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Archives 11-01-2006

News

Sheriff's Dept. confiscates large amount of marijuana
Chase ends on Livingston Bypass

LA Football Coach Danny McCoin resigns
Schools to receive public alert radios

 

Sheriff's Dept. confiscates large amount of marijuana

Dewain E. Peek/OCN
Overton County Sheriff's Department conducted an investigation Tuesday, Oct. 17 on Jamestown Highway in the Alpine community that resulted in the confiscation of more than 25 pounds of marijuana, most of which was packaged for resale. Sheriff's personnel had been investigating the house, which appeared to be lived in part-time, for about 8 weeks. When the building was raided, Investigator Kevin Phillips saw a suspect running from the scene. Charges are pending upon the completion of the investigation. Three to five individuals are expected to be indicted. Officers involved in the investigation are Sheriff W.B. Melton, Detectives Kevin Phillips and Gary Ledbetter, and Deputies Jacob Boswell, John Mackie, Dana Looper, Robert Garrett, Chris Gore, and Greg Etheredge. Sheriff Melton urges anyone with knowledge of illegal drug activity to contact the Sheriff's Department, and assures that all calls will be kept confidential.

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Chase ends on Livingston Bypass

OCN staff
Overton County deputies stopped the Taurus SHO on the Livingston Bypass.

Overton County Sheriff's Department was involved in a case of a drunk and reckless driver traveling into Livingston on Saturday, Oct. 28.

The involvement of the Sheriff's Dept. began when a call was received from Algood Police Officer Max Goodpasture. The offender's vehicle was described as driving all over the roadway.

Sgt. Donathan Durham attempted to stop the vehicle on Highway 111 near the Ragland & Riley Veterinary Clinic, according to Deputy Greg Etheredge.

Sgt. Durham was assisted at this point by Officer Goodpasture because other deputies were still responding to the area but had not yet arrived, according to Dep. Etheredge.

"The vehicle failed to stop and the pursuit continued on to Livingston," Dep. Etheredge stated.

Deputy Jacob Boswell then joined the pursuit as Durham and Goodpasture neared Huddle House in Livingston.

Officers reported that at one point the vehicle appeared to be stopped and Dep. Boswell attempted to get the driver out of the vehicle, but the vehicle sped up.

At this point, Dep. Etheredge arrived at the intersection of Highway 42 and West Main Street. The vehicle reportedly swerved toward Dep. Etheredge's vehicle, and then continued on into Livingston.

Officers caught up with the vehicle at the Highway 111 Bypass. When the vehicle turned onto the bypass, it reportedly swerved and hit Dep. Etheredge's vehicle and continued on toward the "4-Way" intersection.

Officers then attempted to use a technique known as a rolling roadblock to get the vehicle to the side of the road. The vehicle then left the roadway onto a grassy area, but kept going. Both Dep. Boswell's and Dep. Etheredge's patrol cars were reportedly struck by the suspect vehicle during this action.

"Due to the vehicle's actions and the danger to the public, the decision was made to use a 'pit maneuver' on the vehicle," Dep. Etheredge stated.

Etheredge and Boswell engaged the pit maneuver, stopping the vehicle after it spun out and struck Etheredge's patrol car.

The driver allegedly resisted officers and was physically pulled from the vehicle.

He was identified as Robbie Lynn Helms, 27, of Cookeville.

Officers allegedly recovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and beer from Helms' vehicle.

"In addition, Mr. Helms did not have a valid driver license," Dep. Etheredge stated."Helms had a lengthy driving history, dating back several years."

Helms was charged with several counts of Aggravated Assault, along with DUI, Violation of Implied Consent Law, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Reckless Endangerment, Reckless Driving, and Evading Arrest.

Helms is being held without bond at Overton County Jail. He is set to appear in General Sessions Court on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Charges are also pending in Putnam County.

Overton County Sheriff's Dept. personnel expressed appreciation to Officer Goodpasture for remaining with Sgt. Durham until reaching the Livingston city limits, and also expressed appreciation to Livingston Police Department for providing traffic control assistance during the incident.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Hamilton and THP James Sells investigated the collision.

 

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LA Football Coach Danny McCoin resigns

By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
For the second time in two years, Livingston Academy is searching for a new head football coach. Monday morning, Oct. 30, the Wildcats' head coach Danny McCoin resigned under outside pressure accumulated from a 1-9 season.

"It is something that has been building all season, but finally came to a head Friday night," the coach pointed out.

"After the game, I was going to get something to eat and I got a phone call saying the Board of Education was holding a work session and I was on the agenda.

"I was never called or told anything about it. I was never contacted or asked 'Danny, what's your side of the story?' "

McCoin went on to add that he had had the support of "90-95%" of the Board and the fans and parents during a rebuilding season that saw the Wildcats fall from the state champions to a team that struggled all year, taking several one-sided defeats.

"I think just about everyone realized that this would be a tough season, but a few people just wouldn't accept that, and at this point in my life, I don't need this.

"We lost a lot of people from last year's team, including the quarterback (Wilson Cates), who was the best player ever to come through this school, and you just don't replace him, ever, and especially the very next year.

According to the coach, one or two Board members and several parents had voiced displeasure in the outcome of games this year, and he felt he couldn't work under those conditions.

"I have taken all I can take," McCoin went on. "I guess I just cracked, and I don't want to deal with it anymore. I deal with mad mothers and dads, Board members, and I have just had it. It has been building all season, and the deal Friday night was the straw that broke the camel's back.

McCoin, the offensive coach for the past several seasons, took over the head job when Matt Eldridge resigned after last season.

"I knew it would be tough this year," McCoin continued. "We had to replace a lot of great kids, and we were in a very tough region. We took some beatings that's true, but the kids kept coming back. I think at Austin East we just broke in the second half. But other than that, they never quit, and I will always admire them for that. They could have folded anytime, but they didn't, and that says a lot about the kids."

Livingston Academy Principal Gary Ledbetter expressed remorse in McCoin's decision, but added that "I respect his decision, and we will move forward. I have a great respect for Danny's knowledge of the game, and we certainly hate this to take place. We will keep open the option for him to come back to coaching.

"We have always prided ourselves in replacing people from within, and we'll take a serious look at that. Most of our coaches are graduates of Livingston Academy, and we feel that says a lot about our school. We have champions in just about every sport played, and we also play some of the toughest schedules in the state.

"We'll start our search looking for a knowledgeable candidate in the sport, and hopefully we'll fill the position by the start of the second semester (January)," Ledbetter added.

McCoin laughed, "It's kinda ironic that last year this time I was having the most fun I have ever had in coaching, and this is the worst experience I've ever had in coaching.

"I felt like I had the support of 90% of the Board, but that 10% was like a thorn. I had to kick some kids off the team, and mommas didn't like it. We were getting beat and they didn't want to do what I wanted them to do in practice, then some parents went to the principal and it just finally took its toll," McCoin added.

"If I had to go through this to get back to last year, I would do it in a heartbeat because last year was so much fun," McCoin pointed out. "As a matter of fact, the past three or four years have been great with the teams we've had, and I'm so glad our seniors, and even our juniors, got the chance to experience that. Definitely, the pros outweigh the cons in this deal.

"But it's time to move on, I guess. My options are open and I'm not going to say I won't be coaching somewhere else.

"As for Brannon (McCoin's son who played quarterback part of the season and is looked upon as the future of Wildcats football for the next three seasons), that will be left up to him. We will just have to wait and see," he said.

"This is my home town, and I love it," McCoin concluded. "I hopefully want to grow old and die here, but I may have to go away to come back. I had a chance to come back here, and I wanted to do it.

"I also want to add that even though we had a rough season, the kids were just super. I will always respect them for hanging in there seeing the season through. That says a lot about them."

This was not McCoin's first rebuilding effort at the school. After LA graduated a very talented group of seniors in the spring of 1993 who had led the Wildcats to a 10-2 record, into the playoffs, under Coach Terry Melton, McCoin took over the rebuilding duty that fall.

His first year ended with the Cats at 2-8, and the following year they improved to 4-6. Then they hit the big time in 1995 with a 9-3 record, capped by a second round berth in the state playoffs.

 

 

Schools to receive public alert radios

Free public alert radios that are being sent to public schools in Overton County will give school personnel advance notice if hazardous weather is approaching, according to U.S. Representative Bart Gordon.

Congress provided funding for distribution of the public alert radios, which are developed by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The radios operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, sounding an alarm that will alert school personnel to hazardous weather conditions and other national or local emergencies, even when other means of communication are disabled.

"We have all learned the hard way that emergencies can surface with little warning," Gordon said. "Whether it's an approaching tornado or a flash flood warning, the radio sounds an immediate alarm."

Gordon is the ranking member of the House Science Committee, which oversees work at NOAA and the National Weather Service. NOAA provides data and forecasts for weather and water cycle events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and floods.

"I am working in Congress to fund advanced research through NOAA and the National Weather Service to improve lead time on storm predictions," Gordon said. "These actions, combined with careful planning in each and every Middle Tennessee school and home can help save lives."

By the end of October, more than 80,000 schools across the nation, including 1,700 schools in Tennessee, will receive the NOAA public alert radios. Each radio will come with a letter and brochure explaining the program and providing instructions for use of the radio.

School personnel can find additional information on the public alert radios through NOAA's website at http://public-alert-tadio.nws.noaa.gov.

Gordon has long pushed for increased research funding and improved storm forecasting tools that could better provide earlier, more targeted warnings of severe storms.

"Tennessee's deadly tornadoes this spring were a wake-up call," Gordon said. "We must not underestimate the inevitability of future weather-related disasters and the need to do all we can to prepare for them."

Gordon said having an NOAA radio in the home is the best means to receive the latest warnings from National Weather Service. The radios, which have an average range of 40 miles, are sold in a variety of stores for as little as $20.

 

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Overton County News
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