Return to Home Page

ABC News
Music News
CDs, Movies and More
Community Events
Concert Calendar
The Sports Page
Swap Shop
WENK /WTPR Coverage
KY Lake Forecast
KY Lake Levels/Temp
Our History
Contact Us

Click here to remove your e-mail address from our Elist

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Martin Man Sentenced To 21 Years In Federal Prison

Memphis, TN – Anthony Taylor, age 46, of Martin, received a federal prison sentence of over 21 years, or 262 months, following his conviction earlier this year by a jury on two counts related to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a stolen firearm.

The sentence was announced today by United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Edward L. Stanton III, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Glenn Anderson. 

“Federal and local law enforcement did an outstanding job in bringing the defendant to justice,” according to United States Attorney Stanton. “The Court’s sentence of 262 months sends a strong message that we will aggressively prosecute individuals who illegally possess and sell weapons.” 

“The result of this investigation is more evidence of ATF’s commitment to combating violent crime in Tennessee,” Special Agent in Charge Anderson said. “ATF’s Frontline strategy utilizes every available resource to make our communities a safer place to live.” 

According to the facts alleged in the criminal complaint and revealed in open court, on January 17, 2013, detectives of the Martin Police Department conducted an undercover operation utilizing a confidential informant. The confidential informant purchased what was later determined to be a stolen 12 gauge shotgun from Taylor. Taylor is a previously multi-convicted felon. 

In addition to the prison sentence, Chief U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen ordered Taylor to serve two years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal prison system. 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the City of Martin, Tenn. Police Department. U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor L. Ivy and James Powell represented the government. 

Arrests Made in Marathon Armed Robbery

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A 21-year old Paris resident has been arrested in connection with the August 9 armed robbery of the Marathon Convenience Store at 1111 North Market St.

Paris Police arrested Victor O. Atkins of Warren Street on Tuesday and charged him with aggravated robbery. 

According to Investigator Ricky Watson, this is the third arrest in connection with the robbery. The other two subjects arrested are juveniles.

Atkins posted $7,500 bond and has been released from jail, according to Capt. Damon Lowe of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Atkins’ initial court date in Henry County General Sessions Court is 9 a.m. Sept. 25.

McKenzie To Vote on Wine in Grocery Stores

McKenzie, Tenn.-Add the city of McKenzie to the list of area municipalities which will be voting on whether wine can be sold in grocery stores on the November ballot.

Paris and Union City also will have referendums on the issue on their ballots.

In Carroll County, 152 valid signatures on a petition were filed with the Elections Commission. The E.W. James Corp. initiated the petition.

In Paris, the Kroger Co. spearheaded the petition drive and in Union City, E.W. James Corp. also initiated that referendum.

Military Salute, Disney Event Kick Off Soybean Festival

Martin, Tenn.-The annual Soybean Festival in Martin will kick off this weekend with special Disney event on Saturday and a Salute to the Military and concert on Sunday.

The Disney event will be held from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Festival Park in Downtown Martin. It includes pictures with Disney Characters, Bippity Boppity Booth, Dunking Booth, Lasso Clinic, Carriage Rides, Tea Party, Frozen movie, & Disney themed entertainment. There will be food and retail specials throughout the day as well as a raffle prize drawing.  

The Salute to the Military event and a concert will be held on Sunday evening, August 31 at the Martin Recreation Complex.

Salute to Military: Honoring POWs, MIAs & Veterans. Missing man ceremony by Rolling Thunder will be held at 6 pm.

The concert by Surf's Up: Tribute to the Beach Boys will be held at 7 pm. Fireworks will follow directly after the concert.  

Events are free.

The Soybean Festival runs through September 7 and as usual is filled with a variety of activities, including the parade at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 2, appearances by the Little River Band and Lee Bice, among others; a Midway, Street Fair and Carnival, sidewalk sales, contests and much more.

The schedule is listed at

New Signage Points Way To Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center

Memphis UMC Conference Photos.

Camden, Tenn.-Visitors can now find Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center more easily thanks to road signs installed this summer in Camden, Tenn.

Lakeshore Director of Development Bill Walker said the center needed new pedestrian and speed limit signs, along with those directing guests toward the center. 

According to the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, which sponsors the camp and retreat center, previous directional signs were confusing and lacked arrows and mileage indications. Two were removed five years ago when construction crews renovated the Camden Court Square.

Walker said Lakeshore began to think seriously about new signs when more groups from Nashville and from the Tennessee Conference began attending camps and meetings at the center. “Google Maps and GPS devices tend to give confusing direction to Lakeshore,” he said.

According to the Memphis UMC Conference, last spring, Lakeshore worked with Benton County Mayor Barry Barnett and County Commissioner Butch Hatler to install new pedestrian crossing markers and to change the speed limit in front of the camp. The Tennessee Department of Transportation installed the new signs.

The directional signs required more effort to have erected. Yet, with the help of Camden Mayor Elvin Johnson and Supervisor for the Street Department Randy Sparks, Walker had two installed—one on the Camden Court Square and another at the corner of Highway 641 and Main Street.

The Benton County Department of Transportation is installing another sign at the intersection of Chalkhill Road and Eva Road.

Paris Fire Protection Billing to be Mailed Friday

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 this Friday, August 29. 

ESN122 is the area just outside the city limits which the Paris Fire Department is assigned to protect. According to Assistant City Manager Kim Foster, 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. The public may also contact City Hall if you are not certain if your property is located in the ESN122 area. You may reach the business office by calling 731-641-1402, or by coming by City Hall at 100 N. Caldwell.

Registration Open For Paris Disc Golf Tournament

Paris, Tenn.-Registration is open for the 8th annual Paris Tennessee Open Disc Golf Tournament which will be held at Eiffel Tower Park September 7.

The tournament is a sanctioned PDGA B-tier for Amateurs and C-tier for Pros. It will include two rounds on the course and the first 50 registered amateur players get the premium players package.

The Eiffel Tower course is a large one--5,960 feet--which moves through the woods and around the trout lake.

Fees are: Pro Divisions, $70; Advanced Divisions, $50; Intermediate, $30; and Recreational Division, $30. Non-PDGA Members pay additional $10.

New players in non sanctioned divisions pay $15.

Register online at 

Law Enforcement To Conduct Safety Checks Through Weekend

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Motorists can expect an increased law enforcement presence starting today and through the Labor Day Weekend. The Paris and Union City Police Departments are conducting safety and sobriety checks at various locations and other local police departments in the local area are, as well.

The safety checks will target impaired drivers and to ensure that vehicle safety laws are met. All safety and impaired driver violations will be strictly enforced.

Lawn Equipment Stolen From Home

Union City, Tenn.-An Exchange Street resident in Union City reported the theft of lawn equipment from his carport Wednesday.

According to the Union City Police, an edger and weed eater were stolen from the storage room in his carport. The door appeared to be pried open and a pair of pruning shears were left by the door.

The theft occurred between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HCHS Football Team Helps With Smoke Alarm Canvas For Needy

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County High School has agreed to be one of the 10 Tennessee high school football teams to conduct a pilot outreach effort that partners high school football players with their local fire department to do a smoke alarm canvas in September. 

Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams said the football team will provide the legwork, going door to door to local disadvantaged neighborhoods, offering free smoke alarms to senior citizens, disabled, and others who need them. The fire alarms will be provided by the State Fire Marshal’s office.

Williams said, “We’ve chosen the day of Saturday, September 6, at 1 p.m. for the team members to knock on doors. We’ll be going out with them and we’ll concentrate on neighborhoods that we know are at high risk and do need them.”

High School Football Coach James Counce is coordinating the effort at the high school.

Williams said, “We’ll be spending a few hours that day circulating around neighborhoods where we know people have a need for this.”

Discovery Park Labor Day Festivities Set

Brothers Walker from "The Voice" to appear Labor Day at Discovery Park.

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America will be open Labor Day with a much-discounted price and special programs scheduled all day. The entire park will be open until 8 p.m. with an admission price of $10 for 10 hours to be offered.

The day’s festivities will feature live music, history, food and games.

Rebekah Northern will perform from 1-3 p.m; Brothers Walker from “The Voice” will perform from 3:30-5:30 p.m.; and Bullettown will perform from 6-8 p.m.

A Labor Day Scavenger Hunt will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. And the Obion County “Day of Discovery” will feature demonstrations of quilters, potters, chair canning and painting.

Yard games will be held all day and a variety of food will be offered including BBQ, brats, burgers and hot dogs.

Discovery Park of America is a museum, park and garden located in Union City. The park sits on 50 acres of land off of Everett Boulevard, near the proposed Interstate 69. Phone number 731-885-5455.

Former Attorney Ruled Competent To Stand Trial

Union City, Tenn.-Shelby County Judge James Beasley Jr. has ruled a former Lake County Attorney competent to stand trial for the vehicular homicide deaths of three people in Obion County.

Sitting by assignment in Obion County Circuit Court, Judge Beasley ruled that a trial date could be set for Timothy Clark Naifeh, who had been arrested in 2012 for the vehicular deaths of three people as a result of a three-vehicle accident near Hornbeak.

Killed in the accident were Kenton residents Jack Bell, age 81; his wife Sue Bell, age 82 and their son, David Bell, age 51 of Georgia.

Before making his ruling, Judge Beasley heard testimony from expert witnesses provided by both the state and Naifeh’s attorneys. Judge Beasley ruled that Naifeh’s answers to questions indicate he does understand the proceedings against him. 

The accident investigation by the Tennessee Highway Patrol indicated the vehicle driven by Naifeh crossed the centerline on Hwy. 21, struck the driver’s side of the Bell vehicle and then collided head-on with a truck driven by Constance Fisher of Obion.

Naifeh himself was severely injured in the crash, suffering head injuries, and was hospitalized for a lengthy period of time. After that, he spent time in a rehab center.

The trial date has not been set in the case yet. Obion County Judge Bill Acree recused himself from the proceedings earlier.

Stewart County Homecoming Set This Weekend At LBL

Golden Pond, Ky, – Former residents from the Stewart County, Tennessee portion of the area now known as Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will gather for their annual Homecoming on Sunday, August 31, at the Bison Range Picnic Area. 

The picnic area is located south of The Homeplace on Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway in Land Between The Lakes. 

The yearly reunion provides a chance for former Between the Rivers residents to celebrate and reminisce. All former residents, relatives, and friends are invited. Those attending should bring food, beverages, lawn chairs, and any other picnic or recreation items they wish. Restrooms, picnic tables, and grills are provided. 

A Between the Rivers Homecoming is also planned for Lyon County, KY, September 20. It is held annually at Star Camp Picnic Area. All former residents, relatives, and friends are invited. 

The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.
To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000. For more information on the Friends of Land Between The Lakes, log on to 

Charges Against Henry County Businessman Dismissed

Paris, Tenn.-Misdemeanor theft charges have been dismissed in Henry County General Sessions Court against a Henry County businessman.

Lewis, who is associated with the Servall company, was arrested by Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies earlier this year. Deputies were notified by another gutter company that signs advertising their business were removed by Lewis.

Deputies charged Lewis with allegedly removing two signs valued at $25 apiece from the Van Dyke and Bunn School Road intersection.

The charges were dismissed by mutual agreement between the state and defense. Lewis was represented by Paris Attorney Al Wade. 23rd Judicial District Attorney Brooke Orgain of Charlotte was assigned to prosecute the case.

According to court notes, a special prosecutor was appointed because Lewis is related to someone who is interning for the local District Attorney’s Office.

Over $100,000 in Vehicles, Equipment Stolen From UC Business

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating the burglary of over $100,000 worth of equipment and merchandise, including a pickup truck and lawn mowers, from a local business overnight Monday. 

The equipment was stolen from First Choice Farm & Lawn Company on Stad Avenue. The owner told officers that sometime between 6:20 p.m. and around 7:30 a.m. that next morning, someone entered the locked back lot of the business by cutting a chain on the gate.

The merchandise stolen totalled $114,043.05.

The subject or subjects stole a 2007 Chevrolet flatbed pickup truck, a 20-foot trailer, seven riding lawn mowers, a utility vehicle, and various other pieces of equipment. Recovered from the scene was a 24-inch set of bolt cutters and a small black flashlight believed to have been used in the theft.

Trailer, Other Items Stolen From Business

Union City, Tenn.-Several items, including a utility trailer, were stolen from a business on West Reelfoot Ave. in Union City on Monday night. Stolen from MidTown Motors was a 32-foot Haul Mart utility trailer along with $1000 worth of tools, racing helmet, nitrous bottles and other items.

A surveillance video shows an F250 pickup entering the lot overnight with three subjects wearing jackets, gloves and masks. The subjects moved a disabled vehicle that was parked in front of the trailer and moved furniture inside the trailer and placed it on the ground before leaving with the trailer.

Common Core is Topic of Henry County GOP Meet

Paris, Tenn.-Common Core will be the topic at this week’s Henry County GOP meeting. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the courthouse. Speaker will be Julie West of Franklin.

West is President of Parents for Truth in Education and has been featured on Fox & Friend, Fox Weekend and other national television programs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Joint Funeral Service Planned For Noah And Logan Rogers

Murray, Ky.-A joint funeral service for Noah and Logan Rogers of Puryear will be held at J.H. Churchill Funeral Home in Murray at 11 a.m. Friday.

Noah, age 39, of Puryear, and his son Logan, age 15, were killed in an automobile accident on Hwy 641 in Murray on Monday.

Noah Rogers was born August 25, 1975 in Detroit, Michigan. He was in a managerial position for the last 14 years for Suburban Propane. He was also of the Baptist faith. 

Survivors include his mother, Mary Branham Rogers of Murray, Kentucky, father, Howard Rogers Jr. of Murray, Kentucky, two sons, Chase and Levi Rogers both of Murray, Kentucky, two sisters, Ginny Singleton and husband David of Murray, Kentucky and Toni Vanderberg and husband Chad of Travers City, Michigan, brother, Howard Rogers III of Buchanan, Tennessee, also one niece, one step niece and a step nephew. 

Loan Rogers was born November 8, 1998 in Murray, Kentucky. He was a sophomore at Calloway County High School, and was a member of the Kirksey Baptist Church. 
Survivors include his mother, Ladonna Fox Rogers of Murray, Kentucky, Maternal grandparents, Howard and Mary Rogers both of Murray, Kentucky, Paternal grandmother, Virginia Felgenhauer of Murray, Kentucky, two brothers, Chase and Levi Rogers both of Murray, Kentucky, also six aunts, and one uncle survive. 

Burials will follow in the Murray City Cemetery. Visitation will be held Thursday, August 28 from 4-8 p.m. at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home. 

Cottage Grove Converts to LED Lighting

Church Street in Cottage Grove with newly-installed LED lighting. (Photo by Mike Waddey).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The tiny city of Cottage Grove became a lot brighter this week with the complete conversion to LED lighting by the Paris Board of Public Utilities.

Cottage Grove Mayor Mike Waddey requested the conversion, which is one more step in Waddey’s goal for Cottage Grove to be the “greenest” small municipality in Tennessee.

“It’s the difference between daylight and darkness”, Waddey said Tuesday. “It’s just incredible.”

The LED lighting “is a more pure, more true white than the old lights that we’ve had here. It really looks like daylight at night here now.”

BPU General Manager John Etheridge said the BPU installed LED lights at all of Cottage Grove’s 27 street lights. “Cost to us was $6,000-$7,000”, he said, “and we will recover that with the rates.”

And, the city of Cottage Grove will save some $200-$300 because of the conversion.

Etheridge said if the public wants to see how LED lights look at night, they should drive down Veterans’ Drive where all those lights have been replaced with LED. “We’re picking our spots and slowly converting all the lights in our system to LED,” he said.

Waddey is thrilled with the results for Cottage Grove. “This was a no-brainer for us. We’re saving money for the city and we’re being good stewards for the environment. And all we had to do was ask John Etheridge for it.”

Financing of Water Plant Coming Together For BPU

BPU Members Bill Culley and Ralph Anderson listen to General Manager John Etheridge, left, at today's meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The pieces of the financial puzzle that will fund the planned construction of a new water treatment plan by the Paris Board of Public Utilities may be coming together, according to BPU General Manager John Etheridge.

Etheridge told members of the BPU board at its Tuesday meeting that the state has okayed a state revolving loan in the amount of $3.1 million toward the construction. If the BPU goes forward with that loan and if BPU is the recipient of the $500,000 in CDBG funds from the city of Paris and $500,000 from Henry County, Etheridge said, “We would be close to half way home on the water plant.”

The planned project would cost some $9 million and was approved by the board last month.

Etheridge said he and Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley met with officials for the state revolving loan recently and were assured that because the BPU is a municipal utility, there would be no strings attached “but there is a great deal of paperwork involved.”

The state offered a 20-year loan at .925 percent fixed interest, he said, and would forgive 25 percent of the principle, which would mean that $300,000 would not have to be paid back.

“We are not committed to this yet,” he said. “We’re just giving you the information on this right now. We’re trying to find the most advantageous financing” for the project.

Wimberley said, “If we end up going with the state revolving loan, we could begin construction in June of 2015 instead of waiting until later in the year.”

Both Etheridge and Wimberley cautioned that the total $1 million in CDBG funds from the city of Paris and the county are not a sure thing yet.

But all in all, Etheridge said, “This is good news.”

In other business:

--It was announced that the “go live” date for the Pay As You Go electrical program will be December 17. It will provide another option for customers on bill payments and Etheridge said there will be community meetings to discuss the program before it begins.

--The board approved a letter of understanding between BPU and Dean Howd governing property at the North Substation. Etheridge said the BPU is deeding Howd “a little more acreage” which will allow Howd to own the creek at the property and for BPU to have an easement there.

Long-Time BPU Manager James Huffman Dies
BPU Board Holds Moment of Silence

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities began its meeting Tuesday with a moment of silence for long-time BPU General Manager James Huffman, who died Sunday at Henry County Medical Center. Huffman had worked at BPU for 36 years.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Van Dyke Church of Christ with Bro. Roger Banks and Bro. John Dale officiating, burial will follow at Memorial Cemetery. 

Visitation is until 7 p.m. Tuesday at McEvoy Funeral Home and after 10 a.m. Wednesday until service time at the Van Dyke Church of Christ. 

He was born in Mansfield to the late James C. and Mattie Derington Huffman. On November 26, 1941 he married Helen McCain Huffman, she preceded December 1, 2007. 

Survived by a daughter: Emily (Lucian) Acuff, Brentwood; son: James D. (Jackie) Huffman, II, Gallatin; twin brother: John C. (Anne) Huffman, Louisville, KY; grandchildren: LuciAnn (Kevin) Helms, Jennifer (Andy) Holliday; great-grandchildren: Bradley, Mattie, Callie, Molly Helms, Katie and Drew Holliday; devoted cousins: Theron and Joyce Hastings; very special friend: Anne Brewer, also survived by nieces, nephews and other special friends.

James was a member of East Wood Street Church of Christ and currently a member of the Van Dyke Church of Christ. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII where he received the “Bronze Star”. He was a graduate of Henry High School class of 1938. Worked at BPU for 36 years and retired as superintendent in 1982. Member of Rotary for 35 years.

Memorials may be made to: Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1030, Paris, TN 38242 or VanDyke Church of Christ c/o: Terry Wilkinson, 3530 VanDyke Road, Paris, TN 38242

Two From Puryear Killed in Murray Accident

Murray, Ky.-The Kentucky State Police responded to a fatal vehicle collision at 7:15 p.m.. The single vehicle collision occurred on US 641 approximately 3 miles south of Murray.

Preliminary investigation shows Noah J. Rogers, 39 of Puryear, TN operating a 2008 Ford Mustang traveling south on US 641. For an undetermined rea...son the vehicle drifted to the right side edge of the roadway, then the Rogers overcorrected and went off the left side of the roadway, striking several trees and overturning. Rogers was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision and was ejected. A 15 year old juvenile passenger had to be extricated from the vehicle. The juvenile was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision.

Rogers was pronounced dead on the scene by the Calloway County Coroner’s Office. The juvenile passenger was transported by ambulance to a local hospital and was air lifted to another facility, where he later died as a result of his injuries. Speed was a contributing factor in the collision.

KSP Collision Reconstructionist Trooper Jody Cash was assisted on the scene by the Calloway County Sheriff’s Department, Murray Fire Department, Murray Police Department, Calloway County Fire-Rescue Squad, Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service, Calloway County Coroner’s Office, KSP Collision Reconstructionist Trooper Eric Fields and Trooper Brian Hill. Trooper Cash is continuing his investigation into the collision.

Ribbon-Cutting For UTM Nursing Center is Thursday

Maintenance employees put finishing touches on the new Parsons Center. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – A ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 28 will officially open the new West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation Nursing Wing at the UT Martin Parsons Center. 

The event is set for 10:30 a.m. at the center located at 975 Tennessee Avenue North in Parsons. The public is invited. 

University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes, local and state elected officials and university nursing faculty members are expected to join Parsons Center students and others for the ceremony. Dr. Kelli Deere, Parsons Center director, will lead the event. 

Initial funding for the expansion was included in the 2013-14 budget proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam and approved by the Tennessee General Assembly. A $1 million appropriation was made to build a 10,000-square-foot addition to the current facility. The addition includes classrooms, a skills laboratory and a high-fidelity computerized simulation laboratory.

The expansion plans received an added boost when the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation also made a $1 million commitment to the project. 

The Parsons Center will have openings for up to 30 students annually for the program. BSN program graduates will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and obtain licensure as registered nurses. The university recently announced that nursing graduates in the class of 2014 achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN.

“Nursing students at the Parsons Center will receive the same experience as those students enrolled at the Martin campus. The program works with health-care facilities across the region to provide three years of clinical experience for its students. Similar programs at other institutions offer only two years of clinical experience. 

Barkley Navigation Lock To Be Open To Public For Limited Time

Grand Rivers, Ky. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District announced today that it is offering public access to Barkley Navigation Lock. The lock is now accessible to visitors seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Sept. 30, 2014.

The Corps restricted access to the lock following Sept. 11, 2001 as a security precaution, but district officials now support allowing the public into these areas to foster better community relations and to let people see how the lock facilitates movement of commerce within the U.S. Inland Waterway System. 

“After more than a decade of significant restrictions, we are excited to be able to reopen the locks to the public during daylight hours,” according to Lt. Col. John L. Hudson, Nashville District commander. “We are committed to balancing the need for security with the interest people have in visiting the facilities and watching boats lock through the dam, as they move up and down the Cumberland River.” 

Barkley Lock is one of four locks located on the 300-plus navigable miles in the Cumberland River Basin. It is a single chamber measuring 110-feet wide and 800-feet long. During normal lake levels, the lock will lift a boat 57-foot from the river below the dam to the lake above the dam. The average tonnage of all commodities transported through the lock is over seven million tons, which equates to approximately 4,047 loaded barges and 4816 empty barges in 2013. The major commodities are coal, sand, and petroleum. There are approximately 513 lockages for recreational traffic each year.

Barkley Lock is open to pass navigation traffic 20 hours-a-day, 365 days a year. The lock is located at 758 Barkley Dam Road, Grand Rivers, KY, 42045. It is also located at mile 32.8 of the Cumberland River in Livingston County. Public restrooms are available during visiting hours. For more information please contact the lockmaster at 270-362-4222 or Barkley Lake Resource Manager’s Office at 270-362-4236.

What Heat Wave? Keep Cool With Ice Bucket Challenge

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Elections Commission Director Darrin Thompson didn’t complain about the heat after being drenched by icy water Monday by County Trustee Randi French, County Clerk Donna Craig and Lakota Brown at the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on the courthouse steps. The event was organized by the city of Paris in honor of City Commissioner Gayle Griffith’s wife Ginny, who suffers from ALS. Other photos from the event, which involved most city and county officials and many employees, were posted on our site and Facebook pages Monday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Tri Club Does Well At Meet

Front Row, from left: Bennett Cain, Kylee Perry, Amelia Hart,Olivia Hart, Sara Mathis, Audrey Hill, Briley Medlin and Garrett Cagle. Second Row : Caleb Cain, Rylan Perry, Hunter Lawrence, Craig Anderson, Fisher Lawrence and Emma Hill. Not Pictured are Charlie and Cole Davis. (Photo submitted by Tony Lawrence).

Murfreesboro, Tenn.-Sixteen kids from the Paris Tri Club participated in the 6th annual TryBoro Kids’ Triathlon Saturday, August 23. Over 250 racers competed this year.

According to Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence, racers aged 11-14 swam 200 yards, rode five miles on bikes and ran one mile. Racers aged seven-10 swam 100 yards, rode 2.5 miles and ran .5 mile.

Top Finishers were: Cole Davis 1st 13 yr boys; Rylan Perry 2nd 12 yr boys; Emma Hill 3rd 12 yr girls; Hunter Lawrence 2nd 11 boys; Kylee Perry 2nd 8 yr boys; Audrey Hill 1st 7 yr girls; Garret Cagle 2nd 8 yr boys beginners and Briley Medlin 1st 8 yr girl beginners.

Martin Man Arrested For Assault

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police arrested a 42-year-old Martin man for assault after he allegedly hit his girlfriend in the face with a can of beer.

According to the police report, William Lee White of 119 K Street, was arrested after his girlfriend told police that she had not only been held against her will but that White had hit her in the face with the beer.

Martin Police did report that the victim had two black eyes and bruises and that while White was holding her, he also hit and bit her and held a box cutter to her back threatening her.

White is charged with aggravated domestic assault and being held at the Weakley County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Benton County Man Arrested For Murder, Abuse of Infant

Camden, Tenn.– Following an investigation by the The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, warrants were issued today for the arrest of a 25-year old Benton County man, charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse of a seven-month-old child. 

On August 22nd, at the request of 24th District Attorney Hansel McAdams, TBI Special Agents, with the assistance of deputies from the Benton County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Children’s Services, investigated the death of Joseph Hilliard. 

On Friday, the infant’s mother called 911, saying her son was unresponsive. The child was transported from his home on Liberty Church Road in Holladay to Camden General Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. 

Today, arrest warrants were issued for Westlee Waylon Yates, the mother’s boyfriend, for the murder and abuse of the seven-month-old. With the assistance of Benton County Sheriff’s deputies, TBI Agents arrested Yates without incident at a residence at West Little Richland Road in Humphreys County. Yates was booked in the Benton County jail, where he is being held without bond. 

Paris, Henry County Officials, Employees Take the Challenge

Mayhem ensues as the crowd is doused with ice water. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Dozens of officials and employees from the city of Paris and Henry County were all wet Monday afternoon--for a good cause.

In what had to be the biggest group challenge in Henry County, the officials and employees were the latest to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that is sweeping the country. Millions of dollars have been raised in the challenges to help eradicate ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. A total of $450 was raised at the event, with participants donating $10 or more each.

Monday’s Challenge was organized by the city of Paris in honor of Councilman Gayle Griffith’s wife Ginny, who is suffering from ALS.

An emotional Griffith thanked everyone for their support and thanked the crowd on behalf of his wife.

Among those participating were Paris Mayor Sam Tharpe, County Mayor Brent Greer, Paris City Manager Carl Holder, Finance Director Kim Foster, City Councilmen Terry Fuller and Carlton Gerrell, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, Chief Deputy Randy Gean, Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, most of the Henry County Commissioners, County Property Assessor Charles VanDyke, County Clerk Donna Craig, County Trustee Randi French, Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams, Firefighter Jason McCord, County Librarian Connie McSwain, City Building Inspector Mike Brown, County Elections Director Darrin Thompson, Chamber Director Jennifer Wheatley, Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell, and Deputy Wes Bradley.

County Commissioner Kreg Kyle was out of town, but had previously performed the ice bucket challenge on his own.

Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton came dressed for the occasion wearing a tuxedo with snorkle and fins and Library Director Connie McSwain wore a shower cap and carried a very small bucket.

Even after the general dousing of the icy water, several people got individual dousings: Firefighter TC Myrick doused Fire Chief Michael Williams, Elections Director Thompson was doused by Donna Craig and Randi French, and Police Chief Elizondo and Fire Chief Williams doused Mike Brown.

In other words, a good--and soggy-time was had by all.

City Councilman Terry Fuller, left, and City Manager Carl Holder were the first to be splashed.

Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton, left, came dressed for the occasion. He is shown getting ready with County Mayor Brent Greer and County Administrative Assistant Debbie Simmons.

Wine Sales Referendum May Be On Ballot in Paris

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Add Paris to the list of municipalities that may be voting in November on whether wine should be sold in supermarkets and grocery stores.

Henry County Elections Commission Deputy Administrator Delaina Green confirmed Monday that a petition with more than enough signatures was filed with the office before the deadline last week.

She s...aid the petition contained 260 signatures, which was 20 more than the minimum required for placement of the referendum on the ballot.

The elections commission already has met to certify the election results from the general election and will meet again September 2 to consider the wine sales petition.

The local petition drive was coordinated by Kroger grocery store in Paris.

Union City also will have a referendum seeking wine sales in grocery stores on its November ballot. That petition drive was coordinated by E.W. James store in Union City.

More Free Produce Giveaways Set

Paris, Tenn.-There will be three more opportunities for the public to receive free produce from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office this week and next week.

Sheriff Monte Belew said a produce giveaway will be held on August 27 at Four Way Grill on East Antioch Rd., Buchanan; August 29 at Henry City Hall and September 3 at Puryear Community Center parking lot.

The giveaways will be held at 3 p.m. each day, Belew said. The produce is from the inmates' two gardens.

Airborne Gymnastics Team Competes

Hendersonville, Tenn.- Airborne Gymnastics Academy (AGA) competed this past weekend at Hendersonville in The Tennessee Judges Cup 2014. Competition included levels 3, 4 & 5. From left, the girls competing were: Gracie Webb (Level 3), Alayna Fuson (Level 3), Callie Green (Level 4), Ella Crichton (Level 4), Noe Wilkerson (Level 3), Lauren Swisher (Level 3), Eowyn Gesler (Level 3), Lauren Dodd (Level 3), Abbey Watkins (Level 3). Photo by Delaina Green.

Paris City Commission, Employees To Take Ice Bucket Challenge
Challenge Set For 5 p.m. Today at Courthouse

Paris, Tenn.-What heat wave? The Paris City Commission, City Employees and City Hall Staff will be participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Monday afternoon in honor of Commissioner Gayle Griffith’s wife, Ginny, who has the disease.

The event will be held at 5 p.m. Monday on the steps of the Henry County Courthouse.

ALS is better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and the Ice Bucket Challenge has been sweeping the country of late, with millions raised the cause of eradicting the disease.

City Finance Director Kim Foster said most of the city commission and many of the department heads and city employees will be participating.

The public is invited to join them and the city especially invites the Henry County Commissioners to join the challenge and donate to a worthy cause in the process.

Driver Arrested On Multiple Charges After Injury Accident 

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police arrested a Brownsville man on multiple charges for leaving the scene of an accident which caused injuries to four people. More charges, including DUI and vehicular assault are pending.

Police responded to the report of an accident Saturday and found a Chevy Avalance upside down in the parking lot at 1304 Nailing Dr. Victims included the driver, his wife and their two small children. All were injured and taken to the hospital. The vehicle was heavily damaged.

According to the report, the victim was eastbound on Nailing when his vehicle was struck by another car which kept on driving. The victim’s vehicle was spun around, hit a metal pole and the impact caused it to flip upside down.

The driver was able to describe the other vehicle as a silver Lincoln and the driver. Police found a visible leak of antifreeze and followed it down Nash Street, making a U-turn and droving eastbound on Nailing. 

Police were able to find the other driver and his passengers a short while later at 1912 Morningview St.

Arrested was Jarvale Comage of Brownville. He was charged with leaving the scene of a traffic accident with injury and failure to render aid. He was taken to the hospital, where a blood sample was taken for a DUI test. Charges of DUI and vehicular assault are pending.

Comage’s driver’s license was revoked. 

See Grossest, Ugliest, Most Extreme Animals At LBL
Turtle Talledega Race Set, Too

Golden Pond, Ky. – Have you ever wanted to see the grossest, ugliest, slowest, biggest, smallest animals in nature? Not to mention a Turtle Talledega race.

Land Between The Lakes is the place to be this weekend as it hosts “Nature’s Most Extreme Weekend” at the Nature Station Saturday, August 30 through Monday, September 1. 

The public is invited to visit with Smokey Bear, take a canoe trip, cheer on the turtles at Turtle Talladega, try a fun scavenger hunt, and experience “extreme” animals up-close!

Saturday, August 30 Smokey Bear (appearances throughout the day) 
· 11am Gross Up Close: Vultures, Owls Pellets, and More
· 1pm Turtle Talladega
· 1:30pm Slithering Snake Craft
· 3:30pm Kentucky’s Most Venomous
· 5:30-8pm Sunset Canoe Trip (Reservation & fee required. Call 270-924-2020)
Sunday, August 31
· 11am Of Monsters and Mini’s: Our Biggest and Smallest Animals
· 1pm Make Your Own Extreme Animal Craft
· 1:30pm Eagle Extreme
· 3pm Hummingbird Heroics 
· 5:30-8pm Sunset Canoe Trip (Reservation & fee required. Call 270-924-2020)
Monday, September 1
· 11am Animal X-Men
· 1pm A Serious Case of the Uglies: Opossum, Vulture, & Alligator Snapper
· 3pm Pee Wee Predators

Nature Station interpreter, Julie Watson said, “We’ll explore the grossest, biggest, smallest, ugliest, and most venomous of what nature has to offer with our extreme programs, many featuring live animals! If you’ve got an extreme kid or are an extreme person yourself, don’t miss Nature’s Most Extreme Weekend!” 

To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000.

Downtown Cruise-In Set For Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The Chill Tonics will be playing at the Downtown Cruise In in Downtown Paris from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the east side of the Henry County Court Square. 

Sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association, classic cars will be on display, Perry’s BBG and Cajun Snowballs will be available.

Vendor Space Available At Arts and Crafts Festival

Visitors check out the homemade crafts at the 2011 event. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Buchanan, Tenn.-This year’s Arts and Crafts Festival will be held at Paris Landing State Park Saturday and Sunday September 6 and 7 and vendor space is still available. 

Sponsored by the Lakeway Kiwanis Club of Paris, the event draws hundreds the shore of Kentucky Lake to view (and buy) the wide assortment of arts and crafts.

Organizers said over 100 vendors are expected at this year’s event. If you are interested in having space at the festival, call Crissy McCutcheon, 731-363-797.

"Roots of Rhythm" Tickets On Sale

Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale this week for the Roots of Rhythm performance in September sponsored by the Paris Henry County Arts Council. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 30, at the Krider Performing Arts Center, 650 Volunteer Drive, Paris.

Tickets will be on sale beginning today.  

Performed by UT Martin Percussion Group and joined the HCHS Madrigals, the evening promises to be a body moving, hand clapping, fun filled learning event for all ages. Students are $5 and adults are $10 for tickets which can be bought at the Arts Council office, from any Council Member, any Friends of the Arts Member, Leach’s Music or Merison’s. 

 All proceeds from this event benefit the Paris Henry County Arts Council. For more information contact the Arts Council Office at (731) 642-3955 or visit our website 

Police Pry Driver From Vehicle After Accident

Union City, Tenn.-Both drivers were cited following a traffic accident last week on Everett Blvd. which resulted in injury and one vehicle in a ditch.

According to the police report, witnesses said Roger Baker, 59, Jackson, was southbound when he struck a stopped vehicle driven by Megan Olenger, 30 of South Fulton. Olenger’s car was knocked off the road and into a ditch. She was transported to the hospital.

The doors of her car were wedged closed and she was unable to exit the vehicle. Police broke her car window with a pry bar to extricate her.

Baker was cited for driving too close and Olenger was cited for having no insurance.

UC Police Investigate Thefts

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating the theft of a truck from a front yard on Norwood Dr. According to the police report, the owner said someone came into his yard and took his truck Friday. He said the keys were either in the ignition or the seat and the vehicle was unlocked.

The truck is a 2001 black F-150 with a short wheel base and a stainless steel tool box with about $1000 worth of assorted tools in it.

Union City Police also are investigating the theft of mowing equipment from an East Reelfoot Ave. address on Sunday. The owner said someone stole his equipment, which included a trailer, a mower, weedeater, blower, pump sprayer and a jug of RoundUp. Estimated total is $9,500.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Celebrating The Arts, Lee Academy Style

Paris, Tenn.-It was a day to Celebrate the Arts and that's exactly what happened all day Saturday at the Lee Academy for the Arts in Paris. The public was invited to the center for demonstrations and seminars for the various arts that are offered there, from painting, music, stained glass, ballroom dancing, yoga, ceramics, rug hooking, basket weaving and much more. In top photo, Ceramics Instructor Martin Paschall enjoys a conversation with Brenda Jones of Asheville, N.C., who was back to Paris for a class reunion. Bottom, Andy Hooper and Toni Murphy demonstrate ballroom dancing. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Rocking Like The '90s At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-A large crowd of music lovers braved the heat and humidity Saturday night for a concert at Discovery Park of America headlined by the band Everclear, top phot. It was the last concert of the park's first summer concert series. Also appearing were the bands Tonic, bottom photo, and Vertical Horizon. (Photos by Brent Hinson).

Signs, Signs Everywhere A Sign

Hazel, Ky.-Despite Saturday's heat, crowds flocked to the second annual Rusty Relics sidewalk sales in Hazel, Ky. Hazel has several new shops--including a reopened and improved Hazel Antique Mall--as well as the tried and true antique shops lining the main drag through town. Top photo, one of many advertising signs at the Hazel Antique Mall. Bottom, a man looks through the unique wares on front of The Felix. There was a lot of trading going on in the streets of Hazel. (Shannon McFarlin photo.)

Three Injured When Car Collides With High School Sign

Benton, Ky.-Three people--two of whom were juveniles--were injured after the driver of their car drove into the Marshall County High School sign Saturday night.

The driver, Bridget Moryl, age 41 of Benton, was charged with DUI, and three counts of wanton endangerment. She was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

The two passenger juveniles also were injured. One of the juveniles was treated and released from Marshall County Hospital and the other was admitted with injures.

According to the Mayfield Post of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department received a complaint of a reckless driver on US 68 East. Shortly after, the vehicle ran off the road and collided with the high school sign.

Kentucky State Police were assisted at the scene by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Marshall County EMS and Palma-Briensburg Fire Department.

The investigation is ongoing by Trooper Michael Bennett.

HCHS Senior Information Night Set

Paris, Tenn.-An information session for senior and parents will be held at 6:30 p.m. August 26 in the commons area of the Henry County High School. According to Pam McCord, the meeting is set to discuss what students and parents need to know about their senior year: dates, deadlines, activities, trips, prom, etc.

This is not a Project Graduation meeting.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tour de Reelfoot Registration is Open

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Cyclists are needed for the Tour de Reelfoot Saturday, September 20, which will take riders around Reelfoot Lake and along the Mississippi River. The event will benefit Reelfoot Rural Ministries.

Beginning in Tiptonville, the course is 16 or 30 miles and begins at 8 a.m. 

The bike ride promotes and raises awareness and financial support for Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM), an agency of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church. RRM serves clients in northwest Tennessee and southwest Kentucky.

This is not a competitive event, but an opportunity for family and friends to experience the beauty of the area. To register, write Reelfoot Rural Ministries, Rachel Craig, 6923 Minnich-Elbridge Rd., Obion, Tenn., 38240, or go to their website at:

Several Area Schools On List of Focus Schools
Large Achievement Gaps Cited on List

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Department of Education has announced the newest round of Priority and Focus Schools and several schools in our area are on the list of Focus Schools.

Focus Schools are 10 percent of schools with the largest achievement gaps between groups of students, regardless of overall performance.  

Schools in our area on the list are:

Henry County--Henry Elementary, cited for achievement gaps for Students With Disabilities (SWD).

Obion County--Ridgemont Elementary, cited for achievement gaps for Students With Disabilities; Union City Elementary, cited for an achievement gap for students with Economic Disabilities, Students with Disabilities and for Black and Hispanic Students.

Weakley County--Gleason, Greenfield and Martin Middle School, all cited for the SWD gap.

Benton County--Big Sandy and Holladay, both cited for gaps for students with Economic Disabilities.

Carroll County--Huntingdon Primary, also cited for gaps for students with Economic Disabilities.

With the announcement of this year’s Priority Schools also comes an investment from the state of more than $7 million to support districts in turning around these lowest performing schools. The state is also building an intensive, regional support team to help Focus Schools close achievement gaps.

“For the past several years, our state has been focused both on improving overall performance of all kids in Tennessee, while closing achievement gaps between historically low-performing groups of students and their peers; our school accountability system aligns with these goals,” according to Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. “We’ve also made a significant financial investment in our lowest performing, or Priority Schools, and we’re starting to see signs of hope that this investment is paying off.”

To see a full list of Focus and Priority Schools visit: 

HCHS Senior Information Session Set

Paris, Tenn.-An information session for senior and parents will be held at 6:30 p.m. August 26 in the commons area of the Henry County High School. According to Pam McCord, the meeting is set to discuss what students and parents need to know about their senior year: dates, deadlines, activities, trips, prom, etc.

This is not a Project Graduation meeting.

Week 0 High School Football Scores:

Huntingdon - 49, Obion County - 7
Liberty Tech - 21, Henry County - 14
Union City - 63, Gibson County - 20
Stewart County - 21, Clarksville NW - 16
Trenton Peabody - 56, McKenzie - 21
Humboldt - 19, West Carroll - 16
Hollow Rock-Bruceton - 13, South Fulton - 0
 Jackson North Side - 35 , Dyer County - 0
Waverly Central - 56, Houston County - 6
Milan - 26, Lexington - 19
Martin Westview - 45, Dresden - 18 (Thursday)

Friday, August 22, 2014

TBI, Benton County Sheriff Investigate Infant Death

Camden, Tenn. -- The Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are investigating the death of a seven-month-old boy this morning in the emergency room at Camden General Hospital.

According to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, three children had already been taken from the mother in the past. The sheriff’s office has requested an autopsy of the child, who showed signs of injury.

The mother and her boyfriend reportedly called the sheriff’s office around 8:30 a.m. on their way to Camden after they pulled off the side of the road about six miles from the hospital. Benton County EMS transported to child to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 9:30 a.m.

No charges have been filed and the names of those involved have not been released.

Sheriff's Office Free Produce Giveaway A Success in Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff's Capt. Damon Lowe speaks to a crowd that gathered this morning for the free produce giveaway in Cottage Grove. Sheriff Monte Belew, Lowe and inmates from the jail were on hand at Cottage Grove to hand out the free produce, which is grown in the inmates' gardens. Cottage Grove Mayor Mike Waddey thanked the sheriff's department this morning for the large selection of free vegetables. (Photo courtesy of Mike Waddey).

Area Unemployment Rates: Not A Pretty Picture

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-After making positive strides over the past few months, unemployment rates in our area have returned to the high rates of previous months. So much so that three of our local counties are again back on the list of counties which show the state’s highest unemployment rates--Obion, Gibson and Carroll.

Unfortunately, the local unemployment picture reflects that of the entire state, with unemployment increasing in 86 of the state’s 95 counties. It only decreased in five and remained the same in four counties. Of the counties that decreased, Stewart County is the only one in our area which fits that description.

The state’s unemployment rates for July 2014 were released today by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce.

Among our local counties, the one with the highest unemployment rate is Weakley Co., at 14 percent. It is ranked 94th highest out of the state’s 95 counties. Weakley County showed a huge jump in unemployment, rising to 14 percent in July, after posting 11.8 percent in June.

Obion and Carroll Counties both have 11 percent unemployment and are ranked 87th and 88th highest in the state.

Other counties in our area and their rates: Benton County is now at 10.1 percent, up from 9.8 percent in June; Henry is at 9.9 percent, up from 8.9 percent in June; Stewart is 8.7 percent, down from 9.1; Obion is 11 percent, up from 10.3 percent; Carroll also is 11 percent and up from 10.3 percent.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in July at 6.3 percent, up from 6.0 in June. Knox County was 6.6 percent in July, up from 6.3 in June. The Hamilton County July rate was 7.8 percent, up from 7.2 in June. Shelby County was 9.0 percent in July, up from 8.8 in June. Tennessee’s unemployment rate for July was 7.1 percent, five tenths of one percentage point higher than the 6.6 June revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for July was 6.2 percent, up from 6.1 percent in June.

Four Arrested After Undercover Drug Buy

   Minyard Ingram                        Starlyn Clark                             Kelsy Underwood

Paris, Tenn.-Four Paris residents, including one juvenile, were arrested on a variety of drug charges following an undercover operation by the Henry County Metro Unit, Paris Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Department and Henry Police Thursday.

According to Paris Police Sgt. Ricky Watson-who heads the Metro Crime Unit--the arrests were made as the result of an undercover drug buy at the corner of Joe and Sanders Streets. 

Arrested were Minyard Ingram, age 22, of 205 Joe Street,  on charges of sale and delivery of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and simple possession of marijuana.

Also arrested during Starlyn Clark, age 19 of 403 Clark St., and Kelsy Underwood, age 18 of 8705 Hwy. 641 S, both charged with simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

A juvenile was also arrested and charged with simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. The vehicle the four were in was seized.

All of the adult suspects have a pending court date of August 26.

Chamber Learns About Workers' Compensation Reform

Paris, Tenn.-Mike Jones of the firm of Wimberley-Lawson, spoke about workers’ compensation law reform for the human resource law seminar at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce this week. (Chamber photo).

Martin Man Charged in Deputy Assault

Martin, Tenn.-A Martin man is in jail after he was charged with trying to run over a Weakley County deputy with his motorcycle.

Arrested was Tamee Hyde, 56. He is being held in the Weakley County Jail, charged with aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident, driving on revoked license, seventh offense, and having no insurance.

According to the Martin Police report, dispatch was notified shortly after midnight Thursday that a motorcycle was fleeing north on Hwy. 45 from Greenfield from Weakley County Sheriff’s Deputies.

Deputies chased Hyde to Lone Oak Circle where Deputy Bryan Chandler exited his patrol car in an attempt to stop Hyde. Hyde then tried to run the deputy over, striking him on the shin with his motorcycle.

The chase finally ended when Hyde stopped at 113 Walters Street in Martin, where he was taken into custody.

Deputy Chandler did sustain an abrasion and knot on his shin. The incident is still under investigation.

Chess Classes To Be Offered

Murray, Ky. — Adults and teens, age 16 and older, have the opportunity to learn and understand the beauty and logic of the ancient game of chess through a workshop offered at Murray State University. Registration is open now for the classes.

“Beginning Chess: For Adults Wanting to Play and/or Teach” will cover topics such as understanding the value and movement of the pieces, basic techniques and tactical themes. By the end of the three-session workshop, players will progress into learning strategic approaches and have the tools to teach others the game.

The workshop is perfect for parents, grandparents and educators, and any other adults and older teens who want to learn a fun game and share it with others. The cost is $25 and the workshop meets on consecutive Mondays, Sept. 8, 15 and 22, from 5:30-7 p.m.

“Beginning Chess” is taught by Dr. Wayne C. Bell, a retired professor of mathematics at Murray State. Bell is recognized by the U.S. Chess Federation as a national tournament director and national chess coach, and is a 2014 inductee of the Kentucky Chess Association Hall of Fame.

The workshop is presented through a partnership between the MSU Center for Continuing Education and the Mur-Cal Chess Club. The class will meet in Room 109 of Faculty Hall on Murray State’s campus.

To register, call 270.809.3659 or email (include name, address, phone number and email address). Payment will be made with cash or check on the first night of the workshop. The registration deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 3; space is limited.

Boy Scout Signup is Next Week

Paris, Tenn.-Boys can sign up for the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 26, at Lakewood Elementary School in Paris.

Cub Scouts is for boys from 1st through 5th grades. Boy Scouts is for boys in 6th grade and above. Scout activities include fishing, hiking, camping, racing and more.

For more information call Jason and Tina Pooler 731-336-8932 or at

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Statom Speaks About His Job To Office on Aging

Lelan Statom, foreground, speaks as Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell listens. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Office on Aging had a treat in store for its visitors Thursday--a fish dinner cooked by county officials and a talk by long-time Channel 5 Weatherman Lelan Statom.

The fish and hush puppies were furnished by the Henry County Alliance and prepared by County Mayor Brent Greer, County Elections Commission Director Darrin Thompson, Veterans Services Director Bob Nolan and his assistant Neely Owens, Alliance Director David Hamilton and other volunteers.

Statom told the crowd, which included several county commissioners, Sheriff Monte Belew, Captain Damon Lowe, and County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins, that his job entails early and long hours, but he wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Raised in Dyersburg, Statom loved weather from an early age and had a weather station in his backyard when he was in middle school. 

Statom’s day begins at 2 a.m. as he said the Nashville stations keep airing news and weather earlier and earlier. Channel 5 and the other two stations now broadcast their early news at 4 and 4:30 a.m. “The Nashville stations are the first of the stations in the country to have our broadcasts on that early and some days we may have more people watching at those early hours than our later news broadcasts.”

Statom noted this is his 21st anniversary at the station and he said he loves it, “despite the ugly hour we have to get up.”

He said he considers it his job “to give you the most reliable forecast that I can. We’re never going to get to the point where we’re 100 percent right, but we are 85-95 percent correct. My problem is a lot of you don’t remember the forecasts that were right and you let us know it. But I’m alright with that. I’m getting a chance every day to have a job that was once my backyard hobby.”

Statom also took several questions from the audience.

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, left, and Neely Owens prepare the hush puppies.

Henry County Alliance Director David Hamilton, left, and Wayne Hicks breading and frying fish.

November Ballots in Henry, Obion County Will Be Crowded

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-There will be several contested races in the November municipal election in both Henry and Obion Counties. Candidates had until noon today to file their papers for the November 4 election.

In Henry County, four people are running for three seats on the Paris City Commission: Incumbents Sam Tharpe and Carlton Gerrell, along with Catherine Herrera and Robert Sleadd. Herrera tried for a city council position last time around and Robert Sleadd is a newcomer to running for city election, although not a political newcomer. He already serves on both the Paris Special Schools and Henry County Schools boards.

In Henry, Incumbent Mayor Joe Qualls will have a challenger in Michael Gross. In the alderman race, three incumbents Faye Lowry, Carl Koch and Cindy Rainey are running.

In Puryear, Incumbents Mackie Gallimore and Bryan Hall will be on the ballot. The Puryear Mayor is not on the ballot at this election.

Obion County will see a very crowded ballot and several contested races.

For Union City City Council, both Councilmen-at-large Terry Hailey and Jeffrey Scott Gabbert are on the ballot. In Ward 1, Daniel Legget is on the ballot.  

For Union City School Board, at-large members Anna Graham, Douglas Durkee, James Bondurant and Barry Adams will be on the ballot. as will Incumbents Ward 1 Glenda Caudle, Wade 3 Rev. Curtis McLendon and Ward 5 Dr. John Clendenin.

For Kenton, Mayor Virginia Davidson will run for the position again and running for Aldermen are john Simpson, John Maughan and Danny Jowers.

In Obion, Mayor Rodney Underwood will have opposition from Ivey “Glenn” Parnell. Running for Council are John Wherry, Ruth Barker, William Glover, Robert Anderson, james Depriest, Gracie Ashley and Michael Miller.

In Samburg, running for Aldermen are Edwin Fickle, June Fickle, Robert Hoffman, Grant Reed, and John Gleesner.

In South Fulton, running for city commission in Ward 2 is Kenneth Mayo and Ward 3, Tommy Pruett.

In Troy, two newcomers are running for Mayor: Deanna Chappell and Ronnie Johnson. 
Running for aldermen are James Mitchell, Ralph Wheatley, Ray Duren, Charles Bradley Walton, Bradley maunder, Lewis Solman, Jesse Whitesides, and Daniel Pardue.

In Woodland, William Mennes Jr. is running for alderman.

Wine in Supermarkets Issue on November Ballots

Union City, Tenn.-Union City voters will have another issue on an already crowded ballot to consider at the November 4 election.
A petition asking voters to decide whether wine should be sold in supermarkets was filed by the Thursday noon deadline and that issue will also be on the ballot. 

The petition was filed by E.W. James Supermarket.

Mayfield Man Arrested For Licking, Grabbing Faces

Mayfield, Ky. - A young Mayfield man was arrested getting very forward with both a juvenile and adult female at the Mayfield Walmart store. He already was banned from the Walmart store and was on probation.

Cody Sullivan, age 19, was charged with harassment, probation violation, criminal trespassing, and harassment with physical contact by police.

According to the report, Sullivan first tried to grab the face of a female juvenile, but she got out of his way. He then came up behind an adult female and turned the woman around and tried to kiss her. He missed and ended up licking her cheek.

He then left the store on food and ran from the area.

According to Mayfield Police, he earlier had been arrested for shoplifting at the store and had been banned.

Bela Fleck Album Features Knowles' Hand Crafted Banjos

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It’s safe to say that world-renowned banjo maestro Bela Fleck could have the pick of any banjo to play and to feature on the cover of his albums. 

But once again, Fleck has chosen banjos crafted by Dan Knowles of Paris to feature on his latest album with his musician wife Abigail Washburn.

At his shop, Knowles String Instruments, Dan and his son Sam, are master craftsmen of homemade instruments including one-of-a-kind guitars and banjos.

Knowles said the banjo that Bela is holding in the cover photos of his latest album was sold through Gruhn's Guitars in Nashville. 

“George Gruhn was at the time the sole dealer of my banjos,“ Knowles said. “Calvin Miner (of Gruhn's) had asked me to make something fancy like this, so I did. Bela bought it from Gruhn's for his wife Abigail Washburn.”

The banjo in the photo has been used before in other publicity materials from Fleck, Knowles said, including last years Flecktones tour poster. “It was also used with Abigail holding it on the cover of their Sparrow Quartet CD.”

Knowles said, “I feel tremendously thrilled and honored that Bela Fleck, who is undoubtably the finest 5-string banjo player alive today, would use one of my banjos.”

Knowles String Instruments is located at 107 Ruff St. in Paris. In addition to being a premier builder of instruments, Knowles is a celebrated performer, having won both the state and national banjo championships. He has performed at the Grand Ole’ Opry and on riverboats, among many venues.

Free Produce Giveaway in Cottage Grove Friday

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will be holding a free produce giveway beginning at 9 a.m. in Cottage Grove. The produce is from the sheriff’s office inmate garden.

The giveaway will be held in front of Boyd’s General Store and will continue until the produce is gone.

David Harris Named "Pride Of Obion County"

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Wal-Mart Manager David Harris has been selected as the 2014 Pride of Obion County in honor of his long-time civic and community involvements.

The Pride of Obion is bestowed on a deserving individual each year as part of the upcoming “Corn Fest” festivities in Obion County. As is tradition, Harris will be the guest of honor at the Corn Fest Pride of Obion County luncheon Wednesday, Sept. 10, at the Hampton Center in Union City. 

Tickets are on sale now through September 4. They are available at the Obion County Library for $15 each.

David has been married to his wife Susan for 25 years, and their son Bradley is attending college at UT Martin. As an active and long-time member of the First United Methodist Church of Union City, he has served on the Staff Parish Committee, the Finance Committee, was the Stewardship Chairman in 2012, and is the pianist for the Character Builders Sunday School Class.

In the past, David has served on the Obion County Crime Stopper Board, Obion County Chamber of Commerce, the Obion County Cancer Board, and the Obion County Advisory Board. In 1998 he was chosen Young Business Man of the Year and was the Superintendent of the Junior Art Department of the Obion County Fair.

Currently, he is a board member of the United Way of Obion County after serving as Chairman of the Board in 2012. He is active in the Obion County Kiwanis Club which focuses on children’s issues both in Obion County and around the world. The club rewarded his outstanding commitment by naming him Kiwanian of the Year in 1998 and again in 2011. David serves on the Obion County Community Workforce Development Board of Directors and has been a member of the Executive board since 2010. He is a member of the Obion County Drug Coalition and serves on the Board of directors for WLJT-DT (Public Television) that provides both entertainment and educational services to Obion County and West Tennessee. David is also on the board of Adult Leadership Obion County. 

In his spare time, he volunteers for the Main Street Preservation project and supports the Union City Boys and Girls Club, the Community Concert Association, the Obion County Salvation Army, the Obion County Hometown Walk of Hope, Reelfoot Rural Ministries, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Chimes for Charity.

Rusty Relics Sidewalk Sale Set This Weekend

Hazel, Ky.-The annual Rusty Relics sidewalk sale will be held in Hazel, Ky., all day on Saturday, August 23. Beginning at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the many antique shops of Hazel will be featuring a mixture of garden items, tools, furniture, mirrors, ladders, accessories and more both inside their shops and outside on the sidewalks.

Refreshments will be served and there will be drawings for give-aways.

Discovery Park Offering Painting Classes

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America is offering two new six week introductory painting classes for both children and adults beginning Tuesday, September 2nd and continuing through Tuesday, October 7th.   Space is limited and seats will be sold on a first-come, first served basis.  

Painting for Children will meet each Tuesday from 4:00 – 5:00 in the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) at Discovery Park.  This six week course is designed to provide children ages 8 – 15 with an introduction to painting.  No experience is required and all materials will be supplied.  The cost is $60 for Discovery Park members and $65 for non-members.  

Introduction to Painting will meet each Tuesday from 6:00 – 7:30 in the LEC.  This six week course is designed for adult beginners, ages 16 and up.  Participants will learn various styles and techniques of painting with acrylic paints and watercolors.  The course fee includes all materials, including a 24-color Pelikan© watercolor paint set.  

You can enroll in Painting for Children or Introduction to Painting at the ticket counter at Discovery Park or by calling 731-885-5455.  Payment is due at the time of registration. 

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

Sign-Ups Underway For Union City Youth Soccer

Union City, Tenn.-It’s youth soccer time in Union City. If you have a child between the ages of 4 – 14 you are invited to sign them up for Union City Youth Soccer. 

You can register Saturday, August 23rd at the Obion County Public Library from noon until 3 p.m., then again Monday, August 25th from 6 pm until 7:30 pm. Registration fee is $45. 

Coaches and referees are needed, too– so please sign up to volunteer and help the kids have a great fall soccer season. For updates, like us on facebook at Union City Youth Soccer. 

Union City Man Cited After Dog Growls At Postman

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was cited for harbouring a vicious animal after her pit bull got loose and growled at a city postman.

According to the police report, a postman was attempting to deliver mail in the 900 block of Second Street Tuesday when a pit bull broke its chain and growled at him.

Jamison Sims of 917 S. Second St. was cited and the dog was put back in the house.

Stewart Co. Election Commission Arguing Over Complaint

Dover, Tenn.-The Stewart County Election Commission is having a bit of an internal scuffle after Chairman Kyle Mallory filed an official complaint with the Registry of Election Finance. He claimed that Tennesseans For Fair Courts Political Action Committee operated in concert with State Supreme Court Justices Wade, Clark and Lee in their campaigns for re-election.

Mallory alleges in the complaint that donations to the campaigns were subject to campaign finance limits and were in excess of campaign donation limits.

Commission Member Martha Jo Vaughn took exception with Mallory, not because he filed the complaint but because he signed it as “Stewart County Election Commission Chairman”, which she feels implies that his complaint was approved by the election commission as a whole.

At a recent meeting of the commission, Vaughn noted that the complaint was filed in the election commission offices, to which she objected.

According to the Stewart-Houston Times, Vaughn said, “That was your private business. It was never discussed here. It doesn’t need to be in the files of this office.”

Mallory reportedly responded, “I took an oath to uphold the constitution (when I became) chair of this board. If I see someone violating the law, I am obligated to do something about it.”

McKenzie OKs Budget, Raises

McKenzie, Tenn.-The McKenzie Mayor and Council recently approved a $6.8 M budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year that includes pay raises for employees.

City Finance Director Charlie Beal told the McKenzie Banner the budget includes a two percent pay raise for employees, $165,000 for street paving and an estimated $5,800 in revenues over expenses.

Additionally, property taxes will remain at $1.11 per $100 in assessed value.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Blast From The Past: WTPR on "Mule Day"

Paris, Tenn.-This will be a pleasant blast from the past for many. Henry County’s longest-running radio station WTPR is shown broadcasting from Mule Day in 1947 on the court square in Paris. In its early years, WTPR was located on the second floor of Lucky’s Hardware at the corner of Wood and Market Streets (where Wallin’s Hardware was most recently located). The station routinely showcased local musical acts, with live performances from the control booth at the radio station. In this photo you see on stage front Slim Hollingsworth talking to Joe Brandt, the announcer. Alvis Wall is on fiddle and Billy Joe Wall is on guitar. On stage rear, the recently-departed Bun Wilson is on guitar, Ruby Hollingsworth, and David Simmons on steel. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Simmons Rhodes, daughter of David Simmons).

Wade Promoted To Assistant Chief

Paris, Tenn.-Long-time Paris Firefighter Chuck Wade has been promoted to the position of Assistant Chief to replace the late Jeff Hamlin, who died in a car wreck in July.

Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams said that Wade has been with the department for 14 years. Wade currently is Fire Marshal for the department and Williams said, “He has served well as a fireman and has exceptional knowledge of the fire code. I’ll miss him as Fire Marshal but I won’t lose his knowledge.”

Williams said Wade will be stepping down as Fire Marshal and applications are open for that position until 4 p.m. Friday.

The other Assistant Chief for the department is Randall Jones.

"Vol Calls" Kicks Off Season Wednesday Night
Airs On Our Radio Stations

Knoxville, Tenn-“Vol Calls”, the official statewide call-in radio show for the University of Tennessee Volunteers kicks off its 27th season Wednesday night, August 20th, on our radio stations. It will be aired from Calhoun’s On the River in downtown Knoxville. 

The one-hour show airs at 7 p.m. Central and 8 p.m. Eastern across the state of Tennessee. Our stations air “Vol Calls” on WENK WTPR AM1240 AM710 FM101.7 throughout the football season.

The 2014 season debut will feature a taped interview with Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and live, on-site appearances by Jeff Jarnigan, the new public address announcer at Neyland Stadium and NASCAR driver and Vol fan Trevor Bayne. ESPN correspondent and Knoxville resident Chris Low is also scheduled to join the show from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn. 

Bob Kesling, the voice of the Tennessee Volunteers and UT’s director of broadcasting, serves as the show’s host and is joined by Vol Network veteran Brent Hubbs to answer questions and provide insight into University of Tennessee athletics.
Once football season kicks off, University of Tennessee Head Football Coach Butch Jones will appear on-site at Calhoun’s On the River during game weeks to answer questions from the live audience and take calls for approximately 30 minutes. Kesling, Hubbs and Coach Jones will be joined by guests and former Vol standouts during the course of the season.

Located on the Tennessee River in the shadows of Neyland Stadium, Calhoun’s On the River will be the home of “Vol Calls” for a third season. Famous for its award-winning ribs, BBQ and other delicious Southern dishes, Calhoun’s is one of Tennessee’s most famous landmark restaurants. The restaurant will give away prizes each week during football season through its Facebook and Twitter pages including two game tickets and two corporate hospitality passes for each home UT football game. Weather permitting, some shows during the season will be held out on the restaurant’s large deck overlooking the Tennessee River and Neyland Stadium. 

“Vol Calls” is the exclusive radio program and event where Tennessee fans can call in and talk with the head coaches of the Volunteers and Lady Vols. Fans can place a “Vol Call” anywhere in the United States by dialing 1-800-688-8657 or Tennessee customers of Verizon can dial #TENN. Patrons at Calhoun’s On the River may ask a question in person and fans may also submit questions through the IMG-Vol Network Facebook page. 

The program can be heard on close to 50-plus radio stations across the state of Tennessee and the Southeast on the Vol Radio Network. The weekly program can also be heard online live or archived for free each week through

UTM Students Moving On Campus

Martin, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee at Martin welcomes the class of 2018  Thursday, Aug. 21, as more than 1,100 freshman students arrive in Martin and move into residence halls. 

The new students will participant in the First-Year Initiative Welcome Weekend, an orientation program that prepares students for fall classes that begin Monday, Aug. 25.

After Welcome Weekend, students will participate in the semester-long General Studies 101 class that prepares and positions first-year students to achieve academic and social success. 

Following Thursday’s move-in, First-Year Initiative activities include a 5 p.m. opening ceremony Friday in the Elam Center, orientation sessions all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and a combination student organization fair and city of Martin merchants fair beginning at 5 p.m., Monday, also in the Elam Center. The university’s Division of Student Affairs and the city of Martin will co-sponsor the fair. 

Final enrollment numbers will be official after the 14th day of classes in September. Total enrollment will include students at the Martin campus and the university’s centers in Jackson, Parsons, Ripley and McNairy County/Selmer. Fall 2013 enrollment was 7,423 students.

Free ACT, SAT Prep Available on State Electronic Library

Free ACT and SAT test prep is available in the Tennessee Electronic Library Many high school students will take the ACT test on September 13. Be sure that your kids are ready for college with the free practice tests, e-books and tutorials in the Tennessee Electronic Library. Test Prep in TEL includes the ACT, SAT and eight different Advanced Placement tests, as well as writing tutorials and tools for crafting the perfect college admissions essay.

Check it out at !

Obion County Budget Includes Pay Raises

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Commission has approved its operating budget for Fiscal 2015 which includes a two percent pay raise for county employees.

The budget also includes $8.5 million in the general fund, $6.6 million in the highway public works fund, $27.3 million in the school fund and $1.5 million in debt service.

The county tax rate will remain the same at $2.00 outside Union City and $1.65 inside Union City. 

Department Heads Not Required To Live In Union City

Union City, Tenn.-Union City City Council Tuesday night rejected a resolution that would have required department heads to live within the city limits.

Councilmen Bill Harrison and Bill Jack Cranford had pushed for the change that would have required department heads to live in the city and pay city taxes.

The other five council members voted to continue to allow department heads to reside outside city limits, their thinking being that the city needs to be able to hire and promote the best people for the job no matter where they live.

Council also voted unanimously to solicit bids for the demolition of the old Central Elementary School Building, which has been abandoned for several years. The columns and header on the building would be moved to Discovery Park of America.

"Bless You" Draws Suspension

Dyer County, Tenn.-A Dyer County High School student reportedly received in-school suspension for saying ‘Bless you” when a fellow student sneezed. The ongoing situation has received attention from the media statewide and nationally.

According to numerous media reports, when Senior Kendra Turner said “Bless you” to a fellow student, her teacher reportedly told her that was for church. Turner said she stood up for herself and was told to go to the administrator’s office.

The senior was later placed on in-school suspension for the rest of the class period.

The situation has been the subject of ongoing controversy within Dyer County High School.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

PSSD Good News: Staff Bonuses, Good State Reports, TutorTN

During welcome reception for new staff, Business Manager Mandy Hudgins, new Inman Assistant Principal Chris Hudgins and new Inman teacher Shanna Watkins talk things over. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Special Schools board of education started out the new school year on a positive note by approving a 2014-2015 budget which provides for a 1.5 percent bonus for teachers, $500 bonus for support staff and $250 for part-time personnel.

Board Chair Richard Edwards said, “I don’t think any system around us is able to give any kind of raise or bonus to their staff this year. I just think it’s great that our budget--and the people who do our budget--allows us to give a 1.5 percent bonus to the teachers and money also for the support staff and part-time staff. It’s great that we’re able to do that this year.”

Director of Schools Mike Brown had more good news for the board and district: preliminary state test data released this afternoon has shown PSSD in a very favourable light. “We’re not on any bad list for anything. None of our schools are on a priority list, none of that,” Brown said. “And I want to publicly thank the teachers, staff and administrators for all their hard work.”

A more indepth report will be provided at the September meeting, he said.

Early in the meeting, the board took a short break for a welcome reception for all the new teachers and administrators in the school system. There are two new Assistant Principals this year: Sandra Paschall at Rhea and Chris Hudgins at Inman School.

Other new staff includes-- Rhea:Lacy Scherer, Jordan Sheton; Ginger Oliver and Holly Lamer; Paris Elementary: Melissa Ridgeway (guidance counselor), Keisha Gulish, (nurse), Donna Thompson; Rikkilynn Brown, Jessica Homesley; Angela Winstead; Inman: Roddy Atkisson; Teresa Baker, Ed Nienaber, Amy Whitaker, Kyla Parker.

Instruction Supervisor Dr. Leah Watkins and W.G. Rhea Library Director Connie McSwain reported on TutorTn, the pilot program for which all schools in Henry County were selected to participate.

A feature article on the free tutoring service was published on this website on August 13.

The new service is available to Rhea Library users attending any level of school, from kindergarten through college. Students simply visit and enter their library card numbers to connect with expert tutors for one-to-one homework help or tutoring sessions in online classrooms.

Watkins said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for our students and a tremendous cost-saving for our parents.” She emphasized the service does not do homework for students and that the 2500 tutors are carefully screened and provide quality tutoring services.

McSwain said praised the county and city schools and Secretary of State’s office for the collaborate effort and said that Henry County was selected for the pilot program “is a rare, rare experience.”

In other business, Brown reported enrollment for the district this year is 1,680 for kindergarten through eighth grades, Brown said, which is 19 less than last year.

Board Members Kim Foster (middle in orange) and Amy Cathey, right, welcome new teachers.

Henry County Deputies Arrest Buchanan Man in Firearms Theft

Investigator Gary Vandiver, left, and Deputy Wayne Fuqua and Cisco look over firearms recovered. (HC Sheriff's Office photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested a young Buchanan man in the theft of firearms and other items from a metal barn on Forsythe Road.

Arrested was Matthew Lee Ricker, age 19, of 5340 Buchanan Rd. He has been charged with burglary and theft of property over $1000 and is being held on $12,500 bond at the Henry County Jail. 

Property owners reported items stolen from the barn within the last week. The items included five firearms and bows.

On August 14, the property owner and a friend found two of the firearms and other items hidden in the woods behind the barn. Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco tracked the suspect, which resulted in the location of other evidence. 

The evidence they uncovered along with information from area residents led the investigation to the Ricker residence where the remaining firearms and bows were found.

Paris BPU’s Josh McCaslin Honored by TVPPA

Josh McCaslin (second from right), was one of five individuals who received Power Distribution Engineer certificates. Recipients are: from left, Ken McGee of Joe Wheeler EMC, Trinity, AL; Eric Phillips of Bowling Green, KY, MU; McCaslin and Brandon Hesson of Gallatin, TN, DE. Not shown is PDE recipient Brittany Jones of Sheffield, AL, Utilities. (TVPPA photo by Misael Dominguez)

Murfreesboro, Tenn.-Josh McCaslin of the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) was recently awarded the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association’s Power Distribution Engineer (PDE) designation.

McCaslin received his PDE certificate in Murfreesboro, at the organization’s Aug. 6-8 Engineering & Operations Conference. The presentation was made by TVPPA Chief Financial Officer and Director of Training John Cooke, who put the achievement into perspective.

“Owing to the unique nature of this program, a significantly greater level of commitment from participants, and their utilities, is required than is usually the case in other TVPPA certificate programs,” Cooke said.

The PDE is comprised of four courses and is designed to significantly enhance the skills and abilities of entry-level engineers working in a distribution utility. The program is intended to provide participants with formal power-engineering courses they may not have had in their undergraduate studies, but is also an ideal refresher for those seeking to “brush-up” their day-to-day engineering skills.

“All of us at Paris BPU congratulate Josh on his having earned his PDE,” according to BPU General Manager John Etheridge. “Josh plays a key role in helping us serve our customers to the best of our ability every day, and we appreciate that service.”

The Tennessee Valley Public Power Association (TVPPA) is the non-profit, regional service organization representing the interests of the 155 consumer-owned electric utilities that purchase wholesale power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and distribute it to 9 million customers in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Courthouse is Beautiful From All Angles

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Courthouse is beautiful from all different angles, as seen in this photo taken before Monday night’s meeting of the county commission. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Students Can Begin Signing Up For "Tennessee Promise"
Free Tuition For Community Colleges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-Tennessee’s high school seniors now will have an unprecedented opportunity: to attend any community college in the state for free beginning in 2015, and beginning this month until November 1, they can begin signing up for it.

It’s called the “Tennessee Promise” program and Governor Bill Haslam has been heavily promoting it around the state. Monday, he was in West Tennessee, reminding seniors of the November 1 deadline.

In a press release issued by the governor’s office, Haslam said, “Earlier this year, working with the General Assembly, we passed the Tennessee Promise, a new scholarship program that provides two years of community or technical college to graduating high school seniors absolutely free of tuition and fees.”

The Class of 2015 will be the first to take advantage of this program, Haslam said. Starting this month through Nov. 1, “we are encouraging high school seniors to go online at to sign up.”

With this program, Tennessee will be the first and only state in the country to offer high school graduates two years of community or technical college tuition-free along with the support of dedicated volunteers and mentors to help make sure the students succeed, Haslam said.

Students who receive the scholarship will be required to complete eight hours of community service each semester and pay for books and supplies.

“For many families, cost has been one the biggest hurdles to higher education,” according to Haslam. “With the Tennessee Promise, we hope this first two years of tuition-free college will help make it more affordable for more of our students to earn a certificate or degree beyond high school.”
In the next decade, 55 percent of Tennesseans will need a certificate or degree beyond high school to get a job, but today, only 32 percent of Tennesseans qualify, he said. “While we know that college isn't for everyone, it has to be a reality for more Tennesseans than it is today.”

Haslam called on each county and school to begin spreading the word about the program. Adults ready to volunteer as mentors can also sign up now at, he said.

UT Drum Line Tune-Up Day is This Weekend

Preparing for the annual Drum Line Tune-Up Day. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – The 10th Annual Drum Line Tune-Up Day for high school marching bands is set for 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23, in the Band Room of the Fine Arts Building on the University of Tennessee at Martin main campus.

The schedule for the event includes working with individual school bands, split into seven groups. Groups one, two and three are: Liberty Tech High School, led by Ben Martin; Huntingdon High School, led by Jill Bonds; and South Gibson County High School, led by Stephen Price. These groups will perform from 8:30-11:20 a.m., followed by a door prize drawing and a lunch break from 11:30-12:30 p.m. 

A group photo will be taken following lunch, and at 12:40 p.m., the UT Martin Marching Percussion Section will give a demonstration. From 1-1:30 p.m., guest artist Julie Davila will hold a marching percussion clinic. 

Another door-prize drawing will be held, followed by the performances of groups four, five, six and seven: Munford High School, led by Barry Troubaugh and Gary Fite; Stewart County High School, led by Phil and Josephine Bossenberger; McNairy Central High School, led by Ryan Foret and Micaiah Radcliffe; and Waverly Central High School, led by Joseph Bullington and Clint Rawls. 

Those attending can purchase as many door prize tickets as they wish at $1 each. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, call the UT Martin Department of Music, 731-881-7402.

Quota Social Gathering Coming Up

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Quota annual Hog Killing Pot Luck will be Tuesday, October 14,  at the home of Melanie and Tommy Townsend. It will be outside and the social gathering will be at 5:30 pm and dinner will be at 6 pm.  Members were urged to feed their pigs.  In case of rain; another location will be announced.

At its meeting last week, a library committee was formed, with Kayla Nation as Chairman and Members Donna Winders and Jackie Jones.

Those celebrating Quota anniversaries were:  Connie Anthony – 5 years; Linda Foulks – 2 years; Elizabeth Craig – 22 years; Jackie Jones – 2 years; Val Routon – 2 years; Gina Olds – 10 years and Martha Simpson – 6 years; for a total of 49 years of service.

A thank you note was read for donations made to the TN Veterans Home and an invitation to the West Memphis Picnic on August 23 was read.

Carman Wright and Becki White chose to donate the 2nd Quarter Pocket Change to the Veterans Committee.   
Members voted to make a donation to Tomorrow’s Hope Pregnancy Program.

March 13-15, 2015 will be the first Quota Regional Meeting and it will be held in New Orleans, LA.  Members are still discussing chartering a bus for approximately $230 each.  There are 22 seats available on the bus and they will invite non-Quotarians who might like to make a short visit to New Orleans to join them for the trip.  Participants will leave Paris on Wednesday and return on Sunday.  If interested; contact Moore for further information.

The next meeting will be on August 27, which is Paris Quota’s 54th birthday.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Paschall Receives County's Highest Honor
No Fly Zone Honored; French Sworn In

Long-time County Commissioner Dan Paschall, left, receiving the county's highest honor from County Mayor Brent Greer. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Long-time Henry County Commissioner Dan Paschall was honored at his last meeting Monday night with the highest honor that can be bestowed on a countian, the Loyal Patriot Award.

A surprised and emotional Paschall was given the award by County Mayor Brent Greer at the meeting, along with a resolution honoring Paschall for his service. In the resolution, Greer called Paschall “a true public servant.”

“The life of Dan Paschall has been characterized by his public service involvement in county and community affairs with care and concern for his fellowman,” Greer said, noting that Paschall has shared a substantial portion of his “earthly life to the betterment of Henry County and its citizens by serving over 20 years in many public capacities,” including the county commission and Henry County Schools board of education.

Greer said the commission was honored to be associated with him and that he will be greatly missed.

Paschall said, “The Good Lord told Adam and Eve to tend their garden and I believe that was his way of telling all of us to try to make his world a nicer place to live.”

Paschall received a standing ovation from the commissioners and audience members.

Earlier in the meeting, the commissioners also honoured the Henry County No Fly Zone scholastic clay target program, whose members won the national championship in the junior varsity division and other awards.

In a resolution read by Greer, it was noted that the junior varsity team of Hunter Fletcher, Caleb Orr and Brian Ray won the national championship; and that the team of Gray Gardner, Scott Hicks and Drew James took the silver medal in the intermediate advanced division.

Additionally, individual honors went to Shelby Summers at the highest girl scorer in the rookie division, as well as the most decorated shooter, and Kenzie Williams as the highest girl scorer in the intermediate advanced division. The rookie division team of Sawyer Williams, Shelby Summers and Dalton Dodd took home the fourth place medal.

Greer also recognized Coaches Bill Neese and Drew Williams for “their tireless work with these young athletes.”

Neese noted that the No Fly Zone has won its second national championship and fourth state championship and that “If all the kids in the country were like these, you could cut your law enforcement budget by one-fourth.”

The No Fly Zone also received a standing ovation.

In other business: 

--The commission formally accepted the resignation of Henry County Trustee David Stone. Newly-elected Trustee Randi French was sworn in by County Clerk Donna Craig.

--Greer announced that a formal swearing-in ceremony for all commissioners and other constitutional offices will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 28, at the courthouse.

--Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell announced Channel 5 weatherman Leland Statom will appear at the senior citizens center at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The Henry County No Fly Zone and its coaches Bill Neese and Drew Williams were honored.

Newly-elected Henry County Trustee Randi French, right, sworn in by County Trustee Donna Craig. 

Arrest Warrants Issued in Union City Armed Robbery

           Jesse Hailey                                   Kristi Copeland

Union City, Tenn. - Two Kentucky residents are being sought in connection with the armed robbery of a convenience store in Union City last week.

The Union City Police have issued arrest warrants for Jesse Hailey, age 20, of Mayfield, and Kristi Copeland, age 33 of Wingo. According to police, the suspects' vehicle was found in Lone Oak Friday by the McCracken County Sheriff's Department.

The Maverick convenience store at 420 E. Reelfoot Ave. was robbed at gunpoint at 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday and police distributed a surveillance photo of a suspect during the robbery to the media last week.

Anyone with any information on Hailey and Copeland’s whereabouts is urged to contact your local law enforcement agency, the Union City Police Department at 731-885-1515. You can also contact Crime Stoppers at 731-885-TIPS.

Celebrate The Arts With Lee Academy On Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The Lee Academy For the Arts will hold a Celebrate The Arts event Saturday, August 23, with a variety of classes, demonstrations and seminars on tap. Refreshments and door prizes also will be part of the festivities. A photography exhibit and ceramics exhibit also will be offered to the public.

The Lee Academy is located at 402 Lee St., Paris, and it is a center where classes in all types of art are offered.

On Saturday, a photography seminar will be conducted by Jeff Rousch from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a lunch break. There is a fee.

Master Classes will be offered through the day on stained glass by Sandee Green, ceramics by Martin Paschall, basket weaving by Lisa Rhodes and drawing by Gene Snowden.

Sessions at either 10 am to noon or 2 pm to 4 pm. Fee per session is $15.

To enroll call 642-3411 and leave a message.

Demonstrations also will be held in Voice and Piano, Belly Dancing, Yoga, Ball Room Dancing/ Visit what classes interest you from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm 

Refreshments and door prizes in the Lunchroom at 1:30 pm 

Jim Young Named National FFA Finalist

Jim Young, left, accepts an award for winning the State Beef Production Placement Proficiency at the State FFA Convention from National FFA Secretary Mitch Baker. 

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Future Farmers of America has a lot to crow about right now. The organization can boast of four American Degree recipients this year, one of whom is a national finalist.

FFA Advisor Laura Moss said, “Melinda Perkins, Brooke Rose, Savannah Rose and Jim Young have attained the highest degree that an FFA member can receive. Only 0.6% of the National FFA membership qualify for this honor.“ Moss is also the Henry County High School Agriculture teacher.

Young's proficiency in Beef Production was named as a National Finalist, which means it is one of the top 4 proficiencies in that area. He will be competing at National Convention for the coveted title of National Champion. 

The Henry County Chapter was designated a National 3 Star for their National Chapter Application.  Moss said, “This is based off the Chapter's Program of Activities. The process began when the chapter was named a State Superior Chapter in March and then through an application, the chapter was selected as one of the top 19 from Tennessee to advance to Nationals.”

The National FFA Convention will be held Oct 28-Nov 1 in Louisville, Ky.

Everclear To Headline Final Discovery Park Summer Concert

Union City, Tenn.- The band Everclear will take center stage at Discovery Park of America this weekend for its final summer concert in their summer concert series. The concert will be held Saturday, August 23 on the Great Lawn, and also appearing are the bands Tonic and Vertical Horizon.

Discovery Park’s first summer concert series has been a great success, with Charlie Daniels‘ Band, Starship, Survivor, Sawyer Brown and The Outlaws drawing huge crowds. “The response has been good this year,” Rippy said.  “We have learned a lot, and plan to continue to bring top acts to the area in the future.” 

To show appreciation to members, previous concert attendees and daily guests, Discovery Park has discounted the price of the tickets to the final concert for a limited time.  “Now through August 22nd, our members and guests can purchase tickets at a discount for this concert,” Rippy said.  

A single ticket will sell for $40 and anyone purchasing two or more tickets can get them for $35 each through August 22.  All tickets will go back to the original price of $45 on August 23, the day of the show.   

Doors will open at 6 p.m. with music starting at 7:30.  Concert goers are advised to bring their own bag chair or blanket.  Coolers, umbrellas, tents and outside food and drink are not allowed.  There will be food and beverage available on site.

Two Union City Teens Charged With Kidnapping, Assault

Union City, Tenn.-One Union City teenager is in custody and the second is still being sought on long lists of charges, including aggravated assault, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery with a firearm, and burglary.

Seeuntay Montez Pirtle of 601 Division St., is in custody and Union City Police are still seeking Anthony Tyron Harris of 625 N. First St. Both are 19 years old.

According to the police report, around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Pirtle and Harris approached a car on Exchange Street in which a couple were sleeping. They entered the vehicle and the male victim scared them off temporarily.

Pirtle and Harris reportedly returned, pointing guns at them and demanding money. According to the report, Pirtle detained the male victim at gunpoint while Harris took the female victim into a house, demanding money from her and other females in the residence.

Harris reportedly obtained $20 from the victims and both he and Pirtle fled the area on bicycles.

Bethel Welcomes New Nursing Class

McKenzie, Tenn. – Bethel University welcomed its latest group of bachelor of science in nursing students last week. Those in the new class include (front row, from left): Maria Escamilla, Caitlin Harper, Morgan Barnett, Tianna Cann, Marlena Durdin, Mishel Castro, Alexandria Wimberly, Janet Burcham, Leslie Cathey, Camille Cooper, Loren Tubbs, Kaitlyn Wood, and Deanna Irvin; (back row, from left): Alex Crittenden, Kelly Ables, Liliana Mora, Nathan Andresen, Kyle Leighton, Chelsey Queen, Meagan Flick, Jillian Pope, Jay Pope, Rachel Simko, Stacy Creamer, Rachael Perrault, Sarah Hatler, Michael Holt, Heather Merrell, Kyle Trent and Spencer Via.

Bethel University’s bachelor of science in nursing program prepares its graduates for entry level registered nurse positions in primary, secondary, and tertiary health care settings and for entry into graduate studies which lead to advanced degrees in nursing. Bethel’s nursing program was recently ranked among the top 22 of 704 BSN programs in the nation after achieving a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensing Examination (among those who took the exam from April to September 2013).

For more information about Bethel University’s nursing program contact Kim Hammonds at 731-514-1410 or at For more information about Bethel University, go to

Henry County Historical Society To Meet Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Historical Society will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, August 21, at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. 

President David Webb will give a presentation on the route of theTrail of Tears through Henry County known as Benge's Route. 

Webb has been working closely with National Park Service staff to plot, as closely as possible, the original Trail of Tears route through the county. The Trail came through Henry County along Reynoldsburg Road, to Market Street, turning west onto Rison Street, and then westward on Jones Bend Road. 

Officers for the 2014-15 year will be elected at the August meeting. 

You are invited to join and contribute to the Henry County Historical Society’s Facebook page. 

Annual dues of $5 are due by September 1stfor the 2014-2015 membership year. You may mail your dues to Donna Winchester, treasurer, at 715 Old Union Road, Paris, Tennessee 38242 or you may bring your dues to the August meeting.

UC Man Charged With Criminal Trespassing

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police arrested a 41-year-old Union City man Saturday night for criminal trespass after he walked onto private property and tried to get into two vehicles belonging to the property owner.

Arrested was James Taylor Alexander of 505 Nash St.

The victim reported seeing a man he didn’t know on his property and gave a description of him to police. Police found Alexander on East Vine St. and the victim was able to gave a positive identification of him.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Alabama Angler Wins Big Bass Splash

Buchanan, Tenn.--After two days of fishing on Kentucky Lake, Brett Bell of Scottsboro, Alabama won the McDonald's Big Bass Splash at Paris Landing State Park. He took home a brand new 2014 Triton 18XS powered by Mercury Marine.

2nd Place Overall- Brad Jones- McKenzie, Tenn- 6.99- $2500
3rd Place Overall- Brian Horton- Buchanan, Tenn- 6.99- $2000
4th Place Overall- Michael Prince- Tullahoma, Tenn- 6.95- $1500
5th Place Overall- Robert Garver- Stilwell, KS- 6.66- $1000

Elimination Winner- Zach Day- Richmond, Ind- Polaris Sportsman $400
Open Drawing Winner- Richard Spry- Deputy, Ind- $1000

Saying Goodbye To Obion County Fair From Above

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Fair in all its glory, as seen from atop the ferris wheel. (Mitzi Hailey photo).

Obion County Fair Ends With A Bang
Joe Totty of Dresden won first place and $1,000 in the demo derby. (Brent Hinson photo).

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Fair ended with a bang Saturday night. A lot of bangs, in fact, thanks to the always-popular Demolition Derby.

Fair officials are saying that the crowds are up this year at the fair, for which they thank the good weather and a jam-packed schedule which included both old and new entertainment events. From the first day, which drew thousands to the fairgrounds, the crowds have been huge.

Winner of Saturday night’s Demolition Derby was Joe Totty of Dresden, who went home with $1000 more in his pocket for first place. 

Nightly drawing winner for Saturday night was Brent Davis of Martin, who won $1,000.

The last night’s activities also included the Wool and Woolies Revue, Market Lamb and Commercial Ewe Show and more musical entertainment from Pork McElhinny and the Fairshow Musical gang.

During the week, the Dixieland Carnival received kudos all around for its colourful and entertaining Midway show, which included circus performers. Dixieland Carnival was new to the Obion County Fair this year and it also is the company that provided the Midway attractions for the Henry County Fair.

The new Bullwhip Rodeo brought in the crowds, as did performers Rik Roberts as Barney Fife, Pork McElhinny, Avonlea and the local talent shown by the young people who performed the Fairshow Musicals throughout the week.

The truck and tractor pull drew huge crowds, too, continuing a tradition of tractor pulls which began right in Obion County, which was the first location for such an attraction in Tennessee.

Friday night’s nightly drawing winners were Theresa Readenour of Hornbeak, winner of $1,000; and Frank Supeck of Pennsylvania, who won the Pick Tennessee basket. 

Xavier Hinson and Fair Official Blake Laws pull out the ticket stub for the last night's drawing, while Mayor Terry Hailey, right, waits to read the winning number. (Brent Hinson photo).

The Early Birds Get The Fish

Buchanan, Tenn.-Boats lined up at Paris Landing State Park way before dawn Saturday morning for the Sealy Big Bass Splash tournament, which drew fishermen from all over the region. Sara Jo Sutherland of Buchanan captured this early-morning photo.

UTM Nursing Grads Achieve 100 Percent Pass Rate

Erica Glisson, of Dresden, is a member of the UT Martin Bachelor of Science in Nursing class of 2014. 

Martin, Tenn. — University of Tennessee at Martin nursing graduates in the class of 2014 achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. The NCLEX-RN measures the competencies needed for individuals to perform safely and effectively as newly licensed, entry-level nurses. 

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing implemented a test plan and increased passing standard change in 2013 to the NCLEX-RN. With this change, the passing rate for first-time, U.S.-educated nurses decreased nationally by nearly 10 percent. 

“This (100 percent pass rate) is especially exciting considering the difficulty of the exam,” according to Dr. Mary Radford, UT Martin nursing department chair. “We’ve taken significant steps to better prepare students for the test, and it has paid off. This result is a direct reflection of the hard work and effort of these graduates.”

UT Martin’s four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program includes one year of academic prerequisites and three years of nursing courses. The university’s BSN program is distinctive in offering three years of clinical nursing courses in a variety of health-care settings. This experience prepares graduates for entry-level registered nurse positions in primary, secondary and other health-care settings and for entry into advanced-degree nursing programs. 

The BSN degree is offered at the Martin campus and the UT Martin Parsons Center. An RN-to-BSN completion program is offered both online and at the UT Martin Ripley Center for students who have an associate degree or a diploma in nursing. 

UTM To Offer Photo Class in Paris

Paris, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer a basic digital photography course from 6-9 p.m., Tuesdays, Sept. 2-23, at the Robert E. Lee Academy for the Arts, 402 Lee St., Paris.

Roger Hughes, retired Special Agent in charge of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will instruct the course. Hughes is a 30 year veteran criminal investigator, and after years of photographing major crime scenes, evidence and surveillance targets, he began studying fine art imaging at the University of Tennessee, Rocky Mountain School of Photography. He has limited examples of his work at

The course will allow participants to make the most of their digital camera operations and use its advantages to improve photographic skills. Whether they are taking family snapshots or using professional techniques for maximum image creativity, this class will start participants on their way to being confident photographers. The course includes topics such as camera features and functions, exposure, composure, depth of field, focus, photography ideas and exercises in lighting, portrait, landscape, action and close-up shots. 

The registration fee to attend is $125 per person. Participants are required to bring a camera, the operations manual and a tripod. Printed and e-mail handouts will be available. E- mail and class evaluations of student images will be utilized. 

To register, contact ECOS at 731-881-7082, or register online at

Rhea Library Computer Lab Closed Wednesday Morning

Paris, Tenn.-The W. G. Rhea Public Library computer lab in Paris will be closed Wednesday, August 20, from 9 am to Noon for computer maintenance. Computer access will be limited during those hours.

Registration Open for Arts 'Round Square

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry Arts Council is seeking artists in a variety of mediums of fine arts and crafts for our Annual Arts Round the Square. Food Vendors may also apply. 

The event is slated for Saturday, September 27th, from 9 am-4 pm. Applications and rules can be found at the Arts Council website or at the Arts Council office. 

Deadline for all applicants is September 1. For more information contact the Arts Council Office at (731) 642-3955 or visit our website 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Obion County Fair Gears Up For Big Finale Tonight

The truck and tractor pull Friday night was a big hit, as always. (Mandy Hinson photo).

Union City, Tenn.-Saturday is a big day at the Obion County Fair, chock full of activities for its last day. From a pet show early in the morning to the mule show, garden tractor pull and Wool and Woolies Revue to the grand finale Demolition Derby, there will be plenty to entertain everyone.

9 a.m. Pet Show
10 a.m. Mule Show
Noon Garden Tractor Pull
2-6 p.m. Kids’ Day (Free admission for children)
3 p.m. Kids’ Bicycle giveaway
5 p.m. Wool and Woolies Revue
6 p.m. Market Lamb and Commercial Ewe Show
6 p.m. Pork McElhinny Concert on the Back Porch
7 p.m. Demolition Derby
7 & 9 p.m. Fairshow Musical
10:30 p.m. Nightly Drawing

The popular Fairshow Musical will have two more shows, at 7 and 9 p.m. tonight. (Mandy Hinson photo). 

Martin PD Adds New K-9 to Department 

Martin, Tenn. -- The Martin Police Department was recently presented with a K-9 Officer by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. The K-9, which specializes in explosive detection, was awarded to the agency after the death of its bomb dog “Fido” due to medical complications. 

The new K-9 is named “Ziggy” and will be partnered with Officer Marty McClure. McClure has handled and trained bomb dogs since 2003

“We are pleased to have been presented with our new canine Ziggy. He will serve as both an asset to the department and to the region,” Chief David Moore said. 

Ziggy is trained to search open areas, buildings and vehicles for the presence of explosive odors, including black powder, dynamite and C-4. He is also able to locate a variety of other explosives and chemicals used to manufacture explosive devices.

The bomb dog was purchased through state homeland security grant funds. 

“Canines play an important role in securing the safety of the citizens of Tennessee. It was important to provide an explosive detection dog that will assist the counties in the northwest region of the state,” Assistant Commissioner David Purkey said.  
Ziggy was delivered by handlers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol last week. 

Paris Radio Shack Opens at New Location

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Radio Shack manager Joshua Crowder, center with scissors, cut the ribbon to open the store's new location in the Walmart Shopping Center. The store is one of forty US new concept designs, focusing on future connectivity and the only store in Tennessee with a "Fix It" station to repair phones, tablets and other electronic devices on site.  (Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce photo).

State Unemployment for July at 7.1 Percent

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for July was 7.1 percent, five tenths of one percentage point higher than the 6.6 June revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for July was 6.2 percent, up from 6.1 percent in June.

Economic Summary
Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate decreased from 8.4 percent to 7.1 percent while the national rate declined from 7.3 percent to 6.2 percent. 
Total nonfarm employment increased 3,300 jobs from June to July. The largest increases occurred in mining/logging/construction, financial activities, and retail trade. 
Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 51,900 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation/utilities.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mayfield Man Charged in Death of Father

Mayfield, Ky.– A Mayfield man has been charged with manslaughter after the suspicious death of his father. 

Terry Hayes, age 44, of Mayfield was charged with one count of manslaughter in the first degree by the Kentucky State Police and he is being held at the Graves County Jail.

Just after 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 13, Kentucky State Police received a 911 call from a residence on Greg Street in Graves County. The caller, Terry Hayes, stated that he arrived home to find his father, Bailey Hayes, deceased. 

Troopers and detectives arrived at the residence to conduct a death investigation. Investigators soon determined the death to be suspicious and requested an autopsy to be performed. 

An autopsy of Bailey Hayes was performed on Thursday, August 14, at the Western Kentucky Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Madisonville. 

As a result of the autopsy and evidence at the scene of the death, State Police Detectives executed a search warrant at the Hayes residence. Additional items of evidence were collected which lead to the development of Terry Hayes as a suspect in the death of his father. 

On Thursday evening, detectives located, interviewed and subsequently arrested 44-year-old Terry Hayes. The investigation is continuing by Detective John Sims with the Kentucky State Police.

44th Annual Tractor Pull Set Tonight at Obion County Fair
First Tractor Pull in Tennessee Held in Obion County

Union City, Tenn.-The first tractor pull in Tennessee was held in Obion County (1970) in the front yard of James Harold Abbott residence 44 years ago before moving to
the then newly-built Obion County Fairgrounds. 

It was there the county served as host for several years to one of the South's largest NTPA
nationally sanctioned events Another of those shows is coming up soon when
pullers from six states are expected to converge on the fairgrounds in Union
City Friday night to compete for prize money and points in The Ken-Tenn. Pullers association.

Classes this year will be , 6,200 pound super modified two-wheel drive,
6,200 pound super modified four-wheel drive, and a HOT Farm tractor class Many pull fans have expressed that they'd like to see more super stock tractors, so we have added the 6,000 super stock class and a HOT Farm class" Wood said.

Modified tractors originated in the 1960s when pullers started mounting automobile and airplane engines in tractor frames. The iron competition in this division represents the wildest and most powerful show in pulling.

The single airplane engines are being supplemented by the multiple turbine
engines that can produce over 12,000 horsepower. Wood has been promoting
tractor pulls and monster truck shows for 40 years in 32 states and Canada.

"The last 12 to 15 years we have devoted most of our time to our cellular,
Internet, paging, two-way radio and tower erection business,“ according to Pat Wood of Wood‘s Cellular Source in Union City. "We still promote 2 or 3 pulls a year and help oversee the Obion County Fair Pull" as this is where it all Started in the South 44 years ago.

Big Bass Splash is This Weekend

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Sealy Big Bass Splash once again comes to Paris Landing State Park this week and registration for the fishing tournament begins Friday. The tournament will be held August 16-17.

Registration times are noon-8 p.m. Friday, August 15, and 5-6 a.m. August 16-17 at Paris Landing. Entry fees are $160 for one day and $210 for two days.

The well known Big Bass Splash is considered to be the world's largest amateur big bass fishing tournament and been featured on a National Geographic television special. The tournaments attract thousands of amateur anglers to these weekend contests on some of the country's best trophy bass lakes. Guides on those lakes and top-level professional anglers are not allowed to compete. Instead, the tournaments target everyday anglers, including children, with his fun and festive tournaments. 

$100,000 in cash prizes can be won and hourly payouts of $32,000 are awarded. Also money prizes for heaviest bass caught.

Edward Jones Football Challenge Set Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-Edward Jones Football Challenge is Friday night, Aug. 15 at Patriot Stadium on the Henry Co. High School campus. Admission is $6, children under 6 are admitted free. 6pm Martin-Westview Chargers vs. Stewart Co. Rebels 7pm McCracken Co. Mustangs vs. Henry Co. Patriots 8pm McCracken Co. Mustangs vs. Milan Bulldogs 9pm Dresden Lions vs. Murray Tigers.

Music, Tractor and Truck Pull, Beef Shows Today at Fair

Pork McElhinny has been performing nightly at the fair this week from the Back Porch Stage on the fairgrounds. (Brent Hinson photo).

Union City, Tenn.-Friday’s schedule at the Obion County Fair will feature more musical entertainment, the truck and tractor pull and beef shows. And, of course, there will be the nightly drawings.

On Thursday night, winners of the drawings were: Donnie Johnson of Union City, who won $1,000; and Mark Morgan of Troy, who won the Pick Tennessee basket.

Friday’s Fair Schedule

4 p.m. Junior & Open Beef Show
6 p.m. Pork McElhinny Concert on Back Porch Stage
7 p.m. Truck & Tractor Pull
7 & 9 p.m. Fairshow Musical
10:30 p.m. Nightly drawing

Races, Gourmet Food Trucks and More For McDonald Houses

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-If your kids have ever wanted to meet Ronald McDonald, this is their chance.

The Glow at Night races and Gourmet Food Truck Invasion will be held this weekend at Paris Landing State Park. The event will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities and will feature something for everyone.

The event will be held in conjunction with this weekend’s Big Bass Splash, an annual event which attracts people from all over the country.

The 5k run and two mile race will start at 7 p.m. following the one mile fun run for kids (age 5-12) at 6:30 p.m. Kids race and two mile walk will be $10 and the 5k race will be $15 in advance, $20 day of. 

Ronald McDonald will be attending to kick-off of the kids fun run and will announce the winners of the 5K race.

Gourmet Food Trucks will be set up around 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and kids’ bouncers and an alligator slide will be set up in the morning, too.

The Gourmet Food Trucks on hand will be the Lunch Rush, which features gourmet wraps, flatbread sammies, croissants, sweet potato fries with mallow drizzle and more goodies. Perry’s BBQ truck from Paris will feature pulled pork, BBQ nachos, smoked turkey legs and BBQ bologna.

According to Alane Paschall of McWorth Management in Paris, which is sponsoring the event, raffles will be held on a variety of items including large baskets full of goodies, a custom painted “Bass” rain barrel, a fish cooker (donated by Boyd’s of Paris), stainless grill tool in cases (donated by First State Bank), coolers filled with Allegro Marinades (donated by Allegro).

The proceeds from the raffles will be donated to Ronald McDonald Houses in Nashville and Memphis. The raffles will be drawn at 3 pm both days and also at 6 pm on Saturday.

Paschall said there will be lots of picnic tables set up for people to enjoy the great food and festivities.

For more information please contact Dede Meeks,, 731-642-4506 or 731-514-1933. 

Motorcycle Cage of Death Draws Crowds at Fair

Union City, Tenn.-The Motorcycle Cage of Death has been attracting attention at the Obion County Fair this week. Circus performers have been entertaining on the Midway as part of Dixieland Attractions. They perform two shows nightly. (Brent Hinson photo).

McConnell To Appear in Fulton Today

Fulton, Ky.-U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell will speak at 2:15 p.m. today at the Pontotoc Center in downtown Fulton. His appearance is sponsored by the Fulton County-Hickman County Economic Development Partnership, the Fulton County Fiscal Court and the city of Fulton.

Senator McConnell will be in Fulton to meet with residents of Fulton County and the surrounding counties to discuss issues of importance in our area and to give an update on the events in Washington D.C.

This event is open to the public and everyone is encouraged and invited to attend.

Quinn Chapel Cookbook Ready For Purchase

Paris, Tenn.-The Women of Quinn Chapel have published a cookbook entitled Blessings on the Table IV.

It has over 200 recipes from the best of Quinn's cooks. The cost is minimum donation of $15. “If they purchased Blessings on the Table III, then it is a must for IV to be in their home,” according to Wanda Todd. In order to purchase they may call the church at 642-8445 or

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Planning Commission Approves Kroger Fuel Center

Planning Commission members and city officials listen to Economic Director Jennifer Morris' reports. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission Thursday night approved construction of a Kroger Fuel Center that will be adjacent to the Kroger Store property at 1059 Mineral Wells Ave.

The Fuel Center will be developed on a .861 acre tract at the Paris Shopping Center in which Kroger is located. According to Paris Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris, the development proposes seven fuel islands along with a 159 square foot kiosk which will include the cashier’s space and restroom.

Morris said the landscaping areas and curbing proposed by Kroger will maintain the traffic pattern that already exists in the parking lot.

Development of the Fuel Center will eliminate 114 parking spaces, but Morris said required parking for the shopping center right now is 324 spaces. With the development, 332 spaces will remain, which Morris said is adequate.

The planning commission also approved a minor subdivision plat for the .861 acre parcel for the Kroger Fuel Center.

In other business, the planning commission continued a long-standing discussion of what should be proper sign regulations for the city. Controversial areas of the sign ordinance involve what should be proper regulations for temporary signs for political candidates, yard sale and garage sale signs.

Member Carlton Gerrell said, “There really should be a way to make this simple. People really feel like they’re being picked on” when the signs are removed or when people who put the signs up are told they cannot place them in certain areas.

“I think we should include people from the public in making these discussions,” Member Rachel Terrell said.

Morris said whatever is decided upon needs to be easily understandable and communicated well to the public.

--The planning commission also approved a minor site plan for the East Wood Church of Christ to place a 559 square foot accessory building on the northwest corner of the church parking lot.

Groundbreaking at Springville Pump House Ramp Area Held

Wielding the shovels at the ground breaking were: TWRA Commissioner Jeff Griggs, TVA Board Member Mike McWherter, TWRA Official Aldridge and County Mayor Brent Greer. (Chamber photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-Groundbreaking ceremonies were held today for improvements to the fishing pier and ramps at the Springville pump house. The renovations are a collaborate effort on behalf of the Tennessee Valley Authority and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

TVA Spokesperson Chris Stanley said TVA is working with the TWRA to replace a courtesy ramp as well as construct a handicapped-accessible ramp and fishing pier. “We are replacing the existing courtesy pier with a combined floating courtesy/fishing pier and providing handicapped parking and an accessible pathway,” Stanley said.

Additionally, TVA is replacing the structure to better accommodate both boat access and continued use for fishing, he said.  According to Stanley, the existing pier is in worn condition and offers limited function as a courtesy pier and the ramp serviced by the pier receives significant use by local community, as well as also being used as a popular fishing pier by the community.  

Speakers at today’s groundbreaking included Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, TVA Board of Directors member Mike McWherter, and TWRA Commissioner Jeff Greggs. Also present were other representatives of TVA and TWRA and officials with the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

Stanley said the pier is uniquely situated in that it supports fishing in the dewatering area discharge.  The original concept to build a stand-alone fishing pier was deemed not feasible and found to be undesirable by the fishing community, he said.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) manages the area for access on both sides of the dewatering levee. TWRA may also provide some labor in support of installing the ADA parking and pathway.   

Stanley said the project will be completed by September 1. 

Stanley said the improvements are part of  a comprehensive program to repair and rehabilitate this important wildlife management and recreation area begun by TVA in 2010.  

This work includes refurbishing electrical wiring, repairing and replacing all of the dewatering pumps; refurbishing the emergency spillway by bringing it back to its original grade and seeding it, and making all necessary repairs to the pump house.  These repairs are still ongoing. 

Showing Patriots' Pride 

Paris, Tenn.-With the schools now open and the high school sports season now upon us, Henry County Patriots' flags have been placed along Veterans' Drive in Paris. Paris City Manager Carl Holder recently ordered the flags for placement along the busy boulevard and they were installed by city workers. This is the first year for Patriots' flags to adorn Veterans' Drive. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

18 Counties Receive Disaster Funds for June Flooding
Henry, Carroll, Houston Among Counties

Nashville, Tenn.–Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced President Obama has declared 18 counties as federal disaster areas as a result of severe weather on June 5-10. State and local governments and electrical utilities spent nearly $10 million in response to and recovery from the wind damage and flash-flooding impacts.

“This federal aid will help our communities in rebuilding and recovery,” Haslam said. “State and local teams worked quickly to survey damage in more than 35 counties to determine the impact of these storms, and we are grateful for this assistance.”
Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie, and Tipton counties will have access to federal assistance that provides reimbursement for 75 percent of eligible costs. A presidential disaster declaration also includes FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program on a statewide basis.

Three fatalities were attributed to the severe weather and flooding. Two deaths occurred in Lawrence County and another in Hickman County.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornado touchdowns were part of the storm system. The first tornado, an EF-1 with wind speeds in excess of 80 m.p.h., left a 12-mile debris path across Lake and Obion Counties on June 7. The other confirmed tornado, rated an EF-0, touched down in Kingston, Tenn. More than 28,000 customers were left without power due to wide-spread damage from downed trees and broken power lines.

The disaster declaration provides FEMA’s Public Assistance to the declared counties for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and rebuilding and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.

Additional information about state and federal assistance for affected counties will be released as details become available.

UC Police Seek Armed Robbery Suspect

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are asking the public’s help in finding the suspect in an armed robbery which occurred at 11:37 p.m. Wednesday night at the Maverick convenience store at 420 E. Reelfoot Ave.

The 911 dispatch received a call from the clerk last night stating he had just been robbed at gunpoint.

Union City Police have released video images of the suspect pointing his gun at the clerk. Investigator Derrick O’Dell said the suspect is described as a white male, possibly 5’10” or 6 feet tall, light-colored shaved hair, pale complexion and heavy build, with narrow shoulders and protruding stomach.

He was wearing a long-sleeved grey color pullover shirt, dark color ball camp with what appears to be the St. Louis Cardinals emblem on it, blue jean shorts, and white tennis shoes.

O’Dell said he had a handgun with a tactical type light on it in his right hand.

The suspect left the store running north toward Spot Free Car Wash with an undetermined amount of cash.

Music, Rodeo Riding and More At Obion County Fair

Xavier Hinson, left, was given the honor of drawing the winning ticket at the nightly drawing, while Mayor Terry Hailey, right, reads out the name. (Brent Hinson photo).

Union City, Tenn.-The attractions at the Obion County Fair continue to draw huge crowds this week and a mix of old and new were on center stage Wednesday night. The Fairshow Musical had two more shows last night--the shows are performed by 40 local young people who audition and practice hard to present the annual musical presentations at the fair. 

Wednesday night also was the debut of a new attraction, the Bullship Rodeo, which drew a large crowd. The Bullwhip Rodeo is on the schedule again tonight. Pork McElhinny again performed on the Back Porch Stage, the stick horse rodeo was held for the little ones and the Junior and Open Swine Show was held.

Winner of the nightly drawing was Jimmy Ring of Union City and winner of the Pick Tennessee Products basket was Bo Rinker of South Fulton.

Thursday night has another crowded schedule:

6 p.m. Carnival opens, $10 admission and rides.
6 p.m. Pork McElhinny concert.
6:30 p.m. Breeding sheep show
7 p.m. Bullwhip Rodeo
7 p.m. Avonlea concert
7 & 9 p.m. Fairshow Musical
10:30 p.m. Nightly drawing.

Bullwhip Rodeo drew a crowd on its debut night. (Brent Hinson photo).

Martin Police Investigator Named Officer of The Year

Martin Police Chief David Moore and Pryor.

Chattanooga, Tenn.-The Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police awarded Investigator Guy Pryor of the Martin Police Department with the Officer of the Year Award for the Western Division of Tennessee. 

The TACP met in Chattanooga Tennessee at its annual conference and handed out awards to three exemplary officers from across the state. 

The annual award is presented to outstanding officers from West, Middle, and East Tennessee and rewards hard work and dedication to law enforcement during the year. 

Investigator Pryor was the lead agent on the three year investigation which culminated in arrests of multiple individuals on drug and weapon charges in March. Inv. Pryor worked with local, state, and federal agencies and his hard work was instrumental in the success of the overall operation. 

Pryor has been a member of the Martin Police Department since 2006 and he was accompanied by his wife Jessica at the ceremony.

Weakley County Awarded Over $1.5 M in Transportation Grants

Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer announced the award of two transportation alternative grants in Weakley County that amount to over $1.5M.

The city of Dresden was awarded a $520,000 grant for Phase III of the Green Rail Trail Project, while Martin received... a $1,020,780 grant to fund Phase IV of the Downtown Improvement Project.

The Dresden project is being developed in conjunction with several other city funded recreation projects that will tie into the linkage created by the rail trail project. The project will convert a former railroad line into a pedestrian and cycling trail that connects to downtown Dresden. Phase III also includes trail head parking at Festival Park, sidewalks along Evergreen Street, and a connection across Evergreen Street along S. Parkway to Wilson Park. New landscaping and pedestrian signs will also be added.

The Martin project is a continuation of previous projects to improve the character of the downtown area. Phase IV includes the installation of approximately 1,600 feet of new sidewalks on the north and south side of East Main Street, extending to the intersection with McComb Street. Pedestrian crosswalks and lighting will also be added along the corridor.

“Enhancing transportation options and connections between areas in Weakley County will increase pedestrian and visitor traffic to businesses and recreation areas,” Haslam said. “We want to continue to make our state an even better place to live, work and raise a family, and projects like these are key to making that a reality.”

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement, and is administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects, are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

Sen. John Stevens (R-Huntingdon) and Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) represent Weakley County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Henry County Candidates File For November Election

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The deadline for candidates for local municipal elections to file their petitions with the County Elections Commissions is August 21 and some Henry County candidates have already filed their intentions to run for various offices.

Deadline is one week from today, Thursday, August 21, at n...oon, at all elections commissions. The election is Tuesday, November 4.

On Paris City Commission, there are three seats that are on the ballot and those include Incumbent City Councilmen Sam Tharpe (also the Mayor) and Carlton Gerrell. And, Councilman Pete Lackey already indicated he will be retiring from office.

Candidates who have already filed their petitions with the elections commission are: Tharpe, Gerrell, and Catherine Herrera. Three persons have taken out petitions but not filed them yet: Robert Sleadd, Galia Greer and Terry Knott. Sleadd is a member of both the Paris Special Schools District and Henry County Schools boards.

In Henry, Mayor Joe Qualls and Michael Gross have both picked up petitions for mayor, but neither have filed them yet. Alderman Cindy Rainey has filed her petition to run again. Alderman Faye Lowry has picked up her petition but not filed it yet and Carl Koch also has picked up petitions but not filed them.

In Puryear, Aldermen who have filed their petitions for re-election are Mackie Gallimore and Brian Hall. Justin Hughes has picked up his petition, but not filed it yet.

Bone and Joint Specialists Merge With West Tennessee Clinic

Paris, Tenn.- Dr. Blake Chandler recently announced the upcoming merger of Bone and Joint Specialists of Paris and Union City with West Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic of Jackson. 

Chandler is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and founder of Bone and Joint Specialists.
“This merger offers a unique opportunity for my patients and my practice,” Chandler said. “Both will benefit greatly through increased access to technology and resources,” said the physician, who has been practicing in West Tennessee since 2000. “The transition will be gradual and patients, as well as referring physicians will not experience any significant change in service or care.”

With similar organizational cultures and commitments to excellent patient care, the groups share a long-standing history of mutual respect for one another. Recent changes in health care led to conversations about the benefits of merging practices and becoming one. The new organization will combine more than 14 specialists and providers in 10 locations throughout West Tennessee. 

Aside from improved technology, Chandler emphasized that little about his practice will be different. “I’ll continue to see patients in our same office locations in Paris and Union City, and our same, skilled staff will remain in place, including nurse practitioner Clay Nolen.” In addition, Chandler will continue to operate at Henry County Medical Center and the Surgery Center in Paris, as well as Union City Surgery Center in Union City. He and his staff will continue to provide their “signature hometown care.” 

Dr. Chandler is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon who has served his home county of Henry and Northwest Tennessee since 2000. 

Retired McKenzie Police Chief Dies

McKenzie, Tenn.-Memorial services for Retired McKenzie Police Chief Gene Douglas Owen, 68, will be Saturday, August 16, at 2 p.m. at McKenzie Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Reverend Kevin Wood and Reverend Garrett Burns will officiate. Visitation will be Saturday, August 16 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. at the church. McKenzie-Brummitt Funeral Home is in charge of arra...ngements.

Mr. Owen was a Retired Police Chief for the City of McKenzie, Vietnam Veteran, member of McKenzie Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and Caledonia Masonic Lodge #96. Mr. Owen died Monday, August 11, 2014 at his residence. He was born on February 21, 1946, in Sharon, TN to Joseph and Rosa Cole Owen. He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister June Crawford.

Survivors include his wife Cindy Arnold Owen of McKenzie, daughter Donna ( Wayne) Hickman of McKenzie, sons Woody (Jody) Arnold II of McMinnville, Kevin Arnold of Houston, TX and Scott (April) Arnold of Huntingdon, two sisters Margaret Reynolds of Greenfield and Patsy Owen of Martin, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Paris Authorizes City Hall Renovations, Transfer Station
Eyes Future Bond Issue, Local Option Sales Tax

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in lengthy special session Wednesday night, the Paris City Commission tackled several meaty issues that will affect the city for years to come: city hall renovations, construction of a transfer station, and the potential in the not too distant future for a bond issue and local option sales tax referendum.

On recommendation of City Manager Carl Holder, the commission authorized him to pursue City Hall renovations that would add 2,200 square feet to the present building at a cost of some $3M by enclosing the courtyard space in the front of City Hall and rearranging space within the structure.

The commission also authorized Holder to go forward with the construction of a new transfer station for the city, with a budget of $525,000. 

On City Hall renovations, the city commission had looked at options which included renovations or constructing a whole new building.

City Manager Carl Holder said, “We have to do something based on the fact that this building is careworn. There are basic things that need to be done.” 

Council Member Carlton Gerrell said, “I went into this thinking we need a new City Hall but I think this renovation if probably the best all around. We have all sorts of structural issues and this will fix the major issues. And rather than spending $6 M for a new building, this will allow us to keep City Hall in downtown Paris.”

The renovation would also include installing a new façade on the front of the building “so it will look like a whole new building. We’re going to put some make up on the old guy.”

On the subject of the transfer station, City Commission had already agreed to city ownership of the transfer station, that the city would act as general contractor and city personnel would perform as much of the work as possible.

Holder already authorized soil borings on three possible sites at the present landfill on Jones Bend Rd. He said that the design would not require any major renovation or overhaul for the next 25 years. “The structure is concrete and steel and we’re not designing it with bells and whistles, but looking at viability for 25 solid years.”

After much discussion, the Commission agreed that it needs to pursue a bond issue and local option sales tax referendum in the near future.

Holder was given the go-ahead to work with the Tennessee Municipal League to how best to go about raising $4,350,000 that would pay for public works of $350,000, drainage of $1 M and the City Hall renovations of $3M.

Commission also agreed with Holder and Finance Director Kim Foster that the time is near to again look at a local option sales tax referendum. Holder will go forward with conversations with the other three entities which would be involved with that decision: County officials, Henry County Schools and Paris Special Schools District.

Finance Director Kim Foster said, “Our options are to increase property tax, go for local option sales tax or make cutbacks.”

Holder also presented council with a revised schedule for replacing him as City Manager when he retires. Holder has recommended Director of Finances Kim Foster as his replacement and her six month evaluation begins September 4.

He presented a timetable which also includes advertising deadlines, interviewing other candidates. By February or March the new City Manager would be selected.

Henry County Selected For Free Tutoring Pilot Program
Spearheaded by Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Secretary of State Tre Hargett

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County has been selected for a pilot program that will provide free tutoring services to all county students, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Secretary of State’s office, W.G. Rhea Public Library in Paris, the Henry County Schools and Paris Special Schools System, along with Sen. John Stephens and State Rep. Tim Wirgau.

The announcement of the pilot program was made during a conference call this morning between Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Library Director Connie McSwain, Henry County Schools Director Sam Miles, PSSD Director Mike Brown and local media.
The new service is available to Rhea Library users attending any level of school, from kindergarten through college. Students simply visit and enter their library card numbers to connect with expert tutors for one-to-one homework help or tutoring sessions in online classrooms.

"TutorTN provides a terrific service for young people," Hargett said. "I am pleased that we are able to offer this service for students who live in Unicoi County. If this pilot program is successful, hopefully we will be able to offer the service in other parts of the state as well."

The program is available from now until May 31, 2015.

Hargett said, “I’m convinced that Henry County is a great choice for us.”

McSwain said library staff has sent library cards to every school and every student in Henry County. “Every child in this county will have a library card. It’s a big undertaking for us, we know, but it’s important,” she said.

Brown, Miles and McSwain were enthused about the program, which they all agreed will provide great opportunities for local students.

“Any program that you can provide free to help students learn is a great thing,” Brown said. Students learn at a different pace and many need additional time and help, he said. This program will “make the difference between frustration and success,” he said.

Miles agreed, noting that rural counties “often feel like we’re left out. But this will provide extra resources for our students and fill a great need.”

Miles, McSwain and Brown also said the program will enhance awareness of the local library as a learning resource.

Once students log onto the service with library cards, they then select their grade levels and subjects. Students type in their questions or upload problems to share with their tutors. The tutors work with the students in online classrooms where they can text, use interactive whiteboards and browse web resources or share documents. Students can share their sessions via e-mail and each one is automatically saved for future review. is the largest online tutoring service in the country. The new program is funded by the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

If the program is successful, the State Library and Archives hopes to expand the service to all Tennessee students in the fall of 2015.

TutorTN will be available from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays. Students can also use their mobile phones or tablets to access the system. has a community of almost 3,000 carefully-vetted tutors who can help in all core academic subjects. Students can connect to writing tutors to review papers, reports and even college essays.

Records Broken at Obion Fair Livestock Auction

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Huge crowds continue to flock to the Obion County Fair this week and crowds are expected to be even bigger with pleasant weather ahead the rest of the week.

The annual Junior Livestock Auction recorded record-breaking totals Tuesday night, according to Obion County Extension Office Director Tim Smith.

With 108 young people showing their livestock at the auction this year, a total of $196,000 was spent by buyers. And, the all-time record price for a steer was recorded last night for the Grand Champion at $9,000. Mary Ali Oliver of Union City showed the steer, which was sold for $7 a pound to High Note Solutions, RPG Labs, HTS Mixing, Fleming Fabrics and Wire, and Center Point Business Solutions.

Grand Champion Hog was won by Conner Arnold of South Fulton, who sold his for $7.25 pound to H&R Agri-Power. Reserve Champion Hog was won by Carly Whipple of Union City, sold for $6.50 a pound to Adam Searcy Construction, High Note, RPG Labs, HTS Mixing, Fleming Fabrics and Wire and Center Point Business Solutions.

Grand Champion Steer was won by Oliver, who set the record, while the Reserve Champion Steer was won by Walker Johnson of Troy, sold for $4.50 a pound to Cole and Short Crop Insurance and Republic Service.

Grand Champion Lamb was won by Carter Arnold of South Fulton for $12.50 a pound to Ohio Valley Crop Insurance, Commercial Bank and Inco Ag Irrigation.

Also Tuesday night, more pageants were held.

Junior Miss Queen is Sloan McKinley Bearden of Union City; First Maid Cloe Elisabeth Weaks of Troy; Second Maid Briley Nicole Coffey of Troy; and Third Maid Madison Northern of Union City.

Little Miss Queen is Olivia “Livee” Seals of Union City; First Maid Eva-Marie Pruitt, Union City; Second Maid Sara Beth Key of Troy; and Third Maid Lillian Elizabeth Holzner of South Fulton.

Petite Miss Queen is Ariel Adams, Union City; First Maid Allie Vincent of Martin; Second Maid Rachel Kate McClanahan of Union city; and Third Maid Rylee Elizabeth Stone of Obion.

In the nightly drawing, Gary Blair of Union City won $1000. Winner of the Pick Tennessee Products was Belinda Collins of Union City.

Long-Time Extension Office Employee Jan Allison Dies
Inducted Into Obion County Fair Hall of Fame Monday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Festivities at the Obion County Fair have been tempered with the death last night of Jan Allison, 49, of Shawtown, who was inducted into the Fair Hall of Fame on Monday night.
Allison was a long-time employee of the Obion County Extension Office. She retired due to health concerns a few months ago and was hospitalized recently. Allison was brought to the fairgrounds from the hospital Monday night for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies and after receiving her plaque was taken back to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City, where she died around 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

Also inducted Monday night was her mother-in-law Nancy Allison, who worked at the extension office for 42 ½ years.

Arrangements for Mrs. Allison are incomplete at this time at Edmaiston-Mosley Funeral Home.

Bullwhip Rodeo To Appear at Fair Tonight

Union City, Tenn.-Wednesday will be another big night at the Obion County Fair, with a mix of old and new events. The popular Fairshow Musical will perform twice, at 7 and 9 p.m., and a new event, the Bullwhip Rodeo will be on tap at 7 p.m. Pork McElhinny will again perform on the Back Porch Stage.

5 p.m. Junior and Open Swine Show
6 p.m. Stick Horse Rodeo
6 p.m. Pork McElhinny on the Back Porch Stage
7 p.m. Bullwhip Rodeo
7 and 9 p.m. Fairshow Musical
10:30 p.m. Nightly Drawing

Smith Joins Chamber Staff

Paris, Tenn.Monica Armstrong Smith has joined the staff of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce as Executive Assistant. 

Smith graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree in business administration and a minor in marketing. Chamber President Chip Anderson said “Monica has experience in office management and is a welcome addition to our team.”

She will work directly with Executive Director Jennifer Wheatley in membership services and event planning and as part of the Henry County Alliance with CEO David Hamilton and Administrative Coordinator Kayla Simpson.

Anderson said “Monica’s maturity and professionalism stood out and she will contribute to the services we provide to our 400 members and the Paris-Henry County community.”

The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is located at 2508 East Wood Street in Paris. 

Three Members of Family Arrested

             Robert Trent Jr.

Dukedom, Ky. - Three members of the same family were arrested after a foot chase in Dukedom Monday afternoon. Dukedom is located on the Tennessee-Kentucky line and is in both Weakley Co., Tenn., and Graves Co., Ky.

The incident began as the Graves County and Weakley County Sheriff’s Offices were trying to locate Robert Trent Jr., 21, of Pilot Oak. Authorities said Trent was a suspect in several burglaries in Weakley Co., as well as Graves and Hickman Counties in Kentucky.
There also was an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Marshall County for burglary second degree.

Graves County deputies made a traffic stop on KY Highway 129 one mile north of Dukedom on Monday afternoon and found that Trent was a passenger in the car driven by his mother, Peggy McManus, 41, of Pilot Oak. 

When deputies stopped the vehicle, Trent fled on foot, jumping a fence and running into the woods. Deputies searched and could not find him in the woods, but around 5 p.m., deputies saw a vehicle pull onto a road toward a house where relatives of Trent live. They then observed the same car they had stopped earlier pulling out of that road.

Deputies stopped the vehicles and found Trent hiding in the trunk of his mother’s vehicle. Trent was taken into custody without incident. He’s charged with burglary and fleeing and evading police.

Also arrested was McManus on several traffic violations and Trent’s sister, Tiffany Trent of Pilot Oak, on disorderly conduct.

McDonald's Coming to Greenfield

Greenfield, Tenn.-Mickey D’s is coming to Greenfield. That was the announcement at Tuesday’s meeting of the Greenfield Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

According to Richard Groff of Team Development, a Louisiana-based retail developer, McDonald’s will be the anchor of a planned retail development that will be called “The Center of Greenfield.”

The development will be on Hwy. 45 at the northwest corner of West Main and Meridian Streets. The site is across the street from Little General convenience store and the entire development will initially be about 6,800 square feet, with room to expand up to 10,000 square feet.

Groff said the new McDonald’s would employ 25-30 people.

Gospel Explosion Set For Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The Women of Quinn Chapel Church will present a Gospel Explosion at 5 p.m. Saturday, August 16 at the church. Several choirs, soloists and readings will be rendered. 

The theme for this occasion is " When all God's children get together, Oh what a time it will be.” Chairpersons for this event are Tanny Johnson and Nellie Bass

Henry County Dems To Meet

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Democratic Women and Henry County Democratic Party meeting will be held back-to-back Thursday night at Paris City Hall.

Paris-Henry County Arts Council Director Kat Tolley will speak at the Democratic Women meeting at 6 p.m. Wes Bradley will chair the business meeting for the Democratic Party meeting at 7.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Car Slams Into Ann and Dave's; No One Injured

Henry Vogel and Ben Perry for CW Construction work on building a temporary wall. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Ann and Dave’s Kitchen in the Lakeway Shopping Center in Paris will be open again tomorrow, even though a car drove through the front wall of the restaurant Tuesday afternoon. Miraculously, no one in the restaurant was hurt at all and the driver reportedly only sustained minor injuries.

Employees of CW Construction have been working this afternoon to build up a temporary wall and place temporary barricades at the restaurant so that it can reopen in the morning.
The wayward driver rammed a huge hole in the wall in front of a dining area of the restaurant. Reportedly, a diner had just left one of the tables when the car came slamming into the wall, raining bricks everywhere.

City of Paris Building Inspector Mike Brown was at the site Tuesday afternoon and said a temporary wall will allow the restaurant to reopen while the permanent wall is built. “This isn’t a load-bearing wall, so a temporary wall will be sufficient for now. They’ll put up a temporary barricade around it and even some caution tape.”

The police report was not available from the Paris Police Department Tuesday afternoon, but witnesses said a woman first came into the Lakeway parking lot from Hwy. 79N, hit another car, then drove in the opposite direction from Ann and Dave’s, turning back and then slamming into the restaurant.

Witnesses at Ann and Dave’s said the ambulance took the driver to the Henry County Medical Center and they had heard later she had been treated and released.

More information will be reported as it is available.

Groundbreaking at Springville Pump House Area Set For Thursday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-A groundbreaking ceremony to mark the renovation of facilities at the West Sandy (Springville) Pump House public access area will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, August 14. The ceremony will be commemorated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tennessee Valley Authority, which partnered to make the renovation possible.

Invited to speak at the event are Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, TWRA Regional Manager Alan Peterson, TWRA Commissioner Jeff Griggs, Michael McWherter of the TVA Board and Rebecca Tolene, TVA Vice President of Natural Resources, as well as representatives from the Paris Board of Public Utilities and the Paris-Henry Co. Chamber of Commerce.

The TWRA and TVA are pooling resources to improve access to Kentucky Reservoir at the West Sandy Pump House Public Access Area. In addition to a greatly improved fishing and boating access pier, a parking area and pathways compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are planned. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

TVA representatives also will provide an update on the West Sandy dewatering unit, which helps with flood control in the area while providing additional farmland and waterfowl habitat.
The public is invited to attend. The Pump House public access area is off of Old Springville Rd., about 10 miles east of Paris.

Thousands Flock To Obion County Fair First Night

The Midway was crowded for the fair's first night. (Brent Hinson photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Fair opened Monday in a big way, with thousands crowding the fairgrounds for the first night’s events. Fair officials said it was one of the biggest crowds ever, with some 10,000-15,000 in attendance.

Highlight of the night was the Fairest of the Fair pageant, with Betty Claire Beacham of Union City being crowned. She is the daughter of Steve Beacham and the late Teresa Beecham.

Beacham will reign over the fair this week with her court: First Maid McCall Addison Whaley, Union City; Second Maid Carly Ann Reams, South Fulton; and Third Maid Morgan Martin of Union City.

Also crowned last night was Miss Teen Faith Olivia Davis of Martin. First Maid is Kaleigh Jewell Wagner of Obion; Second Maid is Margaret “Bryanna” Williams of Union City; and Aleigha Kathryn Seals of Union City.

In the nightly drawing, Ladonna Daniel of Union City won $1,000. And Jo Miles of Australia won the Pick Tennessee Basket.

Another big night is in store at the fair tonight, with the Junior Livestock Auction set for 7 p.m. The first Fairshow Musical of the week will be held at 9 p.m., “Barney Fife” and Pork McElhinny will perform and the Petite/Little and Junior Miss Pageants will be held.

A musical presentation before last night's pageants. (Brent Hinson photo).

Obion County Fair Tuesday Schedule

8 a.m. Junior Market Hot/Lamb/Steer Shows
6 p.m. Rik Roberts as Barney Fife
6 p.m. Carnival Opens $10 admission and rides
6 p.m. Pork McElhinny Concert on Back Porch Stage
6:30 p.m. Petite/Little/Junior Miss Pageants
7 p.m. Junior Livestock Auction
9 p.m. Fairshow Musical
10:30 p.m. Nightly Drawing

TSSAA Adopts "Super 6" Classification Plan

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA) The TSSAA Board of Control voted Monday adopt what many are calling a “Super 6” classification plan for football. The new plan would split the state’s largest 32 schools into their own classification based on enrollment in Class 6A beginning with the 2015 football season.

The remaining schools will be split into five classifications under the old Class 5A format with the top four teams from each region earning playoff berths.

Under the plan, the largest 32 schools will automatically qualify for the playoffs.

WENK/WTPR Sports Analyst Mike Hutchens said what effect the new classification will have on schools in our area remains to be seen. “TSSAA will take the enrollment figures from the 20th day of school to determine the classifications. Those enrollment figures are the ones that each school district will submit to the state office.”

The TSSAA will not make an announcement as to which schools fit into which classes until the second week of November, Hutchens said.

“I don’t think the enrollment for the schools in Obion or Henry Co. have changed that much, so what happens to schools in our area will depend on what is going on with the other school systems in the state, enrollment-wise.”

Glow Run To Benefit Ronald McDonald Houses

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Glow at Night and Food Truck Invastion Races will be held Saturday, August 16 at Paris Landing State Park. The event will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The 5k run and 2 mile race will start at 7 p.m. following the one mile fun run for kids (age 5-12) at 6:30 p.m. Kids race and 2 mile walk will be $10 and the 5k race will be $15 in advance, $20 day of. 

Proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald Houses in Memphis and Nashville. For more information please contact Dede Meeks,, 731-642-4506 or 731-514-1933. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Area Churches Come Together For Shoe Drive

This man now manages a team of people repurposing gently worn, used shoes and marketing them in Haiti. This is an example of how the shoes Lakeshore is collecting will be used. (Lakeshore photo).  

Eva, Tenn.-From now until Oct. 31, Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center is collecting new and gently used shoes for its Funds2Orgs Shoe Drive Fundraiser. Shoes may be donated at several locations including the Paris First United Methodist Church, Camden First United Methodist Church and the Lakeshore Camp in Eva.

Funds2Orgs is an organization focused on helping churches, nonprofits, schools and civic groups raise money to continue their work. It has partnered with Lakeshore to help the camp and retreat center, a ministry of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, raise $50,000.

Funds2Orgs will pay Lakeshore for every pair of shoes it collects and then send the shoes to developing countries, where they will be cleaned, refurbished and used to help people start businesses.

Lakeshore says it is accepting all types of footwear—including boots, flip flops, dress shoes, cleats, golf shoes, etc.—and encourages everyone to get involved.

Lakeshore staff will pick up donations or shoes may be dropped off at any of the following locations: 
Dyersburg and Jackson District Offices 
Jackson First UMC in Jackson, Tenn. 
Northside UMC in Jackson, Tenn. 
Camden First UMC in Camden, Tenn. 
Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center in Eva, Tenn. 
St. Luke's UMC in Memphis, Tenn. 
Paris First UMC in Paris, Tenn. 
Fyke residence, 420 Dove Valley Rd., Collierville, Tenn.
For more information, contact Lakeshore Director of Development Bill Walker at 731-584-6102 or 731-394-8794, or 

Recount For King/McGee Race?

Nashville, Tenn.-Tennessee Secretary of State Communications Director Blake Fortenay said Monday morning that state law does not allow for automatic recounts but that if supporters of Michael King of Huntingdon feel a recount is necessary, either they or the candidate would have to request one.

Michael King lost the election for 24th District Chancellor Carma McGee by 102 votes. On King’s Facebook page, he announced, “The unofficial results show that we lost by 102 votes. I expect that the State will recount and/or certify the vote total in the coming weeks, and we are waiting to see what that process will be.”

Fortenay said the state does have a process for requesting a recount, but that process must be followed after the votes are certified by each county’s elections offices. He said state law requires certification the third Monday after the election, which would be August 25.

"Barney Fife" To Appear At Obion County Fair Tonight, Tuesday

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Fair begins today and among performers who will be appearing this week is Rik Roberts of Nashville, who is a nationally-known impersonator of Barney Fife.

A native of Kentucky, Roberts began comedy as part of the Midwest Comedy Tool and Die troupe in 1992 and his story-telling style evolved into Barney Fife impressions.

He will appear at the fair Monday and Tuesday nights beginning at 6 p.m.

Sugg May Be Winner in Houston County Sheriff Race

Erin, Tenn.-It appears that Kevin Sugg may be the new Houston County Sheriff now that a provisional ballot has been ruled invalid. But he beat Incumbent Darrell Allison by only one vote and the election still needs to be certified by the Houston Co. Elections Commission.

The campaign between Allison, Sugg and Former Sheriff Kennith Barnes was a heated one and after all the votes were tallied on election night, only four votes separated Allison and Sugg. 

Sugg currently is the Assistant Erin Police Chief.

A problem arose when four provisional ballots were brought to the Houston Co. Election Office on election night and all four prompted questions from elections officials. One involved a voter who claimed to have registered to vote at the Department of Safety, but he was not listed on the county registered voters list. The other three involved voters without photo ID.

Houston County election officials now say the provisional ballot from the resident claiming to vote at the Department of Safety is invalid, meaning that, if the vote count is certified, Sugg won by one vote.

The three citizens who voted without photo ID have until 4:30 p.m. today to bring a photo ID to the Elections Office before their votes can be opened and counted.

A Look At Other Area Sheriff’s Races

Camden, Tenn.-Benton County Sheriff Tony King was defeated by Kenny Christopher in an election battle that became heated, especially at the end of the campaign. Democrat King received 1,854 votes, with Independent Christopher earning 2,054. Ronnie “Smiley” Stewart, also an independent, received 839 votes.

In Stewart County, Sheriff Deryk Wyatt was re-elected by a slim margin over Challenger Frankie Gray, 2,089-1,832.

Long-Time Weakley County Sheriff Mike Wilson easily defeated his challenger and soon will be the longest-serving sheriff in Tennessee.

Both Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder ran unopposed.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Suspect in Custody After Armed Robbery

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-One man is in custody and another is being sought by Paris Police following an armed robbery at the Marathon station at 1111 N. Market St. (formerly Little General).

Paris Police Investigator Ricky Watson told WENK/WTPR Sunday morning that two black males entered the Marathon station around 10 p.m. Saturday night “and a weapon was used” by the pair.

Watson said he could not provide many details about the robbery because it is still under investigation. He did say that an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen.

“We have one man in custody and the investigation is still active right now. We’re seeking the other man and other charges will be pending,” Watson said.

No one was hurt in the robbery, he said.

More information will be released as it is available, he said.

Obion County Fair Starts Monday
"From Farm To Fair"

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-It’s time for the Obion County Fair once again and fair officials are sure that the blend of new and old activities this week will keep everyone entertained.

The fair--which has the motto “From Farm to Fair”--is set for Monday, August 11-16, and we will be posting the daily schedules on our website and both of our Facebook pages.

The fair gets underway Monday with a special $5 admission and unlimited rides with the new Dixieland Carnival, which is the same company that had charge of the carnival and midway at the Henry County Fair this year.

Fair Second Vice President Blake Laws said there will be new activities, such as the “Bullwhip Rodeo” that will entertain folks along with the popular activities that are held every year, notably the Fairshow Musical, Hunting style Duck Calling Contest, the truck and tractor pull and demolition derby.

One change this year from other years, Laws said, is that the nightly money drawing will be held at 10:30 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. “We’re going back to the drawings where we pull the ticket stubs from the barrel and it will be $1000 drawing which carries over to the next night if no one claims the winning ticket.”

Among the entertainment this year will be Rick Roberts of Nashville who impersonates Barney Fife, six musical performances by Pork McElhinny on the Back Porch Stage, the always popular Fairshow Musical, for which young people from Obion County have worked hard with auditions and practices. They will perform two shows on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The Fairest of the Fair contest is Monday night, along with the Miss Teen contest. On Tuesday night the Petite/Little/Junior Miss pageants will be held.

Other activities planned for this week include a stick horse rodeo for kids Wednesday, a kids’ bicycle give-away on Kids’ Day on Saturday, the pet show on Saturday and the demolition derby.

As always, the fair will begin with Opening Ceremonies and the Hall of Fame at 5 p.m. Monday.

Fair books are available at the Obion County Public Library.

Obion County Fair Schedule for Monday, August 11

5 p.m. Opening Ceremonies and Hall of Fame
6 p.m. Dixieland Carnival Opens
           Rik Roberts as Barney Fife
           Poultry Show and Auction
           OC Fair Hunting Style Duck Calling Contest
           Pork McElhinny Concert on Back Porch Stage
7 p.m. ATV/UTV Side By Side Pull
Fairest of Fair and Miss Teen
10:30 p.m. Nightly Drawings

Audrey Hill is National Champion

Audrey Hill with plaque. (Amy Lawrence photo)

West Chester, Ohio-Audrey Hill of Paris was the seven-year-old girls National Champion at the USAT National Championship in West Chester, Ohio, recently. Hill is a member of the Tower Tri Team of Henry County that participated and did well in the contest.

Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence said over 800 racers from all 50 states gathered for the contest.
Top 20 finishers included Kylee Perry, ranked 14th among eight year old girls; Cole Davis, 14th in 13-year-old boys; Hunter Lawrence, 18th among 11-year-old boys.

Others competing were Audrey Hill, Emma Hill, Gunner Jones, Sydney Anderson, Rylan Perry, Craig Anderson and Cole Davis.

Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence with the Tri Club at West Chester. (Amy Lawrence photo).
UTM Offers Microsoft Student Advantage Program

Martin, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin students will benefit from a new Microsoft Student Advantage program. Students can now download and install Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus desktop applications at no additional cost.

Applications offered by the program include: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher. The is available online through UT Martin NetID accounts and can be installed on up to five devices. The ProPlus subscription will end when students leave the university.

“We’re excited to provide UTM students the Microsoft ProPlus desktop applications at no additional cost,” said Amy Belew, UT Martin interim assistant CIO. “We hope this provides students with tools to improve their experience in the classroom. Anytime we can provide students with tools at no additional costs to them, we want to take full advantage of it.”

Students needing assistance and instructions for downloading and installing the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus software can find information online or by calling the UT Martin Information Technology Services Help Desk at 731-881-7900.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saying Goodbye To The Henry County Fair

Paris, Tenn.-Even beauty queens spend time in the livestock barn, top, as seen when Fairest of the Fair Alex Reagor, left, and her court (Lillie Akers, Aleece Passman, Grace Hassell and Sydney Luna) handed out ribbons during the contests. Bottom photo, pausing in mid-conversation in the Enoch Building: left to right, Staci Foy and Michele Atkins of the Henry County Extension Service and Bobby Owen of Puryear. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Spending Time in the Ring

Paris, Tenn.-Collin Howd shows his hog during Thursday morning’s Junior Market Hog Show at the Henry County Fair. Howd would later that night win the title of grand champion during the Junior Steer Show. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Houston County Sheriff Race Still Unsettled

Erin, Tenn.--The heated battle over who will be the next Houston County Sheriff is still too close to call and may not be settled until Monday afternoon.

With all seven precincts in now, Sheriff Darrell Allison finished with 1,099 and challenger Kevin Sugg finished with 1,103 votes. Former Sheriff Kennith Barnes earned 646 votes.

The Houston County Election Commission reported they received four provisional ballots, with three not having a photo ID. Those three residents now have until 4:30 p.m. Monday to bring a photo ID to the elections office so that their ballots can be opened and their votes counted.

If that outcome ends in a tie, it could result in a run-off election.

The election results were watched by a group of more than 200 people who gathered on Erin’s Court Square, which is a long-standing tradition. The results are posted on a large tote board in the center of the square.

License Granted to Perrylodgic Brewing Co.

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Beer Board approved a beer license for the Perrylodgic Brewing Co. which is a microbrewery which will be located at 3465 Hwy. 79N (in the former site of Polaris

The license allows on and off premises usage. The company is co-owned by Jonathan Lodge and Randall Perry.

The two had a display for the microbrewery at the Henry County Fair this week.

In Between Hog Shows

Paris, Tenn.-Natalie Clark of Paris groomed and cooled off her hog after the Junior Market Hog Show and before the Pre 4H Market Hog Show on Thursday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Henry County Fair Schedule for Saturday August 9
9 a.m. Beef Cattle Show
11 a.m. Tractor Show
11:30 a.m. Toy Tractor Push
1 p.m. Country Ham Sale
5 to 9 p.m. Commercial Building open for viewing...
5 p.m. Small Girl Doll Show & Tea for Dolly and Me
Small Boy with a Toy & Mad Tea Party
6 p.m. Carnival Opens
7 p.m. The Shades
7 p.m. Demolition Derby
8 p.m. Cash Give-A-Way

Wyatt Narrowly Keeps Sheriff Position

Dover, Tenn.-Stewart County Sheriff Deryk Wyatt did keep his position at Thursday’s election, but only by 257 votes. Challenger Frankie Gray received 1,832 votes, while Wyatt earned 2,089.

In other Stewart County election action, Gary Page was elected the new county road superintendent to replace the retiring Jerry Cunningham. He won by a big margin over challengers Andy Lemons and Marlon Gillespie.

Laura Crain is the new County Trustee, winning big over Fritz Gray, Jeff Knott and Amanda Crutcher. She will replace retiring Wilby Williams.

County Mayor Rickie Joiner retains his post, winning by a big margin over Jonathan Anglin.

And Circuit Court Clerk Jason Wallace beat Cindy Winfrey to retain his seat.

A large crowd was on hand to watch the returns together at the Annex Auditorium in Dover.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Gladwell Wins Grand Champ, Hayes Wins Overall Reserve Champ

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Fair Livestock Barn was packed as usual for the annual Junior Livestock Sale Thursday night. Alexa Gladwell of Paris, top, won with the Grand Champion Henry County born and bred steer sold at the sale. The steer weighed 1400 pounds and was sold for $3.60 to Laurel Hill Cattle Company. Jamison Hayes, bottom, had the Overall Reserve Grand Champion of the Market Hog Sale. The 262 pound hog sold for $4.40 a pound to Mineral Wells Animal Clinic. (Photos by Laura Moss).

Stone Formally Resigns From Trustee Post

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Trustee David Stone formally turned in his resignation from office Thursday. Stone has been on medical leave for an extended period after his arrests a few months ago for harrassment of his election opponent Randi French and Sheriff Monte Belew. French Thursday was elected Trustee.

In a memo from County Mayor Brent Greer to the board of commissioners released Friday morning, Greer said the commissioners will address the remainder of his unexpired term at the August 18th meeting of the commission.  

By August 18, the Election Commission will, hopefully, have certified the winner of the Trustee’s race, Greer said.

A commission can appoint this person to fill the unexpired term until French takes office on September 1st, 2014.

Stone was sentenced to probation in Henry County General Sessions Court earlier this year. He voluntarily entered rehab prior to that. Deputy Trustee Katrina Valentine has been serving as Acting Trustee.

Parish, Stowe, McGee Win 24th Races   


Judge Donald Parish                     Carma McGee                           Matt Stowe

The lateness of Decatur County election results being completed Thursday night affected being able to call a couple of the races affecting the 24th Judicial District with any precision until overnight.

Final tallies from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office:

24th District Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish of Huntingdon handily defeated his challenger Republican Vicki Hoover of Paris by 13,912-10,657.

Political Newcomer Matt Stowe, a Republican from Huntingdon, defeated Incumbent District Attorney Hansel McCadams, a Democrat from Paris, by 13,062-11,484. McCadams was serving his first term in the office.

In the 24th District Chancellor’s race, Republican Carma McGee of Savannah narrowly beat Democrat Michael King of Huntingdon by 12,222-12,120.

In a statement, McGee said, “Yesterday you elected me as your Chancellor. The first woman ever elected in the 24th Judicial District. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude and my humility for the support and encouragement you have shown to me and my family.”

Elvis Was In The Building--And Will Be Tonight, Too

Paris, Tenn.-Elvis was definitely in the building Thursday night--or at least a real close fascimile. Elvis Impersonator John Stevens entertained the crowd at the Henry County Fair and will have an encore performance at 7 p.m. Friday on the center stage of the Commercial Building. (Photo by Kim Patterson).

Pitching In At The Fair

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, right, is among dozens who volunteer at the Henry County Fair each year. Today, as he does every year, he was helping at the junior market and pre 4-H Market hog shows. With him are fellow volunteers Marty Valentine and Jamey Tosh. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Letting The Victory Sink In

Paris, Tenn.-New Henry County Trustee Randi French was all smiles surrounded by family and friends Thursday night as she learned she had won the campaign. Last night French said she was still very emotional and that the victory hadn't totally sunk in yet. Left to right: her sister Michelle Brewer, husband Jimbo French, Randi French and Stacy Hayes. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

City of Paris Formalizes Mixed Tax Agreement

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Thursday night, the Paris City Commission formalized the Mixed Tax Agreement between the city, Paris Special Schools and Henry County Schools. The agreement followed negotiations between the three parties and has been under review for the past several meetings by all three boards.

State law provides that half of mixed drink tax proceeds collected by the city be distributed to both the PSSD and County Schools, which the city inadvertently failed to do. Actually, most municipalities in the state also failed to do so and are undergoing the same procedures now.

As presented by City Attorney Fred McLean, state law allows the parties to enter into a binding agreement to compromise and settle the city’s obligation for back mixed drink taxes owed to PSSD and County Schools.

It was agreed that the city will pay the parties the sum of $115,073.36 in back payments for fiscal years 2005-2014. It will be paid in five annual installments.

In other business:

--In the effort to remediate flooding issues in the Collinwood Subdivision the city has a plan engineered which calls for a detention pond located at the north end of the property occupied by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Paris facility.

City commission approved the agreement drawn up by McLean between the city and the State Board of Regents.

--It was reported that the County Clerk’s office reviewed sales tax registration information from the Tennessee Department of Revenue (DOR) recently and found there were several businesses for which the City of Paris was getting credited the local option sales tax in error due to the businesses being located outside the city limits.  It was determined that Henry County should have been receiving the local option sales tax for these businesses.

The DOR created an adjustment reflecting the sales tax the city received in error over the last 12 months.  The city received notice from the Department of Revenue stating the adjustment amount that will be deducted from our next two months apportionment.

--Commission reappointed Terry Wimberley to the Planning Commission and reappointed George Bass Jr. and Terry Fuller to the Housing Board of Appeals.

Foster: Strong Growth in City Retail Sales

Paris, Tenn.-At last night’s meeting of the Paris City Commission, Finance Director Kim Foster reported that retail Sales continue to show strong growth, probably helped by the number of new businesses that have begun in Paris recently.  For the month of May sales were up 4.3% from 2013 and 2.55% from 2012.  “This makes six straight months of positive growth”, she said.

“Overall, we finished our fiscal year on a high note,” according to Foster.  “In the General Fund we had budgeted to take a little over $300,000 from Fund Balance, but will have to take less than $150,000.  This is attributable to prudent spending by our department heads, as well as not getting as far along on a couple of community development projects as we had hoped (Back Alley Paris and some Annexation related items).

The city also received the final reimbursement on the Joy Street Project which helped the revenue picture.  The Solid Waste Fund ended the fiscal year on an even higher note with Expenses being slightly under budget while revenues exceeded projections.
Obion County Fair Next Week; Pageant Deadlines Listed

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Fair is next week, August 11-16, and is jam-packed with activities planned at the fairgrounds.

Saturday, August 9, is the deadlines for the pageants that will be held at the Obion County Fair this year.

The Fairest of the Fair and Miss Teen pageants will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, August 11. The Petite/Little Miss/Junior Miss Pageants will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 12.

Rehearsals for all the pageants are held Sunday afternoon. Entry fees for the pageants are $25.

For more information, call Sharon Regen 731-885-3818 or go to the Obion County Fair website at:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Night of Nail-Biting For Area Candidates

At the Henry County Elections Commission, supporters of Randi French anxiously look at the election results: from left, Kristie Freeman, Michelle Brewer (French's sister) and Stacy Hayes. French won the County Trustee post. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

It has been a long and stressful day and night for candidates in contested races in our area and for some, as of 10 p.m. Thursday night, the stress of waiting is not over.

In the 24th District Circuit Court Race, Incumbent Democrat Donald Parish of Huntingdon easily won over his opponent Republican Vicki Hoover of Paris by a vote of 13, 020 to 9,732. 

The 24th District District Attorney race appeared to favor newcomer Republican Matt Stowe of Huntingdon over Incumbent Democrat Hansel McCadams of Paris. With a few more results left to come in late Thursday night, the vote was 12,009-10,672.

As for the 24th District Chancellor race, Republican Carma McGee of Savannah has squeaked by Democrat Michael King of Huntingdon in a race that wasn't determined until early in the morning.

In Obion County, late Thursday night Steve Conley conceded to Jeff Parham in the Circuit Court race. Conley said, “While I am certainly disappointed with the outcome of the election, I also realize that I am blessed beyond measure. I have been blessed with a wonderful family who was unbelievably supportive and helpful during the campaign. Campaigning throughout Obion and Weakley Counties the past several months has been a wonderful experience that my family and I will never forget.”

In Carroll County, County Mayor Democrat Kenny McBride won re-election with 2,175 votes over Richard Goodwin 1402, Dennis Taylor 292, Tim Pratt 364 and Richard Fisk 364.

Jake Bynum of Dresden is the new Weakley County Mayor. Bynum ran as an Independent and received 3,699 votes, beating Republican challenger and Martin alderman Randy Edwards, who received 2,801 votes, and Democratic candidate Jake Watson, who received 547 votes. Bynum will succeed outgoing county mayor Houston Patrick, who did not seek re-election and is retiring after two terms in office.

In Benton County, in a heated race, Sheriff Tony King was beat by newcomer Kenny Christopher. King is a Democrat and Christopher is an independent. 

In Stewart County, Deryk Wyatt is the new sheriff, beating Frankie Gray. County Mayor Rickie Joiner overwhelmingly held off a challenge from Jonathan Anglin.

In Henry County, Randi French easily beat Cindy Hopkins for the County Trustee post. French said, “I’m still very emotional, a little numb. It hasn’t sunk in yet. But I do look forward to serving the people of Henry County.” She said she loved every minute of the campaign, which lasted over a year.

Other Henry County races, all of the incumbent commissioners retained their seats, with some fighting off challenges from newcomers. In District 1, Chief Deputy Randy Gean was elected to fill the seat for retiring Dan Paschall.

Commissioners winners:

District 1: Wes Bradley, Randy Gean, Don Jones

District 2: Bobby Freeman, Kreg Kyle, Paul Neal

District 3: Paul Mathenia, Monte Starks, Marty Visser

District  4: Dell Carter, Kenneth Humphreys, James Travis

District 5: Greg Carter, Connie McSwain and David Webb.

In Obion County, the commission race winners:

District 2: Kenneth Barnes, Allen Nohsey and Dean Jowers

District 3: Danny Jowers, Kenneth Cheatham, and Ricky Boyd

District 5: Jerry Grady, Paul Albright, James Beasley

District 6: Terry Roberts, Ned Bigelow, Polk Glover

District 7: Steve Goodrich, Sam Sinclair and Jim Bondurant


It's Moon Pie-Eating Time at The Fair

Paris, Tenn.-Walt Ashley, top, waves his hand to the crowd as he wins tonight's Tennessee Product Eating Contest at the Henry County Fair. Ashley owns Hellbilly Moonshiner's grilling and dipping sauces. For winning the contest, he was awarded a basket of Tennessee products that included his sauce. Even Fairest of the Fair Alex Reagor got in on the action during the contest, bottom photo. (Kim Patterson photo).

Midway Keeps Rockin' At The Fair

Paris, Tenn.-A heat wave has descended on the Henry County Fair the last couple of nights, but that has not kept a steady flow of people--especially the young--from enjoying the midway. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Fair's First Corn Hole Tournament Was A Hit

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Fair’s first-ever corn hole tournament was a big hit, drawing 15 teams to compete at the Farmer’s Market Pavillion. Winners were: first place, $75 to The Sharp Shooters Max Easley and Russell Tabers from Murray; second place, $50 to Team Hart James Hart and Cody McClain; and third place $25 Team McClain made up of Randy and Jenny McClain. (Henry County Fair photos).


Kemp Wins Best of Show for Quilting

Paris, Tenn.-June Kemp of Cottage Grove is shown straightening out one of her quilts Monday at the Henry County Fair before she won Best of Show and three first place ribbons for her handiwork. Her quilts are on display in the Enoch Building along with other wares and works by Henry Countians. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

A Handful of Ribbons At The Fair

Paris, Tenn.-Brad Hosford of Paris was all smiles Wednesday at the Henry County Fair, as he realized just how many ribbons he won for a variety of crafts that he entered. He won several first place ribbons, including one for the chair he built in the photo, as well as carvings. He also won second and third place ribbons for a bench, decorated window frame, recycled horse shoe carvings, and paintings. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Senator Lowe Finney To Run For Jackson Mayor

Jackson, Tenn. -- State Senator Lowe Finney announced Wednesday that he intends to run for mayor of Jackson in 2015. Finney represents District 27, which includes Madison, Crockett, Dyer, Lake and Lauderdale Counties. He has been a senator for two terms and his current term expires in November.

Current Mayor Jerry Gist has indicated he intends to run for another term.

Sometimes It Takes A Village

Paris, Tenn.-Sometimes it really does take a village. Anna DiVito needed help with the huge sunflowers she brought to the Henry County Fair’s youth crop exhibit Monday and she received a lot from Extension Agent Ransom Goodman, Glenn and Pam Lee. DiVito won first place for her sunflowers as well as ribbons for other items she brought in. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Julie Gribble to Perform at Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.- National recording artist, Julie Gribble will be performing live at Libation Station this Thursday evening, August 7th, from 5-9 p.m. at Discovery Park of America in Union City....

Gribble has been performing for 10 years and has called both Los Angeles and Nashville home. “Julie is on her summer tour and Libation Station is fortunate to have her,” Event Director Melissa Caldwell said.

Libation Station has been open most Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5-9 p.m. for the past couple of months, and has featured a variety of local and regional live entertainment.

The outdoor venue will continue to offer live entertainment through October of this year and plans are to start back in the spring of 2015, when the weather gets nice again according to CEO Jim Rippy. “Libation Station offers a unique opportunity for our members to get together and enjoy live entertainment and wind-down at the end of the week. We’ve been pleased by the response of the community, and the amazing talent that we have found among regional artists,” Rippy said.

Entrance to Libation Station is free to anyone who has purchased an annual membership to Discovery Park. Members can bring a guest for $5.

According to park officials, Thursday night’s event will be moved into Dinosaur Hall in the case of rain.

Henry County Fair Schedule for Today

Paris, Tenn.-Today is a big day at the fair, with the junior livestock sale tonight, along with the Woolies' Revue, a Night With Elvis and much more. Here is the schedule:

8 to 8:30 a.m. swine grooming demonstration
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Viewing of Adult and Youth entries
9 a.m. Junior Hog Show
Pre 4-H Market Hog Show
10 a.m. Sketch Crawl at the Fair...
11 a.m. Junior Market Goat Show
12:30 to 2 p.m. Street Grooming Demonstration
1 p.m. Junior Market Lamb Show
Pre 4-h Market Lamb Show
2 p.m. Junior Market Steer Show
10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Old Country Store
5 to 9 p.m. Commercial Building open for viewing
6 p.m. Carnival opens
6 p.m. Woolies Revue
6 to 8 p.m. Red-E Fox 911 Mascot appearance
6:30 Tennessee Product Eating Contest
7 p.m. A Night with Elvis
7 p.m. Junior Livestock Sale- Steers, Hogs, Lambs, goats

Discovery Park to Host Tornado Workshop

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America’s Education Department is offering a free Tornado Preparedness Workshop from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, August 9. 

 Interested persons are asked to meet between 9:15 and 9:30 in the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) located next to the Cafe in Discovery Center, just inside the main entrance.  The workshop will begin at 9:30.  

Northwest Tennessee Disaster Services will present this informative workshop which is designed to help people prepare today for what tomorrow might bring.  Learn how to prepare for a tornado, what provisions to have on hand, what to do in the event of a power outage and temporary first-aid and survival skills.  The workshop is free and open to the public.  Admission to the park is not included.  

UC Man Cited For Resisting Arrest

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested for resisting arrest and a shotgun was seized after an incident Tuesday night at 614 S. Fourth St.

Arrested was Steven Knight, age 47, of that address. Union City Police were called there on a report of an argument and possible gunshot. Officers heard a noise coming from the backyard but had difficulty getting there because of a fence. They did find a spent shotgun shell which smelled like it had been shot recently.

Knight finally came out of the house and first said he didn’t heard any argument and then said he did hear arguing in the backyard. Officers said he was evasive and smelled of alcohol. Officers also noticed he was wearing gloves and had fresh blood on his arm.

Officers attempted to check inside the house to see if someone was injured and Knight became upset and physically tried to keep them from going in the house. He was arrested and no one else was found in the house.

Inside the house officers found in plain view the 12-guage shotgun which was loaded and smelled like it had been fired. A criminal history of Knight determined he may be a convicted felon from Weakley Co. and the gun was taken as evidence until the conviction can be confirmed.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Portion of Downtown Paris Building Collapses

City of Paris Initiates Emergency Action 

Part of the load-bearing brick structure fell Tuesday afternoon. The tree has been growing from the back of the building for some time. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A portion of a downtown building fell Tuesday afternoon and Paris City officials have initiated steps to take emergency action to demolish the structure.

The building was used for storage by the late E.C. Wallin and is still owned by his estate. It is located in the block between East Wood Street and Fentress Streets. 

Built sometime between 1910 and 1920, the building has been a source of concern for city officials for quite some time and a tree has been growing through the back portion of the building for years. 

City Building Inspector Mike Brown said, “We were taking the necessary steps to condemn the building when Mr. Wallin was still alive, but then he died and that put our steps in limbo. The estate has still not been settled.”

However, Brown said, “It takes something of this magnitude to initiate emergency action and we are notifying the parties involved with that building and giving them a timeline to take action.”

Brown said the structure is built with three layers of bricks and the masonry and bricks that fell from the building today are part of the structure itself. “In the days when that building was built, they didn’t just use bricks as the façade like they do nowadays. The bricks were part of the structure itself.”

The two-story brick and masonry structure has housed Barrett’s Construction and a machine shop before Wallin purchased it and used it for storage.”

The Paris Public Works Department cleaned up the bricks and masonry this afternoon.

Kroger Plans Fuel Area at Paris Store

Work to mark off the area for the proposed fuel section has already begun. The equipment in photo is being used for other ongoing projects in Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris may soon have a Kroger fuel area in its future. The Kroger Co. is planning to construct an area for gas pumps adjacent to the Kroger Store on Mineral Wells Ave.

Kroger officials already have been marking off the area, which is located in the empty lot near the building. 

The request will be on the agenda for the Paris City Planning Commission Thursday night August 14 at city hall.

Many Kroger stores have fuel areas, including the one in Murray.

Taking Care of The Best of Show

Paris, Tenn.-Brenda Owen gives some last minute TLC to her giant coleus plant which later won Best of Show and First Place ribbons at the Henry County Fair. Owen said she plant several types of coleus plants together in the pot. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Time of City Commission Meet Changed; Special Meet Called

Paris, Tenn.-The time of the regular Paris City Commission meeting Thursday night has been changed to 5 p.m.  instead of 6 p.m. at city hall.

Additionally, a special meeting has been set for Wednesday, August 13, to discuss and review long-term financial projections, a transfer station plan, proposals for future city hall improvements, bond sizing and local option sales tax referendum. That meeting also will be held at 5 p.m. at city hall.

Paris McDonald's To Construct New McDonald's in Huntingdon

Huntingdon, Tenn.--Site work is being performed in Huntingdon for a new McDonald’s restaurant which is planned on Veterans Drive, across from the Wal-Mart shopping center. The new restaurant will be owned by McWorth Management in Paris, the same company that owns the Paris McDonald’s and several others.

According to the McKenzie Banner, once the site is prepared, underground storm sewer and water lines will be installed and foundation work will begin on the McDonald’s and an attached retail store.

Looking Out Over The Henry County Fair

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Fair midway is a beautiful sight when it's all lit up at night and Kim Patterson of Paris captured a beautiful panoramic view of it Monday night.

Special Prosecuted Named in Lewis Theft Case

Paris, Tenn.-A special prosecutor has been named to hear the misdemeanor theft case against Martin Lewis of Paris in Henry County General Sessions Court.

Lewis, who is associated with the Servall company, was arrested by Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies earlier this year. Deputies were notified by another gutter company that signs advertising their business were being removed by Lewis. 

Deputies charged Lewis with allegedly removing two signs valued at $25 apiece from the Van Dyke and Bunn School Road intersection.

At the upcoming hearing, set for August 26, the case will be heard by 23rd Judicial District Attorney Brooke Orgain of Charlotte. According to court notes, a special prosecutor was appointed because Lewis is related to someone who is interning for the local District Attorney’s Office.

Judging at the Henry County Dairy Cattle Show

Paris, Tenn.-Hailey Ary, left, won reserve grand champion and junior show grand champion at Monday’s Dairy Cattle Show at the Henry County Fair. In photo, she is shown in the ring with Judge Jeff Mitchell, a dairy specialist with the University of Tennessee Extension Office in Knoxville. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Relaxing Before The Big Show

Paris, Tenn.-Brady Bell of Dresden looked relaxed Monday sitting atop his jersey in the dairy barn at the Henry County Fair. Bell went on to win junior showmanship during the dairy cattle show. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Karate Raises Over $5,000 For St. Jude

Record-winner Autumn Yannayon is in foreground, with Ella Seaton in back. (Rick Conger photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Over $5,000 was raised for St. Jude Children’s Hospital by the children’s classes at Paris Karate. Paris Karate was chosen for the 18th year to participate in the event, called a “Kata Thon”, according to Rick Conger of Paris Karate.

Autumn Yannayon set a Paris Karate record for most money raised with $1,031.

The "Kata thon" was a week long event, July 7-12 , in which the students performed "kata", the preset routines of karate techniques. Sponsors donated money for each kata performed.

The theme for this year's "Kata Thon" was "Children Helping Children", Conger said.
Students that participated in this fund raiser helped children at St. Jude while they benefited from practicing their karate skills.
St. Jude is the nation's leading research hospital that treats catastrophic childhood diseases such as cancer. Families are not charged for this
expensive treatment and the primary source of funding is from contributions.

A total 624 kata were performed during the event with 137 students participating in
the event.  A total of $5,003 was raised and sent to St. Jude.

Election Day Hours, Polling Places Listed

Thursday is Election Day and it will a busy day in our area and throughout Tennessee, with most county elected officials as well as several state offices on the General Election Ballot. Many of the races have become heated in our area, especially in the last days before the election.

Polls in both Henry and Stewart Counties will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In Obion County, polls will open at 8 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

There are 13 polling places through Henry County and here is the list:

1-1 Puryear Civic Center

94 S Sycamore St., Puryear TN

1-2 Cottage Grove Baptist Church

Community Bldg

6860 Church St., Cottage Grove TN 

1-3 Buchanan Masonic Lodge

55 Rabbit Creek Rd., Buchanan 

2-1 Henry Civic Center

9300 Hwy 79 S., Henry TN

2-2 Mansfield Vol. Fire Dept

Hwy 114, Mansfield TN

2-3 Oakland Vol. Fire Dept

4435 Hwy 69 S., Paris TN 

3-1 Russwood American Legion

4326 E Antioch Rd., Springville TN 

3-2 Springville Community Center

105 Broadview, Springville TN

3-3 Jones Chapel Baptist Church

2200 India Rd, Paris TN 

4-1 Grove School

215 Grove Blvd, Paris TN

4-2 Paris City Hall

100 N Caldwell St., Paris TN

5-1 Henry Co. High School

315 S Wilson St., Paris TN 

5-2 Tennessee College of Applied Technology 

312 S Wilson St., Paris TN

There are 12 polling places in Obion County and here is the list:

District #1 South Fulton City Hall   (1-1)

700 Milton Counce Road

South Fulton, TN 

District #2 Eddie Cox Senior Center  (2-1) 

622 Depot Street

Union City, TN 

                Woodland Community Center   (2-4)

201 Cannon Moore Drive

Woodland Mills, TN 

District #3 Kenton Gym  (3-2)

210 W. College Street

Kenton, TN 

                Rives Fire Station  (3-4)  

3466 E. Cross Street

Rives, TN 

District #4 Fair Grounds  (4-1) 

1711 Church Street

Union City, TN 

District #5 Cloverdale Community Center  (5-2) 

3344 Cloverdale Road

Obion, TN 

               Hornbeak City Hall  (5-4)  

212 W. Main Street

Hornbeak, TN 

                Samburg Assembly of God  (5-5)

253 N. Reelfoot Avenue

Samburg, TN 

District #6 Troy Senior Center  (6-1) 

128 N. College Street

Troy, TN

Obion Community Center  (6-2)

221 N. Broadway Avenue

Obion, TN 

District #7  Obion County Public Library  (7-2)

1221 E. Reelfoot Avenue

Union City, TN 

UC Council Discusses Residency Requirements, Lease Agreement

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session last night, the Union City City Council voted to accept the termination of a lease agreement with the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Tennessee regarding the old Central Elementary School Building.

The Boys and Girls Club previously informed council that it will not be able to develop the property. Now the future of the building is uncertain.

Most of council’s time was spent talking about residency requirements for the city’s department heads. Two council members Bill Harrison and Bill Jack Cranford are of the opinion that the city’s department heads should live within the city limits and pay city taxes.

Two other members Councilmen Danny Leggett and Jim Douglas indicated no such requirement is needed. Mayor Terry Hailey said other than the city manager, he doesn’t care where the other department heads live.

Hailey said there does need to be a specific response time requirement for emergency personnel such as fire and police personnel. Hailey said there is a requirement on the books now that requires employees to live within six and a half miles of the courthouse. That rule has not been enforced by any city administration.

Councilwoman Judy Robinson suggested the city look at that ordinance and discuss residency at the next meeting, which everyone agreed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Murray CVS Robbery Suspect Arrested

Murray, Ky.-Thanks to tips from the public--not to mention a really good surveillance photo--Murray Police have made an arrest in the robbery at the CVS Pharmacy Monday. 

Murray Police took Gary Vanderweff, age 62, of Murray, into custody without incident and he is lodged at the Calloway County Jail. Vanderwerff is charged with robbery first degree, a Class B felony.

The Murray Police thank everyone who called with tips and information. Murray Police issued the surveillance photo last night and asked for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

Getting Ready For Dairy Cattle Show

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County FFA Advisor Laura Moss and Ashton Thompson check over Ashton’s calf before the dairy cattle show Monday morning at the Henry County Fair. Ashton was competing in the intermediate calf division. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Henry County Fair Schedule for Tuesday August 5

1 to 8 p.m. viewing of Adult and Youth exhibits
4 to 8 p.m. Old Country Store
6 p.m. Carnival opens
6 to 8 p.m. Dare Mascot appearance
6:30 Jr. Queen, Jr. Miss, Miss Pre-Teen pageants
7 p.m. Mud Bog Trucks
8 p.m. Cash Give-A-Way

Waiting On Their Turn

Paris, Tenn.-Sitting on hay bales waiting for their turn in the dairy cattle show Monday at the Henry County Fair were (from left): Kari Beth Woods, Britney Bell, Abbi Woods and Laura Bell. Britney Bell was to compete in a few minutes. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Fair Cookouts

Paris, Tenn.-There will be three cook outs during the Henry County Fair this week, the first being Wednesday sponsored by Hoofbeats of Hope.

On the menu is Cajun Grilled Chicken, baked beans, chips, Sister Shubert rolls, dessert and drink, all for just $10.00. Jan Foy said, “We will start serving around 4:00 or a little earlier if it gets done by then.”

Thursday’s cookout will be sponsored by Henry County Livestock Assn. and Saturday’s by the Henry County Junior Livestock.

Obion County Tax Rate To Remain Same

Union City, Tenn.-Good news for taxpayers: Obion County’s tax rate will stay the same as it was in 2013.

At meetings of both the Obion County Budget and Finance Committees Monday, committee members unanimously approved the county budget which now will go before the full county commission at its August 18 meeting for approval.

As it was in 2013, the tax rate will continue at $2.0042 for outside tax and $1.6492 for inside tax rate, according to a spokesperson at the county mayor’s office.

At the meeting, County Mayor Benny McGuire said calculations are that one penny on the tax rate is equivalent to just over $54,000, with a total projected collection of almost $542,000 county-wide.
McGuire also said the strong tax collection could result in new money of almost $20,000 to the Obion County School System and approximately $9,000 to the Union City School System.

The committees also addressed the Obion County Public Library’s request by agreeing to stand with appropriations being the same as they were last year.

Soccer Team Shows Support For Alex

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Fairest of the Fair Alex Reagor surrounded by her soccer mates on the stage at the Commercial Building after she was crowned at Monday night’s pageant. The full story on the Fairest of the Fair and Miss Teen pageant were posted Monday night on our website and Facebook pages. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Red River Waste Seeks to Extend Garbage Services

Union City, Tenn.-Red River Waste Solutions, Union City's new waste hauler, will extend its garbage collection services to residents outside the city as soon as it can receive all necessary government approvals from Obion County.

Red River has applied to the Obion County board of commissioners for a franchise agreement that must be approved by county government in order for waste companies to provide private subscription collection services to residents. Currently, only Barker Brothers and ECM have authorization to provide residential waste collection in rural areas of Obion County. 

There is a three-step process for waste companies to gain authorization by Obion County to serve county residents. Red River has gained approval unanimous approval by the Solid Waste Board on July 24 and now must win approval by the County Budget Committee and the full County Commission. Those votes have not been scheduled by the County. The review of this franchise request was passed over for the Budget Committee meeting scheduled for August 4, hopefully the committee will be able to review at its next Budget Committee meeting in September.

"Residents who want the exceptional service and low pricing that we provide should contact their County Commissioner to voice support for added competition and approval of Red River's franchise agreement," according to Red River General Manager Bill Roden. "Further delay will simply allow the current waste collection providers added time to try and lock customers into long-term, more expensive subscription agreements. "We ask the residents of Obion County to be patient and understanding while we work through the process to operate in Obion County," Roden said.

"Our company is known for providing exceptional service and for value pricing," he said. "Working with our Union City government partners is rewarding and we are really looking forward to the same relationship with county elected officials and residents."

For more information about Red River Waste Solutions, please contact Bill Roden at (731) 884-2860.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Alex Reagor Crowned Fairest of the Fair

Fairest of the Fair Alex Reagor. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Alex Reagor was crowned Henry County’s Fairest of the Fair capping off a perfect start to the Henry County Fair Monday. Alex is 17 and the daughter of Susan Reagor and Eddie Reagor.

Her court is made up of First Maid Lillie Akers, 17, daughter of John and Julie Akers; Second Maid Aleece Passman, 16, daughter of Gary and Tina Passman; Third Maid Sydney Luna, 17, daughter of Marla Luna; and Fourth Maid Grace Hassell, 17, daughter of Dan and Misty Hassell.

Earlier in the evening, Miss Teen Olivia Harber was crowned. She is 13 and the daughter of Paul Harber and Lydia Flowers.  Her court is made up of First Maid Natalie Clark, 13, daughter of Andy and Sonya Clark; and Second Maid Abigail Wilson, 13, daughter of Tony and Amy Wilson.

Five lucky people went home with a lot more money than they came to the fair with after they were selected to grab money out of the cash machine. Dominic Daquilla was the top winner, with $582. Jill Powers grabbed $253; Lynn Lovelace $124; Ann Hudson $113 and Jinny Pritchett $81.

The other cash give-aways will be Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday’s events will include the Junior Queen, Junior Miss and Miss Pre-Teen pageants, more carnival rides and fair food, an appearance by the DARE mascot, and mud bogging.

Paris, Tenn.-Fairest of the Fair Alex Reagor surrounded by her court: First Maid Lillie Akers; Second Maid Aleece Passman; Third Maid Sydney Luna and Fourth Maid Grace Hassell. (McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Olivia Harber, 13, daughter of Paul Harber and Lydia Flowers, was crowned Miss Teen at the Henry County Fair tonight. (McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Miss Teen Olivia Harber surrounded by her court: First Maid Abigail Wilson and Second Maid Natalie Clark. (McFarlin photo).

Grabbing At Those Bucks

Paris, Tenn.-Dominic Daquilla went home $582 richer Monday night from the Henry County Fair after he grabbed the most money from the money machine. Leon Rogers and Jamey Tosh look on from the sidelines. Other winners: Jill Powers, $253; Lynn Lovelace, $124; Ann Hudson $113; and Jinny Pritchett, $81. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Murray CVS Robbed

Murray, Ky.-Murray Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect who robbed the CVS Pharmacy at 12th and Main Streets around 4:30 p.m. Monday. Murray Police have released a surveillance photo of the suspec...t.

According to the press release from the Murray Police, the suspect entered the pharmacy, demanded medications, and threatened to use a gun if he did not receive them. No gun was observed, however.

The suspect is described as a tall, heavy set middle aged white male wearing a Murray State University hat, button up denim sleeveless shirt, blue jean shorts, white socks, and black shoes. If anyone has knowledge of the suspect in the attached picture, please call the Murray Police Department at (270)753-1621.

Stolen RV Recovered in Weakley County

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, center, and Investigators David Doyle and Gary Vandiver look over an RV that was stolen from Little Eagle Campground last week and was brought back to Henry County today after it was recovered in Weakley County, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Capt. Damon Lowe. Lowe said the investigation is ongoing and the sheriff’s office hopes to file charges soon. (Henry County Sheriff's Office photo).

Woman Drives Through Martin Bank Window

Martin, Tenn.-A 79-year-old Martin woman drove her SUV through the front window of First Citizens Bank in Martin shortly before noon. According to Don Teal of the Martin Police, Barbara Knox of Old Fulton Rd. in Martin was driving a 2004 blue GMC Envoy when she drove into the front window for an unknown reason. Teal said Weakley County EMS was called to the scene but did not transport her to a hospital. The accident is still under investigation.

Walter Butler Named Bethel President

McKenzie, Tenn. – Bethel University has appointed Walter Butler as its President. The University Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Butler’s appointment as 40th President of the school. Butler is former Carroll County Mayor and Carroll County Trustee. He also is a former Tennessee Director of Parks. 

Butler has served as Interim President of Bethel since Aug. 1, 2013 after long-time President Robert Prosser retired.

“We are so fortunate to have Walter Butler as the leader of this institution,” according to Judge Ben Cantrell, Chair of Bethel’s Board of Trustees. “The combination of his educational qualifications, his management skills and his university experience would be hard to find anywhere else in higher education.”

Butler, who holds both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Bethel, was recently presented an honorary doctor of humane letters by the school’s trustees. Butler’s Bethel career actually began in 1975 when he began work as an admissions counselor – a position he held for three years until he ran for the Office of Carroll County Trustee and won. 

At 24, Butler was the youngest county-wide official ever elected in Carroll County. He served as Carroll County Trustee for 16 years, being re-elected in 1982, 1986, and 1990. 

In August of 1994, he ran successfully for the Office of Carroll County Executive (now Carroll County Mayor). Butler served in this capacity until 1996 when Governor Don Sundquist asked him to become Tennessee’s Director of State Parks. 

As Director of State Parks he oversaw 54 parks, 1,600 employees and a budget of more than $57 million. Under his leadership, Tennessee was recognized as one of the top four managed park systems of the 50 states by the Sports Foundation. Governor Sundquist went on to appoint Butler the Deputy Commissioner of Personnel for Tennessee’s 38,000 employees, and then as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Butler went on to serve as Commissioner of Personnel, a position he held to the end of Governor Sundquist’s term in office. 

At that time, Butler returned to Bethel as the Director of Business Affairs. He later held positions at Bethel as Executive Vice President for the College of Liberal Arts and as Vice President for the College of Criminal Justice. After a brief time away from Bethel, Butler returned as Director of Business Affairs until August 2013 when he was appointed Interim President.

“I am honored to serve the students, faculty, administration and our vast family of alumni and friends in the role of President of Bethel University,” Butler said. “To have the privilege to work for your alma mater is special. 

Thirteen to Compete For Fairest of Fair Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-This scene from last year's contest will replicated tonight as thirteen young ladies get ready to compete for the title of Fairest of the Fair at the Henry County Fairgrounds ton...ight. Photo shows last year's contestants as they prepare backstage for the contest. Pageant Committee Chair Linda Mangrum said the girls who will be competing are: Lillie Akers, Sydney Marie Luna, Madeline Hosford, Ashton Lynn Thompson, Rachel Wilson, Valerie Gabrielle Daquilla, Jayna Nance, Madison Lovelace, Brooke Johnson, Grace Danielle Hassell, Manning Elizabeth Boley, Alex Reagor, and Aleece Marie Passman. Both the Miss Teen and Fairest of the Fair contests are set for tonight, beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the Miss Teen to be held first. They will be held in the Commercial Building. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Henry County TARP Participates in D.C. March

Henry County Tarp members were colorful for their D.C. trip. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Barker).

Washington, D.C.--A contingent of representatives from the Henry County TARP office were among thousands of people from all over the country who converged on Washington D.C. last week for the anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) signing.

TARP is the Center for Independent Living in Henry County and stands for Training, Advocacy, Referral and Peer Support.

Attending from Henry County were: TARP Executive Director Bob Leonard, Assistant Director Marianne Dale, TARP Board Chair Matt Werner, Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Barker, Treasurer Rozann Downing, Vice Chair Denise Wardle and Assistant Zora Adams.

Dale said they attended the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) annual conference, which is held every year in July around the ADA anniversary. It includes a march to the Capital Building showing unity for people with disabilities.  

In all there were 30 people from Tennessee, she said, mostly from Jackson, Nashville and Knoxville.

Bethel Team Finishes Second in National Championship

The Bethel team of Zach Parker and Matt Roberts (in purple) congratulate the winners from UNC. (Shaye Baker/Bassmasters photo).

Young Harris, Ga. —One of Bethel University’s teams came in second place in the 2014 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship over the weekend. The competition was held at Chatuge Reservoir in Georgia.

Coming in second was the team of Zach Parker and Matt Roberts with catches totalling 38 pounds. Their names should be familiar to anyone who has been following the series this year.

Winning the tournament was the team of Jake Whitaker and Andrew Helms of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

“Look out there,” an emotional Zach Parker was quoted in the Bassmasters' press release. Gesturing toward the crowd, he said, “They all came out here to support us. This team is awesome.”

Zach Parker and Matt Roberts also earned the Livingston Lures Leader Award for leading on Day 2.

After the college championship, the top eight individuals face off in a single elimination three-day tournament and the winner of that will compete in the 2015 national championship. Parker has moved into the finals, along with Bentley Manning and Robert Giarla of Tennessee Tech and Brett Preuett of University of Louisiana at Monroe. The final will be Tuesday.

Also placing in the top ten of this year’s championship was Cody Ross and Dewey Swimms of Bethel, with 21 pounds.

Lewd Acts Draw Arrest

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested for indecent exposure and public intoxication after he was committing lewd acts while completely in the nude on a porch.

Chester John Olejniczak of 611 N. Division St. was arrested after officers observed him nude and masturbating on his front porch. The porch light was turned on and the defendant was “clearly visible to anyon...e passing by and neighbors in the area”, according to the report.

Officers said he had a strong odor of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. He told officers, “I had too much to drink”. According to the report, “Based on his impairment and behavior, the defendant was found to be unreasonably annoying others in the vicinity.”

Wranglers Campground To Be Without Water

Golden Pond, Ky.– Wranglers Campground will be without water on Monday and Tuesday, August 4 and 5, to repair a water leak. Bathrooms and shower buildings will be closed until late-evening on August 5. Campers arriving today through this weekend will be notified about the water situation.

Updates will be posted on the official website,, on the Alerts and Notices page.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000.

Henry County Fair Schedule For Monday

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Fair officially starts Monday, August 4, and the highlight of the day's events will be the Miss Teen and Fairest of the Fair pageants, which begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Commercial Building.

Here is the full schedule: 
10 a.m. Dairy Cattle Show
noon to 5 p.m. Adult and Youth Department entries accepted and Adult and Youth Horticulture and Field Crops entries accepted.
6 p.m. Carnival Opens--rides free with gate admission $10
6:30 p.m. Cookie Decorating Demo for Kids in Community Building
6:30 p.m. Miss Teen and Fairest of Fair pageants
7 p.m. Kids Mud Bog, bikes, feet, etc. in Ball Field area and a 4-wheeler mud bog
7 p.m. 4-H horse demo in livestock barn
8 p.m. Cash giveaway in Commercial Building.

UC Woman Arrested For Aggravated Assault

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City woman was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault by Union City Police after she allegedly beat a male victim and threatened him with a shotgun.

Arrested was Penny Glisson of 217 N. Ury St. The police report indicated she and the victim were involved in a verbal altercation that became physical. Police found a Mossberg shotgun in the shrubs on the north side of the house and the victim told officers she had pointed it at him and attempted to pull the trigger but did not know how to operate the weapons safety.

Dog Owner Charged After Bite

Union City, Tenn.-An East College Street resident was cited by Union City Police for harbouring a vicious animal and having no proof of vaccination after it reportedly bit a child in that neighborhood Friday afternoon.

Owner Jamie Cummins said the dog had been chained on the porch but when she went inside for a moment, she heard screaming from outside. A juvenile sustained a cut above his ear and the top part of his ear was ripped open, according to the police report.

The dog will be boarded at the animal control office for 10 days to undergo observation.

Fulton Woman Injured in Accident

Hickman County, Ky.-A Fulton, Kentucky woman was hospitalized after a one-vehicle collision on the Purchase Parkway in Hickman County when the driver in the vehicle in which she was riding became ill and lost consciousness. The accident occurred around 6 p.m. Sunday.

According to the report from the Kentucky State Police, preliminary investigation indicated that  James Anderson, 64, of Water Valley, KY, was operating a 2009 GMC pickup traveling south on the Julian Carroll  Purchase Parkway.  Anderson became ill and tried to pull off the side of the road.   

Anderson lost consciousness and ran off the road. Sandra Smith, of Fulton, KY, was a front seat passenger in the vehicle. Both parties sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton, KY.

The Kentucky State Police was assisted on the scene by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Fulton County EMS, Hickman County EMS and Water Valley Fire. Trooper Coppersmith is conducting the investigation into the collision. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

At Benefit Event, Chairs Aren't Just For Sitting

Downtown Paris Association won Overall Award and Favorite Group Award with shopping cart chair. (DPA photo).

Paris, Tenn.-In Henry County, chairs aren't just for sitting. Some $2,000 was raised Saturday night at the annual “Chairs That Care” event which benefits the Henry County Caring Hearts Fund. This year’s event was held at the Paris Winery, with Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson again performing the emcee duties.

Organizer Casey Brown said the event was a good one, with numerous volunteers pitching in. She said 56 chairs were donated this year “and they were very unique, elegant and yet funny.“ Wilson “always does a great job and has everyone laughing and bidding” at the events, she said.

This year’s overall peoples choice was Downtown Paris Association with the “Shop Local Paris” shopping cart chair, which also won for favorite group award chair. DPA President Kathy Ray applauded the work of Denise Barnhill in designing the chair.

Favorite adult designed bench went to Kelly Smith with the name of her chair “Down on the Farm” made with two chairs facing each other attached together and Maria Smith with a piano bench made out of three chairs named "Rhapsody". 

Brown thanked everyone who attended the event and bid on the chairs.

BBQ Cook-Off Kicks Off Fair Week Just Right

Chris Chadwick of Hawg County Cookers in McKenzie won chefs' choice. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Twenty-five teams from all around the region--from as far away as Nashville, Columbia, Dickson, Dyersburg, Clarksville, Jackson, even Missouri--gathered at the Henry County Fairgrounds for the fourth annual BBQ Cook Off. 

Organizer Donna Milam said the cook off gets better each year. Winners were announced at the fairgrounds at an afternoon ceremony, with the Grand Champion trophy going to Big Bubba’s BBQ from Ridgely, Tenn. He also won $1,000.

Teams were judged on brisket, ribs, chicken, shoulder, chef’s choice--and something new this year--dessert.

Reserve Champion was Boom Boom Que in Nashville. First place winners in the contest were: Chicken, Big B’s of Springfield; Ribs, Big Bubba’s BBQ of Ridgely; Shoulder, Blue Springs BBQ of Franklin; Brisket, Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em BBQ of Nashville; Chef’s Choice, Hawg County Cookers of McKenzie and Dessert, Big B’s of Nashville. 

Judges had a hard job, with only a few points between the grand champion Big Bubba’s BBQ (809.96) and the second place Boom Boom Que (809.24).

Top Five Overall Team Scores were: Big Bubba's BBQ, Boom Boom Que, Double A's BBQ, Smoke 'm if you Got 'm, and Ash Kickers (from Paris).

Bryan Feezor of Charleston, Mo. and Bryan Feezor of McKenzie, competing as Pirate Pork BBQ of McKenzie, in their 'pirate's ship'. (McFarlin photo).

Chris Martin and Monte Starks of the Ash Kickers team of Paris check on their ribs. (McFarlin photo).

Covenant Ranch To Host Ironman Sportsman Night

Paris, Tenn.-The 6th annual Ironman Fellowship Sportsman Night will be held August 7 at Covenant Ranch on Hwy. 79N in Paris.

The event includes an appearance by Pro Bass Fisherman Mark Rose, archery/turket shoot and free gun giveaways. Also includes a free meal and vendors.

Doors open at 5 p.m., with meal at 6:45 p.m. For more info call 731642-2099.

Registration Open For Writing Conference

Troy, Tenn. – The West Tennessee Writing Project will offer a conference from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Obion County Central High School in Troy. 

“WTWP How To: A Conference on Writing, Teaching, and Publishing” will feature a plenary session with published authors Shannon Lyon, Julia Schuster and Jenna Wright, plus breakout sessions on writing, teaching, technology and the Common Core. The workshop is open to anyone over 18 interested in writing and publishing. Teachers will receive six hours of Continuing Education Credits after completing the conference, and all participants receive certificates of participation.

Early registration before Sept. 4 is $30 and late registration is $40, which includes lunch. WTWP teacher consultants who have completed the Summer Institute at UT Martin will present all breakout sessions and plenary sessions. 

Registration is available online through UT Martin’s office of Extended Campus and Online Studies: Persons interested in attending may also call the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7080 for registration. See WTWP’s web site for updates on the conference: 

Shannon Lyon teaches at Obion County Central and is author of the novel Cotton’s Daughter. Julia Schuster teaches at St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School in Memphis and is author of Flowers for Elvis, a novel, and The Ingredients of Gumbo, a collection of stories, poems, essays and sketches. 

Jenna Wright is chair of the UT Martin Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages and has published writings in several journals, including Calliope.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Early Voting Totals Are High in Our Area

With early voting concluded today, this year’s totals exceeded other August elections right to the end in our local counties. Election commissions in our area have been reporting record-breaking totals during the early voting period. 

In Obion County, Elections Commission Director Leigh Schlager said 3,409 had voted early at the close of business Saturday, compared to 2,708 early voters in August of 2010. She said that includes the 49 absentee ballots that had been returned.

She itemized the early voters for us: 999 Democrat ballots; 1,686 Republican ballots; and 724 general only ballots.

In Henry County, 279 people voted Friday and 178 votes on Saturday “to finish our early voting on a strong note” of a total 3,582, according to County Election Commission Director Darrin Thompson. 

That is a lot more than previous August elections in Henry County, including August 2010, at 2,349 votes; and August 2008, with 1,083 votes.

In Stewart County, a total 2,637 voted early, which includes 2,637 who voted in person and 172 by mail as absentee ballots.

Election Day for 2014 General Election is August 7.

FOP Scholarships Announced

Paris, Tenn.-The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 17 has announced the recipients of the 2014 college scholarships. Each student will receive $500. In front row from left, Jenny Howard, Jessica Alexander. In back row from left are Justin Ramos, Coltin Wyrick, Trevor Wallace. Not pictured are Paige Elizondo and Ashley Ramos. (FOP photo).

Rhea Kids Club Meets Box Top Goal

Paris, Tenn.-There were a lot of happy kids at Rhea School recently for the announcement that the Summer Kids Club had reached its 600 Box Top goal. They were told they had not only met their goal, they had met it within two weeks of the deadline. In celebration, they were entertained by some of the Henry County High School Patriot football players and senior cheerleaders. (Lisa Allen photo).

Caldwell Speaks To Paris Quota Club

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell was guest speaker this week at the Paris Quota Club, speaking about his job and what the center offers.  

He has been in his position since August 19, 2013, and has a staff of six people.  Eighty percent of the funding comes from the county and twenty percent comes from a grant.  The center is geared to senior citizens over the age of 60.  Others can come to the center; but only those 60 and over can be a part of the program.  

Caldwell said the center offers bingo on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and they have had a “meet and greet” with the candidates running for office.  Caldwell said that seniors make up most of the voter population.  They sponsor the program “Meals on Wheels” and deliver approximately 30 meals per day.  They also serve 25-40 meals at the center per day.  They have a square dancing club that meets Monday nights at 6pm.  They take trips throughout the year and have a newsletter every other month.  

The office is located in room 7 at the Central School Building at 55 Jones Bend Road Ext in Paris, TN.  

It was announced that cookbooks were available and can be purchased for $10 from any Quotarian.  Proceeds go to the club’s scholarship fund.

The club sponsored a birthday party at Henry County Nursing Home on July 29th and they played bingo.

Grove School Open House is Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The E.W. Grove School is inviting all incoming freshmen and parents to a Back to School Open House at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 5.

Open House will begin in the Grove gym with an informational session on policies, procedures, and how to prepare for the first day of school. Attendees can then take a tour of the school and become familiar with programs offered at E.W. Grove School. Attendance is highly encouraged for all incoming students and their parents.

For more information, call E.W. Grove School at 642-4586.

LBL Warns of Campfire Dangers

Golden Pond, Ky.-- Due to the current drought conditions in the area, and increasingly dry weather in the forecast, management at Land Between The Lakes reminds visitors to the area to use extreme caution when building campfires, especially in the backcountry. 

Visitors are asked to remove any debris around the fire ring, make sure campfire ashes are cold before leaving unattended, and to keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby. Remember, only you can prevent wildfires.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Henry County Deputies Make Arrests in String of Thefts

Henry County Sheriff's Investigators Gary Vandiver, David Doyle and Adam Jenkins look over recovered four-wheelers.

Paris, Tenn.-Four individuals have been arrested in connection with a string of thefts of four-wheelers and other items in Henry County. Since July 21, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office has recovered numerous stolen items and have arrested and/or charged the suspects in conjunction with the thefts. 

Items recovered during this ring of thefts and returned to the victims of Henry County are valued at approximately $24,000.

The arrest on Wednesday of Andrew Adams and Blake Roberts, both of Paris, resulted in the recovery of five different stolen 4-wheelers. Three of the recovered 4-wheelers were recently reported stolen from various locations throughout the county. One was reported stolen from the city of Paris and one was reported stolen from the city of Puryear in 2010. Both Adams and Roberts are currently being held on $15,000 in the Henry County Jail.

On Tuesday night Travis Etherton of Kentucky was arrested in Calloway County. Etherton has been suspected in numerous thefts throughout the county namely around the Paris Landing/Buchanan area. After being arrested in Kentucky, investigators interviewed him and charges will be filed on some of the thefts. Etherton, however, is still suspected in several of the thefts in which charges are still pending. He is being held in the Calloway County Jail.

On Wednesday July 23, Lonnie Singleton of Paris was arrested on charges of burglary and theft. Later on, during the course of the investigation four more charges of theft and two more charges of burglary were filed on Singleton. These charges did lead to the recovery of several items including; 2 utility trailers, a horse saddle, a craftsman riding mower, a refridgerator, a mercury outboard motor and multiple assorted tools.

If anyone has any information on any thefts or other crimes, please call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672.

Paris CB&T Branch Moving Right Along

Utilizing a huge crane, workers were busy Thursday with construction. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Progress has really stepped up on the Paris location for the Carroll Bank and Trust in recent days and the exterior of the building is really taking shape. Bank President Michael Cary told WENK/WTPR, “We’re very pleased with the progress. We’re really glad about how well it’s going and when it’s done, it’s going to be beautiful.”

Cary said bank officials are still anticipating a completion date in April or May of 2015. “We don’t want to be overly optimistic but we are still shooting for that spring of 2015 date. Even when the exterior is done and even once the roof is on, there is still a lot we need to do inside, along with the landscaping, paving and sidewalks on that corner.”

The branch is located at the intersection of Mineral Wells and Tyson Avenues.

Carroll Bank and Trust is headquartered in Huntingdon, with branches in McKenzie, Camden, Milan, McLemoresville and Bradford.

Big Sandy Waterfowl Festival is Saturday

Big Sandy, Tenn.-The 20th annual Big Sandy Waterfowl Festival will be held all day Saturday, August 2, in city park and is an event which annual draws crowds of some 3000 from all over the local region.

The event coincides each year with the annual duck blind drawings which allow duck hunters to get their name in the pot for the cherished duck blinds in Benton County. Vendors will sell everything from duck calls to decoys, to boats and dogs. The average registration for the duck blinds will top 2,600.

The festival features arts, crafts, music, food and more and is sponsored by Paris Ducks Unlimited. There will be 50 exhibitors with waterfowl related items ranging from boats, clothing, ammo, taxidermists, outfitters, four-wheelers, call makers and more.

For booth display information, contact local DU committee member Justin Rawls at 693-8617 or email him at

Martin PD, UTM Conduct Active Shooter Training

Martin, Tenn.-Officers of the Martin and University of Tennessee at Martin Police Departments recently participated in active shooter training, which has become extremely important to law enforcement across the United States. Officers trained at all Martin area schools on the proper tactical methods in the event there is such a situation in the Martin area.

Capt. Don Teal said, “An active shooter is defined as ‘an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area‘ and in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

The exercise took place at the Martin Primary and Elementary Schools on Tuesday July 29th and at the Martin Middle and Westview High Schools on Wednesday July 30th. The training gave officers the opportunity to become familiar with the layout of each school and train on various shooting scenarios to prepare them for any incident that might occur, Teal said.

Beer Board to Consider Perrylodgic Microbrewery Beer License

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Beer Board will consider an application for a beer license for a microbrewery that is being constructed at 3465 Hwy. 79, Paris. 

Owned by Jonathan Lodge and Randall Perry of Paris, the name of the business is Perrylodgic Brewing Co. and it will be located at the former site of Polaris Landing. 

The applicant has applied for a beer license for both on and off premises consumption.

The county beer board will meet at 7 p.m. August 7 to consider the application.

Union City Man Arrested by Kentucky State Police

Mayfield, Ky.-A Union City man was arrested on drug charges by the Kentucky State Police near Mayfield Thursday night. The KSP conducted an undercover narcotics investigation which resulted in the seizure of approximately one half pound of methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $22,000 dollars in the course of the arrest.

During the investigation, the KSP learned of a shipment of methamphetamine that was destined for the western Kentucky area. As a result of the investigation, a traffic stop was conducted one mile west of Mayfield.

KSP arrested Mauricio R. Ramirez, age 22, of Union City. Ramirez was charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense, greater than or equal to 2 Grams (Class C Felony) and Buy/Possess Drug Paraphernalia (Class A Misdemeanor) and was lodged in the Graves County Jail.

KSP was assisted by the ATF from Paducah, McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, and the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department. The investigation continues by KSP.

Anyone with drug information may contact the Kentucky State Police at 270-856-3721 or toll-free in Kentucky, at 1-800-222-5555; callers may remain anonymous. The public can also “text-a-tip” to 67283 and remain anonymous.

Hummingbird Festival Set For This Weekend

Golden Pond, Ky. – Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area hosts the annual Hummingbird Festival, Saturday and Sunday, August 2 and 3, from 10 am-4 pm at Woodlands Nature Station. 

Admission to the event is $6 ages 13 and up, $4 ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and under. Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration in this area peaks in August. Highlights include hummingbird banding demonstrations, a wildlife art show, a wildlife sketching workshop, a native plant sale, live animal encounters, local wildlife experts, and activities for kids. Food, prepared by Land Between The Lakes Brandon Spring Group Center cooks, will be available for purchase. 

Nature Station Interpreter Brooke Gilley said, “A large number of hummingbirds stop here on their journey south to Mexico and Central America. During this time, up to 200 hummingbirds might visit our feeders in a single day. The festival is an opportunity for people to witness these powerful birds, about the size of an adult thumb, in a fun, learning atmosphere.”

Reminder: HC Fair Pageant Deadlines Today

Paris, Tenn.-Reminder: Deadline for entering the Fairest of the Fair and other pageants at the Henry County Fair is today.

The Fairest of the Fair pageant is Monday night August 4, immediately following the Miss Teen pageant which begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Miss Teen contest is for girls ages 13 – 15. The Fairest of the Fair is for ages 16 – 20 (cannot be 21 before 12/31/14). Formal dress for both contests. 

Entry fee for the Fairest of the Fair is $20 and must list a sponsor. The entry fee for Miss Teen and all other pageants is $10. Entries should be mailed to P.O. Box 1431, Paris, TN by August 1 to be listed in the program. Late entries will be accepted until 6 pm August 3 with an additional $5 late fee. 

Dress for the Junior Queen contest (4 – 6 years old) and for the Little Miss contest (7 – 9 years old) shall be Sunday dress – no formals. Dress for the Miss Pre-Teen contest (ages 10 – 12) shall be formal. Entry forms are available by sending the name, age, address, parents’ names, and favorite activities to P.O. Box 1431. Participants may attend a short rehearsal time immediately following the Baby Barnyard contest on Sunday 8/3/14 at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Entries in all contests must be residents of Henry County. 

There is also a Photogenic Contest for all ages to enter. The cost to enter is $5.00 additional and sending a 5 x 7 photograph in a manila envelope with the contestants name on the outside. Winners will receive award approved by the Fair Association and will be announced the night of the pageant.

For more info, call 731-707-0226.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Henry County Fair Set To Begin

By Michele Atkins Henry County UT Extension

Paris, Tenn.-It is just about time for the Henry County Fair! The week is August 2-9, 2014 and we hope to see you there! The theme this year is “It’s Fair Time in Henry County!” 

It is always such an exciting time of the year. The fair board has worked very hard, once again, to make sure new things have been planned this year and fun traditions abound. 

Of course, there is so much for everyone! The BBQ cook-off, livestock shows and sale, mud bogs, Lego building contest, pageants, cookie decorating, Corn Hole Tournament, Little Britches rodeo, bands, Livestock show and sale, beautiful cultural art exhibits, Wool and Woolies revue, tractor pull, pageants, kiddy tractor pull, commercial exhibits, rides, great food, Retiree afternoon, Country Ham sale, Tea for Dolly and Me and Mad Tea Party, Demolition Derby and I could go on and on. The week is packed with fun. 

Don’t forget to go in the Enoch building Wednesday through Friday nights to see what the Family and Community Education Clubs (FCE clubs) have for sale! Fried pies, home canned goods, delicious pimento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches, homemade ice cream, drinks, homemade soaps, beautiful scarves, handmade items and so much more are just a few items that will be available. 

We hope to fill and overflow the Enoch community building during the fair with all of the crafts, horticulture, photography, canning and baking that so many of Henry Countians make and do 

You can show off your talent and make a little money as well! Entries must be entered on Monday, August 4th from 11 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in both the adult and youth departments. 

Flower entries will be entered on Wednesday, August 6th from 9-11 a.m. 

Only one entry per lot can be entered and all items must have been made since the 2013 Henry County Fair. Any resident of Henry County can enter items! Pick up a copy of the fair book at the UT Extension Office on Tyson Ave.

We hope that you will enter many of the categories offered and hope to see you at the 2014 Henry County Fair.

BBQ Cook Off to be Held Friday, Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-Twenty-four teams have already signed up for the fourth annual Henry County Fair BBQ Cook Off, set for this Friday and Saturday at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

The event will kick off the Henry County Fair, which will be ongoing next week.

Competitors will be cooking beef brisket, ribs, shoulders, and chicken, as well as dessert.

The event is a Tennessee Barbecue Association sanctioned qualifier for the 2nd annual TBA State Championship. The first annual TBA State Championship was held in March of this year at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Event Organizer Donna Milam said judging will be held for the chef's choice entree, chicken, and dessert Friday evening. Ribs, shoulder, and brisket will be judged mid-day Saturday.

The Grand Champion of this weekend's event will receive $1000 with $500 for the runner-up. In addition, cash prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each category. 

The competition is open to the public and free of charge.

Milam said the awards ceremony will be held at the fairgrounds at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Paris Elementary Kids Club Turns Trash Into Cash 

PES Kids' Club with Park Ranger Gina Lowry. (Annette Young photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Boxtops For has been embraced by the Paris Elementary School PTO as a great way to earn extra money for school projects. This summer the Paris Elementary Kids' Club accepted a mission to collect Boxtops For Education, and they were rewarded for meeting their goal with a party featuring special guest, Paris Landing State Park Ranger Gina Lowry. 

"The theme of our summer program was (Mission Possible), and the kids became (Boxtops Detectives) by searching their cabinets to find Boxtops For Education coupons on the packages of General Mills products, " according to PTO Secretary Kim Patterson. "Paris Elementary School receives 10 cents for every Boxtop coupon that is turned in, and many products have bonus Boxtops worth even more. Annette Young and Stacy Hayes are our Boxtops committee chairs this year, and these ladies are passionate about this program." 

The Paris Elementary PTO welcomes anyone in the community to get involved in the project. It is a great way to turn your garbage into something that will enrich a child's life. 

If you would like to collect Boxtops for Education for Paris Elementary School, you can mail them to: Paris Elementary PTO, Attention Boxtops Committee, 650B Volunteer Drive, Paris, Tennessee 38242. 

Obion County Budget Process Hits Snags

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County budget process is laboring along, hitting more roadblocks at the county budget committee meeting this week.

At a lengthy and often times heated meeting, the budget committee changed its vote the issue of hiring a clerk for the Obion County Natural Resource Conservation Office (formerly Soil Conservation), while tabling a decision on library funding.

Obion County, like other counties, has always funded the Natural Resource Conservation Office clerk position in the past. Mike Holman of the office asked committee members why the controversy now, noting that Obion County was the only county questioning funding for the position, which he called a necessary job.

Committee members reversed its decision, including funding for the position in the county budget.

Obion County Public Library Director Michele Barnes asked the committee to reconsider its previous decision regarding library funding. She had asked for $4,092 for health insurance increases plus a two percent raise for employees, bringing to a total $12,073.

After some heated back and forth with committee members, the committee tabled any further action until discrepancies in figures were explained fully.

The budget committee did approve department budgets for juvenile and drug courts and the county schools.

Williams Sausage Purchased Remaining 50 Percent Interest

Union City, Tenn.-Williams Sausage Company, Inc. based in Union City, has purchased the remaining 50% interest in a joint venture with J.C. Potter Sausage Company from partner Atlantic Premium Brands.

Williams Sausage Company is a private family-owned company that has been in the pork sausage business since 1958, according to the press release issued by the company.

“We are very excited about acquiring complete control of the joint venture with J.C. Potter Sausage Company, and we look forward to continuing the long tradition of producing the J. C. Potter brand of breakfast sausage and breakfast sandwiches that its customers have enjoyed for many years,” Williams Sausage President Roger Williams said in the press release.

Though Williams Sausage did not purchase the plant in Durant, OK, it did retain the entire sales force of the Potter operation. Dargan Settles, J.C. Potter Sales Manager, will continue to manage the J.C. Potter sales force that operates in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas.

“We intend to expand sales of J.C. Potter products in their existing territory as well as other areas of the central United States. We expect to deliver synergies and cost efficiencies by moving the production of all products to our plant in Tennessee,” Williams added.

Several Obion County Fair Entries Due Saturday

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Fair is not until August 11-16, but many of the entries will be due Saturday, August 2.

Those that are due from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 2 in the domestic arts building are: adult canning, adult hobbies and crafts, adult photography, adult sewing and senior citizen hobbies.

Those due August 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. are: junior art and junior canning, both at the junior exhibit building; and junior crafts, junior photography and junior sewing, all due at the junior activities building.

Those that will be due August 9 include adult culinary, antiques/collectibles, adult horticulture, junior culinary, as well as general horticulture, floral horticulture, junior crops, open crops and animal entries.

Benefit For Easton Green Set For Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-A fundraiser for Baby Easton Green, son of Jason Green and Brittney Cacciola, will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Pleasant Hill Fire Hall, Springville. Food, drinks, live band and auction will be featured.

Anyone who cannot make it can donate to the Easton Green Benefit Fund at any First Bank.

Corker Partners with Google to Help West Tenn Small Businesses

Jackson – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today announced that representatives from Google will host a Tennessee Get Your Business Online event in Jackson on Wednesday, August 13, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Aeneas Building.

At the Tennessee Get Your Business Online event, Google experts will help small business owners create a free website, and those in attendance will receive a customized domain name, free web hosting for one year, a local business listing on Google Maps, and additional tools, training and resources.

“As a former mayor and businessman, I appreciate the role small businesses play in communities across Tennessee,” said Corker. “I am proud to partner with Google to host this event and hope local businesses will take advantage of this outstanding opportunity to kickstart and build their online presence.”

The event, which is free and open to all Tennesseans, is designed to provide an easy and fast way for businesses to create a website and become more visible online. While 97 percent of Internet users look online for local products and services, 59 percent of Tennessee small businesses do not have a website or online presence.

“The perception that getting online is complex, costly and time-consuming has prevented many Tennessee small businesses from taking the first step,” said Soo Young Kim, Director of Google's Get Your Business Online program. “This program makes it fast, easy and free for businesses to get online."

Tennesseans are encouraged to register in advance for the event. To register, click here.

Businesses unable to attend can still create a free website and access relevant resources by visiting

The event will be the second in a series of Tennessee Get Your Business Online events organized by Senator Corker’s office and Google. In May, more than one hundred Tennessee small business owners attended a Tennessee Get Your Business Online event in Chattanooga and a similar event is scheduled for August 15 in Nashville.

Fenton Campground Re-opens to the Public

GOLDEN POND, KY – Fenton Campground will re-open to the public today. Fenton was closed following significant storm damage earlier this year. Maintenance crews have worked hard to make necessary rep...airs to allow the campground to re-open 11 campsites. Two campsites were decommissioned due to their location and degree of damage. Staff will continue to monitor Fenton for safety issues. Fenton now offers 11 sites with electric hook-ups.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000. For more information on the Friends of Land Between The Lakes, log on to

TDOT Cautions Public About Weekend Traffic

Nashville, Tenn.-TDOT has asked for the help of the media in alerting the public to two areas of heavy traffic that will be experienced in the Nashville area over the weekend.

Because of the state’s tax-free weekend, the Rivergate Mall will be heavily congested and more so because of construction that will continue in that area.

#1 – Tax-Free Weekend
The I-65 bridge repair project continues in the Rivergate area, north of Nashville. Lane closures are scheduled as follows: 
Thursday July 31 and Sunday August 3 through Wednesday August 6, 8PM-6AM, There will be lane closures on I-65 southbound, between MM 96 and MM 99, in order to mill the roadway and put epoxy overlay on the bridge decks. 
Friday August 1, 8PM through Monday August 4, 6AM, There will be one lane closed on I-65 northbound in order to perform bridge repairs. Two lanes will remain open at the CSX and Rivergate Bridges. One lane will remain open at the Mansker Creek, East Cedar Street, and Long Hollow Pike Bridges.
#2 – Williamson County Fair

Work continues on I-65, south of Nashville, between SR 840 and SR 248 in Williamson County. Lane closures are scheduled as follows: 

Thursday July 31 through Wednesday August 6, 1PM (excluding weekends), There will be rolling roadblocks on I-65 northbound and southbound at MM 61.5 for blasting. 
Thursday July 31, 8PM-12AM, There will be a right lane closure on I-65 northbound at MM 61 in order to remove portable barrier rail.

On Friday, the Williamson County Fair begins at the Ag Expo Park, directly around the corner from the I-65 / SR 248 interchange under construction. The fair is expected to draw an estimated 200,000 people, which will likely create congestion on the roads leading the park, including the I-65 off-ramps. A media release was sent earlier today with more details. It should also be noted that no additional lane closures are scheduled. Traffic will remain in the current configuration.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Drowning Victim Identified

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The man who drowned in the Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreation Lake over the weekend has been identified as Brandon Webb, age 27 of Henning.

Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson said Webb was at the lake with his girlfriend and her daughter, who are from McKenzie, on Saturday. Webb swam out to the rope line perimeter, appeared to turn back, but went under for unknown reasons. The county’s EMS were able to recover Webb’s body within an hour, thanks to witnesses who were able to pinpoint where he went under, Dickson told WENK/WTPR.

It was the first drowning at the newly-formed lake.

Takin' it to the Streets, Rhea School Style

Teacher Krissa Reid tries to compel students to join teachers in the "Happy" dance. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Rhea School staff and volunteers took it to the streets again Tuesday evening at the Eiffel Tower Park. A large crowd of students and parents were on hand for the event, which included two skits by teachers, who also danced to the tune of “Happy” for everyone’s enjoyment. Sheldon Maye of W.G. Rhea Library handed out free books to the kids and free hot dogs were served to everyone. Teachers also provided fun reading tips for the parents. The Rhea Staff has been holding the “Taking it to the Streets” events at the city’s parks throughout the summer. This will be the last event before school starts.

Teachers Ginger McElroy, left, and Amber Wood, in a skit about loving school. (McFarlin photo).

Teachers Cindy Lowe and Melanie Hendon in a skit about sharing. (McFarlin photo).

Sales Tax Holiday is This Weekend

Nashville, Tenn.-This is the weekend for which some people wait all year: Tennessee’s Sales Tax Holiday weekend.

The annual event corresponds with back-to-school preparations. The sales-tax holiday starts... Friday, Aug. 1 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 3. Specifically it starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

The holiday does not apply to everything you might want to purchase, however. The holiday applies to clothing and school supplies less than $100 in value per item and computers less than $1,500.

Computer supplies like printers will still get taxed this weekend and any laptop or desktop computers over $1,500 will still be taxed. But items like monitors, keyboards and scanners when sold by themselves and not in conjunction with a computer get charged sales tax.

Tablet computers, such as iPads, are exempt from sales tax. But video game consoles are not eligible.

According to the state, Internet sales — as well as sales over the telephone, by email or by mail — are exempt from sales tax provided that you make the purchase during the sales-tax holiday and the retailer accepts the order during the three-day window.
All the same exemptions apply for these purchases.


The Tennessee Department of Revenue has a website setup with information about the sales tax holiday. The department also maintains an alphabetical list of all exempt and nonexempt items. Go to for more information.

Early Voting Continues Breaking Records; HC Hours Extended

Paris, Tenn.-Early voting totals continue to break records in our local area. In Obion County, Elections Commission Director Leigh Schlager said the total by Tuesday afternoon was at 2,485 and by the end of Wednesday, the early voting totals at this point will have exceeded the total for the entire early voting period in 2010, the last comparable election.

In Henry County, the total Tuesday afternoon was at 2,529.

Early voting continues through Saturday, August 2.

Henry County will provide extended hours: Wednesday and Friday hours will be from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. On Thursday, hours will be held from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. On Saturday, hours will be from 9 a.m. to noon.

Obion County hours will be from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, with Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to noon.

Election Commission Directors are anticipating long lines at the polling spots on Election Day August 7, so voters are reminded they want to think seriously about voting early.

UTM Bass Team President Dylan Powley Looks Ahead

Dylan Powley of Paris. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. — Three-peat fame is often reserved for sports teams that win consecutive championships. But, the UT Martin bass anglers have achieved a significant three-peat of their own as ...the team earned a third consecutive top-25 Association of Collegiate Anglers national ranking posted at The team finished 17th, which followed a team-best 10th place finish in 2013 and 22nd place finish in 2012.

Dylan Powley of Paris, a fifth year senior marketing major and team president, is pleased with the recently completed season, but he wants more when the team hits the college bass fishing circuit for his final year. Powley's father was the late Gary Powley, who was an on-air personality for WENK/WTPR for many years. His mother, Patty Powley still lives in Paris.

Moving up is a challenge as competition increases among the more than 200 college teams listed in this year’s final rankings.
Bass fishing is a club sport at UT Martin and depends on sponsorships, donations and university support to compete. Top events happen in three main series: the FLW, the Association of Collegiate Anglers and the College Bassmaster.

The UT Martin team’s first major tournament last spring was March 14-15 at the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open on Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tenn. The team didn’t finish high in the tournament standings, but Powley said the event set the tone for “(grinding) out finishes” in later competition.

Three months and five tournaments later, Powley and teammate Colin Bennett, a senior engineering student from Gleason, finished 75 out of more than 100 boats in the 2014 Carhartt College Bass Wild Card tournament at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. Although not the finish wanted, the team managed enough points to secure a top-25 national ranking.

Highlights happened along the tournament trail, including the team’s winning its first collegiate bass tournament championship March 29 at the Tennessee Collegiate Bass Fishing Trail on Kentucky Lake. Powley and Hayden Smith, a sophomore engineering major from Dickson, won the tournament with a total catch of 18.5 pounds. “It really wasn't a big tournament, but that was probably the best moment,” Powley said.

Another highlight came May 22-23 during the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship on Pickwick Lake near Florence, Ala. Miranda Carlton, one of two female team members, qualified to fish and was the only female to compete out of 170 teams. Carlton, a sophomore natural resources management major from Greenbrier, fished with veteran team member Ryan Lackey, a graduate student from Parsons, and their boat earned valuable points in the tournament.

Looking ahead to his final season, Powley is optimistic about the team’s prospects for improving its national ranking.

Powley is seeing college fishing become more competitive, with freshmen team members at larger schools entering the sport with more experience and making an immediate impact.

Powley sees his years of involvement with the bass anglers team as an entryway into the outdoors industry. He comes from a family that fishes; his older brother works for Strike King Lure Co. and had an opportunity to pursue fishing professionally. “I definitely want to get into the outdoor industry through this,” he said. “I feel like I made some connections.”

In the meantime, look for Dylan Powley and other bass angler team members to staff a booth Aug. 25 at the annual Student Organization Fair in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. The event welcomes back students on the first day of fall classes and showcases opportunities for campus involvement. The team will be looking for a few good men and women to take college bass fishing to the next level at UT Martin.

Henry County Farmers' Market Venue Changed

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Farmer's Market, originally set to be at the fairgrounds on Tuesday & Friday, will be held at the UT Extension Office, located at 1120 Tyson Avenue, beginning at 3 pm Friday, August 1, Tuesday August 5 and Friday August 8. 

With the Henry County Fair at the Fairgrounds starting on August 1st – August 10th, the Extension Office decided to move the location.
Future farmers markets will be held at the fairgrounds on Tuesdays and Fridays at 3 pm until produce is sold out.

Reminder: "Chairs That Care" is Saturday

Paris, Tenn. – The Caring Hearts Fund of The Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation and the Cancer Care Center of Henry County are gearing up for the third annual “Chairs That Care” Auction and Social this Saturday. 

After the overwhelming success the past two years, the Cancer Care Center is asking for your help in making this year’s event one for the books.

This year’s Auction and Social will be held on Saturday, August 2 at the Paris Winery, with activities starting at 5 p.m. and concluding around 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 and include a free wine tasting, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, musical entertainment, along with the silent and live auction of the donated chairs made by community members. Tickets can be purchased at the Cancer Care Center of Henry County, the HCMC Pink Petal Gift Shop and My Favorite Things.

“Chairs that Care” came about as a way to raise funds for the Caring Hearts Fund of the Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation. Local artists and supporters can create one-of-a-kind chair masterpieces to be auctioned off in the silent auction and live auction. This fund assists patients with a financial need to pay for medications, transportation, premiums and co-pays while having treatment in Henry County at either the Cancer Care Center or HCMC Outpatient Chemotherapy.

Individual chairs will be on display at various locations prior to the live and silent auction event as well as available for viewing on the HCMC website: and social media sites. Completed chairs can be dropped off at the Cancer Care Center weekdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. any day before the event.

Time to Clean Out Henry County's Attic: Records Commission

Paris, Tenn.-It's time to clean out Henry County’s attic. That’s the word from the Henry County Public Records Commission, which met to reorganize Tuesday as well as to discuss the possible transfer of public documents from the attic of the courthouse to the county’s archive and genealogical library, which is located in Weston Hall.

 At the meeting’s outset, the panel elected the following officers: David Webb, chairman; Brent Greer, vice chairman; and Connie McSwain, secretary. Webb is the County Historian.

Circuit and General Sessions Court Clerk Mike Wilson said there were a variety of circuit and criminal court records, including ledger books and receipts, which need to be moved in part to free up space in the courthouse for active records that are more likely to be accessed by his staff.

Wilson said further that the attic was not an appropriate place to store public records, including some which date back to 1866. There are no temperature or humidity controls in this portion of the courthouse, and that is causing documents to deteriorate over time. 

He said some of the binding of ledger books has fallen off. The sheer weight of the records, including 40 file cabinets directly overhead of office workers below, added to his concern.

Webb voiced additional worry over the possible loss of records if a fire or other natural disaster were to impact the 118-year old courthouse with its wooden beams and floors. He felt the county archives was a much better place to store documents, especially those of historical value. Weston Hall’s interior construction is mainly concrete blocked and poured concrete.

Commission members lauded Archivist Stephanie Tayloe, Linda Dunlap, and the volunteers at the archives. Tayloe described herself and her fellow workers as “glorified file clerks” for county offices. Among the most recently completed tasks were processing records of divorce cases from 1821 through 1986.

Archival personnel help preserve the records and make them available to the public. Some records, such as those dealing with mental health, juvenile court, and adoptions, are sealed by court order. The documents at the archives are cleaned, repaired, stored in acid-free file folders and boxes, indexed, and microfilmed. Copies of microfilm are stored in multiple locations, including the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville. 

A subcommittee was formed consisting of Wilson, Tayloe, Linda Dunlap, Vicky Snider, and Pam Martin with Webb as an ex officio member. This committee will determine what specific records should be kept or destroyed. Records required by law to be saved, along with those of historical value, will be moved to the archives. County maintenance workers and jail inmates will be used as labor once the removal process begins.
Mayor Greer reported that $10,000 was included in the recently passed budget to help preserve the county records. Dunlap reported more than $9,457 was spent on the archives in 2013 while over $7,280 has been expended since January. 

Committee members voiced concern over the sheer amount of unused office furniture and junk that has continually piled up in the courthouse attic and the third floor of the annex. Greer explained that there is a procedure for declaring items as surplus property so the items can be sold or destroyed.

The subcommittee will meet again Monday, August 4.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Henry County Officers Conduct Active Shooter Training

Officers conduct active shooter training at Paris Elementary. (Capt. Damon Lowe photo).

Paris, Tenn.-With the first day of school fast approaching, active shooter training was conducted for the last two days for all School Resource Officers in Paris and Henry County schools. The training took place at Paris Elementary School on Volunteer Drive.

School Resource Officers are deputies supplied by the Henry County Sheriff's Office and are stationed each of the three schools in the Paris Special Schools system as well as all five of the schools in the five Henry County Schools district.

Captain Damon Lowe said, “This will be the second full year of having the officers in the school system.”

Other local officers taking part in the training were from Paris Police Department as well as road officers from the Henry County Sheriff's Office. Also attending the two-day training that consisted of both class room and hands-on sessions were: Board of Parole and Probation, Clarksville PD, Memphis PD, Dyersburg PD and Montgomery Co deputies.

Lowe said the training was taught by ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training). All of the training, materials and simunition weapons were free of charge to all agencies involved.

Henry County Salvation Army Opens At New Location

Courtney Cole waits on customers Monday at the new site. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It was early, but there already was a crowd of shoppers in the new Paris-Henry County Salvation Army location at 3830 Hwy. 79N Monday morning for its first day at its new location.

The Salvation Army has been headquartered at 304 W. Washington Street for many years, but officers have been seeking a new location for quite a while.

Major Pat Bowman said Monday that search was intensified recently following damage from severe flooding last month. Major Bowman is the Salvation Army field representative for Henry County.

The new location has much more floor space and is more open and airy than the old site. “This is just wonderful. People were already lined up at the door, standing in line waiting for us to open this morning,” Major Bowman said. “We’ve got room to be more organized here and customers have more room, too.”

The new space “feels more like a family store and that’s what we want it to be,” she said. “We’re here to meet that need for people who can’t afford some of the other stores.”

The Salvation Army also provides vouchers to those who cannot afford to purchase clothing at their store at all. “We have a social worker here two times a week to take down their information,” she said.

Manager of the Salvation Army Store is Tina Matthews.

The new store is located in the former DMT Furniture Building, right next door to Promise Land.

Three Building Demolitions Monday Make Way for CVS

The former Wilson's Grocery and Movie Gallery buildings demolished. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Contractors constructing the new CVS Pharmacy in Paris were busy Monday, demolishing three buildings on the site to make way for the new pharmacy.

Demolished are the buildings which had housed Wilson’s Grocery, Movie Gallery and the large brick building which had been the location for Youth Villages and other local offices. 

Wilson’s Grocery had been a fixture at that corner for decades.

Still to be demolished is the building which now houses Radio Shack. But Radio Shack customers need not worry. As we reported to you previously, Radio Shack will be relocating to the Wal-Mart shopping center in the former Shoe Show building. Radio Shack will be opening at its new location August 9.

CVS Pharmacy will be located at the corner of Mineral Wells and Memorial Avenues.   

Waterfowl Blind Drawings Set For Saturday

Big Sandy, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that the Waterfowl Blind Permit Drawings will be held Saturday, August 2. Registration is from 7-10 a.m. and the drawing will be at 10 a.m. Individuals wishing to compete in the drawing must appear in person at the designated location, with the appropriate licenses and permits.

Region 1 blind sites include: Barkley Unit I, Big Sandy (including Gin Creek), Camden Units I & II, Gooch Unit A, Harmon Creek, Tigrett, West Sandy, and Reelfoot.

To apply you must be 16 years old and have the appropriate license and permits. 

Applicants need a Lifetime Sportsman license, or a Sportsman license, or a Hunting & Fishing Combo ( type 01) & a WMA Small Game & Waterfowl ( type 91). Senior citizens need a Lifetime Sportsman license or a Permanent Senior Citizen (type 166) & an Annual WMA Senior Citizen Permit (type 167). Applicants applying at Reelfoot must have a Reelfoot Preservation Permit unless exempt. 

Only one application per person and only for one area.

Please refer to for any questions.

Rev. Anderson to be Bethel Commencement Speaker

McKenzie, Tenn. – The Rev. Lisa Anderson, moderator of the 184th General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, will serve as Bethel University’s summer 2014 commencement speaker this Saturday. It has been a long-standing tradition that the recently elected moderator serve as summer commencement speaker at the Cumberland Presbyterian affiliated school. 

Rev. Anderson currently serves as pastor of Colonial Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Memphis Bethel University Summer 2014 Commencement services are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2 on the school’s McKenzie campus in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena. 

Approximately 250 students are scheduled to earn degrees.

Commencement services for those receiving undergraduate degrees will be at 10 a.m., and Commencement services for those receiving graduate degrees will be at 2 p.m. Seating for each service begins one hour prior to each event.

For more information about Summer 2014 Commencement, contact Myra Carlock at For more information about Bethel University, go to

Martin Band Signed To Record Deal

Memphis, Tenn.-Mid South Music Records has signed a band from Martin to a record contract. StormGate, a four piece classic rock and blues rock band, has been around for some years and built up a loyal fan ...base in West Tennessee. Mid South Music Records first worked with the band when their Entertainment department was putting up the “Mid South Music Twister Relief” benefit concert at the RockhouseLive in Memphis, in May this year.

Mid South Music Records is based in Horn Lake, Miss.

StormGate signed an album deal for 2014-2015 and is currently working on their first single “Nowhere To Run”, a classic biker rock song, which will mixed at ARDENT Studios in Memphis. It will be released this summer on T.M. Garret’s Mid South Music Records.

The band will hit Memphis under the banner “Mid South Music” on Friday, August 8 at the historic Rock bar “The Stage Stop”. Mid South Music Entertainment already plans additional shows at other great locations in Memphis.

For information, interviews and bookings contact or call (662) 671-2470

UTM to Host Ag Finance Conference

Martin, Tenn. – Dr. David Kohl, internationally known speaker to agricultural lenders, small business owners, producers and agribusiness audiences, is the featured presenter at the13th annual Mid-South Agricultural Finance Conference next week The conference is for lenders, farmers and other farm-related business owners and will be held from 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6, in the Boling University Center at the University of Tennessee at Martin. 

“As one of the world’s leading ag economists who serves on policy boards and manages his own farming operation, Dave Kohl provides lenders and producers with the most up-to-date and practical information available,” said Dr. Tom Payne, UT Martin Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking. This year Dave will be joined by two of the most renowned experts in agricultural operations and risk management.”

This year’s conference will also include a discussion of commodity prices and risk management. 

The registration fee is $150 for lenders, $75 for farmers and $25 for spouses and students. Members of the total management team, including spouses and other business partners, are encouraged to attend. 

Registration information is available by calling 731-881-7324 or by visiting Space is limited, and the deadline for registration is July 31. A service of the UT Martin Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking, the Mid-South Ag Finance Conference is made possible through the support of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, CoBank, Carroll Bank and Trust, and FarmerMac.

Monday, July 28, 2014

County Approves Budget, Tax Rate
Welcomes Paschall Back, Notes Turbett's Passing

Commissioner Dan Paschall, center, is welcomed back by Commissioners Kenneth Humphreys and Wes Bradley (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in short session Monday night, the Henry County Commissioners unanimously approved the 2014-...2015 fiscal year budget, which will require a property tax rate of $2.197, which is the same rate for the past few years.

The total county general fund is $11,530,555 for fiscal 2015. The commissioners approved a long list of appropriations for the county’s various funds, departments and offices.

At the meeting’s outset, County Mayor Brent Greer welcomed Commissioner Dan Paschall back after he had been ill for the past few months. Paschall said, “I’m thankful things are going as well with me and the county as they are.”

Greer also noted the passing of long-time courthouse employee and veteran David Turbett, who died Saturday after a short illness. A prayer by Commissioner Kenneth Humphreys was offered.

In other business, the commissioners reappointed Henry County Coroner Danny Tucker and Assistant Coroner M.L. Bailey. Commissioners also appointed Sue Pemberton to the Regional Library Board.

The meeting ended in a recess in case it needs to be adjourned before the regular meeting date next month.

Reward For Four-Wheeler Thefts Offered

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of any suspects involved in 4-wheeler thefts from the Half Way Market area of Hwy 641S. 

The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating two different 4-wheeler thefts from the area, specifically 11760 Hwy 641S and 95 Pleasant Hill Rd. If anyone has any information please call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672.

Murray Woman Charged in Shooting

Murray, Ky.-A Murray woman has been charged with first degree assault and receiving stolen property following a shooting. 

Arrested was Charissa King, age 33.

At approximately 10 a.m., Murray Police responded to a report that there was a possible gunshot victim at Murray-Calloway County Hospital. Officers then responded to 1106 Pogue Avenue where the shooting reportedly occurred.

According to Murray Police Public Affairs Officer Sgt. David Howe, officers arrested King following a preliminary investigation.

He told WENK/WTPR that Murray Police policy is to not release information on victims while an investigation is ongoing.

King was formally charged with assault 1st degree and receiving stolen property (Firearm). King is lodged at the Calloway County Jail.  

Old Glory Blowin' In The Wind

Paris, Tenn.-The American flag made an impressive sight Saturday afternoon, blowing in the wind against the backdrop of the Henry County Courthouse. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Man Arrested After Foot Chase

Paris, Tenn.-After a foot chase, a 30-year old Paris man was arrested on felony drug and evading arrest charges by officers with the Metro Crime Unit.

While on patrol, officers observed Charles Dustin Williams, alias “Paul Wall” of 114 Willow Oaks St., in a vehicle parked at an East Wood Street hotel. Officers had active warrants on Williams and attempted to make contact with the man in order to arrest him.

As the officers approached, Williams ran through the parking lot in an attempt to evade arrest. Officers chased Williams on foot and eventually apprehended the man.

While he was running away, officers said they saw him drop a plastic bag containing meth. After he was placed under arrest, officers located another bag on Williams' person, also containing a felony amount of methamphetamine along with a digital scale, believed to be used to weigh narcotics for resale.

Williams was transported to the Henry County Correctional Facility without incident and is being held under $125,000 bond. 

Hal Holbrook, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs and More at The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The upcoming 10th anniversary season at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center will be jam-packed with one-of-a-kind entertainment this year, with Hal Holbrook returning for his one-man show “Mark Twain Tonight”, as well as performances by Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson, Mike Snider and a Beatles tribute band.

Season tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, August 4.

Executive Director Lori Nolen said, “In celebrating our anniversary, we will be revisiting 10 performances from the past 10 years that were either our most popular shows by box office standards or crowd favorites.”

Academy Award nominee Hal Holbrook highlights the Top 10 cast when he returns to the theatre he helped create Saturday, Sept. 13. Holbrook will perform his celebrated Mark Twain Tonight! one-man show for the fourth time at The Dixie.

Homegrown Opry star Mike Snider, the pride of Gleason, Tenn., opens the Dixie Live series Saturday, Sept. 6. Known for his funny, easy-going personality, Snider is a whiz on the banjo.

Five-time Grammy winner Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives return to The Dixie Saturday, Dec. 13. Stuart’s amazing career in country music began when he was just 13 years old. The young mandolin player traveled with the legendary Lester Flatt and later toured with Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins before embarking on a successful solo career. 

Another virtuoso country and bluegrass musician follows Stuart. Ricky Skaggs, an acclaimed mandolin player who began his career with Flatt & Scruggs at the tender age of seven, comes back to The Dixie Saturday, Jan. 17. Skaggs owns 14 Grammy Awards and was named the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year in 1985.

Grand Ole Opry icon Whispering Bill Anderson continues the Dixie Live Concert series Saturday, March 28. Anderson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has worked in television, and is a bestselling author. 

Other performers this season include the Gold City Quartet, 1964 (Beatles Tribute) and America’s favorite cowboys – Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul, and Joey the CowPolka King – with their innovative, fun, family-friendly Riders In The Sky show. 

There are plenty of new acts and events on The Dixie roster including the One Way Arts & Music Festival in September, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of Rock & Roll. Expect to see an array of bands performing Blues, Rockabilly, Bluegrass, Country, and more.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, call 731-986-2100, or visit

Flex Fitness Under Construction in Paris

Paris, Tenn.-Construction has begun at the site of the new Flex Fitness in Paris on Spruce Street. 

Flex Fitness already has two locations, in McKenzie and Brownsville, and is a 24-hour fitness center with cardio, circuit and free weight equipment and aerobics room. The center also will offer classes.

Brittney Barger has been hired as manager and fitness director for the new center, which owners expect to be open in a few months.

The site is located behind Casey’s General Store. Contractor is Owens Construction of Paris.

McCarter Named Community Development Specialist for USDA

Nashville, Tenn - USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode has named Sherri McCarter of Gibson County as the Community Development Specialist for the state of Tennessee. McCarter will serve in Rural Development’s State Office in Nashville and will be the primary advisor for rural and community development throughout Tennessee for the agency.

"Sherri brings a wealth of hands-on experience and will serve as a great asset to the agency," Goode said. "Having worked in community and economic development for the last 26 years, Sherri has a working knowledge that will benefit communities and help spur economic development across the state.” 

Most recently, McCarter served as the Executive Director for the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce in Gibson County. Prior to her position with the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, McCarter spent nearly18 years as a Regional Economic Development Specialist for the state of Tennessee, overseeing and responsible for 33 counties. Throughout her career, McCarter has served in many roles and capacities as a director, manager, and consultant. 

USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the lives of people in rural areas and the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.7 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on the meeting or USDA Rural Development programs available in Tennessee contact the Tennessee State Office at 615-783-1300, or 800-342-3149. Visit us online at

Frontier Reports 911 Problems in Weakley County

Dresden, Tenn.-Problems with the some customers in Weakley County being able to contact 911 continue this morning. Jamison Peevyhouse of the Weakley County 911 Office issued an alert for customers in Palmersville, Dresden and Latham areas Sunday, notifying them that Frontier Communications is having problems with the Dresden telephone office.

That was causing all Frontier customers in Dresden, Latham and Palmersville areas to have trouble dialing 911 from land-line phones. Cellular phones appear to be unaffected. An alternative number of 364-5454 was provided to customers last night.

In an update later last night, Peevyhouse reported that Frontier has re-routed all 911 calls in the affected area to the Center's administration line. Callers within the affected area will reach the 911 Center, but dispatchers will not receive the traditional address information.

The problem has been reported to the TN 911 network operations center and they are working on the issue. 

Man Arrested For DUI After Crash

Union City, Tenn.-A Kenton man was charged with DUI after a hit and run accident on South 6th Street Sunday afternoon in Union City.

According to the police report, Lee Simpson, 27, was charged with DUI, failure to maintain, open container and no insurance. He was traveling north on S. Sixth St. and lost control of his vehicle while the passenger said he was showing off. The car crashed into a legally parked vehicle.

When officers arrived, the passenger told officers what happened and said Simpson had taken off. Simpson did return later and was arrested.

South Fulton Man Arrested in Martin

Martin, Tenn.-A South Fulton man was arrested around midnight Saturday after marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found in his car.

According to the police report, officers observed Matthew Andrew Bye sitting inside his vehicle behind Dale’s Bar with the driver’s side door standing open. Bye reportedly appeared confused and said he was looking for his ID.

Officer Patrick Dilday said Bye appeared confused and he could smell alcohol. Bye said he had several beers and gave consent to search the vehicle.

Officer Drew Vernon found 15 individually-wrapped bags of a green leafy plant believed to be marijuana in the console, along with a pipe and a digital scale.

Bye was initially charged with public intoxication, with other charges pending.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Largest Crowd Ever For Ice Cream Social, Car Show

Peoples' Choice Winner Bob Milam with "Sweet Pea". (Larry Ray photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-This year’s Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show drew the largest crowd in its five-year history, with over a thousand people crowding the court square for samples from 18 booths of frozen treats and a chance to marvel over dozens of beautiful antique cars and trucks.

Downtown Paris Association President Kathy Ray said, “With presales, we anticipated over a thousand people and even more wristbands were sold at the event. It was great to talk with people who drove from Nashville, Jackson and other places to attend the event.”

The sponsors of the ice cream booths “really went all out this year to make this a fun and exciting event,” Ray said. “Most of the booths had activities and fun photo opportunities using cut outs. At one booth, you could make your own ice cream. It was a great time on the courthouse lawn in downtown Paris.”

Winners in the adult categories were Grant Guinn, who won the ice cream eating contest, and Angel Schnepper, who won the frozen t-shirt contest. Winners in the youth categories were Rosemary Butler for ice cream eating and Liam Bailey for frozen t-shirt.

The Best Ice Cream award went to REAL Hope Youth Center with homemade watermelon sorbet; the Best Theme award went to Henry County Medical Center with Curious George and Banana Ice Cream; the Best In Show went to the City of Paris with a booth theme of Frozen plus fun activities and giveaways for young people; The Peoples Choice Award for the favorite car went to Bob Milam with his 1948 Chevrolet car “Sweet Pea”, runner up was Eddie Wilson with his 1962 Chevrolet pickup.

The event was a fundraiser for the REAL Hope Center. We posted more photos of the event Saturday.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, right, and Rev. Steve Gallimore of the REAL Hope Center Board share a laugh. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Michael Winegar proudly poses with his 1922 Ford three door. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Good To The Last Drop

Paris, Tenn.-Grant Guinn gets the last drop of ice cream on his way to winning the adult ice cream eating contest at Saturday’s Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show. Several people vied for the title of fast ice cream eater this year, with each competitor given a quart of ice cream. Winners of the other contests will be announced later. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Large Crowd On Hand For Ice Cream Social

J.B. Latimer and Jon Trosper show the proper way to make fried oreos in the Trinity United Methodist Church booth. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd looking for cold sweet ice cream was on hand at Saturday’s 5th Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show. There was plenty for everyone to do, with 18 ice cream booths set up all around the court square, as well as a wide variety of antique cars and trucks. 

Paris Patrolmen Jordan Klutts and Jeramye Whitaker serve up some cold stuff at the DARE booth. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Man Drowns At Carroll County Recreational Lake

Huntingdon, Tenn.-A 27-year-old man drowned in the Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake near Huntingdon Saturday morning and with the help of witnesses, first responders were able to recover the victim’s body within an hour.

Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson told WENK/WTPR that the victim is not from Carroll County, but he declined to release his identity yet. “I’m not 100 percent sure that all the victim’s family has been notified yet and until that happens, we won’t be releasing his name.”

Dickson said the man was at the lake with his girlfriend and her daughter and went out swimming in one of the two designated beach areas. “Witnesses said he swam out toward one of the buoys and was circling back when he went under. I’m not sure if he cramped up or what happened, but he went under and did not resurface.”

Within a few minutes, deputies were on the scene and other emergency personnel arrived to begin the search. Dickson said the witnesses were a big help in finding the victim. “They were able to pinpoint accurately where he had been last seen,” Dickson said.

Paris Home Destroyed By Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A two-story home at 110 Porter Street was destroyed by fire Friday afternoon in Paris, but no one was injured in the blaze.

According to Captain Barry Farmer, when firefighters arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from every opening of  the house. “The interior attachment was enacted initially with some success, but fire broke through the roof,” he said. Firefighters then went to a defensive mode, but the house and contents were a total loss.

Loss was listed as $11,000 to property and $5,000 to contents.

Owners of the property were Anthony Robinson and Audrey Rodriguez. 

Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams said no one was home at the time of the fire and the cause is still under investigation.

Farmer said providing lots of help to the fire department was Henry County EMS, BPU, Paris Police, Natural Gas, Animal Control and the City Street Department. A dog was nearby at the house next door, but he was not harmed.

Casey's Celebrates Grand Opening

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and a large crowd of supporters welcomed Casey’s General Store Manager David Tobias and his crew to Paris with a ribbon-cutting Friday morning. The general store has been open for a few weeks but is currently celebrating its official grand opening at 1002 Mineral Wells Ave. The store features a large variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert items, as well as several gas pumps for customers. (Chamber photo).

More Downtown Murray Buildings to be Demolished

Murray, Ky.-At a community meeting Friday morning, Murray city officials said more downtown buildings likely will be demolished after this week’s fire.

City Administrator Mike Mattingly said he believes the gutted structures will be torn down altogether, due the how extensive the fire damage was. Three buildings and four storefronts were affected in the fire. The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.

Earlier this year, a building in downtown Murray collapsed and following that a roof collapsed at another building. In all, that brings the total of storefronts that have or will have disappeared from the downtown landscape to eight.

The dire situation affecting downtown businesses is also affecting city officials’ role to that of assisting downtown businesses in their recovery efforts, Mattingly said. 

Access to the area of the fire-affected buildings along Main and Fifth Streets continues to be restricted to the public.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Two Found Unharmed After Obion Corn Field Searches

Obion County, Tenn.-Obion County Sheriff’s Department deputies were busy today on two separate searches for two people reported lost in corn fields.

Law enforcement and rescue squads from Weakley and Fulton Counties assisted Obion County deputies searching for a woman in a corn field on Old Pierce Rd. near South Fulton. It was reported that she had disappeared after a domestic incident.

The woman was later found when she picked up her children from day care.

In a separate incident, Obion County authorities earlier Friday conducted a search for a man reported lost in a corn field on Connell Road. That man also was found unharmed.

Murray Bank Opens Branch in Hazel

Murray, Ky. – The Murray Bank has now opened a branch bank in Hazel. The new location is at 405 Main St. in downtown Hazel and will serve southern Calloway County, Ky. as well as parts of Henry County, Tenn.

“The Murray Bank’s recent completion of our new office in Hazel helps continue our commitment to grow our services inside Murray and Calloway County,” according to Murray Bank CEO Bob Hargrove.  “Having another location means we have expanded our hometown banking services to help better serve another part of our great community.”

The Murray Bank’s Hazel branch is designed in a modern, customer friendly setting with an attached drive-through window.  Office hours for the Hazel office will be 9 am until 4 pm, with the drive through opening at 8 am.  The office will have expanded hours on Friday’s until 5 pm.  

“We are pleased to be extending our brand of Hometown Banking into southern Calloway County,” according to Tim Stark, Marketing Coordinator at The Murray Bank.  “To help celebrate the new location we will have a ribbon cutting on September 12, which will be in conjunction with our annual Customer Appreciation Day, so we want to invite everyone out to help us celebrate the opening of our new facility.”

Along with the ribbon cutting, the Hazel location will be celebrating their relocation all week with different events planned daily.  Popcorn, giveaways, along with cake and punch will all help lead up to the grand opening ceremony on Friday.  

Stark said, “Be sure to “like us” on Facebook for updates on what all will be going on that week in September.”

Founded in Murray, KY, The Murray Bank is proud to be Murray and Calloway County’s only locally owned and operated bank.  The Murray Bank has three offices; 405 South 12th Street, 700 North 12th Street, both in Murray, and now open in Hazel at 405 Main Street. The Murray Bank is an equal housing lender, member FDIC.  For more information on any services offered by The Murray Bank, call 753-5626, (270) 492-8388 or log onto

Early Voting Numbers High in State, Local Area

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Whatever the reason, politics is in the air right now and the Elections Commissions seem to be the busiest places in the state of Tennessee during the current early election period.

Voters are turning out in record numbers across the state and our local area is no exception.

Across the board in every county in our area, the numbers of voters heading to the polls are much higher than they were in August of 2010, the last off-year election.

A county-by-county breakdown was released by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office of the first four days of early voting. It shows Weakley and Henry Counties with the highest increase in voter turnout so far in our area.

Here is the breakdown:

Henry County: The first four days of early voting, 1,176 people voted, compared to 482 that had voted at this time in August of 2010, making a difference of 694 voters.

Weakley County: The first four days, 1,323 voted, compared to 414 in August of 2010 for a difference of 909 voters.

Obion County: The first four days, 1,081 voted, compared to 710 in 2010, making a difference of 371.

Stewart County: The first four days, 1,068 voted, compared to 787 in 2010, making a difference of 281.

Benton County: The first four days, 1,093 voted, compared to 843 in 2010, for a difference of 250.

Carroll County: The first four days, 899 voted, compared to 799 in 2010, for a difference of 100.

The early voting period ends August 2.

To date in Henry County, 1,713 have voted, including 245 Thursday. In Obion County, 1,582 have voted, including 239 Thursday.

Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social, Car Show This Saturday

Paris, TN - The 5th Annual Ice Cream Social & Antique Car Show will fill historic downtown Paris on the last Saturday in July from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association (DPA), the event benefits R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center and the DPA.

The schedule for Saturday’s contests: 3:15 p.m. kids’ eating contest; 4 p.m. adults’ eating contest; 5 p.m. kids’ frozen t-shirt contest; 5:30 p.m. adults’ eating contest. Around 6 p.m. trophies will be awarded for Best Theme, Best in Show, etc.

There will be inflatables for the kids, along with a rock wall and obstacle course.

“This has become an end-of-summer tradition that folks of all ages look forward to,” according to DPA Director Kathy Ray. “Everyone with an event wristband can enjoy free ice cream from each booth, kids' bouncers and crazy contests; it's definitely the coolest fundraiser around, no pun intended.” Wristbands are available for a minimum $10 donation or $5 for children 12 and under. They can be purchased from the DPA, booth partners or at the event.

Eighteen ice cream teams have signed on, and the number is growing daily, according to Ray. Teams include: R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center; Trinity Methodist Men; City of Paris; Paris-Henry County Arts Council; State Representative Tim Wirgau; TVCC; Caring Hearts Fund; Cindy Hopkins; Paris Police Department/DARE; Freedom Fitness; First Christian Church; FirstBank; Henry County Medical Center; Paris Health Care; District Attorney General Hansel McCadams, Vicki Hoover, A La Mode Sweet Shoppe, and Christ Lutheran Church. 

The Antique Car Show brings vehicles in from four states, according to Chairperson Vicky Muzzall. Registration is a minimum donation of $10 which includes an event wristband. “Votes (25 cent donations) are tallied throughout the event,” said Muzzall. “At 6:00 pm the car with the most votes will win the “Peoples' Choice Award.” Proceeds go to the beneficiaries.

The event picked up several new sponsors this year with Comer Farms sponsoring the ice cream contests and prizes.  The Frozen T-shirt Contest returns and Neese Law Firm is the Ice Cream and Car Show Trophy/Awards Sponsor. WTPR/WENK will sponsor the total board where car show votes will be tallied. Inflatables sponsor Paris Pediatrics invites children to enjoy the alligator slide and the Challenger 5 bouncers, while Pepsi will provide water at the DPA Booth. Lakeway IGA will sponsor the Prairie Farms freezer truck and extra ice cream. 

More information is available by calling the Downtown Paris Association at 653- PARIS (7274), emailing Ray at or going online at

Speaking of Ice Cream

Jackson, Tenn.-Downtown Paris Association (DPA) President Kathy Ray will be on WBBJ-TV's noon show today for an interview about Saturday's Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show in downtown Paris.

Ray said that a crew from WBBJ also will be in Paris to film the event.

New Veterans Cemetery To Serve Local Area

Nashville, Tenn.– Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the future site of the fifth state veterans cemetery will be in Parkers Crossroads. 

The 132-acre Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads will be located at 693 Wildersville Road and will serve more than 45,000 veterans and their families within 17 counties in west Tennessee. 

The Tennessee counties within a 75 mile radius of the proposed cemetery include Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lewis, McNairy, Madison, Perry, Wayne, and Weakley counties.

“Right now veterans and their families in this part of the state have to drive more than two hours to the nearest state veterans cemetery,” Haslam said. “We want veterans in the more rural parts of the state to have access to these resources that also serve as a symbol of our gratitude for their service to our country.” 

Haslam was also joined by state Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), state Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), Parkers Crossroads Mayor Kenneth Kizer, Henderson County Mayor Dan Hughes and West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee Chair Chris Dangler. 

“We are grateful to the members of the West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee, the mayors of the seven counties who invested local funding and support as well as the Governor, Rep. McDaniel and Sen. Gresham who have supported this effort from the beginning,” Grinder said. “We still have several funding hurdles to jump through before this project becomes a reality, but we are excited to announce we are one step closer to opening the fifth state veterans cemetery to better serve veterans in southwest Tennessee.” 

“The rich history of Parkers Crossroads is a perfect location for a future State Veterans Cemetery,” McDaniel said. “We have anxiously waited to hear this news and we welcome the opportunity to offer a reverent backdrop to this future field of honor.”

“Veterans are buried at no charge in these pristine cemeteries that offer a place of reflection and reverence,” Gresham said. “We look forward to adding another jewel to the existing four state veterans cemeteries.”

There are currently two state veterans cemeteries in Knoxville, one in Nashville and one in Memphis. Veterans and eligible dependents can pre-register for burial by visiting the State Veterans Cemetery page

For more information about the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs and existing State Veterans Cemeteries, visit the department’s website at, or stay up to date by following the department on twitter @TNDVA.

Dresden Grad Awarded UTM Rising Star Scholarship

Martin, Tenn. — Elizabeth Francisco, a 2014 Dresden High School graduate, was awarded the 2014-15 RisingStar Leadership Scholarship by the UT Martin WestStar Leadership Program. The RisingStar committee selects the annual scholarship recipient who receives $1,200 for the academic year. WestStar organizes and sponsors the annual RisingStar Leadership Summit. 

The RisingStar Leadership Scholarship is for a student who participated in the RisingStar summit and will attend UT Martin as a freshman. Eligible students must have a 3.0 high school grade point average and a 21 or higher ACT score. Francisco will major in biology with a concentration in cell and molecular biology. She plans to later attend pharmacy school.

“I got to meet a lot of new people,” Francisco said of her RisingStar experience. “I learned how to be a better leader, not only in school but in the community also.”

The next RisingStar Leadership Summit will be held Nov. 20-21 for West Tennessee high school juniors and seniors involved in leadership roles within their community or school. The daylong program includes leadership team building, motivational speakers and university tours designed for specific academic interests. 

Students interested in participating in RisingStar can contact the WestStar Leadership Program at 731-881-7298.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paris Man Held Without Bond After Escape Attempt

Arrested Four Times in July

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris man who has been arrested four times this month is now being held without bond in the Henry County Jail after he attempted to escape from the county jail Wednesday night.

Lonnie Singleton, 47, of 1639 Old Union Loop, is now charged with felony escape, in addition to theft and burglary.

At approximately 11:36 p.m. Wednesday, Singleton was being booked into the Henry County Correctional Faculty. As he was making his phone call, another officer was being let into the booking area with another prisoner. As the doors were buzzed open for the officer to enter, Singleton dropped the phone and ran out the doors catching both before either could close back.

Singleton was able to clear the doors but those doors lead into the jail sally port, which is a fenced in area. Singleton refused commands and officers did deploy their taser and Singleton was subdued and taken back into the booking area. 

Lonnie Singleton was being booked into the jail initially for the offense of burglary and theft of property over $1,000. When he tried to escape, he was attempting to make a phone call to make his bond, which had been set by Judge Vicki Snyder earlier at $50,000.

Singleton will appear in General Sessions’s court today at 9 am.

Paris Radio Shack to Move to New Location

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Radio Shack will remain in business in Paris, but at a different location.

The Radio Shack building on Mineral Wells Ave. will be demolished to make way for the new CVS Pharmacy and its parking area. But that doesn’t mean customers will have to say goodbye to their Radio Shack store in Paris.

Radio Shack will be closing its current location in the coming weeks and will open in the former Shoe Show location in the Wal-Mart shopping plaza. Its new location will be a 2,800-square-foot space.

A worker at the new Radio Shack location this morning said the new site will have 2,600-square feet of showroom space, which will be two-and-a-half times bigger than the space Radio Shack currently has.

When Dollar Tree moved from its store in the Wal-Mart plaza, Shoe Show moved into that space, leaving the former Shoe Show store empty.

According to local Radio Shack representatives, the store will be opening to its new location on August 9.

Community Meeting Set For Murray in Wake of Downtown Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Murray, Ky.-A community meeting has been scheduled in Murray Friday morning to provide information to business owners and others affected by Wednesday’s early morning fire in downtown Murray that gutted one building and heavily damaged two others.

The Murray Fire Department is continuing to ask the public to stay away from area where the fire occurred, which city officials are calling a ‘collapse zone’. They are cautioning people to stay outside barricades they have set up in case the buildings collapse.

Gutted was the building housing Thurman Campbell Group and heavily damaged was the building that houses Wilson’s Forest and Profiles Salon and Spa. All those businesses were destroyed in the blaze.

The community meeting is set for 9 a.m. Friday in the Robert O. Miller Conference Center.

A Fire Department spokesperson said this morning that the two city fire chiefs and the fire inspector are still on the scene today, trying to asses the cause of the fire and all the damage.

This is the third disaster to strike Murray’s historic downtown. A building on the court square collapsed in February and another building suffered a roof collapse in March.

Sawyer Brown To Perform Saturday at Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-A concert featuring the band Sawyer Brown, plus Lee Roy Parnell and Maggie Rose will be performed Saturday night at Discovery Park of America. Doors open at 6 p.m., with music at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $45 including tax and parking. Tickets are available at the Discovery Park website, by phone at 877-885-5455 or at all Little General locations.

Food and beverage trucks are available. Bring blanket or bag chair and enjoy an evening of music under the stars.

Obion Man Arrested On Multiple Charges

Union City, Tenn.-An Obion man was arrested by Union City Police early this morning on multiple charges. Police were called to the Wal-Mart on Reelfoot Ave. in response to a shoplifting call. Arrested was Bradley Pierce, 121 North 6th Street, on charges of possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.

While talking to the suspect, officers observed his eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred. He admitted having marijuana on him and a baggie was found in his pocket.

A quick pat down of the suspect found a glass pipe with meth residue in another pocket. Under further questioning, the suspect admitted having a firearm in a second pair of shorts he had on.

Officers then found the Rohm revolver in the other pair of shorts during a search.

He was arrested and transported to the Obion County Jail without incident.

HCMC Recognized For Improving Infant Health

From left: Judy Farris, QI Manager; Nicole Redmond, OB Nurse; Rachel Davis, OB Nurse; Jackie Moreland, RN, BSN, MS, Clinical Quality Improvement Specialist, Tennessee Center for Patient Safety; Rhonda Carnell, Director of the Women’s Center; Dennis Wieck, MD, OB/GYN; Lakisha Crigler, MD, OB/GYN; and James Caldwell, Chief Nursing Officer.  

Paris, Tenn. – Henry County Medical Center has been recognized by the Tennessee Hospital Association’s (THA) Tennessee Center for Patient Safety for its leadership in reducing the number of babies born electively between 37 to 39 weeks. There is a greater risk of complications associated with births prior to 39 weeks, and waiting until 39 weeks allows for better growth and development of vital organs such as the brain, lungs and liver.  

The HCMC Women’s Center successfully met its goal of decreasing the number of babies delivered electively between 37 to 39 weeks gestation to 5 percent or less and has maintained this goal for a minimum of six consecutive months. This dramatically increases the chances for good physical and developmental health of babies. It also allows for better health and safety of the mother. The hospital is being awarded a congratulatory banner to recognize its team’s outstanding effort by the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety.

LBL Activities Include Walk to Iron Furnace, Evening Kayaking  

Golden Pond, Ky.-Land Between The Lakes will be jam-packed with activities on Saturday, July 26, starting with a one-mile walk to the Great Western Iron Furnace and ending with a Sunset Kayak Trip.

Here is the schedule for LBL activities for Saturday:

9am-12pm - Walk to Town - HOMEPLACE Meet historical interpreter Kristopher Adam at The Homeplace where he will lead a mile walk to the Great Western Iron furnace. Along the way he will discuss the active town of Bass, TN. At the furnace he will inform you about the impact the iron industry had in the area, as you enjoy slices of spring cooled watermelon. Walk limited to the first 25 visitors. Program free with HP admission

1-3pm - Scavenger Hunt (Iron on the Farm)* - HOMEPLACE The iron industry was a very important industry to the people in this area. Drop by the Double Pen House today, pick up your scavenger hunt list and see how many iron items you find as you explore the farm. *Ideal for Home Educators. Program free with HP admission.

2-2:30pm - The 7 Deadly Sins of the Animal Kingdom - NATURE STATION Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony - all the deadly sins exist in the animal kingdom. During this PowerPoint presentation in our air-conditioned theater, we will pick which over-the-top animals worldwide represent each deadly sin the best. Can you guess which animals will be chosen? Join us to find out! Program free with NS admission. 

6-8:30pm - Sunset Kayak Trip - Location TBA Enjoy the beauty of an LBL sunset as we paddle the waters of one of Lake Barkley's scenic bays. We'll search for wildlife that visits the lake at twilight such as osprey, herons, beavers, and songbirds. Beginners are welcome! $20 per kayak. Cost does not include same day NS admission. NS closes at 5pm. Registration limited. Reservations and full deposits required. Call 270-924-2020 to reserve your space and for meeting location.

Henry County School Supply Information Announced

Paris, Tenn.-School supply lists are for schools in Henry County are now available at local stores. No lists are made for Grove or Henry County High School, as teachers will let students know what they need.

Grove and Henry County High School will post Homeroom list on the front entrances of the schools on August 5. Class schedules will be available on the first day of school.

Grove Open House is scheduled for 6 p.m. August 5.

Henry County High School will have the Tenth Grade Open House from 3-5 p.m. August 11.

New registration at all schools will be from 8 a.m. to noon August 8 (for those students who are new to the Henry County School System).

GOP To Meet Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Republican Party will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday July 24 in the Chancery Court room of the Henry County court house.

Republican candidates for elected office who are not otherwise engaged will be in attendance.

There will be a mystery speaker for the meeting.

Attendees also will be discussing the possible locations for GOP headquarters for the coming elections.

Former Pastor Charged With Statutory Rape

Dover, Tenn.-A former Baptist minister and former bus driver for the Stewart County Schools has been arrested on three counts of aggravated statutory rape by the Stewart County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Reason, age 44, of Big Rock, was arrested for the incidents involving a female member of his congregation at Petra Southern Baptist Church in Big Rock

The crimes allegedly occurred during the summer break from school.

Reason already had been dismissed as pastor and he is no longer employed with Stewart County Schools.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Paris Man Arrested After Shots Fired

Paris, Tenn.-A 23-year-old Paris man was arrested by Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies and charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly shot at another man during an altercation Tuesday at a Hwy. 79 South residence.

Arrested was Matthew Fourman of 326 Walnut St.

According to Captain Damon Lowe of the sheriff’s office, a 911 call was placed around 4:12 p.m. reporting that an individual had been shot at and officers responded to 8218 Hwy. 79S.  

Officers located the victim fleeing from the address. He told officers that he and his girlfriend, who is Fourman’s mother, were at the home and Fourman arrived and a confrontation ensued.

The victim said at some point during the argument, Fourman went into the home and came out with a large rifle and was coming at him. Angie attempted to step in front of her son but he went around her with the weapon.  Approximately three shots were fired as the victim was running away. None of the shots struck anyone and no one was injured in the altercation, Capt. Lowe said.

Officers arrived on the scene and spoke with all parties involved. Fourman denied shooting any guns, only that he had run the victim off, telling him he would whip him and that he was not welcome.  

Officers searched the area where it was believed the weapon was fired but could not locate anything due to the amount of grass in the yard.

Contact was made with TWRA Officer Scott Mansfield and he brought his K-9 Cane out to the scene. His K-9 is trained to find items or articles that contain gunpowder or have been fired from a weapon, Capt. Lowe said.

After a short search of the area, Cane did locate a shell casing in the high grass. Evidence was collected and with that officers did locate a weapon inside the home that was capable of firing that round. Once the weapon was recovered and inspected, there was an additional spent round still inside the weapon.

Matthew Fourman was arrested and transported to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and was charged with aggravated assault and bond was set at $10,000. He will appear in General Sessions’s court at 9 a.m. July 29.

Sheriff Monte Belew said he appreciated Officer Mansfield, his partner Cane and the TWRA for allowing them to respond to the scene. They were valuable part of the case and with their help an arrest was made, Belew said.

Other agencies assisting on the call were Henry Police and the Tennessee Hwy Patrol.

Downtown Murray Fire Destroys Businesses

Heavy smoke enveloping downtown Murray. Photo by Troy Taylor of WKMS.

Murray, Ky.-Murray Firefighters are still on the scene of a massive fire in downtown Murray that has heavily damaged at least two businesses. The blaze itself has been contained by firefighters but as of 9:15 a.m., heavy black smoke is still enveloping the downtown area.

According to a Murray Fire Department spokesperson this morning, the building housing Wilson’s Florist and Profiles were heavily damaged by the fire which began around 2 a.m. and she said the firefighters will be at the scene all day.

Traffic around the downtown area is being closed and city officials have cautioned the public to stay away from the downtown area altogether today. 

According to WKMS News Director Chad Lampe, Murray's Playhouse in the Park board members report the fire destroyed the theatre's props and costume storage facility, including extra seats that were part of newly-purchased set from Paducah's Market House Theatre.

The firefighters were utilizing the Murray Department’s telesquirter equipment to pour water on the two and three-story buildings from above.

Other adjoining downtown buildings may have been damaged in the fire, as well.

This is the third major incident to damage downtown Murray over the past year, including a building collapse and roof collapse.


Justice Sharon Lee Visits Area on "Save Our State" Tour

Justice Sharon Lee, in orange, visits Henry County General Sessions Judge Vicki Snyder and the county's courthouse security staff. (Photo courtesy of Justice Lee).

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee made a whirlwind trip through West Tennessee Tuesday, visiting officials and law enforcement in Henry, Obion, Weakley, Dyer, Carroll, and Gibson County on what is being called the “Save Our State (SOS) Tour”. Today, she is up bright and early beginning another round of visits in Hardeman County.

Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Lee, Cornelia Clark and Gary Wade were appointed by former Governor Phil Bredesen and all are up for retention on the August 7 ballot.

In each county, Lee visited with active and retired judges, including Henry County General Sessions Judge Vicki Snyder and retired Judge Julian Guinn; Weakley County Judges Bill Acree and Tommy Moore, Chancellor Mike Maloan, and in Obion County, retired Court of Appeals Judge David Hayes.

She also met with law enforcement officials, including Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, Chief Deputy Randy Gean and Paris Police Officials, as well as officials in each county, including Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire, Henry County Clerk and Master Mary Burns, County Clerk Donna Craig, and others.

Justice Lee chats with Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire and retired Court of Appeals Judge David Hayes. (Photo courtesy of Justice Lee).

First Lady Haslam Partners With Parks For Decorations

Visits Reelfoot Lake State Park 

First Lady Crissy Haslam, middle, with Artist Karon Griffon and Reelfoot Park Manager Alisha Weber. 

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Tennessee’s State Parks will be highlighted this year by Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam’s “Tennessee’s Home For The Holidays” open house event at the Tennessee Residence in December. 

First Lady Haslam is visiting the state parks throughout the state to collect ideas for decorations and Tuesday she visited Reelfoot Lake State Park.

The decoration theme this year is “Tennessee Landscapes,” showcasing the natural beauty of our state. Tennessee has 54 State Parks and each will be a partner to create spectacular decorations representing the scenic landscapes of west, middle and east Tennessee. 

The main tree will specifically highlight state parks, as there will be an ornament for each park hand-painted by an artist who they selected to represent their park.

This year’s open house will be held Friday, December 5 – Wednesday, December 17, with tours offered Monday through Saturday. Open House Tours will be offered at no cost to the public Monday-Saturday, December 5-17, at 10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. On Saturday, tours will also be offered at 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. 

Reservations can be made beginning Saturday, November 1 online by visiting the First Lady’s website:

Hazel Man Seriously Injured in Wreck

Hazel, Ky.-A 35-year-old Hazel man was seriously injured over the weekend in a one-vehicle accident in eastern Calloway County. Upon arrival at the scene, Calloway County deputies found Kelly Jones lying in the ditch after he had been ejected through the top of his vehicle.

Investigation revealed that the vehicle was operated by Heather Johnson, 28 years old, of Hazel Ky. The vehicle appeared to drop off the shoulder of the roadway. Johnson overcorrected and slid into the opposite ditch. The vehicle traveled some distance in the ditch eventually impacting with a small tree. This impact caused the vehicle to complete a 360º motion. 

Another passenger in the vehicle, a 22 month old male juvenile, was restrained in a child safety seat. The driver and the juvenile reportedly had no injuries as a result of this incident. 

Jones was transported to the Murray Calloway County Emergency Room by the Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service. He was later air lifted to another hospital due to the severity of his injuries. The vehicle during this incident sustained severe damage. 

The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the incident by the Murray Calloway County Fire Rescue, Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service, and the Murray Fire Department Rescue truck.

Deadlines Near For Henry County Fair Pageants

Paris, Tenn.-Deadline for entering the Fairest of the Fair and other pageants at the Henry County Fair is fast approaching.

The Fairest of the Fair pageant is Monday night August 4, immediately following the Miss Teen pageant which begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Miss Teen contest is for girls ages 13 – 15. The Fairest of the Fair is for ages 16 – 20 (canno...t be 21 before 12/31/14). Formal dress for both contests.

Entry fee for the Fairest of the Fair is $20 and must list a sponsor. The entry fee for Miss Teen and all other pageants is $10. Entries should be mailed to P.O. Box 1431, Paris, TN by August 1 to be listed in the program. Late entries will be accepted until 6 pm August 3 with an additional $5 late fee.

Dress for the Junior Queen contest (4 – 6 years old) and for the Little Miss contest (7 – 9 years old) shall be Sunday dress – no formals. Dress for the Miss Pre-Teen contest (ages 10 – 12) shall be formal. Entry forms are available by sending the name, age, address, parents’ names, and favorite activities to P.O. Box 1431. Participants may attend a short rehearsal time immediately following the Baby Barnyard contest on Sunday 8/3/14 at approximately 4:30 p.m.

The winner of the Fairest of the Fair will win a crown, flowers, silver tray, and other prizes. The winner and runners-up are expected to attend all Fair events and participate by awarding ribbons and other prizes. The winner of the Fairest of the Fair is expected to compete in the State competition in Nashville in January, 2015. Expenses for the winner and one chaperone will be paid by the Fair Association.

Fairest of the Fair contestants will be judged on beauty, poise, and personality. A contestant cannot qualify for the contest if she has ever married or had a child. None of the participants in the previous years’ state contest shall be eligible to compete.

Entries in all contests must be residents of Henry County.

There is also a Photogenic Contest for all ages to enter. The cost to enter is $5.00 additional and sending a 5 x 7 photograph in a manila envelope with the contestants name on the outside. Winners will receive award approved by the Fair Association and will be announced the night of the pageant.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First Lady Crissy Haslam Visits Discovery Park

Union City – First Lady Crissy Haslam today visited Discovery Park of America in Union City to encourage daily reading with local children from Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Tennessee and Kare Bear day care at First Baptist Church of Union City. 

Approximately 20 third grade students joined the First Lady in the museum’s Starship Theater to read the July book of the month, One Giant Leap by Robert Burleigh. Following the program, the students toured the museum’s exhibits to learn more about science, space and technology. 

“There is tremendous academic value in reading for at least twenty minutes each day,” Mrs. Haslam said. “Daily reading can be even more important when students are out of the classroom, because children experience learning losses over the summer from simply being out of school.”

The First Lady’s Read20 Family Book Club features a new book and corresponding family activities each month as an additional tool for families to participate in daily reading. This month, the featured book is about Apollo 11, the American spaceflight that landed the first humans on the moon, to highlight public libraries’ science summer reading theme Fizz, Boom, Read!

“There are wonderful museums located throughout Tennessee to help children learn about all different types of science, including astronomy, earth science and space exploration,” Mrs. Haslam said. “It can be fun for children to read about a particular topic and visit a museum, aquarium, or science center to learn more.” 

Discovery Park of America, which has been opened less than one year, is the newest large scale museum in Tennessee, and it has brought more than 125,000 visitors to Union City. Inside the 70,000 square foot Discovery Center are 10 unique galleries with exhibits focused on nature, science, technology, history, and art; and the park’s 50-acre grounds feature gardens and exhibits focused on history. 

Henry County No Fly Zone Wins National Championship

National Champions (Jr. Varsity) from left: Coach Bill Neese, Hunter Fletcher, Briar Ray, Caleb Orr.

Sparta, Illinois—The Henry County No Fly Skeet Team won the 2014 Scholastic Clay Target Program National Championship over the weekend at the World Shooting and Recreation Center near Sparta, Ill. The No Fly Skeet Team also won 2014 Tennessee State Champion honors earlier this year.

The Championships give the best skeet shooters from all across the country a chance to vie for top honors.  The No Fly Zone team is well known, having previously won a gold medal as national champions, a silver medal as runner up national champions, four Tennessee State Championships over the last four years, titles in the West Tennessee and Mid West Regionals and many individual titles. 

No Fly Zone Head Coach Drew Williams, is in charge of the program and coaches several trap teams and the Rookie and Intermediate Entry Skeet Teams.  Bill Neese coaches the Intermediate Advanced, Junior Varsity and Varsity Skeet Teams and Ronnie Cole assists with the Intermediate Advanced team. 

Following their win as 2014 Tennessee State Champions, the squad composed of Hunter Fletcher, Caleb Orr and Briar Ray brought home the gold in the Junior Varsity Division by winning the 2014 National Championship.  In addition, Fletcher, Orr and Ray won the silver medal as runners up in the High School Division. 

The squad of Gray Gardner, Scott Hicks and Drew James took the silver medal as runners up to the National Champions in the Intermediate Advanced Division.  

The squad of Sawyer Williams, Shelby Summers and Dalton Dodd took a medal for fourth place in the Rookie Division.

Henry County’s Varsity Team also competed in the National Competition. 

In addition to the squad honors, Henry County shooters won several medals in individual competition.  Individual Honors were:

Rookies:  Shelby Summers, for the highest girl’s score. 

Intermediate Advanced: Kenzie Williams, for the highest girl’s score; Scott Hicks, for the third highest boy’s score; Gray Gardner, for the fifth highest boy’s score.

Junior Varsity: Caleb Orr, for the third highest boy’s score; Hunter Fletcher, for the fourth highest boy’s score;

 Henry County No Fly Zone Skeet team members who participated in the National Competition are, by division:

Varsity: Bryce Liotta, Jesse Conrad, Will Davis, Nathan Gaskins and Lee Phifer.

Junior Varsity: Hunter Fletcher, Caleb Orr, Briar Ray, Skye McClane and Bradley Bomar.

Intermediate Advanced: Gray Gardner, Scott Hicks, Drew James, Zac Cole, Kenzie Williams, Micah Fuqua, Aaron Conrad and Stuart Archer.

 Intermediate Entry: Grant Dodd.

 Rookie: Shelby Summers, Sawyer Williams, Dalton Dodd

 The SCTP is a program of The Henry County 4H and the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.  The Team is very grateful to FirstBank for all its support and encouragement. 

4th Place Rookie Team, from left: Dalton Dodd, Shelby Summers, Sawyer Williams and Coach Drew Williams.

Man Seriously Injured in Weakley County Accident

Martin, Tenn.-A Gallatin man was seriously injured in a one-vehicle accident on Hwy 431 in Weakley Co. around 5 p.m. today. The church van the man was driving belongs to the Hope Church of Martin.

Sean Franklin McCracken, age 44, was airlifted from the scene to an unknown hospital. The Air Evac helicopter landed on the highway to transport McCracken, after Weakley Co. emergency crews spent more than 30 minutes extricating him from his vehicle.

McCracken was driving a church vehicle and ran head-on into a highway pylon on one of the off ramps. According to the Weakley County Press, the church van belongs to Hope Church of Martin.

The accident occurred near the Highway 22 intersection. Traffic was backed up for nearly two hours as emergency responders worked the accident scene.

BPU Approves New Water Plant Construction

BPU General Manager John Etheridge, back left, reviews reports with the board. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities voted Tuesday to construct a new water plant to replace the current structure that has been serving the county for 60 years. The new plant will be located behind the current structure, near the West Blythe-Caldwell Street intersection, will cost $9,411,000 and will be built in two phases.

Construction of a new plant will necessitate a rate increase at some point in the future and BPU officials are seeking other financing options as well.

Construction of the new plant was recommended by BPU officials and Jacobs Engineering instead of continuing to repair the current plant which studies have shown has structural issues.

Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley said BPU officials realized the decision was an important one in the history of the BPU and he commended the maintenance staff for the “good job” it has done repairing and maintaining the old facility over the years. 

“We’ve been good stewards of the plant and made it last”, Wimberley said, “but now it’s time to look to the future.”

Wimberley reminded the board that a 10-year-evaluation of the plant had found major structural issues with the structure, especially in the case of a seismic event, and the board was faced with either repairing or replacing the structure. Following that, Jacobs Engineering was asked by the board to evaluate the options open to the district.

Jacobs issued an evaluation listing three options: Option One, rehabilitate the existing plant which would cost $12,614,000 and would still be using old equipment; Option Two, construct a new plant with in-ground concrete construction which would cost $15,983,000; or Option Three, construct a new plant with packaged equipment in steel tanks which would utilize a different treatment process.

Wimberley said BPU officials and Jacobs recommended Option Three which was the least expensive and best option available. 

The new plant would be constructed in two phases, with phase one occurring in 2015-2016 and would cost $3.1 million. Phase two would occur three to six years later and cost $6.8 million.

Wimberley said BPU will continue to pursue financing options, including the state revolving loan program and CDBG funding. 

If a major industry comes to Paris or Henry County, he said, the facility could be easily expanded to accommodate increased water usage. 

After hearing the presentation, Board President David Flowers said, “It looks like Option 3 is the least costly and the best solution. It will cost a lot of money and we are going to have to request a rate increase in the future to pay for it.”

There was general consensus among board members that Option 3 was best. Board Member Bill Culley agreed, saying, “We have no choice but to go with the third option.” Board Member Ralph Anderson said, “We don’t need to keep repairing the facility. We really don’t want to keep throwing good money after bad.”

In other business:

--The board hired S&G Stephens, Paris, as contractor for general work at the new electric warehouse at a cost of $145,000. Two other bids received were: BWY Construction, Dresden, $150,990; and John Allen Construction of Big Sandy, $165,032.

Biggs Denied Release During Emergency Hearing

Paris, Tenn.- During a rare evening session, Henry County Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish conducted an emergency hearing Monday night to hear a request by Guy Biggs for release from the Henry County Jail due to a serious medical condition. The hearing began at 7 p.m.

After hearing evidence, Judge Parish denied the requested medical furlough and instead ordered that Biggs be transported by the sheriff’s department from the jail to the Tennessee Department of Corrections for safe keeping and medical attention.

Court adjourned at 7:45 p.m. Biggs is charged with criminal attempt to commit first degree murder and filing a false police report. Biggs and his wife were initially arrested on those charges for allegedly luring an ex-boyfriend of his wife to their home on Swan Bay Rd. with the intention of killing him earlier this year. 

UTM Coach Smith Leads State Special Olympics Team

Martin, Tenn. – Coaches are often special people, and they often have the privilege of coaching special people. Dr. Clinton Smith, UT Martin assistant professor of special education, did just tha...t when he played a pivotal role at the Special Olympics USA National Games held June 14-21, in New Jersey.

Smith served as the head coach for the Team Tennessee Athletics Track and Field team. Smith coached 10 Tennessee athletes who participated in weeklong track and field events, including: 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m relays, long jump and softball throw. The Tennessee Athletics Team won a total of 17 medals: six gold, four silver and seven bronze. The men’s 4x100m relay team won bronze in their division, missing silver by just a .23 of a second difference in time.

Smith attended the 2006, 2010 and then this year’s National Games as a coach. He recently applied for an athletics coach’s position for the 2015 World Games to be held in Los Angeles, Calif., which includes more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries. For all of his efforts, he was recently awarded the Kiwanis Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District Teacher of the Year, which included a $250 gift for Special Olympics. He was also honored earlier this year as the Tennessee Education Association’s Distinguished Educator for Higher Education

“This was an amazing opportunity for me to coach some outstanding Special Olympics athletes from across Tennessee. These athletes showed true dedication and confidence in their desire to win like no other,” Smith said. “These athletes always inspire me to be a better person but also remind me to take time to slow down and have some fun. Sometimes we get so busy with our lives we tend to forget to do that.”

Special Olympics Tennessee sent 88 Special Olympians and 32 coaches and caddies to participate in athletics, aquatics, bocce, power lifting, golf, tennis, traditional basketball, unified basketball and flag football. More than 3,500 athletes, 1,000 coaches and over 10,000 volunteers attended the National Games, which are held every four years.

Younger is Winner at Chamber Water Fun Run

Paris, Tenn.-Troy Younger, left top photo, receives his $1000 check as the winner of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce 2014 Water Fun Run from Chamber President-Elect Tony Lawrence. The event was held Saturda...y on Kentucky Lake.

Younger, a first time player, said he plans to contribute the funds to the pool that he and friends use to enjoy Kentucky Lake. He won with a four kings and an ace.

Other winners were Pam Marvin, Dyer, who received second place with four twos; and Darell Sherrill, who was third with a full house. 

Bottom photo, a row of dealers and others assisting six players during Saturday's Paris-Henry County Chamber Water Fun Run event. Volunteers included John Wamble; Tony Wheatley; Jim Perry; Jennifer Wheatley; Kevin Buie; Andrew Wheatley; Michael Puckett; and Tony Lawrence. The event requires over 50 volunteers at multiple stations on Kentucky Lake. (Chamber photos).

Sammy Goldstein Returns Home For KPAC Event

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd welcomed nationally-acclaimed Cabaret Entertainer Sammy Goldstein back home Saturday night for his performance at the Krider Performing Arts Center (KPAC) in Paris. Goldstein performed old favorites from Broadway musicals and standards. The event was a fundraiser for the Lee Academy for the Arts in Paris. (Jean Owens photo).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Country Star "Bun" Wilson Dies

Used to Perform Live on WTPR

"Bun" Wilson, kneeling, with Ernest Tubb and The Texas Troubadours.

Paris, Tenn.-Former Country Music Entertainer Billy “Bun” Wilson of Puryear died Saturday at his home in Paris. Wilson played, sang and performed comedy for years in numerous venues and was among many local artists who used to perform live from the WTPR studios when the radio station was located above the former Luckey’s Hardware on the court square in Paris.

Wilson was revered as a musical legend by some of country music’s greatest artists. He appeared on the Ernest Tubb Television Show, the Phillip Morris Show and was a regular performer at Renfro Valley in Kentucky until retirement. He also played with Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours.

He has been friends with and performed since the 1940’s with greats like Mel Tillis, Willie Nelson, Little Jimmie Dickens, Red Sovine and many, many more. Bun traveled and performed far and wide but was always a Christian man, who loved his family and a Baptist by faith. 

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at McEvoy Funeral Home with Bro. Jerry Lee officiating, burial to follow at Hazel Cemetery. Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday and after 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Serving as pallbearers are Johnny Wilson, Stuart Scott, John Rudolph, Billy Atkins, Rex Paschall and Dan Paschall. Doc Richardson, Joe Atkins and Roger Thrasher will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Survived by a son: Wayne (Emily) Wilson, Paris; sister: Marjorie McCree; brother: W.H. "Dub" (Velma Lax) Wilson, Paducah, KY; grandchildren: Allie Wilson, Trent Wilson, Madilyn Wilson, Lisa Wilson and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was born in Puryear. Preceded in death by his parents: W.H. "Bun" and Katie Venable Wilson; sisters: Lela Atkins, Edna Earl Wilson, Marie Paschall, Kitty Wilson, Rebecca Wilson, Vera Wilson; brothers: Carl Wilson, Wayne Wilson, Noble Wilson and Bernard Wilson.

Steak 'n Shake Opens Today in Paris

City and county officials and other well-wishers cut the ribbon at the new Steak n' Shake today. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The highly-anticipated opening of the new Steak ‘n Shake restaurant in Paris is now official. A large crowd of city and county officials, merchants, well-wishers--and probably more than a few hungry people--were on hand for the ribbon-cutting at the restaurant, located at 1036 Mineral Wells Ave. 

The restaurant will be open until midnight and features a full menu, including a large breakfast menu, and their signature items including steak burgers, steak franks, chili with spaghetti, salads--and of course, milk shakes in a variety of flavors. 

Paris City Manager Carl Holder welcomed the restaurant to Paris, telling the Patel family, which owns the restaurant, “This is something everyone has been looking forward to for a very long time. Everyone is certainly very happy about this and I believe you will have great success here.”

The ribbon-cutting was sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

The Patel family with congratulatory balloons at the ribbon-cutting.

CVS Pharmacy Opening Soon in Paris

Paris, Tenn.-The signs are finally up signaling that the CVS Pharmacy will soon be open in Paris. The pharmacy will be located at the intersection of Mineral Wells and Memorial Avenues where Wilson's Grocery store was situated for many years. Demolition of the old grocery reportedly will begin soon. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

"Casting For A Cure" is Huge Success At New Location

Tristan Hood Sneed of McKenzie with his string of fish. (Steve McCadams photo).

McKenzie, Tenn.-Both the weather and the fish cooperated this time around for the 14th Annual Steve McCadams “Casting For A Cure” Kids Fishing Rodeo held Saturday at McKenzie City Park lake. Initially scheduled for early June at Carroll Lake, the event fell victim to flooding conditions that ultimately destroyed the lake but not the spirits of the hosts and future fishermen.

“Thanks to help from the City of McKenzie we were able to reschedule and the little lake helped return big smiles to small faces as we battled fish and cancer at the same time,” McCadams said. “I was worried about rain and several other factors when we had to change dates and locations but everything worked out great.”

“Mayor Jill Holland and the McKenzie Parks and Recreation staff really stepped up and helped us on relatively short notice,” he said.  “I had the lake stocked with catfish a few days prior and they were really on the prowl and biting. The kids caught quite a few.” Plans are already underway for next year’s event, which will tentatively return on the first Saturday in June at McKenzie City Park. 

The facilities were great for the kids, parents and visitors. And, thanks to a few volunteers, along with the help of Michael Clark of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Lizz Gonzalez manning the concession stand on behalf of Relay for Life, we raised awareness and dollars for the American Cancer Society.

All kids received door prizes thanks to folks who donors who support the event each year. Special plaques and bicycles were awarded to the youngster catching the most and biggest fish in four separate age brackets.

Anna Summers of McKenzie caught the big fish in the 5 and under age group and Farrah Gaut of Mansfield caught the most. Taylor Waddell of McKenzie really had a great day of fishing as he caught the most and the biggest in the 6-9 age bracket. His big channel catfish tipped the scales at just over 5 pounds and was the biggest one taken at the rodeo this year

McKenzie’s Colton Higdon had the big fish in the 10-12 age group and Tristin Hood, also of McKenzie, had the most fish. In the 13-15 age group it was Bryston Diggs of McKenzie who landed the biggest and most fish.

“It took some doing but we were able to rebound from the unfortunate situation last month at Carroll Lake thanks to the help of Mayor Holland, McKenzie City Park staff, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, several volunteers and some hungry fish,” McCadams said.

“It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make this happen and I appreciate the support and patience of the kids and parents this year when we had to reschedule. And, it appears the concessions and donors combined will allow us to benefit ACS to the tune of over $3,800 this year.”

Brady Zdeb of Murfreesboro caught his "first fish ever". (McCadams photo).

Tickets On Sale for Obion County Band Fundraiser

In photo: from left are students Seth Simmons, Madison Gargus, Kayla Bell, Rachel Wisdom, Becky Strickland, Christy Litchford, Destiny Watts, Lizzy Blackburn, Jada Kreitman, Will King, Field Commander Michael Reeves, and Chris Floyd. (Obion County Central photo).

Union City, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale now for the Obion County Central High School Marching Rebel Band’s annual chicken dinner, auction and preview show on July 25.

The event will raise funds for the band expenses as well as to preview this year’s field show, “For the Love of Freedom”, which honors fallen servicemen.

Supper and auction is held from 5-7 p.m. in the commons area at the high school. Tickets are available to buy from any band member or at the door: $8 per ticket. The field show preview will be held at 7 p.m.

Organizers thank Tyson Foods for the donation of the chicken for the supper and the merchants of Obion County for their generous donations for the auction.

Bethel Junior Physician Assistant Event Draws Crowd

Paris, Tenn.-Keith Powell of Bethel University watches as Jacey Jackson, her mother Ashley Jackson and friend Macy Powell get a feel for riding in a Paris Fire Truck at Saturday’s Junior Physician Assistant Day for children. The event was crowded with children and their parents. The Paris Fire Department and Henry County EMS were on hand and participants could explore fire trucks and ambulances and perform repairs and checkups on stuffed animals and more. Bottom photo, Paris Fire Department Lt. Chris Fletcher hands out fire hats to children. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Woman Arrested For Using False Identity For Medical Treatment

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police were called to Baptist Memorial Hospital on a report that someone was using a false name in order to receive medical treatment. Hospital Officials said a woman claiming to be Karyn Hill gave her birthday and social security number that matched Hill, but the nurse said she knew it wasn’t her because the photos on the computer did not match. That’s when the nurse call the police department.

Another hospital employee said the woman’s real name was Brandy Lynn Flatt and that she had been to the hospital several times but had never used a false name and always caused trouble.

When the officer approached the woman and asked her name, she again gave the fake name. During questioning, she admitted using a fake name but said she did it because the hospital staff was always mean and rude to her. She said the other woman had given her permission to use her name, but when officers called her she said she did not and that she hadn’t even spoken to Flatt for about 10 years.

At this point, when officers read her her rights, Flatt refused to answer any questions. She was placed under arrest and charged with identify theft and transported to Obion County Hospital.

Free Summer Day Camp Registration Ongoing

Paris, Tenn.- The Every Day Summer Camp registration is ongoing. This summer camp is designed to teach children about the importance of nutrition, sleep, and exercise to their health with fun activities including exercise, games, interactive learning and handouts. 

There are only 30 spaces available for the FREE camp, geared towards elementary and middle school students, 1st grade through 8th grade. To register for the camp, call the HCMA Find Line at 731-644-3463 or online Registration for the camp will end on Friday, July 25. 

The camp will be held from Monday, July 28 - Friday, August 1 at the Atkins Porter Gym in Paris. Breakfast will be provided to the students attending the camp. Camp is from 9 a.m. -10:30 a.m. each day.

Attempted Burglary Reported in UC

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating an attempted burglary Saturday at Soleil Garden Center on Nailing Dr. 

According to the police report, two unknown subjects attempted to drill out the master lock on the Northwest gate and surveillance video shows the two subjects inside the floor of the garden center.

The video shows two white males, one with a hoodie and blue jeans and the other with a toboggan, blue jeans and white t-shirt and glasses. The subjects used a drill from the work building to attempt to drill out the lock from the inside of the fence. The drill was later found in the dumpster and retrieved.

The magnetic signs on a 2008 Chevy Silverado were taken off and the truck was entered. 

Police believe the subjects were attempting to steal the truck but were unable to get the gate open.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Camden Man Charged in Early-Morning Homicide

Camden, Tenn.-A Camden man is in custody in connection to a homicide of a 47-year-old man found on a city street in Camden early Sunday morning.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested and charged 52-year-old Eddie Lee Lewis, with the early-morning shooting death of a man whose body was found on Rowsey Street in Camden.

With the assistance of the Camden Police Department, and at the request of 24th District Attorney General Hansel McCadams, TBI Special Agents began investigating the death of the man whose identity is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

Investigators arrested the subject believed to be involved in the shooting and subsequently booked him into the Benton County Jail on a charge of Felon in Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. 

As the case develops, the possibility exists for additional charges for Laws. At the time of this release, the 52-year-old Camden man was being held without bond until his first court appearance. The motivation, relationship between the two men, and the circumstances of the incident remain under investigation. 

Crowds Flock To Historic Home Tour

Paris, Tenn.-A chance to view the homes of historic Paris drew large crowds to the 2014 Historic Home tour Saturday afternoon. Four spectacular homes with rich local histories were on the tour this year: the Thomason House at 909 Dunlap street owned now by Robert and Melony Whitfield; the J.D.C. Atkins-Neal Home at 510 Hudson St., now owned by Jim and Fiona Jackson; the W.C. Johnson home at 509 West Washington which is now owned by Alvin and Margie Shankle and a second W.C. Johnson home at 404 Dunlap Street, now owned now by Ed and Vickey Roberts. The tour was hosted by the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center and a reception was held there after the tour. Top photo, Melony and Robert Whitfield in the formal dining area of their home; bottom, a group of visitors on the grand staircase at the Jacksons’ home. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Jean Owens Wins "Best Of Show" In Refuge Photo Contest

Springville, Tenn.-Jean Owens of Paris, left, accepts the Best of Show Award from Friends of the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge President Vickie Miller during Saturday’s grand opening of the new Refuge headquarters and visitor’s center. Miller announced the winners of the 2014 Friends of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Awaits Photography Competition.

Full list of winners:

Birds: first place, Jean Owens; second and third, Laura Markham.
People Connecting With Nature: first and second, Shawna Ellis; third, Laura Markham.
Scenic: first and second, Owens; third, Markham.
Wildlife: first, second and third place, Owens.
Natures Wonders: first, Markham; second, Owens; and third, Markham.
Youth: Reed Parker, first, second and third.

The complete story on the refuge headquarters opening was published in our Saturday section. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Rockin' At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-Large crowds were rockin' Saturday night at Discovery Park of America with the appearance of Survivor, top, and Starship, bottom, as part of the park's summer concert series. Exile also performed. (Brent Hinson photos).

Pennsylvania Team Wins National High School Tourney

Paris and McKenzie, Tenn.—With tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces, the Susquehanna Valley team of Garrett Enders and Nick Osman of Pennsylvania hoisted the championship trophy into the air on the last day of the Bassmasters National High School Fishing Tournament. The competition was held at both Paris Landing and Carroll Recreational Lake.

Enders and Osman outlasted 59 of the best high school teams in the nation to take home the crown of inaugural High School Champions.

With a Day 3 weight of 7 pounds and 4 ounces they sat in second place and were in prime position to take over the lead on the final day of competition.

For their victory, Garrett Enders and Nick Osman received $4,000 -- $2,000 per angler -- in scholarship funds from B.A.S.S. They were also offered $20,000 in scholarships from Bethel University, should they choose to attend the university upon graduation.

The second place team of Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney of Benton, Ill., were undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with. The Illinois anglers were the Day 1 and 2 leaders at Kentucky Lake, before zeroing the weights and heading to Carroll County’s 1,000-acre recreational lake. Richardson and McKinney caught 37 pounds and one ounce on Kentucky Lake and had a sizeable lead before the weights were evened out.

The duo received $2,000 -- $1,000 a piece -- in scholarships from B.A.S.S., as well as $1,000 from Triton. 

The third place team of Blake Albertson and Evan Wheeler received $1,500 -- $750 a piece -- from B.A.S.S. and $1,000 from Yamaha.

Zeke Gossett and Hayden Bartee climbed from 10th to fourth to take home $1,500 in scholarships from B.A.S.S.

The fifth through 10th place teams all received $1,000 -- $500 a piece -- in B.A.S.S. scholarships. Those teams were Tyler Dunn and Matthew Shrewsbury, Rashaad Goodson and Steven Younginer, Alex Torkleson and William Valdez, Dillon King and Kody Kelly, Adrian Stafford and Matt Miller. Rounding out the top 10 was Noah Pescitelli and Thomas Zaczek.

Jack Garner received the Carhartt Big Bass bonus for the week after he brought a 7-pound 4-ounce Kentucky Lake largemouth to the scales. The angler from the Douglass Indians fishing team received a $1,250 scholarship courtesy of Carhartt.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Refuge Headquarters Opening Draws Large Crowd

Cutting the ribbon along with Refuge Manager Barron Crawford were local dignitaries and refuge personnel. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand for the long-awaited opening of the new Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge headquarters and visitor center Saturday morning. Situated directly on Kentucky Lake, the headquarters provides spectacular views from the veranda that encompasses the rear of the new building and offers state-of-the-art exhibits and environmental education for young and old.

At the ribbon-cutting, speakers included Refuge Manager Barron Crawford, Paris Mayor Sam Tharpe, Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, County Director of Schools Sam Miles, Paris Special Schools Instruction Supervisor Leah Watkins, and Paris-Henry County Chamber Official Butch Powers.

Crawford, Greer and Powers spoke about the great benefit to the county economy the refuge headquarters will be, as it will be a draw for sightseers from all over the region. 

Tharpe recognized the hard work of the late Refuge Manager John Taylor, who had the vision for the headquarters. “We need to count our blessings well,” Tharpe said.

Greer noted that tourism is one of the prime economic movers of the local community and that the new headquarters will play a prominent role in that. He also recognized Taylor’s visionary approach to the headquarters and his eternal optimism.

Miles and Watkins spoke about the partnership that has already developed between the local schools and the refuge and how that will be enhanced by the educational opportunities afforded by the new headquarters.

The headquarters is chock-full of interactive and colourful exhibits, including dioramas, an airplane-shaped exhibit which takes visitors on aerial tours, a dark sounds theater, and life-sized reproductions of animals and plants.

Visitors Saturday were treated to a wealth of activities on the back lawn of the center, including turtle races, a close-up visit with an American eagle handled by David Haggard of Reelfoot Lake State Park and much more.

The lobby of the visitor's center was busy with activities. (McFarlin photo).

Aviva Yasgur shows the competitors in the afternoon's turtle races (McFarlin photo).

Crissy Haslam To Visit Discovery Park, Reelfoot Next Week

Union City, Tenn.-Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam will be making two visits in our area on Tuesday. Haslam will be attending a Reading Book Club event at Discovery Park at 10 a.m., after which she will be making a visit to Reelfoot Lake State Park.

Haslam’s book club event will be held in the Starship Theater at Discovery Park, which is located at 830 Everett Blvd., Union City. The Reelfoot Lake State Park visit will be held shortly afterward at 11:15 a.m. Reelfoot is located at 2595 Hwy. 21E, Tiptonville.

Salvation Army Moving To New Location

Paris, Tenn.-After several years at its Washington Street location, the Paris-Henry County Salvation Army in Paris is moving to new digs at the former DMT Furniture building at 3830 Hwy. 79N.

Salvation Army officials have been working for the past couple of years to find a new location that would be more suitable for their operation.

The Salvation Army has closed the 304 W. Washington Street store and will be moving to its new location on July 28, according to a sign on the door.

DMT Furniture closed several months ago after its owner retired. The building is located next to Promise Land Book Store.

State Unemployment Increases Slightly

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for June was 6.6%, two tenths of one percentage point higher than the 6.4 May revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for June was 6.1%, down from 6.3% in May.

Economic Summary:

Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate decreased from 8.4% to 6.6% while the national rate decreased from 7.5% to 6.1%. 

Total nonfarm employment decreased 2,600 jobs from May to June. The largest decreases occurred in mining/logging/construction, government, and other services.

· Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 53,600 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation/utilities.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Large Turnout For First Day of Early Voting

Henry County Elections Commission Administrator Darrin Thompson and Deputy Clerk Delaina Green were busy all day today with early voters. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The Election Commission offices in Henry and Obion Counties were busy places today, with large numbers voting on the first day of the state-wide early voting period. The total voting in Obion County was 365 and as of 3:45 p.m., the number who had voted in Henry County was 380. Early voting runs from July 18-August 2 and both offices are open on Saturdays for early voting. Hours for the early voting period in Henry County will be: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, with the exception of extended hours on Friday, July 31, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Union City Man Among 38 Arrested in "Little Red" Operation

       Shyheim Shaquille Slayton

Dresden, Tenn.-A Union City man is among 38 people who were arrested in Weakley County this week as part of an undercover drug operation named “Little Red” by the criminal investigation division of the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department.

A special Weakley County Grand Jury indicted 37 Weakley County residents and one Obion County man this week and law enforcement began making arrests Thursday. Members of the Weakley County Sheriff's Department assisted by the the Martin Tennessee Police Department, the Gleason Tennessee Police Department, the Obion County Sheriff's Department, the Dresden Tennessee Police Department and the Greenfield Police Department made the arrests. In addition to the arrests the Sheriff's Department seized 15 cars and trucks that were used by those arrested to deliver the drugs.

According to a press release issued by the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office today, arrested from Union City was Shyheim Shaquille Slayton, age 20, charged with one count of the sale of marijuana.

As released by the sheriff’s office, others arrested so far are:

Ammie Michelle Langley age 44 of Martin Tn. 3 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics 

Buck Warson age 30 of Martin Tn 1 count of sale of sch 6 marijuana

Christina Lynn Stepp age 35 of Martin Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana

Cherie Wallace age 48 of Sharon Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Joshua Allen White age 28 of Sharon Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Connie Burton age 59 of Greenfield Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 4 narcotics and 2 counts of TnCare fraud

Aaron Ciscell age 25 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Abbie McMillen age 28 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Joshua Cain Wood age 31 of Greenfield Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Echo Jackson age 26 of Greenfield Tn 3 counts of sale of schedule 6 marijuana and 1 count of the sale of schedule 2 narcotics and 1 count of Tncare fraud

Lauren Danielle Wood age 27 of Greenfield Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Brent Edward Winstead age 33 of Greenfield Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Joanie Winstead age 30 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Dawn Kayser age 46 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Amanda Grissom age 40 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 methamphetamine

Amanda Graves age 29 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 4 narcotics

Bonnie Nicole McAlister age 27 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 meth

Kristen Nicole Hopper age 25 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 meth

Chadwick T Robinson age 29 of Greenfield tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 meth

Xavier D Williams age 27 of Greenfield Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics and 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana

William Evans age 28 of Dresden Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana ( when Evans was arrested deputies found an additional 4 oz of marijuana in his car along with other prescription medication)

Whitney Nicole Bowlin age 31 of Dresden Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 methamphetamine in the Dresden city park 

Tanya Jo Williams age 33 of Gleason Tn 2 counts of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Steve Spears age 52 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Brad S Langley age 45 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics and 1 count of sale of schedule 4 narcotics in a school zone

Michelle Dawn Langley age 40 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Heather Suzanne Gayhart age 34 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana

Rachel N Blalock age 33 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 2 narcotics

Joshua A Burton age 29 of Gleason Tn 1 count of sale of schedule 6 marijuana

Jerry Carter age 58 of Dukedom Tn sale of schedule 2 narcotics and 1 count of Tncare fraud

In addition the city of Gleason and the city of Dresden police departments made cases based on drugs located during the arrests.

Pond Stocked And Ready For "Casting For A Cure"

Organizer Steve McCadams is shown stocking the McKenzie City Pond for the rodeo. (Photo submitted by McCadams).

McKenzie, Tenn.-Reminder: This year’s “Casting For A Cure” Kids Fishing Rodeo Saturday at McKenzie City Park pond. Over 100 catfish were stocked Thursday so the kids should have a big time, according to Organizer Steve McCadams. 

“We’ll give away lots of prizes so come rain or shine,” he said. Registration is 8-9 a.m.; Fishing for kids nine and under begins at 9- 10 a.m.; ages 10-15 fish from 10-11 a.m. Awards presented immediately thereafter. Event is FREE to kids age 15 and under and benefits American Cancer Society. 

Kids are asked to bring their own bait/tackle. Concessions (burgers/dogs/drinks) available.  

Farming The Old-Fashioned Way

Huntingdon, Tenn.-An unidentified farmer was spotted working hard in his field the old-fashioned way with an old sickle bar mower pulled by a team of two. Paris Photographer Charlie Allen captured the image during a drive around the area countryside, between Huntingdon and Bruceton.

Benton, Illinois, Team Still Leads High School Bass Tourney

The top 30 cut gathered at Paris Landing Thursday afternoon. (Bassmaster photo).

Paris, Tenn. — The team of Trevor McKinney and Dailus Richardson from Benton, Ill., are still at the top of the leader board, having taken the top spot both Day 1 and Day 2 at the Bassmaster High School Championship ongoing at Paris Landing and Carroll County Recreational Lake.

McKinney and Richardson targeted bridge pilings just outside of Paris Landing with 10-inch worms and jigs.

"Early in the morning was really slow compared to later in the afternoon,” said Dailus Richardson. “Usually after our halftime break things would pick up.”

The 15-minute halftime breaks are mandatory in high school events and many teams use that break to eat some food and game plan for what to do next.  

Even though they beat second place by over five pounds they can't use that for tomorrow. The weights have reset and now the final 30 boats are back at square one as they head to Carroll County Recreation Lake for Days 3 and 4 of competition.

Second place team is Connor Farrington and Cameron Sterritt from Exeter High in New Hampshire. Ryan Wood and Adam Deakin of Colorado are third, Jake Lee and Jacob Mashburn of Clinton, Tenn., are fourth and Rashaad Goodson and Steven Younger from South Carolina are fifth.

Carroll County Recreational Lake provides some challenges for anglers as they will fish a completely different fishery than that of Kentucky Lake. Fishing should still be just fine as the size limit is only 12 inches at Carroll County compared to the 15-inch measurements at Kentucky.  

Chairs Being Collected For "Chairs That Care" Fundraiser

Paris, Tenn. – The Caring Hearts Fund of The Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation and the Cancer Care Center of Henry County are gearing up for the third annual “Chairs That ...Care” Auction and Social. After the overwhelming success the past two years, the Cancer Care Center is asking for your help in making this year’s event one for the books.

The organizations are already collecting chairs to be donated for the event.

“Before last year’s auction, our goal was to have 100 chairs donated,” said Casey Brown, Caring Hearts Fund Liaison and Cancer Care Center employee. “We ended up meeting that goal and raising over $3,600. Due to the success, we have set this year’s goal for 125 chairs and are well on our way to meeting that goal.”

This year’s Auction and Social will be held on Saturday, August 2 at the Paris Winery, with activities starting at 5 p.m. and concluding around 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 and include a free wine tasting, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, musical entertainment, along with the silent and live auction of the donated chairs made by community members. Tickets can be purchased at the Cancer Care Center of Henry County, the HCMC Pink Petal Gift Shop and My Favorite Things.

“Chairs that Care” came about as a way to raise funds for the Caring Hearts Fund of the Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation. Local artists and supporters can create one-of-a-kind chair masterpieces to be auctioned off in the silent auction and live auction. This fund assists patients with a financial need to pay for medications, transportation, premiums and co-pays while having treatment in Henry County at either the Cancer Care Center or HCMC Outpatient Chemotherapy.

“The money brought in by this auction stays right here in Henry County,” Brown said. “To be able to help people that need a way to get to treatment or to pay for prescriptions or even to pay for co-payments or premiums so that treatment can be gotten, that is what this project is really all about.”

Individual chairs will be on display at various locations prior to the live and silent auction event as well as available for viewing on the HCMC website: and our social media sites. Completed chairs can be dropped off at the Cancer Care Center weekdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. If you are unable to paint a chair, but would like to donate a chair that can be painted by a local artist or group, you may drop those off at the Cancer Care Center as well.

For more information on how to donate a chair, please contact Casey Brown at 731-644-3522

Photo: One of the chairs that was donated at last year's event.

Paris Landing To Lead Off 2015 Collegiate Bass Tourney  

San Antonio, Texas -- The Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series announced its schedule for the 2015 season and the season will begin with a tournament at Paris Landing State Park with the Big Bash Splash.

The new schedule will consist of the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash, the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open, and the season-ending BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. And, the series will introduce a new event in the spring.

The 2015 Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series presented by BoatUS will showcase four nationally televised events on some of the nation's top fisheries. The 2015 schedule is as follows:

Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash - March 13-15, 2015 - Kentucky Lake - Paris, Tennessee 

Collegiate Bass Fishing Open - April 17-19, 2015 - Lake Chickamauga - Dayton, Tennessee 

The Texas Shootout - April 25-26, 2015 - Lake Texoma 

BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship - May 20-22, 2015 - Pickwick Lake - Florence, Alabama

"We are very excited to announce our schedule for the 2015 season, and we are very happy to add an additional event to the series," according to the President of Careco TV and Co-founder of the ACA, Wade Middleton. "Due to the fact that most of the major tournaments throughout the year take place in the east, we wanted to add an extra opportunity for college anglers in the central region. Lake Texoma is a great lake and location to host the Texas Shootout and we look forward to getting more college anglers on the water."

All of the events in the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series will be aired on national television. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Camden Man Killed in Industrial Accident

Camden, Tenn.--An industrial accident in Camden has claimed the ife of a 58-year-old man today.

Benton County Sheriff Tony King said Jack Moody of Camden was pronounced dead at the Camden General Hospital today following an industrial accident at the Jones Plastic Plant.

Moody was a maintenance worker at the plant. King said he suffered severe head trauma while working a fork life. CPR was performed by a fellow employee until the Emergency Medical Service arrived.

All employees were reportedly sent home a short time after the incident.

HC Schools Approves New Family Life Education Policy

Paris, Tenn.-By a vote of 4-1, the Henry County Schools board of education Thursday approved a new Family Life Education policy which had drawn criticism at last month’s meeting from a small contingent of private citizens.

The policy was approved on second reading. No one from the public was present at Thursday’s meeting.

Coordinated School Health Director Stephanie Winders once again reviewed with the board the background on why the new policy was proposed. She reminded the board that Henry County’s teen pregnancy rate is the 9th highest in the state.

She also said the policy was developed not by herself or her staff, but was developed by a committee made up of community members, students and parents who are members of both the Coordinated School Health advisory council and a special committee that was assigned to study Family Life Education and propose policies.

The main focus of Family Life Education curriculum will remain on abstinance, Winders said, with age-appropriate education on contraceptives.

Board Member Rod Frey asked who would be responsible for teaching the curriculum and Winders said at the K-8 level, it will be overseen by counselors and at the 9-12 level, it will be overseen by the wellness program.

She also said parents will have the option for their children to opt out and/or preview any teaching materials prior to the classes.

Voting no on the policy was Frey, with other members (Jim McCampbell, Robert Sleadd, Tom Beasley, Doug Braden) voting yes.

Thursday’s meeting was a short one and was held at the Paris Landing Inn meeting room, where district administrators are conducting annual training sessions. 

Director of Schools Sam Miles said the district budget has been presented to the county budget committee and the county commission, which will act on the county budget at its July 28 meeting.

Board Chair Beasley said it has been suggested that the board meet at each of the schools in the district during the next school year. Braden said he would agree with that and asked to hear a report from principals and perhaps even students at the meeting.

Miles said he would draw up a calendar with a list of locations for meetings for the upcoming school year and present it to the board..

In other business, Beasley said he will present information on the Director’s evaluation at the August meeting.

Store Employee Arrested on Theft, Drug Charges

                  Brandy Eigner

Paris, Tenn.-An employee of a Paris department store was charged with not only stealing from the store where she worked but with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. 

Brandy R. Eighner, 22, of Bruceton, was arrested by Paris Police and charged with theft greater than $1,000 and less than $10,000 and with possession of meth and of a glass narcotics pipe.

Paris Police were called to Burke’s Outlet on Mineral Wells Ave. on a report that an internal investigation revealed Eighner had been stealing from the store since October 2013. According to the police report, she was accused of stealing $7,650 by making fraudulent refunds and pocketing the cash.

While she was being booked into the Henry County Jail, officers found a baggy containing what is believed to be meth and the glass pipe on her person.

Eighner posted the $7,500 bond placed on her and is set to appear in Henry County General Sessions Court on Tuesday.

Two Men Arrested For Murder of Linden Woman

                 Juan Ramirez                                                      Luis Mendoza

Jackson, Tenn. – Following a joint investigation with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested two men in connection to the kidnapping and murder of a Linden woman in what was originally thought to be a case of hit-and-run.

On July 11th, at the request of 26th District Attorney General Jerry Woodall, TBI Special Agents joined THP in the investigation of the death of 25-year-old Brittany Lynn Simpson. On the night of July 10th, THP was dispatched to a possible hit-and-run, involving a pedestrian, on Highway 412 East in Darden. Authorities found Simpson in the left lane with severe injuries. A medical helicopter airlifted her from the scene, but she did not survive.

On Wednesday, investigators developed information which led them to identify Juan Carlos Ramirez, 28, and Luis Galvan Mendoza, 40, as the two men responsible for Simpson’s death. The investigation further revealed both suspects held Simpson against her will and were traveling on Highway 412 when she was either pushed or fell from Ramirez’s vehicle, a Ford F-150 truck.

Today, TBI Agents arrested Ramirez and Mendoza and charged both with one count of Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and Felony Murder. At the time of this release, they were being held in the Henderson County Jail without bond. Several additional agencies, including the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement assisted in the joint investigation, which remains ongoing.

38 Arrested in Weakley County Roundup

Dresden, Tenn.-The Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from other local agencies, rounded up 38 suspects today, all of whom were indicted Monday by a special Weakley County Grand Jury.

The sheriff’s office has given the operation the name “Operation Little Red” and it culminates a three-month investigation into people who illegally sell prescription drugs.

The investigation expanded over time to include marijuana, meth and TennCare fraud. In addition to the arrests, vehicles are also being seized. Seven vehicles had already been towed to the sheriff’s department as of Thursday morning.

Illinois Team Wins First Day of BASS High School Tourney

Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney of Benton High School display their winning catch. (Bassmasters photo).

Paris and McKenzie, Tenn. — The first Bassmasters National High School Championship is being held at Paris Landing State Park and Carroll County’s One Thousand Acre Recreational Lake this week, July 16-19.

The local hosts for the event are Paris-Henry County Alliance, Carroll County, Northwest Tennessee Tourism and Bethel University. Overall sponsor for the event is Carhartt, America’s premium work wear brand since 1889 and a long-time BASS partner.

 The inaugural Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Carhartt will bring 58 teams to Paris Landing, where 116 anglers will have the chance to fish Kentucky Lake and Carroll County 1,000-acre Recreational Lake in hopes of earning a national championship title.

“We’re very excited to have B.A.S.S. here,” according to Garry Mason, head coach of Bethel University’s bass fishing team and the executive director of Northwest Tennessee Tourism. “We’re going to see some really nice fish next week, and all of our high school anglers are looking forward to it.”

With nothing to lose at the halfway point of Day 1, Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney of Benton High School in Illinois changed up their game plan and altered their strategy. Not only did it pay off, but it also vaulted them into the lead with 20 pounds and 14 ounces.

Even though the Benton High School team lives in Illinois and doesn’t have access to ledge lakes like Kentucky Lake, it didn’t stop them from making the drive south to put in some hard work on this body of water.

Timing is crucial on Tennessee River lakes, and that was no different for the leaders as the pieces fell into place. They made moves and changed throughout the day. But duplicating success from one day to another goes hand in hand with timing your spots correctly.

Top 29 teams will fish Friday, and the remaining Top 10 teams will compete the final day. Weigh-ins Friday and Saturday will be held at Bethel University.

In addition to a championship title, competitors in the High School B.A.S.S. Nation program are also eligible for more than $93,500 in scholarship awards in 2014. A total of $27,250 was awarded at the Bassmaster High School Open held on Douglas Lake in June, and even more is being offered at the championship.

Competitors in the Bassmaster High School Championship are eligible to win $66,250 in scholarship funds. B.A.S.S. is contributing $17,000 and sponsors are providing $9,250, while the remaining $40,000 will be awarded by Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn.

Bethel will offer scholarships to the highest-finishing junior or senior team at the championship. Each of the two anglers will receive $5,000 per year if they enroll at Bethel.

“Bethel is the first college in America to award scholarships for collegiate bass fishing,” Mason said. “We’re excited to offer a chance for high school anglers to attend Bethel University and be a part of our bass fishing program.”

Five additional scholarships will be awarded at the championship. Yamaha will present a $1,000 scholarship to the second-place finisher, and Triton will provide a $1,000 scholarship to the third-place finisher. Carhartt offers a $1,250 scholarship to the angler weighing in the Carhartt Big Bass of the tournament. The Mudhole Heavyweight Award of $500 each will be presented to the team that brings in the heaviest bag. Costa Del Mar is also offering a Bright Future Award of $5,000 based on GPA, extracurricular activities and a personal essay.

McKenzie Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash

Carroll County, Tenn.-- A McKenzie man is dead and his passenger was injured in a motorcycle crash Wednesday night, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Richard Heath, 51, of McKenzie was killed around 8 p.m. two miles south of McKenzie, after he lost control of the motorcycle on Winston Road and hit a tree, according to the police report.

Passenger Lisa Moss, 51, also of McKenzie, was hurt in the crash. The extent of her injuries is unknown at this time. 

According to the report, both Heath and Moss were wearing helmets. 

Boyd's To Open Store in McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn.-Two businesses that already are in Paris will be opening locations in McKenzie: Boyd’s and Casey’s General Store.

McKenzie Councilman Billy Barksdale announced that Boyd’s of Paris has purc...hased the former Rural King building on Highland Avenue and will be opening its third retail store there. Boyd’s already has general merchandise stores in Paris in the Kroger shopping center and in Cottage Grove.

Barksdale said at the most recent meeting of the McKenzie Mayor and Council that Boyd’s will need to repair flood damage caused to the Rural King building in June before any store can be opened there. The possible purchase of the Rural King building, which is owned by the Wal Mart corp. by Boyd’s has been in the works for some time.

Casey’s General Store has purchased real estate at the intersection of Forrest Ave. and U.S. 79. Casey’s already has opened a location on Mineral Wells Ave in Paris and is constructing a new store in Bruceton.

According to The McKenzie Banner, however, construction of a third new business in McKenzie has apparently stalled for an unknown reason. Construction of a new Family Dollar Store in the city has made no progress since the concrete floors were poured over two months ago. Mayor Jill Holland told The Banner that calls to Family Dollar headquarters have not been returned.

Junior Physician Assistant Day For Children is Set

Paris, Tenn.- The Bethel University Physician Assistant Program will hold a Junior Physician Assistant Day for children age two to 10 on Saturday morning, July 19,  at the Bethel Physician Assistant Building across from HCMC. Ticket sales have been extended to Friday. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon.

It’s designed as a fun event for children, with participants set to perform checkups and repairs on stuffed animals, explore an ambulance and fire truck, get their very own stethoscope and much more.

Admission is $10 per child and tickets are available for purchase at the Bethel University bookstore or the Paris - Henry County Chamber of Commerce. Tickets will also be available for purchase on the day of the event.

Coca Cola Plant Restoration Is Meeting Topic

Paducah, Ky.-Paducah developers Ed and Meagan Musselman will make a presentation about restorations to the historic Coca Cola bottling plant building and give a tour of the facility at the quarterly meeting of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society in Paducah. 

The Society is especially interested in the history of all Kentucky counties west of the Tennessee River as well as Lake, Obion, Weakley, and Henry counties in Tennessee. 

The meeting begins 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 19, in meeting room A in the conference center, first floor of Doctor’s Building 2, Baptist Health, Paducah. The tour follows immediately after the meeting and presentation. Members of the public are welcome. There is no charge for attendance. 

The Musselmans purchased the Coke Plant at 3141 Broadway in early 2013 and succeeded in getting the building on the National Register of Historic Places by August. Since then, they have worked with restoration specialists and local contractors to return the classic art deco structure to its original elegance. The work continues, and the young couple is currently negotiating with prospective tenants. One possibility is a restaurant located in the downstairs area that once housed the production line. The unique terrazzo floor there has been repaired and refinished. There are also several office suites in the front, under the iconic dome. 

The Jackson Purchase Historical Society was founded in 1958 to promote interest, study, and preservation of the regional history of the territory encompassed in the Chickasaw Purchase of 1818. It publishes the award-winning Jackson Purchase Historical Society Journal annually. 

Meetings are held four times per year at locations throughout the region. Membership is open to the public. Information about the Society, future events, and membership is available at the meetings or online at 

UT Martin to Host 4-H Roundup

Martin, Tenn. – For the 91st year, 4-H members from across Tennessee are gathering for the State 4-H Roundup and All Star Conference at the UT Martin campus. The annual event, which takes place July 21-25, recognizes the outstanding project work and leadership accomplishments of senior high 4-H members. 

Approximately 300 high school age 4-Hers from across Tennessee will meet for several days on the campus. The 4-Hers have completed local projects in areas such as communication and public speaking, livestock, computers and technology and photography and will now compete for statewide awards that include college scholarships and trips to the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta. The theme for this meeting and for all 4-H programs in 2014 is “Tennessee 4-H: Geared for Greatness.”

“Teens from all over Tennessee will come together, compete in their project areas, learn life skills such as leadership and citizenship, make lifelong friends and have a great time,” according to Lori Gallimore, UT Extension Specialist in 4-H Youth Development. “Roundup is one of the highlights for our 4-H program. Delegates who attend have spent years of work in their respective project areas.” 

In addition to project competitions, delegates will participate in a number of activities, including the 4-H All Star Conference, Vol State Ceremony, the election of the 2015 State Council officers and a service-learning project.

Delegates to the 2014 Tennessee 4-H Roundup and All Star Conference will work with Nashville-based Operation Troop Aid as their service project. OTA’s mission is to provide care packages for deployed U.S. service members with the revenue generated through professional concert promotions and public financial generosity. Roundup participants already organized fundraising events in their counties and will assemble the care packages for shipping while they are at UT Martin.

Drop Box For Prescriptions Set Up At Martin PD

Martin, Tenn.-Cleaning out the medicine cabinet just got safer with the installation of a secure drop box for your expired, unused, or unwanted prescription medicines at the Martin Police Department located at 101 University St.

Throwing prescription drugs in the trash or down the sink represents a hazard to the community. If not properly handled, t...he drugs can be abused by teens or adults, or they can pollute the environment.

“This container gives residents an easy, safe and anonymous way to throw out old prescriptions,” said Martin Police Chief David Moore.

All of the medications collected from this program are destroyed by incineration at the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department.

Allowed for Disposal
All expired, unused or unwanted controlled, non-controlled, and over the counter medications.

Needles (sharps), thermometers, inhalers, aerosol cans, medication from businesses or clinics, liquids.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Early Voting Begins Friday

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-A reminder for voters: The early voting period for the August 7 general election will begin this Friday. The early voting period runs from July 18 through August 2.

Ballots in our area will be jam-packed for the general election, with the following candidates on ballots: County Mayor, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Clerk, Trustee, Register of Deeds, Circuit Court Judge, Chancery Judge, Attorney General, Public Defender, County Commissioners, Road Board Commissioners, Constables, County and Local School Board members.

Obion County Director of Elections is Leigh Schlager and the office number is 731-885-1901. Henry County Director of Elections is Darrin Thompson and the number at that office is 731-642-0411.

Hours for the early voting period in Henry County will be: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, with the exception of extended hours on Friday, July 31, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Early voting hours in Obion County will be: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon.

PSSD Approves Health Coverage

Mike Ankrum of Five Points Benefits presents health coverage information to the school board. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At a lengthy and busy session of the Paris Special Schools Board of Education, the board voted unanimously to offer to its employees the Limited PPO with gap coverage as presented by Five Points Benefits of Franklin. Director of Schools Mike Brown said employees also would have the option to purchase more insurance or use a different plan.

The plan was recommended to the board by the district’s salary/benefits committee and board action followed a presentation by Mike Ankrum of Five Points.

Ankrum said the Limited PPO would help with school district’s budget needs and provide significant savings. The downside is that it means higher out-of-pocket costs and his company will be providing in-service for employees so that they understand the plan, which would be effective in January of 2015. 

Brown said, “We’re like every school system in the state. We’re trying to do the best we can and provide the best we can for our employees. And we’re trying to do it in a way that won’t break us. We also want to keep our employees at the same level of coverage or better than they have now. We are going to have to do a good job of educating our employees on the health coverage, but I feel this is an opportunity to elevate a lot of our employees up more than they have now.”

The board also reviewed highlights from the budget that will be presented at the August meeting. Brown noted at the last meeting the district will have to wait for the county commission to approve the county budget at the end of July before it can calculate the district budget and the new health care costs will be calculated into the budget, too.

Brown did say that the district’s certified teachers will be receiving $250 bonus.

In other business:

--Brown reported that there were 13 cases of bullying last school year . He said the state requires that a report on bullying in the district be presented to the board. Two of the cases involved bullying involving race and one involved gender discrimination.

--The board approved a change for the Rhea cafeteria to offer versus served which Brown said  hopefully will reduce food waste. Under that method, students can make their own food choices in vegetable, meat, bread and fruit categories.

PSSD Registration, Parent Night Info Released

Paris, Tenn.-Registration for students new to the Paris Special School District will be held from 8-11 a.m. August 1 in each building in the district.

Returning students will be receiving phone calls from their teachers between July 28-31 with registration information.

Parent Nights have been set for the PSSD: Rhea School grades first and second will be held from 5-6 p.m. August 4 and for kindergartners from 8-9 a.m. the same day. PES Parent Night will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. August 4 and Inman will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. August 5.

Civil War Singers to Perform at Dover Hotel

Dover, Tenn.-The Dover Civil War Singers will be performing the music of Stephen Foster at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Dover Hotel along the Cumberland River. The Dover Hotel is tour route stop #10 on the driving tour at Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

The concert is free. Please bring a chair or blanket.

TARP Fundraiser is Set For Saturday

Paris, Tenn.- The 24th anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act will be celebrated with a fundraiser for the local TARP Center for Independent Living Saturday, July 19. The fundr...aiser will be held at 11 a.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds and will include games, bingo, cakewalks, car show, motorcycle ride, vendor booths and more both inside and outside the Commercial Building.

A big part of the event will be the T.A.R.P. Motocycle/Car Ride and show Freedom Ride. The ride is set to begin and end at the fairgrounds. Registration will be at 8 am, with the ride at 9 am.

There is a $10 entry fee for ride and show, $10 per extra rider and fees include coffee and donuts at registration and lunch. Trophies will be presented for best of show motorcycle and best of show car. Call T.A.R.P for more information at 644-0026. TARP is located at 1027 Mineral Wells Ave.

LBL To Host Primitive Wrangler Rodeo

Golden Pond, Ky. – Wrangler’s Compound at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will host the 18th Annual Primitive Rodeo, Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19. The rodeo is open to the publ...ic.

Admission is $10 ages 12 and up and $5 ages 11 and under. Wranglers’ staff recommends people bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating. Coolers are prohibited; food vendors will be available. In addition, camping at Wranglers will be half-price on Friday and Saturday.
Championship Productions Rodeo from Monticello, Arkansas, brings the rodeo to visitors at Land Between The Lakes.

New this year will be the Rawhide & Dusty Show, entertaining the crowd with trick roping and whip popping. “This is an opportunity to see something a little different,” says Randall Mitchell, Manager at Wranglers. “The rodeo provides a great family friendly event with activities for the kids. For $10 visitors can have their picture taken with ‘Winchester,’ the gentle Brahma Bull, to remember this fun event and support his retirement.”

Events include Jr. Barrel Racing, Bareback Riding, Break-Away Roping, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Barrel Racing, and Bull Riding.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lavinia Man Dies in Fatal Crash at Fulton

Fulton, Ky.- A 20-year-old Lavinia, Tennessee, man was killed and a Wingo couple was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center this morning following a two-vehicle crash near Fulton. 

According to the press release from the Kentucky State Police, Matthew G. Morris was ejected from his vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene by the Fulton County Coroner’s Office.

The accident occurred approximately 1 mile north of Fulton on US 45. 

Preliminary investigation shows Morris, operating a 2000 Chevrolet S10 pickup traveling south on US 45. For an unknown reason, Morris traveled across the opposite lane of travel, running off the roadway. 

Morris attempted to regain control of his vehicle and cross back into his lane, however, he overcorrected and became sideways in the roadway. Morris was struck by a 2011 Kia van driven by Clarence M. Ramsey, 87 of Wingo, who was traveling north on US 45. Mary F. Ramsey was a passenger in the van, driven by her husband. 

Morris was ejected during the collision and pronounced dead on the scene by the Fulton County Coroner’s Office. The Ramseys were airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. It is believed that all occupants were wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision, according to the press release.

Kentucky State Police was assisted on the scene by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Fulton City Police Department, Hickman County Sheriff’s Department, Tri City Ambulance Service, Fulton City Fire Department, Fulton County Coroner’s Office, Air Evac, KSP Collision Reconstructionist SGT Joey Adams and KSP Collision Reconstructionist Trooper Jody Cash. Trooper Cash is continuing his investigation into the collision.

Ribbon-cutting, Grand Opening Set For Steak 'N Shake

Paris, Tenn.-The time is almost upon us!

The ribbon-cutting and grand opening for the new Steak 'n Shake in Paris is set for 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 21. The Steak 'n Shake is located at 1036 Mineral Wells Ave. The ribbon-cutting is sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

State Approves New Cabins For Reelfoot State Park

Tiptonville, Tenn. —Thanks to approval of design plans by the State Building Commission, Reelfoot Lake State Park is going to have indoor lodging again, possibly by late 2015.

The State Building Commission has approved design plans for eight or nine new cabins for Reelfoot State Park, which will be built on a narrow strip of land between the lake and Tennessee Hwy. 21. The site is at the southern edge of the lake on both sides of the old spillway, which is still being used while state officials wrangle over when and how to begin using the new spillway.

The park itself has had no lodging other than camping for over a year. The Airpark Inn was  heavily damaged by fire in 2008 and closed. And there have been no cabins at the lake since they were closed last year.

The new cabins will be built using a pre-cast concrete system made to look like rustic log cabins.

The Airpark Inn and the existing cabins will be torn down, although the schedule for that has not been set.

The new lodging was originally approved and funded at nearly $4.2 million in 2009.

Bond For Biggs Is Denied Again

Smith Tire Barn Arson Defendants Plead Not Guilty

Paris, Tenn.-At a hearing in Henry County Circuit Court Monday, bond for Guy Biggs was again denied and he is still being held in the Henry County Jail on criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder, false reporting and violation of probation.

Biggs, who now lists his address as Hollow Rock, was indicted by the Henry County Grand Jury last week. He and his wife, Joyce Biggs, who then lived on Swan Bay, Buchanan, were charged with luring an ex-boyfriend of hers to their home with the intent of killing him in April. After the incident they reported to the sheriff's office that the victim had shot Guy Biggs.

Joyce Biggs was arrested along with her husband, but was not indicted.

At Monday's hearing, Biggs pleaded not guilty and sought release on bond. Judge Donald Parish denied his motion and ordered him still held without bond.

Biggs' next hearing is August 15.

In other hearings on Monday:

--The four people indicted in the Smith Tire Barn arson all pleaded not guilty and their next hearing also will be held August 15.

Four people, including the owner, arrested in the arson at the Smith Tire Barn, 3940 Hwy. 79N in February, were indicted. William Tomlin was charged with arson, while Owner Joseph Smith, Michael Wayne Allred and Diane Tomlin were charged with criminal responsibility for the conduct of another. 

All four, all of whom are from Paris, were initially charged with arson by the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, but the charges against Smith, Allred and Diane Tomlin were reduced before being presented to the grand jury.

The business was destroyed by the blaze, as were several storage units owned by TRW located adjacent to Smith Tire Barn, along with the contents of the storage units.

 --Markia Deonte Patton also pleaded not guilty and his next hearing will be August 15. Patton was indicted for aggravated assault for his part in the Ogburn Park shootings in April. He also was charged with two counts of selling controlled substances. Initially, another man also was arrested in the shootings, but he later turned out to be a victim of shooting himself. In all three people suffered gunshot wounds during the drive-by shooting.


No Tax Increase in Proposed HC Budget

Paris, Tenn.-As previously discussed by the Henry County Commission, countians will not be asked for a property tax increase for Fiscal 2015, but the budget also does not include a cost of living increase for employees.

The proposed Fiscal 2015 Budget was reviewed by the commissioners at a special meeting Monday night and now will be acted upon by the panel at its regular meeting Monday, July 28. The regular meeting is set for 7 p.m., with a public hearing on the budget set for 6:30.

Meeting earlier in the evening, the county’s budget committee had voted to present the budget to the full commission. 

County Budget Director Pat Hollingsworth said total general fund expenses total $11,530,555, with the current property tax rate of $2.197 to be continued.

Hollingsworth said, “We will have the same tax rate of $2.197, but we took two cents from the general fund and gave it to solid waste. The solid waste fund balance was low enough that we needed to do something.”

County Mayor Brent Greer told commissioners that one area of concern while reviewing the budget this year was the huge decrease in liquor tax sales, now that other surrounding communities also are selling beer and liquor. That is a concern that has been voiced by Paris officials and other county entities.

JoAnn Speer Named OC Chamber President

Union City, Tenn.-JoAnn Speer has been named the new Obion County Chamber President and is reminding the public of Chamber events and the “Try A Chamber Member First” theme for the coming year.

“We have heard the theme ‘Shop local, Buy local‘, let's take it one step further,” Speer said. "Try a Chamber Member First!" is the theme being employed by the Obion County Chamber, she said. “Please save the membership directory and the next time you need a business service, go ahead, and call a Chamber Member first. You will receive quality service and your dollars will be spent locally.”

Speer thanked Outgoing President Todd Petty, Chamber board members and Chamber staff, Lindsay Frilling and Katie Keathley “who work tirelessly to make Obion County welcoming and interconnected. We have assembled another great team and are looking forward to an exciting new year,” she said.

The Obion County Chamber of Commerce is “dedicated to the success of the business community by promoting new companies establishing their presence in our county as well as those that have been doing business in Obion County for many years,” she said. “We encourage our residents, company owners and employees to shop, dine and buy local and support the local businesses. They will return the support to Obion County through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.”

Regular Chamber events include:

* Business Matters - the 3rd Tuesday of every month

* Business After Hours - typically 2 to 3 times a year

* Annual Banquet in the fall

* Obion County Cruise-In September 13th, downtown First St.

* "Breakfast with the President"-quarterly for new chamber members

* Ribbon Cuttings

* Annual Golf Tournament in spring

You can contact the Chamber by calling 731-885-0211.

"Swamp People" Personality to Appear at OC Fundraiser

Troy, Tenn.-The Obion County Quarterback Club will be hosting a fundraiser for the Obion County High School football team Saturday night that will feature one of the personalities from ...the television show “Swamp People”.

Troy Landry, popular for his phrase “Choot Em”, will be the special guest at the fundraiser, set for 6 p.m. at Obion County Central High School. Doors will open at 4 p.m.

Landry is called the “King of the Swamp” and is the star of the show, which highlights the 30-day alligator hunting season in Louisiana.

Rebel Football Coach Kevin Goltra said Landry’s appearance in Troy will help fund improvements at the school fieldhouse.

Tickets for the Quarterback Club fundraiser are still available at First Citizens in Troy for $25 each, with a few remaining meet-and-greet tickets with Landry, set at $50 at Commercial Bank in Union City.

HC Road Board Reviews Quit Claim Procedures

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Attorney Rob Whitfield III was on hand at Monday night’s meeting of the Henry County Road Board to review with members a proposal to require that surveyors’ input be sought in drawing up quit claims.

The proposal had been discussed by Whitfield and the Henry County Commissioners at a previous commission meeting. 

He reiterated to the road board that if surveyors draw up the boundaries the quit claim would have more legal standing.

Road Supervisor Ray Norwood and board members did not agree that surveyors should always be required and suggested that surveys should only be used when deemed necessary by the parties.

The road board approved a 30-day work plan that includes: widening curve at Herrondale West; ditching at Cay Lawrence Rd.; extending culvert on Vale Rd.; install gates at Holly Ford Bottom; cutting roots in Cowpath Rd.; ditching at Clendenin corner on Clifty Rd.; working on ditch on Clifty Village area; fix hole in bridge on Gilkey Rd.; fixing washed out spot on Pig Lane; cleaning ditch at Wilson Parker Rd.; and fixing ditch on Dortch Lane.

Free Pool Party For Summer Reading Program

Paris, Tenn.-The finale for the Summer Reading Program for W.G. Rhea Library will be a pool party for all program participants and their immediate family from 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 18 at Eiffel Tower Park Pool in Paris.

The party is free, with pizza and drinks provided. Bring a towel and sunscreen. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Paris Quota Collecting Items For Veterans

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Quota Club’s Veterans Committee is collecting items that will be donated to the Veterans’ Home in Humboldt. Items needed are winter knit hats; winter new or used jackets for both men and women (all sizes).  Sweat suits – especially sweat pants; veterans organizations hats (VFW, American Legion, Am-Vets or any military branch, such as Army, Navy, etc); new or used CDs and new or used CD players; hummingbird feeders, bird feeders or bird seed; snacks such as Vienna Sausage, hot chocolate packets, snack cracker packets, candy bars, microwave popcorn, etc); toiletry items for 30-35 women residents at the Veterans Home.  Donations will be delivered to the home the week before Thanksgiving.

At last week’s meeting, Pat Bailey announced that the cookbooks are being printed now and will be available soon for $10 each.  The club is planning a tasting tea when cookbooks are available; with members of the Board serving as the committee.  A time and place for the tea will be announced at a later date.

July 29th will be the date of the birthday party for the residents of Henry County Nursing Home and anyone willing to help needs to contact Jane Sinnema.  The party will be from 10am – noon and will consist of Bingo and refreshments.

Final Summer Orientation Set For UT Martin

Martin, Tenn. — The final Summer Orientation and Registration program for incoming University of Tennessee at Martin freshmen is set for July 18. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Boling University Center, followed by a welcome at 8:30 and informational sessions at 9. 

Students must have applied for admission and received a tentative or final acceptance letter to attend SOAR. Advance SOAR registration is required. 

During SOAR, students meet with academic advisers and register for classes; tour the campus, residence halls and University Village; receive information about student activities, housing and financial aid; and hear detailed information about First-Year Initiative, an orientation for freshmen the week before classes. Students should attend both SOAR and First-Year Initiative before fall semester, which begins Aug. 25.

Informational sessions for students and parents cover student health services, public safety, the bookstore, student employment and other topics. Additional concurrent sessions cover student activities, Greek life, housing and meal plans. Administrative offices will be open, and students and parents will have additional time to visit with housing, admissions and financial aid staff members.

For more information, call the Office of Admissions toll free at 1-800-829-UTM1 or 731-881-7027. Online registration is also available at

6pm – 5am

Copyright © 2005- WENK Stations Group. All Rights Reserved.
WENK Stations Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer
This site designed and maintained by AIMS Computer Systems