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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gerrell, Foster, Lawrence Take The Plunge

Lawrence, Foster and Gerrell get back out of the pool after plunging down the slides. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—To a chorus of applause and cheers, Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell, City Manager Kim Foster and Parks Director Tony Lawrence were the first to go down the new “Triple Tower Plunge” water slide at the city pool Tuesday afternoon.

Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce members were on hand as City Councilperson Jackie Jones had the honors of cutting the ribbon at the slide.

Lawrence thanked Lowe’s Home Improvement for its donation of a “Local Heroes” grant for the purchase of the water slide and thanked Lowe’s personnel for volunteering their time and donating supplies for to make the pool ready for its Memorial Day opening. “They donating a grill, chairs, paint—they’ve gone above and beyond,” Lawrence said.

Lowe’s Store Manage Michael Caughron said that Lowe’s was happy to be able to help.

This is the first of many improvements coming for the pool and Eiffel Tower Park, Gerrell said. “It’s our vision to enhance the quality of life in our town”, as well as promote tourism.


Pies In The Face For Elizondo, Belew

Elizondo, Belew on receiving end of pies in the face from Chief Williams. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A challenge between the Paris Fire Department, Paris Police Department and Henry County Sheriff’s Office at this month’s Battle of the Badges for the Lifeline Bloodmobile resulted in Police Chief Chuck Elizondo and Sheriff Monte Belew getting pies in the face, courtesy of Fire Chief Michael Williams Tuesday afternoon.

“The worse part of all this,” Belew said, “is that it was my idea.”

Earlier this month, the Fire Department won the challenge to see which department could collect the most blood for the Lifeline drive, with the firemen collecting 39 pints, the sheriff’s office 36 and the police department with 20.

With Lifeline Community Services Coordinator Tammy Hurst standing by, today was the day for the heads of the losing departments to pay the price—right in the face with extremely sticky pies.

The aftermath as Firefighter Richie Bomar provides towels. (McFarlin photo).

Hibbett’s Suspect Arrested At Taco Bell

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A Taco Bell run was the undoing for the Hibbett’s flare gun robbery suspect last night when the victim of the robbery saw him in the parking lot of the Paris Taco Bell.

Anthony Cooper, age 35, 301 N. Brewer St., was arrested last night by Paris Police after the victim called to say he spotted the suspect. He was charged with aggravated robbery and the attempted first-degree murder of the clerk working the register at Hibbett’s during the robbery attempt.

Cooper is being held in the Henry County Jail on $250,000 bond.

According to Paris Police Captain Ricky Watson, Cooper was wearing similar boots and hat to the one he wore during the robbery and he also had several flare gun rounds on him.

“We would also like to thank the public for the calls we did receive, as well as the victim in the case for him being so alert and noticing the suspect, giving us an opportunity to locate and arrest him,” Watson said.

Cooper stole a flare gun at Walmart last Thursday night and then walked across the parking lot to Hibbett’s. In the attempt to rob the store, Cooper then shot the flare gun at the clerk and hit the register in the process, setting it on fire.


Memorial Bench Dedicated To Jimmy Pollack


Springville, Tenn.--Mickey Thurmond, instructor of the Residential Building and Maintenance Program at the Tennessee Center for Applied Technology and his students built and donated a bench to Lakewood School in memory of Jimmy Pollack.  Jimmy died along with four other members of his family in a fire several weeks ago. He was an 8th grader at Lakewood. The this memorial was donated by Sign and Trophy Express.  8th grade students are pictured behind the bench. (Lakewood photo).

Vietnam War Monument To Be Dedicated

Union City, Tenn.- Plans are set for an extra special Memorial Weekend event at Discovery Park of America.  Topping the list of a weekend full of Military Living History activities, is the dedication of a very special Vietnam War Memorial monument at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, May 29th. 

Magnolia Place Assisted Living and White Ranson Funeral Home are donating a ten foot granite monument in honor of all Obion County Missing in Action (MIA) and Killed in Action (KIA) Vietnam War heroes.  The special ceremony will be emceed by David Johnson, and will include the VFW presenting the colors, the Pledge of Allegiance by Eagle Scout Kizer Harris, the National Anthem by Julia Ellegood and a speech by former Congressman and Vietnam War Veteran John Tanner.

There will be a special recognition of all Vietnam War Veterans, the family members of the KIA and MIA heroes, and the donors prior to the unveiling of the monument at the conclusion of the program.

All veterans, military and dependents will get in Discovery Park free on Memorial Day.  All others will pay $10 a ticket, and children three and under are free.

Additionally, the names of all Obion County Veterans who have died since last Memorial Day will be read as part of the ceremony.   The public is invited to attend this very special Memorial Day ceremony.

The monument dedication on Monday, will flank an entire weekend of honor to the military at the park.  “Military Living History” will include an encampment on the great lawn Saturday through Monday with WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War all represented.  There will be weapons demonstrations and vehicles, including a 1943 M4A3 model Sherman Tank.  The tank was built by Ford Motor Company and is equipped with a 75mm cannon, two 30 mm machine guns and one 50 caliber machine gun.  The tank weighs about 34 tons and has a top speed of 26 mph.  It will be on display throughout the weekend. 

CEO Jim Rippy said that he hopes all veterans and military personnel and their families will plan to spend Memorial Day at the park.  “We think that the dedication of the Vietnam Monument will be a very special way to honor our nation’s military this Memorial Day,” he added.  “And the Military Living History encampment is a great way to teach your children and grandchildren about the history of our armed forces.” 

For more information about the Memorial weekend plans, or about Discovery Park of America, including a complete Calendar of Events, visit the website at, or call the park at 731-885-5455.   Discovery Park of America is located at 830 Everett Blvd., in Union City and is a unique blend of history, science, education and fun. 


Henry County Memorial Day Service Set

Paris, Tenn.—Dr. Chester Harrison will be the guest speaker at this year’s Memorial Day Service sponsored by the Henry County Veterans Services. The service will be held beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, May 29, at the Courthouse in Paris.

The program includes a performance by the Henry County High School Madrigals, as well as the laying of the wreath at the county war memorial on the courthouse lawn. Military honors will be conducted by the Tennessee State Color Guard.

The service is open to everyone.


Tickets On Sale For Plus Endowment Benefit

Paris, Tenn.—Tickets are on sale now for the Plus Endowment “Summer Kick Off” Benefit.

Miss D’s Kitchen and the Mule Barn are hosting benefit, set for 6 p.m. Thursday night, June 8, at the Mule Barn at 600 Scarborough Lane.

$10 plate includes pork loin or ribeye, loaded potato salad, baked beans, and beverage. Bring your own lawn chair. Musical entertainment by Michael Holden.

Tickets are available at Lura Lee’s Gift Shoppe of Paris, from any Plus Endowment board member or through the Plus Endowment Facebook page.


Sen. Stephens To Speak At HC GOP Reception

Paris, Tenn.--The Henry County GOP and Republican Women are jointly hosting a Legislative Reception this Thursday, May 25, at Lee Academy for the Arts, 402 Lee Street, Paris.

There will be a Meet and Greet with TN Senator John Stevens from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Hors d’ouevres will be served along with wine, beer and beverages. Senator Stevens will speak at 6:30 pm to provide an update on the 2017 TN Legislative Session. The event is free.

Quinn Pancake Breakfast Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.—The Men of Quinn Chapel AME Church will host their annual Pancake Breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, May 27, at the church at 216 E. Church St., Paris.

Pancake plates are $8. Children under five are free.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hibbett’s Suspect Stole Flare Gun From Wal-Mart


Surveillance photo of suspect provided by Paris PD. 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The man who used a flare gun to try to rob Hibbett’s Sporting Goods in Paris on Thursday night had just stolen the flare gun from Wal-Mart, which is located in the same shopping center.

Paris Police Captain Ricky Watson said Monday afternoon the suspect is still at large.

Paris Police received the surveillance photo of the suspect from the Wal-Mart Supercenter. After the theft, the suspect walked into Hibbett’s, which is across the parking lot from Wal-Mart, carrying the flare gun as he walked in.

The suspect botched the armed robbery himself when he shot the cash register and set it on fire. According to police, the suspect had been aiming the flare gun at one of the store clerks when he hit the cash register.

Watson also said, “We have reason to believe that the suspect got away in a black Mustang with a gold stripe.”

As we reported earlier, the suspect is described as a black male, wearing a yellow shirt with purple hat and yellow stitching.  

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Paris Police Department at 642-2424.


Pollack Fundraiser Provides Smoke Alarms

Sheriff Monte Belew, Chief Deputy Damon Lowe, Captain Adam Jenkins, School Resource Officer Bruce Alexander, Principal Amy Veazey and students. (HCSO photo).

Springville, Tenn.--In a joint effort between the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Lakewood School as well as BR Supply, a program was established to provide every family at Lakewood School with a smoke alarm.

Sheriff’s Captain Adam Jenkins said, “This push was created to promote safety in the homes as well as raise awareness to what we feel is a very worthwhile cause,” following the tragic fire earlier this year that killed five members of the Pollack family, including Jimmy Pollack, who was a 14-year-old student at Lakewood.

Following the fire, Lakewood held the first annual “Jimmy Pollack Dodgeball Tournament” and proceeds from that tournament were used to help fund this project as well as a donation from the aforementioned BR Supply.

Jenkins said, “It is our hope that everyone who receives a smoke alarm today puts it up and takes advantage of this effort. Should anyone need assistance they are welcome to call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672.”



McGuffin Named UTM Athletic Director

Martin, Tenn. – Kurt McGuffin has been named the new director of intercollegiate athletics for the University of Tennessee at Martin. Currently the director of athletics for Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., he is expected to start work for UT Martin on June 28.

“Kurt is a top choice selected from a pool of outstanding candidates, and we are excited to welcome him into the Skyhawk family,” said Dr. Keith Carver, UT Martin chancellor. “I believe he has all the skills and abilities necessary to guide our athletics program into the future.”

McGuffin has been with Missouri Western State University for almost six years, where he has been involved in budget management and fundraising, facility enhancements, student-athlete academic improvements and the addition of new athletic options. Prior to beginning his career with MWSU, McGuffin served as both assistant athletics director and director of athletics development at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo., and as senior associate athletics director for external operations at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.

The appointment was made after a university search committee, chaired by Dr. Charley Deal, UT Martin associate vice chancellor for alumni relations and annual giving, reviewed applications from a national pool. Four finalists were identified in early April, and the search committee presented its final recommendation to Chancellor Keith Carver after conducting on-campus interviews and open forum sessions with each candidate.

McGuffin fills the post previously held by Julio Freire. Kevin McMillan and Mike Swaim have filled the position as interim directors since Freire’s departure from the university in March 2016.

“I appreciate the dedication Kevin and Mike have shown in guiding the athletics program through this transition period. Their outstanding service and leadership came during an important time for Skyhawk athletics,” said Carver.

A public welcoming reception for McGuffin and his family will be scheduled at a later date.

UT Martin is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference and competes in NCAA Division I in both men’s and women’s sports and the Football Championship Subdivision. For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of University Relations at 731-881-7615.

Suspect In Three County Spree Captured


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Dickson, Tenn.—A suspect who has evaded police in three counties over the past several weeks while embarking on a crime spree has finally been captured.


Darren Ray Walton, age 39, was captured in Dickson County around 9 p.m. Friday, according to information released this morning by Weakley County Sheriff’s Capt. Randall McGowan.


Walton’s crime spree was so notorious that it was written about in USA Today last week.


Dickson County authorities took Walton into custody after a vehicle pursuit which also involved the use of a Taser. Walton’s crime spree began in Weakley County, where he was wanted on numerous aggravated burglary charges, theft charges and evading arrest. He also is a person of interest in several other ongoing investigations in Weakley County.


McGowan said Walton’s family is from Weakley County.


Other charges in Montgomery County included theft of property, evading arrest, criminal impersonation and several driving charges. He also was wanted in Dickson County on charges of felony theft, felony theft of a motor vehicle, theft of property and burglary. He also is considered a person of interest in eight active theft and burglary investigations in Dickson County.


McGowan said court dates are pending.


Big Sandy Festival Is This Weekend


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Big Sandy, Tenn.—Big Sandy will be throwing its annual big bash this weekend for Memorial Day, with plenty of activities planned for everyone.

The 42nd annual Big Sandy Spring Festival is sponsored by the Big Sandy Community Chamber and this year’s theme is “Big Sandy, The Beautiful”.

The two-day event features a carnival, live music, car show, arts and crafts, vendors, petting zoo, horseshoe tournament, parade and fireworks.

The event begins Friday, May 26, with the carnival opening at the Big Sandy Ball Park. The Tennessee River Band will entertain at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday’s main event is the parade, which is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Big Sandy School. The parade route goes around town and ends up back at the school. Because of insurance liability, candy can no longer be thrown from the parade units. However, candy be handed out by people walking along the route.

The Horseshoe Tournament begins at noon at the Small Pavilion at the park, with cash prizes awarded. The Molly’s Ark Petting Zoo will be set up at the park all day Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Musical entertainment will be featured all day, with Wire and Wood from Paris performing at 11:30 a.m. Other bands through the day include Johnny Mac and the Heart Attacks and Tommy Akers Band, all from Henry County, and Benny Stockdale.

The car show is set up downtown all day Saturday. Fireworks will be set off at 9:30 p.m.


Fort Donelson To Commemorate Memorial Day


Hundreds of veterans' graves are located at Fort Donelson National Battlefield Cemetery. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Dover, TN – Fort Donelson National Battlefield will once again commemorate Memorial Day with special patriotic programs and activities that begin Thursday and continue throughout this weekend. All events are free and open to the public.

MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE – MAY 29 On Monday, May 29, at 11am, Fort Donelson National Cemetery will be the site of its annual memorial service, hosted by the National Park Service and the Stewart County Veterans Affairs Office, with participation by Post 72 of the American Legion, Department of Tennessee, other veteran organizations, and local civic and scout groups.

Guest speaker for the ceremony will be Stephanie L. Dostie, of the Eagles Chapter, Gold Star Wives of America. Mrs. Dostie’s husband, SFC US Army Shawn Dostie, gave his life in the service of our nation in December of 2005, while on deployment in Iraq.

Because of Memorial Day occurring in late May, and the national cemetery having minimal shade, those attending are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring bottled water, and, as seating is not provided, consider bringing a lawn chair or blanket.

PRE-MEMORIAL DAY EVENTS Commemorative events will take place in the days leading up to Memorial Day. Release Date: Immediate Contacts: Paula Alexander

On Thursday, May 25, each grave marker of the Fort Donelson National Cemetery will be decorated with a United States flag. Girl Scouts will be placing flags at the base of the hundreds of graves buried at the cemetery.

The public is encouraged to join national park staff and patrons at the Fort Donelson National Cemetery on Sunday, May 28, at 7 pm, to enjoy the wonderful and patriotic music of the 101st Airborne Brass Quintet Band. This noted group will perform on the lawn of the national cemetery.

Any location changes will be posted at

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Reminder: Water Slide Dedication Is Tuesday

The water slide is ready at the city pool. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.—Reminder: Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell, City Manager Kim Foster and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence will be the first to ‘officially’ come down the new water slide at the city pool at a public dedication ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. City officials have been making practice runs at the slide in recent days.

As we reported previously, the new water slide has been under construction for the past several weeks and was completed last week.


UTM Names Interim Provost, Dean

Dr. Rich Helgesen speaks at UTM graduation. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – Dr. Rich Helgeson, current dean of the University of Tennessee at Martin College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, has been named interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs by Dr. Keith Carver, university chancellor. Helgeson will succeed Dr. Jerald Ogg who returns to a teaching position this fall in the Department of Communications.

Dr. Jennifer Greenwood, professor and interim chair for the Department of Biological Sciences, will become interim dean for the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Both appointments are effective Aug. 1.

Carver announced a search extension May 3 to identify the university’s next chief academic officer. He also announced his decision to appoint an interim while the search continues. Carver said Helgeson is well prepared to lead the university’s academic programs as interim provost until the position is filled. He expects Helgeson to hold the position for a year.

Resumes for the provost position are being collected through August. The committee will reconvene in August with on-campus interviews anticipated in winter 2018 and a person named to fill the position starting with the 2018-19 academic year.

UT Martin launched a national search for a new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs after Dr. Jerald Ogg decided to return to the faculty this fall in the UT Martin Department of Communications. Ogg came to the university as a faculty member in 1987 and has served as provost and vice chancellor since 2011.

Ashlie Czyz, director of human resources programs and executive recruiter for the University of Tennessee System, is serving as executive recruiter for this position. For more information on the search process, contact Czyz at

Friday, May 19, 2017

Martin Woman Airlifted After Rollover

                                                           (Photo by Martin Police Department).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.—A Martin woman trapped in her vehicle was airlifted to Jackson General Hospital following a rollover accident this morning that is still under investigation.

Witnesses called 911 after finding a woman in a car that was in the bottom of a ditch along Hwy. 431 near Martin. Martin Police responded and found the woman, Sheila McGuire, age 57, trapped in the vehicle. The vehicle was resting on the driver’s side of the bottom of the ditch.

According to the police report, the victim was not fully aware of her surroundings and was wearing a Medical ID bracelet that indicated she has a heart condition. Ms. McGuire was extricated by emergency personnel who cut through the windshield.

She was transported to the Air Evac headquarters in Martin and then airlifted to Jackson General.

Photo Of Hibbett’s Suspect Released


Paris, Tenn.—The Paris Police Department has released a surveillance photo of the suspect in Thursday night’s attempted armed robbery at Hibbett’s Sporting Goods Store in the Walmart Shopping Center in Paris.

As we reported earlier this morning, Sgt. Jamie James was first on the scene and upon entering the store,  noticed that  the store’s cash register/computer was  on fire and he quickly extinguished it. Officers with the Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, and Tennessee Highway Patrol, began to look for a suspect that had just attempted to rob the store with a flare gun. During the robbery, the suspect fired the flare gun at the clerk and caught the cash register/computer on fire, damaging the computer and then left the store with no money.  

K-9 Droid and handler Sgt. Terry Williams with the Sheriff’s Department began to track the suspect and lost scent of him in the area behind the store. Officers are looking into a person of interest and needs the public’s help in possibly identifying this person If you know who he is, we would like to talk with him. Please Call Captain Ricky Watson 731-641-1478 or Sargent Jeramye Whitaker @ 731-641-1437.  

Suspect Sought After Armed Robbery Try 


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A suspect botched his own attempted armed robbery of Hibbett’s Sporting Goods store when he shot the cash register and set it on fire.

Paris Police are searching for a suspect who is described as a black male, wearing a yellow shirt with purple hat and yellow stitching.

Patrolman Jamie James arrived at Hibbett’s around 9:15 p.m. on the report of the robbery attempt and found the cash register still on fire. James grabbed the fire extinguisher from his patrol car and extinguished the fire.

According to the employee, the suspect came in right at closing time and pulled a flare gun, shooting at the employee, but not hitting him. The flare did hit the cash register. A second employee ran into the parking lot yelling “Active Shooter”.

The suspect then demanded money and the employee told him the money could not be reached because he set fire to the cash register.

Henry County EMS was called to the scene as a precaution for the employee who was shot at.

According to the report, Captain Ricky Watson and Lt. Ean Reed arrived at the scene and were told by the employees that the suspect walked down the sidewalk and went behind Peeple’s Store.

Watson told WENK/WTPR this morning that police are reviewing surveillance footage and will be releasing a photo of the suspect.

Paris Man Held Without Bond After Pursuit


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.—Deputies with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office had a busy—and hazardous—Thursday and a Paris man ended up with in the Henry County Jail without bond, with numerous charges against him.

In the course of a pursuit in the lake area, a deputy’s cruiser was struck by the stolen rental car being pursued.

Matthew Palmer of Lone Oak Rd., Paris, was charged with aggravated assault, two counts of reckless endangerment, two counts evading arrest, two counts reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, three counts theft of property, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of probation. He is being held without bond due to the probation violation.

Palmer reportedly stole a rental car and Deputies Cpl. Brian Davis and Lt. Lance Perry pursued Palmer beginning in the Antioch Harbor area and all over roads in the Buchanan lake area. According to Captain Adam Jenkins, at one point, Palmer struck Cpl. Davis’ car and continued on the wrong side of Hwy. 79N, then turned back onto Bull Durham Road, coming back through the four-way stop in front of the Four Way Grill.

Lt. Perry had previously set out spike strips at that location in an attempt to end the pursuit. Palmer then drive over the strips, but continued back onto Hwy. 79N. Jenkins said a short time later, Palmer’s tires bew out and Deputy Frankie Scott and Cpl. Davis stopped the car in the median of Hwy. 79.

UC Kiwanis Hard At Work


Union City, Tenn.—Joe Ward and John Fry of the Union City Kiwanis Club hard at work Thursday for the 12th annual “Burgers In The Park” in Union City. The event benefits children in the community. (Amy Keathley photo).


OC Crawfish Festival Is Saturday

Union City, Tenn.—There will be plenty of good food, good music and activities at the 4th Annual Obion County Crawfish Festival Saturday at the Obion County Fairgrounds.

Louisiana Crawfish will be served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with music by several local musicians beginning at noon. The first on tap will be Steve Short and Scott Myatt, who will perform from noon to 2 p.m.

Activities will include cornhole tournaments, dunking booth, inflatables, a magician and more. Concessions will be set up.

The event benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

ABC Board Fines Local Business

Paris, Tenn.—The Paris Alcoholic Beverage Control Board gave a local business a choice of a fine or suspension during Thursday night’s violation hearing.

T-Bone’s Tavern at 3485 Highway 641 South, was cited for selling beer to an underage person.

After a hearing in which T-Bone Owner Jamie Brown said the business’ operations have been upgraded since the citation, ABC Chair Ricky Searcy gave T-Bone the choice of either a 30-day suspension or payment of a $1,000 fine

In other business at the meeting, the board also approved a permit for Kevin Hamlin at the Paris Moose Lodge.


Downtown Cruise In Set Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.--The Downtown Cruise In will be held Tuesday, May 23rd, on the east side of the Court Square from 5:30 to 7 pm.  Bring a classic car and register to win prizes. Local bluegrass band called Wire and Wood will perform.  Perry’s BBQ will food available.  Bring a lawn chair and sit awhile on the Court Square. Sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association

Dr. Gulish To Join McKenzie Surgical Team

McKenzie, Tenn.—Paris Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Eugene Gulish has come out of retirement to help start the new orthopedic surgery service in McKenzie.

The new surgical service is located at the McKenzie Regional Hospital.

Dr. Gulish retired from practice at Henry County Medical Center in January. He is credited with being the first orthopedic surgeon to serve the HCMC.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Fish Fry Parade To Be Televised

The parade stretched as far as the eye could see down E. Wood St. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.—For those who might have missed it or for those who just might want to see it again, the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade will be broadcast on WLJT-TV at 9 p.m. Saturday and again at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 7.

WLJT-TV is on Channel 11 on Charter Cable. A large crew from WLJT was on hand at today’s parade filming and doing interviews.

The Iris Festival will be broadcast at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 6, and at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 14. The Strawberry Festival will be broadcast at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 13, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 21.

45,500 In Attendance At Grand Parade

Hostess Princess Jasmine Jones and her court wave to the crowd. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The sun was shining and there were smiles all around for today’s World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade. The 64th annual fish fry parade was celebrated in style, with some 100 entries and eight bands from all over the state entertaining the crowd.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo estimated this year’s attendance at 45,500. “It’s a little down from other years,” Elizondo said, “but I think the threat of rain kept some people away.”

The parade this year was dedicated to First Responders and there were plenty on display during the parade, all of whom drew loud applause from the crowd. The parade theme of “All American Event” carried over to the choice of Grand Marshals this year: Bailey Compton, Jesse Hudgins and Gunner Osborn, all who are currently in military academies. Osborn could not attend the parade due to tests at the U.S. Naval Academy.

The General Manager’s Trophy was awarded to the Miss Teen float. Other parade winners were:

Most Original: first, Little Princes; second, Downtown Paris Association; third, The Fish Tank.

Best Club or Church: first, TVCC and Celebrate Recovery; second, Cub Scouts; third, Lady Bombers soccer.

Most Beautiful: first, Tiny Tots; second, Miss Teen; third, Little Miss.

Best Out of Town: first, Iris Festival; second, Dresden; third, Strawberry Festival.

Even though it’s not an election year, there were still plenty of politicians in the parade, including Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, State Senator John Stevens, State Representative Tim Wirgau and Candidate for Governor Randy Boyd, and District Attorney Matt Stowe.

Secretary of State Tre Hargett watched the parade from the Dignitaries’ Stand, as did most of the County Mayors from our area, including Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire, Carroll County Mayor Kenny McBride and various other area officials, including Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell and city commissioners.

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who also is a candidate for Governor, attended the morning Legislative Breakfast, but said he had to leave early to get back to Nashville for a charity event.

The crowd was entertained by the bands, several of which put on special performances at the dignitaries’ stand. Bands marching in the parade included the Henry County High School Marching Patriots, Henry County Schools’ (Harrelson, henry and Lakewood), Bethel University, Lexington Middle School, Hollow Rock-Bruceton, Camden High School, Glencliff High School and McKenzie High School.

Marching Patriots Director Kyle Graves and the band perform (McFarlin photo).

Former State Rep. Don Ridgeway and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell talk things over at the parade. (McFarlin photo).

Today Is Day Of Grand Parade, Fish, Rodeo & More

Paris, Tenn.—Friday is the day of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade, but that isn’t all that is on the schedule.

The Grand Parade begins at 10 a.m. and as we’ve reported, the parade route is along East Wood Street to Fairgrounds Road.

The Fish Tent is open at the Henry County Fairgrounds, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, as it will be on Saturday. All you can eat $12 for adults, $8 for children 6-12. Take-outs available.

The Arts and Crafts show continues at the fairgrounds, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., as it will be Saturday.

The IPRA Rodeo will be held again both Friday and Saturday at the fairgrounds, at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Admission $10, children $8.

LBL Quilting Bee This Weekend

Land Between The Lakes– The Homeplace 1850s Farm will host its annual Quilting Bee, Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 10am-3pm, at Land Between the Lakes. Visitors will learn how quilts were made in the 1850s, help complete a handmade quilt the old-fashioned way and take home 1850s quilt patterns to try.

“We will be piecing a replica Triple Irish Chain quilt. Everyone can add a stitch or two,” says Cindy Earls, Lead Interpreter at the Homeplace. “Children can learn the quilting stitch on a smaller frame, just the right size for little hands.”

During the Quilting Bee, visitors will see Blacksmithing on Saturday from 1-4pm and Broom Making on Sunday 1-4pm. Programs included with general admission; ages 13 and up $5, ages 5-12 $3 and ages 4 and under free.

Visitors are encouraged to meet the farm animals and wander the farm with its period crops and gardens. Living history interpreters can answer any questions about life in the 1850s.


Kentucky Unemployment Drops

Frankfort, Ky.--Unemployment rates dropped in 55 Kentucky counties between March 2016 and March 2017, rose in 53 and stayed the same in 12 counties, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.   

In our area, Calloway Co. is at 8.4 percent, down from 9.2 percent the previous month, with Fulton at 7.7 percent, down from 7.8 and Graves Co. at 6.5 percent, down from 6.9.
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Oldham and Shelby counties, 3.7 percent each; Fayette County, 3.9 percent; Scott County, 4 percent; Spencer and Warren counties, 4.1 percent each; Jessamine County, 4.2 percent; and Allen, Boone, Campbell and Henry counties, 4.3 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 18.9 percent. It was followed by Elliott County, 11.6 percent; Leslie County, 11.5 percent; Knott and Harlan counties, 11 percent each; Letcher County, 10.9 percent; Menifee County, 10.7 percent; Carter County, 10.6 percent; Breathitt County, 10.4 percent; and Lawrence, Lewis and Wolfe counties, 10.3 percent each.
Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Paris Police Issue Rules For Fish Fry Parade

The Downtown Paris Association's entry in 2015 (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.—Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo has announced rules that are to be followed by both visitors and participants at the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade on Friday. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and will move along East Wood Street to Fairgrounds Rd., beginning at the area around the East Wood Church of Christ.

Rules that have caused consternation among the public in the past are that no pets are allowed to be brought to the parade unless they are part of the parade and that backpacks will be checked by police officers.

Here is the complete list:


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

       Leave cell phone number on the vehicle dash in case of illegal parking.  We will call before we tow.

       No bikes, ATV’s, skateboards, skates, mini bikes on route unless part of the parade or authorized i.e. Jaycees, EMS, Rescue Squad and Law Enforcement.

        No pets of any kind on the route unless part of the parade.


        No candy is allowed to be thrown from parade entrants but may be carried to the spectators.


        No poppers are to be sold or thrown on the parade route.


        Make sure private drives and intersections are kept clear.


        When the parade ends, make sure all vehicles are moved.  If left unattended in a traffic lane, they will be towed.


        Vendors must have a permit to sell on the parade route.


        Backpacks will be checked for content on the route.


   Parade entrants must be in possession of a valid Drivers License


Kustoff Honors Fish Fry On House Floor

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative David Kustoff (TN-08) today spoke on the House floor to celebrate and honor the annual Paris-Henry County Fish Fry. This year’s event began on April 22 and will end with The Grand Parade tomorrow, April 28.

Below is the full text of Kustoff’s floor remarks.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the World’s Biggest Fish Fry, which happens to be this week in Paris, Tennessee.

Every year at the end of April, people from all across the country travel to West Tennessee to take part in a week-long celebration that includes parades, a carnival, rodeos, dances, catfish races and much more.

“The Fish Fry,” as folks call it in West Tennessee, originated in 1938 as one of many Mule Days when farmers gathered to trade their products, do their shopping and enjoy the fellowship of their community.

By the 1950s, the tractor replaced the mule, so the good citizens of Paris and Henry County started a new event that is now known in West Tennessee and around the country to be “The World’s Biggest Fish Fry.”

The festival ends with the main event this Friday, April 28, where more than five tons of catfish will be cooked leading up to a grand 2 hour-long parade.

I thank the joint Chambers of Commerce of Paris and Henry County for their leadership in preserving this great West Tennessee tradition.

Here is the link:

900 On Hand For Fish Tent Opening Night

IPRA Rodeo, Arts & Crafts Tonight

Breading catfish last night: Chris Damesworth, Barry Jones, Drew Williams, Kenzie Williams, Madison Capps, and Eric Madison. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.—It was a busy night at the Fish Tent’s opening night last night, as a total of 845 adults and 55 children were on hand for the fish plates served. The World’s Biggest Fish Fry has had an especially busy week so far, with huge crowds for the carnival and 199 attending the Country Dance on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, the Demolition Derby that was cancelled Saturday night due to rainy and muddy conditions has been rescheduled for May 27 at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Today’s schedule at the Fish Fry includes the opening of the Arts and Crafts Show and the IPRA Rodeo, both at the fairgrounds. The Arts and Crafts Show will be from 5-8:30 p.m. tonight and from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The IPRA Rodeo will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m., which is AT&T Family Night with admission of $5 and children under six free with paying adult. The Rodeo also will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, with admission of $10 for adults and $8 for children.

Tune In To Our Stations, Sites For Parade Coverage

The HCHS Marching Patriots in the 2015 parade. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.—As we have for many years, we will be airing the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade live on our air on Friday morning.

And you’ll have a choice. The parade will be broadcast on FM 101.7, AM 710 and AM 1240.

Commentary will be provided by Susan Jones and Mary Kate Ridgeway, with engineering by Brad Hosford. Our crew will be stationed right next to the Dignitaries’ bleachers in front of Paris Inns and Suites. As always, we’ll be sitting in a brand new truck provided for the parade by Pepper’s.

News Director Shannon McFarlin will be taking photos and writing up the stories, which will be posted on our website and on both of our Facebook pages at WENK/WTPR and KF99/KQ105.

The parade will boast close to 100 entries this year, with eight high school bands performing along the parade route.

The parade will begin on E. Wood Street near the intersection with Ogburn Street and move down East Wood to Fairgrounds Rd.

Silver Carp Dying Off In Kentucky, Barkley Lakes

Nashville, Tenn. --- Boaters may have noticed recently that there is a large number of fish dying along the shoreline throughout Kentucky and Barkley lakes, an occurrence that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is aware of and investigating. 

The dead fish are silver carp, an invasive species that can negatively impact native fish and recreational boating. Because of these threats, the TWRA has been working to stem their expansion into new waters. “While we are trying to learn how to slow or stop their expansion, the recent die-off of thousands of fish for whatever reason has occurred naturally,” said Frank Fiss, Chief of TWRA’s Fish Division. “We have collected samples of the dead fish and sent them to a lab to identify the cause of the disease.  This type of analysis is not always conclusive, but we are trying to gather as much information as possible.”  

Silver carp and bighead carp are among a family of invasive “Asian” carp that were imported to the USA in the early 1970s.  They escaped into the Mississippi River decades ago and have steadily spread into numerous bodies of waters, including rivers in Tennessee. Growing numbers of carp are a threat to native species because Asian carp rely primarily on plankton as a food source, which is an also important source of food for native species, especially at smaller sizes. Silver carp can also pose dangers to boaters as they often respond to motor vibration or noise by leaping as boats approach or pass through schooling fish that can weigh 30 to 40 pounds. 

“Most of the dead fish that we have seen have been two years old but there are a lot of dead fish, and we are probably only seeing a tiny percentage of what actually inhabits the reservoir,” said Fiss. “The widespread die off does not seem to be impacting other fish species, which is good news for game fish and anglers” said Fiss. “We appreciate all the reports we have received, and we want everyone to know we are aware of the die off and are monitoring it.” 

UTM Honors Robert Kirkland

Martin, Tenn.– Robert Kirkland, co-founder of Kirkland’s retail chain, founder of the Discovery Park of America and co-founder of the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation, was posthumously honored with a Clayton R. McWhorter Innovation Award during the University of Tennessee at Martin Ned Ray McWherter Institute’s annual Igniting Innovation event April 20. This award is given to area or regional businesspeople who have made significant contributions to the economic development, quality of life and overall wellbeing of the state or region. Recipients are chosen annually by the students participating in the Ned Ray McWherter Institute. Accepting the award on Robert Kirkland’s behalf are members and friends of the Kirkland family (l-r) Donna Fielder, Tab Kirkland, Jenny Kirkland, Martha Rippy, Jim Rippy, Carol Latimer and Bill Latimer.

Roger Williams Named Innovator Of Year


Martin, Tenn.--Roger Williams (UT Martin ’81), chief executive officer of Williams Sausage Company in Union City, was named Innovator of the Year during the University of Tennessee at Martin Ned Ray McWherter Institute’s annual Igniting Innovation event April 20. He also received a Clayton R. McWhorter Innovation Award. This award is given to area or regional businesspeople who have made significant contributions to the economic development, quality of life and overall wellbeing of the state or region. Recipients are chosen annually by the students participating in the Ned Ray McWherter Institute. Williams Sausage Company has been family owned and operated in Union City since 1958 and plans to expand to a second manufacturing plant in the area. Pictured during the awards ceremony are Williams family members (l-r) Juli, Roger, David and Beth Williams.

Chalk Crawl For Kids Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.--The second Annual Chalk Crawl for Kids sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association will be held at 10:15 a.m. Saturday immediately following the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Small Fry Parade. Children receive FREE chalk to create colorful FISH on the sidewalk on the east side of the courthouse (Poplar Street). The Chalk Crawl will be led by local artists, Joe Snow, Donna Revelee, and Ann Stapp.   

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Everyone Loves A Parade

Paris, Tenn.—A huge crowd was on hand this morning for the annual Rhea Elementary School Kindergarten Fish Fry Parade. And it was different this year. Since Rhea School is undergoing construction right now, the parade was held at the Henry County High School Stadium, with a sheriff’s escort and music and announcements blaring over the public address system. Top photo, Little Rylee Vetzel on tractor is at the head of Teacher Sara Rowlett’s class, while Teacher Belinda Davis and her class wave to everyone in the stands. (Shannon McFarlin photos).


Dr. Mark Arant Named MSU Provost


Murray, Ky. — Following an extensive national search, Murray State University President Bob Davies has announced that Dr. Mark Arant will be the next provost and vice president for academic affairs, pending approval by the University’s Board of Regents. 

In this role, Arant will serve as the University’s chief academic officer, responsible for the oversight of all academic areas. He will begin his duties July 1. 

Since 2014, Arant has served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern State University where he led the development of the strategic plan for academic affairs, established new agreements for international exchange programs and created new concurrent enrollment initiatives with area high schools. He also led the maintenance of the University’s accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission and laid the foundation for a new school of Visual and Performing Arts. 

In addition to his service at Northeastern State University, Arant has held positions at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Alabama and his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Louisiana Tech University. 

Two Clarksville Men Nabbed On Drug Charges

Paris, Tenn.—Two Clarksville men landed in the Henry County Jail after a traffic stop on Hwy. 79N on Tuesday. Jamarcus Steptoe and Chausee Sebree were both arrested by the Metro Crime Unit on drug charges, with Sebree also charged with illegal possession of a handgun.

Following a traffic stop, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew’s K9 “Si” alerted to the odor of narcotics on the vehicle and upon a search, a felony amount of marijuana was found in the car.

Assisting with the arrest was the TBI, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Paris Police.

Tori Seng Receives Outstanding Student Award

Martin, Tenn. – Tori Seng, of Union City, received the spring 2017 Beth Maloan Outstanding Student Employee Award from the University of Tennessee at Martin during a presentation April 23. Seng is a senior who will receive a bachelor’s degree in communications during commencement exercises May 6.

The Beth Maloan Outstanding Student Employee Award is named for the late Beth Maloan, longtime UT Martin director of budgeting and payroll, who was a strong advocate of student employment. It recognizes exemplary work ethic and commitment to the university. The award is given each semester to a student nominated by his or her supervising office or department.

Seng currently serves as program director for UT Martin’s award-winning student-run campus radio station, WUTM 90.3 FM “The Hawk.” She began her tenure with the station as business and traffic director, later working her way up to news production director the following year. Now, as the station’s student manager, she is responsible for music and news programming, remote broadcasts and administrative duties, as well as other details of the station’s daily activities.

Robinson Speaks At Top Ten Banquet

Union City, Tenn.—One of Union City High School’s most treasured alumni was the speaker at this week’s Top Ten Banquet. Jon Robinson, General Manager of the Tennessee Titans took time out of his busy schedule to speak to the students about the importance of education.

The Top Ten Students in all four grades were honored at the banquet, which included a special presentation by Curriculum Coordinator Vicki Wilkinson. Presentation of awards was given to the Seniors by Director of Schools Gary Houston, Juniors by Principal Wes Kennedy, Sophomores by Jacob Cross and Freshmen by David Byars.


Fish Tent Opens Tonight

Ross Paschall at the Fish Tent opening in 2015. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.—Today is a big day at the World’s Biggest Fish Fry—the day some people wait for all year. It’s the day the Fish Tent opens with the traditional hush puppy toss.

Hostess Princess Jasmine Jones will officially open the tent at the Henry County Fairgrounds with the hush puppy toss at 5 p.m. and the tent will be open until 9 p.m. tonight. The all-you-can-eat catfish plates are $12 for adults and $8 for children 6-12. The plates contain fried catfish, hush puppies, French fries, white beans, slaw and drink. You can also carry out your order.

The Christian Concert will be held tonight from 7-9 p.m. with entertainment by the Brett Perkins Band. Admission is $5.

Also tonight, the carnival continues and will be open from 5 to 11 p.m.

MSU Profs Awarded $233,931 Grant


Professors Dr. Daniel Johnson (left) and Dr. Kevin Miller (right). (MSU photo).

Murray, Ky. — Murray State University Department of Chemistry Associate Professors Dr. Kevin Miller and Dr. Daniel Johnson have been awarded a $233,931 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study conductive materials and electroactive technologies.

The grant is sponsored by the NSF Division of Materials Research and is part of the Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) initiative, which supports the development of nationally recognized research programs and the integration of research and education at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs).

“Undergraduate research is a must-have for students coming from PUIs in order to compete with students from larger, research-oriented institutions,” said Miller. “With these funds, we can provide paid summer opportunities for students to gain the hands-on education and research experience they need to be more competitive when applying to graduate programs or in pursuing a job.” 

The grant will offer summer research positions to 12-15 students within the next three years at Murray State as well as efforts in research and undergraduate education during the academic year, possibly affecting an additional 15-20 students each year.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Long May They Wave

Paris, Tenn.-Today's steady winds are keeping the flags moving at the Veterans' Memorial on the lawn at the Henry County Courthouse in downtown Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Man Injured In Fire Dies Of Injuries

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The man who was severely burned in a fire at his Depot Street home in Paris has died of his injuries.

Aaron Dobbs Jr., age 67, of 1028 Depot St., was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center after the accident in his home. Paris Fire Captain Randall Jones told WENK/WTPR Wednesday that Dobbs had apparently set fire to himself when he fell against a gas heater.

A neighbor who regularly checked on Dobbs found him on fire in the living room and put the fire out and called 911.

Vanderbilt Medical Center said this morning that Dobbs died of his injuries.

Dobbs served two terms in Vietnam in the U.S. Army. Dobbs was proud of his Army service and that of his father, Aaron Dobbs Sr. His father was a soldier at Camp Tyson in Paris during WWII and had settled in Henry County after the war. An interview with Aaron Dobbs Jr. is included in the book, “As If They Were Ours” about Camp Tyson.

Funeral arrangements at Ridgeway Funeral Home are incomplete.

His parents were Aaron Dobbs Sr. and Joy Randle Dobbs. He is survived by a daughter, Danielle Dobbs, Hermitage; son Aaron Dobbs; two brothers Steven Dobbs, Hermitage; and James Hartsfield of Paris.


Another Paris Woman Reported Missing

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a missing Paris woman.

Sonya Kay (Young) Woods, age 35, of Draper St., has not been seen since February 17 in Nashville.

Henry County Sheriff’s Captain Adam Jenkins said he has confirmed with a rehab center in Nashville that Woods left the facility voluntarily February 17. Woods’ mother reported to the sheriff’s office that she has not seen her daughter since then.

Anyone with information on her is asked to call Jenkins at the sheriff’s office at 642-1672.

As reported by WENK/WTPR yesterday, the Paris Police is also seeking a missing Paris woman, Savanna Wallace, age 23, who hasn’t been seen since Sunday night. Anyone with information on Wallace is asked to call the Paris Police Department at 642-2424.


Crappie USA Tourney This Weekend 

Buchanan, Tenn.-87 Teams from all over the region have gathered at Paris Landing for the Crappie USA fishing tournament this weekend.

Crappie USA hosted a welcome event for the teams at Buchanan Resort Thursday night. Teams from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and other states are competing in the tournament which starts today and ends Saturday.

Ranked 16th in the Crappie USA standings are a Puryear team, Steve Ferguson and Joey Briggs. Ferguson and Briggs are competing this weekend.

The weigh-ins will be held at 3 p.m. today and tomorrow and will be aired live on Crappie USA's website.


Team Belongings Stolen From Bus At UC

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

 Union City, Tenn.—Items belonging to the Poplar Bluff, Mo., baseball team were stolen from their bus at Graham Park in Union City Thursday night.

Union City Police say they were called to the Babe Ruth Field at the park around 10:12 p.m. last night on a report of the theft. Park officials say that sometime between 6:50 and 7 p.m. personal belongings of two players were found to be missing from the bus.

Items stolen from one player included a brown leather Tommy Hilfiger wallet with $100 inside and an AMC movie card with $20 still on it. Another player reported someone had stolen his black Underarmour sweat pants valued at $50, a Mules jacket worth $120 and a key chain.

Officials said several seats and bags had been moved around on the bus.

Items Stolen From Hospital Parking Lot

Union City, Tenn.—Union City Police are investigating the theft of fishing items stolen from a truck parked in the Baptist Memorial Hospital parking lot Thursday morning.

The victim said he was visiting his mother at the hospital between 9 and 10:30 a.m. and when he came back to his truck someone had stolen six rods and reels from the back of his truck. They were valued at $1800.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Paris Woman Reported Missing

Paris, Tenn.—The Paris Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a missing person.

Savanna Wallace, age 23, has been missing from her home on Fairview Street since Sunday night. Sgt. Jeramye Whitaker said she was last seen in the area of Mineral Wells Ave.

“She may have a small dog with her,” Sgt. Whitaker said. “She has been seen hanging around the Wal-Mart parking lot over the noon hour frequently”.

If she is seen, please contact Lt. Ricky Watson or Sgt. Whitaker at the Paris Police at 642 2424 or 641 1437.

Wal-Mart Robbery Suspects Arrested

Murray, Ky.—Two people have been arrested in the strong-arm robbery and injury of an elderly woman in the Murray Wal-Mart which occurred on Monday. The pair were located in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The main suspect, Allison Hunter, age 29, of Hopkinsville, Ky., was arrested after a similar incident there. Also arrested and believed to be involved with the incident in Murray is Justin Marshall, age 32, of Panama City Beach, Fla.

The charges stemming from the Murray incident are still pending. In Murray, the female suspect knocked an elderly woman down and after a struggle, yanked her purse away.

Murray Police issued surveillance photos of the car in the parking lot to the media after the incident.

The Urbandale Police in Iowa have already charged the pair with second degree robbery and first degree theft after being arrested by the Urbandale Police Department in Iowa. Marshall also was charged with fleeing after running from the police, first in a vehicle, then on foot. The vehicle they were found in was stolen out of Kirksville, Mo.

Downtown Mural Project Ribbon-Cutting Set

Artist Dan Knowles with just-completed last mural. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The grand opening of the “Windows of the West Alley” will be at 10 a.m. Monday, March 27, in the alley between Market and Fentress Streets in downtown Paris.

Four murals have been completed—along with a fifth self-portrait of the artists welcoming everyone to the alley—as part of the “Back Alley Paris” project. The murals depict historic events and periods in Paris history which include an infamous duel in downtown Paris; Dr. Henrietta Veltman, the first female physician in Paris; and scenes from local jewelry and dry goods stores.

Artists on the project were Dan Knowles and John Monroe and they just completed the last mural Wednesday. Storyboards will be installed today which tell the story behind each mural.

Both Knowles and Monroe will be on hand at the grand opening. The public is invited.

Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray noted this is Phase 3 in the Back Alley Paris Project.  “Back Alley Paris” is a partnership between the City of Paris, Downtown Paris Association, and Robert E. Lee Academy of the Arts. The other two projects are murals on the alley next to the downtown fountain plaza painted by Paris Artists Jane Baars and the Eiffel Tower mural which also is in the alley between Market and Fentress Streets and was prepared by Artist Brenda Kitchens.

All three projects were made possible by grants obtained from the Tennessee Arts Commission.


Clerks Cited In Undercover Operation

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—Citations were issued against clerks at three Henry County businesses, citing each with selling beer to an underage customer. The arrests were part of an undercover operation conducted by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Monte Belew told WENK/WTPR that a 20-year-old, using his own ID, bought beer at the three businesses even though his ID showed he was underage. “We want to bring attention to curbing underage drinking and make sure our local stores are following the rules,” he said.

The three businesses are: Lakeview Grocery on Hwy. 79N, Paris; Barney’s Stop and Go, Hwy. 641N in Puryear; and T-Bones Tavern on Hwy. 641S, Paris. The clerks cited were: Lorie Thomason, Paris (T-Bones); Kelly Hoffman, Buchanan (Barney’s Stop and Go) and Brenda Williams, Buchanan, (Lakeview Grocery).


Employee Charged With Carrying Loaded Weapon

Martin, Tenn.—An employee with a loaded gun was arrested at a Martin business Wednesday night.

Martin Police Captain Phillip Fuqua said Patrolman Trae Vaughn responded to MTD Products on a complaint that one of the workers had a firearm on his person. Upon arrival, Patrolman Vaughn made contact with Tavares Farrington, age 34, of Martin, inside the plant.

Fuqua said further investigation revealed that Farrington did have a loaded .32 caliber handgun concealed in his pants pocket.

Farrington was arrested and charged with unlawful carrying and possession of a weapon. During a search before the arrest, Patrolman Vaughn located approximately 1.3 grams of crack cocaine in Farrington’s pocket. He also was charged with possession with intent to sell.


Play To Benefit Office On Aging

Paris, Tenn.—The Henry County Office on Aging is sponsoring a live stage performance called “Dearly Departed” to be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, at the Krider Performing Arts Center on Volunteer Drive in Paris. Tickets are $10 per person. All proceeds go to the Henry County Office on Aging.


Welcome Home Vietnam Vets Event Set

Paris, Tenn.—A ‘Welcome Home, Vietnam Veterans’ event will be held Saturday, March 25, at the Henry County Fairgrounds. A meet and greet period will be held from 3-5 p.m. followed by a free dinner served for Vietnam Veterans and their spouses from 5-7 p.m.

Guest speakers are Dr. Chester Harrison, A.J. Perrone, and Rex McBee. The Ray Lewis Band will perform at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by local veterans’ organizations.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Paris Man Charged In Rape, Incest Of Child

Paris, Tenn.—A Paris man was arrested Wednesday on a charge of rape and incest involving a nine-year-old child. He is being held on $250,000 bond at the Henry County Jail and ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Daniel Korey Hall, age 41, of South Poplar Street, was arrested at a local business by Paris Police.

Lt. Ricky Watson said investigators began working a case involving unlawful sexual contact with a minor on March 6. The offense occurred March 3 at Hall’s home. Watson said the child was related to Hall and was spending the night at Hall’s home when the alleged crime took place.

Watson said additional charges are pending in the case.

Update On UTM Shooting Incident

Martin, Tenn.--Martin Police Department officers have located the 2005 black Mazda within the city limits of Martin that was involved in the incident yesterday and one of the three occupants has also been located. That subject is being interviewed about the incident at this time by Martin Police Dept. Investigators. 

The investigation continues and it has been confirmed that there were no injuries in relation the shot that was fired during the altercation, according to Police Captain Phillip Fuqua.

A 21-year-old UTM Student, Tommy was arrested following the incident yesterday afternoon. He is charged with felony reckless endangerment, theft and unlawful possession of a weapon in commission of a felony. He is being held in the Weakley County Detention Center.

The shooting incident followed a fracas in the University Center.

Back Alley Project Is This Way


Paris, Tenn.--Paris Artists Dan Knowles and John Monroe have been especially busy of late, completing the last two murals in the Back Alley project. The murals are on either end of the alley that is situated between Market and Fentress Streets in downtown Paris. Knowles and Monroe are completing a self-portrait of themselves at one of the alley, which alerts the public that the Back Alley Project is there. They also are completing the mural on the rear of Mari-Mac Boutique which depicts Dr. Anna Veltman, who was the first female physician in Paris. Other murals in the alley depict a duel which occurred in downtown Paris at the turn of the century, a jewelry store and dry goods store. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Discovery Park, County Museum To Merge

Union City, Tenn.—The Obion County Commission has approved a merger of the Obion County Museum and Discovery Park of America in Union City.

Museum officials made a formal request at the commission’s Monday meeting to relinquish its assets to Discovery Park. What that means is: The museum will continue being an official entity, but its collections and artifacts will be on display at Discovery Park in the future.

Under the museum’s charter, both the county and Union City City Council must approve the request.

What that means is: Once approved by all parties, the museum will continue being an official entity, but its collections and artifacts will be on display at Discovery Park in the future.


W. Earl Brown To Be Honored At MSU

Murray. Ky.— Actor W. Earl Brown will be honored as one of the 2017 recipients of Murray State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Brown is a 1986 alumnus of MSU, graduating with degrees in theatre and electronic media.

Brown will be taking a brief intermission from Hollywood to return to Murray State’s Robert E. Johnson Theatre April 27–30, 2017. Performing the role of Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Brown is excited to return back to his roots in the Murray State theatre department. Over the years, Brown has remained very engaged with the department, often returning to the University to lead theatre workshops and host Q&A sessions for current students. 

Brown has appeared in “Scream”, “There’s Something About Mary” and is well-known for his television appearances on “Deadwood”, “Justfied”, “Six Feet Under”, “The X-Files” and “American Horror Story”.

He started acting at Murray State and was involved with the theatre, journalism and mass communications departments there.

Murray State presents the Distinguished Alumni Award annually to alumni who have made meaningful contributions to their profession on a local, state and national level. Established in 1962, the award is the highest honor granted by the Murray State University Alumni Association, and its recipients include Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, renowned authors, research scientists, physicians and educators. 

Brown will be honored at the Distinguished Alumni Award banquet to be held April 21 at 6 p.m. in the CFSB Center’s Murray Room, and he will have the opportunity to speak about his professional experiences. The banquet is open to the public with tickets available for $30 at until April 14.


Dresden Football Coach Resigns

Dresden, Tenn.—Fresh off winning the state championship in 2016, Dresden Head Football Coach Derek Rang is stepping down from the position and has accepted the position as head football coach at Gatlinburg Pittman High School.

Under Rang, the Dresden Lions won the state championship after a perfect 15-0 season last year. His record over three years at Dresden is 32-9.

Rang announced his resignation to students Tuesday afternoon. Rang is from Maryville originally and will succeed Coach Benny Hammonds, who is retiring after 45 years.

The Dresden board of education has not announced a replacement for Rang or what type of search will be conducted.


GOP To Hear Speaker On Radical Islam

Paris, Tenn.--The Henry County GOP and Republican Women are jointly hosting a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday night, with speaker John Miles. Miles is an attorney and Constitutional conservative and he will be speaking on the topic of Radical Islam. The meeting is open to anyone and will be held at the Paris Civic Center on Volunteer Drive. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

UTM Student Arrested In Shooting Incident

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.—A student is in custody after a physical altercation that started in the University Center earlier this afternoon spilled out into the surrounding neighborhood and resulted in shots fired.

Arrested was Tommy Fuller, age 21, of Grove Apartments in Martin. He is charged with felony reckless endangerment, theft and unlawful possession of a weapon in commission of a felony. He is being held in the Weakley County Detention Center.

The Martin and UTM Police are investigating the incident which began with the physical altercation involving multiple individuals inside the University Center. Martin Police Capt. Phillip Fuqua said in a press release that the fight ended and all parties left the area.

Fuqua said the altercation then resumed a few minutes later on Hannings Lane. Fuller allegedly fired a weapon at several individuals at apartments located at 302-304 Hannings Lane.

Fuqua said Fuller then left the area in a white Chevrolet SUV northbound on Mt. Pelia Rd., where he was taken into custody by Martin Police.

Multiple weapons were found inside the vehicle, Fuqua said. “At this point, no injuries have been reported.”

Law enforcement is still seeking a second vehicle involved occupied by three individuals involved in the altercation. Fuqua said it is a black two-door 20015 Mazda, license plate K2898Y.

The University was on lockdown during the incident and UTM Public Relations Officer Bud Grimes issued this statement: “A family altercation ended in a shooting on Hannings Lane near the university campus. An unidentified UT Martin student is in custody. Two African American males who are not UT Martin students are at large and are reported to be traveling to Lauderdale or Madison County in a 2-door black Mazda. Any information about these suspects should be reported to law enforcement officials. No injuries are reported.”

No charges as yet have been filed on any other individuals, but may be forthcoming, Fuqua said.

Woman Nabbed With 35 Lbs. Of Marijuana

Mayfield, Ky.—The Kentucky State Police were able to intercept packages containing 35 pounds of processed marijuana and arrested a Mayfield woman on drug charges today.

On Monday, March 20, the KSP Drug Enforcement received information that a large quantity of marijuana was being shipped via US Mail to an address in Mayfield. Upon further investigation, detectives were able to confirm the shipment of two packages to address on Taylor Drive in Mayfield.  

Earlier today, detectives began conducting surveillance on the residence. 

At approximately 11:30 Tuesday morning, two packages were observed being dropped off by the US Postal Service and accepted by the resident.  Detectives immediately executed a search warrant on the residence where they recovered the two packages containing a total of approximately 35 pounds of processed marijuana. 

Detectives arrested Ernestine Ross, 43, of Mayfield.  Ross was charged with Trafficking in Marijuana over 5 Pounds, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  The investigation is ongoing by TFO Det. Mark Watkins of the Kentucky State Police Drug Task Force.  Kentucky State Police was assisted by the Mayfield Police Department, Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force, and the US Postal Inspector.  

Garrett Set To Compete In Bassmaster Classic 

Houston, Texas--March is usually the month when most sports fans think of March Madness and basketball. But a different game is in the air for one Bethel University Bass Angler this month.

And it’s a game that thousands of bass anglers dream of each year. A game that professional and non-professional anglers alike strive all of their lives and careers to have a shot to play.

John Garrett of Union City, a student at Bethel University, is the only collegiate angler to earn a spot on this weekend’s Bassmaster Classic in Texas.

Garrett took the nation by storm back in August of 2016, when he and his fishing partner Brian Pahl won second place in the coveted Carharrt Bass Masters College National Championship on Green River reservoir in Campbellsville KY.

Garrett and Pahl went on to compete against six other anglers on their home waters of Kentucky Lake the following week in the Bass Master Classic Bracket series. The weigh-in for the tournament was held in downtown Paris before a large crowd.

Leaping forward to this month, Garrett is preparing to fish in the biggest angling event of his career in Houston as he will compete in the 2017 Bass Masters Classic. Less than sixty anglers get the chance to compete in the Classic each year and Garrett will be only the sixth college angler ever to do so.

Bethel Head Coach Garry Mason of Springville said, “We are so very excited for both John and our program here at Bethel. John will be a great representative for our program here at Bethel and for all of college fishing as he competes in the world’s most well-known Bass fishing championship.”

Elected Officials Tour Dana

Paris, Tenn.—Henry County officials recently toured Dana Power Technologies, the first of tours of the county’s industries, coordinated by the Paris-Henry County Industrial Committee. Dana is located on Hwy. 218.

Members of the City of Paris and Henry County Commission, along with members of the Paris Industrial Development Board recently toured the facility.

 “We are planning to tour each major industry to help educate our elected officials on the various industries we have in Henry County and to let our local industries know how much we appreciate their contributions to our economy,”  Henry County CEO David Hamilton said.

 A recent survey indicated over 100 new jobs and $19 million was invested in new equipment by local industries in 2016.  In 2015, local industries created 187 new jobs and invested over $17 million in new equipment.

 Hamilton said, “70% of the new jobs created in manufacturing come from local industry expansions. We are fortunate to have strong, growing industries in Henry County and working with our existing industries is our number one priority.”

 The most recent unemployment figures provided by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development shows Henry County’s unemployment rate is 7.8%, a 1.1% increase from the same period a year ago. 

UTM Nursing Program Ranked 8th In State

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Department of Nursing has been ranked eighth in Tennessee by The website evaluated 41 nursing programs statewide and determined UT Martin’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program to be one of the best.

The website looked primarily at pass rates for the National Council Licensure Examination when determining ranking placement. The UT Martin Department of Nursing’s 2016 graduating class achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN as first-time test takers last year, and previous classes have achieved similarly high results.

“I am always proud of our graduates and the hard work they put into preparing for the NCLEX-RN. This ranking highlights the tradition of success we have at UT Martin,” said Dr. Mary Radford, chair of the UT Martin Department of Nursing. “I look forward to seeing current and future students be successful not only on the licensure exam, but through service and professional growth in their nursing careers.”

The UT Martin BSN clinical program includes more than 900 hours of hands-on clinical experience in hospitals and health-care facilities across the state. The UT Martin Department of Nursing maintains partnerships with facilities throughout Tennessee, providing students with one of the widest varieties of clinical experiences available in the region.

According to, the nursing industry is growing in Tennessee, and the state is expected to hire an estimated 1,800 new nurses per year for the next five years.

For more information on the UT Martin Department of Nursing, contact the department at 731-881-7131 or email


Quota To Host Ladies Night Out

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Quota Club will be hosting a Ladies Night Out for a private viewing of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Parisian Theatre Tuesday evening, March 28.

The $15 ticket includes movie admission and box supper, along with door prizes. Tickets can be purchased from any Quota member and are available at the Henry County Elections Commission office in the courthouse annex.

Doors open 5:15 p.m. and the movie begins at 6 p.m.

Proceeds benefit Quota’s Scholarship Fund.


Tickets On Sale For Donkey Basketball

Paris, Tenn.--Tickets are on sale now for the Crusaders Donkey Basketball event set for 6 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Central Services Building in Paris.

Tickets are $6 available at Take Me Back Cafe or at the door.

A 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament will be held at noon. Divisions for adults, junior high and high school. To sign up, cost is $5 per player/50 percent payback. To sign up call 731 535 2016. More info at

Elvis Tribute Artist Riley Jenkins starts the pre-show at 5 p.m., with the Donkey Basketball at 6.

Full concessions all day. The Donkey Basketball is sponsored by Circle A Donkey Ranch in Henry.

Monday, March 20, 2017

911 Looks Ahead To County-Wide Radio Coverage

911 Chair John Etheridge (head of table), Richie Chilcutt and new member Norma Gerrell look over the agenda. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—In what Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew called “one of the most important things the 911 board has done for a while”, work is progressing on the Henry County/City of Paris project that will ensure there will be no dead spots for first responders to communicate throughout the county by police radio.

At Monday’s 911 meeting, Director Mark Archer reminded the board that the 911 program will be investing $250,000 in the project and both the county and city of Paris governments have officially approved it. “We’re getting memorandums of understanding from all the agencies in the county right now,” Archer said.

“What it’s going to take is a community block grant, one from the county in 2018, and one from the city in 2019,” he said. “It’s a very large project, but it will not go forward without the block grant.”

911 Board Chair John Etheridge said, “I know you’ve worked hard on this, but the end result will be virtually no dead spots for police radios in the county and all agencies will be able to communicate with each other.”

Archer noted, “We’ve really done our due diligence to make sure we are getting the best we can.”

Belew said, “This is probably one of the most important things 911 board done for a while. I can name numerous sites where we don’t have radio communication at all in the county. This is really going to be a valuable investment for the county.”

At the meeting’s outset, Paris Special Schools District Curriculum Director Norma Gerrell was welcomed on the board.

Officers also were re-elected: Chair John Etheridge, Vice Chair Chuck Elizondo and Secretary Twila Rose.

In other business:

--Archer reported that re-naming roads in the new 218 Bypass area is ongoing. Residents on those roads will be voting on the names.

--Technician Chad Howard conducted talks at two county Mennonite Schools and Holy Cross Church.


Six-Minute Commission Meet Sets Record

Paris, Tenn.—Meeting in a record-breaking short and sweet session of only six minutes Monday evening, the Henry County Commission appointed Commissioner Dell Carter to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a three-year session and approved budget transfers.


Special City Commission Meet Set

Paris, Tenn.—The Paris City Commission has called a special meeting for 11 a.m. Thursday to consider a request for approval of a certificate of compliance for Paris Loft Wines and Spirits. Owner Matthew Michael is in the process of submitting the required information to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission for a new license. The meeting is open to the public.


Elderly Woman Robbed In Parking Lot

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Murray, Ky.—An elderly woman was knocked to the ground during a robbery in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Murray and Murray Police are seeking the public’s help in apprehending the suspect. According to Police Sgt. Brant Shutt, police believe the suspect targeted the victim and parked near her because she is elderly.

The robbery occurred at 9:15 a.m. today. The Murray Police have released surveillance photos of the suspect’s vehicle and they are posted on the WENK/WTPR website and Facebook pages.

Wal-Mart surveillance video shows a dark colored vehicle, possibly a Toyota Camry or Corolla, with Tennessee plates, circle the parking lot multiple times, Shutt said. The suspect vehicle appears to spot the target vehicle and backed into a parking stall to wait for the driver to park and exit their vehicle and walk past.

Shutt said, “As the elderly victim walked past the vehicle, the suspect lunged out and grabbed the victim’s purse dragging her to the ground in the process. After a brief struggle for the purse the suspect then re-entered the vehicle and quickly sped off almost striking the victim with the vehicle.”

The only available description of the suspect is that she is a white female with dark brown or blonde hair, average build, and appeared to be approximately early 20’s in age. Anyone with information is asked to call the MPD at 270-753-1621.

Man With Dog Steals Car, Leads Police On Chase

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A vehicle stolen in Paris ended up with a pursuit through several states, ending with the suspect being held in the Henderson County Jail.

The incident began Sunday morning at the Pocket’s convenience store on Mineral Wells Ave., when a man parked his car by the pump, left it running and went inside the store. He noticed a man with dreadlocks sitting with his dog on the curb outside.

While inside, the car owner saw his Chevy Tahoe being backed out of the lot and driven off. A witness told police the man in dreadlocks put his dog in the back seat of the Chevy Tahoe and drove off.

A while later, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office reported being involved in a pursuit with the stolen vehicle on I-40. A while after that, the Tennessee Highway Patrol reported stopping the vehicle in Henderson County.

Arrested was Joseph Sizemore, age 24, of Helton, Ky. He is in jail, charged with theft, evading arrest, reckless driving, DUI and speeding.


Sushi Party Time At Lee Academy


Paris, Tenn.-It was sushi time at the Lee Academy for the Arts Saturday evening, with some 50 people on hand for the event, eager to learn how to expertly prepare their own sushi rolls. The instructor for the evening was Dan Knowles of Paris, who also is a local artist and nationally-renowned banjo master. Knowles as assisted in the preparation by his wife, Debbie, board members and friends. A wide array of toppings was set out for everyone to use to create their sushi rolls. The making of the sushi rolls was followed by the best part: the eating of the sushi rolls, along with salad and miso soup. (Shannon McFarlin photos).


Talking Turkey At Wildlife Refuge


Ranger Joan Howe, right, introduces Speaker Laura French. (Jean Owens photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.—Thirty people were on hand to learn about the “Amazing Wild Turkey” Saturday afternoon at the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge. Laura French presented the program, informing the group that wild turkeys have 30 different calls and each means something different.

A handful of organizations have worked to bring wild turkeys back from near extinction, including the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and now wild turkeys are plentiful, as anyone who drives along the country roads near the refuge can attest.

According to French, wild turkeys can fly up to 55 mph and run 25 mph, they roost on the top of trees and they can swim. She said turkey hunters should never use the gobble call when hunting because you can be mistaken for a turkey and that could end very badly for the hunter.

More turkey facts: the female is a hen; the male is a tom or a gobbler and the babies are called chicks.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

House Heavily Damaged By Fire

Deputy Sgt. Bryan Hall and Paris Firefighter Lt. Michael Long at the scene of the fire at 445 Smith Rd., Paris. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A home at 445 Smith Rd., Paris, was heavily damaged in a fire Sunday afternoon.

Paris Firefighters arrived quickly and were able to save the structure, which suffered a large amount of smoke damage. The fire appeared to start in living room area of the home, according to Henry County Sheriff's Deputy Bryan Hall, who was also at the scene.

The home's resident told WENK/WTPR he came home from Murray and found the smoke billowing out of the residence and called 911. Stubblefield said no one was home when the fire started.

The fire occurred around 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Irish Eyes Smiling On Erin For Grand Parade

Erin Mayor Paul Bailey throws hats to the crowd.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Erin, Tenn.—Irish eyes were certainly smiling on the community of Erin for the annual Irish Celebration Grand Parade Saturday. With clear skies and warm temperatures, a huge crowd was on hand for the parade, with Grand Marshal Dave Nichols, former Channel 5 Weatherman; Junior Grand Marshal Izzy Lamberth and Lord High Mayor Tim Clegherns.

The annual Irish Day Celebration is a week-long affair, with a carnival, community dinners, community breakfasts, arts and crafts vendors and plenty of green decorating Erin, which is billed as “A Bit Of Ireland In Tennessee”.

The grand parade was preceded with the Leprechaun Parade, in which the kids get to strut their stuff. Erin Mayor Paul Bailey threw out green hats from his float. Also on the mayor’s float was a couple from Ireland who have made five trips now to the Erin celebration and were honored by the community.

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean marched in the parade, while State Rep. Jay Reedy was also on hand with other area politicos. The 101st Airborne Division band also marched in the parade.

The Southernaire Restaurant won the Irish Beautification Contest.

The Irish Day Celebration is organized each year by the Houston County Area Chamber of Commerce.


These cousins had their bags ready to catch all the candy they could. They are the great-granddaughters of Margaret Simpson.

Benton Co. Sports Hall Of Fame Class Of 2017  

Camden, Tenn.-The Benton County Sports Hall of Fame “Class of 2017” has been announced by Hall of Fame Committee Chair David Markham. Seven persons have been selected for this year’s class and they represent a wide range of local sports.

Members to be inducted are: Sam Lowery, Camden, 1949-53, football; Keith Peach, Big Sandy, 1989-93, basketball and baseball; Willard Stokes, Holladay, 1954, basketball; Jeff Rowland, Camden, 1991-1993, baseball, football and basketball; Jeff Tharpe, Camden, 1977-80, football; Harriett Chester, Camden, 1968, basketball, and Bobby “Flash” Melton of Camden of Catfish Radio in Benton County.

The induction banquet will be held Saturday, May 20, at Lakeshore Camp in Eva. Tickets are $25 and will be available in April. Guest Speaker is Dale Kelley, Athletic Director of Bethel University and Mayor of Huntingdon.

BPU To Flush Hydrants Next Week

Paris, Tenn.--The Paris Board of Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants during the week of March 20th. BPU customers could possibly experience air in water lines or discoloration in the water.  Please check for discoloration of water prior to doing laundry.  If these conditions occur, run water through a faucet for several minutes.  The water should return to normal in a short amount of time.  If problems continue, please feel free to contact Tony Brown at 642-1322, ext. 115. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

J.C. Penney Store In UC To Close

Union City, Tenn.—The J.C. Penney Store in Union City is among 138 stores that are set to close in the next few months due to slow sales. The other two stores are at Greeneville Commons in Greeneville and Knoxville Center in Knoxville. The Union City store is located in the County Market Place.

About 5,000 employees will be losing their jobs across the country as a result of the closures. J.C. Penney announced it would offer employees “separation benefits”, including assistance getting other jobs.

The closures are a result of the impact on Penney’s brick and mortar stores by online shopping.

Another Elderly Victim Loses Money To Scam

Dresden, Tenn.-Another scam has resulted in an elderly Weakley County woman losing a great deal of money—this time, the elderly victim lost $1,800.

Weakley County Sheriff’s Captain Randall McGowan said the woman was contacted by a man claiming to be Christian Grant and that he was involved in the legal system in Mexico. He convinced the woman that her grandson had been arrested in Mexico and the money was needed for his legal defense.

The victim was instructed to put $450 cash on four different Wal-Mart gift cards, which she did. She gave the man the numbers off the back of the cards. She became suspicious when they called back the next day seeking more money. According to McGowan, the man even had a recording of her grandson speaking.

The victim then checked with her grandson, who lives in another state, and he is fine.

A check of the area code from which the calls were made showed it to be Cambodia. McGowan said the sheriff’s office is again urging people to never send money to someone you don’t know. ‘You will never have to send money to get money. The IRS will not call you. Publisher’s Clearinghouse will not call you. Never give your birthday or Social Security number to someone you don’t know. If you suspect an attempted scam, call local law enforcement before you do anything. Once you send the money, it is gone for good.”

UC Band Making Most Of NYC Visit

Cake presented to Director John Easley by the UCHS Band. (UC Band photo).

New York City—The Union City High School Band is pumped up and ready to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this afternoon and has been making the most of its trip to the Big Apple.

With long-time Band Director John Easley retiring, the band presented him with a cake that looks like the Union City Band’s drums. Easley retires after 31 years in the position and told his band students that his heart will always beat in time with the Purple People.

Band members Thursday visited the Statue of Liberty and saw the Broadway productions of Wicked and Phantom of the Opera. After this afternoon’s parade, the band will visit the Empire State Building.

State FFA Officers Visit Local Area

State FFA Officials at the McWherter Museum in Dresden. (FFA photos).

Paris, Martin and Dresden—  The Tennessee Future Farmers of America State Officer team spent a week in the local area on the 2017 Goodwill Tour, visiting the FFA programs in Paris, Martin and Dresden. The tour is a time honored tradition in Tennessee, in which State Officers travel statewide promoting the agricultural youth organization, Tennessee FFA. During the week, State Officers visited sponsors, universities, and agribusinesses across Tennessee.

Starting their West Tennessee journey in Memphis, the State Officers enjoyed a light breakfast and visit with Agricenter International employees and Board members.  

After lunch, the State Officers visited the Governor Ned R. McWherter Library in Dresden, Tennessee. The state officers were able to learn more about Governor McWherter’s experience and appreciation for FFA along with his support of agriculture in Tennessee.  The night ended with an FFA Day banquet at the University of Tennessee at Martin. State Officers met with faculty, guests and FFA chapters from across West Tennessee.

The second and final day in West Tennessee began at the Paris FFA Chapter. Members and FFA state officers enjoyed breakfast and learned more about the storied history of the Paris FFA chapter. In addition, Mark McBride, Paris FFA Alum, spoke about the release of the Tennessee FFA History book.

The Goodwill Tour was sponsored by the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative, Catesa Farms owned by George McDonald, and the Ned R. McWherter Foundation.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Nationally, there are 649,355 FFA members, aged 12-21. The Tennessee FFA Association is comprised of 14,084 members from 214 high school chapters, 7 middle school chapters, and 8 collegiate chapters across the state of Tennessee. To learn more about FFA visit


FFA officials at Henry County High School.

Keep On Movin’ Over Spring Break

Paris, Tenn.—Get your exercise and work on your moves over Spring Break as Dancing Generation Studio will join the KPAC KIXX to teach hip hop. Classes are 10:30 a.m. to noon Monday, March 20, to Friday, March 24. There will be a free, short public performance for parents, family and friends at noon Friday, March 24. Class fee is $30 and includes a performance t-shirt. Register soon. Class limited to 25 students. Email or call 731 707 3374 if you want to participate.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Grove Student Wins National Contest

From left, Grove Vice Principal Tim Mason, Alex Conley of AMVETS, Grandmother Louise Brown, Tianna McCutcheon, Grandmother Pearline Travis; Mother Tiffany McCutcheon, AMVETS Rep Tony VanDyke of Paris, and Grove Principal Sam Tharpe. (Grove School photo).

Paris, Tenn—A Henry County student has won the AMVETS National Americanism Contest and received an all-expenses-paid trip to Valley Forge, along with cash prizes.

Tianna McCutcheon, student at Grove School, was announced as the winner at a ceremony held at the AMVETS State Executive Committee meeting held at Paris Landing State Park. McCutcheon’s mother is Tiffany McCutcheon. She was there at the ceremony along with grandmothers Louise Brown and Pearline Travis.

Alex Conley from AMVETS made the presentation. McCutcheon won the trip to the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge in November, which is a three-day history event.

Local students also were named as State winners: Molly Gillespie, first grader at Rhea School, won first place; Cole Edwards, Lakewood fourth grader, first place; Dinah Winders, seventh grade, second place; McCutcheon also won first place at the 9th grade level; Clay Durham, 11th grade, first place; Emily Hudgins, 11th grade, second place.

Paris Man Held On Rape Charge

Paris, Tenn.—A Paris man is being held in the Henry County Jail on $25,000 bond after his arrest for rape.

Michael Anthony Littleton, age 40, of 1050 Vance St., was arrested at a Reynolds St. residence Wednesday.

According to the Paris Police report, the rape reportedly occurred Tuesday afternoon after the victim and Littleton had been arguing throughout the day.

Littleton told officers that the encounter had been consensual. He is to appear in General Sessions Court today.


Dempsey Office Fire Investigated As Arson

Dresden, Tenn.—Dresden Police are investigating the possible arson of Attorney Ben Dempsey’s Dresden office Wednesday. Dempsey also has an office in Paris.

A projectile containing a flammable liquid was reportedly thrown through the front window of the office and then burst into flames. Firefighters were able to contain the fire and the building was not a total loss.

Dempsey told WBBJ-TV that cases his office has been involved in recently may have spurred the attack. He said investigators do have a suspect in mind.

Dempsey was indicted last year and charged with sexual battery by a McKenzie woman. Dempsey said he does not believe that case had anything to do with the arson. He also said none of the office’s files were lost in the fire.

Learning About Wild Turkeys

                                           (Photo by Patti DePriest).

Springville, Tenn.--Surely you have seen them walking across the road, or in a nearby field, maybe even flying down from a tree roost. The wild turkey is a fairly common sight in Tennessee, but how much do you know about this unique looking bird? What happened to the turkey and why did they make such a dramatic comeback?

A program on “The Amazing Wild Turkey” will be presented from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 18th at the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville. The event is free.

Laura French will be the speaker. Participants will get practical experience looking for and reading turkey sign as well as deciphering the different communication sounds turkeys make.  For those getting ready for turkey season, or families just wanting to know more about the wild turkey, this program will be very informative and interactive.


The refuge visitor center is always open Monday - Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry to the event and to the visitor center is free. For more information about this event or the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge please call 731-642-2091.


Carroll Co. Commission To Meet Nine Times A Year

Huntingdon, Tenn.—The Carroll County Commissioners have approved a schedule that includes nine meetings a year instead of the current 11.

At its regular meeting Monday, commissioners voted to eliminate the February and July meetings. The commission’s annual schedule had already eliminated the December meeting.

Commissioners said it was a cost-saving measure, noting that with 21 county commissioners, each meeting costs around $2,100, with an extra $250 to set the agenda for the Resolutions Committee.

Each commissioner receives $100 for attending each regular meeting and $50 for the committee meetings.

The measure was passed 18-2, with Joey Darnall and Ronnie Owen voting against it. Darnall had attempted to introduce a motion to continue with 11 monthly meetings while reducing the pay of commissioners by one-half. His motion died for lack of a second.


Goodwill Wedding Gala Set Saturday

Madison, Tenn.--More than 500 wedding dresses and 400 bridesmaid gowns will be sold at bargain prices during the Goodwill Wedding Gala from 6 a.m.-10 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the Rivergate Goodwill store, 2101 Gallatin Pike North in Madison.

Prices for wedding gowns will range from $99 to $399. Bridesmaid dresses will be $19.99-$49.99. Brand names such as Monique Lhuillier, Tomasina and Amsale, and popular styles in short and long lengths and many colors and sizes, will be available. Local bridal stores donated much of the merchandise.

“This sale is a once-a-year chance for brides-to-be and bridesmaids to find the dress of their dreams at an amazing price,” said Goodwill Retail District Manager Jennifer Martin.

“Goodwill’s entire stock of these dresses will be on the sales floor from the start of the sale, so shoppers should come early.”

Dresses, as well as jewelry and accessories, will be found in a featured section at the front of the store. Wedding-related vendors, such as salons, venue providers, photographers and caterers will also be on hand. There will also be refreshments and giveaways.

Shoppers can gain early entrance to the sale, to browse and purchase dresses as much as an hour before the general public, by making a $25 donation at the door. These VIP passes can be obtained from 5-6 a.m.

The Rivergate Goodwill store is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (615) 859-4473.

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