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80 Years Ago

Archives 05-20-2009


Man accused in killing mother, brother
Woman dies after falling from bridge
School Board grants tenure to 11 teachers
Sobriety checkpoints to be held

Man accused in killing mother, brother

photos courtesy of Dale Welch, Hilltop Express
The home of Vida Clark and her son Roy Clark smolders near the residence Kevin Clark allegedly fired on authorities from.

Firefighters check the burned home to make sure the fire has been extinguished.

A standoff between authorities and a man accused of killing his mother and brother ended with words from a preacher.

Overton County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to 141 Hassler Road at approximately 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 13 in response to a call of two persons being shot and a house on fire at the location.

Upon arrival, Sgt. Robert Garrett and Deputy Derrick Ledbetter reportedly found Vida Clark in front of the porch on the sidewalk and dragged her body away from the flames of the burning house, and they found her son Roy Clark inside the house. The Sheriff’s Department Critical Response Unit was then dispatched to the scene.

A suspect in the deaths was identified as Kevin Clark, son of Vida Clark, 60, and brother of Roy Clark, 38. Kevin was located in his home next door.

Officers reportedly attempted to approach the rear of the residence, then observed Kevin Clark in the doorway with a long gun in his possession. As the officers moved for cover, they were fired upon, and a round struck Dep. Ledbetter in the left shoulder, but much of the impact was absorbed by the ballistic vest he was wearing.

Putnam County Deputy Jerry Dale transported Dep. Ledbetter from the scene in his patrol car to Livingston Regional Hospital so ambulances could stay on site until the standoff was resolved. His injury was not life-threatening.

The Clark family’s pastor, Kevin Phillips, arrived on the scene and, using a loud speaker and then a cell phone, began negotiations with Kevin Clark to surrender to authorities. Negotiations ended when Clark agreed to lay down his weapons and leave the residence.

While Clark was being taken into custody, other officers entered the residence and allegedly found a shotgun and a .22 caliber rifle along with ammunition on a table.

Kevin Clark, 41, is charged with 2 counts of 1st degree murder and is held without bond at Overton County Justice Center.

Overton County Sheriff W.B. Melton told Hilltop Express, the Monterey area newspaper, that, Roy Clark allegedly had erected a gate blocking  access to an area of a driveway the family had been in a dispute over that ran in front of Vida Clark’s home and led to Kevin Clark’s home. One of the 911 calls that came into the sheriff’s office was one from Vida Clark, telling them that Roy had been killed and she had been shot.

Other Sheriff’s Dept. personnel responding to the scene included Sheriff W.B. Melton, Chief Deputy Frank Dial, Detectives Kenny Cherry, Chuck Castle, and Jana Governale, and Deputies John Mackie, Jeremy Carr, and Stephen Castle.

The Sheriff’s Dept. offered condolences to the Clark family and expressed appreciation for the assistance of Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Livingston Police Department, TBI, and Tennessee Bomb and Arson, and for support and food from Mineral Springs Baptist Church.

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Woman dies after falling from bridge

Rescue squad members search Dale Hollow Lake.

By Amanda Hill Bond,
Publisher of
Pickett County Press

A Michigan woman has died as a result of a fall from the Obey River
Bridge, located on Highway 111 crossing Dale Hollow Lake.

According to authorities, at around 12:46 a.m. Saturday, May 16, a 911 caller stated that a woman was sitting on the side of the bridge with her feet dangling towards the water.

Pickett County deputies arrived at the scene 4 minutes later and found a Chrysler Sebring with Michigan tags parked on the side of the northbound lane in the middle of the bridge. They looked over the bridge and noticed something in the water and proceeded down to the Sunset Marina dock area.

According to the marina’s night guard, a loud noise was heard just before deputies arrived.

Some night fisherman also told deputies they saw something fall from the bridge and heard a loud noise. The fisherman took Pickett County Deputy James Hammock to the area where the vehicle was located above, and he retrieved a coat and shoes from the water.

Pickett County Rescue Squad was called in for search and recovery and were aided by Overton, Clay, Jackson, Putnam, Coffee, and Cumberland County rescue squads. The search went throughout the night until late Saturday evening, when heavy storms forced rescuers to hold off until Sunday morning.

On Sunday, May 17, Coffee County Rescue used a special underwater camera used for locating bodies, and shortly found the body approximately 25 to 30 feet from where the clothing had been found. Divers from Clay County Rescue Squad recovered the body of Tracey Ann Monroe, 43, of Ferndale, MI, at around 3 p.m. The remains were taken to the Tennessee Medical Examiner for a complete autopsy.

This is the second incident where a person has died from falling off the bridge since its construction. In 2004, a Jackson County man apparently jumped off after leaving his personal belongings sitting next to his vehicle, which was parked on the bridge.

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School Board grants tenure to 11 teachers
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff
Overton County Board of Education held the regular monthly meeting Monday, May 18, with all members present.

The School Board granted tenure to the following:

•Annette Vaughn, Pre-K teacher at A.H. Roberts Elementary School, recommended by Principal Teresa Johnson.

•Stefanie Thrasher Walker, kindergarten teacher at Allons Elementary School, recommended by Principal Melissa Savage.

•Beth Phillips, 5th grade teacher at Hilham Elementary School, recommended by Principal Vickie Eldridge.

•Michael McCormick, 5th grade teacher at Livingston Middle School, recommended by Principal Rick Moles.

•Mark Winningham, REACH Academy Principal, recommended by Director of Schools Mike Gilpatrick.

•Kara Miller, 4th grade teacher at Rickman Elementary School, recommended by Principal Marsha Wyatt.

•Jamie Bowman, 5th grade teacher at Wilson Elementary School, recommended by Principal Terry Webb.

•Cacey Stout, kindergarten teacher at Wilson Elementary, recommended by Principal Terry Webb.

•Misty Strong, English 10 and English 11 teacher at Livingston Academy, recommended by Principal Harold Watson.

•Nicole Jones, Biology and Physical Science Honors teachers at LA, recommended by Principal Harold Watson.

•Josh Trent, band instructor at LA, recommended by Principal Harold Watson.

A new curriculum position was approved.

Chairman Dolphus Dial said, “My understanding is that this will cost the School Board no money.”

Quarterly reports were approved, as was the 200-Day Accountability Report.

The Summer Nutrition Program was approved, as recommended by Supervisor of School Nutrition Louise Swallows.

Livingston Academy math instructor Roger Smith’s retirement was accepted.

Chairman Dial said, “I’ve known Roger for years. He’s been an excellent math teacher.”

An application for a countywide 21st Century Afterschool Grant was approved. This would be at no cost to the county if awarded, according to Director Gilpatrick.

A “Release of Claims” between Overton County Board of Education and CHC Mechanical Contractors Inc., which is restricted to units at Hilham Elementary only, was approved.

A request by Allons PTO to build a covered picnic area on the lower grade playground at Allons Elementary was approved. The PTO will fund the project, and School Board member Houston Robbins said Tennessee Technology Center at Livingston will provide the labor for free.

The following field trips were approved for A.H. Roberts Elementary School’s LEAPS afterschool program, as requested by Principal Teresa Johnson: May 22 – Cordell Hull, Alvin C. York home place, and Rocky Top Cinema in Crossville; May 23 – Knoxville Zoo; May 27 – Adventure Science Center in Nashville; May 28 – Nashville Shores; May 29 – Zuma Fun Center in Knoxville.

In executive action, an A.R. trip to Dollywood for A.H. Roberts Elementary School 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students on Thursday, May 14 was approved, as recommended by Principal Teresa Johnson.

Director Gilpatrick issued the Director’s Report to the School Board.

Actions taken by the school director are as follows:

•Granted Tricia Hix medical leave of absence, April 20, 2009 through November 30, 2009.

•Granted Gail Liebreich medical leave of absence, March 12, 2009 through May 23, 2009.

•Granted Rita Qualls an extension of a leave of absence, March 23, 2009 through May 22, 2009.

•Hired the following non-certified substitute teachers: Erik McAlpin, Robert Secott, Michelle White, Margaret Windle, Lisa Keleman, Justin Stanford, and Julia Prichard.

•Hired Emily Winningham as a certified substitute teacher.

•Hired Lorraine Whited as a secretary at Livingston Academy for the 2009-2010 school year, as recommended by Principal Harold Watson.

•Hired tenured teacher Roger Smith part-time at Overton County Adult Education, was recommended by Supervisor Richard Evans.

•Hired the following non-tenured teachers for the 2009-2010 school year:
A.H. Roberts, as recommended by Principal Teresa Johnson – Holly Dickerson, Ashley Fisher (half-time), Jennifer Ledbetter, Stacy Shaw, John Stults, and Annette Vaughn.

Allons Elementary, as recommended by Principal Melissa Savage – Casey Cravins, Elisabeth Delk, Paige Smith, and Stefanie Thrasher Walker.

Hilham Elementary, as recommended by Principal Vickie Eldridge – Amy Allred, Amanda Breeding, Kim Dial, and Beth Phillips.

Livingston Academy, as recommended by Principal Harold Watson – Diana Buckman, Peggy Hibbs Garrett, Tammy Kennedy, Tammy Mansell, Sue Mitchell Preston, Nicole Jones, Misty Strong, Josh Trent, and Kim Thorpe.

Livingston Middle School, as recommended by Principal Rick Moles – Michael McCormick, Ladonna Jackson, Steven Mosley, and Tabitha Winningham.

REACH Academy, as recommended by Director Gilpatrick – Mark Winningham.

Rickman Elementary, as recommended by Principal Marsha Wyatt – Amy Baggett, Ashley Fisher (half-time), Miranda Lacy, Sandra Matthews, Brandi Richardson, Larry Jones, Lynn Jolley, and Kara Miller.

Wilson Elementary, as recommended by Principal Terry Webb – Jamie Bowman, Saundra Harris, Carly Riddle, and Cacey Stout.

Countywide, as recommended by Supervisor Sheila Pemberton – Jennifer Maulding.

The meeting adjourned.

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Sobriety checkpoints to be held

Overton County Sheriff’s Department will hold a series of sobriety checkpoints on Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23.

The checkpoints will be conducted in the following areas of Overton County: Monroe, Hilham, Rickman, Hanging Limb, and Hardy’s Chapel communities.

According to Sheriff W.B. Melton, the checkpoints are an effort to curb drunk driving and promote safe driving. The Sheriff’s Dept. asks that those who choose to drink always get a sober designated driver and that everyone always buckle up their safety belts.


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