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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Man Wanted In Death Taken Into Custody


        George Freeland

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County man wanted on charges of reckless homicide and aggravated assault has been captured thanks to the cooperative efforts of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Crime Unit and U.S. Marshal Service

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew told WENK/WTPR that George Freeland, age 43, was taken into custody in a wooded area behind Howell’s Resort in Buchanan.

Freeland is being held in the Henry County Jail on $200,000 bond. He will be arraigned in General Sessions Court on August 2.

Freeland was charged in connection with the death of Tracy Attaway, age 53, with whom Freeland had an altercation. Attaway died at Vanderbilt Medical Center after being transferred there from Henry County Medical Center.

Belew thanked the assisting agencies and the support of the community in the apprehension of Freeland.

Victim Found In Martin Store Is Identified


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-The Martin Police Department Thursday afternoon identified the victim whose body was found in the Dollar General Store in Martin as Ruby Rachel Tackett, age 59, of Lee Street in Martin.

Her body was found in the store early Wednesday after firefighters extinguished a fire there.

Martin Police Chief Don Teal declined comment to WENK/WTPR on whether the victim was an employee of the store. “I would rather not say at this time,” he said. “That’s all part of the investigation.”

The case is still under investigation by the Martin PD, Martin Fire Department, TBI and the State Fire Marshal.

The store remains closed as the investigation continues. Teal said more information will be provided as it is available.


Henry County Man Wanted In Reckless Homicide

Paris, Tenn.-Warrants for reckless homicide and aggravated assault have been issued for a Henry County man.

Warrants have been issued for George G. Freeland, age 43.

Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the Henry County Medical Center emergency room on a report of a victim with severe injuries. It was determined that the victim had been in an altercation.

According to Investigator Adam Jenkins, the victim, Tracy Attaway, age 53, was later transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center and died from his injuries.

Officers with the Sheriff’s Office, Metro Crime Unit and U.S. Marshals are actively searching for Freeland and the sheriff’s office is offering a $500 reward for any information on his whereabouts.

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

Buchanan Couple Found Dead In Home

Buchanan, Tenn.-Two people were found dead inside a home on Buchanan Road early this morning and investigators with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office have determined that their deaths were the result of a domestic dispute earlier in the evening.

According to Sheriff’s Capt. Damon Lowe, deputies were called to 3835 Buchanan Road at 12:34 a.m. today on a report of a male and female being dead inside the residence.

Deputies found a female identified as Stephanie Boyd and a male identified as William Timothy Boyd dead of gunshot wounds.

Lowe said the sheriff’s office Criminal Investigation Division were called to the scene and responded along with the coroner and the Crime Scene Technicians.

He said investigators determined that their deaths were the result of an altercation earlier in the evening and that William Boyd shot Stephanie Boyd and later turned the gun on himself. She was shot multiple times and he died of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Having A “Back To School” Blast

Paris, Tenn.-Amanda Dunn and Stephanie England from the Henry County Health Department, in top photo, pass out school supplies to children at Wednesday’s Back to School Blast sponsored by the Family Resource Center at the Central School Building in Paris. A large crowd was on hand to receive free school supplies, backpacks and many freebies handed out at dozens of booths. Bottom photo, Kayla Nation of the W.G. Rhea Library also hands out free items for children. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Martin Man Pulls Knife On Deputies During Arrest

               Travis Streeter

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-A 24-year-old Martin man allegedly pulled a knife on and fought with deputies in the course of an arrest on numerous charges, including tampering with evidence by swallowing a bag of meth.

Arrested was Travis Lee Streeter of 2692 Ralston Road. He was charged with possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, tampering with evidence (by eating meth) and failure to appear. He also was charged with Fugitive from Justice charges from Kentucky.

Weakley County deputies were called to Haney Road at 11 p.m. Tuesday concerning a pickup truck being abandoned in a driveway of a house. The pickup was involved with a pursuit by the Obion County Sheriff’s Office and the Kentucky State Police.

Weakley County Sheriff’s Captain Randall McGowan said Deputies James Sanders and Marcus Hopper observed drug-related items in the truck. McGowan also noted that Haney Road is a dead-end road and that deputies observed another vehicle drive by and saw Streeter in the passenger seat.

McGowan said the deputies knew that Streeter had active arrest warrants on file at the sheriff’s office. The vehicle was stopped and Streeter refused to cooperate with deputies, McGowan said.

“After removing Streeter from the vehicle and getting one of his hands in handcuffs, Streeter attempted to pull a knife from his pocket and fought with the deputies,” McGowan said. A taser was used on Streeter and he was arrested and handcuffed.



Bethel Loses State Certification In Education Program

McKenzie, Tenn.-Bethel University in McKenzie has lost state certification for its Professional Education and Licensing Program and Bethel plans to appeal the decision.

On Friday, the Tennessee State Board of Education voted to deny approval to Bethel’s Education program. The decision follows the Tennessee Department of Education’s earlier recommendation to deny approval.

The loss of state certification could impact some 500 Bethel students.

Bethel President Dr. Walter Butler earlier said the Tennessee Department of Education’s recommendation to deny state certification came as a shock.

The State Department’s recommendation for denial came after the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP) found Bethel did not meet two of its six standards.

Butler said Bethel will take reasonable steps to help students in the program to find ways to gain licensure and will appeal the decision.

Mother Charged In Inmate Escape

                     Mae Floyd

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McKenzie, Tenn.-The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office has released more information on the escape of an inmate earlier this week and has brought charges against the inmate’s mother for allegedly helping him escape.

As reported earlier this week by WENK/WTPR, Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco were able to track the escapee through a cornfield and a wooded area for a mile to find him hiding in brush.

Inmate Charles Bright, age 45, now has an added charge of escape added to the offenses for which he was incarcerated: evading arrest and probation violation.

Mae Floyd, age 77, was charged by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office with permitting or facilitating an escape.

According to the sheriff’s report, Floyd drove her son away from a work detail at Bethel University. Deputies believe that the inmate gained access to a cell phone and called his mother to pick him up.

Carroll County deputies are still investigating how Bright was able to obtain the cell phone.


Severe Weather Postpones Tourney Openers

Opening ceremonies at the Southeast Regional. (Union City Turf Management photo).

Union City, Tenn.-Games on the opening day of the 2016 Babe Ruth Southeast Regional 13-15 Tournament were postponed last night due to severe weather which included lightning strikes within a few miles of Graham Park in Union City.

Games will resume at noon today. The tournament schedule will pick up with the first games (Tallahassee, FL leads Stanly County, NC 8-0 in the top of the 2nd & Winter Park, FL & Greenville, NC are tied at 2 in the bottom of the 2nd) resuming at 12:00 pm; followed by Nottoway Co, VA vs Giles County at 2:00 pm (Elam) & Marshall Co, TN vs UC, TN at 2:00 pm (Thompson). At 4:30 pm Giles Co, TN vs Tallahassee, FL & UC, TN vs Greenville, NC. At 7:00 pm Stanly Co, NC vs Nottoway Co, VA & Winter Park, FL vs Marshall Co, TN.  


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Springville Man, Sister Among Four Arrested With Meth Lab


               Clint Raymer                                   Angela Raymer

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Sharon, Tenn.-A man from Springville was among four arrested on drug charges after a meth lab was found in a home in Weakley County Monday. His sister also was arrested. Others arrested were from Dover and Martin. The Dover man arrested tried to eat some of the meth during the search, according to investigators.

A nine-year-old child was found in the home and Children’s Services was notified.

Clint Raymer, age 41 of Springville, was charged with the manufacture of meth, possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. His sister, Angela Grace Raymer, age 36, of Sharon, was arrested on the same charges.

The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office and Sharon Police executed a search warrant at 602 Sidonia Hwy 89 near Sharon. The search warrant was obtained after investigators purchased meth from someone at the house on July 22.

Sheriff’s Captain Randall McGowan said, “During the search, a small amount of meth and a small amount of marijuana was recovered from the house along with several other substances that were sent to the TBI Crime Lab for identification.” A meth lab was recovered during the search, although it was not in production at the time.

McGowan said one male subject in the house who was found hiding under a pile of clothes in a bedroom closet was armed with a semi automatic pistol that was reported stolen from Stewart County.

Others arrested were Keith Ryan Story, age 29, of Dover. He was charged with manufacturing and possessing meth, tampering with evidence (for eating meth while hiding), and theft of property (a stolen gun). He also has warrants on him from Henry County and Stewart County, McGowan said.

Dawn Erin Bennett, age 45, of Martin, also was charge with manufacture and possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Based on evidence found in the house, McGowan said, there will be more arrests.

Kelsey: I’ll Open Field Office In Paris

Paris, Tenn.-State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Collierville) was in Paris this afternoon to announce that if elected to Congress, he’ll open a Congressional field office in Paris.

Senator Kelsey is running in the Republican primary for the 8thCongressional District being vacated by Congressman Stephen Fincher, who is retiring from office. Early voting in the primary is ongoing through Saturday, July 30, and Election Day is Thursday, August 4.

Senator Kelsey said, “When I’m elected to Congress, I’ll be putting a congressional field office right here in Paris. This corner of the district needs direct access to your Congressman.”

A concern of some voters is that a Congressman from Shelby County will not be receptive to the concerns of those in other areas, Kelsey said. “My proven conservative track record in the state legislature shows that I’ll represent the small town and rural values of all of West Tennessee,” he said.


Unidentified Body Found In Store After Fire

Martin, Tenn.-An unidentified body was found early this morning inside the Dollar General Store in Martin when firefighters arrived to put out a fire in the store.

Martin Police Capt. Phillip Fuqua said the Martin Fire Department and Martin Police were called to the store at 112 Regina St. at 5:36 a.m. on a report of a possible fire at that location.

Upon arrival heavy smoke was discovered coming from the business. The fire was completely under control by 6:30 a.m.

During the investigation, an unidentified body was located inside the building. The Martin Police and Fire Departments are investigating the incident in conjunction with the TBI and the State Fire Marshal.

Dresden Boy Dies In UTV Accident

Dresden, Tenn.-A nine-year-old Dresden boy died Tuesday afternoon when the UTV he was driving turned over and pinned him underneath.

Weakley County Sheriff’s Captain Randall McGowan said the boy, Aiden Ray Williams, was driving a Landmaster side-by-side UTV when the accident occurred. It happened in a field behind 1020 Pikeview Street and the 911 call was received at 5:15 p.m.

Making Way For AT&T Store

Paris, Tenn.-Workers on Tuesday demolished two homes on Mineral Wells Ave. next to Walgreen’s Drug Store to make way for the construction of a new AT&T store. The property was purchased by BLP Development Co. of Paducah and their immediate plans call for construction of the AT&T store followed by possible other development. The project was approved several months ago by the Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Mt. Zion Begins Fund To Purchase Building

Major and expensive repairs are needed on the historic Mt. Zion Church. Church officials are planning to purchase another church and have started a building fund. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Paris is embarking on a Building Fund project to assist with purchase of a new property in which to worship.

Church Pastor Rev. Andre Richardson said the church is trying to raise $100,000 over the next three months. The church, which located on Rison Street, has been displaced from its building for the past five years due to major repairs that are necessary for the 100-year-old building. Church members have been meeting at the Paris Civic Center for its services.

In a financial analysis, the Mt. Zion congregation decided it would be best to invest money it would take for needed repairs and purchase a newer building, Richardson said.

The congregation of the West Paris Baptist Church at 401 Irvine Street offered Mt. Zion the opportunity to purchase their properties. “Facing a three-month window,” Richardson said, “it is our goal to raise $100,000 by September 23.”

The church is collecting donations in the amounts of $100, $250, $500 and $1000 (for leader, silver, gold and platinum), platinum plus (any gift over $1000), and actually in any amount that the donor can afford.

Donations can be sent to Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 304 Rison St., Paris, 38242, or dropped off at any Regions Bank.



BPU Recognizes Hard Work Of Lineman’s Rodeo

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The hard work by Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) personnel at last month’s Tennessee Lineman’s Rodeo was recognized at Tuesday’s BPU meeting.

The state-wide Lineman’s Rodeo was hosted by BPU and held at Paris Landing State Park. General Manager John Etheridge thanked Cole and Bethany Edwards, Terry Wimberley and Charlie West for their hard work in planning the event and said he had heard many compliments on how well the rodeo was organized from other utilities.

Director of Electric Operations Cole Edwards introduced the 12 BPU linemen who participated and recognized Brian Horton and Ben White for perfect scores. White also placed second in the overall journeyman competition. Randall French thanked the board for its support and for allowing BPU to host the competition.

At the outset of the meeting, current officers were reappointed: Chairman David Flowers, Vice Chairman Ralph Anderson and Secretary/Treasurer Gini Roberts.

Incoming Director of Water and Wastewater Tony Brown was introduced to the board. He is replacing Terry Wimberley, who will be taking over the position of General Manager when Etheridge retires in October.

Wimberley reported that despite the heat, work on the city of Paris water tower continues at a good pace and will be completed in September. The water tower is being repainted.


Ice Cream Social, Antique Car Show Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The 7th Annual Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show will fill downtown Paris from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, July 30. Sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association (DPA), the annual fund-raising event benefits the Henry County Young Professionals and the DPA.

DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray said, “This has become an end-of-summer tradition that folks of all ages look forward to. Everyone with an event wristband can enjoy free ice cream from each booth, kids’ giant slides and crazy contests. It’s definitely the coolest fundraiser around, no pun intended.”

Wristbands are available for a minimum donation of $10 for adults or $5 for children 12 and under. They can be purchased from the DPA, booth partners or at the event.

This year, the DPA is inviting the Pokeman GO players to come downtown for the event.

The Antique Car Show brings vehicles in from four states, according to Chairperson Vicky Muzzall. Registration is a minimum donation of $10 which includes an event wristband. The car with the most votes is announced at 7 p.m. with a trophy.

So far, fifteen organizations have signed up to man ice cream booths. Ice cream is always either homemade or store-bought with all kinds of toppings.

Lakeway IGA sponsors the freezer truck for storing the ice cream and Comer Farms is sponsoring the ice cream contests and prizes.
More information is available by calling the DPA at 652-7274 or email Ray at

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Haslam Presents Checks In Carroll, Benton Counties

Commissioner of Environment and Conservation Bob Martineau, Huntingdon Mayor Dale Kelley; State Rep. Curtis Halford; Governor Haslam; State Sen. John Stevens hold a grant check for $250,000. (Photo courtesy of Jason Martin/The McKenzie Banner)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Camden, Tenn.-Governor Bill Haslam spread joy in our area in an all-morning sweep through Henry, Benton and Carroll Counties, making economic announcements and presenting checks to municipalities for improvements.

As we reported in a separate article, Governor Haslam started his day in Paris to announce that the Euro Group will add 300 more manufacturing jobs over the next five years. Eurotranciatura USA is located in the former Tecumseh plant on Hwy. 54.

From there, Governor Haslam went to Camden City Park where he announced grants have been awarded to both Camden and Big Sandy to make improvements to their city parks.

The city of Camden received a grant for $263,750 while Big Sandy’s grant is for $112,000. Appearing with the Governor in Camden was State Rep. Tim Wirgau and State Sen. John Stevens, both of whom were at the Paris announcement. Also at the Camden appearance was Big Sandy Mayor Ron Lane, Camden Mayor Roger Pafford and Benton County Mayor Barry Barnett.

At Huntingdon, Governor Haslam presented several checks. The largest was for $250,000 to the town of Huntingdon and it will be used for improvements to Kelley Park, named for the family of Mayor Dale Kelley.

A $169,000 grant was presented to the town of Clarksburg for Clean Tennessee sewer improvements.

Governor Haslam also presented a $50,000 check to Carroll County for improvements to the Carroll County Shooting Sports Park. Haslam also met with the McKenzie High School Shooting Team and their parents while at the presentation.

With Haslam in Carroll County were Carroll County Mayor Kenny McBride, State Representative Curtis Halford, Senator John Stevens and several state officials.

Governor Haslam takes a moment with the McKenzie High School Shooting Team. (Photo courtesy of Jason Martin/The McKenzie Banner)

Euro Group To Bring 170 More Jobs To Henry County

Governor Haslam listens while Euro Group CEO Matteo Fassio speaks at this morning's announcement. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At an appearance in Paris this morning, Governor Bill Haslam announced that—thanks to an economic partnership with the state, county and city of Paris—the Euro Group will bring 170 new jobs to Henry County. 
Eurotranciatura USA is headquartered in the former Tecumseh plant on Hwy. 54 in Paris. The global company opened its manufacturing plant at the site two years ago and has increased its local work force from 60 jobs to 165 today.
Haslam said $12.6 M will be invested in the Paris plant, which will allow the company to bring its work force to 300 in five years.
“These are high quality jobs that will have a great impact here in Henry County,” Haslam said. He noted that Euro Group and its CEO Matteo Fassio have “made an indelible footprint here in just a few years and we look forward to great things from them in the future.”
Haslam said, “Jobs happen when companies put their capital at risk”, noting that Fassio not only invested capital but brought his entire family to Henry County from Italy.
A large crowd gathered outside the Euro Group and was made up of employees and officials from Paris, Henry County and the state of Tennessee.
Fassio told the crowd, “This is a great day for us” and said his company is committed “long-term” to Henry County.
Haslam and Henry County Mayor Brent Greer complimented both State Rep. Tim Wirgau (R-Paris) and State Sen. John Stevens (R-Huntingdon) for their work on creating local jobs. 
Greer said, “Tim gets it. He was a county commissioner here and he knows how local government works.”
Wirgau told the crowd, “A lot of people need educating nowadays. They talk about the establishment, but we don’t have an establishment here. What we have here is a little thing called a ‘team’ and we all work together to protect jobs here. This is a great deal for Henry County. This company is not only global, but it protects what we have here.”
Stevens noted that he and Wirgau ran on the platform of improving the economic situation in West Tennessee “and we’re seeing the fruits of our labors today”.
Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell echoed Wirgau’s comments, noting the importance of team work. Other speakers included officials from the TVA and the State Economic Development Department.
It will be a busy day for Haslam and his entourage, with stops in Camden and Huntingdon planned at which other economic announcements will be made.

Governor Haslam, right, shakes hands with (from left) Bruce Reed of Commercial Bank, while State Rep. Tim Wirgau and Library Director Connie McSwain look on. (McFarlin photo).

The governor speaks with long-time employee Ray Taylor after the announcement. Taylor has worked for the company for a total 20 years, from its beginnings as Tecumseh. (McFarlin photo).

Cisco Does It Again: Finds Escaped Inmate

Paris, Tenn.-With the help of Henry County Sheriff’s Office K9 Cisco, an escaped Carroll County inmate was apprehended and taken back to jail. This was Cisco’s 51st find. Cisco is a bloodhound handled by Deputy Wayne Fuqua and is sought after by other law enforcement agencies in such cases.

Carroll County authorities contacted the Henry County Sheriff’s Office seeking its help in locating the inmate who walked away from a work detail in the afternoon.

Fuqua and Cisco responded to the scene. Cisco was able to establish a scent and tracked the inmate through a cornfield and then through a wooded area for a mile where the inmate was found hiding in some brush.

Two Arrested For Aggravated Burglary

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police arrested two—one of whom is a juvenile—for the aggravated burglary of a residence Monday afternoon. The arrests followed a short foot pursuit.

Police were called to an East Cheatham Street residence on a call from the home’s security company saying that the back door had been breached. Officers found two young black males leaving the back of the residence and after a short chase and after officers identified themselves, one of the men—identified as the juvenile—did obey orders to get on the ground, while the other man, Keyshawn Towns, ran off. After a short foot chase, Towns also was apprehended.

Towns, of 202 E. Nash St., was charged with aggravated burglary and evading arrest.

The juvenile, who is just a few weeks shy of being 18 years old, was found with a .380 Ruger handgun which the homeowner identified as having been taken from the upstairs bedroom.

The juvenile, who lives on East Cheatham Street, was charged with aggravated burglary, unlawful possession of a weapon, theft and evading arrest. His case was transferred to juvenile court.



Henry County All-Stars Finish 2-2 At Tourney

All-Stars stand at attention for the National Anthem at tourney. (Candy Hedges photo).

Union City, Tenn.-The 10-year-old Henry County All Stars finished the Cal Ripken Southeast Finals with a 2-2 record. The team lost its first game to Fort Caroline, Florida, 7-6 and then lost its second game to Deep River/Northview, N.C. 12-5. The team finished pool play with two wins against West Nashville, 8-7 and a 11-4 victory against Charleston Daniel Island, S.C. (Candy Hedges photo).

THP Accepting Trooper Applications

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Highway Patrol is announcing it will soon begin accepting applications for the next Trooper Cadet Academy. Men and women interested in a career as a state trooper can begin the application process online only, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, August 3, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, August 16.

The THP anticipates the agility test and interview appointments to begin mid-September, at the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Training Center.

Individuals interested in applying for the position of state trooper must be at least 21 years old, a U.S. citizen and have a high school diploma or equivalent. No applicants with felony convictions will be considered.

There currently are 621 authorized commissioned trooper positions within the THP. Trooper cadets will be assigned to vacant positions across the state. Starting salary for a trooper cadet during the training academy is $2,859 per month. Upon graduation and commissioning as a trooper, the salary will increase to $3,163 per month and include a pension plan, health insurance and paid holidays.

 All applicants must apply online at beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3.


Bethel Nursing Students Have 100% Pass Rate

McKenzie, Tenn.-Bethel University’s May 2016 nursing graduates have achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the nurse licensure examination that determines nurse readiness. The national average pass rate is around 86 percent.

This is the third time in the last four years the school has achieved the perfect 100 percent pass rate, according to Program Director Mary Bess Griffith.

Griffith said all the May 2016 graduates are already employed in McKenzie, Paris, Union City, Jackson, Memphis, Knoxville and other states.

For more info about Bethel University’s Nursing Program contact Kim Hammonds at 731-514-1410 or at


Back To School Bash Set At Union City

Union City, Tenn.-The Greater Bethel Church of God in Christ will hold a Back To School Bash from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, August 6, at the church at 805 E. Gibbs St., Union City.

The event is free and will include free school supplies, free food, free haircuts, and giveaways of gift cards and backpacks.


Cheeseburger Fundraiser For Carl Perkins Center

Buchanan, Tenn.-Join the Carl Perkins Center of Henry County at The Breaker’s Marina from 6-10 p.m. Thursday, July 28, for a “Cheeseburger In Paradise” fundraiser.

Cheeseburger plates will be sold at the event by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and music will be provided by Randall French.

Tickets can be purchased at the Carl Perkins Center at the Henry County 911 building on Brewer Street in Paris or from any board member for $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Children’s tickets are $6. Children five years of age or under are free.

The Breaker’s is located at 526 Shamrock Rd.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sales Tax Holiday Is This Weekend

Nashville, Tenn.-This weekend is the time for savings. The state’s annual sales tax holiday weekend runs from Friday, July 29 through Sunday, July 31. The annual sales tax holiday is held every year beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the last Friday in July and ending at 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday night.

Tennessee shoppers can save almost 10 percent on back-to-school items.

This year’s tax holiday is earlier than in previous years. It was moved to the last weekend of July rather than the first weekend in August.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said, “The sales tax holiday is earlier this year, so we encourage Tennesseans to mark their calendars so they don’t miss this opportunity to save on important items.”

During this weekend, certain goods—including clothing, school supplies, computers—can be purchased tax free.

Listed are some items that are tax exempt eligible: Clothing $100 or less, including shoes, shirts, uniforms, pants, gloves, hats, etc. ; School Supplies $100 or less including notebooks, binders, book bags/backpacks, calculators, paper, art supplies, etc.; and Computers for less than $1,500.

Items that are not exempt would include school computer supplies such as printers, printer supplies, computer storage media, personal digital assistants.

Back To School Blast Is Wednesday

Paris, Tenn.-The Family Resource Center Back To School Blast will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, at the Central Community Service Center at 55 Jones Bend Road Extended.

Sponsored by the Henry County Schools, the annual event provides free school supplies, backpacks and other items for income eligible families. A large number of information booths with freebies also will be on hand that day.

UC Police Investigating Shots Fired

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are still investigating a shots fired incident which occurred Friday evening on South Taylor Street. A resident at 306 S. Taylor was sitting on her porch when she saw a dark Nissan driving north.

The car stopped at the intersection with Church Street and she heard a gun shot and saw the muzzle blast from the passenger side. The car continued north and there were two more shots from the car as it drove down the street.

Police did find shell casings for a .45 caliber weapon on the street.

Plenty To Do At Paris Landing This Week

Buchanan, Tenn.-There will be plenty of activities ongoing this week as part of the Paris Landing State Park Summer Program.

On Wednesday, sour dough fossils will be made in the area next to the park office at 9:30 a.m. On Thursday, string ball crafts will be made at the park office at 10:30 a.m.

On Friday evening at 6 p.m., the Birds of Prey will be on display at the Paris Landing Inn lobby.

On Saturday, homemade piggy banks will be made out of recycled plastic bottles at 11 a.m. at the park office and on Sunday at 9:30 a.m., owl pill boxes will be made.

Canoe and kayak trips can be scheduled through the parks office for $5 per person. Ask for Gina Lowry and call 731-641-4465 or 731-286-6611.


Arrests Made For Trashing Apartment, Assault

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-An ex-boyfriend was arrested for trashing the next-door apartment on E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Union City.

William Dwayne Miller of 829 E. Martin Luther King Dr. was arrested on charges of aggravated burglary and felony vandalism.

Officers were called to the apartment next door to Miller’s on a report that it had been trashed. Officers found a barricade had been made of furniture at the door and inside furniture damaged and destroyed and the kitchen ransacked with all the food thrown around and a freezer turned over.

In a separate incident, a Union City woman was charged with trying to hit another woman with a ball bat on Nash Street.

Arrested was Sheneita Simpson of 1321 Church St. She was charged with aggravated assault.

According to the police report, a crowd had formed around the women and when officers arrived they saw Simpson with a bat raised about ready to hit another woman. According to the report, the incident began over an argument last week at McDonald’s.


Dyersburg Man Arrested On Impersonation Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Dyersburg man was taken into custody after shoppers at Lowe’s in Union City complained that he was trying to con people out of money.
Leslie Nash, age 43, of Dyersburg, was arrested on charges of impersonation and driving on a revoked license.
According to the police report, when officers stopped Nash he said he did not have his ID with him and gave them his wrong date of birth and social security number. He later provided the correct information and a check determined that Nash’s driver’s license was revoked due to a second DUI in Dyer County and that he had two prior convictions for driving with a revoked license. It also was determined there also was a warrant for his arrest for theft from the Wal-Mart in Union City.


Sunday, July 24, 2016


Investigation Continues Into Car Recovered From Lake

Stolen car is secured during recovery. (Photo by Matt Spellings.)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation after a car stolen from a lake-area residence was recovered from Kentucky Lake Saturday morning.

As of Sunday morning, the suspects had not been located.

Matt Spellings of Paris called dispatch to report seeing what he thought was a car submerged in the lake. After Corporal Terry Williams responded, the car was recovered by Reserve Deputy Monte Starks, who also is a diver with the County Rescue Squad. It was towed to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

The car belonged to Dr. Michael Boley, who said the Chrysler 300 was stolen from his family’s residence earlier in the week. According to Dr. Boley, whoever stole it changed the license plates and took everything out of the car. They apparently held the gas pedal down with a heavy object before pushing it into the lake.

Sheriff Monte Belew said after Corporal Williams responded, the call was put in to Deputy Starks, “who dove in the water and secured the car so that it could be pulled out of the water.”

The car was found in a cove off of Port Road near Springville.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stolen Car Recovered From Kentucky Lake

Deputy Monte Starks dives to recover car. (Matt Spellings photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation after a stolen car was recovered from Kentucky Lake earlier today. The car was recovered by Reserve Deputy Monte Starks, who also is a diver with the County Rescue Squad.

Matt Spellings of Paris called dispatch to report seeing what he thought was a car submerged in the lake.

Corporal Terry Williams responded and upon further investigation, Sheriff Monte Belew said, “It was found to be a car. A call was put in to Monte Starks, who dove into the water and secured the car so it could be pulled out of the water.”

The car found in a cove off of Port Road near Springville.

Carroll Lake Revitalization Moving Forward

Carroll Lake has been dry for some two years. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

McKenzie, Tenn.-The project to repair and begin the revitalization of Carroll Lake is moving forward.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Fisheries Biologist Tim Broadbent said a successful bidder has been awarded the contract to build and install the gates at the lake, which was destroyed by flooding two years ago. The gates are expected to be installed in late summer.

With no water in the lake for the past couple of years, vegetation and trees have enveloped the area. The next step will be to aerial spray the vegetation in the lake bottom before reflooding, Broadbent said in a press release.

“In the next few months, the heavy equipment crew will determine if additional peninsulas can be installed,” Broadbent said. “This step will depend upon soil consistency.”

In early fall, the gates will be closed and crews will begin refilling and stock bluegill and catfish when the lake is refilled. Largemouth bass will be stocked in the spring.

Fishing at Carroll Lake will not be allowed for at least three years to allow growth of stocked species, he said. “Of course, all this depends upon weather and schedules of parties involved.”


Tennessee Promise Hard At Work

Buchanan, Tenn.-Volunteers with the Tennessee Promise Saturday morning hard at work at Paris Landing State Park today to get their community hours for scholarships. Gina Lowry of Paris Landing State Park said they are working eight hours today. “We are working on all of our garden areas and adding new plants to them while cleaning them out,” she said. (Gina Lowry photo).

Talking Things Over At Business Matters

Union City, Tenn.-Black Oak Elementary Principal Travis Johnson, right, and Center Point Business Solutions Owner Tim York talk things over during this week’s July Business Matters event with the Obion County Chamber of Commerce. Phyllis Rauchle spoke to some 40 community members and business leaders about Obion County Adult Leadership. She also brought past class members to speak about the lasting impact. Anyone interested in applying for the Adult Leadership class is asked to email (Obion County Chamber photo).


Murray Man Arrested On Felony Drug Charges

Murray, Ky.-A 28-year-old Murray man was arrested on numerous felony drug charges involving heroin, cocaine and liquid marijuana when the Murray Police executed a search warrant at his residence on Lowe’s Drive.

Taken into custody was William Hon.

During the search, officers found and seized .9 grams of heroin, 48.4 grams of cocaine, 115 dosage units of liquid marijuana, and 64.5 grams of marijuana. Also seized were two pistols, one rifle and $4,125 cash.

Hon was charged with trafficking in controlled substance, first degree felony for the heroin; trafficking in the first degree for the cocaine; trafficking in marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a fictitious driver’s license.

Lightning Strike Causes Barn Fire

Bruceton, Tenn.-A lightning strike Friday afternoon started a barn on fire on Hebron Church Rd., near Bruceton.

A spokesperson for the Carroll County Volunteer Fire Department said firefighters were quickly able to put the fire out. She also said all the animals which were in the barn when the fire started were safely taken out of the barn.

Firefighters from the Carroll County Department and Grant Norwood of the Mansfield Volunteer Fire Department in Henry County were at the scene to help with the blaze.

The fire did not spread to any other buildings.


Friday, July 22, 2016

McKenzie Man Arrested By TBI, Local Law Enforcement

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Following an investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Henry County Metro Crime Unit and the McKenzie Police Department, a McKenzie man was arrested on drug charges and is in the Carroll County Jail.

Arrested was Tanner Scott Workman, age 18, of 530 Paw Paw Lane.

Following a tip, TBI Special Agents began investigating a complaint against Workman and executed a search warrant at his home. During the course of the search, agents seized marijuana, hashish oil, diverted prescription pills, drug paraphernalia, and a stolen firearm from the residence.

Workman has been charged with two counts of possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, one count of possession of Schedule VI controlled substance with intent to sell, one count of theft and underage possession of alcohol. Bond was set at $6,500.


Early Voting Totals Low Due To Confusion?

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Voters in Henry County—and perhaps other counties as well—still seem to be confused over the current ballot.

Henry County Elections Administrator DeLaina Green said many voters who have come in during the early voting period are upset over having to declare their party. The early voting period for the August primary election is currently underway through July 30.

Green said, “They just don’t understand that declaring a party is for state offices only and they get the full county general ballot” for the election underway.  

Green said she’d like to clear up the confusion before the last week of early voting begins. “I think people could possibly be putting off voting because they think they have to choose party on the county level,” she said.

Voting numbers are down all over our area and the state during early voting.

In Henry County, Green said, “We are currently at 1055 total voters. That is 799 Republicans, 217 Democrats and 39 general.”

In Obion County, the total is 457, with 351 voting Republican and 97 Democrats.

Byford To Be Inducted Into 4-H Hall Of Fame

Martin, Tenn.-Dr. Jim Byford of Martin is one of 16 individuals selected to join the national 4-H Hall of Fame for his service and dedication to the organization. Byford is dean emeritus of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences.

Before beginning his career with UT Martin in 1987, Byford spent more than 20 years serving as an extension wildlife specialist in both Georgia and Tennessee. A certified wildlife biologist, he holds a doctoral degree from Auburn.

Byford’s involvement with the national 4-H program, which in Tennessee teaches leadership, citizenship and life skills to more than 168,000 youth in grades 4-12, goes far beyond classroom instruction. During his 18-year tenure with UT Extension, he initiated the Tennessee 4-H Wildlife Project, the Tennessee 4-H Wildlife Judging contest and the Tennessee 4-H FACE contest. He also started the Tennessee 4-H Wildlife Conference. He has received multiple awards during his tenure and has given 60 presentations in 28 states.

The induction ceremony will take place October 7 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md.


WLJT Hosting Loretta Lynn Concert

Paducah, Ky..-Join WLJT for “Loretta Lynn Live” at the Carson Center in Paducah. Tickets are on sale for the event, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 12.

Tickets are $42 for first row balcony and other prices for other locations in the Carson Center. Call Mandy Hinson at 1-881-7561 or 1-800-366-9558. Seating is limited.

WLJT-TV is the public broadcasting station in Martin.


Fenton Boat Ramp To Be Closed

Land Between The Lakes—Starting at 1 a.m. Monday, July 25, the Fenton Board Ramp and its dock and jetty will be closed to any use until demolition work is completed on the old Eggner’s Ferry Bridge.

For more information, log onto the official website at


Carroll County Nets $50,000 Tourism Grant

Nashville, Tenn.-Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd have announced that 29 communities will receive over $999,000 in Tourism Enhancement Grants to assist communities with tourism infrastructure assets.

In our area, only Carroll County is on the list to receive monies. According to the press release, Carroll County will receive a grant for $50,000.

The grants are designed to assist counties and cities with improvements that will increase tourism.

Haslam said, “We want to congratulate all 29 communities on receiving Tourism Enhancement Grants. These grants showcase how great the partnership is between tourist development and economic development.”


High School Students Invited To UTM Bash

Martin, Tenn.-The University of Tennessee at Martin is throwing a party July 29, and high school students from all areas are invited.

The 2016 End of Summer Bash will begin with check-in at 1 p.m. in the Boling University Center, followed by official welcome at 1:30 and campus tours at 2. Students who have already taken a campus tour are still invited to Recreation Rampage from 3-5 p.m. in the UT Martin Student Recreation Center.

Students and their families are invited to learn more about UT Martin programs of study; meet faculty, staff and current students; and participate in a variety of recreation activites.

Register at There is no charge to attend.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Good Times At City Appreciation Day

Paris, Tenn.-A good (and hot) time was had by all at the City of Paris Employee Appreciation event Thursday afternoon in the parking lot behind city hall. Tents and huge fans were set up to stave off the heat of the afternoon and employees were served ice cream and homemade brownies with toppings by Mayor Carlton Gerrell and Commissioners Terry Fuller and Jackie Jones. City Manager Kim Foster said, “We wanted to have this event so that all the departments could get together. We’re all on the same team.” A cornhole tournament also was held, with winners Lynn Banks and Cody Benson accepting the trophies. Top photo, Mayor Gerrell and Commissioner Fuller stay cool while serving ice cream. Bottom photo, Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence presents trophies to Banks and Benson. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Atkins-Porter Association Begins Planning For Clean Sweep Day

City Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris addresses members of the Atkins-Porter Association. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The next city of Paris Clean Sweep Day will be held August 27 and will cover a portion of the Atkins-Porter Historic Neighborhood. The Atkins-Porter Neighborhood encompasses such a large area that its Clean Sweep Days will have to be divided into sections.

The August 27 event will begin at 8 a.m. and will be in the area covering Thompson, Blakemore, Aden, and East Blythe Streets, down to Dunlap Street.

City Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris appeared at Wednesday night’s Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association meeting and discussed the upcoming event. There are approximately 75 properties that will be included in the August 27 Clean Sweep Day, she said.

Participants should bring yard equipment, gloves, rakes, bug spray, and sun protection. The city will supply water and dumpsters.

The event will be organized much the same way as the first Clean Sweep Day that was held in the Lee School Neighborhood earlier this year.

Morris said more churches want to be involved this time around and the Realtors’ Association also will be involved again.

More information on the event will be released in August.

In other business:

--The Association continued discussion of its newsletter which is being prepared by Kelli Zwayer and will be distributed online. The newsletter will be done quarterly.

--The Association voted that meetings will always be open to everyone, but voting memberships will cost $20 a year (lifetime memberships will be $200). Dues will go toward expenses for events and also for money needed to apply for a 501c non-profit status.

--Association members also firmed up plans for the Atkins-Porter booth at the upcoming Ice Cream Social from 4-7 p.m. July 30 in downtown Paris.

Isaiah Canaan Signs With Bulls

Chicago, Ill.-Former Murray State University basketball standout Isaiah Caanan has now signed to play with the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls announced the signing Wednesday but have not yet released the details of his contract.

Canaan played for the last two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. Canaan earlier tweeted that he had signed a two-year deal with the Bulls. He will be playing guard position.

Canaan was drafted to the NBA in 2013. He was graduated from Murray State in 2013.


Clothing, Household Items Collected For Fire Victims

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Routon, Tenn.-A collection of items is being taken up for Casey Crosser’s family, which lost everything in the fire at their home in Routon early Wednesday morning.

Nikki Anne Holland is accepting donations on his behalf and she can be contacted through Facebook. She said Crosser would appreciate anything for the kids of the house.

Eli wears size 5 in little boys, Cadence wears size 7/8 in little girls, Serenity wears a size 16 and girls or medium in juniors. Shoe sizes are 13 in little boys, 3 in little girls, 7 in women’s or girls. Crosser wears 3XL, size 12.5 shoes in mens.

Crosser would appreciate all items for his house. Holland said people can contact her through Facebook. She said Crosser is overwhelmed right now and that she will put donated items in storage to give to them.


Corn Relish Samples At Friday’s Farmers Market

Paris, Tenn.-At the Downtown Paris Farmers Market this Friday, free samples of corn relish salad (and the recipe cards) will be given away free. The Farmers Market is open Tuesdays and Fridays at 3 p.m. in the parking lot at the corner of Ruff and Market Streets. The Farmers Market Fresh samples are a new attraction on Fridays, thanks to the Henry County UT Extension Office.


Two Apartment Complexes Renovated By USDA

Union City, Tenn.-USDA Rural Development Area Director Joel Howard today celebrated the completion of two multi-family housing rehabilitation projects in Northwest Tennessee at events in Union City and South Fulton.

In Union City, Reelfoot Apartments, a 48-unit complex with 29 units designed for rental assistance owned by The Hallmark Companies, has completed renovations. And in South Fulton, Eaglewood Estates, a 40-unit apartment complex with full rental assistance owned by Maco Management Co., also is completed.

Both of the properties were completely gutted and reworked to include new roofs, windows, doors, energy efficient HVAC systems, paint, cabinets and floor coverings. Also, handicap accessibility issues were addressed.

Others participating in the events were Hallmark and Maco representatives, South Fulton Mayor Ed Cassetty, Chamber Representative Lauren Bennett and other state and local officials.

Finding affordable rental housing can pose a challenge to many individuals, Howard said. “With the two newly-renovated apartment complexes, our agency hopes to help more rural families obtain upgraded housing to improve quality of life in Northwest Tennessee.”

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Northwest Tennessee contact the Union City Area Office at 731-885-6480 x 4.  Visit us online at


Babe Ruth Southeast Tournament Hosted By Union City

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball League is hosting the 13 to 15-year-old Babe Ruth Southeast Regional Baseball Tournament July 26 through July 30. Next week’s tournament will be played at Elam Stadium at LH Ladd Field and Thompson Field.

This marks the 7th Southeast Regional Tournament played in Union City. There will be eight teams from four states converging onto Graham Park for a chance to move on to the World Series in Williston, North Dakota.

The teams are scheduled to arrive in Union City Tuesday with a welcome ceremony and cookout. The tournament itself will begin Wednesday afternoon. The teams will be divided into two divisions for three days of pool or round robin play. The top seeds from the two divisions will then play in the single elimination championship round Saturday. Tournament Director is Brian Searcy 731-446-9266.


Huck’s Beer Permit Is Denied

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Huntingdon Beer Board took a rare step by denying a request for a beer permit for Huck’s Food and Fuel convenience store located on Veterans Drive North, near Walmart.

The denial came at a public hearing on Huck’s request, which was attended by some 20 people opposed to the permit for off-premises use.

Opponents were concerned with the proximity to residential areas. Huntingdon’s city code states no permit shall be grated to a place of business to sell such veverages within 300 feet of a residential dwelling.

Attorney Michael King, who represents Huck’s, said the city stands to lose some $18,000 a year in tax revenue because of the denial.


Carroll County Approves Budget, New Tax Rate

 McKenzie, Tenn.-At its meeting this week, the Carroll County Commission approved a $23.5 M budget for the new fiscal year and also approved a new tax rate of $1.5819 per $100 assessed value. That’s an increase from last year’s rate of $1.4854.

According to the commissioners, the tax rate increase reflects an error in calculating the tax base last year by the state of Tennessee.


UTM Equestrian Team Tryouts Set

Martin, Tenn.-The University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian team is holding open tryouts August 23, Head Coach Meghan Corvin has announced.

Interested participants must get paperwork for a physical exam from the coach. Participants must also receive a physical prior to the tryout date and return to the Skyhawk athletic training room with proof of their primary health insurance coverage.

Potential student-athletes also need to have prior experience in either hunter seat equitation of western horsemanship (reining preferred). Participants are responsible for contacting the coaching staff to arrange a tryout time at 731 881 7273 or


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