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80 Years Ago

Archives 11-05-2008



Searchers find body in Clay County
Roger Phillips retires as Livingston Police Chief
Oil collection grant awarded to Overton

Searchers find body in Clay County

Darren Oliver photo
Volunteers meet Saturday morning at a command post set up in Standing Stone State Park to coordinate the search effort.

Carson Oliver photo
Searchers found the body of a woman in a sink hole off of Colson Lane in eastern Clay County.

A search for a missing woman has turned up a body in eastern Clay County.

The search began Thursday, Oct. 30 after Overton County Sheriff’s Department received a call to Vaughn Lane in the Hilham area reporting that Jennifer Hughes Cornell, 30, had not shown up at work that morning at WW Manufacturing on Windle Community Road.

When officers arrived at Vaughn Lane, her vehicle was found approximately 100 feet from her residence, with the engine running and her purse in the vehicle.

The Sheriff’s Dept. gathered information from neighbors, family, and friends of Cornell and conducted a search in the immediate area Thursday afternoon through early Friday morning. An automated 911 call was sent out around 11 p.m. Thursday night to residents in the area asking for information from anyone who had seen a gray and black 1980 Dodge truck with wooden stock racks.

On Friday morning, Oct. 31, a call went out to area volunteer firefighters and Overton County Rescue Squad to conduct an organized search. A command post for the 142 officers and volunteers was set up below the dam at Standing Stone State Park, and then the main roads of the park were searched.

According to reports, late Friday night, a warrant was issued charging Jason Hancock, 34, with kidnapping Cornell. The warrant alleges that he had made prior threats against her. He was reportedly arrested at his home about 7:30 p.m. Friday by Clay County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Randall Slayton, and was later booked into Overton County Jail.

The warrant against Hancock alleges that on Thursday morning he committed the crime of aggravated kidnapping by “falsely imprisoning” Jennifer Cornell with the intent “to inflict serious bodily injuries while in the possession of a deadly weapon.”

Investigators told the Herald-Citizen that Cornell had named Hancock as the father of her 17 year-old daughter and may have been seeking back pay for child support.

Though some reports have referred to Hancock as a former boyfriend, longtime friends of Jennifer Hughes Cornell told the Herald-Citizen that she never actually dated Hancock, though she did know him when the two were teenagers.

A volunteer call out of the whole region of rescue squads was made on Saturday, Nov. 1, and 274 volunteers from 33 counties responded. The same roads of the park were searched, but covering a much wider area. Food for the volunteers was provided by area orgnazations, churches, businesses, and volunteers.

The search was expanded to isolated areas in Overton County on Sunday, Nov. 2, with 233 volunteers helping. At approximately 10:30 a.m. an Overton County Rescue Squad member located a body in a sink hole off Willow Grove Highway on Colson Lane in Clay County, approximately 500 yards from Hancock’s home, according to reports.

According to Overton County Sheriff’s Dept., numerous agencies were called to work the crime scene, and the body was recovered around 2 a.m. Monday, Nov. 3, pronounced dead at Clay County Hospital, and transported to Nashville for an autopsy. Identification had not been made at that time.

Jennifer Hughes Cornell is married and is the mother of two children.

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Roger Phillips retires as Livingston Police Chief

Dewain E. Peek photo
Livingston Police Chief Roger Phillips speaks to the City Council as he announces his retirement from being police chief.

By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Livingston Chief of Police Roger Phillips said an emotional goodbye to his department as he announced his retirement from the position during the Monday, Nov. 3 City Council meeting.

“I’ve tendered my retirement as police chief and accepted the position as public safety consultant,” he said as he addressed the Board of Aldermen.

“I’ve been very blessed,” he went on to say. “God led me into law enforcement 26 years ago. I’ve been privileged and blessed to have worked under the direction of some very, very fine men and women.”

He noted that former Overton County Sheriff Herman Moody gave him his first opportunity in law enforcement.

“The brave men and women of the Livingston Police Department,” he said, and then, looking at the assemblage of Livingston Police in attendance, choked up. “I’m touched because they’ve got their ‘Class A’s on.

“You know, this is a happy time for me because this is the time I’ve been waiting for. It’s my time. But there’s sadness in it too.”

He said it will be hard to get used to not being called “Chief” after 16 years in that position.

He addressed Mayor Curtis Hayes and the aldermen saying, “I want you to know I appreciate you.”

Phillips’ retirement as chief and transfer to public safety consultant was approved.

Mayor Hayes said, “Roger, on behalf of the Town of Livingston, and Mayor (Hosea) Winningham, Mayor (Frank) Martin, and myself, I appreciate the great service you’ve done for our community and wish you the best in retirement.”

The chief of police position is being posted statewide.

The bid for a Rosenbauer fire truck from Southern Emergency Products was approved at $271,327, which will be paid over 10 years at $26,000 per year.

Though not the low bid, Fire Chief Rocky Dial said the Rosenbauer was a better choice than the low bid for a KME fire truck.

“The Rosenbauer’s got more compartment space on it,” he said.

He also added that the Rosenbauer has a double-frame.

The truck will replace a 1966 Chevrolet fire truck that is no longer operative.

“When we got the lower ISO rating that requires us to have three trucks in service, and then one reserve truck in order to maintain our ISO rating,”
Chief Dial said.

Mayor Hayes said money has been budgeted for the payment.

“We paid one off at $26,000 for the last 10 years, so this money will just keep going,” he said.

The low bid of NAFFCO on equipment for the new fire truck was approved at $29,131.57.

“It was cheaper to bid them separate,” Mayor Hayes said.

The savings was about $12,000.

The day after Christmas was added to Town of Livingston employees’ holiday days off. Town of Livingston employees will now be given days off for New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, and birthday.

An identity theft policy resolution was adopted.

A revised beer ordinance was approved to correct misspellings and typographic errors in the city’s current ordinance.

Overton County School Resource Officer John McLeod addressed the aldermen and presented a Certificate of Community Service to the mayor and Board of Aldermen of their support of the drug education program.

The meeting adjourned.

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Oil collection grant awarded to Overton
Oil collection grants totaling $399,850 have been awarded to establish, upgrade, and expand used oil collection centers in communities across Tennessee.

Overton County will receive $19,000 to purchase new canopies and an oil pump as part of its overall used oil collection plans.

Tennesseans who change their own motor oil generate more than one million gallons of used oil each year. The General Assembly authorized the Used Oil Collection Act of 1993 to assist local communities in collecting used oil and reducing its negative effects on the environment. Used oil collection grants are funded by a 2 cent deposit on every quart of oil purchased in the state.

State Senator Charlotte Burks said, “This grant is outstanding news for the community, and we are very proud that Overton County will benefit from such an important program.”

The Used Oil Collection Act makes it unlawful for any person to discharge used oil where it may harm the environment. The toll-free telephone number for information concerning used oil collection centers is 1-800-287-9013. It provides locations and operating hours of centers, requirements for collection locations that accept commercial used oil and other information.

The following are a few tips for properly disposing of used oil:

•Put used oil in a clean plastic container with a tight lid.

•Don’t mix used oil with anything else. Mixing it with other substances, such as paint, gasoline, solvents or antifreeze, will make the oil unsuitable for recycling.

•Take used oil to a service station or used oil collection center. Used oil collection centers will collect up to 5 gallons a day from do-it-yourselfers.

•After depositing used oil, take the reusable container home to use again.
For information about the Used Oil Program visit http://tn.gov/environment/swm/oil/.



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