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Sunday, December 21, 2014 

Santa's Last Weekend At His Paris Home

Paris, Tenn.-Santa is spending his last weekend at his Gingerbread House on the lawn of the Henry County Courthouse for this year. He took some time Saturday to wave so long, along with Santa’s Helpers Matthew Ross, William Ross and Megan Richardson. Soon, he'll be leaving on his around-the-world journey delivering presents. He'll be in his house one more day, from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, to visit with the kids (and maybe even some adults).  (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Santa has had some special helpers at his Paris house this year, from the Henry County Marching Patriots. On Saturday, his helpers were: from left, Matthew Ross, Megan Richardson and William Ross. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

WestStar Receives $250,000 Donation

Pictured with Dr. Robert and Ramona Smith is Charley Deal (left), WestStar executive director. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – Dr. Robert and Ramona Smith, of Franklin, Tenn., recently supported the University of Tennessee at Martin’s WestStar Leadership Program with a $250,000 deferred gift. 

Smith, president-emeritus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, was a co-founder of WestStar and served as the program’s executive director from 1990 until his departure from UT Martin in 1999.

“We strongly believe our communities and our region will respond to inspired leadership,” Smith said. “We see that the people involved with WestStar – whether as alums, trustees, friends or staff – are dedicated to improving West Tennessee, and we felt it was important to provide some tangible way to assure their work is made possible.”

WestStar was founded with the goal of bringing like-minded community and civic leaders together to focus on issues facing West Tennessee and to create a network of individuals to advocate for the resources needed to improve local communities. WestStar boasts 710 graduates since its inception and oversees three major leadership summits and two youth leadership summits annually, in addition to the seven-month leadership program.
Smith was recognized by Rakes in October 2014 as the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for University Service, presented annually to an individual whose contributions enable the university to meet its mission of service to the region.

For more information regarding the WestStar Leadership Program, visit

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Large Crowd On Hand To See Polar Express

Paris, Tenn.-Enjoying a visit with Santa Claus Friday night was Kayla Nation, Freda Reddick and Kathy Collins at the W.G. Rhea Library's evening with "The Polar Express". All of the ladies work at the library and Nation organized the event. A large crowd was on hand for the evening, at which young and old enjoyed the evening riding the train through the library neighborhood, watching the movie, making crafts, taking photos of themselves and friends in front of a Polar Express backdrop and--best of all--visiting with Santa Claus himself. The train belongs to the town of Huntingdon and is used for many events. (Library photo).

Kayla Nation greeted the train when it arrived from Huntingdon. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Author's Book Published 

Paris, Tenn. — This week marks the nationwide release of “The Trials of Otto,” a heartwarming new book by author Natalie Wade.

In “The Trials of Otto,” the author shares a commendable story about one boy’s self-discovery and enlightenment. Otto just wants to be one of the big boys. However, when the big boys play an ugly trick on him and leave him alone in a sticky and icy situation, he finds help and learns the meaning of true friendship from an unexpected source. Follow Otto as he endures a trial by ice and discovers that being true to oneself is all he needs to make real friends.

Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at, or by visiting or

Wade, who is an early childhood educator, resides in Paris, Tennessee, with her husband, Terry. Besides writing children’s stories, she also runs a small private pre-school in her home. She hopes that her passion for language will be passed on to many generations to come.

New Master’s Program At UTM Allows Flexibility

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin will launch a new format for those seeking master’s degrees in business administration, beginning with the fall 2015 semester. 
The new “hybrid” option features online coursework combined with face-to-face contact with faculty members on five Saturday meetings a semester. This format gives students the flexibility to begin any semester and work at their own pace with limited trips to campus.
The hybrid program, like the online option, consists of 38 credit hours with only six hours of undergraduate prerequisites. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Full-time students should expect to finish in a year and half, with some courses offered completely online and others in the hybrid format. Part-time students should finish in two to six years.
This option will not replace the totally online MBA currently offered for financial services professionals. Enrollment is open now and students can choose to begin in any semester.
For more information, call 731-881-7208 or email 


Friday, December 19, 2014 

A Paris Institution In All Its Glory

Paris, Tenn.-A true Paris landmark, the Commercial Bank & Trust building, shines bright in the evenings. (Charlie Allen photo).

$7.5M Industrial Project Approved By Paris Board

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A new industrial project that has been in the works for some time will soon be a reality.

It was announced at Thursday’s meeting of the Paris Industrial Board that a $7.5 M project will be building in the city’s industrial park on Hwy. 641.

The company has not been publicly named and c...ity and county officials who have been involved with the negotiations have been calling it “Project Sampson” to maintain the project’s anonymity.

At Thursday’s meeting, the industrial board authorized its chairman Troy Buttrey to sign a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with Project Sampson, contingent upon both the city of Paris and Henry County agreeing to it, according to Paris City Manager Carl Holder.

Holder said Buttrey also was authorized to sign a three-party agreement to accept the grant of 20 acres from the city of Paris to be used for Project Sampson.

The company also has agreed to maintain its 100 jobs, with a minimum of 25 jobs anticipated for the future, Holder said.

Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton said the name of the company will be revealed at the upcoming recessed meeting of the Henry County Commission. At this week’s commission meeting, the session was recessed until 5 p.m. December 29 to consider the PILOT agreement.

Paris Man Sentenced For Shooting Attempt on McKenzie PD

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris resident was sentenced in Carroll County Circuit Court to sentences of ten years for an attempt to shoot McKenzie... police officers in July 2013.

Quentin Bowden, age 23, 706 Mandalay Dr., Paris, entered pleas of guilty of reckless endangerment and assault and was sentenced to concurrent sentences which total ten years. In all, Bowden will serve one year of continuous confinement with the balance under supervised probation.

Bowden was charged with firing multiple shots at Officers Billy King and Lorrie Mulligan in the Bethel Court area when they had stopped a vehicle for a traffic stop. One bullet struck the right front window of King’s patrol car.

According to the police, a search of the area that night revealed whoever at fired the shots was standing at a vacant residence near the traffic stop. Interviews with witnesses pointed them in the direction of Bowden, who was taken into custody at his Paris residence. 

Officers from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Henry County Sheriff’s Office and its K9 and the Paris Police Department assisted in the search.

Initially, Bowden was charged with two counts of criminal attempt to commit first degree murder and was placed in the Carroll County Jail.

300,000 Historic Negatives Donated To MSU

Jill Celaya (center), Becky Richardson (left) and Melanie Brooks inspect some of the rare negatives. Brooks is the director of development at Murray State for University Libraries and the college of education and human services.

Murray, Ky. — Jill Celaya, owner of Wells Studio in Mayfield, Ky., has donated 300,000 photographic negatives to Murray State University that were taken by studio founder Kenneth Wells. The negatives, which cover the years 1938-79, offer a rare glimpse into earlier days at the university and the region surrounding it.

Kenneth Wells established the studio in 1939, after deciding to change from a nine-year teaching career at Mayfield High School (band and orchestra) to photography, a much-loved hobby of his from his own school days. He became a full-time portrait photographer, using his interest in chemistry to develop and print his own images. Additionally, Wells served as the official photographer for the Murray State Shield yearbook from 1942-56. He continued to provide special feature photographs for the Shield into the early 1960s.

Wells sold his business and its contents to David and Jill Celaya of Mayfield in 1979. The Celayas continued to operate Wells Studio, eventually moving it to an historic location on the court square — the former Rhodes-Burford Furniture building. David spent six months creating his dream studio, but sadly, he passed away shortly after business began at its new location.

Today, Jill and daughter, Lacey Celaya, continue the award-winning legacy of photography at Wells Studio. 

The collection will be housed on campus in Murray State’s historic Pogue Library. It will be sorted and placed in long-term preservation storage. After safeguarding the collection of negatives, they will become accessible to those visiting Pogue. Future plans include the digitization of the collection that Celaya envisions to make it available through the library’s online repository.

Santa In Paris, Union City This Weekend 

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Santa will be at his home on the Henry County court square in Paris and at Discovery Park of America in Union City one last time this weekend before he begins making his ...Christmas Eve trip around the world.

Santa will be at his home on the grounds at the courthouse in Paris on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. On Saturday he will be there from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and on Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

He also will be at Discovery Park from noon-5 p.m. Saturday.

State Unemployment Dips To 6.8 Percent

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for November was 6.8 percent, three tenths of one percentage point lower than the October revised rate of 7.1 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for November was 5.8 percent, unchanged from the prior month.

Economic Summary:

Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate decreased from 7.9 percent to 6.8 percent while the national rate declined from 7.0 percent to 5.8 percent. 

Total nonfarm employment decreased 1,900 jobs from October to November. The largest decreases occurred in accommodation/food services, retail trade, and administrative/support/waste services. 

Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 53,900 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, trade/transportation/utilities, and durable goods manufacturing.

Tickets Available Now For "Physics Of Flight"

Union City, Tenn.-   Tickets are available now for the “Physics of Flight” program--a unique animal education program--which will be held at Discovery Park of America in early January. Tickets are limited.

The Natural History Educational Company of the Midsouth will begin its series January 10th. The program offers a fascinating view of nature’s first fliers, or “gliders”, and how they uniquely navigate their habitat. 

While being entertaining and fun, the program is also filled with life science curriculum and consistent with the S.T.E.M. Initiative, making it perfect for students, either individually or in groups.  The program also covers features of modern engineering and influences from designs found in the natural world, as well as lessons in geography, foreign languages, history, conservation and the environment.   Scientific classifications and biology are also included in the presentation.  

This program is up close and personal, with trained animal handlers making sure that everyone in the audience gets to see the animals well, so every seat is a good seat!  Kacey Putz, Discovery Park’s Wildlife Coordinator said that the programs held at the park last year were well attended and “a lot of fun!”  “Physics of Flight will be educational and entertaining for both students and adults!  We are very excited to be offering these exceptional, professional programs and hope that we fill up the classroom for both shows, because this is something that everyone will enjoy.”

 Tickets are limited and are on sale now online, by calling Discovery Park or stopping by the ticket counter.  

The other two educational programs in the series are scheduled for March 14th and March 21st, 2015 and will be provided by a company called Animal Tales.  The topics of the final two programs will be announced at a later time.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City is a unique blend of history, science, architecture and art. To find out more about the park and upcoming events, visit the website at

Arkansas Man Jailed For Stealing Grease

Union City, Tenn.-With the help of the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office, an Arkansas man is now in custody in the Obion County Jail on charges that he stole grease from two Union City businesses on Thursday.

Arrested was Dale Williams of Fayetteville, Arkansas, who is charged with stealing $309 worth of grease from 3Js and $238 worth of grease from Union City Manor, both on E. Reelfoot Ave.

According to the police report, a man who works for Griffins (Dar-Pro), saw Williams taking grease from containers belonging to Griffins at both locations and wrote down his license plate number. He followed him, giving his location over the phone to officers, but they were unable to locate Williams once he headed out of town on Hwy. 51.

Williams was later stopped in Dyer County, where he was placed in the jail until Union City Police could pick him up there.

Refuge Visitor Center Holiday Closures

Springville, Tenn.-The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced holiday closures for the refuge office and Visitor Center which is normally open Monday – Saturday from 8 – 4 pm. The center will be closed for federal holidays, including the following days: Wednesday, December 24th at 1 pm through Friday, December 26th. The Visitor Center will reopen Saturday Dec. 27th for normal hours.

The refuge office and Visitor Center will be closed Wednesday, December 31st at 1 pm and will remain closed through New Year’s Day, January 1st. The office and Visitor Center will reopen on Friday January 2nd and the Visitor Center will be open on Saturday, January 3rd for normal hours.

For more information, please contact the refuge office at 731-642-2091.

Evicted Man Charged With Theft

Union City, Tenn.-A man who had earlier been evicted from a residence on Norwood Dr. was found to be staying in the storage area and is alleged to have stolen items from there.

A representative from Century 21 went to the residence to make repairs and saw Steven Holman leaving. He told police he knew Holman had been evicted some time ago. When he entered the premises, he found the padlock to the storage room door had been cut off and the door removed and replaced with a different one. He also found a sleeping bag in the room.

The Century 21 representative said he also found two water heaters valued at $695 missing.

Holman was located later by the Martin Police and is now in the Obion County Jail.

Thursday, December 18, 2014 

Breaking News:

TBI Resumes Activities In 24th Judicial District
Stowe Requests Special Prosecutor In Bobo Case

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced this evening that it has resumed its activities in the 24th Judicial District and that District Attorney Matt Stowe has requested a Special Prosecutor be appointed to handle the Holly Bobo case in his place.

The TBI press release indicates the announcement was the result of “thorough conversations today.”

There were indications that Governor Bill Haslam was ready to intervene in the stalemate between Stowe and the TBI that erupted this week.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said Thursday evening he is glad "that they seem to have come to a resolution to this situation and are working for the betterment of the communities they serve."

“We value our relationship with Stowe and are thankful we were able to reach a compromise on these issues,”  TBI Director Mark Gwyn said in the press release. “We value our relationship and our service to the people of the 24th Judicial District and look forward to preserving the integrity of the cases we pursue in those five counties. We are committed to our relationship with those local law enforcement agencies and hope to do what we can to provide the excellent investigative and forensic resources to which they’re accustomed.”

In conjunction with the resolution of these issues, District Attorney General Matthew Stowe has submitted a request to the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference for the appointment of a pro tem to proceed with the prosecution of the three defendants charged in the Holly Bobo case. 

“I am extremely pleased to announce the resolution of these issues,” Stowe said. “I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the TBI and the services they provide to the people of this great state. Personally, I would like to thank Director Gwyn for his continued cooperation and his dedication to the safety of the citizens of this district. We are all focused on justice for victims and survivors, and I look forward to a successful, professional relationship with TBI staff and Agents.”

Holiday Reminders Everywhere

Paris, Tenn.-With only one week to go before Christmas, the holiday reminders are everywhere. In Paris, the city’s decorations look right at home framed by Grace Episcopal Church on North Poplar Street. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Two Camden High School Senior Killed In Crash

Holladay, Tenn.-Two Camden High School Seniors were killed in a two-vehicle crash in Benton County Wednesday evening.

James Hipple, age 17, of Big Sandy, and Jennifer Morgan, age 18 of Holladay were killed in the accident that occurred on Hwy. 641 near Holladay. 
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the pickup truck that Hipple was driving crossed over the center line of 641 and crashed head-on into a Dodge Ram truck driven by Curtis Lumley of Hollow Rock. According to the report, Lumley was injured but it does not state the degree of his injuries.

Hipple was driving southbound on 641 and Lumley was northbound on the highway when the crash occurred.

Busy Time Of Year For Goodwill

A Goodwill Donations Express Center attendant sorts clothing. (Goodwill photo).

Union City and Paris, Tenn.-They are six days that make a difference in thousands of lives. 

Each year from Dec. 26-31, the number of donations at Goodwill Donation Express Centers skyrockets. In 2013, donations of clothing and household goods during that period rose by 80 percent compared to other days of the year. Goodwill’s donation team is gearing up to handle this critically important surge.

Donations fund Goodwill’s mission of providing employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs. The end-of-year donation rush is prompted in part by people cleaning out their closets, attics and garages to make room for holiday gifts. But many donors also are seeking last-minute tax deductions.

There is a Goodwill Donation Express in the Kroger parking lot on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris. A Goodwill Store is located at 1430 S. First St. in Union City.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when donating to Goodwill:

When decluttering your home, consider the “One-Year Rule”: If you haven’t worn it, used it or played with it in one year, it is probably time to donate it.
Donors wishing to claim a tax deduction should request a receipt from the attendant when dropping off their donations. The IRS allows a deduction for each item, but it is up to the donor to estimate each item’s value.
Prepare an inventory of your items before going to Goodwill.
Please remove hangers from clothing.
If you have a single donation worth more than $500, you will need to complete IRS Form 8283. You will also need a qualified written appraisal.
Be certain you are donating to a legitimate charity. Resources for research include the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office and charity-rating agencies such as GuideStar. Be cautious of donation bins that don’t clearly state the organization’s mission and contact information. 

You can avoid the rush by donating before Christmas. There are about 80 Donations Express Centers located throughout the 48-county territory, and most are open seven days a week. Locations and hours can be found online at, under the “Donate” tab. 

Your donation at the end of 2014 will mean a happier new year for someone in need of a job.

UTM Students Honored For Leadership

Dr. Margaret Toston, vice chancellor for student affairs, Amy Belote, Constance Bonds and Amber Thompson. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – Three students were honored at the UT Martin fall commencement exercises for their outstanding commitments to community service and leadership. Amy Belote, of Martin; Constance Bonds, of Gates; and Amber Thompson, of Arlington, each received Paul and Martha Meek Leadership Awards during commencement exercises Dec. 13.

The Paul and Martha Meek Leadership Award is given to graduating seniors who have demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership while at UT Martin. Paul Meek served as UT Martin chancellor from 1934-67. 

Belote majored in organismal biology. She served as director of the university’s Relay for Life campaign during her junior and senior years and was instrumental in raising $26,000 for the American Cancer Society – a new record. She also participated in the Medical Horizons Program at Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City in 2012. She was selected from 500 applicants and received hands-on experience in medical rotations. She currently works at the Discovery Park of America in Union City.

Bonds majored in psychology. She served the University of Tennessee system as a student council member on the presidential search committee, was active in UT Martin’s Black Student Association and participated in many election campaigns by promoting candidates and helping her fellow students register to vote in Weakley and Obion counties.

Thompson majored in cell and molecular biology and intends to attend medical school. She served as president of the UT Martin chapter of the Phi Eta Sigma honor society and helped that organization contribute 2,500 canned goods to the Rotaract Can Sculpture Contest to benefit WeCare Ministries. She also served as both executive director and logistics chairperson for the UT Martin Up ‘til Dawn organization. 

All three received Bachelor of Science degrees at this semester’s commencement.

Jasper To Head New Veterans' Home 

Clarksville, Tenn.– Warren Jasper will be the administrator of the new 108-bed State Veterans Home that is being built in Clarksville. The new facility will be called the Brigadier General Wendell H. Gilbert Tennessee State Veterans Home.

Jasper served seven years in the United States Air Force which included assignments at the Pentagon and as a Branch Chief with the Secretary of Defense studying electronic warfare with the Joint Test Force. The former Air Force officer most recently served as an Assistant Attorney General and Senior Counsel at the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. During his time at the Attorney General’s Office, Jasper established relationships with several state agencies and also started a partnership with the Tennessee State Veterans Homes in 2008.

Jasper practiced law for more than 20 years and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, Master’s Degree from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia and Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University. 

“As we prepare to open our doors in 2015, we are committed to putting together the right team and creating a warm environment where Veterans will feel respected and loved,” Jasper said. 

The Brigadier General Wendell H. Gilbert Tennessee State Veterans Home is expected to open in the spring of 2015.

LBL Holiday Schedule

Golden Pond, Ky.– The Golden Pond Visitor Center and Administrative Office at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will have modified hours during the 2014 holiday season.

Golden Pond Visitor Center:
· Christmas Eve, Wed., Dec. 24, Open 9am-3pm 
· Christmas Day, Thurs., Dec. 25, Closed
· Fri., Dec. 26, Closed (Executive Order closing Federal Government offices)
· New Year’s Eve, Wed., Dec. 31, Open 9am-3pm
· New Year’s Day, Thurs., Jan. 1, 2015, Closed

Administrative Office:

· Christmas Day, Thurs., Dec. 25, Closed 
· Fri., Dec. 26, Closed (Executive Order closing Federal Government offices)
· New Year’s Day, Thurs., Jan. 1, 2015, Closed

The Elk & Bison Prairie, Wranglers Campground, and Turkey Bay OHV Area & Trails remain open during the holidays.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 

Breaking News: 

TBI Severs Ties With 24th Judicial District

TBI Director Mark Gwyn

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn. – Until further notice, and at the request of District Attorney General Matthew Stowe, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the TBI announced today it has discontinued its investigation into the Holly Bobo case and severed ties with the 24th Judicial District.

“We certainly regret these unprecedented circumstances playing out in the media,” TBI Director Mark Gwyn said. “But in a meeting last week, which included 30th District Attorney General Amy Weirich, 28th District Attorney and President of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference Garry Brown, and Wally Kirby, Executive Director of the Conference, Stowe made allegations of misconduct by TBI and other law enforcement agencies, both local and federal. He also repeatedly stated he wanted our Agency to suspend all activities in his district, after which Weirich removed her office’s resources from the Holly Bobo case. Stowe may characterize this as a misunderstanding, but his requests were clear and I wasn’t the only one who heard it.”

Stowe has acknowledged a heated exchange with the TBI on Friday, but denied today that he requested the TBI halt its services to the 24th district.

According to the TBI press release issued tonight, since Holly Bobo’s disappearance in 2011, TBI Special Agents have devoted thousands of hours of casework and forensic analysis. "The investigative records and the results from a vast majority of the evidence submitted in the Bobo case have already been turned over to the District Attorney General’s office for his further investigation, review, and prosecution. The results of pending forensic analysis in the case will be provided in a timely manner. As of this date and until further notice, TBI personnel will no longer offer comment or information about the Bobo case or any other case originating in the 24th Judicial District," according to the press release.

“For years, we pursued the Bobo case with the utmost diligence and dedication for the sake of Holly’s family and friends,” said Gwyn in the press release. “We are proud of our investigative efforts and remain hopeful that justice will eventually be served.”

As a result of Stowe’s request, Gwyn said, TBI Agents will no longer investigate new cases in the 24th District. Local law enforcement agencies will be responsible for investigating the incidents in their jurisdictions, and will also be responsible for securing and funding forensic analysis for all future cases.

In a letter to Stowe today, Director Gwyn proposed a meeting, to be facilitated by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, to discuss TBI’s role in the 24th Judicial District. 

“We have proudly served the 24th Judicial District – and its residents – for decades,” said Gwyn. “We hope Stowe will help us resolve these issues quickly, so we can get back to the important work of pursuing our core values of truth, bravery, and integrity in his district as the state’s lead law enforcement agency.”

Stowe Issues Formal Statement On TBI Differences

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-24th Judicial District Attorney Matt Stowe has shed some light on the “professional differences” between his office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

Stowe issued a press release today in which he “strongly denied” published reports that he “initiated the suspension of... the TBI support with all ongoing and future cases in his 24th district”.

Stowe said he fully expects the TBI to “continue to work in cooperative partnership with law enforcement agencies across this district in all facets of criminal investigations as requested by these individual agencies.”

Stowe said he has reiterated those expectations to the TBI in a communication he sent December 16, “following a private meeting with TBI Director Mark Gwyn and others on December 12, in which professional differences were expressed.”

In response, Stowe said, “Director Gwyn formally communicated his intent today to suspend TBI involvement in any cases in the 24th District until such time as all parties could meet with the Attorney General to discuss and resolve the matters at hand.”

Stowe said he “intends on ensuring that his district receives all the investigative support they are entitled to as Tennessee taxpayers and will do so through the proper channels, not the media.”

In conclusion, Stowe said he will continue to focus his attention on pursuing justice “in all criminal cases within the 24th district, including the Holly Bobo case.”

Stowe Denies He Ordered TBI Halt In Services
TBI Mum On Issue

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Now that the reported stalemate between 24th Judicial District Attorney Matt Stowe and The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has been made public, both parties seem to be back-tracking on their earlier reported stances.

Contacted this morning, Stowe’s office assistant Debra Stoope said this morning that Stowe told her Tuesday afternoon that he did not order the TBI to stop providing services to the 24th District. Stoope said, “He told me he is working on clarifying any misunderstanding.”

Stowe was at a hearing this morning and not available for comment himself on the matter.
TBI Public Information Officer Susan Niland said this morning, “We are limited as to what we can say on the matter, but we neither confirm nor deny a halt in services was ordered to the 24th District.”

Niland said, “All we can say is that there was a meeting held Tuesday morning between the TBI and heads of law enforcement.”

Sources had informed area media throughout the day Tuesday that the TBI had ordered a halt in services after Stowe had informed the TBI it was not welcome in the 24th District.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said Tuesday evening that he was at the meeting Tuesday morning with TBI Director Mark Gwyn in Parsons at which law enforcement officials were notified the TBI would be halting services.

“I hope in the interests of justice that all parties can come together for the betterment of our district,” Belew said Tuesday night. “I think, I hope, that something will resolve this situation quickly.”

Elf On Shelf Event Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The Downtown Paris Association and Bethel University are partnering to bring Elf on the Shelf to downtown Paris. 

Pictures can be made with Santa’s special helper “Elf On The Shelf” from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday December 20 at Jack's Java in Downtown Paris. 

Elizabeth Cook Photography will provide families the opportunity to have their picture taken with the "Elf". You will be able to access your complementary photos on the Downtown Paris Association Facebook Page. 

"The elf on the shelf visited our Christmas with Renaissance and it was exciting to see the kids reaction," according to Travis McLeese, Associate Director of Renaissance and DPA Executive Board Member. "Santa's mischievous helper provides him with reports on the children's behavior, which in return helps determine the Naughty and Nice List." 

For more information, contact Kathy Ray, DPA President, at 731-653-7274.

Alexis Ward To Perform With Christmas On Broadway

Huntingdon, Tenn. – Just in time for the holidays, The Dixie’s annual performance of Christmas on Broadway will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 20. Alexis Ward of Paris will be performing with the cast.

Touring professionals and serious students from Huntingdon and the surrounding area will offer their best takes on the music of Broadway and the season. This year’s cast includes: Jacob Estes, Jason Wade, Zakkeus Bonds, Joshua Randle, Brian Hill, Wayne Bannister, Chelsea Brown, Katie McGill, Bethany Ellis, Jennifer Hamilton, Aubrey Doyle, Jessica McLeese, Mary Renee Allen, and Alexis Ward. The Dixie Children’s Chorus will also make an appearance.

Tickets are $15 each and are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731.986.2100, or online at

And don’t forget about our Dixie Gift Card Christmas Special! For every $25 spent on a Dixie Gift Card, you get a choice of either 1 free ticket to Christmas on Broadway, or a 1/2 price ticket to Ricky Skaggs on January 17th at 2pm or 7:30pm.

Airborne Team Dedicates Match To Sick Girl
From left, Gracie Webb Level 3, Callie Green Level 4, Alayna Fuson Level 3, Noe Wilkerson Level 3, Lauren Swisher Level 3, and Lauren Dodd Level 3. Not pictured are Ella Crichton Level 4 and Abbey Watkins Level 3. (Delaina Green photo).

Clarksville, Tenn.-The Airborne Gymnastics Team dedicated its latest match to the five-year-old sister of two former Airborne employees who is suffering from acute lymphatic lymphoma.

Margeaux Ridley was diagnosed in April of this year and her two older sisters, Camille and Gwyneth, were employees of Airborne before moving to Louisiana to be closer to the family after their little sister was diagnosed. The Airborne team wore orange ribbons on their leotards.

The Airborne team did well at the 2014 compulsory state championship in Clarksville.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breaking News:

Belew: Stalemate Between DA, TBI Could Affect Local Cases

District Attorney Matt Stowe

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Parsons, Tenn.-24th Judicial District Matt Stowe has reportedly told the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) its services are not needed in the district. 

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said Tuesday evening he was one of the law enforcement officials notified this morning that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) will cease providing its services to the 24th Judicial District at the behest of District Attorney Matt Stowe. 

He said he hopes that the stalemate between the District Attorney and TBI is resolved quickly for the betterment of citizens of the 24th District.

Belew said he and other law enforcement agency officials from Benton, Carroll, Decatur and Hardin Counties were called to the meeting which included TBI Director Mark Gwyn. Belew said Stowe was invited to the session, but was not present.

“I hope in the interests of justice that all parties can come together for the betterment of our district,” Belew said. “I think, I hope, that something will resolve this situation quickly.”

Gwyn informed law enforcement at today’s meeting that Stowe has indicated that the TBI “is no longer welcome” in the 24th District, Belew said. The stalemate between the TBI and Stowe could possibly affect the prosecution and investigation of local cases, he said.

Belew said the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 5 p.m. today received a fax from Stowe with an explanation and apology for the situation and the fax included a similar letter he had sent to Gwyn.

The TBI provides support to local law enforcement in a variety of ways, including assistance with investigations, expert testimony and access to TBI crime labs.

Phone calls to Stowe were not immediately returned.

Updated With New Information:
Kentucky Fire Marshal Investigating Hazel Church Fire

The sanctuary of Masons Chapel. (Paris District of UMC photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Hazel, Ky.-An historic church outside of Hazel was heavily damaged by fire Monday morning and the Kentucky State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to investigate. The Kentucky State Police on Tuesday afternoon issued a press release calling the fire an arson.

The fire at Masons Chapel United Methodist Church was reported shortly after 9 a.m. In addition to heavy smoke damage throughout the church, the sanctuary was left with an eight-foot-wide hole in the floor and electrical lines were damaged.

Contacted Tuesday morning, fireman at the Calloway County Fire and Rescue said they can’t comment publicly about the fire now that it has been referred to the state fire marshal’s office.

Elise Bell of the Paris District United Methodist Church Office said the local office has been told that the fire was started in four different places and that planned services could not be held at Mason's Chapel last night because the area has been roped off with yellow tape.

"We were planning to have services with them at the pavilion at the church, but it's considered a crime scene and we had to move the services to another church," Bell said.

In a Facebook posting, Mason’s Chapel Church officials said despite the damage, the church will continue with its worship services and activities.  “We were truly blessed by all the love and support shown to us tonight by clergy and church leaders from the Paris (and Paducah) districts as we gathered at Hazel UMC,” church officials said on Facebook. “Paris District Superintendent Joe Geary led us in an encouraging and uplifting service. Our church building may have been damaged today, but our spirit and enthusiasm are as strong as ever! Thank everyone for your continued prayers.”

The fire was reported shortly after 9 a.m. A neighbor reported seeing a door open at the church and heavy smoke was seen coming out of the Sunday School area of the structure.

Masons Chapel was established in 1879 and the current site has been in service since 1966.

 KSP was assisted on the scene by the Calloway County Fire Department, the Kentucky Fire Marshall’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The investigation continues by Detective Frank Gresham of the Kentucky State Police. 
Anyone with information about this arson can contact the Kentucky State Police at (270) 856-3721 or toll-free in Kentucky, at 1-800-222-5555, callers may remain anonymous. The public can also text-a-tip at 67283 and remain anonymous. 

Andrews Named Bradford Police Chief
Formerly Worked For Henry County Sheriff's Office

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Bradford, Tenn.-Former Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy David Andrews Sr. has been hired as the Bradford Police Chief. Andrews was hired at a special called meeting Monday night and sworn in at Bradford City Hall.

Andrews will begin work as the chief on Christmas Day. He has been working part-time for the department since March, according to City Recorder Melissa Workman.

Andrews currently lives in Gleason and has had a lengthy career in law enforcement, working as a deputy for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Gleason Police Department and Weakley County Sheriff’s Office.

Hazel Woman Arrested On Arson, Drug Charges

Hazel, Ky.-A Hazel woman has been arrested for arson by the Kentucky State Police.

Kentucky State Police were called to a suspicious house fire in Hazel on Monday, December 15. After a brief investigation the cause of the fire was determined to be arson.

Kentucky State Police Post 1 Arson Investigator Frank Gresham charged 37 year-old Lidia Davison ...of Hazel with Arson in the Second Degree, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, and Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree. Trooper David Dick also charged Davison with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Davison was lodged in the Calloway County Jail.

KSP was assisted on the scene by the Hazel Fire Department, and the Kentucky Fire Marshall’s Office. The investigation continues by Detective Frank Gresham of the Kentucky State Police.

Reelfoot State Park Receives $180,000 Grant

Nashville, Tenn.-Reelfoot Lake State Park was presented with a $180,000 Recreation Trails Program grant for the park’s Kiwanis Playtrail on December 11 in Nashville. In photo, left to right, Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill; Reelfoot Park Manager Alisha Weber; Outdoor Classroom Volunteer Leader Anita Schroeder; State Parks Operations Director Mike Robertson; and TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. (TDEC photo).

Renaissance Director Nominated For Grammy Awards

Matthew Holt, right, with The Martins. (Bethel photo).

McKenzie, Tenn. –Two projects by Bethel University Renaissance Director Matthew Holt has been nominated for Grammy Awards.

The Martins A Capella Project’s new album contains a song that Holt arranged and produced. Holt also played piano on the Gaither Vocal Band’s Hymn Project album. Both albums have been nominated for Best Gospel Album.  
 “The Martins are thrilled with the nomination,”  Joyce Martin said. “We had several producers work on this project and Matthew's contribution is perfection! Congratulations, sir. Thank you for sharing your genius with us.”
Holt has been writing and arranging music for quite some time. He co-owns HabeHolt Music, a music publishing company that has been successful in getting more than 100 songs recorded and released by major artists, including several number one songs.  
“I am so excited and blessed to be a part of these amazing works, and even more thankful for the great people that I get to work with,” Holt said. 
 Both projects can be purchased on iTunes.

Rhea Library To Host Polar Express Event

Paris, Tenn.-A Polar Express event will be held at the W.G. Rhea Library from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, December 19. The event will include train rides, a showing of the movie, crafts, photos, hot cocoa and snacks, cookie decorating and Santa. The event is free.

Manpower Hiring Event

Camden, Tenn.-A Manpower Hiring Event will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, December 18, at Camden Central High School Gymnasium 115 Schools Dr. 

Manpower seeks to fill up to 30 positions including general labor, production, assembly, and manufacturing/industrial in Paris, Camden, McKenzie, Huntingdon, Milan and Big Sandy. Pay rates range from $7.25 to $12.00 per hour. Must have High School Diploma/GED and clear background within 7 years. Bring your résumé, photo ID and Social Security card or birth certificate. Dress for success. Be ready to interview. 

For more information, contact our office at 731-642-0001.

UTM Faculty Granted Leave For Projects

From left, Dr. David Barber, associate professor of history; Dr. Paula Gale, professor of agriculture; Dr. Kurt Gorman, professor of music; and Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – Four faculty members at the University of Tennessee at Martin were awarded Hal and Alma Reagan Faculty Leave Awards for the 2014-2015 academic year. Dr. David Barber, associate professor of history; Dr. Paula Gale, professor of agriculture; Dr. Kurt Gorman, formerly of Paris, professor of music; and Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music, will spend the spring 2015 semester participating in a variety of academic research and advancement opportunities. 

Barber will produce the first chapters of a new book titled A Hard Rain Fell: SDS and Why It Failed. The work will focus on the history of the American New Left’s collapse and analyze the resulting anti-colonial revolution’s impact on the United States. He will conduct his research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which serves as the central archive for the Students for a Democratic Society.

Gale will conduct research in the field of soil microbiology at Kansas State. This research will give her experience in cutting-edge techniques to improve and maintain soil health. 

Gorman will expand his doctoral dissertation, which focuses on the introduction of the trumpet to chamber music composition in 1900. His initial survey included 1,200 compositions for trumpet with wind, strings, percussion, keyboard and electronics, and he intends to conduct additional concentrated analysis of musical scores and musicological research in this area.

Hill, president-elect of the Percussive Arts Society, will spend her leave co-authoring a collection of new musical audition etudes for middle and high school percussion students. This collection will initially be used for regional and state auditions in Tennessee, but Hill hopes to ultimately provide the works to state music associations across the country. 

The UT Martin Hal and Alma Reagan Faculty Leave Program is designed to enable participants to become more effective teachers and scholars by engaging in a variety of academic renewal experiences. Tenured faculty members with six or more years of full-time service at UT Martin are eligible to apply for a one-year leave at half salary or a half-year leave at full salary.

Awardees are chosen by the Faculty Research and Development Committee.

Monday, December 15, 2014 

Commission Votes 11-3 To Place Sales Tax Issue On Ballot
Second Reading Required

Paris City Manager Carl Holder speaks on sales tax issue. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-By a vote of 11-3--with two of the ’no’ voters being vocal in their opposition--the Henry County Board of Commissioners Monday evening approved first reading of a measure that would place a local option sales tax increase referendum on a special election ballot.

The measure would increase the local option sales tax by one-half percent, from 2.25 percent to 2.75 percent. The second reading of the measure will be held at the January commission meeting. 

The commission meeting was preceded by a public forum, at which no one from the public was in attendance.

Members of Paris city government and officials from the Henry County Schools and Paris Special School Districts were on hand for the meeting, as was Henry County Elections Director Darrin Thompson.

Thompson said the special election would most probably be held March 17 and a special election will cost some $18,000. The city, county and schools would share the burden of the cost, according to officials at the meeting.

Voting no on the measure were Commissioners Wes Bradley, Greg Carter and Bobby Freeman. Bradley and Carter were especially vocal in their opposition, with Carter saying that he has spoken to a lot of people about it “and nobody is for this. I work for the people and I can’t even say yes on this.”

Bradley noted that there were three elections held in Henry County this year “so why didn’t we put this on then and it wouldn’t have cost us a penny?”

Carter echoed that comment, asking, “So, if the county votes it down, we’ve just wasted 18,000?” 

County Mayor Brent Greer said it would have been a disservice to the community to hurry up and place the issue on earlier ballots and he noted that the November general election ballot included four complex constitutional issues. “Voters had a difficult enough time understanding the issues on the November ballot as it was,” he said.

Greer said the sales tax increase being sought would generate some $1 million to be spent for two school systems and city and county government. He said the sales tax is a much more fair tax that either property or wheel tax.

County education “has a need, a true need. They are using their fund balances to meet some of their needs and they can’t continue to sustain that in the long run. And from the county government standpoint, we had to give money to the solid waste department to help them balance their budget. There are definitely revenue needs we are facing.”

Greer said all the surrounding counties already are at the sales tax level being requested. 
Paris City Manager Carl Holder said the city has seen losses in revenue due to surrounding communities now also selling liquor and in other ways. “We’ve done a lot of belt-tightening and we’ve cancelled much needed public works projects and all that has cost us in the long-run.”

Paris Commissioner Terry Fuller also said sales tax is a “more fair and equitable tax so as not to put the whole burden on property owners.”

In other business:

--The commission recessed its meeting until 5 p.m. December 29, at which time it will meet to authorize action for an industry wanting to expand into the industrial park.

--The commission unanimously approved an amendment to the Private Act for Henry County Medical Center to allow its Board of Trustees to expand from five members to seven.

The commissioners’ resolution will be sent to the state legislature for its approval and then back to the county.

Hospital CEO Tom Gee said the increase is needed due to increasingly complex regulations facing the board and the need to better represent the demographics of the community.
He also noted he will be retiring in a few years and some board members will be retiring from the board “and we really need to be prepared for those changes.”

With New Law, 911 Rates To Increase In January

Members of the 911 board listen to 911 Director Mark Archer (at head of table). Shannon McFarlin photo.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With passage by the Tennessee State Assembly of a new 911 funding act, customers will likely notice a change reflecting the increased rate beginning on their January telephone and cellular bills.

911 Director Mark Archer updated members of the Henry County 911 Board Monday evening on the new charges. The new law updates the existing funding model for 911 to account for changes in technology and consumer choice by establishing a single, uniform 911 surcharge rate, Archer said.

With the passage of the new law, Henry County residential and business lines, currently charged at 65 cents and $2.00 respectively, will be adjusted to $1.16 per month, he said. The cellular 911 surcharge will be adjusted from $1 to $1.16 per month.

The new uniform rate accounts for advancements in technology needed to provide state residents with prompt and accurate 911 services and it is intended to adequately fund local 911 services in light of the ongoing reduction of landline usage across the state, Archer said.

The new law also supports the state’s Next Generation 911 program, which provides better information and data to first responders, allowing dispatchers to more quickly assess an emergency.

Archer also said a company called Smart911 is providing a database for the public and local dispatchers. The public can provide information for the database which includes how many people in the household, how many are elderly, residents’ allergies and medical conditions, pets, etc. When they call 911, their information will pop up on the screen for the dispatcher.

Archer said the company keeps the database current “and we have nothing to do here except promote it.”

In other business:

--EMS Director Twila Rose said retired Director Mike Shankle is reacting positively to his bone marrow transplant. She said he is “way above how the doctors thought he would be”. She said he will be in Nashville for another month, but has been able to get out and walk and is doing well.

--911 Board Chair John Etheridge said the 2013-2014 audit “was a good, clean audit, with no findings”. 

--Archer said he will be needing a part-time employee to perform IP (Internet Protocol) duties in the near future. Etheridge asked Archer to provide members with a job description and salary.

--Board members agreed the board will sit tight on land previously purchased on the 218 bypass for a 911 headquarters and which now isn’t being used for that purpose. Etheridge asked the board whether it wanted to sell it or hold onto to the land. Archer said there are no taxes on it and the land is being utilized by a farmer for hay growing.

No Foul Play Suspected In Murray Woman's Death

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Murray, Ky.-Preliminary autopsy results released by Calloway County Coroner Rick Harris show that no lethal trauma was involved in the death of 23-year-old Megan Cooper of Murray, whose body was found Saturday in Murray.

Cooper had been reported missing and was found in woods near the campus.

The Calloway County Coroner’s Office transported the body to the Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville early Sunday morning for autopsy.

In a press release, Harris said no foul play is suspected. Further tests are pending.

Multiple Charges Against Obion County Man After Pursuit

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Hickman, Ky.-An Obion County man was arrested on numerous charges after he sped off during a traffic stop and crashed his car into a Fulton County Sheriff’s vehicle during the pursuit. The pursuit moved through Fulton and Obion Counties at speeds during the pursuit reached 95 miles per hour. 

Chris J. Beeler is currently being held in the Obion County Jail on charges of felony fleeing, wanton endangerment, improper passing, reckless driving, driving the wrong way on a one-way street, disregarding stop signs (six counts), speeding, operating on a suspended license, no insurance and expired registration.

According to the press release from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, he is charged with 23 counts of wanted endangerment alone because fourteen civilian cars were passed by him during the pursuit and nine law enforcement officers were involved in the pursuit.

“We are grateful for that no one was injured and of the awareness that was taken by citizens that were met or passed during the pursuit,” according to the department.

Beeler also was wanted on outstanding warrants. Once he signs a waiver of extradition, he will be transported to Fulton County.
The incident began at 10:44 p.m. Friday, December 12, when a deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on 7th Street in Hickman, for expired registration and suspected impaired driving. 

Beeler failed to yield to the traffic stop. At that time the pursuit began and continued through the city of Hickman traveling east on Hwy 94 to Cayce, Ky. In Cayce, the subject turned onto side roads making his way back to Hwy 166 traveling east to Fulton,  then into Tennessee onto the Kenn-Tenn Hwy where the subject spun out attempting to turn onto McClard Road. 

Once he spun out the Beeler exited the vehicle while it was still in motion and began to flee on foot. A foot pursuit took place and he was apprehended by deputies with the Obion County Sheriff’s Office.

When the subject exited the vehicle prior to it stopping it crashed into a Fulton County sheriff’s vehicle causing damage to the front end of the police car.

The pursuit reached speeds up to 95 mph and lead authorities throughout Fulton County for approximately 23 miles, and approximately six miles in Obion County. The total time of the pursuit was approximately 25 minutes.

 The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Hickman Police Department, Fulton Police Department, Constable Doug Bradley, Obion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Haslam Announces Insure Tennessee Program

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today unveiled his Insure Tennessee plan, a two year pilot program to provide health care coverage to Tennesseans who currently don’t have access to health insurance or have limited options. The program rewards healthy behaviors, prepares members to transition to private coverage, promotes personal responsibility and incentivizes choosing preventative and routine care instead of unnecessary use of emergency rooms. 
The governor announced that he plans to call a special session to focus on the proposal after the 109th General Assembly convenes in January. 

“We made the decision in Tennessee nearly two years ago not to expand traditional Medicaid,” Haslam said. “This is an alternative approach that forges a different path and is a unique Tennessee solution. This plan leverages federal dollars to provide health care coverage to more Tennesseans, to give people a choice in their coverage, and to address the cost of health care, better health outcomes and personal responsibility.

“Our approach is responsible and reasonable, and I truly believe that it can be a catalyst to fundamentally changing health care in Tennessee. It is our hope that this plan opens the door in the future for innovation within our existing Medicaid program. I look forward to working with providers across the state to advance payment reform and with members of the General Assembly to make this plan a reality.”

Five key areas of the governor’s plan include: 

*A fiscally sound and sustainable program; 
*Providing two new private market choices for Tennesseans; 
*Shifting the delivery model and payment of health care in Tennessee from fee-for-service to outcomes based; 
*Incentivizing Tennesseans to be more engaged and to take more personal responsibility in their health; 
*And preparing participants for eventual transition to commercial health coverage.

Two Special People

Paris, Tenn.-Two very special people at Saturday’s Holly Jolly Christmas Parade in downtown Paris were able to find a few moments to greet each other: Santa Claus and Becky Jackson. Jackson was the Special Ambassador for the parade. Santa will still be at his house on the court square for one last time this weekend, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and 2-4 p.m. Sunday. (Kate Shannon Photo).

How Low Can It Go?

Paris, Tenn.-No one is complaining as gas prices continue to plummet. The lower prices are especially welcome during the holiday season and it most assuredly is the hope of consumers that they continue into the new year. At $2.12 per gallon, the gas price displayed at Eagle Food Store at 907 E. Wood St., Paris, was among the lowest seen in the area. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Sales Tax Increase To Be Voted On Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Commission will vote tonight on whether to place a local option sales tax increase on the ballot when it meets at 7 p.m. at the county courthouse. A public hearing will precede the vote at 6:30 p.m. 

Also on the agenda is an amendment to the Private Act for Henry County Medical Center which would increase its board size.

The commission’s nominating committee also will meet at 6:15 p.m. All the sessions are open to the public.

Martin Man Arrested After Foot Chase

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Martin man on federal probation was arrested on several charges, including unlawful possession of a handgun, after he ran from Union City Police.

Arrested was Kenneth Ray Jones of Hutchens Rd., Martin, charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana ...with intent to sell. According to the police report, Jones is on federal probation after serving time in prison for possession of crack.

The Union City dispatcher relayed a call stating a black man was waving a handgun around in the 600 block of Nash St. When officers arrived, they found a silver Mustang matching the description parked at 608 Nash with two black men inside.

Officers took their pistols out of their holsters and gave a verbal command to the males to exit the vehicle. One of the men opened the passenger door and began running. After a foot chase, officers found him hiding by a nearby porch and found the handgun tossed into the bushes. According to the police report, the gun was still warm.

Officers also found a baggie with marijuana in it on him, according to the report.

David Phelps To Perform In Union City

Union City, Tenn.-”The Song Of Christmas” featuring Tenor David Phelps in concert will be held Monday and Tuesday evenings, December 15 and 16, at the Second Baptist Church in Union City. 

The performances are at 7:15 p.m. each night. The church is located at 831 Everett Blvd., Union City.

Car Stolen In Union City 

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating the theft of a vehicle from in front of a local business on Saturday.

According to police, a Union City resident reported the theft of a 1999 Toyota 4-Runner from in front of Sue’s Place. She said she left the car there in the afternoon and when she returned at 3 a.m., it was gone.

Sunday, December 14, 2014 

Setting Up Holly Jolly Parade

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Department and Henry County Sheriff’s Office helped line up participants for the Holly Jolly Christmas Parade Saturday night, as well as providing other assistance. From left are Paris Patrolman Amber Roaten, Deputy Sgt. Jeff Smith and Deputy Sgt. Bryan Hall. Coverage of the event with parade winners and other photos was published Saturday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Making Sure Santa Arrives In Style

Buchanan, Tenn.-Santa and Mrs. Claus were carried to the Over The River Run Saturday by Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department Chief Reggie Coles. The article and more photos from the event were published Saturday. (Shannon McFarlin photo). 

Woman Found In Murray Identified

Murray, Ky: Calloway County Coroner Ricky Harris has identified the woman who was found dead near the Murray State Campus as Megan Cooper. An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday in Louisville.

Murray Police are investigating the death of the 23 year-old female found Saturday morning in a wooded area west of Stadium View Drive.

In a press release, Murray Sgt. David Howe says officers responded to a welfare check request at a home on Stadium View Drive in Murray Friday night The woman was not home at the time. Investigators began a follow up investigation and a missing persons report was filed. Saturday morning, officers were conducting a search and located the body of the missing woman.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Murray Police Department at (270) 753-1621.

DeBauche Speaks On Life Lessons At UTM Graduation

Martin, Tenn. — Gail Rosson, Colin Johnson and Madison Seratt come from different hometowns and backgrounds, but each shared the same excitement on receiving their bachelor’s degrees Dec. 13 from the University of Tennessee at Martin. They were among more than 600 summer and fall semester students eligible to receive degrees during the 11 a.m. ceremony in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Beth DeBauche delivered the commencement address. 

Rosson, a non-traditional student from Scotts Hill, Johnson is from Clarksville and Seratt is from Dyersburg. 

Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor, welcomed the standing-room-only crowd and introduced DeBauche, who began her duties as OVC commissioner in September 2009. The Notre Dame School of Law graduate is the seventh full-time commissioner in the OVC’s 66-plus year history and one of just nine females to lead an NCAA Division I Conference in 2014-15. The commencement ceremony was available on the OVC Digital Network, which was created after DeBauche became commissioner.

“Your family and friends are so excited to be here today, because they’re so immensely proud of you and what you’ve accomplished and so very enthused about what your future can hold,” she said. She recognized several class accomplishments and also noted UT Martin student athletes’ recent academic success, including the softball team’s receiving an OVC Team Academic Achievement Award. She also highlighted the national champion men’s rodeo team and the regular season and conference championships for Skyhawk women’s basketball. 
DeBauche then shared four life lessons that she’s learned over the years, including having big dreams and being open to life’s surprises. “If you think about sports, you don’t hear true champions saying, ‘Gosh, I hope to finish middle of the pack this season.’ Everybody wants to be a champion, and I wish that for you as well,” she said. 
Next, she urged the audience to “don't be your own worst enemy” and to “make sure that you’re your own MVP.” She said, “Oftentimes in my own career, I saw opportunities or have been exposed to the potential to do things, but I was the one holding myself back.”  

Saturday, December 13, 2014 

A Holly Jolly Christmas Parade Indeed

The Henry County Band color guard all dressed for Christmas. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It was a perfect night for a Holly Jolly Christmas in downtown Paris Saturday and why not? The Christmas Festival and Holly Jolly parade filled downtown with a large and festive crowd. Some 25 colourful and bright parade entries--some even brighter than others, like the Paris Board of Public Utilities entry--were on hand for the parade, the largest number of entries to be in the parade in its history.

The Henry County 4-H were grand marshals and Becky Jackson was a Special Ambassador. Miniature donkeys and horses were all dressed up in their Christmas finest and classic cars were on display in the parade, such as Billy Nance’s 1928 Model A and David Cates’ 1937 Pontiac which emitted fire out of its tailpipes.

The Henry County Marching Patriots and their cheerleaders, Santa and Mrs. Claus and an assortment of elves and even grinches marched in the parade, too, including Henry County Trustee Randi French, carrying tax notices.

Winners of the trophies were handed out at the end of the parade. The Atkins-Porter Community won Best Decorated float; the Paris Board of Public Utilities won the Clark Griswold prize; the Candy Cane Cuties won Most Christmas Spirit and the Henry County Trustees’ office won Best Decorated Small Tractor.

Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray said the day “was so much fun and everyone had a wonderful time. It was a great turnout and a huge success.”

The Grinch was even having a good time. (McFarlin photo).

Kim and Sheila Harper with Meatball enjoyed the festivities. (McFarlin photo).

Jeff Perry was the lucky elf who got to ride atop the Paris BPU entry. (McFarlin photo).

Santa, Mrs. Claus Lead Runners On Over River Race

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at Paris Landing State Park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-With Santa and Mrs. Claus leading them on, 123 runners participated in the “Over the River Run and Walk” Saturday morning at Paris Landing State Park. 

The race is sponsored by the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour and the course takes runners across the Ned Ray McWherter bridge and back through the park. 

Santa and Mrs. Claus, who are otherwise referred to as Wayne Pond and Toni Napper, were delivered to the race by the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department truck, driven by Fire Chief Reggie Coles. Santa rode atop the fire truck to lead the runners across the bridge, while Mrs. Claus rode comfortably in the front seat.

This is the first year that Santa and Mrs. Claus have been involved in the race.

Paris Landing Inn Manager Gary McEntire said the race is always a boon for local tourism and the economy, noting that the motel was completely booked for this weekend. The race attracts runners each year from all over Tennessee.

And they're off: Lance Winders, left, starts the race. (McFarlin photo).

Santa and Mrs. Claus (from inside) wave to runners and motorists the fire truck arrives back at the park. (McFarlin photo).

Murray Police Seek Information in Death Investigation

Murray, Ky.-Murray Police Department responded to a welfare check request at a residence on Stadium View Drive in Murray around 7:30 p.m. Friday. The individual was not in the residence.

MPD investigators began follow up investigation, and a missing persons report was filed. At 9 a.m. Saturday morning, MPD officers were conducting an area... search and located the body of the missing person, a 23 year old female, in a wooded area west of Stadium View Drive.

The name of the individual is not being released pending announcement by the Calloway County Coroner’s Office. The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Murray Police Department at (270) 753-1621

On The Way To "Supper With Santa"

Paris, Tenn.--Santa Claus gets an assist from Paris Firefighter Barry Farmer before they left for the Rhea School "Supper With Santa" event Friday night. An especially large crowd was on hand at Rhea for the event this year. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Getting Mrs. Claus' Ride Ready For Parade

Paris, Tenn.-At the Paris Fire Department Friday night, City of Paris Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris puts some last minute touches on the float that will carry Mrs. Santa Claus in the Holly Jolly Parade in downtown Paris. The parade begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday night. The Downtown Christmas Festival will be held around the court square from 2-4 p.m. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

$25,000 Scholarship Honors Late Student 

Murray, Ky. — The Shelby Theiss Memorial Scholarship was established at Murray State University in March 2014 in memory of Shelby Caitlin Theiss by family and friends. Through generous gifts from family and friends across the community, the scholarship has reached its $25,000 endowment level.

Shelby was the first child of Jim and Jeanne Theiss of Louisville, Ky. Following in the steps of her parents and several aunts, uncles and cousins, Shelby enrolled at Murray State University in 2010 as a business finance major. Her ingenuity and passion inspired her desire to one day start her own business, a bakery called “Shelby Cakes.”

Theiss died in a car accident in Murray on March 2, 2013, and is remembered as the light that touched the hearts of her family and friends, including the Murray State University community. As her uncle said, “She was loved by anyone and everyone who was lucky enough to have spent five minutes with her.”

The Shelby Theiss Memorial Scholarship is open to full-time graduates and undergraduates with a 3.2 grade point average, majoring in an area within the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business at MSU. Applicants must be residents of Jefferson County, Ky., and must have graduated from a high school there. 

Applications for Murray State University scholarships can be accessed at online at Students are encouraged to apply for this and other scholarships. 

For more information on the Shelby Theiss Memorial Scholarship, contact Jamie Haynes, assistant director of stewardship and donor relations at Murray State University, at 1.877.282.0033.

Friday, December 12, 2014 

Body Cams For Police? A Tale Of Two Cities 

                          --Photo by

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City and Paris, Tenn.-With unrest occurring nationwide over police actions, many have called for the use of body cameras on police officers as a means to best prevent such claims.

Union City Police have been outfitted with body cameras for three years and Chief Perry Barfield said he has “definitely seen the benefit” of their use. 

In Paris, Chief Chuck Elizondo said, there are only a couple body cameras in use and he does not foresee purchasing any more in the near future.

Barfield said, “All of our officers have the body cameras and this is our third year for them. We started with the inexpensive Scorpion models, which weren’t that great of quality, but this year we’ve updated what we’re using.”

In Union City, Barfield said, “We didn’t get a lot of citizen complaints, but we did get a few and I thought this would be a good way to reduce that and that’s exactly what has happened.”

The body cameras show “what is said and done in any encounter our officers have with the public,” Barfield said. “It’s amazing how many times people have called to say that an officer said or did something and they want something done about it. Then you tell them, ‘Well, let’s look at the videotape and see what happened’ and then they say, well, never mind.”

There is a downside to the cameras, Barfield said. “Some of the officers initially think you’re putting the cameras on them because you don’t trust them, so I had to assure everyone that wasn’t the case. The cameras are as much for the officers’ benefit as much as the public’s benefit.”

Barfield said even if there was only one case where the body camera proved that an officer really had not been rude or abusive to the public “it would be a big benefit, but there have actually been more cases where the body cameras proved that. So as far as I’m concerned, there’s definitely a benefit to using them.”

Meanwhile, the Paris Police Department has used only a couple “of the cheaper ones and they really haven’t been reliable,” Elizondo said. 
The Paris department is using the dashboard cameras and Elizondo said, “That seems to be working well for us.”

The Paris department “is a small department and we just don’t have the budget for the more expensive cameras. The good ones cost $1,000 apiece and we just don’t have $25,000 to spend.”

Elizondo said applying for a grant to purchase cameras might be an option. “But I went to the State Chiefs’ meeting recently and they presented information about how you have to set up a whole new policy and procedures when you start using those. It’s really something that I’m up in the air on right now as to whether we would really benefit from them.”

Barfield said his department also has dash cams, but they aren’t that reliable since they only show a limited amount. “The plus of the body cameras is that it sees what the officer sees and goes where he goes.”

The cameras used by the Union City department cost $400 apiece, Barfield said, “but the big cost is the software that goes with it. But we were able to get a lot of help with our local computer businesses and that cut the cost way down.”

Barfield said his department is so dedicated to the cameras, “I want all my investigators to use them, too. That will be our next purchase.”

New DPA Officers Announced 

Paris, Tenn.-New officers for the Downtown Paris Association have been announced: President Gaines Hedges; Vice President Vickey Roberts; and Treasurer Vicky Muzzall.

DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray said, “On behalf of the Executive Board and membership, this is an exciting and enthusiastic group of officers with a passion for our downtown and community. I am thrilled to be working with such a great team in an effort to continue the momentum and growth in downtown Paris. Together, we are making a difference in our community.” 

Hedges said, “It is important for everyone to know that the Downtown Paris Association serves everyone in this community and I look forward to serving as President.” Kathy Ray added, “As we approach the 2015 membership drive in January, we welcome your support financially and as a volunteer for our community.”

For more information, please contact Kathy Ray at the DPA office at 731-653-PARIS (7274).

Photo: New officers with Executive Director Kathy Ray: from left, Vickey Roberts, Vicky Muzzall, Ray and Gaines Hedges.

Court Orders Deferment For Najee Ray

Martin, Tenn.-Appearing in Weakley County General Sessions Court on a simple possession charge, UT Martin Skyhawks running back Najee Ray of Paris was placed on court-ordered deferment for six months.
Ray, age 21, was arrested in Dresden in early November on charges of simple possession and window tint violation. 

Under deferment, Ray will receive counselling and the court will review his case to ensure that counselling was completed and his court costs were paid. 

Ray appeared before Judge Tommy Moore. He was represented by Martin Attorney Kent Geren.

UTM Head Football Coach Jason Simpson suspended Ray for the last two games of the season, including the game against Mississippi State.

Ray was a star player for the Henry County Patriots.

HCHS Students Honored For 30+ Scores On Act

Front Row, left to right: Amanda Jones, Sydney Moore, James Matthew Wyatt, Holly Peavy, Lauren Gilbreth, Katy Beth James, Brittany Brown, Mary Peyton Boyd. Back Row: Davis Wells, Ryan Mahan, Lee Gore, and Parker Hatcher. (Susan Burton photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Twelve Henry County High School students were recognized for scoring a 30 or higher on their ACT. Students recognized were Amanda Jones, Sydney Moore, James Matthew Wyatt, Holly Peavy, Lauren Gilbreth, Katy Beth James, Brittany Brown, Mary Peyton Boyd, Davis Wells, Ryan Maham, Lee Gore and Parker Hatcher. The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science and is accepted by all 4-year colleges and universities in the United States. The highest score one can earn is a 36.  Students who score a 21 or above are eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship.  

TWRA Cites Hunter For Violating Rules

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Gary Fornera recently appeared in Carroll County General Sessions Court on charges of hunting on a revoked license and violation of hunter orange requirement, according to a press release from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

This was Fornera’s second violation within the last two years. He was previously convicted for over the limit of antlered deer (bucks) which resulted in his hunting privilages being revoked for one year.

TWRA officers suspected that Fornera had continued to hunt deer while being revoked. Officers then followed up on their hunch and found him deer hunting without wearing any hunter orange.

Judge Larry Logan accepted a plea bargain agreement of 10 days in jail, forfeiture of the firearm, and 376.50 in fines and court cost. Fornera also had his hunting revocation extended for an additional year.

The hunting on a revoked license law has an enhanced sentence requiring a minumum of 10 days in jail. Without this law, Officers would have to cacth someone violating other laws. Many times the officer can only observe someone hunting. Without this law, there would be nothing an officer could do to a repeat offender that was only hunting.
To report hunting violations in Region One call 1-800-831-1173.

Civil War Comes To LBL 

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area presents Civil War Comes to The Homeplace, Saturday, December 13, from 10am-3pm. The program is included with paid admission: $5 adults, $3 ages 5-12, and free ages 4 and under.

The public will learn what life was like for a yeoman farm family in 1864 living under martial law during the Civil War. Visitors can stroll around the farmstead and see it as it would have appeared after four years of war. Visit a Confederate encampment on the farm and talk to civilian soldiers. Listen to their stories about the war and coping during their service. 

Local historian, Susan “Ski” Witzofsky, will present War Between The Rivers at 1pm in The Homeplace Theater. “This event focuses on the Civil War from the perspective of everyday farm families, and gives visitors a chance to see history come to life,” says Cindy Earls, Lead Homeplace Interpreter. “Visitors can learn how farm families faced the challenges of keeping the family fed and clothed, and the farm operating, often with no men, draft animals, or seeds to plant a cash crop.”

For more information visit click on Calendar, and go to December 13 events, Civil War Comes to The Homeplace, or call The Homeplace 1850’s working farm at 931-232-6457.

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Store To Open In Dover

Dover, Tenn.-With the signage now installed, it’s official: a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market will be opening in Dover. 

The store will be located on Hwy. 79 and is set to open at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 14.

The store will sell groceries, with a pharmacy and gas pumps.

Thursday, December 11, 2014 

County School Board Learns More About Lakewood School

The Middle School Ensemble with Teacher Joey Sam performed for the board. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting at Lakewood School Thursday night, the Henry County Schools board of education was entertained by a mock newscast with information on the school’s programs presented by the Middle School’s acclaimed speech team.

Serving as newscasters were Students Natalie Clark Sylas Allen and Drew Culbreath, with Clark interviewing fellow Students Faith Hudson, Taylor Boase and Abigail Littrell on extracurricular activities and academic programs at the school, such as the Science Club, Camp Hazelwood, STEM (Science, Technology, Education, Mathematics) program, and the Kids’ Corner. Littrell also presented a speech.

Before the meeting, a Christmas reception was held for board and staff and the Middle School Ensemble under the direction of Joey Sam presented musical selections.

Lakewood School houses both an elementary and middle school, with Principals Mike Bell and Amy Veazey. Enrollment in the elementary school is 557; Middle School enrollment is 274, for a total enrollment including pre-kindergarten of 831. 

The school opened in 1996, with six classroom additions building in 2004. It has been a Storm Safe School since 2013.

In new business, Coordinated School Health Director Stephanie Winders said the county school district received a $16,700 grant from the state which will go toward funding surveillance cameras for Harrelson School, funds for bus driver training, for School Resource Officer conferences, instant response teams for crises and signage for visitors at school buildings.

As presented by Supervisor of Secondary Curriculum Betsy Allison, minor curriculum changes in such items as class titles were approved by the board. 

Director of Schools Sam Miles announced that County Nursing Coordinator Wendy Collins will be retiring and told her, “All the schools are going to miss you.”

Natalie Clark (with microphone), Sylas Allen and Drew Culbreath present a mock newscast and interview fellow students. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Man Arrested After Passing Out, Damaging Martin PD

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Martin, Tenn.-A Paris man was arrested on multiple charges after he was found passed out at the entrance of a Martin pharmacy Wednesday night. In the course of his arrest, he fought with officers and damaged areas of the Martin Police Department.

Robert James, age 35, was charged with vandalism, DUI third offense, violation of implied consent, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

Police were called to the scene on a report of an unconscious man in his car and witnesses had seen him spraying aerosol dust into his nose.

When officers arrived, James was passed out in the car, which still was running with its lights and windshield wipers running. According to the police report, officers saw two aerosol dust cans in his lap and he had one in his hand with his finger still on the trigger.

When officers were able to awaken him, James became agitated and was incoherent. He refused to step out of the car and backed up in the vehicle to get away from officers, raising his legs as if to kick them. Weakley Co. EMS was called to help assess his physical condition.

When police were able to get him out of the car, he kicked the police car several times and officers placed him in another car with window shields. Inside the Martin Police Department, he was unable to perform sobriety tests and became more aggressive, hitting his head on the wall, breaking a clock and kicking a filing cabinet and denting it.

Police found two unopened aerosol cans and 10 opened cans in his car.

Obion Man Arrested Following Accident

Fulton, Ky.-An Obion man was arrested on several charges following a one-car accident in Fulton County.

Curtis J. Henry was charged with DUI first offense, possession of open alcohol in a motor vehicle, and failure to maintain insurance. According to the press release from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Henry tested .08 blood alcohol level.

Henry told officers he was traveling east on State Line Road when he swerved to miss a deer in the road. Henry lost control of the vehicle and ran off the south side of the roadway hitting a concrete embankment causing the vehicle to flip upside down coming to rest in the bottom of a creek bed. Henry was then able to exit the vehicle and call from assistance. 

Henry was transported to Parkway Hospital where he was treated and released, after which he was transported to the Fulton County Detention Center.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Fulton Police Department, and the Tri City Ambulance Service.

Inman School Collects Over 10,000 Items For Food Bank 

All smiles are members of the Paris Police, Paris Public Works, Mayor Carlton Gerrell, Inman School Principal Jason Scarbrough, Charlotte Robertson, School Resource Officer Dennis Vaughn and Landa Elizondo’s homeroom class. 

Paris, Tenn.-Inman School collected over 10,000 food items--10,150 items, to be exact--to replenish the Henry County Food Bank over the Christmas holidays. 

Members of the Paris Police Department, Paris Public Works and Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell--who is a Food Bank official--were on hand Tuesday to help load the boxes and boxes of items from Inman School and carry them to the food bank in the Central Services Building. 

According to School Coordinator Charlotte Robertson, the homeroom class of Mrs. Landa Elizondo had the most class participation, with 100 percent of the students taking part. Other winning homerooms were those of Teachers Mrs. Teresa Baker, 8th grade; Dan Veazey, 7th grade; Rebecca Wilson, 6th grade; and Rodney Atkisson, CDC. The winning classes will be treated to a pizza party on Tuesday, courtesy of Carlton Gerrell and the Paris Police.

Paris Man Arrested On Numerous Charges In Martin

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-A Paris man was arrested on multiple charges after he was found passed out at the entrance of a Martin pharmacy Wednesday night. In the course of his arrest, he fought with officers and damaged areas of the Martin Police Department.

Robert James, age 35, was charged with vandalism, DUI third offense, violation of implied consent, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

Police were called to the scene on a report of an unconscious man in his car and witnesses had seen him spraying aerosol dust into his nose.

When officers arrived, James was passed out in the car, which still was running with its lights and windshield wipers running. According to the police report, officers saw two aerosol dust cans in his lap and he had one in his hand with his finger still on the trigger.

When officers were able to awaken him, James became agitated and was incoherent. He refused to step out of the car and backed up in the vehicle to get away from officers, raising his legs as if to kick them. Weakley Co. EMS was called to help assess his physical condition.

When police were able to get him out of the car, he kicked the police car several times and officers placed him in another car with window shields. Inside the Martin Police Department, he was unable to perform sobriety tests and became more aggressive, hitting his head on the wall, breaking a clock and kicking a filing cabinet and denting it.

Police found two unopened aerosol cans and 10 opened cans in his car.

Rehearsing For "Miracle At 34th Street"

Union City, Tenn.-David Houston, center, rehearses his part as Kris Kringle along with the cast of the Christmas classic “Miracle At 34th Street” that is being performed by the Masquerade Theater during December in Union City. The play is being performed at the Capitol Theater downtown  at 7:30 p.m. December 12, and 13 and at 2 p.m14. Tickets are $10. The theatre is located at 120 S. First St. Directed by Linda St. Clair, the production boasts an impressive cast and crew, with Mandy Hinson as Doris Walker; David Houston as Kris Kringle; Mary Morgan Hale as Susan Walker and Jonathon Watford as Fred Gailey. For ticket information call the theatre at 1-731-246-0038. The full cast and crew list is on the Masquerade Theatre website at www.

Martin Woman Struck By Vehicle

Martin, Tenn.-A Martin woman was injured with non-life-threatening injuries when she was struck by a vehicle Wednesday night in Martin.

Christiana Farmer was transported to Volunteer Community Hospital after she was struck by a 1991 Chevy Blazer driven by Todd Collins, age 22, of Camden.

According to the Martin Police press release, Farmer was walking on the sidewalk on Lee Street near Skyhawk Manor when Collins’ vehicle left the roadway and struck her, then crossed back across the road and into a ditch.

The accident is still under investigation and no charges have been filed at this time.

Downtown Paris Stores To Be Open Sundays Through Christmas

Paris, Tenn.-Stores in Downtown Paris will be open on Sundays through Christmas, making it easier for local people to “Shop, Eat, Live and Be Local” this year. The stores will be open from 1-5 p.m. on Sundays December 14 and December 21, in addition to their regular hours on weekdays and Saturdays.

The following stores will be open on Sundays before Christmas: Boutique Mari Mac, My Favorite Things, The Felix, The Toggery, Butler & Harber, Herron & Wills, Off the Square, Leach’s Music, Maggies, and Iron Place.

Parkway Regional To Close

Fulton, Ky. - Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton, Ky. Announced it will be closing the 70-bed facility for good March 31, 2015, due to declining inpatient stays and reimbursements.

Hospital CEO John Ballard said the fact that fewer patients nowadays require inpatient care and “reimbursement is less for the care provided” prompted the difficult decision to close. 

According to a press release issued by Parkway Regional, patients admitted to the hospital dropped from 1,400 in 2010 to about 700 this year. Emergency room visits also declined from a high of 6,000 in 2012 to about 5,300 this year.

Local physician clinics will continue to operate along with Tri-Cities EMS. Next fall, Hillview Clinic will be relocated to South Fulton, Tennessee.

County officials said the city and county will work with the Purchase Area Development District to find employment for hospital staff.

OCCHS Hires Decker As Head Coach

Union City, Tenn.-The new head football coach at Obion County Central High School is a man with deep roots at the school.

The school today announced it has hired Paul Decker, who currently is assistant coach at Dyersburg High School. Decker is a 1982 Obion County Central graduate and has said that being named head football coach at his alma mater was his dream job.

Decker replaces Kevin Goltra in the head coach position. Goltra was fired last month after unsuccessful seasons. 

Nash Receives Make-A-Difference Award

Pam Nash receives the award from Charley Deal, WestStar executive director and UT Martin vice chancellor for alumni relations, and Peggy Daniel, of Selmer, wife of the late Jimmy Daniel, for whom the award is named. 

Martin, Tenn. — Pam Nash, CEO of the Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, received the Jimmy Daniel Make-A-Difference WestStar Alumni Award at the UT Martin WestStar Leadership Program 25th Anniversary Celebration on Nov. 6 at Discovery Park of America in Union City.

The Make-A-Difference Award is named for the late Jimmy Daniel, field representative for Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist and a member of WestStar’s first graduating class in 1990. Individuals selected must have a strong record of leadership in West Tennessee during the past five years and be active participants in WestStar. Nash is the 14th recipient of the award.

Nash is involved with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Council of Social Work, Southwest Council of Children and the United Way executive council. She has won several awards, including the Outstanding Social Worker of the Year and the Angel Award in 2011 for outstanding work in helping to make life better for others. 
WestStar is the state’s oldest and largest regional leadership program and was created in 1989 to serve West Tennessee by offering leadership development and education for selected participants. The program has 710 graduates since its beginning. 

UC Board Re-Elects Caudle, Waggoner

Union City, Tenn.-At its organizational meeting, the Union City Schools board of education re-elected both Glenda Caudle as Chairman and Cathy Waggoner as Vice-Chair.

Director of Schools Gary Houston praised the success of the district football team, the Golden Tornadoes, which won the Class 1A State Championship for the second year in a role. He also complimented the Middle School Band on its recent concert.

The board thanked outgoing Board Member Wesley Conley for his service. Conley is retiring from the board and will be replaced by Dylan Bondurant, who was elected in November.

MSU Football Coach Leaving

Murray, Ky.-Murray State University Football Coach Chris Hatcher is leaving the program to become the head coach at Samford.

When first hired, Hatcher was able to turn the program around--but only for a couple of years. The last winning seasons for the university football team were in 2010 and 2011.

Prior to coming to Murray, Hatcher coached at Georgia Southern.

Wednesday, December 10. 2014 

An Especially Dreary Day

Paris, Tenn.-Cloud cover all day Tuesday made for an especially dreary day, but it did provide an interesting photograph of the Henry County Courthouse. Today‘s weather report unfortunately calls for more of the same. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Christmas Festival, Parade Is Saturday 

The Paris Board Of Public Utilities took top honors last year. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.- Santa rolls in for the Christmas Festival in Downtown Paris on Saturday, December 13, and he’s bringing a sleigh load of friends. “The Downtown Christmas Festival” runs from 2 until 4:30 p.m. around the Court Square and features live animals, trackless train rides, carriage rides, crafts, stories and tasty treats, as well as a visit from the jolly old elf. 

The Holly Jolly Christmas Parade begins downtown at 4:30 p.m. Grand Marshals this year are the Henry County 4-H Club members and a Special Ambassador also will be in the parade.

Santa will be rolling into town early in the afternoon for the Christmas Festival.  “While they’re visiting with me, the youngsters can have their photos made by my Henry County High School Band Booster Elves, but that’s just the beginning of the fun,” Santa said.

“Stores will be open for shopping while my pals from R.E.A.L. Hope have games for children, Paris! Magazine and Youth Villages will be on hand with Christmas activities and my 4 H Friends will help them make hand print ornaments, icicle and tree ornaments, explained Claus. Leslie Sensing’s “reindeer goats” also will be on hand around Santa’s house to visit with the children.” 

For those who need a break from the chilly weather, one of Santa’s favorite fellows, Monroe Robbins will be reading Christmas stories inside Jack’s Java and free hot chocolate will be available for children at Jack’s Java. 

“We are very excited to have a beautiful white, horse-drawn carriage available for free carriage rides from 2:00 pm to 4 pm during the Festival this year,” said Kathy Ray.  “We hope to have this carriage in downtown Paris for other events in the future.”

Other tasty treats around the square that evening include s’mores courtesy of the Paris Fire Department according to Kathy Ray, president of the Downtown Paris Association, sponsor of the holiday event. The Festival will be immediately followed by the Holly Jolly Electric Christmas Parade at 4:30 p.m. 

For more information on the Downtown Christmas Festival or the Downtown Paris Association contact DPA President Kathy Ray at 731-653-7274 or online at

Critical Need For O- Blood 

Jackson, Tenn.-Lifeline Blood Services current update indicates that the blood supply is critically Low on O negative blood. If possible, we need as many O negative donors to give at blood drives throughout West Tennessee this week.

Below is the blood drive schedule through Friday, Dec. 12. 

Dec. 9 Dr. Nathan Porter Library, Greenfield , 2-6 p.m.
Dec. 10 Methodist Fayette Hospital , Somerville, 12-6 p.m.
Dec. 11 South Jackson Community Blood Drive at Maximum Health and Fitness 2-6 p.m.

Family Assistance Services Center, McKenzie 10a.m. -12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Decatur General Hospital, Parsons, 12-6 p.m.
Dec. 12 Regions Bank, Henderson, 12-4:30 p.m.

Baptist Memorial Hospital, Huntingdon, 1-5 p.m.

Fred’s Dollar Store, Milan 1-6 p.m.

Christmas Portraits To Be Made at Festival of Trees Saturday

Twenty-five beautifully decorated trees are on display. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.– Heirloom Christmas portraits will be made at the Festival of Trees this Saturday, December 13, at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. A project of the Paris Photography Club, the portraits will be made between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm and will cost $10. 

“There isn’t a more festive spot in town to have a holiday portrait made than Festival of Trees,” according to Dell Ezell, committee chair. “We are expecting lots of families, couples and friends to have their heirloom portraits made together during this event. Photos of pets will also be available outside. All photos will be made by professional photographers.”

The process is simple, according to Ezell. After the photos are made, customers will receive a receipt with instructions on accessing their photos online. Usually there are three photos uploaded per sitting. The portraits have no copyright, so they can be downloaded to the customer’s personal computer for printing, ordering, or emailing.

“Ten dollars will be charged for each sitting,” Ezell said. “So if a family of five wants to do a second photo of their three children, that will be considered a second sitting.” Proceeds will be divided among the Paris Photo Club, the DPA, and the Heritage Center. 

DPA President Kathy Ray invited families to have their heirloom portraits made at the Heritage Center and then come to the square for the Downtown Christmas Festival. The event runs from 2:00 - 4:30 pm and is immediately followed by the Holly Jolly Electric Christmas Parade. 

For more information contact Jeff Roush, president of the PPC at 731-676-1520 or email him at

Discovery Park To Display Wright Brothers' Plane Replica

Union City, Tenn.-Thanks to a very industrious group of Obion County Central High School students, Discovery Park of America is adding the Wright Brothers’ plane to its Transportation Exhibit.

A dedication ceremony “to thank these very special students” is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, December 13 in the Discovery Park Reelfoot Room, according to Mary Nita Bondurant, Discovery Park Marketing Director.

The students of High School Teacher Joe Graves will be special guests at the park that day and receive free admission.

Santa Claus To Appear At "Over The River" Race Saturday

Buchanan, Tenn.-Santa Claus will make an appearance at this Saturday morning’s Over The River Race and Walk at Paris Landing State Park. Santa will be making an entrance on the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department truck.

The State Park will once again be featured in the State Parks Running Tour, with the eight mile "Over the River" race planned for 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 13, at the Park. Runners may register beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the park. Walkers will begin at 10 am. Awards and trophies will be given for various age groups.

Mrs. Claus At Work

Union City, Tenn.-Mrs. Claus reads stories to a group of listeners while Daniel Nunnelee plays a variety of Christmas songs at the Union City Elementary School PTO Christmas event. The night also featured pictures with Santa and music from the UCES Chorus kids and the Voices of UCES. (Brent Hinson photo).

Grace Church To Hold Christmas Sale 

Paris, Tenn.-A Christmas Sale will be held at Ketcham Hall in Grace Episcopal Church from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec 12 & 13. Items for sale include jewelry, skin care, baked goods and crafts. Part of the proceeds will go to buy Christmas gifts for the children who attend Patriot's Kitchen. Youth of Grace Church will be selling hot chocolate and baked goods to raise money for their winter retreat.

CG To Apply For Fire Truck Grant

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Cottage Grove Legislative Council Tuesday night okayed the application for a Community Development Block Grant to replace a city fire truck. Councilman John Weiher will be applying for the grant. 

Council also authorized Commissioner Matthew McClure, who is chair of the street committee, to replace two street signs.

The financial report for November was read. Revenues were $4,123.60 and expenses were $31,133.58. Those figures included a once-yearly payment to the post office building.  

Civil War Christmas Ball Set

Columbus, Ky.-A Civil War Christmas Ball will be held this Saturday at Columbus-Belmont State Park.

The event will begin with a dinner at 6:00 and dance at 7:00 with music provided by the 52nd Regimental String Band.

Period dress is encouraged for the event, but not required.

The cost is $10 per person and reservations must be made at the Columbus Park office.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 

Kroger, Paris PD Win Top Honors At Festival Of Trees

DPA President Kathy Ray congratulations Tammy Walker and Chief Chuck Elizondo of the Paris Police Department for winning Most Original Tree. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd filled the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center Tuesday morning for the grand opening of the annual Festival of Trees display.

The Kroger Christmas tree created with live poinsettias won First Place, followed by the Grinch-mass Tree by W.G. Rhea Public Library in second place and an elf tree by Paris! Magazine in third place.

The Paris Police Department tree, complete with police hat, boots, badge and handcuffs won the prize for Most Original. The tree was put together by Parking Officer Tammy Walker, who said she had help from Pinterest.

Special awards were given out by Downtown Paris Association (DPA) President Kathy Ray to Commercial Bank & Trust Vice President Kay Foust, who is retiring this year and Shawn Burns of Kroger, who helped set up the Festival of Trees display.

Twenty-five trees are on display at this year's Festival of Trees, with a wide assortment of themes.

Ray said volunteers will be working downtown this year as ambassadors to answer questions from the public about Paris and its events. She said a Special Ambassador will be in the Holly Jolly Christmas Parade on Saturday night, which will become an annual feature of the parade.

The Festival of Trees, Ray said, "is a wonderful, wonderful display for everyone and we hope everyone can get here to see these beautiful trees."

This event is a partnership of the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center and the Downtown Paris Association. Hours for the event will be Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. through Dec. 21. The Heritage Center is normally closed on Monday, however, this year it will be open on Monday, Dec. 22nd, 11AM-5PM for last minute holiday visitors. 

The Paris Photography Club will have a professional photographer at the Heritage Center Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. to take photos for a fee of $10.00. 

This year’s trees are created by AmVets Auxillary, Caring Hearts, Chamber of Commerce, City of Paris, Coast to Coast Tinting, Commercial Bank, First Bank, Foundation Bank, Henry County High School, Henry County Litter Program, Henry County Officials, Heritage Center, K&B Supplies, KPAC, Kroger, Paris! Magazine, Paris Police Dept., REALHope Youth Center, The Travel Agency, W.G. Rhea Library, Youth Villages, Paris Winery, Perkins Drug, Jaspe' Salon and Herron & Wills. 

Michele Atkins and Cherry Boyd of the Henry County UT Extension Office enjoy looking at the variety of trees. (McFarlin photo).

The Paris Police Department won Most Original for its tree. (McFarlin photo).

Cops & Kids Provides Gifts For 209 Children  

School Resource Officers Michelle Brewer and Bruce Alexander and Paris Police Sgt. Ean Reed at the crowded check-out lane. (Chuck Elizondo photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Wal Mart Supercenter in Paris was even more crowded than usual on Saturday when the Fraternal Order Of Police Lodge 17 took 209underprivileged children Christmas shopping as part of the Cops And Kids program.

Officers from the Paris Police Department, Henry County Sheriffs Department, Henry County High School D.E.C.A. and Criminal Justice Class assisted with the project.

The shopping trip began at Henry County High School where the children were grouped with a shopping guide and bussed to Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Each child was allowed to spend $70 on Christmas presents. When they returned to the high school, they additionally received a stuffed animal and other goodies. F.O.P. President and Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said, “Thank you Paris and Henry County for your support and donations. Because of your generosity, 209 children will have a better Christmas,”

Also assisting were Harrelson, Henry and Lakewood Schools Guidance Counselors, Knight of Columbus, Henry County Rescue Squad and Henry County Reserve Officers.

Santa's Helpers as represented by Brian Welp’s D.E.C.A. class and Diane McCord’s Criminal Justice from Henry County High School.

Big Man In Red Atop Fire Truck In UC Parade

Union City, Tenn.-A highlight of Monday night's Christmas Parade in Union City was the appearance of Santa Claus from high stop the big Union City Fire Truck. More photos from the parade and Christmas Tree lighting ceremony were published Monday night. (Mitzi Hailey photo).

Lakewood Speech Team Places Second In Kentucky Tourney

Paris, Tenn.-The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team competed in the prestigious Junior Hilltopper Invitational at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky., over the weekend. The tournament attracts teams from all over Kentucky and Tennessee and this year 13 schools and over 200 students attended the contest. Lakewood placed 2nd overall with the following students earning individual honors in the final round;

Natalie Clark - 1st in Declamation and 3rd in Oratory

Sylis Allen - 2nd in Poetry, 2nd in Prose and 1st in Improvisational Duo

Several students did not place in the final round, but gained recognition as well:

Janet McFadden - 7th in Prose

Adam Ashlock - 7th in Storytelling

James Weatherly and Braydon Hutson - 7th in Duo Acting

Faith Hutson - 7th in Oratory

Jessica Whalen and Faith Hutson - 7th in Improvisational Duo

Abigail Littrell - 7th in Declamation

The team will be hosting their first tournament at Lakewood school on January 24th. They are coached by David Weatherly.

Rhea Supper With Santa Is Friday

Paris, Tenn.-Santa Claus and one of his elves will arrive at Rhea School around 5 p.m. Friday on a Paris Fire Truck for the school’s annual Supper With Santa event. The event includes many activities including games, bouncers, cookie decorating, ornament decorating, a cake walk, hair salon, nail painting and special memories auction. Concessions are available and a bake sale will be held.

Santa and his elf stay for the event, which includes an opportunity to have photos taken with Santa. 

Activity tickets are available at the door, at 50 cents each. Supper With Santa is a major fundraiser for Rhea School.

OVC Commissioner To Speak At UTM

Martin, Tenn. — Ohio Valley Conference commissioner Beth DeBauche will deliver the fall commencement address Dec. 13 at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Commencement exercises will begin at 11 a.m. in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center. The ceremony will include both summer and fall graduates, and more than 600 students are eligible to participate.

The event is open to the public, but those unable to attend can watch a live commencement webcast courtesy of the OVC Digital Network at the following link:

UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes will preside over the exercises and be joined by Dr. Keith Carver, executive assistant to UT President Joe DiPietro, to confer degrees. 

A reception will be held in Skyhawk Fieldhouse immediately following commencement.

DeBauche was named OVC commissioner July 29, 2009, and began her duties that September. She is the seventh full-time commissioner in the OVC’s 66-plus year history and one of just nine females to lead an NCAA Division I Conference in 2014-15. 
In May 2011 the league announced Belmont University’s addition to the OVC beginning in 2012-13. The addition of Belmont brought the OVC to 12 teams, the largest membership total in league history. 

Conner Speaks To Quota Club

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Quotarians met at the First Presbyterian Church on Monday, December 1st to package sweat suits for Western State Mental Hospital patients.  The annual trip to Western is scheduled for December 12th  and the group will take cookies and bananas to share for their Christmas Party with the patients.

Quota’s Christmas Party will be at the Lee Academy Lunchroom on Thursday, December 11th with the social hour at 5:30 pm and dinner at 6 pm.  Members are asked to bring a monetary donation for the angel tree.   The angel tree donation will go to the Family Resource Center.

Pecans are available from any Quotarian at $10 for a one-pound bag.  Both halves and pieces are still available. 

Quota’s Helping Hand Day is Thursday, January 15th and members will be answering the phones and recording bids each Thursday during the auction.

At the recent meeting of Quota, Cheryl Conner of Tomorrow’s Hope presented a very informative program about what goes on at the center.  She said they administer pregnancy testing and ultra sounds.  They conduct pre-natal classes, classes on labor and delivery, parenting, post-abortion, abstinence, anger management and provide abuse support.  They have generic Bible studies and also provide counseling.  Conner is a certified counselor and they also have nurses on staff.  They have a Thrift Store on Poplar Street where anyone is welcome to go and shop.

Monday, December 8, 2014 

Downtown Parade, Tree Lighting Draw Huge Crowds

The Christmas tree all lit up for the season. (Brent Hinson photo).

Union City, Tenn.-Weather was perfect Monday night for the annual Christmas tree lighting and parade in downtown Union City and the crowds responded by coming out in full force. The evening was full of everything Christmas, from ornaments, carols, and Santa Claus. 

With Joe Ward serving as emcee for the evening, the tree was lit by Pride of Obion County David Harris and Mekayla Harland (in honor of her mother Jerica Gilbert - a cancer survivor). 

A loud Christmas cheer erupted from the crowd when the State Champion Golden Tornadoes football team drove through the parade route.

The State Champion Golden Tornadoes waved to everyone during the parade. (Hinson photo).

The Union City Elementary School choir sang. (Hinson photo).

Mayor Terry Hailey and his wife Mitzi walked the parade route.

Tourism Authority Has Major Economic Impact

The annual Boss Hoss Rally attracts hundreds to Henry County every year. (Chamber photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Tourism Authority has attracted and hosted several major events over the past 12 months, generating over $2.4 million in economic impact to Henry County, according to Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton.

Using funds allocated through the HCTA, the local board supports many local events that bring visitors and participants to the local community and Hamilton said the panel has awarded some $260,000 to help support community events last year.

“This past year, we hosted many wonderful events at Paris Landing and throughout the County,” Hamilton said in a press release.

Henry County was the host site for several major fishing tournaments, such as the inaugural Bass Masters National High School Championship, FLW Tour event, Crappie USA National Championship, Triton Boat Owners, Toyota Bonus Buck, Cabella's Collegiate Big Bass Bash and many local and regional bass tournaments. 

The events hosted by the HCTA generated over 10,000 participants and visitors for these events. 

“Kentucky Lake is considered one of the top fisheries in the country and well known for its big bass and crappie,” Hamilton said, noting that the fishing tournaments have a major impact on the tourism economy. “When we host a fishing tournament, it helps many businesses throughout the county. Anglers stay in our local hotels and campgrounds, eat at our restaurants, buy gas for their boats and cars and buy supplies needed for the time they are in Henry County.”

Fishtale Lodge owner Sharon Seaton echoed those sentiments.

“Fishing tournaments are our bread and butter, and this past year has been one of the best year's we have had at Fishtale Lodge,” she said. “Not only do these tournaments bring anglers to our community for their tournaments, many of the anglers come in months and weeks before a tournament to pre-fish.”

The overnight stays and expenses associated with pre-fishing are not included in the $2.4 million economic impact generated by these tournaments. “We do not include pre-fish estimates in our economic impact figures because it is hard to determine how many anglers come to pre-fish and how long they stay during those visits,” Hamilton said. “However, we estimate approximately $500,000 -$750,000 is generated by anglers pre-fishing prior to a tournament.”

In addition to the fishing tournaments, the HCTA also supported events like the Kiwanis Arts and Crafts Fair, Kentucky Lake Triathlon, Boss Hoss Motor Cycle Rally, Downtown Paris events, Street Dynamics Car show, Enough Grace Women's Ministries, Tennessee BBQ Championship and many more exciting events. 

“Our goal at the HCTA is to attract and support events that will bring overnight visitors to our community,” Hamilton stated.

Henry County will be host to several major events next year as well. B.A.S.S. will hold Bassfest in Henry County next July and it is expected to attract over 25,000 visitors during the four-day tournament. In addition, the FLW All-American and Crappie Masters National Championship will be held in Henry County next year.

The HCTA is chaired by County Mayor Brent Greer and the board is made up of members of the Henry County Commission and a representative for the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. The HCTA meets every month and their meetings are open to the public.

Reminder: "Dooms Horror" Local Showing Is Thursday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A reminder for the public: The local showing of “The Dooms Chapel Horror” will be held Thursday evening at the Parisian Theater in Paris.

The movie was filmed in part in Paris and the surrounding area. It was filmed on location in Paducah and Symsonia, Kentucky; and Paris from May to August of 2013. Over 500 local extras, 31 locations and a multitude local actors were used during the making of the film giving it a very hometown local feel. 

The Paris location scenes were filmed on the Henry County court square and hundreds of local people showed up as extras for the filming. 

When the AGS Production team sat down to decide where to film the feature-length movie, there was only one place in mind, according to the press release issued by the movie’s producers. 

Director John Holt, writer Jason Turner, and producer Christopher Bower have called western Kentucky and Tennessee home for the last decade, and there was no better landscape for their newest horror flick to be filmed. 

Production on the “The Dooms Chapel Horror,” ended last summer and has been in the process of post-production leading up to its premiere next month. The movie features local actors Austin Madding, Abby Murphy and Joshua Robinson (Clock Out, Burning Kentucky), along with Los Angeles heavyweight Bill Oberst, Jr. (Abraham Lincoln Zombie Hunter, CBS’s Criminal Minds ) and Shaun Gerardo (X-men: First Class, Clock Out). 

Tickets and more information can be found at The show starts at 7pm. 

Christi Cross Elected State GOP Secretary

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris woman who has been involved in local and state Republican Party politics has been elected secretary of the Tennessee Republican Party.

Christi Cross also currently serves on the Republican Party State Executive Committee, to which she was elected in August for her third term. She represents Henry, Obion, Benton, Carroll, Gibson and Weakley Counties.

The State Executive Committee serves as the board of directors for the Tennessee GOP and on Saturday that panel elected her to serve as secretary of the Tennessee GOP. She will serve a two-year term.
Cross has had a long-time interest in politics and most recently managed the campaign of District Attorney Matt Stowe of Huntingdon. She said her first paid job after college was for the State Republican Party. She served as a field rep and that is when she started managing political campaigns, Cross said. 

Cross also worked for the House Republican Caucus. She managed the campaign of Rep. Curtis Halford (R-Dyer) and he now serves as the chair of the State Agriculture Committee.

Cross also served as the President of Henry County Republican Women, Vice-President, and also as Vice-Chair and Interim Chair of the Henry County Republican Party. Governor Bill Haslam also appointed her as a consumer member to the Tennessee Board of Massage Licensure in 2012, on which she still serves.

“I have worked on every Republican campaign in this district in some capacity since I was 20 years old,” Cross said, “from driving cars to support George Bush in local parades, to this past cycle with Matt Stowe“. 

Cross is a 1990 graduate of Henry County High School, a 2001 graduate of the University of Tennessee in Martin, and received her master’s degree from Liberty University in 2013.

She works as a therapist at Lake Haven Behavioral, the psychiatric unit at Henry County Medical Center. She and her husband Sam have seven children.  

Cross said she is honored by her election. “I am very excited to have been elected as an officer to the party I love so much.”

Santa’s Village To Open This Week

Martin, Tenn. — Christmas is coming soon, and that means Santa’s Village is, too. 

The 30th annual event is scheduled 6-9 p.m., Thursday and Friday, Dec. 11-12; 11 a.m.- 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13; and 1-5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 14 at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus. The event offers a winter wonderland for all ages to explore and an opportunity for visitors to help meet the needs of the less fortunate in the area. 

Admission to Santa’s Village is free, but donations for $5 worth of nonperishable food and/or toys are encouraged and appreciated. 

This year’s event features visits with Santa, a petting farm, amusement rides, arts and crafts, an enchanted forest with thousands of lights, live entertainment, and weather permitting, horse-drawn wagon rides Friday through Sunday. Curious George will also be on hand from 1-4 p.m. Saturday.

Santa’s Village co-sponsors are the City of Martin and UT Martin. Additional sponsors include: Zaxby’s, Casey’s General Store, Volunteer Community Hospital, University Plaza, First State Bank, MTD Products, Tyson Foods and Savant Learning Systems.
For more information, contact the Martin Parks and Recreation Department at 731-587-6784.

UC Man Beaten, Run Over; Three Arrested

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Two Union City men and one Martin woman were arrested on charges of aggravated assault after a Melber, Ky., was seriously injured when he was beaten and run over by an SUV early Sunday morning in Union City.

Union City Police arrested Wesley Adam Perry, age 19, of 711 W. Washington St., at th...e scene. Allan Coleman, age 28 of Union City, turned himself in later that afternoon. Perry and Coleman are charged with beating the victim. Kaycee Wells, age 31, of 786 Ryan St., Martin, turned herself in the next morning. She is accused of running the victim over with the SUV.

Police arrived at Cypress Cover in the 700 block of West Washington St. at 3:30 a.m. on a call of a fight. They found a black male lying in the parking lot face down with a crowd of people trying to get him to respond, which he was not doing. Police called the EMS and an officer asked him if he could hear him. The victim said yes and that he couldn’t move his legs.

The officer moved everyone away from the victim and told him help was on the way. More officers arrived and began questioning witnesses.

Witnesses said the victim had been run over by a black SUV driven by a white female who then drove off. It also was determined that the victim had been beat up before being run over.

Through more questioning, the men who beat up the victim were located, as was the woman who ran over him.

Teague Promotion Announced At Commercial Bank

Paris, Tenn.-Long-time Commercial Bank & Trust Co. employee Lola Teague has been promoted to Customer Service Officer.

Teague, a graduate of Henry County High School, Jackson State and Lambuth has continued her education by taking numerous banking classes through Tennessee Bankers Association. Teague joined the bank in May of 1997. She works at the downtown Paris office in new accounts during the week and serves as the manager at Mineral Wells location on Saturdays.

CEO Mott Ford said “We appreciate what Lola Teague has done for the bank the past 17 years. The same work ethic that made her a basketball star at each of her schools is evident in her work at Commercial Bank. A tremendous team spirit prevails. We look forward to watching Lola continue her successful career with Commercial Bank & Trust Company.”

Commercial Bank & Trust Company has 10 locations in Paris, Memphis, Jackson and Union City.

Santa And Mrs. Claus To Appear At UC Elementary

Union City, Tenn.-Children--and their parents--are invited to rock around the Christmas tree with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Union City Elementary School gymnasium on Tuesday, December 9. 

The Parent Teacher Organization invites everyone for a warm mug of cocoa, Christmas cookies and musical performances by Union City Elementary Chorus Kids and Voices of UCES. 

The whole family can enjoy singing Christmas Carols, story time with Mrs. Claus and a special visit by WLJT: Public Television for West Tennessee’s Curious George. Bring the ho-ho-whole family. Chorus Kids & Voices of UCES performances start at 6 in the gym with the doors opening at 5:45 pm.  

Applicants Accepted For Pageants 

Paperwork is now being accepted for the 2015 Miss University of Tennessee at Martin and Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival Scholarship pageants! The combined pageant is slated for Saturday, January 31 when over $3000 in scholarships will be awarded. Contact Hollie Holt at or Katrina Cobb at for the official paperwork guidelines and additional information.

Sunday, December 7, 2014 

Talent On Display For Christmas

Local Artist Sandee Green shows one of her newest stained glass creations of an Eiffel Tower during Saturday’s annual Christmas Bazaar. (Shannon McFarlin photo). 

Paris, Tenn.-A steady flow of art-lovers attended Saturday's annual Christmas Bazaar at Lee Academy For The Arts. Artists and artisans from all over the area displayed and sold their creations, which included jewellery, paintings, pottery, gourd art, and more.  

Paris Artist Ann Stapp with a painting of her late cat, Boots. (McFarlin photo).

Martin Paschall and his wife Rita with a display of his pottery. (McFarlin photo).

Fun At Obion County Library Christmas Party

Union City, Tenn.-A large crowd of children and their parents were on hand today at the Obion County Public Library for the annual Christmas Party and Festival of Trees. Santa was the most popular man there and children had fun with crafts and snacks. (Brent Hinson photo).

TBI Provides Naxolone To Agents

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation expanded its program to provide a potentially life-saving resource to its Special Agents who might come into contact with fentanyl.

In recent years, law enforcement agencies across the country have reported an increase in exposure to the powerful and potentially deadly painkiller, primarily in heroin recoveries. In recent months, TBI crime labs have received several samples of heroin laced with fentanyl and pure fentanyl packaged as heroin. In powder form, fentanyl, a drug classified as an opioid, can be absorbed through the skin and accidentally inhaled. The effects of overdose can range from breathing problems to death.

In April, the Food and Drug Administration approved a device called Evzio. When administered correctly, the handheld auto-injector delivers a dose of naloxone, a known antidote for opioid overdose. The medicine has no effect in people who are not taking opioid medications.

TBI spent more than two months developing its naloxone program. In October, TBI provided the devices to Agents in its Drug Investigation Division along with specified Forensic Scientists. Today, the agency expanded the program to include Agents in its Criminal Investigation Division ahead of schedule, thanks to a generous grant donation by Evzio’s manufacturer, Kaleo Pharma.

“Every day, our Agents and Forensic Scientists work tirelessly to pursue justice for the people of Tennessee,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “This new program better protects them from the risks they might encounter while doing that important work. We are very thankful to Kaleo Pharma for their donation, which helped us get this valuable resource to our Agents faster.”

In order to carry Evzio, TBI personnel must complete an extensive online training, which includes policies for storing, administering and reporting use of the device, in addition to the related Tennessee law. In the most recent legislative session, Tennessee lawmakers approved a bill allowing the use of naloxone in specified circumstances and providing civil immunity for those who administer it in good faith.

Union Tuition To Increase

Jackson, Tenn.-Union University Board of Trustees on Friday approved a tuition increase of 2.66 percent for the 2015-2016 school year.

With the approved increase, tuition will be hiked from $13,735 a semester to $14,100. Union Trustees said the increase is the smallest undergraduate tuition increase in the past 20 years.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Governor's Mansion Hosts Christmas Open House

The West Tennessee tree in the Governor's Mansion.

Nashville, Tenn. – Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam today opened the Tennessee Residence for the 4th annual Tennessee’s Home for the Holidays event. This year, the decoration theme is “Tennessee Landscapes,” and Tennessee State Parks were a partner to create decorations highlighting beautiful natural scenery in east, middle, and west Tennessee. 

The open house began today and runs through December 17, with tours offered Monday – Saturday, and guests may reserve a time to visit on the First Lady’s website, The open house is free to the public.

“The Tennessee Residence truly comes to life when it is beautifully decorated for the holidays and full of visitors,” Mrs. Haslam said. “Bill and I look forward to the open house each year, and this year’s decoration theme is very special.”

This year, First Lady Haslam visited more than half of Tennessee’s State Parks to collect ideas and natural materials for the holiday decorations. Christmas trees are decorated for east, middle and west Tennessee, incorporating each region’s unique geologic and scenic features into the design. The main tree in the foyer is decorated for Tennessee State Parks, and each park is represented on the tree with a hand-painted ornament created by an artist selected by the park’s manager.

“State Parks offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for visitors. They were a great resource for this project,” Mrs. Haslam said. “Our holiday decorations are wonderful, and the open house is also an opportunity to learn more about and celebrate the uniqueness of our beautiful state.”

Tennessee State Parks’ Junior Rangers Program, for ages 6-14, created the ornaments in Conservation Hall. The Junior Ranger Program strives to give children opportunities to learn about and enjoy their natural environment, and trees were decorated to represent the 6 different pillars of the program: Safety, History, Stewardship, Astronomy, Wildlife, and Water.  

For more information about “Tennessee’s Home for the Holidays,” please visit

Friday, December 5, 2014 

Golden Tornadoes Are State Champs Again!

The Golden Tornadoes, cheer leaders and coaching staff share their victory. (Robin Francis photo).

Cookeville, Tenn.-The Union City Golden Tornadoes are back-to-back State 1A Champions!

The Golden Tornadoes defeated Coalfield 56-14 to take home another TSSAA state champ trophy today at the Blue Cross Bowl in Cookeville.

Union City is undefeated on its football season and today took home the best reward for all that hard work. It’s the third state title won by Union City in its history.

Earlier in the game, the Tornadoes experienced something they haven’t all year when they were behind in the score. Coalfield was one point ahead 8-7 early in the first quarter, but Union City soon rectified that and was dominant the rest of the game.

Coach Darren Bowling also was given his Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year trophy that he was awarded earlier in December. 

Coach Darren Bowling on the sidelines (Robin Francis photo).

Golden Tornadoes and officials at the coin toss before the game. (Robin Francis photo).

Paris Pair Arrested On Narcotics, Weapons Charges

                    Rock Foster                                               Nacole Melton

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Two Paris residents were arrested on numerous drug and firearms charges following a search by the Metro Crime Unit, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Paris, Puryear and Henry Police Departments and the Tennessee Highway Patrol on Thursday.

Arrested were Rock Foster and Nacole Melton, both age 34 and both living at 109 Iris Street.

The search warrant was executed at a camper at that address and found inside the camper were the two individuals along with baggies full of marijuana, a felony amount of “ice” (meth), digital scales, and numerous plastic baggies. Stored with the narcotics, according to the press release, was a loaded 9 mm pistol.

Both Foster and Melton were charged with possession of controlled substance with intent to manufacture, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and simple possession.

The home near the camper also was searched and Skylar and Brenda Helms also were arrested, charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Early Morning Fog

Paris, Tenn.-Our area was under a fog advisory earlier this morning and this photo taken on Lankford Rd. at 2 a.m. today demonstrates why. Many awoke to not only dense fog but heavy rains, both of which had cleared by 8 a.m. or so. (Charlie Allen photo).

Christmas Open House At Dover Museum This Weekend 

Dover, Tenn.-The Stewart County Historical Society presents its annual Brier Rose Christmas this year, beginning with an open house at the W.D. Sykes Historical Showboat Museum this weekend. The museum right now features 40-plus Christmas trees and displays and is located near the Fort Donelson National Battlefield cemetery. Open house is noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum will be open each weekend noon to 5 p.m. until Christmas. (Photo by Ann Shephard).

MSU Board Approves Smoke Free Campus

Murray, Ky.-Beginning next school year, the Murray State University campus will be smoke free.

The possibility has been debated on and off for some time, and on Thursday the University Board of Regents voted to make the campus tobacco free. 

President Bob Davies, with the help of a newly-appointed committee, will iron out details of the new policy and present the implementation plan at the Regents’ February meeting.

The start date for implementation of the smoking ban is yet to be determined. The ban will include all tobacco and tobacco-like products, including e-cigarettes. 

The implementation plan will include making available university-funded programs to help faculty, staff and students stop smoking. 

Earlier this semester, over 2,000 Murray State students, faculty and staff filled out surveys to assess how many supported a partial or complete smoking ban on campus.

The majority of staff approved a smoking ban to include e-cigarettes. Students, however, were split evenly over whether to ban smoking or improve the designated smoking areas on campus.

President Davies said the survey indicated that more than 70 percent of staff do not smoke.

The changes on the Murray State campus come amid a shift in thinking in Kentucky, where lawmakers are due to consider a statewide smoking ban bill.

Union City Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting Set For Monday

Union City, Tenn.- Main Street Union City will present the city’s 2014 Christmas Tree Lighting, at 5:30 p.m. Monday, December 8, at the Obion County Courthouse with the Christmas Parade following at 7 p.m., in downtown Union City.

Master of Ceremonies will be Joe Ward. Entertainment to be provided by Jaime Worrell, Obion County Children's Chorus, Union City Elementary Chorus Kids, and Voices of Union City Elementary. 

Christmas ornament winners from area schools will decorate the tree followed by 2014 Pride of Obion County David Harris, lighting the tree. Santa will be in Merchants Park at 4 p.m. along with face painting by Gina Lyon. Popes Concessions will be set up in Merchants Park serving food throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m.

For more information, call Phyliss Rauchle at the Main Street office at 885-8330.

"Festival Of Trees" Grand Opening Is Tuesday At Heritage Center

Paris, Tenn.-Grand opening of this year’s “Festival of Trees” will be held at 8 a.m. Tuesday, December 9, at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center, 614 N. Poplar Street in Paris. The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce coffee will be held at the same time.

Businesses and organizations join in celebration of the holiday season by adorning historic Cavitt Place mansion, home of the Heritage Center, with beautifully decorated Christmas trees, mantles, staircases and display cases. 

Winners will be announced at the coffee. Winners will be determined by a secret panel of judges. 

This event is a partnership of the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center and the Downtown Paris Association. Hours for the event will be Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. through Dec. 21. The Heritage Center is normally closed on Monday, however, this year it will be open on Monday, Dec. 22nd, 11AM-5PM for last minute holiday visitors. 

The local Photography Club will have a professional photographer on site Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. to take photos for a fee of $10.00. 

This year’s trees are created by AmVets Auxillary, Caring Hearts, Chamber of Commerce, City of Paris, Coast to Coast Tinting, Commercial Bank, First Bank, Foundation Bank, Henry County High School, Henry County Litter Program, Henry County Officials, Heritage Center, K&B Supplies, KPAC, Kroger, Paris! Magazine, Paris Police Dept., REALHope Youth Center, The Travel Agency, W.G. Rhea Library, Youth Villages, Paris Winery, Perkins Drug, Jaspe' Salon and Herron & Wills. 

Volunteer Help Needed In Henry County 

Paris, Tenn.-Sometimes the greatest gift you can give to others is service. There are ways that people can help others through the holiday season and throughout the year in Henry County. The Family Resource Center in Paris is seeking volunteers to read with children in the after school programs; the Patriot Kitchen is looking for volunteers to make and serve meals for the community and the Henry County Food Bank can always take donations, especially during the holidays. Contact Judy Goad at the Family Resource Center, 731-642-2938, for more information on how you can be of service to others in Henry County.

Marketplace Sessions Set In Local Area

Paris, Tenn.- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee will be at Henry County Medical Center on Wednesday, December 10 beginning at 5:30 p.m. for a Community Meet-Up.
The Community Meet-ups allows those attending to find out if they qualify for financial assistance for health insurance through their offerings. The event will begin with a 30 minute power point presentation on the Market Place Insurance AND what Blue Cross has to offer. After the presentation there will be a question and answer session for those attending. Additionally, anyone interested in signing up for insurance can do so. The event should last around an hour to 1 ½ hours. 

This year, the Paris and Henry County Healthcare Foundation, along with HCMC, are offering opportunities in other communities to sign up for insurance. The days, times, and locations are listed below:

Every Monday
Ned R. McWherter Weakley County Library
341 Linden St
Dresden, TN
Time: 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM 

Every Tuesday
Benton County Library
121 S. Forrest Ave. 
Camden, Tennessee
Time: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM 

Every Thursday
McKenzie Library
15 Broadway Street 
McKenzie, Tennessee
Time: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM 
People are also welcome to visit staff onsite at HCMC, but are encouraged to make an appointment prior to coming. This year, there are four Certified Application Counselors to help assist you with this process.
If you believe you are suffering from a sleep disorder, talk with your family physician or go online to for more information or call Tony Fry at 731-644-8274.


Thursday, December 4, 2014 

Gerrell Elected Mayor, Foster Hired As New City Manager

New City Manager Kim Foster administers the oath of office to new Mayor Carlton Gerrell. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Carlton Gerrell will be the new Mayor of Paris, following his unanimous election to the position and Kim Foster was hired as the city’s first female City Manager at a busy meeting of the Paris City Commission. Gayle Griffith will continue as Vice Mayor.

It has been a big year for Gerrell, who was named Person of the Year at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce earlier this year. He also has spearheaded the successful “Shop Local” campaign in Henry County. 

Gerrell replaces Sam Tharpe, who served six years as mayor and had said before the November general election that he would not be seeking another term as mayor.

Gerrell said he is humbled by the opportunity to serve as Mayor and appreciated his fellow commissioners for electing him.  

Tharpe thanked citizens of Paris, as well as his wife Gale, family and friends “for supporting my tenure as the mayor of Paris. Paris is a great place to live and work,“ Tharpe said.

“My fellow commissioners and I have agreed to rotate the person selected to the Mayor’s position every two to four years,” Tharpe said. “This lends the opportunity for the other commissioners to serve as Mayor. In addition, it allows the other commissioners to gain insight into other aspects of the office.”

In his 24 years on the commission, Tharpe said the City Manager form of government which Paris employs has demonstrated to him that “it is not about a monopoly of power. It is about five commissioners coming together communicating for a common cause and making the right decisions for all citizens. As your city commissioner, I pledge to continue to work just as hard for the city” as he did for mayor, he said.

Gayle Griffith thanked Tharpe “for what you’ve done for the city of Paris. Sam has done a tremendous job directing this commission. His goal and my goal is to make Paris Tennessee a much better place to live.”

City Employee George Combs Jr. congratulated Gerrell on his election and thanked Tharpe for “his leadership as mayor. He’s always been open and worked with you on your problems.“ 

The commission also welcomed Robert Sleadd Jr. to the panel. Sleadd replaced Lackey, who retired from the commission.

After a search lasting three and a half month, the City Commission unanimously named Foster as City Manager. She currently is Assistant Manager and will replace Holder when he retires as of May 1. 

Foster was selected from among 50 applicants for the position, including a small number of local candidates. The field was narrowed to a smaller field of ten candidates and eventually reduced to three finalists.

Holder admistered the search under the direction of the commission and said, “The other two candidates would have brought a great deal of experience and knowledge to the position, but on balance, Kim’s performance with the city, her knowledge and understanding of our community and the trust and respect she has gained with the city employees tipped the scales in her favor.”

In other business:

--The city approved a new debt service schedule that includes new state regulations. The new schedule includes the new debt (at 39 percent interest). Foster said the city’s goal is to stay under $500,000 for year year. Fiscal Year 2016 is scheduled for $514,000 based on having borrowed all the money by that time, Foster said. “However, (we) will still be drawing down funds at that time, allowing us not to exceed $500,000 in any one year.”

--Upon request from Gerrell, the commission postponed decisions on appointments to various boards including the Board of Public Utilities and the industrial development board.

--Holder said a new drug policy for employees will be presented for discussion at the January meeting.

--The commission  re-formed the city-county landfill oversight committee to be more active and have specific terms of office. Holder said he felt the action was necessary with a new landfill supervisor and new city manager. The committee will still have five members, to be appointed by both the city and county.

Foster: Positive Retail Sales Continue For City

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Finance Director (and new City Manager) Kim Foster said at Thursday night’s meeting that she continues to be cautiously optimistic as the positive trend in retail sales for the city of Paris continued in September and October.

“We’re still on this positive trend,” she said. “A lot of it is from all the activity on Mineral Wells Ave. A lot of it is from the Shop Local campaign. We just hope we continue to see the positive growth.”
Once again, she said, expenditures in the general fund outpaced revenues. “A couple of things attributed to this. First, we had three pay periods fall in October this year. This happens about twice a year, but usually closer to December which doesn’t make spending seem quite so out of balance,” Foster said. Secondly, the city purchased a backhoe loader for the street department. “These two items combined to account for 85 percent of our spending in excess of revenues received.”

As for general fund revenues, Foster said, even though property taxes have gone out and are being collected daily, the city won’t receive its first large influx of payments until December when it typically receives about 25 percent of our total property tax revenues.”

Golden Tornadoes On The Way To Cookeville 

Union City, Tenn.-Union City High School students, staff and the community showed their overwhelming support for the Golden Tornadoes football team at this morning’s pep rally at the high school gym. The Golden Tornadoes are on their way to Cookeville to play for back-to-back state championships in Class 1A. The Golden Tornadoes are the defending state champs and will face Coalfield at the game which begins at 11 a.m. (Brent Callicott photo).

Woman Nabbed After Forcing Elderly Woman To Withdraw Money

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris woman was arrested outside a local bank moments after she allegedly tried to force an elderly woman with whom she lives to withdraw money from her bank account.

Gina Merrell, age 46, of 1199 N. Poplar St., was apprehended by Paris Police Sgt. Ricky Watson and Investigator Greg Underwood after they had responded to a call about an argument between the two women at Regions Bank on East Wood St.

According to Watson, witnesses said Merrell came into the bank with the elderly lady and instructed her to withdraw money. While inside the bank, the elderly woman refused to do so and Merrell was seen by witnesses picking her up and pushing her into a window, he said.

Merrell was then seen to grab the elderly lady by the arm and walk her to the teller’s station while she withdrew $700, Watson said.

Watson and Underwood caught up with the women as they were getting into the elderly woman’s car.

Merrell is charged with attempted robbery and Watson said, “The only reason we charged her with attempted robbery instead of robbery was because she didn’t have time to get the money from the elderly female’s hands when we caught her.”

Watson said the two women have been staying together.

Merrell was released from the Henry County Jail after paying on bond of $20,000, Watson said. 

Storm Sirens To Be Tested In Murray, Hazel

Hazel and Murray, Ky.-Storm sirens in Murray and Hazel and on the Murray State University campus will be tested Friday morning December 5, beginning about 9am. This is only a test. It is being conducted to make sure that the sirens are working properly. The sirens are tested once each quarter, in accordance with National Weather Service criteria that are part of our Storm-Ready Community and Campus designations, FEMA recommendations, and the Calloway County Emergency Operations Plans.

Flex Fitness Grand Opening

Paris, Tenn.-Manager Brittney Barger, with scissors, prepares to cut the ribbon as part of the grand opening of Flex Fitness on Spruce Street in Paris along with several members of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. Flex Fitness is holding its grand opening open house at its Paris location from today until Saturday. Flex Fitness is a 24-hour fitness facility which also has locations in McKenzie and Brownsville. (Chamber photo).

Advent Walk Fills Downtown With Music, Candles, Scripture

The choir at Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church sing “Emmanuel” to a crowded sanctuary, while Quinn Chapel Church Rev. John Dandridge, left partially hidden, and First United Methodist Church Rev. Rob Martin listen in front of the choir. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Music, candles and scripture filled downtown Paris at Wednesday night’s annual Candlelight Advent Walk from church to church. 

Sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association, the event began at Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church for a short service and music from the church choir before moving on to services at First Baptist Church, Grace Episcopal, First Presbyterian Church, First Christian Church and First United Methodist Church.

Each church’s service was unique, with Wanda Todd delivering scripture at Quinn Chapel; Angela James and the children of the church delivered a message and Iris Shepherd read scripture at First Baptist. At Grace Episcopal, scriptures were read by Krislen Sherrill Alex Watkins, and Jackson Griffey and Elaine Conger provided music; at First Presbyterian, Min-Kyo Jung provided music. At First Christian, Taylor Bishop read scripture and Bala and Joni Boyd, Sean Hines and Josh Randle provided music and at First United Methodist, Taryn Jones read scripture and Amy Jones and Joan Stevens read a responsive reading.

Providing music along the route from church to church were: Donna and Stephanie Pennington; Taylor Nauta and Brian McCadams; Bo Caldwell, Bob Darby, David Stanton and Jack Bragg; The Shepherd Family, and Geri Boyd.

The children of First Baptist Church participated in the service with readings and music. (McFarlin photo).

Chuck Todd To Appear At MSU Presidential Lecture Series

Murray, Ky. — NBC Political Director and Moderator of Meet The Press Chuck Todd will be the speaker for Murray State University’s 2015 Presidential Lecture Series. The event is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 24, in Lovett Auditorium on campus.

Admission to the lecture is free. MSU students, faculty and staff, and the general public are encouraged to attend. The auditorium is located at the corner of 15th Street and Olive Boulevard.

Meet the Press is NBC’s flagship Sunday morning public affairs program and the longest running broadcast in television history. Journalist Chuck Todd is the face of the well-respected show and a self-described political junkie.  

Prior to Meet the Press, Todd served as NBC News chief White House correspondent (2008–14) and host of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown (2010–14). He has held the role of political director since 2007, leading all aspects of the news division’s political coverage and analysis.  

Todd joins the pantheon of distinguished speakers in the Presidential Lecture Series including Bill Nye, Spike Lee, James Carville and Mary Matalin, Ben Stein, Desmond Tutu, Richard Norton Smith, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Benazir Bhutto, Lech Walesa and F.W. deKlerk.

West Tennessee All-Star Football Team Selected
Several Union City, Two Henry County Players On Team

Nashville, Tenn.-Several Union City High School players and two Henry County High School player have been selected for the third annual SportsPlus West Tennessee All-Star Football Game.

From Union City are: Quarterback Garrett Walton; Running Back Ricky Henry; Tight Ends, Tristan Jernigan, Mason Parker, Zach Parker; Defensive Lineman Jamie Pirtle; Kicker Alex Reid.

From Henry County are: Offensive Lineman Houston Forsythe and Kicker Shontel Thompson.

The game will be played at 6 p.m. December 12 at Liberty High School. The coaching staffs will be from Chester County and Adamsville High.

The full roster of selected players: 
Quarterbacks: Garrett Walton (Union City); Seth Paul (Adamsville); Taylor Shaw (West Carroll); Terrance Kinnie, Jr. (Jackson Central-Merry)
Wide receivers: Airan Reed (South Gibson); Brennan Conaway (Chester County); Raidarious Anderson (Fayette-Ware); Grant Reviere (Trinity Christian); Riley Coleman (Riverside); Jalen Marshall (JCM); Miles Cavitt (Greenfield); Joshua Averyheart (North Side)
Running backs: Ricky Henry (Union City); Shemar Porter (Riverside); Kaelin Willis (Bruceton); Devin Bush (Liberty); Willie Pearson (Liberty); Jonathan Thomas (Dyersburg)l La'Dorious Rogan (Dyersburg)
Tight ends: Logan Webb (Lexington); Michael Taylor (University School of Jackson)
Offensive linemen: Zaderrius Taylor (Haywood); Kyle Scott (Scotts Hill); James Dean Mallard (Dyer County); Tristan Jernigan (Union City); Mason Parker (Union City); Zach Parker (Union City); Yeremy Yarbro Jr. (Hardin County); Michael Huff (West Carroll); Dillon Jolley (Dresden); Matthew Dillingham (Bruceton); Jake Halford (Liberty); Houston Forsythe (Henry County); Austin Frazier (Halls)
Defensive linemen: Keyshawn Brummett (Haywood); Wade Romine (Scotts Hill); Andrew Chavis (Westview); Jamie Pirtle (Union City); J.C. Maclin (Crockett County); Devin Stephens (Milan); Grant McEwen (Peabody); Luke Kiser (Adamsville); Marco Vaughn (McNairy); Malik Epperson (Humboldt); Savaughn Trice (Chester County)
Linebackers: Sam Kesler (Chester County); Landon Pitcher (Westview); Jalen Moore (South Side); Kamau Caldwell (Crockett County); Chase Boehms (Dyersburg); Quadareon Glass (Ripley); Jacob Dengler (Adamsville)
Defensive backs: Dachaun Pickens (Crockett County); Bradley Brown (Milan); Jarred Penn (Peabody); Jaylin Golden (Liberty); Anthoney Jones (North Side); Antonio Bennett (Ripley)
Punter/kickers: Eric Alonso (Hardin County); Nolan Porter (Crockett County)
Athletes: Shontel Thompson (Henry County); Alex Reid (Union City); Javonte Crisp (Bolivar); Hollen Spencer (USJ); Troy Agnew (Humboldt); Jarvis Neely (Liberty); Jayni Yarbro (Hardin County).

Frazier Rape Case Bound Over To Grand Jury 

Dresden, Tenn.-The case of a Weakley County man charged with rape has been bound over to the grand jury. 

William Frazier of Dresden is being held on $100,000 bond in the Weakley County Jail, charged with three counts of rape, statutory rape by an authority figure and incest. He is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old mentally-challenged relative.

Frazier’s preliminary hearing was held in Weakly County General Sessions Court yesterday.

Tour Bus Crashes In Trigg County

Cadiz, Ky.-Emergency personnel are on the scene of a tour bus crash on U.S. 68 near Cadiz. A detour around the accident is in place as of 9:30 a.m.

Trigg County Emergency Management officials say only two people were on the bus at the time of the accident: the bus driver and a relief driver. Both were taken to Trigg County Hospital.

Emergency personnel did not know how many people were on the bus initially and multiple ambulances were sent to the scene.

The bus is owned by Los Paisanos De Adane Bus Line of Mexico and does not appear to be severely damaged.

The detour will remain in place for some three hours. The bus crashed at Pete Light Hill Rd. between Cadiz and Canton.

Calloway County Live Nativity This Weekend 

Murray, Ky.-The Calloway County Cluster of United Methodist Churches will host a live nativity scene at the Bill Cherry Exposition Center in Murray from 6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6.

The 17 United Methodist congregations of Calloway County come together to tell the story of the birth of Jesus using Holy Scriptures in an indoor setting.

~ multiple scenes ~ free refreshments ~
~ age-appropriate books about the Nativity for children to take home ~
~ golf carts and wheel chairs available for those who might have trouble walking ~

MORE INFO: Rev. April Arnold, (270) 293-0459,

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 

Union City State Championship Game To Be Televised

Union City, Tenn.-The TSSAA Class 1A state championship football match up between Union City and Coalfield will be televised on a couple locally-available television stations, as well as online.

WJKT in Jackson will carry the game live, as will WUXP in Nashville. WJKT is available on DirecTV, Time Warner, and Comcast cable and WUXP is available on Charter Cable.

WJXT and WUXP will air the other state championship games beginning Friday.
Union City plays Coalfield at 11 a.m. Friday. In 2A, Marion Co. plays Peabody Saturday; Alcoa-CPA play in 3A on Friday; Fulton and Trezavant will play for the championship in 4A on Saturday; Knoxville West and Hillsboro will play for Class 5A on Friday and Maryville and Ravenwood will play for Class 6A on Saturday.

The games also will be aired online at for free.

Death Of UTM Student Ruled Suicide 

Martin, Tenn.-A 19-year-old student at the University of Tennessee in Martin was found dead inside a shed Tuesday and his death has been ruled a suicide.

Kellen Phillips was pronounced dead by Weakley County Coroner Rick Workman at the scene shortly after noon.

Martin Police were called to an address on Cheyenne Street where Phillips was found in the shed. According to the police report, Phillips was found in a seated position with a rope around his neck. The rope had been tied to the rafter in the shed.

The Weakley County EMS also was called to the scene.

According to Capt. Don Teal of the Martin Police, preliminary investigation did point to suicide as the cause of death. His body was sent to Memphis for an autopsy.

250 Kids To Participate In "Cops & Kids" Shopping Trip

From left: Knights of Columbus representative Tom Hamilton, Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, Dustin Smith of the K of C, Sheriff Monte Belew, Chief Deputy Randy Gean Randy Gean (who is also the FOP Vice President), Woodmen of the World representative Debora Snead, and Charlie Brown of the Knights of Columbus. (Paris PD photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Some 250 children from Henry County will participate in this weekend’s “Cops and Kids” shopping trip this weekend and checks from the Knights of Columbus. Woodmen of the World and the Fraternal Order of Police will help with the event. 

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said each child will have $75 to spend on the shopping trip, which will be held at Wal-Mart on Saturday. The kids will meet at Henry County High School at 6 a.m. for the bus ride to Wal-Mart. Volunteers from the high school Criminal Justice and DECA programs will assist the children onto the buses and when they arrive at Wal-Mart, local police officers will assist them on their shopping trips.

The children are from grades kindergarten through eighth grade.

UTM Receives $3.3 M Grant; One of 24 Awarded

Tammie Patterson, educational studies faculty member at the UT Martin Parsons Center, is pictured in one of the center’s classrooms.

Martin, Tenn. — Improved teacher education and teacher retention are goals for a Teacher Quality Partnership grant recently awarded to the University of Tennessee at Martin by the U.S. Department of Education. UT Martin was one of 24 U.S. institutions to receive the grant. The $3,324,314 grant will fund the Teacher Preparation Reinvention for Optimizing Continuous Improvement for Effectiveness and Student Success. 

The TQP program provides resources to partnerships among colleges and universities, high-need local educational agencies and high-need schools to prepare teachers to teach in high-need schools and support them in their first critical years. Research has demonstrated that teachers are the single most important element in improving student learning and achievement. 

“What I like about this particular grant is that it includes emphases on all three components of the UT Martin mission–teaching, service, and research,” UTM Provost Dr. Jerald Ogg said. “With so many of our (UT Martin) students coming from rural West Tennessee, this is a tremendous opportunity to work collaboratively with the local school systems to provide quality, data-driven education to our region.” 

The grant will support the transformation of the university’s Teacher Education Program over the five years of funding to include mechanisms to engage and collaborate regularly with local school systems for mutually agreed upon goals, feedback and improvement. Higher admissions standards will also be required for teacher education program candidates, and student teaching will be reconfigured to a yearlong clinical experience. 
One of the identified challenges for West Tennessee schools is recruiting highly qualified teachers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. To address that need, this award will enhance the STEM Center for Teaching and Learning and tailor a licensure program to recruit highly qualified mathematics and science teachers into the education field.

Santa To Be At Discovery Park Through December 

Union City, Tenn.-Santa Claus will be at Discovery Park of America in Union City every Saturday in December--and on one Sunday. You and your children can visit Santa free with park admission.

His calendar is: December 6, 13 and 20, from noon to 5 p.m. And on Sunday, December 7, he will be there from 1-5 p.m. You can bring your own camera for photos.

Henry County 4-H Named Grand Marshals Of Parade

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County 4-H and its members have been named Grand Marshal of the 2014 Holly Jolly Christmas Parade. Representing Henry County 4-H as Grand Marshal will be members of the Honor Club and other members that have shown exceptional leadership and participation in the program.  
Henry County 4-H has served the community since the 1920's as a youth development program through the University of Tennessee Extension. The 4-H program currently has over 1,200 members in Henry County from the fourth through twelfth grade. The goal of the program is to empower youth with the life skills needed to lead a successful life. 

Entries are still being accepted. For more information call 731-644-4539 or 731-336-0278 or log on
The Downtown Paris Association sponsors the event, which takes place on Saturday, December 13 immediately following the Downtown Christmas Festival.

Stolen Items Recovered From Kentucky Lake

Murray, Ky.-Thanks to help from the Marshall County Rescue Squad and an underwater search in Kentucky Lake, Calloway County authorities have arrested a second person in connection with a burglary spree of several residences. They also have recovered from the lake many of the items stolen.

Calloway County Sheriff’s Deputies have now arrested Ashley Houk, 24, of Murray, and Christopher Sean Reed, 30, of Calloway County, on numerous charges stemming from the burglary of at least 15 residences.

The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that led them to an area near a boat dock on Kentucky Lake. Members of the Calloway and Marshall County rescue squads spotted items floating on the water and during a several hour search were able to find other items from four to 12 feet underwater.

Among items recovered were jewelery, jewelery boxes, passports and decorative items.

The residences from which the items were stolen were in Calloway, Trigg and Marshall Counties and the investigation continues.

"Snow Storm" Will Enhance Martin Christmas Event

Martin, Tenn.-The City of Martin along with the Martin Business Association and Historic Martin Business District will be lighting the City Christmas Tree in Festival Park at 6 p.m. Saturday. An artificial snow storm will enhance the event.

The celebration begins at 5 p.m. with various activities to kick off the Christmas season.

Director of Community Development Brad Thompson said city officials and community members have been busy planning the event. “We wanted to create a special event to compliment the tree lighting, mainly making it snow in Festival Park and a fireworks show after the lighting of the tree. I hope that the community will come out and enjoy the festivities.”

There are several events planned to compliment the Tree Lighting in the downtown business district:

5:00 pm Horse & Carriage Rides Throughout the Historic Business District
5:00 pm Stores Open Late for Christmas Shoppers
5:00 pm Elvis in Festival Park singing Christmas Carols
5:00 pm Free Hot Chocolate provided by The Looking Glass Coffee and Curiosities & MBA
5:00 pm Empty Bowls will have a table benefiting We Care Ministries, $10
5:00 pm Niki Lee Concessions, Festive Funnel Cakes and more! 
5:45 pm Christian Wee Learn Pre-K class singing in Festival Park
6:00 pm Santa Arrives, Snow Storm Arrives, Christmas Tree Lighting and Fireworks Show
6:15 pm Santa's House will be open for photographs by Tammy Erwin photography ($5)
6:15 pm The celebration will continue with Elvis, photographs, concessions, etc.

Airborne To Compete At Clarksville Meet

Paris, Tenn.-Airborne Gymnastics Levels 3 & 4 will be competing this weekend at a meet in Clarksville. The participants qualified at last weekend’s meet in Huntsville, Ala. Gymnasts who will be competing are Lauren Swisher, Alayna Fuson, Laura Waddey, Noelani Wilkerson, Rachel Silvester. Gymnastics in photo, from left: Lauren Swisher, Alayna Fuson, Gracie Webb, Laura Waddey, (front row left to right) Noelani Wilkerson, Rachel Silvester, Bailey Compton, Callie Green, Ella Crichton. Not pictured Abbey Watkins. 

LBL Holiday Schedule 

Golden Pond, Ky.– The Golden Pond Visitor Center and Administrative Office at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will have modified hours during the 2014 holiday season.

Golden Pond Visitor Center:
· Christmas Eve, Wed., Dec. 24, Open 9am-3pm 
· Christmas Day, Thurs., Dec. 25, Closed
· New Year’s Eve, Wed., Dec. 31, Open 9am-3pm
· New Year’s Day, Thurs., Jan. 1, 2015, Closed

Administrative Office:

· Christmas Day, Thurs., Dec. 25, Closed
· New Year’s Day, Thurs., Jan. 1, 2015, Closed

The Elk & Bison Prairie, Wranglers Campground, and Turkey Bay OHV Area & Trails remain open during the holidays. 

“Call Before You Haul” (270-924-2000) or visit and click on Alerts to check for any trail closures due to excessive wet weather conditions.

Fraud Prevention Seminar For Business Owners 

Martin, Tenn. — The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at the University of Tennessee at Martin Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (REED) Center will host a fraud prevention luncheon for area business owners. The free event is open to all businesses and will be held 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the UT Martin REED Center, 406 South Lindell Street in downtown Martin. 

Attendees will learn measures designed to help protect their businesses from check fraud and electronic fraud, while also learning safer and more secure methods of handling day-to-day business operations, paying bills, streamlining processes and more. 

Reservations can be made by contacting Landy Fuqua at the REED Center,, or by calling 731-587-7333.

Chamber to Offer Employee Appreciation Seminar

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce will offer a free seminar on “Expressing Appreciation to Employees and Volunteers” at 10 am on Thursday, December 11, at the Chamber office, 2508 East Wood Street, Paris. There is no cost, but seating is limited, so please call the Chamber at 731-642-3431 to reserve a seat.

Cheryl Conner, executive director of Tomorrow’s Hope Pregnancy Center, developed the seminar, which she has taught to numerous groups, and will serve as facilitator. Conner said, “This class teaches employers how to maintain their employees or volunteers for years to come by learning a few simple tools of how to identify appreciation language.” 

The seminar will focus on learning which of the types of appreciation are appropriate for each person.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 

Fulton Man Arrested With Large Amount of Meth, Money

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Fulton, Ky., man is being held in the Obion County Jail after he was found with 17.7 grams of meth and $45,000 in banded currency during a traffic stop early this morning. His vehicle also was seized by Union City Police.

Robert Hopper Jr., 312 Grace Rd., Fulton, was charged with possession for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop at 3:30 a.m. today.

Union City Police observed Hopper in the lots of businesses that had recently been burglarized and conducted a traffic stop. During the search, the meth, a glass pipe and the cash were found in two Crown Royal bags in the console of his vehicle. The 2000 Chevy Suburban he was driving was seized.

He was arraigned in Obion County General Sessions Court today and bond of $50,000 was set.

Martin Man Arrested For McKenzie Bank Burglary

McKenzie, Tenn. – A Martin, Tennessee man was arrested for the burglary of the McKenzie Banking Company downtown office in McKenzie November 21.

Cameron A. Taylor, 20, was arrested by Martin Police December 1, according to The McKenzie Banner. He was transported to the Carroll County Jail and held on $11,000 bond until his arraignment.

McKenzie Police Department received several tips from callers identifying Taylor as the suspect in the surveillance camera video captured by the bank’s security equipment, according to the newspaper. Taylor had entered the bank offices in the evening. 

Investigators obtained warrants charging Taylor with burglary and felon evading arrest. McKenzie Police recovered the vehicle Taylor used the burglary at a residence in Martin. However, Taylor could not be located at the time.

Bank officials said neither the customers’ money nor the personal records was compromised.  

Henry Gas Leak Repaired

Henry Police Officer Michael Gertsch watches as West Tennessee Public Utility District employees finish repairing a ruptured gas line in Henry around 10:30 a.m. this morning. West Tennessee employees did not want to give their names. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Henry, Tenn.-The West Tennessee Public Utility District capped off and repaired a ruptured gas line this morning just outside Henry School.

Henry Police Officer Michael Gertsch said the gas line was broken off by a resident of a house on Pioneer Rd. who didn’t see the gas line and backed over it with his vehicle earlier this morning. He said Henry School Resource Officer Rodney Littleton reported the gas leak after he walked outside the school and could smell the gas odor. “He came outside the school and could smell where it was coming from,” he said. 

Gertsch said pounds and pounds of gas leaked while it was ruptured. “It was a pretty dangerous situation for a little while there. You could smell it and you could hear it leaking.”

On the scene were the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Henry Police and Fire Departments.

The West Tennessee Public Utility District responded quickly and were able to repair the leak.

Ramos Named Henry County Officer Of Year

Officer of the Year Hayley Ramos smiles as she accepts the award from Sheriff Monte Belew, while Chief Deputy and Capt. Damon Lowe look on. (HCSO photo).

Paris, Tenn.-At the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Christmas Party Monday night, Hayley Ramos was named Officer of the Year, Greg Carter Dispatcher of the Year, Michelle Brewer School Resource Officer of the Year, Amy Davis Administrator of the Year and Kris Beloate was named Correctional Officer of the Year. 

Hayley Ramos was given a medal and ribbon, as well as a hand gun donated by the Clark & Cox Law Firm in Paris.

Medals for four separate life-saving actions during the year were handed out to: Sheriff Monte Belew; Sgt. Josh Carter, Cpl. James Dyer; and Deputy Frankie Scott; Deputy Dan Powell, Sgt. Rob Camper, Cpl. Bruce Alexander; and Deputy James Higgins and Debbie Barker.

Debbie Barker was also given the Above and Beyond Award for the Year. Chad Howard was presented with a medal of merit.

The event was held at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Emergency Personnel At Scene Of Gas Leak In Henry

Henry, Tenn.-Emergency personnel are on the scene of a gas leak in Henry and as of 9:45 a.m., Pioneer Rd. has been temporarily shut down.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said the gas line rupture occurred right in front of Joe’s Grocery. “The gas company is trying to get the gas shut off right now,” Belew said. “We’re evaluated the air quality in front of Henry School to make sure everyone is safe, but we pretty sure right now that everything is o.k.”

In addition to the Henry County sheriff’s office, the Henry Police and Fire Department personnel are on the scene.

Huge Crowd Comes Out To "Trim A Tree For Wildlife"

Springville, Tenn.-Tennessee Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Bill Williams shows how to make a proper pine cone feeding station for birds at Saturday’s “Trim A Tree For Wildlife” event at the refuge headquarters on Kentucky Lake in Springville. Refuge Ranger Joan Stevens said 277 people attended the event. (Richard Graves photo).

Obion County Schools Report Card Is Positive

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Teachers and administrators in the Obion County Schools board of education couldn’t be blamed for patting themselves on the backs today following Monday night’s presentation of a very positive 2014 Report Card for the district at its board of education meeting.

The report card was presented by Assistant Director of Schools Dale Hallowell. Achievement goals by the district have been met overall and scores at all levels are higher than state average for the most part. However, graduation rate at 87.7 percent is down from 93.1 percent.  

At the K-8 level, the highest scores were in social studies, at 92.4 percent, much higher than the state average of 85 percent. Lowest scores were in reading, at 53 percent.

In grades 9-12, the highest scores were in U.S. history, at 96.8 percent, compared with the state’s rate at 95.6 percent. The lowest scores were in Algebra II, age 63.9 percent, which was still much higher than the state average of 47.9 percent.

The goals that had not been met were in third grade math and grades 3-8 reading and language.

In other business, the board accepted the low bid from Garrett Plumbing and Heating at $32,600 for the hot water boiler replacement at Lake Road Elementary School. The only other bid was from Billy Rogers’ Plumbing, which was $57 higher.

Mayor Election, City Manager Hiring On Paris City Agenda

Paris, Tenn.-Thursday will be a busy night for the Paris City Commission with a weighty agenda in store. 

After certification of the election results, a new mayor and vice mayor will be elected. City Manager Carl Holder also is prepared to formally recommend that Assistant City Manager Kim Foster be hired to replace him when he retires next year. Holder has been recommending that Foster be his replacement from the beginning and the formal recommendation follows a process of interviews of several candidates.

The new mayor and commission also will be making appointments to various boards, including the Paris Board of Public Utilities, and consider a new debt service schedule.

The commission meets at 6 p.m. Thursday at city hall. The public is welcome to attend.

Masquerade Theatre To Present "Miracle At 34th Street"

Union City, Tenn.-The Masquerade Theater will be presenting the Christmas classic “Miracle At 34th Street” during December at the historic Capital Theatre in Downtown Union City.

Directed by Linda St. Clair, the production boasts an impressive cast and crew, with Mandy Hinson as Doris Walker; David Houston as Kris Kringle; Mary Morgan Hale as Susan Walker and Jonathon Watford as Fred Gailey. 

Producer of the production is Todd Little.

The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. December 5, 6, 12, and 13 and at 2 p.m. December 7 and 14. Tickets are $10. The theatre is located at 120 S. First St. 

For ticket information call the theatre at 1-731-246-0038. The full cast and crew list is on the Masquerade Theatre website at www.

Parade Of Trees, Christmas Party At Obion County Library

Union City, Tenn.-It’s really beginning to look at lot like Christmas at the Obion County Library, where the Parade of Trees will continue through January 2 and the annual Christmas party for children is set for Saturday.

The Christmas party will include crafts, snacks and a visit from Santa Claus and will be held from 1-3 p.m.

The 2014 Parade of Trees is an annual event that began November 24 and ends just after New Years. Area business and individuals are asked and encouraged to bring decorated trees to the event. Your business/organization is responsible for purchasing a tree and the decorations on it; as well as items underneath the tree. Participants will become part of a magical community event by decorating and displaying a holiday tree in the Parade of Trees. The theme is up to each business and individual.

Bethel Tuition To Stay Same For 2015-2016

McKenzie, Tenn. –Traditional undergraduate students enrolled in Bethel University’s 2015-16 school year will see no increase in tuition, room or board from the current academic year according to President Walter Butler. The decision to keep tuition, room and board the same for another year came after the Bethel Board of Trustees voted unanimously at their November meeting for no increase.

“The Board of Trustees felt that student costs for a higher education have been going up nationally at a very fast rate,” Butler said. “And they very much wanted to do what they could to make college as affordable as possible and to help keep student debt down.”

Bethel University has long been one of Tennessee’s most affordable private 4-year institutions. Of the 31 private 4-year member institutions in the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) who offer undergraduate degrees, Bethel was bested by only six other schools with lower tuition. Tuition and fees for Bethel during 2014-15 was $15,714 which is well below the $22,683 average of TICUA member institutions. With room and board, the total to attend Bethel is $24,496.

A story published in October 2013 in U.S. News and World Report stated that the price index for college tuition grew by nearly 80 percent between August 2003 and August 2013. That is nearly twice as fast as growth in costs in medical care, another area widely recognized for fast-rising prices. It’s also more than twice as fast as the overall consumer price index during that same period.

 “Keeping our tuition the same for another year doesn’t mean the value of our educational product is any less,” Butler said. “Providing a quality product is always a priority. But for us, making that education affordable and ultimately accessible to students who might not have the opportunity -- that’s a big priority as well. This year, 83 percent of our students received some form of financial aid. With our institutional aid, we try to offer diverse options. We have scholarships for student athletes, those interested in the arts, and for those who excel academically. We even have scholarships for those interested in community service.”

Bethel, established in 1842, is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and it offers bachelor’s, master’s and associate degrees through a variety of learning platforms. For more information about Bethel University, go to

Huntingdon Christmas Tree Lighting, Parade Is Saturday

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Huntingdon’s Christmas extravaganza will be held in downtown Huntingdon Saturday, December 6, with a parade, carolers, hot cocoa and cider and the Christmas tree lighting.

The day will begin with The Dixie’s Main Street Christmas from 2-6 p.m. that will include activities inside the building and outside on the court square as well. Inside: Pictures with Santa by Family Album Studios, live children nativities on stage, chorus performances on stage, and ticket discounts. On Court Square: Carriage rides, train rides, live nativities on the court steps, Christmas carolers, street vendors (including Rich Family Relay team selling coffee, hot cocoa, hot cider and homemade treats), and shopping at local businesses. 

Parking for this event will be located between Mallard’s Restaurant and Jordan’s Trading and also near King’s Law office. The Court Square will be closed to through traffic beginning at 1 p.m. until parade ends.

Then at 6 p.m. head on over to the Huntingdon Christmas Tree Lighting which will take place in front of the future home of city hall on East Main Street. There will be a small ceremony and community Christmas song (lyrics will be passed out to the crowd). This event will happen rain or shine.

This year the parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Parade will begin line-up on West Main Street near the Carroll Bank and Trust building. Line-up will be in the parking lot behind Kent Jones Law Office. All available parking lots of the Bank, Town of Huntingdon lots, and other lots and streets available near the Bank will be used to stage entries.  

This year the route will leave West Main and travel East to Court Square and travel around to East Main Street and proceed East to just past Thomas Park where parade will conclude. Streets will be shut down to thru traffic beginning at 1 pm, and will be blocked until parade concludes.

 To be eligible for prize money you must pre-register your entry by calling the Huntingdon Police Department at 986-2906. A number will be assigned to you and you will be responsible to make and place your entry number on the left or drivers side of your entry where it will be visible to the Judges. The Judges stand will be near the southeast corner of the Courthouse square. Cut-off time to pre-register will be Friday the 5th of December at noon.  

"Messiah" To Be Performed Sunday

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Henry County Arts Council will be hosting its Annual Messiah Christmas Concert Performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, December 7th at First Baptist Church. The event is free to the public, with a love offering taken at the end of the show. For more information contact the Arts Council Office at (731) 642-3955 or visit the website 

Camden Mayor, Commission Sworn In

Camden, Tenn.-Newly-elected Camden Mayor Roger Pafford and City Commission members Travis Pierce and Pat McLin took the oath of office Monday morning at Camden City Hall. The oath of office was given by Benton County General Sessions Judge John Whitworth. All three were elected to their positions at the November general election election and will serve four-year terms.

UC Police Investigate Vandalism

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating vandalism to the outside of the NAPA parts store at 1425 Old Rives Rd.

According to the police report, sometime between November 29 and December 1, someone tore up the lawn at the business on the northwest side of the building. It appears a vehicle with dually wheels tore up the lawn and it also appears that another vehicle pulled that vehicle out of the lawn, police said.

Monday, December 1, 2014 

The Magic Of Christmas

Paris, Tenn.-During the Christmas season, the fountain in downtown Paris is magically transformed into a beautiful Christmas tree, thanks to the Paris Parks and Recreation Department. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Fincher's Communications Director Resigns 

Washington, D.C.-The aide to Congressman Stephen Fincher who criticized President Barack Obama’s daughters on a Facebook post resigned today, according to NBC News and The Washington Post.

Elizabeth Lauten, who had served as Fincher’s communications director, had earlier apologized for the comments in which she said that Malia and Sasha were "coming up a little short in the 'good role model' department" when they made an appearance at their father's turkey pardoning last week. The post later was deleted from her Facebook page after national media reported it.

Her comment in full read, "Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you're both in those awful teen years, but you're part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don't respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I'm guessing you're coming up a little short in the "good role model" department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don't make faces during televised, public events."

"When I first posted on Facebook I reacted to an article and I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager," Lauten told the Commercial Appeal on Saturday. "Please know, those judgmental feelings truly have no place in my heart. Furthermore, I'd like to apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and I pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience."

Fincher represents the eighth district of Tennessee.

Candlelight Advent Walk Set For Wednesday

Raising voices in song at First Baptist Church in Paris at the 2011 Advent Walk. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.- The Candlelight Advent Walk ushers in the Christmas season Wednesday evening, December 3rd at 6:30 p.m. Worshipers will hear the message of Advent in decorated churches walk with candlelight through the historic downtown area. As it has in the recent past, this year’s walk will begin at Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Church Street with a short service and music from the church choir.

“This is a unique and lovely way to usher in the Advent Season,” according to First Christian Church Minister of Music, Rhonda Stanton who chairs the 2014 Advent Walk Committee. “It’s a great opportunity to worship with other churches, enjoy their meaningful decorations of the season and stroll through our charming Victorian town square while visiting with our friends and neighbors.”

Beginning at Quinn Chapel AME, the event proceeds to First Baptist Church at 313 North Poplar. Worshipers will then head through sparkling downtown Paris to Grace Episcopal (South Poplar Street), then on to First Presbyterian Church (South Market Street), and then First Christian Church (South Poplar Street). A reception will be held at the final stop, First United Methodist (East Blythe Street). A van is available for those who do not wish to walk, according to Stanton. 

Participating churches and the Downtown Paris Association sponsor the annual event. For more information on Christmas events downtown, log on

Former "Person Of The Year" Virgil Wall Dies

Paris, Tenn.-Former Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and Henry County “Person of the Year” Virgil Wall died Saturday afternoon at Morningside in Paris.

Wall, age 86, wore many hats during his life, which he dedicated to service for his community. In addition to heading up the local Chamber, he was a high school athlete, coach, a member of the Henry County Sports Hall of Fame, a TSSAA official, a coordinator at the Tennessee Technology Center, member of the city of Paris and Henry County school boards, as well as member of the Jaycees, Lions, Rotary and Elks.

The funeral service will be held at McEvoy Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery in Paris. Dr. Trent Bullock of First Baptist Church will officiate. 
Family members will serve as pallbearers. 

Visitation will be at McEvoy Funeral Home from 4-7 p.m. Monday and after 9 a.m. Tuesday prior to the service. 

Wall was born in 1928 in Paris to Marvin Earl Wall and Clara Brigham Wall. He played football in high school and was graduated from E.W. Grove High School in 1946. 
He continued his education at Pearl River College in Poplarville, Miss. on a football scholarship earning an associate of arts degree. He then coached basketball at Buchanan High School from 1948 to 1949. He later attended Bethel College and the University of Tennessee at Martin while working. 

When Holley Carburetor Company of Detroit, Mich. located a manufacturing plant in Paris in 1949, he was the first local employee hired and worked there in management capacities until the plant closed in 1987. 

He served in the USMC during the Korean War in 1950-51 while on leave from Holley. After returning from the Marines, he married his secretary, the late Virginia Jo Wall (formerly Hurdle) on August 17, 1952 at First Baptist Church in Paris. 

At Holley he was quickly promoted to production control superintendent, a position he held for decades. He then transferred to Holley’s Bowling Green Ky. plant following the closure of the Paris plant until he retired in 1988. 

After a brief retirement, Virgil was appointed executive director of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, serving in that capacity until 1994. Soon after that, he joined the Tennessee Technology Center at Paris as an industry training coordinator. 

He was a member of First Baptist Church, serving as a deacon and in a number of other capacities. He served on the City of Paris and Henry County Boards of Education. In addition, he was a member and officer of the Jaycees (charter member), Lions Club, Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, Chamber of Commerce and other civic and community organizations. Wall was named Chamber of Commerce “Person of the Year” in 1995 for his service to Paris and Henry County. In 2007 he was inducted into the Henry County Sports Hall of Fame for his lifelong contributions to local sports, including working as a TSSAA basketball and football official for more than 30 years. 

He is survived by his children, Lisa Wall Jobe of Atlanta, Ga.; Michael (Mary) of Pompano Beach, Fla.; Doug (Annie) of Wilmington, N.C.; Alan (Sheila) of Paris. 
Also surviving are grandchildren Joshua Jobe of Atlanta, Ga.; Matthew Wall of Pompano Beach, Fla.; Ryan Wall of Aberdeen, Md.; Dillon Wall of Greenville, N.C. and Jody Wall of Asheville, N.C.; and Sarah Beth Wall of Cookeville, Tenn. 

He was preceded in death by his wife Virginia Jo Hurdle Wall and his brother James Oliver Wall.

TWRA Sets Trout Stocking Schedule

Nashville --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced its 2014-15 winter trout stocking scheduled. TWRA plans to release approximately 90,000 rainbow trout into Tennessee waters from December through March.

The schedule indicates that trout will be stocked in ponds in Paris, Union City, Martin and McKenzie in both December and January.

The program provides numerous close to home trout fishing opportunities for anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also provide a great opportunity to introduce children or first-time anglers to fishing. 

The trout will average about 10 inches in length. The daily creel limit is seven, but there is no size limit.

Please note that the dates and locations are subject to change. Updates can be found on TWRA’s website at

2014-15 TWRA Winter Trout Stocking Schedule
December 2014
Day Location City
10 Martin City Pond Martin
10 Union City Old Reelfoot Packing Site Union City
10 Paris Eiffel Tower Park II Paris
10 McKenzie City Park McKenzie
January 2015 
14 McKenzie City Park McKenzie
14 Martin City Pond Martin
14 Union City Old Reelfoot Packing Site Union City
14 Paris Eiffel Tower Park II Paris

Still Room For More Artists In Christmas Bazaar

Paris, Tenn.-The Lee Academy For The Arts will host its annual Christmas bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 6. There still is room for artists with handmade items by contacting Sandee Green at 

There is no sign up fee for people to participate, but Lee Academy does ask for 20 percent of your sales to go to the Lee Academy Scholarship Fund. This is the only scholarship fundraiser.
The bazaar will include items in all mediums from local artists, including oils, acrylics, China painting, jewellery, photography, stained glass, needlework, pottery and baked goods.

Pafford, City Council Members Take Oath

Camden, Tenn.-Newly-elected Camden Mayor Roger Pafford and City Commission members Travis Pierce and Pat McLin took the oath of office Monday morning at Camden City Hall. The oath of office was given by Benton County General Sessions Judge John Whitworth. All three were elected to their positions at the November general election election and will serve four-year terms.

UTM Holiday Art Bazaar Is Thursday 

Martin, Tenn. — The League of Striving Artists, the University of Tennessee at Martin student art organization, will hold a Holiday Art Bazaar, Dec. 4-6, in the Fine Arts Gallery, located in the university’s Fine Arts Building. The Department of Visual and Theatre Arts is the event sponsor. 

The bazaar will be open 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 4; 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 5; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6. 

Visitors can see and purchase a wide selection of handmade gifts produced by UT Martin art students, art faculty and alumni. All items will be available for purchase by cash, check or credit card. Proceeds from sales will support the local art community. 

Support the Arts (STARTS) contributors can join students and faculty for an early “insider” opening from 6-7 p.m., Dec. 4. Information about the STARTS Program and how to become a STARTS contributor can be found at or by calling 731-881-7400.

The League of Striving Artists encourages the blossoming of art enthusiasts and artists in academics, community, service, leadership and artistic development. The LSA also works to foster art within its community through art-related community service projects. 

Additional information about the bazaar, the LSA and STARTS is available by contacting Jason Stout, assistant professor of art and LSA faculty adviser, 731-881-3402,, or Karen Johnson, Department of Visual and Theatre Arts, 731-881-7400,

UC Man Arrested On Assault Charge

Union City, Tenn.-A man sought by Union City Police since November 11 for breaking into a woman’s home and assaulting her was arrested early this morning.

Ronald Ross, age 31, of Union City, was arrested by police at a Nash Street apartment on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated burglary.

Ross entered a home on November 11 while the victim was sleeping. The victim told police he picked a fight with her and choked her until she could not breathe.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fincher Aide Apologizes For Post About Obama Daughters

Washington, D.C.-An aide to Tennessee Congressman Stephen Fincher has apologized for a Facebook post in which she criticized President Barack Obama’s daughters.

Fincher’s Communications Director Elizabeth Lauten told The Commercial Appeal she now “can see more clearly just how hurtful my words were.”

Lauten had earlier posted on Facebook that Malia and Sasha Obama were “coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department” and needed to dress and behave more appropriately as she commented on their appearance at their father’s traditional pardoning of two Thanksgiving turkeys this week.

The complete text of her Facebook message: “Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events.”

The original Facebook post has been deleted. After the post became a hot topic on national websites such as Gawker, Lauten issued an apology, saying “many hours of prayer,” conversations with her family and a re-reading of her words made her reconsider the post.

“When I first posted on Facebook I reacted to an article and I quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager,” Lauten later told The Memphis Commercial Appeal in an email. “Please know, those judgmental feelings truly have no place in my heart. Furthermore, I’d like to apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and I pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience.”
Fincher’s district is made up of most of rural west Tennessee.

Kelley To Deliver Bethel Commencement Address

McKenzie, Tenn. Dale Kelley, Mayor for the town of Huntingdon and Athletic Director at Bethel University, will be the commencement speaker for the schools Fall 2014 graduation on Saturday, Dec. 6.

Kelley, who has served six consecutive terms as Mayor of Huntingdon, has extensive experience in local, county and state government. He has served as a Carroll County Commissioner, Assessor of Property for Carroll County, Chairman and Secretary of the Carroll County Republican Executive Committee and other posts.

For the town of Huntingdon, he served nine years on the Huntingdon Special School District Board of Education, he is a past president of the Huntingdon Chamber of Commerce, and he is a former Huntingdon Town Council Member. Kelley was chairman of the Huntingdon Industrial Development Board for four years as well.

At the state level, Kelley served three terms in the Tennessee State House of Representatives and also served as the Tennessee Commissioner of Employment Security under Gov. Lamar Alexander and as the Tennessee Commissioner of Transportation. He was appointed by Gov. Don Sundquist to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and he has served as a Senior Advisor and as a Special Assistant to Gov. Bill Haslam. On the national level, Kelley was appointed in 1986 by then President Ronald Reagan to serve on the National Advisory Council on Adult Education.

In the sports arena, Kelley is an inductee in the Bethel Athletic Hall of Fame, the TSSAA Hall of Fame, the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame, and The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame where he currently serves on the Board of Directors. He has served as Bethel Athletic Director since July 2012.

Approximately 330 students are scheduled to graduate during the 10 a.m. ceremony which will be held in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena on Bethels McKenzie campus. Seating begins at 8:30 a.m.

For more information about Bethel Commencement, contact Myra Carlock at or at 731-352-4090.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Santa's House Open Through December 21

Paris, Tenn.-Santa Claus stops to greet a young boy as he arrived in downtown Paris Friday, top photo, along with Elf Hannah Barnhill, Rudolph (Jonathan Beasley) and Elf Dakota Noble. Hundreds crowded into downtown Paris for the arrival of Santa and his entourage, which grows each year. This year he brought Mrs. Claus, portrayed by Susan Jones, bottom photo, who had a heart-to-heart with Thomas Lemons about what he wanted for Christmas. Santa also brought along a Very Special Elf, portrayed by Cherry Jones. Santa will be in his house from now until December 21: On Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sundays from 2-4 p.m. The full story on Santa’s arrival and North Pole Family Fun Day was published on our website and Facebook pages on Friday. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

And It's On To Cookeville

Union City, Tenn.- The Union City Golden Tornadoes smashed Nashville Christian 35-0 Friday night, winning the Class 1A semifinals at War Memorial Stadium. The packed crowd was expecting more of a contest--after all, it was a battle between No. 1-ranked Union City and No. 2 Nashville Christian.

The Golden Tornadoes are defending Class 1A state champions and are undefeated over two seasons now.

Union City will face Coalfield next Friday in the BlueCross Bowl State Championship in Cookeville. The game will kick off at 11 a.m.

Unemployment Rates Decline In Our Area

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Unemployment has decreased in every county in our area but even so three counties--Obion, Gibson and Carroll--are still on Tennessee’s list of counties with the highest unemployment rates.

Tennessee’s Department and Labor Workforce released statistics today showing that county unemployment rates statewide show the rate has decreased in 80, increased in 10 and stayed the same in five. 

Looking at our area counties, Stewart had the lowest at 7.3 percent in October, compared with 7.5 in September; Henry County had 7.9 percent, compared with 8.3 percent; Weakley had 8.5 percent, compared with 9.3 percent; and Benton had 8.3 percent, compared with 8.6.

As for the three counties on the state’s highest unemployment list, Obion now has 9.1 percent, compared with 9.2 percent in September; Gibson is at 9.4 percent compared with 9.8 percent in September and Carroll is at 9.2 percent, compared with 9.3.

Of the state’s 95 counties, Obion is ranked 88th highest in unemployment, Carroll is 89th and Gibson is 91st.

Knox County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in October at 5.1 percent, down from 5.4 in September. Davidson County was 5.2 percent in October, down from 5.5 in September. The Hamilton County October rate was 6.2 percent, down from 6.6 in September. Shelby County was 7.9 percent in October, down from 8.3 in September. Tennessee’s unemployment rate for October was 7.1 percent, two tenths of one percentage point lower than the 7.3 September revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for October was 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in September.

Holiday Art Bazaar Next Week

Martin, Tenn. — The League of Striving Artists, the University of Tennessee at Martin student art organization, will hold a Holiday Art Bazaar, Dec. 4-6, in the Fine Arts Gallery, located in the university’s Fine Arts Building. The Department of Visual and Theatre Arts is the event sponsor. 

The bazaar will be open 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 4; 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 5; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6. 

Visitors can see and purchase a wide selection of handmade gifts produced by UT Martin art students, art faculty and alumni. All items will be available for purchase by cash, check or credit card. Proceeds from sales will support the local art community. 

Support the Arts (STARTS) contributors can join students and faculty for an early “insider” opening from 6-7 p.m., Dec. 4. Information about the STARTS Program and how to become a STARTS contributor can be found at or by calling 731-881-7400.

The League of Striving Artists encourages the blossoming of art enthusiasts and artists in academics, community, service, leadership and artistic development. The LSA also works to foster art within its community through art-related community service projects. 

Additional information about the bazaar, the LSA and STARTS is available by contacting Jason Stout, assistant professor of art and LSA faculty adviser, 731-881-3402,, or Karen Johnson, Department of Visual and Theatre Arts, 731-881-7400,

BPU To Begin Sewer Evaluation Monday

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities will begin a sewer system evaluation of the Johnson Park basin on Monday, December 1. The work area will be bounded by Market Street to the east, Rison Street to the north and West Wood Street to the south. All streets containing sewer lines within that area will be surveyed. 

A pumper truck will be cleaning and vacuuming the lines and a camera truck will be videoing the interior of the sewer pipes. The evaluation will be ongoing through February/March of next year. Residents within the work area who have questions or concerns during the evaluation are urged to contact Terry Wimberley, Director of Water/Wastewater, at 642-1322. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Santa Arrives With Very Special Guests
Including "Very Special Elf" Cherry Jones

Mrs. Claus (Susan Jones) shows her love for Santa, while Elf Hannah Barnhill and Very Special Elf Cherry Jones enjoy the moment. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Cherry Jones has won two Tony Awards and an Emmy, but she today she topped them all by appearing as one of Santa’s ‘very special elves” at the Downtown Paris North Pole Family Fun Day.

Santa Claus appeared at today’s event accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Claus (portrayed by Susan Jones), along with two of his elves (Hannah Barnhill and Dakota Noble) and Rudolph (Jonathan Beasley).

It was the first time that Santa has appeared with Mrs. Claus at the event. As always, Santa and his entourage arrived in downtown Paris on the front of a Paris Fire Truck. While Santa made his way to the gingerbread house on the court square to begin hearing what all the good little boys and girls would like for Christmas this year, Mrs. Claus and the Very Special Elf circulated through the crowd, posing for photos, visiting and--more often than not--dancing to Christmas carols.

The North Pole Family Fun Day is sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association and included Molly’s Petting Zoo from Clarksville and a trackless train rides for children and adults. 

Other free activities included face painting, the reading of “The Polar Express”, craft tables sponsored by the Henry County 4-H clubs, pony rides, and healthy goodies from the Henry County Health Department.

Very Special Elf Cherry Jones clowns with Sheriff Monte Belew. (McFarlin photo).

Mrs. Claus (Susan Jones) and the Very Special Elf enjoyed dancing to Christmas music together. (McFarlin photo).

The Beauty Of Nature

Springville, Tenn.-There are plenty of geese near the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge, as you can see from this pastoral scene photographed by Charlie Allen of Paris near Elkhorn. 

McKenzie Firefighter Injured In Accident

Union City, Tenn.-A McKenzie Firefighter was injured in an Obion County wreck on Thanksgiving Day. Matthew “Eppy” Epperson was hospitalized for a time at Baptist Memorial Hospital following the crash, but he is at home recuperating now, according to the McKenzie Fire and Rescue Facebook page.

According to a dispatcher at the Obion County Sheriff’s Office, Epperson was injured in a one-vehicle crash on Hwy 51 between Union City and Troy. His vehicle overturned and an eyewitness said he crawled out of the crash, the dispatcher said.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the accident, but does not release information on non-fatal accidents.

Mrs. Claus To Accompany Santa This Year

Paris, Tenn.-A little elf told us that Santa will be accompanied this year by his beautiful wife, Mrs. Claus, when they arrive in downtown Paris at 10 a.m. Friday. Actually, the little elf is Kathy Ray, President of the Downtown Paris Association and she ought to know. We also hear that a special elf will be along this year.

The appearance of the Claus couple on the Paris Fire Truck will kick off North Pole Family Fun Day with plenty of activities downtown.

Braylee's To Host Book-Signings On Saturday

Union City, Tenn.- Braylee's Cottage & Zoo, a local shop specializing in books, games, toys and fun for all ages, has announced it will be hosting four prominent local authors as honored guests on Small Business Saturday, November 29. 

As part of the Indies First movement the shop is welcoming authors. Camille Kendall (Slow Sun Rising; Bethel Road), Lisa Smartt (Doug and Carlie Series; The Smartt View Series), Merry Brown (The Knowers; The Second Fall; Gold Manor Ghost House; Crimson Hall Ghost House), & Kenny Luckett (Across the Pond; Story in the Shadows; Miles Across the Pond) will be in the shop from 12-2 pm chatting with customers and signing their books.

Braylee's is one of hundreds of independent bookstores across the country that will be hosting local authors this Small Business Saturday thanks to the Indies First movement. Launched by noted author Sherman Alexie, Indies First encourages authors to volunteer at their local store and give back some of the support that independent bookstores have traditionally given to authors.

During the event, Braylee's will be giving away door prizes, offering special literary-focused activities suitable for all ages, providing complimentary locally baked treats, and special "one day only" offers as part of the celebration. 

Braylee's Cottage, a division of Braylee's Cottage & Zoo, is a specialized bookstore serving Obion County and its neighboring communities and is located at 228 South 1st Street Downtown Union City. Business hours on the day of the event will be 11am-9pm. 
More information about this special event or Braylee's Cottage can be found on their Facebook page located here: or on their website located here 

Reelfoot Ministries Seeks Toys For Christmas Toy Store

Obion, Tenn.-Reelfoot Rural Ministries in Obion, is asking the public to donate toys to brighten Christmas for many children in northwest Tennessee and southwest Kentucky.

A ministry of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, Reelfoot Ministries serves people in need within four counties: Lake, Obion and Dyer counties in Tennessee and Fulton County in Kentucky.

For the past several years, the Ministry has collected items for its Christmas Toy Store, an event allowing parents of low-income families to shop for inexpensive Christmas presents. Through the store, parents may purchase five new toys for younger children or three new items for teenagers. No family pays more than $15. 

The 2014 Christmas Toy Store will run Dec. 8-11. Executive Director Rev. Robert Craig says last year, the store helped provide 533 families and 1,231 children with Christmas gifts.

“Our hope is to touch hundreds more lives in 2014,” he writes in a letter to ministry partners. “You can help!”

Toys may be delivered to:
Reelfoot Rural Ministries
6923 Minnick-Elbridge Rd., Obion, TN
(731) 538-9970
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
by Saturday, Dec. 6

The Ministry appreciates monetary donations. Volunteers often take trips to buy new toys when supplies run low during the Christmas Toy Store’s operation days. Checks may be made payable to “Reelfoot Rural Ministries” and sent to the address above. 

The Christmas Toy Store will need many volunteers. Craig says the store will serve as many as 700 families in four days. To volunteer as an individual or group, call the RRM office at (731) 538-9970.

Thursday, November 27, 2014 



Reward Offered In Holiday Decorations Theft

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Camden, Tenn.-The Camden Police are offering a $50 reward for information related to the theft of two Christmas keepsakes--with plenty of sentimental value--that were taken off a porch in broad daylight.
In a press release, Camden Police said, “No, this is not a high profile extravagant case with loads of good drama, but it is personal and sentimental.”

A modern-day Grinch stole the family keepsakes off a porch in the area of Derby Street and Cherry Avenue in Camden. The stolen Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus “meant a lot to the family that lost them,” according to police.

“If you were the one that took the property feel free to come by the police department and drop it off with zero questions asked,“ police said. “You can even return it to the porch you stole without question.”

This couple would just like to see their property returned and the Camden Police are asking that the public help in the spirit of holiday to retrieve it for this family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 

Freed-Hardeman Cancels Cosby Appearance
Dr. Ben Carson Scheduled To Appear

Henderson, Tenn. - As recent developments have overshadowed the FHU Benefit Dinner’s mission of helping students, Freed-Hardeman University has canceled Dr. Bill Cosby’s appearance and received confirmation that Dr. Ben Carson will speak at the dinner. Carson will address more than 2800 individuals for the dinner’s 50th anniversary Friday, Dec. 5.

FHU President Joe Wiley commented, “I thank our board and administrative team, who have sought wisdom in carrying out this milestone celebration. I appreciate the prayers and encouragement many have offered for those who have been problem solving and handling details behind the scenes. Of course, we are grateful to Dr. Carson for adding this commitment to his busy calendar on short notice. More than 90% of our students receive financial aid, and the scholarships this event funds are a vital component of that aid.”

“As important as this event is to our students,” Wiley continued, “we know that names we have seen in the media represent real people who will be affected long after FHU’s dinner has passed. Please join us in praying for healing and peace for those involved.”
Following dinner, tribute band 1964 will perform Beatles’ songs from the era the Freed-Hardeman Benefit Dinner was established. Carson will then headline the evening and meet sponsors at a reception.

Carson is a noted pediatric neurosurgeon, author and president and co-founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments. Carson grew up in a single-parent home in an impoverished home with a childhood dream of becoming a physician.  Young Carson persevered and today is an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for 29 years.  

Carson holds more than 60 honorary doctoral degrees and has received hundreds of awards and citations.  

The award-winning movie “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story” premiered on TNT Feb. 7, 2009. “Gifted Hands,” “Think Big,” “The Big Picture” and “Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose and Live with Acceptable Risk” were Carson’s first four books. A fifth book, “America The Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great,” was released in early 2012 and made the New York Times Bestseller List in 2013. His sixth book, “One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future,” was released May 20, 2014, and also has made the New York Times Bestseller List.

"Small Business Saturday" Encourages Shopping Right Here

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The Obion and Paris-Henry County Chambers of Commerce are joining with small businesses to promote “Small Business Saturday” the day after Thanksgiving November 29.

It is a nation-wide promotion that emphasizes the importance of shopping at your local businesses. 

But local Chamber officials stress it not only helps the local economies. Shopping local provides shoppers with much more unique opportunities.

At the Obion County Chamber, Membership Director Katie Keathley said, “We stress five points. Number one, it keeps the money in the local community. It also celebrates the uniqueness of our community, it supports local jobs, encourages the Obion Co. economic community and it makes us a shopping destination.”

Paris-Henry County Chamber Member Carlton Gerrell--who provided the impetus for the “Be Local” Campaign--agreed and said, “Any time you can support our local retailers and keep the money you spend circulating in the local community, it’s a good thing.”

Keathley said, “You can find everything you’re looking for right here. We have a lot of stores with very unique items here, like the Chocolate Bunny, which is a local family-owned women’s clothing business; and All Dolled Up and the Five Seasons Men’s Shop, which has been in business here for decades.”

The Obion County Chamber is challenging shoppers “to spend at least $50 here locally during the holiday season,” Keathley said. “Of course, we’d like you to spend more, but at least that much. It will support and strengthen our businesses and keep our tax revenues up.”

In Henry County, Gerrell said the “Be Local” Campaign has been a real success. “I think it’s one of the things that has helped our economy. Our retail sales have been up for nine or 10 months straight and I think encouraging local businesses has been part of that success.”

The important part of the campaign, Gerrell said, “is just increasing awareness. We want people to give the local businesses their first shot at holiday shopping--and your last shot. I know lot of people like the excitement of going to a big mall and driving somewhere else to shop, but we would ask that you shop at our local businesses, too.”

Gerrell said last holiday he made up gift baskets of locally-made products, including Clifty Farm hams, Allegro marinade and Sally Lane’s Candy Farm candies. “I sent them to all my out-of-town relatives with a note explaining why I was doing it and I plan to do that this year, too.”

Autumn Leaves Continue To Fall

Paris, Tenn.-Each autumn, the gravesite of former Governor Thomas C. Rye in Maplewood Cemetery in Paris is an especially impressive sight surrounded by the fallen yellow ginko leaves. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Walker Indicted On Perjury, Tampering Charges
Was Murray State Arson Defendant

Paducah, Ky.-A former Paducah assistant principal who a few years ago stood trial for the arson death of a student at Murray State University is in trouble with the law again.

Jerry Wayne Walker, 39, who is a former Paducah Middle School Assistant Principal, was indicted by a McCracken County Grand Jury on charges of perjury, tampering with evidence and tampering with a witness.

Walker was arrested on arson and manslaughter charges after a 1998 fire on the Murray State campus that resulted in the death of student Michael Minger and injuries to other students. Walker was also a student at the time of the fire.

After two trials, Walker was acquitted of the charges but did plead guilty to tampering with evidence.

Earlier this week, Walker turned himself in to Paducah Police, who said the current charges relate to lies he allegedly told during a termination appeal. In 2013, Walker was terminated as assistant principal for immoral conduct or conduct unbecoming a teacher.

HCMC Staff Vaccination Deadline Nears; Some Hold-Outs

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The deadline for employees at Henry County Medical Center to receive flu vaccinations is drawing near and there still are some staff members who have not been vaccinated. And that may not be good news for the hold-outs.

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee said at Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting that for the vast majority of staff the vaccination policy “has not been a big deal”. But, he said, “We still have a few hold-outs and that may result in the loss of some staff by the end of the year.”

Henry County Medical Center Nursing Home staff “has been outstanding, with 100 percent of their staff getting the vaccine,” he said.

Gee also reported that with the election now over, it is anticipated that some actions regarding the expansion of Medicaid in Tennessee will be brought forward in the legislature.

“This may take the form of pressure from a broad coalition of business, industry, and healthcare providers and insurers,” he said. Recent discussions with Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicate that the organization might be closer to receiving approval for the Governor’s alternative “Tennessee Plan” which would use the federal government’s health exchange to enroll Medicaid’s population.

“All of this will of course be contingent upon legislative approval in a Republican-controlled legislature,” Gee said.

HCMC is seeing its penalties for readmission increase as orthopedic care and COPD patients have been added to those diagnoses that are included in the penalty program, Gee said. 

“These populations are going to be very difficult to deal with as many of these patients have either chronic conditions where they are often non-compliant regarding medications, smoking, etc (COPD) or have difficult issues around their recovery due to pain control, accidental falls, and dislocations (joint replacements),” Gee said.

Unfortunately, hospitals are penalized for any readmissions for these patients, he said, “even if we are not directly responsible for the cause of readmission. We have assembled a team of staff who will be implementing screening tools to identify at risk patients and strategies to help these patients post hospital discharge from returning to the inpatient setting.”

Area Lifeline Bloodmobile Visits For December Listed

The following are dates for Lifeline Bloodmobile visits in our area during December:

Dec. 2 Gibson Co. Courthouse, Trenton 12-5:30 p.m.
Dec. 4 First United Methodist Church, Paris, 12-6 p.m.
Cash Saver, Huntingdon, 1-6 p.m.
Dec. 6 Bumpus Harley Davidson, Blood Drive 12-4 p.m.
Dec. 8 E.W. James, Martin, 12-6 p.m.
Dec. 9 Dr. Nathan Porter Library, Greenfield , 2-6 p.m.
Dec. 10 Methodist Fayette Hospital , Somerville, 12-6 p.m.
Dec. 11  Family Assistance Services Center, McKenzie 10a.m. -12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.
Dec. 12  Baptist Memorial Hospital, Huntingdon, 1-5 p.m.
Dec. 16  Reelfoot Bank, Union City, Battle of the Banks Blood Drive: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. & 1:30 -4:00 p.m.
 Dec. 19  Lowe’s, Union City, 1-6 p.m.
Dec. 22 Healthquest, Union City, 12-7 p.m.
Dec. 23  Weakley Co. Library, Dresden, 12-4:45
Dec. 30 Henry County Medical Center, Paris, 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Dec. 31 Volunteer Community Hospital, Martin, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

LBL Small Game Hunting Seasons To Begin

Golden Pond, KY – Small game hunting seasons open at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area beginning December 1.

Season dates and regulations are different from state-wide dates and regulations. Hunters should be sure to check for details in the Land Between The Lakes Small Game & Waterfowl Hunting Information sheet available at (click on See and Do, Outdoor Recreation, and Hunting).

All hunters age 16 and older must have a Land Between The Lakes Hunter Use Permit, an appropriate state license, and observe Land Between The Lakes rules and applicable state laws regarding hunting zones and safety precautions. Small game hunters with dogs should be aware of information regarding Land Between The Lakes' mid-January trapping season, also included in the small game publication. Night-time coyote hunting is not permitted at Land Between The Lakes.

Information is also available at the Golden Pond Visitor Center year-round, or North and South Welcome stations, Wednesday through Sunday during November. Hunters can also call 270-924-2000 or 800-525-7077 and follow the prompts for hunting information.

North and South Welcome stations will close for the season beginning December 1. Golden Pond Visitor Center will remain open daily, 9am-5pm (CST).

Paris PD Traffic Safety Initiative

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said his department has planned an enforcement initiative for the Thanksgiving weekend beginning today through December 1.

The initiative will target three major traffic safety priorities: occupant protection, impaired driving and speeding, he said.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO), the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP), and the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association (TSA) have joined forces to strengthen and support traffic enforcement nationwide.  
“Ultimately,“ Elizondo said, the initiative “is about saving lives and reducing injuries.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 

BPU Honors Culley, Says Goodbye To Lackey

BPU General Manager John Etheridge, left, gives reports to the board, while (from left) Member John Vandyke, Board Attorney Steve Greer, Board President David Flowers and Member Ralph Anderson listen. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting for the first time since the death of long-time board member Bill Culley, the Paris Board of Public Utilities shared a moment of silence and spoke about their former colleague.

Board President David Flowers said, “We need to recognize the empty chair here. We’re going to miss him. He was a valuable member of this board. He had a lot of expertise to bring. Rest in peace, Bill Culley.”

Culley’s death “was a real loss”, Board Member Ralph Anderson said. “I’m really going to miss him.”

Board Members said also said goodbye to Pete Lackey, who was attending his last meeting on the board. Lackey recently retired as a Paris City Commissioner and had served on the BPU for 14 years. Flowers told Lackey, “We’ve really appreciated your service”.

Lackey said, “I really have enjoyed being on this board and seeing how efficiently the BPU is run.”

Both Culley and Lackey were appointed to the board by the city of Paris. Culley was appointed as a community member and Lackey as a city commissioner. 

Paris City Manager Carl Holder said Tuesday afternoon that an appointment to replace Culley will not be on the city commission agenda when it meets in early December. “It’s customary as a show of respect to wait an additional month to appoint someone when there is a death,” Holder said.

Whether the city appoints a replacement for Lackey at the December meeting will be the decision of whoever is elected mayor of Paris, he said. Commissioners will be electing the mayor as the first order of business at the December meeting. The appointment to replace Lackey will be a mayoral appointment with commission approval, Holder said.

In new business, the BPU approved the pre-pay policy for electric customers that has been under discussion for some time. BPU General Manager John Etheridge said, “We’re ready to roll with this.”

Business Manager Beverly Underwood said the live date for activation of the program will be December 22. The program will apply to residential electric customers only, she said.

“We’ve had three months of testing and everything is working extremely well,” Underwood said. “It’s been an easy software to implement. It’s truly an automated system.”

In other business, the board approved purchase of voltage regulators for the Henry Substation from Westco Utility for $91,200 under a 30-year cost of ownership. The equipment will regulator the voltage levels of the lines coming out of the Henry Substation, Etheridge said.

Santa To Arrive In Paris Friday 

Santa's house is all decorated and cozy, just waiting on his arrival (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Santa, Rudolph and the elves will roll into downtown Paris on the big, red fire engine at 10 a.m. Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving. Santa’s appearance will kick off North Pole Family Fun Day, an annual event sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association (DPA). 

With more than a dozen free activities, the event lasts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

“I can’t wait to see all of the good little boys and girls in Henry County,” Santa said in an exclusive satellite interview from the North Pole. “Rudolph, the elves and I love our gingerbread house on the Court Square. We’ll be visiting with the youngsters each Saturday and Sunday throughout the holiday season and the Henry County High School Band Boosters will be on hand to take photos.

There’s plenty to do after children visit with Santa, including four free craft tables with “make and take” holiday goodies hosted by the 4-H Club and located outside stores throughout downtown. Kiddos can also enjoy face painting inside Commercial Bank and Trust from 10 am until noon. Every half hour (10:30, 11:00, 11:30; 12:00, 12:30, 1:00, 1:30), members of the HCHS Speech Team will read The Polar Express at the beautifully decorated Old Depot on Fentress Street, now Vicky Muzzall’s Tax Service. “Miss Vicky even gives away free train whistles to all of the youngsters,” Santa said.

There’s trackless train rides for adults and children sponsored by Dr. Blake Chandler of the West Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic and other games on the courthouse lawn. Also on the lawn is a petting zoo and pony rides courtesy of the Downtown Paris Association.

The jolly old elf invites everyone to check out the schedule for Downtown Unwrapped, a series of exciting holiday events at Flyers are available from many downtown merchants.

Christmas By The Lake Arts and Crafts This Weekend 

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Christmas By The Lake Arts And Crafts Festival will be held at the Paris Landing State Park Inn this weekend, from Friday though Sunday.
Hours are: Friday, November 28 3 pm-8 pm; Saturday, November 29 8 am-5 pm; and Sunday, November 30 8 am-5 pm

Arrests Made In Camden Burglary

         Walter Kenniston

Camden, Tenn.-Two Camden residents have been arrested and a third is still being sought following a burglary of a home on Mimosa Street in that city. 

After an investigation conducted by Patrolmen Bailey and Boyd, Walter Kenniston was arrested and the stolen property was retrieved and returned to the owners.

Warrants were issued for the arrest of Karen Kenniston and Bradley Teague, both of Camden. Since the initial press release was issued, Camden Police announced that Karen Kenniston also has been arrested.

Any information on this case can be delivered to the investigating officers at 731-584-4622.  

Refuge To Hold "Trim A Tree" Event Saturday 

Springville, Tenn.-The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in Henry County is inviting the public to a new event called “Trim a Tree for Wildlife” to be held Saturday, November 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 pm at the new visitor center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville.

This event will feature opportunities to take items from nature and make craf...ts for the Christmas season. From making ornament owls out of pine cones, to making snowmen from tree slices, these crafts will be fun for the whole family!

According to Refuge Manager Barron Crawford, “The event will be tailored for families with children or for people looking for something fun to do with visiting relatives. So come on down, check out the new interactive exhibits, shop at the Blue Heron Bookstore and take home some cool ornaments for the season.” Some of the craft ornaments available to make are designed to decorate the inside of your home, but some can be hungt on an outside tree to help attract wild birds to your backyard.

As always, the event and entry to the visitor center is free. The refuge would like to thank the sponsors of this event, the Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge. They will also have the Blue Heron Bookstore open for business from 10 a.m.-4pm on Saturday. For more information about this event or the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge please call 731-642-2091.
Whereas the new refuge visitor center is always open Monday - Saturday from 8:00 – 4:00 pm, please note the center will be closed at noon the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. It will remain closed through each holiday and will reopen on the Friday after each holiday.

LBL Planetarium To Present Holiday Shows 

Golden Pond, KY – The Golden Pond Planetarium celebrates the holiday season with several Holiday shows – Let it Snow, Season of Light, and Laser Holidays from November 28 to December 23. The Planetarium will also be open for daily shows. Admission to the Golden Pond Planetarium is $5 ages 13 and up; $3 ages 5-12; free for ages 4 and under.

The newest show, Let it Snow, features a variety of high resolution scenes and artistic animations suitable for all ages. Season of Light traces the celestial reasons behind many of our holiday traditions that involve light: yule logs, lighted trees, luminaries, and Menorahs. Laser Holidays features lasers dancing to popular holiday music and songs by Bing Cosby, Burl Ives, and many others. The final laser shows of the season will take place December 27, at 5pm and 6pm, and will include Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall. Pink Floyd laser shows are $7 per seat, per show.

“Our programs include astronomy education on popular winter constellations,” explained Ross Workman, Planetarium Manager. “These seasonal shows also explain why we have seasons and teach us about the earth’s tilt and orbit around the sun.”

Groups of 10 or more may schedule shows after hours and receive group rates. Call 270-924-2020 for more information. Evening shows continue in December on Saturdays only. The Planetarium will be closed Thanksgiving Day, December 24, 25, 29, 30, and 31, and New Year's Day. The Golden Pond Planetarium will reopen on January 2, 2015, providing shows seven days a week.

For more information on planetarium shows visit, click on See and Do, Attractions, and Planetarium Theater Shows. For Holiday laser shows click on Calendar and search for “Holiday laser shows.”

Monday, November 24, 2014 

Items Being Collected For Fire Victims

The burned-out shell is all that remains of the home at 240 Eagle Creek Rd. (Photo courtesy of Katie Shambo, WBBJ-TV).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Neighbors and friends of the family which lost their home and everything they owned Sunday are collecting clothing and other items for the family.

The home at 240 Eagle Creek Rd. was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours Sunday. The home is a two-story frame house with basement. Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Chief Tammy Hinson said Sunday morning that the home is occupied by seven people, all of whom got out safely. The home is owned by Barbara Farmer.

The family needs clothing for family members in these sizes:

Woman's Clothes Sizes = 1, 12, & 14
--Women's Shoe Size = 7-8 
--Men's Jeans/Pants = 31" x 34"
--Men's Tops = Medium
--Men's Shoes = 11 ½

There also are two toddler boys, who wear sizes 12-18 month sizes and size 5-6 shoes. The little boys are in need of any items for little ones of that age, including toys.

Donation points for the items are Eastside Auto Repair on Muzzall St., Paris, or next door to the burned-out home on Eagle Creek Rd., where a family member lives.

The full story on the fire was published on our website and Facebook pages on Sunday.

Power Outages in Obion, Gibson Counties Today

Obion County, Tenn.-Strong winds have caused power outages to about 2,000 Gibson Electric Membership Corporation members’ homes and businesses in Obion and Gibson counties this morning. The first outage occurred at 3:36 a.m. in Gibson County; this outage is affecting 105 members between Trenton and Dyer. The second outage occurred in Rives at 4:14 a....m. and is affecting 4 members.

The third outage began at 4:48 a.m. and is affecting 1,885 members served by the Union City substation (from north of Kenton to the Kentucky line). Gibson County Electric Vice President Rita Alexander said, “Crews were immediately dispatched and are working to restore power ask quickly as they safely can.”

Learning More About Civil War At Our Parks 

"Prelude To Johnsonville" sign by the old Scott Fitzhugh bridge section. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Visitors to Paris Landing State Park in recent days have been seeing newly-installed educational signs informing the public about the Civil War campaigns that happened along the Tennessee River near the park. 

Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the area Civil War battles, installation of the signs is a joint effort of the Tennessee State Parks and the National Park Service, according to Paris Landing Park Manager Joan Williams. 

There are two signs at Paris Landing. One near the section of the old Scott Fitzhugh Bridge located by the marina is titled “Prelude To Johnsonville” and it highlights the Fort Heiman campaign. The other is located near the old beach close to Paris Landing Inn and it is titled, “That Devil Forrest”, and it highlights Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s raids along the Tennessee River.

There also are signs at Fort Heiman, Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park, Fort Donelson National Military Park and Johnsonville State Park.

Sign by the old beach about Forrest campaigns. (Joan Williams photo).

"Turkey Bowl" Alumni Football Set For Saturday

Union City, Tenn.-Obion Central Alumni have been busy practicing for Saturday night’s “Turkey Bowl” alumni game with former Union City football players. The game will be held at 7 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium in Union City. Tickets are $10 each. They are available at the gate on Saturday or in advance at Wood Communications and Charlie T's, both in Union City. Obion Central team still need alumni to sign up. Price is $100 per person and includes equipment, DVD of the game and an alumni shirt. Here is the number to call for more information: 731-335-3838.

Lakewood Speech Team Brings Home Gold

Murray, Ky.- The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team competed in the Middle School Laker Invitational at Calloway County Middle School over the weekend and placed 2nd overall with 14 finalists. 

The following students won in their individual events:
Natalie Clark – 1st in Oratory, 1st in Declamation and 3rd in Broadcasting
Drew Culbreath – 1st in Prose, 4th in Poetry
Sylis Allen – 2nd in Poetry, 4th in Prose
Collin Smith – 2nd in Storytelling, 5th in Duo Improv
Jessica Whalen – 2nd in Solo Acting
Janet McFadden – 6th in Prose
Casey Burkhart – 6th in Declamation
Faith Hutson – 6th in Oratory and 5th in Duo Improv.

The team will be travelling to Western KY University on December 6th to compete in the Jr. Hilltopper Invitational which draws schools from across KY, TN and other parts of the Eastern US.

UTM Faculty Member To Head Area Special Olympics

Martin, Tenn.-A University of Tennessee at Martin faculty member is the newly named director of Area 7 Special Olympics Tennessee. 

Dr. Clinton Smith, assistant professor, Department of Educational Studies, will lead the region that includes Lake, Obion, Weakley and Henry counties.

Smith’s goals are to increase local collaboration with schools and businesses to support Special Olympics and to increase the number of Special Olympics sports offered in the area. 

"Area 7 has a rich history of strong support and leadership, and I’d like to see that build and continue so that we can provide opportunities for involvement for children and adults with disabilities in our communities,” he said. 

The mission of Area 7 Special Olympics Tennessee is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The experience gives participants continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. 

Full participation is granted to every athlete regardless of his or her economic circumstances. The ultimate goal of Special Olympics is to help persons with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large by offering them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition. Special Olympics also increases the public's awareness of participants’ capabilities and needs.

Smith has been a certified Special Olympics coach in basketball and athletics since 1993 and has also served as a coach and a volunteer in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. He has attended the Special Olympics National Games and served as an assistant coach for athletics in 2006, head basketball coach for Team Tennessee in 2010 and head athletics coach for the 2014 National Games. 

Smith’s 2010 team won a gold medal in Division I men’s basketball, and his Unified Basketball teams from Shadowlawn Middle School in Bartlett won four state championships in their division in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008. 

LBL Offers Cedar Tree Permits 

Golden Pond, KY – Free Christmas tree permits for Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will be available online at, under Reservations and Permits beginning November 28. Permits, maps, and cutting guidelines may be obtained online anytime. The public may also obtain a permit from the Land Between The Lakes Administrative Office, 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday between December 1 and noon on December 24. Permits are not available at Golden Pond Visitor Center.

A permit entitles a family to cut one cedar tree between November 28 and December 24. Cedar trees may be cut anywhere in Land Between The Lakes except within sight of US68/KY80, Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway, cemeteries, Nature Watch Areas, campgrounds, or other mowed areas. Trees must be cedar, less than 10 feet tall, and stumps must be less than 4 inches tall. Chain saws may be used. Use of trucks, winches, tractors, or other heavy equipment is prohibited. Cutting rules and regulations can be found online under Quick Links, Print on Demand, Info Sheets.

"Taking the family out into the woods to look for the perfect Christmas tree is a great holiday tradition. Check along roadsides or within old forest openings to find your tree,” suggested Forester, Dennis Wilson. “The cedar tree program also helps Land Between The Lakes maintain open lands and promote diverse wildlife habitat.”

Whether families cut or purchase a tree, they should follow these safety guidelines for choosing and using a cut tree in their home this Christmas.

Cedar Christmas tree permits and regulations can be found at 

Call 270-924-2065 or 800-525-7077 for more information.

Sunday, November 23, 2014 

"Dooms Chapel Horror" To Premiere In Paris

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-News that many have been waiting for: “The Dooms Chapel Horror”, the movie which was filmed in part in Paris and the surrounding area, will premiere at the Parisian Theatre Thursday evening, December 11.

The movie was filmed on location in Paducah and Symsonia, Kentucky; and Paris from May to August of 2013. Over 500 local extras, 31 locations and a multitude local actors were used during the making of the film giving it a very hometown local feel. 

The Paris location scenes were filmed on the Henry County Court square and hundreds of local people showed up as extras for the filming.

When the AGS Production team sat down to decide where to film the feature-length movie, there was only one place in mind, according to the press release issued by the movie’s producers. 

Director John Holt, writer Jason Turner, and producer Christopher Bower have called western Kentucky and Tennessee home for the last decade, and there was no better landscape for their newest horror flick to be filmed. 

Production on the “The Dooms Chapel Horror,” ended last summer and has been in the process of post-production leading up to its premiere next month. The movie features local actors Austin Madding, Abby Murphy and Joshua Robinson (Clock Out, Burning Kentucky), along with Los Angeles heavyweight Bill Oberst, Jr. (Abraham Lincoln Zombie Hunter, CBS’s Criminal Minds ) and Shaun Gerardo (X-men: First Class, Clock Out). 
Tickets and more information can be found at The show starts at 7pm. 

Springville Home Destroyed By Fire 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-A Springville family is homeless this morning after their two-story house was destroyed by fire early this morning.

Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Chief Tammy Hinson said her department was called to a fire at 240 Eagle Creek Rd. around 3 a.m. this morning. When her personnel arrived, the home was already engulfed in flames, she said.

The home is owned by Barbara Farmer and is occupied by seven people, Hinson said. “Six of the people were home last night and everybody got out safely,” she said. The home is a two-story wood structure with basement.

Firefighters were called to return to the scene at 6:50 a.m. this morning. “All the wind blowing got the fire rekindled in several places, so we went back out and extinguished that,” Hinson said.

Cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, she said. “All we know now is that it started in the basement,” Hinson said. 

Christmas In Paris Draws Huge Crowds; Continues Today

Paris, Tenn.-A huge crowd was on hand Saturday for the Christmas In Paris Extravaganza at the Paris Convention Center (behind Quality Inn). Lori Barrow of the Paisley Poppy in Paris, top photo, was one of over 60 vendors at the show, which continues from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Barrow will be teaching children’s crafts at Lee Academy for the Arts beginning the first week in January. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Lisa and Roggerio Ciarrocchi of the Paris Winery stand in front of a selection of their wines and gift baskets that they sell at the winery. With free wine tasting, their booth was one of the most popular. 

Diane McCord of Odd Fodder Designs in Paris answers questions about all her creations, which includes hand-painted rain barrels. 

Register Now For 8 Mile Run At Paris Landing

Buchanan, Tenn.-Paris Landing State Park will once again be featured in the State Parks Running Tour, with the eight mile “Over the River” race planned for 11 am on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at the Park. Walkers will begin at 10 am.

The course starts in the parking lot of Paris Landing State Park Inn. Approximately half the course is in the park, with the other half on Highway 79, crossing over the McWherter Bridge, with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department overseeing safety on Highway 79. Runners will be able to run in the emergency lane and one driving lane while on Highway 79. 

Runners may register beginning at 9:30 am at the park. Awards and trophies will be given for various age groups.

Meal tickets will be available for runners and their supporters for $7.50 each for the buffet lunch at the Park Inn.

“Bringing this running event to Paris Landing has been a cooperative effort of the tour, the race director, Paris Landing State Park, the Friends of Paris Landing State Park, West Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic and the Chamber,” according to Chamber Director Jennifer Wheatley.

For more information or to volunteer to help work the race, call the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce at 731.642.3431 or go to To register for the race or to learn more about the Tennessee State Park Running Tour, go to

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Man Arrested For Terroristic Threats Toward Murray State

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Hopkinsville, Ky. -Kentucky State Police have arrested a 23-year-old Paducah man on charges of terrorist threatening. The man threatened to harm law enforcement and individuals at Murray State University.

Naysan Khadem  was arrested was arrested on a warrant issued by the Christian County Attorney for one count of terroristic threatening 2nd degree and one count of terroristic threatening 3rd degree.

Khadem is in the Christian County Jail on a $7,000 cash bond.

This evening, Murray State University President Bob Davies released a statement to university staff, students and the media:

“I am writing to inform you of a serious situation we have dealt with over the past 24 hours.
We were informed that an individual, who was in custody at the Calloway County Jail following his arrest on an unrelated charge, made violent threats against authorities.
He was then transferred and admitted to Western State Hospital for a psychological evaluation. During this process he made additional and specific threats against Murray State and these threats were deemed credible by hospital personnel. 
Once we were made aware of these threats we worked with law enforcement officials to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and other campus visitors. In addition, we worked directly with law enforcement at all levels (local, county, state and federal) and we were able to obtain felony charges against this individual based on the additional threats.
He remains in custody and will remain in custody and stand trial for these felonies in multiple jurisdictions.
I want to be clear, that while we actively worked this situation, since he was always in custody, there was no time or opportunity he would have been able to carry out his threats against Murray State.
This situation, and other across the country, reinforces the need for us to be diligent in our efforts of being prepared and aware of circumstances that may lead to tragic events.
I want to thank the efforts of Interim-Chief Dunaway, members of the Murray State Police Department, and the other law enforcement officers, who worked together and cooperated across lines by sharing information to ensure the safety of all members within our community at all times.
Very Respectfully,
Bob Davies”

On The Beaches Of Kentucky Lake

Buchanan, Tenn.-With Kentucky Lake at its winter pool, interesting pieces of drift wood are emerging on the beaches at Paris Landing State Park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Union City Moves On To Semi-Finals
Henry County Season Over

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Golden Tornadoes ran all over another opponent Friday night, beating Lake County 56-6 in the Class 1A quarterfinals. The Golden Tornadoes are the reigning state champs and are undefeated on their season.

During the game Ricky Henry, who is a finalist for Mr. Football Back of the Year, rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns.

The Golden Tornadoes now will face Nashville Christian in the semi-finals. Nashville Christian also is unbeaten and are ranked No. 2. They beat Columbia Academy on Friday.
It was a bad night for other local teams, however. Henry County was defeated by Memphis Ridgeway 48-23; and McKenzie was beat by Trenton Peabody 42-0. Trezevant did beat Crockett Co. 20-17.

Chris Thile Wins MSU Outstanding Alumnus 
Of Nickel Back, Punch Brothers Fame

Chris Thile's parents Scott and Kathy Thile accept award from Dr. Pam Wurgler (right), chair of the MSU department of music.

Murray, Ky. — Grammy Award-winning musician Chris Thile of Murray won the 2014 Outstanding Alumni in Fine Arts award, presented at the sixth annual A Taste of the Arts Dinner and Auction at Murray State University in October. 

Thile, of Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers, is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist.  The MacArthur Foundation named Thile one of its 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2012.  

A child prodigy, Thile first rose to fame as a member of the Grammy Award-winning trio Nickel Creek. Thile also won a 2012 Grammy for Best Folk Album for The Goat Rodeo Sessions, recorded with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Stuart Duncan and bassist Edgar Meyer. As a soloist, Thile has released five albums, including his most recent solo recording released in 2013, Bach: Partitas and Sonatas, Vol.1.

Thile’s parents, Scott and Kathy Thile of Murray, accepted the award on behalf of their son. In a taped acceptance speech, Thile credited Murray State with influencing his identity as a musician. He praised the department of music as an environment that fostered and encouraged curiosity, and he noted the faculty’s open-mindedness, mentioning specifically his time with Dr. Stephen Brown. Thile described this award as incredible and emotional because of how much his time at Murray State means to him. Thile is working with the university to coordinate a visit to campus in 2015.

More than $23,000 was raised in support of arts scholarships at the campus event. 
For more information on A Taste of the Arts or on this award, contact Tina Bernot, director of development for the college of humanities and fine arts at Murray State University at 270.809.3250 or

Carroll County Man Killed In Accident

Huntingdon, Tenn.-A Cedar Grove man was killed in a head-on collision Friday evening in Carroll County.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Harold Breeden of Cedar Grove was killed in the crash and his passenger, Wanda Breeden, was injured. The report does not indicate the extent of Mrs. Breeden’s injuries.

The accident occurred around 5:30 p.m. on Highway 70 about 10 miles west of Huntingdon. According to the report, a pickup truck driven by Ralph Carroll of Cedar Grove crossed into the eastbound land and struck the Breeden vehicle head-on.

Carroll also was injured, but the report does not indicate the extent of those injuries.

A dispatcher at the THP said the report does not indicate whether Carroll will be charged in the accident.

McKenzie Police Seek Help Finding Bank Burglary Suspect

McKenzie, Tenn. -- McKenzie Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the man who burglarized the McKenzie Banking Company’s main office around 6:20 p.m. Friday night.

McKenzie Police say the man gained access to the bank by breaking a window. Surveillance cameras videotaped him as he ransacked offices in the bank.

A Ford Taurus was seen driving away from the bank as officers arrived. Officers said the car had a temporary license plate.

Anyone with information is asked to call McKenzie police at 731-352-2264. 


Friday, November 21, 2014 

Attorney In Bobo Case Suspended

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-An attorney for one of the men accused of the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo has been suspended by the Tennessee Supreme Court but it is unclear now what impact that may have on the case.

John Herbison of Nashville was suspended Thursday by the Supreme Court. Herbison and Fletcher Long are partners in Long and Herbison of Nashville and both represent Jason Autrey of Decatur County, who is charged in the Holly Bobo case.

A spokesperson for District Attorney Matt Stowe told WENK/WTPR that their office is aware of the suspension of Herbison, “but we’re not sure yet what impact that will have”.
Herbison’s suspension also may impact the Vanderbilt rape case, since he is on the team defending former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Vandenburg. Vandenburg is one of four players accused of raping a woman in a campus dorm room.

According to the Supreme Court Board of Professional Responsibility, Herbison was suspended from practicing law for 18 months, 60 days of which will be on active suspension and the rest on probation. The suspension involves misconduct in failing to communicate with clients and not filing an appeal for another. He also is required to pay around $4,000 in fines.

Two Charged With Aggravated Child Abuse, Neglect

Paris, Tenn.-Two Paris residents have been arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse and neglect after a baby tested positive for narcotics.

The Metro Crime Unit arrested Vicky Bradley, age 27, of Old McKenzie Highway, who gave birth to the baby on May 27. According to Paris Police Investigator Ricky Watson, the child tested positive for the presence of narcotics and has experienced health issues due to the narcotics.

Also arrested was Steven Pendlebury, age 31, of the same address, who Watson said provided the mother with the narcotics during her pregnancy “knowing that she was pregnant with the child”. He also was charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect.

Both Bradley and Pendlebury were transported to the Henry County Jail without incident and were placed on bonds of $100,000 each. They will appear in General Sessions Court November 25.

The child has been placed in state custody.

CVS Is Coming Right Along

Paris, Tenn.-Construction at the CVS Pharmacy in Paris is coming right along, with the signage for the new store now installed. The store is located at the intersection of Mineral Wells and Memorial Avenues. Paris city officials said the word from the contractor is the new store may be open sometime around the first of the year. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Kirklands Win "You Made It Happen" Award

Jenny Kirkland accepts the award from Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy. (Obion Chamber photo).

Union City, Tenn.-It was a big night at Discovery Park of America Thursday evening for the Obion County Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation annual banquet. Over 200 business leaders and individuals crowded the main hall of Discovery Park for the event.

Winners of the “You Made It Happen Award” were given to Robert and Jenny Kirkland of Union City, whose philanthropy is responsible for the creation of Discovery Park and many more projects in the area. Discovery Park itself was presented with the Obion County Business Partner Of The Year award.

Other winners: Volunteer of Year Dr. Leland Davis of Reelfoot Animal Hospital;  Ambassador of the Year Debbie and Trent Ams of Union City Carpet; Board Member of Year Todd Petty of Terry Petty Chevrolet; Business of the Year Sullivan Dentistry and Business Partner of the year Hampton Inn.

A huge crowd was on hand at the banquet. (Amy Keathley photo).

Antique Bell Installed In Lee Bell Tower

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Lee Academy for the Arts now has a bell in its bell tower--and not just any bell. 

The belfry at the historic former Robert E. Lee School is now outfitted with an antique steam locomotive bell that is a long-term loan from Baker, Dottie and Karol Kendall and was part of the collection of the late Joe and Ann Kendall.

The building now houses the Lee Academy for the Arts and Ray Harding said the bell is the first commercial bell to be placed in the belfry. He said, “We’ve used an old farm bell up there for awhile, but this is the first bell of this type.”

Lee School records indicate that a bell was donated to the original school in 1849 “and we assume that it was destroyed in the 1880 fire because there’s no sign of it since then,” Harding said. “That’s when this building was built and there is no evidence this building ever had one.”

The installation of the bell involved a lot of manpower, mainly handled by Paul Lindsay and Brad York, who slowly lifted the tell into the bell tower.

Harding said, “Although the bell weighed in at 270 pounds, it was a light load for the chain hoists, which are normally used to lift automobile engines. Earlier, a platform had been constructed in the tower to hold the bell. A small cable was routed to the entrance foyer to allow the bell to be rung from there.”

The bell can be run from the building foyer, Harding said, and most probably will be run for special events at the Lee Academy.

Three Business Owners Cited For Violations

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Three Paris business owners were given a choice of fines or suspension of their licenses after they were found in violation of the state beer laws for selling beer to underage individuals.

Meeting Thursday night, the Paris Alcoholic Beverage Control Board heard evidence from the city and the business owners during a mini-hearing during the meeting. 

Fuel Pro, 1008 Tyson Ave., was given a choice between a $1,000 fine or 14 days suspension of its license, while both Eagle Foods, 907 East Wood St., and Smoke Shack, 1055 Mineral Wells Ave., were given a choice between $500 fine or seven day suspensions.

Under questioning by City Law Director Fred McLean, testifying during the meeting were Henry County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Michelle Brewer and Corrections Officer William Whitaker. Brewer supervised the operation, while Whitaker made the buys at the three businesses. Whitaker is over 18, but under 21 years of age.

The owner of Fuel Pro was not at the hearing. According to City Manager Carl Holder, the other two owners said they had tried to train their employees properly, but that the clerks at the stores were busy.

In other business, the board approved permits for Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant, 1021 Mineral Wells Ave., (for Siu Fan Cheung); and Paris Moose Lodge 1915, 3003 Dinkins Lane (for Claudette Lindahl). Both those requests are for on premises use.

Volunteers Sought For "Chimes For Charity" Event

Union City, Tenn.-Volunteers are being sought for this Sunday’s “Chimes For Charity” shopping tour. Over 300 underprivileged children will be provided with clothing and shoes from the shopping tour.

Organizers said all local organizations and individuals are encouraged to help the children with their shopping. The event begins at 1 p.m. Sunday at Wal-Mart in Union City.

All volunteers are given a shopping list with sizes and needs for each child. Each child is allotted $115 for their shopping needs. The children were nominated by the Obion County Schools and Head Start.

Attending WestStar 25th Anniversary

Martin, Tenn. –Ramay Winchester, WestStar Class of 1992, of Paris; Brooxie Carlton, WestStar Class of 2014, of Nashville; and Frankie McCord, WestStar Class of 1997, of Humboldt, were among many who attended the UT Martin WestStar Leadership Program’s 25th anniversary celebration at Discovery Park of America in Union City. Approximately 200 program alumni and guests gathered to celebrate the leadership program that includes 710 graduates since its beginning. The program’s board of trustees recently selected the 26th class that begins its WestStar experience in December.

LBL “No Hunting” Zones Open to Archery Deer Hunting

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will open areas typically marked as “No Hunting” zones to archery deer hunting December 1. Kentucky areas will be open to archery hunting through January 19 and include Hillman Ferry and Energy Lake campgrounds. Tennessee areas will be open to archery hunting through January 4 and include Brandon Spring Group Center and the South Nature Watch Demonstration Area in the eastern portion of Hunt Area 16 south of Ft. Henry Rd. Piney Campground will remain closed.

Hunters are encouraged to harvest antlerless deer in these areas to maintain healthy deer populations. Hunting is not permitted within 150 yards of any road, facility, building, occupied area, or within 200 yards of any wildlife refuges. Hunters must possess all state required licenses and permits for the state being hunted. Deer hunters age 16 and older must purchase a $25 Land Between The Lakes Hunter Use Permit or $35 with a combination Back country Camping Permit. Permits can be purchased online 24/7 under Reservations and Permits, Golden Pond Visitor Center and Wranglers Campground year-round, or at stores that sell state hunting licenses.

Hunting in forested areas within campground boundaries, away from campsites, is permitted. Maintenance staff will continue working throughout the winter at facilities. Hunters are advised to use extra caution when hunting in these areas. Camping will be available at Wranglers Campground, at Self-service Camping Areas, and in Backcountry Areas.

For more information go to, and click Stewardship, and Hunting, or call 270-924-2065. For information on hunting regulations click on General Hunting Regulations on the hunting page.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dresden Man Arrested On Rape Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Dresden, Tenn.-A 40-year-old Dresden man was arrested today by Weakley County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with three counts of rape, three counts of rape by an authority figure and three counts of incest.

Arrested was William Leland Frazier of Evergreen St.

Weakley County Captain Randall McGowan said the victim in the case is a mentally-challenged 14-year-old relative of Frazier. McGowan said Frazier confessed to the crime following interviews and the execution of a search warrant at the residence. 

Frazier will be arraigned in Weakley County General Sessions Court.

Homemaker's Holiday Continues Today 

Paris, Tenn.-Members of the Pleasant Hill Homemakers Mary Lou Walker, Carolyn Shankle, Lynn Toombs and Gail Perkins were among members of the county’s Family Community Education (FCE) Clubs who greeted visitors to the Homemaker’s Holiday last night. Sponsored by the Henry County Extension Service, Homemaker’s Holiday continues today from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Enoch Building at the Fairgrounds. In addition to the treats and homemade crafts for sale, the ladies will be serving dinner from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Soup or chili and sandwich, dessert and drink for $5. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Cosby Appearance At Freed-Hardeman Still Scheduled 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Jackson, Tenn.-Officials at Freed-Hardeman University in Jackson have announced that the upcoming appearance by Comedian Bill Cosby will go on as planned.

There had been speculation the past few days that Cosby’s appearance might be in doubt in the wake of continuing allegations of past sexual assaults being made against him. On Wednesday, NBC announced it will not continue its plans for a new Cosby show on the network and TV Land has pulled the Cosby show reruns from its lineup.

Cosby is scheduled to appear at Freed-Hardeman’s 50th Benefit Dinner on Friday, December 5.

In a statement the University posted on its Facebook page, it said the dinner and speaker remain scheduled “to focus on our main goal--providing an avenue for donors to invest in the students’ lives.”

“We committed to a contract with Bill Cosby many months ago after soliciting input from alumni and friends. While recent developments have drawn attention to our event because of the speaker, we hope that people will remember: 1.) this dinner is about helping students, and 2.) while we are reading stories in the media, they represent real people whose lives will be affected long after FHU’s dinner has passed. Please join us in praying for healing and peace for those involved.”

Freed-Hardeman is a private, Church of Christ University.

Vaughn Appointed Grand Jury Foreman 

Paris, Tenn.- – Henry County Circuit Court Judge Donald E. Parish has announced the appointment of Robert D. Vaughn of Paris to serve as the regular Henry County Grand Jury Foreperson, also commonly known as Foreman of the Grand Jury, for a two year term.

Vaughn graduated from UT Martin in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree and from UT Memphis in 1978 where he completed his Master of Science degree in social work. Vaughn is the executive director of Carey Counseling Center of Paris and has served in that capacity for thirty years.

His wife Donna, is the director of the Pre-kindergarten program for the Paris Special School System.

Vaughn follows William ‘Bo’ Caldwell of Paris who completed a four year appointment as foreman. Caldwell said, “I enjoyed my time as grand jury foreman and am glad to see others serve in this important role.”

Judge Donald Parish said, “I appreciate the service of Mr. Caldwell to the community for the last four years and am looking forward to working with Robert Vaughn in this capacity.”

The Henry County Grand Jury recently met on Monday, November 3, and will meet again on Monday, March 2, 2015.

Holly Jolly Parade Entrants Sought 

Paris, Tenn.-Entrants are being sought for the Eighth Annual Holly Jolly Christmas Parade. Grab something with wheels and an armful of Christmas lights and get your entry ready for the parade. This holiday tradition takes place in Historic Downtown Paris on Saturday afternoon, December 13 at 4:30 p.m. It immediately follows the Christmas Festival, which is from 2:00 – 4:30 pm. Both events are sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association (DPA).

“We have invited a group of special folks to be our grand marshals and help us celebrate year. We will be making that announcement soon,” according to Parade Committee Member Jennifer Morris.

As with all parades, the best way to take part is to be in the parade. “The DPA encourages organizations, neighborhoods, businesses and churches to decorate anything from golf carts to floats to pets and come spread Christmas cheer throughout the town,” said Committee Member Vickey Roberts.

Trophies will be awarded in the following categories: Best Decorated Float, Most Christmas Spirit, and Best Decorated Golf Cart or Small Tractor. The coveted Clark Griswold Award will be given to the brightest, most lit entry. 

Many of the festive shops will be open till 8:00 p.m. on parade night, and Santa will be in his house to visit with youngsters. Parade trophies will be awarded on the courthouse steps following the parade.

Entry forms are available at Paris City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce and the DPA office at 203 North Fentress Street or online at For more information call Jennifer Morris at 731-644-4539 or Vickey Roberts at 731-336-0278.

HCHS Marching Patriots Fruit Sale Time 

Paris, Tenn.-It is that time of year again. Time for the Henry County High School Marching Patriots Band fruit sale, as well as other goodies from Sally Lane’s Candy Farm and the Popcorn Factory. The sale is sponsored by Henry County Band Boosters.

See any band/color guard student (or parent) for your order. Money is due at time of order, orders are due December 1. Orders are expected to be in December 18. Checks payable to HC Band Boosters.

Hazel Man Charged With Assault, DUI

Murray, Ky.-Murray Police Department officers responded to a report of a fight at 1501 North 16th Street around 10 p.m. Wednesday. Witnesses reported a firearm had been brandished during the altercation. 

Officers located Darrell Broach, 45, of Hazel, in the parking lot of a nearby business. 

Broach was arrested and charged with DUI 2nd Offense, Possession of Open Alcoholic Beverage, No Registration Plates, Driving DUI Suspended License, Attempted Murder, Assault 2nd Degree, and Wanton Endangerment 1st Degree.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 

Dylan Adams Transferred To Weakley County Jail

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.-One of the men charged for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo has been booked into the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office.

Dylan Adams, 26, of Decatur County, was transferred from the Robertson County Jail, but officials with District Attorney Matt Stowe’s office earlier declined to say where he was being taken.

Stowe did say, however, that Adams was being transferred to a jail closer to his attorney. His attorney is Matt Maddox of Huntingdon.

Adams was booked into the Weakley County Jail around 4 p.m. Tuesday. 

Adams is charged with two counts of rape of Bobo, who went missing in April of 2011 from her Decatur County home. 

He is being held in isolation at the Weakley County Jail for his safety.

Adams’ brother Zach and their acquaintance Jason Autrey, both of Decatur County, are charged with first-degree murder in the Bobo case.

Couple Who Hid Meth In Teddy Bear Waive Hearing


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-In an appearance in Henry County General Sessions Court Tuesday, a couple arrested after they allegedly hid crystal meth in teddy bears in their home waived their rights to a preliminary hearing. Their case now will be presented to the county grand jury when it meets March 2.

Arrested at a home at 6400 North St., Puryear, last June, were Chris Barcio, whose address was listed as 85 Old Paris Murray Rd. and his girlfriend, Melissa Axley of 4378 Danville Rd., Big Sandy.  

A search warrant was executed by the Metro Crime Unit, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Paris Police, Henry Police and Puryear Police and K9s were used to sniff out the meth hidden in the teddy bear. Paris PD’s K9 “Kenzie” and a Sheriff’s Office K9 “Droid” were used in the search.

 Barcio and Axley were charged with possession with the intent to sell, manufacture and deliver of a felony amount of meth--in this case, 39 grams.

According to officials at General Sessions Court, both Axley and Barcio are free on bonds of $15,000 each.

During their arrest, a fugitive wanted in Benton and Cheatham Counties also was found on the property. Charles Felts was found in a camper on the property and was arrested on charges of evading, child neglect and contempt of court.

UTM Discontinues Equestrian Program 

Martin, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin officials met with the Skyhawk equestrian team on Sunday, Nov. 16 to notify them that the 2015-16 academic year would be their last year of varsity competition.

“This was a very difficult decision for our university but upcoming changes within the NCAA necessitated this move,” UT Martin athletics director Julio Freire said. “We have to be proactive in protecting our Division-I status within the NCAA. Moving forward, we will honor the scholarship of each equestrian student-athlete through their fourth academic year.”

UT Martin athletics department participates in the NCAA at the Division-I level and sponsors the minimum number of sports (14) to remain at this level. UT Martin officially added equestrian in 2005 as an NCAA-recognized emerging sport, which means the sport has 10 years to accumulate 40 school-sponsored teams. Only two universities (Southern Methodist in 2009, Baylor in 2006) have officially added equestrian since the Skyhawks joined, bringing the current list of teams to 21. Kansas State officially discontinued equestrian in October of this year.

“In anticipation of the Committee on Women’s Athletics’ recommended legislation, we believe that at this time it is in our university’s best interest to discontinue equestrian from our list of sponsored sports after the 2015-2016 academic year,” Freire said. “This move has been resisted for over a half a year but unfortunately it is time to act. We just do not believe that there is a realistic path to add enough schools to achieve sustainability as a fully recognized NCAA championship sport.”

UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes and the university leadership team are working with Freire and other athletics administrators to formalize the plans related to UT Martin’s next women’s varsity athletic team, which will begin competition in the 2016-17 academic year.

“Our equestrian team has the very best student-athletes who represent UT Martin academically, athletically and socially,” Freire said. “They represent everything that is good and right within intercollegiate athletics. I’d like to thank the coaches and student-athletes who have made this program one of our finest here at UT Martin. A special thank you goes out to head coach Meghan Corvin, who started the program and kept it running smoothly. She is a wonderful mentor and we would never have reached the heights we did without her leadership and guidance.”

Dylan Adams Transferred From Robertson County Jail

Springfield, Tenn.-A key suspect in the Holly Bobo kidnapping and murder case was transferred to a new jail overnight. 

Dylan Adams of Decatur County was moved from the Robertson County Jail, reportedly so he can be closer to his court-appointed attorney. A representative of District Attorney Matt Stowe’s office said she did not know where Adams was taken.

Adams is charged with two counts of rape. His attorney is Matt Maddox of Huntingdon.

Adams’ brother Zach and an acquaintance of theirs, Jason Autrey, also from Decatur County, are both charged with first degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping in the case. 

Hale, Arant Win "Advocate Of Year" Honors 

Martin, Tenn.-The Tennessee Council on Children and Youth (TCCY) recently held its annual Fall Conference at the University of Tennessee at Martin. One of the highlights of the conference is the announcement of nominees and the winner of the regional “Child Advocate of the Year.” This year, Weakley County Schools and the City of Martin Police Department were proud to claim the overall winner of the award and the runner up. Joyce Hale, of the Weakley County Alternative School was selected “Advocate of the Year” and SRO Jason Arant, who is assigned to Westview High School, was named as the first runner up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 

PSSD Receives Good Report Card

New PES Strings Teacher Gioia Fazzini and the 5th Grade PES Advanced Strings perform at tonight's board meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The report card for the Paris Special Schools District is a good one, with achievements seen in all areas. That was the word to the board of education from Supervisor of Instruction Dr. Leah Watkins at Tuesday night’s meeting, held at Paris Elementary School.

The State Report Cards are out and Watkins said PSSD has shown marked improvement in math scores, reading, science and social studies. Watkins said the focus areas for the future will include growth in literacy and science achievement in grades 3-5 and achievement in 6-8 reading. The next steps will include a system-wide focus on writing to support literacy, quality feedback on teacher observations, teacher collaboration and target needs with tutoring, intervention and other means.

Board Member Kim Foster said the PSSD report card “is wonderful. I’m so excited about this.”

Monday’s meeting began with a presentation by the 5th grade Paris Elementary Advanced Strings class, led by new Strings Teacher Gioia Fazzini. Paris Elementary Principal Chip Gray introduced Fazzini to the board. Fazzini played strings at Paris Elementary herself, studied violin with Joe Routon, was on the Murray State Orchestra and graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University. Fazzini returned home last December and is in the Bethel University master’s program.

The board was also introduced to Jessica Hart, who is coordinating the Paris Elementary Advanced Student Education program which meets after school and which will be producing the monthly school newspaper “Paw Prints”.
In other business:

--Director of Schools Mike Brown reported that of 204 employees eligible for health coverage, 136 are now enrolled, with 14 of those being new enrollees.

--Inman Principal Jason Scarbrough reported on the Association of Middle Level Education Conference held in Nashville, which was attended by district teachers.

Fatality Discovered Today

                                 --Calloway County Sheriff's Office photo.

Murray, Ky.-A 34-year-old Murray man was killed as a result of injuries sustained in a one-vehicle accident that was discovered today in Calloway County. 

Corey T. Wallis was pronounced dead at the scene by County Coroner Rick Harris.

According to the press release from the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident on Butterworth Rd. around 7:30 a.m.

Investigation revealed that someone after dark on Monday, Wallis was travelling south on Butterworth Road. Wallis was driving a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer which dropped off the right shoulder of the roadway striking a guardrail. The vehicle became airborne striking an earth embankment and came to rest in the West Fork Clarks River. 

Wallis was ejected from the vehicle. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Calloway County Fire Rescue, the Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service and The Murray Fire Department. 

Graves Wins Best Of Show At Paris Landing Photo Contest

Richard Graves' Best of Show and First Place Winning Photo of a blue heron at Paris Landing State Park.

Buchanan, Tenn.-Richard Graves of Buchanan won Best of Show and also took home two first place awards at the Paris Landing State Park and Friends of Paris Landing Photo Contest. Graves’ photographs are published frequently on the WENK/WTPR website. His photos also have graced several covers of Paris! magazine.

The judge was Dr. Danny Kimberlin and the awards were presented at a reception at Paris Landing Inn on Sunday. 

Graves won first place in the wildlife and plant life categories and took home a second place award in the sports category.

The list of winners:

Plant Life: first, Richard Graves; second, Beverly Hicks, Camden; third, Debbie McDorman, Springville.

People In Parks: first, Hicks; second, McDorman and third, Donnie Carson of Paris.

Scenery: first, Hubert Steve Cole, Menomonie, WI.; second, Hicks; third, Gaile Berrier, Buchanan.

Sports: first, Hicks; second, Graves; third, McDorman.

Black and White: first, Berrier; second, Carson; third, Cole.

Wildlife: first, Graves; second, Teresa Townley, Buchanan; third, Berrier; and Honorable Mention, Alexis Caldwell, Henry.

Help Needed With Horse Rescue

Mayfield, Ky.-The Graves County Sheriff's Office is looking for someone to help with the rescue of three horses that are not being cared for. The sheriff’s office currently has a cruelty to animals case open on these horses and they need to relocate them to someone who will care for them properly while the case is progressing.

Charges are pending against the owner...s of the horses; however the sheriff’s office said it can not guarantee that the person who takes the horses will be reimbursed for feed, medical care and other expenses or that they will get to keep the horses after the case has concluded.

If you would be interested in helping them out please send us a Facebook message of contact the case officer, Captain Jeremy Prince, at 270-247-4501.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

Paris, Tenn.-Thanksgiving is still over a week away, but downtown Paris is already into the Christmas spirit. The Christmas tree and Santa Claus house are in their places on the court square and holiday decorations are everywhere. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Henry County Will Play Ridgeway At Crump Stadium

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County-Ridgeway playoff football game will be played at the historic Crump Stadium in Memphis at 7 p.m. Friday, it was announced Tuesday morning.

Most all of Ridgeway’s home games are played at Halle Stadium on Mt. Moriah, according to Jon Davidson of the Henry County Quarterback Club. However, due to the poor field conditions, Ridgeway administrators had been working to find a venue which had adequate field turf, he said.

The Henry County Patriots are the defending Class 5A state champs.

TVA Reports $469M Net Income, Highest Since 2010

Knoxville, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority reported Monday more than $11 billion in operating revenues in fiscal 2014, resulting in $469 million in net income. TVA overcame a 2.4 percent decline in total sales to record its highest net income year since 2010.

“We had a strong financial year in 2014 highlighted by further improvements in TVA’s operating and maintenance costs, an area we have been acutely focused on over the last two years,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said.

Sales to local power companies were moderately higher in 2014 as compared with 2013, as weather favorably impacted retail demand, particularly in the polar vortex last winter. This increase was also due to some underlying economic activity and a modest general rate increase. Growth in sales to local power companies partially offset lower sales to directly served industrial customers, as TVA saw the final year-over-year impact from the loss of U.S. Enrichment Corp.’s operations in Paducah, Ky., formerly TVA’s largest directly served customer.

Total revenues advanced nearly 2 percent in 2014 compared with the prior year. The increase was primarily due to higher base revenues attributable to more sales volume to local power companies and a non-fuel base rate increase that became effective Oct. 1, 2013. Somewhat offsetting the increase were lower fuel revenues resulting from the decrease in sales to directly served industries.

Fuel expense decreased $90 million in 2014 compared with 2013 primarily due to the timing of TVA’s fuel cost recovery mechanism and a reduction in sales volume, but was somewhat offset by higher purchased power costs in 2014.

Dorena-Hickman Ferry Closed For Week

Hickman, Ky.-The Dorena-Hickman Ferry is closed for at least one week while the tugboat  is outfitted for a new barge. The ferry is one of the few remaining riverboat ferries in the United States and the only operating ferry crossing the Mississippi River, connecting Kentucky and Missouri.

Please call the ferry at 731-693-0210 for updates on when the ferry will be back in service.

Christmas In Paris Extravaganza Set For This Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-The 7th Annual Christmas in Paris Shopping Extravaganza will be held this weekend at the Paris Convention Center. Admission is free for the event, which will feature over 60 vendors, many of whom are locally-owned, selling a wide variety of unique and creative goods.

It will be held Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

The Dana Corporation Relay for Life team will be selling consessions at the two day event. Burgers, hot dogs, chili dogs, ribeye steak sandwiches, nachos, banana pudding, funnel cakes, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, among other things.

The Extravaganza will be held on both sides of the Paris Convention Center. For more info, call Megan Amburgey at 731-363-5170.

Tickets On Sale For Marty Stuart Performance

Huntingdon, Tenn.– Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives will return to The Dixie Carter Center for the Performing Arts December 13 and tickets are on sale now.

Marty Stuart is a five-time Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, photographer and country western historian who has been making music for more than 40 years. Born in the small town of Philadelphia, Miss., Stuart caught the music bug early, displaying prodigious talent on every stringed instrument he picked up. 

“When you attend a Marty Stuart show, you not only experience a legendary performer, but he brings so much knowledge of country music history with him and shares that,” according to Lori Neal Nolen, Executive Director of The Dixie. “He puts on an incredible show.”

Stuart has recruited musicians Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson, and Paul Martin for his “legacy band,” and together he and His Fabulous Superlatives have released acclaimed albums like Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions, Souls’ Chapel, and their latest Saturday Night & Sunday Morning. 
Their Dixie Live Concert Series show begins at 2 p.m.  Tickets are $30 each and are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at

Discovery Park Booking Holiday Parties

Union City, Tenn.-It is not too late to book your holiday party or event at Discovery Park of America in Union City.  Until recently, the park had been without an Event Director.  Rick Adams is now on board, and he has extensive experience, having worked in the hospitality industry in Nashville for the past 25 years.  

Although the December calendar looks pretty full at Discovery Park, Adams is certain that by being creative, multiple events can be held on the same evening.  So, he is encouraging anyone who might like to have a holiday party or event at Discovery Park to give him a call to see if he can work it out.  He can be reached at Discovery Park’s main number:  731-885-5455 extension 22.  

UTM To Hold "Empty Bowls" Fundraiser 

Martin, Tenn. — David McBeth and his UT Martin ceramics students aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to address the region’s hunger issues. For the 11th year, they will produce the bowls for the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser to support the hunger-relief efforts of We Care Ministries Inc. in Martin. 

This year’s event is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22, in the university’s Fine Arts Building. The event will be held in the Little Theatre and is sponsored by the university’s Department of Visual and Theatre Arts, Martin Area Ministerial Alliance churches and other community organizations. 

For a $10 donation at the door, participants receive an original bowl made by McBeth, professor of art, and his students. Bowls are filled with homemade soup, and all proceeds go to We Care Ministries to help fight hunger. Tables and chairs will be set up in the Little Theatre so that participants can enjoy the meal. 

Making the bowls is no small feat, starting with the clay. McBeth and a student recently spent some five hours producing clay to use for this year’s bowls. That’s just to make the clay – the real work begins when each individually handcrafted bowl is made. 

Besides his ceramics students, university graphic design students are assisting with publicity and have created a poster that’s being distributed for display and also finding its way to social media. Student potters will also receive T-shirts bearing an original design that recognizes their work. 

Persons wanting to support Empty Bowls but not needing another bowl are encouraged to make donations for hunger relief and then donate their bowls to a women’s shelter or other organization. 

Obion County Finance Body To Meet

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Finance Body will meet at 9 a.m. Friday at the Obion County Courthouse. On the agenda are reports on the Made In America, Tyson and Ethanol plants.

The meeting is open to the public.

Paris Quota Pecans Are Available

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Quota pecans have arrived and are available at several businesses in town and from any Quota member.  They are $10 for a 1 pound bag and are available in halves or pieces.

Quota’s Christmas Party will be on Thursday, December 11th; with the social hour at 5:30 pm and dinner at 6pm.  The party will be at Lee Academy Lunchroom and members are asked to bring a donation for the angel tree.

The club voted to contribute to the E.W. Grove “Save A Heart” Day.  Donna Winders reported that the McDonalds’ Burger Bash was very well attended, was a fun night and was very successful; with the proceeds going to the club’s scholarship fund.

The Mental Health committee will serve Thanksgiving lunch at the Paris Outreach Center on Thursday, November 20th.  Members were asked to purchase a ladies’ or man’s sweat suit to be sent to Western State Mental Hospital for their Christmas and bring them to the November 26th meeting.

Members were also reminded that Helping Hand is coming up in January, 2015 and Quotarians will again answer phones and record bids each Thursday during the auction.  Quota also has a day for members to donate items for the auction.

Quota anniversaries for November are Dolores Harvie – 27 years and Lois Hudspeth – 43 years; for a total of 70 years of service to Quota.

Pearcys Plead Guilty To Federal Charges

Jackson, Tenn.-Two men who have been peripherally involved in the Holly Bobo case pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Jackson on gun charges.

Mark Lynn Pearcy of Decatur County pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of possession of ammunition by a felon.

His uncle, Joe Pearcy, also of Decatur County, also pleaded guilty to one count of selling a firearm to a known felon.

They accepted the plea deal in U.S. District Court and sentencing is set for February 19.

Mark Pearcy remains in the custody of federal marshals. He previously faced charges of tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact in Bobo’s kidnapping and murder case and his uncle was implicated in that, as well. Prosecutors dismissed the charges--involving allegations of possession of a tape of Bobo after she was kidnapped--but reserve the right to refile them later.

MSU To Perform "South Pacific"

Murray, Ky. — The classic musical theatre production, South Pacific, will open at Murray State University’s Robert E. Johnson Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. Produced jointly by the departments of theatre and music, South Pacific includes the classic songs I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Head, Some Enchanted Evening, There is Nothin’ Like a Dame, Younger than Springtime and Happy Talk.

Based on James A. Michener’s 1947 book, Tales of the South Pacific, the show opened on Broadway in 1949 and won 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Libretto. 

The cast includes Gabrielle Wibbenmeyer as Ensign Nellie Forbush. Wibbenmeyer is a music major from Fenton, Mo. The role of Emile de Beque is played by Kenneth Percell, who is a music major from Murray, Ky. Taylor Davis, a theatre major from Owensboro, Ky., portrays Bloody Mary. 

Luther Billis is played by Lane Northcutt, a senior music major from Frankfort, Ky. The role of Lt. Joe Cable is played by Jacob Paul and Collin Anderson. Paul is from Murray and Anderson is from Cape Girardeau, Mo.

There are approximately 35 additional students involved in the show, both on and off stage.

In addition to the opening of South Pacific on Thursday, Nov. 20, performances will be presented on Friday, Nov. 21, and Saturday, Nov. 22, both at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are also available for a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23.
All performances will be held at the Robert E. Johnson Theatre in the Doyle Fine Arts Building, located on Murray State’s campus at the corner of 15th Street and Olive Boulevard. Tickets can be reserved by calling 270.809.4421 or online at

Monday, November 17, 2014 

"Miss Pearl" Portrait Donated To County

County Mayor Brent Greer, left, and County Commissioner David Webb with portrait of "Miss Pearl" Routon. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-When the Henry County Commissioners arrived for their regular meeting Monday night, there was a new portrait gracing the main hall of the county courthouse. A portrait of the late Mrs. S.J. “Miss Pearl” Routon of Paris was unveiled at a reception Sunday at her former home on South Dunlap Street. The portrait, painted by her grandson Joseph Routon Jr., was donated by him to the county in her honor.

The portrait is based on a family photo of her taken around 1927. “Miss Pearl” achieved much in her lifetime, as an artist, musician, horticulturist, and local business woman. She was responsible for the iris being selected as the state flower of Tennessee.

County Commissioner David Webb, who also is the County Historian, accepted the portrait on the county’s behalf. He told the commissioners that the Historical Society has three more portraits of Parisians in the works--that of Howell Jackson, who was an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court; former Howard University President Dr. Mordecai Johnson; and former Commissioner of Public Welfare Christine Reynolds.

They will join portraits of former Governors Isham G. Harris, James D. Porter, and Tom C. Rye, as well as Congressmen J.D.C. Atkins and John Wesley Crockett, all of which were secured by the Historical Society.

At Sunday’s reception, Webb presented to the Routon family the Marquis de Paris Award on behalf of Mayor Sam Tharpe and the Loyal Patriot Award on behalf of Mayor Greer in honor of Mrs. Routon.

At Monday night’s meeting, Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said, “We’re proud to have Miss Pearl gracing our halls.”

In other business during the meeting, Greer said the county is proceeding with efforts to place a sales tax referendum on the ballot in the spring. Greer said two readings on a resolution will be required for placement. 

--The commissioners appointed Phil Wichlan to another five-year term on the Henry County Medical Center board.

--Statutory bonds were set for Road Board Commissioner Cody Craig and newly-elected Constables James D. Chappell, Jason McCord, Chris Coley, Neely Owens and Charles Jacques Jr.

Alcoholic Beverage Board To Meet Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The meeting of the Paris Alcoholic Beverage Control board will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday night, not Wednesday night this week. The agenda sent out last week reported the correct date, but an incorrect date.

The meeting will include hearings on beer law violations filed recently against three businesses for selling beer to underage individuals: Eagle Foods, 907 East Wood St.; Smoke Shack, 1055 Mineral Wells; and Fuel Pro, 1008 Tyson Ave. Hearings on all three of the violations will be held during the meeting.

In addition, requests for new beer permits will be heard from Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant, 1021 Mineral Wells Ave., (for Siu Fan Cheung); and Paris Moose Lodge 1915, 3003 Dinkins Lane (for Claudette Lindahl). Both those requests are for on premises use.

New Concord Man Dies Of Crash Injuries

                                              --Calloway County Sheriff's Office Photo

Calloway, Ky.-A 79-year-old New Concord, Ky. Man died in a one-vehicle crash this morning in Calloway County. Kenneth Post was declared dead at the scene at the County Coroner after he was extricated from his vehicle by the Murray-Calloway County Rescue Squad. 

At approximately 10:50 am, the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a motor vehicle collision with possible injuries on Ky. 121 South, near Cherry Corner Road. Emergency personnel were dispatched along with Calloway Sheriff‘s Office. 

First units on scene advised that the vehicle had apparently rolled over and the driver was trapped inside. Investigation by Captain Richard Steen revealed Post was northbound on KY 121 South when he failed to negotiate the corner at Cherry Corner Road. The vehicle appeared to have dropped off the right shoulder of the road way went into a ditch at which point it overturned, at least three times, before coming to rest in upright in a yard. 

EMS attempted to resuscitate the victim at the scene.

TBI Forensic Facilities Internationally Accredited

Nashville, Tenn. – After a lengthy assessment by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors’ Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB), the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has obtained new accreditations for its forensic facilities in Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville. 
For the first time, the TBI facilities are now internationally accredited in Breath Alcohol Calibration and as a testing facility, TBI has upgraded its accreditation as a testing laboratory from “Legacy” to “International,” which now includes Crime Scene Processing. The upgrade signifies the highest-possible accreditation available to forensic laboratories and is the culmination of years of effort and planning on the part of TBI’s Forensic Services Division.

“These are no small accomplishments,” according to Dan Royse, Assistant Director of Forensic Services. “They convey to the public a measure of assurance that the quality of work that we produce is second to none.”

The accreditation process involved a detailed application, followed by a thorough, impartial review of documentation, along with a comprehensive on-site evaluation of TBI personnel, facilities, and all aspects of the laboratory’s operations. All TBI laboratories were previously accredited in the disciplines of Drug Chemistry, Toxicology, and Biology. The Memphis Regional Crime Laboratory and Nashville Crime Laboratory also hold accreditation in Firearms Toolmarks. In addition, the Nashville Crime Laboratory also holds accreditation for Latent Prints and Trace Evidence.

“I’m proud of the accomplishments of the dedicated staff in our Forensic Services Division,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “These recognitions continue to demonstrate our commitment, as the state’s lead law enforcement agency, to accuracy in the testing of evidence and its role in furthering justice.”

31-Year-Old’s Death Investigated

Benton, Ky.- The Kentucky State Police is conducting a death investigation into the death of Micah D. Puckett, 31 of Benton, KY. Mr. Puckett walked away from his residence on November 6, 2014. Mr. Puckett was found deceased approximately a quarter mile from his residence on Sunday, November 16 at 1:04 p.m. Benton Police Department responded and requested KSP to investigate the death. 

KSP was assisted on the scene by the Benton Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and the Marshall County Coroner’s Office. An autopsy will be conducted today in Louisville today. Detective Trevor Pervine is continuing the investigation. 

Tickets On Sale To “Welcome To Our Neighborhood”  

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Krider Performing Arts Center presents “Welcome to Our Neighborhood,” from the award-winning children’s program, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Show times are Saturday, November 22, at 3 pm and Sunday, November 23 at 3 pm.

In the play, Mr. Rogers and the Friendly Neighborhood Trolley journeys to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, according to KPAC Manager Rhonda Stanton.  There they meet Queen Sara Saturday, King Friday XIII, Daniel Striped Tiger, O the Owl, Mr. McFeely, and a host of other citizens of Make-Believe.  Songs include: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”; “Let’s Think of Something to Do”; “It’s You I Like”; and several more well-loved songs.  

“Welcome to Our Neighborhood” includes entertaining learning concepts designed especially for children from preschool through grade 2, but the whole family will delight as the cast sings and dances through a fun-filled hour.   A few lucky boys and girls will get to be on stage, too, according to Stanton.

“I view Mr. Rogers as a kind of national treasure,” Stanton said in a press release.  “The show was in national production for 33 years and regionally for 5 years before that.  Not only did I grow up with Mr. Rogers, but I’ve been able to share his gentle curiosity and wise words with my own sons.”

Fueled by a desire to provide “a big theatre experience” for younger children, Stanton found “Welcome to Our Neighborhood” to be the perfect vehicle to reach out.  Her hope is that boys and girls will develop a love of the arts at a young age, both as theatre-goers and through the active KPAC Young Artists program.  Tickets are on sale now at Paris Civic Center, Merison’s Furniture, and Leach’s Music.  All seats are $5.00.  

 For more information about what’s happening at Krider Performing Arts Center, 650 Volunteer Drive, Paris, TN, visit  

Homemakers Holiday Is This Week

                                                                     --Photo by Michele Atkins

Paris, Tenn.-A two-day event that many people wait for all year is this week: The Henry County Family and Community Education (FCE) Clubs will present Homemakers Holiday on Wednesday and Thursday at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

The clubs work hard and a huge variety of homemade baked goods, including casseroles, pies, cakes, cookies and other sweets; white beans and cornbread, fried pies, chicken and dressing, soups, chicken and dumplings and much more will be for sale.

Many handcrafted items also will be for sale and make great Christmas gifts.

The event will be held from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday and from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday at the Enoch Building. Admission is free.

Also, dinner will be served by the ladies from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday. Soup or chili and sandwich, dessert and drink for $5.

UC Woman Victim Of Armed Robbery In Driveway

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are seeking the man responsible for the armed robbery of a woman in her own driveway on Saturday evening.

According to the police report, the victim said she was pulling into her driveway on E. Church St. around 6 p.m. and saw a black male walking on the street. When she got out of her van, she said hi to him and while she was getting her grandkids out of the van, she heard something behind her.

She turned around to find the man pointing a gun to her head and demanding her purse. She told him she didn’t have a purse but her wallet was on the floorboard of the van. The man took the wallet and ran toward South Adams St.

A grandson also witnessed the incident and said the man pointed the gun at him before his grandmother turned around.

She described the man as 6 feet tall, slender, wearing a black hoodie with black gloves and pants and tennis shoes.

Showing Civil War Collection

Buchanan, Tenn.-Dan Griggs of Dover, right, shows his collection of local Civil War memorabilia at this weekend's Battle of Paris Landing Chili Cook-Off and Civil War Living History event at Paris Landing State Park. More photos and a story on the weekend's activities was posted on Sunday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Lakewood Does Well At Murray Tournament

Paris, Tenn.-The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team competed in the Murray High School Invitational over the weekend and placed 5th out of 14 middle and high schools from across Kentucky. Lakewood took 5 students with 10 entries and Natalie Clark placed 1st in Original Oratory as well as 3rd place in Declamation. The team will be traveling to Calloway County Middle School this weekend to compete in the Middle School Laker Invitational. 

Youth Orchestra Concert Set Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Henry County Youth Orchestra Concert will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 20, at First Baptist Church. It will be a joint concert, with the Henry County High School Madrigals.

School Closings, Delays

Schools in our area that are closed today: Stewart County, Calloway County, Fulton County, Lake County.

Benton County Schools are on a two-hour delay.

Paris Lioness Luncheon Set For Friday

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Lioness Club Annual Luncheon will be held from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Friday November 21 at Ketchum Hall (Grace Episcopal Church; 406 N. Poplar St., Paris).

Soup, sandwich, dessert, drink (All You Can Eat) will be available. The cost is $8. Also, a Country Store will be set up with food and craft items. Tickets are available at the door and from any club member. For further information please call 731-642-1299. 

Former Owner Of Volunteer Log Homes Larry Bell Dies

Paris, Tenn.-Former Volunteer Log Homes Owner Larry Joe Bell, age 63, of Henry, Tenn., died Saturday, November 15, 2014, at his residence in Henry, Tenn. 

Bell married Tammy Forbus Bell July 30, 1993 and she survives. 

He was a founding member of New Life Baptist Church in Henry and attended Tennessee Valley Community Church. Larry was a longtime construction contractor and had owned Volunteer Log Homes for several years. He was currently the Farm Manager for Pete Desocio's farm in Henry Co.. .

He was born October 25, 1951 in Cottage Grove, TN to the late Baudry Bell and the late Ruby Atkins Bell.

Besides his wife Tammy, Larry is also survived by his Four Sons, Brian (Bobbi) Bell of Goodlettsville, Tenn, Brandon (Jennifer) Bell of Paris, Tenn, Zachary Bell & Special Friend Kayla Hargrove of Henry, Tenn, Steven Snider of Murray, Ky; Five Grandchildren, Shelby Bell, Chloe Bell, Jayden Powers, Bryant Bell, and Scarlett Meadows. 

Larry was also preceded in death by a Brother, Eddie Lynn Bell. 

Arrangements are being handled by Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap St., Paris, Tenn., where the visitation will be from 4 – 8 pm Monday, November 17, 2014. Visitation will continue at TVCC-Tennessee Valley Community Church from 12 - 2:30 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2014. The Funeral Service will be at TVCC-Tennessee Valley Community Church at 2:30 PM Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Brian Anderson and Steve Gallimore will officiate. 

Interment will be at Henry City Cemetery in Henry, Tenn.

MSU To Perform “South Pacific”

Murray, Ky. — The classic musical theatre production, South Pacific, will open at Murray State University’s Robert E. Johnson Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. Produced jointly by the departments of theatre and music, South Pacific includes the classic songs I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Head, Some Enchanted Evening, There is Nothin’ Like a Dame, Younger than Springtime and Happy Talk.

Based on James A. Michener’s 1947 book, Tales of the South Pacific, the show opened on Broadway in 1949 and won 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Libretto.  
The cast includes Gabrielle Wibbenmeyer as Ensign Nellie Forbush. Wibbenmeyer is a music major from Fenton, Mo. The role of Emile de Beque is played by Kenneth Percell, who is a music major from Murray, Ky. Taylor Davis, a theatre major from Owensboro, Ky., portrays Bloody Mary. 

Luther Billis is played by Lane Northcutt, a senior music major from Frankfort, Ky. The role of Lt. Joe Cable is played by Jacob Paul and Collin Anderson. Paul is from Murray and Anderson is from Cape Girardeau, Mo.

There are approximately 35 additional students involved in the show, both on and off stage.

In addition to the opening of South Pacific on Thursday, Nov. 20, performances will be presented on Friday, Nov. 21, and Saturday, Nov. 22, both at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are also available for a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23.
All performances will be held at the Robert E. Johnson Theatre in the Doyle Fine Arts Building, located on Murray State’s campus at the corner of 15th Street and Olive Boulevard. Tickets can be reserved by calling 270.809.4421 or online at

Sunday, November 16, 2014 

Winter Weather Advisory Issued For Our Area

Our area is under a Winter Weather Advisory, which will be in effect from midnight tonight until 6 a.m. Monday. Winter weather will impact our area, with rain changing to snow. Some sleet possible and accumulating snow is likely. Meteorologists are calling for our area to receive at least one inch of snow. Counties in the warning include Henry, Dyer, Gibson, Carroll, Weakley, Benton, Lauderdale, Crockett and includes the cities of Paris, Martin, Dresden, McKenzie, Huntingdon, Bruceton, Camden, Milan, Trenton.

Making History Come Alive

Buchanan, Tenn.-Preston Holmes of Paris, left, along with Brady Robison of Selmer; and Billy and Brett Alton of Clarksburg, top photo, are a few of the Civil War Reenactors that you could find at this weekend's Battle of Paris Landing Chili Cook-Off and Civil War Living History event at Paris Landing State Park. Events included a hayride, a talk on local Civil War history by Larry Ray of Paris and a display of area Civil War memorabilia collected by Dan Griggs of Dover. Bottom photo, Chaz Durham of Big Rock and Robert Fuchs of Bradford, were among those firing the antique cannon throughout the weekend. The cannon was loaned by George Wallace of Dover for the event. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Ky Court Of Appeals To Hear Cases At MSU

Murray, Ky. — The Kentucky Court of Appeals will hold court on Murray State University’s campus on Thursday, Nov. 20, in the auditorium of the Wrather West Kentucky Museum. The court will hear two cases in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Members of the court will have lunch with MSU students from the Student Law Association. Dr. Ihsan Alkhtib, assistant professor of political science, helped in the coordination of the event on behalf of the students. Alkhtib teaches in the department of political science and sociology, which is located in the college of humanities and fine arts at Murray State. He is the adviser for the pre-law program and the Student Law Association.
Nearly all cases that are heard by the Kentucky Court of Appeals come from a lower court.

Fourteen judges, two elected from seven appellate court districts, serve on the Court of Appeals. The judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the majority determining the decision. The panels do not sit permanently in one location, but travel about the state to hear cases.

Saturday, November 15, 2014 

Union City, Henry County Move On To Third Round in Playoffs


Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Both Union City and Henry County High Schools defeated their opponents in football playoff action Friday night and will move on to the third round in the TSSAA playoffs.

In Class 1A, the Union City Golden Tornadoes beat Dresden by a score of 49-14. Defending State Champs Union City is undefeated and has been ranked No. 1 throughout the season. They will face Lake County next Friday. Lake County beat Hollow Rock-Bruceton last night, 36-27.
In Class 5A, Henry County beat Millington, 26-16, to advance. The Henry County Patriots also are defending state champions in their division and will face Ridgeway next Friday night in Memphis. Ridgeway defeated Hardin Co. last night, 47-21.

Hearings On Beer Sale Violations Set For Wednesday

Paris, Tenn.-Hearings for violation of beer regulations will be held on three local businesses when the Paris Alcoholic Beverage Control Board meets on Wednesday evening, November 19. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Three businesses were cited recently for selling beer to underage individuals: Eagle Foods, 907 East Wood St.; Smoke Shack, 1055 Mineral Wells; and Fuel Pro, 1008 Tyson Ave. Hearings on all three of the violations will be held during the meeting.

In addition, requests for new beer permits will be heard from Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant, 1021 Mineral Wells Ave., (for Siu Fan Cheung); and Paris Moose Lodge 1915, 3003 Dinkins Lane (for Claudette Lindahl). Both those requests are for on premises use.

Vanderbilt Medical Center, University To Split

Nashville, Tenn.-Officials at Vanderbilt University today announced plans to split the medical center from the university.

Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announced the institution is embarking on a process to reconfigure Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a not-for-profit academic medical center that is financially distinct from the university. 

The move will give the medical center increased financial independence while preserving and growing the collaboration that has resulted in Vanderbilt's research, education and medical excellence, according to the announcement on Vanderbilt’s website.

The primary goal of the restructuring, which was the result of a yearlong study by the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust, is to provide the medical center with a greater ability to adapt to health care's rapidly changing financial environment. Currently the medical center is part of the university's administrative structure, with the same governing board, legal, financial and other shared services. 

The medical center will continue to have seamless integration with the university in all present and future academic missions, programs and initiatives, including faculty appointments, teaching and research, while creating increased capacity to obtain capital that will create growth. 
The restructured VUMC will continue to support the research and educational activities of the School of Medicine's clinical departments, Graduate Medical Education programs, and clinically related centers and institutes, while the university will play a greater role in supporting the M.D. and Ph.D.-granting programs of the School of Medicine, its basic science programs and the academic programs in the School of Nursing. 

Thompson Awarded Silver Emblem

Louisville, Ky.- Ashton Thompson of the Paris FFA Chapter, left, was one of 28 participants in the National FFA Dairy Cattle Handlers' Activity and she was awarded a Silver emblem. With her in photo is FFA Advisor Laura Moss. The event was held in conjunction with the 87th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky.  

Friday, November 14, 2014 

TWRA Cracking Down On Wildlife Violations

Camden, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has been cracking down on fishing and hunting violations and the latest example occurred in Benton County earlier this week when three Florida residents appeared in General Sessions Court there on eight wildlife violations.

According to a press release, TWRA Wildlife Officers checked Joshua Gibb on November 9; he had just harvested a doe. Gibb did not have a hunting license and was not wearing the proper hunter orange clothing. 

Officers began searching for other members of the hunting party and found Travis Simmons hunting in a baited area. Simmons did not have a hunting license or hunter education and was not wearing any hunter orange clothing. Another member of the party, Joseph Thomas was also found hunting without any hunter orange clothing. 

All three out of state hunters were arrested and taken to the Benton County Jail, where Gibb and Simmons posted $1,500 dollar bonds and Thomas posted a $500 dollar bond.

Benton County General Sessions Judge Whitworth accepted a plea deal from all three individuals, according to the press release. 

Gibb’s total fines and court cost were $779 dollars, 30 days in jail all suspended, forfeiture of weapon, and loss of hunting privileges for one year..

Simmons’ total fines and court cost were $779 dollars, 30 days in jail all suspended, forfeiture of weapon, and loss of hunting privileges for one year. 

Thomas’ total fines and court cost were $339.50 dollars.

To report wildlife violations call 1-800-831-1173.

More New Jobs Coming To Hickman Area

Hickman, Ky.-The City of Hickman, Ky., had more good economic news this week with the announcement Thursday that another company is locating there.

During a ceremony at the Hickman-Fulton County Riverport, Pipe Plus Inc. of Willow Springs, Mo., was welcomed to the community.

Owner Gaylon Thibodeaux was at the ceremony and announced he and his wife Karen hav...e purchased the former Hickman Pipe and Tube site. Pipe Plus is a steel distributor and fabricator and Thibodeaux said the location is a perfect complement to Pipe Plus.

He said plans are for possible expansion of the existing plant, with the potential for 20-40 new jobs.

Thibodeaux said the Hickman site will be known as the Tube Division of his company, which began in 1997.

Earlier this week, Riverine Fisheries International announced it would be opening a business to combat Asian Carp. That business will mean 110 new jobs.

LBL Accepting Applications For Seasonal Camping 

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area is now accepting applications for the 2015 Seasonal Camping Program. There are a total of 113 campsites in the seasonal camping program available for two to nine months at Hillman Ferry, Piney, and Wranglers campgrounds. Cravens Bay and Taylor Bay campgrounds have a total of 21 short-term (one to six months) sites available. 
Piney and Hillman Ferry

Completed applications due: January 2

Drawing for campsites: January 10
Piney: 9am at Brandon Spring Group Center
Hillman Ferry: 1pm at Grand Rivers 
Community Center
Wranglers, Cravens Bay, and Taylor Bay

Completed applications due: January 9
Drawing for campsites: January 17
Wranglers: 9am
Cravens Bay and Taylor Bay: 11am

Both drawings held at the Administrative Office, 100 Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, KY

The selection process for seasonal site reservations is designed to allow for the maximum amount of participation in the program. All applicants must be present during the selection process, and payment is required in full upon site selection.

For complete details on camping regulations, information regarding the seasonal campsites and the application process, or to download an application, visit, click on See & Do, then Camping, then Group and Seasonal Camping, or contact Land Between The Lakes Customer Service Department at 270-924-2044.

Auditions For “BIG: The Musical”

Huntingdon, Tenn.– Auditions for The Dixie Player's Production of “BIG: The Musical” will be held at The Dixie on: Sunday, December 7 at 2 p.m. and Monday, December 8 at 6 p.m., with call-backs on Thursday, December 11 at 6 p.m. 

The show requires a wide variety of characters from ages 10 to adult. Those auditioning for speaking roles will be asked to read from the script. Everyone needs to wear comfortable clothing that you can move in and be prepared to sing in a group. If you are trying out for a solo singing role you need to be prepared with a 16-32 bar excerpt to sing. You may bring a track, but no sheet music. 

Finally, everyone should also be prepared to be vocalized and have your range assessed. Auditions are open to anyone in our community and surrounding areas. 

The production also will have a need for people who wish to help with the production including props, set, and costumes. 

Please contact The Dixie administrative office at 986-2100x224 if you wish to help. 

Performances of BIG The Musical are on February, 20, 21, 27, and 28, 2015. Tickets are available at The Dixie Box Office for $15 including tax. For more information please visit or call us at 731-986-2100.

State To Check For Traceability Compliance 

Nashville– The Tennessee Department of Agriculture will conduct routine compliance checks beginning Jan. 1, 2015 for the federal Animal Disease Traceability rule. The rule went into effect last year and requires the identification of livestock being transported across state lines. 

“The federal rule is an effective way to trace the movement of livestock in an animal disease event so that appropriate action can be taken to limit the impact on producers,” state veterinarian Charles Hatcher said. “The rule only applies to livestock being moved interstate, but it’s important that Tennessee farmers work with their local veterinarian to obtain proper documentation.”

The ADT rule requires all livestock, including cattle, equine, sheep and goats, swine and poultry, being moved interstate to be officially identified, unless specifically exempted. Livestock must be accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates. 

Brands, tattoos and brand registration can also be used as official identification when accepted by the shipping and receiving states. Backtags are accepted as an alternative to official eartags for cattle moved directly to slaughter. 

Animal health documentation is still required by the state under certain circumstances for livestock being moved within Tennessee. Additionally, some states have documentation requirements that go beyond the federal rule. Producers should consult with their veterinarians to make sure that any livestock that is transported complies with all regulations.

TDA is working to implement a user-friendly online system already adopted by 20 other states that will allow private veterinarians to submit and access documents electronically in order to help with compliance. Veterinarians interested in participating should contact the State Veterinarian’s office at 615-837-5120 or 
For more information, visit USDA’s website at or for details about Tennessee’s animal health programs. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014 

Planning Commission Approves Hardee's Site Plan
Construction To Begin Late January

City Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris, left, goes over the plan with (from left) Derek Brown of Vertical Construction Management and Planners Dan Veazey, Terry Wimberley and Jim Hayes. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission Thursday evening gave the green light for development of a Hardee’s Restaurant at 1005 Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris.

Derek Brown of Vertical Construction Management of New Orleans said after the meeting that if all goes according to plan, construction of the restaurant will begin in late January. The restaurant should be completed in 120 days, he said.

The site of the new Hardee’s is the location of the former Swifty’s Gas Station and Brown said removal of the gas tanks at the site will be according to EPA regulations. “We’re working with an environmental company on mediation of that. We’ll be performing all the necessary testing required” for proper removal of the tanks, he said.

The existing structure will be demolished and ingress and egress will remain the same as it was when Swifty’s was operating.

Approved was a 3,037-square foot building with a seating capacity of 54 seats, with a total site area of just under one acre. Thirty-four parking spaces are required and 42 are proposed by Hardee’s.

City Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris said staff recommended the plan be approved contingent on the grading, erosion control, drainage and utility plans receiving approval from the appropriate entities.

The only sticking point among planners at the meeting were questions involving drainage. Commission Member Terry Wimberley moved that the site plan be approved contingent upon approval by TDOT of the drainage plans proposed by Hardee’s, which was seconded by Carlton Gerrell.

The commission also approved a mobile home park at 409 E. Blythe St., at the same location where a mobile park had been previously located.

The total area for the development is 2.09 acres and the owners are proposing nine lots. Morris said, “This will be a private development for rental. These lots are not presented for the development of a subdivision for resale.”

Commission members questioned where the dumpster would be located. Morris said the city’s public works department requested it be located by the entrance, but the developer would prefer it not be located there.

City Manager Carl Holder suggested that the developers be required to have a turnaround for city garbage trucks, with the dumpster located at the end of the turnaround.

In other business:

--The commission approved an expansion of the parking lot for the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness Church at 1915 Lone Oak Rd.

--Morris presented revisions that have been made through discussion with the commission on the city’s sign ordinance. Since some members were absent, the revisions will be discussed at the next meeting, with a meeting with interested citizens to be called following that.

TSSAA Announces New Football Alignments

Nashville, Tenn.-The Division I regional football alignments for the 2015 and 2016 season were approved by the TSSAA Board of Control today.

Under the new alignments, Union City High School will be playing in Class 1A Region 7 along with Dresden, Gleason, Greenfield, Humboldt, Lake County High School in Tiptonville, Peabody  High School in Trenton, South Fulton and West Carroll High School.

Henry County High School will play in Class 5A Region 7 along with Brentwood High School, Centennial High School in Franklin, Clarksville High School, Dickson Co. High School, Northeast High School,  Rossview High School and West Creek High School

In Class 3A, Region 6, Stewart County will play Camden Central, Cheatham County Central, Ashland City, East Hickman, Lyles Fairview, Harpeth High School, Kingston Springs, and Sycamore High School.

For the complete list of regions, see the TSSAA website at:

New Business To Combat Asian Carp, Create 110 Jobs 

Hickman, Ky. – Riverine Fisheries International will build a fish processing operation in Fulton County that will create 110 new jobs for our area. And, the company will focus its attention on the Asian Carp that are invading our waterways.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has announced that  Riverine Fisheries will catch, clean, process, package and transport various species of Asian carp found in Kentucky’s waters. The company plans to create 110 new jobs and invest $18.7 million into the project. 

“Not only will Riverine Fisheries create new jobs and boost Kentucky exports, but it also will help to control Asian carp,” said Gov. Beshear in a press release. “I want to thank the company for locating in the Commonwealth, and I look forward to seeing its operation in action and its products being shipped around the world.”

The company has purchased a 75,000-square-foot industrial building and also is mooring a self-contained processing vessel in the Mississippi River harbor in Hickman. 

Riverine Fisheries plans to catch Asian carp using equipment and technologies that have proven successful in the challenging Pacific Northwest and Alaska fishing industries. Once the carp are harvested, the company will use the ship to process the fish into commercially viable products, such as surimi (imitation seafood), fishmeal, fish oil, mince and fillets. These products will be shipped to every major market in the world.

“Riverine Fisheries is extremely excited to be locating in Hickman,” said Joe Gillas, president of Riverine Fisheries. “We are very thankful to Eddie Crittendon and the Fulton County- Hickman County Economic Development Partnership for their help over the last several months and their commitment to finding a solution to any obstacle that arose, while also working with our company to make this project happen. We have been very pleased with the level of support that we have received from federal, state and local officials, and we look forward to being a part of the community.” 

Riverine Fisheries will focus on Asian carp that are invading Kentucky Lake, the Mississippi River, Cumberland River, Cumberland River and Tennessee River. In addition to targeting Asian carp the company will also process other seafood products brought in from other areas of the U.S. 

“We are excited that Riverine Fisheries will soon open in Kentucky,” said Ron Brooks, fisheries director with the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources. “Almost three years ago, Joe reached out to Kentucky for assistance with his plans of harvesting Asian carp. We look forward to Riverine Fisheries helping us with our efforts to save our native fish.” 
Founded in 2013, Riverine Fisheries was created to capitalize on the prolific growth of the invasive Asian carp throughout the U.S. and the potential invasion into the Great Lakes.  

“I want to thank Joe Gillis and Riverine Fisheries for locating their facilities in Hickman,” said Hickman Mayor David Lattus. “We welcome Riverine to Hickman, and I hope we can have a long and rewarding association.” 

To encourage the investment and job growth in Hickman, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives of up to $3.8 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

Fatal Fire Ruled Accidental 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A fire that killed a Union City man early Wednesday morning has been ruled accidental, caused by smoking inside the home at 602 S. Third St.

The victim was Brian Schmidt, age 61, of that address. According to a Union City police report, Schmidt was found unresponsive in the home and the coroner ruled cause of death was smoke inhalation.

Roxanne Kreimar was injured in the fire and Union City Fire Department Chief Kelly Edmison said this morning that she was treated and released from the local hospital later in the morning. 

When the fire department arrived, portions of the home were already fully engulfed in flames. Kreimar told firefighters at the scene that the fire started in the north side of the house and that Schmidt, her ex-husband, was still in the home.

The department was assisted by the South Fulton and Martin Fire Departments. The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to the scene since it involved a fire fatality.

Riders In The Sky To Perform At The Dixie 

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Grammy Award-winning cowboy quartet Riders In The Sky return to the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 15 for the second installment in The Dixie Live Concert Series.

Riders In The Sky has spent the last 30 years keeping the spirit of the Singing Cowboy alive, remaining true to the integrity of Western music while becoming modern-day icons by branding the genre with wacky humor and way-out Western wit.

Tickets are $25 each and are available at The Dixie box office in Huntingdon, by call 731-986-2100 or online at

Goodwill To No Longer Accept Older TVs

Union City, Tenn.-Goodwill Industries of Middle and West Tennessee Wednesday announced that starting November 30, the charity will no longer accept donations of older televisions, such as picture tube, wooden console or projection televisions at its stores or express centers.

Goodwill of Middle Tennessee CEO Matthew Bourlakas said, “As the supply of these older televisions diminishes, we will no longer sell them in our 34 stores. We will continue to accept and sell working flat-screen televisions (such as LCD, LED and plasma models). “

For decades, the donation of these analog TVs to Goodwill “filled our stores with useful merchandise and funded our mission of changing people’s lives through the power of work,“ he said. “The declining demand for these analog TVs, the increasing volume of donated analog televisions to Goodwill and the skyrocketing costs to recycle them have forced us to adjust our policy on the acceptance and sale of older televisions.”
 For those seeking to recycle older model TVs after Nov. 30, we suggest contacting your local municipal or county solid waste department for more information or visiting the website,, for a referral list. 

Hazel Christmas Open House This Weekend 

Hazel, Ky.-The town of Hazel will be aglow with the spirit of Christmas this weekend. The annual Christmas open house will be held Saturday and Sunday, with shopping, home décor, refreshments, music, giveaways and more.

Helping Hand Applications Due Friday

Paris, Tenn.-Reminder: Applications for the 2015 Helping Hand Radio Auction are due no later than 5 p.m. Friday. Applications are being accepted at the Paris Post-Intelligencer office in Paris.

WestStar Celebrates 25th Anniversary

From left, Charley Deal, the program’s executive director and UT Martin assistant vice chancellor for alumni relations; Dr. Bob Smith, president emeritus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania; Virginia Grimes, WestStar coordinator; and Dr. Nick Dunagan, UT Martin chancellor emeritus. Smith and Dunagan are credited as WestStar co-founders, and both are former executive directors of the program

Union City, Tenn. — Discovery Park of America in Union City provided the backdrop Nov. 6 for the UT Martin WestStar Leadership Program’s 25th anniversary celebration. 

Approximately 200 program alumni and guests re-connected and mingled amid Dinosaur Hall exhibits as they celebrated a leadership program that includes 710 graduates since its beginning. The program’s board of trustees recently selected the 26th class that begins its WestStar experience in December. 

Among those attending the event were Dr. Bob Smith and Dr. Nick Dunagan, credited as WestStar co-founders and both former program executive directors. Smith is president emeritus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, and Dunagan is UT Martin chancellor emeritus. Charley Deal, the program’s current executive director and UT Martin assistant vice chancellor for alumni relations, and Virginia Grimes, longtime WestStar coordinator, also attended along with members of the program’s board of trustees, alumni council and event planning committee. 

WestStar is the state’s oldest and largest regional leadership program and was created in 1989 to serve West Tennessee by offering leadership development and education for selected participants. Class members typically come from diverse professions and have varied volunteer leadership experiences. Chamber of commerce and economic development professionals, bankers, government personnel, health-care professionals, educators, business professionals, and elected officials are regularly represented in classes. 

In its 25-year history, WestStar graduates have taken leadership roles for the growth and development in their communities, counties and the state. Graduates have gained elected office, been driving forces in many local and regional initiatives, and have taken volunteerism to a higher level. Still others have made it a priority to see that the networks and collaborations formed by class members during the program thrive and that WestStar continues to prepare participants to assume future leadership roles. 

Local UTM Students To Perform With Piano Ensemble

Martin, Tenn. — The UTM Piano Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Elaine Harriss, professor of music, will present a program at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Blankenship Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building at the University of Tennessee at Martin. 

Performers include UT Martin students Sarah Miller, of Clarksville; Amy McLemore, of Ripley; John Alex Warner, of Union City; Jayelon Carr, of Memphis; Stephen Downing, of Hendersonville; Patrick Hill, of Trenton; and Hannah Morton, of Springfield. 
Additional performers include Linda Farmer and Anna Johnson, of Dresden; Gian Garma and Nathan Williamson, both of Martin; William McDonald, of McKenzie; Madison Butner, of Union City; Alex Quinn, of South Fulton; Helen Kendall, of Troy; and Macy Yates, of Hickman, Ky.

Music to be presented includes works for one piano, four hands; one piano, six hands; two pianos, four hands; and two pianos, 12 hands. The ensemble will present Milhaud’s “Scaramouche Suite,” Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze,” “Sonatina in G” by Vanhal, “Bolero” by Streabbog, “Five Images” by Dello Joio, “Valse Noble” by Gurlitt, Field’s “Nocturne No. 5” arranged by Liszt, and a newly published work, “Three Waltzes for Two Pianos,” by Anderson.

There is no admission charge, and the public is invited to attend.

Tickets Selling Fast For Renaissance Christmas

McKenzie, Tenn.-“Christmas with Renaissance” is an annual celebration that showcases the talents of the Renaissance Program at Bethel University. This “fun for the whole family” performance will boast a wide variety of genres of music all focused on the Christmas theme. The concert will feature all aspects of Renaissance including the Renaissance, The Renaissance Quartet, Vocal Authority, Renaissance Theatre, The Renaissance Bluegrass Bands, The Renaissance Orchestra and The Renaissance Revolution. Also this year, the group will be joined by special guest “The Little Rebel Singers”.

Performances are November 21st, 22nd and 23rd at the Dickey Fine Arts Building on campus in McKenzie. Shows begin at 7 pm on Friday and Saturday with a 2 pm matinee on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10 Adults and $5 Children (12 and younger). Tickets can be purchased at the Renaissance Office located at 28 Lee Ave in McKenzie.

The office will be open from 9-4:30 Monday through Friday. Call the Renaissance Office (731) 352-6980 for more information.

Available at this years performance, the group will release their “Christmas with Renaissance” CD& DVD recorded LIVE at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, TN. If you are unable to attend the performance, but would like to order your copy, contact the Renaissance office.

Bethel Faculty, Staff and Students will receive free tickets. Please reserve those tickets in advance by emailing April Dodd, Renaissance Administrative Coordinator, at and they will be available for you at will call the night of the performance.

Like in the past, the group anticipates sold out crowds for each performance.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 

Champion Indicted For Murders; Victim Also Implicated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cadiz, Ky.-The man at the center of the quadruple killing in Cadiz, Ky., in October was indicted on charges of capital murder and capital kidnapping by a Trigg County Grand Jury today. The KSP also has shed more light on the murders, identifying on of the victims as being complicit in the murders, too.

Ryan Champion of Cadiz was charged with three counts of complicity to commit capital murder, one count of capital murder and one count of complicity to capital kidnapping after the Kentucky State Police presented its evidence to the grand jury.

Champion is charged with killing his parents, his sister and an actuaintance Vito Riservato, age 22 of Hopkinsville, at his parents home on Old Dover Rd. in Cadiz on October 26.

For the first time, the KSP also has identified Riservato as being a suspect in the murders and kidnapping of the sister.

According to the KSP press release, after hearing testimony from a Kentucky State Police Detective, the grand jury returned true bills on the charges. 

Indictment warrants were issued and served on Champion by KSP Detectives later in the day after Circuit Judge C.A. Woodall, III issued indictment warrants against Champion following the Grand Jury’s action. 

Ryan Champion remains lodged in the Christian County Jail in lieu of a $5 million bond. KSP Detectives are continuing their investigation. 

Two Union City Players Are Mr. Football Finalists

Nashville, Tenn.-Two of Union City High School’s Golden Tornadoes are finalists for the coveted title of the Tennessee Titans’ Mr. Football.

The Tennessee Titans today announced the awards will be presented to the top 10 backs and linemen in five classifications of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association on Monday, December 1.

Among the linemen finalists is Tristan Jernigan and among the back finalists is Ricky Henry, both in the Class A classification. The presentation will be made at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro.

A committee of statewide sports writers selected winners based on performance in the 2014 regular season. Academics and character were also taken into consideration. High school head coaches and members of the media nominated the finalists.
For the thirteenth consecutive year, the top kicker in the state will be recognized with a Mr. Football Award. There are three finalists in this category, regardless of their school’s classification.

This is the 30th year that the Mr. Football Awards have been presented to Tennessee’s best high school football players. Plaques will be presented to 22 other finalists.
Approximately 600 people, including the honorees, their families, coaches, school administrators and members of the media from all parts of the state, are expected to attend the 2014 luncheon.

Mike Keith, play-by-play voice of the Tennessee Titans, will emcee the awards presentation. A live videostream of the awards will be provided for free by the NFHS Network. Those interested can watch the awards by going to The Tennessee Titans will also stream the event live on their website,

Paris City Manager Candidates Narrowed To Two

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris has narrowed the field to two final candidates for the position of City Manager to replace Carl Holder, who is retiring next year after 22 years with the city.

The Paris City Commission concluded interviewing candidates yesterday. The process began with 50 applicants.

Holder said, “The Commission has issued me a set of instructions related to final vetting and preliminary negotiations concerning salary, and other employment related factors.” 

Holder said further that “the Commission has maintained our initial schedule which calls for the Commission to vote on a final selection in January or February.” 

L&N Steam Engine Bell Presented to Lee School

Paris, Tenn.-The family of Joe and Ann Kendall has made a long-term loan of an antique L&N steam engine bell to the Lee Academy for the Arts to be used in the bell tower. The Academy is located in the former Robert E. Lee School in Paris.

Baker, Carol and Dottie Kendall made the loan, according to Ray Harding of the Lee School Association.

Harding said, “When steam engines were phased out in the 1950's, L&N presented bells from the retired engines to churches. The Kendall’s bell was in a small church on Tyson Ave. when Joe Kendall bought the property. He stored the bell at his home for many years.” A beauty salon is now located in the former church on Tyson Ave.

The bell is surprisingly large to have been on a moving engine, Harding said.  
“The Robert E. Lee School Association is excited about having the bell. It is especially appropriate to have an L&N bell, since Lee School always had a large number of children from homes of railroad work,” Harding said.

Dupree, Ballard Lobby For Change In Whiskey Labeling Law

Michael Ballard and Jesse James Dupress. (Mighty Loud photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-Jesse James Dupree, who wears many hats as a reality television star, musician and businessman, appeared before Tennessee state senators, urging them to repeal the Tennessee Whiskey Labeling Law.

Why is Dupree concerned with that, you ask?

In addition to starring in Full Throttle Saloon and being the front man for the band Jackyl, Dupree also is the owner of the S’loonshine Distillery in the tiny town of Trimble, Tenn., where they plan to make Jesse James Bourbon. Trimble is located in Obion and Dyer Counties.

Dupree and his partner Michael Ballard already have been making the whiskey in Kentucky and recently have moved the distillery to Trimble, which is Ballard’s hometown.

Ballard wanted to locate in Trimble to create jobs and boost the local economy and to brand their product as “Tennessee Whiskey”.

However, the Jack Daniels Co. influenced the Tennessee state legislators to enact the Tennessee Whiskey Labeling Law, which requires that in order to be labeled as “Tennessee Whiskey”, the product has to be made with only the methods that are used by Jack Daniels.

At the hearing, Dupree and Ballard protested the law, which they said shows favoritism to Jack Daniels and exceeds the state's authority. 

Dupree said, "[This law] defies the [federal] Constitution.“

No individual state can define whiskey." Ballard said, "'Whiskey' is a word that cannot be trademarked. Tennessee is a geographical location.“

Veterans Honored At HCHS Program

Sgt. First Class Angela Davis speaks to veterans and students. (Lisa Fitzsimmons photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Veterans were honored at a special program Tuesday morning at Henry County High School. 

Speakers were Sgt. First Class Angela Davis and High School Teacher and former Sgt. Rusty Wiles. After presentation of the colors by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, the high school band performed Taps and played patriotic music. The Madrigals performed The National Anthem.

A poem was read by Michael Hargrove and Grace Paschal spoke about the meaning of the Prisoner of War or Missing in Action ceremonial table. A slideshow of military past and present was shown. A reception for the veterans followed the program.

The program was coordinated by Teacher and Military Specialist Patrick Hopp and the school’s Military Club.

Battle Of Paris Landing Chili Cook Off Event Set

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Battle of Paris Landing Chili Cook Off and Civil War Living History event will be held this weekend at Paris Landing State Park.

Sponsored by the Paris Landing Tourism League, it will be held November 15 and 16 and will include a chili cook off, hay rides, face painting, vendors, a chili tent featuring bowls of chili, chili dogs and chili pies, story telling by Local Civil War Historian Larry Ray.

The Co. G 7th TN Cavalry : Civil War reenactors will be on site both days for demonstrations: Infantry, Cavalry & Artillery! Sunday morning church service at 8:30 a.m. with Bro. Joe Ed Smith at the Large Pavilion, the Q & A session duo will lead the worship music.

Events on Saturday will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include the chili cookoff and Civil War demonstrations. Sunday’s events are from 9:30-2 p.m. and include story telling at 10 a.m. $100 giveaway at 1 p.m.

Freedom Festival Prepares For 40th Anniversary 

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-In 2015, the Cottage Grove Freedom Festival will have its 40th anniversary and the city’s Legislative Council on Tuesday agreed it will begin planning for the event in January. The Freedom Festival is held on the 4th of July each year.

Also at the meeting, Mayor Mike Waddey discussed more options for a permanent home for city hall. Waddey will prepare a skeleton plan for the December meeting.

Councilman John Weiher reported the Locust Street sign is missing.

Treasurer Carolyn Kaminski read the financial report, showing revenues for October at $4,455.73 and expenses were $463.64. 

Refuge Series To Explore "Backyard Wildlife"

Springville, Tenn.-Are you fascinated by nature’s creatures or have you ever wondered what that was in your back yard? Join the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge for this month’s Refuge Discovery Series as guest naturalist Brooke Gilley from the Land Between the Lakes Nature Station presents “Backyard Wildlife” at 1 p.m. Saturday November 15 at the new Refuge Visitor Center at 1371 Wildlife Drive, Springville, TN 38256. Filled with live animals, this program should prove to be educational as well as entertaining for all ages.

The Refuge Discovery Series was created by the Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge to help the public enjoy and interact with the refuge and its wildlife. Each considered a good family activity, the series presents different wildlife related topics and guest speakers to help the public connect with nature. Hosting the program at the new Refuge Visitor Center is a perfect fit as families can come early or stay to enjoy our new exhibits. While there we encourage folks to see the waterfowl, pelicans and other birds that are already starting to be present off the back patio.

For more information about the Refuge Discovery Series, how to become a member of the Friends of Tennessee NWR or about the refuge in general, please call the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 731-642-2091 or see the website at 

"The Owen Family" To Perform In Henry

Paris, Tenn.-”The Owen Family” will appear at the Henry Civic Center at 7 p.m. Saturday, November 15 for gospel singing. Free admission and everyone welcome.

MSU Amnesty To Host Death Row Exoneree

Murray, Ky. — Amnesty International at Murray State University and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky are co-hosting a speaker for the Witness to Innocence Tour. Kirk Bloodsworth, a death row exoneree, will speak on Friday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. in the Freed Curd Auditorium in the Collins Industry and Technology Center on campus.

In 1984, Bl...oodsworth was arrested for the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl and sentenced to death in Maryland the following year. In 1992, Bloodsworth read about a new forensic breakthrough called DNA fingerprinting. From these tests, Bloodsworth was proven innocent and released from prison in June 1993. He is the first person in the United States to be exonerated from death row by DNA testing.

The ACLU of Kentucky organizes events at churches and colleges, and through civic groups all over Kentucky, to allow someone who was wrongly convicted of a crime, sentenced to death and later released the opportunity to share the story.

Following the address, there will be a question-and-answer session. Students studying political science, criminal justice, nonprofit leadership, social work, psychology and those interested in attending law school would particularly benefit from attending this event.

It is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Benjamin Linzy, student coordinator for Amnesty International at Murray State, at

UT Application Deadline Is Dec. 1

Knoxville, Tenn.—The application deadline for freshmen who want to attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the fall is Dec. 1.

All students who apply are automatically considered for institutional scholarships including the new Volunteer Scholarship.

Applying students are encouraged to submit transcripts, their personal statement and letters of rec...ommendation before the deadline.

"Grade point averages and ACT scores are important in demonstrating academic preparedness, but our admissions process is holistic, which means we also value and consider the whole student. Leadership and service experience, the student's personal statement and letters of recommendation help to tell the student's story beyond test scores and transcripts. We truly want to identify students who are a great fit for the Volunteer family," said Kari Alldredge, assistant dean and director of undergraduate admissions.

To apply online, students can create a log-in on the Undergraduate Admissions VIP website at or use the Common Application at

Admitted students will be notified soon after applying if they qualify for funding through the Volunteer Scholarship program. New for fall 2015, this program will award UT scholarship monies to students who have at least a 3.8 UT-weighted core GPA and a superscored ACT of at least 28 or SAT score of at least 1250.

Learn more about the Volunteer Scholarship program at

Deadlines for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), application deadlines for transfer students and international students, and deadlines for admitted students to confirm their attendance by paying their deposit can be found at

James Wilson Benefit Set

Paris, Tenn.-A benefit for James Wilson, retired National Guard Sergeant and Eurotranciatura employee will be held Saturday, November 15 at the National Guard Armory from noon to 5 pm. James is battling colon and liver cancer. BBQ plates are $7.

Event includes bake sale and silent auction.

KSP Accepting Trooper Applications

Hickory, Ky.- The Kentucky State Police is now accepting applications for Cadet Class 93 which is tentatively scheduled to start on May 24, 2015. Interested applicants should visit the KSP website at and click on the Career 

Opportunities, Recruitment Home and How to Become a Kentucky State Trooper link. 
Information on the site includes an outline of the application process, a list of minimum requirements and disqualifications, and a downloadable application form with a list of supporting documents required, a downloadable study guide for the written test and a list testing dates, times and locations. 

If more information is needed after visiting the website, applicants can call toll-free1-866-360-3165 during office hours from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday or leave a message any other time.

All application materials must be completed and returned to the KSP Recruitment Branch at 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, KY 40601 by the application deadline. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 

HCHS Students Conduct Food Drive

Paris, Tenn.-The Family Resource Center Henry County High School Student Advisory Council is conducting a November Food Drive to help stock the Henry County Food Bank. The SAC is asking all high school students to bring food items until November 19. Prizes will be given to the homeroom with the most food items donated. In photo left to right: Kaity Beth James, Lillie Akers, Kendall Wimberley, Libby Farmer, Alex Watkins, Jackson Griffey (hidden), Cody Hunter, Matthew Counce.

Hannah Robison Crowned UTM Homecoming Queen 

Martin, Tenn.- Hannah Robison (center), a senior chemistry major from Springville, Tenn., and representing Alpha Omicron Pi, was crowned queen for Homecoming 2014 on at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Joining Robison in the homecoming court were (left to right) Alley Hargrove, of Dickson, a senior health and human performance major representing Chi Omega; Brittany Berry, of Collierville, a senior agriculture major representing Zeta Tau Alpha; Rashunica Holland, of Covington, a junior integrated studies major representing Alpha Kappa Alpha; and Kayla Harmon, of Lewisburg, a junior studying pre-physical therapy and representing Alpha Delta Pi. The homecoming theme was “Streaking Back to Martin” as students, alumni and friends celebrated the event with 1970s TV show themes. Activities included rope pull, pyramid competition, the 10th annual Quad City and the homecoming football game with Austin Peay State University. Additional information about UT Martin alumni activities can be found at  

KSP To Raffle Calipari Custom Harley

Mayfield, Ky.-The Kentucky State Police, Post 1 Mayfield is selling tickets on the Official Coach Calipari Custom Harley. The raffle will benefit The Trooper Project and The Calipari Foundation, both Non-Profit Organizations. 

The Kentucky State Police partnered with The Calipari Foundation and Man O’War Harley Davidson in Lexington, KY to raffle off a custom built Harley Davidson Road King. The winning ticket will be drawn on April 9, 2015 at 3:00 PM EDT at Man O’War Harley Davidson of Lexington, KY. 

The Custom Built Road King features a one of a kind Kentucky Wildcat custom paint job, signed by UK head basketball coach John Calipari. The bike has custom front and rear wheels, V/H big shot true dual exhaust with fish tail end cap, KIT-EFI super race tuner, chrome H-bar controls, FLT chrome front end pack, lowered suspension, CVO rear fender kit, chrome inner primary KIT, extended saddle bags, daymaker LED headlights, custom mirrors, and swint LED light KIT. Tickets can be purchased at any of the 16 KSP posts located throughout the state. Only 100,000 tickets will be sold. Ticket holders do not have to be present at the drawing to win. Raffle winner is responsible for all tax and license fees.

To purchase a $10.00 ticket you may stop by the Kentucky State Police Post located at 8366 ST RT 45 North, Hickory or by contacting any Kentucky State Police Trooper or Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer.

All proceeds go to The Trooper Project and The Calipari Foundation. The Trooper Project is an effort to build a permanent tribute to the Troopers and Officers of the Kentucky State Police. It will represent those who have served, those who serve today, and those who have died in the line of duty. 

Twenty-seven Kentucky State Troopers and Officers have been killed in the line of duty since inception in 1948. For more information about the Trooper Project and The Calipari Foundation please visit and both are non-profit organizations. Charitable Gaming # ORG0002393.

Helping Hand Applications Due Friday

Paris, Tenn.-Reminder: Applications for the 2014 Helping Hand Radio Auction are due by 5 p.m. Friday at the Post-Intelligencer Office in Paris. For more information, contact Susan Bell at 642-7519.

Deadline For 'Technicolor Dream Coat' Tickets 

Nashville, Tenn.-Deadline to purchase tickets and ride to "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" at TPAC is December 5th. The Paris-Henry County Arts Council has plenty of room on the bus and it costs $85 per person, including ticket and coach bus ride to and from Nashville! Please contact the PHCARTS Council at 731-642-3955 if interested. See the website at

Lakewood Speech Team Does Well At Invitational

Paris, Tenn.-The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team competed in the Krider High School Invitational over the weekend at Henry County High School and placed 4th overall out of 15 schools. Several students placed in their individual events. Drew Culbreath - 1st in Prose Interpretation, Sylis Allen - 3rd in Poetry Interpretation, and Natalie Clark - 4th in Original Oratory. LMS will next be competing in tournaments at Murray High School, Calloway County Middle School and Western KY University in the next few weeks. The team is coached by David Weatherly. 

LBL Thanks Personnel, Paschall Truck Cos. For Donation

Golden Pond, Ky. – Personnel Truck Leasing of Murray, Kentucky, has donated a 48-foot, dry van trailer to Friends of Land Between The Lakes. The trailer will be used to store and transport recyclable materials to processing centers as part of the recycling program conducted by the U.S. Forest Service at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Friends of Land Between The Lakes also thanks Paschal Truck Lines of Murray for their assistance in acquiring this donation.

John Rufli, Executive Director of Friends of Land Between The Lakes, received the donation from David Graham of Paschall Trucking Lines on behalf of the Forest Service. “Currently, visitors to Land Between The Lakes can recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and steel cans at several locations. In the future, we hope to be able collect more types of materials, such as paper and cardboard, from visitors as we solve challenges surrounding collection and transport. This generous gift from Personnel Truck Leasing and Paschall Trucking Lines will help expand our recycling efforts,” he said.

“This donation resolves several challenges we’ve had in dealing with waste paper and cardboard generated in the operations of the Recreation Area. Last year we recycled 4,000 pounds of cardboard and 4,700 pounds of paper. This large trailer will reduce the amount of material handling and allow for fewer trips to the recycling center, enabling us to recycle even more materials that would otherwise get thrown away,” said Darrin Samborski, Environmental Education Specialist at Land Between The Lakes. “I also want to thank Trigg County Road Department for helping transport the trailer from Paschall Trucking Lines to our location.”

Land Between The Lakes is a member of a multi-county partnership called West Kentucky Regional Recycling Corporation that formed in the 1990s to divert several materials from local landfills. Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston, Lyon, and Trigg counties, Land Between The Lakes, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the West Kentucky Correctional Complex all participate. Residents of these counties and visitors to Land Between The Lakes participate in this recycling program.

“In 2012, West Kentucky Regional Recycling Corporation recycled nearly 895,000 pounds of material including cardboard, paper, aluminum, plastic, and glass,” said Casey Major, recycling program manager at Western Kentucky Correctional Complex.
Improved technology has made it possible to utilize materials once considered trash. Products made from recycled materials have improved in quality. Land Between The Lakes anticipates an increase in their ability to recycle as a result of Personnel Truck Leasing and Paschall Trucking Lines' generous donation.

More Fake Bills Passed In Union City 

Union City, Tenn.-Five counterfeit $20 bills were reported passed at the Wal-Mart in Union City on Sunday. According to the police report, it is not known at this time which registers or who was working the registers where the fake bills were passed.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Camden PD Seeks Help With Child Rape Information

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Camden, Tenn.-The Camden Police Department is asking for the public’s help for what it has termed “one of the worst scenarios” facing the Camden community.

Brian L. Webb, 24, was arrested over the weekend, charged with rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery. Webb is being held without bond in the Benton County Jail.

In a press release, the Camden Police said, “We commend our law enforcement professionals with the handling of this case, but the work is not yet complete.”

Law enforcement is not positive whether Webb has had any other contact with minor children other than the abused child. “If the community has information related to this case or any other we ask that you please come forward,” according to the press release. “We have had one of the worst scenarios that we experience in law enforcement come to light in our community.”

Hardee's Site Plan To Be Presented To Planners

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris may soon have another popular fast food restaurant from which to choose.

The Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission on Thursday will consider approval of a site plan for a Hardee’s Restaurant which would be located at 1005 Mineral Wells Ave., the former site of Swifty Gas.

Shawn Burkett of Vertical Construction Management of New Orleans is set to present the plans at the planning commission meeting, set for 6 p.m. Thursday at city hall.

Calloway County Student Injured In Fall From Bus

Murray, Ky. - A Calloway County High School student was hurt Monday morning when student fell out of the back of the bus while it was still moving.

Calloway County Schools Public Relations Coordinator David Dowdy said the bus was approaching Southwest Calloway Elementary when the student opened the rear emergency door and fell out.

In a press, Murray Police Department Sgt. David Howe says the bus was moving at 40-45 miles per hour when the incident happened.

Emergency responders, Police, district transportation officials, and a CCHS administrator responded to the scene of the incident. Dowdy said the condition of the student who fell is unknown.

No other students on the bus were injured.

Goodwill Honors Area Employees, Employers

Representatives from Goodwill's Community Partners of the Year, Obion County Joint Economic Development Council and Bethel University, and Regional Partner of the Year, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, gather for a photo Friday at Goodwill's Impact Luncheon in Jackson. From left are Katie Keathley and Lindsay Frilling of the Obion County Joint Economic Development Council; John Cloar, Donna Hastings, Donnie Walton and James Daniels of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology; and Kristie Lancaster of Bethel University.

Jackson, Tenn.— A Union City woman, Bethel University, the Obion County Joint Economic Council and Cox Oil of Union City are among those receiving awards at the annual Goodwill Industries Impact Luncheon last week. 

Tonia Brown, who now lives in Paris, received a Graduate Of The Year Award from Goodwill Career Solutions, one of only four to receive the award this year.

When the single mother of two and grandmother of one first came into the Union City Career Solutions Center in April, things were not going well. The company where she had worked in human resources had relocated to Massachusetts, leaving her jobless.

Now she is the human resources manager for Jones Plastic and Engineering. At Goodwill, she got training in job-readiness, computer use, resume-building and more. She quickly found a seasonal job through a placement service, but the pay was low and she was falling behind on her bills. She applied for several different positions, got interviews and went back to Goodwill for more career counseling.
After four months in her new position, Tonia is excelling, and she and her children have moved into a new home in Paris. Now, Tonia is paying her good fortune forward. Her employer has partnered with Goodwill to host three job fairs. And the new HR director now hires directly through Career Solutions to give others the same opportunities she received.

The Community Partner Awards were given to Bethel University of McKenzie and Obion County’s Joint Economic Development Council.

Bethel has embraced Goodwill’s mission, partnering with Goodwill for three job fairs in two West Tennessee counties, assisting 295 job-seekers and 23 local employers. Bethel serves as a referral point for Goodwill’s resources, routinely directing university students and others to Career Solutions Centers, and has invited Goodwill counselors into its classrooms.
Goodwill has found an enthusiastic partner in the Obion County Joint Economic Development Council. The council routinely shares job notices and information about new and expanding companies with Career Solutions, and it has invited Goodwill representatives to speak at meetings of business leaders and the public.

The Regional Partner Award was given to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, which has welcomed Goodwill career counselors into its classrooms across West Tennessee.
Employer Partner Awards were given to Cox Oil of Union City, Max Trans of Humboldt and Advantage Staffing, all of which have significantly contributed to the success of Career Solutions by hiring many of its clients this year.

In his opening remarks at the luncheon, Goodwill President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas announced that Goodwill’s 28 Career Solutions centers have already surpassed their 2014 goals of providing employment assistance to more than 20,000 people and finding jobs for 6,000. So far this year, nearly 25,000 people have been served and 7,600 of those landed jobs. 

Driver Arrested After Fleeing Scene
Other Driver In Serious Condition 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Warrants are pending against an Obion man after he ran from the scene of a two-car accident Friday in Union City in which a Martin woman was seriously injured.

Natalia Serrano, 63, was transported by medical helicopter to The Med in Memphis with serious internal injuries following the accident.

Neal Kimmons, 34, of 419 Main St., Obion, fled from the scene on foot and was found a few minutes later on South Sunswept Dr., near the parks and recreation building. He was taken to The Med by the Obion County Ambulance Service.

Warrants pending against Kimmons include DUI 2nd, driving on a revoked license 3rd offense, involvement in an accident involving death or personal injury and driving with no insurance.

Union City Police were called to the scene around 6:30 p.m. at the 1900 block of East Main Street and found Serrano’s car with extensive damage to the front. She was transported to the local hospital immediately with serious injuries. Union City Police were notified around 9 p.m. that she had been transported to The Med with serious internal injuries.

Police found the other vehicle 40-50 feet further west, with severe damage to the front. Witnesses told police which direction the driver ran and police were able to pick Kimmons up a few minutes later.

According to the police report, Serrano was driving without a license and insurance.

Free Admission For Veterans, Spouses, Kids At Discovery Park 

Union City, Tenn.-All veterans, their spouses and children will have free admission to Discovery Park of America all day Tuesday, November 11, for Veterans’ Day. Free flags will be given away at Magnolia Place Liberty Hall, where there also will be a moment of silence observed at 11 a.m., followed by the playing of The Star Spangled Banner.

HCHS Veterans Program Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County High School Military Club will be holding a program for veterans at the high school around 10 a.m. Tuesday, on Veterans’ Day. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office honor guard will be on hand and veterans will be served biscuits, sausage and coffee.

Bethel To Hold Inauguration Of New President

McKenzie, Tenn. – The Bethel University Board of Trustees will hold inauguration ceremony for the school’s 40th president, Dr. Walter Butler on Thursday. Butler officially became President this past June after serving as Interim President since August 2013. The inauguration ceremony will be held in Crisp Arena in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment. It will begin at 11 a.m., and the public is invited to attend.

Butler, who holds both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Bethel, was recently presented an honorary doctor of humane letters by the school’s trustees. Butler’s Bethel career actually began in 1975 when he began work as an admissions counselor – a position he held for three years until he ran for the Office of Carroll County Trustee and won. He served as Carroll County Trustee for 16 years, being re-elected in 1982, 1986, and 1990. In August of 1994, he ran successfully for the Office of Carroll County Executive (now Carroll County Mayor). Butler served in this capacity until 1996 when Governor Don Sundquist asked him to become Tennessee’s Director of State Parks. As Director of State Parks, Butler oversaw 54 parks, 1,600 employees and a budget of more than $57 million. Governor Sundquist went on to appoint Butler the Deputy Commissioner of Personnel and then as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Butler then served as Commissioner of Personnel, a position he held to the end of Governor Sundquist’s term in office.

Butler later returned to Bethel as the Director of Business Affairs where he eventually held positions as Executive Vice President for the College of Liberal Arts and as Vice President for the College of Criminal Justice. 
For more information, contact Myra Carlock at 731-352-4090 or at

Hearing On Use Of Industrial Hemp Set

Nashville, Tenn.–The Tennessee Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing on Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. CST to gather input on the permitting and regulation of industrial hemp. 

The purpose of this hearing is to receive public comment on the department’s commitment to fulfill the requirements of Public Chapter 916, enacted by the Tennessee General Assembly, to develop a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp in Tennessee. 

Industrial hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa and is of the same plant species as marijuana. However hemp has a significantly lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, and is distinguished by its use and chemical makeup. You will find industrial hemp in a variety of products, including fabric, textiles, fibers, and pharmaceuticals. More than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. Current industry estimates show that U.S. importation and retail sales of hemp-based products may exceed $300 million annually.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, 10 a.m.
Where: Ellington Agricultural Center, Ed Jones Auditorium
416 Hogan Rd.
Nashville, TN 
Contact: David Waddell, Consumer and Industry Services 615-837-5331 

A copy of the rules and additional information may be obtained on the department’s webpage at 

Sunday, November 9, 2014 

Bill Culley Dies; Was Mayor, Businessman, BPU Member

Paris, Tenn.-Former Paris Mayor and long-time local businessman Bill Culley died last night at his home.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. at McEvoy Funeral Home. Visitation will be held from 48 p.m. Tuesday and after 11 a.m. Wednesday. Burial will be in Maplewood Cemetery.

Culley, 77, had a long career in business and local civic He had been mayor and a member of Paris City Commission and a long-time member of the Paris Board of Public Utilities, on which he was serving at the time of his death.

He was CEO of the Ellis Heating Co., a Charter Captain of the Henry County Rescue Squad and was instrumental in developing the Pop Warner program in Henry County.

Culley’s full obituary will be published later.

Roosevelt Letter Donated To Discovery Park
Kirklands Honored For Philanthrophy At Annual Gala

Jackson, Tenn.-A letter signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was donated to Discovery Park of America in Union City as part of the West Tennessee Healthcare Charity Gala at the Civic Center in Jackson.

The letter belongs to the Allison Family and it expresses a sad moment in their family history.

It is a letter of condolence mailed by the President to the family of two brothers who died on the U.S.S. Arizona during the bombing of Pearl Harbor.They were distant uncles of Chris Allison.

The letter has been in the family for more than seventy years. They're one of twenty three sets of brothers who died on the ship, and the only ones from Tennessee.

Jenny and Robert Kirkland, who financed Discovery Park of America, said they were excited about the donation. The Kirklands also were honored at the gala with the Tigrett Award for outstanding philanthropy.

"Ollie Otter" Visits Huntingdon Schools

Students pictured are front row left to right: Chesney Baker, Rhianna Wilkes, Allie Kate Smith, Grand Champion Brady Warbritton, Quinn Kelley and Emily Tippitt. Not pictured is Taijon Willis. Back row left to right: Lt. Walter Smothers, Assistant Principal Christy Carey, Mayor Dale Kelley, Public Safety Director Joe Parker and Principal Alan Eubanks.

Huntingdon, Tenn.-”Ollie Otter” from the Huntingdon Police department visited the Huntingdon Primary School second grade students for both education and fun.

Michele Wright from the Governors Highway Safety Office accompanied Ollie and spoke to the students during the 45 minute presentation.Ms Wright was assisted by Ms. Faith Scott and Ms. Rebekah Gilbreath.

The students learned about the importance of seat belt safety and the importance of using a booster seat. They also learned that its okay to tell adults to "Please Buckle Up" and if they are in a construction zone to "Please Slow Down". Letters written to Ollie from the students will eventually be posted on his website.

Along with the visit was a seat belt safety coloring contest, the "Make It Click Contest" held annually by the Huntingdon Police Dept. The entries were judged by Ms. Emily Ezell of Knoxville TN. One winner was selected from each of the 6 second grade rooms as well as 1 Grand Champion. On Wednesday Nov.5th the winners were presented with a trophy, their framed picture and a draw string backpack, the Grand Champion was also given a backpack bearing the logo of the Governors Highway Safety Office. The awards were presented by Mayor Dale Kelley and Public Safety Director Joe Parker.

Tickets Available For Christmas With Renaissance

McKenzie, Tenn.–Bethel University’s Renaissance Program is announcing the schedule for “Christmas with Renaissance.”

“Christmas with Renaissance” is an annual celebration that showcases the talents of the Renaissance Program at Bethel University. This “fun for the whole family” performance will boast a wide variety of genres of music all focused on the Christmas theme. The concert will feature all aspects of Renaissance including the Renaissance Choir, The Renaissance Quartet, Vocal Authority, Renaissance Theatre, The Renaissance Bluegrass Bands, The Renaissance Orchestra and The Renaissance Revolution. Also this year, the group will be joined by special guests “The Little Rebel Singers.” 

Performances are November 21, 22 and 23 at the Dickey Fine Arts Building on campus in McKenzie, Tenn. Shows begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children (12 and younger). Tickets can be purchased at the Renaissance Office located at 28 Lee Ave. in McKenzie. The office will be open from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (731) 352-6980 for more information. 

Bethel Faculty, Staff and Students will receive free tickets. Please reserve those tickets in advance by emailing April Dodd, Renaissance Administrative Coordinator, at and they will be available for you at will call the night of the performance.

Saturday, November 8, 2014 

Celebrating The Service Of Our Veterans

Grand Marshal Barney Knight, accompanied by Larry Winchester. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--Patriotism was in the air Saturday morning as Henry County celebrated Veterans Day with a parade filled with music, flags, military honor guards--and of course, veterans.

Numerous citizens lined East Wood with flags to cheer on the parade. Leading the parade was the Tennessee State Guard honor guard, followed closely by the Henry County Marching Patriots playing their best patriotic songs.

WWII Veteran Barney Knight was the grand marshal, while the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Paris Police, Henry County Emergency Medical Services, as well as the fire departments from Paris, Springville, Oakland and Paris Landing also participated.

Cub Scout Pack 22 from Springville/Buchanan, as well as the VFW, American Legion and Moose Lodges were participants, along with a car full of other WWII veterans.

Honor Guard Members (from left): First Sgt. Carl Minor, Private First Class Marion Hart, Sgt. James Phillips; Corp. Cassandra Took, Staff Sgt. Jason McCord. (McFarlin photo).

Henry County High School Marching Patriots.

Camden Player Breaks Leg During Game

Camden, Tenn.-Camden Central Lions Football Player Seth Wood broke his leg Friday night during Camden’s win over Lewis County in the playoffs Friday night.

Wood is a senior and was set to undergo surgery today at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Game officials joined players in praying on the field for Wood as the high school trainers and Benton County Rescue Squad members assisted Wood after his injury.

High School Football 1st Round Playoff Results:

Henry County 24 , Munford 6
Milan 28 , Westview 14
Lake County 38 , South Fulton 24
Dresden 56 , Humboldt 14
Camden 41 , Lewis County 0
Peabody 49 , Huntingdon 27
Dyersburg 37 , Liberty Magnet 35
Crockett County 69 , Raleigh Egypt 27...
Mayfield 63, Caverna 24
Bethlehem 52, Fulton City 12
Holy Cross 58, Fulton County 16
Murray 71, Union County 37
Graves County 56, Barren County 13

Next week in the 2nd round:

Dresden at Union City
Millington at Henry County
Lake County at Hollow Rock-Bruceton
Trenton Peabody at Trinity Christian
Carver at McKenzie
Milan at Camden Central
Dyersburg at Trezevant

Annual Love Lights A Tree Event Draws Crowd

The Inman Band entertained. (Dana Allen photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Love Lights A Tree drew a large crowd in downtown Paris Friday night to kick off the holiday season. This is the single largest fundraiser for the Bass Lipford Family Team each year and all proceeds benefit Relay for Life of Henry County.

Joyce Bass opened the ceremony by reading cancer survivors' names, as well as names of those who lost their battles to cancer. She followed the memorial names with a prayer before lighting the tree on the Courthouse Lawn.

The Inman Middle School Band was on hand to get the crowd into the Christmas spirit with their rendition of "Deck the Halls" as well as many other musical selections including some honoring our veterans. 

Spokesman Dana Allen said, "Relay for Life of Henry County is honored to kick off the downtown holiday season each year with Love Lights a Tree. We sincerely appreciate the support of our community and area businesses."

Memorials may still be purchased through Christmas for a $5 donation by contacting Joyce Bass or any Relay for Life Committee member.

Joyce Bass read memorial and survivors' names. (Dana Allen photo).

"The Dome" Returns To Henry School For Family Night

Tim Caldwell brought the Birds of Prey from Paris Landing. (Regena Lindsey photo).

Henry, Tenn.- The “Dome” returned to Henry School this week, for a family event attended by not only students but families and community members. Students visited the “Dome” during the day to learn about the weather, solar system, dinosaurs and more. Families joined them after school to view another show inside the “Dome”.

The event also included opportunities to make their own crafts, bird feeders out of pine cones, complete a leaf rub, visit “Critter Crates” from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, view the Birds of Prey from Paris Landing State Park, as well as enjoy board games and face painting.

Henry School Counselor Regena Lindsey said, “Students will be able to take the information that was learned during the day and night activities and apply them in the classroom.” Lindsey was awarded a Plus Endowment grant to fund the day’s activities. 

Students line up to see "The Dome". (Regena Lindsey photo).

Road Projects For Next Week In Henry, Obion and Carroll Counties

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has announced projects that will be ongoing next week on roadways in our area. Some may affect traffic flow. They include projects in Carroll, Henry and Obion Counties:

CARROLL COUNTY, SR-424:  Bridge Replacement on State Route 424 over an overflow and the Big Sandy River.  Wednesday November 5 through Wednesday November 12:  Roadway is OPEN to traffic but there will be possible lane closures in both directions on State Route 424, going into Yuma from Clarksburg, for the duration of the project.

CARROLL COUNTY, SR-424:  Bridge Replacement on State Route 424 over the Rutherford Fork Obion River and overflows. Wednesday November 5 through Wednesday November 12:  A signal system is being utilized and will reduce traffic to one lane.

HENRY COUNTY, SR-69 (US-641):  Resurfacing work will cause temporary lane closures in both directions daily, from South Market Street to State Route 54/West Wood Street.

HENRY COUNTY, SR-69 (US-641):  Resurfacing work will cause temporary lane closures in both directions daily, from State Route 69A to US-79 (State Route 76).

HENRY COUNTY, SR-140:  Resurfacing work will cause temporary lane closures in both directions daily, from west of Rex Jackson Loop to State Route 76.

OBION COUNTY, SR-431:  Resurfacing work will cause possible temporary lane closures in both directions daily, from the North Fork Obion River bridge to US-51 (State Route 3).

Friday, November 7, 2014 

Paris Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris man has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide following the death Wednesday night of a Mansfield woman in Carroll County.

Michael Aldridge, 1017 Reynolds St., Paris, was arraigned in Carroll County General Sessions Court on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, DUI 4th offense and habitual offender violation.

Aldridge was the driver in a one-vehicular rollover accident that killed Tammy Smith of Mansfield. As WENK/WTPR reported Thursday morning, the accident occurred on Highway 77 near Huntingdon.

Aldridge reportedly was injured in the crash, but the dispatcher at the Tennessee Highway Patrol said she had no information on the extent of his injuries.

A public defender was assigned for Aldridge, who will appear before Judge Larry Logan again on November 13.

Moment Of Silence For Student

Lake County, Tenn.-A moment of silence will be held at tonight's Lake County High School football playoff game for an 8th grade football player who was accidentally shot and killed.

Dylan Scott of Ridgely attended Lake County Junior High. Details of the shooting were unavailable from the Ridgely Police Department. The Lake County Sheriff's Office dispatcher said that office took the 911 call about the shooting, but did not have reports on it.

Henry County Sheriff’s Office Encourages Gun Safety

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, right, and Chief Deputy Randy Gean display two types of gun safes. (HCSO photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging gun owners to keep their guns secured in their homes with the use of gun safes.

Sheriff Monte Belew said, “If people feel the need for a loaded weapon in the home for home protection and security, we encourage that you keep it safe and locked down and away from children.”

Gun safes come in a variety of price ranges and models, Belew said. “Some are as inexpensive as $5 and some involve just having a gunbolt running through the barrel or the magazine well to secure the weapon. Other gun safes are very elaborate and can only be opened with your particular fingerprint.”

Whichever means gun owners use, Belew said, “The whole idea is to keep them safe and secure and away from children.”

The sheriff’s office will again be using Eddie Eagle to visit schools and talk to children about four steps they should take if they see a gun. “First, they should stop, don’t touch, leave the room and tell an adult,” Belew said. “Four easy steps.”

Belew said, “Parents should never think it’s safe to put a gun on top of a cabinet as a way to keep it away from children because kids can always get something on top of a cabinet.”

Anyone needing advice or having questions should call the sheriff’s office at 642-3372, Belew said. “We’ll even come out to your home to see if the set up you have is safe and secure.”

Pancakes, Anyone?

Paris, Tenn.-Members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stand at the ready to flip pancakes at the annual Flapjack Fundraiser Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Paris. The event benefits the Carl Perkins Center for Prevention of Child Abuse and it replaced the annual Pancake Day that was sponsored by the Kiwanis. From left are Investigator David Doyle, Captain Damon Lowe, Sheriff Monte Belew, Crime Scene Investigator Katherine Tosh, Chief Deputy Randy Gean and Maintenance Officer Chris Thompson. Bottom photo, Henry County High School Madrigals Director Blair Chadwick directs the group as they serenade the crowd at the event. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Titans Great Speaks At Quarterback Club Steak Night

Paris, Tenn.-Former Tennessee Titans Star Brad Hopkins spoke Thursday night at the Henry County High School Quarterback Club’s Annual Steak Night at the Paris Convention Center. Over 200 Patriots fans were at the event, which is held each year as a ‘meet and greet’ opportunity between football players and fans. The tradition has been in place since the late 1970s. It was a busy night for local athletes, since 16 Patriots also were inducted into the National Honor Society Thursday night and several players capped off the evening by getting post-season Mohawks at either the field house or Harrison and Co. salon. (Jon Davidson photo).

TVA Makes Final Payment On Original $1B Investment

Knoxville, Tenn. ̶ The Tennessee Valley Authority has made the final scheduled payment on Congress’ original $1 billion investment in building TVA’s power program decades ago.

“This may be as close to a mortgage-burning milestone as you can have in the federal government,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said. “TVA has now repaid the U.S. Treasury for the cost of its creation while continuing to invest in improving the quality of life for the people of the Tennessee Valley every day.”

The federal government’s original investment in TVA amounted to “venture capital” in what came to be known as “the Great Experiment” in the Tennessee Valley,” Johnson said. “It showed that the unified development of a region’s resources could help bring the region out of the Depression. Today, more than 80 years later, we continue to serve the people of the region through our work in energy, environmental stewardship and economic development.”

The payment terms were part of an amendment to the TVA Act in 1959 that ended federal appropriations to TVA’s power program, while giving TVA authority to secure its own financing for capital expansion under a statutory debt limit.

“We encounter folks who still believe we receive taxpayer funding,” Johnson said. “The reality is that TVA has been sending money back to Washington for more than five decades.”

TVA has made payments of $10 million to $20 million a year – plus interest – to the U.S. Treasury since 1961. The final $10 million payment came in the closing days of fiscal year 2014, which ended Sept. 30. Payments totaled more than $3.6 billion.

“It is worth noting that despite the many changes that have occurred at TVA over the years, we have never wavered in meeting this financial commitment to, effectively, our one shareholder ̶ the federal government,” Chief Financial Officer John Thomas said.
TVA has not received any appropriations from Congress for any activities since 1999. Since that time, TVA has funded stewardship activities, which include oversight of public lands, reservoirs and cultural resources, primarily with power revenues.

LBL Presents Program On Binoculars, Telescopes

Golden Pond, Ky.-Golden Pond Planetarium and West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers present “Choosing and Using Binoculars and Telescopes” following the 5:30pm planetarium program Saturday, November 8, in the Golden Pond Visitor Center at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. The presentation is free and open to the public.

This program introduces various binoculars and telescopes, and teaches basic skills required to use them. Visitors can also bring their own telescopes to learn how to use them better. Binoculars and telescopes will also be available for purchase at the Golden Pond Gift Shop.

The planetarium show Back to the Moon for Good is at 5:30pm and costs $5 for ages 13 and up, and $3 for children 5-12. The “Choosing and Using Binoculars and Telescopes” program begins at 6pm in the lobby of the Golden Pond Visitor Center and is free of charge.

“This event is a great opportunity to meet people with similar interests. In addition, people can learn how to use telescopes and binoculars to view the moon and stars. Plenty of experts from the West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers club will be available to offer assistance,” said Planetarium Manager Ross Workman.

Information about the event can be found at or by calling the Golden Pond Visitor Center at 270-924-2233. Learn more about the Western Kentucky Amateur Astronomers club at

Thursday, November 6, 2014 

County, City, Schools Eye Sales Tax Increase

Elections Commission Director Darrin Thompson, center, reports on the cost of a special election at the joint work session. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A proposed local option sales tax increase of .5 cents would generate a total $1,790,751 for Henry County. That would mean an increase in available funds for the city of Paris and county government entities and the two school districts of: $137,000 for the Henry County general fund, $758,370 for the city of Paris; $590, 948 for the Henry County Schools; and $304,427 for Paris Special Schools.

At a joint work session Thursday night, those entities made their cases for the need for more funding.  It was the first meeting of its kind held in Henry County and since it was a work session, no action could be taken.
Paris City Manager Carl Holder said, “This is critical to all four of our entities. That is why it is critical to move forward. This is important enough to ask people to go to the polls to make this decision.”

County Mayor Brent Greer said, “I’ve been preaching (the revenue needs) to our board for three years. We all knew what was coming.”

 The purpose of the meeting, Greer said,  was to start a dialogue between the different entities “to see what we want to do going forward.” If a referendum will be pursued, he said, it would benefit the city and county “to work hand in hand.”

Paris City Manager Carl Holder said in the last four years, expenditure growth for the city has been 1.7 percent, with 2.2 percent inflation rate and only .8 percent revenue growth.

A big reason for revenue losses for the city is the changes in liquor laws in adjacent communities in Benton and Carroll Counties, he said, to the tune of $60,000 less dollars coming in to Paris each year.

There also are added federal/state mandates that have been costing the city money, Holder said.

To try to balance the budget, City Finance Director Kim Foster said, the city has cancelled much needed public improvement projects, deferred purchase of capital equipment and not kept pace with technological changes.

Without additional revenues, Holder said, the city will depend on property tax increases for increased revenue, deplete fund balances, reduce benefits for employees and services to the public and possibly get into debt with further borrowing.

Greer said key revenue losses for the county also include a major decrease in wholesale beer tax, which declined 55 percent or $253,111. Clerk fees have declined by six percent or $35,266, he said, local option sales tax has declined by $40,371 and the county has lost $160,277 or property tax revenues due to greenbelt and forestry property conversion. 

To balance the county budget, the county has had no cost of living increase for employees in four of the past six years, he said, has postponed capital projects, increased fund balance usage and reduce medical insurance costs by increasing deductibles and getting gap coverage.

Key revenue needs for the county include replacing the .02 cents from the general fund that was re-appropriated to solid waste. Education will need $500,000-$600,000 for general purpose school fund and will need $150,000 for debt service, with highway department needing additional revenue of at least $100,000 to meet the five-year average for local revenue required by state law, Greer said.

Henry County Director of Schools Sam Miles said, “It’s easy for a leader to take the easy way out. Easy thing to do would be to say let’s let it ride. The hard thing to do is to take actions to maintain the high quality of services.”

The schools are not needing money for new buildings, Miles said. “It’s for operating costs, even though both the county and city schools do have building needs.”

PSSD Director Mike Brown said the city schools have expected increases in health care costs, unfunded mandates “and are looking at real needs in our facilities. We have two buildings that are 50 plus years old. We’re facing some real needs there.”

Elections Commission Director Darrin Thompson said the cost for a special election would be in the range of $18,000. 

Greer noted that to allow the county commission to hold a first reading at its December meeting, the earliest possible time for the special election would be late March or early April.

Lackey Honored For His Service To Paris

Retiring City Commissioner Pete Lackey, center, at a reception in his honor before the regular meeting. From left are fellow commissioners Carlton Gerrell, Terry Fuller, Gayle Griffith and Mayor Sam Tharpe. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris City Commission said a heartfelt goodbye to long-time Commissioner Pete Lackey Thursday night. 

The evening began with a reception for Lackey prior to the regular meeting, at which Mayor Sam Tharpe presented him with a plaque of appreciation. During the meeting, a resolution honouring Lackey was presented and Tharpe said that the city of Paris had benefited “immeasurably” from Lackey’s service.

Lackey was elected to the commission in 1999 and he thanked the citizens of Paris for the opportunity to serve for 16 years. At the reception, Lackey said, “This really is bittersweet for me. I really thought I would be looking forward to retiring from the commission, but I’m actually sad about it. There have been a lot of good memories.”

Commissioner Terry Fuller thanked Lackey for serving and welcomed newly-elected Commissioner Robert Sleadd “to our group of distinguished gentlemen.”

Tharpe also honoured Herbert Ray Hill for his service to the City Board of Zoning Appeals. Hall is retiring after serving for 42 years of what Tharpe termed “faithful service rendered to the people of Paris.” A resolution was presented to Hill’s wife, Ann.

In other business:

--City Manager Carl Holder said the city is continuing its efforts toward a higher ISO rating. “If we can practially obtain a higher rating with minimal cost, I think we should,” Holder said.

--Commissioners reappointed Aaron Dobbs to the Americans With Disabilities board and appointed Darrin Robinson to the Board of Zoning Appeals to replace Hill.

Foster Provides City Finance Report

Paris, Tenn.-City Finance Director Kim Foster said at Thursday's meeting that retail sales continue to be strong as compared to last year.  For the month of August, she said, “We are 7.95 percent ahead of August 2013.”

“Calendar year to date,” she said, “We are ahead of 2013 by 4.17%.  This is encouraging, but I want to caution against a huge sense of relief.  If you will recall, 2013 was a bad year for retail sales with sales figures falling below the previous years' every   month except three, and in those three months,  sales  barely surpassed the corresponding month from 2012.  Conversely, 2012 was an exceptional year for retail sales, and we ended the year 2.84% ahead of the previous year.  If you compare2014 year to date numbers against the same time frame from 2012 we are only .7% ahead.”

“Expenditures in our General Fund are still outpacing our revenues, this month to the tune of $234,000.  The majority of this can be contributed to the paving and some drainage system improvements that were done in September.  On the bright side, the Solid Waste fund continues to be the opposite scenario with revenues continuing to run ahead of expenses.  We have collected just over $100,000 in ESN122 membership fees.  This is just slightly ahead of what we had collected through the end of September last year.  The deadline for enrolling was September 30, but several will continue to enroll throughout the year.”

Four Shops In One To Open In McKenzie

The new sign was recently erected. (PMB photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McKenzie, Tenn.-Residents of McKenzie, Carroll County and beyond will soon have much more shopping options open to them when the Boyd’s, Merison’s, Street Dynamics and Eagle Buildings open in the former Rural King building.

When Rural King closed last year, it was a major blow to the economy, but Laura Dougherty, Marketing Director for PMB, Inc. of Paris said, “We want to give people different options.” 

Having all four businesses in one location, she said, will be a boon to the community. “They can buy new furniture for their house at Merison’s and then go over to Boyd’s and buy the light bulbs for that new lamp,” she said.

PMB owns Boyd’s General Store, Merison’s Furniture, Street Dynamics automotive accessories and Eagle Buildings. 

All four of those businesses have separate locations in Paris and Boyd’s also has a Cottage Grove location. Additionally, PMB also has opened Boyd’s and Merison’s in Mayfield, with Street Dynamics to open there in February, too.

Dougherty said PMB is working hard to open the McKenzie locations by December 1. “We’ll be open before Christmas for sure,” she said.

The interior of the old Rural King facility has received a complete makeover, she said. Merison’s will be located in the left side of the building, with Boyd’s in the right and Street Dynamics in the back. Eagle Buildings will be located in the parking area.

The Merison’s side especially will give a whole new look to the building, she said. “We have sheet rock on the walls, track lighting. It looks totally different than before.”

The businesses will be utilizing the entire building. “We have some 12,000 square foot of space. And the Boyd’s store there will carry even more merchandise than we have in Paris because we’ll have more space. We’ll have general merchandise with more hardware and farm elements, more feed and seed and all that.”

The Mayfield location is located at 901 Paducah Rd. 

Henry County Woman Killed In Carroll County Accident

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn. -- A Henry County woman was killed in a one-vehicle crash in Carroll County Wednesday night. The driver, from Paris, was injured in the crash.

Tammy Smith of Mansfield was a passenger in a car which experienced a rollover on Highway 77 near Huntingdon.

Driver of the vehicle was Michael Aldridge of Paris, who was injured in the crash. The report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol does not indicate the extent of his injuries nor does it say if he was transported to a hospital. The dispatcher at the Highway Patrol said this morning she had no information on his injuries.

According to the report, the accident occurred around 9 p.m. Wednesday when the vehicle was traveling west on the highway, left the roadway and struck a culvert, causing it to overturn.

Veterans Day Parade Set For Saturday
Barney Knight To Serve As Grand Marshal

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-World War II Veteran Barney Knight of Paris will be the grand marshal of the annual Veterans’ Day parade, which will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, November 8, in Paris.

Born in Stewart County, Knight worked as a farm hand until he joined the U.S. Army in November of 1942. He took his base training in Oglethorpe, Ga., and was in the motor gunner and combat infantryman corps. Knight served in the Aleutian Islands, Southern Philippines and elsewhere in the Pacific Theater of the war.

He was awarded the AP Theater Ribbon with four Bronze Service Stars and one Bronze Arrowhead, Philippies Liberation Ribbon and two Bronze Stars and WWII Victory Ribbons and a good conduct medal.

According to Veterans Service Office Director Bob Nolan, when Knight was discharged from the Army in November of 1945, he made Paris his home.

Knight has served as commander of the VFW Post 1889 in Paris and he still is active in the post. 

The parade will begin at Fairgrounds Rd., move along East Wood Street and then onto Pennsylvania Ave.

City Of Paris To Hold Two Meetings Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris will conduct back-to-back meetings tonight. Paris City Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m., followed at 7 p.m. by the joint work session with the Henry County Commission, Paris Special Schools board of education and Henry County Schools board to discuss consideration of a sales tax referendum.

The referendum is eyed for a special election in the spring of 2015. Revenue and funding issues will be discussed and the possible combined approach to addressing these matters.

No action will be taken at the joint work session. The meetings are held at Paris City Hall the public is welcome to attend.

Obion County School Board To Hold Special Meeting

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Board of Education will hold a special called meeting at 7 a.m. Friday in the board office conference room. The following items will be on the agenda: approval of an ag barn bid, technology bid and field trips.
The public is invited to attend this meeting.

City Manager Field Narrowed To Three

Paris, Tenn.-The field of candidates for the position of Paris City Manager has been narrowed to three by members of the city commission. Interviews with the three will be conducted next week by the commission.

Current City Manager Carl Holder will be retiring sometime next year. He said yesterday of the three candidates, one is Assistant City Manager Kim Foster, another is from West Tennessee and the third is from elsewhere in the state. Holder has recommended that Foster be hired as his replacement.

Christmas On Broadway Auditions Set

Huntingdon, Tenn.- The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center is announcing auditions for singers to perform at Christmas on Broadway. Auditions will be held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 beginning at 6 p.m. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. 

Auditions will be held in The Dixie’s Hal Holbrook Theatre, please enter through the Box Office. You must be 18 years or older. 

A resume is required and you must have professional singing experience. Be prepared to sing 32 - 48 measures of music from a song of your choice that is either a Christmas or Musical theatre song. Also you must either provide a track or have a link to a YouTube track available for playback. A karaoke track will be fine. No sheet music, a piano will not be provided for this audition. Please arrive at 5:30 in the main lobby to fill out an audition form, get a number and a head shot taken. This will be a closed audition in front of a panel of judges. 

About the show: Christmas on Broadway is on Saturday, December 20th at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person for an evening of Broadway and holiday favorites performed by a myriad of talent, from touring professionals to the serious student, all from the surrounding area! For more information on this or other programs please contact the Box Office at 731-986-2100, online at, or visit us in person at 191 Court Square in Huntingdon, TN.

Twinkle Ball Tickets On Sale

McKenzie, Tenn.. – Tickets for Bethel University’s 3rd Annual Twinkle Ball, the ultimate Mommy & Me Christmas extravaganza, go on sale this week beginning Nov. 5. The Twinkle Ball will be on Wednesday, Dec. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment on Bethel’s McKenzie campus. 

The Twinkle Ball gives young girls and their mothers (or someone who is motherly to them) the chance to dress up and celebrate the magic of the holiday season in the girliest ways imaginable. This year’s theme is “Twinkle has Frozen” with most activities centered around the “Frozen” movie theme. Some of the planned events include: “Frozen” manicures by the Edge Hair Salon; a make and take “Olaf” character, a make your own “Frozen” popcorn ball, silhouette portrait sittings, a bracelet making station, a Christmas ornament station, a photo booth station and photos made with some surprise guests.

Tickets are $25 for a mother/daughter ticket. Mothers with more than one daughter can purchase additional tickets for $7 each. Tickets can be purchased at the Bethel University Bookstore. But they must be purchased in advance by Monday, Dec. 1. For more information about the Twinkle Ball, call the Bethel Bookstore at 731-352-4094 or Myra Carlock at 731-352-4090.

Beekeepers Club To Form

Paris, Tenn.-Anyone interested in forming a Beekeeping Club in Henry County is asked to attend a meeting at 7 p.m. Friday, November 7, at Paris City Hall.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 

Whites, Hospital Auxiliary Win Volunteers Of Year Awards

Linley and Becki White along with Paris City Commissioner Carlton Gerrell (in middle). (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A long-standing volunteer organization and a couple who have made their mark in volunteering in the short time since they moved to Henry County were honoured at the Henry County Volunteer Center’s annual appreciation luncheon Wednesday afternoon.

The Henry County Medical Center Auxiliary was named Volunteer Site of the Year and Becki and Linley White were named Volunteers of the Year. 

In announcing the auxiliary won this year’s top honor for site of the year, Hospital Director of Marketing Tory Daughrity said the group of some 50 members “is dear to my heart. It’s filled with women and men who have given so much of their time” to the local community.

Auxiliary members donate “over 60,000 hours of service in any given year”, Daughrity said, making them “an incredible force at the hospital. We couldn’t do what we do without them.”

The auxiliary has been in existence for 60 years and was in existence even before the hospital doors were opened, she said.

In announcing that the Whites were named Volunteers of the Year, Paris City Commissioner Carlton Gerrell said it is appropriate that when the Whites were seeking a retirement community that they chose Henry County, which is the Volunteer County of the Volunteer State.

“I’ve not seen a couple come in and take on as much as they have,” Gerrell said. The Whites have been instrumental in the development of the REAL Hope Youth Center. Gerrell noted that Linley is also very involved with the Paris Rotary Club.

Paris Native Candise Farmer was speaker for the event and talked about the integral role that volunteerism has played in the formation of the United States. Speaking to the volunteers gathered for the luncheon, Farmer said, “I encourage you to realize your impact, recognize you are greatly appreciated and resolve to continue your volunteering.”

Members of the HCMC Hospital Auxiliary along with Paris Mayor Sam Tharpe. (McFarlin photo).

Drumwright Cold Case To Be Reopened

McKenzie, Tenn.-District Attorney Matt Stowe has set a press conference for 11 a.m. Firday, November 7, at Carroll Memorial Gardens to announce that his office will be reopening the cold case involving a 15-year-old Carroll County youngster who died in 1999.

Tony Drumwright was found dead in his home on August 25 of that year. A spokesperson at Stowe’s office said today that he will order the body of Drumwright be exhumed in order to begin reopening of the case. 

Obion Central Football Coach Fired

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Obion County, Tenn.-Obion Central High School Football Coach Kevin Goltra has been fired.

Obion County Director of Schools Russ Davis confirmed to WENK/WTPR this morning that Goltra will be replaced as coach. “We just wanted to go in a different direction,” Davis said.

Goltra, who coached at Kenwood Schools before accepting the Obion County position, will remain as a teacher in the system, Davis said. Goltra has been coach at Obion Central for two years.

The decision was made yesterday, he said. 

“We have no timetable” for replacing Goltra, Davis said. “We’ll be accepting applications and conducting interviews. It could be one month, three months. We don’t know yet.”

Davis said he did not want to elaborate on his decision. “I just want to say that we’re going in a different direction,” he said.

Paris Police Nab Sturdivant

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A man being sought by Paris Police on numerous theft warrants was arrested last night following an anonymous tip. 

Darrin Sturdivant, age 50, of 1028 Reynolds St., Paris, is being held in the Henry County Jail on a total $25,000 bond. Paris Police Detective Ricky Watson said $20,000 was tacked on to the $5000 probation violation that had already been set for him.

Paris Police last week issued a press release requesting the public’s help in locating Sturdivant.

According to Watson, an anonymous tip led officers to a home in west Paris. “Someone called and said they thought they saw him go into a house,” he said. “Officers surrounded the house and he was taken into custody without incident.”

Watson said Corp. Greg Underwood was in charge of the operation.

Sturdivant is being held on three theft warrants and one probation violation warrant. 

Obion Chamber Banquet Set; Nominations Sought 

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Chamber of Commerce annual banquet will be held Thursday, November 20, and Friday is the deadline to nominate businesses and individuals for awards that are always presented that night. 

Awards presented include Ambassador of the Year, Board Member of the Year, Industry of the Year, Business of the Year, Business Partner of the Year, Small Business of the Year, and You Made It Happen Award.

To be nominated the individual or business must be in good standing with the Chamber of Commerce, or Industrial Development Corporation; the business must be in Obion County, or recipient must work in Obion County; and the nominee must demonstrate community leadership and involvement, and innovation in products or services.

The banquet will be held Discovery Park of America with the cash bar starting at 6 p.m. and dinner served at 6:30.

Holland Re-Elected McKenzie Mayor

McKenzie, Tenn.-In a hotly-contested race, McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland held off a challenge from former Mayor Walt Winchester at Tuesday’s election. Holland won by 789-500.

McKenzie voters also approved wine being sold in grocery stores, by a vote of 755 for, 530 against.

First-Ever Alumni Football Game Planned

Union City, Tenn.-For the first time ever, an alumni football game that will pit former players from Union City High School and Obion County Central High School is being planned.

The event will be held November 29 at War Memorial Stadium in Union City and it is being called “The Turkey Bowl”.

All former players are invited to participate. They must be 18 years of age and have attended the high schools involved.

Organizers said admission is $100 to play, which covers all equipment, a DVD and alumni shirt.

Pre-sale tickets to the game are $10 each, with half of the money going into each school’s football program.

All tickets bought at the gate will go directly to Alumni Football USA, which is the sponsoring organization.

For more information for playing on the Obion County team, contact Paul Stroud at 731-335-4015, or Matthew Thompson at 731-796-0759.

Other contact for either the Obion or Union City Teams are 731-335-3838.

LBL Fall Frolic Is This Weekend

Golden Pond, Ky. – Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area invites the public to celebrate the arrival of autumn during Fall Frolic, at Woodlands Nature Station, November 8, from 10am-4pm. Nature Station admission is $5 ages 13 and up, $3 ages 5-12, free for ages 4 and under. 

Fall Frolic features a variety of fall nature events and fun filled activities, including hayrides, live music, and appearances by Smokey Bear. “Bring the whole family to enjoy the fall season and participate in a variety of family-friendly outdoor programs and activities,” says Aviva Yasgur, Naturalist at Nature Station.

Sign up that day for an old-fashioned hayride. Hayrides are 30-minutes long, $2 per person, and leave regularly throughout the day. Staff-led rides include fun nature activities and great wildlife-viewing opportunities!
Fall Frolic activities: 
· Scheduled appearances all day Smokey Bear
· Ongoing throughout the day Fall Nature Craft
· 10am-4pm Old-Fashioned Fall Hayrides 
· 11am Forecasting Folklore
· 12 & 2pm Fall Music Concert—featuring, Brio Youth String Ensemble
· 12:30pm Signs of the Season Hike
· 2:30pm Bedtime for the Beasts

Stewart County Races Were Few

Dover, Tenn.-Stewart County voters had few local races on their ballots at Tuesday’s election. Actually, only voters in Cumberland City did and they voted for David Dunlap for Cumberland City Council Ward 1 and Linda Gunson for Ward 2.

The total of votes cast in Stewart County was 3,086.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 

Robert Sleadd Elected To Paris City Commission
Now Sits On Three Local Boards

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Henry County Elections Commission Director Darrin Thompson posts results at the elections office. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-A local candidate made a bit of history today. With his election to the Paris City Commission, Robert Sleadd hit the trifecta of sitting on three local boards at the same time. Sleadd already is a member of the Henry County and Paris Special Schools boards of education. And Sleadd received the second highest number of votes of the four that were running for three seats on commission.

It appears Paris voters were still not ready to elect a woman to the city commission, with Catherine Herrera again coming up short in her bid to serve on the commission.

Mayor Sam Tharpe was re-elected with 1,153 votes, as was Carlton Gerrell with 1,077    votes. Sleadd received 1,099 and Herrera with 844.     

Paris voters made their voices known on the issue of wine in grocery stores by overwhelmingly approving the sale of the adult beverages in stores.

The city of Henry will see a new mayor with the start of the new year. Long-time Mayor Joe Qualls was defeated by challenger Michael Gross, by a vote of 54-45.

On the Henry Board of Aldermen, Carl Wayne Koch Jr. received the most vote with 63, followed by Cindy Rainey with 50 and Faye Lowery with 45.

In Puryear, members of the Board of Aldermen are Mackie Gallimore, with 111 votes and Bryan Hall 98 votes.

On the Constitutional issues, Henry County voters followed the rest of Tennessee by approving all four issues. Issue 1: voting yes, 4,013, no 3118; Issue 2: 4,561; no, 2,507; Issue 3, yes 4,806,; no 2075; and Issue 4, 4,602 yes and 2,172 no.

The total of Henry Countians voting in the election was 7,482, with 3911 of those voting on Election Day.

Obion County Election Results Tallied
Wine In Grocery Stores Overwhelmingly Approved

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County election results have been tallied, with 7,136 votes cast on Election Day, compared with 3,164 cast during the early voting period. Registered voters in Obion County total 20,138.

In Union City, voters overwhelmingly approved the sale of wine in grocery stores, with 1,332 voting for the sale and 806 against.

In Obion, Rodney Underwood beat Glen Parnell for the office of mayor, by a vote of 115-137.

For Obion Council, six were elected: Patsy Barker, 186; James DePriest, 184; Bob Anderson, 183; Gracie Ashley, 202; John Wherry, 158,  and W. Polk Glover, 164. Also on the ballot was Mike Miller 128

For Union City School Board, Dylan Bondurant was overwhelmingly elected to the board with 913votes. Others on the ballot: Doug Durkee, 360; Anna Graham, 457; Barry Adams 322.   

Union City Councilman-At-Large, Mayor Terry Hailey was overwhelmingly re-elected with 1,552. His opponent Jeffrey Gabbert received 460 votes.

For Troy Mayor, Deanna Chappell was elected. She received 219 votes, with Ronnie Johnson receiving 159.

In Kenton, Virginia Davidson was elected Mayor, with 92 votes. Faye Sharp received 81 votes.

Henry County Early Voting Results

Results are in from early voting:

Paris City Commission
Gerrell 596
Herrera 462
Sleadd 614
Tharpe 670
Wine Referendum for Paris
Yes 653
No 382

Henry Mayor
Michael Gross 26
Joe Qualls 11

Henry Aldermen

Carl Koch 23
Faye Lowery 24
Cindy Rainey 14
Mackie Gallimore 19
Bryan Hall 19

Constitutional Amendments

Amendment 1
Yes 2019
No 1373

Amendment 2
Yes 2238
No 1105

Amendment 3
Yes 2385
No 861

Amendment 4
Yes 2244
No 964

Man Indicted For Rape Of Child
'No True Bill' Issued In Child Shooting Death

                     Dustin J. Baker

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Grand Jury indicted a Paris man for rape of a child, while also issuing two rare ‘no true bills’ in two other cases during its all day deliberations.

The grand jury also indicted a former employee of the Paris Board of Public Utilities in a stalking case.

Indicted on a charge of rape of a child was Dustin J. Baker, 27, 205 Wright St., Paris.

The grand jury issued a ‘no true bill’ in the case involving the accidental shooting death of Ana Randoll, age 4. The office of District Attorney Matt Stowe had charged the little girl’s father, Morgan James Randoll, with criminally negligent homicide in the death. 

A ‘no true bill’ also was issued for Denzel Doron Cook, who had been charged with theft.

A ‘no true bill’ means that the grand jury determined there was insufficient cause to indict them.

Former BPU Employee George Atkinson, age 51 of 625 N. Wilson St., Paris, was indicted on a charge of stalking and violation of the sexual offender registry. 

Indicted on kidnapping and domestic assault charges was Brett Wayne Garland, age 23. The case involves charges filed by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office that he held his girlfriend against her will.

The grand jury issued a total of 34 indictments in a wide range of cases, most of which, as usual involve theft, drugs and alcohol charges.

Other indictments include: 

Andrew Adams, age 19, Swor Rd., Springville; and Blake Stone Roberts, age 18 of Bruceton, charged in a string of four-wheeler thefts. Adams was charged with five counts of theft and Roberts with one. 

Ray Arrested For Possession

Dresden, Tenn.-UT Martin sophomore running back Najee Ray of Paris was arrested Sunday and charged with marijuana possession, according to a report in today’s Jackson Sun.

Ray, 21, was pulled over at 5:13 p.m. Sunday on W. Main Street in Dresden on a window tint violation by Police Officer Gary Eddings.

Ray is scheduled to appear at the Weakley County Sheriff's Department Wednesday.

In a statement, UTM Football Coach Jason Simpson said, "We are aware of the situation concerning Najee Ray. Najee made a mistake and has owned up to it. At this moment, Najee is still a member of the UT Martin football team but is suspended indefinitely."

Ray played quarterback at Henry County High School and helped the Patriots win the 2011 Class 5A state championship. 

He shifted to running back for the Skyhawks.

Tipton County Mayor Charged With Using City For Personal Work

Memphis, Tenn. – An investigation by agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the indictment of the Brighton, TN mayor who is accused of using city resources for work on his son’s home.

At the request of 25th District Attorney General Mike Dunavant and following an audit by investigators with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, TBI special agents began investigating Jeffrey Scott on June 17, 2014. During the course of the investigation, agents determined that from October 28th to October 30th, 2013 Scott used city personnel and equipment to assist with construction work of his son’s house.

On Monday, the Tipton County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Scott, 53, with three counts of Official Misconduct and one count of Theft Over $1000. Scott was booked into the Tipton County Jail today on a $5,000 bond. 

Today Is Election Day

Today is Election Day and voters who have not already voted early have until 7 p.m. to cast their ballots.

Tennesseans will be deciding races for governor, U.S. Senate, the General Assembly and changes to the state constitution. Each county has numerous races including city council, school board and other races. Additionally, several of our local communities, including Paris, Union City and McKenzie, have issues on the ballot asking voters whether wine should be served in grocery stores.

$5M Bond Set For Ryan Champion

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cadiz, Ky.-Bond of $5 million was set Monday for the man accused of killing his parents, sister and an acquaintance in Cadiz last week.

Ryan Champion, 36, appeared in Trigg County District Court for his arraignment on four counts of capital murder and one count of capital kidnapping. Judge Jamison Redd read the charges to Champion in court and informed him that, if convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Champion is charged with killing his parents, Lindsey and Joy, his sister Emily and an acquaintance Vito Riservato in the Champion home.

According to WKDZ in Cadiz, affidavits filed by Kentucky State Police Detective Brett Miller in order to obtain search warrants were introduced in court. According to the affidavits, Champion used a .45 caliber handgun to kill his victims.

The affidavits also claim that Champion shot his mother and sister in the head and shot Riservato in the face. 

Additionally, the charge of capital kidnapping was filed because Champion reportedly restrained his sister using duct tape to bind her hands, feet and face before she was shot.

Judge Redd set a preliminary hearing for November 13.

Stowe Hires Assistant District Attorneys

Huntingdon, Tenn. -- District Attorney Matt Stowe has added new members to his prosecution team, especially since one of his first cases will be a major one: the murder and kidnapping charges filed against Zach Adams and Jason Autry in the Holly Bobo case.

Stowe has said he will consider the death penalty against the two, who were charged with Bobo’s 2011 disappearance and death.

Stowe has hired Jennifer Nichols to assist in the Bobo case. She is currently the Chief Assistant District Attorney in Memphis. Carthel Smith of Lexington was sworn in Monday as another assistant district attorney.

Stowe indicated he will hire at least one more new assistant for his office.

Downtown Paris Open Houses Are This Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-The Downtown Paris Association will host Christmas Open Houses in Historic Downtown Paris Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 7, 8 and 9. “This is the kickoff event of Downtown Unwrapped - 2014, a festive slate of activities that runs from early November until the last package is wrapped on Christmas Eve,” according to DPA President Kathy Ray. 

The festivities begin Friday morning with First Presbyterian Church’s French Bazaar where delicious food and craft items can be purchased from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. That evening, shoppers can browse and shop in downtown stores from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. The moving Love Lights a Tree ceremony takes place on the Court House lawn at dusk followed by the Inman Middle School Band performing holiday tunes. 

On Saturday, the W.G. Rhea Library hosts “Cornucopia of Talent” from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. which includes 11 local and regional authors, signing and discussing their books.  Candlelight Open House festivities run from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Downtown shops will be open throughout the day. 

On Sunday from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m., shoppers can continue to enjoy Christmas Open Houses in stores throughout Downtown. Free carriage rides will be offered that day courtesy of Commercial Bank, FirstBank and Security Bank. Rides will load at 2:00 p.m. at the northeast corner of Poplar Street and Washington. The Henry County High School Madrigals will welcome the season by performing in various shops throughout the afternoon. 
The open house weekend schedule is as follows:

Friday, November 7th
· First Presbyterian Church French Bazaar, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the church. 
· Candlelight Open Houses in downtown shops from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
· Love Lights a Tree – dusk on the north side of the Courthouse Lawn
· Inman School Band – Christmas music at 6:30 p.m. on the Courthouse Lawn

Saturday, November 8th
· Cornucopia of Talent at the W.G. Rhea Library from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
· Candlelight Open Houses in downtown shops from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Sunday afternoon, November 9th
· Afternoon Open House in downtown shops from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
· Madrigals – strolling and singing holiday favorites
· Free carriage rides from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., departing from the corner pf Poplar and Washington Streets.

Veterans Free Admission At LBL

Golden Pond, Ky– Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will join all federal agencies in honoring veterans this Veteran’s Day weekend, Saturday-Tuesday, November 8-11, 2014, with free admission to:

· The Homeplace; Sat., Nov. 8

· Woodlands Nature Station; Sun., Nov. 9

· Free 1pm Golden Pond Planetarium show; Mon. and Tue., Nov. 10 and 11

Active and retired members of the armed forces that present their military ID at each attraction will receive free entry for themselves and their families during Veteran’s Day weekend.

“This is our way of saying thank you to our military members who visit Land Between The Lakes,” says Brian Beisel, Customer Service Manager. “We appreciate the service and sacrifices made by all military members across the country.”

As always, access to boat ramps, hiking, biking, scenic driving, and many other outdoor adventures are free for everyone.

Marijuana Growing Operation Found In Benton County

Camden, Tenn. --Rabbit hunters found a marijuana growing operation in the woods of Benton County Saturday and Benton County Sheriff’s Deputies are looking for the owners.

Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher said 31 marijuana plants were found, which would have a street value of some $8,000. He said deputies have had their eye on the patch over the weekend in hopes that the owners would show up.

Christopher said to compound matters for the owners, the marijuana was being grown on land owned by the TVA, which could mean additional charges being filed.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Benton County Sheriff's Office at (731) 584-4632. 

New Scams Circulating In Henry County

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about phone and email scams which have been circulating throughout the county recently.

According to a press release issued by the sheriff’s office, scammers claim they are with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In an example cited by the sheriff’s office, scammers call victims and say the victim owes the IRS money. The scammer will then tell the caller that if they do not provide payment, the IRS will have the police arrest them.

According to the press release, citizens should be aware that the IRS will never call about a payment or taxes without first sending out a bill or notice in the mail. The IRS will never demand payment without providing an opportunity to question or appeal it and will never require you to use a specific payment method such as prepaid debit card, nor will they ask for credit card or debit card numbers over the phone.

Scammers also have been sending out emails, also claiming they are with the IRS and that if you click on the link, it will go to a bogus website that looks like the IRS website.

In another scam currently circulating, the scammer calls a victim claiming to be their favorite grandchild. When the victim says the name of the grandchild, the scammer uses that name and says they are in jail and need money wired to them so they can get out.

According to the press release, citizens are used to verify their facts before sending or wiring any money to anyone.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Zaxby's Opens In Martin

Martin, Tenn.-The lines were long for today’s opening of a Zaxby's Restaurant in Martin.

Zaxby’s celebrated its Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony and customers were already lined up waiting for the doors to open. The new restaurant is located on Commons Drive in Martin. 

The Zaxby’s menu includes chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads. The chain is located mostly in the Southeast United States and has more than 600 locations. The nearest Zaxby’s in our area is in Murray.

"Letters Home" To Be Performed At The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn. – Soldiers serving in the Middle East provide the inspiration and monologues for the critically acclaimed Letters Home presented by Griffin Theatre Company at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center Saturday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m.

Letters Home puts the current wars in Afghanistan & Iraq front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. The production is inspired by the New York Times Op-Ed Article “The Things They Wrote” and the subsequent HBO documentary Last Letters Home, and additionally uses letters and correspondences from Frank Schaeffer’s books, Voices From the Front, Letters Home From America’s Military Family, Faith of Our Sons, and Keeping Faith. 

The play without politicizing gives audiences a powerful portrait of the soldier experience in the ongoing war. The initial production was critically acclaimed and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for “Outstanding New Play.”

Although the title of the play implies that all the letters are from soldiers, the piece includes a small number of correspondences from parents – their words, being no less important. These letters were written under the most difficult of circumstances; the disorientation of training, deployment, separation from family and loved ones and combat, and occupation duties in Afghanistan and Iraq. One theme seems to unite their diverse voices; the belief that the person standing beside you is more important than you are. 

The production uses minimal props and set pieces to dramatize the letters. It employs the use of images and video projected behind the actors as they perform the letters as dramatic monologues. The photos and video used in the production are taken directly from actual soldiers’ blogs and websites. 

The Griffin Theatre Company was established in 1988. It is a not-for-profit, professional theatre company located in Chicago. 

Tickets for Letters Home are $20 each plus tax with discounts available for veterans. To purchase tickets, visit The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, call 731.986.2100, or go to

UTM To Host Home-School Brainstorm Session

Student workers Luke Studard, of Dyersburg, a junior electrical engineering major, and Liocia Bass, of Whiteville, a senior social work major, are pictured in the Paul Meek Library.

Martin, Tenn. — Ideas, information and resources for home schooling will be presented at a “Home-School Brainstorm” event, 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6, at the Paul Meek Library on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The brainstorm is for individuals interested in learning more about lesson plans, teaching resources, instructional aids, Ellison dies (for bulletin board art and cutouts for graphics) and digital resources to enhance the home-schooling experience. 
Reservations are required no later than Nov. 5 by calling Sara Rachels, 731-881-7083, or Cindy Gaylord, 731-881-7078. Reservations can also be made via e-mail at or 

Flapjack Fundraiser Is Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-You can have breakfast for lunch and dinner and even breakfast for breakfast at the annual Flapjack Fundraiser all day Thursday this week at the First Baptist Church in Paris. It will be held from6 a.m.-7 p.m.

The event formerly was the Kiwanis Pancake Day and uses the same large circular grill. The event is for the Henry County Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse in Paris. 

Tickets are available for purchase for $8 from Merison's, Leach's Music, Jack's Java, any board member or at the Carl Perkins Center.  For additional information please call 731-642-8455.

Arts Council Corrects "Messiah" Location

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Arts Council has corrected the information it released earlier on the open casting call for the Community Concert that will perform Handel’s “Messiah” in December. The performance will be 3 p.m. Sunday, December 7.

Practices start Tuesday, November 3 at the First Baptist Church in Paris from 6:30-8:30 p.m. continuing every Tuesday in November and December. All are welcome. It is under direction of Amy Martin.

For more info, call 642-3955 or

Burst Of Fall Colors At Cottage Grove School

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Cottage Grove School, home to generations of schoolchildren, is graced with a burst of fall color. Even though closed as a public school, the Cottage Grove School is now a private Christian School. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Panera Bread To Locate In Murray

Murray, Ky.-The Murray Ledger & Times is reporting that Panera Bread plans to open a restaurant next year in Murray.
Amanda Burns, public relations manager for Panera Bread, confirmed to the Ledger & Times that the company is targeting a spring 2015 opening for the bakery-cafe. David Roberts, director of planning and engineering for the City of Murray, said the company had submitted site plans and drawings to Building Official Keith Miller for review. 

Panera reportedly plans to build on N. 12th Street in front of Office Depot and near the Shoppes of Murray.

Murray Mayor Bill Wells told the Murray newspaper that the city and Chamber had been in talks with Panera for some time, but didn’t want to announce it until it was finalized.

UTM To Present "Birth Of A Nation" Program

Martin, Tenn. — Dr. Paul McEwan will present “‘The Birth of a Nation,’ Racism, and the Nature of Cinema: 100 Years of Controversy” at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 5, as the 2014-15 Academic Speakers Series continues at the University of Tennessee at Martin. The presentation is free and open to the public and will be held in Campbell Auditorium, located in the Andy Holt Humanities Building. 

McEwan is associate professor of media and communication and director of film studies at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Penn. He specializes in the history of film and will discuss the landmark film “The Birth of a Nation” directed by D.W. Griffith that was released almost 100 years ago. The film is noted for its groundbreaking film techniques and also for its overt racism and positive portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan. 

He is the author of a forthcoming volume on “The Birth of a Nation” in the BFI Classics series, as well as articles and essays on the film that have appeared in “Film History and Cinema Journal.” He also wrote an article on the legacy of Griffith’s “Intolerance” for the forthcoming “Companion to D.W. Griffith” and other books and essays on Canadian cinema and film pedagogy. 

The Academic Speakers Series annually brings top speakers to UT Martin to meet with the university’s Honors Programs students and to offer presentations that are open to the public. Honors Programs and other university organizations sponsor the series. 
The complete list of 2014-15 speakers is found at and select “Academic Speakers Program.”

Helping Hand Ministry Collecting Items For Families

Union City, Tenn.-Helping Hand Ministry will be collecting items for needy Obion County families from 1-5 p.m. November 7-9 at the Peddler’s Mart.

They will accept baby food, diapers, children’s underclothing, non-perishable food and other items. Helping Hand Ministry provides free food, 25 pounds per family of five, to Obion County families in need of assistance.

Peddler’s Mart is located at 222 S. First St., Union City.

Holiday French Bazaar Is Friday

Paris, Tenn.-The First Presbyterian Church annual French Holiday Bazaar will be held this Friday. The popular event features cakes, cookies, pies, bread, candies, soups, sides, casseroles, craft items, stainless steel cutlery, utensils, Christmas decorative and miscellaneous items.

The event is held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church.

UC Man Arrested For Aggravated Burglary

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man is being held in the Obion County Jail on charges of aggravated burglary and robbery after he broke into a home Saturday afternoon.

According to the police report, James Fitzgerald, 610 Glendale, was arrested by police on the porch of his home. Police had responded to a report from another Glendale St. address, where he reportedly used a knife to pry a door open at his ex-girlfriend’s house after she wouldn’t let him in.

He grabbed her phone when she tried to call 911 and broke the phone after he told her she had property of his under the sink that he wanted.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014 

Update: KSP Announce Missing Man Located 

Kentucky Police Seek Public Help In Missing Man Case

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Graves County, Ky.-The Kentucky State Police is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing Graves County man. Kevin Skinner has been missing from the Dublin, Kentucky, area, since earlier today. Calloway County Deputy Debbie Boaz said Skinner is reportedly on foot.

Family members stated that Skinner sent a text message stating that he had fallen and was in a field across from his house. Troopers responded and searched the area, but were unable to locate him. His family reported that Skinner may be suffering from a mental illness.

KSP was assisted by Graves County Sheriff Office, McCracken County Sheriff office, Graves County EMS and Calloway County Deputy Debbie Boaz and her blood hounds. If anyone has contact with Kevin Skinner, please contact Kentucky State Police, Post 1 at 270-856-3721.

Skinner was a past winner of "America's Got Talent".

Raising Funds For Hoofbeats Of Hope

Jeff Darnell of Mayfield, right, looks over the Dodge Viper 200 owned by Billy Waddell, who was just finishing shining it up. (Shannon McFarlin photo). 

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-It was windy and cold but that didn’t stop hardy souls from attending the annual Hoofbeats of Hope Fall Festival at Cardinal Park in Cottage Grove Saturday. A full day of activities including children’s games, a car and motorcycle show, pet contest, music by Jim Merrell and Friends, cake walk and supper of chili, burgers and hot dogs. 

Hoofbeats is a therapeutic horseback training facility near Cottage Grove.

David Foy and Kenny Erwin manned the grill. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Colby Brandon and his sons Sawyer and Jennings look over the 1940 Ford owned by Bob Trompower of Medina. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Christina Hutson Wins $100 In Downtown Bucks

Paris, Tenn.-Christina Hutson of Puryear came closest to correctly guessing the weight of “Pumpkin Pete” at this year’s Spooktacular and won $100 in Downtown Paris bucks. The guess-the-weight contest is part of the annual event sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association. (Photo by Rick Conger).

Saturday, November 1, 2014

High School Football Brackets Announced

Nashville, Tenn.-Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) brackets for high school football were released today.

Number one seed Union City and number two seed Hollow Rock-Bruceton received first round bye next week in Class 1A. Also in Class 1A, Humboldt will host Dresden and Lake County will host South Fulton.

In Class 2A, number two seeded McKenzie received a first round bye next week. Trenton Peabody will host Huntingdon on Friday night.

Number one seeded Camden Central host number eight seed Lewis County on Friday night in Class 3A. Four seed Martin Westview will host five seed Milan.

Henry County, with a number two seed, will host Mumford at home on Friday night in the first round of Class 5A.

Beauty Of Nature Is All Around

Big Sandy, Tenn.-The beauty of nature abounds. Charlie Allen of Paris captured the beautiful yellow colors at a creek near Big Sandy. Allen said the colors were that vivid naturally--no retouching at all on the photo.

MSU Receives Major Research Grant For $149,940 

Murray, Ky. — Murray State University’s department of chemistry was awarded a highly competitive Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for $149,940 to purchase a Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA).

Three chemistry faculty members will serve together at the helm of the grant — Dr. Kevin Miller, assistant professor, serves as the principal investigator, while Dr. Daniel Johnson, associate professor, and Dr. Rachel Allenbaugh, assistant professor, are the co-principal investigators.

The DMA allows for the mechanical testing of polymeric films, fibers and liquid crystalline materials under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. Such testing is important in order to determine if the mechanical strength of newly developed materials match or exceed those that are currently used in commercial products. Application areas that may be directly affected include coatings, adhesives, electromechanical devices such as actuators, separation membranes, microfluidics and liquid crystalline devices.

Additionally, the overall suite of instruments will enhance the education of students who enroll in the new polymer and materials science track in the chemistry. The new degree track was offered for the first time in the fall of 2014 and emphasizes the industrial and engineering aspects of chemistry.

Week 10 High School Football Finals:

Henry County 42, West Creek 28
Hickman County 47, Stewart County 20
Fairview 21, Waverly Central 7
Milan 49, Obion County 21
McKenzie 20, West Carroll 18
Crockett County 42, Martin Westview 18
Huntingdon 34, Dresden 6
Dyersburg 27, South Gibson 7...
Trenton Peabody 31, Humboldt 14
Graves County 38, Marshall County 6
Mayfield 40, Caldwell County 12
Murray 48, Fulton County 6
Crittenden County 36, Fulton City 14

Open Casting Call For "Messiah" 

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Arts Council has issued an open casting call for the Community Concert that will perform Handel’s “Messiah” in December. The performance will be 3 p.m. Sunday, December 7.

Practices start Tuesday, November 3 at First United Methodist Church in Paris from 6:30-8:30 p.m. continuing every Tuesday in November and December. All are welcome. It is under direction of Amy Martin.

For more info, call 642-3955 or

Friday, October 31, 2014 

Breaking News:

Son Charged In Quadruple Murder

Cadiz, Ky.- Kentucky State Police Detectives have charged 36-year-old Ryan Champion with the deaths of his mother, father, and sister last week in their Cadiz home.

He is also being criminally charged with the death of Vito Riservato, who also was found dead in the home.  State Police has been actively investigating the murders of Joy Champion, Lindsey Champion, Emily Champion and Vito Riservato since they were found at the Champion's residence in Cadiz on October 26th.  Since that time, investigators have been gathering evidence and speaking to a number or people culminating enough probable cause for an arrest warrant.


State Police have formally charged Ryan Champion with (4) counts of Capital Murder and (1) count of Capital Kidnapping.  Champion is currently being processed at the Christian County Detention Center.    

The investigation is ongoing.  Kentucky State Police has been assisted by Cadiz Police Department, Trigg County Sheriff's Office, Christian County Sheriff's Office, and Hopkinsville Police Department.

Fugitive Missing For 10 Years Found Dead In Benton County

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Holladay, Tenn. - A federal fugitive who had been declared dead 10 years ago was found after he committed suicide Wednesday in his home in Holladay in Benton County.

The U.S. Marshals Service announced in a news release that William D. “Worm” Hunter, age 75, was found hanging in his mobile home by a neighbor who knew him as “Kenneth Hamilton”.

Hunter had disappeared in 2004 and his family had him declared dead in 2013.

Hunter had been convicted in April of 2004 on gun and drug charges. He had been scheduled for sentencing in July of that year but had already fled.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms had been investigating Hunter and found six firearms, approximately 40 pounds of marijuana, 60 gallons of "moonshine" liquor, and approximately $53,000 in cash. None of the 234 quart-jars of liquor had tax stickers affixed to them. The $53,000 in cash was found hidden in a bathroom. 

After he was arrested, he was released on $75,000, and disappeared despite an intensive search for him.  

Commercial Bank Celebrates Halloween In Style 

Paris, Tenn.-The ghouls and goblins are all over Paris today for the Halloween holiday and no more so than at local businesses. At Commercial Bank and Trust, the bank directors and employees were dressed up in costume at the main office and the branches today. At the main office, these folks dressed up like the characters from the Wizard of Oz, with Community President Clint Davis as Oz; Corporate President David Flowers and Olivia Rice as Scarecrows, Kathleen Turner as Cowardly Lion; Lola Teague as the Wicked Witch; Georgia Smyth as Glinda the Good Witch, Janet Bomar as the Tin Man and Amber Long as Dorothy. Other groups coming together with costumes at the main bank and its branches were “The Spice Girls”, “101 Dalmations” and “The Nerds”. (Commercial Bank photos).

The 101 Dalmations and Cruella DeVille from Commercial Bank main office in Paris.

The gang at Commercial Bank And Trust in Union City got into the act, too, dressed like dominoes.

Discovery Park Spotlighted In Washington Post

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America is now in the national spotlight. With an Associated Press article written about the popular attraction, Discovery Park was given prominent play in The Washington Post on Thursday.

The AP article highlights Discovery Park’s immense success and the new exhibits that are still to come which will attract even more visitors.

The article opens with this: “When Discovery Park of America opened on a cornfield in rural Tennessee, its founders expected the museum described as a “mini-Smithsonian” to draw about 150,000 visitors in its first year. They exceeded that goal by 120,000, with a total of 270,000 people visiting since the museum opened Nov. 1, 2013.”
For the article, the AP reporter interviewed Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy, Union City Elementary School Guidance Counselor Susan Searcy and took photos at the park. The article describes the rural atmosphere in Union City and how unlikely it may have seemed to some that such an attraction would be located here. 

Rippy said for the article that the exhibits are of such quality that the word about the ‘mini-Smithsonian’ has spread far and wide.

Discovery Park has much to offer everyone. Sitting on 50-acres, it features exhibits that allow young and old to look both at the past and into the future. There is an old train depot, 100-year-old church, grist mill, log cabins, plenty of gardens and more that provide a glimpse of rural America through the ages. There also is an earthquake simulator, 120-foot glass observation tower and exhibits about natural history, Native Americans, energy, transportation, science, the military, space flight and the ever-popular dinosaurs.

Rippy said Discovery Park intends to produce future exhibits on the Titanic and a moon simulation. “You can’t do it all in one day,” Rippy said.

Huge Turnout For Sheriff's Office Turnip Greens Giveaway

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and a few inmates from the jail were at the ready to hand out free turnip greens this morning at the sheriff's office. The greens were grown in the inmate gardens. A huge crowd was on hand and Captain Damon Lowe said although the giveaway began at 8 a.m., cars started lining up at 7:10 a.m. “We had 242 bags to give away and gave all of them to people,” Lowe said. Cars were lined up all the way out of the parking lot and into the road. (Sheriff’s Office photo).

Wilson Cautions Public About License Revocation Law

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn. – Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson has cautioned the public that drivers in Tennessee are surprised each day by what is still a fairly unknown law. 

In July of 2011 the state legislature passed a law that revokes the driver’s license of any Tennessee licensed driver with unpaid court costs, fees, fines or litigation tax that are not paid within one year of the case being completed, Wilson said.

In Henry County, he said, the revocation list recently transmitted to the DOS had over 150 driver’s licenses listed to be revoked immediately.  The amounts owed ranged from $22 to $5000.

Wilson said, “Those impacted by this new law do not receive any warning from the Department of Safety (DOS) prior to being revoked.  The only notification comes after the revocation is placed, by mail to the last known address.”

Driving on a revoked license is an arrestable offense in most states and you could go to jail.  The law does not apply to juvenile court cases, traffic offenses, civil cases or restitution, he said, but it does apply to criminal cases.

 “We encourage anyone who may suspect they owe any type of fees, fines or costs in a Henry County Criminal Court, to visit our office on the second floor of the courthouse and inquire about any cases they may fall within the boundaries of this law.  You can pay them in full or request to be considered for a court approved payment plan in order to avoid revocation of their driver’s license.”

Thursday Night Week 10 Football Finals:

Camden Central 21, Creek Wood 7
Union City 70, Halls 0
Lake County 52, Gibson County 14
South Fulton 32, Greenfield 6
Hollow Rock-Bruceton 48, Gleason 16
Jo Byrns 49, Houston County 0

$400M In Transportation Projects Put On Hold
Carroll, Benton, Gibson Projects Affected

Washington, D.C.– Tennessee’s Highway Director John Schroer has notified state lawmakers that he is delaying $400 million in road projects until fiscal 2016 due to what he called “instability in the flow” of federal dollars.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Director John Schroer said in a letter dated today that 12 construction projects and 21 right-of-way acquisitions will be affected. All were set to be finished in fiscal 2015.

"While these projects are only delayed and not canceled, they represent almost $400 million in transportation investments that could be helping to modernize our transportation network and reducing congestion and making Tennessee a more attractive destination for economic expansion," Schroer said in the letter, which was released to the media.

In our area, the projects that have been put on hold include two Carroll County projects and one in Gibson County, all of which involve planned improvements to State Route 76; and a project in Benton County which was to construct a westbound truck climbing lane on I-40.

Schroer advised state lawmakers to lobby the Tennessee congressional delegation for a long-term federal transportation bill. Federal money makes up about half of TDOT's annual budget.

"The instability in the flow of these dollars is certainly having an impact on Tennesseans today," he said.

"Our competition in the developing markets of China, India and Brazil, among others is making the investments in infrastructure that we are not making what will ultimately impact our ability to be economically competitive on the world stage," Schroer said in his letter.

UTM Honors Three At Homecoming

Martin, Tenn.- Retired WNBA coach Lin Dunn, WPSD Local 6’s Jennifer Horbelt and Dr. Robert M. Smith, president emeritus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, received awards Oct. 25 during a program in the Paul Meek Library as part of UT Martin’s Homecoming 2014 celebration. Dunn, of Dresden, Tenn., received the Outstanding Alumni Award; Horbelt, of Paducah, Ky., received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, and Smith, of Franklin, Tenn., received the Chancellor’s Award for University Service. The three recipients were recognized during halftime of the UT Martin and Austin Peay State University football game at Hardy M. Graham Stadium.

Henry School Family Night Set For Tuesday

Henry, Tenn.-Henry Elementary School will host a Family Night from 3-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 4 at the school. It will feature “The Dome”, an indoor 3-D IMAX Theater funded by the Henry County Plus Endowment Grant. Students will visit the show inside the Dome during school hours and parents/guardians, family members and community members are invited during the Family Night event.

Here is the list of show times:

o 3:00-3:30 “Earth’s Wild Ride”- Take a canyon ride through a volcano.

o 3:30-4:00 “Force Five” -View extreme weather conditions.

o 4:00-4:30 “Night of the Titanic”- Explore facts about the Titanic.

o 4:30-5:00 “Passport to the Universe”-Journey into the Solar System.

o 5:00-5:30 “Earth’s Wild Ride”- Take a canyon ride through a volcano.

o 5:30-6:00“Force Five”- View extreme weather conditions.

o 6:00-6:30 “Night of the Titanic”- Explore facts about the Titanic.

o 6:30-7:00 “Passport to the Universe”-Journey into the Solar System.

o 7:00-7:30 “Earth’s Wild Ride”- Take a canyon ride through a volcano.

· Students and parents/guardians will also have the opportunity to:

o Complete A-R reading in the Library and computer lab and enter your name for free Book Fair items. 

o Participate in board games together.

o Have their face painted, make a mini Dome, make pine cone bird feeders, and complete a leaf rub.

o View “Critter Crates” from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

o View “Birds of Prey” brought by the Paris Landing State Park.

The Healthy Henry School Team will be distributing free popcorn and water with healthy eating tips at the concession stand.

Bussell Town Unit To Be Closed For Refuge 

Parsons, Tenn.-Tennessee Wildlife Refuge Manager Barron Crawford has announced today that the Bussel Town Unit of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge outside of Parsons, will be closed to all public access from November 15, 2014 through March 15, 2015 for waterfowl sanctuary.  This closure was discussed as a strategy in the Comprehensive Conservation Plan that was approved in October of 2010.

The refuge is the only waterfowl sanctuary locally surrounded by six state WMAs within a 10-mile radius that allow waterfowl hunting.  Waterfowl sanctuary is a critical part of annual waterfowl conservation and management.  Sanctuary provides areas where birds can rest, gain fat, and develop pair bonds that improve the likelihood of successful nesting in the spring and summer.

Waterfowl need sanctuary from human disturbance, especially during winter whick is an important season in the life of waterfowl.  Disturbance-free habitat enables some species of waterfowl to prepare biologically for spring migration and reproduction   Disturbance can interrupt resting and feeding bouts resulting in a loss of energy and lowering of body weight.  

The refuge has an objective of producing a minimum of 350 acres of corn with an average 100 bushels per acre.  

This closure will impact some anglers that access the Tennessee River at the old pump station before March 16th.   The refuge staff hopes for public understanding that this closure is necessary to ensure that we meet our stated waterfowl objectives for the refuge.  The refuge does plan to develop a waterfowl observation area that will allow visitors an opportunity to observe birds on the refuge during the sanctuary period.

If anyone has any questions they can call the refuge office at 731-642-2091.  The Service regrets any inconvenience this may cause the visiting public.

Thursday, October 30, 2014  

Lakes Region Coalition Receives Federal Grant

Paris, Tenn.-The Land Between The Lakes Regional Coalition received $7,500 in federal support today from USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode and Congressman Stephen Fincher. The grant is designed to help with marketing efforts to boost tourism in the area  around Land Between The Lakes. The presentation took place at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. Pictured left to right are Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Development Vice President Michele Atkins, Henry County Extension; Bill Stevens, Trigg County Kentucky Tourism; Greg Barnes, Land Between the Lakes; Brian Mc Cutcheon, Fort Donelson; Tyler Hayes, USDA Rural Development; Scott Turner, Land Between the Lakes; Jennifer Wheatley, Chamber Director; Goode; Fincher; Tina Tilley, Land Between the Lakes; Senator Lamar Alexander representative Matt Varino; Harriet Cannon, USDA; Gary McEntire, Paris Landing State Park; and Blake Swaggart, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. (Chamber photo).

Ribbon-Cutting Held At White Squirrel Winery

White Squirrel ribbon-cutting (Amy Keathley photo).

Kenton, Tenn.-The eagerly-awaited ribbon-cutting at the White Squirrel Winery and Vineyard was held today at the 90-acre family farm. Owned and operated by the Sanderson family, there are 18 acres of vineyards, as well as peach, apple and pear orchards and blueberry and blackberry brambles, all of which are used to create the White Squirrel wine. 

The Sandersons already are producing nine different types of wine and the grounds include the winery with large custom-made tasting room and a bed and breakfast suite built above the winery.

Customers can look out on the lush fields from the tasting room, where they can enjoy their wine with an assortment of cheese and crackers, gourmet sausages and award-winning Nashville chocolates. The gift shop also sells a large assortment of sweets, sauces, salsa, jams and jellies and butters, as well as gift sets.

Kenton is home to the largest colony of albino squirrels, which is how the Sandersons hit on the name for the Winery.

The White Squirrel s open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. Sundays. It is located at 4385S Hwy 45W, Kenton. Phone 731-796-1713.

Lindsey Frilling and Katie Keathley from Obion Chamber of Commerce. (Amy Keathley photo).

Motorists Still Steered Around Grain Spill

Union City,  Tenn.-Motorists are still being steered around the grain spill at The Anderson’s Grain facility in Union City. Thousands of bushels of corn spilled out onto the streets after a building at The Anderson’s Grain facility on Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd ruptured Tuesday. (Amy Keathley photo).

Today Last Day Of Early Voting

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Today is the last day of early voting for the general election and turnout so far is low in our area.

Henry County Elections Commission Director Darrin Thompson said Wednesday “was the first day we broke the 300 mark” of voters. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we end up with fewer voters for this election than we did in August.” 

As of 9:50 a.m. today, the total of early voters was 3,070, Thompson said.

The Henry County Elections Office will be open until 7 p.m. tonight for the convenience of last-minute early voters.

In Obion County, the story is the same, with Elections Director Leigh Schlagel reporting low voter turnout there, too. She echoed Thompson‘s remarks and said, “We’re not even getting as many voters as we had in August.”

The Obion County Elections Office will be open until 4:30 p.m. today.

"Shop Local" Campaign A "Great Success"

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The “Shop, Eat, Live and Be Local Initiative” launched a year ago by the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce has been a great success, according to Chamber Member Carlton Gerrell, who initiated the campaign.

“We have experienced eight months of positive retail sales growth in our community,“ Gerrell said, and thanked the community for its participation. The campaign stresses the importance of shopping and doing business on a local level.

Gerrell said the success of the campaign “all comes from you, the great citizens of Henry County. We want to encourage you to keep up the good work, think before you make that next purchase, is this something that I can buy in Henry County? Remember Shop-Eat - Live and Be Local. We are better together.”

Farm Hands Quartet To Perform At Pleasant Valley 100th Celebration

Union City, Tenn.-Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church in Union City will be celebrating the 100-year anniversary of its sanctuary Sunday, November 2, with a guest speaker and award-winning bluegrass quartet.

Guest speaker Rev. Harrell Nation, superintendent of the Brownsville and Dyersburg District will address the church at 10:30 a.m. during services.

The Farm Hands Bluegrass Quartet will perform at 6 p.m. The Farm Hands are veterans of the Grand Ole Opry and Grammy Award winners.

The church was established in 1875 with the initial services conducted in a brush arbor near its current location. Eight women felt the need for a church to serve those who lived in the country and were a long wagon ride from the Methodist church located in Union City.

Seats will fill fast. Bring your own comfortable chair. Meet in the gym of the Christian Life Center. A love offering will be taken.

Pleasant Valley UMC is located at 1422 Pleasant Valley Ave., Union City, Tenn. 
More information: Contact the church office at 731-885-5203 or Rev. David Sauer at 731-592-9347.

Shepherd Family To Be Featured At "Fish Tunes" Event

Paris, Tenn.-The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will be hosting a new event called “Fireside Tunes and Tales” set for 1-4 p.m. Saturday, November 1 at the new visitor center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville. 

The event will feature roaring fires, gorgeous views of Kentucky Lake, live music, storytellers, hot apple cider and s’mores all free to the public.

Bring the family out on a beautiful fall weekend to enjoy the new visitor center exhibits and stay for this unique event! Against a backdrop of nature, the day features live music out on the refuge visitor center back patio played by The Shepherd Family, a local marvel of talent all in one family. The music style will range from folk music to bluegrass to gospel. 

While keeping warm by a roaring fireplace, our visitors will enjoy some “tall tales” told by storytellers Bob Valentine, Mark Johnson, and Bill Williams. Come hear about the antics of “brer Rabbit and brer Fox”, hear harrowing tales of the “harry man” as well as mixed up fairytales such as “Rindercella”. Free hot apple cider and s’mores will help to enhance the perfect fall afternoon. 

The refuge would like to thank the sponsors of this event, the Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge. They will also have the Blue Heron Bookstore open for business all Saturday. In case of rain, the event will be moved indoors to the fireplace inside the visitor center lobby.

The new refuge visitor is always open Monday – Saturday 8:00 – 4:00 pm except on government holidays. For more information about this event and the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge please call 731-642-2091.

"Black Out" Show Friday At Patriot Stadium

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County High School Marching Patriots will be performing its annual “Black Out” show at t...he football game this Friday night. According to the band public relations officer Sherry Hutchison, the band will perform a special performance of its show, “The Dark Side of the Moon”, performed entirely in the dark, with the band and instruments covered in glow sticks.

Patriot Stadium lights will be turned off after the game and the field is cleared for the performance. “Be sure to say and watch,” Hutchison said. “It’s something to see!”.

It's also Senior Night and the last game of the regular season. The Patriots play West Creek from Clarksville.

"Igniting Innovation" Set At UTM

The speakers at the inaugural event: Bryan Huddleston , Robbie Goldsmith, and Daniel Burke.

Martin, Tenn. — The inaugural class of the Ned McWherter Institute for Collaboration and Innovation includes a political science major from Huntingdon and they will put their leadership skills to work by hosting a UT Martin-sponsored event called Igniting Innovation, 7 p.m., Sat., Nov. 1. The event will be held in the university’s Student Life Center located at 199 Moody Street. 

Caroline Parish, junior political science major from Huntingdon, is among the inaugural "McWherter Innovators" class. “I think the main purpose of Igniting Innovation is to inspire the students’ entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. “We know that there’s a wealth of opportunity here at the university, and our hope is to really engage the student population in innovative thinking.”

Three speakers will discuss their backgrounds in business and entrepreneurship. The speakers are Bryan Huddleston, Nashville Technology Council president and CEO, Robbie Goldsmith, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s director of community engagement and music, and Daniel Burke, owner and president of Burke Financial Group, LLC. Burke holds a finance degree from UT Martin.

Founded on the example set by Ned Ray McWherter, former governor and speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, the Ned McWherter Institute for Collaboration and Innovation provides students with opportunities to build upon their experiences in leadership and innovation while attending UT Martin. 

Igniting Innovation is free and open to the public. 

HCHS Band Chili Supper And Auction Is November 4

Paris, Tenn.-The Annual Henry County Marching Band Chili Supper and Silent Auction will be held November 4 at the First Methodist Church in Paris. Since that is Election Day, band members invite everyone to “Go Rock the Vote” and then stop by and have some tasty chili and homemade desserts. 

On the menu is all you can eat chili, pimento cheese sandwich or hotdog with ALL the fixings, homemade dessert and drink (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Water). $8 Ticket. Tickets available from any band student and at the door.

Lunch 11am – 2pm, Supper 4pm – 6:30pm

Lunch time delivery is available of eitht or more meals (please specify sandwich or hotdog and drink) Please preorder deliveries by Friday October 31, 2014 so that all deliveries and walk-ins can be fulfilled. Please email your delivery orders to mgo2251@gmail or you can fax to 731-642-4331.

Costume Party At Discovery Park 

Union City, Tenn.-Friday, October 31st, is the last night of Libation Station at Discovery Park of America for the season, and they’re planning a Halloween Shindig.

Libation Station will be open from 5 until 9 p.m. at the Train Depot. Although adult beverages will be served, it will be a family friendly evening, with kid friendly drinks available, too.

Childr...en are welcome to "trick or treat" and check out the pumpkin patch! The Halloween Costume Contest will begin at 7:30 p.m. with small prizes awarded. Don't forget your camera because they’re having a "Bring Your Own Camera" photo booth.

Come as a witch, princess, pirate, ghost...or, just come as you....everyone is welcome and admission is FREE.

Phillipy Named Director Of State Ag Museum

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson today announced the appointment of Gregory Phillipy as director of the Tennessee Agricultural Museum.

“We’re excited to have Greg lead our museum at this critical juncture when we’re trying to expand our efforts to better educate and inform children and adults about the importance of agriculture’s past, present and future,” Johnson said. “Along with his Tennessee roots, he brings extensive experience and knowledge.”

Phillipy’s appointment is effective immediately as he assumes responsibilities previously performed by Anne Dale who served the museum for 25 years. In this role, Phillipy will oversee the collection and care of more than 3,500 artifacts.  He will also head the educational and outreach programs for the organization.

Phillipy’s background in museum management, preservation and education is extensive.  

He grew up in the Crieve Hall neighborhood of Nashville.  He graduated from John Overton High School and went on to obtain an undergraduate degree in Sculpture/Art History and a master’s degree in Public History/Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University.  Phillipy also earned a master’s degree in Fine Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Zach Adams Indicted Again

Chester County, Tenn.-The main suspect in the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo has been indicted on another charge.

A Chester County Grand Jury indicted Zach Adams of Decatur County on a charge of introducing countraband into a jail. 

Adams was arrested earlier this year in Decatur County, but transferred to Chester County shortly after his arrest. According to the indictment, Adams was found with meth in his pocket when he was booked into the Chester County Jail.

Bobo was abducted outside her home in 2011 and skeletal remains identified as belonging to her were found in recent weeks. Both Adams and Jason Autrey, also of Decatur Co., have been charged with first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping of Bobo.

Free Turnip Greens 

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff's Office will be giving away free turnip greens grown at the inmate gardens this year on Friday morning.

Capt. Damon Lowe said the turnip greens will be handed out at the sheriff's office on Forrest Heights beginning at 8 a.m. He said the greens will be handed out until they are all gone.

Rescheduled Hoofbeats Festival Is Saturday 

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The annual Hoofbeats for Hope Fall Festival will be held all day Saturday at Cardinal Park in the heart of Cottage Grove. If you like fancy cars, talented pets, cake walks,live music and more, it will be the place to be.

The day will be jam-packed with activities, beginning with the car and motorcycle show from 9 a.m. to noon; cake walk and kids’ games starting at 10 a.m.; corn hole tournament at noon; agility dog demo at 12:30 p.m.; pet show at 1 p.m.; and bingo at 3 p.m. 

The day will be capped off just right at 5 p.m. with chili and chili dogs served in the pavilion and the band Jim Merrell and Friends from Paris will perform.

The event will benefit the good works by the Hoofbeats for Hope therapeutic horseback riding program. Any questions, call 731-782-6141.

It was originally scheduled for earlier but cancelled due to weather conditions.

Train Derails In Gibson County

Milan, Tenn. -- Still another train has derailed in our area; this time on the Milan Arsenal property.

Milan Police said a train belonging to the Arsenal derailed Wednesday afternoon. The site has been cleared and traffic in that area is open again.

Earlier, traffic was backed up on Highway 104 as a result of the derailment on the grounds of the former Milan Army Ammunition Plant, according to police.

Quarter Moon Lights Up Sky

Paris, Tenn.-The historic White House in Whitehall Circle looks especially impressive when highlighted by the quarter moon. The family of Dr. James Hudson now lives in the antebellum home. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Reelfoot Rural Ministries Pantry No Longer Bare

Obion, Tenn.-Thanks to donations from individuals and churches in our area, the cupboards at Reelfoot Rural Ministry are no longer bare.

Reelfoot Officials said there is now enough food in the pantry to meet the needs of their clients for nearly a month, thanks to the donations of both food and money.

They also thanked adult volunteers from Martin, Union City, Paris, and Dyersburg First United Methodist Churches and all the help from students and leaders from Dyersburg First United Methodist and the Union City First Assembly of God youth groups.

The Ministry is located in Obion and serves underprivileged families and individuals in our local area.

Union City Family Among Those Receiving UTM Awards

Martin, Tenn. — A Union City family are among five who received Small Business Awards from the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at the UT Martin Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center. The awards were given at a reception held at the university’s Holland McCombs Center.

 Awards announced were: John Clark, First State Bank, Tennessee Financial Services Champion Award; Darlene Adkins, UT Martin, Faculty Star Award; Davis Automotive, Charlie and Karen Davis, Success Story Star Award; Monograms & More, Anita Allen Bell, Rising Star Award; and Final Flight Outfitters, Kelly Powers, Rising Star Award.

 Awards information includes the following:

  •Kelly, Tripp and Ed Powers own Final Flight Outfitters in Union City and also received the Rising Star Award. Final Flight is a mail-order catalog company, E-commerce site and waterfowl retail store that specializes in high-end hunting products. The family business, which started in 1998 out of a storage trailer, now offers a product showroom covering more than 25,000 square feet. Final Flight currently has more than 30 employees.

  •Charlie and Karen Davis are the owners of Davis Automotive in Martin. The Success Story Star Award honors one of the region’s small business successes and its role in the local economy. Davis Automotive, located at 709 Lindell Street, is Weakley County’s largest auto repair business. In October 2011, Charlie and Karen purchased and remodeled the former IGA/Save-A-Lot building located across from the former location, converting it into an auto facility with the latest equipment and diagnostic technology. As the business grew, the TSBDC at the UT Martin REED Center provided guidance and consultation for improving the online experience for Davis Automotive customers.

•Anita Bell is owner of Monograms & More in Martin. The Rising Star Award recognizes entrepreneurs who have demonstrated high growth potential and job creation to create a positive economic impact in the region. Monograms & More is an embroidery, screen-printing and specialty gift shop. This year, the TSBDC at the UT Martin REED Center assisted Bell in obtaining financing to complete a major interior renovation of the Monograms & More building.

•John Clark is president/CEO of Community Bancshares, Inc., and president/CEO of First State Bank. The statewide Tennessee Financial Services Champion Award goes to an individual who assists small businesses through exemplary efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of accounting or financial services. Under Clark’s leadership, First State Bank was a significant contributor and supporter of the UT Martin REED Center, which helps individuals start or improve small businesses.

•Darlene Adkins is a UT Martin accounting lecturer. The Faculty Star Award honors a UT Martin faculty member who provides time and expertise to TSBDC’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Adkins, who has more than 20 years of experience in accounting and auditing positions, serves as an accounting consultant and teaches QuickBooks classes for the TSBDC at the UT Martin REED Center.

166 Graduated From DARE

Paris, Tenn.-166 fifth graders were graduated from the DARE program today in ceremonies held at the Krider Performing Arts Center (KPAC). Guest speaker was Brenna Smith of the Tennessee DARE Officers Youth Advisory Board. Paris Police Officers Jeremye Whitaker and Patrolman Jordan Klutts are DARE Officers for the local department. DARE essay winners were Tayor and Austin Dunegan. In photo in front row are Taylor and Austin Dunagan; second row, Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker, Paris Special Schools Director Mike Brown, DARE Mascot Daren, Patrolman Jordan Klutts and Brenna Smith. (Paris PD photo).

Robert Nunley To Speak

Martin, Tenn.-Artist, world traveler, and documentarian of local history Robert Nunley will show his photographs and talk about his travels and experiences at the quarterly meeting of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society, Saturday, November 1, in Martin. The meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. in the meeting room at the Weldon Public Library, 100 Main Street. 

Nunley’s presentation begins at approximately 11 a.m.. Jackson Purchase Historical Society meetings are open to the public, and there is no admission charge.

Robert Nunley is the Student Center Program Coordinator at the Martin Housing Authority and a lifelong resident of Weakley County. He is a graduate of the Ball State University School of Fine Arts and has displayed his paintings, drawings, prints and other works at festivals and invited gallery shows around the nation in a career that spans more than four decades. He uses photography to document his travels and life at home in Martin, Tennessee. He has restored many historic photographs of his family and the African American community in Weakley County. He has also spent more than 30 years as a youth development specialist.

The Jackson Purchase Historical Society was founded in 1958 to promote interest, study, and preservation of the regional history of the territory encompassed in the Chickasaw Purchase of 1818. It publishes the award-winning Jackson Purchase Historical Society Journal annually. The Society is especially interested in the history of all Kentucky counties west of the Tennessee River as well as Lake, Obion, Weakley, and Henry counties in Tennessee. 

Meetings are held four times per year at locations throughout the region. Membership is open to the public. Information about the Society, future events, and membership is available at the meetings or online at

Grain Spills From Ruptured Building

Union City, Thousands of bushels of corn spilled out onto the streets of Union City after a building at The Anderson’s Grain facility on Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd ruptured yesterday.

The Anderson’s Union City facility has 3.8 million bushels of storage facility. 

Officials at The Anderson Group said the spill does not pose a health hazard.

Train Derails In Carroll County

Carroll County, Tenn.-A second train derailment in two days has occurred in our local area.

The new derailment happened at the Bruceton train yard and CSX officials said it involved one locomotive and five rail cars.

A tank on the locomotive ruptured and was leaking for a time. The Bruceton Fire Department sent a hazmat team to clean the spill.

The derailment was much smaller than the one in Benton Co. earlier. That one involved 15 train cars on the CSX track and occurred when a levee broke, flooding the area.

Wildlife Refuge Closures at Land Between The Lakes

Golden Pond, Ky.– On November 1, 2014, Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will close nine wildlife refuges to human entry and all activities including hunting, fishing, and bo...ating. These areas will remain closed through March 15, 2015.

The wildlife refuge closures include portions of Duncan Bay, Smith Bay, and Rushing Bay on Kentucky Lake; Fulton and Honker Bays on Lake Barkley; the western one-third of Energy Lake; and Long Creek Refuge at the back of Elbow Bay. These areas are marked with buoys or signs. Entry is prohibited from November 1 to March 15.

The refuge closures provide undisturbed resting and feeding areas for waterfowl, shorebirds, and eagles. Human activity must be minimized while migratory birds are present. Land Between The Lakes’ staff asks for public cooperation with refuge regulations designed to provide needed sanctuary.

Hematite Lake and Honker Lake, two inland bodies of water, also carry the November 1 to March 15 closure dates for fishing and boating. Trails around these two lakes remain open for hiking and wildlife viewing during the refuge period. All of Energy Lake and Bards Lake are closed to hunting; however, the eastern two-thirds of Energy Lake and all of Bards Lake remain open to fishing.

Hunters should be aware that no hunting is permitted within 150 yards of any Land Between The Lakes facility, and waterfowl hunting is not permitted within 200 yards of a refuge boundary.

Fake $100 Bill Passed In UC

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating a counterfeit $100 bill that was passed at a local business.

Police were called to Commercial Bank on a report that the fake bill came in with the J.C. Penney deposit. The manager at Penney’s told police it would be impossible to determine who may have used it at the store. The bill was uneven on the sides and faded.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 

Stephen Fincher To Appear In Paris Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-U.S. Congressman Stephen Fincher will be Paris for a USDA check presentation at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce office. USDA Director Bobby Goode and other officials from his office are also expected for the presentation that will involve the Land Between The Lakes area.

Earlier in the day, Fincher will appear speak at a luncheon hosted by the Paris-Henry County Republican Women at noon at the Paris Country Club.

Lunch can be purchased from a special "Pick 2 for $10" Menu; however, lunch purchase is not required for participation. The Paris Country Club is located at 195 Country Club Road. 

If you have any questions, contact Rebecca Griffey at or at 731-407-8181. 

BPU To Begin Johnson Park Sewer Project

Paris, Tenn.-At the regular meeting of the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Tuesday, board members hired Jacobs Engineering to perform field and engineering services for the sewer inspection of Johnson Park on Rison Street.

The contract is not to exceed $222,000. Jacobs Engineering will subcontract with Sani-Tech for the sewer cleaning and video inspection and will review and compile inspection data and make general recommendations for the next steps of the sewer rehab project.

BPU General Manager John Etheridge reported McKenzie Tree Service, which is contracted to clean-cut BPU right-of-way, is working in Henry and has almost completed their work on the system. 

The Board also was informed BPU is waiting to hear on the State Revolving Funds before any further decisions will be made on building a new water plant facility. 

Director of Metering and Engineering Jeff Thompson reported concrete work will be done in the next few weeks at the North Paris substation. Much of the work to be done by the BPU has been completed and the substation should be energized by the end of the year. 

Director of Electric Operations Cole Edwards reported most of the warehouse building has been completed. Doors and windows are being installed and painting done this week and the drop ceiling and lighting will be completed next week.

Etheridge informed the goard the pre-pay program is being tested at the present time and should be available to the public in December. This program should decrease the amount of the quarterly write-off since there is no risk for bad debt from those who choose to participate.

Puryear Trunk Or Treat Set For Friday

Puryear, Tenn.-A Puryear Community Trunk or Treat will be held beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, October 31, on Front Street in Puryear for everyone. The Puryear United Methodist Church will be serving hot dogs for the event.

Kids are asked to wear their costumes and be ready for trick-or-treating and adults are asked to enter for a chance at the prize of Most Creative Trunk.

The event is sponsored by Gary and Laurie Paschall.

Billy Graham's My Hope For America Coming To Paris

Paris, Tenn.-Billy Graham's My Hope America is coming to the Krider Performing Arts Council (KPAC) at 6:30 p.m. November 8. The event is free. 

According to the organizers, the event will show how Christians can share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors using one of several evangelistic video programs featuring life-changing testimonies and powerful messages from Billy Graham. How can your church grow? For questions please call (731) 642 3278. 

Work Continues At Scene Of Train Derailment

Camden, Tenn.-Employees of the CSX Railroad are still cleaning up the damage from Sunday’s train derailment which injured employees and caused 15 empty cars to run off the tracks west of Camden. The derailment was caused when a levee at a newly-built pond broke, causing flooding on Highway 70W. In this photo taken by Charlie Allen of Paris you can clearly see the levee in the distance while a CSX employee works near a derailed train car.

Marching Patriots Perform Well At Bandmasters 

Henry County Marching Patriots at the Liberty Bowl. Photo submitted by Sherry Hutchison.

Memphis, Tenn.-The Henry County Marching Patriots did their usual great job at the Bandmasters Competition at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis over the weekend. 

Thirty bands were in attendance and the Marching Patriots placed 1st place Percussion Class AAA (6th overall), received an Excellent Rating, 5th place Color Guard (9th overall), and 5th place Band (15th overall).

Band Public Relations Officer Sherry Hutchison said, “The weather was nice and it was great having all the friends family and fans there and seeing the fan bus roll in with us! Very inspiring to the band.” 

Girl Scouts Attend National Convention

From left, Mallory Livingston of Southaven, Miss., Jassmine Dickson of Southaven, Shelia Little of Trezevant, Kennedy Binkley of Paris, Tenn., and Georgia McGee of Tupelo, Miss., pause a moment outside the Salt Palace Convention Center. (Lesley Jones photo).

Salt Lake City, Utah--A young lady from Paris was among area girl scouts attending the 2014 National Council Session/53rd Convention earlier this month. The convention theme was “Girls Change The World.”

Kennedy Binkley represented Paris at the convention, while Mallory Livingston and Jassmine Dickson of Southaven, Miss.; and Georgia McGee of Tupelo were there as Heart of the South Council delegates. Also attending was Shelia Little of Trezevant.

All five girls participated in the Girl Scout Leadership Institute where they learned to develop in-depth Take Action Projects, which are sustainable community and global service projects. The girls also spread the word about the HOS initiative "National Stand Beside Her" Week Oct. 25-31, to mentor, support and develop girls and women by ending comparison and competition and creating collaboration and support for one another.

Shelia and Kennedy were chosen to go to convention through application for a scholarship provided by the Heart of the South West Tennessee Community Advisory Board that paid for the trip.

Chaperones were Lesley Jones, Henry County Girl Scout Service Unit director and public relations/social media manager, of Paris; Myra Little of Trezevant; and Myra Collins, Heart of the South director of outdoor GS Leadership Experience and Properties, of Tupelo. The girls also met HOS CEO Melanie Schild and other council members, GSUSA National Woman of Distinction Catherine Riordan, inventor/founder of, female Harlem Globetrotters/Girl Scouts Fatima “TNT” Maddox, Tammy “T-Time” Brawner and Joyce “Sweet J” Ekworomadu, and more.

Speakers included: Alison Levine, captain of the first American Women's Evert Expedition and founder of the Climb High Foundation; kidnap survivor Elizabeth Smart, who founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation; GSUSA National CEO Anna Maria Chavez; Dr. Tererai Trent, president/founder of Tererai Trent International Foundation which works to provide quality education and improve livelihoods of communities in rural Zimbabwe; Robin McGraw, Dr. Phil McGraw's wife and No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, television personality and founder of Robin McGraw Revelation lifestyle brand and When Georgia Smiled charitable foundation; Ann Romney, First Lady of Massachusetts; USDA Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon; GoldieBlox founder/CEO Debbie Sterling; Candice Kislack, who helped launch, grow and run TOMS' One for One brand; and SLC Mayor Ralph Becker, who wore his "Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout" shirt.

Monday, October 27, 2014 

KSP Releases Statement On Trigg Co. Deaths

Cadiz, Ky.-The Kentucky State Police (KSP) has been releasing few details on the possible motive involved in the quadruple deaths in Cadiz over the weekend, but the KSP tonight did release a statement on incident.

The statement reads: “While the Kentucky State Police continue to investigate the four deaths that occured in Trigg County on Sunday, a number of outlets are reporting that the deaths were a result of a murder suicide plot. This scenario has never been reported by the Kentucky State Police.”

The KSP is still processing the crime scene and has released the names of those killed: Lindsey Champion, 62; Joy A. Champion, 60; Emily K. Champion, 31, all of the home in Cadiz; and Vito Y. Riservato, 22, of Hopkinsville, Ky.

Storage Building Damaged By Fire

Rear of the structure. (Reggie Coles photo).

Springville, Tenn.-A storage building at 195 Dinkins Road was damaged by fire around 12:35 p.m. Monday.

Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department Chief Reggie Coles said his department was dispatched on a report of a structure fire. Arriving units found a 24 x 30 storage building with smoke and flames coming from the rear of the structure. 

The owner Suzanne Weiffenbach was not at home at the time of the incident, Coles said. The exact cause of the fire is undetermined at this time but appears to be accidental. 

Damage is estimated at $15,000.00. Three trucks and six firefighters were on the scene for two hours. 

The Paris Fire Department was called for mutual aid but was cancelled enroute when Paris Landing Units were able to get the fire under control.

Fog Creeps In On Little Cat Feet

Paris, Tenn.-As Poet Carl Sandburg said, fog creeps in like little cat feet and it enveloped our entire area for several hours Sunday morning. The fog made the trout pond at Eiffel Tower Park II in Paris seem rather spooky. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Preacher, Wife Killed In Accident; Three Others Injured

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Obion County, Tenn.-A Wynnburg Baptist Church preacher and his wife were killed in a two-vehicle collision Sunday afternoon in Obion County.

Killed were Rev. Larry Byassee, age 71, his wife, Shirley Byassee, age 69, both of Wynnburg.

Three people were injured in the accident. They are: Jeremy Lyell, age 43, Hermitage, the driver of the car that the Byassee couple were in; Kara Lyell, age 41, of Hermitage, and Darrell Garrett, age 48, of Dyersburg, who was the driver of the other vehicle.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Lyell was driving a 2008 Chevy Equinox and Garrett was driving a 1988 GMC. 

Lyell was southbound on Hwy. 78 and Garrett was northbound on the same highway and both were heading toward Beaver Arm Rd. An unknown vehicle attempted a right turn onto Beaver Arm when Garrett attempted to pass it and crossed the center line, striking the Lyell vehicle head-on.

The injured were reportedly transported to The Med in Memphis, but no condition reports were available.

Paris PD Seeks Public Help In Locating Suspect In Thefts

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a Paris man with a lengthy criminal history who is wanted on theft charges.

Paris Police are seeking the whereabouts of Darren Sturdivant, who has listed several addresses on Wynn Street as his residences on booking information at the jail. Paris Investigator Greg Underwood said the Paris Police currently has two theft of property warrants on file for him.

Paris Police attempted to arrest Sturdivant on the warrants a few weeks ago and we unable to catch him following a foot chase.

According to information at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Sturdivant has been arrested 18 times since 2001 on a variety of charges, including theft, burglary, resisting arrest, evading arrest, failure to appear, shoplifting, criminal trespass and possesion.

Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact the Paris Police Dept at 1-731-653-0446. 

CSX Employees Injured In Train Derailment

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Camden, Tenn.-Employees of the CSX Railroad were injured when a train derailed in Benton County Sunday night.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office said as many as 15 empty cars went off the tracks after a levee for a newly built pond broke, causing flooding along Highway 70 West.

According to the press release, the sheriff’s office received a call at 9:56 p.m., informing them of flooding at a residence on Hwy. 70W. While the dispatcher was gathering information from the caller, a train came through town and derailed due to the flooding.

The injured employees were treated by EMS and taken to Camden General Hospital. Their injuries reportedly are minor.

Crews from the Benton County Sheriff's Office, the Camden Police Department, the Benton County Rescue Squad, the Morris Chapel Fire Department, the Chalk Level Fire Department, Jackson Medlink EMS and Benton County EMA responded.

CSX officials are still on scene investigating.

Fort Heiman Bus Tour Is Set For Tuesday

Buchanan, Tenn.-Fort Donelson National Battlefield is sponsoring a bus tour of local Civil War sites to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s 1864 Tennessee River and Johnsonville Campaign.

The tour will be held Tuesday and will mark the anniversary of Forrest’s occupation of Fort Heiman, which is near Buchanan in Henry County.

A free bus tour will take you to Fort Heiman, explain the significance of the site, and will take you to Johnsonville State Historic Park to learn their incredible story. Call (931)232-5706 to register, as space is limited. Visitors are advised to bring a snack or lunch.

The bus leaves at 10 a.m. meeting at Paris Landing State Park Conference Center Parking Lot.

PML Relay Team Presents Jimmy Church Band

Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale now for the PML Relay Team’s presentation of the Jimmy Church Band on Saturday, November 8 at the Paris Convention Center (behind Quality Inn). The event is from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets are $20 per person and reservations will be accepted for those who purchase eight or more tickets in advance.

To purchase tickets or for more information during business hours, please call PML 642-7398 ext. #221 or visit them at 75 County Home Road in Paris. After 4:00 p.m., please call 336-0314.

The Jimmy Church Band plays the greatest hits of Motown and disco.  

"Changing Perspectives" Showcased At The Dixie

"Islands Below Pilot Knob" by Joan Greengrass

Huntingdon, Tenn.-”Changing Perspectives”, an art show featuring the works of Joan Greengrass of Bruceton, will be on display at The Dixie Center For the Performing Arts from November 1-January 24.

Greengrass was born in New York City and her family moved to Bruceton when she was six. She was graduated from Central High School in 1968.

She took art classes at the University of Miami and studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She worked at art galleries in the New York City area and was involved in art publishing for 28 years.

By a twist of fate, she returned to Bruceton in 2013 and has found inspiration in the scenery of West Tennessee and Kentucky Lake.

A reception for the exhibit will be held from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, November 8. For more info email

Quota Hears About Norwood Family Farm

New member Cheryl Connor, right, with Quota President Stephanie Tayloe and Donna Winders. (Martha McFadden photo). 

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Quota heard a report from Crystal Norwood on local agriculture at its meeting last week. She and her family farm several farms (3,000 acres) in the southern part of Henry County and their main products are corn, wheat and soy beans.

Norwood said products that used to be transported by rail are now transported by truck. The family uses computers to track it. She said when consumers purchase Martha White and Lilly flour, they are supporting West Tennessee farmers. 

The Quota Club installed Cheryl Connor as a new member. She is the director of Tomorrow’s Hope Pregnancy Center.

Susan Pemberton gave a short report on activities of the Veterans Committee.   It has provided sweat suits for the veterans home in Humboldt and are now requesting knit hats. They are also planning a party for veterans at the Henry County Nursing Home.

Sunday, October 26, 2014 

Spooktacular Winners Announced

Little Felicity Bright dressed like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for the day's events and posed with her mother, April Bright. (Photo by Shannon McFarlin).

Paris, Tenn.-Winners of the contests at Saturday’s Spooktacular event in Downtown Paris have been announced. Downtown Paris Association President Kathy Ray said there was a record-breaking crowd on hand with record-breaking numbers of booth partners and events.

The contest winners are as follows:
Broom Races: Latrell Brown
Monster Mash Limbo: Amelia Northam
Pumpkin Putt Putt: Case Wimberly
Creaking Door Contest: Madeleine Griffey
Group Theme Costume Contest: Britain and Brevin Hutson as Pac Man
Pet Contest Winner: “Vadele” dressed as a Spider and owned by Cathy Bullington
Costume Contest for ages Birth to 5: 1st Place: Hayden Hughes
2nd Place: Eva Coleman
3rd Place: Ford Carter
Costume Contest for ages 6 to 12: 1st Place: Thomas Holcomb
2nd Place: Jamie Arnold
3rd Place: Townes Boyd
Costume Contest for Teen and Adults: 1st Place: April McGahey
2nd Place: Duke Adams
3rd Place: Kate Shannon

Pumpkin Patch Pete winner will be announced Friday, October 31 and will win $100 in DPA Bucks.

The main story on the event with other photos was posted earlier this morning.

Updated: Three Of Four Victims Released 

Cadiz, Ky. – The Kentucky State Police released an update on the quadruple shooting in Cadiz at 6:20 p.m.:

The Kentucky State Police are still processing the crime scene in Trigg County. KSP has identified three of the shooting victims, B Lindsey Champion (62), Joy A. Champion (60), and Emily K. Champion (31). The fourth name will be released after the next of kin has been notified.

KSP remains on the scene and continues the investigation.

The family were members of the Cadiz Church of Christ and had just returned home when the shootings occurred. Lindsey was an elder at the church, and his wife, Joy, was a retired teacher. Their daughter, Emily, was also shot and killed. Their son Ryan reportedly is in the hospital.

Four People Killed At Cadiz Residence

Cadiz, Ky.– The Kentucky State Police (KSP) investigators are at the scene of a shooting at a residence on Old Dover Road in Trigg County this afternoon.

 KSP was called to the scene on Sunday October 26, at 11:44 a.m and found four people shot to death in and around the residence.

KSP is not currently seeking a suspect, as the suspect is believed to be one of the deceased that was found. All names are currently being withheld but will be released at a later date, after further investigation.

KSP is being assisted at the scene by the Trigg County Sheriff’s Office, Cadiz Police Department, Trigg County EMS, and the Trigg County Coroner. Detectives with the Kentucky State Police are continuing their investigation.

Having A Spooktacular Good Time

Susan Jones, right, slaps the cuffs on Denise Barnhill, at the Downtown Paris Association jailhouse, where you could also have your mug shot taken. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A huge crowd filled the Henry County Courtsquare all afternoon Saturday for the annual Spooktacular event. Young and old dressed in their Halloween best, with all sorts of goblins, ghouls and such strutting their stuff--at times literally, during the various contests like the Monster Mash Limbo and the “Thriller” presentation by the Children’s Theater.

Members of the Inman Band performed in costume and the people who manned the numerous booths also were dressed for the occasion.

The Downtown Paris Association (DPA) sponsored the event and also hosted a friendly jail where the bad guys could spend some time and have their mug shots taken.

An all-time high count of contestants signed up for the costume and other contests for kids, adults and pets, according to DPA President Kathy Ray.

Games, photo booths, and bouncy houses filled the grounds of the courthouse lawn and children (and maybe even some adults) also were welcome to trick or treat at the downtown stores.

Downtown Paris Association President Kathy Ray, with Pumpkin Pete. (McFarlin photo).

Paris-Henry County Arts Council President Kat Tolley and Volunteer Linda Watson at the arts council booth. (McFarlin photo).

Camden Woman Dies In Crash 

Camden, Tenn. - A Camden woman was killed in a two-vehicle accident Friday night when her car collided into the side of an 18-wheeler on Hwy. 641.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Brenda A. Kelley, age 68, died in the accident. The report indicates her Nissan sedan drove into the side of the semi near the intersection of Hwy. 641 and Cedar Drive in Camden

Dog Thrown From Truck

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police were unable to locate the person or persons who threw a pit bull from a moving truck Friday night at Ogburn Park in Paris.

A call to 911 at 6:51 p.m. reported that a pit bull dog had been thrown from a dark black or green truck, which then sped off. 

According to the dispatcher at the Paris Police, the truck was not located. There was no report on the condition of the dog.

UTM Has Great Homecoming

Martin, Tenn.-University of Tennessee Martin Skyhawk cheerleaders leading the crowd in rooting for their team at Homecoming Saturday. For the Skyhawks, it was a perfect Homecoming, with a 37-7 win over Austin Peay. (Brent Hinson photo).

Listening To Those Spooky Stories 


Union City, Tenn.-Obion County Public Library staff read “spooky stories” to a group of young listeners during the library’s Kids’ Halloween party Saturday. (Brent Hinson photo).

American Queen Stop Today at Fort Donelson Cancelled 

Dover, Tenn.-The American Queen Paddlewheel stop in Dover, scheduled for Sunday at Fort Donelson National Battlefield, has been cancelled because of problems the boat is experiencing in Nashville.

The steamboat docked at Fort Donelson last week and had planned a return trip to Dover today.

Saturday, October 25, 2014 

Pretty As A Picture

Mansfield, Tenn.-An old barn-and the beautiful sky-on Vale Rd. south of Mansfield made for a picturesque photo by Charlie Allen of Paris. Allen said with the lower gas prices and the pleasant weather, he’s been getting out and about on the back roads of our area for his photography hobby. 

Week 9 High School Football Finals:

Henry County 30, Northeast 6
Union City 42, Trenton Peabody 16
Camden Central 40, Stewart County 19
Martin Westview 36, McKenzie 10
Milan 27, Huntingdon 0
Greenfield 27, Gibson County 21
Lake County 34, South Fulton 14
Humboldt 13, Halls 0...
Hollow Rock-Bruceton 50, Houston 0
Dyersburg 35, Ripley 21
Dyer County 51, Fayette Ware 12
Scotts Hill 54, Gleason 20
Graves County 56, Hopkinsville 14
Mayfield 16, Russellville 8

Missing Juveniles Located

Murray, Ky.-The Calloway County Sheriff's Office announced overnight that both juveniles who were missing have now been located.

Calloway County law enforcement officials had been seeking Clayton Author Williams, 14, in the Lynn Grove area, all day, and had announced later in the evening that Shaneeve Alejandro, age 17, was also missing in the Calloway or Graves County areas.

In a press release issued overnight, the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office thanked the public for its assistance, along with the Calloway County Fire Rescue Squad, Kentucky State Police, Henry County Sheriff's Deputy Wayne Fuqua and Cisco, and Calloway County Emergency Management.

State Unemployment Down, But Local Counties Still High

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-County unemployment rates for September 2014, released Friday, show the rate decreased in all but one of Tennessee‘s 95 counties. However, in our area, four counties are still on the list with the state’s highest unemployment: Obion, Weakley, Carroll and Gibson.

The state’s unemployment rate for September was 7.3 percent, a smidgeon lower than the 7.4 percent August rate. Nationally, the rate for September was 5.9 percent, down from 6.1 percent in August.

In our area, the county with the lowest unemployment rate was Stewart with 7.5 percent, down from 7.8 percent in August. Other counties rates were Henry, at 8.3 percent, down from 9.1 percent; Benton at 8.6 percent, down from 9.5 percent; Carroll 9.3 percent, down from 10.4 percent; Obion at 9.3 percent, down from 10 percent; Weakley at 9.5 percent, down from 11 percent; and Gibson at 9.9 percent, down from 10.8 percent.

Scott County has the highest unemployment rate in the state, at 12.3 percent. In other area, Gibson is 92nd highest, Weakley is 89th, Carroll is 88th and Obion is 87th.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate for September at 5.4 percent, down from 6.3 in August. Davidson County was 5.5 percent, down from 6.2 in August. The Hamilton County September rate was 6.6 percent, down from 7.4. Shelby County was 8.4 percent in September, down from 8.9.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hundreds Turn Out For Fuqua Benefit

Sheriff Monte Belew (middle), Captain Damon Lowe and Deputy Bryan Hall at the grill. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A huge crowd of hundreds gathered at the Henry County Fairgrounds Friday for the benefit for Micah Fuqua, the 14-year-old son of Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Fuqua. Fuqua is the handler for K9 Cisco.

Micah has been diagnosed with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and the Fuqua family is currently traveling back and forth to Maryland to see a specialist in the field for his care. 

The benefit was coordinated by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, which grilled sandwiches for sack lunches. Jamey Tosh of Tosh Farms provided the huge grill that was used.

Wayne Fuqua greeted everyone who came to the benefit and thanked them personally for attending.

Sheriff Monte Belew said, “The crowds all day were steady and they came from all over. Even law enforcement officials from Weakley and Benton County came over. We’re so thankful for everyone’s support. We were truly amazed at the number of people who came out.”

Belew said just as the benefit was ready to wrap up today, Fuqua and Cisco were called out on another search--this one in Calloway County, to help the sheriff’s office search for a missing juvenile.

Wayne Fuqua (in red) greeted everyone and thanked them for their support. (McFarlin photo).

Numerous volunteers helped with the benefit. (McFarlin photo).

Public's Help Needed In Missing Juvenile Search
Henry County Deputy Fuqua and K9 Cisco Assisting

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Lynn Grove, Ky.-The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in finding a missing juvenile.

Fourteen-year-old Clayton Author Williams has been missing since Friday morning. He was last seen wearing a red pullover hoodie, gray and black cargo pants and black and white high top shoes.

The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from Henry County Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco, who have been successfully used in numerous other searches.

A Calloway County Sheriff’s deputy said law enforcement and search and rescue personnel are searching in the Lynn Grove area.

Springville Water Tank Now Operational

BPU General Manager John Etheridge, foreground, talks to Engineer Donnie Lancaster of Paris, with Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton and State Rep. Tim Wirgau at left. (Photo provided by BPU).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-A dream that began several years ago is now a reality with the completion of the new 150,000 gallon elevated water tank for the Springville Utility District. 

The water tank is located on Poplar Grove Road and will serve 450 customers. Paris Board of Public Utilities General Manager John Etheridge said the water tank is now operational but “with a few things that still need to be done”.

Development of a utility district for the Springville area was initiated by the late Amon Evans. After his death a couple of years ago, his widow Denise Evans, took up the project in his honor.

Etheridge said construction was funded in part by a CDBG grant to Henry County. Construction was performed by Caldwell Tanks.

American Queen Docks At Fort Donelson For Tours
Will Return Sunday Afternoon

The American Queen docking on the Cumberland at Dover. (Doug Richardson photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Dover, Tenn.-The American Queen Steamboat was docked all day Thursday at Fort Donelson National Battlefield and will be returning Sunday.

Fort Donelson Chief of Visitor Services Doug Richardson said the steamboat arrived at Fort Donelson with some 252 visitors who were taken on tours around Dover and Fort Donelson during the afternoon.

Richardson said the visitors “were from all over. There had to be at least 25 states represented and a couple of people were from Great Britain.”

The American Queen Steamboat Co. is headquartered in Memphis and takes tour groups up and down the Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.

Richardson said he finally had the opportunity to go aboard the American Queen while it was there. “It’s like a luxury hotel,” he said, including a grand staircase, parlors, a Mark Twain sitting room and other accomodations.

“Mother Nature was very cooperative while it was here with the visitors,” he said. “Even our American Eagles made an appearance for everyone to take pictures.”

He said the American Queen will be docking there late morning on Sunday. “It docks north of the old Dover Hotel, behind the courthouse,” he said.

The American Queen’s appearance is sponsored by the Dover-Stewart County Chamber of Commerce.

"Dooms Chapel Horror" To Be Premiered November 6 
Partially Filmed In Paris In 2013

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paducah, Ky.-The eagerly-awaited premiere of The Dooms Chapel Horror, the movie which was partially filmed in Paris, will be held Thursday, November 6, at the Maiden Alley Cinema in Paducah.

The movie is a horror flick based in a small western Kentucky town, with a documentary feel, much like “The Blair Witch Project” and other features. 

Scenes from the movie were filmed in Henry County and Western Kentucky, including an almost all-night shoot that occurred on the Henry County Courthouse lawn in June of 2013 and included hundreds of local extras.

Producers said at the time the movie is about revenge and a painful homecoming. According to the description provided by the production team, in the movie Kyle Cole travels home, with a documentary team in tow, to see his family for the first time in a decade. When he gets home, a string of events set in place a decade ago begins to unfold.

The doors open at the Maiden Alley Cinema at 6 pm. The movie will be shown at The Rivers Edge International Film Festival and some of the stars of the movie will be on hand for a mixer that precedes the showing. 

The show starts at 7 pm followed by a Q&A session with the cast and crew. Producers said tickets are free and are first-come, first-served, with no reservations.

The movie stars Bill Oberst, Jr., Austin Madding, Abby Murphy, Shaun Gerardo, Josh Robinson, Josh Cornelius, Steve Crowley, Allan Walters, Wendy Keeling and more. It is directed by John William Holt. Many of the actors and producers of the film are from the Nashville area.

April Sykes Case To Be Featured On Television Program

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
One of the most horrific crimes in Henry County history will be featured on the “Surviving Evil” program on the Investigation Discovery channel next week. 

“From Dire To Deadly” will spotlight the story of April Sykes of Henry County, who was abducted, raped and taken to a cemetery near Van Dyke Grove Rd., where she was locked in the trunk of a burning car. The incident happened in 2005 when she was 18.

Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson said his office received a request for documents pertaining to the case a few weeks ago. The documents were to be used to help with the documentary about the case, he said.

Sykes suffered multiple injuries as a result of the attack and was awarded a civil judgment of $21.5 million by Henry County Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish.

Her attacker, Virgil Samuels Jr. was sentenced to serve 35 years in state prison. 
The “Surviving Evil” program spotlights women who have fought back against assaults and survived. 

The program featuring the April Sykes case will be on the Investigation Discovery Channel on October 29 at 8 p.m. Central Time. The Investigation Discovery Channel is on Channel 126 on the Charter line-up.

HCMC Will Be Prepared For Ebola Virus--If Necessary

Paris, Tenn.-However unlikely it may be that the Ebola virus touches Henry County, the Henry County Medical Center will be prepared for it.

That was the word from HCMC Administrator Tom Gee at Thursday night’s meeting of the Board of Trustees. Gee said due to the high profile of the Ebola scare on a national level, the hospital “is actively putting extra training into effect to make sure we are prepared in the unlikelihood that a case were to present in our facilities.”

Gee said, “We have added screening questions to our assessments for treatment and have the appropriate gear available” for health care staff. Gee said the hospital also has policy and procedures “being written on how to isolate the patient, families and others in contact with the patient in preparation for transfer and further CDC guidance.”

Gee also reported the administration has finalized the hospital’s flu vaccination policy requiring all staff members be vaccinated and over 50 percent of the staff has already received their shots.

Continuing a discussion from earlier meetings, the board also passed a resolution asking the county commission to make changes to the “private act” which would allow the board to add two more members to the trustees board. 

As Administrator Tom Gee explained earlier, the hospital is seeking to expand the board from its current five to seven members. The board is asking that all seven members would serve in staggered terms.

After approval by the county commission, the request would also need General Assembly approval.

In other business, Finance Director Lisa Casteel reported that total capital requests for the current year total $188,377, including requests involving information systems, surgical equipment and plant operations.

Jakes Day Is Saturday At Holly Forks 

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will be sponsoring a Jakes Day and Big Buck and Big Doe contest from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Holly Forks Shooting Complex on Hwy. 79N.

Cash prizes for top three deer, from $150 to $50. Free photo with each deer check in.

Activities include Duck flush, Steel targets, BB guns, and Archery. Trophies awarded for each age division.

Door prizes will be given at noon. Free lunch for everyone.

Questions call Sheriff Monte Belew at the sheriff’s office 642-1672. 

UTM Prof Named To State Initiative 

Knoxville, Tenn. – Three University of Tennessee faculty members, including one at UT Martin, have been appointed by the State Board of Education to serve Gov. Bill Haslam’s initiative to review Tennessee’s K-12 academic standards in English language arts and math. 

Stephanie Kolitsch, professor of mathematics and director of the West Tennessee STEM Center for Learning at UT Martin, has been appointed to serve on the Mathematics Standards Review and Development Committee and to the role of advisory team leader for the Mathematics Advisory Team for grades 9-12. 

Susan Groenke, associate professor of English education and director of the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at UT Knoxville, has been appointed to serve on the English Language Arts Standards Review and Development Committee and to the role of advisory team leader for the English Language Arts Advisory Team for grades 9-12. 

Jo Ann Cady, UT Knoxville associate professor of math education, has been appointed to serve on the Math Advisory Team for grades K-5. 

Haslam asked the State Board of Education to appoint two committees, the English Language Arts Standards Review and Development Committee and the Mathematics Standards Review and Development Committee, and three advisory teams for each of those committees. The advisory teams will review Tennessee’s current standards and gather input to make recommendations to the two committees, which will then propose possible changes to the State Board of Education.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 

Update On Log Truck Accident: Highway Still Closed As Of 4:30

Hazel, Ky.-U.S. Highway 641 near Hazel is still shut down, as of 4:25 p.m. Thursday, after a log truck lost control and overturned over the side of the highway. A dispatcher at the Calloway County Sheriff's Office said the roadway will still closed at least another hour.

Dusty Carter, 32, of Lexington, Tenn., was driving north on 641S when the accident happened. According to the press release issued by the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office, he was operating a 2007 International semi truck hauling logs. 

The back wheel of the trailer dropped off the right shoulder of the roadway causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The semi truck turned over spilling the logs onto the roadway, according to the press release. 

Carter was ejected from the vehicle and transported to the Murray Calloway County Hospital for treatment of injuries. 641 was partially blocked resulting in Calloway County Emergency Management Director Bill Call being notified. 

The roadway was shut down for approximately four hours allowing for investigation of the accident and clean up of the logs. The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Calloway County Fire and Rescue, the Murray Fire Department, the Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service, Hazel Fire Department and two Puryear Volunteer Firefighters.

Hwy 641 Shut Down After Log Truck Overturns

Photo shows log truck after it had been put upright. (Calloway County Fire and Rescue photo).

Midway, Ky.-U.S. Highway 641 South will be closed at least until 3:30 p.m. or longer as crews clean up after a log truck overturned on the roadway. 

The dispatcher at the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office said the highway is closed from Green Plains Rd. to Midway Rd. as of 2:15 p.m. and will remain closed at least another hour.

“We have a detour set up in Hazel so anyone coming through here from the Puryear or Paris direction will have to detour around the area,” he said.

The driver of the truck was injured and transported to Murray-Calloway Co. Hospital “but I don’t know the extent of the injuries,” he said. 

“Logs are scattered all over and it’s going to take awhile to get the scene straightened up” for traffic again, he said.

The sheriff’s office is being assisted by the Calloway County Fire and Rescue and Hazel Police and Fire Departments.

It's Pelican Time Again In Our Area

Buchanan, Tenn.-This weekend may be time for the Pelican Festival at Reelfoot Lake State Park, but pelicans also are in abundance on Kentucky Lake at Paris Landing State Park. Photographer Richard Graves captured these pelicans in flight with his camera while on his kayak at the park. 

Henry Man Killed In Carroll County Accident

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McKenzie, Tenn.-A Henry County man was killed Wednesday after his motorcycle collided with an 18-wheeler in McKenzie.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), Jeremy Allen, age 41 of Henry, died in the crash.

The THP investigated the accident since it involved a commercial truck. The accident occu...rred at the intersection of U.S. 79 and Oak Street in McKenzie.

According to the THP report, the 18-wheeler was traveling south on the highway when it made a turn onto Oak Street. Allen reportedly failed to stop and crashed into the rear of the truck’s trailer. Allen was wearing a helmet.

The driver of the truck was Andy Williams of Huntingdon and he was not injured.

Downtown Paris Spooktacular Is Saturday Afternoon

Paris, Tenn.-The ninth annual Downtown Paris Spooktacular promises a howling good time on the Henry County Courthouse lawn this Saturday afternoon, October 25. 

Organizations and businesses will provide free crafts, entertainment, contests with prizes, live music and concessions from noon until 4:00 p.m. Downtown merchants invite children to trick or treat during Spooktacular which is sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association (DPA).

Throughout the day children can visit DPA booth partners including Paris Landing State Park Birds of Prey & Halloween Owls; Children’s Theater with two spooky booths, Chuck-a-Duck and Eyeball Soup; W.G. Rhea Library booth; Head Start’s Slide of Terror; PARIS! Magazine’s ghost pops; First Christian Church’s Halloween Putt Putt and free coffee; Henry County Young Farmers and Ranchers tractor hunt in the corn bin; REAL Hope Youth Center’s bean bag toss; Paris Police Department with bags n' badges plus face painting; Inman Band and County School Musicians live music; 911’s Red E Fox; Kroger’s scary face painting and spooky cookie decorating; Madrigals’ face painting and candy corn guessing game; TARP bounce house; and Caring Hearts toss games. The Paris Photography Club will take scary photos for $5 each.  The DPA’s famous Pumpkin Patch Pete will be on hand so you can guess Pete’s weight and win DPA bucks. On Halloween day, the winner will be announced and will receive $100 in DPA bucks, just in time for Christmas Open House weekend, November 7-9.

Along with downtown's variety of restaurants serving delicious fare, Perry's BBQ and the Inman Band Boosters will be on site with concessions.

The fun isn’t limited just for children. The Henry County High School Madrigals, a Spooktacular partner, include adults and pets in their costume contests. Other fun contests include broom races, the Monster Mash Limbo, and creaking door contest.  

Don’t have a costume? “It’s fun to come out and just enjoy the show,” according to DPA President Kathy Ray. “There are hundreds of costumed children on parade, dancing, howling, delicious food, music and other activities, all in a fabulous setting, Downtown Paris!”
There is still time for groups or businesses who would like to participate in the Downtown Spooktacular to take part. Call Spook Meister Rick Conger at (731) 642-7425 or Kathy Ray at (731) 653-7274 for information. In case of rain, the event will be cancelled. 

Spooktacular Schedule of Events
Noon Game booths open. Registration for costume contests begins. 
12:15-12:45 pm Inman Band and county ensembles perform.
12:45 pm       “Thriller” performed by Children’s Theater
1:00-1:30 pm Broom Races, Monster Mash Limbo, Creaking Door Contest.
1:45 pm Costume Contest for ages birth to five-years-old.
2:15 pm Pet Costume Contest.
2:30 pm Costume Contest for six to twelve-year-olds. 
3:00 pm Costume Contest for teens and adults. 
3:30 pm Costume Contest for a group theme.

Johnsonville Battle Anniversary Nears 

New Johnsonville, Tenn.-Just in time for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Johnsonville, a grant that will allow a local group to retrieve, restore and display Civil War artifacts has been approved.

State Rep. John Tidwell announced a $42,000 grant for the Johnsonville State Historic Park, which is the remaining part of the original $250,000 grant to the Raise the Gunboat organization.

This year is the