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Friday, September 4, 2015

Henry County FFA Students Make A Difference For Food Pantries

FFA Students Lane Sutton, Murray Perkins Kate Plowman and Pierce Rose help load processed beef for food pantries (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A lot of people in Western Tennessee will be eating fresh beef in the coming weeks and months, thanks to donations from Henry County FFF Students Collin Howd, Murray Perkins and Katie Plowman and Yoder Brothers processing in Paris.

Through the Tennessee Cattlemen Association, the trio donated three of their prize-winning steer to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee which in turn donates to food banks in the northwest counties of Tennessee.

Henry County FFA Advisor Laura Moss, along with Perkins, Plowman, and students Lane Sutton and Pierce Rose met Friday morning at Yoder Brothers to help load the processed meat onto trucks and vans that will go to food pantries in our area.

Donna Vick, Second Harvest Agency Relations Manager Donna Vick of the Camden office told the students, “The food you are giving us is super awesome.” Also present were representatives of three partner agencies, Sacks Thift Ave. of Greenfield in Weakley Co.; New Beginnings Church of God, Big Sandy; and McKenzie United Neighbors.

Vick said those partner agencies were selected because of the number and scope of clients they serve and because all have large freezers to store the meat. She said all three serve a wide variety of clients, from senior citizens to families and children.

The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association coordinated the donations and Association Executive Vice President Charles Hord of Murfreesboro said Yoder Brothers “donated a lot of the processing involved.”

The processed meat included large rolling trays full of steaks and five-pound containers of ground beef.

The entire group that gathered to help load the processed beef: Henry Co. FFA, Tennessee Cattlemen's Association, Second Harvest, Yoder Brothers, New Beginnings, McKenzie United Neighbors and Sacks Thrift Ave. (McFarlin photos).

Paris Man Sought After Drugs, Guns, Money Seized

Investigator Greg Underwood, Sgt. Jamie Myrick, Sheriff Monte Belew and his K9Si with seized items. (McFarlin photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Reynoldsburg Rd. man is being sought on felony drugs and weapons charges after a search of his home resulted in the location of a large amount of high grade marijuana, other drugs, weapons and $5,000 cash.

A safe which was located on the property and which contained drugs required the Jaws of Life to open, according to Sheriff Monte Belew.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Crime Unit is seeking Aaron Z. “Zach” Teague, age 30, of 1695 Reynoldsburg Rd.

At a press conference Friday morning at the sheriff’s office, Deputy Jamie Myrick said a search warrant was executed at Teague’s home around 1:30 p.m. August 31. Found was a felony amount of marijuana, at just under a pound, which was in a camouflage backpack. A search of the house located guns, including a shotgun and a Remington rifle.

Myrick said Teague had been on law enforcement’s radar “for quite some time” and had been convicted several years ago in Henry County on felony drug charges.

A search of Teague’s truck at the scene resulted in the location of two other guns, a .25 caliber pistol and a loaded Highpoint pistol, several boxes of ammo, numerous boxes of shotgun shells and two shotgun shells.

Inside the house, a large safe was found and Sheriff Monte Belew’s K9 Si alerted to the presence of drugs inside the safe. Belew said the safe was so substantial that it had to be taken to a secured location where the Paris Fire Department used the Jaws of Life to open it.

Inside the safe was jars of gummy rings laced with THC, bongs and a bottle of codeine which is used to drink with soda. Paris Police Lt. Ricky Watson said, “We believe the gummy rings were mailed to him from another state.”

Myrick said, “Si done good. If not for Si we never would have found that. We’re really proud of him.”

Teague was not home at the time the search warrant was being executed. Myrick said a second search warrant was required to open the safe.

Belew said the investigation is ongoing “and there could be more arrests and/or additional charges. But this is a substantial lick, when you get a drug dealer, his drugs, his guns and $5,000 cash.”

If anyone knows of the whereabouts of Teague, Belew asked that they call the sheriff’s office at 642-1672 or the confidential hotline at 642-0929.

Assisting were members of the Paris, Henry and Puryear Police Departments.

Myrick shows a bottle of gummy rings laced with THC.

              Aaron Z. Teague

After Foot Chase, Man Arrested On Numerous Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Martin, Tenn.-Following a foot chase by Martin Police and Weakley County Deputies--with assistance from a witness--a Martin man was arrested on numerous charges Thursday evening.

Arrested was Kinyko M. Booker, age 25, of Martin on charges of criminal trespass, evading arrest and vandalism.

The incident began when Ptl. Aaron Gallimore and Ptl. Nick Combs of the Martin Police Department responded to the area of Cherokee Drive in reference to a call about a person that appeared to be attempting to break into some vehicles.  

Upon arrival, person who called police was yelling at the suspect as he ran through the yards near the residence.  The caller then began chasing the suspect.  At this time, officers began a foot pursuit with the assistance of Deputy James Merrell of the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department.  

According to Martin Police Capt. Phillip Fuqua, Deputy Merrell located the suspect hiding behind an air conditioner and advised him to come out and he then ran on foot and jumped a fence in the yard of the residence causing damage to the wooden fence.  Officers were unable to make any further contact with the subject in that area at that time.

Deputy Merrell was able to identify the suspect as Booker, due to the fact that Deputy Merrell was familiar with Booker.  After a search of the immediate area, officers located a cell phone, a knife and Booker’s driver’s license lying on the ground.  Booker was also identified by a witness to the incident.

Officers filed warrants for Booker’s arrest for the charges of Criminal Trespass, Evading Arrest and Vandalism.  Later that evening, information was received by officers that Booker was at a residence located at 407 Hyndsver Rd.  Officers did make contact with Booker at that location and took him in to custody.  He was booked on all charges and transported to Weakley County Detention Center.

Marijuana Plants Located; Arrest Made

Paris, Tenn.-Working on a tip, Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies located marijuana plants being grown next to a utility pole on Kirks’ Trading Post Rd., in Buchanan.

Deputies located the plants being grown in plain view and said they could be seen from the road. Four marijuana plants were growing in the side yard of 350 Kirks Trading Post Rd.

Deputies also located a path and a garden hose leading to the residence at that address. Homeowner Joseph Hall admitted to deputies he had been growing it for personal use. The plants were pulled up and placed into evidence.

Hall was charged with manufacturing marijuana.

Discovery Park Opportunities For Homeschoolers

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America in Union City is announcing a new monthly opportunity for homeschooled students. On the third Tuesday of each month, from 2 – 4 p.m. the educational facility will offer homeschooled students a unique opportunity to learn. 

September 15th will mark the first “Homeschool Day at DPA”. The program will be offered September through April each year, with the agenda established for the year prior to the program’s start. 

The program topics for the 2015-2016 school year are:

September 14, 2015- Force in Motion

October 20, 2015- WWI

November 17, 2015- NASA

December 15, 2015- Holiday STEAM

January 19, 2016- States of Matter

February 16, 2016- Health, Fitness and Nutrition

March 15, 2016- Life in the Settlement

April 19, 2016- Earth Day

The program is designed to be self-directed and self-paced for the students. There will be five stations with curriculum designed to target students in the 3rd through 8th grades. The cost is $4 for participants who are members of Discovery Park and $6 for non-member participants. The cost of the program does not include park admission. Parents or chaperones are welcome to accompany participating children. Non-participating siblings are expected to be chaperoned elsewhere. 

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd., in Union City, TN. To find out more about upcoming programs, events and classes at Discovery Park, you can visit the website at The park is open each Tuesday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture and fun.

Reminder: Be Safe At Bargain Highway

Camden, Tenn.-The Camden Police Department has issued the following public notice:

“As most Benton County residents know, today and Saturday are the dates for the 17th annual 30 mile yard sale. Please keep in mind that traffic will be congested and there will be pedestrians walking down the streets. Please SLOW down and keep everyone safe. Also, the Benton County Chamber of Commerce will have a tent set up at the Camden Elementary School with maps and other helpful information. We welcome our out-of-town visitors who will be participating in the Yard Sales and encourage everyone to extend to them a warm Benton County Greeting. If we can be of assistance to you please call us at 731-584-4622. For Emergencies dial 911.

Labor Day Closings

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris has announced Labor Day closings:

The city of Paris Public Works Department will be closed Monday, September 7; the landfill will close on Monday and reopen 7 a.m. Tuesday, September 8; the animal shelter will close Monday and reopen at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 8.

The W.G. Rhea Library also will be closed Monday.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

City Commission Recommends Mineral Wells Ave. Extension

911 Board Chair John Etheridge addresses the proposal to extend the name of Mineral

Wells Ave. to Hwy. 218 at Thursday's city commission meeting. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris City Commission Thursday night voted unanimously to recommend that the Paris-Henry County 911 board extend the name of Mineral Wells Ave. all the way from Walgreen’s to Hwy. 218.

The move to rename that section of Hwy. 77 is prompted by the plan of a Paducah developer to demolish four houses next to Walgreen’s to develop a business on that property.

The ultimate authority to rename streets and roads falls to the 911 board. 911 Board President John Etheridge said the 911 board has experience with renaming roads and would follow that same procedure in this case.

The renaming proposal was first broached a few years ago when Premier Nissan opened on Hwy. 77 and Etheridge noted, “There was push back a few years ago when we wanted to do this but now it seems like there’s a push forward to do it.” He said Premier Nissan is for the proposal, too.

The 911 board would not rename it “without the support of the city and the residents of that area,” Etheridge said. “Technically, it is the 911 board’s responsibility and we look forward to work with city on this and I think it will be a good thing.”

At a public hearing on the issue that preceded the city commission meeting, no citizens appeared either for or against.

City Manager Kim Foster said, “Positive factors in renaming the street at this time: With development moving further past the Mineral Wells/Memorial Drive intersection, from a marketing standpoint for retail, it make sense to attempt to capitalize on the desire that most retail would like to locate on MWA.  It is true that the ADT on Highway 77 is only  5,548  vs. 20,782  on Mineral Wells, however, it is the perception that it has a Mineral Wells address.”

Obviously the biggest negative, she said, is that some properties and businesses would be required to change their address. Foster said the post office said they will continue delivering mail to the former addresses for 12 months and that if the same residents remain there, there should be no problem with the post office getting their mail to them.

In a related action, the commission approved conveying the alley that connects Walgreen’s to Fairview St. 

Foster said the city is currently not using this alley.

In other business, the commission appointed Carl Holder to the Paris Housing Authority and Dickie Routon to the Historic Zoning Board.

The commission heard a report from Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Director Jennifer Wheatley on the activities of the Chamber.

Community Watch Party For Miss America Pageant Set

Paris, Tenn.-A community watch party is being organized for all citizens who want to watch the Miss America pageant together. Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison of Buchanan is in the pageant, which will be held Sunday, September 13.

Paris City Manager Kim Foster said the party will be held at the Enoch Building at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

She said, “We’re wanting to show our support for Hannah Robison. She’s done so much for our community and we want to show our support for her and her cause.” The watch party also would serve to help raise money for Robison’s campaign for Arthritis Research.

Foster noted that Robison put together a video that is being shown by the Miss America pageant. The video spotlights Paris and Henry County and has been ranked #3 by viewers across the country, she said.

March Of Dimes Ambassador Family: Bryce Edwards and Family

Cole and Bethany Edwards and their sons Colsyn and Bryce.

Paris, Tenn.-Little Bryce Edwards and his family have been chosen as the 2015 March of Dimes Ambassador Family.

His family consists of dad Cole and mom Bethany along with 5-year-old brother Colsyn. 

Cole Edwards said this morning, “We’re really excited about it. We benefited from the March of Dimes and now we can give back.”

This year’s March for Babies will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 13 at Eiffel Tower Park. Edwards said the event was changed from a Saturday morning evening due to low attendance the last few years.

Bryce was born on January 12, 2015, at 25 weeks and 2 days gestation. Bryce and his identical twin brother, Brady, suffered from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome where one twin receives less blood flow and resulted in the Brady’s death prior to birth. 

Bryce began his 124 day journey in the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Neonatal Intensive Care Unit weighing 1 lb and 14 ozs. 

Bryce was put on a ventilator immediately along with PICC lines, IVs, monitor’s and wires and was the tiniest human being his family had ever seen. At seven days old, Bryce was rushed to surgery for an intestinal perforation, where he had an ileostomy bag. 

Although he received IV nutrition, his weight decreased to 1 lb and 10 ozs before he started gaining. Life in the NICU consisted of daily blood draws for several tests, turning every three hours, g-tube feedings and sleeping – lots of sleeping in a dark isolette. Bryce struggled with Chronic Lung Disease. He received several blood transfusions, treatments of diuretics, had many chest xrays, and was exposed to high oxygen for an extended period of time. He was on standard and jet ventilators for 48 days before he graduated to a CPAP and could finally be held by his Momma and Daddy. Since he was born during the cold and flu season, only 4 family members could visit Bryce until the visitation restriction was lifted. Bryce was 11 weeks old when he finally met his brother, grandfathers and a few other family and friends. 

At 11 weeks old Bryce became stable enough to have a second surgery; his ileostomy bag was removed and had his intestines reattached. At the same time, he had ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) eye surgery to correct the way the blood vessels were growing in his eyes. Despite having both surgeries at the same time, Bryce proved to be a fighter and pull through every challenge he faced. 

Bryce continued to grow and get stronger each and every day. When he was 17 weeks old, he was discharged from Vanderbilt and was able to join his family at home with an oxygen tank at his side. Once he was comfortable with a new routine, he made dramatic improvements in many ways. The weaning of oxygen began after a few short weeks and Bryce showed just how much he was enjoying being at home.

After a couple of months of being at home, Bryce was able to come off of his oxygen completely. At 7 months old, he weighed 12 lbs and 5 ozs and was 24 inches long. Bryce continues to grow and develop and this little boy has come such a long way. He continues to prove just how strong he really is and has taught his family so much during his hard fought journey. 

According to the March of Dimes, without the research available through the March of Dimes, little Bryce would not be where he is today. “We are so thankful for all the doctors and nurses and the research that continues to be done.”

ACT Prep Course At UTM

Martin, Tenn. – Students hoping to raise their ACT scores are invited to register for an ACT Prep course held from 8 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, Sept. 12-Oct. 17, on the University of Tennessee at Martin main campus. This course is available just in time for the Oct. 24 national exam.

Students will learn to complete test problems based on question frequency, difficulty, substantive knowledge, curriculum and alternative test-taking strategies. Participants will also learn how to maximize their scores in the allotted time. 

Ron Ramage, a UT Martin adjunct instructor and teacher at Obion County High School, will direct the course. Students will take an official off-record ACT exam at the beginning of the course to determine areas of need. Students will then take another official off-record exam at the end of the program to evaluate progress. Instructors will arrange one-on-one meetings Oct. 15 to provide final study plans in preparation for the real exam. 

The registration fee is $225 per person, which includes two textbooks, one ACT pre-test, one post-test and two sets of diagnostic reports. Students should bring two #2 pencils and paper for taking notes. If a student chooses to use a calculator, it must be ACT approved. For a list of approved calculators, visit 

For more information or to register, contact the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082 or visit the course website at

Stolen Truck Recovered 

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police Wednesday recovered a truck that had been stolen on August 16 from a parking lot on South First St.

The black 2000 Toyota Tacoma was reported missing from the parking lot at 203 S. First St. and was recovered from a parking lot belonging to the Union City Housing Authority at 701 Melrose St.

Free First Library Card And A Prize 

Paris, Tenn.-September is “Library Card Month” at the W.G. Rhea Library in Paris. Library Director Connie McSwain said you can be a winner in two ways during the month.

A free first-time library card will open up the world to you and will make you eligible for a chance to win a prize. An adult may bring in a child under the age of 18 for their first library card or a child can bring an adult in for their first library card. Names will be put in a hat to win a $20 Walmart gift card for an adult and a new book for the children’s winner.

Drawing will be September 30.

UC Police To Conduct Checkpoints

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Police will hold a Saturation and Sobriety checkpoint this weekend as part of the Governor’s Booze It and Lose It campaign against drunk driving.

Union City Police will be conducting the checkpoints from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Parent Teacher Conference Dates Set

Paris, Tenn.-The dates for Parent Teacher Conferences in the Henry County School System have been announced:


Henry Elementary: September 15; 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Henry County High School: September 22; 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Grove: October 1; 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Harrelson: October 13; 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m

Lakewood: October 20; 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Extended Learning Offered At HCHS 

Paris, Tenn.-Patriot XL is looking for high school students who like to have fun while they learn. After-school extended learning opportunities are available at Henry County High School from 3:15-5:00 p.m. and Before-school tutoring is available at Grove and Henry County High School from 7:00 - 7:45 a.m. every Monday through Friday while school is in session. All activities are supervised by certified teaching staff.

Students may sign up for tutoring in any subject, ACT preparation, guitar, orchestra, fitness activities, arts and crafts, cooking, robotics, Anime, Latin, sign language, Deputy Dogs and many more interesting groups like the Stock Market Club and Healthy School Team. It's free, we provide a snack, and it's open to any student who attends Grove or HCHS. Look for the Patriot XL calendar in your school library, the parent newsletter and PlanetHS.

If you need more information, please contact HCHS, Lisa Fitzsimmons at 731-644-3205 or; Grove, Holly Mason at 731-642-4586 or; or Central Office, Susan Burton at 731-642-3101 or

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Haslam Takes “Tennessee Story” To Israel

 Governor Haslam, center, meets with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon

 Peres while State ECD Commissioner Randy Boyd looks on.

Tel Aviv – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner Randy Boyd are on a business trip to Israel focused on expanding relationships between the Tennessee and Israeli business communities, encouraging bilateral trade and investment opportunities specifically focused on high tech, biotech and health care firms.

On Tuesday Haslam met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and today met with former Israeli President Shimon Peres. 

“Conversations with leaders like Prime Minister Netanyahu and former President Peres are very helpful in understanding international economic development opportunities and challenges,” Haslam said.

Tuesday Haslam rang the opening bell at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). 

The governor participated in a wreath laying ceremony Monday at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. 

Israel attracts significant venture capital investment and is particularly strong in start-up and commercialization activity. 

“This is a great chance to tell the Tennessee story to Israeli businesses large and small. Israel has become known as the start-up nation due to the enormous amount of entrepreneurial activity happening here, and we have formed a lot of relationships that can be mutually beneficial,” Haslam said. 

In addition to Haslam and Boyd, the Tennessee delegation includes 18 leaders from Tennessee businesses and research institutions. They are meeting throughout the week with Israeli peers from research institutions, government, venture capital firms and businesses.

Today Haslam visited Kibbutz Ein Hashofet north of Tel Aviv, where the Clinton, Tenn.-based company, MAG, was founded, and met with leadership of ORT Israel, the leading educational network of comprehensive schools in Israel which specialize in the high-tech and science fields, similar to Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs). 

Subway Manager Wanted For Embezzlement, Desertion

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris Subway restaurant manager is in trouble with both local legal authorities and the U.S. Navy after turning himself in on theft charges and it was determined he deserted the military for over 25 years.

Richard Scherer, age 45, had been using the identity of Richard Lucas for these past years and had been manager at the Subway restaurants on Mineral Wells Ave. and in the Wal-Mart store. His address is 60 Overhead Bridge Rd., Camden.

He is now charged with theft of property in the reported embezzlement of some $11,400 from the Subway restaurants and charged with being absent without leave from the military.

A warrant for his arrest in connection with felony theft of property was issued by the Paris Police Department. When he turned himself in to the Henry County Jail, it was determined during booking that he also deserted the U.S. Navy in 1989.

According to information from the Paris Police, the Subway franchise owner reported the thefts to police and told police he had admitted pocketing sums of money for several months.

Bond on the absent without leave charge has been set at $10,000 and bond on the theft charge has been set at $25,000. He is set to appear Thursday in Henry County General Sessions Court.

A hold request has been placed on Scherer/Lucas by the U.S. Navy.

Soybean Festival To Offer Parade, Music, Art and More

Martin, Tenn. – The 22nd annual Tennessee Soybean Festival will be held Sept. 5-12 in Martin. A wide variety of events offer entertainment for the whole family, including the City of Martin’s Tennessee Soybean Festival Parade at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 8, and the traditional carnival midway and craft fair Sept. 8-12. This year’s concert headliners are Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on Sept. 10, Night Ranger on Sept. 11 and Joe Nichols on Sept. 12. The University of Tennessee at Martin joins other businesses and organizations as a Big Harvester sponsor for the festival.

The university will host the Tennessee Soybean Festival/West Tennessee Dairy Show beginning at 8 a.m., Sept. 5, in the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex. There is no admission charge for spectators. Participants may register online at

Sept. 5 is also “Magical Martin” day, which will include appearances and performances by Disney princesses and superheroes. An Under the Sea Tea for children in kindergarten through fifth grade will begin at 10 a.m. in the Boling University Center’s Duncan Ballroom. Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite princesses or superheroes. Tickets are $25 per child; gallery seats for parents and guardians are available for $5 each. Tickets must be purchased online at

The annual “Guitar as Art” showcase competition will open Sept. 6 with a reception and awards presentation from 2-4 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building Gallery. The creator of the guitar chosen as “Best in Show” will receive a $500 prize. Debi Henry Danielson, director of the Murray Art Guild, serves as this year’s exhibition juror. The exhibition runs through Sept. 19 and may be viewed from 4-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. on weekends. There is no admission charge. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Soybean Festival and the UT Martin Department of Visual and Theatre Arts. 

UT Martin will also serve as the backdrop for The Crossroads Luncheon: A Celebration of Civic Organizations from noon-1 p.m., Sept. 9. The luncheon will be held in the Boling University Center’s Duncan Ballroom and will include a service project to collect items for local food banks. For more information, contact Steve Vantrease, associate director of alumni relations, at 731-587-5198.

The 2015 Soybean Innovation Competition, new this year, will take place from 4-6 p.m., Sept. 9, in room 111 of the Boling University Center. The competition is open to all full-time college students to pitch new products, business ideas and production strategies using soybeans or soybean products. The top three ideas, as chosen by a panel of judges, will receive cash prizes. This event is co-sponsored by the Northwest Tennessee Entrepreneur Center and the UT Martin College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. There is no entry fee. For more information, contact Carol Reed, director, Northwest Tennessee Entrepreneur Center, at 731-587-4213 or by email at

The UT Martin Skyhawks will take the field in Hardy M. Graham Stadium against the Bethel University Wildcats at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 10, for the first home game of the season. Pre-game activities will begin at 5 p.m. For ticket pricing and information, contact the UT Martin Office of Intercollegiate Athletics at 731-881-7207.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will perform Thursday for the student night concert, sponsored by the UT Martin Student Activities Council. The group is best known for its 1982 hit “I Love Rock and Roll,” written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of the Arrows group. The band will take the Festival Park stage at 9 p.m. There is no admission charge. Joe Nichols and Night Ranger will perform the next two nights, also at 9 p.m.

The UT Martin world percussion ensemble will perform at 7 p.m., Sept. 11, in Festival Park. High school bands from across the state will compete in the annual Skyhawk Marching Band Invitational from 1-5 p.m., Sept. 12, in Hardy M. Graham Stadium. Tickets for spectators are $10 per person over the age of 12, $5 for ages 6-11 and children under five may enter free. 

The traditional Skyhawk Sunday Brunch will take place from 10:30-1:30 p.m., Sept. 13, in the Skyhawk Dining Hall, located in the Boling University Center. All community members are invited. The all-you-can-eat buffet is $10.82 per person, with children 10 and under eating for $5.08. For more information, contact UT Martin Dining Services at 731-881-7770.

For more information on the Tennessee Soybean Festival, and for a complete list of events not included here, visit


Discovery Park Labor Day Full Of Activities

Union City, Tenn.-   All tickets are just $10 on Monday, September 7th, as Discovery Park of America employees invite you to their Labor Day “Party in the Park!”  Discovery Park is ordinarily closed on Mondays, but they are opening Labor Day with even more excitement than usual.

CEO Jim Rippy said, “We are going to have a party on the Great Lawn,” Rippy said.  On Labor Day, members get in free, everyone else pays just $10 and there is no additional charge for all the extra activities.  

One of the headline attractions for children and adults will be “Cowboy Dan,” from Nashville.  He will be on the stage at 1 p.m.  You can find out more about Cowboy Dan by visiting his website at    Discovery Park has also hired the UC Balloon Guy, who will be around for an hour at noon and then again at 3 p.m.   The Balloon Guy creates unique and colorful balloon art, from hats to animals, and will be designing them and giving them to children free on Labor Day.  

At 2 p.m. and again at 3 p.m., Larry Mink will amaze everyone with a dynamic magic show on the center stage.  If you aren’t into magic, you can participate in the Cornhole Tournament, going on at the same time.  Registration for the Cornhole Tournament is from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., with the tournament beginning at 2 p.m.  

Additional activities on the Great Lawn include giant inflatables for children, a mechanical bull for adults, face painting, and food.   “People need to come for the day,” Rippy said.  “We are having food tents with hamburgers, hotdogs, cotton candy, pop corn, ice cream and all kinds of beverages, including shaved ice.”  

In addition, reenactors, artists and craftsmen will be situated throughout the grounds on Labor Day providing educational demonstrations.  There will be a Civil War Reenactor in the Settlement, musicians in the Chapel as well as potters, artists and weavers along the way. There will be a Milling Demonstration at Mill Ridge from 10:00 until noon.

     Discovery Park of America opened on November 1st, of 2013 in Union City, TN and has had over 485,000 visitors to date.  It is a unique blend of architecture, history, education and fun.  To find out more about the Labor Day event or other activities at Discovery Park, call the park at 731-885-5455 or visit the website at  

Martin Man Arrested For Growing Marijuana

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police have uncovered another marijuana-growing operation: the second this week and arrested a Martin man in the process.

On Monday afternoon, Ptl. Drew Vernon and Ptl. Garrett Grady of the Martin Police  went to 114 Maddox St. in an attempt to serve an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on Bryce T. Hawks, age 24, of Martin.  Officers also had information that Hawks was growing marijuana inside this residence.

During a consent search of the residence, a small indoor marijuana grow was discovered in a bedroom closet where Hawks had been staying.  One marijuana plant was seized along with several lamps, bottles of liquid plant food, fans, and a humidity regulator.

Hawks was not located at the time the marijuana grow was discovered. Additional warrants for Schedule VI Drug Violations and Unlawful Drug Paraphernalia Uses and Activities were issued.  

Later that evening at approx. 9:39 pm, Hawks turned himself in at the Martin Police Dept.  He was booked on all charges and transported to Weakley County Detention Center.

BPU: Water Off In NE Paris Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Board of Public Utilities will have water off in the northeastern section of town on Thursday morning, Sept.3 of this week in order to install a new valve in the distribution system. Areas affected include Hwy 79 northeast of the Hwy 218 Bypass, Elkhorn Road, Alman Cemetery Road, Old Orchard Road, Jackson Forest, Willow Oaks, Harold Drive,Woodland Acres, and South Paris Water Co-Op customers along Hwy 79 N and in Country Club Estates. The water will be off for approximately two hours beginning at 8:30 a.m.

More BB Gun Vandalism

Union City, Tenn.-Another business was vandalized by whomever it is that has been shooting BB pellets into windows in Union City since the weekend. 

The owner at Another Thyme at 315 N. First St. reported that the front door was shot sometime overnight.

Over the weekend, Union City Police reported several incidences of the windows of cars, residences and businesses having been shot with BB guns.

The Homeplace To Host Trades Fair Labor Day Weekend


Golden Pond, Ky. – The Homeplace 1850s Working Farm and Living History Museum will gather traditional trades and crafts people to share knowledge of vanishing folk art skills at the annual 1850s Homeplace Trades Fair on Labor Day weekend at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. The trades fair will be held Saturday and Sunday, September 5 and 6, from 10am to 4pm. Admission is $5 ages 13 and older, $3 ages 5-12, and free for ages 4 and under.

“Our annual Trades Fair offers fun activities for all ages. The event doubles as an open market for talented folk artists, crafts people, and merchant traders wishing to sell their wares and keep these skills and traditions alive for generations to come,” according to Cindy Earls, Homeplace Lead Interpreter.

Children can participate in the trades fair by learning to make clay pots to take home, starting their own 1850s diary, or learning to sew using a “sewing card.” Kids can explore the farm, play with dolls, “cluck” at chickens, and “oink” at pigs.  

The Homeplace farm family will also have ongoing quilt making, wood working, and farm repair demonstrations. At 11am and 2pm see live cooking shows on a wood stove in the Double Pen House kitchen. Step back in time at the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm and support local artists and crafts people as they preserve the skills and trades of handmade living.

Trades and demonstrations include: 

· 19th Century Sketch Art

· Corn Shuck Doll Making

· Dr. Bones’ Medicine Show

· Early American Indian Pottery Making

· Fancy Tatted Lace Making

· Fine Hand Knitting and Crocheting

· General Store

· Hand-carved Mandolins

· Homemade Breads and Baked Goods

· Honey Products and Bee Keeping

· Salt Making

For more information about the Homeplace Trades Fair, go to 

UC Police To Conduct Checkpoints

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Police will hold a Saturation and Sobriety checkpoint this weekend as part of the Governor’s Booze It and Lose It campaign against drunk driving.

Union City Police will be conducting the checkpoints from 8 a

Bright Beginning Baby Fair Deadline Nears


Paris, Tenn. – Whether you’re thinking about having a baby, or are already expecting, HCMC Women’s Center “It’s a Bright Beginnings Baby Fair” will have something for everyone.

Join HCMC  for its “It’s a Bright Beginnings Baby Fair” set for Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Expecting and soon-to-be expecting parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family members are welcome to visit the various baby-related vendors at the event. 

Also, information will be available on giving birth at HCMC as well as childbirth classes and pain management options.  Information on HCMC’s breastfeeding class will also be available.

There will be a tour of the Women's Center to those interested as well as door prizes, give-aways, games, and much more.  Each family will receive a goodie bag and can enjoy refreshments at the event.

The OB/GYN Physicians and Pediatricians who practice at HCMC will be on hand to answer questions as well.

If you are interested in being a vendor at this exciting new event, contact Tory Daughrity at 731-644-8266.  Deadline for participation is Tuesday, September 15.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison On GMA Today

New York City--Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison of Buchanan joined the other Miss America contestants on Good Morning America this morning and “had a blast”, Robison said. For Robison, the next few weeks leading up to the pageant will be very busy, with plenty of photo shoots, rehearsals, and learning the choreography for the pageant. The Miss America pageant will be aired live on ABC at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13.

Bidding Adieu To Darrin Thompson


Paris, Tenn.-A reception was held Monday for outgoing Henry County Elections Administrator Darrin Thompson, who is leaving to accept another job. Elected officials, poll workers and friends gathered for the “come and go” reception held in the County Juvenile Courtroom and hosted by new Elections Administrator DeLaina Green. Green said she has received 15 applications so far for her former position as Deputy Administrator. In photo, Thompson and Green with the large farewell cake served during the reception. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Public Hearing To Extend Mineral Wells Ave. Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris City Commission will conduct a public hearing Thursday night on a proposal to extend the name of Mineral Wells Ave. all the way to Hwy. 218. Under the proposal, the portion of Hwy. 77 from Walgreens to Hwy. 218 would be renamed Mineral Wells Ave.

The public hearing will be held at the outset of Thursday night’s meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Along with that proposal is another proposal to convey an alley at the corner of Hwy. 77 and Fairview St.

As WENK/WTPR reported last week, a business plans to locate next to Walgreen’s and demolish four residential properties along that stretch.

Bargain Highway Is This Weekend

Camden, Tenn.-The annual Bargain Highway 30 Mile Yard Sale will be held this weekend in Benton County. Official dates are September 4 and 5 (Friday and Saturday), but many people set up their yard sales as early as Thursday and sell through Monday.

The Benton County Chamber of Commerce provides maps which have all the $1,000 give-away registration locations, bathroom stops along the route, valuable coupons from local businesses and more.

The maps are available at the Chamber office and at business locations around Camden.

The Bargain Highway starts at I-40 exit 126 and Highway 641 N, and runs from Holladay, through Camden and into Big Sandy along Hwy. 69. Just follow the signs.


LBL “Most Extreme” On Labor Day Weekend 

Golden Pond, Ky.– Woodlands Nature Station hosts “Nature’s Most Extreme” Weekend over Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, September 5 through Monday, September 7, 10am to 5pm at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Admission is $5 ages 13 and up, $3 ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and under.

“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 your kids enjoy learning about the ‘most extreme’ of the animal kingdom, they will love ‘Nature’s Most Extreme’ Weekend,” explains Nature Station Naturalist, Aviva Yasgur.

Visit with Smokey Bear, take a sunset canoe trip, cheer on the turtles at the Turtle Races, try a fun scavenger hunt, and experience a variety of “extreme” animals up-close.

Saturday, September 5

· 11-11:45am The Mostest Grossest

· 1-1:30pm The Fastest of the Slowest: Turtle Races!

· 1:30-3:30pm Kids Craft: Make Your Own Extreme Animal

· 3:30-4pm Kentucky’s Most Venomous

· 5:30-8pm Sunset Canoe Trip (Reservation & full deposit required. Call 270-924-2020)

Sunday, September 6

· 11am-12pm Woodland Wonders Hike

· 1-3pm Kids Craft: Make Your Own Extreme Animal

· 1:30-2:15pm Of Monsters & Minis: Land Between The Lakes’ Biggest & Smallest


· 3-3:30pm Eagle Extreme

· 5:30-8pm Sunset Canoe Trip (Reservation & full deposit required. Call 270-924-2020)

Monday, September 7

· 11-11:30am Truly Talon-ted

· 1:30-2pm Most Endangered: The Red Wolf

   3-3:45pm Captains of Camouflage

Medical Assistant Training Offered At UTM

Martin, Tenn. – A clinical medical assistant training program is available through the University of Tennessee at Martin. The 140-hour course will be held from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturdays, Sept. 12-Feb. 27. The enrollment fee is $2,599 per person and includes all laboratory supplies and textbooks.

Students will be instructed in patient preparation, routine laboratory procedures and diagnostic testing. Participants will also cover the cardiac life cycle, technical aspects of phlebotomy and pharmacology, the proper use and administration of medications, documentation of vital signs, the legal aspects of health care, and workplace behavior and ethics. 

The program includes 140 hours of classroom lecture and hands-on laboratory experience, as well as a clinical externship opportunity with a local health-care provider. Students must successfully complete the program and submit a background check and drug screening to qualify for clinical rotations.

Students who complete this program will be eligible to sit for the National Healthcareer Association certified clinical medical assistant national examination. 

There will be no class on Nov. 28, Dec. 19 and 26, or Jan. 2 and 16.

For more information or to register, contact the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082 or register online at 

Monday, August 31, 2015 

Holt Charges EPA With Getting Personal

Dresden, Tenn.-- Tennessee State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) says he is the leading voice against the EPA in the State House and has charged that because of that opposition, the EPA now has him and his family farm in its cross-hairs.

“It’s clear what’s going on here,” said Holt. “In an attempt to stand for Tennessee’s farmers and small businesses, I have sponsored multiple pieces of legislation and led many requests to the State Attorney General to fight back against President Obama’s EPA. We saw President Obama’s IRS being used to target conservative groups, and now the EPA is being used in the same manner. This is one of the main reasons why I wanted to come to Nashville and serve in the state legislature. I wanted to keep farm families in Tennessee from having to endure the financially & emotionally crushing experience of dealing with an out of control regulatory agency; little did I know that this fight would become so personal.” 

At the center of the EPA’s complaint, Holt said, are two separate events where, during historic heavy rainfall events, Holt’s farm was forced to discharge wastewater from containment lagoons, which is stored to be used as fertilizer; a practice common amongst municipal sewage systems. 

“Many critics with political agendas have tried to brand this as dumping hog waste into a creek,” he said. “That isn’t true. The wastewater was dispersed over land in a manner prescribed by state regulators. Some of the wastewater did undoubtedly end up in a drainage ditch (not a creek), but when mixed with the billions of gallons of rain water that fell on those days in the Northfork Obion watershed, it would be comparable to pouring a can of sprite in an Olympic sized swimming pool.”

In 2011, and again in 2013, two separate historic rainfall events threatened to compromise Holt’s wastewater lagoons. He called the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and was told to relieve some of the contents in order to prevent a catastrophic breach, he said.

Holt maintains that the EPA would never even have known about the incident if it weren’t for him proactive in seeking a solution and self-reporting.

“I was in the process of reapplying for the permits when these events occurred,” said Holt. “I was working closely with the state agencies in charge of permitting. Each time I applied, more paperwork was required, so it was an ongoing process. I was informed I could pay upwards of $10,000 to have a private contractor fill out the paperwork, but we are a small family farm. We can’t afford that, so I was trying to do it on my own.”

Due to the fact that the incidents were self-reported, the state has cleared Holt of any wrongdoing.

“It’s not like I was trying to hide anything,” said Holt. “My actions had absolutely zero negative environmental impact.” 

Andy Holt is a Tennessee Republican State Representative representing Weakley, as well as, parts of Obion and Carroll counties.

Noon On The Square Begins Friday

Paris, Tenn.-It’s that time again. Time for good music, good food and fellowship at the month-long Noon On The Square in downtown Paris in September.

Noon On The Square is held every Friday in September at noon on the court square. Every Friday, a band will entertain from noon to 1 p.m. Perry’s Bar-B-Q will be selling lunch and the downtown Paris Association will be providing drinks. This Friday, September 4, Henry County Medical Center will also be there giving blood pressure checks without charge.

The band for this Friday, September 4, will be The Barons, a popular local band who specializes in 60s and 70s music.

The entertainment for Friday, September 11, will be John Austin McDaniel who will play country and rock music for the crowd.

On Friday, September 18, entertainment will be provided by the Ray Lewis Band with a variety of country, classic rock, and blues.  The Boss Hoss motorcycle show and parade will also be a part of the Noon on Square this Friday.

The band for Friday, September 25th, will be Reedy Creek.  Reedy Creek will play some great Country Music for the final Friday in September. 

Bring your lawn chair and join your friends on the Court Square in Paris for a toe tapping good time.

The annual event is sponsored by Commercial Bank & Trust Co. 

Joan Jett To Perform At Soybean Festival

Martin, Tenn.-This year’s Soybean Festival in Martin will feature performances by top headliners, including Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Night Ranger and Joe Nichols.

The Soybean Festival begins this Saturday, Sept. 5 and runs through next Saturday, Sept. 12, and as always features a crowded schedule of activities for the entire family, including street fair, art shows, marching band invitational, book sales and more.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts will perform Thursday, Sept. 10, for the student night concert. The group, which recently was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is best known for “I Love Rock And Roll”. Jett’s manager is an alumus of the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Night Ranger will perform on Friday, September 11, and Joe Nichols will perform Saturday, Sept. 12.

All performances are at 9 p.m. at Festival Park and all are free.

Backpack Food-Raiser Is A Success

One of several loads of donated food items. (Brent Hinson photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-The people of Union City and Obion County showed their generosity in a big way Sunday with donations of over 500 food items at the Pack the Bus Food-Raiser which was held at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Union City.

The donations are for the Union City and Obion County Schools’ backpack programs for needy children.

Mandy Hinson, one of the event’s organizers, said anyone who was unable to make it Sunday can still donate all this week. She said children can bring food items to their schools and monetary donations can be sent to the Obion County board of education, c/o Chastity Homra backpack program, 1700 N. Fifth St., Union City, 38261.

“I'm so thankful for our community stepping up and helping feed hungry children in our own neighborhoods,“ Hinson said. “There is no reason for a child to go to bed hungry in Obion County. It's clear that concerned people want to help, and everyone involved with this backpack program is thankful.”

Miss Tennessee Arrives In Atlantic City

Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison ready to board the plane for Atlantic City.

(Janet Richardson photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison has arrived in Atlantic City, N.J., to begin intense preparations for the Miss America pageant which will be held September 13.

Robison left Saturday from the Nashville airport. Today, she and the other contestants are beginning orientation. Robison said other upcoming activities will include plenty of photo shoots and an appearance on Good Morning America as the date for the pageant nears.

Robison thanked Joann’s of Union City for supplying her with a wardrobe for many of her appearances. The Downtown Paris Association (DPA) provided Robison with many Paris-oriented gifts on her journey.

The Miss America pageant will be aired live on ABC at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13.

Martin Man Found Growing Marijuana 

Martin, Tenn.-A 44-year-old Martin man was arrested Sunday after he was found growing marijuana plants at his home.

Arrested was Mark Milan of 421 N. McCombs St.

Martin Police responded to a noise complaint at that address around 2 a.m. and found Milan asleep in a recliner in front of a shed on the property with a radio playing loudly.  

Ptl. Nick Combs observed that Milan had a marijuana pipe in his left hand as he slept in the chair.  Ptl. Combs also noticed a portion of a marijuana plant on a bench that appeared to have been processed and another that was hanging to dry in the shed.

According to Capt. Phillip Fuqua, a search of the outside of the residence revealed that there was a small garden that contained several more marijuana plants that were in various states of growth.  Although Milan stated that the plants and the garden did not belong to him, a garden hose that had been used to water the plants was still hooked up and was attached to Milan’s residence.  Witnesses stated that they had seen Milan watering the garden spot on several different occasions.

Milan was arrested for Schedule VI Drug Violations.  The total weight of the plants and plant material that was seized was approx. 8.5 lbs.  During a search of his person incident to arrest, approx. 1 gram of a white powdery substance was located in Milan’s shirt pocket.  That substance has been forwarded to the TBI Lab for analysis.  Additional charges may follow pending the outcome of that test.

Vandals Busy Shooting Windows

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Vandals were busy in Union City over the weekend, shooting windows out with BB gun pellets at homes, cars and at least one business.

Union City Police are investigating the reports, but have made no arrests yet in the incidents. All happened in the early morning hours Saturday, Sunday and today.

The front door at Reynolds Brothers at 400 Church St. was shattered early today. A Wal-Mart employee’s car window was shot with a BB gun in the Wal-Mart parking lot early Sunday morning. 

Early Saturday morning, windows at two residences were shot by BB guns. One on S. First St. and another on E. Main St. Both homeowners found BB pellets in their windows.


Troy Man Arrested For Aggravated Assault

Union City, Tenn.-A Troy man was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault after he reportedly beat a Union City man with a ball bat, breaking his arm.

Arrested was Mark London, 1516 Campground Rd., Troy.

According to the police report, the victim pulled into the driveway of a Union City woman on North 5th St. on Friday. He found the woman sitting in a truck with London and London reportedly got out of his vehicle with a ball bat and struck the victim several times, causing significant injuries. Injuries including a broken left forearm and pinky finger.

A warrant was issued for London, who was located later by police at the Bottom’s Up in Union City.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Air Evac Officials Speak To Quota

Mark Pierce of Air Evac addresses Quota members. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Air Evac Officials Rick Perry and Mark Pierce were guest speakers at Quotas noon luncheon meeting this week at the Lee Academy Lunchroom. The Air Evac mission is to provide rapid access to advanced care. They have bases in Paris, Waverly, Jackson, Martin and Mayfield and can be available in 20 minutes or less. They have just signed a 20-year lease to build a facility at the Henry County Airport.

Air Evac has have a pilot, nurse and para medic on all flights. They average is one patient per day. One membership covers the entire household. The cost for each flight is between $30,000 and $40,000 and they will bill your insurance if you are not a member.

The average membership fee is $65 per year and there are discounts available with memberships through Farm Bureau and Holley Credit Union. They are available to serve anyone; although the individual may owe several thousand dollars after insurance is filed. Perry presented an umbrella to Quotas longest standing member, Bethel Williams.

President Stephanie Tayloe presented a Stars in our Crown award to Becki White.

Tayloe also reminded members that there are still pecans for sale and that Geraldine Sykes has tickets for the quilt to given away in November.


Reception For Darrin Thompson Monday

Paris, Tenn.-A farewell reception for Outgoing Henry County Elections Administrator Darrin Thompson will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, August 31. Thompson is resigning to accept another job.

Newly-appointed Administrator DeLaina Green will be hosting the event and said it is a come and go reception. It will be held at the courthouse annex, upstairs courtroom.

Phlebotomy Tech Course At UTM

Martin, Tenn. A 90-hour training course is available through the University of Tennessee at Martin for those interested in becoming phlebotomy technicians. The course will meet from 6-9:30 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, Sept. 9-Dec. 14, on the main UT Martin campus. There will be no class on Oct. 25. The course costs $1,799 per person, which includes all textbooks and supplies.

This course is designed to prepare professionals to collect blood specimen for laboratory analysis. Students will become familiar with all aspects of blood collection and develop the skills to perform venipunctures safely. Classroom and lab work includes specimen practice, terminology, anatomy and physiology.

The National Healthcare Association certification exam is given at the end of the course. The exam costs an additional $105 and is paid directly to the NHA. The course instructor will arrange exam registration and payment.

There is no outside externship rotation included in this program.

For more information or to register, call the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082 or register online at

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sheriff Belew: "If You See Something, Say Something"

Buchanan, Tenn.-Yellow police caution tape cordons off the area where a 65-year-old Buchanan  man was killed last night at his home at 13851 Hwy. 79N. Jacky Ford was shot while he and his 11-year-old grandson played cards outside Ford’s home, which is located in a wooded area next to Ford’s BBQ. 

A $1000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest in the case. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said, “We need the community’s help in this. If you see something, say something. He asked that if anyone was that area around 7:15-7:45 p.m. last night and saw a vehicle on the side of the road in the area or anyone out of the ordinary in that area to call the sheriff’s office at 731-642-1672 or you can call the Sheriff’s Office confidential hot line at 731-642-0929.

The full story on the shooting was posted early this morning on this site and on our Facebook pages.

Fulton Teen Killed In Accident

Fulton, Tenn.-A 19-year old Fulton teenager was killed in a one-vehicle accident early this morning.

Killed in the accident was Matthew Hastings, who was ejected from his overturned vehicle. 

According to Fulton Police, officers were called around 3 a.m. to Exit 0 of the Purchase Parkway where they found the 1999 Chevrolet pickup truck overturned.

Preliminary indications are that Hastings drove into the Parkway median, struck a guardrail and overturned.

Suspect In Murder Of 65-Year-Old Man Sought

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in finding the suspect in the murder of a 65-year-old man Friday night. Sheriff Monte Belew said finding the suspect is a top priority and a reward of $1,000 is being offered.

Belew said this morning, "We believe this was a targeted act, not a random crime."

On Friday evening at 7:32 pm, the sheriff’s office responded to a report that a person had been shot. The location of the shooting was at 13851 Hwy 79 North near Buchanan.

When officers arrived, they found Jacky Ford, of that address, deceased. He had been shot in the head.

According to a press release issued overnight by the sheriff’s office, Ford and his 11-year-old grandson were inside of the house when at approximately 7:30 pm, a white male wearing a ski mask walked up to where the two were playing a card game and called Jacky by name. 

“As Jacky looked back to see who it was,“ according to the press release, “the gunman raised up what appeared to be a black semi auto handgun and fired two shots. At least one of the shots fired did strike Mr. Ford in the head and was a fatal shot.”

Ford’s grandson witnessed the shooting and gave investigators the following description of the shooter. He said he was a white male with a sleeveless grey shirt on with some type of white writing on the back and was wearing a blue ski mask. He said he appeared to be of slender build and maybe in his late 30’s by the sound of his voice, and somewhere between 5’9” to 6 foot tall. The child said that he thought he heard a car speed out of the area shortly after the incident,” according to the press release.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is asking for any help in this case. If anyone was in the area of Point Pleasant Church on Hwy 79 N Friday evening around the hours of 7:15 through 7:45 and saw a vehicle on the side of the road in the area or anyone out of the ordinary, call the sheriff’s office at 731-642-1672 or you can call the Sheriff’s Office confidential hot line at 731-642-0929.

The crime scene was worked by the Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Technicians and members of the sheriff’s office Criminal Investigation Division. Right now there is no clear motive for the murder and the investigation is top priority. 

Sheriff Monte Belew said his department is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in this case and is asking for the public’s help to solve this murder that was committed in front of a child.

Friday Night Lights

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Golden Tornadoes won their 29th straight game Friday night in a big defeat of Memphis Mitchell, by a score of 56-20. In photo, the Golden Tornadoes are in the midst of battle on the field. Henry County also won its game last night against Houston by a score of 22-20. (Brent Hinson photo).

Friday, August 18, 2015

Death Being Investigated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said late Friday night the department is investigating a death that occurred in the lake area earlier in the evening.

Belew said around 10 p.m. that the department could not release details now. “We’re working a crime scene, one subject is deceased and we’re in the very infancy of the investigation,” he said.

More details will be released when they are available.

Capt. Page Named State Corrections Officer Of Year

Paris, Tenn.-Members of the Henry County Sheriff's Office congratulate Captain Stephen Page for his recent award as Tennessee Correctional Training Officer of the Year.
Captain Page oversees the jail at the sheriff's office and was named the top Training Officer of the Year at a recent correctional meeting in Gatlinburg. He won this award over all other correctional training officers in Tennessee. Officers in photo include Sheriff Monte Belew, kneeling center left, and his K9 Si. (HCSO photo).

Boyd’s Opens in New Location

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Boyd’s retail store in Paris has opened in a new location at the corner of Fairview Dr. and Hwy. 641S. 

Boyd’s had been open a year in the Kroger’s shopping mall and has now moved into the former location of the original Allegro’s plant.

Tammy Houston of Paris is the manager and said the new location already has been a good move. “We’ve already seen a pick up in customers,” she said.

Boyd’s is owned by the PMB family of companies which includes Merison’s furniture store, Eagle Buildings, Street Dynamics, and One Stepp Tire and Automotive.

PMB Spokesperson Laura Dougherty said location was the primary reason for moving. “We’ve just been open a week at the new location and we’ve already seen an increase in traffic coming into the new store.”

The new location will have a new focus on hardware and appliances, she said. “In fact, we’ll be changing our logo to include hardware and appliances”, she said. “But we’ll still most of the same merchandise we have always had.”

Boyd’s also has a store in Cottage Grove. Several months ago, Boyd’s, Merison’s and Street Dynamics also opened in the former Rural King location in McKenzie.

Christine Reynolds’ Portrait Unveiled

Historical Society President David Webb and Vice President Stephanie Tayloe

unveil the portrait of Christine Reynolds. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A portrait of the late Christine Reynolds of Paris, the first woman to hold a Cabinet position in Tennessee state government, was unveiled last night at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. The portrait, which was painted by an artist who wishes to remain anonymous, will be permanently displayed at the Henry County Courthouse.

The unveiling was part of the Henry County Historical Society’s quarterly meeting and Society President David Webb said the Reynolds portrait is the first of four which will be prepared. The next three are of Howell Jackson of Paris, who was a Justice on the Supreme Court and later owned Bellemeade in Nashville; Mordecai Johnson of Paris, who was the first black president of Howard University; and Joe Routon of Paris, who was a Henry County School Superintendent and integral in forming Grove School.

Eventually those portraits will be displayed at the Henry County Courthouse, as well, Webb said.

A presentation on Reynolds’ life given by Suzanne Richter recalled how integral a role politics played in Henry County in the 1950s, which was when Governor Frank Clement was first elected.

Clement, she recalled, was “an old-fashioned evangelical orator” whose two terms were dedicated to humanitarian efforts. Those efforts included the first State Mental Health Department and the first free textbook program. Clement also was the first Southern governor to veto the segregation bill, she said.

But what made him special to Henry Countians was his appointment of Reynolds as the first female cabinet member as Commissioner of Public Welfare, at which she served from 1953-1959.

Before her appointment, Reynolds had worked with the WPA in the 1930s, was director of public welfare in the county, and was the first woman to serve on the Paris planning commission.

One of Reynolds’ major accomplishments in state government was to strengthen the adoption procedures and to rewrite the state welfare manual, Richter said. Upon Reynolds’ retirement from state office, her employees dedicated the Mimosa Trail to her. The Mimosa Trail are the mimosa trees that line the highway from Paris to Kentucky Lake.

In other business during last night’s meeting, the same officers were retained: President David Webb, Vice President Stephanie Tayloe, Secretary Rick Owens and Treasurer Donna Winchester. 

Tyson Chickens Reported Tortured At Weakley County Farm

Chickens Used To Make McDonald’s McNuggets

Dukedom, Tenn.-Chickens used to make McDonald's McNuggets were beaten with a nail attached to a pole, tossed alive into buckets meant for the dead and suffered from leg deformities at a farm under contract with Tyson Foods, according to an animal rights group. That report is being reported by the Washington Post, along with a video which has been uploaded to Youtube.

According to the Post, Tyson Foods quickly cut its ties with the Dukedom farm after a video showing the alleged abuse was released Thursday by Mercy for Animals, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that employs workers to infiltrate farms and record animal mistreatment.

The video shows "birds painfully beaten, stabbed, and impaled on makeshift clubs" at T&S Farms in Dukedom, Tenn., a statement by the group said.

Footage also shows factory "farm owners stepping on the heads of live chickens and then pulling their wings or bodies to break their necks, chickens bred to grow so fast they became crippled under their own weight and frequently died from organ failure, hundreds of thousands of birds crammed into filthy, windowless sheds forced to live for weeks in their own waste."

The owners of the farm, Thomas and Susan Blassingame, did not return a voice mail message asking for comment from the Washington Post. Tyson Foods issued a statement Thursday to the Post saying the company has launched its own investigation, but "based on what we currently know, we are terminating the farmer's contract to grow chickens for us." Tyson said an estimated 125,000 birds have been removed from the farm's barns.

Frozen Vegetables Test Positive For Listeria


Nashville, Tenn. — The Consumer and Industry Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is issuing a public advisory to warn consumers of Listeria monocytogenes discovered in two varieties of frozen vegetables sold in Tennessee. 

The contamination was discovered during routine sampling of food products sold at two different grocery stores in Harriman, Tenn. 

Lab results showed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in Cascadian Farm Organic Cut Green Beans. The 10 ounce package was distributed by Small Planet Foods, Inc. of Sedro-Woolley, Wash. and identified with the code 11APR2016. General Mills has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of that product, as well as green beans with the code of 10APR2016. You can read more about the recall here: General Mills voluntarily recalls a limited quantity of frozen Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans.

Testing also confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in Wylwood- Super Sweet Whole Kernel Corn. The 16 ounce package was distributed by Save-A-Lot Foods of Earth City, Mo. and identified with the Best By date of June 2017 and code K51564. Officials with Save-A-Lot have requested all stores pull the unsold packages of corn from the shelves.

The Department of Agriculture has notified the Food and Drug Administration and the FDA will determine if further action will be taken.

Listeria monocytogenes is unlike many other germs because it can grow in a cold environment. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women and may be fatal for individuals with weakened immune systems. Cooking and pasteurization are two methods by which to eliminate the bacteria from food.

The Consumer and Industry Services division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture sets high standards for food safety. Those standards are enforced through regular and thorough inspections and product testing. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 

Indictments Handed Down For Assaults On Officers

          Brandon Gream                                             Robert Andrew Jenkins

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Two men were indicted by a Henry County Grand Jury Monday for aggravated automobile assaults on local police officers.

It was a long day for grand jurors and court staff, with the grand jury session lasting from early morning until 5:30 p.m. A total 32 indictments were presented and 32 were handed out.

The two are: Brandon Gream, 34, 3563 Old McKenzie Rd., indicted for aggravated assault with an automobile on Deputy Milton Webb; and Robert Andrew Jenkins, age 30 of Veterans’ Drive, indicted for aggravated assault with an automobile on Paris Police Sgt. Josh Frey and Patrolman Derek Colley.

Gream was indicted for an incident in February in which he led several county deputies and Sheriff Monte Belew on a high-speed chase over several Paris city streets and county roads. 

The incident began when deputies attempted to serve as arrest warrant on Gream for violation of the sex offender registry and Gream took off. Gream drove off on N. Market, Guthrie Rd., Old Paris-Murray Rd. and several city streets including Poplar, Washington, Mineral Wells, Blythe, Dunlap, Veterans Drive and Memorial Dr. Officers placed spikes on the road but Gream drove around them. 

At one point, Gream deliberately slammed on the brakes, causing Deputy Milton Webb to crash his cruiser into the rear of Gream’s car.

This is the second time was charged with assaulting officers with a vehicle. The first incident occurred in 2011 and also involved deputies.

Jenkins was indicted on two counts of aggravated assault, one count evading arrest and one count of driving on a revoked license.

In that case, Frey and Colley were attempting to serve a warrant issued out of Nashville on Jenkins at a local car wash and Jenkins took off, trying to run down the officers. The incident happened in June of 2015.

Other indictments issued:

Steven Pendlebury, age 32 of 907 Caledonia St., Paris, indicted on a charge of aggravated child abuse.

John Farmer, theft of property for stealing guns, fine China, cash and coins from a local residence.

Vernon Evans, theft of property for stealing cash and coins from a local residence.

As always, the bulk of the indictments are for drug charges and DUIs.

Sprint Triathlon Set This Weekend At Paris Landing

Buchanan, Tenn.-The second annual Paris Landing Sprint Triathlon, a 500 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 3 mile run event, will begin at 7 am on Saturday, July 11, at Paris Landing State Park.

Event coordinator Tony Lawrence said “The Sprint Tri was a big success last year, with over 200 participating, and we are pleased that our numbers are even higher this year. Everyone enjoyed working with Start2Finish and loved the venue at Paris Landing State Park, plus the catfish lunch cooked by Mayor Brent Greer.” Lawrence is the director of Paris Parks and Recreation and Chamber President.

Lawrence said the special "Top 50" Finisher Medals for those finishing in the top 50, and regular finisher medals to all finishers will be back this year, along with the souvenir race shirts.

Chamber Vice President of Tourism Development, Michele Atkins said “The Chamber is so pleased to sponsor the Tri and grateful for the support from the Henry County Tourism Authority. It is a great event, a course suitable for beginners and experts, all right here at Paris Landing State Park.”

Registration is available at

Two Steal From Tip Jar, Washing Machines

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating incidents of individuals stealing from a tip jar at a restaurant and from washing machines at a Union City Laundromat.

On Sunday, a man reportedly entered the Oya House at 1700 W Reelfoot Ave., and stole money from the tip jar that was for an Hibachi cook. 

According to the police report, a white male concealed the jar under his shirt, went into the bathroom, took the money and left the jar. Police said this is not the first time for the suspect to do this. There is video, but it is difficult to see his face.

The other incident occurred on Monday at Speed Wash Laundry in Union City. A male came in the rear in a red shirt and ball cap, went over to the security camera, jumped up and pushed the camera down.

Wearing gloves, he went to four machines, pulled out a key and took all the change out of them. Then he said he had to go; he had others to do.

He was reportedly driving an older model maroon car.

Union City Farmers’ Market Opens

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Farmers’ Market is now open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-4 p.m. and Saturdays, 7 a.m. at 214 E. Church St., Union City.

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.

 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.

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.

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.

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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