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Saturday, August 19, 2015

Suspect In Murder Of 65-Year-Old Man Being Sought

Suspect In Murder of 65-Year-Old Being Sought 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in finding the suspect in the murder of a 65-year-old man Friday night. Sheriff Monte Belew said finding the suspect is a top priority and a reward of $1,000 is being offered.

Belew said this morning, "We believe this was a targeted act, not a random crime."

On Friday evening at 7:32 pm, the sheriff’s office responded to a report that a person had been shot. The location of the shooting was at 13851 Hwy 79 North near Buchanan.

When officers arrived, they found Jacky Ford, of that address, deceased. He had been shot in the head.

According to a press release issued overnight by the sheriff’s office, Ford and his 11-year-old grandson were inside of the house when at approximately 7:30 pm, a white male wearing a ski mask walked up to where the two were playing a card game and called Jacky by name. 

“As Jacky looked back to see who it was,“ according to the press release, “the gunman raised up what appeared to be a black semi auto handgun and fired two shots. At least one of the shots fired did strike Mr. Ford in the head and was a fatal shot.”

Ford’s grandson witnessed the shooting and gave investigators the following description of the shooter. He said he was a white male with a sleeveless grey shirt on with some type of white writing on the back and was wearing a blue ski mask. He said he appeared to be of slender build and maybe in his late 30’s by the sound of his voice, and somewhere between 5’9” to 6 foot tall. The child said that he thought he heard a car speed out of the area shortly after the incident,” according to the press release.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is asking for any help in this case. If anyone was in the area of Point Pleasant Church on Hwy 79 N Friday evening around the hours of 7:15 through 7:45 and saw a vehicle on the side of the road in the area or anyone out of the ordinary, call the sheriff’s office at 731-642-1672 or you can call the Sheriff’s Office confidential hot line at 731-642-0929.

The crime scene was worked by the Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Technicians and members of the sheriff’s office Criminal Investigation Division. Right now there is no clear motive for the murder and the investigation is top priority. 

Sheriff Monte Belew said his department is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in this case and is asking for the public’s help to solve this murder that was committed in front of a child.

Friday Night Lights

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Golden Tornadoes won their 29th straight game Friday night in a big defeat of Memphis Mitchell, by a score of 56-20. In photo, the Golden Tornadoes are in the midst of battle on the field. Henry County also won its game last night against Houston by a score of 22-20. (Brent Hinson photo).

Friday, August 18, 2015

Death Being Investigated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said late Friday night the department is investigating a death that occurred in the lake area earlier in the evening.

Belew said around 10 p.m. that the department could not release details now. “We’re working a crime scene, one subject is deceased and we’re in the very infancy of the investigation,” he said.

More details will be released when they are available.

Capt. Page Named State Corrections Officer Of Year

Paris, Tenn.-Members of the Henry County Sheriff's Office congratulate Captain Stephen Page for his recent award as Tennessee Correctional Training Officer of the Year.
Captain Page oversees the jail at the sheriff's office and was named the top Training Officer of the Year at a recent correctional meeting in Gatlinburg. He won this award over all other correctional training officers in Tennessee. Officers in photo include Sheriff Monte Belew, kneeling center left, and his K9 Si. (HCSO photo).

Boyd’s Opens in New Location

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Boyd’s retail store in Paris has opened in a new location at the corner of Fairview Dr. and Hwy. 641S. 

Boyd’s had been open a year in the Kroger’s shopping mall and has now moved into the former location of the original Allegro’s plant.

Tammy Houston of Paris is the manager and said the new location already has been a good move. “We’ve already seen a pick up in customers,” she said.

Boyd’s is owned by the PMB family of companies which includes Merison’s furniture store, Eagle Buildings, Street Dynamics, and One Stepp Tire and Automotive.

PMB Spokesperson Laura Dougherty said location was the primary reason for moving. “We’ve just been open a week at the new location and we’ve already seen an increase in traffic coming into the new store.”

The new location will have a new focus on hardware and appliances, she said. “In fact, we’ll be changing our logo to include hardware and appliances”, she said. “But we’ll still most of the same merchandise we have always had.”

Boyd’s also has a store in Cottage Grove. Several months ago, Boyd’s, Merison’s and Street Dynamics also opened in the former Rural King location in McKenzie.

Christine Reynolds’ Portrait Unveiled

Historical Society President David Webb and Vice President Stephanie Tayloe

unveil the portrait of Christine Reynolds. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A portrait of the late Christine Reynolds of Paris, the first woman to hold a Cabinet position in Tennessee state government, was unveiled last night at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. The portrait, which was painted by an artist who wishes to remain anonymous, will be permanently displayed at the Henry County Courthouse.

The unveiling was part of the Henry County Historical Society’s quarterly meeting and Society President David Webb said the Reynolds portrait is the first of four which will be prepared. The next three are of Howell Jackson of Paris, who was a Justice on the Supreme Court and later owned Bellemeade in Nashville; Mordecai Johnson of Paris, who was the first black president of Howard University; and Joe Routon of Paris, who was a Henry County School Superintendent and integral in forming Grove School.

Eventually those portraits will be displayed at the Henry County Courthouse, as well, Webb said.

A presentation on Reynolds’ life given by Suzanne Richter recalled how integral a role politics played in Henry County in the 1950s, which was when Governor Frank Clement was first elected.

Clement, she recalled, was “an old-fashioned evangelical orator” whose two terms were dedicated to humanitarian efforts. Those efforts included the first State Mental Health Department and the first free textbook program. Clement also was the first Southern governor to veto the segregation bill, she said.

But what made him special to Henry Countians was his appointment of Reynolds as the first female cabinet member as Commissioner of Public Welfare, at which she served from 1953-1959.

Before her appointment, Reynolds had worked with the WPA in the 1930s, was director of public welfare in the county, and was the first woman to serve on the Paris planning commission.

One of Reynolds’ major accomplishments in state government was to strengthen the adoption procedures and to rewrite the state welfare manual, Richter said. Upon Reynolds’ retirement from state office, her employees dedicated the Mimosa Trail to her. The Mimosa Trail are the mimosa trees that line the highway from Paris to Kentucky Lake.

In other business during last night’s meeting, the same officers were retained: President David Webb, Vice President Stephanie Tayloe, Secretary Rick Owens and Treasurer Donna Winchester. 

Tyson Chickens Reported Tortured At Weakley County Farm

Chickens Used To Make McDonald’s McNuggets

Dukedom, Tenn.-Chickens used to make McDonald's McNuggets were beaten with a nail attached to a pole, tossed alive into buckets meant for the dead and suffered from leg deformities at a farm under contract with Tyson Foods, according to an animal rights group. That report is being reported by the Washington Post, along with a video which has been uploaded to Youtube.

According to the Post, Tyson Foods quickly cut its ties with the Dukedom farm after a video showing the alleged abuse was released Thursday by Mercy for Animals, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that employs workers to infiltrate farms and record animal mistreatment.

The video shows "birds painfully beaten, stabbed, and impaled on makeshift clubs" at T&S Farms in Dukedom, Tenn., a statement by the group said.

Footage also shows factory "farm owners stepping on the heads of live chickens and then pulling their wings or bodies to break their necks, chickens bred to grow so fast they became crippled under their own weight and frequently died from organ failure, hundreds of thousands of birds crammed into filthy, windowless sheds forced to live for weeks in their own waste."

The owners of the farm, Thomas and Susan Blassingame, did not return a voice mail message asking for comment from the Washington Post. Tyson Foods issued a statement Thursday to the Post saying the company has launched its own investigation, but "based on what we currently know, we are terminating the farmer's contract to grow chickens for us." Tyson said an estimated 125,000 birds have been removed from the farm's barns.

Frozen Vegetables Test Positive For Listeria


Nashville, Tenn. — The Consumer and Industry Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is issuing a public advisory to warn consumers of Listeria monocytogenes discovered in two varieties of frozen vegetables sold in Tennessee. 

The contamination was discovered during routine sampling of food products sold at two different grocery stores in Harriman, Tenn. 

Lab results showed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in Cascadian Farm Organic Cut Green Beans. The 10 ounce package was distributed by Small Planet Foods, Inc. of Sedro-Woolley, Wash. and identified with the code 11APR2016. General Mills has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of that product, as well as green beans with the code of 10APR2016. You can read more about the recall here: General Mills voluntarily recalls a limited quantity of frozen Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans.

Testing also confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in Wylwood- Super Sweet Whole Kernel Corn. The 16 ounce package was distributed by Save-A-Lot Foods of Earth City, Mo. and identified with the Best By date of June 2017 and code K51564. Officials with Save-A-Lot have requested all stores pull the unsold packages of corn from the shelves.

The Department of Agriculture has notified the Food and Drug Administration and the FDA will determine if further action will be taken.

Listeria monocytogenes is unlike many other germs because it can grow in a cold environment. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women and may be fatal for individuals with weakened immune systems. Cooking and pasteurization are two methods by which to eliminate the bacteria from food.

The Consumer and Industry Services division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture sets high standards for food safety. Those standards are enforced through regular and thorough inspections and product testing. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015 

Vanderbilt LifeFlight Opens Base in Henry County

Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt LifeFlight has expanded its footprint into West Tennessee by adding an emergency helicopter base at the Henry County Airport. 

The base began 24/7 operations on Aug. 27. Lee McMurray has been named chief flight nurse for the base. 

Henry County Medical Center (HCMC) Administrator Tom Gee said he and his team at the hospital are very excited to have Vanderbilt LifeFlight in the county. 

“We are excited to welcome Vanderbilt Lifeflight to Paris,” Gee said. “Lifeflight has a long history of service to Henry County Medical Center and our community, and having them located within the county will only enhance the ability of our citizens to access timely and quality health care services.”

The helicopter has a four minute flight from the Henry County Airport to HCMC.

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said the new base would strengthen the delivery of health care services in the area.

“On behalf of the Henry County Commission and the citizens of Henry County, I would like to express my appreciation and welcome to Vanderbilt Lifeflight on their decision to open a new base at the Henry County Airport,” he said. “This decision will greatly enhance the delivery of emergency medical ambulance service to our entire medical community. Henry County Medical Center is an important regional medical center for Northwest Tennessee and Southwest Kentucky and their decision to be a part of our medical community will only serve to strengthen our commitment to delivery of health care services.”

Stephan Russ, M.D., associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and associate chief of staff for Vanderbilt University Hospital, praised the support received from Henry County officials in establishing the new base.

"We appreciate the help and guidance received from Henry County Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gee, Henry County Medical Center Board of Trust, Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, Henry County Airport Manager Don Davenport, Henry County Medical Center EMS Director Twilla Rose, as well as numerous other community leaders,” Russ said.  

The aircraft that is stored at the Henry County Airport is a twin engine Airbus Helicopter H-135 that can fly at speeds faster than 150 mph and has about a 35 minute flight time to Nashville area hospitals from Henry County. Additionally it is the only aircraft in the Henry County area that provides 360-degree access to the patient and has the ability to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR). The aircraft is also equipped with air conditioning, state-of-the-art navigation, a communications and avionics package that includes night vision goggles, and a terrain avoidance warning system. 

LifeFlight is also the only air medical service in Middle and West Tennessee that carries lifesaving blood products on every flight, and more than 10 percent of trauma patients flown receive blood while in flight.

For $49 a year (family coverage) Air Methods offers a membership called OmniAdvantage. OmniAdvantage members incur no out-of-pocket expense if flown by any Air Methods program (including Vanderbilt LifeFlight) for medically necessary emergent conditions. For information on that program call 855-877-2518 or visit .

Vanderbilt LifeFlight also provides hospital-based emergency air medical transport services throughout Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, with remote helicopter bases in Lebanon, Tullahoma, Clarksville, Murfreesboro and Mt. Pleasant, Tenn. LifeFlight also operates an airplane base at Nashville International Airport and has four ground ambulances as well as an event medicine division.

Air Methods provides aviation, fuel, maintenance, aircraft, dispatch, billing and EMS licensure while VUMC provides all medical staffing, patient care and clinical services for Vanderbilt LifeFlight.

Murray Man To Be Extradited For Stalking

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police are investigating a Murray, Kentucky man for stalking and criminal trespassing.

Officers responded to a residence on Mt. Pelia Rd. early Monday morning in reference to an unwanted individual. Brandon Vernam, age 22, of 1217 N. 16th St. in Murray Kentucky was found on the property and advised to leave. Later Monday morning victim contacted police and advised Vernam was back on her property. When officers arrived they found the defendant on the property and he was arrested.

Vernam appeared before Judge Tommy Moore in General Sessions Court on Wednesday morning. Vernam was released on bond and late Wednesday afternoon the victim notified police that she had been contacted again by the defendant. 

Additional warrants for Aggravated Stalking have been issued for Vernam.

He was arrested in Kentucky and will be extradited back to Tennessee.

EPA Fines Holt For Hog Farm Pollution

Nashville, Tenn. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a civil complaint Thursday morning against State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) seeking a fine of up to $177,500.

According to the EPA notice, the pollution from Holt’s hog farm violated the Federal Clean Water Act. The EPA notice goes on to say that Holt may request a meeting with the EPA to discuss a settlement, according to Channel 5 in Nashville.

Holt is vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and after his hog farm was investigated earlier by the EPA, has called for the EPA to be discontinued.


The EPA letter cites cases reported by statewide media earlier which includes two instances in 2011 when Holt's farm discharged at total of more than 500,000 gallons of waste water contaminated with hog manure into a nearby creek.

The letter cites another incident in 2013 in which Holt's farm reported discharging more than 200,000 gallons of wastewater into a nearby creek.

Holt said at the time that the waste water overflowed from the lagoons after a heavy rainfall and he self-reported the incidents to the state. He also said he attempted to submit the appropriate paperwork to get a permit.

The EPA has maintained that Holt has operated for years without the appropriate permit.

Five Arrested On Drug Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A search warrant executed at a Kirk’s Trading Post Rd. address near Buchanan resulted in the arrest of five people on a number of drug charges.

Officers with the Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Henry Police, Puryear Police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol conducted a search Wednesday at 400 Kirk’s Trading Post Rd.

During the search, officers located crystal meth, drug paraphernalia, marijuana, prescription medicine and a handgun.

Arrested were:

Steven Baker, 30, 1034 Manley St., Apt. 2, Paris, possession of Schedule II.

Christina Powell, 26, 400 Kirk’s Trading Post Rd., possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of probation out of Circuit Court, unlawful possession of a weapon as a convicted felon.

Mystie Wallace, 38, 1777 Hwy, 120, Big Rock, Tenn., possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a legend drug and possession of Schedule II meth.

Anita Greenhill, 49, 1011 Ross Lane, Clarksville, possession of legend drug.

Megan Flood, 23, 1034 Manley St., Apt. 2, Paris, charged with possession of Schedule VI marijuana, and possession of Schedule II amphetamines.

All subjects will be arraigned in Henry Co. General Sessions Court today.

Local Celebrities To “Dance With The Stars”

Huntingdon, Tenn. – Six brave contestants, including a college president, a school principal and State Representative, are shining their dancing shoes and working on their moves, all to raise money at the 2015-2016 season opener fundraiser for The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center. 

Just like the hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” this event partners professionals with six local celebrities to learn a dance routine the week prior to the show, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. The winner will be chosen by a total of three scores: Pre Votes, Live Audience Votes, and Judges Scores. Pre Votes will be available online, over the phone and in person 2 weeks prior to the show at The Dixie Box Office. The cost per vote is a $1 donation that will go towards The Dixie’s Academic Enrichment opportunities and the School Time Performances. 

Celebrities include Amy Thompson, Alan Eubanks, Susan Cary, State Rep. Curtis Halford, and Lane College President Dr. Logan Hampton. 

Alan Eubanks is the principal of Huntingdon Primary School and head baseball coach at Huntingdon High School.   

Amy Thompson is the Director of Development with Bethel University. She is a qualified major gift officer and is a former Bethel College Athlete in both cheerleading and soccer. Susan Cary is a native of Huntingdon and works at City Drug Company as a pharmacist.  

State Representative Curtis Halford is from Dyer and represents Gibson County and part of Carroll County. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force Reserve, and a member of the Gibson County Planning Commission, County Chamber of Commerce, and a former Board Member of Cary Counseling Peer Support Group and the National Rifle Association. 

Lane College President Dr. Logan Hampton was named 10th President of Lane College by the Board of Trustees on June 12, 2014. Dr. Hampton has a doctorate in higher education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The final contestant will be announced very soon so please stay tuned! Tickets for Dancing with our Local Stars are $50 each and are available at the Box Office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at Online voting will begin on Saturday, August 29th, for voting in person and over the phone please contact the Box Office during regular business hours Mon-Fri. 10am-4pm.

Atomic Age To Be Explored At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-70 years ago this month, the world into the Atomic Age and Discovery Park of America will remember those times with special presentations on Saturday, August 29.

At 1:30 p.m., Splitting Atoms will be the presentation; 2:30 p.m. Truman’s Dilemma on whether to drop the Atomic bomb will be discussed and at 3 p.m., “Duck and Cover’ will be shown, the original 1951 Civil Defense film.

Couple In Court On Pepper Spray Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-An estranged husband and wife appeared in Henry County General Sessions Court to face reduced charges involving an argument which resulted in their child being inadvertently pepper sprayed.

The cases against Megan and Raymond McCarraher were adjudicated in court this week. Megan McCarraher lives in Florida and Raymond in Paris.

Both were originally charged by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office with aggravated assault, but both charges were reduced. According to the report, the two were involved in an argument over child custody and in the midst of the argument, were pepper spraying each other and inadvertently pepper sprayed their child.

On a charge of reckless endangerment, Judge Vicki Snyder placed Megan on deferred probation which is to continue until the end of February 2016, placed her on unsupervised probation for six months and ordered she have no contact with Raymond except for child visitation and divorce proceedings.

On a charge of misdemeanor assault, Judge Snyder ordered Raymond to serve 11 months, 29 days in jail, which was suspended except for 18 days. Those 18 days were counted as time served. She also placed him on supervised probation for 11 months and 11 days. He was also ordered not to have contact with his estranged spouse.


Stephens “Meet And Greet” Is Today

Paris, Tenn.-Bruce and Rebecca Griffey are hosting a "Meet & Greet" reception at their home (140 Paul Drive) Thursday, August 27, for Senator John Stevens. It is not a fundraiser. Stephens is seeking to speak individually with his constituents to receive input on important issues that are the subject of pending legislation this tall, including, but not limited to, school vouchers, in-state tuition for illegal aliens, infrastructure funding, the confirmation process for appellate judges and the Holy Bible as the state book. 

The event is from 6-7 p.m.  Quail Hollow Catering is serving the food.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Franchise Owner Of Paris Hardees Files Bankruptcy

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Guadelupe, Ariz.-Frontier Star, the franchisee which owns the Hardees’ Restaurant in Paris, has filed for bankruptcy.

As we reported Tuesday, employees at the Paris Hardees’ have been reporting that their checks have been bouncing at local banks.

According to articles in The Arizona Republic and Restaurant Finance Monitor, two large Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s franchisees filed for bankruptcy protection in Arizona at the end of July. 

Frontier Star LLC and Frontier Star CJ LLC, both of Guadalupe, Ariz., owe the franchisor, CKE Restaurants, $984,687 and $1,517,306, respectively, according to Restaurant Finance Monitor. Amounts owed to the remaining unsecured creditors are considerably less, the news outlet reported.

When contacted by WENK/WTPR on Tuesday, a spokeswoman at the Hardees’ corporate office in St. Louis said the problem is with the franchise owner, which she said was listed as Frontier Star. She said employees who are having a problem with bounced checks should call Frontier Star at 1-480-736-2461.

WENK/WTPR called that number and was greeted with an answering machine message. Messages left there have still not been returned.

According to Restaurant Finance Monitor, “It’s not clear why the two franchise entities, founded in 2000 and together operate an estimated 170 restaurants, are seeking Chapter 11 reorganization. Hardee’s and Carl’s are reportedly healthy, though comparable sales figures are not public because CKE is a private company.”

Both franchise entities are controlled by Jason, Carl and Margaret LeVecke, grandchildren of CKE founders Carl and Margaret Karcher.  

A source familiar with the franchisees who insisted on anonymity told Restaurant Finance Monitor, that the bankruptcy filings were the result of personal liabilities and not operational issues. The source suggested the LeVeckes borrowed against something other than the restaurants and likely violated debt covenants.

Paris Hardees’ Manager Deke Havener told WENK/WTPR Tuesday he was aware of the bouncing checks problem and that “All employees can come in and talk to me and we can take care of it.”

Haslam Talks Transportation, Infrastructure In UC

Haslam responds to a question

at Tuesday's forum. (Amy Keathley photo)

Union City, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer sat down with local and state officials in Union City today to discuss the region’s transportation and infrastructure needs.

In a morning meeting at the Obion County Public Library, Haslam and Schroer discussed the functionality and capacity of Tennessee’s state roads and highways, safety issues around roads and bridges, and the impact infrastructure has on economic development efforts in urban and rural communities.

Tennessee’s transportation system includes 95,000 miles of roads, 1,100 miles of interstates, 19,000 bridges, 28 transit systems in 95 counties, 79 general aviation airports, 949 miles of waterways and more than 3,000 miles of railroads.

“The quality of Tennessee’s transportation and infrastructure system always ranks at or near the top when compared to the rest of the country,” Haslam said. “We have no transportation debt, and we do a great job maintaining our roads, but we know we have challenges on the horizon. We know that we can’t depend on the federal government to be the funding partner that it once was. We also know that as our infrastructure ages, maintenance becomes more important and more expensive. And we know that maintaining our roads is only part of the equation. Right now we have a multi-billion dollar backlog of highway projects across this state that address key access, safety and economic development issues, and that’s only going to grow.”

A 2015 Tennessee Comptroller’s report on transportation funding states that revenues are not expected to be sufficient to maintain current infrastructure.

Cars are more fuel-efficient, construction and labor costs have risen, and Congress hasn’t passed a long-term transportation funding bill in a decade. Tennessee’s population is expected to grow by 2 million by 2040, which puts a greater demand on the state’s infrastructure.

“TDOT is responsible for taking care of the assets we already have, for implementing current projects in the most cost-effective way, and for planning for the state’s infrastructure needs of the future,” Schroer said. “We look to Tennessee communities to help prioritize projects to make sure we’re addressing evolving traffic patterns, population growth, safety issues, and the many other things that impact our infrastructure, and these conversations are invaluable to the process.” 

Since 2010 TDOT has invested $101 million state dollars on first and last mile road projects serving industrial expansion and recruitment helping to create nearly 29,000 jobs for 108 companies in Tennessee. 

Funded primarily by state and federal gas taxes, TDOT gets no money from the General Fund. Funding uncertainty from the Federal Highway Trust Fund forced TDOT to delay $400 million in highway projects in 2015.

TDOT officials discussed the cost of several projects in the region:

Construction of a new section of I-69 in Obion County will create the bypass of Union City and Troy, providing connectivity between I-55/I-155 in Missouri and I-24 in Kentucky. The estimated cost of completion is $298 million.

Construction of a new section of I-69 in Lauderdale County will create the bypass of Ripley, providing connectivity from US-51 to the north and south. The estimated cost of completion is $177 million.

In Dyer and Gibson counties, the widening of two sections of SR-104 from US-412 (SR-20) to west of SR-188 has an estimated cost of completion of $27.7 million.

In Lauderdale County, the widening of SR-19 from Eastland Avenue to the Haywood County line has an estimated cost of $5.9 million.

In Henry County, the widening of US-641 (SR-54) from Near Rison Street to Smith Road has an estimated cost of completion of $19.4 million.

In Obion County, the improvements to two sections of US-45W (SR-5) from Troy-Polk Station Road to US-51 (SR 3) has an estimated cost of completion of $28 million.

In addition to Union City, Haslam has held transportation and infrastructure discussions in Memphis, Clarksville, Jackson, Nashville, Franklin, Kingsport, Greeneville, Murfreesboro, Shelbyville and Crossville, and he will visit Chattanooga, Cleveland, Lenoir City, Knoxville in coming weeks.

State, Local Tourism Dollars Rise Dramatically

Nashville, Tenn. — Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, announced during a special event at the Ryman Auditorium that tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached $17.7 billion in 2014, up 6.3 percent, and an all-time high for the state. 

Tourism-generated jobs for Tennesseans reached 152,900, an increase of 2.8 percent. State and local sales tax revenue for the industry topped $1.5 billion, up 7 percent over 2013, and the ninth consecutive year tourism topped $1 billion, according to the latest statistics from the 2014 Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee as reported by U.S. Travel Association. 

That is true locally. Tourists spent a total of $55.51 million in Henry County in 2014, an increase of 4.8% compared to 2013, generating a total of $3.10 million in state and $7.04 million in local tax revenues, increases of 5.6% and 5.0%, respectively. A total of 306 Henry Countians are employed in tourism-related fields. 

For the first time in history, travel to Tennessee topped 100 million, achieving 101.3 million person stays, a 5.1 percent increase over 2013. International travel increased 8.4 percent, reaching $576.5 million in economic impact. All 95 counties in Tennessee had more than $1 million in direct travel expenditures, 19 counties saw more than $100 million, and three counties, Davidson, Shelby and Sevier, had more than $1 billion in economic impact. Knox and Hamilton Counties round out the Top 5. Tennessee is ranked in the Top 10 destinations in the U.S. for total travel.

Tourists spent a total of $55.51 million in Henry County in 2014, an increase of 4.8% compared to 2013, generating a total of $3.10 million in state and $7.04 million in local tax revenues, increases of 5.6% and 5.0%, respectively. A total of 306 Henry Countians are employed in tourism-related fields. 

“Utilizing the Tennessee River Resort Act funds through the Henry County Tourism Authority has given us an opportunity to maximize the tourism dollars spent in Henry County through events such as BASS Fest, fishing tournaments, community festivals and infrastructure,” according to David Hamilton, CEO of the Henry County Alliance.
Henry County Extension Director Michele Atkins, who serves as Vice President of Tourism Development for the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, added “Tourism is our number three economic driver, following agriculture and healthcare. We have been blessed with natural resources to promote, which adds to the strength of our local job market.”
“This increase in tourism across the board is a result of the strategic work of Tourist Development, the Tourism Committee, and the entire tourism and hospitality industry,” Haslam said. “We want Tennessee to be a place people from all over the world want to visit. The data shows that’s happening, and more jobs and $1.5 billion in sales tax revenue is good news for every Tennessean.”

Tennessee’s customer satisfaction landed at an impressive 8.5 out of 10. The satisfaction scores are greater than those of the average U.S. destination.

“Tourists are drawn to Tennessee for our world-renown music, outstanding attractions, stunning scenic beauty,” Triplett said. “But, at the end of the day, people keep coming to Tennessee for our authenticity and exceptional, Southern hospitality. That is the ‘made in Tennessee’ brand delivered to our visitors every day by our communities and partners.” 

The Tennessee Tourism Committee, appointed in 2011 by Gov. Bill Haslam, is made up of tourism leaders in both the public and private sectors. TTC is chaired by Colin Reed, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., and co-chaired by Jack Soden, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and Sande Weiss, president of Music Road Resort.

For more information contact Cindy Dupree, director of public relations for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, at 615-418-5752 or by email at 

New Exhibits To Open At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.- Get set to blast off to Discovery Park of America August 28th to see two new exhibits opening that day: STEM Landing and the Obion County Gallery in the Tennessee Room.

The concepts for STEM Landing and the Obion County Gallery both originated over a year ago. Both exhibits were conceptualized, designed and built entirely by the Discovery Park of America team. Jim Rippy, CEO, said he has been impressed with the vision and the talent of the staff at Discovery Park. He went on to say the opening of the park didn’t represent the end of a project. “In a way it was just the beginning,” he said. “We plan to add new educational and interactive galleries and exhibits annually. (The late) Robert Kirkland made sure that we could do that by providing annual funding for capital improvements. We are definitely going to give people a reason to come back,” Rippy added.

STEM Landing: According to the plaque that meets visitors as they step out of Discovery Center into the park-like area that is the new STEM Landing, the exhibit is a showcase sampling of great STEM achievements. Park officials say the exhibit is designed to be both educational and inspirational. “STEM is the new buzzword in education,” Wildes said. “So we wanted our newest exhibit to really focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The most amazing feature of the new exhibit is the huge dome that looks like the moon has landed on the Earth. Inside the giant sphere, guests will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with two rocket engines, a Titan II nose-cone and a space shuttle tire. The exhibit has three large models of a Lunar Orbiter, a Gemini Capsule and an X-33 Space Plane. There are also several display cases full of artifacts.

Perhaps the most entertaining and engaging feature of the new exhibit is the helicopter simulator. “Guests can climb in and feel like they are flying a real helicopter,” according to Robert Pardue, who was involved in designing and building the simulator. “The entire experience will last around seven minutes. It is very interactive and we think our guests will love it,” he added.

Obion County Gallery: Especially interesting to natives of Obion County, this new exhibit takes a step back in time, when places like the Palace Hotel and the Holmes Drug Store were vibrant centers of commerce in the thriving city of Union City .

“At one time, Union City was the fourth largest city in West Tennessee,” Rippy noted. “We have acquired some amazing artifacts and photographs that document life in Obion County in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.” Artifacts more than 100 years old line the shelves of an original counter from the Palace Hotel (1896) and original cabinets from the Holmes Drug Store (1904). Wildes is also excited about showcasing Verne and Nonie Sabin’s collection of local community photography taken 1919 – 1924. According to Wildes, Obion County was actually established in 1823. One of the most interesting features of the new Obion County Gallery will be a “Then and Now” photography display.

Sneak Peek for DPA Members: Both new exhibits will open to the public on Friday, August 28th. Discovery Park of America annual membership card holders have a unique opportunity to get a sneak peek by attending a fund-raising dinner on August 27th, which will include tours of the new exhibits and dinner. The speaker for the dinner is retired Captain Robert L. Rasmussen, who flew the #4 Blue Angels airplane that is on display in STEM Landing. The number of tickets is limited to 250 and members can purchase them online or by calling the park.

Discovery Park of America is open 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 Tuesday through Sunday. It is a unique blend of history, technology, knowledge and fun. To find out more about Discovery Park of America, visit the website at

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 

911 Service Back On

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County 911 Director Mark Archer said 911 services are back on in West Tennessee.

People with cell phones with Verizon and AT&T can resume calling 911 in emergencies now, he said.

Cellular Phones Unable To Call 911 Right Now

Paris, Tenn.-911 calls from cellular phones are not going through in Henry County as well as most of west Tennessee.

Henry County 911 Director Mark Archer said anyone who is experiencing emergencies in Henry County should call the Paris Police Department at 642-2424.

It is not yet known what the problem is, but AT&T and Verizon networks are not reaching 911 dispatches, Archer said. Calls from landline phones are still getting through, however.

McCartney To Move Earlier Than Planned
BPU To Install New Water Line

BPU General Manager John Etheridge (center, in white) presents a report to board members and staff. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-McCartney Produce is aiming to move into its new quarters on Hwy. 218 sooner than planned and the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will be meeting in special session in September to act on installation of a water main for the city industrial park to move the process along.

McCartney Produce, which presently operates out of its decades-old facility in downtown Paris, is building a new location in the industrial park and probably will be completed by the end of the year.

BPU General Manager John Etheridge said at today’s meeting that the city industrial committee and Henry County Alliance have been working together to secure fast track state funding to install a one-mile water main on Hwy. 641S.

BPU workers will be performing the project, Etheridge said, and it was advertised for bids on Sept. 3. The bids will be evaluated and one approved at the special meeting, set for 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10.

The fast track funding “is intended to move the project along more quickly, Etheridge said. “McCartney wants to move in more quickly,” he said.

The new water main will improve water pressure for the sprinkler system being installed at McCartney and could make the spec building at the industrial park more attractive to potential buyers, Etheridge said, noting that another company has been looking into moving there.

In other business:

--BPU Director of Engineering Jeff Thompson said an inventory of pole attachments is underway. Other companies, such as AT&T, West Kentucky, Charter and TEC lease space on BPU poles and it’s required in the AT&T joint lease agreement that an inventory be performed every five years.

Thompson said, “It’s actually been closer to 10 years since we’ve done an inventory and the preliminary numbers are looking very good for us. We’ve gained a lot of attachments--probably 50,000 gained--and it looks like we’ll have a significant gain in pole rental,” which helps offset the costs BPU put into maintaining the poles. The other companies pay some $13 per attachment per year to BPU, he said.

--The board approved purchase of a new trailer-mounted high pressure sewer cleaner from Sewer Equipment of America for a total cost of $53,336.82, which includes the trade-in of the BPU’s old equipment. Etheridge said the equipment is used to clean clogged sewers.

Drug Charges Filed After Homes Searched


                James Cherry                                                Kyle Riley

Dresden, Tenn.-Two Dresden men were arrested on drug charges after a search warrant was executed at two separate homes on West Park St. by Investigators with the Weakley Co. Sheriff’s Office and Dresden Police Department early today.

Arrested was James Michael Cherry, age 22, of 404 West Park St., Dresden, on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia; and Kyle Wayne Riley, age 26, 414 West Park St., charged with possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and introduction of drugs into the Weakley Co. Jail. According to Weakley County Sheriff’s Capt. Randall McGowan, the introduction charge came after hydrocodone pills were found on Riley inside of the jail.

Fire District Billing To Be Mailed Out

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Fire Protection Subscription billing assessed by the City of Paris to property owners located in the ESN122 area of Henry County will be mailed Monday, August 31st and payment is due by September 30th.  ESN122 is the area just outside the city limits which the Paris Fire Department is assigned to protect.  The city uses data from the State of TN Division of Property Assessments as well as the office of the Henry Co. Assessor of Property to identify property owners within ESN122 and determine the amount they will be assessed for fire service. If you own property located within ESN122 and fail to get a letter from the City, or if you receive a letter and no longer own the property referenced, please contact the City of Paris Business office so we can correct our records.

You may also contact City Hall if you are not certain if your property is located in the ESN122 area.  You may call the business office at 731-641-1402, or stop by theoffice at 100 N. Caldwell.

Counterfeit Bills Showing Up In Martin

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police Department is currently investigating several incidents in which local businesses have received counterfeit bills.  So far the denominations of the bogus bills have been 20’s and 100’s.  The bills are of a decent quality and have proven to be difficult to distinguish as fake.  

Martin Police have released a photo of a person of interest and would like the public’s help in identification.

The Martin Police Department is working with the United States Secret Service agency and surrounding local agencies in an attempt to find the source of the fake money.  There have been reports of similar activity in other local areas.

If you have any information, please contact the Martin Police Department at (731)587-5355 or call Crime Stoppers at (731)587-2611 if you would like to remain anonymous.  Capt. Phillip Fuqua said, “Any help is greatly appreciated.”

Paris Hardees’ Employees’ Checks Reportedly Bouncing

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Employees of the recently-opened Hardee’s in Paris have been dismayed, annoyed and perplexed in recent days by their checks bouncing at local banks.

The subject has been a hot topic on social media, beginning over the weekend when parents of employees and employees themselves began reporting on their experiences trying to cash their checks.

A spokeswoman at the Hardees’ corporate office in St. Louis this morning said the problem is with the franchise owner, which she said is listed as Frontier Star. She said employees who are having a problem with bounced checks should call Frontier Star at 1-480-736-2461.

WENK/WTPR called that number, also, and was greeted with an answering machine message. Messages left there have not been returned.

Paris Hardees’ Manager Deke Havener this morning said he was aware of the problem and that “All employees can come in and talk to me and we can take care of it. I could tell them to talk to the corporate office, but it’s better if they just come in and talk with me.”

The opening of Hardees’ had been eagerly-awaited by local customers. Hardees’ formerly had a location in Paris years ago that closed and the restaurant chain opened a new location on Mineral Wells Avenue recently.

Matthew Holt Nominated For Dove Award

McKenzie, Tenn.- Bethel University and the Renaissance Program announce that Renaissance Director Matthew Holt has been nominated for a Dove Award for his work with The Martins’ A cappella group.

The album “A Capella” is nominated for Inspirational Album of the Year. Holt arranged and produced the classic hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.” Other producers nominated for work on this album include Michael English, Lari Goss, David Phelps, and The Martins. 

"Everyone at Bethel University is continually amazed at the success of Matthew Holt,” according to Bethel President Walter Butler. “His talent in the Music Industry is on a level of its own. We are very fortunate Matthew is a part of our family as the Director of Renaissance. His influence to the several hundred students he touches each year is such a blessing for our Bethel family."

The 46th Annual Dove Awards will be held October 13th, 2015 in Nashville, TN. This project was also nominated for Best Gospel Album at the 2015 Grammy Awards. 

CornFest Looking For Creative Chairs

Union City, Tenn.-If you have a creative bent and support local charities, the upcoming Obion County CornFest has an event for you.

The Creative Chair auction will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. September 19 at Kiwanis Park.

To donate a chair, contact Tim at Garden House Boutique at 446-9933 or Event Chair Teresa Dragg at 466-8727. 

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to a local charity or non-profit organization. If you want your non-profit organization to be a recipient, forms can be downloaded at The deadline is September 1.

The chairs are judged according the best use of re-cycled materials, creativity & most artistic. Choose a theme & start decorating! Paint, fabric, decoupage, upcycle, repurpose any new or used chair.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wheatley On LBL Team At Hayfork Wildfire

Drew Wheatley at the LBL booth at BASSfest earlier this summer.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Hayfork, Calif.--Land Between the Lakes has sent a Technical Incident Management team to work at the Hayfork fire that has been burning out of control in Northern California. The team includes LBL Intern Drew Wheatley of Big Sandy.

According to LBL Public Relations Officer Jan Bush, the four-person team will be “doing extremely important work. There will be a lot of tracking, a lot of paperwork for them to do. They’re not fighting the fire, but they’re making sure the fire can be fought. It’s an extremely important part of fire-fighting.”

Wheatley is the son of Andrew and Jennifer Wheatley. Jennifer Wheatley is the Director of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

Drew Wheatley and other team members flew to Northern California over the weekend and will be at the scene for two weeks, Bush said. With no accomodations nearby, the team will be camping out with the command center detail. 

Bush said the LBL has many of its employees at other wildfire scenes throughout the country right now. 

Jennifer Wheatley asked that everyone keep him and his co-workers in their prayers.

Three Arrested In Crystal Ice Haul


     John Wallace                   Tammy Medlock                  Sasha Bradley

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With the help of K9 Officer Herrum, one of the largest amounts of crystal ice was confiscated early this morning by the Henry County Metro Crime Unit and three people from Paris were arrested on various drug charges.

Henry County Deputy David Andrews, who also is the Henry Police Chief and a member of the Metro Crime Unit, stopped a 2007 Ford Fusion for a window tint violation on Hwy. 641 S shortly after midnight.

Driver John Hamlin Wallace, 910 Chickasaw St., was determined to be on state probation for drug offenses and he gave consent to a search of the car.

Paris Patrolman Jamie James was called and his K9 Herrum alerted on the vehicle.

The rear seat passenger, Tammy Medlock of 3089 County Home Rd., was found in possession of approximately one ounce of crystal ice methamphetamine. According to Sheriff Monte Belew, she then attempted to hide another 6.7 ounces between the rear seat of the patrol car.

A third person, Sasha Bradley of 1750 Old Paris-Murray Rd., was found to be in possession of approximately .2 grams of meth, Belew said.

Wallace was charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia after a container used to transport narcotics was found in the vehicle.

Medlock was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Bradley was charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Belew said, “This is one of our biggest confiscations of crystal ice and it’s just another example of the Metro Crime Unit doing a good job. We’re getting these dangerous drugs off the streets and that’s a great thing.”

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, right, shows baggies of crystal ice confiscated. From left: Patrolman Jamie James and Herrum; Deputy David Andrews, Paris Police Sgt. Ricky Watson and Belew.

Dickson County Schools: We Have Not Banned Flag

Dickson, Tenn.-The Dickson County School System is refuting national media reports that the system has banned the American flag from its campuses.

According to a notice on the school system’s website, “Information reported by news stations that the American Flag has been banned in the Dickson County school system is entirely inaccurate. The Flag is prominently displayed at every school in our county. It is also displayed in many of our classrooms. All students in Dickson County are allowed to voluntarily participate in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. We are very proud to have JROTC in both of our high schools, and we will continue to fly and respect the flag.”

The Dickson County School website contains several photos of schools in its system with American flags flying in front of its buildings.

Fire Marshal Investigating House Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Fire Marshall Greg Andrews is investigating the cause of an early-morning fire at 1404 McFadden St. The home was heavily damaged in the fire and its occupant was not injured.

Paris firefighters were called to the scene at 3:45 a.m. today. Assistant Fire Chief Randall Jones said a neighbor called 911 to report the house was on fire and when firefighters arrived, the fire was heavily involved.

An estimate of property damage is listed at $37,500. The property is owned by Mike Joyner of Camden.

Portrait Of Christine Reynolds To Be Unveiled Thursday

The elegant Christine Reynolds with Governor Frank Clement in a photo

from the State Library and Archives.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The public is invited to the unveiling of an oil portrait of the late Christine Reynolds during Thursday’s meeting of the Henry County Historical Society.

Reynolds, of Paris, was the first woman to hold a Tennessee Cabinet post. She was appointed Commissioner of Public Welfare by Governor Frank Clement. She served as commissioner from 1953 to 1959,

The ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. The painting is based on a photograph taken of Reynolds at a Governor’s Inaugural Ball. 

After the unveiling, the portrait will be permanently displayed in the Henry County Courthouse in Paris, Tennessee.

Reynolds also is honored with the “Mimosa Trail”, the series of mimosa trees that were planted from Paris to Paris Landing State Park. The trees were planted after her retirement in large part by state employees who had worked with her.

Christine Reynolds (1909-1970) was born on June 6, 1909, the daughter of Hezakia K. Meadows and Sula Tatum Sheeley. Her mother later married Governor Jim Nance McCord. Reynolds graduated from Grove High School in 1926. 

Reynolds changed the lives of thousands of Tennessee young people who had no voice. She worked diligently for programs to help abused and underprivileged children by promoting excellent foster homes and better adoption laws. Passionate about her position and her cause, Reynolds worked with the state legislature to rewrite welfare laws to benefit the young, the elderly, and the mentally ill.

She married R. Herman Reynolds on March 27, 1938. They both died on March 14, 1970, while vacationing in the Florida Keys and are buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Paris. 

Two Springville Women Arrested With Marijuana Plants


              Tara Woodward                                          Tia Phelan


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-Two Springville women were arrested Friday evening by Henry County Sheriff’s deputies on charges involving growing marijuana plants. The two were arrested while deputies were in the process of helping Benton County authorities pursue a stolen car.

Arrested were Tia Phelan, 34, and Tara Woodward, age 28, both of 303 Blackberry Lane. Both were charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture. Both are still being held at the Henry County Jail on $10,000 bonds.

The incident began when Benton County sheriff’s deputies contacted deputies in Henry County, saying they were pursuing a stolen gray, Nissan Altima on Copper Springs Rd.

Benton County deputies said one of the subjects in the car, Alan Jastrzembski, had felony warrants on him. While in pursuit, deputies traveled down Blackberry Lane, where Benton Co. authorities found the car in a bean field at the end of the lane and the subjects had fled on foot.
Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco were called and tracked the subjects from the bean field to the back yard of 303 Blackberry Lane. A marijuana plant was discovered growing on the back porch.

During questioning of Phelan, she said one of the subjects in the car was supposed to be bringing her a phone but that she had not seen him.

Deputies were told there was a male and female walking in the woods near Blackberry Lane and Copper Springs Rd. Deputy Stacey Bostwick and Fuqua began looking. Cisco and Fuqua found Woodward lying down in weeds behind a tree.

Fuqua and Cisco also found the male subject in the woods and Jastrzemski and the stolen vehicle were transported to Benton County.

Three Injured By Car During Altercation

Martin, Tenn.-Two Martin men are charged after their car swerved into a crowd of people, striking three, during an altercation early Sunday morning.

Arrested are: 

Jeremy Lincoln Anderson of Hillsboro St., age 25, charged with three counts of aggravated assault, accident involving death or personal injury and driving on a revoked or suspended license;

Robert Thomas Jr., age 19, Manley St., charged with assault and accessory after the fact.

Anderson was driving the car and Thomas was the passenger.

Martin Police Chief Don Teal said one victim was treated and released, one only had minor injury, and the other refused treatment. 

Martin Police responded to a call at East Heights Circle at 3:15 a.m. Sunday in reference to a fight in progress.

Victims said two individuals followed them from the Slide and Ride Bar where an altercation had occurred. After arriving at E. Heights Circle another fight broke out. The defendants got into a gray Nissan Altima and swerved into a crowd of people, striking three victims. 

The investigation is ongoing and other charges could be filed. 

Paris Tri Does Well At Murfreesboro 

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Tri club competed in one of the last kids triathlons of the season in the 7th annual Murfreesboro Kids Tri with 250 kids competing. Participants 7-10 years old swam 100yds / biked 2.5 miles and ran .5 miles; participants 11-14 years old swam 200 yds / biked five miles and ran one mile

Pictured with Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence are: Front Row - Olivia Hart 7yr girls 3rd , Audrey Hill 8yr girls 1st, Charlotte Coulson 10 yr girls 5th, Briley Medlin 9 yr girls 6th, Kylee Miller 8yr girls 3rd, Ella Mathis 8yr girls 4th.

Second Row- Turner McSwain 7yr boys 1st, Carter Thompson 9yr boys beginner 2nd, Fisher Lawrence 10yr boys 7th , Hunter Miller 11yr boys 2nd, Garrett Cagle 9yr boys 9th, Amelia Hart 11yr girls 4th, Sara Mathis 10yr girls 6th.

Back row- Hunter Lawrence 12 yr boys 1st, Cole Davis(Southeast Tri club) 13-14 boys 1st and first overall, Tony Lawrence (coach) Emma Hill 13-14 girls 3rd, Gunner Jones 11yr boys 3rd. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015 

Thile Returns To Murray For Benefit

Murray, Ky.-Chris Thile is coming back home to Murray for a benefit concert in October.

When Thile’s family moved to Murray years ago, local people were able to watch his talent grow in appearances on WKMS’ Music From The Front Porch, as well as when he joined Nickel Creek and performed at the Robert E. Johnson Theater.

And everyone has heard his singing, songwriting and mandolin-playing on public radio for over a decade, whether with Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers, or solo. 

Thile is returning home to play a benefit concert Thursday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium, with all proceeds advancing music programs at MSU. WKMS will be partnering in his appearance.

Tickets go on sale Friday, August 28 at 10 am on Ticketmaster and at the CFSB Center Box Office.

Proceeds from the Chris Thile Benefit Concert at Murray State University will be used to establish a new scholarship fund in the Department of Music through the MSU Foundation. Chris recognizes that the greatest need for the MSU Department of Music is for student scholarships - many Murray State music students are still first-generation college students who deeply desire an opportunity for an education in music but whose families struggle to find the financial means to bring their dreams to reality.


Man Dead After Shooting At Wickliffe Park

Wickliffe, Ky.-A Ballard County man was shot dead during an altercation Saturday afternoon at Wickliffe Park in Wickcliffe, Ky.

Killed was Blake R. Burnley, age 38, of Barlow.

Kentucky State Police were called to the scene around 5 p.m. by the Ballard County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators arrived and discovered Burnley had been involved in an altercation with his ex-wife’s current husband, and the altercation ended with gunfire.  It was also discovered that both men involved in the altercation were armed. The altercation and subsequent shooting led to the death of Burnley.

Detective Trey Green of the Kentucky State Police is leading the investigation with the assistance of other KSP personnel and the Ballard County Sheriff’s Office.  At this time, no charges have been filed; however, the investigation is ongoing and further information will be released as it becomes available.  An autopsy has been scheduled for Sunday, August 23, 2015, in Louisville, Kentucky.

USDA Grants Help West Tennessee

Memphis, Tenn.– Rural Development Administrator Lillian Salerno visited the state today to announce investments that will help rural businesses grow and create jobs and support small business. State Director Bobby Goode also was on hand.

Several of the projects are being supported under USDA’s StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity initiative, which aims to increase investments in rural communities through intensive outreach and strong partnerships with community leaders, businesses, foundations and other groups that are working to combat persistent poverty. 

Among the grants was a $30,400 grant to Dyersburg State Community College to assist 12 counties in rural Northwest Tennessee to become an ACT Work Ready Community. By earning this designation northwest Tennessee will have the data, process and tools that drive economic growth. 

The 12 counties include Henry, Obion, Lake, Gibson, Benton, Carroll, Weakley, Lauderdale, Tipton, Haywood, Dyer, and Crockett.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Tennessee go online at

Saturday, August 22, 2015 

4-H Dairy Team Secures Spot at Nationals

Murray Perkins moves in for close examination of two Brown Swiss yearlings as he finalizes his placings for the class at the contest. Murray was the 2nd high individual of the entire contest in his first ever dairy judging competition. (Laura Moss photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County 4-H Dairy Judging team journeyed home from the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon, TN with plenty to smile about.  

The four person team of Murray Perkins, Allie Jo Shankle, Katie Plowman and Kasey Pickle was named the State Runner-up Thursday August 20th after a competitive day of judging six classes of animals and giving three sets of oral reasons. The team will compete in November at the 2015 NAILE where they will compete against other state winning teams from all over the country.

According to 4-H Advisor Laura Moss, the team has been practicing during the summer and learning how to evaluate the mammary systems, dairy strength, feet and leg structure and frame conformation traits that make dairy cattle profitable and productive for the farmers in the area.  “Thank you to the local farms who have allowed the team to come practice,” Moss said.

The team members were excited about their individual contributions to the team.   Murray was the second high individual overall as well as 10th place in reasons.

Allie Jo was the 6th high individual overall and 3rd in reasons.  Katie was scored 7th in reasons and 10th overall.

Next on the agenda for the team will be competing in the FFA regional qualifier for the State FFA contest.  After that, they will be traveling to the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY November 8th for their national contest debut.  

Murray Perkins moves in for close examination of two Brown Swiss yearlings as he finalizes his placings for the class at the 2015 State 4-H Dairy judging Contest August 20th in Lebanon, TN.  Murray was the 2nd high individual of the entire contest in his first ever dairy judging competition.

Tiffany Clark, Kasey Pickle, Murray Perkins, Katie Plowman, Allie Jo Shankle take time for a quick picture at the judging contest.   

Downtown Cruise In Is Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The Downtown Paris Association will sponsor the August Downtown Cruise In from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday on the east side of the Henry County Court Square. Poplar Street on the east side of the Court Square will be closed at 5 pm for the classic cars only. Bring your classic car, lawn chair, and enjoy music by Cash Caldwell. Also bring an appetite since Perry’s BBQ will be available as well as Cajun Snow Cones. Car owners may register to win prizes from the Downtown Paris Association.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Governor Haslam To Be In Union City Tuesday 

Union City, Tenn.-Governor Bill Haslam will be in Union City at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 25, to continue his discussion of the state’s transportation and infrastructure needs. 

The Governor’s Office today confirmed Haslam will be at the Obion County Public Library in Union City accompanied by Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer.

Haslam and Schroer have been traveling the state this month to discuss the state’s roads and highways, safety issues around roads and bridges and the impact infrastructure has on economic development efforts in urban and rural communities.

In addition to Union City, the 15 meetings around the state are being held in Memphis, Clarksville, Jackson, Nashville, Franklin, Kingsport, Greeneville, Shelbyville, Murfreesboro, Crossville, Chattanooga, Cleveland Lenoir City and Knoxville. Participants will include state legislators, mayors, local elected officials, business leaders, chamber executives and local infrastructure officials.

“Tennessee’s transportation and infrastructure system always ranks at or near the top when compared to the rest of the country,” Haslam said. “We have no transportation debt and we do a great job maintaining our roads, but we know we have challenges on the horizon.

Fincher To Speak In Paris On Monday Night

Paris, Tenn. - Congressman Stephen Fincher will be speaking at the Henry Co Republican Party's general meeting on Monday, August 24, at 6 p.m. at the Henry Co. Courthouse.

There will be a meet-and-greet from 6 to 6:30. Following a brief business session, Congressman Fincher will address some of the important issues facing the country and Congress in the coming year and answer questions from the audience. Light refreshments will be served.

Martin Police Bring Home Awards

Murfreesboro, Tenn. Martin Police Patrol Lt. Eric Reed and Terminal Agency Coordinator Katie Perry received a first place trophy on behalf of the Martin Police Department while attending the 2015 Governor’s Highway Safety Office Law Enforcement Challenge in Murfreesboro. The Martin Police Department was awarded first place in the 26-45 officer category of the competition.

The Law Enforcement Challenge is an annual competition designed to recognize and award the best overall traffic safety programs across the state.  Agencies are judged on their local efforts to enforce laws educate the public about the dangers of driving impaired and speeding, as well as the importance of occupant protection.  The goal of the program is to reduce crashes and injuries within the participating agencies’ jurisdictions.

The Martin Police Department brought home a first place trophy and several electronic prizes that had a total value of $850.

Chief Don Teal said that the department was honored to bring home this award and wants to thank all of the officers and staff that made it possible.  Several people at the agency are involved in enforcement, education and the collection of data that is vital in the success of their safety program, he said.

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