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Friday, October 2, 2015 

Full Day In Store At Discovery Park

Race, Beer, Brats, Music, Pumpkins

Union City, Tenn.-Saturday will be a busy day at Discovery Park of America in Union City, with a 5K and fun run, the pumpkin village and Beer, Blues and Brats planned.

The 5K and fun run are sponsored by McDonald’s and WENK/WTPR and will be held at the McDonald’s Pumpkin Village at the park. The 5K starts at 8 a.m. and the fun run at 9 a.m.

Ronald McDonald will be on hand until noon and McDonald’s will be offering free photos with Ronald for all children who participate in the race. Plus, participants get free admission to Discovery Park for that day. The event will raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in Memphis. 

As part of a year-long partnership that began June 1, McDonald’s is sponsoring the month long McDonald’s Pumpkin Village near the Train Depot on the Discovery Park Grounds.  

The gates will open at 7:00 a.m. on the day of the race, and people can register at that time for $25 for the 5K and $20 for the Fun Run, which also includes the free park admission for the day. 

Beer, Blues & Brats will be held from 5:30-9 p.m. on Saturday, October 3 on the Great Lawn at Discovery Park. Free admission and free beer samples. 

Guests can purchase loaded brats, hamburgers or hot dogs. 

Live blues music by Little Boys Blue at 5:30, then Lew Jetton & 61 South will take the stage at 7:30. 

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs to sit on.

“Color Out Malaria” 5K, Fun Run Set

Paris, Tenn.-Paris First United Methodist Church is sponsoring an event this Saturday, Oct. 3 that promises to be fun, healthy, and give participants a chance to help others in another part of the world. 

The "Color Out Malaria 5K and 1-mile Run/Walk" will be held at Eiffel Tower Park in Paris. Registration begins at 5 p.m.. The 5K run/walk will begin at 6 p.m. with members of the Inman School Cross Country team leading the way. 

All other participants will be given a flyswatter to "chase the mosquitoes (Inman cross country team) out of town." Every participant will also receive two glow bracelets, a mask to cover their mouth and nose if desired, and an event t-shirt.

The 1-mile fun run/walk will begin at 6:15. Those registrants will also get the same items as those who participate in the 5K. All finishers will enjoy snacks and beverages and will be given a packet of colored powder to throw in celebration with other finishers. 

People can register onsite. The cost for children 12 and under is $20 on race day and $25 for everyone else. Participants are encouraged to wear white or light colored t-shirts. Colorful bandanas will be available for those who want to protect their hair. 

This event is aimed at saving the lives of innocent children who die each day of malaria, a disease transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. While malaria was virtually eliminated in the U.S, in the 1950's, a child in sub-Saharan Africa dies every 60 seconds. Malaria is a disease that is preventable, treatable, and beatable. A mere $10 can purchase an insecticide-covered mosquito net that can protect 3 children from mosquito bites and also pay for diagnostic tests and treatment for those testing positive. In addition, a portion of every $10 goes to train workers in the area medical clinics to educate, diagnose, and treat those afflicted, and even goes to help with the removal of contaminated water as well as communication (via radio) to villages about malaria. 

Annual Friends Of Library Book Sale Next Week

Paris, Tenn.-The Friends of the Library bookstore at the W.G. Rhea Library will be holding its annual book sale next week. The sale will be held from Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Saturday, Oct. 10.

Over 13,600 books will be on sale. Times for the sale are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. through 2 p.m. on Saturday.

50 percent off for Friends of the Library members and 25 percent off to non-members.

Republican Women Host Event On Meth

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Republican Women are hosting an event at 6 p.m., Tuesday Oct. 6 at the home of Bruce and Rebecca Griffey (140 Paul Drive, Paris). The meeting will focus on the manufacturing, distribution and use of meth in our community and what can and is being done to combat it. 

Dr. Suzanne Thomas and District Attorney General Matt Stowe will be guest speakers. 

Dr. Thomas is a  lobbyist in the State of Tennessee for laws and programs to help combat drug addiction with a special focus on chemically sick children, who are the innocent and voiceless victims of drug abuse in our communities. Dr. Thomas is also an Addiction Counselor and an author. Dr. Thomas is also the founder of “Women Involved for Enrichment”, an organization devoted to the needs of underprivileged and incarcerated women. 

District Attorney  Stowe will speak to what is being done by the District Attorney’s office to combat meth manufacturing, distribution and use in Henry County through the criminal justice system. 

O’Reilly’s Auto Parts Coming To McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn.-The McKenzie Municipal Regional Planning Commission approved a site plan for a proposed O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store.

The store will be constructed on Hwy. 79 adjacent to the El Vallarta Mexican Restaurant.

The site plan was revised to include changes to parking spaces, lighting, building elevation before approval.

Thursday, October 1, 2015  

Paris Looks Ahead To Green Space, Alley Improvements

Fire Chief Michael Williams, at podium, addresses city commissioners. (McFarlin


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The city commission looked ahead to proposed construction of a green space the city staff recommends being constructed in a downtown Paris lot that has been a sore spot for some time. Paris City Commission looked ahead to repaving and installation of an underground storm water drainage system the alley between West Wood and Washington Streets. 

The lot in the 100 block of West Wood St. has been vacant since March when the so-called “Wallin Building” was demolished. The building was owned by the late E.C. Wallin and was used for storage for many years and had deteriorated over time to the point that a tree was growing through it and the back wall collapsed. The city now owns the lot after liens were paid by family members.

City Manager Kim Foster said the vacant lot has posed somewhat of a hazard since its demolition and proposed creating a green space in that area. The budget for construction of the space, she said, would be between $10,000-$11,000 and most of the work can be done by the city’s Public Works Department. 

Green spaces “are a big plus for cities nowadays”. The green space would include raised dais for outdoor events and benches, as well as electrical outlets for night activities.

Foster said the city staff believes the green space would be attractive for the downtown “and will give us more ‘bang for our buck’ than other uses.” Ongoing expenses for consideration would be the upkeep of grass and landscaping, as well as the cost of electricity for outlets or lighting, she said. The space would be well lit, she said.

Commissioner Gayle Griffith said, “I think it’s a great idea.”  

But Commissioner Terry Fuller said he believes the city should move cautiously on spending money, only to determine there is a need for other things later. And, he said, the location is slightly out of the way. “Do you really think we can make good use of that site?” he asked.

Kathy Ray said she believed the area would be utilized. “We believe we could do a lot with that space,” she said.

The city has been discussing the need for repaving of downtown alleys for the past couple years, Foster noted. “Additionally, we have determined in the last few months that the underground storm water drainage system in this alley in particular is no longer functioning,” Foster said.  “We have put a temporary fix in place to prevent storm water from seeping into the basements of the buildings along this alley, but a permanent solution must be pursued as water seeping under these buildings will undermine their structural integrity.”

With the construction of the green space there, Foster said, “now seems to be the right time to move forward with the needed improvements to this alley” between West Wood and Washington Streets.

City Building Inspector Mike Brown said improvements approved include repaving of alley, for which it will need to be excavated before paving; an underground drainage system will be constructed for which a trench will be installed along the center of the alley that each building’s drain pipes will feed into; dumpsters will be replaced with more aesthetically-pleasing ones; and unnecessary wiring will be cleaned up in the alley.

Foster said the money is in the budget for the alley project, either from the recently-approved bond issue monies or city paving funds.

Fuller suggested the alley improvements should be concluded before the green space project is begun. Commission members asked that the staff continue keeping them updated on the proposals.

In other business:

--Upon recommendation by Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris, the commission recommended to the planning commission that it and the board of zoning appeals consist of the same members. Under the recommendation, two boards will continue to exist, but with the same members.

--In his report, Fire Chief Michael Williams reported the department was approved for the 20152016 Safety Partners grant, with which he has purchased new structural firefighting helmets and gloves at a cost of $7,318.

He said the department also is one of 10 fire departments in the state that will be installing 100 smoke alarms in one day on October 10 in Paris.

Williams also said the fire department will have a new look on the city’s Facebook page shortly, thanks to Assistant Chief Randall Jones, Capt. Barry Farmer and Lt. Brandon Bell.

UC Schools To Dismiss Early For Homecoming Parade


Union City, Tenn.-Union City Schools will dismiss early Friday so that students and teachers may attend the homecoming parade.

Students will be dismissed on the following schedule: pre-k students will dismiss at 1:45 p.m.; students in K-12th grades will dismiss at 2:15 p.m.

The homecoming parade will be held at 3 p.m. in downtown Union City.

Henry County Juvenile Arrested For Threats  

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s office has arrested a 17-year-old juvenile for aggravated assault and harassment due to threats made by phone and social media towards another peer. 

The juvenile threatened bodily harm or death towards the victim to be carried out at a school event. 

An investigation was conducted by School Resource Officers Buford Taylor, Calvin Dumas and Jeff Smith. The juvenile was taken into custody without incident at the Henry County Courthouse. 

The juvenile is set to be arraigned in Juvenile Court on Oct. 2. 

Sheriff Monte Belew said, “Any and all threats of violence on our school campuses will be fully investigated and prosecuted with the assistance of our school administration”. 

New Signs Welcome All To Rhea Library

New signs brighten up the entrances to the library. (Shannon McFarlin


Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Library in Paris has a new look with new signage welcoming the public to the library, thanks to a local business and a future Eagle Scout.

Library Director Connie McSwain said, “Clear signage is a part of the New Standards issued by the State of Tennessee for Public Libraries. These are very good standards and your library has met all but a few which are budget related.”

Abbott’s Print Shop made the signs for the library. Trey Vanderpool made the frames, posts, and installed them for the library as his Eagle Scout project. 

“A win win for the library and for scouting,“ McSwain said. “Again no public funds used.”

Troy UMC Kids Collect For Reelfoot Ministries

Obion, Tenn.-Children from the Troy United Methodist Church collected more than 800 food items for the Reelfoot Rural Ministries food bank this summer.

Reelfoot Rural Ministries is a mission agency of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church in Obion, that provides various services for those in need, including childcare, dentistry and food distribution.

Rural Ministries Executive Director Rev. Robert Craig said the Troy UMC kids collected items as a part of a Vacation Bible School contest. Their leaders, Youth Director Leta Williams and Children’s Ministry Director Bo McEwen, divided the children into two teams for a “pie in the face” challenge. The team that collected the most items got to shove a pie in the face of the opposing group’s leader.

The contest spurred students to collect almost 1,500 pounds of food.  The contest spurred students to collect almost 1,500 pounds of food. In the end, McEwen’s team lost and McEwan got creamed.

“Aside from the month of December each year … July 2015 was the busiest on record at RRM,” he said. “While July 2015 was most demanding on our resources, it was also the lowest July on record of donations. We were in desperate need of many of the items that these young people collected. They were definitely agents of God’s grace for many families in early August.”

Rural Ministries served just short of 400 households in July and 280 households in August.

 Paris Fire Department Hires New Firefighter

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Fire Department has announced the hiring of Jon Crenshaw of Buchanan for the position of firefighter. Crenshaw began working for the department Wednesday.

Crenshaw is a graduate of Gateway Christian Academy and has been a member of Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department since 2011.

Crenshaw said this morning he will continue volunteering for the Paris Landing department while working full-time for the Paris department.

UC Holding Tailgate Party Friday Night

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Elementary School will be holding a tailgate party before the game Friday as a Parent Teacher Organization fundraiser. 

The event starts at 5 pm with hamburger, cheeseburger or hot dog dinners for $5. There also will be a bake sale, cotton candy stand and the kids’ favorite – Sandy Candy (Think homemade pixie sticks). 

New this year: live music from Union City students and local talent. So bring your bag chair to enjoy while you eat your delicious dinner. 

Free face tattoos will be given away for people who bring an item to help support the OCUC Backpack program, a joint program where Obion County Schools and Union City schools are teaming up to fight hunger in our community. Items needed include microwave meals that don’t have to be frozen like Hormel meals, mac and cheese, rice a roni meals etc. Also needed breakfast drinks like YooHoos and Sunny Delight. 

Free bouncy houses for the kids. The live music starts at 5 followed by a community Pep Rally that starts at 6:30.

Union City PD Investigates Thefts

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating thefts at two businesses Wednesday.

Dale Bryant Installation on Stad Ave. reported that someone stole three pistols and a cash box containing $100 from the office area.

Rent-A-Center on First St. reported a bank deposit bag with $841.65 in it was stolen from the store. Employees had taken the bag out of the safe to take it to the bank and discovered the bag and bank tag were gone.

The Dixie Features Branson On The Road

Huntingdon, Tenn. – In the mood for Branson style entertainment without the road trip?

The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center has the show for you. The 2015-16 Dixie Live Concert Series kicks off Saturday, Oct. 3 with Branson On The Road, an award-winning, toe-tapping show that brings the best of Branson to audiences across the country. 

Branson On The Road features cast members and weekly performers on the PBS show “Kelly’s Kountry Junction. They are also monthly featured performers and play the opening theme for the RFD television show “Midwest Country.”

Tickets for Branson On The Road, which begins at 2 p.m., are $15 each and are available at the Box Office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at

Downtown Paris Farmer's Market Open Friday 

Paris, Tenn.-The Downtown Paris Association Farmer's Market will reopen Friday, October 2, at the market site at the corner of Market Street and Ruff St. Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, turnip greens and more.

Oktoberfest Set For Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The 33rd annual Holy Cross Catholic Church Oktoberfest will be held from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Dozens of vendors will be on hand, as well as a petting zoo, pony rides, German and Mexican meals.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ring Recovered, One Suspect Still At Large


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Police Department has recovered an expensive ring that was stolen from a local residence and has issued a warning about the two suspects in the case.

According to Investigator Derrick O’Dell, the two suspects clean houses and perform car cleaning and he warned anyone who has hired them to check their valuables.

Arrested is Jeffery Scales of 513 Nash St., Apt. 43. The other suspect, Judy Crawford of the same address, is still at large. 

The ring was reported missing September 30 and is valued at over $10,000. The ring had been recovered by Sgt. Brandon Adams on September 26, when Judy Crawford tried to sell the ring to a local jeweler for $200. 

Due to conflicting stories, Sgt Adams seized the ring while investigation began as to who the ring belonged to, according to O’Dell.

After the victim notified the Union City Police Department of her missing ring, it was quickly determined that Judy Crawford had been employed by the victim to clean her residence. It is believed that during that time  Crawford and Jeffery Scales obtained the ring and attempted to sell it on Saturday, Sept. 26. 

At the time of this report Jeffery Scales has been arrested for theft over $10,000 and Judy Crawford is being sought. 

O’Dell said, “If anyone has hired either of these two individuals for house cleaning or car cleaning , please check your valuables. If any items are noticed to be missing, or you know where Judy Crawford is located, please contact Union City Police Department 731-885-1515. “

KSP Seek Help Identifying Suspect

Mayfield, Ky.-The Kentucky State Police, Mayfield Post is asking for help in identifying a suspect that knowingly exploited an adult person of over $300. 

On June 29, 2015 a mentally handicapped adult was picked up in Paducah by three males and two females and was taken to stores in Paducah and Mayfield where he went inside with one of the females. The female had the victim set up multiple accounts in his name and purchase multiple iPhones. Because of the victim’s mental capacity, he didn’t realize what the suspects were doing. 

The investigation is continuing by Trooper Johnson Gordon. Anyone with information on the identity of the suspect can contact the Kentucky State Police at 270-856-3721 or toll free in KY at-1-800-222-5555 or by texting a tip at 67283 and remain anonymous.

Dorena-Hickman Ferry To Close For Two Weeks


Hickman, Ky.-The Dorena-Hickman Ferry temporarily halted operation Tuesday, and is expected to remain closed for up to two weeks.

According to Ferry Captain Jeremy Newsom, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge is working in the Hickman harbor to maintain navigation and harbor access. Due to limited space at the mouth of the harbor, the ferry will be unable to access the Kentucky landing at Hickman while the dredge is on station.

The dredge expects to be working in the harbor for about two weeks.

The ferry will attempt to provide timely notice when service is able to resume.

The Dorena-Hickman Ferry connects KY 1354 at Hickman, Kentucky, with Missouri Route A and Route 77 near Dorena, Missouri.

The Dorena-Hickman Ferry Operates from the Hickman Landing with regular river crossings during daylight hours. Passage for passenger vehicles is $16 with additional tolls for trucks, motor homes, and vehicles pulling trailers. There are discounts for vehicles making return crossings.

Missouri and Kentucky have the geographic distinction of being the only border states that are not directly connected by a road. The only direct route between the two states is the Dorena-Hickman Ferry.

The Dorena-Hickman Ferry operates at Mississippi River navigation mile point 922.0.

For more info on the Dorena-Hickman Ferry and a schedule of operating hours go to Motorists can also check on the ferry’s operating status by calling (731) 693-0210.

Dresden Police Apprehend Armed Robbery Suspects


        Keith Darnell Roberts                                              Shaun Williams

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.-Quick action by the Dresden Police resulted in the apprehension of two armed robbery suspects minutes after they robbed a convenience store in the city.

Arrested were Keith Darnell Roberts, age 28, of Memphis; and Shaun Williams, age 36, of 911 Boydsville Rd., Dresden, originally from Memphis. Both were charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and theft.

According to the Dresden Enterprise, police responded to a 911 call at 6:30 a.m. reporting an armed robbery at the Q Mart on E. Main St. in Dresden.

Responding officers spotted a black Chevy Impala fleeing from the scene at a high rate of speed. The car was stopped a block away and Roberts and Williams were found in the car with a loaded handgun and money stolen from the store in their possession.

Surveillance video of the robbery reportedly showed that Roberts robbed a female clerk at gunpoint while Williams was the get-away driver. The cashier was not injured in the incident.

According to the Dresden Police, the gun used in the robbery had earlier been stolen from Bartlett. Both suspects are convicted felons.

Plus Endowment Provides Grants For County, City Teachers

Gale Tharpe and Susan Hayes present a check to Teacher Amy Williams. (McFarlin


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR 

Paris, Tenn.-A lot of teachers in the Henry County and Paris Special Schools District went home very happy after Tuesday night’s annual Plus Endowment banquet. Plus Endowment Plus Endowment is a non-profit organization that awards educational grants to educators in the two districts. 

Last night, checks were presented for a total of 81 grants awarded to teachers in every school in both districts for numerous imaginative projects they have planned for their classrooms.

Teachers were awarded a total of $36,327 in grants and Board Member Steve Blount told the teachers, “You are the ones making this happen. We were really impressed with the quality of the applications. If you keep raising the bar every year, we’re not sure what we’ll do.”

Plus Endowment was the brainchild of former Director of Schools William Atchison and has grown since its first award of six grants in 1999 to 81 this year. 

The Atchison large grant winners were: High School Teacher Rusty Wiles from   for "Big Red Hauler" $2,000; and a blended proposal from the school counselors at Harrelson, Henry, Lakewood, and Inman for "8th Grade Reality Day" $1,400.

The projects funded run the gamut of subjects from foreign languages, working on writing, learning to read with listening books, wildlife, biographies, and the Taking it to the Streets program.

Plus Endowment is operated by a board of directors made up of community members. Official Susan Hayes thanked all the teachers in the county and city districts “for going above and beyond to reach students”.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Tosh Farms provided the dinners for everyone: BBQ and all the fixins.

Joan Stevens of the Wildlife Refuge announces

winners of wildlife-themed grants. (McFarlin photo).

TWRA Seeking Operator Of Vessel Causing Boating Accident

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is seeking the public’s help in finding the operator of a boat which struck a jon boat with two juveniles in it, causing the jon boat to overturn. The incident occurred in the West Sandy Wildlife Management Area in the Springville area.

According to TWRA District 12 Boating Officer Joe Campbell, the TWRA is investigating the accident which happened in the early morning hours Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Campbell said two juveniles were in a small jon boat traveling in the Holly Fork Creek in the West Sandy Wildlife Management area when a vessel approached from behind. While attempting to pass, the unidentified vessel struck the jon boat which caused it to overturn.

Campbell said the juveniles were wearing personal floatation devices and were able to reach the bank safely and were uninjured. The operator of the other vessel then left the area without offering any assistance.

Tennessee State Law requires the operator of any vessel that is involved in an accident to stop and render assistance.

Anyone with information is asked to call Campbell at 615-339-5581.

Camden Native Serves Aboard USS Wyoming

by Kayla Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Kings Bay, Ga.-A 2007 Camden Central High School graduate and Camden, Tennessee native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a crew working aboard one of the world’s most advanced ballistic missile submarines, USS Wyoming (SSBN 742).

Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Seiber is a fire control technician serving aboard the Kings Bay-based boat, one of 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines.

A Navy fire control technician is responsible for using raw data from sonar equipment to guide sub responsible for weapons systems.

“It’s rewarding to see the crew succed,” said Seiber. “Putting in the work, putting in the training and seeing it come to succession is my favorite part of serving aboard a submarine.”

Measuring 560 feet long, 42 feet wide and weighing more than 16,500 tons, a nuclear-powered propulsion system helps push the ship through the water at more than 20 knots.

The Navy’s ballistic missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as an undetectable launch platform for intercontinental ballistic missiles. They are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the precise delivery of missiles if directed by the President. 

Seiber is part of the boat’s Blue crew, one of the two rotating crews, which allow the ship to be deployed on missions more often without taxing one crew too much. A typical crew on this submarine is approximately 150 officers and enlisted Sailors.

Because of the stressful environment aboard submarines, personnel are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation. “Overall, being out there we have to support the Navy's goal of nuclear deterence,” Seiber said. “We have the ability to save our country. Being the first line of defense and the tip of the spear for that Navy gives me a sense of significance while being deployed.”

“I joined the Navy when I was 19. I learned to grow up really quickly and learned how to be on my own,” said Seiber. “I became more responsible which has helped me excel pretty quickly. I have a sense of pride in leading as well.”

Reelfoot Arts And Crafts Festival This Weekend

A sure sign of fall. (Charlie Allen photo)

Tiptonville, Tenn.-You know it’s fall when it’s time for the annual Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Festival. This year will be the 44th year for the event, which will be held from October 2-5. 

Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, there will be over 400 vendors for the event. Free admission and it will feature old-time string music and great food.

The Reelfoot Festival was chosen as one of the top three festivals in Tennessee. It annually attracts crowds of 40,000 people & hundreds of vendors & miles of yard sales!  For more information, see

Water Main Fixed In Union City; No Boil Water Advisory 

Union City, Tenn. - There was another water main break near the water plant on Tuesday night in Union City, but workers repaired the damage overnight. 

Initially, city leaders thought another boil water advisory would be issued, but because the break was caught early enough the advisory was not necessary.

Union City and Obion County Schools will be in session on Wednesday.

“Team Morgan” Fundraiser Set

Huntingdon, Tenn.-On Saturday, October 3 the Huntingdon Fire & Rescue and the Huntingdon High School Softball team will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs at the Cash Savers Supermarket on East Main Street in Huntingdon. All proceeds will go to "Team Morgan", a group that has formed to assist Morgan Fuller and her family. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Morgan, who is a student at Huntingdon High School, was recently diagnosed with cancer... and is currently undergoing an extensive treatment period at Vanderbilt.

For $6 you can get either a grilled hamburger or hot dog, chips, dessert and a drink. If you would like you can purchase a hamburger or hot dog individually.

Bloodmobile To Be At FUMC Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Lifeline Bloodmobile will be in Paris from noon-6 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church. There will be a drawing for a “football themed” cooler and 1 lucky winner will receive a pair of tickets to the TN Titans football game for Oct. 18th against the Dolphins.

As of right now, the bloodmobile service is CRITICALLY low on types O-, B- and A-, so please share to spread the word. 

There also is a $100 gift card to the Old Hickory Mall with dinner for two to Longhorn’s Steakhouse.

Handy Manny Block Party Set

Paris, Tenn.-Registration is open now for the upcoming Handy Manny Lego Block Party at the W.G. Rhea Library. The event is for boys age 4-8 and will be held from 2-4 p.m. October 10. The boys must be accompanied by an adult male.

Limit is 30 boys. The event will include games, food, fun and crafts.

Registration is at the library and will include a $5 registration fee.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Breaking News: Another Water Main Break In Union City

Union City, Tenn. - There was another water main break close to the first one near the water plant on Tuesday. The tanks are currently draining and there is a repair in progress.

Once the issue repaired, there will be another boil water advisory for Union City.

We'll have more on the break as information becomes available.

Former Obion Co. Jailer, Inmate, Girlfriend Indicted

Inmate, Girlfriend From Paris

         Markia Patton

Jackson, Tenn. – A former Obion County Jail correctional officer, a jail inmate, and the inmate’s girlfriend have all been indicted on federal drug charges.

Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the indictment today.

According to the indictment, from February 2015 until June 2015, Markia Patton, 30; Cara Bing, 34; and Shalyndrea Williams, 25, conspired with each other to smuggle and distribute marijuana inside Obion County Jail.

Bing is the former Obion Co. Jailer. Patton and Williams are from Paris. Patton was being held at Obion County Jail after his arrest by Henry County Sheriff’s deputies in 2014 on federal drug and weapons charges.

Patton, an inmate at the Obion County Jail, had his girlfriend, Williams, bring marijuana into the jail. From there, Bing, a correctional officer at the time, would retrieve the marijuana, smuggle it inside the jail, and distribute it to Patton.

According to information presented in court, agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) were informed that Patton was having marijuana brought into the jail. The investigation also revealed that Bing was aiding Patton in the criminal offense.

Based on the aforementioned information, surveillance was set up on the entrance to the women’s restroom in the lobby of the facility. In June 2015, agents discovered more than 30 grams of marijuana in the trash can of the restroom. Williams was allegedly directed by Patton to bring the drugs into the restroom.

Williams allegedly dropped off drugs and tobacco in the facility’s women’s restroom on at least six occasions for Patton, according to court information. Bing was paid several hundred dollars to retrieve and deliver the smuggled drugs to Patton.

All three defendants have been charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute marijuana. They each have also been charged with
one count of aiding and abetting, distributing, attempting to distribute, and possessing with the intent to distribute marijuana.

If convicted, the defendants face individual sentences of up to five years imprisonment. They also face individual fines of up to $250,000.

This case’s investigation was led by TBI. The Obion County Sheriff’s Department and 27th Judicial District Drug Task Force assisted with the investigation. The Henry Co. Sheriff’s Office also assisted.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Boswell. Boswell formerly worked with the 24th Judicial District.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Henry County Drug Collection: 800 Pounds

From left, Sheriff Belew, Sgt. Jerry Wilson, Lt. Scott Wyrick, Chief Deputy Randy Gean, and Maintenance Officer. Chris Thompson

Paris, Tenn.-The Tennessee DEA and Meth Task Force were at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office today to collect all the pharmaceuticals that have been placed in the sheriff’s office drug drop-off box over the past eight months. The total amounted to 800 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired medications.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said the DEA and Meth Task Force now will transport the drugs back to Nashville to be destroyed prope...rly in an incinerator.

“We encourage anyone to use our drop box or the drop box at the Paris Police Departments to get rid of their medications they don’t want or use anymore,” Belew said.

Both drop boxes are located in the lobbies at the Paris PD and sheriff’s office.

Henry County Fair To Move To September

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Fair will be held in September beginning in 2016.

Meeting in special session Monday night, the Henry County Fair Board decided to move the fair from the first week of August to September 12-17 in 2016.

Fair Board Treasurer Deneicia Gregson explained that moving the fair was necessary because the Henry County Fair’s long-time carnival company has disbanded.

“We’ve used the Dixieland company for a long time, but they’ve decided to disband,” Gregson said, “so we’ve been in the process of looking for a new carnival company and we wanted someone reputable. In the process of all that, we began realizing that if we went with a new company we would also have to change the date for our fair.”

The fair board has found a new company, Amusement Attractions of Florida, she said, that will be providing the midway rides for the fair next year.

“We know we have a lot of planning that will need to take place,“ Gregson said. “We’re going to be contacting the school officials because it will affect their calendar and we want the kids who will be showing at the fair to know we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure everything goes well.”

Sunset Down Home On The Farm

Paris, Tenn.-Charlie Allen of Paris captured this spectacular sunset at the John Wade Farm at Highway 218 and Palestine Road.

McKenzie Earns State Main Street Designation

McKenzie, Tenn.-The city of McKenzie has received certification as a Tennessee Main Street community. McKenzie has joined Bolivar and Sevierville as the newest communities to achieve Main Street Community status, bringing the total of such communities to 30.

The communities are certified through the state’s downtown revitalization program and accredited by the National Main Street Commission, an affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The only other community in our area that is a Main Street Community is Union City.

The Tennessee Main Street® (TMS) Program serves as a statewide resource for communities seeking to revitalize and manage their traditional downtowns. It was established by legislature to assist these communities with their economic development and revitalization efforts.  

McKenzie has in recent years embarked on a series of downtown revitalization projects.

Eye Full Of Paris Artist Winners Announced

One of the first place winners, David Carrico, talks things over with Dana Harvath during Saturday's event. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Henry County Arts Council's annual Arts 'Round the Square event was held in Saturday, with 40 artists and four food vendors set up around in downtown Paris.

This year's winners of the artist competition are as follows:

Fiber Arts

1st place Doreen Bryant 

2nd place Debbie Baxter


1st place Bud Rocks

2nd place Teresa Jones


1st place Angel Acevedo

2nd place Mike Foster


1st place Martin Paschall

2nd place Robyn Neubauer

Oil & Acrylic Painting

1st place David Carrico

2nd place Prescott Smith

Mixed Media

1st place Felicia Blaine

2nd place Cat McGavin


1st place Maggie Wallace

2nd place Prescott Smith


1st place Lisha Donald

2nd place Paula Walls


HCHS Madrigal Alumni Reception

Paris, Tenn.-All Henry County High School Madrigal alumni are invited to a reception this coming Friday evening, October 2, as a part of Homecoming activities. The reception will be held in the HCHS Testing Center (second floor of Building E which is across from the Field House) at 5:00 p.m. A large gathering of Madrigal alumni are expected for finger foods and a brief rehearsal period. The alumni group will join the current Madrigals in singing the National Anthem down on the football field around 6:45 p.m. prior the Henry County vs. Rossview game. 

Quota In-House Auction Held

Peggy Owen with item that Geraldine Sykes is auctioning off. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Quota Club conducted an in-house auction with Geraldine Sykes as auctioneer at its recent meeting. Proceeds go toward the Quota Club’s various projects, including scholarships, veteran and nursing home visits, and presents for the Western Tennessee Mental Health program.

The Paris Quota Club received a certificate from Quota International acknowledging 55 years of service.

The club’s annual Hog Killing party will be on Monday, October 19th at Lee Academy Lunchroom. Members are urged to feed their pigs and dress like they are going to an old-fashioned hog killing. They will have a country store; but this year, the items will be auctioned. 

Quota’s Christmas Party will be on Thursday, December 10th at Lee Academy Lunchroom.

The next meeting will be on October 14th.


Renaissance Theatre to Present “Next to Normal” 

McKenzie, Tenn.- Bethel University’s Renaissance Theatre will present the musical production, “Next to Normal.”  This production October 2-3 at the Bethel Performing Arts Center located at 652 Stonewall Street North in McKenzie.

This award winning production tells the story of a typical American family and how they deal with pain and grief, struggling to make sense of the circumstances of their lives and keep their family strong.   

Brian Hill, Director of Renaissance Theatre said, "This show is something new to add to our incredible line-up of shows from the Renaissance Theatre program. I firmly believe that this production will positively impact individuals who have dealt with difficult issues such as addiction, loss, and mental illness.  The material is challenging, but I know that audiences will love the story and feel a strong connection to the characters and situations that they are facing.  We are all looking for healing and hope, and this story will present a hope-filled view of life and the struggles we face."

Show times are 7 p.m.  Tickets are  $10. Bethel Faculty, Staff and Students will receive free admission to all performances. 

To reserve tickets for “Next to Normal” contact the Renaissance office at 731-352-6980 or email us at

Library Friends Salad Spectacular Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Friends of the W.G. Rhea Library will be holding a “Friends Salad Spectacular” Friday, October 2 at the Grace Episcopal Church Ketcham Hall at 103 South Poplar St.

The event will be held from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Adults and children 11 and over $10 a plate with take-outs available.

Purchased tickets will be your reservation. Only a limited number of tickets are available at the door. Proceeds go to the library’s programs.

Salad choices: bowtie pasta, chicken, honeymoon slaw, red wedge potato, grape broccoli and macaroni. Crackers, bread, butter, drink and cookie will be included.

Tickets available at Commercial Bank, Jack’s Java, Maggie’s, Perkins’ Drugs, Security Bank and the library.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Camp Tyson Book To Be Published; Pre-Orders Being Taken

The cover features the late James Wilson of Paris, center, 

among the soldiers pictured with inflated barrage balloon.

Paris, Tenn.-Pre-Orders are now being taken for the book, “As If They Were Ours: The Story of Camp Tyson, America’s Only Barrage Balloon Training Facility”. The book was written by Shannon McFarlin of Paris and is being published by Merriam Press.

The Henry County Tourism Authority Monday morning authorized an initial order of 400 books. The Tourism Authority’s predecessor, the Henry County Tennessee River Resort Act board, contracted with McFarlin for the book to be written. 

The manuscript is with the publisher along with numerous photos that will be included in the book. The cover is a photo of several Camp Tyson soldiers, including the late James Wilson of Paris, standing in front of an inflated barrage balloon.


Camp Tyson was the only barrage balloon training facility in the United States and was located in the tiny town of Routon, Tenn., a few miles outside of Paris. Camp Tyson was unique and historic for several reasons: 

--As the only such facility in the U.S., the soldiers who served there had an experience unlike any other soldiers anywhere.

--Camp Tyson was responsible for the transformation of Paris from a small town to a city, with its influx of hundreds more construction workers, soldiers and their families and subsequent modernization of its infrastructure to accommodate its new citizens.

--Because of Camp Tyson, Paris had an experience unlike most towns in that the camp became engrained in the lives of Henry Countians. Most every home in Paris had a soldier and his family as well as construction workers and their families living with them during the lengthy construction phase of the camp.

--Of special significance, Camp Tyson was the home of the all-black 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, which was the first battalion to rush onto the beaches on D-Day. They were trained for that battle at Camp Tyson and their accomplishments have been largely unheralded. McFarlin was able to track down several of the African-American soldiers who were trained there and were at D-Day.

--Additionally, both Italian and German prisoners of war were held there during and after the war. McFarlin interviewed former soldiers who remembered the German and Italian prisoners.

McFarlin interviewed over 100 people for the book, including former soldiers who served there, people who worked there, people who housed soldiers while the camp was being built, people who ran area businesses associated with the camp and couples who met because of the camp and later married.

Most of the book is written from first-person interviews. Additionally, McFarlin received many documents never before seen as a result of a Freedom Of Information Act request, as well as many documents from the Library of Congress and other government sources.

The book chronicles the history of the camp, from its construction through its use during the war, the closure of the camp and its subsequent purchase by the Spinks Clay Co.    

McFarlin holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in public history from Murray State University. She presently is News Director for WENK/WTPR in Paris and Union City; and writes for Paris! Magazine.

Previously, McFarlin worked as a reporter for newspapers in Ohio. She won first place in Investigative Reporting in the Ohio Associated Press contest in 1991 and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize that year. She won the Hellman Hammett Award from Human Rights Watch in 2000 and is listed in Who’s Who Among American Women.

Preliminary estimates from Merriam Publishing is that the book will cost from $17-$20. You can pre-order the book by calling the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce office at 731-642-3431 or emailing the office at

Tourism Authority Authorizes Tournaments, Camp Tyson Book Order

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Monday morning, the Henry County Tourism Authority renewed a new three-year contract with the Triton Boat Owners Association and authorized a four-day Crappie USA Class Tournament in 2017.

The board also approved an initial order of 400 books for the book “As If They Were Ours: The Story Of Camp Tyson, America’s Only Barrage Balloon Training Facility” by Shannon McFarlin of Paris.

The three-year Triton contract will cover tournaments in 2016-2017 for $32,000; 20172018 for $34,000; and 2018-2019 for $35,000.

Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton said, “The Triton tournaments are always a big event for us and they wanted to renew their contract with us. They’re very interested in continuing the tournaments on Kentucky Lake.”

Last year, the Triton tournament drew 485 boats, Hamilton said. “They are talking about capping the maximum amount of boats at 500, but this is by far the largest tournament that we host. It’s a great tournament for us.”

The board authorized payment of $66,000 for the Cabella’s Crappie USA tournament that will be held in October 2017.

The initial price started at $72,000, Hamilton noted. The Henry County Alliance also will provide the use of the Henry County Fairgrounds for organizers and participants in the tournament.

Following a presentation by McFarlin on the Camp Tyson book, the board authorized a first order of 400 books at a cost of $3,400 to come out of the miscellaneous account.

Cost of the book will be from $16.95-$20. 

County Mayor Brent Greer said the book’s publisher Merriam Publishing said with an initial order of 200, the publishing company would give a 50 percent discount so if the book retailed at $16.95, the cost to the Tourist Authority would be $1695 and the publisher would pay shipping as well.

Henry County Historian David Webb said finding interested buyers for an initial order of 200 would be no problem. “The book can absolutely be marketed. With the Henry County Historical Society and the Genealogical Society alone, you could come up with people wanting 200 books.”

Greer said local businesses also have expressed interest in selling the books, too.

After further discussion, the board decided to go ahead with an initial order of 400 books.

Union City Boil Water Order Lifted

Union City, Tenn.-Union City City Manager Kathy Dillon has issued the following announcement to Union City Water customers: “The boil water order has expired. The water has tested safe for consumption. I thank you all for your patience and understanding.”

Sugar Tree Man Arrested On Drug, Alcohol Charges

Martin, Tenn.-A Sugar Tree, Tenn., man was arrested on drug and alcohol charges after he was found staggering in and out of traffic in Martin.

Arrested was Cary Reynolds, age 47 of Sugar Tree.

At approx. 8:02 pm, Friday, Martin Ptl. Nick Combs and Ptl. Aaron Gallimore responded to the area of 427 Mt. Pelia Rd. in reference to a call about a possible intoxicated person that was staggering in and out of traffic.  Upon arrival, officers made contact Reynolds.  It was obvious to officers that Reynolds was under the influence of some type of intoxicant due to his speech being slurred and he was extremely unsteady on his feet.

He was taken into custody due to him being intoxicated to the level of being a danger to himself and/or others.  During a search of his person, Ptl. Gallimore located a cellophane bag in his pocket containing several prescription pills.  Reynolds did admit to officers that he did not have a prescription for any of the pills.

During an inventory of the pills, they were discovered to be 60 Soma tablets, 41 Valium tablets, 29 Quetiapine Fumarate tablets, 19 Citalopram tablets and 66 Oxycodone tablets.  The offender was charged with public intoxication, schedule II drug violations, schedule IV drug violations and schedule V drug violations.  He was booked at Martin Police Department and then transported to Weakley County Detention Center.

Shine On, Shine On Blood Moon

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Photographers all over our area put their skills to the test last night to capture the perfect photo of the blood moon over our skies. Surely one of the best photographs was taken by Park Ranger David Haggard over Reelfoot Lake. 

Schools, Restaurants Closed As Boil Water Advisory Continues

Applebee's is one of the city's restaurants informing customers it had to close

due to water issues. (Brent Hinson photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Water service to over 11,000 Union City and Obion County residents was restored Sunday morning, but a boil water advisory remains in effect until further notice. Union City, Obion County and Head Start Schools are closed today, surgeries at Baptist Memorial Hospital have been cancelled, restaurants are closed, as is at least one industry.

The ordeal began Saturday night when a construction company working on the Union City’s water system accidentally cut an 8 inch hole in the water line, dropping the city’s water supply to critical levels.

City Public Works employees worked overnight to restore the water to residents by Sunday morning, but City Manager Kathy Dillon has emphasized a boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice. 

Dillon said Union City, Rives,Woodland Mills, Reelfoot Water Association and all of Obion County on Union City water system are included in the boil water advisory. She said residents can bath in the water, but brushing your teeth, drinking, and washing your dishes are not recommended unless boiled for one minute

Tyson Foods announced Saturday night it would be shutting down shifts until further notice until the advisory is lifted.

City officials have said they have sent samples of the water to be tested and should know by noon today when the water will be safe for residents to drink. In addition to Union City residents the situation has affected all Obion County residents who rely on Union City’s water supply.

The total amount of damage caused to the city from the water line break is still being assessed.

A rare sight: an empty McDonald's Restaurant parking lot. (Hinson photo).

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Union City Schools Closed Monday

Union City, Tenn. - Union City Schools will be closed on Monday due to the water main break last night in Union City. Teachers and staff will report as normal.

As we reported earlier, Obion County Schools will also be closed on Monday due to the water issue.

Obion County Schools Closed Monday

Union City, Tenn. - Because of the water main break on Saturday night in Union City, Obion County Schools will be closed on Monday. However, all support staff will need to report to school as usual.

We have not received official word about Union City Schools. Until further notice, school will be in session in Union City for Monday.

We will post more updates as they become available.

New Pipe Installed Overnight; Boil Water Advisory In Effect

Union City public works employees worked through the night to repair damage.

Union City, Tenn. - Union City public works employees worked through the overnight to repair the city water line that was damaged.  

When Union City residents arise this morning, their water pressure may be back to normal, but City Manager Kathy Dillon emphasized a boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice. 

As we reported to you last night, the company that has been working on the city of Union City's water  cut an 8" hole in the water line and has, so far, been unable to stop it.


Getting An Eye Full Of Paris

Paris, Tenn.-Even with a steady drizzle, a good-sized crowd was on hand Saturday for the Eye Full of Paris festivities in downtown Paris. Martin Paschall, top photo, was one of several artisans displaying their handiwork. Bottom photo, artists Ann Stapp, Ken Alexander and Debra Davenport have fun while painting. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Job Fair Wednesday Seeks 75 Employees

Union City, Tenn. — Goodwill Career Solutions will host a job fair from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Obion County Public Library for Hamilton-Ryker, which seeks to fill 75 positions in Obion, Weakley and Lauderdale counties. The library is at 1221 E. Reelfoot Ave. in Union City.

Openings include machinist, welder, electrician, assembly, production, general labor, industrial maintenance, retail, clerical and outdoor general labor in Union City, Martin and Fulton. Rates of pay range from $7.25-$15.25 per hour.

Representatives from Hamilton-Ryker will be on site, and job-seekers should dress for success and be prepared to complete an online application and interview. Job candidates are encouraged to bring a resume, photo ID, Social Security card or birth certificate. 


When: Wednesday, Sept. 30

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Obion County Public Library

1221 E. Reelfoot Ave.

Union City, Tenn.

This event is one of many job fairs taking place during the week of Sept. 28. A complete list of job fairs taking place at Goodwill’s 30 Career Solutions centers can be found at 

UTM, Dyersburg State Sign Agreement

Dr. Robert Smith, UT Martin interim chancellor, and Dr. Karen Bowyer, Dyersburg State Community College president, signed a dual admission partnership agreement.

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin and Dyersburg State Community College signed a dual admission partnership agreement Sept. 18 that will “provide a seamless and guaranteed transition from a DSCC associate degree program to a UT bachelor’s degree program by providing one curriculum plan for earning both degrees.”

Students at DSCC who meet current admission criteria at UT Martin and major in an eligible Tennessee Transfer Pathway baccalaureate program can take advantage of the new agreement. Students must have either started their college careers at DSCC or have transferred to DSCC with fewer than 15 college-level semester hours.

“This is a benefit to both institutions because it provides a seamless transition for the accomplishment of a four-year degree,” according to Dr. Robert Smith, UT Martin interim chancellor. “We know that 96 percent of all the good jobs that have occurred since the recession of 2008-2009 have required a four-year degree, so having a good start at Dyersburg State Community College and then transitioning to a high-quality academic program at UT Martin is a great benefit to the student.”

Eligible DSCC students will be contacted by the UT Martin Office of Undergraduate Admissions or may complete an application for dual admission, available through either institution’s website. Students need not be entering freshmen to apply; all current DSCC students will be considered.

Participating students who meet UT Martin admission requirements upon completion of the two-year DSCC program will be guaranteed admission to UT Martin as juniors to continue their four-year bachelor’s degree programs. Students transferring under this agreement will have their initial application fees waived.

The dual admission partnership also provides several additional advantages for community college students. Participating students will be assigned to both DSCC and UT Martin academic advisers to make sure they are meeting full requirements to complete both degrees.

Students will also have full access to the UT Martin Paul Meek Library, computer labs and student affairs offices before full admission. Those who elect to pay applicable student fees will be able to attend UT Martin sporting events and participate in campus activities as well.

UT Martin plans to create similar agreements with other community colleges in the future to better serve all students in the West Tennessee area.

For a complete list of Tennessee Transfer Pathway programs available at UT Martin, visit…/university-tennessee-martin.
For more information on the dual admission partnership agreement, contact Matt Borden, UT Martin Office of Undergraduate Admissions, at 731-881-3101 or DSCC students may also contact Tracie Langley, DSCC admissions counselor, at 731-286-3324 or

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