Monday, May 4, 2009

The Latest News

The town of Algood has a new city manager. In a specially called meeting before an overflow crowd at the Algood community center, the council voted, 3-to-1 Monday night to fire Freddie Maxwell and appoint former Cookeville council member Mike Patterson to the job. Maxwell said the council had every right to dismiss him, but said that he disagreed with the way it was being done. He claims that his refusal to offer insurance to council members is at the crux of the issue. But Mayor Patt Judd says that's not the case. She says that her decision was based on people calling her at home and telling her how rude Maxwell had been -- both to citizens and city employees. The issue of whether city council members are entitled to insurance coverage was never resolved at the meeting, but may come up later this month. Meanwhile, some residents are now circulating a petition calling for the recall of those who voted for Maxwell's removal.

A young Putnam County man learned the hard way over the weekend that you shouldn't try to cross a road that's under water. Deputy Steven Elrod says he was dispatched on Saturday night to Henry Cemetery Road, which runs off Calfkiller Highway south of Monterey. The report was of a vehicle being swept away in the creek. Upon his arrival, Elrod says he spoke to 20-year-old Jonathon Clark who told the deputy that he had been attempting to cross the creek, which was over the road, when swift water swept away the car -- described as a 2004 Chevy Malibu -- while he was still in it. Fortunately for him, the car got lodged in the creek a short distance downstream and he was able to get out and get to safety. The water then swept the vehicle even further down the creek, finally coming to a stop some 300 yards from where it started floating away. Elrod says the vehicle was left there until the water level dropped to the point that it could be safely removed. A weather reporting station in Monterey recorded more than two inches of rain for the town between Saturday and Sunday morning.

A Putnam County man has been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance after officials investigating a stolen motorcycle case allegedly found the makings of a meth lab in a storage building on his property. The sheriff's department says 45-year-old Patrick Scott Floyd of Dripping Springs Road was arrested after coming out of his home as shots were fired in the woods nearby. According to reports, those shots were fired by Monterey police officer Larry Bates after a man on a four-wheeler ran over fellow officer Jackie McQuiston. The two had been conducting surveillance on the home when the ATV came at them. The suspect on the four wheeler and a female passenger got away, but Floyd was arrested. Police say that, in addition to the meth lab, they also found several rounds of ammunition and couple of cans of explosive black powder in what appeared to be the children's bedroom.

Tennessee Tech University manufacturing and industrial technology students have earned accolades on the latest national certification exam in their field -- surpassing the national pass rate average by more than 25 percent,. Tech students achieved more than a 95 percent pass rate on the spring certified technology manager exam given by The Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering. The average national pass rate is about 69 percent.

Hunter McClelland, a mechanical engineering major from Kingsport, is this year's recipient of the 2009 Derryberry Award, Tennessee Tech University's most prestigious student award. McClelland carries a 4.0 grade point average into graduation in May, while noting he is a self-taught harmonica player and has been the person who maintains and flies the large yellow blimp inside Hooper Eblen Center during basketball games for the last three years. The late Everett Derryberry, who served as Tennessee Tech's president for 34 years, established this annual award upon his retirement. Derryberry's criteria called for the award to be given "to a senior who has exhibited scholastic attainment arising out of moral and intellectual integrity; successful campus activity where participation indicates a commitment to good citizenship, interest in one's fellow persons, and instincts for leadership; and physical vigor as shown by fondness for and success in sports."

The 10th Annual Cookeville Classic softball tournament will be held this weekend at Cane Creek SportsPlex. This is a slow-pitch, double elimination tournament open to boys and girls teams of all ages and ability levels. The entry fee is $75 dollars for age six and up and 8 and up coaches pitch teams. It's $125 for all other teams. For more information or to register, contact Mike Mason at (931) 761-5878.