Oliver honored for heroism

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
The Marshall County Commission and Sheriff Billy Lamb honored Captain Jimmy Oliver with a resolution, a Purple Heart, and a Medal of Valor for his actions in March at CW Cuts. Oliver responded to a call of a gunman, Steven Hopwood, in the salon. He entered the building with his weapon drawn, without regard for his own safety, in order to protect the employees and patrons of the business. Exchanging gunfire with Hopwood, Oliver was struck twice, once in his arm and once in the torso, saved from serious injury by his bullet-proof vest. Employees at CW Cuts attended the presentation to Jimmy Oliver, showing their appreciation to him. From left to right: Emily Donnell, Jana Walker, Sydney Brock, Teresa Hopwood, Jimmy Oliver, Malinda Mitchell, Melissa Clark, Malinda Myhr, Laura Lynn Osborne, and Brandy Nunley.
Photo supplied

The room was full for Monday’s County Commission meeting.

That’s always a sign of something unusual.

Later the room filled with applause as the room rose in a standing ovation.

That’s a sign that something remarkable is happening and it was.

The Marshall County Commission was recognizing Captain Jimmy Oliver for his heroism and his injury in the line of duty.

Marshall County Sheriff Billy Lamb presented Oliver with a Purple Heart medal, awarded for wounds incurred in the line of duty as well as a Medal of Valor for his “going above and beyond the call of duty.”

Oliver, head of the Detective Division for the Sheriff’s Office, was the first officer on scene at CW Cuts in March when reports of a gunman at the salon were received.

Oliver exchanged gunfire with Steven Hopwood and was shot in the arm during the encounter.

After a standoff with authorities, Hopwood was found deceased at the scene.

Oliver’s quick response and rapid actions helped prevent a situation that could have led to more casualties.

Oliver has 25 years of service to Marshall County with the Sheriff’s Office and the Lewisburg Police Department.

The Marshall County Commission changed course again on the future of the existing Health Department building.

Commissioners voted down a resolution, presented by the Commission’s Building Committee, that called for the demolition of the existing Health Department facility on Legion Avenue in Lewisburg.

The Commission has already authorized the construction of a new building for the Health Department on the same parcel, but the question of what to do with the existing building has remained.

A workshop held at the department in September was attended by 12 of the county’s 18 commissioners.

At that meeting, none expressed any reservation with keeping the existing building for another use.

Later, the county’s Building Committee voted 5-0 to send the resolution to the full Commission, calling for the demolition of the current facility when the new building was constructed.

The building has been plagued with damage to the foundation caused by water runoff and outdated electrical systems.

“The headaches of a 50-year-old building are continuous,” said Commission Chair Mike Waggoner.

Waggoner said that he had heard $50,000 to $200,000 mentioned as possible costs for repair and renovation of the building depending on its ultimate use.

“I don’t understand why you want to put all of that money into an old building,” said Commissioner Wesley Neece. “You still have an old building.”

Commissioner Tony Beyer asked if the county should have a contractor assess the cost of redoing the building.

The cost of building a comparable 8,000 square foot building would cost the county over $1 million.

Beyer also pointed out that the Health Department would still be in the old building for at least a year while the new one was constructed, so there was no time pressure to make a decision on the fate of the building.

Other commissioners expressed reservations as well.

“A lot of people have come to me (since the committee meeting) and said ‘Do not tear that building down’,” said Commissioner Toby Adams. “I think we need to keep it.”

Adams had initially opposed demolishing the building at the Building Committee meeting, before seconding this resolution to tear the building down.

“I can’t see hauling off $600,000 of taxpayer’s money to the landfill,” said Commissioner R.L. Williams.

That is the value of the building according to the County Tax Assessor’s office.

Williams added that many of the building’s issues were caused by poor drainage that could be corrected.

“We need to take advantage of this building and use it to meet our future needs,” said Williams.

Beyer also pointed out that the county will be meeting this week to discuss the findings from the assessment of county buildings for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The cost of renovating some buildings might be cost prohibitive, forcing the county to look for additional office space for its departments.

Neece chose not to remove the resolution from the table, forcing a vote.

The Commission voted 12-5 against the resolution calling for the demolition of the existing Health Department building, once the new facility was constructed.

Waggoner, Neece, Patty Parsons, Joseph Warner, and Jennifer Smith voted in favor of the proposal.

The commission approved the appointment of Barbara Medley as the new County Attorney.

Medley has been appointed for a one-year term, replacing Bill Haywood, who has served as the county attorney for the past seven years.

“I appreciate you letting me serve and working with each one of you,” said Haywood.

The commissioners voted to approve the purchase of 309 S. Main Street in Cornersville for $10,000.

The property adjoins Cornersville School.

Commissioners Jennifer Smith and Adams voted against the purchase.

Smith had asked if the county had spoken with the Board of Education regarding the purchase, which apparently had not been done.

Commissioners approved the rezoning of 5.5 acres at the corner of Highway 99 and James King Road, permitting the construction of a storage facility.