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80 Years Ago

Archives 09-08-2010


Fugitive captured
Purdue University student killed in boating accident
National Rolley Hole Marble Championship this weekend
Commodities distribution set for Sept. 14


Fugitive captured

SWAT team members gather at Livingston Police Department to coordinate for the extraction.

Aaron Levi Schmidt was wanted in Arizona in connection with a murder.

SWAT teams from Livingston Police Department and Overton County Sheriff’s Department backed by U.S. Marshals and a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter arrested an accused suspect in a Phoenix, AZ, homicide Tuesday night, Aug. 31 in Livingston.

Aaron Levi Schmidt, 28, was wanted by Phoenix Police Department in connection with an allegedly racially motivated shotgun slaying in Phoenix on October 3, 2009.

Schmidt was arrested after a search warrant was executed at at his home at 167 School Mountain Road in Livingston. He had apparently been living there since June or July.

The search warrant, signed by Livingston Police Chief Greg Etheredge, was based on information from Detectives Raymond Roe and Paul Dalton of the Violent Crime Bureau Homicide Unit of Phoenix Police Department, and from Special Agent Steve Huntley of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Phoenix Police reported that on October 3, 2009, in the Sunny Slope area of Phoenix, a white male with a shaved head and tattoos confronted a black male, Jeffrey Wellmaker, who was with a white female, Kelley Jaeger, 39.

Wellmaker was the subject of racial slurs and Jaeger was questioned about her association with the black male. Later two males returned in a vehicle and one fired two shotgun blasts killing Kelley Jaeger. It is believed the shooter was attempting to shoot Wellmaker, but struck Jaeger.

Aaron Schmidt is accused of driving the vehicle from which the shotgun was fired.

According to Livingston Police, Schmidt has a lengthly criminal history that includes assaults, resisting arrest, escape, and weapons charges.

Based on Schmidt’s criminal past and the nature of the pending charges, Det. Jacob Boswell of Livingston Police Department and Robert Garrett of Overton County Sheriff’s Department, who are the designated SWAT commanders, Sheriff W.B. Melton, Chief Etheredge, TBI, THP, U.S. Marshals, and the District Attorney’s Office made the decision to deploy the tactical units to secure the residence and apprehend Schmidt.

According to authorities, surveillance teams were deployed by U.S. Marshals and TBI hours before the raid. At approximately midnight, the raid took place with a THP helicopter conducting aerial surveillance, spotlighting the home. Flashbang diversion devices were used and entry was made into the home. The suspect was apprehended without incident.

Five suspects were charged with crimes in the Pheonix incident. With Schmidt in custody, four of the five had been arrested as of September 1, including the shooter, who is not identified. Three of the suspects were arrested in Phoenix and one is still at large. Schmidt and other suspects are believed to be members of the Vinlanders Social Club, an accused Neo-Nazi skinhead group located in Phoenix.

Schmidt was taken to Overton County Jail awaiting extradition to Phoenix.

His wife, Michelle Schmidt, was also arrested and charged with Accessory After the Fact in Overton County. Her case is still pending.

District Attorney Randy York stated, “I am very pleased with how the operation proceeded and that no one was injured. The police department and sheriff’s department were very professional and executed the plan with surgical precision, and I am very proud to serve with them.”


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Purdue University student killed in boating accident
A 22 year-old Purdue University nursing student from Chicago was killed in a boating accident early Saturday morning, Sept. 4 on Dale Hollow Lake.

According to reports from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, a 19-foot Four Winds pleasure boat carrying the victim, Kathryn Traynor, along with six other passengers ran ashore and flipped on top of her, pinning her underneath. She died from her injuries.

Officials with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said the accident happened at around 3 a.m., but what exactly caused the boat to run ashore was still unclear.

The six other passengers on the boat were taken to area hospitals for treatment. One said to have the worst injuries to his neck and head was taken to Cookeville Regional Medical Center. He and the other passengers were treated and released.

This year was reportedly the sixth time the group had visited Dale Hollow Lake.

Officials said they drew blood from the boat operator to test for the presence of alcohol, but could not yet determine if alcohol played a factor in the crash. TWRA officers Bill Moulton and Craig Norris responded to the accident scene along with a crew from the Clinton County, KY, Rescue Squad. TWRA officer Matt Majors investigated the accident and said that having no proper lookout scanning the water for obstacles may have been a contributing factor in the incident. No charges have been filed at this time.

The incident was similar to one that happened in September of 2006, when a boat carrying eight passengers ran aground on a sandbar and flipped multiple times, ejecting many of the passengers and killing 45 year old Robin Bentley of Martinsville, IN. In that incident, the boat operator wa charged with boating under the influence.

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National Rolley Hole Marble Championship this weekend

Wanda Krack photo

The 28th annual National Rolley Hole Marble Championship and Marbles Festival will be held at Standing Stone State Park this Saturday, Sept. 11 starting at 8 a.m. Admission is free.

The event has been featured on ESPN, the ABC Evening News, Sports Illustrated, CBS, Smithsonian Institution, CNN, National Geographic, Southern Living magazine, and many more.

Those attending the festival will be able to participate in a variety of activities, including marble-making, a swap meet, demonstrations, live bluegrass music, and food of all types. The festival will also include five separate marble tournaments, including the 28th annual National Rolley Hole Championship, ringer, Tennessee square, Georgia rolley hole, and British.

For those unfamiliar with the various types of marble games, rolley hole is a folk game similar to croquet, played on a dirt yard that measures 40 feet by 25 feet, with three holes placed approximately 10 feet apart. Teams consist of two players, each attempting to put his marble through a course of 12 holes.

Ringer is the official game of the National Marbles Tournament in Wildwood, NJ for children between the ages of 8 and 14. Versions of the game are played worldwide, but American rules call for two players, each with one shooter and 13 target marbles. The game is played within a 10-foot diameter circle painted on concrete.

Tennessee Square is a traditional Southern game that is still played in areas of northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky. The Glasgow, KY rules call for a 15-by-20-foot piece of carpet with a 10-foot square marked in paint or tape. Eight marbles are placed along this boundary, and one is in the center of the court. Two teams of two players each attempt to win all the target marbles, which are 1.5 inches in diameter or larger.

Georgia rolley hole is the traditional marbles game in the state of Georgia.
British game is played in a six-foot diameter ring that is dusted with fine sand. Some 49 marbles are then placed in the ring. There are four to six players on a team. The winner is the first team to knock 25 marbles out of the ring.

Standing Stone State Park is located 10 miles north of Livingston, just off highway 52. For information, contact the Park Office at (931) 823-6487.

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Commodities distribution set for Sept. 14
Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) will hold a commodities distribution for Overton County on Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon at Joe L. Evins Community Center, located at 480 West Broad Street in Livingston.

Distribution for Hanging Limb will be held at a later date.

Those receiving commodities must present valid UCHRA commodity cards. Persons may receive commodities for a total of three households if valid cards are presented at the distribution.

U.S.D.A.’s Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program is available to all eligible recipients regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap.

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