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80 Years Ago

Archives 01-23-2008


Jobs to grow this Spring
Overton native dies in wreck Saturday night

Man caught after breaking into storage building
Federal grant to promote Highway 52


Jobs to grow this Spring

Valerie Brown/OCN staff
While the cold, wet winter may have slowed work on the Hydroserre of Tennessee plant, construction continues, nevertheless. With the white service building, at left, now up, work continues on the inside of the 23,500 square-foot facility, which will serve as a cooler packing area and office space.
“We’re still hoping to have production coming through by the first part of June,” said Hydroserre’s General Manager Forrest Sawlaw. “We’re continuing to advance to Highway 111. Right now, we’re about half way there.”
Sawlaw also said applications for greenhouse work will be available on-site and at Livingston/Overton County Chamber of Commerce in April.
Walgreens and the new Subway are also expected to open this spring, bringing more jobs to the Overton County area.



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Overton native dies in wreck Saturday night

Herald-Citizen staff
with permission

An Overton County native was fatally injured and two others also hurt Saturday night on Neal Street in Cookeville when their car ran off the road, smashed into a tree, and split in half.

Speeding was a contributing factor, police said.

Joshua M. Smith, 20, of Clemmons Road, Bloomington Springs, died at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga a few hours after the wreck, which happened around 10 p.m. January 19 on Neal Street at Salem Church Road, according to Cookeville Police Capt. Mark Maxwell, who heads the police force’s Traffic Division.

Injured in the accident were Jamie Lee Rodgers, 20, of South Creek Road, Cookeville, and Daniel R. Lafever, 20, of Bunker Hill Road, Cookeville.
The three were headed west on Neal Street in a 1995 Chrysler LeBaron that belonged to Lafever, Lt. Mike Lee said.

“The car was traveling at a high speed, and it went off the road and the driver might have overcorrected,” Maxwell said. “It just didn’t make the curve and slid across the road there and went into a spin, then ran up the embankment and wrapped around a tree. The car was cut in half by that, and the front part of it went on and hit another tree.”

He said two of the occupants were ejected during the violent crash and the third was pinned in the wreckage.

“We are still trying to piece together the details of this crash, and there are some questions we just can’t answer yet,” Capt. Maxwell said on Sunday.
On Monday after further investigation had been conducted, Lt. Lee said Lafever was driving the car at the time of the crash.

“As the vehicle approached the intersection of Salem Church Road, the driver lost control and the vehicle went into a yaw (a twist), rotating counterclockwise, and slid off the roadway, up an embankment, and struck a tree,” Lt. Lee said.

“On impact, the car ripped apart into two halves and ejected the two passengers, Joshua M. Smith and Jamie Lee Rodgers. Daniel R. Lafever was still inside the wreckage.”

Lt. Lee said the three were not using seatbelts.

Cookeville Police Officer Michael Herrick was just getting off duty, heading to an off-duty job, and happened to be in the area of the accident when it happened, Maxwell said.

“He was the first officer on the scene and called for help.”
The three injured men were treated by Putnam Ambulance Service medics and also by Dr. Alex Case, who came to the scene, and then they were taken to Cookeville Regional Hospital and airlifted to other hospitals, Maxwell said.

Lafever and Rodgers were taken to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville and Joshua Smith was taken to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Capt. Maxwell said he received word that Smith died around 1 a.m. Sunday. He said the other two were reported to be recovering from their
injuries late Sunday.

He said officers who are investigating the accident have talked to eyewitnesses.

“There was at least one person who saw the car come across the road out of control,” he said.


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Man caught after breaking into storage building

Overton County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the storage buildings on Old Highway 42 and Bilbrey Qualls Subdivision Road at 1 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14 on a possible breaking and entering.

The suspect had already left the area by the time deputies arrived, but Sgt. John Garrett had dispatch call ahead to Putnam County to be on the look out for the suspect. Algood Police Officer James Marquis stopped a vehicle matching the description and called for an Overton County deputy.

Garrett and Deputy John Mackie arrived at the scene and read the suspect, Ernest E. Bowman, his Miranda rights and asked if he had broken into the building, and he allegedly said yes. All items reported taken were recovered at the scene, according to Overton County Sheriff’s Dept.

Bowman was arrrested and transported to Overton County Jail for booking on charges of driving on a revoked license, burglary, vandalism, and theft of property. Total bond was set at $4,000 and he was released on bond three hours after being taken in. The case is still pending.

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Federal grant to promote Highway 52

A $120,000 U.S. Department of Transportation grant will fund a plan to preserve and promote Highway 52 from Livingston to Celina, according to U.S. Representative Bart Gordon.

“Highway 52 contains a variety of resources, including great scenery, parklands and historic sites,” Rep. Gordon said. “Preserving and promoting this stretch of highway is part of a larger effort to develop tourism and recreation in a rural area.”

Highway 52 is part of the North Cumberland Plateau Scenic Byway, which includes Campbell, Claiborne, Clay, Fentress, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, and Scott counties. The grant will be used to develop a corridor management plan that will include an overall vision and marketing plan.

Julie Oaks, public information officer for Tennessee Department of Transportation, the agency that will administer the grant, said, “A corridor management plan is the first and most important step in obtaining National Scenic Byway designation.”

TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely said, “The goal of the National Scenic Byways program is to create a distinctive collection of American roads, their stories, and treasured places through local community efforts. Roads that are designated as scenic byways have special features that represent unique and irreplaceable qualities that are distinctly characteristic of a specific area.

“This program helps showcase these cultural, historical, and beautiful areas for those traveling in Tennessee.”

TDOT received another U.S. Department of Transportation grant of $242,064 for the “Tennessee Byways Showcase: The Stage is Set for You!”, with the funding to be used to create brochures, maps, publications, a website, and other materials to promote and create awareness of the statewide Scenic Byways program.

Governor Phil Bredesen said, “Tennessee’s Scenic Byways program is an important resource in highlighting the beautiful and historical features of our state.

“The Scenic Byway designation draws drivers to explore more of Tennessee’s natural beauty and learn the unique story of our state.”

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Overton County News
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P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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