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Archives 09-09-2009


News

Fire Department contains fire on University Street
LA requests moving graduation to The Hoop
Overton County preferred for site of regional jail

Sheriff’s Dept. warns about “award” letter
National Rolley Hole Tourney set for Saturday

Fire Department contains fire on University Street

Dewain E. Peek photo
Livingston Fire Department contains a house fire at the corner of University Street and Oakley Street on Tuesday evening, Sept. 1. The house had recently been purchased by First Christian Church and was in the process of being dismantled and torn down when it caught fire around 6:30 p.m.
Firefighters sprayed down the area to keep the fire from spreading and sprayed a nearby residence to keep that house cooled down and protected from the intense heat from the burning structure.


Josh Scott photo


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LA requests moving graduation to The Hoop
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education held a work session Tuesday, Sept. 1, with members Sam Pendergrass and Lenard Ledbetter absent.

Among the items discussed was the possibility of moving the Livingston Academy graduation to Tennessee Tech’s Hooper Eblen Center.

Guidance counselor Bonnie Stapp presented the proposal on the direction of LA Principal Lesley Smith.

Stapp informed the Board that this year’s senior class has 232 members, up 30 from last year. A math class at LA determined that the gym would hold 1,850 people, based on an 18-inch girth. The numbers indicate even less family members would be allowed to view graduation this year than the 10 tickets allotted last year.

“If we do that, we’re going to have to cut our kids down to 8 tickets apiece,” Stapp said.

With the proposed move to The Hoop, graduation would have to be moved from a Friday to the Saturday of that weekend. Cost would be $1,700.

“We have that in the senior account,” she said.

During an assembly of the seniors, they were asked to stand up if they wanted to move graduation to The Hoop.

“I can easily say that over 90% of them stood up,” Stapp said.

She said the facility at TTU has the capacity for the senior to invite everybody they want to attend.

School Board Chairman Dolphus Dial was somewhat opposed to the idea of moving the graduation out of the county.

“I’d like to see it stay in Overton County,” he said. “The football field would be my first choice, and Tech would be the second choice.”

Board member Mark Peek also did not like having it in Putnam County instead of Overton.

The 2009 graduation was planned for the football field, but rainy weather forced it inside to LA gymnasium.

Director of Schools Matt Eldridge, looking ahead to future graduations, informed the School Board that the school has 290 freshmen this year.

Board member Ray Smith said he wanted to go with what the seniors want.

Board member Kelly Hill asked about sending a survey to the parents.

Stapp was asked about what responsibilities the LA staff would have if the graduation is held at TTU. She said the chairs are set up by Tech personnel.

“We don’t have to pay janitors to clean,” she said. “We walk in, we walk out.”

Stapp was directed to survey the parents and bring the results back to the next work session.

The next work session will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, followed by the regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m.

Director Eldridge informed the School Board of the procedure being used for violations of the cell phone policy.

“If you take up a cell phone, you can’t look at the pictures,” he said. “I don’t think anyone’s been doing that.”

Chairman Dial said, “We had a problem a couple of years ago over that.”

Director Eldridge said that some had thought when it was taken up, it was school property to look at.

“Well, that’s not true,” he said.

Now, when a cell phone is taken up, the battery is removed and handed back to the student.

“So they have no way to turn it on,” Director Eldridge said.

This keeps anyone from having access to any pictures, according to Eldridge.

He explained that if a phone is taken up, the parent has to come to the school to get the phone. A second violation of the cell phone policy will result in an in-school suspension, but a third violation will result in the student being placed into Alternative School.

“We’re all doing the same thing at every school,” Director Eldridge said.

School Board member discussed the need for culverts at Livingston Middle School and Allons Elementary, and the need for steps to the lower parking lot at LMS.

Horace Poston addressed the Board about a school bus turn-around that can no longer be used. The Board agreed to ask Road Superintendent Joe Garrett to repair the road to the property.

Board member Howard Miller reminded the other members that the building program will be discussed at the next work session.



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Overton County preferred for site of regional jail
By Liz Engel,
Herald-Citizen staff
A meeting of the minds – one that would continue the discussion of a possible regional jail facility in the Upper Cumberland – has been tentatively scheduled for October after the land and facilities committee of the Putnam County Commission on Monday, Aug. 31 continued to study ways to ease jail overcrowding.

Several counties have been looking at the possibility of a regional jail for months, and currently, the state is funding $200,000 worth of feasibility studies for Fentress, Overton, Pickett and Clay. Putnam County is currently not involved with the study, which would show the cost each county would incur with a shared facility and the cost incurred with its own facility.

Early discussions have targeted Overton County as the best location for the jail, because its the most central and has accessibility with Highway 111.

An authority would be formed to oversee all responsibility. But there are several unanswered questions – how many beds would be needed, what kind of facility (minimum, medium or maximum) would be required, and exactly how prisoners would be transported to different county courts.

The regional jail concept is also new to Tennessee, and there are questions about the possibility of state funding being available for its construction.

“Until they get those studies done, nothing’s firm,” said Michelle Price, community development planner/coordinator with the Upper Cumberland Development District.

She said Putnam County would need to get involved with at least half of that feasibility study, which is being completed by TACIR (Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations). Putnam County has already paid for a needs assessment with architectural firm Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon Inc.

Putnam County has been fighting overcrowding issues for more than a year, ever since the state fire marshal ordered the county to house inmates elsewhere after an inspection. Earlier this year, the Putnam County Commission rejected a proposal to expand the current facility, and in June, a move to build an annex off Holder Avenue and Broad Street in Cookeville failed.

In July, the committee requested Putnam County Executive Kim Blaylock, call other area county executives to gauge interest in a regional facility.

October’s meeting, tentatively scheduled for 3 p.m. October 6 at the Putnam County Courthouse, would bring those officials, and any others involved with the jail discussions, together.

Putnam County District 2 Commissioner Jim Martin said, “Another county executive told me straight up that they had already looked at this and had gone through a study that said unless they could get a larger county the size of Putnam involved, the small counties would not have enough to make it go.

“They might not even have an interest in us coming on. We obviously have an interest, but I thought they were further along. We need to know more for us to discuss it more.”


Sheriff’s Dept. warns about “award” letter
Overton County Sheriff’s Department is informing citizens of a scam some residents have fallen victim to. The scam is not new to the area, just presented a little differently – an “Award Claim Notification” and also “Final Notice”.

This letter tells victims they have been drawn for a “consumer promotion draw” because they are customers of major U.S. and Canada stores. A check is enclosed, which has been “deducted from their winnings” and is to be used to pay the taxes owed on their winnings, and these usually have about a $1,000 difference in the check and the taxes owed.

The letter urges the victims to contact their “assigned claims agent” for further instructions on how to claim their winnings.

Sheriff W.B. Melton stated, “If you receive an Award Claim Notification letter, destroy the letter and the check.”


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National Rolley Hole Tourney set for Saturday
National Rolley Hole Marble Tournament will be held at Standing Stone State Park on Saturday, Sept. 12, starting at 8 a.m.

The 27th Annual National Rolley Hole Marbles Championship and Marbles Festival will be a celebration of marbles hosted and directed by Tennessee Bureau of State Parks and The Friends of Standing Stone State Park.

The event will have marble making, a swap meet, demonstrations, live bluegrass music, and food of different types. The festival will also include five separate marble tournaments for spectators and marble players: The 27th Annual National Rolley Hole Championship, Ringer, Tennessee Square, Georgia Rolley Hole, and British.

Admission is free.

Standing Stone State Park is located 10 miles north of Livingston, just off Highway 52. For more information contact the Park Office at (931) 823-6487.

 

Cruise-in, car show set for Saturday
Dewain E. Peek file photo
Standing Stone Cruisers Car Club will hold the monthly cruise-in on the square in Livingston this Saturday, Sept. 12. Cars and trucks will begin gathering on the west side of the square around 4 p.m. The Livingston Cruise-In is held the second Saturday night of each month through October. All makes and models are welcome and admission is always free. For more information on the Standing Stone Cruisers visit www.StandingStoneCruisers.com.
Earlier in the day, the 2nd Annual Overton County Lions Club Car Show will be held at Livingston Academy. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., judging will begin at 11 a.m. and awards will be presented at noon. A donation of $20 per space is to go to support diabetes awareness, and a Lion’s Stride Walk will also be held at 8 a.m. Car show categories are as follows: Original Car, Original Truck, Modified Car, Modified Truck, Street Rod, Unfinished up to 1976, and Specialty. These categories will have the following divisions: 1997 to current, 1987 to 1996, 1977 to 1986, 1967 to 1976, 1952 to 1966, and 1951 and older.

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Overton County News
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