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80 Years Ago

Archives 03-22-2011


Friday rollover crash injures one
School Board approves teacher buyouts, calendar
Meth lab bust started with “raising cane”
County unemployment rate jumps to 13% in January

Friday rollover crash injures one

Lyndon Johnson photo
Overton County EMS staff work to free a woman from an overturned car after it crashed on Monterey Highway on the afternoon of Friday, March 18. According to preliminary reports from Tennessee Highway Patrol officials, Deanna M. Pritchard, 36, of Byrdstown was driving a tan 1995 Buick Riviera down the highway when the car left the roadway, eventually ending up on its roof in a ditch on the southbound side of the road near Industrial Park Circle. Pritchard was transported from the scene via helicopter. No further information was available from THP officials at press time. Trooper Stanley Roberts investigated the crash.

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School Board approves teacher buyouts, calendar
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education held the regular monthly meeting Monday, March 21, with members Kelly Hill, Dolphus Dial, Larry Looper, Lenard Ledbetter, Ricky Dodson, Howard Miller, Mike Gilpatrick, Ray Smith, and Chairman Houston Robbins present and member David Sadler Sr. absent.

A plan to offer buyouts to teachers with 35 to 42 years with the system was approved. In the work session held immediately prior to the regular meeting, Director of Schools Matt Eldridge said the system will save money if buyouts are taken because new hires will have a lower pay level than those they will be replacing.

Qualifying teachers will have until May 1 to take the buyout. Those who opt for the buyout will not be allowed to be hired back in any capacity, not even for a 100-day contract.

In the work session, Board member Dolphus Dial emphasized, “They’ve got a choice. We’re not forcing them.”

According to Director Eldridge, Overton County has 42 teachers with over 30 years in the system, and 22 of those fall into the 35 to 42 year range.

The School Board approved allowing the school nutrition program to join the Upper Cumberland Buying Group, which, according to School Nutrition Supervisor Melissa Savage, is a coalition of 11 counties joined to leverage better food prices for all of the 75 schools involved.

Mid-State Construction’s low bid, $308,000, for the CDC room at Livingston Academy was approved.

Taking bids on a fence at Wilson Elementary and a fence at Hilham Elementary was approved.

The 2011-2012 Overton County School Calendar was approved as follows:
June 21 – Teacher in-service, mandated (kindergarten/1st grade).

June 22 – Teacher in-service, mandated (2nd/3rd grade).

June 23 – Teacher in-service, mandated (4th/5th grade).

June 28 – Teacher in-service, mandated (6th, 7th, 8th grade).

August 1 – Teacher in-service (Math textbook adoption TBA).

August 2 – Teacher in-service.

August 3 – Teacher in-service.

August 4 – Teacher in-service, mandated at LA.

August 5 – Students register (Abbreviated #1);

August 8 – Discretionary administrative #1 teacher work day(no students).

August 9 – First full day of school.

September 5 – Discretionary administrative #2 Labor Day (no students).

October 10-14 – Fall Break.

November 11 – Veterans Day (no school).

November 23 – Discretionary administrative #3/parent-teacher conferences (no students).

November 24-25 – Thanksgiving holiday (no school).

December 16 – Abbreviated day #2.

December 19-30 – Christmas Break.

January 2 –  Staff development day-snow stockpiled day (no students).

January 3 – Back to school.

January 16 – Discretionary administrative #4 Martin Luther King Day (no

February 20 – Presidents Day holiday (no school).

March 12-16 – Spring Break.

April 6 – Good Friday (no school).

April 16-20 – TCAP achievement test.

May 21 – Last full day of school.

May 22 – Staff development day-snow stockpiled day (no students).

May 23 – Discretionary day #5/teacher work day (no students).

May 24 – Abbreviated day #3. Last day of school.

In consent items, Hilham Elementary’s Jr. Beta Club was approved to take an overnight trip May 2 to May 3 to Wilderness of the Smokies in Pigeon Forge.

Livingston Academy Band’s spring trip May 13 to May 14 to Six Flags Park in Atlanta, GA, was approved.

A.H. Roberts Elementary’s 1st grade trip to Knoxville Zoo on April 29, 2011 was approved.

A.H. Roberts Elementary’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade trip May 12 to Dollywood for the Accelerated Reading Program was approved.

A.H. Roberts Elementary’s 4th grade trip May 17 to Tennessee State Museum, the Capitol, and the Hermitage was approved.

Rickman Elementary’s kindergarten trip to the Nashville Zoo was approved.

Paulette Carr’s resignation as custodian at Livingston Academy, due to health reasons, was approved.

Director Eldridge issued the Director’s Report to the School Board.

Actions taken by the school director are as follows:

•Granted maternity leave of absence to Stacy Shaw, effective February 2, 2011 to April 15, 2011.

•Hired William Hutchins, effective November 2, 2010, as wrestling coach at Livingston Academy, as recommended by Director of Schools Matt Eldridge.

•Hired Danica Cobb, effective January 3, 2011, as an instructor in the 21st Century afterschool program at Rickman Elementary, as recommended by program coordinators Kelly Pendergrass and Rebekah Sims.

•Hired Mike Smith, effective February 15, 2011, as maintenance/groundskeeper, as recommended by Director of Schools Matt Eldridge.

•Hired Tracey Williams, effective February 15, 2011, at Hilham Elmentary to fill Kim Dial’s leave of absence, as recommended by Principal Jessica Bilbrey.

•Hired the following non-certified substitute teachers: Penny Brown, Joyce Lambert, Nancy Morris, and Stephanie McLerran.

•Hired the following certified substitute teachers: Anna Melton, Jennifer Daniels, Deloris Turnbull, and Jessica St. Claire.

Results of the School Board’s required evaluation of Director Eldridge’s job performance were announced in the work session. Average scoring went as follows: Board Relationships – 3.89; Community Relationships – 4.04; Staff and Personnel Relationships – 3.96; Educational Leadership – 4.08; Business and Finances – 3.85; and Strategic Planning Skills – 3.73. His total average score was 3.93, which is above the 3.5 needed for his contract to be renewed for its optional third year.

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Meth lab bust started with “raising cane”

OCSD photo
Components of what authorities say was a working meth lab are gathered on the porch of a residence at 1670 Cedar Chapel Road in Crawford Friday, March 18. The meth lab was reportedly dismantled and all hazardous materials disposed of by professionals from the Meth Task Force.

Savage Stamps as he appeared when arrested by authorities for driving on a revoked license. Investigation after the traffic stop led authorities to bust an alleged meth lab in the Crawford community March 18.

By Lyndon Johnson,
OCN staff

A man who authorities say was “raising cane” apparently did so in the wrong place: Monterey Police Chief Kevin Phillips’ driveway.

The resulting investigation led to Overton County, where sheriff’s deputies allege they found an operating meth lab at a residence on Cedar Chapel Road in the Crawford community.

According to an article published in the Monterey Hilltop Express Monday, Phillips woke up early on the morning of Friday, March 18 “to hear
someone ‘raising cane’ at the end of his driveway.

“He got dressed, and jumped in his vechicle to follow the suspects,” the newspaper reported. Phillips then reportedly radioed for assistance from Monterey Police Officer Donathan Durham, who attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle allegedly did not stop for Durham and later had to be forced “off the road,” according to the Hilltop Express.

That traffic stop led to a charge of driving on a revoked license for Savage Stamps of Monterey. A passenger in the vehicle, whose name was not given in the report, was not charged.

Investigation on the heels of the traffic stop led authorities to a home located at 1670 Cedar Chapel Road in Crawford, where according to a statement from Overton County Sheriff’s Department, deputies had been told two people were wanted on warrants in White and Putnam counties.

“When law enforcement arrived at the residence, officers could see a meth lab had been in production in the kitchen area, along with people inside the residence,” said a statement issued by OCSD.

Officers from OCSD and Monterey Police entered the home to find Ernest Walker and Sarah Bilbrey, both of Monterey, “hiding in a bedroom,” according to the statement. Also found was one Rebecca Puckett. OCSD did not provide ages on the individuals, nor did the department specify who among them was wanted or on what charges they were wanted before press time.

Officers allege “components of a meth lab were found in the residence throughout the home.” According to the statement from OCSD, Meth Task Force officers Steve Hritz and James Elliott disposed of the lab, and the Meth Task Force response truck was called to the scene along with a professional hazardous materials handling and clean-up crew.

OCSD is urging anyone who may have information regarding meth labs or other criminal activity in Overton County to contact the Overton County Sheriff’s Department Investigation Division by calling (931) 403-5660.


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County unemployment rate jumps to 13% in January
County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for January 2011, released March 10, show that the rate increased in all 95 counties.

Overton County’s unemployment rate was 13% for January, up from 9.4% in December. Overton had 1,330 unemployed of a workforce of 10,190.

Overton County is included in the Cookeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, along with Putnam County and Jackson County. Unemployment in the Cookeville MSA rose from 8.9% in December to 10.5% in January, with 5,420 unemployed of a workforce of 51,610.

Jackson County’s unemployment rate went up from 10.5% in December to 12.4% in January. Jackson had 620 unemployed of a workforce of 4,990.

Putnam County’s unemployment rate went up from 8.5% in December to 9.6% in January. Putnam had 3,480 unemployed of a workforce of 36,420.

Clay County’s unemployment rate went up from 12.1% in December to 13.6% in January. Clay had 460 unemployed of a labor force of 3,370.

Fentress County’s unemployment rate went up from 11.1% to 13.1% in January. Fentress had 1,040 unemployed of a workforce of 7,890.

Williamson County registered the state’s lowest county unemployment rate at 6.7%, up from the December rate of 6.2%.

Scott County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 23.2%, up from 19.7% in the previous month, followed by Pickett County at 18.4%, up from the December rate of 15.4%. Pickett had 340 unemployed of a workforce of 1,860.

Unemployment information is available online at http://www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd/labor_figures/jan2011county.pdf.
Tennessee’s unemployment rate for January was 9.5%, up 0.1 from the December rate. The national unemployment rate for January 2011 was 9%, 0.4 percentage point lower than the December rate.

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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