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80 Years Ago



Enforcer Troop Back to Iraq Guardsmen to leave this Sunday
School building program progresses in work session
Christmas Parade set for Saturday
Health Dept. offers free H1N1 vaccines

Enforcer Troop Back to Iraq

Betty Aronson photos
Enforcer Troop of the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment departed the Sgt. Wesley Tucker National Guard Armory in Livingston early Sunday, Dec. 6 to begin mobilization training at Camp Shelby in Mississippi before being deployed overseas in February 2010. This is the second time the 278th has been deployed in the last five years.

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School building program progresses in work session
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education will meet in regular session Monday, Dec. 14 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.

The regular meeting night was changed for the December meeting from its usual third Monday of the month by the School Board in a work session held Tuesday, Dec. 1, with all members present.

Leading off the work session was a presentation by Keith Farmer, on
behalf of Livingston Academy Band Boosters, telling of the many awards and accolades the band program has garnered recently.

“A couple of years ago, a senior would have three or four years on their instruments, and we’re having freshmen coming in that have three or four years on their instruments,” he said. “And so, now, in another year or two, we’re going to start having seniors with seven and eight years playing the instruments they’re playing. And that’s just raising the entire level of the whole program, and the ability of what they can do.”

Farmer mentioned that Randy Smith of Rocky Top Trucking is providing a truck to haul the band’s equipment.

School Board member Mark Peek asked, “One time, we approved you a used bus for that.”

And he asked further, “What happened to that?”

Farmer said, “From what I understand, another bus needed an engine, and so they took the engine out of that bus.”

The School Board plans to look into providing another old bus for the band.

The Band Boosters brought along an electric guitar donated by Gregg Allman that is signed by members of the Allman Brothers. The guitar will be part of a future fundraiser.

Director of Schools Matt Eldridge informed the School Board of the snow day contingency plan and the Countywide Pacing Guide & Lesson Plan.

He then told the School Board of about Race to the Top program, a competitive grant program funded by the Recovery Act.

According to the U.S. Department of Education website, Race to the Top asks states to advance reforms around the following four specific areas:

•Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;

•Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;

•Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most;

•Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.
“Awards in Race to the Top will go to states that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform. Race to the Top winners will help trail-blaze effective reforms and provide examples for states and local school districts throughout the country to follow as they too are hard at work on reforms that can transform our schools for decades to come,” the website states.

Director Eldridge told the School Board that in order for the state to apply for the program, “The School Board has to agree, local teachers association has to agree, and I have to.”

He said that State Education Commissioner Tim Webb informed school directors that the counties’ agreements have to be in by Friday, Dec. 18.

“It’s going to change the way the evaluations are done on teachers, the way tenure law is done on teachers, the way that evaluations of students standards are set,” Director Eldridge said.

The state would get $100 million the first year for Title I schools, if awarded.

“So, we’d get some money out of that, most of our schools in the county are Title I schools.”

He went on to say, “It’s going to be for after-school tutoring and things like that.”

Board member Dolphus Dial asked about the change to tenure law.

“He can’t tell us anything,” Director Eldridge answered. “He doesn’t have all the paperwork on it.”

Dial said, “We need to know all the circumstances before we vote.”

With little information having been provided to him by Commissioner Webb, Director Eldridge proceeded to give the School Board a list of the unknowns.

“Here’s what he said he doesn’t know: He doesn’t know how much money; which counties it’s going to go to; he doesn’t know for sure about accountabilities; he doesn’t know for sure what programs it’s going to hit; he doesn’t know, you know, probably be in July of this coming year if we get any; he doesn’t know for sure on the evaluations; he doesn’t know for sure on the merit pay or the tenure,” Director Eldridge said. “So, that sums it all about up what he doesn’t know.”

The School Board members agreed to move the December meeting to December 14 in order to approve the application if the Board chooses to participate.

The U.S. Department of Education website at www.ed.gov has more information about Race to the Top, which will award a total of $4.35 billion. Specific information and updates on Race to the Top can be found at www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop.

Board member Howard Miller asked about changing the work session night to the first Thursday of the month, and Board member Lenard Ledbetter suggested not having an extra work session at all.

“Just have it all on the regular meeting night and do away with this one is what we need to do,” Ledbetter said.

Changing the work session night is planned to be discussed at the next work session.

Turning to the building program, the School Board heard from Rickman Principal Amy Brown on her recommendation for the proposed building additions to the Rickman school.

She preferred the 10-room 2-story option to the back of the school, citing less disruption and that construction equipment and materials would enter the school grounds from behind the school.

“If we bring it through the back, we’re not going to have to add any dirt to build anything up,” she said.

The playground will be moved.

“All the construction stuff will be brought through the back-end fence, on the back side,” she said.

Board member Sam Pendergrass suggested a preK-2 at the edge of the back parking lot instead. But it would likely cost another $1 million.

“I’m just saying you’ll be done,” he said. “You won’t have to come back in seven years; you won’t have to come back in 10 years; you won’t have to come back in 20 years. You’re done.”

Dial mentioned that Livingston Academy and the other schools would still need adding on.

Pendergrass said, “Sure, but at Rickman you’re going to be done.”

Board member Mark Peek cautioned against adding costs with so many people out of work in the county.

“If we can just get out of this recession, and get everybody back to working in the county, then eventually we’d be able to do some of this stuff.”

Board member David Sadler expressed concerns about having a 2-story building with small children inside. He was assured that exits would be provided that would not require the children to travel stairs to get out in the event of an emergency.

Repair to the roof over an old part of the building will also be included in the building plan.

The 10-room, 2-story option was picked to be put on the agenda for the monthly meeting.

Then, Livingston Academy Vice Principal Shane Qualls gave information on needs for the LA building program.

“What we’re needing is basically, to catch us up, and when I say that, that means just catch up, is eight classes,” he said. “We have six floating teachers right now. We’re using two classrooms that do not have an outside exit, and, of course, we’re just getting leniency on fire codes that way because they do have two doors.

“Next year we’re going to have to add an additional math teacher, the following year we will have to add another math teacher to keep up with the new standards.

“We also need a CDC suite.”

He informed the School Board that the special needs class does not have adequate facilities.

“Right now they’re in a regular ed classroom,” he said. “They do not have a changing area, a clean-up area; they don’t have any life skill places; they have to go to a bathroom. It’s very behind the times, because that class is made to teach them life skills, from as basic as you can think of to them being able to maybe help themselves, do for themselves, as they get older.”

He said that adding a CDC suite would free up that classroom to be used, so only seven other regular classrooms would be needed.

Qualls also explained that a room labeled as a gymnasium on one of the plans is a multi-purpose room and not really a gymnasium.

“It just needs to be a space that we can use to help out with our PEs, our wellness classes,” he said. “By the class of 2013, every student has to have, along with all these extra maths and sciences, two extra PE classes.”

He said the room would just be an open area.

Qualls also informed the School Board of the need for additional locker rooms for sports such as volleyball, tennis, cross country, and track that do not have lockers or changing areas. He suggested they be located at the rear of the building near the tennis courts and accessible from outside.

Sadler asked the price of adding the CDC suite, seven regular classrooms, a multi-purpose room, the lockers, and refurbishing the current bathrooms.

Approximately $2 million was the answer.

That plan was also picked to be put on the monthly meeting agenda.

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Christmas Parade set for Saturday

The 45th Annual 2009 Overton County Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, Dec.12.

This year’s grand marshal will be the former principals and current principal of Livingston Academy. The honorary grand marshal will be the Vietnam veterans. Vietnam veterans who plan to attend are asked to call the Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce at 823-6421.

The Christmas Parade Theme is “A Blue & White Christmas”.

The parade will begin at 2 p.m. at the intersection of the Livingston bypass and Highway 294, near Livingston Limestone. The parade will continue onto East Main Street to Broad Street, across the town square, and onto Bilbrey Street. It will continue up Bilbrey Street, going beside Overton County Nursing Home, and then will disperse at the intersection of Bilbrey Street and West First Street.

Line-up will begin at noon on the bypass from the intersection of Highway 294 back toward Tennessee Technology Center at Livingston.

The following 26 categories will be featured in this year’s parade: Antique Cars (cars up to 1949), ‘50s Cars (cars 1950-1959), Muscle Car Era (cars 1960-1974), Modern Era Cars (Cars 1975 and up), Antique Trucks (trucks up to 1959), Classic Trucks (trucks 1960-1975), Modern Era Trucks (trucks 1975 and up), Large Business and Industry (over 9 employees), Small Business and Industry (9 employees and fewer), Churches, Scout Troops, Fire and Rescue Departments, Children Under 12, Children 12 and Older, School Groups, Sports Affiliations Groups, ATVs, Motorcycles, Bands, Antique Tractors, Golf Carts, Civic Clubs and Veterans Organizations, Other, Wagons and Buggies, Horse with Female Rider, and Horse with Male Rider.

A Judge’s Award and Grand Marshal’s Award will also be presented.

Judging will be conducted along the parade route, and winners will be announced. For more information call the Chamber of Commerce at (931) 823-6421.

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Health Dept. offers free H1N1 vaccines
Overton County Health Department is now offering the H1N1 flu vaccine to anyone who would like to receive it. No appointment is necessary to receive the vaccine.

Overton County Health Department is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The H1N1 flu vaccine will be provided at no charge.

Information about upcoming clinics and vaccine availability are on the Tennessee Department of Health website at http://health.state.tn.us/H1N1.htm.

Two types of influenza vaccines protect against H1N1 flu. Flu Mist is a live vaccine containing a significantly weakened version of virus that is administered in the nose and can be provided to healthy, non-pregnant persons age 2 to 49 years. The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine containing killed virus that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use among people 6 months of age or older, including healthy people and those with chronic medical conditions.

For more information about the H1N1 flu vaccines call Overton County Health Department at 823-6260 or contact Tennessee Flu Information Line at 1-877-252-3432. Information is also available at www.tn.gov/health or www.flu.gov.

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