to mow school grounds
Local park, walking track also good for bird-watching
Livingston man killed in wreck at interstate exit
Livingston mayor's term may be extended to 4 years
Prisoners to mow school grounds
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Overton County Legislative Body held the regular monthly meeting
Monday, Jan. 8, with all commissioners present.
A capital outlay note was approved to buy mowing equipment
for the Sheriff's Department, contingent on School Board approval.
Prior approval was given by the Budget Committee.
Commissioner Billie G. Phipps asked, "What are
they going to mow?"
County Mayor Kenneth Copeland answered, "They
are going to mow all the schools, the county buildings, and the
Commissioner Phipps asked, "Are they going to
be mowing while school's going on, while kids are in school?"
He further asked, "The inmates are going to be
doing it, right? They are going to be at the schools working."
He went on to question how this will save money when
a deputy will have to be on duty to guard the prisoners.
Mayor Copeland said, "The first year's going
to be the initial cost of buying the lawnmowers and equipment. And
this is something that (Sheriff) W.B. (Melton) would like to do
to get the inmates out and working. The first year will be for that.
"And then we may have to get another employee
for him to use. I don't know that we will, but if we do it will
be in the coming budget year."
The school system has been paying around $15,000 for
mowing, and the county has been paying around $6,500 each year.
Commissioner Ben Danner brought up the fuel costs
and equipment repair costs, as well as potential liability that
is currently borne by the contracted mowers.
Mayor Copeland said the county and the school system
would have to maintain a fund because the mowers would have to be
replaced every two or three years
"We have a lot of mowing to do, some 40-45 acres
of mowing to do, per mowing. So, they're going to have to be used,"
Mayor Copeland said.
After the commissioners were informed that an extra
guard's pay would start out at $18,000, Commissioner Phipps said,
"I just can't see with the time your paying the salary, maintenance,
everything else, it just doesn't seem to me like it's going to add
up. The headaches, the responsibility, like he said, the people
who mow it now - they've got insurance to take care of that.
"Now, if we get out here and start tearing stuff
up, hurting people, and then we get sued. It don't even make a lick
of sense to me."
Director of Schools Mike Gilpatrick was present and
answered some of the concerns saying, "I think our main concern
would be that we would want the mowing done and scheduled through
the principal so that it is not done when students or personnel
are at school. That's going to be my and the Board's main concern."
He went on to say that the school system has had three
or four mowing companies back out of bids.
Commissioner Darwin Clark took the discussion back
to the concern of the prisoners being on the school grounds while
children are present, noting that many activities are held at the
schools after the school day ends.
"It's hard to schedule around the kids,"
Commissioner Clark said.
John McLeod of Overton County Sheriff's Dept., who
was acting as the sergeant at arms for the meeting, addressed the
commissioners' concern about who would be allowed to mow on the
"State law requires that any convicted sex offender
cannot live, reside, work or be anywhere within 2,000 feet of any
school or any place that has children in it," McLeod said.
"The sheriff is very firm about that."
Commissioner Rick Moles, who is also principal of
Livingston Middle School, said that some of the contracted mowing
has been done with children present at the school, but that the
children are never around where the mowing is being done.
"Personally, as a principal, I wouldn't feel
threatened by it at all," he said.
According to Mayor Copeland, Sheriff Melton plans
to purchase two zero-turn mowers, a push mower, and a couple of
On the vote, Commissioners Alan Atnip, Randall Boswell,
Stanley Carter Jr., Bruce Ledford, Rick Moles, Jean Moore, Gregg
Nivens, Billy Parrott, Cindy Robbins, Chris Speck, and Johnie Webb
voted yes, Commissioner Jeff Staggs passed, and Commissioners Ben
Danner, Darwin Clark, and Billie G. Phipps voted no.
The commissioners approved the quarterly report for
the school quarter ending September 30, 2006, for General Purpose,
Federal Projects, Central Cafeteria, and Education Debt Service
Funds. The report was given prior approval by the Education Committee.
Amendment No. 1 for the General Purpose School 2006-07
budget was approved. It also had prior approval by the Education
The Legislative Body unanimously approved a transfer
of $22,640 from the Reserve Fund for Overton County Highway Department
to purchase a fence.
A budget amendment was approved to accept a $10,000
donation from Livingston Rotary Club to be used for the new building
construction at Overton County Fairgrounds.
A proposed pay raise for part-time EMTs and paramedics
was tabled until next month.
The following were approved as notaries at-large:
David Moore II, Judy Dillon, Jennifer Melton, Misty Buck, Glenda
S. Norrod, Erin Montgomery, Judy Buford, and Hosea Winningham. The
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park, walking track also good for bird-watching
photo by Wanda Krack
This ring-billed seagull was found sitting on the dock at Winningham
By Wanda Krack, special to OCN Winningham Pond, formerly
known as Dillon and Doc Hill Pond, has a comfortable hiking trail
from which you can observe several species of birds.
Currently there are ducks, geese, coots, and all types
of smaller birds that make their home on and around the pond.
One cold morning, a flock of Canadian geese flew in
and landed gently on the ice that was covering most of the pond.
Last week, I discovered a ring-billed seagull sitting
on the dock that is on the east side of the pond. This gull allowed
me to approach within a few feet before taking wing.
Reading about this common gull on the internet (enchanted
learning.com), I discovered this type of gull normally nests along
inland lakes and along the seacoast. They are normally meat eaters
that consume fish, earthworms, insects, and small rodents, etc.
They can fly 43 miles per hour, and are found both on the western
and eastern coastlines. They are a medium sized gull, identified
by the black ring around the yellow bill, and have yellow feet.
The gull I photographed has either a winter coat or
is just nearing adulthood because of the brownish feathers scattered
on the head. According to the articles, these birds take three years
The pond is also currently home to a great blue heron,
who is people-shy. Each time I walk around the pond with camera
in hand, I get the feeling that this bird is watching me as much
as I am watching for a photographic opportunity! So, if you enjoy
walking and bird-watching, Winningham Pond is one place you can
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man killed in wreck at interstate exit
By MARY JO DENTON, Herald-Citizen staff with permission
A Livingston man was killed in a crash on an Interstate 40 exit
ramp at Baxter last week, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Kenneth Ray Denton, 50, of Old County House Road,
died in the accident, which happened at 11:23 p.m. on Wednesday,
Denton was driving a 1991 Cadillac DeVille and was
exiting I-40 on the eastbound ramp at the 280 (Highway 56) exit
when his car veered off the shoulder of the road and ran into the
back of a tractor-trailer truck, which was parked on the shoulder
of the road, according to a report by State Trooper Eric McCormick.
The truck, a 2000 Volvo registered in Illinois and
hauling general freight, had been parked there by a driver who was
not present when the crash occurred, the report stated.
The driver, Henry Parrish, later returned to the scene
and was cited for improper parking, a THP dispatcher said.
According to the report, Denton's car veered off the
right shoulder (of the exit ramp) and veered into the rear of the
mayor's term may be extended to 4 years
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Livingston City Council held the regular monthly meeting Tuesday,
Jan. 2, with all aldermen present. The meeting had been moved from
the regular first Monday of the month because of the New Year's
A resolution was adopted to increase the mayor's term
of office from 2 years to 4 years, and for the new longer term to
take effect September 1, 2008, if allowed by law. Alderman Robert
Jolley voted no.
The resolution asks for a change in the town charter,
which would have to be approved by the Tennessee General Assembly.
With that approval, the resolution would then be put on the 2008
municipal election ballot for a vote by the citizens of the Town
Some aldermen questioned whether the 4-year term could
take effect the same year the referendum was on the ballot with
the mayor's election.
The second reading of Ordinance 2006-12-3, changing
the gas rates, was approved. The ordinance creates two classifications
of gas customers - industrial and small.
Industrial customers are those who use at least 7,500
ccf (750,000 cubic feet). The rate was lowered to $2.50 per thousand
cubic feet from the former regular rate for everyone of $5.50 per
thousand cubic feet. All others fall into the small category and
will receive a 50-cent decrease per thousand cubic feet. Both rates
are in addition to paying the city's cost for the gas.
The aldermen voted to ban heavy truck through traffic
on Tom Davis Road, which runs between Overton Farmers Co-op and
Dollar General Market. "No Thru Trucks" signs will be
posted at the intersection of Main Street and Tom Davis Road and
at the entrance of Tom Davis Road behind the Hutchinson factory.
A 'No Heavy Trucks Beyond This Point' sign will be placed past the
second entrance to Dollar General Market.
Mayor Curtis Hayes said, "They have a problem
with heavy trucks coming up and down that road. Residents there
who are coming back and forth from home are either having to take
the ditch or just not go that way. It's really inconvenient for
them. It's probably a safety hazard too.
Livingston Police Chief Roger Phillips addressed
the Council, saying, "It is a danger. It's tough when you've
got a regular pickup truck and a car trying to pass on that little
narrow road. And there's not really any good way of remedying that
because of that steep bank on the south side to add anything to
that, and it's hard to take anything more from the other side. About
the only solution to the problem is restricting heavy truck traffic
on that section of Tom Davis."
The second reading of Ordinance 2006-12-1, rezoning
of Turnbull and Potter property from C-1 to C-3, was approved, as
was the second reading of Ordinance 2006-12-2, rezoning of Ballinger
property (old bowling alley).
Building Inspector Darius Sims informed the Council
that the property has changed ownership since the rezoning request
"A couple from Manchester has purchased that
property," he said.
He said they are going to open a bulk grocery store
in the building. A request by Harold Upchurch to purchase an undeveloped
street in Hidden Valley Subdivision was tabled until the February
meeting so the Council can have time to determine a value for the
Two aldermen brought up a vote the Council made years
back that the city would not sell any more alleys. They were told
that policy was voided when the Council recently voted to sell an
alley to Elzie Clark. An alderman asked what happened with that
Mayor Hayes said, "Well, Elzie backed out."
Water Department Supervisor Tim Coffee gave a report
on sewer availability within the city limits. He said the city has
2,047 residences, including both homes and businesses, with city
sewer available, and that 1,570 are sewer customers. About 77% have
sewer available right now, according to Coffee. Of the other 23%,
477 do not have city sewer available at this time.
To try to make sewer available to all city residents,
the department would need 18 miles of sewer line along with the
other items necessary parts and pumps, at a total cost of $10 million,
according to Coffee. Using current city resources, future sewer
projects include North Oak Street, North College Street, Carr Subdivision,
and Frazier Road, according to Coffee.
Mayor Hayes informed the Council that Tennessee Regulatory
Authority has approved the substance policy for the city's gas department.
"We are back in compliance with our gas drug
and alcohol policy," Mayor Hayes said. "We have been out
of compliance for about a year and a half to two years."
Mayor Hayes asked Alderman David Langford about setting
a time for the work session on looking at the changes to the city
charter. The date and time was left up the mayor's discretion. No
date or time was set during the meeting.
The meeting adjourned.
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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570