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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Annie Moses Band To Appear At KPAC

Paris, Tenn.-The renowned classical crossover ensemble Annie Moses Band will be performing their show, Rhapsody in Bluegrass, at the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris, at 5 p.m. October 5.

Tickets are available at Tickets are $10 reserved and $15 the day of the show.

With recent debuts at Carnegie Hall & the Grand Ole Opry as well as a hit PBS special to their credit, the Annie Moses Band is wowing audiences with their distinctive blend of roots, classical, and jazz. Fiery strings, beautiful vocals, and a rocking rhythm section make this a perfect event for the music lover. 

Golf Tournament To Benefit REAL Hope

Paris, Tenn.-The 2nd Annual Knights of Columbus golf tournament to benefit REAL Hope Youth Center will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Paris Landing State Park.

4 Person Scramble at $260 per team. $50 hole sponsorship. Cash prizes will be awarded, beginning with $500 for first place.
Hole-in-one sponsored by Joe Mahan Ford. Includes: Golf/Cart/Complimentary Lunch/Prizes/Closest to the pin/Longest drive/Mulligans for purchase/and much more.

Call Dustin Smith at 731.336.1524 or email at

Punt, Pass And Kick Event Set For Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring the annual NFL / PEPSI Punt, Pass and Kick event. This year the competition will be at Grove stadium in Paris, Tenn. 

The Event is for boys and girls 6-15 yrs old.

The event will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday September 27. Participants are required to have a copy of birth certificate and no cleats to participate. Contact Tony Lawrence for additional information @ 644-2517.

Monday, September 22, 2014

New ESN Created For Henry/Carroll Section
Bone Marrow Donor Match Found For Shankle

Henry County 911 Board listens as Director Mark Archer (at end of table) gives reports. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With the establishment of the new ESN 150 (Emergency Service Network) adjoining parts of both Henry and Carroll Counties, Henry County 911 Director Mark Archer said he will be meeting October 10 with Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson, Carroll County’s 911 Director and City Fire Chiefs.

Archer said at Monday night’s meeting of the Henry County 911 Board that the new ESN was formed since the area is “a multi-jurisdictional area”. It is located along the Hwy 22-Caledonia Rd.-Perry Schoolhouse Rd. section.

With the new ESN, Archer said after the meeting, “Even though it’s located in Henry County because of where it’s located, when people there call 911, it will go to Carroll County. If they need the fire department, their calls will go to either McKenzie or Henry-we haven’t decided yet on that.”

Archer said, “This will just reduce confusion in that area.”

EMS Director Twila Rose shared the good news that a bone marrow donor has been found for former EMS Director Mike Shankle. Rose said Shankle will be facing “a long, hard road. This is a long process and a bad process. It takes about a month and it involves about 10 days of chemo.“

A bone marrow drive was held in recent months for Shankle and other local people needing bone marrow. Rose said, “We never will know if the donor came from our local drive, but we do have a match for him.”

Board Chairman John Etheridge said, “We’ll be keeping Mike in our thoughts and prayers.”

The 911 systems in West Tennessee were in the news last week, with problems reported in neighboring counties. Wireless callers were unable to connect with 911 and the state EMA sent out emergency alerts to cell phones notifying them of alternate numbers to call.

Archer said , “What happened was strictly about wireless phones and they weren’t just having problems with calling 911, but with regular cell phone calls getting the circuits mixed up.“

Henry County did not experience problems and all of the county’s cell calls are now being routed through Chattanooga instead of Memphis, where the problems originated, Archer said. However, after the alerts were sent out to cell phones, “We received over 100 calls to our 911 center from people starting to panic, not knowing what was going on.”

The problem is still not fixed, but is being worked on, he said.
Hopefully, the state will have a different system when it needs to send out alerts in the future that do not alarm people, he said.

In other business:

Archer reported the training room at the 911 office is now equipped with 18 new computers that were donated by Commercial Bank and Trust. “The room has been set up and ready for the police, sheriff, fire departments--anyone who wants to use our facility for training.”

Buchanan Man Arrested In Dozier Murder

               Toby Carter

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A 37-year old Russwood Drive man is being held on $1 million bond, charged with the death of Bobby Dozier, 80, who was found dead last week on a remote section of Tennessee Trail Rd.

At a press conference Monday morning, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew announced the arrest of Toby B. Carter, 383 Russwood Dr. on charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping. He will appear in Henry County General Sessions Court Tuesday morning. Other charges are possible against Carter.

Belew said he was taken into custody along with his parent by sheriff deputies and the Metro Crime Unit on Hwy. 641 shortly after they left a business establishment along the Lake Highway.

Dozier, of Clarksville, was found last Tuesday afternoon on Tennessee Trail. Dozier had a lake house in New Concord. His body was found a short distance from the road on a remote gravel road, his car was found at Progressive Baptist Church in Paris and his dog was found on Port Rd.

Belew attributed the quick work of the investiation to four reasons: the hard work of the sheriff’s office, Paris Police and Metro Crime Unit investigators, the work of the newly-formed Crime Scene Technician unit at the sheriff’s office, the cooperation of the investigative agencies involved, including District Attorney Matt Stowe’s office and the fast examination of the DNA evidence by the TBI lab.

Belew said investigators determined the identity of Dozier’s attacker and developed information that he was inside a business establishment on the Lake Highway Friday night and after he left, officers made a traffic stop.

Belew said Carter was arrested without incident. His step-father Billy Ray Schafer, 63, was arrested for driving on a suspended license and his mother Kathleen, both of the same address, charged with public intoxication.

Bond of $500 was set on each of the Schafers and both posted bond and were released from jail.

Belew said the new Crime Tech Unit consists of Sgt. Eddie Forrest, Deputies Katherine Tosh and Wes Bradley. He said the unit has been working for a month on other cases, but this is the unit’s first murder case.

“As Mr. Dozier is being laid to rest today,” Belew said, “we are happy that we are able to arrest a career criminal and put him behind bars.” Carter recently was released from an Illinois penitentiary. His arrest record includes arson and thefts.

Captain Damon Lowe said the family has lived in the local area for several years.

Belew declined the comment on the manner of Dozier’s death or the motive and said the investigation continues.

Lowe said although the investigators are continue to follow leads in the case, “We are 100 percent confident that we have the killer of Mr. Dozier.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew (at podum) announces arrest in Dozier murder. From left, Chief Deputy Randy Gean, Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing and Investigator Adam Jenkins. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Tina Turner Museum To Open Friday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Brownsville, Tenn.--The long-awaited Tina Turner Museum will open September 26 in Brownsville, near the tiny town of Nutbush, where Turner was raised.

The museum devoted to one of the premier queens of rock and roll will be housed in the restored Flagg Grove School, the one-room schoolhouse the singer attended as a child. The Flagg Grove School began its days in the rural Flagg Grove community and was moved to the site of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in 2012.

Turner has fully sanctioned the new museum and has donated a monetary contribution as well as a large amount of memorabilia which has not been previously seen by the public. She also has been helping the museum’s organizers for several years, sharing her personal memories of growing up in Nutbush.

The museum will feature Turner’s stage costumes, video, audio and commentary that has been personally contributed by her and her team.

Delta Heritage Center Executive Director Sonia Outlaw Clark said a number of Turner's childhood classmates will be in attendance at the opening, which will begin with a press conference at 10:30 a.m. The museum will be open to the public starting at noon.

The museum opening will kick off the 2014 edition of Tina Turner Heritage Days, an annual two-day celebration for Turner which is held in and around Brownsville. The event includes walking tours, a photo contest, a tribute contest, and a fan gathering and picnic. Visit for more information.

Anna Mae Bullock was born November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, which is located way off the beaten path in Haywood County.

Until the late 1960s, Flagg Grove School served African-American students in the northwest portion of Haywood County. It began as a subscription school, with each student paying $1 a month, then became part of the public school system. The school was restored in recent years.

Tina Turner's childhood school. (Photo courtesy of Tina Turner Museum).

Semi Driver Arrested For Hit And Run At Church

Martin, Tenn.-A church was heavily damaged after a semi truck smashed into it and left the scene Friday in Martin. The driver was later found and arrested on charges of striking a fixed structure and vandalism, with further charges pending.

Reginald McKenzie of Port St. Lucie was arrested after witnesses saw the truck smash into the Miles Chapel Church on Jackson Street and drive off.  Martin Police made contact with him later and determined that the damage to his trailer was consistent with the substantial damage to the structure.

Martin Police read him his Miranda rights, after which he admitted he had hit the church. He also said he had three weeks experience.

According to the police report, the driver was acting disoriented and acting odd and he voluntarily agreed to drawing blood for a toxicology test. Martin Police said further charges may be pending after results of the test are received.

UC Driver Arrested After Colliding With Car, Tree, Mailbox

Union City, Tenn.-The driver of a car that struck a parked car, along with a mail box and a tree, was transported to the hospital with injuries.

Renesha Moffat of Union City was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital by the EMS after the accident, which occurred on South Fifth Street in Union City.

According to the police report, she ...was traveling north on South Fifth, entered a yard, struck a mail box, continued through the neighboring yard, crossing Florida Street and into another yard there, striking a parked vehicle and then going on to strke a tree, then crossing Sixth Sreet before finally coming to rest.

Moffat’s blood was taken by officers following the accident.

FUMC To Host "Noon Time In Paris"

Paris, Tenn.-The First United Methodist Church in Paris will host “Noon Time In Paris With Bishop William McAlilly” at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 27.

The 42nd annual gathering is sponsored by the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church. It will feature photos by the Eiffel Tower, lunch in the Bon Appetit Café, browse the boutiques that will be set up at the church and enjoy French pastries.

To register, call 901-747-4432.

MSU Family Weekend Begins Friday

Murray, Ky. — Students and their family members can feel right at home during Murray State University’s upcoming Family Weekend starting Friday, Sept. 26. There will be a wide range of events all weekend sure to cater to everyone in the family.

Family Weekend is a free event held by Murray State to encourage family members to be involved with their students on campus. MSU’s first home game will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27, starting at 7:30 p.m. and everyone is invited to join in on tailgating before the game. Each family can reserve up to six tickets when they register for Family Weekend online.

Registering for Family Weekend is simple. Online registration is open until Friday, Sept. 19; walk-up registrations will be accepted during Family Weekend. Registration for each family is $10, which includes access to the Welcome Reception Friday evening, lunch and dinner on Saturday, brunch on Sunday and tickets to the MSU football game against Jacksonville State University.

For the complete schedule of events and more information on Murray State’s Family Weekend, go online at

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Spreading Cheer At Noon On The Square 

Paris, Tenn.-Kay Foust of Commercial Bank and Trust is always a welcome sight at the Noon On The Square events which are held every Friday in September. At Friday's event, which included the Boss Hoss parade downtown, Foust greeted everyone and handed out free pens. The full story and more photos from Friday's Boss Hoss parade were posted on our website and two Facebook pages on Friday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Unoccupied Home Destroyed In Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-An unoccupied home on North Market Street in Paris was destroyed by fire Saturday night.

Paris Firefighters responded to the call around 9:30 p.m. and found the property at 1315 N. Market Street fully involved in fire when they arrived.

Firefighter Jason Osbron said the home was unoccupied with no electricity. It is a single story frame home. The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.

Osbron said firefighters returned to the scene three of four times during the night when it rekindled.

Great Time At PES Fall Kickoff

Photo: Principal Chip Gray, Becky Cate and Sanna Anderson having fun at the whipped cream eating contest. (Kim Patterson photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A great time was had by all at the annual Paris Elementary School (PES) Fall Kickoff event Friday night. PTO Spokesperson Kim Patterson said there was a great turnout with many highlights of the night.

Principal Chip Gray and some teachers ended up with whipped cream on their faces at the evening’s whipped cream eating contest. Art Teacher Jessica Hart was the winner of the competition and Patterson said, “Fun was had by all”.

The Adrenaline Rush Inflatable Obstacle course was a kid favorite for the evening, she said, as was the Inman Bulldog. The Inman School Watchdogs organization volunteered during the night and provided PES with “much appreciated support”, Patterson said.

The Book Swap booth also was a big hit--as well as providing a lesson in the environment and reading. PES students could bring in five books and swap them for five other books.

The Inman Bulldog was a big hit with the kids from PES.

Hungry For Goodies At Hazel Day

Hazel, Ky.-One of the busiest tables at today's Hazel Day Celebration was the one at which the ladies from Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church of Puryear were selling baked goods. More photos from Hazel Day were posted Saturday on our website and two Facebook pages. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Armed Robbery Suspect Extradited
Kevil, Ky.-The Paducah man wanted in connection to the Ballard County Bank armed robbery last week has been extradited to Kentucky and lodged in the Ballard County Detention Center. 

Haywood "Wesley" Jones waived extradition before a Missouri judge on Saturday evening and was immediately transported to Ballard County, where he faces robbery and handgun charges for his role in a Wednesday bank robbery in Kevil. 

Jones was developed as a suspect in the robbery after review of additional surveillance footage as well as tips from the public. Haywood Jones was on probation for drug offenses at the time of the robbery.

As we reported Saturday, Jones was wounded by gunfire while being arrested.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

News Conference Set on Dozier Murder

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew has scheduled a news conference for 9 a.m. Monday morning to update the media on the latest in the investigation into the homicide earlier this week of Bobby Dozier, 80, of Clarksville.

Dozier's body was found Tuesday morning in a remote area of Tennessee Trail Rd. His car was found earlier Tuesday at Progressive Baptist Church on Rison Street in Paris, and his dog was found on Port Rd. 

Dozier had been staying at his lake house in New Concord.

Hazel Crowded For Annual Celebration

Hazel, Ky.-A large crowd filled Hazel all day Saturday for the 25th annual Hazel Day Celebration. Top photo, the Grove School cheerleaders taught the crowd how to “Roll, Red, Roll”. In photo are: Abigail Wilson, Alyssa Hughes, Haylee Valentine, DaeShuana Aldrige, Shaelynn Rogers, Brylyn DeMarini, Sarah Luna, Madison Aiosa and Julia Dye. Bottom photo Stephanie Kennedy and Olivia Rice sold mums and pumpkins for Kennedy Farms of Puryear. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested, Wounded By Gunfire

Cairo, Ill.-A Paducah man wanted in connection to a Ballard County Bank armed robbery has been located and detained. 

Just after noon on September 20, Cairo Illinois Police and the Illinois State Police responded to a reported shooting in the city limits of Cairo. Upon their arrival, officers located 25-year-old Haywood Jones. Jones was a party to the shooting and received multiple gunshot wounds. Jones was transported by ambulance to a Southeast Missouri hospital for treatment. Upon his release from the hospital, he will be jailed on the Kentucky Warrant and await extradition. The Illinois State Police are investigating the Cairo shooting incident.

The Kentucky State Police earlier obtained warrants on Haywood W. Jones for Robbery 1st degree (class B felony), and Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon (class C felony).  
He was considered armed and dangerous.  

Week 4 Friday Night Football Scores:

Union City 65, South Fulton 8
Martin Westview 15, Milan 14
Dresden 26, Hollow Rock-Bruceton 13
McKenzie 52, Gleason 6
Camden Central 40, Lewis County 22
Gibson County 42, Halls 26
Henry County 42, Rossview 20
Humboldt 27, Greenfield 0...
Peabody 56, Lake County 14
South Gibson 34, Obion County 3
Murray 44, Marshall County 3
Mayfield 21, Graves County 0
Caldwell County 55, Fort Campbell 7
Eldorado 42, Fulton City 6

Discovery Park Hosts Lewis And Clark Event This Weekend

Ed Eller, Carol and Phil Hesley are just a few of the participants in period costume this weekend. (Mitzi Hailey photo).

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park in America is hosting the Lewis and Clark Expedition Period Campsite and Demonstration this weekend and crowds are already touring the sites and getting a feel for the time period in the early 1800s in which Lewis and Clark embarked on their historic--and treacherous--expedition.

The event is still going on today and Sunday. From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, Discovery Park invites the public to visit the period campsite and learn what life was like for these now famous explorers from 1803-06 on their journey west. 

Each day opens and closes with raising and retiring of the colors, a special presentation of the Star Spangled Banner as our nation’s flag’s history and meaning are explained. 
A replica of the 55’ Keel Boat that completed every river mile the Expedition covered will be on site at Discovery Park throughout the weekend. 

This boat is thought to be the only boat that has ever replicated the Journey of the Cops of Discovery over 200 years ago. 

Period Keelboat being set up on the DPA grounds. (Mitzi Hailey photo).

Boss Hoss Vehicles Draw Attention

Paris, Tenn.-Another Boss Hoss vehicle that attracted a lot of attention at Friday's parade in downtown Paris was this contraption. The 15th Annual Mid-South Motorcycle Festival and Boss Hoss National Rally is in Henry County this weekend and its activities shift to Paris Landing State Park today. The full story and more photos were posted Friday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

State Unemployment Rate Increases

Nashville, Tenn.– Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for August was 7.4 percent, three tenths of one percentage point higher than the 7.1 July revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for August was 6.1 percent, down from 6.2 percent in July.

Economic Summary
· Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate decreased from 8.4 percent to 7.4 percent while the national rate declined from 7.2 percent to 6.1 percent.
· Total nonfarm employment increased 6,700 jobs from July to August. The largest increases occurred in accommodation/food services, administrative/support/waste services, and durable goods manufacturing.
· Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 59,000 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation/utilities.

Quota To Contribute Billboard For Imagination Library

Stephanie Tayloe and Quota Woman Of The Year Peggy Adams. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Quota Club will be contributing to a Dolly Parton Imagination Library billboard. The billboard was requested by the Friends of the Library in honor of the Imagination Library’s anniversary.

At the recent meeting of the Quota Club, it also was reported the club presented a book to the W.G. Rhea Library in honor of Peggy Adams, 2014 Quotarian of the Year. The book is “Majolica” by Marilyn G. Karmason with Joan B. Stacke.

Ladies celebrating Quota Anniversaries were honored:  Mary Kathryn Moore – 23 years and Jane Wilson – 3 years; for a total of 26 years of service.

Melanie Townsend reminded everyone of the annual Hog Killing to be held at her house on Tuesday, October 14th.  She will have sign-up sheets at the next meeting.

The Membership Committee will host a Membership Tea at 5 pm at the First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, September 30th.  Quotarians are asked to come and bring a prospective member.

The McDonald’s Burger Bash will be November 4th for 3 hours.
The club is contributing to a Dolly Parton Imagination Library billboard, which was requested by 

The next meeting will be an in-house auction on September 24th.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Boss Hoss Roars Into Henry County For Festival
Zaricor: "We Love Henry County"

Gary Ries from outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, in his custom-made vehicle. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The unique Boss Hoss motorcycles roared into Paris today and this year some of the vehicles were even more unique than usual.

Over 500 motorcyclists are in Henry County for the 15th Annual Mid-South Motorcycle Festival and Boss Hoss National Rally this weekend at Paris Landing State Park. 

Boss Hoss Spokesman Doug Zaricor said the Boss Hoss participants “love Henry County. We think Henry County is wonderful, from the government to the police to the people we meet here. Every agency we deal with when we’re here is super easy to work with. The Paris Landing people, the sheriff’s department, the local police. Everyone bends over backwards to accommodate our annual visit.”

With some 500 expected this year, he said, “this will be one of the highest numbers we posted since we started coming here.” Contributing to that, he said, is the beautiful weather expected for the weekend.

Each year, a highlight of the motorcycle festival is the parade of Boss Hoss vehicles through downtown Paris to coincide with the Noon On The Square festivities that are held every Friday in September. Noon On The Square is sponsored by Commercial Bank and Trust.

New this year for the Boss Hoss event is a Hoss 5K run to be held at 8 a.m. Saturday at Paris Landing. Cost is $15 and registration is at 7 a.m.

Other activities at Paris Landing include the BBQ CookOff, bike show, musical entertainment and nightly social functions. During the day, inflatable jumpers, face painting and trinkets will be available for the children.

“Any activity we have this weekend is open to the whole community,” Zaricor said.

A check of the license plates on the motorcycles this year found people coming from as far as Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, George, Louisiana, South Carolina and Maryland.

One man who traveled from outside St. Paul in Minnesota is Gary Ries, who came in one of the more unique vehicles seen here. His custom-made vehicle resembled a silver space ship and it quickly was surrounded by people wanting to hear all about it and take photographs of it.

Boss Hoss motorcyclists lining up after the parade into town. (McFarlin photo).

Springville Man Injured In Kentucky Collision

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Bardwell, Ky.-A 66-year-old Springville man was injured this morning in Carlisle County, Ky., when the semi he was driving overturned on U.S. 51.

Thomas Seabaugh was transported by ambulance to the Jackson Purchase Medical Center in Mayfield. No report on his condition is available.

According to the report released by the Kentucky State Police, Seabaugh was traveling north on Hwy 51 when he said he met another tractor-trailer traveling south that crossed the center line. Seabaugh veered off the shoulder of the roadway and lost control. His tractor-trailer, loaded with logs, overturned.

One lane of the highway was shut down for four hours while crews cleared the scene. 

Kentucky State Police was assisted on the scene by the Carlisle County EMS, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Bardwell Police Department, Bardwell Fire Department, and the State Highway Cabinet.

Lane Closures Expected In Henry, Obion County Next Week

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Motorists in Henry and Obion Counties can expect some temporary lane closures next week, according to the West Tennessee Construction Report released by the Tennessee Department of Transportaion.

In Henry County, resurfacing work will cause temporary lane closures in both directions daily on Hwy. 641, from South Market St. to State Route 54 (West Wood Street). Also, resurfacing work will cause temporary lane closures in both directions daily from State Route 69A to State Route 76.

In Obion County, resurfacing work will cause temporary lane closures in both directions daily, from North Fork Obion River bridge to U.S. 51 (State Route 3).

MSU Breathitt Veterinary Center Breaks Ground

Murray, Ky. — Thursday’s groundbreaking for the new Breathitt Veterinary Center (BVC) began a project that will lead to increased opportunities for the facility to continue and expand its support of the agriculture industry, not just in West Kentucky, but also throughout the state, the region and the nation.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear attended the groundbreaking ceremony, along with MSU President Bob Davies, and Linda Breathitt, who is a member of the Kentucky Public Service Commission and a family member of former Kentucky Gov. Ned Breathitt for whom the facility is named.

“This is a day we have all looked forward to,” Beshear noted. “One of my top priorities throughout this administration was to strengthen our agricultural economic growth in the commonwealth and folks, we are finally going to build the MSU Breathitt Veterinary Center.”

The new facility will replace the existing BVC, which at 40 years old has become functionally outdated. The Breathitt Veterinary Center, a part of the Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State University, is a nationally preeminent animal disease diagnostic laboratory dedicated to protecting the assets of Kentucky’s equine, livestock and poultry industries by providing the fastest, most accurate and most dependable diagnostic service possible.

The new BVC laboratory, to be located on the MSU Hopkinsville Regional Campus, will be a $32.4 million, 53,000 square feet facility and will feature expanded laboratory space to support testing, research and student learning.

The veterinary center is certified by the Centers for Disease Control to test for “high impact” diseases of concern to the state, region and nation. This new facility will have a Biological Safety Level 3 laboratory suite for the safety of lab personnel and the community when working with specimens of high concern to animals and humans. In fact, the BVC is the only BSL3 animal diagnostic lab in Kentucky.

Lewis & Williams, Knott's Landing Buildings Sold At Auction

Paris, Tenn.-Both the former Knott’s Landing Restaurant and former Lewis and Williams grocery store properties on N. Poplar Street were sold at auction Thursday, along with all of the equipment inside Knott’s Landing. A huge crowd was on hand.

Doug Taylor of Doug Taylor Auction Service said Friday morning the Lewis and Williams building sold for $10,000 to a couple who are in England right now. The property, which most recently housed ReSale History, was heavily burned by fire in December of last year. 

He said the new owners intend to remodel it. The building is still structurally sound, Taylor said, and auctioneers opened it up for prospective buyers to look through. It has been boarded up for several months.

All of the Knott’s Landing equipment was sold Thursday, Taylor said, as was the building. The building was sold to B&R Properties, he said. “I know they won’t be reopening it as a restaurant since we sold all the equipment separately. I think they might be planning to remodel the building, maybe make two buildings out of it and rent it out.” 

Taylor declined to comment on the sale price for now. “I hate to say right now because we haven’t closed on it yet,” he said.

Huntingdon Native Serves On Zumwalt

Bath, Maine – A 2003 Huntingdon High School graduate and Huntingdon, Tenn. native is serving aboard one of the Navy’s newest and most advanced ships: the destroyer Zumwalt (DDG 1000), which is currently under construction at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. 

According to an article written by Lt. Chad Murphy of Navy Outreach, Petty Officer 1st Class John Hastings is an cryptologic technician aboard the Zumwalt, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2016. Once the Zumwalt is commissioned, it will receive the familiar United States Ship (USS) designation and become USS Zumwalt.

Built with a stealth-like design intended to reduce the ship’s radar profile, the Zumwalt’s futuristic appearance seems fitting given that the ship’s commanding officer is Capt. James Kirk.

The ship has advanced technologies in every area – engines, power systems, weapons systems, shipboard electronics and sensors – making it one of the world’s most capable ships. When at sea, Zumwalt will perform a variety of missions including attacking targets on land with gunfire and cruise missiles, hunting and tracking submarines, airspace surveillance and support to special operations forces.

Zumwalt is named in honor of Adm. Elmo R. “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., who served as chief of naval operations, the Navy’s most senior uniformed officer, from 1970-1974.

Hastings said it is an exciting time to be in the Navy, helping to build a crew and a ship from scratch, something he never expected to be doing just a couple years ago. He also said he is proud of the work he is doing to help commission and man one of the Navy’s newest ships. As a 29 year-old with numerous responsibilities, Hastings said he is learning about himself as a leader, sailor and a person. “When I joined the Navy I was 20 and ‘leadership’ wasn’t in my vocabulary,” said Hastings. “Now I’m part of something that is bigger than I could ever be on my own. I’ve been reading about the idea of this ship since before I joined. I thought about what an honor it would be if I ever got picked to be part of something so new.”

Reelfoot Rural Ministries Distribute Supplies To Over 600 

Obion, Tenn.-Reelfoot Rural Ministries recently distributed school supplies for 612 students in northwest Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky. According to Rural Ministries officials, that is 57 more students than it served last year.

An agency of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, Rural Ministries offers a variety of services to those in need within the span of four counties. This includes dental clinics, clothing and food distributions and children’s day care. In 2004, the ministry began soliciting school supply donations from United Methodists within the conference and then giving them to children in need.

“Each pack of pencils or backpack helps a child achieve the ultimate goal of graduation,” RRM Executive Director Rev. Robert Craig said before the 2014 donation drive began.

He explained that parents and grandparents had difficulty providing these items for many reasons ranging from health problems and unemployment to rising utility bills during summer breaks. RRM school supply gifts equip children to learn while also taking financial pressure off their families.

For more information about RRM or its services, visit

Local WestStar Alums Attend Soybean Luncheon

Martin, Tenn. – Local alumni of the UT Martin WestStar Leadership Program attended the ninth Annual Tennessee Soybean Festival Barbecue Luncheon sponsored by Mayor Randy Brundige on Sept. 5 in Martin. Each year, Brundige invites WestStar alumni to attend the event and also visit the Tennessee Soybean Festival in downtown Martin. The luncheon is held at First State Bank. Pictured left to right from Henry County are Emory Bradley, Michele Atkins and Tony Lawrence. (UTM photo).

Chamber Hosts Tourism Training

Paris, Tenn.-Rose Owens, left, of Home Sweet Home Bed and Breakfast, and Linda Zanaty, of Eiffel Gardens, participated in a geography map challenge as part of a culture heritage tourism customer training seminar at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce facilitated by Lose and Associates, a firm working with the Tennessee River Trail Association, a coalition of counties along the Tennessee River. (Chamber photo).

Tickets On Sale For Roots Of Rhythm

Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale now for the upcoming Roots of Rhythm performance Tuesday, September 30 at the Krider Performing Arts Center. The event is sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Arts Council and begins at 7 p.m.

The musical experience tells the history and geography of where our musical heritage came from. Performed by UT Martin Percussion Group and joined the HCHS Madrigals, the evening promises to be a body moving, hand clapping, fun filled learning event for all ages. 

Students are $5 and adults are $10 for tickets which can be bought at the PHCARTS office, from any Council Member, any Friends of the Arts Member, Leach’s or Merisons. 

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

Quinn Chapel Women's Day Set For Sunday

Paris, Tenn.-The Quinn Chapel Church annual women’s day will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, September 21. Guest speaker will be Janice Payne McClain.

Chairpersons for the event is Mrs.Freddie Williams, Ms. Katherine Pittman and Mrs. Wanda Todd.

According to Todd, the annual women’s day banquet was held last weekend and Katherine Pittman was crowned the Woman of the Year.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ohio Authorities Set $1 M Bond On Froman

Dayton, Ohio--WHIO-TV in Dayton, Ohio, is reporting that bond was set at $1 million Thursday for a man police say killed his ex-girlfriend and her teenage son and led police on a multi-state search that began in Paducah, then onto Mayfield, Ky., and ended on I-75 outside of Dayton.

Terry Froman, 41, of Brookport, Ill., appeared Thursday through video arraignment from the Warren County Jail before Lebanon Municipal Court Judge Mark Bogen, according to WHIO.

He was released from a Dayton area hospital on Tuesday evening where he had been a patient since Sept. 12, when he shot himself after shooting and killing Kim Thomas, 34, of Mayfield, in his vehicle that had been stopped by the Ohio Highway Patrol in I-75. Before killing Thomas, he had killed her teenage son Michael Mohney, age 17, in a home in Mayfield.

While still in the hospital, Froman was charged with aggravated murder. Additional murder and kidnapping charges have also been filed against Froman in Kentucky, according to Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon.

Froman has an arrest history for domestic violence, kidnapping and stalking charges in  in McCracken County, Ky. He also has a 2005 arrest for domestic assault in Tennessee, but the charges in that case were later dismissed.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told WHIO this is a possible capital murder case, which means that if convicted Froman could face the death penalty penalty case.

Kentucky authorities say Froman went the morning of Sept. 12 to Thomas’s Mayfield, Ky., home. When he was approached by Thomas’s son, Froman shot him twice at close range, according to Graves County Coroner Phillip McClain.

The coroner in Ohio told WHIO that Thomas was shot multiple times. 

KSP Names Suspect In Armed Robbery

Hickory, Ky. –The Kentucky State Police has named a suspect in the armed robbery of the bank at Kevil, in Ballard County, Ky., earlier this week. 

The KSP has obtained warrants on Haywood W. Jones 25 of Paducah, for Robbery 1st degree (class B felony), and Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon (class C felony). 

Jones is a black male, 5’6” and weighs approximately 160 lbs. Jones may be operating a white Ford Crown Victoria, unknown year, with temporary tags and possibly in the area of Cairo, IL. The Toyota Avalon was located earlier this date and is no longer being sought by KSP. 

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. If you spot this vehicle notify police and do not try to approach the suspect. Anyone with information can contact the Kentucky State Police at (270) 856-3721 or toll-free in Kentucky, at 1-800-222-5555, callers may remain anonymous. The public can also text-a-tip at 67283 and remain anonymous.

TBI Makes Another Arrest In Holly Bobo Case

Decaturville, Tenn. – Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested and charged Dylan Adams, the brother of Zach Adams, in connection with the ongoing case involving the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo. Zach Adams is one of the main suspects in Bobo's kidnapping and murder.

TBI Special Agents began their investigation into Bobo’s disappearance on April 13, 2011, the same day the 20-year old nursing student disappeared from her home.

In the years since her disappearance, there has been an ongoing and collaborative effort among TBI Agents, the 24th District Attorney General’s Office, and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department to thoroughly follow all leads surrounding her disappearance. 

Recently, during the course of the investigation, TBI Agents developed information that on April 13, 2011, John Dylan Adams disposed of items he knew to be of evidentiary value to the case. 

John Dylan Adams is the brother of Zachary Rye Adams, who faces Felony Murder and Aggravated Kidnapping charges in connection to Bobo’s death.

On Wednesday evening, TBI Agents arrested the 26-year-old Decatur County man without incident and charged him with one count of Tampering with Evidence. He was booked into the Madison County Jail, where at the time of this release, he was being held without bond.

Hazel Day Celebration Begins Friday

Hazel, Ky.-The 25th Annual Hazel Day Celebration will be held this weekend and Organizer Alli Hillard said this year’s event will offer a blend of new and familiar activities.

Under the heading of new a...ctivities, this year’s festivities begin on Friday night with the Siren and Strings event, set for 5:30-8 p.m. downtown. The event will offer live music and food, with the greatest hits of all time to be featured.

Hazel Day is Saturday, which is highlighted by the annual parade set to begin as always at 10 a.m. and wind through downtown. The classic car show will be held in the morning at the Dees Street lot, with judging at 11:15 a.m.

The band The Albino Follicles will perform downtown from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the cake walk will be held from 11 to 1 and the petting zoo from 11 to 3 p.m.

Hillard said more new activities include the pie eating contest at 1 p.m. at the Center Street stage and an ice cream eating contest at 2 p.m. at The Cabin. Prizes awarded to winners. Hillard said contestants should bring their own bibs!

All the antique shops in town will be open with sidewalk sales and there will be vendors selling baked goods, food, lemonade, wind chimes, dolls and more.

To see the schedule go to or the Hazel Day page on Facebook.

Tennessee State Wildflowers In Bloom

Springville, Tenn.-The Tennessee State Wildflower-the passion flower-- is in bloom right now and Buchanan Photographer Richard Graves captured a perfect photograph of one on Swayne Point Rd. just outside of the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge. The state recognized the passion flower as the official state flower in 1919 and in 1939, thanks to the efforts of the late Pearl Routon of Paris, the iris also was named the state flower. In 1973, legislation was passed designating the passion flower as the state wildflower and the iris as the state cultivated flower.

UTM Ag Prof Awarded Highest FFA Honor

Martin, Tenn. – The National FFA Organization has named Dr. James Butler, agricultural education professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin, a National VIP. The honor is the highest in the organization and recognizes Butler’s significant contributions and dedication to FFA and agricultural education. 

Butler has a 25-year association with the National FFA Organization. During this time, he has served as a national proficiency judge and a national career development event judge. For the past 12 years, he has served as the co-coordinator for the national meats evaluation and technology career development event.

He has received the honorary state FFA degree and the Tennessee VIP Association VIP award. Butler has also served as a member of the career and technical education state staff in Tennessee and is a member of the Tennessee FFA Board of Directors and technical education state staff in Tennessee. Butler is the collegiate FFA board advisor and coordinates regional and state FFA career development events in livestock, equine and vet science. 

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to almost 580,000 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Bethel Opens Cleveland Campus

McKenzie, Tenn.-A first-of-its-kind education initiative specifically targeting improvement of skills of workers in nursing centers all across the country is being launched through a partnership between Life Care Centers of America and Bethel University. The result will be a newly established Bethel satellite campus in Cleveland, Tenn. 

The announcement is made by Forrest L. Preston, founder and chairman of Life Care, and Walter Butler, president of Bethel this week.

The Cleveland satellite campus will be housed in the former First Tennessee Bank property on Raider Drive, which Life Care is donating to Bethel.

While Bethel will focus on online curriculum development for this initiative, some courses require hands-on training, which can be accomplished in the Raider Drive building. But since Life Care has more than 230 buildings in 28 states, from Massachusetts to Hawaii, and because other long-term care companies can also participate, Bethel will establish linkage with other colleges and universities in key geographic locations to meet the instructor-student requirement.

Washburn Elected Tennessee Press Association President

Knoxville, Tenn.-McKenzie Banner Managing Editor Joel Washburn is the newly elected president of the Tennessee Press Association. He was elected by the Board of Directors to fill the unexpired term of Jason Taylor, who vacated the position when he assumed the position of president and publisher of the Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger and regional president of the U.S. Community Publishing Group.

Washburn served in various positions with TPA boards, including director of TPA, treasurer, and vice president of non-dailies. He also serves on the Tennessee Press Association Foundation’s Board of Trustees. 

Washburn is a native of McKenzie, Tennessee. 

Washburn holds a bachelor’s degree from Union University in Jackson and an MBA from Bethel University in McKenzie. He works as an adjunct professor for Bethel University, teaching business and photography at campuses in Clarksville, Jackson, and McKenzie.
Beside working in the newspaper industry and teaching, he also serves his community through elective office. He was recently re-elected to his third term as a commissioner in Carroll County and recently appointed to the McKenzie Industrial Board. 

Swan Products in McKenzie To Shut Down

McKenzie, Tenn. -- Swan Products in McKenzie is set to be shut down and all of its 40 employees will lost their jobs. It’s another blow to the already shaky economy of McKenzie, which a few months ago lost Rural King.

Swan Products had been planning an expansion, but due to losing a market share in the northeast, the company instead will be closing.

Swan Products manufactures garden and industrial hoses and it is located at 343 Airport Lane.

City officials were in the midst of negotiating the Swan executives on a plan to move from the company’s present location to a new facility to expand.

On Swan’s Facebook page, its last posts were announcing that the McKenzie team hit all its numbers for the second month in a row, with production at 102.5 percent and congratulating the McKenzie workforce on its good job.

New Online Permit Sales for Land Between The Lakes

Golden Pond, KY – Due to recent technical upgrades to the Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area camping and reservation system, permits will now be available for purchase online. 

Permits available online include:

• Hunter Use/Backcountry Camping Combo--$35

• Hunter Use--$25

• Annual Backcountry Camping--$30

• 3-Day Backcountry Camping--$7

• Horse Day-Riding--$7

To access online permits, go to the Reservations and Permits page,, and follow the links.

“We are excited to offer this 24/7 convenience to the public,” says Gary Hawkins, Recreation Specialist at Land Between The Lakes. “People can purchase their permits ahead of their visit so they are ready to camp, hunt, or horseback ride when they arrive. Permits are still available for purchase at Welcome Stations, Golden Pond Visitor Center, and after 5pm at campground gatehouses.”

For more information about these permits, please visit 

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

GOP Women To Host Gathering

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Republican Women is hosting a monthly gathering with guest speaker State Senator John Stevens at noon Friday at the home of Rebecca Griffey, 140 Paul Dr., Paris.

Senator Stevens represents the 24th Tennessee Senate District, which includes Henry, Benton, Carroll, Obion, Weakley and Gibson Counties. 

Everyone is invited to the gathering.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Law Enforcement On Lookout For Armed Robber

Kentucky State Police released a surveillance photo of the car used in today's armed robbery.

Kevil, Ky. –The Kentucky State Police responded to a bank robbery by an armed gunman at the First Community Bank in Kevil at approximately 11:41 a.m. Wednesday. An unknown male approximately six feet tall, entered the bank dressed in camo pants, black and white tennis shoes and a black hoodie. The suspect brandished a handgun and demanded money. 

The suspect left with an unspecified amount of money and unknown direction of travel. It is believed that the suspect’s vehicle is a late 90’s model Toyota Avalon, bluish or grayish in color with damage on the front passenger side and missing the rear passenger hubcap. 

Kentucky State Police Detective John Sims is leading the investigation and was assisted on the scene by the Ballard, and McCracken County Sheriff’s Departments. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. 

If you spot this vehicle notify police and do not try to approach the suspect. Anyone with information can contact the Kentucky State Police at (270) 856-3721 or toll-free in Kentucky, at 1-800-222-5555, callers may remain anonymous. The public can also text-a-tip at 67283 and remain anonymous.

Arrest Made For Pella Bomb Threat In Murray

Murray, Ky.-Kentucky State Police responded to a bomb threat at the Pella company in Murray at approximately 10:30 a.m. today. After an investigation, Kentucky State Police Detective Trevor Pervine charged Jacob V. Scott, 24 of Benton, with two counts of Terroristic Threatening second degree (Class D felony).

The charges stem from a bomb threat that was received on Tuesday, September 16 that KSP was currently investigating and the bomb threat received on Wednesday. Scott was lodged in the Calloway County Jail.

Detective Pervine was assisted on the scene by the McCracken County Sherriff’s K9. The investigation continues by Detective Pervine.

Clarksville Man Found Murdered In Henry County

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, middle, along with Capt. Damon Lowe, left and District Attorney Matt Stowe at this morning's press conference. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-An 80-year-old Clarksville man who went missing from his cabin in Calloway County on Sunday was found dead in a secluded wooded area of the Tennessee Trail Tuesday afternoon. 

At a press conference at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday morning, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and District Attorney Matt Stowe said investigators have developed solid leads but need the public’s help in identifying who is responsible for the homicide.

Bobby Dozier was from Clarksville, but had a cabin in New Concord. His body was found a short distance from the road, which Belew described as “a remote gravel road with no houses in sight.“

His car, a 2010 Ford Focus with Tennessee tag K6229H, was found at the Progressive Baptist Church on Rison Street Tuesday morning. Dozier’s dog was found on Port Road near the new boat ramp on Sunday.

Belew said the local sheriff’s office received a call from the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office Monday asking for help in a missing person case. Belew said the Calloway County authorities said they had been looking in the lake area and had used cell phone tracking technology and determined the missing man could be in the area of the Tennessean Golf Course.

Henry County deputies searched the area until dark Monday and began searching again Tuesday morning. Paris Police Investigator Ricky secured the scene where the car was found. A short time after that, Belew said, Deputy Haley Ramos sent out a dispatch saying that Mr. Dozier’s body had been found.

“At that point, we had to switch gears from a missing person case to a homicide investigation,” Belew said. “The search and investigation have been intense and we were working until late last night with DA Matt Stowe and Assistant DA Paul Hessing.”

Investigators “are pursuing leads aggressively”, Belew said. The victim’s body will be transported to the medical examiner’s office in Nashville this morning.

“We’ll be offering a substantial reward in this case,” Belew said.

Stowe said the public needs to understand, “If anyone thought it was a good idea to commit a murder in the 23rd District, thinking that we were too busy with the Holly Bobo case, they’re sadly mistaken.”

People who are involved even peripherally in the case, Stowe said, “need to come forward now because if they wait until later we can’t promise leniency to them.”

Stowe said Belew and he “will do everything we can to bring closure to this family.”

Belew said anyone with information needs to call either the sheriff’s main number, 731-642-1672 or the confidential hotline at 642-0929. 

                   Bobby Dozier

Union City Budget Includes Raise

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City City Council Tuesday night approved the budget for Fiscal 2015 on second and final reading. The budget does not include a tax increase and provides a three percent raise for city employees.

Council also approved on first reading a new franchise agreement with Atmos Energy, natural gas supplier for the city. The city receives a five percent franchise fee from Atmos.

Commissioners Delay Juvenile Judge Position Decision

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Commission met Monday and again delayed a decision on what to do with the office of Juvenile Judge. The county is seeking to do away from the position when current Judge Sammy Nailing Jr. retires and turn those duties over to the General Sessions Court.

According to commissioners, there is a problem with the wording of the resolution which they hope to have fixed by the next meeting.

The commission also approved a contract with Red River Waste Solutions which will allow Red River to pick up county trash.

A Look Back At The Banana Festival

Fulton, Tenn.-With the annual Banana Festival in Fulton underway this week, we thought it would be a good time to look back at the Banana Festival grand parade of 1964. The Banana Festival each year offers unique activities, including a banana split eating contest and free banana pudding for all. Carnivals are held every night this week, with the grand parade set for Saturday evening. The complete schedule is at (Photo from Tennessee State Library and Archives).

Henry County EMA To Host Free Storm Spotter Training

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Emergency Management Office will host a free training workshop aimed at local citizens, emergency responders, amateur radio operators, schools, businesses, and industrial facilities in Henry and surrounding counties. 

The National Weather Service- Memphis will be conducting a “SKYWARN® Storm Spotter Course” to teach participants how to recognize hazardous severe weather conditions and where to report hazardous conditions for emergency management officials. 

SKYWARN® is a National Weather Service (NWS) program developed in the 1960s that consists of trained weather spotters who provide reports of severe and hazardous weather to help meteorologists make life-saving warning decisions. Spotters are concerned citizens, amateur radio operators, truck drivers, mariners, airplane pilots, emergency management personnel, and hazardous weather impacting their community. 

EMA Director Ron Watkins said, “Storm Spotters are the eyes in the field for the National Weather Service and for local emergency management. A trained storm spotter can pass along vital information about a severe storm Doppler radar may miss or cannot see. This can save lives by triggering a warning to the community.”  

With the Fall Severe Weather Season soon approaching, this is a great opportunity for schools, businesses, and industrial personnel to learn to recognize potentially hazardous severe weather. Watkins said, “The Weather Service has begun limiting the number of courses they are presenting locally, so I really appreciate the NWS traveling to Paris to present this important course.” 

The free course is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 23 at the emergency management office located at 204 N. Brewer St in Paris. No pre-registration is required. 

Tennessee Volunteers In the War of 1812 Explored

Dr. David Coffey (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. — A University of Tennessee at Martin history professor will explore the role Tennesseans played in the War of 1812 in a Sept. 18 presentation in the Paul Meek Library. 
Dr. David Coffey, professor and chair of the university’s Department of History and Philosophy, will address “More Than Volunteers: Tennessee and the War of 1812” at 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, in the J. Houston Gordon Museum’s reading room located in the library. 

Coffey will also focus on how the 1812 conflict was a war of expansion and as much an Indian war as a conflict with the British. 

The lecture will be held in conjunction with the Gordon Museum’s exhibit “Becoming the Volunteer State: Tennessee in the War of 1812,” which features period artifacts from the era, such as a 7th U.S. infantry soldier’s uniform and a book that was on the USS Constitution, swords, muskets, and other weapons owned by those who fought in the war. 
Also on display are a broad variety of documentary art, maps and illustrations that have been selected to recreate a flavor of the times. The exhibit is on view through Oct. 31.
Coffey's presentation and the exhibition are free and open to the public. A reception will be held immediately following the Sept. 18 lecture. 

For more information about museum hours, directions and parking locations, visit the library’s website at or call Samuel Richardson or Karen Elmore at 731-881-7094. For more information about Coffey’s presentation, call Richardson or e-mail him at

Paris Tri Racers Qualify For Ironkids

Alpharetta, Ga.-Three racers with the Paris Tri club competed Sunday, Sept 14, in Alpharetta, Ga., in a race in which over 1000 racers attended. 
According to Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence, this race was an Ironkids qualifier for next years championship. All three racers qualified by earning top 15 slots in each age group. 

In photo are Turner McSwain 1st place in 6 year old boys; Audrey Hill 1st place in 7 year old girls, and Emma Hill 6th place in 12 year old girls.

UCPD To Host Free Child Car Seat Event

Union City, Tennessee – The Union City Police Department announced today that car seat inspections and education will be available to the community from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, September 20, at Terry Petty Chevrolet. 

The free event is part of “National Seat Check Saturday” and will include car seat inspections by certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians. Technicians will be on-hand to teach parents and caregivers how to choose the right car seats for their children and how to install and use them correctly.

“Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts are often used incorrectly,” according to Lt. Melvin Dowell, “and one child under age 13 is involved in a crash every 34 seconds. No parent wants to ever get it wrong when it comes to their children’s safety. That’s why we’re hosting this consumer education event during National Seat Check Saturday.
Parents can come out and know for sure that their kids are as safe as possible when riding in a car.”

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children ages 1 to 13. He added that using age- and size-appropriate child restraints is the best way to reduce these deaths. “In 2012, over one-third of child passengers killed in car crashes weren’t in car seats, booster seats, or wearing seat belts. Those kids could have survived if they had been buckled up.”
All parents and caregivers are invited to attend this free event. For more information on child car safety, as well as how to find other car seat check events, go to

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Couple Arrested On Child Endangerment, Drug Charges

                    Jason Creasy                                        Heather Walters

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris couple was arrested by Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies on numerous charges, including child endangerment, Monday night following an incident at their home on Jackson Drive.

Arrested were Jason Creasy, age 35, charged with reckless endangerment, child endangerment, drug possession and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia; and Heather Walters, age 27, charged with child endangerment, resisting arrest, possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputies were called to their home at 448 Jackson Dr. after a 911 call. When they arrived they found Creasy at the window yelling and hitting the glass with a hammer. The glass shattered on Deputy Clyde Sulcer in the process and Creasy was told to put the hammer down, according to the police report.

Deputies said he appeared to be under the influence of meth.

Walters was found holding a four year old and a one year old in her arms and she told deputies there were eight people crawling under the house. Deputies saw two bags of a crystal substance in the home and two glass pipes and told her to put the children down.

According to the report, Walters refused and held onto the children tightly. After a struggle, deputies were able to free the children and in the process, Sulcer was injured with a minor cut on his face.

Walters reportedly began screaming and resisted being placed in the squad car and according to the report, yelled for the four year old child to run.

The Department of Children’s Services was contacted and the children were placed in the custody of a family member.

Experience Lewis And Clark Expedition This Weekend

Union City, Tenn.-The Lewis and Clark Expedition was one of the monumental events in United States history and you can experience it first-hand as Discovery Park of America hosts the Lewis and Clark Expedition Period Campsite and Demonstration Weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 19-21.

The Lewis and Clark expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.  It consisted of a select group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. 

Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806. The primary objective was to explore and map the newly acquired territory, find a practical route across the Western half of the continent, and establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it.  

From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, Discovery Park invites the public to visit the period campsite and learn what life was like for these now famous explorers from 1803-06 on their journey west.  

Each day opens and closes with raising and retiring of the colors, a special presentation of the Star Spangled Banner as our nation’s flag’s history and meaning are explained.  

A replica of the 55’ Keel Boat that completed every river mile the Expedition covered will be on site at Discovery Park throughout the weekend.  This boat is thought to be the only boat that has ever replicated the Journey of the Cops of Discovery over 200 years ago.  

Each day, there will be demonstrations including:
· Medicine and medical procedures of the era;
· Weapons displays and demonstrations of the early 1800’s;
· Uniforms and clothing of the Expedition
· Captain’s orderly tent discussions
· Women’s clothing in the early 1800’s

Primitive life skills will be shown and demonstrated including primitive fire starting, rope making, corn grinding and blacksmithing.  
Part of the encampment includes a special display tent sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management that provides educational panels and the opportunity to see furs, primitive corn grinding and a replica of Captain William Clark’s signature carved in the rock at Pompey’s Pillar.  This tent will offer interactive stations for children. 
Dixie Gun Works, Inc. and Penny Hill Shoppe of Union City are sponsoring the Lewis and Clark weekend, so the event is free to members and all Discovery Park guests throughout the weekend.  Camp will break down around 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Discovery Park of America is open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.  It is a unique blend of history and technology, knowledge and fun.  To find out more about Discovery Park of America, visit the website at 

Patterson Sentenced In Federal Court On Local Gun Charges

Henry County Sheriff's Investigators Gary Vandiver and David Doyle look over stolen guns. The guns will be returned to their owners now that the case is concluded. (Capt. Damon Lowe photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Henry County man arrested on firearms charges was convicted in federal court in Jackson last week and has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Jerry Patterson, age 43 of Swor Rd. in Mansfield, was arrested by Henry County deputies for his involvement in the theft of guns from two properties in 2013.

In order to maximize his sentence, local investigators took the charges to federal court, where they hand out tougher penalties and Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said they intend to continue doing that.

Belew told WENK/WTPR on Friday that his office and the Metro Crime Unit are working hard to insure tougher sentences for what Belew called “career criminals”. To that end, he said, both agencies are working cooperatively with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring federal charges against local offenders where applicable.

Belew said federal court can impose stiffer sentences than the local court against offenders who have lengthy criminal histories.

Captain Damon Lowe said the guns will now be returned to their owners now that the case has been concluded.

In another case, sheriff’s deputies, the Metro Crime Unit, the TBI and ATF arrested Markia Patton, age 29 of McSwain St. in Paris, last Friday at the courthouse, where he was to appear on other charges.

Belew said Patton had a lengthy criminal history in Henry County, dealing with drug and other charges. Patton also is charged with the shootings in Ogburn Park which occurred in April.

WENK/WTPR published a story on Patton’s arrest on Friday morning.

Henry County Not Experiencing 911 Problems

Paris, Tenn.-The Tennessee 911 Board and TEMA sent out alerts to West Tennessee counties warning of cellular calls being misrouted to the 911 centers.

As WENK/WTPR reported Monday, Henry County 911 Director Mark Archer said, “As of right now the 911 center in Henry County is working properly and citizens are advised to dial 911 in an emergency, not the alternate number.”

Other area counties, notably Weakley County, have been experiencing problems.

Bridge Dedication Will Have Meaning For Buchanan Woman

    Peay in Vietnam. 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Franklin, Tenn.-For Dotty Crockett of Buchanan, a ceremony next month to name a bridge in honor of the late James Peay of Franklin will be especially bittersweet.

Peay was her first husband and he died in the Vietnam War while they were still newlyweds. Peay was a decorated Army radioman who died while trying to save another serviceman’s life during battle.

A memorial bridge crossing Leiper’s Creek will be dedicated to Peay after two of his classmates approached the Williamson County Commission with the request.

Peay died January 7, 1968, in Cuchi, Vietnam, according to Crockett. “He was drafted, entered the service in September, 1967, and went to Vietnam,” she said. “He was in the 25th Infantry.”

Crockett said their platoon was ambushed “and one of the men was out in the open and was hit. Jim put down his radio in a safe place and ran out to rescue him when he was shot by a sniper.” Peay was only 22 years old.

Peay earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart and Crockett said she still has both of his medals.

Crockett said although she and Peay were only married a few months when he was killed, she and he had gone out together since 1964. They met while at Franklin High School together, she said.

After his death, Crockett met and married Robert Crockett of Paris and they have been married for 44 years. “Our first child was named for Jim. We named him Jim Bob Crockett in Jim’s honor,” she said. “There are two other namesakes for Jim. His sister named her second child after him, as did one of his other family members.”

Peay said, “God willing”, she and her husband will be at the ceremony, as will Peay’s other family members, including three sisters and a number of nieces and nephews.

Dotty and Robert Crockett attend Sulphur Well Church of Christ.

The bridge dedication is set for Saturday, Oct. 25 at 10 a.m. 

City Manager Search Is Progressing

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris’ search for a replacement for retiring City Manager Carl Holder is progressing, with over 30 applications received to date. Holder said the city is scheduled to continue receiving resumes through the end of the month and then begin evaluating them for consideration.

Holder said four candidates are local, including current Assistant City Manager Kim Foster, who Holder has recommended for the job.

He said the next step is for the city commission to agree on a method for narrowing the field of candidates.

Henry Pioneer Day This Weekend

Henry, Tenn.-If you like parades, cake walks, bingo and even a mechanical bull, then Henry Pioneer Day all day Saturday will be the place to be.

Henry Volunteer Fire Department Chief Keith Qualls said the parade begins at 10 a.m. and will follow the same route as usual, beginning at Henry School and moving to the Civic Center, where the rest of the day’s activities will be concentrated.

Activities include bingo, jumpers, cake walk, mechanical bull, a rock climbing wall and more. Qualls said the Henry Riding Club will hold a horse show around 7 p.m. and wrestling will be held at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. All events during the day will benefit the fire department.

UCPD Investigating Break-In

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating a break-in and theft at a home that is being remodelled on Julie Street. According to the police report, someone drive in the backyard, leaving tire marks and entered the house through the back door, taking a set of ‘new in the box’ gas logs, a box fan, a complete set of wine-colored bedding removed from the bed, other sets of bedding, a cordless drill, several electric tooks, screw drivers, and supplies.

UC Man Arrested On Assault Charges

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested after a domestic assault at his residence Monday night. 

Arrested was Troy Berry of 1814 High School Dr. on charges of aggravated assault and violation of an order of protection. Union City Police arrived at that address late Monday night on the call and found the victim who said he had engaged in a domestic dispute with Berry.

The two were arguing over a cable box and Berry reportedly pushed the victim and threw boiling water on him, causing visible burns to his chest.

In the course of the investigation, police determined there was an active order of protection through Obion County against Berry and that the victim was already listed on that order of protection, including others who also were present at the home.

The victim was taken to the emergency room for treatment.

Monday, September 15, 2014

County Approves Purchase Plan For Sheriff Office Fleet

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, right, and Captain Damon Lowe make their presentation to the commission, as County Attorney Rob Whitfield and County Mayor Brent Greer listen in background. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Commission Monday night approved a four-year capital outlay plan presented by County Sheriff Monte Belew under which the sheriff’s office would purchase the fleet of 15 vehicles for the department at the same time, saving the county money and freeing up capital funds for other capital expenses by the county government.

Belew said the sheriff’s office already was allotted $100,000 for vehicles this year and were looking at vehicles to purchase when Deputy Blake Jenkins suggested that the sheriff’s office might look at leasing vehicles as they do in the Murray Police Department.

Belew said Captain Damon Lowe began looking into that possibility and meanwhile he met with County Mayor Brent Greer who suggested the sheriff’s office look into a purchase plan.

After investigating both options, Lowe and Belew presented the information to the commission.

A four-year lease program, Belew said, would involve 5.8 percent interest, four payments of $95,000 a year, and three year warranties.

A three-year purchase agreement, he said, would involve 1.5 percent interest, two remaining payments of $114,700 a year, three year warranties and in the fourth year, a payment of $0.

“In that fourth year,” Belew said, “we would have to make no capital request for vehicles at all, unlike how we do now.”

With the current fleet, Lowe said, the sheriff’s office receives its vehicles from the Missouri Highway Patrol and the newest that can be acquired are 2011 vehicles which have a minimum of 55,000 miles, no warranties, and the cheapest vehicle that can be purchased costs $16,000. 

Lifetime maintenance is $4,500 and the average life of the vehicles now is four years.

Belew pointed out with the purchase plan, the sheriff’s office would be able to have new vehicles and when all is said and done, could save $60,000 on maintenance and $60,000 on equipment. 

The lower interest rate would save thousands of dollars and fuel savings using new cars would be “very substantial”, Belew said.

“We would hope to go through local banks for the purchases and we would open it for bids on the cars,” he said.

Greer said after the meeting that he will take the proposal to the comptroller and ask for permission to complete the transaction, which would hopefully happen in November.

In a separate action, the commission authorized the issuance, sale, and payment of capital outlay notes not to exceed $235,000.

In other business:

--The commission approved the sale of a servicing platform from the sheriff’s office as surplus property.

--The commission approved appointments to committees, delegating Greer as chairman of the commission and Paul Matheny as vice-chair. Other appointments: Greer to the board of health; Matheny to the tourism committee; Greer to the veterans’ service committee and Don Jones to the budget committee.
Newly-elected Commissioner Randy Gean was appointed to serve on all the committees which had been served by Dan Paschall, who retired, except for the budget committee.

Greer Pledges "Open Process" On Sales Tax Question

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said at the outset of Monday night’s meeting of the County Commission that the county will be conducting work sessions to discuss the potential for a sales tax referendum, as has been discussed previously by the city of Paris.

“We’ll invite the school boards, the city of Paris and the other municipalities to the work sessions, which would be held in late October or November,” Greer said.

The county “has no intention of putting a referendum on the November ballot”, Greer said, “but we do intend to have open discussion on the question of whether we intend to raise taxes with sales tax revenue and we plan to have an open process.”

State Issues Alternate Emergency Numbers For Cell Users

Nashville, Tenn. – Several West Tennessee Counties, including Obion and Henry Counties, have been experiencing disruptions in cellular calls to 911 centers. Henry County 911 Director Mark Archer said today the Henry County system is not experiencing problems as of this time.

The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have issued a series of Wireless Emergency Alerts for the counties due to a disruption of routing for cellular calls to 9-1-1 centers for
emergency services.

When using a cell phone during an emergency when in affected counties, the public should usea 10-digit phone number to reach a local 9-1-1 center.

“Local 9-1-1 center directors requested the state alert the public to the disruption and provide
alternate numbers to contact emergency services,” according to Curtis Sutton, executive director of the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board. “The 911 centers are still functioning, but we need the public to use the alternative numbers to ensure help is received as quickly as possible until this disruption is resolved.”

The current list of affected counties and their 10-digit phone numbers are as follows:
Counties Alternate 10-Digit
Number for 9-1-1 County Alternate 10-Digit
Number for 9-1-1
Benton (731) 279-4280 
Haywood (731) 772-1215
Chester (731) 989-2787 
Henderson (731) 425-6202
Crockett (731) 696-2104
 Henry (731) 642-2424
Decatur (731) 852-3911
 Madison (731) 424-9677
Dyer (731) 285-4019 
McNairy (731) 645-3406
Fayette (901) 465-3456
 Obion (731) 885-3316
Gibson (731) 562-8176 
Weakley (731) 364-5454
Hardeman (731) 658-5101 
Shelby (901) 543-6333
Hardin (731) 925-9007

People traveling in West Tennessee may receive multiple Wireless Emergency Messages on
their cell phones as they enter new counties.

“The state, local government and the private sector telecommunications providers are working with our partners to mitigate any disruption to the public and hope to quickly restore normal services,” David Purkey, Deputy Commissioner of TEMA and Homeland Security said. 

Tennessee River Trails Hosts Business Roundtables
Henry County Session Is Thursday

Paris, Tenn.The Tennessee River Trails Association (TRTA) will host a series of business roundtable discussions during the week of September 15, to identify ways to meet the training needs of front-line employees in local businesses that would benefit from additional tourism. The Henry County session will be at 2 pm on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, 2508 East Wood Street, Paris, Tennessee.

The TRTA’s Heritage Tourism Working Group is working in the nine counties served by the state scenic byway in the region of West and Middle Tennessee defined by the Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake). Counties participating are Benton, Decatur, Hardin, Henry, Houston, Humphreys, Perry, Stewart, and Wayne. 

The byway follows two-lane roads through more than 4,200 square miles. The area is located a short 60 miles west of Nashville and 100 miles east of Memphis and has a population of around 150,000.

Currently, the region’s tourism is based on hunting, fishing, and boating. An emphasis on heritage tourism will help to diversify the region’s offerings and enlarge spending in small towns, supporting community economic development. The Heritage Tourism Working Group was formed by the TRTA to lead regional planning and training to help develop a new emphasis on heritage tourism. It is supported by a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, which supports the state’s scenic byways. The program also includes the design of gateways along the corridor within each county. Design ideas and locations will also be a focus of the meeting. 

The mission of the Tennessee River Trails Association (TRTA) is to develop a driving trail system that will enhance recreation and tourism in the middle and west Tennessee counties bordering the river along the Tennessee River from Kentucky to Alabama. The Tennessee River Trail covers nine Tennessee counties, four development districts and tourism councils nestled along the beautiful Tennessee River. The TRTA is focused on economic and community development. TRTA works to bring increased economic development to the region by expanding tourism and recreation opportunities. For more information, visit

Former BPU Employee Fired After Stalking Arrest

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A former long-time employee of the Paris Board of Utilities (BPU) faces charges of stalking and violation of the sex offender registry. Once BPU learned of his arrest, according to BPU General Manager John Etheridge, “We parted company that same day. You cannot work for BPU and violate the public trust”.

George Atkinson of Wilson Street in Paris, was arrested for stalking a woman while he was on duty for BPU, where he had worked for 25 years.  Etheridge said that BPU trucks are equipped with GPS units and after BPU officials checked Atkinson’s driving route for that day “and his erratic driving pattern was verified,” his employment was terminated. 

Paris Police Lt. Tom Lankford said Lt. John Brewer arrested Atkinson on the stalking arrest and in the course of an investigation, it was determined that Atkinson had been convicted of a sex offense in 1987 in Martin.

“Everything appears that he should have been registering as a sex offender”, Lankford said, but Atkinson reportedly had not been.

The stalking arrest occurred on September 4 and the arrest for violation of the sex offender registry was on September 11. Atkinson was released from the Henry County Jail on bond in both arrests.

The case is currently in Henry County General Sessions Court.

Etheridge said BPU took action “as soon as we were made aware of the stalking arrest. We took care of the situation immediately.” Etheridge said he told Atkinson, “You just can’t violate the public trust and work for BPU.”

Boss Hoss Roars Into Area This Weekend
Activities Include Parade, BBQ Cook Off, 5K Run

Steve and Elaine Robinson from Fredericksburg, VA. and Wally and Sue Roberts from Northampton, PA, already arrived over the weekend for the Boss Hoss activities. (Sara Jo Sutherland photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It’s that time of year again, the weekend that the colorful and unique Boss Hoss motorcycles come roaring into downtown Paris.

The 15th Annual Mid-South Motorcycle Festival & Boss Hoss National Rally will be held this September 18-20 at Paris Landing State Park.

A highlight of the rally each year is when the Boss Hoss cycles parade around the court square in Paris to coincide with Noon On The Square sponsored by Commercial Bank and Trust. The parade is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday. Sack lunches are always available for sale and The Barons will be performing.

Other downtown events Friday include judging for the bike and trike show and the awards presented at 1 p.m. Registration also will be held for the $1,000 Dice Run which runs from 1:15-5:30 p.m. Friday.

A Hoss 5K run will be held this year at 8 a.m. Saturday at Paris Landing. Registration will be held at 7 a.m. Cost is $15 and the race includes all age groups and door prizes.

The Boss Hoss rally always brings motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country to Henry County and the downtown parade is an attraction for the public and the Boss Hoss members, too.

At Paris Landing, thousands of dollars in prize money will be up for grabs in the daily motorcycle events, according to Boss Hoss spokesman Doug Zaricor. He said the Boss Hoss members  will enjoy vending, parades, bike show, musical entertainment and nightly social functions at the rally. 

“Topping off the weekends events a drawing supporting the Shriners Hospitals for Children will make one lucky individual the proud new owner of a 2014 Boss Hoss Trike,“, he said.

Friday night at Paris Landing, the band Johnny Mac And The Heart Attacks will be performing at 7 p.m. and on Saturday night, the Allen Warren Band will perform from 6-10 p.m.

For more information and to register for the event visit or or call 731-286-4915. 

A Boss Hoss Cook Off also will be held this weekend at Paris Landing. Organizer Sara Jo Sutherland of Buchanan said 10 teams have signed up so far. 

Grand champion will win $900. Three categories: pulled pork, chicken and ribs and cash prizes in each will be first place, $100; second place, $75; and third, $50. Also, there will be a Best Team Spirit category and winners receive $50 and a trophy.

For more info, call Sutherland at 731-819-6362.

Banana Festival Is Underway This Week

Fulton, Tenn.-The town of Fulton, Tenn., is going bananas this week. 

The week-long 52nd annual Banana Festival in Fulton is underway today with plenty of unique activities to entertain young and old. Today’s activities include the Banana Bonnet contest, light pole competition judging and fashion show, with each day finding more and more festivities scheduled.

The highlight of each festival is the grand parade and free banana pudding for everyone on Saturday evening. A kiddie parade will be held Thursday evening and daily carnivals begin Wednesday.

Here is the schedule:

Monday, Sept. 15:
1-5 pm - View Photographs from Photo Contest, Brooks Chapel,410 Lake Street
4:45p.m. - Cutoff for Entries into Banana Bonnet Contest
5:00 p.m. - Banana Bonnet Contest, The Keg Bar & Grill 
5:00 p.m. Store Front Decorating Contest Judging, 
12:00 p.m. -Light Pole Competition Judging, Downtown - $25/pole
6:00 p.m. - Fashion Show, Buck’s Celebration Center-$20/ticket available at Cissy's & The Leader Store before September 8th Buy a Table for 8 for $150! NO TICKETS WILL BE SOLD AFTER SEPT. 8th
Tuesday, Sept. 16:
School Art Contest at Fulton City and South Fulton Schools, Sponsored by Fulton Family Connection & Fulton/South Fulton Chamber of Commerce
11-5 pm - View Photographs from Photo Contest, Brooks Chapel – Lake Street
6:00 p.m. - Bunco, The Keg Bar & Grill - $10/ticket 
Wednesday, Sept. 17:
11-5 pm - View Photographs from Photo Contest, Brooks Chapel – Lake Street
5:00 – 10 pm Carnival 
5:00 p.m. - Greased Pig Contest, Lot at Corner of Washington and Main Streets (former Huddleston’s)
5:45- Announce Winners of the Photo Contest
6:00-7:30 p.m.- Faith & Family Night - Sponsored by Twin Cities area churches, Pontotoc Stage, SFBC if Rains 
Thursday, Sept. 18:
9:00 a.m. - Vendors, Downtown 
9:00 a.m. - Senior Citizens Rook Tournament, Senior Citizens Center
11-5 pm - View Photographs from Photo Contest, Brooks Chapel – Lake Street
5:00 p.m. - Church Bean Supper, Pontotoc Building - Sponsored by Pentecostal Church - $4/plate
5:00-10:00 p.m. - Carnival, Behind Fulton Post Office (ticket booth)
6:00 p.m. - Kiddie Parade, Downtown
7:00 p.m. - Children’s Olympics - Pontotoc
8:00-11:00 pm –27B Stroke 6– Grand Stage – Pontotoc Park
Friday, Sept. 19:
7:30-9:00 a.m. Banana Bake-off entry drop off times, Senior Citizens Center
9:00 a.m. Banana Bake-off judging begins, Senior Citizens Center
8:00-10:00 a.m. - Health Fair - Sponsored by Parkway Regional Hospital, Pontotoc Building
9:00 a.m. - Vendors, Downtown
11am –5 pm - View Photographs from Photo Contest, Brooks Chapel – Lake Street
11:00a.m. - 9:00 p..m.- Senior Citizens Concessions/ Fundraiser, Senior Citizens Center
5:00 p.m. - Banana Split Eating Contest @ Seven Coffee Shop on Lake St
5:00p.m.-10:00 p.m. Carnival, Behind Fulton Post Office (ticket booth)
6:00 Bar-B-Que on Broadway South Fulton Municipal Complex.
6:30 p.m. - Fulton’s Got Talent, Grand Stage, Pontotoc Park
9-12 – Street Dance – First State Bank Parking Lot South Fulton
9:30 p.m. –Olivia Faye, 2013 Fulton’s Got Talent Winner, Grand Stage- Pontotoc Park
Saturday, Sept. 20:
7:30-11:30 a.m. - Fulton/South Fulton Rotary Club Car Show Entry Registration, Downtown - $20-$25
8:00 a.m. - Rotary Car Show, Downtown
7:30 a.m. - 5-K Color Run Registration – Fulton Public Library - $20 pre-reg.; $10 for fun run
8:00 a.m. - 5-K Color Run Gun Shot Start – Fulton Public Library
9:00 a.m. - Vendors, Downtown
9:00 am – Registration begins for Cornhole
9:00 a.m. - Pistol Shoot - Sponsored by Fulton Police Department, Police Dept. Firing Range - $20/class
10am-3 pm - View Photographs from Photo Contest, Brooks Chapel – Lake Street
9:00 a.m. - 1 Mile Fun Run(Children 10 & under Fulton Public Library - $10 pre-reg, $13 late reg 
10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Senior Citizens Concessions/ Fundraiser, Senior Citizens Center
10:00 a.m. - Cornhole Tournament – Bucks Celebration Center - $30/team
12:00 pm - Doggy Beauty Pageant, Pontotoc Stage
12:00-11:00 p.m. Carnival, Behind Fulton Post Office (ticket booth)
1:00 p.m. - Banana Brawl Wrestling, across from Pontotoc Park in South Fulton, TN
3:30 Bar-B-Que on Broadway winners announced 
5:00 p.m. - Grand Parade, Downtown
Free Banana Pudding, Downtown after Grand Parade
7:30 p.m. - Fulton’s Got Talent Winner Performance, Grand Stage Pontotoc Park
8:00 p.m. – Tracy Lawrence Concert - Grand Stage- Pontotoc Park
Events are FREE to the public unless fee is noted on Schedule.

Patriots' Marching Invitational Set For Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Marching Patriots present the Henry County Marching Invitational on Saturday afternoon at the stadium at 315 S. Wilson St.

Gates open at 2:30 p.m. and admission is $7, with children under six free.

Nineteen school bands from across the Southeast are set to perform and there will be an exhibition performance by the Murray State University Racer Band.

Concessions and face painting will be available through the afternoon.

Tennessee River Trails Hosts Business Roundtables

Paris, Tenn.The Tennessee River Trails Association (TRTA) will host a series of business roundtable discussions during the week of September 15, to identify ways to meet the training needs of front-line employees in local businesses that would benefit from additional tourism. The Henry County session will be at 2 pm on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, 2508 East Wood Street, Paris, Tennessee.

The TRTA’s Heritage Tourism Working Group is working in the nine counties served by the state scenic byway in the region of West and Middle Tennessee defined by the Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake). Counties participating are Benton, Decatur, Hardin, Henry, Houston, Humphreys, Perry, Stewart, and Wayne. 

The byway follows two-lane roads through more than 4,200 square miles. The area is located a short 60 miles west of Nashville and 100 miles east of Memphis and has a population of around 150,000.

Currently, the region’s tourism is based on hunting, fishing, and boating. An emphasis on heritage tourism will help to diversify the region’s offerings and enlarge spending in small towns, supporting community economic development. The Heritage Tourism Working Group was formed by the TRTA to lead regional planning and training to help develop a new emphasis on heritage tourism. It is supported by a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, which supports the state’s scenic byways. The program also includes the design of gateways along the corridor within each county. Design ideas and locations will also be a focus of the meeting. 

The mission of the Tennessee River Trails Association (TRTA) is to develop a driving trail system that will enhance recreation and tourism in the middle and west Tennessee counties bordering the river along the Tennessee River from Kentucky to Alabama. The Tennessee River Trail covers nine Tennessee counties, four development districts and tourism councils nestled along the beautiful Tennessee River. The TRTA is focused on economic and community development. TRTA works to bring increased economic development to the region by expanding tourism and recreation opportunities. For more information, visit

PES Fall Kickoff Is Friday

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Elementary School Fall Kickoff Festival will be held Friday, September 19, from 4:30-7 p.m. Tickets are 50 cents at the door.

Activities include jumpers, sewer plunge, gaga, ladder golf, tattoos, with pizza, cotton candy and much more.

BZA To Meet

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Zoning Appeals will meet at noon Wednesday, September 17, at city hall. The only item of new business on the agenda is a request for variance of setbacks at 402 E. Blythe Street.

The meeting is open to the public.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Holbrook Returns To The Dixie Stage As Mark Twain

Hal Holbrook in "Mark Twain Tonight". (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Legendary actor Hal Holbrook returned to the stage of The Dixie Performing Arts Center in Huntingdon Saturday night to a sold-out crowd which included a former governor, two Tennessee State Supreme Court Justices, State Representatives, a contingent from Bethel University, area county mayors, and plenty of other dignitaries. Also included in the audience were family members of both Holbrook and his late wife, Dixie Carter, for whom the center is named. 

Former Governor Donald Sundquist and his wife were among family and a few patrons who greeted Holbrook after the performance.

The Dixie Executive Director Lori Nolen said the event was sold out the same morning the tickets were made available.

Holbrook shared his command performance in “Mark Twain Tonight”, a showcase of selections of Twain’s recitations and writings that Holbrook has perfected in his decades of peforming as Mark Twain. The performance included a recitation from Tom Sawyer.

Holbrook’s performance kicked off the 10th Season of The Dixie, which is also home to The Hal Holbrook Theatre. Both Carter and Holbrook were instrumental in founding and maintaining The Dixie. 

The Dixie Performing Arts Center also includes a museum devoted to Carter and Holbrook, which includes many of Carter’s costumes from various stage performances she presented in her lifetime, as well as Holbrook’s costumes from his past Twain performances.

Hal Holbrook with former Tennessee Governor Donald Sundquist and his wife backstage. (McFarlin photo).

CornFest 2014 Ends On High Note

Union City, Tenn.-CornFest 2014 ended on a definite high note Saturday night, with good weather, good crowds, a performance from American Idol Finalist Paul Jolley of Palmersville, top, and a myriad of other activities all over downtown. A large crowd also was on hand for the annual Tyson Free Community Feed, bottom. (Brent Hinson photos).

Ten Teams Already Signed Up For Boss Hoss BBQ Cook Off

Buchanan, Tenn.-The 6th Annual Boss Hoss Burnout BBQ Cookoff will be held next weekend, September 19-20 at Paris Landing State Park in conjunction with the 15th Annual Boss Hoss National Rally and Mid-South Motorcycle Festival coming to Paris and Paris Landing.

Cookoff Organizer Sara Jo Sutherland said 10 teams have signed up so far. They are from the local area as well as Mississippi and the Reelfoot areas.

Grand champion will win $900. Three categories: pulled pork, chicken and ribs and cash prizes in each will be first place, $100; second place, $75; and third, $50. Also, there will be a Best Team Spirit category and winners receive $50 and a trophy.

For more info, call Sutherland at 731-819-6362.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Paul Jolley Visits Our Studios; To Appear Tonight In Concert

Union City, Tenn.-American Idol Finalist Paul Jolley of Palmersville, left, visited the WENK/WAKQ studios in Union City for on-air interviews with DJ Brent Hinson, right. Jolley will be providing a free concert at 5:30 p.m. tonight along with Lauren Adelle in downtown Union City as part of the CornFest 2014 festivities. 

Over 250 Attend HCHS Career/College Night

Paris, Tenn.-A Bethel University recruiter speaks to one student as several others complete information cards at this week‘s Career/College Fair at Henry County High School. Approximately 250 people came to the event which hosted 36 vendors from post-secondary schools in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky as well as recruiters from every branch of the military. At every half hour, Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation's (TSAC) representative Abby Nichols presented an information session on financial aid and the Tennessee Promise and Lottery Scholarships. Ann Massa from Tennessee Achieve assisted students by helping them sign up for Tennessee Promise. School Counselor, Misha Adams, said "I had so many compliments about our students from the recruiters who attended. They expressed how they always look forward to coming to Henry County because of how nice the students are and that they seem genuinely interested in their futures." (Susan Burton photo).

Large Crowd For Master Gardener Luncheon

Union City, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand for the Master Gardener Luncheon at the Soleil Garden Center to hear Author Troy Marden, the star of the Volunteer Gardener TV show, share his knowledge. Marden spoke about his new book, “Plant This Instead” and gave small group demonstrations. The appearance was part of CornFest 2014, which continues through today with bed races, BBQ Cook Off, Pets in the Park, Car Show, Petting Zoo, Pedal and Bed Races and the annual Free Tyson Feed. (Brent Hinson photo).

Suspect Arrested in Chile In Murder of Murray Woman

Santiago, Chile-Police in Chile have arrested a suspect in the killing of a woman from Murray, Kentucky.

The body of Erica Faith Hagan, age 22, was found in the bathroom of her apartment in the city of Temuco on Sept. 6. According to the Murray-Ledger & Times, Hagan was a 2010 Calloway County High School valedictorian and 2014 graduate of Georgetown University in Georgetown, Ky.

She is the sister of Kimberly Hagan Underhill, a teacher at Harrelson School in Puryear.

Chilean officials say a poker was used to strike her.

Hagan was in Temuco working as a teaching assistant at a local school. Officials say a security guard at the school named Domingo Cofre was arrested Friday night.

Hagan was scheduled to return home to Murray in December.

Week 3 High School Football Finals

Union City - 35, Huntindon - 7
Dresden - 46, Obion County - 21
Memphis Ridgeway - 22, Henry County - 15
Camden Central - 17, East Hickman - 7
Waverly Central - 53, Stewart County - 14
West Carroll - 45, Greenfield - 14
Martin Westview - 18, Ripley - 15
Gleason 40, Gibson County - 33...
Hollow Rock-Bruceton - 35, Scotts Hill - 8
McKenzie - 49, Lake County - 30
South Fulton - 50, Fulton County - 0
Caldwell County 50, Trigg County 20
Mayfield 21, Murray 10
Paducah Tilghman 36, Graves County 22

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mayfield Mother, Son Dead Following Hostage Situation

Mayfield, Ky.-A 17-year-old teen and his mother from Mayfield are dead and their abductor is in the hospital in Ohio after he shot himself during a kidnapping and hostage situation which played out all day today across several states.

The Ohio Highway Patrol confirmed to Graves County Sheriff Dwayne Redmon that Kim Thomas of Mayfield had died in a car on I-75 near Middletown, Ohio, after she was abducted by her former boyfriend, Terry Froman.

Her 17-year-old son was found dead earlier at a Mayfield residence. Graves County Coroner Phillip McClain said he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

WHIO-TV in Dayton reported that Froman shot himself and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he remains. All four lanes of I-75 were shut down during the incident, which began when Froman abducted Jackson from a convenience store in Paducah.

Law enforcement in several states were alerted to the vehicle--a white SUV with Illinois plates--that Froman was driving.

Trial Date in Ogburn Shooting Case Set

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Trial dates were set today in Henry County Circuit Court on three cases involving Markia Patton of Paris, who was taken into custody on federal indictments when he appeared in court on his local charges.

A trial on the aggravated assault charge against him stemming from the Ogburn Park shootings in April has been set for December 3. A trial on two drug charges has been set for November 20.

Patton, age 29, of McSwain Street, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two charges: felony possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking and drug trafficking in marijuana. He was taken into custody by Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, local deputies and the Metro Crime Unit Friday morning. The original story on his arrest was posted earlier.

Patton Nabbed On Federal Charges
Arrest Follows Foot Chase From Courthouse

Sheriff Monte Belew takes Markia Patton (in blue shirt and tie) into custody this morning along with (from left) Henry Police Chief David Andrews, Chief Deputy Randy Gean and Deputy Jamie Myrick. (Investigator Adam Jenkins photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris resident whom Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew calls a “career criminal” was taken into custody Friday morning on federal charges after a foot chase by sheriff’s deputies.

Markia Patton, age 29, of McSwain Street, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two charges: felony possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking and drug trafficking in marijuana.

Sheriff Belew said the indictments was the result of a three-year investigation by the Metro Crime Unit, sheriff’s office, Paris Police, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office assisted us greatly in the investigation,” Belew said. 

Investigator Adam Jenkins said deputies arrived at the Henry County Courthouse where Patton was scheduled to appear on charges of selling and controlling drugs and aggravated assault this morning.

Jenkins said, “We were there to take him into custody for federal authorities and he took off and ran down to street. We apprehended him at a barber shop on Poplar Street.”

Patton will be transported to federal court in Jackson today by U.S. Marshals, Jenkins said. “He’ll be arraigned on the new charges next week in federal court.”

Belew said the U.S. Attorney’s Office is assisting local authorities in prosecute local career criminals at a federal level. “They’ll get a lot longer jail sentence and it will make Henry County a better place,” Belew said.

Patton was arrested in connection with the Ogburn Park shootings that occurred in April of this year and those charges are still pending in Henry County Circuit Court. Three people were injured in that incident. He also has been arrested on drug-related charges several times over the years.  

Great Crowd For CornFest Parade
Paul Jolley, Free Community Feed, BBQ Cook Off Rest of Weekend

Pride of Obion County David Harris in lead car, with American Idol Finalist Paul Jolley in next during parade. (Mitzi Hailey photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Despite overcast skies and drizzle, a great crowd was on hand for Thursday night’s 2014 CornFest Parade through downtown Union City. The parade was the first to be held with CornFest in several years and the size of the crowd showed organizers that people were ready for a parade.

Due to the off and on rain showers all day Thursday, the CornFest Chalk Art contest for kids was cancelled in the afternoon.

CornFest continues through Saturday with plenty of activities, including the fashion show and lunch at 11:30 a.m. today at the Eddie Cox Center. The show will benefit the Westover Center for the Arts.

The two-day BBQ Cook Off gets underway today and continues through Saturday evening. The Cook Off this year will be held in the parking lot next to the Obion County Chamber office. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. on the stage near Kiwanis Park.

Saturday will be a big day for the event, with the annual Day In The Park activities which includes a fun run that begins at Union City High School and features ‘zombie chasers’. The petting zoo will be set up and an all day chair auction and cake walks begin at 9 a.m. in Kiwanis Park downtown. Arts, craftspeople, and organizations will open their booths and exhibits for the public.

At 10 a.m., the car show will welcome visitors and the Pumpkin Painting for kids starts at 11, as well as the Pedal Car Race.

The annual bed race begins at 1 p.m., and the corn hole tournament and corn eating and corn shucking contests are from 25 p.m. Corn Idol begins at 3 p.m.

Tyson Food’s annual Free Community Feed begins at 4 p.m. and the concert featuring American Idol finalist Paul Jolley from Palmersville begins at 5 p.m. 

The Obion County Central High School band entertains in the parade. (Mitzi Hailey photo).

Thanking School Bus Drivers At HCHS

Paris, Tenn.-In honor of National Bus Driver Appreciation Day, Henry County High School students had something special in store for the school’s bus drivers. Several students met the drivers in front of the school early in the morning and thanked each driver, provided breakfast for them and gave them all a Patriot bag. Students involved were: Josh Todd, Imari Thompson, Holly Peavy, Mariah Smith, Allison Tate, Ally Bland, Keely Gregory, Kristen Chenoweth, Kris Collums, Hannah Nichols, Katie Owen, Sakura Horiuchi, Addi Cate, Cody Hunter, and Jake Hunter. (Photos by Pam McCord).

UTM To Host Business Innovation Seminar Next Week

Martin, Tenn. — A group of organizations and individuals dedicated to sparking entrepreneurship in Northwest Tennessee is hosting a business innovation symposium in September at the University of Tennessee at Martin. 

“Innovating for Profit: Building Rural Businesses from the Ground Up” is set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Watkins Auditorium, located in the Boling University Center on the university’s main campus. The symposium is designed to inform the public about the current state of rural innovation and business growth. 

The UT Martin College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, the Mid-South School of Advanced Agricultural Lending, the Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking and the Gill Parker Chair of Excellence in Agriculture, both at UT Martin, and the NextFarm Agricultural Innovation Accelerator are sponsoring the event. 

Featured at the symposium is a panel discussion of regional ag-based business leaders speaking on building businesses from the ground up. Participating in the panel are Jimmy Tosh of Tosh Farms, Kelley Powers of Final Flight and Powers Farms, Chuck Doss of INCO Irrigation Systems, M.J. Anderson of The Andersons, Inc., and Neil Mylet of LoadOut Technologies. 

Bryan Huddleston, president and CEO of the Nashville Technology Council, is also speaking at the symposium.

Also included are presentations by AgSmarts and Fertility Focus, two of the companies from the 2013 NextFarm Ag Innovation Accelerator class. Participants in NextFarm include entrepreneurs with new ag-based technology ideas—“AgTech”—in the startup mode, as well as existing companies that are developing new technologies or innovations.

The event concludes with a free Ag Innovation Lunch, featuring keynote speaker Dr. David Millhorn, University of Tennessee executive vice president and president of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

Free registration for the “Innovating for Profit” symposium and information and an application for the NextFarm accelerator can be found at

Fulton Police Officers Honored

Fulton, Ky.-Fulton Police officers Sgt Justin Purcell, Patrolman Doug Love, and Officer Brandon Mayo have been commended by Chief Terry Powell for their actions in handling a dangerous situation that occurred July 7, 2013.

According to Powell, Officer Doug Love, Sgt Justin Purcell and Officer Brandon Mayo were responsible for apprehending a male suspect who attemp...ted to commit suicide and fired shots at the officers.

The suspect had barricaded himself inside his apartment and was refusing verbal commands to come outside. After a brief stand off the suspect exited his apartment and fired shots at the officers.

According to Powell, Sgt Justin Purcell, Officer Love, and Officer Brandon Mayo “demonstrated a courageous act by standing and dealing with the incident at hand with professionalism and concerns for the citizens of Fulton. Their actions are indicative of the level of character, training and experience which this officer possesses and is indicative of the caliber of personnel employed by the Fulton Police Department.”

MSU On U.S. News List 24th Straight Year

Murray, Ky. – Murray State University has taken its top rankings streak into its 24th consecutive year of being recognized by U.S.News & World Report’s Best Colleges as one of the top schools in the country. The 2015 rankings have just been released and Murray State is in ninth place among the top public regional universities in the South.
Murray State continues to be the top-ranked public regional university in Kentucky in the Regional Universities-South category, which contains both private and public schools.

“The rankings confirm what we know to be one of the core strengths of Murray State — our commitment to providing the highest quality educational opportunities while remaining student centered. It doesn’t surprise me that our dedication continues to be recognized nationally. We will continue to build on these strengths and provide our students with opportunities to compete and succeed,” according to MSU President Dr. Bob Davies.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Eleven Henry County Schools Teachers Awarded Tenure

Board members congratulate Lakewood School Teacher Jenny Cooper. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At a busy meeting Thursday night, the Henry County Schools Board of Education approved tenure for eleven district teachers and gave the go-ahead for an Eagle Scout project that will improve Henry School property and for renovations for the We Care Thrift Store operated by Henry School teachers.

Approved for tenure were: from Harrelson School, Rebecca Chambers, Karla Klingenberg, Amber Powell, and Jeannie Russell; from Lakewood School, Jenny Cooper, Kim Nance, Trudy Pryor,  and Brandi Thach; from Grove: Jeannie Johnson; and from Henry County High School, Leah Nolen and Suzan Wolski.

Principals from each school presented the teachers with certificates and spoke about their achievements and a reception was held for them before the meeting.

Director of Schools Sam Miles said, “As all of you know, this is a landmark in a teacher’s career and a lot of respect should go to the teachers who have achieved this status.”   

The board approved a request from Henry Schools for renovations to the We Care Thrift Store which will double its size. The store is located in the former Commercial Bank Building which was donated to the district and is operated by Henry teachers.

Maintenance Supervisor John Akers said the renovations will enclose the former drive-through area of the building and turn it into another room. “We’ll be taking about the deposit box, safe and window and haul it off,” he said. 

Helping Hand is helping to finance the project and it also will involve in-kind contributions, Miles said.

The board also approved an Eagle Scout project proposed by Austin Lindsey, son of Clay and Regena Lindsey. He told the board he would like to build a walkway at Henry School at the kids’ corner entrance to make it easier to student to get to the room. Lindsey presented the board with binders prepared with the project description.

In other business:

--Federal Programs Director Dr. Susan Burton reported that the school district has been awarded a $43,844.95 grant for the school year which is intended to be used to improve conditions for learning. She said previous grants were used to improve security at the schools and this one will be used in that manner, too.

--High School Students Anna Martino and Haly Northington gave a power point presentation findings of the Youth Engagement Summit surveys on improving quality of school life.

--The board approved the Family Life curriculum which Dr. Renea Wade said will be available for parents’ review. The board earlier approved the policy and now needed to approve the curriculum to be used.

Eagle Scout Austin Lindsey received approval for his project to build a walkway at Henry School. (McFarlin photo).

HCHS Program Remembers September 11, 2001

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo speaks, as fellow speakers Sheriff Monte Belew, Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams and other First Responders listen. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris and Henry County First Responders came together at Henry County High School this morning for a solemn remembrance of 9/11 organized by the school’s Criminal Justice class.

First Responders in attendance at the program included members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Paris Police, Paris Fire Department, Henry County EMS and Rescue Squad and the Springville and Paris Landing volunteer fire departments. The program was opened with the presentation of the flag and playing of taps. The high school Madrigals also sang.

Speakers were Sheriff Monte Belew, Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo and Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams, all of whom encouraged the auditorium full of students to never forget what happened September 11 thirteen years ago.

Belew told the students that he became involved in law enforcement 23 years ago “because I wanted to help people and wanted to help the community. The best feeling I know is to be able to help your own hometown community.”

There are three kinds of people: wolves, sheep and those who protect the sheep from the wolves, Belew said. “And I feel that’s what we do. 9/11 changed our country forever and I’m proud to be a Henry Countian, Tennessean and American.”

Williams reminded the students of how many lives were lost on 9/11, which included over 300 firefighters, plus hundreds of other first responders. “Post 9/11 has brought many changes for first responders,” he said, namely a greater awareness and preparedness.

“We should never forget all the lives lost on 9/11,” he said. “We just need to keep the faith.”

Elizondo recalled his memories from that day, noting, “It was an eerie feeling we experienced and it changed us forever. We can never go back to the way it was.”

The job that first responders have is to be prepared for all emergencies, he said. “When others are running away from danger, we’re the ones who are running into it. That’s just part of the job.”

At the end of each day, Elizondo said, “I want to go home knowing I helped somebody and made a difference.”

The First Responders were invited to a lunch prepared by the criminal justice class after the program.

First Responders salute the flag as it is presented at today's program. (McFarlin photo).

MSU Professor Awarded $459,998 Research Grant

Dr. Howard Whiteman (fifth from right) is shown with students and collaborators at his field site in Colorado during this past summer. The group includes several current and former Murray State University researchers: Melanie Torres, M.S. watershed science student (third from left); Christian Brown, B.S. wildlife and conservation biology graduate (fourth from left); Morgan Geile, B.S. wildlife and conservation biology graduate (fifth from left), Dr. Alycia Lackey, Watershed Studies Institute postdoctoral associate (fourth from right); and Michael Moore, M.S. watershed science graduate, (third from right). (MSU photo).

Murray, Ky. — Dr. Howard Whiteman, professor of biological sciences and director of the Watershed Studies Institute at Murray State University, has been awarded $459,998 from the National Science Foundation for his research.

Whiteman and his collaborator, Dr. Cy Mott of Valdosta State University, are studying how size variation in a top predator affects both the production of new predators and their effects on other members of aquatic food webs.

He is using salamanders as the top predator in his research, in part because they provide an excellent model system for the questions he is studying, and also because the proposed research is built upon more than two decades of research on salamander ecology in Whiteman’s lab. 

During the next four summers, Whiteman and Mott will conduct observational and experimental studies at the Hancock Biological Station on Kentucky Lake and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado.

Three undergraduate students — one each from Murray State, Valdosta State and Kentucky State University, will be collecting data with Whiteman and Mott each summer. Additionally, students from Murray and Valdosta will conduct research in the lab throughout the year and analyze data collected during the project. All of the involved students will have opportunities to present their research at scientific meetings and potentially publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals.

Ministerial Association To Host Town Hall Meeting

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Minister’s Alliance and Association is hosting a Town Hall meeting from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, September 14, at the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris.

President M.A. Richardson said special guests will be members of the Paris Police and Henry County Sheriff’s Office, local and county officials, religious leaders, local pastors and focus youth groups.

Purpose of the meeting is to discuss improving community and police relations through racial harmony.

Lego League Is Underway At Rhea Library

Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Library is once again hosting the Lego League on a regular basis through the school year. The League meets on the second Monday of each month, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The next two meeting dates are October 13 and November 10.

Lego donations are always needed. Just drop them off at the circulation desk at the library.

Registration Open For Archaeology Field School At LBL

Golden Pond, Ky. – Land Between The Lakes will host an Archaeology Field School for youth ages 10 through 13 years during fall break. This 3-day outdoor classroom will be held from 9am to 3:30pm Wednesday through Friday, October 8, 9, and 10. Six openings exist. This archaeological experience is FREE of charge. Parents need to call Jamie Bennett at 270-924-2015 for more information and to register by Tuesday, September 30. 

“Students will learn how to read a topographical map, use a GPS, find locations through orienteering, and excavate an historical site during the field school,” says Jamie Bennett, Heritage Program Manager at Land Between The Lakes. “This is a fun way for participants to learn how we preserve our history.”

Participants and their parents will meet each morning at Hillman Ferry Campground at 9am. From there, participants will be transported to various locations around Land Between The Lakes. Participants need to pack a lunch, snacks, and water with them each day. Extra water, all tools, and equipment will be provided. Parents will pick up their children each day at 3:30pm at Hillman Ferry Campground.

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

Baptist Memorial To Host Grief Counseling

Union City, Tenn.-Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City is sponsoring Grief Share, a grief support group, on Wednesdays for five weeks beginning October 8 and continuing through November 5 from 3:00-4:30 pm.

Participants will meet in the hospital’s administrative conference room located at the east entrance. If you have lost a loved one, please attend. There are no fees. For more information, contact Bro. Mike Osment, BMH-UC chaplain, at 884-8210.

UTM Program To Benefit Post 9/11 Veterans 

Martin, Tenn. – Post-9/11 veterans will benefit from new technology provided to the University of Tennessee at Martin. The university has received a laptop computer, complete with Microsoft Office software and a Jabra voice headset made possible from an award through Syracuse University. The award also includes access to free courses toward industrial certification for any post-9/11 veterans, not just those currently enrolled at UT Martin. 
The Veterans Career Transition Program is operated under a grant to Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families. The program is delivered entirely online at no cost to veterans or spouses. 

The award to UT Martin, which is part of the Veterans Career Transition Program, has been opened to non-students and their families and includes various courses from business to human relations and many others. A complete list of courses offered can be found at 

The computer and headset are located in Clement Hall, accessible through the Student Services and Success Mentoring Center. Registration is currently open for the seminars launching in January 2015. Those interested can apply at, or persons can e-mail Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls at

Veteran Suicides Increase In Tennessee

Nashville, Tenn. – Veteran suicides are on the rise in Tennessee, state officials announced today.

According to Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Douglas Varney and Tennessee Department Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder, veteran suicides increased from 197 in 2012 to 214 in 2013. 

September is National Suicide Prevention Month which is an initiative to raise awareness about the tragic trend and the resources available to offer support.

“Sadly, our brave men and women who once served in uniform may struggle with thoughts of suicide and thoughts of giving up,” Varney said. “They must always know they are never alone.”
Since 1990, more than 4,200 Veterans have committed suicide in Tennessee, making up 21 percent of all suicide deaths in the state. The counties with the highest rate in 2013 include Shelby County with 25, Davidson County with 19 and Knox County with 15.

Marine Veterans Stephen Cochran served in Afghanistan and Daniel Dean served in Iraq. Both are currently partnering with the TDMHSAS and TDVA to improve suicide prevention. Both Cochran and Dean are country music artists. Dean starred in Cochran’s music video which highlights the reality of Post-Traumatic Stress called “Pieces”. 

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services offers a crisis hotline that offers support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 1-855-CRISIS-1.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs offers a crisis line that also offers support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255, or send a text to 838255. Other online resources from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs are offered at and

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Paris Police Department Awarded New Patrol Car

From left: Paris Parking Officer Tammy Walker, Sgt. Ricky Watson, Lt. John Brewer, Brenda Jones and Chief Chuck Elizondo. Jones is the Governor’s Highway Safety Office Liaison for West Tennessee Law Enforcement. (Paris PD photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-In what Paris Police Investigator Ricky Watson called “a once in a lifetime opportunity”, the Paris Police Department won a fully-equipped 2014 Ford Taurus valued at $54,000.

The car will be used as a patrol vehicle, according to Watson, and came equipped with a computer already installed. “I was the first one to drive it after it was delivered,” Watson said, “but I won’t be using it. It will be used for patrol.”

Watson explained that the Paris Police Department compiled a book on enforcement and education for the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) which made it eligible to win the car. At a recent conference, all the eligible departments were placed in a bowl and ten were picked and asked to come forward. Of those ten, Watson was the one who picked the lucky piece which allowed the department to win the car.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office announced the winners of the 10th Annual Law Enforcement Challenge this week and several departments in our local area won awards.

Other winners of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Challenge were: 

For departments having one to 10 officers: Dover Police won first place and Dresden won second place.

For departments having 26 to 45 officers: Union City Police won second place and Brownsville won first place.

Beyond the Traffic Stop Winners were Officers Jonathan Crouch and Anna Carol Cantu of the Dyersburg Police Department.

The Law Enforcement Challenge is an annual competition designed to recognize and reward the best overall traffic safety programs across the state. Similar sizes and types of agencies are judged on their local efforts to enforce laws and educate the public about the dangers of driving impaired and speeding, as well as the importance of occupant protection. The winning safety programs combine officer training, public information and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries within their jurisdictions. To receive national recognition, agencies participated in the International Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Challenge. 

“The Law Enforcement Challenge honors the good work of our law enforcement agencies,” according to Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. “It also provides an incentive for law enforcement agencies to reach new heights, set comprehensive goals, and share their experiences. These enforcement and education efforts help keep our roads safe and help nurture better drivers.”

Qualifying agencies were eligible to win two fully equipped police vehicles. This year’s vehicle winners were the White House Police Department and the Paris Police Department. Agencies that participated in the S.A.F.E. (Seatbelts Are For Everyone) campaign were eligible for a third fully equipped police vehicle. The winner of the S.A.F.E vehicle was the Oliver Springs Police Department.

Union City Man Arrested For Solicitation Of Minor

Union City, Tenn.-A 50-year-old Union City man was arrested Tuesday morning on charges involving solicitation of a minor.

James Vessels, assistant plant manager at Tyson Foods, posted bond of $30,000 Tuesday afternoon and was released from the Obion County Jail.

According to the Union City Police report, Vessels was arrested in the area of 1196 Sunswept Drive on charges of solicitation of a minor, soliciting the sexual exploitation of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The narrative which accompanies the police report states that Vessel solicited a person whom he believed to be a 15-year-old female “to meet for sex, while sending a nude photograph of himself to said female. Mr. Vessels also provided an alcoholic beverage for the underage female constituting the charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

Kentucky Fugitive Caught in Nashville
Assaulted Mayfield Policeman, Probation Officer

Hickory, Ky.– A fugitive wanted by the Kentucky State Police has been apprehended by authorities in Nashville. Joshua Fox has been on the run from police since July when he assaulted a Mayfield Police Officer and a Probation Officer in Mayfield Kentucky. 

Kentucky State Police have been working with the United States Marshals Service in an attempt to locate Fox. Information was received in late August allowing authorities to narrow their search and on September 10th, Marshals located Fox in a Nashville apartment complex. 

Fox was in possession of a firearm upon his capture and is facing local weapons charges. Joshua Fox will be extradited back to Kentucky where he will face charges of Assault 3rd Degree, Escape 1st Degree, and Theft by Unlawful Taking.

The Beauty Of Nature Is All Around Us

Buchanan, Tenn.-Photographer Richard Graves had not seen a Monarch butterfly in two years when he spotted this one the other day. Naturally, he pulled out his camera and captured this breathtaking photo to share with all of us. 

UTM Sets Grand Re-Opening Of Dining Hall

The newly remodeled dining hall at UT Martin has reopened. UTM photo

Martin, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee at Martin will celebrate the grand re-opening Thursday of two widely used areas on the main campus. A 10:30 a.m. ceremony will officially recognize the newly upgraded Barnes & Noble College Bookstore and Sodexo Skyhawk Dining Hall. The ceremony will take place in the first-floor lobby between the dining hall and bookstore. The university community and public are invited to attend. 

Beginning during the spring 2014 semester, the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore began moving from its longtime second-floor location in the Boling University Center. Now on the first floor, the bookstore has expanded and increased the amount of merchandise and textbooks. New to the store is a study area called the POD. More about the bookstore is available at 

Across the hall from the bookstore is the newly renovated dining hall and brand new coffee shop, The Hanger, which serves Starbucks Coffee. The Sodexo Skyhawk Dining Hall has a larger seating capacity and new dining options that include the 360 Degrees grill, Magellan international food option and an Italian food option, Bella Trattoria. Staple dining options include the salad bar, now called Fresh From the Fields, the hot plate option called Daily Dish, the Basic Kneads sandwich station, and the Ignite Grill. Desserts can be found near each food station, and soda fountains are placed in three different locations. 

To celebrate the grand re-opening ceremony, special dining hall pricing is available through Friday, Sept. 12, with lunch costing $5 and dinner costing $7. For more information about UT Martin Dining Services, visit


Hear Elk Bugling At LBL

Golden Pond, Ky. – Every fall, beginning in September, mature bull elk in the Elk & Bison Prairie at Land Between The Lakes begin their mating season. Bugling actually sounds more like a loud squeal. The Elk & Bison Prairie is open seven days a week, from dawn to dusk. The prairie features a 3.5-mile paved loop road. Interpretive stops help visitors view wildlife and learn more about this native habitat. Prairie passes cost $5 per vehicle and are available at the Elk & Bison Prairie entrance or any Land Between The Lakes facility.

Biologists introduced elk into the 700-acre prairie in February 1996. “The peak of bugling season usually occurs from mid-September to mid-October,” says Curtis Fowler, Range and Wildlife Technician at Land Between The Lakes. “This is one of the most exciting times to drive through the prairie.” Currently the prairie has 55 to 60 elk and 75 bison.
“Late afternoon provides the best chance to hear the unusual bugling sound and see the elk calves,” explains Fowler. “Take some time to stop at the prairie's interpretive stops or along the road, turn off your vehicle engine, and listen for 15 to 20 minutes for the sounds of elk and other wildlife while remaining in your vehicle. Visitors often drive the loop more than once.”

Land Between The Lakes asks visitors to observe the Elk & Bison Prairie rules to be safe. Elk and bison can be unpredictable. Visitors are to remain in their vehicle when these large animals are nearby.

Cottage Grove Sees Improvements

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The city of Cottage Grove is seeing many new improvements lately, with new stop signs, a flashing caution light, newly-painted stop letters and new city limit signs, thanks to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

This is in addition to the new LED lighting installed on all the city light poles by the Paris Board of Public Utilities earlier.

Mayor Mike Waddey reported on the improvements at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Cottage Grove Legislative Council. Waddey said several citizens also have requested additional poles and lights in dark areas.

Waddey reported that the electricity has been turned off at the old city hall building, since it is not in use now as a meeting place, and the vending machine has been removed from the sidewalk.

Boyd’s General Store in Cottage Grove will hold its grand opening Saturday, September 9 from 11 a.m.-1 pm.

Upon motion by Councilman John Weiher, council voted to purchase additional pavement sealer for the Boyd’s parking lot.

Kentucky Man Bolts Checkpoint

Wingo, Ky.-A Paducah man was arrested on multiple charges after he bolted from a routine checkpoint in Graves County on Monday.

According to the press release from the Kentucky State Police, KSP conducted a traffic safety checkpoint on US 45 south at the Brush Creek Bridge in Graves County. During the checkpoint Martin J. Kendall, 37 of Paducah, drove up to the checkpoint. During routine questioning Kendall fled the checkpoint. 

Trooper Adam Mattingly and Trooper Kory McDonald pursued Kendall for approximately two miles at which point Kendall pulled over and ran on foot in another attempt to get away from the Troopers. 

Trooper McDonald gave verbal commands to stop and was ignored. Trooper McDonald used his agency issued taser on Kendall. After Kendall was apprehended, he was transported by ambulance to Jackson Purchase Medical Center for chest pain, Kendall treated and cleared by the medical staff and was then lodged in the Graves County Jail. 

Kendall was charged with Fleeing and Evading Police 1st degree Motor Vehicle, Fleeing Evading Police 2nd degree on Foot, two counts of Wanton Endangerment 1st degree, resisting arrest, Driving under the Influence 3rd with aggravated circumstances, Driving on DUI Suspended License, Reckless Driving, Speeding 26 MPH or Greater, and Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Puryear Lions Club Dissolved; Puryear Day Discontinued

The start of the 2014 Puryear Day parade. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Puryear, Tenn.-At an emotional meeting Monday night, the Puryear Lions Club voted to surrender its charter and with it the historic annual Puryear Day will be discontinued along with other services provided by the organization in its lengthy tenure.

Puryear Lions Club Official Mackie Gallimore said Tuesday afternoon the club decided to surrender its charter for several reasons: “Number one, the age of the members and some of us are not in good health. And, our numbers are going down drastically. As of the first of the year, we’ll have six members and you can’t put on Puryear Day with only six members.”

Puryear Day has grown into a major event for Henry County since the Puryear Lions Club was chartered in 1961 and it’s become too big for the tiny organization to handle. The 2014 Puryear Day was its 53rd annual celebration for the city.

“Sure, we were sad to make this decision,” Gallimore said. “I’ve been a member for 40 years myself and we’ve got members who’ve been in for 30 or more. But it was a decision we had to make.”

Gallimore thanked the Puryear community for all the support it has given to the event in the past. “Puryear is a great community,” he said.

The Puryear Lions Club has held membership drives in the past, but hasn’t been able to generate new members, he said.

Other services provided by the Lions Club include spending “thousands of dollars on glasses”, donating money to Hoofbeats of Hope, the Boy Scouts and the Harrelson School in Puryear. 

Another organization could organize a Puryear Day of their own in the future, Gallimore said. “They’re more than welcome, but they can’t do it under the name of the Puryear Lions Club.”

The decision, Gallimore said, marked “a sad time for us. We know our services are going to be lost, but it’s a decision that had to be made.”

HCHS To Host 9/11 Remembrance

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County High School Criminal Justice Class will present a program commemorating 9/11 in front of the high school at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, September 11. The program has become an annual event at the high school.

Many community members have been invited to the program, which will include the Henry County Sheriff’s Department honor guard. The High School Madrigals will perform.

Teacher Diane McCord said the program is designed “to show remembrance of the events of 9/11 and appreciation for those that are risking their lives in service to Henry County each day.”  

After the September 11th program, local emergency response professionals are invited to attend a brunch hosted by the Criminal Justice students.  

Counce To Appear on High School Sports Page TV Show

Coach Counce displays the Patriots' 2011 state trophy at the high school locker room. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Nashville, Tenn.-Henry County High School Head Coach James Counce will be on The High School Sports Page television show with Murphy Fair and Terry Merrell this Wednesday, Sept 10. 

The show begins at 8 pm on News Channel 5+. The station number varies depending on your cable provider (250 on Comcast and 150 on Charter). You can also follow the link on the News Channel 5 website to watch 5 plus live -

More information will be available on the Facebook page - The High School Sports Page with Murphy Fair and Terry Merrell.

Bobo Family Issues Statement After Remains Identified

Decaturville, Tenn.-Through their attorney, the family of Holly Bobo issued a statement spoke of their heartbreak since she disappeared in 2011. “We’ve lost a precious daughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend. However, those responsible have lost their souls,” their attorney Steve Farese of Memphis said.

Bobo’s parents and other family members decided at the last minute not to speak during the news conference, which was called after the announcement last night by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that Bobo’s remains had been identified.

Newly-elected Decatur County Sheriff Keith Byrd, who also is a friend of the Bobo family, said at the news conference that law authorities still believe that there are more people involved in Holly's disappearance.

"More arrests will be forthcoming," Byrd said. "They can run, but they can't hide."

Forensics experts from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, are “trying to find as much evidence as they can,” Byrd also told NBC News. 

Newly-elected District Attorney Matt Stowe of Huntingdon said, “The time to talk is over. It’s time to do our jobs.”

Two Injured In Morning Semi Collision

Hazel, Ky. – Two people were injured in the collision involving an overturned semi on Hwy 641 this morning near Hazel. The collision and investigation by the Kentucky State Police blocked the highway for some four hours.

According to the report from the KSP, the accident occurred around 7 a.m.

Initial investigation revealed Summer D. Pilkington, 27 of Selma, NC, was driving a 2014 Volvo semi, traveling north on 641 S. Summer ran off the right side of the roadway for an undetermined reason and then overcorrected, which caused the semi-truck and empty trailer to overturn. 

Michael W. Pilkington, 47, of Selma, NC, was a passenger in the sleeper birth of the semi at the time of the collision. Summer and Michel were transported to Murray-Calloway County Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. 

The investigation continues by Trooper Jody Cash. KSP was assisted on scene by Calloway County Fire Rescue, and Murray- Calloway County EMS. 

HCHS College Fair Is Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County High School College Fair for Juniors and Seniors will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. tonight in the high school commons area.

Representatives from numerous schools, colleges/universities, military and technical schools will have displays for students and parents to visit.  One on one interaction with these representatives will allow you to gather information on schools and ask any important questions that you might have.  Now is the time to begin your post-secondary plans if you have not already started.  

There will also be a TSAC (Tennessee School Assistance Corporation) representative on hand giving presentations on the Lottery Scholarship, financial aid and the new TN Promise scholarship.  The presentation will be presented 4 times starting at 6:30 and will last for approximately 30 minutes in the Little Theatre.  The HCHS computer lab will be open for students to complete the application for the TN Promise scholarship if they are interested after each presentation.

The event is free.  

TBI Confirms Remains Belong To Holly Bobo

Decaturville, Tenn.-Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn announced last night that the TBI has confirmed that the remains found over the weekend in Decatur County are of Holly Bobo, the nursing student who has been missing since 2011.

Gwyn, 24th District Attorney Matt Stowe and Decatur County Sheriff Keith Byrd held a news conference in Decaturville Monday night in a room filled with family and friends of Bobo’s, as well as news reporters. 

Those close to Bobo cried out at the announcement by Gwyn, who also said, “It has been my prayer and the prayers of many others that Holly Bobo would be found. I assure you this is not over by any means.”

The TBI and Decatur County Sheriff’s Office has “been working tirelessly and thoroughly on this, following all leads,” Gwyn said.

Stowe said he had just arrived from having “a very difficult conversation with the family of Holly Bobo” to tell them of the confirmation. He asked that “everyone please respect their privacy.”

Stowe said the Bobo family will make a statement today, around noon or 1 p.m.

He also indicated the state intends to seek the death penalty against those involved in Bobo’s death.

“The TBI has been working exhaustively on this case for years and the evidence is voluminous,” Stowe said. “We are ready, willing and able to seek the death penalty.”

Byrd said he also spoke with the Bobo family and said after all this time the news was a “relief” to the family, to finally have some bit of closure.

On Sunday, September 7, two hunters discovered the possible human remains and alerted authorities.
The 20-year old nursing student disappeared from her home the morning of April 13, 2011. In the years since her disappearance, there has been an on-going and collaborative effort among TBI agents and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department to thoroughly follow all leads surrounding her disappearance.

In March of this year, Zachary Adams was indicted on charges of First Degree Felony Murder and Especially Aggravated Kidnapping in connection to the death of Holly Bobo. A month later, Jason Autry was also indicted and charged with one count of Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and First Degree Felony Murder.

Two other men, Mark and Jeffrey Pearcy, have also been charged with tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact. Both men are alleged to have owned or have knowledge of a video which shows Bobo tied up and crying after her disappearance.

Hwy 641 Closed Following Semi Accident

Hazel, Ky.-A semi has overturned on Hwy. 641 near Hazel and the highway will be closed for at least two hours.

The Kentucky State Police is on scene as of 9 a.m. and will be releasing more information later this morning on the accident, according to the KSP office in Mayfield.

A spokesman for the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office said traffic is being rerouted both on the Kentucky and Tennessee side of the state line.

“The county fire department are out at the scene, too, helping direct traffic,” he said.

Holbrook to Portray Twain Again At The Dixie 

Huntingdon, Tenn.– When Lori Neal Nolen, Executive Director of The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center, began planning the 10th anniversary season, one of her first calls was to Actor Hal Holbrook, husband of the late Dixie Carter.

Holbrook, a legend of stage and screen, is bringing Mark Twain Tonight! back to the stage he helped design Saturday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. 

“He is such a master at his craft that you will not want to miss this opportunity to see a living legend right here in the theatre that bears his name,” Nolen said. “He is truly magical, and I couldn't think of a better way to open our season.”

Holbrook created his celebrated one-man show in college and has spent the past six decades perfecting his tribute to the iconic author. In 2001, The New York Times called Holbrook “the undisputed monarch of Mark Twain impersonators.” 

His ability to breathe new life into the dynamic Twain launched Holbrook’s Hollywood acting career, which includes television and film roles. He earned Emmy awards for Pueblo and Lincoln and was nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 82 for his work in Into the Wild.

Mark Twain Tonight! also earned Holbrook Tony and Drama Desk awards. He has written two books about his experiences as the literary giant: Mark Twain Tonight! An Actor’s Portrait and his memoirs Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain. 

Holbrook has performed Mark Twain Tonight! at The Dixie three times, and each show has been wildly popular. Tickets are $75 each and a waiting list has started because this show sold out quickly. Purchase tickets at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731.986.2100, or online at

Martin PD Receives Ballistic Shields

Front row, from left: Middle School SRO Adam Stringer and Westview SRO Jason Arant
Back row: Chief David Moore, Mayor Randy Brundige, CPA Board members Susan Lemond, Paula Garner, CPA President Steve Lemond, Bobby Brown, and David Sudberry.

 Martin, Tenn.-School Resource Officers from the Martin Police Department were recently presented with new ballistic shields. Westview High School SRO Jason Arant and Martin Middle School SRO Adam Stringer were present at the Martin Police Department on Monday to receive the new equipment. The Hardwire Bulletproof Whiteboards are everyday instructor’s tools which also provides emergency armor protection. 

The equipment was purchased for the officers by the Martin Police Department Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association. The association continues to provide assistance and support to the department and its members. 

Campsites Available For Campers' Fair At Piney

Golden Pond, Ky. – Piney Campground at Land Between The Lakes will host its 41st Annual Campers’ Fair September 17-21, and campsites and shelters are available now on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Campers’ Fair will showcase the newest in RVs, camping equipment, golf carts, and boats. The flea market will include arts, crafts, and other items for sale. The event is open and free to the general public on Saturday, September 20th from 8am-4pm, and on Sunday, September 21st from 10am-2pm. Guests can also enjoy a variety of entertainment, dancing, games, and music.

“Campers’ Fair is a great way to celebrate the end of summer,” according to Campground Manager Derrick Washington. “Campers can come out and have a great time with fellow outdoor enthusiasts. If you're considering getting into camping or upgrading, Campers’ Fair provides the perfect event to check out the different types of gear available.”

Campsites and shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations can be made 24/7 at, or by calling 1-800-525-7077 Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm CST. Piney Campground campers will have access to the entire event all week, including live music on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Piney Campground offers scenic lake front and wooded sites, capable of accommodating tents and large RVs, ranging from primitive to full hookups. Rustic camping shelters are also available. Hiking and biking trails, ball courts and fields, a playground, and a pavilion are also available to campers.

Point Pleasant Invites Public To Program

Buchanan, Tenn.-The ladies of Point Pleasant Baptist Church at Buchanan invite everyone to a Beth Moore Simulcast this Saturday, September 13.

The day will begin at 7:30 a.m. with registration, coffee and muffins. The simulcast begins at 8 a.m. Cost is $20 (checks to PPBC). A lunch break will be for one and a half hours and the church’s outreach ministry SERVOLUTION, will be offering a lunch deal: grilled hamburger, chips, drink and cookie for $5.

Proceeds from the day will benefit the church’s outreach ministry.

To reserve a spot, sign up for lunch or ask questions, call Karen Dukes at 731641-6450 or Emily Daniel 731-363-0013 or

Patton To Speak At Dem Meeting

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Democratic Women will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at Paris City Hall. Speaker will be Randy Patton of Camden, a candidate for State Representative. The public is invited to attend.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Paris-Henry Co. Rescue Squad Conducts Extrication Training

Rescue Squad members concentrating on their training. (Carol Tedford photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Members of the Paris-Henry County Rescue Squad had a busy weekend of training in basic extrication certification. Carol Tedford of the Rescue Squad said the squad trains as much as it can “to keep our skills up and to be more proficient. We recertify every two years.”

The rescue squad was chartered in 1955 and is one of the oldest squads in Tennessee. Tedford said the squad is made up of volunteers from all walks of life. Members are trained in vehicle extrication, emergency driving, first aid, CPR, disaster response, big rig and school bus rescues, water searches, and rope and trench rescues.

Conducting the training this weekend was Ross Guy and Kathy Clark. New members Kenny Medlock, Jim Perkins, Amanda Foss, John Barron, Michael Haggman and Matt Waugh completed their first basic extrication class.

Members who were recertified were Brayton Edlin, Austin Willoughby, Second Lt. Eddie Hayes and First Lt. Fred Vanderpool.

Rescue squad services are provided to Henry County free of charge. Tedford said, “We like for the public to know what their donations are going for.”

TBI Analyzing Remains Found in Decatur County

Nashville, Tenn.-Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Public Information Officer Josh DeVine said Monday morning that the human remains found by hunters Sunday morning in Decatur County have been transported to the TBI’s Memphis lab for analysis.
The discovery of the skull found in a remote wooded area near the family home of Zach Adams, one of the prime suspects in the murder and kidnapping of Holly Bobo, have raised hopes that her remains have been found. Bobo disappeared from her home in 2011.

DeVine Said, “The remains were taken to our Memphis lab for further analysis, where they will first be tested to confirm whether they’re human. After that, our Forensic Scientists will begin the process of trying to identify to whom they belong. We cannot speculate on a timeline for that process.”

WENK/WTPR published a story about the discovery on Sunday.

Enjoying Nature At Kentucky Lake

Buchanan, Tenn.-The picture of serenity, a couple enjoys the beautiful scenery at Paris Landing State Park over the weekend. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

CornFest 2014 Begins This Week
Parade, Concerts, BBQ, Zombies And More

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County CornFest 2014 begins in earnest this week with plenty of activities in Union City and elsewhere in the county. Activities include the Thursday evening parade in downtown Union City, chalk art contest, fashion show, BBQ cookoff, cake walk, pet show, chair auction, zombies and more. American Idol Contestant Paul Jolley of Palmersville will perform in concert Saturday night.

On Tuesday, September 9, the Library Kids Concert will be held at the Obion County Library, with Cowboy Dan performing at 6 p.m.

On Wednesday, the Pride of Obion County luncheon will be held at the Hampton Center to honor David Harris, manager at Walmart and active in civic affairs. “This is always a highpoint of the CornFest celebration, according to Pride Committee Chair Janie Alexander, “and we know many people will want to be on hand to honor David.”

The Master Gardener Luncheon is set for Thursday, September 11, and it will feature Author and Garden Designer Troy B. Marden. Marden is the star of TV’s Volunteer Gardener program. A sack lunch will be available at the event, set for noon at Soleil Garden Center.

The CornFest Chalk Art Contest also will be held Thursday, at 3:30 p.m. on South First Street in downtown Union City. The free event is for students from kindergarten through 12th grade to showcase their creativity on the sidewalks of the city.

Pizza will be provided by Snappy Tomato and cold drinks from Union City Coca-Cola.

The CornFest Parade beins at 5:30 p.m., down First Street and through the downtown area. Cash prizes will be awarded in several categories. For more information call 731881-7561.

The CornFest Fashion Show and Lunch will be held September 12 at the Eddie Cox Center and it benefits Westover Center For the Arts. Tickets are $15 and is set for 11:30 a.m.

Later that day at the Wynridge Golf Course in Troy will be a Four-Man Golf Scramble. All funds raised go to Obion County hometown walk of Hope. Teams who pay the $100 registration will enjoy a free lunch at noon at the course. The 18-hole event follows lunch.

The CornFest BBQ Cook Off is held September 12 and 13 in downtown Union City, in the parking lot next to the Obion County Chamber office. Organizers said they wanted to combine the contest and Tyson Food’s annual free Family Feed in one location.

Tyson also will provide all the chicken for the contestants to prepare on site. 

The Day In The Park is set for Saturday, September 13, with a Fun Run featuring Zombie Chasers this year. Pets in the Park, Junior Auxiliary Petting Zoo, a Chair Auction, Cake Walks get underway at 9 a.m. in Kiwanis Park in downtown Union City.

Artists, craftspeople, hobby artists and non-profits will have booths and exhibits. At 10 a.m., a car show begins, as well as pumpkin painting for kids. At 11 a.m., the Pedal Car Race begins, with the bed race at 1 p.m., corn hole tournament, corn eating and corn shucking contests from 2-5 p.m.

The Corn Idol Contest will begin at 3 p.m.

The Tyson Foods Free Community Feed is from 4-6 p.m., followed by the free Paul Jolley concert at 5:30 p.m. 

Booklets with the CornFest schedule are available at the library and throughout the community. The schedule also is on the CornFest website.

Obion Library Kids Concert is Set Tuesday

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Library Kids’ Concert will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 9, with music and entertainment from Cowboy Dan.

The concert is part of the CornFest festivities and will be held in the parking lot. Admission free. Bring lawn chairs or blankets.

WestStar Leadership Program Applications Accepted

Martin, Tenn. – Applications are being accepted to participate in UT Martin’s WestStar Leadership Program. The program is the largest and oldest regional leadership development program in Tennessee and serves the 21 counties of West Tennessee. The program has produced 710 graduates in its 25-year history. 

For application and additional information, contact WestStar at 731-881-7298 or online at The application deadline is Oct. 15. Anyone can apply to participate in the program, and nominations are accepted but not required. Class members will be competitively selected to participate in the 2015 program.

The WestStar program consists of eight specially designed seminar programs addressing contemporary major issues important to West Tennessee’s development. Each seminar takes place over one-and-a-half days. The program begins Dec. 11 with an opening one-day retreat and ends June 18, 2015, with an evening graduation ceremony.

The WestStar mission is to identify, encourage and equip community-minded people who want to become more involved, want to help West Tennessee become a better place and are willing to accept assertive and dynamic leadership roles.

Participants learn new leadership skills and develop strategies for assisting communities in solving problems and maximizing potential. Participants also become part of a growing network of other leaders who, through mutual support and assistance, shape West Tennessee’s future.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Human Remains Found In Decatur County
Stowe Said Identification Will Take 24-48 Hours

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Decatur County, Tenn. --Newly-elected District Attorney Matt Stowe has confirmed to WENK/WTPR that human remains were found early Sunday in a wooded area near property owned by the family of Zach Adams. Adams is one of two murder suspects arrested earlier this year in the case of Holly Bobo, who has been missing since 201l.

Stowe vowed that investigators will keep looking for more remains. “We have not recovered all the remains and no one will be leaving the scene until we do,” he said.

Stowe and other investigators have been at the scene all day. He confirmed that a human skull was found by hunters and said the remains still must be identified. “It will take 24 to 48 hours to do that,” he said.

Some media  reports are indicating that the remains were found only some 10 miles from the Adams family home. Stowe could not confirm that, however. “I don’t have a map in front of me and honestly can’t say how close we are to that property,” he said.

Stowe did say that the area where the remains were found is so remote “no one could end up here by accident.”

The discovery comes as two newly-elected officials take over the reins of the case: both Stowe and Decatur County Sheriff Keith Byrd.

The TBI, Decatur County deputies and other agencies pored over Adams’ property earlier this year.

Both Zach Adams and Jason Autry, also of Decatur County, were indicted earlier this year and charged with first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping. Two more men, Mark and Jeffrey Pearcy, have also been charged with tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact. Both men are alleged to have owned or have knowledge of a video which shows Bobo tied up and crying after her disappearance.

Arts and Crafts Festival Continues Today

Buchanan, Tenn.-Dustin Smith of the Knights of Columbus, top photo, was one of several volunteers working at the annual Arts and Crafts Festival sponsored by the Lakeway Kiwanis Club of Paris Saturday at Paris Landing State Park. Over 100 vendors from all over (with some from as far away as Ohio) were sharing their wares with the large crowd that flocked to the park. The festival continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. One of the most popular stands was that of Scott Green of Atwood, who was selling good cinnamon roasted nuts of all varieties, bottom. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Career Center Open House Set Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The public is invited to the Tennessee Career Center Customer Appreciation Open House next week. It will be a good opportunity for job seekers and employers to learn more about job searches and employment.

The open house is set for 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, September 9 at the Central Administration Building at 55 Jones Bend Rd. Extended. Light refreshments will be served.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Patriots Football Team Helps Firefighters Install Smoke Alarms

Gunner Osborn (on ladder), Luke Reed and Andrew Minor at work. (Captain Chris Mustain photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Fire Department and Henry County Football Team installed 67 smoke alarms in homes in Paris Saturday afternoon as part of the State Fire Marshal’s “Get Alarmed” pilot program.

Twenty-five seniors and juniors on the football team went out with crews from the fire department in five department trucks through several neighborhoods that are considered at-risk to install the fire alarms for free.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) is on a mission to prevent home fire deaths in Tennessee and with grant funds awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency was able to purchase 20,000 smoke alarms to be distributed to fire departments.

Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams said he picked up 120 fire alarms from State Fire Marshal Claire Marsalis for use in the program. “Our kick off today was very successful,” Williams said. “We had several areas targeted and we were very happy with 67 smoke alarms being installed on our first day doing this.”

Williams said he was very proud of the Henry County Patriots’ football team and Coach James Counce for wanting to partner with the fire department for the program.

“Tennessee is in the top 5 states in the United States in fire deaths and that’s not good,” Williams said. “This is a program that is intended to save lives.”

Captain James Mustain was in charge of coordinating the program on Saturday. 

Williams said the fire alarms are intended to be installed outside the sleeping areas on every level of the homes. 

According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Get Alarmed program has been credited with saving the lives of 52 Tennesseans so far, demonstrating that working smoke alarms can and will save lives. The State Fire Marshal’s Office wants all Tennesseans to have these vital devices in their homes.  

Hayden Walker and Ethan Dicus installing an alarm.

Rockin' To The Little River Band

Martin, Tenn.-A huge and enthusiastic crowd was on hand Friday night for the performance of Little River Band at the Tennessee Soybean Festival in Martin. Several photos taken from the stage are posted on the Little River Band’s Facebook page with the message, “Hey Martin! What a great night with all of you at the Festival. Hot and sweaty and fun! Rock and roll! See you next time.” There are many activities today at the festival, including the sidewalk sales, 5K race, car and bike show, disc golf tournament, BBQ cookoff, street fair and carnival, pet show and the Lee Brice concert tonight.

Quota Learns About Plus Endowment, Celebrates Anniversary

Brother Randy Stephens at Quota. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-As the Paris Quota Club celebrated its 54th birthday at this week’s meeting, members learned about the Plus Endowment program in the Henry County Schools system.

President Stephanie Tayloe presented each past president and each past district governor in attendance with a long stemmed red rose in honor of Quotas birthday. She also presented a rose to Bethel Williams, 50-year member of Quota.

Susan Hayes, Steve Blount and Brother Randy Stevens shared facts about the Plus Endowment program. Plus Endowment is funded by teacher payroll deductions and contributions from the community. Other funds come from interest from a nest egg started by William Atchison.

Funds are used for grants to teachers. They gave $22,500 in 2013, and plan to give more this year. They are now doing bank drafts and the 5 for 5 program, which is $500 for 5 years. They will be on the Chamber of Commerce website and Facebook soon.

With Plus Endowment grants, Regena Lindsey, guidance at Henry Elementary presented The Dome to students and Laurine Greathouse, Paris Special School District teacher taught an after school reading program this year.

They said they want Plus Endowment to be equal to Helping Hands and Relay for Life and they want education to be equal to athletics. They gave out the newsletter to those present.

Melanie Townsend reminded Quotarians that the annual Hog Killing will be at her house on Tuesday, October 14.

A thank-you note was read from Family Resource Center and The Veterans Committee received a generous anonymous donation to be applied to the activities at the Tennessee State Veterans Home. The donor is a Paris Vietnam veteran who owns a local business operating in Paris since 1929.

Beth Watkins, sponsored by Martha McFadden was installed as a new member.

UTM Hires Alan Youngerman as Director

Martin, Tenn. – Alan Youngerman, most recently district executive for the Boy Scouts of America, is the new director of the UT Martin McNairy County Center/Selmer.

Youngerman succeeds Deidra Beene who died in March following a long illness. She had served as center director since 2001. Youngerman began his new duties Sept. 2.

“I’ve always loved education,” Youngerman said of his appointment. “I’d like to see the university continue and expand its successes here.” He added that his long and varied business background would help him move the center forward.

Before his position with the Boy Scouts, Youngerman was co-owner and vice president of Stan’s Home Center Inc. in Jackson and the Home Center Inc. in Lexington and Henderson. He was previously associated with the McNairy County/Selmer Center from 2009-11 as an adjunct faculty member teaching geology.

Youngerman holds an associate degree in physical chemistry from Jackson State Community College, a bachelor’s degree in earth science from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville and a master’s degree with a major in economic geology from the University of Nevada, Reno - Mackay School of Mines.

Youngerman and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children and live in Selmer.

UT Martin opened the McNairy County/Selmer Center in cooperation with McNairy County and the city of Selmer. The university began offering lower-division courses at the center in summer 1998.

In fall 2004, the center began offering courses leading to the Education K-6 degree. Then in fall 2008, the center offered courses leading to bachelor’s degrees in history and social work. Four new classrooms were completed in fall 2009.

In addition to previous offerings, a major in criminal justice is now available, and a major in psychology is new for this fall semester. The center also offers a full rotation plan of general-education courses, upper-division courses and the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree.

Also available are non-credit classes, and the center can design training curriculums to meet the individual needs of local business and industry. The UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies is the university’s administrative reporting channel for the center. 

Rhea Library Resumes Pre-School Story Hour 

Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Public Library began its pre-school story hour this week and will continue meeting at 10 a.m. each Thursday.

The story hour follows the Paris Special Schools calendar and only meets when school is in session.



Friday, September 5, 2014

Crowd Shows Up Early For Noon On The Square

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Firefighter Fred Reed, front, and Paris Special Schools Board Member John Steele work the grill at today's first Noon on the Square of the season. The large crowd showed up early for the sack lunches and musical entertainment by the Ray Lewis Band. Bottom photo Drummer Steve Greer warms up for the performance. Sponsored by Commercial Bank and Trust each year, this year's lunches are provided by the Henry County High School Senior Class. The Downtown Paris Association provides bottled water. Noon on the Square is held each Friday in September. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Exhibit Explores "Volunteer State" in War of 1812

The traveling exhibit will be at the University of Tennessee Martin through October 31. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. — The War of 1812 was a defining moment in Tennessee’s history, thrusting the state into the spotlight of American political and military history. Many Tennesseans emerged as important American figures, including Andrew Jackson, David Crockett, Sam Houston, Edmund Gaines (Act of Congress Medal winner) and Sequoyah. 

To explore this long overlooked war, the University of Tennessee at Martin’s J. Houston Gordon Museum presents the Tennessee State Museum’s traveling exhibition “Becoming the Volunteer State: Tennessee in the War of 1812.” The museum is located in the Paul Meek Library, and the exhibit is on view now through Oct. 31.

The Tennessee State Museum collaborated with the Tennessee War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission on organizing the exhibition. 

The War of 1812, fought against Great Britain, culminated in the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815. The American public often overlooks this conflict, but it was incredibly important in establishing the American national identity. Some noted historians believe that it was the “second American Revolution,” which marked true independence from Britain for the United States.

The war in the South was particularly a Tennessee war, waged predominately by Tennessee militia, volunteers or regular army units raised in the state. When the British threatened the Gulf Coast, Tennesseans contributed to the defeat of the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Bend and the British at New Orleans. Andrew Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans propelled him to the White House and established Tennessee at the forefront of American politics. So many Tennesseans volunteered for service that the state soon began to be known by its now-famous nickname, the “Volunteer State.”

On display are period artifacts from the era, such as a 7th US infantry soldier’s uniform and a book that was on the USS Constitution, swords, muskets, and other weapons owned by those who fought in the war, as well as a broad variety of documentary art, maps and illustrations that have been selected to recreate a flavor of the times.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Gordon Museum will present a talk by Dr. David Coffey at 3 p.m. on September 18. Coffey is a professor and chair of the UT Martin Department of History and Philosophy. 

For more information on museum hours, directions and parking locations, visit the library’s website at or call Samuel Richardson or Karen Elmore at 731-881-7094.

Paris Landing To Host BASSfest 2015

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn. — The Bassmaster Elite Series schedule has been announced for 2015 and Paris Landing State Park will be the location of the BASSfest next June.

Bassfest will be held on Kentucky Lake, June 3-7 and will include seminars, photo and autograph sessions. Paris Landing has already hosted four Elite tournaments, two of which required more than 90 pounds to win.

According to Bassmaster, Kentucky Lake is one of the most consistent bass fishing destinations in the country, which led to its ranking of 18th by Bassmaster Magazine. Watch out for Kevin VanDam to regain his winning form — he’s already won two Elite tournaments here, Bassmaster said.

In 2015, B.A.S.S. celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Bassmaster Elite Series with a schedule that commemorates some of the greatest events in bass fishing history. “Six of the sites have hosted Elite tournaments in the past decade, and all eight fisheries are among the finest venues the sport has to offer for the best anglers in the business“, according to Bassmaster.

The season begins March 19-22 in Orange, Texas, at the Sabine River. From the Sabine, the best bass anglers in the world head east to Alabama and Lake Guntersville, April 9-12.  Later in the month, the Elite Series reconvenes in California at the Sacramento River, April 30-May 3. 

Upon leaving Sacramento, the Elite pros will travel approximately 600 miles to Lake Havasu City, host of the fourth Elite event of the season, to be held May 7-10 on Lake Havasu. 

After a summer hiatus, the Elites are back in action on the St. Lawrence River, July 30-Aug. 2, out of Waddington, N.Y. Then on August 13-16, the series moves to Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The  2015 Elite Series regular season wraps up in Detroit, Mich., on Lake St. Clair Sept. 24-27. 

Enrollment for B.A.S.S. Nation and Life members begins Oct. 7 online and Oct. 9 by telephone. Registration for other B.A.S.S. members begins online Oct. 14 and by phone Oct. 16. All entries start at 9 a.m. CT.

Dixie Children's Chorus Auditions Are Monday
Amy Martin Returns As Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.- Auditions for The Dixie Children’s Chorus will be held at 4:30 p.m. Monday, September 8 at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center in Huntingdon. Registration begins at 4 p.m. Amy Martin of Paris will be returning as Director of the chorus.

Auditions will be held in The Dixie’s Hal Holbrook Theatre; please enter through the Box Office. Children must be going into the second through sixth grade in the fall 2014 semester. At the audition, the students will need to sing one song from memory without accompaniment, much like what you see on TV singing shows. 

Make your child aware that they may only get to sing a portion of their song due to time constraints, but they should be prepared for the song in its entirety. Students will also be briefly tested on their ability to match pitch and to echo clap simple rhythmic patterns. 

The Dixie Children’s Chorus is FREE activity but does require rehearsal and performance attendance and specific performance attire which will be explained to Chorus members. 

Rehearsals will occur on Mondays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Performances expected to include The Dixie Children's Chorus are: The Dixie Live Concert Series Riders in The Sky, Mainstreet Christmas, and a Recital. Chorus does not meet in the Spring, only the Fall. 

The Dixie also is announcing the return of Amy Martin as chorus director. She previously directed this group during its first year in 2011. Martin is a lifelong musician with experience as a singer, pianist, organist, flutist, and choir director. 

Since 1986 she has been teaching music to people of all ages in church and community choirs, daycare classes, piano lessons and Kindermusik classes at the Lee Academy in Paris. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music and Master of Sacred Music and Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting. 

This project is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission. For more information on this or other programs please contact the Box Office at 731-986-2100, online at, or visit us in person at 191 Court Square in Huntingdon, TN.

Little River Band, Lee Brice To Appear at Soybean Festival

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-The Tennessee Soybean Festival in Martin is winding down in style, with big names in concert and a flurry of activities to entertain.

The Friday night concert will feature the Little River Band at 9 p.m. tonight and the Saturday night concert will feature Lee Brice.

Friday events begin with the Children’s Street Fair at 9 a.m., the Friends of the Library book sale at 9 and sidewalk sales that continue through Saturday.

The Street Fair and Carnival begins at 5 p.m., with the Cancer Crash Car Bash, Bluegrass in the Park, BBQ Cookoff and Bacon-Eating contest also in the afternoon. 
Saturday’s activities include the American Legion pancake breakfast, a North End Crossing Juke and Junkin’ Fest, which is a communitywide yard sale which features musical entertainment that begins in the morning and continues through the afternoon.

The 5K road race and fun run and the car and bike shows are in the morning, as is the 5th annual disc golf tournament. The pet show begins at 4 p.m. followed by another Cancer Crash Car Bash at 5 p.m. and the Saturday night concert.

The complete schedule can be found on the festival’s website

Garage Destroyed in Mansfield Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Mansfield, Tenn.-Mansfield Volunteer Fire Department Chief Wayne Webb said Friday morning that firefighters “had our work cut out for us” battling a blaze at a garage until the wee hours of the morning.

A garage at 1340 Vale Rd. owned by J.W. Carter is a total loss following the fire, which began around 10:45 p.m. Webb said the Mansfield and Pleasant Hill fire ...departments called for mutual aid from the Paris and Oakland Departments. The Forestry Department also assisted. The firefighters were on the scene until 3:30 a.m.

Webb said the garage is adjacent to the home and firefighters successfully kept the fire from spreading to the home. The fire was an especially dangerous one since the garage was full of several cars and the combustible materials in the garage kept blowing up.

“It burned half a dozen cars in there and all those things inside there kept blowing up. The whole roof fell in at one point,” Webb said. “We had a real hard time with it.”

Carter fixes cars as a sideline, Webb said. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Huckabee To Speak, Perform At Bethel

McKenzie, Tenn.-Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee will be the speaker at Bethel University September 18 and tickets are on sale now.

Huckabee, who is a guitarist, will speak and perform musical numbers with members of Bethel Renaissance. A dinner will precede his speech. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to come early for picture-taking sessions.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting Linda hearn at 731-352-4003 or at Tickets are $200 each.

The event will be held at the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment.

Union City Arson Investigated

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police and Fire Department personnel are investigating an arson on the front porch at 714 Glendale St. around 3 a.m. Friday morning. Police personnel are calling the resident lucky that he noticed the fire and put it out so quickly or it would have spread through the home.

The resident told officers he was inside the house and noticed illumination on the front porch. When he looked out the front window, he saw that a piece of exercise equipment he kept there had been set on fire. He used a pan of water to extinguish the blaze.

According to the police report, it appears that someone used an accelerant on the padding area of the equipment to set the fire.

The resident told officers he did not hear anyone outside before the fire started. 

Police personnel said the exercise equipment was the only item damaged. The house was not damaged but most likely would have been if the resident had not put the fire out so quickly.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

City Receives 21 Resumes For City Manager Post

Commissioners listen to reports from City Manager Carl Holder, third from left. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris City Manager Carl Holder told the city commission Thursday night that since the city has already received 21 resumes for the City Manager’s position from which he will be retiring.

Holder has recommended to the commission that Assistant City Manager and Finance Director Kim Foster be placed in that position and her training for that position commenced this month.

According to the timeline established by the commission earlier, applicants will be narrowed down in October and interviews will begin in November.

Holder said after the meeting that of the 21 resumes, two are from Henry Countians, with the rest from other parts of Tennessee, the Midwest and East Coast. He said of the resumes received so far, five or six have viable city management experience.

At the request of Commissioner Terry Fuller, Holder presented a revised drawing of the proposed city hall renovations, which specifically show how access to the police department will be configured. 

Further discussion of the proposed renovation is moot at this time, however, since the city has suspended further consideration of the renovations until such time as appropriate revenue sources can be identified.

Foster presented the July operating statement, which shows retail sales for the city have remained ahead of the same month last year, but the loss of beer and liquor taxes continues to be problematic for the city of Paris. Those taxes are down because neighboring cities now also have retail outlets that sell beer and liquor.

“Our revenues in the general fund were behind expenditures by $155,000,” Foster said, “and were down by approximately $47,000 when compared to July 2013.” She said the loss is attributable to two major areas: beer and liquor tax down by almost $22,000 and the chance that the state has recently implemented for business tax collections.

Foster said since the restructuring of business tax collections the city now will receive “probably 90 to 95 percent of these dollars in May as opposed to receiving portions intermittently throughout the year.” 

 In other business:

--Following a public hearing at which no one appeared, the commission enacted an ordinance governing building permit fees, inspection fees, sign permit fees and planning commission fees on second reading.

--The commission made appointments to boards: David Webb again on the Historic Zoning Board; and Traci Wilson, Aaron Dobbs and Sue Quinn were appointed to the Americans With Disabilities Board.

--The commission welcomed newly-hired Administrative Assistant Kathy Horner.

Tennessee Soybean Festival In Full Swing

Martin, Tenn.-The Tennessee Soybean Festival has been going strong this week, with large crowds pouring into Martin for the many activities, contests and concerts that are ongoing. Thursday's events include continuation of the sidewalk sales, street fair and carnival, book sale, Cancer Crash Car Bash, baking contest and UT Martin Student Night. (Brent Hinson photo).

Public Input Hearing, Reception Set At Paris Landing

Buchanan, Tenn.-Paris Landing State Park will be hosting a reception and public input hearing from Tuesday, September 9 at the Paris Landing Inn. 

Paris Landing Inn Manager Gary McEntire said the reception begins at 5 p.m., which will mostly be a meet-and-greet opportunity with local park staff and personnel from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).  

The hearing itself begins at 6 p.m. and will provide the public the opportunity to offer input about the park. It may last until 7:30 p.m., depending on how many people attend.

TDEC officials have been conducting the hearings at state parks around the state.

Krider Idol Auditions Are Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-This year’s Krider Idol auditions will be held Saturday, September 6, at the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris. Auditions are mandatory and are held from 9 a.m. to noon.

Contestants must be age nine through 18 years old and the competition is open to all in West Tennessee. The contest is sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Arts Council.

 If you have any questions please contact Diane Lowery at 731-414-3295: # or Mary Lodge (731)644-1018 Or visit the website for updates and further information.

CornFest 2014 Set To Begin This Weekend

Union City, Tenn.-Yes, it’s that time of year: CornFest 2014 starts this weekend and continues through six days of non-stop activity in Union City from September 6-14.

The event includes an evening parade on Thursday, plus contests and activities including the CornFest Idol Contest, the Day in the Park, a Zombie run, Cornhole tournament, Pet Parade, and Creative Chair Auction.

Here are the highlights:

Chalk Art: Thursday, September 11th
It’s that time again, time for kids to leave their mark on Union City. LITERALLY! It’s The CornFest’s Chalk art Contest. This is a free event for children in Kindergarten up to 12th grade. The fun starts at 3:30 at Merchants Park. Bring your kids hungry - free pizza from Snappy Tomato and soda’s from Coke for everyone entering the contest! Each child will receive three pieces of chalk, but you are welcome to bring more for your little piscso, for bigger, brighter pictures! Then stick around for the CornFest parade starting at 5:30!

CornFest Parade: Thursday, September 11th
The parade is coming!!! The parade is coming!!! Obion County CornFest is bringing back the CornFest parade Thursday, September 11th at 5:30pm in downtown Union City! We are inviting all Beauty Queens, Clubs, organizations, sports teams, Churches, Daycares, businesses, senior citizens centers and dignitaries to be part of the fun! There will be cash prizes for best float, best decorated car and best decorated tractor or ATV! Get your parade application at and sign-up today for FRREEEEEEEE!

Day in the Park: Saturday, September 13th 
How would you like to win cash and prizes for pitching a bag in a hole, for eating lots of corn, for chasing down a greased pig or having the fastest bed in town? It’s all part of this year’s Obion County CornFest’s Day in the Park! Join us on Saturday, September 13th at Kiwanis Park starting at 9am for a day of family fun and entertainment. And did I mention a free chicken dinner with all the trimmings, compliments of Tyson! Then stick around for great music from American Idol finalist Paul Jolley! You can get all the details on their website 

Cornhole: Saturday, September 13th
Who knew winning 250 bucks could be so much fun! That is the grand prize for the 3rd annual CornHole Tournament at this year’s Obion County CornFest! Show up on Saturday, September 13th to get in on the action. Twenty dollar entry fee per team and you can register the day of the tournament. First place prize, 250 dollars, Second place wins 125 dollars and third place is 50 bucks! The Cornhole tournament starts at 2:00 in Kiwanis Park on Saturday, September 13th. For more information call Trey Wood at (731)335-0222

CornFest Idol, Saturday, September 13th
Do you have what it takes to be an idol? Now is your chance to prove it! Come and showcase your skills at the CornFest idol competition during Obion County CornFest Day in the Park! The talent show will take place on Saturday, September 13th at 3pm in Kiwanis Park. There are two age groups are competing for $100 grand prize – Youth is 15 and under, adult is 16 and over. You must register at Day in the Park. There is a 10 dollar entry fee and the number of participants is limited! Please bring your music on a CD! And Don’t worry, if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket – sit back relax and watch your friends and neighbors as they compete for CornFest Idol! 

J’Cette Zombie Run, September 13th
Zombies are invading Union City at this year’s J’Cette Zombie Run 5K. It’s all part of this year’s Obion County CornFest. You can participate in a one mile fun run or a 5K on Saturday, September 13th! Registration will start at 8am at Union City High School, and the race starts at 9. Everyone is encouraged to pre-register by going to . Preregistered runners get a free t-shirt and the cost is only $15. Race day registration is $20. 

Pet Parade, Saturday, September 13th
Dogs, Cats, pigs, miniature ponies and stuffed dinosaurs are all welcome at CornFest’s annual Pet Parade! If it’s your pet, alive or stuffed - it is welcome! Every year children and adults alike come to show off their favorite buddies! The parade of fun starts at 9am! There is a $5 entry fee and free t-shirts will be given away to the first 50 people to enter. 

Creative Chair Auction, September 13th
Obion County is plentiful with creative people! That’s what makes CornFest’s Creative Chair silent auction so much fun! You are invited to create a chair to go into our silent auction. Or if you would like to add a unique piece of art to your home – come out to Day in the Park on September 13th and bid on your favorite! Money raised goes to a local non-profit! Creative Chairs can be dropped off at The Gallery in Union City anytime until Friday, Sept. 12th. Chairs will be judged on Best of Show, Most Creative and Most Artistic. Kids are also invited to get in on the fun with prizes going to the best chairs from children ages 3 to 7 and children ages 8 to 13. Prizes will be awarded to all winners.

Six Arrested in Martin On Drug Charges

                 John Miller

Martin, Tenn.-Weakley County Sheriff’s Department investigators have been busy the last few days, executing search warrants that resulted in the arrests of six persons on a long list of drug charges.

On Thursday August 28, investigators arrested John William Miller, age 59, of 129 Todd Street in Martin and Stacey Renee Clouse, age 27, of 1300 Mathis Road on charges of manufacture of schedule 6 marijuana and possession of meth. 

According to the police report, their arrests occurred when the investigators found the pair in a vehicle in a bean field off of Ralston Road. Investigators said marijuana plants were found growing nearby and a small amount of crystal meth was found in the vehicle. According to the report, the vehicle belonged to Miller.

On Monday September 1,  investigators executed two search warrants.

The first was served at an address on Hwy 45 north near Martin and resulted in the arrest of Cory Lee Bell age 33 of 12379 Highway 45 and Rachel Lynette Henry, age 32, of 238 Charger Lane in Martin. 

Bell and Henry were charged with possession of meth and initiation of meth manufacturing. Bell was also charged with tampering with evidence after he attempted to destroy part of a meth cooking operation in the house.

According to the report, a search warrant was then served at 134 Mt Pelia Road in Martin and resulted in the arrest of Sierra Morgan Bennett, age 21, and Lijah Vantaze Hurst, age 25, both of 113 Beaumont in Martin. 

They were charged with possession of marijuana with intent for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia when deputies uncovered two bags of marijuana and scales.  

EMA To Host Free Child Care Emergency Training

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Emergency Management will host a free training workshop for local child care providers in Henry and surrounding counties. 

Henry County Emergency Management Director Ron Watkins said the State Dept. of Human Services- Child Care Licensing Division enacted new requirements for child care providers requiring them to have a written multi-hazard emergency preparedness plan for the protection of children. 

The two hour approved training will assist providers in developing an emergency plan meeting the outlined child care provider guidelines in Public Chapter 216. 

Watkins said, “The new guidelines require child care providers to create a multi hazard plan. This is taking their existing plans and expanding them with consideration of additional hazards that may threaten the community such as earthquakes, severe weather, and hazardous chemical spills. The workshop will assist the daycares in creating a written document they can tailor specifically for their operation. Regional child care facility specialists and emergency managers will be on hand to assist them in this process.” 

The free workshop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September 11 at the emergency management office located at 204 N. Brewer St in Paris. Materials will be provided for each site and certificates of completion will be issued. Any child care operator is encouraged to attend, including those in surrounding counties. 

Please contact 731-222-5145 to register. 

MSU Students To Help With Mammoth Cave "Bat Night"

Mammoth Cave, Ky. — Mammoth Cave National Park will celebrate its 4th annual Bat Night on Saturday, Sept. 6, with the assistance of Murray State University wildlife biology students.

Visitors to Bat Night will have the opportunity to learn about bats, talk to bat researchers and gain hands-on experience using the scientific equipment that resear...chers use to study bats. All of the event activities are free and open to everyone.

“We hope the overall Bat Night experience will help people appreciate these small, nocturnal creatures, which often go unnoticed,” according to Sarah Craighead, superintendent at Mammoth Cave. “They are important on farms, in town and here in the park as the number one predator of night-flying insects.”

Special bat-related displays will be set up at the visitor center from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. At dusk, the bats begin to wake up and fly out for a night of foraging. At that point, the activities move to the Historic Entrance of the cave.

Murray State anticipates sending 7-10 students from the Wildlife Society to Bat Night. The students will be manning environmental education tables during the day and will assist with night vision goggles and forward-looking infrared cameras at the Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave.

TVA Ranks In Top 10 of Utilities

Nashville, Tenn. -- For the ninth consecutive year, Site Selection magazine has ranked the Tennessee Valley Authority among its Top 10 North American utilities for leadership in economic development.

In making their selection, the magazine’s editors noted TVA’s key role in partnering with local power companies and regional, state and local economic development agencies to attract or retain more than 52,000 jobs and $5 billion in capital investment to its seven-state service area during 2013.

“To be one of only three utilities to achieve this recognition for nine straight years is a testament to the partnerships TVA’s Economic Development team has formed with communities and agencies across the area. We are focusing our collective resources on keeping the Valley in the forefront as a most desirable place to locate and grow companies,” according to John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development.

Major companies announcing new facilities or expansions across the TVA region in 2013 included Yokohama Tire in West Point, Miss.; PTC Seamless Tube in Hopkinsville, Ken.; Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama in Huntsville, Ala.; ARAMARK and UBS in Nashville, Tenn., Calsonic Kansei North America in Lewisburg, Shelbyville and Smyrna, Tenn; and Nike in Memphis, Tenn.

In addition, Site Selection editors highlighted the redesign of and TVA’s work in developing sites for data centers, along with advanced manufacturing facilities, transportation manufacturing and food processing. To date, a total of 23 data center sites have been designated as “ready for development” across the Valley, thanks in part to TVA’s efforts.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Reward Offered in Vandalism Case

Vandals trashed the home at 630 Cates Rd. in Routon. (Photos submitted).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the person or persons involved with extensive vandalism to a home at 630 Cates Rd. in Routon this week.

Sheriff Monte Belew said the incident occurred sometime between Sunday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 2 and caused at least $20,000 damage.

Belew said the homeowner was moving out of the residence and no one had been to the home since Sunday. Entry to the home was made by kicking in the back door and a large amount of damage occurred in the basement, where holes had been punched through every wall.

A three by two foot hole was torn out of another wall, Belew said. The vandal or vandals also spray painted names and drawings on the walls and spray painted the toilet.

Belew said anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Office at 731-642-1672 or the sheriff’s office hotline at 731-642-0929.

Henry County Archives Collecting Veteran Photos, Bios

Paris, Tenn.--The Henry County Archive and Genealogy Library located in Weston Hall on Grove Hill in Paris is collecting photos and biographies of Henry Countians who served in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.

The purpose is to establish a free, permanent memorial of all the veterans from Henry County.

Organizers asked if you or someone in your family served in any capacity, you’re invited to submit a short biography and/or photo to add to the memorial. All pictures will be copied and promptly returned.

For further info, call Charlene Carter, 731-333-4248 or or Mary Hershey 731-642-8530

Martin Crowded For Soybean Festival Parade, Street Fair and More
Little River Band, Lee Brice To Perform

Crowds poured into downtown Martin Tuesday night for the parade and other festivities. (Brent Hinson photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-The annual Soybean Festival continues with performances by The Little River Band, Lee Brice, more of the street fair and carnival, as well as the city-wide sidewalk sales, library book sale, live bluegrass music, BBQ cook-off and bacon-eating contest.

Thursday activities begin with the senior adult baking contest at 10 a.m. at SAC at North Lindell Street, followed by the Cancer Crash Car Bash at 5 p.m. in downtown Martin for Relay for Life.

The Friends of the Library book sale, sidewalk sales and street fair and carnival are ongoing throughout the rest of the week.

Thursday is UT Martin Student Night with live music at 7 p.m. at the Festival Park main stage.

Friday begins with the children’s street fair at 9 a.m. -1 p.m. downtown, plus another Cancer Crash Car Bash will be held at 5 p.m. downtown, with more bluegrass at Virginia Weldon Park starting at 4:30 p.m.

The 21st annual BBQ Cookoff begins at 5 p.m. in Weldon Park and the first-ever Bacon-Eating Contest will be held at the same time at Sammie’s Restaurant in Martin.

Little River Band will perform at the Friday Night Concert at 9 p.m.

Saturday activities include a community wide yard sale, the Soybean Festival 5K race and one mile walk at 7:30 a.m. at the Martin Recreation Complex, 18th annual Soybean Festival car and bike show at 8 a.m. at the Recreation Complex.

There also will be a softball tournament all day, along with a 5th annual disc golf tournament at 9 a.m. at the Harrison Road Complex, a pet show at 4 p.m. at Virginia Weldon Park and the Saturday night concert with Lee Brice at 9 p.m.

For the full schedule of events, see the Soybean Festival Facebook page and website.

This year's parade was festive, as always. (Brent Hinson photo).

Kiwanis Arts and Crafts Festival is This Weekend

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Paris Lakeway Kiwanis Club Arts and Crafts Festival is this weekend--the event for which many area crafters wait all year.

The festival will be held 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, September 6-7, at Paris Landing State Park.

The event annually draws thousands to the park and the local area. The state park is a perfect location for the festival, with views of Kentucky Lake. A wide variety of arts and crafts is always on display.

Some vendor space is still available and applications are on the event’s Facebook page at Paris Lakeway Kiwanis Club Arts and Crafts Festival. In order to sell food of any kind, this includes sweet tea and lemonade, you must contact the Henry County Health Department at: 731-642-4025 ext 120.

For more information on the event, contact Organizer Crissy McCutcheon at 363-7197 or through the Facebook page.

Refuge Discovery Series on Astronomy Set Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-Join the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge as it presents a Refuge Discovery Series program focusing on Astronomy. On Saturday September 6th at 7:30 pm Astronomer Bob Vickers, president of the West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers will bring his telescopes to lead an informative program about the night sky. 

This night of family fun will be held outdoors on the back patio of the new refuge visitor center, a perfect spot to see the stars. It is also a special privilege to visit the refuge at night, since the refuge is normally a day use only facility. The visitor center and Blue Heron Bookstore will we open before the program beginning at 6:00 pm to give visitors a chance to explore our new exhibit hall and highlighting a new line of star charts and star guide books. 

The Friends of Tennessee NWR will host the event providing water, chairs and bug repellant for participants. Those attending will also be offered door prizes from the refuge.

To get to the New Refuge Visitor Center take highway 79 North out of Paris, turn right onto Oak Grove Road and follow the directional signs.

For more information about the refuge, please call the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 731-642-2091 or see our website at

Women's Leadership Event Set at Murray State

Murray, Ky. — “Leadership Launch Murray State” is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 5, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The workshop is open to women of all ages and in all walks of life. The event will be held in the Hall of Benefactors in Heritage Hall on Murray State University’s campus (926 N. 16th Street).

Programs throughout the day are designed to help women develop their leadership skills, whether they lead in their families or communities, or in the business or public sectors. Topics to be explored during the day include expectations and objectives, charting a leadership course, defining a work/life balance, generations and the transforming power of social media.

Presented by Leadership Women of Dallas, Texas, the day features Candace O’Keefe Mathis, CEO for Leadership Women; Pamela Owens, programming consultant for Leadership Women; and Debbie Saviano, solopreneur and social media strategist.

Murray State University graduate Trisha Cunningham (B.S. 1986) graduated from the Leadership Texas class in 2010 and the Leadership International class of 2013 in India. She has been on the board of Leadership Women since 2011.

Cunningham has worked with Texas Instruments for 28 years, in five management roles in both Houston and Dallas. “TI provides much leadership training to its employees, so I have taken many throughout the years,” Cunningham noted.

The cost of the Murray workshop is $50; the Town & Gown member rate is discounted to $35. Online registration is available at For group registration or more information, call 214.421.5566.

Ice Cream Eating Contest Benefits Rural Ministries

Union City, Tenn.-The Shady Grove United Methodist Church will host the “SCOOP-ETITION” ice cream eating contest in Kiwanis Park in Union City from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, September 6.

$4 will get you a spoon and all the scoops of homemade ice cream you can eat. Ages four through 10 is $2 and kids three and under are free. Live music and inflatables will be available. All proceeds benefit Reelfoot Rural Ministries.

ACT Prep Workshop Set Saturday

Murray, Ky. — Murray State University will be conducting an upcoming ACT Prep Workshop in the Calloway County Public Library meeting room on Saturday, Sept. 6. The workshop helps prepare students by teaching useful strategies and test-taking tips, while building confidence for this important test.

Topics covered in this workshop include preparing for the test and knowing what to expect, parts of the test, scoring, sample questions/problems, strategies and plenty of tips.

The workshop, taught by Sally Brannen, will also feature greater depth and extra practice in the English and reading portions of the test.

Each student will receive a 350-plus-page book that includes more preparation information, sample problems and a practice test.

The workshop will run from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. The library is located at 710 Main Street in Murray.

Students should bring a pen or pencil, notepaper and calculator (optional), and may also bring a drink and snack.

The cost of the workshop is $55. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To easily register online, go to

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Preliminary Findings: Trezevant Pair Died of Natural Causes

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Trezevant, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced today that its preliminary autopsy findings indicated that a mother and son found dead in their home in Trezevant last week died of natural causes. Meanwhile, a joint funeral service has been set for them.

Alice Baker, 72, and son, Ron Harmon, 46, were found dead in their home August 29 by a family member.

TBI Public Information Officer Josh DeVine told WENK/WTPR that the TBI is still investigating, however. “We are awaiting additional toxicology analysis as our investigation continues,” he said.

A joint funeral service will be held for the pair at 1 p.m. Wednesday, September 3, at Chase Funeral Home in Huntingdon. Burial will follow in the Independence Cemetery. Jackie Smith will officiate the service.

The family will receive friends in the Chapel of Chase Funeral Home this afternoon and on Wednesday morning from 8 a.m. until the time of service.

Harmon was a technician for the Direct TV Company.

His mother was a retired manager for Shoe Show and was a member of Indian Creek Baptist Church.

They are survived by daughter and sister Becky Crocker of Huntingdon.

Pair Caught After Officer-Involved Shooting; One Critical

                Jesse Hailey                                         Kristi Copeland

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Central City, Ky. – The pair who were being sought in connection with the armed robbery of a convenience store in Union City earlier this month have been found after allegedly attempting to run over a Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s Deputy on Saturday. One of the pair is in critical condition after being shot by the deputy and the other is in jail.

Driver Jesse Hailey, 29, of Mayfield, was first transported to Muhlenberg Community Hospital and later transferred to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, where he currently remains in critical condition.

Passenger Kristi Copeland, 33, of Wingo, was transported to Muhlenberg Community Hospital and treated for minor injuries she sustained in the altercation. She was released and transported to the Muhlenberg County Detention Center where she is lodged on several active warrants.

The Deputy was not injured and no other injuries were reported. 

According to the press release, the preliminary investigation revealed the deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Hailey. During the stop, Hailey attempted to drive the vehicle over the deputy. The deputy fired his service weapon and struck Hailey.

The pair allegedly robbed the Maverick convenience store at 420 E. Reelfoot Ave in Union City at gunpoint. Union City Police distributed a surveillance photo of a suspect during the robbery to the media. Two days later, their vehicle was found in Lone Oak near Paducah by the McCracken County Sheriff Department.

KSP Sergeant Derek Smith is continuing the investigation. KSP Post 2 units, the Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s Department, Greenville Police Department, Central City Police Department, and Central City Fire Department assisted at the scene.

Major Charter Changes Begin Wednesday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Charter Communications customers who are not prepared will be in for a big shock beginning tomorrow morning. Beginning September 3, Charter is implementing a 100 percent all-digital format.

What that means is: customers who do not have a Charter-issued set-top box on their televisions will not be receiving a television signal tomorrow.

And, the Charter channel lineup will be changing--once again.

Charter mailed notices to customers several weeks ago informing them of the change but Charter officials say they still expect that their phone lines will be flooded tomorrow morning with complaint calls.

For customers who do not already have set-top boxes for their televisions, Charter will supply customers with set-top boxes at no cost for 12 months. 

Customers who already have set-top boxes need take no action.

As for the Channel lineup change, channels can found higher on the dial. For instance, Channel 2 in Nashville can be found at 702, Channel 4 can be found at 704, WGN which normally is found at Channel 9 can be found at 714 and so on. New Channel lineups also were mailed to customers several weeks ago.

Customers who have Tvs without set-top boxes can call 1-877-959-1743 to get a box and installation kit shopped directly to their home at no cost. They also can be picked up from the nearest Charter store.

Charter offices can be found in McKenzie at 24 Circle Drive, and in Martin at 1142 Hwy. 431 N.

Noon On The Square Begins Friday
Senior Class To Provide Lunch

Paris, Tenn.-The popular Noon on the Square will begin this week, with local musicians performing on the court square in Paris every Friday through September. A change from past years: the Henry County High School Senior Class will be serving sack lunches instead of Project Graduation, which has been discontinued.

The senior class will be raising money with a goal of funding a senior trip this year. For the first Friday, the senior class will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs.

Noon on the Square is sponsored by Commercial Bank and Trust and the Downtown Paris Association always provides bottled water.

The line up of bands this year is: Sept 5 Ray Lewis Band; Sept 12 Premonition; Sept 19 Barons; and Sept 26 John Austin McDaniel.

Labor Day Weekend: Pretty Scenery and Bisons

Golden Pond, Ky.-Labor Day Weekend can be both relaxing and eventful, if you’re lucky. That was the case for Tammy Walker and her family, who camped out at Piney Campground and took a drive through scenic Land Between The Lakes. In top photo, they encountered this picturesque scene at Energy Lake and bottom, they got up close and personal to a group of bison and their babies in the Elk and Bison Prairie. (Tammy Walker photos).

Dick Levesque Dies: Paris 911 Dispatcher, Maritime Painter

Dillon, Montana--Former Paris Police Department 911 Dispatcher and nationally-known maritime painter Richard (Dick) Allen Levesque died August 26 at his home in Dillon, Montana. Services will be held at a later date in Oregon. 

Levesque was born on January 18, 1940 in Oakland, California. He was raised in San Fransisco, California. He joined the Coast Guard in 1957, and developed a love for the sea and the Coast Guard which led to a career later in life as a maritime painter. His paintings were known nationally and have hung in the Coast Guard station at Paris Landing and other venues. 

Levesque also was a local DJ and fully retired in 2002. He wrote and published a children’s book, “Norman”. 

He and his wife, Judy, lived locally in Puryear. Judy died in 2013, after 54 years of marriage, and he left Tennessee to travel with his dog in his recreational vehicle named “Serenity”. 

He is survived by daughter, Pattie Waltner (Phil) of Dillon, Montana, son Richard Levesque of Salem, Oregon, and daughter Tara Levesque of Statyon, Oregon. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Services will be at a later date in Oregon. In lieu of flowers, dad requested any donations to be made to Barrett Hospital Hospice in Dillon. A guestbook is available at

Jimi Jamieson Dies; Appeared in Union City Last Month

Memphis, Tenn.--Jimi Jamison, the lead singer of Eighties rock bands Cobra and Survivor, passed away August 31 at his home in Memphis after suffering a heart attack. He was 63. 

Jamison was in Union City just last month for a concert at Discovery Park of America.

Jamison served as Survivor's lead singer from 1984 until 1988, singing the vocals for the band's hits like "The Moment of Truth" from The Karate Kid, "Is This Love," and "Burning Heart" from Rocky IV. As a solo artist, he recorded the track "I'm Always Here," which became the memorable theme song for the TV series Baywatch.

The band had performed in Morgan Hill, California on August 30. They were scheduled to begin another tour on September 12 in Parker, Colorado.

Women's Leadership Event Set For Friday

Murray, Ky. — “Leadership Launch Murray State” is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 5, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The workshop is open to women of all ages and in all walks of life. The event will be held in the Hall of Benefactors in Heritage Hall on Murray State University’s campus (926 N. 16th Street).

Programs throughout the day are designed to help women develop their leadership skills, whether they lead in their families or communities, or in the business or public sectors. Topics to be explored during the day include expectations and objectives, charting a leadership course, defining a work/life balance, generations and the transforming power of social media.

Presented by Leadership Women of Dallas, Texas, the day features Candace O’Keefe Mathis, CEO for Leadership Women; Pamela Owens, programming consultant for Leadership Women; and Debbie Saviano, solopreneur and social media strategist.

Murray State University graduate Trisha Cunningham (B.S. 1986) graduated from the Leadership Texas class in 2010 and the Leadership International class of 2013 in India. She has been on the board of Leadership Women since 2011.

Cunningham has worked with Texas Instruments for 28 years, in five management roles in both Houston and Dallas. “TI provides much leadership training to its employees, so I have taken many throughout the years,” Cunningham noted.

The cost of the Murray workshop is $50; the Town & Gown member rate is discounted to $35. Online registration is available at For group registration or more information, call 214.421.5566

Leadership Launch Murray State is co-sponsored by the MSU office of development, the Murray State Women’s Center, Town & Gown, and the university libraries.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Did You Feel It? Small Earthquake Hits West Tennessee

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Did you feel it?

A small earthquake hit west Tennessee Sunday evening. According to the U.S. Geological Survey website, a 3.1 magnitude earthquake hit at 11:19 p.m. two miles west of Tiptonville and 25 miles west of Union City.

The earthquake hit within the New Madrid seismic zone of southeast Missouri, Tennessee and adjacent states, which the USGS describes as the most seismically active in North America east of the Rockies. 

During the winter of 1811-1812 three very large earthquakes devastated the area and were felt throughout most of the Nation. They occurred a few weeks apart on December 16, January 23, and February 7. Hundreds of aftershocks, some severely damaging by themselves, continued for years. Reelfoot Lake was created by one of those damaging earthquakes.

If you felt it, the USGS wants to know on its website at

MSU Library Creates "Quiet Study Floor"

Murray State students already enjoying the Quiet Study Floor concept. (MSU photo).

Murray, Ky. — Waterfield Library at Murray State University has responded to the need students have for a special designated “quiet” area in the library for study. A refurbishing of the second level has turned it into a “Quiet Study Floor.” The renovation included new flooring, furniture and shelving, and the addition of individual rooms that students may reserve for use for up to four hours for private study.

The “Quiet Study Floor” had its official grand opening on Wednesday night. Attendees included MSU President Bob Davies, administrators, faculty, staff and students.

“The number one service students request of the University Libraries is for study rooms, which we have had none of until now,” according to Dr. Adam Murray, dean of libraries at MSU. “The newly remodeled Quiet Study Floor in Waterfield Library provides students a place where they can study away from the distractions they may have in other locations on campus or even on the other floors of Waterfield Library. In addition, the new study rooms will provide even better spaces for students to focus, fostering student academic engagement.”

To find regular operating hours of the libraries, resources and more, go online at

Career Coach To Be In Paris Wednesday

Paris, Tenn.-The Career Coach will be at the W.G. Rhea Library parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3. 

The Career Coach is a program from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The Career Coach is a mobile center with services similar to what you might find in a Tennessee Career Center.  They provide a mobile computer lab with Internet access; create a venue for workshops including résumé assistance and interviewing skills; and serve as a recruitment center for companies moving into the state.

Parade, Midway and More at Soybean Festival

Martin, Tenn.--The annual Soybean Festival really heats up Monday and through the rest of next week. Monday’s activities include the morning Little Miss Soybean Pageant at the UTM Student Life Center, followed by the sidewalk chalk contest at 3 p.m. at the Weldon Library and the bicycle rodeo at 3:30 p.m. at University Street. Monday’s highlight is the 10th Annual Soybean Talent Contest at 6 p.m. for juniors and 7 p.m. for teens.

On Tuesday, the highlight is the Soybean Festival Parade at 6:30 p.m. through downtown Martin. That is followed by the concert by Cadillac Three at 8 p.m. at Festival Park. Other activities include the Adult Rook Tournament at 10 a.m. and the Festival Midway opens at 5 p.m. All events are listed at

Bloodmobile in Paris on Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Lifeline Bloodmobile will be in Paris Thursday at noon at First United Methodist Church on E. Blythe St. There is a special need of A negative, B negative and O negative blood. Be sure to bring a photo ID

Archery Deer Season Opens in LBL

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area invites the public to participate in archery deer season which begins in September. All hunters must possess State Hunting License/Deer Permit, Land Between The Lakes Hunter Use Permit (age 16 and over), and a Hunter Safety Card according to Kentucky or Tennessee state regulations. 


• Archery: September 6-January 19 

• Crossbow: October 1-19 and November 8-December 31 

• Youth Quota Hunt: October 25-26

• Adult Quota Hunt: November 22-23


• Archery/Crossbow: September 27-January 4

• Youth Quota Hunt: October 18-19

• Adult Quota Hunt: November 14-15 and November 29-30

Archery and crossbow hunting is not permitted one day immediately before each quota hunt or during quota hunts.

Reference the 2014-2015 Deer Hunting Information for specific regulations, as well as state regulations. Information is available at visitor facilities and Deer harvested on both the Kentucky and Tennessee portions of Land Between The Lakes are bonus deer; they do not count towards statewide deer bag limits. Deer hunting provides a unique recreational opportunity within the region and helps maintain a healthy deer population.

Licensed archers with required state licenses or permits may harvest one turkey (either sex), squirrels, woodchucks, coyotes, and armadillos.

Hunters can hone their archery skills on the archery practice range and the field archery range at the Golden Pond Target Range, located just off US68/KY80. The range is open from dawn to dusk on a first-come, first-served basis and closes on Wednesday mornings until 11am for weekly clean-up.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rural Puryear Home Destroyed By Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Puryear, Tenn.-Fire destroyed a two-story brick home at 835 Robert Paschall Rd. this morning. 

According to Puryear Fire Chief John Walters, the home was a total loss, but the resident-who was home when it started--did make it out safely. She did lose ducks and chickens in the fire, however. “She had the chickens and ducks in cages around the house and some of them were killed,” he said. Walters said he believed one resident lived in the home.

Walters said when he arrived on the scene the home was already fully involved in flames. He called for mutual aid from the Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department “and we probably had 15 or 16 firefighters out there.”

It is believed that the fire started in a shed located in front of the house, Walters said.

Firefighters were called around 8 a.m. and remained at the scene until 1 p.m.

Mike Snider to Appear at The Dixie

Huntingdon– When officials at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center asked patrons to recall some of their favorite performers of the past 10 years, Mike Snider’s name kept coming up.

The Gleason native kicks off the 10th anniversary season of The Dixie Live Concert Series Saturday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m.

“It is always great to have local talent grace the stage at The Dixie,” said Lori Neal Nolen, Executive Director. “Mike Snider is classic West Tennessee entertainment that our patrons always turn out in big numbers to see. He’s a great entertainer and pleasure to work with.”

With his incomparable wit and stellar banjo playing, Snider made a name for himself in Nashville in the 1980s appearing on TNN’s Nashville Now and enjoying a seven-year stint on “Hee Haw.”

During that time, Snider and his band entertained crowds at Opryland USA, and his popularity landed him membership in the premier country music family in 1990 when he joined the Grand Ole Opry.

Snider travels with his Mike Snider String Band, a collection of musicians that famed WSM broadcaster and Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs has called the best string band in the nation. The group plays traditional fiddle tunes with fresh, heartfelt arrangements.
With a show that is exciting, funny, moving, easy-going, honest, and straight from the heart, it’s no wonder Dixie fans have invited Snider back to the Hal Holbrook Theatre stage for a fourth time.

Carroll County Newsleader, Camden Chronicle, West TN Public Utilities District, Carroll Bank & Trust, and Dr. Lee Carter.

Tickets are $15 each and are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731.986.2100, and online at

Bargain Highway Continues Today, Labor Day

Camden., Tenn--This year’s 30-mile Benton County Bargain Highway has been soggier than usual. But for the 16th year in a row, there have been plenty of bargain hunters at the miles of yard sales that traverse from Big Sandy to Camden.

The event kicked off Friday and will continue today from 1 p.m. until dusk. It also will be held Labor Day from dawn to dusk.

Registration Open for MSU Women's Golf Tourney

Will Snodgrass, the director of golf at Murray State University’s Miller Golf Course, leads participants in the AT&T Women in Telecom Golf Day during a morning of golf instruction.

Murray, Ky. —Registration is open for the annual AT&T Women in Telecom Golf Day on Sept. 11. Held at Murray State’s Miller Memorial Golf Course, this event was developed specifically for women in the telecom industry.

The golfing activities are designed for women at any golfing skill level to come together for a day of networking and fun. AT&T is continuing its past support of this event. The AT&T Women in Telecom Scholarship will be awarded to selected women who are entering the Murray State TSM program for the 2014-15 school year.

The day includes a morning of basic golf instruction with Velvet Milkman, MSU women’s golf coach, and Will Snodgrass, director of golf at the Miller Memorial Golf Course. A lunch sponsored by AT&T with female guest speakers from the telecom industry, golf contests with prizes and nine holes of golf in the afternoon round out the day. Participants playing golf in the afternoon will be placed in groups according to experience level with each group playing off best shot. 

To find out more information about the AT&T Women in Telecom Golf Day, contact Annie Vandiver at or 270.809.3987. Registration for the AT&T Women in Telecom Golf Day, along with times for the day’s activities, can be found at Any professional woman who is interested is encouraged to participate. Golf clubs will be provided, if needed. 

The Center for TSM is asking for a $50 donation from each participant to help fund the AT&T Women in Telecom Scholarship. Companies may offer their support by sponsoring a hole, which also allows one team of female employees to participate in the day’s activities. Also, companies that would like to sponsor prizes for the golf contests or promotional items for the grab bags should contact Vandiver. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

TBI Identifies Bodies Found In Trezevant

Trezevant, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has released the identities of the two individuals found inside a home on Hurt Street late Friday afternoon.

TBI Public Information Office Josh DeVine told WENK/WTPR Saturday afternoon that the individuals are mother and son Alice Baker, age 72; and Ron Harmon, age 46.

DeVine said the causes of their deaths will await autopsies and that the investigation by the TBI, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and Trezevant Police continues.

Assault, Arson Case Bound Over to Weakley Grand Jury
Woman Disguises Herself With Helmet, Moustache

Dresden, Tenn.-The case against a Jefferson County woman who allegedly attempted to set fire to a house in Gleason and stab the resident of the home has been bound over to the Weakley County Grand Jury.

Kristie Lynn Cutshall, age 42, was arrested by Weakley County deputies last week and charged with  aggravated assault, aggravated burglary, aggravated arson, vandalism and resisting arrest.

Deputies responded to a home on New Valley Road between Gleason and McKenzie and found Cutshall had poured gasoline on parts of the residence belonging to Tony Ball. According to deputies, Cutshall then set bags of charcoal on fire in the carport. When Ball went outside to put out the fire, Cutshall attacked him with a knife stabbing him four times.

Ball reportedly is the father of Cutshall’s daughter. Deputies said Cutshall was dressed all in black, wearing a motorcycle helmet and fake moustache. She was subdued at the scene by several witnesses before deputies arrived.

She was treated for a fractured rib and a broken nose at a local hospital before being transported to the Weakley County Jail.

Several cars at the residence were also found to have had tires cut.

Weakley County deputies were assisted by the Gleason Police Department.

TBI Assists Local Authorities After Bodies Found in Trezevant

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Trezevant, Tenn.-Bodies of two family members were found in a home in Trezevant and a joint investigation has been launched by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Trezevant Police Department to determine the cause.

TBI Public Information Office Josh DeVine told WENK/WTPR Saturday morning that an autopsy on the individuals will be conducted as the investigation continues. “We expect autopsy results to give us important information about how the two individuals died,” he said.

The bodies were found at 120 Hurt Street late Friday afternoon. Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson reported a family member discovered the bodies of a female and male inside the home. The family member knocked at the door and no one answered. After repeated attempts, the door was broken down and the bodies of the family member’s mother and younger brother were found.

High School Football Scores - Week 1:

Union City - 63, McKenzie 13
Henry County - 31, Beech - 21
Martin Westview - 27, Huntingdon - 26
Obion County - 56, MLK Prep - 7
Hollow Rock-Bruceton - 53 , McEwen - 14
Camden Central - 35, Fairview - 20
Trenton Peabody - 42, Dresden - 20
Greenfield - 41, Gleason - 34
Stewart County - 61, Houston County - 12
Lake County - 22, Fulton County - 6
Scotts Hill - 42, Gibson County - 14
Chester County - 19, South Gibson - 12
Milan - 41, Humboldt - 6
Dyer County - 19 , Memphis Overton - 6

Men From HCMC "In Labor" To Raise Money For March Of Dimes

Pictured are participants; from left, front row: Craig Peevyhouse, John Fuqua, and Joe Gwaltney. back row: Roger Veazey, Tommy Hayes, Dennis Wieck, Steve Delaney, James Caldwell, Rhonda Carnell, Roger Crane, Jack Sparks, Russell French and Frank Holcomb. HCMC photo

Paris, Tenn. – Thirteen lucky men are going where few men have gone before; the last trimester of pregnancy. Henry County Medical Center has kicked off its first March of Dimes "Men In Labor" fundraiser at the hospital by strapping sympathy bellies on men. While the program is bound to bring some laughs HCMC also hope it brings awareness to an important issue.

“Men in Labor” is a “spin off” of Jail and Bail, an event that originated with the March of Dimes over 18 years ago. “Men in Labor” highlights the important role of the father before, during and after pregnancy. 

The Men “in labor” from HCMC will endure a 7-week pregnancy with three events representing the three trimesters of pregnancy. The first trimester was represented on Wednesday, August 27, with the Men In Labor kick-off held at Henry County Medical Center. The second trimester will be represented by baby showers where participants will have their “public” reveal and begin to collect donations towards their $500 goal. Finally, the third trimester is represented by the “delivery,” on Thursday, October 9, where our men in labor “deliver” their donations to support the Henry County March of Dimes Walk on Saturday, October 11. 

Henry County Medical Center will post information regarding event details for the “showers” or “reveal” parties as they become available on our social media pages. If you would like to donate to any of the participants, you can do so by attending their shower, contacting them directly or donating online at, under donate now and selecting your designated man in labor.

Every year, more than half a million babies are born too soon in the United States. March of Dimes strives to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. They work with expecting mothers to educate them on how to improve their chances of having full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies. 

UTM Nursing Center Opens

Ready to cut ribbon are from left Harbert Alexander Jr, chairman of West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation board; Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor; Dr. Kelli Deere, Parsons Center director, Dr. Joe DiPietro, UT president, and Janet and Jim Ayers of the Ayers Foundation. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – Student Jessica Brownyard has a lot to say about the UT Martin Parsons Center, which opened this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the building’s expansion.

Brownyard spoke at the July 2013 announcement of the center’s new West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation Nursing Wing. Sometime in the future, she can say that she’s among the first to graduate from the center’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program housed in the facility. 

Brownyard joined University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes, Jim and Janet Ayers of the Ayers Foundation, local and state elected officials and others to celebrate the expansion’s completion. The official opening of the wing came as the Parsons Center has reached an all-time enrollment record of 325 students for fall semester. 

Center Director Dr. Kelli Deere welcomed the overflow crowd and recognized the partnership among the UT Martin Parsons Center, the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation and the state of Tennessee for making the expansion possible. She specifically thanked Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly for supporting the project, which was completed by TLM Associates, of Jackson, and Quinn Construction, of Parsons. 

Initial funding for the expansion was included in the 2013-14 state budget, and a $1 million appropriation was made to build a 10,000-square-foot addition to the center. The project received added support when the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation also made a $1 million commitment to the project. The addition includes classrooms, a skills laboratory and a high-fidelity computerized simulation laboratory.

Friday, August 29, 2014

School Bus Driver Injured in Calloway County Collision

Calloway County Sheriff's Office responds to this morning's accident. (Calloway Co. SO photo).

Dexter, Tenn.-A Calloway County School bus driver was injured after the school bus she was driving landed on its side in a single vehicle collision early this morning near the community of Dexter.

According to the press release from the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened around 6:50 a.m. today when bus driver Terrie Swift, 49 of Murray, swerved to miss a deer, dropped off the right shoulder of the roadway, overcorrected and cross the northbound lane of travel. The school bus came to rest on its right side in a ditch.

Swift had just begun her route and there were no children on the bus at the time of the accident.

Swift was transported to the Murray Calloway County Hospital for treatment of injuries. The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Calloway County Fire and Rescue, Murray Fire Department and the Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service. 

Henry County Officials' Swearing-In Ceremony Draws Crowd

Paris, Tenn.-A courtroom full of family and well-wishers were on hand Thursday night as swearing-in ceremonies were held for Henry County officials. In top photo, Henry County Clerk Donna Craig, left, swears in county commissioners. Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish swore in Sheriff Monte Belew, Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson and the county's constables. Craig also swore in Trustee Randi French, new Commissioner Randy Gean, and County Mayor Brent Greer. After the ceremony, the county officials gathered on the courthouse steps for group portraits, bottom photo. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Annual Homeplace Trades Fair is This Weekend

Golden Pond, Ky. –  The annual Homeplace Trades Fair will be held at the Land Between the Lakes Labor Day Weekend.

The Homeplace 1850’s working farm will gather traditional trades and crafts people to share their knowledge of vanishing folk art skills to visitors to their annual Homeplace Trades Fair. The fair will be Saturday and Sunday, August 30 and 31, from 10am to 4pm, on the farm located in the Tennessee portion of Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.

Regular Homeplace admission will be charged and includes both the Trades Fair and farm area. As a reminder, regular admission is $5 ages 13 and older, $3 ages 5-12, and free ages 4 and under with parental guidance.

Children’s activities include their own trades fair where they can learn skills like making a clay pot to take home with them, starting their own 1850’s diary, and sewing using a “sewing card.” Kids can explore the farm, play with dolls, “cluck” at chickens, and “oink” at pigs. Adults can do these too.

Trades include:
· Payton Bakery of Cadiz, KY with homemade breads and baked goods for sale
· Newberry & Sons’ Chairs 5th generation Master Chair Maker from Macon County, TN
· Saturday only ~ Dress maker Dannye Lawson of Calhoun, KY on “what to wear in 1850”
· The Hitching Post of Aurora, KY with an old-time General Store of fun gifts and tasty sweets.
· Historian, Fain Russell of Kevil, KY with early American Indian pottery 
· Sketch Artist. Lennie Fottrell with his wildlife drawings, back by popular demand
· Rhonda Thistlethwaite with hooked rugs 
· Salt Maker, Jim Bordwine of Saltville, VA 
· Mike Holmes of Shawnee Creek Woodworks in Eminence, MO with his hand-carved mandolins
· Sunday only ~ Alethia Prettyman of Bramble & Bee Farm in Bluff Springs, KY with honey products
· Fancy Tatted Lace Maker, Jean Moore from Memphis, TN 
· Hand Spinner Tracey Johnson from Vienna, IL with raw sheep wool
· Fine hand knitter and crochet artist, Lydia Keeling of Symsonia, KY 
· Writer, Geraldine Marshall of Paducah, KY with her 19th century diary writing classes for kids at 11am and 2pm; School is in session.

The Homeplace farm family will be demonstrating quilt making, wood working, and repairs around the farm. In the Double Pen House kitchen at 11am and 2pm, they’ll offer live cooking shows on a wood stove.

This is the day to step back in time on The Homeplace 1850’s farm and support local artists and crafts people as they preserve the skills and trades of handmade living. “Our annual Trades Fair provides a fun activity for all ages. The event also doubles as an open market for talented folk artists, crafts people, and merchant traders to sell their wares to keep these skills and traditions alive and well for generations to come,” explains Cindy Earls, Lead Interpreter at The Homeplace.

For more information about The Homeplace Trades Fair at Land Between The Lakes over Labor Day Weekend, go to 

WENK/WTPR Football Schedules Available Free to Public

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The handy WENK/WTPR 2014 Football Schedules are now available to the public and as compact as it is, it’s hard to believe they contain 34 football schedules in all. 

The schedules include all of our area high school teams, from the Union City Golden Tomatoes, Henry County Patriots, Obion County Central Rebels, Camden Lions, McKenzie Rebels, West Carroll War Eagles, Fulton City Bulldogs and many more.

Also included are college schedules for Murray State, UT Martin, Austin Peay, Bethel, the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt, University of Kentucky, University of Memphis and the University of Alabama.

And as if that is not enough, schedules are included for the Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, and the Denver Broncos (for all the Peyton Manning fans out there).

The schedule booklets can be picked up for free at local gas station convenience stores, as well as at the WENK office at 1729 Nailing Dr. in Union City and the WTPR office at 206 N. Brewer Street in Paris (next to the Henry County 911 office).

Lake Haven May Be Expanded Into Two Units

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Medical Center Administrator Tom Gee said at Thursday night’s board of trustees meeting that hospital officials are considering expanding the Lake Haven psychiatric unit.

Gee told the trustees the hospital has recruited a second psychiatrist and are eyeing expanding Lake Haven into two separate units: one for adults and one for geriatrics. He said a recommendation will be presented to the board at a future meeting for official approval.

Gee also reported that wrangling involving the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) has clouded the rate variation issue for Medicare/TennCare. He said four hospitals decided not to sign contracts with MCOs that had agreed to rate reductions in order that rate increases could be passed on to low rate providers like Henry County hospital.

“It now will be up to the state to either decide another option or punish those hospitals”, Gee said. “This puts our rate increase were were planning for on hold.”

Construction manager for the Operating Room renovations will be Waddlington Construction of Jackson, Gee said. “We hope to send final plans to the state for approval in September and bid the project shortly after that time,” Gee said.

In her reports, Director of Finance Lisa Casteel said volumes for the month were mixed, with total patients at 367 versus a budget of 371 and prior year of 335. Average daily census and occupancy rates were lower due to a much lower length of stay.

HCMC posted a gain for the month due to outpatient volumes, while the healthcare center poses a loss for the month from decreases in volume and/or revenue. The Emergency Medical Services posted a loss for the month with lower revenues and higher expenses.

The board approved capital requests totalling $392,963 for equipment in the imaging department, surgery center, Lake Haven and plant operations.

Entries Sought For Cornfest Parade

Union City, Tenn.-The annual Obion County Corn Fest will once again feature a parade and entries are encouraged to sign up now.

The parade will be held Thursday, September 11, and organizers are seeking beauty queens, organizations, church groups, athletic teams, and others to march in the parade.

Cash prizes are awarded for Best Float, Best Decorated Car and Best Decorated Tractor or ATV. There is no entry fee.

Entries line up at 4 p.m., for the parade at 5:30 p.m.

Applications are available at

Discovery Park To Offer Clay Courses

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America is offering two new six week introductory clay classes for both children and adults beginning Thursday, September 4th and continuing through Thursday, October 9. Space is limited and seats will be sold on a first-come, first served basis. 

Introduction to Clay for Children will meet each Thursday from 4 - 5 p.m. in the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) at Discovery Park. This six week course is designed to provide children ages 7 - 15 an opportunity to work with clay. Students will study various methods of hand building. No experience is required and all materials will be supplied. At the end of the class, students can keep their creations. The cost is $60 for Discovery Park members and $65 for non-members. 

Introduction to Clay for Adults will meet each Thursday from 6 - 7:30 p.m. in the LEC. This six week course is designed for adult beginners, ages 16 and up. Participants will learn a variety of techniques working with clay including wheel pottery. Cost is $65 for members and $70 for non-members. The cost includes all supplies.

You can enroll in a clay class at the ticket counter at Discovery Park or by calling 731-885-5455. Payment is due at the time of registration.

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Martin Man Sentenced To 21 Years In Federal Prison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arrests Made in Marathon Armed Robbery

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

McKenzie To Vote on Wine in Grocery Stores

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

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

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

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

Military Salute, Disney Event Kick Off Soybean Festival

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

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

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

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

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

Events are free.

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

The schedule is listed at

New Signage Points Way To Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center

Memphis UMC Conference Photos.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris Fire Protection Billing to be Mailed Friday

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Fire Protection Subscription billing assessed by the City of Paris to property owners located in the ESN122 area of Henry County will be mailed this Friday, August 29. 

ESN122 is the area just outside the city limits which the Paris Fire Department is assigned to protect. According to Assistant City Manager Kim Foster, the city uses data from the State of TN Division of Property Assessments as well as the office of the Henry Co. Assessor of Property to identify property owners within ESN122 and determine the amount they will be assessed for fire service. 

If you own property located within ESN122 and fail to get a letter from the City, or if you receive a letter and no longer own the property referenced, please contact the City of Paris Business office so we can correct our records. The public may also contact City Hall if you are not certain if your property is located in the ESN122 area. You may reach the business office by calling 731-641-1402, or by coming by City Hall at 100 N. Caldwell.

Registration Open For Paris Disc Golf Tournament

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

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

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

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

New players in non sanctioned divisions pay $15.

Register online at 

Law Enforcement To Conduct Safety Checks Through Weekend

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

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

Lawn Equipment Stolen From Home

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HCHS Football Team Helps With Smoke Alarm Canvas For Needy

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

Discovery Park Labor Day Festivities Set

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Former Attorney Ruled Competent To Stand Trial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stewart County Homecoming Set This Weekend At LBL

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

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

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

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

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

Charges Against Henry County Businessman Dismissed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The merchandise stolen totalled $114,043.05.

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

Trailer, Other Items Stolen From Business

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

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

Common Core is Topic of Henry County GOP Meet

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

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Joint Funeral Service Planned For Noah And Logan Rogers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cottage Grove Converts to LED Lighting

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Financing of Water Plant Coming Together For BPU

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other business:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two From Puryear Killed in Murray Accident

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

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

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

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

Ribbon-Cutting For UTM Nursing Center is Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barkley Navigation Lock To Be Open To Public For Limited Time

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

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

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

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

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

What Heat Wave? Keep Cool With Ice Bucket Challenge

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

Paris Tri Club Does Well At Meet

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

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

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

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

Martin Man Arrested For Assault

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Benton County Man Arrested For Murder, Abuse of Infant

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

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

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

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

Paris, Henry County Officials, Employees Take the Challenge

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wine Sales Referendum May Be On Ballot in Paris

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Free Produce Giveaways Set

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

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

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

Airborne Gymnastics Team Competes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Driver Arrested On Multiple Charges After Injury Accident 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comage’s driver’s license was revoked. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Downtown Cruise-In Set For Tuesday

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

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

Vendor Space Available At Arts and Crafts Festival

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

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

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

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

"Roots of Rhythm" Tickets On Sale

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

Tickets will be on sale beginning today.  

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

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

Police Pry Driver From Vehicle After Accident

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

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

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

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

UC Police Investigate Thefts

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

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

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

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Celebrating The Arts, Lee Academy Style

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

Rocking Like The '90s At Discovery Park

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

Signs, Signs Everywhere A Sign

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

Three Injured When Car Collides With High School Sign

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

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

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

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

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

The investigation is ongoing by Trooper Michael Bennett.

HCHS Senior Information Night Set

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

This is not a Project Graduation meeting.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tour de Reelfoot Registration is Open

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

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

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

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

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

Schools in our area on the list are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HCHS Senior Information Session Set

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

This is not a Project Graduation meeting.

Week 0 High School Football Scores:

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

Friday, August 22, 2014

TBI, Benton County Sheriff Investigate Infant Death

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

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

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

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

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

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

Area Unemployment Rates: Not A Pretty Picture

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Four Arrested After Undercover Drug Buy

   Minyard Ingram                        Starlyn Clark                             Kelsy Underwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chamber Learns About Workers' Compensation Reform

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

Martin Man Charged in Deputy Assault

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chess Classes To Be Offered

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boy Scout Signup is Next Week

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

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

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Statom Speaks About His Job To Office on Aging

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Statom also took several questions from the audience.

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

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

November Ballots in Henry, Obion County Will Be Crowded

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wine in Supermarkets Issue on November Ballots

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

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

Mayfield Man Arrested For Licking, Grabbing Faces

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

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

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

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

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

Bela Fleck Album Features Knowles' Hand Crafted Banjos

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free Produce Giveaway in Cottage Grove Friday

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

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

David Harris Named "Pride Of Obion County"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rusty Relics Sidewalk Sale Set This Weekend

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

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

Discovery Park Offering Painting Classes

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

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

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

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

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

Sign-Ups Underway For Union City Youth Soccer

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

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

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

Union City Man Cited After Dog Growls At Postman

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

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

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

Stewart Co. Election Commission Arguing Over Complaint

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

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

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

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

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

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

McKenzie OKs Budget, Raises

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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

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

Wade Promoted To Assistant Chief

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

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

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

The other Assistant Chief for the department is Randall Jones.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UTM Students Moving On Campus

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

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

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

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

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

Free ACT, SAT Prep Available on State Electronic Library

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

Check it out at !

Obion County Budget Includes Pay Raises

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

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

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

Department Heads Not Required To Live In Union City

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

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

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

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

"Bless You" Draws Suspension

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry County Deputies Arrest Buchanan Man in Firearms Theft

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris BPU’s Josh McCaslin Honored by TVPPA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courthouse is Beautiful From All Angles

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

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UT Drum Line Tune-Up Day is This Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quota Social Gathering Coming Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 18, 2014

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

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The No Fly Zone also received a standing ovation.

In other business: 

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

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

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

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

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

Arrest Warrants Issued in Union City Armed Robbery

           Jesse Hailey                                   Kristi Copeland

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

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

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

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

Celebrate The Arts With Lee Academy On Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

To enroll call 642-3411 and leave a message.

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

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

Jim Young Named National FFA Finalist

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everclear To Headline Final Discovery Park Summer Concert

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

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

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

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

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

Two Union City Teens Charged With Kidnapping, Assault

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

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

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

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

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

Bethel Welcomes New Nursing Class

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

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

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

Henry County Historical Society To Meet Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

UC Man Charged With Criminal Trespassing

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

Arrested was James Taylor Alexander of 505 Nash St.

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Alabama Angler Wins Big Bass Splash

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

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

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

Saying Goodbye To Obion County Fair From Above

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Early Birds Get The Fish

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

UTM Nursing Grads Achieve 100 Percent Pass Rate

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

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

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

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

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

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

UTM To Offer Photo Class in Paris

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

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

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

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

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

Rhea Library Computer Lab Closed Wednesday Morning

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

Registration Open for Arts 'Round Square

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

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

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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Obion County Fair Gears Up For Big Finale Tonight

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

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

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

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

Martin PD Adds New K-9 to Department 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris Radio Shack Opens at New Location

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

State Unemployment for July at 7.1 Percent

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

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

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mayfield Man Charged in Death of Father

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big Bass Splash is This Weekend

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

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

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

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

Edward Jones Football Challenge Set Tonight

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

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

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

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

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

Friday’s Fair Schedule

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

Races, Gourmet Food Trucks and More For McDonald Houses

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Motorcycle Cage of Death Draws Crowds at Fair

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

McConnell To Appear in Fulton Today

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

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

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

Quinn Chapel Cookbook Ready For Purchase

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

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

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Planning Commission Approves Kroger Fuel Center

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Groundbreaking at Springville Pump House Ramp Area Held

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stanley said the project will be completed by September 1. 

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

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

Showing Patriots' Pride 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UC Police Seek Armed Robbery Suspect

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Music, Rodeo Riding and More At Obion County Fair

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

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

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

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

Thursday night has another crowded schedule:

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

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

Martin Police Investigator Named Officer of The Year

Martin Police Chief David Moore and Pryor.

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

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

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

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

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

Weakley County Awarded Over $1.5 M in Transportation Grants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry County Candidates File For November Election

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bone and Joint Specialists Merge With West Tennessee Clinic

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

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

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

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

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

Retired McKenzie Police Chief Dies

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Secretary of State Tre Hargett

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Records Broken at Obion Fair Livestock Auction

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also Tuesday night, more pageants were held.

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

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

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

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

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

Bullwhip Rodeo To Appear at Fair Tonight

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

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

Smith Joins Chamber Staff

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

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

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

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

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

Three Members of Family Arrested

             Robert Trent Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

McDonald's Coming to Greenfield

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

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

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

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

Gospel Explosion Set For Saturday

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

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

Henry County Dems To Meet

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

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

More information will be reported as it is available.

Groundbreaking at Springville Pump House Area Set For Thursday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

Thousands Flock To Obion County Fair First Night

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obion County Fair Tuesday Schedule

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

TSSAA Adopts "Super 6" Classification Plan

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glow Run To Benefit Ronald McDonald Houses

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

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

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

Monday, August 11, 2014

Area Churches Come Together For Shoe Drive

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recount For King/McGee Race?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sugg May Be Winner in Houston County Sheriff Race

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

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

Sugg currently is the Assistant Erin Police Chief.

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

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

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

A Look At Other Area Sheriff’s Races

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Suspect in Custody After Armed Robbery

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

No one was hurt in the robbery, he said.

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

Obion County Fair Starts Monday
"From Farm To Fair"

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fair books are available at the Obion County Public Library.

Obion County Fair Schedule for Monday, August 11

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

Audrey Hill is National Champion

Audrey Hill with plaque. (Amy Lawrence photo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saying Goodbye To The Henry County Fair

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

Spending Time in the Ring

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

Houston County Sheriff Race Still Unsettled

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

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

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

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

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

License Granted to Perrylodgic Brewing Co.

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

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

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

In Between Hog Shows

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

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

Wyatt Narrowly Keeps Sheriff Position

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 8, 2014

Gladwell Wins Grand Champ, Hayes Wins Overall Reserve Champ

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

Stone Formally Resigns From Trustee Post

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

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

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

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

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

Parish, Stowe, McGee Win 24th Races   


Judge Donald Parish                     Carma McGee                           Matt Stowe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pitching In At The Fair

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

Letting The Victory Sink In

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

City of Paris Formalizes Mixed Tax Agreement

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

In other business:

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

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

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

The DOR created an adjustment reflecting the sales tax the city received in error over the last 12 months.  The city received notice from the Department of Revenue stating the adjustment amount that will be deducted from our next two months apportionment.

--Commission reappointed Terry Wimberley to the Planning Commission and reappointed George Bass Jr. and Terry Fuller to the Housing Board of Appeals.

Foster: Strong Growth in City Retail Sales

Paris, Tenn.-At last night’s meeting of the Paris City Commission, Finance Director Kim Foster reported that retail Sales continue to show strong growth, probably helped by the number of new businesses that have begun in Paris recently.  For the month of May sales were up 4.3% from 2013 and 2.55% from 2012.  “This makes six straight months of positive growth”, she said.

“Overall, we finished our fiscal year on a high note,” according to Foster.  “In the General Fund we had budgeted to take a little over $300,000 from Fund Balance, but will have to take less than $150,000.  This is attributable to prudent spending by our department heads, as well as not getting as far along on a couple of community development projects as we had hoped (Back Alley Paris and some Annexation related items).

The city also received the final reimbursement on the Joy Street Project which helped the revenue picture.  The Solid Waste Fund ended the fiscal year on an even higher note with Expenses being slightly under budget while revenues exceeded projections.
Obion County Fair Next Week; Pageant Deadlines Listed

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Fair is next week, August 11-16, and is jam-packed with activities planned at the fairgrounds.

Saturday, August 9, is the deadlines for the pageants that will be held at the Obion County Fair this year.

The Fairest of the Fair and Miss Teen pageants will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, August 11. The Petite/Little Miss/Junior Miss Pageants will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 12.

Rehearsals for all the pageants are held Sunday afternoon. Entry fees for the pageants are $25.

For more information, call Sharon Regen 731-885-3818 or go to the Obion County Fair website at:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Night of Nail-Biting For Area Candidates

At the Henry County Elections Commission, supporters of Randi French anxiously look at the election results: from left, Kristie Freeman, Michelle Brewer (French's sister) and Stacy Hayes. French won the County Trustee post. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

It has been a long and stressful day and night for candidates in contested races in our area and for some, as of 10 p.m. Thursday night, the stress of waiting is not over.

In the 24th District Circuit Court Race, Incumbent Democrat Donald Parish of Huntingdon easily won over his opponent Republican Vicki Hoover of Paris by a vote of 13, 020 to 9,732. 

The 24th District District Attorney race appeared to favor newcomer Republican Matt Stowe of Huntingdon over Incumbent Democrat Hansel McCadams of Paris. With a few more results left to come in late Thursday night, the vote was 12,009-10,672.

As for the 24th District Chancellor race, Republican Carma McGee of Savannah has squeaked by Democrat Michael King of Huntingdon in a race that wasn't determined until early in the morning.

In Obion County, late Thursday night Steve Conley conceded to Jeff Parham in the Circuit Court race. Conley said, “While I am certainly disappointed with the outcome of the election, I also realize that I am blessed beyond measure. I have been blessed with a wonderful family who was unbelievably supportive and helpful during the campaign. Campaigning throughout Obion and Weakley Counties the past several months has been a wonderful experience that my family and I will never forget.”

In Carroll County, County Mayor Democrat Kenny McBride won re-election with 2,175 votes over Richard Goodwin 1402, Dennis Taylor 292, Tim Pratt 364 and Richard Fisk 364.

Jake Bynum of Dresden is the new Weakley County Mayor. Bynum ran as an Independent and received 3,699 votes, beating Republican challenger and Martin alderman Randy Edwards, who received 2,801 votes, and Democratic candidate Jake Watson, who received 547 votes. Bynum will succeed outgoing county mayor Houston Patrick, who did not seek re-election and is retiring after two terms in office.

In Benton County, in a heated race, Sheriff Tony King was beat by newcomer Kenny Christopher. King is a Democrat and Christopher is an independent. 

In Stewart County, Deryk Wyatt is the new sheriff, beating Frankie Gray. County Mayor Rickie Joiner overwhelmingly held off a challenge from Jonathan Anglin.

In Henry County, Randi French easily beat Cindy Hopkins for the County Trustee post. French said, “I’m still very emotional, a little numb. It hasn’t sunk in yet. But I do look forward to serving the people of Henry County.” She said she loved every minute of the campaign, which lasted over a year.

Other Henry County races, all of the incumbent commissioners retained their seats, with some fighting off challenges from newcomers. In District 1, Chief Deputy Randy Gean was elected to fill the seat for retiring Dan Paschall.

Commissioners winners:

District 1: Wes Bradley, Randy Gean, Don Jones

District 2: Bobby Freeman, Kreg Kyle, Paul Neal

District 3: Paul Mathenia, Monte Starks, Marty Visser

District  4: Dell Carter, Kenneth Humphreys, James Travis

District 5: Greg Carter, Connie McSwain and David Webb.

In Obion County, the commission race winners:

District 2: Kenneth Barnes, Allen Nohsey and Dean Jowers

District 3: Danny Jowers, Kenneth Cheatham, and Ricky Boyd

District 5: Jerry Grady, Paul Albright, James Beasley

District 6: Terry Roberts, Ned Bigelow, Polk Glover

District 7: Steve Goodrich, Sam Sinclair and Jim Bondurant


It's Moon Pie-Eating Time at The Fair

Paris, Tenn.-Walt Ashley, top, waves his hand to the crowd as he wins tonight's Tennessee Product Eating Contest at the Henry County Fair. Ashley owns Hellbilly Moonshiner's grilling and dipping sauces. For winning the contest, he was awarded a basket of Tennessee products that included his sauce. Even Fairest of the Fair Alex Reagor got in on the action during the contest, bottom photo. (Kim Patterson photo).

Midway Keeps Rockin' At The Fair

Paris, Tenn.-A heat wave has descended on the Henry County Fair the last couple of nights, but that has not kept a steady flow of people--especially the young--from enjoying the midway. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Fair's First Corn Hole Tournament Was A Hit

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Fair’s first-ever corn hole tournament was a big hit, drawing 15 teams to compete at the Farmer’s Market Pavillion. Winners were: first place, $75 to The Sharp Shooters Max Easley and Russell Tabers from Murray; second place, $50 to Team Hart James Hart and Cody McClain; and third place $25 Team McClain made up of Randy and Jenny McClain. (Henry County Fair photos).


Kemp Wins Best of Show for Quilting

Paris, Tenn.-June Kemp of Cottage Grove is shown straightening out one of her quilts Monday at the Henry County Fair before she won Best of Show and three first place ribbons for her handiwork. Her quilts are on display in the Enoch Building along with other wares and works by Henry Countians. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

A Handful of Ribbons At The Fair

Paris, Tenn.-Brad Hosford of Paris was all smiles Wednesday at the Henry County Fair, as he realized just how many ribbons he won for a variety of crafts that he entered. He won several first place ribbons, including one for the chair he built in the photo, as well as carvings. He also won second and third place ribbons for a bench, decorated window frame, recycled horse shoe carvings, and paintings. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Senator Lowe Finney To Run For Jackson Mayor

Jackson, Tenn. -- State Senator Lowe Finney announced Wednesday that he intends to run for mayor of Jackson in 2015. Finney represents District 27, which includes Madison, Crockett, Dyer, Lake and Lauderdale Counties. He has been a senator for two terms and his current term expires in November.

Current Mayor Jerry Gist has indicated he intends to run for another term.

Sometimes It Takes A Village

Paris, Tenn.-Sometimes it really does take a village. Anna DiVito needed help with the huge sunflowers she brought to the Henry County Fair’s youth crop exhibit Monday and she received a lot from Extension Agent Ransom Goodman, Glenn and Pam Lee. DiVito won first place for her sunflowers as well as ribbons for other items she brought in. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Julie Gribble to Perform at Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.- National recording artist, Julie Gribble will be performing live at Libation Station this Thursday evening, August 7th, from 5-9 p.m. at Discovery Park of America in Union City....

Gribble has been performing for 10 years and has called both Los Angeles and Nashville home. “Julie is on her summer tour and Libation Station is fortunate to have her,” Event Director Melissa Caldwell said.

Libation Station has been open most Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5-9 p.m. for the past couple of months, and has featured a variety of local and regional live entertainment.

The outdoor venue will continue to offer live entertainment through October of this year and plans are to start back in the spring of 2015, when the weather gets nice again according to CEO Jim Rippy. “Libation Station offers a unique opportunity for our members to get together and enjoy live entertainment and wind-down at the end of the week. We’ve been pleased by the response of the community, and the amazing talent that we have found among regional artists,” Rippy said.

Entrance to Libation Station is free to anyone who has purchased an annual membership to Discovery Park. Members can bring a guest for $5.

According to park officials, Thursday night’s event will be moved into Dinosaur Hall in the case of rain.

Henry County Fair Schedule for Today

Paris, Tenn.-Today is a big day at the fair, with the junior livestock sale tonight, along with the Woolies' Revue, a Night With Elvis and much more. Here is the schedule:

8 to 8:30 a.m. swine grooming demonstration
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Viewing of Adult and Youth entries
9 a.m. Junior Hog Show
Pre 4-H Market Hog Show
10 a.m. Sketch Crawl at the Fair...
11 a.m. Junior Market Goat Show
12:30 to 2 p.m. Street Grooming Demonstration
1 p.m. Junior Market Lamb Show
Pre 4-h Market Lamb Show
2 p.m. Junior Market Steer Show
10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Old Country Store
5 to 9 p.m. Commercial Building open for viewing
6 p.m. Carnival opens
6 p.m. Woolies Revue
6 to 8 p.m. Red-E Fox 911 Mascot appearance
6:30 Tennessee Product Eating Contest
7 p.m. A Night with Elvis
7 p.m. Junior Livestock Sale- Steers, Hogs, Lambs, goats

Discovery Park to Host Tornado Workshop

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America’s Education Department is offering a free Tornado Preparedness Workshop from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, August 9. 

 Interested persons are asked to meet between 9:15 and 9:30 in the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) located next to the Cafe in Discovery Center, just inside the main entrance.  The workshop will begin at 9:30.  

Northwest Tennessee Disaster Services will present this informative workshop which is designed to help people prepare today for what tomorrow might bring.  Learn how to prepare for a tornado, what provisions to have on hand, what to do in the event of a power outage and temporary first-aid and survival skills.  The workshop is free and open to the public.  Admission to the park is not included.  

UC Man Cited For Resisting Arrest

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested for resisting arrest and a shotgun was seized after an incident Tuesday night at 614 S. Fourth St.

Arrested was Steven Knight, age 47, of that address. Union City Police were called there on a report of an argument and possible gunshot. Officers heard a noise coming from the backyard but had difficulty getting there because of a fence. They did find a spent shotgun shell which smelled like it had been shot recently.

Knight finally came out of the house and first said he didn’t heard any argument and then said he did hear arguing in the backyard. Officers said he was evasive and smelled of alcohol. Officers also noticed he was wearing gloves and had fresh blood on his arm.

Officers attempted to check inside the house to see if someone was injured and Knight became upset and physically tried to keep them from going in the house. He was arrested and no one else was found in the house.

Inside the house officers found in plain view the 12-guage shotgun which was loaded and smelled like it had been fired. A criminal history of Knight determined he may be a convicted felon from Weakley Co. and the gun was taken as evidence until the conviction can be confirmed.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Portion of Downtown Paris Building Collapses

City of Paris Initiates Emergency Action 

Part of the load-bearing brick structure fell Tuesday afternoon. The tree has been growing from the back of the building for some time. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A portion of a downtown building fell Tuesday afternoon and Paris City officials have initiated steps to take emergency action to demolish the structure.

The building was used for storage by the late E.C. Wallin and is still owned by his estate. It is located in the block between East Wood Street and Fentress Streets. 

Built sometime between 1910 and 1920, the building has been a source of concern for city officials for quite some time and a tree has been growing through the back portion of the building for years. 

City Building Inspector Mike Brown said, “We were taking the necessary steps to condemn the building when Mr. Wallin was still alive, but then he died and that put our steps in limbo. The estate has still not been settled.”

However, Brown said, “It takes something of this magnitude to initiate emergency action and we are notifying the parties involved with that building and giving them a timeline to take action.”

Brown said the structure is built with three layers of bricks and the masonry and bricks that fell from the building today are part of the structure itself. “In the days when that building was built, they didn’t just use bricks as the façade like they do nowadays. The bricks were part of the structure itself.”

The two-story brick and masonry structure has housed Barrett’s Construction and a machine shop before Wallin purchased it and used it for storage.”

The Paris Public Works Department cleaned up the bricks and masonry this afternoon.

Kroger Plans Fuel Area at Paris Store

Work to mark off the area for the proposed fuel section has already begun. The equipment in photo is being used for other ongoing projects in Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris may soon have a Kroger fuel area in its future. The Kroger Co. is planning to construct an area for gas pumps adjacent to the Kroger Store on Mineral Wells Ave.

Kroger officials already have been marking off the area, which is located in the empty lot near the building. 

The request will be on the agenda for the Paris City Planning Commission Thursday night August 14 at city hall.

Many Kroger stores have fuel areas, including the one in Murray.

Taking Care of The Best of Show

Paris, Tenn.-Brenda Owen gives some last minute TLC to her giant coleus plant which later won Best of Show and First Place ribbons at the Henry County Fair. Owen said she plant several types of coleus plants together in the pot. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Time of City Commission Meet Changed; Special Meet Called

Paris, Tenn.-The time of the regular Paris City Commission meeting Thursday night has been changed to 5 p.m.  instead of 6 p.m. at city hall.

Additionally, a special meeting has been set for Wednesday, August 13, to discuss and review long-term financial projections, a transfer station plan, proposals for future city hall improvements, bond sizing and local option sales tax referendum. That meeting also will be held at 5 p.m. at city hall.

Paris McDonald's To Construct New McDonald's in Huntingdon

Huntingdon, Tenn.--Site work is being performed in Huntingdon for a new McDonald’s restaurant which is planned on Veterans Drive, across from the Wal-Mart shopping center. The new restaurant will be owned by McWorth Management in Paris, the same company that owns the Paris McDonald’s and several others.

According to the McKenzie Banner, once the site is prepared, underground storm sewer and water lines will be installed and foundation work will begin on the McDonald’s and an attached retail store.

Looking Out Over The Henry County Fair

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Fair midway is a beautiful sight when it's all lit up at night and Kim Patterson of Paris captured a beautiful panoramic view of it Monday night.

Special Prosecuted Named in Lewis Theft Case

Paris, Tenn.-A special prosecutor has been named to hear the misdemeanor theft case against Martin Lewis of Paris in Henry County General Sessions Court.

Lewis, who is associated with the Servall company, was arrested by Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies earlier this year. Deputies were notified by another gutter company that signs advertising their business were being removed by Lewis. 

Deputies charged Lewis with allegedly removing two signs valued at $25 apiece from the Van Dyke and Bunn School Road intersection.

At the upcoming hearing, set for August 26, the case will be heard by 23rd Judicial District Attorney Brooke Orgain of Charlotte. According to court notes, a special prosecutor was appointed because Lewis is related to someone who is interning for the local District Attorney’s Office.

Judging at the Henry County Dairy Cattle Show

Paris, Tenn.-Hailey Ary, left, won reserve grand champion and junior show grand champion at Monday’s Dairy Cattle Show at the Henry County Fair. In photo, she is shown in the ring with Judge Jeff Mitchell, a dairy specialist with the University of Tennessee Extension Office in Knoxville. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Relaxing Before The Big Show

Paris, Tenn.-Brady Bell of Dresden looked relaxed Monday sitting atop his jersey in the dairy barn at the Henry County Fair. Bell went on to win junior showmanship during the dairy cattle show. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Karate Raises Over $5,000 For St. Jude

Record-winner Autumn Yannayon is in foreground, with Ella Seaton in back. (Rick Conger photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Over $5,000 was raised for St. Jude Children’s Hospital by the children’s classes at Paris Karate. Paris Karate was chosen for the 18th year to participate in the event, called a “Kata Thon”, according to Rick Conger of Paris Karate.

Autumn Yannayon set a Paris Karate record for most money raised with $1,031.

The "Kata thon" was a week long event, July 7-12 , in which the students performed "kata", the preset routines of karate techniques. Sponsors donated money for each kata performed.

The theme for this year's "Kata Thon" was "Children Helping Children", Conger said.
Students that participated in this fund raiser helped children at St. Jude while they benefited from practicing their karate skills.
St. Jude is the nation's leading research hospital that treats catastrophic childhood diseases such as cancer. Families are not charged for this
expensive treatment and the primary source of funding is from contributions.

A total 624 kata were performed during the event with 137 students participating in
the event.  A total of $5,003 was raised and sent to St. Jude.

Election Day Hours, Polling Places Listed

Thursday is Election Day and it will a busy day in our area and throughout Tennessee, with most county elected officials as well as several state offices on the General Election Ballot. Many of the races have become heated in our area, especially in the last days before the election.

Polls in both Henry and Stewart Counties will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In Obion County, polls will open at 8 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

There are 13 polling places through Henry County and here is the list:

1-1 Puryear Civic Center

94 S Sycamore St., Puryear TN

1-2 Cottage Grove Baptist Church

Community Bldg

6860 Church St., Cottage Grove TN 

1-3 Buchanan Masonic Lodge

55 Rabbit Creek Rd., Buchanan 

2-1 Henry Civic Center

9300 Hwy 79 S., Henry TN

2-2 Mansfield Vol. Fire Dept

Hwy 114, Mansfield TN

2-3 Oakland Vol. Fire Dept

4435 Hwy 69 S., Paris TN 

3-1 Russwood American Legion

4326 E Antioch Rd., Springville TN 

3-2 Springville Community Center

105 Broadview, Springville TN

3-3 Jones Chapel Baptist Church

2200 India Rd, Paris TN 

4-1 Grove School

215 Grove Blvd, Paris TN

4-2 Paris City Hall

100 N Caldwell St., Paris TN

5-1 Henry Co. High School

315 S Wilson St., Paris TN 

5-2 Tennessee College of Applied Technology 

312 S Wilson St., Paris TN

There are 12 polling places in Obion County and here is the list:

District #1 South Fulton City Hall   (1-1)

700 Milton Counce Road

South Fulton, TN 

District #2 Eddie Cox Senior Center  (2-1) 

622 Depot Street

Union City, TN 

                Woodland Community Center   (2-4)

201 Cannon Moore Drive

Woodland Mills, TN 

District #3 Kenton Gym  (3-2)

210 W. College Street

Kenton, TN 

                Rives Fire Station  (3-4)  

3466 E. Cross Street

Rives, TN 

District #4 Fair Grounds  (4-1) 

1711 Church Street

Union City, TN 

District #5 Cloverdale Community Center  (5-2) 

3344 Cloverdale Road

Obion, TN 

               Hornbeak City Hall  (5-4)  

212 W. Main Street

Hornbeak, TN 

                Samburg Assembly of God  (5-5)

253 N. Reelfoot Avenue

Samburg, TN 

District #6 Troy Senior Center  (6-1) 

128 N. College Street

Troy, TN

Obion Community Center  (6-2)

221 N. Broadway Avenue

Obion, TN 

District #7  Obion County Public Library  (7-2)

1221 E. Reelfoot Avenue

Union City, TN 

UC Council Discusses Residency Requirements, Lease Agreement

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session last night, the Union City City Council voted to accept the termination of a lease agreement with the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Tennessee regarding the old Central Elementary School Building.

The Boys and Girls Club previously informed council that it will not be able to develop the property. Now the future of the building is uncertain.

Most of council’s time was spent talking about residency requirements for the city’s department heads. Two council members Bill Harrison and Bill Jack Cranford are of the opinion that the city’s department heads should live within the city limits and pay city taxes.

Two other members Councilmen Danny Leggett and Jim Douglas indicated no such requirement is needed. Mayor Terry Hailey said other than the city manager, he doesn’t care where the other department heads live.

Hailey said there does need to be a specific response time requirement for emergency personnel such as fire and police personnel. Hailey said there is a requirement on the books now that requires employees to live within six and a half miles of the courthouse. That rule has not been enforced by any city administration.

Councilwoman Judy Robinson suggested the city look at that ordinance and discuss residency at the next meeting, which everyone agreed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Murray CVS Robbery Suspect Arrested

Murray, Ky.-Thanks to tips from the public--not to mention a really good surveillance photo--Murray Police have made an arrest in the robbery at the CVS Pharmacy Monday. 

Murray Police took Gary Vanderweff, age 62, of Murray, into custody without incident and he is lodged at the Calloway County Jail. Vanderwerff is charged with robbery first degree, a Class B felony.

The Murray Police thank everyone who called with tips and information. Murray Police issued the surveillance photo last night and asked for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

Getting Ready For Dairy Cattle Show

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County FFA Advisor Laura Moss and Ashton Thompson check over Ashton’s calf before the dairy cattle show Monday morning at the Henry County Fair. Ashton was competing in the intermediate calf division. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Henry County Fair Schedule for Tuesday August 5

1 to 8 p.m. viewing of Adult and Youth exhibits
4 to 8 p.m. Old Country Store
6 p.m. Carnival opens
6 to 8 p.m. Dare Mascot appearance
6:30 Jr. Queen, Jr. Miss, Miss Pre-Teen pageants
7 p.m. Mud Bog Trucks
8 p.m. Cash Give-A-Way

Waiting On Their Turn

Paris, Tenn.-Sitting on hay bales waiting for their turn in the dairy cattle show Monday at the Henry County Fair were (from left): Kari Beth Woods, Britney Bell, Abbi Woods and Laura Bell. Britney Bell was to compete in a few minutes. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Fair Cookouts

Paris, Tenn.-There will be three cook outs during the Henry County Fair this week, the first being Wednesday sponsored by Hoofbeats of Hope.

On the menu is Cajun Grilled Chicken, baked beans, chips, Sister Shubert rolls, dessert and drink, all for just $10.00. Jan Foy said, “We will start serving around 4:00 or a little earlier if it gets done by then.”

Thursday’s cookout will be sponsored by Henry County Livestock Assn. and Saturday’s by the Henry County Junior Livestock.

Obion County Tax Rate To Remain Same

Union City, Tenn.-Good news for taxpayers: Obion County’s tax rate will stay the same as it was in 2013.

At meetings of both the Obion County Budget and Finance Committees Monday, committee members unanimously approved the county budget which now will go before the full county commission at its August 18 meeting for approval.

As it was in 2013, the tax rate will continue at $2.0042 for outside tax and $1.6492 for inside tax rate, according to a spokesperson at the county mayor’s office.

At the meeting, County Mayor Benny McGuire said calculations are that one penny on the tax rate is equivalent to just over $54,000, with a total projected collection of almost $542,000 county-wide.
McGuire also said the strong tax collection could result in new money of almost $20,000 to the Obion County School System and approximately $9,000 to the Union City School System.

The committees also addressed the Obion County Public Library’s request by agreeing to stand with appropriations being the same as they were last year.

Soccer Team Shows Support For Alex

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Fairest of the Fair Alex Reagor surrounded by her soccer mates on the stage at the Commercial Building after she was crowned at Monday night’s pageant. The full story on the Fairest of the Fair and Miss Teen pageant were posted Monday night on our website and Facebook pages. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Red River Waste Seeks to Extend Garbage Services

Union City, Tenn.-Red River Waste Solutions, Union City's new waste hauler, will extend its garbage collection services to residents outside the city as soon as it can receive all necessary government approvals from Obion County.

Red River has applied to the Obion County board of commissioners for a franchise agreement that must be approved by county government in order for waste companies to provide private subscription collection services to residents. Currently, only Barker Brothers and ECM have authorization to provide residential waste collection in rural areas of Obion County. 

There is a three-step process for waste companies to gain authorization by Obion County to serve county residents. Red River has gained approval unanimous approval by the Solid Waste Board on July 24 and now must win approval by the County Budget Committee and the full County Commission. Those votes have not been scheduled by the County. The review of this franchise request was passed over for the Budget Committee meeting scheduled for August 4, hopefully the committee will be able to review at its next Budget Committee meeting in September.

"Residents who want the exceptional service and low pricing that we provide should contact their County Commissioner to voice support for added competition and approval of Red River's franchise agreement," according to Red River General Manager Bill Roden. "Further delay will simply allow the current waste collection providers added time to try and lock customers into long-term, more expensive subscription agreements. "We ask the residents of Obion County to be patient and understanding while we work through the process to operate in Obion County," Roden said.

"Our company is known for providing exceptional service and for value pricing," he said. "Working with our Union City government partners is rewarding and we are really looking forward to the same relationship with county elected officials and residents."

For more information about Red River Waste Solutions, please contact Bill Roden at (731) 884-2860.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Alex Reagor Crowned Fairest of the Fair

Fairest of the Fair Alex Reagor. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Alex Reagor was crowned Henry County’s Fairest of the Fair capping off a perfect start to the Henry County Fair Monday. Alex is 17 and the daughter of Susan Reagor and Eddie Reagor.

Her court is made up of First Maid Lillie Akers, 17, daughter of John and Julie Akers; Second Maid Aleece Passman, 16, daughter of Gary and Tina Passman; Third Maid Sydney Luna, 17, daughter of Marla Luna; and Fourth Maid Grace Hassell, 17, daughter of Dan and Misty Hassell.

Earlier in the evening, Miss Teen Olivia Harber was crowned. She is 13 and the daughter of Paul Harber and Lydia Flowers.  Her court is made up of First Maid Natalie Clark, 13, daughter of Andy and Sonya Clark; and Second Maid Abigail Wilson, 13, daughter of Tony and Amy Wilson.

Five lucky people went home with a lot more money than they came to the fair with after they were selected to grab money out of the cash machine. Dominic Daquilla was the top winner, with $582. Jill Powers grabbed $253; Lynn Lovelace $124; Ann Hudson $113 and Jinny Pritchett $81.

The other cash give-aways will be Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday’s events will include the Junior Queen, Junior Miss and Miss Pre-Teen pageants, more carnival rides and fair food, an appearance by the DARE mascot, and mud bogging.

Paris, Tenn.-Fairest of the Fair Alex Reagor surrounded by her court: First Maid Lillie Akers; Second Maid Aleece Passman; Third Maid Sydney Luna and Fourth Maid Grace Hassell. (McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Olivia Harber, 13, daughter of Paul Harber and Lydia Flowers, was crowned Miss Teen at the Henry County Fair tonight. (McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Miss Teen Olivia Harber surrounded by her court: First Maid Abigail Wilson and Second Maid Natalie Clark. (McFarlin photo).

Grabbing At Those Bucks

Paris, Tenn.-Dominic Daquilla went home $582 richer Monday night from the Henry County Fair after he grabbed the most money from the money machine. Leon Rogers and Jamey Tosh look on from the sidelines. Other winners: Jill Powers, $253; Lynn Lovelace, $124; Ann Hudson $113; and Jinny Pritchett, $81. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Murray CVS Robbed

Murray, Ky.-Murray Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect who robbed the CVS Pharmacy at 12th and Main Streets around 4:30 p.m. Monday. Murray Police have released a surveillance photo of the suspec...t.

According to the press release from the Murray Police, the suspect entered the pharmacy, demanded medications, and threatened to use a gun if he did not receive them. No gun was observed, however.

The suspect is described as a tall, heavy set middle aged white male wearing a Murray State University hat, button up denim sleeveless shirt, blue jean shorts, white socks, and black shoes. If anyone has knowledge of the suspect in the attached picture, please call the Murray Police Department at (270)753-1621.

Stolen RV Recovered in Weakley County

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, center, and Investigators David Doyle and Gary Vandiver look over an RV that was stolen from Little Eagle Campground last week and was brought back to Henry County today after it was recovered in Weakley County, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Capt. Damon Lowe. Lowe said the investigation is ongoing and the sheriff’s office hopes to file charges soon. (Henry County Sheriff's Office photo).

Woman Drives Through Martin Bank Window

Martin, Tenn.-A 79-year-old Martin woman drove her SUV through the front window of First Citizens Bank in Martin shortly before noon. According to Don Teal of the Martin Police, Barbara Knox of Old Fulton Rd. in Martin was driving a 2004 blue GMC Envoy when she drove into the front window for an unknown reason. Teal said Weakley County EMS was called to the scene but did not transport her to a hospital. The accident is still under investigation.

Walter Butler Named Bethel President

McKenzie, Tenn. – Bethel University has appointed Walter Butler as its President. The University Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Butler’s appointment as 40th President of the school. Butler is former Carroll County Mayor and Carroll County Trustee. He also is a former Tennessee Director of Parks. 

Butler has served as Interim President of Bethel since Aug. 1, 2013 after long-time President Robert Prosser retired.

“We are so fortunate to have Walter Butler as the leader of this institution,” according to Judge Ben Cantrell, Chair of Bethel’s Board of Trustees. “The combination of his educational qualifications, his management skills and his university experience would be hard to find anywhere else in higher education.”

Butler, who holds both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Bethel, was recently presented an honorary doctor of humane letters by the school’s trustees. Butler’s Bethel career actually began in 1975 when he began work as an admissions counselor – a position he held for three years until he ran for the Office of Carroll County Trustee and won. 

At 24, Butler was the youngest county-wide official ever elected in Carroll County. He served as Carroll County Trustee for 16 years, being re-elected in 1982, 1986, and 1990. 

In August of 1994, he ran successfully for the Office of Carroll County Executive (now Carroll County Mayor). Butler served in this capacity until 1996 when Governor Don Sundquist asked him to become Tennessee’s Director of State Parks. 

As Director of State Parks he oversaw 54 parks, 1,600 employees and a budget of more than $57 million. Under his leadership, Tennessee was recognized as one of the top four managed park systems of the 50 states by the Sports Foundation. Governor Sundquist went on to appoint Butler the Deputy Commissioner of Personnel for Tennessee’s 38,000 employees, and then as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Butler went on to serve as Commissioner of Personnel, a position he held to the end of Governor Sundquist’s term in office. 

At that time, Butler returned to Bethel as the Director of Business Affairs. He later held positions at Bethel as Executive Vice President for the College of Liberal Arts and as Vice President for the College of Criminal Justice. After a brief time away from Bethel, Butler returned as Director of Business Affairs until August 2013 when he was appointed Interim President.

“I am honored to serve the students, faculty, administration and our vast family of alumni and friends in the role of President of Bethel University,” Butler said. “To have the privilege to work for your alma mater is special. 

Thirteen to Compete For Fairest of Fair Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-This scene from last year's contest will replicated tonight as thirteen young ladies get ready to compete for the title of Fairest of the Fair at the Henry County Fairgrounds ton...ight. Photo shows last year's contestants as they prepare backstage for the contest. Pageant Committee Chair Linda Mangrum said the girls who will be competing are: Lillie Akers, Sydney Marie Luna, Madeline Hosford, Ashton Lynn Thompson, Rachel Wilson, Valerie Gabrielle Daquilla, Jayna Nance, Madison Lovelace, Brooke Johnson, Grace Danielle Hassell, Manning Elizabeth Boley, Alex Reagor, and Aleece Marie Passman. Both the Miss Teen and Fairest of the Fair contests are set for tonight, beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the Miss Teen to be held first. They will be held in the Commercial Building. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Henry County TARP Participates in D.C. March

Henry County Tarp members were colorful for their D.C. trip. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Barker).

Washington, D.C.--A contingent of representatives from the Henry County TARP office were among thousands of people from all over the country who converged on Washington D.C. last week for the anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) signing.

TARP is the Center for Independent Living in Henry County and stands for Training, Advocacy, Referral and Peer Support.

Attending from Henry County were: TARP Executive Director Bob Leonard, Assistant Director Marianne Dale, TARP Board Chair Matt Werner, Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Barker, Treasurer Rozann Downing, Vice Chair Denise Wardle and Assistant Zora Adams.

Dale said they attended the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL) annual conference, which is held every year in July around the ADA anniversary. It includes a march to the Capital Building showing unity for people with disabilities.  

In all there were 30 people from Tennessee, she said, mostly from Jackson, Nashville and Knoxville.

Bethel Team Finishes Second in National Championship

The Bethel team of Zach Parker and Matt Roberts (in purple) congratulate the winners from UNC. (Shaye Baker/Bassmasters photo).

Young Harris, Ga. —One of Bethel University’s teams came in second place in the 2014 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship over the weekend. The competition was held at Chatuge Reservoir in Georgia.

Coming in second was the team of Zach Parker and Matt Roberts with catches totalling 38 pounds. Their names should be familiar to anyone who has been following the series this year.

Winning the tournament was the team of Jake Whitaker and Andrew Helms of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

“Look out there,” an emotional Zach Parker was quoted in the Bassmasters' press release. Gesturing toward the crowd, he said, “They all came out here to support us. This team is awesome.”

Zach Parker and Matt Roberts also earned the Livingston Lures Leader Award for leading on Day 2.

After the college championship, the top eight individuals face off in a single elimination three-day tournament and the winner of that will compete in the 2015 national championship. Parker has moved into the finals, along with Bentley Manning and Robert Giarla of Tennessee Tech and Brett Preuett of University of Louisiana at Monroe. The final will be Tuesday.

Also placing in the top ten of this year’s championship was Cody Ross and Dewey Swimms of Bethel, with 21 pounds.

Lewd Acts Draw Arrest

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested for indecent exposure and public intoxication after he was committing lewd acts while completely in the nude on a porch.

Chester John Olejniczak of 611 N. Division St. was arrested after officers observed him nude and masturbating on his front porch. The porch light was turned on and the defendant was “clearly visible to anyon...e passing by and neighbors in the area”, according to the report.

Officers said he had a strong odor of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. He told officers, “I had too much to drink”. According to the report, “Based on his impairment and behavior, the defendant was found to be unreasonably annoying others in the vicinity.”

Wranglers Campground To Be Without Water

Golden Pond, Ky.– Wranglers Campground will be without water on Monday and Tuesday, August 4 and 5, to repair a water leak. Bathrooms and shower buildings will be closed until late-evening on August 5. Campers arriving today through this weekend will be notified about the water situation.

Updates will be posted on the official website,, on the Alerts and Notices page.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000.

Henry County Fair Schedule For Monday

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Fair officially starts Monday, August 4, and the highlight of the day's events will be the Miss Teen and Fairest of the Fair pageants, which begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Commercial Building.

Here is the full schedule: 
10 a.m. Dairy Cattle Show
noon to 5 p.m. Adult and Youth Department entries accepted and Adult and Youth Horticulture and Field Crops entries accepted.
6 p.m. Carnival Opens--rides free with gate admission $10
6:30 p.m. Cookie Decorating Demo for Kids in Community Building
6:30 p.m. Miss Teen and Fairest of Fair pageants
7 p.m. Kids Mud Bog, bikes, feet, etc. in Ball Field area and a 4-wheeler mud bog
7 p.m. 4-H horse demo in livestock barn
8 p.m. Cash giveaway in Commercial Building.

UC Woman Arrested For Aggravated Assault

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City woman was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault by Union City Police after she allegedly beat a male victim and threatened him with a shotgun.

Arrested was Penny Glisson of 217 N. Ury St. The police report indicated she and the victim were involved in a verbal altercation that became physical. Police found a Mossberg shotgun in the shrubs on the north side of the house and the victim told officers she had pointed it at him and attempted to pull the trigger but did not know how to operate the weapons safety.

Dog Owner Charged After Bite

Union City, Tenn.-An East College Street resident was cited by Union City Police for harbouring a vicious animal and having no proof of vaccination after it reportedly bit a child in that neighborhood Friday afternoon.

Owner Jamie Cummins said the dog had been chained on the porch but when she went inside for a moment, she heard screaming from outside. A juvenile sustained a cut above his ear and the top part of his ear was ripped open, according to the police report.

The dog will be boarded at the animal control office for 10 days to undergo observation.

Fulton Woman Injured in Accident

Hickman County, Ky.-A Fulton, Kentucky woman was hospitalized after a one-vehicle collision on the Purchase Parkway in Hickman County when the driver in the vehicle in which she was riding became ill and lost consciousness. The accident occurred around 6 p.m. Sunday.

According to the report from the Kentucky State Police, preliminary investigation indicated that  James Anderson, 64, of Water Valley, KY, was operating a 2009 GMC pickup traveling south on the Julian Carroll  Purchase Parkway.  Anderson became ill and tried to pull off the side of the road.   

Anderson lost consciousness and ran off the road. Sandra Smith, of Fulton, KY, was a front seat passenger in the vehicle. Both parties sustained non-life threatening injuries and were transported to Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton, KY.

The Kentucky State Police was assisted on the scene by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Fulton County EMS, Hickman County EMS and Water Valley Fire. Trooper Coppersmith is conducting the investigation into the collision. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

At Benefit Event, Chairs Aren't Just For Sitting

Downtown Paris Association won Overall Award and Favorite Group Award with shopping cart chair. (DPA photo).

Paris, Tenn.-In Henry County, chairs aren't just for sitting. Some $2,000 was raised Saturday night at the annual “Chairs That Care” event which benefits the Henry County Caring Hearts Fund. This year’s event was held at the Paris Winery, with Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson again performing the emcee duties.

Organizer Casey Brown said the event was a good one, with numerous volunteers pitching in. She said 56 chairs were donated this year “and they were very unique, elegant and yet funny.“ Wilson “always does a great job and has everyone laughing and bidding” at the events, she said.

This year’s overall peoples choice was Downtown Paris Association with the “Shop Local Paris” shopping cart chair, which also won for favorite group award chair. DPA President Kathy Ray applauded the work of Denise Barnhill in designing the chair.

Favorite adult designed bench went to Kelly Smith with the name of her chair “Down on the Farm” made with two chairs facing each other attached together and Maria Smith with a piano bench made out of three chairs named "Rhapsody". 

Brown thanked everyone who attended the event and bid on the chairs.

BBQ Cook-Off Kicks Off Fair Week Just Right

Chris Chadwick of Hawg County Cookers in McKenzie won chefs' choice. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Twenty-five teams from all around the region--from as far away as Nashville, Columbia, Dickson, Dyersburg, Clarksville, Jackson, even Missouri--gathered at the Henry County Fairgrounds for the fourth annual BBQ Cook Off. 

Organizer Donna Milam said the cook off gets better each year. Winners were announced at the fairgrounds at an afternoon ceremony, with the Grand Champion trophy going to Big Bubba’s BBQ from Ridgely, Tenn. He also won $1,000.

Teams were judged on brisket, ribs, chicken, shoulder, chef’s choice--and something new this year--dessert.

Reserve Champion was Boom Boom Que in Nashville. First place winners in the contest were: Chicken, Big B’s of Springfield; Ribs, Big Bubba’s BBQ of Ridgely; Shoulder, Blue Springs BBQ of Franklin; Brisket, Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em BBQ of Nashville; Chef’s Choice, Hawg County Cookers of McKenzie and Dessert, Big B’s of Nashville. 

Judges had a hard job, with only a few points between the grand champion Big Bubba’s BBQ (809.96) and the second place Boom Boom Que (809.24).

Top Five Overall Team Scores were: Big Bubba's BBQ, Boom Boom Que, Double A's BBQ, Smoke 'm if you Got 'm, and Ash Kickers (from Paris).

Bryan Feezor of Charleston, Mo. and Bryan Feezor of McKenzie, competing as Pirate Pork BBQ of McKenzie, in their 'pirate's ship'. (McFarlin photo).

Chris Martin and Monte Starks of the Ash Kickers team of Paris check on their ribs. (McFarlin photo).

Covenant Ranch To Host Ironman Sportsman Night

Paris, Tenn.-The 6th annual Ironman Fellowship Sportsman Night will be held August 7 at Covenant Ranch on Hwy. 79N in Paris.

The event includes an appearance by Pro Bass Fisherman Mark Rose, archery/turket shoot and free gun giveaways. Also includes a free meal and vendors.

Doors open at 5 p.m., with meal at 6:45 p.m. For more info call 731642-2099.

Registration Open For Writing Conference

Troy, Tenn. – The West Tennessee Writing Project will offer a conference from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Obion County Central High School in Troy. 

“WTWP How To: A Conference on Writing, Teaching, and Publishing” will feature a plenary session with published authors Shannon Lyon, Julia Schuster and Jenna Wright, plus breakout sessions on writing, teaching, technology and the Common Core. The workshop is open to anyone over 18 interested in writing and publishing. Teachers will receive six hours of Continuing Education Credits after completing the conference, and all participants receive certificates of participation.

Early registration before Sept. 4 is $30 and late registration is $40, which includes lunch. WTWP teacher consultants who have completed the Summer Institute at UT Martin will present all breakout sessions and plenary sessions. 

Registration is available online through UT Martin’s office of Extended Campus and Online Studies: Persons interested in attending may also call the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7080 for registration. See WTWP’s web site for updates on the conference: 

Shannon Lyon teaches at Obion County Central and is author of the novel Cotton’s Daughter. Julia Schuster teaches at St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School in Memphis and is author of Flowers for Elvis, a novel, and The Ingredients of Gumbo, a collection of stories, poems, essays and sketches. 

Jenna Wright is chair of the UT Martin Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages and has published writings in several journals, including Calliope.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Early Voting Totals Are High in Our Area

With early voting concluded today, this year’s totals exceeded other August elections right to the end in our local counties. Election commissions in our area have been reporting record-breaking totals during the early voting period. 

In Obion County, Elections Commission Director Leigh Schlager said 3,409 had voted early at the close of business Saturday, compared to 2,708 early voters in August of 2010. She said that includes the 49 absentee ballots that had been returned.

She itemized the early voters for us: 999 Democrat ballots; 1,686 Republican ballots; and 724 general only ballots.

In Henry County, 279 people voted Friday and 178 votes on Saturday “to finish our early voting on a strong note” of a total 3,582, according to County Election Commission Director Darrin Thompson. 

That is a lot more than previous August elections in Henry County, including August 2010, at 2,349 votes; and August 2008, with 1,083 votes.

In Stewart County, a total 2,637 voted early, which includes 2,637 who voted in person and 172 by mail as absentee ballots.

Election Day for 2014 General Election is August 7.

FOP Scholarships Announced

Paris, Tenn.-The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 17 has announced the recipients of the 2014 college scholarships. Each student will receive $500. In front row from left, Jenny Howard, Jessica Alexander. In back row from left are Justin Ramos, Coltin Wyrick, Trevor Wallace. Not pictured are Paige Elizondo and Ashley Ramos. (FOP photo).

Rhea Kids Club Meets Box Top Goal

Paris, Tenn.-There were a lot of happy kids at Rhea School recently for the announcement that the Summer Kids Club had reached its 600 Box Top goal. They were told they had not only met their goal, they had met it within two weeks of the deadline. In celebration, they were entertained by some of the Henry County High School Patriot football players and senior cheerleaders. (Lisa Allen photo).

Caldwell Speaks To Paris Quota Club

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell was guest speaker this week at the Paris Quota Club, speaking about his job and what the center offers.  

He has been in his position since August 19, 2013, and has a staff of six people.  Eighty percent of the funding comes from the county and twenty percent comes from a grant.  The center is geared to senior citizens over the age of 60.  Others can come to the center; but only those 60 and over can be a part of the program.  

Caldwell said the center offers bingo on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and they have had a “meet and greet” with the candidates running for office.  Caldwell said that seniors make up most of the voter population.  They sponsor the program “Meals on Wheels” and deliver approximately 30 meals per day.  They also serve 25-40 meals at the center per day.  They have a square dancing club that meets Monday nights at 6pm.  They take trips throughout the year and have a newsletter every other month.  

The office is located in room 7 at the Central School Building at 55 Jones Bend Road Ext in Paris, TN.  

It was announced that cookbooks were available and can be purchased for $10 from any Quotarian.  Proceeds go to the club’s scholarship fund.

The club sponsored a birthday party at Henry County Nursing Home on July 29th and they played bingo.

Grove School Open House is Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The E.W. Grove School is inviting all incoming freshmen and parents to a Back to School Open House at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 5.

Open House will begin in the Grove gym with an informational session on policies, procedures, and how to prepare for the first day of school. Attendees can then take a tour of the school and become familiar with programs offered at E.W. Grove School. Attendance is highly encouraged for all incoming students and their parents.

For more information, call E.W. Grove School at 642-4586.

LBL Warns of Campfire Dangers

Golden Pond, Ky.-- Due to the current drought conditions in the area, and increasingly dry weather in the forecast, management at Land Between The Lakes reminds visitors to the area to use extreme caution when building campfires, especially in the backcountry. 

Visitors are asked to remove any debris around the fire ring, make sure campfire ashes are cold before leaving unattended, and to keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby. Remember, only you can prevent wildfires.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Henry County Deputies Make Arrests in String of Thefts

Henry County Sheriff's Investigators Gary Vandiver, David Doyle and Adam Jenkins look over recovered four-wheelers.

Paris, Tenn.-Four individuals have been arrested in connection with a string of thefts of four-wheelers and other items in Henry County. Since July 21, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office has recovered numerous stolen items and have arrested and/or charged the suspects in conjunction with the thefts. 

Items recovered during this ring of thefts and returned to the victims of Henry County are valued at approximately $24,000.

The arrest on Wednesday of Andrew Adams and Blake Roberts, both of Paris, resulted in the recovery of five different stolen 4-wheelers. Three of the recovered 4-wheelers were recently reported stolen from various locations throughout the county. One was reported stolen from the city of Paris and one was reported stolen from the city of Puryear in 2010. Both Adams and Roberts are currently being held on $15,000 in the Henry County Jail.

On Tuesday night Travis Etherton of Kentucky was arrested in Calloway County. Etherton has been suspected in numerous thefts throughout the county namely around the Paris Landing/Buchanan area. After being arrested in Kentucky, investigators interviewed him and charges will be filed on some of the thefts. Etherton, however, is still suspected in several of the thefts in which charges are still pending. He is being held in the Calloway County Jail.

On Wednesday July 23, Lonnie Singleton of Paris was arrested on charges of burglary and theft. Later on, during the course of the investigation four more charges of theft and two more charges of burglary were filed on Singleton. These charges did lead to the recovery of several items including; 2 utility trailers, a horse saddle, a craftsman riding mower, a refridgerator, a mercury outboard motor and multiple assorted tools.

If anyone has any information on any thefts or other crimes, please call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672.

Paris CB&T Branch Moving Right Along

Utilizing a huge crane, workers were busy Thursday with construction. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Progress has really stepped up on the Paris location for the Carroll Bank and Trust in recent days and the exterior of the building is really taking shape. Bank President Michael Cary told WENK/WTPR, “We’re very pleased with the progress. We’re really glad about how well it’s going and when it’s done, it’s going to be beautiful.”

Cary said bank officials are still anticipating a completion date in April or May of 2015. “We don’t want to be overly optimistic but we are still shooting for that spring of 2015 date. Even when the exterior is done and even once the roof is on, there is still a lot we need to do inside, along with the landscaping, paving and sidewalks on that corner.”

The branch is located at the intersection of Mineral Wells and Tyson Avenues.

Carroll Bank and Trust is headquartered in Huntingdon, with branches in McKenzie, Camden, Milan, McLemoresville and Bradford.

Big Sandy Waterfowl Festival is Saturday

Big Sandy, Tenn.-The 20th annual Big Sandy Waterfowl Festival will be held all day Saturday, August 2, in city park and is an event which annual draws crowds of some 3000 from all over the local region.

The event coincides each year with the annual duck blind drawings which allow duck hunters to get their name in the pot for the cherished duck blinds in Benton County. Vendors will sell everything from duck calls to decoys, to boats and dogs. The average registration for the duck blinds will top 2,600.

The festival features arts, crafts, music, food and more and is sponsored by Paris Ducks Unlimited. There will be 50 exhibitors with waterfowl related items ranging from boats, clothing, ammo, taxidermists, outfitters, four-wheelers, call makers and more.

For booth display information, contact local DU committee member Justin Rawls at 693-8617 or email him at

Martin PD, UTM Conduct Active Shooter Training

Martin, Tenn.-Officers of the Martin and University of Tennessee at Martin Police Departments recently participated in active shooter training, which has become extremely important to law enforcement across the United States. Officers trained at all Martin area schools on the proper tactical methods in the event there is such a situation in the Martin area.

Capt. Don Teal said, “An active shooter is defined as ‘an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area‘ and in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

The exercise took place at the Martin Primary and Elementary Schools on Tuesday July 29th and at the Martin Middle and Westview High Schools on Wednesday July 30th. The training gave officers the opportunity to become familiar with the layout of each school and train on various shooting scenarios to prepare them for any incident that might occur, Teal said.

Beer Board to Consider Perrylodgic Microbrewery Beer License

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Beer Board will consider an application for a beer license for a microbrewery that is being constructed at 3465 Hwy. 79, Paris. 

Owned by Jonathan Lodge and Randall Perry of Paris, the name of the business is Perrylodgic Brewing Co. and it will be located at the former site of Polaris Landing. 

The applicant has applied for a beer license for both on and off premises consumption.

The county beer board will meet at 7 p.m. August 7 to consider the application.

Union City Man Arrested by Kentucky State Police

Mayfield, Ky.-A Union City man was arrested on drug charges by the Kentucky State Police near Mayfield Thursday night. The KSP conducted an undercover narcotics investigation which resulted in the seizure of approximately one half pound of methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $22,000 dollars in the course of the arrest.

During the investigation, the KSP learned of a shipment of methamphetamine that was destined for the western Kentucky area. As a result of the investigation, a traffic stop was conducted one mile west of Mayfield.

KSP arrested Mauricio R. Ramirez, age 22, of Union City. Ramirez was charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Substance, 1st Degree, 1st Offense, greater than or equal to 2 Grams (Class C Felony) and Buy/Possess Drug Paraphernalia (Class A Misdemeanor) and was lodged in the Graves County Jail.

KSP was assisted by the ATF from Paducah, McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, and the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department. The investigation continues by KSP.

Anyone with drug information may contact the Kentucky State Police at 270-856-3721 or toll-free in Kentucky, at 1-800-222-5555; callers may remain anonymous. The public can also “text-a-tip” to 67283 and remain anonymous.

Hummingbird Festival Set For This Weekend

Golden Pond, Ky. – Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area hosts the annual Hummingbird Festival, Saturday and Sunday, August 2 and 3, from 10 am-4 pm at Woodlands Nature Station. 

Admission to the event is $6 ages 13 and up, $4 ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and under. Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration in this area peaks in August. Highlights include hummingbird banding demonstrations, a wildlife art show, a wildlife sketching workshop, a native plant sale, live animal encounters, local wildlife experts, and activities for kids. Food, prepared by Land Between The Lakes Brandon Spring Group Center cooks, will be available for purchase. 

Nature Station Interpreter Brooke Gilley said, “A large number of hummingbirds stop here on their journey south to Mexico and Central America. During this time, up to 200 hummingbirds might visit our feeders in a single day. The festival is an opportunity for people to witness these powerful birds, about the size of an adult thumb, in a fun, learning atmosphere.”

Reminder: HC Fair Pageant Deadlines Today

Paris, Tenn.-Reminder: Deadline for entering the Fairest of the Fair and other pageants at the Henry County Fair is today.

The Fairest of the Fair pageant is Monday night August 4, immediately following the Miss Teen pageant which begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Miss Teen contest is for girls ages 13 – 15. The Fairest of the Fair is for ages 16 – 20 (cannot be 21 before 12/31/14). Formal dress for both contests. 

Entry fee for the Fairest of the Fair is $20 and must list a sponsor. The entry fee for Miss Teen and all other pageants is $10. Entries should be mailed to P.O. Box 1431, Paris, TN by August 1 to be listed in the program. Late entries will be accepted until 6 pm August 3 with an additional $5 late fee. 

Dress for the Junior Queen contest (4 – 6 years old) and for the Little Miss contest (7 – 9 years old) shall be Sunday dress – no formals. Dress for the Miss Pre-Teen contest (ages 10 – 12) shall be formal. Entry forms are available by sending the name, age, address, parents’ names, and favorite activities to P.O. Box 1431. Participants may attend a short rehearsal time immediately following the Baby Barnyard contest on Sunday 8/3/14 at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Entries in all contests must be residents of Henry County. 

There is also a Photogenic Contest for all ages to enter. The cost to enter is $5.00 additional and sending a 5 x 7 photograph in a manila envelope with the contestants name on the outside. Winners will receive award approved by the Fair Association and will be announced the night of the pageant.

For more info, call 731-707-0226.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Henry County Fair Set To Begin

By Michele Atkins Henry County UT Extension

Paris, Tenn.-It is just about time for the Henry County Fair! The week is August 2-9, 2014 and we hope to see you there! The theme this year is “It’s Fair Time in Henry County!” 

It is always such an exciting time of the year. The fair board has worked very hard, once again, to make sure new things have been planned this year and fun traditions abound. 

Of course, there is so much for everyone! The BBQ cook-off, livestock shows and sale, mud bogs, Lego building contest, pageants, cookie decorating, Corn Hole Tournament, Little Britches rodeo, bands, Livestock show and sale, beautiful cultural art exhibits, Wool and Woolies revue, tractor pull, pageants, kiddy tractor pull, commercial exhibits, rides, great food, Retiree afternoon, Country Ham sale, Tea for Dolly and Me and Mad Tea Party, Demolition Derby and I could go on and on. The week is packed with fun. 

Don’t forget to go in the Enoch building Wednesday through Friday nights to see what the Family and Community Education Clubs (FCE clubs) have for sale! Fried pies, home canned goods, delicious pimento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches, homemade ice cream, drinks, homemade soaps, beautiful scarves, handmade items and so much more are just a few items that will be available. 

We hope to fill and overflow the Enoch community building during the fair with all of the crafts, horticulture, photography, canning and baking that so many of Henry Countians make and do 

You can show off your talent and make a little money as well! Entries must be entered on Monday, August 4th from 11 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in both the adult and youth departments. 

Flower entries will be entered on Wednesday, August 6th from 9-11 a.m. 

Only one entry per lot can be entered and all items must have been made since the 2013 Henry County Fair. Any resident of Henry County can enter items! Pick up a copy of the fair book at the UT Extension Office on Tyson Ave.

We hope that you will enter many of the categories offered and hope to see you at the 2014 Henry County Fair.

BBQ Cook Off to be Held Friday, Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-Twenty-four teams have already signed up for the fourth annual Henry County Fair BBQ Cook Off, set for this Friday and Saturday at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

The event will kick off the Henry County Fair, which will be ongoing next week.

Competitors will be cooking beef brisket, ribs, shoulders, and chicken, as well as dessert.

The event is a Tennessee Barbecue Association sanctioned qualifier for the 2nd annual TBA State Championship. The first annual TBA State Championship was held in March of this year at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Event Organizer Donna Milam said judging will be held for the chef's choice entree, chicken, and dessert Friday evening. Ribs, shoulder, and brisket will be judged mid-day Saturday.

The Grand Champion of this weekend's event will receive $1000 with $500 for the runner-up. In addition, cash prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each category. 

The competition is open to the public and free of charge.

Milam said the awards ceremony will be held at the fairgrounds at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Paris Elementary Kids Club Turns Trash Into Cash 

PES Kids' Club with Park Ranger Gina Lowry. (Annette Young photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Boxtops For has been embraced by the Paris Elementary School PTO as a great way to earn extra money for school projects. This summer the Paris Elementary Kids' Club accepted a mission to collect Boxtops For Education, and they were rewarded for meeting their goal with a party featuring special guest, Paris Landing State Park Ranger Gina Lowry. 

"The theme of our summer program was (Mission Possible), and the kids became (Boxtops Detectives) by searching their cabinets to find Boxtops For Education coupons on the packages of General Mills products, " according to PTO Secretary Kim Patterson. "Paris Elementary School receives 10 cents for every Boxtop coupon that is turned in, and many products have bonus Boxtops worth even more. Annette Young and Stacy Hayes are our Boxtops committee chairs this year, and these ladies are passionate about this program." 

The Paris Elementary PTO welcomes anyone in the community to get involved in the project. It is a great way to turn your garbage into something that will enrich a child's life. 

If you would like to collect Boxtops for Education for Paris Elementary School, you can mail them to: Paris Elementary PTO, Attention Boxtops Committee, 650B Volunteer Drive, Paris, Tennessee 38242. 

Obion County Budget Process Hits Snags

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County budget process is laboring along, hitting more roadblocks at the county budget committee meeting this week.

At a lengthy and often times heated meeting, the budget committee changed its vote the issue of hiring a clerk for the Obion County Natural Resource Conservation Office (formerly Soil Conservation), while tabling a decision on library funding.

Obion County, like other counties, has always funded the Natural Resource Conservation Office clerk position in the past. Mike Holman of the office asked committee members why the controversy now, noting that Obion County was the only county questioning funding for the position, which he called a necessary job.

Committee members reversed its decision, including funding for the position in the county budget.

Obion County Public Library Director Michele Barnes asked the committee to reconsider its previous decision regarding library funding. She had asked for $4,092 for health insurance increases plus a two percent raise for employees, bringing to a total $12,073.

After some heated back and forth with committee members, the committee tabled any further action until discrepancies in figures were explained fully.

The budget committee did approve department budgets for juvenile and drug courts and the county schools.

Williams Sausage Purchased Remaining 50 Percent Interest

Union City, Tenn.-Williams Sausage Company, Inc. based in Union City, has purchased the remaining 50% interest in a joint venture with J.C. Potter Sausage Company from partner Atlantic Premium Brands.

Williams Sausage Company is a private family-owned company that has been in the pork sausage business since 1958, according to the press release issued by the company.

“We are very excited about acquiring complete control of the joint venture with J.C. Potter Sausage Company, and we look forward to continuing the long tradition of producing the J. C. Potter brand of breakfast sausage and breakfast sandwiches that its customers have enjoyed for many years,” Williams Sausage President Roger Williams said in the press release.

Though Williams Sausage did not purchase the plant in Durant, OK, it did retain the entire sales force of the Potter operation. Dargan Settles, J.C. Potter Sales Manager, will continue to manage the J.C. Potter sales force that operates in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas.

“We intend to expand sales of J.C. Potter products in their existing territory as well as other areas of the central United States. We expect to deliver synergies and cost efficiencies by moving the production of all products to our plant in Tennessee,” Williams added.

Several Obion County Fair Entries Due Saturday

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Fair is not until August 11-16, but many of the entries will be due Saturday, August 2.

Those that are due from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 2 in the domestic arts building are: adult canning, adult hobbies and crafts, adult photography, adult sewing and senior citizen hobbies.

Those due August 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. are: junior art and junior canning, both at the junior exhibit building; and junior crafts, junior photography and junior sewing, all due at the junior activities building.

Those that will be due August 9 include adult culinary, antiques/collectibles, adult horticulture, junior culinary, as well as general horticulture, floral horticulture, junior crops, open crops and animal entries.

Benefit For Easton Green Set For Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-A fundraiser for Baby Easton Green, son of Jason Green and Brittney Cacciola, will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Pleasant Hill Fire Hall, Springville. Food, drinks, live band and auction will be featured.

Anyone who cannot make it can donate to the Easton Green Benefit Fund at any First Bank.

Corker Partners with Google to Help West Tenn Small Businesses

Jackson – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today announced that representatives from Google will host a Tennessee Get Your Business Online event in Jackson on Wednesday, August 13, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Aeneas Building.

At the Tennessee Get Your Business Online event, Google experts will help small business owners create a free website, and those in attendance will receive a customized domain name, free web hosting for one year, a local business listing on Google Maps, and additional tools, training and resources.

“As a former mayor and businessman, I appreciate the role small businesses play in communities across Tennessee,” said Corker. “I am proud to partner with Google to host this event and hope local businesses will take advantage of this outstanding opportunity to kickstart and build their online presence.”

The event, which is free and open to all Tennesseans, is designed to provide an easy and fast way for businesses to create a website and become more visible online. While 97 percent of Internet users look online for local products and services, 59 percent of Tennessee small businesses do not have a website or online presence.

“The perception that getting online is complex, costly and time-consuming has prevented many Tennessee small businesses from taking the first step,” said Soo Young Kim, Director of Google's Get Your Business Online program. “This program makes it fast, easy and free for businesses to get online."

Tennesseans are encouraged to register in advance for the event. To register, click here.

Businesses unable to attend can still create a free website and access relevant resources by visiting

The event will be the second in a series of Tennessee Get Your Business Online events organized by Senator Corker’s office and Google. In May, more than one hundred Tennessee small business owners attended a Tennessee Get Your Business Online event in Chattanooga and a similar event is scheduled for August 15 in Nashville.

Fenton Campground Re-opens to the Public

GOLDEN POND, KY – Fenton Campground will re-open to the public today. Fenton was closed following significant storm damage earlier this year. Maintenance crews have worked hard to make necessary rep...airs to allow the campground to re-open 11 campsites. Two campsites were decommissioned due to their location and degree of damage. Staff will continue to monitor Fenton for safety issues. Fenton now offers 11 sites with electric hook-ups.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000. For more information on the Friends of Land Between The Lakes, log on to

TDOT Cautions Public About Weekend Traffic

Nashville, Tenn.-TDOT has asked for the help of the media in alerting the public to two areas of heavy traffic that will be experienced in the Nashville area over the weekend.

Because of the state’s tax-free weekend, the Rivergate Mall will be heavily congested and more so because of construction that will continue in that area.

#1 – Tax-Free Weekend
The I-65 bridge repair project continues in the Rivergate area, north of Nashville. Lane closures are scheduled as follows: 
Thursday July 31 and Sunday August 3 through Wednesday August 6, 8PM-6AM, There will be lane closures on I-65 southbound, between MM 96 and MM 99, in order to mill the roadway and put epoxy overlay on the bridge decks. 
Friday August 1, 8PM through Monday August 4, 6AM, There will be one lane closed on I-65 northbound in order to perform bridge repairs. Two lanes will remain open at the CSX and Rivergate Bridges. One lane will remain open at the Mansker Creek, East Cedar Street, and Long Hollow Pike Bridges.
#2 – Williamson County Fair

Work continues on I-65, south of Nashville, between SR 840 and SR 248 in Williamson County. Lane closures are scheduled as follows: 

Thursday July 31 through Wednesday August 6, 1PM (excluding weekends), There will be rolling roadblocks on I-65 northbound and southbound at MM 61.5 for blasting. 
Thursday July 31, 8PM-12AM, There will be a right lane closure on I-65 northbound at MM 61 in order to remove portable barrier rail.

On Friday, the Williamson County Fair begins at the Ag Expo Park, directly around the corner from the I-65 / SR 248 interchange under construction. The fair is expected to draw an estimated 200,000 people, which will likely create congestion on the roads leading the park, including the I-65 off-ramps. A media release was sent earlier today with more details. It should also be noted that no additional lane closures are scheduled. Traffic will remain in the current configuration.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Drowning Victim Identified

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The man who drowned in the Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreation Lake over the weekend has been identified as Brandon Webb, age 27 of Henning.

Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson said Webb was at the lake with his girlfriend and her daughter, who are from McKenzie, on Saturday. Webb swam out to the rope line perimeter, appeared to turn back, but went under for unknown reasons. The county’s EMS were able to recover Webb’s body within an hour, thanks to witnesses who were able to pinpoint where he went under, Dickson told WENK/WTPR.

It was the first drowning at the newly-formed lake.

Takin' it to the Streets, Rhea School Style

Teacher Krissa Reid tries to compel students to join teachers in the "Happy" dance. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Rhea School staff and volunteers took it to the streets again Tuesday evening at the Eiffel Tower Park. A large crowd of students and parents were on hand for the event, which included two skits by teachers, who also danced to the tune of “Happy” for everyone’s enjoyment. Sheldon Maye of W.G. Rhea Library handed out free books to the kids and free hot dogs were served to everyone. Teachers also provided fun reading tips for the parents. The Rhea Staff has been holding the “Taking it to the Streets” events at the city’s parks throughout the summer. This will be the last event before school starts.

Teachers Ginger McElroy, left, and Amber Wood, in a skit about loving school. (McFarlin photo).

Teachers Cindy Lowe and Melanie Hendon in a skit about sharing. (McFarlin photo).

Sales Tax Holiday is This Weekend

Nashville, Tenn.-This is the weekend for which some people wait all year: Tennessee’s Sales Tax Holiday weekend.

The annual event corresponds with back-to-school preparations. The sales-tax holiday starts... Friday, Aug. 1 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 3. Specifically it starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

The holiday does not apply to everything you might want to purchase, however. The holiday applies to clothing and school supplies less than $100 in value per item and computers less than $1,500.

Computer supplies like printers will still get taxed this weekend and any laptop or desktop computers over $1,500 will still be taxed. But items like monitors, keyboards and scanners when sold by themselves and not in conjunction with a computer get charged sales tax.

Tablet computers, such as iPads, are exempt from sales tax. But video game consoles are not eligible.

According to the state, Internet sales — as well as sales over the telephone, by email or by mail — are exempt from sales tax provided that you make the purchase during the sales-tax holiday and the retailer accepts the order during the three-day window.
All the same exemptions apply for these purchases.


The Tennessee Department of Revenue has a website setup with information about the sales tax holiday. The department also maintains an alphabetical list of all exempt and nonexempt items. Go to for more information.

Early Voting Continues Breaking Records; HC Hours Extended

Paris, Tenn.-Early voting totals continue to break records in our local area. In Obion County, Elections Commission Director Leigh Schlager said the total by Tuesday afternoon was at 2,485 and by the end of Wednesday, the early voting totals at this point will have exceeded the total for the entire early voting period in 2010, the last comparable election.

In Henry County, the total Tuesday afternoon was at 2,529.

Early voting continues through Saturday, August 2.

Henry County will provide extended hours: Wednesday and Friday hours will be from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. On Thursday, hours will be held from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. On Saturday, hours will be from 9 a.m. to noon.

Obion County hours will be from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, with Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to noon.

Election Commission Directors are anticipating long lines at the polling spots on Election Day August 7, so voters are reminded they want to think seriously about voting early.

UTM Bass Team President Dylan Powley Looks Ahead

Dylan Powley of Paris. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. — Three-peat fame is often reserved for sports teams that win consecutive championships. But, the UT Martin bass anglers have achieved a significant three-peat of their own as ...the team earned a third consecutive top-25 Association of Collegiate Anglers national ranking posted at The team finished 17th, which followed a team-best 10th place finish in 2013 and 22nd place finish in 2012.

Dylan Powley of Paris, a fifth year senior marketing major and team president, is pleased with the recently completed season, but he wants more when the team hits the college bass fishing circuit for his final year. Powley's father was the late Gary Powley, who was an on-air personality for WENK/WTPR for many years. His mother, Patty Powley still lives in Paris.

Moving up is a challenge as competition increases among the more than 200 college teams listed in this year’s final rankings.
Bass fishing is a club sport at UT Martin and depends on sponsorships, donations and university support to compete. Top events happen in three main series: the FLW, the Association of Collegiate Anglers and the College Bassmaster.

The UT Martin team’s first major tournament last spring was March 14-15 at the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open on Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tenn. The team didn’t finish high in the tournament standings, but Powley said the event set the tone for “(grinding) out finishes” in later competition.

Three months and five tournaments later, Powley and teammate Colin Bennett, a senior engineering student from Gleason, finished 75 out of more than 100 boats in the 2014 Carhartt College Bass Wild Card tournament at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. Although not the finish wanted, the team managed enough points to secure a top-25 national ranking.

Highlights happened along the tournament trail, including the team’s winning its first collegiate bass tournament championship March 29 at the Tennessee Collegiate Bass Fishing Trail on Kentucky Lake. Powley and Hayden Smith, a sophomore engineering major from Dickson, won the tournament with a total catch of 18.5 pounds. “It really wasn't a big tournament, but that was probably the best moment,” Powley said.

Another highlight came May 22-23 during the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship on Pickwick Lake near Florence, Ala. Miranda Carlton, one of two female team members, qualified to fish and was the only female to compete out of 170 teams. Carlton, a sophomore natural resources management major from Greenbrier, fished with veteran team member Ryan Lackey, a graduate student from Parsons, and their boat earned valuable points in the tournament.

Looking ahead to his final season, Powley is optimistic about the team’s prospects for improving its national ranking.

Powley is seeing college fishing become more competitive, with freshmen team members at larger schools entering the sport with more experience and making an immediate impact.

Powley sees his years of involvement with the bass anglers team as an entryway into the outdoors industry. He comes from a family that fishes; his older brother works for Strike King Lure Co. and had an opportunity to pursue fishing professionally. “I definitely want to get into the outdoor industry through this,” he said. “I feel like I made some connections.”

In the meantime, look for Dylan Powley and other bass angler team members to staff a booth Aug. 25 at the annual Student Organization Fair in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. The event welcomes back students on the first day of fall classes and showcases opportunities for campus involvement. The team will be looking for a few good men and women to take college bass fishing to the next level at UT Martin.

Henry County Farmers' Market Venue Changed

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Farmer's Market, originally set to be at the fairgrounds on Tuesday & Friday, will be held at the UT Extension Office, located at 1120 Tyson Avenue, beginning at 3 pm Friday, August 1, Tuesday August 5 and Friday August 8. 

With the Henry County Fair at the Fairgrounds starting on August 1st – August 10th, the Extension Office decided to move the location.
Future farmers markets will be held at the fairgrounds on Tuesdays and Fridays at 3 pm until produce is sold out.

Reminder: "Chairs That Care" is Saturday

Paris, Tenn. – The Caring Hearts Fund of The Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation and the Cancer Care Center of Henry County are gearing up for the third annual “Chairs That Care” Auction and Social this Saturday. 

After the overwhelming success the past two years, the Cancer Care Center is asking for your help in making this year’s event one for the books.

This year’s Auction and Social will be held on Saturday, August 2 at the Paris Winery, with activities starting at 5 p.m. and concluding around 8 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 and include a free wine tasting, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, musical entertainment, along with the silent and live auction of the donated chairs made by community members. Tickets can be purchased at the Cancer Care Center of Henry County, the HCMC Pink Petal Gift Shop and My Favorite Things.

“Chairs that Care” came about as a way to raise funds for the Caring Hearts Fund of the Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation. Local artists and supporters can create one-of-a-kind chair masterpieces to be auctioned off in the silent auction and live auction. This fund assists patients with a financial need to pay for medications, transportation, premiums and co-pays while having treatment in Henry County at either the Cancer Care Center or HCMC Outpatient Chemotherapy.

Individual chairs will be on display at various locations prior to the live and silent auction event as well as available for viewing on the HCMC website: and social media sites. Completed chairs can be dropped off at the Cancer Care Center weekdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. any day before the event.

Time to Clean Out Henry County's Attic: Records Commission

Paris, Tenn.-It's time to clean out Henry County’s attic. That’s the word from the Henry County Public Records Commission, which met to reorganize Tuesday as well as to discuss the possible transfer of public documents from the attic of the courthouse to the county’s archive and genealogical library, which is located in Weston Hall.

 At the meeting’s outset, the panel elected the following officers: David Webb, chairman; Brent Greer, vice chairman; and Connie McSwain, secretary. Webb is the County Historian.

Circuit and General Sessions Court Clerk Mike Wilson said there were a variety of circuit and criminal court records, including ledger books and receipts, which need to be moved in part to free up space in the courthouse for active records that are more likely to be accessed by his staff.

Wilson said further that the attic was not an appropriate place to store public records, including some which date back to 1866. There are no temperature or humidity controls in this portion of the courthouse, and that is causing documents to deteriorate over time. 

He said some of the binding of ledger books has fallen off. The sheer weight of the records, including 40 file cabinets directly overhead of office workers below, added to his concern.

Webb voiced additional worry over the possible loss of records if a fire or other natural disaster were to impact the 118-year old courthouse with its wooden beams and floors. He felt the county archives was a much better place to store documents, especially those of historical value. Weston Hall’s interior construction is mainly concrete blocked and poured concrete.

Commission members lauded Archivist Stephanie Tayloe, Linda Dunlap, and the volunteers at the archives. Tayloe described herself and her fellow workers as “glorified file clerks” for county offices. Among the most recently completed tasks were processing records of divorce cases from 1821 through 1986.

Archival personnel help preserve the records and make them available to the public. Some records, such as those dealing with mental health, juvenile court, and adoptions, are sealed by court order. The documents at the archives are cleaned, repaired, stored in acid-free file folders and boxes, indexed, and microfilmed. Copies of microfilm are stored in multiple locations, including the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville. 

A subcommittee was formed consisting of Wilson, Tayloe, Linda Dunlap, Vicky Snider, and Pam Martin with Webb as an ex officio member. This committee will determine what specific records should be kept or destroyed. Records required by law to be saved, along with those of historical value, will be moved to the archives. County maintenance workers and jail inmates will be used as labor once the removal process begins.
Mayor Greer reported that $10,000 was included in the recently passed budget to help preserve the county records. Dunlap reported more than $9,457 was spent on the archives in 2013 while over $7,280 has been expended since January. 

Committee members voiced concern over the sheer amount of unused office furniture and junk that has continually piled up in the courthouse attic and the third floor of the annex. Greer explained that there is a procedure for declaring items as surplus property so the items can be sold or destroyed.

The subcommittee will meet again Monday, August 4.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Henry County Officers Conduct Active Shooter Training

Officers conduct active shooter training at Paris Elementary. (Capt. Damon Lowe photo).

Paris, Tenn.-With the first day of school fast approaching, active shooter training was conducted for the last two days for all School Resource Officers in Paris and Henry County schools. The training took place at Paris Elementary School on Volunteer Drive.

School Resource Officers are deputies supplied by the Henry County Sheriff's Office and are stationed each of the three schools in the Paris Special Schools system as well as all five of the schools in the five Henry County Schools district.

Captain Damon Lowe said, “This will be the second full year of having the officers in the school system.”

Other local officers taking part in the training were from Paris Police Department as well as road officers from the Henry County Sheriff's Office. Also attending the two-day training that consisted of both class room and hands-on sessions were: Board of Parole and Probation, Clarksville PD, Memphis PD, Dyersburg PD and Montgomery Co deputies.

Lowe said the training was taught by ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training). All of the training, materials and simunition weapons were free of charge to all agencies involved.

Henry County Salvation Army Opens At New Location

Courtney Cole waits on customers Monday at the new site. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It was early, but there already was a crowd of shoppers in the new Paris-Henry County Salvation Army location at 3830 Hwy. 79N Monday morning for its first day at its new location.

The Salvation Army has been headquartered at 304 W. Washington Street for many years, but officers have been seeking a new location for quite a while.

Major Pat Bowman said Monday that search was intensified recently following damage from severe flooding last month. Major Bowman is the Salvation Army field representative for Henry County.

The new location has much more floor space and is more open and airy than the old site. “This is just wonderful. People were already lined up at the door, standing in line waiting for us to open this morning,” Major Bowman said. “We’ve got room to be more organized here and customers have more room, too.”

The new space “feels more like a family store and that’s what we want it to be,” she said. “We’re here to meet that need for people who can’t afford some of the other stores.”

The Salvation Army also provides vouchers to those who cannot afford to purchase clothing at their store at all. “We have a social worker here two times a week to take down their information,” she said.

Manager of the Salvation Army Store is Tina Matthews.

The new store is located in the former DMT Furniture Building, right next door to Promise Land.

Three Building Demolitions Monday Make Way for CVS

The former Wilson's Grocery and Movie Gallery buildings demolished. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Contractors constructing the new CVS Pharmacy in Paris were busy Monday, demolishing three buildings on the site to make way for the new pharmacy.

Demolished are the buildings which had housed Wilson’s Grocery, Movie Gallery and the large brick building which had been the location for Youth Villages and other local offices. 

Wilson’s Grocery had been a fixture at that corner for decades.

Still to be demolished is the building which now houses Radio Shack. But Radio Shack customers need not worry. As we reported to you previously, Radio Shack will be relocating to the Wal-Mart shopping center in the former Shoe Show building. Radio Shack will be opening at its new location August 9.

CVS Pharmacy will be located at the corner of Mineral Wells and Memorial Avenues.   

Waterfowl Blind Drawings Set For Saturday

Big Sandy, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that the Waterfowl Blind Permit Drawings will be held Saturday, August 2. Registration is from 7-10 a.m. and the drawing will be at 10 a.m. Individuals wishing to compete in the drawing must appear in person at the designated location, with the appropriate licenses and permits.

Region 1 blind sites include: Barkley Unit I, Big Sandy (including Gin Creek), Camden Units I & II, Gooch Unit A, Harmon Creek, Tigrett, West Sandy, and Reelfoot.

To apply you must be 16 years old and have the appropriate license and permits. 

Applicants need a Lifetime Sportsman license, or a Sportsman license, or a Hunting & Fishing Combo ( type 01) & a WMA Small Game & Waterfowl ( type 91). Senior citizens need a Lifetime Sportsman license or a Permanent Senior Citizen (type 166) & an Annual WMA Senior Citizen Permit (type 167). Applicants applying at Reelfoot must have a Reelfoot Preservation Permit unless exempt. 

Only one application per person and only for one area.

Please refer to for any questions.

Rev. Anderson to be Bethel Commencement Speaker

McKenzie, Tenn. – The Rev. Lisa Anderson, moderator of the 184th General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, will serve as Bethel University’s summer 2014 commencement speaker this Saturday. It has been a long-standing tradition that the recently elected moderator serve as summer commencement speaker at the Cumberland Presbyterian affiliated school. 

Rev. Anderson currently serves as pastor of Colonial Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Memphis Bethel University Summer 2014 Commencement services are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2 on the school’s McKenzie campus in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena. 

Approximately 250 students are scheduled to earn degrees.

Commencement services for those receiving undergraduate degrees will be at 10 a.m., and Commencement services for those receiving graduate degrees will be at 2 p.m. Seating for each service begins one hour prior to each event.

For more information about Summer 2014 Commencement, contact Myra Carlock at For more information about Bethel University, go to

Martin Band Signed To Record Deal

Memphis, Tenn.-Mid South Music Records has signed a band from Martin to a record contract. StormGate, a four piece classic rock and blues rock band, has been around for some years and built up a loyal fan ...base in West Tennessee. Mid South Music Records first worked with the band when their Entertainment department was putting up the “Mid South Music Twister Relief” benefit concert at the RockhouseLive in Memphis, in May this year.

Mid South Music Records is based in Horn Lake, Miss.

StormGate signed an album deal for 2014-2015 and is currently working on their first single “Nowhere To Run”, a classic biker rock song, which will mixed at ARDENT Studios in Memphis. It will be released this summer on T.M. Garret’s Mid South Music Records.

The band will hit Memphis under the banner “Mid South Music” on Friday, August 8 at the historic Rock bar “The Stage Stop”. Mid South Music Entertainment already plans additional shows at other great locations in Memphis.

For information, interviews and bookings contact or call (662) 671-2470

UTM to Host Ag Finance Conference

Martin, Tenn. – Dr. David Kohl, internationally known speaker to agricultural lenders, small business owners, producers and agribusiness audiences, is the featured presenter at the13th annual Mid-South Agricultural Finance Conference next week The conference is for lenders, farmers and other farm-related business owners and will be held from 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6, in the Boling University Center at the University of Tennessee at Martin. 

“As one of the world’s leading ag economists who serves on policy boards and manages his own farming operation, Dave Kohl provides lenders and producers with the most up-to-date and practical information available,” said Dr. Tom Payne, UT Martin Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking. This year Dave will be joined by two of the most renowned experts in agricultural operations and risk management.”

This year’s conference will also include a discussion of commodity prices and risk management. 

The registration fee is $150 for lenders, $75 for farmers and $25 for spouses and students. Members of the total management team, including spouses and other business partners, are encouraged to attend. 

Registration information is available by calling 731-881-7324 or by visiting Space is limited, and the deadline for registration is July 31. A service of the UT Martin Horace and Sara Dunagan Chair of Excellence in Banking, the Mid-South Ag Finance Conference is made possible through the support of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, CoBank, Carroll Bank and Trust, and FarmerMac.

Monday, July 28, 2014

County Approves Budget, Tax Rate
Welcomes Paschall Back, Notes Turbett's Passing

Commissioner Dan Paschall, center, is welcomed back by Commissioners Kenneth Humphreys and Wes Bradley (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in short session Monday night, the Henry County Commissioners unanimously approved the 2014-...2015 fiscal year budget, which will require a property tax rate of $2.197, which is the same rate for the past few years.

The total county general fund is $11,530,555 for fiscal 2015. The commissioners approved a long list of appropriations for the county’s various funds, departments and offices.

At the meeting’s outset, County Mayor Brent Greer welcomed Commissioner Dan Paschall back after he had been ill for the past few months. Paschall said, “I’m thankful things are going as well with me and the county as they are.”

Greer also noted the passing of long-time courthouse employee and veteran David Turbett, who died Saturday after a short illness. A prayer by Commissioner Kenneth Humphreys was offered.

In other business, the commissioners reappointed Henry County Coroner Danny Tucker and Assistant Coroner M.L. Bailey. Commissioners also appointed Sue Pemberton to the Regional Library Board.

The meeting ended in a recess in case it needs to be adjourned before the regular meeting date next month.

Reward For Four-Wheeler Thefts Offered

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of any suspects involved in 4-wheeler thefts from the Half Way Market area of Hwy 641S. 

The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating two different 4-wheeler thefts from the area, specifically 11760 Hwy 641S and 95 Pleasant Hill Rd. If anyone has any information please call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672.

Murray Woman Charged in Shooting

Murray, Ky.-A Murray woman has been charged with first degree assault and receiving stolen property following a shooting. 

Arrested was Charissa King, age 33.

At approximately 10 a.m., Murray Police responded to a report that there was a possible gunshot victim at Murray-Calloway County Hospital. Officers then responded to 1106 Pogue Avenue where the shooting reportedly occurred.

According to Murray Police Public Affairs Officer Sgt. David Howe, officers arrested King following a preliminary investigation.

He told WENK/WTPR that Murray Police policy is to not release information on victims while an investigation is ongoing.

King was formally charged with assault 1st degree and receiving stolen property (Firearm). King is lodged at the Calloway County Jail.  

Old Glory Blowin' In The Wind

Paris, Tenn.-The American flag made an impressive sight Saturday afternoon, blowing in the wind against the backdrop of the Henry County Courthouse. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Man Arrested After Foot Chase

Paris, Tenn.-After a foot chase, a 30-year old Paris man was arrested on felony drug and evading arrest charges by officers with the Metro Crime Unit.

While on patrol, officers observed Charles Dustin Williams, alias “Paul Wall” of 114 Willow Oaks St., in a vehicle parked at an East Wood Street hotel. Officers had active warrants on Williams and attempted to make contact with the man in order to arrest him.

As the officers approached, Williams ran through the parking lot in an attempt to evade arrest. Officers chased Williams on foot and eventually apprehended the man.

While he was running away, officers said they saw him drop a plastic bag containing meth. After he was placed under arrest, officers located another bag on Williams' person, also containing a felony amount of methamphetamine along with a digital scale, believed to be used to weigh narcotics for resale.

Williams was transported to the Henry County Correctional Facility without incident and is being held under $125,000 bond. 

Hal Holbrook, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs and More at The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The upcoming 10th anniversary season at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center will be jam-packed with one-of-a-kind entertainment this year, with Hal Holbrook returning for his one-man show “Mark Twain Tonight”, as well as performances by Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Anderson, Mike Snider and a Beatles tribute band.

Season tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, August 4.

Executive Director Lori Nolen said, “In celebrating our anniversary, we will be revisiting 10 performances from the past 10 years that were either our most popular shows by box office standards or crowd favorites.”

Academy Award nominee Hal Holbrook highlights the Top 10 cast when he returns to the theatre he helped create Saturday, Sept. 13. Holbrook will perform his celebrated Mark Twain Tonight! one-man show for the fourth time at The Dixie.

Homegrown Opry star Mike Snider, the pride of Gleason, Tenn., opens the Dixie Live series Saturday, Sept. 6. Known for his funny, easy-going personality, Snider is a whiz on the banjo.

Five-time Grammy winner Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives return to The Dixie Saturday, Dec. 13. Stuart’s amazing career in country music began when he was just 13 years old. The young mandolin player traveled with the legendary Lester Flatt and later toured with Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins before embarking on a successful solo career. 

Another virtuoso country and bluegrass musician follows Stuart. Ricky Skaggs, an acclaimed mandolin player who began his career with Flatt & Scruggs at the tender age of seven, comes back to The Dixie Saturday, Jan. 17. Skaggs owns 14 Grammy Awards and was named the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year in 1985.

Grand Ole Opry icon Whispering Bill Anderson continues the Dixie Live Concert series Saturday, March 28. Anderson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has worked in television, and is a bestselling author. 

Other performers this season include the Gold City Quartet, 1964 (Beatles Tribute) and America’s favorite cowboys – Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul, and Joey the CowPolka King – with their innovative, fun, family-friendly Riders In The Sky show. 

There are plenty of new acts and events on The Dixie roster including the One Way Arts & Music Festival in September, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of Rock & Roll. Expect to see an array of bands performing Blues, Rockabilly, Bluegrass, Country, and more.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, call 731-986-2100, or visit

Flex Fitness Under Construction in Paris

Paris, Tenn.-Construction has begun at the site of the new Flex Fitness in Paris on Spruce Street. 

Flex Fitness already has two locations, in McKenzie and Brownsville, and is a 24-hour fitness center with cardio, circuit and free weight equipment and aerobics room. The center also will offer classes.

Brittney Barger has been hired as manager and fitness director for the new center, which owners expect to be open in a few months.

The site is located behind Casey’s General Store. Contractor is Owens Construction of Paris.

McCarter Named Community Development Specialist for USDA

Nashville, Tenn - USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode has named Sherri McCarter of Gibson County as the Community Development Specialist for the state of Tennessee. McCarter will serve in Rural Development’s State Office in Nashville and will be the primary advisor for rural and community development throughout Tennessee for the agency.

"Sherri brings a wealth of hands-on experience and will serve as a great asset to the agency," Goode said. "Having worked in community and economic development for the last 26 years, Sherri has a working knowledge that will benefit communities and help spur economic development across the state.” 

Most recently, McCarter served as the Executive Director for the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce in Gibson County. Prior to her position with the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, McCarter spent nearly18 years as a Regional Economic Development Specialist for the state of Tennessee, overseeing and responsible for 33 counties. Throughout her career, McCarter has served in many roles and capacities as a director, manager, and consultant. 

USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the lives of people in rural areas and the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.7 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on the meeting or USDA Rural Development programs available in Tennessee contact the Tennessee State Office at 615-783-1300, or 800-342-3149. Visit us online at

Frontier Reports 911 Problems in Weakley County

Dresden, Tenn.-Problems with the some customers in Weakley County being able to contact 911 continue this morning. Jamison Peevyhouse of the Weakley County 911 Office issued an alert for customers in Palmersville, Dresden and Latham areas Sunday, notifying them that Frontier Communications is having problems with the Dresden telephone office.

That was causing all Frontier customers in Dresden, Latham and Palmersville areas to have trouble dialing 911 from land-line phones. Cellular phones appear to be unaffected. An alternative number of 364-5454 was provided to customers last night.

In an update later last night, Peevyhouse reported that Frontier has re-routed all 911 calls in the affected area to the Center's administration line. Callers within the affected area will reach the 911 Center, but dispatchers will not receive the traditional address information.

The problem has been reported to the TN 911 network operations center and they are working on the issue. 

Man Arrested For DUI After Crash

Union City, Tenn.-A Kenton man was charged with DUI after a hit and run accident on South 6th Street Sunday afternoon in Union City.

According to the police report, Lee Simpson, 27, was charged with DUI, failure to maintain, open container and no insurance. He was traveling north on S. Sixth St. and lost control of his vehicle while the passenger said he was showing off. The car crashed into a legally parked vehicle.

When officers arrived, the passenger told officers what happened and said Simpson had taken off. Simpson did return later and was arrested.

South Fulton Man Arrested in Martin

Martin, Tenn.-A South Fulton man was arrested around midnight Saturday after marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found in his car.

According to the police report, officers observed Matthew Andrew Bye sitting inside his vehicle behind Dale’s Bar with the driver’s side door standing open. Bye reportedly appeared confused and said he was looking for his ID.

Officer Patrick Dilday said Bye appeared confused and he could smell alcohol. Bye said he had several beers and gave consent to search the vehicle.

Officer Drew Vernon found 15 individually-wrapped bags of a green leafy plant believed to be marijuana in the console, along with a pipe and a digital scale.

Bye was initially charged with public intoxication, with other charges pending.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Largest Crowd Ever For Ice Cream Social, Car Show

Peoples' Choice Winner Bob Milam with "Sweet Pea". (Larry Ray photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-This year’s Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show drew the largest crowd in its five-year history, with over a thousand people crowding the court square for samples from 18 booths of frozen treats and a chance to marvel over dozens of beautiful antique cars and trucks.

Downtown Paris Association President Kathy Ray said, “With presales, we anticipated over a thousand people and even more wristbands were sold at the event. It was great to talk with people who drove from Nashville, Jackson and other places to attend the event.”

The sponsors of the ice cream booths “really went all out this year to make this a fun and exciting event,” Ray said. “Most of the booths had activities and fun photo opportunities using cut outs. At one booth, you could make your own ice cream. It was a great time on the courthouse lawn in downtown Paris.”

Winners in the adult categories were Grant Guinn, who won the ice cream eating contest, and Angel Schnepper, who won the frozen t-shirt contest. Winners in the youth categories were Rosemary Butler for ice cream eating and Liam Bailey for frozen t-shirt.

The Best Ice Cream award went to REAL Hope Youth Center with homemade watermelon sorbet; the Best Theme award went to Henry County Medical Center with Curious George and Banana Ice Cream; the Best In Show went to the City of Paris with a booth theme of Frozen plus fun activities and giveaways for young people; The Peoples Choice Award for the favorite car went to Bob Milam with his 1948 Chevrolet car “Sweet Pea”, runner up was Eddie Wilson with his 1962 Chevrolet pickup.

The event was a fundraiser for the REAL Hope Center. We posted more photos of the event Saturday.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, right, and Rev. Steve Gallimore of the REAL Hope Center Board share a laugh. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Michael Winegar proudly poses with his 1922 Ford three door. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Good To The Last Drop

Paris, Tenn.-Grant Guinn gets the last drop of ice cream on his way to winning the adult ice cream eating contest at Saturday’s Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show. Several people vied for the title of fast ice cream eater this year, with each competitor given a quart of ice cream. Winners of the other contests will be announced later. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Large Crowd On Hand For Ice Cream Social

J.B. Latimer and Jon Trosper show the proper way to make fried oreos in the Trinity United Methodist Church booth. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd looking for cold sweet ice cream was on hand at Saturday’s 5th Downtown Paris Ice Cream Social and Antique Car Show. There was plenty for everyone to do, with 18 ice cream booths set up all around the court square, as well as a wide variety of antique cars and trucks. 

Paris Patrolmen Jordan Klutts and Jeramye Whitaker serve up some cold stuff at the DARE booth. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Man Drowns At Carroll County Recreational Lake

Huntingdon, Tenn.-A 27-year-old man drowned in the Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake near Huntingdon Saturday morning and with the help of witnesses, first responders were able to recover the victim’s body within an hour.

Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson told WENK/WTPR that the victim is not from Carroll County, but he declined to release his identity yet. “I’m not 100 percent sure that all the victim’s family has been notified yet and until that happens, we won’t be releasing his name.”

Dickson said the man was at the lake with his girlfriend and her daughter and went out swimming in one of the two designated beach areas. “Witnesses said he swam out toward one of the buoys and was circling back when he went under. I’m not sure if he cramped up or what happened, but he went under and did not resurface.”

Within a few minutes, deputies were on the scene and other emergency personnel arrived to begin the search. Dickson said the witnesses were a big help in finding the victim. “They were able to pinpoint accurately where he had been last seen,” Dickson said.

Paris Home Destroyed By Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A two-story home at 110 Porter Street was destroyed by fire Friday afternoon in Paris, but no one was injured in the blaze.

According to Captain Barry Farmer, when firefighters arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from every opening of  the house. “The interior attachment was enacted initially with some success, but fire broke through the roof,” he said. Firefighters then went to a defensive mode, but the house and contents were a total loss.

Loss was listed as $11,000 to property and $5,000 to contents.

Owners of the property were Anthony Robinson and Audrey Rodriguez. 

Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams said no one was home at the time of the fire and the cause is still under investigation.

Farmer said providing lots of help to the fire department was Henry County EMS, BPU, Paris Police, Natural Gas, Animal Control and the City Street Department. A dog was nearby at the house next door, but he was not harmed.

Casey's Celebrates Grand Opening

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and a large crowd of supporters welcomed Casey’s General Store Manager David Tobias and his crew to Paris with a ribbon-cutting Friday morning. The general store has been open for a few weeks but is currently celebrating its official grand opening at 1002 Mineral Wells Ave. The store features a large variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert items, as well as several gas pumps for customers. (Chamber photo).

More Downtown Murray Buildings to be Demolished

Murray, Ky.-At a community meeting Friday morning, Murray city officials said more downtown buildings likely will be demolished after this week’s fire.

City Administrator Mike Mattingly said he believes the gutted structures will be torn down altogether, due the how extensive the fire damage was. Three buildings and four storefronts were affected in the fire. The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.

Earlier this year, a building in downtown Murray collapsed and following that a roof collapsed at another building. In all, that brings the total of storefronts that have or will have disappeared from the downtown landscape to eight.

The dire situation affecting downtown businesses is also affecting city officials’ role to that of assisting downtown businesses in their recovery efforts, Mattingly said. 

Access to the area of the fire-affected buildings along Main and Fifth Streets continues to be restricted to the public.

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