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Archives 01-18-2011

News

Flag flown over Iraq presented to county
Snow days almost gone, contingency plan approved
THP officially identifies woman who died in crash
Steady snow renders county saltless

 

Flag flown over Iraq presented to county

Lyndon Johnson photo
1SG Terry Melton presents County Mayor Ron Cyrus with a flag that was flown over Joint Base Balad, Iraq at the regular meeting of the county commission on Thursday, Jan. 13 as SSG Mike Litchford of the Livingston National Guard Armory and members of the county commission look on. The flag was presented on behalf of the National Guard 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

The folded and framed flag is accompanied by the three-star 278th’s regimental patch and a patch bearing the crossed sabers representing the origins of armed cavalry created by John Sevier and the original mounted milita formed to fight the British during the Battle of Kings Mountain, NC during the Revolutionary War. Also inside the frame is an official document reading “This is to certify that the accompanying flag was flown over Enforcer Troop, 2/278th ACR Command Post, Joint Base Balad, Iraq on 15 May 2010, in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This flag is presented to Overton County Government as a symbol of the sovereign power of the United States of America and the unshakable resolve to keep our country safe.” The document is signed by Melton and Cpt. Everett T. Bishop.

Cyrus thanked Melton and Litchford for presenting the flag and thanked the 278th for its service in Iraq.


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Snow days almost gone, contingency plan approved

By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

A contingency schedule in case of more lost days due to weather was approved during the regular monthly meeting of Overton County Board of Education held Monday, Jan. 17, with all members present.

The amendment to the school calendar was presented to the School Board by Director of Schools Matt Eldridge in a work session held prior to the regular monthly legislative session.

“We’ve got one more snow day left,” Eldridge told the Board, “and what we would do, if we miss another snow day, it’s going to be that snow day, then we’ve got President’s Day, we’ve got Good Friday we can take, we’ve got the last two days of school, which would be May 27 and 28 we could move up from, I think, it’s the 25th and 26th we could move those to the 27th and 28th and have two days there, and then we would hit Spring Break.”

He also informed the School Board that he and Transportation Supervisor Harold Watson had looked at creating snow routes.

“It’s kind of not feasible to do snow routes,” Eldridge said. “If we do it, now we can, but let’s say we met at Hardy’s Chapel school to pick a load of kids up, we pick them up, that’s not a problem. But when you take them back in the evening to drop them off and there’s nobody there, you can’t drop them off.”

He said most systems that run snow routes are metropolitan areas where the children can walk about a block to get home.

Watson said, “You could probably run 111, 52, 84, 136, 85, but after that people, all of ours are off the road.”

In the legislative session, IDEA Part B ARRA Carryover Budget Amendment #1 was approved.

Posting a countywide Special Education assistant position was approved. The assistant is needed to interpret through sign for a student who has come back into the Overton County school system.

The School Board approved the minutes of the December 20, 2010 meeting.

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

•Hired Tiffany Good, effective December 1, 2010 as a Special Education bus attendant to be paid from Federal Project-attendants, as recommended by Special Education Supervisor Sheila Pemberton.

•Hired Heather Melton, effective January 3, 2011, at Overton County Central Education Office as bookkeeper, as recommended by Director Matt Eldridge.

•Hired Ashley Mitchell, effective January 3, 2011, as interim elementary teacher at Allons Elementary, as recommended by Principal Wayne Sells.

•Hired Danica Cobb, effective January 3, 2011, as interim elementary teacher at Rickman Elementary, as recommended by Principal Amy Brown.

Director Eldridge went over the school system report card with the School Board in the work session.

“It shows you they’re teaching them what they’re supposed to per grade,” he said, “but when you talk individualized kids, we’re not making it as good as we need to for that individual child.”

Board member Ray Smith asked, “We’re just getting by, is that what you’re saying?”

Eldridge answered, “Achievement, no, we’re better than getting by, on AYP (Average Yearly Progress) we’re not where we need to be.”

Also in the work session, Board member Kelly Hill asked Director Eldridge about an English final test being stolen at the high school. Director Eldridge said he did not know about it, but he would find out.

Hill was concerned about how grades were determined if the test could not be factored in.


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THP officially identifies woman who died in crash

By Lyndon Johnson,
OCN staff

Tennessee Highway Patrol officials have released the name of a woman killed in a fiery one-car crash in the Willow Grove community Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.

According to the updated THP crash report, Maria A. Padilla, 31, of Myers Drive, Murfreesboro, was killed in the crash.

Padilla was an active skater with the Sprinters Speed Club in Murfreesboro, according to the obituary that ran in The Murfreesboro Post Monday, Dec. 20, 2010. According to that obituary posting, her funeral was held Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010, and she left behind a husband, Chris Padilla, and three daughters who were not named. The Sprinters Speed Club still had a memorial photo gallery for Padilla on its website this week.

Attempts by Overton County News to reach out to Sprinters Speed Club for comment were not answered before this edition went to press.
THP also released confirmation that the vehicle was a 2001 Toyota Celica, though the report said its license number and registration information was still unknown.

The report said investigators still have not determined who the driver of the vehicle was. Toxicology results from a drug and alcohol test that was ordered to be performed on the other occupant of the car and crash survivor, John W. Daniels, 26, of Allons, were not yet available, according to THP sources.

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Steady snow renders county saltless

Dewain Peek photo
A vehicle ventures down Walnut Grove Road last week after steady snowfall left many secondary roads in the county treacherous and the county’s salt supplies strained. By contrast, Tennessee Highway 85, foreground, is relatively clean.

By Lyndon Johnson,
OCN staff

Any driver worth his salt knows there’s one commodity in demand when winter precipitation leaves road conditions treacherous: salt.

After a snowy Christmas and a week’s worth of on-again, off-again snowfall last week, area highway departments have already spread more salt on area roads than they sometimes do in the course of an entire winter. In fact, Overton County Highway Department ran out of the snow- and ice-melting granules in the middle of last week’s snowfall.

According to Mark Gore with Overton County Highway Department, as of Friday, Jan. 14, the county had “been out for the last three or four days and couldn’t get none. They had a barge come in yesterday, and we went and got two loads this morning early.”

Gore said while the county was without salt, trucks still ran regularly on area roads in an attempt to scrape off whatever they could.

“It froze so hard, when we tried to plow, the plows just sat on top of the ice and scooted the snow off and made it slicker. It just froze so hard we couldn’t do nothing with it,” he said.

“We went and got salt today, and it’s melting pretty good today, too. It’s helping us a lot that the sun is out. We hadn’t had sun in I don’t know how long,” he added.

Gore said with the two additional truckloads now at the ready, the county probably has enough salt for “two snows.

“We’ve got 750 miles of roads...there ain’t no way, it’d break our whole budget if we tried to salt all of them. We kind of know where they have trouble getting up around curves and we just kind of salt so we can keep the traffic going.”

For its part, the Town of Livingston is sitting on a sound supply of sodium chloride. According to Mayor Curtis Hayes, the city’s Street Department has an estimated “150 to 200 tons” of salt remaining after using “about 300 tons of rock salt” so far this season. Hayes estimated that would be enough to get the town through “two more snows the size of this one, or three or four smaller snows.”

Hayes said, “I want to send out a special thanks to the Livingston Street Department under the direction of Supervisor Bruce Dickson. He and our team have worked 12- to 14-hour days to keep the streets of Livingston safe from ice and snow.”

The mayor said he had fielded calls from county residents asking why the city didn’t let the county have some of the street department’s salt reserves.
“Due to the fact that we’re just now in the early part of winter, and with the future forecast that predicts snow, I felt it would be in the best interest for Livingston to keep all the salt we’ve got in reserve,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I’m out for the best interest for the city of Livingston, and our main concern is taking care of the streets in the corporate limits of Livingston.”

The mayor advised Overton County News that the city purchases its salt supplies in the middle of summer, and that its last order in the summer of 2010 cost $86.95 per ton. At that price, the city has already spread an estimated $26,085 worth of salt on the streets of Livingston this winter.
Over at the Tennessee Department of Transportation highway maintenance garage, Billy Joe Gore said this round of snow had depleted the local supply of salt destined for keeping state roads clear of future ice and snow, but there was little need for concern.

Billy Joe Gore said, “We’re getting a little low, but we’ve probably got 140 to 150 tons of salt on-hand right now. So we’re not completely out , but you know, I’m assuming everyone across the state is probably in the same boat we are. This is probably the worst we’ve had it this early in the year. We’ve used quite a bit of salt this year.

“They are supposed to be bringing us some more within the next week. We could handle another snow or two until we get that.”



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