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Monday, July 6, 2015

Two Sheriff’s Produce Giveaways Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will be holding two free produce give-aways Tuesday, July 7; one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

The first is from 8-10 a.m. or until all produce is gone at the VFW on Hwy 79 across from Lakeway IGA. The second giveaway will be held from 3-5 p.m. or until all produce is gone at JB’s gas station at Hwy 69A and 218 Bypass.  

The produce is from the two inmate gardens at the Henry County Jail.

How Much Mileage You Get With This Baby?

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Billy Nance of Paris shows Lucien Thomas of Paris his 1928 Model A Roadster at today's Cottage Grove Freedom Festival. Nance said it has four cylinders and can go 50 mph 'wide open'.  The full story and more photos from the Cottage Grove Festival were published Saturday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Stabbing Is Investigated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police released more information on a stabbing that happened over the weekend in the Hardy/Irvine Street area of Paris.

A 39-year-old man was found at 711 Hardy St., covered in blood and suffering from several puncture wounds. The victim, Marcus Long, was lying on the living room floor. The victim is from 511 Irvine Street and according to the resident of the Hardy Street home, he came in her back door, calling her name and collapsed.

When Henry County EMS and Paris Police arrived, the victim was breathing but unresponsive.

Due to the severity of his injuries, according to the police report, Patrolman Derek Colley drove the ambulance while EMS staff treated the victim inside the ambulance.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Josh Frey followed a blood trail from the Hardy Street home to Wynn Street and found witnesses who said there was an argument involving several people in front of 508 Wynn St.

At that point, another bloody man was being asked to exit a home on Wynn St.

WENK/WTPR reported on this portion of the incident on Sunday, when Jeremy Villarreal, age 38, of 511 Irvine St., ended up being arrested for disorderly conduct after he became belligerent and abusive with police and ambulance workers who were trying to help him.

Villarreal refused orders to place his hands behind his back and lie face down. Patrolman Kyle Belyew applied a 1-2 second burst of Freeze and the man complied. He was transported to jail.

This Is How You Do It

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-These kids in Cottage Grove had it all figured out. The best way is to sit on the parade route with your plastic bags at the ready for all the candy thrown from the floats. They were under the watchful eye of Shannon Casey. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

TVA Clears Johnsonville Steam Supply Project

New Johnsonville, Tenn. – An environmental review by the Tennessee Valley Authority has concluded there will be no significant environmental impacts with construction and operation of a heat recovery steam generator located at TVA’s Johnsonville plant site. The generator will provide steam for cogeneration use after the coal plant closes in late 2017.

The review considered the environmental effects of two alternatives: A) take no action or B) add a heat recovery steam generator that would take heat from an existing gas turbine and convert it to steam for an offsite customer.

A nearby factory, which makes titanium dioxide for the coatings, paper and plastics industries, has long relied on byproduct steam from the Johnsonville power plant. It is a cogeneration relationship unique among TVA’s coal plants.

But with TVA retiring the last of Johnsonville’s 10 coal units by the end of 2017 under a clean-air agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, a new steam source had to be found.

TVA proposed to continue providing steam by constructing and operating a heat recovery steam generator integrated into one of 20 gas-fired combustion turbines that will continue to make electricity at the Johnsonville site.

The environmental review determined the proposed location would provide important benefits by using existing, previously constructed assets and previously disturbed lands, thereby minimizing environmental impacts.

State Prepares For Possible Avian Flu Outbreak

Nashville, Tenn.— The ongoing high path avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak is now considered one of the most costly animal health disasters in American history. As a precaution, a State Veterinarian’s Order has been issued requiring that effective August 1, all out of state birds transported to Tennessee must have proof of a negative AI test within 21 days of movement or National Poultry Improvement Plan AI Clean certification.
Although HPAI has not been detected in Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is taking steps to prepare. Three staff members recently returned from Minnesota where they used their skills to assist with the efforts to stop the spread of the illness. 

Veterinary medical officer Dr. Doug Balthaser and animal health technicians Wes Montooth and Marshall LaFever spent three weeks in Willmar, Minn. That location is central to an area coping with HPAI. The three learned aspects of the logistical response and gained valuable experience in the field. 

Dr. Balthaser worked as a liaison between state and federal officials and producers to complete inspections and assist with paperwork. “The magnitude of this outbreak becomes clear when you consider the area where the virus has spread,” Dr. Balthaser said. “You have cases 30 miles south of Willmar all the way up to northern Minnesota.”

Montooth and LaFever collected samples from poultry in the affected area. They covered thousands of miles to test multiple backyard flocks. “They hit the ground running with backyard surveillance testing and really did Tennessee proud,” Dr. Jacob Davis with USDA APHIS said. “They became my ‘go-to’ team when something needed to be done. I would be glad to work with them any time.”

Lessons learned in Minnesota will be critical in the event that HPAI is reported in Tennessee. Officials believe water fowl migrating south from Canada are the source for HPAI. This strain is not known to be communicable to humans and is not posing a threat to the food supply. However, it is deadly for domesticated fowl. HPAI has been reported in 21 states, affecting more than 48 million domesticated birds. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa have declared states of emergency. 

The State Veterinarian and staff are focused on animal health and disease prevention. Each year, the Kord Animal Health lab tests approximately 22,000 samples from poultry for avian flu. Additionally, the U.S. Wildlife Services conducts testing on waterfowl. We will continue surveillance and will consider increasing monitoring and sampling as required.

If avian flu is detected, Tennessee has prepared a multi-agency response plan which includes quarantine, testing, disposal, cleaning, disinfection and monitoring in affected areas.

Sunday, July 5, 2015 

Two People Drown On Local Lakes Saturday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Two people drowned on local lakes Saturday, casting a pall over the Fourth of July holiday.

The victim of the first drowning was a 44-year-old California woman who fell into Kentucky Lake in the Cypress Creek area Saturday afternoon. The victim of the second drowning was a 31-year-old Hopkinsville man. He drowned late Saturday night in Lake Barkley in Stewart County.

The first victim was Melina Thornhill of San Francisco. The second victim was Antonio Webb of Hopkinsville.

In the first incident, according to TWRA District 12 Boating Officer Joe Campbell, Thornhill was sitting on a float in the water with several other people who were on boats tied together when “suddenly she went under the water.”

Campbell said bystanders dove in and were able to bring her to surface and began administering CPR. They placed her on a pontoon and met the Henry County Emergency Ambulance at Cypress Bay.

The victim was then taken to Henry County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Campbell said she was not wearing a life jacket.

Campbell said the accident happened in Kentucky waters and the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife personnel are investigating it.

Campbell said the TWRA appreciates the cooperation of the Henry County Rescue Squad, EMS and Paris Landing personnel, as well as the bystanders who helped recover the victim and administered CPR.

The second incident occurred at 10:07 p.m. Saturday night on Lake Barkley in Stewart County. The victim and another individual were on a boat at the Bumpus Mills marina. Campbell said the boat was already tied inside the slip, but the men were moving something from one boat to the other and when the boats separated, Webb fell in.

The Stewart County Fire and Rescue Squad recovered the body at 3 a.m. this morning.

Campbell said the body has been sent to the Medical Examiner in Nashville to determine what might have contributed to the accident.

TWRA is investigating the second drowning, he said.

Campbell reminded the public to always wear their life jackets when around the water.

Dollar Store Employee Assaulted

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-An employee of the Dollar Store at 1420 W. Wood St. in Paris was assaulted by a customer Friday night.

According to the police report, a customer was trying to pull her the 19-year old female store employee into the bathroom at the store. She was able to get away from him and call the assistant manager.

The customer is a white male in his 40s, gray/brown hair with a receding hairline driving a Nissan Titan.

According to the report, the customer came in with his teenage son and was acting strangely, walking the aisles looking to see if anyone else was there. When anyone came in the store, he left. When it was empty, he asked to go to the bathroom twice and then asked the employee to show him where it was.

When she did so, he tried to pull her in with him. She called the assistant manager.

Then the customer asked where the beer was and asked the employee to show him. When she refused, he became verbally abusive. He then paid for the beer and then came back to buy a coke.

The employee said she looked at his ID for the beer, but did not remember his name.

Injured Paris Man Arrested For Disorderly Conduct

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris Policeman used a burst of Freeze to subdue a Paris man who was fighting ambulance and police as they tried to place him in an ambulance.

Police were called to 511 Irvine St., at 2 a.m. Saturday on a call that the EMS was en route to a call of a man bleeding.

They found Jeremy Villarreal, age 38 of that address, bleeding and belligerent and refused help and became verbally abusive.

Police told him to place his hands behind his back and lie face down, which he refused to do several times.

Patrolman Kyle Beleyew applied a 1-2-second burst of Freeze and the man complied.

He was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Drowning Reported At Cypress Bay

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.--The July 4th holiday took on a somber tone today with the report of a woman drowning Saturday afternoon in Kentucky Lake.

According to Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, the unidentified woman is reportedly from out of town and was visiting friends in the Cypress Bay area when the incident occurred.

Belew said the woman’s body was recovered by the Henry County Rescue Squad and taken to Henry County Medical Center.  

The incident occurred on Houseboat Cove in the Cypress Bay area, which Belew said is in Kentucky waters. “Kentucky authorities will be investigating it.”

A spokesperson with the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife agency confirmed late Saturday afternoon that its agents are investigating. 

More details will be published as they are available. Our server was down Saturday afternoon and evening and this story could not be posted on our website. However, it was posted on our two Facebook pages Saturday afternoon at WENK/WTPR and KF99-KQ105.

Cottage Grove Celebrates Holiday In Style

Best of Parade by Brodie Warbritton honored local farmers. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-A huge crowd was on hand for Saturday’s 40th Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival. As always, the morning parade is the highlight of the festival, and festivities continued until after dark for the fireworks display.

The Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department sponsors the event every year and the morning’s parade Grand Marshal was the late Fireman David Lampkins. He was honoured with a tribute with his photo, boots and uniform displayed on the Cottage Grove fire truck.

Parade winners were: Best of Parade, Brodie Warbritton and his float spotlighting local farmers with the slogan, “We Farm, You Eat”; Best Float was Dallas and Dakota Abels duking it out as Tom and Jerry on a picnic float; and Most Patriotic was the Donovan Bradley and a decorated go-cart.

Activities continued throughout the day with the Country Store open, games, arts and crafts, hay rides, bingo, archery shoot, giveaways, live music from the Great River Road Band, and the evening fireworks.

The Air Evac air ambulance landed in Cardinal Park during the parade and is giving tours of one of its helicopters. 

Tom and Jerry, otherwise known as Dallas and Dakota Abels, won Best Float. (McFarlin photo).

A tribute to the late Firefighter David Lampkins was displayed on the fire truck at the beginning of the parade. (McFarlin photo).

Kicking Off The Holiday With Golf Cart Parade

Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison poses with Molly and Maggie Robinson of Martin. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-People from all over the state were on hand for the annual Buchanan Resort Golf Cart parade this year. This year, everyone got an extra special treat seeing Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison home for the holiday weekend and most everyone wanted their pictures taken with her. Robison's parents, Rusty and Pam Robison, own Buchanan Resort. She was crowned Miss Tennessee June 20 and will compete in the Miss America pageant on September 13.

Best of Show this year was won by the family of Pattye Kelley of Dyersburg, which included a birthday cake for America, a little Lincoln reciting the Gettysburg Address and little Statue of Liberty. Second Place Most Original was won by Jeff McClung and family of Whitehouse; First Place Junior won by Connie and David King family of Clarksville and Second Place Junior by the family of Jennifer Chastain of Guthrie, Ky. 

Former Henry County Clerk all dolled up for the holiday. (McFarlin photo).

Best of Show winners: the Pattye Kelley family of Dyersburg. (McFarlin photo).

KSP Identifies Woman Who Left Suspicious Package 

Murray, Ky-The Kentucky State Police have identified a 46 year female from Marshall County as the person responsible for leaving a suspicious package on Chestnut Road, in front of the United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office, in Murray on July 1. 

Through the investigation Troopers were able to determine her identity. During her interview on July 2, it was determined the female was in need of mental health treatment and she was transported to a local mental health facility where she remains. 

No charges have been filed against the female. Trooper Brian Hill continues the investigation. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Remembering Eaker's Café

Paris, Tenn.-Now that the former Eaker's Café has been torn down, we thought our readers would like to take a stroll down memory lane and recall how the popular restaurant looked in its early days. Located on 69S, Eaker's was one of Henry County's hot spots, popular for its food and hospitality. In this photo, Eaker's still had gas pumps in front and had a separate building to sell live fish and 'sporting goods'. In recent years, it has been called Cookie's Family Diner. After two fires in a year, the building was torn down last week.

Farmers Market Comes To Downtown Paris

Paris, Tenn.-The City of Paris and the Downtown Paris Association are cooperating to bring the Farmers Market to downtown Paris. 

The location will be at the parking at the intersection of Ruff Street and N. Market St. The corner parking lot will be available for Farmers Market vendors only, but the adjacent City lot to the immediate west will be available for customer parking.

The market was approved last night by the Paris City Commission.

The Market will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. until the produce is sold out. The opening date is Tuesday, July 7th and will operate through the current growing season.

Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray said, “We are very happy to be able to bring the Market to Downtown, and we appreciate the city’s assistance.”

Carl Holder, Farmers Market Project Coordinator for the DPA said “We appreciate the assistance of the UT Extension Service in helping line up vendors as well as advising us in general how to get the market up and running with a good chance for success. We really hope the change of venue will improve opportunities for vendors and the buying public”.

Up until now, the Farmer’s Market has been located at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Hank Williams’ Movie Release Date Announced

Cherry Jones photo by Roddy McDowell

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-The release date for the new movie based on the life of Hank Williams Sr. has been announced.

"I Saw The Light" is coming to theaters Nov. 27. 

The movie has roots in Henry County, with Cherry Jones of Paris portraying the mother of the music legend. Additionally, Hank Williams Jr. makes his home in Buchanan. Rodney Crowell was musical director for the film and he has family roots in the Buchanan area, as well.

Tom Hiddleston, who was in “The Avengers“ and “Thor“ stars as Williams.

Jones described her appearance in the movie as “an itty bitty part” and said all her filming was done in Louisiana. Parts of the movie were filmed in middle Tennessee and Hiddleston spent a month in month in the Nashville area living with Crowell preparing his musical voice for the role.

The movie also stars Elizabeth Olsen as Williams’ first wife, Audrey.

Accident Details, Victims' Names Released  

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Police Department has released more details and the names of those injured in a one-vehicle accident Thursday in which the car involved flipped over and down an overpass embankment.

August Crystal, age 47, of Troy, was airlifted to The Med in Memphis with head injuries. He was a passenger in the car driven by his sister, Helen Martin, age 56, also of Troy.

Crystal is listed in fair condition today at The Med.

Patrolman Chris Cummings said Crystal was sitting in the back seat unrestrained when the accident occurred around 10 a.m. Thursday.

Martin was transported by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City.

Cummings said the car was southbound on Hwy. 51 and went off the roadway as it approached the bridge over Barham Rd. The car went into the median, hit a grass slope and went airborne.

The air ambulance landed in the nearby industrial park and ambulance personnel transported Crystal from the accident scene to the helicopter for transport to The Med.

Cummings said the accident is still being investigated.

Refuge Road Closures Announced
Springville, Tenn.-The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is scheduled for road improvement projects at the Duck River Bottoms area beginning on July 6th and continuing until this fall. 

During this time Haul Road leading to the Duck River sub-headquarters will be temporarily closed to public traffic. This will include the temporary closing of Pintail Point Observation Deck and public access to the subheadquarters office.

The refuge regrets the inconvenience to visitors and will strive to keep road closures brief. Please call the refuge office at 731-642-2091 for updated information on these area road closures.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

City Approves Helicopter Landing Zone Ordinance

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee, standing, addresses the city commission. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With one dissenting vote, the Paris City Commission Thursday night approved an ordinance governing helicopter landing zones in the city limits.

The vote followed lengthy discussion at the meeting and other lengthy discussions at previous meetings.

City Manager Kim Foster said the proposed ordinance was revised to include a definition of ‘helistop’ which city officials felt better described what the Henry County Medical Center already offers.

Two air ambulance companies are locating temporary and/or perhaps permanent headquarters at the Henry County Airport. Air Evac, which has already established a customer base in the local area for several years, has already set up temporary headquarters at the airport and is looking for permanent headquarters closer to the hospital. Vanderbilt Lifeflight will be establishing a headquarters at the airport in August.

As approved by the commission, a helistop would “provide a minimal service landing pad facility for landing and takeoff of helicopters used to board or discharge passengers or cargo. For hospitals this equates to patients and/or organs or critical supplies. A helistop shall not include refuelling, maintenance or repair facilities. Tiedown facilities may be available so that a single helicopter may be stored on the landing pad.”

The sticking point of discussion was the choice in the last sentence between ‘may’ or ‘shall not’. Voting no on the ordinance was Commissioner Gayle Griffith.

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee said he would prefer as little restriction as could be for hospital operation. He repeated his contention that no helicopter would stay on the pad longer than would be necessary, but said helicopters often must be there for extended periods while patients are being stabilized.

Gee said anything that the hospital can do to decrease the response time and save a person’s life is what the hospital wants to do. “We would like for the city to help us be a viable operation. We really don’t want our hands tied from the least response time.”

Gee also said he doesn’t see why it would be a problem to have a helicopter on the paid, at the ready for emergency calls anyway.

Mayor Carlton Gerrell said, “All the people who have contacted me on this issue, except just a few who live near the hospitral, have said they want it to sit on the pad for quicker service. I’ve asked others to come to the meetings and say what they feel, but nobody who is for it will come and talk. This is not about services, it’s about what is best for citizens. On the whole, people want it as fast as it can be done when they need help.”

In other business:

--The city approved a move of the Farmer’s Market to the downtown parking lot at Ruff and Market Streets. The Farmer’s Market will be there Tuesday and Friday afternoons, as it is now at the fairgrounds.

--Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence reported on activities in his department. “On any given evening, McNeill Park is the busiest place in Paris,” he said. “And we’ve had tournaments there every weekend this summer”

The Tower Triathlon earlier this month had 93 participants, with only 18 of those being from Paris. The rest were from all over the state and Paducah.

Civic Center utilization is up, with numbers high for all activities, especially Silver Sneakers and water aerobics, he said. Rentals of facilities also is up, with the Civic Center, Atkins-Porter Recreation Center, park pavillions, and the Gerald Howard Pool being booked solidly.

Lawrence complimented Rhonda Stanton of KPAC for all the events, plays and programs held there on a continuing basis.

--Citizen Ray Hooper complimented the people who work at the city animal shelter. He said, “It’s one of the cleanest facilities I think you’ll ever find.”

Decatur Co. Clerk Staff Resigns Over Court Decision

Decaturville, Tenn.-Three employees at the Decatur County Clerk’s Office have resigned rather than issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

According to The Tennessean, Clerk Gwen Pope and Deputy Clerks Sharon Bell and Mickey Butler have all announced they are resigning because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages.

They said that decision clashes with their religious beliefs and their resignations are effective July 14.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said earlier that the state would follow the Supreme Court’s decision.

Drew Baker of the Tennessee Equality Project told The Tennessean that Decatur Co. is the only county in the state that has said it won’t issue same-sex licenses.

Man Seriously Hurt In Union City Wreck

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.--A man was airlifted from the scene of an accident on Hwy. 51 in Union City this morning after the car he was in flipped over and down an overpass embankment.

A woman in the car was also injured and reportedly transported by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City.

Details of the wreck are sketchy since the police report was not completed Thursday afternoon, but officers from the police and fire departments reported that the car flipped over from the overpass and landed behind Titan Tire on Everett Blvd.

Fire Chief Alan Herbenhahn said, “Our guys stabilized the male victim before he was airlifted.”

The air ambulance landed in the nearby industrial park and ambulance personnel transported him there for transport to an area hospital.

With the police report not being complete, the identities of the couple in the accident were not yet available.

Big Sandy Man Eludes Henry County Deputies

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff’s deputies and two K-9s spent over three and a half hours Wednesday night searching in the woods for a man wanted on warrants out of Benton and Henry County, but were unable to take him into custody.

In response to a report of a reckless drive on Hwy. 54, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper realized that Christopher Cutting of Big Sandy had active warrants on him. 

According to Sheriff’s Capt. Damon Lowe, Cutting ran out of his car and took off, running into the woods.

Several deputies, including Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco and Deputy Terry Williams and his K9 Droid searched the area for several hours to no avail.

A clerk at Benton County General Sessions Court said an active warrant is out on Cutting for probation violation. An active warrant is also out on him for probation violation in Henry County.

Coach Maddox Resigns

Union City, Tenn.-Union City High School head baseball coach Jeremy Maddox has resigned to take another job.

Maddox has taken a job as an assistant coach at Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson.

 Pick Me! Pick Me!

Paris, Tenn.--Mr. Bond The Science Guy had a lot of volunteers from which to choose during his program at the W.G. Rhea Library Wednesday. The popular Mr. Bond conducts experiments to entertain and educate the young people--and their parents--who always crowd the library when he appears during the summer reading program. In bottom photo, Mr. Bond shows how to use nail polish remover to shred styrofoam cups. The last summer reading program will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 8, with pizza and an animal presentation. (Photos by Shannon McFarlin)

Peppers Automotive Group Donates To Relay  

Paris, Tenn.-The Peppers Toyota, Chevrolet, and Dodge Automotive Groups collectively held a benefit for Relay for Life of Henry County. Peppers donated 
$50 for each car sold during the month of May to Relay for Life. Tuesday, checks totaling $9,350.00 were presented in front of Peppers Toyota. 

“We cannot thank everyone at Peppers Automotive Group enough for their generous support.”, according to Molly Jackson, Relay for Life Event Chair.

Daron Harrison with Peppers said, “Peppers is pleased to support Relay for Life of Henry County. We hope to continue and grow this event next year.”

On hand for the check presentation were from left, Dana Allen, Relay for Life of Henry County’s Publicity Chair, Donna Stines, American Cancer Society, Daron Harrison representative of Peppers Automotive Group, Molly Jackson, Relay for Life of Henry County’s Event Chair, and Arielle White, American Cancer Society. (Tammy Beasley photo).

KSP Investigates Suspicious Package in Murray

Murray, Ky. Kentucky State Police received a call from Calloway County Dispatch at 5:20 p.m. July 1 of a suspicious package on Chestnut Road, in front of the United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office, in Murray, KY.    

Kentucky State Police and Murray Police Department officers secured the area while the Kentucky State Police Hazardous Device Unit examined the package and its contents.  Inside the package was political propaganda and other similar items about recent government actions.  It is the believed the package was intentionally placed in front of United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office to create public panic.  

The package and its contents were collected to undergo further examination by the Kentucky State Police.   

Traffic disruption was minimal and easily rerouted.  As a precautionary measure, only one business was asked to close early due to its close proximity.   Other businesses were already closed or were asked to keep customers inside and away from direct line of site of the package. 

Assisting the Kentucky State Police was, Kentucky State Police Hazardous Device Unit, Paducah Bomb Squad, and Murray Police Department.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident they are asked to contact the Kentucky State Police as 270-856-3721. 

Mahan Recognizes Cox For Company Service

Paris, Tenn.-Jeff Mahan, Joe Mahan Ford, recognized Andy Cox and his twenty-five years of service to the company during Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce coffee at the facility, which was recently recognized as Business of the Year by the Chamber.

Kids’ Summer Camp Set For The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn. - Help your child develop and hone their creative skills at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center for the final summer camp of the year 2015. 

Children's Music Camp - Monday-Friday, July 13-17 for ages 4-18 months with an adult 10-10:45 a.m.; 19-36 months with an adult 11-11:45 a.m.; 3-4 years with an adult 1:30-2:15 p.m.; Kindergarten-1st grade, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Parents attend the first lass and last 15 minutes of each class. Cost is $85, and students will explore the building blocks of music - fast/slow, high/low, loud/quiet, and steady beat - through a variety of hands on activities. Learn new songs, sing old favorites, play rhythm instruments, meet animal puppets, dance, laugh, and snuggles.

For infants, classes will include songs and rhymes, lap bounces, finger plays, baby-safe instruments, and group dances. For the toddlers and preschoolers, classes will add "big kid" instruments like tambourines and rhythm sticks, and children will learn how the need to move, jump, twirl, march, and run works hand in hand with musical development. 

School age children will be introduced to more advanced songs, use rhythm instruments to tell stories, and enjoy games designed to encourage pitch matching and improvisation. In all age groups, colorful props like balls, books, scarves and puppets add to the fun. Most importantly, classes are all about the joy of making music.

Cost is $85, and instructor is Laca Tines.

Applications and scholarship forms for all summer camps are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon and online at Classes fill early, so return your applications as soon as possible.

For more information, including special instructions for each class and rules for camp, call 731-986-2100 or visit


Office On Aging Trip Plans Graceland Trip

Paris, Tenn.--The Henry County Office on Aging will celebrate Elvis Month during August with a trip to Graceland in Memphis.

The date for the trip is August 27, and the bus will leave from the Central Community Building at 7 a.m.

According to Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell, the group will stop on Brownsville for breakfast and the tour of Graceland begins at 10:30 a.m. Tours last two and a half hours. After the tour, the group will eat in Memphis for lunch and then return to Paris.

Cost of the trip is $38.50 per person for the cost of admission and bus fare.

Caldwell said the tour is a Platinum Tour, which includes everything at Graceland except the tours of the airplanes.

Deadline is Friday, August 21, to sign up for the trip. For more information, see Caldwell or Senior Center Coordinator Barbara Pearson or call 642-2010 or 644-3193.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 

Martin PD Identifies Wal-Mart Suspects

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police have identified both individuals involved in the felony theft at Wal Mart on June 15 and one of the suspects has been arrested, according to Police Chief Don Teal.

Arrested is: 21 year old Marquisetin D. Williams of 212 Gurley Drive in Dyersburg.  Warrants have been issued for David L. Ray Sr. of 1411 Todd Ave. Dyersburg. 

After releasing photos of the two individuals and vehicle they were driving, the Martin Police Department was provided information through Crime Stoppers and along with corroborating information from the Dyersburg Police Department which led to the identification of the two individuals.  

At the time of the theft, Teal said, “The individuals remained in the store for approximately 45 minutes. While inside the store the two individuals took two desktop HP computers, two Vizio, 32” televisions, and an undetermined number of Clear talk cell phones. In obtaining the Clear talk cell phones one of the individuals was able to manipulate the security feature of the display to be able to remove the items,” Teal said.

The individuals then made their exit out of a fire exit door located on the east side of the building near the automotive center.

“Fabricated Testimony” Draws New Charges For Biggs

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-New charges have been added to the list of charges already filed against Guy L. Biggs, who currently is awaiting sentencing for attempted second degree murder in Henry County Circuit Court. 

But this time, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Investigator David Doyle, the new charges against Biggs “are an example of the Stolen Valor claims that occur throughout this country.”

New charges of aggravated perjury and tampering or fabricating evidence were filed today by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, along with the 24th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

According to Doyle, the new charges stem from testimony presented by Biggs during the criminal trial in March. Biggs had been on trial for attempted first degree murder and filing a false report. After a four-day trial, Biggs was found guilty of the lesser charge of Attempted Second Degree Murder.

During the trial, Biggs had testified under oath that he had an extensive military history with “extraordinary training, experience and commendations”, Doyle said. After the trial, according to Doyle, “It was determined his trial testimony was materially false and he in fact did not have the military credentials to which he had testified.”

Biggs also filed with the Henry County Court a falsified military document to support the experience, training and commendations to which he had falsely testified, Doyle said.

Sentencing for Biggs has now been re-set for July 13, at which time prosecutors will present evidence to the court regarding Biggs’ testimony and the new charges. Biggs, who is being held in state prison awaiting sentencing, will be served the new warrants and will be arraigned on them at a later date.

Doyle said the sheriff’s office and District Attorney’s office “intend on prosecuting Guy Biggs for his actions to the fullest extent of the law”.

LBL To Host Old-Fashioned July 4th

Golden Pond, Ky.– People wanting a more traditional celebration on the Fourth of July, will find one full of historical fun at the Homeplace 1850’s Working Farm and Living History Museum in Land Between The Lakes. 

Celebrate Independence Day from 1-4pm on Saturday, July 4th, with races, skillet tossing, horse shoes, old-time music, toys, and games. Special guest, Kentucky Statesman Henry Clay, portrayed by George McGee, will entertain visitors with antics of 1850’s politics. Admission is $5 ages 13 and up; $3 ages 5-12; free for ages 4 and under, and includes all the day’s activities and programs.

The Kentucky Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities fund the Henry Clay program. 

“On July 4th, the whole family can step back-in-time at the Homeplace and learn the history behind the most important holiday as celebrated in the 1850s,” according to Ellen Bravard, Interpreter at the Homeplace. “Relive a time of political speeches and community-wide picnics. We welcome everyone to join us under the shade trees, have a cool slice of watermelon, and lend a hand making ice cream using a recipe from The Homeplace History and Receipt Book. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets to make a day of it.”

The Homeplace 1850’s Farm represents a two-generation farm. Visitors see interpreters in period clothing going about their daily chores. Artifacts, restored historic structures, and traditional seasonal activities take visitors back in time to relive history before the Civil War.

Women Charged With Meth Possession

Trenton, Tenn.-Two local area women were arrested on drug charges last week by the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office and West Tennessee Violent Crime and Drug Task Force in connection with a meth operation.

Arrested were Laurent Luther, age 30, of Springville; and Goldie Hairrell, age 39, of Cedar Grove.

According to a news release, the two women were arrested when officers found them sitting in a car in Trenton and a K9 officer indicated a positive response to a search outside the car.

Officers then searched the car and found paraphernalia used to smoke meth and a substance which they believed to be meth underneath a seat, according to the release.
Police also found $7,416 in the car.

Both Hairrell and Luther were charged with possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bonds of $20,000 each were set for them. Both women will appear in Gibson County General Sessions Court in Trenton.

Fireworks Prohibited In Paris City Limits

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo has reminded the public that fireworks are prohibited within the city limits of Paris.

According to Municipal Code 7-401:, “The manufacture, distribution, sale, storage, possession, use, or discharge of any fireworks is expressly prohibited within the corporate limits of the City of Paris, Tennessee.”

Violators will be cited and fireworks will be seized, Elizondo said.

Record Number To Attend UTM Vet School

Associate Professor Jason Roberts with students. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – Eighteen students from the University of Tennessee at Martin have been accepted into veterinary school programs beginning this fall. This number breaks the previous record of 10 students, set in 2013.

“The large number of students accepted to veterinary school exemplifies the quality of instruction through experiential learning from our animal and veterinary science faculty,” according to Dr. Todd Winters, professor and dean, College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. “Great students result from great faculty, and with this success our student numbers in this area should continue to grow.”

Seven students have been accepted into the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Students attending at the flagship campus are Andrew Jordan, of Lewisburg; Brandon Newton, of Greenbrier; Kaylee Penick, of Martin; Zachary Ragland, of Whitehouse; Leslie Serrano, of Drummonds; Kelley Wigington, of Adams; and Jason Wolf, of Sevierville. Four students will attend Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate. Those students are Kathleen Alford, of Dyersburg; Mallory Martin, of Union City; Jamie Franks, of Hohenwald; and Emma Sanders, of Chattanooga. 

Lauren Cain, of Thompson’s Station, and Katherine Sanders, of Franklin, will both attend Mississippi State University. Laura Croom, of Greenfield, will begin her studies at Auburn University, and Crystal Climer will study at the University of Missouri. Danielle Fuller, of Pocahontas, has accepted a position at Kansas State University. Trey Drinkard, of Old Hickory, and Justin Goodrum, of Hornsby, will both travel to the island nation of St. Christopher and Nevis to attend Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Goodrum graduated from UT Martin with a bachelor’s degree in 2010 before pursuing graduate studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

“I am proud of these students and how hard they worked, both in the classroom and in experiential learning opportunities, to accomplish their goal of attending veterinary school,” said Dr. Jason Roberts, associate professor of animal science. “I know they are well prepared for the challenges they will face while in veterinary school.”

The UT Martin pre-veterinary curriculum is a concentration under the animal science major, housed in the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources. For more information on this degree program, contact the department at 731-881-7211. 

Paris Youth Football Sign-Ups

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Youth football league is holding sign-ups at the Paris Civic Center: July 11th - 9:30 a.m. -noon  and July 18th - 9:30 a.m.-noon

Try outs will be at Barton Field 9:45 a.m. August 15th  

Cost $40.00 per Participant. Must be 9-12 yrs. as of Sept 1st. Nine year olds must weigh 70lbs.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Paris Hardee’s Opens Wednesday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-You can expect a crowd when the long-awaited Hardee’s Restaurant opens at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The new Hardee’s Restaurant is located on Mineral Wells Ave. and management has been shifting into high gear the last couple of weeks, with employee training and practice runs inside the restaurant and at the drive-through window.

Staff was putting last-minute touches on the outdoor landscaping Tuesday evening.

After tomorrow, the restaurant will be open 24 hours a day and offers a menu that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner items, from biscuit sandwiches to charbroiled burgers and grilled pork chops.

County Commission Approves Budget, Tax Rate

Henry County Commissioners zipped through tonight's recessed session. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Commission held a record-setting meeting Tuesday night: record-setting for its length, which was only seven minutes.

The commission adopted the Fiscal 2016 budget and the certified property tax rate of $2.06, which decreased from $2.17 after county reappraisal. The budget includes a 2.4 percent cost of living raise for employees across-the-board. The meeting was recessed from last week’s regular meeting.

The county general fund totals $11,337,314, with other categories which includes law enforcement at $4.6M; and non-profit organizations at $97,375. 

Seventeen non-profit organizations receive funds, including the county’s volunteer fire departments, Aspell Recovery Center; St. John’s Community Development Services; Henry County Fair Association; Henry County Youth Baseball; JACOA (council on alcoholism); Kentucky Lake Girls Assn. Lee School Assn. Paris-Henry County Arts Council, Paris-Henry County Rescue Squad; Paris-Henry County Heritage Center; Paris Soccer; Tenn Technology Center, TARP, Carl Perkins Center, Sisters With A Goal and Habitat for Humanity.

Benton County Men Convicted Of Child Rape
Big Sandy Man Sentenced To 35 Years


                 Brian Webb                                                    David Corbitt

Camden, Tenn.-A Benton County Jury on Monday convicted Brian Lee Webb, age 25, of Camden, of one count of rape of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault. The charges involved a minor less than eight years of age.

Assistant District Attorney General Bruce Griffey, along with Assistant District Attorney General Carthel Smith prosecuted the case before Circuit Court Judge C. Creed McGinley.

Webb’s sentencing is set for July 23.

Webb is the second child rapist prosecuted by Griffey in this term of Court. David Alan Corbitt of Big Sandy, Tennessee was convicted of rape of a child on May 26th, and sentenced June 26, to thirty-five (35) years -in the State Penitentiary by Judge McGinley. Corbitt will not be released from prison until the year 2050.

District Attorney General Matthew F. Stowe expressed his sincere thanks to Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher his deputies and staff as well as Camden Police Chief George Smith, his officers and staff. Chief Investigator Bryant Allen with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office investigated, arrested and charged David Alan Corbitt.

Chief Investigator Alex Latimer with the Camden Police Department investigated, arrested and charged Webb. Stowe said both organizations were instrumental in removing these child predators/rapist from the Benton County, Camden, Tennessee area for many years. Stowe again reiterated his policy that elevates these types of cases to the highest of priorities. Stowe cautioned anyone committing this horrible crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and his Assistants will seek maximum punishment allowed by law in all cases.

Any further inquiries can directed to General Stowe’s Office at 731-986-5031.

Thile Set To Become Host Of “Prairie Home”

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

St. Paul, Minn.-As Garrison Keillor, the long-time host of “A Prairie Home Companion” continues easing into retirement, it has been announced that Chris Thile of Murray will slowly take over the helm of the show.  

Thile is a frequent guest on the show and has substituted for Keillor twice during the 2015 season.

Thile is an internationally-known mandolin virtuoso and began his career with the band Nickel Creek. He then joined The Punch Brothers. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.

In 1995, the Thile family moved to Murray, Kentucky where Chris' father Scott Thile accepted a position at Murray State University as a musical instrument technician.

Keillor and his character Guy Noir will continue to be heard on radios across the nation. He will reportedly co-host “Prairie Home” while Thile learns the ropes, eventually turning it over to Thile at some point in 2016.

“Chris is my man, and I’m eager to stay home and read books,” Keillor recently told The Berkshire Eagle.

“A Prairie Home Companion” is a live variety show that began in 1974. It is usually broadcast from Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

Suspects Turn Themselves In

Union City, Tenn.-The two young men who had been sought by Union City Police for their involvement in a shooting last week have turned themselves in.

After pictures of the two were publicized by area news agencies, including WENK/WTPR, both Reshun Moses, age 19, and Malik Garrett, age 18, both of Dyersburg, turned themselves in to Union City Police yesterday. Both are lodged at the Obion County Jail.

They were wanted on charges in connection with shooting injuries suffered by two 15-year-old girls at an early-morning party in Union City.

Fireworks, Parades And More For 4th of July

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
Fourth of July is almost here and that means celebrations, parades and fireworks all over our area.

From Cottage Grove to Union City to Paris Landing, there will be fireworks on Saturday, July 4, to ring in the celebration of our nation’s founding.

The 40th Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival will be held Saturday with the traditional parade beginning at 10 a.m. Grand Marshal is in memory of Firefighter David Lampkins, who died a few weeks ago. Prizes will be awarded for Best of Parade, Best Float and Most Patriotic.

At 10:30, the ice cream and burgers are served, with hay rides, the cake walk, arts and crafts booths, the country store, and games. Under the guidance of Tammy Wood, the country store features games and homemade, homegrown and canned farm goods.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the turkey/trap shoot is held, with archery at 1 p.m. From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the quarter pitching game will be held, from noon to 2 p.m. is the auction, 3-4 p.m. bingo.

The country ham giveaway is at 6 p.m., live music from the Great River Road Band begins at 6 p.m. and more games and drawings will be held until 9 p.m. when the fireworks display begins.

For further information, contact John Weiher at 782-3657, Larry Neimi at 782-3559, or Tammy Wood at 336-4163.

Discovery Park in Union City will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with free entrance after 5 p.m. There will be rides, live music by several bands, live historians strolling the grounds and a huge fireworks display at 9 p.m.

At Paris Landing State Park, fireworks begin at dark in the swimming area by the pavillion. The fireworks display is sponsored by the World’s Biggest Fish Fry committee.

Here are a few other nearby locations and events featuring fireworks.  
Bee Spring Lodge
Where: 573 Bee Spring Road, Benton, KY 42025
When: June 27th at dusk 
Calvert City Ameribration
Where: City Hall, 861 5th Street, Calvert City, KY 42029
When: July 4th at dusk 
Freedom Fest
Where: Court Square in Murray, KY 42071
When: July 4th at 9:30pm – Visible from Highway 641N near Kroger and Central Park 
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
Where: 113 Administration Drive, Gilbertsville, KY 42044
When: July 4th at dusk from the Old Beach 
Lake Barkley State Resort Park
Where: 3500 State Park Road, Cadiz, KY 42211
When: July 3rd off the Beach Boat Dock 
Moors Resort & Marina
Where: 570 Moors Road, Gilbertsville, KY 42044
When: July 3rd at dusk (very limited parking available)

Broadway Singers Fundraiser Set Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-A fundraiser for the Henry County High School Travel Speech Team and Youth Orchestra will be held Thursday.

The Broadway Singers will present “Thank God for Music. Thank God for Country” at the First Baptist Church in Paris at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2.

Tickets for dinner and concert $25 on sale at Merisons, Jack Jones Flowers and Gifts, The Iron Place.

Library To Close For Fourth Holiday

Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Library will be closed Friday and Saturday this week for the Fourth of July holiday.

LBL Quota Deer Hunt Applications 

Golden Pond, Ky.– Applications for the 2015 Quota Deer Hunts will be available July 1-31. The hunt application link can be found online at, on the Land Between The Lakes official homepage, or you can apply by phone at 270-924-2065. The application fee is $5 online or $7 by phone. After applying, applicants can check back in late-August to see if they were drawn.

Quota hunts provide unique recreational opportunities within the region and help maintain a healthy deer population. Deer harvested on Land Between The Lakes are bonus deer and do not count toward statewide bag limits. All quota hunt permits will be either-sex permits. There is a one (1) antlered buck limit on Land Between The Lakes regardless of whether it is taken in Kentucky or Tennessee during archery season or a quota hunt.

Both adult and youth hunts will be available. The Youth Hunt is for hunters under age 16 in the Kentucky portion, and 6 through 16 years old in Tennessee. Youth hunters must possess a state-approved hunter safety card according to state regulations. Youth not required to have a hunter safety card must carry a signed safety verification form available on the official Land Between The Lakes website. Each youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old who meets hunter safety requirements.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Henry County Arson Suspect Caught In Obion County

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Arson suspect Jesse Maynard of Big Sandy was arrested by Obion County law officials near Hornbeak when the vehicle in which he was a passenger had car trouble.

Maynard, age 23, of 352 Rample Creek Rd., Big Sandy, was wanted for setting fire to two cars the morning of June 24 at 260 Nobles Rd., Buchanan, around 7 a.m. in the morning.

Obion County Chief Deputy Kent Treece said Maynard “was in a vehicle with another individual that had car trouble while travelling through Hornbeak. The vehicle had the road blocked and a deputy and the Hornbeak Police officer went to check on the car.”

The driver did not have a license “and when they checked Maynard, they found that he was wanted in Henry County,” Treece said. “He was arrested and held at our jail until Henry County came and picked him up.“

At the time of last week’s arson, Henry County Sheriff’s Captain Damon Lowe said   witnesses saw a male exiting a black Ford pick-up, put a chain around his hand and walk to a vehicle and pour gas on it, then set it on fire. 

Two vehicles ended up being destroyed by fire, when the blaze spread to another vehicle.

UC Police Seek Individuals Following Shooting

          Reshun Moses                                  Malik Garrett

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police have issued warrants for two individuals wanted in connection with the shooting incident at an after-hours party in Union City on Sunday, June 21, which resulted in injuries to two 15-year-old girls.

Warrants have been issued for Reshun Moses, age 20, of Dyersburg, on charges of attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and aggravated assault; and Malik Garrett, age 18 of Dyersburg, for knowingly keeping or maintaining a building for the purpose of using marijuana, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Police were called to 202 Railroad Rd. on a report of gun shots around midnight. According to the police report, the building was being rented for a party and shots were fired outside.

The two girls were shot and injured with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Union City Police are asking anyone with information on the subjects’ whereabouts to contact the police department at 731-885-1515 or Crime Stoppers 731-885-TIPS (8477).

"Mimosa Trail" Graces Kentucky Lake Area

Buchanan, Tenn.-Thanks to the late Christine Reynolds of Paris, the first cabinet member in Tennessee, the beautiful mimosas are a common sight around Paris Landing State Park and Hwy. 79N. Reynolds is responsible for “The Mimosa Trail” along the highway from Paris to the state park. In photo, mimosas frame the view of the Ned Ray McWherter bridge at the park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Crash Victim’s Condition Is Upgraded

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR

Henry, Tenn.-The condition of the motorcycle driver who was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center following a crash Saturday morning has been upgraded to critical but stable.

William Buie of Paris was southbound on Hwy. 79 near Henry when the accident happened. A car reportedly pulled out from Pioneer Rd. and collided with Buie. Buie suffered multiple injuries and the Air Evac helicopter landed on the highway to make the transfer to Vanderbilt.

As we reported in earlier articles, the driver of the second car was treated at the scene by Henry County EMS.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Mounts investigated the accident, but has been unavailable for comment for a full report of the accident.

Rural Ministries Raising Money For School Supplies

Obion, Tenn.-Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM) is collecting school supplies now through July 10 for low-income families it serves in Northwest Tennessee and Southwestern Kentucky.

The agency of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, which offers many services, will distribute school supplies this year July 14 through Aug. 13.
"We encourage your church, small group or Sunday School class to take on a service project by collecting supplies for these children," according Rural Ministries’ Rev. Robert Craig.

Last year he said the agency helped 612 children with school supplies.

Craig said there are many reasons parents and guardians of their service area need help with school supplies. “Summer utility bills, rent, groceries and the need for school clothing greatly limit resources families have during this time of the year,” he explained.
School supplies needed are listed below or RRM is happy to receive funds to purchase supplies. 

Supplies may be delivered to RRM at 6923 Minnick-Elbridge Road in Obion, Tenn. OR to the Memphis Conference office at 24 Corporate Blvd., in Jackson, Tenn.

For more information about school supply collections, contact RRM at (731) 538-9970. For more information about RRM, visit

A partial list of school supplies includes: notebook binders, backpacks, big pink erasers, composition notebooks, ear phones, dry-erase markers, plastic folders, Kleenex, nap mats, pencil boxes, pens, pencils, coloring pencils, hand sanitizers, post-it notes, flash drives, etc. For the complete list, see the Reelfoot Rural Ministries’ website or Facebook page.

Donations Sought For Funeral, Child Care Expenses For Family

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Martin, Tenn.-Friends of the family involved with last week's murder/suicide in Weakley County have established a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for funeral expenses and care of the children left without a mother.

Alexandrea Bevis, age 27, was shot several times and killed by her husband while their children were on the front porch. Alexandrea's mother carried the children to safety.

Alexandrea's husband, James Bevis, age 32, killed himself in the house following a stand-off with local law enforcement.

Alexandrea's parents are now raising the children. Friends of the family have posted information of the GoFundMe website: "I am raising money for a dear couple whom now will be taking care of their two small grandchildren. There are also expenses for the funeral of their daughter whose life...was cut short. This was a tragic loss and the children are now without a mother."

The link for the GoFundMe page is:

UT Approves Lowest Tuition Increase in 30 Years

Martin, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved the lowest tuition percentage increase in more than 30 years during its annual meeting June 25 in Knoxville. Undergraduate tuition will increase by 3 percent at UT campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin as part of the $2.13 billion budget for fiscal year 2016. The increase is effective for the 2015 fall semester. 

The last time all three campuses increased tuition for undergraduates by 3 percent was in 1983-84. UT Knoxville and UT Martin increased tuition by 3 percent in 1997.

UT Martin instate tuition and mandatory fees will now cost undergraduate students an additional $302 annually, which includes a student-supported $50 per semester activity fee for athletics. New tuition and fees will be $4,163 per semester or $8,326 for a full academic year. Full-time undergraduate enrollment is a minimum of 12 credit hours. 

Tuition and mandatory fees for instate graduate students will increase $340 per semester for a total of $4,824 per semester. Graduate students will pay a total of $9,648 per academic year starting this fall. Full-time graduate enrollment is nine hours per semester.

Fall semester classes begin Aug. 24 for the main campus and UT Martin centers in Jackson, Parsons, Ripley and Selmer. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

2015 Fair Book Dedicated To Late Jerry Lemonds

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--Life is often bittersweet and one such example is this year’s Henry County Fair Book dedication.

The 2015 Fair Book is dedicated to Farmer and Fair Volunteer Jerry Lemonds. The dedication was presented to him on May 9 and Lemonds died the day after.

Long-time Fair Board Member Deneicia Gregson said, “Sometimes in life you are lucky to know a truly one-of-a-kind good guy. Jerry E. Lemonds is just that type of person and we were proud to dedicate the 2015 Fair Catalogue to him. We know there will never be another like him. God threw the mold away.”

Lemonds was born in 1962, to the late Ernest and Marsceale McDaniel Lemonds. His brother, Tommy, lives in Paris.

Lemonds was a cattle farmer and owner/operator of Lemonds Lime Service. Gregson said he loved the life of farming.

“Jerry volunteered at the fair for many years,” she said. “He enjoyed the Junior Livestock Day and the Demolition Derby the most.”

The fair this year will be held August 3-8. The fair books are being distributed to local banks and businesses and also can be picked up at the UT Extension Service office on Hwy. 79S.

Now This Is The Life

Buchanan, Tenn.-A fisherman just takes it easy, along with some fowl friends, at Paris Landing State Park Saturday afternoon. Weather was perfect for being outdoors and the park was busy with fishermen, boaters, and picnickers. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

MSU Appoints New Director Of Libraries

Murray, Ky.-Murray State University has announced Ashley Ireland has accepted an offer to serve as the dean of University Libraries, pending approval from the board of regents during its August meeting. Ireland replaces Dr. Adam Murray, effective July 1,

as she transitions from her current position as director of user and instruction services in the University Libraries, which she has held since 2012.

Ireland received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Sociology as an honors graduate from Murray State University in 2005. She then continued her education receiving a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of Kentucky in 2007. She returned to Murray State University in 2008 where she assumed an assistant professor role as a reference librarian and library liaison to the Hutson School of Agriculture and the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Awarded in 2013 as an outstanding researcher for the University Libraries, Ireland was later promoted to an associate professor role in 2014. She has represented Murray State at several competitive and intensive professional development opportunities, as noted by the Association of College and Research Libraries' Immersion Program in 2010. Utilizing her multiple talents with research and library initiatives, Ireland led Murray State University's team in the Assessment in Action project that recognized the retention efforts the library provides to our students. She has also been asked to chair national committees in her discipline.


Belew, Lowe Speak About Scams

Sheriff Monte Belew speaks to Quota. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Captain Damon Lowe spoke to the Paris Quota Club about scams at its recent meeting. Belew’s mother, Jackie, and Chief Deputy Randy Gean were guests for the meeting, which was held at Lee Academy of the Arts.

Belew told about the check scam and the grandparents scam and how to avoid being a victim. Belew said “If it sounds too good to be true; it is. No one is going to send you a check in the mail when you have not entered a contest or played the lottery.”

Lowe told about the IRS scam and the phone spoof scam. Lowe said that IRS will not call and ask for information and if you get a phone call that you dont know the number; dont answer. Also, if you get a phone call showing your own number; dont answer.

2015-16 club yearbooks are available for $5 each and Geraldine Sykes has tickets for the handmade quilt that was donated by Wanda Hughes. Jane Sinnema told that the club will sponsor a birthday party at Henry County Nursing Home at the end of July.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Late Firefighter Commemorated At Ceremony
Firefighters' Prayer Adorns Memorial

Plaque and commemorative bench at the entrance of Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Family members and firefighter friends of the late Firefighter Jimmy Conger were present Saturday afternoon for a ceremony at the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department honouring his service.

Conger was killed in the line of duty for the department in 1976. Chief Reggie Coles said Conger was killed in the first structure fire the department ever had. The location of the fire was the former Eagle Gift Shop located where Hooks and Horns is now situated on Hwy. 79.

A decorative commemorative bench was presented by the fire department in Conger’s memory and now has a permanent spot near the flagpoles at the entrance of the fire department on Hwy. 79.

The bench has a concrete plaque with Conger’s name and the date of his death inscribed. The bench is inscribed with “The Firefighter’s Prayer” which reads:

The Firefighter's Prayer 
When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;
Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late 
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout, 
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out. 
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.
And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life; 
Please bless with your protecting hand 
my children and my wife.

Motorcycle Driver Critical Following Wreck

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Henry, Tenn.-The driver of the motorcycle who was airlifted following a collision with a car this morning is in critical condition in Vanderbilt Medical Center.

William Buie of Paris was southbound on Hwy. 79 when the accident happened. A car reportedly collided with Buie at Pioneer Rd. The driver of the car was treated at the scene by Henry County EMS.

The Air Evac helicopter landed on the highway to make the transfer of the victim to Vanderbilt.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Mounts investigated the accident. The accident happened around 9:30 a.m.

Collegiate Big Bass Bash To Be Held At Paris Landing 2016

San Antonio, Texas-The Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series has announced that the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley will be held on March 11-13, 2016 on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee. 

The 2015 event, which brought 300 anglers to the Paris Landing area last year to compete in the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley, featured over $25,000 in prizes and giveaways and the 2016 collegiate event promises to be even bigger.

"We look forward to going to Paris Landing and Kentucky Lake every year because this is one of those lakes that is just absolutely incredible when it comes to largemouth and smallmouth fishing," according to Wade Middleton, Director of the Association of Collegiate Anglers and President of CarecoTV. "In the big bass format where even a two pound fish can earn a check, anglers have the chance to win in eight possible weigh ins and just one cast can win the whole event and the college anglers know that, therefore they travel from many states to fish this event."

Due to the diverse format of the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley, anglers mark this event on their calendars as a "can't-miss" tournament. Over twenty states were represented by over ninety colleges in the 2015 Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley to get the chance to raise a Kentucky Lake giant above their heads on the stage and earn thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. 

So mark your calendar this year for March 11-13, 2016 for the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Cabela's at Kentucky Lake's Paris Landing!
To see additional coverage on our Facebook, click here: 

Canning Classes To Be Offered

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Extension Office will offer Canning College 101 in July and registration is open now.
The classes will be held 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 and Thursday, July 23, at the extension office. The classes cost $40 for one class or $65 for both.
They will be taught by Family and Consumer Science specialist Michele Atkins. 
Space is limited, so call 642-2941 to register.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Names, Details On Murder-Suicide Released

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office has released more information on the murder-suicide that occurred earlier today near Martin, including the names of the deceased.

Pronounced dead at the scene were Alexandrea Bevis, age 27, and James C. Bevis, age 32.

Weakley County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Bevis’ home at 950 Hwy. 431 between Martin and the Obion Co. line around 12 p.m. today. A 911 caller reported a woman had been shock by her husband near the back of the house and that the husband had then gone into the residence and that he was still armed.

Deputies arrived at 12:04 p.m. Captain Randall McGowan of the sheriff’s office said after attempts to contact the husband by phone failed, tear gas was fired into the house. Deputies entered the home and found the husband had killed himself with the same 9mm handgun he used to kill his wife.

Mrs. Bevis had been shot several times, McGowan said.

Two small children were on the front porch at the time of the shooting, but were carried to safety by Alexandrea Bevis’ mother before the deputies arrived.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Martin Police who provided officers to help with entry into the home, as well as the Weakley Co. Medical Emergency Medical Services, Martin Fire Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“Pastor Protection Act” Proposed By Terry, Holt After SC Ruling

              Rep. Andy Holt                                             Rep. Bryan Terry

Nashville, Tenn.— On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of gay marriage. In reaction to that decision, Tennessee State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) announced that he is working to draft the “Tennessee Pastor Protection Act” along with State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) as the primary co-sponsor.
“It comes as no surprise that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage. I have had multiple constituents concerned with how the ruling may impact their church and their religious beliefs. If the issue is truly about equality of civil liberties and benefits, then this ruling should have minimal legal impact on churches,” said Terry. “However, if the issue and the cause is about redefining marriage to require others to change their deeply held religious beliefs, then the concerns of many will be valid.”

The bill will be designed to protect all religious clergy from performing same sex marriages, as well as, providing legal protection from being forced to perform same sex marriages on church property. 

“To my friends of faith, to those who endear the principles of social conservatism, and to those who ascribe to the original intent of the ‪Tenth Amendment, we must never give up,” declared Holt. “The Court has made it clear that they have no intention to uphold the principles of separation of power. It's more important now than ever that we stand and resist the abuse of our own government and that is exactly what I plan to do by lobbying for the Pastor Protection Act with Rep. Terry.” 

Holt says he has no plans to recognize the Court’s ruling as being valid. “God is the ultimate Supreme Court and he has spoken. Marriage is between one man, and one woman,” said Holt. 

Terry worries that the ruling will set off a chain reaction in judicial activism. 
“The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Article 1 Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution states that personal freedom of religion is protected and that no human authority can interfere in the rights of conscience,” noted Terry. “Under normal circumstances, I would expect the Court to honor the Constitution of the United States and Tennessee, but, as recently confirmed by activist judges, we no longer are under normal circumstances.”

Two Dead In Weakley County Murder-Suicide

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Weakley Co. Sheriff Mike Wilson confirmed to WENK/WTPR this afternoon that two people are dead as a result of a murder-suicide that happened earlier this afternoon near Martin.

Wilson said the sheriff’s office was called to the scene at a home on Hwy. 431 right outside of Martin around 12:30 p.m. “When we arrived, we found the wife deceased,” Wilson said. “The husband was in the house and we tried to make contact with him, but he did not respond. When we went in, we found him dead of a gunshot wound.”

Wilson said the names of the deceased will be released shortly in a press release.

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