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Local News

Friday, February 27, 2015 

Mother Nature Not Done Yet

Paris, Tenn.-Mother Nature isn’t done with us yet. An early-morning snowfall enveloped Henry County in another blanket of snow, prompting the Paris Special Schools District to cancel school as the school buses were ready to leave for their morning routes. Henry County Schools already had been cancelled for today. In photo, another layer of snow made for a picturesque scene in Whitehall Circle around 6:30 a.m. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Vanderbilt LifeFlight To Locate At HCMC


Paris, Tenn.-Following a vote Thursday night by the Henry County Medical Center board of trustees, Vanderbilt Life Flight will be building an air ambulance operation on the hospital grounds.

The vote was split 3-2 and followed presentations by both Vanderbilt Life Flight and Air Evac, both of which were interested in locating on the HCMC grounds. Air Evac, which already has area headquarters in Martin, made a presentation last month.

According to its website, Vanderbilt LifeFlight has transported more than 33,000 patients to hospitals in Nashville and destinations around the world. It is Tennessee’s largest not-for-profit air medical transport program, providing service via six helicopters (five bases and one helicopter serves as backup), one fixed wing aircraft (airplane) and four gound ambulances. It has kept an accident-free safety record since its inception in 1984.

LifeFlight transports to all Nashville hospitals and has immediate access to the region's only Level I Trauma Center, Burn Center and Children's Hospital, all at Vanderbilt.
LifeFlight is a key part of a trauma system that includes pre-hospital care, definitive care, rehabilitation and injury prevention. 

According to LifeFlight’s presentation, it plans to spend $10 M which will locate a headquarters and helicopter at the local hospital.


Gee: Health Care Situation Nears Critical Stage

Paris, Tenn.-Also at Thursday night’s meeting of the Henry County Medical Center board of trustees, Administrator Tom Gee said the health care situation is reaching a critical stage with small rural hospitals closing recently, including four in west Tennessee.

Gee noted Governor Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee failed to get out of committee in the state legislature last week. The legislature has been taking heavy criticism “from many different fronts and through the media”, he said, noting there appears to be some effort to salvage some sort of health care legislation in the upcoming session “but it is unclear what might be happening behind the scenes.”

“It is very depressing to hospitals, especially those of us in rural areas. Methodist Fayette County hospital announced its closure this past week,” Gee said. “That makes four west Tennessee hospitals plus one in Fulton, Ky., and one in West Memphis, Ark., that have closed this year. I have never heard of that many closures in one region in my forty plus years in healthcare.”

Plans to move forward with both the operating room expansion and Lake Haven geropsych unit for geriatric care are delayed. Due to the older building, the cost of the operating room project “has come in significantly over our planned budget.”

Gee said the hospital is showing a “bonanza year in physician recruitment”, with several doctors, including one from Paris, who will begin practicing in Henry County.

The hospital has commitments from two hospitalists who will join by the summer. Dr, Mengistu Yemane of Manchester, Ky., will be the new hospitalist director beginning in June and Dr. Bill Smith from Fulton Ky., will be the second hospitalist. Dr. Smith is joining following the closure of the Fulton hospital.

Gee said Dr. John Beddies, originally of Paris, will be returning with his family to join Kentucky Lake Urology. Gee said the hospital will begin managing Kentucky Lake Urology and will be employing both Dr. Beddies and Dr. Joe Mobley III. Dr. Joe Mobley Jr. will remain as an independent contractor in the practice as he nears retirement.

Gee also said the hospital is exploring how it can assist Dr. Lindsey Foust, also originally from Paris, in starting a podiatry practice in Paris. She currently is in practice in Louisville.

The hospital continues to seek candidates in OB and psychiatry. Gee said the hospital also is in discussion with one other existing practice about taking over the management of its operations and will bring that information to the board in the near future.


Holt, Harris Work Against Traffic Cameras 

       
                Rep. Andy Holt                                       Senator Lee Harris

Nashville, Tenn.-- Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, and newly-elected Senator Lee Harris, D-Memphis, have joined in a bipartisan effort to outlaw traffic cameras in Tennessee. Rep. Holt made a lot of headlines a few weeks ago when he spoke out strongly against the use of the cameras and now Senator Harris has joined with his effort.

Rep. Holt noted how unlikely of allies the two men appear. “Senator Lee Harris and I would seem like total polar opposites politically. He's from the big city of Memphis; I'm from a small town in rural Tennessee; He's a Democrat, I'm a Republican; He's black, I'm white; He's in the Senate, I'm in the House. Unfortunately, many would draw a seemingly logical conclusion that we don't like each other-- that we would seek to oppose and discredit one another. Given the national political environment, it is an easy assumption to make,” Holt said.

However, nothing could be further from the truth, Holt said. “Actually, in the few short weeks I have spent with Senator Harris, I have grown to love and respect him. He is brave, bold, responsible, and exactly what the people of Memphis need in a Democratic State Senator. While Senator Harris and I may not find common ground on many policy issues, we are linking arms on a huge issue for many Tennesseans; outlawing traffic cameras in the Volunteer State.”

Sen. Harris was the first Senator to co-sponsor of the "Tennessee Freedom From Traffic Cameras Act", Holt said, noting that “Sen. Harris will undoubtedly be attacked by his city officials, but his resolve to stand for Tennesseans will never be forgotten by me. Democrats and Republicans can work together for the greater good of Tennessee, and I pray we see more of this.”

Holt called the presence of traffic cameras “a festering wound to the free and sovereign people of this state.”

Holt attacked the arguments for the use of traffic cameras: “They generate revenue for the city: Since when did your constitutional rights have a price-tag? Did I mention that the vast majority of revenue is sent to out-of-state companies running the cameras, which has resulted in millions of dollars leaving Tennessee's economy?,” he said.

He also noted the argument that the cameras reduce accidents: “The only studies and data that show this outcome are funded by the cities and companies making millions of dollars off of the cameras, making such studies and data inherently biased. In fact, non-bias, independent studies show that traffic cameras actually increase accidents,” he said.


Rehabbed Bald Eagle To Be Released

Tiptonville, Tenn.-A newly rehabilitated juvenile Bald Eagle will be released into the wild at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 28 at the Reelfoot Lake State Park Visitor Center.

Tennessee State Parks Regional Naturalist David Haggard said, “This is one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of our park ranger job.” 

The public is invited.


Obion Central High Coach Resigns Under Fire 

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County Central High School head girls basketball coach Lyle LaRue resigned under fire after a meeting with school officials.

WENK/WTPR Sports Analyst Mike Hutchens said this is the third coaching change at Obion County Central in five months. Head Football Coach Kevin Goltra was fired and Softball Coach Tommy Victory also resigned.

Obion County Central Athletic Director Craig Rogers said school officials decided “to go in a different direction” and were acting in the best interests of the program.

LaRue had been the coach for six years.

Rogers said the school will begin searching for a replacement immediately.

   
South Fulton Man Jailed On Multiple Charges

Fulton, Ky.-A South Fulton, Tenn., man is being held in the Fulton County Detention Center on a long list of charges following an incident in Fulton, Ky. Wednesday afternoon.

Danny Ray Wilson, age 50, is charged as a fugitive from justice (with three outstanding warrants from Obion County), theft of a vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, arson of a vehicle, fleeing and evading in the first degree, tampering with evidence, threatening in third degree, receiving stolen property and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

The incident began when Fulton Police had a report of a suspicious person hitchhiking on the Purchase Parkway. Officers located Wilson and he fled, throwing a loaded pistol in the pond adjacent to the former Terry Petty dealership.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winding Down After Hard Work 

Paris, Tenn.-Volunteers Gayle Griffith and Hut Stigall talk things over Wednesday as things wind down on the last day of the 2015 Helping Hand Radio Auction. The unofficial total raised during the two-month auction was $306,878, with thousands more expected to be donated before the tally is official. The full story on the auction’s last day was published Wednesday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Bobo Suspect Died In Florida 


Decatur, Tenn. -- Authorities have confirmed the key witness in the Holly Bobo kidnapping and murder case who was reported to have committed suicide earlier this week was found dead in Florida.

The attorney for Shayne Austin of Decatur County told the media earlier this week that his client had committed suicide, but declined to say where.

Authorities have now confirmed that Austin died in a motel room in Bartow, Florida, but said no suicide note was found.

Austin was considered a key witness because he was said to have spent the entire day with Zach Adams on the day that Bobo was kidnapped and had confessed privately that he took part in the crime.

Adams, also of Decatur County, was the first person to be arrested for his part in the case. Bobo was kidnapped from her Parsons home in 2011 and her skull was found last year.

Austin last year had signed an immunity agreement with the state in exchange for information, but his deal was thrown out by former District Attorney Hansel McCadams because the state felt Austin didn’t not live up to his end of the bargain.

Austin was reportedly in Florida working as a contractor.


Voter Turnout Light For Tax Issue

Paris, Tenn.-Voter turnout was low for the first day of early voting Wednesday in Henry County for the local option sales tax referendum.

Henry County Elections Commission Director Darrin Thompson said a total of 110 have voted thus far, with 74 voting Wednesday. The balance of that figure were from absentee votes.

It is expected that turnout will continue to be low for the referendum vote. 

Early voting continues through March 12. Election Day is March 17.

Voters are being asked to increase the county’s local option sales tax by one-half percent. 
Early voting hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturday February 28 and March 7, 9 a.m.-noon.


Chuck Wagon Gang To Perform Saturday


Union City, Tenn.-The Chuck Wagon Gang will appear this Saturday evening, February 28 at the Union City First United Methodist Church.

The event, “Celebrating 75 Years of Gospel Music” will be held at 6 p.m. There is free admission and a love offering will be taken. The event is open to the public. 

To learn more about The Chuck Wagon Gang visit www.thechuckwagongang.net.


Murray Police Make ATM Theft Arrest 

Murray, Ky.-On October 18 of 2014, Murray Police Department received a report that a large sum of money had been taken from an ATM at FNB Bank in Murray. 

Pictures were distributed via the media and social media regarding a suspect vehicle. Follow up investigation by Detective Angel Clere led to Thomas Wadley, 42, of Paducah. On February 25, Wadley was charged with one count of Theft By Unlawful Taking Over $500/Under $10,000 for taking money from the ATM. Wadley was lodged at the Calloway County Jail. 

The Murray Police Department thanks the public for its support and assistance in this investigation.

Youth Tennis Camp Rescheduled


Paris, Tenn.-The planned youth tennis camp sponsored by the Paris Parks and Recreation Department has been rescheduled.

Parks Director Tony Lawrence said the camp for children aged 10 and under will be under the Direction of (United States Tennis Association) USTA certified coach J.F. Kirk.

The camp will be held at Atkins Porter Rec Center on Tuesdays and Thursday nights from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. April 14th, 16th, 21st, 23rd, 28th and May 5th, and 7th.

Registration fee is $25 made to Paris Parks and Recreation Department.

Sign up at the Paris Civic Center or call 644-2517


Wedding Planning Course Offered 

Martin, Tenn. – A certified wedding and event planning course will be offered from 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 10-April 30, on the main UT Martin campus. 
The registration fee is $995 per person and is offered through the University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies, partnered with Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute.

This course teaches the fundamentals of planning, orchestrating and delivering social events, including weddings, baby showers and anniversary or birthday parties. Participants will be introduced to concise formulas for detailing the personal and professional aspects of any social event.

For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-771-7082 or register online at www.utm.edu/departments/ecos/nondegree.php.



Wednesday, February 25, 2015  

Unofficial Helping Hand Total for 2015: $306,878

Fred McLean, left, prepares to take to the microphone to auction off the last five slates at the Helping Hand Radio Auction last day today. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-After two months of hard work by a band of volunteers and dozens of local organizations and churches, an unofficial total of $306,878 was raised in this year’s annual Helping Hand Radio Auction.

Helping Hand Treasurer Susan Bell said, “That’s strictly the unofficial total. There will be more to add to it. Several more thousand is still to be donated for this year.”

A total of $7,254 was raised on Wednesday, the event’s last day, in which 16 slates of items were donated on “open to anyone day”. 

As always, the items donated were a good collection of homemade baked goods, casseroles, gift baskets, as well as the large refrigerators and freezers that were donated for the event.

Last year, a total of $351,663 was raised.

A truly homegrown event, the auction each year raises money for a long list of local charities and organizations. 

As is tradition, Paris Attorney Fred McLean served as auctioneer for the last segment of the auction. Also serving as auctioneers during the two-month event were Cindy Snyder, Gayle Griffith, Bill Williams, Bill McCutcheon, Doug Taylor, Ray Compton, Noel Hatman and Junior Staggs.

Each year, the auction is broadcast live every day on WTPR-AM.


Weather Delays BPU Substation, Warehouse

BPU General Manager John Etheridge, right, gives reports as Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley, Director of Electric Department Cole Edwards and Secretary Gini Roberts listen. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Issues with the weather have delayed completion of both the Board of Public Utilities’ new warehouse on Hwy. 218 and its North Paris substation.

Direcctor of Engineering Jeff Thompson told the BPU board at its meeting Wednesday that the substation is “almost there. It would have been done by now if we hadn’t had this weather.” Thompson said the substation “will be energized” in a couple of weeks.

As for the warehouse, Director of Electric Department Cole Edwards said, “We need a weather break to finish up, but the metering department is using the new warehouse as of this morning. We still have paving and a few other things to do to be all finished.”

The next BPU meeting will be held at the new facility when it meets Tuesday morning, March 24.

The only surprise in the monthly reports as presented by General Manager John Etheridge was the negative balance for the wastewater department.

Etheridge said the year-to-date net income for that department is -$32,000, which he said is due to “more expensive sewer backups that we’ve seen lately.” If those had not occurred in recent days, “we would have been break-even”, he said.

The electrical and water departments “are in good shape”, he said, with positive incomes for both month-to-date and expected for the end of the year.

In other business:

-The board approved revisions to the contribution to aid to construction policy and procedures and approved modifications to the new TVA rules and regulations.

PSSD To Follow Same Busing Plan All Week

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Special Schools WILL be in sesson Thursday and Director of Schools Mike Brown said the district will follow the same plan as it did for today. "Everything went really well for today," Brown said, "but our buses still will not be going down the 13 roads that we announced Tuesday."

The roads are: Hill Rd., Palestine Rd., Caledonia Rd. Extended, Old McKenzie Highway, Hidden Acres/Muzzall Rd., Cole Fairway, Terry Lane, Smith Heights, Tanglewood, Logan Rd., McClain Rd., Ross Sawmill Rd. and Guthrie Rd. (660 and above).

Brown said some 25 students are affected and arrangements were made for those students to be picked up or their parent to take them to school.


Finding Those Holly Berries

Paris, Tenn.-Our feathered friends have been even busier than usual on these snowy and frigid days, foraging for food wherever they can find it. Paris Photographer Jean Owens captured this photo of a mockingbird eating holly berries on a recent day. 


Obion County Seeks Liquor Lawsuit Involvement

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Budget Committee has voted to send a prepared resolution to the full county commission seeking to officially intervene in the county school system’s lawsuit against the city of Union City, seeking past liquor-by-the-drink revenue which the school system claims it is due.

The lawsuit was filed in 2014 and seeks $250,000 from Union City.

Obion County is not the only county in Tennessee that found itself in such a predicament. State auditors last year determined that cities across the state were not distributing the tax revenue properly. Other jurisdictions, such as Henry County and the city of Paris, already came to settlements.

County Mayor Benny McGuire said the attorneys involved in the litigation presented a prepared resolution to the county that would allow the county to be part of the litigation. He said the commission will consider the resolution at its next meeting, which is set for 9 a.m. March 9 at the Obion County Library.


Huntingdon Offers Emergency Text Messaging

Lt. Walter Smothers

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Huntingdon Department of Public Safety has announced that the department now has the capability of sending mass text messages to the cell phones of persons that wish to receive them. 

Director of Public Safety Lt. Walter Smothers said the messages will be sent out in emergency situations, such as in the event of severe weather conditions in the area, any evacuations if needed, missing children or missing elderly alerts, road conditions including flooded roads, planned electrical outages and many other potential uses. 

“Not only can the community benefit from this service,” Smothers said, “but the Department could potentially benefit if, as stated earlier, we have a missing child or person, we could have hundreds of eyes on the watch for them instead of just a few officers.”

In order to receive these messages on your cell phone just text the town zip code, 38344, in the message area of a text message and send the message to 888777. Or you can go the the website that is hosting the mass text messaging platform and sign up. The website address is local.nixle.com/register . 

Nixle has informed Smothers that if a cell phone subscriber has no text messaging plan, or a limited plan with their carrier, then standard text message rates may apply.

“The Huntingdon Department of Public Safety is dedicated to providing the best in community protection, awareness and information sharing,” Smothers said. “We thank Nixle for sharing their technology with us and look forward to expanding our efforts to provide more public safety measures.”

West Tennessee 4-H Camp Back On Drawing Board 

Union City, Tenn.-A plan to develop a new 4-H camp for West Tennessee is back on the drawing board.

Governor Bill Haslam’s preliminary budget includes money that would fund purchase of Lone Oak Farms in Middleton (in Hardeman County).

Obion County Extension Office Director Tim Smith was asked to gather information on a preferred site for the new 4H Camp and Conference Center for West Tennessee.

Smith said the money in the preliminary state budget would fund the purchase of the land only.



Quilting Workshop Set For Saturday 


Dover, Tenn.-Break the cabin fever at the Stewart County Library for a Quilting Workshop this Saturday, February 28. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., with a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m.

Deborah and Sara, the Hoopster Sisters are excited to return and discuss quilting techniques during the Civil War. 

Sorry, no pot luck lunch.


TCAT Hosts Chamber Coffee

Paris, Tenn.-Dr. Brad White, left, administrator of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology in Paris and McKenzie, and Assistant Director Willie Huffman, who serves on the Board of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Charles Wilson and the Chamber Coffee this month to the TCAT.


GOP Meeting Rescheduled 

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County GOP meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26th has been moved forward one week due to inclement weather.
That meeting will now be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5th in the Chancery Court room of the Court House.

Phlebotomy Tech Course Offered 

Martin, Tenn. – A 90-hour training course is available through the University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies for those interested in becoming phlebotomy technicians. The course will meet from 6-9:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 10-May 26, and from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., April 25 and May 9, on the main UT Martin campus. The course costs $1,799 per person, which includes all textbooks and supplies.

This course is designed to prepare professionals to collect blood specimen for laboratory analysis. Students will become familiar with all aspects of blood collection and develop the skills to perform venipunctures safely. Classroom and lab work includes specimen practice, terminology, anatomy and physiology.

The National Healthcare Association certification exam is given at the end of the course. The exam costs an additional $105 and is paid directly to the NHA. The course instructor will arrange exam registration and payment.

There is no outside externship rotation included in this program. 

For more information or to register, call the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015 

PSSD Endorses Sales Tax Option Referendum

Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell presents a power point presentation on the sales tax referendum at Tuesday's PSSD meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Following a power point presentation by Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell Tuesday night, the Paris Special Schools board of education endorsed the local option sales tax that will be on the ballot at a special March 17 election.

The school board met a week later than scheduled due to last week’s ice storm.

The early voting period begins Wednesday, March 25, on the issue, which would generate $1.8 M annual and would be distributed to Henry County, city of Paris and the Henry County and Paris school districts.

Gerrell said $900,000 of that amount will be distributed to the schools. 

Key reasons for the need for the sales tax, Gerrell said, are revenue losses of $315,000 annually from the decrease in local liquor sales and that inflation has exceeded revenue growth. 

The county, city and schools have taken steps to balance their budgets, Gerrell said, including a city property tax increase, reducing benefits to staff, no salary increases, deferring capital and property expenses and using rainy day funds.

Gerrell said use of a sales tax is preferable to property tax, which would be detrimental to retiree recruitment, a burden on homeowners, commercial property owners, farmers and would discourage investment in the local community.

PSSD Director of Schools Mike Brown said the district is not at a crisis point yet “but I can foresee in the next two to four years that we won’t be able to maintain the same level of services without increased revenues.”

Board Member Kim Foster--who also is Finance Director for the city of Paris--said the sales tax option is “a no-brainer to me.”

Brown praised the efforts of Richie Chilcutt and maintenance staff of the district in clearing parking lots and making repairs which has enabled the district to open Wednesday “which is probably two or three days earlier than it could have been,” he said.

Brown said 13 roads or parts of roads are still impassable for school buses but that only about 25 students are affected by that. Brown earlier Tuesday gave out a phone number for parents to call so that arrangements could be made to pick up their children at other locations.

In other business:

--Curriculum Supervisor Dr. Leah Watkins reported that a $6,600 grant from Utrust will allow the district to offer a Summer STEM Academy for higher achieving students who score 90 percent or greater on TCAP science and math scores.

The academy will be offered July 13-17 at Inman Middle School for students in grades 3-7 and will include morning and afternoon sessions. Some 60 students will receive invitations to it, she said. “We’re really excited about what we can offer with this,” she said.


PSSD Approves Calendar

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Special Schools board of education approved the 2015-2016 school calendar at Tuesday’s meeting.

The calendar allows for no school on fair day of August 6, fall break October 15-16; Thanksgiving break November 25-27; Christmas holiday December 21-31; New Year’s holiday students return Jan. 5; spring break March 21-25; fish fry day April 29 and May 21 abbreviated day.

Weakley County Man Dies Of Exposure

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.-An 83-year-old Weakley County man died overnight from exposure to frigid temperatures after he fell outside at his home. The man has not been identified by authorities.

The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office responded to 550 Unity Rd. north of Dresden at 10:43 a.m. Tuesday.

The 83-year-old resident was found deceased in his driveway. According to Capt. Randall McGowan, it appeared that the man had been to his mailbox, fell on the ice-covered driveway, slid down a small hill and was unable to get back to his porch.

The man was last heard from about 1:30 p.m. the day before.

Capt. McGowan said it is believed exposure to the cold temperatures contributed to his death. Investigators from the sheriff’s office were assisted by the Weakley Co. Medical Examiner’s Office and the Weakley Co. Ambulance Service.


Dyersburg Police Officer Arrested By TBI
Charged With Stealing From Obion County Couple

Dyersburg, Tenn. – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Dyersburg Police Officer charged with stealing from an Obion County couple.

At the request of 27th District Attorney General Thomas Thomas, TBI Special Agents, with the assistance of officers with the Obion County Sheriff’s Office, began investigating Cara Elizabeth Johnson-Peckenpaugh on February 10th. Johnson-Peckenpaugh is an investigator with the Dyersburg Police Department.

During the course of the investigation, Agents determined that on February 5th, Johnson-Peckenpaugh electronically removed money from the checking account of a Union City couple and used that money to pay her own electric bill to the Forked Deer Electric Company in Halls.

On Tuesday, agents arrested Cara Johnson-Peckenpaugh and charged the 37-year-old with Theft under $500. She was booked at the Obion County Jail and released on her own recognizance. Johnson-Peckenpaugh has been suspended without pay from the Dyersburg Police Department pending an administrative proceeding.


Inmates Graduate From Parenting Class

Sgt. Rob Camper and Lt. Steve Dean congratulate Kayla Odom on her graduation, while Carl Perkins Center Director Catherine Herrera looks on. (Henry Co. Sheriff's Office photo).


Paris, Tenn.-Fifteen inmates of the Henry County Jail were graduated from the parenting class sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Carl Perkins Center during a ceremony Monday night.

The class is a 13-week program taught by Carl Perkins Center staff which teaches inmates positive teaching techniques. Each graduate is awarded a one-hour contact visit with family in the courtroom where the graduation ceremony was held.

Sheriff Monte Belew noted this is the fourth parenting class to be graduated and he praised the “excellent” job performed by the Carl Perkins staff.

Shop Local Week Hopes To Boost Sales Hurt By Weather


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Union City have teamed up in declaring this week “Shop Local Week in Obion County”

Chamber Membership Director Katie Keathley said the two organizations recognize that many of the local businesses have been adversely impacted by the weather conditions last week and into this week “so we’re partnering to try and help boost our local economy.”

Local businesses lost badly needed sales “and our friends and neighbors lost work time and in turn many lost wages as well,” she said. 

By reminding everyone to shop local, she said, “We’re hoping to give our local businesses more business this week.”

Shopping locally not only supports local jobs and conserves tax dollars but also encourages the community and makes Obion County a destination, she said.


Martin Police Chief Announces Resignation 


Martin, Tenn.-Long-time Martin Police Chief David Moore has announced he will be resigning to enter the private sector.

Moore said he has accepted a position as a vice president at Savant Learning Systems, an online training and education program headquartered in Martin.

Moore has worked for the Martin Police Department for 27 years, 11 of which have been spent as police chief. He also is past president of the Tennessee Chiefs of Police Association.

The resignation will be effective April 10. Moore told the media the decision was not an easy one but the opportunity was such that it could not be passed up.


Pharmacy Tech Training Offered 

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer a comprehensive 50-hour training course for those interested in becoming pharmacy technicians. The class will meet from 6-9:30 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, March 9-April 27 on the UT Martin main campus. The course fee is $1,199, which includes textbooks and supplies.

Students will be introduced to dosage calculations, I.V. flow rates, drug compounding, dose conversions, dispensing of prescriptions, inventory control, billing and reimbursement. 

Participants will also review medical terminology specific to the pharmacy, reading and interpreting prescriptions and defining drugs by generic and brand names. 
Pharmacy technicians work in hospitals, home infusion pharmacies, community pharmacies and other health care settings under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. 

Students will take a graded final exam to help prepare for the official certification exam.
For more information or to register for the course, contact ECOS at 731-881-7082 or register online at http://www.utm.edu/departments/ecce/nondegree/home.php.


Helping Hand Total Is Now $295,340

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $295,340-- tantalizingly close to the $300,000 mark for another year. The auction will conclude on Wednesday.

On Monday, $3,816 was raised by UT Supporters, Open Doors Community Church, Henry County Girl Scouts and the Church in Paris.

On Tuesday, items will be donated by the India community, Lakeway Village, and Peppers Automotive Group. Wednesday will be Open To Anyone Day.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. 


Lions Chili Supper Today

Paris, Tenn.-It’s cold outside and what better way to warm up than with a bowl of chili?

The Paris Lions Club is holding its annual chili supper from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at the First United Methodist Church in Paris.

The supper will feature the Lions Club’s famous chili, pie and drink for $10. Take outs are available. Tickets are available at the door.

Bill Jelks of the Lions Club said this event is the club’s biggest fund-raiser of the year.


Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper Tonight

Union City,  Tenn.-The annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, which was postponed due to last week’s weather, will be held from 5-7 p.m. tonight at the St. James Episcopal Church in Union City. Cost is $5 per person and is all you can eat.


Goodwill Job Fair Set For Thursday

South Fulton, Tenn.-Goodwill Career Solutions has rescheduled its job fair for Thursday, February 26, from 9 a.m.-noon at the South Fulton City Hall.

Job World, Waymatic, A Place Called Home and Letica will be on hand with multiple positions available. Representatives from Bethel University will be in attendance with information about the associate degree programs.

Bring your resume, photo ID, birth certificate and come dressed ready for interviews. To find out more, call 731-8844324.

 

Area Scams Target Elderly 

Murray, Ky.-In recent weeks, the Murray Police Department has investigated multiple scams targeting elderly victims. 

The scams have similar profiles. In each scam, the suspect has contacted the victim and claimed that the victim has won a large sum of money, in one case $1.2 million, in another $285,000. 

The victim is instructed to send cash as a “claiming fee” via either UPS or the US Mail. In both of these scams, the suspect had the victim’s name and address, making their claim seem more believable. MPD would like to remind the public that often scammers can find your name and address from pubic sources, so just because someone calls you by name, doesn’t mean they are legitimate. 

Furthermore, if you can’t remember entering a contest, it is likely you did not, and it is probably a scam. No contest will charge you a claiming fee to collect your prize; if they ask for one, it is a scam. Never send cash through the mail or other shipping service. If you think something might be a scam, or seems in the least bit suspicious, don’t hesitate to call the Murray Police Department at (270) 753-1621, and we will be glad to help figure out if it is a scam or not.


Monday, February 23, 2015 

Bobo Suspect Found Dead

Nashville, Tenn..-A suspect and key witness in the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo has been found dead in an apparent suicide, according to his attorney.

Austin's attorney Luke Evans confirmed his client's death to WSMV in Nashville today, but would not say when or where the death occurred. He did say, however, that it happened out-of-state.

Austin initially was granted immunity for his full cooperation into the 2011 disappearance of Bobo, who was a 20-year-old nursing student when she disappeared from her Parsons home in 2011.

Bobo's skull was found near a home that Austin had moved into only two days before she was last seen alive.

Because of the immunity agreement, Austin avoided arrest, but earlier reports indicated that the state planned to revoke the immunity agreement.

The state claimed Austin had not been truthful and wasn't cooperating.

Two other men, Zachary Adams and Jason Autry are both charged with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping and are in jail awaiting further court proceedings.


Icy Roadway Causes Propane Tank Rollover

                                                       --Photo by Ron Watkins

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Emergency Management Agency officials, along with several other county first responders, were on the scene of a United Propane Gas propane truck rollover accident Monday afternoon.

Due to icy conditions on the roadway, the propane truck rolled over on Sherry Lane south of Paris. According to EMA Director Ron Watkins, the 2500 gallon tanker was not leaking following the accident.

Watkins said United Propane Gas Co. officials were on the scene of the accident, along with the following agencies: Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Paris Fire Department.

HCHS Band Appearance At UTM Cancelled 

Martin, Tenn. – With Henry County Schools not in session Tuesday, the appearance of the Henry County School Band with The University of Tennessee at Martin wind ensemble has been cancelled.



Winter's Grip Continues In Our Area

Lady McFarlin makes the first paw prints Sunday on the blanket of snow that still envelopes Maplewood Cemetery in Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

 
By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-Tennessee remains at a Level II-State of Emergency as winter’s grip continues in our area and across the state.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) confirmed 22 weather-related deaths in the state due to the weather emergency. Three of those deaths have occurred in our area: Two Henry Countians died of hypothermia and a Benton County woman died of a weather-related traffic fatality.

Weather forecasts indicate that the deep freeze will continue through the state this week. Public schools in our area are still closed into a second week, while all of our area universities reopened this morning.

As temperatures rose over the weekend, melting snow and ice led to flooding problems, which caused several roadways to close in the counties in our area. Frigid overnight temperatures through this week will cause more problems with frozen roadways and sidewalks.

Here is the list of weather-related fatalities as of February 16 compiled by TEMA:

Tennessee has 22, confirmed, weather-related fatalities:
• Benton County – One (1) fatality: 64-year-old female, motor vehicle accident 
• Hamilton County – One (1) fatality: 63-year-old male, hypothermia related 
• Haywood County – One (1) fatality: 40-year-old female, motor vehicle accident
• Henry County – Two (2) fatalities: 
- 64-year-old female, hypothermia related
- 61-year-old male, hypothermia related
• Hickman County One (1) fatality: 67-year-old male, dialysis patient, unable to get to treatment 
• Knox County – Four (4) fatalities: 
- 30-year-old male, motor vehicle accident
- 75-year-old male, fire
- 68-year-old female, fire
- 47-year-old male, fire
• Moore County – One (1) fatality: 73-year-old male, hypothermia 
• Overton County – One (1) fatality: 38-year-old female, motor vehicle accident 
• Roane County – One (1) fatality: 44-year-old male, hypothermia related 
• Sequatchie – One (1) fatality: 85-year-old male, hypothermia related 
• Sevier – Two (2) fatalities, 
- 70-year-old female, weather related;
- Male (age unknown), weather related
• Shelby County – Three (3) fatalities: 
- 48-year-old male, hypothermia related
- Male (age unknown), hypothermia related
- (Demographics unknown), hypothermia related
• Sumner County – One (1) fatality: Male, 60s, weather related
• Williamson County – Two (2) fatalities: 
- 34-year-old female, motor vehicle accident
- 10-year-old male, motor vehicle accident



Cattle Need Special Care During Cold Weather 

                                                     --UT Extension Photo

Knoxville, Tenn. — February’s cold temperatures require the state’s livestock producers to make adjustments to their regular management procedures to keep their animals healthy. Cattle health, in particular, is of great concern as the state ranks 13th in the nation in beef cattle production with a statewide herd of approximately 864,000 beef cows. 

Justin Rhinehart, University of Tennessee Extension beef cattle specialist, recommends cattle producers adjust their feeding regimes to fit the conditions in their area to help their animals weather the cold. “For a 1,200 pound cow with a dry winter coat, the TDN, or energy requirement will increase 1 percent for every degree drop in wind chill below 32 degrees F. If the cow is wet, the increase in energy requirement is 2 percent for every degree below 59 degrees F,” he said. “Basically, this means cows will increase their hay intake and producers need to make sure they are putting more hay out than usual and refilling feeders more frequently.”

It is recommended producers feed the highest quality hay they have on hand. “Most of our hay in Tennessee does not have enough energy to accommodate this increased feeding requirement during extremely cold weather, so feeding an additional energy source is recommended,” he added. The expert recommends supplementing hay by adding grain and oilseeds, like corn or cottonseed, commodity feeds like soyhulls or dried distillers grains (DDGs), or commercially produced feed supplements.

There is a downside to changing the feeding regime, however. “Be careful not to provide too much of some of these supplements, as it could lead to digestive issues,” Rhinehart said. He recommends that supplements be hand-fed daily rather than provided as “free-choice.”

In addition, producers should not feed more that 5 to 6 lb/head/day of corn, DDGs or whole cottonseed. They should gradually increase the supplements to the maximum over a few days, Rhinehart said.

For those who have access to a Master Beef Producer manual, Chapter 5 provides a thorough description of managing cattle nutrition during cold stress. Others should contact their local county UT Extension agent for additional information. Other resources include the UT Extension website: extension.tennessee.edu. Just click on the top link to “publications” and enter the search term “beef” or “cattle” to see links to UT Extension resources. Additional resources are also available online at the national extension website: extension.org

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and outreach through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.


Conference Performance Cancelled Tonight

Martin, Tenn.-Tonight’s performance by Actress Florence Roach at the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 15th annual Civil Rights Conference has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Roach is from Memphis.

However, the remainder of this week’s conference is still scheduled. Mark Updegrove, director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m., Feb. 26, in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center. 
 
A presentation titled “50 Years of Juvenile Literature – Focus on African American Civil Rights” is scheduled for 12:15 p.m., Feb. 24, in the Paul Meek Library Media Center. Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music, and her percussion students will present “Roots of Rhythm” at 7:30 p.m., Feb 24, and again at noon, Feb. 25, in the Harriet Fulton Theater of the Fine Arts Building. Also at noon, Feb. 25, there will be a black writers roundtable discussion in the Hortense Parrish Writing Center. 

The final day of the conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a presentation by Dr. Rebecca Miller Davis, assistant teaching professor of history, University of Missouri, Kansas City, titled “Crossing the Bridge: Selma and Voting Rights.”  


Sunday, February 22, 2015 

Snow And Ice Lingering On

Union City, Tenn.-This aerial view from Discovery Park of America says it all: gray, overcast skies with snow and ice still enveloping the ground and roadways. With Saturday's torrential rains, road conditions worsened in our area, causing flooding and road closures. (Discovery Park photo).


With Three Days To Go, Helping Hand Total Now $291,524

Paris, Tenn.-A whopping $20,236 was raised Saturday by the Tennessee Valley Community Church, bringing the grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction to $291,524.

There are only three more days in the auction left to go.

Monday’s items will be donated by UT Supporters, Open Doors Community Church, Henry County Girl Scouts and the Church in Paris.

The auction is broadcast daily over WTPR-AM 710 beginning at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays. The auction runs through February 25.


Still Openings At February Kids' Craft Event

Union City, Tenn.-There are still a few spots left in the February Kids’ Craft event at Obion County Library on Wednesday afternoon.

The event is for children in grades kindergarten through sixth and it celebrates Chinese New Year. The children will make and take home a dragon mask, drum and snack.

The event will be held from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 25. Registration fee is $2. Call the library at 885-7000 if you are interested.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Henry County Roads Closed Due To Flooding

Paris, Tenn.-With a build up of snow plus torrential all-day rain Saturday, flooding has become a problem in Henry County. As of 4 p.m., a few roads are closed due to high water.
Lone Oak Road has been closed by Cherokee Plains Mobile Home Park and Poplar Street Behind Paris Building Supply may also be closed because of high water. Fairgrounds Rd. behind the Dana Corp. also is closed. Reynoldsburg Rd. also is experiencing high water, with road closed signs posted.


TVA Posts Record Usage


Knoxville, Tenn. – Arctic temperatures that averaged in single digits across much of the Tennessee Valley on Thursday, Feb. 19, resulted in record electricity demand of 694 gigawatt-hours for the 24-hour period.

That’s the most energy ever required over a one-day period during February in Tennessee Valley Authority history and the third most overall for a 24-hour period. The all-time one-day record occurred last winter when demand reached 703 gigawatt-hours on Jan. 7, 2014.

With rising temperatures on Friday afternoon and over the weekend, energy demand is expected to decline but remain above normal levels. While the need to conserve power has diminished, consumers should still consider following the simple tips found on TVA’s EnergyRight website to save on their own electric bills, including:

Lowering your thermostat a degree or two. 

Opening blinds on the south side of your home during sunny days, but closing them during cloudy periods and at night. 

If not using your fireplace, ensuring that your fireplace flue is closed.

Big Sandy Woman Killed In Accident

Big Sandy, Tenn. -- A Big Sandy woman was killed in a one-vehicle accident in Benton County Friday.

Rena Camp, age 64, was a passenger in a pickup truck that overturned after leaving the roadway near Big Sandy. The driver, Phillip D. Camp, age 64, was injured.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the truck was traveling eastbound on Lick Creek Road about seven miles northeast of Big Sandy when the accident occurred, the report states.

The dispatcher at the highway patrol said the report does not indicate the extent of the driver’s injuries.


“Roots Of Rhythm” To Perform Tuesday


Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin percussion ensemble will perform “Roots of Rhythm” at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 24, and at noon, Feb. 25, in the Harriet Fulton Theatre on the UT Martin campus. The performances are part of the UT Martin 2015 Civil Rights Conference. 

“Roots of Rhythm” is an engaging and interactive world music performance that depicts the evolution of music as traced through the migration of rhythm within the slave trade. The program includes musical styles from Zimbabwe, Guinea, Trinidad, Brazil and the United States. Dr. David Coffey, professor of history at UT Martin, will give a short presentation prior to both performances. 

The public is welcome to attend these performances at no cost. For additional information, visit http://www.utm.edu/percussion or e-mail Julie Hill at Jhill@ut.edu.


Helping Hand Total Now $271,288

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is $271,288, with the $4,440 raised Friday by the Springville community, Paris Healthcare, Henry County Republican Party and Paris Community of Christ.

Saturday’s items will be donated by the Tennessee Valley Community Church. 

The auction is broadcast daily over WTPR-AM 710 beginning at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays, the auction begins at noon. 

The auction runs through February 25.


Friday, February 20, 2015 

Henry County Law Enforcement: Stay Off The Roads

A semi ran off the roadway on Hwy. 79S near the Paris Winery Friday afternoon, one of many weather-related traffic incidents reported. (Kayla Nation photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County law enforcement is cautioning motorists to stay off the roads as local roadways have become slick and dangerous.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said at 5 p.m, “The streets are still frozen, it is now raining in Paris and causing extremely slick and hazardous road conditions.”

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said even the major highways, such as Hwy. 79S, Hwy. 79N, Hwy. 641N and S, have frozen over again and are dangerous on which to drive. Belew said, "Even the major highways that were already cleared off have frozen over again."

Belew was helping at the scene of a wreck on Hwy. 79N and said, “79 is almost down to one lane right now. Cars are driving off the road, into ditches.” 

Dispatcher Greg Carter at the Sheriff’s Office said the county roads are very hazardous. A semi drove off the road on 641S near the Paris Winery about an hour ago and roadway has now been cleared.

“All the county roads are bad, but 641N is especially bad right now,” Carter said.

The bottom line, they said: Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

The Paris Civic Center closed at 5 p.m. tonight and the county’s court offices closed at 2 p.m. today.

Civic Center Closes At 5 p.m.

Paris, Tenn.-Due to hazardous conditions on local roadways, the Paris Civic Center announced it was closing at 5 p.m. today.


Snowy Scenes May Soon Disappear 

Paris, Tenn.-With temperatures expected to rise to the 40s this weekend, pretty scenes like this will disappear from our area. Frigid temperatures this week have allowed the snow to linger and create postcard-worthy scenes such as at the historic “White House” in Whitehall Circle now owned by Dr. James Hudson. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

HC Court Offices May Close Early

Paris, Tenn.- Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson and Chancery Court Clerk Mary Burns announce the court clerks’ offices may close early today due to the National Weather Service’s Winter Storm Warning for Henry and other neighboring counties for today and into the night.

Forecasts include a range of rain, sleet, ice and snow – all of which could make driving very difficult and unsafe. In order to allow employees time to make plans and travel h...ome safely, the Court Clerks’ Offices in Henry County will close earlier today than normal. “We do not want anyone to become stranded or travel in unsafe conditions if we can avoid it, Wilson said.

Wilson said, “Mary and I encourage those having business with the courts today to come early this morning. You may even want to call us before you come to make sure we are still open.”

“We do not know the exact time we will close but if the forecast we’re getting now are accurate, it appears between 10:00 a.m. – noon we may begin to see some type of precipitation fall. We will close once precipitation begins, says Wilson.”

“We thank you for your patience and indulgence. We rarely close early but this impending bad weather condition makes it unavoidable,” Bruns said.

If the storm does not develop, the court offices will remain open.




Chuck Todd To Speak At MSU Next Week 


Murray, Ky. — Chuck Todd, NBC News’ political director and the moderator and managing editor of Meet the Press, will be the speaker for Murray State University’s 2015 Presidential Lecture Series. The event is scheduled for next week on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium on campus.

Admission to the lecture is free. MSU students, faculty and staff, and the general public are encouraged to attend. The auditorium is located at the corner of 15th Street and Olive Boulevard.

Meet the Press is NBC’s flagship Sunday morning public affairs program and the longest running broadcast in television history. Journalist Chuck Todd is the face of the well-respected show and a self-described political junkie. Todd has earned a reputation as one of the most passionate journalists and sharpest analysts in American media. When he was appointed to Meet the Press, influencers and competitors praised him as “a tireless reporter” with “an encyclopedic knowledge of politics” and the ability to “break down barriers and get people off of their talking points.” 

The Presidential Lecture Series is sponsored by the Student Government Association, the president’s office and the MSU Foundation.


Early Voting On Sales Tax Issue Begins Feb. 25

Paris, Tenn.-For voters in Henry County, the early voting period for the upcoming special election on a local option sales tax referendum will be held from February 25-March 12. Election day itself is March 17.

Voters will be asked whether the sales tax should be raised by a half-cent from 2.25 percent to 2.75 percent.
There will be plenty of opportunities for voters to cast ballots. The Henry County Elections Commission will be open from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. It also will be open two Saturdays during the early voting period--on February 28 and March 7. The office will be open from 9 a.m. until noon on those Saturdays.

The Elections Commission is located in the county courthouse annex on West Washington St. in Paris.


TVA Meets February Record Peak Demand 


Knoxville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority broke an all-time February power demand record Thursday morning with an estimated 32,109 megawatts at 7 a.m. EST, when the average temperature across the region hovered at 7 degrees.
In its 82-year history, this is TVA’s highest ever demand for the month of February. The previous record was 31,045 megawatts set on Feb. 5, 2009, when the Valley-wide temperature was 15 degrees. TVA’s all-time power demand record is 33,482 megawatts on Aug. 16, 2007.

Meeting the demand required the combined effort of TVA’s employees and generating facilities, coordination with the Valley’s 155 local power companies and large industrial customers, and the cooperation of businesses and households to conserve.

"It took a team effort of literally millions of people across the Valley to safely keep the lights and heat on, and we greatly appreciate the support of everyone who participated," said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply. "Reliably providing electricity is a key part of TVA’s mission of service and consumers across the area should know they contributed to fulfilling that mission this morning.”

Although the highest demand period may have passed, temperatures across the Valley are not expected to rise above freezing until at least Friday afternoon and the need for power remains high. While the bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time, the public is being asked to continue to conserve power wherever possible through noon tomorrow.

TVA and many local power companies are continuing to lower the thermostat at their facilities, turn off unnecessary lights and equipment, and delay energy-consuming activities until Friday afternoon. Consumers can follow these same simple steps to save power now, and money on their energy bills later.

Additional energy saving tips can be found on TVA's EnergyRight Solutions website at http://www.energyright.com and by taking advantage of the new eScore home energy evaluation program sponsored by TVA and local power companies.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.


15th Annual Civil Rights Conference Next Week

President Lyndon B. Johnson (far right) meets with Martin Luther King Jr. (center) and other civil rights activists Jan 18, 1964. (LBJ Library Digital Collections)


Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin’s 15th annual Civil Rights Conference, Feb. 22-27, will focus on the theme “LBJ and the Great Society at 50.” Mark Updegrove, director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m., Feb. 26, in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center. 

In addition to his duties as library director, Updegrove is also an analyst for ABC News and a contributing editor for PARADE Magazine.  

The week’s activities will begin Feb. 22 with viewings of Lee Daniel’s “The Butler” at 6 and 9 p.m., sponsored by the UT Martin Student Activities Council. Florence Roach, an actress and producer from Memphis, will perform at 7 p.m., Feb. 23. Roach is most recently noted for portraying a maid in the 2011 film “The Help.” This is Roach’s fourth appearance at the conference. 

A presentation titled “50 Years of Juvenile Literature – Focus on African American Civil Rights” is scheduled for 12:15 p.m., Feb. 24, in the Paul Meek Library Media Center. Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music, and her percussion students will present “Roots of Rhythm” at 7:30 p.m., Feb 24, and again at noon, Feb. 25, in the Harriet Fulton Theater of the Fine Arts Building. Also at noon, Feb. 25, there will be a black writers roundtable discussion in the Hortense Parrish Writing Center.

The final day of the conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a presentation by Dr. Rebecca Miller Davis, assistant teaching professor of history, University of Missouri, Kansas City, titled “Crossing the Bridge: Selma and Voting Rights.” The day will continue with presentations by Dr. Henry Parker, professor, UT Martin Department of History and Philosophy, and Dr. Laurie Green, associate professor of history, University of Texas at Austin. Green is also an Organization of American Historians distinguished lecturer. Parker will speak on “One Man’s Fight for Equality” at 11 a.m., and Green will discuss “Hunger and Race in Memphis” at 1 p.m. Tammy Wade, Head Start program manager, will then present a history of Head Start and its importance in the lives of poor children at 2:30 p.m. Updegrove will speak at 7 p.m.

All events will be held in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center, unless otherwise noted. Events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Renee LaFleur, assistant professor, Department of History and Philosophy, at 731-881-7534 or by email at rlafleur@utm.edu. 


LBL Closed Until Further Notice

Golden Pond, Ky.-Until further notice, all Land Between The Lakes facilities – including Wranglers Campground and Turkey Bay OHV Area – are closed due to winter storm. The Trace from the South Welcome Station to the state line is open but almost impassable without a 4X4. The state have put up signs at South Welcome Station warning of the road conditions. Unnecessary road travel is discouraged.


Bull Blowout 2015 Begins Today 

Murray, Ky. — The Bull Blowout 2015 is bringing its action to Murray again on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20-21. The event will take place in the William “Bill” Cherry Agricultural Exposition Center at Murray State University, starting nightly at 8 p.m.
Featured events include bull riding and barrel racing. There will also be activities for children beginning at 7:30 p.m. that include a calf scramble (up to 10 years of age) and mutton busting (up to 6 years of age).

Tickets are available at the door and are $14 for the general public, $12 for Murray State University students with a valid ID, and $5 for children age 12 and under.
Parsons & Milam Rough Stock Contractors and Promoters of Buchanan, Tenn., are hosting the event. For more information, contact them at 731.642.8346.


Helping Hand Total Now $266,848

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is $266,848, with the $5,000 raised Thursday by Maplewood Baptist Church and Grace Episcopal Church.

Friday’s items will be donated by the Springville community, Paris Healthcare, Henry County Republican Party and paris Community of Christ.

The auction is broadcast daily over WTPR-AM 710 beginning at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays, the auction begins at noon. 

The auction runs through February 25.


Thursday, February 19, 2015  

Florida Couple Arrested For Series Of Area Burglaries

Surveillance photo of Danielle K. Thompson taken at a Union City bank.


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Milan, Tenn.-A Florida couple wanted for a series of burglaries in our area is being held on $250,000 bond each at the Gibson County Jail after being apprehended in Milan.

Shortly after area law enforcement distributed a surveillance photo of a female who had committed several burglaries in McKenzie, Gleason, Dresden and Union City, the female and her male accomplice were arrested in Milan after trying to cash a stolen fraudulent check.

The two who are arrested are Danielle K. Thompson, age 19, of Mulberry, Fla.; and Jamar Hanchell, 26, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The dispatcher at the Milan Police Department said additional charges most probably will be added by the other jurisdictions as the case progresses.

On February 12, a vehicle was burglarized in front of a business in McKenzie. The burglar stole the victim's purse, cell phone and banking information from her vehicle. Later, that same day another vehicle was burglarized in front of a local business in Gleason.

The burglar reportedly also stole that victim's purse, drivers license and check book from her vehicle. Entry was gained into both vehicles by shattering side windows. A white vehicle, with tinted windows, was observed leaving the scene of both burglaries.

On February 13, the female in the surveillance photographs was observed trying to pass a forged check at a bank in Union City. This check had been stolen from the vehicle in Gleason. The suspect used the identification that was stolen from the vehicle in McKenzie when she attempted to pass that check.

Later that day the suspect used the Gleason burglary victim's identification to obtain money from the victim's checking account at a bank in Dresden, Tennessee.


Pretty, But Really, Really Cold

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Our area is experiencing bone-chilling temperatures this week, but if you are looking for a positive side to the frigid misery, it would be the beautiful pictures created by the ice sculptures at Reelfoot Lake State Park. The ice sculptures are created by frigid temperatures and wind. (Susan Jones photo).

TVA Asks Consumers to Help Conserve Energy During Cold


Knoxville, Tenn. – With the coldest temperatures in more than a year expected to arrive overnight Wednesday, the Tennessee Valley Authority and local power companies are working to ensure the availability of safe and reliable electricity.

Conserving power where possible is a first step. All consumers – residential, commercial and industrial customers ̶ are being asked to join in, especially during the coldest period from Wednesday night through noon on Friday.

“As we have done through the last several rounds of cold weather, TVA will use all of our available generating sources to meet the expected high power demand, which will likely peak on Thursday morning,” said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply. “As consumers of TVA power, we all can step up to help reduce power consumption and lower our own power bills at the same time.”

Saving power in cold weather doesn’t require drastic actions. Simply turning down the thermostat even a single degree can save up to 3 percent on future power bills.

Beginning today, TVA will be following its own advice by lowering thermostats at its office buildings and other facilities, and many local power companies are doing the same.

Additional tips for saving on your power bill and reducing electric demand can be found on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website, and include:

•Opening the blinds on the south side of your home during sunny days, but keeping the blinds closed on cloudy days and at night.

•Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment during peak power use times early in the morning and early in the evening.

•Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.
TVA’s bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time. Wednesday evening’s peak power demand is expected to exceed 30,000 megawatts, as regional temperatures are forecast to drop into single digits. The biggest peak demand will likely occur Thursday morning with electric loads reaching nearly 33,000 megawatts. In comparison, demand was 32,751 megawatts during the height of the cold wave on Jan. 7, 2015.

        
Icy Magnolias


Paris, Tenn.-Something you don’t often see in the South and most people don‘t want to see: icicles on the Magnolia trees. This photo was taken on a slippery walk on Park Street in Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Fort Donelson Visitor Center Open Today

Dover, Tenn.-The Visitor Center of the Fort Donelson National Battlefield and the Fort Donelson National Cemetery will reopen to visitation at 10:00a.m., Thursday, February 19.
Due to continued ice covered roads, the park tour route will remain closed until determined clear and safe for vehicular traffic.


HCHS To Perform “The Foreigner”


Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School presents the comedy "The Foreigner" this weekend at the Krider Performing Arts Center (KPAC).

Showtimes for The Foreigner are Friday, February 20 at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, February 21 at 2:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 22 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door. For reserved seating, you can purchase tickets at Henry County High School. Ticket prices vary from $6-$12. 


Helping Hand Total Now $261,048

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is $261048, with the $4,606 raised Wednesday by the VanDyke/Routon communities, Spring Hill Baptist Church and VanDyke Church of Christ.

Thursday’s items will be donated by Maplewood Baptist Church and Grace Episcopal Church.

The auction is broadcast daily over WTPR-AM 710 beginning at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays, the auction begins at noon. 

One more week to go in the annual auction, which runs through February 25.


UT Martin To Offer ACT Prep Course

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer an ACT preparation course from 8 a.m.–noon on Saturdays, Feb. 28–April 11, on the UT Martin main campus. There will be no class on April 4. 

Students will participate in an intensive ACT preparation course taught by Ron Ramage, UT Martin adjunct instructor and teacher at Obion County High School. Students will learn to complete test problems based on question frequency, difficulty, substantive knowledge, curriculum and alternative test-taking strategies. Participants will also learn how to maximize their scores and develop time management skills. 

Students will begin the course by taking an official off-record ACT test. After receiving feedback, instructors will guide students through the exam based on their areas of need. At the end of the program, students will take another off-record exam. Once participants receive their post-test data, instructors will meet one-on-one to provide personalized study plans in preparation for the real exam. 

The registration fee is $225 and includes two textbooks, two official ACT tests and a diagnostic report. Students may bring an ACT-approved calculator, if desired. For more information about the course or to register, visit http://www.utm.edu/departments/ecos/nondegree.php or call the Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015  

A Cold Blast From The Past

Paris, Tenn.-Paris has experienced serious winter storms before, such as this storm in early February 1951, when the temperature dropped 21.5 degrees below zero. In photo, Attorney Fisher Neal steps across a mound of snow graded into the center of Market Street. Note the old City Hall behind Neal's shoulders. (Photo from Henry County Memories: A Pictorial History of Henry County, Tennessee.)


Second Henry Countian Dies Of Exposure This Week

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-A second Henry Countian has died of exposure to the cold weather.

On Wednesday morning, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare request of a resident on Summerfield Drive in Springville. According to a press release from Capt. Damon Lowe. A concerned neighbor had called and had not been able to make contact with the home owner.

Deputy Blake Jenkins arrived to find Brenda Cox, age 64, lying at the foot of her front door steps.

Upon further investigation, it was found that Ms. Cox was deceased. Henry County Corner Danny Tucker did respond and pronounced her dead at the scene.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Technicians were called to the scene along with members of the criminal investigation division.

Sheriff Monte Belew said, “It appears that Ms. Cox had fallen down the set of her front steps and was unable to get herself back up. Ms. Cox did have some medical conditions and used the aid of a walker to get around. Ms. Cox was not dressed to be outside and as the result of her fall and the elements of the weather, Ms. Cox did pass away from exposure to the cold.”

Sheriff Monte Belew stated, “This was a terrible accident and we hate that it happened. With the temperatures being well below freezing and the forecasting of below zero, we ask that you check on your neighbors.”

 Belew said, “If you cannot make contact with a relative or neighbor, to give the Sheriff’s Office a call at 642-1672 and we will be glad to send an officer out to assure that all is well.”

Earlier this week, James Nored, age 62, of Paris, was found dead outside and he also had died of exposure to the elements.

Henry County Warming Center To Open Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriffs Dept and Henry County Emergency Management plan to open the Inman School community shelter located at 400 Harrison St, Paris, tonight around 5 pm for a warming shelter. 

The Sheriffs Dept and Paris Police will provide patrol security. EMA Director Ron Watkins said, “Individuals planning to use the facility should bring blankets,sleeping bags and snacks for added comfort.”

Forecast tonight is sub zero wind chills of zero degrees to twelve below zero.


Trip To Civil Rights Museum Postponed

The Henry County Office on Aging trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis that was scheduled for Friday, February 20, has been cancelled due to weather-related issues across the region. The trip has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 26. 

Director Reggie Caldwell said, “We are still leaving from the central community building at 7a.m. The cost of the trip will $20.00 per person. This is for the cost of the bus. The office will paid 1/2 of the admission if you are a senior citizen.”

Cost of admission to the museum is $13 per adults and senior citizens is $11. Senior citizen is classified is 55 years old and older. Henry County Office on Aging still has seats available for the trip. If you need info, please call 731-642-2919 or 731-644-3193.  

Mayfield Couple Arrested For Endangering Child 
Mayfield, Ky.The Graves County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Mayfield couple for wanton endangerment after an 11-month-old child was brought into the emergency room at the Jackson Purchase Medical Center with symptoms similar to those experienced by meth users.
Arrested were Gregory Pannell, 32, and Stephanie Gregory, 23, of 608 Rogers Loop, Mayfield.

Deputy George Workman contacted the Cabinet for Families and Children and a worker responded to the hospital. Deputy Workman and the cabinet worker interviewed the two adults and through the investigation learned that the couple had smoked methamphetamine in their bed around noon on February 16. They admitted the child was in the bed with the two at the time. 

Pannell advised he had just started using methamphetamine again recently because he had just graduated from drug court in January of this year. 

A search warrant was served at this residence by the drug division detectives on February 17. They were able to find methamphetamine inside the residence. The locations they found the drugs were accessible to the child. 

Deputies made arrests for the drug related charges at that time. Deputy Workman then responded to Graves County Jail and brought the additional charge of wanton endangerment in the first degree. 

Gregory was also additionally charged with three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for three long guns that were found inside the residence at the time of the search.

The eleven month old child was released to family members after being treated at the hospital.

Picture-Perfect Snowfall

Tammy Wallace captured the scene of a picture-perfect snowfall in downtown Union City Tuesday. (Main Street Union City photo).

Henry County Applies For CDBG Funds 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-- Henry County Commissioners Tuesday night authorized the submittal of an application for $500,000 in CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds on behalf of the Paris Board of Public Utilities. The application will be submitted to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

The county will commit local funds in the amount of $153,000 through an SFR loan via BPU, which will constitute a total cost of $653,000.

BPU Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley explained before the meeting, “If awarded, the funds will be used for phase 1 construction of a new water treatment plant. Specifically, the CDBG grant funds have been assigned to construct a new clearwell. The clearwell is the reservoir that holds treated water prior to being distributed to the system.”
In other business, it was the Henry County Commissioners’ turn Monday night to view the power point presentation prepared by county and city of Paris officials urging passage of the upcoming sales tax referendum.

The power point was presented by Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell. Henry County voters will consider passage of the local option sales tax increase from 2.25 to 2.75 percent at a special election in March.

Henry Shop Destroyed By Fire 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Henry, Tenn.-A former tractor dealership in Henry was destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon.

Henry Volunteer Fire Department Chief Keith Qualls said Tuesday afternoon that his department was called to the scene on Pioneer Rd. around 1 p.m., by which time the fire was fully involved.

He said the metal structure is owned by Gene Page, who used it as a shop.

Qualls said the metal building collapsed during the fire. 

Cause of the fire is still undetermined, he said.


Inclement Weather Brings UTM Event Changes 

Martin, Tenn. — Inclement weather has made schedule changes necessary for the following University of Tennessee at Martin events and activities. 

•The West Tennessee Small Business Conference, originally scheduled Feb. 19 in Jackson, is rescheduled for Tuesday, March 24, at First United Methodist Church in Jackson. Participants already registered do not need to take further action. For new registrations, go to www.utmforever.com/2015WTSBC, or contact the WestStar Leadership Program for more information at 731-881-7298.

•Scholar Prospect Weekend, originally scheduled for this weekend, will be rescheduled. The weekend is sponsored by UT Martin Honors Programs. For information, call 731-881-7436.

•Weather-permitting, the Vanguard Theatre opening night production of “You Can’t Take It With You” will be held at 8 p.m., this Friday, Feb. 20, in the Harriet Fulton Theatre located in the university’s Fine Arts Building. Performances are also scheduled for 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, and 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 22. Thursday’s opening performance was cancelled, so an additional Saturday matinee is scheduled at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children and can be purchased at the Vanguard Box Office two hours before each performance.



Ole Miss Red And Blue Classic Cancelled

Martin, Tenn. – Due to weather concerns and field conditions in the Oxford, Miss., area this weekend, the University of Tennessee at Martin softball team’s trip to the Ole Miss Red and Blue Classic slated for Friday, Feb. 20-22 has been cancelled.

With the five-game, three-day tournament cancelled, UT Martin head coach Donley Canary has made adjustments to the upcoming schedule.

A trip to fellow tournament participant and regional rival Southern Illinois has been scheduled for April 21. While scheduled matchups against Middle Tennessee (March 25), Memphis (Apr. 15) and Bethel (Apr. 22) have been converted into doubleheaders to make up for the cancellations.

The Skyhawks will return to action on Friday, Feb. 28 when they host the Hampton Inn Skyhawk Classic at Bettye Giles Field. The two day tournament will play host to Southeastern Louisiana, Northern Illinois and IUPUI, with all games being played at Skyhawk Park on campus.



HC Schools, PSSD Out Rest Of Week 

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Schools and Paris Special Schools District have announced they will be out for the rest of this week due to weather conditions. Henry County Schools Director Sam Miles said he will call the media Sunday evening with the announcement as to whether schools will be in session Monday.




Tuesday, February 17, 2015  

State Of Emergency Declared In Tennessee
National Guard In Paris Called Out To Help Motorists

The snow is creating pretty scenery, such as at the home of Ray and Noragene Harding in Paris, but it makes for treacherous driving. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has declared a state of emergency in the state and member of the National Guard 212th Engineering Co. in Paris have been activated to help stranded motorists on highways.

With the state of emergency declared, all state government offices will be closed today-including state driver services centers.

Ice-covered roadways froze over again overnight causing road conditions to continue being hazardous and slick. 

Several county government offices in our area are closed today, including the Obion County Courthouse, Carroll County Courthouse and all Benton County government offices. The Benton County Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday night has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, February 19. Camden City Hall also is closed Tuesday.

In Henry County, however, the courthouse and county offices are open. Tuesday night’s county commission meeting will be held at a different time. The meeting was originally set for 7 p.m. and will be held at 5 p.m. instead.

All schools and universities in our area are closed today, as is the Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council offices and all the HeadStart programs in the nine-county area.

Discovery Park of America is closed Tuesday, as is the Paris Civic Center.

The Paris Police Department and Public Works issued the following statement Tuesday morning: Travel advisory for all city roads, slick and hazardous. Public works are out in force spreading brine and removing snow and ice from roadways. When the precipitation has ceased and the City's main streets and roads have been cleared City crews will begin maintenance of the City's secondary streets.

They warn motorists to stay off roads unless it is an absolute emergency.
 
In Paris, tegular Tuesday sanitation pickup will be as scheduled on Tuesday. Pickup for Monday's regular route still to be determined for pickup sometime this week.
 
If you require additional information regarding Public Works Services please call: 731-642-0473.


Channel 5: Rep. Holt Operated Hog Farm Without Permit
Holt Denies Special Treatment


Dresden, Tenn. -- Republican lawmaker Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden operated his huge hog farm in Weakley Co. for years without a permit and received special treatment from state regulators, according to an investigative report from Channel 5’s Ben Hall that aired Monday night.

According to the report, Holt pumped more than a half million gallons of hog waste into a creek and improperly dumped dead hogs and contamination the creek for more than a mile.
NewsChannel 5 determined that one state inspector was told by his managers to look the other way. An inspector from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) wrote that upper management at TDEC discouraged enforcement action, according to Channel 5.

Holt is the powerful vice chair of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee who often criticizes over-regulation and big government.
 
According to NewsChannel 5 Investigates, despite Holt’s claims of heavy government regulation, the state ignored "serious" environmental violations on his farm and let him operate for years without a permit.

Channel 5 aired several photos taken by t state inspector showing dead hogs -- not properly buried -- on a visit to Holt's farm in 2011, and photos of hog waste being pumped out of an overflowing lagoon and into a nearby creek. It turned the creek black a mile away.
 
Holt and TDEC Commissioner Robert Martineau denied that Holt received special treatment. Holt also said that he is not in the hog business anymore as of late 2014.
TDEC oversees environmental regulation of large hog farms and other confined animal feeding operations in Tennessee.

However,  a full month into 2015, Sky5-HD flew over Holt's farm and found another exposed hog carcass, this time surrounded by buzzards.

Hall asked Holt, "How old is that carcass?"

Holt's answer: "I don't know, but we're out of the hog business -- there's no doubt about that whatsoever."

Holt claimed that the buzzards dug up the month old carcass.

BPU Provides Tip To Prevent Frozen Pipes


The weather forecast for the next few days includes highs that are below freezing and lows in the single digits.  With extreme cold temperatures comes the possibility of frozen water pipes.

Here are helpful hints from the Paris Board of Public Utilities as you think of preventing frozen water pipes in your home:
· Make sure the foundation to your house or mobile home is air-tight and that foundation vents are closed
· Disconnect garden hoses
· Leave a small stream of hot and cold water running from an inside faucet (when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit)
· Make sure you and your family know the location of your home’s water shut-off valve.  If a pipe bursts, shutting off the water promptly can help minimize damage.

These extra precautions will far outweigh the inconvenience of frozen pipes and the cost of having burst pipes repaired.  


UTM Baseball Schedule Changed

Martin, Tenn. – The baseball series between the University of Tennessee at Martin and Western Michigan University scheduled to be played this weekend at Skyhawk Field has been altered because of unplayable field conditions, head coach Rick Robinson announced today.

The series has changed from four to three games and will now be played at Lake Point Sports Complex in Emerson, Ga. The first game of the series will take place on Friday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. CT while a doubleheader will follow at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 21. The changes were necessary after Winter Storm Octavia swept through the Martin area late Sunday evening.

UT Martin enters this weekend’s series with a 1-3 overall record. In their season-opening tournament at Jackson State, the Skyhawk offense registered 46 hits and cranked four home runs, both of which lead the Ohio Valley Conference through the first weekend. Senior first baseman Nico Zych leads the OVC in hits (nine) and doubles (three), hitting .563 in the season’s opening weekend. The UT Martin starting outfield of Taylor Douglas (.412), Andrew Castillo (team-high five runs scored) and Fletcher Johnson (team-best four RBI’s) also performed well.

The Skyhawk pitching staff rang up an OVC-best 34 strikeouts in the season’s first four games. Senior left-hander Carter Smith earned his second career adidas OVC Pitcher of the Week award after allowing only one hit with eight strikeouts over five shutout innings in the Opening Day victory over Texas-Pan American. Patrick Bernard (scoreless four-inning save on Opening Day) and Alex Martin (seven innings, one run on three hits, career-high 10 strikeouts against Texas-Pan American on Feb. 14) each gave the Skyhawks commanding performances on the hill.

Western Michigan enters this weekend after a three-game sweep at UAB. The Bronco offense hit .161 with four runs in the three-game series but junior catcher Brett Sunde posted team-highs in batting average (.364), slugging percentage (.455) and on-base percentage (.417). On the mound, Western Michigan starters Chad Mayle and Keegen Akin combined for a 1.80 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 10 innings while Jacob Piechota was responsible for a pair of scoreless appearances out of the bullpen.

Live stats will be provided for all three games of this series at this link: http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=utm


Monday, February 16, 2015

Area Roadways Still Hazardous

Most secondary roads have not been plowed, such as Walnut Street in Paris, and remain hazardous and slick. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Snow has fallen steadily much of Monday afternoon in our area, preceded by sleet and as temperatures fall overnight, the roadways will be even more slick and hazardous.

Area law enforcement officials are cautioning motorists to continue to stay off the roadways. Schools and universities in our area have already cancelled for tomorrow, including Union City, Paris, Henry County, Obion County, Stewart, Benton, Houston, Carroll, Weakley, Dyersburg County Schools. In addition, University of Tennessee at Martin and Murray State are closed for Tuesday. The Obion County Courthouse also is closed. 

The Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council offices in Dresden and All County Service Centers in the nine Northwest Tennessee Counties will be closed due to extreme weather conditions on Tuesday, Feb. 17. This also includes all HeadStart and Early HeadStart locations in Northwest Tennessee area. 

Always watch our website at www.wenkwtpr.com for the complete list of cancellations.

In Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear has declared a statewide emergency to allow local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in public safety and recovery efforts.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said, “Because this is a national holiday, there has been minimal traffic on the streets. The travel advisory stands as earlier reported, slick and hazardous. Only travel when absolutely necessary. Both schools systems have cancelled school for tomorrow.”

Elizondo said, “Public works is working to clear the main roadways and will get to residential, secondary roads as soon as possible. Parking lots are solid ice and extremely dangerous for foot traffic. With extremely cold temperatures, the roads will refreeze tonight. Please stay home and keep yourself and your families safe.”

Given the current road conditions, and the possibility of more snow, the Murray Police Department has requested the public to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. According to a press release, “The street department is working hard to clear the streets of snow and ice, but this will take some time, particularly if more arrives. Delaying any unnecessary trips until later will give the road crews more time to remove the snow, and decrease the likelihood of motorists being stuck or involved in a weather related collision.”

Helping Hand Total Now $252,933

Paris, Tenn.-With a few hardy souls making their way to the Henry County Fairgrounds Monday morning, a total of $1,916 was raised for the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction.

The grand total now stands at $252,933.

Donating items on Monday was Point Pleasant Baptist Church, the 4-H Clubs of Henry County, Henry County Postal Employees and Eiffel Gardens.

Donating items on Tuesday will be Paris City employees, the Como community, the Paris Board of Public Utilities and Project Help.


UC Man Knocked Over By Car

Union City, Tenn.-A 78-year-old Union City man was knocked over by a car in the Walmart parking lot Sunday.

According to the police report, Billy Vaughn declined medical treatment after being knocked over by a car driven by Wanda Parnell of Union City. 

Parnell told police she was attempting to turn around in the lot and looked back and didn’t see anything behind her. She began backing up and heard a noise and realized she had hit someone who was walking behind her.

Vaughn said he hit his head when he was knocked down but declined treatment by the ambulance service.

Parnell was cited for lack of insurance.


Paris Man Dies Of Exposure
Found Outside During Storm

Paris, Tenn.-A 62-year-old man was found dead on a Paris city street last night.

James L. Nored, 62, whose last known address was the Greystone Apartments in Paris, was found deceased outside at 804 Cooper Street.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said Nored apparently died of exposure. Elizondo said his relationship to the residents at the home is unknown.

Elizondo said it appears Nored fell down and was overcome by the cold.


Area Law Enforcement: Stay Off Roadways

Whitehall Circle in Paris this morning as snow and sleet continue to fall. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Our area did not receive the minimum of six inches called for in the overnight snowfall, but what we did receive was a potent mix of steady snow and sleet that has made travel extremely hazardous.

And, it’s not over yet. 

Henry County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins said the winter storm warning continues until 6 p.m. today and several more inches of snow and even more sleet is expected to fall.

And because temperatures in the area will not rise above freezing, the current snowfall will not be one of those that disappears in the afternoon, like most do around our area. 

Watkins said, “We won’t be over freezing the next several days, so this snow will be staying with us.”

Predictions are for more freezing rain that will be changing to all snow as the afternoon progresses, Watkins said. “The Weather Service is predicting three to six inches of snow by the end of the day.”

Law enforcement in our area is warning motorists to stay off the roadways, but no one put it quite like Weakley County 911 Director Jamison Peevyhouse did this morning. He warned people to stay off the roads but said if you insist on venturing out, make sure to take $100 with you to pay for the wrecker service.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo warned motorists to stay off the roads unless it is an absolute emergency. All city roads are slick and hazardous, he said, and the city’s public works department “is out in force spreading brine and removing snow and ice from roadways.” Because current temperatures are around 18 degrees, he said, brine has little effect until temperatures hit 25 degrees. 

A few traffic accidents have been reported in Paris, he said.

Roadways in Obion County also are hazardous this morning, as they are to the north in our neighboring Kentucky counties. The Graves County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement this morning, “The roadways in the area are all snow covered as more snow continues to fall. If you do not have to get out today, please don't. Road crews are working as hard as they can to clear roadways but with snow still coming down it is hard for them to make any headway. Collisions have been reported on several Graves County roadways but no injuries have occurred.”

Union City Mayor Terry Hailey ordered city hall closed today. Obion County Schools already have been closed for Tuesday.

Several closings were announced this morning, including Murray State University, the Bethel University main campus and its Paris campus, the University of Tennessee at Martin--all of its campuses. At Bethel’s main campus, the cafeteria will operate on the brunch schedule: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-5:30 p.m.

Several Downtown Paris Businesses Closed

Paris, Tenn.-Several businesses in downtown Paris are closed, according to Gaines Hedges of the Downtown Paris Association. The list includes: The Toggery, My Favorite Things, Butler and Harber, Jack Jones, Jack's Java, Boutique Mari Mac, Off the Square, Paulette’s, Ala Mode and The Iron Place are closed. Perkins Drugs and Gifts is open along with Take me Back Cafe.


 New State Largemouth Bass Record Set


Nashville, Tenn.-It's official! The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) announced Sunday that Gabe Keen's 15.2 lb. largemouth bass caught yesterday on Chickamauga Lake beat the previous state record of 14.8 lbs, set by James Barrett in Lawrence County back in 1954. 

Fort Donelson Closed Monday 

Dover, Tenn.-Fort Donelson National Battlefield will be closed on Monday, February 16, 2015, due to the impending winter storm. As posted earlier, events commemorating the 153rd anniversary of the surrender of the Fort are cancelled.

BIG: The Musical Set At The Dixie


Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Dixie Players will perform “BIG: The Musical” for four shows this weekend and next weekend at The Dixie Center For The Performing Arts in Huntingdon.

The Players will be performing four shows: 7 p.m. Friday, February 20; 2 p.m. Saturday, February 21; 7 p.m. Friday, February 27; and 7 p.m. Saturday, February 28.

The musical is based on the classic 1987 motion picture fantasy starring Tom Hanks. The Cast includes local community members: Kassie Arnold, Campbell Cary, Gracie Blount, Jalia Brodie, Jimmy Fitzgerald, Joe Fitzgerald, Shana Fitzgerald, Jack Higdon, Lisa Wimberly Higdon, Spencer Higdon, Reese Hopper, Addyson Kemp, Ariel Lowe, Cheyenne Lowe, Nathan Martin, Bryan Meade, Chase Palmer, Anna Claire Patel, Morgan Phelps, Emma Renfro, Jadrea Romines, Juliet Romines, Alysia Shear, Lilly Sumrok, Andrew Taylor, Curt Taylor, Natalie Taylor, Bobby Traywick, Lydia Warren,  and Dan Webb.

BIG The Musical is produced with special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) and is the Theatre for Young Audiences.

Scott Conley is director, with Josh Randle assistant director and Andrea Cottrill as musical director.

Tickets are $15 each and are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at dixiepac.net.
 

UTM To Present “You Can’t Take It With You”

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Vanguard Theatre will present the Pulitzer-winning story of the Sycamores and the Kirbys in “You Can’t Take It With You” on Feb. 19-22. The curtain will open at 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday in the Harriet Fulton Theatre in the Fine Arts Building on the main UT Martin campus. 

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets go on sale Feb. 16 and may be reserved or purchased from Sycamore 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through the Department of Visual and Theatre Arts by calling 731-881-7400. Tickets are not sold from noon-1 p.m. 

Tickets may also be purchased two hours before each performance at the main theatre box office located in the lobby area outside of the Harriet Fulton Theatre. Support the Arts (STARTS) contributors may reserve their tickets through the department beginning Feb. 13.

For more information on the Vanguard Theatre troupe, contact Doug Cook, chair, Department of Visual and Theatre Arts, at 731-881-7400.


Sunday, February 15, 2015  

HC Emergency Center To Open Tonight

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The Henry County Emergency Management Agency command center will open around 8 p.m. tonight to monitor the winter storm that is expected to hit our area overnight.

Henry County EMA Director Ron Watkins said the latest predictions are that Henry County will be hit with from 6-10 inches of snow overnight “and some observers are calling for a foot of snow”.

The dispatcher at the Obion County Sheriff’s Office said they have been told to expect some six inches of snow in that area.

How much snow does develop for our area will depend on “how this thing tracks”, Watkins said.

“The snow won’t start until around midnight and the winter storm warning is supposed to be in effect until 4 p.m. tomorrow,” Watkins said.

Added to that will be high winds and sub zero wind chills, Watkins said. He cautioned everyone to stay off the roads as much as possible. 


Deadline Nears For Turkey Hunt Permits


Golden Pond, Ky.– The deadline for Turkey Quota Hunt Permit applications at Land Between The Lakes is February 28, 2015. Hunters may apply online, 24/7, at lblquotahunt.hometracker.com/ or by phone until 4pm February 27. If applying by phone, call 270-924-2065, 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday. Application fees are $5 online and $7 by phone. Three quota hunts in both the Kentucky and Tennessee portions of Land Between The Lakes require prior application. Hunting is not permitted between these dates.

Kentucky Quota Hunts:
· April 11-12; Youth hunt (for hunters under age 16)
· April 14-15; Adult hunt
· April 18-19; Adult hunt
Tennessee Quota Hunts:
· April 11-12; Youth hunt (for hunters 6-16 years old)
· April 14-15; Adult hunt 
· April 18-19; Adult hunt

Hunting provides recreational opportunities within the region and helps maintain healthy wildlife populations. 

To improve the quality of quota turkey hunts, Land Between The Lakes reduced the number of quota permits for each hunt. Applicants can check the quota hunt website, lblquotahunt.hometracker.com/, beginning March 18, to see if they were drawn.

The non-quota hunting season, which does not require prior application, runs for fourteen days, April 20-May 3 in Kentucky. Two seven-day hunts occur in Tennessee April 20-26 and April 27-May 3. Hunters harvesting a turkey in either state on a Land Between The Lakes quota hunt may now hunt the first week of the Tennessee non-quota hunt. As always, a state license and Land Between The Lakes Hunter Use Permit are required. Hunter Use Permits may be purchased online at www.landbetweenthelakes.us/reservations/.

The Land Between The Lakes Recreation Map is available showing hunt area boundaries, and may be purchased at facilities for $3 or viewed online for free at www.landbetweenthelakes.us/visit/maps/. Hunters will find the official 2015 Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) online, or can pick up a printed copy at Golden Pond Visitor Center.


Helping Hand Total Is Now $251,017

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $251,017, with Saturday’s total $7,401 raised by the Henry County Medical Center and its employees.

Monday’s items will be donated by Point Pleasant Baptist Church, the 4-H Clubs of Henry Co., Henry Co. Postal employees and Eiffel Gardens.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



TVA Redeems 2011 Securities

Knoxville, Tenn. ̶ The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Friday it will redeem all of its 2011 4.25 percent electronotes due March 15, 2031. These securities are identified by the CUSIP number 88059TFD8. Approximately $14 million of the notes are currently outstanding.

The notes will be redeemed at 100 percent of par value on March 16, 2015. The redemption price and any accrued interest will be paid to eligible holders through The Depository Trust Company. 

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Updated:

Gream Arrested Following High Speed Pursuit 

Two Sheriff's Cruisers Damaged In Chase


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Damage was caused to two Henry County Sheriff’s Office cruisers--including one driven by Sheriff Monte Belew--during a high speed chase that took officers over several Paris streets and county roads before the suspect was finally apprehended Saturday afternoon.

Arrested was Brandon Gream of 3563 Old McKenzie Hwy., Paris. He was charged with violation of the sex offender registry, intentional tampering, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, felony evading, resisting arrest and driving on a revoked license.

Gream’s bond is set at $25,000.

Gream’s booking into the Henry County Jail was delayed until early evening because he was being treated in the emergency room at Henry County Medical Center all afternoon.

The incident began at 11:34 a.m., when Deputies Sgt. Lance Perry, Cpl. Milton Webb, Brian Davis and Blake Jenkins went to 104 W. Magnolia St. in Paris to serve an arrest warrant on Gream for violation of the sex offender registry.

While at the residence, Webb observed a tan car starting to turn onto the street and immediately turned back. Webb followed the vehicle which traveled on the wrong direction on a one-way street.

After determining that Gream had been known to drive a car of that make and model, Webb activated emergency equipment. When the lights and sirens were activated, Gream accelerated toward N. Market St.

All units then joined in the pursuit. The pursuit led officers northbound to N. Market, Guthrie Rd. and Old Paris Murray Rd. Once they reached Old Paris Murray Rd., Gream continued to evade officers by heading south.

Sheriff Monte Belew told WENK/WTPR that at this time, Paris Police were notified and they laid down spike strips on the roadway, but Gream drove around them.

According to the police report, Gream continued driving recklessly with no regard for the safety of the public back onto North Market. When he reached the court square, Gream turned on Washington, then Poplar, Blythe, Dunlap, Veterans Drive, and Mineral Wells Ave., while running stop lights, stop signs and traveling in the wrong lane.

Gream continued onto Memorial Dr. at an extremely high rate of speed still ignoring the rules of the road.

After crossing Hwy. 218 onto Hwy 69S, Sheriff Belew joined in the pursuit. As the chase continued, Webb said Gream was still throwing his hands around and slamming on the brakes.

At this point, Belew said, Gream deliberately slammed on the brakes, causing Webb to crash his cruiser into the rear of Gream’s car. Webb’s cruiser was damaged; it is one of the sheriff office’s newly-purchased cruisers.

Webb’s air bag deployed and he was unable to continue. Belew and Jenkins continued the chase, which ended a few minutes later when Belew performed a pursuit intervention technique with his vehicle.

Belew told WENK/WTPR, “After a short struggle, Deputy Blake Jenkins and I were able to apprehend him.” Gream continued to resist arrest and Belew deployed his taser on him. Gream was then taken into custody.


Suspect Still In ER Following Henry County High-Speed Chase
Sheriff's Cruisers Damaged

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 
 
Paris, Tenn.-The suspect in Saturday afternoon’s high speed chase that resulted in damage to two Henry County Sheriff’s Office cruisers--including one driven by Sheriff Monte Belew--is still being treated in the Henry County Medical Center emergency room as of 4:15 p.m. 

Belew told WENK/WTPR the suspect deliberately backed into Deputy Milton Webb’s cruiser during the incident and the air bag deployed, but that Webb is not injured. The cruiser Webb was driving was one of the new ones and it is damaged.

Belew’s car also was damaged during the pursuit, which began on Magnolia St. in Paris and ended on Hwy. 69A. 

More information on the incident will be released later this evening after the suspect has been booked into jail.

TBI Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting In Carroll County

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McLemoresville, Tenn.-A 27-year-old man was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting in Carroll County Friday night and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident.

TBI Spokesman Josh DeVine told WENK/WTPR Saturday afternoon, “At the request of 24th District Attorney General Matthew Stowe, TBI Special Agents continue to investigate the officer-involved shooting of 27-year-old Matthew D. Belk. The incident occurred Friday night on Terry Road, near its intersection with McCollough Road, just outside the town of McLemoresville.”

DeVine said, “Earlier in the evening, Carroll County Sheriff's deputies responded to a domestic call at Belk's home, but he had left the home prior to the arrival of deputies, who later observed and stopped a vehicle matching the description described by the complainant. Belk subsequently exited the vehicle with a firearm in his hand, after which one deputy fired, striking and killing Belk.”

Officers were uninjured in the incident. Devine said the TBI will continue to investigate the incident and turn over its findings to Stowe for his review.


MSU’s Shoe Tree One Of The Most Romantic In U.S.


Murray, Ky. — While the possibility of romance should not be a prime consideration in choosing which college to attend, it can be one of the most important outcomes of four years spent on a campus. It’s not unusual for students to find a significant other while pursuing a college degree, then follow on the heels of graduation with a marriage.

Murray State University counts among its most cherished traditions the “Shoe Tree,” so named because each half of a married couple nails one of their shoes to it. While no one can say for sure when or how the tradition began, it lives on — even through a lightning strike that burned up the original tree. A replacement was quickly designated because love conquers all.

And in a fitting nod to the upcoming celebration of Valentine’s Day, Murray State’s Shoe Tree was just named third in the top 25 Most Romantic College Traditions by College Ranker. 

Standing a short distance from historic Pogue Library, the Shoe Tree is always full of mismatched shoes. But why do couples do that? It’s a no brainer — it brings good luck to you. The caveat? You have to have met while you were both students at Murray State, where you then fell in love and later got married. And if down the road you start a family, baby’s shoe can go up there, too.

For the complete list of “romantic” rankings, go online at www.collegeranker.com/rank…/best-romantic-college-traditions. More information on Murray State University can be found at www.murraystate.edu.



Henry County Jury Summons Mailed Out


Paris, Tenn.- Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson announced that the next term of Jury Duty in Henry County will be March – June 2015, and the summonses for that session were mailed Friday.

The two hundred and fifty (250) potential juror’s names are chosen at random using the Department of Safety’s driver license records.  In Henry County this has been the source for the mailing for over 35 years.  

The mailing will contain an official summons and documents explaining the jury duty process.  More information can be obtained by calling the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office at (731) 642-0461 or by visiting www.HenryCountyCourt.net and clicking on the ‘Jury Duty’ tab.

According to Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson, “We are very fortunate in Henry County to have very few jury trials.  We typically have between 3-6 jury trials per year so the burden on our jurors is very moderate.” He also noted that the mailing occurred on Friday the 13th.  “Wee apologize for it being a Friday the 13th mailing.  That was not on purpose,” he said

Jury Duty Scam Caution:  Please also be aware of potential jury duty scams.  The Henry County Court System will not call you and ask you for your social security number or for any of your credit card numbers. Do not provide any of this information to anyone claiming to represent the court system. This scam has happened in eleven states including Tennessee. If you receive a call like this please hang up and do not share any personal data.


Youth Tennis Sign-Ups Open Now


Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Parks and Recreation Department will be holding a 10 and under tennis camp under the direction of USTA (United States Tennis Association) certified coach J.F. Kirk. 

The camp will be held at Atkins Porter Rec Center on Monday and Friday nights from 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 2nd, 6th, 9th, 13th, 16th and 20th. 

Registration fee is $25 made to Paris Parks and Recreation Department. 

Sign up at the Paris Civic Center or call 644-2517.

Quota Celebrates Anniversary

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Quotarians celebrated Quota’s founding in 1919 at their noon business meeting at Lee Academy Lunchroom on February 11.  Those celebrating Quota anniversaries are Peggy Owen – 32 years; Suzanne Richter – 14 years; Emily Walker – 11 years and Becki White – 3 years; for a total of 60 years of service.

Kayla Nation was recognized for her work on the Evening of Chocolate.

President Stephanie Tayloe named Martha Smith as chairperson for the Nominating Committee to elect 2015-2016 club officers; the Board selected Beverly Wood and the club selected Bethel Williams to serve on the committee.

Richter announced that Quota scholarship applications are available at Moody Realty, the counselor’s office at Henry County High School and are also available on the Henry County School website (www.planeths.com).  The deadline for submitting applications is April 7, 2015.  Scholarships are available for current high school seniors and continuing college students.

Stephanie Winders, Safety Coordinator for the Henry County School System, will be the speaker at the next meeting on February 25.



Helping Hand Total Is Now $240,522

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $240,522, with Friday’s total of $3,094 raised by St. John’s CDS, the Humane Society, World’s Biggest Fish Fry, the Prevention Coalition and the Literacy Council.

Saturday’s items will be donated by the Henry County Medical Center and its employees.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Friday, February 13, 2015

Sheriff Office, TWRA Provide Free Wood Duck Boxes

Sheriff Monte Belew, his dog Si, Chief Deputy Randy Gean and Deputy John McElroy with members of the inmate crew and the free boxes. (Investigator Adam Jenkins photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to provide free wood duck boxes to the public.

The TWRA is supplying the wood and the sheriff’s office Inmate Garden crew is constructing the boxes.

Sheriff Monte Belew said some 150 boxes have been constructed so far and more are being constructed.

For more information call the sheriff’s office at 642-1672 or TWRA Officer Reggie Cole at 731-697-7008. The free wood duck boxes can be picked up at the sheriff’s office at 210 Forrest Heights on the west side of Paris.

Photo: Sheriff Monte Belew, his dog Si, Chief Deputy Randy Gean and Deputy John McElroy with members of the inmate crew and the free boxes.


Obion County Men Charged With Thefts

          
         Terry Gooch                                            Jonathan Ray

Samburg, Tenn.-Two Samburg men have been arrested by the Obion County Sheriff’s Office in connection with a series of thefts near Reelfoot Lake.

Arrested on multiple charges were Terry Gene Gooch, age 33, and Jonathan Marvin Ray, age 21.

The thefts started before Christmas and continued into the middle of January and involved four locations with merchandise valued at over $20,000.

The break in the case occurred when a deputy initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle that contained some of the stolen items.

Gooch is charged with three counts of burglary and three counts of theft of property over $1,000. A hold for him also was issued by Lake County in connection with the theft of a four-wheeler.

Ray was driving the vehicle which contained the stolen property and was charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000.


Tickets On Sale For Lee Academy Fundraiser


Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale for the upcoming performance by National Banjo Champion Dan Knowles and his Chill Tonic Band Saturday, February 21, at the Lee Academy for the Arts.

This is the third annual fundraiser for the Lee Academy and it will be held at 7 p.m. 

Also on the bill are performances by The Shepherd Family, Anna and Jon Eaton, the Wheelhouse Rousters, Tyler Andel and Ed Smith.

Knowles said he’s excited about the event and the lineup keeps growing.

For more information, call 642-3411 or 644-1157.

 
More Charges In Child Pornography Case

Murray, Tenn.-In a continuing investigation into child pornography, Murray Police Department and Calloway County Sheriff’s Office have each filed additional charges against Jeffrey D.Carter, 36, of Murray. 

Two counts of Use of a Minor in a Sexual Performance and Two counts of Unlawful use of Electronic Means to Induce a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity were filed by each agency, for a total of eight additional counts. 

Carter is currently lodged in the Calloway County Jail. This joint investigation between the Murray Police Department and the Calloway County Sheriff’s department is ongoing.


Lecture On US-Iran Relations Set At UTM

 
Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin’s annual Phi Kappa Phi Muriel Tomlinson Lecture will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 17, in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center on the main UT Martin campus.

Dr. Richard Garlitz, UT Martin associate professor of history and philosophy, will present a lecture titled, “Friends Like These: The Legacy of the 1953 Coup on United States-Iranian Relations.” 

His research examines the roles that American colleges and universities played in international development during the first two decades of the Cold War, especially as part of the U.S. government-sponsored Point Four Program.

Garlitz completed undergraduate work in history and English at Purdue University. He received a master’s degree in history from Ball State University and a Ph.D. in history from Ohio University. He joined the UT Martin faculty in 2008 and teaches courses on American foreign relations, the Middle East and world history.

The Muriel Tomlinson lecture is presented each spring semester in honor of Dr. Muriel Tomlinson, a UT Martin faculty member and chair of the Department of Modern and Foreign Languages from 1959-76. Tomlinson created the campus language laboratory and was a supporter of the ideals of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Becky Cox, associate professor of educational studies at 731-881-7134 or by email at beckyc@utm.edu.


Long-Time Attorney Hired By Public Defender's Office

Union City, Tenn.-A long-time Union City attorney has left private practice and began working Thursday for the 24th Judicial District public defender’s office.

Damon Campbell has been hired as a full-time assistant public defender, leaving his private practice of some 36 years. He had worked in the Conley and Campbell law firm in Union City.

District Public Defender Joseph Atnip said Campbell will work out of the Union City office and will handle mostly Obion County criminal cases.


UC Business Burglarized

Union City, Tenn.-Money, a gun and other items were stolen from a Union City business overnight Wednesday.

The burglary at The Gallery at 621 E. Reelfoot Ave. was discovered Thursday morning when employees came to work.

The back door glass had been shattered and the business was ransacked, according to the police report. An undetermined amount of money was stolen, as was a pistol and other items.



McKenzie Man Arrested For Leaving Scene 

Dresden, Tenn.-Weakley County sheriff’s deputies arrested a McKenzie man for leaving the scene of an accident--intoxicated and on foot.

Arrested was Clayton Mitchell Travis, age 42. Deputies found him intoxicated and walking away from an accident on Blaylock Store Rd.

In the process of the arrest, Travis reportedly became disorderly and tried to kick out the window of the cruiser. According to the police report, Travis continued the behavior at the jail and kicked an officer, at which time another officer used a taser on him.

Once in a holding cell, a search of Travis’ clothing revealed him to be in possession of marijuana.

Travis was charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication, resisting arrest, and possession of drugs.


Thursday, February 12, 2015 

Commercial Development On Volunteer Drive Approved

Brent Owens of Owens Construction displays a drawing of the proposed strip mall. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A commercial development on Volunteer Drive that will include a strip mall to be called The Shoppes at Emerald Lake was approved Thursday night by the Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission.

The development is located across from Fred’s Discount Store.

Owens Construction submitted the major site plan for the property. The plan calls for a 24,000 square foot retail building plus an additional 1,800 square foot retail building in the rear of the principal structure.

Wyatt Owens of Owens Construction said he is planning for a restaurant to open in the mall, as well as other businesses. “But I have nothing committed as of now. Everyone I have talked to wanted me to have something to show them first before they committed,” he said.

The entire area is approximately 41 acres and four acres are proposed for the development at this time.

According to the plan, to facilitate future development, a road is proposed to the existing pond to the north of the proposed building. A total of 130 parking spaces are proposed.

At the outset of the meeting, a public hearing was held on the city’s proposed sign ordinance. Larry and Andrea Miller of Miller Estate Sales had questions about fair enforcement of the ordinance. Harold Bass said the sign ordinance needs to be simplified so that the public knows what it is expected.

In other business:

--The planning commission also approved a major site plan for Guinn’s building addition on East Wood St. The addition would be a 4,608 square foot structure to their existing building at 1710 E. Wood St. The total site area is 7.14 acres and the proposed addition will consist of .25 acres. 

Planning office staff indicated that the northeast corner of the proposed building is encroaching into a designated floodway and that needs to be addressed.

--Another major site plan for Eddie Roberts’ building addition at 415 Mockingbird Lane also was approved. Roberts is proposing a 2,592 square foot addition to the east side of his existing building. To avoid encroaching into the required 30 foot setback, Roberts will acquire an additional 12 foot from the adjoining property owner to allow him ample space for his addition.

--A minor subdivision plat for Mockingbird Lane was approved for Tammie Roberts and the Bass Group. Roberts will be adding a 12 foot strip to the rear of the property from Bass.

--A minor subdivision site plan was approved for Carolyn Griffey’s property at 901 E. Wood Street (at corner with Lake Street). The plan called for a 5 foot sidewalk with an eight inch curb on the west side of the building adjacent to Lake Street.

According to the proposal, the sidewalk would provide a safer route for pedestrian traffic along Lake connecting Wood Street.  Improvements would be built in conformance to city specifications.


Planning Commission Rejects Rezoning Request 

Residents of the Hillcrest Drive neighborhood presented their concerns at the meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Presented with vocal opposition from some 20 neighbors, the Paris Muncipal Regional Planning Commission Thursday night unanimously rejected a request that would have rezoned as commercial a residential neighborhood at the corner of Hillcrest Dr. and East Wood St. 

The rejected rezoning request was for property owned by Dan Hassell at the corner of East Wood St. and Hillcrest Drive. 

According to Hassell’s application, the property is “no longer suitable for new constructed residence (because of high traffic). Would like to request rezone for possible future business opportunity.” The property is adjacent and on the same side of the street to Holy Cross Catholic Church. 

Before hearing from the neighbors, Board Members Terry Wimberley, Rachel Terrell and Gayle Griffith indicated their opposition the rezoning request.

Wimberley said, “I believe the property owners in this room would say this is still very viable as a residential area.” Terrell said, “Neighborhoods were here first. They made a large investment in their homes and have the right to protect their properties.” Griffith said, “I’m personally concerned with this. Hillcrest Drive is a great subdivision and I don’t think this is good for this neighborhood.”

Bobby Travillian presented a petition with the signatures of a large majority of property owners in the Hillcrest neighborhood objecting to the rezoning. “Right now we have a safe secure neighborhood and we want to keep it that way.” Travillian said, “The neighbors are opposed to anything commercial on this lot.”

Hassell said the lot is wooded and he maintained it would not be viable for another residential property. Hassell has purchased the home and lot next to it and is renovating the property, which he said is increasing the property values for that neighborhood.
“I’m trying to make the neighborhood nice,” he said. 

Arthur Lodge said, “We have viable neighborhood. We have block parties; we help each other. When you buy a house in Paris, your property should be protected. We bought a residential home and we have a covenant surrounding it.”


New Springville Utility District Water Tower Dedicated
Late Amon Evans Recognized For Leadership

USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode presents Denise Evans with a plaque and photo montage honoring her late husband, Amon Carter Evans. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.--Local, state and federal officials gathered at the Springville Utility District water tower Thursday afternoon to celebrate the tower’s completion and to celebrate the life of the late Amon Carter Evans, who spearheaded the drive to bring a safe, reliable water supply to residents of the Springville area.

USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode presented a plaque to Evans’ widow Denise, as well as a photo montage of the progress of the project and Henry County Mayor Brent Greer presented Evans posthumously with the county’s Loyal Patriot Award, its highest honor.

The new water tank holds 150,000 gallons of water and almost every household in the Springville area is now online with the new water supply. The district will be totally complete this summer, with four additional miles of water line in progress that will serve the Lakeview Manor area and sections of Winsett. Copeland and Elkhorn Roads.

Denise Evans thanked all of the officials who worked with her husband to bring the project to fruition and looked back at the nine years that the project has been ongoing from the beginning to the present.

Amon Evans said he would “do everything in his power” to ensure that the Springville area had good clean water. “And if he said he would work on something, you knew he would work on it every day.”

Evans died in 2011 and in 2012, the first water lines were laid for the project, beginning in Sandy Beach, she said. “Since then 30 miles of water lines have been laid and the water tank is up.”

Denise Evans noted that a project of this scale “is unheard of nowadays. I’m so happy to have been a part of this and I know that Amon would be thankful to all of you.”

Former Henry County Commissioner Mary Warren said, “I wish Amon could be here to see this. It’s a beautiful sight. Amon was just the right man for the job.”

Greer agreed, noting that Evans, who was a former owner of the Nashville Tennessean, was a crusader and fighter for justice all his life. Henry County had a great gift when he decided to move to our community.”

Goode said, “We’re here to celebrate the Springville Water District but we’re also here to celebrate a great human being.” With Evans at the helm of the project, Goode said, “it truly was a partnership of all the state, local and federal agencies involved and it took a man like Amon to get all those agencies together.”

USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provided $2,788,500 combined with funding from Delta Regional Authority, EPA, the state of Tennessee, the Springville Utility District and the Sandy Beach Water Association to construct 30 miles of water distribution lines.

On hand for the dedication were several Henry County commissioners, Utility District President Lowell Wilson, Secretary Scott Steele, Board Member Eddie Martin, as well as Matt Varino, field representative for Senator Lamar Alexander, and Heather Waggoner, field representative for Congressman Steven Fincher, and Jason Griffin of Jacobs’ Engineering.

With the new Springville Utility District water tank in the background, Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, middle, presents Denise Evans with the Loyal Patriot Award in honor of her late husband Amon. To the right is Lowell Wilson, president of the utility district. (McFarlin photo).

New Sheriff’s Office Vehicles On Patrol

Deputies Blake Jenkins and Wayne Fuqua and K9 Cisco with new vehicles. (HCSO photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The 15 new vehicles approved for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office by the Henry County Commission are now being used in daily patrols. 

Along with the new vehicles, the public will see the new black and gold designs on the patrol cars. According to Captain Damon Lowe, the sheriff’s office wanted new designs and moved to a more modern appearance for the new vehicles.

The new vehicles were purchased from local dealers. The designs on the vehicles were done by Sign and Trophy of Paris.

As presented to the county commission in 2014, Lowe said, by buying the new vehicles, the county will save a total of $150,000 over a three-year period by cutting maintenance and equipment costs. The vehicles were paid for over a period of three years by a secured loan from a local bank, Lowe said, with an interest rate of one percent.

The sheriff’s office will not be purchasing any additional vehicles for the next three years.

Of the 15 vehicles purchased, three are Ford 150 trucks to be used by the K9 officers Sgt. Ricky Wade, Deputy Terry Williams and Deputy Wayne Fuqua and their canine partners.


Second Person Arrested In Champion Family Murders 


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cadiz, Ky.-A second person has been arrested in the case involving the murders of the Champion family and an acquaintance last year in Trigg County, Ky.

Ryan Champion of Cadiz was arrested in October of 2014 for the murders of his mother, father and sister, Lindsey, Joy and Emily Champion, as well as Vito Riservato, at the Champion home.

On Wednesday, a special Trigg County Grand Jury indicted Ann L. Plotkin, age 41, of Hopkinsville, for three counts of complicity to commit capital murder for her role in the murder case.

Detective with the Kentucky State Police presented the case to the grand jury. Plotkin was arrested Wednesday afternoon at her home. She was charged with an additional count of resisting arrest which occurred when the KSP was executing the indictments.

Plotkin is not implicated in the kidnapping charge that Champion is facing, nor is she implicated in the death of Riservato.

Ryan Champion remains in the Christian County Jail, where Plotkin was also taken. 

The investigation continues by Kentucky State Police Detective Brett Miller.

Meanwhile, Ryan Champion’s attorney, Tom Osborne, has filed a notice to withdraw from the case. 

Champion is scheduled to appear in Trigg County Court Friday for a pre-trial conference. Osborne’s withdrawal is expected to delay the case.


Former State Employee Indicted For Theft 


Dyersburg, Tenn.-Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments charging a Halls, Tennessee, woman with theft. 

At the request of 29th District Attorney General Phillip Bivens, TBI Special Agents, working with investigators with the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury, began investigating Susan Scearce on January 26, 2012. 

At that time, Scearce was a Deputy Electrical Inspector who worked as a contract employee with the Department of Commerce and Insurance. During the course of the investigation and upon completion of an audit by the Comptroller’s office, Agents developed information that Scearce forged inspection documents and charged excessive prices for permits.

On February 9th, the Dyer County Grand Jury returned indictments against Susan Scearce, 56, charging her with two counts of Theft over $1,000. Scearce was arrested on February 10th and booked at the Dyer County Jail. She was released after posting a $1,000 bond. 

Birds Of Prey At Discovery Park Sunday

Kacey Putz of Discovery Park presenting a Birds of Prey program. 

Union City, Tenn.-     It is a fact.  All people, young and old, male and female, enjoy seeing the live animal exhibitions at Discovery Park of America.  And there will be another opportunity as “Birds of Prey” come to the park this Sunday, February 15th.  The Birds of Prey classes are exceptionally well attended according to Discovery Park’s Aquarium and Wildlife Coordinator, Kacey Putz.  “People really enjoy seeing these birds up close and personal,” she said.  

This Sunday the park is offering two opportunities to see the Birds of Prey program.  It will be presented at 1:00 and again at 2:30 in the Reelfoot Room.  On hand this week will be a Red Tailed Hawk, a Bald Eagle, a Screech Owl and a Great Horned Owl.  The instructor will share interesting facts about the birds as the birds move around the room, allowing guests to get a “bird’s eye view.”  The program is free with park admission.  

Birds of Prey land at Discovery Park only two weeks after the opening of Discovery Park’s first major traveling exhibit:  Titanic, the Artifact Exhibition, and only two days after the opening of the park’s newest permanent exhibit, The Chamber.   Both the Titanic and The Chamber will be open to the public during Discovery Park of America’s regular hours:  Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  After gaining admission into the park, a visit to The Chamber is free.  The cost of visiting the Titanic Exhibition is $7.00 for a non-member; $6.00 for Discovery Park members, anyone 65+ and groups of 20 or more,  and $5.00 for school groups and children ages four through 12.  Anyone three and under can go through the Exhibition with a paying adult, free of charge.   

 In addition to classes like “Birds of Prey,” the park offers many historical and unique exhibits as well as educational and entertaining attractions.  Discovery Park of America offers monthly wine and paint classes, clay classes and animal education classes.  Park officials say that Discovery Park has plans for helicopter rides, singer-songwriter events, the second annual cardboard boat regatta, visits from PBS characters, a Car & Bike show, concerts, a BBQ cook-off, a chili cook-off, an air show, a beer fest, wine tasting events, a special Alvin York exhibit, a Polar Express event, Santa and an expanded Christmas exhibit in 2015.  The complete calendar is now available on the website.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  To find out more about Birds of Prey, The Chamber, the Titanic or the park, you can visit the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com .  The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.  

UTM Scholarship Opportunities

Martin, Tenn. – Students who begin classes at the University of Tennessee at Martin Parsons Center in the fall 2015 semester will have access to new scholarship opportunities, thanks to the Parsons-Decatur County Higher Education Foundation.

The Kick Start Scholarship will award all traditional students who qualify for the Tennessee Lottery Hope Scholarship $250 during their first fall semester. Students who maintain a 2.75 GPA into the spring semester will also receive $250, totaling a $500 award. 

Those who continue to meet lottery scholarship requirements into their sophomore year of study will then be eligible to receive the new UT Martin Advantage Scholarship, which will award each eligible student $500 during both the sophomore and junior years, totaling a $1,000 award. 

Funding is also available to high school juniors and seniors who enroll in dual enrollment courses through the UT Martin Parsons Center. High school seniors who receive the lottery scholarship will also receive the Jump Start Dual Enrollment Scholarship, which offers $200 toward two dual enrollment courses for the 2015-16 academic year. This brings the cost of two courses to $100 total. High school juniors receiving the lottery scholarship will receive an additional $75 toward two dual enrollment courses, reducing the total cost to $25. Students may choose to take two courses during the fall semester or one course each in the fall and spring semesters.

For more information, contact Dr. Kelli Deere, UT Martin Parsons Center director, at 731-847-3880 or by email at kdeere@utm.edu.


Helping Hand Total Is Now $235,751

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $235,751, with Wednesday’s total of $3,186 the Paris Landing community and resort areas, Country Club Estates/Nelson/Shady Grove, Salvation Army, Stockyards Meat, and WRAP.
Thursday’s items will be donated by the Elkhorn community, State Employees of Henry County, REAL Hope Youth Center and Henry Farmers Co-Op.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



Wednesday, February 11, 2015  

Paris Ranks 2nd In Top 10 Places To Retire
Union City Is Rated 9th

Eiffel Tower Park in Paris is a draw for tourists. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Paris ranks 2nd and Union City is 9th in the Top 10 places to retire in Tennessee by SmartAsset, a financial technology company.

To find the best places to retire, SmartAsset gathered data for a study and considered four main factors that affect the quality of life for retirees.

“First, we looked at state and local tax rates, considering two types of taxes: income and sales. We calculated effective rates based on a typical retiree, earning $35,000 annually (from retirement savings, social security or part-time employment) and spending their disposable income on taxable goods. Next, we determined the number of doctors’ offices, recreation centers and retirement centers per thousand residents in each area. Finally, we found the number of seniors in each area as a percentage of the total population,” a SmartAsset spokesman said.

“In our final analysis, we ranked each county and city on these three factors, and calculated an average ranking for each area, weighting the three factors equally. The areas with the lowest average ranking are the best places to retire,” the spokesman added.
Paris ranks No. 2, with statistics including 15.8 percent taxes, three doctor’s offices per 1,000 people, .2 recreation centers per 1,000 people, .7 retirement centers per 1,000 people and 16.1 percent of seniors.

Other cities in the top 10 in Tennessee are No. 1 Crossville, No. 3 Winchester, No. 4 Savannah, No. 5 McMinnville, No. 6 Brentwood, No. 7 Sevierville, No. 8 Lawrenceburg, No. 9 Union City, and No. 10 Maryville.

David Hamilton, CEO of the Henry County Alliance, is excited about the honor.
“Henry County offers a great setting for retirees.  We have a strong medical community, low taxes, beautiful Kentucky Lake and a low cost of living,” he said.

“America’s retirement population is growing rapidly and many retirees are looking to relocate in order to enjoy better weather and lower taxes. Activities that many retirees enjoy include shopping, dining, exercising and traveling. The benefit of retirees to Henry County is they are like ‘permanent tourists,’” he said, adding “With every retiree recruited, more jobs are needed, particularly those outside of manufacturing. Businesses that often see the most job growth include medical and financial, which are typically higher paying jobs.”


Springville Utility District To Be Dedicated

Springville, Tenn.-USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode will join state, local and federal officials on Thursday afternoon for the dedication of the Springville Utility District project that is providing safe, reliable public water supply to the residents of Henry County.

Dedication ceremonies will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the Springville Utility District Water Tank at 1301 Poplar Grove Rd..

The ceremony also will recognize the tireless efforts of the late Amon Evans, who served as the president of the district through the process.


Bluebird Program Saturday At Refuge 


Springville, Tenn.-The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, the Friends of the Tennessee NWR and the Paris Lowe’s store are all joining together to provide a free family event Saturday at the new refuge visitor center. 

Called “For the Love of Bluebirds”, the event will be held from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, February 14, at the new visitor center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville. This event, which happens to be on Valentine’s Day will feature a short program about the eastern bluebird, its history in this area when their population numbers experience drastic decline and how bluebird boxes changed everything.

Local bluebird experts Mitz and Lora Ann Bailey will return to the refuge with their informative program about how you can make a difference while attracting bluebirds as well as other birds to your backyard. Participants will also be invited to build their own bluebird box and get tips on how to best hang it in your yard to attract bluebirds.

The annual sponsor of this event is the Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge who coordinate all the preparation work, as well as providing plenty of extra hands and cordless drills for the day. This year the Paris Lowe’s store has teamed up with the refuge to provide all the lumber and hardware needed to construct 100 boxes. The store will also have many of their expert employees on hand to assist with the construction process. Visitors are also invited to bring their own cordless drill if they prefer.

According to Refuge Ranger Joan Stevens,“This event will be tailored for families with children or for people looking for something fun to do with visiting relatives. Who doesn’t love a bluebird or want to see one in your yard. So come on down, check out the new interactive exhibits, shop at the Blue Heron Bookstore and take home a bluebird box to hang in your yard.” 

Whereas the new refuge visitor center is always open Monday - Saturday from 8:00 – 4:00 pm, please note the event is only from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Entry to the event and to the visitor center is free. The refuge would like to thank the sponsors of this event, the Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and the Paris Lowe’s Home Improvement Store. For more information about this event or the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge please call 731-642-2091.


Forrest Is Topic Of Fort Donelson Program 

          Author Brian Wills

Dover, Tenn.-Fort Donelson National Battlefield is observing the 153rd anniversary of the Civil War battle there during the entire month of February. Coming up this Saturday is a presentation by Dr. Brian Steel Wills, who will share his thoughts on Nathan Bedford Forrest and his Civil War legacy. 

The program will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Donelson visitor center. Copies of Wills’ biography of General Forrest will be available for him to sign.

Wills is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, after a long tenure at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. 

He is the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War, including a new volume - The River Was Dyed with Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow. His other titles include: A Battle From the Start: The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest 

His new Forrest work was chosen as both a History Book Club selection and a Book of the Month Club selection.  



UC School Board Welcomes New Member

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Schools board of education members welcomed a new member at the board’s meeting last night.

School board members unanimously approved the appointment of Scott Gilliam to serve on the board. He will replace Dr. John Clenenin, who had recently resigned after moving out of the ward he was serving.

Gilliam will serve until the next election in two years. A formal swearing-in ceremony for Gilliam will be held next week.


Murray Man Arrested On Child Pornography Charges
 
Murray, Ky.-A Murray man has been arrested on child pornography charges following an investigation by several law enforcement agencies. Arrested was Jeffery Carter, age 36.

On February 6, the Murray Police began an investigation into an individual obtaining images of child pornography. During the investigation, detectives were able to use police databases and other law enforcement tools to locate a possible suspect Jeffery D Carter, who was in possession of these pornographic images of children.

 On February 10, detectives with the Murray Police Department, along with Calloway County Sheriff's Office and Kentucky State Police executed a search warrant at Carter's residence in Murray. 

Detectives located numerous items that are believed to contain child pornography images. These items were seized and Carter is charged with two counts of Possession/View Matter Portray Sexual Performance by a Minor. 

The Murray Police Department and the Calloway County Sheriff's Office each charged Carter with one count. The Calloway County Attorney's Office also assisted in the investigation. Carter was arrested and lodged at the Calloway County Jail. This investigation is ongoing and more charges are likely


CG Council Swears In New Mayor, New Member
 
Cottage Grove, Tenn.-With the resignation of Mayor Mike Waddey, the Cottage Grove Legislative Council Tuesday night sworn in new Mayor Melinda Thatcher.

Waddey had announced earlier he was leaving his post and Cottage Grove to accept a preaching job elsewhere. Member John Weiher read his resignation letter and Vice Mayor Melinda Thatcher accepted the position of mayor.

Thatcher then declared a vacancy on council and David Jackson was appointed to fill the seat. Jackson was then sworn in.

Thatcher appointed John Weiher as Special Events Coordinator. 

Matthew McClure will be the contact person to sell the recycle bags for the community. They are $10 a roll. His contact # is 782-3121.

Council and community members were encouraged to contact any cell provider and request they place a cell tower in the area.

The financial reports for December and January were read. Street State Aid fund revenue was $200.28 and expenses were 134.21 in January and February revenue was $215.51 with no reported expenses. The General Fund revenues for December were $4,220.59 and expenses were 2,155.00 while January revenues were $1,264.50 and expenses were $1,413.13. The motion to accept was made by Matthew McClure and seconded by John Weiher.


Helping Hand Total Is Now $232,565

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $232,565, with Tuesday’s total of $3,532 raised by the Sunnyside/Countrywood; Scenic Hills/Castleton Cove; the Henry Co. Food Bank, Extendicare of West Tennessee; and Ladies with Swag.

Wednesday’s items will be donated by Paris Landing community and resort areas, Country Club Estates/Nelson/Shady Grove, Salvation Army, Stockyards Meat, and WRAP.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Tuesday, February 10, 2015 

Discovery Park To Open Exhibit On Historic Torture Devices 


Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America hopes to shed light on a dark past with the opening of a new exhibit called The Chamber.  

On Friday, February 13th The Chamber will be open to the public.  The Chamber is a unique exhibit featuring items used in executions and torture dated back to the 1400’s during the Spanish Inquisition period.  The new exhibit is located in The Enlightenment Gallery and will be available for viewing during normal park hours of 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.  

Discovery Park visitors who attend the Valentine’s Wine Tasting event on the evening of February 12th will be the first to see the new exhibit.
 The History Channel was the catalyst for the new exhibit according to CEO Jim Rippy.  “Last year we received a call from the History Channel about a new series called Museum Men,” Rippy said.  “The History Channel offered to give us three items from the Spanish Inquisition period and an army tank if we would allow them to film two of the :30 minute shows at Discovery Park.”  

The three items from the Spanish Inquisition time period and acquired by the park from Creative Arts and featured on the History Channel show are: The Breaking Wheel, The Rack, The Brazen Bull.

In addition to these three items, guests who visit The Chamber will see a guillotine from the French Revolution period.  The guillotine was used from 1792 until as recently as 1977 as the State’s preferred method of execution.  There are other more contemporary items of torture and execution in the exhibit as well.

Both the ongoing Titanic exhibit and The Chamber will be open to the public during Discovery Park of America’s regular hours:  Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  After gaining admission into the park, a visit to The Chamber is free.  The cost of visiting the Titanic Exhibition is $7.00 for a non-member; $6.00 for Discovery Park members, anyone 65+ and groups of 20 or more,  and $5.00 for school groups and children ages four through 12.  Anyone three and under can go through the Exhibition with a paying adult, free of charge.   

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  To find out more about the new exhibit, The Chamber, the Titanic or the park, you can visit the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com .  The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.  

Carroll Lake On TFWC Agenda

Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a one-day meeting when it returns to Nashville and an update will be provided on TWRA’s Carroll Lake. 

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, February 12 at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building.

 An update will be given on TWRA’s Carroll Lake. Heavy rains caused the gates used to control water levels on the 100-acre lake to be damaged beyond repair. The damage was included as part of a Federal Disaster Declaration.

Since the flood, the damaged gates have been removed and Carroll Lake has remained completely drained. Two public meetings have been held in Huntingdon and McKenzie to discuss the lake’s future.

 
Mitchell Photography On Display At The Dixie


Huntingdon, Tenn. - The Jack Mitchell Collection is on display in the Ballroom Gallery of The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center from now through April 26.

The series of photographs are the works of Jack Mitchell who is best known for his images of famous dancers, writers, musicians, actors and artists. He was a Florida native who found his way to New York City. There, his photography studio was visited by the artistic elite of his time. 

In addition, his works are held in several permanent collections including at the Smithsonian Institution. 

Coinciding with The Dixie Dance Festival, a reception will be held from 5 - 7 p.m. on March 7 with a Gallery Talk at 5:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public. 

After the reception, a performance of “Motown in Motion” will be presented by Eisenhower Dance starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $15 plus tax. The Dixie’s Ballroom Gallery is open Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and to ticketed patrons before and after all performances. For more information about this and upcoming art exhibits, contact Laura at ldeville@dixiepac.net.


New ECD Commissioner Speaks At UTM


Martin, Tenn.-Randy Boyd, Tennessee’s new commissioner of Economic and Community Development, was introduced in a town hall meeting of West Tennessee economic development leaders, elected officials, chamber representatives and others Feb. 6 at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Gov. Bill Haslam named Boyd in December as the new ECD commissioner. Boyd, a successful entrepreneur, spoke briefly and then joined in an exchange of ideas with the group for enhancing the region’s economic development. Before taking his current position, Boyd took a leave of absence from his company in 2013 to serve Gov. Haslam as a volunteer special adviser on higher education in developing the Drive to 55 and the Tennessee Promise initiatives. Boyd was named a 2014 University of Tennessee Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. 


Helping Hand Total Now $229,033

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $229,033, with Monday’s total of $4,473 raised by the Henry community, Henry Beta Club, Life Church Paris, Senior Citizens Center and Father and Son Fellowship Association.

Tuesday’s items will be donated by Sunnyside/Countrywood; Scenic Hills/Castleton Cove; the Henry Co. Food Bank, Extendicare of West Tennessee; and Ladies with Swag.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Vendors Sought For Fitness Expo

McKenzie, Tenn. – As part of The Bethel University Fitness Society’s Fitness Living Awareness week, the Fitness Society will be hosting the first-ever Bethel University Fitness Expo on Friday, March 27th in the Crisp Arena from 10am-2pm. 

The expo will feature fitness personalities from across Tennessee and around the United States showcasing their products and expertise in the fitness world to Bethel students, faculty, staff, and the community. 

If you have a fitness-related business (gyms, fitness centers, health clubs, supplement companies, healthy restaurants, health food stores, personal trainers, etc.) and you are interested in setting up a booth, contact Christopher Ray via email at rayc@bethelu.edu or by phone at (731) 352-6744 Monday-Fridays from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. You can also contact the Bethel University Fitness Society President Bethany DeBok at bdebok81@bethelu.edu. Please use the subject line Bethel University Fitness Expo when contacting Christopher or Bethany. Booths will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a $10 charge for setting up a booth. Lunch will be provided, or you can bring your own. 

 Admission to the Expo is $5 for the community, $2 for any collegiate student (non-Bethel, must have school ID) and free for all Bethel students, faculty, and staff with school-provided ID. Kids 10 and under are free with parent or guardian. 



Monday, February 9, 2015  

Jailer Indicted For False Report In Bobo Case

Jackson, Tenn. – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained an indictment for a former Chester County jailer accused of filing a false report involving the Holly Bobo kidnapping and murder case.

At the request of 26th District Attorney General Jerry Woodall, TBI Special Agents began investigating Tommy Joe Austin on January 14th.

On January 11th, Austin, a former jailer in Chester County, filed a report with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, stating he received a phone call threatening violence against him and his son for not “taking care” of Zach Adams, an indicted defendant in the Holly Bobo case who was previously in custody in Chester County.

During the course of the investigation, however, Agents developed information Austin was not truthful about the reported threat.

On February 2nd, the Madison County Grand Jury returned an indictment for Austin, charging the 47-year-old Reagan man with one count of Filing a False Report.

On the morning of Monday, February 9, Austin surrendered to a TBI Agent at the Madison County Jail, after which he was subsequently booked into custody. At the time of this release, Austin’s bond amount was not available.



Helping Hand Auction Total Now $224,560
FUMC Raises $29,119 Saturday 

First United Methodist Church Pastor Dr. Rob Martin (standing, in red) watches eagerly as Auctioneer Fred McLean (seated at microphone) takes another bid Saturday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Helping Hand Radio Auction hit the $200,000 mark--and then some--on Saturday, with a grand total of $224,560 raised so far.

The new grand total is thanks to the total $29,119 raised by First United Methodist Church Saturday. 

For members of the Methodist Church, it was an exhausting all-day affair, with an afternoon on-air auction and an evening in-house auction, just as it was last weekend for the First Baptist Church. 

When it comes to the Helping Hand auction, the two churches have had a long-standing friendly rivalry. They compete each year to see which church can raise the most money for the auction. When First Baptist raised $27,474 last weekend, the members of First United Methodist knew they had their work cut out for them.

With hundreds of baked goods and homemade items donated, there were 50 slates--which is a lot for one day--on the auction block Saturday.

During the afternoon auction, $13,907 was raised and in the evening, $15,212 was raised.

Of course, whichever church is scheduled last always has the distinct advantage.

The last day for this year’s auction is February 25 and organizers are aiming to raise more than last year’s grand total of over $300,000 by that time.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Public Hearing Set On Sign Ordinance

Paris, Tenn.-The City of Paris Planning Commission will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, February 12, to hear comments on the proposed revisions to the city’s sign ordinance. 

The hearing will be held from 4-6 p.m. at city hall.

The public is invited to ask questions and make comments during the hearing and will be given the opportunity to make their opinions known concerning the revisions to the ordinance.

Copies of the proposed ordinance will be available to pick up prior to the hearing. For questions prior to the hearing you may contact Jennifer Morris at 731-641-1410 or Mike Brown at 731-641-1409.

Discovery Park Wine Tasting Is Thursday
Local Wineries To Participate


Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America is planning a Wine Tasting event in Dinosaur Hall from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, February 12th with a Valentine’s Day theme, with love songs and chocolate. 

Event Assistant Lauren Jones said the wine tasting has been one of the most requested repeat events for the park.  “We had a wine tasting event last fall, and people loved it.”  

Jones went on to say that all the regional wineries are on board, including Paris Winery, Purple Toad Winery of Paducah, and White Squirrel Winery from Kenton. Athens, which is Discovery Park’s major liquor distributor which features the “One Hope” brand which donates to a number of charities, also will be on hand. 

“If a guest tastes a wine that he or she likes, they will be able to go to our cash bar and get a full glass,” Jones said.  “They weren’t able to do that last time.”  

Event Director Rick Adams said that the park plans to have a little different feel for this wine tasting event.  “Since it will occur two days before Valentine’s Day, we are going to have a few more love songs and a lot more chocolate,” Adams said.  

The event is not just for sweethearts, however. “We invite everyone to come out and enjoy an evening out, some delicious appetizers and maybe find a new favorite wine available at a regional winery,” Jones said.  

CEO Jim Rippy said attending the Wine-Tasting event is going to get a special treat.  “We have a new exhibit called “The Chamber” that opens on Friday, February 13th,” Rippy said.  “We are going to let everyone who attends the wine tasting have a ‘sneak peek’ at The Chamber.”  

The Titanic Exhibition will also be open throughout the evening, and for an additional $6.00 guests can enjoy the opportunity of an evening viewing of the Titanic Artifact Exhibition.   
 
Tickets for the wine tasting are $20 for members and $25 for non-members and are on sale now on line at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com, at the ticket counter or by calling the park at 731-885-5455.  Each guest will receive free tastes from all the venues, appetizers a sneak peek at The Chamber exhibit and a coupon good for one free glass of wine.  

Discovery Park of America is a unique combination of education, entertainment, history and fun.  It has been open since November 1st, 2013 and has had over 323,000 visitors.  For more information and a complete calendar of events, visit the website.  


Paris Author To Hold Book Signing 


Martin, Tenn.-Paris Author Natalie Wade will be holding a book-signing event in Martin on Tuesday afternoon.

Wade is the author of “The Trials Of Otto” and will be available to sign copies of the book at Wonderland Books and Games, 215 S. Lindell St. from 1-3 p.m.

The book is about Otto, who just wants to be one of the big boys. However, when the big boys play an ugly trick on him, he learns the meaning of true friendship from an unexpected source. Follow Otto as he suffers through a trial by ice and discovers that being true to himself is all he needs to make real friends.


Hendrix Scholarship Deadline This Week

McKenzie, Tenn. – The deadline for applying to compete for Bethel University’s Hendrix Scholarship Competition is Feb. 13. The Hendrix Scholarship Competition is a premier scholarship program established in 1988 by Willard R. Hendrix of Nashville. 

The 2015 Hendrix Scholarship Competition will be held on Feb 20 & 21, 2015, on Bethel’s McKenzie campus. The competition is for traditional undergraduate prospective students.

 According to Tina Hodges, Dean of Enrollment Services, a student must be a high school senior with at least a 3.25 GPA and a 23/1050 or above ACT/SAT score to be considered for the competition. 

“The winner of the competition will earn a full tuition, room and board scholarship for four years,” Hodges said. “The runner-up will earn a full tuition scholarship for four years, and all other competitors who compete will be considered for Bethel's remaining institutional grants.” 

Hodges said that students who qualify for a Bethel University staff waiver are not eligible to compete in the Hendrix competition.

For more information about the Hendrix Scholarship Competition and to apply for competition, please contact the Office of Enrollment Services at 731-352-4030, email admissions@bethelu.edu, or go to www.bethelu.edu/hendrix.

Democratic Women To Meet

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Democratic Women will be holding its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, February 12 at city hall. Speaker will be Angela Callis of the Tennessee Democratic Party.


Classes To Be Held At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America has three classes coming up beginning this week: a wine and paint class, birds of prey class and potter’s wheel workshop.
Friday, February 13th The Art Vine, a wine-and-paint class, will be held in the LEC room from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. The painting this month is a picture of “love birds.” This is a very popular class and sells out quickly. Members pay $35 and non-members pay $40. Tickets are available online or by calling 731-885-5455. 

On Sunday, February 15th, Discovery Park will offer a FREE Birds-of-Prey class in the Reelfoot Room. This educational class is popular with both children and adults. This month, attendees will see a Great Horned Owl, a Barred Owl, a Screech Owl, a Bald Eagle and a Red Tailed Hawk. The class is free with admission to the park and will be held at 1:00 p.m. and again at 2:30 p.m. 

On Thursday, February 19th the first Potter’s Wheel Workshop will be offered. Tickets are $35 for members and $40 for non-members. The pottery class is for beginners and is very small, so if you would like to participate, reserve your spot by calling 731-885-5455. For more information about these classes or other activities at Discovery Park of America, visit the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com or call the park at 731-885-5455. 


Sunday, February 8, 2015  

Horbelt Speaks At UTM Conference

Martin, Tenn. – Jennifer Horbelt, UT Martin alumna and co-anchor of WPSD Local 6 news in Paducah, Ky., was the keynote speaker Feb. 6 for UT Martin’s 17th annual Working Women’s Conference. The conference theme was “Women Under Construction: Building Career, Family and Communities.” Horbelt’s presentation was titled “Reconstructing Your Life.” The conference, sponsored by the WestStar Leadership Program, attracted 235 attendees to the Boling University Center’s Duncan Ballroom on the main campus. Horbelt received the university’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award in October during UT Martin’s 2014 Homecoming celebration. (UTM photo).


Three Homes In Korean Community Destroyed By Fire
Paris Landing Fire Department Assists

Dover, Tenn.-Three homes in the Doalnara Restoration Society (Korean community) in the Standing Rock area were destroyed by fire. A fourth was saved by firefighters. No one was injured in the blaze and a collection is being taken for clothing and household items for the three households whose homes were lost.

Stewart County Fire Chief Clint Mathis said when firefighters arrived, the three structures were completely ablaze. He said the trailer homes were in a group of about a dozen located close together. 

Stewart County received assistance from fire departments throughout the area, including Paris Landing.

Mathis said a fourth structure was beginning to start fire and firefighters began working to keep those flames from spreading to the other structures.

He said a preliminary report points to a heating source in the middle structure as the cause, but the incident is still under investigation.

Despite an arson at the community a decade ago, Mathis said there is no evidence of the fire being a hate crime. About 10 years ago, the Doalnara school and a structure were burned to the ground in what investigators deemed a hate crime. No one has ever been arrested in the incident.

Thirty firefighers from the area assisted, including Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department, which brought their tanker.

The Stewart County Public Library in Dover is taking up a collection of men and women’s clothing and household items for the people displaced.



Saturday, February 7, 2015  

Huge Turnout For Free Deer Giveaway

Sgt. Ricky Ford displays some of the shoulder and neck roasts handed out free Friday morning at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Some 200 cars were lined up outside the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Saturday morning at the Deputies for the Hungry free deer meat giveaway. Cars began lining up around 8:15 a.m. for the 9 a.m. event. 

The deer for this year’s giveaway was handled differently than previous years, Deputy Sgt. Ricky Ford said. “We usually just give out packages of ground meat, but this year we’re giving out neck and shoulder roasts, too. 

The deer are donated by deputies, other local law enforcement officers and other local hunters each year for the giveaway. This year meat from 106 deer was given out, Ford said. Helping with the packaging of the deer meat were Inmates Edward Parrish and Andy Kent.

Cars lined up at the sheriff's office entrance Saturday morning. (McFarlin photo).

Shots Fired At Dairy Delight

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police are still searching for the suspect who shot at the drive-in window at the Dairy Delight in Paris Friday night. No one was injured in the incident.

Patrolman Jamie James responded to a ‘shots fired’ call at 8:48 p.m. at the Dairy Delight at 1324 E. Wood St. On his arrival, the owner informed him someone in a gray Saturn drove past the restaurant and fired several shots out of a BB or small caliber gun.

According to the police report, the door by the drive-through window did have a busted spot, but did not go all the way through the window.

Value of the window is $300.

Extra patrols will be dispatched to that area in the next few weeks.


Frozen Night Is Big Hit


Paris, Tenn.-As a testament to just how popular the movie “Frozen” is, some 200 children and parents crowded into the W.G. Rhea Public Library Friday night for a Frozen Family Fun event. Anna and Elsa (portrayed by Ellen Pruitt and Amy Thompson) were on hand and children make crafts and watched movies. Top photo, having their pictures taken with Ann and Elsa were Emily Reynolds, Alexis and Lillie Hughes. Bottom photo, little girls making tiaras. (Shannon McFarlin photos).


Obion County Business After Hours

Union City, Tenn.-At Friday’s Business After Hours in Union City, (from left): Kelly Oliver King, Manager of The Venue at CenterPoint; Phyllis Rauchle, Executive Director of Main Street; Lolly Wade Bearden, Main Street Board Member. The event was sponsored by Main Street Union City and the Obion County Chamber of Commerce. The event was a two-day event called Tablescapes, held at The Venue at Center Point Business Solutions. Saturday‘s guest speaker at brunch is Ramay Winchester, Director of Retire Tennessee. (Amy Keathley photo).

Helping Hand Total Now $195,441

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $195,441, with Friday’s total of $3,576 raised by Hoofbeats of Hope, Wesley Pine Ridge, Hank Williams Jr. Enterprises and Trail Life USA.

Saturday’s items will be donated by the First Methodist Church, with two auctions--the afternoon auction and an in-house evening auction.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5

Murray Residents Arrested On Felony Drug Charges

Murray, Ky.-Two Murray residents are being held in the Calloway County Jail today following their arrests on felony drug charges by the Kentucky State Police Friday.

Arrested were Jeffrey Hodges and Kim Kingins, both 44. Both were charged with possession of meth, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Trooper Brad Ramsey stopped Hodges’ vehicle at the intersection of 13th and Sycamore for a seat belt violation and his K9 Oscar alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle. Inside the vehicle was a pipe with meth residue and a container of 6.7 grams of crystal meth. During a search of their residence, troopers found four ounces of marijuana, more meth and numerous drug paraphernalia.



Friday, February 6, 2015  

UTM Students Work At Super Bowl

Glendale, Ariz. – Six students from the University of Tennessee at Martin’s sport business program worked hospitality events at last week’s Super Bowl game in Glendale, Ariz., where the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. The group, led by Dr. Dexter Davis, UT Martin assistant professor of sport business, is the second from UT Martin to attend the big game. The students also worked behind the scenes at the Pro Bowl on Jan. 25. Pictured on the field post-game are Rachel Robison, a senior from Springville; Ian McGrew, a senior from Troy; Dakota Shanes, a sophomore from Bon Aqua; Dr. Dexter Davis, assistant professor of sport business; Jamison Matney, a senior from Bon Aqua; Ross Landreth, a senior from Selmer; and Courtney Caton, a sophomore from Huntingdon. Caton, Robison and Shanes are marketing majors, while Landreth, Matney and McGrew are sport business majors. (UTM photo).


After Two-Day Trial, Plea Agreement Reached 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-After a two-day trial in Henry County Circuit Court, a Carroll County woman entered a plea agreement that will result in her serving one year on deferred probation.

Teresa Lynn Allen, age 32, of Hollow Rock, was arrested last year by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office on charges of DUI and reckless endangerment.
 
After the jury had already begun deliberating but before the verdict was reached, Allen entered a plea of guilty to reckless endangerment. Judge Donald Parish accepted the plea agreement and ordered Allen to serve one year on probation.

The trial began Wednesday morning and the plea agreement was reached Thursday afternoon. 

Testifying during the trial were Deputy Stacey Bostwick, who arrested Allen; and Deputy Clyde Sulcer, who was called to the scene.

Allen was represented by Paris Attorney Andy Clark and the state was represented by Assistant District Attorney Vance Dennis.


Bethel Students Record At Nashville Studio

Members of Bethel’s Renaissance performing arts group get their photo made with Mark Lowry before a recording session with the Christian recording artist. (Bethel photo).

McKenzie, Tenn. – Thirteen Bethel University Renaissance students spent the day with Mark Lowry and Kevin Williams and had the chance to record with them in the TMC studio in Nashville, Tenn. The group was a variety of students from Bethel’s Renaissance Choir, Vocal Authority, the Quartet and the Renaissance Theatre program. 

"Our students did an incredible job. I couldn't be more proud of their professionalism and overall talent," according Matthew Holt, Executive Director of Renaissance. 

Some of the biggest names in gospel music have made contributions to this project through singing, playing, or producing. A couple of those names include Bill Gaither, The Martins, Dailey and Vincent, Kevin Williams, Greg Ritchie, and Bethel's own Matthew Holt. Holt played piano on several songs, as well as arranged and produced a song that Lowry and the Martins sang. 

The project is set to release this March. 


TWRA To Stock Kentucky Lake With Largemouth Bass


Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will step up the stocking of Florida largemouth bass this spring in four waterways across the state, including Kentucky Lake.

Stocking of the largemouth bass in Tennessee began in 2000 in Chickamauga Lake. Genetic studies revealed in December of 2013 that the Florida largemouth bass were doing well in Chickamauga and the TWRA decided at that point to explore the possibility of stocking more lakes.

A group of TWRA biologists met again in December 2014 to discuss which lakes to stock. They decided on Nickajack, Watts Bar, Fort Loudon and Kentucky.

A total of 750,000 Florida largemouth bass fingerlings will be stocked in the five lakes. By comparison, only about 150,000 were stocked Chickamauga in 2000.

Tickets On Sale For Evening Of Chocolate Delight

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Evening of Chocolate Delight will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 10, at the Inman Middle School gym and tickets are available now.

Numerous area vendors will be serving up everything chocolate as organizers raise money to establish a fund to assist those who cannot afford screening mammograms and need one. 

Ticket holders are welcome to stroll through each booth and gather their chocolate delights to enjoy with friends at the event or to take home (all ticket holders will receive a to-go container for collecting their goodies). Bottled water will be served. 

The event is sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Healthcare Foundation and Quota Club.

Tickets can be purchased from HCMC Women's Health Advisory Council Members, HCMC Pink Petal Gift Shop, A La Mode Sweet Shoppe, Jack's Java, My Favorite Things and Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $10.

 Inman Middle School Strings will perform and a silent auction to be held.
  
 Quota Hears About Family Resources Program 


Paris, Tenn.-Judy Goad of Family Resource Center presented the program last week at the Paris Quota Club. She has been with the Henry County School System for 18 years. 

Family Resources performs several different programs for children and their families: They have a 0-5 year old developmental program where their incentive is free diapers; a Case Management Program where they supply clothes and supplies for families affected by tornadoes, fires, etc.; a BABES Program for pregnant teens and girls who already have children, a PAL Program which is an after school program to help with homework and read to children, a Weekend Back Pack Program where teachers place food bags a qualifying child’s backpack on Friday and the Back-to-School Blast, where both city and county students receive school supplies. Last year, 527 children received back packs at the Back-to-School Blast. 

Families must be screened and approved for all programs.

At the meeting, Brenda Hosford installed three new members. They were Judy Sloan – sponsored by Peggy Owen; Roslynn Hayes – sponsored by Kayla Nation and Debbie Madden-Gray – sponsored by Cheryl Conner.

Quota is again this year participating in the Evening of Chocolate at Inman School, which will be February 10th from 5 – 6:30 pm and is $10 per ticket. This money goes to provide mammograms for indigent women.

Quota received an invitation from Eastern Star Martha Chapter 155 to their 100 Year Anniversary and to recognize their 25 and 50 year members and Grand Representatives. 

They are also honoring Quotarian Bethel Williams who has served as Eastern Star Treasurer for 73 years. The event is on at 100 West Blythe Street on Saturday, January 31st from 12 noon – 2 pm with chili and trimmings being served.


No IRS Booklets At Library This Year

Paris, Tenn.-W.G. Rhea Library Director Connie McSwain said the library has received word that the Internal Revenue Service will not be sending the libraries any information booklets this year.

Booklet information can be found on the IRS website irs.gov. 


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Paris Commission Formally Endorses Sales Tax Referendum

City Manager Carl Holder, at desk, gives reports to the commission. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris City Commission Thursday night endorsed the upcoming local option sales tax referendum that will be on local ballots in March and pledged to repeal the eight cent property tax earlier levied for fiscal 2015 if the referendum is passed.

The eight cent property tax will be repealed at the appropriate time in the city’s next budget cycle upon passage of the referendum, Mayor Carlton Gerrell said.

If approved, the referendum will increase sales tax by one-half cent from 2.25 percent to 2.75 percent. In the resolution of support approved Thursday, the city recognized that its “revenue streams have been diminished in certain areas” and that the city had taken steps to curtail expenditures by reducing employee benefits, deferring capital purchases and equipment and reducing fund balance.

City Manager Carl Holder said a committee made up of himself, Gerrell, City Financial Director Kim Foster, County Mayor Brent Greer, Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton and county and city school board members has been “actively pursuing a grassroots campaign” to drum up support for the referendum.

He praised Gerrell’s presentations before various groups in Henry County, including Thursday’s meeting of the Paris Rotary Club. Gerrell does a good job with the presentations, which include power point, Holder said.

Anyone organizations that wish to have Gerrell or other officials make the power point presentation on the sales tax referendum should contact the county mayor’s office or city hall, Holder said.

In the monthly financial report, Foster said, “Once again I am pleased to be able to report another month of positive growth in retail sales. November 2014 sales exceeded November 2013 figures by almost six percent.”

Year-to-date, Foster said, the city is 4.35 percent ahead of 2013 with only one month left to go.“Revenues that have been lagging behind expenditures most of the fiscal year caught up considerably in December,” she said. “Although fiscal year-to-date expenditures are still ahead of revenues, for the month of December revenues exceeded expenditures in the general fund by almost $300,000. Revenues exceeded expenses in the solid waste fund in December by just over $20,000.”

Overall, according to Foster, “We appear to be on track at the half way point of our fiscal year.”

Foster also noted that the recently-completed audit shows no findings against the city. 


Fodor's Names Hazel One Of Top Ten Antiquing Spots 

Crowds line the streets at last year's Hazel Day Celebration. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

New York City, New York--The rest of the world has finally caught up with something people in our area have known for a long time.
Fodor’s Travel, the most prestigious publisher of travel guides in the world, has named Hazel, Kentucky, one of the top 10 antiquing spots in the United States.

Fodor’s notes that although Hazel only boasts a population of some 400 people, it is “a small but mighty antiquing town,” with at least a dozen independent antique shops.

“Almost all of these shops line the town’s Main Street allowing for an easy day-long stroll through American history,“ Fodor’s points out. 

Fodor’s specifically mentions Blue Moon Antiques, “where definitive furniture pieces such as over-sized armoires are so remarkable, they demand attention.”

Fodor’s also offers this insider tip: “As one of only two restaurants in Hazel, The Blue and White Grill serves up an impressive stuffed pork tenderloin as well as a 10 oz. ribeye that hits the spot after a day of treasure hunting.”

Other spots on Fodor’s Top 10 List include Clinton, Tenn.; Charleston, S.C.; Walnut, Iowa; Stillwater, Minn.; Galena, Ill.; Buchanan, Va.; Wiscasset, Maine, Adamstown, Pa.; and Millertown, N.Y.

“As today’s top interior designers look to the past for vintage inspiration, stay a step ahead and save some cash by sourcing your next home improvement from an antique dealer,” Fodor’s said. “In America’s 10 best antiquing towns, you’ll find yourself shopping along Main Street USA. These antique stores all feature one-of-a-kind, unique finds that are sure to add a flourish to your home and are primed for a bargain. Be prepared with an empty trunk and bungee cords, as these items likely won’t be around tomorrow.”


Martin Murder Case Bound Over To Grand Jury


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Dresden, Tenn. -- The murder and aggravated assault case against Marcus Easley of Martin has been bound over to the Weakley County Grand Jury.

At Wednesday’s preliminary hearing in the case, Weakley County General Sessions Court Judge Tommy Moore ruled there was enough evidence for the grand jury, which meets in May.

Easley was charged with second-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault after a shooting in January in Martin. Easley is charged with shooting three people, killing one person, Corey Williams of Dresden. The other two victims are still hospitalized. The second male victim is still in critical condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center and the female victim is recovering at a Memphis hospital.

At the hearing, Martin Police Investigator Guy Pryor testified as to the motive in the shooting, which he said happened at Easley’s birthday party. According to Pryor, the shooting was prompted by Easley’s belief that two of the victims had cheated him out of money.

Easley is being held at the Weakley County Jail on $1 M bond.

 
Luminary Tribute Set At Fort Donelson


Dover, Tenn.-The Fort Donelson National Military Battlefield in Dover will be offering a luminary tribute at the Confederate Monument beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday evening, February 8.

Park officials said it will provide the opportunity for park visitors to pause and remember the Confederate soldiers who served, fought, and died at Fort Donelson in February of 1862. 

While the candles are glowing, park officials will read the names of all known Confederate soldiers killed in action from the 1862 Battle. The event is presented with the help of the local camps of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the local United Daughters of the Confederacy for their help.

"Fishing University" Taping Rescheduled 

Paris, Tenn.-Due to illness of a couple of the guests that were scheduled to be on the show, the taping of segments for “Fishing University” this week in Paris have been cancelled.

Fishing pros Charlie Ingram and Ray Brazier and their film crews were to be in Paris at the Henry County High School and at Paris Landing this week.

The show, which is seen on the Outdoor Channel, is in its 28th year. 

The segments will be rescheduled for May.



Office On Aging Planning Trip To Civil Rights Museum


Paris, Tenn.-To celebrate Black History Month, the Henry County Office on Aging is planning a group trip to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis on February 20.

The National Civil Rights Museum is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968.

The cost to ride on the bus will be $20 per person. The office has qualified for the group rate for admission to the museum. The admission cost will be seniors-55 years old and older, $11.00 and adults, $13.00. If you are a senior citizen, the office will be willing to pay at least ½ of your admission to the museum. 

The trip is scheduled to leave from the Central Community Building at 55 Jones Bend Rd. at 7 a.m. and should arrive at the museum by 10 a.m.. There will be a stop along the way to eat breakfast. We will leave the museum around 3 p.m. 

The museum has undergone a $27.5 million renovation in 2013 and 2014. The renovation, the museum's first since 1991 was significant, adding more than 40 new films, oral histories, and interactive media to the museum's already robust collection of artifacts and exhibits. In addition, the museum's updated, modern design reminds visitors of its charge to keep pushing civil rights issues forward. A 7,000 pound bronze statue, Movement to Overcome, is featured in the front of the grand staircase in the new lobby to mark the struggles of previous generations. 


Henderson, Thompson Sign With Bethel

Paris, Tenn.-Two of the Henry County Patriot football team standouts signed with the Bethel Wildcats football team as part of national signing day Wednesday. Signing with Bethel are Running Back Chase Henderson and Defensive Back Shontel Thompson. The signing ceremony was held at Henry County High School. Shown with Henderson and Thompson in photo are Patriots Coach James Counce and Bethel Coach Willie Fells. (Pam McCord photo). 


Reminder: Free Deer Meat To Be Handed Out Saturday


Paris, Tenn.-Deputies for the Hungry will be giving away free deer meat Saturday, February 7, at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 210 Forrest Heights on the west side of Paris.

The give-away will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until all the deer meat has been given out.


UC Man Charged With Aggravated Assault

Union City, Tenn.-Martin Police picked up a Union City man Wednesday on a warrant for aggravated assault issued by the Union City Police following an incident in a local business parking lot.

Arrested was David Lee Johnson of 2500 Vernon St., Union City.

Union City Police were called to the Medical Center parking lot on Reelfoot Ave. on a report of a mal...e and female fighting outside. The witness said both parties left in a tan jeep, leaving the female’s vehicle behind.

Police were able to locate the female and she reported that she and Johnson had been arguing all day. She agreed to meet him in the Medical Center parking lot and when he arrived, he grabbed a baseball bat and got in her car. She said he was screaming and yelling, shoved her head into the console and threatened to kill her.

A warrant was issued for Johnson and he was located in Martin.


Helping Hand Total Now $186,903

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $186,903, with today’s total of $4,448 raised by Tomorrow’s Hope, Henry County Right to Life, Kurt Ostrom Counseling Center and Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Thursday’s items will be donated by Fairview Baptist Church, Carey Counseling, Tennessee Valley Association of Realtors, the Bunns community and the Delno community.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Fishing University" To Film In Henry County


Paris, Tenn.- Fishing pros Charlie Ingram and Ray Brazier will be in Paris with their TV show, Fishing University, to film one of their episodes this week.

The show, which is seen on the Outdoor Channel, is in its 28th year. 

The stars and filming crew will arrive in Paris on Thursday, February 5 and will be in town through Sunday, February 8. 

They will be filming at Kentucky Lake and will be at Henry County High School at 9 a.m. Friday morning, Feb. 6, where they will be presenting a program about the importance of getting a great education and landing a job you can love in the outdoors. 

Joining them on the show and at the school is FLW Fishing Pro Ben Parker and owner of Nichols Lures, Brooks Woodward. Other special guest at the school will be Joe Campbell, Wildlife Office with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which is also a sponsor of the show. 


Greenfield Man Charged With Attempted Murder


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Greenfield, Tenn.-A Greenfield man has been charged with attempted second degree murder by the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office following a stabbing and beating of a Greenfield woman on Tuesday.

Arrested was Anthony Dale Stanford, age 33, of 1076 Shades Bridge Rd. He is being held in the Weakley County Jail.

The sheriff’s office received a call at 3:36 p.m that someone had been stabbed at 1076 Shades Bridge Road south of Greenfield. When deputies and EMS workers arrived they found 31-year-old Tiffany Rene Pritchard of that address with several stab wounds to her neck and torso. 

According to the Captain Randall McGowan, Pritchard had been stabbed numerous times and beaten.

Stanford fled the area prior to the deputies arriving at the scene. Pritchard was taken first to Volunteer Community Hospital in Martin by the Weakley County Ambulance Service and was later transferred by the ambulance service to the Med in Memphis for treatment of the stab wounds and possible bleeding around her brain, according to McGowan.

While deputies were searching for Stanford, members of his family advised he would turn himself in at the Weakley County Sheriff's department. Stanford was arrested at the sheriff's department without incident.


HC Sheriff's Office Offered For Craigslist, Facebook Transactions

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew

Paris, Tenn.-In the wake of the latest Craigslist murders in Georgia recently, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office is offering the use of its parking lot to the public for Craigslist and Facebook transactions.

Sheriff Monte Belew noted that the parking lot is always open to anyone to meet and conduct safe transactions. The sheriff’s office parking lot is under video surveillance and staffed 24 hours a day.

Belew reminded all citizens that if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. He cautioned the public to always use your gut instinct and call the sheriff’s office with any concerns or questions.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is located at 210 Forrest Dr. on the west side of Paris, 642-1672.



TVA Posts $81M Net Income for First Quarter  


Knoxville, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority reported Tuesday net income of $81 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, a $148 million increase from the first quarter of last fiscal year.

Although total sales declined 1.6 percent during the three-month period, lower total operating expenses compared to the same period last year contributed to higher net income for the period.

“We are off to a good financial start this year thanks to the progress made in reducing TVA’s controllable costs,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said. “We remain on track to hit our $500 million target for sustainable annual operating and maintenance cost reductions as we work to keep rates low for the people of the Tennessee Valley.”

TVA generated $29 million more operating revenue on lower sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 primarily due to a $28 million increase in base revenue. This is predominantly attributable to a non-fuel base rate increase approved by the TVA board in August 2014. The money is being invested in large capital projects such as new nuclear and gas construction, emission controls, hydro modernization and transmission projects throughout the Valley. 

This marks the largest yearly capital investment in TVA history.

Compared with last year, total operating expenses were $117 million, or 5.4 percent lower in the first quarter, driven by a $119 million, or 14.7 percent decline in operating and maintenance expense. Fuel and purchased power expense was $11 million, or 1.4 percent lower than the same period last year due to a $41 million, or 15 percent decline in purchased power attributable to greater availability of coal and nuclear generating resources during the first three months of fiscal year 2015.


Illness Closes Stewart County Schools 

Dover, Tenn. – Due to widespread illness in the school system, Stewart County Schools will be closed for the rest of the week, beginning today through Friday.

Director of Schools Leta Joiner said custodians will be working because it will be easier for them to do a deep cleaning with the students not being there.

Extracurricular activities at the schools are cancelled for the most part, with a couple of away ball games will still be held. If they are not played, they must be forfeited since this is the last week of the regular season.

There will be limited practices in the high school gym for these games, and the gym will be thoroughly cleaned before school commences on Monday, Feb. 9, Joiner said.

The news will likely delight a number of parents who have given the schools director a drubbing on social media for not closing school but, except for two individuals, have not called her directly to discuss the issue.

Absences at the system are averaging 15 percent, Joiner said. 

TVA Clearing Right-Of-Way At LBL


Golden Pond, Ky. – The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began maintenance work on approximately 31 miles of electrical transmission lines that travel across Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area in western Kentucky and Tennessee this week. 

The TVA contractor will be removing overgrowth that has encroached upon the area beneath the electrical lines. When completed, approximately 75 feet from the center on each side will be cleared to help protect the lines from falling trees.

The transmission lines start at Kentucky Lake Dam and continue south across Lake Barkley beyond Neville Bay in the south eastern portion of Land Between The Lakes in Tennessee. TVA began the project in the Neville Bay area on Monday and will slowly move north over the next several months. 

Land Between The Lakes management asks visitors to take extra safety precautions traveling roads and trails that may cross under the electrical transmission lines during this time period. 

For more information regarding TVA and their maintenance on power line right-of-ways, log on to their website at http://www.tva.com/power/rightofway/index.htm.
The following link will take you to Flickr where you will find the photos included in this Media Update, along with photo credits, captions, and additional photos for downloading: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lblkytn/sets 


Reminder: Edwards Family Benefit Is Friday

Paris, Tenn.-Reminder: The fundraiser for Cole and Bethany Edwards and their family will be held Friday, February 6.

Their son, Bryce Lee Edwards, was born prematurely and is currently at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
 
Lunch will be from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. A choice of ribeye or chicken sandwich with chips , cookie and a drink will be available for $10. Deliveries will be available from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (10 or more). 

If you would like to pick up your order it will be located behind Moody Realty on Tyson Ave. Drop in orders will be taken as supplies last. For additional information please contact Andrea Norwood 731-642-1322 ext. 111 or email anorwood@parisbpu.org

The Dixie To Host Freedom Songs


Huntingdon, Tenn.– The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center invites the public to celebrate Black History Month with Freedom Songs: The Music of Black History Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. 

This is a free community event and tickets are not required. Seating is general and first come first serve. 

From the work songs of slavery and the hymns of the Underground Railroad to the blues of Beale Street and the anthems of the Civil Rights Movement, music has always been an integral part of our nation’s past. In Freedom Songs: The Music of Black History, actors and singers from the Bright Star Touring Theatre tell the stories behind the famous and forgotten hymns, work songs, and musical styles while sampling songs that spread across continents, genres and centuries.

The show is best for children beginning in third grade all the way up to adults eager to learn more about the music of black history.  

Bright Star Touring Theatre is a national professional touring theatre company based in Asheville, N.C. Each year, Bright Star Touring Theatre serves nearly 1,000 audiences in schools, theaters, libraries, museums and more across the country. They offer a wide variety of curriculum-based programs and perform regularly at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. The company has also gained international support, accepting an invitation from the U.S. Embassy to visit Moscow with their programs.
Bright Star is committed to providing professional theatre to audiences at an affordable and all-inclusive rate. Information about all their interactive shows, including production videos, photos, study guides and more is available online at www.brightstartheatre.com.

For more information on their show at The Dixie, contact the box office at 731-986-2100 or visit dixiepac.net.



Mardi Gras Ball Tickets On Sale 


Paris, Tenn.-The popular annual Mardi Gras Ball to benefit the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center will be held Friday, February 13 at the Paris Convention Center.

The event begins at 6:30 pm and includes dinner and entertainment by Magi from Memphis. Tickets are $40 each and dress is semi formal. 

Tickets are available at the Heritage Center, Maggie’s and from any board member. For table reservations call 642-1030.  




 Frozen Family Fun Friday Set

 
Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Public Library will be hosting a Frozen Family Fun event on Friday evening, with a meet-and-greet with Anna and Elsa.

The event includes movies, crafts and games and will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. No charge for admission.


Not Bored Game Club Organizes

Union City, Tenn.-The Not Bored Game Club will hold its first session this Thursday at the Obion County Public Library and it is open for free to all teens and young adults age 13 and up.
It is an opportunity to meet and play board and/or table top games once a month. Games will be provided by Braylee’s Cottage or you may bring your own.

There is no registration or fees. The club will meet from 4-5 p.m. the first Thursday of every month at the library.


 Helping Hand Total Now $182,455

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $182,455, with today’s total of $3,183 raised by local veterans organizations VFW Post 1889 and ladies auxiliary, Amvets Post 45 and American Legion Post 89; and the Paris Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge and the Unforgotten Motorcycle Club.

Wednesday’s items will be donated by Tomorrow’s Hope, Henry County Right to Life, Kurt Ostrom Counseling Center and Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Healthcare Benefits Seminar Set 

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and Benefits First will sponsor a seminar on “The Importance of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS): Based on the Affordable Care Act Guidelines,” at noon on Friday, February 20, 2015, at the Chamber office, 2508 East Wood Street in Paris, Tennessee.

Seating is limited and reservations are required, as the session will include lunch. It is free to Chamber members. For more information, contact the Chamber office at 731.642.3431 or Monica Smith at pariscoc@paristnchamber.com.

The session will focus on using an efficient HRIS system to stay compliant and increase productivity. Is your business ready to comply with the ACA reporting requirements? 

“Ongoing education is a service we offer our members and compliance with ACA is relevant and timely,” according to Jennifer Hayden, Hamiton-Ryker, Vice President of Membership Development and Training at the Chamber.



Tuesday, February 3, 2015  

Obion County Schools-Dyersburg State Agreement Reached 


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-An agreement was reached Monday night between the Obion County Schools board of education and Dyersburg State Community College that will allow college classes to be taught at the high school for students eligible for the Tennessee Promise program.

Under the agreement approved last night by the school board, the classes will begin in the fall of 2015 and will be taught in the vocational wing of Obion County Central High School. On hand from Dyersburg State for the meeting were College President Karen Boyer and Vice President Terry Maddox.

Discussion of the agreement began in the fall of 2014 when the officials with the Obion County Chamber of Commerce approached Dyersburg State as to whether Obion County could teach college classes for students eligible for Tennessee Promise who did not have transportation to a Dyersburg State location.

Two classrooms will be utilized and classes will be taught from 6-9 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Classes to be taught are Orientation: Learning to Succeed, English Comp I, Music Appreciation, Elementary Problems and Statistics.

Classes must have a minimum of 15 students enrolled.

Tennessee Promise will cover the tuition and mandatory fees. Course fees, textbooks and materials are not included.

In other business, the board heard an update on the construction of the new ag building from Director of Vocational Department George Leake. Leake presented a power point presentation showing the progress of the building, which is being built on the high school campus.


Obion County Schools 2015-2016 Calendar Approved

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Schools board of education approved the 2015-2016 school year calendar at its meeting Monday night.

First day of school will be August 6 and last day of school is May 20, with graduation set for May 27.

Fall break will be October 13-16; Thanksgiving break will be November 25-27; Christmas break is December 21-January 1; spring break is March 28-April 1. 

City Of Paris Looks At Long-Range Financial Issues

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting for a long-range planning session Monday night, members of the Paris City Commission instructed city staff to prepare a Plan A and Plan B for the local option sales tax referendum which will be on local ballots in March.

Plan A will propose how to integrate the new monies into the operating budget in the most efficient manner, rebuilding fund balance being the first priority.  The plan should call for integrating the new revenues into the budget over a three year period.

Plan B should list the options balancing budgets via property tax increases, cuts in services and/or service delivery capability.

Holder stated the staff will prepare the plan by the March meeting.

Other items addressed included City Manager designee Foster reviewing the dire long term financial situation without the passage of the tax referendum.

City Planning Director Mike Brown reported the city is on schedule with the storm water management program.  Issues have developed with making developers aware of present and future requirements.

Fire Chief Michael Williams commented on possible changes for re-rating by July 2015 in the water system and a fire equipment analysis.

The City also heard Holder and Foster report on the transition to Foster assuming the position of City Manager.  Holder said they have covered most overall operational concerns, and are now concentrating on in depth details.


Big Sandy Without Police Officer 

Big Sandy, Tenn. -- Big Sandy’s only police officer has been fired and city officials are seeking a replacement for him.

City officials have said they let James Stockdale go after eight years due to performance issues.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is patrolling the Big Sandy area even more than usual now until an officer can be hired.

Anyone interested in the position is asked to call the Big Sandy City Hall at (731) 593-3213. 
 

Rep. Wirgau Appointed To Committees


Nashville, Tenn.-When the 109th General Assembly was opened in January, State Representative Tim Wirgau (R–Buchanan) took the oath of office and was officially sworn into the Tennessee House of Representatives.

In addition, Rep. Wirgau was appointed as Chairman of the important House Local Government Committee by Speaker Beth Harwell. Legislation addressing forms of local government, powers to tax and raise revenue, local ordinances, and oversight of local government expenditures are all considered by the Local Government Committee.

Along with his Chairmanship appointment, Rep. Wirgau will also serve as a member of the Local Government Subcommittee, the Business & Utilities Committee, the Calendar & Rules Committee, and the Joint Fiscal Review Committee. 

This year, legislators are looking to build upon the success of the previous session that saw wasteful government spending cut from the budget, taxes lowered for all Tennesseans, measures passed to encourage job growth, and numerous government reforms.

“Our community sent me here to support policies that will strengthen our economy and produce more job opportunities, ensure our budget remains balanced, and fight government waste. Today, I am proud to continue serving my constituents and doing just that,” Wirgau said. "In addition, I am truly honored to serve as Chairman of the House Local Government Committee and look forward getting to work in the coming days."


Patterson Is WestStar Member


Martin, Tenn. – Kim Patterson of Henry County is a member of the University of Tennessee at Martin WestStar Leadership Program’s 2015 class. 

Patterson is the materials/purchasing manager at Novel Automotive of Tennessee in Paris. She is a graduate of Leadership Henry County and currently serves on the Rhea Elementary School PTO board. She has served as the plant development activity chair for Bluegrass Automotive Manufacturing Association and is the recipient of various leadership awards from Dana Corporation.

For more information about the WestStar Leadership Program, contact Virginia Grimes, program coordinator, at 731-881-7298 or by email at vgrimes@utm.edu.

Korean Language, Culture Classes Offered 

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer a Korean language and culture course on Mondays, Feb. 16–April 20, on the UT Martin main campus. A class for beginners will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m., with an intermediate course from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Instructor Jisun Collier will introduce students to elementary writing, speaking, listening and reading skills in the modern Korean language. The course is designed for beginners with little or no prior background knowledge. Participants will also learn about the Korean alphabet, greetings, basic conversation, songs and cultural differences. Students will use the textbook Korean Made Easy for Beginners by Seung-eun Oh.

The course is $30 per person. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, visit http://www.utm.edu/departments/ecos/nondegree.php or call the Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.


Helping Hand Total Now $179,255

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $179,255, with today’s total of $7,612 raised by the First Christian Church, Habitat for Humanity and the Central High School Alumni.

Tuesday’s items will be donated by the veterans organizations VFW Post 1889 and ladies auxiliary, Amvets Post 45 and American Legion Post 89; and the Paris Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge and the Unforgotten Motorcycle Club.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Murray State Student Dies

Murray, Ky.-A Murray State student died Sunday morning at his apartment at Campus Evolution Villages.

According to The Murray State News, the student is Daniel Azar, age 20, of Paducah, Ky., who was reported to emergency personnel as unresponsive during sleep.

Calloway County Coroner Rick Harris said at this time the cause of death is unknown and no foul play is suspected. Autopsy and toxicology reports have been conducted, but results will not be available for about another month.
 
Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, Feb. 6 at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Paducah, Ky.




Monday, February 2, 2015 

Hells Angels Arrested With Drugs, Guns


Fulton, Ky.-Two Hells Angels members were arrested by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office on a long list of drug and guns charges following a traffic stop Sunday night on Hwy. 51 just outside of Fulton, Ky. 

The car was stopped initially for having one traffic light and Driver Arthur Ralston of Fulton was unable to produce proper documentation for the vehicle to officers. Ralston was asked if anything illegal was in the vehicle and would not consent to a search.

A K-9 from the Fulton Police Department hit on the vehicle, indicating the presence of illegal substances. Ralston and the passenger Terry Atwill of Water Valley, Ky., were removed from the vehicle while the search was conducted.

A 357 caliber semi-automatic handgun was found on one of the subjects and both subjects were in possession of numerous knives, including a switch blade. Inside the vehicle approximately 2.42 grams of what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine, one Diazepan pill, and a total of $8372.76 were found. 

The crystal meth was packaged in individual packages. The majority of the currency was found inside a bank bag with the crystal meth lying in the driver’s side floorboard.

Both subjects were transported to the Fulton County Detention Center in Hickman, KY and charged with the following: 

Arthur Ralston: One headlight, failure to register transfer of motor vehicle, failure of owner to maintain required insurance / security, 1st offense, carrying a concealed weapon, trafficking in a controlled substance, 1st degree, 1st offense – (over 2 grams methamphetamine), prescription controlled substance not in proper container, 1st offense, possession of a controlled substance 1st degree, 1st offense (methamphetamine), possession of a controlled substance, and drug paraphernalia – buy / possess.

Terry Atwill: Carrying a concealed weapon (2) counts, trafficking in a controlled substance, 1st degree, 1st offense – (over 2 grams methamphetamine), prescription controlled substance not in proper container, 1st offense, possession of a controlled substance 1st degree, 1st offense (methamphetamine), possession of a controlled substance, and drug paraphernalia – buy / possess.

Ralston and Atwill both are known members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club which has a Chapter / Clubhouse located in Crutchfield, KY, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Both subjects are currently being held on $5000.00 cash bonds.



Helping Hand Radio Auction Going Strong
$171,643 Already Raised This Year

Kay Foust displays a donated item, while Auctioneer Doug Taylor takes bids during Saturday night's in-house auction. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The Helping Hand Radio Auction is having an especially strong year, with $171,643 already raised before the second month of the annual event even begins.

As everyone knew it would be, Saturday was a big day (and night) for the auction, with the First Baptist Church raising a total of $27,474 during its afternoon auction and in-house night auction. The afternoon total raised was $12,511, with the night total of $14,963.

The First Baptist Church has a friendly rivalry with the First United Methodist Church every year, with each vying to see who can raise the most for Helping Hand. The First United Methodist Church’s auction will be next Saturday and will include both an afternoon and in-house evening auction. 

Whichever church is on the schedule last each year has the distinct advantage, but it’s pretty clear the Methodist Church members will have their work cut out for them this year.

Monday’s items will be donated by First Christian Church, Habitat For Humanity and the Central High School Alumni.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5

Beth and Doug Taylor and Junior Staggs take bids at the in-house auction. (McFarlin photo).

HCHS Band, Winter Guard Brings Home Awards 


Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County High School Band and Winter Guard Varsity Team did well at recent competitions recently.

The Winter Guard varsity team was awarded first place out of eight in AAA at an event at Thompson Station, Tenn., and posted a highest score out of 17 teams overall.

And at an All West event, according to Sherry Hutchison, individual winners included Dakota Noble, placing 5th chair in Senior Band Wind Ensemble. In Senior Band Red Band Nic Hawkins placed 3rd chair, Brandon Edwards took 14th chair, and Austin Lindsey was 3rd alternate. 

In Senior Band Percussion, Tripp Freeman took 1st place alternate in Senior Band and Sarah Davenport was 5th place alternate. Hannah Hughes took 18th chair in Junior Band-Gold Band and Justin Bond came in 9th chair in Junior Band-Blue Band. (Photo by Tina Passman)



The Dixie Receives South Arts Grant


Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center has been selected to participate once again in the South Arts Dance Touring Initiative (DTI) program thanks to a grant that will run through 2018.

Beginning in 2012, The Dixie first took part in DTI, which culminated in the first annual Dixie Dance Festival featuring the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble, followed by many other events such as Motown in Motion. 

South Arts received $450,000 in funding for this grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The initiative, launched in 2009, is building a broad and deep network of performing arts presenters throughout the South that can bring modern dance and contemporary ballet companies as part of their season for public performances and artist residencies. 

Nonprofit performing arts presenters across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee are encouraged to visit the Dance Touring Initiative area of South Arts’ website for information about applying to be part of the upcoming third cohort. 


Paris Experiencing Outages

Paris, Tenn.-The Whitehall Circle-Park Street-Ogburn Sreet area in Paris has been experiencing outages since shortly before 5 a.m. today and the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is still working on determining the cause.

Andrea Norwood of BPU said around 8:15 a.m. that about 27 homes were still without power. Transformers in the area blew early in the morning and BPU General Manager John Etheridge said, “We’re still looking into it, but I’m guessing it could be wind-related.”

BPU crews were busy restoring power to the affected areas.


Truck Taken On Joy Ride

Union City, Tenn.-A company truck was stolen from a driveway on Edwards St. in Union City and taken on a short joy ride Saturday morning.

According to the Union City Police, a truck for Rhino Construction in Milan had been parked in the driveway and was reported stolen around 6:45 a.m. Police located the vehicle around 8 a.m. in the tennis courts on South Taylor St.

Nothing was reported missing from the truck except the keys. The owner of the truck was able to locate the keys later near where the truck was located.

In a separate incident, a Lexington, Ky., man was charged with evading arrest following a pursuit that began in Union City and ended in Martin around 3:45 a.m. Sunday.

Union City Police attempted to stop Kyle McAlpin of Lexington in the city limits and according to the police report, he took off, leading police on the pursuit.

The police report does not indicate why officers attempted to stop his car.


Sunday, February 1, 2015 

Hostess Princess Scholarship Presentation

Paris, Tenn.-World’s Biggest Fish Fry Hostess Princess Grace Hassell receives her $1,000 scholarship from Commercial Bank & Trust officials Mallorie Hutson and Laura Davis after Saturday night’s pageant. The full story and more photos from the pageant were posted on our website and Facebook pages Saturday night. (Shannon McFarlin photo).



Murray State News Takes Home 22 Awards 

Murray, Ky. — Student staff members of The Murray State News won 22 awards at the annual Kentucky Press Association newspaper competition in the university division. The News placed third overall behind the College Heights Herald and the Kentucky Kernel. The News staff was second in Best Newspaper Website, third in Best Special Section and honorable mention for Best Use of Multi/Social Media.



Saturday, January 31, 2015 

Grace Hassell Is 2015 Hostess Princess 


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Grace Danielle Hassell will be the Hostess Princess for the 62nd annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry. Hassell was crowned at Saturday night’s pageant, held at the Krider Performing Arts Center.

Hassell, age 17, is a senior at Henry County High School and is the daughter of Dan and Misty Hassell. She was crowned by 2014 Hostess Princess Tiffany Bennett.

This year’s court is: First Maid Addie Cate, 17, daughter of Tom and Becky Cate; Second Maid Ashlyn Johnson, 17, daughter of Michael Johnson and April Kelly; Third Maid Madison Lovelace, age 17, daughter of Heath and Teresa Lovelace; and Fourth Maid Hailey Birmingham, 17, daughter of Tony Birmingham and Dana Scott. Johnson is from Springville and all the rest of the young ladies are from Paris.

Cate also won the sportswear competition at the pageant.

The pageant was the first event for the fish fry, which will be held the last full week in April. The pageant and the fish fry are sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Jaycees. 

Fish Fry President this year is Patrick Cooper. Emcee of the pageant was Ali Davis, who was the 2013 Hostess Princess. 

Hassell received a $1,000 scholarship from Commercial Bank and Trust. 

Next weekend the remainder of the fish fry pageants will be held on the following schedule:

February 7th
10 am Tiny Tot (ages 4-5) 
11 am Little Miss (ages 6-7)
1 pm Junior Queen (ages 8-9)
2 pm Miss Pre-Teen (ages 10-12)
3:30 pm Miss Teen (ages 13-25)

February 8th
1:30 pm Little Prince & Princess (various age groups birth - 3 yrs)

Reactions all around as Grace Hassell, center, is named the 2015 World's Biggest Fish Fry Hostess Princess. From left are: Third Maid Madison Lovelace, Second Maid Ashlyn Johnson, Hassell and First Maid Addi Cate.  (McFarlin photo).

The 2015 World's Biggest Fish Fry Court: from left, Third Maid Madison Lovelace, First Maid Addi Cate, Hostess Princess Grace Hassell, Second Maid Ashlyn Johnson and Fourth Maid Hailey Birmingham. (McFarlin photo).


Stabbing Suspect Arrested By TBI


Trenton, Tenn. - Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained arrest warrants for a Gibson County woman who is charged in connection with a stabbing incident in Trenton earlier this month.

At the request of 28th District Attorney General Garry Brown, TBI Special Agents, in a joint investigation with the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office, began investigating the attempted murder of Michael Hinton on January 17th. Around 8:40 that evening, Mr. Hinton called 911 to report he had been stabbed. 

Through the course of the investigation, agents and deputies developed Autumn White-Smith as a suspect. After being interviewed by agents, White-Smith admitted to being in Hinton’s home when he was stabbed and to discarding the knife used in the incident. 

Today, Autumn White-Smith, 29, was arrested and charged with Accessory After the Fact and Tampering with Evidence. She was booked into the Gibson County Jail where she is being held on a $75,000 bond. 


Titanic Exhibit Opens Today At Discovery Park

Susanne Marsidi and Martha Rippy appeared in period clothing at the recent VIP dinner celebrating the opening of the Titanic: the Artifact Exhibition at Discovery Park of America. They are two of five women who plan to don the beautiful dresses of the first class passengers throughout the Exhibition. (Discovery Park photo).

 

Union City, Tenn.-"Titanic: the Artifact Exhibition" is on display at Discovery Park of America beginning today through May 2.  The Exhibition stars more than 200 actual objects recovered from the ship’s wreck site.  This Exhibition is Discovery Park’s first traveling exhibit, and is produced by Premier Exhibitions out of Atlanta.  RMS, Titanic, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier and was granted exclusive rights to recover the artifacts from the wreck site by court order in 1994 (reconfirmed in 1996).  The exhibit is sponsored exclusively by First State Bank, and will be located in the ATA Traveling Exhibit Hall inside Discovery Center.

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Ticket prices are $7 for non-members, $6 for members and groups of 20 or more and $5 for students and children, in addition to park admission. For more information about the Exhibition, call Discovery Park at 731-885-545. 

According to CEO Jim Rippy, Discovery Park plans to have one or two traveling exhibits each year.  “When we built Discovery Center, we built a special 4,000 square foot room just for traveling exhibits”, he said, noting that the room was built to Smithsonian standards including dust free and temperature controlled features.  “By offering a secure, controlled environment, we have the opportunity to bring more compelling exhibits to Discovery Park,” he said.  

Along with dramatic room re-creations and in-depth research of the ship’s passengers and crew, objects on display in the Exhibition tell one of the world’s most compelling stories.  Every aspect of the ship’s brief history is included in the Exhibition; from its conception and construction to its encounter with the iceberg that changed so many lives forever.  Visitors will come face to face with history as the Exhibition connects them to the tragic events of the maiden voyage and the passengers who make her story so poignant.  

Upon entering the Exhibition, each guest will receive a Boarding Pass with the name of an actual passenger who was on the Titanic.  The Boarding Pass will tell where the person traveled from and where they were going, whether the passenger stayed in a 1st, 2nd or 3rd class cabin, why the passenger was traveling and other interesting facts about the passenger.  While going through the Exhibition visitors can imagine what it was like to board this amazing, brand new, practically unsinkable ship.  Guests will learn about the difference in treatment of 1st and 3rd class passengers.  And guests will be exposed to amazing details like the cost of a first class ticket.   

Park officials estimate that a trip through the Exhibition will take approximately 45 minutes for most guests.  Some might take longer if they wish to read all the educational information and watch all the videos available.  At the end of the tour, each visitor will have the opportunity to see if the passenger’s name on the Boarding Pass that they received at the beginning is on the list of survivors or the list of those who did not survive.   In addition, there is an opportunity to have a picture made that can be purchased at the end of the experience as a keepsake.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  To find out more about the Titanic or the park, you can visit the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com .  The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.  


Friday, January 30, 2015

TJ's Market Robbery Suspect Held Without Bond 

Surveillance footage from TJ's Market shows the suspect holding a gun on the clerk.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.-The defendant in the attempted armed robbery of TJ’s Market in Dresden last weekend is being held without bond in the Weakley County Detention Center, at least until his preliminary hearing.

Larry Sides Jr. of Palmersville was arrested on numerous charges following the incident. His hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 4, in Weakley County General Sessions Court.

In addition to attempted robbery, Sides is also charged with aggravated assault, possession of a handgun while under the influence, DUI (second offense), open container law, and violation of the light law. 
 
Weakley County authorities recently released the surveillance  photo from TJ's Market showing the robbery suspect holding a firearm on the store cashier after entering the convenience store business on Saturday night. 


Unemployment Increases In Local Area


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-Unemployment increased in most of Tennessee’s 95 counties for the latest statewide report and the counties in our area are no exception. 

Unemployment rates have increased in Obion, Henry, Benton, Carroll, Gibson and Stewart Counties. The only county in our area that showed a decrease was Weakley County and that was only slightly.

Once again, Obion, Carroll and Gibson Counties find themselves on the list of highest unemployment in Tennessee. Obion is ranked at 87th; Carroll at 89th and Gibson at 90th.

Statewide, the unemployment rate decreased in 20 counties, increased in 64 and remained the same in 11.

A closer look at our area counties shows that Benton County shows the sharpest increase in unemployment, with the rate at 9.3 percent in December compared with the 8.6 percent rate from November. Obion Co. is at 9.5 percent, compared with 9.3 percent the previous month; Henry Co. at 8.5 percent, compared with 8.2 percent; Carroll Co. at 9.7 percent, compared to 9.6 percent; Stewart at 8.2 percent, compared to 7.8 percent and in Weakley, unemployment is at 8.5 percent compared to 8.6 the previous month.

Knox County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in December at 5.0 percent, down from 5.1 percent in November. Davidson County was 5.1 percent in December, down from 5.2 the previous month. The Hamilton County December rate was 6.4 percent, unchanged from November. Shelby County was 8.1 percent in December, also unchanged from the previous month.  

 
Air Evac Interested In Base At HCMC
Vanderbilt Lifeflight To Make Presentation, Too


Paris, Tenn.-At its Thursday night meeting, the Henry County Medical Center board of trustess heard a presentation from Air Evac air ambulance services to make HCMC one of its helicopter bases. Air Evac has an area headquarters in Martin.

Henry County EMS Director Twila Rose said Air Evac was interested due to the volume of over 300 flights from the hospital facilities annually. 

A hospital delegation visited the Air Evac headquarters last week to discuss the process of developing a local base. 

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee said, “We believe such a service would improve helicopter response times, help relieve the out-of-town transfer pressure to the Henry County Ambulance Service and provide additional crews to assist our staff in an emergency.”

Gee said HCMC would be an ideal location for a base. Air Evac would lease the property from HCMC. “There would be no cost for us to provide this service. Down the road there would be opportunities to joint venture ambulance and Air Evac sleeping quarters and support space when and if we replace our current EMS building.”

The Vanderbilt Lifeflight headquartered in Nashville also has expressed interest in establishing a local base at HCMC, according to Gee. The board decided to defer a decision until after hearing a presentation from Vanderbilt.

In other business:

--Gee said TeamHealth, the hospital’s ER physician provider, submitted a request asking the hospital to subsidize its program due to their increasing costs for physician salaries and volumes. “We have told them we cannot afford to do this and have requested them to tell us what it would mean to provide a contract with no subsidy,” Gee said. “We are hopeful this can be achieved. If necessary we may have to bid out the services to another provider or consider taking over ourselves if we cannot make a satisfactory financial arrangement.”


Free Deer Meat To Be Handed Out 

Paris, Tenn.-Deputies for the Hungry will be giving away free deer meat Saturday, February 7, at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 210 Forrest Heights on the west side of Paris.

The give-away will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until all the deer meat has been given out.


Bethel Nursing Program Again Achieves 100 Percent Pass Rate


McKenzie, Tenn,— The latest graduates from Bethel University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program have achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensing Examination for the second straight year, according to Bethel Nursing Program Director Mary Bess Griffith. 

“We are so proud of our students and of our faculty and staff who are so committed to the success of this program and of our students,” Griffith said. “They are a major reason we and our students are experiencing the successes seen in our program.”  

Last year, Bethel was one of only 22 BSN programs to achieve the 100 percent pass rate. It was also one of only two BSN programs in Tennessee to have accomplished this. They were among only 67 of 1,844 nursing programs across the U.S. to have achieved the 100 percent pass rate.  

"What I am most proud about,” Bethel President Walter Butler said, “is that this score shows that Bethel is sending very qualified nursing graduates out into the health care fields."

Bethel University offers undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The program prepares its graduates for entry level Registered Nurse positions in primary, secondary, and tertiary health care settings and for entry into graduate studies which lead to advanced degrees in nursing.

Bethel University also offers associate degree RN’s an online RN-BSN program that accomplishes the same outcomes as the on-site BSN program.

 “The RN-BSN is designed for Registered Nurses (RNs) who have attained an associate degree or diploma in nursing,” Griffith said. “Students can pursue their BSN degree with online courses as well as clinical requirements in their local area facilities without giving up their present job or without spending time away from home. This also includes access to online instructional resources, online tutoring, and general education courses are also offered online.”

     For more information about Bethel University’s Nursing program contact Kim Hammonds at 731-514-1410 or at hammondsk@bethelu.edu. For more information on Bethel University, go to www.bethelu.edu.


FAFSA Night To Be Held Next Week

Paris, Tenn.-The Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Paris will host a FAFSA night on Tuesday, February 3, 2015. The campus at 312 S. Wilson Street will be open from 4-6 p.m. to help anyone who needs help in filing their 2015 financial aid application. 

High School seniors who are signed up for the Tennessee Promise must have this task completed by February 15th but anyone who needs the help is welcome to stop by. No appointments are needed. If you need additional information, please call 731-644-7365.


Helping Hand Total Now $134,120

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $134,120, with today’s total of $3,999, raised by the Buchanan community, Lakewood BETA Club, Henry Co. Democratic Women, Community Action Network and Plus Endowment.

Friday’s items will be donated by the Holy Cross Catholic Church, Chapel Hill/Guthrie Rd. community, Setco Automotive, Last Mango in Paris Parrothead Club, and the TARP Center for Independent Living.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Thursday, January 29, 2015 

Fifteen To Compete For Hostess Princess Saturday

          
         Lillie Akers                Alliyonda Arrendo           Haley Birmingham

Paris, Tenn.- Fifteen young ladies from Henry County will compete Saturday night for the title of the 2015 World’s Biggest Fish Fry Hostess Princess. The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Krider Performing Arts Center.

The annual pageant is the first event for the 2015 Fish Fry which is held the last full week in April each year. 

Admission to the event is $5 and children under the age of six are free. Commercial Bank & Trust Company will again award the Hostess Princess this year with a $1,000 scholarship to be used towards her collegiate studies.

The contestants for this year are (in alphabetical order):

Lillie Katherine Akers, 18 year old daughter of John and Julie Akers of Cottage Grove. She is a senior at HCHS and is sponsored by Betty’s Bridal Cottage.
Alliyona Arredondo, 16 year old daughter of Tiffany Arredondo of Paris. A junior at HCHS, she is sponsored by Allure Beauty & Nails.
Haley Birmingham, 17 year old daughter of Dana Scott and Tony Birmingham of Paris. A senior at HCHS she is sponsored by Abbronzatura Tanning.
Mary Peyton Boyd, 17 year old daughter of Amy and Russell Boyd of Paris. She is a senior at HCHS and is sponsored by Paris Surgical Specialists.
Addi Cate, 17 year old daughter of Tom and Becky Cate of Paris. A senior at HCHS, she is sponsored by Queens of Paris.
Phoenix Morgan Ellison, 17 year old daughter of Lisa and Elbert Ellison of Paris. She is a junior at HCHS and is sponsored by Ellison Construction Company.
Grace Hassell, 17 year old daughter of Misty and Dan Hassell of Paris, She is a senior at HCHS and is sponsored by Paris Civic Center.
Madeline Hosford, 18 year old daughter of Pam and Brad Hosford of Paris. She is a senior at Gateway Christian School and is sponsored by Tosh Farms.
Mari Howe, 19 year old daughter of Lisa Woods and Steve Howe. She is sponsored by Peppers Automotive.
Ashlyn Brooke Johnson, 17 year old daughter of April Kelly and Michael Johnson. She is a senior at HCHS and is sponsored by Grace Wound Clinic.
Madison Lovelace, 17 year old daughter of Teresa and Heath Lovelace of Paris. She is a senior at HCHS and is sponsored by Wade Dortch Roofing..
Sydney Luna, 18 year old daughter of Marla and Rudy Luna of Paris. A senior at HCHS, she is sponsored by Paris Pool Supply.
Jayna Nance, 16 year old daughter of Tami and Jerry Nance of Puryear. She is a junior at HCHS and is sponsored by Clark and Cox Law Firm.
Alex Reagor, 17 year old daughter of Susan Reagor and Eddie Reagor of Paris. She is a senior at HCHS and is sponsored by Joe Mahan Ford.
Rachel Louise Wilson, 18 year old daughter of Amy and Tony Wilson of Paris. She is a senior at HCHS and is sponsored by Paris Building Supply.

The Hostess Princess and her court will receive gifts from 4 Seasons Sales & Service, Express Tan, Queens of Paris, Butler & Harber, Kelly’s Kloset, and have a memorable photo shoot with B Photography. Jack Jones will be providing flowers for the Hostess Princess and Court and the Paris PI Hostess Princess Scepter. Boutique Mari Mac will sponsor the award for highest score in sportswear. Other sponsors include Nu Look Cleaners and Sign and Trophy.  

       
    Mary Boyd                  Alex Reagor                     Addi Cate             Grace Hassell

        
Madeline Hosford     Mari Howe               Ashlyn Johnson            Madison Lovelace

       
    Sydney Luna                    Jayna Nance                  Rachel Wilson         Phoenix Ellison


Goodwill Hosts Job Fairs For Lowe's In Paris, Union City


Union City and Paris, Tenn.-Virtual job fairs will be held simultaneously in Dyersburg, Paris, Union City and two locations in Jackson from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5, for Lowe’s Home Improvement which seeks to fill as many as 150 jobs across five counties. 

Openings include part-time and full-time positions and seasonal and regular positions at six Lowe’s stores. Job types include cashiers, unloaders, outside lawn & garden specialists, retail associates and customer service representatives. Rates of pay will be commensurate with experience. Lowe’s stores in need of workers are located in Dyersburg, Jackson, Milan, Paris and Union City.

Staff will be on hand to assist job-seekers in completing applications at the following locations: Goodwill Career Solutions, 15-B W. University Dr., Jackson; Goodwill Career Solutions, 1320 S. Highland Ave., Jackson; Goodwill Career Solutions, 1430 S. 1st St., Union City; Tennessee Career Center, 55 Jones Bend Road Ext., Paris; and McIver’s Grant Library, 410 W. Court St., Dyersburg.
 
Job candidates are encouraged to bring a resume, photo ID, Social Security card or birth certificate. 

VIRTUAL JOB FAIRS FOR LOWE’S HOME IMPROVEMENT

When: Thursday, Feb. 5
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Goodwill Career Solutions Centers and two other locations
— Goodwill Career Solutions, 15-B W. University Dr., Jackson
— Goodwill Career Solutions, 1320 S. Highland Ave., Jackson
— Goodwill Career Solutions, 1430 S. 1st St., Union City
— Tennessee Career Center, 55 Jones Bend Road Ext., Paris
— McIver’s Grant Library, 410 W. Court St., Dyersburg

This event is one of a handful of job fairs taking place during the week of Feb. 2. A complete list of job fairs taking place at Goodwill’s 29 Career Solutions centers can be found at www.goodwillcareersolutions.org. 


 UTM To Offer Reading Clinics

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer the second of three reading clinic sessions from Feb. 12–March 23 on the UT Martin main campus. Sessions can be scheduled from 3-7 p.m. twice per week. Students will meet for one hour each on either a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday schedule.

Students will participate in an intensive reading improvement course taught by experienced professionals from the UT Martin Reading Center. The clinic is for students in grades 2–12 who need extra support and practice in reading.  Students will be individually tested to determine their specific phonics and comprehension levels and placed into a course of study designed to build skills and fill gaps in their reading abilities. 

Each session is $100 plus a $25 workbook needed for the class. The third session is scheduled for March 24-April 27. 

For more information about the reading clinic sessions or to register, visit http://www.utm.edu/departments/ecos/nondegree.php or call the Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.


HCHS To Present Night Of Improv

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School Theater Department presents a Night of Improv from 7-8 p.m. Friday, January 30, at the high school Little Theater.

The evening will feature students Josh Todd, Julianna Culley, Scott Gerrell, Laynee Thornton, Hannah Barnhill, Allison Tate, Chelsea Smith, Charlie Raymer and Kassidy Hudgins.

The event is for all ages, with free admission. Donations are accepted as the event is for the benefit of the theater department.


Helping Hand Total Now $130,117

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $130,117, with today’s total of $3,762 raised by the Mansfield community, First Presbyterian Church, Christ Lutheran and the Carl Perkins Center.

Thursday’s items will be donated by the Buchanan community, Lakewood BETA Club, Henry County Democratic Women, Community Action Network and Plus Endowment. 

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5

Casey's General Store To Hold Job Fair


McKenzie, Tenn.-Casey’s General Store will be opening at its McKenzie location on March 5 and Casey’s is advertising that it will be holding a job fair at which it will be hiring 20-25 employees.

The job fair will be held on February 3, from 8-11 a.m. and noon-4 p.m. at the Depot, 91 Bruce St., in McKenzie.

Casey’s is a convenience store that sells a large variety of food, including pizzas, salads, baked items, breakfasts and lunches. In McKenzie, it will be located at the intersection of Highland Drive and Forrest Ave.

Casey’s has recently opened other locations in Paris, Bruceton, Martin and Dresden.


Annual Photo Showcase Deadlines Near


Paris, Tenn.-It’s that time of year again. The 23rd annual Photo Showcase is coming to WG Rhea Library, March 7th through April 2nd and it‘s time for local photographers to begin preparing their works for the contest. Entry forms must be received at the Paris-Henry County Arts Council office by Friday, February 27.

Each photographer may enter up to three framed photographs which must include a hanging wire rather than a saw tooth hanger. Gallery wrapped photos with hanging wires will be accepted. Hanging devices must be secure enough to support the piece throughout the month-long exhibit. Minimum overall size is 8” X 10”. Maximum overall size is 24” X 24”. The following must be on the back of each photograph: Name, Address, and Phone Number. All photos must be suitable for public viewing. No previous winning photos please. 

Once entry forms are submitted no changes or substitutes will be permitted. Photo entries will be rejected if above requirements are not met. 

Entry forms must be received in the Paris-Henry County Arts Council Office by: Friday, February 27th. 
Absolutely No Exceptions on Deadline Due Date

Entry deadline: Entries will be received at the W.G. Rhea Library Saturday, March 7th, between the hours of 9-11 a.m.. 

Entries must be picked up April 2nd between 10:00am and 5:00pm. All entries remaining after April 2nd may become the property of the Arts Council and will be donated to the Paris Henry County Youth Orchestra Silent Auction. Awards Presentation 2 p.m., Sunday, March 8, followed by a public reception.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015 

Titanic Exhibit To Open At Discovery Park This Weekend


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Visitors to Discovery Park of America will be able to view what few people have had the opportunity to see when the traveling exhibit “Titanic, The Artifacts Exhibition” opens.

The exhibit will be in the ATA (Alexander Thompson Arnold) Exhibit Hall from Saturday, January 31 through May 2. The exhibit features approximately 200 items that have been brought up from the ocean’s floor from the Titanic wreck site.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition takes you on a journey back in time to experience the legend of Titanic like never before. The galleries in the exhibit feature real artifacts recovered from the ocean and the ship, along with room re-creations and personal stories. Engineering, physics and social studies are all addressed as you explore the science of Titanic.

Discovery Park of America is offering its members a preview of the exhibit Thursday night at a special reception that will be held from 6-8 p.m. The reception is $25 a person. Guests will enjoy appetizers and a free beverage of their choice. There will also be a cash bar. Mingle with friends in Dinosaur Hall and take advantage of this unique opportunity to go through the Titanic Artifact Exhibition during the evening. 

Tickets can be purchased online (go to www.discoveryparkofamerica.com and click “Buy Tickets” ) or by calling 731-885-5455. According to a park spokesperson, there are a limited number of tickets available, so call soon.

Titanic banners have been placed on the poles in downtown Union City and will be staying up as long as possible through the run of the exhibit. 

The exhibit will be open Tuesdays through Sundays January 31st through May 2nd.  The cost is $7 for non-members, $6.00 for members and groups of 20 or more and $5.00 for student field trip groups.  For more information about the Titanic Exhibition, contact the park at 731-885-5455.   
 
On April 15, 1912, Titanic, the world’s largest ship, sank after colliding with an iceberg claiming more than 1,500 lives and subsequently altering the world’s confidence in modern technology. 


Fire Destroys Huntingdon Home

                                     --Huntingdon Police Department photo.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-A house on East Main Street in Huntingdon was destroyed by a massive fire Tuesday afternoon, but luckily none of the residents were home at the time of the blaze.

The Huntingdon Fire Department was called to the fire at 20120 East Main St. at 5:30 p.m., according to City Safety-Service Director Lt. Walter Smothers. 

According to Huntingdon Fire Marshal Steve Price the department members knew they were fighting a losing battle upon arrival but were able to contain the fire and save both adjacent buildings which were in close proximity to the fire. 

Lt. Smothers said the cause of the fire in the multiple dwelling home is under investigation at this time. 

The Huntingdon Fire Department thanks the following departments that assisted in containing the fire: Engine 14 from Hollow Rock, Engine 8 from Mixie, Engine 10 from Hico, Engine 5 from Cedar Grove, and District 1 Air Supply Van. 

According to Lt. Smothers, a total of 34 firemen battled the fire from the time of the call until midnight. 


TWRA Looks At Future Of Carroll Lake

A dry Carroll Lake. (Steve McCadams photo).

McKenzie, Tenn.-A standing-room-only crowd was on hand for this week’s meeting on the future of Carroll Lake facilitated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) at the McKenzie Municipal Complex.

The once- popular 100-acre Carroll Lake is still empty after the spillway gates malfunctioned during a huge flood last year.

According to The McKenzie Banner, TWRA officials told the crowd, which was made up of both private citizens and public officials from all over Carroll County, that it may be ham-strung by a lack of funding for lake projects in the TWRA budget. They also said regulations may prevent reconstruction of the dam at the lake without significant upgrades.

During what was mostly a brain-storming session, TWRA officials presented four options: fix the lake, do nothing (which no one thought was a good option); repair the sluice gates with excavation and repair the gates without excavation.

If it is decided to decrease the overall size of the lake, officials said, a wildlife viewing area could be created.

Discussion of the options will continue.

Dresden Business Association Reorganizes 

Dresden, Tenn.-After years of inactivity, the Dresden Business Association (DBA) has reorganized.

Meeting for its first meeting, several local business owners met at Dresden City Hall this week for a brainstorming session.

Bancorpsouth President Terri Brundige offered his opinion that the focus of the newly reorganized DBA should not be exclusively on the downtown businesses, as in past years, but instead, on all Dresden businesses, including service industries. He also said owners of local businesses outside the city limits of Dresden who wish to become members of the DBA should be included. 

Dresden Economic Development Director Lauren Bean announced that the DBA has already been officially reactivated as a 501c3 non-profit organization. The last meeting of the organization was in 2010.

Mayor Jeff Washburn said the City of Dresden is ready to offer whatever support it can to assist local businesses in being successful and Weakley County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Virgin also offered to use the Chamber resources.

The next meeting is set for 6 p.m., Monday, February 9.


Crawford Speaks At Chamber Coffee 


Paris, Tenn.-Barron Crawford welcomed a large crowd to the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Coffee held at the new visitor center on the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge. The program included a new video of the refuge's history and tours of the facility, which has had over 5000 visitors since their opening in July. (Chamber photo).


Helping Hand Total Now $126,355

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $126,355, with today’s total of $2,165 raised by the New Boston community, Johnson Chapel and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Wednesday’s items will be donated by the Mansfield community, First Presbyterian Church, Christ Lutheran and the Carl Perkins Center.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5

Arts Council To Present "Love And Laughter"


Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Arts Council is presenting a night of "Love and Laughter" on Saturday, February 14, in the convention center at Paris Landing. 

The warm-up act will be "The Not So Newlywed Game," and will feature three or four well-known couples from Henry County. The headliner is Larry Weaver, a professional comedian, who specializes in clean, smart, Southern-based comedy. This event is a fundraiser for the council, and it's the first time we've presented a program of this type. If you live in the area, and would like to spend a delightful Valentine's Day evening with your special someone, come join us for "Love and Laughter!" 

Tickets are only $15, or you can purchase a table of eight for $100. The program begins at 7 pm, and is designed for the entire family.



Tuesday, January 27, 2015 

BPU Board Welcomes New Members

New members Butch Powers and Terry Fuller were welcomed to the BPU board. Sitting around table are from left: Gini Roberts, John Etheridge, John VanDyck, David Flowers, Ralph Anderson, Fuller, Powers and Beverly Underwood. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting Tuesday morning, the Paris Board of Public Utilities welcomed new members Terry Fuller and Butch Powers to the board and re-elected David Flowers as chairman of the board.

Fuller, who also serves on the Paris City Commission, actually is a returning member, having served on the BPU several years ago.

Fuller and Powers replace the late Bill Culley and retired member Pete Lackey.

Also during the reorganizational session of the meeting, long-time member Ralph Anderson was elected vice chairman and Gini Roberts was re-elected secretary/treasurer.

The board heard Director of the Electric Department Cole Edwards report that the newly-constructed warehouse “is moving right along. We’re hoping to start moving inventory in this week.” He said the warehouse should be in use within 30 days.

General Manager John Etheridge said the North Paris Substation also is in “good shape and on budget and we’re looking at energizing it in the next 30 days.”

The board approved a participation agreement with Gibson Co. Electric Membership Coop to contract with Verizon to furnish dark fiber.

Etheridge said the prepay option for customers is working well, with 49 customers now signed up for it. “I think this will have a positive impact on our delinquent accounts,” he said. “It’s working well and customers are learning about it word-of-mouth. I believe the number of customers we have on it will increase.”

The board approved write-off of delinquent accounts for the second quarter of Fiscal 2015 in the amount of $11,137.89.


Cottage Grove Man Dies In Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cottage Grove, Tenn-A house fire that killed at Cottage Grove man Monday night appears to be accidental, according to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Darrell Crocker, age 61, was pronounced deceased at the scene by County Coroner Danny Tucker.

The Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department and the Paris Fire Department, along with the sheriff’s office, responded to the scene at 445 Wagner Rd. around 9:30 p.m.
 
According to the press release from the sheriff’s office, upon arrival, deputies and firefighters were told that Mr. Crocker was still in the home. 

Firefighters entered the home but were unable to save Mr. Crocker. 

Investigator David Doyle is investigating and at this point of the investigation it appears to be accidental. Mr. Crocker was on oxygen and there was a space heater near him and this is being looked at as the possible cause of the fire, but the exact cause is still undetermined and the fire is still under investigation at this time, according to the press release.

Due to the heat and smoke, a full investigation was unable to be conducted last night and officials will return to the home today to continue working this accident.


Reelfoot Eagle Fest Set This Weekend


Tiptonville, Tenn.-Reelfoot Lake State Park is one of the largest wintering populations of American bald eagles outside of Alaska and the park provides opportunities for the public to view the national symbol, especially this weekend for the 11th Annual Reelfoot Lake Eagle Festival. 

The festival begins Friday, January 30, at 10 a.m. with Eagle and Waterfowl tours by bus, which are then repeated at 1:30 p.m. The tours last two hours. At 7 p.m., a welcome and overview will be given to the Eagle and Waterfowl watchers and at 7:30 p.m., a slideshow will be presented on the history of Reelfoot and its wildlife.

January 30, 2015
10:00am – Eagle & Waterfowl Tours by Bus – 2 hour tour
1:30pm – Eagle & Waterfowl Tours by Bus – 2 hour tour
4 – 8pm -Vendors Open in Ellington Hall Building (State Park)
4 – 8pm Entries for Art & Photography Contests turn in at Tourism Booth (Deadline Saturday 10:00am)
7:00pm – Welcome & Overview to Eagle & Waterfowl Watcher’s
7:30pm – Slide Show Program on Nature, Wildlife & History of Reelfoot Lake
Saturday, January 31, 2015
6:00am – Sunrise Photography Walk – Meet at RF Visitors Center
8:00am – Eagle & Waterfowl Tours by Bus – 2 hour tour
9:00am – 9:00pm - Vendors Open at Ellington Hall (State Park)
10:00am – Deadline for turning in Art & Photography Contests Entries to Tourism Booth 
10:00am – Eagle & Waterfowl Tours by bus – 2 hour tour
10:00am – 4:00pm – Activity For Children- Paint a Ceramic Eagle/Duck Decoy ($5.00 fee)
& Face Painting
2:00pm – Live Birds of Prey Program – With John & Dale Stokes. 
1:30pm – Eagle & Waterfowl Tours by Bus – 2 hour tour
12:30 & 3:30 – Flying Dinosaur’s – 1st Birds of Prey – Presented by Discovery Park of America
6:00pm – Announce Winners for Art & Photography Contests 
7:00pm – Live Birds of Prey Program – With John & Dale Stokes. 
Sunday, February 1, 2015
6:00am Sunrise Photography Walk – Meet at RF Visitors Center
10:00am Eagle & Waterfowl Tours by Bus – 2 hour tour
1:30pm Eagle & Waterfowl Tours by Bus – 2 hour tour


The state park has established extensive interpretive programs for winter visitors to Reelfoot Lake. Eagle tours began in early January and continue through the end of February. The two-hour tours led by park personnel are offered seven days a week and depart from the Visitor Center at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are recommended and the tours are $5 per person. In order to compliment the tours, a variety of special programs are available every Saturday night at 7 p.m. inside Ellington Hall located at the Visitor Center. Topics include eagles, Reelfoot Lake, nature photography, raptor rehabilitation and other birds of prey.  
 

VITA Tax Site To Open February 3


Paris, Tenn.-The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site opens on Tuesday, February 3, in Paris, and will be in operation for all Tuesdays in the months of February and March.  VITA will be located at the Atkins-Porter Recreation Center on Highland St.

Site Coordinator Carole Walsh said the Site is taking appointments for the hours of 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Appointments may be made by calling Walsh at 731-642-4178. Please no phone calls on Tuesdays beginning February 4.

Walsh said due to the Affordable Care Act, most everyone must file this year, even if their income is very low.
 
The Paris VITA site efiled over 500 Federal tax returns in previous years.

Items to bring to the VITA site to have your tax return prepared are:
· Proof of identification
· Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
· Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
· Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2,   W-2G,   1099-R, from all employers 
· Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
· A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
· Bank routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit
· Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number)
· Charity donations and medical bills paid--  Bring amounts paid, 
· Educational:  Any  documents that you have paid
· Forms 1095 A-B-or C from health care marketplace.


TBI Investigating Inmate Death
 
Erin, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is helping local authorities in the investigation into the death of an inmate in the Houston County Jail last week.

Inmate Craig Bogel, age 42, of Erin was found dead at the jail January 20, reportedly taken from the jail in an ambulance around 1 a.m. The State Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an autopsy.

Bogel had been an imate at the jail since Oct. 27, serving a sentence for aggravated stalking and vandalism of more than $500 in value.

District Attorney Ray Crouch’s office will be reviewing the TBI’s report when it is concluded.

Hemp Production Applications Now Accepted


Nashville, Tenn.— The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications from farmers and producers interested in growing industrial hemp. 

In 2013, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Public Chapter 916 tasking the department with development of a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp in Tennessee. As provided in Sec. 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, industrial hemp may only be grown as part of a research or pilot project.

Industrial hemp is Cannabis sativa L., the same plant species as marijuana. However, industrial hemp has significantly lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content and is distinguished by its use and chemical makeup. You will find industrial hemp in a variety of products, including fabric, textiles, fibers, and foods. More than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. 

You can download an application and Memorandum of Understanding at http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/regulatory/industrialhemp.shtml.

Please complete the application, sign the MOU and include the particular cultivar you wish to use and the quantity requested. If your application is approved, the department will assist in obtaining your seed in compliance with requirements of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Individuals are not permitted to import their own seed.

Email the completed application and MOU to industrial.hemp@tn.gov. 


National Convention To Be Held At Paris Landing

Paris, Tenn.-Terry Uetrecht, left, with the National Narcotic Drug Detector Association, and Ricky Wade, Henry County Sheriff's Office, work on the details of the NNDDA convention which will be at Paris Landing in April. The group will bring over 150 police officers and their canines to our community. (Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce photo).


Edwards Family Fundraiser Set

Paris, Tenn.-A fundraiser is planned for Cole and Bethany Edwards and their family. Their son, Bryce Lee Edwards, was born prematurely and is currently at Vanderbilt. 

Lunch will be  held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday February 6. A choice of ribeye or chicken sandwich with chips, cookie and a drink will be available for $10. Deliveries will be available from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (10 or more).

 If you would like to pick up your order it will be located behind Moody Realty on Tyson Ave. Drop in orders will be taken as supplies last. For additional information please contact Andrea Norwood 731-642-1322 ext. 111 or email anorwood@parisbpu.org




Palmersville Man Nabbed In Attempted Robbery

Dresden, Tenn.-A Palmersville man was arrested over the weekend by Dresden Police for allegedly attempting to rob TJ’s convenience store in Dresden. 

Larry D. Sides, Jr., 47, of Barber Rd., Palmersville, was charged with attempted aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a handgun while under the influence, DUI (second offense), open container law, and violation of the light law.


Dresden To Consider Court Cost Increase
 
Dresden, Tenn.-A public hearing will be held at 5:45 p.m. Monday, February 2 at Dresden City Hall for public input regarding an ordinance which proposes to increase court costs and driving school fees.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen will vote on the ordinance at the regular monthly meeting, which will follow at 6 p.m.

Deadline For Hendrix Scholarship Nears


McKenzie, Tenn. – Bethel University is proud to offer its annual Hendrix Scholarship Competition, a premier scholarship program established in 1988 by Mr. Willard R. Hendrix of Nashville, Tenn. The 2015 Hendrix Scholarship Competition will be held on Feb 20 & 21, on Bethel’s McKenzie campus. The competition is for traditional undergraduate prospective students.

 According to Tina Hodges, Dean of Enrollment Services, a student must be a high school senior with at least a 3.25 GPA and a 23/1050 or above ACT/SAT score to be considered for the competition. 

“The winner of the competition will earn a full tuition, room and board scholarship for four years,” Hodges said. “The runner-up will earn a full tuition scholarship for four years, and all other competitors who compete will be considered for Bethel's remaining institutional grants.” 
Hodges said that students who qualify for a Bethel University staff waiver are not eligible to compete in the Hendrix competition.

The deadline to apply for the 2015 Hendrix Scholarship Competition is Feb. 13, 2015. For more information about the Hendrix Scholarship Competition, please contact the Office of Enrollment Services at 731-352-4030, email admissions@bethelu.edu, or go to www.bethelu.edu/hendrix.


Helping Hand Total Now $124,190

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $124,190, with today’s total of $4,753 raised by New Harmony Baptist Church, Joe Mahan Ford, the Sparks Street Church of Christ, Band Boosters and the Heritage Center.

On Tuesday, items will be donated by the New Boston community, Johnson Chapel Church and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Monday, January 26, 2015 

Buchanan Area Home Destroyed By Fire
Space Heater May Be Cause

Paris Landing Firefighters Brian Hinson (back to camera) and Jonathan Flood at the scene. (Reggie Coles photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Buchanan, Tenn.-A Lakeview Cove home was destroyed by fire Sunday but no one was reported injured.

The Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department was called to 25 Lakeview Cove at 2:45 p.m. and arriving units found the house fully engulfed in flames, according to Paris Landing Chief Reggie Coles.

The owner David Mathis said he was outside working on his truck when a neighbor ran up and told him there was smoke coming from his house. 

Coles said while the Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire, the house was ruled a total loss. A space heater is the suspected cause. 

Damage was estimated at $50,000.00. Four trucks and nine firefighters were on the scene for two hours.

Food Distributed To 175 Families


Springville, Tenn.-In conjunction with Second Harvest Food Bank, the Antioch United Methodist Church, Paris Landing Fire Department, the Paris Landing Senior Citizens Center and other area churches distributed food to approximately 175 families on Saturday. Approximately 28,000 pounds of food was distributed to needy local families. (Reggie Coles photo).

Man Crashes Stolen Car Into Apartments

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-An 18-year-old Union City man was arrested on several charges after he crashed a stolen car into an apartment building Friday. 

Union City Police were called to the 1300 block of Mercer St. on a report of a car hitting a building. When they arrived at the Union City Housing Authority complex, they found a car had jumped a curb and was resting against two apartments. 

They found the car, a maroon Mitsubishi, was registered to a Union City woman living on Nash St.

A large crowd was milling about, including the resident of one of the apartments struck by the car. The resident told police when she went outside to see what was happening, she saw a black male walking around looking and that he first asked to use the bathroom, then said he had to go get his cell phone and then left the scene.

Several people in the crowd identified the man who was driving the car as Calvin King of 306 S. Taylor St. 

While police were looking for him, they received a car about a stolen vehicle. The owner of the vehicle said her boyfriend had given King the keys so he could go into their home, but did not give him permission to take the car.

When police found King, he admitted stealing and crashing the car and also admitting sideswiping another car.

King was charged with theft, leaving the scene, no driver’s license and lack of financial responsibility.


Wirgau, Stevens Speak At Chamber Luncheon


Paris, Tenn.-State Representative Tim Wirgau speaking to a capacity crowd Friday during the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce's legislative luncheon. He addressed new committee assignments and the upcoming healthcare legislation and was joined by State Senator John Stevens. (Chamber photo).


LBL Bison Auction Set For January 31 


Golden Pond, Ky. – A public auction to reduce the size of Land Between The Lakes’ bison herds will be held on Saturday, January 31. The sale begins at 9 am Central Standard Time at the Elk & Bison Prairie corral. Bidder registration, final sale list, and viewing begin at 8am. Bison purchases may be made with cash, credit card, or personal check at time of bid acceptance. 

The Elk & Bison Prairie corral is located on the east side of Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway (KY 453) just north of US68/KY80. GPS coordinates: N36 47’ 27.4” W88 3’ 54.1” Golden Pond, Kentucky.

Because of the size and temperament, closed-topped trailers or vehicles are required to transport bison. Once bison step off the loading chute and into a buyer’s trailer, the animal becomes the property and responsibility of the buyer. Bison must be loaded by the buyers immediately following the auction. For an additional $20 fee per animal, arrangements can be made at time of payment to load bison Monday, February 2, between 8am and 10am only.

The Forest Service has scheduled 38 bison to be sold individually to include 3 cows born between 1998 and 2006, 1 large young bull born in 2012, 6 yearling heifers born in 2013, 9 yearling bulls, and a mix of 19 bull and heifer calves born in 2014. All animals come from a tuberculosis accredited herd and will be tested for brucellosis and certified by a licensed veterinarian before the auction. Preliminary details regarding the age, sex, and weights of all animals to be sold will be available after Tuesday, January 27, with the final list available at 8am on day of sale. For a preliminary list or any questions, call Curtis Fowler at 270-924-2061 or email ffowler@fs.fed.us.

An on-site veterinarian will issue Health Certificates as required for interstate transport immediately after the auction. Import permits will be on hand for the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Alabama, and North Carolina. Know the rules of your state BEFORE you buy. Some states have specific requirements as to age and vaccinations. If you need a different state import permit than listed, contact Curtis Fowler at 270-924-2061 on or before Monday, January 26, for it to be available at time of sale. 

Additional services may be purchased from the on-site veterinarian by cash or check to include vaccinations at time of bid acceptance. Know what vaccinations are required for your state.

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


Sunday, January 25, 2015 

Huntingdon Man Arrested On Long List Of Drug Charges

Sgt. Joey Hedge and seized items. (Huntingdon Police photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-After finding the driver passed out at the wheel, Huntingdon Police arrested a Huntingdon man on a long list of drug charges. In the course of the arrest, police seized his car, drug paraphernalia and over $4,000 in cash.
Arrested was Leonard Curtis Smith, age 53, of 365 N. Veterans Dr. in Huntingdon. He was charged with DUI second offense, violation of implied consent, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of Schedule II drugs (oxycontin pills), possession of Schedule III drugs (hydroquinone pills), possession of drugs with intent to resale (including some 1.2 grams of meth).

Huntingdon Police were called to the intersection of Lexington St. and Veterans Dr. at 3 a.m. Saturday on a call that a car had been sitting there for awhile.

Sgt. Joey Hedge and Patrolman Drake Whitworth responded and found Smith passed out behind the wheel. Sgt. Hedge opened the drivers door and put the car in park before awakening the driver. The driver was unable to satisfactorily perform field sobriety test and after giving consent to search his vehicle the officers found several items of drugs, drug paraphernalia, and cash in the vehicle and on the person of the driver. 

Seized during the course of the arrest were the drugs, drug paraphernalia consisting of aluminum slides and tubes used to smoke methamphetamine, two cell phones, a 2000 year model Pontiac Bonneville, and $4429 dollars in cash. 

Smith will be arraigned in Carroll County General Sessions Court on Wednesday January 28.


TBI Completes Bobo Evidence Analysis


Decatur County, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has completed its analysis of over 460 pieces of evidence collected in the investigation of the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo, who disappeared from her Parsons home in April 2011.

TBI Spokesperson Josh DeVine confirmed that the agency has completed the analysis. Defense attorneys representing Zachary Adams and Jason Autrey have complained that the state has not provided all its evidence against their clients and that they have received no evidence linking their clients to the crime.

Adams and Autrey were arrested last spring and charged with the crimes. In September of last year, after a lengthy search since her disappearance, part of Bobo’s remains were found in a wooded area near her home.

No trial date has yet been set.

 
State GOP To Seek Closed Primaries

Nashville, Tenn.-The executive committee of the Tennessee Republican Party is planning to meet next month to discuss a proposal that would change the state’s primary election process.

GOP leaders are discussing whether to pass a resolution that would essentially recommend that lawmakers pass legislation that would close primaries. 

Sixteen members of the Tennessee Republican Party Executive Committee have requested a special meeting in Nashville on February 7. 

That would mean voters would have to register with their political party before casting a ballot in primary elections, and they could only vote for candidates identifying with the same party. For example, only those registered as Republican can vote for Republican candidates.



Saturday, January 24, 2015 

The Long And Winding Road


Paris, Tenn.-Everyone in our area woke up to a blanket of snow this morning, making for pretty landscapes while they last. One of the prettiest were the KWK Railroad tracks at McNeill Park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Horbelt To Be Keynote For Women's Conference
Stephanie Tayloe Also To Speak


Martin, Tenn. – Jennifer Horbelt, UT Martin alumna and co-anchor of WPSD Local 6 news in Paducah, Ky., is the keynote speaker for the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 17th annual Working Women’s Conference. The W.G. Rhea genealogy department also will participate in this year’s conference.

Horbelt will speak on “Reconstructing Your Life.” The conference will take place from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Feb. 6, in the Boling University Center Duncan Ballroom on the main campus. Registration is $40 per person and participants must be enrolled by Feb. 1. The registration fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch and all activities.

Horbelt began her WPSD career while a student at UT Martin and worked her way up from intern to reporter to evening anchor. She covered several high-profile local trials as well as the 2009 winter storm. In 2011 she moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., to anchor at NBC affiliate KOAA News 5  and returned to WPSD a few months ago. She received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award during UT Martin’s 2014 Homecoming celebration. 

This year’s conference theme is “Women Under Construction: Building Career, Family and Communities.” Sessions will focus on building personal and professional relationships, physical fitness and emotional strength.

The conference schedule is as follows:
· 8:30 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast
· 9 – Welcome from UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes and Charley Deal, WestStar executive director
· 9:15 – Keynote Speaker – “Reconstructing your Life,” Jennifer Horbelt
· 10 – “Constructing Your Family Tree,” Stephanie Tayloe, W.G. Rhea Public Library
· 10:45 – Break
· 11 – “Building Relationships, Influence and Impact,” Alissa DeWitt; founder, executive coach and consultant; Executive Impact
· 11:45 – Lunch
· 1 p.m. – “Building a Firm Foundation,” Loral Underwood, personal trainer
· 1:45 – “Building Spirits,” Dr. Teresa Collard, UT Martin assistant professor of communications

Registration is taken on a first-come, first-served basis and seating is limited. Register online at http://www.utmforever.com/wc2015 or contact Virginia Grimes, WestStar coordinator, at vgrimes@utm.edu or by phone at 731-881-7298. 
 
 Jennifer Horbelt, center, at UT Martin’s 2014 Homecoming celebration  with Dr. Bob Smith, president emeritus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, and Lin Dunn, retired WNBA coach, who also both received homecoming awards. 


Leadership Class Hears About HCMC


Paris, Tenn.-Lisa Casteel, Chief Financial Officer at Henry County Medical Center and former board member at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, shared an overview of HCMC and the healthcare industry with members of the Leadership Henry County class this week. (Chamber photo).

Helping Hand Total Now $111,671

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $111,671, with today’s total of $11,005 raised by the Clifty community, Clifty village, Rescue Squad, Dialysis Clinic and Relay For Life.

Saturday’s items will be donated by Henry County’s educators and there will be two auctions, both in the afternoon and evening. 

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



Friday, January 23, 2015 

Two Die In Erin House Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Erin, Tenn. – An Erin woman and her daughter were found dead in the remains of the home that burned to the ground today in Houston County.

Houston County Fire Chief David Hardin confirmed the deaths of the two. The victims were Jennifer Strickland and Katelyn Knight, who were reportedly trapped in the rear of the house.

They were among eight people who were in the house at the time of the blaze, which started this morning on Clay Tomlinson Rd. Two other people were injured, but were treated and released.

Hardin told WENK/WTPR earlier that the state fire marshal has been called in the investigation of the cause of the blaze since the fire did involve fatalities.

He said the house was fully engulfed in flames and that firefighters could not enter the residence for several hours because of hot spots. Assisting the Houston County department were the fire departments from Erin, Montgomery County, Dickson County and Stewart County.


Two Unaccounted For In Ongoing Erin Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Erin, Tenn.-Houston County Fire Chief David Hardin confirmed that two people are still unaccounted for in the ongoing house fire near Erin.

The fire was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived earlier this morning, Hardin said, and is still ongoing as of 11 a.m.

Speaking from the scene at 11:20 a.m. today, Hardi...n said, "There are still hot spots that we're trying to control and we are not able to get into the house right now. The fire marshal is at the scene right now. It's going to be a little while longer before we know anything."

As of 11 a.m., fire crews from a four-county area are still on the scene of a house fire near Erin in which two people are unaccounted for.

The Houston County Fire Department is receiving assistance from the Dickson, Montgomery and Stewart County fire departments, as well as the Erin Fire Department, Hardin said.

The fire is in the 200 block of Clay Tomlinson Road.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.


Wynn Street Home Destroyed By Fire

Paris Fire Marshal Greg Andrews, left, and Fire Chief Michael Williams at the scene this morning. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A home at 402 Wynn St. in Paris was destroyed by fire of unknown origin Thursday night. 

The occupant of the home was able to escape injury but the structure and everything in it is a total loss.

Paris Fire Department Chief Michael Williams and Fire Marshal Greg Andrews were on the scene this morning investigating the cause of the fire. Andrews said the investigation will be performed locally.

The first fire call was received around 9:17 p.m. and firefighters found the structure fully engulfed when they arrived. Fire personnel were on the scene until 11:07 p.m. 

The fire rekindled around 12:05 a.m. and firefighters were on the scene until 1:10 a.m.

The structure is owned by Jeff Townsend and the occupant at the time of the fire was renting it. Loss to property is $30,000 and contents is $12,000.


Reelfoot Receives Customer Service Award

Pictured are Director of Operations Mike Robertson, Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill, Reelfoot Lake State Park Manager Robin Wooten, TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau and West TN Area Manager Chris Padgett.

 
Burns, Tenn.-Reelfoot Lake State Park received an Excellence in Customer Service Award at the Tennessee State Parks Management meeting this week at Montgomery Bell State Park.

Receiving the Park of the Year Award was Johnsonville State Historic Park in New Johnsonville.

Other West Tennessee state parks receiving awards included Mousetail Landing State Park, Linden, for Excellence in Interpretation; Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Lebanon for Excellence in Innovation; and Radnor Lake State Park for Excellence in Resource Management.

The full list of awards: 
Excellence in Innovation:
West TN - Cedars of Lebanon State Park
East TN - Cumberland Mountain State Park
Excellence in Customer Service:
West TN - Reelfoot Lake State Park
East TN - Fall Creek Falls State Park
Excellence in Interpretation:
West TN - Mousetail Landing State Park
East TN - Norris Dam State Park
Excellence in Resource Management:
West TN - Radnor Lake State Park
East TN - Standing Stone State Park

UC Police Investigating More Shots Fired At Cars

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating another incident involving a vehicle being shot at in the city limits.

Police were called to 621 E. Palmer St. Thursday night and found the vehicle parked in front with the rear tail lights shot out. Police also said the entire passenger side of the car was damaged with what appeared to be bird shot.

The resident of the house said he heard a loud noise and got up to investigate but didn’t see anything.

Union City Police are also investigating a burglary of television sets at the La Barra establishment at 1210 E. Main St.

According to the police report, the owner said he left the bar around 7 p.m. on Wednesday and returned around 10 p.m. last night to find someone had kicked in the door and stolen three flat screen television sets.

Fulton Student Charged With Assault, Threats

Fulton, Ky.-A student at Fulton City High School was charged with abuse of a teacher, assault and terrorist threatening after an incident Wednesday.

According to Fulton City Police, officers were called to the school on a report that a male student had threatened to kill another student. The police report indicated the student turned over a desk and pushed another student against a wall, causing pain and injury.

He was charged with abuse of a teacher, fourth degree assault and third degree terrorist threatening.


Grove 50th Reunion Being Organized

Paris, Tenn.-A 50th reunion for the Grove High School Class of 1965 is being organized for September and all classmates are being sought.

Organizers said the reunion will be held September 18 and 19. Details will be announced when plans are finalized.

Contact nancymorris816@hotmail.com or call 731-407-4147 with contact information as soon as possible. 

Workshop On Cyber Security Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is planning an educational workshop on cyber security on January 30 and the Chamber is asking interested people to RSVP to reserve a seat.

The workshop will be presented by West Kentucky and Tennessee Communications from 10-11 a.m.

WK&T Customer Service Supervisor Brandon Johnson will offer expert advice on identifying virus-causing programs like malware and spyware, what to do if your computer has been infected and tips on increasing tech security for small businesses. Brandon has active certifications in both CompTIA A+ & Network+ and will be able to answer specific questions attendees have if time permits.

Please RSVP with Jennifer Brake at jennifer@reedpublicrelations.com or (615) 428-8618 to reserve your seat.




Thursday, January 22, 2015 

First-Degree Murder Case Bound Over To Circuit Court

                  Toby Carter

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The first degree murder charges against a Springville man in the September death of an 80-year-old man in the Kentucky Lake area has been bound over to the Henry County Circuit Court.

Toby Carter, age 37, of 383 Russwood Dr., was arrested for the first degree murder of Bobby J. Dozier of Clarksville who had been staying at the family’s resort home in New Concord, Ky.

At a hearing Thursday morning in General Sessions Court, a second charge of especially aggravated kidnapping was dismissed against Carter.

Judge Vicki Snyder bound the first degree murder charge over to the Circuit Court, awaiting the next grand jury on March 2.

Carter’s arrest followed a two-day search for Dozier by Henry County and Calloway County law enforcement. Dozier’s body was found on the Olde Tennessee Trail. Before his body was found, Dozier’s dog was found on Port Road and his car was found abandoned in the parking lot of Progressive Baptist Church on Rison St. in Paris.

Carter has been held on $1 M bond in the Henry County Jail since his arrest.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said at the time of Carter’s arrest that DNA evidence linked Carter to the crime scene.

Carter is being represented by Public Defender Jeff Fagan and the state’s case is being presented by Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing.


Gerrell: Sales Tax Increase Will Avert Fiscal Crisis 

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer and Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell address the school board. Listening are Board Members Doug Braden and Robert Sleadd. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-In a presentation before the Henry County Schools board of education, Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said Paris and Henry County are “facing a fiscal crisis” and that is why voters will be asked to approve a sales tax referendum on local ballots March 17.

Gerrell and County Mayor Brent Greer presented a power point presentation to the board and said without the support of the educational community, the referendum will be difficult to pass.

Gerrell said, “How we solve this issue will be decided in a referendum. A vote yes for one half cent local option sales tax will avoid property tax increases, support schools and improve school safety. It will also allow us to share the burden with our out of town guests.”

The one-half cent sales tax increase would generate $1.8 M, which would be distributed to the Henry County Schools, Paris Special Schools District, county and city of Paris. Gerrell said monies also will be allotted to the smaller communities in the county.

How did we get here? Gerrell asked. Henry County has taken a big hit financially from revenue losses from liquor sales that are now available in other communities. That alone will cost Henry County $315,000 annually, Gerrell said. “And that revenue is not going to come back. Additionally, inflation has exceeded revenue growth at a rate of 2.2 to 0.8 percent

Both the county and city and the schools have done a lot to balance budget, Gerrell said, including city property tax increases, reducation of employee benefits, no salary increases, deferred capital and equipment purchases, insufficient technology upgrades, and the use of rainy day funds particularly with Henry County Schools, Paris Schools and the city of Paris.

Gerrell said the sales tax increase “is a sound financial decision” especially compared to property tax increases which would place a tax burden on retirees, home owners and commercial enterprises. 

Other choices would include depleting fund balances, borrowing funds which the city and county do not like to do and reducing services and employees “which people don’t want to think about,” Gerrell said.

The money generated from the sales tax increase would be spent for school operations, safety improvements and renovations, keeping pace with technology, restoring fund balances and addressing infrastructure needs.

Greer said, “We have a chance to bring almost a million dollars to our school systems. We’re protecting our children for years to years to come.”

If the educational community doesn’t get behind this referendum, Greer said, “We’ll have very little chance of passing. We’re not pulling anything over anyone’s eyes; we;re just talking about needs.”

 

Extraordinary Year For Family Resources Center

Business Teacher Angela Yearry shows the type of posters that can be made at the high school while Board Secretary Tiffany Latta and Board Member Doug Braden look on. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--It’s been an extraordinary year for the Family Resource Center, with many more students served already this year than last year.

That was the word from Family Resource Coordinators Becky Holland and Judy Goad to the Henry County Schools board of education Thursday night.

“We’re already ahead of where were for the last year in terms of children served,” Holland said. Thus far in the 2014-2015 school year, Family Resources has served 2,457 children and 131 participants.

Total contacts with families number 1,275 which includes school visits, home visits, parent meetings, agency contacts and phone contacts.

The Family Resource Center--which is located in the Central Services building--is serving 284 children in a variety of ways, including one-on-one tutoring in classroom, weekend backpack program, food bank, social skills sessions. 

Through programs including the Good Start program, financial assistance, student advisory council, school supplies and Christmas projects, Family Resources has served 691 children. The majority of that involves school supplies, for which 527 students were served.

Holland said the public has been very generous in its donations, which have been coming in to the program without being solicited.

Director of Schools Sam Miles commended Holland and Goad for their work. “The work they do has made a difference; a hute difference in the ability of a lot of students to do well in school and get to school. Rural schools really need this service.” 

In other business:

--Miles announced that graduation will be held May 22 this year.

--Curriculum Supervisors Betsy Allison and Dr. Renae Wade spoke about the Tennessee Education Standards Review that allows citizens to comment on the English/Language Arts and Math standards online.

High School Art Teacher Greg Chandler, Business Teacher Angela Yearry and students Sage Prichett, Christina Tuterow and Stacy Lundquist presented their Patriot Pride designs and displayed what the school’s poster and decal makers can do for the public.


Robison To Work At Pro, Super Bowls


Martin, Tenn. – Rachel Robison, a senior marketing major from Springville, will join five other students from the University of Tennessee at Martin’s sport business program to work hospitality events at both the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Dexter Davis, assistant professor of sport business, will lead the group. This is Davis’ 10th Super Bowl and the second for UT Martin students. 

Students will not be in the stands eating popcorn, however. At the Pro Bowl, they will be involved in coordinating pre-game events, fan activities and post-game hospitality. At the Super Bowl, students will likely work with Davis, who helps manage player appearances at the event. This includes assisting with arrival and departure, coordinating autograph signing venues and escorting players between events. Students will also assist with the post-game event, where visitors who have paid an extra fee are allowed to go onto the field after the trophy has been presented.

The group will leave Jan. 23 and return Feb. 3. During their time in Phoenix, they will also be assisting the local organizing committee prepare for the Super Bowl, as well as meeting with members of the Phoenix Coyotes staff; touring the Salt Lick Fields complex, a spring training facility for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies; taking a trail ride on Camelback Mountain and attending the Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies NBA game Monday after the Super Bowl.

Students interested in participating this year were required to submit a cover letter and resume to Davis, as well as complete a formal interview with him, before being selected. Davis treats the process like a job application because involvement with the NFL opens doors only the NFL can open.

“Anytime you are able to put a brand like the NFL next to your name, it garners attention. With some hard work and a little luck, I will be able to use this experience as a platform for a long, successful career in the football industry,” said Ian McGrew, a senior from Troy.

“The Super Bowl is one of the most influential events of the year, especially when it comes to advertising,” according to Courtney Caton, a sophomore from Huntingdon. “As a marketing major, I am intrigued by all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the advertising and production of such a large event. I am most excited about making connections with possible employers about internships or a career.”

The other students attending are Caton; Ross Landreth, a senior from Selmer; Jamison Matney, a senior from Bon Aqua; McGrew; and Dakota Shanes, a sophomore from Bon Aqua. Caton, Robison and Shanes are marketing majors, while Landreth, Matney and McGrew are sport business majors.

Robison is the only student from this year’s team to have also attended last year’s Super Bowl with Davis. “The hands on involvement that I received from last year’s Super Bowl was enlightening. I think that going back for a second time I will be able to receive a more in-depth understanding of the event planning side of things,” she said. Last year’s team worked as customer service staff members during the game.


Benton County Death Termed "Suspicious"

Camden, Tenn. -- The body of a Benton County man has been sent to Nashville for an autopsy after he was found dead in his driveway in a remote area of Birdsong Rd.

The body of Richard Herbison, age 53, was found by his brother-in-law.

Benton County Sheriff’s deputies said the case is being investigated as a suspicious death. When Herbison’s body was taken to the hospital, it was discovered a bullet was lodged in his lung, with an entrance wound on his outer left thigh.

The sheriff’s office has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for assistance.


Hickman-Dorena Ferry Resumes Operations


Hickman, Ky.-The Hickman-Dorena Ferry has resumed operations, which is sure to be good news for the people who rely on the ferry for quicker transportation between Kentucky and Missouri.

The Hickman-Dorena Ferry is one of the few remaining riverboat ferries in the United States and the only ferry crossing the Mississippi River between Missouri and Kentucky.

Officials at the ferry had announced earlier it was shutting down November 18 for just a few weeks to outfit a new barge.

Officials announced on the ferry’s Facebook page that it opened Wednesday on its regular winter operating schedule.



Helping Hand Total Now $96,364

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $96,364, with $5,280 raised today by Commercial Bank, Foundation Bank, Regions Bank, and First Bank.

On Thursday, items will be raised by the Puryear community, Harrelson Beta Club, E.W. James and Sons Supermarket and the Office on Aging and Nutrition.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


UC Man Cited For Harboring Vicious Animals

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was cited for harboring vicious animals after two of his pit bulls allegedly attacked other dogs in his neighborhood.

Anthony Dewan Chambers, 604 Greenwood, received citations for harboring vicious animals, allowing dogs to run loose and no proof his dogs had been vaccinated.

Union City Police also are investigating a report of a car being shot at while driving the 600 block of Palmer St.

According to the police report, there were five dents on the driver’s side rear panel that appeared to be from shotgun pellets.




Wednesday, January 21, 2015 

Huntingdon Native Appointed Assistant Adjutant General

Colonel Tommy Baker receives his badges from Maj. General Max Haston and Baker's wife, Camille, on his promotion to Colonel in 2011.


Nashville, Tenn.-A Huntingdon native has been appointed Assistant Adjutant General for the state of Tennessee.

Colonel Tommy Baker with the Tennessee Army National Guard was appointed Wednesday by Tennessee’s Adjutant General Major General Max Haston. 

Baker also is a graduate of UT Martin. He was commissioned in 1985 from the Tennessee Military Academy and was graduated from UT Martin with a bachelor’s degree in public administration. He received his masters degree in Business Administration Military Management from Touro University, and is a 2011 graduate of the United States Army War College with a Masters in Strategic Studies.

Baker was deployed to Kuwait in 2004 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom III and again in 2008 as the Commander of the 30th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion at Q-West, Iraq.

He has received numerous awards, including the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

He is married to Camille Arnold Baker, also from Huntingdon. They have two children, Hillari and Cody.

Major General Haston says Colonel Baker will be promoted to Brigadier General at a later date.


Applications Accepted For Citizen's Police Academy 


Martin, Tenn.-The Martin Police Department is now accepting applications for members of the 26th Session of the Citizen’s Police Academy. This session is scheduled to begin March 10.

The Citizen’s Police Academy is a chance for citizens that live or work in the Martin area to get a first hand view of the operations of the Martin Police Department. When someone graduates from the Citizen’s Police Academy they are not certified as a police officer, but will have a better understanding of what police officers face everyday. The class will meet one night a week for ten weeks. Instruction will include use of force, undercover drug operations, crime scene investigation, DUI enforcement, criminal law, firearms, and other areas.

Also during the ten week class the participants will be required to ride with a Martin Police Officer at least two times, with one of the ride-alongs to be between the hours of 10:00 pm and 2:00 am. Over 500 citizens have graduated from the Citizen’s Police Academy Program since its inception in 1993.

Applications can be picked up at the Martin Police Department or downloaded from the Martin Police Department website (www.martindps.org). Cost is only $20.00 which includes purchase of a session shirt.

Applications will be accepted until February 13th, 2015 or until the class is filled. If you would like more information about the Citizen’s Police Academy please contact Captain Don Teal at (731)-587-5355 ext. 235.


UTM Announces New Initiative

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin announced a new initiative Jan. 20 called the “UT Martin Advantage” to complement the recently-enacted Tennessee Promise legislation. 

A major component of the UT Martin Advantage plan is the introduction of a new scholarship. Students who enter the university in their freshman year and continue to meet requirements for the Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship will be eligible to receive the UT Martin Advantage Scholarship beginning in their sophomore year. This will take effect beginning in the fall 2015 semester.

The initiative also includes the launch of a new website built to show prospective students the long-term advantages of attending a four-year university and participating in the total collegiate experience.

At UT Martin, students have access to award-winning faculty members; hands-on learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom; international travel study opportunities; and a variety of campus activities and organizations often not present on community college campuses.

“We believe that many students benefit from attending a four-year university,” according to Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor. “The UT Martin Advantage Scholarship provides more students with the opportunity to pursue the total collegiate experience."
For more information, visit the new website at http://www.utm.edu/advantage/. 


Wilkes To Appear At Jackson Purchase Society 


Paducah, Ky.-Most people know J.D. Wilkes as a high-energy singer, songwriter, and performer with groups such as The Legendary Shack Shakers and The Dirt Daubers. But the Paducah resident is also a talented illustrator and author. His most recent book is Barn Dances & Jamborees Across Kentucky. This is the subject of his presentation at the quarterly meeting of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society 10:30 AM Saturday, January 24, in the upstairs conference room at the McCracken County Public Library. The meeting is open to the public and free of charge, but seating is limited.

“Kentuckians have been wearing out shoe leather at informal jamborees since the state was settled over two hundred years ago,” Wilkes said. “Clawhammer banjo players, Appalachian cloggers and square dance callers from Possum Trot to Rabbit Hash celebrate the unique musical culture of Kentucky.” While working on the manuscript, Wilkes traveled around the Commonwealth “looking for oprys, socials, porch pickin’s and barn dances in every holler.” Copies of the book will be available for sale after the meeting. 

The Jackson Purchase Historical Society was founded in 1958 to promote interest, study, and preservation of the regional history of the territory encompassed in the Chickasaw Purchase of 1818. It publishes the award-winning Jackson Purchase Historical Society Journal annually. The Society is especially interested in the history of all Kentucky counties west of the Tennessee River as well as Lake, Obion, Weakley, and Henry counties in Tennessee. Meetings are held four times per year at locations throughout the region. Membership is open to the public. Information about the Society, future events, and membership is available at the meetings or online at http://jacksonpurchasehistory.org/.

UC Council Honors State Champs

Union City, Tenn.-At last night’s meeting of the Union City City Council, the 2014 Union City State Championship Football Team was honoured with a proclamation given to Coach Darren Bowling.

Council dissolved several standing committees that don’t meet anymore, including the civic auditorium committee, municipal board of examiners; health, education and housing facility corporation board and the convention center committee.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Terry Hailey asked Planning and Code Director Jimmy Temple about the status of the Reelfoot Packing Co. building. Temple said the city is halfway through a $440,000 EPA study that will determine if the property is clean or contains hazardous materials.

He said it could take another 18 months to complete. If the property is deemed clean, then it can be marketed by its owners for development, he said, but it’s found that hazardous materials exist it could be cleaned up and marketed.

When asked if the owners would be forced to clean up the property, Temple said no. He said most people think that if the old Reelfoot Packing Co.--13 acres in all--was cleaned up, it could be one of the prime properties in the city but most people now regard the property as an eyesore and a blight on the city that needs to be dealt with by the owners.


Stolen Car Recovered 

Union City, Tenn.-A car that was left unlocked with the keys in it was stolen from a church parking lot Tuesday evening and recovered undamaged a short while later.

According to the Union City Police report, a car was stolen from the Visions Church parking lot at 406 N. Miles St. around 6 p.m. The car, a 1999 gray Olds Bravada, was found later in the 600 block of Pierce St. The owner said nothing was missing from the car.


New 2015 State Maps Now Available

Nashville, Tenn. – The official 2015 Tennessee Transportation Map is now available for travelers. This year’s map contains new information to assist motorists, and features a special cover to commemorate the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s centennial. The 2015 map contains historical photographs that look back at the development of Tennessee’s highway system over the last 100 years. It also highlights State Route 1, the first cross-state highway built by the state of Tennessee.

Other new additions to this year’s map include the new Welcome Center on Interstate 26 in Sullivan County and Rocky Top in Anderson County, which was formerly known as Lake City. The map also indicates the widening of several state highways, such as SR 99 in Lewis County, SR 30 in McMinn County, and a new Exit 1 on SR 22 in Obion County. 

The 2015 state map can also be downloaded from the TDOT web site at www.tn.gov/tdot/maps.htm.

Pre-printed maps may be ordered from TDOT online at www.tn.gov/tdot/MapOrder/maporder.htm or by mailing a request to: 

Tennessee Department of Transportation
505 Deaderick Street
James K. Polk Building, Suite 900
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1402

Individuals may request up to five free maps. Organizations and schools may order up to one hundred maps for their use. 

The Official 2015 Tennessee Transportation Map is a joint effort between TDOT and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015 

Sales Tax Increase To Be On Henry County Ballots

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, center, addresses commissioners at Tuesday's meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-By a vote of 11-4, the Henry County Commission Tuesday approved the second and final reading to place a local option sales tax referendum on local ballots. Voting no were the same three commissioners who voted no at the first reading in December--Wes Bradley, Greg Carter, and Bobby Freeman, plus Paul Neal.

Tuesday night’s meeting was preceded by a public hearing at which several members of the public were present with questions, but none spoke out for or against the referendum.

If approved at the ballot, the referendum would increase the local option sales tax by one-half percent from 2.25 to 2.75 percent. The referendum will be voted on at a special election to be held not less than 45 days nor more than 60 days from now. Henry County Mayor Brent Greer had indicated earlier than the special election probably will be held March 17.

Before the vote, Greer reminded everyone that the sales tax increase would raise $1.8 M in funds, with the bulk ($900,000) going to the county and city schools. Greer said it is estimated that 40 percent of the county’s revenue dollars come from outside Henry County. “The sales tax gives us an option to decrease the tax burden on Henry County residents,” he said. 

“We’ve looked at this long and hard,” Greer said. “We could say with certainty that the school boards and county will face revenue issues without it.”

Greer also reminded the commissioners, “You are simply voting on whether the public has the right to vote on this. This not mean you are for or against the tax increase yourselves. You are not making a statement necessarily for or against with this vote. You’re just voting on whether there should be a referendum on the ballot.”

In other business, the commission approved making application for fast track funding for the McCartney Produce expansion into the city of Paris industrial park. Specifically, the application will be in the amount of $189,992 to implement the project and will commit $33,528 in local funds, for a total project cost of $223,520.

In answer to a question from Commissioner Connie McSwain, Greer said the local funds will be provided by McCartney. “I can assure you that no local taxpayer money is coming from this resolution,” he said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:

--The commission approved a long list of appointments to boards, committees and positions. Notably, Dr. Charles Walker was appointed Medical Examiner and Dr. Scott Portis as Assistant Medical Examiner; David Webb was re-appointed County Historian; and appointments to the county planning commission were Harold Bass, Mark Johnson, Clint Davis, Hugh Tyler, and Chris Casteel. Rob Whitfield also was reappointed as Henry County Attorney.


Making Way For Hardee's

Paris, Tenn.-Workers were busy this morning demolishing the former Swifty’s Gas Station on Mineral Wells Ave. to make way for the Hardee’s which will be built at that location. Contractors next will be removing the underground gas tanks at the site. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.


Paris, Tenn.-With the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Paris Police Department in the lead, marchers walked from Mt. Zion Baptist Church to the Henry County Courthouse, top photo, as part of Martin Luther King Day events Monday. Earlier Monday, Henry County Judge Vicki Snyder and Carroll County Circuit Court Clerk Bertha Taylor caught up after Taylor’s presentation at the prayer breakfast. Taylor and Carroll County Register of Deeds Natalie Porter spoke at the breakfast. An article and more photos from the events was published Monday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).



Rives Woman Wanted For Assault 


Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warrant for the arrest of a Rives woman for aggravated assault.

Amanda Brooks, 25, whose maiden name is Amanda Anna Boane, is being sought in connection with an incident that occurred on Hwy. 45W, according to Chief Deputy Kent Treece.

According to the police report, Brooks is wanted for assault of a 49-year-old woman from Troy. She also is wanted on a charge of driving with a revoked license.


Lakewood Speech Team Does Well In Paducah

Holding their awards after the contest: from left, Natalie Clark, Sylis Allen and Drew Culbreath.


Paducah, Ky.-The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team competed in the Paducah Tilghman Tornado Alley High School Invitational over the weekend and placed 4th overall out of 14 schools, tying with Henry County High School. 

The following students achieved individual honors:
Natalie Clark - 1st in Oratory and 5th in Declamation
Sylis Allen - 2nd in Prose, 3rd in Improvisational Duo and 6th in Poetry
Drew Culbreath - 7th in Prose

The team will be holding their first tournament at Lakewood on January 24th. They are coached by David Weatherly.


TBI Investigating McKenzie Deaths

McKenzie, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is continuing to investigate the deaths of two people earlier this month in McKenzie.

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said the TBI is awaiting the autopsy and lab results on the two: Barbara Langley Stone, age 47, of McKenzie and Anthony Ray Sawyer, age 29 of Gleason. 

Ms. Stone died of a gunshot wound in her home early on January 6 and later that afternoon, Sawyer’s body was found on the KWK Railroad tracks on West End Ave. Investigators say that Sawyer was the father of Stone’s grandchildren.

Once completed, the autopsy and lab results will be forwarded to District Attorney Matt Stowe’s office. 

Sulphur Well Wild Game Supper Set Saturday


Springville, Tenn.-The 7th annual Sulphur Well Game Supper will be held Saturday at the Sulphur Well Church of Christ, 1760 Oak Grove Rd. S, Springville. The popular event features a variety of wild game dishes provided and prepared by some of Henry County’s most talented hunters, trappers and fishermen.

The event is free and includes entertainment and music. The event begins at 6 p.m. and seating is limited. 


UC Family Homeless After Fire

Union City, Tenn.-A large Union City family was left homeless when a fire destroyed their home Friday afternoon and a fund has been set up to accept donations for the family.

Union City Firefighters responded to the first call at around 3:30 p.m. and were on the scene until 9:30 p.m., along with the Rives, Troy and Martin fire departments.

Homeowner Raymond Jenkins lived in the home with his wife, son, five grandchildren and an adopted child. The family is living in the Hampton Inn in Union City right now.

A fund has been set up at www.gofundme.com.


Trenton Man Arrested For Restaurant Burglary


Trenton, Tenn.- Trenton Police have arrested a young man from Trenton for the burglary of a local restaurant Sunday.

Police received a silent alarm report from This Is It BBQ on Eaton Street at 9:50 p.m. Sunday. As they were responding, officers found an individual fleeing the area. 

Officers stopped the individual and identified him as Thomas McElrath, 20, of Trenton, and found the restaurant had been burglarized and several items taken. 

Officers recovered several stolen items from McElrath and in the area around where he was stopped. McElrath has been charged with Burglary and Theft of Property over $500. McElrath is being held without bond at the Gibson County Correctional Complex. McElrath is expected to be arraigned in Trenton Municipal Court on January 20.


Houston County Teen Arrested For Harassment

Houston County, Tenn.-The Houston County Sheriff's Office has been investigating numerous complaints received over the past week involving bullying and death threats which has resulted in an arrest.

According to a press release issued by the sheriff’s office, “After a week long investigation we have charged a juvenile with harassment and disorderly conduct. The juvenile was using other individuals names to create accounts and then sent messages to multiple people. The name that appeared on the messages was not the person responsible.“

The Sheriff's Office has worked multiple hours in resolving this case, according to the press release.

Helping Hand Total Now $79,800

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $79,800, with $3,663 raised today by the Quinn Chapel AME Church, Civil Air Patrol and Inman Beta Club.

On Tuesday, items will be donated by Security Bank.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



Monday, January 19, 2015 

MLK Day Activities Include March, Dance, Song And Prayer

Rev. Andre Richardson, second from left, leads the crowd in song at the march to the courthouse. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand Monday morning for a celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King that included a march, prayer breakfast, speeches, dance, songs and prayer.

The early morning prayer breakfast kicked off the festivities at the Central Services building, at which Carroll County Register of Deeds Natalie Porter and Carroll County Circuit Court Clerk Bertha Taylor spoke about their journeys as the first black female elected officials in Carroll County.

Porter congratulated organizers on the appearance of numerous young people at the event, saying, “You’re helping restore Dr. King’s dream by having all these young people here and keeping Dr. King’s message of peace, love and unity alive.”

Porter encouraged people of all ages to become involved in their communities. “If you want your community to change, you have to be involved with the change process,” she said.

Taylor noted, “I’m a product of the Civil Rights Act” and relayed her history beginnings in county government, starting as a part-time worker at the Circuit Court office. “I was the first black woman to be hired full-time at the courthouse,” she said.

Members of the Mt. Zion Baptist Angels in Praise Dance Ministry performed with members Nalliyah Teague, Fajona Snead, Iona Snead and Heaven Phelps.

The march followed the breakfast and moved downtown from Mt. Zion Church on Rison St. to the courthouse, where keynote speaker was Attorney Gregory L. Perry of Memphis, who is a Paris native and the son of Mrs. Ernestine Perry and the late Phynas Perry. 

Henry County Commissioner Rev. James Travis presented the winners of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest. Organizers for the events included County Commissioner Rev. Kenneth Humphreys and Rev. Andre Richardson. 

A luncheon for special guests, city, county, state government and elected officials was held following the event.

Carroll Co. Register of Deeds Natalie Porter and Core Director for Tennessee Department of Education Norma Gerrell listen to Carroll County Circuit Court Clerk Bertha Taylor speak at the breakfast. (McFarlin photo).


Mt. Zion Baptist Angels In Praise Dance Ministry made up of Nalliyah Teague, Fajona Snead, Iona Snead and Heaven Phelps perform. (McFarlin photo).



Huntingdon Police Seek Suspect In Morning Burglaries


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Huntingdon Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying and capturing the suspect in burglaries this morning at four businesses in Huntingdon.  

The suspect first entered the West Tennessee Natural Gas Company office located at 14055 Paris St. The burglary was discovered at 7 a.m., but video surveillance shows the suspect entering the offices at 5:30 and leaving at 5:45 a.m. Two other businesses were broken into: Casey’s Bar and Grill, South Western Stockyards office and the Cotton Lane on East Main St. These businesses were broken into by smashing through front doors.

Taken from the Gas Company office was an undetermined amount of cash from two cash register drawers. Video footage from the security system there shows a man in a tan colored coat wearing a face mask break into the building from the front.

Nothing appeared to be missing from the other businesses.


Walmart Neighborhood Market Opens In Dover

Dover, Tenn.-Some 200 people attended the ribbon-cutting for the new Walmart Neighborhood Market in Dover, as Stewart County’s newest employer was welcomed by the Stewart Co. High School band, the Northwest High School ROTC presenting the colors and ministers providing prayers.

At the grand opening, Walmart presented $500 checks to the Stewart County Schools, Good Samaritans, Meals on Wheels, Stewart county fire & Rescue and Dover Friends of the Park.

The new market employs 25 people, with 21 from Stewart County. The Walmart Neighborhood Markets are smaller versions of Walmart Superstores. Stewart County Mayor Rick Joiner said despite rumors, Walmart did not request any tax breaks and the county has not granted them any.
 


Campus Lights To Present “9 To 5” This Week


Murray, Ky. — Rehearsals for the longest running musical tradition in the South have begun. Murray State University’s 78th annual student-run production of Campus Lights this year is the Dolly Parton classic, 9 to 5 The Musical.
 
The Campus Lights production will take place Friday through Sunday, Jan. 23-25, in historic Lovett Auditorium on Murray State University’s campus. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 years old and younger, and may be reserved online at www.campuslights.org. Show times are Jan. 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m., and Jan. 25 at 2:30 p.m.

Proceeds from Campus Lights aid music scholarships at Murray State University and is produced entirely by students with assistance from Sigma Alpha Iota, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the MSU department of music and the college of humanities and fine arts. 
 

Local Students Elected To UTM Society 


Martin, Tenn.- The UT Martin chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society named new officers for the 2015 year and several local students are among the officers. The chapter recently won a commendable rating and a Green Chapter Award from the national society, and leads the nation with 37 total outstanding and commendable chapter ratings and 13 Green Chapter Awards. Pictured are (seated, l-r): Kristan McCrillis, of Bradford, secretary; Drake Williams, of Paris, vice-president; Layla Gargus, of Martin, president; Benjamin Ide, of Dover, treasurer; (standing, l-r): executive committee members William Kuenzinger, of Germantown; Michaela Short, of Hendersonville; Dwight Johnson II, of Brownsville; Krysten Harris, of Union City, 2014 president; and Vincent Cote, of Big Rock.



Sunday, January 18, 2015 

CVS Opens In Paris


Paris, Tenn.-Another long-awaited opening in Paris was realized Sunday with the opening of the CVS Pharmacy. The new pharmacy and convenience store is located at the intersection of Memorial and Mineral Wells Avenues. Meanwhile, site work for construction of Hardee’s has begun. Hardee’s will be located on Mineral Wells Ave. at the site of the former Swifty’s gas station. The city of Paris has been experiencing a boon in construction of new businesses of late, especially on Mineral Wells Ave. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Public Forum On Sales Tax Is Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Commission will consider second reading of a resolution to set a local option sales tax referendum on the ballot when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The commission meeting will be held at the courthouse and will be held on Tuesday instead of Monday due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

Prior to the meeting, a public forum will be held at 6:45 p.m. at which citizens will have the opportunity to speak about the tax referendum.

The commissioners also will consider approval of a resolution authorizing submittal of an application for fast track infrastructure funding for the McCartney Produce expansion into the city of Paris industrial park.

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer also will appear at Thursday night’s meeting of the Henry County Board of Education to discuss the sales tax referendum. The school board will meet at 5 p.m. at Grove Tower.


MSU Grad Featured On “Bandit Patrol” 


Murray, Ky. — Murray State University graduate Dr. Jared Tapp appears in the premiere of Bandit Patrol, a new television series on the National Geographic Channel (Nat Geo Wild). The first episode of Bandit Patrol can be seen on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 9 p.m. (Central).

The show features wildlife rehabilitation, a profession that appeals to those with a strong will and a big heart. In rural western Kentucky, three women have taken on the responsibility to care for wild animals that are injured, orphaned or in need, with the ultimate goal of returning them back to the wild. The series follows the women as they care for the animals and take them to needed visits with their veterinarians.

Tapp co-owns and is a veterinarian at Pennyrile Animal Clinic in Madisonville, Ky. In the first episode of the show Tapp is caring for Red, a squirrel brought to him by wildlife rehabilitator Nancy. The squirrel is suffering from the mange and a secondary bacterial skin infection. Nancy gets a reminder in Tapp’s office that wildlife is unpredictable in the “Blood, Sweat and Racoons” episode.

Tapp is one of a few veterinarians in West Kentucky who donate time to help rehabilitate wildlife in the area; he will likely appear in additional episodes of Bandit Patrol.
While he cares for and appreciates all species in the animal kingdom, and is a small and large animal veterinarian, horses are Tapp’s specialty — their breeding, nutrition and overall care. But, upon occasion, he finds himself treating more nontraditional pets such as birds, snakes and rabbits, along with wildlife such as Red.

Along with his regular veterinary practice and his work with injured and sick wildlife, Tapp is also on the Hopkins County Humane Society Board and is the county veterinarian, meaning that for any animal cruelty or abuse cases he is called to the home/property to make an assessment.

Jared graduated from Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture in December 2006, and earned a master’s degree in agriculture with an emphasis in equine reproduction from MSU two years later. He earned his degree in veterinary medicine from Auburn University, graduating with honors in 2012.

To check out Tapp’s part in a short video of the Bandit Patrol premiere episode, go online at channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/bandit-patrol/videos/a-sneak-squirrel-attack/


Easley Attorneys Appointed

Dresden, Tenn.-A pair of Dresden attorneys have been appointed to represent a Martin man who is facing murder and aggravated assault charges following the triple shooting in Martin on January 5.

Marcus Latrail Easley, 25, appeared at a preliminary hearing in Weakley County General Sessions Court. He is charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault. Killed in the shooting was Corey Williams, 33, of Dresden, and critically wounded were Trista Canady, 28, of Gleason; and Aquincy Dickson, 27, of Dresden.

Attorneys Brent Bradberry and Jim Bradberry were appointed to represent him.

Easley is being held without bond in the Weakley County Jail. 

 
Haslam To Attend Fort Campbell Session

Clarksville, Tenn.-Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will attend next week’s meeting at Fort Campbell at which Army officials will listen to public comments on proposed cuts at the home of the famous 101st Airborne.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, January 20.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said the state’s legislative delegation cannot attend the session because the State of the Union address by President Obama will be held on the same date.

Officials at Fort Campbell and the surrounding community said earlier they would like to see as many people as possible at the meeting to show support for the Army installation. 

McMillan and other area leaders were in Washington, D.C. this week to speak to national officials about the importance of Fort Campbell to national security and our local region.


Saturday, January 17, 2015 

New License Fee Structure Okayed By Tennessee Wildlife

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission met at Union City. (Jim Perry photo).

Union City, Tenn.  --- For the first time in a decade, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved a license fee structure adjustment for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The increase was one of five rule amendments made by the TFWC at its January meeting, which concluded Friday at the Discovery Park of America. 

Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses expire on Feb. 28, but the changes will not go into effect until July 1. Sportsmen and women are encouraged to buy 2015-16 season licenses at the current prices before July.

TWRA has sought to increase license fees only twice in the last 25 years, roughly following rises in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In this case, the Agency’s license revenue will be increased by around 19 percent against a CPI of approximately 22 percent over the last decade. The new structure introduces new licenses for professional guides as well as high-impact users of TWRA’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Under the new structure, horseback, mountain bike, and off-highway vehicle riders will contribute to the ongoing maintenance of the public WMA trails they use through a new annual license. (All of the new fees and changes will be listed on the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org). 

“Our funding as an Agency comes almost exclusively from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and matching funds from federal excise taxes on related equipment,” said Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Harold Cannon, who chairs the commission’s budget and finance committee. “The license fee package passed in 2004 was designed to cover the revenue shortfall for a period of six to eight years, and we made it work for more than a decade. In 2013, we started working closely with the Agency to identify budget savings, but the reality is everything is more expensive than it was 10 years ago. Changes to the federal matching funds, capital expenditures and the general cost to state government—on top of the 22 percent cost of living increase—made it necessary to introduce this new fee structure.”

Major capital expenditures in recent years have included $3.5 million for HVAC/electrical system repairs at the Agency’s Nashville headquarters, $1 million annually for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a critical upgrade for inter-agency law enforcement communications for $7 million.

Another rule amendment simplifies the process by which the TWRA selects an organization to auction an annual permit for the special elk hunt.  


UTM Online Master Program Receives Full Approval

Martin, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Education recently elevated the University of Tennessee at Martin’s online master’s degree program in educational leadership to full approval status after the program met or exceeded expectations on all review indicators.

Students wishing to earn a Master of Science in Education, with a major in educational leadership, must have already received a bachelor’s degree, hold a valid teaching license and have a minimum of three years of successful work experience in the education field. Obtaining a master’s degree allows candidates to complete licensure requirements for an instructional leadership license – beginner (ILL-B). 

The master’s degree program includes a three-hour course in models of instruction, curriculum development and advanced teaching; 27 hours of leadership concentration coursework; and a three-hour course in clinical supervision. All coursework is accessible online.

Teachers who already hold master’s degrees but wish to pursue the additional endorsement in educational leadership must meet the university’s requirements for conditional or non-conditional admission and complete 24 hours of coursework.

All students wishing to be recommended for the ILL-B must also pass the Educational Testing Service’s Praxis school leadership series, “School Leaders Licensure Assessment.” A final portfolio project is also required.

Obtaining an ILL-B is vital for those who wish to pursue careers as school principals, assistant principals or supervisors of instruction.

This approval follows the university’s receiving Tennessee’s only U.S. Department of Education teacher education grant in 2014, which totaled $3.3 million. 

UT Martin is accredited by the Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. UT Martin's education curriculum is approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education and accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP).

For more information, contact the Department of Educational Studies at 731-881-7128 or email Kristy Crawford, coordinator, at kcrawford@utm.edu. 


Helping Hand Total Now $67,735

Paris, Tenn.-The total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $67,735, with $4,629 raised Friday by the Palestine and Central Point communities, First Church of the Nazarene and Lee School Association.

On Saturday, two auctions will be held, one beginning at noon and the other at 6:30 p.m. Items will be donated by the Whitlock community.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Legislative Luncheon Set Next Week

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce will hold a Legislative Luncheon at noon Friday at Lee Academy for the Arts lunchroom.

State Sen. John Stevens and State Rep. Tim Wirgau will be speakers.

The Chamber asks that you RSVP by noon Wednesday to Kayla Simpson at ksimpson@henrycountytn.org. Lunch is $10 and you will be billed if you RSVP regardless of whether you attend or not.


GOP To Discuss Immigration

Paris, Tenn.-Joanne Bregman of Nashville will be the guest speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the Henry County GOP, discussing the federal refugee resettlement program. Bregman is an attorney who researches and writes on the subject.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 22 at the Henry County Courthouse.


Friday, January 16, 2015 

House Quarantined After Meth Lab Found

The home at 152 Shadow Lane quarantined with items found during search on front lawn. (Henry County Sheriff's Office photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Direcctor

Paris, Tenn.-A home on Shadow Lane in Paris has been quarantined after an active meth lab was found inside Friday by the Metro Crime Unit with officers from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office,  Paris, Puryear and Henry Police, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The Tennessee Meth Task Force is assisting in cleaning up the site.

The officers executed a search warrant at 152 Shadow Lane and found an active meth lab with three ‘shake and bake’ lab bottles, three duffle bags containing meth-making materials such as liquid fire, Coleman fuel, coffee filters, ammonia nitrate, pill grinders and other items.

Arrested were Tracy Norwood and Haley Lowe, both charged with possession with intent to manufacture and sell. They are being held in Henry County Jail on bonds of $75,000 each.


Snowy Day At Discovery Park 



Union City, Tenn.-For some of us, Thursday emerged as a day for a beautiful snow fall, while for others in our area, the predicted snow never did materialize. Among the luckiest were those in the Union City area, where a beautiful blanket of snow enveloped Discovery Park of America. (Discovery Park photo).

Trout Dinner, Anyone?


Paris, Tenn.-The pond at Eiffel Tower Park II was re-stocked with trout earlier this week and ready for hungry fishermen to come and get it. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) stocked the pond twice this winter, according to Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence. “They were here in December and then again on January 14,” he said. TWRA staff also re-stocked city ponds at Union City, Martin and McKenzie. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Sensual Pleasures License Renewal Deadline Nears

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The permit for Henry County’s only remaining adult business will officially expire January 19 and owners of the establishment have not yet renewed the license.

Meeting Thursday afternoon, the Henry County Adult Establishment Board discussed what steps would be taken if the license is not renewed. The license must be renewed annually.

County Mayor Brent Greer noted that the county offices are closed for business January 19 due to Martin Luther King Jr., Day, and that owners have been notified they will have until the end of the business day on January 20 to renew the license.

Greer said if the license is not renewed, “then we’ll have to cite the owners and the business because of non-compliance and if they wanted to still have the business, they would have to start all over and apply for a new license.”

Greer said the committee chairman David Webb, County Clerk Donna Craig and deputies with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office have all notified the owners that the deadline is approaching.

Owners of the business are Gerald R. Tidwell and Randy J. Downs.

 
Smothers Named Huntingdon Public Safety Director


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Huntingdon Police Lt. Walter Smothers has been named Director of Public Safety for Huntingdon, replacing Joe Parker, who will retire February 2.

Smothers was named to the position at the Tuesday night meeting of Huntingdon Town Council. Parker has held the position since February 1998 and had a successful career leading the Huntingdon Fire and Police Departments. 

Smothers said, “I have been employeed by the Huntingdon Police since 1995, moving through the ranks of Patrolman, Corporal, Sergeant and Lieutenant. I am honored to be entrusted by Mayor Dale Kelley and the Huntingdon Town Council, with the responsibility of leading the police and fire departments.“

The Huntingdon Fire and Police Departments have long had a good relationship across the whole community, Smothers said,  “and I look forward to building on that relationship. My goals are to improve the service to the citizens and also improve the departments themselves through new training and equipment aquisitions. I have experience in grant writing and intend to pursue every opportunity to seek new funding for our departments that will expand our services.”

Smothers said his first and most important requirement of dispatchers, officers and firemen will be to treat the citizens with the same respect they would want to be treated. “I plan for both departments to increase their interactions with our schools and civic groups. Specific projects to increase the level of service that each department provides will be addressed in the future,” he said.

“One of the internal changes I anticipate will be to implement a promotion system with tests and an interview board to make recommendations on individuals that wish to move up in rank and responsibility,“ he said. “Another is to form a team to investigate and process crime scenes. I anticipate the purchase of a new drug dog for the police department.”

Smothers said, “Of particular interest to me is increasing the recognition of our fire department. Firemen are not as visible as police officers on patrol, and often underappreciated for the service they provide. I intend to seek more grants to help aquire new fire trucks and other necessary equipment.”

Smothers said, “I want to tell our citizens that my goal is to do all I can to make Huntingdon a better and safer place to live.”


Stewart County Records Hacked By ISIS

Dover, Tenn. – As odd as this may sound, it is being reported that hackers from the ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) apparently posted documents from Stewart County, Tenn., on Twitter in early January. Stewart County officials said the documents that were posted were already a matter of public record.

Stewart County Mayor Rick Joiner said a reporter from the New York City media contacted him about the posts. He said the documents included purchase orders, invoices and some public notices from juvenile court. No personal information apparently was posted.

Joiner told The Stewart-Houston Times he immediately contacted Stewart County Sheriff Deryk Wyatt, who contacted the state’s Department of Homeland Security. 

Wyatt said within 20 minutes he had received a call from the FBI informing him they were already aware of the breach and were investigating it. 


LBL To Waive Fees On MLK Day


Golden Pond, Ky – Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will waive fees at the Elk & Bison Prairie and riding permits at Wranglers Campground on Monday, January 19, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 

“We encourage visitors to come out and enjoy numerous free outdoor recreation opportunities year round,” said Land Between The Lakes Recreation Specialist, Gary Hawkins. “Bring your family and friends and enjoy hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, picnicking, and scenic driving in the great outdoors.”

The Forest Service participates in the fee waiver day along with the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. 


Helping Hand Total Now $63,041

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total of money raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $63,041, with $2,710 raised Thursday by the Quota Club, Oakland community, Young Farmers and Ranchers, Junior Livestock and W.G. Rhea Library.

The auction raises thousands of dollars each year for a long list of local organizations and charities.

On Friday, items will be donated by the Palestine and Central Point communities, First Church of the Nazarene and Lee School Association.

The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5




Thursday, January 15, 2015 

McCartney To Expand To Industrial Park

Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris shows the site plan for the McCartney project while Chairman Jim Hayes, Member Dan Veazey and Secretary Kathy Horner look on. (Shannon McFarlin photo)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The local industry which will be expanding into the Paris Industrial Park was publicly identified for the first time at Thursday night’s meeting of the Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission.

Long-time Paris business McCartney Produce will be moving into the industrial park and the planning commission approved a major site plan for its future home.

In other business during Thursday’s meeting, the planning commission approved other site plans: one for a retail strip mall to be located on Hwy. 77 and another for a tire retail business to be located on Hwy. 218.

McCartney will be located on Culley Drive in the industrial park, with a proposed building of 52,338 square feet.

City Economic Director Jennifer Morrison said a service entrance to the loading area is proposed as well as an additional entrance to the parking lot. 

She said the city zoning ordinance requires two parking spaces for every three employees, based on the largest shift, plus one parking space for each 50 square feet of customer service area. Based on information from McCartney, she said, the largest shift is 63 employees. With that information, the employee parking required is 42 spaces and the required customer parking is four, for a total of 46 spaces. The site plan calls for 56 parking spaces, which Morrison said will be adequate.

Helping present the McCartney plans was Engineer Robert Nichols of Union City.

Up until tonight, the McCartney project had been given the code name of Project Sampson as it moved through the necessary city and county approvals. The county and city earlier had okayed a payment in lieu of taxes agreement (PILOT) for the company. The PILOT agreement ensured that the industry not only remain in Henry County but that it expand into the industrial park and maintain its current 100 employees, with potential for more employees down the road.

McCartney is making a substantial investment in expanding into the park: $7.5M and will begin constructing the new and bigger building as soon as weather permits.

The commission also approved a minor subdivision plat and a major site plan for Dan Jackson Retail to locate a retail strip mall on the north side of Wal-Mart along Highway 77. According to the description, this is the first phase of a development that will be located on three of four parcels that Jackson already owns. 

The current phase of construction will consist of a 70’ by 70’ building and a parking lot totalling approximately one half an acre. 

Also approved were the site plans for a retail tire business to be owned by John Williams on Hwy. 218 west of Mockingbird Lane. The total tract is 17.88 acres and the area under development is .95 acres.

The proposed building is 11,200 square feet and will include a retail area and garage, with 21 parking spaces.

The commission also approved a minor subdivision plat by Mickey Mooney and Wyatt Owens for property between Volunteer Drive and Lankford Rd. 


March, Prayer Breakfast Set For MLK Day

Leading the 2012 march: Pastor Steve Gallimore, Brother Andre Richardson and Rev. James Travis. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A full slate of activities will be held to commemorate the 2015 Martin Luther King Day Celebration in Henry County. Event Chairman Rev. Kenneth Humphreys said the theme this year is “Rise Up, Restore The Dream”.

As always, the spotlight activities for the event are the prayer breakfast, march  downtown and speeches at the courthouse, beginning with the breakfast at 8 a.m. at Central School on Monday, January 19, followed by the march at 10 a.m. downtown.

Rev. Humphreys is a pastor and a member of the Henry County Commission and said this year’s focus by spreakers will be on government officials.  “This year, we are fortunate to have a cast of state and regional leaders who should be informative as well as motivational,” Humphreys said. “As in the past, we need the support of the entire community to help make this event one to remember.”

At the prayer breakfast, various community leaders will make presentations, but the highlight of the breakfast event will be Mrs. Bertha Taylor, Circuit Court Clerk, and Mrs. Natalie Porter, Register of Deeds both of Carroll Co., Humphreys said.

The march begins at 10 a.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 304 Rison St., and moves to the Henry Co. Courthouse. The courthouse program will start at 10:45 with more essays being read by students.

Keynote speaker will be Attorney Gregory L. Perry of Memphis, who is a Paris native and the son of Mrs. Ernestine Perry and the late Phynas Perry.  Following this event, there will be a luncheon for special guests, city, county, state government and elected officials. 

A program also will be held Sunday evening Jan. 18 at 6 pm at the Progressive Baptist Church, 1040 Rison St., Paris, TN.  The keynote speaker will be Rep. Johnny Shaw of Bolivar, Essays from Paris/Henry Co. students will be read by students and the “Drum Major for Peace Award” will be presented at this time. The evening event coordinator is Pastor Richard Adkisson. 


Holt: "Sick And Tired" Of Cameras 


Dresden, Tenn.– State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) said he is sick and tired of speed and red-light cameras and his constituents agree. He took to social media to ask voters in his district whether they are in favor of the controversial cameras that are used by many communities in our area. 

“If I could single-handedly outlaw every speed camera in the Great State of Tennessee, I would do it without a second thought,” Hold said. “Regardless of political party, the vast majority of folks are 100 percent against them.”

“Speed & red-light cameras are nothing more than a modernized form of speed-trapping. They have very little to do with safety, and everything to do with municipal greed. Apart from being a technically unlawful form of local fundraising off the backs of local citizens, it‘s a poorly contracted scheme since a large portion of the “revenue” is sent elsewhere, outside the State of Tennessee,” Holt said. 

Holt says that many businesses in his district are concerned due to the fact that motorists are now avoiding communities and specific streets where the cameras are located--and that is hurting the economy.

Overregulation will lead to businesses moving, he said.

“We need to ensure that our state does not begin moving in the wrong direction by allowing folks’ rights to be violated so out-of-state businesses can collect revenue,” he said. 

Holt says he is encouraging city policy makers to dismantle their red-light camera programs, but says he is also considering state-wide legislation to ban them in totality.


Heritage Center Hosts Traveling Exhibit On Civil War 


Paris, Tenn.-A community reception for the traveling exhibit "Common People In Uncommon Times" at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday.

The exhibit is from the Tennessee State Museum and it commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It will be at the Heritage Center until March 28.

The Heritage Center is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There is free admission. The exhibit is also sponsored by the Henry County Tourism Authority.


TWRA Sets Sessions On Carroll Lake

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has scheduled two public meetings to discuss future plans at Carroll Lake. The public is invited to both sessions.

The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. January 26 at McKenzie City Hall and 5 p.m. January 27 Huntingdon City Hall.

Carroll Lake is a TWRA family fishing lake located south of McKenzie on Hwy. 22.


French: Henry County Taxes Are Due


Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Trustee Randi French is reminding the public that 2014 county taxes are due and payable through February 28, 2015. In accordance with state law, penalty and interest in the amount of one and a half percent will be added per month beginning March 1. All 2014 Tax Relief applicants must pay their taxes and use their tax relief vouchers by March 1.

French said 2013 property taxes are delinquent. Penalty and interest of 18 percent is added the month of February, in compliance with state law. She also advised the public that after February 1, additional penalties and costs will be imposed.

A list of delinquent taxpayers is available online at henrycountytn.org. All unpaid taxes will be filed with the delinquent tax attorney March 26.

Property taxes can be paid at the Trustee’s Office, online or by mailing to Henry County Trustee Randi French, Box 776, Paris, Tenn., 38242. If any questions, call 642-6633.


New Coach Sought In Wake Of Mismanagement 

Murray, Ky.-Calloway County School officials are seeking a new head football coach in the wake of an investigation into financial mismanagement.

Superintendent Steve Hoskins told WKMS that Coach Brad Lawson is resigning at the end of the school year. The district has initiated an internal investigation after learning certain accounts didn’t have the sufficient funds to pay incoming bills, he said.

Hoskins said an unknown amount of money is missing and that the district was handling the matter internally. Hoskins declined to say how much money is missing but said the district is dealing with overspending and mismanagement internally.

Helping Hand Total Now $60,331

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total of money raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $60,331, with $3,014 raised today by the Jones Mill/Hico communities, Morningside of Paris, Henry Co. Youth Orchestra and Kroger and Tennessee River Fine Arts League.

A grand total of $57,317 has now been raised for the auction, which raises thousands of dollars each year for a long list of local organizations and charities.

On Thursday, items will be donated by Quota Club, Oakland community, Young Farmers and Ranchers, junior Livestock and W.G. Rhea Library. 

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

Disney Produced Film On Reelfoot Lake

Walt Disney watches as  Disney Cinematographer Karl Maslowski reviews “Secrets Of Earthquake Lake”. The third man in photo is unidentified. (West Tennessee Historical Society photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Reelfoot Lake has such an interesting history that it piqued the interest of one of the world’s most famous movie-makers. 

Disney obtained the rights to a film about the unique history of Reelfoot Lake, which was created by an earthquake in 1811.

The film, which goes by the titles “The Secret of Mystery Lake”, “Mystery Lake” and “Earthquake Lake”, was the serial for the second season of the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1940s.

Reelfoot Naturalist David Haggard said long-time employees at the state park are aware of the film and attempts have been made over the years to obtain it for Reelfoot. 

Retired University of Tennessee at Martin Professor Dr. Wintfred Smith has spent a number of years researching Reelfoot and is credited with Haggard for being an expert on the subject.

Dr. Smith said Disney himself was never at Reelfoot Lake. Haggard said Smith has tried numerous times to obtain a copy of the film.

According to the Disney website, the original footage was shot in 16mm color and without sound and was made by cameraman Karl Maslowski in the late 1940's. “This was purely a nature documentary, without dialogue or characters,” according to the website, and Maslowski exhibited the film as “Earthquake Lake” on the lecture circuit.
In 1951, the film was resurrected when long-time Disney associate Larry Lansburgh produced and directed a feature film, using Maslowski's footage, in a semi-documentary called Mystery Lake. 

The cast included both professional actors and local residents in the Reelfoot area. 
The film was released in 1954 by Larry Lansburgh Productions, and shortly thereafter was acquired by the Disney Studio. Broken into seven episodes, it was shown in February 1957 on the Mickey Mouse Club as “The Secret Of Mystery Lake”.

The film starred George Fenneman, who might be remembered by old-timers as a long-time host on various television shows during the 1950s and 1960s.

"Bogue" Bell and R. P. Alexander were local residents of the Reelfoot Lake area hired by Larry Lansburgh to act in the original movie. Bell was a fishing and hunting guide, while Alexander was a cotton farmer. 

Wanted Man May Be In Union City Area


Mayfield, Ky.-The Graves County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a wanted Graves County man who may be in the Union City area.

Kyle Ward McAlpin is currently wanted in Graves County on charges of probation violation in reference to a 2012 felony case in Graves Circuit Court and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. McAlpin is originally from the Mayfield area but may currently be in the Union City, Tennessee area. McAlpin is a 32 year old white male. He is approximately 5’11” tall and weighs about 145 pounds. McAlpin has brown hair and blue eyes. 

The Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone who may know the whereabouts of Kyle McAlpin to contact them at 270-247-4501 or call your local law enforcement agency. Information may also be called into the Mayfield/Graves County Crimestoppers at 270-247-5000.



Goodwill Serves 2,000 In Obion County


Union City, Tenn.- Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee far exceeded its mission goals for 2014, providing free employment services and job training to 28,159 people — including nearly 2,000 from the Obion County area — and helping 9,558 land jobs, the not-for-profit agency announced Tuesday.

Goodwill’s goals for last year were to assist 20,000 people and to place 6,000 in jobs. Those benchmarks were met in September. The organization, which serves 48 Tennessee counties, hopes to assist 30,000 people and place 10,000 in jobs in 2015.

The Goodwill Career Solutions center at 1430 S. First St. in Union City assisted 1,888 people in 2014, helping 676 of those land jobs.

Goodwill sells donated clothing and household goods in its stores to fund its mission of providing employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs. Nearly 90 percent of Goodwill’s clients who find jobs are placed with other employers.

There are 1,500 employers actively hiring people who receive services from Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. Goodwill’s 29 Career Solutions centers host an average of 100 job fairs per month for those employer partners.

The centers also provide a wide range of training, from job readiness and computer literacy to retail, hospitality and logistics programs. Many Goodwill clients also receive more advanced training and certificates in areas ranging from health care to security and forklift operation.

Commodities To Be Distributed Today, Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council will distribute USDA food commodities to eligible persons this week from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today and Thursday from 8:30am to 1:30pm at the Central Community Service Center, located at 55 Jones Bend Road. 

Persons with last names beginning with the letters A-K can pick up commodities Wednesday and those beginning with the letters L-Z can pick up commodities on Thursday. 

Anyone planning to pick up must have a red card and applications will not be taken on pick up days. Anyone who has yet to sign up for the commodities distribution should visit the office and do so on Tuesday. 

Anyone picking up food commodities is requested to bring a box or container to place their food in. Eligibility in this program is based on total household income and those who receive aid from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps, Families First, Supplemental Security Income are also eligible. For more information call the Central Community Service Center at 642-3132.

Sensual Pleasures On Agenda

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Adult Establishment Board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the county courthouse. On the agenda is whether or not to renew the license for Sensual Pleasures, located on Hwy. 79N. The public is welcome to attend.


Obion County Enters Into Probation Agreement 

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Commissioners approved a probation agreement with Westate Corrections at its regular meeting Monday. The county probation office has been under discussion for some time by the commissioners, who have been concerned about ways to generate more money and increase collection of fines assessed by the local courts.

Westate pitched a proposal at the December county commission meeting and since that time it has been discussed in committees.

Under the agreement, Obion County will collect all fees and fines on probation clients and submit to Westate the weekly fees collected.


Member Resigns From UC School Board

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Schools board of education is seeking a replacement for a board member who resigned Monday night.

Board Chairman Glenda Claudle announced that Dr. John Clendenin has submitted his resignation because he is moving out of the District 5 area. Clendenin had recently been elected to another term.

 
No Quorum For Cottage Grove Meeting

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Tuesday night’s meeting of the Cottage Grove Legislative Council could not be held with no quorum for the meeting. The next meeting has not been rescheduled.

Mayor Mike Waddey has announced he will be submitting his resignation since he is leaving Cottage Grove to become minister at the Maury City First Baptist Church. His pastorate at the Cottage Grove Baptist Church will end January 31.


Library To Host Computer Classes 

Paris, Tenn.-The W. G. Rhea Public Library will be holding Computer Basic 1 classes on Monday, January 19 from 5pm to 7pm at the library. Computer Basic 2 will be available on Monday, January 26 from 5 to 7pm at the library.

All classes do require registration. Anyone wishing to take Basic 2 must attend Basic 1 class.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015 

Ice Formations Return To Reelfoot Lake 

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Thanks to the frigid temperatures and wind, the ice formations have returned to Reelfoot Lake State Park. And that means a boon for people who enjoy photographing the beauty of nature, such as Reelfoot Park Manager Alisha Weber who captured this photograph on a recent chilly day.


UC Man Held Without Bond After Ramming Cruisers


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-A joy ride by a 22-year-old Union City man has landed him in the Obion County Jail with felony charges after he rammed cruisers owned by the Obion County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Montario Devante Bond of 1001 E. Vine St., is being held without bond in the jail until he is arraigned later today in Obion County General Sessions Court, according to Chief Deputy Kent Treece.

According to the Union City Police, Bond stole a four-door Nissan Altima that had been left running for a few minutes in front of a Nash St. residence Monday evening.

The stolen vehicle was spotted by officers and in the course of the pursuit, Bond wrecked the car after he had rammed it into the police vehicles.

Bond was charged with the THP with three counts of vehicular assault, evading arrest and theft.


Reminder: Skaggs To Perform At The Dixie Saturday


Huntingdon, Tenn.– A reminder that Grammy Award winner and Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs will bring his lifetime of music back to The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center Saturday, Jan. 17.

“Throughout our 10 years, Ricky Skaggs has been one of the most requested performers to return to The Dixie stage,” according to Dixie Executive Director Lori Neal Nolen.  

The demand is so great, that the artist and his Kentucky Thunder band will perform at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.

A bluegrass master, Skaggs has won 14 Grammy Awards and garnered 12 consecutive nominations with albums ranging from 1999’s Bluegrass Rules! to 2010’s Mosaic. Born in Kentucky, Skaggs began playing mandolin at the age of five.   

Tickets are $30 each and are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at dixiepac.net.  


Century 21 Burglarized

Union City, Tenn.-Another Union City business was burglarized and several thousand dollars worth of equipment was stolen sometime over the weekend.
According to the police report, when employees of the Century 21 office at 204 W. Washington St. arrived at work Monday morning, they found that someone had entered the building and stolen a long list of items, including five laptops used by employees and owned by Century 21.

The police report indicates that the suspect forced open a window in the south side of the building where a small bathroom is located.

Union City Police are also looking for the suspects in a burglary at Kizer Pharmacy in which hundreds of bottles of medications were stolen.

Former Camden Mayor Dies

Camden, Tenn.-Former long-time Camden Mayor Elvin Johnson died Monday afternoon. He served as mayor twice, with the first term from 1981-1990 and the most recent term from 2011-2014.

Johnson also served four years at Benton County Mayor and his career in public service included terms as a member of the Camden City Board of Aldermen. His funeral arrangements at Oakdale Funeral Home in Camden are incomplete at this time.


Obion County Board Of Education Hears Lake Road Plus Report

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting for a routine session Monday evening, the Obion County Schools board of education enjoyed a lively presentation by the Lake Road Plus Class.

The class is overseen by Julie Cunningham at the Lake Road Elementary School and presented for the board a report on its activities, including the creation of a newspaper, stories and poems that have been published and an animated video. The class’ next project includes a book.

The class involves students from fourth to eighth grades.

In other business:

--The board appointed Board Members Micky Preciado and David Lamb to the Sick Leave Bank Committee. The committee is composed of two members appointed by the school board, two appointed by the Obion County Education Association and Director of Schools Russell Davis, who will serve as chair.

The purpose of the Sick Leave Bank is to provide sick leave to contributors of the bank who have suffered an unplanned personal illness, injury, disability, or quarantine and whose personal sick leave or any other applicable paid leave has been exhausted. 


--The board also approved first reading on an updated board policy on class ranking. The amended portions states grades earned in grades nine through 12 will be counted toward the GPA and rank in class, students must earn a minimum of 85 final average in every course.

--The board also heard a report on literacy gains in pre-kindergarten through third grade. The meeting was held at the Lake Road Elementary School.

PSSD Receives $6,600 Mini-Grant

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Special School District received a $6,600 mini grant from Utrust to promote college and career readiness and help support a summer enrichment camp for students. 

Leah Watkins, Paris Special School District Supervisor, applied for the mini-grant with the intent of helping to inspire students to pursue school and career options beyond high school. “We are striving to help students realize their maximum potential through the awareness and preparation for the myriad of professions available with appropriate education and training,” Watkins said. “The camp will provide an excellent summer enrichment experience for our highest performing students through the use of science, technology, engineering, and math.” 

Dr. Dan Tollett, Utrust administrator said, “We are pleased that Utrust is able to provide funds through our mini-grant program to fund small projects that will make a big difference. We believe this project will make a big difference to these students. We appreciate Ms. Watkins submitting this request and we are glad to be a part of such a worthy project.”

Utrust is an organization that assists school systems in Tennessee in unemployment issues and in recognizing, supporting and appreciating school employees. It sponsors the Utrust School Employee Appreciation Program that seeks to help students to express appreciation to people who make their lives better each day.

Paris Special School Districts is one of 52 school systems in Tennessee that have received Utrust mini-grants totaling more than $750,000 to improve educational opportunities for students.  

The mini-grant program was established by the Utrust Board of Trustees to offer an opportunity for member school districts to apply for funds for small projects that might not otherwise be funded.


Helping Hand Total Now $44,230

Paris, Tenn.-A total of $44,230 has been raised in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction, with $3,217 raised Monday by the Henry County employees, Trinity United Methodist Church, Master Gardeners and the Arts Council.

On Tuesday, items will be donated by the Cottage Grove and Center communities.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



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