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Saturday, August 19, 2015


Sheriff Belew: "If You See Something, Say Something"


Buchanan, Tenn.-Yellow police caution tape cordons off the area where a 65-year-old Buchanan  man was killed last night at his home at 13851 Hwy. 79N. Jacky Ford was shot while he and his 11-year-old grandson played cards outside Ford’s home, which is located in a wooded area next to Ford’s BBQ. 


A $1000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest in the case. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said, “We need the community’s help in this. If you see something, say something. He asked that if anyone was that area around 7:15-7:45 p.m. last night and saw a vehicle on the side of the road in the area or anyone out of the ordinary in that area to call the sheriff’s office at 731-642-1672 or you can call the Sheriff’s Office confidential hot line at 731-642-0929.


The full story on the shooting was posted early this morning on this site and on our Facebook pages.


Fulton Teen Killed In Accident


Fulton, Tenn.-A 19-year old Fulton teenager was killed in a one-vehicle accident early this morning.


Killed in the accident was Matthew Hastings, who was ejected from his overturned vehicle. 


According to Fulton Police, officers were called around 3 a.m. to Exit 0 of the Purchase Parkway where they found the 1999 Chevrolet pickup truck overturned.


Preliminary indications are that Hastings drove into the Parkway median, struck a guardrail and overturned.




Suspect In Murder Of 65-Year-Old Man Sought


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 


Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in finding the suspect in the murder of a 65-year-old man Friday night. Sheriff Monte Belew said finding the suspect is a top priority and a reward of $1,000 is being offered.


Belew said this morning, "We believe this was a targeted act, not a random crime."


On Friday evening at 7:32 pm, the sheriff’s office responded to a report that a person had been shot. The location of the shooting was at 13851 Hwy 79 North near Buchanan.


When officers arrived, they found Jacky Ford, of that address, deceased. He had been shot in the head.


According to a press release issued overnight by the sheriff’s office, Ford and his 11-year-old grandson were inside of the house when at approximately 7:30 pm, a white male wearing a ski mask walked up to where the two were playing a card game and called Jacky by name. 


“As Jacky looked back to see who it was,“ according to the press release, “the gunman raised up what appeared to be a black semi auto handgun and fired two shots. At least one of the shots fired did strike Mr. Ford in the head and was a fatal shot.”


Ford’s grandson witnessed the shooting and gave investigators the following description of the shooter. He said he was a white male with a sleeveless grey shirt on with some type of white writing on the back and was wearing a blue ski mask. He said he appeared to be of slender build and maybe in his late 30’s by the sound of his voice, and somewhere between 5’9” to 6 foot tall. The child said that he thought he heard a car speed out of the area shortly after the incident,” according to the press release.


The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is asking for any help in this case. If anyone was in the area of Point Pleasant Church on Hwy 79 N Friday evening around the hours of 7:15 through 7:45 and saw a vehicle on the side of the road in the area or anyone out of the ordinary, call the sheriff’s office at 731-642-1672 or you can call the Sheriff’s Office confidential hot line at 731-642-0929.


The crime scene was worked by the Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Technicians and members of the sheriff’s office Criminal Investigation Division. Right now there is no clear motive for the murder and the investigation is top priority. 


Sheriff Monte Belew said his department is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in this case and is asking for the public’s help to solve this murder that was committed in front of a child.


Friday Night Lights



Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Golden Tornadoes won their 29th straight game Friday night in a big defeat of Memphis Mitchell, by a score of 56-20. In photo, the Golden Tornadoes are in the midst of battle on the field. Henry County also won its game last night against Houston by a score of 22-20. (Brent Hinson photo).



Friday, August 18, 2015


Death Being Investigated


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said late Friday night the department is investigating a death that occurred in the lake area earlier in the evening.


Belew said around 10 p.m. that the department could not release details now. “We’re working a crime scene, one subject is deceased and we’re in the very infancy of the investigation,” he said.


More details will be released when they are available.



Capt. Page Named State Corrections Officer Of Year

Paris, Tenn.-Members of the Henry County Sheriff's Office congratulate Captain Stephen Page for his recent award as Tennessee Correctional Training Officer of the Year.
Captain Page oversees the jail at the sheriff's office and was named the top Training Officer of the Year at a recent correctional meeting in Gatlinburg. He won this award over all other correctional training officers in Tennessee. Officers in photo include Sheriff Monte Belew, kneeling center left, and his K9 Si. (HCSO photo).


Boyd’s Opens in New Location


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-Boyd’s retail store in Paris has opened in a new location at the corner of Fairview Dr. and Hwy. 641S. 


Boyd’s had been open a year in the Kroger’s shopping mall and has now moved into the former location of the original Allegro’s plant.


Tammy Houston of Paris is the manager and said the new location already has been a good move. “We’ve already seen a pick up in customers,” she said.


Boyd’s is owned by the PMB family of companies which includes Merison’s furniture store, Eagle Buildings, Street Dynamics, and One Stepp Tire and Automotive.


PMB Spokesperson Laura Dougherty said location was the primary reason for moving. “We’ve just been open a week at the new location and we’ve already seen an increase in traffic coming into the new store.”


The new location will have a new focus on hardware and appliances, she said. “In fact, we’ll be changing our logo to include hardware and appliances”, she said. “But we’ll still most of the same merchandise we have always had.”


Boyd’s also has a store in Cottage Grove. Several months ago, Boyd’s, Merison’s and Street Dynamics also opened in the former Rural King location in McKenzie.



Christine Reynolds’ Portrait Unveiled


Historical Society President David Webb and Vice President Stephanie Tayloe

unveil the portrait of Christine Reynolds. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-A portrait of the late Christine Reynolds of Paris, the first woman to hold a Cabinet position in Tennessee state government, was unveiled last night at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. The portrait, which was painted by an artist who wishes to remain anonymous, will be permanently displayed at the Henry County Courthouse.


The unveiling was part of the Henry County Historical Society’s quarterly meeting and Society President David Webb said the Reynolds portrait is the first of four which will be prepared. The next three are of Howell Jackson of Paris, who was a Justice on the Supreme Court and later owned Bellemeade in Nashville; Mordecai Johnson of Paris, who was the first black president of Howard University; and Joe Routon of Paris, who was a Henry County School Superintendent and integral in forming Grove School.


Eventually those portraits will be displayed at the Henry County Courthouse, as well, Webb said.


A presentation on Reynolds’ life given by Suzanne Richter recalled how integral a role politics played in Henry County in the 1950s, which was when Governor Frank Clement was first elected.


Clement, she recalled, was “an old-fashioned evangelical orator” whose two terms were dedicated to humanitarian efforts. Those efforts included the first State Mental Health Department and the first free textbook program. Clement also was the first Southern governor to veto the segregation bill, she said.


But what made him special to Henry Countians was his appointment of Reynolds as the first female cabinet member as Commissioner of Public Welfare, at which she served from 1953-1959.


Before her appointment, Reynolds had worked with the WPA in the 1930s, was director of public welfare in the county, and was the first woman to serve on the Paris planning commission.


One of Reynolds’ major accomplishments in state government was to strengthen the adoption procedures and to rewrite the state welfare manual, Richter said. Upon Reynolds’ retirement from state office, her employees dedicated the Mimosa Trail to her. The Mimosa Trail are the mimosa trees that line the highway from Paris to Kentucky Lake.


In other business during last night’s meeting, the same officers were retained: President David Webb, Vice President Stephanie Tayloe, Secretary Rick Owens and Treasurer Donna Winchester. 


Tyson Chickens Reported Tortured At Weakley County Farm

Chickens Used To Make McDonald’s McNuggets



Dukedom, Tenn.-Chickens used to make McDonald's McNuggets were beaten with a nail attached to a pole, tossed alive into buckets meant for the dead and suffered from leg deformities at a farm under contract with Tyson Foods, according to an animal rights group. That report is being reported by the Washington Post, along with a video which has been uploaded to Youtube.


According to the Post, Tyson Foods quickly cut its ties with the Dukedom farm after a video showing the alleged abuse was released Thursday by Mercy for Animals, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that employs workers to infiltrate farms and record animal mistreatment.


The video shows "birds painfully beaten, stabbed, and impaled on makeshift clubs" at T&S Farms in Dukedom, Tenn., a statement by the group said.


Footage also shows factory "farm owners stepping on the heads of live chickens and then pulling their wings or bodies to break their necks, chickens bred to grow so fast they became crippled under their own weight and frequently died from organ failure, hundreds of thousands of birds crammed into filthy, windowless sheds forced to live for weeks in their own waste."


The owners of the farm, Thomas and Susan Blassingame, did not return a voice mail message asking for comment from the Washington Post. Tyson Foods issued a statement Thursday to the Post saying the company has launched its own investigation, but "based on what we currently know, we are terminating the farmer's contract to grow chickens for us." Tyson said an estimated 125,000 birds have been removed from the farm's barns.


Frozen Vegetables Test Positive For Listeria


 

Nashville, Tenn. — The Consumer and Industry Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is issuing a public advisory to warn consumers of Listeria monocytogenes discovered in two varieties of frozen vegetables sold in Tennessee. 

The contamination was discovered during routine sampling of food products sold at two different grocery stores in Harriman, Tenn. 


Lab results showed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in Cascadian Farm Organic Cut Green Beans. The 10 ounce package was distributed by Small Planet Foods, Inc. of Sedro-Woolley, Wash. and identified with the code 11APR2016. General Mills has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of that product, as well as green beans with the code of 10APR2016. You can read more about the recall here: General Mills voluntarily recalls a limited quantity of frozen Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans.


Testing also confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in Wylwood- Super Sweet Whole Kernel Corn. The 16 ounce package was distributed by Save-A-Lot Foods of Earth City, Mo. and identified with the Best By date of June 2017 and code K51564. Officials with Save-A-Lot have requested all stores pull the unsold packages of corn from the shelves.


The Department of Agriculture has notified the Food and Drug Administration and the FDA will determine if further action will be taken.


Listeria monocytogenes is unlike many other germs because it can grow in a cold environment. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women and may be fatal for individuals with weakened immune systems. Cooking and pasteurization are two methods by which to eliminate the bacteria from food.


The Consumer and Industry Services division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture sets high standards for food safety. Those standards are enforced through regular and thorough inspections and product testing. 



Thursday, August 27, 2015 


Vanderbilt LifeFlight Opens Base in Henry County



Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt LifeFlight has expanded its footprint into West Tennessee by adding an emergency helicopter base at the Henry County Airport. 


The base began 24/7 operations on Aug. 27. Lee McMurray has been named chief flight nurse for the base. 


Henry County Medical Center (HCMC) Administrator Tom Gee said he and his team at the hospital are very excited to have Vanderbilt LifeFlight in the county. 


“We are excited to welcome Vanderbilt Lifeflight to Paris,” Gee said. “Lifeflight has a long history of service to Henry County Medical Center and our community, and having them located within the county will only enhance the ability of our citizens to access timely and quality health care services.”


The helicopter has a four minute flight from the Henry County Airport to HCMC.


Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said the new base would strengthen the delivery of health care services in the area.


“On behalf of the Henry County Commission and the citizens of Henry County, I would like to express my appreciation and welcome to Vanderbilt Lifeflight on their decision to open a new base at the Henry County Airport,” he said. “This decision will greatly enhance the delivery of emergency medical ambulance service to our entire medical community. Henry County Medical Center is an important regional medical center for Northwest Tennessee and Southwest Kentucky and their decision to be a part of our medical community will only serve to strengthen our commitment to delivery of health care services.”


Stephan Russ, M.D., associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and associate chief of staff for Vanderbilt University Hospital, praised the support received from Henry County officials in establishing the new base.


"We appreciate the help and guidance received from Henry County Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gee, Henry County Medical Center Board of Trust, Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, Henry County Airport Manager Don Davenport, Henry County Medical Center EMS Director Twilla Rose, as well as numerous other community leaders,” Russ said.  


The aircraft that is stored at the Henry County Airport is a twin engine Airbus Helicopter H-135 that can fly at speeds faster than 150 mph and has about a 35 minute flight time to Nashville area hospitals from Henry County. Additionally it is the only aircraft in the Henry County area that provides 360-degree access to the patient and has the ability to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR). The aircraft is also equipped with air conditioning, state-of-the-art navigation, a communications and avionics package that includes night vision goggles, and a terrain avoidance warning system. 


LifeFlight is also the only air medical service in Middle and West Tennessee that carries lifesaving blood products on every flight, and more than 10 percent of trauma patients flown receive blood while in flight.


For $49 a year (family coverage) Air Methods offers a membership called OmniAdvantage. OmniAdvantage members incur no out-of-pocket expense if flown by any Air Methods program (including Vanderbilt LifeFlight) for medically necessary emergent conditions. For information on that program call 855-877-2518 or visit http://www.airmethods.com/omniadvantage .


Vanderbilt LifeFlight also provides hospital-based emergency air medical transport services throughout Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, with remote helicopter bases in Lebanon, Tullahoma, Clarksville, Murfreesboro and Mt. Pleasant, Tenn. LifeFlight also operates an airplane base at Nashville International Airport and has four ground ambulances as well as an event medicine division.


Air Methods provides aviation, fuel, maintenance, aircraft, dispatch, billing and EMS licensure while VUMC provides all medical staffing, patient care and clinical services for Vanderbilt LifeFlight.


Murray Man To Be Extradited For Stalking



Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police are investigating a Murray, Kentucky man for stalking and criminal trespassing.


Officers responded to a residence on Mt. Pelia Rd. early Monday morning in reference to an unwanted individual. Brandon Vernam, age 22, of 1217 N. 16th St. in Murray Kentucky was found on the property and advised to leave. Later Monday morning victim contacted police and advised Vernam was back on her property. When officers arrived they found the defendant on the property and he was arrested.


Vernam appeared before Judge Tommy Moore in General Sessions Court on Wednesday morning. Vernam was released on bond and late Wednesday afternoon the victim notified police that she had been contacted again by the defendant. 


Additional warrants for Aggravated Stalking have been issued for Vernam.


He was arrested in Kentucky and will be extradited back to Tennessee.


EPA Fines Holt For Hog Farm Pollution



Nashville, Tenn. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a civil complaint Thursday morning against State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) seeking a fine of up to $177,500.


According to the EPA notice, the pollution from Holt’s hog farm violated the Federal Clean Water Act. The EPA notice goes on to say that Holt may request a meeting with the EPA to discuss a settlement, according to Channel 5 in Nashville.


Holt is vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and after his hog farm was investigated earlier by the EPA, has called for the EPA to be discontinued.

 

The EPA letter cites cases reported by statewide media earlier which includes two instances in 2011 when Holt's farm discharged at total of more than 500,000 gallons of waste water contaminated with hog manure into a nearby creek.


The letter cites another incident in 2013 in which Holt's farm reported discharging more than 200,000 gallons of wastewater into a nearby creek.


Holt said at the time that the waste water overflowed from the lagoons after a heavy rainfall and he self-reported the incidents to the state. He also said he attempted to submit the appropriate paperwork to get a permit.


The EPA has maintained that Holt has operated for years without the appropriate permit.


Five Arrested On Drug Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A search warrant executed at a Kirk’s Trading Post Rd. address near Buchanan resulted in the arrest of five people on a number of drug charges.

Officers with the Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Henry Police, Puryear Police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol conducted a search Wednesday at 400 Kirk’s Trading Post Rd.

During the search, officers located crystal meth, drug paraphernalia, marijuana, prescription medicine and a handgun.

Arrested were:

Steven Baker, 30, 1034 Manley St., Apt. 2, Paris, possession of Schedule II.

Christina Powell, 26, 400 Kirk’s Trading Post Rd., possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of probation out of Circuit Court, unlawful possession of a weapon as a convicted felon.

Mystie Wallace, 38, 1777 Hwy, 120, Big Rock, Tenn., possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a legend drug and possession of Schedule II meth.

Anita Greenhill, 49, 1011 Ross Lane, Clarksville, possession of legend drug.

Megan Flood, 23, 1034 Manley St., Apt. 2, Paris, charged with possession of Schedule VI marijuana, and possession of Schedule II amphetamines.

All subjects will be arraigned in Henry Co. General Sessions Court today.


Local Celebrities To “Dance With The Stars”



Huntingdon, Tenn. – Six brave contestants, including a college president, a school principal and State Representative, are shining their dancing shoes and working on their moves, all to raise money at the 2015-2016 season opener fundraiser for The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center. 


Just like the hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” this event partners professionals with six local celebrities to learn a dance routine the week prior to the show, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. The winner will be chosen by a total of three scores: Pre Votes, Live Audience Votes, and Judges Scores. Pre Votes will be available online, over the phone and in person 2 weeks prior to the show at The Dixie Box Office. The cost per vote is a $1 donation that will go towards The Dixie’s Academic Enrichment opportunities and the School Time Performances. 


Celebrities include Amy Thompson, Alan Eubanks, Susan Cary, State Rep. Curtis Halford, and Lane College President Dr. Logan Hampton. 


Alan Eubanks is the principal of Huntingdon Primary School and head baseball coach at Huntingdon High School.   


Amy Thompson is the Director of Development with Bethel University. She is a qualified major gift officer and is a former Bethel College Athlete in both cheerleading and soccer. Susan Cary is a native of Huntingdon and works at City Drug Company as a pharmacist.  


State Representative Curtis Halford is from Dyer and represents Gibson County and part of Carroll County. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force Reserve, and a member of the Gibson County Planning Commission, County Chamber of Commerce, and a former Board Member of Cary Counseling Peer Support Group and the National Rifle Association. 


Lane College President Dr. Logan Hampton was named 10th President of Lane College by the Board of Trustees on June 12, 2014. Dr. Hampton has a doctorate in higher education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock


The final contestant will be announced very soon so please stay tuned! Tickets for Dancing with our Local Stars are $50 each and are available at the Box Office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at dixiepac.net. Online voting will begin on Saturday, August 29th, for voting in person and over the phone please contact the Box Office during regular business hours Mon-Fri. 10am-4pm.




Atomic Age To Be Explored At Discovery Park



Union City, Tenn.-70 years ago this month, the world into the Atomic Age and Discovery Park of America will remember those times with special presentations on Saturday, August 29.


At 1:30 p.m., Splitting Atoms will be the presentation; 2:30 p.m. Truman’s Dilemma on whether to drop the Atomic bomb will be discussed and at 3 p.m., “Duck and Cover’ will be shown, the original 1951 Civil Defense film.



Couple In Court On Pepper Spray Charges


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-An estranged husband and wife appeared in Henry County General Sessions Court to face reduced charges involving an argument which resulted in their child being inadvertently pepper sprayed.


The cases against Megan and Raymond McCarraher were adjudicated in court this week. Megan McCarraher lives in Florida and Raymond in Paris.

Both were originally charged by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office with aggravated assault, but both charges were reduced. According to the report, the two were involved in an argument over child custody and in the midst of the argument, were pepper spraying each other and inadvertently pepper sprayed their child.


On a charge of reckless endangerment, Judge Vicki Snyder placed Megan on deferred probation which is to continue until the end of February 2016, placed her on unsupervised probation for six months and ordered she have no contact with Raymond except for child visitation and divorce proceedings.


On a charge of misdemeanor assault, Judge Snyder ordered Raymond to serve 11 months, 29 days in jail, which was suspended except for 18 days. Those 18 days were counted as time served. She also placed him on supervised probation for 11 months and 11 days. He was also ordered not to have contact with his estranged spouse.

   



Stephens “Meet And Greet” Is Today



Paris, Tenn.-Bruce and Rebecca Griffey are hosting a "Meet & Greet" reception at their home (140 Paul Drive) Thursday, August 27, for Senator John Stevens. It is not a fundraiser. Stephens is seeking to speak individually with his constituents to receive input on important issues that are the subject of pending legislation this tall, including, but not limited to, school vouchers, in-state tuition for illegal aliens, infrastructure funding, the confirmation process for appellate judges and the Holy Bible as the state book. 


The event is from 6-7 p.m.  Quail Hollow Catering is serving the food.




Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Franchise Owner Of Paris Hardees Files Bankruptcy



By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Guadelupe, Ariz.-Frontier Star, the franchisee which owns the Hardees’ Restaurant in Paris, has filed for bankruptcy.


As we reported Tuesday, employees at the Paris Hardees’ have been reporting that their checks have been bouncing at local banks.


According to articles in The Arizona Republic and Restaurant Finance Monitor, two large Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s franchisees filed for bankruptcy protection in Arizona at the end of July. 


Frontier Star LLC and Frontier Star CJ LLC, both of Guadalupe, Ariz., owe the franchisor, CKE Restaurants, $984,687 and $1,517,306, respectively, according to Restaurant Finance Monitor. Amounts owed to the remaining unsecured creditors are considerably less, the news outlet reported.


When contacted by WENK/WTPR on Tuesday, a spokeswoman at the Hardees’ corporate office in St. Louis said the problem is with the franchise owner, which she said was listed as Frontier Star. She said employees who are having a problem with bounced checks should call Frontier Star at 1-480-736-2461.


WENK/WTPR called that number and was greeted with an answering machine message. Messages left there have still not been returned.


According to Restaurant Finance Monitor, “It’s not clear why the two franchise entities, founded in 2000 and together operate an estimated 170 restaurants, are seeking Chapter 11 reorganization. Hardee’s and Carl’s are reportedly healthy, though comparable sales figures are not public because CKE is a private company.”


Both franchise entities are controlled by Jason, Carl and Margaret LeVecke, grandchildren of CKE founders Carl and Margaret Karcher.  


A source familiar with the franchisees who insisted on anonymity told Restaurant Finance Monitor, that the bankruptcy filings were the result of personal liabilities and not operational issues. The source suggested the LeVeckes borrowed against something other than the restaurants and likely violated debt covenants.


Paris Hardees’ Manager Deke Havener told WENK/WTPR Tuesday he was aware of the bouncing checks problem and that “All employees can come in and talk to me and we can take care of it.”


Haslam Talks Transportation, Infrastructure In UC


Haslam responds to a question

at Tuesday's forum. (Amy Keathley photo)


Union City, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer sat down with local and state officials in Union City today to discuss the region’s transportation and infrastructure needs.


In a morning meeting at the Obion County Public Library, Haslam and Schroer discussed the functionality and capacity of Tennessee’s state roads and highways, safety issues around roads and bridges, and the impact infrastructure has on economic development efforts in urban and rural communities.


Tennessee’s transportation system includes 95,000 miles of roads, 1,100 miles of interstates, 19,000 bridges, 28 transit systems in 95 counties, 79 general aviation airports, 949 miles of waterways and more than 3,000 miles of railroads.


“The quality of Tennessee’s transportation and infrastructure system always ranks at or near the top when compared to the rest of the country,” Haslam said. “We have no transportation debt, and we do a great job maintaining our roads, but we know we have challenges on the horizon. We know that we can’t depend on the federal government to be the funding partner that it once was. We also know that as our infrastructure ages, maintenance becomes more important and more expensive. And we know that maintaining our roads is only part of the equation. Right now we have a multi-billion dollar backlog of highway projects across this state that address key access, safety and economic development issues, and that’s only going to grow.”


A 2015 Tennessee Comptroller’s report on transportation funding states that revenues are not expected to be sufficient to maintain current infrastructure.

Cars are more fuel-efficient, construction and labor costs have risen, and Congress hasn’t passed a long-term transportation funding bill in a decade. Tennessee’s population is expected to grow by 2 million by 2040, which puts a greater demand on the state’s infrastructure.


“TDOT is responsible for taking care of the assets we already have, for implementing current projects in the most cost-effective way, and for planning for the state’s infrastructure needs of the future,” Schroer said. “We look to Tennessee communities to help prioritize projects to make sure we’re addressing evolving traffic patterns, population growth, safety issues, and the many other things that impact our infrastructure, and these conversations are invaluable to the process.” 


Since 2010 TDOT has invested $101 million state dollars on first and last mile road projects serving industrial expansion and recruitment helping to create nearly 29,000 jobs for 108 companies in Tennessee. 


Funded primarily by state and federal gas taxes, TDOT gets no money from the General Fund. Funding uncertainty from the Federal Highway Trust Fund forced TDOT to delay $400 million in highway projects in 2015.


TDOT officials discussed the cost of several projects in the region:

Construction of a new section of I-69 in Obion County will create the bypass of Union City and Troy, providing connectivity between I-55/I-155 in Missouri and I-24 in Kentucky. The estimated cost of completion is $298 million.


Construction of a new section of I-69 in Lauderdale County will create the bypass of Ripley, providing connectivity from US-51 to the north and south. The estimated cost of completion is $177 million.


In Dyer and Gibson counties, the widening of two sections of SR-104 from US-412 (SR-20) to west of SR-188 has an estimated cost of completion of $27.7 million.

In Lauderdale County, the widening of SR-19 from Eastland Avenue to the Haywood County line has an estimated cost of $5.9 million.


In Henry County, the widening of US-641 (SR-54) from Near Rison Street to Smith Road has an estimated cost of completion of $19.4 million.


In Obion County, the improvements to two sections of US-45W (SR-5) from Troy-Polk Station Road to US-51 (SR 3) has an estimated cost of completion of $28 million.

In addition to Union City, Haslam has held transportation and infrastructure discussions in Memphis, Clarksville, Jackson, Nashville, Franklin, Kingsport, Greeneville, Murfreesboro, Shelbyville and Crossville, and he will visit Chattanooga, Cleveland, Lenoir City, Knoxville in coming weeks.


State, Local Tourism Dollars Rise Dramatically

Nashville, Tenn. — Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, announced during a special event at the Ryman Auditorium that tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached $17.7 billion in 2014, up 6.3 percent, and an all-time high for the state. 

Tourism-generated jobs for Tennesseans reached 152,900, an increase of 2.8 percent. State and local sales tax revenue for the industry topped $1.5 billion, up 7 percent over 2013, and the ninth consecutive year tourism topped $1 billion, according to the latest statistics from the 2014 Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee as reported by U.S. Travel Association. 

That is true locally. Tourists spent a total of $55.51 million in Henry County in 2014, an increase of 4.8% compared to 2013, generating a total of $3.10 million in state and $7.04 million in local tax revenues, increases of 5.6% and 5.0%, respectively. A total of 306 Henry Countians are employed in tourism-related fields. 


For the first time in history, travel to Tennessee topped 100 million, achieving 101.3 million person stays, a 5.1 percent increase over 2013. International travel increased 8.4 percent, reaching $576.5 million in economic impact. All 95 counties in Tennessee had more than $1 million in direct travel expenditures, 19 counties saw more than $100 million, and three counties, Davidson, Shelby and Sevier, had more than $1 billion in economic impact. Knox and Hamilton Counties round out the Top 5. Tennessee is ranked in the Top 10 destinations in the U.S. for total travel.

Tourists spent a total of $55.51 million in Henry County in 2014, an increase of 4.8% compared to 2013, generating a total of $3.10 million in state and $7.04 million in local tax revenues, increases of 5.6% and 5.0%, respectively. A total of 306 Henry Countians are employed in tourism-related fields. 

“Utilizing the Tennessee River Resort Act funds through the Henry County Tourism Authority has given us an opportunity to maximize the tourism dollars spent in Henry County through events such as BASS Fest, fishing tournaments, community festivals and infrastructure,” according to David Hamilton, CEO of the Henry County Alliance.
Henry County Extension Director Michele Atkins, who serves as Vice President of Tourism Development for the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, added “Tourism is our number three economic driver, following agriculture and healthcare. We have been blessed with natural resources to promote, which adds to the strength of our local job market.”
“This increase in tourism across the board is a result of the strategic work of Tourist Development, the Tourism Committee, and the entire tourism and hospitality industry,” Haslam said. “We want Tennessee to be a place people from all over the world want to visit. The data shows that’s happening, and more jobs and $1.5 billion in sales tax revenue is good news for every Tennessean.”

Tennessee’s customer satisfaction landed at an impressive 8.5 out of 10. The satisfaction scores are greater than those of the average U.S. destination.

“Tourists are drawn to Tennessee for our world-renown music, outstanding attractions, stunning scenic beauty,” Triplett said. “But, at the end of the day, people keep coming to Tennessee for our authenticity and exceptional, Southern hospitality. That is the ‘made in Tennessee’ brand delivered to our visitors every day by our communities and partners.” 

The Tennessee Tourism Committee, appointed in 2011 by Gov. Bill Haslam, is made up of tourism leaders in both the public and private sectors. TTC is chaired by Colin Reed, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., and co-chaired by Jack Soden, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and Sande Weiss, president of Music Road Resort.

For more information contact Cindy Dupree, director of public relations for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, at 615-418-5752 or by email at Cindy.Dupree@tn.gov. 


New Exhibits To Open At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.- Get set to blast off to Discovery Park of America August 28th to see two new exhibits opening that day: STEM Landing and the Obion County Gallery in the Tennessee Room.

The concepts for STEM Landing and the Obion County Gallery both originated over a year ago. Both exhibits were conceptualized, designed and built entirely by the Discovery Park of America team. Jim Rippy, CEO, said he has been impressed with the vision and the talent of the staff at Discovery Park. He went on to say the opening of the park didn’t represent the end of a project. “In a way it was just the beginning,” he said. “We plan to add new educational and interactive galleries and exhibits annually. (The late) Robert Kirkland made sure that we could do that by providing annual funding for capital improvements. We are definitely going to give people a reason to come back,” Rippy added.

STEM Landing: According to the plaque that meets visitors as they step out of Discovery Center into the park-like area that is the new STEM Landing, the exhibit is a showcase sampling of great STEM achievements. Park officials say the exhibit is designed to be both educational and inspirational. “STEM is the new buzzword in education,” Wildes said. “So we wanted our newest exhibit to really focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The most amazing feature of the new exhibit is the huge dome that looks like the moon has landed on the Earth. Inside the giant sphere, guests will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with two rocket engines, a Titan II nose-cone and a space shuttle tire. The exhibit has three large models of a Lunar Orbiter, a Gemini Capsule and an X-33 Space Plane. There are also several display cases full of artifacts.

Perhaps the most entertaining and engaging feature of the new exhibit is the helicopter simulator. “Guests can climb in and feel like they are flying a real helicopter,” according to Robert Pardue, who was involved in designing and building the simulator. “The entire experience will last around seven minutes. It is very interactive and we think our guests will love it,” he added.

Obion County Gallery: Especially interesting to natives of Obion County, this new exhibit takes a step back in time, when places like the Palace Hotel and the Holmes Drug Store were vibrant centers of commerce in the thriving city of Union City .

“At one time, Union City was the fourth largest city in West Tennessee,” Rippy noted. “We have acquired some amazing artifacts and photographs that document life in Obion County in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.” Artifacts more than 100 years old line the shelves of an original counter from the Palace Hotel (1896) and original cabinets from the Holmes Drug Store (1904). Wildes is also excited about showcasing Verne and Nonie Sabin’s collection of local community photography taken 1919 – 1924. According to Wildes, Obion County was actually established in 1823. One of the most interesting features of the new Obion County Gallery will be a “Then and Now” photography display.

Sneak Peek for DPA Members: Both new exhibits will open to the public on Friday, August 28th. Discovery Park of America annual membership card holders have a unique opportunity to get a sneak peek by attending a fund-raising dinner on August 27th, which will include tours of the new exhibits and dinner. The speaker for the dinner is retired Captain Robert L. Rasmussen, who flew the #4 Blue Angels airplane that is on display in STEM Landing. The number of tickets is limited to 250 and members can purchase them online or by calling the park.

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




Tuesday, August 25, 2015 


911 Service Back On

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County 911 Director Mark Archer said 911 services are back on in West Tennessee.

People with cell phones with Verizon and AT&T can resume calling 911 in emergencies now, he said.


Cellular Phones Unable To Call 911 Right Now


Paris, Tenn.-911 calls from cellular phones are not going through in Henry County as well as most of west Tennessee.


Henry County 911 Director Mark Archer said anyone who is experiencing emergencies in Henry County should call the Paris Police Department at 642-2424.


It is not yet known what the problem is, but AT&T and Verizon networks are not reaching 911 dispatches, Archer said. Calls from landline phones are still getting through, however.



McCartney To Move Earlier Than Planned
BPU To Install New Water Line

BPU General Manager John Etheridge (center, in white) presents a report to board members and staff. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-McCartney Produce is aiming to move into its new quarters on Hwy. 218 sooner than planned and the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will be meeting in special session in September to act on installation of a water main for the city industrial park to move the process along.

McCartney Produce, which presently operates out of its decades-old facility in downtown Paris, is building a new location in the industrial park and probably will be completed by the end of the year.

BPU General Manager John Etheridge said at today’s meeting that the city industrial committee and Henry County Alliance have been working together to secure fast track state funding to install a one-mile water main on Hwy. 641S.

BPU workers will be performing the project, Etheridge said, and it was advertised for bids on Sept. 3. The bids will be evaluated and one approved at the special meeting, set for 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10.

The fast track funding “is intended to move the project along more quickly, Etheridge said. “McCartney wants to move in more quickly,” he said.

The new water main will improve water pressure for the sprinkler system being installed at McCartney and could make the spec building at the industrial park more attractive to potential buyers, Etheridge said, noting that another company has been looking into moving there.

In other business:

--BPU Director of Engineering Jeff Thompson said an inventory of pole attachments is underway. Other companies, such as AT&T, West Kentucky, Charter and TEC lease space on BPU poles and it’s required in the AT&T joint lease agreement that an inventory be performed every five years.

Thompson said, “It’s actually been closer to 10 years since we’ve done an inventory and the preliminary numbers are looking very good for us. We’ve gained a lot of attachments--probably 50,000 gained--and it looks like we’ll have a significant gain in pole rental,” which helps offset the costs BPU put into maintaining the poles. The other companies pay some $13 per attachment per year to BPU, he said.

--The board approved purchase of a new trailer-mounted high pressure sewer cleaner from Sewer Equipment of America for a total cost of $53,336.82, which includes the trade-in of the BPU’s old equipment. Etheridge said the equipment is used to clean clogged sewers.


Drug Charges Filed After Homes Searched

         

                James Cherry                                                Kyle Riley

Dresden, Tenn.-Two Dresden men were arrested on drug charges after a search warrant was executed at two separate homes on West Park St. by Investigators with the Weakley Co. Sheriff’s Office and Dresden Police Department early today.

Arrested was James Michael Cherry, age 22, of 404 West Park St., Dresden, on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia; and Kyle Wayne Riley, age 26, 414 West Park St., charged with possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and introduction of drugs into the Weakley Co. Jail. According to Weakley County Sheriff’s Capt. Randall McGowan, the introduction charge came after hydrocodone pills were found on Riley inside of the jail.


Fire District Billing To Be Mailed Out

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Fire Protection Subscription billing assessed by the City of Paris to property owners located in the ESN122 area of Henry County will be mailed Monday, August 31st and payment is due by September 30th.  ESN122 is the area just outside the city limits which the Paris Fire Department is assigned to protect.  The city uses data from the State of TN Division of Property Assessments as well as the office of the Henry Co. Assessor of Property to identify property owners within ESN122 and determine the amount they will be assessed for fire service. If you own property located within ESN122 and fail to get a letter from the City, or if you receive a letter and no longer own the property referenced, please contact the City of Paris Business office so we can correct our records.

You may also contact City Hall if you are not certain if your property is located in the ESN122 area.  You may call the business office at 731-641-1402, or stop by theoffice at 100 N. Caldwell.


Counterfeit Bills Showing Up In Martin



Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police Department is currently investigating several incidents in which local businesses have received counterfeit bills.  So far the denominations of the bogus bills have been 20’s and 100’s.  The bills are of a decent quality and have proven to be difficult to distinguish as fake.  


Martin Police have released a photo of a person of interest and would like the public’s help in identification.


The Martin Police Department is working with the United States Secret Service agency and surrounding local agencies in an attempt to find the source of the fake money.  There have been reports of similar activity in other local areas.


If you have any information, please contact the Martin Police Department at (731)587-5355 or call Crime Stoppers at (731)587-2611 if you would like to remain anonymous.  Capt. Phillip Fuqua said, “Any help is greatly appreciated.”



Paris Hardees’ Employees’ Checks Reportedly Bouncing



By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-Employees of the recently-opened Hardee’s in Paris have been dismayed, annoyed and perplexed in recent days by their checks bouncing at local banks.


The subject has been a hot topic on social media, beginning over the weekend when parents of employees and employees themselves began reporting on their experiences trying to cash their checks.


A spokeswoman at the Hardees’ corporate office in St. Louis this morning said the problem is with the franchise owner, which she said is listed as Frontier Star. She said employees who are having a problem with bounced checks should call Frontier Star at 1-480-736-2461.


WENK/WTPR called that number, also, and was greeted with an answering machine message. Messages left there have not been returned.


Paris Hardees’ Manager Deke Havener this morning said he was aware of the problem and that “All employees can come in and talk to me and we can take care of it. I could tell them to talk to the corporate office, but it’s better if they just come in and talk with me.”


The opening of Hardees’ had been eagerly-awaited by local customers. Hardees’ formerly had a location in Paris years ago that closed and the restaurant chain opened a new location on Mineral Wells Avenue recently.



Matthew Holt Nominated For Dove Award



McKenzie, Tenn.- Bethel University and the Renaissance Program announce that Renaissance Director Matthew Holt has been nominated for a Dove Award for his work with The Martins’ A cappella group.


The album “A Capella” is nominated for Inspirational Album of the Year. Holt arranged and produced the classic hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence.” Other producers nominated for work on this album include Michael English, Lari Goss, David Phelps, and The Martins. 


"Everyone at Bethel University is continually amazed at the success of Matthew Holt,” according to Bethel President Walter Butler. “His talent in the Music Industry is on a level of its own. We are very fortunate Matthew is a part of our family as the Director of Renaissance. His influence to the several hundred students he touches each year is such a blessing for our Bethel family."


The 46th Annual Dove Awards will be held October 13th, 2015 in Nashville, TN. This project was also nominated for Best Gospel Album at the 2015 Grammy Awards. 



CornFest Looking For Creative Chairs



Union City, Tenn.-If you have a creative bent and support local charities, the upcoming Obion County CornFest has an event for you.


The Creative Chair auction will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. September 19 at Kiwanis Park.


To donate a chair, contact Tim at Garden House Boutique at 446-9933 or Event Chair Teresa Dragg at 466-8727. 


All proceeds from the auction will be donated to a local charity or non-profit organization. If you want your non-profit organization to be a recipient, forms can be downloaded at Obioncountycornfest.org. The deadline is September 1.


The chairs are judged according the best use of re-cycled materials, creativity & most artistic. Choose a theme & start decorating! Paint, fabric, decoupage, upcycle, repurpose any new or used chair.  



Monday, August 24, 2015


Wheatley On LBL Team At Hayfork Wildfire


Drew Wheatley at the LBL booth at BASSfest earlier this summer.



By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Hayfork, Calif.--Land Between the Lakes has sent a Technical Incident Management team to work at the Hayfork fire that has been burning out of control in Northern California. The team includes LBL Intern Drew Wheatley of Big Sandy.

According to LBL Public Relations Officer Jan Bush, the four-person team will be “doing extremely important work. There will be a lot of tracking, a lot of paperwork for them to do. They’re not fighting the fire, but they’re making sure the fire can be fought. It’s an extremely important part of fire-fighting.”

Wheatley is the son of Andrew and Jennifer Wheatley. Jennifer Wheatley is the Director of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

Drew Wheatley and other team members flew to Northern California over the weekend and will be at the scene for two weeks, Bush said. With no accomodations nearby, the team will be camping out with the command center detail. 

Bush said the LBL has many of its employees at other wildfire scenes throughout the country right now. 

Jennifer Wheatley asked that everyone keep him and his co-workers in their prayers.


Three Arrested In Crystal Ice Haul

           

     John Wallace                   Tammy Medlock                  Sasha Bradley


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With the help of K9 Officer Herrum, one of the largest amounts of crystal ice was confiscated early this morning by the Henry County Metro Crime Unit and three people from Paris were arrested on various drug charges.

Henry County Deputy David Andrews, who also is the Henry Police Chief and a member of the Metro Crime Unit, stopped a 2007 Ford Fusion for a window tint violation on Hwy. 641 S shortly after midnight.

Driver John Hamlin Wallace, 910 Chickasaw St., was determined to be on state probation for drug offenses and he gave consent to a search of the car.

Paris Patrolman Jamie James was called and his K9 Herrum alerted on the vehicle.

The rear seat passenger, Tammy Medlock of 3089 County Home Rd., was found in possession of approximately one ounce of crystal ice methamphetamine. According to Sheriff Monte Belew, she then attempted to hide another 6.7 ounces between the rear seat of the patrol car.

A third person, Sasha Bradley of 1750 Old Paris-Murray Rd., was found to be in possession of approximately .2 grams of meth, Belew said.

Wallace was charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia after a container used to transport narcotics was found in the vehicle.

Medlock was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Bradley was charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Belew said, “This is one of our biggest confiscations of crystal ice and it’s just another example of the Metro Crime Unit doing a good job. We’re getting these dangerous drugs off the streets and that’s a great thing.”

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, right, shows baggies of crystal ice confiscated. From left: Patrolman Jamie James and Herrum; Deputy David Andrews, Paris Police Sgt. Ricky Watson and Belew.


Dickson County Schools: We Have Not Banned Flag



Dickson, Tenn.-The Dickson County School System is refuting national media reports that the system has banned the American flag from its campuses.


According to a notice on the school system’s website, “Information reported by news stations that the American Flag has been banned in the Dickson County school system is entirely inaccurate. The Flag is prominently displayed at every school in our county. It is also displayed in many of our classrooms. All students in Dickson County are allowed to voluntarily participate in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. We are very proud to have JROTC in both of our high schools, and we will continue to fly and respect the flag.”


The Dickson County School website contains several photos of schools in its system with American flags flying in front of its buildings.


Fire Marshal Investigating House Fire


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-Paris Fire Marshall Greg Andrews is investigating the cause of an early-morning fire at 1404 McFadden St. The home was heavily damaged in the fire and its occupant was not injured.

Paris firefighters were called to the scene at 3:45 a.m. today. Assistant Fire Chief Randall Jones said a neighbor called 911 to report the house was on fire and when firefighters arrived, the fire was heavily involved.

An estimate of property damage is listed at $37,500. The property is owned by Mike Joyner of Camden.


Portrait Of Christine Reynolds To Be Unveiled Thursday


The elegant Christine Reynolds with Governor Frank Clement in a photo

from the State Library and Archives.


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-The public is invited to the unveiling of an oil portrait of the late Christine Reynolds during Thursday’s meeting of the Henry County Historical Society.

Reynolds, of Paris, was the first woman to hold a Tennessee Cabinet post. She was appointed Commissioner of Public Welfare by Governor Frank Clement. She served as commissioner from 1953 to 1959,

The ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. The painting is based on a photograph taken of Reynolds at a Governor’s Inaugural Ball. 

After the unveiling, the portrait will be permanently displayed in the Henry County Courthouse in Paris, Tennessee.

Reynolds also is honored with the “Mimosa Trail”, the series of mimosa trees that were planted from Paris to Paris Landing State Park. The trees were planted after her retirement in large part by state employees who had worked with her.

Christine Reynolds (1909-1970) was born on June 6, 1909, the daughter of Hezakia K. Meadows and Sula Tatum Sheeley. Her mother later married Governor Jim Nance McCord. Reynolds graduated from Grove High School in 1926. 

Reynolds changed the lives of thousands of Tennessee young people who had no voice. She worked diligently for programs to help abused and underprivileged children by promoting excellent foster homes and better adoption laws. Passionate about her position and her cause, Reynolds worked with the state legislature to rewrite welfare laws to benefit the young, the elderly, and the mentally ill.

She married R. Herman Reynolds on March 27, 1938. They both died on March 14, 1970, while vacationing in the Florida Keys and are buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Paris. 



Two Springville Women Arrested With Marijuana Plants

       

              Tara Woodward                                          Tia Phelan

       

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-Two Springville women were arrested Friday evening by Henry County Sheriff’s deputies on charges involving growing marijuana plants. The two were arrested while deputies were in the process of helping Benton County authorities pursue a stolen car.

Arrested were Tia Phelan, 34, and Tara Woodward, age 28, both of 303 Blackberry Lane. Both were charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture. Both are still being held at the Henry County Jail on $10,000 bonds.

The incident began when Benton County sheriff’s deputies contacted deputies in Henry County, saying they were pursuing a stolen gray, Nissan Altima on Copper Springs Rd.

Benton County deputies said one of the subjects in the car, Alan Jastrzembski, had felony warrants on him. While in pursuit, deputies traveled down Blackberry Lane, where Benton Co. authorities found the car in a bean field at the end of the lane and the subjects had fled on foot.
Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco were called and tracked the subjects from the bean field to the back yard of 303 Blackberry Lane. A marijuana plant was discovered growing on the back porch.

During questioning of Phelan, she said one of the subjects in the car was supposed to be bringing her a phone but that she had not seen him.

Deputies were told there was a male and female walking in the woods near Blackberry Lane and Copper Springs Rd. Deputy Stacey Bostwick and Fuqua began looking. Cisco and Fuqua found Woodward lying down in weeds behind a tree.

Fuqua and Cisco also found the male subject in the woods and Jastrzemski and the stolen vehicle were transported to Benton County.


Three Injured By Car During Altercation


Martin, Tenn.-Two Martin men are charged after their car swerved into a crowd of people, striking three, during an altercation early Sunday morning.

Arrested are: 

Jeremy Lincoln Anderson of Hillsboro St., age 25, charged with three counts of aggravated assault, accident involving death or personal injury and driving on a revoked or suspended license;

Robert Thomas Jr., age 19, Manley St., charged with assault and accessory after the fact.

Anderson was driving the car and Thomas was the passenger.

Martin Police Chief Don Teal said one victim was treated and released, one only had minor injury, and the other refused treatment. 

Martin Police responded to a call at East Heights Circle at 3:15 a.m. Sunday in reference to a fight in progress.

Victims said two individuals followed them from the Slide and Ride Bar where an altercation had occurred. After arriving at E. Heights Circle another fight broke out. The defendants got into a gray Nissan Altima and swerved into a crowd of people, striking three victims. 

The investigation is ongoing and other charges could be filed. 



Paris Tri Does Well At Murfreesboro 


Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Tri club competed in one of the last kids triathlons of the season in the 7th annual Murfreesboro Kids Tri with 250 kids competing. Participants 7-10 years old swam 100yds / biked 2.5 miles and ran .5 miles; participants 11-14 years old swam 200 yds / biked five miles and ran one mile


Pictured with Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence are: Front Row - Olivia Hart 7yr girls 3rd , Audrey Hill 8yr girls 1st, Charlotte Coulson 10 yr girls 5th, Briley Medlin 9 yr girls 6th, Kylee Miller 8yr girls 3rd, Ella Mathis 8yr girls 4th.

Second Row- Turner McSwain 7yr boys 1st, Carter Thompson 9yr boys beginner 2nd, Fisher Lawrence 10yr boys 7th , Hunter Miller 11yr boys 2nd, Garrett Cagle 9yr boys 9th, Amelia Hart 11yr girls 4th, Sara Mathis 10yr girls 6th.

Back row- Hunter Lawrence 12 yr boys 1st, Cole Davis(Southeast Tri club) 13-14 boys 1st and first overall, Tony Lawrence (coach) Emma Hill 13-14 girls 3rd, Gunner Jones 11yr boys 3rd. 



Sunday, August 23, 2015 


Thile Returns To Murray For Benefit


Murray, Ky.-Chris Thile is coming back home to Murray for a benefit concert in October.

When Thile’s family moved to Murray years ago, local people were able to watch his talent grow in appearances on WKMS’ Music From The Front Porch, as well as when he joined Nickel Creek and performed at the Robert E. Johnson Theater.

And everyone has heard his singing, songwriting and mandolin-playing on public radio for over a decade, whether with Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers, or solo. 

Thile is returning home to play a benefit concert Thursday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium, with all proceeds advancing music programs at MSU. WKMS will be partnering in his appearance.

Tickets go on sale Friday, August 28 at 10 am on Ticketmaster and at the CFSB Center Box Office.

Proceeds from the Chris Thile Benefit Concert at Murray State University will be used to establish a new scholarship fund in the Department of Music through the MSU Foundation. Chris recognizes that the greatest need for the MSU Department of Music is for student scholarships - many Murray State music students are still first-generation college students who deeply desire an opportunity for an education in music but whose families struggle to find the financial means to bring their dreams to reality.

 

Man Dead After Shooting At Wickliffe Park


Wickliffe, Ky.-A Ballard County man was shot dead during an altercation Saturday afternoon at Wickliffe Park in Wickcliffe, Ky.

Killed was Blake R. Burnley, age 38, of Barlow.

Kentucky State Police were called to the scene around 5 p.m. by the Ballard County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators arrived and discovered Burnley had been involved in an altercation with his ex-wife’s current husband, and the altercation ended with gunfire.  It was also discovered that both men involved in the altercation were armed. The altercation and subsequent shooting led to the death of Burnley.

Detective Trey Green of the Kentucky State Police is leading the investigation with the assistance of other KSP personnel and the Ballard County Sheriff’s Office.  At this time, no charges have been filed; however, the investigation is ongoing and further information will be released as it becomes available.  An autopsy has been scheduled for Sunday, August 23, 2015, in Louisville, Kentucky.



USDA Grants Help West Tennessee


Memphis, Tenn.– Rural Development Administrator Lillian Salerno visited the state today to announce investments that will help rural businesses grow and create jobs and support small business. State Director Bobby Goode also was on hand.

Several of the projects are being supported under USDA’s StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity initiative, which aims to increase investments in rural communities through intensive outreach and strong partnerships with community leaders, businesses, foundations and other groups that are working to combat persistent poverty. 

Among the grants was a $30,400 grant to Dyersburg State Community College to assist 12 counties in rural Northwest Tennessee to become an ACT Work Ready Community. By earning this designation northwest Tennessee will have the data, process and tools that drive economic growth. 

The 12 counties include Henry, Obion, Lake, Gibson, Benton, Carroll, Weakley, Lauderdale, Tipton, Haywood, Dyer, and Crockett.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Tennessee go online at www.rd.usda.gov/TN.



Saturday, August 22, 2015 


4-H Dairy Team Secures Spot at Nationals


Murray Perkins moves in for close examination of two Brown Swiss yearlings as he finalizes his placings for the class at the contest. Murray was the 2nd high individual of the entire contest in his first ever dairy judging competition. (Laura Moss photo).



Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County 4-H Dairy Judging team journeyed home from the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon, TN with plenty to smile about.  


The four person team of Murray Perkins, Allie Jo Shankle, Katie Plowman and Kasey Pickle was named the State Runner-up Thursday August 20th after a competitive day of judging six classes of animals and giving three sets of oral reasons. The team will compete in November at the 2015 NAILE where they will compete against other state winning teams from all over the country.


According to 4-H Advisor Laura Moss, the team has been practicing during the summer and learning how to evaluate the mammary systems, dairy strength, feet and leg structure and frame conformation traits that make dairy cattle profitable and productive for the farmers in the area.  “Thank you to the local farms who have allowed the team to come practice,” Moss said.


The team members were excited about their individual contributions to the team.   Murray was the second high individual overall as well as 10th place in reasons.

Allie Jo was the 6th high individual overall and 3rd in reasons.  Katie was scored 7th in reasons and 10th overall.


Next on the agenda for the team will be competing in the FFA regional qualifier for the State FFA contest.  After that, they will be traveling to the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY November 8th for their national contest debut.  


Murray Perkins moves in for close examination of two Brown Swiss yearlings as he finalizes his placings for the class at the 2015 State 4-H Dairy judging Contest August 20th in Lebanon, TN.  Murray was the 2nd high individual of the entire contest in his first ever dairy judging competition.


Tiffany Clark, Kasey Pickle, Murray Perkins, Katie Plowman, Allie Jo Shankle take time for a quick picture at the judging contest.   



Downtown Cruise In Is Tuesday


Paris, Tenn.-The Downtown Paris Association will sponsor the August Downtown Cruise In from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday on the east side of the Henry County Court Square. Poplar Street on the east side of the Court Square will be closed at 5 pm for the classic cars only. Bring your classic car, lawn chair, and enjoy music by Cash Caldwell. Also bring an appetite since Perry’s BBQ will be available as well as Cajun Snow Cones. Car owners may register to win prizes from the Downtown Paris Association.



Friday, August 21, 2015


Governor Haslam To Be In Union City Tuesday 



Union City, Tenn.-Governor Bill Haslam will be in Union City at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 25, to continue his discussion of the state’s transportation and infrastructure needs. 


The Governor’s Office today confirmed Haslam will be at the Obion County Public Library in Union City accompanied by Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer.


Haslam and Schroer have been traveling the state this month to discuss the state’s roads and highways, safety issues around roads and bridges and the impact infrastructure has on economic development efforts in urban and rural communities.


In addition to Union City, the 15 meetings around the state are being held in Memphis, Clarksville, Jackson, Nashville, Franklin, Kingsport, Greeneville, Shelbyville, Murfreesboro, Crossville, Chattanooga, Cleveland Lenoir City and Knoxville. Participants will include state legislators, mayors, local elected officials, business leaders, chamber executives and local infrastructure officials.


“Tennessee’s transportation and infrastructure system always ranks at or near the top when compared to the rest of the country,” Haslam said. “We have no transportation debt and we do a great job maintaining our roads, but we know we have challenges on the horizon.


Fincher To Speak In Paris On Monday Night

Paris, Tenn. - Congressman Stephen Fincher will be speaking at the Henry Co Republican Party's general meeting on Monday, August 24, at 6 p.m. at the Henry Co. Courthouse.

There will be a meet-and-greet from 6 to 6:30. Following a brief business session, Congressman Fincher will address some of the important issues facing the country and Congress in the coming year and answer questions from the audience. Light refreshments will be served.


Martin Police Bring Home Awards



Murfreesboro, Tenn. Martin Police Patrol Lt. Eric Reed and Terminal Agency Coordinator Katie Perry received a first place trophy on behalf of the Martin Police Department while attending the 2015 Governor’s Highway Safety Office Law Enforcement Challenge in Murfreesboro. The Martin Police Department was awarded first place in the 26-45 officer category of the competition.


The Law Enforcement Challenge is an annual competition designed to recognize and award the best overall traffic safety programs across the state.  Agencies are judged on their local efforts to enforce laws educate the public about the dangers of driving impaired and speeding, as well as the importance of occupant protection.  The goal of the program is to reduce crashes and injuries within the participating agencies’ jurisdictions.


The Martin Police Department brought home a first place trophy and several electronic prizes that had a total value of $850.


Chief Don Teal said that the department was honored to bring home this award and wants to thank all of the officers and staff that made it possible.  Several people at the agency are involved in enforcement, education and the collection of data that is vital in the success of their safety program, he said.






Tuesday, July 7, 2015 

Indictments Handed Down For Assaults On Officers

            
          Brandon Gream                                             Robert Andrew Jenkins


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Two men were indicted by a Henry County Grand Jury Monday for aggravated automobile assaults on local police officers.

It was a long day for grand jurors and court staff, with the grand jury session lasting from early morning until 5:30 p.m. A total 32 indictments were presented and 32 were handed out.

The two are: Brandon Gream, 34, 3563 Old McKenzie Rd., indicted for aggravated assault with an automobile on Deputy Milton Webb; and Robert Andrew Jenkins, age 30 of Veterans’ Drive, indicted for aggravated assault with an automobile on Paris Police Sgt. Josh Frey and Patrolman Derek Colley.

Gream was indicted for an incident in February in which he led several county deputies and Sheriff Monte Belew on a high-speed chase over several Paris city streets and county roads. 

The incident began when deputies attempted to serve as arrest warrant on Gream for violation of the sex offender registry and Gream took off. Gream drove off on N. Market, Guthrie Rd., Old Paris-Murray Rd. and several city streets including Poplar, Washington, Mineral Wells, Blythe, Dunlap, Veterans Drive and Memorial Dr. Officers placed spikes on the road but Gream drove around them. 

At one point, Gream deliberately slammed on the brakes, causing Deputy Milton Webb to crash his cruiser into the rear of Gream’s car.

This is the second time was charged with assaulting officers with a vehicle. The first incident occurred in 2011 and also involved deputies.

Jenkins was indicted on two counts of aggravated assault, one count evading arrest and one count of driving on a revoked license.

In that case, Frey and Colley were attempting to serve a warrant issued out of Nashville on Jenkins at a local car wash and Jenkins took off, trying to run down the officers. The incident happened in June of 2015.

Other indictments issued:

Steven Pendlebury, age 32 of 907 Caledonia St., Paris, indicted on a charge of aggravated child abuse.

John Farmer, theft of property for stealing guns, fine China, cash and coins from a local residence.

Vernon Evans, theft of property for stealing cash and coins from a local residence.

As always, the bulk of the indictments are for drug charges and DUIs.



 
 
Sprint Triathlon Set This Weekend At Paris Landing


 
Buchanan, Tenn.-The second annual Paris Landing Sprint Triathlon, a 500 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 3 mile run event, will begin at 7 am on Saturday, July 11, at Paris Landing State Park.

Event coordinator Tony Lawrence said “The Sprint Tri was a big success last year, with over 200 participating, and we are pleased that our numbers are even higher this year. Everyone enjoyed working with Start2Finish and loved the venue at Paris Landing State Park, plus the catfish lunch cooked by Mayor Brent Greer.” Lawrence is the director of Paris Parks and Recreation and Chamber President.

Lawrence said the special "Top 50" Finisher Medals for those finishing in the top 50, and regular finisher medals to all finishers will be back this year, along with the souvenir race shirts.

Chamber Vice President of Tourism Development, Michele Atkins said “The Chamber is so pleased to sponsor the Tri and grateful for the support from the Henry County Tourism Authority. It is a great event, a course suitable for beginners and experts, all right here at Paris Landing State Park.”

Registration is available at paristntri.racesonline.com.


Two Steal From Tip Jar, Washing Machines

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating incidents of individuals stealing from a tip jar at a restaurant and from washing machines at a Union City Laundromat.

On Sunday, a man reportedly entered the Oya House at 1700 W Reelfoot Ave., and stole money from the tip jar that was for an Hibachi cook. 

According to the police report, a white male concealed the jar under his shirt, went into the bathroom, took the money and left the jar. Police said this is not the first time for the suspect to do this. There is video, but it is difficult to see his face.

The other incident occurred on Monday at Speed Wash Laundry in Union City. A male came in the rear in a red shirt and ball cap, went over to the security camera, jumped up and pushed the camera down.

Wearing gloves, he went to four machines, pulled out a key and took all the change out of them. Then he said he had to go; he had others to do.

He was reportedly driving an older model maroon car.

Union City Farmers’ Market Opens

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Farmers’ Market is now open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-4 p.m. and Saturdays, 7 a.m. at 214 E. Church St., Union City.




Monday, July 6, 2015

Two Sheriff’s Produce Giveaways Tuesday


Paris, Tenn.The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will be holding two free produce give-aways Tuesday, July 7; one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

The first is from 8-10 a.m. or until all produce is gone at the VFW on Hwy 79 across from Lakeway IGA. The second giveaway will be held from 3-5 p.m. or until all produce is gone at JB’s gas station at Hwy 69A and 218 Bypass.  

The produce is from the two inmate gardens at the Henry County Jail.


How Much Mileage You Get With This Baby?


Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Billy Nance of Paris shows Lucien Thomas of Paris his 1928 Model A Roadster at today's Cottage Grove Freedom Festival. Nance said it has four cylinders and can go 50 mph 'wide open'.  The full story and more photos from the Cottage Grove Festival were published Saturday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Paris Stabbing Is Investigated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police released more information on a stabbing that happened over the weekend in the Hardy/Irvine Street area of Paris.

A 39-year-old man was found at 711 Hardy St., covered in blood and suffering from several puncture wounds. The victim, Marcus Long, was lying on the living room floor. The victim is from 511 Irvine Street and according to the resident of the Hardy Street home, he came in her back door, calling her name and collapsed.

When Henry County EMS and Paris Police arrived, the victim was breathing but unresponsive.

Due to the severity of his injuries, according to the police report, Patrolman Derek Colley drove the ambulance while EMS staff treated the victim inside the ambulance.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Josh Frey followed a blood trail from the Hardy Street home to Wynn Street and found witnesses who said there was an argument involving several people in front of 508 Wynn St.

At that point, another bloody man was being asked to exit a home on Wynn St.

WENK/WTPR reported on this portion of the incident on Sunday, when Jeremy Villarreal, age 38, of 511 Irvine St., ended up being arrested for disorderly conduct after he became belligerent and abusive with police and ambulance workers who were trying to help him.

Villarreal refused orders to place his hands behind his back and lie face down. Patrolman Kyle Belyew applied a 1-2 second burst of Freeze and the man complied. He was transported to jail.


This Is How You Do It


Cottage Grove, Tenn.-These kids in Cottage Grove had it all figured out. The best way is to sit on the parade route with your plastic bags at the ready for all the candy thrown from the floats. They were under the watchful eye of Shannon Casey. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

 
TVA Clears Johnsonville Steam Supply Project



New Johnsonville, Tenn. – An environmental review by the Tennessee Valley Authority has concluded there will be no significant environmental impacts with construction and operation of a heat recovery steam generator located at TVA’s Johnsonville plant site. The generator will provide steam for cogeneration use after the coal plant closes in late 2017.

The review considered the environmental effects of two alternatives: A) take no action or B) add a heat recovery steam generator that would take heat from an existing gas turbine and convert it to steam for an offsite customer.

A nearby factory, which makes titanium dioxide for the coatings, paper and plastics industries, has long relied on byproduct steam from the Johnsonville power plant. It is a cogeneration relationship unique among TVA’s coal plants.

But with TVA retiring the last of Johnsonville’s 10 coal units by the end of 2017 under a clean-air agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, a new steam source had to be found.

TVA proposed to continue providing steam by constructing and operating a heat recovery steam generator integrated into one of 20 gas-fired combustion turbines that will continue to make electricity at the Johnsonville site.

The environmental review determined the proposed location would provide important benefits by using existing, previously constructed assets and previously disturbed lands, thereby minimizing environmental impacts.



State Prepares For Possible Avian Flu Outbreak

Nashville, Tenn.— The ongoing high path avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak is now considered one of the most costly animal health disasters in American history. As a precaution, a State Veterinarian’s Order has been issued requiring that effective August 1, all out of state birds transported to Tennessee must have proof of a negative AI test within 21 days of movement or National Poultry Improvement Plan AI Clean certification.
Although HPAI has not been detected in Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is taking steps to prepare. Three staff members recently returned from Minnesota where they used their skills to assist with the efforts to stop the spread of the illness. 

Veterinary medical officer Dr. Doug Balthaser and animal health technicians Wes Montooth and Marshall LaFever spent three weeks in Willmar, Minn. That location is central to an area coping with HPAI. The three learned aspects of the logistical response and gained valuable experience in the field. 

Dr. Balthaser worked as a liaison between state and federal officials and producers to complete inspections and assist with paperwork. “The magnitude of this outbreak becomes clear when you consider the area where the virus has spread,” Dr. Balthaser said. “You have cases 30 miles south of Willmar all the way up to northern Minnesota.”

Montooth and LaFever collected samples from poultry in the affected area. They covered thousands of miles to test multiple backyard flocks. “They hit the ground running with backyard surveillance testing and really did Tennessee proud,” Dr. Jacob Davis with USDA APHIS said. “They became my ‘go-to’ team when something needed to be done. I would be glad to work with them any time.”

Lessons learned in Minnesota will be critical in the event that HPAI is reported in Tennessee. Officials believe water fowl migrating south from Canada are the source for HPAI. This strain is not known to be communicable to humans and is not posing a threat to the food supply. However, it is deadly for domesticated fowl. HPAI has been reported in 21 states, affecting more than 48 million domesticated birds. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa have declared states of emergency. 

The State Veterinarian and staff are focused on animal health and disease prevention. Each year, the Kord Animal Health lab tests approximately 22,000 samples from poultry for avian flu. Additionally, the U.S. Wildlife Services conducts testing on waterfowl. We will continue surveillance and will consider increasing monitoring and sampling as required.

If avian flu is detected, Tennessee has prepared a multi-agency response plan which includes quarantine, testing, disposal, cleaning, disinfection and monitoring in affected areas.


Sunday, July 5, 2015 

Two People Drown On Local Lakes Saturday


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Two people drowned on local lakes Saturday, casting a pall over the Fourth of July holiday.

The victim of the first drowning was a 44-year-old California woman who fell into Kentucky Lake in the Cypress Creek area Saturday afternoon. The victim of the second drowning was a 31-year-old Hopkinsville man. He drowned late Saturday night in Lake Barkley in Stewart County.

The first victim was Melina Thornhill of San Francisco. The second victim was Antonio Webb of Hopkinsville.

In the first incident, according to TWRA District 12 Boating Officer Joe Campbell, Thornhill was sitting on a float in the water with several other people who were on boats tied together when “suddenly she went under the water.”

Campbell said bystanders dove in and were able to bring her to surface and began administering CPR. They placed her on a pontoon and met the Henry County Emergency Ambulance at Cypress Bay.

The victim was then taken to Henry County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Campbell said she was not wearing a life jacket.

Campbell said the accident happened in Kentucky waters and the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife personnel are investigating it.

Campbell said the TWRA appreciates the cooperation of the Henry County Rescue Squad, EMS and Paris Landing personnel, as well as the bystanders who helped recover the victim and administered CPR.

The second incident occurred at 10:07 p.m. Saturday night on Lake Barkley in Stewart County. The victim and another individual were on a boat at the Bumpus Mills marina. Campbell said the boat was already tied inside the slip, but the men were moving something from one boat to the other and when the boats separated, Webb fell in.

The Stewart County Fire and Rescue Squad recovered the body at 3 a.m. this morning.

Campbell said the body has been sent to the Medical Examiner in Nashville to determine what might have contributed to the accident.

TWRA is investigating the second drowning, he said.

Campbell reminded the public to always wear their life jackets when around the water.



Dollar Store Employee Assaulted

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-An employee of the Dollar Store at 1420 W. Wood St. in Paris was assaulted by a customer Friday night.

According to the police report, a customer was trying to pull her the 19-year old female store employee into the bathroom at the store. She was able to get away from him and call the assistant manager.

The customer is a white male in his 40s, gray/brown hair with a receding hairline driving a Nissan Titan.

According to the report, the customer came in with his teenage son and was acting strangely, walking the aisles looking to see if anyone else was there. When anyone came in the store, he left. When it was empty, he asked to go to the bathroom twice and then asked the employee to show him where it was.

When she did so, he tried to pull her in with him. She called the assistant manager.

Then the customer asked where the beer was and asked the employee to show him. When she refused, he became verbally abusive. He then paid for the beer and then came back to buy a coke.

The employee said she looked at his ID for the beer, but did not remember his name.



Injured Paris Man Arrested For Disorderly Conduct

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris Policeman used a burst of Freeze to subdue a Paris man who was fighting ambulance and police as they tried to place him in an ambulance.

Police were called to 511 Irvine St., at 2 a.m. Saturday on a call that the EMS was en route to a call of a man bleeding.

They found Jeremy Villarreal, age 38 of that address, bleeding and belligerent and refused help and became verbally abusive.

Police told him to place his hands behind his back and lie face down, which he refused to do several times.

Patrolman Kyle Beleyew applied a 1-2-second burst of Freeze and the man complied.

He was arrested for disorderly conduct.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Drowning Reported At Cypress Bay


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.--The July 4th holiday took on a somber tone today with the report of a woman drowning Saturday afternoon in Kentucky Lake.

According to Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, the unidentified woman is reportedly from out of town and was visiting friends in the Cypress Bay area when the incident occurred.

Belew said the woman’s body was recovered by the Henry County Rescue Squad and taken to Henry County Medical Center.  

The incident occurred on Houseboat Cove in the Cypress Bay area, which Belew said is in Kentucky waters. “Kentucky authorities will be investigating it.”

A spokesperson with the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife agency confirmed late Saturday afternoon that its agents are investigating. 

More details will be published as they are available. Our server was down Saturday afternoon and evening and this story could not be posted on our website. However, it was posted on our two Facebook pages Saturday afternoon at WENK/WTPR and KF99-KQ105.

 
Cottage Grove Celebrates Holiday In Style

Best of Parade by Brodie Warbritton honored local farmers. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Cottage Grove, Tenn.-A huge crowd was on hand for Saturday’s 40th Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival. As always, the morning parade is the highlight of the festival, and festivities continued until after dark for the fireworks display.

The Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department sponsors the event every year and the morning’s parade Grand Marshal was the late Fireman David Lampkins. He was honoured with a tribute with his photo, boots and uniform displayed on the Cottage Grove fire truck.

Parade winners were: Best of Parade, Brodie Warbritton and his float spotlighting local farmers with the slogan, “We Farm, You Eat”; Best Float was Dallas and Dakota Abels duking it out as Tom and Jerry on a picnic float; and Most Patriotic was the Donovan Bradley and a decorated go-cart.

Activities continued throughout the day with the Country Store open, games, arts and crafts, hay rides, bingo, archery shoot, giveaways, live music from the Great River Road Band, and the evening fireworks.

The Air Evac air ambulance landed in Cardinal Park during the parade and is giving tours of one of its helicopters. 

Tom and Jerry, otherwise known as Dallas and Dakota Abels, won Best Float. (McFarlin photo).

A tribute to the late Firefighter David Lampkins was displayed on the fire truck at the beginning of the parade. (McFarlin photo).


Kicking Off The Holiday With Golf Cart Parade

Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison poses with Molly and Maggie Robinson of Martin. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-People from all over the state were on hand for the annual Buchanan Resort Golf Cart parade this year. This year, everyone got an extra special treat seeing Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison home for the holiday weekend and most everyone wanted their pictures taken with her. Robison's parents, Rusty and Pam Robison, own Buchanan Resort. She was crowned Miss Tennessee June 20 and will compete in the Miss America pageant on September 13.

Best of Show this year was won by the family of Pattye Kelley of Dyersburg, which included a birthday cake for America, a little Lincoln reciting the Gettysburg Address and little Statue of Liberty. Second Place Most Original was won by Jeff McClung and family of Whitehouse; First Place Junior won by Connie and David King family of Clarksville and Second Place Junior by the family of Jennifer Chastain of Guthrie, Ky. 

Former Henry County Clerk all dolled up for the holiday. (McFarlin photo).



Best of Show winners: the Pattye Kelley family of Dyersburg. (McFarlin photo).


KSP Identifies Woman Who Left Suspicious Package 

Murray, Ky-The Kentucky State Police have identified a 46 year female from Marshall County as the person responsible for leaving a suspicious package on Chestnut Road, in front of the United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office, in Murray on July 1. 

Through the investigation Troopers were able to determine her identity. During her interview on July 2, it was determined the female was in need of mental health treatment and she was transported to a local mental health facility where she remains. 

No charges have been filed against the female. Trooper Brian Hill continues the investigation. 



Friday, July 3, 2015

Remembering Eaker's Café

Paris, Tenn.-Now that the former Eaker's Café has been torn down, we thought our readers would like to take a stroll down memory lane and recall how the popular restaurant looked in its early days. Located on 69S, Eaker's was one of Henry County's hot spots, popular for its food and hospitality. In this photo, Eaker's still had gas pumps in front and had a separate building to sell live fish and 'sporting goods'. In recent years, it has been called Cookie's Family Diner. After two fires in a year, the building was torn down last week.


Farmers Market Comes To Downtown Paris


Paris, Tenn.-The City of Paris and the Downtown Paris Association are cooperating to bring the Farmers Market to downtown Paris. 

The location will be at the parking at the intersection of Ruff Street and N. Market St. The corner parking lot will be available for Farmers Market vendors only, but the adjacent City lot to the immediate west will be available for customer parking.

The market was approved last night by the Paris City Commission.

The Market will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. until the produce is sold out. The opening date is Tuesday, July 7th and will operate through the current growing season.

Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray said, “We are very happy to be able to bring the Market to Downtown, and we appreciate the city’s assistance.”

Carl Holder, Farmers Market Project Coordinator for the DPA said “We appreciate the assistance of the UT Extension Service in helping line up vendors as well as advising us in general how to get the market up and running with a good chance for success. We really hope the change of venue will improve opportunities for vendors and the buying public”.

Up until now, the Farmer’s Market has been located at the Henry County Fairgrounds.



Hank Williams’ Movie Release Date Announced

Cherry Jones photo by Roddy McDowell

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-The release date for the new movie based on the life of Hank Williams Sr. has been announced.

"I Saw The Light" is coming to theaters Nov. 27. 

The movie has roots in Henry County, with Cherry Jones of Paris portraying the mother of the music legend. Additionally, Hank Williams Jr. makes his home in Buchanan. Rodney Crowell was musical director for the film and he has family roots in the Buchanan area, as well.

Tom Hiddleston, who was in “The Avengers“ and “Thor“ stars as Williams.

Jones described her appearance in the movie as “an itty bitty part” and said all her filming was done in Louisiana. Parts of the movie were filmed in middle Tennessee and Hiddleston spent a month in month in the Nashville area living with Crowell preparing his musical voice for the role.

The movie also stars Elizabeth Olsen as Williams’ first wife, Audrey.


Accident Details, Victims' Names Released  

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Police Department has released more details and the names of those injured in a one-vehicle accident Thursday in which the car involved flipped over and down an overpass embankment.

August Crystal, age 47, of Troy, was airlifted to The Med in Memphis with head injuries. He was a passenger in the car driven by his sister, Helen Martin, age 56, also of Troy.

Crystal is listed in fair condition today at The Med.

Patrolman Chris Cummings said Crystal was sitting in the back seat unrestrained when the accident occurred around 10 a.m. Thursday.

Martin was transported by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City.

Cummings said the car was southbound on Hwy. 51 and went off the roadway as it approached the bridge over Barham Rd. The car went into the median, hit a grass slope and went airborne.

The air ambulance landed in the nearby industrial park and ambulance personnel transported Crystal from the accident scene to the helicopter for transport to The Med.

Cummings said the accident is still being investigated.


Refuge Road Closures Announced
  
Springville, Tenn.-The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is scheduled for road improvement projects at the Duck River Bottoms area beginning on July 6th and continuing until this fall. 

During this time Haul Road leading to the Duck River sub-headquarters will be temporarily closed to public traffic. This will include the temporary closing of Pintail Point Observation Deck and public access to the subheadquarters office.

The refuge regrets the inconvenience to visitors and will strive to keep road closures brief. Please call the refuge office at 731-642-2091 for updated information on these area road closures.



Thursday, July 2, 2015

City Approves Helicopter Landing Zone Ordinance

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee, standing, addresses the city commission. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With one dissenting vote, the Paris City Commission Thursday night approved an ordinance governing helicopter landing zones in the city limits.

The vote followed lengthy discussion at the meeting and other lengthy discussions at previous meetings.

City Manager Kim Foster said the proposed ordinance was revised to include a definition of ‘helistop’ which city officials felt better described what the Henry County Medical Center already offers.

Two air ambulance companies are locating temporary and/or perhaps permanent headquarters at the Henry County Airport. Air Evac, which has already established a customer base in the local area for several years, has already set up temporary headquarters at the airport and is looking for permanent headquarters closer to the hospital. Vanderbilt Lifeflight will be establishing a headquarters at the airport in August.

As approved by the commission, a helistop would “provide a minimal service landing pad facility for landing and takeoff of helicopters used to board or discharge passengers or cargo. For hospitals this equates to patients and/or organs or critical supplies. A helistop shall not include refuelling, maintenance or repair facilities. Tiedown facilities may be available so that a single helicopter may be stored on the landing pad.”

The sticking point of discussion was the choice in the last sentence between ‘may’ or ‘shall not’. Voting no on the ordinance was Commissioner Gayle Griffith.

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee said he would prefer as little restriction as could be for hospital operation. He repeated his contention that no helicopter would stay on the pad longer than would be necessary, but said helicopters often must be there for extended periods while patients are being stabilized.

Gee said anything that the hospital can do to decrease the response time and save a person’s life is what the hospital wants to do. “We would like for the city to help us be a viable operation. We really don’t want our hands tied from the least response time.”

Gee also said he doesn’t see why it would be a problem to have a helicopter on the paid, at the ready for emergency calls anyway.

Mayor Carlton Gerrell said, “All the people who have contacted me on this issue, except just a few who live near the hospitral, have said they want it to sit on the pad for quicker service. I’ve asked others to come to the meetings and say what they feel, but nobody who is for it will come and talk. This is not about services, it’s about what is best for citizens. On the whole, people want it as fast as it can be done when they need help.”

In other business:

--The city approved a move of the Farmer’s Market to the downtown parking lot at Ruff and Market Streets. The Farmer’s Market will be there Tuesday and Friday afternoons, as it is now at the fairgrounds.

--Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence reported on activities in his department. “On any given evening, McNeill Park is the busiest place in Paris,” he said. “And we’ve had tournaments there every weekend this summer”

The Tower Triathlon earlier this month had 93 participants, with only 18 of those being from Paris. The rest were from all over the state and Paducah.

Civic Center utilization is up, with numbers high for all activities, especially Silver Sneakers and water aerobics, he said. Rentals of facilities also is up, with the Civic Center, Atkins-Porter Recreation Center, park pavillions, and the Gerald Howard Pool being booked solidly.

Lawrence complimented Rhonda Stanton of KPAC for all the events, plays and programs held there on a continuing basis.


--Citizen Ray Hooper complimented the people who work at the city animal shelter. He said, “It’s one of the cleanest facilities I think you’ll ever find.”



Decatur Co. Clerk Staff Resigns Over Court Decision


Decaturville, Tenn.-Three employees at the Decatur County Clerk’s Office have resigned rather than issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

According to The Tennessean, Clerk Gwen Pope and Deputy Clerks Sharon Bell and Mickey Butler have all announced they are resigning because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages.

They said that decision clashes with their religious beliefs and their resignations are effective July 14.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said earlier that the state would follow the Supreme Court’s decision.

Drew Baker of the Tennessee Equality Project told The Tennessean that Decatur Co. is the only county in the state that has said it won’t issue same-sex licenses.


Man Seriously Hurt In Union City Wreck

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Union City, Tenn.--A man was airlifted from the scene of an accident on Hwy. 51 in Union City this morning after the car he was in flipped over and down an overpass embankment.

A woman in the car was also injured and reportedly transported by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City.

Details of the wreck are sketchy since the police report was not completed Thursday afternoon, but officers from the police and fire departments reported that the car flipped over from the overpass and landed behind Titan Tire on Everett Blvd.

Fire Chief Alan Herbenhahn said, “Our guys stabilized the male victim before he was airlifted.”

The air ambulance landed in the nearby industrial park and ambulance personnel transported him there for transport to an area hospital.

With the police report not being complete, the identities of the couple in the accident were not yet available.


Big Sandy Man Eludes Henry County Deputies


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff’s deputies and two K-9s spent over three and a half hours Wednesday night searching in the woods for a man wanted on warrants out of Benton and Henry County, but were unable to take him into custody.

In response to a report of a reckless drive on Hwy. 54, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper realized that Christopher Cutting of Big Sandy had active warrants on him. 

According to Sheriff’s Capt. Damon Lowe, Cutting ran out of his car and took off, running into the woods.

Several deputies, including Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco and Deputy Terry Williams and his K9 Droid searched the area for several hours to no avail.

A clerk at Benton County General Sessions Court said an active warrant is out on Cutting for probation violation. An active warrant is also out on him for probation violation in Henry County.




 Pick Me! Pick Me!


Paris, Tenn.--Mr. Bond The Science Guy had a lot of volunteers from which to choose during his program at the W.G. Rhea Library Wednesday. The popular Mr. Bond conducts experiments to entertain and educate the young people--and their parents--who always crowd the library when he appears during the summer reading program. In bottom photo, Mr. Bond shows how to use nail polish remover to shred styrofoam cups. The last summer reading program will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 8, with pizza and an animal presentation. (Photos by Shannon McFarlin)




Peppers Automotive Group Donates To Relay  


Paris, Tenn.-The Peppers Toyota, Chevrolet, and Dodge Automotive Groups collectively held a benefit for Relay for Life of Henry County. Peppers donated 
$50 for each car sold during the month of May to Relay for Life. Tuesday, checks totaling $9,350.00 were presented in front of Peppers Toyota. 

“We cannot thank everyone at Peppers Automotive Group enough for their generous support.”, according to Molly Jackson, Relay for Life Event Chair.

Daron Harrison with Peppers said, “Peppers is pleased to support Relay for Life of Henry County. We hope to continue and grow this event next year.”

On hand for the check presentation were from left, Dana Allen, Relay for Life of Henry County’s Publicity Chair, Donna Stines, American Cancer Society, Daron Harrison representative of Peppers Automotive Group, Molly Jackson, Relay for Life of Henry County’s Event Chair, and Arielle White, American Cancer Society. (Tammy Beasley photo).


KSP Investigates Suspicious Package in Murray

Murray, Ky. Kentucky State Police received a call from Calloway County Dispatch at 5:20 p.m. July 1 of a suspicious package on Chestnut Road, in front of the United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office, in Murray, KY.    

Kentucky State Police and Murray Police Department officers secured the area while the Kentucky State Police Hazardous Device Unit examined the package and its contents.  Inside the package was political propaganda and other similar items about recent government actions.  It is the believed the package was intentionally placed in front of United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office to create public panic.  

The package and its contents were collected to undergo further examination by the Kentucky State Police.   

Traffic disruption was minimal and easily rerouted.  As a precautionary measure, only one business was asked to close early due to its close proximity.   Other businesses were already closed or were asked to keep customers inside and away from direct line of site of the package. 

Assisting the Kentucky State Police was, Kentucky State Police Hazardous Device Unit, Paducah Bomb Squad, and Murray Police Department.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident they are asked to contact the Kentucky State Police as 270-856-3721. 



Mahan Recognizes Cox For Company Service


Paris, Tenn.-Jeff Mahan, Joe Mahan Ford, recognized Andy Cox and his twenty-five years of service to the company during Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce coffee at the facility, which was recently recognized as Business of the Year by the Chamber.


Office On Aging Trip Plans Graceland Trip


Paris, Tenn.--The Henry County Office on Aging will celebrate Elvis Month during August with a trip to Graceland in Memphis.

The date for the trip is August 27, and the bus will leave from the Central Community Building at 7 a.m.

According to Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell, the group will stop on Brownsville for breakfast and the tour of Graceland begins at 10:30 a.m. Tours last two and a half hours. After the tour, the group will eat in Memphis for lunch and then return to Paris.

Cost of the trip is $38.50 per person for the cost of admission and bus fare.

Caldwell said the tour is a Platinum Tour, which includes everything at Graceland except the tours of the airplanes.

Deadline is Friday, August 21, to sign up for the trip. For more information, see Caldwell or Senior Center Coordinator Barbara Pearson or call 642-2010 or 644-3193.




Wednesday, July 1, 2015 

Martin PD Identifies Wal-Mart Suspects


Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police have identified both individuals involved in the felony theft at Wal Mart on June 15 and one of the suspects has been arrested, according to Police Chief Don Teal.

Arrested is: 21 year old Marquisetin D. Williams of 212 Gurley Drive in Dyersburg.  Warrants have been issued for David L. Ray Sr. of 1411 Todd Ave. Dyersburg. 

After releasing photos of the two individuals and vehicle they were driving, the Martin Police Department was provided information through Crime Stoppers and along with corroborating information from the Dyersburg Police Department which led to the identification of the two individuals.  

At the time of the theft, Teal said, “The individuals remained in the store for approximately 45 minutes. While inside the store the two individuals took two desktop HP computers, two Vizio, 32” televisions, and an undetermined number of Clear talk cell phones. In obtaining the Clear talk cell phones one of the individuals was able to manipulate the security feature of the display to be able to remove the items,” Teal said.

The individuals then made their exit out of a fire exit door located on the east side of the building near the automotive center.
 


“Fabricated Testimony” Draws New Charges For Biggs


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-New charges have been added to the list of charges already filed against Guy L. Biggs, who currently is awaiting sentencing for attempted second degree murder in Henry County Circuit Court. 

But this time, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Investigator David Doyle, the new charges against Biggs “are an example of the Stolen Valor claims that occur throughout this country.”

New charges of aggravated perjury and tampering or fabricating evidence were filed today by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, along with the 24th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

According to Doyle, the new charges stem from testimony presented by Biggs during the criminal trial in March. Biggs had been on trial for attempted first degree murder and filing a false report. After a four-day trial, Biggs was found guilty of the lesser charge of Attempted Second Degree Murder.

During the trial, Biggs had testified under oath that he had an extensive military history with “extraordinary training, experience and commendations”, Doyle said. After the trial, according to Doyle, “It was determined his trial testimony was materially false and he in fact did not have the military credentials to which he had testified.”

Biggs also filed with the Henry County Court a falsified military document to support the experience, training and commendations to which he had falsely testified, Doyle said.

Sentencing for Biggs has now been re-set for July 13, at which time prosecutors will present evidence to the court regarding Biggs’ testimony and the new charges. Biggs, who is being held in state prison awaiting sentencing, will be served the new warrants and will be arraigned on them at a later date.

Doyle said the sheriff’s office and District Attorney’s office “intend on prosecuting Guy Biggs for his actions to the fullest extent of the law”.



LBL To Host Old-Fashioned July 4th


Golden Pond, Ky.– People wanting a more traditional celebration on the Fourth of July, will find one full of historical fun at the Homeplace 1850’s Working Farm and Living History Museum in Land Between The Lakes. 

Celebrate Independence Day from 1-4pm on Saturday, July 4th, with races, skillet tossing, horse shoes, old-time music, toys, and games. Special guest, Kentucky Statesman Henry Clay, portrayed by George McGee, will entertain visitors with antics of 1850’s politics. Admission is $5 ages 13 and up; $3 ages 5-12; free for ages 4 and under, and includes all the day’s activities and programs.

The Kentucky Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities fund the Henry Clay program. 

“On July 4th, the whole family can step back-in-time at the Homeplace and learn the history behind the most important holiday as celebrated in the 1850s,” according to Ellen Bravard, Interpreter at the Homeplace. “Relive a time of political speeches and community-wide picnics. We welcome everyone to join us under the shade trees, have a cool slice of watermelon, and lend a hand making ice cream using a recipe from The Homeplace History and Receipt Book. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets to make a day of it.”

The Homeplace 1850’s Farm represents a two-generation farm. Visitors see interpreters in period clothing going about their daily chores. Artifacts, restored historic structures, and traditional seasonal activities take visitors back in time to relive history before the Civil War.


Women Charged With Meth Possession


Trenton, Tenn.-Two local area women were arrested on drug charges last week by the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office and West Tennessee Violent Crime and Drug Task Force in connection with a meth operation.

Arrested were Laurent Luther, age 30, of Springville; and Goldie Hairrell, age 39, of Cedar Grove.

According to a news release, the two women were arrested when officers found them sitting in a car in Trenton and a K9 officer indicated a positive response to a search outside the car.

Officers then searched the car and found paraphernalia used to smoke meth and a substance which they believed to be meth underneath a seat, according to the release.
Police also found $7,416 in the car.

Both Hairrell and Luther were charged with possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bonds of $20,000 each were set for them. Both women will appear in Gibson County General Sessions Court in Trenton.



Fireworks Prohibited In Paris City Limits

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo has reminded the public that fireworks are prohibited within the city limits of Paris.

According to Municipal Code 7-401:, “The manufacture, distribution, sale, storage, possession, use, or discharge of any fireworks is expressly prohibited within the corporate limits of the City of Paris, Tennessee.”

Violators will be cited and fireworks will be seized, Elizondo said.




Paris Youth Football Sign-Ups

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Youth football league is holding sign-ups at the Paris Civic Center: July 11th - 9:30 a.m. -noon  and July 18th - 9:30 a.m.-noon

Try outs will be at Barton Field 9:45 a.m. August 15th  

Cost $40.00 per Participant. Must be 9-12 yrs. as of Sept 1st. Nine year olds must weigh 70lbs.




Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Paris Hardee’s Opens Wednesday


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-You can expect a crowd when the long-awaited Hardee’s Restaurant opens at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The new Hardee’s Restaurant is located on Mineral Wells Ave. and management has been shifting into high gear the last couple of weeks, with employee training and practice runs inside the restaurant and at the drive-through window.

Staff was putting last-minute touches on the outdoor landscaping Tuesday evening.

After tomorrow, the restaurant will be open 24 hours a day and offers a menu that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner items, from biscuit sandwiches to charbroiled burgers and grilled pork chops.


County Commission Approves Budget, Tax Rate

Henry County Commissioners zipped through tonight's recessed session. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Commission held a record-setting meeting Tuesday night: record-setting for its length, which was only seven minutes.

The commission adopted the Fiscal 2016 budget and the certified property tax rate of $2.06, which decreased from $2.17 after county reappraisal. The budget includes a 2.4 percent cost of living raise for employees across-the-board. The meeting was recessed from last week’s regular meeting.

The county general fund totals $11,337,314, with other categories which includes law enforcement at $4.6M; and non-profit organizations at $97,375. 

Seventeen non-profit organizations receive funds, including the county’s volunteer fire departments, Aspell Recovery Center; St. John’s Community Development Services; Henry County Fair Association; Henry County Youth Baseball; JACOA (council on alcoholism); Kentucky Lake Girls Assn. Lee School Assn. Paris-Henry County Arts Council, Paris-Henry County Rescue Squad; Paris-Henry County Heritage Center; Paris Soccer; Tenn Technology Center, TARP, Carl Perkins Center, Sisters With A Goal and Habitat for Humanity.


Benton County Men Convicted Of Child Rape
Big Sandy Man Sentenced To 35 Years

          

                 Brian Webb                                                    David Corbitt


Camden, Tenn.-A Benton County Jury on Monday convicted Brian Lee Webb, age 25, of Camden, of one count of rape of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault. The charges involved a minor less than eight years of age.

Assistant District Attorney General Bruce Griffey, along with Assistant District Attorney General Carthel Smith prosecuted the case before Circuit Court Judge C. Creed McGinley.

Webb’s sentencing is set for July 23.

Webb is the second child rapist prosecuted by Griffey in this term of Court. David Alan Corbitt of Big Sandy, Tennessee was convicted of rape of a child on May 26th, and sentenced June 26, to thirty-five (35) years -in the State Penitentiary by Judge McGinley. Corbitt will not be released from prison until the year 2050.

District Attorney General Matthew F. Stowe expressed his sincere thanks to Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher his deputies and staff as well as Camden Police Chief George Smith, his officers and staff. Chief Investigator Bryant Allen with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office investigated, arrested and charged David Alan Corbitt.

Chief Investigator Alex Latimer with the Camden Police Department investigated, arrested and charged Webb. Stowe said both organizations were instrumental in removing these child predators/rapist from the Benton County, Camden, Tennessee area for many years. Stowe again reiterated his policy that elevates these types of cases to the highest of priorities. Stowe cautioned anyone committing this horrible crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and his Assistants will seek maximum punishment allowed by law in all cases.

Any further inquiries can directed to General Stowe’s Office at 731-986-5031.



Thile Set To Become Host Of “Prairie Home”


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

St. Paul, Minn.-As Garrison Keillor, the long-time host of “A Prairie Home Companion” continues easing into retirement, it has been announced that Chris Thile of Murray will slowly take over the helm of the show.  

Thile is a frequent guest on the show and has substituted for Keillor twice during the 2015 season.

Thile is an internationally-known mandolin virtuoso and began his career with the band Nickel Creek. He then joined The Punch Brothers. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.

In 1995, the Thile family moved to Murray, Kentucky where Chris' father Scott Thile accepted a position at Murray State University as a musical instrument technician.

Keillor and his character Guy Noir will continue to be heard on radios across the nation. He will reportedly co-host “Prairie Home” while Thile learns the ropes, eventually turning it over to Thile at some point in 2016.

“Chris is my man, and I’m eager to stay home and read books,” Keillor recently told The Berkshire Eagle.

“A Prairie Home Companion” is a live variety show that began in 1974. It is usually broadcast from Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 


Suspects Turn Themselves In

Union City, Tenn.-The two young men who had been sought by Union City Police for their involvement in a shooting last week have turned themselves in.

After pictures of the two were publicized by area news agencies, including WENK/WTPR, both Reshun Moses, age 19, and Malik Garrett, age 18, both of Dyersburg, turned themselves in to Union City Police yesterday. Both are lodged at the Obion County Jail.

They were wanted on charges in connection with shooting injuries suffered by two 15-year-old girls at an early-morning party in Union City.



Fireworks, Parades And More For 4th of July


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
 
Fourth of July is almost here and that means celebrations, parades and fireworks all over our area.

From Cottage Grove to Union City to Paris Landing, there will be fireworks on Saturday, July 4, to ring in the celebration of our nation’s founding.

The 40th Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival will be held Saturday with the traditional parade beginning at 10 a.m. Grand Marshal is in memory of Firefighter David Lampkins, who died a few weeks ago. Prizes will be awarded for Best of Parade, Best Float and Most Patriotic.

At 10:30, the ice cream and burgers are served, with hay rides, the cake walk, arts and crafts booths, the country store, and games. Under the guidance of Tammy Wood, the country store features games and homemade, homegrown and canned farm goods.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the turkey/trap shoot is held, with archery at 1 p.m. From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the quarter pitching game will be held, from noon to 2 p.m. is the auction, 3-4 p.m. bingo.

The country ham giveaway is at 6 p.m., live music from the Great River Road Band begins at 6 p.m. and more games and drawings will be held until 9 p.m. when the fireworks display begins.

For further information, contact John Weiher at 782-3657, Larry Neimi at 782-3559, or Tammy Wood at 336-4163.

Discovery Park in Union City will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with free entrance after 5 p.m. There will be rides, live music by several bands, live historians strolling the grounds and a huge fireworks display at 9 p.m.

At Paris Landing State Park, fireworks begin at dark in the swimming area by the pavillion. The fireworks display is sponsored by the World’s Biggest Fish Fry committee.

Here are a few other nearby locations and events featuring fireworks.  
Bee Spring Lodge
Where: 573 Bee Spring Road, Benton, KY 42025
When: June 27th at dusk 
Calvert City Ameribration
Where: City Hall, 861 5th Street, Calvert City, KY 42029
When: July 4th at dusk 
Freedom Fest
Where: Court Square in Murray, KY 42071
When: July 4th at 9:30pm – Visible from Highway 641N near Kroger and Central Park 
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
Where: 113 Administration Drive, Gilbertsville, KY 42044
When: July 4th at dusk from the Old Beach 
Lake Barkley State Resort Park
Where: 3500 State Park Road, Cadiz, KY 42211
When: July 3rd off the Beach Boat Dock 
Moors Resort & Marina
Where: 570 Moors Road, Gilbertsville, KY 42044
When: July 3rd at dusk (very limited parking available)


Broadway Singers Fundraiser Set Thursday


Paris, Tenn.-A fundraiser for the Henry County High School Travel Speech Team and Youth Orchestra will be held Thursday.

The Broadway Singers will present “Thank God for Music. Thank God for Country” at the First Baptist Church in Paris at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2.

Tickets for dinner and concert $25 on sale at Merisons, Jack Jones Flowers and Gifts, The Iron Place.






Monday, June 29, 2015

Henry County Arson Suspect Caught In Obion County


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Arson suspect Jesse Maynard of Big Sandy was arrested by Obion County law officials near Hornbeak when the vehicle in which he was a passenger had car trouble.

Maynard, age 23, of 352 Rample Creek Rd., Big Sandy, was wanted for setting fire to two cars the morning of June 24 at 260 Nobles Rd., Buchanan, around 7 a.m. in the morning.

Obion County Chief Deputy Kent Treece said Maynard “was in a vehicle with another individual that had car trouble while travelling through Hornbeak. The vehicle had the road blocked and a deputy and the Hornbeak Police officer went to check on the car.”

The driver did not have a license “and when they checked Maynard, they found that he was wanted in Henry County,” Treece said. “He was arrested and held at our jail until Henry County came and picked him up.“

At the time of last week’s arson, Henry County Sheriff’s Captain Damon Lowe said   witnesses saw a male exiting a black Ford pick-up, put a chain around his hand and walk to a vehicle and pour gas on it, then set it on fire. 

Two vehicles ended up being destroyed by fire, when the blaze spread to another vehicle.


UC Police Seek Individuals Following Shooting

               
          Reshun Moses                                  Malik Garrett

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police have issued warrants for two individuals wanted in connection with the shooting incident at an after-hours party in Union City on Sunday, June 21, which resulted in injuries to two 15-year-old girls.

Warrants have been issued for Reshun Moses, age 20, of Dyersburg, on charges of attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and aggravated assault; and Malik Garrett, age 18 of Dyersburg, for knowingly keeping or maintaining a building for the purpose of using marijuana, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Police were called to 202 Railroad Rd. on a report of gun shots around midnight. According to the police report, the building was being rented for a party and shots were fired outside.

The two girls were shot and injured with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Union City Police are asking anyone with information on the subjects’ whereabouts to contact the police department at 731-885-1515 or Crime Stoppers 731-885-TIPS (8477).
 


"Mimosa Trail" Graces Kentucky Lake Area


Buchanan, Tenn.-Thanks to the late Christine Reynolds of Paris, the first cabinet member in Tennessee, the beautiful mimosas are a common sight around Paris Landing State Park and Hwy. 79N. Reynolds is responsible for “The Mimosa Trail” along the highway from Paris to the state park. In photo, mimosas frame the view of the Ned Ray McWherter bridge at the park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).



Crash Victim’s Condition Is Upgraded

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR

Henry, Tenn.-The condition of the motorcycle driver who was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center following a crash Saturday morning has been upgraded to critical but stable.

William Buie of Paris was southbound on Hwy. 79 near Henry when the accident happened. A car reportedly pulled out from Pioneer Rd. and collided with Buie. Buie suffered multiple injuries and the Air Evac helicopter landed on the highway to make the transfer to Vanderbilt.

As we reported in earlier articles, the driver of the second car was treated at the scene by Henry County EMS.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Mounts investigated the accident, but has been unavailable for comment for a full report of the accident.


Rural Ministries Raising Money For School Supplies


Obion, Tenn.-Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM) is collecting school supplies now through July 10 for low-income families it serves in Northwest Tennessee and Southwestern Kentucky.

The agency of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, which offers many services, will distribute school supplies this year July 14 through Aug. 13.
"We encourage your church, small group or Sunday School class to take on a service project by collecting supplies for these children," according Rural Ministries’ Rev. Robert Craig.

Last year he said the agency helped 612 children with school supplies.

Craig said there are many reasons parents and guardians of their service area need help with school supplies. “Summer utility bills, rent, groceries and the need for school clothing greatly limit resources families have during this time of the year,” he explained.
School supplies needed are listed below or RRM is happy to receive funds to purchase supplies. 

Supplies may be delivered to RRM at 6923 Minnick-Elbridge Road in Obion, Tenn. OR to the Memphis Conference office at 24 Corporate Blvd., in Jackson, Tenn.

For more information about school supply collections, contact RRM at (731) 538-9970. For more information about RRM, visit www.reelfootruralministries.org

A partial list of school supplies includes: notebook binders, backpacks, big pink erasers, composition notebooks, ear phones, dry-erase markers, plastic folders, Kleenex, nap mats, pencil boxes, pens, pencils, coloring pencils, hand sanitizers, post-it notes, flash drives, etc. For the complete list, see the Reelfoot Rural Ministries’ website or Facebook page.



Donations Sought For Funeral, Child Care Expenses For Family


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Martin, Tenn.-Friends of the family involved with last week's murder/suicide in Weakley County have established a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for funeral expenses and care of the children left without a mother.

Alexandrea Bevis, age 27, was shot several times and killed by her husband while their children were on the front porch. Alexandrea's mother carried the children to safety.

Alexandrea's husband, James Bevis, age 32, killed himself in the house following a stand-off with local law enforcement.

Alexandrea's parents are now raising the children. Friends of the family have posted information of the GoFundMe website: "I am raising money for a dear couple whom now will be taking care of their two small grandchildren. There are also expenses for the funeral of their daughter whose life...was cut short. This was a tragic loss and the children are now without a mother."

The link for the GoFundMe page is:
http://www.gofundme.com/y6xx544



 
UT Approves Lowest Tuition Increase in 30 Years

Martin, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved the lowest tuition percentage increase in more than 30 years during its annual meeting June 25 in Knoxville. Undergraduate tuition will increase by 3 percent at UT campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin as part of the $2.13 billion budget for fiscal year 2016. The increase is effective for the 2015 fall semester. 

The last time all three campuses increased tuition for undergraduates by 3 percent was in 1983-84. UT Knoxville and UT Martin increased tuition by 3 percent in 1997.

UT Martin instate tuition and mandatory fees will now cost undergraduate students an additional $302 annually, which includes a student-supported $50 per semester activity fee for athletics. New tuition and fees will be $4,163 per semester or $8,326 for a full academic year. Full-time undergraduate enrollment is a minimum of 12 credit hours. 

Tuition and mandatory fees for instate graduate students will increase $340 per semester for a total of $4,824 per semester. Graduate students will pay a total of $9,648 per academic year starting this fall. Full-time graduate enrollment is nine hours per semester.

Fall semester classes begin Aug. 24 for the main campus and UT Martin centers in Jackson, Parsons, Ripley and Selmer. 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

2015 Fair Book Dedicated To Late Jerry Lemonds

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--Life is often bittersweet and one such example is this year’s Henry County Fair Book dedication.

The 2015 Fair Book is dedicated to Farmer and Fair Volunteer Jerry Lemonds. The dedication was presented to him on May 9 and Lemonds died the day after.

Long-time Fair Board Member Deneicia Gregson said, “Sometimes in life you are lucky to know a truly one-of-a-kind good guy. Jerry E. Lemonds is just that type of person and we were proud to dedicate the 2015 Fair Catalogue to him. We know there will never be another like him. God threw the mold away.”

Lemonds was born in 1962, to the late Ernest and Marsceale McDaniel Lemonds. His brother, Tommy, lives in Paris.

Lemonds was a cattle farmer and owner/operator of Lemonds Lime Service. Gregson said he loved the life of farming.

“Jerry volunteered at the fair for many years,” she said. “He enjoyed the Junior Livestock Day and the Demolition Derby the most.”

The fair this year will be held August 3-8. The fair books are being distributed to local banks and businesses and also can be picked up at the UT Extension Service office on Hwy. 79S.


Now This Is The Life

Buchanan, Tenn.-A fisherman just takes it easy, along with some fowl friends, at Paris Landing State Park Saturday afternoon. Weather was perfect for being outdoors and the park was busy with fishermen, boaters, and picnickers. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


MSU Appoints New Director Of Libraries

Murray, Ky.-Murray State University has announced Ashley Ireland has accepted an offer to serve as the dean of University Libraries, pending approval from the board of regents during its August meeting. Ireland replaces Dr. Adam Murray, effective July 1,

as she transitions from her current position as director of user and instruction services in the University Libraries, which she has held since 2012.

Ireland received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Sociology as an honors graduate from Murray State University in 2005. She then continued her education receiving a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of Kentucky in 2007. She returned to Murray State University in 2008 where she assumed an assistant professor role as a reference librarian and library liaison to the Hutson School of Agriculture and the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Awarded in 2013 as an outstanding researcher for the University Libraries, Ireland was later promoted to an associate professor role in 2014. She has represented Murray State at several competitive and intensive professional development opportunities, as noted by the Association of College and Research Libraries' Immersion Program in 2010. Utilizing her multiple talents with research and library initiatives, Ireland led Murray State University's team in the Assessment in Action project that recognized the retention efforts the library provides to our students. She has also been asked to chair national committees in her discipline.

 

Belew, Lowe Speak About Scams

Sheriff Monte Belew speaks to Quota. (Martha McFadden photo).


Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Captain Damon Lowe spoke to the Paris Quota Club about scams at its recent meeting. Belew’s mother, Jackie, and Chief Deputy Randy Gean were guests for the meeting, which was held at Lee Academy of the Arts.

Belew told about the check scam and the grandparents scam and how to avoid being a victim. Belew said “If it sounds too good to be true; it is. No one is going to send you a check in the mail when you have not entered a contest or played the lottery.”

Lowe told about the IRS scam and the phone spoof scam. Lowe said that IRS will not call and ask for information and if you get a phone call that you dont know the number; dont answer. Also, if you get a phone call showing your own number; dont answer.

2015-16 club yearbooks are available for $5 each and Geraldine Sykes has tickets for the handmade quilt that was donated by Wanda Hughes. Jane Sinnema told that the club will sponsor a birthday party at Henry County Nursing Home at the end of July.



Saturday, June 27, 2015

Late Firefighter Commemorated At Ceremony
Firefighters' Prayer Adorns Memorial

Plaque and commemorative bench at the entrance of Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Family members and firefighter friends of the late Firefighter Jimmy Conger were present Saturday afternoon for a ceremony at the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department honouring his service.

Conger was killed in the line of duty for the department in 1976. Chief Reggie Coles said Conger was killed in the first structure fire the department ever had. The location of the fire was the former Eagle Gift Shop located where Hooks and Horns is now situated on Hwy. 79.

A decorative commemorative bench was presented by the fire department in Conger’s memory and now has a permanent spot near the flagpoles at the entrance of the fire department on Hwy. 79.

The bench has a concrete plaque with Conger’s name and the date of his death inscribed. The bench is inscribed with “The Firefighter’s Prayer” which reads:

The Firefighter's Prayer 
When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;
Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late 
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout, 
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out. 
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.
And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life; 
Please bless with your protecting hand 
my children and my wife.


Motorcycle Driver Critical Following Wreck

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Henry, Tenn.-The driver of the motorcycle who was airlifted following a collision with a car this morning is in critical condition in Vanderbilt Medical Center.

William Buie of Paris was southbound on Hwy. 79 when the accident happened. A car reportedly collided with Buie at Pioneer Rd. The driver of the car was treated at the scene by Henry County EMS.

The Air Evac helicopter landed on the highway to make the transfer of the victim to Vanderbilt.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Mounts investigated the accident. The accident happened around 9:30 a.m.




Collegiate Big Bass Bash To Be Held At Paris Landing 2016


San Antonio, Texas-The Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series has announced that the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley will be held on March 11-13, 2016 on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee. 

The 2015 event, which brought 300 anglers to the Paris Landing area last year to compete in the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley, featured over $25,000 in prizes and giveaways and the 2016 collegiate event promises to be even bigger.

"We look forward to going to Paris Landing and Kentucky Lake every year because this is one of those lakes that is just absolutely incredible when it comes to largemouth and smallmouth fishing," according to Wade Middleton, Director of the Association of Collegiate Anglers and President of CarecoTV. "In the big bass format where even a two pound fish can earn a check, anglers have the chance to win in eight possible weigh ins and just one cast can win the whole event and the college anglers know that, therefore they travel from many states to fish this event."

Due to the diverse format of the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley, anglers mark this event on their calendars as a "can't-miss" tournament. Over twenty states were represented by over ninety colleges in the 2015 Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley to get the chance to raise a Kentucky Lake giant above their heads on the stage and earn thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. 

So mark your calendar this year for March 11-13, 2016 for the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Cabela's at Kentucky Lake's Paris Landing!
To see additional coverage on our Facebook, click here: https://www.facebook.com/CollegiateBassChampionship 



Canning Classes To Be Offered


Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Extension Office will offer Canning College 101 in July and registration is open now.
The classes will be held 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 and Thursday, July 23, at the extension office. The classes cost $40 for one class or $65 for both.
They will be taught by Family and Consumer Science specialist Michele Atkins. 
Space is limited, so call 642-2941 to register.



Friday, June 26, 2015

Names, Details On Murder-Suicide Released


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office has released more information on the murder-suicide that occurred earlier today near Martin, including the names of the deceased.

Pronounced dead at the scene were Alexandrea Bevis, age 27, and James C. Bevis, age 32.

Weakley County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Bevis’ home at 950 Hwy. 431 between Martin and the Obion Co. line around 12 p.m. today. A 911 caller reported a woman had been shock by her husband near the back of the house and that the husband had then gone into the residence and that he was still armed.

Deputies arrived at 12:04 p.m. Captain Randall McGowan of the sheriff’s office said after attempts to contact the husband by phone failed, tear gas was fired into the house. Deputies entered the home and found the husband had killed himself with the same 9mm handgun he used to kill his wife.

Mrs. Bevis had been shot several times, McGowan said.

Two small children were on the front porch at the time of the shooting, but were carried to safety by Alexandrea Bevis’ mother before the deputies arrived.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Martin Police who provided officers to help with entry into the home, as well as the Weakley Co. Medical Emergency Medical Services, Martin Fire Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol.


“Pastor Protection Act” Proposed By Terry, Holt After SC Ruling

           
              Rep. Andy Holt                                             Rep. Bryan Terry

Nashville, Tenn.— On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of gay marriage. In reaction to that decision, Tennessee State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) announced that he is working to draft the “Tennessee Pastor Protection Act” along with State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) as the primary co-sponsor.
“It comes as no surprise that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage. I have had multiple constituents concerned with how the ruling may impact their church and their religious beliefs. If the issue is truly about equality of civil liberties and benefits, then this ruling should have minimal legal impact on churches,” said Terry. “However, if the issue and the cause is about redefining marriage to require others to change their deeply held religious beliefs, then the concerns of many will be valid.”

The bill will be designed to protect all religious clergy from performing same sex marriages, as well as, providing legal protection from being forced to perform same sex marriages on church property. 

“To my friends of faith, to those who endear the principles of social conservatism, and to those who ascribe to the original intent of the ‪Tenth Amendment, we must never give up,” declared Holt. “The Court has made it clear that they have no intention to uphold the principles of separation of power. It's more important now than ever that we stand and resist the abuse of our own government and that is exactly what I plan to do by lobbying for the Pastor Protection Act with Rep. Terry.” 

Holt says he has no plans to recognize the Court’s ruling as being valid. “God is the ultimate Supreme Court and he has spoken. Marriage is between one man, and one woman,” said Holt. 

Terry worries that the ruling will set off a chain reaction in judicial activism. 
“The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Article 1 Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution states that personal freedom of religion is protected and that no human authority can interfere in the rights of conscience,” noted Terry. “Under normal circumstances, I would expect the Court to honor the Constitution of the United States and Tennessee, but, as recently confirmed by activist judges, we no longer are under normal circumstances.”



Two Dead In Weakley County Murder-Suicide


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Weakley Co. Sheriff Mike Wilson confirmed to WENK/WTPR this afternoon that two people are dead as a result of a murder-suicide that happened earlier this afternoon near Martin.

Wilson said the sheriff’s office was called to the scene at a home on Hwy. 431 right outside of Martin around 12:30 p.m. “When we arrived, we found the wife deceased,” Wilson said. “The husband was in the house and we tried to make contact with him, but he did not respond. When we went in, we found him dead of a gunshot wound.”

Wilson said the names of the deceased will be released shortly in a press release.





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