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Monday, January 26, 2015 

Buchanan Area Home Destroyed By Fire
Space Heater May Be Cause

Paris Landing Firefighters Brian Hinson (back to camera) and Jonathan Flood at the scene. (Reggie Coles photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Buchanan, Tenn.-A Lakeview Cove home was destroyed by fire Sunday but no one was reported injured.

The Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department was called to 25 Lakeview Cove at 2:45 p.m. and arriving units found the house fully engulfed in flames, according to Paris Landing Chief Reggie Coles.

The owner David Mathis said he was outside working on his truck when a neighbor ran up and told him there was smoke coming from his house. 

Coles said while the Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire, the house was ruled a total loss. A space heater is the suspected cause. 

Damage was estimated at $50,000.00. Four trucks and nine firefighters were on the scene for two hours.

Food Distributed To 175 Families


Springville, Tenn.-In conjunction with Second Harvest Food Bank, the Antioch United Methodist Church, Paris Landing Fire Department, the Paris Landing Senior Citizens Center and other area churches distributed food to approximately 175 families on Saturday. Approximately 28,000 pounds of food was distributed to needy local families. (Reggie Coles photo).

Man Crashes Stolen Car Into Apartments

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-An 18-year-old Union City man was arrested on several charges after he crashed a stolen car into an apartment building Friday. 

Union City Police were called to the 1300 block of Mercer St. on a report of a car hitting a building. When they arrived at the Union City Housing Authority complex, they found a car had jumped a curb and was resting against two apartments. 

They found the car, a maroon Mitsubishi, was registered to a Union City woman living on Nash St.

A large crowd was milling about, including the resident of one of the apartments struck by the car. The resident told police when she went outside to see what was happening, she saw a black male walking around looking and that he first asked to use the bathroom, then said he had to go get his cell phone and then left the scene.

Several people in the crowd identified the man who was driving the car as Calvin King of 306 S. Taylor St. 

While police were looking for him, they received a car about a stolen vehicle. The owner of the vehicle said her boyfriend had given King the keys so he could go into their home, but did not give him permission to take the car.

When police found King, he admitted stealing and crashing the car and also admitting sideswiping another car.

King was charged with theft, leaving the scene, no driver’s license and lack of financial responsibility.


Wirgau, Stevens Speak At Chamber Luncheon


Paris, Tenn.-State Representative Tim Wirgau speaking to a capacity crowd Friday during the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce's legislative luncheon. He addressed new committee assignments and the upcoming healthcare legislation and was joined by State Senator John Stevens. (Chamber photo).


LBL Bison Auction Set For January 31 


Golden Pond, Ky. – A public auction to reduce the size of Land Between The Lakes’ bison herds will be held on Saturday, January 31. The sale begins at 9 am Central Standard Time at the Elk & Bison Prairie corral. Bidder registration, final sale list, and viewing begin at 8am. Bison purchases may be made with cash, credit card, or personal check at time of bid acceptance. 

The Elk & Bison Prairie corral is located on the east side of Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway (KY 453) just north of US68/KY80. GPS coordinates: N36 47’ 27.4” W88 3’ 54.1” Golden Pond, Kentucky.

Because of the size and temperament, closed-topped trailers or vehicles are required to transport bison. Once bison step off the loading chute and into a buyer’s trailer, the animal becomes the property and responsibility of the buyer. Bison must be loaded by the buyers immediately following the auction. For an additional $20 fee per animal, arrangements can be made at time of payment to load bison Monday, February 2, between 8am and 10am only.

The Forest Service has scheduled 38 bison to be sold individually to include 3 cows born between 1998 and 2006, 1 large young bull born in 2012, 6 yearling heifers born in 2013, 9 yearling bulls, and a mix of 19 bull and heifer calves born in 2014. All animals come from a tuberculosis accredited herd and will be tested for brucellosis and certified by a licensed veterinarian before the auction. Preliminary details regarding the age, sex, and weights of all animals to be sold will be available after Tuesday, January 27, with the final list available at 8am on day of sale. For a preliminary list or any questions, call Curtis Fowler at 270-924-2061 or email ffowler@fs.fed.us.

An on-site veterinarian will issue Health Certificates as required for interstate transport immediately after the auction. Import permits will be on hand for the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Alabama, and North Carolina. Know the rules of your state BEFORE you buy. Some states have specific requirements as to age and vaccinations. If you need a different state import permit than listed, contact Curtis Fowler at 270-924-2061 on or before Monday, January 26, for it to be available at time of sale. 

Additional services may be purchased from the on-site veterinarian by cash or check to include vaccinations at time of bid acceptance. Know what vaccinations are required for your state.

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


Sunday, January 25, 2015 

Huntingdon Man Arrested On Long List Of Drug Charges

Sgt. Joey Hedge and seized items. (Huntingdon Police photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-After finding the driver passed out at the wheel, Huntingdon Police arrested a Huntingdon man on a long list of drug charges. In the course of the arrest, police seized his car, drug paraphernalia and over $4,000 in cash.
Arrested was Leonard Curtis Smith, age 53, of 365 N. Veterans Dr. in Huntingdon. He was charged with DUI second offense, violation of implied consent, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of Schedule II drugs (oxycontin pills), possession of Schedule III drugs (hydroquinone pills), possession of drugs with intent to resale (including some 1.2 grams of meth).

Huntingdon Police were called to the intersection of Lexington St. and Veterans Dr. at 3 a.m. Saturday on a call that a car had been sitting there for awhile.

Sgt. Joey Hedge and Patrolman Drake Whitworth responded and found Smith passed out behind the wheel. Sgt. Hedge opened the drivers door and put the car in park before awakening the driver. The driver was unable to satisfactorily perform field sobriety test and after giving consent to search his vehicle the officers found several items of drugs, drug paraphernalia, and cash in the vehicle and on the person of the driver. 

Seized during the course of the arrest were the drugs, drug paraphernalia consisting of aluminum slides and tubes used to smoke methamphetamine, two cell phones, a 2000 year model Pontiac Bonneville, and $4429 dollars in cash. 

Smith will be arraigned in Carroll County General Sessions Court on Wednesday January 28.


TBI Completes Bobo Evidence Analysis


Decatur County, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has completed its analysis of over 460 pieces of evidence collected in the investigation of the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo, who disappeared from her Parsons home in April 2011.

TBI Spokesperson Josh DeVine confirmed that the agency has completed the analysis. Defense attorneys representing Zachary Adams and Jason Autrey have complained that the state has not provided all its evidence against their clients and that they have received no evidence linking their clients to the crime.

Adams and Autrey were arrested last spring and charged with the crimes. In September of last year, after a lengthy search since her disappearance, part of Bobo’s remains were found in a wooded area near her home.

No trial date has yet been set.

 
State GOP To Seek Closed Primaries

Nashville, Tenn.-The executive committee of the Tennessee Republican Party is planning to meet next month to discuss a proposal that would change the state’s primary election process.

GOP leaders are discussing whether to pass a resolution that would essentially recommend that lawmakers pass legislation that would close primaries. 

Sixteen members of the Tennessee Republican Party Executive Committee have requested a special meeting in Nashville on February 7. 

That would mean voters would have to register with their political party before casting a ballot in primary elections, and they could only vote for candidates identifying with the same party. For example, only those registered as Republican can vote for Republican candidates.



Saturday, January 24, 2015 

The Long And Winding Road


Paris, Tenn.-Everyone in our area woke up to a blanket of snow this morning, making for pretty landscapes while they last. One of the prettiest were the KWK Railroad tracks at McNeill Park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Horbelt To Be Keynote For Women's Conference
Stephanie Tayloe Also To Speak


Martin, Tenn. – Jennifer Horbelt, UT Martin alumna and co-anchor of WPSD Local 6 news in Paducah, Ky., is the keynote speaker for the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 17th annual Working Women’s Conference. The W.G. Rhea genealogy department also will participate in this year’s conference.

Horbelt will speak on “Reconstructing Your Life.” The conference will take place from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Feb. 6, in the Boling University Center Duncan Ballroom on the main campus. Registration is $40 per person and participants must be enrolled by Feb. 1. The registration fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch and all activities.

Horbelt began her WPSD career while a student at UT Martin and worked her way up from intern to reporter to evening anchor. She covered several high-profile local trials as well as the 2009 winter storm. In 2011 she moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., to anchor at NBC affiliate KOAA News 5  and returned to WPSD a few months ago. She received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award during UT Martin’s 2014 Homecoming celebration. 

This year’s conference theme is “Women Under Construction: Building Career, Family and Communities.” Sessions will focus on building personal and professional relationships, physical fitness and emotional strength.

The conference schedule is as follows:
· 8:30 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast
· 9 – Welcome from UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes and Charley Deal, WestStar executive director
· 9:15 – Keynote Speaker – “Reconstructing your Life,” Jennifer Horbelt
· 10 – “Constructing Your Family Tree,” Stephanie Tayloe, W.G. Rhea Public Library
· 10:45 – Break
· 11 – “Building Relationships, Influence and Impact,” Alissa DeWitt; founder, executive coach and consultant; Executive Impact
· 11:45 – Lunch
· 1 p.m. – “Building a Firm Foundation,” Loral Underwood, personal trainer
· 1:45 – “Building Spirits,” Dr. Teresa Collard, UT Martin assistant professor of communications

Registration is taken on a first-come, first-served basis and seating is limited. Register online at http://www.utmforever.com/wc2015 or contact Virginia Grimes, WestStar coordinator, at vgrimes@utm.edu or by phone at 731-881-7298. 
 
 Jennifer Horbelt, center, at UT Martin’s 2014 Homecoming celebration  with Dr. Bob Smith, president emeritus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, and Lin Dunn, retired WNBA coach, who also both received homecoming awards. 


Leadership Class Hears About HCMC


Paris, Tenn.-Lisa Casteel, Chief Financial Officer at Henry County Medical Center and former board member at the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, shared an overview of HCMC and the healthcare industry with members of the Leadership Henry County class this week. (Chamber photo).

Helping Hand Total Now $111,671

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $111,671, with today’s total of $11,005 raised by the Clifty community, Clifty village, Rescue Squad, Dialysis Clinic and Relay For Life.

Saturday’s items will be donated by Henry County’s educators and there will be two auctions, both in the afternoon and evening. 

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



Friday, January 23, 2015 

Two Die In Erin House Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Erin, Tenn. – An Erin woman and her daughter were found dead in the remains of the home that burned to the ground today in Houston County.

Houston County Fire Chief David Hardin confirmed the deaths of the two. The victims were Jennifer Strickland and Katelyn Knight, who were reportedly trapped in the rear of the house.

They were among eight people who were in the house at the time of the blaze, which started this morning on Clay Tomlinson Rd. Two other people were injured, but were treated and released.

Hardin told WENK/WTPR earlier that the state fire marshal has been called in the investigation of the cause of the blaze since the fire did involve fatalities.

He said the house was fully engulfed in flames and that firefighters could not enter the residence for several hours because of hot spots. Assisting the Houston County department were the fire departments from Erin, Montgomery County, Dickson County and Stewart County.


Two Unaccounted For In Ongoing Erin Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Erin, Tenn.-Houston County Fire Chief David Hardin confirmed that two people are still unaccounted for in the ongoing house fire near Erin.

The fire was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived earlier this morning, Hardin said, and is still ongoing as of 11 a.m.

Speaking from the scene at 11:20 a.m. today, Hardi...n said, "There are still hot spots that we're trying to control and we are not able to get into the house right now. The fire marshal is at the scene right now. It's going to be a little while longer before we know anything."

As of 11 a.m., fire crews from a four-county area are still on the scene of a house fire near Erin in which two people are unaccounted for.

The Houston County Fire Department is receiving assistance from the Dickson, Montgomery and Stewart County fire departments, as well as the Erin Fire Department, Hardin said.

The fire is in the 200 block of Clay Tomlinson Road.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.


Wynn Street Home Destroyed By Fire

Paris Fire Marshal Greg Andrews, left, and Fire Chief Michael Williams at the scene this morning. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A home at 402 Wynn St. in Paris was destroyed by fire of unknown origin Thursday night. 

The occupant of the home was able to escape injury but the structure and everything in it is a total loss.

Paris Fire Department Chief Michael Williams and Fire Marshal Greg Andrews were on the scene this morning investigating the cause of the fire. Andrews said the investigation will be performed locally.

The first fire call was received around 9:17 p.m. and firefighters found the structure fully engulfed when they arrived. Fire personnel were on the scene until 11:07 p.m. 

The fire rekindled around 12:05 a.m. and firefighters were on the scene until 1:10 a.m.

The structure is owned by Jeff Townsend and the occupant at the time of the fire was renting it. Loss to property is $30,000 and contents is $12,000.


Reelfoot Receives Customer Service Award

Pictured are Director of Operations Mike Robertson, Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill, Reelfoot Lake State Park Manager Robin Wooten, TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau and West TN Area Manager Chris Padgett.

 
Burns, Tenn.-Reelfoot Lake State Park received an Excellence in Customer Service Award at the Tennessee State Parks Management meeting this week at Montgomery Bell State Park.

Receiving the Park of the Year Award was Johnsonville State Historic Park in New Johnsonville.

Other West Tennessee state parks receiving awards included Mousetail Landing State Park, Linden, for Excellence in Interpretation; Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Lebanon for Excellence in Innovation; and Radnor Lake State Park for Excellence in Resource Management.

The full list of awards: 
Excellence in Innovation:
West TN - Cedars of Lebanon State Park
East TN - Cumberland Mountain State Park
Excellence in Customer Service:
West TN - Reelfoot Lake State Park
East TN - Fall Creek Falls State Park
Excellence in Interpretation:
West TN - Mousetail Landing State Park
East TN - Norris Dam State Park
Excellence in Resource Management:
West TN - Radnor Lake State Park
East TN - Standing Stone State Park

UC Police Investigating More Shots Fired At Cars

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating another incident involving a vehicle being shot at in the city limits.

Police were called to 621 E. Palmer St. Thursday night and found the vehicle parked in front with the rear tail lights shot out. Police also said the entire passenger side of the car was damaged with what appeared to be bird shot.

The resident of the house said he heard a loud noise and got up to investigate but didn’t see anything.

Union City Police are also investigating a burglary of television sets at the La Barra establishment at 1210 E. Main St.

According to the police report, the owner said he left the bar around 7 p.m. on Wednesday and returned around 10 p.m. last night to find someone had kicked in the door and stolen three flat screen television sets.

Fulton Student Charged With Assault, Threats

Fulton, Ky.-A student at Fulton City High School was charged with abuse of a teacher, assault and terrorist threatening after an incident Wednesday.

According to Fulton City Police, officers were called to the school on a report that a male student had threatened to kill another student. The police report indicated the student turned over a desk and pushed another student against a wall, causing pain and injury.

He was charged with abuse of a teacher, fourth degree assault and third degree terrorist threatening.


Grove 50th Reunion Being Organized

Paris, Tenn.-A 50th reunion for the Grove High School Class of 1965 is being organized for September and all classmates are being sought.

Organizers said the reunion will be held September 18 and 19. Details will be announced when plans are finalized.

Contact nancymorris816@hotmail.com or call 731-407-4147 with contact information as soon as possible. 

Workshop On Cyber Security Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is planning an educational workshop on cyber security on January 30 and the Chamber is asking interested people to RSVP to reserve a seat.

The workshop will be presented by West Kentucky and Tennessee Communications from 10-11 a.m.

WK&T Customer Service Supervisor Brandon Johnson will offer expert advice on identifying virus-causing programs like malware and spyware, what to do if your computer has been infected and tips on increasing tech security for small businesses. Brandon has active certifications in both CompTIA A+ & Network+ and will be able to answer specific questions attendees have if time permits.

Please RSVP with Jennifer Brake at jennifer@reedpublicrelations.com or (615) 428-8618 to reserve your seat.




Thursday, January 22, 2015 

First-Degree Murder Case Bound Over To Circuit Court

                  Toby Carter

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The first degree murder charges against a Springville man in the September death of an 80-year-old man in the Kentucky Lake area has been bound over to the Henry County Circuit Court.

Toby Carter, age 37, of 383 Russwood Dr., was arrested for the first degree murder of Bobby J. Dozier of Clarksville who had been staying at the family’s resort home in New Concord, Ky.

At a hearing Thursday morning in General Sessions Court, a second charge of especially aggravated kidnapping was dismissed against Carter.

Judge Vicki Snyder bound the first degree murder charge over to the Circuit Court, awaiting the next grand jury on March 2.

Carter’s arrest followed a two-day search for Dozier by Henry County and Calloway County law enforcement. Dozier’s body was found on the Olde Tennessee Trail. Before his body was found, Dozier’s dog was found on Port Road and his car was found abandoned in the parking lot of Progressive Baptist Church on Rison St. in Paris.

Carter has been held on $1 M bond in the Henry County Jail since his arrest.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said at the time of Carter’s arrest that DNA evidence linked Carter to the crime scene.

Carter is being represented by Public Defender Jeff Fagan and the state’s case is being presented by Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing.


Gerrell: Sales Tax Increase Will Avert Fiscal Crisis 

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer and Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell address the school board. Listening are Board Members Doug Braden and Robert Sleadd. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-In a presentation before the Henry County Schools board of education, Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said Paris and Henry County are “facing a fiscal crisis” and that is why voters will be asked to approve a sales tax referendum on local ballots March 17.

Gerrell and County Mayor Brent Greer presented a power point presentation to the board and said without the support of the educational community, the referendum will be difficult to pass.

Gerrell said, “How we solve this issue will be decided in a referendum. A vote yes for one half cent local option sales tax will avoid property tax increases, support schools and improve school safety. It will also allow us to share the burden with our out of town guests.”

The one-half cent sales tax increase would generate $1.8 M, which would be distributed to the Henry County Schools, Paris Special Schools District, county and city of Paris. Gerrell said monies also will be allotted to the smaller communities in the county.

How did we get here? Gerrell asked. Henry County has taken a big hit financially from revenue losses from liquor sales that are now available in other communities. That alone will cost Henry County $315,000 annually, Gerrell said. “And that revenue is not going to come back. Additionally, inflation has exceeded revenue growth at a rate of 2.2 to 0.8 percent

Both the county and city and the schools have done a lot to balance budget, Gerrell said, including city property tax increases, reducation of employee benefits, no salary increases, deferred capital and equipment purchases, insufficient technology upgrades, and the use of rainy day funds particularly with Henry County Schools, Paris Schools and the city of Paris.

Gerrell said the sales tax increase “is a sound financial decision” especially compared to property tax increases which would place a tax burden on retirees, home owners and commercial enterprises. 

Other choices would include depleting fund balances, borrowing funds which the city and county do not like to do and reducing services and employees “which people don’t want to think about,” Gerrell said.

The money generated from the sales tax increase would be spent for school operations, safety improvements and renovations, keeping pace with technology, restoring fund balances and addressing infrastructure needs.

Greer said, “We have a chance to bring almost a million dollars to our school systems. We’re protecting our children for years to years to come.”

If the educational community doesn’t get behind this referendum, Greer said, “We’ll have very little chance of passing. We’re not pulling anything over anyone’s eyes; we;re just talking about needs.”

 

Extraordinary Year For Family Resources Center

Business Teacher Angela Yearry shows the type of posters that can be made at the high school while Board Secretary Tiffany Latta and Board Member Doug Braden look on. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--It’s been an extraordinary year for the Family Resource Center, with many more students served already this year than last year.

That was the word from Family Resource Coordinators Becky Holland and Judy Goad to the Henry County Schools board of education Thursday night.

“We’re already ahead of where were for the last year in terms of children served,” Holland said. Thus far in the 2014-2015 school year, Family Resources has served 2,457 children and 131 participants.

Total contacts with families number 1,275 which includes school visits, home visits, parent meetings, agency contacts and phone contacts.

The Family Resource Center--which is located in the Central Services building--is serving 284 children in a variety of ways, including one-on-one tutoring in classroom, weekend backpack program, food bank, social skills sessions. 

Through programs including the Good Start program, financial assistance, student advisory council, school supplies and Christmas projects, Family Resources has served 691 children. The majority of that involves school supplies, for which 527 students were served.

Holland said the public has been very generous in its donations, which have been coming in to the program without being solicited.

Director of Schools Sam Miles commended Holland and Goad for their work. “The work they do has made a difference; a hute difference in the ability of a lot of students to do well in school and get to school. Rural schools really need this service.” 

In other business:

--Miles announced that graduation will be held May 22 this year.

--Curriculum Supervisors Betsy Allison and Dr. Renae Wade spoke about the Tennessee Education Standards Review that allows citizens to comment on the English/Language Arts and Math standards online.

High School Art Teacher Greg Chandler, Business Teacher Angela Yearry and students Sage Prichett, Christina Tuterow and Stacy Lundquist presented their Patriot Pride designs and displayed what the school’s poster and decal makers can do for the public.


Robison To Work At Pro, Super Bowls


Martin, Tenn. – Rachel Robison, a senior marketing major from Springville, will join five other students from the University of Tennessee at Martin’s sport business program to work hospitality events at both the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Dexter Davis, assistant professor of sport business, will lead the group. This is Davis’ 10th Super Bowl and the second for UT Martin students. 

Students will not be in the stands eating popcorn, however. At the Pro Bowl, they will be involved in coordinating pre-game events, fan activities and post-game hospitality. At the Super Bowl, students will likely work with Davis, who helps manage player appearances at the event. This includes assisting with arrival and departure, coordinating autograph signing venues and escorting players between events. Students will also assist with the post-game event, where visitors who have paid an extra fee are allowed to go onto the field after the trophy has been presented.

The group will leave Jan. 23 and return Feb. 3. During their time in Phoenix, they will also be assisting the local organizing committee prepare for the Super Bowl, as well as meeting with members of the Phoenix Coyotes staff; touring the Salt Lick Fields complex, a spring training facility for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies; taking a trail ride on Camelback Mountain and attending the Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies NBA game Monday after the Super Bowl.

Students interested in participating this year were required to submit a cover letter and resume to Davis, as well as complete a formal interview with him, before being selected. Davis treats the process like a job application because involvement with the NFL opens doors only the NFL can open.

“Anytime you are able to put a brand like the NFL next to your name, it garners attention. With some hard work and a little luck, I will be able to use this experience as a platform for a long, successful career in the football industry,” said Ian McGrew, a senior from Troy.

“The Super Bowl is one of the most influential events of the year, especially when it comes to advertising,” according to Courtney Caton, a sophomore from Huntingdon. “As a marketing major, I am intrigued by all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the advertising and production of such a large event. I am most excited about making connections with possible employers about internships or a career.”

The other students attending are Caton; Ross Landreth, a senior from Selmer; Jamison Matney, a senior from Bon Aqua; McGrew; and Dakota Shanes, a sophomore from Bon Aqua. Caton, Robison and Shanes are marketing majors, while Landreth, Matney and McGrew are sport business majors.

Robison is the only student from this year’s team to have also attended last year’s Super Bowl with Davis. “The hands on involvement that I received from last year’s Super Bowl was enlightening. I think that going back for a second time I will be able to receive a more in-depth understanding of the event planning side of things,” she said. Last year’s team worked as customer service staff members during the game.


Benton County Death Termed "Suspicious"

Camden, Tenn. -- The body of a Benton County man has been sent to Nashville for an autopsy after he was found dead in his driveway in a remote area of Birdsong Rd.

The body of Richard Herbison, age 53, was found by his brother-in-law.

Benton County Sheriff’s deputies said the case is being investigated as a suspicious death. When Herbison’s body was taken to the hospital, it was discovered a bullet was lodged in his lung, with an entrance wound on his outer left thigh.

The sheriff’s office has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for assistance.


Hickman-Dorena Ferry Resumes Operations


Hickman, Ky.-The Hickman-Dorena Ferry has resumed operations, which is sure to be good news for the people who rely on the ferry for quicker transportation between Kentucky and Missouri.

The Hickman-Dorena Ferry is one of the few remaining riverboat ferries in the United States and the only ferry crossing the Mississippi River between Missouri and Kentucky.

Officials at the ferry had announced earlier it was shutting down November 18 for just a few weeks to outfit a new barge.

Officials announced on the ferry’s Facebook page that it opened Wednesday on its regular winter operating schedule.



Helping Hand Total Now $96,364

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $96,364, with $5,280 raised today by Commercial Bank, Foundation Bank, Regions Bank, and First Bank.

On Thursday, items will be raised by the Puryear community, Harrelson Beta Club, E.W. James and Sons Supermarket and the Office on Aging and Nutrition.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


UC Man Cited For Harboring Vicious Animals

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was cited for harboring vicious animals after two of his pit bulls allegedly attacked other dogs in his neighborhood.

Anthony Dewan Chambers, 604 Greenwood, received citations for harboring vicious animals, allowing dogs to run loose and no proof his dogs had been vaccinated.

Union City Police also are investigating a report of a car being shot at while driving the 600 block of Palmer St.

According to the police report, there were five dents on the driver’s side rear panel that appeared to be from shotgun pellets.




Wednesday, January 21, 2015 

Huntingdon Native Appointed Assistant Adjutant General

Colonel Tommy Baker receives his badges from Maj. General Max Haston and Baker's wife, Camille, on his promotion to Colonel in 2011.


Nashville, Tenn.-A Huntingdon native has been appointed Assistant Adjutant General for the state of Tennessee.

Colonel Tommy Baker with the Tennessee Army National Guard was appointed Wednesday by Tennessee’s Adjutant General Major General Max Haston. 

Baker also is a graduate of UT Martin. He was commissioned in 1985 from the Tennessee Military Academy and was graduated from UT Martin with a bachelor’s degree in public administration. He received his masters degree in Business Administration Military Management from Touro University, and is a 2011 graduate of the United States Army War College with a Masters in Strategic Studies.

Baker was deployed to Kuwait in 2004 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom III and again in 2008 as the Commander of the 30th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion at Q-West, Iraq.

He has received numerous awards, including the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

He is married to Camille Arnold Baker, also from Huntingdon. They have two children, Hillari and Cody.

Major General Haston says Colonel Baker will be promoted to Brigadier General at a later date.


Applications Accepted For Citizen's Police Academy 


Martin, Tenn.-The Martin Police Department is now accepting applications for members of the 26th Session of the Citizen’s Police Academy. This session is scheduled to begin March 10.

The Citizen’s Police Academy is a chance for citizens that live or work in the Martin area to get a first hand view of the operations of the Martin Police Department. When someone graduates from the Citizen’s Police Academy they are not certified as a police officer, but will have a better understanding of what police officers face everyday. The class will meet one night a week for ten weeks. Instruction will include use of force, undercover drug operations, crime scene investigation, DUI enforcement, criminal law, firearms, and other areas.

Also during the ten week class the participants will be required to ride with a Martin Police Officer at least two times, with one of the ride-alongs to be between the hours of 10:00 pm and 2:00 am. Over 500 citizens have graduated from the Citizen’s Police Academy Program since its inception in 1993.

Applications can be picked up at the Martin Police Department or downloaded from the Martin Police Department website (www.martindps.org). Cost is only $20.00 which includes purchase of a session shirt.

Applications will be accepted until February 13th, 2015 or until the class is filled. If you would like more information about the Citizen’s Police Academy please contact Captain Don Teal at (731)-587-5355 ext. 235.


UTM Announces New Initiative

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin announced a new initiative Jan. 20 called the “UT Martin Advantage” to complement the recently-enacted Tennessee Promise legislation. 

A major component of the UT Martin Advantage plan is the introduction of a new scholarship. Students who enter the university in their freshman year and continue to meet requirements for the Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship will be eligible to receive the UT Martin Advantage Scholarship beginning in their sophomore year. This will take effect beginning in the fall 2015 semester.

The initiative also includes the launch of a new website built to show prospective students the long-term advantages of attending a four-year university and participating in the total collegiate experience.

At UT Martin, students have access to award-winning faculty members; hands-on learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom; international travel study opportunities; and a variety of campus activities and organizations often not present on community college campuses.

“We believe that many students benefit from attending a four-year university,” according to Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor. “The UT Martin Advantage Scholarship provides more students with the opportunity to pursue the total collegiate experience."
For more information, visit the new website at http://www.utm.edu/advantage/. 


Wilkes To Appear At Jackson Purchase Society 


Paducah, Ky.-Most people know J.D. Wilkes as a high-energy singer, songwriter, and performer with groups such as The Legendary Shack Shakers and The Dirt Daubers. But the Paducah resident is also a talented illustrator and author. His most recent book is Barn Dances & Jamborees Across Kentucky. This is the subject of his presentation at the quarterly meeting of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society 10:30 AM Saturday, January 24, in the upstairs conference room at the McCracken County Public Library. The meeting is open to the public and free of charge, but seating is limited.

“Kentuckians have been wearing out shoe leather at informal jamborees since the state was settled over two hundred years ago,” Wilkes said. “Clawhammer banjo players, Appalachian cloggers and square dance callers from Possum Trot to Rabbit Hash celebrate the unique musical culture of Kentucky.” While working on the manuscript, Wilkes traveled around the Commonwealth “looking for oprys, socials, porch pickin’s and barn dances in every holler.” Copies of the book will be available for sale after the meeting. 

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 http://jacksonpurchasehistory.org/.

UC Council Honors State Champs

Union City, Tenn.-At last night’s meeting of the Union City City Council, the 2014 Union City State Championship Football Team was honoured with a proclamation given to Coach Darren Bowling.

Council dissolved several standing committees that don’t meet anymore, including the civic auditorium committee, municipal board of examiners; health, education and housing facility corporation board and the convention center committee.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Terry Hailey asked Planning and Code Director Jimmy Temple about the status of the Reelfoot Packing Co. building. Temple said the city is halfway through a $440,000 EPA study that will determine if the property is clean or contains hazardous materials.

He said it could take another 18 months to complete. If the property is deemed clean, then it can be marketed by its owners for development, he said, but it’s found that hazardous materials exist it could be cleaned up and marketed.

When asked if the owners would be forced to clean up the property, Temple said no. He said most people think that if the old Reelfoot Packing Co.--13 acres in all--was cleaned up, it could be one of the prime properties in the city but most people now regard the property as an eyesore and a blight on the city that needs to be dealt with by the owners.


Stolen Car Recovered 

Union City, Tenn.-A car that was left unlocked with the keys in it was stolen from a church parking lot Tuesday evening and recovered undamaged a short while later.

According to the Union City Police report, a car was stolen from the Visions Church parking lot at 406 N. Miles St. around 6 p.m. The car, a 1999 gray Olds Bravada, was found later in the 600 block of Pierce St. The owner said nothing was missing from the car.


New 2015 State Maps Now Available

Nashville, Tenn. – The official 2015 Tennessee Transportation Map is now available for travelers. This year’s map contains new information to assist motorists, and features a special cover to commemorate the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s centennial. The 2015 map contains historical photographs that look back at the development of Tennessee’s highway system over the last 100 years. It also highlights State Route 1, the first cross-state highway built by the state of Tennessee.

Other new additions to this year’s map include the new Welcome Center on Interstate 26 in Sullivan County and Rocky Top in Anderson County, which was formerly known as Lake City. The map also indicates the widening of several state highways, such as SR 99 in Lewis County, SR 30 in McMinn County, and a new Exit 1 on SR 22 in Obion County. 

The 2015 state map can also be downloaded from the TDOT web site at www.tn.gov/tdot/maps.htm.

Pre-printed maps may be ordered from TDOT online at www.tn.gov/tdot/MapOrder/maporder.htm or by mailing a request to: 

Tennessee Department of Transportation
505 Deaderick Street
James K. Polk Building, Suite 900
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1402

Individuals may request up to five free maps. Organizations and schools may order up to one hundred maps for their use. 

The Official 2015 Tennessee Transportation Map is a joint effort between TDOT and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015 

Sales Tax Increase To Be On Henry County Ballots

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, center, addresses commissioners at Tuesday's meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-By a vote of 11-4, the Henry County Commission Tuesday approved the second and final reading to place a local option sales tax referendum on local ballots. Voting no were the same three commissioners who voted no at the first reading in December--Wes Bradley, Greg Carter, and Bobby Freeman, plus Paul Neal.

Tuesday night’s meeting was preceded by a public hearing at which several members of the public were present with questions, but none spoke out for or against the referendum.

If approved at the ballot, the referendum would increase the local option sales tax by one-half percent from 2.25 to 2.75 percent. The referendum will be voted on at a special election to be held not less than 45 days nor more than 60 days from now. Henry County Mayor Brent Greer had indicated earlier than the special election probably will be held March 17.

Before the vote, Greer reminded everyone that the sales tax increase would raise $1.8 M in funds, with the bulk ($900,000) going to the county and city schools. Greer said it is estimated that 40 percent of the county’s revenue dollars come from outside Henry County. “The sales tax gives us an option to decrease the tax burden on Henry County residents,” he said. 

“We’ve looked at this long and hard,” Greer said. “We could say with certainty that the school boards and county will face revenue issues without it.”

Greer also reminded the commissioners, “You are simply voting on whether the public has the right to vote on this. This not mean you are for or against the tax increase yourselves. You are not making a statement necessarily for or against with this vote. You’re just voting on whether there should be a referendum on the ballot.”

In other business, the commission approved making application for fast track funding for the McCartney Produce expansion into the city of Paris industrial park. Specifically, the application will be in the amount of $189,992 to implement the project and will commit $33,528 in local funds, for a total project cost of $223,520.

In answer to a question from Commissioner Connie McSwain, Greer said the local funds will be provided by McCartney. “I can assure you that no local taxpayer money is coming from this resolution,” he said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:

--The commission approved a long list of appointments to boards, committees and positions. Notably, Dr. Charles Walker was appointed Medical Examiner and Dr. Scott Portis as Assistant Medical Examiner; David Webb was re-appointed County Historian; and appointments to the county planning commission were Harold Bass, Mark Johnson, Clint Davis, Hugh Tyler, and Chris Casteel. Rob Whitfield also was reappointed as Henry County Attorney.


Making Way For Hardee's

Paris, Tenn.-Workers were busy this morning demolishing the former Swifty’s Gas Station on Mineral Wells Ave. to make way for the Hardee’s which will be built at that location. Contractors next will be removing the underground gas tanks at the site. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.


Paris, Tenn.-With the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Paris Police Department in the lead, marchers walked from Mt. Zion Baptist Church to the Henry County Courthouse, top photo, as part of Martin Luther King Day events Monday. Earlier Monday, Henry County Judge Vicki Snyder and Carroll County Circuit Court Clerk Bertha Taylor caught up after Taylor’s presentation at the prayer breakfast. Taylor and Carroll County Register of Deeds Natalie Porter spoke at the breakfast. An article and more photos from the events was published Monday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).



Rives Woman Wanted For Assault 


Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warrant for the arrest of a Rives woman for aggravated assault.

Amanda Brooks, 25, whose maiden name is Amanda Anna Boane, is being sought in connection with an incident that occurred on Hwy. 45W, according to Chief Deputy Kent Treece.

According to the police report, Brooks is wanted for assault of a 49-year-old woman from Troy. She also is wanted on a charge of driving with a revoked license.


Lakewood Speech Team Does Well In Paducah

Holding their awards after the contest: from left, Natalie Clark, Sylis Allen and Drew Culbreath.


Paducah, Ky.-The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team competed in the Paducah Tilghman Tornado Alley High School Invitational over the weekend and placed 4th overall out of 14 schools, tying with Henry County High School. 

The following students achieved individual honors:
Natalie Clark - 1st in Oratory and 5th in Declamation
Sylis Allen - 2nd in Prose, 3rd in Improvisational Duo and 6th in Poetry
Drew Culbreath - 7th in Prose

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


TBI Investigating McKenzie Deaths

McKenzie, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is continuing to investigate the deaths of two people earlier this month in McKenzie.

TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said the TBI is awaiting the autopsy and lab results on the two: Barbara Langley Stone, age 47, of McKenzie and Anthony Ray Sawyer, age 29 of Gleason. 

Ms. Stone died of a gunshot wound in her home early on January 6 and later that afternoon, Sawyer’s body was found on the KWK Railroad tracks on West End Ave. Investigators say that Sawyer was the father of Stone’s grandchildren.

Once completed, the autopsy and lab results will be forwarded to District Attorney Matt Stowe’s office. 

Sulphur Well Wild Game Supper Set Saturday


Springville, Tenn.-The 7th annual Sulphur Well Game Supper will be held Saturday at the Sulphur Well Church of Christ, 1760 Oak Grove Rd. S, Springville. The popular event features a variety of wild game dishes provided and prepared by some of Henry County’s most talented hunters, trappers and fishermen.

The event is free and includes entertainment and music. The event begins at 6 p.m. and seating is limited. 


UC Family Homeless After Fire

Union City, Tenn.-A large Union City family was left homeless when a fire destroyed their home Friday afternoon and a fund has been set up to accept donations for the family.

Union City Firefighters responded to the first call at around 3:30 p.m. and were on the scene until 9:30 p.m., along with the Rives, Troy and Martin fire departments.

Homeowner Raymond Jenkins lived in the home with his wife, son, five grandchildren and an adopted child. The family is living in the Hampton Inn in Union City right now.

A fund has been set up at www.gofundme.com.


Trenton Man Arrested For Restaurant Burglary


Trenton, Tenn.- Trenton Police have arrested a young man from Trenton for the burglary of a local restaurant Sunday.

Police received a silent alarm report from This Is It BBQ on Eaton Street at 9:50 p.m. Sunday. As they were responding, officers found an individual fleeing the area. 

Officers stopped the individual and identified him as Thomas McElrath, 20, of Trenton, and found the restaurant had been burglarized and several items taken. 

Officers recovered several stolen items from McElrath and in the area around where he was stopped. McElrath has been charged with Burglary and Theft of Property over $500. McElrath is being held without bond at the Gibson County Correctional Complex. McElrath is expected to be arraigned in Trenton Municipal Court on January 20.


Houston County Teen Arrested For Harassment

Houston County, Tenn.-The Houston County Sheriff's Office has been investigating numerous complaints received over the past week involving bullying and death threats which has resulted in an arrest.

According to a press release issued by the sheriff’s office, “After a week long investigation we have charged a juvenile with harassment and disorderly conduct. The juvenile was using other individuals names to create accounts and then sent messages to multiple people. The name that appeared on the messages was not the person responsible.“

The Sheriff's Office has worked multiple hours in resolving this case, according to the press release.

Helping Hand Total Now $79,800

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $79,800, with $3,663 raised today by the Quinn Chapel AME Church, Civil Air Patrol and Inman Beta Club.

On Tuesday, items will be donated by Security Bank.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



Monday, January 19, 2015 

MLK Day Activities Include March, Dance, Song And Prayer

Rev. Andre Richardson, second from left, leads the crowd in song at the march to the courthouse. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand Monday morning for a celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King that included a march, prayer breakfast, speeches, dance, songs and prayer.

The early morning prayer breakfast kicked off the festivities at the Central Services building, at which Carroll County Register of Deeds Natalie Porter and Carroll County Circuit Court Clerk Bertha Taylor spoke about their journeys as the first black female elected officials in Carroll County.

Porter congratulated organizers on the appearance of numerous young people at the event, saying, “You’re helping restore Dr. King’s dream by having all these young people here and keeping Dr. King’s message of peace, love and unity alive.”

Porter encouraged people of all ages to become involved in their communities. “If you want your community to change, you have to be involved with the change process,” she said.

Taylor noted, “I’m a product of the Civil Rights Act” and relayed her history beginnings in county government, starting as a part-time worker at the Circuit Court office. “I was the first black woman to be hired full-time at the courthouse,” she said.

Members of the Mt. Zion Baptist Angels in Praise Dance Ministry performed with members Nalliyah Teague, Fajona Snead, Iona Snead and Heaven Phelps.

The march followed the breakfast and moved downtown from Mt. Zion Church on Rison St. to the courthouse, where keynote speaker was Attorney Gregory L. Perry of Memphis, who is a Paris native and the son of Mrs. Ernestine Perry and the late Phynas Perry. 

Henry County Commissioner Rev. James Travis presented the winners of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest. Organizers for the events included County Commissioner Rev. Kenneth Humphreys and Rev. Andre Richardson. 

A luncheon for special guests, city, county, state government and elected officials was held following the event.

Carroll Co. Register of Deeds Natalie Porter and Core Director for Tennessee Department of Education Norma Gerrell listen to Carroll County Circuit Court Clerk Bertha Taylor speak at the breakfast. (McFarlin photo).


Mt. Zion Baptist Angels In Praise Dance Ministry made up of Nalliyah Teague, Fajona Snead, Iona Snead and Heaven Phelps perform. (McFarlin photo).



Huntingdon Police Seek Suspect In Morning Burglaries


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Huntingdon Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying and capturing the suspect in burglaries this morning at four businesses in Huntingdon.  

The suspect first entered the West Tennessee Natural Gas Company office located at 14055 Paris St. The burglary was discovered at 7 a.m., but video surveillance shows the suspect entering the offices at 5:30 and leaving at 5:45 a.m. Two other businesses were broken into: Casey’s Bar and Grill, South Western Stockyards office and the Cotton Lane on East Main St. These businesses were broken into by smashing through front doors.

Taken from the Gas Company office was an undetermined amount of cash from two cash register drawers. Video footage from the security system there shows a man in a tan colored coat wearing a face mask break into the building from the front.

Nothing appeared to be missing from the other businesses.


Walmart Neighborhood Market Opens In Dover

Dover, Tenn.-Some 200 people attended the ribbon-cutting for the new Walmart Neighborhood Market in Dover, as Stewart County’s newest employer was welcomed by the Stewart Co. High School band, the Northwest High School ROTC presenting the colors and ministers providing prayers.

At the grand opening, Walmart presented $500 checks to the Stewart County Schools, Good Samaritans, Meals on Wheels, Stewart county fire & Rescue and Dover Friends of the Park.

The new market employs 25 people, with 21 from Stewart County. The Walmart Neighborhood Markets are smaller versions of Walmart Superstores. Stewart County Mayor Rick Joiner said despite rumors, Walmart did not request any tax breaks and the county has not granted them any.
 


Campus Lights To Present “9 To 5” This Week


Murray, Ky. — Rehearsals for the longest running musical tradition in the South have begun. Murray State University’s 78th annual student-run production of Campus Lights this year is the Dolly Parton classic, 9 to 5 The Musical.
 
The Campus Lights production will take place Friday through Sunday, Jan. 23-25, in historic Lovett Auditorium on Murray State University’s campus. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 years old and younger, and may be reserved online at www.campuslights.org. Show times are Jan. 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m., and Jan. 25 at 2:30 p.m.

Proceeds from Campus Lights aid music scholarships at Murray State University and is produced entirely by students with assistance from Sigma Alpha Iota, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the MSU department of music and the college of humanities and fine arts. 
 

Local Students Elected To UTM Society 


Martin, Tenn.- The UT Martin chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society named new officers for the 2015 year and several local students are among the officers. The chapter recently won a commendable rating and a Green Chapter Award from the national society, and leads the nation with 37 total outstanding and commendable chapter ratings and 13 Green Chapter Awards. Pictured are (seated, l-r): Kristan McCrillis, of Bradford, secretary; Drake Williams, of Paris, vice-president; Layla Gargus, of Martin, president; Benjamin Ide, of Dover, treasurer; (standing, l-r): executive committee members William Kuenzinger, of Germantown; Michaela Short, of Hendersonville; Dwight Johnson II, of Brownsville; Krysten Harris, of Union City, 2014 president; and Vincent Cote, of Big Rock.



Sunday, January 18, 2015 

CVS Opens In Paris


Paris, Tenn.-Another long-awaited opening in Paris was realized Sunday with the opening of the CVS Pharmacy. The new pharmacy and convenience store is located at the intersection of Memorial and Mineral Wells Avenues. Meanwhile, site work for construction of Hardee’s has begun. Hardee’s will be located on Mineral Wells Ave. at the site of the former Swifty’s gas station. The city of Paris has been experiencing a boon in construction of new businesses of late, especially on Mineral Wells Ave. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Public Forum On Sales Tax Is Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Commission will consider second reading of a resolution to set a local option sales tax referendum on the ballot when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The commission meeting will be held at the courthouse and will be held on Tuesday instead of Monday due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

Prior to the meeting, a public forum will be held at 6:45 p.m. at which citizens will have the opportunity to speak about the tax referendum.

The commissioners also will consider approval of a resolution authorizing submittal of an application for fast track infrastructure funding for the McCartney Produce expansion into the city of Paris industrial park.

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer also will appear at Thursday night’s meeting of the Henry County Board of Education to discuss the sales tax referendum. The school board will meet at 5 p.m. at Grove Tower.


MSU Grad Featured On “Bandit Patrol” 


Murray, Ky. — Murray State University graduate Dr. Jared Tapp appears in the premiere of Bandit Patrol, a new television series on the National Geographic Channel (Nat Geo Wild). The first episode of Bandit Patrol can be seen on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 9 p.m. (Central).

The show features wildlife rehabilitation, a profession that appeals to those with a strong will and a big heart. In rural western Kentucky, three women have taken on the responsibility to care for wild animals that are injured, orphaned or in need, with the ultimate goal of returning them back to the wild. The series follows the women as they care for the animals and take them to needed visits with their veterinarians.

Tapp co-owns and is a veterinarian at Pennyrile Animal Clinic in Madisonville, Ky. In the first episode of the show Tapp is caring for Red, a squirrel brought to him by wildlife rehabilitator Nancy. The squirrel is suffering from the mange and a secondary bacterial skin infection. Nancy gets a reminder in Tapp’s office that wildlife is unpredictable in the “Blood, Sweat and Racoons” episode.

Tapp is one of a few veterinarians in West Kentucky who donate time to help rehabilitate wildlife in the area; he will likely appear in additional episodes of Bandit Patrol.
While he cares for and appreciates all species in the animal kingdom, and is a small and large animal veterinarian, horses are Tapp’s specialty — their breeding, nutrition and overall care. But, upon occasion, he finds himself treating more nontraditional pets such as birds, snakes and rabbits, along with wildlife such as Red.

Along with his regular veterinary practice and his work with injured and sick wildlife, Tapp is also on the Hopkins County Humane Society Board and is the county veterinarian, meaning that for any animal cruelty or abuse cases he is called to the home/property to make an assessment.

Jared graduated from Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture in December 2006, and earned a master’s degree in agriculture with an emphasis in equine reproduction from MSU two years later. He earned his degree in veterinary medicine from Auburn University, graduating with honors in 2012.

To check out Tapp’s part in a short video of the Bandit Patrol premiere episode, go online at channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/bandit-patrol/videos/a-sneak-squirrel-attack/


Easley Attorneys Appointed

Dresden, Tenn.-A pair of Dresden attorneys have been appointed to represent a Martin man who is facing murder and aggravated assault charges following the triple shooting in Martin on January 5.

Marcus Latrail Easley, 25, appeared at a preliminary hearing in Weakley County General Sessions Court. He is charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault. Killed in the shooting was Corey Williams, 33, of Dresden, and critically wounded were Trista Canady, 28, of Gleason; and Aquincy Dickson, 27, of Dresden.

Attorneys Brent Bradberry and Jim Bradberry were appointed to represent him.

Easley is being held without bond in the Weakley County Jail. 

 
Haslam To Attend Fort Campbell Session

Clarksville, Tenn.-Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will attend next week’s meeting at Fort Campbell at which Army officials will listen to public comments on proposed cuts at the home of the famous 101st Airborne.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, January 20.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said the state’s legislative delegation cannot attend the session because the State of the Union address by President Obama will be held on the same date.

Officials at Fort Campbell and the surrounding community said earlier they would like to see as many people as possible at the meeting to show support for the Army installation. 

McMillan and other area leaders were in Washington, D.C. this week to speak to national officials about the importance of Fort Campbell to national security and our local region.


Saturday, January 17, 2015 

New License Fee Structure Okayed By Tennessee Wildlife

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission met at Union City. (Jim Perry photo).

Union City, Tenn.  --- For the first time in a decade, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved a license fee structure adjustment for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The increase was one of five rule amendments made by the TFWC at its January meeting, which concluded Friday at the Discovery Park of America. 

Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses expire on Feb. 28, but the changes will not go into effect until July 1. Sportsmen and women are encouraged to buy 2015-16 season licenses at the current prices before July.

TWRA has sought to increase license fees only twice in the last 25 years, roughly following rises in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In this case, the Agency’s license revenue will be increased by around 19 percent against a CPI of approximately 22 percent over the last decade. The new structure introduces new licenses for professional guides as well as high-impact users of TWRA’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Under the new structure, horseback, mountain bike, and off-highway vehicle riders will contribute to the ongoing maintenance of the public WMA trails they use through a new annual license. (All of the new fees and changes will be listed on the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org). 

“Our funding as an Agency comes almost exclusively from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and matching funds from federal excise taxes on related equipment,” said Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Harold Cannon, who chairs the commission’s budget and finance committee. “The license fee package passed in 2004 was designed to cover the revenue shortfall for a period of six to eight years, and we made it work for more than a decade. In 2013, we started working closely with the Agency to identify budget savings, but the reality is everything is more expensive than it was 10 years ago. Changes to the federal matching funds, capital expenditures and the general cost to state government—on top of the 22 percent cost of living increase—made it necessary to introduce this new fee structure.”

Major capital expenditures in recent years have included $3.5 million for HVAC/electrical system repairs at the Agency’s Nashville headquarters, $1 million annually for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a critical upgrade for inter-agency law enforcement communications for $7 million.

Another rule amendment simplifies the process by which the TWRA selects an organization to auction an annual permit for the special elk hunt.  


UTM Online Master Program Receives Full Approval

Martin, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Education recently elevated the University of Tennessee at Martin’s online master’s degree program in educational leadership to full approval status after the program met or exceeded expectations on all review indicators.

Students wishing to earn a Master of Science in Education, with a major in educational leadership, must have already received a bachelor’s degree, hold a valid teaching license and have a minimum of three years of successful work experience in the education field. Obtaining a master’s degree allows candidates to complete licensure requirements for an instructional leadership license – beginner (ILL-B). 

The master’s degree program includes a three-hour course in models of instruction, curriculum development and advanced teaching; 27 hours of leadership concentration coursework; and a three-hour course in clinical supervision. All coursework is accessible online.

Teachers who already hold master’s degrees but wish to pursue the additional endorsement in educational leadership must meet the university’s requirements for conditional or non-conditional admission and complete 24 hours of coursework.

All students wishing to be recommended for the ILL-B must also pass the Educational Testing Service’s Praxis school leadership series, “School Leaders Licensure Assessment.” A final portfolio project is also required.

Obtaining an ILL-B is vital for those who wish to pursue careers as school principals, assistant principals or supervisors of instruction.

This approval follows the university’s receiving Tennessee’s only U.S. Department of Education teacher education grant in 2014, which totaled $3.3 million. 

UT Martin is accredited by the Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. UT Martin's education curriculum is approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education and accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP).

For more information, contact the Department of Educational Studies at 731-881-7128 or email Kristy Crawford, coordinator, at kcrawford@utm.edu. 


Helping Hand Total Now $67,735

Paris, Tenn.-The total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $67,735, with $4,629 raised Friday by the Palestine and Central Point communities, First Church of the Nazarene and Lee School Association.

On Saturday, two auctions will be held, one beginning at noon and the other at 6:30 p.m. Items will be donated by the Whitlock community.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Legislative Luncheon Set Next Week

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce will hold a Legislative Luncheon at noon Friday at Lee Academy for the Arts lunchroom.

State Sen. John Stevens and State Rep. Tim Wirgau will be speakers.

The Chamber asks that you RSVP by noon Wednesday to Kayla Simpson at ksimpson@henrycountytn.org. Lunch is $10 and you will be billed if you RSVP regardless of whether you attend or not.


GOP To Discuss Immigration

Paris, Tenn.-Joanne Bregman of Nashville will be the guest speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the Henry County GOP, discussing the federal refugee resettlement program. Bregman is an attorney who researches and writes on the subject.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 22 at the Henry County Courthouse.


Friday, January 16, 2015 

House Quarantined After Meth Lab Found

The home at 152 Shadow Lane quarantined with items found during search on front lawn. (Henry County Sheriff's Office photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Direcctor

Paris, Tenn.-A home on Shadow Lane in Paris has been quarantined after an active meth lab was found inside Friday by the Metro Crime Unit with officers from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office,  Paris, Puryear and Henry Police, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The Tennessee Meth Task Force is assisting in cleaning up the site.

The officers executed a search warrant at 152 Shadow Lane and found an active meth lab with three ‘shake and bake’ lab bottles, three duffle bags containing meth-making materials such as liquid fire, Coleman fuel, coffee filters, ammonia nitrate, pill grinders and other items.

Arrested were Tracy Norwood and Haley Lowe, both charged with possession with intent to manufacture and sell. They are being held in Henry County Jail on bonds of $75,000 each.


Snowy Day At Discovery Park 



Union City, Tenn.-For some of us, Thursday emerged as a day for a beautiful snow fall, while for others in our area, the predicted snow never did materialize. Among the luckiest were those in the Union City area, where a beautiful blanket of snow enveloped Discovery Park of America. (Discovery Park photo).

Trout Dinner, Anyone?


Paris, Tenn.-The pond at Eiffel Tower Park II was re-stocked with trout earlier this week and ready for hungry fishermen to come and get it. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) stocked the pond twice this winter, according to Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence. “They were here in December and then again on January 14,” he said. TWRA staff also re-stocked city ponds at Union City, Martin and McKenzie. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Sensual Pleasures License Renewal Deadline Nears

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The permit for Henry County’s only remaining adult business will officially expire January 19 and owners of the establishment have not yet renewed the license.

Meeting Thursday afternoon, the Henry County Adult Establishment Board discussed what steps would be taken if the license is not renewed. The license must be renewed annually.

County Mayor Brent Greer noted that the county offices are closed for business January 19 due to Martin Luther King Jr., Day, and that owners have been notified they will have until the end of the business day on January 20 to renew the license.

Greer said if the license is not renewed, “then we’ll have to cite the owners and the business because of non-compliance and if they wanted to still have the business, they would have to start all over and apply for a new license.”

Greer said the committee chairman David Webb, County Clerk Donna Craig and deputies with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office have all notified the owners that the deadline is approaching.

Owners of the business are Gerald R. Tidwell and Randy J. Downs.

 
Smothers Named Huntingdon Public Safety Director


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Huntingdon Police Lt. Walter Smothers has been named Director of Public Safety for Huntingdon, replacing Joe Parker, who will retire February 2.

Smothers was named to the position at the Tuesday night meeting of Huntingdon Town Council. Parker has held the position since February 1998 and had a successful career leading the Huntingdon Fire and Police Departments. 

Smothers said, “I have been employeed by the Huntingdon Police since 1995, moving through the ranks of Patrolman, Corporal, Sergeant and Lieutenant. I am honored to be entrusted by Mayor Dale Kelley and the Huntingdon Town Council, with the responsibility of leading the police and fire departments.“

The Huntingdon Fire and Police Departments have long had a good relationship across the whole community, Smothers said,  “and I look forward to building on that relationship. My goals are to improve the service to the citizens and also improve the departments themselves through new training and equipment aquisitions. I have experience in grant writing and intend to pursue every opportunity to seek new funding for our departments that will expand our services.”

Smothers said his first and most important requirement of dispatchers, officers and firemen will be to treat the citizens with the same respect they would want to be treated. “I plan for both departments to increase their interactions with our schools and civic groups. Specific projects to increase the level of service that each department provides will be addressed in the future,” he said.

“One of the internal changes I anticipate will be to implement a promotion system with tests and an interview board to make recommendations on individuals that wish to move up in rank and responsibility,“ he said. “Another is to form a team to investigate and process crime scenes. I anticipate the purchase of a new drug dog for the police department.”

Smothers said, “Of particular interest to me is increasing the recognition of our fire department. Firemen are not as visible as police officers on patrol, and often underappreciated for the service they provide. I intend to seek more grants to help aquire new fire trucks and other necessary equipment.”

Smothers said, “I want to tell our citizens that my goal is to do all I can to make Huntingdon a better and safer place to live.”


Stewart County Records Hacked By ISIS

Dover, Tenn. – As odd as this may sound, it is being reported that hackers from the ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) apparently posted documents from Stewart County, Tenn., on Twitter in early January. Stewart County officials said the documents that were posted were already a matter of public record.

Stewart County Mayor Rick Joiner said a reporter from the New York City media contacted him about the posts. He said the documents included purchase orders, invoices and some public notices from juvenile court. No personal information apparently was posted.

Joiner told The Stewart-Houston Times he immediately contacted Stewart County Sheriff Deryk Wyatt, who contacted the state’s Department of Homeland Security. 

Wyatt said within 20 minutes he had received a call from the FBI informing him they were already aware of the breach and were investigating it. 


LBL To Waive Fees On MLK Day


Golden Pond, Ky – Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will waive fees at the Elk & Bison Prairie and riding permits at Wranglers Campground on Monday, January 19, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 

“We encourage visitors to come out and enjoy numerous free outdoor recreation opportunities year round,” said Land Between The Lakes Recreation Specialist, Gary Hawkins. “Bring your family and friends and enjoy hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, picnicking, and scenic driving in the great outdoors.”

The Forest Service participates in the fee waiver day along with the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. 


Helping Hand Total Now $63,041

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total of money raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $63,041, with $2,710 raised Thursday by the Quota Club, Oakland community, Young Farmers and Ranchers, Junior Livestock and W.G. Rhea Library.

The auction raises thousands of dollars each year for a long list of local organizations and charities.

On Friday, items will be donated by the Palestine and Central Point communities, First Church of the Nazarene and Lee School Association.

The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5




Thursday, January 15, 2015 

McCartney To Expand To Industrial Park

Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris shows the site plan for the McCartney project while Chairman Jim Hayes, Member Dan Veazey and Secretary Kathy Horner look on. (Shannon McFarlin photo)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The local industry which will be expanding into the Paris Industrial Park was publicly identified for the first time at Thursday night’s meeting of the Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission.

Long-time Paris business McCartney Produce will be moving into the industrial park and the planning commission approved a major site plan for its future home.

In other business during Thursday’s meeting, the planning commission approved other site plans: one for a retail strip mall to be located on Hwy. 77 and another for a tire retail business to be located on Hwy. 218.

McCartney will be located on Culley Drive in the industrial park, with a proposed building of 52,338 square feet.

City Economic Director Jennifer Morrison said a service entrance to the loading area is proposed as well as an additional entrance to the parking lot. 

She said the city zoning ordinance requires two parking spaces for every three employees, based on the largest shift, plus one parking space for each 50 square feet of customer service area. Based on information from McCartney, she said, the largest shift is 63 employees. With that information, the employee parking required is 42 spaces and the required customer parking is four, for a total of 46 spaces. The site plan calls for 56 parking spaces, which Morrison said will be adequate.

Helping present the McCartney plans was Engineer Robert Nichols of Union City.

Up until tonight, the McCartney project had been given the code name of Project Sampson as it moved through the necessary city and county approvals. The county and city earlier had okayed a payment in lieu of taxes agreement (PILOT) for the company. The PILOT agreement ensured that the industry not only remain in Henry County but that it expand into the industrial park and maintain its current 100 employees, with potential for more employees down the road.

McCartney is making a substantial investment in expanding into the park: $7.5M and will begin constructing the new and bigger building as soon as weather permits.

The commission also approved a minor subdivision plat and a major site plan for Dan Jackson Retail to locate a retail strip mall on the north side of Wal-Mart along Highway 77. According to the description, this is the first phase of a development that will be located on three of four parcels that Jackson already owns. 

The current phase of construction will consist of a 70’ by 70’ building and a parking lot totalling approximately one half an acre. 

Also approved were the site plans for a retail tire business to be owned by John Williams on Hwy. 218 west of Mockingbird Lane. The total tract is 17.88 acres and the area under development is .95 acres.

The proposed building is 11,200 square feet and will include a retail area and garage, with 21 parking spaces.

The commission also approved a minor subdivision plat by Mickey Mooney and Wyatt Owens for property between Volunteer Drive and Lankford Rd. 


March, Prayer Breakfast Set For MLK Day

Leading the 2012 march: Pastor Steve Gallimore, Brother Andre Richardson and Rev. James Travis. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A full slate of activities will be held to commemorate the 2015 Martin Luther King Day Celebration in Henry County. Event Chairman Rev. Kenneth Humphreys said the theme this year is “Rise Up, Restore The Dream”.

As always, the spotlight activities for the event are the prayer breakfast, march  downtown and speeches at the courthouse, beginning with the breakfast at 8 a.m. at Central School on Monday, January 19, followed by the march at 10 a.m. downtown.

Rev. Humphreys is a pastor and a member of the Henry County Commission and said this year’s focus by spreakers will be on government officials.  “This year, we are fortunate to have a cast of state and regional leaders who should be informative as well as motivational,” Humphreys said. “As in the past, we need the support of the entire community to help make this event one to remember.”

At the prayer breakfast, various community leaders will make presentations, but the highlight of the breakfast event will be Mrs. Bertha Taylor, Circuit Court Clerk, and Mrs. Natalie Porter, Register of Deeds both of Carroll Co., Humphreys said.

The march begins at 10 a.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 304 Rison St., and moves to the Henry Co. Courthouse. The courthouse program will start at 10:45 with more essays being read by students.

Keynote speaker will be Attorney Gregory L. Perry of Memphis, who is a Paris native and the son of Mrs. Ernestine Perry and the late Phynas Perry.  Following this event, there will be a luncheon for special guests, city, county, state government and elected officials. 

A program also will be held Sunday evening Jan. 18 at 6 pm at the Progressive Baptist Church, 1040 Rison St., Paris, TN.  The keynote speaker will be Rep. Johnny Shaw of Bolivar, Essays from Paris/Henry Co. students will be read by students and the “Drum Major for Peace Award” will be presented at this time. The evening event coordinator is Pastor Richard Adkisson. 


Holt: "Sick And Tired" Of Cameras 


Dresden, Tenn.– State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) said he is sick and tired of speed and red-light cameras and his constituents agree. He took to social media to ask voters in his district whether they are in favor of the controversial cameras that are used by many communities in our area. 

“If I could single-handedly outlaw every speed camera in the Great State of Tennessee, I would do it without a second thought,” Hold said. “Regardless of political party, the vast majority of folks are 100 percent against them.”

“Speed & red-light cameras are nothing more than a modernized form of speed-trapping. They have very little to do with safety, and everything to do with municipal greed. Apart from being a technically unlawful form of local fundraising off the backs of local citizens, it‘s a poorly contracted scheme since a large portion of the “revenue” is sent elsewhere, outside the State of Tennessee,” Holt said. 

Holt says that many businesses in his district are concerned due to the fact that motorists are now avoiding communities and specific streets where the cameras are located--and that is hurting the economy.

Overregulation will lead to businesses moving, he said.

“We need to ensure that our state does not begin moving in the wrong direction by allowing folks’ rights to be violated so out-of-state businesses can collect revenue,” he said. 

Holt says he is encouraging city policy makers to dismantle their red-light camera programs, but says he is also considering state-wide legislation to ban them in totality.


Heritage Center Hosts Traveling Exhibit On Civil War 


Paris, Tenn.-A community reception for the traveling exhibit "Common People In Uncommon Times" at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday.

The exhibit is from the Tennessee State Museum and it commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It will be at the Heritage Center until March 28.

The Heritage Center is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There is free admission. The exhibit is also sponsored by the Henry County Tourism Authority.


TWRA Sets Sessions On Carroll Lake

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has scheduled two public meetings to discuss future plans at Carroll Lake. The public is invited to both sessions.

The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. January 26 at McKenzie City Hall and 5 p.m. January 27 Huntingdon City Hall.

Carroll Lake is a TWRA family fishing lake located south of McKenzie on Hwy. 22.


French: Henry County Taxes Are Due


Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Trustee Randi French is reminding the public that 2014 county taxes are due and payable through February 28, 2015. In accordance with state law, penalty and interest in the amount of one and a half percent will be added per month beginning March 1. All 2014 Tax Relief applicants must pay their taxes and use their tax relief vouchers by March 1.

French said 2013 property taxes are delinquent. Penalty and interest of 18 percent is added the month of February, in compliance with state law. She also advised the public that after February 1, additional penalties and costs will be imposed.

A list of delinquent taxpayers is available online at henrycountytn.org. All unpaid taxes will be filed with the delinquent tax attorney March 26.

Property taxes can be paid at the Trustee’s Office, online or by mailing to Henry County Trustee Randi French, Box 776, Paris, Tenn., 38242. If any questions, call 642-6633.


New Coach Sought In Wake Of Mismanagement 

Murray, Ky.-Calloway County School officials are seeking a new head football coach in the wake of an investigation into financial mismanagement.

Superintendent Steve Hoskins told WKMS that Coach Brad Lawson is resigning at the end of the school year. The district has initiated an internal investigation after learning certain accounts didn’t have the sufficient funds to pay incoming bills, he said.

Hoskins said an unknown amount of money is missing and that the district was handling the matter internally. Hoskins declined to say how much money is missing but said the district is dealing with overspending and mismanagement internally.

Helping Hand Total Now $60,331

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total of money raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $60,331, with $3,014 raised today by the Jones Mill/Hico communities, Morningside of Paris, Henry Co. Youth Orchestra and Kroger and Tennessee River Fine Arts League.

A grand total of $57,317 has now been raised for the auction, which raises thousands of dollars each year for a long list of local organizations and charities.

On Thursday, items will be donated by Quota Club, Oakland community, Young Farmers and Ranchers, junior Livestock and W.G. Rhea Library. 

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5



Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

Disney Produced Film On Reelfoot Lake

Walt Disney watches as  Disney Cinematographer Karl Maslowski reviews “Secrets Of Earthquake Lake”. The third man in photo is unidentified. (West Tennessee Historical Society photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Reelfoot Lake has such an interesting history that it piqued the interest of one of the world’s most famous movie-makers. 

Disney obtained the rights to a film about the unique history of Reelfoot Lake, which was created by an earthquake in 1811.

The film, which goes by the titles “The Secret of Mystery Lake”, “Mystery Lake” and “Earthquake Lake”, was the serial for the second season of the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1940s.

Reelfoot Naturalist David Haggard said long-time employees at the state park are aware of the film and attempts have been made over the years to obtain it for Reelfoot. 

Retired University of Tennessee at Martin Professor Dr. Wintfred Smith has spent a number of years researching Reelfoot and is credited with Haggard for being an expert on the subject.

Dr. Smith said Disney himself was never at Reelfoot Lake. Haggard said Smith has tried numerous times to obtain a copy of the film.

According to the Disney website, the original footage was shot in 16mm color and without sound and was made by cameraman Karl Maslowski in the late 1940's. “This was purely a nature documentary, without dialogue or characters,” according to the website, and Maslowski exhibited the film as “Earthquake Lake” on the lecture circuit.
In 1951, the film was resurrected when long-time Disney associate Larry Lansburgh produced and directed a feature film, using Maslowski's footage, in a semi-documentary called Mystery Lake. 

The cast included both professional actors and local residents in the Reelfoot area. 
The film was released in 1954 by Larry Lansburgh Productions, and shortly thereafter was acquired by the Disney Studio. Broken into seven episodes, it was shown in February 1957 on the Mickey Mouse Club as “The Secret Of Mystery Lake”.

The film starred George Fenneman, who might be remembered by old-timers as a long-time host on various television shows during the 1950s and 1960s.

"Bogue" Bell and R. P. Alexander were local residents of the Reelfoot Lake area hired by Larry Lansburgh to act in the original movie. Bell was a fishing and hunting guide, while Alexander was a cotton farmer. 

Wanted Man May Be In Union City Area


Mayfield, Ky.-The Graves County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a wanted Graves County man who may be in the Union City area.

Kyle Ward McAlpin is currently wanted in Graves County on charges of probation violation in reference to a 2012 felony case in Graves Circuit Court and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. McAlpin is originally from the Mayfield area but may currently be in the Union City, Tennessee area. McAlpin is a 32 year old white male. He is approximately 5’11” tall and weighs about 145 pounds. McAlpin has brown hair and blue eyes. 

The Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone who may know the whereabouts of Kyle McAlpin to contact them at 270-247-4501 or call your local law enforcement agency. Information may also be called into the Mayfield/Graves County Crimestoppers at 270-247-5000.



Goodwill Serves 2,000 In Obion County


Union City, Tenn.- Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee far exceeded its mission goals for 2014, providing free employment services and job training to 28,159 people — including nearly 2,000 from the Obion County area — and helping 9,558 land jobs, the not-for-profit agency announced Tuesday.

Goodwill’s goals for last year were to assist 20,000 people and to place 6,000 in jobs. Those benchmarks were met in September. The organization, which serves 48 Tennessee counties, hopes to assist 30,000 people and place 10,000 in jobs in 2015.

The Goodwill Career Solutions center at 1430 S. First St. in Union City assisted 1,888 people in 2014, helping 676 of those land jobs.

Goodwill sells donated clothing and household goods in its stores to fund its mission of providing employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs. Nearly 90 percent of Goodwill’s clients who find jobs are placed with other employers.

There are 1,500 employers actively hiring people who receive services from Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. Goodwill’s 29 Career Solutions centers host an average of 100 job fairs per month for those employer partners.

The centers also provide a wide range of training, from job readiness and computer literacy to retail, hospitality and logistics programs. Many Goodwill clients also receive more advanced training and certificates in areas ranging from health care to security and forklift operation.

Commodities To Be Distributed Today, Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council will distribute USDA food commodities to eligible persons this week from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today and Thursday from 8:30am to 1:30pm at the Central Community Service Center, located at 55 Jones Bend Road. 

Persons with last names beginning with the letters A-K can pick up commodities Wednesday and those beginning with the letters L-Z can pick up commodities on Thursday. 

Anyone planning to pick up must have a red card and applications will not be taken on pick up days. Anyone who has yet to sign up for the commodities distribution should visit the office and do so on Tuesday. 

Anyone picking up food commodities is requested to bring a box or container to place their food in. Eligibility in this program is based on total household income and those who receive aid from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps, Families First, Supplemental Security Income are also eligible. For more information call the Central Community Service Center at 642-3132.

Sensual Pleasures On Agenda

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Adult Establishment Board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the county courthouse. On the agenda is whether or not to renew the license for Sensual Pleasures, located on Hwy. 79N. The public is welcome to attend.


Obion County Enters Into Probation Agreement 

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Commissioners approved a probation agreement with Westate Corrections at its regular meeting Monday. The county probation office has been under discussion for some time by the commissioners, who have been concerned about ways to generate more money and increase collection of fines assessed by the local courts.

Westate pitched a proposal at the December county commission meeting and since that time it has been discussed in committees.

Under the agreement, Obion County will collect all fees and fines on probation clients and submit to Westate the weekly fees collected.


Member Resigns From UC School Board

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Schools board of education is seeking a replacement for a board member who resigned Monday night.

Board Chairman Glenda Claudle announced that Dr. John Clendenin has submitted his resignation because he is moving out of the District 5 area. Clendenin had recently been elected to another term.

 
No Quorum For Cottage Grove Meeting

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Tuesday night’s meeting of the Cottage Grove Legislative Council could not be held with no quorum for the meeting. The next meeting has not been rescheduled.

Mayor Mike Waddey has announced he will be submitting his resignation since he is leaving Cottage Grove to become minister at the Maury City First Baptist Church. His pastorate at the Cottage Grove Baptist Church will end January 31.


Library To Host Computer Classes 

Paris, Tenn.-The W. G. Rhea Public Library will be holding Computer Basic 1 classes on Monday, January 19 from 5pm to 7pm at the library. Computer Basic 2 will be available on Monday, January 26 from 5 to 7pm at the library.

All classes do require registration. Anyone wishing to take Basic 2 must attend Basic 1 class.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015 

Ice Formations Return To Reelfoot Lake 

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Thanks to the frigid temperatures and wind, the ice formations have returned to Reelfoot Lake State Park. And that means a boon for people who enjoy photographing the beauty of nature, such as Reelfoot Park Manager Alisha Weber who captured this photograph on a recent chilly day.


UC Man Held Without Bond After Ramming Cruisers


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-A joy ride by a 22-year-old Union City man has landed him in the Obion County Jail with felony charges after he rammed cruisers owned by the Obion County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Montario Devante Bond of 1001 E. Vine St., is being held without bond in the jail until he is arraigned later today in Obion County General Sessions Court, according to Chief Deputy Kent Treece.

According to the Union City Police, Bond stole a four-door Nissan Altima that had been left running for a few minutes in front of a Nash St. residence Monday evening.

The stolen vehicle was spotted by officers and in the course of the pursuit, Bond wrecked the car after he had rammed it into the police vehicles.

Bond was charged with the THP with three counts of vehicular assault, evading arrest and theft.


Reminder: Skaggs To Perform At The Dixie Saturday


Huntingdon, Tenn.– A reminder that Grammy Award winner and Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs will bring his lifetime of music back to The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center Saturday, Jan. 17.

“Throughout our 10 years, Ricky Skaggs has been one of the most requested performers to return to The Dixie stage,” according to Dixie Executive Director Lori Neal Nolen.  

The demand is so great, that the artist and his Kentucky Thunder band will perform at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.

A bluegrass master, Skaggs has won 14 Grammy Awards and garnered 12 consecutive nominations with albums ranging from 1999’s Bluegrass Rules! to 2010’s Mosaic. Born in Kentucky, Skaggs began playing mandolin at the age of five.   

Tickets are $30 each and are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at dixiepac.net.  


Century 21 Burglarized

Union City, Tenn.-Another Union City business was burglarized and several thousand dollars worth of equipment was stolen sometime over the weekend.
According to the police report, when employees of the Century 21 office at 204 W. Washington St. arrived at work Monday morning, they found that someone had entered the building and stolen a long list of items, including five laptops used by employees and owned by Century 21.

The police report indicates that the suspect forced open a window in the south side of the building where a small bathroom is located.

Union City Police are also looking for the suspects in a burglary at Kizer Pharmacy in which hundreds of bottles of medications were stolen.

Former Camden Mayor Dies

Camden, Tenn.-Former long-time Camden Mayor Elvin Johnson died Monday afternoon. He served as mayor twice, with the first term from 1981-1990 and the most recent term from 2011-2014.

Johnson also served four years at Benton County Mayor and his career in public service included terms as a member of the Camden City Board of Aldermen. His funeral arrangements at Oakdale Funeral Home in Camden are incomplete at this time.


Obion County Board Of Education Hears Lake Road Plus Report

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting for a routine session Monday evening, the Obion County Schools board of education enjoyed a lively presentation by the Lake Road Plus Class.

The class is overseen by Julie Cunningham at the Lake Road Elementary School and presented for the board a report on its activities, including the creation of a newspaper, stories and poems that have been published and an animated video. The class’ next project includes a book.

The class involves students from fourth to eighth grades.

In other business:

--The board appointed Board Members Micky Preciado and David Lamb to the Sick Leave Bank Committee. The committee is composed of two members appointed by the school board, two appointed by the Obion County Education Association and Director of Schools Russell Davis, who will serve as chair.

The purpose of the Sick Leave Bank is to provide sick leave to contributors of the bank who have suffered an unplanned personal illness, injury, disability, or quarantine and whose personal sick leave or any other applicable paid leave has been exhausted. 


--The board also approved first reading on an updated board policy on class ranking. The amended portions states grades earned in grades nine through 12 will be counted toward the GPA and rank in class, students must earn a minimum of 85 final average in every course.

--The board also heard a report on literacy gains in pre-kindergarten through third grade. The meeting was held at the Lake Road Elementary School.

PSSD Receives $6,600 Mini-Grant

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Special School District received a $6,600 mini grant from Utrust to promote college and career readiness and help support a summer enrichment camp for students. 

Leah Watkins, Paris Special School District Supervisor, applied for the mini-grant with the intent of helping to inspire students to pursue school and career options beyond high school. “We are striving to help students realize their maximum potential through the awareness and preparation for the myriad of professions available with appropriate education and training,” Watkins said. “The camp will provide an excellent summer enrichment experience for our highest performing students through the use of science, technology, engineering, and math.” 

Dr. Dan Tollett, Utrust administrator said, “We are pleased that Utrust is able to provide funds through our mini-grant program to fund small projects that will make a big difference. We believe this project will make a big difference to these students. We appreciate Ms. Watkins submitting this request and we are glad to be a part of such a worthy project.”

Utrust is an organization that assists school systems in Tennessee in unemployment issues and in recognizing, supporting and appreciating school employees. It sponsors the Utrust School Employee Appreciation Program that seeks to help students to express appreciation to people who make their lives better each day.

Paris Special School Districts is one of 52 school systems in Tennessee that have received Utrust mini-grants totaling more than $750,000 to improve educational opportunities for students.  

The mini-grant program was established by the Utrust Board of Trustees to offer an opportunity for member school districts to apply for funds for small projects that might not otherwise be funded.


Helping Hand Total Now $44,230

Paris, Tenn.-A total of $44,230 has been raised in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction, with $3,217 raised Monday by the Henry County employees, Trinity United Methodist Church, Master Gardeners and the Arts Council.

On Tuesday, items will be donated by the Cottage Grove and Center communities.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Monday, January 12, 2015 

Ice Fishing, Anyone?

Paris, Tenn.-With frigid temperatures all last week, the pond at Eiffel Tower Park II was frozen over through most of the weekend. Milder temperatures on Sunday did cause some thawing of the pond and city parks officials caution fishermen and others to use precautions at the pond. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris Man Sentenced For Sexual Contact With Child 

            Thomas Vanmierlo

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris man was sentenced to serve four years in state prison and was ordered placed on supervision for life after he pleaded guilty in Henry County Circuit Court to having unlawful sexual contact with a child.

Thomas Edward Vanmierlo of 719 Caledonia Rd., Paris, was initially arrested on a charge of aggravated sexual battery. At a hearing Friday, he pleaded guilty to criminal attempted aggravated sexual battery.

Judge Donald Parish ordered that once Vanmierlo serves his four year sentence, he must be placed on the sexual registry and be supervised for life.

Other sentencings were handed down Friday:

-Brett Garland, McKenzie, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to four years in jail, of which he will serve 300 days with the balance served in supervised probation.

Garland was arrested in June and charged with choking, hitting and holding a woman in his car and at one point trying to push her out of the car.

--George Atkinson of 625 N. Wilson St., pleaded guilty to stalking and was sentenced to serve 18 months in jail, of which he will serve 60 days and the balance on state probation.

A former BPU employee, Atkinson was arrested and charged with stalking a woman while he was on duty. He also was charged with violating the sex offender registry, but that charge was dismissed as part of his plea arrangement.


Three Sought For Kizer Pharmacy Burglary

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are asking the public’s help in finding three suspects who stole a large amount of drugs from a local pharmacy over the weekend in a well-organized burglary.

Stolen from Kizer Pharmacy at 1117 S. Miles Ave. were 100-200 bottles filled with Schedule 2 drugs. The bottles were in two sizes, with quantities of both 100 and 500 count.

According to the police press release, three suspects drove right up to the front door of Kizer’s on Sunday. Two of the suspects were carrying plastic totes and wearing all black, including ski masks and gloves. The third suspect stayed at the door and was wearing a Carhartt coat and blue jeans.

The suspects took “Channellock” tools to the front door and took the locks off the door to enter.

On the surveillance video, the suspects were driving a dark small to mid-size sedan and were last seen driving south on Miles Ave., possibly turning left onto Hwy. 22.

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Susan Andrews or Lt. Andy Gibson at 731-885-1515 or call Crimestoppers at 1-731-885-8477.

How Much Lower Can It Go?

Paris, Tenn.-No one has been overheard complaining about gas prices lately, especially now that most of the gas stations in Paris are now offering gas at $1.81, such as at Little General convenience store at the intersection of East Wood and Tyson Ave. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Two Job Fairs Set This Week

Paris and McKenzie, Tenn.-Two hiring events will be held this week, in Paris and McKenzie, designed for local job-seekers.

A Manpower Hiring Event will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Adult Learning Center, 55 Jones Bend Rd., Paris, on Wednesday, January 14. 

Manpower seeks to fill up to 30 positions including general labor, production, and assembly, in Manufacturing/Industrial. Locations hiring include: 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 photo ID and Social Security card or birth certificate, and a copy of Diploma or GED. Be ready to interview. For additional information, please call 731-642-0001.

Meanwhile, Bethel University will host a Job and Career Day from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday at Long Heights Baptist Church in McKenzie. From eight-10 employers will be at the fair that are seeking qualified employees. Bring resumes. To find out more, contact Kristie Lancaster at 731-415-2560.




Sunday, January 11, 2015 

Mancini Named Head Of Tennessee Democratic Party


Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Democratic Party has elected Mary Mancini of Nashville as its new Chairman by a large margin.

Mancini replaces former State Senator Roy Herron of Dresden, who earlier announced he would not seek re-election.

Mancini defeated Lenda Sherrell of Monteagle by a vote of 61-9 from the state party’s Executive Committee.
  
“Now, it’s time to get to work,” Mancini said. “Together, we must work together to elect Democrats. We must rebuild and re-energize the base. We have to strengthen our county parties and we have to lay the groundwork for the next several election cycles.”
 
Mancini is the former executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, a voting rights advocacy group that has criticized the state’s new voter identification law. Mancini is a well-known voice in progressive circles, and at one time was a co-host of Liberadio, a political radio talk show in Nashville.

She is only the second woman to be elected to head the Democratic Party in Tennessee.


Saturday, January 10, 2015 


TWRA To Meet In Union City


Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold its first meeting of 2015 at the Discovery Park of America in Union City on Jan. 15-16 (Thursday-Friday).

Committee meetings will be held on Jan. 15 starting at 1 p.m. while the formal commission meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on Jan. 16.

During Friday’s formal meeting, the TFWC will consider five rule amendments. They include adjusting fees on TWRA owned firing ranges, raising most current hunting and fishing licenses and permit fees, and creating some new fees relating to horseback riding, bicycling, and off highway vehicle use on TWRA Wildlife Management Areas, and simplifying the process by which the TWRA selects an organization to auction a permit for the special elk hunt. Persons wishing to comment orally should plan to attend the meeting on Friday. As directed by state law, Friday is the only day on which any of the filed rules may be discussed or comments taken.

Thursday’s meeting will include a status report on several of the state’s annual hunting seasons which have now come to a conclusion. Darryl Ratajczak, TWRA Chief of Wildlife and Forestry, will give a summary on deer, turkey, bear, and sandhill crane seasons. 

Don King, TWRA Chief of Information, will provide a capsule of the new television program, Tennessee Uncharted. Tennessee Uncharted premiered on Public Broadcasting Stations late this past fall and clips from the first episodes will be shown to the commission.

As requested from a prior TFWC meeting, TWRA Fisheries Division Chief Bobby Wilson will give a presentation in regard to stocking Florida bass in Tennessee waters.
Discovery Park of America is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City. The meeting will be held in the Reelfoot Room. The public is invited to attend.


Helping Hand Total Now $20,042

Paris, Tenn.-A total of $20,042 has been raised in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction, with $5,250 raised Friday by the Paris Rotary Club, Osage/Airport community, Paris Post-Intelligener and Paris AARP group.

Friday’s total was the largest single-day total so far this year.

The Saturday auction will begin at noon, with the Pleasant Hill community donating items.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Friday, January 9, 2015 

Reserve Your Spot On LBL Eagle Viewing Cruises


Golden Pond, Ky – Land Between The Lakes is partnering with Kenlake State Resort Park over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to host morning brunch and afternoon lunch eagle viewing river cruises, January 17-19. Cruise on the 96-foot luxury boat to a variety of bald eagle viewing hotspots on Kentucky Lake. 

Cruises cost $60 per person. Call 270-924-2020 to make reservations. Full deposits are required for all trips.

On-board naturalists will help guests spot eagles and other winter wildlife from the comfort of the heated indoor cabin on the CQ Princess yacht. Each cruise includes a delicious hot catered meal, hot and cold beverages, and clean restrooms. 

Eagle Viewing River Cruises: 
· Sat., Jan. 17, Brunch Cruise, 8:30-11:30am
· Sat., Jan. 17, Lunch Cruise, 1-4pm
· Sun., Jan. 18, Lunch Cruise, 11am-2pm
· Mon., Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Lunch Cruise, 11am-2pm
A full list of eagle viewing activities can be found at www.landbetweenthelakes.us/ by clicking on See and Do, Attractions, Nature Station, and then Eagle Viewing Tours 2015. Call 270-924-2020 to reserve your tour.

Fire Destroys Country Junction Home

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-A mobile home in the Country Junction resort area in Springville was destroyed by fire Thursday afternoon but firefighters were able to keep the fire was from spreading to other nearby trailers.

Former Springville Volunteer Fire Chief Melvin Wilkinson said when he arrived at the scene around 2 p.m., “It was already burning pretty good and it broke out and had gone the full length of the trailer in a hurry. I knew we couldn’t save it, but we wanted to work as hard as we could to save the other trailers out there.”

Firefighters were hampered by winds and frigid temperatures, Wilkinson said. “The flames were blowing right up close to another trailer right behind it.” And with the below freezing temperatures, he said, “we were all skating around there pretty good” while trying to battle the blaze. “It was pretty hectic there for awhile.”

Wilkinson said the mobile home was not occupied and that the fire started around the heaters. The home reportedly used is a weekend get-away.

The Oakland Fire Department provided mutual aid. New Fire Chief William Unruh was unavailable for comment.

Dresden Home Destroyed By Fire

Dresden, Tenn.-A second Weakley County home was destroyed by fire Thursday night. It is the second house fire in three days for Weakley County.

Dresden Firefighters were called to the scene around 6:15 p.m. after resident Jamie Warrilow called 911 to report his home on Pikeview Street was engulfed in flames.

The family, including two children and their pets, were able to escape the blaze. The family was inside the home when a neighbor saw the house on fire.

Firefighters said the fire may have started from a battery in a child’s toy.


TVA Credits Consumers With Meeting Electric Demand


Knoxville, Tenn. – Consumer efforts to conserve power, combined with the dedication of thousands of utility workers, allowed the Tennessee Valley Authority and 155 local power companies to successfully meet the highest electric demand since the “polar vortex” of January 2014.

A peak power demand of 32,723 megawatts across TVA’s seven-state service territory was reached at 8 a.m. EST on Thursday morning. Demand hovered between 29,000 and 30,000 megawatts overnight, as the average temperature across the five-largest metropolitan areas reached 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is the third highest winter peak demand in TVA’s history, and tenth highest demand peak overall. TVA‘s all-time winter record peak demand of 33,352 megawatts was set on Jan. 24, 2014.

To meet the demand, TVA relied on its diversified portfolio of electric generating resources, including nuclear, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric and other renewable sources, as well as purchased power from other sources both inside and outside the Valley.

As slightly warmer temperatures return to the area, TVA is withdrawing its request for voluntary conservation efforts, but appreciates the support of Valley residents and businesses. Consumers are encouraged to continue taking steps to reduce their electric use and benefit from lower power bills in the future. Money saving tips for both winter and summer can be found at www.energyright.com.

Over the past five days, TVA power system operators managed a record-setting 165 percent swing in power demand. Unseasonably mild temperatures on Sunday, Jan. 4, lowered demand to only 12,343 megawatts. Meeting Thursday morning’s peak demand meant safely adding 20,380 megawatts of generating capacity while maintaining the reliability of the transmission system.

Helping Hand Total Now $14,792

Paris, Tenn.-On its fourth day, a total $14,792 has been raised in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction, with $4,002 raised Wednesday by the Woodmen of the World, Civitan Club, Downtown Paris Association and Henry County Fair Association. So far, it has been the largest daily total in the two-month long auction.

Donating Friday will be Paris Rotary Club, Osage/Airport community, Paris Post-Intelligener and Paris AARP group.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5.

Tennessee Promise Meeting Set

Paris, Tenn.-A mandatory Tennessee Promise meeting has been set for the Henry County High School Monday evening.

High School students who intend to use the Tennessee Promise Scholarship must attend. Parents and guardians are welcome to attend with their students.

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday in the commons area.



WBFF Hostess Princess Pageant Set January 31 


Paris, Tenn.-The weather outside may be frightful, but it’s the time to begin planning for the 2015 World’s Biggest Fish Fry.

The Hostess Princess will be crowned on January 21 the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris. The pageant starts at 7 pm and is open to all young ladies of Henry County between the ages of 16 and 20. Deadline for entry is April 1. 

The remaining pageants will take place the following weekend at KPAC on February 7 and 8. 

Hostess Princess Contest Co-Chair Kristian Elliott said there have been some changes to the pageants this year. 

The most noticeable change, Elliott said, “will be the unveiling of a new Hostess Princess crown,” instead of the tiaras used in the past. “This was an emotional change for us as it will be for many in the community, but the traditional crown we have had in the past is no longer available to us.”

A new group has been added this year--that of Little Miss.

With the changes to the pagents, she said, “We encourage everyone to please read each entry form carefully and contact the individual chairperson listed on each entry form with any questions you may have.“

The pageants are sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Jaycees and the World’s Biggest Fish Fry. The fish fry itself is held the last full week of April.

Entry forms are available on the World’s Biggest Fish Fry website, www.worldsbiggestfishfry.com.




Thursday, January 8, 2015 

Keeping Vigil On A Frigid Night

Paris, Tenn.-With temperatures dipping below zero in our area overnight, the old-fashioned street lamps at the Henry County Courthouse always provide a warm glow. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Fires Destroy House In Martin, Garage At Paris Landing

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Fire Departments in our area were busy overnight, with firefighters sent out in frigid temperatures on several fire calls. In Martin, a house was destroyed by fire and in the Paris Landing area a garage was a total loss.

The Martin Fire Department battled the house fire at 561 Adams Road on Wednesday afternoon. Fire Department personnel said the fire appears to have started in the porch area and had crept into the attic by the time firefighters arrived shortly after 2:30 p.m.

When firefighters arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames, with smoke billowing from eaves on both sides of the structure. They were on the scene for about three hours. 

The house is considered a total loss. Martin received mutual aid from the Dresden, Sharon and Latham fire departments.

The Paris Landing Fire Department was called to 120 Dinkins Rd. around 11 p.m. on a report of a garage fire. Fire Chief Reggie Coles said arriving units found a detached garage fully involved when they arrived. The structure belonged to Sam Morrison.

Coles said the garage is total loss, with damage estimated at $15,000. Faulty wiring is the suspected cause, he said.

Coles said firefighters stayed on the scene for two hours and firefighting efforts were hampered by the extreme cold.

The Paris Fire Department responded for mutual aid with two trucks and four firefighters. The Paris Landing Department dispatched two trucks and eight firefighters.

Earlier, at 5:40 p.m., the Paris Landing department was dispatched to 280 Eagle Rd. for a chimney fire. Coles said no injuries or damage were reported. Two trucks and four firefighters were on the scene for some 30 minutes.
 
The Paris Fire Department was busy last night, too, being called to extinguish an oven fire at 197 Hwy. 218 at the home owned by Rusty Wallace. The department also was called to respond to arcing on a power pole on Hwy. 54.


Etheridge: BPU "Nearing All-Time Peak" In Usage

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
 

Paris, Tenn.-With overnight temperatures reaching below zero, Paris Board of Public Utilities General Manager John Etheridge said this morning the local utility “is nearing its all-time peak” in electrical usage.

The excessive power load did cause a wire to burn down on a power pole on Hwy. 54, causing an outage that lasted from two to two-and-a-half hours, he said.

“We had seven small outages before midnight, but the longest was the one on Hwy. 54,” Etheridge said.

“We actually feel pretty good about how things went last night,” he said. “We’d love to have nothing happen at all and power be maintained, but last night wasn’t normal usage.”


Reelfoot State Park to Host Eagle Tours

 
Tiptonville, Tenn. –Reelfoot Lake State Park invites visitors to attend the annual eagle bus tours to observe bald eagles and waterfowl. Tours are conducted seven days a week through the end of February. 

Daily tours depart from the park’s visitor center at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Park personnel lead the approximately two-hour tour, which includes opportunities to stop for photos and sightseeing. 

Reservations are recommended and tickets can be purchased at the visitor center for $5 per person. Special groups should make reservations in advance. All visitors should dress warmly and bring field glasses and cameras.

“The Reelfoot Lake Eagle Tours is one of America’s premier wildlife watching adventures,” Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill said. “Visitors can observe eagles flying south from the Great Lakes and isolated regions of Canada to spend the winter in northwest Tennessee. The American Bald Eagle has made this annual winter pilgrimage to Reelfoot for generations.”

In addition to tours, a variety of special programs will be offered every Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the visitor center inside Ellington Hall. Topics will include eagles, Reelfoot Lake history, nature photography, raptor rehabilitation and other birds of prey. For more information, contact 731-253-9652.

Reelfoot Lake State Park offers outstanding recreational activities, such as wildlife viewing, fishing, boating, hunting and hiking. The park is located in Lake and Obion counties near Tiptonville. The park’s 280 acres are divided into 10 segments along 22 miles of the Reelfoot Lake shoreline. The park’s visitor and interpretive centers, auditorium, picnic and camping areas are located along State Highways 21 and 22. For more information, visit http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/reelfoot-lake. 

UTM Named One Of Best Online Programs

Martin, Tenn. – U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Tennessee at Martin’s online MBA degree program as one of the top-20 online programs nationally.
UT Martin is ranked #18 on this year’s list, tied with Georgia Southern and Mississippi State universities, and is the highest-ranked program in Tennessee. U.S. News evaluated 223 programs nationwide for the report.

“We are very proud of this recognition,” said Dr. Kevin Hammond, UT Martin professor of marketing and MBA coordinator. “The high quality, affordability and associated value indicated by a high ranking are recognized by prospective students, employers and others across the country.”

The rankings are based on five general categories: student engagement; admissions selectivity; peer reputation; faculty credentials and training; and student services and technology. U.S. News surveyed students, faculty and administrators at regionally accredited public, private and for-profit institutions across the country, asking them not only to evaluate their own programs, but also those at other area institutions.
 
Other factors considered include graduation and retention rates, applicant test scores, number of terminal degree faculty and student indebtedness. 
The UT Martin program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

For more information, contact the College of Business and Global Affairs at 731-881-7208 or bagrad@utm.edu.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015 

HCMC Welcomes First Baby Of 2015

Parents Johathan Threats and Cheri Beecham welcome Jay'den. 
(HCMC photo).

Paris, Tenn. – Henry County Medical Center welcomed its first baby of the year at 9:52 a.m. on January 6. Jay’den Tye-rel Threats weighed 6 pounds, 13.8 ounces, was 19 ¼ inches long and was delivered by Dr. Dennis Wieck, with Registered Nurses Rachel Davis and Sheila Fitzpatrick assisting. 

Dr. Debra Selby is serving as Jay’den’s pediatrician. 

His parents are Cheri Beecham and Johnathan Threats of Camden. Jay’den is both Cheri and Johnathan’s third child. Cheri is a stay at home mom and Johnathan works in Clarksville at Electrolux.

“We didn’t know we were the first baby of the New Year until we got to the hospital, but we are very excited” Threats said.
HCMC recognized the first baby of the year with a gift basket full of baby items including toys, bibs, diapers, lotion and a Wal-Mart gift card.  

Benton Co. Schools To Open Late Thursday

Camden, Tenn.-Benton County Schools will be opening 2 hours late tomorrow on Thursday January 8.


TVA Asks For Voluntary Reduction In Power Usage In Cold Snap


Knoxville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for a voluntary reduction in electricity use until Thursday afternoon as a result of frigid temperatures causing high demand across the Southeast.

The request extends to all electric power consumers – residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The voluntary reduction will help ensure a continued supply of power to essential services throughout TVA’s seven-state service territory and avoid interruptions of service.

All of TVA’s available generating resources are being used to meet the peak power demand. TVA’s bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time.

“When it’s below freezing, each time the temperature drops one degree another 400 megawatts of electricity is needed for our system,” said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply. “Setting your thermostat 2-3 degrees below normal this evening and Thursday morning can really help TVA manage the high power demand during this challenging time.”

Wednesday’s peak power demand is expected to occur this evening as regional temperatures are forecast to drop into single digits causing electricity demand to exceed 31,000 megawatts. Another peak demand will occur again Thursday morning with electric loads peaking around 32,600 megawatts. In comparison, demand was just below 32,500 megawatts during the height of the cold wave on Jan. 7, 2014.

Consumers can reduce their power consumption and lower their power bills by:

  • Turning down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature just one degree can result in a savings of up to 3 percent.
  • Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment.
  • Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.
     

Additional tips for saving on your power bill and reducing electric demand can be found on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website.

TVA and the region’s 155 local power companies are cutting back on power usage in their own facilities by adjusting thermostats, reducing lighting and taking other steps to reduce electricity consumption.


Victims In Triple Shooting Identified        

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police have released the names of the victims and updates in their conditions following the triple shooting Monday in Martin.

Corey Williams, age 33, of Dresden, died of his injuries yesterday and his body is at a Nashville hospital awaiting autopsy.

Trista Canady, 28, of Gleason, is still in critical condition at the MED in Memphis.

Aquincy Dickson, age 27, of Bolivar but living in Dresden, is still in critical condition at a hospital in Nashville.

The suspect in the shootings, Marcus Easley, was arrested Tuesday on Hyndsaver Rd. in Martin around 4:20 p.m. without incident. He was regarded as armed and dangerous.

Captain Don Teal said the charges filed against Easley have not been upgraded but that will take place today at some point.


Another Henry County Landmark Gone


Oakland, Tenn.-Henry County lost another landmark Tuesday with the demolition of the former John C. Hill store on Hwy. 69 in Oakland. The store had served the Oakland community for decades but had fallen into disrepair after it closed a few years ago. Donna Winchester, who is a local history buff and lives near the old store, took the photo of the demolition. She said there are a lot of great memories associated with the old store.


Refuge To Host Bald Eagle Tour Saturday

     Adult Bald Eagle, photo by Richard Graves

 
Springville, Tenn.-The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will once again host the annual Bald Eagle/Waterfowl Tour from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday January 10th .

On this day the refuge will offer a free event for the public to enjoy an afternoon to view waterfowl and wildlife on the refuge at the Duck River Bottoms, just south of New Johnsonville. Should old man winter shut things down on the 10th; Saturday, January 24th from noon to 5 p.m. will be an alternate date.

Whereas Refuge Lane and Pintail Point Observation Deck at the Duck River Bottoms is always open to view wildlife every day of the year, some of the bottom areas are seasonally closed during the winter to limit disturbance to the visiting waterfowl. 

The refuge will open several of these roads up to the public, for one afternoon only, to offer our annual glimpse into the heart of the refuge during winter waterfowl season. As in years past, the Blue Goose Boulevard interpretive wildlife drive will be open to offer a two mile self guided tour. In addition guided bus tours with refuge staff will once again be available this year. These buses will start and end at the main event parking lot off Refuge Lane beginning at 12:30 and  3 pm.

Typically about 400- 500 people attend each year seeing tens of thousands of waterfowl and each tour bus counted about 15 – 20 bald eagles.

 Along with views of waterfowl and bald eagles, the refuge offers opportunities to see white-tailed deer, wild turkey, many species of hawks, great blue herons and great egrets, and many other kinds of wildlife. Bring the whole family and enjoy a scenic afternoon, compliments of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of Tennessee Refuge.

Refuge staff will be available at the main event tent just past the entrance on Refuge Lane. Staff will be on hand to answer questions, hand out maps for the self-guided auto tour route, and direct you to the guided tour buses. At this heated tent, staff will also have several items of interest concerning waterfowl, and managing their wetland habitats. The staff will also be explaining bird identification, refuge operations and management, and answering any questions you may have during your visit.

The Friends of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will also be offering complimentary hot apple cider and cookies to the visiting public, as well as telling folks about other wonderful opportunities happening at the refuge. Along the route several Friends members will be stationed with spotting scopes to allow the public better views of waterfowl and the bald eagle nest. 

If you have a GPS unit to direct you to the location, you can use the address “550 Refuge Lane, New Johnsonville, TN 37134”. The refuge is located a little less than 2 hours drive from Nashville, and 2 ½ hours from Memphis.

The refuge at Duck River Bottoms is about 4 miles south of New Johnsonville. 

To enhance your viewing opportunities it is highly recommended to bring a pair of binoculars, if available, and remember to dress warmly for winter weather. If you have questions about the waterfowl tour, please call the Paris Headquarters at 731-642-2091, extension 303 or e-mail Joan Stevens at Joan_Stevens@fws.gov.


Martin UTM Student Receives Scholarship

 
Martin, Tenn.- Orren Ogg (center), a UT Martin agriculture student from Martin, receives a certificate from Don Doran recognizing Ogg’s 2014-15 Tennessee Council of Cooperatives Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. Doran represents the Tennessee Valley Electric Cooperative on the TCC board. Dr. Todd Winters, dean, UT Martin College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences and an ex officio TCC board member, is also pictured. Recipients must be a junior agriculture major with at least a 3.0 grade point average. Jesi Ogg, Orren’s sister and a December agriculture graduate, received last year’s scholarship award.  (UTM photo).

Beer Board To Consider Two Applications

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Beer Board will hear applications for beer licenses from two businesses with new owners: Camp Tyson Sports Bar and Grill (formerly Camp Tyson Market) and Esha Country Store (formerly Dodd’s Country Store).

The beer board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 8 at the Henry County Courthouse.

Applicant for the Camp Tyson Grill license is Patricia Carol Lowery and it located at 931 Camp Tyson Rd., Henry.

Applicant for the Esha Country Store is Harshila Patel and it is located at 14300 Hwy. 79, Buchanan.

Applications are for beer licenses for both on and off premises.

$16,000 Grant To Promote Student Achievement At HC Schools

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County School District has received a $16,000 mini grant from Utrust to purchase software and supplies needed to implement an incentive program to promote student achievement.

Susan Burton, Henry County Schools Federal Programs/Grants Director, applied for the mini-grant to help students achieve higher ACT scores. “The John Baylor ACT Prep program will be used in our high school homeroom classes to increase student ACT scores,” Burton said. “We strive to assist our students in scoring at least a 21 so they can earn the Tennessee Hope Scholarship.”

Dr. Dan Tollett, Utrust administrator said, “We are pleased that Utrust is able to provide funds through our mini-grant program to fund small projects that will make a big difference in schools. We believe this project will make a big difference to the students in Henry County Schools.

Utrust is an organization that assists school systems in Tennessee in recognizing, supporting and appreciating school employees. It sponsors the Utrust School Employee Appreciation Program that seeks to help students to express appreciation to people who make their lives better each day.

Henry County is one of 52 school systems in Tennessee that have received Utrust mini-grants totaling more than $750,000 to improve educational opportunities for students.  

The mini-grant program was recently approved by the Utrust Board of Trustees to offer an opportunity for member systems to apply for funds for small projects that might not otherwise be funded.



Take Care Of Pets, Animals During Frigid Weather

Paris, Tenn.-If you’re cold in the frigid temperatures we are experiencing this week, so are your pets.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone to take extra care of their pets as the temperatures fall into the single digits this week. Pay close attention to them and if the temperatures fall below freezing, the sheriff’s office encourages everyone to bring their pets inside.

The sheriff’s office has other tips:

If pets or animals are outside, make sure there is adequate housing and enough straw and blankets to keep them warm and keep fresh water, not frozen, for them to drink.

Not all dogs are alike: some adapt better than others to cold weather.

Keep pets away from bodies of water like the lake, rivers or ponds as the water begins to freeze.

Be aware that cats like to sleep under the hood of vehicles for warmth. Check before starting your engine to make sure there are no cats under the hood.

Be mindful when you spill antifreeze and make sure to clean it up. Animals do like to drink it and it is deadly.

Kittens, puppies and senior pets are more susceptible to cold water illnesses.



Tuesday, January 6, 2015 

Nichols Appointed Bobo Special Prosecutor

Decaturville, Tenn. -- Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Nichols has been named the special prosecutor in the Holly Bobo case, according to James W. Kirby, executive director of the District Attorneys General Conference for Tennessee.

Nichols is already familiar with the Bobo case, having been already selected by 24th Judicial District Attorney Matt Stowe to help him pursue the death penalty in the case. 

Stowe requested last month to be replaced in the Bobo case by a special prosecutor after a public tangle with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
 

Fuller, Powers Appointed to BPU Board

New Mayor Carlton Gerrell, center, moves through the agenda. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn-At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Paris City Commission, Mayor Carlton Gerrell appointed Commissioner Terry Fuller and Wayne “Butch” Powers to the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU). Powers works at Foundation Bank.

Fuller previously served on the BPU board and will replace retiring Commissioner Pete Lackey. The term will be two years.

Powers was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the late Bill Culley, who died in December. The term will expire July 1, 2017.

Gerrell also appointed former Mayor and Commissioner Sam Tharpe to the Paris-Henry County Industrial Board to replace Lackey. Vice Mayor Gayle Griffith was re-appointed to serve on the Planning Commission and Gerrell will continue to serve on that board.

In other appointments, new Commissioner Robert Sleadd was appointed to the Paris-Henry County Library Board to replace Fuller on that board; Barton Robison was re-appointed to the Heritage Center board; Reginald Caldwell re-appointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals; and Darren Roberson to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

After some discussion at an earlier meeting, the commission moved forward on a social media initiative which safeguards the city’s online presence.

The approved resolution states that the city has an interest in expanding its information flow and engagement with its citizens and established rules and guidelines for city employees to follow on social media when they are representing the city. It also states that employees should not characterize themselves as representing the city on social media unless authorized.


In other business:

--The long-range planning sessions upcoming will be held on a Saturday morning and will have more structured formats. Gerrell said he is looking for the sessions to be brain-storming sessions which include County Mayor Brent Greer, BPU General Manager John Etheridge, Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton and other key representatives of the city and county.

--The city declared a one-acre parcel on Jenkins St. owned by Dave Susewitt as surplus and it will be offered for public sale.

--The commission approved quitclaim to JR Hayes Family Partners of an undeveloped right of way fronting Tyson Ave. on Hwy. 79.

 
Retail Sales Continue On Positive Path 

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Finance Director Kim Foster said at Tuesday night’s commission meeting that the city continues to experience positive growth in retail sales with October 2014 sales being 2.33 percent ahead of October 2013 and 5.66 percent ahead of October 2012.

“This takes out run of positive growth to eleven consecutive months, and brings our year-to-date figure to 4.19 percent increase of the same time frame from 2013. We also remain ahead of 2012 year-to-date by 1.6 percent.”

Foster said revenues, which have been lagging behind expenditures for most of the fiscal year, are beginning to catch up.

Helping Hand Total $7,253

Paris, Tenn.-With two days under its belt, the total of money raised at the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now $7, 253, with $2, 887, of that raised on Tuesday.
Organizations donating items on Tuesday included Paris Optimist Club, Martha Chapter OES, Paris Lodge 108, Buchanan Lodge 772, Masonic Lodge 109, Damascus Road shelter, and Forever Friends Animal Sanctuary.

On Wednesday, items will be donated by the local medical community, including Henry Co. Orthopaedic, Paris Surgical Specialists, West Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic, East Wood Clinic and Ky Lake Urology Clinic.

Money raised during the auction goes toward local community organizations and charities. The auction is held at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be heard live daily on WTPR-AM 710 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at noon. Saturday night auctions are broadcast on KQ105.5


Breaking News:

Suspect In Triple Shooting Captured

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-The suspect in the triple shooting in Martin Monday night has been captured.

Martin Police Captain Don Teal said Marcus Easley was arrested on Hyndsaver Rd. in Martin around 4:20 p.m. without incident. He was regarded as armed and dangerous.

One of the victims has now died and another continues on life support. According to Teal, Easley will be charged with at least four counts of aggravated assault with additional charges pending pending consultation with the District Attorney’s Office.

He is being held at the Weakley Co. Detention Center in Dresden.



Breaking News:
Body Of Homicide Suspect Found In McKenzie 

McKenzie, Tenn.-The McKenzie Police Department is investigating the death of a man found on the railroad track near West End Avenue near downtown around noon today.

Police Chief Craig Moates told the McKenzie Banner the body is the person of interest in a homicide that occurred on Washington Street on Monday evening. Barbara Langley Stone, 47, died after a case of domestic abuse on Monday.

The train track is used by KWT shortline railroad and extends from McKenzie to Gleason. Moates would not reveal if he believes it was a homicide or suicide.

Moates said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is working both incidents. 
No additional details were available. 


KSP Seeks Public Help On Hazel Church Arson

The sanctuary of Mason Chapel. (Elyse Bell photo).

Hazel, Ky.-The Kentucky State Police is asking for the public’s help in finding the suspect or suspects in the arson at a Hazel, Ky. Church in December.

Kentucky State Police responded to an arson complaint at the Mason Chapel United Methodist Church in Calloway County on December 15, 2014. WENK/WTPR reported on the incident at that time.

A church member passed by the Church on Monday morning and noticed an open door. The member went to secure the door and found the church on fire. The church sustained serious damage from the fire. 

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. 


Updated Information:

Two Shooting Victims On Life Support

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Martin, Tenn.-Two of the victims of the triple shooting in Martin Monday night are now on life support and the suspect is still being sought. Capt. Don Teal of the Martin Police Department said information that his department released earlier indicating that the two had died was not accurate.


The suspect is Marcus Easley, 25, of 334 N. McCombs St., Martin, and he is considered armed and dangerous.  


Teal said Easley was last seen driving from the scene in a2007 silver Jeep Grand Cherokee with tag number E3294N. Teal said the information on the vehicle released by the Martin PD earlier was incorrect.


Martin Police warn that if anyone sees Easley, they should call area law enforcement immediately.

Officers responded to a 911 call of a shooting at 126 South Davis St., in Martin, around midnight. Upon arrival, officers found three adult victims of apparent gunshot wounds inside the residence. All three victims were attended to by medics from Martin Fire Department, Weakley County Ambulance Service, and Martin Volunteer Community Hospital before being flown by helicopter to multiple trauma centers. Victim’s names are being withheld pending notification of family members.

Martin Man Sought In Triple Shooting


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police are seeking the public’s help in locating a suspect in the shooting of three people Monday night at a Martin residence.

Police say that Marcus Easley, 25, of 334 N. McCombs St., Martin, is considered armed and dangerous. He was last seen driving from the scene in a 2007 silver Jeep Liberty bearing Tennessee tag #E3492N. 

Martin Police warn that if anyone sees Easley, they should call area law enforcement immediately.

Officers responded to a 911 call of a shooting at 126 South Davis St., in Martin, around midnight. Upon arrival, officers found three adult victims of apparent gunshot wounds inside the residence.  All three victims were attended to by medics from Martin Fire Department, Weakley County Ambulance Service, and Martin Volunteer Community Hospital before being flown by helicopter to multiple trauma centers.  Victim’s names are being withheld pending notification of family members.


Ice Sculptures Again At Reelfoot Lake State Park

Tiptonville, Tenn.-With last weekend’s rain and frigid temperatures, the ice sculptures at Reelfoot Lake State Park are starting to form again this year. State Regional Naturalist David Haggard took this photo at the park on a recent day. Last year, Mother Nature put on quite a show with the ice sculptures which form along the shoreline.


Special Prosecutor In Bobo Case To Be Named This Week

Nashville, Tenn.-A special prosecutor will be appointed this week to oversee the state’s case in the Holly Bobo kidnapping and murder.

Wally Kirby, Executive Director of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference said he will be naming the new prosecutor shortly. He said appointment of the special prosecutor had been stalled with the difficulty of finding someone qualified to handle the case and who also has the time to do it.

After a public dispute between District Attorney General Matt Stowe and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Director Mark Gwyn, Stowe removed himself as prosecutor in the Bobo case.

During the dispute, Gwyn had announced that he was suspending all TBI work on not only the Bobo case, but in the entire 24th Judicial District after Stowe accused TBI agents of misconduct. Stowe said he didn’t intend for the TBI to remove itself from the district. 

The quarrel was resolved after Stowe stepped away from the Bobo case and requested a special prosecutor be appointed.

Bobo, 20, was abducted from outside her Decatur County home in April 2011. Her partial remains, including her skull, were found in a wooded area in Northern Decatur County in September 2014, according to the TBI.

Meanwhile, one of the attorneys for the two main defendants accused of kidnapping and murdering Bobo said he will subpoena Stowe to find out what charges of misconduct he made against the TBI.

Fletcher Long, attorney for Jason Autrey said the defense is entitled to know what the charges are.

And, to add still more confusion to the case, the attorney for the second defendant Zach Adams has been suspended. John Herbison of Nashville was suspended from practicing law in November after charges of misconduct were filed. His suspension is to last 60 days, after which he will be on probation.

Fulton Man Arrested On Drug Charges


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Fulton, Ky.-A Fulton, Ky. Man is in the Fulton County Detention Center today after being arrested on numerous charges, including possession of a felony amount of high grade marijuana called Blackberry Crush.

Ahmed Pryor, age 23, was stopped for speeding Monday afternoon and officers with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office smelled marijuana. Pryor denied any illegal substances were in his possession. A K-9 from the sheriff’s office performed a perimeter search of the vehicle and made a positive hit.

Pryor was removed from the vehicle and a felony amount of high grade marijuana, marijuana seeds, digital scales, and baggies were found in different areas within the vehicle. US currency was taken off Pryor.

Pryor was charged with the following: trafficking marijuana, speeding, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Pryor was transported to the Fulton County Detention Center and will be arraigned in the Fulton County District Court on Tuesday, January 6.

McKenzie Man Arrested For Henry Home Burglaries

Paris, Tenn.-A McKenzie man was arrested by Henry County Sheriff’s deputies on charges of aggravated burglary and theft of property following two home burglaries in the Henry area.

Investigator David Doyle issued warrants on Wendell Poore Jr. on two counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of theft of property over $1,000.

Poore is charged wi...th stealing jewellery, firearms and other items from the burglarized homes. Several items, including some of the firearms, have been recovered by Doyle.

On January 5, Poore was arrested in Putnam County, Tenn. by the Cookeville Police Department on unrelated charges. Once the case against Poore is completed in Putnam County he will be transported back to the Henry County jail where he will face the felony charges here.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the citizens of Henry County who provided information on Poore linking him to the crimes. If anyone has information regarding a crime the Sheriff’s Office would encourage them to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 731-642-1672 or the anonymous Hotline 731-642-0929.


Flu Being Watched At Stewart County Schools 

Dover, Tenn.-Despite incidence of flu in the Stewart County School system, school will stay in session for a few more days at least.

Stewart County Director of Schools Leta Joiner sent out a notice to the public yesterday saying that eight percent of students were out due to illness district-wide on Monday, with 10 percent absent at Dover Elementary.

She said on a normal day seven percent out of school is the average rate.

She said if the absences increase substantially by Wednesday the district may look to cancel school on Thursday and Friday.


Monday, January 5, 2015 

Helping Hand Raises $4,366 On First Day

Volunteers Kara Barnhart and Sheila Stigall look over a basket of cappucino mix that was auctioned today. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The first day of the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction Monday raised $4,366, with a large variety of items auctioned off all afternoon.

The auction each year raises thousands of dollars for local charities and community organizations. Last year’s total was $351,663. The auction runs through February 25.

Today’s items were donated by the Lakeway Kiwanis, Paris Lions and Paris Lioness Clubs and included casseroles, homemade pies, beef stew, biscuits, salads, bread, pimiento cheese, cookies and even homemade pecan pound cake and citrus poppy seed angel food cake.

On Tuesday, items are to be donated by Paris Optimist Club, Martha Chapter OES 155; Paris Lodge 108; Buchanan Lodge 772; Masonic Lodge 109; Damascus Road Homeless Shelter and Forever Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Wednesday’s items will be donated by the Henry County medical community.

As is tradition, the first day’s auctioneer was Fred McLean.

The auction phone is 644-1695 and the auction is held every day at the Enoch Building at the county fairgrounds. It is broadcast daily over WTPR-AM 710 beginning at 12:30 and on Saturdays beginning at noon. Evening auctions are aired on KQ 105.5.

Volunteers Hut Stigall, Ricky Moon and Antonio organize slates of refrigerated items for today's auction. (McFarlin photo).


Cottage Grove Mayor Mike Waddey To Leave For New Pastorate
Pastor of Baptist Church For 10 Years


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Cottage Grove Mayor Mike Waddey announced Sunday that he and his family will be leaving at the end of January and he will be assuming the post of pastor at the First Baptist Church in Maury City, Tenn.

Since June of 2004, Waddey has been pastor of the Cottage Grove Baptist Church. He said his pastorate at the church will end January 31. Waddey said it was a hard decision to make, since he and his family love the community of Cottage Grove and its Baptist Church. “It has been a hard decision, but it is the right decision,” Waddey said.

“In as much as I am saddened at the thought of leaving our church and this community, I am excited about what God has in store as He has led my family to the First Baptist Church of Maury City,” Waddey said.

Cottage Grove is the smallest incorporated city in the state of Tennessee, with some 90 citizens. Since moving to the tiny city and becoming its mayor, Waddey has been a real spark plug for the community. It has been Waddey’s goal that Cottage Grove be “the greenest small town in Tennessee” and has promoted several endeavors to that end, including inaugurating Henry County’s only curbside recycling program there.

Waddey said when he officially resigns as mayor at the next Cottage Grove Legislative Council meeting, Vice Mayor Melinda Thatcher will move into the mayor’s seat, if she chooses.

According to the Cottage Grove charter, Waddey said, the council then will declare a vacancy for her council seat and will appoint someone from the community to fill it.

Waddey said it was hard to summarize the past ten years his family has been in Cottage Grove. “I guess I was able to adopt Cottage Grove as my own because they always made me feel like their own. I never felt like an outsider. My family was afforded every kindness and I will always be grateful for out time in the Grove. Cottage Grove is a special place.”


Watch For Frozen Pipes With Frigid Temperatures

Paris, Tenn.-The weather forecast for the next few days includes highs that are below freezing and lows in the single digits.  With extreme cold temperatures comes the possibility of frozen water pipes, according to Paris Board of Public Utilities Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley.

Here are helpful hints as you think of preventing frozen water pipes in your home:

·         Make sure the foundation to your house or mobile home is air-tight and that foundation vents are closed

·         Disconnect garden hoses

·         Leave a small stream of hot and cold water running from an inside faucet (when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit)

·         Make sure you and your family know the location of your home’s water shut-off valve.  If a pipe bursts, shutting off the water promptly can help minimize damage. These extra precautions will far outweigh the inconvenience of frozen pipes and the cost of having burst pipes repaired. 

For any questions, please contact Terry Wimberley at 731-642-1322, ext. 149   



Drugs, Medical Supplies Stolen From Baptist Memorial

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Rives, Tenn. Man is in the Obion County Jail on charges that he stole drugs, medical equipment and a cell phone from Baptist Memorial Hospital.

Arrested was James Evan Pitts, charged with theft, with additional charges to be added later.

According to the police report, an employee of the hospital called police to report the theft of her cell phone and said she believed she knew the culprit to be a man who had accompanied another person to the emergency room. She said hospital staff had problems with the man getting into the drawers at the emergency room while he was there. 

An Obion County Sheriff’s Deputy later picked up Pitts and said he admitted taking a large quantity of medical supplies, drugs and the cell phone from the ER.

The items stolen were returned to the hospital, but the drugs and medical supplies had to be destroyed because they had been compromised.

All together, the amount stolen totalled $668.


UTM/Miss Soybean Festival Pageants To Be Combined

Reigning Miss UTM Erica Glisson 
crowned by 2013 Winner Jordan Gunn

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin will host the combined Miss UT Martin/Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival Scholarship Pageant at 7 p.m., Jan. 31, in the Harriet Fulton Theatre on the UT Martin main campus. 

Young women between the ages of 17-24 who are U.S. citizens are encouraged to compete for scholarships and a chance to participate in the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant in June. The winner of Miss Tennessee will advance to compete in the Miss America pageant later in the year.

Those competing for the title of Miss UT Martin must be current students at the university. Those seeking to become Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival must be residents of West Tennessee or be enrolled as a student in West Tennessee, but do not need to be UT Martin students. Contestants cannot be currently married, previously married or have children.

All contestants will participate in four categories: presentation and community achievement (interview), artistic expression (talent), presence and poise (evening gown), and lifestyle and fitness (swimsuit). 

Scholarships are available for the winners and runners-up. The winner of the Miss UT Martin title will receive a $1,500 scholarship; the first runner-up will receive $500 and the second will receive $200. The winner of the Miss Tennessee Soybean Festival title will receive a $1,500 scholarship if she is a UT Martin student and a $500 scholarship if she is not. 

New this year, the university will host a pageant boot camp at 9 a.m., Jan. 10, in the Harriet Fulton Theatre.

“We wanted to host (the boot camp) to assist young women who have either never been in a pageant before or who haven’t competed in a long time and would like to brush up on their skills,” said Katie Smith, UT Martin student organizations coordinator. “We’ll specifically be working on walking and interview. We wanted our contestants to have a chance to work on these skills and practice before they have to appear before an audience.”

Those wishing to participate in the boot camp should RSVP to Katie Smith at ksmit209@utm.edu by Jan. 8. The application deadline for the pageant itself is Jan. 18.
For more information, contact Hollie Holt, the pageant’s executive director, at hholt@utm.edu, or follow the pageant on Facebook at www.facebook.com/missutm.


UC Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City woman was arrested on a charge of animal cruelty Friday and will appear today in Obion County General Sessions Court.

Arrested was Candie Jo Toombs of 1214 S. Second St.

Officers were called to the home at 10:30 p.m. on a report of a dog being mistreated. Officers found a small puppy in a crate in the backyard with no food, water or shelter. Rain from the roof was falling on the puppy and officers said it was obvious the puppy was suffering in the 35 degree weather.

When questioned, Toombs told officers she had put the puppy outside around 6:30 p.m. because he daughter was sick. The dog had been in that condition for five hours.

In a separate incident, Union City Police charged Virginia Ann Curry at 615 Exchange St. with harbouring vicious animals after five pit bulls at her house killed another dog in the fenced in yard. 

No one was home when the incident occurred.



Sunday, January 4, 2015 

A Look Back At WTPR Early Days

Paris, Tenn-The announcers and engineers at WTPR in Paris in 1950 look like they’re having fun. At that time, WTPR was located above Luckey’s Hardware (later Wallin Hardware) on the court square in downtown Paris. From left are: Jim Blaine, announcer; Lorenzo Smith, manager; Welcome Stanton, manager; Mac McFarlin, disc jockey and news; and Chuck Jones, engineer. McFarlin was the father of Shannon McFarlin, who is the current News Director at WENK/WTPR. Jones later owned Chuck’s Radio Maintenance in Paris. Lorenzo Smith was the son-in-law of long-time Paris physician Dr. Elroy Scruggs. 

Reservations Taken For LBL Eagle Viewing Cruises 

Bald Eagle at the LBL. (LBL photo).

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes partners with Kenlake State Resort Park over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to host morning brunch and afternoon lunch eagle viewing river cruises, January 17-19. Cruise on the 96-foot luxury CQ Princess to a variety of bald eagle viewing hotspots on Kentucky Lake. Cruises cost $60 per person. Call 270-924-2020 to make reservations. Full deposits are required for all trips.

On-board naturalists will help guests spot eagles and other winter wildlife from the comfort of the heated indoor cabin on the CQ Princess yacht. Each cruise includes a delicious hot catered meal, hot and cold beverages, and clean restrooms. 

“Land Between The Lakes serves as a major wintering spot for bald eagles from northern areas such as Michigan and Canada,” stated John Pollpeter, Nature Station’s Lead Naturalist. “The two flowing rivers, inland lakes, and expansive woodlands here provide fishing, hunting, and nesting grounds eagles need to thrive."
Eagle Viewing River Cruises: 
· Sat., Jan. 17, Brunch Cruise, 8:30-11:30am
· Sat., Jan. 17, Lunch Cruise, 1-4pm
· Sun., Jan. 18, Lunch Cruise, 11am-2pm
· Mon., Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Lunch Cruise, 11am-2pm

A full list of eagle viewing activities can be found at www.landbetweenthelakes.us/ by clicking on See and Do, Attractions, Nature Station, and then Eagle Viewing Tours 2015. Call 270-924-2020 to reserve your tour.


Saturday, January 3, 2015 

FAA Arrives At Crash Site; Victims Identified


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Suwanee, Ky.-The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has arrived on the scene of the fatal private plane crash in Lyon County, Ky., and the names of the victims have been released by the Kentucky State Police.

Victims are: Marty Gutzler, age 49, his wife Kimberly Gutzler, age 45, their daughter Piper, nine years old; and Sierra Wilder, age 14, a cousin of Piper’s.

The name of the sole survivor of the plane crash--the seven-year-old daughter of the Gutzlers--is being withheld at the request of the family. The little girl walked a quarter-mile to find help. The family at the home where she sought help called 911. The little girl was released from Lourdes Hospital in Paducah just after 1 a.m., after treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.

The Gutzler family and Sierra Wilder were from Nashville, IL. 

The KSP has been guarding the scene of the crash since it happened around 6 pm Friday pending arrival of the FAA and the National Traffic Safety Board investigators. Now that federal authorities have arrived, they have taken charge of the site.

All four victim are being transported to Louisville, for autopsy.  

The plane involved in the crash was a Piper PA-34-200T which is described as a fixed wing multiple engine aircraft. 

Investigators have learned that the small aircraft had departed Key West Florida earlier Friday with a destination of Mt. Vernon, IL.  


Saying Goodbye To The Holidays 

Paris, Tenn.-Even though the holiday season is coming to an end, it’s not too late for one last look at Christmas decorations in our area. The home of Ray and Noragene Harding on Walnut Street in Paris looks stately anytime, but especially so during the holiday season. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Four Dead In Plane Crash; Little Girl Survives

Lyon County, Ky.-Search crews have located the wreckage of a small plane in a wooded area off of KY 810 South. Investigators on scene confirm  four fatalities at the crash site. The fatalities account for the pilot and remaining passengers. Names of the deceased are withheld pending identification and notification of next of kin.

A seven-year-old girl survived the crash and walked through a heavily wooded area to a nearby home seeking help.  At approximately 6:30 p.m., a 911 call was received from a Lyon County resident. The caller told police that the little girl had walked to his home reporting that she had been involved in a plane crash. The juvenile was in distress and was transported to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Earlier, the Kentucky State Police reported they were responding to a report of a plane crash near the area of KY 810 South in the Suwanee community of Lyon County 

The FAA Memphis Center has confirmed a distress call from a private aircraft in the vicinity of reported crash.  The Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted and are also assisting.  

The plane had left from Key West, Florida and was headed for Mt. Vernon, Illinois when it crashed.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be arriving at the site on Saturday.

According to the KSP press release, assisting include: Kentucky State Police, Lyon County Sheriff's Office, Eddyville Police Department, Kuttawa Fire Department, Eddyville Fire Department, Aurora-Ross Fire Department, Lyon County Rescue, Marshall County Rescue, Lyon County EMS, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Lyon County Emergency Management, Marshall County Emergency Management and Lyon County Coroner's Office.

WestStar Opening Session To Focus On Obion, Weakley

Henry County Session In May

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin WestStar Leadership Program will welcome its 26th class Jan. 8 on the UT Martin main campus with a two-day session focusing on agriculture and transportation in Obion and Weakley Counties.

WestStar, created in 1989, is the state’s oldest and largest regional leadership program. Boasting 710 graduates, WestStar continues to serve West Tennessee by offering leadership development and education for selected participants.

Class members attend eight specially-designed two-day seminar programs from January through June in locations throughout West Tennessee. Seminars are designed to address contemporary issues facing the region.

This year Brownsville and Covington (Haywood and Tipton counties) will host a session on the fundamentals of economic development Jan. 29-30; Jackson (Madison County) will focus on health, welfare and social consequences Feb. 12-13; and Nashville will introduce participants to public policy issues with a visit to the Tennessee General Assembly on March 10-11.

Later in the spring, Ripley and Dyersburg (Lauderdale and Dyer counties) will emphasize the importance of education April 9-10; Gibson and Crockett counties will focus on energy, environment and technology April 23-24; and Paris (Henry County) will host a session on how to build partnerships to improve regional tourism May 21-22. The final session will visit McNairy and Hardin counties to emphasize turning community strengths into assets for regional growth June 4-5. The course ends with a graduation event June 18 in Jackson.

WestStar not only conducts each WestStar class, but also offers annual leadership-development opportunities to the public. Among these are the African American Leadership Conference, the Working Women’s Conference and the West Tennessee Small Business Conference, in addition to assisting with youth leadership development. The FutureStar Leadership Summit for middle school students and the RisingStar Leadership Summit for high school juniors and seniors, both in their fourth years, provide leadership-education experiences at UT Martin’s main campus.

For more information, contact the WestStar office at 731-881-7298.


Friday, January 2, 2015 

First 2015 Obion County Baby: Connor Willcutt


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Little Connor Ray Willcutt is the first baby born in Obion County in 2015.

He was born at 5:19 p.m. Friday at Union City Baptist Memorial Hospital to William and Lydia Willcutt of Dyersburg.

William Willcutt said his wife was in labour for 13 hours. “She’s pretty exhausted right now,” he said.

Little Connor weighed 7 pounds and 9 oz. and is welcomed home by his parents and two siblings. Willcutt said his siblings are excited about the new baby.

Willcutt graduated from Obion County Central High School and his wife from Dyer County. 

Country Icon Little Jimmy Dickens Dies At Nashville Hospital

        --Photo by Shelley Mays

Nashville, Tenn.-Country Music Icon Little Jimmy Dickens, considered the Grand Ole Opry's most beloved--not to mention--diminutive ambassador, died Friday at a Nashville area hospital. He was 94.’

Dickens starred for decades in the Grand Ole Opry and was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Dickens debuted on the stage in 1948/
According to The Tennessean, he remained a vital performer throughout his life, last playing the "Opry" on Dec. 20, a day after his 94th birthday and five days before he would be admitted to the hospital after suffering a stroke on Christmas Day. He died of cardiac arrest on Friday.


Ring Those Phones: Helping Hand Starts Monday 

Auctioneer Fred McLean, center, at the microphone at the 2011 Helping Hand Auction. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-It’s that time of year again: Time for Henry Countians to bake lots of goodies, make a lot of crafts and donate items for the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction, which begins Monday, January 5.

Treasurer Susan Bell said this will be the 37th auction, which raises money for a long list of local charities and organizations.

Helping Hand runs from January 5 through February 25 and is operated entirely by a large number of volunteers who work every day during that time period, filling various roles, from auctioneers, to organizers and the people who help display the donated items.

Helping Hand is held at the Enoch Building at the Henry County Fairgrounds and can be seen there live. It also is broadcast live daily over WTPR-AM 710: beginning at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays and at noon on Saturdays. On Saturday night auctions, it is aired on KQ 105.5.

Auctioneers this year will be Fred McLean, Cindy Snyder, Gayle Griffith, Bill Williams, Bill McCutcheon, Doug Taylor, Ray Comption, Noel Hatman and Junior Staggs.

On the auction’s first day, items will be donated by Lakeway Kiwanis, Paris Lions Club and Paris Lioness Club.

The auction phone is 644-1695 and the office phone is 644-1833. Office hours are from 7 a.m. to 30 minutes after the auction ends on weekdays.

And as they say each year: “Ring Those Phones!”


Couple Found In Car After Smoking "Ice"

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Ridgely, Tennessee couple was arrested by Union City Police on New Year’s Day when they were found in their car after they had been smoking ‘ice’.

Police conducted a vehicle stop at a car wash at 220 N. First St. and responded to the driver, Laura Beth Johnson, who police said was incoherent. They found the passenger, Steven Carnell, passed out in the passenger seat.

Police determined that Johnson was under the influence of something and when Carnell woke up they found a bottle of crystal meth, 12 morphine pills, and one diazepam pill on him.

Carnell told police ‘ice’ was in the bottle and it did test positive for meth. He also told officers that both he and Johnson had been smoking the ice.

Carnell was charged with possession of both Schedule 2 and 4 drugs. Because the car was running when the police found them, Johnson was charged with DUI, driving on a suspended license and refusing the take a chemical test.


Man, That's Cold

Buchanan, Tenn.-After a short brisk run into the freezing water, participants in Thursday’s New Year’s Day Shiver on the River quickly ran onto shore and the warming tents at Paris Landing State Park. In bottom photo, a group from Tennessee Valley Community Church came dressed for their plunge (from left): Carleen Roberts, Dawn Hurney, Steven Matlock, Melissa Moberley, Dennis Inman and Barbara Allison. The full story on the event and more photos were published Thursday. (Shannon McFarlin photos).


Spring Turkey Hunt Applications Available

Nashville, Tenn. --- Applications for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 2015 Spring Turkey Quota Hunts are now being accepted. The application period runs through Feb. 4.

Applications are available and will be accepted at any TWRA license agent, TWRA regional office, or online at the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org. Applications can be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (CST) on Feb. 4. Mailed applications will not be accepted.
The areas available for the hunts are listed on the instruction sheets. Hunters have up to 12 choices, but will be drawn for only one. Applicants may not use the same hunt code more than once. There are a total of 24 hunts listed. No person may apply more than once.

A permit fee will not be charged to Annual Sportsman (Type 004), Lifetime Sportsman (Types 402-405) license holders or Senior Citizen Hunters (Type 166) with an Annual Senior Citizen Permit (Type 167). For all other license holders, the cost is $10 per permit, plus the agent fee. When applying at a license agent, hunters must remain at the location while the application is processed. Hunters will receive a receipt with a confirmation number when the application is complete.

Hunters with Internet access may apply for a spring quota turkey hunt online. Hunters can click on Buy a License On-Line. Once the Internet site has been accessed, hunters can follow the on-screen directions.


Thursday, January 1, 2015 

Henry County "Sober Rides" A Success


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said his department’s “Sober Rides” program was an overwhelming success on New Year’s Eve.

Sheriff’s deputies gave rides home to 52 individuals, he said, and in the process “kept the roadways safe.”

There were only a couple DWI arrests on New Year’s Eve, a very low number he said.

Belew and deputies went to all the establishments in the county that were serving liquor “and we just told them about the program and that if they needed a ride, just call us. We even got up on stage at one establishment.”

Keeping the roadways safe, Belew said, “is what it’s all about. It was a good effort.”

Belew said he appreciates Henry County citizens “acting responsibly. We saw a lot of people calling cabs or spending the night where they were or calling us for rides. Everyone made the effort.”
 

Shiverin' For REAL Hope

Winners of Best Costume and Group Donation were the REAL Hope Life Savers: County Clerk Donna Craig and Jamie Miles and their sons Piper Miles and Paige and Dallas Craig. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-It’s become a New Year’s tradition for Henry County and this year didn’t disappoint.

Over 200 people were in attendance at this morning’s Shiver on the River, with 35 taking that all-too-chilly plunge into the water. 

REAL Hope Youth Center raised more than $3,800 at the event. Co-organizer Linley White said more funds are forthcoming, with two businesses sending in checks of $6,000 and $2,500 for the program.

Winning for Best Costume were the group dressed like a team from Bay Watch and calling themselves the REAL Hope Life Savers: County Clerk Donna Craig, Jamie Miles and their sons Piper Miles, Paige and Dallas Craig.

The REAL Hope Life Savers also raised the most money as a group and won first place in group donations, with $710 raised. Winning second place was Paris! Magazine, at $400; and third place were the Henry County Medical Center Blue Angels, at $285.

Winning in the individual donation category were Dennis Inman, first place, with $755 raised; second, Dawn Hurney, at $720; and Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell in third, with $100.

Dennis Inman and Dawn Hurney also were among a group from the Tennessee Valley Community Church which took the plunge. Hurney was dressed as a fisher of men and Inman as a Rafastarian.

People taking the plunge used their imagination, as always, with some people taking the plunge dressed in pajamas, others dressed like batman, still others in their bare feet. Many just waded in the water but a few hardy souls dove in head-first.

As is tradition, the walk into the water was led by Gerrell and Steve Gallimore, both ministers at TVCC, who were instrumental in organizing the event from its beginning six years ago. Participants were treated to a breakfast buffet at the Paris Landing Inn after the plunge.

Showing true grit was Angel Schnipper, who last year took the plunge from a wheelchair, was able to use a walker this year. Helping her is Dawn Hurney. (McFarlin photo).


WBBJ Reporter Takes Plunge

 

Buchanan, Tenn.--Katie Shambo, photojournalist at WBBJ-TV in Jackson couldn't help but take the plunge herself at today's Shiver On The River. After delivering her commentary, she found out for herself just how cold the water was and how good it felt to get into the warming tent afterward. (Shannon McFarlin photos).


Guthrie Rd. Home Destroyed By Fire 

                                                                             --Photo by Shannon McFarlin

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The New Year has had a tragic beginning for residents of a home at 346 Guthrie Rd., which was destroyed by fire early this morning.

The double-wide mobile home owned by Mary Johnson was heavily damaged by a fire that had engulfed the residence by the time Paris firefighters arrived around 1:10 a.m.

Firefighter Jason Osbron said the fire is being investigated but appears to be accidental.

Two fire trucks carrying six firefighters were on the scene until 3:30 a.m. in frigid temperatures. Firefighter Jamie Hinson said the department did not have problems with water hoses freezing up while they were battling the blaze.

Hinson said the homeowners were on the scene of the fire, but no one was injured.


Major Cuts May Be Facing Fort Campbell
Public Meeting Set January 20


Clarksville, Tenn.-Fort Campbell--the home of the storied 101st Airborne Division--is facing possible cuts that could mean a loss of 16,000 soldiers there. 

The federal budget sequestration means that the U.S. military is looking to make drastic cuts. Community leaders in Clarksville are reminding the public that with 16,000 soldiers possibly leaving, that would mean a total loss of some 40,000 people from the Clarksville area population, counting the soldiers’ families.

Community leaders are hoping the public turns out for a listening session set for January 20 to hear what Fort Campbell and Army leaders have to say and to make their feelings known as to why keeping the soldiers at Fort Campbell is so important to the local area.

Fort Campbell currently is one of the largest military bases in the world.
  
The meeting will be January 20, 2015 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Fort Campbell Family Resource Center (FRC) located at 1501 William C. Lee Road. Attendees can enter at Gate One with a valid photo ID card, beginning at 4 p.m.

Those attending will be allowed entrance to the FRC building beginning at 4:30 p.m. All bags are subject to inspection.

Last month, the Army announced the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade was being deactivated, meaning Fort Campbell lost 2,400 soldiers. These 16,000 troops would be on top of that.
 
Spring Turkey Hunt Applications Now Accepted

Nashville, Tenn. --- Applications for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 2015 Spring Turkey Quota Hunts are now being accepted. The application period runs from Dec. 17 through Feb. 4, 2015.

Applications are available and will be accepted at any TWRA license agent, TWRA regional office, or online at the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org. Applications can be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (CST) on Feb. 4. Mailed applications will not be accepted.
The areas available for the hunts are listed on the instruction sheets. Hunters have up to 12 choices, but will be drawn for only one. Applicants may not use the same hunt code more than once. There are a total of 24 hunts listed. No person may apply more than once.

A permit fee will not be charged to Annual Sportsman (Type 004), Lifetime Sportsman (Types 402-405) license holders or Senior Citizen Hunters (Type 166) with an Annual Senior Citizen Permit (Type 167). For all other license holders, the cost is $10 per permit, plus the agent fee. When applying at a license agent, hunters must remain at the location while the application is processed. Hunters will receive a receipt with a confirmation number when the application is complete.

Hunters with Internet access may apply for a spring quota turkey hunt online. Hunters can click on Buy a License On-Line. Once the Internet site has been accessed, hunters can follow the on-screen directions.

Upcoming Bloodmobile Visits In Our Area


Here are upcoming Lifeline Bloodmobile Visits in January for our area:

Jan. 2 Fred’s Super Dollar Store, McKenzie, 12-6 p.m.
Jan. 6 Baptist Memorial Hospital, Union City, 12-4 p.m.
Jan. 8 First United Methodist Church, Paris, 12-6 p.m.
Jan. 12 E.W. James, Martin, 12-6 p.m.
Jan. 13 Paris Healthcare, 12-5 p.m.
Jan. 15 Gleason School, 12-5 p.m.
Dyersburg Electric, 12-6 p.m.
Jan. 19 Southside Church of Christ, Dresden, 12-6 p.m.
Jan. 21 TN Valley Community Church, Paris, 2-6 p.m.
First Pentecostal Church, Huntington, 2-6 p.m.
Jan. 26 HealthQuest, Union City, 12-7 p.m.
Jan. 30 Dyersburg Healthcare and Rehab, 1-5 p.m.



Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Defense Attorneys Seek Dismissal Of Charges In Bobo Case 


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Decaturville, Tenn. – Defense attorneys in the Holly Bobo case have filed a motion seeking dismissal of all charges against the two key suspects in her kidnapping and murder.

Attorneys for Zach Adams and Jason Autry, both of Decatur County, filed the motion in the midst of turmoil between District Attorney Matt Stowe and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and following a hearing at which District Judge Creed McKinley voiced frustrations about the length of time the case has been drawn out and that prosecutors had still not provided discovery in key areas to the defense attorneys.

Stowe removed himself from the case and a chief prosecutor still has not been named. Judge McGinley had ordered the prosecution to provide additional discovery by December 24, but prosecutors missed that deadline.

In their motion, the attorneys are seeking information on the skull found earlier this year that the TBI and prosecutors said belonged to Holly Bobo.

The defense motion states they have yet to receive the "dental record analysis and forensic studies performed on the skull.”

The motion accuses the state of “silence or stonewalling” and ask the judge to sanction the state.

 
Flu Cases At HCMC Increasing
Flu Clinic Set For Next Week  


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-With the state of Tennessee Department of Health warning of a severe flu season this year, Henry County Medical Center is reporting an increase of flu activity in the local area.

HCMC Marketing Director Tory Daughrity said the emergency room saw an influx of flu patients over the holiday weekend, with the census reaching 75 by Sunday, December 28.

Emergency Department Director Toni Gordon-Bailey said many of those who screened positive over the weekend did not have the flu vaccine.

The HCMC laborary reported that about 10 percent of those screened for the flu since October 1 have indicated positive results.

HCMC will host a Community Flu Clinic at the Paris Civic Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, January 9.  The cost for a flu shot is $28 and cash or check only will be accepted for payment.  No insurances will be filed except Medicare.  

For more information on the flu clinic, call Angie Dotson, RN BS at 731-644-8269.

Daughrity said, “Flu vaccines are widely available across Tennessee from a number of sources and take only a few minutes to receive. Contact your health care provider about flu vaccine locations near you, or call the HCMC Find Line at 731-644-3463 to learn more about flu vaccines and prevention of the flu.” 

Statewide, “Early indications suggest this could be a more severe flu season than we have had for some time,” according to Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner. “Vaccination is likely to reduce the risk of severe illness even if not all strains are matched to the vaccine throughout the season. Because a flu vaccine is still the best protection, get it now if you have not done so.”

While vaccination is a much better preventive measure than waiting to be sick and get treatment, early treatment is essential to preventing more severe illness. 

“Influenza can be especially dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women and very young children because their immune systems are different from the normal, healthy adult,” according toTennessee Immunization Program Director Kelly Moore. “We recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone over the age of six months.”


HCMC Staff Face Dismissal Without Vaccinations

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Medical Center Administrator Tom Gee told the hospital board of trustees Tuesday night that 95 percent of the staff at the facility have been vaccinated for the flu, while 100 percent of the staff at Henry County Health Care have been vaccinated.

The board earlier had mandated that all staff receive the flu vaccinations or face dismissal.

Gee said seven employees have not complied “and they will begin separation from employment as of December 31 if they don’t comply.”

He said the hospital has granted eight medical exemptions and one religious exemption to staff members.

Gee updated the board on the new Insure Tennessee program inaugurated recently by Governor Bill Haslam. He said the program has two components: “Those citizens below the poverty line will purchase their employers’ insurance if provided through the use of vouchers. Those that don’t have employer provided insurance will be able to buy private insurance through the health exchanges.”

The latter group, Gee said, “will have co-insurance and deductible which will be waived if they take other steps to improve and manage their health. This would include having a primary care physician, having regular screening and using emergency rooms sparingly.”

Gee said it is expected that “some urban conservative legislators who are not attuned to the importance of hospitals, particularly in the rural areas, will be opposed to this plan.” A coalition of 67 organizations including the Tennessee Hospital Association will be lobbying for support of the program. Gee said he has been in touch with State Rep. Tim Wirgau of Paris on the issue.


Herron Recovering From Heart Attack


Dresden, Tenn.— Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron of Dresden is recovering from a heart attack.

According to the Jackson Sun, Herron‘s wife Nancy confirmed this week that her husband is recuperating from a heart attack he had earlier this month. She said he had gone to the hospital after experiencing chest pains and doctors discovered he had a blocked artery.

However, she said after having a medical procedure he is back home and doing well.

In September, Herron announced that he won't seek a second term as party chairman.
Herron, a Dresden attorney, retired from the Legislature after a 25-year career in the state House and Senate in 2012. He lost to Republican Stephen Fincher in a campaign for Congress in 2010.

HC Sheriff's Office Offers "Sober Rides" Tonight 



Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is once again offering rides home from New Year’s Eve celebrations tonight.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said the “sober rides” are offered by the sheriff’s office, no questions asked. Anyone who feels they needs a ride home from anywhere in Henry County may call the sheriff’s office at 642-1672.


Suspicious Car Fire Investigated 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Police and Fire Department are investigating a suspicious fire that destroyed an abandoned car in the 600 block of Glendale.

Officers were called to the fire and when they arrived, the entire passenger compartment was fully engulfed. The headlights of the car were on and the alarm was sounding. Officers were unable to read the temporary tag on the windshield.

According to the police report, the car--which appeared to be a tan Chevy Malibu--was destroyed by the fire. The vin number was not registered in either Kentucky or Tennessee.

Officers were able to read a dealer tag from Freeland Superstore in Nashville on the car. Residents of the neighborhood said the car had been left there for a few days and no one knew to whom it belonged.

The Union City Fire Department said it could either be arson or started under the dashboard.



Tuesday, December 30, 2014 

New BPU Substation, Warehouse Near Completion

BPU General Manager John Etheridge addresses the board, while Secretary Gini Roberts takes notes. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Two ongoing projects of the Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) are nearing completion.

BPU General Manager John Etheridge told the board Tuesday that the North Paris substation should be energized by mid-February. All major components are in place at this point and the project is only lacking a few minor items. The substation is located behind the new Dollar General on N. Market St.

Electrical Department Manager Cole Edwards said the electrical warehouse is likewise in its final stages and should be completed in mid-February, as well. “Somewhere in mid-February we should be moved in there,” he said. “It’s getting close”. The new warehouse is being built on the Hwy. 218 bypass.
Office Manager Beverly Underwood said the new pay-as-you-go pre-payment option “is going really well”, with 10 customers already signed up for it.

Etheridge said the new payment option “is really good for people who find it easier to pay $50 three times a month than pay $150 once a month.”

Board Chairman David Flowers said the 2014 audit “was a very clean audit, with only a couple minor items” noted. Etheridge said the items were taken care of by BPU “the same day we were made aware of them.”

The board re-hired Alexander Thompson Arnold to perform the 2015 audit.

The board approved new rules and regulations for electric service for residential and commercial customers. The new TVA rules involve weather and medical related regulations, Etheridge said, which state that service will not be cut off to customers when the weather is extremely cold or extremely hot or when customers have serious medical conditions.

The TVA must still approve the regulations, which will then be provided to new customers and publicized on the BPU website.


Stolen Vehicle Recovered

Paris, Tenn.-A vehicle stolen Sunday in Henry County was recovered in Crossville, Tenn.

According to a press release from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle stolen December 28 from Old Union Rd. was entered into the nationwide NCIC system and a BOLO (be on the lookout) for the vehicle was sent out to all agencies in Tennessee.

Investigator Adam Jenkins said the vehicle was recovered in Crossville after deputies ran the Vin number and confirmed that it was the stolen vehicle. 


Kay Foust Honored With Retirement Reception

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand at a public reception Monday to honor Senior Vice-President Kay Foust at Commercial Bank & Trust in Paris. Foust is retiring after 40 years and said she was honoured by the recognition. The local band The Chill Tonics entertained the crowd, which enjoyed the fellowship and buffet.  In top photo, Kay Foust, center, is surrounded by fellow officers of the bank: Senior Vice President Clint Davis, Corporate President David Flowers, Senior Vice President Bo Caldwell, Senior Operating Officer Carrie Birky and Community President Andy Collins. Davis is taking over Foust’s duties as director of human resources and marketing. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Irvin Dutton, right, sings at Foust's reception with accompaniment from his fellow Chill Tonics Bo Caldwell, Bob Darby and Sam Knott. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Discovery Park Had An Exciting 2014


Union City, Tenn-Discovery Park of America has had quite a first year, with some 300,000 visitors from all over the country drawn to the unique attraction. The park has received national attention, with articles featured in the New York Times and other national news outlets. And, Discovery Park will be featured on January 10th and January 17th at 9 p.m. on the History Channel 2, which is available to Charter cable subscribers.  

CEO Jim Rippy said 2014 has been exciting, with attendance greatly exceeding expectations.  “Before we started building Discovery Park in 2008, we did an analysis of the area. We decided to proceed with the expectation of around 150,000 visitors a year.  In our first twelve months we had closer to 300,000!  We believe we will have around 200,000+ visitors in 2015,” he said.

2014 HIGHLIGHTS:  In 2014, Discovery Park encouraged repeat visitors by hosting many special events and activities in addition to the daily Discovery Center and park experience.  January kicked off with “Space and Flight Month”, featuring a special exhibit designed by DPA employees, Janet’s Planet weekend, the opportunity to experience a flight simulator, gyroscope one weekend and the opportunity to have “Dinner with the Astronauts.”  

In February, DPA played host to “Dancing with the Star” and welcomed the UT Board of Directors for an annual statewide meeting.  The first singer-songwriter event was sold-out with local song-writer Phillip Coleman and friends performing in April. 

 Libation Station opened in May and quickly gained popularity as a local social gathering spot on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.  The family-friendly environment of the Train Depot, plus live entertainment and good food kept people coming back week after week. 

 In June, the park brought Charlie Daniels to the stage for its first concert of the season.  Travis Tritt played later that month, followed by Survivor, Sawyer Brown and Vertical Horizon completing the first summer concert series in August.  

Also during the summer months, DPA played host to David Crockett’s family reunion and enjoyed filming two features of “Museum Man,” the History Channel’s 10-part series.  

In September, Lewis and Clark put on a lively demonstration on The Great lawn.  Throughout the month of October, Pumpkin Village delighted visitors of all ages at Discovery Park.  November brought the first wine tasting event to Dinosaur Hall.   And, DPA had the perfect Santa who loved having his picture taken with DPA kids on Saturdays in December. The total attendance for 2014 was over 284,000 people.  

2015 PLANS:  Discovery Park is certainly giving their members and guests plenty of good reasons to visit in 2015.  The 2015 planning calendar kicks off in January with a monthly Wine and Paint Class on the schedule, a Physics of Flight animal education class, the starting of monthly Clay Classes and the first traveling exhibit.  

The first traveling exhibit will open on January 31st in the ATA Traveling Exhibit Hall and is entitled: Titanic, The Artifacts Exhibition.  This exhibition features approximately 200 items that have been brought up from the ocean’s floor from the Titanic wreck site.  The Titanic Exhibition will be open Tuesdays through Sundays January 31st through May 2nd.  The cost is $7 for non-members, $6.00 for members and groups of 20 or more and $5.00 for student field trip groups.  For more information about the Titanic Exhibition, contact the park at 731-885-5455 and ask for marketing.   

Discovery Park has plans for helicopter rides, singer songwriter events, the second annual cardboard boat regatta, visits from PBS characters, a Car & Bike show, concerts, a BBQ cook-off, a chili cook-off, an air show, a beer fest, a wine tasting, a special Alvin York exhibit, a Polar Express event, Santa and an expanded Christmas exhibit, to list a few.  The complete calendar will be downloaded to the website on January 2nd, so guests can make plans in advance.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  You can see the 2015 Calendar of Events and find out more about the park by visiting the website at www.discoveryparkofamerica.com .  The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.  
    

Three Businesses Cited For Alcohol Violations

Paris, Tenn.-Three Henry County businesses were recently cited for unlawful sales of alcohol to a minor.

Officers from the Metro Crime Unit executed an undercover operation in Henry County, utilizing an undercover operative under the age of 21. He went to approximately 10 businesses and attempted to purchase alcohol.

He was able to conduct controlled purchases of alcohol from three businesses: Minit Mart in Puryear; The Tin Roof in Paris and B&D’s Bar, Buchanan.

Employees at all three businesses were cited into Henry County General Sessions Court.


Registration Open For Photography Class


Huntingdon, Tenn.– Digital Photography classes for the spring semester begin January 22, 2015 at The Dixie in Huntingdon. Applications are now being accepted for Basic, Advanced and Special Project Digital Photography classes under the direction of photojournalist Jim Veneman. 

Classes will be on Thursdays only and the times offered are: 9:30am-11 a.m. Special Project/Advanced, 1-2:30pm Basic, 5:30 -7 pm Special Project/Advanced, 7:15 pm-8:45pm Basic. 

Students must take classes in order beginning with Basic. There is no age limit but students are recommended to be in Middle School or above. The classes will take place in the Lower Level of The Dixie and participants will use the Academic Enrichment Entrance. Applications can be found at www.Dixiepac.net or at The Dixie Box Office. 

For more information on this or any of our other events please call the box office at 731-986-2100. 



Monday, December 29, 2014 

Old Buchanan General Store Robbed, Vandalized

Lettering of the Buchanan General Store is still visible on the old store front. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-The historic former Buchanan store was robbed of precious antiques and robbed last week.

The old store at 7540 Hwy. 140 East has been closed for several years, but in its prime was a focal point of the Buchanan community. The store has been boarded up for some time.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the suspect or suspects responsible for breaking into the building and stealing several items and destroying others.

According to the sheriff’s report, it appears the suspects entered the store from the back door and left through the side door. In doing so, they had to lift a metal bar away from the door.

Owners of the property said the suspects threw items around inside the building and broke the glass out of the antique candy and show cases. 

Among the items that were stolen are: an antique cash register, antique meat scale, electric cash register, antique wooden cabinet with glass front, table saw, wood joiners, blue metal cabinet with assorted parts in it, double blade safety razor, Echlem Automotive cabinet with orange letters, and old cast iron weights for scales.

Items stolen total some $1500. The property is owned by Catherine Morris.


Local Industry To Expand Into Industrial Park

County Mayor Brent Greer explains the terms of the PILOT agreement at the commission meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Both the Henry County Commissioners and Paris City Commission approved resolutions okaying a payment in lieu of taxes agreement (PILOT) for a local industry at separate meetings Monday afternoon and evening.

The agreement will ensure that the industry not only remains in Henry County but that it can expand into the Paris Industrial Park. Under the agreements with the city and county, the company will maintain its current 100 employees, with potential for more employees down the road.

It was expected that the local industry would be publicly identified at the meetings, but County Mayor Brent Greer said the company will be handling the formal announcement when all the paperwork. Including with the state of Tennessee, is completed.

The project has been given the code name Project Sampson, which Greer said local officials were asked to be used by both the local company and the state of Tennessee.

Greer said the company is making a substantial investment in expanding into the industrial park--$7.5M--and will be constructing a new, bigger building in the industrial park “as soon as weather permits”.

The expansion in the industrial park also will mean more jobs, Greer said, during its construction. The industrial park is off of Hwy. 641 S.

“This is one of our long-time companies and they needed additional space to continue to operate,” Greer said. “They had the opportunity to relocate to Kentucky and a couple of cities in West Tennessee and Middle Tennessee and we’re certainly glad they elected to stay in our community.”

He said there is “a great possibility” the local industry will be adding more jobs in the future with its move.

Negotiations with the company, city, county and Henry County Alliance has been ongoing for over a year and was completed last week “and we needed a resolution in place by the end of the year. The company is applying for a fast track grant from the state, so we need to move on this.”

According to the resolutions, the PILOT agreement will abate all property taxes on the real estate for a period of 20 years and abate property taxes on the industrial equipment for seven years as long as the company maintains its current 100 jobs.

The Paris commission authorized Mayor Carlton Gerrell to sign a deed for 20 acres in the industrial park to the industrial board.

In other business at the county commission meeting, commissioners approved a resolution to approve a franchise and consent to the city of Paris and BPU to maintain, operate and distribute its electric transmission and distribution system, an agreement that needs to be renewed every 25 years.


Accident Victim Airlifted After Car Hits Pole

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police have released more information on the accident involving a local driver striking a utility pole on Tyson Ave. that we reported on Sunday.

Andrew C. Dunmire, age 23, of Chickasaw Rd., was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, where he is listed in stable condition today.

According to the police report, Dunmire’s vehicle struck the utility pole at 405 Tyson Ave. and he was transported initially to Henry County Medical Center before being airlifted.

As we reported Sunday, the police log initially indicated that Dunmire was suffering from chest pains, but according to the completed report, he also suffered injuries to his head, face and right leg.

Officers found a box containing green leafy material believed to be marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his coat. Charges are pending the investigation.

Several law enforcement officers as well as the Paris Fire Department and Paris Board of Public Utilities were called to the scene of the accident. The fire department was called to the scene on an initial report that smoke was coming from the car and BPU was called to repair the pole.

Burglary Arrest Made On Business Premises

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested on burglary charges after he was found on the premises of a local business.

Union City Police arrested Bobby Joe McGinnis of 625 N. Division St. when he was found on the property of Johnson’s Heating and Air at 222 S. Division St.

Police were called to the business on a report of a burglary in progress. The owner reported seeing a purple Ford F150 in the parking lot beside the gate of the business and found McGinnis in the gated area.

The owner told police that inventory at his store has come up missing the last couple of weeks and he has been checking the property regularly. Police found that the gates had been pulled up from the ground but not damaged.


Two Chances For Icy New Year's Plunges

Linley White of REAL Hope Youth Center was one of many dressed for the occasion at last year's Shiver on the River. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan and Dover, Tenn.-Anyone wanting to ring in the New Year by jumping in icy cold water will have two events from which to choose. The events are held on both sides of Kentucky Lake, one at Paris Landing State Park and the other in Dover.

Proceeds from both events will go to charity.

As we reported earlier, the popular Shiver on the River will be held New Year’s Day, Thursday, January 1, at Paris Landing Marina boat ramp. This year, the event will be held at 11 a.m. 

Many who come to the event wear outlandish costumes and there is a prize awarded for most outrageous outfit. 

A $25 donation includes a plunge (or wade) in the lake, a souvenir t-shirt, and brunch at Paris Landing Inn. For more information, call 731-333-1320. 

Proceeds benefit the REAL Hope Youth Center in Paris.

Registration begins at 10:30, with the plunge at 11 a.m. Prizes are awarded for groups and individuals raising the most money for REAL Hope each year. 

On the Dover side of Kentucky Lake, the Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Bear Swim will be held. Sponsored by the Stewart County Chamber of Commerce, proceeds go to the Meals on Wheels program.

Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the swim is at noon. It is held at the Dyers Creek Boat Ramp and the cost is $25.


Both City, County Meet Tonight On Industry Expansion

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--Both the Henry County Commission and Paris City Commission will meet tonight to consider approval of the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with a local industry which will be expanding into the city industrial park.

The industry will be publicly identified at tonight’s meet...ings.

The special Paris commission meeting will be at 4 p.m. at city hall and the county commissioners’ recessed session begins at 5 p.m. at the Henry County Courthouse.

Also on the county commission agenda is a resolution approving a franchise and consent agreement with the city and Paris Board of Public Utilities to maintain and operate an electrical transmission and distribution system in Henry County.

The public is welcome at both meetings.


State Parks To Host New Year's Day Hikes 
Including Paris Landing, Reelfoot


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee State Parks will kick off New Year's Day with free hikes all over the state.

State Parks officials say each state park will host its own special hike in the first few days of the New Year. 

In our area, the Paris Landing State Park Shoreline Cleanup Hike will begin at 1 p.m. and includes hot chocolate and s’mores at the end of the hike. 


Reelfoot Lake State Park invites you to join Ranger Jerry Hall for an afternoon hike beginning at 3 p.m. - eagles, snow geese and ice formations are just a few of the wonders that may be seen along the way. Please RSVP to the parks office.

Hike the Knob will be held at 11 a.m. at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park. Hikers will hike to the top of Pilot’s Knob with park rangers.

Elsewhere, the First Hikes begin at 10 p.m. on Dec. 31 at Radnor Lake State Park. Henry Horton, Harrison Bay, Tims Ford, Norris Dam and Pickett state parks will host midnight hikes. The First Hikes will continue throughout New Year's Day with morning, afternoon and evening hikes. Officials say the hikes are designed for all ages and abilities

Some hikes will be approximately one mile in length and tailored for novice hikers, while others are lengthier and geared toward more experienced hikers. For more information and a list of all the hikes, visit the Tennessee State Parks website http://tnstateparks.com/


Reservations Taken For Eagle Viewing Cruises 

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes partners with Kenlake State Resort Park over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to host morning brunch and afternoon lunch eagle viewing river cruises, January 17-19. Cruise on the 96-foot luxury CQ Princess to a variety of bald eagle viewing hotspots on Kentucky Lake. Cruises cost $60 per person. Call 270-924-2020 to make reservations. Full deposits are required for all trips. 

On-board naturalists will help guests spot eagles and other winter wildlife from the comfort of the heated indoor cabin on the CQ Princess yacht. Each cruise includes a delicious hot catered meal, hot and cold beverages, and clean restrooms. 

“Land Between The Lakes serves as a major wintering spot for bald eagles from northern areas such as Michigan and Canada,” stated John Pollpeter, Nature Station’s Lead Naturalist. “The two flowing rivers, inland lakes, and expansive woodlands here provide fishing, hunting, and nesting grounds eagles need to thrive."
Eagle Viewing River Cruises: 
· Sat., Jan. 17, Brunch Cruise, 8:30-11:30am
· Sat., Jan. 17, Lunch Cruise, 1-4pm
· Sun., Jan. 18, Lunch Cruise, 11am-2pm
· Mon., Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Lunch Cruise, 11am-2pm

A full list of eagle viewing activities can be found at www.landbetweenthelakes.us/ by clicking on See and Do, Attractions, Nature Station, and then Eagle Viewing Tours 2015. Call 270-924-2020 to reserve your tour.


Sunday, December 28, 2014 

Caution Urged At US 641/KY 80 Intersection

Murray, Ky.-Calloway County law enforcement officials are urging caution at the U.S. 631/KY 80 intersection north of Murray after the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet removed the signal there. Crews were unable to repair the damaged signal and took it down.

According to a press release from the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office, drivers on U.S. 641 Nort...h are advised to continue using caution at the intersection Max Hurt Drive.

The traffic signal heads and support system were taken down Wednesday afternoon after a crew from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet was unable to repair the damaged signal.

The KYTC said temporary four-way stop signs have been placed at this location on the road itself. That means there are no lighted signals of any kind. All traffic must stop at this intersection.

KYTC said that due to the need to reconstruct the signal support system and replace some of the damaged heads, it will likely take a week or two before traffic personnel will be able to assemble a new signal array for installation.
The area of concern is along U.S. 641 just over a mile north of the U.S. 641/KY 80 intersection north of Murray.

Again, the KYTC strongly advises caution for anyone driving through this area.


Retirement Reception For Kay Foust Set Monday


Paris, Tenn.-The public is invited to a reception honoring the retirement of Senior Vice President Kay Foust from Commercial Bank and Trust. Foust is retiring after 40 years.

The reception will be held from 2-3:30 p.m. in the lobby of the bank at 101 N. Poplar St. in downtown Paris.

Man Injured When Car Hits Utility Pole

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-An unidentified man was injured when a car hit a utility pole on Tyson Ave. Saturday afternoon. The accident report was not completed at the Paris Police Department Sunday morning, but the police log indicated that the man was suffering from chest pain following the wreck.

Assistant Paris Fire Chief Randall Jones said the fire department was called to the scene at 4:23 p.m. on a report that smoke was coming from the vehicle. Jones said the fire department checked the scene and determined there was no fire.

The accident occurred in front of 405 Tyson Ave. and the Paris Board of Public Utilities repaired the utility pole. The Henry County EMS also was called to the scene to care for the accident victim, but the log does not indicate whether the victim was taken to the hospital.


Bald Eagles Standing Tall


Paris, Tenn.-Bald Eagles can be found nesting all around our area, from Paris Landing to Reelfoot State Park. Charlie Allen captured this photo of a Bald Eagle in the trees at the private fishing lake on Jones Bend Rd. outside of Paris.


Reelfoot Ministries Helps 600 Families Over Holidays 


Obion, Tenn.-Reelfoot Rural Ministries has announced that with the support of local churches and donors as well as diligent volunteers and staff, the agency was able to serve nearly 600 families with 1437 children this Christmas season.

Reelfoot Rural Ministries has been experiencing some hard times the last few months, with its food bank running low on food to give to the needy, but area churches and private donors have rallied to donate items for their cupboards.



Saturday, December 27, 2014 

Christmas Time Still In The Air



Paris, Tenn.-Christmas Day may be over, but there are plenty of pretty Christmas decorations in our area to marvel at, such as the annual display at the historic "White House" in Whitehall Circle in Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Goodyear Donations Surge 


Union City and Paris, Tenn.--As 2014 winds down, Goodwill’s donations team is geared up and ready to handle its busiest time of year. During the final six days of the year, donation attendants will assist nearly twice as many donors as usual.

Why the rush? Many people are seeking a last-minute tax receipt, because all items donated before Jan. 1 can be deducted on 2014 tax returns. Donors are also helping their communities. Donations fund Goodwill’s mission of providing employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs. 

A Goodwill Store is located in Union City and a Goodwill Express Donation Center in the Kroger parking lot in Paris.

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

When organizing their homes, people should 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.
Donors should prepare an inventory of items before going to Goodwill.
Donors should remove hangers from clothing.
Those making a single donation worth more than $500 need to complete IRS Form 8283. They also need a qualified written appraisal.
Donors are cautioned to be certain they 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 do not clearly state the organization’s mission and contact information.

About 80 Donations Express Centers are located throughout the 48-county territory, and most are open seven days a week. Locations and hours can be found online at www.giveit2goodwill.org, under the “Donate” tab.



Friday, December 26, 2014 

Area Unemployment On Increase Again 


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Nashville, Tenn. – Our area’s unemployment outlook, which had improved last month, have reversed course and show a much more grim picture, with every county in our area showing increases in unemployment for the November 2014 report.

And once again, Obion, Carroll and Gibson Counties are on the list of counties with highest unemployment in the state.

The latest unemployment rate shows decreases in only 18 of the 95 counties in Tennessee, while unemployment has increased in 63 counties and state the same in 14 counties.

In our area, Stewart is the county with the lowest unemployment, 7.7 percent, but last month it was 7.3 percent. Henry County’s unemployment is at 8.2 percent, an increase from 7.9. Benton County is at 8.6 percent, an increase from 8.3 percent. Obion is at 9.3 percent, an increase from 9.1. Weakley is at 8.6 percent, an increase from 8.5.

Carroll has the highest unemployment in our area, at 9.6 percent, which is an increase from 9.2 percent.

On the list of highest unemployment, Obion is ranked 89th; Gibson at 90th and Carroll at 91st.

Knox County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in November at 5.1 percent, unchanged from the previous month. 


Davidson County was 5.2 percent in November, up from 5.1 in October. Shelby County was 8.1 percent in November, up from 7.8 in October. 

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.

Les Miserables To Be Performed At The Dixie

Huntingdon: The Dixie is a performance replacement for the Spring 2015 schedule. Bethel University Renaissance Theatre will present Les Miserables on Friday April 10, 2015, at 7 p.m., Saturday April 11, 2015, at 2  p.m., Friday April 17, 2015, at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday April 18, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. This production will replace the previously scheduled Addams Family.

Brian Hill, Director of Renaissance Theatre, said, “While we are disappointed to have to cancel our production of Addams Family, Renaissance Theatre is thrilled to be able to present the highly acclaimed musical Les Miserables. It is always our desire to present the highest quality and best musicals and we know that Les Miserables will be one of the most memorable and exciting musical productions that we have ever produced.”

Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 65 million people worldwide, Les Misérables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The true modern classic is based on Victor Hugo’s novel and features one of the most memorable scores of all time. You won't want to miss all of the incredible talent of the Renaissance Theatre program on display performing one of the most widely known and successful musicals of all time.

Tickets are now available at The Dixie Box Office for $15 per person, tax included and can be purchased online at www.dixiepac.net, by phone at 731-986-2100 or in person on the Court Square in Huntingdon. Les Miserables is sponsored by Bethel University and Carroll Bank and Trust.

 



Thursday, December 25, 2014 

             MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM WENK/WTPR

Grove Tower in Pars all decked out for Christmas. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Acts Of Random Kindness


Paris, Tenn.-For the holiday season, Julie Williams and her family have been performing Acts of Random Kindness (ARKs), handing out prayers in bottles, handing out Christmas cards, taking doughnuts to the Henry County EMS and pizza to the Paris Fire Department. She said, “It's a great way for the kids to learn giving and they love doing it.” In photo, Williams’ sons Jeremiah and Michael are with Critical Care Paramedic Stephanie Eden and EMT Christie Yoder at the Henry County EMS. (Julie Williams photo).


"The Interview" Sold Out For Christmas At The Belcourt


Nashville, Tenn.-Yes, it‘s true. The Belcourt Theater is one of a few theaters in the country that have been selected to show ”The Interview”. 

The Christmas Day showings have been sold out.

Other showings are:  Fri, Dec 26 10:40 am, 5:45, 8:30, 11:15
Sat-Sun, Dec 27-28 10:40am, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15
Mon-Tue, Dec 29-30 2:00, 9:20
Wed, Dec 31 2:00, 6:45
Thu, Jan 1 1:00, 9:20

And the plot that upset North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un so much? Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show "Skylark Tonight." When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un. 


 
Rutherford Man Killed Following Police Putsuit

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Fulton, Ky.-A young Rutherford, Tennessee, man  died in a single-vehicle accident following a pursuit by the Fulton Police Department.

The Kentucky State Police in Mayfield are investigating the accident which killed Harold D. Nichols. The accident occurred at 1 a.m. December 24 when a Fulton officer attempted to make a traffic stop on Nichols’ car which had been reported stolen to the KSP and Graves County Sheriff’s Office from a car dealership in Mayfield.


Nichols failed to stop for the Fulton officer, and a pursuit ensued.

The pursuit accelerated to speeds nearing 120 mph. A Kentucky State Police Trooper joined the pursuit on KY 129 as Nichols continued to flee out of Fulton. Other local law enforcement responded in a support capacity from Graves County and Hickman County Sheriff’s Departments. 

Near the Hickman County line, Nichols lost control when he ran off the left side of the roadway and overcorrected his vehicle before colliding with a tree. Nichols, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected after the vehicle became airborne subsequent to impacting the tree. 

Nichols was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Hickman County Coroner’s Office. Speed and a failure to be restrained are contributing factors to this collision. Toxicology results are pending laboratory analysis.

Kentucky State Police was assisted on the scene by the Fulton County Police Department, Hickman County Sheriff’s Department, Graves County Sheriff’s Department, South Fulton (TN) Police Department, Fulton Fire Department and Tri-city Ambulance Service. Trooper John Coppersmith and KSP Advanced Collision Reconstructionist Trooper Jody Cash are continuing their investigation into the collision and death of Nichols. The Graves County Sheriff’s Department is continuing their investigation into the auto theft complaint.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014 

Getting Photobombed By Santa

Dover, Tenn.-If you’re going to be photo-bombed, who better than Good Ole St. Nick himself? Santa Claus was up to a bit of mischief at The Dover Hotel during filming of a new movie about Fort Donelson National Battlefield and the generals and soldiers seemed to enjoy it. (Fort Donelson Superintendent Brian McCutchen photo).


Movie Being Shot At Fort Donelson For Visitors

Scene being prepared of the final Confederate Council of War. (Fort Donelson Superintendent Brian McCutchen photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dover, Tenn.-It would be easy to think this is a vintage photo that has been colorized, but it’s actually a scene from the movie being shot at the Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

Fort Donelson has been working on developing a new film to be shown at the historic Dover Hotel, which will be used to supplement the film that has been shown to visitors since the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The Dover Hotel was the location at which the surrender papers were signed between Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Simon Buckner following a two-day battle over the land and the Cumberland River. 

The battle of Fort Donelson is famous in that it is responsible for Grant’s nickname of “Unconditional Surrender Grant”.

Chief of Resource Education Doug Richardson said, “We wanted to place the building, and the surrender, in a better historical context, and show just how momentous the surrender of Donelson was in the timeline and geography of the War” with the new film.

The company that is contracted for the shoot is Aperture Films of California. 

Richardson said the work has been arduous. “We have been through several drafts of a script, storyboard...and what we did last week was most of the principal photography and filming.”

Highlights of the filming were scenes that recreated the final Confederate Council of War in Dover, Generals Buckner and Grant communicating with each other, the meeting of the two generals, the ordeals of the Confederate prisoners and more, Richardson said. 

“We also wanted to give a tip of the hat to the Fort Donelson House Historical Association, which was able to save the rapidly deteriorating Dover Hotel almost 100 years ago,” he said.

Richardson said the film will probably end up being 10-12 minutes in length and it is hoped it will be finished for the February, 2016, events for the 154th anniversary of the Fort Donelson battle and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. 


 
UTM Student Honored For Contributions

Nathan and Emily Powers. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. — Nathan Powers’ journey through college ended Dec. 13 when he received a bachelor’s degree in information systems during fall commencement exercises at the University of Tennessee at Martin. However, his contributions to the university as a student worker will long be remembered and appreciated.

Powers, 26, of Gibson County, filled a part-time student worker position in which he regularly inspected about 1,000 fire extinguishers and automated external defibrillators – a job that kept him on the move during his final two years in college and put his classroom knowledge to practical use. His hard work and ingenuity earned him the Beth Maloan Outstanding UT Martin Student Employee Award for fall semester. 

The award, presented in November, included a plaque and $1,000 recognizing outstanding student worker performance. The award is named after the late Beth Maloan, director of budgeting and payroll at the time of her death in 2001 and a proponent of experience-based work opportunities for students. 

“I was very honored (to receive the award),” Powers said. “It’s very prestigious in my mind because I’ve always been taught to do the best job you can, no matter what you’re doing.”

Powers, who is from Possum Trot near Humboldt, attended Gibson County High School and played saxophone in the band. His parents, Clayton and Paula, taught him the importance of helping people and stirred his interest in emergency management. Paula is currently training and operations officer for the Gibson County Emergency Management Agency, where her volunteer work turned into a full-time position. His own volunteer experience with the county’s EMA began at age eight. 

Stewart Water Contamination Called Minor 


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dover, Tenn.-Despite news reports from the Nashville media, the North Stewart Utility District maintains that reports of contaminated water in the district have been exaggerated.

Customers of the district recently were notified by letter that the water coming out of their taps contains contaminants, but officials of the district said any risk is miniscule.

According to the letter, contaminants have been in the water supply for some time. Specifically, the letter said “during the Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 31(sic), 2014, compliance period, the yearly average of total haloacetic acids in the NSUD water exceeded the maximum contaminant level by .003 mg/L (.063 mg/L, rather than .060 mg/L), and the total trihalomethanes exceeded the maximum level by .006 mg/L (.086 mg/L rather than .080 mg/L).”

Prolonged ingestion of excessive amounts of these acids is associated with an increased risk of cancer, and excessive trihalomethane ingestion can cause liver, kidney and central nervous system problems as well as an increased risk of center.

The letter assured customers, “The actual risk has been identified as one out of 10,000 people may get cancer if they drink two liters of water each day for 70 years.”

District Manager Steve Atkins said, however, that the problem has already been fixed. He said the district had been in compliance but that the EPA increased its standards in November of 2013.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!

Paris, Tenn.-The Christmas star shines brightly over downtown Paris, with the beautiful Christmas tree and Henry County Courthouse. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Chris Thile To Guest Host "Prairie Home Companion"


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

St. Paul, Minn.-Nationally-acclaimed performer Chris Thile of Murray will be the guest host for Garrison Keillor on his “A Prairie Home Companion” in February.

In a statement, Keillor says 33-year-old Chris Thile — a mandolinist who played in the band Nickel Creek and now is a performer with The Punch Brothers— will host the show February 7 and 14 at the Fitzgerald Theater. 

Tickets are on sale now for the show, which will include special guests The Punch Brothers.

A guest host for Prairie Home is extremely rare. This is only the second time in the show’s 40-year history that Keillor is turning over the hosting duties to someone. The last time was in 2011, when singer-songwriter Sara Watkins filled in. At that show, Keillor appeared in skits and gave the news from Lake Wobegon.

When Thile is guest host, Keillor said he does not plan to be at the theater where it is being filmed and is still trying to decide what to do for the Lake Wobegon monologue.

Keillor said, “Prairie Home has been a pretty dependable show and now and then it likes to do something entirely different. Chris Thile is a gifted artist and a great musical enthusiast of far-ranging interests. He is a great choice to host two shows in February, along with music director Rich Dworsky and the Acting Company, and I look forward to sitting at home and listening to them.”

Thile made his first appearance on A Prairie Home Companion in 1996. He was 15 and had already been playing mandolin for a decade. He’d also started Nickel Creek with Sara and Sean Watkins. Thile is a Grammy winner and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient.  

Marketing director David O'Neill said Keillor remains in good health following prostate surgery in September. 

O’Neill said Keillor remains busier than ever, and is traveling across the country early next year to perform a dozen and a half solo shows in addition to A Prairie Home Companion.

Ticket prices: $49, $39, $33 (includes $2.50 facility fee). There is a limit of 4 tickets per order. Minnesota Public Radio members receive a $2 discount. Tickets are available at www.prairiehome.org.


Youth Villages Tree Wins Peoples' Choice


Paris, Tenn.-The Youth Villages Christmas tree won the Peoples’ Choice Award at this year’s Festival of Trees at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray said the tree “was a wonderful display of trees, display cases, mantles and stairway.” (Joy Cales photo).



Hickman Mayor Receives UTM Award

Dr. Sandra Murray and David Weatherly. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn.-  Hickman Mayor David Weatherly, who graduated Dec. 13 from the University of Tennessee at Martin, was voted by his classmates to receive the Kelly W. Murray Excellence in Portfolio Management Award for fall semester. 

The award, named for the late son of Dr. Sandra and William Murray, recognizes outstanding effort and dedication managing the UT Martin TVA stock portfolio in conjunction with the TVA Investment Challenge. Sandra Murray, associate professor of education, is pictured with Weatherly following the presentation Dec. 3. TVA’s Investment Challenge is a partnership between TVA and 25 universities in its service territory that provides a real-world learning experience in portfolio management by allowing students to manage actual stock portfolios. Weatherly earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a major in finance. 

The lifelong Hickman, Ky., resident plans to work full time in the financial services industry while pursuing an MBA degree at UT Martin. Weatherly is president of the Fulton County Board of Levee Commissioners and Weatherly Farms Inc. He is serving his second term as mayor pro tem for the city of Hickman. 


UC Police Issue Warrant For Aggravated Burglary

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police have issued a warrant for aggravated burglary for Joe Montgomery, 322 N. Main St., Troy.

Officers were called to an address on S. Maple Street, around 6 a.m. Sunday on a report of an unwanted person inside a residence. The victim said she was asleep when she heard her daughter ask someone who they were. She then heard a voice say, “I’m Joe Montgomery”. When she looked over she saw Montgomery standing at the door to her bedroom.

When she got up, he took off down the hall through the back door. Officers said Montgomery had come in through the back door which was locked, but not bolted.


USDA Seeking Applications For Broadband Grants

Nashville, Tenn.-USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode announced today that USDA is soliciting applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Community Connect Program grants. The program provides grants to establish essential broadband services in rural communities where it is currently not available.

“Many rural communities in Tennessee do not have access to broadband,” said Goode. “USDA’s Community Connect Grant Program ensures that rural residents have the ability to run businesses, get the most from their education, and benefit from the infinite services that fast, reliable broadband provides.” 

The minimum amount of grants awarded will be $100,000; the maximum is $3,000,000. The deadline for applications to be submitted is February 17, 2015. 

Last year, USDA announced new rules to better target Community Connect grants to areas where they are needed the most. To view the rules, go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-03/pdf/2013-10502.pdf

Since its inception, the Community Connect program has funded 237 projects with investments of $149 million. 

In Tennessee, a $1,771,035 Community Connect Grant will help North Central Telephone Cooperative, Inc. replace a 40 year old air-core copper network. The plant will be upgraded using an Active Ethernet (AE), Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) architecture, widely accepted as the most technologically “future-proof” facility configuration available. This system will increase public safety by enabling emergency services to receive real-time updates, enhance educational opportunities by allowing students to use online resources, and grow business opportunities by opening up e-commerce options to rural businesses.


Union City Break-In Investigated

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are searching for the person who broke into a home on E. Palmer St. and stole several items on Monday.

The residence works from the afternoon until 2 a.m. and when she returned home, she found someone had broken into her residence. The front door had been forced open and the latch was found under the couch. The back door had been kicked in and a shoeprint was on the door.

Stolen were various items of clothing, baby diapers, and shoes.


Monday, December 22, 2014 

With Arrest, Over $15,000 Worth Of Drugs Off Streets 

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Deputy Jamie Myrick look over confiscated drugs. (HCSO photo).


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris woman was arrested on numerous drug charges including possession of “ice” (a form of meth) which has a street value of $15,000 during a traffic stop Sunday night.

Donna Lockhart, 38, Hidden Acres Rd., was charged with possession of meth, possession of hydrocodone, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia by Henry County Sheriff Deputy Jamie Myrick.

Henry County Sheriff’s Officers, including Deputy Ricky Wade and his K9 Stryker and the Paris Police Department stopped her vehicle on Hwy. 54 W on a traffic stop and felony warrant. Metro Crime Unit officers also were called to the scene.

During a search, according to the press release, she was found in possession of four ounces of ice that had been packed for resale, several hydrocodone pills, two baggies of meth, and two small baggies of marijuana. According to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the street value of the ice is $15,000.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said it is believed the meth had been obtained out of state and was being transported into our area, specifically Henry and Benton Counties, for sale.

Lockhart is being held on bond of $100,000.


Martin Man Arrested On Drug Charges 


Martin, Tenn.-Officers of the Martin Police Department with help from Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, 27th Judicial District Drug Task Force, and Greenfield Police Department arrested a Martin man Saturday night on drug charges.

Atari Thomas, 34, of Martin was charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to resale after his vehicle was stopped Saturday night in Greenfield. Officers found approximately 25 pounds of marijuana after his white Lincoln Continental was searched.

The vehicle stop also led officers to multiple locations in Martin and search warrants were served. Additional contraband including weapons was located in those searches along with approximately $20,000 in cash.

Thomas is being held at the Weakley County Detention Center awaiting arraignment.


Carroll County Home Destroyed By Fire

                                                                    --McKenzie Fire and Rescue photo

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McKenzie, Tenn.-A Carroll County home was destroyed by fire over the weekend but no one was injured.

The home at 3855 New Zion Rd. was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, according to a spokesperson at the Huntingdon Fire Department. The name of the owners of the property was not available.

“It’s a 100 percent loss,” she said. “We believe it started on the back porch, but we haven’t pinpointed the case yet.”

 Firefighters were called to the scene at 6:30 p.m. Friday. In all five agencies battled the blaze, including the Carroll Fire and Rescue, Huntingdon Fire Department, McKenzie, Trezevant, and McLemoresville.


Deck The Halls--And Houses, Too


Paris, Tenn.-The historic J.D.C. Atkins home on Hudson Street is all decked out for Christmas. The home is located at the corner of Hudson and College Streets. Atkins was a member of both the U.S. and Confederate Congress and is the only man to return to the U.S. Congress after the Civil War. He also served as U.S. Commission of Indian Affairs, having been appointed by President Grover Cleveland. He is buried in the Paris City Cemetery on Ruff Street. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Breaking The $2.00 Barrier


Paris, Tenn.-What everyone has been waiting for: gas that is below $2. Fuel Pro on Tyson Ave. was the first to break the $2 barrier by offering gas at $1.99 beginning over the weekend. (Shannon McFarlin photo).


Time Nears For Shiver On The River


Buchanan, Tenn.-It’s that time of year again--time to begin planning to take the plunge.

The popular Shiver On The River will again be held on New Year’s Day, Thursday, January 1, at the Paris Landing State Park Marina boat ramp. This year it will be held at 11 a.m.
It‘s the time for people--many of whom wear outlandish costumes--to take the plunge into the icy waters of Kentucky Lake to benefit the REAL Hope Youth Center.

A $25 donation includes a plunge (or wade) in the lake, a souvenir t-shirt, and brunch at Paris Landing Inn. For more information, call 731-333-1320. 

Registration begins at 10:30, with the plunge at 11 a.m. Prizes are awarded for groups and individuals raising the most money for REAL Hope each year. A prize also is awarded for the most outrageous outfit.



Reservations For LBL Eagle Viewing Cruises


Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes partners with Kenlake State Resort Park over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to host morning brunch and afternoon lunch eagle viewing river cruises, January 17-19. Cruise on the 96-foot luxury CQ Princess to a variety of bald eagle viewing hotspots on Kentucky Lake. Cruises cost $60 per person. Call 270-924-2020 to make reservations. Full deposits are required for all trips.

On-board naturalists will help guests spot eagles and other winter wildlife from the comfort of the heated indoor cabin on the CQ Princess yacht. Each cruise includes a delicious hot catered meal, hot and cold beverages, and clean restrooms. 

“Land Between The Lakes serves as a major wintering spot for bald eagles from northern areas such as Michigan and Canada,” stated John Pollpeter, Nature Station’s Lead Naturalist. “The two flowing rivers, inland lakes, and expansive woodlands here provide fishing, hunting, and nesting grounds eagles need to thrive."

Eagle Viewing River Cruises: 

· Sat., Jan. 17, Brunch Cruise, 8:30-11:30am

· Sat., Jan. 17, Lunch Cruise, 1-4pm

· Sun., Jan. 18, Lunch Cruise, 11am-2pm

· Mon., Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Lunch Cruise, 11am-2pm

A full list of eagle viewing activities can be found at www.landbetweenthelakes.us/ by clicking on See and Do, Attractions, Nature Station, and then Eagle Viewing Tours 2015. Call 270-924-2020 to reserve your tour. 


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


Help Needed For Chimes For Charity

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Jaycees could use the public’s help with Chimes For Charity during Christmas week. Sorting the items that will be placed in 260 Christmas baskets will be held Monday afternoon at the Obion County School bus garage in Troy.

Packing the items will be held Tuesday afternoon at the bus garage and on Christmas Eve, delivery of baskets to Obion Countians will be held early Wednesday morning. Contact any Jaycee to see how you can help.




Discovery Park To Offer Special Christmas Hours


Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America will have special Christmas Even hours and will offer half-price tickets all day. Christmas Eve the park will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Discovery Park also is offering 25 percent off store-wide merchandise in the gift shop between now and Christmas Eve.
 
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 www.discoveryparkofamerica.com.

LBL May Rewrite Management Plan

Golden Pond, Ky.-Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White has told media outlets that Land Between the Lakes officials may rewrite their controversial draft Scenery Management Plan, which has received strong objections from the public since being released for comment a month ago.

White said he met with LBL Area Supervisor Tina Tilley. White said he thinks parts of the scenery management plan make sense, like clearing underbrush near roads to improve forest visibility, but the language of the plan is too broad.

Many in the public are upset because the language of the plan makes it sound like a justification for turning the forest into prairie land, White said.

White says after he met with LBL Area Supervisor Tina Tilley to express his concerns she agreed to narrow the language of the plan to address public concerns. 

LBL officials have made no public comment following White’s announcement, but earlier said they will begin reviewing public comments in January.

UC Man Charged With Aggravated Assault

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested after he allegedly punctured his ex-girlfriend’s tires and threatened her Saturday.

Arrested was Bobby Joe Phelps, 211 Church St., and charged with aggravated assault, vandalism and public intoxication.

Police were called to High School Dr. where the victim reported the tires had been slashed and asked police to hurry because she was afraid of her ex. Officers found three tires flat and the fourth going flat and all had been punctured with a knife.

The victim said he had threatened her at least twice.

Officers located Phelps and asked him for his story and he said, “I don’t have a story”. Police found the knife nearby.


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 www.utm.edu/weststar.


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 www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore, or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.

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 bagrad@utm.edu. 

 

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 www.discoveryparkofamerica.com.


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 www.giveit2goodwill.org, 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 www.dixiepac.net.

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 murraystate.starsscholarshipsonline.com. 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 Securityexpert.com

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 www.landbetweenthelakes.us/ 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. ucmasqueradetheatre.com

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 www.VisitDowntownParis.com.



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 jroush@roushstudios.com.


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: http://www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com/watch/?Live=2089.

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 theparisiantheatre.com. 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 hholt@utm.edu or Katrina Cobb at kcobb@wljt.org 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, www.tn.gov/firstlady. 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 www.tn.gov/firstlady.



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 www.hcmc-tn.org 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, aprilarnold7@yahoo.com


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 http://www.eplus6tv.com 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 www.VisitDowntownParis.com.
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 www.landbetweenthelakes.us 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, reed@utm.edu, 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. ucmasqueradetheatre.com


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 www.bethelu.edu.


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 www.phcarts.com. 


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 www.VisitDowntownParis.com
 

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 www.tnwildlife.org.

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 sandeegreen1@gmail.com. 

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 www.utm.edu/starts 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, jstout@utm.edu, or Karen Johnson, Department of Visual and Theatre Arts, 731-881-7400, kjohnson@utm.edu.


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 carlockm@bethelu.edu 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 www.utm.edu/starts 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, jstout@utm.edu, or Karen Johnson, Department of Visual and Theatre Arts, 731-881-7400, kjohnson@utm.edu.



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: www.facebook.com/brayleescottage or on their website located here www.braylees.com. 


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 


   HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM WENK/WTPR                     

                        


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 www.landbetweenthel...akes.us (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 www.VisitDowntownParis.com. 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 www.landbetweenthelakes.us/, 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 www.landbetweenthelakes.us, 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 http://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/reservations/. 

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 theparisiantheatre.com. 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 www.paristnchamber.com. To register for the race or to learn more about the Tennessee State Park Running Tour, go to www.tennesseerunningtour.com.


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 cbernot@murraystate.edu.


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 www.landbetweenthelakes.us/, 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 www.VisitDowntownParis.com. 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 Perfo