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Monday, November 30, 2015 

Former Gibson County Sheriff, Employees Indicted

Jackson, Tenn.-– A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury has resulted in the indictment and arrest of the former Gibson County Sheriff and several of his former employees on charges including theft and official misconduct. 

At the request of 28th District Attorney General Pro Tem Rachel Sobrero, on January 28th, TBI Special Agents joined investigators with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury to investigate a report that when current Sheriff Paul Thomas took office in September 2014, items were missing from the Sheriff’s Department. During the course of the investigation, an audit was performed and the results showed several discrepancies between the dates of July 2013 through September 2014, in the areas of employee pay compensation, drug fund accounting, and distribution of prescriptions made out in inmates’ names.

Through the investigation, TBI Agents learned that former Sheriff Chuck Arnold and former Chief Deputy Jeff Maitland allowed employees to be paid for regular and/or overtime hours they didn’t work. Special Agents also developed information that Arnold, Maitland and Renea Terrell, a nurse practitioner who contracted with the Sheriff’s Department, were involved in writing and filling prescriptions for controlled substances in the names of inmates who never received the medication. The investigation further revealed that Arnold removed money from the drug fund for his personal use, and forged documents using another individual’s name.

On Monday, the Gibson County Grand Jury returned indictments charging 12 individuals on a variety of charges. This evening, those individuals were arrested, and at the time of this release, were being booked into the Gibson County Correctional Complex.

The list of those charged is as follows:

· Chuck Arnold, 58 – Four counts Theft over $10,000, 55 counts Official Misconduct, nine counts Theft over $1,000, one count Forgery, one count Theft of $500 or more, one count Attempted Theft of $1,000 or more, two counts Attempted Theft of $10,000 or more, one count Conspiracy to Obtain Controlled Substance by Fraud, 39 counts Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud. Bond set at $10,000.

· Jeff Maitland, 48 – One count Attempted Theft of $10,000 or more, 42 counts Official Misconduct, one count Conspiracy to Obtain Controlled Substances by Fraud, 39 counts Obtaining Controlled Substances by Fraud, one count Theft of $1,000 or more, two counts Theft of $10,000 or more. Bond set at $5,000.

· Eddie Bradford, 41 – One count Theft of $1,000 or more, one count Official Misconduct. Bond set at $2,500.

· Darla Crenshaw, 48 – One count Attempted Theft of $1,000 or more, two counts Official Misconduct, one count Theft of $1,000 or more. Bond set at $2,500.

· Joel Hughey, 39 – One count of Theft of $1,000 or more, one count Official Misconduct. Bond set at $2,500.

· Melissa Hunt, 28 – One count Theft of $1,000 or more, one count Official Misconduct. Bond set at $2,500.

· Benjamin Lee, 49 – One count Theft of $10,000 or more, one count Official Misconduct. Bond set at $2,500.

· Shaun Phinnessee, 37 – One count Theft of $1,000 or more, one count Official Misconduct. Bond set at $2,500.

· Robert Pinkerton, 36 – Two counts Theft of $10,000 or more, two counts Official Misconduct. Bond set at $2,500.

· Charles Simpson, 65 – One count Theft of $10,000 or more, one count Official Misconduct. Bond set at $2,500.

· Teresa Sturdivant, 45 – One count Theft of $1,000 or more, one count Official Misconduct. Bond set at $2,500.

· Renea Terrell, 46 – One count Conspiracy to Obtain Controlled Substance by Fraud, 39 counts Obtaining Controlled Substance by Fraud, 39 counts Official Misconduct, two counts Theft $1,000 or more. Bond set at $2,500.

Traffic To Be Halted Tuesday For Eggner’s Bridge Project

Construction continues on the Eggner's Ferry Bridge. (KY Transportation Cabinet


Aurora, Ky.-The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet made the decision at noon today to halt road traffic and boat traffic on Tuesday in the area near the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge at Aurora, Ky. To allow a contractor to place the main span on the new bridge.

Transportation Cabinet Spokesperson Keith Todd said it was determined that weather conditions will be favourable Tuesday to allow crews to move the 550-foot steel arch onto the bridge.

U.S. 68/KY 80 will be closed at the construction site starting around 7 a.m. on Tuesday. The closure is expected to be in place for up to 24 hours. 

Detours will be set up and will add 40-45 minutes to travel times for many commuters.

All boat trafic on Kentucky Lake and the Tennessee River will be halted at the construction site for 48 hours, Todd said. That also will start at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Todd earlier had said moving the 5.1 million pound truss into place will require winds of less than 10 miles per hour.

Perfect Reflection Over Kentucky Lake

Buchanan, Tenn.-The moon created a perfect reflection onto Kentucky Lake over the Ned McWherter Bridge at dusk on a recent evening. And Local Photographer Charlie Allen was there to snap a perfect photograph.

Death On Highway Ruled Suicide

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-A 20-year-old Paris man died early this morning after he intentionally ran in front of a tractor trailer on Hwy. 79 South.

Christopher Owen of Eiffel Tower Lane was declared deceased by Henry County Coroner Danny Tucker at Henry County Medical Center where he was taken after the accident.

He was struck around 3:15 a.m. this morning by a tractor trailer driven by Phillip Hardin of Earth City, Mo.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a pedestrian had been hit on the highway, south of Hwy. 218. Hardin was driving northbound at the speed limit when, according to the sheriff’s office, Owen intentionally jumped over the guard rail and ran into the lane that the tractor trailer was driving in.

According to the accident report, further investigation revealed that Owen intended to commit suicide. A suicide note was found in Owen’s wallet.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol was at the scene and conducted a Level One check on the tractor trailer. 

That lane of the highway was shut down for a time while the investigation was being conducted. Assisting at the scene were the Henry County Rescue Squad, Coroner’s office, THP and Paris Police Department.

Death On Highway Investigated

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a death on Hwy. 79S this morning and will be issuing information shortly. Traffic was blocked for a time while the investigation was ongoing. We will publish information on the incident as soon as it is available.

Gingerbread Houses On Tap At Lee, Library

Paris, Tenn.-’Tis the season for gingerbread houses and cookies and there are two places in Paris that will spotlight the yummy treats this week.

The Lee Academy for the Arts and Paris-Henry County Arts Council are sponsoring a Christmas Bazaar and Gingerbread House competition Saturday, December 5, at the Lee Academy on Lee St.

The bazaar is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature artworks and crafts created by local artists, including stained glass, oil and acrylics, pottery, jewellery and more. 

The gingerbread house competition will be held from 9 a.m. to noon with awards at 12:30 p.m. Children and adults can build their own houses. 

Cocoa, cider, cookies and an appearance by Santa are on tap. 

On Tuesday, December 1, the W.G. Rhea Library will hold a Family Gingerbread House Workshop from 5-7 p.m. at no cost.

Kids accompanied by adults can help construct and decorate a gingerbread house. Call 642-1702 to register.

New Harmony Live Nativity This Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-New Harmony Baptist Church will host its 18th Annual Live Nativity from 6-9 p.m. December 4-6 at New Harmony Baptist Church located at 7050 Hwy 69 South. Drive through a trail of luminaries and view the living scenes depicting the birth of Christ. Come and enjoy a free Christmas gift to the community. (Photo by Mike Wilson).

 “No Hunting” Zones Open to Archery Deer Hunting 

Land Between The Lakes – Five areas typically marked as “No Hunting” will open to archery deer hunting beginning December 1, in Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Hillman Ferry and Energy Lake campgrounds will be open to archery hunting through January 19. Piney Campground, Brandon Spring Group Center, and the South Nature Watch Demonstration Area in the eastern portion of Hunt Area 16 south of Ft. Henry Road will be open to archery hunting through January 4. Hunters are encouraged to harvest antlerless deer in these areas to maintain healthy deer populations.

Hunting is not permitted within 150 yards of any road, facility, building, occupied area, or within 200 yards of any wildlife refuges. Hunters age 16 and older must possess all state required licenses and permits for the state being hunted: $25 Land Between The Lakes Hunter Use Permit, or $35 combination Hunter Use/Backcountry Camping Permit. 

Permits can be purchased online 24/7 under Reservations and Permits, at Golden Pond Visitor Center and Wranglers Campground year-round, or at stores that sell state hunting licenses.

Archery deer hunters may hunt within campground boundaries and away from campsites in the five identified areas only. Maintenance staff will continue working throughout the winter at facilities. Hunters are advised to use extra caution when hunting in these areas. 

Camping will be available at Wranglers Campground, at Self-service Camping Areas, and in Backcountry Areas. For additional information go to, and click Stewardship, then Hunting, or call 270-924-2065. For information on hunting regulations click on General Hunting Regulations on the hunting page.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

UC Tree Lighting, Parade Postponed


Union City, Tenn.-Attention: All Union City and Obion County folks! The Main Street organization and the Union City Jaycees are announcing that The Christmas Tree Lighting and Union City Christmas parade have been rescheduled to Tuesday night due to forecasted inclement weather. The events will be held at the same times: tree lighting at 5:30 and the parade at 7 pm.


Reelfoot Rural Ministries Seeks Donations

Obion, Tenn.-Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM) in Obion, Tenn., is getting ready for its 2015 Christmas Toy Store and is looking for donations of toys, money and volunteer time.

A ministry of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, RRM serves people in need within four counties: Lake, Obion and Dyer counties in Tennessee and Fulton County in Kentucky.

Reelfoot Rural Ministries’ Christmas Toy Store allows parents of low-income families to shop for inexpensive Christmas presents for their children.

The 2015 Christmas Toy Store will run Dec. 7-10 and is planning to help 700 families.

In 2014, the Christmas Toy Store helped 1,507 children and 613 families.

Toys may be delivered to several locations in our area, including the Reelfoot Rural Ministries headquarters at 6923 Minnick-Elbridge Rd., Obion, 731-538-9970
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. by Noon, Dec. 5

The Ministry also appreciates monetary donations. Volunteers often take trips to buy new toys when supplies run low during the Christmas Toy Store’s operation days. Checks may be made payable to “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” and sent to the address above.



Candlelight Advent Walk Heralds the Season

Paris, Tenn.- The Candlelight Advent Walk ushers in the Christmas season Wednesday evening, December 2nd at 6:30 p.m. Worshipers will hear the message of Advent in beautifully decorated churches then process by candlelight through the historic downtown area.

“This is a unique and lovely way to usher in the Advent Season,” according to First Christian Church Minister of Music Rhonda Stanton who chairs the 2015 Advent Walk Committee. “It’s a great opportunity to worship with other churches, enjoy their meaningful decorations of the season and stroll through our charming Victorian town square while visiting with our friends and neighbors.”

The service begins at First Presbyterian Church (South Market Street). It will then proceed to First United Methodist (East Blythe Street), then on to First Christian Church (South Poplar Street), and then to Grace Episcopal and Ketchum Hall (South Poplar Street). Worshipers will then head through sparkling downtown Paris to First Baptist Church at 313 North Poplar, and finally arriving at Quinn Chapel AME (Church Street) who will also host a reception after the service. A van is available for those who do not wish to walk, according to Stanton.

Participating churches and the Downtown Paris Association sponsor the annual event. According to the DPA Executive Director, Kathy Ray, “This year we are focusing on words of Advent, with each location speaking to a different word or theme.” For more information on Christmas events downtown, log on



Artists’ Holiday Art Bazaar Set This Week

Martin, Tenn. Community members who havent finished their holiday shopping will have an opportunity to purchase hand-made, one-of-a-kind artwork during the second annual Holiday Art Bazaar, hosted by the University of Tennessee at Martins League of Striving Artists and the Department of Visual and Theatre Arts. The bazaar will be open to the public Dec. 4-5 in the UT Martin Fine Arts Building Gallery.

The League of Striving Artists seeks to promote the development of art enthusiasts and artists on campus and in the community through academics, service learning and leadership. Student members will have a variety of artwork available, including paintings, scarves, handmade holiday cards, ceramics and glass ornaments.

A special preview evening for Support the Arts campaign members will be held from 5-7 p.m., Dec. 3. To learn more about the STARTS campaign or to become a contributor, visit or call the UT Martin Department of Visual and Theatre Arts at 731-881-7400.

The gallery will be open to the public from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 4, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Dec. 5. Cash, check and charge will be accepted, and a portion of all proceeds will benefit the League of Striving Artists.

For more information, contact Jason Stout, associate professor of art and League of Striving Artists faculty adviser, at 731-881-3402 or by email at; or Karen Johnson, Department of Visual and Theatre Arts, at 731-881-7400 or by email at

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Three Arrested For Drug Trafficking On Courthouse Lawn

Mayfield, Ky.-Drug trafficking on the courthouse lawn? That’s what was happening in Graves County, Kentucky, and three people from Mayfield are in jail as a result.

Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon reported that three Graves County residents were arrested on the Courthouse lawn after detectives were called to assist court security officers in a disturbance outside the courthouse. 

William Wilson, 61, Kenneth Edwards, 58, and Jennifer Dunn, 42, all of Mayfield were at the courthouse when Wilson and Dunn got into an argument that alarmed several people when the three began cussing and yelling. 

The Sheriff’s Office Court Security Officers followed them out to the front lawn, Redmon said. As drug detectives began speaking with them about what had taken place, it was determined that illegal drug trafficking was taking place on the property of the Graves County Courthouse. The drugs involved were prescription medications of Hydrocodone and Diazepam.

The charges are as follows:

Wilson was charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 1st Degree greater than 10 Dosage Units.

Edwards was charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 3rd Degree greater than 20 Dosage Unitd, Possession of Controlled Substance 1st Degree and Prescription Controlled Substance not in Proper Container

Dunn – Possession of Controlled Substance 1st Degree, Prescription Controlled Substance not in Proper Container, Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct 2nd Degree.

Christmas Activities Abound At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-Topping the list of unique holiday activities at Discovery Park of America is the “Let it Glow Light Show,” which opens at 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 1st.

Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy said the park wanted to offer something to people in this area that is unique, something that they havent been able to do around here. After many meetings and plans, the group decided to have a lighted drive-through exhibit. “Theres not much that gets people in the holiday spirit more than Christmas lights, so we are lighting things up at Discovery Park,” Rippy said. Grounds Director John Watkins, has headed up the effort, but he said about 20  30 Discovery Park employees have been involved in one way or another.

After opening Dec. 1, the “Let It Glow” show will be open each evening that the park is open from 5 until 9 throughout the month of December. The park is closed on Mondays, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so the drive through will be closed on those days as well. According to Watkins, there are over 380 thousand lights…over 24 miles if you stretched them all out. “This year, it is all about lights,” Watkins said. There is no animation in this years show, but each year it will get bigger and better, according to Watkins.

There is also a “live nativity” with community churches setting the scene. The following churches will be participating:

 The cost to drive through the light show is $5 per car, $10 for a 15 passenger or less van and if a group arrives in a larger bus, Discovery Park will provide transportation at $1 per person, due to height limitations. The access road is almost a mile long, so we expect it to take about ten minutes to drive through, with one of the highlights being a 60 foot drive through tunnel of dancing lights

Other December activities include “Photos with Santa” each Saturday from noon until 5 p.m. According to park officials, everyone is invited to bring a camera and snap a photo with Santa, who will be located in Dinosaur Hall this year. Theres no extra charge to visit with Santa, it is free with park admission. Plus, this year, Discovery Park has a mail box that is guaranteed delivery to the North Pole, so your children are welcome to bring their letters to Santa and mail them in the special mailbox which will be in the Discovery Center lobby on Saturdays.

Sunday afternoons bring Polar Express at the Train Depot. The park had a Polar Express event one Sunday afternoon last Christmas, and it sold out. So, this year, the park expanded it to three Sunday afternoons with four shows each day. It was publicized via email to members and others who have gone online and submitted an email address. Within days, it was completely sold out. Polar Express is sponsored by Simmons Bank. Everyone who purchased a special Polar Express ticket is welcome to bring their children in their pajamas for their appointed show. On Sundays, the letters to Santa mailbox will be located at the Train Depot. Park officials encourage anyone who is not getting the Discovery Park emails to go online or call and get on the mailing list, because some events sell out after they are mentioned in the weekly email.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN. 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.


At Chamber Coffee

Paris, Tenn.-Scott Morrison, left, FirstBank, presented gift baskets to Michele Atkins, Henry County Extension, and Marie Berryman during the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Coffee at FirstBank on Mineral Wells Ave.


Reminder: Elf On Shelf Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The Elf on the Shelf will be at Jack’s Java from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday and will be available for photos. The event is sponsored by Downtown Paris Association and Bethel University. Elizabeth Cook Photography will provide families the opportunity to have their pictures taken with “Elf”. Photos can then be accessed on the Downtown Paris Association Facebook page.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Huge Crowd Greets Santa And The Gang Today

Santa and his entourage ready to leave for downtown. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A huge crowd was on hand Friday morning to greet Santa as he arrived in downtown Paris for North Pole Family Fun Day. As always, Santa stopped by the Paris Fire Department first and was escorted into downtown on a fire truck. He was accompanied by Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and the elves and immediately went to his house on the courthouse lawn where he began hearing what the girls and boys want for Christmas.
Santa’s entourage today included the elves Megan and Abigail Richardson, Daniel Pardon and Jonathan Beasley as Rudolph.

Santa will be in his house all weekend. His hours this weekend and until December 20 are Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

North Pole Family Fun Day continues through 2 p.m. today, with all sorts of activities including trackless train rides, face painting, “Polar Express” readings, crafts by the 4-H Clubs, petting zoo, and pony carousel rides. Everything is free, except pictures with Santa by the Henry county High School Band Boosters cost $5.

Santa and Mrs. Claus share a moment at the Paris Fire Department.
(McFarlin photo).

Renaissance Choir Performs With Bill Gaither

McKenzie, Tenn. - The Renaissance Choir from Bethel University was in concert with Bill Gaither this past week, The Gaither Vocal Band, and the Homecoming Tour at First Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. The choir opened the show and accompanied the artists on multiple songs. 

“To be on the platform with some of our industry’s top artists was an experience that our students will cherish for the rest of their lives,” according to Steve Hurst, Renaissance Choir Director. “For me personally, this was one of those ‘bucket-list’ moments where I realized we were on the stage with the people who wrote and recorded the Gospel classics that I grew up listening to.”

In addition to the Gaither Vocal Band, the students met and performed alongside Buddy Greene, The Isaacs, Charlotte Ritchie, and Gene McDonald. 

"What a great night for Bethel University to have our Renaissance Choir as part of the Gaither Christmas Show,” Bethel University’s President Dr. Walter Butler said. ‘We are so honored that Bill Gaither included Bethel University on the program. It was a night our students will remember forever."

Pictures and videos from this event can be found on the Renaissance Facebook Page. For more information about the Renaissance Program visit their website

TWRA: Remember Your Orange

Jackson, Tenn.-Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Region 1 has issued a reminder to deer hunters that 500 square inches of daylight flourescent orange must be worn on the upper body along with something on your head. Orange MUST be worn at ALL times including while walking to the stand, in the stand or shooting house, and returning from the hunt. At no time shall anyone remove their orange.

The only exemption to this law is a person hunting on that person's own property. A landowner is defined as the individual's name that is listed on the tax record. Children & grandchildren of landowners MUST wear orange. Son-in-law's and daughter-in-law's are required to wear orange.

Shop Local Small Business Saturday

The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and the Obion County Chamber of Commerce reminds everyone to Be Local and support Small Business Saturday on November 28th.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Christmas Tree Permits Available At LBL

Land Between The Lake, Ky. And Tenn. – Free Christmas tree permits for Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will be available online at November 27-December 24. Permits, maps, and cutting guidelines may be obtained online anytime. Members of the public may also obtain a permit in person at the Administrative Office, 8am-3:30pm, Monday-Friday, November 30 through December 23.

A permit entitles a family to cut one cedar tree between November 27 and December 24. Cedar trees may be cut anywhere in Land Between The Lakes except:

· Within sight of US68/KY80

· Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway

· Cemeteries

· Nature Watch Areas

· Campgrounds

· Other mowed areas

Trees must be cedar, less than 10 feet tall, and stumps must be less than 4 inches tall. Chain saws may be used. Use of trucks, winches, tractors, or other heavy equipment is prohibited. Cutting rules and regulations can be found at under Fact Sheets and Information.

"Taking the family out into the woods to look for the perfect Christmas tree is a great holiday tradition. Check along roadsides or within old forest openings to find your tree,” suggested Forester, Dennis Wilson. “The cedar tree program also helps Land Between The Lakes maintain open lands and promote diverse wildlife habitat.”

Cedar Christmas tree permits and regulations can be found at Call 270-924-2065 for more information.


Youth Orchestra Winter Concert Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Youth Orchestra will present its Winter Concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 1 at the First Baptist Church in Paris. Admission is a $5 donation that will be used to help fund scholarships. Attendees will be treated to a night of festive music while helping to support the arts in Paris-Henry County.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Full Moon Lights Up Downtown  

Paris, Tenn.-Last night’s full moon seemed to illuminate downtown Paris as shops and businesses were closing and people were hustling to get home or do more Thanksgiving shopping. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Big Daddy’s Coming To Paris

Paris, Tenn.-Plans are for a Big Daddy’s BBQ in the future for Paris. A sign announcing Big Daddy’s BBQ will be locating in Paris was recently placed on an empty lot on Tyson Ave. The site most recently was where the Hart’s Fresh Produce truck was located. According to City Economic Director Jennifer Morris, Big Daddy’s owners informed the city they will be locating a food truck there on a semi-permanent basis but did not say when. Big Daddy’s presently operates a BBQ restaurant in McKenzie. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Obion County Decking Out For Holidays

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.--A lot is happening in Union City and Obion County during the holidays, from the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and parade in Union City on Monday, to Christmas parades in every town in Obion County coming up and the Festival of Trees at the Obion County Public Library.

Main Street Union City will present the “A Christmas Celebration: Community Christmas Tree Lighting” at the Obion County Courthouse at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 30, followed by the parade through downtown at 7 p.m.

Other Obion County Christmas parades will be held on this schedule: Obion, 7 p.m. December 4; Samburg, 6 p.m. December 6; Kenton, 6:30 p.m. December 5; Hornbeak, 7 p.m. December 11; and Troy, 7 p.m. December 12.

Meanwhile, beginning now, the Obion County Library is hosting the annual Festival of Trees. Any group, business or organization can begin furnishing and decorating their trees for display at the library during the holiday season.

Paris FFA Excels At National Event

Louisville, Ky.- Members of the Paris FFA Chapter in Tennessee were one of 43 teams participating in the National FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management Career Development Event (CDE). The event was held in conjunction with the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky. The team, led by advisor Laura Moss, was awarded a Bronze emblem. Members also competed for individual awards with 166 other participants. Allie Jo Shankle received a Gold emblem, Kasey Pickle received a Silver emblem, Tiffany Clark received a Bronze emblem, and Courtland Hester received a Silver emblem.

The top ten individuals and the national winning team members received cash awards to recognize their success in the event. The cash awards and the dairy cattle evaluation and management event are sponsored by Allflex U.S.A. Inc.

The National FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management CDE is a competitive event that tests the student's ability to select and manage quality dairy cattle. Event components include six classes of dairy cattle, herd record evaluation and dairy management team activity. Each team competed at local and state levels to earn the privilege of representing their home state at the National FFA Convention & Expo. 

Bob Valentine To Perform As Mark Twain For Fundraiser

Murray, Ky. — Murray State Professor Robert Valentine of Paris, a senior lecturer of advertising and guest director of the theatre will be performing his one-man show “Mark Twain Remembers” Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert E. Johnson Theatre in the fine arts building.

Valentine has been performing as Mark Twain for more than 40 years. He got his start when he was a graduate student at the University of Kentucky. His interest in Twain began when he read “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival Crime in Connecticut.” Soon after he and his brother Richard Valentine started to compose a script of Twain stories. 

This performance will take place on the 180th anniversary of Samuel Clemens’ birth and Valentines 40 year anniversary of portraying Twain in his two-act one man show. 

“My goal during the performance is to help people understand the era from which Twain came. He was a man of the horse-and-buggy era, but he also saw motion picture and used the telephone,” Valentine said. “Twain’s pieces always focused on the human experience. Though he lived in a different era, much of his social criticisms can resonate with people today.”

Murray State University Town and Gown sponsors this performance. Admission is $15 for the public and $5 for students with a valid student ID at the door. All proceeds from the performance will benefit Murray State Theatre and Murray’s playhouse in the park program. 

David Johnson Chorus To Perform In Dresden

Dresden, Tenn.-Among the many things that people associate with the Christmas season, most everyone agrees that Christmas music helps set the tone for the holidays. For the past seventeen years the David Johnson Chorus has been bringing the joy of Christmas in song to audiences throughout the south.  

The 2015 edition of “Come Celebrate Christmas” promises to be no different.

DJC will present "Come Celebrate Christmas!" at Dresden Elementary School on Saturday, November 28, at 7 PM.  Tickets will be available at the door.  Adult admission will be $10.00; children and students admitted free of charge.  A reception will follow.

For more information, contact General Manager, Gail Dyer, at 731-514-0167, and follow DJC on Facebook.

Christmas Wreath Workshop Set

Union City, Tenn.-The Northwest Tennessee Master Gardeners will present a Christmas wreath workshop at 6 p.m. December 3 at the Obion County Fairgrounds Women’s Building.

Fee is $10. Register by December 1 by calling Kate 270-627-0786 or Phyllis 270-210-6602.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Project Roundup Has Awarded Over $1M Since 2002

BPU General Manager John Etheridge, left, presents reports at today's meeting.

(McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Since it began in 2002, the Paris Board of Public Utilities’ Project Roundup has awarded $1,125,514 to a long list of non-profit organizations in Paris and Henry County.

Created while Charles Perry was General Manager of BPU, the concept of Project Roundup is very simple: when customer’s bills are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar, the extra amount is put in the Roundup fund for distribution to organizations which help local people.

The Project Roundup board is a separate state-chartered organization, according to current General Manager John Etheridge, with a seven-member board that meets quarterly.

“The money stays in Henry County and Paris”, Etheridge said, “and there are no expenses for the organization. It’s operated at no cost, but an awful lot of good comes from it.”

Most of the grants awarded through the organization are under $5,000, Etheridge said.

According to a list of Roundup recipients distributed at Tuesday’s meeting of the BPU board of directors, non-profits which have received the monies over the years have included Friends of Paris Landing, Downtown Paris Association, Henry County High School Quarterback Club, Henry County Archives, Henry County DARE program, local volunteer fire departments, the Heritage Center, Hoof Beats of Hope and many more.

A recent audit of Project Roundup’s books resulted in no findings, “and that’s the way it’s been every year,” Etheridge said. “It has never had anything but a clean audit.”

Likewise, the audit of the BPU showed no findings “and that’s always nice and that’s the way it’s been eight of the last nine years,” Etheridge said.

In other business during the meeting, the board approved a recommendation by Etheridge to continue its contract with Alexander Thompson Arnold, which includes a $700 increase. “I think we’re getting a good price for all they do,” Etheridge said. “And we need to be on the same page as the city of Paris and when we both use the same auditing firm, it makes it more simple.”

Driver Injured Driving Stolen Bad Bob’s Van

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-The Bad Bob’s BBQ delivery van stolen in Union City didn’t get very far. And the person driving it is recovering in The Med in Memphis from injuries he suffered when he wrecked the van.

The van that was earlier reported stolen from Union City was observed by Weakley County Sheriff’s Deputy James Sanders on Main Street in Martin, driving with no headlights or taillights.

Deputy Sanders attempted to stop the vehicle, which then fled north on Hwy 45 toward South Fulton, Tennessee. 

According to Weakley County Sheriff’s Capt. Randall McGowan, the vehicle then made several turns and drove back and forth between Martin and South Fulton. 

Joining the pursuit, deputies from Obion County, South Fulton officers and Troopers from the Kentucky State Police also attempted to stop the vehicle before it crashed on State Line Rd near Roberts road east of Dukedom. 

McGowan said the driver of the vehicle was identified as Greg Birchem of Lindell St. in Martin. He was flown by helicopter to The Med in Memphis for treatment of injuries received in the wreck. several charges will be pending in Weakley County.

Historical Society Unveils Justice Jackson Portrait

Hears Program On Camp Tyson Book


Historical Society President David Webb with portrait of Justice Howell Jackson, left. Brig. Gen. Roland Parkhill with painting of Camp Tyson he helped save. The painting was painted by a former Camp Tyson soldier and hangs at the Heritage Center. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-At a busy meeting of the Henry County Historical Society Monday night,  a portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Justice and Paris Native Howell Jackson was unveiled and members heard chapters of the book, “As If They Were Ours: The Story of Camp Tyson, America’s Only WWII Barrage Balloon Training Facility” read by the author Shannon McFarlin of Paris.

The portrait of Jackson will be hung in the Henry County Courthouse and will join other portraits of prominent Henry Countians, including Christine Reynolds, Pearl Routon, Mordecai Johnson and Joe Routon Sr. The portraits of Reynolds and Routon also have already been unveiled. The portraits of Johnson and Routon will be unveiled at future meetings.

The program on Jackson was provided by Historical Society President David Webb, who said Jackson was born in a home near Barton Field in Paris in 1832 and in addition to serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, was also a State Senator and served on the Circuit Court and the 6th District Circuit Court of Appeals.

Webb said, “To have one U.S. Supreme Court Justice is exceptional and to have one born in our county and stay in Tennessee is even more exceptional.”

Jackson was married twice, first to Sophia Malloy, who died of yellow fever, and then to Mary Elizabeth Harding, the daughter of the owner of the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville.

Jackson took office in the U.S. Senate on March 4, 1881, and served for five years. Jackson resigned from the Senate on April 14, 1886 to accept appointment by President Grover Cleveland to the United States Circuit Court for the Sixth Circuit. In 1892, he served with future President William Howard Taft on the reorganized United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  

Jackson was appointed as an Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Benjamin Harrison. At the age of 60, Jackson was confirmed by a unanimous Senate vote,

Jackson died in August of 1895 and is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville.

McFarlin read a few chapters from her Camp Tyson book, including ones about the formation of the camp, the day Movie Star Jeanette MacDonald appeared at the camp, runaway barrage balloons and a chapter about Artist Paul Soik, who was a soldier at the camp. Soik painted the oil painting, “Haul ‘Er Up” which is on permanent display at the Heritage Center and which Roland Parkhill of Paris helped to save.

Newly-acquired artifacts, including several from Camp Tyson, were on display at the Heritage Center. The artifacts were bought at the recent Jim and Emily Cox auction by the Historical Society. Webb said, “This is one of the most significant collections in Henry County. We obtained everything we wanted to, if not more.” The Historical Society spent some $3,000 on the collection.

Webb thanked Rachel Terrell for staying at the auction for two days to bid on the items. “If not for her, we wouldn’t have as many as we have.”


Rhea Students Learn About Electricity

Paris, Tenn.-Rhea Teacher Kim Underhill's second grade class gets a lesson from Zach Underhill, a lineman, about electricity safety. The students were exposed to the various dangers electricity can cause. They were amazed to learn about how electricity can travel through things, such as water, despite not being able to see it. The students read a book about electricity prior to the demonstration, and they were able to ask Zach questions. The students then made connections between the book that was read and the demonstration. (Rhea School photo).

Bad Bob’s Delivery Van Stolen

Union City, Tenn.-This stolen vehicle shouldn’t be too hard to spot.

Someone stole a Bad Bob’s delivery van with the words “Bad Bob’s BBQ” prominently displayed on the sides from the back of the BBQ restaurant at 616 E. Reelfoot Ave. in Union City.

The proprietor of the restaurant said the van was there late Saturday night but was gone by Monday morning. The van is a 2000 Dodge Caravan with Kentucky license 877TCR and is worth $3,000.

The van’s information has been entered into NCIC.

Young Professionals Sponsor Food Drive

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Young Professionals group is sponsoring a food drive for the Back Pack programs of Henry County. These programs do amazing things for the children in our community and any donation you can make is greatly appreciated. They are asking for donations to send extra food home over the long Christmas Break. There will be several drop off locations throughout the city from now until December 7th. The group will donate all items on December 8th, 9th, and 10th. 

Please help send some extra food home with local children for their Christmas Break. Any monetary donations can be made to the Chamber of Commerce. Feel free to contact Brittney Plowman with any questions about the programs or how to make a donation.

Trim A Tree For Wildlife Event Set

Springville, Tenn.-Have the family in for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and looking for something to do, especially something that is free? Do you really need a place that is designed for kids of all ages? Then come on down to the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, November 28th  for a fun day with the whole family. The refuge is hosting “Trim a Tree for Wildlife” a day that will focus on making Christmas ornaments out of things from nature as well as suggestions on how to trim your outdoor tree for wildlife. 

Located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville, the refuge Visitor Center is open from 8 a.m.– 4 p.m. Monday – Saturday. Fully interactive wildlife exhibits combined with experiencing a beautiful bay of Kentucky Lake can make for a pleasant day in itself. But during this event the entire center will be filled with kid-friendly craft tables. The Blue Heron Book Store will also be open with plenty of newly stocked items for the unique Christmas gift. Entrance to the Visitor Center and events are always free to the public.

The Refuge Discovery Series is a monthly free program held at the refuge that attempts to connect people with nature. For more information about upcoming Refuge Discovery Series programs or about the refuge in general, please call the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 731-642-2091 or see the website at or on facebook at 

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, encompassing 51,358 acres of water, forests, farmland and grasslands, is located on and around Kentucky Lake. Established in 1945, the refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as an important resting and feeding area for wintering waterfowl and other migratory birds. The refuge’s three units, the Duck River, Big Sandy and Busseltown stretch along 65 miles of the Tennessee River.

Santa’s Hours For Christmas Season

Paris, Tenn.-Santa Claus will be in his house on the Henry County Courthouse lawn beginning Friday. His hours this weekend are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 2-4 p.m. Sunday.

After this weekend, Santa will be in his house Saturdays 10 to 2 and Sundays 2 to 4 through Sunday, December 20th.

Register For Free Computer Classes At Library

Paris, Tenn.-Free Computer class for Excel I to be held Monday, December 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 in W.G. Rhea Public Library computer lab. Registration required Call 642-1702 to register limited space.

Free Computer class for Excel II to be held Wednesday, December 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 in the library computer lab. Registration required. Call 642-1702 to register--limited space.

Free Computer class for Job and workplace skills among other career research to be held Wednesday, December 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 in the library computer lab. Registration required Call 642-1702--limited space.

Tickets On Sale for “Yes, Virginia The Musical”

Paris, Tenn.-This holiday season, Krider Performing Arts Center will present “Yes, Virginia the Musical,” a Macy’s original production based on the true story of Virginia O’Hanlon, an eight-year old girl who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897 inquiring about the existence of Santa Claus.  

This musical program debuted in 2012 as a part of Macy’s “Believe” Campaign which supports the Make-A-Wish® Foundation.  The “Believe” program encourages children of all ages to write a letter to Santa to be dropped off at the red Santa Mail letterbox at a Macy’s store or to be emailed directly to the Macy’s “Believe” website.  For every letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish® Foundation, up to $1 million, helping to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.  

Performances are 7 p.m. Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5. Tickets are on sale now at Paris Civic Center and Merison’s Furniture in Paris.  Seating is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and children ages three and up.  Tickets will be available at the door as well.  

Paris Thanksgiving Closings Announced

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris has announced its Thanksgiving closings and schedule changes for this week.

The city of Paris Public Works Department will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25 and 26. That means on Wednesday, trash will be picked up for both Wednesday and Thursday. Please have trash out by 7 a.m. Public works will reopen Monday, Nov. 30.

The landfill will be closed Thursday through Saturday and will reopen Monday.

The animal shelter will be closed Thursday through Saturday and reopen Monday at 11:30 a.m.

City Hall will be closed Thursday and Friday and reopen Monday at 7:30 a.m.

The Paris Civic Center will be closed Thursday and will reopen on Monday at 6 a.m.

6pm – 5am

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