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Friday, May 27, 2016

Let There Be Light


Paris, Tenn.-Street lights turned on early on the Henry County Court Square as darkness began falling before Thursday’s severe thunderstorm. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Portrait Of Late Joe Routon Is Unveiled


Stephanie Tayloe and Susan Pemberton with portrait of their grandfather, Joe Routon. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The portrait of former long-time Henry County Superintendent of Schools Joe Routon was unveiled at the quarterly meeting of the Henry County Historical Society Thursday evening.

Routon was a teacher for 19 years and Superintendent for 33 years. During his tenure as Superintendent, he worked with the local school board and Dr. E.W. Grove to ensure the founding of the first high school for Henry County, which was named E.W.Grove High School.

Susan Pemberton of Paris, a granddaughter of Routon, gave a presentation of Routon’s life and an overview of the Routon family, which was one of Henry County’s first pioneer families. Pemberton credited her cousin, Stephanie Routon Tayloe with providing much of the history and anecdotes for the presentation.

While Superintendent, Routon was introduced the first agricultural classes in the state, added speech, dramatics and art to the curriculum and worked with his brother, Senator S.J. Routon, to pass child labor laws in Tennessee. Also during his tenure, the Paris school district was created.

The portrait of Routon will be hung in a permanent location in the Henry County Courthouse along with other portraits that were unveiled previously of Former State Welfare Commissioner Christine Reynolds, former Associate Supreme Court Justice Howell Jackson and former Howard University President Mordecai Johnson. The portraits will be hung together at a later date. All of the portraits were painted by a local artist who wishes to remain anonymous.

Quota Presents Scholarships To Local Students

Back Row L-R: Hunter Lacy, Andrew Bigham, Whitney Rawls, Kendall Wimberly
Front Row L-R: Savannah Walker, Mallory Norwood, Rachel Hale, Peyden Valentine
Not pictured: Imari Thompson and Alex Watkins


Paris, Tenn.-Ten $1,000 Scholarships were presented to students at Quota’s May 25th luncheon at noon at Lee Academy lunchroom. 

Suzanne Richter, chairman of the Scholarship Committee, explained the process of choosing Quota Scholarship recipients to members and guests. 

2016 high school graduates receiving scholarships and their guests are: Peyden Valentine with his mother, Genese; Alex Watkins, who was unable to attend; Kendall Wimberly with her mother, Jenni Carroll and grandmother, Becky Page; Savannah Walker with her grandmother, Wanda; Hunter Lacy (receiving the Ruth Reynolds memorial scholarship) with his parents, Tony and Kristi Lacy and his grandmother, Quotarian Brenda Hosford. College students receiving scholarships and their guests are: Whitney Rawls with her mother, Tina; Mallory Norwood, with her mother, Natalie; Rachel Hale, with her daughter, Paris and her mother, Quotarian Sharon Hale; Andrew Bigham (receiving the Mary Sue Looney memorial scholarship) with his mother, Pam. Imari Thompson was unable to attend, but his mother, April, was there to accept the Routon Scholarship for him. 

Pat Stephens and Wilda Martin were also guests at the meeting. Pat Bailey installed a new member, Karen Kelly, whom she is also sponsoring.

Henry Countians Graduated From TOPS

By Lori Barrow

Henry County students Austin Barnes and Krislen Sherrill were graduated from the Tennessee Online Public School, based in Bristol, TN, on May 20. The Tennessee Online Public School had a graduating class of fifty-eight students this year, and thirty student attended the graduation ceremony in Bristol, TN.

Barnes is the son of Justin and Charlene Barnes, of Springville, and Lori and Troy Barrow, of Paris. Barnes had been with TOPS since its inception in 2012 and plans to study Nursing at Austin Peay State University. While at TOPS, Barnes has won the Service Learning Award. 

Sherrill is the daughter of Norris and Fran Sherrill of Paducah, Ky. and Larry and Elaine Conger of Paris, TN.. Sherrill graduated with honors and was recognized as being in the top 5 in her class and receiving the Physical Science Award. Ms. Sherrill will be moving to New York City in June to serve as a production assistant at Choice Films and Theatricals and will attend the T. Schreiber Acting Conservatory in September.

Principal Dr. Jason Horne said in his commencement address, "For parents, graduation means the end of a major worry, and for many of the these kids it's a worry they've had since these children were little children- wondering if they would make it to graduation or not, wondering if they would come home from school bruised physically or emotionally."

TOPS is a statewide public virtual school serving grades 9-12 in the state of Tennessee. It is our mission to prepare students for life in a flexible learning environment that values high achievement in all pursuits. TOPS is accredited by AdvancED, and its courses are certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center for Division I athletes. In addition, TOPS uses Google Apps for Education to provide students with cloud-based services and email and Canvas by for its Learning Management Service. TOPS was founded in 2012 and is part of the Bristol, TN City Schools system.

FOP Awards Scholarships

Paris, Tenn.-The Fraternal Order of Police Tennessee-Kentucky Lake Lodge 17 has announced the recipients of the 2016 college scholarships. Each graduating senior or college student will receive a $500 scholarship.

The recipients are: Jessica Alexander, Mason Crosser, William Gean, Jenny Howard, Justin Ramos, Savannah Stewart, Ashton Thompson, Clay Wyrick and Coltin Wyrick.


Summer In The Park Concert Series Begins

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Summer In The Park series begins this Saturday at Paris Landing State Park with a musical performance by Mike Holden of Paris.

The concerts are held at the park amphitheater from 7-9 p.m. Bring lawn chairs and a blanket.


Junior Ranger Day Camp Set

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Paris Landing State Park Junior Ranger Day Camp will be held June 6-10. It will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. every day for age groups six through 14. You may call the park office at 641-4465 or email for an application.


UC Man Charged With Stealing Gun, Evading Arrest

Union City, Tenn.-Following a foot pursuit by Union City Police Thursday evening, a Union City man on several charges, including possession of a stolen gun.

Arrested was Nedrick Jones of 621 N. Division St., Union City. He was charged with theft over $500, unlawful possession of a weapon and evading arrest.

Officers were called to the 500 block of East Main St. on a report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, they saw three black males on the sidewalk. When officers approached, Jones reportedly began walking away then began running. After a brief foot pursuit, Jones was taken into custody on the 700 block of E. Vine St.

During a search, officers found a .357 Smith & Wesson revolver which was stolen from a Union City resident on May 20.

Rites For Robert Wood Set

Union City, Tenn.-Long-time Union City Businessman and WWII veteran Robert Wilford Wood, 97, of Union City died May 25, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City.

Services will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Union City Cumberland Presbyterian Church, with the Rev.Drew Hayes officiating. Burial will follow in East View Cemetery.

The family will receive friends 5-8 p.m. Friday at White-Ranson Funeral Home. The family requests that memorials be made to Union City Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

He was born Dec. 25, 1918, in Union City, son of the later H.S. and Velma (Fisher) Wood, and he spent most of his life in Union City. He was a graduate of Union City High School. He married the former Ann Elizabeth “Betty” Burdick June 6, 1952. She passed away Oct. 9, 2003.

 He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and was aboard a sub chaser from 1942-45 in the Pacific. At the time of his discharge, he was a Chief Petty Officer.

Prior to the time of serving his country, he had been manager of the former McElroy 5&10. After the war, he became affiliated with the Sam Shainberg Co. and managed the Pine Bluff, Ark., store before returning to Union City, where he served as manager of the former Black & White Store, later to be known as the former Shainberg’s, for 33 years before retiring in 1983. While manager of Shainberg’s, he hired and trained many managers and executives for the company. He had also managed Reelfoot Shopping Center since its development and was involved in many other civic and professional undertakings in Union City.  

A longtime member of Union City Cumberland Presbyterian Church, he had been an elder and trustee and had been a Sunday school teacher for 40 years. He was also a member of Royal Arch Masons, Knights Templar and Goodwill Shrine Club, all in Union City, and of Al Chymia Temple of Memphis. He had been a Boy Scout and was active in Boy Scouts of America for 37 years and was Named Pride of Obion County in 2004.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Robin and Pat Wood of Union City; three grandchildren and their spouses, Courtney and Dr. Peter Lund of Chattanooga and Shelly and Jeff Hay and Trey Wood, all of Union City; five great-grandchildren, Dustin Scott, Garrett Hay and Cohen Wood, all of Unon City, and Petra Lund and Callista Lund, both of Chattanooga; two nephews; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Henry County Hunters For The Hungry Are Honored

With their trophy, front row from left are Sheriff Belew and Ricky Ford; back row, Skip Hale, John McElroy, Captain Damon Lowe and Retired Captain Rod Frey. (HCSO photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office received an award from the Tennessee Wildlife Federation for its outstanding achievement in the “Hunters for the Hungry” program.

Sheriff Monte Belew said “This past deer season, the sheriff’s office was able to process 226 deer which produced approx. 9,000 lbs of meat that was given away to the citizens of Henry County. The “Hunters for the Hungry” program and the ‘Deputies for the Hungry’ program go hand in hand and that’s why we were able receive the ‘Sharing the Harvest’ award this year from the TN Wildlife Federation.”

According to Belew, since this program’s inception there have been a lot of people that have helped make this program a success. “Some of those people are Retired Captain Rod Frey, Skip Hale, Ricky Ford and John McElroy, just to mention a few. We would also like to thank our sponsors this year, Jamie Orr with Edward Jones and Hulme Sporting Goods,” he said.

Before his retirement, Skip Hale was the cook for the jail. Both Deputies Ricky Ford and John McElroy are co-directors of the Hunters for the Hungry program.

Welch To Speak At Memorial Day Event


Elmer "Scott" Welch was grand marshal of the Veterans' Day parade last year. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Memorial Day commemoration service will be held at 8 a.m. Monday, May 30, outdoors on the courthouse lawn.

Highlight of this year’s event will be the dedication of the new handicapped-accessible walkway around the Veterans’ Memorial on the courtsquare.

Guest speaker will be Elmer “Scott” Welch, World War II veteran from Springville. Welch was the grand marshal of the Veteran’s Day parade last year.

Bagpiper Ed Smith of Paris will play “Amazing Grace”. The Tennessee State Guard will perform military honors.

The annual fun run will be held at 10 a.m. at the AMVETS Post on Hwy. 79N.

The public is welcome to both events. 

Storm Floods Roads In McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn.-The severe thunderstorms that moved through our area flooded roadways in McKenzie, downed trees in Henry County and caused temporary power outages in some areas. Tammy Trevathan took this photo on Main Street in McKenzie during the height of the storm.

Discovery Park Sets Military Living History Event

Veterans And Dependents Admitted Free 

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America wants to bring history to life as they invite you to attend Military Living History on the Great Lawn on Memorial Day Weekend. This Memorial weekend event will pay tribute to these important wars and the people who fought in them. Whether you are a senior citizen coming to reminisce, or a parent hoping to find a unique way to educate your child or teenager, it is an opportunity not to be missed. The three days of Military Living History, May 28th – 30th, will occur on the Great Lawn during regular park hours, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. Guests will experience the sights and sounds of these historical conflicts as well as at least two weapon demonstrations daily. The weekend is being sponsored by Union City Coca Cola, Leaders Credit Union and Reelfoot Bank.

Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy said all veterans, military and their dependents will be admitted free on Monday, May 30th, Memorial Day, with all other guests paying just $10 for a ticket that day. (Three and under will be free.) The park, which is usually closed on Mondays, will open regular hours on Memorial Day. Wrapping up the weekend, there will be a special ceremony on Memorial Day at 2:00 p.m. in the ATA Traveling Exhibit Hall. There will be special recognition of our visiting Veterans during this service. Everyone is invited, and it is free for all veterans, military and dependents, as well anyone with park admission.

The historians will be setting up their camps on Thursday and Friday, according to Gunlefinger, with a WWII Stuart Tank arriving around 4:00 p.m. Friday. Saturday, May 28th will be highlighted with weapons demonstrations at 1:30 and 3:30. On Sunday, May 29th,

 there will be a non-denominational Field Worship Service at 10:30 a.m. Then, on Memorial Day, the 2:00 p.m. service honoring our veterans and military will complete the scheduled activities. However, all weekend long, guests are invited to visit with the historians, view their exhibits and learn about what life was like for the soldiers during these major historical conflicts.

Several vehicles from each of the wars will be on display on the Great Lawn throughout the weekend including several jeeps, a Vietnam “Mechanical Mule,” a “Mighty Mite,” an M3 Halftrack, a “Deuce and a Half” 2 ˝ ton truck and others.

Additional highlights during Memorial weekend at the park include a Cardboard Boat Regatta in the South Lake on Saturday, May 28th at 11:00 a.m. There will also be live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:00 until 9:00 at the Libation Station train bar, which is free to the public.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN. You can see the 2015 Calendar of Events, including upcoming educational and entertaining events, by visiting the website at . The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays, Memorial Day, Labor Day and the 4th of July, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun. 

Carroll County To Honor Memorial Day With Two Events

McKenzie, Tenn.-Carroll County will be offering two Memorial Day events, one in McKenzie and one in Huntingdon. Both will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30.

The city of McKenzie ceremony will be held at the downtown park. In case of rain, all activities will be moved to the Park Theater downtown.

Honorary speaker will be David Jarrett, Master Sergeant of the Tennessee Army National Guard. Jarrett is a 1988 graduate of McKenzie High School and he served in Iraq and Kuwait.

Music will be provided by Juliet, Jocelyn and Jessamyn Romines.

The Gordon Browning Museum, also located around the town square, will be open until 1 p.m. on Memorial Day.

Huntingdon’s ceremony will be held at Thomas Park located on East Main Street. Reserved seating and a red carnation will be provided for veterans and active military personnel who register before the ceremony. Registration begins at 9:15 a.m.

Featured speaker will be Tom O’Bryant, Carroll County Veterans’ Service Coordinator.

Hit And Run Driver Arrested After Accident

Erin, Tenn.-A man is under arrest on child abuse and DUI charges following a hit and run accident in Tennessee Ridge in Houston County on Tuesday.

Adam Caksakker was arrested after the accident which occurred on Main Street. A passenger in his car was airlifted by Air Evac to an area hospital and two small children in the car were not injured.

According to the press release from the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, Caksakker was issued citations for multiple offenses, including child abuse and neglect and DUI.

A deputy was able to locate his vehicle on Hurricane Loop shortly after the accident.

Long-Time Union City Business Leader Dies

Union City, Tenn.-Long-time Union City businessman Robert Wood, 97, died Wednesday evening, May 25 at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City. 

Arrangements will be announced by White-Ranson Funeral Home today. 

Dresden Receives $290,700 Grant For Industrial Site

Dresden, Tenn.-The city of Dresden has received a $290,700 grant to make its city industrial site ready for industrial prospects. Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd and Assistant Commissioner of Rural Development Amy New stopped by Dresden City Hall Tuesday to present the Dresden Industrial Board with the site development grant check.

The total project is for $306,000 and the city Industrial Board will supply five percent, or $15,300.

According to Mayor Jeff Washburn, the funds will be used to pave the access road to make the road more easily accessible. A portion of the funds will be used to install foundation gravel for a parking lot for a prospective industry.

Paris City Memorial Day Closings

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris has announced its Memorial Day closings. City Hall will be closed Monday, May 30, while all emergency services will be on regular schedule.

Also closed: City of Paris Public Works Department. Monday and Tuesday garbage routes will be run Tuesday.

The landfill will be closed Monday and reopen at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

The city animal shelter will be closed Monday and reopen 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Paris Civic Center will close Monday and reopen 6 a.m. Tuesday. Gerald Howard Municipal Pool will open for the season on Memorial Day 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The pool is located in Eiffel Tower Park.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Large Turnout For Downtown Cruise-In


Paris, Tenn—If you like classic cars and good hospitality the first Downtown Cruise-In of the season in downtown Paris was the place to be Tuesday evening. A large crowd—and a large number of classic cars—were on hand for the event. Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray said, “I’m thrilled with this turnout.” Randall French provided musical entertainment and food was available from Perry’s BBQ and Cajun Sno-cones. Ray said the Cruise-Ins are held from 5:30-7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesdays in May, June, August, September and October. In addition, an antique car show will be held at the 7th annual Ice Cream Social July 30. Photo by Shannon McFarlin.


Woman Charged With Aggravated Arson Held On $75,000 Bond

 By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

 Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has located and arrested a Henry woman accused of aggravated arson and aggravated burglary of a Lake Street home in Paris last week.

Paris Police had issued a warrant for the arrest of Valerie E. Morgan, age 30 of Repogle Rd. in Henry last Thursday evening following an incident at 106 N. Lake St.

Morgan is being held in the Henry County Jail on $75,000 bond.

According to the police report, Morgan reportedly forced her way into the home unannounced, began throwing food around and took some, then began pouring gasoline onto the carport and set it on fire.

According to the Paris Fire Department, when they arrived at the scene, the carport was engulfed in flames. The resident of the home was able to get out of the house unharmed.


UTM Enrolling For Kid College

Addie Roberts, daughter of Jason and Beth Roberts, of Martin, participates in a karate class during Kid College 2015. (UTM photo.)

Martin, Tenn. – Enrollment is now open for the annual Kid College hosted by the University of Tennessee at Martin. This five-day interactive learning camp will take place June 13-17 on the UT Martin main campus. Children who will be in kindergarten through fifth grade in the fall of 2016 are eligible to participate.

Registration is first-come, first-served and must be paid in full prior to the first day of camp. Children may be enrolled in up to five courses. Registration is $30 for the first course and $25 for each additional class, which includes a camp T-shirt. Some courses also include supply fees which must be paid to the course instructor on the first day of camp.

Course options for students in kindergarten through second grade include cheerleading, French, simple machines, Spanish, dinosaurs and woodworking. Students in grades three through five can learn about chemical reactions, space, Spanish, computers, and simple and powered machines, among many other topics.

June 15 will be picture day, and all students are encouraged to wear their Kid College T-shirts. Parents should pack a lunch and drink each day. Additional information will be sent to parents via email the week before camp begins. 

An open house will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m., June 17. Parents, family and friends are welcome to meet the Kid College instructors, view displays and watch demonstrations during this time.

For more information or to register, contact the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082 or visit the course website at


Benton County Libraries To Serve Kids’ Meals In Summer

Camden, Tenn.-Kids can eat free at the Benton County Public Library all summer. Through a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, the Main Library will serve breakfast (cereal, milk, juice, and more) and lunch (PB & J sandwiches, PB cups with crackers, Hot lunches: Beef & Mac Casserole, Chicken tenders, Flame broiled chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, taco boats, loaded taco potatoes, all come with fruit, vegetable, milk, juice, and more!)

Meals are served every week day. Breakfast will be served 9 am until 10:30 and lunch will be Noon until 1 pm.

Anyone 18 & UNDER is welcome.

The Big Sandy Branch Library, with the help of its Friends group, will also serve breakfast and lunch every day. Great activities like Movie Monday, Try it Tuesday, Wii Wednesday, Tech free Thursday, and Fun Friday will be offered during meals. For more information, call 584-4772.

 Tickets On Sale For Chamber Banquet

Paris, Tenn.-“There’s No Place I’d Rather Be” will be the theme of the 66th annual membership banquet of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, scheduled for 6 pm on Friday, June 24th at the Event Center at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Tickets are on sale now at $25 each. A table of six is $140. Call the Chamber office at 642-3431 to purchase tickets.

The Chamber’s Business of the Year and Person of the Year awards will be presented, along with the installation of officers. Gary McEntire, Paris Landing State Park, will receive his red jacket as he becomes the new Chamber president.

Chamber President Tony Lawrence will deliver his remarks on the past year and said “This year we will also debut the new community video that includes our dance sequence shot at Eiffel Tower Park.”


HCHS Teachers’ Reunion Set

Paris, Tenn.-Those who taught at Henry County High School in the mid-1980s are invited to attend a brunch in their honor in the Commons Area of HCHS beginning at11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 11. Tours of HCHS will be available.

This occasion will be one of several events that are part of the 30th Reunion of the Class of 1986, capping off with a dinner later that evening at the Paris Convention Center. According to David Webb, a member of the planning team, "The Teacher Reunion will be an opportunity for former teachers and staff of HCHS to reconnect with each other and with some of the members of the Class of '86. We look forward to seeing our teachers again and to thank them again for their commitment to our education."

Those who would like to attend the reunion are asked to RSVP by contacting Webb in one these ways: Message him on Facebook; text or call 336-8920 or email


Paris City Pool To Offer Swimming Lessons

 Paris, Tenn.-The Paris City Pool will be offering swimming lessons through June and July.

Level I will cost $40, Level II $50 and Infant swimming classes will be $35. In July, an accelerated class (only four days) will be offered for Level 1 at $35, as well as the regular Level II classes.

For the schedules, call the city pool at 644-2698.

Students in swimming classes will be exempt from pool fees on the day of their classes. Enrollment is first-come, first-served. Private instruction is considered. Call Pool Manager Amanda White for information.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wimberley Is New Paris BPU General Manager

Terry Wimberley at his desk this morning. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) unanimously voted Tuesday morning to hire Terry Wimberley as the new General Manager.

Wimberley will replace General Manager John Etheridge, whose retirement after 35 years with the utility is effective in October.

Wimberley currently is Assistant General Manager and Director of Water and Wastewater. Wimberley has worked for BPU for 20 years.

In recommending the hiring of Wimberley for the position, Board Chairman David Flowers noted Wimberley’s experience and education. Flowers said, “It’s always good to be able to promote from within. That’s the way we like to do it if at all possible.”

Wimberley thanked each board member personally and said, “I want to thank you all so much. I’m looking forward to working with all of you.”

The board approved a three-year contract for Wimberley.

Wimberley said after the meeting that BPU will post the opening for his vacated position—Director of Water and Wastewater—today. “We’ll post it within the BPU and see who is interested in serving in that capacity,” he said.

Wimberley’s first important task as new General Manager will be to oversee the BPU budget. Budget materials were handed out to the board members for their review. Wimberley noted that the proposed budget includes a one percent wage increase in all labor categories. He also said the planned rate increases are included and capital expenditures will total just under $700,000. He said right of way clearing also will continue in the new budget.

In his report, Etheridge noted that the electrical department has gained some 200 customers over the past year. “Some utilities have been losing customers, but we’ve never gotten to that point. In fact, we’ve gained customers,” he said.

He did note that in the electrical department, per customer usage has gone down locally, with the average electrical customer using 110 kilowatts less than last year. He said customers are using new technology to save on energy.

In other business, the board terminated both the Voya and Mass Mutual Financial Group 457B retirement plans, which have been offered through payroll deductions. Etheridge said, “It wasn’t widely used. We only had 15 people on it.”

He recommended the plans be closed to save on audit costs. The money will be released to the individuals on the plans so they can invest it as they please.


 Rhea School Has A New Look

Paris, Tenn.-Rhea Elementary School has a totally new look today, as workers with the J.R. Hayes company are completing tearing out the trees at the front and side of the building to make way to the new building project. New classrooms and cafeteria, along with a new entrance and parking lot areas, will be constructed in time for the next school year. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

2016 Benton County Hall Of Fame Inducted

2016 Hall of Fame inductees. (Benton County Hall of Fame photo).

Camden, Tenn.-A new class of inductees are now a permanent part of the Benton County High School Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees are: Cliff Sturdivant, Jack Franks, Danny Brandenburg, Jerry McKelvy, David Dulin, Jim McPeake, Mark Florence and Dale Woodard.

The induction ceremonies were held at Lakeshore Camp and the speaker for the evening was Jackie McGee.

Big Sandy Spring Festival Is This Weekend

Big Sandy, Tenn.-An annual Memorial Day weekend event, the 41st annual Big Sandy Spring Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, May 27 and 28. The theme this year is “The Circus” because the festival ‘is the greatest show in Big Sandy’.

Festivities kick off Friday night with a dance to the tunes of the Tennessee River Band. Saturday, the parade will begin at 10 a.m. and the annual car show, carnival, concessions, crafts and music will be ongoing all day.

Saturday night, Johnny Mac and the Heart Attacks will perform and fireworks will be set off in the evening.


Obion County Walk Of Hope Schedule Set

Union City, Tenn.-Organizers of the Obion County Hometown Walk of Hope have announced the schedule for this year’s event, which will be held June 4 at War Memorial Stadium in Union City. The event benefits cancer patients in Obion Co.

Opening ceremonies will be held at 4 p.m., followed by the parade of teams at 4:30 and the Survivor Reception from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

A cornhole tournament will be held at 4:45 p.m., with the obstacle course at 5 and a pedal car race at 5:30 p.m.

The survivors’ lap will begin at 6 p.m., with a scavenger hunt at 7 p.m., t-shirt contest at 7:30 p.m., Name That Tune contest at 8, followed by a lip sync contest at 8:45 p.m.

The Lights of Hope will be illuminated at 9:45 p.m., the womanless beauty revue—always a hit—at 10:30 p.m. and awards given out at 11:30 p.m.

The Walk of Hope will end with its final lap at midnight.


Paris Police Seeing Increase In Thefts From Autos

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said his department has been working an increase in auto burglaries within the city of Paris recently. He said most of the vehicle burglaries could be prevented by doing something as simple as locking your vehicles. Items stolen have included purses, laptop computers, cell phones, billfolds, guns, cash, GPS, and prescription medication.

Elizondo issued safety tips which include: Don’t trust your vehicle remote to lock your car doors; keep car doors locked and secure; close car windows and sunroofs; park where your vehicle is visible; mark your belongings with IDs or initials and keep track of serial numbers of belongings.


Click It Or Ticket Checkpoints To Be Enforced

Area law enforcement will be taking part in the 2016 national Click it or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend to help save lives by cracking down on those who do not buckle up.

Specifically, the Union City, Paris Police and Murray Police Departments have issued press releases notifying the public they will be conducting traffic safety checkpoints throughout those cities.

During the checkpoints, officers will be enforcing laws related to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, licensing of motor vehicles and operators, registration and insurance violations, seat belt and child restraint violations and motor vehicle equipment violations.

In Murray, over a dozen location may be utilized by police for their checkpoints, including U.S. 641 through town, Glendale Road, Olive Street, Main Street, Chestnut and other main thoroughfares.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Obion County Woman Killed, Husband Seriously Injured In Wreck

Dyer, Tenn.-An Obion County woman was killed and her husband was transported to The Med in Memphis following a wreck in Dyer County just after 11 p.m. Saturday night.

Marcie L. Gray, age 42, of Troy, was killed in the accident and her husband Shane Gray, also age 42, was seriously injured.

The Grays were traveling north on Hwy. 51 when they were rear-ended by a truck driven by Zachary R. Owsley, age 29, of Newbern.  The impact caused Gray to lose control of his vehicle, cross the center line and turn over. Mrs. Gray was ejected into southbound traffic where she was hit and died instantly.

Criminal charges are pending.

Union City Business Owners Arrested On Drug Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Managers and owners at three Union City businesses were charged with a long list of drug and gambling charges during compliance checks conducted last week by Police Chief Perry Barfield and police officers.

The businesses involved are: The Uptown Store at 1315 Martin Luther King Blvd.; The Tobacco Barn at2300 E. Reelfoot Ave., and Phillips 66 convenience store at 2031 W. Reelfoot Ave.

Saleh Altareb of 300 Royal in Union City was arrested at The Uptown Store at 1315 Martin Luther King Blvd. on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a gambling device.

Union City Chief Perry Barfield and two officers conducted a walk-through of the Uptown Store. According to the police report, it had been awhile since the store was open and officers had just noticed that it had re-opened.

As Barfield and the officers spoke to the clerk, they observed “a display case of drug pipes,marijuana grinders, some marked with marijuana leaves, drug detox drinks, drug test kits, rolling papers, gambling dice, playing cards, and digital scales. These items are known to be used for the use, preparation and concealment of narcotic use. The dice and playing cards are known to be used for gambling in this area of town. None of these items has a legitimate use”.  

Both Usha and Vasadev Patel, both of Lilly Pond Dr. in Martin, and Jia Weng of Dyersburg were arrested at The Tobacco Barn and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

During the compliance check officers observed 3 glass display cases stocked with bongs, glass drug pipes, metal drug pipes, detox drinks, marijuana grinders (some marked with marijuana leaves), drug tests, digital scales, one hitter boxes and pipes, pipe cleaning solution and paraphernalia cases. “These items were being sold for the use, processing, and concealment of narcotics,” according to the report.

During a later compliance check at the business, officers also observed 2 glass display cases and store shelves stocked with bongs, glass drug pipes, metal drug pipes, detox drinks, marijuana grinders (some marked with marijuana leaves), synthetic urine, drug tests, digital scales, one hitter boxes and pipes, pipe cleaning solution and paraphernalia cases. “These items were being sold for the use, processing, and concealment of narcotics,” according to the police report.

At the Phillips 66, officers arrested Vijay Rana of Sunswept Dr. in Union City, and charged him with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a gambling device.

During the compliance check there, officers observed a display of Detox drinks on the front counter by the register. According to the report, “These items are used in an attempt to clean out your system from the use of narcotics.”

Officers also observed 10 packages of small bags in a case on the counter that are commonly assoicated with the sale of narcotics as packaging. “On top of this case there was a partial box of dice, which are commonly used for gambling. These items have been confiscated from other stores while being sold for those purposes,” according to the report.

Warrants Issued On Paris Aggravated Arson Charge

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police have issued warrants for the arrest of Valerie Morgan, age 30, of 80 Repogle Rd., in Henry, on charges of aggravated arson and aggravated burglary following an incident last week on Lake Street in Paris.

According to the Paris Fire Department, firefighters were called to 106 N. Lake St. on a report of a fire at the residence. When they arrived, they found flames coming from the carport area of the house.

Firefighters alerted Paris Patrolman Tyrell Jackson that they found something suspicious on the carport while extinguishing the blaze.

During investigation, witnesses told officers that Morgan had forced her way into the house and that they then saw her pour gasoline from a gas can onto the carport and light it on fire.

No one was injured during the incident. According to the fire department report, most of the damage was to the exterior, with a little smoke damage inside the home.


Portrait Of Joe Routon To Be Unveiled Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The public is invited to the unveiling of a portrait of the late long-time Henry County Schools Superintendent Joe Routon at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center.

A presentation will be made on the life of Routon and his significant contribution to education in Henry County during his 33 years as superintendent. Based on a photograph of Routon, the unsigned oil painting will be hung permanently in the Henry County Courthouse. 

The unveiling will be conducted during the Historical Society’s regular quarterly meeting. Refreshments will be served.  

The brief meeting will also include proposals to help sponsor a historic home tour in the Lee School historic district, provide funds to matte an old map of Paris recently donated by the City of Paris (which will be on display at the meeting), and the possibility of acquiring furniture and other items that are original to Cavitt Place--the former home of O.C. Barton.

The home which houses the Heritage Center will be 100 years old this year, and the museum's board wants to celebrate this milestone in the fall  with an exhibit focusing on Cavitt Place and the Barton family.
Annual society dues of $5 are payable at the meeting or may be mailed to Donna Winchester, treasurer, at 715 Old Union Road, Paris, Tennessee 38242.

First Downtown Cruise-In Of Season Is Tuesday

Classic cars on hand at last year's Cruise-Ins. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Downtown Paris Association's Downtown Cruise-In season will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 24.

Music by Randall French and Perry's BBQ will be available.

All classic cars and trucks are welcome.


Two Arrested At UC Motel On Drug Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Two people who have been staying at the Magnum Inn in Union City were arrested on drug charges early this morning after officers found the man passed out in the driver’s seat of their car at the motel.

Arrested for possession of meth were Kimberly Lytton of Water Valley, Ky., and Terry Green of Shelbyville, Tenn. They told officers they were homeless and have been staying at the motel.

Police found Green in the car around 1:55 a.m. today. Officers went to their room and after asking if they could step inside, saw a hypodermic needle with the cap off the needle lying in plain view in the bathroom sink. Officers also could see a small baggie of what appeared to be wet cotton lying on the table at the foot of the bed and could see a green glass pipe.

Lytton was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia as well as drug possession. According to the report, the cotton tested positive for meth.


Congressional Candidate To Speak To Henry County GOP

Paris, Tenn.-At its meeting this week, the Henry County Republican Party will hear from State Senator Brian Kelsey of Memphis, who is running for the 8th District Congressional Seat being vacated by Congressman Stephen Fincher.

Kelsey is one of several people running for Fincher’s seat. Fincher announced earlier this year he will not seek re-election.

The Republican Party meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26 at the Paris Civic Center on Volunteer Drive.


Guns Stolen From UC Residences

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating the theft of guns from two Union City residences.

A pistol and a socket set was stolen from a truck that was parked at a Highland Ave. residence.

The owner of the truck said when he left for work, he saw his son’s backpack lying on the ground with items scattered all over. He then noticed his 9MM pistol was missing, along with his socket set.

In the other incident, weapons were stolen from an East Cheatham St. residence. The back fence gate was damaged and the back door kicked in. Stolen was a Sig 380 pistol, a Smith and Wesson 686 nickel 4 inch revolver and a Smith and Wesson 5906 9 MM pistol with an extra 17 round clip along with a leather shoulder holster.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Triton Boat Owners’ Tournament A Success

First place winners at Saturday's final weigh-in. (Triton Boat Owners photo).

Buchanan, Tenn.-Another Triton Boat Owners Southern Open at Kentucky Lake is in the books and from all reports, it was a complete success. Hundreds of boat owners and their families attended the tournament this week at Paris Landing State Park.

First place went to the team of Kevin Meunier/Kenneth Heckel with 30.62 pounds (six fish) and second place went to David Brown/Brad Kell with 30.51 pounds (six fish).

According to the Triton Boat Owners’ Facebook page, a total of 1,581 fish were weighed and 1,569 were safely released back into Kentucky Lake.

Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton said Friday a total of 400 boats were signed up to participate “which is the largest number we’ve had here for this.” On Saturday morning, a total of 347 boats were launched at Paris Landing.

The dates for next year’s tournament are June 1-3.

The results of the tournament are posted here:

101st Combat Brigade Partners With MSU

Murray, Ky. — Ten representatives from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell visited Murray State University’s campus on May 13. The event included a Blackhawk UH-60M helicopter landing on campus, as well as a special commissioning ceremony for two Murray State graduates.

The brigade’s visit was part of a larger initiative to develop a partnership between Fort Campbell, Murray State and the city of Murray. The goal was to help students and community members gain an understanding of what happens at Fort Campbell while finding opportunities to support the community as well as the University’s ROTC program.

“When you’re inside the gates of Fort Campbell, it seems very restrictive and exclusive, but we’re trying to actually show, ‘Hey, we’re not only part of the community, but we’re here to give back anything that we can,’” said Lt. Col. Kenrick Smith, who oversees an aviation support battalion on the base.

The helicopter was available for viewing by University and community members, and pilots were accessible to answer questions. The brigade hoped the event helped ROTC students by allowing them to see equipment they will use in the United States Army. The Blackhawk UH-60M is the newest model and is considered a utility helicopter, which means it can carry troops or equipment while also being used for Medevac rescue.

Members of the brigade also participated in a commissioning ceremony in the Collins Industry and Technology Center to honor Murray State graduates Donovan Alexander and Adam Phelps, each of whom were commissioned to second lieutenant, United States Army. Alexander is a native of Hopkinsville, Ky. and earned a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in military science. Phelps, who is from Calvert City, Ky., received his degree in telecommunications systems management with a minor in military science. He was also named a Distinguished Military Graduate.

The brigade’s visit also included a meeting with Mayor Jack Rose to discuss potential collaborative projects with the city of Murray.

The 101st Combat Aviation Brigade is part of the 101st Airborne Division, which is the Army’s only Air Assault Division, and operates under the command of Col. Craig Alia. The Fort Campbell military base, which spans both Kentucky and Tennessee, is home to approximately 24,000 active-duty soldiers and their families.


Obion County UT Team Members Do Well At Contest

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Extension Service Wildlife Team members did well in the Western Region Contest this week. Kylie Hutchison, a fifth grader at Lake Road School, earned second place; Nathan Hamilton, a fifth grader at Lake Road, was Top Individual in the Junior Division and Davin Perkins, 6th grader at Union City Middle School, improved his score from last year.


Chamber Golf Tourney Winners Announced

Winning team from Union City Urgent Care poses after the tournament. (Obion County Chamber photo).

Union City, Tenn.-The recent annual Obion County Chamber of Commerce golf tournament was a success, with 27 teams playing.

First place winners were the team from Union City Urgent Care, while second place was Union City Insurance and third, Hale’s Commercial Cleaning.

Prize Hole Winners were: Straightest Drive, Todd Petty; Closest to the hole, David Hutchens; Longest Drive, Mike Rauchle.


Henry County Schools Summer Meals Program Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County School System will provide free lunches to children throughout the summer at several locations so that they do not go hungry while school is not in session. There is no income requirement or registration and any child under the age of 18 may eat at the locations.

The meals will be served June 1-July 22 with the exception of July 4. They are served five days a week at the following locations: Henry County High School, Crestview Manor, Central School, Church of the Living God and Puryear Methodist Church.

For information on what time the meals are served at each location call 642-7956.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

270 Seniors Receive Diplomas From HCHS

Receiving their diplomas at graduation ceremonies last night. (Photo courtesy of Kendra McCuiston).

Paris, Tenn.-Despite rainy weather earlier in the day, the skies were clear for graduation ceremonies at Henry County Patriot Stadium last night. 270 Seniors received their diplomas. Valedictorian was Aubrey Buttrey; Salutatorian was Shan Patel. Honorable Mention to Andrew Minor and Class President was Jackson Griffey. 

Union City High School Ceremonies Set For 8 p.m.

Union City, Tenn.-82 Seniors will walk on Sunday night and become graduates of Union City High School at ceremonies at 8 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium. The seniors have been offered $3.4 M in scholarships. Class Valedictorian Alex Parks and Salutatorian Kizer Harris will address their classmates.


Paris Looks At Raises For City Employees, City Budget

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris City Commission met for a budget session Thursday night with all the department heads and determined that the city will plan for a one to three percent increase in funding for city departments in the next year, with a two percent COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) increase for employees.

City Manager Kim Foster said the commission asked her to include the two percent raise in the budget in addition to the planned salary adjustment that was set in place last year. The major impetus for this request is because health insurance premiums will rise by 9.35 percent, she said, “and this increase would wipe out salary adjustments for several of our employees.”

Some small adjustments were requested by donation recipients and the commission asked Foster to place increases in line items for the Veterans Service Office, the County Genealogy Room and Judicial Commissioners.

Foster said the library requested an increase of 21.8 percent to its current budget. “It was discussed that it would be unfair to grant their request when the city is only planning a slight (one to three percent) increase in our own,” Foster said. “The commission asked that I figure a two percent increase in funding for the library.”

Commissioners also asked Foster to increase the amount of hours earned for vacation and sick days for employees with over 20 years of services. “There are several details that accompany this request, but the bottom line impact to the budget was estimated at approximately $14,000 per year,” Foster said. “The Commission was positive regarding the request and asked that I put that into the budget as well.”

Additionally, the commission asked Foster to increase its line item for paving by $50,000 since the city has gotten woefully behind in street paving. That would mean a total $100,000 increase from two years ago and Foster said, “It still won’t go all that far, but it’s a move in the right direction.”  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Suspect Grabs Bag Of “Ice”, Leaves Baby When Officers Arrive

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union CityTenn.-A Union City man is in the Obion County Jail today after he was arrested on numerous drug charges, as well as a charge of child abuse.

Marcus Anthony Burlison, age 31, of 619 N. Ury St., was charged with possession of Schedule 6 within a school zone with intent to sell, possession of Schedule 2 within a school zone with intent to sell, child abuse, tampering with evidence, evading arrest and violation of probation.

Obion County Chief Deputy Kent Treece said deputies had an arrest warrant for Burlison and went to an address on N. Ury St in an attempt to locate and serve the warrant on him.

“When deputies approached the home, Burlison attempted to exit the back door but saw a deputy and went back through the house,” Treece said. “Deputies heard glass breaking and observed Burlison leaping from a window on the side of the house and take off running. Deputies observed what appeared to be a white plastic bag in his hand while he was running. After giving chase for about two blocks, Burlison was taken into custody.”

When deputies and Union City Police entered the home, they discovered that Burlison grabbed a bag of ‘ice’, but left behind a one-month-old baby in a crib next to the window from which he jumped.

Treece said the baby was found unharmed, but had been left alone in the residence when Burlison ran. The infant’s mother was at work and not at home at the time of the incident.

The white bag that Burlison was carrying was recovered it contained approximately 2 oz. of “Ice” methamphetamine and approximately 2 oz of marijuana, along with drug paraphernalia.

Treece said responding to the call were Deputies Mitchell Maynard, who was recently hired with the department, and Kyle Kirk.

A Sheriff’s Investigator and Child Protective services was summoned to the scene to work the situation with the baby and Burlison was transported to the Obion County Jail.

Burlison was arraigned earlier today and a court date set for April 21, in Obion County General Sessions and a bond was set at $50,000.00.


Escapee Apprehended, Jailers Arrested

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ElizabethtownKy.-The inmate who escaped from the Fulton County Detention Center was apprehended early this morning. Meanwhile, two jailers at the facility have been arrested, charged in connection with his escape.

Michael Hunter, age 40, of Guston, Ky., was apprehended by the Kentucky State Police in Radcliff, Ky., without incident shortly after midnight. He had escaped on Sunday.

Through investigation and several tips from the public, police were able to narrow down his whereabouts in Radcliff. He currently lodged in the Hardin Co. Detention Center and charged with escape, second degree. The KSP was assisted by the Radcliff and Elizabethtown Police Departments.

The guards who were arrested are Jason Ryan Smith, age 35, of Hickman, and Monica Benita Mayes, age 47, also of Hickman. Both are charged with first degree official misconduct and second degree escape. They are being held at the Fulton County DetentionCenter. The KSP also are assisting in the investigation of the jailer’s role in the escape.

New Birds Of Prey Habitat To Be Dedicated Saturday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A ribbon-cutting will be held Saturday afternoon to open the new Birds of Prey habitat at Paris Landing State Park.

Several new large wooden cages have been built for the birds behind the state park office at the entrance to the park and the ribbon-cutting will be held there at 1 p.m.
The Paris Rotary Club sponsored the project and paid for the construction materials for the new habitats. Seasonal Staff Gina Lowry coordinated the project and park staff helped construct it.

Lowry said the new habitat will be dedicated to Jack Fodrill, who for many years has operated the raptor rehabilitation habitat at the park. 

Rotary Club Member Mark Archer said park staff also is working on certification so that it can house injured Bald Eagles while they are rehabilitated. He said a separate habitat will have to be constructed for them once local staff are certified. “That way when injured eagles are brought here they won’t have to be taken to Reelfoot State Park to be cared for,” Archer said.

Showing Spring Colors

ParisTenn.-The flowering trees at the Lee Academy for the Arts have been really showing out this year. With warmer days ahead—especially this weekend—the weather will be perfect for people to be out and about, enjoying the spring colors. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Public Forum On Scams Draws Large Crowd

ParisTenn.—Monday’s public forum on scams drew a large crowd to the Henry County Fairgrounds. Sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, FBIU.S. Attorney’s Office and UT Extension Office, the forum provided information for the public on how to prevent being scammed or defrauded. In photo, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Debra Ireland provides a power point presentation for those in attendance. She warned the public to treat their phones and computers like they do their social security card and other important forms of identification and be vigilant. McDonald’s provided breakfast and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office provided lunch. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


First Preserve Paris “Clean Sweep” Event Is Saturday

ParisTenn.-This first Preserve Paris “Clean Sweep” event is scheduled for this weekend. The first neighbourhood chosen is the Lee Historical Neighborhood.

Volunteers are asked to meet at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 16, in the parking lot of the Lee Academy for the Arts on College Street (former Lee School).

Anyone who would still like to volunteer may contact M. J. Stancook at City Hall by calling 731-641-1402. You may also show up on Saturday morning.

As a reminder, wear substantial shoes and bring a pair of work gloves. If you have some you may also bring yard tools as well.



Bethel Physician Assistant Program Recognized

McKenzie, Tenn. – Bethel University’s Physician Assistant Program was recognized by the Rural Health Research Center (RHRC) as a top 15 PA program that graduated proportionately more PAs who practice in rural settings. Bethel’s PA program was #6 on the list in the report that was published in February 2016.

 According to the RHRC, “employing more physician assistants (PAs) is often proposed as an important part of the solution to rural primary care shortages in the United States.”

 “To us, this is significant that Bethel University is included in this particular top 15 list,” said Bethel President Dr. Walter Butler. “Stepping into PA positions that specifically meet the health care shortages in rural communities speaks to who we are here at Bethel. Finding ways to serve using our skills and our talents – it’s a lifestyle we encourage with our graduates.”

 Statistics provided by the RHRC showed that, as of 2008, only 15 percent of PAs were practicing in rural communities. This was compared to 27 percent in 1981.

The same report shows that almost half (45 percent) of Bethel University PA graduates have taken jobs in rural locations.

According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, PAs are nationally certified and state licensed medical professionals. PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S.territories and the uniformed services.

Bethel University is headquartered in McKenzieTenn. For more information about Bethel University, go to


Tickets On Sale For Donkey Basketball

ParisTenn.-Tickets are on sale now for the Crusaders Donkey Basketball game set for 7 p.m. April 18 at the Central Administration Building at 55 Jones Bend Rd. Extended in Paris.

The Crusaders include high school players from Gleason, Dresden, McKenzie, and Paris.Tentative riders are the entire basketball coaching staff at Gleason School including the athletic director Lee Lawrence.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew is also signed up to ride. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will provide a K9 demo at halftime. A silent auction will be held and donkey petting will be outside.

Advance tickets available at Take Me Back Cafe/Paris, Merchant Outlet Mall/McKenzie. J & J's/Gleason, and Kountry Korner/Dresden or from a Crusaders Travel Basketball player.. $6 Advance tickets or $8 at the gate.


Library To Host Welcome Day

ParisTenn.-The W. G. Rhea Public Library is hosting a “Welcoming Center” all day Friday, April 15 at the Library to celebrate National Library Week. . A variety of treats will be served to the public to welcome them to their library.


Digital Photography Classes Set


Huntingdon, Tenn. –Applications are now being accepted for Basic and Special Projects Digital Photography classes under the direction of a very talented and celebrated photojournalist, Mr. Jim Veneman. This is the 2nd Spring Session of classes and will begin on Thursday, April 21.  Classes are held on Thursdays at various times and each session includes 6 classes and an end of session exhibit.


Students must take classes in order beginning with Basic (Regardless of your previous experience but do not worry this is not to say it will be a basic learning class! The instructor will provide adequate lessons for all students). There is no age limit but students are recommended to be in Middle School or above.


The classes will take place in the Lower Level of The Dixie and participants will use the Academic Enrichment Entrance. Applications and class schedules can be found on our website at or at The Dixie Box Office. The instructor, Jim Veneman, most recently served as assistant professor and director of visual communication at Union University.

For more information on this or any of other events please call the box office at 731-986-2100. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Escaped Inmate Being Sought


HickmanKy.-The Kentucky State Police and local law enforcement officials are looking for an inmate who escaped from the Fulton County Detention Center in HickmanKy., last night.

Michael Shane Hunter, age 40, of GustonKy., reportedly walked out of the sally port of the jail while he was on a work detail around 7:30 p.m.

Hunter is described as a white male, 5’7” with short brown hair and hazel or green eyes. Hunter was last seen wearing a black zip-up hoodie style sweatshirt, blue jeans, black shoes, and a tan hat at the time of his escape. Hunter has an outline tattoo of small “prayer hands” on the right side of his back and an outline tattoo of a sun on his upper left arm.

Hunter is serving time for a Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property, Fleeing or Evading Police 1st degree (Motor Vehicle), and Flagrant non-support.

Hunter may be in route to the Hardin or Nelson County areas of Kentucky.

Tpr. William Propes is investigating the escape. If anyone has any contact with these subjects, contact the Kentucky State Police, Post 1 Mayfield at 1-800-222-5555.


Wirgau Meets With Henry County Educators


NashvilleTenn.-State Rep. Tim Wirgau met with Henry County Educators Roxanne Hendrix and Lisa Hart recently. “I enjoyed getting to hear from the educators in my district and gain their perspective on educational issues that plague the state. On the day of our visit, HB 2229 was in Education Administration and Planning, and was a main focus of our meeting,” Wirgau said. “This bill would prohibit school districts and state special school employees from paying their professional association membership dues through payroll deductions. This bill was opposed by many teachers and the measure failed in the Education Administration and Planning Committee later that day.”

UTM College Rodeo Starts Thursday

MartinTenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin is hosting the 48th annual spring college rodeo starting on Thursday, April 14 and going through Saturday, April 16 at the Ned Ray McWherter Agricultural Complex and NW (Doc) Robinson Arena.

Action starts at 7:30 p.m. on all three dates. All tickets are $6 on Thursday while adult tickets are $10 on Friday and $12 on Saturday. Tickets for ages 6-12 and UT Martin students with a valid ID are $7 for bothFriday and Saturday. A $20 weekend pass is also available for all three nights. Ages 5 and under are free with a paid adult.

Saturday’s event can be viewed online, free of charge, courtesy of the Ohio Valley Conference Digital Network at this link:  

The UT Martin rodeo has been named the Ozark Region “Rodeo of the Year” for 10 consecutive years. The event serves as a platform for the upcoming College National Finals Rodeo, which will be held in Casper,Wyo. on June 12-18.

Along with UT Martin, teams from the University of Arkansas-Cossatot, University of Arkansas-Monticello,East Mississippi Community CollegeMissouri Valley College, Murray State UniversityNorthwest MississippiCommunity College, Southern Arkansas University, University of TennesseeThree Rivers College andUniversity of West Alabama will take part in the festivities.

The UT Martin men’s team currently ranks amongst the top-15 nationally with 4,140 points. The UT Martin women’s squad currently ranks sixth in the Ozark Region with 1,055 points.

EQyss Grooming Products is sponsoring a crawfish supper at the American Legion building on Wednesday, April 13 at 5:30 p.m. Hamburgers and hot dogs will also be available in addition to corn on the cob and new potatoes. Tickets are $10 per person and $25 per family.

Thursday night is Tyson, Obion County Complex Performance night. Timed events and rough stock events – including bull riding – will be featured while fans can enter a drawing for a chance to win an MTD riding lawnmower. The Weakley County 4-H Mounted Drill Team will conduct the opening.

Friday is Tennessee Tractor, LLC Performance night. Timed events and rough stock events (including bull riding) will be featured. A second drawing for an MTD riding lawnmower will take place while Friday also serves as “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

Saturday is Martin Paving Company Championship Finals, where the top-10 Ozark Region NIRA contestants will compete in a battle of the best of the best. Edward Jones Investments is also holding a free barbecue lunch at 11 a.m. at the downtown Martin Festival Park while a scholarship auction will follow at 12:30 p.m.All proceeds will go to the UT Martin Rodeo Scholarship Fund.


Misuse Of 911 Lands Man In Jail

Union CityTenn.-A young Union City man is in the Obion County Jail today on charges of misuse of 911 and resisting arrest.

Arrested was Joseph Conner Senter, age 22, of 1400 Vaden Ave. (Magnum Inn).

Police were called to the Magnum inn on a report of 911 being misused. Senter told officers he called 911 because he was buzzing off of alcohol. He also said it wasn’t the first time he had been in trouble for calling 911.

Officers said he appeared very intoxicated. When they attempted to take him in custody, he pulled away from them and jumped on the bed before he was handcuffed.


“Taking It To The Streets” Set For Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Special Schools District will be hosting another “Takin’ It To The Streets” on April 14th atVernon Place in Paris.  This event was cancelled from earlier due to storms on the earlier date.

The event will take place from 5 until 6 pm.  Teachers and staff will be featuring National Poetry Month with performances of fun poems.  Hot dogs will be served.  All are invited to attend.


April Is Vaccination Month In Henry County


ParisTenn.-April is rabies vaccination month for your pets during April in Henry County. Cost is $6 plus $1.50 for the license fee.

Visit the Animal Doctor on Memorial Drive, the Mineral Wells Animal Clinic on Volunteer Drive, Lakeway Animal Clinic on East Wood, or Paris Veterinary Clinic on East Wood.

Dogs three months old and cats six months old are required by state law to be vaccinated against rabies.


Obion County Chamber Golf Tournament Set

Union CityTenn.-The Obion County Chamber of Commerce annual golf tournament is set for Friday, May 6, at Wynridge Golf Course in Troy. It’s a four person scramble at $75 per player or $300 per team. Lunch begins at 12:30 p.m. A pork chop dinner follows the tournament.

There is also a $10,000 hole in one contest sponsored by Union City Insurance. Call the Chamber office inUnion City for more information.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bethel To Bring “Mary Poppins” To Life At The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn.-One of the most popular Disney movies of all time is capturing hearts in a whole new way: as a practically perfect musical!  Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's magically wonderful musical Mary Poppins delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,500 performances and received numerous award nominations.  Bethel University’s Renaissance Theatre program is thrilled to be bringing this award winning production to The DIXIE Carter Performing Arts Center this week. 

A cast of over 40 Bethel students will present some of your favorite songs including “Jolly Holiday,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Step in Time,” and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.”  The stage version of this story also includes many new songs and characters that are sure to delight you. 

“Everyone who has seen it loves the Disney movie,” Director Brian Hill said, “and this stage version created by Disney includes so much that the audience will love and recognize from the movie.  Bringing a story this magical to the live stage forced the writers to create some new scenes and re-work some old ones to make this production work for a live audience. What’s wonderful to me is that the additions to the story only make it more interesting and fun, and the show does not lose the magic of the movie that we all know and love.”

Join Bethel’s Renaissance Theatre Program on April 15, 16, 22 and 23 for this once in a lifetime musical adventure.  These performances are sponsored by Carroll Bank and Trust and Bethel University. Tickets are available at the DIXIE box office, by calling 731-986-2100, or by going online to


UTM One Of Safest Campuses


MartinTenn. – According to the 2015 Crime on Campus report released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the University of Tennessee at Martin remains among the safest public four-year college campuses in Tennessee.

The report shows that UT Martin has the least number of index crimes of all public four-year universities in Tennessee and tied with East Tennessee State University for the lowest rate of index crimes per 1,000 people.

Index crimes are those considered serious felony offenses and include murder, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated and sexual assaults, arson, burglary and motor vehicle thefts. UT Martin had 33 such offenses reported in 2015, with five incidents per 1,000 people. This number is down from 41 in 2014.

UT Martin had the lowest number of group A offenses as well, with only 78 incidents reported in 2015. Group A offenses are serious crimes not considered index crimes. This number is down from 87 reported in 2014.

“The university community should take a lot of pride in another low crime rate. The caliber of students and staff who attend and work here on campus is the main reason we have the lowest crime rate among four-year public universities,” said Scott Robbins, director, UT Martin Department of Public Safety.

The UT Martin main campus is patrolled 24 hours a day, and the campus community is consistently taught how to be security-minded in their daily activities. Freshmen attend special training sessions in their first year to instruct them on basic personal safety, property security and an awareness of current surroundings.

For more information, contact Robbins at 731-881-7775.


Henry County Schools To Hold Public Hearing

ParisTenn.-A public hearing pertaining to the design, planning, and implementation of four federal programs under the Elementary Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) is set at 4:30 p.m.  Thursday on April 14, in the Grove Tower Building conference room prior to the Henry County Board of Education meeting.

The hearing is open to all school personnel and parents of students in Henry County Schools.

Comments may be made on Title I – Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged; Title II, Part A – Improving Teacher Quality; Title III – English Language Acquisition/Language Enhancement/Academic Achievement; and Title VI, Part B, Subpart 2 – Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS).

The district parent involvement plan will also be discussed. The plan is posted on the Central Office bulletin board and can also be found on the Henry County School System website, Click on Our District, Departments, Federal Projects, Parent Involvement Plan.

For further information, contact Dr. Susan Burton, Federal Programs Director, Henry CountySchools, at 642-3101 or email,


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Classic Chevys To Arrive In Paris, UC Next Week

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The 19th Annual Southern Spring Tour will be held in northwest Tennessee Monday, April 11th through Friday, April 15th, with key events at Paris Landing State Park, in Paris and Union City.

The Southern Spring Tour is an annual event for members of the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America who drive in their 1912 to 1954 Chevys on tour to various outstanding localities throughout the southern states. This year 55 vintage Chevys from 11 states and their owners will be attending.

The tour will be headquartered at the Paris Landing State Park Inn in Buchanan, and will include the following activities:

Monday, April 11th 
Arrival of tour participants at Paris Landing State Park Inn followed by a short driving tour in the afternoon.
Tuesday, April 12th 
Tour to Union City TN visiting Discovery Park of America.
Wednesday, April 13th 
Visit the Tennessee Freshwater Pearl Farm in Camden, TN. 
Thursday, April 14th 
Fort Donelson and the Land Between the Lakes 
Friday, April 15th 
Downtown Paris, TN and vicinity

The Vintage Chevrolet Club of America (VCCA) is an international organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Chevrolet and GMC cars and trucks. VCCA, founded in 1961, is one of the largest Chevrolet clubs with over 8,000 members worldwide. Local and national tours, car shows, swap meets, technical seminars and charity events are among the many activities the VCCA sponsors.

For more information on the VCCA check out their Website - .

For information on the Southern Spring Tour contact Bill Bradford at email: or phone: (281) 579-9834 or (281) 435-7748 cell.

Martin Traffic Accident Knocks Out Power

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police are investigating a traffic accident which knocked out power in the north part of the city Friday afternoon.

Units responded to Gardner Hyndsver Road at approximately 3:16 pm in reference to a vehicle striking a utility pole. 21-year-old Jessica Evans of 142 Harrison Rd. in Martin was eastbound on Gardner-Hyndsver Road driving a gray 2009 Toyota Camry. The vehicle left the roadway and struck a utility pole causing a temporary power outage. Evans was transported to Volunteer Community Hospital by private vehicle.

No charges have been filed at this time and the accident is still under investigation.

Friday, April 8, 2016

‘Operation Deadly Mistake’ Teaches Harsh Lesson

The Grim Reaper watches over the proceedings as a student is placed in the Air Evac helicopter. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Students at Henry County High School were silent Friday afternoon as they witnessed the county’s first responders act out a simulation of a mock fatal crash involving teens out partying on a country road.

County Rescue Squad Official Carol Tedford explained the simulation “is what we do, from the time the 911 call comes in to when the dispatchers send for the sheriff’s office, EMS, Rescue Squad, Air Evac, the coroner is called and then the funeral homes are called to the scene.”

Held at Patriot Stadium, Friday’s mock crash involved five fatalities, with one student airlifted from the scene by Air Evac and another arrested for DUI.

On hand was Sheriff Monte Belew, Chief Deputy Randy Gean, Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Mounts, along with Coroner Danny Tucker, sheriff’s deputies, county rescue squad and EMS members, Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams and firefighters, Air Evac and its staff, along with Ridgeway and McEvoy Funeral Home representatives with their hearses.

After the five students were declared ‘dead’ by the coroner, the students read their mock obituaries to the students gathered in the stadium.

Watching all the proceedings was the Grim Reaper.

Belew told the students, “We try to make this as realistic as we can because we want you to take this seriously. This is very real to us. We did this for you because we don’t want to have to knock on your parents’ door at midnight to tell them you’ve been in an accident like this.”

Belew said, “Every decision you make has consequences and we ask that you use common sense. We’re coming up on a critical time, with the prom and graduation coming up. Don’t ever get in a car with someone who has been drinking and driving and don’t drive and drive yourself.”

Sheriff Monte Belew walks away from the scene as the students are carried into hearses at the mock crash. (McFarlin photo).

Man Charged After Baby Tests Positive For Meth

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested on aggravated child abuse charges after a baby in his care tested positive for meth.

Eddie Brady, age 27, 418 E. College St., was charged after a visit to his home by Union City Police and the Department of Children’s Services after a report of drug use in the home was received.

Brady denied drug use and refused a drug screen. DCS said they would have the children in the home and Brady take hair folical tests.

The baby tested positive for meth but another child tested negative. Brady tested positive for meth, amphetamines and THC.

The mother of the children was in jail and now is in rehab in Nashville. Police are waiting for test results for her before charges are filed.

DCS removed the children and placed them with the maternal grandmother.

Fugitive Apprehended In Paris

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-A fugitive from Texas and Florida was apprehended by the Paris Police Department and Henry County Sheriff’s Office Thursday—but not before he was bitten by Droid, the K9 partner of Sheriff Cpl. Terry Williams. For Droid, it was the second time in a week he has bitten a suspect who was uncooperative.

Paris Sgt. Ean Reed also was treated for dog bites which happened while officers were chasing the fugitive.

According to Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, Paris Police received information that Michael Andrew Rotunno may be arriving in the local area. A records check found that Rotunno was wanted in Harrison CountyTexas and Holmes CountyFlorida

Rotunno, age 30, from EdmoreMichigan, is being held in the Henry County Jail on $250,000 bond. He was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant.

Police Sgt. Ean Reed received acknowledgement that Rotunno was in fact heading to Paris and set up a meeting point where Rotunno could be taken into custody as safely as possible.

A local motel was used and when Rotunno arrived and was away from his vehicle, he was taken into custody.  Rotunno attempted to flee when contacted by officers from the Paris Police and the Sheriff’s Office but was quickly taken into custody.

Rotunno was found to be driving a stolen truck from Marshall Texas.

Assisting in the apprehension were Paris Officers Sgt. Ean Reed, Patrolman Tyrail Jackson, Patrolman Jamie James and Cpl. Williams and Droid.

Rotunno was transported to the Henry County Jail after being treated to the Henry County Medical Centerfor dog bites.   



Henry, Obion County Candidates File Before Election Deadline 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-Thursday was the deadline to turn in qualifying papers to the local Election Boards for the August state primary and general elections.

In both Henry and Obion Counties, several candidates for office turned in their papers by deadline, with some deciding not to run again for their current offices.

In Henry County, Perennial candidate James Hart of Buchanan is running for three offices: 75th District House of Representatives, Henry County Schools board of education and for the 8th District Congressional Office. Hart also filed his papers in Obion County for the 8th Congressional District. He is running as an independent in all those races.

In Obion County, six candidates are vying for the position that had been held by County Commissioner Ned Bigelow for District 6.

Henry County Elections Commission Administrator DeLaina Green reported for the 7th District House of Representatives race, several turned him papers. Incumbent Tim Wirgau of Paris and his opponent, James Poe of Springville, qualified for the Republican ballot. Daniel Powell of Puryear qualified for the Democratic ballot, with Hart running as an independent.

What that means is: Wirgau and Poe will square off at the August primary, with the winner of that race facing Powell and Hart in November.

For the Paris Special Schools District, Incumbents Richard Edwards, John Steele and Missy Klutts turned in their papers. Other candidates include Jon Davidson and Troy Barrow.

Davidson is running for the unexpired two-year term vacated by Kim Foster when she was hired as Paris City Manager. The other candidates are running for four-year terms.

For the Henry County Schools board of education, candidates will be: Incumbent Rod Frey and Scarlett Orr facing off for District 1; Incumbent Tom Beasley and James Hart for District 3; and Jill Coker for District 3. (Coker is running unopposed).

For the Henry County Road Board, candidates will be Incumbent Bobby Milam, who serves as chairman and other Incumbents Kyle Norwood and Vic Mallard.

In Obion County, Director of Elections Leigh Schlager said candidates who are running to fill the late Commissioner Ned Bigelow’s two-year unexpired term are: Mike Barnett, Casey Hood, Shawn Johnson, Bradley John Maunder, Stan Mitchell and Donnie Walton.

For State Representative 76th District, Incumbent Andy Holt will be challenged by fellow Republican Scott Fortner and Democrat Angela Callis. Independent Bennie Castleman is also running.

For State Representative 77th District, Republican Incumbent Bill Sanderson will be challenged by Independent Tom Reasons in November.

For State Senate 24th District, Republican Incumbent John Stevens is running unopposed.

For Obion County Trustee, Democrat Tracey Ivey Westbrooks is running unopposed.

For Obion County Assessor of Property, Independent Judy Smith turned in her papers for the position.

For Obion County School Board (District 1), Tom Britt turned in his papers. For District 3, Jared T. Poore and Diane Sanderson are running.  District 5 Candidate is Brian Rainey. District 7 candidate is Scott Northam.

 For Kenton Special School District, Dennis Littleton is running as an Obion County member. Mike Farrar is running as Kenton City member and Greg Boucher is running as Gibson County member.

Haslam Announces 81 % Retention Rate For Promise Students

NashvilleTenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced 81 percent of the 2015-16 class of Tennessee Promise students returned for the spring semester after beginning classes last fall. Topping the list is Austin Peay with 88.7 percent retention. Dyersburg State is fifth, with 81.1 percent and JacksonState at sixth with 81.9 percent.

This high retention rate for Tennessee Promise students is a significant indicator they are on pathways to success in higher education. 

“When we launched Tennessee Promise, our goal was not only to get more students to enroll in a technical or community college but also to see the students succeed and graduate,” Haslam said. “Students must receive post-secondary credentials if we’re going to achieve the goal of Drive to 55, and we will continue to work with our campus leaders to ensure these students have the highest possible chances of attaining their certificate or degree.”

In fall 2015 there was a 24.7 percent enrollment increase at community colleges and a 20 percent enrollment increase at colleges of applied technology (TCATs).

Data provided by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission indicates that Tennessee Promise students enrolled at a TCAT had a retention rate of almost 95 percent while community college students were retained at a rate of 78.5 percent. The community college data also includes Austin Peay State University, the single public university with associate degree students.

Information on Tennessee Promise is at:

Author Of Book On Tobacco Barns To Speak

BentonKy.-Photographer and author Lynn Bartlett will speak to members and guests of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society. Her topic is the subject of her book Tobacco Barns of Western Kentucky and Things Along the Way. The quarterly meeting of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 9th, at the Marshall County Public Library, 1003 Poplar Street in BentonKentucky. The meeting is open to the public and free of charge, but seating is limited.

The Jackson Purchase Historical Society was founded in 1958 to promote interest, study, and preservation of the regional history of the territory encompassed in the Chickasaw Purchase of 1818. It publishes the award-winning Jackson Purchase Historical Society Journal annually. The Society is especially interested in the history of all Kentucky counties west of the Tennessee River as well as Lake, Obion, Weakley, and Henry counties in Tennessee. Meetings are held four times per year at locations throughout the region. Membership is open to the public. Information about the Society, future events, and membership is available at the meetings, on Facebook at Jackson Purchase Historical Society, or online at

Reminder: Public Forum On Scams Is Monday

ParisTenn.-Reminder: The Henry County Sheriff’s Office, FBIU.S. Attorney’s Office and UT Extension will conduct an education forum to inform the public of various scams. The forum will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, April 11, at the Enoch Building at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

The forum will end at noon and breakfast will be provided at 9 a.m. free of charge by McDonald’s and the sheriff’s office will provide steak or chicken sandwiches for lunch.

Anyone wanting to attend should RSVP the UT Extension Office at 642-2941.


Six Flags Tickets Available Through UC Parks

Union City, Tenn.-Six Flags St. Louis tickets are available through the Union City Parks and Recreation Office again this year. One day general admission is $45 and season tickets are available, too. You’ll find the operating schedule for Six Flags and more at


Register Now For Glow For A Cure Run

Union CityTenn.-The Glow For A Cure 5K Run for Cystic Fibrosis is set for 8 p.m. Friday night, April 22 at the First United Methodist Church in Union City. Register by April 15 for $20. $Cost is $25 on race day. If you sign up early, you get a t-shirt and swag bag.

Email, for a registration form, then drop it off at the church of Union City Elementary School.

 Thursday, April 7, 2016

First Bank Awards $370 In Prizes, Ribbons At Grove Art Show

From left: Amanda Mason, Grove Art Show Sponsor; Olivia Gogarn;

Scarlet Orr, Cassalyn Callahan, Billee Lassiter, Kayleigh Vessells, Hannah Hutson, TroyButtrey, Ginny Byrd and Taylor Petty. (Michele Cain photo).


ParisTenn.-Students were all smiles at E.W. Grove School this morning as the winners of the 6th annual Art Show were announced and one lucky winner will be receiving free ice cream at lunch for a week.

Winners were:

Drawing: first place Cassalyn Callahan, second, Kayleigh Vessells, and third, Hannah Hutson.

3-D: first Olivia Gogarn, second Cassalyn Callahan and third Amber Jenkins

Painting: first Taylor Petty, second, Ginny Byrd and third Olivia Gogarn.

Multimedia: first Cassalyn Callahan, second Billee Lassiter and third Taylor Petty.

First place winners received $40 each; second place received $25 each and third place $10 each.

The Student Choice Award was given to Billee Lassiter, who will receive free ice cream at lunch for a week. 144 votes were cast by students for Lassiter.

The Art Show is sponsored by Grove Librarian and Artist in Training teacher Amanda Mason. The show is judged by Henry County High School Art teacher Greg Chandler. Partner in Education First Bank (represented by Troy Buttrey and Scarlet Orr) provided $370 in monetary prizes and ribbons to winning students.

The Art Show is currently on display in the Grove Library through April 21st and open for public viewing. After that time, the winning entries will move to First Bank's downtown location for display during Fish Fry Week.



Cardboard Regatta Training Set Today

Union CityTenn.-Discovery Park of America's 3rd Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta will be held at 11 a.m.Saturday, May 28thSome people are a little hesitant to participate, however, because they are not sure how to build a cardboard boat to enter into the races.

Never fear, because Discovery Park Boat Commodore, John Watkins of Paris, will help you out. Thursday, April 7th, at 5:30 in the LEC Room inside Discovery Center, Watkins is offering a training class for those interested in building a cardboard boat. It is free to attend, and all ages are welcome to come and learn how to build a boat that will survive the races.

If you choose to participate in the Cardboard Boat Regatta this year, the entry fee is just $35.00 and includes four passes to Discovery Park of America.


Henry County Schools Scores High In Accreditation Ranking

Henry County School Board Chairman, Jim McCampbell receives the certificate of accreditation from Dr. Sharon Zimmer. Director of School Dr. Brian Norton and Board Secretary, Christy Thompson are seated. (Susan Burton photo).

ParisTenn.-The Henry County Schools System has been honored for its 101st year of continuous accreditation by the AdvancEd (formerly the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). In approving another year of accreditation, AdvancEd officials also praised the local district for its high rating.


At a special school board meeting, AdvancED Chair Dr. Sharon Zimmer explained to a large crowd of educators that her team interviewed 123 stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, students, board members, and parents and looked at hundreds of documents to determine the rating they would give the district.


Zimmer said the district was rated on the same scale as used for 32,000 organizations in the United Statesand 70 other countries and scored well above average for the rated organizations. “Wow”, she said. “We have never seen this high of a score as a district. You need to let everyone know what a great job you're doing in Henry County Schools!"


The district and schools scheduled a three day interview process with AdvancED's external review team, discussing demographics, leadership, resources, support systems, instruction, and student services. The accreditation report will help the system build on its continuous improvement model.


Photo: Henry County School Board Chairman, Jim McCampbell receives the certificate of accreditation from Dr. Sharon Zimmer. Director of School Dr. Brian Norton and Board Secretary, Christy Thompson are seated. (Susan Burton photo).


USDA, TARP Form Partnership To Help Local Clients

USDA Area Specialist Mary Hickman (standing) holds meeting at TARP office in Paris.

Paris, Tenn– The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and the Henry County TARP Centerfor Independent Living (Training, Advocacy, Referral and Peer Support) have established a partnership to assist TARP’s disabled clients.

USDA Area Specialist Mary Hickman held an informational meeting Monday at the TARP headquarters inParis to discuss Rural Development Single Family Housing programs that could assist with local clients.

 “Today, we celebrate a proud partnership between RD and TARP that will make a significant impact to disabled individuals in our rural communities,” Hickman said.

TARP needed labor funds to build handicap ramps and complete repairs to their clients’ homes. Earlier this year, Hickman met with TARP Executive Director Denise Wardle at the organization’s quarterly “Spring Fling” meeting to discuss a potential partnership with USDA RD and TARP. This partnership will allow disabled individuals obtain necessary repairs to their homes and the accessibility to leave and enter their homes independently through affordable means.  

USDA RD’s Repair Loan or “Section 504” money is available at 1 percent fixed interest for up to 20 years to TARP clients who owned their homes and were in at the very-low-income level. Hickman met with TARP clients at the informational meeting to discuss eligibility requirements and the application process to apply for such loans.

The Section 504 program provides loans to very- low-income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes or grants to elderly very- low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards.

USDA RD’s SFH Direct Home Loan or “Section 502” program assists low- and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability.

TARP is a non-profit charitable organization with the State of Tennessee. The organization is the first true rural-based center in Tennessee, serving eight counties in Northwest and North-Middle Tennessee.  TARP is a cross-disability organization that serves people with various significant disabilities.

USDA Rural Development is moving investments to rural America with housing, business and infrastructure loans and grants to create jobs and strengthen rural economies with an emphasis to assist areas of persistent poverty.  Since 2009, the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 230 communities in all 95 counties of Tennessee, investing more than $6.6 billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees, and grants.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Northwest Tennessee, contact the Union City Area Office at 731-885-6480 x 4, or 800-342-3149 x 1497.  Visit us online at


Open Lab Device Service Offered At Library

ParisTenn.-The W.G. Rhea Public Library is providing Open Lab device service for people who have questions or do not understand the technology.

Library Director Connie McSwain said the service will be available from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and 4-5 p.m. Thursdays. Call 642-1702 for a reservation. Maintenance for the devices will not be provided.

Tools Stolen From Health Department

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are seeking to retrieve tools stolen from the Obion County Health Department yesterday and find the culprit.

A microscope technician at the health department was on his way to Mayfield and left the department’s toolbox sitting in the parking lot while he went back into the office to get something. When he came back out of the department and left for Mayfield, he left the toolbox in the parking lot. When he arrived at Mayfield, he realized he had left it there and called the office, but the toolbox was gone.

The gray Craftsman toolbox contains several microscopic and other tools, including metric Allen wrenches, metric drill bits, small drill, microscope stage micrometer scale, soldering iron, and pliers.

Officers checked with Buy, Sell and Trade to see if anyone pawned the items and will check with the local pawn shop also today when it opens.

TWRA Offers Forever Fishing Licenses

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is reminding sportsmen out there that if you have a son/daughter, or if you are grandparent, or maybe a loving uncle or aunt, that TWRA sells a lifetime Tennessee hunting and fishing license for any Tennessean under 3 years of age. You can check out the information by visiting the TWRA website and clicking on the license information (beneath the big gobbler).

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Special Olympics Draws Large Crowd

Student Matthew Beane carries the Olympic torch into the stadium, escorted by Sheriff Monte Belew and Deputy Sgt. Bryan Hall (on motorcycles) and Deputies Jason McCord and Steve Dean with flags. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With a large crowd of fellow students, teachers, administrators, and parents cheering in the stands, the Henry County Special Olympics was held Wednesday morning at Patriot Stadium at the high school.

The student-athletes were escorted into the stadium by the Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Deputy Sgt. Bryan Hall on motorcycles with Deputies Jason McCord and Steve Dean carrying the American and Tennessee flags. Student Matthew Beane carried the Olympic torch. The Henry County High School Madrigals performed the national anthem.

The Special Olympics event has evolved over the years and is now a large event with the stadium full of supporters of the student-athletes who participate in a number of track and field events.

The Paris Lakeway Kiwanis Club is primary sponsor of the event. Jammie Adkisson is the faculty member in charge of the event.

Grove Student Katie Harper crosses the finish line. (McFarlin photo).

Gibson EMC Experiencing Outages Today

Trenton, Tenn.-About 1,390 Gibson Electric Membership Corporation members’ homes and businesses inGibson CountyObion County and Crockett County are experiencing outages this afternoon. The outages began at 3:05 p.m. and were caused by strong winds.  Crews were immediately dispatched and will restore service as quickly as is safely possible.

Members can report an outage by calling Gibson EMC’s Outage Hotline at 1-800-977-4076.  If the lines are busy, please leave a message.  Members also can report an outage using the free “Gibson EMC” app through the App Store or Android Market.  They can access up-to-date outage information through the Outage Map using the app and at

Gibson EMC is a not-for-profit, member-owned and member-controlled electric cooperative serving about 39,000 members in eight west Tennessee counties (Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Obion and Madison) and four Kentucky counties (Carlisle, Fulton, Graves and Hickman).


Committee To Elect Jim Poe To Hold Forum Thursday

 ParisTenn.-The Committee to Elect Jim Poe will hold an educational forum on the issue of Refugee Resettlement in Tennessee at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Paris Civic Center650 Volunteer Drive, in Paris. The public is invited to meet Jim Poe, candidate for the 75th District House seat and hear Joanne Bregman, a former attorney and subject matter expert as she explains the impact of refugee resettlement inTennessee.  

Paris Man Rescued From Burning Truck; Condition Stable


Paris Landing firefighters extinguish blaze. (Reggie Coles photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

SpringvilleTenn.-A Paris man was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center after he was rescued from a burning truck by firefighters and bystanders following an accident Tuesday afternoon on East Antioch Rd.

Ken Steele is listed in stable condition this morning at Vanderbilt.

The Paris Landing Fire Department was called to 4480 East Antioch Rd. near RusswoodBaptist Church around 4 p.m. Tuesday on a report of a truck on fire with occupants possibly in the vehicle, according to Fire Chief Reggie Coles.

Arriving units found a Ford pickup truck had left the roadway and collided with a large tree behind Russwood Church

Coles said the truck was engulfed in flames and Steele, who was driving the truck, had managed to get out of the vehicle and was lying beside the truck. He said firefighters and bystanders were able to move him a safe distance from the burning truck.

Henry County EMS treated him at the scene and a Vanderbilt Lifeflight helicopter was called to the scene for his flight to Vanderbilt.



The Vanderbilt helicopter arrives at the scene. (Reggie Coles photo).

Puryear Student Selected As National Agriculture Leader


           Caleb Brannon

MurrayKy. — A young Puryear man is one of two Murray State University students to be selected as an honoree of the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives Program. Farm Credit Services selected 100 leaders who are changing rural communities and agriculture for the better.

Caleb Brannon of Puryear and Courtney Gerstenecker of Illinois were recognized for their exceptional contributions to agriculture and their communities, and were announced at a National Ag Day event at the National Press Club in WashingtonD.C.

Brannon, a junior Agribusiness student from PuryearTennessee, is a successful young entrepreneur and dedicated researcher, successful in FFA and innovative in his own agricultural pursuits. With his brother, he owns a 42-acre row crop farm on land previously owned by their great-grandmother and has production enterprises on the family farm.

At 15, Caleb founded Brannon AgriEnergy, an agribusiness producing and marketing switchgrass and other bio-energy crops for biomass energy and future cellulosic ethanol research. As a freshman, he was named the 2015 FFA State Star in Production and last fall he was named the National winner in Agriscience Research.

“Hunger never sleeps and to feed a growing world that is expected to reach nine billion people by 2050, farmers will need new tools including advancements in biotechnology and information technology. Most of all, the future will require us to tell our story. This is why I want to be a part of the next generation of agriculture,” said Brannon.

 Gerstenecker, a senior Agricultural Education student from CarlyleIllinois, is an experienced young leader and advocate of agriculture. As a high school student, Courtney was recognized with many Future Farmers of America (FFA) awards including a Farm Credit Illinois Scholarship in 2012.

Her passion for service, youth development and agriculture contributed to her success as 2012-2013 State FFA Reporter. During her term, she inspired nearly 30,000 young students to channel their passion for agriculture and service into helping their local communities. She transferred to Murray State in the fall of 2015 from Kaskaskia College in Illinois.

 More than 1,000 nominations were received from all 50 states for this honor. A panel of experts on rural matters, including Farm Credit leaders and representatives from around the agriculture industry, evaluated and selected the top 100 honorees using a scoring system. The scoring system evaluated the scope and breadth of the nominee’s vision, how they have inspired the community as a leader and how their work aligned with the purpose of the Fresh Perspective program.

 For a complete list of the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives honorees, please


UC Council Approves Splash Park

Union CityTenn.-On a 4-2 vote, Union City City Council Tuesday night authorized the application for an outdoors grant that would result in a splash park and skatepark built near the city ball parks with new bathrooms and additional parking.

Councilmen Bill Harrison and Bill Jack Cranford voted against the plan, with Harrisonsaying the city has other pressing needs like street repair that need attention and money. Cranford and Harrison both said the comments they have heard about the project have been negative.

Mayor Terry Hailey said he hated to see the swimming pool closed some years ago and that a splash park would bring water back as a form of recreation for kids in the summer. He also said he thought the skate park would be popular.

Hailey joined Councilwoman Diane Eskew and Councilmen Frank Tucker and Danny Legget in voting for the project.

In other business, council approved demolition of houses at 507 North First and 703 North Division Streets.


Leadership Obion County Visits State Capitol

NashvilleTenn.-The Adult Leadership Obion County (ALOC) Class of 2016 recently visited the State Capitol in Nashville. The class was welcomed by Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Senator John Stevens, Representatives Bill Sanderson and Andy Holt. Each of the legislators addressed the class followed by questions from the attendees. ALOC Executive Director is Phyllis Rauchle.


Dover Encouraging Town Clean-Up

DoverTenn.-The Town of Dover is encouraging all its residents inside the city limits to clean up their property and make the town proud. In an effort to help with this, city officials have rented a large dumpster and placed it behind city hall. If you want to utilize this dumpster and bring your excess junk please call city hall and let them know.

According to a press release, “We will have someone available on weekend to meet you here but you must call the office and give us a time to meet you. We have also worked out a deal with a local wrecker service if you have old vehicle that will not run call us and we will have him come pick it up.”

Dr. Seuss Movie Night Thursday

ParisTenn.-The Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse will host a movie night with Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! on Thursday, April 7th at their location at 207 N. Brewer St. The movie will begin at 5 pm and all children should be accompanied by an adult. Please call the center if interested at731-642-8455.


Easton’s Angels Glow Walk Set

ParisTenn.-The First Annual Easton's Angels Light Up the Night One Mile Glow Walk and Memory Lantern Release will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 9th at the First United Methodist Church 101 E.. Blythe Street in downtown Paris.


Registration begins at 7 pm. There is a $20 entrance fee that includes a t-shirt and a $25 entrance fee for a t-shirt and memory lantern. During registration, there will be a bake sale, raffle, glow gear for sale, and water for sale. There will be a prize for best glow gear! The 1 mile walk will begin after dark. There will be a memory lantern release after the walk.


Dancin’ And Desserts Event Is Saturday

ParisTenn.- The Henry County High School Band Department will present the 2nd Annual Dancin' and Desserts Saturday April 9th at the Paris Convention Center at 7 pm. Join the Henry County High School Jazz Ensemble and Paris/Henry County Middle School Jazz Ensemble as they perform great music, while delicious finger food, desserts and beverages are served.

Guest artists this year are Michael Holden and Dr. Todd E. Hill. Both are Henry County High School alumni and are active performers and educators in our region.

Tickets are $10 in advanced and $12 at the door. Tickets are available from any Henry County Jazz member and Beasley Antenna. You can also call Sherry at 731-336-8928 or Tina at 731-644-1519 and 731-363-4571 for individual or table ticket purchases. All proceeds benefit the Henry County Band Department.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Operation Targeting Sexual Exploitation of Minors Nets Arrests

ParisTenn.-An operation targeting sexual exploitation of minors over the internet and human trafficking was conducted in Henry County this week and resulted in six arrests. Five of those arrested were from out of town traveling through Henry County to undisclosed locations to commit the crimes.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Paris Police, Metro Crime Unit, Jackson Police, Puryear Police and Tennessee Highway Patrol arrested six individuals over the two-day operation that occurred March 15 and 16.

Investigators were able to identify and apprehend five sexual predators who were using social media to target underage victims of sexual exploitation. One suspect was charged with solicitation of prostitution.

Sheriff Belew said, “This is the first time this type of investigation has been conducted inHenry County. Five of the suspects were traveling from out of town to an undisclosed location to commit the sexual crime. I cannot stress enough the importance of parental monitoring of the internet and social media. The investigation was very successful and will be conducted again in Henry County.”

Arrested were:

Drake Gamlin, age 19, Paris, solicitation of statutory rape of a minor.

Isac Butler, age 23 of Dresden, solicitation of statutory rape of a minor.

William Evans, age 29 of Sharon, solicitation of statutory rape of a minor

Norman Ellis, age 43 of Obion, solicitation of sexual exploitation of a minor (class B felony) and solicitation of aggravated statutory rape of a minor

Donald Roach, age 46 of Decaturville, solicitation of prostitution

Zachary Huey, age 21 of Kenton, solicitation of statutory rape of a minor

Mock Disaster Strikes Henry County High School


Paris Firefighter John Roaten with Nurses Tammy Bell and Kim Ladd tend to Student Olivia Smith. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-Henry County High School was abuzz with activity Friday morning with all of the county’s first responders on hand for a mock disaster drill coordinated by the Henry County Emergency Management Agency.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m., first responders began acting out a mock mass casualty scenario involving an F3 tornado hitting the high school and causing a partial collapse. While the bulk of the student body quickly evacuated to the stadium, other students had been designated as ‘victims’ inside the building, with a variety of mock injuries that needed to be identified and treated.

The ‘critically-injured’ students were transported to the Henry County Medical Center. Some 50-60 students in all were ‘injured’.

Participants included the Henry County Schools, hospital, Henry County Emergency Medical Services ambulances and personnel, Paris Fire Department, Paris Police and Henry County Sheriff’s Office. Air Evac personnel were also participating, with a helicopter ready at the hospital, which also conducted an exercise to test its emergency department.

Also on hand as observers were personnel from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Weakley County EMS and the State Department of Health.

Student Brittany Askew tends to fellow Student Ashley Collins. (McFarlin photo).

Martin Police Cite Four Businesses For Selling To Minors

MartinTenn.-The Martin Police Department, along with the Alcohol Beverage Commission, conducted an undercover alcohol compliance operation Thursday night on area businesses. Agents of both agencies checked twenty-five local establishments. Four of the twenty-five businesses sold alcohol to an underage undercover agent and the individuals who sold alcohol to the agent were cited for sale of alcohol to a minor. Businesses that were cited included Little General, Hunan Palace, Hucks, and Shreeya Inc.

All individuals charged will appear in Weakley County General Sessions Court.

All business holders will be required to appear before the City of Martin Beer Board


Artists: Get Ready For Artist Showcase

ParisTenn.-The Paris-Henry County Arts Council is inviting all artists to participate in the 30th Annual Artist Showcase. Amateur and professional artists of any age may enter. The entry fee is only $10 per piece, and each artist may enter up to 3 pieces in any category. Youth Photographers, age 16 and under, may enter in a general youth category and will not be charged an entry fee. The categories of entry are as follows: Oil & Acrylic, Drawing, Watercolor, Mixed Media, Fiber Art, and Pottery/3-D. Cash Prizes will be awarded in each category. Forms can completed at or can be picked up at City Hall.
Entries will be received at the Lee Academy for the Arts on Saturday, April 2 between the hours of 10 AM and 12 PM. No work can be accepted after 12 PM, as judging will be taking place.
COLLECTING: Entries must be picked up Friday, April 29, 2015 from 12 PM to 3 PM
Any work left after this time will become the property of the Arts Council and will be donated to the Youth for the Arts Enrichment Fund.
The awards presentation will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3 at the Lee Academy.


 Turkey Bay to Remain Closed Over Weekend

Land Between The Lakes– Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area will remain closed through this weekend, March 19-20. The area received over six inches of rain last week resulting in many washouts, deep holes, and other drainage concerns, especially on the main trail. The trail system will remain closed until these safety hazards and other repairs can be addressed. These temporary closures, while inconvenient, are intended to serve as another proactive measure to ensure Turkey Bay remains open for all riders in the future.

Management recommends visitors to “Call Before You Haul,” 800-525-7077 or 270-924-2000, then press 1 for Alerts and Notices. Updates will be posted to our official website at under Alerts.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Three Injured In Hwy. 77 Rollover Accident

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-Three people were injured—including a five-month-old baby—following a serious rollover accident Tuesday night on Hwy. 77 in Paris. The two injured adults were airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Airlifted to Vanderbilt were Driver Tyler Middleton, age 23, of Paris, and Passenger Ashley Ford, age 18 of Paris. The five-month-old baby, Elizabeth Middleton, was taken to the HenryCounty Medical Center.

According to Brad Wilbanks of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the accident occurred at 10 p.m. In his report, Trooper Jeremy Byars said Middleton was driving a 1999 Ford Mustang southbound on Hwy. 77, travelled off the left side of the road, over-corrected to the right, travelled off of the right side of Hwy. 77, struck a drainage culvert and overturned multiple times. Byars said it reached its final rest position on its roof facing the south.

One other passenger, Shaina Barr, age 20, also of Paris, was apparently uninjured.


Martin Man Faces Drug Charges After Traffic Stop

MartinTenn.-A traffic stop early this morning resulted in a young Martin man facing several drug charges.

Arrested was Kaine Winston, age 21 of Martin, and charged with possession of Schedule II drugs, possession of Schedule IV drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and a stop sign violation.

Martin Patrolman Nick Combs stopped Kaine’s vehicle at 12:05 a.m. on Hannings Lane after observing Kaine fail to stop for a stop sign.

Ptl. Combs requested assistance from Ptl. Aaron Gallimore and his Narcotics K-9.  K-9 Samo did alert on Winston’s vehicle during an air sniff for the presence of narcotics.  A probable cause search was conducted of the vehicle and officers located glass smoking pipes, a small plastic bag containing what field tested to be 0.3 grams of methamphetamine, and several prescription pills that were not stored in prescription bottles.  The prescription pills were later identified as four Oxycodone tablets, two Adderall tablets and two Xanax tablets.   

Program Addresses Henry County's High Teen Pregnancy Rate

ParisTenn.-With Henry County ranked the 6th highest county in the state and the highest county in the judicial district for teenage pregnancies, the District Attorney General’s Child Support Office has launched the “What’s The Rush?” program in Henry County in an effort to combat and reduce the increasing rate of pregnancy among Henry County teens. 

In photo, District Attorney General Matthew Stowe  and Griffey offered the “What’s the Rush?” program as part of the county’s “Reality Store” experience offered to 8th Grade students on March 16; and they are seeking to present the program to other students in Henry County and in other schools throughout the judicial district.

The “What’s the Rush?” program is an initiative aimed at raising awareness of the legal, financial and social consequences of becoming a teen parent. 

Utilizing 2013 data, Henry County’s teenage pregnancy rate was 35.9% while the state’s average was 18.2%.  Additionally, from 2010 to 2013, the teenage pregnancy rate in HenryCounty more than doubled – from 14.6% in 2010 to 35.9% in 2013.

“We educate teens about the financial consequences of having children by comparing the costs of purchasing necessary essentials for a child such as diapers and formula to the cost of social expenditures such as movie tickets, which typically are eliminated from the life of a teen parent,” according to Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Griffey of Paris. 

The “What’s the Rush?” program educates teens about child support – how child support is calculated and how it is collected.  For example, the legal ramifications of not paying child support, including, but not limited, to jail sentences and driver’s license revocation, are explained to the teen program participants.  “We role play a case in child support court so the teenagers better understand some of the financial and legal ramifications of having a child and the experience is more memorable for them.  We also walk through a factual scenario – you have a baby, you’re in high school and you have to get a job in order to pay child support and avoid jail – and we have teens explore what their job prospects and earning capabilities are and what their money flow would look like,” Griffey said.  

“Beyond the long-term financial and legal ramifications, we also try to make teens understand the negative impact that a pregnancy could have on their education, and, consequently, their long-term career options and income potential.”

Miss Paris Beauty Pageant Is Saturday

ParisTenn.-The Ladies With SWAG (Sisters With A Goal) annual Miss Paris Beauty Pageant will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Krider Performing Arts Center.

There will be two age categories: ages seven through 12 and ages 13-18.

Admission is $5 at the door. It includes a silent auction and entertainment by the Paris-Henry County Mass Choir.

Questions call 333-4965.

Bradford Pear Trees Greet Paris Visitors

ParisTenn.-The Bradford Pear trees that greet visitors to Paris along Veterans’ Drive are really putting on a show this year. Indeed, all the Bradford Pear trees have bloomed in magnificent form this season. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Mock Disaster Exercise Planned Friday At HCHS

ParisTenn.-Henry County Emergency Management will be coordinating a “mock” mass casualty tornado exercise beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, March 18, at Henry County High School.

A mock tornado will hit HCHS and cause mock injuries to students and faculty. According to EMA Director Ron Watkins, the scenario calls for a F3 tornado to take aim on the school and cause partial collapse of the “C” building, injuring 50-60 students.

The county’s emergency services will be called and all abled students will be evacuated and the injured with be rescued and triaged, with the critically-injured treated and transported to the Henry County Medical Center.

Watkins said, “We don’t want parents and grandparents to get excited when they hear fire trucks, ambulances and law enforcement are being dispatched to the high school Friday morning. This is only an exercise.”

Planning began last year , he said, and it was coordinated with the hospital, which also was planning a mass-casualty exercise to test the hospital’s emergency department.

Participants will include the Henry County Schools, hospital, EMS, Paris Fire Department, Paris Police and Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Fort Campbell Named Best Army Installation

 ClarksvilleTenn.-Fort Campbell has been named the best installation in the Army, earning its first Gold Award in the 2016 Installation Management Command Army Communities of Excellence competition.

The orgranization recognizes Army garrisons for their performance in meeting and exceeding goals of its Installation Management Campaign Plan.

In a message to the entire installation, Fort Campbell Commander Col. James “Rob” Salome said, “Congratulations to all of you and your teams as this reflects all of the hard work and tremendous commitment you've had to making Ft Campbell truly the BEST Soldier and Family Experience! I am very proud to be on this team and wish the sincerest congratulations to each and every one of you and our team mates.”

Not only does this reflect a level of excellence by efforts of the installation, it also symbolizes the strong symbiotic relationship with the surrounding communities ofClarksvilleTennessee and HopkinsvilleKentucky, and Oak GroveKentucky.

“Together, on post and off, we all work seamlessly in making Fort Campbell a place that Soldiers and Families want to come to and return to again if they transfer or retire,” said Salome. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my career. The support from our community partners is phenomenal. That was keenly demonstrated during the 2015 Community Listening Session, but it’s actually demonstrated on a daily basis, year-round.”


UC Police Investigate Car Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union CityTenn.-A car was destroyed by fire Wednesday in a field on Woodfin Dr. and Union City Police are investigating to determine who owned the car and how and why it was set on fire.

A Tyson employee called police around 4:30 a.m. to report something on fire in the field behind the plant. The car was found on fire in a fence row about 200 yards inside the field. The fire was extinguished by the Union City Fire Department.

According to the police report, there was nothing to identify the owner of the car: the VIN stamp was melted in the fire.

Police said it appeared the car became stuck and unknown persons tried to pull it out. They also said it could not be determined if the fire was deliberately set or not. Also found in the field was a blue ball camp, muddy shoes and a chain.


Shepherd Family To Perform

ParisTenn.-The renowned Shepherd Family of Paris will be performing “Bach, Beatles and Bluegrass” at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Lee Academy for the Arts. Tickets are $10.Lee Academy is located at 401 Lee St. in Paris.


Church Break-In Investigated

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating a break-in at the Calvary BaptistChurch at 2250 E. Reelfoot Dr.

Police were called to the church Wednesday morning and found that an object had been thrown through a window of the recreation building and the suspect took eight bottles of Powerade from the kitchen.


BPU To Flush Fire Hydrants Next Week

ParisTenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants during the week of March 21.  Our customers could possibly experience air in water lines or discoloration in the water.  Please check for discoloration of water prior to doing laundry.  If these conditions occur, run water through a faucet for several minutes.  The water should return to normal in a short amount of time.  If problems continue, please feel free to contact Terry Wimberley at 642-1322, ext. 149. 

MSU To Host Easter Egg Hunt

MurrayKy. — The Murray State University Alumni Association will host the third annual Easter egg hunt on Monday, March 21, taking place at the Sid Easley Alumni Center. Registration and photos with Dunker Bunny begin at 5 p.m. and the egg hunt starts at 5:30 p.m.

Past and present Racers, along with members of the local community are invited to bring children ages newborn to ten years old to participate in the fun. There will be approximately 1,500 candy-filled eggs hidden in the Alumni Plaza and children will be divided by age groups.

Parking will be available in the Stewart Stadium parking lot. The Alumni Association will email participants’ photos following the egg hunt.

For more information, contact the Murray State University Alumni Association at (800) 758-8510 or


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lakewood Students See Court System Up Close

Judge Snyder pets Officer Jamie James' K9 Herrum during Tuesday's program. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The second graders at Lakewood Elementary School were treated to a field trip unlike any other Tuesday. After all, it’s not every day you get to sit on the judge’s bench and use her gavel.

Second graders from the classrooms of Stephanie Sanders and Christy Wimberley heard presentations from police officers, the district attorney and the judge herself at the courtroom of Henry County General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Vicki Snyder.

Paris Patrolman Jamie James brought his K9 partner Herrum, Police Chief Chuck Elizondo and DARE Officer Jordan Klutts and District Attorney Matt Stowe spoke to the students.

Judge Snyder explained the court system and told the children, “I don’t tolerate bullies. But one thing you need to know about bullies? People who are bullies are probably people who have been bullied themselves.”

Elizondo told the children, “I’m here to help you. If you are ever scared, don’t be scared of me. When you see someone in a police uniform, don’t be afraid to come to us when you’re scared. We’re here to help you and keep you safe.”

James talked about Herrum, who is an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois who is trained to sniff out drugs. James said Herrum “is part of my family” and showed the students how he is trained to respond to German commands.

Klutts told the students about the DARE program and about consequences of actions.

District Attorney Matt Stowe provided a short history lesson on the justice system.

District Attorney Matt Stowe speaks to the students. (McFarlin photo).

Powell Announces Candidacy For State Representative

ParisTenn. -- Daniel Powell, a resident of Henry County and a graduate of the University ofTennessee at Martin, announced today that he will run as a Democrat for the Tennessee House of Representative for the 75th District. State House District 75 includes Henry,Benton and Stewart Counties.

Daniel Powell is a native of Cottage Grove and a graduate of Henry County High School. He currently works for the Henry County Sheriff's Department in Paris.

Powell has already picked up his qualifying papers and is currently in the process of filing them with state officials. The seat that Powell will be running to fill is currently held by Republican Rep. Tim Wirgau of Buchanan.

Powell emphasized that a State Representative must be focused on problem solving and be the voice of the people they represent, not of the special interest and millionaire donors.

Powell said, “Ordinary Tennesseans in my district deserve affordable, quality healthcare through Insure Tennessee. They need a leader who will focus on ensuring the state government is effective and accountable to them. They need someone who will support equal pay for equal work, investments in our public schools and in our public infrastructure.”

“I am focused on moving past political gridlock and the misplaced priorities of our current elected officials in Tennessee. At a time when polls show that most Tennesseans are less satisfied with their standard of living and more likely to say it is getting worse, we need a leader who is focused on solving problems and making the lives of ordinary Tennesseans better,” Powell said.

For more information about Daniel Powell and his campaign for State Representative contact him at 731.336.2095.


Roads, Bays At Wildlife Refuge Reopen Today

SpringvilleTenn.-The seasonally closed roads and bays at the Tennessee and Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge will re-open today. These areas have been closed during winter to lessen disturbance to wintering waterfowl on both these refuges.

This is the time when the crappie start biting and it is a great time to go fishing on the refuge. Fishermen are encouraged to obtain a fishing regulations brochure available online or Brochures are also available at the Refuge headquarters at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville; or at Cross Creeks Refuge office at 643 Wildlife Road in Dover, at information kiosks located at both refuge offices; at the V.L. Childs Observation Deck; at the main entrance to the Duck River Bottoms area; and at the main entrance to the Busseltown Unit; or in area bait and tackle stores.

For those that enjoy birding and observing wildlife, there are many opportunities available at both refuges. At Cross Creeks NWR wildlife can be viewed at the refuge office and visitor center, just out the back door on their observation deck, along the refuge roads or at their 1.2 mile Woodpecker Trail. To find this area with your GPS use the address 643 Wildlife Roadin Dover.

At Tennessee NWR just south of New Johnsonville, the Blue Goose Boulevard Wildlife Drive just off Refuge Lane in the Duck River Bottoms will be a phenomenal show just after opening. This 2 mile wildlife observation drive features a green tree reservoir, flooded fields and mud flats that attract a wide number of birds. Near the wildlife drive, an observation deck called Pintail Point Observation Deck is accessible just off of Haul Road providing a photography blind opportunity. To find this area with your GPS, use the address 550 Refuge Lane in New Johnsonville.

Another good location to view wildlife is at the back patio of the new visitor center which offers excellent views of wildlife overlooking a gorgeous bay of Kentucky Lake. With mounted spotting scopes and staff or volunteer guides nearby, many people find this a great place to start on the refuge. The visitor center is open 8-4 Monday – Saturday and features a state of the art wildlife exhibits. Entrance to the visitor center is free. The visitor center is located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville.

On the Big Sandy Peninsula, just north of the town of Big Sandy, the Bennett’s Creek Observation Deck is fully accessible. This 120 foot boardwalk leading to a raised observation deck overlooks a bay of Kentucky Lake and two refuge impoundments. Near the deck is the 1.1 mile Chickasaw National Recreation Trail, a great trail to view a diversity of habitats, see the ruins of an old grist mill and walk through the remains of a homestead site of long ago.

Even though a good number of the waterfowl have left us, there are still plenty coming through The refuge manager invites the public to take pleasure in the refuge, but remember to obey all regulations and help make it a safe and litter-free place for all to enjoy. For more information about where to visit or refuge programs, call 731-642-2091.



John Conlee To Perform At The Dixie

HuntingdonTenn.-Best known for his 1978 hit “Rose Colored Glasses,” John Conlee brings his unique voice to The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m.

A native of Kentucky farm country, Conlee’s first releases didn’t go far on the charts. “Rose Colored Glasses,” which became his signature song, changed the course of his career. More hits followed with “Back Side of Thirty,” “Common Man,” “I’m Only In It For The Love,” “Years After You,” and “Fellow Travelers.” Of his 29 singles, 26 charted in the Top 20 or better and eight reached the No. 1 spot.

Throughout his career, Conlee has stuck with what and who he knows. Dave Roberts has managed Conlee from the beginning, and Bud Logan has produced all of Conlee’s records. Conlee has recorded for ABC Records, MCA Records, and Columbia Records. He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, regularly performing on “the show that made country music famous.”

When Conlee isn’t on the road, he lives a domestic life with his wife Gale and three children Rebecca, Jessica and Johnny. He enjoys working on his 32-acre farm outside of Nashville, woodworking, and gun-smithing.

Tickets for The John Conlee Show are $20 per person and are available at the Box Office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Alleged Hit And Run Driver Arrested


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-The alleged hit and run driver that reportedly caused Monday afternoon’s wreck was arrested last night at her home. Meanwhile, the victim was airlifted to VanderbiltMedical Center and is listed in stable condition.

Kerrie Hurst, age 45, was arrested at her home on Jim Hunt Rd. around 10 p.m. after a trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol spotted her car in a barn on her property.

Paris Police Investigator Greg Underwood said Hurst was picked up by the highway patrol and brought to the Paris Police Department for questioning. Underwood booked her into the Henry County Jail, where she remains on $25,000 bond.

Underwood said law enforcement officers had the license plate number of the suspect car and were searching for it after the accident, which occurred around 4:15 p.m. Monday. Witnesses told WENK/WTPR that the accident was caused when a driver who was driving erratically caused the victim to drive into a pole.

The victim, Emily Spears, was first taken to Henry County Medical Center before being airlifted to Vanderbilt.

Hurst is charged with reckless endangerment and Underwood said more charges are pending.


Groundbreaking For New Trinity UMC Held


Rev. Dennis Vance, right, along with church members, builders and architects at Monday's ground-breaking. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-Dozens of members of the Trinity United Methodist Church gathered Monday afternoon for the ground-breaking of the new church to replace the historic former church that was destroyed by fire last spring.

The longest-serving charter church member Carleen “Chick” Robertson was among the crowd that gathered along with Pastor Dennis Vance, builders, and architects for the ceremony.

Architects Keith Buck and Kevin Perry of Ace Design Group in Murray said work on the new church will be visible in about five weeks. Perry said, “This was the nicest group of people to work with on the designs for the new church.” Builders are the Wyatt Owens Construction Co. of Paris.

Rev. Vance said he and church members have been overwhelmed by how the church community and the community at large worked hard for the church rebuilding and said, “We have found that a church is not just a building; it’s the people. Today is another step forward.”

Building Committee Chairman Jim Hayes said, “Henry County has the givingest people. We’re very lucky. We have a good builder, good architects.”



Good Turnout For “Taking It” Event

ParisTenn.-The weather was perfect Monday afternoon for the first “Taking It To The Streets” of 2016. Sponsored by Paris Special Schools, the events are held at various locations in Paris and include skits, giveaways and cookouts. Monday’s was held at the Crestview Manor housing development. In photo, Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy Eddie Crosser is surrounded by Two Little Pigs (Alysha Lilly, Sanna Anderson) and The Wolf (Anna Barron), all of whom performed in the skit. A large crowd of children and parents turned out for the event. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Robison Receives National Advocacy Award In D.C.

WashingtonD.C.- Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison of Buchanan received the National Arthritis Foundation’s Emerging Leader in Advocacy Award in WashingtonD.C. on Monday evening. 
With five members of her family battling arthritis, Robison has been an advocate for more research and treatment for that affliction for several years and has helped raise thousands of dollars for research.
 As Miss Tennessee, Robison also competed in the 2015 Miss America pageant and made arthritis awareness her platform. Because of her work with the Foundation, Robison received the Miss America National Quality of Life Award at and, Monday night received the Arthritis Foundation’s Emerging Leader in Advocacy Award during a dinner program attended by more than 400 Foundation constituents and supporters.
While in WashingtonD.C., Hannah will also participate in the Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Summit where she will meet with members of Congress and fight for state and federal legislation that will increase access to treatment and funding for better treatments and a cure.

Kayak National Fishing Tourney Set This Weekend

BuchananTenn.-The popular Kayak Bass Fishing Open Series is returning to KentuckyLake this weekend, beginning Saturday, followed by the national Kayak Championship Sunday and Monday. The event will be held at Paris Landing State Park.

Last year 158 anglers from 21 states converged on an icy Kentucky Lake for the 3rd annual tournament. The fishing conditions started out tough and improved steadily with anglers making some impressive catches. The biggest fish topped 8 pounds and numerous impressive totals were turned in for the weekend.

The weather is setting up for much better fishing this year and over 400 anglers from across the country are pre-qualified to fish the first national chmpionship. In addition, 100 anglers will qualify by fishing the KBF OPEN event on Friday, March 18th. Local anglers are encouraged to come out to the Captain’s Meeting Thursday Night, March 17th and sign up to compete against the top kayak anglers from across the country. The stage is set for a record turn out, unbelievable fishing and lots of opportunities for anglers to catch their personal best on one of America’s top bass fisheries.

In addition to great fellowship, there will be free beer from PerryLodgic Brewery in Parisand entertainment from two Nashville recording artists, Kristen Kelly and Jimmy Stanley. Friday evening, March 18th, Kristen and Jimmy will entertain the crowd along with a full band for an event open to the public. Country music fans are encouraged to come out and enjoy this great free show.

For those that can’t fish the entire event there is also a four day charity event, The HOW BIG BASS BRAWL with a prize package valued at over $5,000 with the proceeds raised through the $20 Entry fee benefiting the Heroes on the Water. For more information and click on the events tab.

The 4th Annual KBF OPEN Series and Inaugural KBF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP is brought to you in cooperation with the Henry County Tourism Authority.

For more information visit

Contact Chad Hoover at 757-348-2232 or Joe Haubenreich at 615-456-7123 for information on a booth at the expo, sponsorship opportunities or with any and all questions. 


James Gregory To Perform At KPAC

Paris, Tenn.-James Gregory, the so-called “Funniest Man In America”, will perform at the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17.
Known for his clean humor, Gregory refuses vulgar and profane humor and focuses on simpler times before the loss of common sense.
Visit f for tickets and information.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Law Enforcement Still Seeking Hit And Run Driver

Paris Police Lt. Ricky Watson surveys the scene of this afternoon's hit and run accident. (McFarlin photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office are seeking the suspect in a hit and run accident that seriously injured the driver Monday afternoon.

Paris Police Lt. Ricky Watson said, “We have a description and a suspect vehicle we are looking for.”

The accident occurred around 4:15 p.m. Monday on Hwy. 79 in front of the Fresh Market. Witnesses said the suspect vehicle was driving erratically and caused the victim to run off the road and into a pole.

The victim was transported to Henry County Medical Center but a condition report was unavailable Monday afternoon.

Patrolman Jordan Klutts said details of the accident were still under investigation.

Driver Injured After Car Drives Into Sinkhole

The driver was extricated from his vehicle after driving into sinkhole. (Photo by Jason Mounts).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cottage GroveTenn.-A Henry County man is being treated at Vanderbilt Medical Center inNashville today for injuries he sustained when he drove his vehicle into a sinkhole on New Boston Rd. near Cottage Grove Sunday night.

Chris Norwood, age 45, is listed in stable condition this morning at Vanderbilt.

Brad Wilbanks, Public Information Officer for the Tennessee Highway Patrol, said this morning that Norwood drove through barricades that had been set up due to flooding and road damage.

Wilbanks said Norwood was trapped inside his vehicle with water filling up the sinkhole. He was extricated by members of the Henry County Rescue Squad, Emergency Ambulance personnel and sheriff’s deputies at the scene. The accident was investigated by Trooper Jason Mounts.

Wilbanks said alcohol may have been a factor in the accident.

Five Charged With Cabin Break-Ins

Suspect Calls 911 To Report He Is Lost

PalmersvilleTenn.-Four men and a juvenile have been charged in connection with two break-ins at a cabin on School Road near Palmersville. According to the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office, one of the suspects was found when he called 911 to report he was lost.

Deputies have charged Trace Balkman, Tyler Hansel, Joseph Martin, Austin Sellers and a juvenile, all from the Dresden area, with the two break-ins. Following a complaint by a concerned citizen, deputies found a car belonging to one of the suspects at the cabin.

According to Capt. Randall McGowan, Balkman was found in the woods behind the cabin around midnight Friday. Vehicles belonging to Martin and the juvenile were found at a church in Palmersville. After one of the remaining suspects called 911 to report he was lost, the remaining suspects were later found by deputies at a church on Blooming Grove Rd.

The four also admitted to being in the cabin the night before. Items taken included guns, knives, ammunition and tools.

Balkman, Hansel, Martin and the juvenile also have been charged with the break-in of a cabin located between Swinging Limb Rd. and Jolley Springs Rd. in February. During that break-in, a gun, fishing tackle, trolling motor and ammunition was taken. The tackle and pole was recovered by Investigator Marty Plunk from the office of the farm building behind the Dresden High School.

Obion County Sheriff’s Office May Keep Seized $879,000

Union CityTenn.-The Obion County Sheriff’s Office could end up being awarded the $879,000 seized in a traffic stop this month after all.

At a forfeiture hearing, Obion County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Parham ruled there was probable cause to believe the cash was gained through drug proceeds and could legally be seized.

The cash was seized in the early morning hours of March 3 when a deputy stopped a truck driver from Illinois for speeding. The driver did not have proper paperwork and agreed to a search, which turned up the cash, which was wrapped in several bundles.

The truck driver was released and officers said it did not appear he knew about the money hidden in the truck.

The paperwork on the seizure will now go to the Tennessee Department of Safety, which could award the cash to the Obion County Sheriff’s Office drug fund.

Community Concert Association To Host Mike Farris

Union CityTenn.-In music there are those special artists that seem to transcend genre and defy categorization.

From time to time people hear a voice that can stop them dead in their tracks and shake their very foundations to the core. Mike Farris is that artist and he has that voice.

Area residents will be able to hear Farris in person March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Union City Civic Auditorium, located at 1311 High School Drive in Union City, as part of the 2015-16 Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County series.

In June of 2007, Farris released the critically acclaimed Salvation in Lights which married old-time roots gospel sounds with his own unique arrangements that were mainly inspired byNew Orleans, Stax and the blues. The music was both spiritual and personal for Farris as it dealt with individual struggle but it also had a commonality that music fans from all walks of life could enjoy. In 2008 he won the Americana Music Association’s “New & Emerging Artist of the Year” award and started to make a name for himself as a dynamic performer.

In 2008 and 2009, Farris and his Roseland Rhythm Revue performed monthly residencies atNashville’s Station Inn and called it “Sunday Night Shout!” The shows had audiences that consisted of people from all walks of life and the goal was to make the crowd feel “excited, delighted and loved.” The official live recording of the Station Inn shows, “Shout! Live,” was released in 2009 and won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album of the Year in 2010.

When the “1,000 year flood” hit Middle Tennessee in May of 2010, it became obvious to Farris that he needed to do something to help those who were affected. He gathered up some of the finest musicians in town, including Sam Bush, Ketch Secor & Gill Landry (Old Crow Medicine Show), Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart), Byron House (Robert Plant) and members of his Roseland Rhythm Revue. Six songs were recorded in six hours at Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church and the music was a beautiful blend of old time country, gospel and blues with Mike leading the “Cumberland Saints” from the pulpit. In October of that year, the EP was released as “The Night The Cumberland Came Alive” with partial proceeds donated to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Membership tickets for the concert series, which also includes the last remaining show with Matt Dusk on April 23, are available for $95 per family, $45 for adults, $40 for seniors or $25 for students with a valid ID. Individual show tickets are also available for $20 each at Lanzer Printing and Office Supply in downtown Union City prior to the show or at the door that evening. Membership tickets are available by calling president Mike Cox at (731) 446-7764 or Chuck Doss at (731) 446-6277. Order forms can also be downloaded and mailed to P.O. Box 894Union CityTN 38281.

Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County may also be followed on social media at Community Concert Association.

Stabbing Victim In Memphis Hospital

Union CityTenn.-A Union City man is in a Memphis hospital for treatment of a stab wound he allegedly suffered Sunday night.

According to the police report, the man was standing in the alley behind his house on North First St. getting ready to go to work when two black men approached him. One of the men asked him if he wanted to fight one-on-one and the victim said yes. The victim told police he was struck in the face and blacked out and didn’t realize he had been stabbed until he woke up.

He said he has had problems with the man before and said he does not know who he is.


St. Patty’s Day Baked Potato Luncheon Is Thursday

ParisTenn.-The annual St. Patrick’s Day potato bar luncheon will be held this Thursday at the First Christian Church at 101 S. Poplar St.Paris.

The potato bar consists of baked potatoes with a large variety of fixins’ along with dessert and drink. The cost of the luncheon is $10 for dine-in, carry-out or drive-through (which is new this year).

All proceeds will benefit the Najavo Water Project.

Obion County Prevention Coalition Meeting

Union CityTenn.-The Obion County Prevention Coalition will meet at the Obion County Library in Union City at noon on Wednesday, March 16. The luncheon will be sponsored by Baptist Memorial Hospital Health Quest.  


UC Police Investigate Stolen Air Compressor

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating the theft of an air compressor from a storage facility Saturday. The air compressor is owned by Cox Oil Co. and is valued at $1500-$1800.

The air compressor is green with a Honda engine and it was removed from a trailer in a storage facility on E. Main St. The chain link fence at the rear of the storage facility was pulled back and that is how police say the suspects gained entry. According to the police report, the air compressor is so heavy it would take more than one person to remove it.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Obion County Flood Damage Is Widespread

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County EMA Director Danny Jowers said Obion County officials will be issuing a damage assessment next week from Saturday's massive flooding, which was caused by heavy rainfall combined with overflowing of the Obion River.

Jowers provided WENK/WTPR with photos of Saturday's flooding. Jowers took the photos during a flyover in a Tennessee Highway Patrol chopper. He said Obion County will be issuing a damage assessment next week.

Levee Overflow Causes Flooding, Evacuations

Martin city streets experienced major flooding Saturday night. (Photos courtesy of Nick and Christy Dane.)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Residents in Martin and in the Kenton area are drying out this morning after a very wet few hours Saturday night as a levee overflow reported on the Obion River near where Obion, Weakley and Gibson Counties meet.  

Massive rainfall combined with the levee overflow caused major flooding through the city ofMartin last night. Photos show both businesses and homes flooded throughout the city.

Martin officials are assessing the damage today. The dispatcher at the Martin Police Department said this morning there still is standing water on some city streets. Business and homeowners are beginning the cleanup today.

In the Kenton area, several people were evacuated from their homes Saturday night and Hwy. 89 was closed. The Obion County Sheriff’s Department dispatcher said the Kenton-Sidonia area experienced a lot of flooding, especially in the area toward where the levee was breached.

She said portions of Hwy. 89 and several county back roads still have water covering the roads in places this morning.


Victim Of Rollover Listed As Stable

SpringvilleTenn.-The victim of Saturday’s rollover accident on Hwy. 140 is listed in stable condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville this morning.

Rhonda Whitehead was injured when the SUV she was driving rolled over into a ditch on the Hwy. 140 about a mile from Hwy. 79.

She was first transported to Henry County Medical Center and then on to Vanderbilt.

WENK/WTPR reported on the accident Saturday. Called to the scene was the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Henry County Rescue Squad, Paris Landing Fire Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The report from the Highway Patrol on the accident was not complete Sunday morning.


Trinity UMC Ground-Breaking Is Monday

ParisTenn.-Trinity United Methodist Church will have a ground breaking ceremony for its new church building at 4 p.m. Monday, March 14. The new church will be built on the grounds of the former church on Wilson St. in Paris. The former church burned to the ground on April 23, 2015.  


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Victim Transported To HCMC Following Rollover Wreck

SpringvilleTenn.-The Paris Landing Fire Department was dispatched to the scene of a one vehicle rollover Saturday at 3 pm on Highway 140 East about a mile from Highway 79. The unidentified female driver was transported by Henry County EMS to the hospital. One truck and five firefighters were on the scene for 30 minutes. The Rescue Squad, Henry County Sheriff’s Officers and Tennessee Highway Patrol also responded to the call. Firefighters Jonathan and Rebecca Flood are pictured washing down the roadway. (Reggie Coles photo).


Photos Capture Friday Boating Incident

Rescue vessels on the way to the boat as it finally begins to run out of gas. (LGA Photography).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

BuchananTenn.-Two men competing in a fishing tournament on Kentucky Lake luckily escaped injury when they were ejected from their boat Friday afternoon near the Paris Landing Marina.

A photographer from LGA Photography just happened to be driving through the area visiting friends in Paris when she spotted the boat running in circles after the men were ejected from the boat.

Gayle Allen was among several people who watched from the Ned McWherter Bridge and the shore as the boat ran in circles until the gas ran out, which was a lengthy process.

She captured these photos of the boat running in circles and the boat finally being taken to shore.

The men were pulled from the water by people on a boat which was nearby when the incident happened. The men were competing in a fishing tournament which is happening this weekend at Paris Landing.

Once the boat ran out of gas, the boat was retrieved and pulled to the shore. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said Friday that it was unclear at that time what happened to cause the men to be ejected, but passersby have since said it is believed the hydraulic line in the boat may have broken.

The boat as it continues running in circles. (LGA Photography).

Unemployment Decreases Across State

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

NashvilleTenn.-County unemployment rates for January 2016, released today, show the rates decreased in 82 counties, increased in 12, and remained the same in one county.

In our area, Weakley Co. has the lowest unemployment at present, at 5.9 percent. HenryCounty is second lowest, with 6.7 percent.

Houston County is ranked 95th out of the state’s 95 counties in high unemployment, at 8.9 percent.

Also on the state’s list of counties with the highest unemployment are Obion County andBenton County, both at 8 percent.

Carroll County finally was removed from the highest unemployment list and is presently at 7.7 percent, with Stewart County at 7.7 percent.

For the month of January, Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 3.6 percent, down from December’s rate of 4.0 percent. Knox County was 3.9 percent in January, down from 4.3 the previous month. The Hamilton County rate was 4.6 percent, down from 5.0 in December. Shelby County was 5.5 percent, down from 6.1 percent the previous month.

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for January was 5.4 percent, down two tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for December was 4.9 percent, down one tenth of a percentage point from the previous month.


Ladder Truck Assists With Water Rescue

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Once again the Huntingdon Fire and Rescue ladder truck came in handy, this time for a water rescue Thursday evening.

On Thursday March 10th at approximately 5:55 p.m. the Huntingdon Fire & Rescue responded to a call of a car washed off the road in flood waters. The incident took place north of Huntingdon's city limits on SR 22 in an area that is known as Mayo's bottom. 
An unidentified man in a vehicle bearing Kentucky license drove around the barricade and cones put up by the state highway department and attempted to cross the flooded highway when the swift waters swept his car off the roadway. Fire Marshall Steve Price responded with the Ladder 1 truck. Upon arrival water was up to the driver’s window. 

Price was assisted by firemen Lt. Tim Bennett, who is a certified diver with Huntingdon Fire & Rescue, and Capt. Randy Crossett. Together they extended the ladder from the 75 ft. ladder truck with Lt. Bennett and Capt. Crossett climbed out on the ladder and rescued the man from the car. 

Huntingdon Director of Public Safety Walter Smothers said, “This is the second time in recent months that our ladder truck has been used to rescue someone from flood waters. I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank FEMA for the grant that we were able to use to purchase this life saving piece of equipment, and special thanks to U.S.Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker for their support in the grant approval process.”


Friday, March 11, 2016

Update: Boaters Escape Injury When Ejected 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Two men competing in a fishing tournament on Kentucky Lake escaped injury when they were ejected from their boat this afternoon. After they were thrown from the boat, the boat continued running in circles for at least 90 minutes until it ran out of gas....
Sheriff Monte Belew said, “Luckily, another boater was nearby and was able to get them in his boat. The two were taken to the Paris Landing Marina while their boat did doughnuts in the lake.”

Neither man is from Henry County, Belew said.

Belew said the men refused treatment from the rescue squad and the Henry County Emergency Ambulance that was dispatched to the scene.

Once the boat ran out of gas, members of the rescue squad were able to pull it to shore, he said.

Belew said, “We’re not really sure what caused them to be ejected. It appears they hit a wave wrong, came at it at the wrong angle.” The men did not have the kill switch engaged in the boat, which is why it kept running in circles.

Two Men Ejected From Boat; Boat Running In Circles

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Two men were ejected from their boat at Paris Landing State Park and the boat is running in circles without a driver. Henry County law enforcement and rescue squad members are on their way to the scene of the accident.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said the two men who were ejected were picked up by a passerby and are o.k. He said they are being treated at the marina as of 3:15 p.m.

Belew said, "We don't know yet what caused the men to be ejected, whether they hit something in the water, or what."

More details will be forthcoming as they are available.

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