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Archives 01-20-2010

News

Overton County Fair wins state awards
School Board meeting held Monday night
Vol State to celebrate new addition
State revenue $54M less than budgeted
Local photographer captures image of supernova remnant

Overton County Fair wins state awards


Anita Speck photos
Overton County Fairest of the Fair Becca Savage, center, daughter of Rick and Marsha Savage of Livingston, competed against 56 other young ladies for the State Fairest of the Fair during the 88th annual Convention Tennessee Assocation of Fairs held at the Airport Marriott Hotel on January 14-16. Savage placed 2nd runner up to Miss Tennessee State Fair Logan Sparkman, far right, and ahead of Miss Jefferson County Leah Hutson, 3rd runner up, at left.

The 2010 showcase had 435 entries with 39 fairs competing. Overton County placed in 5 categories: 1st in Scrapbook, single A division; 1st place in Best Fair Poster; 2nd place in T-shirt/embroidered theme; 3rd place in Premium Book; 3rd place in Fair hat embroidered theme.


Overton County won a Merit Award, and also won a Premier Award. Overton County had 8 Fair Association members present for the Convention. Displaying the Premier Award are, front row from left, Anita Speck, Mark Speck, President David Robbins, Becca Savage, Vice President Ronnie Smith, Rithea Winningham, Donita Moore, back row, Bob Matthews and John Ross Robbins.



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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, Jan. 18, with member Ray Smith absent.

The School Board voted to receive architectural submittals for the CDC and agriculture department construction at Livingston Academy.

Plans for an additional parking area at A.H. Roberts Elementary were not complete for the School Board to consider, so the Board deferred approval to executive action in order to allow the project to get started.

As directed by Tennessee Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, the School Board removed an item from the policy on corporal punishment, which can be considered discriminatory. The items states, “In determining the use and degree of corporal punishment, consideration be given to the age, sex, size, physical, and emotional condition of the child.”

Dennis Barsness’ retirement was approved, effective January 4, 2010. Many School Board members expressed appreciation for his years of service to the school system.

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

•Granted personal leave of absence to Maura Medley, from January 4, 2010 to February 22, 2010.

•Granted medical leave of absence to Lisa Huitt, from January 4, 2010 to January 8, 2010.

•Granted maternity leave of absence to Miranda Knappenberger, from January 4, 2010 to April 5, 2010.

•Granted medical leave of absence to Carolyn White, from January 13, 2010 to February 24, 2010.

•Hired Shawn Bouldin at Hilham Elementary to fill Jessica Bilbrey’s maternity leave through January 5, 2010 to February 2, 2010, as recommended by Principal Vickie Eldridge.

•Hired Kellie Conner at Rickman Elementary to fill Miranda Knappenberger’s maternity leave from January 4, 2010 to April 5, 2010, as recommended by Principal Amy Brown.

•Hired Brandon Grizzard as interim half-time counselor, effective December 10, 2009, at A.H. Roberts Elementary to fill the vacancy left by Alberta Dale, as recommended by Principal Bridgett Carwile.

Before adjourning, School Board members gave recognition to Amy Loftis for receiving a grant from Sonic, which supplied a Smart board for fourth grade classroom.

The School Board held a work session immediately prior to the regular meeting. In the work session, School Board members had no objections to a proposal of Veterans Day being a day off in next year’s school calendar.

Also in the work session, Supervisor of Instruction Teresa Johnson presented sample 10-day Continuation of Education plans for all grade levels for School Board members to see what is being planned in the event of all “snow days” being used. The school system still has five snow days available.

This school work is being created in advance for each grade so it can be distributed to the students if the school system runs out of snow days and schools are closed. How the work will be provided to the students is still in the planning stage. The lessons are designed to help the students maintain their level of learning when school cannot be in session.

LA Principal Lesley Smith addressed the School Board at the work session and expressed further the need for more classrooms at the school. While School Board members expressed that they want to build more classrooms, monetary concerns in the present economy has limited any construction to just what is immediately necessary.



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Vol State to celebrate new addition
Four years of work has transformed the Volunteer State Community College Livingston campus from one older building, into a new complex featuring state of the art classrooms, science lab, library, NewSkills computer tutoring center, faculty offices, and study areas.

All phases of the construction have been completed and on Thursday, Jan. 28 an open house will be held to celebrate and give the public the chance to take a look.

Many of the new classrooms have been designed for Allied Health programs. Total Livingston enrollment has jumped from 486 in fall 2004 to 738 this year, and is expected to continue to grow.

The facility is a partnership between Vol State, Town of Livingston, Overton County, and donors who realized the importance of expanding student facilities and opportunities in the Upper Cumberland area.

The open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Refreshments will be served and tours of the campus will be available. Vol State at Livingston is located at 113 Windle Community Road in Livingston. For more information call 1-800-563-8220.


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State revenue $54M less than budgeted
The state’s fiscal year continues its trend of negative tax revenue growth, with tax collections falling below budgeted estimates again in December.
Finance and Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz on Wednesday, Jan. 13 announced that state revenue collections for December, reflecting November retail sales activity, were $766.7 million, which is $54.2 million less than the state budgeted.

“December tax collections represent the 19th consecutive month of negative sales tax growth,” Goetz said. “At the end of the fiscal year, on June 30, we’ll have to adjust for any undercollection in the current fiscal year, and make sure our budget for fiscal year 2010-2011 reflects the revenue base available moving forward.”

On an accrual basis, December is the fifth month in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

The general fund was under collected by $50.8 million, and the four other funds were under collected by $3.4 million.

Sales tax collections were $16.6 million less than the estimate for December. The December growth rate was negative 2.88%. For five months, revenues are undercollected by $138.6 million, and the growth rate is negative 6.65%.

Franchise and excise taxes combined were $29.5 million below the budgeted estimate of $143.8 million. For five months revenues are undercollected by $5.4 million.

Gasoline and motor fuel collections for December decreased by 2.70%, and they were $4.3 million below the budgeted estimate of $66.7 million. For five months, revenues are undercollected by $9.9 million.

Tobacco tax collections were $5.6 million below the budgeted estimate of $25.7 million, and for five months they are $3.8 million above the budgeted estimate.

Inheritance and estate taxes were overcollected by $2.6 million for the month.

All other taxes were undercollected by a net of $800,000.

Year-to-date collections for five months were $169 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was undercollected by $147.1 million, and the four other funds were undercollected by $21.9 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2009-2010 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation adopted by the second session of the 106th General Assembly in May 2009, and are available on the state’s website at http//www.tn.gov/finance/bud/budget.html.


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Local photographer captures image of supernova remnant


Bob Shartrand took this 3-hour image of Messier 1 on Sunday night, Jan. 10. The Crab Nebula, Messier 1 (M1, NGC 1952), is the most famous and conspicuous known supernova remnant, the expanding cloud of gas created in the explosion of a star as a supernova, which was observed in the year 1054 AD. It shines as a nebula of magnitude 8.4 near the southern “horn” of Taurus, the Bull.


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