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Friday, March 24, 2017

Long May They Wave

Paris, Tenn.-Today's steady winds are keeping the flags moving at the Veterans' Memorial on the lawn at the Henry County Courthouse in downtown Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Man Injured In Fire Dies Of Injuries

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The man who was severely burned in a fire at his Depot Street home in Paris has died of his injuries.

Aaron Dobbs Jr., age 67, of 1028 Depot St., was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center after the accident in his home. Paris Fire Captain Randall Jones told WENK/WTPR Wednesday that Dobbs had apparently set fire to himself when he fell against a gas heater.

A neighbor who regularly checked on Dobbs found him on fire in the living room and put the fire out and called 911.

Vanderbilt Medical Center said this morning that Dobbs died of his injuries.

Dobbs served two terms in Vietnam in the U.S. Army. Dobbs was proud of his Army service and that of his father, Aaron Dobbs Sr. His father was a soldier at Camp Tyson in Paris during WWII and had settled in Henry County after the war. An interview with Aaron Dobbs Jr. is included in the book, “As If They Were Ours” about Camp Tyson.

Funeral arrangements at Ridgeway Funeral Home are incomplete.

His parents were Aaron Dobbs Sr. and Joy Randle Dobbs. He is survived by a daughter, Danielle Dobbs, Hermitage; son Aaron Dobbs; two brothers Steven Dobbs, Hermitage; and James Hartsfield of Paris.


Another Paris Woman Reported Missing

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a missing Paris woman.

Sonya Kay (Young) Woods, age 35, of Draper St., has not been seen since February 17 in Nashville.

Henry County Sheriff’s Captain Adam Jenkins said he has confirmed with a rehab center in Nashville that Woods left the facility voluntarily February 17. Woods’ mother reported to the sheriff’s office that she has not seen her daughter since then.

Anyone with information on her is asked to call Jenkins at the sheriff’s office at 642-1672.

As reported by WENK/WTPR yesterday, the Paris Police is also seeking a missing Paris woman, Savanna Wallace, age 23, who hasn’t been seen since Sunday night. Anyone with information on Wallace is asked to call the Paris Police Department at 642-2424.


Crappie USA Tourney This Weekend 

Buchanan, Tenn.-87 Teams from all over the region have gathered at Paris Landing for the Crappie USA fishing tournament this weekend.

Crappie USA hosted a welcome event for the teams at Buchanan Resort Thursday night. Teams from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and other states are competing in the tournament which starts today and ends Saturday.

Ranked 16th in the Crappie USA standings are a Puryear team, Steve Ferguson and Joey Briggs. Ferguson and Briggs are competing this weekend.

The weigh-ins will be held at 3 p.m. today and tomorrow and will be aired live on Crappie USA's website.


Team Belongings Stolen From Bus At UC

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

 Union City, Tenn.—Items belonging to the Poplar Bluff, Mo., baseball team were stolen from their bus at Graham Park in Union City Thursday night.

Union City Police say they were called to the Babe Ruth Field at the park around 10:12 p.m. last night on a report of the theft. Park officials say that sometime between 6:50 and 7 p.m. personal belongings of two players were found to be missing from the bus.

Items stolen from one player included a brown leather Tommy Hilfiger wallet with $100 inside and an AMC movie card with $20 still on it. Another player reported someone had stolen his black Underarmour sweat pants valued at $50, a Mules jacket worth $120 and a key chain.

Officials said several seats and bags had been moved around on the bus.

Items Stolen From Hospital Parking Lot

Union City, Tenn.—Union City Police are investigating the theft of fishing items stolen from a truck parked in the Baptist Memorial Hospital parking lot Thursday morning.

The victim said he was visiting his mother at the hospital between 9 and 10:30 a.m. and when he came back to his truck someone had stolen six rods and reels from the back of his truck. They were valued at $1800.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Paris Woman Reported Missing

Paris, Tenn.—The Paris Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a missing person.

Savanna Wallace, age 23, has been missing from her home on Fairview Street since Sunday night. Sgt. Jeramye Whitaker said she was last seen in the area of Mineral Wells Ave.

“She may have a small dog with her,” Sgt. Whitaker said. “She has been seen hanging around the Wal-Mart parking lot over the noon hour frequently”.

If she is seen, please contact Lt. Ricky Watson or Sgt. Whitaker at the Paris Police at 642 2424 or 641 1437.

Wal-Mart Robbery Suspects Arrested

Murray, Ky.—Two people have been arrested in the strong-arm robbery and injury of an elderly woman in the Murray Wal-Mart which occurred on Monday. The pair were located in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The main suspect, Allison Hunter, age 29, of Hopkinsville, Ky., was arrested after a similar incident there. Also arrested and believed to be involved with the incident in Murray is Justin Marshall, age 32, of Panama City Beach, Fla.

The charges stemming from the Murray incident are still pending. In Murray, the female suspect knocked an elderly woman down and after a struggle, yanked her purse away.

Murray Police issued surveillance photos of the car in the parking lot to the media after the incident.

The Urbandale Police in Iowa have already charged the pair with second degree robbery and first degree theft after being arrested by the Urbandale Police Department in Iowa. Marshall also was charged with fleeing after running from the police, first in a vehicle, then on foot. The vehicle they were found in was stolen out of Kirksville, Mo.

Downtown Mural Project Ribbon-Cutting Set

Artist Dan Knowles with just-completed last mural. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The grand opening of the “Windows of the West Alley” will be at 10 a.m. Monday, March 27, in the alley between Market and Fentress Streets in downtown Paris.

Four murals have been completed—along with a fifth self-portrait of the artists welcoming everyone to the alley—as part of the “Back Alley Paris” project. The murals depict historic events and periods in Paris history which include an infamous duel in downtown Paris; Dr. Henrietta Veltman, the first female physician in Paris; and scenes from local jewelry and dry goods stores.

Artists on the project were Dan Knowles and John Monroe and they just completed the last mural Wednesday. Storyboards will be installed today which tell the story behind each mural.

Both Knowles and Monroe will be on hand at the grand opening. The public is invited.

Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray noted this is Phase 3 in the Back Alley Paris Project.  “Back Alley Paris” is a partnership between the City of Paris, Downtown Paris Association, and Robert E. Lee Academy of the Arts. The other two projects are murals on the alley next to the downtown fountain plaza painted by Paris Artists Jane Baars and the Eiffel Tower mural which also is in the alley between Market and Fentress Streets and was prepared by Artist Brenda Kitchens.

All three projects were made possible by grants obtained from the Tennessee Arts Commission.


Clerks Cited In Undercover Operation

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—Citations were issued against clerks at three Henry County businesses, citing each with selling beer to an underage customer. The arrests were part of an undercover operation conducted by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Monte Belew told WENK/WTPR that a 20-year-old, using his own ID, bought beer at the three businesses even though his ID showed he was underage. “We want to bring attention to curbing underage drinking and make sure our local stores are following the rules,” he said.

The three businesses are: Lakeview Grocery on Hwy. 79N, Paris; Barney’s Stop and Go, Hwy. 641N in Puryear; and T-Bones Tavern on Hwy. 641S, Paris. The clerks cited were: Lorie Thomason, Paris (T-Bones); Kelly Hoffman, Buchanan (Barney’s Stop and Go) and Brenda Williams, Buchanan, (Lakeview Grocery).


Employee Charged With Carrying Loaded Weapon

Martin, Tenn.—An employee with a loaded gun was arrested at a Martin business Wednesday night.

Martin Police Captain Phillip Fuqua said Patrolman Trae Vaughn responded to MTD Products on a complaint that one of the workers had a firearm on his person. Upon arrival, Patrolman Vaughn made contact with Tavares Farrington, age 34, of Martin, inside the plant.

Fuqua said further investigation revealed that Farrington did have a loaded .32 caliber handgun concealed in his pants pocket.

Farrington was arrested and charged with unlawful carrying and possession of a weapon. During a search before the arrest, Patrolman Vaughn located approximately 1.3 grams of crack cocaine in Farrington’s pocket. He also was charged with possession with intent to sell.


Play To Benefit Office On Aging

Paris, Tenn.—The Henry County Office on Aging is sponsoring a live stage performance called “Dearly Departed” to be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, at the Krider Performing Arts Center on Volunteer Drive in Paris. Tickets are $10 per person. All proceeds go to the Henry County Office on Aging.


Welcome Home Vietnam Vets Event Set

Paris, Tenn.—A ‘Welcome Home, Vietnam Veterans’ event will be held Saturday, March 25, at the Henry County Fairgrounds. A meet and greet period will be held from 3-5 p.m. followed by a free dinner served for Vietnam Veterans and their spouses from 5-7 p.m.

Guest speakers are Dr. Chester Harrison, A.J. Perrone, and Rex McBee. The Ray Lewis Band will perform at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by local veterans’ organizations.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Rekindled House Fire Investigated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—The Paris Fire Department is investigating a rekindling of a fire which destroyed a Routon Street home.

The original fire occurred around 3:37 a.m. Tuesday at 412 Routon Street and the fire department was called back to the scene at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday when the fire rekindled in a different spot.

Fire officials said the homeowner told them he had been grilling earlier in the day in the front porch area, but didn’t notice anything amiss when he went to bed. He woke up with the front area of the house on fire.

According to Assistant Fire Captain Randall Jones, firefighters were called back to the house when a fire started in the front room and spread to the attic.


Man On Fire Seriously Injured

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A man was seriously injured when his clothes caught on fire inside his Depot Street home in Paris Wednesday afternoon.

Assistant Paris Fire Chief Randall Jones said the department was called to 1028 Depot St. around 4:08 p.m. after a neighbor called 911 to report the man was on fire inside his house. “His clothes started on fire and he was badly burned,” Jones said. “It appears he made contact with a gas furnace in the house; one of those standing gas furnaces.”

A neighbor regularly checked on him and had gone to his house to see if he was o.k. when she found smoke coming from the house and found him on fire on the living room floor.

The Henry County EMS and Paris Police were also on the scene.

Jones said the neighbor put the fire out before the fire department got there.

The victim was taken to Henry County Medical Center by EMS and Jones said a call was made for an air ambulance.

Paris Man Charged In Rape, Incest Of Child

Paris, Tenn.—A Paris man was arrested Wednesday on a charge of rape and incest involving a nine-year-old child. He is being held on $250,000 bond at the Henry County Jail and ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Daniel Korey Hall, age 41, of South Poplar Street, was arrested at a local business by Paris Police.

Lt. Ricky Watson said investigators began working a case involving unlawful sexual contact with a minor on March 6. The offense occurred March 3 at Hall’s home. Watson said the child was related to Hall and was spending the night at Hall’s home when the alleged crime took place.

Watson said additional charges are pending in the case.

Update On UTM Shooting Incident

Martin, Tenn.--Martin Police Department officers have located the 2005 black Mazda within the city limits of Martin that was involved in the incident yesterday and one of the three occupants has also been located. That subject is being interviewed about the incident at this time by Martin Police Dept. Investigators. 

The investigation continues and it has been confirmed that there were no injuries in relation the shot that was fired during the altercation, according to Police Captain Phillip Fuqua.

A 21-year-old UTM Student, Tommy was arrested following the incident yesterday afternoon. He is charged with felony reckless endangerment, theft and unlawful possession of a weapon in commission of a felony. He is being held in the Weakley County Detention Center.

The shooting incident followed a fracas in the University Center.

Back Alley Project Is This Way


Paris, Tenn.--Paris Artists Dan Knowles and John Monroe have been especially busy of late, completing the last two murals in the Back Alley project. The murals are on either end of the alley that is situated between Market and Fentress Streets in downtown Paris. Knowles and Monroe are completing a self-portrait of themselves at one of the alley, which alerts the public that the Back Alley Project is there. They also are completing the mural on the rear of Mari-Mac Boutique which depicts Dr. Anna Veltman, who was the first female physician in Paris. Other murals in the alley depict a duel which occurred in downtown Paris at the turn of the century, a jewelry store and dry goods store. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Discovery Park, County Museum To Merge

Union City, Tenn.—The Obion County Commission has approved a merger of the Obion County Museum and Discovery Park of America in Union City.

Museum officials made a formal request at the commission’s Monday meeting to relinquish its assets to Discovery Park. What that means is: The museum will continue being an official entity, but its collections and artifacts will be on display at Discovery Park in the future.

Under the museum’s charter, both the county and Union City City Council must approve the request.

What that means is: Once approved by all parties, the museum will continue being an official entity, but its collections and artifacts will be on display at Discovery Park in the future.


W. Earl Brown To Be Honored At MSU

Murray. Ky.— Actor W. Earl Brown will be honored as one of the 2017 recipients of Murray State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Brown is a 1986 alumnus of MSU, graduating with degrees in theatre and electronic media.

Brown will be taking a brief intermission from Hollywood to return to Murray State’s Robert E. Johnson Theatre April 27–30, 2017. Performing the role of Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Brown is excited to return back to his roots in the Murray State theatre department. Over the years, Brown has remained very engaged with the department, often returning to the University to lead theatre workshops and host Q&A sessions for current students. 

Brown has appeared in “Scream”, “There’s Something About Mary” and is well-known for his television appearances on “Deadwood”, “Justfied”, “Six Feet Under”, “The X-Files” and “American Horror Story”.

He started acting at Murray State and was involved with the theatre, journalism and mass communications departments there.

Murray State presents the Distinguished Alumni Award annually to alumni who have made meaningful contributions to their profession on a local, state and national level. Established in 1962, the award is the highest honor granted by the Murray State University Alumni Association, and its recipients include Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, renowned authors, research scientists, physicians and educators. 

Brown will be honored at the Distinguished Alumni Award banquet to be held April 21 at 6 p.m. in the CFSB Center’s Murray Room, and he will have the opportunity to speak about his professional experiences. The banquet is open to the public with tickets available for $30 at until April 14.


Dresden Football Coach Resigns

Dresden, Tenn.—Fresh off winning the state championship in 2016, Dresden Head Football Coach Derek Rang is stepping down from the position and has accepted the position as head football coach at Gatlinburg Pittman High School.

Under Rang, the Dresden Lions won the state championship after a perfect 15-0 season last year. His record over three years at Dresden is 32-9.

Rang announced his resignation to students Tuesday afternoon. Rang is from Maryville originally and will succeed Coach Benny Hammonds, who is retiring after 45 years.

The Dresden board of education has not announced a replacement for Rang or what type of search will be conducted.


GOP To Hear Speaker On Radical Islam

Paris, Tenn.--The Henry County GOP and Republican Women are jointly hosting a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday night, with speaker John Miles. Miles is an attorney and Constitutional conservative and he will be speaking on the topic of Radical Islam. The meeting is open to anyone and will be held at the Paris Civic Center on Volunteer Drive. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Let There Be Light

Paris, Tenn.—Van Raby of Laukhuff Stained Glass Co. in Memphis looks over the main stained glass window being installed today in the sanctuary of Trinity United Methodist Church. Fellow worker Bill Costello is at right. The original stained glass in the church were burned along with the church in a devastating fire last year and Laukhuff began the work today to install new stained glass panels in the church. Rev. Dennis Vance said the panels were selected by the building committee, with input from the congregation and depict Biblical scenes and symbols. The main window in the sanctuary depicts The Good Shepherd. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

UTM Student Arrested In Shooting Incident

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.—A student is in custody after a physical altercation that started in the University Center earlier this afternoon spilled out into the surrounding neighborhood and resulted in shots fired.

Arrested was Tommy Fuller, age 21, of Grove Apartments in Martin. He is charged with felony reckless endangerment, theft and unlawful possession of a weapon in commission of a felony. He is being held in the Weakley County Detention Center.

The Martin and UTM Police are investigating the incident which began with the physical altercation involving multiple individuals inside the University Center. Martin Police Capt. Phillip Fuqua said in a press release that the fight ended and all parties left the area.

Fuqua said the altercation then resumed a few minutes later on Hannings Lane. Fuller allegedly fired a weapon at several individuals at apartments located at 302-304 Hannings Lane.

Fuqua said Fuller then left the area in a white Chevrolet SUV northbound on Mt. Pelia Rd., where he was taken into custody by Martin Police.

Multiple weapons were found inside the vehicle, Fuqua said. “At this point, no injuries have been reported.”

Law enforcement is still seeking a second vehicle involved occupied by three individuals involved in the altercation. Fuqua said it is a black two-door 20015 Mazda, license plate K2898Y.

The University was on lockdown during the incident and UTM Public Relations Officer Bud Grimes issued this statement: “A family altercation ended in a shooting on Hannings Lane near the university campus. An unidentified UT Martin student is in custody. Two African American males who are not UT Martin students are at large and are reported to be traveling to Lauderdale or Madison County in a 2-door black Mazda. Any information about these suspects should be reported to law enforcement officials. No injuries are reported.”

No charges as yet have been filed on any other individuals, but may be forthcoming, Fuqua said.

Woman Nabbed With 35 Lbs. Of Marijuana

Mayfield, Ky.—The Kentucky State Police were able to intercept packages containing 35 pounds of processed marijuana and arrested a Mayfield woman on drug charges today.

On Monday, March 20, the KSP Drug Enforcement received information that a large quantity of marijuana was being shipped via US Mail to an address in Mayfield. Upon further investigation, detectives were able to confirm the shipment of two packages to address on Taylor Drive in Mayfield.  

Earlier today, detectives began conducting surveillance on the residence. 

At approximately 11:30 Tuesday morning, two packages were observed being dropped off by the US Postal Service and accepted by the resident.  Detectives immediately executed a search warrant on the residence where they recovered the two packages containing a total of approximately 35 pounds of processed marijuana. 

Detectives arrested Ernestine Ross, 43, of Mayfield.  Ross was charged with Trafficking in Marijuana over 5 Pounds, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  The investigation is ongoing by TFO Det. Mark Watkins of the Kentucky State Police Drug Task Force.  Kentucky State Police was assisted by the Mayfield Police Department, Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force, and the US Postal Inspector.  

Garrett Set To Compete In Bassmaster Classic 

Houston, Texas--March is usually the month when most sports fans think of March Madness and basketball. But a different game is in the air for one Bethel University Bass Angler this month.

And it’s a game that thousands of bass anglers dream of each year. A game that professional and non-professional anglers alike strive all of their lives and careers to have a shot to play.

John Garrett of Union City, a student at Bethel University, is the only collegiate angler to earn a spot on this weekend’s Bassmaster Classic in Texas.

Garrett took the nation by storm back in August of 2016, when he and his fishing partner Brian Pahl won second place in the coveted Carharrt Bass Masters College National Championship on Green River reservoir in Campbellsville KY.

Garrett and Pahl went on to compete against six other anglers on their home waters of Kentucky Lake the following week in the Bass Master Classic Bracket series. The weigh-in for the tournament was held in downtown Paris before a large crowd.

Leaping forward to this month, Garrett is preparing to fish in the biggest angling event of his career in Houston as he will compete in the 2017 Bass Masters Classic. Less than sixty anglers get the chance to compete in the Classic each year and Garrett will be only the sixth college angler ever to do so.

Bethel Head Coach Garry Mason of Springville said, “We are so very excited for both John and our program here at Bethel. John will be a great representative for our program here at Bethel and for all of college fishing as he competes in the world’s most well-known Bass fishing championship.”

Elected Officials Tour Dana

Paris, Tenn.—Henry County officials recently toured Dana Power Technologies, the first of tours of the county’s industries, coordinated by the Paris-Henry County Industrial Committee. Dana is located on Hwy. 218.

Members of the City of Paris and Henry County Commission, along with members of the Paris Industrial Development Board recently toured the facility.

 “We are planning to tour each major industry to help educate our elected officials on the various industries we have in Henry County and to let our local industries know how much we appreciate their contributions to our economy,”  Henry County CEO David Hamilton said.

 A recent survey indicated over 100 new jobs and $19 million was invested in new equipment by local industries in 2016.  In 2015, local industries created 187 new jobs and invested over $17 million in new equipment.

 Hamilton said, “70% of the new jobs created in manufacturing come from local industry expansions. We are fortunate to have strong, growing industries in Henry County and working with our existing industries is our number one priority.”

 The most recent unemployment figures provided by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development shows Henry County’s unemployment rate is 7.8%, a 1.1% increase from the same period a year ago. 

UTM Nursing Program Ranked 8th In State

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Department of Nursing has been ranked eighth in Tennessee by The website evaluated 41 nursing programs statewide and determined UT Martin’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program to be one of the best.

The website looked primarily at pass rates for the National Council Licensure Examination when determining ranking placement. The UT Martin Department of Nursing’s 2016 graduating class achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN as first-time test takers last year, and previous classes have achieved similarly high results.

“I am always proud of our graduates and the hard work they put into preparing for the NCLEX-RN. This ranking highlights the tradition of success we have at UT Martin,” said Dr. Mary Radford, chair of the UT Martin Department of Nursing. “I look forward to seeing current and future students be successful not only on the licensure exam, but through service and professional growth in their nursing careers.”

The UT Martin BSN clinical program includes more than 900 hours of hands-on clinical experience in hospitals and health-care facilities across the state. The UT Martin Department of Nursing maintains partnerships with facilities throughout Tennessee, providing students with one of the widest varieties of clinical experiences available in the region.

According to, the nursing industry is growing in Tennessee, and the state is expected to hire an estimated 1,800 new nurses per year for the next five years.

For more information on the UT Martin Department of Nursing, contact the department at 731-881-7131 or email


Quota To Host Ladies Night Out

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Quota Club will be hosting a Ladies Night Out for a private viewing of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Parisian Theatre Tuesday evening, March 28.

The $15 ticket includes movie admission and box supper, along with door prizes. Tickets can be purchased from any Quota member and are available at the Henry County Elections Commission office in the courthouse annex.

Doors open 5:15 p.m. and the movie begins at 6 p.m.

Proceeds benefit Quota’s Scholarship Fund.


Tickets On Sale For Donkey Basketball

Paris, Tenn.--Tickets are on sale now for the Crusaders Donkey Basketball event set for 6 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Central Services Building in Paris.

Tickets are $6 available at Take Me Back Cafe or at the door.

A 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament will be held at noon. Divisions for adults, junior high and high school. To sign up, cost is $5 per player/50 percent payback. To sign up call 731 535 2016. More info at

Elvis Tribute Artist Riley Jenkins starts the pre-show at 5 p.m., with the Donkey Basketball at 6.

Full concessions all day. The Donkey Basketball is sponsored by Circle A Donkey Ranch in Henry.

Monday, March 20, 2017

911 Looks Ahead To County-Wide Radio Coverage

911 Chair John Etheridge (head of table), Richie Chilcutt and new member Norma Gerrell look over the agenda. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—In what Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew called “one of the most important things the 911 board has done for a while”, work is progressing on the Henry County/City of Paris project that will ensure there will be no dead spots for first responders to communicate throughout the county by police radio.

At Monday’s 911 meeting, Director Mark Archer reminded the board that the 911 program will be investing $250,000 in the project and both the county and city of Paris governments have officially approved it. “We’re getting memorandums of understanding from all the agencies in the county right now,” Archer said.

“What it’s going to take is a community block grant, one from the county in 2018, and one from the city in 2019,” he said. “It’s a very large project, but it will not go forward without the block grant.”

911 Board Chair John Etheridge said, “I know you’ve worked hard on this, but the end result will be virtually no dead spots for police radios in the county and all agencies will be able to communicate with each other.”

Archer noted, “We’ve really done our due diligence to make sure we are getting the best we can.”

Belew said, “This is probably one of the most important things 911 board done for a while. I can name numerous sites where we don’t have radio communication at all in the county. This is really going to be a valuable investment for the county.”

At the meeting’s outset, Paris Special Schools District Curriculum Director Norma Gerrell was welcomed on the board.

Officers also were re-elected: Chair John Etheridge, Vice Chair Chuck Elizondo and Secretary Twila Rose.

In other business:

--Archer reported that re-naming roads in the new 218 Bypass area is ongoing. Residents on those roads will be voting on the names.

--Technician Chad Howard conducted talks at two county Mennonite Schools and Holy Cross Church.


Six-Minute Commission Meet Sets Record

Paris, Tenn.—Meeting in a record-breaking short and sweet session of only six minutes Monday evening, the Henry County Commission appointed Commissioner Dell Carter to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a three-year session and approved budget transfers.


Special City Commission Meet Set

Paris, Tenn.—The Paris City Commission has called a special meeting for 11 a.m. Thursday to consider a request for approval of a certificate of compliance for Paris Loft Wines and Spirits. Owner Matthew Michael is in the process of submitting the required information to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission for a new license. The meeting is open to the public.


Elderly Woman Robbed In Parking Lot

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Murray, Ky.—An elderly woman was knocked to the ground during a robbery in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Murray and Murray Police are seeking the public’s help in apprehending the suspect. According to Police Sgt. Brant Shutt, police believe the suspect targeted the victim and parked near her because she is elderly.

The robbery occurred at 9:15 a.m. today. The Murray Police have released surveillance photos of the suspect’s vehicle and they are posted on the WENK/WTPR website and Facebook pages.

Wal-Mart surveillance video shows a dark colored vehicle, possibly a Toyota Camry or Corolla, with Tennessee plates, circle the parking lot multiple times, Shutt said. The suspect vehicle appears to spot the target vehicle and backed into a parking stall to wait for the driver to park and exit their vehicle and walk past.

Shutt said, “As the elderly victim walked past the vehicle, the suspect lunged out and grabbed the victim’s purse dragging her to the ground in the process. After a brief struggle for the purse the suspect then re-entered the vehicle and quickly sped off almost striking the victim with the vehicle.”

The only available description of the suspect is that she is a white female with dark brown or blonde hair, average build, and appeared to be approximately early 20’s in age. Anyone with information is asked to call the MPD at 270-753-1621.


Man With Dog Steals Car, Leads Police On Chase

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A vehicle stolen in Paris ended up with a pursuit through several states, ending with the suspect being held in the Henderson County Jail.

The incident began Sunday morning at the Pocket’s convenience store on Mineral Wells Ave., when a man parked his car by the pump, left it running and went inside the store. He noticed a man with dreadlocks sitting with his dog on the curb outside.

While inside, the car owner saw his Chevy Tahoe being backed out of the lot and driven off. A witness told police the man in dreadlocks put his dog in the back seat of the Chevy Tahoe and drove off.

A while later, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office reported being involved in a pursuit with the stolen vehicle on I-40. A while after that, the Tennessee Highway Patrol reported stopping the vehicle in Henderson County.

Arrested was Joseph Sizemore, age 24, of Helton, Ky. He is in jail, charged with theft, evading arrest, reckless driving, DUI and speeding.


Sushi Party Time At Lee Academy


Paris, Tenn.-It was sushi time at the Lee Academy for the Arts Saturday evening, with some 50 people on hand for the event, eager to learn how to expertly prepare their own sushi rolls. The instructor for the evening was Dan Knowles of Paris, who also is a local artist and nationally-renowned banjo master. Knowles as assisted in the preparation by his wife, Debbie, board members and friends. A wide array of toppings was set out for everyone to use to create their sushi rolls. The making of the sushi rolls was followed by the best part: the eating of the sushi rolls, along with salad and miso soup. (Shannon McFarlin photos).


Talking Turkey At Wildlife Refuge


Ranger Joan Howe, right, introduces Speaker Laura French. (Jean Owens photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.—Thirty people were on hand to learn about the “Amazing Wild Turkey” Saturday afternoon at the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge. Laura French presented the program, informing the group that wild turkeys have 30 different calls and each means something different.

A handful of organizations have worked to bring wild turkeys back from near extinction, including the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and now wild turkeys are plentiful, as anyone who drives along the country roads near the refuge can attest.

According to French, wild turkeys can fly up to 55 mph and run 25 mph, they roost on the top of trees and they can swim. She said turkey hunters should never use the gobble call when hunting because you can be mistaken for a turkey and that could end very badly for the hunter.

More turkey facts: the female is a hen; the male is a tom or a gobbler and the babies are called chicks.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

House Heavily Damaged By Fire

Deputy Sgt. Bryan Hall and Paris Firefighter Lt. Michael Long at the scene of the fire at 445 Smith Rd., Paris. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.—A home at 445 Smith Rd., Paris, was heavily damaged in a fire Sunday afternoon.

Paris Firefighters arrived quickly and were able to save the structure, which suffered a large amount of smoke damage. The fire appeared to start in living room area of the home, according to Henry County Sheriff's Deputy Bryan Hall, who was also at the scene.

The home's resident told WENK/WTPR he came home from Murray and found the smoke billowing out of the residence and called 911. Stubblefield said no one was home when the fire started.

The fire occurred around 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Irish Eyes Smiling On Erin For Grand Parade

Erin Mayor Paul Bailey throws hats to the crowd.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Erin, Tenn.—Irish eyes were certainly smiling on the community of Erin for the annual Irish Celebration Grand Parade Saturday. With clear skies and warm temperatures, a huge crowd was on hand for the parade, with Grand Marshal Dave Nichols, former Channel 5 Weatherman; Junior Grand Marshal Izzy Lamberth and Lord High Mayor Tim Clegherns.

The annual Irish Day Celebration is a week-long affair, with a carnival, community dinners, community breakfasts, arts and crafts vendors and plenty of green decorating Erin, which is billed as “A Bit Of Ireland In Tennessee”.

The grand parade was preceded with the Leprechaun Parade, in which the kids get to strut their stuff. Erin Mayor Paul Bailey threw out green hats from his float. Also on the mayor’s float was a couple from Ireland who have made five trips now to the Erin celebration and were honored by the community.

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean marched in the parade, while State Rep. Jay Reedy was also on hand with other area politicos. The 101st Airborne Division band also marched in the parade.

The Southernaire Restaurant won the Irish Beautification Contest.

The Irish Day Celebration is organized each year by the Houston County Area Chamber of Commerce.


These cousins had their bags ready to catch all the candy they could. They are the great-granddaughters of Margaret Simpson.

Benton Co. Sports Hall Of Fame Class Of 2017  

Camden, Tenn.-The Benton County Sports Hall of Fame “Class of 2017” has been announced by Hall of Fame Committee Chair David Markham. Seven persons have been selected for this year’s class and they represent a wide range of local sports.

Members to be inducted are: Sam Lowery, Camden, 1949-53, football; Keith Peach, Big Sandy, 1989-93, basketball and baseball; Willard Stokes, Holladay, 1954, basketball; Jeff Rowland, Camden, 1991-1993, baseball, football and basketball; Jeff Tharpe, Camden, 1977-80, football; Harriett Chester, Camden, 1968, basketball, and Bobby “Flash” Melton of Camden of Catfish Radio in Benton County.

The induction banquet will be held Saturday, May 20, at Lakeshore Camp in Eva. Tickets are $25 and will be available in April. Guest Speaker is Dale Kelley, Athletic Director of Bethel University and Mayor of Huntingdon.

BPU To Flush Hydrants Next Week

Paris, Tenn.--The Paris Board of Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants during the week of March 20th.  BPU customers could possibly experience air in water lines or discoloration in the water.  Please check for discoloration of water prior to doing laundry.  If these conditions occur, run water through a faucet for several minutes.  The water should return to normal in a short amount of time.  If problems continue, please feel free to contact Tony Brown at 642-1322, ext. 115. 


Friday, March 17, 2017

J.C. Penney Store In UC To Close

Union City, Tenn.—The J.C. Penney Store in Union City is among 138 stores that are set to close in the next few months due to slow sales. The other two stores are at Greeneville Commons in Greeneville and Knoxville Center in Knoxville. The Union City store is located in the County Market Place.

About 5,000 employees will be losing their jobs across the country as a result of the closures. J.C. Penney announced it would offer employees “separation benefits”, including assistance getting other jobs.

The closures are a result of the impact on Penney’s brick and mortar stores by online shopping.

Another Elderly Victim Loses Money To Scam

Dresden, Tenn.-Another scam has resulted in an elderly Weakley County woman losing a great deal of money—this time, the elderly victim lost $1,800.

Weakley County Sheriff’s Captain Randall McGowan said the woman was contacted by a man claiming to be Christian Grant and that he was involved in the legal system in Mexico. He convinced the woman that her grandson had been arrested in Mexico and the money was needed for his legal defense.

The victim was instructed to put $450 cash on four different Wal-Mart gift cards, which she did. She gave the man the numbers off the back of the cards. She became suspicious when they called back the next day seeking more money. According to McGowan, the man even had a recording of her grandson speaking.

The victim then checked with her grandson, who lives in another state, and he is fine.

A check of the area code from which the calls were made showed it to be Cambodia. McGowan said the sheriff’s office is again urging people to never send money to someone you don’t know. ‘You will never have to send money to get money. The IRS will not call you. Publisher’s Clearinghouse will not call you. Never give your birthday or Social Security number to someone you don’t know. If you suspect an attempted scam, call local law enforcement before you do anything. Once you send the money, it is gone for good.”

UC Band Making Most Of NYC Visit

Cake presented to Director John Easley by the UCHS Band. (UC Band photo).

New York City—The Union City High School Band is pumped up and ready to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this afternoon and has been making the most of its trip to the Big Apple.

With long-time Band Director John Easley retiring, the band presented him with a cake that looks like the Union City Band’s drums. Easley retires after 31 years in the position and told his band students that his heart will always beat in time with the Purple People.

Band members Thursday visited the Statue of Liberty and saw the Broadway productions of Wicked and Phantom of the Opera. After this afternoon’s parade, the band will visit the Empire State Building.

State FFA Officers Visit Local Area

State FFA Officials at the McWherter Museum in Dresden. (FFA photos).

Paris, Martin and Dresden—  The Tennessee Future Farmers of America State Officer team spent a week in the local area on the 2017 Goodwill Tour, visiting the FFA programs in Paris, Martin and Dresden. The tour is a time honored tradition in Tennessee, in which State Officers travel statewide promoting the agricultural youth organization, Tennessee FFA. During the week, State Officers visited sponsors, universities, and agribusinesses across Tennessee.

Starting their West Tennessee journey in Memphis, the State Officers enjoyed a light breakfast and visit with Agricenter International employees and Board members.  

After lunch, the State Officers visited the Governor Ned R. McWherter Library in Dresden, Tennessee. The state officers were able to learn more about Governor McWherter’s experience and appreciation for FFA along with his support of agriculture in Tennessee.  The night ended with an FFA Day banquet at the University of Tennessee at Martin. State Officers met with faculty, guests and FFA chapters from across West Tennessee.

The second and final day in West Tennessee began at the Paris FFA Chapter. Members and FFA state officers enjoyed breakfast and learned more about the storied history of the Paris FFA chapter. In addition, Mark McBride, Paris FFA Alum, spoke about the release of the Tennessee FFA History book.

The Goodwill Tour was sponsored by the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative, Catesa Farms owned by George McDonald, and the Ned R. McWherter Foundation.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Nationally, there are 649,355 FFA members, aged 12-21. The Tennessee FFA Association is comprised of 14,084 members from 214 high school chapters, 7 middle school chapters, and 8 collegiate chapters across the state of Tennessee. To learn more about FFA visit


FFA officials at Henry County High School.

Keep On Movin’ Over Spring Break

Paris, Tenn.—Get your exercise and work on your moves over Spring Break as Dancing Generation Studio will join the KPAC KIXX to teach hip hop. Classes are 10:30 a.m. to noon Monday, March 20, to Friday, March 24. There will be a free, short public performance for parents, family and friends at noon Friday, March 24. Class fee is $30 and includes a performance t-shirt. Register soon. Class limited to 25 students. Email or call 731 707 3374 if you want to participate.


12pm – 3pm

van cleef & cartier bracelet

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