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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Glo For A Cure Raises $20,000 For CF

Union City, Tenn.—The Glo for a Cure run was another huge success Friday night as a large group of runners/walkers gathered in downtown Union City to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Research. Participant Brent Hinson said over $20,000 was raised this year. Over four years, the local organization has raised over $75,000. The Glo for a Cure run began its first year in April of 2013. The first run raised $9,000. The run is dedicated to Ada Rogers, who was diagnosed with CF as an infant and is hosted by her family and friends.(Brent Hinson photos).


Bed Races, Demo Derby Cancelled Due To Weather

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The weather played havoc on the World’s Biggest Fish Fry’s kick-off activities Saturday morning, with both the Bed Races and the Demolition Derby being cancelled.

Fish Fry General Manager Josh “Smokey” Taylor said a make-up date will be announced for the Demolition Derby, but there will be no make-up date for the Bed Races. “We only had a couple of calls about the Bed Races anyway, so we’re just going to go ahead and cancel that one,” Taylor said.

Overnight and morning rain made it impossible to move equipment onto the arena at the fairgrounds for the Demolition Derby today, he said. “As soon as we have the make-up date, we’ll announce it.”

The early morning Hush Puppy 5K race was held, with 49 runners running between the rain drops.

A Look Back At The Fish Fry

Paris, Tenn.--With the annual World's Biggest Fish Fry upon us, let's take a look back at the past events when all of the activities and the parade were held in downtown Paris. In photo, large crowds enjoy the parade in 1956. 

There's Something For Everyone At Fish Fry

What everyone has look forward to when the fish tent opens this week. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The biggest week of the year for Paris is upon us: the annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry. Specifically, the 64th annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry and it begins tomorrow and runs through April 29.

This year’s event will mix old and new, with bed races being added to this year’s schedule. The activities will be held all over: the fairgrounds, downtown Paris, Henry County High School, Paris Elementary, and of course, the grand parade which is held on East Wood St.

Three events will kick off the fish fry on Saturday, April 22: 5K Hushpuppy Dash at 8 a.m. at HCHS, bed races at noon in downtown Paris and the demolition derby at 7 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

The street dance, which used to kick off fish fry activities, will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, April 24, in downtown Paris. Free admission, with music by the Ray Lewis Band of Paris.

This year’s carnival begins Tuesday, April 25, and runs through April 30, at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Also set for April 25 is the Country Dance, with music by The Legends, for $5. That also is held at the fairgrounds.

The fish tent will open at 5 p.m. Wednesday, with the traditional ‘hush puppy toss’, which will be performed by the year’s Hostess Princess Jasmine Jones. The fish tent will be open from Wednesday through April 29. Price for fish dinners this year is $12 for adults, $8 for children. All you can eat catfish, hush puppies, beans, slaw, French fries and drink. The fish tent is located at the fairgrounds.

The Christian Concert will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m., featuring the Brett Perkins Band, admission $5 at the fairgrounds, with the arts and crafts show opening Thursday and running through Saturday, also at the fairgrounds.

The annual IPRA Rodeo will be held three nights Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the fairgrounds.

The Grand Parade begins at 10 a.m. Friday, April 28, and follows the same parade route along East Wood and onto Fairgrounds Rd.

A car show will be held at 9 a.m. at Paris Elementary School on Saturday, with the annual Small Fry Parade set for 10 a.m. downtown, followed by the catfish races. The Junior Fishing Rodeo will be held at 11 a.m. at Williams Lake.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Items Stolen From Abernathy’s Recovered; Five Nabbed


           Gary Venable                  Britton Primm               Teth Ammons


                            Sara Ammons                             Ashley Walding

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.—Five people were arrested Thursday in Weakley County after a large amount of stolen goods was found on property at which they were living—including items stolen from Abernathy’s in Union City.

The five people were also arrested on drug charges after meth, hydrocodone pills and drug paraphernalia was found at their home.

The five are: Gary Lamar Venable, age 38; Britton Alan Primm, age 30; Teth Ammons, age 34; Sara Ammons, age 24; and Ashley Walding. Both females gave their addresses as Ripley, Tenn., while the three males told investigators they lived at 422 Old Salem Rd., near Martin, where the arrests were made.

On a tip, investigators from the Weakley Co. Sheriff’s Office went to the Old Salem Rd. address searching for the stolen four-wheeler. Before officers arrived, a second call came in saying someone was moving the four-wheeler.

When Investigator Marty Plunk arrived, he saw someone driving a Polaris Razor into the garage at the address. According to Capt. Randall McGowan, the person who rented the apartment gave permission for deputies to look in the garage.

Inside the garage, Plunk located a motorcycle stolen from Lauderdale, Tenn., a car stolen from Madison Co. and the Polaris Razor stolen from Abernathy’s.

A search warrant was then obtained and more items believed stolen from Abernathy’s were recovered. Deputies also found meth packaged for resale, hydrocodone pills, scales, meth pipes and a small amount of cash, McGowan said.

Investigators found another four-wheeler stolen from Lauderdale Co., a second Polaris Razor stolen from Abernathy’s. Both are valued at $27,000 each.

All five people arrested are charged with theft over $1,000, theft over $2500, theft over $10,000, and one count of possession of meth.

McGowan said the case is still under investigation and investigators from Lauderdale Co., Obion County, Union City, Martin, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Jackson Police are involved.


Butterflies Are Free

Paris, Tenn.—The children in the W.G. Rhea Library Pre-School Story Hour had an experience Thursday morning they won’t soon forget. With Children’s Librarian Kayla Nation and Library Director Connie McSwain, the children released butterflies that were hatched in the pre-school room earlier this week. McSwain purchased a kit several weeks ago that include larvae, food stuff and other equipment and a total of nine butterflies were hatched inside a netted cage on Saturday and Sunday. Nation and McSwain took the children outside where there were a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as the butterflies were released. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Learning By Doing Good Deeds

Paris, Tenn.—With the Plus Endowment Program grants in the Henry County School System, learning comes in all forms. Second graders at Lakewood Elementary got a lesson in doing good for all creatures recently. The classrooms of Ms. Wimberley and Ms. Banks enhanced their reading curriculum by offering incentives to students to read more books. After each student accumulated a set number of accelerated reading points, they earned dog treats/food/supplies. The students then took the items to both animal shelters in Henry County: the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Animal Shelter and the city of Paris shelter. In photo, students are shown donating their items at the city of Paris shelter. (Plus Endowment photo).

Officers Find 778 Ecstacy Pills In Side Panels

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.—Two men from Indiana were arrested early this morning on drug charges by Union City Police when, thanks to the department’s K9 “Bator”, 778 Ecstacy pills were found in the side panels of their car. Their car was seized, as was $42,000 in cash also found in the car.

Dairon Merritt of Gary, Ind.; and Larry Saulsberry of Evansville were arrested on possession charges and window tint violation. Merritt also was arrested on a felony warrant from Indiana on charges of drugs and handgun possession and maintaining a nuisance building.

The car they were driving was stopped in the 1100 block of North Everett Blvd. a little after midnight on a window tint violation. Officers smelled a masking odor coming from the passenger seat and saw Merritt trying to cover a small amount of marijuana on his lap.

The driver Saulsberry told officers there were no drugs or weapons in the car and gave permission for a search. An empty clear baggie was found in Saulsberry’s shoe. The K9 “Bator” alerted on the driver’s side door and officers disassembled the panels and found wedged in the back eight baggies containing 778 Ecstacy pills.

Abernathy’s Offers $25,000 Reward

Union City, Tenn.—Abernathy’s of Union City is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspects in the latest burglary at the business. 

Video surveillance footage shows that the burglary happened between 1:30 and 2 a.m. Easter Sunday.  

The list of items stolen includes two 2017 Polaris Rzr 1000 Gold Rock Editions, one Honda 420 Green Rancher, and one 2017 Polaris Turbo Titanium.

Abernathy’s has been robbed repeatedly in the past couple of years. The video shows that entry was made through the back fence.

Obion County Students To View Simulator

Union City, Tenn.— The West TN Distracted Driving Simulator will be set up at Obion County high schools next week. The simulator visit is made possible by a grant from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office and will be set-up at Union City High School on Monday, April 24th, with South Fulton High School on Tuesday, April 25 th, and Obion County Central High School on Wednesday, April 26th.

The Union City Police Department in conjunction with the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office will be traveling to the schools to promote their campaign, Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving.

 High school students from Union City, South Fulton and Obion Central will get to experience first hand the devastating effects of texting and driving by operating the interactive driving simulator that illustrates the grim effects of distracted driving or driving while impaired. 

Union City Police Lt. Melvin Dowell said, “According to the “Young Drivers Crash Rate Rankings” for 2016 for Obion County, we have the 38th worst ranking in the State of Tennessee, that’s 303 crashes. By utilizing the simulator, the Union City Police Department along with local law enforcement agencies are enthusiastic that this can become an ‘eye opening’ experience for our young drivers.”

McKenzie To Get Dollar Tree

McKenzie, Tenn.—The city of McKenzie will be getting a new store—but not the one they had expected.

After building has dragged on for four years, construction of the 8,400 square foot retail store the Highland Drive and Oak Street intersection has been promised by the builders. However, originally intended as a Family Dollar Store, it now will be a Dollar Tree.

Construction is expected to begin (yet again) over the next few weeks. 

The McKenzie Municipal Regional Planning Commission was informed of the change at its recent meeting. 

“Kids Got Talent” Set

Union City, Tenn.—The Carl Perkins Center will hold a “Kids Got Talent” contest at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at the Masquerade Theatre at 120 S. First St. in Union City.

Contest entry fee is $15 and admission is $5. First place is $100 cash.

Marching Patriots To Hold Car Wash


Paris, Tenn.—The Henry County High School Marching Patriots will be holding a car wash from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Advance Auto Parts on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris. They will be asking for a $5 donation.



There is also going to be a Hog Pullin' event hosted by the Christian Motorcycle Association at Commercial Bank back parking lot across the street on Saturday. So come get your cars washed and eat some delicious BBQ, and with Fish Fry week starting up, and not to mention all the pollen on the cars this time of year, there is definitely a great chance this car wash is going to be very successful, according to Spokesperson Sara Kollmann.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

$54,200 Raised Today For Pollack Family

Sheriff Monte Belew being interviewed at today's fundraiser by the Channel 2 and Channel 5 news crews from Nashville. (McFarlin photo). 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A whopping total of $54,200 was raised today for the Pollack Family at the benefit fundraiser sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Monte Belew said of the total, $40,000 will be placed in a trust fund for Lillie and Rose at $20,000 each, with the remaining $14,200 to be deposited into the account for them already set up at Security Bank and Trust in Paris.

Lillie and Rose, ages 13 and 8, lost their parents, two sisters and brother in a fire at their home earlier this month. They are now being cared for by their grandmother.

Belew said the sheriff’s office “would like to sincerely thank each and every citizen who either donated, brought baked goods, ordered sandwiches or participated in any way in the Pollack Family Fundraiser.”

Belew said the sheriff’s office anticipated there would be a large turnout but did not realize just how big the turnout would be for the benefit today at the fairgrounds.

“This would not have been possible had the community not have come together in unison to support this cause. While no monetary amount could even scratch the surface as the loss this family has endured, we hope that this fundraiser and complete and total outpouring of community support will shine some kind of light on the Pollack’s, especially Lillie and Rose,” he said.

“We would also like to thank all of the businesses and citizens for patiently waiting through long lines and waits. While we knew this would be a large turnout, there was no way possible for us to plan for the amount of support that was received,” he said. “This truly shows how caring and united the good folks of Henry County are. Today we have come together as one for a worthy cause”

“Oh, and if anyone had planned on grilling burgers tonight we hope you already have buns…because we bought em ALL!” 

Huge Crowd Turns Out For Pollack Benefit

Ray and Richar Summers are interviewed by Channel 2 in Nashville as they wait in a long line at the benefit. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A huge crowd is on hand today for the benefit for the Pollack family being held at the Henry County Fairgrounds. The event is sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and chicken and steak sandwiches are being served to hundreds of people who were waiting in line.

Before the event even started, 2000 people had called in to pre-order meals, according to Captain Damon Lowe. “We have 3,040 sandwiches and we’re hoping that’s enough,” he said. Sheriff Monte Belew thanked everyone for their help with the benefit. “This is why Henry County is the Volunteer County of the Volunteer State.”

Volunteers helping the sheriff’s office include members of the Rescue Squad, Lakewood School 7th grade teachers and students, and many individual volunteers.

Five members of the Pollack family were killed in a fire at their home earlier this month, leaving two surviving sisters, Lillie, age 13, and Rose, age 8.

Several news outlets from Nashville and Jackson were on hand to cover the benefit.

The benefit will continue into the afternoon. 

Captain Adam Jenkins, center, organizes meal distribution with Investigators Gary Vandiver and Scott Wyrick, while Deputy Clyde Sulcer, Deputy David Powell and Jackie Belew work in the background. (McFarlin photo).

Suspect Still At Large After Search

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.—A suspect from Union City is still at large after a chase involving multiple law enforcement agencies and car crash Wednesday night in Weakley County.

Christopher J. Simpson, age 36, of Union City, is being sought by the Martin Police Department following a domestic call involving a firearm and on the new charge of felony evading arrest.

The Martin Police were called to 440 Hwy. 431 around 10:35 p.m. last night to assist the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office with the domestic call.

Simpson had left the scene and a short time later, Martin Patrolman Nicholas Combs made contact with him on Skyhawk Parkway inside the city limits.

According to Captain Phillip Fuqua, Ptl. Combs stopped the vehicle just north of Old Fulton Rd. 

Fuqua said, “During that traffic stop, the offender was ordered to show his hands and the offender sped away in his vehicle.  A short time later, the offender crashed his vehicle into a tree at the intersection of Brandon Road and Haygood Road outside of the city limits.”

Simpson then fled the crash scene on foot in to a nearby woods. 

The Weakley County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded and began a search for Simpson, which was unsuccessful.

A-P Association Buys Property For Community Project

USDA Officials Mary Hickman and Joel Howard present info at last night's meeting. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association have purchased dilapidated property at 311 Jackson St. in Paris and have begun planning its use as a community park or garden.

The two-story property originally was a residence, but in recent years additions have been constructed to the property, which has been divided into small apartments. Over time, it has become an eyesore.

Concerned members of the A-P Association donated money so that the Association could purchase the property. The city plans to demolish it under its Preserve Paris program.

USDA Officials Mary Hickman and Joel Howard were on hand at the A-P meeting Thursday night to extend a helping hand to the group.

A-P President Ed Roberts said, “Now that we own it, we have to figure out what we want to do with it. And we want it to be a community project.”

Howard said funding would be available from the USDA for a community project for the site, “But I would advise you not to be in a hurry to decide what to do with it. You need to really think about it and plan it.”

Ideas such as transforming it into a community garden or park and to install a Little Library on the property were suggested.

A committee was formed to begin planning use for the property.

Hickman and Howard also told the group of other programs available through USDA to fix up other dilapidated properties in the neighborhood. Hickman said USDA is currently partnering with the city of Paris and has made numerous presentations for the public on the programs. “It’s a win-win for everybody. You put the property back on the tax rolls, you give the owner equity and you make the community look better,” Hickman said.

In other business:

A-P Association Treasurer Annette Douglas informed members of a Kroger program under which you can use your Kroger card to provide rebates to the A-P Association.

Member Rachel Terrell said the second annual Neighborhood Yard Sale will be held May 13. Anyone wanting to participate can pay $5 to the Association by the deadline of May 6. The Association will take care of registering the yard sales with the city. Maps will be distributed to the public showing where all the sales will be.


Civil War Days This Weekend At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.—One of Discovery Park of America’s most popular events is this weekend—Civil War Days. Free with park admission, the event is held Friday-Sunday and includes reenactors, weapon demonstrations, cannon firings and a dinner theater. The encampment will be set up all three days. Special events will be held all three days.

On Saturday night, the “Civil War Letters” dinner theater will be presented on the Great Lawn with the cast from The Badgett Playhouse in Grand Rivers, Ky. Enjoy a chuck wagon steak with all the fixings and then travel back in time to 1861-1865.

Tickets are still on sale for $35. Call Discovery Park at 731 885 5455 for more information.


Construction Of Splash Pad Underway

McKenzie, Tenn.—Construction has begun on the new splash pad in downtown McKenzie. The attraction is located on city-owned land near the railroad depot. Plans are that it will be completed by June, but state inspectors must give it the go-ahead before it can be officially opened.

The splash pad is funded by a state grant with a 50 percent match. Overall, the grant is valued at $500,000. Local cost is expected at some $60,000 in cash, plus the appraised value of $105,000 for the real estate, plus in-kind labor.

The splash pad is one part of a master plan for the space, which also will include a skate park, disc golf, farmers market and outdoor theater.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

McKenzie Flooding Creates Hazards

A car is submerged in floodwaters this afternoon. (Tammy Travathan photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McKenzie, Tenn.—At least two cars were swept up in floodwaters in McKenzie during this afternoon’s severe storm. No injuries were reported.

As usual, two areas were hardest hit by flooding—the low area on Main Street by Block City Pizza and Highland Ave. by the train overpass.

One car was almost totally submerged near Block City. The car was swept up in the floodwaters and a dispatcher at the McKenzie Police Department told WENK/WTPR that officers helped the people in the car get out safely.

In another incident, a car was pushed along by flooding in the parking lot at O’Reilly’s on Highland Ave. and ended up in the ditch. The dispatcher said that motorist was able to get out of his car on his own.

McKenzie Police had a few streets blocked off during the storm due to the high water, she said.

By 3:30 p.m., most of the flooding had dissipated except for the area in front of Block City Pizza.


Main Street UC To Host “Brainstorming Breakfast”

Union City, Tenn.—Main Street Union City will host a “Brainstorming Breakfast” on Friday morning at Commercial Bank at 127 South First St.

Main Street Director Kristi Townes invited everyone to join in for updates and to share new ideas on the revitalization and rediscovery of downtown Union City. All businesses, building owners and interested parties are invited.

For more information, call Townes at 731 885 8330.


Soldier Arrested For Murray Shooting

Murray, Ky.—An active U.S. soldier wanted for a shooting in Murray is now in jail in Missouri, awaiting extradition to Kentucky.

A warrant was issued for Monyea Williams, age 20, on a charge of first degree felony assault following the shooting at Welch Court in Murray in February. The warrant was issued by District Court Judge Hutchens after Murray Police investigators followed a network of information that identified Williams as the individual who shot Kendarion Jennings in the parking lot of 51 Welch Court.

Williams is stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and was visiting Murray when the shooting occurred.

Murray Police were assisted in the investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command at Fort Leonard Wood. U.S. Marshals were notified of the arrest warrant and on Tuesday, they apprehended Williams at the base.

He is currently detained in the Pulaski Co. Jail in Missouri.

Rescue Squad Certification

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Rescue Squad recently conducted certification and recertification classes and new members learned how to enter a car by cutting through the roof. Squad Official Carol Tedford said they learned where to make the cuts to remove the roof and how to break the glass so the roof could be removed. (Carol Tedford photo).


UC Council Develops Park Plan

Union City, Tenn.—Union City City Council Tuesday night adopted a five-year master plan for Graham Park that will involve approximately $4.3M worth of improvements.

Council also approved a TIF designation for Graham Acres, which is a tax incentive program for the property, which will see the development of two new hotels next to Discovery Park.

At a busy session, Council also voted to donate $100,000 to the Carl Perkins Center in Martin, which is constructing a new building. Currently, 70 percent of those who are served by the center are from Obion County.

In other business:

Council authorized $350,000 for renovation of the recently-acquired Simmons Bank Building across from City Hall. The site will be used for the Police Department.

Council leased 380 acres in the industrial park to Chad Everett Farms for $160 per acre. The land is farmed each year until it is needed for industry.

Council also approved a job description for a full-time IT Administrator.


School Project Worker Injured In Dresden

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.—A worker at the Adult Learning Center in Dresden was injured Tuesday morning and is now in stable condition at The Med in Memphis.

The Dyer man was working on the improvement project at the Learning Center when he lost his balance on a scaffold, grabbed a hot wire and fell to the floor, hitting his head.

The worker was a member of the crew working for the Weakley County Schools on the project, which is managed by Henson Construction of Jackson.

Owner Cary Henson told WENK/WTPR that the worker is in stable condition at The Med, suffering from fractured ribs and a head injury. “We’re optimistic. Everything looks as good as it can at this time,” Henson said.

The worker, whose name has not been released by the school district, was first transported to Tennova Volunteer Hospital and then airlifted to The Med.

That’s A Lot Of Marijuana

Kuttawa, Ky.—Now, that’s a lot of marijuana. Kentucky State Police Troopers located 75 pounds of both marijuana edibles and high grade marijuana during a traffic stop near Kuttawa in Lyon County, Ky.

On Tuesday, KSP Troopers T. J. Williams and Lewie Dodd, assigned with the Post 1 Interdiction Team, stopped a vehicle near the 47 mile marker in Lyon Co. for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, Troopers observed indicators of criminal behavior and subsequently searched the vehicle.  During the search, Troopers located marijuana edibles as well as over 75 pounds of high grade marijuana.

Michael D. Wilson, age 37, of Edmonds, Washington was arrested and charged with Trafficking Marijuana Greater than Five Pounds (Felony). Wilson was lodged in the Caldwell County Jail.

The investigation is continuing by Master Trooper Lewie Dodd. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentucky State Police Post 1 at 270-856-3721 or anonymously at 1-800-222-5555.   


Witter To Perform Manilow At UC

Union City, Tenn.--From a very early age, Jim Witter’s parents knew he was destined for the stage. “We would get phone calls from neighbors saying how much they were enjoying Jim’s concert. Turns out he was on our front porch belting out tunes for anyone who would listen,” says his mom about the then 4-year old.

Witter is now performing on bigger stages, including the one at the Union City Civic Auditorium. He is scheduled as the closing concert for the 2016-17 Obion County Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County concert series. The performance, sponsored by Magnolia Place Assisted Living, will begin at 7:30 p.m. April 22.

Individual tickets are currently available at Lanzer Printing and Office Supply in downtown Union City for $20. He will be presenting “I Write the Songs: The Music of Barry Manilow.”

Witter has been performing since he was a child, and professionally for the last 30 years. In 2001, Witter produced and starred in “The Piano Men,” a musical journey through the ’70s featuring the hits of Billy Joel and Elton John. The show, which he brought to Union City in 2010, was a nod to his musical heroes growing up, and was an immediate success.

Witter still lives in Southern Ontario with his wife of 25 years, Rebecca, and their four children, James, Roslyn, Ryan and Luke.

For more information about Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County, visit online at


Car Crashes Into Union City McDonald’s

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.—A passenger was injured when a car slammed into the side of the Union City McDonald’s Tuesday.

Police and EMS units were called to McDonald’s at 1108 Marshall Ave. to respond to the accident.

Driver Judy Glenn of Union City told officers she had an issue with her brakes, crossed the curb and struck the side of the building, breaking the plate glass window and causing significant damage to the bricks on the west side of the building.

Passenger Margie Smith was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital by her son with knee pain.


Trip To Space Center Planned

Paris, Tenn.—The Henry County Office on Aging will be on the road again and this time on a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The Office on Aging is partnering with West Tennessee Motor Coach for the trip, set for Thursday, May 18. The group will leave around 6:30 a.m. from the Central Services Building. It takes about three hours to get there, so they will stop along the way for breakfast. The group should be back in Paris between 4 and 10 p.m.

Forty people are needed for the trip. Cost is $63 per person, which includes transportation and admission cost. This does not include meals or extras. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center does have places you can eat at the center.

The trip is open to everyone in the community. For more info, call Reggie Caldwell at 642 2919, Barbara Pearson 644 3193 or West Tennessee Motor Coach 644 0860.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Homicide Investigation Underway In Martin

Martin, Tenn.—The Martin Police Department is releasing very little so far on a homicide investigation that got underway this morning.

Martin Police responded to 70 Lester Lane around 9:08 a.m. today in regards to an unresponsive male at the scene. EMS personnel pronounced the male subject deceased and investigators from the Martin Police responded.

Martin Police Captain Phillip Fuqua said the deceased is identified as Charles C. Graves, age 51, of that address, and that the case is being investigated as a homicide.

Fuqua said further that more details will be released when it is appropriate and the information is available.

Short-Line RR To Open In Union City

Old Gulf, Mobile & Ohio railcar in Union City.

Union City, Tenn.—Union City Native Brent Lee has railroading in his blood and is returning to his hometown to run his own short line railroad. 

The Union City Terminal Railroad is an eight-mile stub of the former Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad line between Union City and Rives, Tenn., where it connects to the Canadian National main line. Lee told Trains Magazine that he expects to debut the new short line in May.

Lee spent 24 years with the Burlington Northern and BNSF Railway in track maintenance and train service. He told Trains Magazine, “I was born and raised in Union City. I always had the idea if I ever wanted to short line something, it would be that line.”

Lee currently is Operations Vice President for the Indiana Business Railroad of Evansville, Ind. The company owns six miles of track in Indiana, but the Union City Terminal will be the company’s first short-line operation.

“Free Dump Day” Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.--The annual “Free Dump Day” at the Paris Henry County Landfill is scheduled for Saturday, April 22. Hours for this day are 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. (Gates will be locked at 3 p.m.).

The landfill accepts only 3/4 waste. If you have a mixed load with construction and trash, there will be a fee. Additionally, tires and household furnishings are not free as these are deposited in areas other than the Landfill.

Also located on the landfill property is a transfer station used to transfer Class I refuse to a landfill operation in Mayfield.

Anything not listed in the Class ¾ Landfill would be dumped in the Transfer Station and not subject to the free day. ONLY materials free on this day will be concrete, shingles, dry wall, brush, and wood. If anything is in bags it will have to go into the building and there will be a fee.

If you have questions you may call the Landfill at 731-644-1737. The Paris-Henry County Landfill is located Jones Bend Road.

UC Penney’s Closing Delayed

Union City, Tenn.—Customers of the J.C. Penney Store in Union City will have a little more time to shop there. Six weeks more, to be exact.

The Union City store is on the list of 138 stores that J.C. Penney earlier announced it would be closing due to a lack of sales.

But since its announcement, sales have increased at those stores.

J.C. Penney spokeswoman Daphne Avila said, “Ever since the company announced its store closure list, those stores have seen better-than-expected sales and traffic. This is not an uncommon response when you announce a store closure. Local shoppers will come out for a variety of reasons—some out of nostalgia and some who are just looking for a great deal.”

As a result, the retailer has postponed the liquidation sales and closure dates for the 138 stores it plans to close, CNBC is reporting.

The liquidation will now begin May 22 instead of April 17 and the new closure date is July 31, six weeks later than originally planned.


Tickets On Sale For “April In Paris”

Walt and Sally Peterson in their Spring finest. (DPA photo).

Paris, Tenn.--“April in Paris” is more than a song or a season. It’s a dynamic fashion event and luncheon in Paris, Tennessee. The event takes place at the Paris Winery Tuscany Room on Friday, April 21st from 11 am to 1 pm and benefits the Downtown Paris Association (DPA).

The show and luncheon feature local models in popular spring fashions from downtown women’s clothing boutiques including Boutique Mari Mac, Maggies, and Southern Roots Boutique as well as men’s fashions from The Toggery. While fashion is the drawing card, this is also a selling event, according to DPA Director Kathy Ray. Merle Norman Cosmetics and Doterra Essential Oils with Christie Nichols will be have merchandise for sale and available to answer questions about their products.  Throughout the luncheon we have many great door prizes provided by Cadillac Jack Design, The Iron Place, Jack Jones Flowers & Gifts, Jack’s Java, Jaspe` Salon, Kin Folk Boutique, Lura Lee’s of Paris, My Favorite Things, Paris Winery, and Queens of Paris.

Guests will be served a Salad Extravaganza of chicken salad, pasta salad, and Caesar salad with butter croissants and a delightful strawberry short cake dessert, tea and water. The Paris Winery will offer wine selections at an additional cost.

Tickets to “April in Paris” Spring Fashion Luncheon are $20 per person and may be purchased from fashion sponsors and the Downtown Paris Association, 203 N. Fentress Street or by emailing or calling 731-653-PARIS (7274).

Refuge To Host Event On Insect Pollinators

Springville, Tenn.-In honor of Earth Day, the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is hosting an event on Saturday to celebrate an important worker in nature, our insect pollinators. The event will be held from 10 a.m. -3 pm at the refuge visitor center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville, TN. The day will feature speakers and activities that focus on Monarchs and other butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators.

Partner organizations assisting with the day include the Friends of Tennessee NWR, Quail Forever, Camden Garden Club, Kentucky Lake Beekeepers Association, University of Tennessee Ag Extension, and Quail Forever.

A series of speakers will present programs that will include:

• 10:00 am - Danny Kimberlin – Monarch Conservation

- Friends of Tennessee NWR

• 11:30 am - Bernie Leslie/James Hinton – Bees and Beekeeping 

- Kentucky Lake Beekeeper’s Association

• 1:00 pm - Carol Reese – Native Gardening for Pollinators

- Ornamental Horticulture Specialist

• 2:00 pm - Glenn Lee – Insect Pollinators

- Entomologist

The day will also include activities for the family on the back patio. A demonstration bee hive will be on hand provided by the Kentucky Lake Beekeepers Association. Quail Forever will be making seed balls as well as letting children plant a demonstration pollinator patch. A children’s corner will be on hand with kid’s activities led by Laura French that will include time with butterfly nets. Entomologist Glenn Lee will have many insect/butterfly items to show tell and families will be encouraged to plant seed cups with the Friends of Tennessee NWR. The Camden Garden Club will have milkweed and other native plant sets for sale as well as information about growing these important plants to help our Monarch butterflies.

The Refuge holds monthly free programs held at the new refuge visitor center and sponsored by the Friends of Tennessee NWR that attempts to connect people with nature. For more information about upcoming Refuge programs or about the refuge in general, please call the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 731-642-2091 or see our website at or on facebook at

Cruisers For Christ BBQ Lunch Set

Paris, Tenn.—The West Tennessee Cruisers for Christ will hold its 10th annual Hog Pullin’ BBQ from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the back parking lot at Commercial Bank and Trust on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris.

All Proceeds to the Christian Motorcyclist Association’s Run for the Son. 

Plate lunches of BBQ, beans, slaw and drink for $7. Sandwich only is $5.

Pre-orders to Sara Kollman at 363 3445.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Courthouse Dome To Be Repaired

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—Storm damage repairs at the Henry County Courthouse dome will begin Wednesday. At Monday evening’s Henry County Commission meeting, Mayor Brent Greer said parts of the dome flew off during the major wind storm that blew through the county earlier this month.

Monday’s meeting was another record-breaking, lasting only 12 minutes.

Sheriff Monte Belew invited everyone to the benefit for the Pollack family that the sheriff’s office will be holding Thursday at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Ribeye and chicken sandwich plates will be served for $8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Five members of the Pollack family were killed in a fire, leaving two small girls, Lily and Rose, who are now living with their grandmother.

Greer announced The National Day of Prayer service will be held at noon May 4 at the courthouse.

In other business, the commission authorized the county to apply for a Litter and Trash Collecting grant from TDOT and appointed members to the Board of Equalization: Ralph Anderson, James Hamilton, Brenda Hosford and Albert Wade Jr.


Grill To Be Auctioned For Pollack Family

From left, Captain Adam Jenkins, Chief Deputy Damon Lowe, Sheriff Monte Belew with donated grill. (HCSO photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A new Primo grill has been donated and will be auctioned off for the Pollack Family benefit set for Thursday. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will be holding the benefit from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Sheriff Monte Belew said the grill was donated by “a caring individual”. The grill will be auctioned off and all proceeds will go to the Pollack children, as will all proceeds from Thursday’s benefit.

The value of the grill is $1,000. To bid on the grill, call 336-4699. The sheriff’s office Facebook page will regularly post the high bids. The grill will be on display at the fairgrounds during the benefit and you can also bid that day.

The winning bidder will be announced at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Ribeye and chicken sandwiches and plates will be served for $8.

Five members of the Pollack family were killed in a fire at their house in Buchanan, leaving two surviving children Lily and Rose.

Greer Named HCHS Basketball Coach

Paris, Tenn.--Henry County High School has named long-time West Tennessee coach Mike Greer as the next varsity basketball coach for the Henry County Patriots. Greer has 30 years of experience coaching at the junior high, high school, and collegiate levels. During his time in Henry County during the 2012-13 season, Greer led the Patriots to a semifinal appearance at the regional tournament. Greer played basketball and graduated from Benton County High School, where he has been inducted into the Benton County Athletics Hall of Fame, and Union University.

During his career, Greer has been named Coach of the Year 12 times, has 22 former players who have advanced to play at the collegiate level, and has 14 former players and assistant coaches who are now head coaches.

Joining Greer as an assistant coach will be Roddy Adkisson. A graduate of McKenzie High School where he played basketball and of Bethel University, Adkisson has been involved with the Inman Bulldogs basketball program for three years and was the Grove Patriots freshman coach prior. In his two years as head coach at Inman, Adkisson holds a 34-9 record, advancing to area five tournament play both years and to the second round of sectionals in the 2016-17 season.

“We are looking forward to Coach Greer being our head coach at Henry County High School and moving with his family to our community.” said Athletic Director Mike Poteete of the announcement. “I hope that everyone gives him full support as he works with the basketball team at HCHS. I feel Coach Adkisson will be a tremendous asset to our basketball program with his knowledge of the game and his relationship with many of the players he has coached.”

Of the new coaching staff, HCHS principal Michele Webb said, “We are excited for Coach Greer and Coach Adkisson to join us at Henry County High School and know they will do a great job working with our young men. We look forward to them providing a strong program of basketball for our boys while developing men of character. We look forward to filling Gamlin Gym next season to cheer on our Patriot basketball teams."

WBFF Headquarters Open Every Day

Paris, Tenn.—The World’s Biggest Fish Fry is upon us and the Headquarters is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will be open this Saturday from 10:30-2 p.m. The phone number of the Headquarters is 644-1143.

The Headquarters is located on East Wood St., in front of the Paris Inns and Suites.


Paris Landing Easter Egg Hunt Draws Crowd

Buchanan, Tenn.—A large crowd with Easter Eggs on their minds were at Paris Landing State Park Saturday afternoon for the annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department and the state park. Fire Chief Reggie Coles said, “A total of 4,000 eggs were found by the children in approximately two minutes.” Coles gave a special thanks to Air Evac for being on hand for the event to show the children and their families one of their helicopters and answer questions about Air Evac. (Reggie Coles photos).

Fish Fry Kicks Off Saturday With Races, Demo Derby

Bed Race Is New Event

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The World’s Biggest Fish Fry will kick off this Saturday with three events that are sure to get everyone’s energy flowing. The 5K Hushpuppy Dash gets underway at 8 a.m., followed by a new event for the Fish Fry—bed races—which will be held in downtown Paris at noon. The day will be capped off with the always popular Demolition Derby, set for 7 p.m.

The bed race event is new to everyone at the Paris-Henry County Jaycees, which sponsors the Fish Fry and General Manager Josh “Smokey” Taylor said they’ll be starting out small this year.

Registration will begin at 11 a.m., followed by judging at 11:30 p.m., with the race itself at noon. Everyone will meet at the First United Methodist Church parking lot at the corner of Blythe and Poplar Streets, he said.

Judging will be in the Best Decorated category this year, Taylor said. “With this being new to all of us this year, we’ll just start out with Best Decorated and add more categories other years,” he said.

The race will be one-eighth of a mile and will follow a route from Blythe to Brewer Streets and back. Entry fee is $75. You can pre-register for $50 at either the Fish Fry headquarters on East Wood Street (in front of Paris Inns and Suites) or online at the World’s Biggest Fish Fry website.

The 5K Hushpuppy Dash will be held again at the Henry County High School. Registration begins at 7 a.m., followed by the race at 8 a.m. 

Entry fee is $20.

The Demolition Derby will be held at 7 p.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds. To enter, the fee is $40. Admission is $10, with children aged 6-10 for $5 and children under five for free.

The annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry runs from April 22-April 29.

College Big Bass Bash To Return To Paris Landing

Buchanan, Tenn. - The Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series has announced after a record turn out in 2017, the tournament will be returning to Kentucky Lake and Paris, in March 2018. 


"Henry County is excited to again host the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash on Kentucky Lake.  We look forward to this event every year and enjoy watching these young adults representing colleges from all over the nation enjoying the outdoors," said David Hamilton, CEO of the Henry County Alliance. 


This event has turned into one of the biggest events in all of collegiate bass fishing. In 2017, with well over 500 anglers from 84 schools from across the nation competing, this was the largest event in the history of the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series. Over $30,000 in prizes were awarded to the anglers in 2017, and 2018 is expected to be bigger and better on all fronts.

Break-Ins Reported At UC Businesses

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.—Two Union City businesses experienced a burglary and a break-in late last week.

Several items of clothing and shoes were stolen from 5 Seasons at 627 E. Reelfoot Ave., with the burglars gaining entry from the roof. According to the police report, the suspects got in by pushing a shipping roller in the back of the building and climbing to the roof, where a brick was used to break the glass out of the top story window.

Several items of clothing and a Nike shoe were found in the parking lot of Fred’s.

Another break-in was reported at Soleil Garden Center at 2317 Nailing Dr. Surveillance video shows two white men entering the business by jumping over the front gate around 5 a.m. Friday. One man was heavy set with a Yeti shirt and a white and black ball camp. The other man was medium build with a long-sleeve Tennessee shirt, white ball cap with a dark spot on it.

Nothing appears to have been taken from the business but the video shows them walking around inside the garden center.


A-P Association To Discuss Community Garden

Paris, Tenn.—The Historic Atkins-Porter Association will meet Wednesday evening at the Paris Bethel building on Lake Street. Snacks and visiting with neighbors begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7 p.m.

The program will include a presentation on neighborhood landscaping by River Byrd, former owner of Wildwood Garden Center, followed by a presentation by Mary Hickman and Joel Howard of the USDA on possible plans for a community garden at 311 Jackson St.

A door prize will be awarded at the meeting. The public is invited to attend.


Office On Aging Begins Zumba Classes

Paris, Tenn.--The Henry County Office on Aging/Conger’s Senior Citizens Center located on 55 Jones Bend Rd Ext, Paris, Tennessee (Central Community Building) is offering Zumba Classes every Monday Morning from 9-9:45 p.m. The teacher is Janice Thomasson, Licensed Zumba Gold Instructor. Wear comfortable clothes, shoes and bring water.

What is Zumba Gold: Zumba Gold is a low-impact class for older adults. It focuses on balance and moving at your own pace. For those recovering from injuries, have physical limitations, or who want a fun, exciting, Latin-inspirited, 45-minutes workout.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

              Happy Easter From WENK/WTPR 


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dino Egg Hunting At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-Hundreds of visitors from several states were on hand for today’s Dino Egg Hunt at Discovery Park of America. Over 10,000 Easter Eggs were scattered across the Great Lawn for children under 12 to hunt. The crowd also enjoyed the other activities, including bounce houses, face painting, and balloon animals. The event was sponsored by Crosswind Church. (Photo by Brent Hinson).

THP Releases Names Of Persons Killed In Crash

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Holladay, Tenn.-The Tennessee Highway Patrol has released the names of the persons killed in Thursday night’s chain-reaction crash on Hwy. 140 near Holladay. All those killed were members of the same family, all from Grenada, Miss.

Persons killed in the accident are: Driver Gregory Sledge, age 38; and two passengers, Tommy Sledge, age 58; and Joretha Sledge, age 61.

According to the new information released this morning by the THP, a total of 10 vehicles were involved in the accident. Earlier reports from the THP indicated a total of 12 vehicles were involved.

Three persons were injured in the accident, although the report does not indicate the extent of their injuries: Passenger Michelle Miller of Little Rock; Driver Veronica Langley, age 22, of Sparta; and Driver Kimberley Bennett, age 51, of Germantown.

Other drivers involved in the crash were from Red Boiling Springs, Manchester, Arkadelphia, Joppa, Md., Culleokat, Tenn.; and Harbor Beach, Mich.

According to the report, the chain reaction happened when a semi driven by Eric Bufford of Hohenwald caught on fire at the 126 Mile Marker on Hwy. 140. Vehicles directly behind him stopped and others began slowing down and more vehicles began crashing into each other along the highway.

Trooper Mikeal Little investigated.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Two Found Guilty Of Illegal Turkey Hunting In HC


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director


Paris, Tenn.—Two hunters were found guilty of illegal turkey hunting in Henry County and were sentenced in Henry County General Sessions Court following a plea agreement.


On Sunday, April 2 around 10 a.m. TWRA Officers Greg Barker and Steve Brewer responded to a call regarding illegal turkey hunting on Freeland Road in the Buchanan area, according to Barker.


Barker said upon the TWRA Officer’s arrival, one wild turkey was discovered that had been shot and killed.  “Upon further investigation two individuals were questioned and charged with shooting and killing two wild turkeys with a .22 caliber rifle from their motor vehicle, a 2003 Ford Focus, while traveling Freeland Road,” Barker said.


The two further admitted to shooting at another turkey just a short distance down the road but not hitting that turkey, according to Barker.


The two: Austin B. Elkins, age 22, from Buchanan, and Tracy L. Pritchett, age 21, from Dexter, Ky., were both charged with five wildlife violations each.  


They appeared in General Sessions Court before Judge Vicki Snyder on Thursday, April 13, and entered guilty pleas on all charges in a plea agreement with the State of TN and Assistant District Attorney General Adam Jowers.  


According to Barker, the agreement is as follows:


  Shooting from a public road, $50 fine + $260.50 court costs.

  Hunting from a motor vehicle, $50 fine + $260.50 court costs.

  Violation of manner and means of hunting, $50 fine + $260.50 court costs

  Illegal taking and possessing wild turkeys, $50 fine.  No court costs assessed on this charge.

  Hunting without a license, charge dismissed 

  Hunting privileges suspended for 2 years

  Austin B. Elkins had to pay an additional $1,000 in restitution for the turkeys. 

  Both individuals were placed on unsupervised probation for 6 months.


Counterfeit Money Being Circulated

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police Investigator Jeramye Whitaker is warning the public of counterfeit money being circulated in the Henry County area. “Businesses and the general public need to be aware of this,” he said. A close look at the counterfeit money will find that it says ‘For Motion Picture Use Only’ on it. “Otherwise, the money looks real,” Whitaker said. “Please take a second look at your money as you receive it. The most common bills we are seeing at this time are $50 and $100.”

Adora, Sophie Learning The Ropes

Paris, Tenn.—Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his new K9 bloodhound Adora were training yesterday with Jason Corbitt and his bloodhound Sophie at the Eiffel Tower Park in Paris. Corbitt and Sophie work for Four Rivers K9 Team, a search, rescue and recovery operation. Both Adora and Sophie are pure bloodhounds: Adora is seven months old and Sophie is three years old and they’re learning their paces. As most everyone knows, Fuqua is also the handler for the famous Cisco, who is renowned for his tracking abilities. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


New Water Slide Being Installed At Paris Pool

Paris, Tenn.—Work has begun constructing the new slide at the City of Paris swimming pool and Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence said the slide will be ready for the pool’s opening on Memorial Day. The new slide will feature three large tubes of different colors. Benny Lugo and Cavin Deavers of Perfect Settings in Columbia, Tenn., have been doing the installation. Lawrence said the tubes will arrive next week. Pool prices will be increasing this summer, from $3-$6 for the daily fee. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Obion Co. Central Student Attends Summit

State Representative Bill Sanderson visits with OCC High School student Garrett Syndor and Gibson EMC Official Debbie Weatherford.


Nashville, Tenn. –Obion County Central High School student Garrett Syndor were in Nashville for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s annual Youth Leadership Summit. The juniors were chosen and sponsored by Gibson Electric Membership Corporation. Peabody High School Student Chloe Cates also attended.

In addition to a hands-on look at state government, delegates to the event learned team-building and problem-solving skills and developed a better understanding of their local electric cooperatives. They also met State Legislators and watched debates at the House and Senate.

Delegates to the Youth Leadership Summit are encouraged to be leaders and use their talents to improve rural Tennessee. “These students will soon be our community leaders — and electric cooperative member-owners,” said Gibson EMC President and CEO Dan Rodamaker. “We want them to share our passion for rural America, so it is an honor for Gibson EMC to help prepare them for the opportunities that are ahead. The future of our rural communities depends on a new generation of strong leaders like these.”

Gibson EMC is a private, local not for profit, member-owned and member-controlled electric cooperative.  It serves almost 39,000 members in parts of 12 counties in west Tennessee (Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Obion and Madison) and four west Kentucky counties (Carlisle, Fulton, Graves and Hickman). 

6am – 7pm

van cleef & cartier bracelet

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