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80 Years Ago

Archives 01-06-2010


Licking the cold
Shootout results in man’s death
TWRA officer Jeff Hummel shot in back by burglars
Livingston City Council sets new water rates

Licking the cold

Darren Oliver photo

Tripp and Emma Sadler taste the ice sculpture that was the fountain on the Livingston square before frigid temperatures froze the water in mid-fall. Lows approaching the single digits are expected this week, with a possibility of significant snowfall Thursday and Friday.

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Shootout results in man’s death
By Dale Welch,
Hilltop Express

A feud between two Hanging Limb men ended with one being fatally wounded by Overton County Sheriff’s Department’s Critical Response Team in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

Ronald James Eibel, 55, of Key Hollow Lane, in the Hanging Limb Community of Overton County, was shot by the Critical Response team after he allegedly fired on them first as they attempted to serve a warrant. Eibel later died on the way to the hospital, authorities said.

No one would comment about what the feud between Eibel and a neighbor, Joe Calvette, was about, other than it had been going on for a long time. Calvette had gone to Overton County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday, Dec. 31, and reportedly, had told authorities Eibel had been stalking him and his family for months. Warrants were obtained for aggravated stalking, Overton County Sheriff W.B. Melton said.

Sheriff Melton said that around 10 p.m., the Sheriff’s Dept. received reports from neighbors alleging that Eibel was walking around near the road with a gun and threatened the life of Calvette.

Five of seven members of the Critical Response Team along with Sheriff Melton arrived sometime after midnight, Sheriff Melton said. Sheriff Melton said they had blue lights running and that he went around to secure the back of the house.

The team announced themselves as law enforcement officers and were let in by Eibel’s wife,the sheriff said. As they attempted to enter the bedroom where Ronald Eibel was, the sheriff said that Eibel, using a handgun, shot one shot and a deputy shot back twice, hitting Eibel in the chest and in the hand.

When Sheriff Melton heard the three shots, he said, he came running into the house and found deputies struggling to handcuff the wounded Eibel.

“He was telling them to leave him alone and get out of there,” Sheriff Melton said.

Eibel was trying to finish up the dream house of his wife, Abby. The dry wall, siding, tile, and a few other things were still to be installed to complete it.

“He would help a lot of the people around here,” his wife said. “That’s just the way he was.”


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TWRA officer Jeff Hummel shot in back by burglars
By Charlie Kincaid,
The Democrat-Union staff

A Tennessee Wildlife Resources Officer is recovering at home from gunshot wounds he sustained on Wednesday, Dec. 30.

Jeff Hummel, a game warden, was assisting the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department in a burglary investigation when one of three alleged perpetrators shot him with a shotgun.

The incident took place in the Henryville area near Summertown.

The incident began when residents of the area noticed the men stopping at houses, driving a Giles County vehicle.

Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies were already in the area, investigating a recent rash of home break-ins.

The same men had stopped earlier at Barton’s Tires to put water in their radiator, according to resident Jimmy Barton.

The men then reportedly drove to a nearby Amish home and began acting suspiciously.

Barton and some other residents then reportedly approached the three men to ask about their intentions.

Hummel arrived a short time later, and when Barton and the residents told him of the three men, he went looking for them.

Moments later, Lawrence County Sheriff Kenny Taylor arrived, and Barton told him Hummel had gone in pursuit of the threesome.

Taylor then headed for the scene, where he found Hummel had already been shot, allegedly by one of the men. He suffered gunshot wounds to his back and shoulder.

The men had allegedly fired three times, but only one reportedly struck Hummel, then the three men stole Hummel’s truck and tried to escape the area.

Hummel was able to get into Taylor’s truck and help pursue the three men.
A short time later, the stolen truck was crashed after an attemp to descend a steep bank.

A brief foot chase ensued, and law enforcement agents were able to capture the three.

Hummel was then airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where he was treated and later released.

The three men have been identified as Joe Swafford, 50, along with his two sons, Patrick Swafford, 20, and James Swafford, 24, all of Lawrenceburg. The three are all charged with a rash of burglaries targeting the Amish community in recent days.

They were arrested on charges of two counts of theft of property of more than $1,000 and two counts of aggravated burglary.James Swafford has the added charge of attempted murder and violation of probation.

Joe Swafford and Patrick Swafford are under a $500,000 bond, and James Swafford is under a $550,000 bond, plus a $575 cash bond for the violation of probation.

Editor’s Note: TWRA Officer Jeff Hummel is a native of Overton County.

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Livingston City Council sets new water rates
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Livingston Mayor Curtis Hayes and the Board of Aldermen held their regular monthly meeting Monday, Jan. 4, with all aldermen present.

New water rates were set as follows: $12.92 per 1,000 gallons in the city; $22.08 per 1,000 gallons outside the city; and $2.94 per 1,000 gallons for utility districts.

Mayor Hayes said, “This should be our final increase of this water project.”
The low bid of $309,230 from W.L. Hailey & Company Construction was approved for repairing flood damage at Carr Creek Dam.

Mayor Hayes said, “This will be paid for out of the FEMA and TEMA money.”

An ordinance on court costs, fines, and fees was approved. The ordinance was needed to satisfy a recommendation by Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS). A public hearing will be held at 6:55 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1.

Mayor Hayes said, “There’s no increase in this. This is what it’s been for many years.”

The aldermen approved purchasing a road borer for the gas and water departments. Ditch Witch Equipment in LaVergne had the low bid at $4,288.32 and Vermeer of Murfreesboro had the other bid at $5,175.90, but Water Superintendent Tim Coffee and Gas Superintendent Rick Winningham expressed a preference for the Vermeer, which is a little larger than the Ditch Witch and would better allow pipe to be installed.

The following were appointed to the Tree Board: Robbie Melton, Shirley Myers, Cynthia Carmack, and Roger Underhill.

The Board of Aldermen considered further a traffic noise concern brought up by School Mountain Road resident Damon Corley in last month’s City Council meeting.

Police Chief Greg Etheredge pointed out that the city has an ordinance against excessive noise, which includes the requirement of a muffler or other device to reduce noise from vehicle engines.

In order to strengthen any attempt to enforce the excessive noise ban, signs are planned to be erected to inform motorists of the ordinance.

Before adjourning, Mayor Hayes announced that sewer bids for Mofield Street will be opened at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, and that sewer bids for West Volunteer Drive will be opened at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25.

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Overton County News
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