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

Archives 05-17-2011


Home burns Monday on Union Academy Road
Tenure granted to 12, IT administrator resigns
New OCN website to launch June 1

Home burns Monday on Union Academy Road

Mac McLeod photo
Fire hoses border the yard around a mobile home that burned to the ground at 162 Union Academy Road Monday, May 16. According to Fairgrounds Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Burchfield, firefighters from Fairgrounds and Hilham VFDs responded to a call at 4:10 a.m. and found the structure fully engulfed.

Burchfield said the property was owned by Harold Dixon, but that Dixon used it as a rental property. He said the home was being rented by Mark and Christi Crabtree, but that nobody was home at the time of the fire. According to Burchfield, it was hard to determine what might have caused the blaze, though he speculated an electrical fault may have played a part.

Burchfield said, “It (the home) was in such bad shape, it was hard to tell.”

Unless the insurance company asks for further investigation of the fire, Burchfield said the case is considered closed.

top of page

Tenure granted to 12, IT administrator resigns
By Dewain E. Peek,
OCN staff

Overton County Board of Education held the regular monthly meeting Monday, May 16, with members Houston Robbins, Kelly Hill, Dolphus Dial, Larry Looper, Lenard Ledbetter, Ricky Dodson, Howard Miller, Mike Gilpatrick, and Ray Smith present, and David Sadler Sr. absent.

Revised minutes of the April 18, 2011 meeting with the following changes were approved: Rickman Elementary mowing bid should have been $145 rather than $175, and the soccer field mowing bid should have been $64.50 in addition to $37.50 for the Central Office and the bus garage for a total of $102 for all.

Teachers of the Year were recognized as follows: Grades Pre-K to 4 – Wanda Phillips of Wilson Elementary; Grades 5 to 8 – Jenny Smith of Allons Elementary; and Grades 9 to 12 – Roy DePolitte of Livingston Academy.

Tenure was granted to Amy Allred, as recommended by Hilham Elementary School Principal Jessica Bilbrey.

Tenure was granted to 3rd grade teacher Miranda Knappenberger, as recommended by Rickman Elementary School Principal Amy Brown.

Tenure was granted to Jennifer Maulding, as recommended by Special Education Supervisor Sheila Pemberton.

Tenure was granted to kindergarten teacher Jennifer Ledbetter, as recommended by A.H. Roberts Elementary Principal Bridgett Carwile.

Tenure was granted to Stacy Shaw, as recommended by A.H. Roberts Elementary Principal Bridgett Carwile.

Tenure was granted to 2nd grade teacher Casey Cravins, as recommended by Allons Elementary Principal Wayne Sells.

Tenure was granted to 1st grade teacher Elisabeth Delk, as recommended by Allons Elementary Principal Wayne Sells.

Tenure was granted to Physical Education teacher Paige Smith, as recommended by Allons Elementary Principal Wayne Sells.

Tenure was granted to 5th through 8th grade English teacher Carlene Riddle, as recommended by Wilson Elementary Principal Melissa Palk.

Tenure was granted to Theater Arts and English teacher Tammy Kennedy, as recommended by Livingston Academy Principal Lesley Riddle.

Tenure was granted to math teacher Cody Newman, as recommended by Livingston Academy Principal Lesley Riddle.

Tenure was granted to Behavior Management teacher John Stults, as recommended by REACH Academy Principal Terry Melton.

Letters of retirement were approved for the following: Linda Terry, Carolyn O’Brien, Brenda Choate, Linda Clouse, Sandra Young, Gail Liebreich, Brenda Davis, Beverly Heath, Patricia Sells, June Puckett, Bennie Sells, Pat Swallows, Margaret Leach, Sheila Pemberton, and Diane Sadler. Two of the letters made mention of accepting the $10,000 retirement buy-out that will open spots for new teachers.

Cindy Sells’ letter of resignation as educational assistant at Rickman Elementary, effective April 25, 2011, was approved.

Linda Gilpatrick’s letter of resignation from Livingston Academy cafeteria, effective May 13, 2011, was approved.

The Education Jobs Program budget in the amount of $928,094 was approved for salaries and benefits for instructional personnel.

An amendment was approved to move the Race to the Top Revised Scopes of Work budget balance of $530,598 forward to Year 1, with the funds to be spent on salaries and benefits, instructional equipment, and software.

A Focus Schools Grant was approved for Livingston Academy in the amount of $6,000 to be spent on instructional equipment, and a Focus Schools Grant was approved for Livingston Middle School in the amount of $3,000 to be spent on instructional equipment and software.

Quarterly reports were approved.

A Wilson Elementary trip to Lake Winnepesaukah on Thursday, May 19 was approved, as was a Rickman Elementary trip to the Lost Sea, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 17.

Director of Schools Matt Eldridge issued the Director’s Report to the School Board. (The Director’s Report is published elsewhere in the edition of Overton County News.)

In the work session held immediately prior to the regular monthly meeting, Keith Miller, IT systems administrator for Overton County Schools, addressed the School Board, and began by thanking School Board Chairman Houston Robbins for allowing him to speak.

“It’s been very shocking to me how hard it is to be permitted to address the School Board,” he said.

“In June of last year, I was a computer technician at the time,” he went on to say. “I was asked by Linda Archer, the after-school director, if I could develop a web-based program to compile all the after-school data and prepare it for the federal filing at the end of the year.”

He had told her that he was co-owner of a company that builds custom software when she had voiced a need for such a system that would be affordable in her budget, he said.

“She asked me if we had a solution,” he told the Board.

He said he asked if there would be any problem with him being an employee of the Overton County School System and that at various points he was told there was not a problem. But, he informed the Board, he was much later told there was a problem with his being an employee and having been hired to create the software.

“The schools started using the software, and almost eight months later, in March, Mr. Eldridge calls me, saying this cannot be done and I needed to pay back the money,” Miller said.

“I told him that would be like you telling me to mow the grass all summer, and at the end of the summer say, ‘you can’t do that, give me the money back,’ even though you had given those services.”

He stressed that the software was created on his own time, and that about 90% of the building of the software was done by his business partner.

“None of this was done on school time,” Miller said.

He reiterated to the Board that he had never been told of any problem with his being hired to build the software and that Director Eldridge was aware of his situation when he was hired to build it.

“He signed on the purchase of the software,” Miller said. “That being said, I want to thank all the teachers of this school system for the job they do and the help they’ve been to me. I’ve never wanted to leave here. But I see clearly now that, me and Mr. Eldridge, it’s not working. I’ve tried on several occasions to discuss with him, there’s no discussing. So, effective immediately, I resign from Overton County Schools.”



top of page


New OCN website to launch June 1
Overton County News will launch an all-new website Wednesday, June 1.

The site, which can be found at www.overtoncountynews.com, will feature more content than ever before, including photo galleries, a full classifieds section, business directory, archives, and more.

Darren Oliver, OCN advertising director, said, “We are excited to be able to offer this new, much-improved website to our readers and advertisers. We feel the updated site will provide added value for our community, our readership, and our advertisers.”

Oliver said the new site will have what is commonly referred to as a “pay wall,” where certain content will only be accessible to OCN subscribers. With the new site hosting nearly all the content found in the print edition, the pay wall mirrors the real-world process of first buying the paper before being able to read it in-depth.

“People who currently subscribe to the paper can call us at (931) 403-NEWS to set up their username and password for the website,” Oliver said.
He also noted that people who don’t subscribe to the print edition can subscribe solely to the web edition, should they choose to do so, for the same $23 annual subscription price paid by Overton County residents who receive the print edition by mail. For those living outside Overton County, this can represent a savings of up to 45% compared to the cost of having a print edition mailed to them.

Visitors to the new website who choose not to subscribe will still be able to see the week’s headlines in each of the paper’s 18 news categories. In addition, non-subscribers will still have full access to the classifieds, community and business directory, photo galleries, and website archives prior to March, 2011. Archives after that date will be available only to subscribers due to the newer archives’ inclusion of all news articles from the print edition, as compared to the previous archives which only had the top few stories from the print edition.

Subscribers and non-subscribers alike will be able to submit a number of items via the new website’s “Submit” section, including classified advertisements, wedding and engagement announcements, bridal and baby shower photos, anniversary announcements, birthday announcements, cards of thanks, in memory articles, letters to the editor, and obituaries.

The launch marks the first time Overton County News has sold advertising space on its website. The previous website hosted no advertising other than classifieds. With 45,000 average monthly visitors to the old site in 2010, Oliver said the new site offers advertisers excellent return on investment.

“We’re always happy to win awards,” said Oliver, who along with the OCN advertising team won nine Tennessee Press Association advertising awards this year, “but creating an advertisement that produces positive results makes us even happier. With the traffic our website sees, we believe advertisers stand to gain valuable exposure to a more interactive audience.”

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