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Thursday, May 25, 2017


Hernandez, Mahan Receive $5,000 Scholarships

Hernandez and Mahan with Darrin Thompson, left, and David Flowers of the Paris Rotary Club. (Rotary Club photo).

Paris, Tenn..—Alma Hernandez and Ryan Mahan are this year’s recipients of the Richardson Family Henry County Educational Foundation Scholarship. The $5,000 scholarships are administered by the Paris Rotary Club and were awarded at today’s Rotary meeting.

Hernandez is the daughter of Jesus and Veronica Hernandez. This is the fourth time she has received the Richardson Scholarship. She is attending the University of Tennessee majoring in biochemistry.

Also receiving a $5,000 scholarship for the third time was Ryan Mahan, son of Jeff Mahan and Mel Mahan. He is attending The University of the South in Sewanee Tennessee as a biochemistry/pre-med major. He also will be serving an internship this summer at Yale University as a research assistant in the medical field.

The Richardson Family Henry County Educational Foundation Scholarship was founded in 1997 with a gift from Dr. Bobby Richardson to honor Dr. John Richardson, a Henry County native. Dr. John was a lifelong educator and held a Doctorate in Education from New York University.  


Inman Chorus Performs At King’s Island

                                                                  (Photo courtesy of Kim Patterson).

Paris, Tennessee--120 members of the Inman Chorus group and over 40 chaperones traveled to Cincinnati on the last weekend in April to perform at the King’s Island Amusement Park. The group performed three songs, “Dream On” by Aerosmith with soloist Marley Trosper, “Lost Boy” with soloists Anna Hefner and Amelia Hart, and “Sing” with soloists Wyatt Jones and Shamaya Humphreys. Trip participants spent the day at the park after their performance. During their trip, they also visited the Newport Aquarium, and had a “behind the scenes” tour of the Cincinnati Reds ballpark and museum. This group is led by Chorus teacher Jessica McLeese, who is assisted by Allin Montford.

On May 15th, the 6th -8th grade chorus groups held their spring concert. In the concert, they reprised their performance from Cincinnati with the addition of the songs “Sesere Eeye” and “He Lives in You” from “The Lion King”. McLeese started the chorus concert with an inside look at some of the exercises that she does with the students in class to get everyone focused and ready to sing. Soloists in the 6th grade concert included Caris Roberson, Cera Orlovich, Katie Grace Arnold, Phoebe Culpepper, Riley Killen, and Tristen Cox. Soloists in the 7th and 8th grade performance included Izzy Arthurs, Sophie Harrison, Mary Raye Smith, Emily Nanney, and Paige Craig.


Squirrelly Outage In Downtown Paris

Paris, Tenn.—A transformer blow out on Brewer Street this morning caused brief outages at the Henry County 911 Building, WTPR radio, Dr. Jeff Fletcher’s dental offices and other businesses on the block in downtown Paris this morning. And, as usual, the culprit was a squirrel. Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) workers quickly arrived on the scene and remedied the situation. The 911 building operates on a back up generator when there is a power outage. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

 

Pay Raises, Land Purchase Included In BPU Budget

BPU General Manager Terry Wimberley presents reports as Board Member John VanDyke listens. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—If approved in June, the 2018 budget for the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will include a 2.4 percent wage increase for all employees, new equipment purchases in the electric department and purchase of land for a future Eagle Creek Substation.

At Thursday morning’s meeting of the BPU, General Manager Terry Wimberley presented board members with the budgets for the water, wastewater and electric departments. Board members will review the budgets for action at the June meeting.

Wimberley said the proposed raises are based on the March Cost of Living Indicators—the calculation that is used each year by the BPU for raises. The new raises are built into all three budgets, he said.

The new Eagle Creek Substation is proposed to go into effect in five years, Wimberley said, but there is a lot of preparatory work that will need to be done before that. The land to be purchased is on Hwy. 140 between Hwy. 79 and Buchanan, he said, and a bond issue will be needed at some point for the electric department.  

Wimberley noted that sales revenues in the electric department have been flat for the fourth consecutive year. “We haven’t had a rate increase since 2013 in the electric department, so we projecting the same revenues for our budgets. We’re looking at another rate increase for October 2018.”

With all of the budgets, Wimberley said, “We attempt to be conservative with our projected revenues and expenses.”

In other business:

The board approved submission of three Drinking Water State Revolving Loan resolutions to the Paris City Commission next week.

The board also authorized Wimberley to sign the Street and Parking Lot Lighting Contract between the BPU and the city. The ongoing LED project has been discussed in detail at both the BPU and city commission meetings.

Wimberley called the project “a real win-win for the BPU and the city".


UC Man Charged With Stealing Truck

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.—A Union City man is in the Weakley County Detention Center today after he was arrested in Martin early this morning on charges of stealing a vehicle and public intoxication.

Brandon Yeager, age 20, was taken into custody around 2:30 a.m. and charged with theft of a vehicle, burglary from a motor vehicle, public intoxication and violation of the drinking age law.

Patrolman Garrett Grady was on routine patrol in the area of Broadway Street when he noticed a gray Ford pickup that was unoccupied with the engine running.  Ptl. Grady then observed a white male exiting a green Pontiac car nearby with an item in his hand. 

According to Captain Phillip Fuqua, when Ptl. Grady began to approach the subject, he ran towards the running pickup.  Ptl. Grady caught the subject and discovered that the item was a CD case.  At that point, the subject was identified as Yeager and it became apparent that he was intoxicated.

Further investigation revealed that Yeager had stolen the CD case from the green Pontiac and that the 2006 Ford F150 pickup that he was in had been stolen from an address in Union City, TN earlier that evening. 

He was transported to Weakley County Detention Center and will be arraigned in Weakley County General Sessions Court on 05/25/2017 at 2:00 pm.

 

Quota Awards Twelve $1,000 Scholarships

Paris, Tenn.--Quota International of Paris awarded 12 scholarships of $1,000 each at the noon meeting at Lee Academy Lunchroom Wednesday.  From left, recipients are:  Rachelle Hale, Madison Bickerstaff, Justin Ramos, Brianna Ross, Nathan Robertson, Whitney Rawls, Savannah Walker, Kendall Wimberley and Hunter Lacy.  Unable to be present were: Mallory Norwood, Imari Thompson and Peyden Valentine. 

 

Paris Man Arrested On Seven Charges In Fulton

Fulton, Tenn.—A Paris man is in the Fulton County Detention Center in Hickman this morning following his arrest in Fulton on seven charges including reckless driving, tampering with evidence and trafficking.

Arrested was Phillip Bomar, Jr., age 24, of 706 Williams St. He was arrested by Fulton Police on Nolan Avenue and was charged with two counts of trafficking of both marijuana and Xanax, DUI, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, having no insurance, and tampering with evidence.

Arrested with him was his passenger, David Harrison, age 24, of Fulton, who was charged with trafficking and failure to appear.

Fulton Police saw Bomar’s car swerve in front of oncoming traffic as it pulled out of a liquor store parking lot and the odor of marijuana prompted a search. The bags of marijuana and pills were found in Bomar’s underwear, according to the report.

 

McKenzie Memorial Day Services Set

McKenzie, Tenn.—Sergeant First Class Glyn Jones will be guest speaker for the McKenzie Memorial Day Service, which begins at 10 a.m. Monday in the downtown Veterans’ Memorial Park.

Mayor Jill Holland will welcome everyone and entertainment will be provided by Libby Hawkins. Wreaths will be placed at the memorial.

At the conclusion of the program, everyone will be invited across the street to the historic Park Theatre for the movie “Unbroken”, about the WWII experiences of Louis Zamperini.

 

McKenzie, Dresden Farmer’s Markets Now Open

McKenzie, Tenn.—Both the McKenzie and Dresden Farmer’s Markets are now open.

The McKenzie Farmer’s Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the Market Pavilion downtown.

Enjoy homemade sausage and biscuits while you shop for a large variety of produce, including broccoli, spinach, lettuce, strawberries, as well as homemade jams and jellies, fresh eggs, pies, cobblers, cakes, break, rolls. A large selection of plants and shrubs are available, as are crafts, wood bee traps, soaps, and more.

At Dresden, the Farmer’s Market is open each Saturday morning until the end of October. The market is also open Thursday afternoons beginning at 2 p.m. in the summer months.

The Dresden Market also has its own pavilion located at Terry Oliver Plaza at 421 Linden Ave.

It is offering a large amount of fresh produce, as well as bread, flowers, goat soap, homemade butter, and more. Also offers regular giveaways.

 

Paris Farmer’s Market To Open June 9

Paris, Tenn.—The Downtown Paris Farmer’s Market will be opening June 9 and organizers are seeking vendors for this season. Hours are Tuesdays and Fridays beginning at 3 p.m. until products are sold.

Sponsors are the Downtown Paris Association, the Henry County Fair Association, the UT Extension Office, and the City of Paris.   

The location will again be the city parking lot located at the northwest corner of Market Street and Ruff Street.  The location will be closed to all except Farmers Market Vendors on Tuesdays and Fridays.  There is a parking area to the side and across the street from the Farmers Market location for Market shoppers. 

Please sign up for Farmers Market and receive a Market permit at the DPA office located at 203 N. Fentress Street.  If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Ray at the DPA office at 731-653-7274 or email DowntownParis@outlook.com.

 

Lady Pats Advance In State Tourney

Murfreesboro, Tenn.—It was an extremely long day Wednesday for the Lady Patriots, with weather delays causing them to not play their elimination game until late at night. The Lady Patriots won the match against Brighton by a score of 8-4.

They will play Ooletwah at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. With a win in that game, they will advance to play next at 4 p.m. Thursday.

 

Kroger Relay Team To Grill Saturday

Paris, Tenn.—The Kroger Relay for Life Team will be grilling burgers and hot dogs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday in front of their store. Chips and drinks will also be available.


McKenzie Hospital Purchased By Dallas Firm

McKenzie, Tenn.—McKenzie Regional Hospital has been purchased by Strategic Healthcare Solutions LLC, a hospital-management services firm from Dallas. An agreement was signed to purchase both McKenzie Regional and Henderson County Community Hospital in Lexington.

McKenzie Regional CEO Michael Morrical said, “SHS is a collection of seasoned and senior healthcare managers and operators with over 100 years of hospital operating experience who work with onsite management to guide, assist and support them to help improve and grow the hospital. In the end, the goal is continue to deliver local care and economic support to the local community.”

Morrical said further that McKenzie Regional “will proudly continue its mission of providing outstanding local care.”

The McKenzie hospital is the only Carroll Co. hospital providing obstetrics. It recently added orthopedic surgery to its offerings, with former Henry County Medical Center Surgeon Dr. Gene Gulish opening a practice there.

 

Carroll County To Benefit From Gas Tax Boost

Huntingdon, Tenn.—Carroll County and its eight municipalities will benefit from the increase in taxes on gasoline and diesel.

According to the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, the County Highway Department and each municipality will receive additional funds for road and street construction and maintenance.

Fuel taxes will increase July 1. New local revenue for Carroll County will be $423,232, with the two biggest cities, McKenzie and Huntingdon, receiving hefty increases as well: McKenzie will garner $31,104 and Huntingdon $23,343. The total increase for the municipalities in the county will be $82,197.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Former Police Chief Richard Dunlap Dies

Paris, Tenn.—Former Paris Police Chief Richard H. “Chief” Dunlap, age 82, died today at the Paris Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. 

Dunlap began working for the City of Paris Police department in 1964. In 1974 he took the office of Police Chief, a position he held until his retirement in 1994 .Dunlap was a part of the group that helped to start the DARE Program in Paris and Henry County.  He also served in the United States Air Force.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 2 PM in LeDon Chapel of Ridgeway Funeral Home, with Dale Gallimore and Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo officiating.  Visitation will be held on Thursday from 4 until 7pm and continue on Friday after 11 am. Burial will follow in the Poplar Grove Cemetery.

Pallbearers for the service are Police Chief Chuck Elizondo and other members of the Paris Police Department: Ean Reed, Tony Elkins, Tony Hutcherson and John Brewer, as well as Deputy Clyde Sulcer. Honorary Pallbearers will be current and retired officers of the Paris Police Department.

Born September 14, 1934 in Springville, TN, he was the son of the late Herbert Dunlap and the late Hazel Dortch Dunlap. 

Dunlap is survived by his former wife Joye Cole of Paris, two daughters: Charla Dunlap of Arlington, TN and Cheryl Davis Dodd of Claremore OK; a brother: William C. “Bill” (Linda) Dunlap of Paris; grandchildren: Jason Richard Davis, Jared Davis, Kasey Davis Maze, Jeff Snider and Jessie Snider Frazier.

Additional survivors include 7 great grandchildren; Nieces: Kathy Dunlap Brewer Diana Dunlap Williams, Donna Dunlap Sulcer and Carrie Dunlap Reed; and Nephews: Robert “Bubba” Dunlap, William “BJ” Dunlap and Daniel Dunlap. 

Memorials may be made to the Tennessee-Kentucky Lake Lodge 17, PO Box 755, Paris, TN 38242.

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Gee Qualifies For World Road Race

Tom Gee, left, with his teammates Justin Lowe and Terry Boxx. 

Paris, Tenn.—Henry County Medical Center CEO Tom Gee of Paris was awarded one of three automatic age group berths on the U.S. Cycling team to compete in the UCI (Union Cycliste International) World Road Race to be held August 24-27 in Albi, France. Gee has been an avid bicyclist for several years and has competed in races all over the country and overseas.

Gee placed third in the Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo this past Sunday, May 21st in Jacksonville, Alabama.  The event was the only North American qualifying site and included riders from the United States, Mexico and Canada.  The Cheaha event at 100 miles in length and with 9500 ft. of mountainous terrain is considered one of the most difficult distance events in the United States. 

Gee credits his success to his two teammates, Justin Lowe of Dover and Terry Boxx of Greenfield with helping to pace him to his podium spot.  The race was won by Tom Doughty of Aurora, IN. followed by Richard Mull of Malibu, CA. who both will join Gee in France.  Gee is also expected to compete in the time trial event in France also.

Additional information about the event can be found at www.uci,ch/cyclingforall/uci-gran-fondo-world-series/  and at www.cheahachallenge.com.

 

Tharpe Honored For His Retirement

 

Paris, Tenn.—Retiring Grove School Principal Sam Tharpe was honored with a ceremony at the school recently, with all the students, faculty, employees and his family members present. A quote from Tharpe was posted on the wall of the school gym: “Discipline: Doing The Right Thing Without Someone Having To Tell You To Do It.” Tharpe is retiring after 34 years in education. He previously was Principal at Henry School and Assistant Principal at Lakewood. Effective July 1, Assistant Principal Tim Mason will take over the reins at Grove. In photo, County Director of Schools Dr. Brian Norton speaks, with Tharpe and his wife Gale, his sister Barbara Gray and Janitor Tony Adkisson looking on. (Janet Gaugh photo).

 

Spring Festival T-Shirts For Sale

Big Sandy, Tenn.—T-shirts for the 42nd Annual Big Sandy Spring Festival go on sale Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Apex Bank in Big Sandy. If you miss them there, you can find the Big Sandy Community Chamber personnel selling the t-shirts at the ballpark Friday evening and all day Saturday. Prices are adults, $15; youth, $12.

The Spring Festival is an annual event over Memorial Day Weekend and includes a long list of activities both downtown and at the ball park both Friday and Saturday. The grand parade will be held downtown at 10 a.m. Saturday and the event culminates in fireworks on Saturday night.

 

 Pre-Register For Kids Fishing Derby

 

Springville, Tenn.--The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in conjunction with Friends of Tennessee NWR will host a Kids Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 3rd from 9:30 am to 12 pm at 3815 Foundry Hill Road near Puryear.  The event will be held at a private pond brimming with largemouth bass and bluegill to insure a full stringer! 

All participants much pre-register by June 1st at the refuge office at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville, or by phone at 731-642-2091 or by email at Joan_Howe@fws.gov.

Derby registration will begin at 9:30 am with fishing from 10 a.m.– 12 p.m.. All hooks out of the water at 12:00 pm at which time prizes will be awarded. All participants much pre-register by June 1st at the refuge office at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville, or by phone at 731-642-2091 or by email at Joan_Howe@fws.gov.

This event will be free for kids ages 12 and under, but children must have an adult with them. On the walk to the pond refuge staff and Friends members will host a Fishing Clinic in which kids will be able to learn how to cast, the best knots for tying on hooks, the best ways to hold a caught fish and safely remove the hook, as well as local fish identification.

It is recommended that participants bring their own fishing gear and tackle, however, fishing gear will be provided for those who don’t have any available.  Bait will also be provided by the Friends group.  It is also recommended if you want to keep the fish you catch, to bring a stringer or a bucket to take the fish home.  For those that don’t want to keep the catch, we will have a cooler to donate your catch to help feed the critters at the LBL Nature Station.

 To get to the Kids Fishing Derby from Paris, take Highway 641 N.  At mile marker 19 turn left onto Park Hill Road.  At the end of the road, turn left onto Foundry Hill Road.  At the fork, bear left and the derby location will be .5 mile past the fork on the right.  Directional signs will be available leading you from Highway 641.

 

Burch Named Meek Library Director

Martin, Tenn. – Dr. John Burch Jr. has been named director of the Paul Meek Library at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Burch, formerly professor and dean of library services at Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Ky., assumed his new duties May 15.

Burch began his career with Campbellsville University as director of library services and assistant professor in 2000 and worked his way up the ladder, handling such areas as library services, online programs and distance learning along the way. Before moving to Campbellsville, Burch served in the libraries of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Ark., and Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Ky.

Burch fills the position previously held by Dr. Charles Julian. Sam Richardson, chief archivist and curator, has filled the post in an interim capacity since Julian’s departure from the university.

For more information, contact Burch at jburch5@utm.edu.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Dump Truck Pulls Down Poles, Wires

 

Paris, Tenn.—A dump truck pulled down wires which then pulled down two power poles in front of the Murphy Express gas station on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris Tuesday evening. Paris Police were on the scene around 6:30 p.m. along with personnel from AT&T, Charter Spectrum and the Paris-Henry County Gas Co. AT&T personnel said the accident did disrupt service on its fiber optics system for the area. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Gerrell, Foster, Lawrence Take The Plunge

Lawrence, Foster and Gerrell get back out of the pool after plunging down the slides. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—To a chorus of applause and cheers, Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell, City Manager Kim Foster and Parks Director Tony Lawrence were the first to go down the new “Triple Tower Plunge” water slide at the city pool Tuesday afternoon.

Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce members were on hand as City Councilperson Jackie Jones had the honors of cutting the ribbon at the slide.

Lawrence thanked Lowe’s Home Improvement for its donation of a “Local Heroes” grant for the purchase of the water slide and thanked Lowe’s personnel for volunteering their time and donating supplies for to make the pool ready for its Memorial Day opening. “They donating a grill, chairs, paint—they’ve gone above and beyond,” Lawrence said.

Lowe’s Store Manage Michael Caughron said that Lowe’s was happy to be able to help.

This is the first of many improvements coming for the pool and Eiffel Tower Park, Gerrell said. “It’s our vision to enhance the quality of life in our town”, as well as promote tourism.

 


Pies In The Face For Elizondo, Belew

Elizondo, Belew on receiving end of pies in the face from Chief Williams. (McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A challenge between the Paris Fire Department, Paris Police Department and Henry County Sheriff’s Office at this month’s Battle of the Badges for the Lifeline Bloodmobile resulted in Police Chief Chuck Elizondo and Sheriff Monte Belew getting pies in the face, courtesy of Fire Chief Michael Williams Tuesday afternoon.

“The worse part of all this,” Belew said, “is that it was my idea.”

Earlier this month, the Fire Department won the challenge to see which department could collect the most blood for the Lifeline drive, with the firemen collecting 39 pints, the sheriff’s office 36 and the police department with 20.

With Lifeline Community Services Coordinator Tammy Hurst standing by, today was the day for the heads of the losing departments to pay the price—right in the face with extremely sticky pies.

The aftermath as Firefighter Richie Bomar provides towels. (McFarlin photo).


Hibbett’s Suspect Arrested At Taco Bell

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A Taco Bell run was the undoing for the Hibbett’s flare gun robbery suspect last night when the victim of the robbery saw him in the parking lot of the Paris Taco Bell.

Anthony Cooper, age 35, 301 N. Brewer St., was arrested last night by Paris Police after the victim called to say he spotted the suspect. He was charged with aggravated robbery and the attempted first-degree murder of the clerk working the register at Hibbett’s during the robbery attempt.

Cooper is being held in the Henry County Jail on $250,000 bond.

According to Paris Police Captain Ricky Watson, Cooper was wearing similar boots and hat to the one he wore during the robbery and he also had several flare gun rounds on him.

“We would also like to thank the public for the calls we did receive, as well as the victim in the case for him being so alert and noticing the suspect, giving us an opportunity to locate and arrest him,” Watson said.

Cooper stole a flare gun at Walmart last Thursday night and then walked across the parking lot to Hibbett’s. In the attempt to rob the store, Cooper then shot the flare gun at the clerk and hit the register in the process, setting it on fire.

 

Memorial Bench Dedicated To Jimmy Pollack

 

Springville, Tenn.--Mickey Thurmond, instructor of the Residential Building and Maintenance Program at the Tennessee Center for Applied Technology and his students built and donated a bench to Lakewood School in memory of Jimmy Pollack.  Jimmy died along with four other members of his family in a fire several weeks ago. He was an 8th grader at Lakewood. The this memorial was donated by Sign and Trophy Express.  8th grade students are pictured behind the bench. (Lakewood photo).


Vietnam War Monument To Be Dedicated

Union City, Tenn.- Plans are set for an extra special Memorial Weekend event at Discovery Park of America.  Topping the list of a weekend full of Military Living History activities, is the dedication of a very special Vietnam War Memorial monument at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, May 29th. 

Magnolia Place Assisted Living and White Ranson Funeral Home are donating a ten foot granite monument in honor of all Obion County Missing in Action (MIA) and Killed in Action (KIA) Vietnam War heroes.  The special ceremony will be emceed by David Johnson, and will include the VFW presenting the colors, the Pledge of Allegiance by Eagle Scout Kizer Harris, the National Anthem by Julia Ellegood and a speech by former Congressman and Vietnam War Veteran John Tanner.

There will be a special recognition of all Vietnam War Veterans, the family members of the KIA and MIA heroes, and the donors prior to the unveiling of the monument at the conclusion of the program.

All veterans, military and dependents will get in Discovery Park free on Memorial Day.  All others will pay $10 a ticket, and children three and under are free.

Additionally, the names of all Obion County Veterans who have died since last Memorial Day will be read as part of the ceremony.   The public is invited to attend this very special Memorial Day ceremony.

The monument dedication on Monday, will flank an entire weekend of honor to the military at the park.  “Military Living History” will include an encampment on the great lawn Saturday through Monday with WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War all represented.  There will be weapons demonstrations and vehicles, including a 1943 M4A3 model Sherman Tank.  The tank was built by Ford Motor Company and is equipped with a 75mm cannon, two 30 mm machine guns and one 50 caliber machine gun.  The tank weighs about 34 tons and has a top speed of 26 mph.  It will be on display throughout the weekend. 

CEO Jim Rippy said that he hopes all veterans and military personnel and their families will plan to spend Memorial Day at the park.  “We think that the dedication of the Vietnam Monument will be a very special way to honor our nation’s military this Memorial Day,” he added.  “And the Military Living History encampment is a great way to teach your children and grandchildren about the history of our armed forces.” 

For more information about the Memorial weekend plans, or about Discovery Park of America, including a complete Calendar of Events, visit the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com, or call the park at 731-885-5455.   Discovery Park of America is located at 830 Everett Blvd., in Union City and is a unique blend of history, science, education and fun. 

     

Henry County Memorial Day Service Set

Paris, Tenn.—Dr. Chester Harrison will be the guest speaker at this year’s Memorial Day Service sponsored by the Henry County Veterans Services. The service will be held beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, May 29, at the Courthouse in Paris.

The program includes a performance by the Henry County High School Madrigals, as well as the laying of the wreath at the county war memorial on the courthouse lawn. Military honors will be conducted by the Tennessee State Color Guard.

The service is open to everyone.

 

Tickets On Sale For Plus Endowment Benefit

Paris, Tenn.—Tickets are on sale now for the Plus Endowment “Summer Kick Off” Benefit.

Miss D’s Kitchen and the Mule Barn are hosting benefit, set for 6 p.m. Thursday night, June 8, at the Mule Barn at 600 Scarborough Lane.

$10 plate includes pork loin or ribeye, loaded potato salad, baked beans, and beverage. Bring your own lawn chair. Musical entertainment by Michael Holden.

Tickets are available at Lura Lee’s Gift Shoppe of Paris, from any Plus Endowment board member or through the Plus Endowment Facebook page.

 

Sen. Stephens To Speak At HC GOP Reception

Paris, Tenn.--The Henry County GOP and Republican Women are jointly hosting a Legislative Reception this Thursday, May 25, at Lee Academy for the Arts, 402 Lee Street, Paris.

There will be a Meet and Greet with TN Senator John Stevens from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Hors d’ouevres will be served along with wine, beer and beverages. Senator Stevens will speak at 6:30 pm to provide an update on the 2017 TN Legislative Session. The event is free.


Quinn Pancake Breakfast Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.—The Men of Quinn Chapel AME Church will host their annual Pancake Breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, May 27, at the church at 216 E. Church St., Paris.

Pancake plates are $8. Children under five are free.


Monday, May 22, 2017


Hibbett’s Suspect Stole Flare Gun From Wal-Mart

 

Surveillance photo of suspect provided by Paris PD. 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The man who used a flare gun to try to rob Hibbett’s Sporting Goods in Paris on Thursday night had just stolen the flare gun from Wal-Mart, which is located in the same shopping center.

Paris Police Captain Ricky Watson said Monday afternoon the suspect is still at large.

Paris Police received the surveillance photo of the suspect from the Wal-Mart Supercenter. After the theft, the suspect walked into Hibbett’s, which is across the parking lot from Wal-Mart, carrying the flare gun as he walked in.

The suspect botched the armed robbery himself when he shot the cash register and set it on fire. According to police, the suspect had been aiming the flare gun at one of the store clerks when he hit the cash register.

Watson also said, “We have reason to believe that the suspect got away in a black Mustang with a gold stripe.”

As we reported earlier, the suspect is described as a black male, wearing a yellow shirt with purple hat and yellow stitching.  

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Paris Police Department at 642-2424.

 


Pollack Fundraiser Provides Smoke Alarms

Sheriff Monte Belew, Chief Deputy Damon Lowe, Captain Adam Jenkins, School Resource Officer Bruce Alexander, Principal Amy Veazey and students. (HCSO photo).

Springville, Tenn.--In a joint effort between the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Lakewood School as well as BR Supply, a program was established to provide every family at Lakewood School with a smoke alarm.

Sheriff’s Captain Adam Jenkins said, “This push was created to promote safety in the homes as well as raise awareness to what we feel is a very worthwhile cause,” following the tragic fire earlier this year that killed five members of the Pollack family, including Jimmy Pollack, who was a 14-year-old student at Lakewood.

Following the fire, Lakewood held the first annual “Jimmy Pollack Dodgeball Tournament” and proceeds from that tournament were used to help fund this project as well as a donation from the aforementioned BR Supply.

Jenkins said, “It is our hope that everyone who receives a smoke alarm today puts it up and takes advantage of this effort. Should anyone need assistance they are welcome to call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672.”

 

 

McGuffin Named UTM Athletic Director

Martin, Tenn. – Kurt McGuffin has been named the new director of intercollegiate athletics for the University of Tennessee at Martin. Currently the director of athletics for Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., he is expected to start work for UT Martin on June 28.

“Kurt is a top choice selected from a pool of outstanding candidates, and we are excited to welcome him into the Skyhawk family,” said Dr. Keith Carver, UT Martin chancellor. “I believe he has all the skills and abilities necessary to guide our athletics program into the future.”

McGuffin has been with Missouri Western State University for almost six years, where he has been involved in budget management and fundraising, facility enhancements, student-athlete academic improvements and the addition of new athletic options. Prior to beginning his career with MWSU, McGuffin served as both assistant athletics director and director of athletics development at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo., and as senior associate athletics director for external operations at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.

The appointment was made after a university search committee, chaired by Dr. Charley Deal, UT Martin associate vice chancellor for alumni relations and annual giving, reviewed applications from a national pool. Four finalists were identified in early April, and the search committee presented its final recommendation to Chancellor Keith Carver after conducting on-campus interviews and open forum sessions with each candidate.

McGuffin fills the post previously held by Julio Freire. Kevin McMillan and Mike Swaim have filled the position as interim directors since Freire’s departure from the university in March 2016.

“I appreciate the dedication Kevin and Mike have shown in guiding the athletics program through this transition period. Their outstanding service and leadership came during an important time for Skyhawk athletics,” said Carver.

A public welcoming reception for McGuffin and his family will be scheduled at a later date.

UT Martin is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference and competes in NCAA Division I in both men’s and women’s sports and the Football Championship Subdivision. For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of University Relations at 731-881-7615.


Suspect In Three County Spree Captured

 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

 

Dickson, Tenn.—A suspect who has evaded police in three counties over the past several weeks while embarking on a crime spree has finally been captured.

 

Darren Ray Walton, age 39, was captured in Dickson County around 9 p.m. Friday, according to information released this morning by Weakley County Sheriff’s Capt. Randall McGowan.

 

Walton’s crime spree was so notorious that it was written about in USA Today last week.

 

Dickson County authorities took Walton into custody after a vehicle pursuit which also involved the use of a Taser. Walton’s crime spree began in Weakley County, where he was wanted on numerous aggravated burglary charges, theft charges and evading arrest. He also is a person of interest in several other ongoing investigations in Weakley County.

 

McGowan said Walton’s family is from Weakley County.

 

Other charges in Montgomery County included theft of property, evading arrest, criminal impersonation and several driving charges. He also was wanted in Dickson County on charges of felony theft, felony theft of a motor vehicle, theft of property and burglary. He also is considered a person of interest in eight active theft and burglary investigations in Dickson County.

 

McGowan said court dates are pending.

 

Big Sandy Festival Is This Weekend

 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Big Sandy, Tenn.—Big Sandy will be throwing its annual big bash this weekend for Memorial Day, with plenty of activities planned for everyone.

The 42nd annual Big Sandy Spring Festival is sponsored by the Big Sandy Community Chamber and this year’s theme is “Big Sandy, The Beautiful”.

The two-day event features a carnival, live music, car show, arts and crafts, vendors, petting zoo, horseshoe tournament, parade and fireworks.

The event begins Friday, May 26, with the carnival opening at the Big Sandy Ball Park. The Tennessee River Band will entertain at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday’s main event is the parade, which is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Big Sandy School. The parade route goes around town and ends up back at the school. Because of insurance liability, candy can no longer be thrown from the parade units. However, candy be handed out by people walking along the route.

The Horseshoe Tournament begins at noon at the Small Pavilion at the park, with cash prizes awarded. The Molly’s Ark Petting Zoo will be set up at the park all day Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Musical entertainment will be featured all day, with Wire and Wood from Paris performing at 11:30 a.m. Other bands through the day include Johnny Mac and the Heart Attacks and Tommy Akers Band, all from Henry County, and Benny Stockdale.

The car show is set up downtown all day Saturday. Fireworks will be set off at 9:30 p.m.

 

Fort Donelson To Commemorate Memorial Day

 

Hundreds of veterans' graves are located at Fort Donelson National Battlefield Cemetery. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Dover, TN – Fort Donelson National Battlefield will once again commemorate Memorial Day with special patriotic programs and activities that begin Thursday and continue throughout this weekend. All events are free and open to the public.

MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE – MAY 29 On Monday, May 29, at 11am, Fort Donelson National Cemetery will be the site of its annual memorial service, hosted by the National Park Service and the Stewart County Veterans Affairs Office, with participation by Post 72 of the American Legion, Department of Tennessee, other veteran organizations, and local civic and scout groups.

Guest speaker for the ceremony will be Stephanie L. Dostie, of the Eagles Chapter, Gold Star Wives of America. Mrs. Dostie’s husband, SFC US Army Shawn Dostie, gave his life in the service of our nation in December of 2005, while on deployment in Iraq.

Because of Memorial Day occurring in late May, and the national cemetery having minimal shade, those attending are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring bottled water, and, as seating is not provided, consider bringing a lawn chair or blanket.

PRE-MEMORIAL DAY EVENTS Commemorative events will take place in the days leading up to Memorial Day. Release Date: Immediate Contacts: Paula Alexander Paula_Alexander@nps.gov

On Thursday, May 25, each grave marker of the Fort Donelson National Cemetery will be decorated with a United States flag. Girl Scouts will be placing flags at the base of the hundreds of graves buried at the cemetery.

The public is encouraged to join national park staff and patrons at the Fort Donelson National Cemetery on Sunday, May 28, at 7 pm, to enjoy the wonderful and patriotic music of the 101st Airborne Brass Quintet Band. This noted group will perform on the lawn of the national cemetery.

Any location changes will be posted at www.facebook.com/fortdonelsonnps



Saturday, May 20, 2017


Reminder: Water Slide Dedication Is Tuesday

The water slide is ready at the city pool. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.—Reminder: Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell, City Manager Kim Foster and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence will be the first to ‘officially’ come down the new water slide at the city pool at a public dedication ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. City officials have been making practice runs at the slide in recent days.

As we reported previously, the new water slide has been under construction for the past several weeks and was completed last week.

 

UTM Names Interim Provost, Dean

Dr. Rich Helgesen speaks at UTM graduation. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – Dr. Rich Helgeson, current dean of the University of Tennessee at Martin College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, has been named interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs by Dr. Keith Carver, university chancellor. Helgeson will succeed Dr. Jerald Ogg who returns to a teaching position this fall in the Department of Communications.

Dr. Jennifer Greenwood, professor and interim chair for the Department of Biological Sciences, will become interim dean for the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Both appointments are effective Aug. 1.

Carver announced a search extension May 3 to identify the university’s next chief academic officer. He also announced his decision to appoint an interim while the search continues. Carver said Helgeson is well prepared to lead the university’s academic programs as interim provost until the position is filled. He expects Helgeson to hold the position for a year.

Resumes for the provost position are being collected through August. The committee will reconvene in August with on-campus interviews anticipated in winter 2018 and a person named to fill the position starting with the 2018-19 academic year.

UT Martin launched a national search for a new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs after Dr. Jerald Ogg decided to return to the faculty this fall in the UT Martin Department of Communications. Ogg came to the university as a faculty member in 1987 and has served as provost and vice chancellor since 2011.

Ashlie Czyz, director of human resources programs and executive recruiter for the University of Tennessee System, is serving as executive recruiter for this position. For more information on the search process, contact Czyz at aczyz@tennessee.edu.

 

Friday, May 19, 2017


Martin Woman Airlifted After Rollover

                                                           (Photo by Martin Police Department).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.—A Martin woman trapped in her vehicle was airlifted to Jackson General Hospital following a rollover accident this morning that is still under investigation.

Witnesses called 911 after finding a woman in a car that was in the bottom of a ditch along Hwy. 431 near Martin. Martin Police responded and found the woman, Sheila McGuire, age 57, trapped in the vehicle. The vehicle was resting on the driver’s side of the bottom of the ditch.

According to the police report, the victim was not fully aware of her surroundings and was wearing a Medical ID bracelet that indicated she has a heart condition. Ms. McGuire was extricated by emergency personnel who cut through the windshield.

She was transported to the Air Evac headquarters in Martin and then airlifted to Jackson General.


Photo Of Hibbett’s Suspect Released

 

Paris, Tenn.—The Paris Police Department has released a surveillance photo of the suspect in Thursday night’s attempted armed robbery at Hibbett’s Sporting Goods Store in the Walmart Shopping Center in Paris.

As we reported earlier this morning, Sgt. Jamie James was first on the scene and upon entering the store,  noticed that  the store’s cash register/computer was  on fire and he quickly extinguished it. Officers with the Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, and Tennessee Highway Patrol, began to look for a suspect that had just attempted to rob the store with a flare gun. During the robbery, the suspect fired the flare gun at the clerk and caught the cash register/computer on fire, damaging the computer and then left the store with no money.  

K-9 Droid and handler Sgt. Terry Williams with the Sheriff’s Department began to track the suspect and lost scent of him in the area behind the store. Officers are looking into a person of interest and needs the public’s help in possibly identifying this person If you know who he is, we would like to talk with him. Please Call Captain Ricky Watson 731-641-1478 or Sargent Jeramye Whitaker @ 731-641-1437.  


Suspect Sought After Armed Robbery Try 

 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A suspect botched his own attempted armed robbery of Hibbett’s Sporting Goods store when he shot the cash register and set it on fire.

Paris Police are searching for a suspect who is described as a black male, wearing a yellow shirt with purple hat and yellow stitching.

Patrolman Jamie James arrived at Hibbett’s around 9:15 p.m. on the report of the robbery attempt and found the cash register still on fire. James grabbed the fire extinguisher from his patrol car and extinguished the fire.

According to the employee, the suspect came in right at closing time and pulled a flare gun, shooting at the employee, but not hitting him. The flare did hit the cash register. A second employee ran into the parking lot yelling “Active Shooter”.

The suspect then demanded money and the employee told him the money could not be reached because he set fire to the cash register.

Henry County EMS was called to the scene as a precaution for the employee who was shot at.

According to the report, Captain Ricky Watson and Lt. Ean Reed arrived at the scene and were told by the employees that the suspect walked down the sidewalk and went behind Peeple’s Store.

Watson told WENK/WTPR this morning that police are reviewing surveillance footage and will be releasing a photo of the suspect.


Paris Man Held Without Bond After Pursuit

 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.—Deputies with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office had a busy—and hazardous—Thursday and a Paris man ended up with in the Henry County Jail without bond, with numerous charges against him.

In the course of a pursuit in the lake area, a deputy’s cruiser was struck by the stolen rental car being pursued.

Matthew Palmer of Lone Oak Rd., Paris, was charged with aggravated assault, two counts of reckless endangerment, two counts evading arrest, two counts reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, three counts theft of property, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of probation. He is being held without bond due to the probation violation.

Palmer reportedly stole a rental car and Deputies Cpl. Brian Davis and Lt. Lance Perry pursued Palmer beginning in the Antioch Harbor area and all over roads in the Buchanan lake area. According to Captain Adam Jenkins, at one point, Palmer struck Cpl. Davis’ car and continued on the wrong side of Hwy. 79N, then turned back onto Bull Durham Road, coming back through the four-way stop in front of the Four Way Grill.

Lt. Perry had previously set out spike strips at that location in an attempt to end the pursuit. Palmer then drive over the strips, but continued back onto Hwy. 79N. Jenkins said a short time later, Palmer’s tires bew out and Deputy Frankie Scott and Cpl. Davis stopped the car in the median of Hwy. 79.


UC Kiwanis Hard At Work

 

Union City, Tenn.—Joe Ward and John Fry of the Union City Kiwanis Club hard at work Thursday for the 12th annual “Burgers In The Park” in Union City. The event benefits children in the community. (Amy Keathley photo).

 

OC Crawfish Festival Is Saturday

Union City, Tenn.—There will be plenty of good food, good music and activities at the 4th Annual Obion County Crawfish Festival Saturday at the Obion County Fairgrounds.

Louisiana Crawfish will be served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with music by several local musicians beginning at noon. The first on tap will be Steve Short and Scott Myatt, who will perform from noon to 2 p.m.

Activities will include cornhole tournaments, dunking booth, inflatables, a magician and more. Concessions will be set up.

The event benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

ABC Board Fines Local Business

Paris, Tenn.—The Paris Alcoholic Beverage Control Board gave a local business a choice of a fine or suspension during Thursday night’s violation hearing.

T-Bone’s Tavern at 3485 Highway 641 South, was cited for selling beer to an underage person.

After a hearing in which T-Bone Owner Jamie Brown said the business’ operations have been upgraded since the citation, ABC Chair Ricky Searcy gave T-Bone the choice of either a 30-day suspension or payment of a $1,000 fine

In other business at the meeting, the board also approved a permit for Kevin Hamlin at the Paris Moose Lodge.

 

Downtown Cruise In Set Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.--The Downtown Cruise In will be held Tuesday, May 23rd, on the east side of the Court Square from 5:30 to 7 pm.  Bring a classic car and register to win prizes. Local bluegrass band called Wire and Wood will perform.  Perry’s BBQ will food available.  Bring a lawn chair and sit awhile on the Court Square. Sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association


Dr. Gulish To Join McKenzie Surgical Team

McKenzie, Tenn.—Paris Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Eugene Gulish has come out of retirement to help start the new orthopedic surgery service in McKenzie.

The new surgical service is located at the McKenzie Regional Hospital.

Dr. Gulish retired from practice at Henry County Medical Center in January. He is credited with being the first orthopedic surgeon to serve the HCMC.

 


Thursday, May 18, 2017


Reelfoot Ministries Needs Help For Repairs

Water damage at Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Obion, Tenn.—Reelfoot Rural Ministries—which has helped so many people in need over the years—is in need itself now.

In the course of performing a ‘facelift’ of its dormitory to ready it for mission teams arriving for projects, Reelfoot uncovered “major water damage”, according to Executive Director Rev. Robert Craig. The dorm is located on the grounds of Reelfoot Ministries’ main community center.

Because of the damage, the Ministry is now having to perform complete demolition and rebuild the bathrooms, Rev. Craig said.

Reelfoot Ministries is now looking at tens of thousands of dollars in repairs, he said. But there is good news: an anonymous donor has agreed to provide a ‘dollar-for-dollar match’ of any donations received for the project.

The only requirement is that gifts be received in full by June 30. Donations should be designated for matching funds for the dorm and mailed to RRM at Reelfoot Rural Ministries, 6923 Minnick Elbridge Rd., Obion, Tenn., 38240.

Reelfoot officials said the height of its ministry season is mid-May through mid-August, so the dormitory is really needed.

Reelfoot Rural Ministries is a multi-facted social service agency of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church and serves Obion, Lake and Dyer Counties in Tennessee and Fulton County in Kentucky.


Progress Continues On A-P Neighborhood Projects

 

Realtor Julie Leach makes presentation to Association. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—Progress continues on two projects by the Historic Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association: demolition of a dilapidated property on Jackson Street and the installation of a Little Library in the neighborhood.

At the regular meeting of the A-P Association Wednesday night, members also heard a report on the real estate market from Realtor Julie Leach and continued discussion on formation of a Neighborhood Watch program.

The Jackson Street property was purchased by the Association and will be demolished by Preserve Paris in a few weeks. Plans are underway to create a community park on the property.

The first Little Library sponsored by the Association will be installed soon near the entrance to the Atkins-Porter Dog Park, located at the corner of Walnut and Highland Streets. Members agreed that would be a good location, since it is a high-visibility area.

Leach presented a report on how to make your property marketable to sell and she emphasized that concentrating on beautifying the outside of properties is important. “A lot of basic things should be done, such as painting the front door, replacing the door, making sure the front yard and entryway look attractive,” Leach said. “If a potential buyer does not look what they see, if they don’t like the yard or even the neighbor’s yard, they’re going to stop looking at your property right there.”

That’s why it is important for neighbors to help neighbors and to keep properties maintained and attractive, Leach said. “We have a gorgeous little neighborhood here and if you see clutter at an elderly person’s property for instance, you can always volunteer to help your neighbor.”

Discussion continued on the need for a Neighborhood Watch program and more members volunteered to serve as Watch Captains for the program. Signs will be installed throughout the A-P Neighborhood announcing that there is a Neighborhood Watch in place as the program progresses.

 

Cottage Grove School Seeks Donations 

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Cottage Grove Christian School is beginning the process of renovating the south wing of the school to accommodate the influx of students being enrolled. CGCS is seeking donations of labor and money to help with the remodeling.

The historic building is the former home of the Cottage Grove School, which schooled all of the grade levels in the tiny community for decades.

CGCS is a non-profit organization, which means donations are tax deductible. Anyone interested in helping with labor or wishes to make a donation please contact the school at 731 782 3711. Beginning Monday, a Go Fund Me account will be set up and added to the school’s Facebook page.

 

Search Expands For Suspect

Clarksville, Tenn.—A man who has been sought by several law enforcement agencies for several weeks is now wanted on new warrants in Montgomery County.

Darren Ray Walton, age 39, is now wanted in three Tennessee Counties, including Weakley, Dickson and Montgomery, on numerous counts of theft, burglary and other crimes.

Walton has six warrants in Weakley County, involving aggravated burglary, property theft, evading arrest, criminal impersonation and car theft.

In Montgomery County, he is wanted for theft of property, evading, criminal impersonation, driving on a suspended license, no registration, no insurance.

In Dickson County, he is wanted for felony theft, felony theft of a motor vehicle, theft of property, and burglary of a building. He also is a person of interest in eight active theft and burglary investigations in Dickson Co.

Walton is 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, with dark brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information concerning the location of Walton is asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 931-648-0611, the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office at 615-789-4130, or the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office at 731-364-5454.

You can also call Crime Stoppers at 931-645-TIPS (8477) or visit www.P3tips.com/591. Crime Stoppers offers up to a $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons involved in a crime. All callers remain anonymous.

 

UC Man Charged With Aggravated Assault

Union City, Tenn.—A Union City man was arrested for aggravated assault after a witness saw him shoot a gun during an argument at a housing complex in Union City.

Cortes Thornton, age 34, of 216 Pryor St, was arrested by police in the 900 block of Mercer St. after the incident.

Police were called to Eastgate on a report of shots fired and a witness said she was at the office and was picking up trash in the parking lot when she heard an argument and saw Cortes pull out a handgun and shoot it.

Guns Stolen From Vehicle

Union City, Tenn.—Union City Police are investigating the theft of guns from an unlocked vehicle in a private driveway overnight Wednesday.

Two Remington shotguns were stolen from a truck parked in the driveway at 1208 Walker St. The owner said he usually locks his vehicle, but must not have on this occasion. One of the guns has a wood stock and the other a synthetic stock.








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