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Ag/industry celebrated in Overton County
Fight believed to be set up for You Tube video
Community earns 3-Star Award

Stimulus filing help offered in Livingston
Legislative Body meeting set for Monday

Ag/industry celebrated in Overton County


Dewain E. Peek photo
A capacity crowd listens to Marketing Employer Services Specialist Peggy Mahaney, with Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, at the Agriculture/Industry Day morning breakfast in Livingston Church of Christ’s Windham Building. Mahaney served as speaker in the absence of Commissioner James G. Neeley, who could not attend.

By Ron Johnson,
Extension Agent

The annual salute to Overton County’s Agriculture and Industry was held Wednesday, Oct. 1 and had the largest attendance ever with approximately 250 people.

Overton County 4-H members greeted and registered participants at Livingston Church of Christ Windham Building.

A country ham breakfast was sponsored by First National Bank of Tennessee with Rusty Robbins, manager of the West Main office, overseeing the serving along with several of the bank’s staff. After breakfast, Tina Williams, a member of the Overton County Resource Development Committee and vice president of Union Bank and Trust, served as master of ceremonies and welcomed everyone to the Ag/Industry Salute.

Bailey Rose was introduced by Christie Key of Overton County Farm Bureau as the 2008 State Essay Winner, and she read “What is a Farmer?”, her winning essay.

Marketing Employer Services Specialist Peggy Mahaney, with Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, served as the after-breakfast speaker. Mahaney spoke on the services and responsibilities of the department. Mahaney was stepping in for Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development James G. Neeley, who was unable to attend.

Overton County Mayor Kenneth Copeland and Livingston Mayor Curtis Hayes both spoke briefly to the attendees and welcomed everyone to the day’s events. Brother Ken Williams, minister of Livingston Church of Christ, officially welcomed everyone to the church facilities and led the invocation. State Senator Charlotte Burks and State Representative John Mark Windle both made welcoming remarks.

The decorations, including pumpkins and mums, were provided by Jolley Family Produce, Brown’s Greenhouse, Spring Oak Farms, and Ann Fielder with Little 8 Acres Farm in Rickman.

The Ag/Industry Day Program recognizes annually one outstanding person or organization that has devoted outstanding service to the community.

Ralph Robbins of the Livingston Tennessee Technology Center and member of the Resource Development Committee presented a plaque to Thelma Danner, community volunteer and leader in Overton County.

Robbins spoke to the group about how much time Danner has volunteered across the city and county and has not received a penny up until now when she manages the Ag Complex at the fairgrounds. Robbins spoke that she is always on duty, encouraging various groups, individuals, and agencies to join and improve various aspects of the city and county, and to make a better way of life for everyone.

She is married to Tommy Danner and they live at 914 Campground Road in Hilham.

U.T. Extension Agent Ron Johnson gave an overview of the upcoming morning tour of the large greenhouse facilities on Highway 111 south of Livingston. Johnson spoke highly of Forrest Sawlaw and the company who made a decision to locate in this county with an innovative hydroponic greenhouse with the latest technologies available in the world.

Prior to the tour overview, Wanda Krantz, CEO of Bank of Overton County, presented a Vision Statement framed document to Hydroserre Tennessee LLC Greenhouse Company for not only their sacrifice and commitment but to their vision of selecting the county for the 40 million industry.

Krantz explained that about 40 employees are working there now and eventually around 300 would be hired when it is completed. She said the local economy was helped by the local industry’s addition to Overton County.

Hydroserre Project Manager Forrest Sawlaw accepted the award to be placed at the greenhouse facility.

The RD Committee had voted at an earlier meeting to present the Vision Statement each year to a deserving public organization to place in the appropriate places. The public may observe the Vision Statement at those particular locations. The vision award went right along with the theme for the day “A Salute to Agriculture and Industry”.

A tour of the large greenhouse facilities was taken by approximately 225 people who were led through the tour by Sawlaw.

Participants heard about the company T&A Produce from California and its commitment to producing a wholesome and safe product as efficiently as possible.

Sawlaw said 12.5 acres of greenhouses would be completed in October, making it the largest single greenhouse in the U.S. He led the tour on a start to finish of the Boston Lettuce from germination to the nursery to the finish product being packaged and stored for shipping.

The crowd listened to how the company started and how it operates today, with future completion goal of about 50 acres of greenhouse structure in 2 to 3 years.

After the tour, the group moved back to Ag Complex at Overton County Fairgrounds for lunch and contests. Lunch was prepared and served to all participants by the U.T. Extension staff, RD Committee members, and other volunteers, led by Gene Medley.

Winners in the horseshoe toss were Jacob Collins and Jean Ackers.

Winners in the cornhole toss included Sam Norrod and Judy Robbins.

Winner of the annual Agriculture/Industry Day Quiz was Jeanette Hoskins of Rickman, and the Berkline recliner winner was won by Clara Glascock.

Representative John Windle along with Jerry Flowers and Dan Smith assisted with the contests.

Several door prizes were given out during the day. Winners for those included Arxie Jones – country ham from Jerry’s, and Vaden Thompson – Puckett’s gift pack. TTC at Livingston provided free cosmetology makeovers, mums were drawn out for door prizes, and six heads of lettuce were passed out as door prizes. One dollar coins were provided to by American Bank & Trust to the about 200 attending the lunch program.

Extension Agent Ron Johnson said, “A special thank-you goes out to all those who helped or assisted in some way especially the sponsors who make the day possible.”

 


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Fight believed to be set up for You Tube video
You Tube stardom may have instigated a fight stopped by Overton County Sheriff’s Department personnel last week.

According to reports, two juvenile males, both students at Livingston Academy, were set to have a fight at Alpine Gym at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1. The two and some 40 spectators arrived at the gym, but before the fight could take place, Sheriff’s Dept. personnel arrived on the scene.

Sheriff W.B. Melton and deputies went to the high school on Thursday, Oct. 2 and talked to the group rounded up the day before. Sheriff Melton told the group they couldn’t drive to school for 6 days. Officers were back at LA on Friday morning to ensure that none of the violators were driving to school.

According to the Sheriff’s Dept., such fights appear to be a trend across the United States, in which two individuals, most of the time friends or who have no ill will against each other, will fight while spectators video the incident and place it on You Tube.

Sheriff Melton said he is concerned that someone will get hurt and is trying to prevent this from happening.


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Community earns 3-Star Award


Governor Phil Bredesen presents the Three-Star Award to Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce Assistant Director Rita Reagan, with Livingston Mayor Curtis Hayes and a contingent of Overton County dignitaries on hand at the presentation.

Livingston-Overton County has achieved certification under the state’s Three-Star program, according to Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matthew Kisber.

“This designation is a sign of Livingston-Overton County’s tremendous hard work, and I am proud to offer my congratulations,” Kisber said.

“Strong community development is the basis for sustainable economic
growth, and Livingston-Overton County has demonstrated their commitment to improvement by accepting and meeting Three-Star’s challenging requirements.

“This dedication has yielded progress, and Livingston-Overton County is more prepared than ever for long term success in the economic, and every other, arena.”

Overton County and the City of Livingston are now eligible to receive additional incentives under the guidelines of the Tennessee Three-Star program.

Tennessee’s Three-Star program helps urban and rural communities develop strategic economic and community development plans that meet the needs and challenges of an ever-changing economic environment. It helps communities preserve existing employment, create new employment opportunities, improve family income, and develop a strong leadership base for economic development.

The Tennessee Three-Star Program, which is currently active in 89 counties and one city, represents more than 348 Tennessee cities, making this year’s participation the largest ever.

ECD Assistant Commissioner of Community Development Rick Meredith said, “It’s an honor for me to celebrate with Livingston-Overton County in their achievement of Three-Star certification.

“Livingston-Overton County is truly taking a strategic approach to economic development in their community, and its success in the Three-Star program is evidence that it is poised for marked growth. ECD is proud to provide support to this forward-thinking community.”

In order to receive the certification, communities are required to meet criteria in organizational, community, business, education, and work force development categories. Incentives for receiving the certification include identification on all FastTrack infrastructure and job training applications, eligibility for matching grants, if criteria set by ECD are met, and the advantage of earning points in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

Stimulus filing help offered in Livingston
Overton County Senior Citizens Center is partnering with Internal Revenue Service to make sure local retirees, disabled veterans, and low-income workers get help filing for an economic stimulus payment.

In Overton County, 311 persons appear to be eligible for a stimulus payment but have not yet filed a 2007 federal income tax return to claim their payment. They must file by October 15 to get a payment this year.

The free return preparation will be offered for those who normally are not required to file but are filing this year only to claim a stimulus payment. The free help will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9 at the Senior Center, located at 1513 Bradford Hicks Drive in Livingston.

Filers should bring the following: (1) picture ID or other identity document, (2) verification of Social Security Number for all persons to be listed on the return; (3) Form 1099 or a benefits statement showing Social Security or VA benefits received in 2007, or simply the amount received if no statement is available; (4) proof of any other income – taxable or nontaxable.


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Legislative Body meeting set for Monday
Overton County Legislative Body will hold the monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14.

The County Commission normally meets on the second Monday of each month but the meeting date was changed to Tuesday because of the Columbus Day holiday.

The meeting will be held in the second floor courtroom of Overton County Courthouse. The agenda is as follows:

1. Call to order – Sheriff’s Department.

2. Invocation.

3. Pledge of allegiance by county commissioners.

4. Roll call – county clerk.

5. Approve minutes of September 8, 2008 Commission meeting.

6. Approve Road Superintendent Joe Garrett’s bond.

7. Consider approval of capital outlay note for Health Department
construction.

8. Consider appointment of Sam Hines to Library Board.

9. Budget amendments for County General and Highway Department.

10. Reports from committees.

11. Addendum.

12. Approval of notaries at-large: Mark Gore, Kathy Little, Tina Williams, Brenda Clark, Angie Hite, Bryan Clayton, Cathy L. Oakley, Judy Reagan, Christie Key, and Rebecca J. Raines.

13. Adjourn.


Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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fax 931.823.6486
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