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Archives 09-22-2010

News

School zone safety urged
Another meth lab found at same site
School Board raises starting pay to $9/hour
LPD to hold drug take-back, urges proper needle disposal

County unemployment rate remains at 11.1% in July

School zone safety urged


Lyndon Johnson photo
School buses have become a common sight on Overton County roads once again as schools are in session. Law enforcement officials advise that motorists should exercise caution around school buses and stop whenever a bus is displaying its stop sign and flashing lights. They also urge caution in school zones.

With school back in session, Livingston Police Department is reminding everyone to be more observant of surroundings when driving.

School Resource Officer Logan Carpenter cautioned, “Remember that when a school bus is stopped, the lights are flashing, and the stop sign extended that our kids are getting on or off the bus.

“Also, when picking up children at school, drive with caution and be aware of the children in the area.

“Again, in the interest of our children’s safety, please be observant and drive safely.”

Tennessee Highway Patrol is cracking down on motorists who disregard laws designed to protect children and monitoring school zones and bus stops are just a few components of the enforcement effort.

Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell said, “The goal of the Tennessee Highway Patrol is to help local law enforcement and schools protect children from drivers who may be distracted, impatient or careless.”

State troopers are urging caregivers to educate children on safety measures when walking, biking or riding the bus to school.

Motorists should be aware that the speed limit is 15 mph in school zones and the fine for speeding in a school zone is up to $500. It is also against the law to pass a school bus when it is stopped and loading or unloading passengers. The driver can be fined no less than $250 and up to $1,000.

In 2009, state troopers issued 5,445 citations in school zones. Of those citations, 973 were speeding violations, while one citation was handed out for passing a stopped school bus. Since 2006, there has been a 15.9% decrease in the number of crashes occurring in school zones between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and the hours of 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There was also a 13.5% decline in the number of school bus-related crashes between those same hours.

National Safety Council (NSC) reports approximately 26 students were killed while they were entering or exiting a bus in the U.S. last year.

For more facts, figures, and safety tips visit the website at www.TN.Gov/Safety.


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Another meth lab found at same site
A residence on Tommy Dodson Highway was investigated for an alleged methamphetamine lab on Thursday, Sept. 16.

According to reports, Overton County Sheriff’s Department received information that a meth lab was at the residence and officers went to 511 Tommy Dodson Highway and gained consent to search. During the search, officers allegedly found ingredients to make methamphetamine.

Sheriff W.B. Melton stated, “This is the second meth lab found at this residence in the past three weeks.”

Michael Carmack, 39, was arrested for Theft of Services and Criminal Trespassing. Other charges are pending, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Overton County Sheriff’s Department was assisted by Haz-Mat Disposal and the Meth Task Force Response truck.

Anyone with information on illegal activity is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Dept. at (931) 823-5635.

“All calls are kept confidential,” Sheriff Melton stated.



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School Board raises starting pay to $9/hour
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education held the regular monthly meeting Monday, Sept. 20 and raised the stating non-teaching pay to $9 per hour and moved current employees who are not at that level up to $9 per hour.

Director of Schools Matt Eldridge said the raise would cost $8,175 to pay for this year, including backpay to the start of the school year.

A coaching supplement of $750 was approved for elementary baseball, softball, and volleyball.

Giving a $3 per hour raise to bus mechanic Noah Hinson did not pass. School Board members Lenard Ledbetter, Houston Robbins, Ray Smith, Dolphus Dial, and Mike Gilpatrick voted against the raise, and David Sadler, Larry Looper, Ricky Dodson, Howard Miller, and Kelly Hill voted for it.

The percentage TCAP testing will count toward student final average was set at 15%.

The 2010-2011 Extended Contract/Extended Learning Program was approved. The total amount of the program is $74,500, with $63,800 for direct services and $10,700 for benefits.

The School Board approved the 2010-2011 Safe Schools Act of 1998 Application for Funding. The allocation of $21,800 plus required local match of $2,600, for total funds of $24,400, will be used to help fund an Alternative School teacher.

The revised 2010-11 General Purpose School Fund Budget was approved.

Brandon Grizzard’s resignation as school counselor at Wilson Elementary was approved. Grizzard has taken a counselor position in Putnam County.

Houston Robbins was elected as School Board chairman, and Howard Miller was elected vice chairman for the 2010-2011 school year.

Management personnel were designated as follows: Diane Sadler, Terry Webb, and Teresa Johnson.

Diane Sadler was approved as chief negotiator for Overton County Board of Education, and Teresa Johnson was approved as a team member.

Mike Gilpatrick was appointed as TLN representative for the 2010-2011 year.

Posting a Physical Education position at Livingston Academy to fill the vacancy from Misty Garrett’s transfer was approved, as was posting an educational assistant position at Livingston Academy and at Rickman Elementary.

Second reading to delete Policy 1.103–Board Self-Evaluation from Overton County Board Policy was approved.

Taking bids on paving parking lots at A.H. Roberts Elementary and Hilham Elementary was approved.

Before the meeting adjourned, new School Board members were given an opportunity to speak.

New member Ricky Dodson said, “I just look forward to working with everybody here.”

And new member, and former school director, Mike Gilpatrick said, “Well, it’s good to be back with you all. I’ve been away for a while but I will enjoy looking at it from a different perspective.”



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LPD to hold drug take-back, urges proper needle disposal
Livingston Police Department will participate in a national take-back initiative sponsored by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The initiative will allow the public to surrender expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances to law enforcement.

DEA will coordinate with LPD and other participating agencies in a collaborative effort to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances.

Livingston Police Chief Greg Etheredge stated, “Anyone with any unwanted or unused medication are urged to bring them to the Livingston Police Department on September 25, 2010 and help keep our streets clean of unused pharmaceutical medications.”

The Police Department is also reminding citizens to not put hypodermic needles in with their garbage.

Chief Etheredge stated, “During the past two week, we have had several instances where the street department personnel have discovered hypodermic needles in the garbage. This creates a serious danger of personal injury and contamination to these workers.”

In 2009, the City of Livingston passed an ordinance strictly prohibiting placing needles in the garbage. The penalties for doing this can include loss of garbage service to a residence in violation. In addition, criminal charges, including reckless endangerment, could result in a homeowner’s arrest.

Livingston Police Department in conjunction with Livingston Regional Hospital has agreed to accept Livingston residents’ hypodermic needles in appropriate sharps containers for disposal.

“So, please use safe practices when disposing of hypodermic needles,” Chief Etheredge stated.


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County unemployment rate remains at 11.1% in July
County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for July 2010, released August 26, show that the rate decreased in 87 counties, increased in 5 counties, and remained the same in 3 counties.

Overton County’s unemployment rate was 11.1% for July, the same as in June. Overton had 1,090 unemployed of a workforce of 9,800.

Overton County is included in the Cookeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, along with Putnam County and Jackson County. Unemployment in the Cookeville MSA went down from 10% to 9.7% in July, with 4,810 unemployed of a workforce of 49,750.

Jackson County’s unemployment rate went down from 11.9% in June to 11.4% in July. Jackson had 550 unemployed of a workforce of 4,860.

Putnam County’s unemployment rate went down from 9.4% in June to 9% in July. Putnam had 3,160 unemployed of a workforce of 35,090.

Clay County’s unemployment rate went down from 12.4% in June to 11.2% in July. Clay had 380 unemployed of a labor force of 3,370.

Fentress County’s unemployment rate went down from 11.7% to 11.1% in July. Fentress had 900 unemployed of a workforce of 8,110.

Pickett County’s unemployment rate went down from 13.7% to 12.1% in July. Pickett County had 220 unemployed of a workforce of 1,850.


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Overton County News
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Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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