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Friday, April 21, 2017

Items Stolen From Abernathy’s Recovered; Five Nabbed


           Gary Venable                  Britton Primm               Teth Ammons


                            Sara Ammons                             Ashley Walding

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.—Five people were arrested Thursday in Weakley County after a large amount of stolen goods was found on property at which they were living—including items stolen from Abernathy’s in Union City.

The five people were also arrested on drug charges after meth, hydrocodone pills and drug paraphernalia was found at their home.

The five are: Gary Lamar Venable, age 38; Britton Alan Primm, age 30; Teth Ammons, age 34; Sara Ammons, age 24; and Ashley Walding. Both females gave their addresses as Ripley, Tenn., while the three males told investigators they lived at 422 Old Salem Rd., near Martin, where the arrests were made.

On a tip, investigators from the Weakley Co. Sheriff’s Office went to the Old Salem Rd. address searching for the stolen four-wheeler. Before officers arrived, a second call came in saying someone was moving the four-wheeler.

When Investigator Marty Plunk arrived, he saw someone driving a Polaris Razor into the garage at the address. According to Capt. Randall McGowan, the person who rented the apartment gave permission for deputies to look in the garage.

Inside the garage, Plunk located a motorcycle stolen from Lauderdale, Tenn., a car stolen from Madison Co. and the Polaris Razor stolen from Abernathy’s.

A search warrant was then obtained and more items believed stolen from Abernathy’s were recovered. Deputies also found meth packaged for resale, hydrocodone pills, scales, meth pipes and a small amount of cash, McGowan said.

Investigators found another four-wheeler stolen from Lauderdale Co., a second Polaris Razor stolen from Abernathy’s. Both are valued at $27,000 each.

All five people arrested are charged with theft over $1,000, theft over $2500, theft over $10,000, and one count of possession of meth.

McGowan said the case is still under investigation and investigators from Lauderdale Co., Obion County, Union City, Martin, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Jackson Police are involved.


Butterflies Are Free

Paris, Tenn.—The children in the W.G. Rhea Library Pre-School Story Hour had an experience Thursday morning they won’t soon forget. With Children’s Librarian Kayla Nation and Library Director Connie McSwain, the children released butterflies that were hatched in the pre-school room earlier this week. McSwain purchased a kit several weeks ago that include larvae, food stuff and other equipment and a total of nine butterflies were hatched inside a netted cage on Saturday and Sunday. Nation and McSwain took the children outside where there were a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as the butterflies were released. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Learning By Doing Good Deeds

Paris, Tenn.—With the Plus Endowment Program grants in the Henry County School System, learning comes in all forms. Second graders at Lakewood Elementary got a lesson in doing good for all creatures recently. The classrooms of Ms. Wimberley and Ms. Banks enhanced their reading curriculum by offering incentives to students to read more books. After each student accumulated a set number of accelerated reading points, they earned dog treats/food/supplies. The students then took the items to both animal shelters in Henry County: the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Animal Shelter and the city of Paris shelter. In photo, students are shown donating their items at the city of Paris shelter. (Plus Endowment photo).

Officers Find 778 Ecstacy Pills In Side Panels

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.—Two men from Indiana were arrested early this morning on drug charges by Union City Police when, thanks to the department’s K9 “Bator”, 778 Ecstacy pills were found in the side panels of their car. Their car was seized, as was $42,000 in cash also found in the car.

Dairon Merritt of Gary, Ind.; and Larry Saulsberry of Evansville were arrested on possession charges and window tint violation. Merritt also was arrested on a felony warrant from Indiana on charges of drugs and handgun possession and maintaining a nuisance building.

The car they were driving was stopped in the 1100 block of North Everett Blvd. a little after midnight on a window tint violation. Officers smelled a masking odor coming from the passenger seat and saw Merritt trying to cover a small amount of marijuana on his lap.

The driver Saulsberry told officers there were no drugs or weapons in the car and gave permission for a search. An empty clear baggie was found in Saulsberry’s shoe. The K9 “Bator” alerted on the driver’s side door and officers disassembled the panels and found wedged in the back eight baggies containing 778 Ecstacy pills.

Abernathy’s Offers $25,000 Reward

Union City, Tenn.—Abernathy’s of Union City is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspects in the latest burglary at the business. 

Video surveillance footage shows that the burglary happened between 1:30 and 2 a.m. Easter Sunday.  

The list of items stolen includes two 2017 Polaris Rzr 1000 Gold Rock Editions, one Honda 420 Green Rancher, and one 2017 Polaris Turbo Titanium.

Abernathy’s has been robbed repeatedly in the past couple of years. The video shows that entry was made through the back fence.

Obion County Students To View Simulator

Union City, Tenn.— The West TN Distracted Driving Simulator will be set up at Obion County high schools next week. The simulator visit is made possible by a grant from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office and will be set-up at Union City High School on Monday, April 24th, with South Fulton High School on Tuesday, April 25 th, and Obion County Central High School on Wednesday, April 26th.

The Union City Police Department in conjunction with the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office will be traveling to the schools to promote their campaign, Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving.

 High school students from Union City, South Fulton and Obion Central will get to experience first hand the devastating effects of texting and driving by operating the interactive driving simulator that illustrates the grim effects of distracted driving or driving while impaired. 

Union City Police Lt. Melvin Dowell said, “According to the “Young Drivers Crash Rate Rankings” for 2016 for Obion County, we have the 38th worst ranking in the State of Tennessee, that’s 303 crashes. By utilizing the simulator, the Union City Police Department along with local law enforcement agencies are enthusiastic that this can become an ‘eye opening’ experience for our young drivers.”

McKenzie To Get Dollar Tree

McKenzie, Tenn.—The city of McKenzie will be getting a new store—but not the one they had expected.

After building has dragged on for four years, construction of the 8,400 square foot retail store the Highland Drive and Oak Street intersection has been promised by the builders. However, originally intended as a Family Dollar Store, it now will be a Dollar Tree.

Construction is expected to begin (yet again) over the next few weeks. 

The McKenzie Municipal Regional Planning Commission was informed of the change at its recent meeting. 

“Kids Got Talent” Set

Union City, Tenn.—The Carl Perkins Center will hold a “Kids Got Talent” contest at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at the Masquerade Theatre at 120 S. First St. in Union City.

Contest entry fee is $15 and admission is $5. First place is $100 cash.

Marching Patriots To Hold Car Wash


Paris, Tenn.—The Henry County High School Marching Patriots will be holding a car wash from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Advance Auto Parts on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris. They will be asking for a $5 donation.



There is also going to be a Hog Pullin' event hosted by the Christian Motorcycle Association at Commercial Bank back parking lot across the street on Saturday. So come get your cars washed and eat some delicious BBQ, and with Fish Fry week starting up, and not to mention all the pollen on the cars this time of year, there is definitely a great chance this car wash is going to be very successful, according to Spokesperson Sara Kollmann.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

$54,200 Raised Today For Pollack Family

Sheriff Monte Belew being interviewed at today's fundraiser by the Channel 2 and Channel 5 news crews from Nashville. (McFarlin photo). 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A whopping total of $54,200 was raised today for the Pollack Family at the benefit fundraiser sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Monte Belew said of the total, $40,000 will be placed in a trust fund for Lillie and Rose at $20,000 each, with the remaining $14,200 to be deposited into the account for them already set up at Security Bank and Trust in Paris.

Lillie and Rose, ages 13 and 8, lost their parents, two sisters and brother in a fire at their home earlier this month. They are now being cared for by their grandmother.

Belew said the sheriff’s office “would like to sincerely thank each and every citizen who either donated, brought baked goods, ordered sandwiches or participated in any way in the Pollack Family Fundraiser.”

Belew said the sheriff’s office anticipated there would be a large turnout but did not realize just how big the turnout would be for the benefit today at the fairgrounds.

“This would not have been possible had the community not have come together in unison to support this cause. While no monetary amount could even scratch the surface as the loss this family has endured, we hope that this fundraiser and complete and total outpouring of community support will shine some kind of light on the Pollack’s, especially Lillie and Rose,” he said.

“We would also like to thank all of the businesses and citizens for patiently waiting through long lines and waits. While we knew this would be a large turnout, there was no way possible for us to plan for the amount of support that was received,” he said. “This truly shows how caring and united the good folks of Henry County are. Today we have come together as one for a worthy cause”

“Oh, and if anyone had planned on grilling burgers tonight we hope you already have buns…because we bought em ALL!” 

Huge Crowd Turns Out For Pollack Benefit

Ray and Richar Summers are interviewed by Channel 2 in Nashville as they wait in a long line at the benefit. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A huge crowd is on hand today for the benefit for the Pollack family being held at the Henry County Fairgrounds. The event is sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and chicken and steak sandwiches are being served to hundreds of people who were waiting in line.

Before the event even started, 2000 people had called in to pre-order meals, according to Captain Damon Lowe. “We have 3,040 sandwiches and we’re hoping that’s enough,” he said. Sheriff Monte Belew thanked everyone for their help with the benefit. “This is why Henry County is the Volunteer County of the Volunteer State.”

Volunteers helping the sheriff’s office include members of the Rescue Squad, Lakewood School 7th grade teachers and students, and many individual volunteers.

Five members of the Pollack family were killed in a fire at their home earlier this month, leaving two surviving sisters, Lillie, age 13, and Rose, age 8.

Several news outlets from Nashville and Jackson were on hand to cover the benefit.

The benefit will continue into the afternoon. 

Captain Adam Jenkins, center, organizes meal distribution with Investigators Gary Vandiver and Scott Wyrick, while Deputy Clyde Sulcer, Puryear Police Chief Dale Paschall and Jackie Belew work in the background. (McFarlin photo).

Suspect Still At Large After Search

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.—A suspect from Union City is still at large after a chase involving multiple law enforcement agencies and car crash Wednesday night in Weakley County.

Christopher J. Simpson, age 36, of Union City, is being sought by the Martin Police Department following a domestic call involving a firearm and on the new charge of felony evading arrest.

The Martin Police were called to 440 Hwy. 431 around 10:35 p.m. last night to assist the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office with the domestic call.

Simpson had left the scene and a short time later, Martin Patrolman Nicholas Combs made contact with him on Skyhawk Parkway inside the city limits.

According to Captain Phillip Fuqua, Ptl. Combs stopped the vehicle just north of Old Fulton Rd. 

Fuqua said, “During that traffic stop, the offender was ordered to show his hands and the offender sped away in his vehicle.  A short time later, the offender crashed his vehicle into a tree at the intersection of Brandon Road and Haygood Road outside of the city limits.”

Simpson then fled the crash scene on foot in to a nearby woods. 

The Weakley County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded and began a search for Simpson, which was unsuccessful.

A-P Association Buys Property For Community Project

USDA Officials Mary Hickman and Joel Howard present info at last night's meeting. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association have purchased dilapidated property at 311 Jackson St. in Paris and have begun planning its use as a community park or garden.

The two-story property originally was a residence, but in recent years additions have been constructed to the property, which has been divided into small apartments. Over time, it has become an eyesore.

Concerned members of the A-P Association donated money so that the Association could purchase the property. The city plans to demolish it under its Preserve Paris program.

USDA Officials Mary Hickman and Joel Howard were on hand at the A-P meeting Thursday night to extend a helping hand to the group.

A-P President Ed Roberts said, “Now that we own it, we have to figure out what we want to do with it. And we want it to be a community project.”

Howard said funding would be available from the USDA for a community project for the site, “But I would advise you not to be in a hurry to decide what to do with it. You need to really think about it and plan it.”

Ideas such as transforming it into a community garden or park and to install a Little Library on the property were suggested.

A committee was formed to begin planning use for the property.

Hickman and Howard also told the group of other programs available through USDA to fix up other dilapidated properties in the neighborhood. Hickman said USDA is currently partnering with the city of Paris and has made numerous presentations for the public on the programs. “It’s a win-win for everybody. You put the property back on the tax rolls, you give the owner equity and you make the community look better,” Hickman said.

In other business:

A-P Association Treasurer Annette Douglas informed members of a Kroger program under which you can use your Kroger card to provide rebates to the A-P Association.

Member Rachel Terrell said the second annual Neighborhood Yard Sale will be held May 13. Anyone wanting to participate can pay $5 to the Association by the deadline of May 6. The Association will take care of registering the yard sales with the city. Maps will be distributed to the public showing where all the sales will be.


Civil War Days This Weekend At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.—One of Discovery Park of America’s most popular events is this weekend—Civil War Days. Free with park admission, the event is held Friday-Sunday and includes reenactors, weapon demonstrations, cannon firings and a dinner theater. The encampment will be set up all three days. Special events will be held all three days.

On Saturday night, the “Civil War Letters” dinner theater will be presented on the Great Lawn with the cast from The Badgett Playhouse in Grand Rivers, Ky. Enjoy a chuck wagon steak with all the fixings and then travel back in time to 1861-1865.

Tickets are still on sale for $35. Call Discovery Park at 731 885 5455 for more information.


Construction Of Splash Pad Underway

McKenzie, Tenn.—Construction has begun on the new splash pad in downtown McKenzie. The attraction is located on city-owned land near the railroad depot. Plans are that it will be completed by June, but state inspectors must give it the go-ahead before it can be officially opened.

The splash pad is funded by a state grant with a 50 percent match. Overall, the grant is valued at $500,000. Local cost is expected at some $60,000 in cash, plus the appraised value of $105,000 for the real estate, plus in-kind labor.

The splash pad is one part of a master plan for the space, which also will include a skate park, disc golf, farmers market and outdoor theater.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

McKenzie Flooding Creates Hazards

A car is submerged in floodwaters this afternoon. (Tammy Travathan photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McKenzie, Tenn.—At least two cars were swept up in floodwaters in McKenzie during this afternoon’s severe storm. No injuries were reported.

As usual, two areas were hardest hit by flooding—the low area on Main Street by Block City Pizza and Highland Ave. by the train overpass.

One car was almost totally submerged near Block City. The car was swept up in the floodwaters and a dispatcher at the McKenzie Police Department told WENK/WTPR that officers helped the people in the car get out safely.

In another incident, a car was pushed along by flooding in the parking lot at O’Reilly’s on Highland Ave. and ended up in the ditch. The dispatcher said that motorist was able to get out of his car on his own.

McKenzie Police had a few streets blocked off during the storm due to the high water, she said.

By 3:30 p.m., most of the flooding had dissipated except for the area in front of Block City Pizza.


Main Street UC To Host “Brainstorming Breakfast”

Union City, Tenn.—Main Street Union City will host a “Brainstorming Breakfast” on Friday morning at Commercial Bank at 127 South First St.

Main Street Director Kristi Townes invited everyone to join in for updates and to share new ideas on the revitalization and rediscovery of downtown Union City. All businesses, building owners and interested parties are invited.

For more information, call Townes at 731 885 8330.


Soldier Arrested For Murray Shooting

Murray, Ky.—An active U.S. soldier wanted for a shooting in Murray is now in jail in Missouri, awaiting extradition to Kentucky.

A warrant was issued for Monyea Williams, age 20, on a charge of first degree felony assault following the shooting at Welch Court in Murray in February. The warrant was issued by District Court Judge Hutchens after Murray Police investigators followed a network of information that identified Williams as the individual who shot Kendarion Jennings in the parking lot of 51 Welch Court.

Williams is stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and was visiting Murray when the shooting occurred.

Murray Police were assisted in the investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command at Fort Leonard Wood. U.S. Marshals were notified of the arrest warrant and on Tuesday, they apprehended Williams at the base.

He is currently detained in the Pulaski Co. Jail in Missouri.

Rescue Squad Certification

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Rescue Squad recently conducted certification and recertification classes and new members learned how to enter a car by cutting through the roof. Squad Official Carol Tedford said they learned where to make the cuts to remove the roof and how to break the glass so the roof could be removed. (Carol Tedford photo).


UC Council Develops Park Plan

Union City, Tenn.—Union City City Council Tuesday night adopted a five-year master plan for Graham Park that will involve approximately $4.3M worth of improvements.

Council also approved a TIF designation for Graham Acres, which is a tax incentive program for the property, which will see the development of two new hotels next to Discovery Park.

At a busy session, Council also voted to donate $100,000 to the Carl Perkins Center in Martin, which is constructing a new building. Currently, 70 percent of those who are served by the center are from Obion County.

In other business:

Council authorized $350,000 for renovation of the recently-acquired Simmons Bank Building across from City Hall. The site will be used for the Police Department.

Council leased 380 acres in the industrial park to Chad Everett Farms for $160 per acre. The land is farmed each year until it is needed for industry.

Council also approved a job description for a full-time IT Administrator.


School Project Worker Injured In Dresden

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.—A worker at the Adult Learning Center in Dresden was injured Tuesday morning and is now in stable condition at The Med in Memphis.

The Dyer man was working on the improvement project at the Learning Center when he lost his balance on a scaffold, grabbed a hot wire and fell to the floor, hitting his head.

The worker was a member of the crew working for the Weakley County Schools on the project, which is managed by Henson Construction of Jackson.

Owner Cary Henson told WENK/WTPR that the worker is in stable condition at The Med, suffering from fractured ribs and a head injury. “We’re optimistic. Everything looks as good as it can at this time,” Henson said.

The worker, whose name has not been released by the school district, was first transported to Tennova Volunteer Hospital and then airlifted to The Med.

That’s A Lot Of Marijuana

Kuttawa, Ky.—Now, that’s a lot of marijuana. Kentucky State Police Troopers located 75 pounds of both marijuana edibles and high grade marijuana during a traffic stop near Kuttawa in Lyon County, Ky.

On Tuesday, KSP Troopers T. J. Williams and Lewie Dodd, assigned with the Post 1 Interdiction Team, stopped a vehicle near the 47 mile marker in Lyon Co. for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, Troopers observed indicators of criminal behavior and subsequently searched the vehicle.  During the search, Troopers located marijuana edibles as well as over 75 pounds of high grade marijuana.

Michael D. Wilson, age 37, of Edmonds, Washington was arrested and charged with Trafficking Marijuana Greater than Five Pounds (Felony). Wilson was lodged in the Caldwell County Jail.

The investigation is continuing by Master Trooper Lewie Dodd. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentucky State Police Post 1 at 270-856-3721 or anonymously at 1-800-222-5555.   


Witter To Perform Manilow At UC

Union City, Tenn.--From a very early age, Jim Witter’s parents knew he was destined for the stage. “We would get phone calls from neighbors saying how much they were enjoying Jim’s concert. Turns out he was on our front porch belting out tunes for anyone who would listen,” says his mom about the then 4-year old.

Witter is now performing on bigger stages, including the one at the Union City Civic Auditorium. He is scheduled as the closing concert for the 2016-17 Obion County Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County concert series. The performance, sponsored by Magnolia Place Assisted Living, will begin at 7:30 p.m. April 22.

Individual tickets are currently available at Lanzer Printing and Office Supply in downtown Union City for $20. He will be presenting “I Write the Songs: The Music of Barry Manilow.”

Witter has been performing since he was a child, and professionally for the last 30 years. In 2001, Witter produced and starred in “The Piano Men,” a musical journey through the ’70s featuring the hits of Billy Joel and Elton John. The show, which he brought to Union City in 2010, was a nod to his musical heroes growing up, and was an immediate success.

Witter still lives in Southern Ontario with his wife of 25 years, Rebecca, and their four children, James, Roslyn, Ryan and Luke.

For more information about Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County, visit online at


Car Crashes Into Union City McDonald’s

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.—A passenger was injured when a car slammed into the side of the Union City McDonald’s Tuesday.

Police and EMS units were called to McDonald’s at 1108 Marshall Ave. to respond to the accident.

Driver Judy Glenn of Union City told officers she had an issue with her brakes, crossed the curb and struck the side of the building, breaking the plate glass window and causing significant damage to the bricks on the west side of the building.

Passenger Margie Smith was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital by her son with knee pain.


Trip To Space Center Planned

Paris, Tenn.—The Henry County Office on Aging will be on the road again and this time on a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The Office on Aging is partnering with West Tennessee Motor Coach for the trip, set for Thursday, May 18. The group will leave around 6:30 a.m. from the Central Services Building. It takes about three hours to get there, so they will stop along the way for breakfast. The group should be back in Paris between 4 and 10 p.m.

Forty people are needed for the trip. Cost is $63 per person, which includes transportation and admission cost. This does not include meals or extras. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center does have places you can eat at the center.

The trip is open to everyone in the community. For more info, call Reggie Caldwell at 642 2919, Barbara Pearson 644 3193 or West Tennessee Motor Coach 644 0860.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Homicide Investigation Underway In Martin

Martin, Tenn.—The Martin Police Department is releasing very little so far on a homicide investigation that got underway this morning.

Martin Police responded to 70 Lester Lane around 9:08 a.m. today in regards to an unresponsive male at the scene. EMS personnel pronounced the male subject deceased and investigators from the Martin Police responded.

Martin Police Captain Phillip Fuqua said the deceased is identified as Charles C. Graves, age 51, of that address, and that the case is being investigated as a homicide.

Fuqua said further that more details will be released when it is appropriate and the information is available.

Short-Line RR To Open In Union City

Old Gulf, Mobile & Ohio railcar in Union City.

Union City, Tenn.—Union City Native Brent Lee has railroading in his blood and is returning to his hometown to run his own short line railroad. 

The Union City Terminal Railroad is an eight-mile stub of the former Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad line between Union City and Rives, Tenn., where it connects to the Canadian National main line. Lee told Trains Magazine that he expects to debut the new short line in May.

Lee spent 24 years with the Burlington Northern and BNSF Railway in track maintenance and train service. He told Trains Magazine, “I was born and raised in Union City. I always had the idea if I ever wanted to short line something, it would be that line.”

Lee currently is Operations Vice President for the Indiana Business Railroad of Evansville, Ind. The company owns six miles of track in Indiana, but the Union City Terminal will be the company’s first short-line operation.

“Free Dump Day” Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.--The annual “Free Dump Day” at the Paris Henry County Landfill is scheduled for Saturday, April 22. Hours for this day are 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. (Gates will be locked at 3 p.m.).

The landfill accepts only 3/4 waste. If you have a mixed load with construction and trash, there will be a fee. Additionally, tires and household furnishings are not free as these are deposited in areas other than the Landfill.

Also located on the landfill property is a transfer station used to transfer Class I refuse to a landfill operation in Mayfield.

Anything not listed in the Class ¾ Landfill would be dumped in the Transfer Station and not subject to the free day. ONLY materials free on this day will be concrete, shingles, dry wall, brush, and wood. If anything is in bags it will have to go into the building and there will be a fee.

If you have questions you may call the Landfill at 731-644-1737. The Paris-Henry County Landfill is located Jones Bend Road.

UC Penney’s Closing Delayed

Union City, Tenn.—Customers of the J.C. Penney Store in Union City will have a little more time to shop there. Six weeks more, to be exact.

The Union City store is on the list of 138 stores that J.C. Penney earlier announced it would be closing due to a lack of sales.

But since its announcement, sales have increased at those stores.

J.C. Penney spokeswoman Daphne Avila said, “Ever since the company announced its store closure list, those stores have seen better-than-expected sales and traffic. This is not an uncommon response when you announce a store closure. Local shoppers will come out for a variety of reasons—some out of nostalgia and some who are just looking for a great deal.”

As a result, the retailer has postponed the liquidation sales and closure dates for the 138 stores it plans to close, CNBC is reporting.

The liquidation will now begin May 22 instead of April 17 and the new closure date is July 31, six weeks later than originally planned.


Tickets On Sale For “April In Paris”

Walt and Sally Peterson in their Spring finest. (DPA photo).

Paris, Tenn.--“April in Paris” is more than a song or a season. It’s a dynamic fashion event and luncheon in Paris, Tennessee. The event takes place at the Paris Winery Tuscany Room on Friday, April 21st from 11 am to 1 pm and benefits the Downtown Paris Association (DPA).

The show and luncheon feature local models in popular spring fashions from downtown women’s clothing boutiques including Boutique Mari Mac, Maggies, and Southern Roots Boutique as well as men’s fashions from The Toggery. While fashion is the drawing card, this is also a selling event, according to DPA Director Kathy Ray. Merle Norman Cosmetics and Doterra Essential Oils with Christie Nichols will be have merchandise for sale and available to answer questions about their products.  Throughout the luncheon we have many great door prizes provided by Cadillac Jack Design, The Iron Place, Jack Jones Flowers & Gifts, Jack’s Java, Jaspe` Salon, Kin Folk Boutique, Lura Lee’s of Paris, My Favorite Things, Paris Winery, and Queens of Paris.

Guests will be served a Salad Extravaganza of chicken salad, pasta salad, and Caesar salad with butter croissants and a delightful strawberry short cake dessert, tea and water. The Paris Winery will offer wine selections at an additional cost.

Tickets to “April in Paris” Spring Fashion Luncheon are $20 per person and may be purchased from fashion sponsors and the Downtown Paris Association, 203 N. Fentress Street or by emailing or calling 731-653-PARIS (7274).

Refuge To Host Event On Insect Pollinators

Springville, Tenn.-In honor of Earth Day, the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is hosting an event on Saturday to celebrate an important worker in nature, our insect pollinators. The event will be held from 10 a.m. -3 pm at the refuge visitor center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville, TN. The day will feature speakers and activities that focus on Monarchs and other butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators.

Partner organizations assisting with the day include the Friends of Tennessee NWR, Quail Forever, Camden Garden Club, Kentucky Lake Beekeepers Association, University of Tennessee Ag Extension, and Quail Forever.

A series of speakers will present programs that will include:

• 10:00 am - Danny Kimberlin – Monarch Conservation

- Friends of Tennessee NWR

• 11:30 am - Bernie Leslie/James Hinton – Bees and Beekeeping 

- Kentucky Lake Beekeeper’s Association

• 1:00 pm - Carol Reese – Native Gardening for Pollinators

- Ornamental Horticulture Specialist

• 2:00 pm - Glenn Lee – Insect Pollinators

- Entomologist

The day will also include activities for the family on the back patio. A demonstration bee hive will be on hand provided by the Kentucky Lake Beekeepers Association. Quail Forever will be making seed balls as well as letting children plant a demonstration pollinator patch. A children’s corner will be on hand with kid’s activities led by Laura French that will include time with butterfly nets. Entomologist Glenn Lee will have many insect/butterfly items to show tell and families will be encouraged to plant seed cups with the Friends of Tennessee NWR. The Camden Garden Club will have milkweed and other native plant sets for sale as well as information about growing these important plants to help our Monarch butterflies.

The Refuge holds monthly free programs held at the new refuge visitor center and sponsored by the Friends of Tennessee NWR that attempts to connect people with nature. For more information about upcoming Refuge programs or about the refuge in general, please call the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 731-642-2091 or see our website at or on facebook at

Cruisers For Christ BBQ Lunch Set

Paris, Tenn.—The West Tennessee Cruisers for Christ will hold its 10th annual Hog Pullin’ BBQ from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the back parking lot at Commercial Bank and Trust on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris.

All Proceeds to the Christian Motorcyclist Association’s Run for the Son. 

Plate lunches of BBQ, beans, slaw and drink for $7. Sandwich only is $5.

Pre-orders to Sara Kollman at 363 3445.

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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