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80 Years Ago

Archives 03-05-2008


Off-duty officer shot by wife
State Bound!

Blood drive to be held March 13
Free trees available from Forestry Friday


Off-duty officer shot by wife

By Mary Jo Denton,
Herald-Citizen staff
with permission

A Tennessee Tech Police officer was shot and seriously injured while off duty early Saturday, March 1, and his wife has been jailed on a charge of attempted murder.

Tony Nelson, 39, of Summer Shade Road in the Independence community of Overton County, was airlifted from the scene around 1 a.m. Saturday and taken to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, where he was later reported to be in critical but stable condition, according to Overton County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Etheredge.

Nelson’s wife, Leslie Nelson, is charged with attempted first degree murder in the case, Deputy Etheredge said.

The shooting took place at the Nelson home.

Nelson, who has been a police officer with TTU since 1995, was shot once in the chest and is expected to recover, the deputy said.

Assistant District Attorney Owen Burnett, who serves Overton County as
prosecutor, confirmed that he was notified of the shooting early Saturday and said on Saturday afternoon that an investigation was still underway.

Deputy Etheredge said he and Deputies Robert Garrett, Jacob Boswell, and Max Goodpaster were sent to investigate “a domestic call reporting that a shooting had occurred at the Nelson residence” around 1 a.m. Saturday.

He said that the officers responded and began to set up a staging area at the Fellowship Church on the Willow Grove Highway, which is in the vicinity of the Nelson home.

As they were doing that, a car pulled up to their location carrying the shooting victim in the back seat, he said.

The car was driven by Nelson’s son. A helicopter ambulance was called to the scene and took Nelson to Vanderbilt Hospital.

The shooting had occurred inside the Nelson home, but his wife, the alleged shooter, was not there when deputies arrived, Etheredge said. She had left the house on foot, and deputies from several counties conducted a search of the area.

“We had help from the Algood Police Department, who brought their thermal imagers, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Deptartment, who brought a K-9 unit, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Dept.,” Etheredge said.

A few hours after the search had started, Leslie Nelson walked into the house, apparently suffering from having been out in the cold weather, he said.

“She was taken to the hospital for evaluation and was later released,” the deputy said. After her release, she was charged with attempted murder and taken to the Overton County jail,” he said.

The motive for the shooting was unknown as of Saturday afternoon, according to the deputy.

Tennessee Tech officials told the Herald-Citizen Saturday afternoon that they were notified of the shooting early that morning. They called Nelson “a dedicated police officer” who has been on the campus force since 1995.

“Officer Nelson has been a good, dedicated member of the TTU family,” said a TTU press release issued by Monica Greppin of TTU Public Affairs.
“He is respected and regarded well by colleagues and those on campus who know him. The thoughts and prayers of all of us at TTU go out to him and his loved ones.”

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State Bound

Dewain E. Peek photo
As the clock hits 0:0 the Livingston Academy celebration begins for the Wildcats who will next play in the state tournament at MTSU.

Dewain E. Peek photo
Deven Ramsey fires in a shot, but dominated on rebounds.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

“I’ve tried and tried and tonight everything finally fell into place. It will be a game I will never forget as long as I live.”

For Livingston Academy’s Deven Ramsey, it has been a game of ups and downs the past three years as the big inside player for the Wildcats. Some nights things went well and some nights they didn’t, but Monday night before a packed house at LA in a game that determined who would advance to the state finals in Murfreesboro next week, Ramsey had the best game of his high school career, scoring 15 points and pulling down 15 critical rebounds in a 75-58 victory over McMinn Central.

With the loss, McMinn will end its season with a 23-9 record while the Wildcats extend their current winning streak to 20 and an overall season record of 30-4 which includes the District 2A regular season championship, the District 7, 2A championship, and the Region 4, 2A title.

Pairings for the state tournament will be determined Saturday and play will start next Wednesday.

In typical LA fashion, the Wildcats got off to a slow start Monday night and trailed 6-0 in the opening minute. Todd Smith finally connected for Livingston, but by the end of the period, the Chargers were in charge, 17-13.

“We were nervous,” explained Clint West in the dressing room after the game. “We had never played before so many people and the pressure of winning and go on or losing and go home was pretty heavy. I knew we would get into our rhythm though so no one panicked. Once we started scoring and Deven took over on the boards, everything was okay. We’re going to the state.”

It was obvious that the Wildcats were a bit on edge early in the game as they missed their first five shots before Smith finally broke the ice. Ramsey would come on strong with six of his 15 points in the first eight minutes that kept LA in the game. During the first period , LA’s leading scorer, Chase Dunn would only make one point.

By the time it was over, he would rip the cords for 30.
“I don’t know,” Dunn would explain after the game. “We just got off to a slow start, but Deven kept us close and once we got going, we knew we would win.”

After hitting his first three pointer of the night early in the second period to cut a 23-15 McMinn lead to five at 23-18, Dunn came back with 3:30 in the frame with a lay up to finally put the home team in the lead, 24-23. The two teams then traded baskets, but seven points by Dunn late in the period gave Livingston a 33-30 advantage at intermission.

“I told the team at the half that they had to get control of the boards,” LA coach Richard Melton said after the game, “and apparently Deven was paying attention. He did a great job in the second half and that was a big factor in the outcome of the game.”

T.J. Smith got Livingston going in the third period with his first points of the night and Ramsey added three more. Smith then found the range from long distance, nailing a big three pointer midway through the period and Livingston had a 41-34 lead. Dunn would add a three in the period, but McMinn scored the final four points to keep the spread at three, 46-43.

But it was the final eight minutes that made the Wildcats shine. Dunn opened with a field goal then Todd Smith took a pass from T.J. Smith for a basket. Dunn then hit a three pointer, Ramsey got a basket in close, T.J. added two, Dunn two more, T.J. two more and Kendall Melton two more and with just over three minutes remaining, Livingston had broken the game open and led 62-47.

The Wildcats would cruise to 28 points during the period while holding the visitors to only 15.

“These kids have been playing with or against each other since the fifth game,” a happy coach Melton explained. “Once they got it going in the fourth period, I knew what was coming. I just told them a few seconds ago that they were going to the state and their dreams were coming true. It was a great team effort and a team win and it all started years ago. I am so proud of these young men and what they have accomplished. “

On the night, Dunn added 30 points to his season total of 749. Ramsey had 15, T.J. Smith added eleven, Melton was good for seven, Todd Smith had five, Jeremy McLearran put in four, West had four and Will Peterman was good for one.

In addition to Ramsey’s 15 points and 15 rebounds he had three blocked shots. West pulled in six rebounds and T. J. Smith had six steals in the victory.



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Blood drive to be held March 13

Red Cross’ blood supply typically teeters at low levels during the winter months due to inclement weather and illness.

The flu virus is picking up strength in Middle Tennessee, closing schools and forcing the cancellation of school sponsored blood drives. Recently, blood collections had fallen short 180 units due to blood drive cancellations resulting from flu outbreaks. Red Cross is also experiencing an increase in donation appointment cancellations.

American Red Cross has many layers of safety in place, including strict donor screening criteria, to help protect the nation’s blood supply. Donors who are feeling ill or suspect that they may be coming down with the flu should consider rescheduling their appointment until they feel better.

A blood drive will be held at Livingston Regional Hospital from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 13.

Donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in good general health to be eligible to donate blood. For more information call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).


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Free trees available from Forestry Friday

Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry will give away seedlings on Friday, March 7 in celebration of Arbor Day.

Founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. Due to the varying climates and growing seasons across the country, each state celebrates Arbor Day on slightly different dates. The State of Tennessee celebrates Arbor Day on the first Friday of March.

Baldcypress, white ash, pin oak, nuttall oak, shumard oak, and willow oak seedlings will be given away on a first come-first serve basis starting at 9 a.m. and continuing until all the seedlings are gone.

The tree giveaways will be held at Farmer’s Market on West 1st Street in Livingston.

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