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Archives 03-10-2010


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A.H. Roberts Elementary awarded $100,000
Four walk away from 3-car crash Saturday
Architects narrowed to two for LA addition

A.H. Roberts Elementary awarded $100,000

Darren Oliver photo
A.H. Roberts Elementary School students, faculty, and friends and U.S. Cellular associates celebrate as the school is notified it has won $100,000 in the U.S. Cellular $1 million Calling All Communities campaign on Wednesday, March 3. Among those on hand are Clara Hale, Maddie Shaw, Macie Hill, Kendra Brown, Mariah Cravens, Eduardo Hernandez, Suzanna Hayes, Nicholas Geesling, Robbie Robinson, U.S. Cellular mascot Cellby, Nathan Carwile, Principal Bridgett Carwile, Director of Sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee Jack Brundige. A.H. Roberts Elementary School faculty, students, and community members thought they were going to a preview of the school science fair until a parade of about 30 U.S. Cellular associates burst into the gymnasium, tossing T-shirts and launching confetti everywhere and surprising them with the good news.

When more than 30 cheering U.S. Cellular associates burst into their gym Wednesday, March 3, A.H. Roberts future scientists discovered something amazing was about to happen. The school’s 600-plus students and faculty had gathered for a special preview of the science fair when they learned it had become the ninth school to receive $100,000 in the company’s 2010 Calling All Communities campaign.

A.H. Roberts Principal Bridgett Carwile, who got the $100,000 call one day before the surprise announcement, said, “This is a once in a lifetime thing. We knew we had done well, but we had no idea we had won. This is such a small community but when we saw all of the support we were getting, we knew we could do it.”

Word of the win spread quickly through the town. Community members and parents joined the celebration as U.S. Cellular associates tossed T-shirts and 100 Grand candy bars to the excited students. Glitter, tears, and squeals of joy were everywhere.

Each year, 10 schools that garner the most community votes during the campaign split $1 million from U.S. Cellular to use any way they choose.

A.H. Roberts broke into the Top 20 early in the campaign before slipping out in December. The Overton County elementary school worked with businesses to hold drawings and even raffle off a Wii video game system to encourage support. Their efforts helped the school rebound in the final weeks to win.

Carwile said the school hasn’t decided how to spend the jackpot, but it definitely needs a technology upgrade.

“Our computers are refurbished and dying,” she said. “They need to be replaced.”

A.H. Roberts became the second Tennessee school to take home the prize
this year and the fourth Tennessee champion in the campaign’s history, resulting in $400,000 invested in schools within the state. Seymour High School’s win was announced on February 9. Heritage High School in Maryville and Bearden High School in Knoxville came out on top in 2009.

Jack Brundige, director of sales for U.S. Cellular, said, “I’m not surprised that the tremendous heart of Tennessee communities has led to another win.

Our associates experience the power of these communities every day and we were thrilled to be able to give back to our local schools.”

Calling All Communities voter participation this year nearly quadrupled with 430,000 votes cast for 6,800-plus schools nationwide. The final winning school will be announced this week, completing the Top 10 winner’s circle that also includes schools in Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. Visit

uscellular.com/callingallcommunities or U.S. Cellular’s Facebook page to view the results.


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Four walk away from 3-car crash Saturday


This 2006 Nissan Altima, driven by James Gibson, went under the Chevy truck’s bed.


This 2004 Chevy Silverado, driven by Gerald Collins, was knocked into the Ford pickup.


This 2005 Ford F150, driven by Raymond Lewis, was struck head-on by the Chevy truck.

According to reports, Gerald Collins, 66, of the Alpine area, was driving a white 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup south around 6:15 p.m. Saturday, March 6 when he stopped to turn from Highway 111 onto Dogwalk Road near Jessie’s Market.

While he and his wife, Betty Lou, a passenger in the truck, waited for traffic to clear, a 2006 Nissan Altima stuck the truck in the rear and knocked it into the northbound path of a 2005 Ford F150 driven by Raymond Lewis, 63, of Florida. The vehicles collided head-on.

Mrs. Collins was uninjured, but Mr. Collins suffered facial
injuries and was taken to Livingston Regional Hospital before being flown to Vanderbilt Hospital.

Lewis was transported to LRH, where he was treated and released.

The driver of the Altima, James Gibson, 20, of Byrdstown, was uninjured.

He told Trooper Goolsby he was changing the radio station, looked up, and crashed. Gibson was cited for Failure to Yield.

Wade Williams of Tennesse Highway Patrol assisted in the investigation, and Overton County Sheriff’s Department assisted with traffic control.


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Architects narrowed to two for LA addition
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN Sports

Overton County Board of Education will meet in regular session Monday, March 15 at the Central Education Office, as directed by Chairman Hill.
An open door work session will begin at 6 p.m., and the Board meeting will start at 7 p.m.

An item to be addressed in the work session is further questioning architect firms on adding rooms at Livingston Academy. In the work session held Tuesday, March 2, four prospective architect firms gave presentations about the project, which call for creating a more appropriate CDC suite for special needs students and for improving the agriculture area.

The field was then narrowed to the two designs that appeared to be the most favorable, in both design and cost. Cockrill Design & Planning and Upland Design Group will be brought back for further consideration of their plans.

Maintenance Supervisor Terry Webb suggested checking references on
projects the firms have worked on.

Board member Houston Robbins added, “I think also adding to that, in talking to those people, we might want to see if they’ve had any problems and what kind of a response these engineers have had going back to them and taking care of their problems.”

Also in the work session, School Board members were directed to fill out
their evaluations of Director of Schools Matt Eldridge.

This year, the School Board changed what constitutes a successful evaluation to 3.5 on a 5.0 scale instead of the 3.0 that had been the previous benchmark.

Before the level was raised, Director Eldridge was asked his opinion of
making the change.

“You all make the rules, not me,” Director Eldridge said. “I’ve tried to work. I’ll do the best I can. Like I told you, if it’s not good enough, I don’t need to be here. So, whatever you all say, I’m okay with it.”

Board members Lenard Ledbetter, Howard Miller, and Ray Smith were absent from the March 2 work session.


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