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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Century Farms Honored At Obion County Fair

Kids flock to the Show-Me-Safari every day. (Amy Keathley photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.—Four of Obion County’s most historic farms were inducted as Century Farms this morning at the Farmers Harvest Breakfast at the Obion County Fair.

Fair Board Official Brenda Baker said this morning there was a good turnout for the breakfast and representatives of all four farms were presented with plaques.

The four inducted were:

--Gray Farms of Union City, which dates from 1890. Its current owner is Larry Gray.

--Albright Farm of Obion, which dates from 1902. Current owner is Joyce Albright.

--Walnut Grove Farm of Union City, which dates from 1907. Current owner is Linda Hartings.

--And the oldest, Pierce-Leitherland Farm of Kenton, which dates from 1886. Current owner is Allen Leitherland.

The state’s Century Farms program honors farms that have been in continuous agricultural production for 100 years or more.

Today will be another big day at the fair, as it is Senior Citizens Day, which means free admission to everyone 55 and older.

Winner of the $1000 nightly drawing Wednesday night was Mildred Blair of Union City. Winner of the Tennessee products basket was Kay Rhamey.

Thursday’s Fair Schedule

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Senior Citizens Free

10-10 p.m. Vieweing of Commercial, Adult and Youth Exhibits

5-10 p.m. Red Dragon Lazer tag

5 p.m. Show-Me-Safari

5 p.m. Junior and Open Swine Show

6 p.m. Carnival Opens

6:30 p.m. Avonlea Concert

7 p.m. Ranch Rodeo

7 p.m. Jason Pritchett Concert

10 p.m. $1000 Nightly Drawing.


Defoliation Begins At Carroll Lake

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

McKenzie, Tenn.-Defoliation has begun at the empty Carroll Lake as preparation for the planned refill and repair of the 100-acre fishing lake in McKenzie.

In the two years since the lake was drained when floodwaters destroyed the steel spillway gates, the lake has become home to a heavy overgrowth of brushes and trees.

Provine Helicopter Service last week began applying a herbicide to the overgrowth. TWRA will next begin dredging a portion of the lake to remove some of the silted areas.

TWRA said additional fishing peninsulas are planned and a local company has the contract to reconstruct the spillway gates.

Creek waters will then refill the lake and TWRA will restock it with fish. After the fish population is restored, fishing will reopen in two years.


“President Grant” To Appear At Fort Donelson

Dover, Tenn.-Fort Donelson National Battlefield will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service with events this week.

A special birthday event will be held Thursday. A large birthday cake with 100 candles will be set up at the Stewart County Visitor Center at 12:30 p.m. Dover Elementary Fourth Graders will sing and park staff will place letters, documents, and mementoes into a time capsule to be placed into a wall of the facility.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., former President Ulysses S. Grant will appear and speak on the importance of the battles of Fort Henry, Fort Heiman and Fort Donelson, of which he played an important part.

All events are held at the Stewart County Visitor Center, which is the temporary visitor center for the park while the Fort Donelson visitor center is being renovated. The Stewart County Visitor Center is at 117 Visitor Center Lane in Dover.


Third Graders Send Supplies To Flood Victims

Paris, Tenn.-The third grade class of Mrs. Boley at Paris Elementary School was all smiles Wednesday as they packed 20 lunch boxes including school supplies, snacks and personalized letters to flood victims in Louisiana. (Jana Ferguson photo).


Trailer Full Of Little Debbie Snacks Stolen

Camden, Tenn.-A trailer belonging to Knott’s Distributing of Paris containing Little Debbie Snack cakes was stolen from a rental spot on Hwy. 70 near Camden sometime over the weekend. B.J. Knott has asked that anyone who has seen the trailer or who knows of anyone trying to get rid of Little Debbie products that is not an official distributor, please call Knott’s or law enforcement.


Queen Olivia Grace Davis

Union City, Tenn.-Olivia Grace Davis of Union City is presiding over the Obion County Fair this week as Queen of the Fairest of the Fair. Her maids are: First Maid Kinley Ann Ferguson of Hornbeak; Second Maid Carly Ann Reams of South Fulton and Third Maid Katie Seals of Hornbeak. The fair runs through Saturday August 27.



Hwy. 641 Near Hazel Still Closed

Hazel, Ky.-As of 8 a.m., a portion of Hwy. 641 near Hazel is still closed to traffic following a semi crash earlier this morning.

A dispatcher at the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office told WENK/WTPR that officers have no idea how much longer it will take to clear the roadway.

A semi loaded with 40,000 pounds of rice overturned on Hwy. 641 as it was northbound. The passenger in the semi was taken to a local hospital.

The dispatcher said the rice in the trailer will have to be transferred to another trailer before the semi can be removed.


Refuge Photography Contest Announced

Springville, Tenn.-The Friends of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will be hosting its third annual “Wildlife Awaits” Photography Contest. Sponsors are the Friends organization, plus Dr. Danny Kimberlin and Dr. Gene Gulish to help raise awareness of the refuge.

The entry fees are used by the Friends to assist with funding of projects and activities at the refuge.

Entries will be accepted now through September 15 and can be hand delivered or mailed to the Visitor’s Center at 1371 Wildlife Drive, Springville.

Winners will be announced at a reception at the refuge October 8.

There is a $20 entry fee for up to 15 entries in five categories. There is a separate youth category and entrants under 18 are free. Prizes paid out are $50, $30, and $30 in each category, with $100 for Best of Show. Entry forms can be picked up at the refuge or downloaded at


Rhea Library Computer Classes

Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Library has announced it will again be offering computer classes this fall. Sign-ups begin at 9 a.m. Thursday. To enroll, call the library at 642-1702, Extension 0.

Basic Computer Skills I, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. September 8, with an alternate class from 6-7 p.m. September 15.

Basic Computer Skills II, 11:30-12:30 September 22 and 6-7 p.m. Sept. 29.

Job Search and Resume class from 11:30-12:30 October 6 and 6-7 p.m. October 13.

Tablets Class from 11:30-12:30 October 20 and 6-7 p.m. Octover 27.

A READS (or audiobook) class from 11:30-12:30 November 3.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

HCHS ACT Test Scores Show Marked Improvement

Paris, Tenn.-ACT Test Scores for the Henry County High School Class of 2016 show a marked improvement over previous years.

Director of Schools Dr. Brian Norton said the Class of 2016 showed an ACT composite average of 20.2, an increase of 0.6 when compared with last year’s graduating class.

Norton said while the state has remained rather flat over the past five years, the ACT scores at Henry County High have shown a steady increase from the Class of 2012 composite of 18.5.

“This also marks the first year that our graduating class ACT composite average is above the state average,” Norton said. “The current state average for ACT composite is 19.9.”

Norton said the significant improvement is a result of the intentional focus of the ACT preparatory programs implemented over the past two years. Monitoring and measuring every student’s progress and providing appropriate intervention has generated improved ACT results, he said.

“We have also seen drastic increases in the number of students enrolling in rigorous coursework such as Advanced Placement courses and Dual Enrollment courses,” he said. “Success doesn’t happen by accident; rather the intentionality of the work of students and faculty is the reason for the marked improvement.”

A student must achieve a composite score of 21 to be eligible for the HOPE scholarship and Norton said the district wants every student to have a post-secondary plan that demonstrates readiness for the military, technical education or colleges and universities. The district-wide plan, called “HC Succeeds” has a goal to improve ACT scores as the district strives to reach an ACT composite score of 21.0.

High School Principal Dr. Michele Webb said ACT preparation has become an important part of the culture of the high school.

Crowds Flocking To Obion County Fair

Storm skies did not dampen spirts at the fair Tuesday. (Brent Callicott photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-It was a day for beauty queens, musical entertainment and exhibits for the crowds that flocked to the Obion County Fair Tuesday.

It rained Tuesday afternoon for about 90 minutes, but that did not dampen anyone’s spirits as the viewing of adult, youth and commercial exhibits continued.

The rain cleared out in time for the beauty pageants to be held at the grandstand Tuesday night.

At the Junior Miss Fairest of the Fair pageant, Livee Fields of Hornbeak was crowned Queen, with First Maid Eva Marie Pruitt of Union City; Second Maid Morgan LeAnn Palmer, Union City; and Third Maid Chloe Elizabeth Weaks of Troy.

Queen of the Little Miss Fairest of the Fair contest was Josie Allen, Martin; First Maid Allie Kate Frilling of Union City; Second Maid Kenzie Alexandrea Bell of Obion and Third Maid Aleah Nicole Knight of Troy.

At the Petite Fairest of the Fair, Ainsley Elizabeth Sadler of Union City was crowned Queen, with First Maid Averi Faith Riley of Union City; Second Maid Maddilyn Grace Bailey of Union City and Third Maid Brylee Patrick of Union City.

Winner of the Tuesday $1000 drawing was Jerry Stockdale of Hornbeak and the winner of the Tennessee products gift package was Danielle Eaves of Union City.

Activities Wednesday night include the always popular Championship Wrestling at the grandstand and musical entertainment from Avonlea, Daniel Musgrave and Pork McElhinny.

Wednesday’s Schedule:

10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Viewing of Commercial, Youth and Adult Exhibits

5-10 p.m. Red Dragon Lazer Tag

5 p.m. Show-Me-Safari

6 p.m. Carnival Opens

6 p.m. Stick Horse Rodeo

7 p.m. Championship Wrestlin

8 p.m. Avonlea with Daniel Musgrave

10 p.m. Nightly $1000 Drawing.

Crowds were starting to show up in the afternoon for the Midway and exhibits. (Brent Callicott photo).


Youth Acting Workshops Set For KPAC

Paris, Tenn.-Emmy Nominee Chambers Stevens will be conducting actors’ workshops for young people Saturday, September 17, at the Krider Performing Arts Center (KPAC) and enrollment is limited, so students are encouraged to register now.

Classes for ages six through 10 will be held from 8 a.m.-noon that day, with classes for ages 11-18 set for 1-5 p.m. The workshops give students the opportunity to receive instruction and evaluation from one of the most respected acting coaches in Hollywood. Many of his former students are now working actors being cast in television, film and commercials.

The cost of the seminar is $80 and includes a ticket for the student and one parent/guest for Chambers’ one-man show, “It’s Who You Know” to be performed later that night at 7:30 p.m. at KPAC. Additional tickets are $15 each.

Enrollment is limited to 25 students per workshop so register today. To enroll or for more info, call Rhonda Stanton at 644-2517 or or on the KPAC Young Artists page.



Applications Open For Leadership Henry County

Paris, Tenn.-Applications are now available for Leadership Henry County, a community awareness and skill building program sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce at

It offers one-day classes to people who have demonstrated leadership potential. Each session is taught by a community leader. Sessions include team building, government, education, health care, arts and history, tourism, agriculture, and economic development. Cost is $325.

Scott Morrison is the program chair and said, “Leadership Henry County is a staple of community involvement. We are consistently building a group of leaders who go on to serve our Chamber and throughout Paris and Henry County.”

For more info, call the Chamber at 642-3431.


Legends Of Outdoors Ceremony Set 

Springville, Tenn.-The lineup of award recipients and attendees for the 15th Annual “Legends of the Outdoors” National Hall of Fame 2016 Induction and Banquet has been released by Founder Garry Mason of Springville.

This year’s event will be held on the General Jackson Showboat in Nashville Saturday, August 27. Boarding begins at 9 a.m. with banquet and ceremony at 10 a.m.

The 2016 Class includes: Colorado Buck, television host and professional hunter; Lucy Mize, professional angler; W.R. Sauey, co-founder of Flambeau Outdoors; Terry and Mark Drury, founders of Drury Outdoors; George Thornton, CEO of National Wild Turkey Foundation; and Fred Bear (posthumously), known as “The Father of Modern Bowhunting”.

Guest speaker will be Champion Turkey Hunter Ray Eye.

Award Recipients will include Lisa Snuggs, American Outdoor Sportsman of the Year; Mike Hayes, Tennessee Outdoorsman of the Year; FLW Fishing League, Outdoor Organization of the Year.

The event is open to the public with individual ticket price of $100. More information is at or calling 731-593-0171.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

BOE, Commissioners Eye School Facility Projects

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer (in green) poses a question to Jerry Hartsfield of TLM Associates during Tuesday evening's meeting. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At a joint meeting of the Henry County Board of Education and Commissioners, officials reviewed proposals for facility changes in the county school system which will provide more secure school facilities, improved facilities for the bus garage and changes to the athletic complex.

Jerry Hartsfield of TLM Associates of Jackson presented a program on the proposed changes, which would include the installation of a secured entrance to Henry County High School, a new bus entry to the gym where school buses could arrive with students for games to also include a new covered entry area, new flooring for the gym, modifications to the entry to the high school which would include an office for the School Resource Officer near the entrance, reception area and counseling area, and library upgrades.

Hartsfield also said proposals include possibly applying for FEMA monies to construct a tornado-safe space that would be constructed near the gym.

Instead of just walking through the front doors of the high school, visitors would enter through a secured entryway much like those already installed at Rhea, Inman and Grove Schools.

Changes proposed for the bus garage and bus maintenance areas would include new building to replace inadequate facilities. The proposal would include a new maintenance shop (with the current shop torn down) and new bus garage.

Hartsfield said TLM conducted a year-long survey of the district’s facility needs.

County Director of Schools said with the new secured entryway, other entrances will be changed to be more secure.

For the athletic complex, proposals are to install a new asphalt track which would possibly be expanded to eight lanes for sanctioned track meets. It also is proposed to rebuild the visitor’s bleachers, which Hartsfield said are in such bad shape now they can’t be repaired. The new bleachers also would include handicapped accessibility.

Hartsfield proposed additions to the fieldhouse for visiting teams to use, facilities for other school sports such as soccer to use, addition of turf field to the football field, new restroom facilities which are fully handicapped accessible. One more expensive option also would include an indoor practice facility.

School Board President Jim McCampbell said the board has made no formal decision on what direction to take. “We want to get a feel of community support before we begin with anything,” he said.

He also noted that the high school is almost 50 years old “and it’s showing it” and said the building committee has looked at possible ways of funding a building project “but we wanted to make the funding body (county commissioners) aware of what we are looking at.”

He also said the public should visit the bus garage and maintenance facilities to see how antiquated they are.

McCampbell said the board will be moving soon toward a formal proposal to the commissioners.

Discovery Park To Expand With Children's Garden

Garden To Cost $500,000

Union City, Tenn.-Officials at Discovery Park of America today announced it will undergo its largest expansion yet with the addition of a Children’s Discovery Garden, with an expected cost of over $500,000.

CEO Jim Rippy said, “I’m excited. I think this is one of the biggest improvements we have made.”

The Children’s Discovery Garden will be located on the north side of the property, just over the bridge, and will be over 23,000 square feet of space where children can learn, explore, romp and play. “This has been the No. 1 request we have gotten from our visitors,” Rippy said.

Rippy said the new children’s garden will attract new visitors, increase memberships, provide additional space for children to learn and engage, while giving members an additional reason to visit the park more often during the year.

Grounds Director John Watkins of Paris has been tasked with the challenge of creating the garden and has been researching, visiting other children’s spaces, and talking to professionals for over a year now. “When I connected with Landscape Sculptures, I knew we had found a great partner for our project,” Watkins said. “This company makes the most unique, innovative, and creative equipment I have seen anywhere.”

Discovery Park guests can look forward to winding their way down a very aesthetic, fossil embedded pathway and finding educational, fun and amusing things to do along the way. One of the first surprises along the path will be the Rhapsody outdoor musical garden, with giant instruments giving children of all ages an opportunity to experience rhythm, tone and the creative combination of sounds.

There also will be perineal gardens, a sensory garden and a Discovery Stream flowing through the space, a new outdoor classroom with a labyrinth at its center, and a meditative pathway for children and adults. Additionally, there will be a place to dig for dinosaur bones, a garden designed to attract butterflies and a giant outdoor chess/checkers set.

Discovery Park Education Director Polly Brasher said her department strives to help children see beyond their homes and classrooms into a world of possibilities.

Landscape Sculptures, Inc. also is designing a giant version of the Discovery Park logo that will rest high above the play area to create shade. The Imagination Playground blocks earlier donated by KaBOOM and Blue Cross Health Foundation will find a home.

Rippy said, “We are so thankful to the Kirkland Foundation for providing the funding” for the garden. “It is impossible to express the gratitude that everyone who has a part in Discovery Park has for the Kirklands.”

A groundbreaking for the new garden will be held in the near future, with the project to be complete by the first quarter of 2017.

Keeping Henry County Beautiful--Officially

Keep Paris/Henry County Beautiful board members and officers at today's ceremony. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Fulfilling the lengthy goals of a small army of Henry Countians, Paris and Henry County—and the Henry County Litter program—are now officially an affiliate of the Keep Tennessee Beautiful program.

Locally, the organization will be known as “Keep Paris/Henry County Beautiful” and is overseen by an eight-person board of directors that has been working on the project for a year. Executive Director is Lisa Lemonds, who announced the name of the new organization at the outset of the ceremony.

Keep Tennessee Beautiful is the state branch of the nationwide Keep America Beautiful campaign and at a ceremony Tuesday morning, county, city and state officials applauded the efforts of the campaign to turn “Public Spaces into Beautiful Places”.

Paris City Manager Kim Foster said the program is a “perfect fit” with the ongoing Preserve Paris program, under which community clean-up days have occurred and are planned. “We have a lot of volunteers in our community and a lot of the time they just want to know what they can do to help.”

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said, “I think we can really make a difference in the community with this program” and applauded the efforts “to become an affiliate of such a fine program.”

Keep Paris and Henry County Beautiful “will give us the opportunity to really be serious about how we want our community to look,” he said.

Diann McGuire, Director of the Henry County Litter Program, said with emotion, “This is something I’ve wanted to see for the last 20 years. This is a day of celebration.”

Stein Moss Cooperwood, Keep Tennessee Beautiful Community Services Coordinator from Memphis said, “You in Henry County have already been doing a lot of the work that you need to do to be an affiliate.” Sarah Visser, Executive Director of Keep Georgia Beautiful, has been training local staff and said, “What you’ve done is special. This isn’t the type of organization where you just sign a check and join. There’s a lot of work to be an affiliate. I’m very excited about what you have planned for your community.”


Bids For Water Plant Project Higher Than Expected

BPU General Manager John Etheridge, second from right, presents reports. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Bids for Phase 1 of the new water treatment plant project are higher than desired and Paris Board of Public Utilities Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley said extra loan money will have to be sought to cover it.

Meeting in regular session Tuesday morning, members of the BPU approved a low bid of $2,627,860 from Miller Contractors of Jackson for Phase 1, which will include overall site development, installation and relocation of site utilities and construction of a high service pump station.

The only other two bids received were: $3,679,000 from Haren Construction Co. of Etowah, Tenn.; and $6,858,133 of Norris Brothers of Crossville.

Wimberley noted the low bid exceeds the estimated cost of $1.9M and that can be attributed to the following factors: Some work originally planned for Phase 2 was moved to Phase 1 to improve overall project coordination; BPU’s choice to provide backup power generation for the entire water plant campus including all well sites drove up electrical costs and increased generator size; and contractors across the state are “covered up” with work and they are submitting and are being awarded higher bids for projects.

BPU approval of the low bid was contingent upon approval of extra loan money “in the very near future,” Wimberley said.

Wimberley said the State Revolving Fund has confirmed “we can get the extra loan to cover the overage and our current rate structure will cover that loan and that is very good news.”

Both Wimberley and General Manager John Etheridge said BPU will do everything to stay within projected project costs. Etheridge said, “We’ll try to control the things we can control.”

In other business:

--The board approved the low bid for a new dump truck for the water and wastewater departments at $79,551 from Tri-State of Murray.

Wimberley said safety issues with one of the two dump trucks in the department were the reason that buying a new one became a top priority.

--Despite the daily rain showers experienced over the past several weeks, work on the Paris water tower is progressing and workers believe they can meet the September 5 deadline. “But, if they asked for an extension, there would be good reason for that,” Wimberley said.

Woods Inducted Into Fair Hall Of Fame

Olivia Grace Davis Crowned Queen

Brenda Baker of the Fair Board with Pat and Robin Wood. (Amy Keathley photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-During opening ceremonies at the Obion County Fair this afternoon, Pat and Robin Wood were inducted into the Obion County Fair Hall of Fame for all the work they have devoted to hosting the truck and tractor pulls over the years.

The Woods were each given a plaque which voices “grateful appreciation and recognition of the contributions and untold hours of time, talent and dedication” to both the fair itself and the truck and tractor pulls.

Later in the evening, Olivia Grace Davis of Union City was crowned Queen of the Fairest of the Fair and will preside over the fair this week with her maids. First Maid is Kinley Ann Ferguson, Hornbeak; Second Maid is Carly Ann Reams, South Fulton; Third Maid Katie Seals, Hornbeak.

Winners of the Teen Fairest of the Fair contest: Queen Sloan McKinley Bearden of Union City; First Maid Briley Nichole Coffey, Troy; Second Maid Alexis McKayla Brown, South Fulton; and Third Maid Laken Nichole Prather of Union City.

Winner of the Nightly $1000 drawing was Melinda Collins of Union City and winner of the Pick Tenn basket was Whitney Burroa of Troy.

Tuesday’s Obion County Fair

8 a.m. Junior Market Hog/Lamb/Steer Shows

10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Viewing of Commercial, Adult, Youth Exhibits

5-10 p.m. Red Dragon Lazer Tag

5 p.m. Viewing of Show-Me-Safari

6 p.m. Carnival Opens

6:30 p.m. Petite Miss Fairest of Fair

7 p.m. Junior Livestock Auction

7:30 p.m. Little Miss Fairest of the Fair

8:30 p.m. Junior Miss Fairest of the Fair

10 p.m. $1,000 Nightly Drawing

Entertainment by Pork McIlhenny, Oxford Street Band



Items Stolen From Catholic Church

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating the theft of items from Immaculate Conception Church over the weekend.

Officers were dispatched to the church at 1303 E. Reelfoot Ave. and spoke to a church official who pointed out the missing items, which include a digital clock taken from the lobby wall and a set of four brass bells taken from the sanctuary. The clock was valued at around $30 and the brass bells valued at $290.

The items were last seen Sunday morning. The church does have security cameras and the video footage is being reviewed.


Latimer Named Pride Of Obion County

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Philanthropist and Businessman William “Bill” Latimer III has been named the Pride of Obion County this year.

Latimer will be honored at a noon luncheon set for September 14 at Central Point Business Solutions. Tickets are on sale at the Obion County Library at 1221 E. Reelfoot Ave. for $15. Organizers said tickets to the event will not be sold at the door.

Latimer is the driving force behind the Obion County Public Library and the Bill and Carol Latimer Charitable Foundation.


Art Jam Benefit Concert Set For Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The Lee Academy for the Arts is hosting its second annual Art Jam benefit concert from 4- 7 p.m. Saturday August 27th. Live performances will take place from local musicians including the headliners of the event, the infamous Bethel Bluegrass band from Bethel University's Renaissance program.

Derek Fields, a local singer songwriter will also perform and event goers will be sure to enjoy his tunes. Brinn Black, a musician from Nashville will take the stage, as well as local artist Izzy Arthurs and both ladies will be gracing us with their smooth voices and guitar-lead songs.

Perry's BBQ will serve food and local businesses will be setting up booths that will feature free children's activities including face painting, gymnastics course, craft station, and more. Live birds and animals will be shown from the Paris Landing group. Lee Academy is setting up a large 'pop art' wall, where event goers can take turns throwing water balloons filled with paint at a giant canvas attached to a wall.

Donations to the Lee Academy for ongoing programs and building expenses will be accepted.

The event will take place on the lawn at Lee so bring a blanket and your lawn chair. Event will be moved indoors in case of rain.


Obion County BOE To Hold Special Meeting

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Board of Education has called a special meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 24, at the board office. The only item on the agenda will be to consider/approve the purchase of replacement motors for school buses in the system.


Fort Donelson To Celebrate Centennial

Dover, Tenn.-The Fort Donelson National Battlefield will be celebrating the National Park Service’s Centennial at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Stewart County Visitor Center.

The event will include remarks from Park Superintendent Brian McCutchen, music by the Dover Elementary Fourth Grade Class, and placement of items in a time capsule. A large birthday cake also will be served.


Ray Norwood Reception Set

Paris, Tenn.-A retirement reception for Henry County Road Superintendent Ray Norwood will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, August 25, at the highway department at 575 Cedar St., Paris. Cake and punch will be served and the public invited. Norwood is retiring after a lengthy career in public service.


BETA Club Drive For Flooding Victims

Henry, Tenn.-The BETA Club of Henry Elementary School is sponsoring a collection drive for victims of flooding in Louisiana.

Items being collected are personal hygiene products, including soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, and any other such items. The only requirement is that the products be new and in their original packaging.

Last day to donate items is Friday, Sept. 2. Any questions, call the school at 243-7114.


One-Ton Hoist Stolen From Plant

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A one-ton hoist was stolen from Greenfield Products in Union City and the culprit may very well be an employee.

Union City police were called to the plant Monday. The plant manager said a new hoist was received May 16 and last seen July 16. He said he noticed an old hoist being installed instead of the new one and asked employees why they were installing an old one and they said it was because they didn’t have a new one.

The manager told them they had indeed received a new one. The manager said they have looked all over the plant, but the hoist is not there. He told officers he suspects it may have been taken by an employee. He said the plant has a lot of employees and operates seven days a week with two shifts, plus a weekend crew.

The hoist is valued at $4,999, but cost the plant $2,175.


Discovery Park To Host Baby Expo

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America will be holding a “Baby Expo” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, August 27. It is part of its Family Education Series in conjuction with the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee WIC and Kidcentral, Tennessee.

Exhibits and booths will be set up from numerous vendors, including the Woman’s Clinic, Baptist Hospital, Pediatric Place, Union City Police Department, Walgreen’s, Obion County Reading Railroad and more. At 11:30 and 1:30, Dr. Mary David will present a program on breastfeeding.

The public is invited and admission is free. Guests who are not otherwise visiting the park that day can check in at the lobby and receive a special name badge which will allow them to just attend the Baby Expo.

The first 250 people to attend the Expo will receive a free goody bag and there are many Expo door prizes and many of the exhibitors are offering giveaways at their booths.

To find out more about Discovery Park


Monday, August 22, 2016

Oak Grove Church Hit Again

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Puryear, Tenn.-Already reeling from widespread vandalism inside the church in June, members of the Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church near Puryear were shocked late last week to find their church van sitting on concrete blocks.

In the latest incident, Henry County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the theft of the church van’s four tires and rims sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning.

A church official told deputies the van had been parked in the church parking lot. The van was found sitting on four concrete blocks, with an hydraulic jack also missing.

Earlier vandalism to the church cost some $40,000, with the majority of the it involving water damage.

The first Sunday after the vandalism, church members worshipped under an outdoor awning at the church. While repairs were being made, worshippers then met in the church Fellowship Hall.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is still seeking the perpetrators of the vandalism. Captain Damon Lowe said the reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the perpetrators still stands. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 642-1672.


Men Sought In Weakley County Home Invasion


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.-A 52-year-old Weakley County man was robbed at gunpoint during a home invasion Friday afternoon.

Weakley County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to 1257 Boydsville Rd., north of Dresden around 3 p.m. on a report of an armed robbery at the home.

Based on information gathered at the scene, the victim was inside the house asleep when he was awakened by a black male subject dressed all in white clothes pointing a semi automatic pistol at his head.

The victim was made to lay down on the floor of the bedroom while the black male and a second intruder also believed to be a black male took a .38 caliber Taurus pistol and a 20-guage single shot shotgun.

The two men then left in a white four-door car believed to be a Toyota Avalon. It is possible a white male was driving the car, according to Capt. Randall McGowan.

McGowan said the victim believed he heard the men discussing Memphis. Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 731 364 5454 or the Weakley County Crimestoppers.



UC Man Arrested Assault, Robbery Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Union City Police today arrested a man whom Martin Police were seeking on charges he assaulted a Troy man and stole his car early Sunday morning.

Union City Police arrested Nicholas Baggett, age 22, on charges of robbery, assault and felony theft of property. Police also recovered the car.

At 2 a.m. Sunday, officers were called to the Econo Lodge and made contact with the victim, a 21-year-old man from Troy. A witness said Baggett had just beaten and robbed the victim. The witness told officers that Baggett asked for permission to use his vehicle and when told no, Baggett began striking the victim in the face with his fist.

After the assault, Baggett reportedly took the car keys and left, after also stealing $300 from the victim. The car is a 2000 Buick Park Avenue.

Anyone with information on Baggett’s location is asked to contact the Martin Police, 731 587 5355 or Crime Stoppers at 587-2611.


A Blast From The Past

Paris, Tenn.-Workers on Sunday were surprised to find a sign for an old Paris five and dime store under the awning at the old Murray-McKenzie Jewelry Store. New Owners Ed and Vickey Roberts are refurbishing the property and said once the work is complete, they will be renting the downstairs and upstairs as retail and apartment spaces. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Obion County Fair Begins Today

Union City, Tenn.-Today is the day that many wait for all year. It’s the time for rides on the midway, livestock shows, beauty pageants and contests. The Obion County Fair opens today and will run through Saturday, August 27, at the fairgrounds.

Grand opening ceremonies begin at 5 p.m. today at the Back Porch Stage and the carnival opens at 6 p.m. Every day, fair goers can pay one price of $10 for admissions and rides. The Fairest of the Fair pageant is at 8:30 p.m., with the Teen Fairest of the Fair at 7. Pork McElhinny will perform tonight through the evening at the Back Porch Stage.

Here is the schedule of events for today:

9 a.m. to noon: Accepting Culinary Entries at the Domestic Arts Building.

5-10 p.m. Viewing of commercial, adult and youth exhibits.

5-10 p.m. Show-Me-Safari opens and Red Dragon Lazer Tag.

5 p.m. Grand Opening

6 p.m. Poultry Show and Auction and Duck Calling Contest

7 p.m. Teen Fairest of the Fair

8:30 p.m. Fairest of the Fair

10 p.m. $1,000 Nightly Drawing.

Dickerson Sings To His Hometown Teachers

Union City, Tenn.-Hometown Recording Artist Russell Dickerson of Union City welcomes his elementary teachers on stage Saturday night as he performs “That’s My Girl”. A large crowd was on hand to see the performance by Dickerson, who now lives in Nashville, at the Union City Civic Auditorium. (Brent Hinson photo).


Gunshot Victim Airlifted To Memphis

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man is being treated at The Methodist University Hospital in Memphis for gunshot wounds suffered Sunday afternoon.

Union City officers were called to the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital and spoke with the victim, who said he was out walking around 5 p.m. and turned onto Martin Luther King Drive and heard gunshots. The victim, who lives on Cheatham St., said he took off running toward the basketball courts on Nash Street and then realized he had been shot.

The victim was treated for injuries to both legs and was airlifted to the Memphis hospital.


UC Man Attacked With Bats, Sticks

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was severely beaten Sunday afternoon and is being treated at The Med in Memphis for injuries which include a collapsed lung, broken nose, broken ribs and a broken jaw.

Union City officers were called to the Baptist Memorial Hospital emergency room where they found the victim being treated. Emergency employees said the victim told them he had been jumped by four males—three black and one white—on Home Street in Union City, and was beaten with bats or sticks.

When officers attempted to speak with the victim, he was in severe pain and could only nod to his questions. The victim indicated he did not recognize his attackers.

The victim was transported to The Med by emergency helicopter.


New Dumpsters Installed In Alley

Paris, Tenn.-Mini-dumpsters have been installed in the alley between Washington and Wood Street in downtown Paris as part of the city’s alley improvement project. After repairs were made the underground sewer and drainage system, pavers in a herringbone pattern were installed through the alley. City officials said the next alley to be improved will be the one adjacent to the Paris Board of Public Utilities office on Washington St. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


UC Man Arrested On Multiple Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested on multiple charges—including DUI third offense and driving on a revoked license seventh offense—after Union City officers stopped him for driving erratically Saturday afternoon.

Arrested was Rodrecus Murphy, age 31, of North Home St. He was charged with possession of marijuana, evading arrest, reckless endangerment, DUI and driving on a revoked license. His vehicle also was seized.

The incident began when officers spotted Murphy’s car driving westbound on Todd St. and saw it veering into the opposite lane of travel. According to the police report, Murphy kept driving onto Ury Street, Cheatham Street, onto North Home and then back onto Todd Street even after police activated their lights.

Murphy then exited the vehicle while it was still in motion and fell down as he exited. He then got up and ran and officers gave chase, finally deploying a taser which was successful in getting him to stop.

While in custody, officers located a plastic bag of marijuana in Murphy’s left pocket. According to the report, Murphy also was impaired with alcohol and had lacerations on his face from falling out of his car and was transported to the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital.

While running his driver’s license at dispatch, it was determined that Murphy’s license already had been revoked six times, including incidents in Weakley Co., Haywood Co. and Dyersburg. He also had previously been arrested for DUI on two other occasions.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Stormy Skies Over Paris

Paris, Tenn.-The Eiffel Tower in Paris was silhouetted by stormy skies after Friday night's downpour. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

High School Football Scores

Union City 68, South Fulton 14

Henry County 16, Liberty Tech 20

Camden 14, Waverly 21

McKenzie 32, Dyer County 13

West Carroll 22, Hollow Rock-Bruceton 26

Obion County Central 47, Jackson South Side 41

Milan 56, Trenton 12

Dresden 40, Westview 6 (Thursday night).


Top Performers Set To Play Soybean Festival

Martin, Tenn.-The musical lineup for this year’s Tennessee Soybean Festival keeps getting better and better.

Several top performers will be appearing this year, including Vince Gill, Morris Day and The Time, Blood Sweat and Tears, Three Dog Night and Hunter Hayes.

It was previously announced that Gill will perform 9 p.m. Friday, September 9. Tickets for his show are $15.

The other performance dates are:

Morris Day and The Time, 9 p.m. Friday, September 2. Tickets are $10.

Hunter Hayes, 9 p.m. Monday, September 5. Tickets are $20.

Three Dog Night and Blood Sweat and Tears will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, September 10. Tickets are $15.

Tickets can be purchased on the Soybean Festival website here:


Message Issued For Henry County Jurors

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson has issued a message for citizens currently serving jury duty.

“All jurors currently serving on jury duty in Henry County are requested to call-in tonight (Friday) or over the weekend using the number given by the court to hear an updated jury notice announcement.  This is not the same message you may have heard on Thursday, August 18th.  It is an updated message as of tonight (Friday), August 19th at 6:00 p.m."

Friday, August 19, 2016

Inmate Charged With Aggravated Assault

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-An inmate in the Henry County Jail was arrested for biting part of another inmate’s ear off early this morning.

Tamaz Washum, age 18, of 811 N. Gwen Street, was charged with aggravated assault after the incident, which occurred around 2:20 a.m. today. According to the police report, he is accused of biting off the lower part of the inmate’s ear.

Washum was already in jail after his arrest in early August, charged with the strong arm robbery of a Walnut Street resident in Paris. WENK/WTPR reported at the time of that arrest that he had pulled cash out of a man’s wallet and led the Paris Police and Henry County Sheriff’s Cpl. Terry Williams and his K9 Droid on a chase through the Atkins-Porter Neighborhood in search of him.

The first incident happened on the afternoon of August 6 when he asked the resident if he had change for $20 and grabbed the resident’s wallet, struggling with him and taking money out of it before running. Washum was caught a short while later hiding in a shed on East Blythe Street.

As a result of the first incident, Washum was already being held on $20,000 bond for the robbery and $20,000 for probation violation. Bond on the aggravated assault charge is $10,000, making his total current bond at $50,000.

It’s Fair Time In Obion County

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-It’s time for corn dogs and cotton candy again—and plenty of it—as the Obion County Fair gets set to begin Monday, August 22. The Obion County Fair is opening later than usual this year and will run through August 27.

There are plenty of events set for the fair, from musical entertainment to pageants to livestock shows and commercial exhibits. The theme for this year’s fair is “Make It, Grow It, Show It!”.

The pre-fair kick-off begins Saturday, August 20, with an 11 a.m. mule show at the Hunter Miller Livestock Barn. At 7 p.m., the Enduro Cross will be held in the Outdoor Arena on the fairgrounds. Those events are free.

The grand opening of the fair will be held at 5 p.m. Monday on the Back Porch Stage and the carnival will open on the Midway at 6 p.m. that night. Amusement Attractions will be supplying the carnival rides this year and also is supplying the rides for the Henry County Fair.

The Fairest of the Fair pageant will be held Monday night at 8:30 p.m. at the Reelfoot Bank Stage, with the Teen Fairest of the Fair at 7 p.m. that night. The Petite Miss Fairest of the Fair and the Junior Miss Fairest of the Fair pageants will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

$1,000 Nightly Drawings will be held every night of the fair at 10 p.m. at the Reelfoot Bank Stage.

Musical entertainment this year includes Pork McElhinny, Jason Prichett, Avonlea and Daniel Musgrave.

Other events during this year’s fair include a Duck Calling Contest at 6 p.m. Monday; Stick Horse Rodeo at 6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by Championship Wrestling at 7 p.m. at the Grandstand; the Farmers’ Harvest Breakfast at 7 a.m. Thursday; the Truck and Tractor Pull at 7 p.m. Friday at the Grandstand. Saturday events include the Pet Show at 9 a.m.; garden tractor pull at noon and the demolition derby at 7 p.m.

Senior Citizen and Special Needs Day is Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year, all rides and events are FREE with paid gate admission of $10.

Vince Gill Tickets Still On Sale

Martin, Tenn.-Tickets are still on sale for the appearance by Vince Gill at the upcoming Tennessee Soybean Festival in Martin.

Gill will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, September 9.

Seated is limited, so everyone is encouraged to purchase their tickets soon. Advance online tickets cost $15 and any tickets remaining will be on sale at the Festival Park ticket box office for $20.

Tickets are for sale on the Soybean Festival website here:


Dickerson To Perform Saturday

Union City, Tenn.-Up and coming musician Russell Dickerson of Nashville will return to the stage where his first public appearance was held and where he found his love for country music when he performs the opening concert for the 2016-2017 concert series of the Community Concert Association in Union City on Saturday.

The Concert Association of Union City/Obion County is featuring the “FairShow Homecoming” starring Dickerson at the Union City Civic Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., with FairShow staff opening the show.

Dickerson, who co-wrote and performs the hit song “Yours” was only in the fourth grade when he sang on the stage at the same auditorium in 1997. His father, Richard Dickerson, who was the first Obion County Fair Musical Director in 1986, said the performance was themed “East Side’s Gone Country”. The younger Dickerson was tapped to play the part of Garth Brooks and sang “Standing Outside the Fire”.

Dickerson was raised in Union City. His mother was music teacher at Central Elementary and his father was also minister of music at First Baptist Church in Union City. The Dickersons moved to Middle Tennessee in 1997. His wife, Kailey, is the inspiration for the song, “Yours”.

Individual tickets for each show in the concert series are $20 each and may be purchased at Lanzer Printing in downtown Union City. For more information, call Mike Cox at 731-446-7764 or Chuck Doss at 731-446-6277. Visit the organization’s website at or visit its Facebook page.


Tennessee Leads U.S. In FAFSA Filings

Nashville, Tenn.–For the second year in a row, Tennessee leads the nation in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filings, an important indicator of a growing college-going culture in Tennessee. Locally, Carroll County is on the list of counties with the highest FAFSA filing rates.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission, using data from the U.S. Department of Education, estimates that 70.3 percent of 2015-16 high school seniors in Tennessee filed a FAFSA. That rate is up slightly from one year ago, when the rate stood at 69.5 percent for the class of 2015, the first class eligible for Tennessee Promise. Tennessee was No. 1 in the U.S. in 2015 as well, comprising 40 percent of the nation’s total growth in FAFSA completions.

“Through the Drive to 55, Tennessee has set ambitious goals for higher education. We have a long way to go, but these FAFSA numbers, combined with a 25 percent increase in first-time freshmen enrollment in community colleges and a 20 percent increase at TCATs, reflect a growing college-going culture in Tennessee,” Haslam said. “More and more Tennessee students know that college isn’t only an option for them, it’s an expectation.”

In 2016, 27 Tennessee counties had FAFSA filing rates of 80 percent or above. The counties with the highest FAFSA filing rates include:

1. Trousdale (96.0 percent)
2. Overton (94.4 percent)
3. Lewis (90.2 percent)
4. Meigs (89.6 percent)
5. Perry (88.9 percent) and Chester (88.9 percent)
7. Carroll (88.6 percent)
8. Van Buren (87.9 percent)
9. Decatur (86.5 percent)
10. Wilson (86.0 percent)

According to THEC’s calculations, New Jersey is the state with the second highest rate of FAFSA submissions at 60.7 percent, followed by Delaware at 59.9 percent, Massachusetts at 59.6 percent and New York in fifth at 57.5 percent.

Students will be able to file the FAFSA for the 2017-18 school year on October 1, 2016. The Tennessee Promise FAFSA deadline will be January 17, 2017, giving students a three-month window to file the financial aid application. For more information, visit


Arrests Made In 2015 Houston County Assault

Nashville, Tenn. – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of three Humphreys County men for a 2015 aggravated assault that happened in Houston County.

At the request of 23rd District Attorney General Ray Crouch, on June 2, 2015, TBI Special Agents began investigating a report of an aggravated assault that occurred on Judy Branch Road in Houston County. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that 46-year-old Edward Daniel Schuller, 25-year-old Zachary Wade Smith and 50-year-old Anthony Wade Smith, all of McEwen, were the individuals responsible for taking the victim to a remote area and attacking him on May 31, 2015.

On Monday, the Houston County Grand Jury returned indictments charging the three men with one count of Aggravated Assault each. On Tuesday, the three were arrested by TBI Agents. They were each booked into the Houston County Jail on a $10,000 bond.


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