Overton County News Overton County News - An Award Winning Newspaper - Livingston, Tennessee
homeabout ussubscriptionskids cornerlocal linkscontact us
80 Years Ago



Safety urged in light of traffic stats, law changes
Meth bust here leads to another in Albany
Construction may disrupt water service

Safety urged in light of traffic stats, law changes

Darren Oliver photo
A pedestrian crosses the crosswalk on busy Main Street between the Courthouse and Livingston Post Office Tuesday morning, April 26. A new law up for vote in the State House this week would expand current traffic law to encourage motorists to be more mindful of pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

By Lyndon Johnson,
OCN staff

Ever wonder about the outcome of all those roadblocks and saturation campaigns held by sheriff’s deputies throughout Overton County? So did Overton County News.

A report obtained from Overton County Sheriff’s Department shows the results of roadblocks and saturation patrols held throughout the county in 2010. The report says deputies cited 361 motorists for speeding, 318 for violation of various light laws, and 209 for violation of seat belt laws in 2010 during routine roadblocks and saturation enforcement campaigns.

Among others topping the list of citations issued were window tint violations (159), registration violations (75), and violation of the financial responsibility law, which requires motorists to carry at least liability insurance on their automobile (44).

Lesser-cited violations included failure to heed traffic control devices (31), failure to comply with motorcycle helmet law (26), failure to yield (21), motor vehicle equipment violations (19), improper tag display (16), improper passing or traveling the wrong way in a given lane of traffic (15), improper turn (7), violation of the open container law (7), violation of child restraint law (6), following too closely (4), and reckless driving (2).

The sheriff’s department also provided Overton County News with a log showing all recorded inmate intakes categorized by offense. Of the 2,017 inmates charged with 3,761 crimes in 2010, 187 were charged with driving on a revoked or suspended license, while 183 were charged with DUI.

Sixteen motorists were booked into the jail in 2010 for leaving the scene of a crash– two of those for leaving the scene of an injury collision. And 82 were taken to jail for violating the implied consent law, whereby those who refuse to perform a field sobriety test or breathalyzer analysis are presumed to be guilty of DUI.

Among offenses for which smaller numbers of offenders were booked into jail, the log says 22 were jailed for violation of the open container law, six were booked for violation of seatbelt law, three were jailed for speeding offenses, 15 were taken to jail for violation of financial responsibility law, and eight were taken to jail for processing after being charged with reckless driving.

A bill recently passed by unanimous 31-0 vote in the Tennessee Senate and up for vote in the State House Wednesday, April 27 could add one more thing for Tennessee motorists to be mindful of: exercising due caution when passing pedestrians and bicyclists. The bill, SB1171/HB1007, sponsored by State Senator Andy Burke (D-Chattanooga) and State Representative Mike Stewart (D-Nashville), requires drivers to exercise due care when passing pedestrians and bicyclists on Tennessee roads.

According to the bill’s summary at www.capitol.tn.gov, under present law, a person commits an offense if that person (1) fails to drive on the right half of the roadway, (2) unlawfully overtakes and passes another vehicle, or (3) fails to yield right of way. The bill, if passed in the State House, would add three more things to that list of offenses: (1) failing to yield right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks, (2) failing to exercise due care, or (3) failing to overtake and pass a bicycle safely. The offenses would be Class C misdemeanors, upgraded to Class B misdemeanors with a maximum fine of $250 if they result in serious bodily injury of another and Class A misdemeanors with a maximum fine of $500 if they result in the death of another.

If passed, the additions to the law under Tennessee Code Annotated 55-8-136 would tentatively take effect Friday, July 1. Regardless of whether the changes are made to the law, Livingston Police Department has been urging motorists to exercise caution around pedestrians and other non-motorized traffic in the city, especially around the Courthouse Square.

“The Livingston Police Department would like to remind our citizens that a crosswalk has now been installed between the Post Office and the Courthouse on the square in Livingston,” says a press release dispatched by LPD Chief Greg Etheredge Monday, April 18. “This crosswalk was put into place by the State of Tennessee in cooperation with the City of Livingston to ensure pedestrian safety.

“Pedestrians have the right of way at this crosswalk, and drivers should be aware to slow down and watch for people crossing this street,” the release continues. “The speed limit going across the square is posted at 25 mph. The police department is now implementing a new program to actively enforce traffic safety in this area and around Livingston.”

In the release, Cpl. Ray Smith, who is now in charge of traffic enforcement, said, “We don’t want to write a bunch of tickets. What we want is to get drivers to simply slow down and be safe.”

top of page

Meth bust here leads to another in Albany

LPD photo
Items siezed in a meth bust by LPD last Wednesday, April 20 included glass jars, ingredients commonly used in meth manufacture including iodized salt and drain cleaner, a measuring scoop, white powder residue, loaded hypodermic needles, a spoon, and other items.

By Lyndon Johnson,
OCN staff

Livingston Police Department made a meth bust that led authorities in Albany, KY to an alleged meth lab in that city last week, according to LPD and Clinton County Sheriff’s Department officials.

LPD arrested Leah A. Claborn, 24, of Albany, KY when they received a tip that a car matching the description of the one she was driving was possibly headed to a drugstore in the area to purchase pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in methamphetamine manufacture.

LPD Chief Greg Etheredge said, “We were investigating individuals purchasing pseudephedrine here in Livingston for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. At about 8:30 [p.m.] on April the 20th, we encountered Ms. Leah Claborn attempting to purchase Sudafed. During the course of that investigation, a search of the car was conducted, where we found products commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine inside the vehicle and in the trunk, along with what we believe to be finished methamphetamine.

“This girl had been in Livingston buying Sudafed on several occasions prior to this date,” Etheredge continued. “After we made our recovery, Sheriff [Dana] Dowdy from Pickett County was very helpful to us in getting us in contact with the sheriff’s department in Albany, and based on our information, they went to a residence where this girl had been and recovered another meth lab.”

According to Clinton County, Kentucky Sheriff Ricky Riddle, deputies there did a “knock-and-talk” at a residence located on First Street in Albany. The residence was reportedly being rented by Colene Claborn, who is grandmother to one Nick Daniels. Clinton County deputies arrested Daniels the day after LPD arrested Leah Claborn. Sheriff Riddle said Daniels was charged with manufacture of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia and placed under $50,000 bond.

Etheredge said the charges on Leah Claborn were “a Class C, at least” felony because the bust took place in a school zone. She was booked into Overton County Jail on $20,000 bond, which Etheredge said she had posted.

“What we’re finding is that there are people who are traveling from where the labs are, specifically Kentucky here lately, and some of the surrounding counties, and coming into Livingston and trying to obtain the ephedrine,” Etheredge said. “We’ve been doing some extra monitoring at the locations where that could be, and trying to build enough to intercept them when they come along, because ephedrine is the key ingredient to make meth.

“We call them smurfs. They go from town to town to town in a day. A box of Sudafed could be worth as much as $50 to $100 to a meth cook. So, they’ll buy the ephedrine and exchange it for either money, to buy pills or something, or they will get finished product in exchange for the box. They won’t just come to Livingston, they will go to Algood, Cookeville, Crossville, Sparta, and they’ll work their way back. The system that is in place now gives us a lot more notification on how they’re moving,” Etheredge said.

The system Etheredge referenced is also known as the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force’s “Pharmacy Portal,” requires people seeking to buy medicine containing pseudoephedrine to provide identification. When so-called “smurfs” buy more of the medicine than is legally allowed, their name shows up on a database of probable offenders for law enforcement to check into. The portal works in conjunction with the Meth-Free Tennessee Act of 2005, which moved medicines containing pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counter in an effort to control access to those non-prescription medicines.

“If you buy Sudafed or an ephedrine-based product, you sign your name along with your other information, and that goes into a database usually within 24 hours or less,” Etheredge said. “You see, people who are buying these things, they know that they can’t buy more than three boxes a month, so what they do, typically, is they’ll load up three or four cars.

“The day we got this lab, we believe that we missed one of the cars that somebody had already come out and left with the box,” Etheredge added.

“We don’t always get to all of them, but we’re working with the places, and they understand what we’re trying to do. And most people understand that when you ask them why they bought 14 boxes of Sudafed in 30 days, I mean, nobody’s got that bad of a sinus problem.”

LPD encourages anyone with information regarding possible methamphetamine manufacturing activities to call the department at (931)823-6496.


top of page


Construction may disrupt water service
The Town of Livingston has announced that residents of the area around the Highway 84 and Highway 85 road construction project may experience a disruption in water service over the next six months, with low water pressure or no water for short periods of time.

The announcement states, “We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”

top of page

Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486


Printing Supplies Graphic Design Custom Printing Advertising