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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Founder Of WENK, WTPR To Be Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

NashvilleTenn.-The founder of both long-time area radio stations WTPR in Paris and WENK in Union Citywill be inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame when induction ceremonies are held May 14 inMurfreesboro.

The late Aaron Robinson Sr. is among 12 new inductees into the Hall of Fame this year.

Robinson was the Founder and President of The Dixie Network from 1947-1961 and while working at theJackson Sun’s Publishing Co. and managing its radio division, he built a chain of radio stations that included WCMA Corinth, MS; WENK Union City, TN; WDXI Jackson, TN; WTPR Paris, TN; WDXE LawrenceburgTN; WDXN Clarksville, TN and WDXL Lexington, TN.

In 1954, he founded WDXI-TV in Jackson (which is now WBBJ-TV).

Robinson will receive a Legacy Award posthumously awarded to inductees. Others to receive the Legacy honors include: Harry Chapman, long-time DJ and sales manager; Warren Medley, long-time DJ and host at WDKN in Dickson; Dave Overton, long-time announcer and news director, including with Grand Ole Opry as announcer for WSM; Charlie Scott, who was announcer for the “Pat Boone Show” and long-time Nashville stations announcer; and Cal Young, Jr., who helped establish one of the nation’s first 24-hour a day country music stations in 1957.

WUSY-FM in Chattanooga will be inducted as the year’s Legendary Station.

Six living individuals will be “Career” Inductees: Maxine Humphreys who worked for 61 years with WGRV in Greenville; Keith Landecker, program director at WJTT in Chattanooga; Cathy Martindale, long-time morning air personality; Bill “Dex” Poindexter, from WUSY in Chattanooga; Earl Freudenberg, news director for WDYN in Chattanooga and 50 years in broadcasting; and Bart Walker, owner and GM at WGNS in Murfreesboro.


TDOT Worker Killed In Crash

Hickman CountyTenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation is mourning the loss of a worker fatally injured today along Interstate 40 West near mile marker 156 in Hickman County. The TDOT Operations Technician was with a road crew that had stopped on the shoulder of the interstate. The crew, including several workers and a caravan of vehicles, was struck by a commercial vehicle. Three other TDOT workers were injured in this crash that remains under investigation.

The worker killed in the crash had been with the Department since 2010. He was hired as a maintenance worker, and was quickly promoted through the ranks to become an Operations Technician 3. His death is the first TDOT fatality since 2013. TDOT will release the name of the worker once his family has been notified.

“Our hearts are broken at the news that we lost one of our own today and that three others were injured”, said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. “It’s a reminder of the many state employees who work in dangerous jobs every day to serve our state and their fellow Tennesseans. We are grateful for them. Crissy and I send our prayers to the families of the victim and those injured and to the entire TDOT family across the state.”

“We are deeply saddened by the loss, and our hearts and prayers are with his family”, said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Every day, our employees work along Tennessee’s freeways, risking their lives. This is a tragic reminder of how dangerous highway jobs can be, and how motorists must use extreme caution any time they see our trucks on the side of the road.”

Counselors will be provided for fellow employees in the middle Tennessee Region 3 and across the state as needed.

Since 1948, 110 TDOT workers have lost their lives while working on Tennessee roadways.


Large Crowds For Fish Fry Events


“Tater” Hayes displays the giant ball of foil that is shown off each year during the parade. The foil now weighs over 100 pounds and represents all the foil that has been saved for the past several years at the fish fry. (McFarlin photo).

ParisTenn.-Despite some rain in the early evening Wednesday, crowds were good for the opening of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Fish Tent. WBFF General Manager Loria Plunk said 583 adults and 28 children enjoyed the catfish dinners.

Some 400 people attended the Christian Concert Wednesday night and hundreds have enjoyed the midway and carnival, which opened on Tuesday.

Thursday’s events include the arts and crafts show which begins at 5:30 p.m., the IPRA Rodeo which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. All those events are at the fairgrounds.

The Grand Parade is of course set to begin at 10 p.m. Friday on East Wood St. and the Small Fry Parade will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Paris. The fish tent and carnival will be open through Saturday night.

Other photos from the Fish Tent opening were posted Wednesday evening.


Hostess Princess Tori Starks and her court helped serve fish last night. (McFarlin photo).

Teaching the young’uns: Marty Ann Medlin was showing her daughter Briley Medlin the fine art of hush puppy making last night. (McFarlin photo).



Last Chance: “Bodies Revealed” At Discovery Park Until Sunday

Union CityTenn.-The public will have its last chance to see the “Bodies Revealed” display at Discovery Park of America through Sunday, May 1. The exhibit shows you the inner workings of the human body, and is an educational opportunity to learn more about how the body works. You can see the skeletal system, muscular and nervous system, and even compare a smoker's lung to a healthy lung. It is an additional $7 for adults, $6 for members, and $5 for all students.  


Young Bald Eagles Soaring The Skies

BuchananTenn.-Local Photographer Richard Graves has been busy the last few days, taking pictures of the young Bald Eagles that have been flying around Paris Landing State Park during the current nesting season. This photo was taken at Pace Point, across from Paris Landing (south of the bridge).

Paris Woman Arrested For Meth Possession

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-A Paris woman was arrested on a new drug charge while being arrested on active warrants by the Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Puryear Police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol Wednesday afternoon.

Arrested was Janice Brown of Peppers Drive although she was apprehended at a Jackson Street residence.

Brown already had active warrants for violation of sentence and failure to appear.

While arresting her, she also was charged with possession of Schedule II with intent to sell because she was located with crystal meth. A bond of $5,000 was set on the drug charge.


Area Archives Receive State Funds

ParisTenn.-The Tennessee State Library & Archives has distributed more than $30,000 worth of federal grant funds to 15 organizations across the state to help preserve important historical records. These funds can be used for a variety of purposes, including purchasing storage equipment such as shelving and boxes, hiring temporary staff for specialized records preservation projects, training archives personnel, or creating digital versions of records.

Area recipients include: Houston County Archives, Erin, $925; Dyer County Archives, Dyersburg, $925; Stewart County Historical Society, Dover, $2,000.

Other recipients of note include the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, $2,500; the Pink PalaceMuseumMemphis, $2,400; and the University of Memphis Special CollectionsMemphis, $2,450.

The funding for the grants comes from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, which is part of the National Archives. The Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board reviews grant applications to determine which groups receive awards each year.

"When historical records are lost, they are irreplaceable," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "That's why the projects these 15 organizations are undertaking are so important. They are taking steps to ensure the historical treasures in their communities are properly preserved. I commend the work that the grant recipients are doing on behalf of our state's shared history."


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Happy Hush Puppies, Y’all!

Members of Dr. Morris' "Hushpuppy Posse" making the breading for the hush puppies. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Despite an overcast sky and early evening rainfall, by the time the first hush puppy was tossed to mark the opening of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Fish Tent Wednesday night, there was a long line of hungry people waiting for a big plate of catfish, hush puppies, slaw, onions, fries and beans.

Hostess Princess Tori Starks made a perfect hush puppy toss to her father, Monte Starks, to officially open the fish tent for one and all. The Hostess Princess Court were all there, along with city and county officials to serve the all-you-can-eat catfish dinners.

Behind the scenes, a long list of volunteers from the Masonic Lodge in Buchanan and the Springville community, as well as individual volunteers were battering the fish and frying the fish, frying the hush puppies (both regular and jalapeño), cooking the beans and making the slaw and fries. A different group of volunteers serves each night that the fish tent is open.

Monte Starks told the crowd on hand, “This has really evolved into something huge and we can’t do it without all our sponsors.”
Tater Hayes of the Paris-Henry County Jaycees thanked all the volunteers and sponsors for all their help and Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said the fish fry is just one example of how special Henry County is.

The Fish Tent will be open through Saturday evening at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Chief Deputy Randy Gean kids with volunteers frying hush puppies. (McFarlin photo).

Barry Jones, Chris Damesworth and Kenzie Williams breading catfish. (McFarlin photo).

Elizondo: Please Follow Rules On WBFF Parade Day

The All-Henry County Band performs at last year's parade. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-With the annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade set for Friday, Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo has issued reminders for the public on the rules that Paris Police Officers will be enforcing this year.

Each year, the parade attracts thousands of people to Paris. As always, the parade route moves along East Wood Street, starting at the East Wood Street Church of Christ and moving along to the fairgrounds.

Once again, no pets of any kind are allowed on the parade route unless it is part of the parade. No bikes, ATVs, skateboards, skates, mini bikes on the route unless it is part of the parade or authorized (such as Jaycees, EMS, Rescue Squad and law enforcement).

Backpacks will be checked by officers for content along the parade route.

Elizondo asked the public to leave a cell phone number on the vehicle dash in case of illegal parking. “We will call before we tow,” he said.

No candy is to be thrown from parade entrants but may be carried to the spectators. No poppers are to be sold or thrown on the parade route, he said.

Parking is allowed on the south side of the parade route at midnight.

Elizondo asked that drivers make sure that private drives and intersections are kept clear. “When the parade ends, make sure all vehicles are moved. If left unattended in a traffic lane, they will be towed,” he said.

Vendors must have a permit to sell on the parade route. Parade entrants must be in possession of a valid driver’s license.

Strong Winds Cause Gibson Electric Outages

TrentonTenn.-Strong winds last night caused outages to about 1,150 Gibson Electric Membership Corporation members’ homes and businesses in Obion County in Tennesseeand Fulton County in Kentucky. Crews were immediately dispatched and have restored service to all but 269 members. They will restore service to these members as quickly as is safely possible.

As of this morning, there now are five outages affecting 33 members’ homes and businesses in Obion and Fulton counties.  Crews are continuing to work and will restore service to these members as quickly as they safely can. 

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).


17-Employer Job Fair Set

DyersburgTenn. — A 17-employer job fair, an Email 101 Workshop and a Dress For Success Fashion Show are among events planned in northwest Tennessee for Goodwill Week, May 2-6.

Every year during the first full week of May, independent Goodwill agencies across the U.S.and Canada celebrate the power of work through local activities. This year, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is ramping up dozens of events that support its mission of changing lives through education, training and employment across Middle and West Tennessee.

In Northwest Tennessee, four special events will be held. The largest will be a job fair from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, at the National Guard Armory, 502 James H. Rice Road,Dyersburg. At least 17 employers will participate, and more than 140 positions, including certified nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, cashier, customer service representative, cook, deli manager, store manager, forklift, assembly, welder and teacher are available.

Participating employers include Car Wash USA, At Home Healthcare, Bethel University, Cox Oil, ERMCO, Express Employment, Dyersburg State Community College, Heckethorn Manufacturing, Job World, Manpower, McDowell Center for Children, Metro Industrial Services, Northwest Correctional Complex, Personnel Placements, TN Career Coach, TN College of Applied Technology, and Tyson Foods.

Representatives from these companies will be on site and interviews are possible, so job-seekers should dress for success. Job candidates are encouraged to bring a resume, photo ID, Social Security card or birth certificate.

Goodwill Week activities occurring at the Union City Goodwill Career Solutions center, 1430 S. First St., will include Mock Interviews from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 4; anEmail 101 Workshop from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, May 5; and a Dress for Success Fashion Show from 9 a.m.-noon Friday, May 6.

Details about these and other events taking place across Middle and West Tennessee during Goodwill Week can be found online at


ICI To Host Job Fair

Union City, Tenn.-Institutional Caseworks Inc., otherwise known as ICI, the new industry onReelfoot Avenue in Union City, is looking to fill positions at their plant.

ICI will host a job fair from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, at the Tennessee CareerCenter at 204 S. Second St., in Union City.

Positions needed include maintenance, material handlers, welders, spot welders, janitorial, press operators, punch operators, powder coat sprayers and line operators.

Bring resume and references to the ICI Job Fair.


HCHS Class of 76 Reunion Meeting Set

ParisTenn.- The Henry County High School Class of 1976 will hold another reunion meeting at 6 p.m. May 3 at the 911 Building on Brewer Street.  

According to Reunion Organizer Vicki Snyder, the reunion will be held Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24. On Friday night, events will include tailgating and an HCHS football game and Saturday events will include dinner, disc jockey and festivities at the fairgrounds. Times to be announced later.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

BPU Rates To Increase Following State Consent Order

Assistant BPU General Manager Terry Wimberley reads the consent order at today's meeting, as Director of Engineering and Metering Jeff Thompson and Director of Electrical Operations Cole Edwards look on. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-The board of directors of the Paris Board of Public Utilities Tuesday morning authorized BPU to enter into a consent order and agreement with the state as a result of violation notices issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

The consent order is the result of lengthy negotiations between BPU and TDEC which were culminated just a few minutes before Tuesday’s meeting. As BPU General Manager John Etheridge said, “We have been in a state of high level activity in the last couple days and are ready to make proposals for the board to act on.”

Financing the changes required because of the violations will mean some increase in wastewater rates paid by customers over the next five years.

Assistant BPU General Manager Terry Wimberley explained that the total cost will be $12M over the five-year period and funding will come from low interest state revolving fund loans and through rate increases.

Wastewater rates will be affected in this way: an average 5,000 gallon residential user will increase $7.80 a month over the first three years ($2.55 a month in first year; $2.75 a month in second year and $2.50 a month in third year). Smaller rate increases are expected in the fourth and fifth years.

Wimberley reviewed the negotiations with board members individually over the past few days. “This is about wastewater violations,” he said. “We have a discharge permit with the state of Tennessee and are set to certain standards. Violations are not abnormal. We report them every month and they are caused with heavy rainfall events when we get more flow into our treatment plant than we can handle  EPA changed the rules from how they were when we built the plant and we have always self-reported since EPA changed those regulations.”

Another aspect of the violations are manhole overflows, Wimberley said. “We really can’t keep that from happening, but it is still a violation according to our permit.”

Negotiations have been ongoing since the Notice Of Violation was issued in April of 2014, Wimberley said. “The state has been issuing consent orders for a long time, starting with big cities and working their way down to the smaller cities and towns,” he said.

The consent order requires that BPU has to fix violations at the plant in first three years and fix problems in collection system in five years, Wimberley said.

Wimberley noted, “We have been very progressive about opening the conversation with the state and they’ve been very good to work with and we’ve negotiated something everyone can work with.”

Throughout the negotiations, Etheridge said, “We’ve tried to minimize the effect it will have on our customers and we think we have.”

The consent order will be taken to the city of Paris for its approval.

In related business, the board also approved a task agreement with Jacobs Engineering for services related to the consent order requirements.

In other business, Etheridge reported that the TVA board will be holding its next meeting (May 5) at the Paris Landing State Park.

BPU Hard At Work 

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Board of Public Utilities workers were hard at it Tuesday morning, changing a pole top switch located in the parking lot behind the giant "Welcome to Paris" fish on Ogburn Street. Staff with three bucket trucks were working on changing out the switch after one of the insulators broke, according to BPU Director of Electrical Operations Cole Edwards. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Case Of Genital Assault Bound Over To Grand Jury

Union CityTenn.-The cases of three Obion County men accused of causing serious genital injury to a 40-year-old Hornbeak man were bound over to the next grand jury during a hearing in Obion County General Sessions Court Friday.

The three men are charged with aggravated assault and conspiracy. They are: Edwin J. “Joey” Hogg, Jr., 51, Samburg; Steven Frederick Frazer, age 53, Hornbeak and Hulen L. Thompson, age 46, Union City.

During a lengthy preliminary hearing, the victim testified for some 50 minutes and described the altercation which resulted in the men assaulting him. He said it began with an argument that turned violent and that he was straddling Frazer to hold him down and Hogg pointed a rifle at his head and told him to get off of Frazer. During the next moments, the three were pulling his pants down, grabbing and stabbing him.

The victim was able to get away and drove home and was airlifted to The Med inMemphis. He said he has undergone five surgeries and that doctors have reconstructed his genital area but still have some work to do.

The grand jury meets in June.

Martin Student Goes Above And Beyond For UTM Farm Animals

From left, Brittany McClanahan with Beth Maloan family members Jennifer, Colin and Kate Stroh and Mike Maloan. (UTM photo).

MartinTenn. – Brittany McClanahan of Martin has received the spring 2016 Beth Maloan Outstanding Student Employee Award from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

The award is named for the late Beth Maloan, longtime UT Martin director of budgeting and payroll, who was a strong advocate of student employment. It recognizes exemplary work ethic and commitment to the university.

McClanahan has served as a student worker in the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources for the past two years, working primarily in the Graves Stables located in the university’s Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources Teaching Complex. She is responsible for feeding and caring for the university horses used by the equestrian team and the livestock laboratory classes. She also helps instruct animal science students who work in the stables during feeding times as part of class requirements.

Meghan Cunningham, equestrian coach, nominated McClanahan for this award based on her dedication not only in normal working situations, but also in those that require extraordinary effort, noting that McClanahan worked every day during adverse weather conditions last spring to ensure that the animals at the farm were cared for.

McClanahan is a senior studying veterinary health technology. She plans to graduate in May 2017.


First Kids’ Chalk Crawl Set For Saturday

Paris Tenn.-Molly Sue Gillespie is getting ready for the First Annual Chalk Crawl for Kids sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association which will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 30 immediately following the Small Fry Parade in downtown Paris. Children receive free chalk to create colorful fish on the sidewalk on the east side of the courthouse (Poplar Street). The Chalk Crawl will be led by local artists Joe Snow, Donna Revelee, and Ann Stapp.  Little Molly Sue is the grand-daughter of Lisa Rhodes of Paris. (DPA photo).


Bail Bondsman Scam Reported

ParisTenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has issued a public warning about scam bail bondsman calls.

Sheriff Monte Belew said his office has been receiving reports that people recently released from jail are receiving calls from unknown persons claiming to be their bail bondsmen.

The scammer then tells the victim they have to pay an additional $1,500 or their bond will be revoked and they will be jailed.

Anyone with information on who the scammers are is asked to call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672.


Spaghetti Supper Set In Fulton

Fulton, Ky.-The Fulton County Senior Citizens Group will hold its annual spaghetti supper from 4-6 p.m. Thursday at the Senior Center at 109 Commercial Ave. in Fulton. Tickets are $6 and take-outs are available.


5th Saturday Singing Is This Saturday

BuchananTenn.-The 5th Saturday Singing is this Saturday at the Buchanan UnitedMethodist Church. Enjoy a pot luck dinner at 5 p.m. with the singing beginning at 6 p.m. The church is at 140 Rabbit Creek Rd. at Buchanan.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Camden Landfill Fined $84,560 For Violations

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

CamdenTenn.- The Environmental Waste Solutions landfill in Camden has been fined a civil penalty of $84,560 and has been ordered to install a new gas treatment system following repeated violations of the state’s environmental codes.

According to the order from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), if the landfill fails to comply within 30 days, it will immediately cease accepting any and all wastes.

The landfill, located at 200 Omar Circle, is a Class II solid waste disposal facility and is used for disposal of waste from the secondary aluminum recycling industry which includes saltcake, dross and baghouse dust, shredded automobile tires, construction/demolition debris, and waste from coal combustion.

The order was signed by TDEC Commissioner Robert Martineau Jr. of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation following inspections at the facility.

According to the order that was sent to WENK/WTPR by TDEC, the first inspection occurred in November of 2015 after neighbors complained they smelled ammonia coming from the facility. The TDEC inspector did smell ammonia and found areas of the landfill not properly covered and did see damp aluminum dross waste on the ground that had accumulated. TDEC sent out a Notice Of Violation to the landfill in December of 2015.

In January of 2016, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and Benton County EMA received complaints of noises sounding like explosions coming from the landfill. The TDEC inspector also was called there and found that the landfill had received 11 loads of waste from Magpro Waste and that it had not been properly inspected and was causing a chemical reaction.

In February of 2016, TDEC again inspected the landfill and found repeat violations and some new ones involving dust releases from the storage barn at the landfill.

TDEC Public Information Officer Eric Ward said, “We ensure safe and sanitary processing and disposal of solid waste in Tennessee. We regulate material recovery facilities, transfer stations, and landfills (like the facility owned and operated by Environmental Waste Solutions) for sanitary or municipal solid waste, industrial waste, farming wastes, and construction and demolition waste.  

“As far as the implications of the order and penalties, the landfill will be required to submit a series of engineering and operational plan improvements within 30 days of the receiving the Order, which will put it on the path to compliance. These plans will result in improving the landfill’s ability to control dust and odor.”

Paris Woman Serving Jail Sentence After Guilty Pleas


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


ParisTenn.—A Paris woman is serving a 300 day sentence in the Henry County Jail after she pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and failure to stop for an accident.


Kerrie Hurst, age 45, pleaded guilty to the charges which were brought after a March accident in which she allegedly caused another driver to drive into a pole in front of Trolinger’s restaurant on Hwy. 79N.


The victim, Emily Spears, is recovering from serious injuries she suffered from the accident. Spears was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center and since has been discharged.


In a sentencing hearing in Henry County General Sessions CourtHurst pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced by Judge Vicki Snyder to serve 11 months and 29 days on each sentence, to be served concurrently. The sentence was then suspended and Hurst was ordered to serve 300 days in jail and will be placed on county probation after her jail sentence is served.


The Animal Doctor Expands With Camden Office


 Dr. Boley checks out the new equipment installed at the Camden office. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-Starting Monday, April 25, The Animal Doctor will be expanding its operations into Camden. And Clinic Owner Dr. Michael Boley could not be more excited.


The Camden Clinic is located at 310 Hwy. 641. That brings to three the number of clinics operated by Dr. Boley, including the main clinic in Paris at 224 Memorial Drive, and a clinic in Selmer at 825 E. Poplar St.

Dr. Boley, his wife Missy and staff members have been working hard the last few weeks to make the new clinic ready and Boley said he can’t wait for the public and their pets to see the new location.

“We’re really happy with it,” Boley said during a recent tour of the new clinic. “We have a lot of seating, three exam rooms with a private consulting room so that staff can talk to our clients, big work stations, a large lab with all state-of-the art high-tech equipment, a good-sized surgery room, treatment center.”

The roomy Camden clinic also features a large area for recovery cages for animals who have just had surgery, as well as inside and outside kennels and plenty of room for boarding (with both inside and outside runs for the animals). There also will be an area for large animals, such as horses, to be seen outside in the near future.

The veterinarian assigned to the Camden Clinic will be Dr. Cynthia Miller of Erin, who has been working at the Paris clinic for the past few months.Boley will work mainly at the Paris clinic, but will work at theCamden clinic on Thursdays and Saturday mornings and at the Selmer clinic on Wednesdays. He will work at the Paris clinic on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

All three clinics will feature expanded hours, with all of the clinics to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Camden clinic will be open Saturday mornings.

Dr. Boley said it is his hope that the expanded hours will cut down on emergency calls since clients will have more time to bring their animals to the clinics. “It’s really inconvenient for the public when their animal clinic closes at 5 p.m. When people have jobs, that’s not always easy. And, none of our clinics close over the lunch hour. We’re open all day”.

Clients have had a chance to get to know Dr. Miller in recent months as she’s been working at the Parisclinic. “She’s a wonderful doctor,” he said. “She’s very caring and she loves large animals. I’m happy we have so much space outside at the Camden clinic so we can serve more large animals there.”

With the expansion into Camden, Dr. Boley’s clinics now employ 14 staff members, including three veterinarians (Dr. Boley, Dr. Miller and Dr. Chris Zeagler at the Selmer clinic). That number also includes three licensed technicians, assistants and groomers.

A native of Selmer, Dr. Boley has a lengthy history with Henry County and Paris, which included nine years working at the Mineral Wells Animal Clinic before he moved back to Selmer for a bit. He has been back inParis since November 2008 where he established The Animal Doctor clinic with its iconic red dog paw as its symbol.

The three clinics provide a long list of services for pets, from radiology, orthodontic care, cold laser treatment, microchipping and tattooing to ultrasound and more.

The services are listed on the clinics’ website at, along with information on payment plans.

And yes, the new Camden clinic will have the red dog paw decorating its front entrance.


There’s A New Junior Bald Eagle In Town

Dover, Tenn.-There’s a new little furry head sticking out of the Bald Eagle’s nest at Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover these days—and the park staff and the daily assortment of Bald Eagle watchers that gather there couldn’t be more excited. Jack and Lizzy—as the eagle-watchers have named the majestic couple—have given birth again and have been taking turns feeding the young one. The eagle watchers have named the little one “Junior” for the time being. Dozens of fans of the Bald Eagles—including many photographers from all over the region—gather at the park every day. This photo of Junior peeping his head out of the nest was taken by Mel Cunningham.


Grove Student Wins First Place In FCCLA Event


ParisTenn.-Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) member Colby Duke recently won a first-place medal in the Promote and Publicize FCCLA event at the 2016 Tennessee State Leadership Conference. Duke is a freshman at Grove School in Paris.


Duke used his Family and Consumer Science related occupational skills to develop a promotion and publicity campaign to raise awareness and educate the school, parents, and members of the community about the importance of FCCLA and Family and Consumer Sciences education.  

He will compete July 2-8 in his STAR event at the national leadership conference in San DiegoCA. It is a great opportunity for any of our members to attend a leadership conference with members from all 50 states as well as the Dominican Republic and Costa Rico. There are several days filled with competitive events, dynamic speakers and astonishing leadership sessions.


He is the son of Jason and Cassia (C.J.) Duke of Mansfield.


Donations to help him attend the conference are being accepted at First Bank via his savings account andonline at his go fund me account at



Long-Time Auto Dealer Bill Petty Dies

Union City, Tenn.-Long-time Union City automotive dealer and community leader William "Bill" Petty, 89, died Sunday morning, April 24, at his home.

Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by White-Ranson Funeral Home on Monday.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

500 Run, $20,000 Raised At Glo For A Cure


Union CityTenn.-The fourth annual Glo For A Cure 5K race raised $20,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Research this year. The race was held in Union City on Friday. The race was started by Laney and Michael Rogers, the parents of Ada Rogers, who is a Union City Elementary School student. Over 500 people ran and walked in the race this year. According to Brent Callicott, “We had one year olds in strollers to folks in their 60s and up. “It was routed around downtown Union City and around the school where a 100 foot glow tunnel was set up with black lights and music playing. There were at least over 150 volunteers which played a role doing something. Trophies where awarded to the top three winners in each male and female division. Lots of water and snacks were also donated for the runners. There were also lots and lots of sponsors. A great event where a community came together.” (Photo by Brent Callicott).


Paris FD Extinguish Clothes On Fire 

Clothes on fire in the back of a pickup were thrown on the side of the overpass and extinguished by Paris Firefighters. (Photo by Charlie Allen).                                                                

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Firefighters extinguished a fire which started in the bed of a pickup truck on the East Wood St. overpass around 7:20 p.m. Saturday night.

Firefighter T.C. Myrick said when the fire department arrived they found clothes on fire in the bed of a pickup truck. Firefighters removed the clothes from the pickup and threw them on the side of the road where they were extinguished.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

One Dead After Four-Vehicle Collision On Lake Barkley Bridge

CadizKy.- One person was pronounced dead and two others injured in a four-vehicle collision on the bridge crossing Lake Barkley at the east entrance to Land Between The Lakes at CadizKy., on Saturday afternoon.

The deceased was Jonathan King, age 35, of ReganTenn. He was pronounced dead by the Davidson County Coroner at 5:32 p.m. Others injured were Mary King, age 34, of Regan, and Robert Mathney, age 69, of ScottsvilleKy. All were wearing helmets.

Preliminary investigation by the Kentucky State Police shows that Johnathan King  was operating a 2000 Vulcan Motorcycle traveling eastbound on US68/KY80. Jeffery Twaddle, 53, of FranklinTN, was operating a 2011 BMW traveling westbound.

For an unknown reason, King crossed the centerline and traveled into the path of the BMW. Johnathan King and his passenger Mary King were both thrown from the motorcycle after the collision. Mathney was following King, operating a 2006 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle.

In an attempt to avoid the collision Mathney laid his bike on its side and slid several feet before coming to a stop. Steven Poe, from EadsTN was operating a 2016 Harley-Davidson motorcycle traveling behind Mathney and was able to come to a stop but suffered damage to his motorcycle from the debris already in the roadway but was uninjured.

Johnathan King, Mary King, and Robert Mathney were transported by ambulance to Trigg County ER and then Air lifted to TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, TN. Jonathan King was pronounced dead by the Davidson County Coroner at 5:32 P.M. Mary King and Robert Mathney are being treated for non-life threatening injuries. Jeffery Twaddle was not injured in the collision.

Preliminary investigation shows that Johnathan King, Mary King and Robert Mathney were all wearing helmets. Jeffery Twaddle was wearing his seat belt.

An autopsy is scheduled in NashvilleTN by the Davidson County Coroner. Trooper Derek Scott, is continuing the collision investigation.

KSP was assisted on the scene by Trigg County Sheriff Department, Trigg County EMS, Trigg County Fire and Rescue, Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Forestry Service.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Governor To Attend WBFF Parade

NashvilleTenn.-Governor Bill Haslam’s office has announced that he will be attending the World’s Biggest Fish Fry grand parade on Friday. In the years he has been governor, Haslam has been a regular at the fish fry, missing only a couple of years.


According to Governor Haslam’s media schedule for next week, the governor will be attending the parade and a dignitaries’ luncheon set for the Holy Cross Catholic Church. After the luncheon, Governor Haslam will be visiting the fish tents at the county fairgrounds.


Swimming Lessons Offered


ParisTenn.-The Paris Civic Center will be offering Red Cross Level 1 swimming lessons May 9-13. Monday through Friday, 6-7 p.m. Cost $35. Call Civic Center at 644-2517 to sign up.


Reservations Open For Reagan Day Dinner

Union City, Tenn.-Reservations are being taken for the Obion County Reagan Day Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at The Venue at Center Point at 1413 South Home St.Union City.

The event will feature an 8th Congressional District Debate with a straw poll taken at the conclusion of the event.

Menu includes Grilled Boneless Loin Chop, Southern Style Green Beans, Twice-Baked Potato Casserole, Spring Garden Salad, Dinner Rolls, Cake, Tea.


For reservations call Chairman Sue Jackson @ 731-885-8950 or email David Parks

Tickets: Individual: $30 ($35 at the door), Table of 8 ($200)


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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