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Avoid Harm, Obey The STOP Arm
School Board meeting held Monday night
LPD, Sheriff’s Dept. receive Highway Safety Grants

Unemployment rate 10.5% in Tennessee

Avoid Harm, Obey The STOP Arm

Julie Young photo
Tennessee Highway Patrol is advising drivers to be aware of the STOP sign on buses.

Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOS) and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) are participating in National School Bus Safety Week, October 19-23.

This year’s theme, “Avoid Harm, Obey the Stop Arm” reminds all drivers that they are required by law to stop when a school bus’ red-flashing lights are activated.

Each day, school buses transport more than 26 million school children in 480,000 school buses, according to U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell said, “Our job along with school district personnel across the state is to ensure that children of all ages get to school safe and sound on each and every ride. That’s why we think it is so important to emphasize School Bus Safety Week.”

THP Colonel Mike Walker added, “The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is when children are getting on or off the bus. Approximately three times as many school bus-related fatalities in this country happen in the ‘Danger Zone’, when compared to students killed in a school bus crash.”

The “Danger Zone” is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of not being seen by the driver: 10 feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a child; 10 feet on either side of the bus where a child may be in the driver’s blind spot; and the area behind the bus.

In Tennessee, and in every state, drivers must stop when the stop arm is extended and red lights are flashing.

Between August 1 and September 30, troopers wrote 988 citations to drivers as part of THP’s Safe Schools Enforcement Campaign. A total of 230 of those drivers were ticketed for speeding in a school zone. In 2008, troopers issued nearly 5,562 citations in school zones across the state.

“Drivers need to know that a school zone isn’t just the 15-mile-per-hour zone around a school,” Colonel Walker added. “It’s anywhere children travel.

“Our goal is simple. We want to make sure children get to school and back home safely. That’s why troopers enforce traffic laws, train school bus drivers, and inspect buses.”

Approximately 12,119 school bus drivers were trained last year by the THP Pupil Transportation Unit. THP also inspected more than 9,000 school buses in 137 school systems statewide. During Fiscal Year 2008-09, approximately 827 buses were placed out of service. Nearly all of the buses placed out of service were re-inspected within 30 days and cleared for safe operation.



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School Board meeting held Monday night

By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education held the regular monthly meeting Monday, Oct. 19, with all members present.

School System Accountability Compliance Report for 2009-2010 was approved.

Director of Schools Matt Eldridge said, “All areas are in compliance.”

The School Board approved Certification of Compliance with TCA 49-3-310 4(a), which states that all students in Overton County School System have been furnished all required textbooks.

Second reading of the new drug policy was approved.

When the 2009-2010 negotiated contract between Overton County Board of Education and Overton County Education Association was brought up for approval, a change in a section heading was sent back to the negotiating table.

The following were approved as English/Foreign Language/ELL textbook adoption committees for 2009-2010: K-5 – Shirley Savage, Debbie Fisher, and Shannon Watson; 6-8 – Kim Dillon, Rebekah Sims, and Allison Goolsby; 9-12 – Julie Miller, Misty Strong, and Susan Upton.

Director Eldridge issued the Director’s Report to the School Board. Actions taken by the school director are as follows:

•Granted medical leave of absence to Shelley Gilpatrick, from September 24, 2009 to November 20, 2009.

•Granted maternity leave of absence to Chasidy Choate, from October 2, 2009 to November 13, 2009.

•Granted leave of absence to Linda Gilpatrick, from September 23, 2009 to October 19, 2009.

•Hired Rebecca Gore and Abby Jolley as AmeriCorps members for the 2009-2010 school year, as recommended by AmeriCorps Site Coordinator Sarah Hogue.

•Hired Wesley Carr, effective September 8, 2009, as custodian at Livingston Academy, as recommended by LA Principal Lesley Smith, to replace Paulette Carr, who is on medical leave.

•Hired Paula Hoover, effective September 14, 2009 to January 18, 2010, at Wilson Elementary, as recommended by Wilson Principal Christy Lee, to replace Donna Ray, who is on maternity leave.

•Hired Karen Baltimore, effective September 21, 2009, as recommended by A.H. Roberts Principal Bridgett Carwile, as needed to fill in at A.H. Roberts Elementary School during absences of Teresa Sells, due to medical reasons.

•Hired Michael Carmack, effective September 1, 2009, as a full-time bus driver, as recommended by Supervisor of Transportation Harold Watson.

•Hired the following non-certified substitute teachers: Sandra Heaton, Ashley Spears, Karen Grey, Leon Grey, Kim Dillon, Mary Heather Maynord, Michele Beaty, Jenna McCormick, Stacy York, and Betty Bowman.

•Hired Glenda Daniel as a substitute cook.

Before adjourning, Chairman Kelly Hill informed the School Board that Tammy Dailey at Livingston Middle School wrote a Food Lion grant and received $2,000 to help upgrade the technology in the library.

He said the LMS Jr. Beta Club has 96 students registered at the Tennessee state convention, and Daniel Flatt will be running for the office of state chaplain.

He also gave an update from A.H. Roberts Elementary.

“Their annual Run for Fun raised $19,000 this year,” he said. “That’s outstanding.”

Fourth grade teacher Amy Loftis at A.H. Roberts received a Sonic grant worth over $1,000 for science kits and an interactive board, according to Chairman Hill.

He informed the School Board, “We’ve got the lockers, or most of the lockers, at Livingston Academy. And I was through over there yesterday and it’s unbelievable the difference it makes. The school looks so much better.”

A School Board work session will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26 to discuss the building program further.


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LPD, Sheriff’s Dept. receive Highway Safety Grants
Tennessee officials announced Tuesday, Oct. 13 that Overton County has been awarded a highway safety grant of $18,702 for Overton County Sheriff’s Department to support wide area saturation patrols, and the Town of Livingston has been awarded a highway safety grant of $19,752 for Livingston Police Department to support their “Livingston Crackdown” initiative.

Tennessee officials also announced that Putnam, Clay, Pickett, Overton, DeKalb, White, and Cumberland counties have been awarded a highway safety grant of $188,917 for the Tennessee District Attorney General, 13th Judicial District to support DUI prosecution.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) mission is to save lives and reduce injuries on Tennessee roadways through leadership, innovation, coordination, and program support in partnership with other public and private organizations. The grant awarded will be used to promote this mission.

Governor Phil Bredesen said, “These highway safety grants reflect a continued commitment to work with local and state agencies to make our roadways even safer than they are today.

“The funds made available through these grants will support the efforts of many local and state highway safety partners to reduce the number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes each year.”

Grant awards are issued to agencies that successfully applied for funding based on problems and statistical needs. GHSO notified agencies across the
state that applications were being accepted for highway safety grants.

Applications were reviewed and scored by GHSO and external highway safety advocates. The agencies that met the criteria for funding received awards.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely said, “I am proud that we are able to help fund important programs at the state and local level that help reduce the number of traffic crashes on Tennessee roadways. These grants will make a difference in the effectiveness of our highway safety partners.”

GHSO Director Kendell Poole reported, “Grants awarded by the GHSO are provided in areas of need. Statistics show our problem areas and we strive to put the funding where it will be most effective. We are dedicated to saving lives across Tennessee and pledge to work with grantees statewide to accomplish our mission.”

State Senator Charlotte Burks and State Representative John Mark Windle worked to secure these funds for Overton County. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the funding for GHSO grants.

Unemployment rate 10.5% in Tennessee
Tennessee’s unemployment rate for September was 10.5%, down 0.2 percentage point from the August revised rate of 10.7%.

Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley said, “Tennessee’s unemployment rate continues to show stabilization with no significant change over the last five months. Following national trends, we are seeing fewer job losses and fewer workers seeking employment.”

The September rate a year ago was 6.9%. The national unemployment rate
for September 2009 was 9.8%, up from the August rate of 9.7%.

According to the Business Survey, 9,400 job gains occurred in local government educational services, 6,300 in professional and business services, and 3,900 in state government educational services.

Major employment decreases occurred in retail trade, down by 5,500, and leisure and hospitality declined by 4,600 jobs.

Year-over-year increases occurred in health care and social assistance, up by 7,600. Local government increased 2,800 and food services and drinking places gained 1,500.

Manufacturing was down 39,500. Mining and construction lost 28,900 and trade, transportation, and utilities declined by 27,900.





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Overton County News
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Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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