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80 Years Ago

Archives 05-13-2009


Smoke causes LMS evacuation
Three-year contract planned for new director of schools
Bluegrass, BBQ fests join forces in June
Legislative Body meeting held Monday night
Severe weather threatens to hit Overton County

Smoke causes LMS evacuation

Julie Young photos
Emergency services were called to Livingston Middle School because of a heating unit that shorted out and filled up one of the rooms with smoke on Wednesday, May 6.
Extreme precautions were taken in light of the bomb threats that caused the evacuation of Avery Trace Middle School and Cookeville High School earlier that day.

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Three-year contract planned for new director of schools
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education will meet in regular session Monday, May 18 in the conference room of the Central Education Office, as directed by Chairman Dolphus Dial. An open door work session will begin at 6 p.m. and the Board meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

Among the items to be approved is the contract for Matt Eldridge, who will assume the director of schools post in July. A 3-year contract was worked out during a work session held Tuesday, May 5, with members David Sadler Sr. and Houston Robbins absent.

The contract will run from July 1, 2009 through June of 2012, with the possibility of a 1-year extension.

Chairman Dolphus Dial said, “The salary that Matt will receive, let me explain this to you, the state base pay is $66,285, okay; and they figure on the number of kids for the local social money. We’ve got 3,400 kids in Overton County.

“The state says subtract 300 from that, which is 3,100 kids, then we multiply 3,100 kids times 3.64 – comes out $11,284. We add that to the $66,285, that’s what we come up with $77,569.”

Matt Eldridge addressed the School Board about some of his ideas for the school system.

“I’d like us to maybe strive for a little more excellence in our classrooms; and I’m talking about the supervisors getting in there and being a resource,” Eldridge said.

Looking at ways to increase the graduation rate, Eldridge suggested the possibility of segregating 9th grade, even without a new building program.

This would be an effort to smooth the transition from elementary school to high school.

“They say if you can keep them in the first or second year, most of them graduate,” he said.

He also suggested going to a 2-bell system at Livingston Academy to alleviate crowding in hallways when classes change.

“For instance, if at 9:15 the bell rings, then that’s going to be the freshmen and sophomores changing classes; at 9:20 that means if it rings again they’re in classrooms, that’s when 11 and 12 comes out,” Eldridge said.

Another item discussed was the possibility of a drug testing policy for school system employees. The Board plans to hear further information from a Tennessee School Board Association representative in a work session June 2.

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Bluegrass, BBQ fests join forces in June
Overton County’s two summer festivals, the Hog Eye Barbeque Cook-off and the Overton County Bluegrass Festival, have combined forces this year in an attempt to expand the scope of both events, and at the same time, to deal with the struggling economic times. This one day event will be called the Hog Eye Fest.

“The Bluegrass Festival was a lot of fun to do,” explained chairman, Mac McLeod, “but it had become rather expensive. Our main fundraiser, the beauty contest, ran into conflicts with the county fair’s event and that took a toll on our funds. The county and city along with the local businesses have been the main reason for the event to continue, but after a while some changes had to be made.”

The Cook-off event will be just one part of the festival that will take place on the square Saturday, June 13. A beauty contest will be held at the Livingston Academy mini auditorium on Thursday night, June 11 at 6 p.m. sponsored by the Kiwanis and the Merchant’s Association. For more information on the beauty contest, contact Renea Stover at (931) 823-8800.

Events will continue Saturday at 8 a.m., with the First Annual 5k Run, a fun run for kids, the annual ice cream cranking competition, arts and crafts around the courthouse, kids activities, BBQ Cook off, music, and a lot more.

Saturday afternoon will see a big “cruise in” on the square and the evening will close with several hours of live bluegrass music and Overton’s Got Talent winners.

Bands scheduled to appear include Charles Geesling and Clearview, James Harris and Friends, and Grant Pennington and Committed. Also, the stage will open for any groups that want to perform and there will be room for jammin’ around the courthouse.

“It was a good time to combine both of these events into one so that we can have a first class festival in Livingston,” stated the event’s chairwoman, Pam Sadler. “It was a given that since bluegrass and gospel music were such a large part of this community that we put our festivals together so that it could continue. Hopefully, this festival will grow larger each year with new events.”

For more information, contact Pam Sadler at (931) 261-3862.

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Legislative Body meeting held Monday night

By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Legislative Body held the regular monthly meeting Monday, May 11, with Commissioners Randall Boswell, Rick Moles, and Jeff Staggs absent.

Overton County Quarterly Report was approved.

Budget Director Debra Maberry said, “We’re still about 10 percent behind on sales tax.”

Overton County Sheriff’s Department received approval to donate a wrecked car to Tennessee Technology Center at Livingston.

The Sheriff’s Dept. also received approval, up to $10,000, to purchase a truck and a trailer to use for a highway trash pickup contract with the state.

The money will be paid back through the program.

County Mayor Kenneth Copeland said, “This contract starts July 1.”
The Litter Grant was approved.

Mayor Copeland said, “It’s the standard one we have every year.”

Mark Peek was appointed as a judicial commissioner to replace Craig Story, who was recently named Overton County Election Administrator.

Commissioner Bruce Ledford asked why the position opening did not go before the Public Safety Committee, and Mayor Copeland answered, “Because we didn’t have time.”

Later in the meeting, Commissioner Ledford asked the County Commission to consider adopting a resolution requiring “when vacancies occur, all positions shall be posted at the courthouse annex, local newspaper, and on the county website for at least seven days. Salary and job description shall be outlined in the job posting. This procedure shall be followed for all positions.”

After some discussion, which brought up the expense of advertising all vacancies, Ledford withdrew the resolution.

Commissioner Alan Atnip said, “I just think they all ought to be at least put on the bulletin board and given a week’s notice.”

Mayor Copeland answered, “We can do that.”

Vacancies will be posted at the courthouse and the courthouse annex.

The County Trustee was relieved of the 2007 taxes that have been turned over the Clerk & Master for collection, in the amount of $55,060.08.

Commissioners Cindy Robbins and Billie Phipps were appointed to the Adult Oriented Establishment Board. They will serve along with Commissioners Stanley Carter Jr., Johnie Webb, and Billy Parrott.

Approved as notaries at-large were Darrell L. Flowers, Rachel C. Smith, Juanita Brown. Elliot Poston, and Tammy White.

The following roads were added to the county road list: Norrod Lane extended to the end of the road; Twonky Lane extended to the first house; Hidden Valley Lane off of Vines Ridge Road; Edna Greenwood Road; Old Depot Lane off Windle Community Road to John Alcorn Road; Silver Star Lane off Highway 85 before the water tank in Hilham; and Horse Shoe Valley Lane off Baptist Ridge Road.

The meeting adjourned.

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Severe weather threatensto hit Overton County

Josh Scott photo
Several funnel cloud sightings were seen during the afternoon of Friday, May 8. This funnel cloud shot was taken on Highway 52 very close to Brown’s. This severe weather system produced damage to Fentress and Scott counties.

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Overton County News
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Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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