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Building program discussed at School Board work session
Path at pond used by many
Ag/Industry Day held in Overton County

Rita Reagan named tourism director

Building program discussed at School Board work session
|By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education will meet in regular session Monday, Oct. 19 at the Central Education Office, as directed by Chairman Kelly Hill. An open door work session will begin at 6 p.m., and the Board meeting will start at 7 p.m.

A work session was held last week on Tuesday, Oct. 6, and resulted in items to be discussed in upcoming work sessions. Board members Houston Robbins and Lenard Ledbetter were absent, and County Commissioners Rick Moles, Billie G. Phipps, and Cindy Robbins were in attendance.

Representatives from Coca-Cola were on hand to give a presentation seeking a new contract. The contract has expired, but Coca-Cola is still servicing Overton County schools until a new contract is reached, with either Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Pepsi representatives are to make a presentation in a future work session.

A committee of paraprofessionals presented a list of items they wish to discuss with the School Board, and further discussion is scheduled for a work session on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

A school building program was again addressed, and will be addressed further in a special work session on Monday, Oct. 26.

School Board member Howard Miller asserted, “I’m for building a 7 through 12, and you alleviate some of these problems that we’re talking about right now. And if we don’t, we’re trying to put a band-aid on something that’s got to be fixed.

“And it’s not next year, or the next year, or the next year, we’re at that point right now.”

And County Commissioner Billie Phipps offered, “What do you want to do? Do you want to put a band-aid on the school or do you want to do it right?”

But the various School Board members have differing views on what should be done and how much it will cost.

Board member David Sadler brought up questions of site preparation and land costs.

“That’s going to be a big expense right there, forget the building,” he said.

“I mean, we’re not even to the building yet. We’ve got to come up with the plans to build.”

And Assistant Director Terry Webb, who had been pressed for cost estimates, concurred, saying, “You cannot get an estimate, what you’re asking is unrealistic. And y’all can get mad at me if you want to, but I cannot tell you what it’ll cost to build something in mid-air. You’ve got to know how the land lays; you’re going to have to know how much site work’s done. You could spend a million dollars to get the good dirt to fill.

“I could give you a square-foot cost. How many square-feet do you want?”
He informed the Board that a school about the size of Livingston Academy would be between 22 and 25 million dollars as far as the square-foot cost.

Ideas on what to do also seemed to differ among the County Commissioners present. While Phipps was vocal in pushing for a long-term fix, Moles mentioned that the cost could require the wheel tax to be doubled or property taxes raised, and Robbins appeared to want the School Board to work out a definite plan to bring before the County Legislative Body.

As of the end of the work session, the School Board planned to look at four possibilities when they meet on October 26, though they are not bound to only these: add classrooms; make Livingston Academy into a 7-12 and add a 7-12 in Rickman; only add a 7-12 at Rickman; build a K-8 at a spot in the county where it is believed it will alleviate the overcrowding problem.

Addressing the absences caused by flu, Director of Schools Matt Eldridge informed the Board that absences were down to around 200 school wide, from around 300, and that schools would not be called off unless absences reached the state-recommended level for closing of 400 to 500.



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Path at pond used by many


Darren Oliver photo
Winningham Park is used by the young and old throughout the year, as evidenced by this mother duck and her offspring taking a stroll through the park on a recent Friday afternoon.



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Ag/Industry Day held in Overton County


Julie Young photo
Participants at the Agriculture/Industry Day line up to receive breakfast provided by First National Bank.


The annual salute to Overton County’s Agriculture and Industry was held Wednesday, Oct. 7 and had approximantly 150 in attendance.

Members of 4-H greeted and registered participants at Livingston Church of Christ’s Windham Building in Livingston. A country ham breakfast was sponsored by First National Bank of Tennessee, with Rusty Robbins, manager of the West Main office, overseeing the serving along with several of the bank’s staff.

After breakfast, Jeff Thompson of Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry served as Master of Ceremonies and welcomed everyone to the Ag/Industry Salute. Thompson represented the Resource Development Committee in which he serves as a member. Ron Johnson, UT Extension agent and chair of the RD Committee introduced the speaker, C. Pat Bagley, dean of the College of Agricultural and Human Sciences at Tennessee Tech University.

Bagley spoke on agriculture and the importance of the United States’ role on the global stage in providing food. He stated that U.S. agriculture would be expected to expand in the future to help produce enough food to keep feeding the world. Bagley stated the importance of a college education for all young people and their role in assisting with the increased demand of food growth in our area and across the state, and he discussed the importance of Tennessee Tech University obtaining the Millard V. Oakley Farm and how it will be used for educational purposes, and how thankful he and the TTU college is for Oakley’s gift.

Overton County Mayor Kenneth Copeland and Livingston Mayor Curtis
Hayes both greeted the attendees and welcomed everyone to the day’s events. Mayor Hayes gave a brief update on the new water line and how well it was working.

Bro. Ken Williams, minister of Livingston Church of Christ, officially welcomed everyone to the church facilities and led the invocation.

State Senator, Charlotte Burks spoke to the Ag/Ind crowd and expressed her appreciation for the role agriculture and industry plays in this county.

State Representative John M. Windle was unable to attend and sent his best wishes through his mother, Onita Windle, and Senator Burks for a good Ag/Industry Day celebration. Rep. Windle is out of town taking military training at Fort Shelby in preparation for deployment overseas.

Mums displayed at the breakfast were provided by Brown’s Greenhouse and Ann Fielder, with Little 8 Acres Farm in Rickman, who worked and decorated the entrance and tables for the morning program.

Ag/Industry Day recognizes annually one outstanding person or organization who has devoted outstanding service to the community. Ralph Robbins of Livingston Tennessee Technology Center and a member of the Resource Development Committee presented a plague to Regina Danner. Danner is employed as the office secretary at the Soil Conservation Service and has served as either chair or co-chair of the Safety Day Camp for seven years.

Robbins spoke to the group about how much time Danner has volunteered on this project and how successful it has become with more than 500 in attendance annually.

Wanda Krantz, CEO of Bank of Overton County, presented Vision Statement framed documents to Jerry Flowers of Farm Service Agency, Gary Howard of Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Program, and Darrell Beason of Natural Resources and Conservation Service. RD member Krantz explained how well these three had served in assisting farmers and the rural residents of this and surrounding counties. All three serve as members of the Resource Development Committee and have served on various sub-committees.

She discussed the fact that the local farm economy was helped by their efforts and that on behalf of this county, they are to be congratulated.

Darrell Beason could not attend the morning program because of being in military training, so Wayne Williams accepted the award on his behalf.

The RD Committee had voted at an earlier meeting to present the Vision Statement each year to a deserving public organization or person to place in the appropriate location. The public may observe the Vision Statement at many locations throughout the county, and especially at the local Farm Service Agency located on the bypass in Livingston. The Vision Award went along with the theme for the day: “A Salute to Agriculture and Industry”.

After the breakfast program, a tour of the Livingston water plant, located on Rickman Highway, was taken by approximately 125 people, who were welcomed by plant operator Johnny White. The tour group was led by White and water plant assistant Jack Parrott, and everyone got to not only look at the existing plant, but also the improvements that have been made in the recent months.

Participants heard about the filters, quality monitoring and testing, and the new source of water coming from the Butler’s Landing intake. The water plant is using about half of the chemicals to treat the water as before when the water was being pumped out of the city lake compound.

After the tour, the group moved to Agriculture Complex at Overton County Fairgrounds for lunch and contests. Lunch was prepared and served to all participants by the U.T. Extension staff, RD Committee members, and other volunteers led by UT Extension Director Gene Medley.

Winners in the horse shoe toss contest were Kenneth Capps and Joyce Phillips. Winners in the corn hole toss included David Todd and Margaret Johnson. The winner of the annual Ag/Ind Day Quiz was Brenda Scott of Monroe, and the Livingston Furniture Outlet chair door prize winner was Mary Ruth Ledbetter.

Several door prizes were given out during the day. The winners for those included: Jack Watkins – country ham from Jerry’s; and Imogene Melton – Pucketts Gift Pack. TTC at Livingston provided free cosmetology make-overs to Sue Reagan and Gerald Collins. Mums were drawn out for door prizes and two bags of mineral from Overton Farm Supply were given out to individuals.

One dollar coins were provided by American Bank & Trust of the Cumberlands to about 135 attendants at the lunch program.

Extension Agent Ron Johnson expressed appreciation to all those who helped or assisted in some way, especially the sponsors who made the day possible. He also expressed appreciation to two sponsors mistakenly left off the Ag/Industry Day brochure – Tri-County Forestry Association and Pepsi Bottling Company.

Rita Reagan named tourism director


Rita Reagan

Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce has named Rita Reagan as Director of Marketing & Tourism.

Reagan has worked for the Chamber for more than 12 years. Her plans are to continue to market the area to tourists, new residents, retirees, and retail/industrial businesses.





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Overton County News
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Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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