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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Takin' it to the Streets, Rhea School Style

Teacher Krissa Reid tries to compel students to join teachers in the "Happy" dance. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Rhea School staff and volunteers took it to the streets again Tuesday evening at the Eiffel Tower Park. A large crowd of students and parents were on hand for the event, which included two skits by teachers, who also danced to the tune of “Happy” for everyone’s enjoyment. Sheldon Maye of W.G. Rhea Library handed out free books to the kids and free hot dogs were served to everyone. Teachers also provided fun reading tips for the parents. The Rhea Staff has been holding the “Taking it to the Streets” events at the city’s parks throughout the summer. This will be the last event before school starts.

Teachers Ginger McElroy, left, and Amber Wood, in a skit about loving school. (McFarlin photo).

Teachers Cindy Lowe and Melanie Hendon in a skit about sharing. (McFarlin photo).

Sales Tax Holiday is This Weekend

Nashville, Tenn.-This is the weekend for which some people wait all year: Tennessee’s Sales Tax Holiday weekend.

The annual event corresponds with back-to-school preparations. The sales-tax holiday starts... Friday, Aug. 1 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 3. Specifically it starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

The holiday does not apply to everything you might want to purchase, however. The holiday applies to clothing and school supplies less than $100 in value per item and computers less than $1,500.

Computer supplies like printers will still get taxed this weekend and any laptop or desktop computers over $1,500 will still be taxed. But items like monitors, keyboards and scanners when sold by themselves and not in conjunction with a computer get charged sales tax.

Tablet computers, such as iPads, are exempt from sales tax. But video game consoles are not eligible.

According to the state, Internet sales — as well as sales over the telephone, by email or by mail — are exempt from sales tax provided that you make the purchase during the sales-tax holiday and the retailer accepts the order during the three-day window.
All the same exemptions apply for these purchases.


The Tennessee Department of Revenue has a website setup with information about the sales tax holiday. The department also maintains an alphabetical list of all exempt and nonexempt items. Go to for more information.

Early Voting Continues Breaking Records; HC Hours Extended

Paris, Tenn.-Early voting totals continue to break records in our local area. In Obion County, Elections Commission Director Leigh Schlager said the total by Tuesday afternoon was at 2,485 and by the end of Wednesday, the early voting totals at this point will have exceeded the total for the entire early voting period in 2010, the last comparable election.

In Henry County, the total Tuesday afternoon was at 2,529.

Early voting continues through Saturday, August 2.

Henry County will provide extended hours: Wednesday and Friday hours will be from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. On Thursday, hours will be held from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. On Saturday, hours will be from 9 a.m. to noon.

Obion County hours will be from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, with Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to noon.

Election Commission Directors are anticipating long lines at the polling spots on Election Day August 7, so voters are reminded they want to think seriously about voting early.

UTM Bass Team President Dylan Powley Looks Ahead

Dylan Powley of Paris. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. — Three-peat fame is often reserved for sports teams that win consecutive championships. But, the UT Martin bass anglers have achieved a significant three-peat of their own as ...the team earned a third consecutive top-25 Association of Collegiate Anglers national ranking posted at The team finished 17th, which followed a team-best 10th place finish in 2013 and 22nd place finish in 2012.

Dylan Powley of Paris, a fifth year senior marketing major and team president, is pleased with the recently completed season, but he wants more when the team hits the college bass fishing circuit for his final year. Powley's father was the late Gary Powley, who was an on-air personality for WENK/WTPR for many years. His mother, Patty Powley still lives in Paris.

Moving up is a challenge as competition increases among the more than 200 college teams listed in this year’s final rankings.
Bass fishing is a club sport at UT Martin and depends on sponsorships, donations and university support to compete. Top events happen in three main series: the FLW, the Association of Collegiate Anglers and the College Bassmaster.

The UT Martin team’s first major tournament last spring was March 14-15 at the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open on Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tenn. The team didn’t finish high in the tournament standings, but Powley said the event set the tone for “(grinding) out finishes” in later competition.

Three months and five tournaments later, Powley and teammate Colin Bennett, a senior engineering student from Gleason, finished 75 out of more than 100 boats in the 2014 Carhartt College Bass Wild Card tournament at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. Although not the finish wanted, the team managed enough points to secure a top-25 national ranking.

Highlights happened along the tournament trail, including the team’s winning its first collegiate bass tournament championship March 29 at the Tennessee Collegiate Bass Fishing Trail on Kentucky Lake. Powley and Hayden Smith, a sophomore engineering major from Dickson, won the tournament with a total catch of 18.5 pounds. “It really wasn't a big tournament, but that was probably the best moment,” Powley said.

Another highlight came May 22-23 during the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship on Pickwick Lake near Florence, Ala. Miranda Carlton, one of two female team members, qualified to fish and was the only female to compete out of 170 teams. Carlton, a sophomore natural resources management major from Greenbrier, fished with veteran team member Ryan Lackey, a graduate student from Parsons, and their boat earned valuable points in the tournament.

Looking ahead to his final season, Powley is optimistic about the team’s prospects for improving its national ranking.

Powley is seeing college fishing become more competitive, with freshmen team members at larger schools entering the sport with more experience and making an immediate impact.

Powley sees his years of involvement with the bass anglers team as an entryway into the outdoors industry. He comes from a family that fishes; his older brother works for Strike King Lure Co. and had an opportunity to pursue fishing professionally. “I definitely want to get into the outdoor industry through this,” he said. “I feel like I made some connections.”

In the meantime, look for Dylan Powley and other bass angler team members to staff a booth Aug. 25 at the annual Student Organization Fair in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. The event welcomes back students on the first day of fall classes and showcases opportunities for campus involvement. The team will be looking for a few good men and women to take college bass fishing to the next level at UT Martin.

Henry County Farmers' Market Venue Changed

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Farmer's Market, originally set to be at the fairgrounds on Tuesday & Friday, will be held at the UT Extension Office, located at 1120 Tyson Avenue, beginning at 3 pm Friday, August 1, Tuesday August 5 and Friday August 8. 

With the Henry County Fair at the Fairgrounds starting on August 1st – August 10th, the Extension Office decided to move the location.
Future farmers markets will be held at the fairgrounds on Tuesdays and Fridays at 3 pm until produce is sold out.

Reminder: "Chairs That Care" is Saturday

Paris, Tenn. – The Caring Hearts Fund of The Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation and the Cancer Care Center of Henry County are gearing up for the third annual “Chairs That Care” Auction and Social this Saturday. 

After the overwhelming success the past two years, the Cancer Care Center is asking for your help in making this year’s event one for the books.

This year’s Auction and Social will be held on Saturday, August 2 at the Paris Winery, with activities starting at 5 p.m. and concluding around 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 and include a free wine tasting, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, musical entertainment, along with the silent and live auction of the donated chairs made by community members. Tickets can be purchased at the Cancer Care Center of Henry County, the HCMC Pink Petal Gift Shop and My Favorite Things.

“Chairs that Care” came about as a way to raise funds for the Caring Hearts Fund of the Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation. Local artists and supporters can create one-of-a-kind chair masterpieces to be auctioned off in the silent auction and live auction. This fund assists patients with a financial need to pay for medications, transportation, premiums and co-pays while having treatment in Henry County at either the Cancer Care Center or HCMC Outpatient Chemotherapy.

Individual chairs will be on display at various locations prior to the live and silent auction event as well as available for viewing on the HCMC website: and social media sites. Completed chairs can be dropped off at the Cancer Care Center weekdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. any day before the event.

Time to Clean Out Henry County's Attic: Records Commission

Paris, Tenn.-It's time to clean out Henry County’s attic. That’s the word from the Henry County Public Records Commission, which met to reorganize Tuesday as well as to discuss the possible transfer of public documents from the attic of the courthouse to the county’s archive and genealogical library, which is located in Weston Hall.

 At the meeting’s outset, the panel elected the following officers: David Webb, chairman; Brent Greer, vice chairman; and Connie McSwain, secretary. Webb is the County Historian.

Circuit and General Sessions Court Clerk Mike Wilson said there were a variety of circuit and criminal court records, including ledger books and receipts, which need to be moved in part to free up space in the courthouse for active records that are more likely to be accessed by his staff.

Wilson said further that the attic was not an appropriate place to store public records, including some which date back to 1866. There are no temperature or humidity controls in this portion of the courthouse, and that is causing documents to deteriorate over time. 

He said some of the binding of ledger books has fallen off. The sheer weight of the records, including 40 file cabinets directly overhead of office workers below, added to his concern.

Webb voiced additional worry over the possible loss of records if a fire or other natural disaster were to impact the 118-year old courthouse with its wooden beams and floors. He felt the county archives was a much better place to store documents, especially those of historical value. Weston Hall’s interior construction is mainly concrete blocked and poured concrete.

Commission members lauded Archivist Stephanie Tayloe, Linda Dunlap, and the volunteers at the archives. Tayloe described herself and her fellow workers as “glorified file clerks” for county offices. Among the most recently completed tasks were processing records of divorce cases from 1821 through 1986.

Archival personnel help preserve the records and make them available to the public. Some records, such as those dealing with mental health, juvenile court, and adoptions, are sealed by court order. The documents at the archives are cleaned, repaired, stored in acid-free file folders and boxes, indexed, and microfilmed. Copies of microfilm are stored in multiple locations, including the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville. 

A subcommittee was formed consisting of Wilson, Tayloe, Linda Dunlap, Vicky Snider, and Pam Martin with Webb as an ex officio member. This committee will determine what specific records should be kept or destroyed. Records required by law to be saved, along with those of historical value, will be moved to the archives. County maintenance workers and jail inmates will be used as labor once the removal process begins.
Mayor Greer reported that $10,000 was included in the recently passed budget to help preserve the county records. Dunlap reported more than $9,457 was spent on the archives in 2013 while over $7,280 has been expended since January. 

Committee members voiced concern over the sheer amount of unused office furniture and junk that has continually piled up in the courthouse attic and the third floor of the annex. Greer explained that there is a procedure for declaring items as surplus property so the items can be sold or destroyed.

The subcommittee will meet again Monday, August 4.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Henry County Officers Conduct Active Shooter Training

Officers conduct active shooter training at Paris Elementary. (Capt. Damon Lowe photo).

Paris, Tenn.-With the first day of school fast approaching, active shooter training was conducted for the last two days for all School Resource Officers in Paris and Henry County schools. The training took place at Paris Elementary School on Volunteer Drive.

School Resource Officers are deputies supplied by the Henry County Sheriff's Office and are stationed each of the three schools in the Paris Special Schools system as well as all five of the schools in the five Henry County Schools district.

Captain Damon Lowe said, “This will be the second full year of having the officers in the school system.”

Other local officers taking part in the training were from Paris Police Department as well as road officers from the Henry County Sheriff's Office. Also attending the two-day training that consisted of both class room and hands-on sessions were: Board of Parole and Probation, Clarksville PD, Memphis PD, Dyersburg PD and Montgomery Co deputies.

Lowe said the training was taught by ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training). All of the training, materials and simunition weapons were free of charge to all agencies involved.

Henry County Salvation Army Opens At New Location

Courtney Cole waits on customers Monday at the new site. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It was early, but there already was a crowd of shoppers in the new Paris-Henry County Salvation Army location at 3830 Hwy. 79N Monday morning for its first day at its new location.

The Salvation Army has been headquartered at 304 W. Washington Street for many years, but officers have been seeking a new location for quite a while.

Major Pat Bowman said Monday that search was intensified recently following damage from severe flooding last month. Major Bowman is the Salvation Army field representative for Henry County.

The new location has much more floor space and is more open and airy than the old site. “This is just wonderful. People were already lined up at the door, standing in line waiting for us to open this morning,” Major Bowman said. “We’ve got room to be more organized here and customers have more room, too.”

The new space “feels more like a family store and that’s what we want it to be,” she said. “We’re here to meet that need for people who can’t afford some of the other stores.”

The Salvation Army also provides vouchers to those who cannot afford to purchase clothing at their store at all. “We have a social worker here two times a week to take down their information,” she said.

Manager of the Salvation Army Store is Tina Matthews.

The new store is located in the former DMT Furniture Building, right next door to Promise Land.

Three Building Demolitions Monday Make Way for CVS

The former Wilson's Grocery and Movie Gallery buildings demolished. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Contractors constructing the new CVS Pharmacy in Paris were busy Monday, demolishing three buildings on the site to make way for the new pharmacy.

Demolished are the buildings which had housed Wilson’s Grocery, Movie Gallery and the large brick building which had been the location for Youth Villages and other local offices. 

Wilson’s Grocery had been a fixture at that corner for decades.

Still to be demolished is the building which now houses Radio Shack. But Radio Shack customers need not worry. As we reported to you previously, Radio Shack will be relocating to the Wal-Mart shopping center in the former Shoe Show building. Radio Shack will be opening at its new location August 9.

CVS Pharmacy will be located at the corner of Mineral Wells and Memorial Avenues.   

Waterfowl Blind Drawings Set For Saturday

Big Sandy, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that the Waterfowl Blind Permit Drawings will be held Saturday, August 2. Registration is from 7-10 a.m. and the drawing will be at 10 a.m. Individuals wishing to compete in the drawing must appear in person at the designated location, with the appropriate licenses and permits.

Region 1 blind sites include: Barkley Unit I, Big Sandy (including Gin Creek), Camden Units I & II, Gooch Unit A, Harmon Creek, Tigrett, West Sandy, and Reelfoot.

To apply you must be 16 years old and have the appropriate license and permits. 

Applicants need a Lifetime Sportsman license, or a Sportsman license, or a Hunting & Fishing Combo ( type 01) & a WMA Small Game & Waterfowl ( type 91). Senior citizens need a Lifetime Sportsman license or a Permanent Senior Citizen (type 166) & an Annual WMA Senior Citizen Permit (type 167). Applicants applying at Reelfoot must have a Reelfoot Preservation Permit unless exempt. 

Only one application per person and only for one area.

Please refer to for any questions.

Rev. Anderson to be Bethel Commencement Speaker

McKenzie, Tenn. – The Rev. Lisa Anderson, moderator of the 184th General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, will serve as Bethel University’s summer 2014 commencement speaker this Saturday. It has been a long-standing tradition that the recently elected moderator serve as summer commencement speaker at the Cumberland Presbyterian affiliated school. 

Rev. Anderson currently serves as pastor of Colonial Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Memphis Bethel University Summer 2014 Commencement services are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2 on the school’s McKenzie campus in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena. 

Approximately 250 students are scheduled to earn degrees.

Commencement services for those receiving undergraduate degrees will be at 10 a.m., and Commencement services for those receiving graduate degrees will be at 2 p.m. Seating for each service begins one hour prior to each event.

For more information about Summer 2014 Commencement, contact Myra Carlock at For more information about Bethel University, go to

Martin Band Signed To Record Deal

Memphis, Tenn.-Mid South Music Records has signed a band from Martin to a record contract. StormGate, a four piece classic rock and blues rock band, has been around for some years and built up a loyal fan ...base in West Tennessee. Mid South Music Records first worked with the band when their Entertainment department was putting up the “Mid South Music Twister Relief” benefit concert at the RockhouseLive in Memphis, in May this year.

Mid South Music Records is based in Horn Lake, Miss.

StormGate signed an album deal for 2014-2015 and is currently working on their first single “Nowhere To Run”, a classic biker rock song, which will mixed at ARDENT Studios in Memphis. It will be released this summer on T.M. Garret’s Mid South Music Records.

The band will hit Memphis under the banner “Mid South Music” on Friday, August 8 at the historic Rock bar “The Stage Stop”. Mid South Music Entertainment already plans additional shows at other great locations in Memphis.

For information, interviews and bookings contact or call (662) 671-2470

UTM to Host Ag Finance Conference

Martin, Tenn. – Dr. David Kohl, internationally known speaker to agricultural lenders, small business owners, producers and agribusiness audiences, is the featured presenter at the13th annual Mid-South Agricultural Finance Conference next week The conference is for lenders, farmers and other farm-related business owners and will be held from 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6, in the Boling University Center at the University of Tennessee at Martin. 

“As one of the world’s leading ag economists who serves on policy boards and manages his own farming operation, Dave Kohl provides lenders and producers with the most up-to-date and practical information available,” said Dr. Tom Payne, UT Martin Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking. This year Dave will be joined by two of the most renowned experts in agricultural operations and risk management.”

This year’s conference will also include a discussion of commodity prices and risk management. 

The registration fee is $150 for lenders, $75 for farmers and $25 for spouses and students. Members of the total management team, including spouses and other business partners, are encouraged to attend. 

Registration information is available by calling 731-881-7324 or by visiting Space is limited, and the deadline for registration is July 31. A service of the UT Martin Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking, the Mid-South Ag Finance Conference is made possible through the support of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, CoBank, Carroll Bank and Trust, and FarmerMac.

Monday, July 28, 2014

County Approves Budget, Tax Rate
Welcomes Paschall Back, Notes Turbett's Passing

Commissioner Dan Paschall, center, is welcomed back by Commissioners Kenneth Humphreys and Wes Bradley (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in short session Monday night, the Henry County Commissioners unanimously approved the 2014-...2015 fiscal year budget, which will require a property tax rate of $2.197, which is the same rate for the past few years.

The total county general fund is $11,530,555 for fiscal 2015. The commissioners approved a long list of appropriations for the county’s various funds, departments and offices.

At the meeting’s outset, County Mayor Brent Greer welcomed Commissioner Dan Paschall back after he had been ill for the past few months. Paschall said, “I’m thankful things are going as well with me and the county as they are.”

Greer also noted the passing of long-time courthouse employee and veteran David Turbett, who died Saturday after a short illness. A prayer by Commissioner Kenneth Humphreys was offered.

In other business, the commissioners reappointed Henry County Coroner Danny Tucker and Assistant Coroner M.L. Bailey. Commissioners also appointed Sue Pemberton to the Regional Library Board.

The meeting ended in a recess in case it needs to be adjourned before the regular meeting date next month.

Reward For Four-Wheeler Thefts Offered

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of any suspects involved in 4-wheeler thefts from the Half Way Market area of Hwy 641S. 

The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating two different 4-wheeler thefts from the area, specifically 11760 Hwy 641S and 95 Pleasant Hill Rd. If anyone has any information please call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672.

Murray Woman Charged in Shooting

Murray, Ky.-A Murray woman has been charged with first degree assault and receiving stolen property following a shooting. 

Arrested was Charissa King, age 33.

At approximately 10 a.m., Murray Police responded to a report that there was a possible gunshot victim at Murray-Calloway County Hospital. Officers then responded to 1106 Pogue Avenue where the shooting reportedly occurred.

According to Murray Police Public Affairs Officer Sgt. David Howe, officers arrested King following a preliminary investigation.

He told WENK/WTPR that Murray Police policy is to not release information on victims while an investigation is ongoing.

King was formally charged with assault 1st degree and receiving stolen property (Firearm). King is lodged at the Calloway County Jail.  

Old Glory Blowin' In The Wind

Paris, Tenn.-The American flag made an impressive sight Saturday afternoon, blowing in the wind against the backdrop of the Henry County Courthouse. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Man Arrested After Foot Chase

Paris, Tenn.-After a foot chase, a 30-year old Paris man was arrested on felony drug and evading arrest charges by officers with the Metro Crime Unit.

While on patrol, officers observed Charles Dustin Williams, alias “Paul Wall” of 114 Willow Oaks St., in a vehicle parked at an East Wood Street hotel. Officers had active warrants on Williams and attempted to make contact with the man in order to arrest him.

As the officers approached, Williams ran through the parking lot in an attempt to evade arrest. Officers chased Williams on foot and eventually apprehended the man.

While he was running away, officers said they saw him drop a plastic bag containing meth. After he was placed under arrest, officers located another bag on Williams' person, also containing a felony amount of methamphetamine along with a digital scale, believed to be used to weigh narcotics for resale.

Williams was transported to the Henry County Correctional Facility without incident and is being held under $125,000 bond. 

Hal Holbrook, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs and More at The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The upcoming 10th anniversary season at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center will be jam-packed with one-of-a-kind entertainment this year, with Hal Holbrook returning for his one-man show “Mark Twain Tonight”, as well as performances by Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson, Mike Snider and a Beatles tribute band.

Season tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, August 4.

Executive Director Lori Nolen said, “In celebrating our anniversary, we will be revisiting 10 performances from the past 10 years that were either our most popular shows by box office standards or crowd favorites.”

Academy Award nominee Hal Holbrook highlights the Top 10 cast when he returns to the theatre he helped create Saturday, Sept. 13. Holbrook will perform his celebrated Mark Twain Tonight! one-man show for the fourth time at The Dixie.

Homegrown Opry star Mike Snider, the pride of Gleason, Tenn., opens the Dixie Live series Saturday, Sept. 6. Known for his funny, easy-going personality, Snider is a whiz on the banjo.

Five-time Grammy winner Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives return to The Dixie Saturday, Dec. 13. Stuart’s amazing career in country music began when he was just 13 years old. The young mandolin player traveled with the legendary Lester Flatt and later toured with Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins before embarking on a successful solo career. 

Another virtuoso country and bluegrass musician follows Stuart. Ricky Skaggs, an acclaimed mandolin player who began his career with Flatt & Scruggs at the tender age of seven, comes back to The Dixie Saturday, Jan. 17. Skaggs owns 14 Grammy Awards and was named the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year in 1985.

Grand Ole Opry icon Whispering Bill Anderson continues the Dixie Live Concert series Saturday, March 28. Anderson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has worked in television, and is a bestselling author. 

Other performers this season include the Gold City Quartet, 1964 (Beatles Tribute) and America’s favorite cowboys – Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul, and Joey the CowPolka King – with their innovative, fun, family-friendly Riders In The Sky show. 

There are plenty of new acts and events on The Dixie roster including the One Way Arts & Music Festival in September, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of Rock & Roll. Expect to see an array of bands performing Blues, Rockabilly, Bluegrass, Country, and more.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, call 731-986-2100, or visit

Flex Fitness Under Construction in Paris

Paris, Tenn.-Construction has begun at the site of the new Flex Fitness in Paris on Spruce Street. 

Flex Fitness already has two locations, in McKenzie and Brownsville, and is a 24-hour fitness center with cardio, circuit and free weight equipment and aerobics room. The center also will offer classes.

Brittney Barger has been hired as manager and fitness director for the new center, which owners expect to be open in a few months.

The site is located behind Casey’s General Store. Contractor is Owens Construction of Paris.

McCarter Named Community Development Specialist for USDA

Nashville, Tenn - USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode has named Sherri McCarter of Gibson County as the Community Development Specialist for the state of Tennessee. McCarter will serve in Rural Development’s State Office in Nashville and will be the primary advisor for rural and community development throughout Tennessee for the agency.

"Sherri brings a wealth of hands-on experience and will serve as a great asset to the agency," Goode said. "Having worked in community and economic development for the last 26 years, Sherri has a working knowledge that will benefit communities and help spur economic development across the state.” 

Most recently, McCarter served as the Executive Director for the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce in Gibson County. Prior to her position with the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, McCarter spent nearly18 years as a Regional Economic Development Specialist for the state of Tennessee, overseeing and responsible for 33 counties. Throughout her career, McCarter has served in many roles and capacities as a director, manager, and consultant. 

USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the lives of people in rural areas and the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.7 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on the meeting or USDA Rural Development programs available in Tennessee contact the Tennessee State Office at 615-783-1300, or 800-342-3149. Visit us online at

Frontier Reports 911 Problems in Weakley County

Dresden, Tenn.-Problems with the some customers in Weakley County being able to contact 911 continue this morning. Jamison Peevyhouse of the Weakley County 911 Office issued an alert for customers in Palmersville, Dresden and Latham areas Sunday, notifying them that Frontier Communications is having problems with the Dresden telephone office.

That was causing all Frontier customers in Dresden, Latham and Palmersville areas to have trouble dialing 911 from land-line phones. Cellular phones appear to be unaffected. An alternative number of 364-5454 was provided to customers last night.

In an update later last night, Peevyhouse reported that Frontier has re-routed all 911 calls in the affected area to the Center's administration line. Callers within the affected area will reach the 911 Center, but dispatchers will not receive the traditional address information.

The problem has been reported to the TN 911 network operations center and they are working on the issue. 

Man Arrested For DUI After Crash

Union City, Tenn.-A Kenton man was charged with DUI after a hit and run accident on South 6th Street Sunday afternoon in Union City.

According to the police report, Lee Simpson, 27, was charged with DUI, failure to maintain, open container and no insurance. He was traveling north on S. Sixth St. and lost control of his vehicle while the passenger said he was showing off. The car crashed into a legally parked vehicle.

When officers arrived, the passenger told officers what happened and said Simpson had taken off. Simpson did return later and was arrested.

South Fulton Man Arrested in Martin

Martin, Tenn.-A South Fulton man was arrested around midnight Saturday after marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found in his car.

According to the police report, officers observed Matthew Andrew Bye sitting inside his vehicle behind Dale’s Bar with the driver’s side door standing open. Bye reportedly appeared confused and said he was looking for his ID.

Officer Patrick Dilday said Bye appeared confused and he could smell alcohol. Bye said he had several beers and gave consent to search the vehicle.

Officer Drew Vernon found 15 individually-wrapped bags of a green leafy plant believed to be marijuana in the console, along with a pipe and a digital scale.

Bye was initially charged with public intoxication, with other charges pending.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Largest Crowd Ever For Ice Cream Social, Car Show

Peoples' Choice Winner Bob Milam with "Sweet Pea". (Larry Ray photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-This year’s Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show drew the largest crowd in its five-year history, with over a thousand people crowding the court square for samples from 18 booths of frozen treats and a chance to marvel over dozens of beautiful antique cars and trucks.

Downtown Paris Association President Kathy Ray said, “With presales, we anticipated over a thousand people and even more wristbands were sold at the event. It was great to talk with people who drove from Nashville, Jackson and other places to attend the event.”

The sponsors of the ice cream booths “really went all out this year to make this a fun and exciting event,” Ray said. “Most of the booths had activities and fun photo opportunities using cut outs. At one booth, you could make your own ice cream. It was a great time on the courthouse lawn in downtown Paris.”

Winners in the adult categories were Grant Guinn, who won the ice cream eating contest, and Angel Schnepper, who won the frozen t-shirt contest. Winners in the youth categories were Rosemary Butler for ice cream eating and Liam Bailey for frozen t-shirt.

The Best Ice Cream award went to REAL Hope Youth Center with homemade watermelon sorbet; the Best Theme award went to Henry County Medical Center with Curious George and Banana Ice Cream; the Best In Show went to the City of Paris with a booth theme of Frozen plus fun activities and giveaways for young people; The Peoples Choice Award for the favorite car went to Bob Milam with his 1948 Chevrolet car “Sweet Pea”, runner up was Eddie Wilson with his 1962 Chevrolet pickup.

The event was a fundraiser for the REAL Hope Center. We posted more photos of the event Saturday.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, right, and Rev. Steve Gallimore of the REAL Hope Center Board share a laugh. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Michael Winegar proudly poses with his 1922 Ford three door. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Good To The Last Drop

Paris, Tenn.-Grant Guinn gets the last drop of ice cream on his way to winning the adult ice cream eating contest at Saturday’s Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show. Several people vied for the title of fast ice cream eater this year, with each competitor given a quart of ice cream. Winners of the other contests will be announced later. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Large Crowd On Hand For Ice Cream Social

J.B. Latimer and Jon Trosper show the proper way to make fried oreos in the Trinity United Methodist Church booth. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd looking for cold sweet ice cream was on hand at Saturday’s 5th Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show. There was plenty for everyone to do, with 18 ice cream booths set up all around the court square, as well as a wide variety of antique cars and trucks. 

Paris Patrolmen Jordan Klutts and Jeramye Whitaker serve up some cold stuff at the DARE booth. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Man Drowns At Carroll County Recreational Lake

Huntingdon, Tenn.-A 27-year-old man drowned in the Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake near Huntingdon Saturday morning and with the help of witnesses, first responders were able to recover the victim’s body within an hour.

Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson told WENK/WTPR that the victim is not from Carroll County, but he declined to release his identity yet. “I’m not 100 percent sure that all the victim’s family has been notified yet and until that happens, we won’t be releasing his name.”

Dickson said the man was at the lake with his girlfriend and her daughter and went out swimming in one of the two designated beach areas. “Witnesses said he swam out toward one of the buoys and was circling back when he went under. I’m not sure if he cramped up or what happened, but he went under and did not resurface.”

Within a few minutes, deputies were on the scene and other emergency personnel arrived to begin the search. Dickson said the witnesses were a big help in finding the victim. “They were able to pinpoint accurately where he had been last seen,” Dickson said.

Paris Home Destroyed By Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A two-story home at 110 Porter Street was destroyed by fire Friday afternoon in Paris, but no one was injured in the blaze.

According to Captain Barry Farmer, when firefighters arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from every opening of  the house. “The interior attachment was enacted initially with some success, but fire broke through the roof,” he said. Firefighters then went to a defensive mode, but the house and contents were a total loss.

Loss was listed as $11,000 to property and $5,000 to contents.

Owners of the property were Anthony Robinson and Audrey Rodriguez. 

Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams said no one was home at the time of the fire and the cause is still under investigation.

Farmer said providing lots of help to the fire department was Henry County EMS, BPU, Paris Police, Natural Gas, Animal Control and the City Street Department. A dog was nearby at the house next door, but he was not harmed.

Casey's Celebrates Grand Opening

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and a large crowd of supporters welcomed Casey’s General Store Manager David Tobias and his crew to Paris with a ribbon-cutting Friday morning. The general store has been open for a few weeks but is currently celebrating its official grand opening at 1002 Mineral Wells Ave. The store features a large variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert items, as well as several gas pumps for customers. (Chamber photo).

More Downtown Murray Buildings to be Demolished

Murray, Ky.-At a community meeting Friday morning, Murray city officials said more downtown buildings likely will be demolished after this week’s fire.

City Administrator Mike Mattingly said he believes the gutted structures will be torn down altogether, due the how extensive the fire damage was. Three buildings and four storefronts were affected in the fire. The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.

Earlier this year, a building in downtown Murray collapsed and following that a roof collapsed at another building. In all, that brings the total of storefronts that have or will have disappeared from the downtown landscape to eight.

The dire situation affecting downtown businesses is also affecting city officials’ role to that of assisting downtown businesses in their recovery efforts, Mattingly said. 

Access to the area of the fire-affected buildings along Main and Fifth Streets continues to be restricted to the public.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Two Found Unharmed After Obion Corn Field Searches

Obion County, Tenn.-Obion County Sheriff’s Department deputies were busy today on two separate searches for two people reported lost in corn fields.

Law enforcement and rescue squads from Weakley and Fulton Counties assisted Obion County deputies searching for a woman in a corn field on Old Pierce Rd. near South Fulton. It was reported that she had disappeared after a domestic incident.

The woman was later found when she picked up her children from day care.

In a separate incident, Obion County authorities earlier Friday conducted a search for a man reported lost in a corn field on Connell Road. That man also was found unharmed.

Murray Bank Opens Branch in Hazel

Murray, Ky. – The Murray Bank has now opened a branch bank in Hazel. The new location is at 405 Main St. in downtown Hazel and will serve southern Calloway County, Ky. as well as parts of Henry County, Tenn.

“The Murray Bank’s recent completion of our new office in Hazel helps continue our commitment to grow our services inside Murray and Calloway County,” according to Murray Bank CEO Bob Hargrove.  “Having another location means we have expanded our hometown banking services to help better serve another part of our great community.”

The Murray Bank’s Hazel branch is designed in a modern, customer friendly setting with an attached drive-through window.  Office hours for the Hazel office will be 9 am until 4 pm, with the drive through opening at 8 am.  The office will have expanded hours on Friday’s until 5 pm.  

“We are pleased to be extending our brand of Hometown Banking into southern Calloway County,” according to Tim Stark, Marketing Coordinator at The Murray Bank.  “To help celebrate the new location we will have a ribbon cutting on September 12, which will be in conjunction with our annual Customer Appreciation Day, so we want to invite everyone out to help us celebrate the opening of our new facility.”

Along with the ribbon cutting, the Hazel location will be celebrating their relocation all week with different events planned daily.  Popcorn, giveaways, along with cake and punch will all help lead up to the grand opening ceremony on Friday.  

Stark said, “Be sure to “like us” on Facebook for updates on what all will be going on that week in September.”

Founded in Murray, KY, The Murray Bank is proud to be Murray and Calloway County’s only locally owned and operated bank.  The Murray Bank has three offices; 405 South 12th Street, 700 North 12th Street, both in Murray, and now open in Hazel at 405 Main Street. The Murray Bank is an equal housing lender, member FDIC.  For more information on any services offered by The Murray Bank, call 753-5626, (270) 492-8388 or log onto

Early Voting Numbers High in State, Local Area

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Whatever the reason, politics is in the air right now and the Elections Commissions seem to be the busiest places in the state of Tennessee during the current early election period.

Voters are turning out in record numbers across the state and our local area is no exception.

Across the board in every county in our area, the numbers of voters heading to the polls are much higher than they were in August of 2010, the last off-year election.

A county-by-county breakdown was released by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office of the first four days of early voting. It shows Weakley and Henry Counties with the highest increase in voter turnout so far in our area.

Here is the breakdown:

Henry County: The first four days of early voting, 1,176 people voted, compared to 482 that had voted at this time in August of 2010, making a difference of 694 voters.

Weakley County: The first four days, 1,323 voted, compared to 414 in August of 2010 for a difference of 909 voters.

Obion County: The first four days, 1,081 voted, compared to 710 in 2010, making a difference of 371.

Stewart County: The first four days, 1,068 voted, compared to 787 in 2010, making a difference of 281.

Benton County: The first four days, 1,093 voted, compared to 843 in 2010, for a difference of 250.

Carroll County: The first four days, 899 voted, compared to 799 in 2010, for a difference of 100.

The early voting period ends August 2.

To date in Henry County, 1,713 have voted, including 245 Thursday. In Obion County, 1,582 have voted, including 239 Thursday.

Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social, Car Show This Saturday

Paris, TN - The 5th Annual Ice Cream Social & Antique Car Show will fill historic downtown Paris on the last Saturday in July from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association (DPA), the event benefits R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center and the DPA.

The schedule for Saturday’s contests: 3:15 p.m. kids’ eating contest; 4 p.m. adults’ eating contest; 5 p.m. kids’ frozen t-shirt contest; 5:30 p.m. adults’ eating contest. Around 6 p.m. trophies will be awarded for Best Theme, Best in Show, etc.

There will be inflatables for the kids, along with a rock wall and obstacle course.

“This has become an end-of-summer tradition that folks of all ages look forward to,” according to DPA Director Kathy Ray. “Everyone with an event wristband can enjoy free ice cream from each booth, kids' bouncers and crazy contests; it's definitely the coolest fundraiser around, no pun intended.” Wristbands are available for a minimum $10 donation or $5 for children 12 and under. They can be purchased from the DPA, booth partners or at the event.

Eighteen ice cream teams have signed on, and the number is growing daily, according to Ray. Teams include: R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center; Trinity Methodist Men; City of Paris; Paris-Henry County Arts Council; State Representative Tim Wirgau; TVCC; Caring Hearts Fund; Cindy Hopkins; Paris Police Department/DARE; Freedom Fitness; First Christian Church; FirstBank; Henry County Medical Center; Paris Health Care; District Attorney General Hansel McCadams, Vicki Hoover, A La Mode Sweet Shoppe, and Christ Lutheran Church. 

The Antique Car Show brings vehicles in from four states, according to Chairperson Vicky Muzzall. Registration is a minimum donation of $10 which includes an event wristband. “Votes (25 cent donations) are tallied throughout the event,” said Muzzall. “At 6:00 pm the car with the most votes will win the “Peoples' Choice Award.” Proceeds go to the beneficiaries.

The event picked up several new sponsors this year with Comer Farms sponsoring the ice cream contests and prizes.  The Frozen T-shirt Contest returns and Neese Law Firm is the Ice Cream and Car Show Trophy/Awards Sponsor. WTPR/WENK will sponsor the total board where car show votes will be tallied. Inflatables sponsor Paris Pediatrics invites children to enjoy the alligator slide and the Challenger 5 bouncers, while Pepsi will provide water at the DPA Booth. Lakeway IGA will sponsor the Prairie Farms freezer truck and extra ice cream. 

More information is available by calling the Downtown Paris Association at 653- PARIS (7274), emailing Ray at or going online at

Speaking of Ice Cream

Jackson, Tenn.-Downtown Paris Association (DPA) President Kathy Ray will be on WBBJ-TV's noon show today for an interview about Saturday's Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show in downtown Paris.

Ray said that a crew from WBBJ also will be in Paris to film the event.

New Veterans Cemetery To Serve Local Area

Nashville, Tenn.– Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the future site of the fifth state veterans cemetery will be in Parkers Crossroads. 

The 132-acre Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads will be located at 693 Wildersville Road and will serve more than 45,000 veterans and their families within 17 counties in west Tennessee. 

The Tennessee counties within a 75 mile radius of the proposed cemetery include Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lewis, McNairy, Madison, Perry, Wayne, and Weakley counties.

“Right now veterans and their families in this part of the state have to drive more than two hours to the nearest state veterans cemetery,” Haslam said. “We want veterans in the more rural parts of the state to have access to these resources that also serve as a symbol of our gratitude for their service to our country.” 

Haslam was also joined by state Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), state Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), Parkers Crossroads Mayor Kenneth Kizer, Henderson County Mayor Dan Hughes and West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee Chair Chris Dangler. 

“We are grateful to the members of the West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee, the mayors of the seven counties who invested local funding and support as well as the Governor, Rep. McDaniel and Sen. Gresham who have supported this effort from the beginning,” Grinder said. “We still have several funding hurdles to jump through before this project becomes a reality, but we are excited to announce we are one step closer to opening the fifth state veterans cemetery to better serve veterans in southwest Tennessee.” 

“The rich history of Parkers Crossroads is a perfect location for a future State Veterans Cemetery,” McDaniel said. “We have anxiously waited to hear this news and we welcome the opportunity to offer a reverent backdrop to this future field of honor.”

“Veterans are buried at no charge in these pristine cemeteries that offer a place of reflection and reverence,” Gresham said. “We look forward to adding another jewel to the existing four state veterans cemeteries.”

There are currently two state veterans cemeteries in Knoxville, one in Nashville and one in Memphis. Veterans and eligible dependents can pre-register for burial by visiting the State Veterans Cemetery page

For more information about the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs and existing State Veterans Cemeteries, visit the department’s website at, or stay up to date by following the department on twitter @TNDVA.

Dresden Grad Awarded UTM Rising Star Scholarship

Martin, Tenn. — Elizabeth Francisco, a 2014 Dresden High School graduate, was awarded the 2014-15 RisingStar Leadership Scholarship by the UT Martin WestStar Leadership Program. The RisingStar committee selects the annual scholarship recipient who receives $1,200 for the academic year. WestStar organizes and sponsors the annual RisingStar Leadership Summit. 

The RisingStar Leadership Scholarship is for a student who participated in the RisingStar summit and will attend UT Martin as a freshman. Eligible students must have a 3.0 high school grade point average and a 21 or higher ACT score. Francisco will major in biology with a concentration in cell and molecular biology. She plans to later attend pharmacy school.

“I got to meet a lot of new people,” Francisco said of her RisingStar experience. “I learned how to be a better leader, not only in school but in the community also.”

The next RisingStar Leadership Summit will be held Nov. 20-21 for West Tennessee high school juniors and seniors involved in leadership roles within their community or school. The daylong program includes leadership team building, motivational speakers and university tours designed for specific academic interests. 

Students interested in participating in RisingStar can contact the WestStar Leadership Program at 731-881-7298.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paris Man Held Without Bond After Escape Attempt

Arrested Four Times in July

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris man who has been arrested four times this month is now being held without bond in the Henry County Jail after he attempted to escape from the county jail Wednesday night.

Lonnie Singleton, 47, of 1639 Old Union Loop, is now charged with felony escape, in addition to theft and burglary.

At approximately 11:36 p.m. Wednesday, Singleton was being booked into the Henry County Correctional Faculty. As he was making his phone call, another officer was being let into the booking area with another prisoner. As the doors were buzzed open for the officer to enter, Singleton dropped the phone and ran out the doors catching both before either could close back.

Singleton was able to clear the doors but those doors lead into the jail sally port, which is a fenced in area. Singleton refused commands and officers did deploy their taser and Singleton was subdued and taken back into the booking area. 

Lonnie Singleton was being booked into the jail initially for the offense of burglary and theft of property over $1,000. When he tried to escape, he was attempting to make a phone call to make his bond, which had been set by Judge Vicki Snyder earlier at $50,000.

Singleton will appear in General Sessions’s court today at 9 am.

Paris Radio Shack to Move to New Location

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Radio Shack will remain in business in Paris, but at a different location.

The Radio Shack building on Mineral Wells Ave. will be demolished to make way for the new CVS Pharmacy and its parking area. But that doesn’t mean customers will have to say goodbye to their Radio Shack store in Paris.

Radio Shack will be closing its current location in the coming weeks and will open in the former Shoe Show location in the Wal-Mart shopping plaza. Its new location will be a 2,800-square-foot space.

A worker at the new Radio Shack location this morning said the new site will have 2,600-square feet of showroom space, which will be two-and-a-half times bigger than the space Radio Shack currently has.

When Dollar Tree moved from its store in the Wal-Mart plaza, Shoe Show moved into that space, leaving the former Shoe Show store empty.

According to local Radio Shack representatives, the store will be opening to its new location on August 9.

Community Meeting Set For Murray in Wake of Downtown Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Murray, Ky.-A community meeting has been scheduled in Murray Friday morning to provide information to business owners and others affected by Wednesday’s early morning fire in downtown Murray that gutted one building and heavily damaged two others.

The Murray Fire Department is continuing to ask the public to stay away from area where the fire occurred, which city officials are calling a ‘collapse zone’. They are cautioning people to stay outside barricades they have set up in case the buildings collapse.

Gutted was the building housing Thurman Campbell Group and heavily damaged was the building that houses Wilson’s Forest and Profiles Salon and Spa. All those businesses were destroyed in the blaze.

The community meeting is set for 9 a.m. Friday in the Robert O. Miller Conference Center.

A Fire Department spokesperson said this morning that the two city fire chiefs and the fire inspector are still on the scene today, trying to asses the cause of the fire and all the damage.

This is the third disaster to strike Murray’s historic downtown. A building on the court square collapsed in February and another building suffered a roof collapse in March.

Sawyer Brown To Perform Saturday at Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-A concert featuring the band Sawyer Brown, plus Lee Roy Parnell and Maggie Rose will be performed Saturday night at Discovery Park of America. Doors open at 6 p.m., with music at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $45 including tax and parking. Tickets are available at the Discovery Park website, by phone at 877-885-5455 or at all Little General locations.

Food and beverage trucks are available. Bring blanket or bag chair and enjoy an evening of music under the stars.

Obion Man Arrested On Multiple Charges

Union City, Tenn.-An Obion man was arrested by Union City Police early this morning on multiple charges. Police were called to the Wal-Mart on Reelfoot Ave. in response to a shoplifting call. Arrested was Bradley Pierce, 121 North 6th Street, on charges of possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.

While talking to the suspect, officers observed his eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred. He admitted having marijuana on him and a baggie was found in his pocket.

A quick pat down of the suspect found a glass pipe with meth residue in another pocket. Under further questioning, the suspect admitted having a firearm in a second pair of shorts he had on.

Officers then found the Rohm revolver in the other pair of shorts during a search.

He was arrested and transported to the Obion County Jail without incident.

HCMC Recognized For Improving Infant Health

From left: Judy Farris, QI Manager; Nicole Redmond, OB Nurse; Rachel Davis, OB Nurse; Jackie Moreland, RN, BSN, MS, Clinical Quality Improvement Specialist, Tennessee Center for Patient Safety; Rhonda Carnell, Director of the Women’s Center; Dennis Wieck, MD, OB/GYN; Lakisha Crigler, MD, OB/GYN; and James Caldwell, Chief Nursing Officer.  

Paris, Tenn. – Henry County Medical Center has been recognized by the Tennessee Hospital Association’s (THA) Tennessee Center for Patient Safety for its leadership in reducing the number of babies born electively between 37 to 39 weeks. There is a greater risk of complications associated with births prior to 39 weeks, and waiting until 39 weeks allows for better growth and development of vital organs such as the brain, lungs and liver.  

The HCMC Women’s Center successfully met its goal of decreasing the number of babies delivered electively between 37 to 39 weeks gestation to 5 percent or less and has maintained this goal for a minimum of six consecutive months. This dramatically increases the chances for good physical and developmental health of babies. It also allows for better health and safety of the mother. The hospital is being awarded a congratulatory banner to recognize its team’s outstanding effort by the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety.

LBL Activities Include Walk to Iron Furnace, Evening Kayaking  

Golden Pond, Ky.-Land Between The Lakes will be jam-packed with activities on Saturday, July 26, starting with a one-mile walk to the Great Western Iron Furnace and ending with a Sunset Kayak Trip.

Here is the schedule for LBL activities for Saturday:

9am-12pm - Walk to Town - HOMEPLACE Meet historical interpreter Kristopher Adam at The Homeplace where he will lead a mile walk to the Great Western Iron furnace. Along the way he will discuss the active town of Bass, TN. At the furnace he will inform you about the impact the iron industry had in the area, as you enjoy slices of spring cooled watermelon. Walk limited to the first 25 visitors. Program free with HP admission

1-3pm - Scavenger Hunt (Iron on the Farm)* - HOMEPLACE The iron industry was a very important industry to the people in this area. Drop by the Double Pen House today, pick up your scavenger hunt list and see how many iron items you find as you explore the farm. *Ideal for Home Educators. Program free with HP admission.

2-2:30pm - The 7 Deadly Sins of the Animal Kingdom - NATURE STATION Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony - all the deadly sins exist in the animal kingdom. During this PowerPoint presentation in our air-conditioned theater, we will pick which over-the-top animals worldwide represent each deadly sin the best. Can you guess which animals will be chosen? Join us to find out! Program free with NS admission. 

6-8:30pm - Sunset Kayak Trip - Location TBA Enjoy the beauty of an LBL sunset as we paddle the waters of one of Lake Barkley's scenic bays. We'll search for wildlife that visits the lake at twilight such as osprey, herons, beavers, and songbirds. Beginners are welcome! $20 per kayak. Cost does not include same day NS admission. NS closes at 5pm. Registration limited. Reservations and full deposits required. Call 270-924-2020 to reserve your space and for meeting location.

Henry County School Supply Information Announced

Paris, Tenn.-School supply lists are for schools in Henry County are now available at local stores. No lists are made for Grove or Henry County High School, as teachers will let students know what they need.

Grove and Henry County High School will post Homeroom list on the front entrances of the schools on August 5. Class schedules will be available on the first day of school.

Grove Open House is scheduled for 6 p.m. August 5.

Henry County High School will have the Tenth Grade Open House from 3-5 p.m. August 11.

New registration at all schools will be from 8 a.m. to noon August 8 (for those students who are new to the Henry County School System).

GOP To Meet Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Republican Party will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday July 24 in the Chancery Court room of the Henry County court house.

Republican candidates for elected office who are not otherwise engaged will be in attendance.

There will be a mystery speaker for the meeting.

Attendees also will be discussing the possible locations for GOP headquarters for the coming elections.

Former Pastor Charged With Statutory Rape

Dover, Tenn.-A former Baptist minister and former bus driver for the Stewart County Schools has been arrested on three counts of aggravated statutory rape by the Stewart County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Reason, age 44, of Big Rock, was arrested for the incidents involving a female member of his congregation at Petra Southern Baptist Church in Big Rock

The crimes allegedly occurred during the summer break from school.

Reason already had been dismissed as pastor and he is no longer employed with Stewart County Schools.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Paris Man Arrested After Shots Fired

Paris, Tenn.-A 23-year-old Paris man was arrested by Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies and charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly shot at another man during an altercation Tuesday at a Hwy. 79 South residence.

Arrested was Matthew Fourman of 326 Walnut St.

According to Captain Damon Lowe of the sheriff’s office, a 911 call was placed around 4:12 p.m. reporting that an individual had been shot at and officers responded to 8218 Hwy. 79S.  

Officers located the victim fleeing from the address. He told officers that he and his girlfriend, who is Fourman’s mother, were at the home and Fourman arrived and a confrontation ensued.

The victim said at some point during the argument, Fourman went into the home and came out with a large rifle and was coming at him. Angie attempted to step in front of her son but he went around her with the weapon.  Approximately three shots were fired as the victim was running away. None of the shots struck anyone and no one was injured in the altercation, Capt. Lowe said.

Officers arrived on the scene and spoke with all parties involved. Fourman denied shooting any guns, only that he had run the victim off, telling him he would whip him and that he was not welcome.  

Officers searched the area where it was believed the weapon was fired but could not locate anything due to the amount of grass in the yard.

Contact was made with TWRA Officer Scott Mansfield and he brought his K-9 Cane out to the scene. His K-9 is trained to find items or articles that contain gunpowder or have been fired from a weapon, Capt. Lowe said.

After a short search of the area, Cane did locate a shell casing in the high grass. Evidence was collected and with that officers did locate a weapon inside the home that was capable of firing that round. Once the weapon was recovered and inspected, there was an additional spent round still inside the weapon.

Matthew Fourman was arrested and transported to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and was charged with aggravated assault and bond was set at $10,000. He will appear in General Sessions’s court at 9 a.m. July 29.

Sheriff Monte Belew said he appreciated Officer Mansfield, his partner Cane and the TWRA for allowing them to respond to the scene. They were valuable part of the case and with their help an arrest was made, Belew said.

Other agencies assisting on the call were Henry Police and the Tennessee Hwy Patrol.

Downtown Murray Fire Destroys Businesses

Heavy smoke enveloping downtown Murray. Photo by Troy Taylor of WKMS.

Murray, Ky.-Murray Firefighters are still on the scene of a massive fire in downtown Murray that has heavily damaged at least two businesses. The blaze itself has been contained by firefighters but as of 9:15 a.m., heavy black smoke is still enveloping the downtown area.

According to a Murray Fire Department spokesperson this morning, the building housing Wilson’s Florist and Profiles were heavily damaged by the fire which began around 2 a.m. and she said the firefighters will be at the scene all day.

Traffic around the downtown area is being closed and city officials have cautioned the public to stay away from the downtown area altogether today. 

According to WKMS News Director Chad Lampe, Murray's Playhouse in the Park board members report the fire destroyed the theatre's props and costume storage facility, including extra seats that were part of newly-purchased set from Paducah's Market House Theatre.

The firefighters were utilizing the Murray Department’s telesquirter equipment to pour water on the two and three-story buildings from above.

Other adjoining downtown buildings may have been damaged in the fire, as well.

This is the third major incident to damage downtown Murray over the past year, including a building collapse and roof collapse.


Justice Sharon Lee Visits Area on "Save Our State" Tour

Justice Sharon Lee, in orange, visits Henry County General Sessions Judge Vicki Snyder and the county's courthouse security staff. (Photo courtesy of Justice Lee).

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee made a whirlwind trip through West Tennessee Tuesday, visiting officials and law enforcement in Henry, Obion, Weakley, Dyer, Carroll, and Gibson County on what is being called the “Save Our State (SOS) Tour”. Today, she is up bright and early beginning another round of visits in Hardeman County.

Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Lee, Cornelia Clark and Gary Wade were appointed by former Governor Phil Bredesen and all are up for retention on the August 7 ballot.

In each county, Lee visited with active and retired judges, including Henry County General Sessions Judge Vicki Snyder and retired Judge Julian Guinn; Weakley County Judges Bill Acree and Tommy Moore, Chancellor Mike Maloan, and in Obion County, retired Court of Appeals Judge David Hayes.

She also met with law enforcement officials, including Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, Chief Deputy Randy Gean and Paris Police Officials, as well as officials in each county, including Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire, Henry County Clerk and Master Mary Burns, County Clerk Donna Craig, and others.

Justice Lee chats with Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire and retired Court of Appeals Judge David Hayes. (Photo courtesy of Justice Lee).

First Lady Haslam Partners With Parks For Decorations

Visits Reelfoot Lake State Park 

First Lady Crissy Haslam, middle, with Artist Karon Griffon and Reelfoot Park Manager Alisha Weber. 

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Tennessee’s State Parks will be highlighted this year by Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam’s “Tennessee’s Home For The Holidays” open house event at the Tennessee Residence in December. 

First Lady Haslam is visiting the state parks throughout the state to collect ideas for decorations and Tuesday she visited Reelfoot Lake State Park.

The decoration theme this year is “Tennessee Landscapes,” showcasing the natural beauty of our state. Tennessee has 54 State Parks and each will be a partner to create spectacular decorations representing the scenic landscapes of west, middle and east Tennessee. 

The main tree will specifically highlight state parks, as there will be an ornament for each park hand-painted by an artist who they selected to represent their park.

This year’s open house will be held Friday, December 5 – Wednesday, December 17, with tours offered Monday through Saturday. Open House Tours will be offered at no cost to the public Monday-Saturday, December 5-17, at 10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. On Saturday, tours will also be offered at 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. 

Reservations can be made beginning Saturday, November 1 online by visiting the First Lady’s website:

Hazel Man Seriously Injured in Wreck

Hazel, Ky.-A 35-year-old Hazel man was seriously injured over the weekend in a one-vehicle accident in eastern Calloway County. Upon arrival at the scene, Calloway County deputies found Kelly Jones lying in the ditch after he had been ejected through the top of his vehicle.

Investigation revealed that the vehicle was operated by Heather Johnson, 28 years old, of Hazel Ky. The vehicle appeared to drop off the shoulder of the roadway. Johnson overcorrected and slid into the opposite ditch. The vehicle traveled some distance in the ditch eventually impacting with a small tree. This impact caused the vehicle to complete a 360º motion. 

Another passenger in the vehicle, a 22 month old male juvenile, was restrained in a child safety seat. The driver and the juvenile reportedly had no injuries as a result of this incident. 

Jones was transported to the Murray Calloway County Emergency Room by the Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service. He was later air lifted to another hospital due to the severity of his injuries. The vehicle during this incident sustained severe damage. 

The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the incident by the Murray Calloway County Fire Rescue, Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service, and the Murray Fire Department Rescue truck.

Deadlines Near For Henry County Fair Pageants

Paris, Tenn.-Deadline for entering the Fairest of the Fair and other pageants at the Henry County Fair is fast approaching.

The Fairest of the Fair pageant is Monday night August 4, immediately following the Miss Teen pageant which begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Miss Teen contest is for girls ages 13 – 15. The Fairest of the Fair is for ages 16 – 20 (canno...t be 21 before 12/31/14). Formal dress for both contests.

Entry fee for the Fairest of the Fair is $20 and must list a sponsor. The entry fee for Miss Teen and all other pageants is $10. Entries should be mailed to P.O. Box 1431, Paris, TN by August 1 to be listed in the program. Late entries will be accepted until 6 pm August 3 with an additional $5 late fee.

Dress for the Junior Queen contest (4 – 6 years old) and for the Little Miss contest (7 – 9 years old) shall be Sunday dress – no formals. Dress for the Miss Pre-Teen contest (ages 10 – 12) shall be formal. Entry forms are available by sending the name, age, address, parents’ names, and favorite activities to P.O. Box 1431. Participants may attend a short rehearsal time immediately following the Baby Barnyard contest on Sunday 8/3/14 at approximately 4:30 p.m.

The winner of the Fairest of the Fair will win a crown, flowers, silver tray, and other prizes. The winner and runners-up are expected to attend all Fair events and participate by awarding ribbons and other prizes. The winner of the Fairest of the Fair is expected to compete in the State competition in Nashville in January, 2015. Expenses for the winner and one chaperone will be paid by the Fair Association.

Fairest of the Fair contestants will be judged on beauty, poise, and personality. A contestant cannot qualify for the contest if she has ever married or had a child. None of the participants in the previous years’ state contest shall be eligible to compete.

Entries in all contests must be residents of Henry County.

There is also a Photogenic Contest for all ages to enter. The cost to enter is $5.00 additional and sending a 5 x 7 photograph in a manila envelope with the contestants name on the outside. Winners will receive award approved by the Fair Association and will be announced the night of the pageant.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First Lady Crissy Haslam Visits Discovery Park

Union City – First Lady Crissy Haslam today visited Discovery Park of America in Union City to encourage daily reading with local children from Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Tennessee and Kare Bear day care at First Baptist Church of Union City. 

Approximately 20 third grade students joined the First Lady in the museum’s Starship Theater to read the July book of the month, One Giant Leap by Robert Burleigh. Following the program, the students toured the museum’s exhibits to learn more about science, space and technology. 

“There is tremendous academic value in reading for at least twenty minutes each day,” Mrs. Haslam said. “Daily reading can be even more important when students are out of the classroom, because children experience learning losses over the summer from simply being out of school.”

The First Lady’s Read20 Family Book Club features a new book and corresponding family activities each month as an additional tool for families to participate in daily reading. This month, the featured book is about Apollo 11, the American spaceflight that landed the first humans on the moon, to highlight public libraries’ science summer reading theme Fizz, Boom, Read!

“There are wonderful museums located throughout Tennessee to help children learn about all different types of science, including astronomy, earth science and space exploration,” Mrs. Haslam said. “It can be fun for children to read about a particular topic and visit a museum, aquarium, or science center to learn more.” 

Discovery Park of America, which has been opened less than one year, is the newest large scale museum in Tennessee, and it has brought more than 125,000 visitors to Union City. Inside the 70,000 square foot Discovery Center are 10 unique galleries with exhibits focused on nature, science, technology, history, and art; and the park’s 50-acre grounds feature gardens and exhibits focused on history. 

Henry County No Fly Zone Wins National Championship

National Champions (Jr. Varsity) from left: Coach Bill Neese, Hunter Fletcher, Briar Ray, Caleb Orr.

Sparta, Illinois—The Henry County No Fly Skeet Team won the 2014 Scholastic Clay Target Program National Championship over the weekend at the World Shooting and Recreation Center near Sparta, Ill. The No Fly Skeet Team also won 2014 Tennessee State Champion honors earlier this year.

The Championships give the best skeet shooters from all across the country a chance to vie for top honors.  The No Fly Zone team is well known, having previously won a gold medal as national champions, a silver medal as runner up national champions, four Tennessee State Championships over the last four years, titles in the West Tennessee and Mid West Regionals and many individual titles. 

No Fly Zone Head Coach Drew Williams, is in charge of the program and coaches several trap teams and the Rookie and Intermediate Entry Skeet Teams.  Bill Neese coaches the Intermediate Advanced, Junior Varsity and Varsity Skeet Teams and Ronnie Cole assists with the Intermediate Advanced team. 

Following their win as 2014 Tennessee State Champions, the squad composed of Hunter Fletcher, Caleb Orr and Briar Ray brought home the gold in the Junior Varsity Division by winning the 2014 National Championship.  In addition, Fletcher, Orr and Ray won the silver medal as runners up in the High School Division. 

The squad of Gray Gardner, Scott Hicks and Drew James took the silver medal as runners up to the National Champions in the Intermediate Advanced Division.  

The squad of Sawyer Williams, Shelby Summers and Dalton Dodd took a medal for fourth place in the Rookie Division.

Henry County’s Varsity Team also competed in the National Competition. 

In addition to the squad honors, Henry County shooters won several medals in individual competition.  Individual Honors were:

Rookies:  Shelby Summers, for the highest girl’s score. 

Intermediate Advanced: Kenzie Williams, for the highest girl’s score; Scott Hicks, for the third highest boy’s score; Gray Gardner, for the fifth highest boy’s score.

Junior Varsity: Caleb Orr, for the third highest boy’s score; Hunter Fletcher, for the fourth highest boy’s score;

 Henry County No Fly Zone Skeet team members who participated in the National Competition are, by division:

Varsity: Bryce Liotta, Jesse Conrad, Will Davis, Nathan Gaskins and Lee Phifer.

Junior Varsity: Hunter Fletcher, Caleb Orr, Briar Ray, Skye McClane and Bradley Bomar.

Intermediate Advanced: Gray Gardner, Scott Hicks, Drew James, Zac Cole, Kenzie Williams, Micah Fuqua, Aaron Conrad and Stuart Archer.

 Intermediate Entry: Grant Dodd.

 Rookie: Shelby Summers, Sawyer Williams, Dalton Dodd

 The SCTP is a program of The Henry County 4H and the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.  The Team is very grateful to FirstBank for all its support and encouragement. 

4th Place Rookie Team, from left: Dalton Dodd, Shelby Summers, Sawyer Williams and Coach Drew Williams.

Man Seriously Injured in Weakley County Accident

Martin, Tenn.-A Gallatin man was seriously injured in a one-vehicle accident on Hwy 431 in Weakley Co. around 5 p.m. today. The church van the man was driving belongs to the Hope Church of Martin.

Sean Franklin McCracken, age 44, was airlifted from the scene to an unknown hospital. The Air Evac helicopter landed on the highway to transport McCracken, after Weakley Co. emergency crews spent more than 30 minutes extricating him from his vehicle.

McCracken was driving a church vehicle and ran head-on into a highway pylon on one of the off ramps. According to the Weakley County Press, the church van belongs to Hope Church of Martin.

The accident occurred near the Highway 22 intersection. Traffic was backed up for nearly two hours as emergency responders worked the accident scene.

BPU Approves New Water Plant Construction

BPU General Manager John Etheridge, back left, reviews reports with the board. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities voted Tuesday to construct a new water plant to replace the current structure that has been serving the county for 60 years. The new plant will be located behind the current structure, near the West Blythe-Caldwell Street intersection, will cost $9,411,000 and will be built in two phases.

Construction of a new plant will necessitate a rate increase at some point in the future and BPU officials are seeking other financing options as well.

Construction of the new plant was recommended by BPU officials and Jacobs Engineering instead of continuing to repair the current plant which studies have shown has structural issues.

Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley said BPU officials realized the decision was an important one in the history of the BPU and he commended the maintenance staff for the “good job” it has done repairing and maintaining the old facility over the years. 

“We’ve been good stewards of the plant and made it last”, Wimberley said, “but now it’s time to look to the future.”

Wimberley reminded the board that a 10-year-evaluation of the plant had found major structural issues with the structure, especially in the case of a seismic event, and the board was faced with either repairing or replacing the structure. Following that, Jacobs Engineering was asked by the board to evaluate the options open to the district.

Jacobs issued an evaluation listing three options: Option One, rehabilitate the existing plant which would cost $12,614,000 and would still be using old equipment; Option Two, construct a new plant with in-ground concrete construction which would cost $15,983,000; or Option Three, construct a new plant with packaged equipment in steel tanks which would utilize a different treatment process.

Wimberley said BPU officials and Jacobs recommended Option Three which was the least expensive and best option available. 

The new plant would be constructed in two phases, with phase one occurring in 2015-2016 and would cost $3.1 million. Phase two would occur three to six years later and cost $6.8 million.

Wimberley said BPU will continue to pursue financing options, including the state revolving loan program and CDBG funding. 

If a major industry comes to Paris or Henry County, he said, the facility could be easily expanded to accommodate increased water usage. 

After hearing the presentation, Board President David Flowers said, “It looks like Option 3 is the least costly and the best solution. It will cost a lot of money and we are going to have to request a rate increase in the future to pay for it.”

There was general consensus among board members that Option 3 was best. Board Member Bill Culley agreed, saying, “We have no choice but to go with the third option.” Board Member Ralph Anderson said, “We don’t need to keep repairing the facility. We really don’t want to keep throwing good money after bad.”

In other business:

--The board hired S&G Stephens, Paris, as contractor for general work at the new electric warehouse at a cost of $145,000. Two other bids received were: BWY Construction, Dresden, $150,990; and John Allen Construction of Big Sandy, $165,032.

Biggs Denied Release During Emergency Hearing

Paris, Tenn.- During a rare evening session, Henry County Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish conducted an emergency hearing Monday night to hear a request by Guy Biggs for release from the Henry County Jail due to a serious medical condition. The hearing began at 7 p.m.

After hearing evidence, Judge Parish denied the requested medical furlough and instead ordered that Biggs be transported by the sheriff’s department from the jail to the Tennessee Department of Corrections for safe keeping and medical attention.

Court adjourned at 7:45 p.m. Biggs is charged with criminal attempt to commit first degree murder and filing a false police report. Biggs and his wife were initially arrested on those charges for allegedly luring an ex-boyfriend of his wife to their home on Swan Bay Rd. with the intention of killing him earlier this year. 

UTM Coach Smith Leads State Special Olympics Team

Martin, Tenn. – Coaches are often special people, and they often have the privilege of coaching special people. Dr. Clinton Smith, UT Martin assistant professor of special education, did just tha...t when he played a pivotal role at the Special Olympics USA National Games held June 14-21, in New Jersey.

Smith served as the head coach for the Team Tennessee Athletics Track and Field team. Smith coached 10 Tennessee athletes who participated in weeklong track and field events, including: 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m relays, long jump and softball throw. The Tennessee Athletics Team won a total of 17 medals: six gold, four silver and seven bronze. The men’s 4x100m relay team won bronze in their division, missing silver by just a .23 of a second difference in time.

Smith attended the 2006, 2010 and then this year’s National Games as a coach. He recently applied for an athletics coach’s position for the 2015 World Games to be held in Los Angeles, Calif., which includes more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries. For all of his efforts, he was recently awarded the Kiwanis Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District Teacher of the Year, which included a $250 gift for Special Olympics. He was also honored earlier this year as the Tennessee Education Association’s Distinguished Educator for Higher Education

“This was an amazing opportunity for me to coach some outstanding Special Olympics athletes from across Tennessee. These athletes showed true dedication and confidence in their desire to win like no other,” Smith said. “These athletes always inspire me to be a better person but also remind me to take time to slow down and have some fun. Sometimes we get so busy with our lives we tend to forget to do that.”

Special Olympics Tennessee sent 88 Special Olympians and 32 coaches and caddies to participate in athletics, aquatics, bocce, power lifting, golf, tennis, traditional basketball, unified basketball and flag football. More than 3,500 athletes, 1,000 coaches and over 10,000 volunteers attended the National Games, which are held every four years.

Younger is Winner at Chamber Water Fun Run

Paris, Tenn.-Troy Younger, left top photo, receives his $1000 check as the winner of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce 2014 Water Fun Run from Chamber President-Elect Tony Lawrence. The event was held Saturda...y on Kentucky Lake.

Younger, a first time player, said he plans to contribute the funds to the pool that he and friends use to enjoy Kentucky Lake. He won with a four kings and an ace.

Other winners were Pam Marvin, Dyer, who received second place with four twos; and Darell Sherrill, who was third with a full house. 

Bottom photo, a row of dealers and others assisting six players during Saturday's Paris-Henry County Chamber Water Fun Run event. Volunteers included John Wamble; Tony Wheatley; Jim Perry; Jennifer Wheatley; Kevin Buie; Andrew Wheatley; Michael Puckett; and Tony Lawrence. The event requires over 50 volunteers at multiple stations on Kentucky Lake. (Chamber photos).

Sammy Goldstein Returns Home For KPAC Event

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd welcomed nationally-acclaimed Cabaret Entertainer Sammy Goldstein back home Saturday night for his performance at the Krider Performing Arts Center (KPAC) in Paris. Goldstein performed old favorites from Broadway musicals and standards. The event was a fundraiser for the Lee Academy for the Arts in Paris. (Jean Owens photo).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Country Star "Bun" Wilson Dies

Used to Perform Live on WTPR

"Bun" Wilson, kneeling, with Ernest Tubb and The Texas Troubadours.

Paris, Tenn.-Former Country Music Entertainer Billy “Bun” Wilson of Puryear died Saturday at his home in Paris. Wilson played, sang and performed comedy for years in numerous venues and was among many local artists who used to perform live from the WTPR studios when the radio station was located above the former Luckey’s Hardware on the court square in Paris.

Wilson was revered as a musical legend by some of country music’s greatest artists. He appeared on the Ernest Tubb Television Show, the Phillip Morris Show and was a regular performer at Renfro Valley in Kentucky until retirement. He also played with Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours.

He has been friends with and performed since the 1940’s with greats like Mel Tillis, Willie Nelson, Little Jimmie Dickens, Red Sovine and many, many more. Bun traveled and performed far and wide but was always a Christian man, who loved his family and a Baptist by faith. 

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at McEvoy Funeral Home with Bro. Jerry Lee officiating, burial to follow at Hazel Cemetery. Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday and after 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Serving as pallbearers are Johnny Wilson, Stuart Scott, John Rudolph, Billy Atkins, Rex Paschall and Dan Paschall. Doc Richardson, Joe Atkins and Roger Thrasher will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Survived by a son: Wayne (Emily) Wilson, Paris; sister: Marjorie McCree; brother: W.H. "Dub" (Velma Lax) Wilson, Paducah, KY; grandchildren: Allie Wilson, Trent Wilson, Madilyn Wilson, Lisa Wilson and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was born in Puryear. Preceded in death by his parents: W.H. "Bun" and Katie Venable Wilson; sisters: Lela Atkins, Edna Earl Wilson, Marie Paschall, Kitty Wilson, Rebecca Wilson, Vera Wilson; brothers: Carl Wilson, Wayne Wilson, Noble Wilson and Bernard Wilson.

Steak 'n Shake Opens Today in Paris

City and county officials and other well-wishers cut the ribbon at the new Steak n' Shake today. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The highly-anticipated opening of the new Steak ‘n Shake restaurant in Paris is now official. A large crowd of city and county officials, merchants, well-wishers--and probably more than a few hungry people--were on hand for the ribbon-cutting at the restaurant, located at 1036 Mineral Wells Ave. 

The restaurant will be open until midnight and features a full menu, including a large breakfast menu, and their signature items including steak burgers, steak franks, chili with spaghetti, salads--and of course, milk shakes in a variety of flavors. 

Paris City Manager Carl Holder welcomed the restaurant to Paris, telling the Patel family, which owns the restaurant, “This is something everyone has been looking forward to for a very long time. Everyone is certainly very happy about this and I believe you will have great success here.”

The ribbon-cutting was sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

The Patel family with congratulatory balloons at the ribbon-cutting.

CVS Pharmacy Opening Soon in Paris

Paris, Tenn.-The signs are finally up signaling that the CVS Pharmacy will soon be open in Paris. The pharmacy will be located at the intersection of Mineral Wells and Memorial Avenues where Wilson's Grocery store was situated for many years. Demolition of the old grocery reportedly will begin soon. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

"Casting For A Cure" is Huge Success At New Location

Tristan Hood Sneed of McKenzie with his string of fish. (Steve McCadams photo).

McKenzie, Tenn.-Both the weather and the fish cooperated this time around for the 14th Annual Steve McCadams “Casting For A Cure” Kids Fishing Rodeo held Saturday at McKenzie City Park lake. Initially scheduled for early June at Carroll Lake, the event fell victim to flooding conditions that ultimately destroyed the lake but not the spirits of the hosts and future fishermen.

“Thanks to help from the City of McKenzie we were able to reschedule and the little lake helped return big smiles to small faces as we battled fish and cancer at the same time,” McCadams said. “I was worried about rain and several other factors when we had to change dates and locations but everything worked out great.”

“Mayor Jill Holland and the McKenzie Parks and Recreation staff really stepped up and helped us on relatively short notice,” he said.  “I had the lake stocked with catfish a few days prior and they were really on the prowl and biting. The kids caught quite a few.” Plans are already underway for next year’s event, which will tentatively return on the first Saturday in June at McKenzie City Park. 

The facilities were great for the kids, parents and visitors. And, thanks to a few volunteers, along with the help of Michael Clark of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Lizz Gonzalez manning the concession stand on behalf of Relay for Life, we raised awareness and dollars for the American Cancer Society.

All kids received door prizes thanks to folks who donors who support the event each year. Special plaques and bicycles were awarded to the youngster catching the most and biggest fish in four separate age brackets.

Anna Summers of McKenzie caught the big fish in the 5 and under age group and Farrah Gaut of Mansfield caught the most. Taylor Waddell of McKenzie really had a great day of fishing as he caught the most and the biggest in the 6-9 age bracket. His big channel catfish tipped the scales at just over 5 pounds and was the biggest one taken at the rodeo this year

McKenzie’s Colton Higdon had the big fish in the 10-12 age group and Tristin Hood, also of McKenzie, had the most fish. In the 13-15 age group it was Bryston Diggs of McKenzie who landed the biggest and most fish.

“It took some doing but we were able to rebound from the unfortunate situation last month at Carroll Lake thanks to the help of Mayor Holland, McKenzie City Park staff, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, several volunteers and some hungry fish,” McCadams said.

“It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make this happen and I appreciate the support and patience of the kids and parents this year when we had to reschedule. And, it appears the concessions and donors combined will allow us to benefit ACS to the tune of over $3,800 this year.”

Brady Zdeb of Murfreesboro caught his "first fish ever". (McCadams photo).

Tickets On Sale for Obion County Band Fundraiser

In photo: from left are students Seth Simmons, Madison Gargus, Kayla Bell, Rachel Wisdom, Becky Strickland, Christy Litchford, Destiny Watts, Lizzy Blackburn, Jada Kreitman, Will King, Field Commander Michael Reeves, and Chris Floyd. (Obion County Central photo).

Union City, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale now for the Obion County Central High School Marching Rebel Band’s annual chicken dinner, auction and preview show on July 25.

The event will raise funds for the band expenses as well as to preview this year’s field show, “For the Love of Freedom”, which honors fallen servicemen.

Supper and auction is held from 5-7 p.m. in the commons area at the high school. Tickets are available to buy from any band member or at the door: $8 per ticket. The field show preview will be held at 7 p.m.

Organizers thank Tyson Foods for the donation of the chicken for the supper and the merchants of Obion County for their generous donations for the auction.

Bethel Junior Physician Assistant Event Draws Crowd

Paris, Tenn.-Keith Powell of Bethel University watches as Jacey Jackson, her mother Ashley Jackson and friend Macy Powell get a feel for riding in a Paris Fire Truck at Saturday’s Junior Physician Assistant Day for children. The event was crowded with children and their parents. The Paris Fire Department and Henry County EMS were on hand and participants could explore fire trucks and ambulances and perform repairs and checkups on stuffed animals and more. Bottom photo, Paris Fire Department Lt. Chris Fletcher hands out fire hats to children. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Woman Arrested For Using False Identity For Medical Treatment

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police were called to Baptist Memorial Hospital on a report that someone was using a false name in order to receive medical treatment. Hospital Officials said a woman claiming to be Karyn Hill gave her birthday and social security number that matched Hill, but the nurse said she knew it wasn’t her because the photos on the computer did not match. That’s when the nurse call the police department.

Another hospital employee said the woman’s real name was Brandy Lynn Flatt and that she had been to the hospital several times but had never used a false name and always caused trouble.

When the officer approached the woman and asked her name, she again gave the fake name. During questioning, she admitted using a fake name but said she did it because the hospital staff was always mean and rude to her. She said the other woman had given her permission to use her name, but when officers called her she said she did not and that she hadn’t even spoken to Flatt for about 10 years.

At this point, when officers read her her rights, Flatt refused to answer any questions. She was placed under arrest and charged with identify theft and transported to Obion County Hospital.

Free Summer Day Camp Registration Ongoing

Paris, Tenn.- The Every Day Summer Camp registration is ongoing. This summer camp is designed to teach children about the importance of nutrition, sleep, and exercise to their health with fun activities including exercise, games, interactive learning and handouts. 

There are only 30 spaces available for the FREE camp, geared towards elementary and middle school students, 1st grade through 8th grade. To register for the camp, call the HCMA Find Line at 731-644-3463 or online Registration for the camp will end on Friday, July 25. 

The camp will be held from Monday, July 28 - Friday, August 1 at the Atkins Porter Gym in Paris. Breakfast will be provided to the students attending the camp. Camp is from 9 a.m. -10:30 a.m. each day.

Attempted Burglary Reported in UC

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating an attempted burglary Saturday at Soleil Garden Center on Nailing Dr. 

According to the police report, two unknown subjects attempted to drill out the master lock on the Northwest gate and surveillance video shows the two subjects inside the floor of the garden center.

The video shows two white males, one with a hoodie and blue jeans and the other with a toboggan, blue jeans and white t-shirt and glasses. The subjects used a drill from the work building to attempt to drill out the lock from the inside of the fence. The drill was later found in the dumpster and retrieved.

The magnetic signs on a 2008 Chevy Silverado were taken off and the truck was entered. 

Police believe the subjects were attempting to steal the truck but were unable to get the gate open.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Camden Man Charged in Early-Morning Homicide

Camden, Tenn.-A Camden man is in custody in connection to a homicide of a 47-year-old man found on a city street in Camden early Sunday morning.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested and charged 52-year-old Eddie Lee Lewis, with the early-morning shooting death of a man whose body was found on Rowsey Street in Camden.

With the assistance of the Camden Police Department, and at the request of 24th District Attorney General Hansel McCadams, TBI Special Agents began investigating the death of the man whose identity is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

Investigators arrested the subject believed to be involved in the shooting and subsequently booked him into the Benton County Jail on a charge of Felon in Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. 

As the case develops, the possibility exists for additional charges for Laws. At the time of this release, the 52-year-old Camden man was being held without bond until his first court appearance. The motivation, relationship between the two men, and the circumstances of the incident remain under investigation. 

Crowds Flock To Historic Home Tour

Paris, Tenn.-A chance to view the homes of historic Paris drew large crowds to the 2014 Historic Home tour Saturday afternoon. Four spectacular homes with rich local histories were on the tour this year: the Thomason House at 909 Dunlap street owned now by Robert and Melony Whitfield; the J.D.C. Atkins-Neal Home at 510 Hudson St., now owned by Jim and Fiona Jackson; the W.C. Johnson home at 509 West Washington which is now owned by Alvin and Margie Shankle and a second W.C. Johnson home at 404 Dunlap Street, now owned now by Ed and Vickey Roberts. The tour was hosted by the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center and a reception was held there after the tour. Top photo, Melony and Robert Whitfield in the formal dining area of their home; bottom, a group of visitors on the grand staircase at the Jacksons’ home. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Jean Owens Wins "Best Of Show" In Refuge Photo Contest

Springville, Tenn.-Jean Owens of Paris, left, accepts the Best of Show Award from Friends of the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge President Vickie Miller during Saturday’s grand opening of the new Refuge headquarters and visitor’s center. Miller announced the winners of the 2014 Friends of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Awaits Photography Competition.

Full list of winners:

Birds: first place, Jean Owens; second and third, Laura Markham.
People Connecting With Nature: first and second, Shawna Ellis; third, Laura Markham.
Scenic: first and second, Owens; third, Markham.
Wildlife: first, second and third place, Owens.
Natures Wonders: first, Markham; second, Owens; and third, Markham.
Youth: Reed Parker, first, second and third.

The complete story on the refuge headquarters opening was published in our Saturday section. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Rockin' At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-Large crowds were rockin' Saturday night at Discovery Park of America with the appearance of Survivor, top, and Starship, bottom, as part of the park's summer concert series. Exile also performed. (Brent Hinson photos).

Pennsylvania Team Wins National High School Tourney

Paris and McKenzie, Tenn.—With tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces, the Susquehanna Valley team of Garrett Enders and Nick Osman of Pennsylvania hoisted the championship trophy into the air on the last day of the Bassmasters National High School Fishing Tournament. The competition was held at both Paris Landing and Carroll Recreational Lake.

Enders and Osman outlasted 59 of the best high school teams in the nation to take home the crown of inaugural High School Champions.

With a Day 3 weight of 7 pounds and 4 ounces they sat in second place and were in prime position to take over the lead on the final day of competition.

For their victory, Garrett Enders and Nick Osman received $4,000 -- $2,000 per angler -- in scholarship funds from B.A.S.S. They were also offered $20,000 in scholarships from Bethel University, should they choose to attend the university upon graduation.

The second place team of Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney of Benton, Ill., were undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with. The Illinois anglers were the Day 1 and 2 leaders at Kentucky Lake, before zeroing the weights and heading to Carroll County’s 1,000-acre recreational lake. Richardson and McKinney caught 37 pounds and one ounce on Kentucky Lake and had a sizeable lead before the weights were evened out.

The duo received $2,000 -- $1,000 a piece -- in scholarships from B.A.S.S., as well as $1,000 from Triton. 

The third place team of Blake Albertson and Evan Wheeler received $1,500 -- $750 a piece -- from B.A.S.S. and $1,000 from Yamaha.

Zeke Gossett and Hayden Bartee climbed from 10th to fourth to take home $1,500 in scholarships from B.A.S.S.

The fifth through 10th place teams all received $1,000 -- $500 a piece -- in B.A.S.S. scholarships. Those teams were Tyler Dunn and Matthew Shrewsbury, Rashaad Goodson and Steven Younginer, Alex Torkleson and William Valdez, Dillon King and Kody Kelly, Adrian Stafford and Matt Miller. Rounding out the top 10 was Noah Pescitelli and Thomas Zaczek.

Jack Garner received the Carhartt Big Bass bonus for the week after he brought a 7-pound 4-ounce Kentucky Lake largemouth to the scales. The angler from the Douglass Indians fishing team received a $1,250 scholarship courtesy of Carhartt.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Refuge Headquarters Opening Draws Large Crowd

Cutting the ribbon along with Refuge Manager Barron Crawford were local dignitaries and refuge personnel. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand for the long-awaited opening of the new Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge headquarters and visitor center Saturday morning. Situated directly on Kentucky Lake, the headquarters provides spectacular views from the veranda that encompasses the rear of the new building and offers state-of-the-art exhibits and environmental education for young and old.

At the ribbon-cutting, speakers included Refuge Manager Barron Crawford, Paris Mayor Sam Tharpe, Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, County Director of Schools Sam Miles, Paris Special Schools Instruction Supervisor Leah Watkins, and Paris-Henry County Chamber Official Butch Powers.

Crawford, Greer and Powers spoke about the great benefit to the county economy the refuge headquarters will be, as it will be a draw for sightseers from all over the region. 

Tharpe recognized the hard work of the late Refuge Manager John Taylor, who had the vision for the headquarters. “We need to count our blessings well,” Tharpe said.

Greer noted that tourism is one of the prime economic movers of the local community and that the new headquarters will play a prominent role in that. He also recognized Taylor’s visionary approach to the headquarters and his eternal optimism.

Miles and Watkins spoke about the partnership that has already developed between the local schools and the refuge and how that will be enhanced by the educational opportunities afforded by the new headquarters.

The headquarters is chock-full of interactive and colourful exhibits, including dioramas, an airplane-shaped exhibit which takes visitors on aerial tours, a dark sounds theater, and life-sized reproductions of animals and plants.

Visitors Saturday were treated to a wealth of activities on the back lawn of the center, including turtle races, a close-up visit with an American eagle handled by David Haggard of Reelfoot Lake State Park and much more.

The lobby of the visitor's center was busy with activities. (McFarlin photo).

Aviva Yasgur shows the competitors in the afternoon's turtle races (McFarlin photo).

Crissy Haslam To Visit Discovery Park, Reelfoot Next Week

Union City, Tenn.-Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam will be making two visits in our area on Tuesday. Haslam will be attending a Reading Book Club event at Discovery Park at 10 a.m., after which she will be making a visit to Reelfoot Lake State Park.

Haslam’s book club event will be held in the Starship Theater at Discovery Park, which is located at 830 Everett Blvd., Union City. The Reelfoot Lake State Park visit will be held shortly afterward at 11:15 a.m. Reelfoot is located at 2595 Hwy. 21E, Tiptonville.

Salvation Army Moving To New Location

Paris, Tenn.-After several years at its Washington Street location, the Paris-Henry County Salvation Army in Paris is moving to new digs at the former DMT Furniture building at 3830 Hwy. 79N.

Salvation Army officials have been working for the past couple of years to find a new location that would be more suitable for their operation.

The Salvation Army has closed the 304 W. Washington Street store and will be moving to its new location on July 28, according to a sign on the door.

DMT Furniture closed several months ago after its owner retired. The building is located next to Promise Land Book Store.

State Unemployment Increases Slightly

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for June was 6.6%, two tenths of one percentage point higher than the 6.4 May revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for June was 6.1%, down from 6.3% in May.

Economic Summary:

Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate decreased from 8.4% to 6.6% while the national rate decreased from 7.5% to 6.1%. 

Total nonfarm employment decreased 2,600 jobs from May to June. The largest decreases occurred in mining/logging/construction, government, and other services.

· Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 53,600 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation/utilities.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Large Turnout For First Day of Early Voting

Henry County Elections Commission Administrator Darrin Thompson and Deputy Clerk Delaina Green were busy all day today with early voters. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The Election Commission offices in Henry and Obion Counties were busy places today, with large numbers voting on the first day of the state-wide early voting period. The total voting in Obion County was 365 and as of 3:45 p.m., the number who had voted in Henry County was 380. Early voting runs from July 18-August 2 and both offices are open on Saturdays for early voting. Hours for the early voting period in Henry County will be: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, with the exception of extended hours on Friday, July 31, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Union City Man Among 38 Arrested in "Little Red" Operation

       Shyheim Shaquille Slayton

Dresden, Tenn.-A Union City man is among 38 people who were arrested in Weakley County this week as part of an undercover drug operation named “Little Red” by the criminal investigation division of the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department.

A special Weakley County Grand Jury indicted 37 Weakley County residents and one Obion County man this week and law enforcement began making arrests Thursday. Members of the Weakley County Sheriff's Department assisted by the the Martin Tennessee Police Department, the Gleason Tennessee Police Department, the Obion County Sheriff's Department, the Dresden Tennessee Police Department and the Greenfield Police Department made the arrests. In addition to the arrests the Sheriff's Department seized 15 cars and trucks that were used by those arrested to deliver the drugs.

According to a press release issued by the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office today, arrested from Union City was Shyheim Shaquille Slayton, age 20, charged with one count of the sale of marijuana.

As released by the sheriff’s office, others arrested so far are:

Ammie Michelle Langley age 44 of Martin Tn. 3 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics 

Buck Warson age 30 of Martin Tn 1 count of sale of sch 6 marijuana

Christina Lynn Stepp age 35 of Martin Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana

Cherie Wallace age 48 of Sharon Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Joshua Allen White age 28 of Sharon Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Connie Burton age 59 of Greenfield Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 4 narcotics and 2 counts of TnCare fraud

Aaron Ciscell age 25 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Abbie McMillen age 28 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Joshua Cain Wood age 31 of Greenfield Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Echo Jackson age 26 of Greenfield Tn 3 counts of sale of schedule 6 marijuana and 1 count of the sale of schedule 2 narcotics and 1 count of Tncare fraud

Lauren Danielle Wood age 27 of Greenfield Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Brent Edward Winstead age 33 of Greenfield Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Joanie Winstead age 30 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Dawn Kayser age 46 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Amanda Grissom age 40 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 methamphetamine

Amanda Graves age 29 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 4 narcotics

Bonnie Nicole McAlister age 27 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 meth

Kristen Nicole Hopper age 25 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 meth

Chadwick T Robinson age 29 of Greenfield tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 meth

Xavier D Williams age 27 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics and 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana

William Evans age 28 of Dresden Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana ( when Evans was arrested deputies found an additional 4 oz of marijuana in his car along with other prescription medication)

Whitney Nicole Bowlin age 31 of Dresden Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 methamphetamine in the Dresden city park 

Tanya Jo Williams age 33 of Gleason Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Steve Spears age 52 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Brad S Langley age 45 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics and 1 count of sale of schedule 4 narcotics in a school zone

Michelle Dawn Langley age 40 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Heather Suzanne Gayhart age 34 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana

Rachel N Blalock age 33 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Joshua A Burton age 29 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana

Jerry Carter age 58 of Dukedom Tn sale of schedule 2 narcotics and 1 count of Tncare fraud

In addition the city of Gleason and the city of Dresden police departments made cases based on drugs located during the arrests.

Pond Stocked And Ready For "Casting For A Cure"

Organizer Steve McCadams is shown stocking the McKenzie City Pond for the rodeo. (Photo submitted by McCadams).

McKenzie, Tenn.-Reminder: This year’s “Casting For A Cure” Kids Fishing Rodeo Saturday at McKenzie City Park pond. Over 100 catfish were stocked Thursday so the kids should have a big time, according to Organizer Steve McCadams. 

“We’ll give away lots of prizes so come rain or shine,” he said. Registration is 8-9 a.m.; Fishing for kids nine and under begins at 9- 10 a.m.; ages 10-15 fish from 10-11 a.m. Awards presented immediately thereafter. Event is FREE to kids age 15 and under and benefits American Cancer Society. 

Kids are asked to bring their own bait/tackle. Concessions (burgers/dogs/drinks) available.  

Farming The Old-Fashioned Way

Huntingdon, Tenn.-An unidentified farmer was spotted working hard in his field the old-fashioned way with an old sickle bar mower pulled by a team of two. Paris Photographer Charlie Allen captured the image during a drive around the area countryside, between Huntingdon and Bruceton.

Benton, Illinois, Team Still Leads High School Bass Tourney

The top 30 cut gathered at Paris Landing Thursday afternoon. (Bassmaster photo).

Paris, Tenn. — The team of Trevor McKinney and Dailus Richardson from Benton, Ill., are still at the top of the leader board, having taken the top spot both Day 1 and Day 2 at the Bassmaster High School Championship ongoing at Paris Landing and Carroll County Recreational Lake.

McKinney and Richardson targeted bridge pilings just outside of Paris Landing with 10-inch worms and jigs.

"Early in the morning was really slow compared to later in the afternoon,” said Dailus Richardson. “Usually after our halftime break things would pick up.”

The 15-minute halftime breaks are mandatory in high school events and many teams use that break to eat some food and game plan for what to do next.  

Even though they beat second place by over five pounds they can't use that for tomorrow. The weights have reset and now the final 30 boats are back at square one as they head to Carroll County Recreation Lake for Days 3 and 4 of competition.

Second place team is Connor Farrington and Cameron Sterritt from Exeter High in New Hampshire. Ryan Wood and Adam Deakin of Colorado are third, Jake Lee and Jacob Mashburn of Clinton, Tenn., are fourth and Rashaad Goodson and Steven Younger from South Carolina are fifth.

Carroll County Recreational Lake provides some challenges for anglers as they will fish a completely different fishery than that of Kentucky Lake. Fishing should still be just fine as the size limit is only 12 inches at Carroll County compared to the 15-inch measurements at Kentucky.  

Chairs Being Collected For "Chairs That Care" Fundraiser

Paris, Tenn. – The Caring Hearts Fund of The Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation and the Cancer Care Center of Henry County are gearing up for the third annual “Chairs That ...Care” Auction and Social. After the overwhelming success the past two years, the Cancer Care Center is asking for your help in making this year’s event one for the books.

The organizations are already collecting chairs to be donated for the event.

“Before last year’s auction, our goal was to have 100 chairs donated,” said Casey Brown, Caring Hearts Fund Liaison and Cancer Care Center employee. “We ended up meeting that goal and raising over $3,600. Due to the success, we have set this year’s goal for 125 chairs and are well on our way to meeting that goal.”

This year’s Auction and Social will be held on Saturday, August 2 at the Paris Winery, with activities starting at 5 p.m. and concluding around 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 and include a free wine tasting, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, musical entertainment, along with the silent and live auction of the donated chairs made by community members. Tickets can be purchased at the Cancer Care Center of Henry County, the HCMC Pink Petal Gift Shop and My Favorite Things.

“Chairs that Care” came about as a way to raise funds for the Caring Hearts Fund of the Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation. Local artists and supporters can create one-of-a-kind chair masterpieces to be auctioned off in the silent auction and live auction. This fund assists patients with a financial need to pay for medications, transportation, premiums and co-pays while having treatment in Henry County at either the Cancer Care Center or HCMC Outpatient Chemotherapy.

“The money brought in by this auction stays right here in Henry County,” Brown said. “To be able to help people that need a way to get to treatment or to pay for prescriptions or even to pay for co-payments or premiums so that treatment can be gotten, that is what this project is really all about.”

Individual chairs will be on display at various locations prior to the live and silent auction event as well as available for viewing on the HCMC website: and our social media sites. Completed chairs can be dropped off at the Cancer Care Center weekdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. If you are unable to paint a chair, but would like to donate a chair that can be painted by a local artist or group, you may drop those off at the Cancer Care Center as well.

For more information on how to donate a chair, please contact Casey Brown at 731-644-3522

Photo: One of the chairs that was donated at last year's event.

Paris Landing To Lead Off 2015 Collegiate Bass Tourney  

San Antonio, Texas -- The Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series announced its schedule for the 2015 season and the season will begin with a tournament at Paris Landing State Park with the Big Bash Splash.

The new schedule will consist of the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash, the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open, and the season-ending BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. And, the series will introduce a new event in the spring.

The 2015 Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series presented by BoatUS will showcase four nationally televised events on some of the nation's top fisheries. The 2015 schedule is as follows:

Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash - March 13-15, 2015 - Kentucky Lake - Paris, Tennessee 

Collegiate Bass Fishing Open - April 17-19, 2015 - Lake Chickamauga - Dayton, Tennessee 

The Texas Shootout - April 25-26, 2015 - Lake Texoma 

BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship - May 20-22, 2015 - Pickwick Lake - Florence, Alabama

"We are very excited to announce our schedule for the 2015 season, and we are very happy to add an additional event to the series," according to the President of Careco TV and Co-founder of the ACA, Wade Middleton. "Due to the fact that most of the major tournaments throughout the year take place in the east, we wanted to add an extra opportunity for college anglers in the central region. Lake Texoma is a great lake and location to host the Texas Shootout and we look forward to getting more college anglers on the water."

All of the events in the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series will be aired on national television. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Camden Man Killed in Industrial Accident

Camden, Tenn.--An industrial accident in Camden has claimed the ife of a 58-year-old man today.

Benton County Sheriff Tony King said Jack Moody of Camden was pronounced dead at the Camden General Hospital today following an industrial accident at the Jones Plastic Plant.

Moody was a maintenance worker at the plant. King said he suffered severe head trauma while working a fork life. CPR was performed by a fellow employee until the Emergency Medical Service arrived.

All employees were reportedly sent home a short time after the incident.

HC Schools Approves New Family Life Education Policy

Paris, Tenn.-By a vote of 4-1, the Henry County Schools board of education Thursday approved a new Family Life Education policy which had drawn criticism at last month’s meeting from a small contingent of private citizens.

The policy was approved on second reading. No one from the public was present at Thursday’s meeting.

Coordinated School Health Director Stephanie Winders once again reviewed with the board the background on why the new policy was proposed. She reminded the board that Henry County’s teen pregnancy rate is the 9th highest in the state.

She also said the policy was developed not by herself or her staff, but was developed by a committee made up of community members, students and parents who are members of both the Coordinated School Health advisory council and a special committee that was assigned to study Family Life Education and propose policies.

The main focus of Family Life Education curriculum will remain on abstinance, Winders said, with age-appropriate education on contraceptives.

Board Member Rod Frey asked who would be responsible for teaching the curriculum and Winders said at the K-8 level, it will be overseen by counselors and at the 9-12 level, it will be overseen by the wellness program.

She also said parents will have the option for their children to opt out and/or preview any teaching materials prior to the classes.

Voting no on the policy was Frey, with other members (Jim McCampbell, Robert Sleadd, Tom Beasley, Doug Braden) voting yes.

Thursday’s meeting was a short one and was held at the Paris Landing Inn meeting room, where district administrators are conducting annual training sessions. 

Director of Schools Sam Miles said the district budget has been presented to the county budget committee and the county commission, which will act on the county budget at its July 28 meeting.

Board Chair Beasley said it has been suggested that the board meet at each of the schools in the district during the next school year. Braden said he would agree with that and asked to hear a report from principals and perhaps even students at the meeting.

Miles said he would draw up a calendar with a list of locations for meetings for the upcoming school year and present it to the board..

In other business, Beasley said he will present information on the Director’s evaluation at the August meeting.

Store Employee Arrested on Theft, Drug Charges

                  Brandy Eigner

Paris, Tenn.-An employee of a Paris department store was charged with not only stealing from the store where she worked but with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. 

Brandy R. Eighner, 22, of Bruceton, was arrested by Paris Police and charged with theft greater than $1,000 and less than $10,000 and with possession of meth and of a glass narcotics pipe.

Paris Police were called to Burke’s Outlet on Mineral Wells Ave. on a report that an internal investigation revealed Eighner had been stealing from the store since October 2013. According to the police report, she was accused of stealing $7,650 by making fraudulent refunds and pocketing the cash.

While she was being booked into the Henry County Jail, officers found a baggy containing what is believed to be meth and the glass pipe on her person.

Eighner posted the $7,500 bond placed on her and is set to appear in Henry County General Sessions Court on Tuesday.

Two Men Arrested For Murder of Linden Woman

                 Juan Ramirez                                                      Luis Mendoza

Jackson, Tenn. – Following a joint investigation with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested two men in connection to the kidnapping and murder of a Linden woman in what was originally thought to be a case of hit-and-run.

On July 11th, at the request of 26th District Attorney General Jerry Woodall, TBI Special Agents joined THP in the investigation of the death of 25-year-old Brittany Lynn Simpson. On the night of July 10th, THP was dispatched to a possible hit-and-run, involving a pedestrian, on Highway 412 East in Darden. Authorities found Simpson in the left lane with severe injuries. A medical helicopter airlifted her from the scene, but she did not survive.

On Wednesday, investigators developed information which led them to identify Juan Carlos Ramirez, 28, and Luis Galvan Mendoza, 40, as the two men responsible for Simpson’s death. The investigation further revealed both suspects held Simpson against her will and were traveling on Highway 412 when she was either pushed or fell from Ramirez’s vehicle, a Ford F-150 truck.

Today, TBI Agents arrested Ramirez and Mendoza and charged both with one count of Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and Felony Murder. At the time of this release, they were being held in the Henderson County Jail without bond. Several additional agencies, including the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement assisted in the joint investigation, which remains ongoing.

38 Arrested in Weakley County Roundup

Dresden, Tenn.-The Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from other local agencies, rounded up 38 suspects today, all of whom were indicted Monday by a special Weakley County Grand Jury.

The sheriff’s office has given the operation the name “Operation Little Red” and it culminates a three-month investigation into people who illegally sell prescription drugs.

The investigation expanded over time to include marijuana, meth and TennCare fraud. In addition to the arrests, vehicles are also being seized. Seven vehicles had already been towed to the sheriff’s department as of Thursday morning.

Illinois Team Wins First Day of BASS High School Tourney

Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney of Benton High School display their winning catch. (Bassmasters photo).

Paris and McKenzie, Tenn. — The first Bassmasters National High School Championship is being held at Paris Landing State Park and Carroll County’s One Thousand Acre Recreational Lake this week, July 16-19.

The local hosts for the event are Paris-Henry County Alliance, Carroll County, Northwest Tennessee Tourism and Bethel University. Overall sponsor for the event is Carhartt, America’s premium work wear brand since 1889 and a long-time BASS partner.

 The inaugural Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Carhartt will bring 58 teams to Paris Landing, where 116 anglers will have the chance to fish Kentucky Lake and Carroll County 1,000-acre Recreational Lake in hopes of earning a national championship title.

“We’re very excited to have B.A.S.S. here,” according to Garry Mason, head coach of Bethel University’s bass fishing team and the executive director of Northwest Tennessee Tourism. “We’re going to see some really nice fish next week, and all of our high school anglers are looking forward to it.”

With nothing to lose at the halfway point of Day 1, Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney of Benton High School in Illinois changed up their game plan and altered their strategy. Not only did it pay off, but it also vaulted them into the lead with 20 pounds and 14 ounces.

Even though the Benton High School team lives in Illinois and doesn’t have access to ledge lakes like Kentucky Lake, it didn’t stop them from making the drive south to put in some hard work on this body of water.

Timing is crucial on Tennessee River lakes, and that was no different for the leaders as the pieces fell into place. They made moves and changed throughout the day. But duplicating success from one day to another goes hand in hand with timing your spots correctly.

Top 29 teams will fish Friday, and the remaining Top 10 teams will compete the final day. Weigh-ins Friday and Saturday will be held at Bethel University.

In addition to a championship title, competitors in the High School B.A.S.S. Nation program are also eligible for more than $93,500 in scholarship awards in 2014. A total of $27,250 was awarded at the Bassmaster High School Open held on Douglas Lake in June, and even more is being offered at the championship.

Competitors in the Bassmaster High School Championship are eligible to win $66,250 in scholarship funds. B.A.S.S. is contributing $17,000 and sponsors are providing $9,250, while the remaining $40,000 will be awarded by Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn.

Bethel will offer scholarships to the highest-finishing junior or senior team at the championship. Each of the two anglers will receive $5,000 per year if they enroll at Bethel.

“Bethel is the first college in America to award scholarships for collegiate bass fishing,” Mason said. “We’re excited to offer a chance for high school anglers to attend Bethel University and be a part of our bass fishing program.”

Five additional scholarships will be awarded at the championship. Yamaha will present a $1,000 scholarship to the second-place finisher, and Triton will provide a $1,000 scholarship to the third-place finisher. Carhartt offers a $1,250 scholarship to the angler weighing in the Carhartt Big Bass of the tournament. The Mudhole Heavyweight Award of $500 each will be presented to the team that brings in the heaviest bag. Costa Del Mar is also offering a Bright Future Award of $5,000 based on GPA, extracurricular activities and a personal essay.

McKenzie Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash

Carroll County, Tenn.-- A McKenzie man is dead and his passenger was injured in a motorcycle crash Wednesday night, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Richard Heath, 51, of McKenzie was killed around 8 p.m. two miles south of McKenzie, after he lost control of the motorcycle on Winston Road and hit a tree, according to the police report.

Passenger Lisa Moss, 51, also of McKenzie, was hurt in the crash. The extent of her injuries is unknown at this time. 

According to the report, both Heath and Moss were wearing helmets. 

Boyd's To Open Store in McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn.-Two businesses that already are in Paris will be opening locations in McKenzie: Boyd’s and Casey’s General Store.

McKenzie Councilman Billy Barksdale announced that Boyd’s of Paris has purc...hased the former Rural King building on Highland Avenue and will be opening its third retail store there. Boyd’s already has general merchandise stores in Paris in the Kroger shopping center and in Cottage Grove.

Barksdale said at the most recent meeting of the McKenzie Mayor and Council that Boyd’s will need to repair flood damage caused to the Rural King building in June before any store can be opened there. The possible purchase of the Rural King building, which is owned by the Wal Mart corp. by Boyd’s has been in the works for some time.

Casey’s General Store has purchased real estate at the intersection of Forrest Ave. and U.S. 79. Casey’s already has opened a location on Mineral Wells Ave in Paris and is constructing a new store in Bruceton.

According to The McKenzie Banner, however, construction of a third new business in McKenzie has apparently stalled for an unknown reason. Construction of a new Family Dollar Store in the city has made no progress since the concrete floors were poured over two months ago. Mayor Jill Holland told The Banner that calls to Family Dollar headquarters have not been returned.

Junior Physician Assistant Day For Children is Set

Paris, Tenn.- The Bethel University Physician Assistant Program will hold a Junior Physician Assistant Day for children age two to 10 on Saturday morning, July 19,  at the Bethel Physician Assistant Building across from HCMC. Ticket sales have been extended to Friday. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.

It’s designed as a fun event for children, with participants set to perform checkups and repairs on stuffed animals, explore an ambulance and fire truck, get their very own stethoscope and much more.

Admission is $10 per child and tickets are available for purchase at the Bethel University bookstore or the Paris - Henry County Chamber of Commerce. Tickets will also be available for purchase on the day of the event.

Coca Cola Plant Restoration Is Meeting Topic

Paducah, Ky.-Paducah developers Ed and Meagan Musselman will make a presentation about restorations to the historic Coca Cola bottling plant building and give a tour of the facility at the quarterly meeting of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society in Paducah. 

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. 

The meeting begins 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 19, in meeting room A in the conference center, first floor of Doctor’s Building 2, Baptist Health, Paducah. The tour follows immediately after the meeting and presentation. Members of the public are welcome. There is no charge for attendance. 

The Musselmans purchased the Coke Plant at 3141 Broadway in early 2013 and succeeded in getting the building on the National Register of Historic Places by August. Since then, they have worked with restoration specialists and local contractors to return the classic art deco structure to its original elegance. The work continues, and the young couple is currently negotiating with prospective tenants. One possibility is a restaurant located in the downstairs area that once housed the production line. The unique terrazzo floor there has been repaired and refinished. There are also several office suites in the front, under the iconic dome. 

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. 

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 or online at 

UT Martin to Host 4-H Roundup

Martin, Tenn. – For the 91st year, 4-H members from across Tennessee are gathering for the State 4-H Roundup and All Star Conference at the UT Martin campus. The annual event, which takes place July 21-25, recognizes the outstanding project work and leadership accomplishments of senior high 4-H members. 

Approximately 300 high school age 4-Hers from across Tennessee will meet for several days on the campus. The 4-Hers have completed local projects in areas such as communication and public speaking, livestock, computers and technology and photography and will now compete for statewide awards that include college scholarships and trips to the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta. The theme for this meeting and for all 4-H programs in 2014 is “Tennessee 4-H: Geared for Greatness.”

“Teens from all over Tennessee will come together, compete in their project areas, learn life skills such as leadership and citizenship, make lifelong friends and have a great time,” according to Lori Gallimore, UT Extension Specialist in 4-H Youth Development. “Roundup is one of the highlights for our 4-H program. Delegates who attend have spent years of work in their respective project areas.” 

In addition to project competitions, delegates will participate in a number of activities, including the 4-H All Star Conference, Vol State Ceremony, the election of the 2015 State Council officers and a service-learning project.

Delegates to the 2014 Tennessee 4-H Roundup and All Star Conference will work with Nashville-based Operation Troop Aid as their service project. OTA’s mission is to provide care packages for deployed U.S. service members with the revenue generated through professional concert promotions and public financial generosity. Roundup participants already organized fundraising events in their counties and will assemble the care packages for shipping while they are at UT Martin.

Drop Box For Prescriptions Set Up At Martin PD

Martin, Tenn.-Cleaning out the medicine cabinet just got safer with the installation of a secure drop box for your expired, unused, or unwanted prescription medicines at the Martin Police Department located at 101 University St.

Throwing prescription drugs in the trash or down the sink represents a hazard to the community. If not properly handled, t...he drugs can be abused by teens or adults, or they can pollute the environment.

“This container gives residents an easy, safe and anonymous way to throw out old prescriptions,” said Martin Police Chief David Moore.

All of the medications collected from this program are destroyed by incineration at the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department.

Allowed for Disposal
All expired, unused or unwanted controlled, non-controlled, and over the counter medications.

Needles (sharps), thermometers, inhalers, aerosol cans, medication from businesses or clinics, liquids.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Early Voting Begins Friday

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-A reminder for voters: The early voting period for the August 7 general election will begin this Friday. The early voting period runs from July 18 through August 2.

Ballots in our area will be jam-packed for the general election, with the following candidates on ballots: County Mayor, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Clerk, Trustee, Register of Deeds, Circuit Court Judge, Chancery Judge, Attorney General, Public Defender, County Commissioners, Road Board Commissioners, Constables, County and Local School Board members.

Obion County Director of Elections is Leigh Schlager and the office number is 731-885-1901. Henry County Director of Elections is Darrin Thompson and the number at that office is 731-642-0411.

Hours for the early voting period in Henry County will be: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, with the exception of extended hours on Friday, July 31, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Early voting hours in Obion County will be: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon.

PSSD Approves Health Coverage

Mike Ankrum of Five Points Benefits presents health coverage information to the school board. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At a lengthy and busy session of the Paris Special Schools Board of Education, the board voted unanimously to offer to its employees the Limited PPO with gap coverage as presented by Five Points Benefits of Franklin. Director of Schools Mike Brown said employees also would have the option to purchase more insurance or use a different plan.

The plan was recommended to the board by the district’s salary/benefits committee and board action followed a presentation by Mike Ankrum of Five Points.

Ankrum said the Limited PPO would help with school district’s budget needs and provide significant savings. The downside is that it means higher out-of-pocket costs and his company will be providing in-service for employees so that they understand the plan, which would be effective in January of 2015. 

Brown said, “We’re like every school system in the state. We’re trying to do the best we can and provide the best we can for our employees. And we’re trying to do it in a way that won’t break us. We also want to keep our employees at the same level of coverage or better than they have now. We are going to have to do a good job of educating our employees on the health coverage, but I feel this is an opportunity to elevate a lot of our employees up more than they have now.”

The board also reviewed highlights from the budget that will be presented at the August meeting. Brown noted at the last meeting the district will have to wait for the county commission to approve the county budget at the end of July before it can calculate the district budget and the new health care costs will be calculated into the budget, too.

Brown did say that the district’s certified teachers will be receiving $250 bonus.

In other business:

--Brown reported that there were 13 cases of bullying last school year . He said the state requires that a report on bullying in the district be presented to the board. Two of the cases involved bullying involving race and one involved gender discrimination.

--The board approved a change for the Rhea cafeteria to offer versus served which Brown said  hopefully will reduce food waste. Under that method, students can make their own food choices in vegetable, meat, bread and fruit categories.

PSSD Registration, Parent Night Info Released

Paris, Tenn.-Registration for students new to the Paris Special School District will be held from 8-11 a.m. August 1 in each building in the district.

Returning students will be receiving phone calls from their teachers between July 28-31 with registration information.

Parent Nights have been set for the PSSD: Rhea School grades first and second will be held from 5-6 p.m. August 4 and for kindergartners from 8-9 a.m. the same day. PES Parent Night will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. August 4 and Inman will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. August 5.

Civil War Singers to Perform at Dover Hotel

Dover, Tenn.-The Dover Civil War Singers will be performing the music of Stephen Foster at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Dover Hotel along the Cumberland River. The Dover Hotel is tour route stop #10 on the driving tour at Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

The concert is free. Please bring a chair or blanket.

TARP Fundraiser is Set For Saturday

Paris, Tenn.- The 24th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act will be celebrated with a fundraiser for the local TARP Center for Independent Living Saturday, July 19. The fundr...aiser will be held at 11 a.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds and will include games, bingo, cakewalks, car show, motorcycle ride, vendor booths and more both inside and outside the Commercial Building.

A big part of the event will be the T.A.R.P. Motocycle/Car Ride and show Freedom Ride. The ride is set to begin and end at the fairgrounds. Registration will be at 8 am, with the ride at 9 am.

There is a $10 entry fee for ride and show, $10 per extra rider and fees include coffee and donuts at registration and lunch. Trophies will be presented for best of show motorcycle and best of show car. Call T.A.R.P for more information at 644-0026. TARP is located at 1027 Mineral Wells Ave.

LBL To Host Primitive Wrangler Rodeo

Golden Pond, Ky. – Wrangler’s Compound at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will host the 18th Annual Primitive Rodeo, Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19. The rodeo is open to the publ...ic.

Admission is $10 ages 12 and up and $5 ages 11 and under. Wranglers’ staff recommends people bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating. Coolers are prohibited; food vendors will be available. In addition, camping at Wranglers will be half-price on Friday and Saturday.
Championship Productions Rodeo from Monticello, Arkansas, brings the rodeo to visitors at Land Between The Lakes.

New this year will be the Rawhide & Dusty Show, entertaining the crowd with trick roping and whip popping. “This is an opportunity to see something a little different,” says Randall Mitchell, Manager at Wranglers. “The rodeo provides a great family friendly event with activities for the kids. For $10 visitors can have their picture taken with ‘Winchester,’ the gentle Brahma Bull, to remember this fun event and support his retirement.”

Events include Jr. Barrel Racing, Bareback Riding, Break-Away Roping, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Barrel Racing, and Bull Riding.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lavinia Man Dies in Fatal Crash at Fulton

Fulton, Ky.- A 20-year-old Lavinia, Tennessee, man was killed and a Wingo couple was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center this morning following a two-vehicle crash near Fulton. 

According to the press release from the Kentucky State Police, Matthew G. Morris was ejected from his vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene by the Fulton County Coroner’s Office.

The accident occurred approximately 1 mile north of Fulton on US 45. 

Preliminary investigation shows Morris, operating a 2000 Chevrolet S10 pickup traveling south on US 45. For an unknown reason, Morris traveled across the opposite lane of travel, running off the roadway. 

Morris attempted to regain control of his vehicle and cross back into his lane, however, he overcorrected and became sideways in the roadway. Morris was struck by a 2011 Kia van driven by Clarence M. Ramsey, 87 of Wingo, who was traveling north on US 45. Mary F. Ramsey was a passenger in the van, driven by her husband. 

Morris was ejected during the collision and pronounced dead on the scene by the Fulton County Coroner’s Office. The Ramseys were airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. It is believed that all occupants were wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision, according to the press release.

Kentucky State Police was assisted on the scene by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Fulton City Police Department, Hickman County Sheriff’s Department, Tri City Ambulance Service, Fulton City Fire Department, Fulton County Coroner’s Office, Air Evac, KSP Collision Reconstructionist SGT Joey Adams and KSP Collision Reconstructionist Trooper Jody Cash. Trooper Cash is continuing his investigation into the collision.

Ribbon-cutting, Grand Opening Set For Steak 'N Shake

Paris, Tenn.-The time is almost upon us!

The ribbon-cutting and grand opening for the new Steak 'n Shake in Paris is set for 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 21. The Steak 'n Shake is located at 1036 Mineral Wells Ave. The ribbon-cutting is sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

State Approves New Cabins For Reelfoot State Park

Tiptonville, Tenn. —Thanks to approval of design plans by the State Building Commission, Reelfoot Lake State Park is going to have indoor lodging again, possibly by late 2015.

The State Building Commission has approved design plans for eight or nine new cabins for Reelfoot State Park, which will be built on a narrow strip of land between the lake and Tennessee Hwy. 21. The site is at the southern edge of the lake on both sides of the old spillway, which is still being used while state officials wrangle over when and how to begin using the new spillway.

The park itself has had no lodging other than camping for over a year. The Airpark Inn was  heavily damaged by fire in 2008 and closed. And there have been no cabins at the lake since they were closed last year.

The new cabins will be built using a pre-cast concrete system made to look like rustic log cabins.

The Airpark Inn and the existing cabins will be torn down, although the schedule for that has not been set.

The new lodging was originally approved and funded at nearly $4.2 million in 2009.

Bond For Biggs Is Denied Again

Smith Tire Barn Arson Defendants Plead Not Guilty

Paris, Tenn.-At a hearing in Henry County Circuit Court Monday, bond for Guy Biggs was again denied and he is still being held in the Henry County Jail on criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder, false reporting and violation of probation.

Biggs, who now lists his address as Hollow Rock, was indicted by the Henry County Grand Jury last week. He and his wife, Joyce Biggs, who then lived on Swan Bay, Buchanan, were charged with luring an ex-boyfriend of hers to their home with the intent of killing him in April. After the incident they reported to the sheriff's office that the victim had shot Guy Biggs.

Joyce Biggs was arrested along with her husband, but was not indicted.

At Monday's hearing, Biggs pleaded not guilty and sought release on bond. Judge Donald Parish denied his motion and ordered him still held without bond.

Biggs' next hearing is August 15.

In other hearings on Monday:

--The four people indicted in the Smith Tire Barn arson all pleaded not guilty and their next hearing also will be held August 15.

Four people, including the owner, arrested in the arson at the Smith Tire Barn, 3940 Hwy. 79N in February, were indicted. William Tomlin was charged with arson, while Owner Joseph Smith, Michael Wayne Allred and Diane Tomlin were charged with criminal responsibility for the conduct of another. 

All four, all of whom are from Paris, were initially charged with arson by the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, but the charges against Smith, Allred and Diane Tomlin were reduced before being presented to the grand jury.

The business was destroyed by the blaze, as were several storage units owned by TRW located adjacent to Smith Tire Barn, along with the contents of the storage units.

 --Markia Deonte Patton also pleaded not guilty and his next hearing will be August 15. Patton was indicted for aggravated assault for his part in the Ogburn Park shootings in April. He also was charged with two counts of selling controlled substances. Initially, another man also was arrested in the shootings, but he later turned out to be a victim of shooting himself. In all three people suffered gunshot wounds during the drive-by shooting.


No Tax Increase in Proposed HC Budget

Paris, Tenn.-As previously discussed by the Henry County Commission, countians will not be asked for a property tax increase for Fiscal 2015, but the budget also does not include a cost of living increase for employees.

The proposed Fiscal 2015 Budget was reviewed by the commissioners at a special meeting Monday night and now will be acted upon by the panel at its regular meeting Monday, July 28. The regular meeting is set for 7 p.m., with a public hearing on the budget set for 6:30.

Meeting earlier in the evening, the county’s budget committee had voted to present the budget to the full commission. 

County Budget Director Pat Hollingsworth said total general fund expenses total $11,530,555, with the current property tax rate of $2.197 to be continued.

Hollingsworth said, “We will have the same tax rate of $2.197, but we took two cents from the general fund and gave it to solid waste. The solid waste fund balance was low enough that we needed to do something.”

County Mayor Brent Greer told commissioners that one area of concern while reviewing the budget this year was the huge decrease in liquor tax sales, now that other surrounding communities also are selling beer and liquor. That is a concern that has been voiced by Paris officials and other county entities.

JoAnn Speer Named OC Chamber President

Union City, Tenn.-JoAnn Speer has been named the new Obion County Chamber President and is reminding the public of Chamber events and the “Try A Chamber Member First” theme for the coming year.

“We have heard the theme ‘Shop local, Buy local‘, let's take it one step further,” Speer said. "Try a Chamber Member First!" is the theme being employed by the Obion County Chamber, she said. “Please save the membership directory and the next time you need a business service, go ahead, and call a Chamber Member first. You will receive quality service and your dollars will be spent locally.”

Speer thanked Outgoing President Todd Petty, Chamber board members and Chamber staff, Lindsay Frilling and Katie Keathley “who work tirelessly to make Obion County welcoming and interconnected. We have assembled another great team and are looking forward to an exciting new year,” she said.

The Obion County Chamber of Commerce is “dedicated to the success of the business community by promoting new companies establishing their presence in our county as well as those that have been doing business in Obion County for many years,” she said. “We encourage our residents, company owners and employees to shop, dine and buy local and support the local businesses. They will return the support to Obion County through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.”

Regular Chamber events include:

* Business Matters - the 3rd Tuesday of every month

* Business After Hours - typically 2 to 3 times a year

* Annual Banquet in the fall

* Obion County Cruise-In September 13th, downtown First St.

* "Breakfast with the President"-quarterly for new chamber members

* Ribbon Cuttings

* Annual Golf Tournament in spring

You can contact the Chamber by calling 731-885-0211.

"Swamp People" Personality to Appear at OC Fundraiser

Troy, Tenn.-The Obion County Quarterback Club will be hosting a fundraiser for the Obion County High School football team Saturday night that will feature one of the personalities from ...the television show “Swamp People”.

Troy Landry, popular for his phrase “Choot Em”, will be the special guest at the fundraiser, set for 6 p.m. at Obion County Central High School. Doors will open at 4 p.m.

Landry is called the “King of the Swamp” and is the star of the show, which highlights the 30-day alligator hunting season in Louisiana.

Rebel Football Coach Kevin Goltra said Landry’s appearance in Troy will help fund improvements at the school fieldhouse.

Tickets for the Quarterback Club fundraiser are still available at First Citizens in Troy for $25 each, with a few remaining meet-and-greet tickets with Landry, set at $50 at Commercial Bank in Union City.

HC Road Board Reviews Quit Claim Procedures

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Attorney Rob Whitfield III was on hand at Monday night’s meeting of the Henry County Road Board to review with members a proposal to require that surveyors’ input be sought in drawing up quit claims.

The proposal had been discussed by Whitfield and the Henry County Commissioners at a previous commission meeting. 

He reiterated to the road board that if surveyors draw up the boundaries the quit claim would have more legal standing.

Road Supervisor Ray Norwood and board members did not agree that surveyors should always be required and suggested that surveys should only be used when deemed necessary by the parties.

The road board approved a 30-day work plan that includes: widening curve at Herrondale West; ditching at Cay Lawrence Rd.; extending culvert on Vale Rd.; install gates at Holly Ford Bottom; cutting roots in Cowpath Rd.; ditching at Clendenin corner on Clifty Rd.; working on ditch on Clifty Village area; fix hole in bridge on Gilkey Rd.; fixing washed out spot on Pig Lane; cleaning ditch at Wilson Parker Rd.; and fixing ditch on Dortch Lane.

Free Pool Party For Summer Reading Program

Paris, Tenn.-The finale for the Summer Reading Program for W.G. Rhea Library will be a pool party for all program participants and their immediate family from 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 18 at Eiffel Tower Park Pool in Paris.

The party is free, with pizza and drinks provided. Bring a towel and sunscreen. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Paris Quota Collecting Items For Veterans

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Quota Club’s Veterans Committee is collecting items that will be donated to the Veterans’ Home in Humboldt. Items needed are winter knit hats; winter new or used jackets for both men and women (all sizes).  Sweat suits – especially sweat pants; veterans organizations hats (VFW, American Legion, Am-Vets or any military branch, such as Army, Navy, etc); new or used CDs and new or used CD players; hummingbird feeders, bird feeders or bird seed; snacks such as Vienna Sausage, hot chocolate packets, snack cracker packets, candy bars, microwave popcorn, etc); toiletry items for 30-35 women residents at the Veterans Home.  Donations will be delivered to the home the week before Thanksgiving.

At last week’s meeting, Pat Bailey announced that the cookbooks are being printed now and will be available soon for $10 each.  The club is planning a tasting tea when cookbooks are available; with members of the Board serving as the committee.  A time and place for the tea will be announced at a later date.

July 29th will be the date of the birthday party for the residents of Henry County Nursing Home and anyone willing to help needs to contact Jane Sinnema.  The party will be from 10am – noon and will consist of Bingo and refreshments.

Final Summer Orientation Set For UT Martin

Martin, Tenn. — The final Summer Orientation and Registration program for incoming University of Tennessee at Martin freshmen is set for July 18. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Boling University Center, followed by a welcome at 8:30 and informational sessions at 9. 

Students must have applied for admission and received a tentative or final acceptance letter to attend SOAR. Advance SOAR registration is required. 

During SOAR, students meet with academic advisers and register for classes; tour the campus, residence halls and University Village; receive information about student activities, housing and financial aid; and hear detailed information about First-Year Initiative, an orientation for freshmen the week before classes. Students should attend both SOAR and First-Year Initiative before fall semester, which begins Aug. 25.

Informational sessions for students and parents cover student health services, public safety, the bookstore, student employment and other topics. Additional concurrent sessions cover student activities, Greek life, housing and meal plans. Administrative offices will be open, and students and parents will have additional time to visit with housing, admissions and financial aid staff members.

For more information, call the Office of Admissions toll free at 1-800-829-UTM1 or 731-881-7027. Online registration is also available at

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lightning Strike Knocks Out Power in Henry County

Paris, Tenn.-Thanks to a lightning strike, power to the entire industrial substation behind Wal-Mart in Paris was knocked out, which also took out power to Wal-Mart and Henry County Medical Center, as well as along Mineral Wells Avenue, Hwy. 641S, and 69S.

Paris Board of Public Utilities Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley said as of 3:45 p.m., power had been restored to those locations. Henry County Medical Center has a back-up generator that restored its power even earlier.

However, crews are still assessing damage to the breaker that also is out on East Antioch Rd., which has knocked out power to the lake area, Wimberley said.

Sunset Over Reelfoot Lake

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Sunset at Reelfoot Lake this weekend, taken from the bank of the lake on the Samberg side. Reelfoot Lake State Park holds Sunset Canoe Trips every weekend on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:30-9 p.m. The park also hosts pontoon rides through Reelfoot Lake once a month. Call the Visitor Center 731-253-9652 for more information. (Reelfoot Lake State Park photo).

Volkswagen To Expand Chattanooga Facility
Invest $600 Million, Create 2,000 New Jobs 

Chattanooga, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Volkswagen Group of America officials announced today the company will expand its sole U.S. manufacturing facility in Chattanooga. 

Volkswagen will add an additional manufacturing line and create the National Research & Development and Planning Center of Volkswagen Group of America. Volkswagen’s total global investment for the expansion will be $900 million, with $600 million invested in Tennessee and 2,000 new jobs being created in Hamilton County.

"Today is an exciting day not just for Chattanooga and Hamilton County but for all of Tennessee, and I want to thank Volkswagen for its significant long-term investment in our state,” Haslam said. “The impact of this announcement goes far beyond the 2,000 new jobs because of the large multiplier effect of the automotive industry, and adding an additional manufacturing line and the National Research & Development and Planning Center sends a clear signal that Tennessee can compete with anyone in the global marketplace.”

The expanded plant in the Enterprise South Industrial Park will manufacture a new automotive line, a midsize SUV for the American market. Production of the new SUV will begin in the fourth quarter of 2016 with the first vehicle expected to roll off the new assembly line by the end of 2016. The expansion will also create the National Research & Development and Planning Center of the Volkswagen Group of America. 

“The United States of America is and will remain one of the most important markets of Volkswagen. Over the past few years, we have achieved a lot here. We are now launching the second phase of the Volkswagen campaign in the USA. With the midsize SUV, the expansion of the Chattanooga plant and the new development center, we are focusing on the wishes of US customers,” Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in Wolfsburg said. “This is also a strong signal for the USA as an industrial and automobile production location. The Volkswagen brand is going on the attack again in America.” 

“I deeply appreciate Volkswagen’s significant long-term commitment to the hometown and state that I love,” U. S. Senator Bob Corker said. “I am grateful for Governor Haslam’s steady leadership, for our mayors, our great community leaders and the workers at the Chattanooga plant, whose commitment to excellence helped pave the way for today’s announcement. Finally, I am thankful to be able to help see this through to today’s conclusion.”

The state of Tennessee is providing a $165.8 million grant for costs associated with site development and preparation, infrastructure, production equipment acquisition and installation, and facility construction. In addition, the state will provide a $12 million grant for training new employees. As part of the incentive package, Volkswagen Group of America has agreed to waive its right to claim certain statutorily available tax credits directly related to the expansion.

Volkswagen Chattanooga currently employs 2,500 people. Hiring for new production positions will occur closer to the launch of the new product. The details of that application and assessment process will be announced at that time. 

Immediate needs will center around professional candidates with skills in areas such as purchasing, logistics, engineering, and human resources to begin the preparations for the parts, equipment and people needed to produce the new product line. Interested candidates can search and apply for open positions online at or on major online sites such as LinkedIn and CareerBuilder.

Over 200 Compete in First Paris Landing Spring Tri

Buchanan, Tenn.-Over 200 participants from all over the state gathered at Paris Landing State Park for the first-eve Paris Sprint Tri on Saturday morning, top photo. The event consisted of a 500 meter swim, 14 mile bike ride and three mile run sponsored by the Henry County Tourism Authority, Henry County Alliance, Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Bone and Joint Specialists and Tennessee State Parks. Bottom photo, Chamber President Chip Anderson, left, participated as a member of a relay team with son Craig. (Chamber photos).

Bone Marrow Drive This Week

Paris, Tenn.-Family members and friends of local people affected with blood cancers have come together to host a bone marrow drive this week. The public will have three opportunities to donate bone marrow this week, thanks to Henry County Medical Center, McKenzie Medical Center and

The drive will be held July 16-17 and organizers are encouraging everyone to place themselves on the registry as potential donors. The procedure involves a simple and painless cheek swab. Two Paris residents, Mike Shankle and Tom Papszykci were diagnosed with forms of blood cancer in 2013 and are in need of bone marrow transplants, as are many other area residents.

The first opportunity will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday July 16  at the McKenzie Medical Center at 205 Hospital Drive in McKenzie.

There will be two opportunities on Thursday, July 17. The first is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Henry County Medical Center Atrium. The second will be from 4-8 p.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds and will be held along with a Carmack’s Fish Barn Benefit Fish Fry.

Tickets for the fish fry can be purchased at Medical Center gift shop, Arrowhead Home Sales or at Commercial Bank on Mineral Wells. Plates will sell for $10 with proceeds benefiting delete blood

Healthy people between the ages of 18 and 55 who meet the requirements are eligible to register. For more information visit 

South Fulton Man Charged With Aggravated Assault

Union City, Tenn.-A South Fulton man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after witnesses saw him drag a woman by the hair in Graham Park in Union City. Arrested was Richard Turnbow of 8157 Wolf Creek Rd., South Fulton, who also reportedly tried to strangle the victim as well as threatened her with a box cutter.

The incident occurred Saturday and a passerby saw Turnbow dragging the victim by her hair toward a vehicle. She freed herself and the passerby picked her up and took her to the police station.

The victim told officers that Turnbow was her boyfriend and he became agitated, threatening to kill her with the box cutter during the dispute. While officers were taking statements from the victim and two witnesses, Turnbow drove to the police station parking lot where he was arrested.

Chamber To Learn About Upcoming Election

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County Director of Elections Leigh Schlager will speak on the upcoming general election at “Business Matters” , sponsored by the Obion County Chamber of Commerce, Tuesday morning.

The event will be held from 7:45-9 a.m. at the Obion County Library.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Overwhelming Support Showed For Jeff Hamlin

The Paris Fire Department and county emergency personnel march into the funeral for Jeff Hamlin, along with Bagpiper Dennis Dudley of Jackson. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-An overwhelming display of support was shown today for Assistant Paris Fire Chief Jeff Hamlin, who was killed in an accident Thursday night at the age of 49. Hamlin had worked as a local firefighter since 1989.

Hundreds packed into the Paris Convention Center today for the viewing and funeral for Hamlin. All of the fire departments in Henry County were represented, the Humboldt and Shelby County Fire Chiefs were in attendance, as were fire personnel from other counties, including the city of Murray, Kentucky.

Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams was joined by former Paris Fire Chief Don Cox at the head of the march into the funeral by the fire and local emergency department personnel. Bagpipper Dennis Dudley of Jackson played “Amazing Grace”. Dudley is with the U.S. Army Pipes and Drums.

Additionally, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Henry County EMS, Paris Police and Tennessee Highway Patrol were represented at the funeral.

An emotional Captain Barry Farmer of the Paris Fire Department spoke at the funeral service, which ended with a long cortege of vehicles traveling together to Bethlehem Cemetery in Henry.

Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams, left, and former Chief Don Cox share a contemplative moment before the march into the funeral. (McFarlin photo).

Springville Home Destroyed By Fire

Springville, Tenn.-An uninhabited home was destroyed by fire early this morning in the Springville area. 

Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department Chief Reggie Coles said the department was dispatched at 1 a.m. today to the structure fire at 4415 E. Antioch Rd. 

“Arriving units found an empty house fully engulfed in flames and could not be saved,” he said. “The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.“

Damage is estimated at $10,000.00. The department sent six trucks and 14 firefighters, who were on the scene for two hours. 

With MSU Partnership, Learning Center Opens in Fulton County

Fulton County, Ky. — Free public access to computers with broadband Internet service just became a reality in Fulton County, Ky. Two West Kentucky Broadband eLearning Centers — one at the Fulton County Public Library in Fulton and one at the National Guard Armory in Hickman — opened June 17 after much planning and anticipation. 

Additional sites are in the works for the other river counties of Ballard, Carlisle and Hickman. The eLearning Centers allow residents to take advantage of all the benefits that come with broadband access. Eventually, centers will offer classes on topics ranging from basic computer use to job skills training. The Fulton site has 15 computers and is open during normal library hours. The Hickman site houses nine computers and is open as community interest dictates.

The project is a partnership between Murray State University, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Commonwealth Office of Broadband Outreach and Development (OBOD). MSU’s office of regional outreach and office of telecommunication systems management were asked to serve as the contractors for the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the three partners facilitating the resources to aid in the implementation of the broadband plans. Human resource management, regional relationship building, site setup, administrative support and technical advising will be provided through the duration of the grant, with the intent that the communities will take over running the sites at the end of 2014.

According to the OBOD website, Gov. Steve Beshear established the OBOD and the Broadband KY initiative in 2010 to “identify areas across the state that are un-served and underserved by affordable broadband service. Broadband KY facilitates greater understanding and partnerships to take the steps necessary to provide all Kentuckians with these critical capabilities.”

Getting the centers up and running required major organizational effort from all partners — from sorting out the details of the MOA and funding to the logistics of finding sites to house the computers and furniture. Positive results are quickly becoming apparent as was demonstrated at the Fulton County Public Library center grand opening. One community member in attendance successfully completed an online job application within 15 minutes.

“Very rarely do you see instant gratification of hard work and partnerships, but that is exactly what we experienced in Fulton County today. We look forward to seeing the impact of all the centers in the four river counties,” Gina Winchester, executive director of regional outreach, said.

For more information on the eLearning centers, contact the office of regional outreach at 270.809.5088.

Veterans' Job Fair Set For Stewart, Houston, Humphries Counties

Erin, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs (TDVA) is partnering with more than 40 federal, state, local public and private partners to ensure Veterans, dependents and surviving family members in Houston, Humphreys and Stewart Counties get access to employment opportunities, educational resources, mental health and substance abuse services, business resources and claims assistance. 

A job fair will be held in Erin City Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, July 18.

Representatives from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as well as Bethel University, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Daymar Institute, North Central Institute, and New Horizons Computer Learning Centers will participate in the Veterans Outreach Event and Job Fair.

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security will participate to offer Commercial Driving Certification for qualified Veterans as well as recruit Veterans for open positions. Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, Tennessee Department of Human Resources and Tennessee Department of Military will also recruit Veterans. 

Partners also include Veteran supporters Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville), Senator Jim Summerville (R-Dickson), Representative John C. Tidwell (D-New Johnsonville) and Representative Tim Wirgau (R-Buchanan).

Veterans will need to present a copy of their DD-214 and any other service related documents to assist with filing claims for federal benefits. 

Booth Space Available at 2014 Henry County Fair

Paris, Tenn.-Any businesses or groups interested in having booth space in the Commercial Building for the upcoming Henry County Fair is asked to contact Larry Ray at the Henry County Fairgrounds at 642-1833.

The 2014 Fair is set for August 4-9. Ray said around 40,000 people attend the fair each year. “The Commercial Booth space sells out every year and it is a great source for public exposure,” he said.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Paris Fire Department Honors Hamlin

Paris, Tenn.-Members of the Paris Fire Department set out a tribute to Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hamlin on one of the department’s fire trucks this morning, with a black wreath along with Hamlin’s uniform, gear and badge. Hamlin was killed Thursday night in a one-car wreck on Macedonia Road. Hamlin’s funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Paris Convention Center and the Fire Department will hold a “Fireman’s Funeral Ceremony” marching as a group with bagpipes playing in conjunction with the funeral. Visitation is at Ridgeway Funeral Home from 3-8 p.m. Saturday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Tree Suddenly Falls Across Head Street

Paris, Tenn.-Residents of Head Street were surprised Saturday morning by a loud crunch, which was the sound of a tree suddenly falling across the street. The street was blocked for a time and electricity was off for a time for some residents as the tree fell across some power lines. Paris Patrol Officers Jordan Klutts and Amber Roaten responded and after a short time, city crews removed the tree. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Ross Foundation of Paris Gives To MSU Ag Program

From left are Mark Welch, interim executive director of development at MSU; Abby Hensley, director of development for HOSA; John Fuqua, president of Allegro Fine Foods; and Dr. Tony Brannon of Paris, dean of HOSA.

Murray, Ky. — Murray State University recently received the third $10,000 installment of a $200,000 pledge from the Betsy Ross Foundation of Paris in support of students in the Hutson School of Agriculture. The pledge will be paid $20,000 per year over a 10-year period.

The Betsy Ross Foundation is named for the late Betsy Ross Wilcox, wife of Dave Wilcox, also deceased. Dave served as chairman of the board of Allegro Fine Foods, a company he founded with his wife, until his death in 2011.

Dave lived in Paris, Tenn., and was an avid supporter of Murray State with his time and donations for many years. He was an initial founding member of the MSU Rodeo Booster Club and assisted with a donation that allowed the start of a registered Corriente cattle herd to assist the rodeo program at Murray State. He was posthumously inducted into Murray State’s Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2012.

Significant gifts to Murray State were established through the Betsy Ross Foundation — donations that provide scholarships for students attending the university and assist the Hutson School of Agriculture in its work. This generous commitment supports the Betsy Ross Wilcox Rodeo Scholarship, the Betsy Ross Wilcox Memorial FFA Scholarship, the Charles Wilson FFA Scholarship (in honor of Dave Wilcox’s friend) and the Wilcox Family Student Development Fund for Excellence.

“Education has not always been a priority of mine, but when I came up short of being able to pay my tuition one semester my rodeo coach introduced me to Dave Wilcox. We had a short meeting and he asked me a few questions then wrote me a check for the remainder of my tuition right then and there, no hesitation. I was able to complete my bachelor degree and now have one year remaining before I complete my master’s,” Logan Corbett, Murray State graduate student, remembered. “Dave saw the potential in me before I saw it in myself. If it wasn’t for Dave Wilcox and his generosity, I would not be where I am today.”

Corbett’s story doesn’t surprise John Fuqua, president of Allegro Fine Foods. “Dave always said that the students were the most important thing to him. I am so pleased that even after he has passed away we can witness his dream of helping students continue.”

Dr. Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State, knows firsthand of the generosity of Wilcox to agriculture students. “Dave Wilcox believed in agriculture students and he put his money and scholarships behind that belief. He always said ‘I don’t care about the university … it’s the students that I care about.’ Yet, when he ‘cared’ about the students, he ‘cared’ about the university because the university is the students.

“The continuing donations of the Betsy Ross Foundation stand as a living testament to Dave’s care and concern for students and for Murray State University agriculture,” Brannon said. “Each year when we reward students with scholarships and host various events with the Betsy Ross Foundation support, it brings me a great source of pride that we continue to recognize Dave and his legacy of support of the Hutson School of Agriculture.“


Public Reminded About Lane Closures in Nashville Area

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Department of Transportation has asked the media to remind the public that the 1-65 bridge repair project is still underway in the Rivergate area, north of Nashville.

According to officials, TDOT has received many calls about the closures. Message boards are posted well before the work zone; however, motorists o...ften ignore the warnings and get caught in the backup.

Below is the scheduled lane closure for this weekend:

DAVIDSON COUNTY, Bridge Repair on I-65 over CSX Railroad, Rivergate Pkwy, Long Hollow Pike, E Cedar Street, & Mansker Creek
Thursday July 10 through Wednesday July 16, 8PM-6AM, There will be lane closures on I-65, northbound and southbound, between MM 96 and MM 99 in order to seal joints on the ramps.
Friday July 11, 8PM through Monday July 14, 6AM, There will be lane closures on I-65, northbound and southbound, between MM 96 and MM 99, at CSX Railroad and Rivergate Pkwy, in order to perform deck repairs and replace the median barrier wall. At least two lanes will remain open in each direction.

This weekend will mark the third full-weekend (Friday night to Monday morning) lane closure in a series of at least 10. Crews will continue to work in the southbound lanes for the next three weekends, before shifting to the northbound lanes. PLEASE NOTE: This weekend, crews will also begin work on the median barrier wall, which will require a single lane closure in the northbound lanes.

Arts Council Receives Grant

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Henry Arts Council has announced it has received a Rural Arts Program Grant for $3,800.00. The grant is to assist the council with day to day expenses and is presented by the Tennessee Arts Council, a state-based entity. 

“The arts community nationally and state wide has seen a large cut in grants, but with many more applicants applying, so we are truly grateful for this grant,” according to Executive Director Kathleen Tolley. “Grants are just a part of our fundraising efforts to make sure we bring the best in performing and visual arts to Henry County.” 

For more information contact the Arts Council Office at (731) 642-3955 or visit website

Friday, July 11, 2014

Funeral Arrangements For Hamlin Announced

Paris, Tenn.-Funeral services for Assistant Paris Fire Chief Jeffrey Lee “Jeff” Hamlin, age 49, of Henry, have been announced by Ridgeway Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Paris Convention Center.

Visitation will be held at Ridgeway Funeral Home from 3-8 p.m. Saturday. They will continue on Sunday from 12-2 p.m. at the Paris Convention Center.

Pallbearers will be Member of the Paris Fire Department. Honorary Pallbearers will be all other Paris Fire Department Members and Members of the Paris County Club. 

Interment will be at Bethlehem Cemetery in Henry, Tenn.

Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

Hamlin died Thursday evening, July 10. He married May 5, 1990 to Kathleen Bell Hamlin, and she survives. 

He worked over 25 years at the Paris Fire Department and was a former Henry County Commissioner. He was also the Owner & Operator of Hamlin Construction for over 20 years. Jeff enjoyed golf, fishing, rabbit and turkey hunting.

He was born December 26, 1964, in Paris, TN to Lee Roy and Linda Sue Ford Hamlin, of Henry, TN

Besides his wife and parents, Jeff is also survived by his one daughter, Katelyn Hamlin of Henry; one son, Ryan (Mandy) Hamlin of Paris; one brother, Kevin Hamlin of Paris; grandchildren, Ellie Grace Hamlin and Emma Kate Hamlin; niece, Emily Hamlin; in-laws, Jerry (Carol) Bell, Sr. of Paris, TN; and many other extended family and friends. 

Jeff was preceded in death by a son, Jeffrey Trey Hamlin October 29, 1992. 

Paris FD To Hold Ceremony At Funeral

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Fire Department will hold the "Fireman's Funeral Ceremony" for Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hamlin on Sunday in conjunction with Hamlin's funeral services.

Assistant Chief Randall Jones said the department will march as a group into the Paris Convention Center for the funeral services and will read "The Fireman's Prayer". All members of t...he Paris Fire Department will be pallbearers and honorary pall bearers at Hamlin's funeral, set for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Paris Convention Center.

The Fire Department has held the "Fireman's Funeral Ceremony" for other Paris firefighters who have died in the past. Complete funeral arrangements for Hamlin were announced earlier and are on our website and Facebook pages.

Paris City Hall Flying Flags Half Staff For Hamlin

Paris, Tenn.-In honor of Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hamlin, who died last night in a wreck on Macedonia Rd., the Paris City Hall is flying the flags at half staff. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Assistant Paris Fire Chief Dies in Wreck

Paris, Tenn.-Assistant Paris Fire Chief Jeff Hamlin was killed in a one-vehicle accident last night on Macedonia Rd. Hamlin was 49 years old.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Hamlin, of Henry, was traveling southbound on Macedonia Rd. around 9:30 p.m. The dispatcher said Hamlin’s vehicle left the right side of the roadway and hit a tree. He was driving a 1987 Chevy truck.

Trooper Mark Jackson was in charge of the investigation.

Ridgeway Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, which will be announced when they are complete.

Spirit of America Youth Boating Program Ongoing This Week

Buchanan, Tenn.-Participants in this year’s Spirit of America Youth Boating Program are having a blast this week--and learning at the same time. Sponsored by the Hazelwood Every Child Outdoors program, students ages 12 through 14 learn water safety and water rescue skills, canoe and kayak paddling skills, basic sailing skills, how to operate a power boat and experience large vessels in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard base on Kentucky Lake. Coordinator Vicki Jo Valentine said the students will be on the water again today and will tour the Coast Guard cutter tomorrow, hold graduation ceremonies and have a cook-out at the Coast Guard base. (Hazelwood ECO photo).

Tickets On Sale For Historic Home Tour

Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale now for the upcoming Historic Home Tour that will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, July 19. The event is hosted by the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center.

Homes on tour in the historic Lee School neighborhood are the original Johnson home at 509 W. Washington owned by Alvin and Margie Shankle and the Hamilton-Crawford-J.D.C. Atkins-Nelson and Neal home at 510 Hudson Avenue owned by Jim and Fiona Jackson.  

Homes on tour in the Dunlap Street neighborhood are the Johnson-Murray-McLean home at 404 Dunlap Street owned by Ed and Vickey Roberts and the Thomason Home owned by Melony and Robert Whitfield at 909 Dunlap Street

Tickets for this fundraiser are $20 and are on sale at Herron and Wills, Maggie's, Merison's, and the Heritage Center (642-1030).

At the end of the tour participants are invited to Cavitt Place (home of the Heritage Center) beginning at 3 pm for an exhibit about Cavitt Place, as well as a reception. 

Sponsors include Fletcher Dental, Vicky Muzzall Tax Service, Merison's/Boyd/s, Paula Kelly Florists, and Moody Realty.

Fame Jr. To Be Presented in UC

Union City, Tenn.-The Masquerade Theater in Union City will present Fame Jr. this weekend and next weekend. A cast of 37 teens from Union City, Martin, Dyersburg, Greenfield, Fulton, and several other local c...ounties worked for 2 weeks in a workshop style format to put this show together. It will be presented at the Capitol Theater downtown.

They learned about all aspects of theater including set design, advertising, costuming, and of course acting, singing and dancing.

Tickets are $10 each and available at the door or at Fridays and Saturdays July 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, July 13 and 20 at 2 p.m.

WestStar Graduates Area Residents


Kim Foster with her husband, Brian                  

Martin, Tenn.--Kim Foster of Paris and Lolly Bearden of Union City, were among 29 members of the 2014 WestStar graduating class. The WestStar ceremony was held at the Doubletree in Jackson. 

Foster is the Finance Director for the city of Paris and serves on the Paris Special Schools Board. Bearden is a Union City community volunteer and serves as secretary and second vice-president of Main Street Union City. Bearden also serves as a board member for the Union City Schools Foundation and Leadership Obion County, as well as president for the Union City High School Booster Club. 

With 29 graduating this year, that brings the total to 710 alumni over WestStar’s 25-year history. Class participants were chosen to learn new leadership skills and develop strategies for assisting communities in solving problems and maximizing potential. 

The WestStar Leadership Program now has 710 alumni over its 25-year history. 

Lolly Bearden of Union City

Baptist Memorial Honored

Union City, Tenn.- Premier, Inc., has named Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City as a finalist for the QUEST® Award for High-value Healthcare.

Nationwide, only 37 hospitals are finalists out of 330 hospitals eligi...ble for the honors. Hospitals that were named finalists achieved top performance in five of the six areas measured in Premier’s QUEST collaborative: harm, mortality, readmissions, costs, patient experience and evidence-based care.

“This data reveals that we provide high-quality care at lower costs, which is very important in today’s health care market,” according to Teresa Vinson, director of quality at Baptist Union City.

QUEST is a performance improvement collaborative of approximately 350 hospitals working to make health care safer, more efficient and consistently effective. In five and a half years, they have saved more than 136,000 lives and $11.6 billion.

Premier, Inc., is a leading health care improvement company, uniting an alliance of approximately 3,000 U.S. hospitals and 110,000 other providers to transform health care. A Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, Premier plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving health care industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide.

Quinn AME To Sponsor "Summer In The Park" on Sunday

Paris, Tenn.-Quinn Chapel AME Church will host “Summer in the Park” at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, July 13, at Johnson Park. 

It will feature a ballgame, food and fun. In case of rain, there will be a $5 brown bag gathering at Quinn Chapel Church, 216 Church St., Paris. For more info, call 642-8445.

Pittman Case Bound Over to Grand Jury

Jackson, Tenn.-The case against a 21-year-old former Union University student charged with killing his fiancee was bound over to the Madison County Grand Jury Thursday at a preliminary hearing. He is charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

According to WBBJ-TV in Jackson, the courtroom was packed for the two hour long hearing for Charles Pittman. Investigators have said that Pittman killed his fiancee Olivia Greenlee, who also was a 21-year-old Union University student, in February and staged the evidence to make it appear she killed herself.

Pittman was a church youth leader who conducted youth ministry work at churches in the local area, including Henry County.

An investigator from the Jackson Police Department said today Pittman changed his story of what happened that night during questioning.  At first he said he was not present when she was killed, then said he was in the car with her when she shot herself.

After a recent mental evaluation, Pittman was deemed competent to stand trial. His next appearance in court is set for October.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fenton Jetty To Be Closed For Maintenance

Golden Pond, Ky,– Land Between The Lakes has announced the jetty next to the boat ramp at Fenton will be closed to foot and vehicle traffic on Friday, July 11; Monday, July 14; and Tuesday, July 15. It will be open over the weekend for fishing access. Large vegetation will be removed from the jetty during this time. The boat ramp will remain open.

“Tree roots can damage or break a jetty apart over time, so we are removing them now to protect the integrity of the jetty,” according to Gary Hawkins, Recreation Specialist at Land Between The Lakes.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000.

Teenager Charged in Armory Shooting

Nashville – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested and charged a Lobelville teenager in connection to a deadly shooting at the Perry County National Guard Armory.

At the request of District Attorney General Kim Helper, TBI Special Agents continue to investigate the shooting of 45-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Michael W. Braden, which occurred at approxi...mately 4:30 on the afternoon of July 9th. During the course of the investigation, Special Agents, along with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, ATF, TWRA and THP, developed information which led to the arrest of 15-year-old Christopher C. Farrar. Investigators determined Farrar gained access to the Armory and fired several shots, one of which hit Braden, who later died at Perry County Medical Center. At this point, the exact circumstances of the shooting and its motive remain part of the active investigation.

On Wednesday night, Farrar was taken into custody from his family’s home on Depriest Bend Drive without incident. Early this morning, he was charged with one count of Criminal Homicide. At the time of this release, he was being held without bond in the Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Facility.

"Casting For A Cure" Finds New Home

McKenzie, Tenn.The annual “Casting For A Cure” event sponsored by Outdoor Guide Steve McCadams has finally found a new home after damage at the Carroll Lake spillway last month caused the water to drain out.

Thanks to McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland, the kids’ fishing rodeo will now be held the morning of Saturday, July 19 at McKenzie City Park pond. The event is a benefit for the American Cancer Society.

McCadams said it appeared for some time that the event might not happen this year until Holland extended her hand and offered the city pond. McCadams is one of WENK/WTPR’s outdoors commentators.

As always, the event is free and open to youngsters ages 15 and under. Registration will be held on-site at The Barn, located adjacent to the pond, from 8-9 a.m. Only kids ages 9 and under will fish from 9-10 a.m.; ages 10 through 15 will fish from 10-11 a.m. Weigh-in and awards will begin immediately thereafter.

"The City of McKenzie welcomes the opportunity to host “Casting For A Cure" Kids Fishing Rodeo,” Mayor Holland said. “We have a great park with lots of activities including our playground, skateboard park and disc golf course, and we extend a hearty welcome to all kids and parents to come ready to enjoy a great day. We look forward to making sure everyone enjoys this fun and memorable event which focuses on the hope of finding a cure which will save the lives of so many. "

Kids are asked to bring their own bait and tackle. Concessions will be available on-site.

“I very much appreciate the City of McKenzie and Mayor Holland helping salvage this event as I wanted to keep it alive on behalf of the kids and ACS,” McCadams said. “We were all set to go last month when the flood came and wrecked our plans. I know a lot of kids and parents were disappointed. I was too!”

“The upcoming rodeo may be a bit smaller than our Carroll Lake event but we’ll do our best to put some big smiles on small faces nonetheless,” according to McCadams. “Thanks to donors who open their hearts and pocket books several door prizes will be given away.”

To support the rodeo and ACS or for more information contact Steve McCadams at (731)-642-0360 or email

Chamber Fun Run T-Shirts, Goodie Bags Available

Paris, Tenn.-Kayla Simpson, left, and Holly Todd show off the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce's Water Run t-shirt with the "Cheeseburger in Paris-dise" theme and one of the goodie bag items available to the first 200 players to purchase their registration packet at the Chamber office, 2508 East Wood Street. (Goody bags are mixed items and towels are limited.) The Water Fun Run will be July 19 on Kentucky Lake. Registration is $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event. First prize is $1000. For more information, call the Chamber at 731.642.3431.

More Than 1,500 Family Bible Records Now Online

Former State Librarian Mary Daniel Moore examines the library's Bible collection, circa 1950. (State Library and Archives photo).

Nashville, Tenn.-Visitors to the website of the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) can now access family Bible records previously available only to patrons visiting TSLA's building. Over the past few years, TSLA volunteer Cinamon Collins scanned more than 1,500 family Bible records held at TSLA.

Most of the records were photocopied from privately-held family Bibles and preserved at TSLA by archivists and librarians. A new database on the TSLA website allows researchers to browse these records in their entirety, and a search function will ultimately include all of the thousands of names written in these unique documents.

"I am thrilled that the State Library and Archives and our volunteers have worked to make these resources accessible to all Tennesseans," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "The information recorded in TSLA's collection of Bible records is not only helpful for genealogy, but also a wonderful display of history at a very personal level."

To see if your family Bible records are online go to:

Patrick Willis Holds Football Camp in Bruceton

Bruceton, Tenn. -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis' returned to his hometown of Bruceton this week for his second annual football camp for kids.

Willis makes no secret of his attachment to his hometown, his former high school at Bruceton Central and his belief that he should give back to the community.

The camp was for boys and girls in grades one through eight and it involved team drills and contests. He also gave inspirational messages to the kids during the day.

McKenzie Reaping Financial Rewards From Liquor Sales

McKenzie, Tenn.-While the city of Paris’ liquor sales revenue has shown a decrease in recent months due to liquor sales now being allowed in nearby communities, the city of McKenzie is one community that is reaping rewards.

McKenzie Finance Director Charlie Beal said McKenzie has collected approximately $42,000 in revenue from the first year of liquor taxes being collected. 

McKenzie voters approved the sale of package liquor in a November 2012 referendum. 

Beal said the current monthly net revenue in liquor sales for the city is around $5,000, and he estimated an annual $55,000 in revenue coming to the city from the wholesale tax.

Henry Utility Rates To Increase 30 Percent

Henry, Tenn.-Residents of the city of Henry will see a large increase on their utility bills to the tune of a 30 percent boost in water and sewer rates.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Henry Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the panel approved first reading of an ordinance that proposes to increase the rates and the second will be approved before July 20.

Water rates have been on the increase since early in 2013 and the present state of affairs dates back to the construction of the city’s sewer system which resulted in lengthy litigation and angry city residents.

The state mandates that cities operate their water and sewer departments in the black for two years in a row and Henry had operated its in the red for three years. Henry city officials say that is why they need to raise the rates so drastically now.

School Supplies To Be Collected This Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-School supplies will be collected for needy students this coming school year at three times this weekend. The supplies collected are distributed to income eligible students through the Family Resource Center.

The FCCLA students will collect supplies at Walmart from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Church of the Nazarene will collect supplies there the rest of the afternoon, from 2-5 p.m.

On Saturday, First Christian Church will collect school supplies from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Walmart.

Pittman Preliminary Hearing Set For Today

Jackson, Tenn.-A former church youth leader accused of killing his fiancee on the campus of Union University and staging her death to look like suicide will be back in court today for a preliminary hearing.

Charlie Pittman is accused of killing his fiancee Olivia Greenlee. Both were 21 and both were students at Union University. Preliminary cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the head.

Pittman’s attorneys earlier requested a mental evaluation for their client to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. If found competition, the preliminary hearing will determine if there’s enough evidence against him to send the case to the grand jury.

Pittman served as a church youth leader at ministry sessions at churches in Henry County and other churches in the local area.

Generations Mental Health Will Not Expand in McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn.-Following vocal opposition from McKenzie residents at public hearings, Generations Mental Health has announced it will not expand its facilities in McKenzie.

According to the McKenzie Banner, Generations CEO David Gaither announced it has abandoned its plans to open facilities at 220 Chesapeake Drive and offices on Broadway. He also said those properties are now for sale.

Generations formally withdrew its requests to the city of McKenzie for water and sewer hookup at the proposed Chesapeake Drive facility. The USDA request for McKenzie will also be withdrawn.

Generations will continue to operate facilities at two other locations in McKenzie.

The cancellation of its plans mean that Generations will not be hiring 75 new employees that were to be used at the new facilities.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Large Crowd On Hand For Rhea School's Johnson Park Event

Rhea Principal Scott Owens, left, joins teachers and students dancing to "Happy". (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd of children and their parents were on hand at Johnson Park Tuesday night for a summer installment of Rhea School‘s “Taking It To The Streets” program.

Teachers performed a skit, danced to the song “Happy” and read to the children during the evening, while giving parents tips on helping their children with reading. Everyone present was served grilled hot dogs and soft drinks at the end of the evening and door prizes also were awarded.

Rhea School Principal Scott Owens said a second program will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29 at Eiffel Tower Park.

Grilling hot dogs at Tuesday night's "Taking It To The Streets" event for Rhea School at Johnson Park (from left): James Foster, Gene Cochrane, Rickey Searcy and Nathaniel Owens. (McFarlin photo).

Teacher Holly Meyer reads to a group of students. (McFarlin photo).

BB&T Presents Sixth Installment of $1M Donation to Murray State

Representatives from Murray State University and BB&T recently gathered for BB&T’s check presentation. Jonathan Blade Townley (center right), BB&T Murray market president, presented a check to Dr. Tim Miller, MSU president. (MSU photo).

Murray, Ky. — Jonathan Blade Townley, BB&T Murray market president, presented a check representing the sixth installment of a $l million donation to Murray State University’s Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business.

The donation, being paid over 10 years, funds the BB&T Center for Free Enterprise in the Bauernfeind College of Business.

A unique feature of this gift is its support of faculty fellowships in the departments of journalism and mass communication and organizational communication, as well as the department of economics and finance.

“Engaging students in these three departments will put the discussion of capitalism and other economic systems on the radar for future journalists, economists, financial experts and those professionals that facilitate collaboration of organizations of all types and sizes,” Todd said. “It broadens the discussion in valuable ways to include the thoughts and insights of individuals who ordinarily don’t address these issues in their undergraduate studies.”

Discovery Park to Host Program on Modern Dinosaurs

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America will host a summer series presentation on “Dinosaurs Among Us” Saturday, July 12. Presented by the National History Education Co. of the Midsouth, there will be two shows, at 1 and 3 p.m.  $3 for members and $4 for non-members. The program will focus on modern-day reptiles, mammals and insects.

Farm Tour Registration is Thursday

Middleton Lumber Co. in Puryear. (Chamber photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Another stop on the upcoming first annual Chamber Farm Tour on July 17 will be Middleton Lumber Company in Puryear. A 49 year old company, started in 1965 by Elmer and Margaret Middleton, company in now being run by second, third and fourth generation family members.

The Farm Tour is an all-day event, beginning at 8 a.m. and ending around 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Persons interested need to call the Chamber office 642-3431 by this Thursday, July 10. Transportation and lunch is provided.

We published the initial article on the tour earlier this week.

Middleton Lumber produces hardwood lumber and are wholesale manufacturers of kiln dried hardwood lumber. This company produces 8 million board feet of limber per year. This is attained through timber purchased in Henry County and across West Tennessee. Middleton’s lumber is marketed domestically, as well as internationally in countries such as Germany, Sweden and China.

The operation consist of a sawmill, dry kilns, planers and an optimizing rip saw system that is mesmerizing to watch. The company employs over 35 individuals. Middleton Lumber works closely with log suppliers and other wood related businesses in Henry County and West Tennessee.

Cottage Grove Council to Sell Items From Bank Building

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Tuesday night, the Cottage Grove Legislative Council voted to accept sealed bids for items from the former Security Bank building, which is now the location of Boyd’s General Store.

Items to be sold are two bank vaults, entry door and bank teller window. Council also will be advertising on the craigslist website. The deadline for sealed bids is Oct. 10.

In other business, council heard a free concert will be sponsored by the recycling center in the fall and will include a jazz ensemble, tailgating and family night. The event will be discussed more in the future.

Council also continues to seek a permanent city hall location.

Dover Man Charged in Erin Woman's Death

Erin, Tenn. — A former Dover man was charged Tuesday in the death of a 26-year-old woman whose body was found May 24 at 3002 Fire Tower Rd., Erin, where the man was staying.

David Lee Skelton, age 45, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Kathy Williams. He was charged in a sealed indictment handed down by a Houston County grand jury on Monday, according to the Stewart-Houston Times.

Houston County Sheriff Darrell Allison said Williams overdosed on prescription medication, which investigators believe was obtained from Skelton.

Investigators told the Times that Skelton is from Dover, but had been staying at the Erin residence with a relative, Demetrice Maurice Skelton, 37, who also was charged with conspiracy to sell a Schedule III drug (hydrocodone).

The toxicology report indicated Williams had extreme levels of prescription medication in her system at the time of her death, the sheriff said.

David Skelton is also charged with selling a Schedule III drug (hydrocodone), and conspiracy to sell a Scheduled III drug; two counts of selling a Schedule II drug (oxycodone) and two counts of selling a Schedule II drug (opana).

The sheriff said that during the investigation, a confidential informant was developed and made drug buys from various people in Houston County. Subsequently, sealed indictments were returned for 12 people on various drug charges.

As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Houston County deputies have rounded up nine of the 12 suspects, one of whom is a juvenile who was taken into Department of Children’s Services custody.

Allison said other drug arrests could possibly result from the investigation.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Missing Murray Girl Back Home
Had Been Rumored in Paris Area

Murray, Ky.-The 15-year-old girl missing from her Murray home since last week is now safe and sound back in Murray.

Gabrielle “Gabby” Gowen was reported missing last week. Padu...cah Police had reported they believed she was in the Paducah area for a time and rumors on social media indicated this week she might be in the Paris area.

In response to the rumors, Paris Police Investigator Greg Underwood today checked with the Murray Police who told him that as of earlier today, she is back at home.

Starship, Survivor and Exile to Appear at Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.- Starship, Survivor and Exile will all be live on the stage at Discovery Park of America July 19, as the summer concert series continues on the Great Lawn. 

Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy said this is the first “Classic Rock” concert that the park has offered. 

Park officials expect a good turnout for this concert based on advance ticket sales and the fact that classic rock and country music will both be represented.

Mickey Thomas is the front man for Starship, the venerable San Francisco band behind several of the 20th century’s biggest pop and rock anthems (“We Built This City,” “Sara,” “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”). The band recently released a new record called Loveless Fascination, that, “In some ways, feels like a 70s record. It’s organic, and there’s a real edge to it,” Thomas said.

Although Loveless marks Starship’s first full studio album since 1989, the group has remained a popular draw on the road. “It’s a real wide generation of fans out there,” says Thomas. “I’ve seen 12-year olds, 65-year olds and everyone in between.” 

For this tour, the band will mine their deep back catalog — “we’ll play songs from every record I had a hand in,” says the singer, promising early hits like “Find Your Way Back,” as well as a medley of the group’s earliest hits as Jefferson Airplane, as well as new songs from the new album.

Survivor was formed in Chicago in 1977 by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik. 

After touring for 8 months, the band produced the album “Premonition”, considered by many fans to be their favorite Survivor record. The album was released in 1981 with the singles, “Poor Man’s Son” and “Summer Nights”. This record improved on the first album’s success, although still not the big breakout the band was looking for – that was to come with the 1982 release of “Eye of the Tiger”. The title song for this record was expressly written for Rocky III, which brought the band national attention

Leading off for Survivor and Starship will be the popular Exile band. In 1963, the year before the Beatles scored their first American hit, a group of kids calling themselves The Exiles climbed onto an outdoor stage in the small mid-state town of Richmond, Kentucky and proceeded to make musical history - not just with their songs but with their longevity as well. Forty-six years later, that same band Exile is still rockin' with a mix of original and seminal members. 

In 1978, the group had its first number 1 single, thanks to a three-and-a-half-minute surge of heavy breathing called “Kiss You All Over.” 

Tickets are $45 for each concert, and the ticket price includes tax and parking. The concert will be held on the Great Lawn at Discovery Park and is billed as ‘rain or shine.’ The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:00 and concessions are available on site, so no outside food or beverage will be allowed. The Great Lawn was built as a natural amphitheater. 

Charlie Daniels and Travis Tritt have already played at the park this summer. Following the Survivor, Starship and Exile concert on July 19th, Sawyer Brown, Lee Roy Parnell and Maggie Rose will play on July 26th and Everclear, Tonic and Vertical Horizon will wrap up the series on August 23rd. 

For more information about the Summer Concert Series, or to purchase a ticket, stop by any Little General location, Discovery Park of America or call 877-885-5455. Tickets are also on sale on-line at

After Lengthy Deliberations, 34 Indictments Issued

Including High Profile Cases


                     William Tomlin                                                              Guy Biggs

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-After an especially lengthy deliberation Monday, the Henry County Grand Jury issued 34 indictments, with several of the indictments involving cases that have made headlines in recent months: the Smith Tire Barn arson, the Ogburn Park shootings and the incident in which a couple lured a Paris man to their home to kill him.

The grand jurors worked all day on their deliberations and did not issue their final report until 6:30 p.m. Monday night. 

Four people, including the owner, arrested in the arson at the Smith Tire Barn, 3940 Hwy. 79N in February, were indicted. William Tomlin was charged with arson, while Owner Joseph Smith, Michael Wayne Allred and Diane Tomlin were charged with criminal responsibility for the conduct of another. 

All four, all of whom are from Paris, were initially charged with arson by the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, but the charges against Smith, Allred and Diane Tomlin were reduced before being presented to the grand jury.

The business was destroyed by the blaze, as were several storage units owned by TRW located adjacent to Smith Tire Barn, along with the contents of the storage units.

--Guy Biggs was indicted on a charge of criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder and false reporting. Initially, both Guy Biggs and his wife, Joyce Biggs, were charged with criminal attempt to commit murder after they allegedly lured an ex-boyfriend of Joyce Biggs to their home at 100 Swan Bay, Buchanan, with the intent of killing him in April. After the incident they reported to the sheriff’s office that the victim had shot Guy Biggs.

Joyce Biggs was arrested along with her husband, but she was not indicted.

--Markia Deonte Patton was indicted for aggravated assault for his part in the Ogburn Park shootings in April. He also was charged with two counts of selling controlled substances. Initially, another man also was arrested in the shootings, but he later turned out to be a victim of shooting himself. In all three people suffered gunshot wounds during the drive-by shooting.

Other individuals indicted include:

--Gerald Clayton, sexual exploitation of a minor.

--David Ingram, escape from a long-term rehab center.

--William Clay McCoy, aggravated burglary, possession of controlled substance (morphine).

--Tony McGarity, aggravated assault of a female involving attempted strangling.

--Brandon Melton, possession of burglary tools, aggravated burglary, theft and property vandalism involving private residences.

--Dustin Norwood, possession of controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, failure to appear, driving on revoked license, two counts theft and aggravated assault.

--Curtis Ray Nutting, unlawful carrying of a weapon and violation of supervision.

--John Wyatt Selby III, unlawful carrying of a weapon, theft of property.

--Walter Frederick Smouthers, violation of sex offender registry.

Busy General Elections Ahead; Early Voting Begins Next Week

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The upcoming general elections on August 7 will be especially busy, with a full slate of candidates on the ballots in our local counties. Henry, Obion and the surrounding counties all will have the following offices to be elected: County Mayor, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Clerk, Trustee Register of Deeds, General Sessions/Juvenile Judges, Chancery Judge, District Attorney, Public Defender, County Commissioners, Road Board members, Constables, County and Local School Board Members.

Today is the last day to register to vote in the upcoming August 7 general elections and early voting will begin July 18 and last through August 2.

Both Henry and Obion County Elections Commissions have websites which include plenty of information for both candidates and voters. 

The Henry County Elections website is part of the county government website at The Obion County Elections Commission has its own website at

Part of the Henry County Elections site is a section where voters can see whether they are already registered to vote. Both sites have key dates for candidates and voters, and important information on absentee ballots, names of county officials and voter registration applications.

The Obion County Elections Commission is overseen by Administrator Leigh Schlager and it is located at 308 Bill Burnett Circle, phone 721-8551901.

The Henry County Elections Commission is headed by Administrator Darrin Thompson and located in the courthouse annex. Phone is 731-642-0411.

Wildlife Program Changed to Friday

Paris, Tenn.-This week’s presentation by the National History Education Company of the MidSouth at the W.G. Rhea Library has been changed to Friday night so that parents can also enjoy the program.

The program is part of the Summer Reading program and had been originally scheduled for Wednesday morning.

It now will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, July 11. It features a range of avian, mammal, and reptile wildlife.

BUI Arrests Reduced From Last Holiday Weekend

Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency participated in the sixth annual Operation Dry Water weekend which has been held the weekend prior to the July 4 holiday since its inception.

Reports from the TWRA’s four regions resulted in eight boating under the influence (BUI) arrests across the state and four other arrests. TWRA boating officers checked more than 2,100 vessels, issued 74 citations, 59 warnings and assisted 36 boaters. 

The number of BUI arrests is a decrease from 10 persons arrested last year over Operation Dry Water Weekend.

Operation Dry Water is a national weekend of BUI education and enforcement directed toward reducing alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities. Operation Dry Water is held to emphasize boating safety and give BUI enforcement high visibility during a period of high volume for summer boating activities. 

TWRA officials remind all those who visit the state’s waterways for the July 4 holiday to be safe for what is annually one of the busiest boating times of the year. 

TWRA officials emphasize the use of personal flotation devices (PFDs) while boating in a safe and responsible manner. The TWRA wants all those who visit the waterways to have an enjoyable time. However, TWRA officers will be on the watch for dangerous boating behavior, such as BUI operators and other reckless operation.

UC Man Allegedly Throws Fireworks at Officers

Union City, Tenn. -A Union City man went too far in his Fourth of July celebration and is incarcerated in the Obion County Jail.

Raheemm Dickey was arrested by Union City Police on July 4 after he allegedly threw fireworks at law enforcement. According to the police report, officers were in the process of taking him into custody for disorderly conduct in a large crowd in the city limits when the incident occurred.

Dickey allegedly lit an artillery round and tossed it at officers who were chasing him.

Dickey is currently in the Obion County Jail and has been charged with disorderly conduct and aggravated assault.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Paris FFA Dominates at 2014 Regional Expo

Paris Group Brings Home Reserve Champs, First Place Ribbons

Murray Perkins (far left)  braces his lamb as David Roper, the University of TN at Knoxville Livestock Judging Coach and Regional Expo judge, gathers his thoughts about the class.  Murray was named Reserve Champion Market Lamb, Premier Exhibitor of the Beef and Sheep Shows and Grand Champion Shorthorn Heifer. (Laura Moss photos).

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County 4-H and FFA members dominated at the 2014 Regional Beef and Sheep Expo last week at the University of Tennessee-Martin Ag Pavilion.  With the State Expo contests coming up soon, nine beef and sheep exhibitors showed that they are at the top of their game and ready to make a run for state honors, according to Paris FFA Advisor Laura Moss.

Collin Howd was named the Senior High Level 2 Showmanship Champion and Katie Plowman was named the Reserve Champion of Senior High Level 1.  The Junior High Championship was awarded to Murray Perkins and Deanna Schoolfield brought the Junior Level Showmanship Championship home to Paris.

After the conclusion of showmanship, the individual breed shows began.  Murray Perkins won the late Senior Heifer calf and Spring Yearling Shorthorn classes with his Spring Yearling was honored as the Grand Champion of the Shorthorn Show.

Collin Howd’s Spring Yearling Horned Hereford won her class and was tapped as the Grand Champion Hereford heifer of the show.  To continue his banner morning, Collin’s Chi influenced Spring Yearling won her class and was named Champion of that breed along with his commercial heifer being named the Reserve Champion of the Commercial Heifer Show.

Deanna Schoolfield, an upcoming  7th grade student at Lakewood Middle School, placed first in all three of her classes with her Angus heifers.  Her Spring Yearling was selected as the Grand Champion of the Angus breed.

The Supreme Championship class was the next in the ring, Moss said. Each of the Grand Champions from each breed are brought together to find the best of the best.   After several tense moments, Collin’s Chi Influenced heifer was selected as the Supreme Champion of the entire heifer show.

In an effort to recognize quality groups of cattle within a county, the show has a class for what is known as the County Group of 5.  At least three and up to 5 separate competitors from each county bring back their top 5 animals to compete against groups from other counties, according to Moss.

Deanna Schoolfield, Murray Perkins, Katie Plowman and Collin Howd were the proud recipients of a first place ribbon and the title of top County Group of 5 Heifers.

Moving onto the market steer classes, the influence of the strong junior livestock program in Henry County was quite evident.   In the Carcass Merit Awards, which measure the steer’s ribeye size, Savannah Gulish took home first place honors,  Ryan Gladwell was named 3rd place and Emily Rose was awarded the 4th place award.

In steer showmanship, Collin Howd and Katie Plowman were the Reserve Champion Showmen in Senior High Level 2 and Level 1 respectively.  Murray Perkins continued his showmanship winning streak as he was named Junior High Steer Showmanship Champion.

With eight of the 19 steers in the Regional Expo calling Henry County home, the show could easily be called a preview show for the upcoming Junior Livestock Show and Sale at the Henry County Fair on August 7th.

Katie Plowman and Collin Howd’s steers topped classes 2 and 4 with strong showings from Pierce Rose, Ryan Gladwell, Emily Rose, Murray Perkins, Alexa Gladwell and Savannah Gulish in their respective classes.

The four class winners pulled back into the ring for the crowning of the champions of the market steer show.  Collin Howd’s steer was named the Reserve Champion of the show.

Each exhibitor was encouraged to compete in the skill-a-thon contest to test their knowledge of animal feeds, breeds of livestock and how to correctly calculate dosages of medications.  Henry County is proud to have three top competitors of the day: Deanna Schoolfield in the Junior Level, Murray Perkins in the Junior High Level and Emily Rose in the Senior High Level 2.

A Premier Exhibitor was also named in each age category and was selected based off the combined scores from showmanship, class placings and skill-a-thon.  Murray Perkins was named the Junior High Premier Beef Exhibitor.

Murray switched gears and exhibited his three market lambs in the opposite ring from the cattle.  His winning ways stayed with him as he was named Junior High Market Lamb Showmanship winner.  

He exhibited the Reserve Champion Market Lamb and his two ewes placed 1st and 2nd after they competed in the same class.

Murray finished up an awesome day having the highest score in the Lamb Skill-a-thon and being named the Junior High Lamb Premier Exhibitor.

 The State Beef Expo will be held at MTSU July 7-8 and the State Sheep Expo will take place in Cookeville the following week.  August 7th will showcase the tremendous community support that is shown to the 4-H and FFA members of our community as the Henry County Fair hosts the Annual Junior Livestock Show and Sale beginning at 10am in the Livestock Barn.

"Congratulations to each of these exhibitors and please make an effort to come support their hard work and dedication as they continue showing their animals through the summer and fall," Moss said.

Collin Howd shakes hands with the judge after his Chi Influenced heifer was crowned Supreme Champion of the 2014 Regional Beef Expo.  Collin’s Hereford and Chi heifers were named Grand Champions of their respective breeds while his Commercial Heifer and Market Steer were named Reserve Champions. (Laura Moss photo)

After a long hot day of competition, many smiles, purple ribbons and memories were brought home to Henry County by the nine exhibitors of the 2014 Regional 4-H and FFA Livestock Expo.  To commemorate the first place win in the County Group of 5 Steer Class, from left: Katie Plowman, Savannah Gulish, Emily Rose, Alexa Gladwell and Collin Howd pose for a celebratory picture. (Laura Moss photo)

BBQ Cook Off Registration Ongoing

Paris, Tenn.- The 4th annual Henry County Fair BBQ Cook Off will be held Friday and Saturday, August 1 and 2, and registration is ongoing for the teams that will be competing.

Organizer Donna Milam said deadline to register is July 25 and entry fee is $100 per team.

Contest categories include: Whole Beef Brisket, (no corn beef allowed), Pork Ribs (no country style), Pork Shoulder/Boston Butts, Chicken (cooks choice – dark or white)  and  Chef’s Choice (defined as any variety of meat except ribs, shoulder, chicken & brisket ) – bacon wrapped items are acceptable. Example: Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast.

The Grand Champion will win $1000 and a Trophy and Reserve Champion will win  $500 and a trophy. Winners will be announced at 3 pm on Saturday August 2nd. 

For more information to register your team and see the official rules, contact Bobby or Donna Milam with the Fair Board at 336-1966 or email Entry forms are available at

Family Dollar Opens in Big Sandy

Big Sandy, Tenn.-The new Family Dollar store has opened in Big Sandy with its grand opening still ongoing. The store is located at 13665 Hwy 69A and management is still reportedly hiring. Store hours at 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday. (Charlie Allen photo).

Chamber Fun Run Set for July 19

Paris, Tenn.-“Cheeseburger in Paris-dise” is the theme of this year’s Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Water Fun Run, scheduled for July 19 on Kentucky Lake. 

Sponsoring resorts include Fat Daddy’s, Mansard Island Resort, Buchanan Resort, Pleasant View Resort, Cypress Springs, Paris Landing State Park Marina, Leatherwood Resort and Cypress Bay Resort.

Registration will be available July 7th at the Chamber office, 2508 East Wood Street, Paris.

Players pay $20 each ($25 day of event) to collect stamps at the area resorts. Five stops are required. Cards will be dealt at the end based on the number of stamps collected. The best hand will win $1000 cash.

A “Fun Run Pontoon,” will be traveling the water during the day. Look for it and collect an extra stamp. An extra card will also be available for $10.

All watercraft are invited to participate. All players must be checked in the dock at the marina at Paris Landing State Park by 4 pm on July 19th.

Call the Chamber office at 642.3431 for more information, or visit

LBL Reopens Forest Service Roads

Golden Pond, Ky – Land Between The Lakes has re-opened several Forest Service Roads to the public following temporary maintenance closures. The Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) completed construction of a new bridge over Smith Creek on Newby Cemetery Road (FS Rd 130). This new bridge provides access to fishing, hunting, cemetery visitation, open lands management, hiking, camping, driving, and wildlife viewing. Bridge design and construction costs were funded by FHWA’s Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads program (ERFO). 

The new bridge is 64 feet long, 16 feet wide and constructed of pre-cast structural slabs. FHWA also finished replacing large culverts on FS Rd 108 to Demumbers Bay and FS Rd 134 to Energy Lake. 

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. 

Tree Removal Projects Begin at Fort Donelson

Dover, Tennessee— The arrival of summer begins removal trees identified as potentially hazardous in tourist-prone areas of the 1,067 acres that comprise the Fort Donelson National Battlefield. With units in Stewart County, Tennessee, and Calloway County, Kentucky, the heavily forested park keeps park arborist Ronnie Hicks and staff busy with regular inspections of trees determined to be in questionable health or stability. Trees identified as hazardous, especially those along roadways, earthworks, cannon, or other tourist-heavy areas, are removed systematically, based upon severity of danger to humans and resources, 

Beginning the week of July 7, Fort Donelson crews will begin removal of selected trees along the tour road leading to the Confederate fort and water batteries of the main park unit. Felling of trees will be done early in the mornings to minimize inconvenience to walkers and tourists in vehicles that venture the rural landscape daily. 

According to Fort Donelson arborist Ronnie Hicks, “We have a number of trees that have been identified as a potential danger and need to be removed for safety reasons.” 

“Of the several hazardous trees to be removed between July and September, we will reopen each affected area immediately upon certifying that the tree is felled and the area is safe,” according to park Superintendent Brian McCutchen. 

In regard to preservation and safety, McCutchen added, “We are pleased with the interest and support that visitors to the battlefield have and will take great efforts to improve visitor and resource safety while at the same time minimize any inconvenience to their visit. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Cookie's to be Closed for Possible Repairs Following Fire

Paris, Tenn.-The owners of Cookie's Family Diner at 1880 Hwy. 69S will be busy for awhile assessing the damage following a fire in the early morning hours Saturday. As we first reported to you Saturday morning, the fire caused extensive smoke damage to the interior. According to the Paris Fire Department, when firefighters arrived at 2:09 a.m., they found a small fire had started in the kitchen area. The fire is still under investigation and the amount of damages are still unknown at this time. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Taking It Easy on Kentucky Lake For The Holiday

Buchanan, Tenn.-People--not to mention dogs-- from all over the region are gathering at Paris Landing State Park for the 4th of July weekend. Perfect weather is the backdrop for participating in all sorts of activities on the water, as well as picnicking at the state park. Top photo: a dog shows his perfect form as his humans drive their boat into the marina. Bottom photo, the fishing piers were crowded all weekend. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

School Bake Sales Limited by New Laws

Nashville, Tenn.-Due to new federal health restrictions, the number of club bake sales, cook-offs and food-based fundraisers that can be held in Tennessee’s schools has been limited.

The Tennessee State Board of Education last week decided that such fundraisers can take place only 30 days on each school campus this year to comply with the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which went into effect this week.

 “If somebody wants to object to federal intrusion in what’s going on in schools, I think this would be an ideal place to target their objections as opposed to some of the other things people are tending to complain about,” state Board of Education Chairman Fielding Rolston told The Nashville Tennessean, alluding to complaints lobbed at new Common Core standards.

“It’s unbelievable to me the amount of guidelines that are there.”

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 went into effect July 1 and is designed to tighten nutritional standards of food and snacks served in K-12 schools.

In doing so, it gave the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture over-reaching jurisdiction over an entire school’s campus in addition to the cafeteria, thus bringing regulations to all parts of the building during the school day.

Any food fundraiser in schools, no matter the size or scale, will count for one of the 30 days permitted by the new policy, which school principals are expected to enforce. The State Board of Education voted unanimously to pick that number.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fireworks Thrill Large Discovery Park Crowd

Union City, Tenn.-Over 4000 people crowded into Discovery Park of America Friday for several hours of rides, games and entertainment, culminating in a large fireworks display. The display was the first held at Discovery Park and was co-sponsored by the city of Union City. (Photos by Brent and Mandy Hinson).

Fire at Cookie's Diner Causes Extensive Smoke Damage

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Firefighters were busy early this morning extinguishing a small fire at Cookie’s Family Diner at 1880 Hwy 69S. Firefighters were called to the scene at 2:09 a.m. and found the small fire had started in the kitchen area.

The fire caused extensive smoke damage to the interior. Two fire trucks were dispatched to the scene-one from Station One and the other from Station Two. 

The fire is still under investigation. The cause of the fire and the amount of monetary damages are unknown at this time.

HCMC Public Relations Staff Wins Award

Paris, Tenn. – Henry County Medical Center’s Marketing and Public Relations Department has been awarded the APEX 2014 Award of Excellence in the Marketing and Public Relations Campaigns, Programs and Plans category for its work on the HCMC Diagnostic Center Campaign.

APEX 2014 -- the 26th Annual Awards for Publication Excellence -- is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications from newsletters and magazines to annual reports, brochures and websites.

According to the APEX 2014 judges, "The awards were based on excellence in graphic design, quality of editorial content and the success of the entry in conveying the message and achieving overall communications effectiveness."

HCMC received a Citation of Excellence Award from the TN Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations for this campaign in the fall of 2013, and decided because of the impact and importance of the project and the marketing efforts around the opening of the Diagnostic Center, to submit for this international award that not only reviews healthcare materials but corporate materials around corporate communications.  

“I am very proud of the work we did on this campaign and very excited to be recognized by Communications Concepts for having best practices in print, web, and ePublishing,” said Tory Daughrity, Director of Marketing and Public Relations.  “Henry County Medical Center is a wonderful healthcare facility and I am so appreciative to be recognized by an outside organization for successfully presenting the Diagnostic Center to the community, region, state and national in an award-winning way.”

With nearly 2,100 entries, competition was exceptionally intense.  HCMC was one of only 10 to be recognized in this sub-category with three of those being outside the United States.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebrated at Cottage Grove

Gavin Perkins and "Cottage Grove dog" in the Best of Show float. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-A parade, ice cream, burgers, American flags, a cake walk, hay rides and fireworks-what could be more perfect for a 4th of July celebration? Perfect weather contributed to large crowds at today’s 39th Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival.

The festival will continue through the day with more games, the country store, bicycle show, bingo, and a fireworks display around 9 p.m. today.

Best of Parade was DJ Perkins, while the Best Float once again was won by Oak Hill Church and the Most Patriotic entry was won by the Aiosa Family.

Mayor Mike Waddey was happy with the festivities and fellowship shown in the town, which is the smallest incorporated city in Tennessee. He was especially happy that Boyd’s general store has opened in time for the holiday, the first store to be located in the tiny city for quite some time. A feature story on the new store was published on this page Thursday.

Little Mason McGee tries his hand at bull riding, while his proud Mom Tiffany McGee watches. (McFarlin photo).

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and his dog Si and Chief Deputy Randy Gean. (McFarlin photo).

Mike Stewart waits to take people on hay rides. (McFarlin photo).

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Paris Considers Building New Transfer Station

Joe Buchanan of Freedom Waste Service addresses the commission and staff. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Faced with an aging and deteriorating transfer station at the county landfill, the Paris City Commission is now mulling over construction of a new transfer station and whether to own and operate it.

At Thursday night’s meeting of the commission, City Manager Carl Holder said the current transfer station is owned by Republic Waste and is 20 years old and rapidly deteriorating, especially over the last six months.

Holder said both Landfill Superintendent Johnny Berry and Construction Manager Cary Henson agree that the transfer station is beyond rehabilitation.

With the city’s solid waste removal contract expiring in one year, a decision needs to be made and Holder asked the panel to consider three options: require bidders to build a new transfer station; build a station, own and lease it to the successful bidder at a pre-bid established price and own and operate the station.

Holder said, “There’s no doubt but that we need a new station and we need specific language for the contingency of future contractor changes.”

Holder said the recent experiences with Barker Brothers Waste Disposal have created bad public relations for the city, but that Freedom Waste Services from Princeton, Ky., has done a good job.

Berry told the commission that the city “would be better off long-term owning and operating its own building. That way each company would be on a level field when bidding” for waste contracts.

Joe Buchanan of Freedom Waste concurred with that assessment. “It’s better when you can control it. It allows you to control your own destiny.”

Following discussion among commissioners, Holder said he will crunch numbers and return to the commission with a recommendation as to where to go from here. “I’ll probably come back with recommendations to bid it out two ways: either that we just own it or that we both own and operate it and we’ll see which is the most economical,” Holder said after the meeting.

In other business, Holder said City Attorney Fred McLean is drawing up an agreement between the city, the Henry County Schools and Paris Special Schools District to handle the situation with future mixed drink tax revenue. An agreement already has been agreed to by the parties to handle remittance of unpaid past drink taxes.

Retail Sales Strong for Paris

Paris, Tenn.-Retail Sales were strong again for April for the city of Paris, showing a 4.62% increase over April of 2013, according to the report by Finance Director Kim Foster at Thursday night’s meeting.  The city is now 3.74% ahead of FY 2013 year-to-date. (January – April)

In the General Fund, expenditures are still running well ahead of our revenues for the year.  As of the end of May, expenditures have out-paced revenues by over $300,000.  On the other hand, the Solid Waste Fund is doing well with revenues $190,000 ahead of Expenses.  One big revenue item which the city is hoping to receive before the end of June is the final payment on the Joy Street Project in the amount of almost $146,000.

Additionally the city is over 21% and over $57,000 behind last year in whole-sale liquor revenues. City Manager Carl Holder said that is due to liquor now being sold in two neighboring counties.

Bethel Finishes Third, Murray State Fourth in Collegiate Series

San Antonio, Texas--The Bethel University Bass Fishing Team finished third and the Murray State University team came in fourth in the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing School of the Year Series this year. 

Meanwhile, the University of North Alabama took home the School of the Year title.

The Cabela's School of the Year program offers college anglers the chance to compete at the highest level in over thirty collegiate fishing events each year and counting. The Association of Collegiate Anglers created this program to both rank and reward collegiate fishing teams based on their performance in the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, Carhartt College B.A.S.S., FLW, and select school-hosted events. 

When asked just how prestigious this title is, the Director of College Operations, Wade Middleton, said that "this is the ultimate trophy of college fishing and most people don't quite understand the significance of the competition and the title. In order for a school to win the Cabela's School of the Year title, schools have to perform at their very best all year round, and not just one event, which is not easy by any means."

Rounding out the Top Ten teams in the Cabela's School of the Year title are as follows:

1. University of North Alabama - 2,289 points

2. University of Louisiana Monroe - 2,156 points

3. Bethel University - 2,103 points

4. Murray State University - 1,860 points

5. University of Alabama - 1,832 points

6. University of Tennessee - 1,711 points

7. Mississippi State University - 1,671 points

8. Georgetown College - 1,514 points

9. Clemson University - 1,482 points

10. Kansas State University - 1,467 points

For more information and complete standings of the School of the Year visit:

Boyd's Opens in Cottage Grove

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Just in time for the Fourth of July holiday, the Cottage Grove Boyd’s store is now open. And the people of Cottage Grove couldn’t be happier. Mayor Mike Waddey said this morning, “We’re all just super excited about this. This has been a real community effort and that’s why I keep saying to the people here, ‘This is your store’.”

Boyd’s general merchandise store is similar to the one in Paris and is located in the former Security Bank in the heart of Cottage Grove. Cottage Grove is the smallest incorporated city in Tennessee. Boyd's is the only store in the town.

A large group of community volunteers, led by Larry Niemi, have been working day and night over the past few weeks to remodel the interior of the building to make it ready for the Boyd’s opening. “Everyone was hurrying to get it ready by the holiday,” Waddey said.

The swiftness with which the building has been readied for the opening has been amazing, Waddey said. “I just can’t believe it’s open already. When Tim Boyd puts his mind to something, it happens.”

The store will be open on the 4th of July, Waddey said, so all who come to the 39th Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival can see it and hopefully shop there, too.

“And everyone who comes there today for the first day is being asked to sign the front counter,” Waddey said. “They’re going to clear coat it so that the names are preserved.”

Boyd’s will hold a grand opening at a later date.

Paris PD Warns of Emails Containing Threats

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police Department has recently received information concerning spam e-mails threatening to assassinate the recipient unless the individual pays several thousand dollars to the sender of the e-mail.

The subject claims to have been following the victim for some time and was supposedly hired to kill the victim by a friend of the vic...tim. The subject threatens to carry out the assassination if the victim goes to the police and requests the victim to respond quickly and provide their telephone number.

"Warning! Providing any personal information can compromise your identify and open you to identity theft," according to Paris Police officials.

Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said, "This is the first time that physical violence has been threatened in an email scam here in Paris. However, FBI records show that these fraud emails have been circulating since 2006. It is important that Maine residents understand that this email is a scam. The purpose is to extort money from innocent people. Do not send your money to the sender. If you receive an email like this, please notify state or local law enforcement ."

"Tennessee Crossroads" to Feature Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America will be featured on National Public Television’s popular Tennessee Crossroads program this month in several markets throughout the state.  

Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy said, “Tennessee Crossroads sent a film crew out several weeks ago, and we just learned that the segment is airing on several stations throughout the month.”  

According to Ken Simington of WNPT in Nashville, the segment will air in Nashville on WNPT Thursday, July 3rd at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday, July 6th at 10 a.m.  People in and around Obion County, where the park is located, will be able to watch the segment when it airs on Martin’s public station, WLJT on July 10  at 8 p.m. or on Saturday, July 12  at 11 a.m.  And, WKNO, the public television station in Memphis is scheduled to air the show on July 17  at 7 p.m..  

 “We are thrilled to be getting this kind of publicity in our home state of Tennessee,” Rippy added.   

 “Discovery Park of America is truly a unique story,” Rippy said.  “To think that one man spent over one-hundred million dollars of his own money building something of this magnitude in this small rural area is a remarkable story.  And, when you consider the popularity of what is largely an educational venue…it is simply quite amazing.”  

According to park officials, Discovery Park will host its 200,000 visitor later this week, proving that the hands-on “fun” approach to learning is appealing to young and old alike.  “People are driving here from three and four hours away on a regular basis,” Rippy said.  “Having a show like Tennessee Crossroads share our story with people in Tennessee is something we are all excited about.”  

Discovery Park of America is located on Everett Blvd., in Union City and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The park opened November 1st of 2013 and has a full calendar of events lined up for the summer months.  For more information about classes, concerts and other activities, visit the website at

Carroll Lake Repairs to be Costly, Lengthy

McKenzie, Tenn.-It will be expensive and will take at least four years for Carroll Lake to be repaired and reopened. That was the word from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) after inspecting the site recently. Carroll Lake is now completely drained of water, following flood damage to the dam gates.

According to The McKenzie Banner, TWRA Official Dave Rizzuto said the cost of repairs are estimated at some $500,000 and it could take until 2018 for Carroll Lake to be reopened.

Further compounding the problem is a lack of money available at the state or federal level to pay for the repairs now, Rizzuto said. And since no bids have yet been planned for the project, any process would be lengthy at this point.

Mr. Bond The Science Guy Always Popular

Summer Reading Deadline Extended to Today

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd of children were on hand for the return appearance of the popular Mr. Bond The Science Guy at the W.G. Rhea Library Summer Reading Program Wednesday morning. As always, Mr. Bond (also known as Keith Trehy) enlisted the assistance of the children in his experiments. 

Registration for the summer reading program has been extended until today (Thursday) and the library is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Upcoming programs include NHECM (National History Educational Company of the Midsouth) animal show on Wednesday night, July 9th from 6 - 7 p.m. called Animal Appetites. The program will exhibit a range of avian, mammal and reptile or amphibian wildlife exhibits, as Bob Tarter will explore all aspects of the food chain.  (Kayla Nation photo).

Second Session of HCMC Summer Camp Planned

Paris, Tenn.- With the first summer camp so successful, the Henry County Medical Center, Paris Henry County Healthcare Foundation and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital will hold a second session Monday July 28 - August 1.

The camp is designed for students in elementary and middle school grades first through eighth and is focused on simple guiding principles related to health- eight hours of sleep, five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, two hours or less of screen time per day in front of electronic devices, one hour  of exercise per day, and 0 sugar drinks. And more water.

The second session will be held at Atkins Porter Gym and offers a free breakfast from 8:30am-9 am and camp activities from 9 am to 10:30 am each day.

Applications are due by Friday July 25 and enrollment is on first come, first served basis and can be found online at Campers should were comfortable clothes and closed toed shoes and are encouraged to bring their own water bottle. 

Registration Ongoing For Paris Landing Triathlon

Paris, Tenn.- Registration is ongoing for the Paris Landing Sprint Tri set for 7 a.m. July 12. The event involves a 500 meter swim, 14-mile bike run and three-mile run. Persons who complete the triathlon will receive medals. Souvenir t-shirts also are available. It will be held through the Paris Landing State Park.

Online race registration is underway through Thursday July 10 by visiting Cost is $75 to register for the race.  

One of the sponsors, the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is seeking 60 volunteers to help put on the event. Call the chamber at 642-3431 for information.

Paris PD To Conduct Holiday Checks

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police Department will be conducting safety and sobriety checks starting today through July 4th weekend, Monday July 7.  The safety checks will target impaired drivers and to ensure vehicle safety laws are met.  All safety and impaired driver violations will be strictly enforced.  

The Paris Police Department is a partner with the Governor Highway Safety Office GHSO in its efforts to reduce D.U.I.’s, injury accidents and fatal traffic accidents through extra traffic enforcement. The funds received from the GHSO program allow them to put extra officers in the field with the specific goal of saving lives by focused traffic enforcement programs set by the Chief of Police.   

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Paris Woman Wins $150,000 in Lottery

Paris, Tennessee--As of last week, a Paris woman is $150,000 richer, thanks to the Tennessee lottery. According to Rachel Petrie of the Tennessee Lottery, Mary Wallace won her windfall by purchasing Giant Jumbo Bucks at Daily’s convenience store at 2504 E. Wood St. Wallace told lottery officials she was thrilled with her prize and plans to save her windfall for a rainy day. (Lottery photo).

Henry Countians Treated to Light Show Tuesday Night

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County residents were treated to light shows right in their own homes last night. As a severe thunderstorm began to blow through the county, it appeared as if someone in control of a giant dimmer switch was at work, dimming the lights on and off for several moments. Then, electricity went off altogether, but not all at once. Again, the electricity went off for several moments, then back on again repeatedly over a period of some 30-45 minutes.

Paris Board of Public Utilities officials posted messages on their Facebook page informing the public that the switch at Hwy. 69 burnt up and three substations--at India Rd., Puryear, and Tecumseh--were out. 

BPU crews also were dealing with broken poles and other issues. Around 8:30 p.m., the substations were energized and electricity was restored.

Celebrate Old-Fashioned 4th of July at LBL

Golden Pond, Ky.-The Land Between the Lakes will be hosting several unique activities over the 4th of July weekend. 

The public can enjoy a look into the past at The Homeplace, a living history farm, where an old-fashioned Independence Day such as was celebrated in the 1850s will be recreated.

Festivities kick off with a visit from the popular Kentucky statesman Henry Clay as he regales us with stories of his life. 

Play old-time games; enjoy a cool slice of watermelon, cool under the shade of the maple trees while enjoying music and a few tall tales. For more information, call 931-232-6457.

More LBL 4th of July Activities - Friday, July 4th from 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Red, White and Blue Scavenger Hunt / noon - 12:30 p.m. Bald IS Beautiful!: Bald Eagle / 2 - 3 p.m. Amazing Animal Picnic / 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Home Place Independence Day 1850s ; Saturday, July 5th from 11:30 - 12 p.m. National Symbols Showdown / 2 - 2:30 p.m. What Lurks at Night by Your Campsite? / 1- 3:00 p.m. Traditional Chair Making - Sunday, July 6th from 11:30 - 12:30 p.m. Animal Meet & Greet / 2:00 - 2:30 p.m. Let the Turtle Race Begin! / 1- 3 p.m. Red, White and Blue Dye-ing. For more information, call 270-924-2000 or visit

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

After Construction, Reelfoot Lake Spillway Still Not Operational

New Reelfoot spillway. (Chuck Sutherland photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Tiptonville, Tenn.-It took years for the project to finally begin and now that the construction of the new Reelfoot Lake Spillway is completed, it still is not operational. The project was a joint project of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency, and over the years increased in cost until now the total cost runs somewhere in the $20 million range.

The new spillway is intended to replace the old spillway that sits about 1000 feet of the new structure on Hwy. 21 West in Lake County.

So what is the reason for the delay in utilizing the new structure? After many phone calls to several officials with TDOT, TWRA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, it seems the problem lies with a continuing debate between the agencies over water levels that should be used at Reelfoot Lake. But most of the officials contacted did not want to talk about the controversy on the record.

Kentucky lawmakers had tried to block the construction of the new spillway, worried that too-high water levels would flood farmland across the Kentucky border from Reelfoot Lake. Meanwhile, fishermen at Reelfoot continue to be concerned that the water levels are too high now.

The spillway is vital to manage the water level of the lake and the water level issue has become a political hot potato. 

Lake County Mayor Marcie Roberson said, “This is very frustrating and it’s been going on too long.”

The new spillway is substantially complete now, but according to TWRA officials, still lacks an operational manual that will enable operators to keep the lake at certain water levels--but what those water levels should be is the key issue.

TWRA Regional Manager Alan Peterson said testing of the new spillway’s gates have been performed this spring. The new spillway is more complicated to operate than the old spillway, he said, since it is operated by computers.

“We have to wait until everyone is confident that it will work correctly and we can’t write the operating manual until it is working to everyone’s satisfaction,” Peterson said. “There is a lot of testing involved. Even though the structure is up, there is a lot more to it than that.”

Peterson said agency engineers need to be certain the new spillway can operate at levels that it is supposed to “before we can use it exclusively and abandon the old one. We’ll develop a manual for it when we’re confident it can do the same as the old one.”

“It’s a long, complicated process,” Peterson said. The manual is reportedly being developed by TWRA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Once the operating manual is complete and the spillway is operational, Peterson said the spillway will be operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency.

As for TDOT, Nichole Lawrence of that agency’s communications office said, “TDOT is complete with the construction of the spillway and now the questions should be referred to TWRA.”

The process of constructing the new spillway dates back all the way to 1998, with several design changes and much political wrangling involved with the project.

State Students Make Strides in TCAP Scores

Nashville– Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman today announced Tennessee students made gains in the majority of the state’s 31 grade and subject-level tests.

 The biggest increases seen in the 2013-2014 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) results were in high school, where students made gains on five of seven high school tests. The 2014 results mark the second year of strong growth in a row at the high school level.

 Since Haslam took office, Tennessee students have made significant and sustained growth in academic achievement. More than 100,000 additional students are on grade level in math, and an additional 57,000 students are at or above grade level in science.

 “Systemic change over time is hard work, but we continue to see evidence that shows our teachers’ efforts are paying off,” Haslam said. “The ultimate goal of our work is to send more students out of high school with higher skill levels, and today’s results show that we are making good progress.”

 Tennessee teachers fully implemented the state’s new standards in math and English this year, and student scores held steady in grades 3-8, with slight gains in most areas. This year’s results showed improvement in math and science areas, with biology and algebra proficiency rates continuing to rise. In 2011 only 31 percent of Algebra II students were on grade level, and this year nearly 50 percent – more than 13,000 additional Tennessee students than in 2011 – reached that mark.

 High school English scores grew considerably over last year’s results in English I and English II. The students on grade level in English II increased nearly 4 percent this year.

 Additionally, achievement gaps for minority students narrowed in math and reading at both the high school and 3-8 levels.

 Results continue to show the need for improvement in reading. The department trained 18,000 teachers this year on the state’s standards. Another 5,000 educators participated last year in reading courses offered by the department and its regional network of offices, Centers of Regional Excellence (CORE), and teachers across the state will have access to those classes again this year.

 “The state assessment is not the only barometer, but it is an important way of looking at our work,” Huffman said. “What it shows is that we are teaching our students to read more closely and think more critically than ever before.”

 Tennessee students will continue to take TCAP during the 2014-15 school year. Complete statewide results for the 2013-14 TCAP are available at   

Henry County Fair Book Dedicated to Crawford

Paris, Tenn.-This year’s Henry County Fair Book is dedicated to the late Larry Crawford, a former Mayor of Paris and active for many years in various aspects of the county fair. Crawford died in November of 2013.

The 2014 Henry County Fair will be held this year from August 4-August 9 and the fair books were printed yesterday. The fair books right now only available at the Henry County Extension Office but County Director Michele Atkins said the books will be distributed over the next few days at the local banks.

The book dedication to Crawford reads: “When most people in Paris and Henry County remember Larry Crawford they remember him as the Mayor of Paris. But he was much more.”

Crawford grew up in McKenzie and lived in Paris for 50 years, practicing accounting in Paris, McKenzie and Camden. He was first elected to Paris city commission in 1993, serving until 2005. He was Mayor from 1999 to 2005. In 2011, he headed up the Henry County Alliance, serving until 2013.

As a member of the Henry County Fair Board, Crawford served on various committees, including terms as both Vice-President and President. He was involved in the Junior Livestock program, was a regular member of the ring men taking bids for the Junior Livestock sale and a bid taker for the annual Country Ham sale.

Crawford was active in many other organizations, including the State Cattlemen’s Association, Farm Bureau Board, Sons of American Legion, Elks Lodge, and Episcopal Church.

Crawford and his wife, Sandra, had two children, Kim and David. Kim is married to Sammy Cox and have two children, Wesley and Olivia.

Refuge Center Grand Opening Set July 19

Paris, Tenn.-The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has announced the Grand Opening of the Headquarters and Visitor Center for Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will be held from 10 a.m. to 4
p.m. Saturd...ay, July 19th with a day of activities.

The day will commence with opening ceremonies at 10 am with representatives from the Henry County Sheriff’s office presenting the colors. Dignitaries from the community as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and members of the Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will be speaking briefly before cutting the ribbon on the building.

The new building is located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville just 15 minutes from Paris. It can be reached by turning onto Oak Grove Road South from Highway 79 North of Paris, TN and following the directional signs.

Members of the public are invited to tour the visitor center and experience the exhibits which focus on the area’s wildlife resources and the mission of the refuge. The public will also be invited to view the newly dedicated John T. Taylor Environmental Education wing which includes a classroom and auditorium. The wing is named to honor the former refuge manager for his 20 years of dedication and passion for the wildlife resources of the refuge and his hard work in securing this lovely facility for future generations to enjoy.

The day will be a festive one which will include many family friendly activities for young and old alike. Many local agencies, organizations and clubs are partnering with the refuge to open this building in style. Programs will be held in the auditorium each hour as well as many activities on the lawn. Some of our partners include the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge, Watchable Wildlife; Tennessee Ornithological Society; Paris Landing State Park; Reelfoot State Park; Land Between the Lakes Nature Station; Fort Donelson National Battlefield; Natural Resources Conservation Service; National Wild Turkey Federation; Boy Scouts of America; Camden Garden Club; Glenn Lee; Brenda Valentine; and Gary Jenkins.

Activities outside on the visitor center lawn will include having live animals such as a bald eagle, hawks, owls, snakes, and turtles for viewing; turtle races; archery range; live songbird banding; nature crafts; history of the rivers; building a bluebird box, local mammals and track identification; aquatics and reservoir biology; soil conservation and rainfall demonstration; insects and butterflies; beginning bird watching; and children’s nature games.

Food and drinks will be available for sale provided by the Boy Scouts of America which will include Bar-be-que sandwich, chips and drink for $6.00 and drinks/water for $1.00.
After July 19th, the new refuge visitor center will be open free to the public Monday through Saturday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The refuge considers the center to be instrumental in connecting people with the natural resources that abound at the refuge. The environmental education wing will offer free field trip and program opportunities to school children and groups visiting the refuge.

For more information about the grand opening, refuge visitor center or Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge contact the refuge office at 731-642-2091 or at

Lowe Speaks to Quota on Counterfeiting and Checks

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff’s Office Captain Damon Lowe was the speaker at the Paris Quota Club and spoke about check washing and counterfeit money.

He also thanked the club for placing a defibrillator at Henry County High School. Lowe said having the defibrillator in place there saved the life of one of their deputies earlier this year when he was at the high school for a benefit basketball game. 

On the subject of counterfeiting and check washing, Lowe said to always use ball point or gel pen to write checks, as they do not wash and to look for the optic fiber ink in the lower right hand corner of bills. 

If the bill is real, it will change colors, he said.  Green and gold are the colors of ink used on bills.  He also said that if you go to a restaurant and use a debit or credit card; be sure it is your card, with your name on it, that is returned to you…not a blank card.

Also at the meeting as guests were Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Chief Deputy Randy Gean.

New club yearbooks are available for $5 each and Jane Sinnema announced that the birthday party at the Henry County Nursing Home will be the last week of July.  She will have more information on the date and time at the next meeting.

New Eagle Tours Signage Unveiled at Reelfoot

Tiptonville, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand for the unveiling of the new Reelfoot Lake State Park Eagle Tour History signage. Members of the First Park Manager Ralph Burris's family, top photo, along with many others who have contributed to the history and success of Eagle Tours throughout the years attended the unveiling. (Park Manager Alisha Weber photo).

Area Unemployment Rates Up Slightly

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Unemployment rates in our local area have increased slightly in May over the April figures, across-the-board over our area counties. Carroll County is back on the list of the state’s counties with the highest unemployment, with a rate of 9 percent, making it the 87th highest in the state. Carroll County’s rate rose .5 percent in one month.

Good news is that two counties which just a few months ago were among those on that list--Obion and Weakley--continue to show strides. Obion County in May was at 8.8 percent, up from 8.2 percent in April. Weakley County was 8.9 percent, up from 8.1 percent in April.

The county with the lowest unemployment rate among the area counties is Henry, with 7.8 percent in May, compared to 7.7 percent in April.

Other counties and their rate comparisons are:  Benton, 8.4 percent in May, up from 8.2 percent and Stewart, at 8.1 percent, up from 7.8 percent.

Lincoln County continues to record the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 4.4 percent.

Dresden Man Arrested in Gun Thefts

Dresden, Tenn.-A Dresden man is behind bars after Weakley County investigators found 39 guns in his house, several of which were determined to be stolen from homes and vehicles in the Martin area.

John Thomas Flora, 52, of 816 Rock McClain Road near Dresden was arrested Friday by the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department after they went to his house to question him about the guns.

According to the police report, Flora told investigators he could not remember who he got the guns from. At least seven of the guns have already been determined to have been stolen from a house in Martin, from vehicles in Martin and from a residence in the county close to Martin, according to the sheriff’s department.

The case is still under investigation.

Officers working the case are Capt. Terry McDade and Investigator Eric Smith from the sheriff’s department, Investigator Mark Rushing from the Martin Police Department and Investigator Steve Howe from the Dresden Police Department.

Monday, June 30, 2014

'Spoofing': New Way For Scam Artists To Rip Off Public
Calls Even Purport To Be From State Rep. Wirgau

Monitoring a 'spoofing' website (from left): Capt. Damon Lowe, Sheriff Monte Belew and State Rep. Tim Wirgau. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin  WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The term ‘spoofing’ may not be familiar to most people now, but the Henry County Sheriff’s Office is wanting to make the public aware of what it is and what to do about it. And in the meantime, Sheriff Monte Belew said, ‘spoofing’ phone calls intended to harass or defraud the public will be prosecuted.

‘Spoofing’, Sheriff Monte Belew explained, is a new way for scam artists to rip off the public, by disguising their phone number and even their voice when they call people.

Belew said, “We’ve seen a huge increase in calls being spoofed here locally in the last six months. It’s a new thing scam artists are doing now. Any phone number they want can be programmed to appear on your Caller ID, but they’re actually calling you from their own phone. The program even allows them to disguise their voice when they call you.”

The latest victim of the calls is State Rep. Tim Wirgau of Paris. Someone has been ‘spoofing’ calls, pretending they are from Wirgau, Belew said. Several people in Henry County have been receiving calls which on their Caller ID indicate are from Wirgau, but they’re actually from someone pretending to be with a credit card company who is trying to get your personal information, Belew said.

“I was a victim of one of these calls myself,” Belew said, noting that someone called the Henry County 911 Dispatch making threatening calls to the sheriff. “The Caller ID here indicated they were calling from Wyoming, but it was actually calling from someone here locally.”

Wirgau said, “I want the public to know that we would never call anyone from my local office and my Nashville office and try to get them to sign up with a credit card or anything like that. That’s why we reached out to the sheriff to see what was happening here and we’re very grateful that the sheriff acted immediately to get to the bottom of this.”

Local residents were calling the sheriff’s office to report getting the calls purporting to be from Wirgau, Belew said. “This is the first time here we’ve seen these people use an elected official as a technique to gain peoples’ trust like that.”

Captain Damon Lowe said there are two forms of spoof calls: one is for prank purposes and the other is for more ominous reasons such as telemarketing, trying to get personal information or harassment.

Unfortunately, scammers can get the tools to make spoofing calls right off the internet by buying spoofing phone cards that can be used for all sorts of purposes. “And if you try to call the number back that shows up on your Caller ID, it can’t be answered.”

Wirgau said his office will be researching the problem with an eye to introducing legislation to criminalize it. 

Belew said the situation with spoofers using Wirgau’s phone number came to a head on Friday night, with reports from the public of receiving calls from him. Wirgau said, “That was a red flag to us because we had received those kinds of calls to our Nashville office several weeks ago, people saying that we were constantly calling their homes here in Henry County.”

Belew said, “When we receive reports of these spoofing calls, we will subpoena phone records and track these people down.”
Anyone receiving the calls should call the sheriff’s office at 642-1672.

Zach Adams Facing New Charges

Henderson, Tenn. – One of the major suspects in the disappearance and murder of Holly Bobo has been charged with assault following a reported altercation with three jail officers at the Chester County Jail.

Zachary Adams is being held at the Chester County Jail pending further hearings on the murder and kidnapping charges facing him. According to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office, Adams was being moved to a special cell June 13 after he made suicidal comments indicating that he intended to ‘throw himself from the highest point to which he could climb in his cell’.

While he was being moved, Adams reportedly hit two corrections officers and tried to trip another jailer as they tried to restrain him. Adams was finally moved to the new cell.
Adams has been appointed an additional attorney to handle the new charge and will be back in court July 15.

Both he and Jason Autrey have been charged with aggravated kidnapping and murder in Bobo’s disappearance from her Darden home in 2011.

 Two other men, half-brothers Mark Lynn Pearcy and Jeffrey Kurt Pearcy, have been charged with Tampering with Evidence and Accessory After the Fact in connection with the case.

Murray Man Charged in Thefts

Murray, Ky.-Following an investigation by Murray Police Department investigators which spanned the months of May and June 2014, a local Murray man has been charged with three burglaries and one theft. 

Daniel Hall, 54, of Murray, was charged on June 26th with two counts of Burglary 2nd Degree, one count of Burglary 3rd Degree, and one count of Theft By Unlawful Taking $500- $10,000. Hall was arrested and lodged at the Calloway County Jail.

129th Army Band To Perform Wednesday at Paris Landing

Buchanan, Tenn.-A patriot treat--not to mention free--is in store for the public on Wednesday evening as the 129th Army Band is set to perform at Paris Landing State Park.

The event is sponsored by Fort Donelson National Battlefield and Paris Landing for the special performance at 6:30 p.m. at the state park amphitheater.

Since its inception, the 129th Army Band has represented the state of Tennessee and the Tennessee Army National Guard proudly. From playing at two World’s Fairs to marching in a Presidential Inaugural Parade, the 129th Army Band has been called on to perform countless times across the globe. 

On two occasions they played for the US Ambassador of Columbia, South America. Additionally, they performed in Izmir, Turkey in support of NATO and have relieved numerous active duty bands at such places as Ft. Monroe, Virginia, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and Schofield Barrack, Hawaii. Also, the 129th Army Band was one of two reserve bands called to active duty in support of Operation Desert Storm. 

For this free performance, visitors are invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket, water, and some friends. 

In case of inclement weather the concert will he held inside Paris Landing’s Conference Center. For other unique events being offered at Fort Donelson, please consult the park’s website at For more information contact 931-232-5706.

Fireworks Set For Cottage Grove, Paris Landing, Discovery Park

Fireworks Return To Cottage Grove Freedom Fest

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Fireworks are returning to the Cottage Grove Freedom Festival this year, along with several new events.

The 39th Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival will be held all day Friday, July 4, with a full slate of activities, including a parade, games, country store, hay rides, mechanical bull riding, live music and the big finale with fireworks.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office color guard leading the way. Grand Marshal will be in memorial of Kate Rainey. Parade line-up begins at 9 a.m. A turkey shoot and motorcycle rally begin at 9 a.m.

Immediately after the parade, game booths, concessions, hay rides, a cake walk and mechanical bull activities will begin and the country store opens.

From noon to 1:30 p.m., there will be an auction, with children’s bicycle show at noon, peddle tractor pull at 1 p.m. and a new event, an archery shoot.

From 3-4:30 p.m. will be another new event, bingo. At 6 p.m., live music by the Great River Road Band and the country ham giveaway drawing, followed by two more new events, the corn hole tournament and 50/50 drawing.

Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

Huge Fireworks Display Planned For Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.- The City of Union City and Discovery Park of America are teaming up to host the biggest Fourth of July Celebration that Union City has ever seen.

Discovery Park will be open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on the Fourth of July, with all tickets just $10 all day. Free flags will be given to the first 1,000 guests. Then, beginning at 5 p.m., entrance to the grounds will be free. 

There will be food and beverage trucks, live music, face painting, yard games and kiddy rides all day long. Avonlea will play at 6 p.m. and Blind Red Rooster will take the stage at 7:30. At 9 p.m. you’ll see the largest fireworks display ever in Union City. 

More information is on the Discovery Park website and Facebook page.

Paris Landing To Host Fireworks, Music

Buchanan, Tenn.-Paris Landing State Park will once again host the fireworks on the Fourth of July. Coordinated by the local Jaycees, the fireworks display will begin at 9 p.m. Friday, with Michael S. Smith set to perform beginning at 5 p.m.

Tickets on Sale For "An Evening With Sammy Goldstein"

Paris, Tenn.-Nationally-known Cabaret Performer Sammy Goldstein of Paris will be coming back to his hometown to perform a benefit concert for the Lee Academy for the Arts July 19 and tickets are on sale now.

Goldstein said the concert will include Broadway Show tunes, Irving Berlin, Classic Pop Hits of the 50’s & 60’s, and more.  

“An Evening With Sammy Goldstein” will be held at the Krider Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. July 19. It is co-sponsored by the First Christian Church. A reception will follow in the lobby of KPAC.

Tickets are available at Jack Jones Flowers, Leach’s Music, and Merison’s, all in Paris. Tickets are $15.

Henry Trading Post Holds Grand Opening

Henry, Tenn.-The grand opening of the Henry Trading Post was kicked off Saturday with a ribbon-cutting and benefit for the Henry Volunteer Fire Department. The Trading Post is owned by the Koch family, which includes Morgan, who was doing the honors at the ribbon-cutting. Located at 77 Meadows Drive, it features a line of livestock and fishing supplies as well as pet food. (Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce photo).


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Skip Johnson Wins FLW Tournament

Skip Johnson proudly displays big check. (FLW-Garrick Dixon photo)

Paris, Tenn.-Skip Johnson of Goddells, Mich., took the patient approach to the just-ended Walmart FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) Tour on Kentucky Lake and ended up winning $100,000 for his efforts. FLW Officials said Johnson saved the best for last as he brought his biggest bag of the week to the Walmart in Paris Sunday afternoon for the final weigh-in. 

Johnson dropped 24 pounds on the scale Sunday and took the title by just one pound, two ounces over Jason Lambert. Johnson wrapped up the week with a four-day total weight of 88 pounds, 10 ounces.

Other finalists in the Top 5 were: second, Jason Lambert, 87 pounds, 8 ounces; third, Jim Moynagh, 86 pounds 13 ounces; Randy Haynes, 85 pounds, 11 ounces and Clent Davis, 84 pounds, three ounces.

The tournament is sponsored by Evinrude and co-sponsoring the local leg of the tourney was the Henry County Alliance.

Braxton Named Co-Angler of Year After Johnson Disqualified

Paris, Tenn. – The FLW Walmart Tournament was not without a bit of controversy as Braxton Setzer of Auburn, Ala., was declared FLW Tour Co-angler of the Year early Sunday morning, just one day after the title appeared to have slipped through his grasp on Kentucky Lake.

It had appeared Saturday that Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., had won over Setzer--he actually had been declared the winner. 

According to the FLW press release, Johnson finished 11th in the tournament, matching Setzer’s 1054 points for the season and winning the title by a tiebreaker. “To win the tiebreaker Johnson needed to weigh-in at least 11 pounds, 14 ounces. He brought 14 pounds, 3 ounces to the scale. Unfortunately for Johnson, who has fished the FLW Tour as a co-angler since 2012, that all changed when it was discovered that he had fished from the front deck of Cody Meyer’s boat Saturday, a clear violation of FLW Tour rules,” according to the release.

“This is an unfortunate situation,” according to Tournament Director Bill Taylor. “Video from the day shows a single incident where Johnson stepped onto the front deck to net a fish for Cody Meyer. Johnson then makes a cast from the front deck and works his lure while waiting with the net. It was clearly an innocent mistake, but it is a violation nonetheless.”
The video can be seen on FLW’s YouTube channel here.

As a result of the infraction, Johnson’s catch for the day has been disqualified, giving Setzer the Co-angler of the Year title.

“Obviously I hate that this happened,” Johnson said. “It was just a reaction to keep fishing. I know fishing from the front deck is not permitted by co-anglers. I’d been casting to the front of the boat for most of the day due to the wind conditions, and I was just trying to keep the school fired up. I just never once thought about it during the heat of the moment. I made the cast, dropped to get the net and was not thinking when I made the cast from the front. Winning Co-angler of the Year would have been incredible, particularly since it was such a close race, but I’m not going to let this set me back. I’m still looking forward to fishing the FLW Tour as a pro next season.”

Setzer was recognized on stage during Sunday’s final weigh-in in Paris, Tenn., as the 2014 FLW Tour Co-angler of the Year.

Heavy Rains Mark Final Day of FLW Tourney

Buchanan, Tenn.-FLW Pros head out this morning in the pouring rain from Paris Landing Marina. (FLW photo).

Local Food Drive is Part of FLW Expo This Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-FLW Pro Rich Dalbey of Greenville, Texas, takes time out of every tournament to spearhead local food bank collections and his visit to Henry County for the FLW Tournament is no exception. At the Expo Saturday and today, he and local residents are collecting for the First United Methodist Food Bank, In photo from Saturday's Expo are (from left) Kyle Brookshear of Lindell, Tex.; Dalbey, and Carol Doster and Joan Stephens of Paris. The Expo and collection drive are still going on today at the Walmart shopping center. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Largest Lottery Prize in State History Still Unclaimed

Winning Store Donates All to Charity

Nashville - The winning Powerball ticket worth an estimated $259.58 million sold in Knoxville has still been unclaimed.

As excitement and curiosity continue to build about who is holding the Powerball ticket worth an estimated $259.8 million, the Tennessee Lottery has announced that the lucky ticket was sold at Kroger, 6702 Clinton Hwy., in Knoxville.

The retailer location will receive $25,000 for selling the winning jackpot ticket, in addition to a bright public spotlight and very likely a few more Lottery customers in search of similar good fortune.

Meanwhile, the jackpot winner of the Powerball drawing held Wednesday, June 11, remains unknown. Lottery officials advise the lucky ticket holder to sign the back of the ticket, keep it in a secure location, consult with financial and/or legal advisors, and call the Lottery headquarters in Nashville before coming to claim the prize.

The Lottery will release additional details as they become available.

Kroger officials announced late this week they would be donating 100 percent of the check to five area charities: Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, Cystic Fibrosis, Children's Hospital, the Teacher's Supply Depot and Love Kitchen, which will each receive $5,000.

The Tennessee Lottery says this is the first time a retailer has given all of the proceeds to charity.

Here are additional Quick Facts on the mysterious big lottery winner:

• Player matched all six Powerball numbers drawn on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.

• Wins jackpot of $259.8 million. (Present cash value is estimated at $153.5 million.)

• This is the largest prize in Tennessee Lottery history and the second jumbo-jackpot win in 2014. (A mother and son from Bellevue,TN won a $61 million Mega Millions jackpot on January 3.)

• The Tennessee Lottery has now sold 141 winning Lottery tickets worth a million dollars or more.

• This jackpot roll began April 26 and generated more than $4.5 million for Lottery-funded education programs in Tennessee.

• Total number of winning tickets sold in Tennessee for this draw: 17,061.

• Including this jackpot winner, the Lottery has awarded approximately $609 million in Powerball prizes since it launched the game in April 2004.

• Powerball has generated approximately $575 million for education programs and generated $1.36 billion in total sales since Tennessee began offering the game.

• Retailer location that sold the ticket will receive $25,000.

• Winner has 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim the prize.

• 45 lottery jurisdictions sell Powerball tickets (43 states plus Washington DC and US Virgin Islands).

The Tennessee Education Lottery has raised over $3 BILLION for education since it began selling tickets on January 20, 2004 and funded more than 800,000 scholarships and grants. In addition to the educational beneficiaries, players have won over $7 billion in prizes and Lottery retailer partners have earned over $753 million in retailer commissions.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

FLW Fishing Expo Draws Large Crowd
Free Event Continues Sunday
Paris, Tenn.-Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Pro Jay Ellis of Celina, Ohio, top, provides a demonstration at the Fishing Expo at the Walmart Shopping Center today as part of the four-day FLW tournament on Kentucky Lake. Bottom photo, members of the Murray State Collegiate Bass Fishing team (Justin Berger, Randall Argo, Murray, and Dominick Schenewerk of Illinois) were on hand and are selling raffle tickets for a free fishing trip with the team, along with other prizes. A large crowd was on hand for the Expo which continues at Walmart Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Redington Leads FLW Tournament After Day Three

Paris, Tenn.-At the end of the third day of the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) tournament on Kentucky Lake, Tom Redington of Dallas, Texas, holds onto the lead with an 18 pound 13 ounce fish. He is one pound, two ounces over second place Skip Johnson. FLW photo.

Murray State Unveils New Logo

Murray, Ky. — Murray State University unveiled an updated athletic identity and branding initiatives, highlighted by a primary logo that will be very familiar to Racer fans, but noticeably fine-tuned and user-friendly across a wide variety of platforms and applications. In addition, the university is introducing a number of secondary marks and a unique typography that will allow the athletic brand to grow and capitalize on the popularity of the Racers.

“I’m very excited about the new marks and the enhancement to the primary mark,” according to Director of Athletics Allen Ward. “There’s been a need for a long time to develop additional secondary marks and a consistent typography. During a time where revenue generation and budget efficiencies are imperative for the university and department, this initiative allows us to address both aggressively.”

The marks were designed by nationally recognized firm Joe Bosack and Co., which has created sports logos for Boise State, Xavier, Houston, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Southeastern Conference and many more high profile clients.

The Racers nickname is a one-of-a-kind that distinguishes MSU from other universities in the conference, region and country. Bosack’s assignment was to expand the entire Racers brand through the development of other identity elements such as the secondary logos, and unifying word marks and uniform numbers that broaden the brand presentation and connect with its primary logo.

The University Store on Murray State’s campus will have apparel and other merchandise with the new logo in stock by July 1. The new logo can also be found on items online at by the same date.

HCMC 2014 Auxiliary Members Recognized

Paris, Tenn. – Henry County Medical Center’s Volunteer Auxiliary recognized its outgoing officers for 2013-2014 including President Holly Ledden who has served the organization for four years as President.  Additionally, the 2014-2015 officers were installed at the June meeting.

Recognized with a certificate and gift for serving as officers were Acting Secretary Mary Newson; Chaplain Laverne Crowley; Vice President Judith Welch; Treasurer Joan Shankle; Historian Jo Etta Nance; and President Holly Ledden.  Ledden received a gift basket as well as flowers form the Auxiliary.

Additionally, during the June meeting, the volunteer auxiliary elected its 2013-2014 officers with an installation ceremony.  The officers are as follows:  Historian Sharon Harrington, Chaplain Mary Lacy, Treasurer in Training Mary Lou Walker, Treasurer Joan Shankle, Secretary Betty Sue Bowden, Vice President Patsy Thompson, and President June Myers.

The HCMC Volunteer auxiliary is always looking for new volunteers to work a minimum of 10 hours a week.  To learn more about the volunteer auxiliary, call 731-644-8267.

Final Summer Registration at UTM Set July 18

Martin, Tenn. — The final Summer Orientation and Registration program for incoming University of Tennessee at Martin freshmen is set for July 18. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Boling University Center, followed by a welcome at 8:30 and informational sessions at 9. 

Students must have applied for admission and received a tentative or final acceptance letter to attend SOAR. Advance SOAR registration is required. 

During SOAR, students meet with academic advisers and register for classes; tour the campus, residence halls and University Village; receive information about student activities, housing and financial aid; and hear detailed information about First-Year Initiative, an orientation for freshmen the week before classes. Students should attend both SOAR and First-Year Initiative before fall semester, which begins Aug. 25.

Informational sessions for students and parents cover student health services, public safety, the bookstore, student employment and other topics. Additional concurrent sessions cover student activities, Greek life, housing and meal plans. Administrative offices will be open, and students and parents will have additional time to visit with housing, admissions and financial aid staff members.

For more information, call the Office of Admissions toll free at 1-800-829-UTM1 or 731-881-7027. Online registration is also available at

Friday, June 27, 2014

It's FLW Tournament Weekend!

Paris, Tenn.--The Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) pros have arrived in Henry County for a tournament at Kentucky Lake, but also to meet and greet the pubic at various locations. This photo provides a different perspective of this weekend's tournament, taken by Chris Brisendine with a drone from above Paris Landing.

The tournament began yesterday and runs through Sunday at Paris Landing. Weigh-ins will be held at state park today and will be moved to the Wal-Mart parking lot Saturday and Sunday.

The Wal-Mart event includes a Food Drive hosted by Professional Angler Rich Dalby

The FLW Expo at Walmart on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., will feature boat simulators, freebies, prizes and the chance to meet professional fishermen.Everyone who brings 5 cans of food will be entered to win a $100 Walmart gift card.

There also will be a free concert featuring Country Musician Michael Ray at 3 p.m. Sunday at Wal-Mart. For more info on the FLW Tour event, visit

FLW Pros Visit W.G. Rhea Library

Paris, Tenn.-Three FLW Pros made a visit to the W.G. Rhea Library Wednesday morning and thrilled the kids with stories about their profession and a tour of some of their boats. On hand were Tim Malone of Gatlingburg; Mike Surman, Boca Raton, Fla.; and Tom Redington of Dallas Texas. Librarian Kayla Nation said the pros "even gave the children a chance to ask questions and boy did they have questions! Their questions ranged from the best techniques for finding fish, the biggest fish they ever caught and how much money their boats cost. After the presentation, each of the pros took a group of children outside to see their boats. There, they discussed boat safety and let the kids climb into the boats to see all the tools they use onboard and the types of bait that is used, too. Top, the kids climb aboard Tom Redington's boat and bottom, the pros speak to the kids. (Kayla Nation photos).

Obion Jury Finds Spicer Guilty in Death of Troy Man

Union City, Tenn.-A 12-person Obion County Circuit Court jury found Jarrod Reese Spicer, 42, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., guilty on four of five counts following a trial this week. He was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, second degree murder, aggravated robbery and theft in the killing of John Thomas Hood, 77, of Troy, in March of 2008.

The jury deliberated from 10:15 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Spicer was indicted by an Obion County grand jury in 2013 on first degree murder, aggravated robbery and theft charges.

District Attorney Jim Cannon represented the state and Hal Dorsey of Alamo is Spicer’s attorney.

Judge William Acree said he will be sentenced July 25.

Steak 'n Shake To Open Soon in Paris

Paris, Tenn.-The new Steak 'n Shake location on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris is coming right along, as workmen put the finishing touches on the building this week. Paris Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris said the contractors expect the restaurant may be completed around July 7. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

 “One of a Kind” Dresden Farmers Market To Open 

Dresden, Tenn. –   Dresden’s new farmers market will feature lots of the common things you’d expect: “We’ll have all sorts of produce, eggs, homemade breads, baked goods, beef and chicken, etcetera,” says Lauren Bean, market manager.” According to Bean, however, the new facility will benefit from some attributes Dresden has in uncommon amounts: careful long term planning, plus extraordinary community cooperation, creativity, effort and pride.

 The Dresden Farmers Market Grand Opening is scheduled for June 28, from 8 a.m. until noon, and Bean says the event will give visitors and customers an up close look at what she calls “a one of a kind structure. You won't see anything like it elsewhere and it provides certain luxuries to our vendors and customers that many other markets in the region don't have.”

 The covered market includes tangible amenities like public restrooms, a bike rack, water fountains, and a prime location, with the less obvious but just as important appointment of a market committee, an official manager, and implementation of what Bean calls “an aggressive marketing program.” The market is located at 421 Linden Street.

 The Tennessee Department of Agriculture will be in attendance to host a Pick Tennessee Products media day. Media can interview farmers and area officials in attendance, get footage and photographs of visitors and receive a “goody bag” including digital images and information about local foods and farms. A new way to find local farmers markets is now available through a Pick Tennessee mobile app. The free app, downloadable on both iTunes and Google Play, can identify farms and markets within a designated radius of the user. Statewide directories of farmers markets remain available at the Pick Tennessee Products website, Contact TDA marketing specialist Amy Tavalin at 615-837-5163 for more information.

 Traditional craft demonstrations, face painting, horsedrawn cart rides, and fancy fruit carving will be special features of the market’s grand opening activities, and a $100 raffle is open to any visitors who fill out and submit a short survey.


KPAC Present Children's Theater This Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-The  Krider Performing Arts Center’s little actors will be performing Bugz! and 3 of a Kind this weekend. Performances are tonight at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. 

KPAC Director Rhonda Stanton said, “These are our 5-6 and 7-8 year old shows, and the cuteness quotient is out the roof. Some of our little guys and gals are already awesome young performers.”

Prices: $5 general seating for all. $10 reserved.

HCMC Hears of Looming THA-State Confrontation

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Thursday night, the Henry County Medical Center board of trustees heard Hospital Administrator Tom Gee said that a confrontation may be brewing between the Tennessee Hospital Association and the state of Tennessee.

Gee said, “The THA has been in discussions with the state to pay the second year rate variation to hospitals that are under paid for Tenncare. The state wants to take an additional year to do this due to slowness of the MCO’s and those hospitals giving up funds.”

The THA has been adamant, he said, that this was in the law previously passed by the Tennessee legislature. “If the state doesn’t follow the original agreement this could set up a confrontation with the two groups.” The local hospital was scheduled to receive a fourteen percent increase in outpatient rates from United Healthcare.

New Nursing Director James Caldwell told the board plans are being made to consolidate some of the nursing units to better manage patients who are in observation versus inpatient status. Caldwell also conducted the fourth training session for managers on ‘lean’ techniques. He presented information on value stream mapping that involves the flow charting of processes to identify waste that can be eliminated.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Carlton Gerrell Named Person of The Year

Carlton Gerrell thanks the Chamber, while Emcee Susan Jones looks on.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It was a night for recognizing past achievement and looking forward to the future at the 64th annual membership banquet for the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Thursday night.

It also was a night to honor persons in the community who have made a different. Chief among them was this year’s Person of the Year Carlton Gerrell. Gerrell is a member of Paris City Commission, the city’s planning commission, a minister at the Tennessee Valley Community Church, active with the Food Bank and many other community activities. He also spearheaded the Buy Local campaign this year.

An emotional Gerrell thanked the Chamber and the community, noting how honoured he was to be named Person of the Year alongside other notable local community members, including Susan Jones and Kathy Ray.

Business of the Year for 2014 was the PMB company of Paris, which has branched out into multiple layers. Beginning as a CPA firm, it has diversified into storage facilities, Eagle Buildings, Merison’s furniture and its newest venture, the Boyd’s stores.

Tim Boyd thanked the Chamber, saying, “This is a humbling honor. My parents taught us to work hard every day and bring something positive into people’s lives.”

Named Conservationist of the Year was the Story Farms, which operate 2600 acres which is predominantly no-till, utilizing cover crops and precision agriculture.

The Leadership Class of 2013-2014 was graduated: Melanie Antonino, Tony Brown, KEvin Buie, Greg Carter, Chuck Elizondo, Josh Greer, Dustin Smith, Jeremony Stone, Roger Veazey, David Hamilton, Willie Huffman, Rob Markum, Leatha McCroskey, Justin Rawls.

Outgoing Chamber President Andrea Lamb presented the red jacket to New Chamber President Chip Anderson. Emcee for the evening was Susan Jones. Providing musical entertainment was Micah Snow of Big Sandy.

Tim Boyd, right, accepts Business of the Year from Michael Murphey. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Micah Snow provided musical entertainment. (McFarlin photo).

Senator Howard Baker Dies Today at Tennessee Home

Huntsville, Tenn.-Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, R-Tenn., has died at the age of 88. He died at his home in Huntsville, Tenn. Senate leaders announced Baker’s death Thursday afternoon on the Senate floor.

Baker died Thursday of complications of a stroke he suffered last week.

Baker was one of the towering figures in the Republican Party for decades and came to national prominence in 1973 as vice chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee. He is the one who famously asked: “What did the president know, and when did he know it?”

During his illustrious career, he also served as chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan and was ambassador to Japan under President George W. Bush.  

In 1984, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam issued the following statement on Baker’s death: “Tennessee has lost a hero and a distinguished statesman, and I have lost a friend and mentor. 

“Howard Baker made Tennesseans proud, and he taught me an important lesson when I worked for him 35 years ago. Anytime he was sitting across the desk from someone in disagreement, he told himself to keep in mind: You know – the other fellow might be right. Whether at home, in business or in politics, that is always good advice to consider.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) also issued a statement: “When I think of the ultimate statesman, the very first person who comes to my mind is Howard Baker. 

“Howard Baker was one of those people who had the unique ability to bring out the very best in those around him. He always put our country’s interests first, and lived a life of service that everyone in public office should aspire to emulate. I have cherished the privilege of being able to sit down and talk with Howard on many occasions, and I will always value his words of encouragement.”

Cody Harmon Back in Henry County Jail

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Cody Harmon is back in Henry County Jail on a probation violation charge. Harmon, who now lives in Reagan, Tenn., was one of four men originally charged in the shooting death of Eric Kinley of Paris at a Paris nightclub in 2012.

Harmon, originally from Lexington, was originally charged with first degree murder and aggravated assault. He testified at the Henry County Circuit Court trial against one of his co-defendants Tevin Lumpkin of Huntingdon, and later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Harmon was on probation when he violated the terms of his probation. According to a court spokesperson, he was reportedly involved with a domestic dispute.

Henry County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Damon Lowe said deputies picked Harmon up Wednesday and brought him back to the local jail. He will appear in court July 7.

At the conclusion of the murder trial, Lumpkin was sentenced to life in prison. Another co-defendant Jiles Yarbrough, Huntington, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

A fourth co-defendant Charles Liphford will appear in Henry County Circuit Court next month on a charge of possessing a handgun while under the influence.

Homemade Palace de Versailles Model Presented

Alex McKinstry, right, is presented with the Marquis de Paris and the Loyal Patriot Award by Henry County Mayor Brent Greer and Paris Mayor Sam Tharpe. (Sam Buie photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Mayor Sam Tharpe and Henry County Mayor Brent Greer accepted a homemade model of the Palace de Versailles at a special ceremony Wednesday morning at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce office.

The model was built by 20-year-old Alex McKinstry, who was diagnosed with autism when he was a toddler. He and his family travelled from their home in Johnstown, Pa. to present the model in person.

McKinstry was presented with the Marquis de Paris Award by the city of Paris and with the Loyal Patriot Award by the county.

He and his family plan to visit the Eiffel Tower replica in Paris while they are in town. City officials are working to decide where to display The Palace de Versailles model.

You Talking To Me? Children Enjoy Ventriloquist at Rhea Library

Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Library was abuzz with laughter Wednesday morning for the presentation by Ventriloquist Jill Thatcher at the first program in this year’s Summer Reading Program. Thatcher lives in Nashville and performs with animal puppets, original songs and magic tricks. Parents and children are encouraged to pick up a list of Summer Reading activities at the library. The program runs through June 30. Upcoming activities include popcorn and a movie for children at 10 a.m. Friday to see the movie “Ice Age” and a showing of “Avatar” for teens at 6-9 p.m. that evening. Next Wednesday, Mr. Bond the Science Guy will be back in Paris at 10 a.m. at the library. All activities are free. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

LBL Quota Deer Hunt Applications Available July 1

Golden Pond, Ky – Applications for the 2014 Quota Deer Hunts at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area may be submitted July 1-31. The hunt application link may be found online at, on the homepage (July 1), or by phone at 270-924-2065. The application fee is $5 online, or $7 by phone. After applying, applicants can check back in late-August to see if they were drawn. 

Quota hunts provide unique recreational opportunities within the region and help maintain a healthy deer population. Deer harvested on Land Between The Lakes are bonus deer and do not count toward statewide bag limits. All quota hunt permits will be either-sex permits. There is a one (1) antlered buck limit on Land Between The Lakes regardless of whether it is taken in Kentucky or Tennessee during archery season or a quota hunt.

Both adult and youth hunts will be available. The Youth Hunt is for hunters under age 16 in the Kentucky portion, and 6 through 16 years old in Tennessee. Youth hunters must possess a state-approved hunter safety card according to state regulations. Youth not required to have a hunter safety card must carry a signed safety verification form available on the official Land Between The Lakes website. Each youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old who meets hunter safety requirements.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Paris Commission Approves Property Tax Hike

Mayor Sam Tharpe, center, reads the tax resolution while (from left): Commissioner Terry Fuller, Finance Director Kim Foster and City Attorney Fred McLean listen. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At a short special session Wednesday afternoon, the Paris City Commission approved an eight cent property tax hike, the first tax hike for Paris property owners in twenty years. Also approved was the Fiscal 2015 budget. Both were approved on second readings and following public hearings, at which no one from the public appeared.

The ordinance fixing the new tax rate states a tax of $.7342 peer hundred dollars of assessed valuation on all taxable property, real and personal, within the city limits will be levied for the tax year of 2014.

However, City Manager Carl Holder cautioned that some may have been confused with the timing of the tax increase. With tax reappraisals still ongoing this year, the tax increase will not appear on tax bills under November of 2015, Holder said.

The current tax rate is 65 cents and with the eight cent increase, that boosts the rate to 73 cents.

Under the Fiscal 2015 budget are proposed revenue of $12,174,276 in the general fund and $1,316,708 in the solid waste fund.

Before the budget was approved, Mayor Sam Tharpe made a motion seeking to increase employee salary increases to two percent rather than the 1.4 percent that was already in the budget. The motion died for lack of a second.

Special Carroll Meet to Address $300,000 Flood Damage

McKenzie, Tenn.-The Carroll County Commission will meet in special session to address recent massive flooding in the county and the financial issues that has produced for the county. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Carroll County Office Complex.

Carroll County officials are estimating damage of $300,000 on rural roads and bridges, which will require budget amendments of $191,750. 

The county commission will be required to act on budget amendments before the current fiscal year ends June 30.

Total of Four Now Arrested in Martin Home Assault

     Cordarion Thompson                               Marcus Bardwell

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police Department investigators have made two additional arrests today in the home invasion assault and robbery which occurred Friday morning on Moody St.

Investigators have arrested two juveniles who they believe participated in the assault. The subjects were located and arrested just before noon today.

With these arrests, officers believe they have the four individuals responsible for the break-in and robbery.

Earlier today we reported to you that Martin Police have made two arrests and said more arrests were coming.

The two men arrested earlier were: Cordarion Thompson, 18, of Martin and Marcus Bardwell, 20, of Sharon.

Both individuals are being held in the Weakley County Detention Center awaiting arraignment.

Paris Man Arrested After Barricading Himself in Home

Paris, Tenn.-A Jones Bend Road resident was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment and simple possession of a weapon after he barricaded himself in his home in an attempt to get back together with his wife. 

Arrested by Henry County Sheriff’s deputies was Marquis Hilliard of 8499 Jones Bend Rd.

Deputies were called to the scene on a report of shots fired and found a woman running out of the house saying Hilliard was in the house and wouldn’t leave. According to the police report, Hilliard was to appear in court that day on a domestic assault charge.

She told officers Hilliard had become upset and she heard a gunshot from outside before he went in the house. Deputies took the victim to a safe area and made attempts to get Hilliard out of the house, which he refused.

Sheriff Monte Belew used the sheriff office’s public address system and spoke to Hilliard, telling him to leave the house and turn himself in. Initially there was no response from Hilliard, but after a few minutes, he came out of the house.

He was taken to the Henry County Jail and is presently out on bond.

PSSD Joins Money-Saving Cooperatives

Board members study policies presented for approval: from left Bill Jelks, Richard Edwards, Kim Foster, Amy Cathey and Robert Sleadd. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting for a busy session Tuesday night, the Paris Special Schools District took steps that could save the district money in the long run by joining two purchasing groups.

As recommended by Director of Schools Mike Brown, the board approved a resolution joining the Buy Board National Purchasing Cooperative and the HPS Purchasing Group.

The Buy Board is supported by the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) and Brown said it “hopefully will provide lower costs to the system” since it allows the district to participate in a larger cooperative of school districts which receive lower prices.

There is no cost and no obligations to the district, Brown said. “It’s not like we won’t still be using local vendors,” he said. “These will be bigger ticket items.”

HPS Purchasing Group is for cafeteria purchasing and is similar to the Buy Board, Brown said, “but specifically for food items.” Brown projected savings to the district at $14,539.

Brown announced that Sandra Paschall has been hired as Assistant Principal for Rhea School and that a full-time guidance counselor Melissa Ridgeway has been hired for Paris Elementary. A long list of personnel changes will be presented to the board in July.

With the Henry County budget not yet approved, the PSSD passed a continuing budget until county budget numbers are available.

The board approved a long list of board policies. A new policy on Student Equal Access which allows students to speak during school-sponsored events to express a religious viewpoint without fear of discrimination was approved, and electronic cigarettes was added to the Tobacco-Free Schools policy.

In other business:

--The board approved a memorandum of understanding with Battelle for Kids, which is a program that was part of “the race for the top” projects, Brown said. PSSD is the fiscal agent for the program and will incur no costs to the local system.

--The board approved the settlement with the city of Paris on the mixed drink tax monies. The settlement already has been approved by the city of Paris and the Henry County Schools board. 

Obion County Murder Trial Opens

Union City, Tenn.-Opening statements were presented in Obion County Circuit Court in the first-degree murder trial of Jarrod Reese Spicer, 42, of Poplar Bluff, Mo. Spicer is accused in the strangling death of John Thomas Hood, 77, of Troy, in March of 2008.

Spicer was indicted by an Obion County grand jury in 2013 on first degree murder, aggravated robbery and theft charges.

District Attorney Jim Cannon is representing the state and Hal Dorsey of Alamo is representing Spicer during the trial. 

Judge William Acree said during opening day proceedings that the state is not seeking the death penalty for Spicer, but that he could be sentenced to life in prison.

BPU Linemen Perform Well at Rodeo

Linemen competing at rodeo. (Tenn. Valley Rodeo photo)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The crew at the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) made a good showing at the 17th annnual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo held June 6-7 in Bowling Green, Ky., with several BPU employees winning awards.

Jerry Hunt won second place overall in the senior division, for 45 and older, while in the individual journeymen event, Darin Parker and Ben White posted perfect scores, finishing fourth and fifth in that event.

Competing in the apprentice event were Randall French, who placed third overall, and Josh French and Josh Christensen.

At Tuesday’s BPU meeting, General Manager John Etheridge said, “We’re very proud of our guys. This rodeo is a lot like being in training for our young guys.”

He said BPU will be hosting the event in 2016 and with 500-600 linemen from the Mid-South coming to the local area for the event “this will have a major economic impact on Henry County.” He said the TRRA has provided $10,000 for the event.

“We’re proud to get our guys’ names out there and proud that they won some awards,” Etheridge said.

Martin PD Arrests Two in Home Assault

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police have made two arrests in the recent home invasion robbery and assault that occurred Friday on Moody St. and police say more arrests are expected.

Cordarion Thompson, 18, of Martin and Marcus Bardwell, 20, of Sharon were arrested yesterday in connection with the incident.

Both individuals are being held in the Weakley County Detention Center awaiting arraignment.

The investigation is ongoing and more information will be available as it becomes available.

Michael Holden Band to Perform at Paris Landing

Buchanan, Tenn.-The 2014 Summer in the Park Concert Series continues this Saturday with the Michael Holden Band performing at Paris Landing State Park. The concerts begin at 7 p.m. by the pavilion in the park.

Fincher To Hold Job Fair at McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn.-Congressman Stephen Fincher’s office is organizing a job fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McKenzie High School. A number of area employers will be on hand for job-hunters to meet.

Drug Take Back Event at HCMC

Paris, Tenn.-A Drug Take Back Event will be held from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 27 at the Henry County Medical Center Diagnostic Center/Bethel University-Paris Campus at 302B Tyson Ave. in Paris. 

Topics: Rx Drug Abuse Prevention, E-Cigarettes, Population Health Initiative, Findings from Breast Cancer Focus Group, State Health Plan, Workforce Development. Free event and includes lunch. RSVP to Susan at 615-907-9707. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Drop Box Installed at BPU Office

The new drop box is accessed from Brewer Street. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-As requested by the public, the Paris Board of Public Utilities has installed a new drop box for payments in the new kiosk area that is accessed from Brewer Street.

Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberly said the new drop box replaces the one which used to be in the alley. The public can pay with checks in the drop box, which will be emptied twice a day, he said.

The drop box is a few feet away from the new electronic kiosk which accepts cash and credit card payments, he said.

The drop box in the alley was removed because it was not located on the driver side of a two-way alley and traffic became backed up on Washington Street when customers were paying there.

Wimberley said a drop box was reinstalled at the new location for the convenience of the public. “We had a lot of calls for it from the public”, he said. “A lot of people pay their BPU bills by check and wanted to do it here on their way to or from work.”

Other drop boxes in Paris include Lakeway IGA, Kroger, Walmart and E.W. James stores. The public can also pay their BPU bills at Foundation, Security or First Bank, but when he do that, it must be on or before the due date.

Water Plant Decision Looms in Future
Volunteer Drive Water Tank to be Re-Painted

Paris Water Tower to be re-painted. (Road Trip America photo)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities board of directors will be acting in July on which direction to go on a future water plant. Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley told the board Tuesday that he will be making a full presentation for its members at the July meeting, asking for approval of one of three options that were determined in a water plant study earlier commissioned by the board.

Those three options are: rehab the current water plant; build a new plant using the same technology as it uses now; build a new plant using new technology.

“We will be making a recommendation to you at that time because we’ll need to know which direction we’ll be going by then so that we can apply to funding agencies,” Wimberley said.

Another major project looming in the future, he said, is the re-painting of the Volunteer Drive water tank. Wimberley said the last time it was painted was in 1997. It was inspected in the spring “and the inspector told us we will need to do something with the paint before he comes back in five years,” he said.

Wimberley said, “We’ve seen this coming and it will be a $325,000 project. It will have to involve lead paint abatement because that’s the last tank in our system that still has lead paint and that is more expensive.”

BPU will be looking at that project for next year, he said.

In other business during a busy meeting, the board approved the Fiscal 2015 budgets for the water, electric and wastewater departments. BPU General Manager John Etheridge said three major themes were inherent in the new budget.

First, BPU had has to replace half of its work force in the last seven years, which has meant training and other expenses, “but we’ve made a lot of good hires”, Etheridge said. Secondly, technology changes have meant upgrades and investments in the future. New technology has “helped us respond more quickly to outages,” he said. Third, infrastructure needs and expenses which he said are “not just involving us, but the whole industry.”

FLW Tour Includes Public Expo, Dinner, Food Drive, Tourney

Pro Angler Rich Dalby will host a food drive at Wal-Mart in Paris. (FLW photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) will make another visit to the local area, this time for a tournament at Kentucky Lake, public events at Peppers Automotive and Wal-Mart and a Food Drive hosted by Professional Angler Rich Dalby.

The Walmart FLW Tour event will be held from Thursday, June 26-Sunday, June 20 at the Walmart in Paris, where Saturday and Sunday’s tournament weigh-ins also will be held. The Walmart Tour is sponsored by Evinrude and the Henry County Alliance.

The FLW Expo at Walmart on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., will feature boat simulators, freebies, prizes and the chance to meet professional fishermen.

At Peppers, a Chevy Pro Nite will be held from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, and will include a free dinner with FLW pro anglers and a chance for prizes such as a free fishing trip on Kentucky Lake with one of the pros.

In addition, Rich Dalbey will host a food drive for the First UMC, an agency of Second Harvest Mid Tennessee Food Bank. Rich Dalbey, who has won over $100,000.00 in FLW sponsored fishing events, has qualified for the Forrest L. Wood Cup Championship Tournament three times, finishing third in 2012, as a co-angler. 

The FLW Expo will be Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 12PM-4PM at the Walmart, 1210 Mineral Wells Ave., Paris TN 38242. Everyone who brings 5 cans of food will be entered to win a $100 Walmart gift card.

There also will be a free concert featuring Country Musician Michael Ray at 3 p.m. Sunday at Wal-Mart. For more info on the FLW Tour event, visit

Lakewood Middle School Speech Team Shines at Nationals

With Coach David Weatherly are Noah Hulbert, Steele Schoeberl, Drew Culbreath, Sylis Allen. (Photo submitted by David Weatherly).

Oakland Park, Kansas-The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team competed in the National Speech Tournament last week in Overland Park, Kansas, and had several individual entries place amongst the top in the nation. 

The following students placed in their respective events:

Steele Schoeberl - 6th place in Dramatic Interpretation
Sylis Allen - 10th place in Poetry Interpretation Steele Schoeberl/Drew Culbreath - 10th in Duet Interpretation
Drew Culbreath - 17th in Poetry Interpretation Steele Schoeberl/Noah Hulbert - 19th in Duet Interpretation Noah Hulbert - 18th in Humorous Interpretation Steele Schoeberl - 17th in Prose Interpretation
Natalie Clark - Top 30 in Declamation Jasmine Jones - Top 30 in Impromptu Speaking
Janet McFadden - Top 40 in Prose Interpretation

The team is coached by David Weatherly.

Teen Drowns At Reelfoot Lake

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Lake County officials are investigating the drowning death of a teenager at Reelfoot Lake Sunday.

Officials say that Martinez Giles, age 16, drowned while trying to swim across Sunkist Beach.

Sunkist Beach is an area at the lake with no lifeguards on duty.

The Lake County Rescue Squad was on the scene and six boats were manned with members of the squad. After a search, Giles was found and pronounced dead at the scene.

Lick Creek Park Improvements Continue

Lick Creek Park Walking Trail. (City of Dover photo).

Dover, Tenn.-With the help from Stewart Co. government, the town of Dover has made a lot of improvements to the city park over the years, including tennis, basketball, fishing and walking tracks.

The town is now working to install corn-hole boards, Frisbee golf, volleyball and new playground equipment at the park. 

To help pay for the improvements, the city is promoting a Buy A Brick Program. 
A $100.00 donation will reserve you an engraved brick (with your name, in memory of someone, in honor of someone, or business name) to be placed at the City Park. 

All funds will be raised for a new playground for our children and grandchildren to play safely on. $200 donation gets the larger brick. Call the city hall at 931-232-5907. Forms are also available there to swing by and purchase. 

This is for the Lick Creek/City Park where Eagle Fest and Christmas in the Park are held annually.

Haslam Appoints Special Supreme Court to Hear Case

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed a special Tennessee Supreme Court to hear a case from which four Supreme Court justices have recused themselves. The special Supreme Court will decide the case of Hooker et al v. Lt. Governor Ramsey et al. Supreme Court Justice Janice M. Holder did not recuse herself from the bench in the case.

The appointees represent the three grand divisions of Tennessee.

The special court appointees are:

 Oscar C. “Bo” Carr III, an attorney with Glankler Brown PLLC in Memphis for 37 years, where he has concentrated his practice in litigation, with an emphasis on business, construction, environmental and other civil litigation.

 Rosemarie L. Hill, chair of the labor and employment section of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel in Chattanooga, where she represents employers on a variety of employment-related issues, both in and out of court.  

Thomas M. Hale, a partner with Kramer Rayson attorneys at law in Knoxville. Hale has been listed in Best Lawyers in America from 2008-2011, has been town attorney for the Town of Farragut, and served as chairman of the board of directors of the Knoxville Bar Foundation, president of Legal Aid of East Tennessee and president of the Knoxville Bar Association. 

Melvin J. Malone, a partner in the Nashville office of Butler Snow, where he is the leader of the government and regulatory practice group. His areas of emphasis are telecommunications; public utilities; governmental relations; commercial litigation; and administrative law. 


McKenzie Man Charged With Criminal Impersonation

Dresden, Tenn.-A McKenzie man was arrested last week after giving an officer false information. Tracy Lee Gouge, age 52, was a passenger in a car that was stopped by Dresden Patrolman Gary Eddings and Gouge gave false information on his identity to the officer.

According to the police report, Gouge was wanted on outstanding warrants in Carroll County. He was charged with criminal impersonation and is being held in the Weakley County Jail.

The driver of the car, Tony Pruitt, also was arrested for driving on a revoked license.

Burger Bash For Library Set For Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-A Burger Bash to benefit the Friends of the Library will be held from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at McDonald’s on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Friends group.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Henry County 911 Board Approves Budget

Chair John Etheridge, foreground, with 911 members around the table: Pam French, Ron Watkins, Attorney Chip McLean, 911 Director Mark Archer, Sheriff Monte Belew, Ray Norwood, Twila Rose, and Bettye Carter. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting for a busy session Monday night, the Henry County 911 Board adopted the Fiscal 2015 budget and heard updates on Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Language Line equipment for local law enforcement.

The Fiscal 2015 budget showing total income of $454,344, expenses of $381,643, and net income of $298,762. Also approved were capital expenditures for the next budget year for SmartPhone 911 installation and maintenance totalling $15,000; laptops for both the sheriff’s office and fire department, $20,000; two 911 Dispatch task chairs, $3,000; two wireless access points, $2,400; six wireless headsets for the sheriff’s office, $1,200; and computer/wiring/labour for school video feed, $2,200.

In reviewing last year’s budget figures, 911 Director Mark Archer noted that, “Our projections on the budget were really close. We were well under the budget for the year.”

Archer reported that the new CAD equipment was installed and “is up and running”, two weather computers that cost $500 each were installed at the Paris Police Department to replace antiquated computers. He also said Language Line has been ordered for the sheriff’s department which allows dispatchers to connect to interpreters for 911 calls and also can be used on the road by deputies. He said Paris Police used it three times and it cost $6.

Installation of CAD at the sheriff’s office has gone very well, Sheriff Monte Belew said. “It’s like a difference between daylight and dark, in how much quicker you can get information.”

Archer also said school cameras were hooked up this week so that all the classrooms and the schools themselves can be seen on video from the sheriff’s office.

Archer also pointed out a display of framed flags had been donated to the 911 building by Sherry Ray. Henry County EMA Director Ron Watkins said the flags were donated in honor of Ray’s father, Jimmy Ray who was a former Puryear Police Chief.

The flags depict all those who were lost during 9/11. The framing was donated by Ray Tucker and the glass was donated by Paducah Glass. The flags are installed in the lobby of the 911 building on Brewer Street.

Bone Marrow Registry Drive/Fish Fry Set

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Ambulance Service Director Twila Rose has announced a Bone Marrow Registry Drive will be held July 17 at two different times and locations. Rose said multiple people in Henry County “are waiting for bone marrow transplants right now, so this is a very important event for the county.”

The public drive will be held from 4-8 p.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds and will include a Carmack’s Fish Fry for $10 a plate. Tickets are on sale at the Henry County Medical Center Gift Shop, Arrowhead Home Sales and at the door. 

Another drive will be held for hospital employees at the hospital atrium from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

All proceeds go to

Rose explained that registering in the bone marrow drive is much easier now than it used to be. She said, “They just swab four sections or your mouth and your done.”

There will be no cost to participate in the bone marrow drive, she said. T-shirts also will be sold for the event and that will be announced closer to the event itself.

Carroll Lake is Dry Following Spillway Damage

Carroll Lake as it looks today. (Steve McCadams photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McKenzie, Tenn.--Carroll Lake in McKenzie--the scene of so many happy times for families, as well as a wonderful resource for fishing and wildlife--is dry today. With damage to the spillway at the lake during the massive rainfall and flooding in early June, the water in the lake drained out.

Nationally-known Fishing Guide Steve McCadams knows the lake well and is especially upset with what has happened to Carroll Lake. It was the home of the Steve McCadams Casting for a Cure Fishing Rodeo event for many years, an event that had to be cancelled this year.

Carroll Lake is part of TWRA’s public fishing state lakes program and McCadams told WENK/WTPR the lake is special in that “It offers a lot of bank fishing opportunities to folks who don’t have fancy boats or the means to travel to big lakes, resorts, etc…Folks could go there and rent a boat, bring their own small boat, or just find a shady spot on the bank, catch fish and enjoy life.”
Carroll Lake also has been the entry level for a lot of future fishermen. Too, he said. “From families and friends to events like my “Casting For A Cure” Kids Fishing Rodeo; lots of folks got their start right there on the banks of the lake… including me.”

McCadams grew up fishing there as a kid as did many others from our local region.
He said he worked there when he was in high school (’72) and college for the Tennessee Game and Fish Commission, which later became Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

In a nutshell, McCadams said, “The lake saga is a mess. So unfortunate. It has meant a lot to the county and to the communities of both McKenzie and Huntingdon, along with the surrounding area. From fine times fishing to wildlife viewing, church gatherings (baptizings), picnics, family reunions and more.”

 McCadams said the TWRA has not released information on the status of the lake or what the future holds.

McCadams said he will meet Tuesday with McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland to discuss an alternate location for the Casting For A Cure Fishing Rodeo and he hopes to announce that soon. 

He also plans to discuss the future of Carroll Lake and hopes to involve Carroll County Mayor Kenny McBride “and perhaps other election officials in order to get the ball rolling.”

 “It would be a great loss to the rural area if the lake was not resurrected,” he said.  “No doubt it generates some tourism dollars and jobs to a depressed area as bait shops, convenience stores, groceries, fast food, sporting goods, etc…and other businesses indirectly benefit when folks are out and about and visiting such places as Carroll Lake.”

No one is blaming anyone for the flood and damage, he said. “Hopefully, a long-term plan will address the problem and restore Carroll Lake but it make take some doing as it appears help will be needed from several sources.”

HC 8-Year-Old All-Stars Win District; Move on to State Tournament

The team celebrates with their trophy. (Photo submitted by Jess Hedges).

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Henry County 8-year old all stars won the Cal Ripken Southeast district championship Sunday in Huntingdon and now move on to the state tournament later this week.

On Friday night, the team beat Mckenzie 16 to 7, on Saturday they beat Huntingdon 9 to 5, and on Sunday they faced Huntingdon again and prevailed by a score of 6 to 2. 

The team will begin play in the State Tournament Friday June 27, in Humboldt. 

Portions of Old Ledbetter Bridge Collapse

Ledbetter, Ky.-Mother Nature took care of demolishing a portion of the Old Ledbetter Bridge Sunday night when two parts of its western span collapsed. With the torrential rainfalls in recent weeks, the bridge has been gradually breaking apart, as is the bluff under the bridge.

Keith Todd with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says sensors recorded that the bridge collapsed at 2:07 AM.  

The structure which spans the Tennessee River had been closed since last summer and highway traffice was moved to the new US 60 Tennessee River bridge upstream. The bridge was originally built in 1931.

Kentucky officials now are trying to determine their next move, but are warning boats to avoid the area. They also are advising the public that anyone who crosses the police tape that is around the area will be fined. They also are advising people to stay away from the bluff.

Long-Time Business Owner Bernie Wofford Dies

Paris, Tenn.-Former Local Long-Time Businessman and Manager of the Moose Lodge Bernard “Bernie” Wofford, age 74, of Paris, died Saturday, June 21, at his residence.

Wofford owned and operated Wofford’s Electric Service in Paris for 40 years and was the former Administrator of Paris Moose Lodge 1915. He was a US Air Force Veteran of Korea and served in the National Guard. He formerly worked at Midland Brake and Lingle Corporation. 

He received the Pilgrim Degree of Merit, (the highest honor in Loyal Order of the Moose). He was a Life member of V.F.W., Amvets, and Elks Lodge, and he was a Charter Member of the American Legion. Bernie was a 50 year member of the Springville Masonic Lodge #130. He was a Royal Arch Mason, Cryptic Mason, Knight Templar Mason and a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Al Chymia Shriner and member of Martha Chapter 155 Eastern Star.

He was married June 21, 1997 to Trudy Linn Wofford who preceded in death January 1, 2001.

Bernie was born June 3, 1940 in Ft. Henry, TN to Lucille Sexton Clendenin of Paris, TN and the late Carl Wofford.

Besides his mother, he is also survived by his two daughters, Carrie (David) Johnson of Paris, Crista (Eddie) White of Paris; One Sister, Carolyn (James) Thornhill of South Haven, Miss; two brothers, Oscar Clendenin of Buchanan, Tenn, Jimmy (Marcia) Clendenin of Paris; Grandchildren, Kailyn and Kendal Johnson of Paris, Chandler Moseley of Murfreesboro, Jackson and McKenna White of Paris; and special friend, Brenda Peck of Murray, KY.

Besides his Wife and Father, Bernie was also preceded in death by a brother, David Wofford and step father, John Clendenin. 

Arrangements are being handled by Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap St., Paris, Tenn., where visitation will be from 4 – 8 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Visitation will continue on Wednesday after 12 pm at Paris Convention Center. The Funeral Service will be at Paris Convention Center at 2:00 PM Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
Kenny Carr will officiate. 

Pallbearers will be Rusty Sykes, Brad Willoughby, Johnny Mack Palmer, Mike Snow, Joe Allen, and Fred Lindahl. Honorary Pallbearers will be members of Paris Moose Lodge #1915.

Interment will be at Wofford Cemetery in Big Rock, Tenn.

Memorials may be made to: St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or Mooseheart, c/o Moose Charities, 155 South International Dr., Mooseheart, IL 60539.

HC Jury Summons Sent Out For New Term

Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson has reported that 250 jury summons were sent out Friday to Henry Countians for the July - October, four-month term of jury duty.

“If anyone receives a summons they should fill it out completely and return it as soon as possible,” Wilson said. “Typically jury duty in Henry County is very manageable as we do not usually have an overbearing trial docket. This term that is ending now had no trials. I encourage those summoned to complete the paperwork and return it quickly for processing.

If someone has a reason that they cannot serve at this time there is a form to explain their situation and someone from the court office will contact them once the paperwork is received. “We will work with them to accommodate whatever we can,” Wilson said.

Judge Donald Parish will preside over the Grand Jury proceedings on Monday, July 7th in Henry County Circuit Court. Jury service questions can be answered by the circuit court staff by calling 731-642-0461 or by visiting

HCMC Hosts Meet And Greet With Doctors

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Medical Center will be hosting a meet and greet from noon to 1:30 p.m.Thursday, June 26  in the hospital’s atrium Atrium with the local area’s two obstetrician/gynecologists.

Dr. Lakesha Crigler and Dr. Dennis J. Wieck will both be on hand for guests to get to know them and answer any questions they might have.

Lunch will also be provided at the event.

UC Driver Injured, Cited

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City driver was cited for not using due care and expired insurance following a three-vehicle wreck Friday. Ricky Horton also was injured and transported to Union City Baptist Memorial Hospital. His condition is not known.

According to the police report, two vehicles driven by Jason Totty of Martin and Emily Hall of Union City were stopped behind a long line of traffic at a red light on Hwy. 184. Horton came up behind them at a high rate of speed, causing each to collide with the other. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Buchanan Home Destroyed By Fire

Firefighters Nate Allen, left, Joe Mansell and Wayne Pond battle the fire. (Reggie Coles photos).

Buchanan, Tenn.-A Log Cabin Road Home in Buchanan was destroyed by fire Saturday morning. The home was unoccupied at the time.

According to Paris Landing Fire Chief Reggie Coles, the Paris Landing department was dispatched at 8:15 a.m.on a report of a structure fire at 290 Log Cabin Rd. Arriving units found the home fully engulfed in flames. 

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, Coles said, but the house was ruled a total loss. Damage is estimated at $35,000. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time. Four trucks and 12 firefighters were on the scene for two hours, he said.

The home is owned by Marilyn Kendall.

Murray State Ranks No. 1 in Nation in Education Programs

Murray, Ky. — Murray State ranked Number 1 in the Teacher Prep Review by The National Council on Teacher Quality in both elementary and secondary programs taught at the university.  Murray State University and the University of Kentucky earned national “Top Ranked” status — a distinction awarded to only 107 programs in the nation for overall strong performance.

“During this past year, the college of education faculty and staff worked with commitment and passion to demonstrate to NCTQ the high quality of our education programs. It is an honor to be ranked so high nationally and to have our elementary education program ranked first in Kentucky and our secondary education program ranked second,” according to Dr. David Whaley, dean of the college of education at MSU.  

Among the 37 Kentucky programs that were fully evaluated, 10 elementary and 10 secondary programs were strong enough to receive a national ranking.
NCTQ fully evaluated 37 undergraduate and graduate programs housed in 16 Kentucky institutions. In addition to elementary and secondary programs, NCTQ examined six
special education programs in the state.

The Teacher Prep Review Results for Kentucky follow. Programs earning “Top Ranked” status are in bold.

Highest ranked secondary programs (national rank):
• University of Kentucky – Undergraduate (32) 
• Murray State University – Undergraduate (57)
• Alice Lloyd College – Undergraduate (103)
• University of Kentucky – Graduate (157)
• University of Louisville – Undergraduate (187)

Highest ranked elementary programs (national rank):
• Murray State University – Undergraduate (47)
• Western Kentucky University – Undergraduate (155)
• University of Kentucky – Undergraduate (165)
• Northern Kentucky University – Undergraduate (188)
• University of Louisville – Undergraduate (212)

Kayla Nation Welcomed to Quota

Kayla Nation, center, is welcomed to Quota by Brenda Hosford and Stephanie Tayloe. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-At this week’s Paris Quota Club meeting, Brenda Hosford installed new member  Kayla Nation. Nation is the childrens’ librarian at W.G. Rhea Library and is sponsored by Stephanie Tayloe.  

June Quota Anniversaries are Rena Barker – 6 years, Campbell – 20 years, Norma Steele – 6 years, Donna Winders – 2 years, Jane Wilson – 3 years and Wright – 6 years; for a total of 43 years of service.

The club will give a donation to the Girl Scouts.  
Jane Sinnema thanked members who helped serve refreshments at the G.E.D. Graduation on June 5th at Paris Elementary School and pointed out that there were more graduates due to Adult Education now serving three counties.

The McDonalds Burger Bash will be November 4th from 4-7pm.

President Tayloe announced a change of date to June 26th for the July board meeting.  

LBL Seeks Public Help on Inventory

For more information about the inventory, visit 

“The public can tell us what is beautiful or scenic by completing the Scenic Viewing and Special Places Inventory. We’re asking people to express what is valued, beautiful, and what areas, assets, or characteristics are important to them,” says Rourke McDermott, Landscape Architect on temporary detail from Valles Caldera National Preserve.

 “Once an inventory is created, Land Between The Lakes can develop Landscape Character Goals and Scenic Integrity Objectives to ensure preservation and protection of scenery and scenic values important to the public.”

Scenic natural beauty and aesthetic values have always been important to the guests and visitors of Land Between The Lakes. The resources of a particular landscape give that area its distinctive identity. A scenery management plan identifies the most significant scenic locations and aesthetic assets of an area, while creating more scenic viewing opportunities for the public. 
To complete the Scenic Viewing and Special Places Inventory, go to the online inventory form at

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Counce Overwhelmed By Benefit Outpouring

James Counce Jr., left, with Andy Collins, Thomas Harrison, Caleb Counce and John Harrison. (Photo by Shannon McFarlin).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-James Counce Jr. said he was humbled and overwhelmed by the huge turnout at Friday’s benefit for him and his family at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Supporters organized the Fight Like A Champion benefit for Counce, who was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and is receiving chemo treatments in Jackson. The benefit was designed to help offset any additional expenses the Counce family will incur.

Standing in the midst of a huge crowd of people wearing red “Fight Like A Champion” t-shirts, Counce said, “I really do think this is why we came back to Henry County, so that I could be here when we were going through this. I feel that very strongly. I was supposed to be here, in this community. This is why people say Henry County is such a good place. It’s because there are so many good people here.”

One of the organizers, Rachel Steedly, thanked the community for its support and thanked “the countless number of volunteers” for all their hard work. “We are so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community filled with so many generous people. Henry County you are amazing!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!”

Sheriff Monte Belew, Capt. Damon Lowe and Chief Deputy Randy Gean manned the sheriff’s office griller during the benefit and volunteers from the schools and community groups were on hand to put together the meals and work the bake sale and t-shirt table.

Counce is a coach of the Henry County High School Patriots football team.

Manning the grill at today's benefit for James Counce Jr. were Capt. Damon Lowe, Sheriff Monte Belew, and Chief Deputy Randy Gean. (McFarlin photo).

Henry County High School Athletic Director Mike Poteete, right, and Levi Estes were among many working the 'assembly line' of sandwich makers. (McFarlin photo). 

Old Ledbetter Bridge Drops One Foot in Span Deck

Photo by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet shows the crack in the bridge.

Ledbetter, Ky.The west approach spans of the Old Ledbetter Bridge had significant movement during the early morning hours Friday, causing a one foot drop in the approach span deck of the bridge. Even a neighbor could hear the bridge cracking.

Sensors placed on the bridge by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet indicated movement at about 5:15 a.m. A neighbor reported two distinct sounds came from the 83 year old structure about that time, according to the press release from the Transportation Cabinet.

A check of the bridge found South Pier 2 had apparently moved causing about a 1 ft. drop in the approach span deck above.

Inspectors indicate the girder that sits on top of the pier on the upstream side is hanging on by just inches. While decking on the 3 approach spans remains standing, they have dropped several feet since movement along the bluff at the west end of the bridge was discovered on April 30th. Two land-based piers are leaning toward the west end of the bridge, the press release said.

Engineers say with dry weather movement of the bluff beneath the piers would be expected to slow or stop. However, today's drop indicates there is still movement of soil at the base of the two approach piers on the McCracken County side of the Tennessee River.

Kentucky Transportation officials continue to warn the public to avoid areas along the bluff and Tennessee River shoreline near the bridge.

This week a contractor started moving equipment to the bridge site to prepare to start demolition of the structure which closed to traffic in late-July 2013.

Also known as the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, The Old Ledbetter Bridge was opened to traffic in 1931. It has been closed since traffic moved to the New US 60 Tennessee River Bridge at the end of July 2013.

Carter At The Bat

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Carter Hedges of Paris at bat during the Cal Ripken District Tournament this week. Henry County beat Bruceton 27-1. The team played McKenzie Friday. Photo courtesy of Jess Hedges.

LBL Road To Be Closed

Golden Pond, KY—Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area is temporarily closing a portion of Forest Service Road 145 (FS Rd 145) between Pleasant Valley Cemetery and FS Rd 144 intersection. Two low-water crossings on FS Rd 145 are damaged.

“We are closing the shortest amount of road possible while protecting public safety,” according to Brian Beisel, Customer Service Manager. “The low-water crossings have been damaged to the point they are unsafe for travel.”

The closure includes approximately 1-mile of FS Rd 145. The public can access Pleasant Hill Cemetery and turn around there if necessary. For a closer look at where FS Rd 145 is located, refer to a Land Between The Lakes Recreation Map or visit 

Food Bank To Be Closed

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Food Bank will be closed June 23-July 7. The Food Bank is located in the Central Services Building at 55 Jones Bend Rd. Extended.

Friday, June 20, 2014

No Matter How Hot, Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps Practices

The band rehearsed the same steps over and over. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-In the sweltering heat, the Spirit of America Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps rehearsed all day Thursday at Henry County High School. Band members rehearsed their routines over and over through the day, including the main band, the percussion section and the color guard.

Henry County High School Band Director Michael Nelson said, ”I think we could get them to come here next year, too. We’d really like this to be an annual event and have the public come each year and watch them.”

The band’s practices were free to the public Thursday, but with the extreme heat, not as many members of the public were on hand as organizers would have liked.

Nelson said the band picked Henry County as its venue for practice due to his connection with Cory Smith from the Spirit of America. “He’s one of the judges for our contest here and two of their venues cancelled on them this year and he asked me if they could come here.”

The color guard practiced their routines in the Rhea School yard. (McFarlin photo).

Chi Omega House at UTM Named For Pat Summitt

Pat Head--later Pat Summitt--in her UTM uniform. (Photo courtesy of UTM Women's Athletics).

Martin, Tenn. -- One of the new sorority structures at the University of Tennessee at Martin will be named for its most famous alumni, former Lady Volunteers Coach Pat Head Summitt.

The structure will be named the Pat Head Summitt Chi Omega House. The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved the move Thursday at its June meeting in Knoxville.

Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Omicron Pi and Zta Tau Alpha, all founded on the UT Martin campus in the early 1960s, will build new two-story structures on the southern edge of campus near University Courts. 
Summitt was born Patricia Sue Head in Clarksville. She attended UT Martin where she was a member of Chi Omega and earned All-American honors playing for the women's basketball team. Just before the 1974–75 season, with women's college basketball still in its infancy and not yet an NCAA-sanctioned sport, the 22-year-old Summitt became a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee and was named head coach of the Lady Vols after the previous coach resigned suddenly. 

Summitt co-captained the first United States women's national basketball team as a player in the inaugural women's tournament at the 1976 Summer Olympics, winning the silver medal. Eight years later, in 1984, she coached the U.S. women's team to an Olympic gold medal, becoming the first U.S. Olympian to win a basketball medal and coach a medal-winning team.

Summitt holds the record for most all-time wins for a coach in NCAA basketball history of either a men's or women's team in any division. She coached from 1974 to 2012, all with the Lady Vols, winning eight NCAA national championships. 

The date of an official naming ceremony will be determined upon completion of the new house.

Tosh Farms Hit By Pig Virus

Henry, Tenn.-The deadly pig virus that is spreading across the United States has already hit Tosh Farms in Henry. 

According to Veterinarian Dr. Seth Krantz, Tosh Farms has lost thousands of pigs at one of its farms since last April because of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED).

He said some 7,000 pigs have been lost at Tosh Farms alone.

The virus began showing up in the U.S. in April and statistics show that as many as seven million pigs have died across the U.S.

Hog farms across the country, including Tosh Farms, are taking a hit financially not just due to the loss of the pigs but in the cost of medications and preventive steps being taken to say ahead of the virus.

PED cannot be spread to humans.

Martin Police Looking For Attackers

Martin, Tenn.-The Martin Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division is looking for suspects who broke into a man’s house, struck him in the face with a rifle and stole several items early Friday morning.

Police were called to Volunteer Community Hospital around 3 a.m. to respond to an assault and found the victim covered in blood in the emergency room.

The victim said he was asleep at his home on Moody St. when he awoke to see someone standing over him. The offender struck him in the face with the butt of a rifle. The victim said there may have been four men involved and they took several items, credit cards and cash, as well as damaged his front door, two television sets and the house was ransacked with mattresses and couches flipped over.

His car also seemed to have been looked through by the offenders.

“Sovereign Citizen” Receives Six Month Sentence

Huntingdon, Tenn.-In a Carroll County courtroom this week, a 12-person jury took about 15 minutes to sentence Williams El, who claims membership in a sovereign citizens’ movement. She was convicted for driving on a suspended driver’s license. She was convicted in February by another Carroll County jury on similar charges.

Following the verdict, Circuit Court  Judge Donald Parish sentenced her to six months in jail, which was suspended except 90 days of the conviction for driving on a suspended license. She will remain on probation for the remainder of the sentence.

She was additionally sentenced to 30 days incarceration, to run concurrent with the earlier sentence for driving without registration of a vehicle. Miss Williams El was fined the maximum of $500 on the suspended conviction, $50 on the registration, and $100 on the violation of the financial responsibility law.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Local Contingent Opposes Proposed Family Life Policy

Jane Poe, standing, reads a statement in opposition to the proposed policy. (Shannon McFarlin photo). 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A contingent of local citizens was on hand at Thursday night’s meeting of the Henry County Schools board of education to voice their strong opposition the proposed Family Life Education policy which would allow teachers to discuss not only abstinence with students but also contraception.

The board heard first reading of the proposed policy, but will act on it at the July meeting.

Coordinated School Health Director Stephanie Winders said under a new state law, because of Henry County’s high rate of teen pregnancy--which has escalated drastically since 2010--the district is required to have a Family Life curriculum. 

Speaking to the school board after the citizen presentation, Winders said the Henry County Health Council, which includes school nurses, staff, health teachers and others, recommended the policy.

She said Henry County’s teen pregnancy rate in 2010 for ages 15-17 was 14.5 per 1000. In 2011, that had jumped to 25.9 per 1000. In 2012, it was 32.00 per 1000.

The new law requires school districts to have a Family Life policy if the teen pregnancy rate is over 19 per 1000.

Winders said one of the risk barriers to learning is teen pregnancy and stressed that the emphasis “will still be on abstinance. That is 100 percent effective birth control and that is drilled into the students, but teenagers get a lot of misinformation about contraception and we want them to be fully educated.”

Earlier in the meeting, several citizens spoke out against the proposed policy, including Anita Ostrom of the Kurt Ostrom Counseling Center, who said she and her husband have dealt with the issue at their center “and abstinence is the ony method that is 100 percent proven.”

Ostrom said to the board, “I know you have excellent morals, integrity and high standards and I ask you to consider leaving it abstinence only” that is taught. She asked the board whether they wanted to be known for changing the policy. “I’m afraid it will have detrimental effects” on young people and the community. She offered her services to teach an abstinence-only class for free.   

Larry Miller of Paris said he was in support of Ostrom’s stance. He said he believes that “abstinence should be the only method that we teacher in our school system. I ask your indulgence to keep it as is and make no changes”.

Jane Poe of Tomorrow’s Hope Pregnancy Center read a letter from the Center Director which also opposed the proposed policy and said to the board,  “Please allow our children and youth to grow up in a healthy and moral environment.”

The board also heard the annual report from Family Resources Center Staff Becky Holland and Judy Goad.  

Holland said it was “a record breaking year for the Family Resource Center in every respect. It was stellar.“ The Center served more children, received more donations from the community and provided more services to families this year. “We’ve broken every record across the board and we’re very proud of ourselves.“

The Center has 125 volunteers and operates some 10 different programs, including weekend backpack program, mentoring/tutoring, teen pregnancy program, social skills sessions, helps with the Food Bank, provides parenting classes, provides school supplies, and financial assistance for needy children and families.

The program also was able to provide several cap and gowns for high school seniors graduating this year.

Director of Schools Sam Miles said, “Every year we have to fight in legislature to receive funds for Family Resources and this program is especially important for the rural areas where it provides the only support we have between the schools and families to improve the environment to help the kids learn.”

In other business, the board adopted the Mixed Drink tax settlement between the city and the schools that was earlier presented at the Paris city commission. The settlement would provide some $13,000-$14,000 to the county system a year over a five year period from the city of Paris.

Becky Holland of the Family Resource Center provides the annual report, while Board Member Robert Sleadd listens. (McFarlin photo).

Henry Couple Arrested on Drug Charges

                    David Odonnell                                   Amanda Lauritzen

Henry, Tenn.-A Henry couple was arrested early this morning on drug charges during execution of a search warrant by members of the Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Henry Police and Puryear Police Departments.

Arrested were David Odonnell, age 26, and Amanda Lauritzen, age 27, at their residence at 335 Mark 1 Drive.

According to Metro Crime Unit Lead Officer Sgt. Ricky Watson of the Paris Police, the search was conducted at the home and officers located marijuana, paraphernalia, and a .22 caliber pistol.
Odonnell was charged with possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a weapon. He is a convicted felon and further charges will be pending against him.

Lauritzen was charged with possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Odonnell’s bond is $3,000, while Lauritzen’s is $1,500. Both have court dates of June 24 in General Sessions Court.

Any drug tips can be called in to the Paris Police Department Hotline @ 554-0087 which is a local number.

UTM Raises Tuition Six Percent

Martin, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved a six percent instate tuition increase for students attending the University of Tennessee at Martin, effective for the 2014 fall semester. Approval came Thursday during the board’s annual meeting in Knoxville.

Instate tuition and mandatory fees will now cost undergraduate students an additional $255 per semester for a total of $4,012 or $8,024 for a full academic year. Full-time undergraduate enrollment is a minimum of 12 hours. 

Instate tuition and mandatory fees for instate graduate students will increase $292 per semester for a total of $4,654 per semester. Graduate students will pay a total of $9,308 per academic year starting this fall. Full-time graduate enrollment is nine hours per semester.

Mandatory per semester fee increases approved were $10 for the student activity fee, $30 for the student health and counseling fee, and $25 for the technology fee. Other specialized course fees approved were for art studio supplies, veterinary health technology, and a retention and success course. 

Academic enrichment fees were also approved for the Department of Communications, the First-Year Initiative, dietetics (effective fall 2015), and the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources. 

Fall semester classes begin Aug. 25 for the main campus and UT Martin centers in Jackson, Parsons, Ripley and Selmer. 

Looking Into The Past--Of the Henry County Courthouse

Paris, Tenn.-A view of the Henry County Courthouse, circa 1900, shows how much has changed--and how much has stayed the same. The appearance of the courthouse structure itself has not been much changed since this photo was taken, except for some embellishments that used to be along the roofline and atop the clock tower. What is different in the photo is the exterior, with horses and buggies being tied to the fence that used to surround the court square (that fence is now located at the Old Paris Cemetery). Notice also that the trees on the courthouse lawn are much taller now. This photo hangs on the wall at the office of County Commissioner Brent Greer.

One Killed, One Critical After Henry County Accident

Buchanan, Tenn.-One person was killed and another critically injured following a two-vehicle accident on Hwy. 119 near Kentucky Lake Wednesday afternoon.

Thomas Shacklett, age 73, of Nashville, was killed at the scene and his wife, Ann, was Lifeflighted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. 

Tennessee Highway Patrolman Adam Prince said Mrs. Shacklett was listed in critical but stable condition at the hospital last night. Thomas Schacklett was driving one of the vehicles.

The driver of the second vehicle, Molly Dillion, age 25, of New Concord, Ky., was treated and released at Henry County Medical Center, Prince said. “She had contusions and bruises from the accident, a lot of it because of the impact of the air bag,” he said.

Dillion was driving a pickup truck and pulling a horse trailer with a horse inside at the time of the accident. Prince said the horse survived the crash, but was taken to the veterinarian for treatment and stitches.

The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. when  Shacklett was eastbound on Riverwood Dr. and failed to yield at the intersection with Hwy. 119 and pulled into Dillion’s path.

Prince said Shacklett was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Danny Tucker. The highway was closed for a time Wednesday afternoon while the wreck investigation was ongoing.

Inmate Suffers Heart Attack at HC Jail

Paris, Tenn.-An inmate who suffered an apparent heart attack while at the Henry County Jail is a patient at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville this morning after being found unresponsive in his cell earlier this week.

Officers found Darrell Crocker in his cell while doing routine security checks in the jail. Officers used the defibrillator and performed CPR until the Henry County Emergency Medical Service arrived.

According to a press release, officers performing CPR were Sgt. Rob Camper, Cpl. Janna Alexander, and Cpl. Daniel Powell. Once EMS arrived, they stabilized Crocker and transported him to the Henry County Medical Center from which he was then air lighted to St. Thomas.

Crocker was in jail on a bond violation.

Judge Smith Announces Candidacy for Re-Election

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County General Sessions Court Judge Jimmy C. Smith today formally announced his candidacy for re-election. He is a life-long Obion Countian and was practicing attorney in Union City and Obion County from 1979 until being appointed by the Obion County Commission in 2009 when long-time Judge Raymond Morris retired.

He was elected in August 2009 to serve out remaining four years of Judge Morris’ term.

A graduate of Obion County Central High, the University of Mississippi and the University of Memphis School of Law, he has completed extensive judicial training.

“I was privileged to practice law for many years, representing folks from all walks of life,” he said. “Now having been on the bench as a judge, this combination of experiences had made very clear to me the need for being both fair and firm when it comes to deciding cases that come before the court.”

He said he was influenced tremendously by former Judge Morris, who he referred to as a “common sense judge”.

Judge Smith is involved in many community and civic organizations, including Hometown Walk of Hope, Obion County Prevention Coalition, Reelfoot Youth Camp, and more. He also was a member of the Obion County School Board before becoming judge.

“I truly want to continue serving and so I sincerely ask every Obion Countian for their support and vote in the upcoming General Election,” he said.

TVCC To Host "Meet The Pros"

Angler Mark Rose is one of the pros to be on hand.

Paris, Tenn.-Tennessee Valley Community Church in Paris will be hosting Meet the Pros Night at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 21. This is an opportunity to meet and hear Fishing League Worldwide pros Mark Rose, Scott Martin, Jay Yelas, Greg Bohannan and Glenn Chappelear. 

Free food while it lasts and prize registration for all those in attendance. Later in the evening the pros will share their faith, stories about bass fishing and tips to improve your success. 

This event is open to the public and all are invited, there will be drawings for some door prizes donated by local retailers and regional suppliers.

Tennessee Valley Community Church is located at 2500 East Wood Street in Paris.

Educational Scholarship Endowed By MSU Faculty Member
Gift from Dr. Meg Crittenden to assist graduate students  

From left with Dr. Meg Crittenden are Dr. David Whaley, dean of the college of education; Dr. Robert Lyons, chair of the department of educational studies, leadership and counseling; and Mark Welch, interim executive director of development. (MSU photo).

Murray, Ky. — The Dr. Meg Crittenden Educational Administration Scholarship has been established as an endowment by gifts to the Murray State University Foundation by Dr. Crittenden to assist students at Murray State University in obtaining an education that will prepare them for a leadership role in the field of education.

Dr. Crittenden is an assistant professor in the department of educational studies, leadership and counseling in the MSU college of education, teaching educational administration classes. While at Murray State, Crittenden participated in the Instructional Support Leadership Network as a representative for the university. She is also a member of the MSU Phi Delta Kappa International chapter, with service as both membership chair and president.

Dr. Crittenden taught emotional and learning behavior disorders, reading, and gifted and talented classes, and held various administrative positions in public schools for 29 years. 

An active community member, Dr. Crittenden has served on numerous boards such as United Way, Community Education and Junior Achievement.
Establishing an endowment for a scholarship such as this one is something that Crittenden has had as a goal for a long time. Crittenden noted that she worked her way through school and can appreciate the kind of effort and funding it takes to do that. This scholarship is designed to help lighten that burden for student recipients.

“It was necessary that I pay my own way through school if I wanted a college education,” Crittenden said. 

Recipients of the Dr. Meg Crittenden Educational Administration Scholarship must be graduate students, either part time or full time, who are seeking a master’s degree in educational administration (school principal certification cohort) in the college of education at Murray State University.

“This scholarship will offer graduate students much-needed resources to continue their studies at Murray State, while also honoring the hard work, leadership and dedication to Murray State University and the college of education by our colleague and friend, Dr. Meg Crittenden,” according to Dr. David Whaley, dean of the college of education. “This particular scholarship will assist students who are pursuing educational administration certification and further their goal of being a school leader.”
Interested students can apply for Murray State University scholarships online at

To learn more about establishing a scholarship for the college of education at Murray State University, contact Melanie Brooks in the office of development at 270.809.3026.

Weakley County Participating in Yellow Dot Program

Dresden, Tenn.-The Weakley County Sheriff’s Department is now participating in Tennessee’s Yellow Dot Program. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office earlier announced it would be participating in the program, which is designed to supply first responders with an individual's medical information in the event of an emergency. The information can mean the difference between life and death in the "Golden Hour" immediately following a serious crash.

Pick your packet up at the Weakley County Sheriff's Department. Ask for Capt. Terry McDade.


Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps To Perform Twice Today

Paris, Tenn.-The Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps has arrived in Paris and will be conducting public rehearsals at the Henry County High School throughout the day today: at 10 a.m-1:30 p.m.; and 2:30-6:30 p.m.

James Counce Benefit is Friday

Paris, Tenn.-Reminder: The Fight Like A Champion Benefit for James Counce Jr. will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Henry County Fairgrounds. To be served are ribeye sandwiches, chips and drinks for $8. 

Also to be held the day of the benefit is a bake sale and bracelets and a limited number of t-shirts will be available the day of the event.

Paris Student Honored at UTM

Martin, Tenn.– Lora F. Cooper, of Paris, recently received MS II Recognition from the Department of the Army Superior Cadets during the annual Honors Day celebration at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Outstanding student awards were given from each of UT Martin’s five colleges, as well as many departmental and university-wide scholarships. 

Paris PD: Be Aware of New Phone Scam

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police Department has issued an alert to citizens to be aware of a new type of telephone fraud.

The Department information from a local citizen of the Wednesday about a new style or type of telephone fraud, according to Chief Chuck Elizondo. The new scam suspects claim to represent the IRS. 

“Our local citizen reported that his family received two calls in the last two days from a 202 area code, the callers claim to be from the IRS and claim to be collecting taxes,“ Elizondo said. “The suspects threatened to have the Paris citizens arrested and jailed if they failed to pay money or if they failed to return the suspects calls.”

According to IRS sources, a person will never be asked to pay a tax debt with a credit or gift card over the phone. 

The Police Department continues to urge all citizens to be on the alert for any calls from any unknown persons wanting money in any amount. These calls are scams and money once paid or sent is lost. 

Never give out your personal information or account/credit card information over the telephone or on any unknown web sites. 

Funding Available To Help With Organic Farming

Nashville, Tenn.– Tennessee farmers pursuing USDA Organic Certification can qualify for financial assistance to help defray the costs. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is now taking applications for cost share funding made available through the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program as authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. 

The program provides cost share assistance to eligible producers and handlers for certification-related expenses incurred from Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014. Payments will be up to 75 percent of an individual producer’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification.

“Organics is a growing and important market for Tennessee farmers as consumer demand for these products are increasing and will continue to increase in the future,” TDA organic marketing specialist Amy Tavalin said. “ 

To be considered for cost share funding, producers and handlers must complete an application and substitute W-9 form available from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Producers should keep copies of invoices and receipts from their certifying agency along with proof of payment and their certificate to submit with their reimbursement. Producers may submit one cost share reimbursement application for costs incurred during the current federal fiscal year. The deadline to submit an application and materials for cost share reimbursement is Nov. 1, 2014. 

An application packet and more information are available at or by contacting TDA organic marketing specialist Amy Tavalin at or 615-837-5163. 


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guy Biggs Back in Jail; Bond Revoked

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Guy Biggs, accused for criminal attempt of first degree murder of a Paris man in April, is back in the Henry County Jail after his bond was revoked Tuesday. Biggs is now being held without bond.

Biggs and his wife, Joyce Biggs, are both charged with criminal attempt of first-degree murder and filing a false report in a bizarre incident which occurred in April. The couple had initially claimed that a Paris man, Jason Owen, had entered their home at 100 Swan Bay, tried to kidnap Joyce Biggs and shot Guy Biggs.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office initially charged Owen in the case, but as the investigation progressed, the Biggs’ claims began to unravel, according to Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew at the time. Charges against Owen were then dropped and the Biggs couple was charged instead.

As part of Guy Biggs’ release from jail on bond earlier, he was to have no contact with either Jason Owen or Joyce Biggs. According to Sheriff’s Office Investigator David Doyle this morning, Guy Biggs was found at Joyce’s residence yesterday.

Guy Biggs now lists his address as 200 Key St., Hollow Rock. He was found by deputies inside the residence of Joyce Biggs, located at 1202 Lone Oak Road Lot #4. His vehicle was discovered at an business nearby where he had parked and walked to the residence. 

Bond was initially set for the Biggs couple at $250,000 each and then reduced to $50,000 each. General Sessions Court Judge Vicki Snyder ordered his bond revoked yesterday.

The preliminary hearing for both will be held next week in Henry County General Sessions Court.

Tickets Still on Sale For Tritt Concert Friday

Union City, Tenn.- The “Summer Concert Series” continues at Discovery Park of America with Travis Tritt and Corey Smith taking the stage this Friday June 20th at 7:30 p.m.  Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are still on sale now at This is the second of five major concerts sponsored by Bud Light, Little General, Discovery Park and others this summer.  

Discovery Park of America is launching what it hopes to be its inaugural season of concerts.   “If this year is successful, then we will do it again next year,” Discovery Park Director Mary Nita Bondourant said.  

Following the Travis Tritt / Corey Smith concert on June 20th, Discovery Park will host Survivor, Starship and Exile on July 19th, Sawyer Brown, Lee Roy Parnell and Maggie Rose on July 26th and wrap things up with Everclear, Tonic and Vertical Horizon on August 23rd.  

All concerts will be held outdoors on The Great Lawn at Discovery Park, rain or shine.  Tickets are on sale at all Little General locations, at Discovery Park or on the Discovery Park website at   Other Summer Concert Series sponsors include:  Allen Searcy Builder Contractor, First State, Good Neighbor Chevy Dealers and Westan Insurance.

 “We are encouraging concert guests to bring blankets or bag chairs, but coolers and outside food won’t be allowed,” a concert spokesperson said.  “We’ll have food and beverages available on-site…it will be a great, festival type atmosphere.”  

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

Grove School Homecoming is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The annual get-together--which organizers call a "Homecoming"-- for all graduates of E.W. Grove School in Paris will be held from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at the Lee School Lunch Room. Organizer Don Laster said the event is low-key, “just a meet-and-greet. There will be no food or beverage, except maybe some bottled water” on hand.

He said the class of 1954 is also holding its 60th reunion that day at Paris Landing Inn and the Class of 1952 also will be having a get-together for breakfast on Sunday morning.

Paris Tri Kids Do Well in Nashville Meet

Nashville, Tenn.-The Paris Triathlon Club did well in competition at the Nashville Kids Triathlon. Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence said,“The team did great.“ Top performers: Cole Davis 1st place 13 yr male; Emma Hill 3rd place 12 yr female; Hunter Lawrence 1st place 11 yr male;  Kylee Perry 2nd place 8 yr female; Audrey Hill 1st place 7 yr female; Turner Mcswain 1st place 6 yr male. Pictured are:  Back row Emma Hill, Hunter Lawrence, Cole Davis, Rylan Perry and Gunner Jones; Front row Fisher Lawrence, Turner McSwain, Audrey Hill and Kylee Perry.

Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps Appearance Delayed

Paris, Tenn.-The appearance of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps in Paris today has been delayed. Henry County High School Band Director Michael Nelson said the band will not be arriving locally until midnight tonight. He said they will hold a public practice at the high school on Thursday morning.

UC Woman Charged After Son Falls Out of Vehicle 

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City mother was charged with two counts of failure to have two of her children properly restrained in a motor vehicle after an incident Monday afternoon.

Cited was Jessica Faith Kimble, age 26 of 614 Pierce St.

According to the police report, Kimble was making a turn onto Summer Street when the passenger side rear door of her vehicle opened and her three-year-old son fell from the moving vehicle.

The other children in the car alerted her to what had happened and Kimble stopped. She told officers that she had buckled her son into his child restraint seat, but he does know how to unbuckle it himself.

Kimble took her son to the emergency room, where he was treated. Officers determined that two six-year-olds in the vehicle, her daughter and her niece, were not in child restraints appropriate to their age.

Project Will Link Tennessee Border With Kentucky Interstates

Frankfort, Ky.– Governor Steve Beshear has announced award of a contract for more of the improvements needed for bringing a portion of the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway up to interstate standards and eventual designation as Interstate 69. The improvements will ease travel from the Tennessee border at Fulton onto the Kentucky interstates.

“This is another big step toward our goal of an I-69 Corridor from the Ohio River to the Tennessee border,” Gov. Beshear said. “I-69 will be an enduring asset to western Kentucky and, indeed, to the entire Commonwealth.”

The new project will result in improvements to a 36.4-mile stretch of the Parkway in Hopkins, Webster and Henderson counties. 

Once complete, I-69 in Kentucky will run north to south from the Ohio River at Henderson to the Tennessee border at Fulton. Completion of the corridor requires improvements to portions of three Kentucky parkways, all of which originally were toll roads – the Breathitt-Pennyrile, Ford-Western Kentucky and Carroll-Purchase parkways.

To date, 55 miles of the corridor are complete – from roughly Nortonville to the interchange of I-24 and the Carroll-Purchase Parkway near Gilbertsville – and the route now bears the red, white and blue shields of I-69. In October 2011, Gov. Beshear and then-Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez unveiled the first I-69 shield, near Nortonville.

"Friends of the Arts" Information Session Set

Paris, Tenn.-If you are interested in supporting the Arts, or just love being a part of the visual and performing arts, there is an opportunity for you to volunteer. TheParis-Henry County Arts Council is holding an informational meeting for our “Friends of the Arts” program. 

The group is  seeking volunteers to help with upcoming events and activities, or even just help in the office. If you want to know more, we will be meeting Tuesday, June 24th at 6pm at City Hall for an informational meeting.

For more about this event or the arts council visit or contact our office at (731) 642-3955. 

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