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Friday, October 9, 2015 

Boil Water Advisory Now In Effect In Union City

Workers complete the coupling connections. (City of Union City photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-The boil water alert for Union City water system customers has begun. The alert will continue through around 8 p.m. Saturday night.

City Manager Kathy Dillion said the couplers have been connected and the water flow is starting again, but very slowly. Water pressure will build over the next three to four hours. She said the white color in the water is air and will dissipate with the flow.

The precautionary boil alert will continue for 24 hrs following state lab work, she said.

Under the alert, boil water for two minutes and cool for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth and washing dishes. Unboiled water is OK for bathing.

Municipalities included in the boil advisory are all those in the Union City water sytem:  Union City, county residents on City system, Reelfoot Water Assn, Rives, Woodland Mills.

WENK/WTPR has been reporting all day on the critical situation that developed this morning with the water system.  While a private contracting firm was installing couplings at the reservoir today, problems developed and water levels reached critical levels. 

Page Murder Case Bound Over To Grand Jury

                   Chris Page

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The first-degree murder case against former Henry County law enforcement officer Chris Page of Puryear was bound over to the Henry County Grand Jury at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing this afternoon in Circuit Court.

Page, age 28, who is a former Paris Police Officer and former Henry County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Officer, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the death of his three-month-old son Gunner in September.

Sitting by assignment in the local court, Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Larry Logan found probable cause to transfer the case to the grand jury, which meets on November 2.

Judge Logan also continued the bond for Page at $500,000. Page is being held in the Carroll County Jail and was escorted to the hearing by Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson and deputies. Security in the courtroom was tight, with Henry Co. Sheriff Monte Belew and other local deputies on hand.

Testifying during the preliminary hearing was TBI Agent Brandt Holt, who has been investigating the case. He testified as to how the investigation as progressed, about the medical examiner’s report and about a statement Page made to investigators.

According to warrants signed by TBI special agents Brandt Holt, Joe Walker and Valerie Troutt, Page "gave a voluntary confession" concerning the charges.

During the bond hearing which followed the preliminary hearing, Page’s brother Josh testified to his character, that he had committed no previous crimes and that he has family support. Several family members were on hand in the courtroom for the hearing.

Appearing for the prosecution at today’s hearing was Pamela Anderson of the State District Attorney’s Office. Page is represented by Jackson Attorney Mark Donahoe.


Former Obion Co. Bank Employee Charged With Theft

           April Dee Choate

Obion County, Tenn. – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Hickman, Kentucky, woman charged with theft from an Obion County bank. 

On July 27th, at the request of 27th District Attorney General Thomas Thomas, TBI Special Agents, along with investigators with the FDIC Office of Inspector General and the Obion County Sheriff’s Department, began investigating a report that cash was missing following a vault audit at the Farmers Bank in Woodland Mills. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that identified former bank employee April Dee Choate as the individual responsible for theft from the bank from September 2007 through July 2015. 

On Tuesday, the Obion County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Choate, 47, with one count of Theft over $60,000. Choate turned herself in today to a TBI Special Agent. She was booked into the Obion County Jail and released after posting a $25,000 bond. 

Boil Water Alert To Be Issued For UC Customers

Union City, Tenn.-A boil water alert for Union City water system customers will be in effect until around 6 or 7 p.m. Saturday.

Mayor Terry Hailey issued the bad news a short while ago. He said the boil water alert will be issued when the contractor finishes the tie-in today.

“We are sorry for this, but would stress that it is a contractor problem,” Hailey said. “If there was something the city could do about it, we would.”

Hailey asked customers to share the news so that all customers can make the provisions they will need to make until the boil water alert is lifted sometime Saturday evening.


Update: Union City Water Situation Remains Critical

Union City, Tenn.-Mayor Terry Hailey has issued an update on the latest critical water situation being experienced by the Union City water system.

“The contractor working on our water system was installing couplings on the water main for the reservoir,” Hailey said.  “One of the coupling fit, the other did not. The city has sent a plane to Alabama to pick up another coupling that will work. That plane has already landed and is on the way back. It will take another hour or so to install and then maybe three hours to fill overhead tanks. In the meantime, our overhead storage is almost drained and water is running out. Hopefully next update will be better. The work that this contractor has done is certainly not acceptable and we apologize for this third inconvenience.”

City Manager Kathy Dillon said customers may begin to lose water pressure or water availability. "We are working on this as quickly as possible," she said.

Hailey earlier asked that everyone in the water system conserve water.

Downtown Mural A Colorful Addition

Paris, Tenn.-The mural situated in the downtown Paris park is complete and is a colourful addition to the downtown landscape. The mural is painted on the side of Paris Insurance Co. and is a backdrop to the city park water fountain. Painted by Jane Baars of Paris, the mural depicts turn-of-the-century businesses that were open in Paris, including Grove’s Chill Tonic, Nadinola Face Cream, Jack’s Pool Hall, the Crete Opera House and more. The project was funded by an Arts Build Communities grant. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Obion County Schools To Dismiss At Noon Today

Union City, Tenn.-Due to the critical water condition with the Union City water system today, Obion County Schools are dismissing at noon today.

Critical: UC Water Customers Asked To Conserve Water Today

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Another critical water situation is facing Union City Water Department customers today.

Mayor Terry Hailey has announced, “We are filling our new reservoir at the water plant. As the coupling is done, our overhead water tanks are draining and reaching critical levels. Please conserve water throughout the day today and hopefully we'll avoid another big water problem.”

Union City has faced two critical situations in the past two weeks, with water lines being cut on two different occasions, causing customers to go without water and conservation measures being taken.

Hailey said this morning, “Again, I can't tell you how important this is....Please conserve water today. We will tell you when the critical situation has passed.”

Reelfoot Ministries Accepting Donations For Christmas Store


Obion, Tenn.-It may be another two and a half months until Christmas, but the Reelfoot Rural Ministries in Obion is already accepting donations as it prepares for its 2015 Christmas Toy Store.

Reelfoot Ministries is looking for donations of toys, money and volunteer time.

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

The Christmas Toy Store allows parents of low-income families to shop for inexpensive Christmas presents for their children.

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

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

Reelfoot Rural Ministries is located at 6923 Minnick-Elbridge Rd., Obion. Phone no. 731-538-9970. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

McCartney Produce Fleet Maintenance Building Approved

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Thursday night, the Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission approved a site plan for an addition to the original development for McCartney Produce at the city industrial park.

McCartney is planning an 8,400 square foot building with a 900 square foot covered fuel island to be utilized by its vehicle/fleet maintenance.

McCartney Produce has been located for decades in downtown Paris but is moving to a larger location on Culley Drive in the industrial park. Construction of the new location is nearing completion, according to Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris.

In other business, the commission recommended that the city approve a new plan by which the planning commission and board of zoning appeals members be the same. The proposal was approved on first reading by the city commission and still requires a public hearing and second reading at its next meeting.

Next Tennessee Promise Deadline Is Nov. 2

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today encouraged high school seniors to apply for the Tennessee Promise, Tennessee’s groundbreaking scholarship and mentorship program that provides high school graduates last-dollar scholarships to attend two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees. The deadline for applications is November 2. 

According to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), 15,830 students from the graduating high school class of 2015 are utilizing Tennessee Promise benefits this fall, which is the first year of implementation. Community colleges across the state also report substantial growth, with the number of students enrolling full time in community college directly after high school increasing by 14 percent since last fall.

“My message to high school seniors is: this is your Tennessee Promise. This is an opportunity for you to fulfill your potential, and you have an opportunity to change the future for yourself and for our state,” Haslam said. 

Proposed by Haslam and passed by the General Assembly in 2014, Tennessee Promise is a key component of Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential to 55 percent by the year 2025. 

As a result of Tennessee Promise, Tennessee leads the nation in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion, comprising 40 percent of the entire country’s growth in FAFSA filings in 2015. After completing the application by November 2, students are required to file a FAFSA, attend two mandatory meetings and complete eight hours of community service. Haslam also encouraged adults to sign up to be mentors for Tennessee Promise students. 

“We know that access to college is important, but even more important is success. Not only do we need to get those students into school, they need to finish. That’s why the mentor piece of the Tennessee Promise is so important,” Haslam said. “The process of applying and attending college can seem daunting, especially for first generation college students, and having a caring adult to help guide you can make a big difference.” 

The student and mentor applications are available at

Thursday, October 8, 2015

School Board Approves Grove Structural Assessment

Senior Guidance Counselor Misha Adams displays honors that are given to students in the 30 Plus Club (students who achieve a score of 30 on their ACT). (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Schools board of education Thursday night approved a preliminary structural assessment be conducted of Grove Tower before long-term decisions can be made on repairs. Grove Tower is the former Grove School building which is now utilized for central staff. The building was built in 1906.

Director of Schools Dr. Brian Norton noted that JT and Associates performed a quick walk-through to observe the condition of Grove Tower and their recommendation was that a structural assessment be conducted. Cost will be $7,000.

District Maintenance Supervisor John Akers said the JT staff conducted the walk-through “from the basement to the top of the tower.” Akers said he has been waiting for the assessment to be completed before he performs air conditioning and boiler repairs.

Norton noted that the district is in the middle of a facilities study “and I would certainly recommend that the assessment be done before any decision on long-term be made.” He said the assessment costs would come out of capital expenses.

Board Member Doug Braden said, “For the safety of our people working there, I certainly think we need to get this done.”

After a report from Finance Director Judy Kee and Payroll Coordinator Cheryl Wilson, the board approved purchase of a new software system, Skyward Solutions Systems, that they said would handle all the district’s needs. Purchase of the new system required approval of a budget amendment of $84,540.

Once it’s implemented, Kee said, the annual maintenance cost would actually be the same as what they are using now: $24,000.

Both Kee and Wilson said they have been using two different software systems--Local Government Corporation and Siesta--and there are several insufficiencies which are causing a lot of overtime. Even with both systems, they don’t accomplish all that needs to be done.

Both said state and federal requirements have increased due to Affordable Health Care and IRS demands.

Norton said it is difficult to meet the new mandates with current software.

Wilson pointed out that Henry County Schools has an annual $26M budeget and is the second largest employer in Henry County, employing 500 individuals with 10 monthly payrolls and they are required to also manage retirement and medical benefits for employees.

With the meeting being held at Henry County High School, the board heard reports from High School Junior Counselor Callie Blount, Senior Counselor Misha Adams and US History Teacher David Webb, who told of the successes involved with the 30 plus program, dual enrollment and dual credit programs, Tennessee Promise applications and ACT emphasis programs.

Several dual credit courses are offered through Jackson State, Adams, said, noting this year there is the potential for local students earning more than 1,245 hours of college credit. Adams and Blount presented the names of the 2016 ACT Bench Mark students and the 30 Plus Club (students achieving a score of 30 on the ACT). Students in the 30 Plus Club receive numerous rewards for that achievement.

Tennessee Promise applications now total 127, Blount said, with the deadline November 2. “We’re very, very happy with that and we still have two and a half weeks to go.”

Webb said students are already seeing success with the ACT emphasis program, in which students work a few hours during the school day. He said, “The emphasis on ACT here is unprecedented.”

Dr. Norton said, “We’re so proud of things we’re doing here and I applaud the instructional leadership team. They stepped out of the box and created a program that is really going to work for our students.”

Dresden Drivers’ Center To Close, Merge With Surrounding Counties

Dresden, Tenn.-The State Drivers’ Center in Dresden will be closing next month and will be merging with centers in Paris, Trenton and Union City.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced both the Dresden and Whiteville offices will be closing.

Both centers will close Nov. 6, according to the press release, which states that the closures and future mergers with the surrounding centers are “part of an effort to improve effectiveness and efficiency in the state's driver's license services.“

The staff positions also will be transferred to one or more of the centers, according to the release.

The Whiteville Driver Services Center will merge with the driver services centers in Oakland, Savannah and Jackson.

The drivers' centers are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and are full-time service centers for offering driver's license and identification card issuance, motor vehicle records, vision testing, knowledge and skills testing, and handgun permits. The Union City center also serves as a license reinstatement center. 

Updated: Martin School Threat Investigated

Martin, Tenn.- In an update to this morning‘s report of alleged threats at Martin Westview High School, Martin Police Capt. Phillip Fuqua said Martin Police interviewed several students. He said one student had overheard another student making a possible threatening statement.

“After completing a thorough investigation,“ Fuqua said, “no direct threats were substantiated in any form. There will be no criminal charges filed in referen...ce to this matter and it is considered to be closed.”

Martin Police Department along with Weakley County School Officials are investigating a matter involving a possible threat made at Westview High School by a student this morning. Although the investigation continues, the situation is under control and there is no current knowledge of a substantiated threat at this time.

The Martin Police Department and Weakley County School Officials will always take every step possible to ensure the safety of the students and staff of the schools in our jurisdiction.

Colonial Dames To Dedicate Marker At Harding Home

The home of Ray and Noragene Harding photographed in the spring. (McFarlin 


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Charles Barnham Chapter of the Colonial Dames of the 17th Century will hold an historical marking ceremony at the home of Ray and Noragene Harding on Walnut St. in Paris at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 10.

Formerly the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Mandle, the large two-story structure is a Paris landmark. 

Stephanie Tayloe of the Colonial Dames said the home was built in 1920 “and has been a landmark as long as anyone can remember”. It was a familiar sight on a daily basis to all school children who went to Atkins-Porter Elementary School; the former school was located directly across the street from the home.

Tayloe said the backyard of the home featured a swimming pool and tennis court. The Mandle couple were host to Camp Tyson Commander Gen. Maynard, who lived in the home before his quarters at the camp were built.

Tayloe said thanks to Member Beverly Wood’s research, the local Colonial Dames chapter has dedicated more historical markers than any other chapter in the state.

Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

No Arrests Yet In Ogburn Park, Business Vandalism

Messages were also painted on businesses near Ogburn Park. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-No arrests have been made in the vandalism at Ogburn Park and two nearby businesses in Paris over the weekend.

Green paint was used to scrawl the phrases “Stop The Violence” and “Let The Kids Grow Up” throughout Ogburn Park and on two businesses on East Wood Street: Carter Sales and Service and Abarrotes Lucero Mexican Store.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said the department is still seeking the perpetrators and asked that anyone with information call the department at 642-2424.

At Ogburn Park, Paris Parks and Recreation crews were busy Monday morning cleaning the paint off of the skateboard park and buildings.

Civil War Days Set This Weekend

Columbus, Ky.-The annual Civil War Days will be held this weekend at Columbus-Belmont State Park and the weekend will include battle reenactments, living history, and encampments. 

Skirmishes will be held at 2 pm both Saturday and Sunday. There will be a Ghost Walk on Friday evening, Ladies Tea at noon Saturday and a Civil War Ball on Saturday night. The Civil War Ball begins at 8 p.m., with the 52nd Regimental String Band. Sunday morning services at 8:30 a.m. and a Memorial Service at 10 a.m. at Columbus Cemetery.   

Sutlers and food vendors will be on site to serve the needs of the reenactors and visiting guests. Special entertainment daily. Reenactors will receive straw, powder ration, and a meal ticket. All infantry welcome, artillery and cavalry by invitation. Call 270-677-2327 to pre-register. (No registration fee)

For more information call Park Office (270-677-2327) or email

The event is sponsored by Columbus-Belmont State Park, Hickman County Judge Executive/Fiscal Court & Civil War Days Committee


The state park is at 350 Park Road in Columbus, Ky. Website:

Car Is Total Loss In Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Firefighters extinguished a car fire on Hwy. 69S early this morning.

According to Fire Marshal Greg Andrews, the department was dispatched to 1839 Hwy. 69S at 1:30 a.m. and found a car fully involved when they arrived. The car was parked at the residence, he said, and was a total loss.

He said the car’s owner is Rebecca Shadix. 

Since the fire occurred outside city limits, it will be investigated by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.


Speed Limit Raised In Calloway County

Murray, Ky.-At an appearance near Murray Wednesday, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced that the speed limit on KY 80 that runs through Calloway County is being raised to 65 mph.

Governor Beshear and Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock appeared together to make the announcement at Kyle-Oakley Field. Beshear said the speed limit through the county has become a key topic of discussion in the past year when he has visited with community leaders from the Murray-Calloway County area. 

Beshear also announced that an eight-mile stretch of KY 80/U.S. 68 from Lake Barkley to Cadiz is being widened to four lanes.  Construction is set to begin in November. When completed, along with the completion of bridges over Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley expected by sometime in 2017, this will result in KY 80/U.S. 68, which merge at Aurora in Marshall County, being a four-lane road to Bowling Green. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 

Huge Crowd For “Taking It To The Streets”

The Berenstein Bears were a hit and posed for pictures with children and adults. (McFarlin photos).

Paris, Tenn.-A huge crowd was on hand at Ogburn Park in Paris Tuesday night for the second “Taking it to the Streets” event of the school year. Initiated two years ago by Rhea School, the regular events have evolved this year to include the entire Paris Special Schools District and are intended to provide a positive atmosphere for students, families and school officials to get together. Teachers performed a “Three Bears” skit in Spanish, free food was provided and the Inman Middle School Beta Club helped with activities with the children. The Berenstein Bears from W.G. Rhea Library also were on hand.

The Inman Beta Club members helped with activities.

Alvin York Exhibit Opens At Discovery Park

Discovery Park employees get the Alvin York exhibit ready.

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America is “In the Footsteps of Sergeant York,” a traveling exhibit to the Reelfoot Room of Discovery Center beginning October 10th. 

The exhibit features Sergeant Alvin York, one of the most decorated and colorful soldiers of WWI. Born in Pall Mall, Tennessee, Sergeant York was of humble beginnings as the third of eleven children born in a one room log cabin. 

Developed by the Museum of the American Military Experience, and enhanced by Discovery Park of America historians and fabricators, the 3,000 square foot exhibit explores Sergeant York’s rural roots, illustrious military career, and colorful personality. 

Ninety-Seven years ago on October 8th, Sergeant York displayed valor and courage worthy of the attention of the Saturday Evening Post and eventually the major motion picture industry when he single handedly killed twenty-one German soldiers and captured 132 more. Until now, the movie release in 1941 entitled Sergeant York

By Howard Hawks and staring Gary Cooper has provided the most compelling story of Sergeant York, although much of it is fictitious. 

More recently, between 2006 and 2009, an international team of historians, archaeologists, and geographers made a series of expeditions to the Western Front battlefields of WWI to rediscover the site where Sergeant York made his epic stand against overwhelming odds and was awarded the Medal of Honor, among other honors, for his courage under fire. 

In the Footsteps of Sergeant York, a new exhibit from the Museum of the American Military Experience, explores the research behind the expeditions, the marriage of history and science, the Alvin York story, the men who lost their lives, recovered artifacts, and sheds new light on what really happened that fateful day in October 1918 that made Sergeant York one of America’s best known military heroes. 

Discovery Park of America has expanded the 800 square foot exhibit to 3,000 square feet of historical information about Sergeant York and his life. 

Members of Discovery Park of America are invited to be the first to tour the new exhibit at a special “Member’s Only” Reception from 5:00 -7:00 on Thursday, October 8th. For a $10.00 contribution, Discovery Park members will enjoy hors’devours and a free beverage before heading to the Reelfoot Room to tour “In the Footsteps of Sergeant York.” Discovery Park is hosting a Press Conference on October 9th at 9:00 a.m. for regional media. The exhibit will be open to the public on Saturday, October 10th. The exhibit is free with admission to Discovery Park.

For more information about the Sergeant York exhibit, visit Discovery Park’s website at 

Grant Provides New Helmets For Paris Firefighters 

Paris Firefighters demonstrate the new helmets. From left, T. C. Myrick, Fred Reed and Jason McCord. (City of Paris photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Fire Department recently received a Safety Partners Loss Control Matching grant for updated equipment. The grant paid for a portion of the cost of 18 Structural Firefighting Helmets, 15 Structural Firefighting Bunker Boots and 24 Structural Firefighting Gloves.

The new helmets meet new standards with integral LED lighting system for hands-free operating and excellent visibility. These updates will offer a higher standard of safety for our firefighters.

Friends Book Sale Continues Through Week

Paris, Tenn.-Stacks and stacks of books await local book-lovers at the W.G. Rhea Library this week for the annual Friends of the Library book sale. Over 13,600 books are on sale at 50 percent off for Friends’ members and 25 percent off for non-members. The sale runs through Saturday, October 10 every day. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Hoof Beats Of Hope Fall Festival Set For Saturday 

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The annual Hoof Beats of Hope Fall Festival will be held all day Saturday at Cardinal Park in Cottage Grove. Hoof Beats of Hope is a therapeutic horseback riding program that operates near Cottage Grove.

The event will include an all-day car show, games, pet show and musical entertainment by the Chill Tonics.

The cake walk and kids’ games begin at 10 a.m., with the Chill Tonics performing at noon, an agility dog show at 12:30 p.m., pet show at 1 p.m., car show awards at 2 p.m. and bingo beginning at 3 p.m.

7Sisterz Fall Festival This Weekend

7Sisterz 7th Annual Fall Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10  at its location in the former Sunnyside one-room school house at 2035 County Home Rd., Paris.

A dozen vendors will offer arts and crafts such as stained glass, paintings, quilts, metal work and gourds, plus several vendors will have antiques and repurposed furniture. One vendor will be offering home canned pickles of all kinds, chili sauce and other items with the proceeds going to benefit the Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation. 

The 7Sisterz shop will be open, as well as the Garden Shed and Greenhouse. Lunch will be offered including grilled hot dogs, Cincinnati chili and pulled pork. Perrylodgic will offer tastings, and baked goods will also be available.  

Obion Schools Hears About After-School Programs

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Monday night, the Obion County Schools board of education heard an update on the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant which provides after-school programs for students in the district.

Guidance Counselor Nikki Netherland said she applies for two grants every year: the 21st Century grant, which provides $282,000 and the LEAPs grant which provides $185,000. Both are exactly the same, but come from different sources: The 21st Century grant is a federal grant and LEAPs is a state grant. Together, she said, they serve all the schools in the district.

Netherland said, “It’s really working. We’ve really made a lot of progress with the kids with these grants.”

Some 140-150 tutors provide extra time for the students with the grants “and those people are classroom teachers, retired teachers, teacher’s assistants, support personnel, college students and high school peer tutors.”

Upon recommendation of Director of Schools Russ Davis, the school board also granted tenure for the following teachers: Amanda Bailey, Hillcrest Elementary; Tonya Cochran, Lou Ann Peery, Obion County Central; Kathryn Ramsey, Ridgement Elementary; Christa Hankins, South Fulton Elementary.

Powell To Speak At Dem Meeting

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Democratic Women will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 8, at Paris City Hall. Speaker will be Henry County Corrections Sgt. Daniel Powell. Powell is also Vice Chair of the County Democratic Party.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 

TWRA Wildlife Sgt. Clay Riley To Retire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn-After 29 years, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Wildlife Sgt. Clay Riley is getting ready to retire.

Well-known to most everyone in Henry County, Riley has worked for the TWRA since in 1986 and said he has no immediate plans except to “enjoy my family and travel.”

A native of Hollow Rock/Bruceton, Riley began with TWRA as a fisheries technician in Northwest Tennessee, then moved to Dyer Co. as a wildlife officer. He transferred to Henry Co. as a wildlife officer in May of 1988.

Riley was made lead officer in 1995 and was promoted to wildlife sergeant five years ago over the four counties in Region 1: Henry, Benton, Stewart and Houston.

In announcing his retirement, TWRA officials said, “Sgt. Riley has been a mentor to many officers over the years and has been a respected officer in Henry County.”

Riley said his last day in the agency will be Saturday.

Eiffel Tower Park II: Paris’ Hidden Jewel

Paris, Tenn.-Fall colors, wildflowers and thick pine needles on all the walking trails are making for a beautiful landscape at Eiffel Tower Park II, which some would call the hidden jewel of Paris. Eiffel Tower Park II is located on Patriot Ave., across the street from the main Eiffel Tower Park and it includes a trout pond. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Obion Woman Arrested For Church Embezzlement


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Police Department has arrested an Obion woman and charged her with embezzlement of over $80,000 from the First Christian Church in Union City. 

Nancy Reed was secretary of the church and according to Union City Police, has embezzled at least $84,889 from church accounts. According to an audit of church funds, there is another $1,296 in other purchases that are believed to have been made by Reed, too.

According to the police report, Reed confessed to the embezzlement. She was charged with theft of over $60,000, a Class B felony, and she was taken to the Obion County Jail.

Union City Police were called to the church on September 29 by board members who suspected that she had written checks with church accounts. The board told police they had turned over their records to an accountant for an audit, which determined that she had been embezzling funds.

Reed began employment in the church in 2009 and began writing checks in 2011. According to the police report, she wrote checks for her personal use amounting to $732.54 in 2011; $18,562.76 in 2012 and in 2013 began also using the church ATM for withdrawals and personal purchases which amounted to $18,902.73 that year. In 2014, the amount was $15,248.75 and so far in 2015, $12,892.94.

Missing Calloway County Woman Found In Nashville 

Murray, Ky.-An 81-year-old woman missing since Sunday morning in Calloway Co. was found Monday night in Nashville.

Maxine Jones was found by Nashville Metro Police Monday night. Calloway Co. Sheriff’s deputies said Jones was stable but receiving medical care.

Jones suffers from dementia and diabetes and went missing Sunday morning when she was driving to her church in Dexter, Ky.


Former Parisian In Columbia, S.C. Asks For Prayers

Empty shelves where bottled water should be at the Publix in

Columbia, S.C. (Felicia Riggs-Roberson photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Columbia, S.C.-Former Parisian Felicia Riggs-Roberson of Columbia, South Carolina, is asking for her family in Paris, old friends and neighbors to continue praying for the people of Columbia who have lost their lives and their homes to the devastating floods occurring there.

Riggs-Roberson said her family is fine so far. “We live in the northern end of the city, closer to Charlotte.” She said the images we are seeing on our televisions of the flooding and breached dams are occurring in the low-lying areas of the city.

“There are a lot of roads and bridges around us that are giving away, which is complicating travel,” she said. “We still have running water and electricity and I am grateful for little things. It’s just heartbreaking to see this beautiful city just breaking apart. School is closed for we don’t even know how long because they fear the water is contaminated and many streets have washed away.”

Riggs-Roberson asked for continued prayers for the people of Columbia and asked people to donate to Red Cross. Today is the first day it hasn’t rained in some time, she said, “and we’re going out to try to see what we can do to help those in need.”

Refuge To Celebrate 70th Anniversary

Coloring Contest Deadline Near

Springville, Tenn.-The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is inviting the public to a celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, October 17th from 10 am to 3 pm. This event will coincide with National Wildlife Refuge Week and will be held at the new refuge Visitor Center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville just 15 minutes from Paris. It can be reached by turning onto Oak Grove Road South from Highway 79 North of Paris, TN and following the directional signs.

According to Refuge Manager Barron Crawford, “This event is going to be huge, the largest one the refuge has put on, and it will involve most of our current partners. We hope folks can come out and help us celebrate the long history of this refuge, Kentucky Lake and how it fits together with our adjacent communities!”

Members of the public are invited to tour the visitor center and experience the exhibits which focus on the area’s wildlife resources and the mission of the refuge. The day will be a festive one which will include many family friendly activities for young and old alike. Many local agencies, organizations and clubs are partnering with the refuge to help us celebrate. Programs will be held in the classroom each hour as well as many activities on the lawn. 

Activities outside on the visitor center lawn will include live animals such as hawks, owls, snakes, and some creepy crawlies just in time for Halloween. Other activities will include archery range; shooting range; live songbird banding; nature crafts; history of the rivers; building a bluebird box, local mammals and track identification; atlatl demonstration; learning about our local fish; waterfowl identification; insects and butterflies; beginning bird watching; and children’s nature games.

In conjunction with this celebration the Friends of Tennessee NWR will be presenting awards for their Annual Photography Contest during a special ceremony held at 11 a.m. in the visitor center auditorium. All the public is invited to attend this ceremony and to view the winning photography entries which will be on display in the visitor center lobby for one year.

To help advertise for this very kid friendly event, the refuge is hosting a coloring contest for kids in two age categories: up to7 years old; and 8 to 12 years old. Coloring sheets can be obtained at the refuge office, online at or on Facebook at The deadline for entry submission is Wednesday October 15th by close of business.

Food and drinks will be available for sale provided by the Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge which will include Hamburgers/Hotdogs/or Bar-be-que sandwich, chips and drink for $6.00 and drinks/water for $1.00.

Admission to the refuge visitor center and all of its events are free to the public.

Martin Observes National Night Out Tonight

Martin, Tenn.-Tuesday October 6th   from 4:30-8:00 pm. is National Night Out, which is billed as a national crime and drug prevention event, but it's much more, according to Martin Police Chief Don Teal.

“This is an opportunity for Martin to stand together as a community and show its intolerance for drugs and crime in the community,” said Martin Police Chief Don Teal. “The National Night Event highlights the importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer Town of Martin, Tennessee.”

From 4:30 to 8 p.m. residents are asked to open their doors, turn on outside lights, and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.

“Whether in an organized Neighborhood Watch Program or not, I would like for the whole town to participate by turning on their porch light in support of this crime prevention effort,” said Martin Police Captain Phillip Fuqua.

For more information or to register your neighborhood and learn more about the event or how to participate in Martin, contact Capt. Phillip Fuqua at 731-587-5355 ext. 241 or by e-mail at

Neighborhoods participating this year are Mellow Lane, Meadowbrook Drive, Fonville St., Warren Drive, Martin Housing Authority.

Register Now For Free Computer Classes

Paris, Tenn.-W. G. Rhea Public Library will offer free computer classes for beginners on Monday, October 19 and the repeat class on Monday, October 26. These classes will offer introduction to a computer and the basic computer fundamentals. On Wednesday, October 21 and Wednesday October 28 the subjects in these classes will be Microsoft word document development and search engines. All classes will begin at 5pm and end at 6:30 pm at the Library on 400 West Washington Street. Please call 642-1702 to register.

Kiwanis Mexican Dinner

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Kiwanis Club Mexican Dinner will be held from 10:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.-7 p.m., October 8 at the Paris Convention Center on East Wood St. Tickets are $10 per person. Proceeds will benefit local charities. For more information, please call 731-642-8424.

Monday, October 5, 2015 

Elderly Woman Missing In Calloway County

Murray, Ky.-The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating Maxine G Jones, who has been missing since Sunday morning. She has been diagnosed with dementia and has diabetes.

She is a White Female 81 years of age, about 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighs about 160 lbs. She has brown hair and blue eyes.

She was driving a Blue 2002 Ford Escape License plate KY-003CXX

She was wearing a Cream Colored Sweater, Brown Slacks, Brown Sandals and Carrying a Tan Purse. 

She may be disoriented and confused because of her health conditions conditions. She was last seen leaving the Charley miller road area (northern Calloway County) and was heading to church at Brooks Chapel in Dexter KY. 

If you have seen her please contact Calloway County Sheriff's Office at 270-753-3151, your locale Law Enforcement Agency or dial 911. 

Fort Campbell Soldier Charged In Undercover Operation


Clarksville, Tenn.- – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested and charged a Clarksville man in connection to an investigation into illicit online activity.  

On September 16th, while working in an undercover capacity, TBI Agents began an investigation on social media websites in search of individuals attempting to make contact with underage individuals for the purpose of sex. During the course of the investigation, Agents identified a posting by an adult that expressed interest in a sexual relationship with a child. Investigators traced the posting to the Clarksville residence of James Alexander West.   

Agents, acting with the assistance of the Clarksville Police Department, executed a search of West’s house on October 1st. During the search, agents identified images of child pornography on West’s digital devices. On October 2nd, Agents arrested the 25-year-old and charged him with one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. He was subsequently booked into the Montgomery County Jail, where he was later released after posting a $75,000 bond.

Discovery Park’s 500,000th Visitor Celebrated

Union City, Tenn.-Shane & Ashleigh Hartman, with their 6-month-old son Logan, from Dyersburg, walked into Discovery Park of America Saturday, October 3rd for the first time ever. They were surprised to find out that Ashleigh was the 500,000th visitor to the park. 

Shane said they were headed to Reelfoot Lake to the Arts & Crafts festival, but could not find a parking place, so they decided to come on to Union City and visit Discovery Park. When the Hartmans walked through the door, the staff of Discovery Park was waiting to throw confetti, wave banners and blow noise makers. 

There was a large drum roll, and then an announcement was made: “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls….please pause with us to celebrate our 500,00th visitor!” Over a round of applause and celebration, the song “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang played throughout Discovery Center. In addition to free admission, the couple received complimentary annual membership passes and a Discovery Park gift basket full of goodies from the Discovery Park Gift Shop. 

“This is a real milestone,” CEO Jim Rippy said. “In under two years, Discovery Park of America has now had over ½ million visitors!” The Harman’s were surprised and excited to be the 500,000th visitor. Discovery Park of America is located in Union City, TN and is a unique blend of history, science, education and fun. To find out more about Discovery Park, visit the website at

Decorating Downtown Paris For Fall

Paris, Tenn.-The little elves from the Downtown Paris Association were up bright and early Saturday morning to create mini-masterpieces with fall decorations around the court square. From left are: Gaines Hedges, Rick Conger (trying to hide behind the straw), Carl Holder and Susan Jones. (Shannon McFarlin photo)

Paris Man Arrested On Child Rape Charge

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A 49-year-old Paris man remains incarcerated in the Henry County Jail on $250,000 bond after his arrest for rape of a child.

A.B. Price, age 49, of 219 Patterson St., was arrested by Paris Police Investigator Greg Underwood.

Underwood said the arrest followed an investigation after the child reported the rape to her father. He said the child is under the age of 13.

Underwood said Price will appear in Henry County General Sessions Court on Tuesday.

“Taking It To The Streets” Set For Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The second “Taking it to the Streets” event of the school year will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 6, at Ogburn Park in Paris.

The Paris Special School District will welcome special guests from W. G. Rhea Library. The new “Spanish” curriculum will be spotlighted, with teachers and staff presenting a bilingual reading of Rubia and the Three Osos. 

The Paris-Henry County community is welcome to attend. There will be craft activities for students, special give-aways, and food.

$4,350 Raised For "Team Morgan"

Huntingdon, Tenn.-A total of $3,800 was raised at the “Team Morgan” fund-raiser in Huntingdon over the weekend, with an additional $850 raised by the softball team.

The funds are being raised for Morgan Fuller, a Huntingdon High School student who is undergoing extensive cancer treatment at a Nashville hospital.

On Saturday October 3, members of the Huntingdon Fire & Rescue sponsored a hamburger and hotdog fund raiser at Cash Savers Supermarket in Huntingdon to help "Team Morgan". The total amount of funds raised from the sale and donations was $3800.

Huntingdon Public Safety Director Walter Smothers said, “We were assisted in our event by members of the Huntingdon High Girls Softball Team. The softball team also collected $850 in concession sales at the HHS Alumni Softball Classic that was held on Saturday.”

“We want to thank everyone that contributed desserts, helped us at the scene and especially the people that came by and purchased our food, many of which also made generous donations! Its another reminder for us to be thankful that we live in a supportive community that come together for a worthy cause,” Smothers said.

UC Man Cited For Cruelty To Animals

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested for cruelty to animals after the Animal Control Officer found that he had abandoned a dog in his home after he moved.

Antwon Cotton, who now lives at 201 Royal St., was cited by Animal Control Officer Amanda Hayslett.

Hayslett was contacted by the owner of property at 618 N. Second St., reporting that Cotton had left a dog abandoned in a kennel inside the duplex. Hayslett took the dog to the animal shelter.

According to the police report, Hayslett located Cotton and he said he did leave the dog there. On her first attempt to give him the citation, Cotton ran out of the animal control office and told her she could keep the dog.

Hayslett then contacted him at his new address and gave him the citation.

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