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80 Years Ago



Honoring fallen warriors
Suspects arrested in mailbox vandalisms
County Commission passes new budget
Federal disaster aid approved


Honoring fallen warriors

Betty Aronson photo

Mac McLeod photo

Dedication of the Memorial on Terrorism fountain on the grounds of the courthouse in Livingston honored fallen soldiers CPL. Brad P. McCormick and LCPL Jeremiah E. Savage. The fountain was designed and installed by Al Stassi with donations raised by Leadership Overton Class of 2008-09 from local individuals, businesses, and civic organizations.


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Suspects arrested in mailbox vandalisms
An arrest has been made in the recent mailbox vandalisms in the Rickman Community.

Numerous mailboxes were vandalized on several rural roads throughout the community on August 7. Arrested in conjunction with these incidents were Tyler B. Sells, 21, of Livingston, and a juvenile from the Rickman Community.

Tyler Sells was arrested on Friday, Aug. 21 and charged with Vandalism and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. He was released on a $35,000 bond the same day. He was scheduled to be arraigned in General Sessions Court on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

The juvenile will be arraigned in Juvenile Court at a later date.

Deputies Brenda Keisling and Mike Kruger were the first to respond to the numerous calls regarding the mailbox vandalisms. Sgt. John Garrett was contacted and started an investigation. Numerous hours were spent collecting evidence and speaking with the victims, according to Sheriff W.B. Melton.

Sheriff Melton stated, “The information provided by the citizens was really a turning point in the case, and I would like to thank them for their assistance.”

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County Commission passes new budget
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Legislative Body held the regular monthly meeting Monday, Aug. 24, with Commissioner Billy Parrott absent.

A resolution was adopted to make appropriations to the following funds:

County General, Courthouse and Jail Maintenance, Solid Waste, Drug Control, Highways, General Purpose School, Cafeteria, General Debt Service, Education Debt Service. Commissioner Ben Danner voted against the resolution.

A resolution was adopted to fix the tax levy at a rate of 1.88 for 2009-2010, with funding as follows: County General 1.02; Solid Waste .10; Highway .04; General Purpose School .59; General Debt Service .13. The tax levy is the same as last year.

Before the vote was taken, Commissioner Alan Atnip asked if E-911 had presented a budget as required by law.

County Mayor Kenneth Copeland said that budget is on file in the County Clerk’s Office.

Commissioner Atnip said, “All I’m asking is that before we release this money that we be sent a copy of that budget.”

Mayor Copeland answered, “I’ll see that it’s done.”

Commissioner Atnip, a member of the Library Committee, also asked about the pay for the new librarian at Millard Oakley Public Library. He said the Salary Committee approved the pay, not the Library Committee.

“We weren’t even considered,” he said. “That’s my point, do we have committees that function or don’t we.”

Mayor Copeland said, “Yeah, we do.”

To which Commissioner Atnip added, “Well, obviously we’ve got a problem somewhere in communication.”

Speaking about county employee raises in the new budget, Commissioner Danner said, “I’m not against anybody getting raises, but to me it’s a lot of money coming out right now, not knowing the economy.”

When the tax levy was put to a vote, a conflict of interest disclaimer was stated by Commissioner Darwin Clark, who is an employee of the Highway Department, and by Rick Moles and Jeff Staggs, who are employed by Overton County Schools.

In the voting, Commissioners Moles, Staggs, Cindy Robbins, Jean Moore, Stanley Carter Jr., Bruce Ledford, Chris Speck, Gregg Nivens, and Johnie Webb voted yes, Commissioners Clark, Danner, Atnip, and Randall Boswell voted no, and Commissioner Phipps, who is also an employee of Overton County Schools, passed.

The first reading of the non-profit appropriations resolution was approved.

A resolution was adopted to allow Overton County Sheriff W.B. Melton to apply for a CDBG grant to purchase patrol cars. If awarded, the grant will require a 35 to 55% match.

The purchase of four patrol cars is in the budget, but if the grant is awarded, the Sheriff’s Department plans to purchase six patrol cars.

Sheriff W.B. Melton said, “There’s four in the budget, and with this grant, if we get 55%, then we buy two and get one free.”

Bonds were approved for Gary Smith and Debra Maberry.

The following were approved as notaries at-large: Larry King, Twila Spears, Stephanie K. Presley, Vickie W. Stevens, Jimmie Webb, Fred A. Coleman, Karen Daniels, Angela K. Langford, David L. Story, and Charles Bates Mitchell.

The meeting adjourned.

Federal disaster aid approved
The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Friday, Aug. 21 that federal disaster aid has been made available for Overton and five other counties in Middle and West Tennessee awaiting assistance due to severe storms, heavy rains, flooding, and flash flooding that occurred July 15-17.

Local governments and public utilities of Overton, Clay, Jackson, Chester, Decatur, and Wayne counties are now eligible for Public Assistance Program reimbursement from the federal government. The public assistance designation also covers emergency response and recovery costs incurred by state government.

Governor Phil Bredesen said, “The economic cost to local budgets from disasters can be just as devastating as physical damage from a storm, but this federal assistance will help alleviate part of that financial pressure. I appreciate President Obama’s prompt approval of the disaster declarations that will help these communities rebuild.”

As in previous disasters, the state will provide half of the local share of matching funds required by the federal reimbursement program. The total amount will be 12.5% of the total cost incurred by local governments. Utility companies are required to provide the full 25% match for federal funds.

The Public Assistance Program authorizes a number of benefits for local government and public utilities to reclaim expenses relating to debris removal, overtime, and property damages for public buildings.

As a result of the storms, preliminary damage assessments estimate that more than $7.46 million of costs eligible for federal assistance under the Stafford Act have or will be incurred by state and local governments and public utilities. Local and state resources also expended considerable resources responding to the emergency, restoring public infrastructure, and removing debris.

Despite the damage to public infrastructure, the damage to individual households was insufficient to trigger the federal Individual Assistance Programs, which provide help to households and private businesses.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate named Terry L. Quarles as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

Quarles said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for Tennessee.

Assistance for the state and affected local governments can include as required:

•Payment of not less than 75% of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.

•Payment of not less than 75% of the eligible costs for removing debris from public areas and for emergency measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.

•Payment of not more than 75% of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.

To apply for assistance:

•Application procedures for local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced Monday, Aug. 24 that HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to counties in Tennessee and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following the severe storms and flooding.

The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in these counties.

“Families who may have been forced from their homes need to know that help is available to begin the rebuilding process,” Donovan said. “Whether it’s foreclosure relief for FHA-insured families or helping these counties to recover, HUD stands ready to help in any way we can.”

HUD is offering the state of Tennessee the ability to re-allocate existing federal resources toward disaster relief. HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs give the state the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars to address critical needs, including housing and services for flood victims. HUD is currently contacting state and local officials to explore streamlining the department’s CDBG and HOME programs in order to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing.

HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages.

HUD’s Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100% financing, including closing costs.

HUD’s Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home.

For more information about these and other HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims visit HUD’s website.

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
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