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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Carroll Bank Breaks Ground in Paris

Paris, Tenn.-Officials with Carroll Bank and Trust Co. and the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce have a little fun with the ground-breaking ceremonies Thursday for the new CB&T Bank branch that is being constructed in Paris. Located at the intersection of Mineral Wells and Tyson Avenues, President and CEO Mike Cary said the bank will employ 10-12 people and will be completed in April of 2015. “We’re excited and proud to be locating in Paris,” Cary said. Two Paris natives will be working at the bank--City President Justin Oliver and Investment Representative Adam Ragan. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Holder Voices Concern With Park Safety

City Manager Carl Holder today on behalf of the City Commission expressed concern regarding Sunday’s incident at Ogburn Park in which three people were wounded in a drive-by shooting.  While not commenting on the ongoing investigation, Holder said the Commission is deeply concerned that the city take additional measures to ensure the safety of citizens using public parks.

Holder encouraged anyone with firsthand knowledge of the incident to contact the Paris Police Department.  “The Department can only do so much.  As citizens we must take some responsibility,” Holder said.
Chief Elizondo earlier had told WENK/WTPR that the police department was frustrated with the lack of cooperation from witnesses, which was hampering the investigation. He said the shooting was prompted by an ongoing dispute over property between parties involved.

Holder further said that he has met with Police Chief Elizondo to discuss possible additional measures in park areas with higher incidences of crime.

Chief Elizondo also told WENK/WTPR Wednesday afternoon that the investigation is continuing, but no arrests have yet been made.

Fishing in Kentucky Lake, Bald Eagle-Style

Buchanan, Tenn.-Buchanan Photographer Richard Graves captured this photo of a resident Bald Eagle catching a catfish at Paris Landing State Park. Graves said after catching its fish, the Bald Eagle then flew over to show it to him. The Bald Eagle is one of several that have been nesting near the Paris Landing Marina.

First Day Early Voting Turnouts Reported

Union City and Paris, Tenn.-Day One of early voting for the May Democratic Primary in Henry County saw a “decent turnout” of 227 at the Henry County Elections Commission office, according to Administrator Darrin Thompson.

That doesn’t include the number of absentee ballots and votes that came in from nursing home and assisted living facilities, which brings the total to 269 among early voters so far.

Meanwhile, in Obion County, Elections Administrator Leigh Schlager said a total 85 have voted the first day, including absentee ballots. She said that total actually is higher than for the first day of early voting in 2010, which also was a May Democratic primary.

Ready For The Frost

Paris, Tenn.-Don and Becky Davenport of Grove Boulevard were glad that the weather didn't get as cold overnight Wednesday as expected, but just in case the freeze had developed, they were ready. Don protected their azaleas as much as he could, even incorporating umbrellas. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

World's Biggest Fish Fry Events Kick Off Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The World’s Biggest Fish Fry Week--the week many from all over look forward to all year--kicks off on Saturday with three events.

The 5k Hushpuppy Dash begins at 8 a.m. at Henry County High School (registration at 7 a.m.) 

The horse and mule farm pull begins at 10 a.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds, and the always-popular demolition derby is set for 7 p.m. at the fairgrounds grandstand.

On Monday, the event that used to kick-off the fish fry, the street dance will be held from 7-9 p.m. downtown.

The rest of fish fry week’s events will follow:

On Tuesday, the carnival will open at 5 p.m. at the midway at the fairgrounds, with the country dance at 7, also at the fairgrounds. 

Wednesday will see the fish tent open at 5 p.m., with the carnival also open at 5 p.m. and the Christian concert at 7 p.m., all at the fairgrounds.

Thursday events are all at the fairgrounds, too, including the arts and crafts show, fish tent and carnival all opening at 5 p.m. and the IPRA rodeo at 7:30 p.m.

Friday is the big day, with the grand parade beginning at 10 a.m. on East Wood St. WENK/WTPR will broadcast the parade live on our stations at 710AM, 101.7 FM and 1240AM. The rest of the days’ activities are again at the fairgrounds, with the arts and crafts show, fish tent, carnival and rodeo.

Saturday’s events begin with the small fry parade downtown at 10 a.m. and catfish races that begin at 10:30 a.m. at the court square. Other activities are all day at the fairgrounds, including the arts and crafts, fish tent, carnival and rodeo.

Sunday’s events include the carnival from 1-6 p.m. at the fairgrounds and Fish Tales at the home of Jimmy and Peggy Williams, 1315 E. Blythe St., from 2-4 p.m.

Moe Bandy to Appear at The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn. – One of America’s all-time leading classic country music artists will bring his traditional style to The Dixie Live Concert Series Saturday, April 26.

With 10 No. 1 hits, 40 Top Ten hits, 66 chart hits, five Gold Records, and several awards to his credit, Moe Bandy sings exciting traditional country music.

Bandy’s string of hits includes “Bandy the Rodeo Clown,” “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life,” “Rodeo Romeo,” and “You Haven’t Heard the Last of Me.” 

Bandy, a former bull rider and sheet metal worker from San Antonio, developed his Texas-style twin fiddles and steel guitar band while playing the Honky Tonks in and around his hometown. 

He was named the Most Promising Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music in 1976 and won two ACM awards in 1979: Song of the Year for “It’s A Cheatin’ Situation” and Top Vocal Group with Joe Stampley. In 1980, Bandy and Stampley won CMA and ACM Awards for their collaboration on “Just Good Ol’ Boys.”
Bandy’s songs have never strayed far from his traditional Honky Tonk roots.

He continues to perform to packed houses all over the world and loves to perform for his fans.

14-year-old Jackson Nance of Nashville will open for Bandy.

Tickets are $20 and are available at The Dixie box office, by calling 731.986.2100, or online at Show time is 2 p.m.

Murray Bank Welcomes Tim Stark to Staff

Murray, KY – The Murray Bank, Murray’s only locally owned bank, has announced the recent addition of Tim Stark to its staff.  Stark will serve as Marketing Coordinator.

Stark comes to The Murray Bank from Henry County Medical Center, where he served as Marketing and Special Projects Coordinator.  He holds a Bachelor of Science from Murray State University in Public Relations and Advertising and a Master of Science in Mass Communications.

“We are proud to have Tim as part of our staff,” according to Bob Hargrove, President & CEO of The Murray Bank.  “His community involvement, education and work experience will be a great addition to The Murray Bank.”

Stark and his wife, Emily, have two children, a son, Zak (7) and a daughter, Jadyn (4).  He is an active member of Glendale Road Church of Christ, where he serves as Deacon and Care Team leader.  His community affiliations include the Murray Calloway County Soccer Association, where he serves as President.

"To have the opportunity to live and work in such a great community is such a blessing.  To now have the opportunity to continue my career at The Murray Bank is a tremendous honor," Stark said.

You can reach Stark by calling The Murray Bank, or by stopping by the Main Office, 405 South 12th Street, Murray.  

Founded in Murray, KY, The Murray Bank is proud to be Murray and Calloway County’s only locally owned and operated bank.  The Murray Bank has three locations; 405 South 12th Street, 700 North 12th Street, both in Murray, and opening soon a Hazel Office, which is temporarily located at 707 Main Street, Hazel.  For more information on any services offered by The Murray Bank, call 753-5626 or log onto

Cottage Grove Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Cottage Grove Baptist Church annual Easter Egg Hunt will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at Cardinal Park. Pastor Mike Waddey, who also is the mayor of Cottage Grove, said there will be over 1,000 eggs scattered throughout the park.  

Everyone in the public is invited, he said, and remember to bring your Easter baskets.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

“Crossfire” Co-Host Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

CNN’s Crossfire co-host Van Jones is joined by Dr. Jerald Ogg (left), UT Martin provost, and Dr. Robert Nanney, UT Martin Department of Communications chair, after receiving the department’s Distinguished Alumni Award.  

Martin, Tenn. — CNN’s Crossfire co-host Van Jones made the most of his visit April 14 to the University of Tennessee at Martin. He was keynote speaker at noon for the Department of Communications Awards Banquet and participated in an investigative journalism panel discussion that afternoon. His day concluded as he received the department’s Distinguished Alumni Award following a dinner hosted by department faculty members in the Dunagan Alumni Center. 

Jones, a Jackson, Tenn., native and a 1990 UT Martin graduate with a double major in communications and political science, is the first UT Martin journalism sequence graduate to receive the award. He later earned a law degree from Yale University and has become known internationally as both an environmental and a social activist. In 2007, Jones was named UT Martin’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient.

“Well, it’s good to be home,” Jones told the awards banquet audience. “ … The emotions I felt coming up here today after 24 years, it’s just hard to put into words.” He referred to Dr. Jerald Ogg, UT Martin provost, as “coach” throughout his remarks in appreciation for Ogg’s personal advice and support during and after the time Jones attended the university. 

In addition to having Ogg for several classes, Jones was editor of The Pacer student newspaper during the time that Ogg served as the paper’s adviser. In a 2002 story about Jones that appeared in UT Martin’s alumni magazine, Ogg said of this former student, “Van was certainly one of the most gifted students I have had the pleasure of teaching. What stood out even more than his intelligence, however, was his passion. 
“I was a student here (at UT Martin) in the mid-70s, and Van had the same zeal to make a difference you associate with that era.”

Dr. Robert Nanney, communications department chair, has known Jones since his days as a UT Martin student. 

“Our students were inspired by his passion, his journey and his heart,” Nanney said. “Van has countless awards from groups across the country and beyond, but it was especially gratifying that he was truly touched to receive our department’s Distinguished Alumni Award. It meant the world to him.”

Besides his association with CNN, the Los Angeles resident is president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, which says is “a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy.” He has written two New York Times Best Sellers: The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream. In 2009, Jones was the green jobs adviser to the Obama administration. 

Jones also co-founded two social justice organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change. He has received many honors and recognitions, including the NAACP’s Image Award. 

Preparing Latest Downtown Paris Murals

Paris, Tenn.-On a recent early morning, Muralist Millard Nichols of Paris was preparing windows in downtown Paris for his latest series of murals which showcase upcoming events. Nichols said he is going to try something new, with the murals showing downtown Paris as it moves through the seasons. Nichols just recently completed painting murals in downtown Hazel, Ky. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

UC Council Contracts With Red River Waste

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting for its regular session Tuesday night, the Union City City Council signed a contract with Red River Waste Solutions to provide refuse and trash disposal for the city, effective the first of July.

Tim Shanks appeared before council to argue that Republic Waste Services or Barker Brothers had submitted a counter-offer that was actually better than Red River’s offer. Council stayed with Red River, saying that its bid was $400,000 better than what the city is currently paying Barker Brothers and that it would be unethical to change once it had made a commitment to Red River.

Council also voted to withdraw its grant application for a splash park in downtown Union City. City Manager Kathy Dillon said the city was unsure of the stability of the two buildings on either side of the proposed park and without the support of the city’s judicial system nothing could be done to shore up those building.

Dillon said to build a park on Washington St. between the two buildings could be unsafe. She said perhaps the city could revisit the concept of a splash park in a couple of years.

HCHS Junior Selected For West Point Leaders Program

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School Junior Jesse Hudgins, the son of Chris and Mandy Hudgins, has been selected to be among 1,000 attendees at West Point’s prestigious Summer Leaders Experience (SLE) in June.

More than 5,000 juniors nationwide applied to SLE, which offers outstanding high school juniors the opportunity to experience life at West Point. SLE attendees live in the cadet barracks, eat in the Cadet Mess, and participate in academic, leadership, athletic and military workshops.

The one-week seminars are designed to help juniors with their college-selection process, while giving them an idea of the importance of leadership and sound decision-making in their education, careers, and lives.

All SLE attendees participate in a virtual-reality war simulation and military and physical fitness training. Hudgins selected physics, chemistry and life science, and civil and mechanical engineering as his three workshops for the seminar to be held June 7-13.

Transit Authority to Perform in Union City

Union City, Tenn.-The Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County will host Transit Authority, the premier tribute band to the historic music of Chicago, for its last concert of the 2013-14 season.

The band will appear at 7:30 p.m. April 26 at the Union City Civic Auditorium. Following the performance, patrons will be treated to a reception at the Hampton Centré.
This eight-piece powerhouse ensemble includes some of the Midwest’s most talented musicians. 

Taking listeners through over three decades of music and countless hits, Transit Authority provides a non-stop show that will keep the audience dancing and singing all night long.
The group includes Tim Ellis (drums), Bill Davis (guitar/vocals), Alan Lecher (trombone/backing vocals/percussion), Scott Johnson (woodwinds), Tom Tange (trumpet) and Butch Zierath (bass/ vocals).

Individual tickets will be made available to non-members for $20 at Lanzer Printing and Office Supply in downtown Union City and at the door. 

For more information about Community Concert Association, visit online at or on Facebook at Community Concert of Union City/Obion County.

LBL Field Trip Grant Deadline Near

Golden Pond, Ky.– Are you an educator interested in planning a field trip to experience the Land Between The Lakes outdoor classroom? If so, now is the time to apply for an Educational Field Trip Grant. The deadline for the 2014-2015 school year field trip grant application is April 30, 2014.

The Educational Field Trip Grant is available to public school districts within 100 miles of Land Between The Lakes. The grant assists schools in covering costs for transportation, facility admission fees, program costs, and dorm rental during the 2014-2015 school year. Grant amounts awarded depend on school matching funds, number of students, and number of planned programs.

Land Between The Lakes programs support the Kentucky and Tennessee States’ K-12 curriculum guidelines for science, arts and humanities, and social studies. 

The U.S. Forest Service, Friends of Land Between The Lakes, and Calloway County Homemakers sponsor the school grant program. For more information about our Educational Field Trip Grant, visit or call 270-924-2091. Results of selected recipients will be posted online by June 30, 2014.

Quota Contributes to 4-H Trip

Paris, Tenn.-At its recent meeting, Paris Quota Club members voted to contribute to the local 4-H members trip to camp and to participate in the Literacy Council’s catfish races during the World’s Biggest Fish Fry. Member Jane Sinnema will race the Quota fish.

Quota members were reminded that the group’s Easter Bonnet Bake Sale will be held from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 19, at the Mineral Wells Branch of Commercial Bank.

Members discussed making a new cookbook.  More details to follow.

The club sent candy-filled Easter Eggs to patients at Western State Mental Hospital.

Members were reminded that any changes for the 2014-2015 yearbook are to be given to Beverly Wood.

Softball Games Reset, Seniors to be Recognized

Paris, Tenn.-Last night’s game against Rossview has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, April 22. It will be played as part of a varsity doubleheader against Rossview that night. The game at Rossview previously scheduled for April 22 will be the other game of the doubleheader. 

Lady Patriot seniors Kelli Jackson, Scarlet McSwain, and Whitney Rawls will be recognized during senior night ceremonies that night as well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Back to Drawing Board for Inman Dress Code Proposal

Board Chairman Richard Edwards, right, speaks to Inman staff during Tuesday night's meeting, while Board Member Bill Jelks looks on. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It’s back to the drawing board for the proposed dress code for Inman Middle School.

After surveying of parents and assessing the feedback from the community received since the uniform-based dress code was proposed last month, the Paris Special Schools board of education directed Inman Principal Jason Scarbrough to present a revised proposal to the board for its consideration.

Meeting for its regular meeting Tuesday night, board members asked Scarbrough to soften up elements of the proposed dress code, especially the proposed banning of jeans and wearing of sweaters and jackets in the classrooms.

Under questioning by board members, Scarbrough had acknowledged that if he were presenting the dress code again, he would have made some changes. But, he said, the teaching staff “is standing firm” for the proposed dress code.

Scarbrough said he is strongly opposed to students wearing tights and jeggings and he believes that the description of what are properly-fitting pants needs to be nailed down.

In opening the discussion, Board Chairman Richard Edwards said that Inman has always upheld standards of excellence and he realized the staff was proposing the dress code as an extension of that. 

But, he said, the “number one thing” he heard most from the community was that they believed students should be able to wear jeans and that there was no reason to not allow them to wear jackets in the classrooms. He acknowledged that no dress code would make everyone happy. “But the one big items that people aren’t happy with is not being able to wear jeans in school and I agree with that 100 percent,” Edwards said.

Other board members echoed Edwards’ concerns. Board Member Kim Foster asked, “What are we trying to solve? If it’s just inappropriate clothes, we might not need something this stringent. If we want uniformity, then we need to decide how much.”

Scarbrough said he would work on a compromised proposal and deliver it to the board for review. If approval is needed, a special meeting may be called.

In other business:

--At the request of Scarbrough, the board approved the inauguration of a cross country team and a speech team for Inman School. 

Scarbrough presented findings of a survey of students in sixth and seventh grade and determined that a majority of students were in favor of beginning those teams.

The cross country team will be for seventh and eighth grade students and the speech team possibly would be for sixth through eight grades, depending on how early other districts offer it. 

PSSD Calendar Approved

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Special Schools District board approved the 2014-2015 school calendar Tuesday night.

First day of school will be August 7, an abbreviated day, with last day of school being May 23 (also abbreviated). 

Fall break is October 16-17; Thanksgiving break if November 26-28; December 19 is an abbreviated day, with Christmas holiday being December 22-January 6. Spring break is March 30-April 3.

Director of Schools Mike Brown said he and Henry County Schools Director Sam Miles worked together on the calendar so that the breaks would be the same. PSSD will start earlier because the county schools will be busy with construction at Harrelson and Henry Schools.

Washington to Run For 76th District State Representative

Martin, Tenn.-Joyce Ann-Morris Washington of Martin has announced her candidacy for state representative in District 76. The district is comprised of Weakley County and portions of Carroll and Obion counties. She will be running against incumbent State Rep. Andy Holt.

Originally from South Fulton, Washington retired in December 2013 from Allstate Insurance after 42 years with the company. In her role with the insurance agency, she served as a catastrophe claims manager.

She returned to Northwest Tennessee in 2007 and received her Bachelor of Science in business management two years later. In 2011, Washington received her MBA from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She now serves as an adjunct professor in the College of Business and Global Affairs at UT Martin.

As a community activist,  Washington is a co-founder of the Ken-Tenn Community Forum which serves as an avenue for growth, equality and empowerment of area citizens and created a community village in support of area youth and works with the Ken-Tenn Homecoming and Reunion. She serves as vice chairman of the board for Martin Housing Authority.

"It is time to focus on the challenges and strengths of Northwest Tennessee and give a voice back to the people of this district,” she said. 

Biggs Couple Appears in Court on Attempted Murder Charges

Paris, Tenn.-The Buchanan husband and wife accused in a murder plot appeared Tuesday morning in Henry County General Sessions Court for their preliminary hearing. 

Guy and Joyce Biggs of 100 Swan Bay Estates Rd. have been charged with criminal attempt to commit first degree murder and false reports in a plot to kill Jason Owen of Paris. 

Owen initially was charged with criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder, criminal attempt of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary in the case, but Henry County Sheriff’s investigators determined he was not at fault.

In Owen’s appearance in court Tuesday morning, all charges against him were dropped.

Appearing before Judge Vicki Snyder, Guy Biggs, 37, was represented by an attorney from the law office of Ainley, Hoover and Hoover in Paris. Joyce Biggs, 24, said she did not have an attorney and an attorney from the Public Defender’s office was appointed for her.

Another hearing, possibly to hear a bond reduction request, has been set for April 22 at General Sessions Court.

Both Guy and Joyce Biggs are being held in the county jail on $500,000 bonds.

Henry County Man Charged in Attack

Paris, Tenn.-A Henry County man is being held without bond on charges of kidnapping and domestic assault after allegedly attacking his girlfriend Sunday.

According to the report at the sheriff’s office, Blake Swayne, age 26, was arrested in the Mansard Island area after he attacked his girlfriend in his car when she told him she wanted to end their relationship.

The attacks occurred in his vehicle mostly in the Paris area and included hitting the woman in the face, head, neck and arm as he kept her in the vehicle against her will. Two witnesses reportedly saw the attacks. He was arrested later that day.

According to Swayne’s arrest sheet, he is listed as both living at 1108 Depot St. and being homeless.

Cold Snap May Affect State's Strawberry Crop, Fruit Trees
Including West Tennessee Businesses

Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee’s highly anticipated strawberry crop has survived a roller coaster weather ride until now, but low temperatures, wind chill and moisture has area strawberry growers working overtime to protect the valuable berries. Generally, this year’s crop has been on schedule to be ready for first picking around the first of May.
Other fruit-bearing trees may also be affected by a hard freeze. A little frost can actually be a good thing, naturally weeding out enough blooms that the remaining blossoms can produce bigger, better fruits, but depending on how much the warm, sunny days of the past week have prompted tender shoots and buds to expose themselves to the elements, it could also spell disaster.

Contact Dr. David Lockwood, UT Institute of Agriculture, (865) 414-2412, for details about how particular crops, from strawberries to grapes and fruit trees, may be affected by approaching weather conditions. Additional contacts are available through Patricia McDaniels, UT Institute of Agriculture Marketing and Communications, (615) 835-4570.
Contact Tennessee Department of Agriculture specialist Pamela Bartholomew at 615-517-9743 for more information or visit .

The following Tennessee strawberry and fruit crop growers have been contacted to be ready for media calls and farm visits to see how farmers prepare for such potential frost damage events:

West Tennessee
Moore Farms Strawberries
Ben Moore family
270 Watts Rd. 
Dresden, TN 38225
Cell - (731) 431-2022 
Home – (731) 364-5510

Green Acres Farm (strawberries)
Denton Clay Parkins
158 Medina Highway
Milan, TN 38358 (Gibson County)
Phone: (731) 686-1403

Discovery Park Plans "Eggstravaganza" for Saturday

Union City, Tenn,-Over 10,000 Easter eggs are waiting to be put in baskets by happy children at DiscoveryPark of America’s first Easter Eggstravaganza”, set for Saturday afternoon, April 19.

The giant Easter Egg Hunt will be free for members and anyone else with paid admission that day.

The event begins at 1 p.m. for ages two and under. At 1:30 p.m., three year olds will have their turn. At 2 p.m., it will be the four and five-year-olds’ turn. And for the six and seven year olds, the time will be 2:20 p.m. For the eight through ten-year-olds, their more challenging hunt will begin at 3 p.m. Everyone is supposed to meet at the Great Lawn.

No registration is needed, but children do need to bring their own baskets. All participants may redeem their collected eggs for a special treat.

On the other side of the park, there will be “Face Painting” in the Rotary Pavilion beginning at 1 p.m. Your child can choose from a full bunny mask, a glitzy tattoo or a cute bunny face for $2 – $10. Face-painting will continue as long as there are kids in line.

Park officials say the Easter Egg Hunt and Face Painting events will take place, rain or shine. For additional information, visit the website at or call 731-885-5455.

Early Voting Period Begins Thursday

Early voting in the state of Tennessee for the May 6 primary election begins on Thursday, April 17.

Offices to be elected at the primary include County Mayor, County Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerks, County Clerks, County Trustees, Register of Deeds, and General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judges.

The early voting period runs from April 16 through May 1.

Free Dump Day in Henry County on Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-On Saturday, April 19, the Paris-Henry County Landfill will hold a free dumping day. Brush, demolition debris and yard trimmings must be separated from solid waste. No construction waste or household garbage is to be included.

The landfill will be open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There will be no admittance into the landfill after 3 p.m.

All vehicles shall have the contents securely covered, tarped, chained, roped or otherwise secured or confined.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the landfill at 644-1737.

HCMC Recognizes Its Volunteers
Laverne Crowley is one of many volunteers working at the hospital. (HCMC photo).

Paris, Tenn. – To observe National Volunteer Week, Henry County Medical Center recognized its many volunteers, including the auxiliary members who donated a total of over 8,000 hours to the hospital and community.

HCMC today has more than 70 volunteers throughout the organization including the Auxiliary, Hospice Volunteers and Chaplains.  Each summer, the organization also has 20 to 30 junior volunteers who provide assistance to patients.

“Volunteers strengthen our communities and make HCMC a better place to work at and be a part of,” according to Volunteer Coordinator Tim Stark. “We are so blessed by the great group of volunteers we have, and we are always looking to add to them.”

The HCMC Auxiliary meets every fourth Wednesday of the month and anyone is welcome to visit and see if there is something they might be interested in.  The Auxiliary usually eats lunch in the hospital Café at 11, followed by its regular business meeting at 11:45 in HCMC classrooms 2 & 3.  

The ladies of the auxiliary have been known for years as “The Pink Ladies” because of the cherry pink smocks they wear. However, not only ladies volunteer as men also are welcome to the organization (and they wear burgundy).

There are many jobs within the organization that volunteers can do. HCMC has three information desks where volunteers are asked to be able to escort patients and families to different departments in the hospital and to assist those needing wheelchairs.   

Another daily service is offering patients and visitors juice and coffee from the refreshment cart. This duty includes delivering mail to patient rooms.  

Other departments where volunteers are needed are Imaging, Cancer Care Center, HCMC Pharmacy, Public Relations, Medical Records and other opportunities as needs arise.  All volunteers go through an extensive training period and do not begin to work alone until he or she is confident.  According to their by-laws, HCMC volunteers work Monday through Friday and are required to work 10 hours per month.  

HCMC Volunteers have two annual Jewelry sale fundraisers in the spring and in the fall.  The remainder of their money comes from sales in the Pink Petal Gift Shop. The gift shop is manned solely by Auxiliary and the money raised is given back to the community, through student scholarships and many important purchases of non-budgeted items for the medical center.

Another volunteer opportunity at HCMC is for teens ages 14-18 with a ‘C’ or better GPA. This program, called the Junior Volunteer Program, will kick-off on May 20 with a meeting here in the hospital’s education department, Rooms 2 and 3. Teens must come to this meeting with a parent or guardian to gain information about the program and to get an application form.   

 If you are interested in volunteering at HCMC, call 644-8266.

Quota Easter Bonnet Bake Sale Set

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Paris Quota Club Easter Bonnet Bake Sale will be held from 8 a.m.-noon at Commercial Bank and Trust on Mineral Wells Ave. The group will have a unique assortment of treats for Easter, including pies, cakes and cobblers.

OC School Board Sets Special Session

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Schools board of education has called a special called meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 17, to formalize the contract of new Director of Schools Russ Davis.
The board discussed the contract at its last regular meeting, but still needs to sign the document for it to become effective.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Inmates Help Clean Vandalized Church, Attend Services

Paris, Tenn.-Inmates at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office helped clean up the Bethesda United Methodist Church over the weekend and returned on Sunday to attend services.

As we reported earlier, the Bethesda UMC Church was vandalized last week and deputies  are trying to determine who was involved in the widespread destruction inside and outside the church, which included turned-over pews, scattered furniture, crosses thrown to the floor, broken windows, broken statuary, and money stolen from a donation jar. Deputies also found that the flag pole and flag from outside the church had been stuck through the door of the building. The church is located at 175 Bethesda Rd. 

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said several inmates were transported to the church and cleaned up the interior, as well as mowed the outside.

“While we were there,” Belew said, “the pastor came up to us and asked if the inmates wanted to come back and attend church with them, so we took them back on Sunday to attend church.”

Belew said earlier that the sheriff’s office is offering a $500 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators should call the sheriff’s office at 642-1672 or the hotline 642-0929.

Biggs Couple Arrested in Murder Plot
Charges Dropped Against Owen

                 Guy Biggs                                                         Joyce Biggs

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-In what Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew described as “an unusual case”, charges of criminal attempt to commit first degree murder, criminal attempt of aggravated kidnap and aggravated burglary will be dropped against Jason Owen of Paris; and Guy and Joyce Biggs of Buchanan are in now custody at the Henry County Jail, charged with attempt to commit first degree murder and filing false reports.

The case involving a ‘love triangle’ between the three has taken a drastic turn and instead of Owen being charged with an attempt to murder Guy Biggs, the Biggs couple are now charged with a murder plot to kill Owen.

The new developments were announced at a press conference Monday morning called by Sheriff Monte Belew.

Owen has been released from jail, where he was being held on $500,000 bond after the incident on the evening of April 8.

Guy Biggs, 37, and Joyce Biggs, 24, both of 100 Swan Bay Estates Rd., are being held on separate $500,000 bonds in the jail. 

Belew said the charges against Owen will be formally dropped in Henry County General Sessions Court Tuesday morning. The Biggs’ first appearance in court also will be held Tuesday morning.

On the evening of April 8, the sheriff’s office received a 911 call from Joyce Biggs saying that her husband had been shot and the gunman had fled the home on foot.

Belew said, “She identified the person that entered their home and shot her husband as Jason D. Owen. Biggs gave the description of what he was wearing and what he may be driving even though neither she nor her husband heard or saw a vehicle.”

Joyce Biggs, Belew said, “knew all of this information because she had just ended a several month affair with Jason Owens.”

Guy Biggs was shot once in the upper chest/shoulder area that night and airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Investigators arrived on the scene “and collected as much information as they could from Guy Biggs” before he was flown to Vanderbilt, Belew said. Additionally, a full statement was provided by Joyce Biggs at the scene. Evidence and photos were collected at the scene and the investigation continued.

Owen turned himself in later that morning.

According to Belew, even after Owen’s arrest, the investigation continued with Capt. Damon Lowe and Investigator David Doyle continuing to collect additional evidence and information.

“At this time,” Belew said, “all we can tell you is that the facts of the case and extended investigation have shown that the Biggs were the ones involved in setting up what is believed to be a murder. Evidence will show that Owen was drawn to the home by the Biggs in a laid out plan, which did not work out as they thought.”

Lowe said after the press conference that investigators do not believe that Owen was involved in any shooting.

Exactly who did shoot Guy Biggs is unknown at this time, Belew said, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is examining evidence from the scene.

Belew said the sheriff’s office does not anticipate any more arrests in the case. 

Police Chief: Witnesses in Triple Shooting Aren't Cooperating

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo Monday morning said investigators are frustrated by the lack of information they are receiving from witnesses to the triple shooting Sunday evening at Ogburn Park in Paris.

“The witnesses aren’t cooperating and it’s very frustrating for law enforcement and makes it very hard to prosecute cases when you have people who you know could tell you the information but they won’t,” Elizondo said.

Elizondo said the triple shooting stemmed from an “ongoing conflict over property, an argument over who owns what”.

He said a group of people were having a social gathering at the park, doing some grilling on one of the grills there, “and a car drove up and shots were fired.”

All three people who were shot were transported to Henry County Medical Center by private vehicle. One person was treated and released, another remains at Henry County Medical Center and a third was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center after complications arose in the person’s condition.

Paris Police are looking for two suspects who are driving a white 2013 white Dodge Challenger with red racing stripes. A statewide BOLO was issued for the suspects, who Elizondo said are African-American.

Elizondo said the investigation continues. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Paris Police at 642-2424.

According Paris Police, the suspects are considered armed and dangerous.

Fishing is Good at Eiffel Tower Park II Pond

Paris, Tenn.-Two-legged human anglers aren’t the only ones who are doing their share of fishing at Eiffel Tower II in Paris lately. The no-legged reptile anglers are getting into the act, too. This three-foot long snake was spotted Sunday morning on the banks of the pond, eating breakfast. There seems to some argument as to what kind of snake it is, with some saying it is a cottonmouth and others saying it is a non-venomous banded water snake. Whatever it is, it didn’t seem to want to be bothered. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

World's Biggest Fish Fry Sign Landscaping Receives Facelift

Ryan Hamlin of Wofford's at work over the weekend. (Chamber photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The landscaping at the World’s Biggest Fish Fry sign will soon have a new look. The giant catfish and signage has been the first impression many motorists have of Paris as they enter the city at the intersection of Tyson and Mineral Wells Avenues.

Several community organizations and businesses have now combined their resources to install new landscaping there.

Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Tourism Development Tony Lawrence, who also is Director of the Paris Parks and Recreation Department, said “This sign is a landmark for our community and we knew it needed a facelift. We were thrilled when so many partners contributed, including Lowe’s of Paris, the County of Henry, City of Paris, Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and the Master Gardeners.”

Mandy Wofford Hamlin of Wofford’s Nursery, developed the master plan for the landscaping and installation of the plants. Lawrence said “Mandy had a real vision for this project and she brought us professionalism and the tools to achieve what we all wanted.”

Block and labor for the project were donated by Lowe’s of Paris through the Lowe’s Heroes grant, submitted by store manage Brody Hemingway and administered by Assistant Store Manager Tony Kilgore. Lawrence praised the local store for accessing their corporate resources and said “We simply could not have afforded the wall without their contribution.”

Sod was donated by Tri-Turf Sod Farm, under the direction of Jason Pooler. 

The Athena Delphian Club will provide the bench.

Chamber President Andrea Lamb of Commercial Bank, said “It is rewarding to see our community pull together and make this important improvement as we get ready to welcome all of the visitors who join us for the World’s Biggest Fish Fry.”

MSU President-Elect to be on Campus This Week

Murray, Ky. — Newly-chosen Murray State University president-elect, Dr. Robert Davies, will be on campus next week for the first time since the board of regents unanimously voted him to become the university’s 13th president. Davies will meet with university leaders and will also attend public events that include:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
7:30 p.m., Provost’s Concert – Lovett Auditorium

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
10 a.m., Media News Conference – Heritage Hall
1 p.m., Future Farmers of America (FFA) Field Day Awards Presentation, Expo Center
1:30 p.m., Staff Congress Meeting – Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) Conference Room, 304 North Applied Science Building
4 p.m., “All Campus Sing” – Quad

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Noon, Murray Rotary
5-7 p.m., Legacy Children’s Easter Egg Hunt, Oakhurst Lawn
6-8 p.m., Faculty Recognition Banquet, Curris Center Ballroom
For additional information, call the university communications office at 270.809.4437.

UC Police Investigate Robberies

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating separate reports from the weekend that include a robbery at gunpoint and theft from a garage.

A subject on Nash Street reported on Friday that someone entered her apartment through an unlocked door and took money from her handbag at gunpoint, She said it was a black male and there are no known suspects.
In the other incident, residents of a home on N. 5th St. reported that sometime between March 27 and April 12, someone broke into their garage and stole items and tools valued at $1,272.

According to the report, there were no signs of forced entry.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Breaking News:

Three People Shot, Wounded at Ogburn Park

Paris Police cordon off a large part of Ogburn Park Sunday night following the shootings. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Three people are being treated in the emergency room at Henry County Medical Center after being shot during an altercation at Ogburn Park around 6 p.m..

Paris Police are cautioning the public to be on the lookout for what are believed to be two suspects in a white 2013 Dodge Challenger vehicle decorated with red racing stripes.

A dispatcher at the Paris Police department said the suspects are considered to be armed and dangerous. Their license plate had a Davidson County sticker on them.

At the scene of the shootings, a large section of Ogburn Park, including the entire pavilion at the park is cordoned off tonight with yellow police tape by Paris Police. It appears a party may have been in progress when the shooting occurred, since a BBQ grill was still smoldering while police were investigating there.

The victims were transported to the emergency room by private vehicle.

Paris Police are stationed currently at Ogburn Park and at the hospital. The investigation is under the supervision of Investigator Greg Underwood.

Healthy Henry County Day Bigger Than Ever

Climbing the traverse rock wall (from left): Shelby Allen, Mary Bradford, Emily Cole, Carter Scott. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Henry, Tenn.-The annual Henry County Health and Safety Day at Henry School just keeps getting bigger and bigger. At Saturday’s event, there was plenty to do and plenty of children and their parents were there to enjoy it.

Twenty-two information booths, many of which had door prizes and giveaways, filled the hallways of the school, where other activities such as a transverse rock wall, obstacle course, and Drums Alive from LaBonheur Hospital filled the gymnasium. Outside, inflatables and other activities were available.

Information booths were set up by a wide range of organizations, including the Bethel nursing students, Family Resource Center, Henry County Rescue squad, DARE, REAL Hope, and Henry County Medical Center. The Henry Police set up a mock crash.

And, the ladies from the Henry School cafeteria were there making free healthy smoothies for everyone.

Making homemade healthy smoothies for everyone were Margaret Tyler, Hope Parrish and Debra Parrish, cafeteria manager at the school. (McFarlin photo).

MSU All Campus Sing is This Week

Murray, Ky. – It is time once again for the ladies of Sigma Alpha Iota to present All Campus Sing (ACS). This tradition has held strong for 56 years and competition continues to get tougher with each year.

This year’s show will take place on April 16, at 3 p.m. on the steps of Lovett Auditorium. All students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to attend. Audience members bring chairs and lawn blankets for seating to enjoy the show.

There will be 56 student organizations competing within four separate categories: sorority, fraternity, residential colleges and independent groups. Along with the singing competition, Sigma Alpha Iota will hold an instrument drive during the week leading up to All Campus Sing.

All proceeds go to help support People-To-People. People-To-People is an organization that provides assistance and encouragement to schools, music organizations and musicians in developing countries. The main focus of this event is to spread music across the campus and community.

To find more information and receive updates about All Campus Sing, follow @AllCampusSing on Twitter or visit the Facebook page at

April 12, 2014

Benefit for Darren Webb an "Overwhelming Success"

Darren and Cheryl Webb at today's benefit, with the band "Wire and Wood" in the background. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Henry, Tenn.-The benefit for Mansfield Firefighter Darren Webb today was an “overwhelming success”, according to his brother David Webb. Webb was injured when he fell 35 feet from a tree last month. He is at home after hospitalization at Vanderbilt and is still undergoing rehabilitation.

His wife, Cheryl, said Saturday afternoon that the benefit and auction raised over $5,000 for Darren’s medical expenses. “Darren and I are proud be part of such a wonderful community. We could not have done it without all of the sponsors throughout Henry county. We will continue to give back to the community just as they have given to us. Please continue tp pray for Darren. He is healing quickly but the outlook on his ability to work as a fire fighter again is not good. Thank you again for all the support for 808.”

Darren Webb is the Assistant Fire Chief for the Mansfield Volunteer Fire Department and a Firefighter with the Forestry Service. He said at the benefit that he is undergoing physical therapy three times a week.

His brother, David, said Saturday afternoon, “We sold over 200 meals and every item that was donated for the silent auction was sold and every bit of baked goods were sold, too. The double-barrelled shotgun that was donated for the auction was sold for $1,109 alone.”

The silent auction was conducted for the Webb family by Beecham Auction Sales in Henry and Webb said, “They have an auction tonight and they’re selling bbq sandwiches there and they’ll be donating those proceeds to Darren, too.”

Providing entertainment at the benefit were the bands Wire and Wood of Paris; and Just Us of Henry.

The Webb family would like to voice their thanks to everyone who volunteered their time and donated items and money for the benefit, he said.

The benefit was held at the Henry Civic Center.

Plenty of volunteers helped serve BBQ sandwiches at the benefit along with Webb's mother Janice and wife Cheryl. (McFarlin photo).

Breaking Updated:
79N Shut Down Temporarily After Tanks Flip Over 

Emergency workers at the scene of today's spill. (Ron Watkins photo).
Paris, Tenn.-A portion of Hwy 79N was shut down for about 90 minutes Saturday afternoon after two anhydrous ammonia tanks being hauled by a truck flipped over onto the highway.  The incident occurred near Log Cabin Rd. and traffic was shut down until the anhydrous ammonia was dissipated from the tanks. The highway has been reopened.

Speaking from the scene around noon, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said a truck was carrying the tanks and it appears that an axle broke on one of the tanks, causing both of them to flip over. 

Henry County Emergency Management Director Ron Watkins said no one was injured, but the County Ambulance Service was on site as a precaution. 

Watkins said, "Anhydrous ammonia in liquid form comes out as a vapor and because it's so windy today, it's dissipating pretty quickly. We're lucky in that respect." 

Watkins reported after the accident that the tanks held 2,100 gallons of anhydrous ammonia and an estimated 500 gallons were vented as vapor from one of the tanks.

At the scene besides the sheriff's office is the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Paris Landing Fire Department, County Emergency Management Agency, and the county ambulance service. 

A close-up of the flipped over tanks. (Ron Watkins photo).

Hostess Princess Court Visits State Capitol

Nashville, Tenn.-The World's Biggest Fish Fry Hostess Princess and her court enjoyed the annual visit to the State Capitol this week. Pageant Chairperson Kristian Elliott said the girls "had a blast". Unfortunately, this year Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was unable to meet with them. In photo, State Rep. Tim Wirgau and Secretary of State Beth Harwell pose with the court, which includes (from left) Fourth Maid Madeline Hosford, Second Maid Addi Cate, Hostess Princess Tiffany Bennett, First Maid Alex Reagor and Third Maid Rachel Wilson. (Kristian Elliott photo).

Lumpkin Motion for New Trial Rejected

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish Friday rejected a motion for a new trial filed by the Milan man sentenced to life in prison for the nightclub murder of a Paris man.

Tevin Lumpkin, age 21 of Milan, was sentenced to life in prison by a Henry County jury in November for the killing of Eric Kinley of Paris. Kinley was 41.

At a hearing Friday, Lumpkin’s attorney, Terry Leonard of Camden argued that the power point presentation he wanted to use at trial was not available.

In her arguments, Assistant District Attorney Beth Hall countered that closing arguments are not evidence.

In the end, Judge Parish denied the motion for a new trial and upheld the jury verdict.

Lumpkin was present in the courtroom for the hearing. He was returned to the Northeast Correctional Facility in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, where he has been held since his sentencing.

Big Sandy Family Dollar to Open

Big Sandy, Tenn.-While the Family Dollar chain announced this week it will be closing about 370 under-performing stores across the country, construction of the new Family Dollar store in Big Sandy continues.

Family Dollar said it will be cutting jobs and closing stores as it looks for ways to improve its financial performance. It says it will also cut prices on about 1,000 basic items. The company’s stock fell more than 3 percent in Thursday premarket trading.

The Matthews, N.C., company says it will also slow new store openings beginning in fiscal 2015 to bolster its return on investment.

However, the new store being built in Big Sandy is progressing on schedule. The store is located at the corner of Highway 69-A from Camden and 69-A toward Paris across from Doherty’s. The opening date of the store has not been announced, but it is expected sometime this summer.

Eight Counties To Receive Federal Assistance 

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the federal government will provide public assistance to eight counties due to the severe winter weather that brought snow, ice and sleet accumulations to the state from March 2 to March 4, 2014.

The presidential disaster declaration will allow government entities and certain private non-profits in Carroll, Cheatham, Dickson, Haywood, Houston, Madison, Shelby and Tipton counties to apply for reimbursement of specific expenses related to disaster response and recovery.

“Local governments, volunteer organizations and electrical cooperatives responded to the needs of the communities when it was needed,” Haslam said. “This assistance will relieve some of the financial costs to these counties as they recover from this winter emergency.”

State and local governments, and electrical utilities, spent more than $12,232,215 in their response and recovery actions before, during and after the winter storm.

The federal assistance program will allow eligible entities in the designated counties to receive a 75 percent reimbursement for costs related to debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.

A powerful cold front moved into Tennessee on Sunday morning, March 2, bringing significantly colder temperatures and winter precipitation that did not end until the early evening of Monday, March 3. Freezing rain and ice were common over parts of northwest and north central Middle Tennessee with accumulations of one-quarter to one-half inch. The ice accumulation brought down tree limbs and power lines causing several power outages.

This is Tennessee’s first presidential disaster declaration since 2012 when severe storms brought tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding through East Tennessee on Feb. 29.

For more updates regarding the state’s response, visit the TEMA website at

UT Football Season Opener Moved to August 31

The University of Tennessee announced today that its season-opening football game against Utah State will move to Sunday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. The game was originally slated for Saturday, Aug. 30, and the move to Sunday means that the annual Boomsday event held in the city of Knoxville will move to Saturday evening, giving Vols fans the opportunity for a memorable Labor Day weekend.

The game will be televised by the SEC Network.

“This will be a unique and exciting weekend for our city and our state,” according toTennessee head football coach Butch Jones. “With Boomsday on Saturday and our season opener on Sunday, the atmosphere and energy in Knoxville will be unrivaled. We’re also excited about being one of the schools featured on the first weekend of SEC Network football telecasts, and we are looking forward to this tremendous opportunity.”

The Utah State game will mark the seventh time Tennessee has played a game on Sunday, and the Vols are 3-2-1 all-time in those six games. The last Sunday contest for Tennessee was the season opener on Sept. 5, 2004, a 42-17 win over UNLV that marks the only Sunday game to date in Neyland Stadium history.

The game is one of at least six SEC games slated to air the opening weekend of football on the SEC Network, which officially launches on Thursday, Aug. 14. It joins a Thursday night doubleheader of Texas A&M at South Carolina and Temple at Vandy, in addition to a tripleheader on Saturday, Aug. 30.

”We are thrilled to have the Tennessee Vols home opener on the SEC Network,” said Justin Connolly, ESPN senior vice president, college networks. “Tennessee has a rich tradition of passionate college football fans, and we look forward to providing exclusive coverage of a packed Neyland Stadium Labor Day weekend.”

Fans wishing to ensure that their cable provider will carry the SEC Network should visit

Bethel Creative Arts Exhibit Next Week 

McKenzie, Tenn. All types of creative projects will be displayed in this years Bethel Humanities Creative Arts Exhibit April 14-16. The projects are part of a sophomore survey two-semester humanities class at Bethel University. The projects include all types of art media.

The exhibit will be free and open to the public in Waddle Recital Hall in Bethels Dickey Fine Arts Building on the schools McKenzie campus. Viewing times are as follows: Monday, April 14 from 5-6 p.m.; Tuesday, April 15 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.; and Wednesday, April 16 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For more information about Bethel Universitys 2014 humanities exhibit, contact Sharon Scruton at or Jessica Copous at

For more information about Bethel University, go to

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reward Offered in Church Vandalism

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $500 reward to anyone with information about the vandalism this week at the Bethesda United Methodist Church.

Deputies are trying to determine who was involved in the widespread destruction inside and outside the church, which included turned-over pews, scattered furniture, crosses thrown to the floor, broken windows, broken statuary, and money stolen from a donation jar. Deputies also found that the flag pole and flag from outside the church had been stuck through the door of the building.

The church is located at 175 Bethesda Rd.

Sheriff Monte Belew said Friday afternoon anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators should call the sheriff’s office at 642-1672 or the hotline 642-0929.

Long May They Wave

Paris, Tenn.-The U.S. and Tennessee flags wafting in the wind in front of Grove Tower appeared to be lit up last night as the sun began to set before the board of education meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

BPU Warns of Scam

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities is warning the public of a scam going on around Henry County. Several customers have called the BPU office today to report receiving calls today from someone telling them to pay their electric bill over the phone.

BPU officials are warning everyone this is a scam and do not give out any information over the phone.

Calls also have been received at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office dispatch reporting this scam.

"Jazz Up The Library" Dinner and Book Sale is Set

W.G. Rhea Library Director Connie McSwain and children from the library story hour get ready for the upcoming event Thursday morning by collecting books for the sale. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Friends of the W.G. Rhea Public Library in Paris are invited everyone to “Jazz Up The Library” at an upcoming dinner and book sale, set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at the Enoch Building at the Henry County Fairgrounds. 

Tickets of $15 can be purchased at the library bookstore or from a Friends of the Library board member. No tickets will be purchased at the door.

Following a brief annual meeting, there will be a dinner and entertainment provided by the Henry County High School Jazz Band. Cindy’s Catering will have charge of dinner. 

The annual book sale will continue from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday, April 18, at the Enoch Building.

During its annual meeting, the Friends group will vote on the proposed slate of officers to the executive board: President Donna Winders; Vice President Yancy Smith; Secretary Susan Pemberton; Treasurer Oma Bass; Director Lynn Whitfield, continuing with Directors Stephanie Tayloe and Jim Lacey.

Limited Edition Corvette on Display at Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-Look what has just arrived in the Transportation Gallery at Discovery Park of America in Union City: a 2014 Special Edition Corvette. This car is 432 out of the 55 special editions. Discovery Park thanks Tom Petty Chevrolet for ‘loaning’ the car for the next few weeks.
(Discovery Park photo).

Union City Grower Wins National Yield Contest

St. Louis, Mo.- A Union City grower has been honored as a state winner in the 2013 National Corn Yield Contest, sponsored annually by the National Corn Growers Association .  

Tanner Family Farms of Union City, Tenn., placed first in the state in the Irrigated Class with a yield of 272.4457 bushels per acre.  The hybrid used in the winning field was Pioneer/P2088YHR. 

Elwin Tanner of Union City, Tenn., placed third in the state in the A Non-Irrigated Class with a yield of 271.4286 bushels per acre.  The hybrid used in the winning field was

The local grower was one of 434 state winners nationwide.  The 2013 contest set a participation record with 8,983 entries from 47 states.  Of the state winners, 18 growers – three from each of six classes – were named national winners, representing ten states. 

The average yield among national winners was 354.67 bushels per acre, greater than the 2013 U.S. average of 158.8 bushels per acre.  Five of the national winners recorded yields of 400 bushels or more per acre.
The National Corn Yield Contest began in 1965 with 20 entries from three states.  The highest overall yield was 218.9 bushels per acre, while the national yield average was in the mid-60 bushel-per-acre range.

The National Corn Growers Association represents more than 40,000 members, 48 affiliated state corn grower and checkoff organizations, and hundreds of thousands of growers who contribute to state checkoff programs.

Planning Commission Approves Site Plans

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Thursday night, the Paris-Henry County Regional Planning Commission approved a site plan for a property development on Industrial Road and agreed with a recommendation from the Paris City Commission to amend the city ordinance to require seven instead of eight members of the planning commission.

As requested by David Hilton, the panel approved the site plan for Industrial Park Rd. It involves a 4.13 acres development adjacent to the existing West Tennessee Credit Bureau. The property is in the vicinity of the former picnic pavilion that was originally part of the Emerson complex.

Hilton reportedly plans to build a 6,000 square foot warehouse/fulfillment type of facility there.

In other business, the board approved a minor site plan that will allow the addition of a 20 ft. by 20 ft. space to the existing office at Enoch Auto Sales on East Wood St.

The commission also approved a minor subdivision for the city of Paris on East Washington St. across from the existing Public Works property. The city has recently acquired the property.

Long-Time Educator Ratliffe Paschall Dies

Long-time Henry County Teacher Ratliffe Paschall, age 94, of Paris, Tenn., died Thursday, April 10, at Paris Healthcare & Rehab Center. Ratliffe was a member of First United Methodist Church and a US Army veteran of WW II having served in France. He retired after 36 years as a Agriculture and Biology teacher. He taught in Buchanan, McKenzie, Bradford, Puryear & Grove Schools. Ratliffe also made award winning white oak baskets for many years. 

He was an avid gardener, golfer, fox and bird hunter and he enjoyed tending his vineyard and making cider and wine for over 50 years.

His first wife, Velna Douglas Paschall, died in 1973. His second wife, Jean Williams Paschall, survives with two sons, David of Lago Vista, Texas; Martin, Paris; step-daughter, Mary Ann Horne, Florida; sister, Mary Ella Darby of Jefferson City, Tenn.; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are being handled by Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap St., Paris, where visitation will be from 4 to 7 pm Friday, April 11, and after 11 am Saturday, April 12. The funeral will be at LeDon Chapel of Ridgeway Funeral Home at 1 pm Saturday, April 12.

Interment will be at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Buchanan, Tenn.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Henry County Middle School Softball Consolidation Approved

Henry County High School Students Kaitie Maupin, left, and Aubrey Buttrey, standing, reported on their attendance at the recent SCOPE conference, while School Counselor Deborah Arnold looks on and School Board Member Robert Sleadd listens. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
Paris, Tenn.-At the request of the district’s athletic department and middle school officials, the Henry County Schools board of education voted unanimously Thursday night to consolidate all of the middle school softball programs.

The request was presented to the board by Lakewood Principal Mike Bell who said it was a necessity to consolidate the programs. “It’s just time,” he said. “We have enough equipment within the three schools to play under the Henry County jersey. We would be housed at Henry and the girls would travel every day to the high school for practices. And we would play the home games at the high school.”

Board Member Rod Frey said, “I’m all for it. We have so many good athletes in Henry County and I think the best thing is to combine all schools together we the teams can be competitive.”

Thursday night’s meeting was a lengthy one, with the board also looking ahead to the proposed differentiated pay plan that will be presented to the board for approval in May. Director of Schools Sam Miles said the state school board adopted guidelines in 2013 requiring districts to adopt differentiated pay plans. 

Up until this year, Miles said, “It has been up to the board to determine how we pay people, but we can no longer have a pay plan that just addresses years of service and degrees.”

Miles said a district committee was formed to study the issue and determined it needed to look at the culture of the current pay system, sustainability and fairness. The board will approve the finished proposal when it meets for the May board and budget meeting.

“We’re not ready to jump to performance-based pay yet,” Miles said. “Our plan will be based on degrees. We’re going to recommend three scales for moving forward, which would be based on bachelors, masters and advanced degrees.”

In other business:

--The board recognized students who had attended the recent SCOPE (Student Congress on Policies in Education) session at MTSU.

High School Counselor Deborah Arnold presented Students Kaitie Maupin and Aubrey Buttrey, who reported on their experiences. A third student who attended Riley Winchester, could not be at the meeting.

Maupin and Buttrey said they board attended mock school board meetings and  discussion sessions.

Buttrey said she learned a lot about how much goes into making decisions during the sessions and Maupin said this was her second year to attend SCOPE and she hopes to be able to go her senior year, too.

--The board approved proposed textbooks following reports from Curriculum Directors Betsy Allison and Dr. Renea Wade.

--The board approved the FFA request to attend the National Land and Range Judging Contest in Oklahoma.

--The board May meeting was set for May 22.

HC Schools Calendar Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Schools board of education adopted the school calendar for the 2014-2015 school year at Thursday night’s meeting.

To factor in construction of storm safe spaces at Henry and Harrelson Schools that will be ongoing through the summer, the first day of school will be August 12 and last day of school will be May 22.

Fall break will be Oct. 16-Oct. 17. Thanksgiving break will be November 26-28. Winter break will be December 22-January 2. Spring break will be March 30-April 2. 

Suspect Apprehended With Help From Henry County K9s

Murray, Ky.-With help from K9s from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday apprehended a 31-year-old Murray man who was attempting to flee from officers.

The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 2 p.m. informing them that a man wanted by the department was walking along Old Salem Rd. Deputies responded and found him walking toward Murray. 

When he was approached by Capt. Richard Steen, the subject fled on foot, running into a field and crossing a creek into a corn field.

The area was encircled by deputies, who called for assistance from Henry County, Graves County Sheriff’s Departments, Kentucky State Police and the Murray Police.

Henry County Deputies and their K9s who helped with the search were Wayne Fuqua and Cisco and Terry Williams and Droid.

The subject was found hiding under a log and was apprehended without further incident.

Arrested was Apollo Tolmie of Murray. Tolmie was served with three warrants for Probation Violation and lodged in the Calloway County Detention Center. 

Deputy Williams also charged Tolmie with Fleeing and Evading Police 1st Degree on Foot, Assault 2nd Degree-Police Officer, Resisting Arrest and Criminal Trespass.  

UTM Team Wins Big Bass Splash

Martin, Tenn. – Senior Dylan Powley, of Paris, and sophomore Hayden Smith, of Dickson County, both members of the University of Tennessee at Martin bass fishing team, won the recent Big Bass Splash on Kentucky Lake.

The Big Bass Splash is one of the stops on the Tennessee Collegiate Bass Fishing Trail. 
The tandem caught about 19 pounds of fish using Strike King lures, specifically the red-eye shad lure.

Powley finished among the top eight in a session of the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, also on Kentucky Lake this past weekend.

Also finishing among the top five in a session of the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series was Sydney Taylor, of Jackson. 

Deputies Investigate Church Vandalism

Paris, Tenn.-When Henry County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at Bethesda United Methodist Church Wednesday, they were greeted by widespread destruction inside the church, which is located at 175 Bethesda Rd. 

Under the direction of Investigator Gary Vandiver, deputies are trying to determine who was involved in the vandalism, which included turned-over pews, scattered furniture, crosses thrown on the floor, broken windows, broken statuary, and money stolen from a donation jar. Deputies also found the flag pole and flag that had been outside sticking through a door of the building.

Vandiver said Thursday that entry was forced through the door.

The church is located off of Hwy. 69 towards Big Sandy.

Carroll Academy Doc Nominated for Emmy

The Lady Jags and coaches get ready before a game. (ESPN photo).

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The ESPN-produced documentary on the Carroll Academy’s Lady Jaguar’s basketball team has been nominated for an Emmy. The documentary entitled “Lady Jags: Losing to Win” originally aired May 4, 2012, on ESPN’s Sportscenter.

The documentary looked beyond the Lady Jag’s 213-game losing streak into the efforts of Coach Randy Hatch and the Carroll Academy staff to positively impact the lives of the students.

Carroll Academy is an intensive day treatment program operated by the Carroll County Juvenile Court since 1994 in collaboration with the Department of Children’s Services to serve the counties of Carroll, Benton, Henry, Weakley, and Henderson Counties in Tennessee. During the 11 years, the Academy has served more than 2200 students in our local community while holding parents accountable by an order from the local juvenile court.

The Academy and the documentary were also featured in a New York Times article that was reprinted nationally.

Be Local Group Plans Scavenger Hunt for $1000 Prize

Carlton Gerrell and Holly Barker display signs that will be placed at local businesses. (Chamber photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Be Local Committee will launch a Scavenger Hunt for Clues on Monday, April 14 for a $1000 prize. Players will be able to collect clues for four weeks in different businesses and turn in the completed answer sheet to the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce by 4:30 pm on May 13, 2014. The winner will be drawn from all the correct submitted entries on Friday, May 16.

Week 1, April 14-19, clues will be at Moon Jewelry and Repair, the Board of Public Utilities, Hulme Sporting Goods, Dodd’s Country Store and B and G Equipment.

Week 2, April 21 – 26, players must visit The Toggery, Joe Mahan Ford, Maggie’s, Home Sweet Home Bed and Breakfast and Lakeway IGA.

Week 3, April 28 – May 3, clues will be at My Favorite Things, K and B Supplies for Success, Butler and Harber, Boyd’s and Merison’s.

Week 4, May 5 – 10, stops will include the Iron Place, Great Wall Buffet, A la Mode Sweet Shoppe, Tomorrow’s Hope Thrift Store and Street Dynamics.

All twenty clues will be available after they are posted until the end of the contest. One entry may be entered by each competitor. Participants must visit the business to locate the clue, no phone calls. Contest is not open to Be Local committee members or families. Must be 18 to play. No purchase is required to play. Clues will be available during each participating business’ normal operating hours. The decisions of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Be Local Committee are final in all matters relating to this contest.

Sponsors include Tennessee Valley Community Church, Board of Public Utilities, B and G Equipment, Hulme Sporting Goods, Henry County Medical Center, Dodd’s Country Store and Moon Jewelry and Repair.

Committee Chairman and City Commissioner Carlton Gerrell said “This is a fun way to highlight the diversity of shopping opportunity and service providers in Henry County. Each clue will be on a board inside the store, the game is easy and someone will win $1000 for supporting the Be Local campaign.”

The player sheets, complete rules and list of stops are available at the Chamber’s website,

WLJT Announces Gospel Performers for Showcase

The Shepherd Family of Paris will be among performers at this year's Gospel Showcase. (Shepherd Family photo).

Martin, Tenn.-WLJT has announced the musical groups and performers that have been selected to appear in this year’s Gospel Showcase, set for Saturday, May 31 at the First Baptist Church in Martin.

Several of the talented musical groups are from right here in our local area. The event will feature twelve performances that will be taped for future air on WLJT and other PBS stations. Everyone is invited to attend and be a part of the audience. This is a free gospel event for all ages.

Groups that will appear include the Shepherd Family of Paris; ByGrace, Hwy 22 and Ryman Shadows, all of Martin; With Willing Hearts of Dresden; and Brotherhood of Union City.

As the event draws nearer, the schedule of the performances will be announced. 

Elderly Woman Attacked by Dog

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police will cite an East Church St. resident on charges of harbouring a vicious dog after the dog reportedly attacked an elderly female Wednesday.

Officers responded to the call at 11:14 a.m. at 1309 E. Church St. on a report that a 78-year-old woman had been attacked by a brown pit bull that was not on a leash. The victim, who also lives on the same street, had stepped outside to walk her own dog when she was attacked.

Three witnesses said they were driving down the street and observed the dog on top of a lady that was screaming for help. They advised they stopped and were able get the dog off ofof the elderly lady.

The victim was treated at Baptist Memorial Hospital and told officers she was on the ground and could not get the dog off of her. I did observe and

Animal Control Officer Bart Ashley did get a catch pole secured around the dog and transported it to the animal shelter for quarantine.

The dog’s owner, Betty Spurlock, was out of town and will be cited upon her return.

Bethel Physician Assistant Program Granted Accreditation

McKenzie, Tenn. – The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Bethel University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with this news,” according to Bethel Interim President Walter Butler. “We are very proud of the caliber of our Physician Assistant Program, and this continued accreditation lets everyone know that our program meets rigorous standards and is a quality educational product.”

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.  The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2021. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

For more information about Bethel University’s Physician Assistant Program, contact Janet Peeler at 731-407-7662 or at

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Adams a No-Show At Status Hearing

Decaturville, Tenn. - The man accused of killing Holly Bobo was a no-show at his status hearing in Decatur County Circuit Court Wednesday morning.

Zach Adams had been scheduled to appear at the hearing, but had been granted a waiver by Judge Creed McGinley because he did not yet have counsel. Judge McGinley said in court that he regretted granting that request and that Adams would be required to appear at all future hearings. He also said he would move the case along at a steady pace.

 "I wish I had not accepted that waiver because the court would like to address him because the onus is on him to secure counsel," Judge McGinley said in open court.

Judge McGinley set the next hearing for Wednesday April 30. Decatur County Public Defender Guy Wilkinson recused himself earlier from the case, so a public defender from another county will be appointed if Adams cannot hire his own attorney.

Adams is charged with first degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping in the April 2011 disappearance of Holly Bobo in Decatur County.

Adams remains jailed in Chester County without bond. 

Baptist Medical Acquires Woman's Clinic

Union City, Tenn.-The Baptist Medical Group in Union City has acquired The Woman’s Clinic, a partnership that was announced at a ceremony Tuesday in Union City.

The new name of the clinic will be Baptist Medical Group-The Woman’s Center. The transition was effective April 1 and officials said patients will not be affected by the change.

The clinic is at 1312 Bishop St., which is across the street from the Baptist Medical Group-The Doctor’s Clinic, which was acquired by the Medical Group last year.

HCHS Announces Boys, Girls State Participants

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School has announced the names of students who will participate in this year’s Boys and Girls State events.

Students who will participate in Boys State are Connor Boley, Lee Gore, Imari Thompson, Gage Hainley, Bransen Singleton, Jesse Hudgins, Cody Hunter, Josef Neumair, Nate Kendall, Parker Hatcher, Carson Ray, James Wyatt. Alternatives are: Jacob Croasmun, Davis Wells, Houston Forsythe and Ryan Mahan.

Students who will participate in Girls State are: Addi Cate, Sakura Horiuchi and Katy James. Alternates: Gabby Zuckschwerdt, Libby Farmer and Mariah Smith.

American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. It is a participatory program where each participant becomes a part of the operation of his local, county and state government.
It will be held at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville from May 25 - May 31.

Volunteer Girls State (VGS) is a leadership and citizenship-training program offered to young women in Tennessee by the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA). Nationally recognized as one of the top Girls State programs in the nation, Volunteer Girls State provides young women the opportunity to form and run a mock government by meeting, living, and working with other young female leaders from across the state.

Girls State will be held at Lipscomb University May 25 - May 31.

Updated: Shooting Suspect Turns Himself In

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris man wanted in the late night shooting of a Buchanan man turned himself in early this morning. The man he shot is in stable condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Jason Owen, 38, of 607 Park St., Paris, turned himself in at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office around 6:15 a.m. today. Warrants had been issued for Owen on charges of criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder, criminal attempt of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary.

Guy Biggs, 37, of 100 Swan Bay Estates Rd., Buchanan, was shot in the upper chest and was transported by Life Flight helicopter from an open field in Paris Landing State Park to Vanderbilt.
Around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday night, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call of a shooting at 100 Swan Bay Estates.

According to the caller, a white male named Jason D Owen had entered the residence and before fleeing the area had shot Biggs in the upper chest area.  It was reported that Owen had fled the home and it was unknown if he was on foot or in a vehicle.

Biggs was transported by ambulance from the residence to the Paris Landing State Park, where a life flight helicopter landed and transported him to Vanderbilt. When Biggs was transported he was in stable condition. Biggs did suffer injuries from a gunshot wound to the upper right chest/shoulder area.

Investigators arrived on the scene and discovered the following; Owen did enter the home through the front door and had a weapon drawn at that time. He had demanded that Joyce Biggs get her stuff and come with him. A verbal confrontation between Owen and Guy Biggs was heard by Joyce as she had exited the area. Within a matter of a few seconds Joyce said she heard shots. The next thing she heard was Guy asking for help, that he had been shot.

A search of the area and other possible locations were checked but Owen was not found overnight.

Air Assault Training Exercise Makes Impressive Sight

Clarksville, Tenn.-It was a rare and impressive sight. More than 20 Black Hawk helicopters from the 101st CAB, Wings of Destiny Tuesday engaged in the largest air assault training exercise that has been conducted at Fort Campbell in over 10 years. (Photo by Sgt. Eric Lieber, courtesy of Fort Campbell Courier).

Dover Man Indicted on Federal Weapons Charges

Evansville, Ind. — A Dover man has been indicted on federal weapons charges in Evansville, Ind. He already had been facing attempted murder and theft charges after a shootout with a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Jacob Roy Hammond, 22, of Dover, was charged after being found in possession of two firearms outside a hotel on the north side of Evansville by the United States marshals.

Hammond has five felony convictions for burglary and one for selling a controlled substance in Tennessee and he was found with a Springfield Arms, .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Walther .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger  said Hammond faces a maximum of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

An initial hearing will be scheduled in Evansville before a United States federal district court Magistrate Judge.


LBL's Pisgah Bay to be Improved

Golden Pond, Ky. – Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area plans to conduct an Environmental Assessment for a land and resource management project to improve forest health in the Pisgah Bay Area in Lyon County, Kentucky.  

Project Summary: The Pisgah Bay Interdisciplinary Team plans to integrate ecology, education, recreation, wildlife, heritage, and silviculture–the science of forest management–to restore the oak-hickory and Shortleaf Pine tree stands native to the area. In addition, plans include removing invasive species choking these native plants, herbs, grasses, and young trees. Proposed actions include prescribed fire, herbicide treatment of non-native invasive species, timber treatments, and a rerouting of approximately 2.7 miles of the North/South Trail to stop degradation of the landscape. Roads will also be addressed. Anticipated plans include replacing culverts while improving conditions on approximately 31.7 miles of Forest Service roads. 

These actions will open up the canopy allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor. Approximately 5,160 acres will be affected by these restoring and regenerating treatments. Popular trails and recreation areas lie within the project area. These include the North/South Trail, Hillman Ferry Campground, Hillman Heritage National Recreation Trail, Star Camp, Pisgah Point, Birmingham Ferry, and Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway.

Comments can be emailed to

For more information relating to this proposal, contact Dennis Wilson, Forester, by email:; or by telephone 270-924-2070.

Free Professional Learning Opportunity Offered
Murray, Ky. — The Murray State University Center for Economic Education is providing a free professional learning opportunity for K-12 teachers. The workshop, The Common Core and Virtual Economics 4.0, will be held Monday, April 14, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the MSU-Paducah Regional Campus. The MSU-Paducah campus is located at 4430 Sunset Avenue.

This workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss math and ELA common core, look at lessons that connect to the common core and find online resources that help teachers meet Kentucky Social Studies Standards and the Common Core while teaching economics. It will introduce Virtual Economics 4.0, a program that contains over 1,400 activity-based lessons, 51 key economic concepts and a glossary with over 500 terms.
A free curriculum will be provided and is, along with the workshop, provided through support from State Farm Insurance and the Kentucky Council on Economics Education.

To register for the event, contact Todd Broker at or register online at Broker can be reached for more information at 270.809.5193.

CG Holds Budget Hearing

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Cottage Grove Legislative Council conducted its first proposed budget hearing for the general fund accounts for 2014-2015 at its meeting Tuesday night.
Proposed Income is estimated at $56,028 and Proposed Expenses are $56,028. The State Street Aid Proposed Budget for 2014-2015 hearing also was held. Proposed State Street Aid Income is estimated at $2,502.36 and Proposed Expenses are $2,502.36, with both budgets balanced. Both were unanimously approved. 

 Revenues of $5006.11 and expenses of $737.83 were reported for March 2014.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Just Moving On Through

Tiptonville, Tenn.--On a recent trip to Reelfoot Lake State Park with the Henry County Birdwatching group, Buchanan Photographer Richard Graves--who specializes in nature photography--found plenty of interesting birds to record. Among them, Graves found this Common Snipe, which he said is found in swampy areas and which are migrating through the area this time of year. 

Sharon Firefighter's Home Destroyed in Fire

Sharon, Tenn.-The home of a 20-year veteran of the Sharon Fire Department is a total loss this afternoon following a fire earlier today, according to The Weakley County Press.

Michael Beal, who is also on Sharon’s police force, was at a police training event in Huntington when he learned his home at 5650 Old Highway 45 was on fire, Sharon Fire Chief Gary Eddings told The Press.

No people were injured in the blaze, but sadly, a family dog was killed.

The house is a two-story brick structure and when firemen arrived, the upstairs and attic was fully involved.


Assisting in the fire were the fire departments from Martin, Greenfield and Dresden.

Carroll, Houston Counties Included in Disaster Declaration Request

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today requested a presidential disaster declaration for nine counties as a result of extreme winter weather on March 2-4, 2014. Two of the counties are in our area. The nine counties are Carroll, Houston, Cheatham, Dickson, Fayette, Haywood, Madison, Shelby and Tipton Counties.

The federal assistance programs would provide access to a 75 percent reimbursement of the eligible costs to the counties. This request also includes the hazard mitigation program on a statewide basis. 

“This storm had a major impact on the state, and local and state agencies, voluntary organizations and electrical cooperatives planned and responded to a degree that saved both life and property,” Haslam said. 

A powerful arctic cold front moved into Tennessee on Sunday morning, March 2, 2014, bringing significantly colder temperatures and winter precipitation that did not end until the early evening of Monday, March 3. Significant snow and sleet accumulations were recorded with some lesser amounts of ice/freezing rain. Peak power outages reached to over 75,000 customers, some of whom were without power for up to six days. 

Schools, private businesses, and local and state operations and services, including interstate commerce and tourism, were greatly affected by this winter storm. A lack of power forced business, government, university, K-12, and daycare closings. 

The State, local governments and electrical utilities spent more than $12,232,215 in preparation for, response to, and recovery from the storm’s impact. 

Haslam seeks public assistance for all the counties in the request for debris removal, emergency protective measures and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities. 

Additional information about state and federal assistance for affected counties will be released as details become available. 

Board Awards New Director Three-Year Contract
Teachers of Year Recognized

Union City, Tenn.-At the regular session of the Obion County Schools board of education, board members and incoming Obion County Director of Schools Russ Davis finalized terms of his contract, which will be signed by both parties after being reviewed by the school board attorney.

Board members agreed that Davis will have a three-year contract and they discussed other terms, including salary, insurance and car allowance. Davis’ contract will be evaluated annually. Board President Brian Rainey said he will take the contract to the attorney for his review before it is signed.

Davis presently is the district’s Vocational Director and will be dividing his time between the vocational school and the administrative building where he will work with Interim Acting Co-Directors Nancy Hamilton and David Hollowell until the end of the current school year. 

In other business, the board recognized the Teachers of the Year and the Gibson County Electrical Cooperative Washington Youth Tour Essay Contest winners.

The young ladies who won the Gibson EMC Washington Youth Tour Essay Contest are Melanie Johnson and Kelsey Davis, both students at South Fulton High School.

The 2014-15 Building Level Teachers of the Year are as follows:

Black Oak—Melissa Jones
Hillcrest—Cindy Darnall
Lake Road—Mindy Galbraith
Ridgemont—Becky Bogle
South Fulton Elementary—Stacy Gore
Black Oak—Melissa Logan
Hillcrest—Shiloh Leake
Lake Road—Jeanne Foster
Ridgemont—Kelly Preuett
South Fulton Elementary—Christa Hankins
South Fulton Middle—Nick Ritter
Obion County Central—John Buchanan
South Fulton High—Debbie Stokes

The System Level Teachers of the Year are as follows:
K-4—Stacy Gore
5-8—Shiloh Leake
9-12—Debbie Stokes

State Parolee Rousted From Hiding

Paris, Tenn.-After an operation that lasted much of the afternoon Monday, a Powell Street man wanted for a parole violation was apprehended by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and State Parole and Probation officers.

Lawrence Crosser, age 51, 622 Powell, was finally apprehended after reportedly hiding under his house.

State Parole officials had requested the help of the sheriff’s office after they arrived at his home and Crosser reportedly ran off. The operation caused quite a stir in the neighborhoods around Powell Street.

With the assistance of a K9 unit and several tear gas canisters, deputies were finally able to take Crosser into custody. 

Items Being Accepted For Webb Benefit Saturday

Webb arrives at his homecoming in Mansfield after he was released from the hospital a few weeks ago. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Henry, Tenn.-A benefit for Firefighter Darren Webb will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Henry Civic Center.  Webb is recovering from severe injuries after falling 35 feet from a tree. Webb is a firefighter for the State Forestry Division and is Assistant Fire Chief at the Mansfield Volunteer Fire Department.

All proceeds will help pay medical expenses.

Barbeque plates for $7 will be sold from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Music will be provided by Wire and Wood and Just Us. 

Beecham Auction will hold a live auction at 1 p.m. of furniture, clothes, gift certificates, baked items, a new Stoeger 12 gauge double barrel shotgun, a new Mathews Switch back compound bow and many other items. Donations for the auction will be received right up to the day of the event. Items to be kept cool are discouraged as refrigeration is limited.

To donate items for the auction, call Ronnie Webb at 363-3129 or Cheryl Webb at 363-4489. Monetary donations are continuing to be accepted at Regions Bank in Paris.

Helping Hand Funds Distributed 
Top Businesses, Communities Honored

Paris, Tenn.-At the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction organizational meeting Monday night, checks were distributed to a long list of organizations and the top donor communities and organizations were applauded for the volunteer work performed this year.

And 2014 was a very good year for Helping Hand, with a record-setting $351,663 raised for local charities and service organizations.

The Top Five organizations raising money this year were: Security Bank and Trust Co., with $35,212 raised; First United Methodist Church, with $33,348; First Baptist Church, at $29,401; Tennessee Valley Community Church, at $20,636; and Henry County Educators, with $8,728.

The Top Five communities this year were: the Pleasant Hill community, which raised $21,616; Whitlock, which raised $10,523; Cottage Grove, at $10,128; Clifty community, at $6,145; and the Van Dyke/Routon communities, which raised $5,132.

Checks were distributed to 84 organizations in all, which cover a wide range of categories, including youth organizations, health, such as Lifeline and Hoofbeats of Hope; educational organizations, including the Literacy Council and Plus Endowment; community improvement, which would encompass groups such as the Henry County Humane Society and Henry County Archives, organizations that provide emergency funds and help such as Salvation Army, Project Help and the Food Bank; safety organizations such as Paris-Henry County Rescue Squad and the volunteer fire departments located in Henry County.

Highway To Reopen Through Murray Today

Murray, Ky.-Several highways and streets in downtown Murray have been closed to through traffic since a building collapsed in the 300 block of KY 94/Main Street on February 22. Some of those travel restrictions are being removed this morning.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in cooperation with the City of Murray is in the process of reopening a section of KY 94/Main Street in the downtown area to through traffic.

Work to remove barricades and detour signage will continue through the morning. Work to fully reopen KY 94 to through traffic should be completed by about noon today.

As a reminder, a section of US 641 Business in downtown Murray will remain closed to through traffic. Truck traffic into and through downtown Murray along US 641 Business/KY 121/4th Street continues to be restricted to through traffic at Glendale Road, as well as from 4th Street to Chestnut. Detour signs are in place. Local traffic may continue to access businesses in these areas via side streets. 

Motorists are advised to avoid driving into oncoming lanes of travel to go around road closed barricades. Barricades and road closed signs are in place for a reason. Please drive around the block to avoid driving around road closed signs where you may encounter oncoming traffic in this area.

Small Quake Rattles Obion/Dyer Line

Dyersburg, Tenn.- A small earthquake rattled parts of West Tennessee early Monday morning. According to information released by the U.S. Geological Survey, a 3.1 magnitude earthquake struck at 1:24 a.m. Monday.

Geological Survey officials said the epicenter of the quake was located along the Dyer/Obion County line about 12 miles north of Dyersburg and five miles southeast of Ridgely.
The earthquake happened in the same area where a 2.6 magnitude earthquake struck back on March 18.

And, the quake happened inside the New Madrid Fault Zone which was responsible for a series of massive earthquakes in the early 1800s.

Obion County Races Assured

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Attorney Jim Powell has filed qualifying papers with the Obion County Elections Commission for the position of County General Sessions Judge which is now held by Jimmy Smith. 

Powell is a practicing attorney with an office in downtown Union city and has served as assistant District Attorney.

Both he and Smith are Independents. The two will face off in the August election.

Other contested Obion County races include that of Circuit Court Judge and Circuit Court Clerk. 

Running for 27th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge are Democrat Steve Conley, Republicans Jeff Parham and John Miles and Independent Kevin McAlpin.

Obion County voters will have a full slate of candidates from which to choose, with commissions in five district and one county school board member facing opposition.

Murder Trial Rescheduled

Union City, Tenn.-A murder trial for a former Obion County man has been rescheduled to June.

Jarrod Reese Spicer, 24, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., will be tried for the 2008 death of a Troy man. He was indicted in 2013 by the Obion County Grand Jury and charged with first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and theft in the death of John Thomas Hood, 77. Hood was reportedly killed during the course of a robbery.

The trial had originally been set for May 6, but now will be held June 23 in the Obion County Circuit Court.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Second Suspect in Armed Robbery Arrested
Paris Man Earlier Apprehended

Murray, Ky.-A second suspect in the armed robbery which occurred last week at an apartment in Murray has been arrested. 

Murray Police arrested Deon Howard, age 19, of Murray, in the incident. Howard turned himself in at the Calloway County Jail Sunday, April 6, and was arrested without incident.

He is charged with two counts of robbery in the first degree, one count of assault in the first degree and one count of theft by unlawful taking over $500.

Last week, Amairi Cook, also age 19 of Paris, also turned himself in for his part in the robbery. He was charged with first degree robbery, first degree burglary, first degree assault and first degree theft.

Learning The Ropes With Paris-Henry County Rescue Squad

Paris, Tenn.-Paris-Henry County Rescue Squad members Andy Kimbrell, left, and Austin Willoughby were among several squad members who were busy in training all weekend. Squad Spokesperson Carol Tedford said members were trained in rope rescues and knot tying during the sessions, which were held at the Paris Fire Department training facility on Powell St. Kimbrell has several certifications in rope rescue, she said. Members that took the class were Austin Willoughby, Debbie Barker, Johnny Tummins and Tedford and new members taking the training were Tyler Cox, Amanda Foss and Kevin Gloss. The Paris FD training facility was built by Paris firemen in 2008. Tedford said, “We’d like to thank the Paris Fire Department for letting us use their tower.” (Debbie Barker photo).

Youth Boating Program Set For This Summer

In photo, front row, left to right: Adam Jeffery, Jacob Whitaker, Kiser Mahan, Donald Everett (blue vest); second row: Rebecca Harper, Ethan Smith, Connie McSwain, Sara Newbill, and Linda Hagg. Photo courtesy of Vicki Jo Stevens-Valentine.

Paris, Tenn. – Paris Landing State Park, The Hazlewood Every Child Outdoors Center (ECO), the Henry County Alliance, the US Coast Guard and the TWRA have come together with community volunteers to offer boating and water safety training for youth this summer.

The “Spirit of America Youth Boating Program” will offer two sessions of training: July 7-12 and July 14 - 19. The program will be held Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Paris Landing State Park and Marina with Graduation exercises on Saturday of each week at the US Coast Guard Base.

The program is open to youth ages 12 to 14.

“Boating safety is  important when your community is located on a body of water like Kentucky Lake, according to Rebecca Stokes-Davenport, Interpretive Specialist for Paris Landing State Park. “Middle school students are a great age to be introduced to safe boating. This is a great opportunity for young people to get supervised experience with canoes, kayaks, sailboats and power boats,” 

“Thanks to the Coast Guard, Henry County youth will even have an experience with a large vessel – something few people get to enjoy,” she said.  

The “Spirit of America” youth boating program was developed in 1995 by skilled water enthusiasts to ensure that young people can enjoy boating activities safely. The Henry County program is one of 20 programs being held around the country this summer.  

The cost of the “Spirit of America Day Camp”  is $60 which includes the TWRA boating license received once students pass a test issued by the TWRA. “Families have found that the program builds self-esteem, curiosity and the ability to enjoy the lakes and rivers right here at home,” according to Hazlewood Director Vicki Stevens-Valentine. Class size is limited to 27 students per session and early registration is recommended.

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said, “Our youth deserve to have access to the great resource of Kentucky Lake, and our families deserve to know that they can be safe on the water,” said County Mayor Brent Greer. 

Information and applications are available in the middle school offices of   Henry and Stewart Counties, Paris Landing State Park and  the  Henry County Chamber of Commerce and Alliance 642-3431, or on line at The registration opens April 15th.   

32 Teams Signed Up For Carl Perkins/Tosh Farms Tourney 

Paris, Tenn.-Thirty-two teams have signed up for this weekend’s Carl Perkins Center-Tosh Farm Annual Crappie tournament at Paris Landing State Park. 

Carl Perkins Center Director Catherine Herrera said, “We’re really happy we already have 32 teams signed up for the tournament. We think that’s very good for the first year.”

The tournament will be held Saturday, April 12 and the entry fee will be $50 per person.  100% of the application fee goes to fight child abuse and aid in the healing process.   

The Center is partnering with Tosh Farms and various sponsors to host this crappie tournament to raise money to benefit the prevention of child abuse in this community and aid in the healing process after abuse has occurred. Fishermen will begin by having their hooks in the water at 6:30 A.M.. and be allowed to fish until 3 P.M. The weigh in will take place at Paris Landing.   

Courtney Shane Apprehended

Martin, Tenn.-The last of the individuals still being sought after the major drug and weapons arrests in Obion and Weakley County late last month has been apprehended. 

Courtney Shane, 31, of Martin, was arrested in Obion County on Friday, on federal drug charges. He and Ricky Booker, 24, of Martin, were the last two to be apprehended and Booker was arrested last week in Martin.

Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder said Monday morning that Shane was arrested by Obion County sheriff’s deputies. He said Shane is presently being held in the Obion Co. Jail without bond, but since he is a federal prisoner, he will be transferred soon to Jackson for his arraignments there.

During the operation, at least 36 individuals were arrested as part of a combined federal, state, and local investigation of criminal activity in the area. 

More than 100 individuals from law enforcement agencies across West Tennessee assisted in the early morning takedown, including FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Marshal’s Service, U.S. Secret Service, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Tennessee Highway Patrol, 27th Judicial Drug Task Force, Martin Police Department, Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, Union City Police Department, Obion County Sheriff’s Department, Milan Police Department, Dyersburg Police Department, Jackson Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office SWAT. 

Dover Water Restrictions Lifted

Dover, Tenn.-The voluntary water usage restriction that had been requested of customers of the town of Dover’s water system has now been lifted.

On Saturday, the town of Dover requested customers to restrict usage for 48 hours while a problem with the town’s water pumps was resolved.

Stewart County Emergency Management officials said the water was safe for consumption and posed no risk for customers. The problem was a ‘shortage issued caused by pumping problems’.

UT-Knoxville Angler Wins Big Bass Bash

Jay Emmert holds up his prize winner. (Cabela's photo).

Buchanan, Tenn.-As always, anglers from Bethel and Murray State University teams did well during the weekend’s Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash on Kentucky Lake, but it was a fisherman from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville who took the crown with an 8.85 pound bass.

Winning the tournament was Jay Emmert of UT Knoxville. Ty Dyer of Bethel had led the tournament after the first day and came in second at the end of the tournament.

Third place finisher was Cody Santell of Murray State; fourth place was Austin Keeton of Calhoun Community College and fifth place finisher was Zach Parker of Bethel. 

Some 190 collegiate anglers from all the region competed in the tournament

Cabela’s officials said, “Early reports were given that the fish were biting extremely well for most accounts. Though as the day went on, they had to do some adjusting from morning strategy to afternoon as the day turned cloudy and bass were moving up shallow in the afternoon.”

Paris Man Arrested in UC on DUI, Vandalism Charges

Union City, Tenn.-A Paris man was arrested in Union City Friday, charged with vandalism and DUI.

Arrested was John Willoughby, 32, of 209 Caldwell St., Paris.

Union City Police were called to Los Portales Restaurant at 1700 W. Reelfoot Ave. on a report that an intoxicated man was standing next to a muddy white truck in the parking lot. When officers arrived, they found him sitting in the truck with the engine running and lights on.

Willoughby performed poorly on three field sobriety tests and blew a .11 in the breathalyzer and was cited for DUI.

In the course of the arrest, Willoughby and his passenger admitted they had been mudding with the truck in the grassy area behind the county market place in Union City.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Artists Showcase Winners Announced

Arts Council Director Kat Tolley was among several people helping to hang paintings for the Artists' Showcase Saturday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The winners of the 29th Annual Artist Showcase were announced at Sunday’s reception at the W.G. Rhea Library of Paris. Best in Show this year was awarded to Martin Paschall for his work titled “Diversity”

Sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Arts Council and Dr. and Mrs. Dennis Wieck, the show will be on display through April 30. Some 30 local artists submitted their works for the show, which features a wide variety of art, from paintings to pottery and mixed media.

Winners Listed:

Mixed Media 1st place Tuva Stephens “Kinetic Rhythm”
         2nd Place Doreen Bates “On the Wings of a Song”
         Honorable Mention Jane Baars “Blocked”

Fiber Arts   1st place Jane Baars “New Growth”
  2nd place Doreen Bates “Afternoon Tea w/ Miss Violet”

Drawing 1st place Becky Hedges “Mandala Zentangle”
2nd place Claire Brown “I really do love Kitty”
Honorable Mention Becky Hedges “Pamela”

Watercolor   1st Place Tuva Stephens “Forgotten Warrior”
     2nd Place Filiz Griffin “Decay”
     Honorable Mention Filiz Griffin “Carefree”

Pottery 1st Place Martin Paschall “Elegant Twist”
2nd Place Martin Paschall “Midnight at Seaside”
Honorable Mention Robyn Neubauer “Kermit Cup”

Oil & Acrylic 1st place Jennifer Russell “Tic-Toc”
         2nd place Ann Stapp “When the Cows come Home”
         Honorable Mention Donna Revelee “Heron in autumn”

Sculpture   1st place William Lynn Scott “Full Sail”
  2nd place Becky Hedges “Ostrich Egg Zentangle”
  Honorable Mention Donna Anderson “Winter”

Youth 1st Place Hannah Medlock “Splashed Apple”
2nd Place Jesse Wells “In memory of Bo”
Honorable Mention Bobbi Kirk “ Blue”

Best in Show Martin Paschall “Diversity”

Large Crowd Makes Athena Delphian Bazaar a Success

Paris, Tenn.-Athena Delphian members Katie Griffey, Rita Reed and Paulette Moody, at right, wait on a few of the many customers on hand at Saturday's bazaar and bake sale at the Henry County Fairgrounds. A crowd was already in line waiting for the doors to open in the morning and a steady flow of customers crowded the Enoch Building all day. On sale was a wide variety of furniture, carpets, home decorative items and a room full of children's items. Athena Delphian Member Sheila Stigall said by the end of the day, all that was left were a few trinkets that were not sold. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Dixie Dance Festival to Showcase Local Talent

Huntingdon, Tenn.- If you like dance, free activities, and fun, youre in luck!

The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment center is hosting its Second Annual Dixie Dance Festival April 10-13.

The festival kicks off Thursday afternoon, April 10 with the David Dorfman Dance Company visiting local schools and culminates Sunday morning, April 13 with a Liturgical Praise Dance at First Baptist Church.

A Saturday evening performance of the David Dorfman Dance Company highlights the four days of fun.

All classes are free, and several events are planned for children and adults.

After visiting local schools Thursday afternoon, the David Dorfman Dance Company will demonstrate Tandem Dance and the Gwen Joyner Group will demonstrate Tai Chi at The Lake. This event starts at 6:30 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend for FREE and to enjoy this demonstration at our new Beautiful Carroll County 1,000 Acre Recreational Lake.

A variety of classes will be available, including line dancing, western dancing, ballroom dancing, Zumba and Tai Chi.

The Showcase of Dance in West Tennessee begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 3 p.m. at the Carroll County Civic Center in Huntingdon and includes performances by a variety of dance groups from our area and David Dorfman Dance

The public is invited to this FREE event and can come and go throughout the different performances. The Baptist Memorial Hospital Relay for Life Team will have concessions for sale, and The Dixie will be giving away show tickets as well.

David Dorfman and his company will present “Prophets of Funk” Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at The Dixie.

Tickets to the Saturday evening performance are $15 each and are available at The Dixie box office, by calling 731.986.2100, or online at

The festival wraps up Sunday at 10:15 a.m. with the Liturgical Praise Dance: Ballet Rejoice at First Baptist Church on East Main Street.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cherry Jones Enjoys "Peter Pan: The Musical"

Cherry Jones, left, speaks to Chelsea Fuller, who plays Wendy, while Rhonda Hilll looks on. Rhonda is the wife of Director Brian Hill. (Travis McLeese photo).

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Tony and Emmy-awarding winning actress Cherry Jones of Paris was among those enjoying Friday night’s opening performance of “Peter Pan: The Musical” performed by the Bethel Renaissance Theatre at The Dixie Center for the Performing Arts in Huntingdon.

Renaissance Theatre Director Brian Hill said, “It was such an honor to have an actress like Cherry Jones attend our show. Her support for the arts in our area is so appreciated. Our students have thoroughly enjoyed being able to work with her.”

Jones recently completed her run in the Broadway play, “The Glass Menagerie”.

Saturday’s performances of “Peter Pan” are at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Tickets are available at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Enrichment Center box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731.986.2100. 

Discovery Park Greets 100,000th Visitor

Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy greets the Tucker family of Memphis. (Discover Park photo).

Union City, Tenn.-  Discovery Park of America hosted its 100,000th guest on Friday, after opening on November 1st of 2013.

“We’ve been watching the numbers, and we knew we would hit 100,000 on Friday morning,” CEO Jim Rippy said.  “We were delighted that it happened to be the Tucker Family from Memphis”

Destin, Brian, Logan and Grayson Tucker were waiting in line when they heard the announcement over the loud speaker.  “Ladies and Gentlemen….may I have your attention, please?  Discovery Park of America has been open since November 1st of last year, and today, we are celebrating our one-hundred thousandth guest!”  Then, the Tuckers were identified, as officials had concluded that Destin Tucker was the guest that hit the 100,000 mark.  When the announcement was made, the lobby full of visitors waiting in line to purchase tickets cheered and clapped for the Tuckers.  

To celebrate this milestone, the Tucker family was given free admission to the park, a free lunch in the Cafe at Discovery Park and the invitation to pick out a favorite T-shirt from the gift shop for each family member.  

“We are thrilled by the response of this region to Discovery Park,” Rippy stated.  “Who would have thought that over one hundred thousand people would have visited Union City, Tenn. in just over five months?  And, this was during a long, cold,  icy winter.”  Park officials believe that the park will entertain at least 250,000 by the end of the year.  
This was the first time the Tuckers had visited Discovery Park.  “Oh, we’ll be back,” Brian said.  “This place is just incredibly impressive.  It’s a great thing for West Tennessee to have a place like this.  I like the fact that there is a lot to do inside and outside.  Most places offer one or the other, but this place is great no matter what the weather!”

Destin said that she was impressed by the fact that there was so much to do for all ages.  “It has all been done very well.  It is very impressive,” she added.  
Discovery Park officials are busy planning a big “Grand Opening” month long series of events for May, followed by a summer concert series, a fried food festival, a 4th of July firework display, a pumpkin festival, and other events and festivities.  “As we finalize events and activities, there will be information available on our website,” Rippy said.       

Discovery Park of America is open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.  It is a unique blend of history and technology, knowledge and fun.  To find out more about Discovery Park of America, visit the website at  

Judge Vicki Snyder to Host Event

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Vicki Snyder will host a Voter Appreciation Dinner from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 8 at the Enoch Building at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Vince Dodd and Friends will provide music and hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, drinks and dessert will be served.

Judge Snyder will be handing out “Reelect Vicki Snyder” to-do lists and gavel eraser pencils.

Judge Snyder is unopposed at the election and said,” I am having the dinner to let Henry Countians know how much I appreciate my job! In addition, I am asking for their vote on May 6th. Also, I look forward to serving as THEIR judge for another term.”

Area Students Win Associated Press Awards

Murray, Ky. — Five Murray State University students won awards at the Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters conference in Louisville, Ky., on March 29.
In the college TV division, Steve Peake of Louisville won first place for Best College Videographer. He, Jon Black of Benton and J.T. Waskowski of Gleason, Tenn., received honorable mention for Best Sports Coverage.

Chris Haynes is a lecturer in the department of journalism and mass communications and serves as TV operations manager and is an advisor for these award-winning students. 

In the college radio division, Austin Ramsey of Murray took first place for Best Feature Story and with Chad Lampe won first place for Best Special Series/Documentary in the open division. John Null of Benton, Ky., won first place for Best News Story and received a $100 check for Best in Show in the college radio division.

Lampe is the news director for WKMS-FM, Murray State’s public radio station. Both he and Haynes are graduates of the Murray State journalism and mass communications program.

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Proclaimed Child Abuse Awareness Month

At Friday's reception, County Mayor Brent Greer prepares to read the proclamation while Carl Perkins Center Director Catherine Herrera looks on. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-At a reception in the Chancery Courtroom Friday afternoon, Henry County Mayor Brent Greer issued a proclamation recognizing April as child abuse awareness month.

Blue ribbons have been placed around the court square in Paris to signify the Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse and the reception was hosted by the Exchange Club-Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. 

Carl Perkins Center Director Catherine Herrera said the Blue Ribbon Campaign began in 1989 by a Virginia grandmother to honor her grandson who died of abuse and has since expanded across the country.

In reading the proclamation, Greer noted that the county had worked hard to get the Carl Perkins Center in the local community and praised the work that the Perkins Center has done.

Herrera noted that this year “is the first year we have had a presence here in Henry County and we’re very, very proud of it. We have received so much support here in the county from law enforcement, the judges, the courthouse staff, the city and county government and it’s done a world of good for our families. Everybody has gone above and beyond for our center and for that we‘re very grateful.”

The ‘Blue Ribbon’ in the campaign signifies the bruises that children suffer when abused, she said. “People always ask me if we really have child abuse here in Henry County and I have to say yes. We’ve had over 90 cases in this fiscal year and of those, 75 percent were sexual abuse.”

To battle child abuse, she said, “The community has to be vigilant and be willing to stand up and report it.”

The Center is located at 204 N. Brewer St. in Paris.

Paris Man Arrested in Murray Armed Robbery

Murray, Ky.-A Paris man has been apprehended in the armed robbery that occurred Wednesday night at an apartment complex near the Murray State Campus. The second suspect is still being sought.

Amairi Cook, age 19 of Paris, turned himself into the Murray Police Department, where he was arrested, without incident, after learning of an active arrest warrant for him.

Cook’s charges include first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and theft by unlawful taking over $500.

The robbery occurred  at Campus Evolution Apartments.

The investigation by Murray Police continues.

Early Morning Storms Cut Through Area

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Courthouse was surrounded by storm clouds all day Thursday--as was our entire area--but the expected storms did not hit until the middle of the night. Despite a lot of rain, thunder and lightning, little storm damage in our area was reported. Henry County sheriff's office dispatchers said the only storm-related call received there was a report of a tree that fell down on power lines in Henry. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Booker Apprehended; Shane Still at Large

     Ricky Booker

Martin, Tenn-One of the individuals still sought after last week’s major drug and weapons arrests in Obion and Weakley Counties was apprehended late Thursday night and is being held in the Obion County Jail.

Martin Police arrested Ricky Booker, 24, of Martin, after a short foot chase at the South Woods Apartments on Harrison Road in Martin. He was initially taken to the Weakley County Jail and then released to federal agents who transferred him to the Obion County Jail.

Booker was arrested on one count of distribution of cocaine.

Also still being sought is Courtney Shane, 31, of Martin, on drug charges.

In last week’s operation, at least 36 individuals were arrested as part of a combined federal, state, and local investigation of criminal activity in the area.
More than 100 individuals from law enforcement agencies across West Tennessee assisted in the early morning takedown, including FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Marshal’s Service, U.S. Secret Service, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Tennessee Highway Patrol, 27th Judicial Drug Task Force, Martin Police Department, Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, Union City Police Department, Obion County Sheriff’s Department, Milan Police Department, Dyersburg Police Department, Jackson Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office SWAT. 

Storm Damage Closes Fenton Campground Indefinitely

Golden Pond, Ky. — Land Between The Lakes closed Fenton Campground for camping until further notice. The emergency decision came after assessing the damage from the storm that passed through the area Friday morning, April 4, 2014. Fenton boat ramp, fishing access, pavilion, and trailhead for the Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail remain open to the public. 

“The large amount of fast moving rain water being funneled down into Fenton has overwhelmed our bridges, streams, and some campsites at Fenton,” stated Gary Hawkins, Recreation Program Manager at Land Between The Lakes. He continued, “This last storm made Fenton unsafe for campers.” All campers have evacuated the area. Camping remains available at the six designated campgrounds and twelve backcountry camping areas at Land Between The Lakes. 

To stay informed of any temporary trail, road, and other closures at Land Between The Lakes, visit our official website at or call 800-LBL-7077 or 270-924-2000. 

TCAT Students Arrested on Drug Charges

McKenzie, Tenn.-Three students who are attending the Tennessee College of Applied Technology School in McKenzie are now facing drug charges after Carroll County deputies, McKenzie Police, and agents with the 24th Judicial District Task Force conducted K-9 searches in the parking lot Thursday.

Officers found felony amounts of marijuana in three separate cars during the searches.

Officials charged Titus James Gordon, 35 with felony possession of marijuana. Investigators said Gordon who is a suspected drug dealer, was out on parole for other felony drug charges in Carroll County. According to authorities, the investigation started from an anonymous tip that someone was dealing drugs on campus. 

Two other students facing charges are Brandon Broussard, 18, and Aaron Seavers, no age given. Both are also charged with drug possession charges. No addresses were given for the three arrested.

Patriot Idol Set for Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-The 10th Annual Patriot Idol will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, April 4, at the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris. Tickets are $5 each. Proceeds from the talent competition will be used for HCHS Student Council activities. 

Always a popular event, students who are scheduled to perform this year include: Imari Thompson, Lydia Shoemaker and Jerry Gaylord, Caitlin Coleman, Amanda Jones, Mariah Smith, Kelly Combs, Travis Hollingsworth, Robbert Tuten, Olivia Perry, Haley Northington, Shelby McMurray, Petra Travis, and Josh Todd. 

Textbook Viewing is Scheduled

Paris, Tenn.-Public viewing of social studies textbooks for the Henry County School System is set for 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, April  in the board room of the Grove Tower building at 217 Grove Boulevard, Paris.

HC Softball Team Loses to Waverly

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Patriots’ Softball Team lost Thursday night to Waverley, by a score of 7-2. Julie Medlock through a complete game in the loss and Ashley Underwood hit a solo homerun in the top of the sixth for Henry County’s first run. Henry County then pushed one run across the plate in the top of the seventh.

Henry County is set to play two games tonight to begin a weekend tournament in Clarksville.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Foster to Also Serve as Assistant City Manager

Paris City Attorney Fred McLean, left, makes a point during Thursday night's meeting. Left to right are: Finance Director Kim Foster, Commissioners Terry Fuller, Pete Lackey; Administrative Assistant Willette Ray and City Manager Carl Holder. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-On the recommendation of City Manager Carl Holder, the Paris City Commission Thursday night agreed to add the position of Assistant City Manager to the job duties of Finance Director Kim Foster. The action will be formalized at the May meeting, Holder said after the meeting.

Holder last month announced he will be retiring next year and made clear that his choice to replace him would be Foster. The commission had requested that he prepare a proposed job description for both positions.

Commissioners said they approve of Foster holding both positions, but as Commissioner Carlton Gerrell put it, didn’t want to “set a precedent” by permanently putting those positions together.

Commissioner Pete Lackey suggested the panel create a temporary position and Holder said the commission would make the decision on whether it be a dual position in future hirings through the budget process.

Thursday’s meeting was lengthy and busy and Holder also presented a draft proposal outlining his replacement schedule. 
As outlined by Holder, the commission would most probably decide in September whether to either promote Foster to the position or open the position for advertisement.

 If the job is open for advertisement, Holder said the deadline for resumes should be October 31 and in early November, the resumes should be reviewed, and interviews should begin in mid-November.

Under his proposed outline, the decision on the new City Manager should be made in early January.

In other business:

--The commission recommended that the municipal regional planning commission be reduced to seven members, now that Brent Owens has announced his resignation. Commissioner Terry Fuller said he agreed that the planning commission should have an uneven number of members. 

At its meeting next week, the planning commission will further discuss the recommendation and make a recommendation of its own to be brought back to the city.

--Holder said now that the city has converted to total curbside collection, the city is having a problem with individuals who choose to leave their garbage cans in their front yards permanently. “As you might expect neighbors often complain about the unsightliness of this arrangement”, he said. 

After much discussion, the commission directed City Attorney Fred McLean to prepare a proposed ordinance to address the issue. Commissioner Pete Lackey said the city of Dresden is currently addressing this issue also and McLean said he would contact their officials on how they are handling the problem.

--Holder presented options for executing the Environmental Protection Agency’s MS-4 program (Small Stormwater Program). Three options would include re-establishing the position of city engineer, hire a part-time person to administer junk, nuisance and health ordinances or hire a part-time program coordinator to keep records and handle public participation.

Holder suggested that the city prepare budgets for the first two options and allow commissioners to choose one. The third option would not be a good one and has a high probability of failure, he said. The program must be implemented within the budget year, he said.

The city of Paris is now being required to implement the program because the city has exceeded 10,000 in population and there are two impaired streams within the city, Holder said after the meeting.

--In Foster’s finance report, she said the city is starting calendar year 2014 on a positive note with retails sales in January exceeding January 2013 sales by 1.67 percent. January is historically the weakest sales month of the year, but “it was nice to see we had an increase over last year.”

Murray Police Investigating Armed Robbery

Murray, Ky.-Murray Police are asking for the public’s help in apprehending two suspects in an armed robbery at an apartment building near the Murray State campus. Victims were injured during an altercation during the robbery.

According to the press release issued Thursday night, the robbery occurred around 11 p.m. Wednesday at Campus Evolution North Apartments, 1421 North 16th Street.

Police responded to the call of an armed robbery in progress. Once there, officers were advised two black male suspects had forcefully entered the residence, brandished a handgun, and demanded money and other valuables from the five persons inside.   

During the altercation, three of the persons received injuries, but declined medical treatment on scene.  One of the victims sought treatment at a later time for his injuries.   An undisclosed amount of property and money was taken and the suspects fled the scene prior to police arrival.   No shots were discharged during the altercation. 

Two suspects are being sought in connection to the robbery.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Murray Police Department at 270-753-1621.    

Collegiate Big Bass Splash This Weekend at Paris Landing

Paris, Tenn.-Kentucky Lake will be the setting for Cabela’s Big Bass Bash for Collegiate anglers this weekend, April 4-6. Nine of the top ten schools in the country are represented in the field and it's expected that this event will be key in who will be in top position as the season heads into its final stops in May and June.

Over 180 of the top college bass anglers in the nation are set to compete for over $20,000.00 in prizes. 

Competition takes place April 5 and 6, with the onsite registration, dinner, and activities to be held Friday, April 4, 2014. Daily weigh-ins will be held at Paris Landing at 9: a.m, 11, 1 and 3 p.m.

Event Schedule:

Friday, April 4th 
Final Practice day Safe Light - 3 pm 
*Must be off the water by 3pm* 

~Registration Paris Landing State Park 
16055 Hwy 79 N 
Buchanan, Tennessee 38222 
~Angler Registration & Dinner 5 - 7 pm 
~Welcome from Sponsors 7-7:15pm ~Pre-tournament Meeting 7:15 pm

Saturday, April 5th 
Day 1: Safe Light to 3:00 pm 3:00 PM Weigh-In Begins for final session of Day 1

Sunday, April 6th 
Day 2: Safe Light to 3:00 pm
3:00PM Weigh-In Begins for final session of 
Day 2 

Awards Presentation Immediately Following Weigh-In

Collegiate fishing fans, family members, and friends of competitors can follow the action by visiting and Televised coverage will be seen on NBC Sports Outdoors and the Pursuit Channel and other networks during the year. 

Man Wanted in Shovel Attack Turns Self In

Martin, Tenn.-The man wanted in the shovel attack on a student at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house Tuesday at the University of Tennessee at Martin has turned himself in at the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office.

Don Teal, spokesman for the Martin Police Department, said Christopher Morris, 23, is being charged with one count of aggravated assault. Teal said Morris lives in Martin but is from Ripley.

The frat house is located on Hannings Lane off the University of Tennessee at Martin campus.

An arrest warrant had been issued for Morris after the victim told police he was hit in the arm and the head with a shovel by Morris, who he said he recognized as a former member of another fraternity on campus.

Just Looking Things Over

Paris, Tenn.-On a recent early evening, Charlie Allen of Paris spotted these buzzards on Jones Bend Rd., just looking things over, making for a rather ominous-looking photograph.

Storm Shelter to be Open in Henry County Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew announced this morning that the tornado safe shelter at Inman Middle School will be open to the public tonight from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Opening the shelter is in conjunction with Paris Special Schools District and the Henry County Emergency Management Agency.

EMA Director Ron Watkins will be tracking the storms that are predicted for tonight and Belew said, “The storm will be open for as many residents who may want to utilize it.”

Carroll County Democrats, Republicans Pick Candidates

Huntingdon, Tenn.-In separate caucuses, Carroll County Democrats and Republicans convened to nominate their candidates for county-wide races. The only contested elected will be that for County Mayor. Four-term Democratic Mayor Kenny McBride will have opposition from Republican Candidate T. Richard Goodwin of Hollow Rock. Goodwin has been a county commissioner for 16 years. 

All of the other nominations from both parties went to incumbents and one political newcomer, Paula Bolen, who is seeking the trustee’s position. Current County Trustee Pat Rich will retire at the end of August.

Democrats selected their nominees with unanimous support and they are: County Mayor McBride; Circuit Court Clerk Bertha Taylor; Register of Deeds Natalie Porter; Democratic Committeewoman Heather Mummert; District Attorney Hansel McCadams; Democratic Committeeman Don Farmer; Road Supervisor District 2 Scott Bailey and County Sheriff Andy Dickson.

Republicans chose the following candidates: Trustee Candidate Paula Bolen; County Clerk Darlene Kirk; Property Assessor Rita Jones; District Attorney Matt Stowe; County Commission Candidate Tom Aljancic; Road Supervisor Candidate District 1 Ricky Scott; General Sessions Judge Larry Logan.

Artists' Showcase Reception is Sunday

Paris, Tenn.-Reminder: The reception and award ceremony for the 29th annual Artist Showcase will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the W.G. Rhea Library

Sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Dennis Wieck of Paris, the show will run through April 30. Local artists are also reminded to drop your artwork off at the library Saturday between 9-11 a.m. 

SUV Strikes Scooter in Martin

Martin, Tenn.-A 75-year-old Martin man riding on an electric scooter was slightly injured after he was struck by an SUV in Martin.

Police were dispatched to the accident which occurred around 1 p.m. Wednesday at the entrance of Regions Bank on the eastbound side of Hwy. 431/University St. 

Upon officers arrival, they made contact with Russell McKeith, 28, of Bowling Green Kentucky, who was driving a 2007 Chrysler SUV. McKeith was exiting the Regions Bank parking lot and struck an electric scooter which was being driven by 75-year-old Kenneth W. Alexander of Martin. Alexander was traveling westbound on the shoulder of the road. The impact caused the scooter to overturn in the roadway.

Alexander was treated at the scene by EMS for minor abrasions but was not transported to the hospital.

The accident is still under investigation.

Bethel To Present April Concerts

McKenzie, TN— Bethel University’s Department of Music will present a number of concerts throughout April that will showcase various aspects of Bethel’s music program.

On Monday, April 7, a Percussion Ensemble concert will be presented. The event will begin at 7 p.m., in Bouldin Auditorium of the Dickey Fine Arts Building. 

A Wind Ensemble concert will be presented on Tuesday, April 8 at 7 p.m., in the L.J. Turner Recital Hall located in the Marrs-Stockton Music Building.

On Friday, April 11, the Department of Music will present a Recital Hour beginning at noon in the L.J. Turner Recital Hall in the Marrs-Stockton Music Building.

Finally, the Bethel Symphonic Band will present a Pops Concert on Tuesday, April 15 at 7 p.m., in Bouldin Auditorium in the Dickey Fine Arts Building.

All concerts are free and open to the public.

For more information about any of these events, contact Dr. Keith Herris at

For more information about Bethel University, go to

LBL Cropland, Hay Let For Bid

Golden Pond, Ky. –Land Between The Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area has released two prospectuses for farming crops and hay as part of open lands management in Land Between The Lakes. Interested parties may view the prospectus at and scroll to the bottom of that page, or contact Gary Hawkins at 270-924-2046 for more information. Bid proposal packages will be accepted until May 13, 2014.

Interested parties can bid on one or more options. The cropland prospectus has two options; one north and one south, and the hayfields prospectus has six options; three north and three south. Prospectus maps will be available for reference at the Administrative Office and Golden Pond Visitor Center, or can be viewed online at the link above. The length of the new Special Use Permits will be 10 years (January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2024). 

The open lands management objective at Land Between The Lakes provides for:

Wildlife habitat diversity supporting hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities at minimal costs; 

Agricultural practices demonstrated through cooperative management of croplands and hayfields; and 

Stewardship projects, with conservation organizations, that help Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area open land management.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Arrest Warrant: Zach Adams Threatened to Kill Brother 
Adams' Brother is Jailed in Obion County

Henderson, Tenn. - The newly-released arrest warrant details why charges of coercion of a witness were brought against Zach Adams, who is being held without bond in the Chester County Jail in connection with the murder of Holly Bobo.

According to the TBI, Adams threatened to kill his brother, who is being held in the Obion County Jail on federal firearm charges.

The TBI said Adams sent a threatening note from his Chester County jail cell to his brother’s jail cell in Obion County.

The note reportedly said, “Tell my brother he is the one who started all this s#%t and if he don’t shut his mouth he will be in the hole beside her.”

An inmate reportedly heard what the note said and alerted jailers.

According to the TBI, the statement was heard by at least one other inmate.

Adams is charged with first degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping in the April 2011 disappearance of Holly Bobo in Decatur County.

Adams remains jailed in Chester County without bond. He is charged with Felony First Degree Murder and Especially Aggravated Kidnapping in the Holly Bobo case.
Bobo was last seen April 13, 2011, outside her Decatur County, home.
“We will not tolerate any kind of coercion in criminal cases,”  TBI Director Mark Gywn said. “But in a case like this, which has attracted so much interest and required so many resources, rest assured we will fight hard to protect the integrity of our work, as we seek justice for the family and friends of Holly Bobo.”

Martin PD Issues Arrest Warrant in Shovel Attack

Martin, Tenn.-The Martin Police Department has issued an arrest warrant for a 23-year-old man who is wanted in connection with an assault at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house Tuesday night. The frat house is located on Hannings Lane off the University of Tennessee at Martin campus.

According to the police report, a warrant has been issued for Christopher Morris, age 23, no address given, for aggravated assault.

The victim told police he was hit in the arm and the head with a shovel by Morris, who he said he recognized as a former member of another fraternity on campus.

According to the report, the victim said he was coming home to the “Pike” House after dark and saw someone in the tree line on the east side of the frat house. He said he had his phone light on and saw someone run to the opposite side of a tree and first struck him in the arm with the shovel, knocking his phone out of his hand, and then struck him in the head with the shovel.

A green polo hat and the shovel were recovered at the scene.

Late last year, the University of Tennessee at Martin revoked the charter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity on campus following a hazing incident.

TBI Identifies Suspect in Woman's Death

Memphis-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has identified the man responsible for the death of a Chester County woman.

On Saturday, March 29, deputies with the Chester County Sheriff’s Department discovered the body of 71-year-old Martha J. Crowe inside her residence on Highway 22A South in Jacks Creek. Evidence at the scene revealed her death was a homicide.

At the request of District Attorney General Jerry Woodall, the TBI joined the investigation Saturday. Special agents and deputies from Chester County soon determined Alex Schewe, 26, was a person of interest in the case.

On Sunday, March 30th, around Noon, investigators approached Schewe’s home on Highway 22A in an attempt to speak with him, but were unable to reach him. Shortly thereafter, investigators discovered Schewe took his own life inside his home.

Evidence collected in Crowe’s residence by the TBI’s Violent Crime Response Team has determined Schewe was responsible for Crowe’s murder. However, the investigation remains ongoing, to determine whether any other individuals might have played a part in the crime. The TBI urges anyone with information to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Work on Refuge Visitor's Center is Progressing

Springville, Tenn.-Work on the new visitor’s center for the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is progressing, with much of the work completed. “We are getting closer” to completion, Refuge Ranger Joan Stevens said, but contractors “still can’t give us a definitive finish date”. An entrance to the visitor’s center, as seen in photo, is complete, and Stevens said workmen will be putting the final paving coat on the parking lot soon, also. “A company called Southern Customs Exhibits has been working hard over the past couple of weeks to install the exhibits,” she said. “The physical part will be finished this week hopefully, but then there will be a couple of weeks to program all the electronic exhibits. So we are getting there, and so far it looks fabulous.” Photo by Charlie Allen.

2013 Meth Lab Seizure Information is Released

Dresden, Tenn.-The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office is cautioning the public to be aware of their surroundings. According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, the meth lab found at 492 Foyshack Rd. near Dukedom on March 26 was the eighth meth lab or meth lab dump site found in Weakley County in 2014.

According to the Tennessee Meth Task Force annual report for 2013, Weakley County law enforcement found 51 meth labs or meth lab dump sites, which was a 104 percent increase over 2012.

Only five other counties in Tennessee reported more labs and dumpsites found in 2013 and all of those were east of Nashville. Anderson County led the state with 83 labs and dumpsites. 

In West Tennessee, other counties also reported meth lab finds in 2013: Dyer County had 39; Gibson County had 30; both Obion and Carroll Counties had 10 apiece; Henry County had five and Lake County had four.

UC Council OKs Greenfield Products Loan For Expansion

Union City, Tenn.-Union City’s City Council Tuesday night approved a resolution authorizing a loan between the Union City Electric System and USDA Rural Development in the amount of $2 million, to be made to Greenfield Products. 

Greenfield Products is expanding its operation in Obion County and will add 80,000 square feet to its manufacturing space in Union City, thus adding 100 jobs over the next two years.

The loan involves no city money and will be paid by Greenfield at no interest.

Council also agreed to buy a Ford F150 truck recently seized in a drug bust. The truck would be for use by the police chief. The $45,000 truck had a $21,000 lien against it from First Citizens Bank.

The city will pay the $21,000, which is actually less than the city would have to pay for a new truck.

Council Member Rat Harrison argued that the chief did not need to be driving a $45,000 truck with no city decals on it. Although the motion passed, Mayor Terry Hailey told City Manager Kathy Dillon after the meeting that he should have voted against the truck.

Hailey said even though it would actually save money, it would be a source of criticism for the chief and the city manager for a city official to have a truck that nice.

Love Heals 5K Run to Benefit Thistle Farms

McKenzie, Tenn.-Bethel University is hosting a Love Heals 5K to benefit Thistle Farms on April 26 at the McKenzie Park. Pre-register by April 7 and get a free t-shirt.

Julie Williams of Paris said organizers are looking for runners to sign up, but also for sponsors. 

She said the event benefits Thistle Farms, which is a social enterprise for women who have survived lives of addiction and life on the streets. Williams said the organization is located near Nashville and began as a Christian organization to help women in need.
While working at Thistle Farms, women learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing, sales and administration. Thistle Farms is billed as a supportive workplace where women acquire skills needed to earn a living wage. It’s a two-year residential community.

Cost to run the race is $20. Make checks payable to Bethel University. To pre-register, contact Sabrina Pyron 731-432-0243 or email

Battle of the Badges Blood Donation Set for Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The 2014 Battle of the Badges will be held Thursday, April 3, at the First United Methodist Church in Paris.

Join the Paris City Police Department, Henry County Sheriff's Department and the Paris Fire Department and donate blood at Lifeline Blood Services from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 3.

Give blood to honor your favorite law enforcement agency.  All donors receive a t-shirt. Please remember to bring your photo ID. 

Businesses Reopen After Second Roof Collapse in Murray

Murray, Ky.-The city of Murray has provided an update on the partial collapse of the roof of the former Yours Mine and Ours building in downtown Murray over the weekend. The building is at 117 South 4th Street. 

The other buildings on either side are not affected as they are separated by a firewall. The property owner’s structural engineer, K&S Engineering reported that since the roof damage was isolated to the center portion of the structure, adjacent business/property owners may occupy their buildings.

City Officials said, “It is expected that the City will allow The Cake Lady and Crye-Leike Realtors back into their buildings. The owner of the former Yours Mine & Ours building is working on getting a contractor to repair the broken truss in the roof and the roofers are on stand-by to replace the roof.”

According to the press release, “The City of Murray appreciates everyone’s patience and is utilizing every available resource to restore downtown commerce in a timely, yet safe manner.”

MSU on Lockdown Tuesday Night

Murray, Ky.-The campus of Murray State University was on lockdown for a time Tuesday night after reports surfaced that someone was walking near Franklin College with a long gun. 

The MSU Public Safety agency sent out emails to students around 8:30 p.m. and the lockdown included the CFSB Center, which is hosting a basketball tournament.

A person was taken into custody, but after questioning, he was released and the Murray Police and campus police are still investigating.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Additional Charge Filed in Holly Bobo Case

                    Zach Adams

Memphis, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has charged Zachary Rye Adams with an additional criminal count in its ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Holly Bobo.

Through the course of this investigation in recent weeks, additional information was developed that led special agents to secure an arrest warrant today, charging Adams with a single count of Coercion of Witness. 

Previously, on March 5, a special Decatur County Grand Jury returned indictments on the 29-year-old, charging him with Felony First Degree Murder and Especially Aggravated Kidnapping in connection to the disappearance and murder of Holly Bobo.

“We will not tolerate any kind of coercion in criminal cases,”  TBI Director Mark Gywn said. “But in a case like this, which has attracted so much interest and required so many resources, rest assured we will fight hard to protect the integrity of our work, as we seek justice for the family and friends of Holly Bobo.”

The TBI press release did not provide details on the charge or whom Adams is charged with coercing in the case.

On the morning of April 13, 2011, Bobo disappeared from her home on Swan Johnson Road in Decatur County. TBI, along with local and federal authorities, have spent several hundreds of manpower hours on this investigation, which remains active and ongoing. The TBI urges anyone with information about the Bobo case to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Adams was served with the warrant today and is still being held in the Chester County Jail without bond. 

Henry County Court Video Conferencing Upgrade Underway

Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson, left, works with technician Jonathan Grimes. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Circuit Court has been busy on an upgrade to its video arraignment system.

Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson said, “This represents a 90 percent upgrade of the components that make up the system and it will be a big help for the court, the judges, law enforcement and the public.”

The video arraignment system was installed in 2008, but Wilson said, “We sometimes had technical issues. The upgrade will provide more stability to the system.” Wilson said a lightning strike at the courthouse had caused some damage to the system “that it had never really recovered from.”

With the video system, judges can hold arraignments or other types of hearings with offenders while the offenders remain at the jail. Wilson said the video system saves a lot of time and expense, but also helps to alleviate safety concerns. “It protects the public which is at the courtroom and often it protects the defendants themselves who others might want to harm,” he said. “It also helps out law enforcement which doesn’t have to worry about all the transportation and safety issues involved with bringing the defendants to the courthouse.”

The upgrade is being performed by BIS Digital (Business Integration Systems) which has its headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, with a satellite office in Nashville.

Wilson said BIS “is well-known within court systems in the country and is the company which installed the digital equipment in the courtroom that we’ve been using.”

Russ Davis Hired as OC Director of Schools

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting in special called session last night, the Obion County Board of Education hired Russ Davis as its new Director of Schools. Davis currently is Director of the Obion County Career Technology Center.

The board hired Davis over another candidate from Florida by a 5-2 vote. 

Board members also voted to enter into negotiations with Davis for his new contract. In the meantime, Assistant Directors Nancy Hamilton and Dale Hallowell will continue serving as the system’s co-directors. 

Rescue Squad Working on Annual Fundraiser

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Rescue Squad Volunteer Diann McGuire was busy along with other volunteers Monday morning loading fund-raising mail-outs to be taken to the post office. The mail-outs will be received by county residents later this week and is an annual fundraiser for the squad. Squad Public Relations Officer Carol Tedford said, “The people in this county are awesome in their donations, which is the reason for what we have here and what we can do for this county.” Others helping load the trays of mail were Chaplin Gene Lampert, Treasurer Dale Evans and Tedford. (Photo by Carol Tedford).

Haslam Announces $160 M Proposed Budget Reductions  

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced details of his proposed amendment to the FY 2014-2015 budget, identifying $160 million in reductions due to an ongoing decline in revenue collections and an additional $150 million to close the funding gap in the current budget for FY 2013-14. 

While the budget amendment includes reductions, it keeps funding increases intact for key areas such as the Department of Children’s Services and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The amendment proposal also preserves funding for the Basic Education Program’s (BEP) salary equity fund.

“Tennessee’s economy continues to be strong even as revenue collections have come in under estimates,” Haslam said. “Tennessee businesses are performing well and continue to make decisions to create more jobs here. What we’re seeing is a drop in business tax collections, which is a result of the reconciliation of overpayments that were made in the past.

“Our state also depends heavily on sales tax, and because so much commerce has shifted online without us being able to collect a majority of the taxes owed, that continues to have a negative impact on our budget year in and year out.”

The revenue collection decreases reflected in the budget amendment include a dip in sales tax collections after a modest holiday season, followed by a long, cold winter that has kept shoppers indoors. 

In addition, Tennessee is currently not able to collect the entire amount of sales tax owed to the state from purchases made online. In FY 2012-2013, the state had an estimated revenue loss of nearly $332 million due to online commerce.

Franchise and excise taxes, a type of business tax, are often volatile and are down $215 million due to overpayments by businesses last year that are now resulting in credits and refunds.

Revisions to the governor’s budget proposal include:
Savings from automating TennCare’s eligibility system - $6.5 million 
Contract reductions to Families First vendors - $4.75 million 
TennCare provider rate reduction - $18.5 million 
Eliminating pay increases for state employees and teachers - $72 million 
Reducing next year’s funding for Higher Education to the current funding level, eliminating proposed increase - $12.9 million 
Reduction of the BEP Growth Fund - $5 million 
Recognizing savings in the Career Ladder program - $4 million 
Reducing proposed funding for the Rainy Day Fund by $4.8 million, which preserves an investment of $35.5 million bringing the state’s savings account to $491.5 million on June 30, 2015.

The governor’s amendment eliminates a proposed increase to health insurance premiums for state employees and teachers to provide them some compensation.
Haslam presented his original budget proposal, SB 2596/HB 2501, on February 3. It was based on revenue collections from November 2013 and was put together in mid-December when Tennessee budgets are historically done.

The $150 million gap in the current FY 2013-14 budget will be closed by capitalizing on efficiencies departments have been making throughout the year and by right-sizing several reserve funds. Rainy Day Fund dollars will not be used.

The budget amendment will be filed this week. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin will begin presentations to both finance committees today.

Athena Delphian Bazaar Set for Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Athena Delphian Bazaar, Bake Sale and Upscale Resale is set for Saturday, April 5, at the Enoch Building at the Henry County Fairgrounds. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Donations are being accepted for the event. Anyone with items to donate can contact any Delphian member or call 363-7108. Drop-offs of donated items will begin Wednesday, April 2, at the Enoch Building.

Items already have started coming in for the sale and includes everything from dishes to art work to furniture. You can view the items on the group’s Facebook page at

Inman Golf Tourney Planned; Chance for New Car

Paris, Tenn.-The Parent Action Committee of Inman School will be holding its first annual Four-Person Scramble Golf Tournament at the Paris Country Club on Saturday, May 3, and it is accepting entries now. 

And, if you’re lucky or skilled enough to hit a hole in one on hole number 4, you will win a car from Joe Mahan Ford.

The event begins with registration at 7:30 a.m. and a shotgun start promptly at 8 a.m. 

Other prizes include prizes for first, second, third and 10th place winners, with free gift bags and door prizes. Lunch will be provided by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and snacks and beverages will be available from Inman Middle School Concessions. Hole sponsorships also are available.

For additional info, call Leigh Nanney at 731-499-2929. 

Deadline to register is April 25. Cost for a team of four is $240.

Entry forms can be picked up at The Tennessean, Paris Country Club, Paris Landing, Paris Civic Center, Mahan Ford, Medical Center Pharmacy, Mari Mac Boutique, Paint Plus Flooring. They also can be downloaded from IMS Facebook page.

Benton County Sports Hall of Fame Announced

Camden, Tenn.-The first members of the Benton County High School Sports Hall of Fame have been announced. A banquet to recognize the inductees will be held at Lakeshore May 17, according to our friends at WRJB/WFWL.

Here is the list of the 2014 Benton County Sports Hall of Fame Members and the School and Sport they represent: 

Tillman Hall-------------Big Sandy, Basketball 
Elmore Price------------Big Sandy, Basketball 
Lydia Branch------------Holladay, Basketball 
Talmadge Hudson------Holladay, Basketball Coach and Principal 
Tommy Richardson----Camden, Football Coach 
Tommy Mckelvy--------Camden. Football 
E.C. "Pickle" Medlin----Camden, Football 
David Johnson----------Camden, Football 
Thomas Rowsey--------Camden, Football and
Danny Boyd-------------Camden, Basketball

Hazel Spring Fling is Saturday

Hazel, Ky.-The merchants of Hazel, Kentucky, are hosting a Spring Fling there all day April 5. It will feature a day of shopping at the town’s unique and plentiful antique shops, along with sales, drawings for prizes and garden merchandise. Shops will be throwing their doors open and refreshments will be served.

WBFF Headquarters Hours Announced

Paris, Tenn.-The World’s Biggest Fish Fry committee has announced that hours of operation at its headquarters will be Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. from now until Thursday, April 24.
Officials said the information in the souvenir book was incorrect and they wanted the public to be aware of the hours the headquarters will be open. As always, the headquarters is located on East Wood St., between the Tin Roof and the Revolving Door.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Discovery Park to be Featured on "Tennessee Crossroads"

Union City, Tenn.-The crew from "Tennessee Crossroads" visited Discovery Park of America and found plenty to film, including its many exhibits and activities. In photo, "Tennessee Crossroads" Host Joe Elmore (back to camera) interviews Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy. Since its opening, Discovery Park has become a popular destination for both area residents and tourists. It is located at 830 Everett Blvd., Union City, and is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone number is 731-885-5455. The "Tennessee Crossroads" segment will air on area Public Broadcasting channels in May. (Discovery Park photo).

VA Clinic To Reopen at Different Location

Dover, Tenn.— Good news for local and area veterans. The Dover Veterans Administration Clinic, which had been set to cease operations at its former location this month, will reopen at a different location.

The VA clinic, which serves hundreds of veterans in our area, will cease operations out of the Stewart County Community Medical Center on April 30.

It will be reopening around May 1 in the former For Your Family Health Care building on Hwy. 49 in Dover. The new location is about one and a half miles from the heart of Dover.
Veterans in Henry and other local counties had received letters in the mail last month informing them of the clinic’s closure. Henry County Veterans’ Services Director Bob Nolan said at the time that the news was bad, but that he was optimistic that a new location would be found.

Stewart County Mayor Rick Joiner said veterans will be receiving notices in the mail informing them of the new facility. A contract has been signed that allows the new provider to start renovating the facility.

The new facility plans to serve patients Monday-Thursday, 10 hours per day. A formal grand opening will be held at a later date.

Nolan said the reopening will be good news for veterans, especially since the reopening will occur right as the former clinic was set to close and veterans will not lose any coverage.

More Details on Boating Accident Released

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is still investigating a boating accident that occurred early Sunday morning near Paris Landing State Park and a TWRA Officer this morning clarified details of the accident.

District 12 Boating Officer Joe Campbell said a husband and wife were boating and it now appears that their boat hit the wake from another boat and both of them were ejected from the boat.

Campbell said the woman suffered a leg injury and was transported to the Henry County Medical Center by the Paris Landing EMS. He said she was treated and released.

Campbell said it was lucky that both were wearing their life jackets when the accident occurred. “If they had not been wearing their life jackets, the outcome would have been far worse because of how cold the water is right now,” he said.

Applications Accepted for Digital Photography Class

Huntingdon, Tenn.- Applications are being accepted for the Digital Photography classes to begin April 14 and 15. at The Dixie.

Applications can be sent for Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Special Project Digital Photography classes under the direction of a very talented photojournalist. Jim Veneman. 

Basic and Special Project Digital Photography classes will meet on Mondays while Intermediate and Advanced classes will meet on Tuesdays. These classes must be taken in order Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and then Special Project. The classes will take place in the Lower Level of The Dixie and participants will use the Academic Enrichment Entrance. 

Applications can be found on our website at or at The Dixie Box Office. 

The instructor, Jim Veneman, most recently served as assistant professor and director of visual communication at Union University. Before coming to Union he was photojournalist for LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee for 14 years. He continues to shoot assignments, covering the efforts in Iraq, spending time in Baghdad and on board the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean. From these assignments, the book “A Greater Freedom” was produced. Veneman also covered the days immediately following the World Trade Center attack in New York City, meetings in Cuba with Fidel Castro, mission challenges in Asia, and international gatherings in Australia, Kenya and South Africa. 

It does not matter what type of camera you have, whether it be a point and shoot, cell phone, or digital SLR camera, you can be a part of this class! For more information on this or any of our other events please call the box office at 731-986-2100. This project is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Allegro Relay for Life Events Set for Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-The Allegro Relay for Life Team will be busy next weekend, Friday and Saturday, April 4 and 5 with two events. On Friday, they will be Cooking for a Cure all day at the Sav-A-Lot parking lot and on Saturday they will be holding a Relay Team Yard Sale at the old Allegro building at the corner of Hwy. 641 and Fairview.

Cooking for a Cure will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and ribeye, BBQ sandwich, hot dogs and chips will be sold all day. Plus BBQ one pound packs will be sold for $8.

The yard sale will be held Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon rain or shine and refreshments are available for purchase. All proceeds go for Relay for Life.

UC Dog Owner Cited

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City dog owner was charged by police after his three dogs attacked another dog Friday afternoon.

John Sowell, 225 S. 6th St., was charged with harbouring vicious animals and failing to have vaccinations up to date.

According to the police report, a lady was walking her pet boxer/Corgi mix on a leash when Sowell’s three dogs came running out of a partially open door and attacked it. The dog was taken to a local veterinarian with deep cuts in its legs, but is expected to fully recover.

According to the police report, a couple days later, Sowell also was cited for allowing a small pit bull to run loose.

Child Abuse Prevention Reception Set 

Paris, Tenn.-In honor of April being Child Abuse Prevention Month, a reception to bring awareness to the Carl Perkins Center for Child Abuse Prevention will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 4 at the Chancery Courtroom. 
Light refreshments will be served. The public is invited to attend.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Woman Injured in Boating Accident Sunday Morning

Buchanan, Tenn.-A wave knocked a boat into an abutment at the Ned McWherter bridge at Paris Landing, injuring a woman on the boat around 7:30 a.m. today.

According to scanner traffic, the woman suffered a broken leg and was transported to Henry County Medical Center by the county Emergency Medical Service ambulance.

The woman’s identity is unknown, but there was at least one other person on board the boat when the accident occurred.

According to the dispatcher at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the accident will be investigated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Stewart County Kidnapping Suspect Back Behind Bars

Clarksville, Tenn.-The Stewart County man who was being sought for attempting to kidnap two women in Clarksville is now in the Montgomery County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Garon Brown, 25, of Indian Mound, was apprehended after two separate attempts to kidnap women near gas stations.

He had previously been arrested after the first attempt and released on $30,000 bond.

"Quake on the Lake" Awareness Day Set for April 5

Tiptonville, Tenn.-”Quake on the Lake”, a Natural Disaster Education Day will be held April 5 at Reelfoot Lake Visitor Center.

Bill French will land an Air Vac helicopter on the state park grounds. Tommy Corum with the Tiptonville Fire Department will bring a fire truck. Jack Mauldin with the Tiptonville EMT will bring an aambulance. Brian Blake will speak about how to survive an earthquake and the Dyersburg Red Cross will be on hand.

A Fire Prevention contest for children of all ages will be held. Call 731-253-9652 for more information.

Obion County Chamber Golf Tourney Planned


Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Chamber of Commerce/Industrial Development golf tournament will be held May 1 and sponsors and teams are being sign up now. There will be a $10,000 Hole in One contest. The event will be held at the Wynridge Golf Course in Troy.

Lunch will be held at 12:30 p.m., followed by a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. The afternoon concludes with awards and a pork chop supper.

Contact the Chamber if you are interested in being a sponsor at 1-731-885-0211.

Field limited to first 10 teams. Four person scramble-$75 per player; $300 per team. Proceeded reinvested in the form of awards and prizes.

Local Bloodmobile Dates for April

Lifeline Bloodmobile has scheduled community blood drives in our area during April. Lifeline Official Cherie Hale said the efforts of blood donors “really do help us make sure we meet projection and when we meet projection, there is enough blood available for West Tennessee patients.”

April 1 Gibson County Courthouse, Trenton , 12-5:30

UT Martin, Parsons Center, 12-6 p.m.

April 3 First United Methodist Church, Paris, 12-6 (Battle of the Badges in Henry County, show your support for Law Enforcement and Save a life!)

Cash Saver, Huntingdon, 1-6 p.m.

April 4 Bolivar Fire Department, 10-12 and 1-3, (Battle of the Badges in Hardeman County, show your support for Law Enforcement and Save a Life.)

Fred’s , Milan, 1-6 p.m.

April 7 First United Methodist Church, Lexington, 1-6 p.m.

April 14 E.W. James , Martin, 12-6 p.m.

April 17 Dyersburg Electric, 12-6 p.m.

April 22 Lakewood Elementary School, Buchannan, 12-6 p.m.

April 28 Healthquest, Union City , 12-6 p.m.

April 29 Dyersburg Primary School, 12-6 p.m.

Henry County Healthcare Receives Award

Paris, Tenn. In 2013, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living launched the Quality Initiative Recognition Program to honor skilled nursing and assisted living members for their individual work in achieving the goals of the Quality Initiative. Henry County Medical Center is proud to announce that Henry County Healthcare Center was one of only four facilities in Tennessee to receive this distinct recognition.

The certificate was presented to Henry County Healthcare Center in recognition of its attainment of Tier III in the 2013 Quality Initiative Recognition Program and for their commitment to improving the lives of the individuals they serve.

This award recognizes excellence in areas including staffing, turnover rates, customer service and readmission rates,” according to Sandra Ray, Administrator of Henry County Healthcare Center. “I am always happy when Henry County Healthcare Center is recognized for the quality of services we provide.  Being one of four nursing facilities in Tennessee to receive this award speaks for itself.  We always strive for excellence at our facility and are very appreciative of the recognition.”

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stewart County Man Sought in Attempted Kidnappings

Clarksville, Tenn.-Clarksville Police are searching for a Stewart County man who is accused in two attempted kidnappings, one of which occurred after he was released from jail after the first attempt.

A warrant has been issued for Garon Brown, of Indian Mound, Tennessee. 

Brown was arrested March 20 after a woman identified him as the suspect who tried to kidnap her at a Shell Station on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard in Clarksville. According to police, Brown allegedly reached through the window and tried to pull her out of the vehicle, at which point she kicked him. He then reportedly fled the scene.

He was arrested the next day at the same gas station and was booked into the Montgomery County Jail. On Wednesday, he was released on bond. 

On March 20, he reportedly tried to kidnap another woman in Woodlawn. Clarksville police said Brown is known to frequent gas stations and ask for money. He is said to be in his mid-to-late 20s and drives a brown, older-model Ford F-150 with a camouflage trim around it. 
Anyone who sees Brown or his vehicle has been asked to call 911. 

Lakewood Middle Brings Home More Gold

Memphis, Tenn.-The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team has brought home more gold following their top showing at the St. Mary’s Episcopal Middle School Invitational.

Coach David Weatherly said the team  placed first overall out of seven middle schools from the Memphis area. 

The following students from the team placed in their individual events; Steele Schoeberl – 1st in Prose and 1st in Duet Acting Paris Schoeberl – 1st in Humorous Interp and 3rd in Poetry Nadia McFadden - 3rd in Storytelling Noah Hulbert – 1st in Dramatic Interp and 2nd in Prose Sylis Alen – 2nd in Poetry and 2nd in Audition Monologue Natalie Clark – 1st in TV Broadcasting Drew Culbreath – 3rd in TV Broadcasting and 1st in Duet Acting Casey Burkhart – 5th in Storytelling.
Weatherly said the team is now focusing on fundraising for a trip to the National Tournament, which is coming up this summer in Overland Park, KS.

World's Biggest Fish Fry Headquarters Opens

WBFF Book Dedicated to Starks; Nance to be Grand Marshal

The WBFF Hostess Princess Court cuts the ribbon to the headquarters, surrounded by local and state dignitaries. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It was raining with a definite chill in the air, but that didn’t stop a large crowd from gathering at the World’s Biggest Fish Fry (WBFF) Headquarters grand opening Saturday morning.

Applause greeted the two announcements that everyone was waiting to hear: This year’s souvenir book is dedicated to Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy and County Commissioner Monte Starks, who has been active in the fish fry for years and the grand marshal of this year’s parade will be Champion Bull Rider Cody Nance of Paris.

Paris-Henry County Jaycees Official Loria Plunk announced that Starks would be honoured with the book dedication, noting that he is “hard-working, loyal, organized, dedicated, trustworthy and has been there for the good and the bad.” Starks “is committed to family, community and the various organizations” to which he belongs, she said.

Starks is a member of numerous service organizations, including the Jaycees, which sponsors the fish fry each year. He was General Manager of the WBFF in 1993 and again in 1998 and served as Jaycee President in 1997. He is active on the WBFF board of directors and has served as its Rodeo Chair for several years. Additionally, he has been active in the Paris-Henry County Rescue Squad since 1983. He is a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s office.

“All I can say,” Starks said when his named was announced, “is thank you. This is one of the greatest honors I’ve received.”

Starks said when Sheriff Monte Belew assigned him to escort Santa Claus into Paris, he thought that was a big honor, and then when he was assigned to escort the fish fry parade, he thought that was a big honor, too. “But y’all have sent me on a new-time high with this,” he said.

Cody Nance was raised in Henry County and has recently returned to Paris to live. He has achieved prominence as a champion bull rider in recent years, winning many national rodeos. He began his rodeo activities while in school in Henry County. He is regarded as one of the world’s top 20 bull riders.

Nance was not at the presentation since he is in a competition currently, but his wife Jordan and children Addie Jewell and Wyatt Wes were on hand to accept the honor.

“He’s very humbled and thankful for this honor,” his wife said.

The ribbon to the headquarters was cut by the WBFF Hostess Princess Court, surrounded by numerous local and state dignitaries. The headquarters is located on East Wood St., between the Tin Roof and the Revolving Door.

The 61st annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry will be held April 19-27 at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Monte Starks, right, thanks the crowd, as WBFF General Manager Chris Martin, WBFF Treasurer Loria Plunk and Assistant General Manager Patrick Cooper look on. (McFarlin photo).

Thanking the crowd on Cody Nance's behalf was his wife, Jordan and daughter Addie Mae. At left is WBFF Secretary Cathey Williams (McFarlin photo).

Hudding in the rain, the Hostess Princess Court: (left to right) First Maid Alex Reagor; Second Maid Addie Cate; Hostess Princess Tiffany Bennett; Third Maid Rachel Wilson and Fourth Maid Madeline Hosford. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Partial Roof Collapse of Building in Downtown Murray

Murray, Ky.-A partial roof collapse occurred Saturday morning at the old Yours, Mine and Ours Building in downtown Murray. The building is at 117 S. 4th St. and city streets around the partial collapse are blocked off.

According to the Murray-Calloway Co. Chamber office, “The building has not collapsed and no injuries were sustained. City officials are meeting to discuss the next steps in allowing the tenants back in the surrounding buildings. We will continue to update as new information is available.”

The partial roof collapse follows the collapse on February 22 of the Gatlin Building on Main Street in downtown Murray. In the weeks since that building collapse, the building has been in the process of being demolished by the city of Murray and detours around downtown remain.

Bethel Presents "Peter Pan: The Musical"

Huntingdon, Tenn. – Refuse to grow up with Peter Pan and his Lost Boys when Bethel University Renaissance Theatre brings J.M. Barrie’s beloved characters to life at The Dixie April 4-5.

“Peter Pan” is a classic musical production about the boy who refuses to grow up, Peter Pan, and his mischievous sidekick Tinkerbell. When Peter Pan and Tink visit the London nursery of Wendy, Michael, and John Darling, Neverland will never be the same.

“Peter Pan” takes the audience on a journey filled with pixie dust, Indians, and dastardly pirates led by the infamous Captain Hook.

Show times are Friday, April 4 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 5 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Children are invited to join the cast for a Neverland Party following Saturdays matinee. Please dress like your favorite “Peter Pan” character for the party.

Tickets are $20 per child for the party and there is a limited amount of tickets available.

Bethel University is sponsoring the performances.

Tickets are available at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Enrichment Center box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731.986.2100, or online at

April is Rabies Vaccine Month at Local Vets

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Health Department is reminding the public that April is designated as Henry County Rabies Vaccination Month. All of the veterinary clinics in Henry County will be offering vaccinations for both dogs and cats at the reduced rate of $6 plus a $1.50 license fee.

All clinics will be offering the in-house vaccinations from April 1 through April 30.

Vaccinations for dogs three months of age and cats six months of age are required by Tennessee state law.

Participating animal clinics include The Animal Doctor, 224 Memorial Dr., 642-3123; Lakeway Animal Clinic, 2701 E. Wood., 644-9933; Mineral Wells Animal Clinic, 1116 Volunteer Dr., 642-5699; and Paris Veterinary Clinic, 2101 E. Wood, 642-2263.

Entrepreneur Conference Set at MSU

Murray, Ky. — The Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business at Murray State University will host an Entrepreneurship Conference Thursday, April 3, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 404 of the Business Building on campus.

Featured speakers will be Jonathan Burdon, Matthew Barnes and Carey Boggess Story.

Burdon, a 2010 organizational communication graduate, is the CEO and founder of SocialCoaster Inc. The company specializes in Internet marketing. He was a 2010 semi-finalist for America’s Best Young Entrepreneur Award by Business Week Magazine.

Barnes is the founder and president of Bluegrass Computer Systems, which focuses on hardware sales and services within a 150-mile radius of Murray. He is a 2009 MSU graduate in business with an emphasis in management.

Story is the owner of Carey’s in Murray. Carey’s is a retail boutique, specializing in women’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Story is a 2013 agriculture business graduate.

For more information on the conference, contact Steve Dublin in the department of management, marketing, and business administration at 270.809.6570.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Metro Crime Unit Arrests Two on Meth Charges
Arrests Another for Forging Prescriptions
             James Lane                                                           Jessica Kinley

Paris, Tenn.-Metro Crime Unit officers have been busy this week in Henry County. In the latest arrest, officers apprehended a Paris couple at a home at 1316 McFadden St. on Thursday and seized a large amount of meth.

Arrested was James S. Lane, 28, of the 1316 McFadden St. address, and Jessica M. Kinley, 30, of 607 Brewer. Both are charged with possession of meth with intent to sell and deliver, possession of marijuana with intent, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers involved included the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Paris and Henry Police. Paris Police Sgt. Michael Ramos and his dog Kenzee also participated. Ramos and Kenzee were also instrumental in the seizure of a large amount of packaged marijuana earlier in the week.

Found at the McFadden St. home during a search was about six grams of meth known by the term ‘ice’ and a half-pound of marijuana.

In another press release issued today, Sgt. Ricky Watson of the Metro Crime Unit said the same officers arrested Kim Armas, 43, 4115 Highway 69A of Paris and charged her with forging four prescriptions.

Watson said the investigation is ongoing and more charges may be pending. Her bond was set for $5,000.

Bonds Reduced for Three in Marijuana Bust

Paris, Tenn.-The three persons arrested earlier this week in Henry County’s largest seizure of packaged marijuana have been released from jail after their bonds were reduced.

Arrested were Stephen Porter, 52; Quocus Fitzon Gilliam, 20; and Tomika Wharton, 42, all listed as living at 1627 Lumber Rd. All three originally were held on $100,000 bonds apiece.

At a hearing Thursday in General Sessions Court, at the request of their attorneys, their bonds were reduced to: $10,000 apiece for both Porter and Gilliam and $15,000 for Wharton.

The three were apprehended by the Metro Crime Unit when some 40 pounds of packaged marijuana arrived at the McKenzie Post Office addressed to them and officers conducted a controlled delivery to their home.

Company Looking to Rid Tennessee River of Asian Carp

Paris, Tenn.-A businessman in Franklin is looking to locate a plant which would help rid Tennessee River of its Asian carp population and process it for export to China.

J.D. Johnson, who owns a seafood business in middle Tennessee, has been in talks with the Henry County Alliance to locate a building near the Tennessee River where he could locate the plant.

Asian carp is considered an invasive species that is regarded as being detrimental to the environment. The Asian carp are the species of fish that jump right into fishermen’s boats.

At this week’s meeting of the Joint Economic Community Development Board, Alliance CEO David Hamilton updated the panel on progress of the talks.

Hamilton said Johnson has not found any available buildings in Henry County but might consider building one himself. Johnson is also looking to locate in Stewart, Houston, Humphreys and Calloway Counties--anywhere along the Tennessee River.

Hamilton said Johnson’s company would catch the Asian carp in the river with nets and process the meat for export to Asia, where people like to eat it.

He said there is a strong Asian carp population in the Tennessee River already, but it’s not a major issue yet. “We have about 45,000 carp per mile, but if it gets much worse than that, it will be a major issue for us. We don’t want it to do to our river what it has done to some of these others.”

The Henry County Alliance is keeping in touch with Johnson to assist with locating his plant, he said.

WHOO Are You?

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Photographer Richard Graves of Buchanan spent the day recently at Reelfoot Lake State Park with the Henry County Bird Watchers Club and was lucky to spend some quality time with this barred owl, who took the time to pose for his camera. Graves said Reelfoot Lake "is the best place to see the barred owl anywhere around here".

Paris Students Named to Phi Eta Sigma

Kayla Hargrove and Jarred Presson of Paris at the induction ceremony. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. — Two students from Paris have been honoured for the outstanding academic achievement by being inducted into Phi Eta Sigma at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Kayla Hargrove and Jarred Presson were inducted into the honorary society for the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, College of Business and Global Affairs, College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society that recognizes high academic achievement in the freshman year. Students who achieve a 3.5 average at the end of their first year of study are eligible for membership.

OC Director of Schools to be Hired Monday

Union City, Tenn.-After interviewing the two finalists for the position of Obion County Director of Schools Thursday night, the board of education decided to call another special meeting for Monday night to make its final decision on who the next Director of Schools will be.

The special Monday night meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the board of education conference room.

The two finalists for the position are: Greg Bondurant, who serves as a Director of Safety and Transportation for a school district in Florida; and Russ Davis, who works as the Career Technology Center Director in Obion County.

Unemployment on Downward Trend in Our Area

Nashville, Tenn. – County unemployment rates for February 2014, released today, show the jobless rate decreased in 21 counties, including all of the counties in our local area. Further good news for Obion County and Carroll County: both have showed such progress in their jobless rates that they are no longer listed in the state’s list of highest unemployment.

However, Stewart and Gibson Counties have taken their place. Stewart County, with an 11.4 percent unemployment rate is now ranked 90th in the state and Gibson County, with 11.2 percent is now ranked 89th.

Statewide, the unemployment rate increased in 61 counties and remained the same in 13. As always, Williamson County remains the lowest in unemployment, with a rate of 4.7 percent.

In our area, Benton County has the lowest unemployment rate at 9.9 percent, compared to January’s rate of 10 percent. Obion County now has an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent, compared to a January rate of 10.6 percent. Henry County now has a rate of 10.1 percent, compared to 10.3 percent in January.  

Weakley County now is at 10 percent, compared to 10.1 percent in January; Gibson County is at 11.2 percent, compared to 11.5 percent in January and Stewart is at 11.4 percent, compared to 11.9 percent in January. 

Turkey Season Opens March 29

Nashville, Tenn.-It’s that time of year: Tennessee’s state-wide turkey season opens March 29 and runs through May 11.

Last year hunters bagged 32,926 turkeys during the spring season, the 10th consecutive year in which the harvest has surpassed 30,000 birds, and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency officials predict a prolific harvest again this year.

The TWRA reminds hunter of the rules on quota and licenses:

Hunters are allowed four bearded birds during the season, but only one per day.
Turkeys taken on quota hunts and special WMA hunts are bonus birds.
Legal hunting hours are thirty minutes before legal sunrise to legal sunset.

Hunters are especially reminded that hunting over bait is illegal, as is the use of live decoys and electronic calling devices.

Bagged birds must be checked in before the end of the calendar day on the TWRA mobile application, on-line ( or at any TWRA checking station.

For complete details regarding turkey rules and regulations visit the TWRA website or consult the Tennessee Trapping & Hunting Guide, available at many local outlets.
As for licenses, anyone born after Jan. 1, 1969 must complete a TWRA Hunter Education Class in order to get a hunting license. The exception is a one-time issuance of an Apprentice License.

 There are restrictions regarding the Apprentice License and details are available on the TWRA website or in the Hunting Guide.

Public Invited to BBQ Cook-Off This Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-The public can enjoy this weekend’s Champion of Champions BBQ Cook-Off set to begin Friday and Saturday at the Henry County Fairgrounds, March 28 and 29. 

The public can watch the BBQ masters at work on Friday and sample their finished products on Saturday. BBQ plates will sell for $6 Saturday and there will be drawings all day for door prizes. The public can also purchase raffle tickets for a Tailgate Pellet Cooker.

The public is also invited to watch whole hog cooking demonstrations and take part in sauce tastings. Many booths will be set up both with both local and national products. and

BBQ Pittmasters will come to the fairgrounds Friday evening where they will be welcomed by a Fish Fry from government officials and more. Cooking will get going late Friday night and judging of the categories will begin around noon or so on Saturday. The BBQ plates for $6 will be available around 11am on Saturday as well.

The Championship BBQ Cookoff is sponsored and supported by the Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Paris Association, and the Henry County Fair Association.

We published an earlier story on the contest itself last week and is on our website and Facebook pages. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Musical Prodigy and 'Glee' Star to Perform Paris Concert

Musical Prodigy Ethan Bortnick, left, and Damian McGinty, in performance.

Paris, Tenn.-Musical Prodigy Ethan Bortnick will be bringing his The Power of Music concert to Paris and he’ll be bringing special guest Damian McGinty, one of the stars of “Glee” to perform, too.

The evening is sponsored by WLJT Public Television in Martin and it will be held at the Krider Performing Arts Center on Volunteer Dr. at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 17. 

WLJT currently has a limited number of $40 event packages that includes a premium ticket for the concert and a pass for the 6 p.m. meet and greet with both Bortnick and McGinty.

WLJT also has $35 tickets (concert only) and group packages available. Tickets are all assigned seating and the best seats will be sold first. Contact Mandy, at WLJT, 800-366-9558 to purchase tickets.

There's a reason musical genius Ethan Bortnick is on his way to stardom. In recent months the 13-year-old prodigy has graced Esquire magazine's cover, was featured in Gap's celebrity ad campaign, and broke the Guinness world record for youngest musician to headline a solo concert. He is a pianist, singer, composer, and captivating entertainer.
“WLJT is really excited to bring Ethan and Damian to West Tennessee for a live concert. As West Tennessee’s public television station, we pride ourselves in being able to take you to fabulous performances around the world,” according to WLJT Manager of Individual Giving Mandy Hinson. “This time we are bringing an amazing concert right to you! It’s a fun show, the entire family will enjoy. And the cherry on top is that your ticket supports your public television station! It’s a wonderful win–win situation! We hope everyone will be able to join us!”  

Bethel Williams Receives 50-Year Pin From Quota

Quota Vice President Brenda Hosford, right, presents Bethel Williams with her 50-year pin. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Bethel Williams of Paris was honoured with her 50-year membership pin at this week’s Paris Quota Club. Vice-President Brenda Hosford did the honors of presenting Williams with her pin.

The meeting was held at the Lee Academy of the Arts Lunchroom and Geraldine Sykes was auctioneer for the club’s annual spring in-house auction. She auctioned baked items, Easter decorations, plants and assorted other items, with the help of members.

Members voted for Quotarian of the Year and the recipient will be announced at the April 9 meeting. 

March is “Quota Cares” month and Becki White is writing a history on Quota’s participation in the REAL Hope Youth Center.

Owen Family Gospel Event to Benefit Relay

Paris, Tenn.-The Dana Corporation Relay for Life Team presents The Owen Family Gospel Singing event Saturday, April 12, at the Paris Convention Center (behind Quality Inn). 

Tickets are on sale now at Shear Connection behind Domino’s Pizza, Promise Land Christian Bookstore, and from any Dana Corporation Relay member. Tickets also will be available at the door.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and singing starts at 7 p.m. Burgers, hot dogs and ribeye steak sandwiches will be available in addition to concessions and a dessert table.

The night will include a silent auction and door prizes. Dana Corp Team shirts and luminaria will be on sale. 

Cancer survivors may register for the June Relay for Life event here. 
For additional information please contact Martha 731-333-0195 or Marsha 731-336-6207.

Teams Being Organized for Rosie Baker Flag Football Tourney

Paris, TN – Teams are being organized for the annual Women’s Flag Football Tournament, which benefit’s the Rosie Baker Scholarship.

Henry County Medical Center Home Health and Hospice is  sponsoring the tournament May 24 at Eiffel Park on Volunteer Drive. The organization is raising money through team entries and concession stand sales. To enter a team, the fee will be $150, and plate lunches will be sold for $5. Plate lunches include a steak sandwich or hotdog, chips, and a drink.  

Deadline to enter a team is May 17. The scholarship is for Henry County students only.  If you are interested in the scholarship, please contact Becky Allen at (731) 642-7600 or (731) 693-8333.

Times for the event will be released at a later time. Please call Jennifer French regarding the Flag Football tournament at (731) 336-2750, or for concessions contact Becky Allen at (731) 693-8333. 

All money raised during the tournament will benefit the Rosie Baker Scholarship. The Rosie Baker Scholarship was established by family and friends of Rosie Baker.  Rosie Baker was a longtime employee of the Henry County Medical Center and HCMC Home Health & Hospice, before losing her fight with cancer.  Shortly after her death, HCMC Home Health & Hospice developed a scholarship in her honor and raise the funds for it each year.  

This year, two students will receive the award at $1,000 each
To be eligible for the scholarship the student must be pursuing a healthcare degree of some kind and there should have a financial need.  Although there is not GPA requirement, GPA will be looked at during the evaluation process.  

April is Homeschooler’s Month at the LBL

Golden Pond, Ky.– Calling all home educators! April is Homeschooler’s Month across Land Between The Lakes (LBL). Plan a field trip to Land Between The Lakes to use the outdoors as your classroom anytime; this new program in April offers a passport of learning. 

Pick up your “Land Between The Lakes Explorers Passport” during April at Woodlands Nature Station, The Homeplace, or Golden Pond Planetarium. Complete the activities to earn an official Explorer’s Patch and certificate.Throughout the month, take advantage of unique learning opportunities, hands-on exploration activities, and take-home materials available at all three attractions: Nature Station, The Homeplace, and Golden Pond Planetarium.

Join the staff for one of the many family-friendly staff-led programs featured in the April calendar including the 2nd Annual Homeschooler’s Day at Nature Station on Friday, April 25, from 10am-3pm. Come on out and explore your world! Follow Nature Station on Twitter @LBLNature.

Events throughout the month of April include:
· Learn about native wildlife--attend a Creative Feature program at Nature Station, offered each weekday in April at 2:30pm. 
· Learn about practical life skills—join The Homeplace staff for gardening, sewing, or woodworking each Wednesday in April at 2pm, or come any day to experience life on a farm in 1850.
· Learn about our solar system and night sky—visit the Golden Pond Planetarium for daily programs beginning at 10am.

Chamber Golf Tournament Set

Paris, Tenn.-Hamilton-Ryker, 1023 D Mineral Wells Avenue, Paris, will serve as sponsor for the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership golf tournament at noon on Friday, April 4, at the Tennessean Golf Club. 

The tournament is a four-person scramble format, with lunch served at 11 am. The steak lunch, provided by Kroger, will be cooked by Gayle Griffith. Cost for each team is $250 for members. Prizes include a vehicle from Joe Mahan Ford for a designated hole in one.

“Our annual tournament is always a fun day for our members and we hope everyone can come out to the Tennessean this year,” said Chamber President Andrea Lamb, Commercial Bank.

For more information, call the Chamber at 642.3431.

UC Police Investigating Phone Card Fraud

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating a report of a fraud committed at the Marathon Gas Station at 115 5th St., Union City on Wednesday. An employee told officers a man who said his name was Mike Cox called and asked to speak to the manager. When told the manager wasn’t in, he said there was a problem with the AT&T and Verizon towers and he needed three phone cards. The phone cards totalled $150.

While she was printing them for him, another employee said to get his phone number, but the man said he didn’t need to do that since he would call back. The man didn’t call back and the station tried to refund the cards, but won’t know if they are successful until today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bass--It's What's For Dinner

Buchanan, Tenn.-Photographer Richard Graves captured this photograph of an osprey catching a large mouth bass in 12 inches of water at Kentucky Lake. Graves said with the water temperatures rising, fish are moving to shallow water.

Carl Perkins/Tosh Farms Crappie Tourney Applications Due
100% of Proceeds Go To Carl Perkins Center


Paris, Tenn.- The annual Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center/Tosh Farms Crappie Tournament will be held Saturday, April 12, at Paris Landing State Park and the deadline to enter must be postmarked by April 1.

The tournament is supported by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and 100 percent of the proceeds go toward the Carl Perkins Center.

The tournament is open to all fishermen. Entry fee is $50 per person. The Security Bank and Trust Co. will be holding a Big Fish Contest at the tournament which gives out a $250 prize and the entry fee for that is $5.

The starting time for the tournament is 6:30 a.m. and end time is 3 p.m. Weigh-ins will be at the Paris Landing boat loading area.

Tournament payouts are: first place, $500; 5th place, $200; 8th place, $150; 10th place, $100; and last place, $50. There also are numerous other prizes.

Capt. Damon Lowe of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said, “You do not have to fish to win in the drawing. We have tickets for some big ticket items for only a $1 per ticket donation and you do not have to be present to win.”

Other prizes will be drawn at the weigh-in for those attending. Perry’s BBQ also will be on site with plenty of good food for sale.

Contact the Henry County Carl Perkins center at 731-642-8455 and applications can be found on its Facebook page and at area businesses.

Spaghetti Supper to Benefit Young Musician

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The community of Cottage Grove is coming together to support a young man in the community who has been accepted to the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps.

One of the organizers, Jan Foy, said this is a big honor for Brent Davis, but he cannot afford the tuition of $3500 or the clothes needed. 

The Cottage Grove Methodist and Baptist Churches will be joining together to hold a spaghetti supper to raise funds for him. The dinner will be held from 4-7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the Cottage Grove Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.

Entertainment will be provided by the Charles Ross Family. Donations are accepted.

24 Arrested at Union City Party

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police cited 24 individuals on various charges after 20 underage subjects were found to be at a party at a party where drinking and smoking marijuana was occurring in the upstairs of an office building at 800 Reelfoot Avenue on Saturday. 

Of the 24 individuals, 20 were underage. Four individuals were over 18 and they were cited for contributing to the delinquency of a child. They are: Virginia Taylor, 101 N. Hwy. 45, Union City; Eric Moore, 304 Lynn St., Union City; Andrew Cooley, 324 Tyson Store Rd., Kenton; and Errin Jackson, 1907 Sunrise St., Union City.

The arrests were made when an officer noticed three underage subjects walking near the office building around 11:30 p.m. The officer heard loud music coming from the building and saw subjects moving around upstairs. 

The owner of the building was contacted and while waiting for his arrival, the officer observed two other subjects just inside the front door of the building that he knew to be underage. Those two immediately started up the stairs.

When the officer knocked on the door, it was opened by a 17-year-old and the officer could smell marijuana.

 Inside the building was found numerous empty and open beer bottles and cans and other alcohol containers.

Trio Make Initial Court Appearance

Paris, Tenn.-The three Henry residents who were arrested by the Metro Crime Unit on Friday following the large marijuana seizure made their first appearances in Henry County General Sessions Court Tuesday.

Arrested were Stephen Porter, 52; Quocus Fitzon Gilliam, 20; and Tomika Wharton, 42, all listed as living at 1627 Lumber Rd. All three are being held in Henry County Jail on $100,000 bonds each.

At the hearing, Porter’s attorney asked that his bond be reduced and a hearing on that issue will be held Thursday.

Gilliam and Wharton are set to next appear in court on April 1.

The Metro Crime Unit seized some 40 pounds of tightly-wrapped marijuana in a controlled delivery to their Henry home through the postal service. 

UT Martin Relay for Life Event is Set Friday

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Relay for Life student organization is hosting a Relay for Life Event from 6 p.m. to midnight, Friday, March 28, in the Elam Center. 

“The event is open to all faculty, staff, students and the community, and I would like to ask everyone to come and support our students and their efforts to reach their goal of $40,000 for the American Cancer Society,” according to Dr. Desireé McCullough, faculty advisor for the student Relay for Life and a seven-year breast cancer survivor.

This past year, the UT Martin students raised more than $25,000 and achieved the distinction of being the top Collegiate Relay for Life event in West Tennessee. 
The event is free, and all money raised will be added to the other Weakley County events for 2014. 

Weakley County was recognized as sixth in the nation per capita in 2013.
“You can help in a number of ways,” McCullough said. “Students are asking members of the UT Martin community who are cancer survivors to attend so they can be recognized during the survivors’ walk.” Survivors are encouraged to sign up before the event at the link below or they may register at the event. 

“Anyone can make a donation for the American Cancer Society to benefit this event,” McCullough said. “Your donation can go to the entire event, a team, or to an individual person. No donation is too small.”

You can honor a survivor or someone who has lost the battle by purchasing luminaries for $5 each. “Students are set up in the Boling University Center daily if you would like to donate or purchase a luminary,” McCullough said. “ If you would rather have someone come to you then please just contact me either by phone or email (731-881-7014 or” 

Plans Go Forward on Operating Room Expansion

Paris, Tenn.-Preliminary meetings have been taking place with the architectural firm that will oversee the expansion of the operating room space that was approved by the Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees last month.

At Tuesday’s HCMC meeting, Hospital Administrator Tom Gee said there is good news--and related news--on the physicial recruitment front.

The hospital has a verbal commitment from an orthopedic surgeon to practice in Paris. Dr. Mark Cutright would begin his practice in July. Gee said Dr. Cutright is from Springfield, Tenn., and has worked in a similar size hospital and community.

With his addition to the staff, Gee said, the expansion of the operating room suite become more critical.

Gee also opened discussion with the board on the possibility of de-licensing 14 beds and adding more private rooms at the Henry County Healthcare Center nursing home that is adjacent to the hospital.

He said de-licensing the beds would save thousands of dollars in state fees each year and noted that many nursing homes are having similar problems keeping beds occupied. He said he will return to the board with a recommendation at its April meeting.

On the subject of saving money, Gee also reported that the hospital is ready to move its purchasing functions to the Resource Group, which is a purchasing arm of the Ascension Health System. “We are projecting savings of over $1 million”, he said. 

Gee also reported on a meeting he attended of the Tennessee Hospital Association Board with Governor Haslam this week. The discussion was entirely about Medicaid expansion and Tennessee’s plan. Haslam indicated some positive response from U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sibelius for the state’s plan. “Without some type of agreement, he does not think he can convince the legislature to expand Medicaid.”

HC Republican Party to Meet Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Republican Party will hold its regularly scheduled meeting for the month of March at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Chancery Court room of the Court House.

In addition to normal party business there will be two speakers:

--Vicki Hoover Ainley is the Republican candidate for Circuit Court Judge Part 2. That position is now held by Judge Donald Parrish (D).
--Carma McGee of Savannah, TN. who is the Republican candidate for Chancery Court Judge and has been appointed to the bench as interim Judge.

Matt Stowe, Republican candidate for District Attorney had hoped to be present also but cannot due to a scheduling conflict. He will be appearing here at future meetings.

Martin Doctor's License is Suspended

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners has suspended the medical license of a Martin doctor. 

Dr. Mark Cooper’s license was suspended as of March 19. According to the state board’s report, he is prohibited from practicing medicine in the state after it found three violations: use of unprofessional conduct; habitual intoxication or personal misuse of drugs; and engaging in the practice of medicine when mentally or physically incapable of doing so.

His license will remain suspended pending the outcome of a possibly contested case or until ordered by the state board. He was originally licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee in 1997.

Lady Patriots Lose to Clarksville

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Lady Patriot softball team lost 3-2 to Clarksville High Tuesday night in Clarksville.  Both teams were previously unbeaten in district play.  Clarksville scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh (last inning) to complete the comeback win.  Celie Hudson pitched a complete game in the loss.  Julie Medlock drove in both HC runs with a two-run double in the sixth inning.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Law Enforcement Seeks Public Help in Finding Two Suspects

These two individuals are still being sought as part of today's drug operation in Obion and Weakley Counties and the public's help is requested in finding them: Courtney Shane, 31, 127 Church St., Martin, at left; and Ricky Booker, 21, 201 Oxford St., Martin. Call the Martin Police at 731-587-5355 with information.

Federal, State and Local Operation Yields 36 Arrests

Local, state and federal officers worked together on today's operation. (ATF photo).

Union City and Martin, Tenn- At least 36 individuals were arrested today in Obion and Weakley Counties as part of a combined federal, state, and local investigation of criminal activity in the area, according to U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III; ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fulton; and 27th District Attorney General Thomas A. Thomas. 

Twelve federal indictments were unsealed today accusing 18 individuals of a variety of charges, including illegal firearm possession, illegal drug trafficking, and counterfeiting. In addition to those charged federally, General Thomas’s office announced 22 indictments were returned naming 23 individuals on state charges. 

More than 100 individuals from law enforcement agencies across West Tennessee assisted in the early morning takedown, including FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Marshal’s Service, U.S. Secret Service, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Tennessee Highway Patrol, 27th Judicial Drug Task Force, Martin Police Department, Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, Union City Police Department, Obion County Sheriff’s Department, Milan Police Department, Dyersburg Police Department, Jackson Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office SWAT. 

This case is being investigated by the ATF, the FBI, the TBI, the Martin Police Department, the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, the Union City Police Department, and the Obion County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Vic Ivy, James Powell, and Matt Wilson are representing the government. 

The following individuals were charged by a federal grand jury. The potential penalties each one is facing can be found on the chart attached to this release. 

John Barnett III, 27, of Martin, TN, is charged with three counts of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine), one count of distribution of less than 50 kilograms of marijuana, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. 
Edwynn Taylor, 28, of Martin, TN, is charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine). 
Charles Macklin, 41, of Martin, TN, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine), one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine), and one count of distribution of cocaine. 
Peter Graves, 36, of Martin, TN, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine and one count of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine). 
Eric West, 24, of Martin, TN, is charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine and two counts of distribution of less than 50 kilograms of marijuana. 
Terrence Carter, 24, of Martin, TN is charged with one count of distribution of less than 50 kilograms of marijuana. 
Johnson Davis, 30, of Martin, TN, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine. 
Tony Darnell Edwards, a/k/a Tony Darnell Scott, 41, of Martin, TN, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine) and one count of distribution of cocaine. 
Emanuel Ray Harris, 36, of Martin, TN, is charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine). 
James Courtney Shane, 31, of Martin, TN, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine). 
Dante Brock, 33, of Martin, TN, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine). 
Laquinte Ingram, 36, of Union City, TN, is charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine). 
Cedric Jones, 34, of Bradford, TN is charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine and one count of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine). 
Cory Gentry, 40, of Union City, TN, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine) and one count of distribution of cocaine. 
Robbin Jones, 34, of Martin, TN, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine) and one count of distribution of cocaine. 
Ricky Booker, 24, of Martin, TN, is charged with one count of distribution of cocaine. 
Anthony Brown, 29, of Martin, TN, is charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine). 
Christopher Mitchell, 24, and Laura Petty 27, of Union City, TN, are each charged with one count of counterfeiting Federal Reserve Notes. 

BPU Eyes LED Lighting Installations

Board members listen as General Manager John Etheridge provides reports at today's BPU meeting: left to right, Board Member Pete Lackey; Etheridge; Board Members Bill Culley and John Van Dyck. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Board of Public Utilities General Manager John Etheridge told his board Tuesday that the public utility is eyeing the installation of LED lights in the city of Paris and Henry County in the future.

Etheridge said the Paris Housing Authority installed LED lighting at the Harrison Meadows housing project “and that’s being used as a sort of pilot program to determine how the LED lights are doing”.

LED lighting “is supposed to be very low maintenance”, Etheridge said, “actually, it’s supposed to be maintenance-free. Maybe no maintenance is needed for 10 years.” 

Installation of the lighting may save the city of Paris and Henry County money, he said, “but we have to do a lot of thinking and planning on this. But we’re always looking for ways to decrease the cost for the goods we offer our customers.”

In other business, Etheridge reported that the BPU’s Project Roundup raised $78,200 for local organizations during the July 2012-June 2013 and Etheridge handed out a long list of recipients for the monies.

Etheridge reminded everyone that Project Roundup began 12 years ago and is a separate entity from BPU. He said Alexander Thompson Arnold audited it at no additional cost when it audited BPU recently and reported a clean audit.

Under Project Roundup, BPU customers can elect to ‘round up’ their bills each month and those monies are handed out to local service organizations and clubs. Etheridge said the Project Roundup executive committee meets as needed.

This year’s list of organizations receiving monies include Henry County DARE, Family Resource Center, Plus Endowment, Henry County Archives, Henry County Band Boosters, HCHS Madrigals and the Quarterback Club, the Downtown Boxing Gym and more.

Four Caught in Act of Guthrie Road Break-In

  Harold Turner                Tristen Teague

   Randall Curtis                       Shemona Teague
Paris, Tenn.-Four individuals from Paris were arrested Monday after they were caught in the act of stealing items from a home on Guthrie Rd.

Henry County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested the four after witnesses saw them carting items out of the home. According to the police report, three of the people left in a white car, while the fourth left in a pickup truck.

Sgt. Lance Perry was able to stop the car and found the three individuals with a TV and microwave. While later, Cpl. Milton Webb stopped the pickup truck. All four individuals reportedly gave differing stories of their activities.

Arrested were: Harold Jason Turner, age 40, of 503 Bain Road; Randall L. Curtis, 57, of 1100 Allen Avenue; Shemona Teague, age 37, of 721 Spruce St.; and Tristen M. Teague, 18, of 1002 Dunlap.

All four were charged with aggravated burglary and theft.

In a separate report involving another Guthrie Road theft, Henry County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the theft of several thousand dollars worth of rings and coins. The stolen items included gold wedding rings. The resident at the home told investigators she believes she knows who took the items.

Shoplifter Identified Through Social Media

Murray, Ky.-Murray Police have arrested a vendor who works at flea markets in Union City for shoplifting in Murray.

On March 10, the Murray Police Department released pictures of a shoplifter in the Murray Dollar General Store stealing children’s hats with cartoon imprints, and requested the assistance of the public in identifying the suspect. 

Following the release of the images, MPD received several calls identifying the individual as William Les Fugate, 49, of Madisonville. Callers indicated that Fugate is a vendor at various area flea markets including Paducah, KY and Union City, TN. 

Fugate was also identified as stealing from the Dollar General in Hardin, KY. Following investigation, a warrant has been issued for Fugate for Theft By Unlawful Taking, a Class A Misdemeanor.

Rockabilly Concert to Benefit Joyce Mann
Carl Mann, WS Holland and Others to Perform

Lexington, Tenn.-If you like good rockabilly music--and is there any other kind--and you also like to help worthy causes, the place to be this Saturday, March 29, will be the Lexington Civic Center.

A Rockabilly Benefit Concert and auction will be held from 2-7 p.m. for Joyce Mann, the wife of Rockabilly Legend Carl Mann of Huntingdon. She is needing a bone marrow transplant and the benefit is to raise funds for her. Joyce has been diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a rare blood disorder, and is undergoing expensive medical treatment, which includes the upcoming bone marrow transplant.

There will also be a silent auction and concession sales. All proceeds will go toward  her medical expenses. Open to all ages.

In addition to Carl Mann, performers will include WS “Fluke” Holland, best known as the drummer for Johnny Cash; Rayburn Anthony, Little David Wilkins, Richard Mann, the Double Edge Band,
Tracey K. Houston and other guests.

Bethel Hosts Inman Band

McKenzie, Tenn. –Bethel University’s Department of Music hosted band students from Inman Middle School in Paris Friday, March 21. Inman students took part in workshop activities and performed pieces in small groups – an exercise that allowed Bethel music education majors to critique the performances and offer feedback. In photo, Bethel music education majors look on as Inman Band Director Lucy Presson prepares one of the small groups for their performance.  

Martin PD Executing Drug Roundup Today

Martin, Tenn. - The Martin Police Department is coordinating a drug roundup this morning that is resulting in numerous arrests and execution of search warrants throughout Weakley County.

 According to the press release from the Martin Police, along with state and federal agents from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Highway Patrol, served the warrants on various individuals and locations.

Martin Police said drug operation has been the result of a multi-jurisdictional undercover investigation over the past two years.

Teams of officers began the raids at approximately 6 a.m. The operation has reportedly resulted in the arrest of several individuals believed to be known gang members.

Martin Police say the investigation began due to an increasing number of drug and gang related incidents which have occurred in Martin and the surrounding area.

Belew Hosting Re-Election Get-Together

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew is inviting the public to his re-election get-together party from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, March 27, at the Enoch Building at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Belew is unopposed in the upcoming elections.

At the party will be free BBQ and beans. Entertainment will be provided by Kevin Ray and Commonwealth, Vince Dodd, Randall French and his daughter and Tabitha Myrick.

"Happy" Videos Are Sought by The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center wants everyone to be “Happy”. In conjunction with the Dixie Carter Center’s Dance Festival April 10-13, center officials are creating a video of different groups dancing to the popular song “Happy” by Pharell Williams.

If interested, please send the center a video of yourself and/or a group dancing to the song. 15-20 seconds of video is all that is needed.

Send your video to by April 3.

Only appropriate dress and dance videos will be used, any questions call 731-986-2100.

The video will be shown during the David Dorfman show on Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at The Dixie.
For more information and for links to the song please visit or find us on Facebook. For digital publications please include: Link to youtube song

Masquerade Theater Auditions for "9 to 5" Are Set

Union City, Tenn.-Masquerade Theater will hold auditions for its next production, “9 to 5: The Musical” this weekend. Auditions begin from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the Capital Theater in Downtown union City and continue on Monday from 5-7 p.m. and again Tuesday from 5-7 p.m.

Those auditioning will be required to cold read from the script and sing. A CD player will be available to play accompaniment trakcs.

Reelfoot Wetland Trips Set Every Weekend

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Wetland trips through the unique areas of Reelfoot Lake State Parks’ Cypress Swamp are planning for every weekend through April. Donations are accepted for this free trip that normally would cost $20 per canoe. Reservations are required. Call 731-253-9652 to reserve your spot or find out more.

Open Enrollment Period Coming to End March 29

Paris, TN – As the open enrollment time for the Health Insurance Marketplace comes to an end, many people are left wondering what happens if they miss it.  Outside of open enrollment, you can enroll in Marketplace insurance only if you have certain life events that give you a special enrollment period.

In order to buy a Marketplace health insurance plan outside the open enrollment period, you must have a qualifying life event. Qualifying life events that create a special enrollment period include:
· Getting married
· Having, adopting, or placement of a child
· Permanently moving to a new area that offers different health plan options
· Losing other health coverage (for example due to a job loss, divorce, loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, expiration of COBRA coverage, or a health plan being decertified). Note: Voluntarily quitting other health coverage or being terminated for not paying your premiums are not considered loss of coverage. Losing coverage that is not minimum essential coverage is also not considered loss of coverage.)
· For people already enrolled in Marketplace coverage, having a change in income or household status that affects eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
“If you have a qualifying life event, you get a special enrollment period,” said Tina Umstead, LPN, and HIM Certified Counselor.  “This means you can enroll in or change your health insurance plan outside the open enrollment period.  Most special enrollment periods will last 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event.”

Open enrollment for Marketplace coverage ends March 31, 2014. The next open enrollment period is November 15, 2014 - February 15, 2015.
You can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in your state at any time—there is no limited enrollment period for these programs. Medicaid and CHIP provide health coverage to millions of families with limited incomes.

You can find out if you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP by filling out a Marketplace application or going directly to your state Medicaid agency.

If you still have questions or don’t want to miss the open enrollment period this year, contact Amy Odom, Pharmacy Assistant or Tina Umstead, LPN, both HIM Certified Counselors at HCMC, at (731) 644-8215 to sign up today.  For more information online, go to, check under “quick links” and select Health Insurance Marketplace. 

Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region.  Including a 142-bed hospital and other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Largest Drug Seizure in Henry County History
K9s Kenzee and Si Play Large Role

K9s Kenzee and Si converse together on the floor at Monday's press conference. Left to right: Paris Sgt. Michael Ramos, Deputy Jamie Myrick, Henry Police Chief David Andrews, 24th Judicial District Director Tim Meggs, Sheriff Monte Belew, Paris Chief Chuck Elizondo and Paris Lt. Tom Lankford. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Officers with the Metro Crime Unit on Friday confiscated the largest amount of marijuana ever seized in Henry County and arrested three persons in Henry on drug charges and two of the local K9 officers played a large part in the operation.

Confiscated was 39.5 pounds of marijuana packaged in tightly wrapped in 35 one-pound packages that was camouflaged with various masking agents to disguise the smell. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said the street value of the marijuana was from $30-$40,000.

The case was especially unusual since it involved a tip Friday morning that a package suspected to contain illegal substances had arrived at the McKenzie Post Office. The package was addressed to 1627 Lumber Road in Henry. The package was mailed from San Antonio, Texas.

At a press conference Monday morning, Belew said the Paris Police Officer Sgt. Michael Ramos and his K9 Kenzee were called to the McKenzie Post Office, where Kenzee alerted to the package. Belew brought his K9 Si to the scene and Si also alerted to the package separately.

Belew said at that point, Metro Crime Unit Director Detective Ricky Watson of the Paris Police initiated a search warrant for the Lumber Road address and surveillance at that address was immediately set up.

Meanwhile, a controlled delivery of the package was organized. When the package was delivered to the address, officers went to the address and arrested one of the three, also locating scales, baggies and other drug paraphernalia.

Arrested were Stephen Porter, 52; Quocus Fitzon Gilliam, 20; and Tomika Wharton, 42, all listed as living at 1627 Lumber Rd. All three are being held in Henry County Jail on $100,000 bonds each and will appear in General Sessions Court March 25.

Belew said that District Attorney Hansel McCadams said the case will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

At Friday’s press conference were Belew, Watson, Ramos, Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, Paris Lt. Tom Lankford, Henry Police Chief David Andrews, 24th Judicial District Task Force Director Tim Meggs, and Deputy Jamie Myrick. Also on hand were Kenzee and Si.

Lt. Lankford said the case was a prime example of professionalism, which he said will held with the prosecution. He also said, “This is a large hit to the drug enforcement efforts here in Henry County and the Paris PD is proud to be a part of the Metro Crime Unit.”

Sgt. Watson thanked Si and Kenzee, as well as all the manpower from various jurisdictions that were involved. He said the tip arrived at 10:10 a.m. and by 1:30 p.m., the operation was performed and the three were arrested.

He said the three persons are charged with posssession of marijuana with intent to sell, simple possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Watson said there have been cases in Henry County of marijuana mailed through the post office and law enforcement has utilized controlled deliveries for arrests, but nothing to this scale. “Usually, people mail four-five pounds at a time.”

Belew said, “This was a good day for all involved. We appreciate the K9s, we appreciate everyone that worked on this. This is what happens when agencies work together.”

Sgt. Ricky Watson, center, fields questions during the press conference, while Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo and Lt. Tom Lankford look on. (McFarlin photo).

Stephen Porter                    Quocus Gilliam                Tomika Wharton

Henry County Officers Participate in "Active Shooter" Drill

Performing an active shooter exercise: left to right, Capt. Damon Lowe and Deputy Clyde Sulcer of the sheriff's office; and an undercover TBI agent. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Paris Police Department, Henry County Emergency Medical Service, Henry County Ambulance Service and the TBI Monday morning participated in an active shooter practice at the Paris Elementary School.

Schools in Henry County are on spring break, so Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said the building was empty and could be used for the drill.

Belew said the practice was designed for the School Resource Officers in the county. “Some people will be playing the bad guys and others playing the good guys and officers also will be trying to find the bad guys in the building through various exercises,” Belew said. 

“God forbid we will ever need it, but we want to be alert and have practiced for it,” Belew said.

Being briefed on the next exercise: left to right, Deputy Michele Brewer, Capt. Damon Lowe, Deputy Brian Davis, Deputy Calvin Dumas and Deputy Jeff Smith. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

VITA Tax Office Open One More Day

Paris, Tenn.-The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) office will be open only one more day for this tax season, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The VITA office has been open every Tuesday for two months and has provided free tax service for many people during that time.

The office is manned by volunteer tax preparers every year and is located in the Atkins-Porter Recreation Building at the corner of Walnut and Highland Streets.

VITA Representative Carole Walsh said you can call her today at 642-4178 for appointments and they will also work walk-ins as much as possible on Tuesday.

UCPD Issues Warrants for Byrd's Arrest

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police have issued warrants for the arrest of a Union City man who ran from police and they seized his vehicle.

The incident began when officers spotted Derrick Byrd of 712 E. Martin Luther King Dr., driving a car at Melrose and they were aware that his license had been revoked. They conducted a traffic stop on Melrose and before they were able to exit the patrol car, Byrd jumped out of his vehicle and came running at the front of the patrol car.

Patrolman John Buchanan advised him he was under arrest and to place his hands behind his back. Again, Byrd took off running. When Buchanan ordered him to stop, he continued toward East Gate Village.

Buchanan approached the vehicle and found Kayla Watson in the driver seat and he asked her why she was in the driver’s seat, to which she replied because she knew that Byrd’s license was revoked. Watson said her license also was suspended and she figured the police would just issue a citation for her, but take Byrd to jail.

According to the report, Byrd was issued a citation for driving on a revoked license 5th offense and evading arrest and his car was taken to the impound. Byrd did have the keys to the car in his possession when he ran.

Sure Sign of Spring: WBFF Headquarters to Open

Paris, Tenn.-Despite the chilly temperatures today, a sure sign that spring really is here is this weekend’s opening of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry headquarters.

Chris Martin, General Manager of the 61st Annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry and the Paris-Henry County Jaycees will be hosting the grand opening and ribbon cutting at the headquarters, which once again will be located in the lot on East Wood Street between the Tin Roof and Revolving Door.

The event will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 29. As always, the Jaycees will announce to whom the annual book will be dedicated and who will be the grand marshal of the parade.

The headquarters once again is provided by Dinkin’s Mobile Homes and Champion Homes and the lot is provided by Wyatt Owens.

UC PD Have Drop Box For Unwanted Medications
Paris PD and HC Sheriff's Office, Too

Union City, Tenn.-In cooperation with the Obion County Prevention Coalition, the Union City Police Department now has a permanent drop box where you can dispose of   expired, unused or unwanted prescription medicaitons. The Union City Police Department is at 408 S. Depot St., and its phone number is 731-885-1515.

Two other locations in our listening area where there are permanent drop boxes are at the Paris Police Department in Paris City Hall and at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office on Forrest Heights, Paris.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's A Small World, After All
HCHS Marching Patriots perform at Disney World Today

Orlando, Florida--You can see from the smiles on the faces of the Henry County High School Marching Patriots what a thrill is way for them to perform today in the Walt Disney World Main Street parade. The band members and color guard performed "Cold-Hearted", by Paula Abdul, which is the same song they plan to perform at the World's Biggest Fish Fry parade this year. Band Director Mike Nelson said the band submitted a video of themselves performing and a photo of the band to be selected for today's honor. In bottom photo, Nelson seems to speak for everyone in the band with his 'thumbs-up" signal. Videos of today's performance have been posted on YouTube. (Photos courtesy of Mike Nelson).

Paris PD Investigates Shots Fired at McDonald's

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police is still investigating a report of shots fired Saturday night at the McDonald’s parking lot in Paris.

Officers received a call around 9:30 p.m. of shots fired in the parking lot and they were advised that the car that the shots came from made another loop through the McDonald’s parking lot and left on Mineral Wells Ave.

No one was injured in the incident and it is unclear to whom or what the shots were directed.

Someone gave a description of the vehicle as a 2011 white Chevy four-door and when dispatch ran the license plate through their computers it came back to an address on Poplar Street in Murray.

Calls were made to Calloway County Sheriff’s Office and Murray Police Department and both indicated they were unfamiliar with the people.

More information may be available at the investigation continues.

Paris PD Makes Drug Arrest at Traffic Stop

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police arrested a man for possession of marijuana following a traffic stop on West Wood Street around 11 p.m. Saturday night.

Patrolman Jamie James spotted a green Pontiac with expired tags and a broken tail light and in the process of the stop, asked if he could search the vehicle. The driver and passengers said no.

James then took his K9 Herrum around the outside of the car and Herrum alerted to the driver’s side door. During the search, James located marijuana shake in the front seat.

Arrested was Gregory Marquis Kendall, age 21, of 1450 N. Market St., Paris, who claimed the marijuana was his.

Flushing Marijuana Down Toilet Doesn't Work

Paris, Tenn.-Flushing the marijuana down the toilet didn't work for a local man when a Paris Police Sgt. came calling at the door Saturday. In response to a report of a smell of marijuana coming from a room at a local motel, an arrest of a Paris man was made on a charge of possession.

Sgt. Ean Reed responded to the Super 8 Motel around 7 p.m. Saturday and was directed to Room 220 where the smell was coming from. Reed identified himself as the police and after a long pause, he could hear the sound of the toilet being flushed.

When someone finally came to the door, Reed said he could smell the strong odor of marijuana coming from the room and during a search, he found residue on the toilet seat. He also saw that the screen window had been pushed out and found more marijuana on the ground outside the window.

Arrested was Jonathan Dumas, age 27, of 725 Powell St., Paris.

Serenity Now at Reelfoot Lake

Tiptonville, Tenn.-A lone tree at Reelfoot Lake State Park is the perfect picture of serenity. The photograph was taken by Regional Park Ranger David Haggard.

BBQ Competition is Set for Next Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-The Tennessee BBQ Association will hold its first competition next weekend, March 28/29 at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Grand champion trophy will be sponsored by Nolen’s Custom Smokers, as is the Reserve Grand trophy. First, second and third trophies will be awarded per category.

Entry fee is $150 per team. Teams eligible: Teams who have won a Top five in a Tennessee Barbecue Association-sanctioned event  or TBA Championship provisional. Only a current TBA member that has won a Grand or Reserve in a non sanctioned 2013 competiton of a 12 plus team cook and has to be confirmed.

Categories include chicken, ribs, pork brisket. 

Gates open at 10 a.m. Friday and a cooks meeting will be held at 5 p.m., with a meet and greet banquet at 6 p.m., providing catfish and hushpuppies for teams. On Saturday, times vary for categories: chicken, 1 p.m.; ribs, 1:30 p.m.; pork at 2 and brisket at 2:30 p.m.

Judges will score on three criteria: appearance, taste, tenderness. 

Send entries to Chris Chadwick, 985 Field School Rd., McKenzie, 38201 or James Brawner, 45 Lakeshore Dr., Springville, 38256.

More details are contained on the Tennessee BBQ Association Facebook page.

Deadline for Twin Cities Chamber Banquet is Monday

South Fulton, Tenn.-The Twin Cities Chamber of Commerce banquet is set for Saturday, March 29. Deadline to reserve a seat for the banquet is Monday, March 24.

Thea Vowell, Executive Director at the Chamber, said the event is all about recognizing individuals and businesses which have gone above and beyond what is expected. In addition to the banquet, there will be a silent auction that evening.

Members have been donating items Saturday for the auction.

Call or email the chamber to reserve your seats: Twin Cities Chamber of Commerce
700 Milton Counce Dr, P.O. Box 5077
South Fulton, TN 38257
Phone/Fax - (731) 479-7029 Email:

State Unemployment Rate Decreases For Sixth Month

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for February is 6.9 percent, which is three tenths of one percentage point lower than the January revised rate. The national unemployment rate for February 2014 was 6.7 percent, up one tenth of one percentage point from January. 

Economic Summary:
Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate decreased from 8.2% to 6.9% while the national rate declined from 7.7% to 6.7%. 
The number of unemployed persons (209,800) is the lowest since July 2008 and is 8,900 lower than last month. 

Total nonfarm employment increased 6,900 jobs from January to February. The largest increases occurred in administrative/support/waste services, trade/transportation/utilities, and government. 
Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 37,700 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, accommodation/food services, and trade/transportation/utilities.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Discovery Park's Newest Partner: Final Flight Outfitters  

Kelley Powers, Jon Ed Powers and Tripp Powers are pictured in front of the goose call with which Kelley won the World Goose Calling Championship in 1999.  The call is on display in Discovery Park of America’s Regional History Gallery. 

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America has announced that it has teamed up with this areas largest catalogue and retail provider of hunting gear, Final Flight Outfitters, Inc., in a mutually beneficial partnership.

Final Flight is owned by Jon Ed Powers, Tripp Powers and Kelley Powers and is located between Union City and Martin, on Hwy. 431.

As part of the partnership, Final Flight will be featuring Discovery Park of America on the back cover of its retail catalogue that is sent out to over 100,000 people in 45 states each year for the next five years.

In return, Discovery Park of America has named one of the docks located in the South Lake, previously referred to as “Reelfoot Landing,”which now will be the “Final Flight Reelfoot Landing.”

Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy said, “We really like developing relationships with area businesses that are good for both parties. Final Flight will help spread the word about Discovery Park to people all over the United States, while we will help make our estimated 250,000 a year visitors aware of them.”

Rippy said, “Final Flight is a unique business and an asset to our rural community. The Powers brothers are true entrepreneurs. We are so pleased to be working together to enhance the northwest Tennessee region.“

Kelley Powers, the youngest of the Powers brothers, gained national and international fame in the sportsmans world when he secured the World Championship Goose Calling title in 1999. In addition to featuring Discovery Park on the back cover of the catalogue, the “goose call” that Kelley used to win the World Championship is now on display in the Regional History Gallery in Discovery Center.  

Gibson Electric Hosts 78th Members' Meeting 


Fourth Day entertains at Gibson EMC meeting.

Trenton, Tenn. — Gibson Electric Membership Corporation hosted a large crowd of members and friends at its 78th Annual Members' Meeting on March 20 at Crockett County High School in Alamo.

The featured performers, 4th Day, entertained the crowd with a mixture of music from the 60s and 70s. Members were served free barbecue and hot dog dinners, toured exhibits, and participated in the business meeting.

Gibson EMC Board Vice Chairman Steve Sanders opened the business meeting by thanking members for their participation and support. “As a member, you are a part-owner and you have a voice in your co-op’s operation through the trustees you elect,” Sanders said.

In his report, Gibson EMC President and CEO Dan Rodamaker focused on the annual report and annual meeting theme “The Power of Potential.” “Back in 1936, Gibson EMC’s founders overcame huge obstacles and literally replaced darkness with light for generations to come,” Rodamaker said. “Today, your cooperative delivers power, comfort, convenience and opportunity to communities throughout eight northwest Tennessee counties.“

Rodamaker then provided examples of multi-million-dollar operations projects completed in 2013 that strengthened the reliability of Gibson EMC’s service.

Rodamaker encouraged members to take advantage of new tools available through Gibson EMC’s redesigned website. “Our new Outage Map enables you to track the status of outages in real time and our Use Management Tool enables you to follow, analyze and better manage your energy consumption,” he explained.

Rodamaker urged members to communicate to legislators the importance of having an “all of the above” energy policy rather than the EPA’s proposal to set stringent limits on coal, making its use cost-prohibitive. “

In closing, Rodamaker recognized Board Chairman Mack Goode for his many of years of service to Gibson EMC and its members. “Mr. Goode has played an integral role on our board of trustees for 24 years, serving 2 years as vice chairman, and the last 10 years as chairman,” Rodamaker said. “He has been a strong and unifying leader and a good friend. The co-op and all of us who have had the privilege of working with him have benefitted from his leadership, his knowledge and his kindness.”

Tennessee is Named "All Vet State"

Nashville – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips take the state’s focus on veteran employment to a national stage as one of three “All Star Vet States” along with Iowa and Michigan. The pilot partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring Our Heroes initiative includes a web-portal which helps veterans and service members all over the country quickly access Volunteer State resources 

“Troops are coming home to their families, their communities and in some cases, unemployment,” Grinder said. “We are collaborating with state partners, higher education institutions and proactive partners such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to connect resources needed to create economic and educational success for our Tennessee Veterans and their families.”

The average unemployment rate for Tennessee Veterans in 2013 was 6.9 percent.

"The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is committed to providing multiple channels through which our veterans can find jobs. They can utilize both our jobs database and our Tennessee Career Centers, where they will receive first notice of job orders from local employers,” Phillips said. “Additionally, our Tennessee Career Centers have dedicated veterans’ representatives on site who are available to provide one-on-one career counseling to this most deserving group of citizens, our military veterans.”

HCMC Cardiac Nutrition Class is Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Medical Center is offering a free Cardiac Rehab Nutrition Class from 2-4 pm Tuesday, March 25 in the cafeteria at the hospital. You must pre-register by calling the hospital at 731-644-8558 or 1-800-246-2508. Please register by Monday, March 24.

You will receive a free nutrition book to take home. Class limited to 24 participants.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Has Finally Sprung

Paris, Tenn.-Today is the first full day of spring and the tulip tree on the front lawn of the First United Methodist Church in Paris is almost in full bloom. A memorial to the McNeill family rests in front of the colorful tree. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

The Trail of Tears Moved Through Henry County
Webb Seeks Information on its Local Route

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Road signs marking the Trail of Tears may soon be placed across Paris and Henry County, as work by County Historican David Webb tracing the historic and tragic Trail of Tears continues.

In 1987 the U.S. Congress established the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, which is administered by the National Park Service, Webb said. The Trail of Tears Association successfully lobbied for funding by the federal government to purchase road signage to mark the trails.

Webb has been doing a lot of research on the Trail and said he has been working closely with National Park Service staff to plot, as closely as possible, the original Trail of Tears route through Henry County. That trail was known as the Benge Route. 

Webb said local funds and more input from the public is needed to successfully trace the entire trail as it moved through Henry County. Webb said,  “I am looking for any information, legends, eyewitness accounts, or anything that existed along the trail (i.e. structures, trees) in 1838. My email is & my phone is 731-336-8920.”

Locally, he said, the Trail of Tears came through what is now the Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park. From there the Benge Route came through Henry County along Reynoldsburg Road, to Market Street, turning west onto Rison Street, and then westward on Jones Bend Road toward Palmersville.

“Funds have already been set aside by the federal government to pay for the cost of the signs, however, up to $3,500 needs to be raised locally to purchase the metal posts and bolts,” he said.

The Trail of Tears was actually four main routes from Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). One of these was a water route that passed Henry County along the Tennessee River and a land route that came across the county and through downtown Paris.

The Benge Route is named for the Cherokee conductor of a 60-wagon train of 1,132 Cherokee and the wagon train’s African-American slaves who departed Fort Payne, Alabama, on September 28, 1838, and who arrived in Indian Territory by January 17, 1839. There were 33 deaths and 3 births along this trail, Webb said.

President Andrew Jackson--a favorite son and former governor of Tennessee--called for the relocation of all Native Americans east of the Mississippi River in his inaugural address in 1829. His message became federal law with the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830.

In 1838, the Cherokee and other Native American tribes exhausted all legal challenges to the Indian Removal Act. President Martin Van Buren continued President Jackson’s plans after Jackson left office and Brig. Gen. Winfield Scott was placed in charge of removal of the Cherokee in 1838.  

The removal of the Native Americans became one of America’s great tragedies, leading to countless deaths and imprisonments, as men, women and children were forced from their homes with little food or supplies to sustain them on their journey northward.

Webb said, “The first group of Native Americans with their African-American slaves left on August 28, 1838. Some traveled by water down the Tennessee River on flat boats and steamboats from Ross’ Landing (now Chattanooga). Others, such as Benge’s group, traveled overland.

As the forced removal began, a wagon train left Fort Payne, Alabama, on September 28, 1838, and made their first crossing of the Tennessee River at Gunter’s Landing. The second crossing of the river was at Reynold’s Ferry and through what is now the Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park. From there the trail came through Henry County along Reynoldsburg Road, to Market Street, turning west onto Rison Street, and then westward on Jones Bend Road. 

The Benge Route continued through Palmersville, Clinton, Kentucky, the current Columbus-Belmont State Park, and crossed the Mississippi River. John Benge had relatives in Clinton which may explain why the trail came through there. The group continued across southeastern Missouri and reached the Arkansas border by December. 

The group eventually arrived in Talaquah, Oklahoma, by January 17, 1839. Benge reported 33 deaths and 3 births along his Trail of Tears. 

Henry County Seniors Learn About Incumbents, Candidates

Sheriff Monte Belew answers a question while Trustee Candidate Leisa Wimberley, Judge Vicki Snyder, County Mayor Brent Greer and Trustee Candidate Randi French look on. Standing behind the podium is Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Senior Citizens in Henry County know a lot more today than they did before about the current office-holders and other candidates running for public office in the May election.

A large crowd was on hand Thursday morning for the candidates forum at the Conger Senior Citizens Center and all of the incumbents and candidates on the ballot were present for the event. Many of the candidates remained after the forum for lunch with the seniors.

The forum was organized by Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell.

Attending the forum were Incumbents Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, Sheriff Monte Belew, General Sessions/Juvenile Judge Vicki Snyder, County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson, County Clerk Donna Craig and Register of Deeds Pam Martin.

Of those, Greer, Belew, Snyder, Craig and Martin are running unopposed.

Candidates running for Wilson’s position were also in attendance: Lisa Wade and Daniel Powell.

Candidates running for County Trustee also were on hand: Leisa Wimberley, who serves as the first deputy at the trustees’ office, and Randi French, comptroller at Joe Mahan Ford. Current County Trustee David Stone has withdrawn from the race.

Incumbents spoke about what their offices are responsible for, as well as future plans they have for their offices. Candidates who are running against incumbents spoke about what their qualifications are as well as what they would bring to the offices they are seeking.

Wilson noted in his presentation that in speaking to an audience of senior citizens, the candidates were actually speaking to the people most likely to vote in the upcoming elections.

He said at the last election, 5,240 people of the 19,000 registered voted. Of the 5,240 people who voted, 3,135 were over the age of 60.

He said what that tells us is that more people need to vote in local elections and that people in the senior age category are “the ones doing the bulk of the voting”.

Wilson explained that as Circuit Court Clerk, he is the clerk for the Circuit, General Sessions, and Juvenile Courts, and he told the seniors how each of the courts operate and how his office operates with them.

Lisa Wade is a candidate for his office and said she is a state felony probation officer who already works with the local courts and that she feels her experience provides her with the education and knowledge for the job. “I was raised to get up and go to work every day,” she said.

Daniel Powell also is running for Circuit Court Clerk and said as a Correctional Officer for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office he has “seen people at their worst and their best and I’ve seen ways things can improve” in the two years he has worked for the sheriff’s office.

Wimberley spoke about the Trustees’ office and all its duties, as well as her experience working for the office over the years. French spoke about her qualifications and desire for running for the office.

All the candidates appeared at the forum (left to right): Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson, Sheriff Monte Belew, Judge Vicki Snyder, Trustee Candidate Leisa Wimberley (speaking), County Mayor Brent Greer, Trustee Candidate Randi French, County Clerk Donna Craig, Register of Deeds Pam Martin, and Circuit Court Clerk Candidates Lisa Wade and Daniel Powell. (McFarlin photo).

Speaking to senior citizens after the forum were: Mike Wilson, foreground; Pam Martin (seated in beige blouse) and Randi French (standing in red, white and gray sweater). (McFarlin photo).

HC Sports Association Tourney is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sports Association is hosting its annual basketball travel tournament for grades three through 12 this Saturday March 22. Troy Buttrey said “We expect 38 teams to play multiple games, nine of these teams are from Henry County. Games will be played at HCHS gym, high school auxiliary gym, Grove, Inman, Paris Civic Center and Central Services Building. 

Games start/end at varying times but they will begin at the High School at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and end 6 p.m. Saturday night. 

Approximately 40 volunteers, school administrators, community leaders, HCHS girls basketball players, high school effort scholar students and Henry County Sports Association members will be working to make this event possible.

Henry County Sports Association is a non-profit organization working to benefit all Henry County Sports and athletes. 

Dorena-Hickman Ferry Reopens

Hickman, Ky.-The Dorena-Hickman ferry is open for business again today after being shutdown for a week while repairs were being done.

The ferry is one of the few remaining riverboat ferries in the United States and it crosses the Mississippi River between Missouri and Kentucky. The ferry will be following its summer schedule.

For more information, call 731-693-0210 or go to the website at

Graves County Man Bringing Stolen Wire to Paris Business

Graves County, Ky. - A Graves County man has been arrested for being involved in thefts of over $10,000 of copper wiring and possession of counterfeit money. During the course of the investigation by the Graves County and Hickman County sheriff’s departments, it was determined that the man had been bringing copper wire in large quantities to Copeland Metals in Paris.

Arrested was 25 year-old David Swegman of Water Valley  was arrested after an investigation by the Hickman County Sheriff to track down copper wire that was stolen from a contracting service in Graves County over an eight month period starting back in August 2013.

After initial interviews, detectives contacted Copeland Metals in Paris, and learned that Swegman and another individual had been bringing the wire on a regular basis there to sell as scrap. Investigators reportedly later received a tip that Swegman was in Paris selling another load of copper weighing 531 pounds on Wednesday.

After he was arrested, detectives discovered three counterfeit $100 bills and an uncut sheet of $100 bills in his possession.

A search warrant executed at Swegman's home revealed evidence of several spools of wire that had the plastic coating stripped from them.

Swegman was charged with receiving stolen property over $10,000 and three counts of forgery.

OC Circuit Clerk Johnson To Seek Re-Election

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County Circuit Court Clerk Harry Johnson has announced his intention to run for re-election in the May 6 primary election.

Johnson has served in that position for 12 years and oversees the operations of the Circuit Court, General Sessions and Juvenile Courts.

UC Man Charged With Possession of Investigator's Gun

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested for possession of a gun belonging to a Union City Police investigator after a search of his apartment.

Arrested was Deante Tharpes, 28, 509 Nash St., and charged with posession of the gun belonging to the investigator, unlawful possession of another weapon by a convicted felon, theft under $500, alteration of items with permanent numbers, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Police were on patrol in that neighborhood and saw someone looking at them intently and trying to hide his face. Police approached the person as he walked away from them and in the course of walking toward his apartment, others in the area ran off. In the course of searching Tharpes’ apartment, they found the guns and illegal substances.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Annual Elegant Dinner is Elegant, Indeed

Kindergartners Landon Deatherage and Keri-Grace Kelly enjoyed their elegant meals. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Once a year, Rhea School in Paris is transformed into the fanciest restaurant, with nice tablecloths, fancy food, decorations and live mood music. And everyone is dressed to the nines--the students, the teachers and school officials. And the wait staff? They are parents and other volunteers, dressed in their best white shirt and black trousers. It's the annual Elegant Dinner event, which treats the students like kings and queens and teaches them valuable lessons in manners and proper etiquette in the process. 

Gioga and Andrew Fazzini provided live music. (McFarlin photo).

Invited guests at the Elegant Dinner included (left to right) PSSD Board member Robert Sleadd, Board President Richard Edwards, Inman Principal Jason Scarbrough, Board Member Bill Jelks, Paris Elementary Principal Chip Gray and Director of Schools Mike Brown. (McFarlin photo).

UC PD Investigates Theft

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating the theft of items from a storage facility on Gibbs St. Entry to the storage unit was forced and stolen was a 7000 Honda generator valued at $2,500 and a yellow concrete Vibro plate valued at $800 and a 100 pound propane tank valued at $200.

Nature in All Its Glory, Reelfoot Lake Style

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Reelfoot Lake State Park does have a magical quality, which was captured beautifully by Regional Park Ranger David Haggard in this photograph taken this week. 

Work Ongoing on Commercial Bank Limestone

Paris, Tenn.-Work on repairing the limestone ledge at the Commercial Bank and Trust building in Paris continues. The five-story bank building is the tallest in Paris and Community President Clint Davis said repairs to the limestone ledge and mortar above the ledge will continue for another two to three weeks.

Davis said the problem developed during the recent bout with frigid weather locally. “We saw when the ice thawed that some limestone began chipping off of it,” Davis said. A covered walk-way has been expanded around the perimeter of the entire bank to protect pedestrians should any mortar begin to fall, he said.

The work is being performed by WASCO, Inc. of Nashville, he said, “and they’re making good progress.”

TDOT Plan is Subject at Obion County Business Matters

Union City, Tenn.-A large group of community and business leaders were on hand for Tuesday morning’s Business Matters presentation by Aury Kangelos of TDOT at the Obion County Library. Business Matters is sponsored regularly by the Obion County Chamber of Commerce. Kangelos has been gathering public input for the state’s 25-year long-term transportation plan. (Obion County Chamber photo).

SWAG Pageant Deadline is Friday

Paris, Tenn.-Applications are being accepted until Friday for the Miss Lady with SWAG Pageant April 5 at the Krider Center for the Performing Arts. The pageant will be held at 5 p.m.  Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson will be emcee and Gayle Tharpe is the Hostess. Admission is $5 and there also will be a silent auction and entertainment during the intermissions. 

Girls interested in particating must get their registration fee of $15.00 and application turned in at Perry's BBQ or to Paula Stockdale at 302 North Porter Street by Friday, March 21.

Houston County Archives Receives State Grant

Erin, Tenn.- Secretary of State Tre Hargett visited the Houston County Archives earlier this week and presented the organization with a $4,300.00 ADP Local Archives Grant In the photo. left to right, Anne Sykes, Archives Volunteer and Archives Committee Member , Jackie Bateman, Archives Supporter, Martha Greenfield, Houston County Commissioner, Melissa Barker, Houston County Archivist/Records Manager, Donald Bateman, Houston County Archives Committee Member and Supporter. Photo courtesy of Jerry Bybee.

Splash Fountain Planned for Downtown McKenzie

McKenzie, Tenn.-The revitalization of downtown McKenzie continues. The city of McKenzie will seek a LPRF grant that would pay 50 percent of construction of a planned splash fountain and green space that has been proposed near the historic train depot. 

At this week’s city commission meeting, Mayor Jill Holland said similar splash fountains are well-utilized in other communities, such as Martin, Ripley and Cookeville.

Also at the meeting, Holland appointed Garlon Prewitt to head a city effort to establish a walking club in the city. Prewitt is a long-time advocate of walking and sits on the McKenzie Municipal Regional Planning Commission.

Family Dollar Construction Begins

McKenzie, Tenn.-Work has begun on construction of a new Family Dollar Store in McKenzie. The store is located adjacent to McKenzie Auto Parts at the busy intersection of Highland Dr. and Oak Street. The store will be 8,400 square feet, with some 7,000 square feet to be devoted to retail sales.

Helping Consumers in States That Have Not Expanded Medicaid

Paris, Tenn – As the open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace is drawing to a close, information is still coming out that might be helpful to some.  It is important for consumers in states that have not expanded Medicaid, such as Tennessee, to complete the application for health insurance, even if they’re currently unable to get Medicaid and are not eligible for financial assistance to pay for a marketplace health plan (based on their projected household income). 

Henry County Medical Center Marketing Coordinator Tim Stark said, “These health care consumers fall into what’s known as the “Medicaid gap”. As odd as it sounds, consumers in the Medicaid gap who complete their health insurance application will receive important protections such as:
· A certificate of exemption from the marketplace. Individuals who get an exemption will not pay a fine at the end of the year if they do not have health insurance (and otherwise have to file taxes), even if their income increases during the year. In order to qualify for an exemption, individuals in the Medicaid gap must either 1) complete the marketplace health insurance application, which allows them to get an exemption automatically, or 2) receive a denial directly from the Medicaid agency and submit an exemption form to the marketplace.
· The option to enroll in a marketplace plan with financial assistance later in the year if their income increases above 138 percent of the federal poverty level. In order to qualify for a special enrollment period, consumers must get an exemption certificate before they have an increase in income.”

“We have had calls from people who have no income and decide there is no need to apply for insurance, knowing they fall into the Medicaid gap,” according to Certified Counselor Amy Odom at HCMC.  “What they need to keep in mind is that if they enroll and get a letter of exemption, then get a job later in the year, they will fall into that special enrollment period where they can sign up for insurance.”

Even if your state is not expanding Medicaid, you should apply for coverage to see if you qualify. Each state has coverage options that could work for you - particularly if you have children, are pregnant, or have a disability.  Contact Amy Odom, Pharmacy Assistant or Tina Umstead, LPN, both HIM Certified Counselors at HCMC, at (731) 644-8215 to sign up today.  For more information online, go to, check under “quick links” and select Health Insurance Marketplace. 

Wheatley is Keynote Speaker for LBL

Paris, Tenn.-Jennifer Wheatley, executive director of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, served as the keynote speaker to the employees of Land Between the Lakes and the Land Between the Lakes Association during their recent customer service training day.

Wheatley, who is a Certified Tennessee Tourism Professional and a graduate of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing college, is actively involved with the Land Between the Lakes Association and works with LBL promoting regional tourism. She addressed the impact of the personal experience on tourist satisfaction and the importance of cross promotion between attractions.

Chamber President-elect Chip Anderson, Bone and Joint Specialists, said “Outreach to our neighbors and working together are critical to our regional success as a tourism destination. We are pleased that Jennifer was asked to speak and that she was able to participate in this training opportunity.”

1-40 Reduced to Two Lanes in Nashville This Weekend
Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) contract crews will close one eastbound and westbound lane of I-40 near Jefferson Street in Nashville this weekend to install a containment system for future sandblasting and painting of the bridge. 

Beginning Friday March 21st at 9:00 p.m. through Monday March 24th at 5:00 a.m. there will be lane closures on I-40 eastbound and westbound between mile marker 206 (I-440/I-40 split) and mile marker 208 (I-65-I-40 split). Two lanes will remain open in each direction. 

The on-ramps to I-40 from Jefferson Street and the on-ramp to I-40 from 28th Avenue will also be closed. 

The closures are part of an ongoing $2.2 million bridge repair project on I-40 over Jefferson Street.
The project, which began in October 2013, is scheduled to be completed later this summer.

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