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Friday, May 6, 2016


Eiffel Tower Mural To Be Finished Today


Brenda Kitchens and Becky Hart with mural. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-By the end of the day today, people in Paris will be treated to a mural of the Eiffel Tower gracing the vacant lot next to the King and Thompson law firm on West Wood Street.


The two artists, Brenda Kitchens and Becky Hart of Pascagoula, Mississippi, were still hard at it last evening even as cold winds were whipping through the lot.


Kitchens and Hart have painted murals, public utility boxes and more in their area, but they said Thursday night that this mural—at 30 feet tall—is the largest job they’ve ever attempted. “It’s also the farthest we’ve gone to a job,” Kitchens said.


They plan to finish the mural with irises at the bottom, which is appropriate since irises are the state flower of Tennessee and the late Pearl Routon of Paris was instrumental in the iris being picked as the state flower.


The lot has been vacant since last year around this time when a portion of the Wallin Building collapsed and was demolished by the city.


Air Evac 123 Sets Open House



Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Air Evac 123 will be holding an open house and ribbon-cutting to commemorate its one-year anniversary at its headquarters at the Henry County Airport on Tuesday, May 10.


Air Evac also will be celebrating EMS Week, Nurses Week, Hospital Week and Law Enforcement Week with a BBQ luncheon at 11 a.m. and door prizes for local medical, first responders and law enforcement personnel.


The ribbon-cutting will be held at 1 p.m. The public is invited to the event.



Union City Student Arrested For Statutory Rape


Trenton, Tenn.-A Union City High School student was arrested for statutory rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor by the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday.


Taj Malik Reid, age 19, of Sunswept Drive in Union City, was released from the Gibson County Jail on $20,000 bond.


According to a news release from the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office, Reid was arrested with a 13-year-old girl from Gibson County. He and the girl were found unclothed in a car by a deputy. The two were parked on a field road near Dyer.


Reid is a standout football player for the Union City Golden Tornadoes.

 


Thursday, May 5, 2016


Elementary Student Awarded “Super Reader” Certificate

City Approves Wastewater Rate Increases

Surrounded by his parents and city commissioners, Q'Vonte Jumper receives a certificate from Mayor Carlton Gerrell. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-It was story time at the Paris City Commission Thursday night as commissioners listened to a book read by Rhea School Elementary Student Q’Vonte Jumper, who has made great strides in his reading proficiency thanks to the collaborative teaching program at Rhea.


Q’Vonte was accompanied to the meeting by his parents, Nykkeisha and Robert Jumper and Assistant Rhea Principal Sandra Paschall and Interventionist Olivia Smith.


Q’Vonte was presented with a certificate from Mayor Carlton Gerrell proclaiming him a “Super Reader”, along with some bling from the city, notably an Eiffel Tower lapel pin and a bronze reading medallion from W.G. Rhea Library Director Connie McSwain.


McSwain also presented information on the “Read to be Ready” program, along with all the resources that are available to everyone for free at the library, including free educational programs, training on use of computers and other devices, free videos, video games, ebooks, preschool story hour, job searches, computer lab, tutoring, free books given to the jail, assisted living and other facilities.


She also reported the local library has the most ebooks taken out by juveniles in the region. She also noted all of the free educational programs presented at the library.


Following a presentation by Assistant BPU General Manager Terry Wimberley, the commission approved an increase wastewater rates.The new rate schedule will apply to wastewater service  to commercial, industrial, governmental and other customers not classified as residential. 


The new rates will be effective over three years. The new rates are the result of a consent order issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. All the violations were self-reported by BPU. Wimberley said most of the local violations occur when there is heavy rainfall. He said TDEC began issuing consent orders on municipalities beginning a few years ago.


At the request of BPU, Mayor Gerrell was authorized to sign the consent order. The new rates will help pay for changes needed to be made to improve the local facilities. 


Even with the increases, Wimberley said local rates compare favourably with other public utilities in the area.


City Commissioner Terry Fuller noted, “No one likes to increase rates, but we’re at the point where we have to do this.” Fuller is also on the BPU board.


The new rates were discussed in detail at last month’s BPU meeting and covered by WENK/WTPR.



Missing Teen Found Safe

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry teen who had been reported missing has been found safe and sound in Milan.

Jasmine Nicole Perry, age 16, had been missing from her home since early Wednesday.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that the Milan Police Department notified them that the teen had been found in their jurisdiction.

A dispatcher at the sheriff’s office said around 5 p.m. today, “The Milan PD is holding her for us and one of our deputies is en route there right now.”

The sheriff’s office earlier today issued a press release on the missing teen, with her description. At the time, Investigator Gary Vandiver said she was believed to be in Milan as of Wednesday.”


TVA Board Prohibits New Floating Houses

Huge Turnout For TVA Meeting Today

The TVA board listens to comments from the public. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-A huge crowd was on hand for today’s meeting of the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors at Paris Landing State Park.

TVA officials said it was the largest turnout ever for a TVA board meeting and it was the first meeting ever to be held at Paris Landing.

The large turnout was attributed to the board’s consideration of a new policy concerning floating houses. A public comment section was held at the beginning of the meeting, which drew dozens of people from all over the region covered by the TVA, some coming from as far away as North Carolina.

After hearing dozens of comments, the board approved a policy which: prohibits new floating houses, requires all floating houses to get permits from TVA and meet TVA standards, and requires removal of all floating houses by the end of a 30-year sunset period.

Owners of floating houses and people who represent coalitions for the floating houses were on hand to request that the board not ban their use. Several people who commented said they realized that the homes should be regulated, but not banned altogether.

In other business:

Chief Financial Officer John Thomas reported that TVA has maintained healthy financials despite lower revenues. “So far this year, consumers are benefiting from mild weather and much lower costs for fuel and purchased power,” he said. “We are maintaining good discipline in managing our costs, even with lower sales, and focusing on the bottom line to keep our rates low.” For more complete financial information go to: www.tva.com/investors.

TVA is cutting its monthly fuel cost adjustment in May to the lowest level in six years. The overall system average fuel rate is approximately 34 percent lower than the thee-year average. The lower cost is driven by recent mild weather and lower natural gas prices.

Strong financial management also includes evaluating asset needs today and in the future and making the decisions necessary to adjust for continued flat demand in electricity. At the meeting, the board voted to surplus the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant property in northern Alabama so it can be offered for sale and potentially put to better use. TVA has been preserving the property as an option for future nuclear generation. TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan shows that large-scale power generation sources will not be needed for at least 20 years.

 

And, the board approved:

·         A fleet-wide non-nuclear maintenance and modifications contract with G•UB•MK

·         Three long-term service agreement contracts with General Electric International Inc., the original equipment manufacturer, for TVA’s Caledonia, Magnolia and Southaven Combined Cycle Sites

·         Delegation of authority to management to execute large generator interconnection agreements

 


Henry Teen Reported Missing

ParisTenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for help in locating a missing juvenile.

Jasmine Nicole Perry, age 16, of Henry, has been missing since the early morning hours Wednesday, according to Investigator Gary Vandiver.

She is 5 foot 4 inches tall, 120 pounds with green eyes and brown hair.

Vandiver said there is an unknown clothing description other than tan NIKE shoes with black spots. She was possibly carrying a red NIKE drawstring bag.

“She left her home in Henry during early morning hours of Wednesday May 4,” Vandiver said. “She was believed to have been in Milan on morning of May 4. She may have been with unknown persons in a black Impala.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 731-642-1672.



Vince Gill Tentatively Set For Soybean Festival

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Legendary performer Vince Gill is tentatively scheduled to appear at this year’s Soybean Festival in Martin.

Martin Councilman David Beloate said this morning, “It looks good, but it’s tentative right now. We’re working through it now. The contracts are not signed yet, but we’re hopeful it can happen. We’re at a good point.”

The 23rd Annual Soybean Festival will be held September 2-11 and this year’s theme is “Homegrown”. Kick-off events are set for the weekend before and are tentatively scheduled for August 27, Beloate said.

“We have a really strong line-up of performers for the festival this year,” Beloate said, “but we’re not ready to announce all of it yet.”

Over 1,320 Attend Recent Goodwill Job Fairs

Union City, Tenn.-More than 1,320 people attended Goodwill-hosted job fairs in west and middle Tennessee on Monday and Tuesday, and hundreds more are expected to participate in job fairs and other events as Goodwill Week celebration continue through Friday.

At least 260 employers, such as Heckethorn Manufacturing, ERMCO and General Cable, participated in the events held so far this week in cities including Milan, Dyersburg, Clarksville, Lawrenceburg and Gallatin.

Every year during the first full week of May, independent Goodwill agencies across the U.S. and Canada celebrate the power of work through local activities. This year, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is ramping up events that support its mission of changing lives through education, training and employment across Middle and West Tennessee.

A job fair at the National Guard Armory in Dyersburg Tuesday featured 20 employers and attracted 213 applicants. Another at the National Guard Armory in Milan drew more than 170 job-seekers. Courtney Kennedy, a human resources assistant for D&S services, which provides in-home services for clients with mental disabilities, was among the recruiters representing 20 different employers in Milan.

Goodwill Week activities continue in West Tennessee through Friday.

In Jackson, Mock Interviewing Sessions will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, at the Goodwill Career Solutions centers at 1320 South Highland Ave. and 15 W. University Parkway. The latter will also have a Job-Seeker Appreciation & Dress for Success Fashion Show starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 6.

At the Union City Goodwill Career Solutions center, 1430 S. First St., there will be an Email 101 Workshop from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, May 5; and a Dress for Success Fashion Show from 9 a.m.-noon Friday, May 6.

Details about these and other events taking place across Middle and West Tennessee during Goodwill Week can be found online at www.giveit2goodwill.org/goodwillweek.

 

Quota Inducts New Officers

New Quota officers for 2016. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-New Officers for the Paris Quota Club were installed at the club’s recent meeting. Officers are: President – Donna Winders; President-Elect – Beth Watkins; Vice-President – Cheryl Wilson; Recording Secretary – Carman Wright; Corresponding Secretary – Kayla Nation; Treasurer – Patricia Bailey; Assistant Treasurer – Beverly Wood; Parliamentarian – Gina Olds; Directors – Stephanie Tayloe, Sharon Hale, Brenda Hosford, Mary Alice Campbell and Susan Pemberton. 


Winders’ theme for the next two years is “Make A Difference With Quota”. She asked that Quotarians continue to recruit new members and that we share new ideas for making a difference in our community. Club members presented Tayloe with a gift and a past president’s pin in appreciation for her two years of service as president.


Pemberton was named Quotarian of the Year. She was presented a tiara, roses and a necklace
The next meeting will be Derby Day on May 11th, and everyone is urged to wear their fanciest derby hat.

 

Commercial Bank & Trust Adds Members To Board

Union City, Tenn.--Commercial Bank and Trust announces the addition of four new members to its Board of Directors. (Pictured top, left to right) Gordon Bruff, Chuck Doss, Lynn Jenkins and Doug Latimer have joined the Board and are excited to see what's ahead for Commercial Bank and Trust. 


"We can't wait to see what our new Board members bring to the table. Their diverse backgrounds and experiences are sure to complement the work of Commercial Bank and Trust," said Tim Shanks, CBTC Community President-Union City


Gordon Bruff is president and co-owner of Alliance Application Equipment, with stores in Troy, TN; Sikeston, MO; and Forrest City, AR. He is married to his wife, Amanda, and has a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Abby. 


Chuck Doss is the owner of Inco Ag Irrigation and Well Services, The Tunnel Tanning Salon and Purchase Point Partners. He is the co-owner of Center Point Business Solutions, Center Point Professional Services, Mahindra of KenTenn and Ag Drainage Works. Chuck is married to his wife, Suzanne; they have two daughters: Gracie and Katy Lane


Lynn Jenkins is vice president and co-owner of Herman Jenkins Motors - Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep. He is married to his wife, Amy, and they have two daughters, Mimi Vance and Bertie. 


Doug Latimer is the project manager with Bill Latimer Investments and the educational director of the Bill and Carol Latimer Charitable Foundation. He is married to his wife, Nancy, and they have six adult children: three boys and three girls.
Other current board members include Philip Pinion, John Clendenin, MD, Wright Jernigan, MD, Scott Rainey, Jim Harris, Jim Glasgow, Jr. and Jack Parker. 


Commercial Bank and Trust was chartered in 1877. The bank has operations in Jackson, Memphis, Paris and Union City, TN. Mott Ford is the Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Bank and Trust. In Union City, the bank has offices downtown at 127 South First Street and at 815 East Reelfoot Avenue


For more information on Commercial Bank and Trust Company, visit www.cbtcnet.com.

 

UC Supper For Band Set

Union City, Tenn.-The E.W. James Band Supper for the Union City High School Band will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot at the UC store. Tickets are $8 for the barbecue plate which includes drink and dessert. Get tickets from band students. The UCHS Band will perform during the supper.

 

Martin Family Night Out Is Saturday

Martin, Tenn.-Historic Downtown Martin and Martin Parks and Recreation invite the public to celebrate the start of great events in Festival Park.


The first Family Night Out of the season will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday. Nikki Lee Concessions will be serving. Hair chalk, face painting, White Bear jewelry and the Splash Pad will be open. Games of laser tag and game theatre will feature state of the art electronics.

 

Dresden-Westview Alumni Football Game

Dresden, Tenn.-The second annual Westview High School versus Westview High School Alumni Football Game will be held at Dresden High School at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Get advance tickets from Blake Alexander at Weakley County Motors in Martin. Proceeds benefit Westview and Dresden football programs.


Jolly Women’s Club Fundraiser

Paris, Tenn.-The Jolly Women’s Club will host its annual bake sale Saturday at E.W. James Supermarket in Paris, beginning at 7 a.m. All baked goods are from scratch. Proceeds benefit Tomorrow’s Hope.


Wednesday, May 3, 2016


Union City Businesses Cited For Selling To Minors

Union City, Tenn.-Four Union City businesses were cited for selling beer to minors during a recent compliance check.

According to the press release issued by the Union City Police, an undercover minor purchased alcohol from Marathon Food Mart on South Miles Ave., Kwik Mart on North Clover Street, Pockets Shell on West Reelfoot Ave., and Phillips 66 Food Plaza on West Reelfoot Ave.

Clerks from the four businesses were cited into General Sessions Court on charges of unlawful sale of alcohol to a minor.

The holders of the beer licenses are required to appear before the city beer board.

 

Popovich Couple Gives Back

Paris, Tenn.-On Patti and Robert Popovich presented a check to Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo to go toward the purchase of Bullet Proof Vest for officers of the department. The Popovich couple completed the last Citizens Police Academy and wanted to give back the the police department for all they do for the community. (Paris Police photo).


Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-- Henry County Solid Waste and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Division of Solid Waste Management are preparing for the annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event to be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Henry County Recycling Center located at 450 Recycling Drive, off East Wood St in Paris.  This event is free and open to any household.

According to Ron Watkins, Henry County Solid Waste Manager, the mobile collection program was established to provide a safe means of disposal for household hazardous wastes. There are many reasons to properly dispose of household hazardous waste. One reason is that improperly stored hazardous products in the home may increase the risk of poisoning or injury. Also, disposing of hazardous waste in ordinary trash may injure sanitation workers because some products are chemically incompatible and may cause fires in dumpsters or garbage trucks. Examples of these are household cleaners, oil based paint, aerosols, pesticides, rechargeable batteries, used automotive fluids, pool chemicals, and many more household products that are no longer useable.                 

Additionally old mercury thermometers and thermostats, TV’s, computer equipment, and other household electronic equipment will be accepted.  The usual recyclables such as used motor oil, antifreeze, aluminum, scrap metal, old appliances, cardboard, paper, and number 1 and 2 plastics will be accepted as well.

Tires will not be accepted at this year’s event, however, tires can be taken to the Paris Henry County Landfill for disposal. 

The State Division of Solid Waste has contracted with Clean Harbor Environmental Services to accept your materials.  To prepare for transporting your materials, pack your vehicle carefully to prevent spills and make sure liquids are labeled if possible.  You can stay in your car while Clean Harbor employees unload your household hazardous wastes. 

Excluded wastes include:

 

  • medical and infectious wastes, ammunition and explosives, radioactive wastes, including smoke detectors, ANY EMPTY CONTAINERS, and wastes from non-household sources such as businesses, schools, farms, churches, etc., and

For more information about the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event or to learn of permanent used oil collection sites call the Henry County Recycling Center at (731)642-5170 or visit the county web site at www.henrycountytn.org

 

Libation Station To Open At Discovery Park Thursday

Singer Olivia Faye performing at last year's Libation Station. (DPA photo).

Union City, Tenn.-   Libation Station is opening on May 5th at Discovery Park of America’s Train Depot with a big party.  This is the third year for Libation Station to be open at the park, and according to organizers, they have special plans for the first night.

“We have two of our favorite entertainers, Keith Brown and Steve Short providing music on May 5th,” Lauren Jones, Special Event Director, said.  “Our members will just pay one price of $25.00, with non-members paying $30.00 for the evening.”  This is the only night that Libation Station will have a cover charge, ordinarily the venue is open to both members and non-members and there is no admission charge. 

For opening night, organizers plan to create a festive atmosphere, with fruit and cheese trays, a grilling station with several meat selections, and a wide variety of wine and beer, nestled among tiki torches and wooden barrels.  “All the food and drinks are included in the admission price on May 5th,” Jones added.  “The plan is to have seven different varieties of Kendall Jackson wine available that evening, giving our guests the opportunity to taste new varieties, which is kind of a fun twist,” Jones said. 

The opening night special celebrates the first night of Libation Station 2016.  The train bar will be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, unless there is a concert at the park, or inclement weather.  Up to date information about Libation Station can be found on the park’s website, including nightly entertainment.

This year, Libation Station will be open most Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings through August 27th, and will continue to be open on Thursdays evenings through October.  “We are excited about our opening night event,” Jones said.  “We hope that lots of people will come out and help us celebrate Libation Station 2016 on opening night,” she added. 

     Libation Station is sponsored by Williams Sausage, Davis Wealth Services and Snappy Tomato Pizza.  For more information about Libation Station including who will be performing each night, visit the park’s website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.comDiscovery Park is a unique blend of history, science, education and fun, and is located at 830 Everett Blvd., in Union City, TN.   

 

Car Strikes Martin Burger King

Martin, Tenn.-No one was injured Tuesday afternoon when a car struck the Burger King restaurant in Martin.

At approximately 1:09 pm officers responded to Burger King on University St. in reference to a vehicle striking the west side of the building.

Officers made contact with Sheryl McNeal of 320 Red Hill Rd. in Dresden.  McNeal was driving a white 2002 Ford Windstar van. McNeal was attempting to park her vehicle in a parking space and accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake causing the vehicle to lunge forward striking the building.

Neither McNeal nor her passenger or anyone inside the business was injured as a result of the collision. Officers reported there was minor damage to the vehicle.

The accident is still under investigation.

 

Enjoy Derby Day At The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn. – Wear your finest Derby attire, cheer on your favorite horse, and enjoy an afternoon of food, good fellowship, and live music at the 5th Annual Derby Day at The Dixie Saturday, May 7.

The afternoon begins with pre-race tailgates and music at 3 p.m.

This year’s featured entertainment is presented by the local talent of some fine country musicians, Don Bartholomew and Sam Butler. The outdoor music will run from 3-5p.m. beside The Dixie.

After the entertainment, The Dixie welcomes folks to enjoy the greatest two minutes in sports on the big screen in the Hal Holbrook Theater. Television coverage of the Kentucky Derby begins at 5 p.m.

The Dixie will award prizes for Best Hat, Best Derby Attire, and Best Tailgate.

If you’re interested in hosting a tailgate party, contact The Dixie at 731.986.2100. Invite your friends, decorate your themed tent, and provide traditional Derby fare. Individuals are also welcome and may bring a lawn chair to enjoy the festivities.

Huntingdon Animal Clinic is sponsoring Derby Day.

For more information, stop by The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, call 731-986-2100, or visit the website at www.dixiepac.net.

 

Springtime In Paris Luncheon Is Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Springtime in Paris Luncheon will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, May 6 at First United Methodist Church at 101 E. Blythe St. Lunch is $10 and will consist of world acclaimed chicken casserole, Methodist green beans, salad, rolls, homemade desserts and a drink. Eat-in and take-out are available. A casserole/bake sale will also be held.

 


Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Bethel Students Visit With Justice Stephens

McKenzieTenn.-Bethel University students and faculty members traveled to Washington University School of Law in St. Louis on April 25 to see Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Stevens is a retired associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States who served from December 1975 until his retirement in June 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest Justice then serving, the second-oldest serving Justice in the history of the Court, and the third longest-serving U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history. He was nominated by President Gerald Ford to replace the Court's longest-serving justice, William O. Douglas. Pictured here with Douglas are students Gabrielle Darden of McKenzie and Hannah Patrick of Milan; next row: Bethel graduate and Washington University Law School student Sasha Arnold, Bethel students Lindsey Hensley of Camden and Kaylie Passen of Hendersonville and Bethel faculty members Teresa Rose and Todd Rose.

 

American Idol Finalist To Perform At Discovery Park

Union CityTenn.- Discovery Park of America’s first “Southern Nights” music festival is Saturday, May 7th on the great lawn with gates opening at 6 p.m.. American Idol Star Clark Beckham will be taking the stage at 7 p.m. Plan to come early, because there will be a wide variety of food, a wine garden, a beer garden, a cigar bar and yard games.

“We are excited about the new festival atmosphere of our concert series this year,” said Katie Jarvis in the Marketing Department. “And, with Clark Beckham singing for us, it is going to be a super fun night,” she added.

Clark Beckham is a singer-songwriter musician from White House, Tennessee. He was the runner-up of "American Idol's" season 14. Born in Nashville, Clark was introduced to music by his mother as a young boy, as the two of them listened and sang along to classic soul and R&B songs of the ‘60s and '70s. At the age of eight, Clark began singing with his parents in a gospel trio.

Clark graduated with honors from Lee University in 2014 with a degree in history. Clark is actively working toward the recording of his first album, writing songs with some of his favorite songwriters across the country.

The Southern Nights music festivals will continue through the summer with Olivia Faye and 24 Seven performing on July 2nd, Jason D. Williams performing on July 23rd, and the Wanna Beatles taking the stage on August 6th.

Tickets are priced at $10.00 for everyone and are available online or at the door.

Discovery Park of America is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union CityTN and is open 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 Tuesday through Sunday. It is a unique blend of history and technology, knowledge and fun. To find out more about Discovery Park of America, visit the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com.

 

New State Arboretum At UTM

NashvilleTenn.. -  The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council (TUFC) has certified ten new arboreta throughout the state, including one at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

These ten arboreta share the honor of being certified by the Council along with seventy-four others in the state. Each arboretum contains many different species of trees for the purpose of education and/or research. 

The new arboreta include:  Columbia Academy (Columbia), Cordova Library (Cordova), Glenview Park (Memphis), Knoxville Zoological Gardens (Knoxville), Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro), Middleton (Middleton), Sam Davis Home (Smyrna), Tusculum College (Tusculum), University of Memphis, Lambuth Campus (Jackson), University of Tennessee (Martin).

 Each arboretum must meet strict criteria to become certified.  Universal standards for arboreta include: trees must be properly labeled for public educational purposes and the site must be properly maintained over the certification period.  Other standards may include providing a map for self guided tours or staff for public educational programs.   

For more information on arboretum certification, contact the program coordinator Jill Smith at (615) 638-8027, or email JillSmith.tufc@gmail.com.  

Visit the TUFC website at www.tufc.com/arboreta for information on creating or visiting an arboretum.

 

Dresden Iris Festival Underway This Week

DresdenTenn.-The 37th annual Iris Festival in Dresden is underway all week and activities will include a grand parade, all-week carnival, BBQ cook-off, pet show, quilt show, music festival and many other activities.

The carnival is set up all week at McCauley’s Chevy parking lot through Saturday, May 7. Students from all of the Dresden schools will be visiting the carnival through the week as a special treat.

Wednesday will be a big day, with the Renaissance Quartet set to perform at 7 p.m. atDresden First Baptist Church, a baking contest, pancake supper and more scheduled.

The grand parade as always will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday through downtown Dresden.

Most of the week’s activities are concentrated in the downtown area.

For the full schedule, visit the website athttp://www.tennesseeirisfestival.net/eventschedule.html

 

Drug Take-Back Event A Success

Union CityTenn.-Saturday’s Drug Take-Back event in Obion County was an unqualified success.

Over 221 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs were accepted from local citizens for disposal at Baptist Memorial Hospital. The event was sponsored by Union City Police, Obion County Prevention Coalition and Civil Air Patrol.

Drug Take-Back events were held all over the state on Saturday.

 

Career Coach Coming To Paris

ParisTenn.-The Career Coach of West Tennessee will visit the W. G. Rhea Public Library inParis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 10, in the library parking lot. The Career professionals will be helping people with resumes, on line job searches and applications. “This is another free service that is so helpful to those searching for jobs,” Library Director Connie McSwain said.

 

OC Library Staff To Be Considered County Employees

Union CityTenn.-The Obion County Public Library employees are a step closer to once again being considered county employees as regards their future retirement and raises.

The county budget committee passed a resolution Monday that will allow the full commission consider the issue this month.

The library is funded two-thirds by the county and one-third by the city of Union City, based upon population.

The budget committee also passed a resolution that would transfer almost $600,000 from theObion County account with the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System to the Obion County Library account, as required by state law.

 

Huntingdon Fire & Rescue Benefit For St. Jude

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Huntingdon Fire & Rescue will have a benefit hamburger and hot dog sale this Saturday, May 7th from 10 a.m. to 1p.m. All profits will go to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. The event will take place at the Cash Savers Store on East Main Streethere in Huntingdon.

 

Davis Thanks Teachers For Preparing For Testing

Union CityTenn.-At Monday night’s regular meeting of the Obion County Schools board of education, Director of Schools Russ Davis thanked the supervisors and teachers for all their preparations for the state testing that never materialized.

School districts state-wide spent a great amount of time and energy preparing for the tests, which in the end were not delivered by the company hired (and paid) by the state to provide them.  

Davis also announced that with today (Tuesday) being Teacher Appreciation Day, teachers in the district will be recognized with special meals served to teachers and support staff in all the buildings.

In other business during the routine session, the board approved tenure for Teacher Laura Murphy of Lake Road Elementary School.

The board also recognized the Black Oak Girls’ Basketball Team for its exceptional season this year.

 


Monday, May 2, 2016


Huntingdon Youth Dies Of Accidental Gunshot Wound


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Huntingdon, Tenn.-An 18-year-old Huntingdon youth has died of what investigators are calling an accident gunshot wound to the head.


Pronounced dead at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville was Peyton Gates of 605 Tate School Rd. in Huntingdon.


Huntingdon Director of Public Safety Walter Smothers said, “On Saturday April 30th at approximately 1:49 a.m. officers from the Huntingdon Police Department responded to Apartment 15 at the Hunter Ridge Apartment Complex to investigate a gun shot call.”


Once at the scene they found Gates inside the apartment with a gunshot would to his head. Lying beside him was a .38 Smith & Wesson Revolver. Gates was still breathing and taken by ambulance to Baptist in Huntingdon. He was then transferred to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville where he was pronounced dead at 11:39 a.m. 


Investigation into the matter was conducted by Huntingdon Officers and the T.B.I. “The conclusion was that it was a self-inflicted gunshot that is believed to be accidental,” Smothers said. 


An autopsy was performed by the State Medical Examiner in Nashville on Monday May 2nd. 



Fire At Norandal Plant Extinguished


The ladder truck deployed at Norandal fire. (Walter Smothers photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Huntingdon, Tenn.-Thanks to the use of the ladder truck by the Huntingdon Fire and Rescue, a fire at the Norandal Aluminum plant was quickly extinguished Saturday night and the building was saved from further destruction.


According to Huntingdon Director of Public Safety Walter Smothers, the fire and rescue squad was called to a fire at the Norandal plant at 400 Bill Brooks Drive at 10:30 p.m. Saturday night.


“Upon arrival they found the roof of the north cast house to be on fire,” he said. “The Huntingdon Ladder 1 truck was used to quickly extinguish the fire. Without the ladder truck it would have taken much longer to extinguish the fire which would have increased the potential risk of losing the building.”


In addition to the ladder truck, two other units of the Huntingdon Fire and Rescue responded to the scene along with 25 firefighters from the squad.




Police Chief Thanks Law Officers, City For Successful Fish Fry


Law enforcement leads the way at Friday's grand parade. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo has issued a public thanks to all law enforcement, emergency personnel, and city crews who helped make the World’s Biggest Fish Fry a success all last week.

“The crowds were up and crime was down’, Elizondo said. “I attribute this to the professional law enforcement and emergency services presence.”


 Elizondo publicly thanked:


Captain John Brewer and the Paris Police Department for an awesome job,

Sheriff Monte Belew, Henry County Sheriff Deputies and Reserves

Captain Curtis Mansfield, Tennessee Highway Patrol

Major Larry Smith, Tennessee State Guard 

Twila Rose, Henry County EMS Director

Captain Danny Tucker, Paris Henry County Rescue Squad

Captain Sammy Liles, Martin Police Department

Asst. Chief Reynard Buchanan, Humboldt Police Department

A big special thanks to 

Paris Public Works Director Philip Jesse and his staff for all the

work they do closing streets, putting up barricades, making signage and making 

Paris look clean and manicured before and after the parade for our visitors. 

 



TVA Board To Meet At Paris Landing

Houseboats To Be Key Agenda Item

Unpermitted houseboats will be discussed at the TVA meeting. (TVA photo).

 

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors will hold a public meeting on Thursday, May 5, at Paris Landing State Park, marking the first time the TVA board has met in Henry County.

The meeting will be held at the Paris Landing Inn, Conference Center, Room C, 400 Lodge Road, Buchanan. The meeting begins with a public listening session at 9 a.m., at which the public may comment on any agenda item.

A key item on the agenda is consideration of a TVA proposal to remove floating houses from TVA reservoirs in Tennessee and other states. The TVA has said, the recent growth of unpermitted floating houses has raised concerns about potential environmental and safety impacts.

Several local and state officials and houseboat owners are opposed to the proposal.

To see the full agenda for Thursday’s meeting: https://www.tva.gov/About-TVA/Our-Leadership/Board-of-Directors/Meeting-Archive/TVA-Board-Meeting-May-5,-2016

 

 

Delaney Thomas To Compete In National Rodeo

 

Paris, Tenn.-A Buchanan girl has qualified for the National High School Rodeo Association contest set for this summer in Lebanon, Tenn., this year.

Delaney Thomas, an eighth grader at Lakewood School, has been the Miss Tennessee Junior Rodeo Queen for the past two years. She qualified for Nationals in barrel racing and ribbon roping.

The Nationals will be held June 19-20 and is the second largest rodeo in the world. It involves students in sixth through eighth grade from all 50 states, Canada and Austrailia. The top four in each event compete.

Delaney is the daughter of the late Mark Thomas and Heidi Thomas of Buchanan.

 

UC Man Cited After Leaving Dog In Hot Car

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was cited for animal cruelty after his left his dog in a hot car for over an hour while he was shopping.

Union City Police cited Randall Keith Mallard, age 55, on Saturday. Police were called to the Wal-Mart parking lot where they found the dog had been locked in a hot car with the windows up. The temperature outside was 82 degrees. The dog was in distress and panting inside the car.

 

Truck Stolen On “Test Drive

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A truck stolen from a Union City car lot was recovered in Lake County and one member of the couple who stole it has been arrested.

The truck was stolen by a couple who told proprietors of the Car Mart on E. Reelfoot Ave. that they were taking it for a test drive. The couple never returned and the employees of Car Mart said they did not get the couple’s ID or names.

They took a white 1992 Chevy truck valued at $4,000.

The truck was recovered in Lake County after a crash. Officers apprehended the driver Stephanie Beal, age 47, at the scene. Her passenger, Gerall D. Beal, fled on foot and was not captured. No addresses were available for the couple.

Warrants for the return of the couple to Union City have been issued.


Sunday, May 1, 2016


Storm Closes Roads, Knocks Out Power In Paris Landing Area

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Paris Landing area was hit hard by an isolated severe thunderstorm Sunday afternoon, causing collapsed trees which temporarily closed Hwy. 79N and other roads.

Henry County EMA Director Ron Watkins said several trees were down on Cypress Rd. and Riverdale Dr. in the Buchanan area and trees and power lines were down on Hwy. 79N. near the Paris Landing State Park area, causing the highway to be temporarily closed to traffic.

Watkins said the Weather Service sent out an alert of a severe thunderstorm warning calling for 60 mph winds and the warning siren was set off at Paris Landing.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said sheriff’s deputies, BPU, Paris Landing State Park rangers, TWRA, the County Highway Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol and Stewart County sheriff’s office responded to the trouble area.

In a possibly weather-related incident, the deck of a house collapsed in the 2000 block of Buchanan Rd. Belew was one of several first responders who responded to the scene and said two persons were transported to the Henry County Medical Center by EMS with minor injuries. 


World’s Biggest Fish Fry Wraps Up For Another Year

8700 Pounds Of Catfish Served, 58,000 Hush Puppies

 

Dignitaries from all over Tennessee attend the grand parade. In photo, Former State Rep. Don Ridgeway of Paris, right, talks things over with Crockett County Mayor Gary Reasons, Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire and his wife, while Carroll County Mayor Kenny McBride in in background. (McFarlin photo).


Paris, Tenn.-There are plenty of bleary-eyed folks in Henry County today, now that the 63rd annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry has been wrapped up. On and off rain the last couple days of the annual event did not damper everyone’s spirits, however.

Paris-Henry County Jaycees thanked all the volunteers who helped every day and every night of the fish fry. A small army of volunteers manned the fish tent every day, helping with the cooking and the serving.

WBFF General Manager Loria Plunk said Sunday, "It was overall a great year despite the some bouts with rain. Thankful to live in a community filled with people with volunteer spirit which helps makes the WBFF a success. Saturday night rodeo had 601 adult tickets and 71 children. The fish tent was up 891 tickets overall.  The rodeo ticket sales were about the same overall.  I am very pleased with the attendance of this year event and very thankful for sponsor who help make this event possible."

“Tater” Hayes of the Jaycees said a total of 7400 people ate at the fish tent, 8700 lbs of fish were served and 58,000 hush puppies.

Most of Saturday’s events were held, despite some rain and a lot of drizzle. We posted a story Saturday with photos about the Small Fry parade, along with a list of winners. The Junior Fishing Rodeo winners are listed below. The rodeo was held as scheduled Saturday evening.

The first annual Kids’ Chalk Crawl, sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association, was postponed until next Saturday at 10 .m.

 

 

Long-time WTPR employee Brad Hosford interviews Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison during our parade coverage Friday. (McFarlin photo).


Former State Rep. Don Ridgeway and Susan Jones anchored our live coverage on WTPR at Friday's grand parade. (McFarlin photo).


Winners Of Junior Fishing Rodeo Announced

Paris, Tenn.-Under overcast skies—but no more rainfall—the World’s Biggest Fish Fry junior fishing rodeo was held Saturday morning at Williams Lake.

Winners were announced:

4 and under Biggest Fish: boy /Graham Bruce; girl/ Larissa Jones
4 and under Most Fish: boy/ Reese Gooden;  girl/ Emily Hillard

5-8 Biggest Fish: boy/ Nate Goan; girl/ Lila Caho
5-8 Most Fish: boy/ Brayden Martin;  girl/Courtney Rhodes

9-12 Biggest Fish: boy/ Noah Millraney; girl/ Eva Hatcher
9-12 Most Fish: boy/ Nate Case; girl/Eva Hatcher
Eva Hatcher

Smallest Fish: Samuel Bruce



Saturday, April 30, 2016


Drizzle Holds Off For Small Fry Parade

 

Fish Fry Is Dino-Mite took home three first place trophies. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-This morning’s drizzle held off long enough for the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Small Fry Parade to be held in downtown Paris. The crowd was smaller than usual and some entries cancelled out, but the show did go on.

The big winner of the parade was the “Fish Fry Is Dino-mite” entry which won first place in three categories: Best Character/Costume; Most Original Float; and Best Decorated. Best Marching Unit this year went to Joyland and the Coolest Pet was Vadale the dog, with Clarabelle the pig coming in second.

Complete list of winners:

Best Character/Costume: first, Fish Fry is Dino-Mite; second, TVCC; third, Beau Dunning.

Most Original Float: first, Fish Fry is Dino-Mite; second, TVCC; third, Danilynn Young.

Best Decorated: first, Fish Fry is Dino-Mite; second TVCC; third Beau Dunning.

Best Marching Unit: first, Joyland; second, First Presbyterian and third, TVCC.

Coolest Pet: first, Vadale; second, Clarabelle.

Other morning activities were cancelled for today.\,except for the junior fishing rodeo. The Chalk Crawl sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. next Saturday on the courtsquare.

All of the other activities for the afternoon and evening will go on as scheduled.

Joyland won Best Marching Unit. (McFarlin photo).

 

Haslam Visits Fish Tents; McKenzie Band Wins Top Honor

Governor Bill Haslam at the Dignitaries' Luncheon speaking with State Rep. Tim Wirgau, left, and Henry County Commissioner Dell Carter, right. (Joel Washburn photo).

 

Paris, Tenn.-Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam attended the Dignitaries’ Luncheon and visited the Fish Tent after the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade Friday, giving the fish dinners a thumbs up.

Meanwhile, the McKenzie High School marching band was named the Sweepstakes Award winner during the band contest at Friday’s parade. The McKenzie band also took honors as first in red class bands and top drum major.

Coming in second place in the red class band category was Glencliff High School and best color guard.

Camden High School was first place winner in the white class category.


 Asian Carp Task Force Passes House And Senate

Nashville, TN – A bill filed during this year’s general assembly session by Representative Jay Reedy (R-74) of Erin and Senator Mark Green (R-22) of Clarksville, creating an Asian carp task force, passed both chambers and is now headed to the Governor for his signature.

“Asian carp” refers to several species of related fish originating from Asia. Two species of Asian carp—the bighead and silver carp—were imported into the southern United States to keep aquaculture facilities clean and to provide fresh fish for fish markets. Bighead and silver carp escaped from Arkansas fish farms into the wild in the 1980s and have been swimming northward and southward ever since, overwhelming much of the Mississippi River drainages (including the Tennessee and Cumberland River systems). In some areas like the Illinois River, the Asian carp now comprise more than 95% of the biomass.

Bighead and silver carp are voracious eaters. This is a problem because the diet of Asian carp overlaps with the diet of native fish in the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Mississippi Rivers. Asian carp consume plankton—algae and other microscopic organisms—stripping the aquatic food web of the key source of food for native fish. Averaging 30-40 pounds, some Asian carp can grow to be over 100 pounds. An Asian carp is capable of eating 5-20 percent of its body weight each day.

In addition to causing ecological harm, the silver variety of the Asian carp has caused direct harm to people. The silver carp is skittish and easily startled by the sound of a boat motor. The sound causes the fish to leap as high as ten feet out of the water. They land in boats, damage property, and routinely injure people. While both species of carp are of concern in Tennessee, the silver carp is of greatest concern due to its potential to negatively impact native fisheries and injuring outdoor recreationists.

“Asian carp are well established in the Tennessee and Cumberland river systems, and have traveled upriver as far as Wheeler reservoir in Alabama,” said Rep. Jay Reedy. “Given their capacity to harm our native game fish and the danger they pose to recreational boaters, Senator Green and I felt that this legislation was necessary to elevate the discussion around how to address the growth in Asian carp numbers. Throughout the process of passing this legislation, we have been communicating with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to keep abreast of their efforts and thinking on this issue as well. We see the task force as a way to help the good work TWRA is already doing and provide them with the necessary support to successfully attack this problem.”

Another critical aspect of addressing the Asian carp problem is the negative economic impacts the fish can pose for recreational fishing and boating. But Rep. Reedy and Sen. Green both feel that the task force can also help find a positive economic result for parts of rural Tennessee.

“While controlling the numbers of Asian carp will help protect our rural economies and native fish, this control can also help create jobs. There are existing foreign and domestic markets for Asian carp. With the right approach we can look at leveraging these markets as part of the solution to controlling these destructive fish,” said Reedy.

The task force should be in place to begin its work starting this July and will conclude its work by January 2017.

 Watch the WBFF Parade On WLJT

There were plenty of cameras on hand as both WLJT and WBBJ videotaped the parade. (McFarlin photo).

If you missed seeing the World's Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade in person (and even if you were there and just want to see it again), you'll have two chances to view it on television.

WLJT-TV in Martin will broadcast the parade at 9 p.m. Saturday, April 30, and again at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 8.

WLJT also will broadcast the 48th annual UT Martin College Rodeo Finals at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1; the Iris Festival Parade at 9 p.m. Saturda, May 14 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 22; and the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival Parade at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 7; and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15.


Friday, April 29, 2016


52,000 On Hand For 63rd Grand Parade

Cub Scout Pack 222 won the General Manager's Trophy. (McFarlin photo).

 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris Tenn.-Thousands lined the route for the 63rd annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade this morning. Skies were overcast, but any predicted rain stayed away for the parade, which drew people from far and wide.

The official estimate from Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo is 52,000 people in attendance at the parade. No problems were reported during the annual event, he said. “We had no problems at all and the rain held off, so it’s all good,” Elizondo said after the parade.

There were 109 entries in the parade, which included 30 floats, 71 cars and several bands from nearby towns. Presiding over the parade was Grand Marshal Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison of Buchanan.

The General Manager’s Trophy was awarded to Cub Scout Pack 222, which used the banner “Pack 222 Supports Those Who Protect Us”. There also were signs in honor of the late Paris Firefighter Jeff Hamlin on the float.

Other winners were:

Most Original Float: First place, Little Prince and Princess; second, the military; third, the Army.

 Best Club or Church: first place, Hands of Praise; second, Cub Scouts; third, Fisher of Men.Most Beautiful: 50s Style Junior Queen; second, Tiny Tots; third, Miss Pre-Teen.

Best Out-Of-Town Float: first, Houston County; second Huntingdon; third McKenzie.


Grand Marshal Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison. (McFarlin photo).


Little Prince and Princesses First Place Most Original Float. (McFarlin photo).

The World’s Biggest Fish Fry—From On High

Paris, Tenn.-The World’s Biggest Fish Fry at the Henry County Fairgrounds is a happening place as you can see from the aerial photo taken by Air Evac helicopter pilots on Thursday afternoon. WBFF General Manager Loria Plunk said the Fish Tent served 1,243 adults and 60 children Thursday, while over 750 people took part in the AT&T Family Night rodeo. “Also, our rodeo was awarded a plaque for 25 years with IPRA presented by Mrs. Pam Treadway” during the festivities, Plunk said.


Obion County Attorney Censured

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County Attorney Henry Allen Nohsey has been publicly censured by the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

The censure notice was issued late last week. According to the notice, a public censure is a rebuke and warning to the attorney, but does not affect the attorney’s ability to practice law.

Nohsey is accused of “violating the Rules of Professional Conduct”dealing with an unrepresented party and conduct involving misrepresentation.

According to the notice, Nohsey represented a client who owned real property as a tenant in common with a relative and wanted to purchase the relative’s interest in the property. At the request of the client, Nohsey engaged in a strategy to convince the relative that he represented an unrelated third party who wanted to purchase the property from both the client and the relative, which was false.

Nohsey’s client allegedly assigned the relative’s interest in the property and then the client sold the property to a third party for $26,000 more than the price to which Nohsey on behalf of his client, agreed with the relative. The warranty deed transferred the property from the client and relative to the third party at the higher price. Nohsey allegedly did not inform the relative of the assignment.

Nohsey also serves as the Union City City Judge.


 Former Corrections Officer Sentenced

Jackson, Tenn.-A former Carroll County corrections officer was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison with one year of supervised release after pleading guilty to a civil rights violation.

Sue Barnes of McKenzie admitted in court to using her taser in March 2015 on a restrained detainee for 12 seconds even though he posed no threat.

 

HCMC Hires New Chief Nursing Officer

Paris, Tenn.-At a regular meeting of the Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees, Hospital CEO Tom Gee reported that Cynthia Whitaker has accepted the position of Chief Nursing Officer.

He said she was the first choice of the four candidates interviewed for the position. She most recently was the CNO at the Swedish Health System campus in a Seattle suburb. She will begin her duties in May.

Gee also reported that Paris Surgical Specialists have notified him they are “seeking a better balance in their lifestyles and will not be expanding their practice in the future.”

He said two of its members, Drs. Compton and Lundberg, have requested to drop from active to courtesy staff in order to be in a position to drop their call requirement. “However, the medical staff bylaws require that active staff with more than 12 admissions in a calendar year remain on active staff for the remainder of the year. Both have either exceeded this number or are very close to exceeding this number.”

Gee said construction of the new psychiatric unit is moving forward. It recently had its 100 percent physical inspection by the state and the punch list of items to correct is being completed now.

 


Thursday, April 28, 2016


Listen To WTPR For Live Parade Coverage

Paris, Tenn.-We will broadcast live coverage of the World's Biggest Fish Fry parade on WTPR AM 710 and FM 101.7. Susan Jones and Mary Kate Ridgeway will anchor our coverage right next to the dignitaries' stand on East Wood Street along the parade route. Our coverage begins at 9:45 and the parade begins at 10 a.m. We also will have complete coverage with photos on our website and on both of our Facebook pages after the parade.


Founder Of WENK, WTPR To Be Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

Nashville, Tenn.-The founder of both long-time area radio stations WTPR in Paris and WENK in Union City will be inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame when induction ceremonies are held May 14 in Murfreesboro.

The late Aaron Robinson Sr. is among 12 new inductees into the Hall of Fame this year.

Robinson was the Founder and President of The Dixie Network from 1947-1961 and while working at the Jackson Sun’s Publishing Co. and managing its radio division, he built a chain of radio stations that included WCMA Corinth, MS; WENK Union City, TN; WDXI Jackson, TN; WTPR Paris, TN; WDXE Lawrenceburg, TN; WDXN Clarksville, TN and WDXL Lexington, TN.

In 1954, he founded WDXI-TV in Jackson (which is now WBBJ-TV).

Robinson will receive a Legacy Award posthumously awarded to inductees. Others to receive the Legacy honors include: Harry Chapman, long-time DJ and sales manager; Warren Medley, long-time DJ and host at WDKN in Dickson; Dave Overton, long-time announcer and news director, including with Grand Ole Opry as announcer for WSM; Charlie Scott, who was announcer for the “Pat Boone Show” and long-time Nashville stations announcer; and Cal Young, Jr., who helped establish one of the nation’s first 24-hour a day country music stations in 1957.

WUSY-FM in Chattanooga will be inducted as the year’s Legendary Station.

Six living individuals will be “Career” Inductees: Maxine Humphreys who worked for 61 years with WGRV in Greenville; Keith Landecker, program director at WJTT in Chattanooga; Cathy Martindale, long-time morning air personality; Bill “Dex” Poindexter, from WUSY in Chattanooga; Earl Freudenberg, news director for WDYN in Chattanooga and 50 years in broadcasting; and Bart Walker, owner and GM at WGNS in Murfreesboro.

 

TDOT Worker Killed In Crash

Hickman County, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation is mourning the loss of a worker fatally injured today along Interstate 40 West near mile marker 156 in Hickman County. The TDOT Operations Technician was with a road crew that had stopped on the shoulder of the interstate. The crew, including several workers and a caravan of vehicles, was struck by a commercial vehicle. Three other TDOT workers were injured in this crash that remains under investigation.

The worker killed in the crash had been with the Department since 2010. He was hired as a maintenance worker, and was quickly promoted through the ranks to become an Operations Technician 3. His death is the first TDOT fatality since 2013. TDOT will release the name of the worker once his family has been notified.

“Our hearts are broken at the news that we lost one of our own today and that three others were injured”, said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. “It’s a reminder of the many state employees who work in dangerous jobs every day to serve our state and their fellow Tennesseans. We are grateful for them. Crissy and I send our prayers to the families of the victim and those injured and to the entire TDOT family across the state.”

“We are deeply saddened by the loss, and our hearts and prayers are with his family”, said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Every day, our employees work along Tennessee’s freeways, risking their lives. This is a tragic reminder of how dangerous highway jobs can be, and how motorists must use extreme caution any time they see our trucks on the side of the road.”

Counselors will be provided for fellow employees in the middle Tennessee Region 3 and across the state as needed.

Since 1948, 110 TDOT workers have lost their lives while working on Tennessee roadways.

 

Large Crowds For Fish Fry Events

 

“Tater” Hayes displays the giant ball of foil that is shown off each year during the parade. The foil now weighs over 100 pounds and represents all the foil that has been saved for the past several years at the fish fry. (McFarlin photo).


Paris, Tenn.-Despite some rain in the early evening Wednesday, crowds were good for the opening of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Fish Tent. WBFF General Manager Loria Plunk said 583 adults and 28 children enjoyed the catfish dinners.

Some 400 people attended the Christian Concert Wednesday night and hundreds have enjoyed the midway and carnival, which opened on Tuesday.

Thursday’s events include the arts and crafts show which begins at 5:30 p.m., the IPRA Rodeo which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. All those events are at the fairgrounds.

The Grand Parade is of course set to begin at 10 p.m. Friday on East Wood St. and the Small Fry Parade will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Paris. The fish tent and carnival will be open through Saturday night.

Other photos from the Fish Tent opening were posted Wednesday evening.

 

Hostess Princess Tori Starks and her court helped serve fish last night. (McFarlin photo).


Teaching the young’uns: Marty Ann Medlin was showing her daughter Briley Medlin the fine art of hush puppy making last night. (McFarlin photo).

 

 

Last Chance: “Bodies Revealed” At Discovery Park Until Sunday

Union City, Tenn.-The public will have its last chance to see the “Bodies Revealed” display at Discovery Park of America through Sunday, May 1. The exhibit shows you the inner workings of the human body, and is an educational opportunity to learn more about how the body works. You can see the skeletal system, muscular and nervous system, and even compare a smoker's lung to a healthy lung. It is an additional $7 for adults, $6 for members, and $5 for all students.  

 

Young Bald Eagles Soaring The Skies

Buchanan, Tenn.-Local Photographer Richard Graves has been busy the last few days, taking pictures of the young Bald Eagles that have been flying around Paris Landing State Park during the current nesting season. This photo was taken at Pace Point, across from Paris Landing (south of the bridge).


Paris Woman Arrested For Meth Possession

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-A Paris woman was arrested on a new drug charge while being arrested on active warrants by the Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Puryear Police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol Wednesday afternoon.

Arrested was Janice Brown of Peppers Drive although she was apprehended at a Jackson Street residence.

Brown already had active warrants for violation of sentence and failure to appear.

While arresting her, she also was charged with possession of Schedule II with intent to sell because she was located with crystal meth. A bond of $5,000 was set on the drug charge.

 

Area Archives Receive State Funds

Paris, Tenn.-The Tennessee State Library & Archives has distributed more than $30,000 worth of federal grant funds to 15 organizations across the state to help preserve important historical records. These funds can be used for a variety of purposes, including purchasing storage equipment such as shelving and boxes, hiring temporary staff for specialized records preservation projects, training archives personnel, or creating digital versions of records.

Area recipients include: Houston County Archives, Erin, $925; Dyer County Archives, Dyersburg, $925; Stewart County Historical Society, Dover, $2,000.

Other recipients of note include the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, $2,500; the Pink Palace Museum, Memphis, $2,400; and the University of Memphis Special Collections, Memphis, $2,450.

The funding for the grants comes from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, which is part of the National Archives. The Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board reviews grant applications to determine which groups receive awards each year.

"When historical records are lost, they are irreplaceable," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "That's why the projects these 15 organizations are undertaking are so important. They are taking steps to ensure the historical treasures in their communities are properly preserved. I commend the work that the grant recipients are doing on behalf of our state's shared history."

 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Happy Hush Puppies, Y’all!

Members of Dr. Morris' "Hushpuppy Posse" making the breading for the hush puppies. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Despite an overcast sky and early evening rainfall, by the time the first hush puppy was tossed to mark the opening of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Fish Tent Wednesday night, there was a long line of hungry people waiting for a big plate of catfish, hush puppies, slaw, onions, fries and beans.

Hostess Princess Tori Starks made a perfect hush puppy toss to her father, Monte Starks, to officially open the fish tent for one and all. The Hostess Princess Court were all there, along with city and county officials to serve the all-you-can-eat catfish dinners.

Behind the scenes, a long list of volunteers from the Masonic Lodge in Buchanan and the Springville community, as well as individual volunteers were battering the fish and frying the fish, frying the hush puppies (both regular and jalapeńo), cooking the beans and making the slaw and fries. A different group of volunteers serves each night that the fish tent is open.

Monte Starks told the crowd on hand, “This has really evolved into something huge and we can’t do it without all our sponsors.”
Tater Hayes of the Paris-Henry County Jaycees thanked all the volunteers and sponsors for all their help and Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said the fish fry is just one example of how special Henry County is.

The Fish Tent will be open through Saturday evening at the Henry County Fairgrounds.


Chief Deputy Randy Gean kids with volunteers frying hush puppies. (McFarlin photo).


Barry Jones, Chris Damesworth and Kenzie Williams breading catfish. (McFarlin photo).


Elizondo: Please Follow Rules On WBFF Parade Day

The All-Henry County Band performs at last year's parade. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

ParisTenn.-With the annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade set for Friday, Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo has issued reminders for the public on the rules that Paris Police Officers will be enforcing this year.

Each year, the parade attracts thousands of people to Paris. As always, the parade route moves along East Wood Street, starting at the East Wood Street Church of Christ and moving along to the fairgrounds.

Once again, no pets of any kind are allowed on the parade route unless it is part of the parade. No bikes, ATVs, skateboards, skates, mini bikes on the route unless it is part of the parade or authorized (such as Jaycees, EMS, Rescue Squad and law enforcement).

Backpacks will be checked by officers for content along the parade route.

Elizondo asked the public to leave a cell phone number on the vehicle dash in case of illegal parking. “We will call before we tow,” he said.

No candy is to be thrown from parade entrants but may be carried to the spectators. No poppers are to be sold or thrown on the parade route, he said.

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

Elizondo asked that drivers make sure that private drives and intersections are kept clear. “When the parade ends, make sure all vehicles are moved. If left unattended in a traffic lane, they will be towed,” he said.

Vendors must have a permit to sell on the parade route. Parade entrants must be in possession of a valid driver’s license.


Strong Winds Cause Gibson Electric Outages

TrentonTenn.-Strong winds last night caused outages to about 1,150 Gibson Electric Membership Corporation members’ homes and businesses in Obion County in Tennesseeand Fulton County in Kentucky. Crews were immediately dispatched and have restored service to all but 269 members. They will restore service to these members as quickly as is safely possible.

As of this morning, there now are five outages affecting 33 members’ homes and businesses in Obion and Fulton counties.  Crews are continuing to work and will restore service to these members as quickly as they safely can. 

Members can report an outage by calling Gibson EMC’s Outage Hotline at 1-800-977-4076. If the lines are busy, please leave a message. Members also can report an outage using the free “Gibson EMC” app through the App Store or Android Market. They can access up-to-date outage information through the Outage Map using the app and at www.gibsonemc.com.

Gibson EMC is a not-for-profit, member-owned and member-controlled electric cooperative serving about 39,000 members in eight west Tennessee counties (Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Obion and Madison) and four Kentucky counties (Carlisle, Fulton, Graves and Hickman).

 

17-Employer Job Fair Set

DyersburgTenn. — A 17-employer job fair, an Email 101 Workshop and a Dress For Success Fashion Show are among events planned in northwest Tennessee for Goodwill Week, May 2-6.

Every year during the first full week of May, independent Goodwill agencies across the U.S.and Canada celebrate the power of work through local activities. This year, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is ramping up dozens of events that support its mission of changing lives through education, training and employment across Middle and West Tennessee.

In Northwest Tennessee, four special events will be held. The largest will be a job fair from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, at the National Guard Armory, 502 James H. Rice Road,Dyersburg. At least 17 employers will participate, and more than 140 positions, including certified nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, cashier, customer service representative, cook, deli manager, store manager, forklift, assembly, welder and teacher are available.

Participating employers include Car Wash USA, At Home Healthcare, Bethel University, Cox Oil, ERMCO, Express Employment, Dyersburg State Community College, Heckethorn Manufacturing, Job World, Manpower, McDowell Center for Children, Metro Industrial Services, Northwest Correctional Complex, Personnel Placements, TN Career Coach, TN College of Applied Technology, and Tyson Foods.

Representatives from these companies will be on site and interviews are possible, so job-seekers should dress for success. Job candidates are encouraged to bring a resume, photo ID, Social Security card or birth certificate.

Goodwill Week activities occurring at the Union City Goodwill Career Solutions center, 1430 S. First St., will include Mock Interviews from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 4; anEmail 101 Workshop from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, May 5; and a Dress for Success Fashion Show from 9 a.m.-noon Friday, May 6.

Details about these and other events taking place across Middle and West Tennessee during Goodwill Week can be found online at www.giveit2goodwill.org/goodwillweek.

 

ICI To Host Job Fair

Union City, Tenn.-Institutional Caseworks Inc., otherwise known as ICI, the new industry onReelfoot Avenue in Union City, is looking to fill positions at their plant.

ICI will host a job fair from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, at the Tennessee CareerCenter at 204 S. Second St., in Union City.

Positions needed include maintenance, material handlers, welders, spot welders, janitorial, press operators, punch operators, powder coat sprayers and line operators.

Bring resume and references to the ICI Job Fair.

 

HCHS Class of 76 Reunion Meeting Set

ParisTenn.- The Henry County High School Class of 1976 will hold another reunion meeting at 6 p.m. May 3 at the 911 Building on Brewer Street.  

According to Reunion Organizer Vicki Snyder, the reunion will be held Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24. On Friday night, events will include tailgating and an HCHS football game and Saturday events will include dinner, disc jockey and festivities at the fairgrounds. Times to be announced later.

 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


BPU Rates To Increase Following State Consent Order

Assistant BPU General Manager Terry Wimberley reads the consent order at today's meeting, as Director of Engineering and Metering Jeff Thompson and Director of Electrical Operations Cole Edwards look on. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The board of directors of the Paris Board of Public Utilities Tuesday morning authorized BPU to enter into a consent order and agreement with the state as a result of violation notices issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

The consent order is the result of lengthy negotiations between BPU and TDEC which were culminated just a few minutes before Tuesday’s meeting. As BPU General Manager John Etheridge said, “We have been in a state of high level activity in the last couple days and are ready to make proposals for the board to act on.”

Financing the changes required because of the violations will mean some increase in wastewater rates paid by customers over the next five years.

Assistant BPU General Manager Terry Wimberley explained that the total cost will be $12M over the five-year period and funding will come from low interest state revolving fund loans and through rate increases.

Wastewater rates will be affected in this way: an average 5,000 gallon residential user will increase $7.80 a month over the first three years ($2.55 a month in first year; $2.75 a month in second year and $2.50 a month in third year). Smaller rate increases are expected in the fourth and fifth years.

Wimberley reviewed the negotiations with board members individually over the past few days. “This is about wastewater violations,” he said. “We have a discharge permit with the state of Tennessee and are set to certain standards. Violations are not abnormal. We report them every month and they are caused with heavy rainfall events when we get more flow into our treatment plant than we can handle  EPA changed the rules from how they were when we built the plant and we have always self-reported since EPA changed those regulations.”

Another aspect of the violations are manhole overflows, Wimberley said. “We really can’t keep that from happening, but it is still a violation according to our permit.”

Negotiations have been ongoing since the Notice Of Violation was issued in April of 2014, Wimberley said. “The state has been issuing consent orders for a long time, starting with big cities and working their way down to the smaller cities and towns,” he said.

The consent order requires that BPU has to fix violations at the plant in first three years and fix problems in collection system in five years, Wimberley said.

Wimberley noted, “We have been very progressive about opening the conversation with the state and they’ve been very good to work with and we’ve negotiated something everyone can work with.”

Throughout the negotiations, Etheridge said, “We’ve tried to minimize the effect it will have on our customers and we think we have.”

The consent order will be taken to the city of Paris for its approval.

In related business, the board also approved a task agreement with Jacobs Engineering for services related to the consent order requirements.

In other business, Etheridge reported that the TVA board will be holding its next meeting (May 5) at the Paris Landing State Park.


BPU Hard At Work 



Paris, Tenn.-Paris Board of Public Utilities workers were hard at it Tuesday morning, changing a pole top switch located in the parking lot behind the giant "Welcome to Paris" fish on Ogburn Street. Staff with three bucket trucks were working on changing out the switch after one of the insulators broke, according to BPU Director of Electrical Operations Cole Edwards. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Case Of Genital Assault Bound Over To Grand Jury

Union City, Tenn.-The cases of three Obion County men accused of causing serious genital injury to a 40-year-old Hornbeak man were bound over to the next grand jury during a hearing in Obion County General Sessions Court Friday.

The three men are charged with aggravated assault and conspiracy. They are: Edwin J. “Joey” Hogg, Jr., 51, Samburg; Steven Frederick Frazer, age 53, Hornbeak and Hulen L. Thompson, age 46, Union City.

During a lengthy preliminary hearing, the victim testified for some 50 minutes and described the altercation which resulted in the men assaulting him. He said it began with an argument that turned violent and that he was straddling Frazer to hold him down and Hogg pointed a rifle at his head and told him to get off of Frazer. During the next moments, the three were pulling his pants down, grabbing and stabbing him.

The victim was able to get away and drove home and was airlifted to The Med in Memphis. He said he has undergone five surgeries and that doctors have reconstructed his genital area but still have some work to do.

The grand jury meets in June.


Martin Student Goes Above And Beyond For UTM Farm Animals

From left, Brittany McClanahan with Beth Maloan family members Jennifer, Colin and Kate Stroh and Mike Maloan. (UTM photo).


MartinTenn. – Brittany McClanahan of Martin has received the spring 2016 Beth Maloan Outstanding Student Employee Award from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

The award is named for the late Beth Maloan, longtime UT Martin director of budgeting and payroll, who was a strong advocate of student employment. It recognizes exemplary work ethic and commitment to the university.

McClanahan has served as a student worker in the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources for the past two years, working primarily in the Graves Stables located in the university’s Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources Teaching Complex. She is responsible for feeding and caring for the university horses used by the equestrian team and the livestock laboratory classes. She also helps instruct animal science students who work in the stables during feeding times as part of class requirements.

Meghan Cunningham, equestrian coach, nominated McClanahan for this award based on her dedication not only in normal working situations, but also in those that require extraordinary effort, noting that McClanahan worked every day during adverse weather conditions last spring to ensure that the animals at the farm were cared for.

McClanahan is a senior studying veterinary health technology. She plans to graduate in May 2017.

 

First Kids’ Chalk Crawl Set For Saturday

Paris Tenn.-Molly Sue Gillespie is getting ready for the First Annual Chalk Crawl for Kids sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association which will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 30 immediately following the Small Fry Parade in downtown Paris. Children receive free chalk to create colorful fish on the sidewalk on the east side of the courthouse (Poplar Street). The Chalk Crawl will be led by local artists Joe Snow, Donna Revelee, and Ann Stapp.  Little Molly Sue is the grand-daughter of Lisa Rhodes of Paris. (DPA photo).

 

Bail Bondsman Scam Reported

ParisTenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has issued a public warning about scam bail bondsman calls.

Sheriff Monte Belew said his office has been receiving reports that people recently released from jail are receiving calls from unknown persons claiming to be their bail bondsmen.

The scammer then tells the victim they have to pay an additional $1,500 or their bond will be revoked and they will be jailed.

Anyone with information on who the scammers are is asked to call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672.

 

Spaghetti Supper Set In Fulton

Fulton, Ky.-The Fulton County Senior Citizens Group will hold its annual spaghetti supper from 4-6 p.m. Thursday at the Senior Center at 109 Commercial Ave. in Fulton. Tickets are $6 and take-outs are available.

 

5th Saturday Singing Is This Saturday

BuchananTenn.-The 5th Saturday Singing is this Saturday at the Buchanan UnitedMethodist Church. Enjoy a pot luck dinner at 5 p.m. with the singing beginning at 6 p.m. The church is at 140 Rabbit Creek Rd. at Buchanan.







David Robey
Weekdays
8am – 12pm









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