection



Head Start kids receive special visit from K Troop

photo by Beth Underwood/OCN staff
Livingston Head Start student Skylar McKinney (above) appears to be in awe as Army National Guard Sgt. Josh Parsons gives him an inside look at one of the armory's 5-ton trucks.

Members of K Troop visited Livingston Head Start on Thursday, March 16 for the childrenŐs on-site field trip.

All the children at Livingston Head Start got a chance to have a hands-on look at the huge camouflage 5-ton cargo truck that members of K Troop brought to the school.

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Blues singer returning for encore fundraiser

Roberts Entertainment promotions will turn up the sound again this April as blues singer and Livingston native Roy Roberts returns for the second annual fundraiser to benefit Overton County Heritage Museum.

The event will take place on Saturday, April 29 at Livingston Academy's mini-theater. Featured performers include Roy Roberts, Chick Willis, Hub City Bluegrass, and special guest James Brown's half-brother Little Royal.

Roberts, who has released numerous CDs and performs the world over, thinks the fundraisers are an integral part of preservation of Overton County's history, and encourages citizens to not only attend the benefit, but support the museum in other ways too.

"The word I want to get out to everybody is that they should come on in and be a part of it, because it's part of their history," he said.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Ticket donation is $20, and tickets are available at the museum. Contact Paula Stover at (931) 498-2551 or (931) 403-0909 for tickets or additional information.

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Overton to receive pumper unit to improve fire protection

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry has unveiled a new tool in fighting wildland fires in Tennessee.

A total of 51 "pumper units" are being deployed in 49 counties across the state, including Overton, Fentress, and Putnam, to improve fire protection in areas where development interfaces with the landscape.

The new equipment was funded through an appropriation of more than $500,000 in the current year's state budget as proposed by Governor Phil Bredesen and supported by the Tennessee General Assembly.

State Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens said, "As we continue to experience growth in many of our outlying areas, being able to respond quickly and with better equipment will be crucial to our fire suppression efforts in the future.

"This new equipment will help us meet that challenge, and we're proud that Governor Bredesen and members of the General Assembly recognize the importance of this public safety service."

The pumper unit consists of a 150-gallon tank with a high pressure pump mounted in the bed of a pickup truck, capable of delivering a higher volume of water or foam and drawing water from a variety of sources.

State Forester Steve Scott said, "Homes built in heavily wooded areas can present a real challenge for firefighters who must work in close quarters to build fire breaks between structures and an advancing fire.

"These units will allow us to respond more effectively to debris fires, roadside grass fires, and fires threatening structures - often before they become larger fires requiring more equipment and expensive resources."

The Division of Forestry is equipped to work in wildland-urban interface zones along with volunteer and local fire department personnel in protecting structures from wildfire. State forestry officials say the cooperation between the Division of Forestry and local fire departments is crucial to providing an effective wildland fire suppression program.

The Division of Forestry provides technical assistance and $250,000 annually to volunteer fire departments through federally funded grant programs. The Division of Forestry also provides financial and technical assistance to community groups to address local issues associated with wildland-urban interface fires. Workshops are conducted to educate homeowners and community leaders on how to identify high fire risk areas and how to protect property from wildfire.

Grant funds are provided to local communities to reduce risk of structural loss or injuries from wildfires through risk assessments and hazardous fuel reduction projects.

Last year, the Division of Forestry deployed 112 "fireplow" units across the state to replace its aging fleet of heavy dozers and transport trucks. The upgrade was funded through a $20 million bond issue proposed by Governor Bredesen and supported by the Tennessee General Assembly.

Since January 1, Tennessee has had nearly 1,100 wildfires that have burned more than 16,700 acres. Nearly 40% of those fires were due to arson. Tennessee averages about 2,500 wildfires annually that burn around 25,000 acres, resulting in the loss of valuable forest resources and structures.

Official fire season in Tennessee is from October 15 through May 15. During that time citizens not covered by local fire restrictions are required to obtain a permit from the Division of Forestry before conducting any type of open outdoor burn.

Since August 2005, the TDA Division of Forestry has responded to emergencies with more than 140 firefighters and specialists, heavy equipment and other resources in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma for hurricane relief and wildfire suppression efforts.

More information about wildfire danger and protection can be found at www.tennessee.gov/agriculture by clicking on "Fire Danger News".

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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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