Return to Home Page

ABC News
Music News
CDs, Movies and More
Community Events
Concert Calendar
The Sports Page
Swap Shop
WENK /WTPR Coverage
KY Lake Forecast
KY Lake Levels/Temp
Our History
Contact Us

Click here to remove your e-mail address from our Elist

Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Dresden Farmers Market Opens For Season

Dresden, Tenn.-The Dresden Farmers Market has opened for the season and will be open every Thursday and Saturday until October.

The Farmers Market will be open from 2-6 p.m. every Thursday (beginning today) and every Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon.

According to a spokesperson at Dresden City Hall, the Farmers Market has a wide variety of vendors which not only sell fresh produce from local gardens, but fresh dairy products, preserves, local honey, crafts and candies.

For more information call city hall 731-364-2270.

Fort Donelson Brings $16.2 M To Area

Dover, Tenn –A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 262,317 visitors to Fort Donelson National Battlefield in 2014 spent $16.2 million in communities near the park. 

That spending supported 240 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy. "Fort Donelson welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world," according to Superintendent Brian McCutchen. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it's a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities." 

McCutchen said, "We are pleased to learn of the far-reaching benefit that our national park has on the regional area. This new study takes into account various visitor-related spending for the surrounding area –reaching well outside that of Dover and Stewart County. Such communities benefiting from Fort Donelson visitation include the cities of Clarksville, Paris, Murray, Hopkinsville, and other communities within the study radius.” 

The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally;235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion. 

According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent). To download the report visit The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. To learn more about national parks in Tennessee and how the National Park Service works with surrounding communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to 

Donation To St. Jude’s 

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Huntingdon Director of Safety Walter Smothers and Fire Marshal Steve Price traveled to St. Jude’s Childrens’ Hospital in Memphis today to present them with a check for $1,450, money that was raised during the Grilling For St. Jude’s cookout earlier this month. The check was presented to Linda Williams in the Donor Care Division of St. Jude’s. Smothers said Ms. Williams gave them a warm welcome and said St. Jude’s was very appreciative of the donation, as well as honoured that the group had chosen them as their charity. In photo, Price presents the check to Ms. Williams. (Walter Smothers photo).

Cardboard Regatta This Weekend

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America will hold its second annual cardboard boat regatta Saturday morning. Boat inspection will begin at 9 a.m. and the races start at 11 a.m. The races will take place in the south lake on the grounds.

Sammie’s To Offer Free Meals To First Responders

Union City and Martin-Sammie’s Sandwich Shop, which is located in both Union City and Martin, will be honouring first responders with a free meal on June 1.

The owners of Sammie’s announced their “Local Law Enforcement, Fire Department and EMT Appreciation Day”.

On Monday, June 1, the Union City and Martin sandwich shops will provide a free drink and regular Sammie’s sandwich for first responders from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Sammie’s Sandwich Shops are a chain of restaurants all over the South.

Children’s Day On The Farm is Saturday

Dover, Tenn.– Children’s Day on the Farm is Saturday, May 30, at The Homeplace 1850’s Farm in Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. 

From 1-4pm, children can step back-in-time and do farm chores typical for children in the 1850s. Homeplace admission is $5 ages 13 and up, $3 ages 5-12, and free for ages 4 and under.

Children will learn the importance of doing chores on an 1850’s farm like making a bed, weaving, and attending an 1850’s school at 1, 2, and 3pm. They can also learn how to work mules and oxen at teamster training. Children earn credits for their hard work that can be used at the Children’s Day General Store for 1850’s-type goodies or to play with 1850’s-style games and toys.

“Farm children worked alongside their parents to help raise crops and livestock for the family’s use,” according to Cindy Earls, Lead Interpreter. “Animals, animal products, corn and tobacco crops farm families had, would often be sold to the local general store or traded with neighbors. Children’s Day helps today’s children understand how farm children lived in the 1850s.”

The Homeplace 1850’s Working Farm and Living History Museum is located in the Tennessee portion of Land Between The Lakes. Pack a picnic lunch, bring a camera, and enjoy a day of fun and discovery! Activities are for all ages. Many activities will be geared towards children ages 5-12 and home educators.

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

Hell’s Angels Member Arrested Again

Fulton, Ky.-A member of the Hell’s Angels has been arrested again on drug charges, a few months after he was arrested for the same thing. Both arrests began with traffic stops.

According to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Arthur Anton Ralston, age 54, of Fulton, was stopped for speeding on KY 166 and the deputy was informed by dispatch there was an active warrant for Ralston for violation of bond conditions for his first arrest.

In the new arrest, Ralston was charged with trafficking a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, having no insurance and speeding. A cash bond of $25,000 was issued for the outstanding warrant with a $2,500 cash bond on the new charges.

Ralston and another man were arrested in late January following a traffic stop on a headlight violation. In that incident, crystal meth, cash and controlled substances were found. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Hazel Woman Transported To Vanderbilt Following Accident
Paris Woman Also Treated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Hazel, Ky. -A Hazel woman was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center after her car struck a semi driven by a Paris man head-on on Hwy 641 north of Hazel this afternoon. The accident shut down the highway for a couple of hours today. 

A passenger in the semi, also from Paris, was transported to the local hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The Kentucky State Police responded to a two vehicle collision on May 27, at approximately 12:21 P.M. The collision occurred on US 641 near the intersection of Lauring drive, north of Hazel.

Preliminary investigation shows Bridgett D. Martin, 37 of Hazel, operating a 2000 Dodge Durango traveling north on US 641. For an undetermined reason the vehicle went into south bound traffic lane, striking a semi truck head on. 

Mitchell W. Green, 59 of Paris, was operating a 2005 Freightliner pulling an empty box trailer, traveling south on US 641. Emma L. Green, 67 of Paris, was in the sleeper berth of the semi when the collision occurred. 

Martin was transported by ambulance to the Murray Calloway County ER and later transported by ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, due to her injuries. Martin was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision. 

Emma Green was transported by ambulance to the Murray Calloway County ER for her injuries. Mitchell Green was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision and did not sustain any injuries. 

Trooper David Dick was assisted on the scene by the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office, Murray Fire Department, Calloway County Fire-Rescue Squad, Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service, and Kentucky State Police Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. Trooper Dick is continuing his investigation into the collision.

Caylee Hall Wins Kentucky Opry

Benton, Ky.-Overall winner of the 2015 Kentucky Opry Talent Search held over the weekend was Caylee Hall of Paris.

Hall is 17 years old and the daughter of Jason Mitchell and Christie Hall. She just recently moved to Huntingdon and has been performing at the Kentucky Opry for several years.

At this year’s Talent Search, Hall was the winner in the junior division, as well as the overall winner.

She won an electric guitar, $500 and the opportunity to open for Ronnie Milsap.

Henry County GOP To Meet

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County GOP will be holding its May meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28, in the Chancery Courtroom of the Henry County Courthouse. It will be an organizational/planning meeting.

Vale Fire Department Being Rebuilt With Volunteer Labor

The Vale Fire Department is being rebuilt after fire destroyed the building. (Charlie Allen photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Vale, Tenn.- With volunteer labour, the Vale Volunteer Fire Department is being rebuilt after a devastating arson fire destroyed the building and its contents. 

Pam Wade of Huntingdon said firefighters and other volunteers are working to construct a new fire station on land that was donated. The new station is near the site of the former station, but on the north side of the railroad tracks on Hwy. 114. The new station actually will be located on the Henry County side of the road.

Wade and her husband are members of the fire department and she said the department is totally without any building or fire trucks since the fire. “Carroll County is looking to buy an engine and a tanker for right now. And the county has been furnishing equipment and turnout gear for us.”

At a recent fundraiser for the department, Wade said, $6500 was raised. “We were just so appreciative of all the people who took the time to come,” she said.

Bringing History To Life

Union City, Tenn.-World War II veteran Elvis Ferguson of Clinton, Ky., was one of many people from all over our area who attended the World War II re-enactment activities at Discovery Park of America over Memorial Day weekend. (Discovery Park photo).

Free Kids’ Fishing Derby Is Saturday

Puryear, Tenn.-The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in conjunction with Friends of Tennessee NWR will host a Kids Fishing Derby from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 30 at 3815 Foundry Hill Road near Puryear. The event is free.

The event will be held at a private pond brimming with largemouth bass and bluegill to insure a full stringer! Derby registration will begin at 9:30 am with fishing from 10 a.m.– 12 p.m. All hooks out of the water at 12 pm at which time prizes will be awarded.
This event will be free for kids ages 12 and under, but children must have an adult with them. On the walk to the pond refuge staff and Friends members will host a Fishing Clinic in which kids will be able to learn how to cast, the best knots for tying on hooks, the best ways to hold a caught fish and safely remove the hook, as well as local fish identification.

It is recommended that participants bring their own fishing gear and tackle, however, fishing gear will be provided for those who don’t have any available. Bait will also be provided by the Friends group. It is also recommended if you want to keep the fish you catch, to bring a stringer or a bucket to take the fish home. For those that don’t want to keep the catch, we will have a cooler to donate your catch to help feed the critters at the LBL Nature Station.

To get to the Kids Fishing Derby from Paris, take Highway 641 N. At mile marker 19 turn left onto Park Hill Road. At the end of the road, turn left onto Foundry Hill Road. At the fork, bear left and the derby location will be .5 mile past the fork on the right. Directional signs will be available leading your from Highway 641. 

To RSVP, or for more information on this event or other activities at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge please call the refuge office at 731-642-2091, or email at

Restless Heart To Appear At Discovery Park
Advance Tickets On Sale

Union City, Tenn.-Advance tickets are on sale for the Restless Heart concert that will be held the evening of Saturday, June 13, at Discovery Park of America.

Advance tickets are $20 for Discovery Park members and $25 for non-members. All tickets will be $30 the day of the show. The concert will begin at 8 p.m.

Restless Heart is probably best known for their hit, “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” but they have an impressive list of number one hits and gold albums.  

Event Director Rick Adams said the show is part of Discovery Park’s way ot continuing  to bring music to Northwest Tennessee.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the concert will be held on the Great Lawn.  

“We like to have a festival type atmosphere before the concert,”  Adams said. “We hope people will come out and enjoy a variety of food vendors before the show.”  There will be a variety of food available as Bill’s BBQ will be cooking ribs and BBQ and Creative Catering will have a food tent, as well.   

“We’ll have all kinds of beverages, too,” Adams said.  Guests are invited to bring bag chairs or quilts, but no outside food, umbrellas, coolers, or tents are allowed. The concert will be held rain or shine. 

Restless Heart is a nationally-known band and is out of Nashville.  In the past few years, the band has started to branch out in the Nashville community, particularly with the Nashville Rescue Mission. The band has hosted an event called Restless Heart & Friends – Music With A Mission at the Schermerhorn Center with the Nashville Symphony. All the money raised goes to the Nashville Rescue Mission.  

 Tickets are available at the ticket counter, online by selecting “Buy Tickets” at the park’s website, or by calling the park at 731-885-5455.  

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  The entire 2015 Calendar of Events, including upcoming educational and entertaining events, is available on the website.  The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.  

Quinn Chapel Pancake Breakfast Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-The Quinn Chapel AME Church will hold its 63rd annual Pancake Breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, May 30, until it is all sold out. Quinn Chapel is located at 218 E. Church St. 

The event is sponsored by The Men's Club of Quinn Chapel. The all you can eat menu consists of pancakes, sausage, juice, coffee and milk. The cost is $8 for adults and $4 for a child under 13. Dine-In, carry out and delivery will be available. For delivery, please call 731-642-8445

Obion Man Runs Over Wife’s Foot With Lawn Mower

Obion, Tenn.-An Obion man was charged with aggravated domestic assault after he allegedly ran over his wife’s foot with a riding lawn mower.

According to the Obion County Sheriff’s Office, Van Glover, age 71, of 2003 Elbridge-Obion Rd. was taken to the county jail following the incident. He has since been released pending his arraignment.

According to the report, Glover ran over his wife’s foot in the midst of an argument they were having over her husband blowing grass clippings into the flower beds. His wife was treated and released at a local hospital.

Drug Take Back Event Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Prevention Coalition Drug Take Back will be held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, May 30, at the McDonald's rear parking lot located at 1019 Mineral Wells Ave. For additional information, please contact Erica Rawls at 731-336-2250 or email Sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff's Office.

Rhea Library Remains Closed

Paris, Tenn.-The W. G. Rhea Public Library will need to remain closed until Monday, June 1 due to lighting installation work. The library has been closed this week for other work on the facility.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 

BPU Approves Engineering Agreement, Eyes Budget

BPU Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley makes a point as BPU Attorney Steve Greer and Business Manager Beverly Underwood listen. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities Tuesday morning approved an engineering agreement with Jacobs Engineering in the amount of $742,000 for Phase I of the utility’s water treatment plant design and Volunteer Drive Tank Rehab.

The BPU also began review of the Fiscal 2016 budgets and both agenda items involved much discussion by board members.

Tuesday’s meeting was held at the BPU’s Water and Wastewater Operations Building on Washington St.

Both BPU General Manager John Etheridge and Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley acknowledged Jacobs Engineering cost “is a large number” and Wimberley said he had “several conversations with Jacobs” about the agreement.

“The cost covers several different capital projects rolled into one,” Wimberley said, “and this is a ‘not to exceed’ number. I anticipate it will be less. We have always had a good relationship with them and I think they truly have our best interests at heart.”

Wimberley said the total cost of the water treatment plant project is $4.1 M and Jacobs’ agreement involves “all the engineering that will get us ready for Phase II” of the plant project, including a pilot study of the new treatment method.

Board Member John Vandyke said, “I, like everyone else, kind of raised my eyebrows on this. Are they going to follow the project through with us. In other words, they don’t give us the design and then walk away? They stay with us until we’re done?”

Wimberley said, “Yes, they’re involved all the way through the construction.”

During the budget discussion, Etheridge noted there will be no rate increases in the wastewater or electric departments, but as has already been noted in previous meetings, customers can expect a rate increase in the water department to help pay for the new water treatment plant.

Etheridge said the new fiscal year budget for the water department does show a revenue increase of $120,000 for the first phase of construction. “The last time we had a rate increase was in 2013,” he said, “and are going to use it for construction and we’re going to be in good shape for long time with it.”

The budget will be discussed further at the June 23 board meeting.

Paris BPU Honored With National Award

BPU General Manager John Etheridge and Engineering Director Jeff Thompson with Kenneth Stone, energy services and accounting manager at Braintree Electric Light Department of Braintree, Mass., left and Mike Hyland, APPA senior vice president of engineering services, right.

Arlington, VA.—The Paris Board of Public Utilities is one of 191 of the nation’s more than 2,000 utilities to earn the Reliable Public Power Provider designation from the American Public Power Association for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.  

The  designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.  Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.  The designation now lasts for three years (up from two), so the 97 utilities that earned the designation this year join the 94 that received it last year for a total of 191.

“We’re honored to receive the designation,” according to John Etheridge, General Manager of Paris Board of Public Utilities. “Our utility staff puts in a lot of hard work to serve this community.  This designation represents a much appreciated recognition of this hard work.”

This is the tenth year that recognition has been offered.  APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state- owned electric utilities. 

UC Woman Charged With Aggravated Assault

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
Martin, Tenn.-A Union City woman was charged with aggravated domestic assault after police say she stabbed her ex-fiance at his home in Martin.

Arrested was Kim Adcock, no address given.

According to the Martin police report, officers were called to 69 Lester Lane on a report of a domestic incident. Adcock told officers that her ex-fiance had struck her in an argument but officers said her story changed multiple times and she had no injuries.

The victim told officers that Adcock came into his house demanding his prescription medications and when he told her she couldn’t have them, she became irate, grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed him. He said she followed him around the house trying to stab him and he was able to lock her out of the house and called his daughter.

The victim had knife wounds to his neck and arms and was taken to Volunteer Medical Center by the local EMS.

Mock Disaster Drill To Be Conducted Wednesday
Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Emergency Management Agency will conduct a mock emergency incident exercise on Wednesday morning and Emegency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins said in a press release that several local agencies will be participating. 

Watkins said, “The drill will test our local response capabilities to perform rescue and protect the public for a hazardous material type incident.” The drill is one of requirements for a $16,000 Hazardous Materials Response Grant the EMA office was awarded for a West Tennessee Hazardous Materials Training Conference to be held at Paris Landing State Park, he said.

The scenario will consist of a Rail Road Tanker Car accident with a bus loaded with 45 passengers. A mock release of Anhydrous Ammonia into the air at the accident scene will create an urgent rescue situation for fire fighters, law enforcement, and emergency medical personnel. Passengers will suffer pretend injuries from inhalation of the chemical product along with physical injuries from the collision. Playing the part of the passengers will be nursing students from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and Paris and Bethel University Campus. 

Watkins said Henry County Medical Center will participate in treating mass causalities from the incident scene. 

In additional to all of the local emergency responders, officials with state agencies such as TEMA, the Tennessee Department of Health, and other county EMAs will be here and play along and observe the mock drill.
Watkins said he prefers not to reveal where the incident will take place for sake of public safety but asks the general public “if you come upon emergency response personnel on Wednesday morning to be patient and use caution when approaching any emergency incident scene. We don’t want to create a real emergency and are taking precautions not to endanger or inconvenience the public in any way.” 

For more information on the mock drill contact the HC EMA office at 644-2678

A Serene Day Of Sailing On Kentucky Lake

Buchanan, Tenn.-The rain storms that had been predicted for our area on Monday, 
Memorial Day, did not materialize, leaving the afternoon free for activities on Kentucky Lake, including sailing at Paris Landing State Park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Watson Graduates From Law Enforcement Academy

Dalton Watson is congratulated by his father, Paris Police
Sgt. Ricky Watson, at graduation ceremonies.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Donelson, Tenn.-Dalton Watson of Paris was graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in Donelson in a ceremony Friday. Watson was one of 80 officers to be graduated from the 10-week course.

Watson was hired in January as a patrolman for the Murfreesboro Police Department following a 10-week in-house training course there.

Watson is the son of Ricky and Felica Watson of Paris. He has law enforcement in his blood, as is father is a Sgt. With the Paris Police Department, as well as director of the Metro Crime Unit.

Graduation day, Sgt. Watson said, “was a very, very big day for us”.

Dalton Watson has a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University and worked for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office as a corrections officer before being hired in Mufreesboro.

KSP Looking For New Leads In Officer Murder

Frankfort, Ky. – Nearly two years have passed since the murder of Bardstown Police Department Officer Jason Ellis. Kentucky State Police hope a new video plea for information will provide fresh leads about the case. 

KSP Public Affairs Officer Trooper Jeff Gregory hopes today’s video release will encourage someone, who may have information about the case, to contact authorities.
“Someone somewhere knows something about this murder,” says Gregory. “Even the smallest detail could be the information we need to make an arrest in this case. More importantly, we want to provide the Ellis family with closure in their lives.”

KSP advises that the reward funds for this case have reached $185,000 for tips leading to an arrest and conviction.

Gregory says KSP will utilize its social media platforms to blast the video out across the country, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

“Social Media is another platform that we can use to solve crimes by connecting immediately with a local, state and national audience through the Internet.”

To view the new Officer Ellis video, click on the following link:

Gregory encourages the public to submit tips by contacting the KSP Elizabethtown Post at (270) 766-5078 or call the toll-free KSP Tip Line at (800) 222-5555. An email address has also been established for tips at You can also text a tip confidentially using a cell phone. Simply text the tip to 67283, type KSPTIP in the message field, leave a space and enter your tip information.

TVA Photo Contest Set

Knoxville, Tenn. – Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and what’s a better way to remember those special summertime moments on Tennessee Valley Authority lakes and recreation areas than with a great photo?

TVA is conducting a summer-long photo contest to encourage folks to get out and enjoy our region’s wonderful natural resources, and then share the fun through their favorite photos.

The contest begins this week and runs through Labor Day. Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries.

We’ve tried to make this as easy as possible, and free. After you take that great photo, tag it with ‪#‎TVAsummer‬ and post it to your personal Twitter or Instagram account. Or, you can upload the photo directly to TVA’s Facebook page.

There is a lot to do on TVA’s many lakes and recreation areas, from hiking, fishing, skiing and mountain biking to more relaxed activities like bird watching or just a quiet picnic. Whatever it is, take a photo and post it.

The contest runs from May 18 to Sept. 7, 2015. Prizes will be awarded as follows:
•First place: GoPro Hero4 Extreme Camera Kit
•Second place: Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch
•Third place: Eton Hand Turbine Rechargeable USB Battery Pack

For official contest rules and to view photos entered in the contest, visit and click on the contest tab or .

Now, That’s A Lot Of Razor Refills

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Someone must have had a lot of shaving to do.

Two unidentified females took some $2,000 worth of razor refills from the Wal-Mart Store in Union City and Union City Police are still trying to find the perpetrators.

According to the police report, two white females entered the store and first took a cooler and put it in a shopping cart. They then went to the aisle with the razor refills and filled the cooler with them. They then went to the garden center where they put all the razor refills in one of their purses and then left the store.

The total cost of the stolen merchandise was $1,986.

Historical Society To Meet

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Historical Society will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. Susan Pemberton will lead a tour of the 2015 Quilt Show and given a presentation entitled "Our Grandmothers' Quilts: 1854-1930s." She will provide notes to attendees on those quilts covered in her talk. The public is invited to attend.

HCHS Softball Tryouts Rescheduled

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School softball tryouts will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the high school field from 10 a.m. to noon. The tryouts have been postponed from Tuesday due to rain.

Water To Be Off In Glisson Road Area

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities will have the water off in the Glisson Road area from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 27 to install a new valve.  

Areas affected by the outage will be Glisson Road, Cooper Drive, Gary Street, Vaughn Street, Salem Circle, and a small portion of Carter Road.  

BPU Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley said, “We apologize for any inconvenience and ask for your understanding as we work to improve our water distribution system.”

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembering “The Ultimate Sacrifice”

Speaker Tony Vandyke, foreground, with Kenny Wells, Rich Eckenrode and Glenn Fowler listening. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A large gathering was crowded into the Henry County Courthouse upstairs courtroom for today’s Memorial Day Service, which was moved indoors due to rain.

All the activities which normally occur on the courthouse lawn were held indoors, from the march on the colors and military honors by the Tennessee State Guard to the laying of the wreaths and the playing of “Amazing Grace” by Bagpiper Ed Smith of Paris.

Veteran Tony VanDyke of Paris was the guest speaker. VanDyke had a wide-ranging military career, serving overseas in China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Germany. He took military intelligence training at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, and retired from the military in 1977.

VanDyke worked at Castle Heights Military Academy as a teacher and commandant of the junior school, worked for the Tennessee Department of Corrections as a teacher at the Turney Center Industrial Prison from 1987-1998 and was principal at Carroll Academy from 1998-2004.

VanDyke told the crowd, “We need to remember the veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those who are still alive and kicking--although some of us are not kicking real high anymore.”

He noted that changing the date of the Memorial Day observance to create a three-day weekend “has done a lot to diminish the meaning of Memorial Day. We’ve gotten away from remembering what this day is all about.”

Master of ceremonies was Dale Routon, commander of VFW Post 1889. The Henry County High School Madrigals performed patriotic songs and also on hand was Glenn Fowler, commander of Amvets Post 45 and David Meketi, commander of American Legion Post 89. Rich Eckenrode is the incoming commander of Amvets 45 and Leo Horn is coming commander of Legion 89. Kenny Wells provided the prayer.

Blair Chadwick leads the Henry County High School Madrigals in patriotic songs. (McFarlin photo).

Ed Smith of Paris on the bagpipes (McFarlin photo).

Honoring Our Veterans

Paris, Tenn.-Today is the day we honor our veterans. All over our area, veterans’ and scout groups have been busy the past few days placing flags at the graves of our departed veterans. In Memorial Cemetery in Paris, the grave of Curtis Dale Wiseman is decorated with the American flag etched right into the tombstone, as well as an American flag. Wiseman was a U.S. Army Sergeant who served in Vietnam. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Henry County Memorial Day Service Moved

Paris, Tenn.-Due to the inclement weather, this morning's Henry County Memorial Day Service will be moved indoors, to the courtroom at the Henry County Courthouse. The service begins at 8 a.m.


UTM ROTC Program To Remain Open

Current UT Martin ROTC cadets Paul Jordan, of Dyersburg, and Mercee Eubank, of Greenfield. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, known as Skyhawk Battalion, will remain open, following recent notification from the United States Army. The UT Martin ROTC program was one of 13 student programs notified in fall 2013 of possible closure in 2015.

“UT Martin has a storied history of graduating outstanding Army officers, and with a current enrollment of 80-plus Army ROTC cadets, UT Martin will continue to be a training ground for talented, well-prepared officers,” according to Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor. “We are grateful to all of our servicemen and women and particularly those from the ranks of our long-standing Skyhawk Army ROTC cadre.”

An ROTC unit was first established at the university in 1952, followed by the start of a four-year ROTC program in 1964. The program has commissioned 671 cadets as second lieutenants in the regular Army, U.S. Army Reserve and Tennessee Army National Guard since its beginnings.

The UT Martin military science program, of which ROTC is a part, includes Bethel University in McKenzie; Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson; and Jackson State Community College, Lane College and Union University in Jackson. A recent agreement also adds Murray State University in Murray, Ky., to the program, strengthening the relationship between these institutions and allowing Skyhawk Battalion to recruit the best and brightest cadets from these areas.

“Having served for 30 years as a regular and reserve officer in the U.S. Air Force, I could not be more pleased with the confirmation we will retain our military leadership program,” said Dr. Jerald Ogg, UT Martin provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Our ROTC battalion has a long history of training outstanding officers, and continuing that tradition of leadership preparation is good for both our students and the nation they wish to serve.”

For more information on the military science program or the Skyhawk ROTC Battalion, contact the Department of Military Science and Leadership at 731-881-7682 or by email at

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Expected Storms Affect Memorial Day Events 

Discovery Memorial Day Ceremony Moved Inside 

Union City, Tenn.-Due to the threat of rain, the Memorial Day Ceremony planned for 2 p.m. Monday, May 25, will be held in the ATA Traveling Exhibit Hall. The WWII display, living historians and other encampment items will be inside Discovery Center, as well. And, the WWII tank and vehicles will be on display in the arrival circle.

Stewart County Memorial Day Event Moved To Visitor Center

Dover, TN – The 2015 Stewart County Memorial Day Observance will be held at the Stewart County Visitor Center. 

Traditionally held in the Fort Donelson National Cemetery, because of predicted thunderstorms, and in the interest of safety, Stewart County officials have relocated this year's Memorial Day observance to the Stewart County Visitor, located at: 117 Visitor Center Lane, Dover. 

The time for the ceremony remains at 1 p.m. 

Murray Student Establishes Autism Scholarships

In photo, Ray Chumbler IV passes on a check for the establishment the Ray IV Autism Scholarship Endowment at Murray State University to Jennie Rottinghaus in the office of development.

Murray, Ky. — Ray Chumbler IV graduated from Murray State University in May, but he’s already far ahead in his role as a university alumnus. Chumbler has established a scholarship with money he’s been raising since his high school days.

A Marshall County native, Chumbler was given an assignment as a senior in high school that required him to research an unfamiliar subject and then design a community service project around it.

Chumbler has now established the Ray IV Autism Scholarship Endowment at Murray State University. He is very open about his own experience as a student with autism spectrum disorder and wishes to assist other Murray State students who deal with the same issues he has faced. Chumbler has gained the support of family, friends and community members who have also made donations.

To open the fund in the MSU Foundation, Chumbler began with a check for almost $5,000, all raised since high school.

Juliet Wills, Chumbler’s grandmother and a graduate of Murray State (B.S. 1971, elementary education and English, and M.A. 1973, elementary education), has already made a gift toward the $25,000 needed to endow the fund and plans to do more.

Chumbler, who was diagnosed as having high-functioning Asperger’s, majored in nonprofit leadership studies at Murray State and graduated this spring magna cum laude.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Ray IV Autism Scholarship Endowment at Murray State University can contact Jennie Rottinghaus in the office of development by telephone at 1.877.282.0033 or 270.809.3406 or by emailing her at

Donations can also be made by mailing a check made out to the MSU Foundation (please write Ray IV Autism Scholarship in the memo line) and sending it to MSU Foundation, c/o 200 Heritage Hall, Murray, KY 42071. Online gifts can be made at

Downtown Cruise In Is Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The first Downtown Cruise In of the season will be held in downtown Paris from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday May 26th. All classic cars (and their owners, of course) are invited.

The Downtown Paris Association will provide live music and Perry’s BBQ will have BBQ available. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and make yourself comfortable under the shade of the great trees on the east side of the courthouse lawn. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Paris City Pool Renamed For Gerald Howard

Gerald Howard, middle, surrounded by former lifeguards. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand Saturday morning for the ceremony dedicating the Paris city pool to long-time pool manager Gerald Howard. A plaque proclaiming the pool as Gerald Howard Municipal Pool was unveiled amid applause from those gathered, which included numerous former pool lifeguards and city and county officials.

Howard was the city’s first pool manager and served in that capacity from the time it opened in 1977 until he retired in 2011. Meanwhile, Howard was busy with a career in education, working at several local schools until he retired.

Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence noted that Howard has meant a lot to a lot of people in the 34 years he worked at the pool. “Most city pools don’t even last 34 years, but ours has because of the great job he did of keeping it up and maintaining it,” Lawrence said.

Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said the honor was long-overdue. “When city commission voted to rename the pool for Gerald, my first thought was, ‘Why hadn’t we already done that?’”

Howard said, “I appreciate all of you folks. This is very exciting for me. As Bob Hope said, ‘Thanks for the memories because there were plenty of them here over the years’”.

Gerald Howard, left, thanks the crowd as Parks Director Tony Lawrence and Mayor
Carlton Gerrell look on. (McFarlin photo).

Two From Paris Sought in Robbery

Murray, Ky.-Murray Police investigators, in cooperation with the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office, have arrested Patience Ahart, age 19, of Murray, charged with first degree robbery and unlawful imprisonment in connection with the robbery in an apartment in Murray on Thursday.

Ahart is lodged at the Calloway County Jail.

Murray Police are still seeking Veronica Teague and Vera Howard of Paris on similar charges.

Paris Hosts USTA Tournament

Paris, Tenn.-High School tennis players from all over the state gathered in Paris Saturday for the “Stars and Stripes Junior Championship”, a United States Tennis Association tournament for high school players 18 and under. Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence said some 70 players competed in the tournament, which was held at Henry County High School, with several players warming up at the tennis courts at Eiffel Tower Park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Search And Rescue Dog Found
Murray, Ky.-The search and rescue K9, Julip, which had been missing from her home in Murray, is now back home safe and sound, according to the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office had asked for the public’s help in finding the bloodhound, which is in training to become a search and rescue dog.

Catfish Place Coming Down

Camden, Tenn.-The Catfish Place--long an institution in our area--is in the process of being torn down. The once popular restaurant has been closed for the past few years. (Charlie Allen photo).

HCMC Patients Can Access Records Online

Paris, Tenn. – Henry County Medical Center Physician Practices is has announced the installation of our new Patient Portal where you can take care of many of your office visit needs in between visits all online and in one place. HCMC Physician Practices has partnered with Greenway Health to save you time and hassle as you navigate the healthcare system.

Through the Greenway Health Patient Portal, patients are able to:
Pay bills online
Access medical records in a timely manner
Ask for prescription refills
Request appointments
E-mail staff and providers with questions
Update personal information
View test results
To do this, you must give your email address when checking in at the front desk. You will receive an invitation from “Greenway_internal” by email (be sure to check your spam folder) to access the patient portal account.

“Maybe a parent realizes they need something at 8 p.m. for a child for school the next day,” according to Joshua Roberts, Director of Physician Practice Management at HCMC. “There’s no way to get that from a practice after hours. Now that we have a portal, all that information is sitting there at the patient’s fingertips — like, ‘Oh, I can just log on, get it, print it, and take it to school.’”

HCMC Physician Practices offering this service include the following:
Eagle Creek Clinic – Tonya Nash, PA-C
Innovative Orthopedics – Mark Cutright, MD and Jill Cutright, PA
Kentucky Lake Urologic Associates – Joe Mobley, III, MD and John Beddies, MD
Paris Mental Health Clinic – Robert Hamm, MD
Paris Women’s Center – Dennis Wieck, MD
Signature OB/GYN – Lakisha Crigler, MD
Transitions Health – Tammie Holcomb, DNP-ACNP
West TN OB/GYN – Paul Locus, MD

For more information about any of the Henry County Medical Center clinics, go to our website at  

Friday, May 22, 2015 

Update: Missing Indian Mound Woman Found Dead

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dover, Tenn.-The Stewart County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the woman missing from the Indian Mound area was found dead this morning.

Heather Newman, age 28, had been missing from her home since Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office earlier today had announced that Mrs. Newman had been located, but did not indicate that she was deceased.

The sheriff’s office released another statement Friday evening which states, “There are no obvious signs of foul play and it is still under investigation at this time. We are asking everyone to please keep the family in your prayers.”

A dispatcher at the sheriff's office told WENK/WTPR Friday evening that they could not release any more information than was in the statement.

Mrs. Newman worked as a nurse and had small children.

Paris Man Arrested In TBI Sweep

Nashville, Tenn. – A Paris man is among several people arrested this week in an operation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to combat human trafficking in Tennessee.

Arrested from Paris was Paul Wengerd, age 47. Wengerd was arrested in Clarksville. The press release does not provide the charge filed against Wengerd.

Authorities arrested about a dozen men on prostitution-related offenses and also identified several young women who may be victims of human trafficking. The men included a pastor, an Army lieutenant, a farmer, and a small business owner.

With the partnership of the Brentwood Police Department, the Clarksville Police Department, and End Slavery Tennessee, TBI Agents embarked on the undercover operation to identify potential victims of trafficking, arrest those seeking to purchase illicit sex, and learn more about the specific nuances of this type of crime. The fact-finding operation will eventually be duplicated in other parts of the state as the TBI works to better equip law enforcement departments to investigate human trafficking and help victims.

Among those arrested and cited for various offenses as part of this week’s operation in Clarksville:
· Sergio Baltazar, 29, Clarksville
· Devereaux Fields, 24, Clarksville
· Christopher Kendrick, 24, Clarksville
· Devin McLean, 21, Fort Campbell, KY
· Daniel Peters, 29, Clarksville
· Michael Reid, 46, Clarksville
· KeRalos Sanders, 32, Oak Grove, KY
· Stephen Shaw, 56, Paducah, KY
· Paul Wengerd, 47, Paris
· Rodney Wilson, 29, Clarksville
· Mariah Miller, 24, Clarksville
Among those arrested and cited during the operation in Brentwood:
· Cheng Hao Tung, 25*
· Marisa Diane Thomas, 20*
· Kiersten Renee Napodano, 21*

“This will be an uphill battle, because what we’re really doing in Tennessee is changing the conversation about human trafficking,” according to TBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Margie Quin. “It’s like domestic violence or drunk driving decades ago. What was once never discussed in public is now a worthwhile cause. And we’re determined to get there with the issue of human trafficking, too.”

Earlier this week, Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation into law giving TBI original jurisdiction over investigations of human trafficking. Additionally, the state legislature approved funding for four Special Agents, who will exclusively investigate human trafficking cases and train law enforcement statewide on recognizing and combatting this type of crime.

“The time is now,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “Lives are at stake at this very moment. We will be the agency – and the state – to do everything possible to make a difference.”

Visit for more information.

Missing Stewart County Woman Located

Dover, Tenn.-The Stewart County Sheriff’s Office has announced that it has located Heather Newman, the 28-year-old woman who had been missing from her Indian Mound home since Tuesday.

The announcement was made shortly before noon Friday.

The sheriff’s office has not released any more details on the case and Sheriff Deryk Wyatt was unavailable for further comment.

The sheriff’s office had asked for the public’s help in locating Mrs. Newman and WENK/WTPR had published her photo on our website and Facebook pages.

Firefighters Battle Hay Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-Volunteer firefighters from Springville, Oakland and Mansfield were able to save a barn on Manleyville Rd. after hay that was stored in it ignited and started a fire Thursday afternoon.

Springville Fire Chief Billy Unruh said his department was called to the fire around 3:30 p.m. and stayed on the scene until around 7:30 p.m. “It was already on fire when we got there and it was going pretty good,” Unruh said. “You couldn’t even see inside the barn because the fire and smoke was so thick.”

When firefighters arrived, the owners of the farm were pulling the hay out of the barn with tractors, Unruh said. The farm is owned by Bill Taylor.

“I asked for mutual aid from Oakland and Mansfield”, Unruh said. “It was so hot and we didn’t know just how bad it would get. When hay is all rolled up like that it has to burn itself out. You can’t even put the fire out on something like that.”

Unruh said the fire was apparently caused by the hay being stored inside the barn before it had dried out completely.

No Matter The Temperature, PES Students Enjoy Field Day

Aubrey Nelms sees how long she can sit on a block of ice during the “bottom freeze” activity at Paris Elementary Thursday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Even with overcast skies and 53 degree temperatures, the students at Paris Elementary School gave it their all Thursday at the school’s annual field day events to mark the end of the school year.

Most of the activities involve water or ice but that didn’t matter to the kids--they still wanted to participate. And the wetter and the colder the better. As always, the Paris Fire Department was there to help with the festivities, by dousing everyone who wanted to with the fire hose on a makeshift slippy slide down a hill. Fireman Jason McCord said, “Every single one of them wanted to do it.”

Fourth Grade Teacher Jane Fiscus oversees the "bottom freeze" activity. (McFarlin photo).

Search Continues For Missing Woman


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Dover, Tenn.-The Stewart County Sheriff’s Office is intensifying its search for a missing Indian Mound woman.

Heather Newman, age 28, has been missing from her home since Tuesday.

According to the latest press release from the Stewart County Sheriff’s Office, deputies have been actively patrolling and checking “every possible place we can think of.”

A state wide BOLO (Be On The Lookout) was issued after her disappearance.

Heather Newman was last seen Tuesday afternoon leaving her residence, driving a 2003 blue Expedition.
When last seen, she was wearing pink nursing scrubs, pink and yellow earrings, black square frame glasses, black nursing shoes similar to Crocs and her hair was pulled back in a ponytail with a pink band.

Mrs Newman is a white female, 5’1” tall and weighs 125 pounds.

Anyone with information on Mrs. Newman’s whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office immediately at 931-232-5322.

The Stewart County Sheriff’s Office asks the public to continue sharing the postings about her disappearance on Facebook.

FOP Scholarships Awarded

Front row, left to right: Ashton Thompson and Jessica Alexander; back row James Wyatt, Justin Ramos.

Paris, Tenn.-The Tennessee-Kentucky Lake Lodge 17 Fraternal Order of Police has announced the recipients of the 2015 college scholarships. The FOP awarded six $500 scholarships to: Ashton Thompson, Jessica Alexander, James Wyatt, Justin Ramos, Coltin Wyrick and Trevor Wallace. (Paris Police photo).

Coltin Wyrick, left, and Trevor Wallace. (Paris Police photos).

Henry County Memorial Day Service Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Memorial Day Service will be held at 8 a.m. Monday at the Henry County Courthouse lawn. 

Speaker will be Tony VanDyke and all the veterans’ organizations in the county will be represented and will be involved in the laying of the wreath at the veterans’ monument on the lawn.

“Amazing Grace” will be performed on the bagpipes by Ed Smith and the Tennessee State Color Guard will conduct military honors. The Henry County High School Madrigals will perform a patriotic selection.
After the ceremony, a fun run, two bell service and lunch will be held at the VFW Post 1889 on Hwy. 79N outside of Paris.

HCHS Students Can Earn College Credit

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School is offering an opportunity for its students to earn college credit through Jackson State Community College.

Jackson State will offer course registration and compass testing on two dates: 10 a.m.-noon, June 1 and July 8 at the Henry County High School Lab 16 and 17.

Students who have requested a JSCC dual enrollment course for the 2015-2016 school year will be required to attend one of those sessions to register.

Compass Testing is for students who wish to take a dual enrollment course but have not scored at ACT or ACT Plan benchmarks for English, Math or Reading. Students will be allowed to test for the sections in which the benchmark has not been met. Each section has a $5 testing fee. The testing will be done during the registration session.

Students are to bring their social security number and the testing fee.

Contact 642-5232 with questions or email these counselors: Misha Adams,; Callie Blount; and Deb Arnold

Paris Pool Swimming Lessons Offered

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris municipal swimming pool will open for the season at 10 a.m. Saturday. The opening will coincide with the dedication ceremony planned that will officially rename the pool Gerald Howard Municipal Pool.

Paris Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence has announced this summer’s swimming pool lesson schedule, with Level 1, Level 11 and infant lessons offered.

Level I: four sessions for the introductory class will be held: first session from 6-7 p.m. June 1-15; second session 9-10 a.m. June 15-19; third, 6-7 p.m. June 22-26; and final 9-10 a.m. July 13-17. Cost is $40 for each weeklong session.

Level II: you must pass Level I to move on to Level II: first session 9-10 a.m. June 8-12; second 9=10 a.m. July 6-10. Cost is $50.

Infant classes will be held from 6-6:30 p.m. June 29-July 3. Cost is $35.

Lawrence said persons participating in the lessons will not pay admission during regular hours. Lessons are first-come, first-served and you can sign up during pool hours.

For more information call 644-2698. Private lessons will be considered upon request, he said, which would cost $30 an hour.

Library Closings Announced

Paris, Tenn.-The W. G. Rhea Public Library will be closed to the public Monday, Memorial Day and Tuesday, May 26, Wednesday 27, and Thursday, May 28 for lighting installation.

New Report Shows State Economy Growing

Nashville, Tennessee – The number of new entity fillings and annual reports in Tennessee grew during the first quarter of 2015. The state recorded 8,685 new entity filings between January and March 2015, representing a 9.3% increase compared to the same time last year, according to a new economic report. On a year-over-year basis, new entity filings have increased 14 consecutive quarters. 
The Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report is created to provide a periodical snapshot of the state’s economy based on a variety of information, including new business data from the Division of Business Services. It’s published through a partnership with Secretary of State Tre Hargett and the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Center for Business and Economic Research. 
“Every quarter we see the state’s economy continue to grow,” said Secretary Hargett. "Tennesseans should remain positive about our state's economy, and the encouraging data shows why businesses continue to choose Tennessee.” 
Davidson County led the way with 1,509 new filings. Shelby County was a close second with 1,195 filings.

The report shows Tennessee’s economy had slow, but steady growth during the first quarter of 2015, while the U.S. economy experienced sluggish growth.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in March, compared to 6.6% in February. That is still well above the national unemployment rate of 5.5%, yet below the state’s rate of 6.4% a year ago. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015 

Dr. Brian Norton Hired As Director Of Schools

Dr. Brian Norton, left, receives congratulations from Board Member Jim McCampbell
after the board meeting Thursday night. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Schools board of education Thursday night voted unanimously to hire Dr. Brian Norton as its new Director of Schools.

Dr. Norton currently is the Assistant Director and had been recommended for the position by Director Sam Miles, who is retiring effective June 30.

On Wednesday night, Dr. Norton was interviewed by the school board and was questioned during a public question and answer session.

Dr. Norton has served as Assistant Director for two years in Henry County, but has served 25 years in education, including as principal at Scotts Hill High School in Reagan for 12 years.

After Miles’ recommendation, the board decided to first interview Dr. Norton and then decide whether to continue with more interviews of other candidates.

Board Member Doug Braden said, “I recognize that one of the few powers the board has is to hire the Director of Schools and I don’t take that lightly. The person we hire has to be a person of integrity, a person we have confidence in and a person who understands curriculum, teaching and learning.”

Braden said he had spoken to people both within and outside the school system “and I have every confidence that Dr. Norton will make an excellent Director of Schools. I don’t believe we could find a better candidate.”

Board Members Rod Frey and James McCampbell echoed Braden’s comments. Frey said, “We need someone who realizes our goals as a school system. The support staff likes him and he likes them and they work well together. By his interview, I feel it would be hard for this board to find someone else better for the job.”

McCampbell said he was impressed with Dr. Norton’s interview and by his feeling that he wants to help the system march forward.

In other business:

--The board approved the 2015-2016 budget following a budget session prior to the meeting. Miles explained that the current budget was approved using $662,057 of reserve funds to balance the budget. It also was identified that the district debt payments were using to “balloon” in the new budget by $235,000. Without additional revenues, Miles said, the district was facing huge obstacles. “Thankfully, the (county) sales tax referendum passed, increasing our school budget by $590,000.

The state also mandated that $225,923 additional funds be spent on certified teachers. Henry County Schools received an increase in BEP funds in the amount of $178,000.

In spite of these obstacles, Miles said, “this year’s proposed budget is requesting to use only $326,031 in reserve funds to balance the budget.”

--The board presented a plaque of appreciation to Robert Sleadd, who is resigning from the board. Sleadd has accepted a job position in Texas.

--Miles informed the board that the district was denied a TEMA/FEMA grant that would have been used to expand the storm safe shelters into Grove School. Miles said the state only had $1 1/2M dollars statewide to spend this year.

 Search And Rescue Bloodhound Missing

Murray, Ky.-The Calloway County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in finding a bloodhound that was in training to become a search and rescue dog.

The dog, Julip, has been missing from her home on Old Newburg Rd. since May 19. She is an adult bloodhound and has been micro chipped and spayed.

Please contact Calloway County Sheriff Office with ANY information 270-753-3151.

Stewart County Graduation Parking Changes

Dover, Tenn.-The Stewart County Sheriff’s Office has issued information for those attending Stewart County High School graduation ceremonies Friday, May 22.
According to the press release, there will be parking changes this year. “Due to safety concerns and neighborliness, when the student parking lot at Stewart County High School is full on graduation night, Friday, May 22, no more cars will be allowed on campus. 
No cars will be allowed to park on the side of the road, and no cars may park across the street in the field or at WalMart.”
However, shuttles will be offered from 5:30-6:30 p.m. from North Stewart Elementary School and Stewart County Middle School. They will run afterwards until everyone is at his or her car. 

One bus at each school will be wheelchair accessible (although there will be handicap parking at SCHS, too). 

Shuttles will not have to wait in line, so those taking the shuttles will probably get in and out of the school faster than those who park in the lot, according to the press release.

Stewart County Woman Missing

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dover, Tenn.-The Stewart County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public’s help in finding a missing woman from the Indian Mound area.

Heather Newman was last seen Tuesday afternoon leaving her residence, driving a 2003 blue Expedition.

When last seen, she was wearing pink nursing scrubs, pink and yellow earrings, black square frame glasses, black nursing shoes similar to Crocs and her hair was pulled back in a ponytail with a pink band.

Mrs Newman is a white female, 5’1” tall and weighs 125 pounds.

Anyone with information on Mrs. Newman’s whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office immediately at 931-232-5322.

Fort Donelson Memorial Day Events Set

Fort Donelson National Battlefield Cemetery. (Photo by Shannon McFarlin).

Dover, Tenn.-Fort Donelson National Battlefield Park will host Memorial Day events this weekend, including a free concert at the visitor center at 3 p.m. Sunday and a program at the national cemetery at 1 p.m. Monday hosted by the local VFW and Stewart County Mayor's office.

The Cumberland Winds will be performing the concert with a program that includes marches and patriot music. According to Musical Director Mike Ritter, a number of the band’s instrumentalists will play solos and the entire group will play numbers from Broadway and film scores. The entire trombone section will be featured in “The Trombone King” and the concert will conclude with a Salute to the United States Armed Forces.

Rhonda Vincent Set to Record DVD at Bethel

McKenzie, Tenn.-Six time Grammy Nominee, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage will be on the Campus of Bethel University Monday, May 25th and Tuesday, May 26th filming her new live DVD. With over 100 Awards, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage are the most award winning group in Bluegrass Music. The concerts will take place in the Bethel Performing Arts Center, located at 652 Stonewall St. North in McKenzie, TN. Seating will begin at 6:00 and the will start at 7:00. Admission is free. Seating is limited and will be first come, first served.

“Stephen Mougin, our Director of Renaissance Bluegrass, has a working relationship with Rhonda and has been able to build a connection between her and our program,” according to Matthew Holt, Executive Director of Renaissance. “The Bethel Performing Arts Center will be a great backdrop for her video, and we look forward to working with an artist of her caliber.”

In September 2014, The Renaissance College Drive Bluegrass Band played at the Dailey and Vincent Bluegrass Festival. After that concert, Rhonda extended an invitation to the group to travel with her to the Dumplin Valley Festival the next day, and play during her set.

“Having Rhonda Vincent choose a facility at Bethel University for her live DVD is a tremendous honor,” added Walter Butler, President of Bethel University. “We look forward to welcoming her, and two incredible nights of music.”
For more information contact the Renaissance Office, (731) 352-6980 or email us at

Kentucky Man Arrested For Attempted Murder Of Officer

Eddyville, Ky.– Kentucky State Police Investigative Lieutenant Trent Weaver has charged John C. Smith 51, of Eddyville, KY with three counts of Attempted Murder of a Police Officer (Class B felony), one count of Wanton Endangerment 1st degree police officer (Class D felony), Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon (Class C felony), and Possession of a Defaced Firearm (class A misdemeanor). 

Smith was released from Lourdes Hospital in Paducah on May 20, and was arrested. Smith was admitted to the hospital on May 9, after being shot by KSP Trooper Eric Fields after Smith displayed a weapon and laser pointing device towards Troopers. 

Smith has been lodged in the Marshall County Detention Center. The investigation continues by KSP Investigative Lieutenant Trent Weaver. 

Five Arrested In Connection To Aggravated Burglary

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
Union City, Tenn.-Four people have been arrested for their part in an aggravated burglary and theft at a Union City residence and a fifth was arrested for accessory after the fact.

A residence on North Fifth St. was broken into and ransacked and items including a handgun, laptop, Xbox, Playstation, jewellery and clothing were stolen earlier in May. According to the police report, both the front and back doors were kicked in and one of the door jams was busted, the bed in the master bedroom was ripped off its frame, closets were destroyed and clothes, shoes and other items were all over the floor of the house. The refrigerator also was rummaged through.

Arrested for the burglary were Ashley Starr Vazquez, age 24, of 717 Sunswept St., Trever Esters, age 20, of 713 N. Home St.; Cordarion Thompson, age 20, of 529 Nash St.; and Marcus Lynn Taylor, age 20 of 202 Nash St., all of Union City.

Also arrested was Alisha Davis of 605 Nash St., Union City, for accessory after the fact. According to the police report, Davis was harbouring Taylor when officers arrested him yesterday.

Wildlife Celebration This Weekend

Golden Pond, Ky. – The Wildlife Celebration at Woodlands Nature Station will be held Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday-Monday, May 23-25. Visit with Smokey Bear, gobble with turkeys, and have up-close encounters with native wildlife in the Nature Station’s backyard at Land Between The Lakes. All programs are included with Nature Station admission.

“Visitors can learn about animals that make this area their home. We’ll show you how to help preserve wildlife habitats and why it is important,” according to Darrin Samborski,
Environmental Education Specialist at Land Between The Lakes. “We’re also offering two family canoe trips that weekend for people to view wildlife from the water. We usually see a lot of native birds, mammals, and reptiles along the shoreline and on the water during these outings.”

Weekend events include:
Saturday-Monday, May 23-25
• 10am-4pm “I Spy Up High” Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, May 23
• Scheduled appearances by Smokey Bear throughout the day
• 11:30am Talkin’ Turkeys
• 1-3pm Critter Craft for Kids
• 1:30pm Let’s Get Snappy! Turtle feeding
• 3:30pm Animal Tall Tales
• 6-8:30pm Sunset Canoe Trip ($25/canoe, reservation and deposit required)
Sunday, May 24
• 11:30am Lunchtime for Red Wolves
• 1-3pm Critter Craft for Kids
• 1:30pm Storytime with Smokey Bear
• 3:30pm Bald Is Beautiful: The Bald Eagle
• 6-8:30pm Sunset Family Canoe Trip ($25/canoe, reservation and deposit required)
Monday, May 25
• 11:30am Fears and Phobias
• 1:30pm Batty for Bats
• 3:30pm A Howlin’ Good Time: Coyotes

All programs are included with paid Nature Station admission; $5 age 13 and up, $3 age 5-12, and free for ages 4 and under. Call 270-924-2020 to pre-register for guided canoe trips Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm. Daily canoe and kayak rentals start Saturday, May 23, 10am-4:30pm, weather permitting. For more details, call 270-924-2299.

Carroll County Memorial Day Events

Carroll County, Tenn.-Three Memorial Day programs are set in Carroll County, in McKenzie, Huntingdon and Liberty-All United Methodist Church in Huntingdon.

McKenzie’s Memorial Day program will begin at 10 a.m. Monday on the town square. Speaker will be Emily Bolin, winners of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriot Pen essay contest.

Huntingdon is hosting its 13th annual Memorial day ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at Thomas Park on East Main St. Brigidier General Tommy Baker will speak.

Liberty-All United Methodist Church will host a program at the church on Old Stage Rd. in Huntingson at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, May 24. Speaker will be Leroy McCaul Jr., a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dylan Adams Now Charged In Bobo Murder, Kidnapping

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Decaturville, Tenn.--A third person has now been charged in the murder and kidnapping of Holly Bobo in 2011 and it’s a person already involved in the case.

Dylan Adams was indicted by a Decatur County Grand Jury on charges of first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping and especially aggravated rape of Bobo. Adams already had been charged with rape and tampering of evidence in the case.

Dylan Adams now joins a list that includes his brother, Zach Adams and their friend Jason Autrey among those who are charged with the rape and kidnapping of Bobo.

Adams was reportedly indicted by the grand jury on Tuesday afternoon. 

According to Channel 4 in Nashville, Adams’ new charges state that he is charged with aggravated rape with a deadly weapon, aggravated rape with serious bodily injury and aggravated rape with one or more persons. He also is reportedly charged with first-degree murder in preparation for a kidnapping and rape.

Dylan Adams is being held in the Weakley County Jail.

Discovery Park To Commemorate WWII

Union City, Tenn.-  Discovery Park of America and Union City Coca Cola will history to life as they invite the public to attend WWII Living History on the Great Lawn Memorial Weekend.  This Memorial weekend event will pay tribute to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the people who fought in it.  

World War II ended 70 years ago, lasted six years and claimed more than 60 million lives from 1939 until 1945, making it the deadliest conflict in modern history.  Most baby boomers grew up hearing war stories from their grandparents, who are now in their 80s and 90s, or are no longer alive.  For younger Americans, WWII is perhaps one of the most life changing chapters in their history textbook.

Whether you are a senior citizen coming to reminisce, or a parent hoping to find a unique way to educate your child or teenager, it is an opportunity not to be missed.  The WWII Living History encampment May 23rd through the 25th will be open during regular park hours, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.  

Guests will experience the sights and sounds of WWII as the Marines of 2/8 Easy Company show what life looked like during the battle of Okinawa, the last major battle of the war.  The presentation will consist of infantry men, their personal weapons, equipment, effects and WWII era vehicles.  An M5A1 Stuart Tank is one of the highlight attractions.  There will be at least two weapon demonstrations daily.  

According to Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy, all military will be admitted free on Memorial Day.  

The park, which is usually closed on Mondays, will open regular hours on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th.  Wrapping up the weekend, there will be a special ceremony on Memorial Day at 2:00 p.m. featuring WWII veteran Charles Whitby as guest speaker.  Whitby will share stories of his first-hand experiences during the war.  There will be special seating for all WWII Veterans at the ceremony.   In addition to Whitby’s speech and special recognition of our visiting Veterans, a 21- gun salute is planned and singing of The National Anthem will close the commemorative ceremony.  

Organizer Chris Gunlefinger, Assistant Education Director at Discovery Park, says that we will announce the final schedule of events closer to the weekend.  “In the meantime, everyone should mark their calendar and plan to come out at least one of the three days and talk with these historians,” Gunlefinger said.  “They are truly WWII experts and can answer almost any question you throw at them about the war,” he added.  

Later this year, the park has commissioned an Alvin York traveling exhibit.  The York exhibit will be on display from October 1st through December 31st   in the Reelfoot Room, and is sponsored by Centerpoint Business Solutions.  The York exhibit will also appeal to historians or anyone interested in history or learning more about specific wars or battles.  “These special military focused events really compliment our Military Gallery, which is one of the most popular galleries in Discovery Center,” Rippy stated.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  You can see the 2015 Calendar of Events, including upcoming educational and entertaining events, by visiting the website at .  The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.  

129th Army Jazz Band To Perform Free Concert 

Huntingdon, Tenn. – Get your Memorial Day weekend started off right with a free concert presented by The 129th Army Jazz Band of the Tennessee Army National Guard Thursday, May 21 at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center. Also prior to the concert visitors can view the Ballroom Gallery Exhibit by local artist Sarah Bradberry.

The 129th Army Band traces its lineage back to the earliest units of the Tennessee Militia that protected the early colonial settlements and routed the British at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780. 

The 129th Army Jazz Band will bring music ranging from Count Basie to Duke Ellington to The Dixie stage.

Tickets are free, but limited seating is available so don’t miss out on this unique concert experience sponsored by Carroll Bank & Trust.

Before the show a reception will be held for local artist, Sarah Bradberry from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. in the Ballroom Gallery. Gallery talk with the artist will take place at 5:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Both the exhibition and the performance are free community events. Sarah’s work will be on display from May 2, 1015 through July 25, 2015.  

For more information on the show, contact The Dixie at 731-986-2100 or

Big Sandy Spring Festival Is This Weekend 

Big Sandy, Tenn. - The 40th Annual Big Sandy Spring Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 21-23. 

The weekend begins early, on Thursday night and local restaurants will be offering dinner specials. Karaoke will be held at the downtown gazebo on Thursday night, beginning at 6 p.m.

At 6:0 p.m. on Friday evening, TR Crooks will perform, followed by a local band, Hidden Creek.

As always, Saturday is the big day, with the car show and “Back to the 70s” parade beginning at 10 a.m. 

At Big Sandy Park, Miss Tennessee Hailey Lewis will be signing autographs from 12:30-2:30 p.m. and gospel music with the Henson Family will be on tap beginning at 1 p.m. Bennie Stockdale will perform at 2:30 p.m. and the group All For One will perform at 3:30 p.m.

A ventriloquist show will be held at 5 p.m. and the Tennessee River Band will begin playing at 6 p.m. followed by the fireworks show.

The cars, trucks and other vehicles are on display all day. Other activities include arts and crafts and food vendors at the Big Sandy Park, along with a petting zoo, horseshoe tournament and other games. 

Paris Quota Celebrates “Derby Day”

Derby hat winners Linda Foulks and Geraldine Sykes. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Mary Walters and Laura Ballard were guests at the Paris Quota “Derby Day” with members wearing hats.  Those not wearing a hat paid a $2 fine.  This will be an annual fun event and Stanley Leslie will be chair person with Susan Pemberton serving on the committee.  

Geraldine Sykes’ hat won the Most Original and Most Colorful and Linda Foulks won the Most Beautiful hat.

Quota will have a Facebook/web page and a committee has been formed with Andrea Lamb as the chair person.  She will create and maintain the web page to help keep members informed of current events.

Allison Reagor, daughter of Susan Reagor, has been chosen to attend Diabetic camp in Soddy Daisy in July, 2015.

The Community Service Committee will serve refreshments after the G.E.D. graduation at 7pm on May 28th at the Paris Elementary School Cafeteria.

Lamb and Jane Sinnema will choose the recipient of the second quarter Pocket Change.
The next meeting will be on May 27th  when recipients of the club scholarships will be presented.

State Files Suit Against Phony Cancer Charities

Knoxville, Tennessee – Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery, III, together with state law enforcement partners in every other state in the nation, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Trade Commission, have jointly filed a federal lawsuit against four phony cancer charities and their operators with strong roots in East Tennessee, who allegedly scammed more than $187 million from consumers throughout the country.

"It's unfortunate that we even have announcements like this. This action is about protecting Tennesseans from people or organizations determined to scam them out of hard-earned dollars they thought were going to help people in need. These organizations made unsuspecting people believe their donations were actually going to help cancer patients,” Secretary Hargett said. “It’s a sad situation, but these types of charities, and their operators, should know we will hold them accountable as long as they prey on the kind hearts of Tennesseans.” 

The joint complaint alleges that the defendants—including Cancer Fund of America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services and The Breast Cancer Society—portrayed themselves to donors as legitimate charities with substantial nationwide programs whose primary purposes were to provide direct support to cancer patients, children with cancer, and breast cancer patients in the United States. In fact, the overwhelming majority of consumers’ contributions benefitted only the perpetrators, their families and friends, and professional fundraisers, who often received 85% or more of every donation. Consumers’ donations were wasted and misused, cancer victims were not helped, and the representations that defendants were legitimate charities were false. Among other things, defendants or their telemarketers often told donors that their contributions would be used to provide pain medication to children suffering from cancer, transport cancer patients to chemotherapy appointments, and/or pay for hospice care for cancer patients. These, however, were lies. The defendants did not operate programs that provided these services. 
People with questions about a charity or professional solicitor operating in the state of Tennessee should contact our Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming by calling (615) 741-2555 or going to 

“Johnny Green” Story To Be Told

Murray, Ky. — Murray State University Libraries, together with Fort Donelson National Battlefield and the Fort Heiman Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, in conjunction with the Kentucky Chautauqua, will present Johnny Green: An Orphan’s Survival at the Wrather West Kentucky Museum, located on the campus of Murray State University, at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 23.

Johnny Green was 19 when the Civil War broke out, and was one of the only soldiers in the Orphan Brigade alive when it ended. Orphan Brigade soldiers were unable to return to their home state of Kentucky until the war was over lest they be tried for treason because they chose to fight for the Confederacy. Though it is uncertain when the brigade earned its nickname, it also reflected the number of commanders the brigade lost during the war.
Though he had learned to love the Union — his mother was from Boston — Green felt passionately that states should have the right to govern themselves. 

And when President Abraham Lincoln called for men and arms, Green traveled to Bowling Green, Ky., to join the Confederacy on the day before his 20th birthday. Green’s story, as detailed in a journal he wrote for his daughters years later, provides extraordinary accounts of courage and bravery, and brings the story of the Orphan Brigade to life. Ethan Smith portrays Johnny Green for the Kentucky Chautauqua.

The published journal of Johnny Green and a number of other books on the Kentucky Orphan Brigade can be found in Pogue Library at Murray State University. 
They can be viewed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. In addition to these titles, the Wrather West Kentucky Museum has an ongoing exhibit on the Civil War in Kentucky that is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Kentucky Humanities Council is a nonprofit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is not a state agency, but is a proud partner of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For more information about the Kentucky Humanities Council, visit or call 859.257.5932.

UTM Memorial Day Program Is Friday 

Martin, Tenn. — Lt. Col. Steve Elliott will be the guest speaker for the University of Tennessee at Martin Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony set for 9 a.m., Friday, May 22, in front of the Hall-Moody Administration Building located on University Street. The event will be moved in case of inclement weather to the Student Life Center next to Graham Stadium. The public is invited to attend. 

This will mark the university’s 15th annual Memorial Day Commemoration and the second year Elliott has spoken at the ceremony. 

Elliott, who was raised in Alabama, graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1993 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant of field artillery. He completed his Ph.D. in mathematics and became an assistant professor at UT Martin in 2005. Since then, he has deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Djibouti for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Elliott currently commands the 1st Battalion, 238th Field Artillery, and he continues to teach mathematics at UT Martin. He and his wife, Holly, have two sons: Cannon, 7, and Conner, 2. The family lives in Martin. 

The UT Martin Department of Public Safety and Martin Police Department will present a 21-gun salute. The UT Martin ROTC Battalion will provide taps to conclude the program. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

Living Lands & Waters: Cleaning Up The Environment

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer and Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton 
look over some of the garbage collected by the project. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Henry County and state officials were welcomed aboard the Living Land and Waters barge and tugboat Tuesday afternoon for a reception and to recap all that has been accomplished while the operation has been moored at Paris Landing.

Living Land and Waters has been headquartered at Paris Landing since Sunday on its latest tour, which stopped at six ports in three different states to raise awareness of the importance of the Tennessee River and how important it is to maintain its beauty.

While here, the project has engaged in clean-up activities along the river as well as educational workshops with local high school students.

Living Lands and Waters was founded by Chad Pregracke, who was named CNN Hero Of The Year in 2013 as a means to not only clean up the country’s rivers and waterways but to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Program Manager Tammy Becker (who is Chad’s wife) welcomed everyone on board and said the operation now consists of four barges and a full-time staff which has conducted clean-up operations on 23 rivers, collecting eight million tons of garbage.

While on the Tennessee River tour, Becker said the project has removed 20 tons of debris, taught 691 students and teachers and distributed numerous trees throughout the region.

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer welcomed everyone to Henry County, noting that the importance of maintaining the beauty of the river coincides with the importance of tourism to the local economy. “We’re so excited about this opportunity,” he said. “We want our part of the river to look its best and if we don’t do our own stewardship, shame on us.” 

The Tennessee River “is the crown jewel of this area,” Greer said.

Rachel Terrell of the Paris TVA office said the TVA is glad to be the lead sponsor on the Tennessee River tour, noting that partnerships with other agencies “are so important. That’s how TVA makes things happen.”

Joan Stevens of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge at Springville also gave a nod to the importance of partnerships, noting that with a small staff in charge of maintaining 51,000 acres, her office needs partnerships. “We’re so proud people do care to clean up the environment because this is the biggest asset we have,” she said.

Diann McGuire of the Henry County Litter Program applauded the “awesome job” being done by Living Land and Waters, noting that teaching children early on to care for their environment and to keep it clean is the answer.

Also speaking were Missy Marshall, Executive Director of Keep Tennessee Beautiful,  and Lee Waddell Curtis, Director of Program Development for the Tennessee Tourist Development Department.

 The Tennessee River Tour's primary sponsors are the Tennessee Valley Authority, Keep Tennessee Beautiful, and Tennessee Valley Towing. Paris partners include: Henry County, Paris/Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee State Parks, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.
Boarding the Living Lands & Waters barge and tugboat. (McFarlin photo).

Conger Arraignment Held

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--Arraignment was held Tuesday morning in Henry County General Sessions Court for Isaac Conger, age 30, of 1213 Brown St., Paris, following his arrest for possession with intent to sell in the largest marijuana seizure in Henry County history last week.

Conger was arrested by the Metro Crime Unit following a traffic stop for a headlight violation. In his van was found 115 pounds of packaged marijuana with a street value of from $300,000-$500,000.

Conger is still being held in the Henry County Jail on $150,000 bond and requested an attorney from the public defender’s office.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.

Paris Pool To Be Named For Howard

Paris, Tenn.-A dedication ceremony honouring long-time Paris Municipal Swimming Pool Manager Gerald Howard will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 23 at the pool located in Eiffel Tower Park. City officials will unveil a plaque which will rename the city pool to Gerald Howard Municipal Pool.

At a recent meeting, Paris City Commissioners voted to rename the pool to honor Howard, who was the city’s first pool manager. The city pool opened in 1977, and Howard was manager from then until 2011 when he retired.

Paris City Manager Kim Foster said, “Please join us as we recognize and thank Mr. Howard for his 34 years of service.”

Church Fire Cause Still Being Investigated

Close-up of the aftermath of the Trinity United Methodist Church fire. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Fire Marshal Greg Andrews said the cause has not yet been determined for the fire which destroyed the Trinity United Methodist Church in April, but the department is working diligently on its investigation.

He said the department has been working collaboratively with the Arson Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agency and several independent fire investigators who were at the scene combing through the rubble along with several electrical engineers recently.

“We went through the remains of the church for about six to seven hours one day,” Andrews said, “and we were able to exclude some things as probable causes for the fire”.

Evidence was tagged and sent off to an independent lab in Georgia, Andrews said, “and I’m still waiting for those results.”

Andrews said he will be making calls to the various investigators who sifted through the rubble and see what their determinations were. “I’m not going to issue our conclusion until all the results from all the lab work is finished,” Andrews.

Fort Donelson Visitors’ Center To Receive Upgrade

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dover, Tenn. -- Visitors to Fort Donelson National Battlefield will be seeing major renovations to the park’s visitors’ center, which Park Superintendent Brian McCutchen said “are long overdue”.

The renovation project will cost more than $900,000 and will improve the accessibility and safety of the visitors’ center, he said.

Closure of the facility and the beginning of onsite work is expected to begin late this spring and be completed by early 2016. "This is a vital renovation that is long overdue," McCutchen said. "The visitor center was built in the early 1960s and has many legacy accessibility and safety issues that must be addressed to bring it into compliance with today's standards." 

Stewart County Mayor Rick Joiner offered space in the county visitor center to serve as a temporary visitor greeting area for the park while the renovations are ongoing. McCutchen said, “We have a wonderful relationship with the county and we appreciate their offer of assistance," McCutchen said. "This is a great opportunity for the county, in order to expose park visitors from across the nation, and in many cases, the world, to additional information and exhibits about Stewart County and surrounding area."

McCutchen indicated that three primary concerns being addressed are the lack of adequate accessibility for those in need of mobility assistance to the building's three levels; lack of emergency exits on multiple floors; and lack of restroom facilities that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Other concerns include inefficient HVAC systems and a decaying and inefficient roofing system. 
Funding was not available to replace the 53-year old building with a new facility, so the park requested funds from a special source designated specifically for accessibility, safety, and sustainability needs. 

In 2014, the park received the funding to address the building's most significant needs. In late 2014, a design/build contract was awarded to KHDM Construction, LLC, a contractor with extensive experience in national park infrastructure improvements.

The contract includes: installation of an elevator to safely provide access to multiple levels; construction of a new ADA compliant restroom on the main floor; installing new motorized doors; installing a new roof, sprinkler systems, improved radon monitoring and removal system and new central HVAC system and improved electrical and alarm infrastructure.

The project also will include building a bookstore with adjacent office on the main level that will replace the current bookstore within the visitor center.

McCutchen sees this vital project as a significant step forward in analyzing the battlefield's infrastructure for ADA/ABA accessibility and safety in the areas of parking, access to resources, and in providing for greater visitor experiences on the national park. 

"We have several areas on the battlefield to improve for access, and we are eager to work with partners in analyzing other critical needs and mutually working toward solutions. "When the renovation is completed, the park's visitor center will be an accessible, safer, and more sustainable facility that meets the expectations of today's visitors," McCutchen said. "National park visitors expect to have access to facilities that meet their needs and bring wonderful memories. It is our intention that the renovated visitor center meets those expectations."

First United Methodist To Host Ice Cream Social

Paris, Tenn.-The First United Methodist Church in Paris will host a free ice cream social and block party for everyone from 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, on the lawn at the church. In case of rain, the event will be moved indoors to the Christian Life Center.
The ice cream social is a way for the church to connect with its neighbors.
An ice cream truck will be on hand with free ice cream for the public.

Honoring Public Works

Paris, Tenn.-In honor of National Public Works Week, the city of Paris will issue a proclamation honoring the city’s Public Works Department. City officials invite the public to look behind the scenes at the men and women who “are rarely recognized but very important to keeping the city up and running.”  (City of Paris photo).

UTM Kid College Set For Paris Elementary

Martin, Tenn. – The annual Kid College summer program, hosted by the University of Tennessee at Martin, is scheduled for June 15-19 at Paris Elementary School. Courses are enrolling now on a first-come, first-served basis and will fill up, so early registration is encouraged.

Kid College is open to children who will be in kindergarten through fifth grade in the fall of 2015. Children may enroll in up to five courses of their choosing, based on grade level. 

The first course is $30 per child; additional courses are $25 each. Many of the individual courses have additional supply fees. The registration fee includes a Kid College T-shirt. 

Courses for students in kindergarten through second grade include space camp: mission to the moon, trash to treasure, hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), LinguaKidz Spanish, LEGOs, science adventures and superheroes of summer.

Courses for children in third through fifth grade include sketch studio, discover the night sky, dazzling divas, fitness is fun, karate and hands-on STEAM.

Registration is now open and parents are encouraged to register early. For more information or to register, visit

Sheriff’s Shootout Winners Announced

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Henry County 4-H Youth Shooting Sports Program held its first annual Sheriff Shootout at Holly Forks Shooting Complex over the weekend.

Awards were given to:

Trap Winners: Male, Division III--Will Overton; Division II--Briar Ray. Female, Division III--Sarah Orr; Division II Kenzie Williams; and Division I Tiffany Clark.

Skeet Winners: Division III Dalton Dodd; Division II Briar Ray and Division I Hunter Fletcher.

Highest Overall Winners: Division III Will Overton and Division II Briar Ray.

Cottage Grove School Graduation

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Cottage Grove Christian School will hold its annual Recitation and Senior Graduation ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21. 

Officials at the school invite the public to enjoy recitation of scripture, poetry, and other things learned this school year by the Cottage Grove School students in grades kindergarten through 12. Reception to follow.  

Register Now For Speech, Acting Workshops

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County High School Speech Team is sponsoring a speech and acting workshop June 1-5 and registration deadline is next week.

The workshop is held from 9 a.m.-noon in room 8 at the high school. Next year’s fifth through eighth grade students interested in building their oral communication skills are invited to take advantage of three hour-long sessions each day. 

They may choose from the following: Improvisation, Duet Acting, Monologues, Oral Interpretation of Literature, Public Speaking & Debate, or Broadcasting. Choices must be mixed between the acting and speaking categories. 

The cost is $25 for the entire week and a performance for parents and friends will be held on Friday evening to showcase what the students have learned. The registration deadline is May 25 by emailing one of the following: or

Paris Landing Programs Set

Buchanan, Tenn.-Paris Landing State Park will host two programs on making birdseed ornaments and on recognizing ducks and geese on Wednesday, May 20, at the campgrounds lower bath house.

The first program will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature Birdseed Ornaments- Discover how to make feeding ornaments for our featured friends to enjoy. The second program will begin at 1 p.m. and will feature Duck Duck or Goose. Do you know the difference? 

Join the group to paint duck decoys and talk about waterfowl. Both programs will be held at the campground lower bath house and will last approximately two hours each.

Monday, May 18, 2015 

Commission Approves HCMC Board Increase

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer (behind podium) addresses commissioners. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in short and routine session Monday night, the Henry County Commissioners ratified the state private chapter that will allow the Henry County Medical Center board of trustees to increase the number of its members.

The commission had requested the General Assembly to approve the resolution on behalf of the hospital board, which now has been done. Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said, “Effective on your approval and us sending it to the state, the hospital can now come back to us asking for a resolution to increase the number on the board by two people.”

The commissioners also approved a deferred compensation plan for its employees. Greer explained the state department of treasury is offering to handle the plan and it will mean the fees that local employees are paying will be less than they are now and the state will meet with employees at least annually.

“This will give our employees the opportunity to have other investment opportunities,” Greer said. “It’s very good for our younger employees and the county will have no expense in this. This is a great opportunity for our employees.”

Greer also announced that County Attorney Robert Whitfield has been appointed to the board of directors of the State Attorneys’ Association.

 UC Man Charged With Assault

Union  City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault after he was seen chasing after a woman with a baseball bat.

David Shehorn, age 42 of 709 S. Home St., was arrested by Union City Police at his home after leaving the scene of the incident.

Police were called to 708 Pierce St. on the report. The victim said she heard someone cussing and yelling outside her residence and saw Shehorn striking her Lexus with a baseball bat. When she went outside, he began chasing her and she was able to lock herself back in her house.

A witness told officers that Shehorn narrowly missed hitting the victim in the head and that he was threatening to kill her.

Biggest Marijuana Seizure In Henry County History

Sheriff Monte Belew and Sgt. Ricky Watson with seized marijuana, cash. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It’s the largest marijuana seizure by law enforcement in Henry County history.

The Metro Crime Unit seized 115 pounds of packaged marijuana with a street value of $300,000-500,000 at a traffic stop Thursday night on Hwy. 79S. The marijuana was stored in plastic totes packaged and vaccum-sealed in 95 bags and came with a packing list showing destinations.

Up until now, the largest amount of marijuana seized in Henry County was 40 pounds.

Arrested was Isaac Conger, age 30, Brown St., Paris, charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell. He is being held in the Henry County Jail on $150,000 bond and will be arraigned Tuesday morning.

The arrest was announced at a press conference Monday morning at Paris City Hall.

Paris Police Sgt. Ricky Watson--who is the Director of the Metro Crime Unit--said the traffic stop was initiated on Hwy 79S near the 218 bypass due to a headlight violation. Patrolman Jamie James, whose K9 Herrum was instrumental in the arrest, said Herrum “was overwhelmed”.

Watson said Conger has no other criminal history although “he’s being doing this for years. He just happened to be driving through Paris this time, apparently.” Conger’s van had Arizona plates although it is registered in Henry County.

Watson said Conger has residences in Arizona and Henry County.

Conger apparently was en route to New York to sell the 1.2 pound packages of marijuana. He had a rather sophisticated operation, with all of the packages vacuum-sealed, color-coded and marked as to which “flavor” each package was, including Blueberry Cheese, Lemon Lime, and Grape Candy.

Watson said, “He would have had more money on him, but we got him on his way to New York rather than the trip back.” He said Conger had $2400 in the van, along with equipment including the large plastic totes and scales. Along with the marijuana, all the equipment, money and van was seized.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo congratulated all the officers and Herrum that were involved in the bust. Belew said, “I don’t believe this was going to hit the streets of Henry County; I think he was coming through Henry County on his way to New York. I think we hit a real home run here.”

Elizondo said, “Our agency is a small agency and the Henry County sheriff’s office is a small agency and the Puryear and Henry agencies are smaller, too. By but pooling our resources, doing all this K9 training and sending our officers away to schools, we can make a difference. Last year we got 40 pounds and I thought that was great. It’s just outstanding team work.”

Belew said, “This was just a great collaboration.” The investigation is ongoing."

Paris Patrolman Jamie James with K9 Herrum, Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, Sgt. Ricky Watson, Deputy Jamie Myrick and Henry Chief David Andrews in front of marijuana haul. (McFarlin photo).

              Isaac Conger

Martin Couple Killed In Obion County Accident 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Martin couple was killed and a Rives woman was injured in a two-vehicle accident in Obion County Sunday afternoon.

John and Betty Cowen of Martin were killed in the accident. John Cowan was 79 and his wife was 65. Both were ejected from their vehicle.

Injured was the driver of the other vehicle, Lauren Jacobs, age 23 of Rives. She was driving a 2011 Chevy Malibu.

According to the preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the accident occurred around 4 p.m. at the intersection of N. Red McCorkle Rd. and Will Dickerson Rd.

John Cowan was driving a 2005 Chrysler 300 and according to the report, the Cowan vehicle ran into the path of Jacobs’ vehicle. Both vehicles collided, then ran off the roadway through a fence.

The report indicates that seatbelts would have made a difference in the collision. Speed was not a factor and no citations were issued. 

Union City Teacher Seriously Injured

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City Elementary School teacher was seriously injured in a wreck on Friday night near Halls. The family of Libby Kimbell Nunnalee said her vehicle collided with the rear of a truck stopped on the highway. Nunalee was taken to The Med in Memphis with broken bones and other serious injuries.

Paris FFA Wins State Contest

Paris FFA members are all smiles after winning the State Veterinary Science competition. (L-R) Emily Rose, Murray Perkins, Ashton Thompson, and Katie Plowman. (Laura Moss photo).

Martin, Tenn. – The Paris Future Farmers of America (FFA) took home first place honors in the Tennessee Future Farmers of America (FFA) State Veterinary Science competition earlier this month. The competition was hosted on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus and 26 FFA chapters from each of the three regions participated. 

Paris FFA of Henry County High School was represented by team members: Murray Perkins, Katie Plowman, Emily Rose, and Ashton Thompson. The chapter’s advisor are Tommy Barrow, Laura Moss, and Zach Presley. Paris will represent Tennessee at the National FFA Convention in October and compete against other state winning teams for the national title. 

Veterinary Science competitors completed a written exam that determined the team members’ broad understanding of the veterinary science field; completed an identification round that consisted of equipment ID, parasite ID, and breed ID. Teams also participated in a math practicum that included conversions, dose calculations, dilutions, cost calculations, and invoices. The top ten teams then participated in a mock veterinary scenario to determine the state winner. 

The winner of the Eastern Region was the Cocke County FFA Chapter. The Middle Region was won by the Cookeville FFA Chapter, which also placed second overall.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Nationally, there are 610,240 FFA members, aged 12-21. The Tennessee FFA Association is comprised of more than 13,000 members from 214 high school chapters, seven middle school chapters, and eight collegiate chapters across the state of Tennessee. To learn more about FFA visit

Goodwill Job Fair Set
Greenfield, Tenn.-Goodwill Career Solutions will host a job fair at Greenfield City Hall, 222 North Front St., from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, for Manpower, which is seeking to fill 20 positions in Weakley, Carroll and Henry counties.

Openings include production, assembly, manufacturing and warehouse. Rates of pay range from $8-$10 per hour based on experience. Representatives from Manpower will be on site and interviews are possible, so job-seekers should dress for success and be prepared to complete an application. Job candidates are encouraged to bring a resume, photo ID, Social Security card or birth certificate.


When: Tuesday, May 19
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Greenfield City Hall
222 N. Front St.
Greenfield, Tenn.

This event is one of a handful of job fairs taking place during the week of May 18. A complete list of job fairs taking place at Goodwill’s 27 Career Solutions centers can be found at

Sunday, May 17, 2015

National Chemical Landmark Dedicated At MSU

Murray, Ky. — A dedication was held on the Gene W. Ray Science Campus at Murray State University this week for the National Historic Chemical Landmark that recognizes the work of William Kelly in the experimentation of refining pig iron.
Dr. Bommanna Loganathan, chemistry professor at MSU and 2014 chair of the Kentucky Lake Section of the American Chemical Society, nominated Kelly’s iron and steel making process to be approved by the National Historic Chemical Landmark program. The nomination was approved in December 2014, leading to the first such landmark in Kentucky.

William Kelly, who lived near Eddyville, Ky., invented a method of producing one of the most important materials of his day, refined iron. Kelly experimented with refining at two sites near Eddyville, beginning in 1847. His development was an important step toward the manufacture of malleable iron products such as wrought iron and high strength, wear-resistant steel. Since this invention, better bridges, military defense armaments, kitchen utensils, buildings and skyscrapers have advanced and emerged. Various jobs were created for millions all over the world from the steel industry, and human civilization was forever changed. Kelly received a U.S. patent for his pneumatic iron process in 1857.
Loganathan and Dr. Harry Fannin, chair of the department of chemistry, unveiled the plaque that was presented by the American Chemical Society in recognition of the new National Historic Chemical Landmark.

For more information about Kelly’s work and Loganathan’s nomination of it, go online at…/murray-state-professor-paves-way-…/


Relay Yard Sale And Grill Out Set

Paris, Tenn.-The 3rd Annual Relay for Life Yard Sale and Public Grill Out will be held Friday and Saturday, May 22 and 23 at the VFW on Highway 79 N.

There will be lots of clothes (all sizes), figurines, pictures, glassware, jewelry, books, handbags, toys and many nice items will be for sale.

Burgers and hotdogs will be available to purchase, as well as popcorn, chips and drinks.

Relay for Life Public Relations Chair Dana Allen said, “This event is hosted by the Dana Corporation Relay for Life Team and all proceeds benefit Relay for Life of Henry County. If you’ve never been to this yard sale, you really must go. It’s so organized and runs so efficiently.”

Henry County Schools Early Dismissal Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Schools will have an abbreviated day on Thursday, May 21. These are the dismissal times: Harrelson, Lakewood and Henry Schools all dismiss at 10:45 a.m.; Grove at 11:15 a.m; and Henry County High School 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Heavy Rainfall Turns Park Into Swimming Area

Union City, Tenn.-Today’s heavy rainfall has produced localized flooding in our area, notably at Graham Park in Union City, which looks more like a swimming area than a baseball park today after four inches of rain fell there. (Mitzi Hailey photos).

Paris Police Destroys Drugs; Importance Of Fines Stressed


Paris Police Officer Tony Hutcherson shows confiscated marijuana to General Sessions Judge Vicki Snyder and Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing. (Paris PD photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police Department on Thursday destroyed 128 pounds of pills collected from the department’s “Drug Take Back Program” and 82 pounds of drugs and paraphernalia seized during arrests.

Police Chief Chuck Elizondo took the opportunity to talk about the importance of fines imposed by local judges in drug cases and how those fines are used by the local department.

Elizondo said, “Each year thousands of dollars from our drug fund are used to finance many of our law enforcement programs in our city. These funds come from cash seizures and vehicle seizures. These are important but they do not add up to the income that comes from ordered drug fines.”

Drug fines that are imposed by local judges, Elizondo said, “save our taxpayers thousands of dollars in taxes because drug fund money can only be used for law enforcement programs such as education, training and equipment.”

The fines are then put into a drug fund from which the department can pay for the following: the DARE program, K9s and their training; drug training for all 26 officers; body armor; fingerprint system; undercover vehicles; handguns and tasers; office and undercover equipment; and money used to pay undercover informants.

Chief Elizondo said, “I cannot express how important these drug fines are. I ask that these drug charges and fines not be used to reduce or settle cases. We ask that the charges not be dropped unless the person has paid in full both their court costs and the fine related to even a small drug charge. We have no issue with the charge being dismissed at that time if need be to settle the case. It is just that these cases are so important to the overall operation of the entire police department.”

Friday, May 15, 2015 

Baby Bald Eagle Born At Fort Donelson

Shift change in the Bald Eagles' nest at Fort Donelson. (Mel Cunningham photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dover, Tenn.-The Bald Eagle couple at Fort Donelson have recently given birth to an eaglet and photographers and sightseers have been gathering every day at the park to keep track of the little eaglet’s progress.

A Facebook group has formed called “Fort Donelson Eagles” on which photos and status reports on Fort Donelson’s newest family are posted every day.

The Facebook group calls the parents “Jack and Lizzie” and one of the parents stays in the nest all the time. The mother and father take turns tending to the nest and guarding against predators while the other goes out and forages for food. 
The nest is near Tour Stop 3 within the park on the main road as you drive toward the picnic area. The nest is located close to where the Bald Eagles had nested previously.

Personnel at Fort Donelson were worried a few years ago when the huge nest that Bald Eagles had built collapsed. But the eagles did return, building another nest close to the upper river gun battery.

Park Ranger Susan Hawkins said the eagles abandoned that nest in February “for whatever reason. Something happened to spook them and then they built this new nest is actually close to where that original nest was.”

The new nest is located in a pine tree and isn’t as big as the original nest that collapsed, she said.

The eaglet was born around the last weekend of April, Hawkins said.

The nesting area attracts people from all over the region, from as far away as Nashville, Clarksville and beyond, and has become something of a gathering spot where photographer and nature lovers can sit and talk while keeping watch over the Bald Eagles.

Eagle Fest 2015 This Weekend

Dover, Tenn.-Eagle Fest 2015 at Dover is this weekend and will include fireworks, live music, a parade, games and more. 

The annual celebration begins today with live music at 6 p.m. and glow run at 9 p.m.

On Saturday, May 16, the parade begins at 9 a.m., with booths opening in the downtown area at 10 a.m., with entertainment, inflatables and petting zoo. Fireworks is at 9 p.m.

On Sunday, May 17, church services are held at 10:30 a.m., with booths opening up at noon. At 2 p.m., there will be a kids’ fishing rodeo and at 6 p.m. a candlelight vigil.

Park at Stewart Co. Middle School and receive a free shuttle ride to Eagle Fest activities. 

Bethel Renaissance Records With David Phelps

Culleoka, Tenn.-This past week Renaissance’s Vocal Authority and Drumline traveled to Culleoka, TN to sing and play on Vocalist David Phelps’ new DVD Project. 

“I was so honored to have the students from Bethel University as a part of filming the live concert video, Freedom,” Phelps said. “They were invaluable in setting a joyful mood for the evening by being so amazingly well prepared and full of life. It is most certainly to be a defining moment in our production as well as cherished by viewers for years to come. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

A graduate from Baylor University, David Phelps is credited among today's most spectacular voices. His seemingly endless vocal range, which extends more than three octaves, coupled with his gift for communicating a song, has brought the house down in the world’s most prestigious venues. 

“To work with an artist like David Phelps is an opportunity that most professionals will never get the chance to do. I am thrilled that our program and our students are getting this opportunity,” according to Renaissance Executive Director Matthew Holt .“This will be another milestone for not only the Renaissance Program, but for Bethel University.” 

As a member of the Gaither Vocal Band, David has received Dove Awards, Grammy Awards, and multiple platinum-selling projects. As a soloist, he received 2009 Dove Award nominations for Male Vocalist of the Year and Long Form Video for the Christmas DVD, O Holy Night to add to his many awards and honors.

His 2012 live concert DVD, David Phelps: Classic, has received acclaim from across gospel music and beyond, and has been featured on numerous television networks, including PBS.

TBI Warns Of Counterfeit Pills

Nashville, Tenn.- Today, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a warning about a potentially dangerous drug found in pills that otherwise appear to be oxycodone.
Recently, a Tennessee law enforcement agency recovered what appeared to be several 30mg pills of oxycodone during a traffic stop. Each was the same size and featured the signature A/215 stamp characteristic of oxycodone. However, laboratory analysis performed by TBI Forensic Scientists indicated the pills were counterfeit and did not contain oxycodone. Instead, they contained fentanyl, a pain killer 50 times as potent as heroin that can be deadly in high doses.

“This disturbing discovery only compounds the problem of fighting drugs in Tennessee,” said Tommy Farmer, TBI Special Agent-in-Charge and Director of the Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force. “We want those addicted to prescription drugs to get help, not seek pills from illicit sources. It’s just a matter of time until it costs someone their life.”

Last year, in anticipation of a proliferation of fentanyl abuse in Tennessee, TBI Director Mark Gwyn proposed the agency launch a program to protect Agents and Forensic Scientists who may come into contact with fentanyl with auto-injectors containing naloxone, which can potentially save an individual from a fentanyl overdose.

Consumers should only use prescription medications obtained through a licensed pharmacy and avoid purchasing prescription medications online.

“It might look convenient to order medicines from home, but it’s not a safe alternative because you have no assurance of the quality or the actual ingredients,” said Farmer. “Furthermore, our state is ranked 3rd in the country for prescription drug abuse. It’s not just typical drug addicts, either. It cuts across demographics. It’s time for lawmakers to further enhance our state’s laws to address the new ways criminals are trying to take advantage of our state’s residents for the sake of profit.”

Pick Tennessee Offers Chance To “Fill Your Grill”

Nashville, Tenn. – Facebook users have the chance to win $200 worth of local meats from a nearby farm. A contest is being conducted by Pick Tennessee Products, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s program that connects farmers directly to consumers. 

A total of 12 winners will be randomly chosen at noon on June 15 and notified by Pick Tennessee Products.

Several Tennessee associations including the Tennessee Beef Industry Council, the Tennessee Pork Producers and the Tennessee Sheep Producers Association have partnered with Pick Tennessee to promote state meat producers and help fund the contest. TDA marketing specialist Wendy Sneed says it’s part of an effort to get the word out to consumers that purchasing meats directly from nearby farms is easy to do.
“Visit the Pick TN Products Facebook page,” Sneed said. “Click on the ‘Fill Your Grill’ posting, which is linked to a directory of participating farmers.” Contestants must choose which farm they would visit to collect their meats, then submit that choice with their own contact information.

To enter, search for “Pick TN Products” on Facebook. You will also find a link to the contest page on 

“Winners will be selected June 15 because we want to give winners a chance to claim their meats in time for the 4th of July,” said Sneed. “Of course, winners might prefer to put their prizes in their freezers to enjoy all their local meats a little at time, over a long period of time. One of the great things about this contest is that the choice is up to the contestant about what meats they want to purchase, and which cuts. Each contestant just needs to be sure to choose the farm that offers what he or she wants, whether it’s beef, pork, lamb, goat, poultry—or some of everything.”

There is no cash prize. Entrants win the opportunity to go to a farm or local meats business and choose up to $200 of Tennessee meats. All funds will go directly to the farmer or business to reimburse them for their products.

Follow Pick TN Products on Facebook, Twitter and on the Web. More information about the contest is available on the “Fill Your Grill” contest page. 

Free Computer Class To Be Held 

Paris, Tenn.-The W. G. Rhea Public Library in Paris will be offering a free Computer Basic Class from 5-7 p.m. Monday, May 18. 

Four slots are available at this time. Call the library at 642-1702 to reserve your space.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Discussing “Back Alley Paris”

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Artist Jane Baars talks over the “Back Alley Paris” project with Brenda Hosford, Becky Hedges and Margaret Weaks at Tuesday evening’s public announcement of the venture. The project will revitalize downtown alleyways with murals depicting life at the turn of the century. Baars is preparing the murals for the first part of the project, being painted on the alleyway next to the downtown park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

HCHS Students Rewarded With Discovery Park Trip

Union City, Tenn.-Henry County High School took Discovery Park of America in Union City by storm today. Principal Lennis McFerren took 89 juniors and seniors to   Discovery Park as a reward for meeting the state benchmarks on the ACT. 

Students have to score a minimum of an 18 in English, 22 in Math, 22 in Reading, and a 23 in science to meet these benchmarks. The seniors who have met this benchmark will be graduating with honors. A total of 70 seniors and 53 juniors has successfully reached this goal and were eligible for this trip. 
The trip was a huge success and the students really had a great time. 

High School Teacher Pam McCord  said, “As we were pulling into the park, Perry Atkins, a junior made the comment that he hoped there were go-karts. When he was told it wasn't an amusement park, but a huge museum he said, ‘Man, y'all tricked us into learning today!’ He had such a good time that he slept all the way home, so learning must have been so much fun, it wore him out!”

Paris-Henry County Citizens’ Police Academy Graduates

Paris, Tenn.-Graduation for members of the Paris-Henry County Citizens’ Police Academy was held Tuesday evening at the Henry County Fairgrounds. The graduates were joined by officers from the Henry County Sheriffs Office and the Paris Police Department. Fifteen members completed the eight week program and they were
certificates of completion by Chief Deputy Randy Gean and Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo. 

Students were treated to a meal prepared by Captain Damon Lowe and Deputy Ricky Ford. 

During the course of the academy, members learned the ins and outs of local law enforcement and it included tours of the sheriff’s office and jail, paris police department and 911 offices. They learned about surveillance and investigation, the importance of K9s, DARE programs, drug operations and more.

In photo are: Front Row from left: Fred Fredricksen, Mary DeGuire, Bruce DeGuire, Patricia Herndon, Felica Watson, Amber Hoskins, Patti Popovich, Tiffany Evans; Back Row  James Bau, William Andrew, Thomas Little, David Hamilton, 
Carlton Gerrell, Robert Popovich, Jason Evans.


18-Year-Old Indicted For Vale Arsons

Huntingdon, Tenn.-An indictment has been issued against an 18-year-old from Vale in connection with three 2014 Carroll County arsons, including arson of the Vale Volunteer Fire Department.

The indictment was issued against James Terry Ray, a former Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central High School student.

He was indicted following an investigation by the Bomb and Arson agents of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

In addition to the arson of the Vale fire department, Ray is also accused of setting fire to the Whistle Stop Café in Hollow Rock and a fire at a residence.

The announcement of the indictment coincides with this weekend’s fundraiser to rebuild the fire department. The fundraiser will be held from 4-7 p.m. May 16 at the Vale Community Center. Ham and beans will be served for $7 a plate. Eat-in or carryout.

Martin Residents Graduated From Police Academy

Martin, Tenn.-The Martin Police Department recently graduated the 26th session of the Citizen’s Police Academy. On Tuesday May 12th, 2015 members of the Martin community received their diplomas in a special ceremony held at the Martin Recreational Complex.

The Citizen’s Police Academy is a chance for citizens that live or work in Martin to get a first-hand view of the operations of the Martin Police Department. After graduating, citizens have a better understanding of what police officers face every day. The class met one night a week for ten weeks. Topics of instruction included use of force, undercover drug operations, crime scene investigation, DUI enforcement, criminal law, firearms, and other areas. 

Also during the ten week class the participants were required to ride with a Martin Police officer at least two times during the course of the class. Over 500 citizens have graduated from the Citizen’s Police Academy program since its inception in 1993.

In photo are, from left: Front Row: Scarlett Connell & Rebecca Pate; Second Row: Ginger Liles, Suzanne Peckham, Jill Hart, Sheryl Breeden, Mary VanCleave, Nancy Barner, Lisa Thompson, Brenda Wright, Kassi Wright, & Andrelle Burrus; Back Row: Jody Hatler, Weslee Hill, Dusty Gibson, Quinn Mosley, Scott McDonald, Scott Taylor, Jeromy Davidson, Joseph Clark, & Christy Ricketts; Not pictured: Lisa Moore, Harriette Spiegel, & Sarah Beth Stooksberry. (Martin PD photo).

Board Meeting Set To Interview Dr. Norton

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Board of Education voted at a special called board meeting to interview Dr. Brian Norton (current Assistant Director of Schools) for the Director of Schools position that will be vacated by the retirement of Mr. Sam Miles. 

The formal interview, which will be open to the public, will take place on Wednesday, May 20. Beginning at 3:30pm, any school employee or member of the community is encouraged to be present to hear from Dr. Norton, as well as ask questions. At 4:30 pm the board members will conduct their formal interview with Dr. Norton, which will also be open to the public.

UC Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City woman was charged with cruelty to animals and her dog was taken away from her after it was found to be malnourished and sick by Union City Police.

Cuwanda Granger of 308 E. Cheatham called police initially to report that someone was taking items from her home. When police arrived, they found the home to be in complete disarray and found the dog inside the home. 

Because of prior charges of animal cruelty against Ms. Granger, Police Chief Perry Barfield and Investigator Haskins were called. Both arrived at the scene and spoke to Granger.

Granger said the dog wouldn’t eat and needed medical attention she couldn’t afford. When she was notified that the dog would be taken away from her, according to the police report, she said, “Go ahead and take the dog” and stormed out and drove off.

Puryear Day Pancake Breakfast Set

Puryear, Tenn.-The Puryear United Methodist Church will host its annual Puryear Day pancake breakfast from 8-10 a.m. this Saturday, May 16. The church is located at 114 W. Chester St., Puryear.

The breakfast is traditionally the kick-off event for Puryear Day each year. Puryear Day this year will begin at 2 p.m. with a bluegrass concert and continue through the day with rides, games, inflatables, a dance and evening concert. WENK/WTPR published a story with the activities listed on Wednesday.

UC Civitan Club Selling Vidalia Onions

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Civitan Club is selling Vidalia onions again this year. The sweet onions will be delivered around May 15 fresh from the Vidalia onion field in Georgia.

The club is taking pre-orders and selling 10 pound bags for $10. All proceeds go toward supporting the club’s charitable projects. For more info or to pre-order, call Jerry Paschall at 536-5519.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Awards Given To Watson, Redditt, James

Officer of the Year Ricky Watson, Lifesaver of the Year Jamie James and Dispatcher of the Year Kelvin Redditt pose for a group photo after the ceremony. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn,-With often emotional presentations, awards were handed out Wednesday by the Paris Police Department to Officer of the Year Sgt. Ricky Watson, Dispatcher of the Year Kelvin Redditt and the Lifesaving Award to Patrolman Jamie James.

The man whose life Patrolman James saved, Carl Morgan, and his family, were on hand for the presentation.

In presenting Officer of the Year to Sgt. Watson, Police Chief Chuck Elizondo noted that Watson “excels in his ability to call on other agencies from federal, state and local, to join forces in a common goal which is to arrest the violators and keep the officers safe while doing it.”

Watson is currently director of the Metro Crime Unit and began his law enforcement career as a corrections officer with the county sheriff’s office, began working at the Paris Police in 1999 and ‘has progressed from a patrol officer to a highly trained investigator, teacher, and trainer in these 19 years of his law enforcement career,” he said.

Elizondo said simply, “Ricky is one of the best interrogators that I have seen.”

Watson strives to receive all the training that he can, Elizondo said. “I can’t express how proud we are to have him. A lot of times an officer of his caliber doesn’t stay long because the TBI or another agency will jump on him. We’re very proud to have him.”

In accepting his award, Watson said, “I work for a great chief in a great city and surrounded by great officers. That’s why I stay.”

Dispatcher of the Year honors were given to Kelvin Redditt, who began his career with the department as a 911 Dispatcher in September 2012. “Kelvin is an employee that everyone likes and to date I have received nothing but praise of him by the public and his peers,” Elizondo said. “I was just tickled to get him.”

Accepting his award, Redditt said, “I’m speechless. That’s all that I can say.”

In describing the lifesaving efforts of Patrolman Jamie James, Elizondo said Paris units were dispatched to Fairgrounds Rd. on April 23 of this year on a call of an unresponsive male inside a vehicle. James was the first on the scene.

Upon arriving, James found Morgan outside his vehicle lying on the ground with two citizens beginning CPR. James assisted a private citizen, Todd Hinson, in doing chest compressions and at one point they were successful in reviving him.

Morgan soon went into distress again and Hinson and James returned to doing CPR on Morgan until the ambulance arrived at which point EMTs took over the efforts to revive him.

A defibrillator was used on Morgan and he was revived. “Without the efforts of both James and Mr. Hinson, Mr. Morgan may not be with us today. Patrolman James did go above and beyond the call of duty to assist in saving the life of Mr. Morgan,” Elizondo said.

Morgan said after the award was presented to James, “I am grateful. I am proud of him.” Morgan’s wife, Mary said, “God sent angels at the right time that day.” James and Morgan shook hands several times after the ceremony.
Also speaking during the awards presentation were Dispatch Supervisor Angie Case, 911 Director Mark Archer, City Manager Kim Foster and Mayor Carlton Gerrell.

Carl Morgan shakes hands with Patrolman Jamie James, who helped save his life earlier this year. (McFarlin photo).


Naifeh Found Guilty Of Vehicular Homicide

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Lake County man was found guilty on six counts of vehicular homicide by an Obion Couty Circuit Court jury Tuesday.

The jury found Timothy Naifeh, age 53, of Tiptonville guilty of three counts of vehicular homicide while impaired and three counts of reckless conduct which resulted in the deaths of three people in a January 2012 Obion County wreck.

The jury only deliberated about an hour after being presented with the case. Judge James Beasley of Memphis presided over the case by assignment. The jury trial last two days. 

Naifeh is an attorney himself and was represented by Dyersburg Attorney Charles Kelley. Attorney Jim Cannon represented the state in the case.

The three-vehicle accident occurred on January 7, 2012, near Hornbeak. Three people were killed in the crash: Jack Bell, age 81, his wife Sue Bell, also 81, both of Kenton; and their son, David Bell, age 51 of Forsyth, Ga. 

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol at the time of the crash, Naifeh apparently crossed the center line, striking the Bell vehicle and then colliding head-on with another vehicle driven by Constance Fisher of Obion. Two other passengers in the vehicles were not injured in the crash.

Sentencing for Naifeh will be held June 29.

Attorney In Bobo Case Found Guilty Of Extortion

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Clarksville, Tenn. -- The attorney for one of the defendants in the Holly Bobo case could find himself in prison following a jury verdict of guilty in an extortion case Tuesday.

Nashville Attorney Fletcher Long was found guilty of extortion in an unrelated case Tuesday following a jury trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court. The jury deliberated for 15 hours.

Long is an attorney for Jason Autry, who is one of the defendants who is accused in the 2011 kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo in Decatur County.

An attorney known for taking high profile cases, Long also is the attorney for the Vanderbilt University rape defendant Brandon Vanderburg. 

Long was found guilty in the felony extortion case involving a billing dispute with a client. His former colleague, Carrie Gasaway, also was found guilty of pressuring a client for more money and then having her arrested when she did not pay them.

Emails and letters that Long and Gasaway wrote to their former client were publicized during the trial.

The outcome of the guilty verdict is expected to have a major impact on the Holly Bobo case, which already has seen more than its share of setbacks over the years.

Long could face from two to 12 years in prison and will be disbarred by the state of Tennessee.

Puryear Day Set For Saturday

Puryear, Tenn.-Puryear Day will be held this Saturday and will have a much different feel than previous years. The Puryear Lions Club discontinued sponsoring the event last year and there will be no parade to kick off the festivities in the morning as there always has been.

This year’s event is sponsored by the city of Puryear.

This year festivities begin at 2 p.m. with the local bluegrass band Wire and Wood performing. There will be wagon rides, inflatables, a petting zoo and pony rides around the outdoor pavilion.

Food and drinks will be supplied by the Puryear Volunteer Fire Department.

A street dance will be held at 7 p.m. with Commonwealth (former Great River Road Band) performing. 

Interested vendors should contact Councilman Bryan Hall at city hall at 247-5362.

Henry County Students Recognized 

Paris, Tenn.-Seven local students were recognized by the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) at Belmont University on Monday, May 11th. Students were honored for their exceptional performance on the ACT test as seventh grade students. Pictured from left are Alec Watkins, Nelson Denman, Drew Culbreath, Cade Veazey, Abby Alton, Ben Murphey, and Rachel Mitchell.

Dorena-Hickman Ferry Closed Temporarily

Hickman, Ky.-The Dorena-Hickman Ferry is closed temporarily due to repairs being made. According to the ferry’s Facebook page, it will be closed until later this week or next week.
The Dorena-Hickman Ferry is a ferry across the Mississippi River between Dorena, Missouri and Hickman, Kentucky. A single boat takes vehicular traffic across the river seven days a week during daylight hours.

Jeep Jamboree Returns To Turkey Bay 

Golden Pond, Ky.– Jeep owners will soon travel to Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area at Land Between The Lakes for the 18th Annual Jeep Jamboree, Saturday and Sunday, May 15-16, 2015. To participate, Jeep owners must pre-register at 

Turkey Bay is one of 30 Jeep Jamboree locations nationwide and is considered to be a family oriented four-wheel-drive adventure destination. 

“We look forward to the Jeep Jamboree every year,” says Kyle Varel, Acting Manager at Turkey Bay. “Event coordinators, trail guides, and participants always seem to be the friendliest people on the trails. It’s great to catch up with folks who return and to meet new Jeep enthusiasts each year.”

Each event caters to every level of off-road expertise. Experienced guides will help each Jeep operator and passengers to navigate through the wooded trails, challenge obstacles, and other off-highway trail adventures. For more event information, visit

Cottage Grove Looks Ahead To Freedom Festival

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Cottage Grove Legislative Council, the first reading of the 2015/2016 Proposed Budget was held. 

Anticipated revenues for the fiscal year are estimated at 57,603 with same proposed expenses balancing the budget.  

Councilman John Weiher reminded everyone that the band for the 2015 Freedom Festival is Commonwealth (former Great River Road Band). There will also be a parade, family activities, music and fireworks and as always, will be held July 4.

Matthew McClure presented the council with a street light project progress report. There will be three new lights and one current repaired. 

The council also approved a Main street sidewalk repair of $500.

The recycling program will be hosting a “Movie Night” on Saturday, May 23. The city is encouraging families to bring a picnic/meal and “tailgate”. The movie to be shown is “Black Beauty”. Activities will begin at dark. Anyone interested in the recycling program is welcome.

David Jackson presented a roof repair estimate for the original city hall building. No action was taken. 

 Murray Man Charged With Assault

Murray, Ky.-A Murray man was arrested on charges of unlawful imprisonment and assault following an incident early Monday morning in an apartment building in Murray.

Arrested was Khalid Ahmed on charges of first degree assault, unlawful imprisonment, wanton endangerment, threatening third degree, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Calloway County Sheriff's Office Deputy Corey Keene, along with units from the Murray Police Department, responded to 801 Cardinal Point Apartment #2, in reference to a female screaming for help. 

Upon arrival they found the victim with blood on her head. She told Deputy Keene that she had met the suspect about a week ago on a website. She also told Deputy Keene that Ahmed struck her several times in the head with a set of keys. 

She locked herself in the bathroom to get away from Ahmed. Ahmed then went to the kitchen and got a knife and told her he was going to kill her. Younger sprayed hair spray in Ahmed's face to get away from him. She then ran to a neighbor’s house for help. 

The victim was transported to Murray-Calloway Co. Hospital by EMS for treatment of her injuries. Ahmed was lodged at the Calloway County Detention Center.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015 

“Back Alley Paris” Brings Past To Life

DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray, left, announces the "Back Alley Paris" project with several city and county officials on hand. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-”Back Alley Paris” was introduced to the public Tuesday evening at the site of the first mural that is being painted in the alleyway adjacent to the downtown park.

Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray told the crowd that gathered for the announcement that the “Back Alley Paris” project will make Paris a ‘must see’ destination while keeping the downtown historic. She said it will create an ‘outdoor downtown museum’ that the public will enjoy and that will provide opportunities for local artists.

Local Artist Jane (Griffin) Baars, who recently retired and returned to Paris, is painting the first mural along the alleyway and it will depict several businesses that were downtown at the turn of the century.

Baars taught art at Henry County High School from 1979-1983 and is the president of the Tennessee River Fine Arts League. She is a graduate of Henry County High School and received her bachelor’s degree at Maryville University and her master’s at Valdosta State University.

Ray said the first mural is being accomplished thanks to a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. “The concept is to revitalize three or four downtown Paris alleyways as canvases for murals depicting everyday life in the 1890s and early 1900s. At the turn of the century, downtown Paris included seven groceries, six clothing or dry goods stores, three drug stores, six saloons, and one liquor store.”

Most buildings had residences upstairs and one or two businesses downstairs, she said. “For example, there could be a saloon in the front half and a print shop in the back. Alleys were not just ‘back doors’ but often ‘front doors’ for other businesses.”

The murals will depict scenes of the turn of the century, window boxes, entrance accents, and advertisements from that era.

The first alley will provide ‘snippets’ of businesses that were in downtown Paris in the early 1900s. As you look down the alley, the artwork will include an advertisement for the Crete Opera House, boarding house room available, an advertisement for Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic, help wanted notices for the National Toilet Co. and an advertisement for Nadinola Cream, a dry goods store, William A. Carter and Co. advertisement for corsets, Jack’s Billiard Parlor, a Dawson Shoes advertisement, livery stables and blacksmithing, and a wagon from J.R. Spicer Funeral Home, all of which were businesses in downtown Paris in the early 1900s.

Ray encouraged the public to bring stories of the era to the DPA office at 203 E. Fentress St.

Artist Jane Baars working on downtown mural during the announcement. (McFarlin photo).

ACT Program Recognizes UC High School As No. 1 In State

Union City, Tenn.-Union City High School Principal Wes Kennedy was recently informed by the corporate office of ACT Testing that Union City High School was selected as the #1 High School in the State of Tennessee for College and Career Readiness. 

ACT has long defined college and career readiness as the knowledge and skills a student needs to enroll and succeed in credit-bearing first-year courses at a postsecondary institution such as a 2- or 4-year college, trade school, or technical school, without the need for remediation. 

Director of Schools Gary Houston said, “We want to acknowledge our K-8 staff and administrators in their preparation of students for the academic rigor received prior to entering high school.”  

He also recognized the students who he said “were the integral part in this recognition and they deserve the ultimate credit for meeting the challenge presented to them.”

Paris Man Arrested On Drug Charges

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris man was arrested on drug charges following a search conducted Tuesday by the Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Henry Police and Paris Police K9 Kenzee.

Arrested was Nathan Dewalt of 706 Mandalay Rd., Apartment 301. 

During the search, officers located approximately a quarter pound of marijuana, along with baggies, digital scales and $324 in alleged drug proceeds that were seized.

A bond of $2500 was placed on Dewalt by Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson. 

Hazel Couple Charged With Kidnapping, Assault

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Hazel, Ky.-A couple from Hazel was arrested on several charges, including kidnapping and assault after they allegedly held a woman for several hours at knifepoint at a Hazel residence.

Justin Michael Thornton, age 32, and Angela D. Gruner, age 37, are charged with kidnapping, assault second degree; threatening third degree; criminal mischief first degree; wanton endangerment second degree and burglary first degree.

Calloway County Sheriff’s Deputies Troy Doss and David Bailey responded to the call and the victim informed them she had been held for several hours at knifepoint and with the threat that the couple also had a handgun. The victim also was assaulted and threatened numerous times, according to deputies, until she was able to escape and call for help.

Warrants were issued for Thornton and Gruner, who were arrested later in Henry County. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

Calloway County Sheriff Sam Steger would also like to encourage anyone that witnesses any unusual or possible criminal activity to call the Sheriff’s Office at 270-753-3151 or utilize the

Long May She Wave

Paris, Tenn.-With a breeze blowing all day Monday, the American flags in front of the Henry County Courthouse created a picturesque and patriotic scene. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Salary Increases In Paris City Budget

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At a budget work session Monday night, the Paris City Commission approved salary increases for city employees in the budget and discussed the possibility of adding a traffic signal at the intersection of Jim Adams Dr. and Volunteer Dr. 

The commission also discussed health coverage for city employees and proposed street repairs.

On the signage issue, it was concluded that more information needs to be gathered before a final decision can be made.

New City Manager Kim Foster noted that a study was done by former City Manager Carl Holder before he retired in which he compared salaries of city employees with other cities of similar size and demographics across the State. The study confirmed that city of Paris employees were not compensated at the same level as their statewide counterparts. 

Holder presented a recommendation for across the board salary adjustments to the Board and these recommendations have been included in the proposed budget, Foster said.

In response to a proposed 18.7% increase in healthcare benefits by the city’s current provider Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Foster proposed a move to a new healthcare provider, United Healthcare – River Valley. 

“This move will save the City approximately $150,000 next year,“ Foster said. “The cost of the new plan is reflected in the proposed budget.”

A 5% increase over last year’s contribution to the library also was included in the proposed budget. “We will work with the County, as usual, to make sure we are consistent with our funding,” Foster said.

Foster also noted that in the proposed budget there is a 41% increase in the asphalt line item so that more street repairs / repaving can be done. “We have not spent as much as we’ve needed to in the past few years to keep pace with deterioration, and the winter weather has caused additional needed repairs,” she said.

Foster also noted the city has doubled its three year average capital equipment budget by including approx. $638,000 for capital expenditures in the general fund. This is also to catch up on cuts to capital expenditures over the past several years.

Not included in the budget but requested to be added was a recommendation Foster made to contract with Henry County Medical Center to enroll the city’s employees in the hospital’s Industrial Wellness Program.

 In this program every city employee will have $1,700 - $1,800 worth of lab work and counseling done for them at a cost to the city of $90 per employee. “I feel it is extremely important that we do everything we can as an employer to improve the health and wellbeing of our employees,” Foster said. “The only way we can affect our healthcare premiums going forward is to have a healthier group. The total cost of this program will be approx. $10,500.” Commissioners agreed with the recommendation.

Tennessee River Tour Stop At Paris Landing This Weekend

Paris, Tenn.- Living Lands & Waters will be bringing their operation to Paris, from Sunday, May 17th through May 19th as the fifth stop of the Tennessee River Tour. 

Stopping at six ports in three different states, this tour will help raise awareness to the importance of the river, and highlight local groups who are already engaged in environmental stewardship.
The barges will be moored on the riverfront near Paris Landing State Park (off Fishing Pier Drive), and there will be a variety of activities open to the public throughout the week. These events include a river cleanup, the Tennessee River Tour Speaker Series featuring Joan Stevens from the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge discussing the Endangered Species Act, as well as an open house on the barge. LL&W will also host a press conference highlighting local groups, and educational workshops with local high school students. 

Sunday, May 17th; 
1pm-4pm Open House (Barge Tours)
1pm-4pm River Cleanup

Monday, May 18th; 
9am-2pm Educational Workshop - VACANT
6:30pm-8pm Tennessee River Tour Speaker Series 

Tuesday, May 19th; 
9am-2pm Educational Workshop - Henry County High
2pm Press Conference
The Tennessee River Tour's primary sponsors are the Tennessee Valley Authority, Keep Tennessee Beautiful, and Tennessee Valley Towing. Paris partners include: Henry County, Paris/Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee State Parks, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.
For more information on the Tennessee River Tour, please visit

About Living Lands & Waters; Chad Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the beautification and restoration of America's major rivers and the education of environmental issues. From his single boat beginning, LL&W has grown to an industrial strength, internationally known organization with a fleet of barges and workboats. LL&W engages thousands of volunteers each year in river cleanups, hands-on environmental education workshops, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup, Adopt-a- River-Mile program, Invasive Species Removal, and the Million Trees Project.

Yates Pleads Guilty To Child Murder

Camden, Tenn. -- A Holladay man who was arrested in 2014 for the beating death of a seven-month-old baby pleaded guilty in Benton County Circuit Court Monday. 

Westlee Yates was arrested in August 2014 as a result of an investigation by the TBI, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the 24th District Attorney’s Office and Department of Children’s Services.

The child’s mother had taken the little boy from their home in Holladay to Camden General Hospital where he died. According to police reports at the time, the child’s mother had left the baby with Yates for a short time.

Yates was sentenced to serve at least 48 years in prison with no possibility of parole, but his guilty plea will keep him off death row.

Special Populations Fishing Tournament Set

Golden Pond, Ky.– Kentucky Lake Bass Club and the Knights of Columbus of Aurora will sponsor the 38th Annual Special Populations Fishing Tournament on Saturday, May 16.

This tournament develops the fishing skills of children and adults who are physically or mentally challenged. Land Between The Lakes hosts the tournament at Honker Lake, off Forest Service Road 135 near Woodlands Nature Station. Registration for the free tournament is from 8-9am; fishing is from 9am until 12pm. Prizes will be awarded for the heaviest string of fish.

“This is a fun day for volunteers, parents, caregivers, and especially the anglers,” commented Cathy Goode with Kentucky Lake Bass Club. “We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy this special event.”

Pre-registration is encouraged to ensure adequate supplies of poles and bait are on-hand. Call 270-924-2046 to pre-register or for more information. 

Bethel University Ranked 2nd in Nation  

McKenzie, Tenn. – Bethel University has been ranked 2nd in the nation in the list of Best Online Christian Liberal Arts Colleges for 2015. The list, found at, included Liberty University (Virginia) at number one followed by Bethel, the University of Findlay (Ohio), Indiana Wesleyan University (Indiana), and Southeastern University (Florida) to fill the top five positions.

The site said the following about Bethel University:

 “Bethel University’s Success Undergraduate Degree Program is designed for adults over 23 years of age with a high school diploma or GED and at least 3 years of work experience. Bethel caters to busy adults in need of flexibility to complete a college degree.”’

The synopsis also noted that all admitted online students receive a laptop or tablet to facilitate class participation, and it listed some of Bethel’s online degree programs that include: Organizational Management, Criminal Justice (bachelor’s or master’s), Emergency Services Management, General Studies, Education (master’s), nursing (RN to BSN), Business Administration (master’s) and Conflict Resolution (master’s).

 According to the website, schools were included in these top lists because of their Christ-centered online programs and academic merits. Schools were assessed based on overall academic strengths after review of acceptance, enrollment, retention and graduation rates.  

“This is such a big honor to us,” said Bethel University President Walter Butler. “Our faculty and staff work so hard to deliver to our students a quality product, and this feedback lets us know that our online educational product is meaningful, and it is helping individuals progress to their desired career goals.”

Butler also pointed out that he felt being a Christian based university helps Bethel stay focused on what its mission is.

 “Because of our affiliation with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, we always have a center around which to build our programs.”

Ribs, Ridin’ And Rockin’ For Relay

Paris, Tenn.-This year’s Ribs, Ridin’ & Rockin’ for Relay will be held Saturday, May 16th at Meo Mio’s at Paris Landing. There will be a motorcycle ride leaving the parking lot at Meo Mio’s at 10 a.m. Registration for the ride will begin at 9 a.m. and the registration fee is $20 for the rider and $10 for a passenger. This is not a poker run. This ride will cover 150 – 200 miles of great riding roads in several counties (Henry, Stewart, Benton and Humphreys), crossing the ferry in Danville, TN. This is a 3-4 hour ride with a couple of stops along the way. 

Door prizes will be presented upon returning to Meo Mio’s parking lot and will have a drawing for $100 cash prize. Event t-shirts will be available in pink, purple or black for $20 each. 

The classic rock band Storm Angels will perform from 8-midnight after the ride at Meo Mio’s. No admission or cover to enjoy the show.
For more information, please contact Greg Pierce at 731-642-2876.

Vale Fundraiser For Fire Department 

Vale, Tenn.-The Vale Volunteer Fire Department will be holding a Ham & Bean Supper from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Vale Community Center.
This is a fund-raiser to help the fire department rebuild the station after the fire loss last year. For more information or to make a donation you may contact Chief Ronnie Wade at 415-1797.

Gerrell To Speak To Democratic Party

Paris, Tenn.-The meetings of the Henry County Democratic Women and Henry County Democratic Party will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday night at Paris City Hall.

Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell will be the speaker. The public is invited to attend.

Monday, May 11, 2015 

Westbook Appointed As County Trustee

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting Monday morning, the Obion County Commissioners appointed Deputy County Trustee Tracy Westbook to replace the retiring Lori Seals.

Seals has worked for the County Trustee’s office for 36 years; 25 as a deputy and 11 as the Trustee. Her retirement is effective May 31.

Seals said this morning, “This has been a real learning experience. It’s the only job I’ve ever had and I’ve made a lot of friends while working here.” She said she was excited about retirement. “I’ll be able to spend a lot more time with my family,” she said.

Westbook has been Deputy Trustee for 11 years.

Fugitive In Martin Kidnapping Found By U.S. Marshals

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-U.S. Marshals have apprehended the man accused of assaulting and kidnapping a woman and her daughter in Martin earlier this month.

Martin Police Capt. Don Teal reported that Derrick Nicholson of Meridian, Miss., was apprehended by the U.S. Marshal service in Meridian. He was transported to the Lauderdale County. Miss., jail where he will be housed awaiting extradition to Martin.

Nicholson, age 25, assaulted and kidnapped the woman and her daughter at knife-point on May 2.

He is wanted on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated domestic assault, aggravated burglary, theft of property and vandalism.

At approximately 3:30 am the morning of May 2, Martin Police officers responded to the area of Lindell St. when notified by dispatch that a Weakley County deputy was in pursuit of an individual who had just assaulted two subjects.

Officers learned that Nicholson had kicked the door in at 308 Raven St. and assaulted, then kidnapped a female and her daughter at knife point.

The two victims were able to escape Nicholson on Church St. and flag down Weakley County Sergeant Danny Browning. Sgt. Browning pursued the vehicle to Summer St. where it crashed, hitting a residence on Summer St. When officers arrived Nicholson had fled on foot.

Yocum Hired As UTM Head Volleyball Coach

Martin, Tenn. – Jaclynn Yocum, who spent the last four seasons as head volleyball coach at Columbus State Community College in Ohio, has taken over as the seventh head coach in University of Tennessee at Martin history.

The move was announced today by Skyhawk athletics director Julio Freire. It was also announced that assistant coach Julia Noe will be retained in the same role for the upcoming 2015-16 season. Noe had previously served as acting head coach after four years as an assistant coach.
“Like with other coaching hires, we were looking for a variety of attributes and Jaclynn checked all the boxes,” Freire said. “She possesses great character and is a relentless recruiter. She has a passion and is committed to the full student-athlete experience – academically, athletically and socially.”

Yocum amassed a 118-29 record (.803 winning percentage) and won 92 percent of her conference games (46-4) at Columbus State from 2011-14.  

“I couldn’t be more excited to be a Skyhawk and leading a program with so much potential,” Yocum said. “I am very grateful to Julio Freire and the larger UT Martin community for this incredible opportunity and entrusting me with the future of the program. My assistant coach Julia Noe and I are anxious to get to work. It’s time for us to play Skyhawk volleyball – talons out, on the attack.”

Discovery Park Hits 400,000th Visitor Mark

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America has now hit the 400,000th visitor mark as of Sunday, May 10.

Brian Dawson, Mariah and Trace Turner, all of Union City, were planning to celebrate Mother’s Day by visiting the park Sunday afternoon and instead were feted when their attendance pushed Discovery Park to the 400,000 mark.

To celebrate, they received free admission into the park, a free combo ticket (to the Earthquake Simulator, Starship Theater and Tower) and a complimentary meal at the Cafe. 

Mariah Turner had been to the park previously, but it was Dawson’s first visit. Park officials say that if attendance continues at the current rate, the park will be celebrating its 500,000th visitor later this summer. 

According to CEO Jim Rippy, the park is quickly becoming a destination. “We are thrilled with the number of visitors coming to Discovery Park,” he said. “We are so appreciative of everyone near and far who have helped make this happen!” 

Discovery Park is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and is a unique blend of science, history, art and fun. The park is normally closed on Mondays, but will be open on Memorial Day, May 25th with a special WWII Living History event on the Great Lawn. For more information about upcoming events and activities, visit the website at 

29,000 Pine Seedlings Planted In LBL

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes has planted approximately 29,000 Shortleaf pine seedlings on 42 acres near Demumbers Bay. Hardwood trees and Loblolly pines in this area sustained heavy damage during the 2009 ice storm and other wind events. Non-native Loblolly pines were removed from the area and replaced with native Shortleaf pines. 

“Loblolly pines were planted by the Tennessee Valley Authority many years ago because they are fast growing trees and could quickly provide soil erosion control,” said Yvonne Helton, Silviculturist at Land Between The Lakes. “Loblolly pines tend to be tall with a weaker root system which makes them vulnerable to damage. Native Shortleaf pines place their energy into developing a deeper root system. This makes them ‘slow growers’ above ground and are better suited to weather conditions in our region.”

Forest Service officials used prescribed fire in the Demumbers area before and after using mechanical thinning to clean out the damaged hardwood trees and Loblolly pines.

Odor Leads To Drug Charges

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested on several drug charges Sunday after a chemical smell led officers to his home in the 500 block of S. Fifth St.

Jimmy Royce Barker, age 55, of 507 S. Fifth St., was charged with possession of meth, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers smelled the odor and traced it to Barker’s home. Barker said he thought the odor was methane coming from his garage. According to the police report, during questioning in his home Barker told officers he had marijuana and handed them a box with marijuana and a glass pipe in it.

Barker gave officers consent to search and they found several glass pipes, baggies, crystal meth hidden in his shoe, marijuana and meth pipes in a clothes basket, digital scales, and two bongs.

Barker told the officers he had no idea how the items came to be found in his house.

Tickets On Sale For “Phantom Tollbooth”

Paris, Tenn.-The KPAC Players will present “The Phanton Tollbooth” at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 17 at the Krider Performing Arts Center in Paris. Advance tickets can be purchased now from cast members and or at the Paris Civic Center. Advance tickets are $5 for all. Tickets at the door are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children.

This musical production was developed by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is based on the classic book by the same name. In January of 2015,  

The cast includes area performers Bryan Meade, Brooke McCord, Allin Montford, Mallory Sellers, Shelby Frye, J’onn Nicholson, Joan Stevens, Carolina Atkins, Georgia Atkins and Hannah Atkins. 

The play will be presented to over 1,300 area school children in grades 3-6 on May 18 and 19.   

Enroll Early For Kid College At UTM

Martin, Tenn. – The annual Kid College summer program, hosted by the University of Tennessee at Martin, is scheduled for June 8-12 on the UT Martin main campus. Courses are enrolling now on a first-come, first-served basis and will fill up, so early registration is encouraged.

Kid College is open to children who will be in kindergarten through fifth grade in the fall of 2015. This year’s theme is “Picture Yourself at Kid College” and includes more than 60 course options. Children may enroll in up to five courses of their choosing, based on grade level. 

The first course is $30 per child; additional courses are $25 each. Many of the individual courses have additional supply fees. The registration fee includes a Kid College T-shirt. 

Courses for students in kindergarten through second grade include magnificent mad scientists, discovering the night sky, linguakidz French, LEGOs, ARTventure time, fitness is fun, yoga, wood working, carousel kitchen, football, baseball/softball, karate, personality pets, and the wacky world of games.

Courses for children in third through fifth grade include space academy, kids hunt too, creative canvas, hello cupcakes, balloons with a twist, the Skyhawk report, photography, linguakidz Spanish, chemical reactions, author’s corner, kid with a blog, wood working, and simple and powered machines.

Registration is now open and parents are encouraged to register early. For more information or to register, visit

UC Couple Shot At During Burglary Attempt

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City couple reported being shot at by two men who appeared to be readying to break in to a residence on E. Palmer St.

The couple said they pulled in their alley and saw two black males crouched down behind another car. When they pulled their van forward, the two men took off and one turned and fired one round from the pistol and it struck the hood of their van.

They said the men were wearing white t-shirts and jeans, but police were unable to find them.

UC Police Investigate Break-Ins

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating two break-ins which occurred in the city over the weekend. 

At a residence on Summer St., someone kicked in the front doors and ransacked the residence. According to the police report, the suspect went through the entire house and damaged doors, the air conditioning unit, shower rod and fence.

At another residence on Bank St., the resident returned home to find clothing on his couch that he had put in his closet and the trim to the back door lying on the floor.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

“Back Alley Paris” Announcement Set For Tuesday

Artist Jane Baars at work. (City of Paris photo).

Paris, Tenn.- With a Tennessee Arts Commission grant called Arts Building Communities (ABC), “Back Alley Paris” is painting the town with the first alley located next to the downtown park. 

Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray said the public is invited to a press conference and announcement set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the downtown park. Local Artist Jane Griffin Baars will be demonstrating how she will be painting historical views that represent downtown businesses and events in the early 1900s on a wall near the park.
“Back Alley Paris” is a partnership between the City of Paris, Downtown Paris 
Association, and Robert E. Lee Academy of the Arts. “Back Alley Paris” is a visual arts project that we plan to promote as a unique venue in Downtown Paris through tourism opportunities. The project will make Paris a “must see” destination while keeping our downtown historic, Ray said. “We will utilize the Arts to create a sense of history for the early 1900’s while improving public spaces and displaying a sense of community character and pride,” she said.

Baars graduated from Henry County High School, received her Bachelor’s degree from Maryville University, Master’s Degree from Valdosta State University, and spent many years in art education. 

“We want you to tell your story so bring written stories and ideas to the park on Tuesday or by the DPA office anytime at 203 N. Fentress Street,“ Ray said. “We believe the unique ‘Back Alleys’ and historical views will lead visitors to the front doors of our downtown area creating economic revitalization for downtown merchants and property owners.” 

Hands-On Training For Citizens Academy

Paris, Tenn.-Sergeant Ean Reed, Firearms Instructor for the Paris Police Department, instructs Amber Hoskins the proper shooting technique as part of the 2015 Citizens Police Academy on Saturday. As part of its curriculum, the Citizens Police Academy watch demonstrations and actually fire weapons that the police officers train with and carry daily. (Paris Police photo).

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Eddyville Man Shot, Injured By KSP Trooper

Photo taken at the scene by the KSP.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Eddyville, Ky.– An Eddyville man was shot and injured by a Kentucky State Police trooper after he pointed a handgun at law enforcement during the execution of a search warrant at his residence early Saturday morning.

During the search, 10 ounces of crystal meth, with a street value of $18,000 was recovered from the residence, along with several guns and a large amount of cash.

During the early morning hours, the KSP executed the search warrant at a residence on Bryson Road, in Eddyville. According to the press release from the KSP, troopers knocked on the door, identified themselves as police officers and made their presence known.

John C. Smith, age 51 of Eddyville, came to the door and pointed a handgun and a laser pointing device at the troopers.

After Smith refused several verbal commands to drop his weapon he was shot by the trooper and was struck in the abdomen area. Smith was transported by the Lyon County EMS to Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, KY where he has undergone surgery for his injury and is recovering in ICU.

Smith will be charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 1st Degree (2nd offense) methamphetamine more than 2 grams with a firearm enhancement, Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Patricia A. Kilgore, age 41 of Eddyville was charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 1st Degree (1st offense) methamphetamine more than 2 grams with a firearm enhancement, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Kilgore was lodged at the Caldwell County Jail.

Detective Donald Bowman continues the drug investigation and Detective Lieutenant Trent Weaver along with Lieutenants from two other KSP posts are continuing the investigation into the trooper involved shooting. KSP was assisted on the scene by the Eddyville Police Department, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Marshall County Sherriff’s Office.

The trooper’s name will be released later, according to the KSP. He has been placed on paid administrative leave as is KSP policy. No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident.

Hard Work Pays Off For Local Army Veteran

Eric Wilson (lower left next to airplane) was among eight UT Martin engineering students who participated in the SAE Aero Design East competition in Lakeland, Fla. Other team members pictured are (l-r): Alex Taylor, Cleveland, Tenn.; Sterrett; Wilson; Jared Miller, Dickson; Brad Jones, Lexington; Cory Bullard (lower right next to airplane), Booneville, Miss.; Michael Dawson, Henderson; Jan Brotherton, Hollow Rock; and Gauri Patel, Humboldt. Dawson is an electrical engineering major while the other students are mechanical engineering majors. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. — A few short years ago, Eric Wilson had his doubts that he would ever earn an engineering degree. Wilson enjoyed knowing how mechanical things worked, but mathematics was a challenge for someone who began college eight years after high school. Hard work and persistence paid dividends years later for this 33-year-old U.S. Army veteran when he received a bachelor’s degree in engineering on May 2 from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Wilson was born in Union City, lived his first few years in Dresden and was raised in Dyersburg. The nephew of longtime Weakley County Sheriff Mike Wilson graduated in 2000 from Dyersburg High School and worked a couple of factory jobs, including a stint building single-phase transformers at ERMCO in Dyersburg.

With no real direction in his life, he enlisted in the Army and spent the better part of four years stationed at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. He returned home to work when his enlistment ended, but decided to pursue a college degree instead. He enrolled at UT Martin in fall 2008 and focused on his studies without the worries of a regular job by living at home and using the GI Bill.

“It was an easy decision. It’s home,” he said of choosing to attend UT Martin. “There are other schools out there, but when I got to researching and talking to people that have gone to the engineering department specifically, it was kind of an easy decision.” Focusing on mechanical engineering was also an obvious choice. “That was a definite no-brainer for me. I like mechanical stuff,” he said.

After being away from the classroom for eight years, deciding to attend college was the easy part of his new journey. Re-learning how to study and facing college mathematics were definite challenges. Wilson became one of the few UT Martin students to start in entry-level math and still complete the engineering program.

Wilson relishes his success in math, but he most enjoyed “getting to work through problems that are real world” in his engineering courses. Wilson chose to join a team of students who would build a radio-controlled airplane and compete for recognition. The goal was to design and build an eight-pound, radio-controlled empty aircraft that could carry a 15-pound static load inside the plane and drop a humanitarian package into a 50-foot circle.

Wilson’s role on the engineering team was to help design and build the plane’s fuselage, which included the nose, cargo bay and main landing gear. He also worked with engine testing and tuning. “We had to get the engine running at peak performance to ensure that we were going to be able to achieve the goals, which we did,” he said.

After months of work and preparation, the team headed to the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Aero Design East competition, sponsored by SAE International, March 13-15, in Lakeland, Fla. Teams flew airplanes two days, completed one technical inspection day and delivered an oral presentation to a panel of judges. In the end, the UT Martin team placed third in the world and was the highest-ranked U.S. team.

Wilson has a head start on his first full-time engineering job at ERMCO in Dyersburg.

Photo: Eric Wilson (lower left next to airplane) was among eight UT Martin engineering students who participated in the SAE Aero Design East competition in Lakeland, Fla. Other team members pictured are (l-r): Alex Taylor, Cleveland, Tenn.; Sterrett; Wilson; Jared Miller, Dickson; Brad Jones, Lexington; Cory Bullard (lower right next to airplane), Booneville, Miss.; Michael Dawson, Henderson; Jan Brotherton, Hollow Rock; and Gauri Patel, Humboldt. Dawson is an electrical engineering major while the other students are mechanical engineering majors.

HCHS Honors Students

Students with their awards. (Pam McCord photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School recognized over 175 students Friday for their hard work and dedication throughout the school year. Among those honoured were seniors graduating with the highest recognition of distinction, students with perfect attendance, students who met state and ACT benchmarks, boys and girls state attendees and various award winners.

According to Pam McCord of the high school, one special group got big news. Because they reached or exceeded state mandated benchmarks on their ACT, they will be rewarded with a day at the Discovery Park of America in Union City on Wednesday. In all, 123 Juniors and Seniors received this honor and will be attending the trip.

The following are some of the award winners:

Seniors who are graduating with the highest recognition of Distinction which means that they met the required average plus one of the following: Participant in TN ALL State Musical Organization, scored a 31 or higher on the ACT, received a 3 or higher on two AP exams, received Industry Certifications or received 12 or more hours of transcripted college credit:

Mary Peyton Boyd Scored a 34 on the ACT

Lauren Gilbreth Scored a 34 on the ACT

Ryan Mahan Scored a 33 on the ACT

Lee Gore Scored a 32 on the ACT

Holly Peavy Scored a 31 on the ACT

Davis Wells Scored a 31 on the ACT

Kathryn Nation Scored a 31 on the ACT

Jesse Hudgins Scored a 31 on the ACT

Zach Peoples Scored a 31 on the ACT 

FBLA 1st Place State Winners Picture 

Liz Burton & Davis Wells in Banking and Financial Systems

Nate Kendall & Carson Ray in Business Financial Plan

Mary Peyton Boyd, Myles Crichton, & Laura Onate in Business Plan

FFA State Champion Dairy Handler

Ashton Thompson

FCCLA 1st Place State Winners

April Hovis Gold Award for Illustrated Talk

Olivia Perry Gold Award in Reciting the Creed

Friday, May 8, 2015 

Investigation Into Missing Man's Death Continues

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Department has cordoned off the area where a 24-year-old Paris man was found deceased Thursday afternoon as the investigation continues. Brandon Lee Mullins, age 22, had been reported missing and was found inside what Sheriff Monte Belew described as an enclosed container on the Mullins property on Hwy. 641N. Belew said there is no reason to suspect foul play at this time. The full story was published earlier this morning. (Photo by Katie Shambo of WBBJ-TV).

Deaths of Two In Obion Being Investigated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

 Obion, Tenn.-The bodies of a man and woman in their 50s were found in a residence in the city of Obion around noon Friday and the cause of their deaths are still being investigated by the Obion Police Department.

Mayor Rodney Underwood said the police department is not ready yet to state a cause for the deaths. The bodies have been sent to Memphis for autopsy, he said.

It has been speculated that the deaths were due to a murder-suicide, but Underwood would not confirm that at this time.

The Obion County EMS and Obion Police responded to the residence on Troy Ave. around 12:30 p.m. and found the pair deceased, he said.

Three Guilty Pleas Entered In Three Smith Tire Barn Arson
Trial Date Set For Smith

Paris Firefighters at the scene of the Smith Tire Barn arson in February 2014. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Three of the four defendants in the Smith Tire Barn arson case pleaded guilty to various charges and were sentenced today in Henry County Circuit Court. A trial date for the fourth defendant was set for October.

The guilty pleas followed plea bargaining between the District Attorney’s office and the defense attorneys for the three. The hearings were held before Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish.

Issuing guilty pleas today were: William Tomlin, Diane Tomlin and Michael Wayne Allred.

A trial date for Joseph Smith, owner of the former Smith Tire Barn, has been set for October 26. In their plea deals, both William and Diane Tomlin agreed to testify truthfully at Smith’s trial.

William Tomlin pleaded guilty to arson and his sentence of four years in prison was suspended on time served to supervised probation. He is represented by Attorney Jeremy Buckelew.

Diane Tomlin pleaded guilty to criminal facilitation and her sentence of three years in prison was suspended with the sentence to be served on state probation. She was represented by Beth Farmer-Belew.

Michael Wayne Allred pleaded guilty to criminal responsibility for the conduct of another. His sentence of four years was split with one year served in continuous confinement and the balance on state-supervised probation. He is represented by Attorney Jeff Fagan.

All three were ordered to pay restitution of $645,317.25 to the victims and $29,422.98 to the insurance company as reimbursement for investigative costs.

All were arrested in connection with the arson of the former business, which was located on Hwy. 79N. The business burned to the ground in February of 2014, along with units of a nearby storage facility. The fire also damaged homes located behind the business.

His case was bound over to Circuit Court earlier this week following a hearing in General Sessions Court.

Smith is represented by Paris Attorneys Chad Cox and Andy Clark. Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing represents the state.

Missing Man Found Deceased In Container

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

 Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a young Paris man whose body was found in an enclosed container Thursday night.

Brandon Lee Mullins, age 22, had been reported missing by his family in the afternoon.

The sheriff’s office responded to the Mullins home at 2565 Hwy. 641 around 4 p.m. Thursday on the missing person report. Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco, along with family members, began searching around the property.

Mullins’ body was found in an enclosed container on the Mullins’ property, according to Investigator Adam Jenkins, who said it is believed that Mullins became trapped in the container and was not able to get out. The inside temperature of the container is believed to be a factor in his death.

Also responding to the scene were officers from the sheriff’s office Criminal Investigation Division, sheriff’s office crime scene technicians, Coroner Danny Tucker and the District Attorney’s office.

The body has been sent to Nashville for an autopsy.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said at this time there is no cause to believe foul play was involved, but the investigation is ongoing.

Belew said, “This is a tragic and devastating loss” for the Mullins family. He said the family will be in the thoughts and prayers of the sheriff’s office.

Governor Beshear To Speak At MSU Graduation

Murray, Ky.-Murray State University’s May 2015 Commencement ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, in the CFSB Center, and will begin with the Presentation of Colors by the Murray State University Army ROTC Color Guard. There are 1,304 degree candidates for spring graduation — 939 undergraduate, 360 graduate and five doctoral candidates.

The Mace Bearer is Dr. Winfield Rose, the MSU Distinguished Professor and a professor in the department of political science and sociology in the college of humanities and fine arts.
Outstanding Seniors Aida De La Fuente and Robert Lewis will lead in candidates for degrees and will also give the valedictions. Aida, the daughter of Aida Batiste and Luis De La Fuente of Spain, who now live in Louisville, Ky., will receive a bachelor of arts degree in economics and Spanish. Rob, the son of Mike and Sue Lewis of Great Mills, Md., will receive a bachelor of science degree in wildlife and conservation biology.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will deliver the Commencement Address, and will receive an honorary doctorate of public policy from Murray State University. Beshear was first elected governor in 2007. During his time in office, he has focused on initiatives to help Kentucky families, particularly in the areas of health and health care, education and economic development.

Ample general guest parking is available in the Stewart Stadium parking lot, east of the CFSB Center, off of Hwy. 641. Shuttle busses are available to transport guests from the parking lot to the front doors of the CFSB Center beginning at 8 a.m. Busses are also available until 1:30 p.m. to transport guests from the CFSB Center back to the parking lot.
The top two rows of chair seating in the arena is reserved for guests with limited mobility. Limited mobility guests may have two additional guests sit with them. Special seating areas will also be located on each side of the arena. Ushers will be available to assist with seating.
Guests with disabilities who require special assistance should note the parking lot located off of Gilbert Graves Drive is available for a drop-off zone. A handicapped parking tag or special permission will be required to park in that location.

Special requests regarding disabilities may be directed to the office of institutional diversity, equity and access at 270.809.3155, or the CFSB Center at270.809.5577 or TDD 270.809.3361.

The event will be streamed for those who are unable to attend at

Kathryn Nation Receives Full Scholarship

Kathryn Nation with her parents Keith and Kayla, and Dr. Ed Trimmer of Martin 
Methodist College.

Paris, Tenn.-Kathryn Nation of Paris has received a full tuition scholarship to attend Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn. Martin Methodist is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

The presentation of her scholarship was made at Henry County High School, with Dr. Ed Trimmer, Executive Director of the Carl Turner Jr. Center for Church Leadership from Martin Methodist College.

Kathryn is the daughter of Keith Nation, engineer at Dana Corp and pastor of Bakers Chapel and Big Sandy United Methodist Churches, and Kayla Nation, Children’s Librarian at W. G. Rhea Public Library. 

Kathryn is also the granddaughter of Jim & Roslynn Hayes of Henry and Rev. Harrell & Janice Nation of Jackson. At Henry County High School, Kathryn was a member of the National Honor Society; is a member of numerous school organizations including Science, Foreign Language and Math Clubs; a flutist and section leader in the “Henry County Marching Patriots“. 

Quilt Show Coming To Heritage Center 

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Heritage Center will be hosting a Quilt Show of quilts owned and created by Henry County quilters. The exhibit runs from May 12-May 30. Admission is free.

The exhibit will feature antique quilts as well as contemporary creations. One section will spotlight “Our Grandmothers’ Quilts”, some sewn from 1850, 1917 and 1920s.

The Heritage Center is on N. Poplar St. and its parking area is located off of Highway 641 north of the court square. Hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m; Saturday 10 a.m. to noon. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

UC Business Burglarized

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating a burglary at a local business. According to the police report, the alarm at Hops and Barley at 1202 S. Ury St. went off around 1 a.m. Friday morning.

Officers found the window on the north side of the building broken. It appeared the suspects unlocked it, opened an adjoining window, scaled the back wall and made entry into the building.

According to the report, it appeared the suspects went through a desk in the office area and dropped a register on to the floor. The only thing missing was a money drawer which reportedly was empty.

Officers said footprints and hand prints were left through the scene.

UC Police Investigate Robbery Attempt

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating an attempted aggravated robbery at 1331 Hillsboro St. Thursday. The victim flagged down officers and said he was walking to his apartment and was halfway up the stairs when he spotted a black man crouching and pointing a silver semi automatic pistol at him. The unknown man told the victim to come upstairs with him and the victim ran.

The suspect is described as 6 foot tall wearing a black stocking mask and white t-shirt. The victim said the suspect ran off into the woods and officers did find the black stocking mask there.

Legislative Luncheon Set

Paris, Tenn.-Another Legislative Luncheon will be hosted by the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce with speakers Sen. John Stevens and Rep. Tim Wirgau at noon May 20. The luncheon will be held at the Lee Academy for the Arts lunch room.

RSVP by noon Friday, May 15 if interested. Send RSVP to Kayla Simpson at the Chamber office, or 642-3431. Lunch is $10.

Thursday, May 7, 2015 

Paris City Commission Appoints First Woman
Jackie Jones Selected

City Commissioner Terry Fuller congratulates Jackie Jones on her appointment. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

 Paris, Tenn.-Paris Native Jackie Jones was appointed as the city of Paris’ first female commissioner at a busy and lengthy meeting Thursday night.

The former Jackie Holland, Jones returned to Paris two and a half years ago upon retirement from a career in public service.

Jones formerly served as the Director of Marketing for Barkley-Regional Airport in Paducah, was public relations officer for McCracken County Schools and taught English and Journalism at Heath High School.

After the meeting, Jones said she was happy to serve Paris as a city commissioner. “The jobs I’ve had working with city and county commissions, economic development and other government entities really made me enjoy seeing how the governmental process works.”

Four candidates were interviewed for the position Monday: Jones, David Webb, Terry Knott and Catherine Herrera. Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said all four were well qualified and the decision was a harder one to make after the interviews. 

The position was open following the resignation of Robert Sleadd earlier this year.

Webb congratulated Jones on her appointment after the meeting.

Commissioner Gayle Griffith noted that Webb is currently a county commissioner and “I think he’s the best commissioner we have in the county and I would rather see him on that board,” Griffith said before nominating Jones for the post.

New City Manager Kim Foster was attending her first meeting in her new capacity Thursday night following the retirement last week of Carl Holder. Foster is the first female to be hired as City Manager for Paris.

In other business:

--The commission approved first reading of a request by the Board of Public Utilities to increase water rates. Assistant BPU General Manager Terry Wimberley said the increase is needed to produce enough revenue to be eligible for a loan that will be used to construct a new water plant.

The current water plant is 65 years old and the city is in need of a newer, more modern facility to continue supplying a safe, reliable water source for the community. The new rates will increase over a three year period, at the end of which the increase will equal some $6 per month per average user.

 Wimberley said local water rates “are traditionally very low compared with other cities across the state”.

 --The commission also approved a first reading on a proposed ordinance involving heliports. The ordinance was proposed by the planning commission and imposes limits on the construction of heliports within the city limits.

“As you may be aware, there has been discussion surrounding the possibility of one and possibly two helicopter bases locating in Paris or Henry County,” Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris said.  “To date, the City of Paris has not received any information formally regarding this proposal such as site plans, etc.”

After approval of the first reading, Mayor Carlton Gerrell said a public hearing on the ordinance will be held prior to the June commission meeting, at which second and final reading will be on the agenda.

--The commission approved recommended adjustments to the fiscal 2015 budget. Most adjustments related to unexpected expenses associated with the winter snow storms, timing of grants and timing on bond-related projects.

--Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray said the Back Alley Paris project is underway, thanks to a grant approval. Local Artist Jane Baars is painting a mural in the downtown park by the water fountain. A public announcement will be made about the project at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the park.

Miles Announces Retirement; Norton To Be Interviewed

Director of Schools Sam Miles announces his retirement as (from left) School Board Member Jim McCampbell, Board President Tom Beasley and Administrative Assistant Tiffany Latta listen. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Schools Director of Schools Sam Miles officially announced his pending retirement at a special meeting of the board of education Thursday night and the school board unanimously accepted his recommendation to first interview Assistant Director of Schools Dr. Brian Norton before possibly opening it up for other interviews.
Miles’ retirement is set for June 30.

Four members were in attendance at the meeting--Board President Tom Beasley, Doug Braden, Jim McCampbell and Rod Frey. Robert Sleadd was again not present and an attempt to connect with him via Skype was unsuccessful.

Board President Tom Beasley said, “I’m really sorry to see Sam go. After five good years. Sam has been just the right man for the job and we’re going to miss him.”

Miles said, “Forty-two years has been a long time to be in education. I’m proud and honoured to have worked in this county and I will stay in the county. Everything we’ve gained has been due to the teachers and the staff. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by good people. But there’s a lot of work we have to do between now and June 30.”

Beasley said Miles indicated he would willing to stay on for 120 days at 60 percent of his pay if needed through the transition. Beasley said the board has a lot of leeway in how it wishes to proceed on hiring a director. He also said Miles had indicated his desire that the board should consider Norton as a strong candidate for the job.

Board members Doug Braden, Jim McCampbell, and Beasley all agreed there was no need to go through the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) for a director search. 

Braden said, “I’d like to see us get someone from within, someone who is familiar with Henry County and Henry County Schools. I don’t see any advantage to go through TSBA. I see that as a last resort rather than a first resort.” 

Braden also said he did not want there to be co-directors, to which Miles agreed. Miles said he only offered to stay on 120 days if needed. Miles said, “I’m just saying if you haven’t hired to anyone by June 30, I won‘t run out the door. I‘m not retiring so I can be a co-superintendent.”

Board members agreed to interview Norton within the next two weeks and report back at the next board meeting. 

In other business, Parent Ben Taylor asked that the board consider having two empty chairs draped with a cap and gown at graduation in honor of Steven Rushing and Jamison Castille, who were members of the Class of 2015 who have died.

“On behalf of the families,” he said, “I don’t think it would look tacky for chairs to have gown and cap draped over them in their honor. I remember when we did it for our class for people who passed before and we didn’t see anything wrong with it. Know there’s a lot of controversy about it and we want to see if we can get it done.”

Ambulance, Car Collide

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Calloway County, Ky.-A Murray-Calloway County Hospital ambulance collided with a car on Old Paris-Murray Rd. Wednesday. The driver of the private vehicle was treated at Murray-Calloway Co. Hospital for her injuries.

According to the press release from the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office, the ambulance driven by Stephen Hjerpe was traveling southbound with emergency equipment activated (lights and sirens). 

Meanwhile, a Ford Escape driven by Naomi Watson, was traveling southbound in front of the ambulance. Watson said she saw the ambulance behind her and slowed down, but there was no shoulder to pull over onto. The ambulance then turned left, attempting to enter a driveway and struck the passenger side of Watson’s vehicle.

Watson was transported to the Murray Calloway County Hospital for treatment of her injuries. The ambulance driver was not injured. Calloway County Fire Rescue and Murray Calloway County EMS assisted at the scene

Lady Patriots Are District Champs 

Clarksville, Tenn.-The Henry County High School Lady Patriots and their coaches gathered for a team photo after their victory over Clarksville High School to win the District 10-AAA championship. The final score was 3-0. Round 1 of the Regional 5-AAA tournament will begin Monday night at the Henry County High School softball field. In bottom photo, the seniors on the team are all smiles after the victory: from left, Ashley Underwood, Olivia Cate Brogdon and Julie Medlock. (Kim Gwaltney photos).

Working On Next Leg Of 218 Bypass

Paris, Tenn.-Workers have begun clearing the area for the next leg of the 218 bypass, near the Henry County Airport. Paris City Economic Director Jennifer Morris said the project will connect Hwy 69 (at the airport) to Hwy 641 (next to Scott’s Auto Repair). She said the workmen will begin working on the railroad bridge nearby soon. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

UC Man Faces Long List Of Charges After Foot Chase

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man is facing several charges after he led officers on a foot chase while spilling baggies of drugs from his pockets after a traffic stop. The suspect also reportedly lied to officers about his identity during the stop.

Arrested was Cleven Westbrook, 1305 E. Mercer St., Union City. When initially questioned by police, according to the report, he said only that his first name was Chris, then later said his full name was Chris Taylor and that he was from Martin.

He is charged with possession, possession with intent to sell, evading arrest, criminal impersonation and was served with a past warrant for aggravated burglary.

Union City Police stopped the blue jeep at 900 S. First St. after they saw trash being thrown out of a window. Once stopped, they determined the trash was thrown by a juvenile and officers cited the driver, Trinitye Blanton of Sharon.

Officers noticed that Blanton was nervous and could not answer many questions about the passenger in her jeep, who was Westbrook. She did tell officers that he had been drinking when she picked him up. Blanton agreed to allow officers to search the vehicle.

When questioned, Westbrook said he could not remember his birth date or social security number. Upon further questioning, he said he had drunk four bottles of vodka and that’s why he couldn’t remember anything. 

In the process of turning around for officers, Westbook ran off and two baggies fell out of his shorts. After a foot chase, officers finally found him hiding behind a rose bush at Westover School on West Florida St.

Officers found another baggie full of white powder on the ground where Westbrook was running.

Upon testing, officers determined one baggie contained 31.2 grams of marijuana and another contained 3.1 grams of cocaine. 

Once at the Obion County Jail, he gave officers his real name.

Large Animal Rescue Class To Be Held

Murray, Ky. — Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture will host a Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue training program on Monday through Friday, May 11-15. The class and hands-on activities will take place at the Cherry Agricultural Exposition Center and the MSU Equine Center.

The Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) program is designed to help teach practical considerations, behavioral understanding, specialty equipment, techniques, methodologies and tactics behind the safe extrication of a live, large animal from entrapments in local emergencies and disaster areas.

Three main groups of people will benefit from TLAER. They are emergency responders, such as fire fighters, and police/sheriff and animal control officers, who have education and experience in first response and technical rescue, but know little about large animals. The second group to benefit is livestock industry professionals, including animal owners/managers and veterinarians, who have experience with large animals, but know little about emergency response and scene safety. Finally, university students who have learned information in classes, but may lack the experience in putting that information to use, will also be able to register for the course.

The course will teach each group how to better interact with one another and how to be more prepared when they become involved in an emergency or disaster involving large animals. It is meant to address events such as animals trapped in pools, mud, ditches and ravines; animals in trailer accidents; barn fire prevention and ice rescues.

On Monday and Tuesday, a ropes training will take place. At that time, participants will learn the setup of the rope gear and different ways to tie knots for maximum effectiveness. For the remainder of the week, the large animal rescue program will take place. During this portion of the course, participants will learn how to assess and respond to various types of emergencies they might encounter that would involve large animals.
The training will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Lectures will be in the morning in the Cherry Agricultural Exposition Center and hands-on training will be in the afternoons at the MSU Equine Center. A nighttime training will be conducted from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 14.

During the night training, a mock search and rescue will take place. Horses will be led out somewhere on the property of the MSU Equine Center. Then, teams of students and participants in the program will be sent out to search for the horses. When they find them, they will have to deal with the scenario that’s been created. The participants must use everything they have learned in the week, applying it to the situation presented.
This is Murray State’s second year of implementing the training. Last year, there was industry participation from approximately 10 states, and there were 20 industry professionals and 20 students involved in the course. Murray State students will be given coursework credit for completing the class.

For more information on how to participate in the training or help sponsor the program, contact Porr at or 270.809.6908.

Robison Graduated With Honors

Martin, Tenn.-Rachel Robison (right), of Paris, graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee at Martin on May 2. Robison is pictured with her sister, Hannah Robison. Dr. John Barker, chief accountability officer for Chicago Public Schools, served as the spring 2015 commencement speaker. (UTM photo)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 

Charges Against Smith Bound Over To Circuit Court

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Charges against Joseph Smith in the 2014 arson case involving the former Smith Tire Barn were bound over to Henry County Circuit Court following a three-hour hearing Tuesday.

The hearing was held before Henry County General Sessions Court Judge Vicki Snyder, who found there was enough evidence for the case against Smith to proceed to Circuit Court.

Smith was the owner of the business formerly located on Hwy. 79N that burned to the ground in February of 2014, along with units of a nearby storage facility. The fire also damaged homes located behind the business.

Smith is represented by Paris Attorneys Chad Cox and Andy Clark. Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing represents the state.

Smith is one of four people charged in the crime. Others are William Tomlin, Diane Tomlin, and Michael Wayne Allred. Tomlin was charged with arson, while the other three were indicted on charges of conspiring to help Tomlin commit the crime so that Smith could collect insurance money.

Hearings for the Tomlins and Allred will be held Friday, according to Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson.

Gasoline, Burn Pile Make Bad Combination

Paris Firefighters discuss the cause of the fire with residents. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris man was cited for violation of the city burn law following a fire this morning to the exterior of a home at 1925 Bell Ave.

Some $5000 worth of damage was caused to the exterior of the home, including melted siding on three sides of the residence. 

When firefighters arrived, they found the siding on the house on fire and a man trying to extinguish it. Fire Marshal Greg Andrews said property owner Robert Frazier was cited following the incident. Frazier owns a building near the home as well as the home, which he was renting out to a couple.

Andrews said the fire started when Frazier was attempting to kill weeds around the home by spraying gasoline around the foundation of the house. Andrews said Frazier also had lit a burn pile near where he had sprayed the gasoline, which ignited the fire.

Meet Me At The Y

Paris, Tenn.-Among the other delights at Eiffel Tower Park II in Paris is a group of trees shaped like a “Y”. So much so, in fact, that the disc golf station where the trees are located is also called “The Y”. There also are a trout pond and walking trails in the park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Pillow Hired As New Finance Direcctor
Commission Ready To Nominate New Commissioner

Finance Director Traci Pillow. (City of Paris photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris has hired Traci Pillow as the new Finance Director to replace Kim Foster, who now serves as City Manager.

Pillow has worked for the city for five years, most recently as Assistant Finance Director. She is a native of Paris and moved back after living in middle Tennessee for several years.

She will be presenting her first report as Finance Director at Thursday’s meeting of the Paris City Commission. There is a lengthy agenda on tap for Thursday’s meeting and it includes the probable selection of a new commissioner to replace Robert Sleadd, who resigned at the beginning of the year. Candidates were interviewed Monday and the agenda states nominations may be taken from the panel for a new commissioner.

Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said the commission interviewed "four very qualified candidates and I think we'll be ready to select someone Thursday night."

Other items on the agenda include presentation of the proposed ordinance governing heliports in the city limits, a request by the Paris Board of Public Utilities to increase water rates and an update on the police department from Police Chief Chuck Elizondo.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at city hall and is open to the public.

Libation Station Now Open

Lauren Jones works behind the mahogany bar. (DPA photo).

Union City, Tenn.- Get ready to whet your whistle and fuel your engine as Libation Station is now open at Discovery Park of America (DPA) in Union City.  Following the May 1st opening, Libation Station will be open most Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. throughout the summer, and is sponsored this year by Davis Wealth Services, Williams Country Sausage and Snappy Tomato Pizza.  

Libation Station, which is located at the antique train Depot on the grounds at DPA, offers free appetizers and live entertainment most evenings.  “While we have adult beverages, we still want to create a family type atmosphere,” CEO Jim Rippy said.  “We also have regular beverages available.  Some people come out just to hear the live entertainment and enjoy the view,” he added.   

“Last year, individuals and couples came to Libation Station to listen to live music while their children or grand children fished at the Final Flight Reelfoot Landing,” Rippy said.  

Walking and fishing privileges for DPA members also began May 1st.  Because of staffing, summer walking and fishing privileges for members go along with the opening of Libation Station.  “When Libation Station is open, members are welcome to come out and fish or walk the grounds,” Rippy said.  The best way to know if Libation Station is open is to check the website.  (Libation Station is closed on some evenings when there is a major park event and in cases of inclement weather.)   

Libation Station is managed by Event Director Assistant, Lauren Jones, who said that DPA members requested a May opening.  “We were planning to open on June 1st, but we had so many requests to open in May that we decided to open early.”  Jones has been busy lining up the talent for the summer.  To find out who is providing entertainment, you can visit the park’s website and click “Calendar.”   

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  You can see the 2015 Calendar of Events, including upcoming educational and entertaining events, by visiting the website at .  The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.  

Small Business Basics Graduates Thirteen 

From left: Carlene Rivers, of Martin; Chole’ Stout, of Dresden; Stacey Sain, of Paris; Martin; Klides; (back row) Roy Corley, of Jackson; Kirk Hamlin, of Ramer; Brian Hawkins, of Jackson; Jason Martin, of McKenzie; Travis Brock, of Martin; and Fuqua. Not pictured are Oscar Hurtado, of Martin, and Nicki Zolfagharbik, of Paris.
Ramer; Brian Hawkins, of Jackson; Jason Martin, of McKenzie; Travis Brock, of Martin; and Fuqua. Not pictured are Oscar Hurtado, of Martin, and Nicki Zolfagharbik, of Paris.

Martin, Tenn. – Thirteen West Tennessee entrepreneurs from the local area participated in the Small Business Basics Boot Camp hosted in April by the Tennessee Small Business Development Center and the University of Tennessee at Martin Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center. 

Participants graduated from the course April 28 and include:  Carlene Rivers, of Martin; Chole’ Stout, of Dresden; Stacey Sain, of Paris; Martin; Klides; Roy Corley, of Jackson; Kirk Hamlin, of Ramer; Brian Hawkins, of Jackson; Jason Martin, of McKenzie; Travis Brock, of Martin; and Fuqua; Oscar Hurtado, of Martin, and Nicki Zolfagharbik, of Paris.

The boot camp is a four-week program designed to serve as a guide to small business development and entrepreneurship. Participants were exposed to a variety of topics, including writing a business plan, financing a business, banking practices, marketing strategies and pitching a business loan. The goal of the course is to help new entrepreneurs begin their small business ventures or for new, existing businesses to obtain new skills for success.

Landy Fuqua, REED Center director, instructs the course with the help of special topic speakers. This year’s guests included Beau Pemberton, an attorney from Dresden, who spoke on legal matters for the small business owner; Darlene Adkins, lecturer of accounting at UT Martin, who spoke on best accounting practices; and Hollie Holt, a certified business counselor at the REED Center, who spoke on best marketing practices, including the use of social media.

“Anyone wanting to start or thinking about starting a business should invest in all of the courses that the REED Center/TSBDC has to offer,” said Joyce Klides, of Martin. 
“The Small Business Boot Camp taught me so many things that I didn’t know before about starting a business. It has changed my perspective on the business world,” added Brittany Martin, of McKenzie. 

UC Resident Earns Two Degrees At UTM

Mallory Martin (center),  with Erica Carroll (left) and Amanda Waldon, licensed veterinary technicians and laboratory instructors for the UT Martin veterinary health technology program. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – As the old saying goes, “If at first, you don’t succeed – try, try again.” Mallory Martin, a Union City resident, proved that adage true this year and crossed the commencement stage May 2 with two degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin and an acceptance letter to veterinary school at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn.

Martin, the daughter of a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency agent, grew up surrounded by animals. “Ever since I knew what a vet was, that’s what I wanted to do. I’ve just never changed my mind,” she said.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, with a concentration in animal science, in May 2014, but was disappointed to learn she had not been accepted to veterinary school.

“I was devastated when I didn’t get in the first time, but Dr. (Jason) Roberts (assistant professor of animal science) calmed me down and told me, ‘Just keep trying and work hard, but don’t work so hard that you get burned out and you don’t have a life, because that will hurt you more in the long run,’” Martin said. With this advice in mind, she began work on plan B.

At the encouragement of Roberts, Martin returned to UT Martin to complete a second bachelor’s degree in the veterinary health technology program. Martin says the hands-on experience in the veterinary health technology program helped in her second round of applications to veterinary school, ultimately convincing the selection board at Lincoln Memorial University that she has the academic and practical experience to succeed in their program. 

The UT Martin veterinary health technology program is a four-year curriculum, but Martin was able to finish in one year, thanks to prerequisite classes from her first degree. She will be part of the second graduating veterinary class at Lincoln Memorial University, which began its program in 2013. 

Martin will complete her required six-week internship at Auburn University this summer before beginning veterinary courses in August. She plans to return to the Obion County area to work in mixed-animal practice after her schooling is complete. In the meantime, she and her fiancé, Hunter Allen, will wed in September. Allen is set to graduate from UT Martin in December 2015.

Martin may not have reached her goal on the first try, but with personal dedication and the advice of a few good teachers, she should receive her doctorate of veterinary medicine in 2019. It all goes to show, there is more than one way to reach the stars.

HCHS Announces Academic Top 10

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School has announced the Academic Top 10 for this year.

They are:

Seniors: Mary Peyton Boyd, Lauren Gilbreath, Jillian Dupras, Sakura Horiuchi, Holly Peavy, Anna Martino, Ryan Mahan, Parker Hatcher, Lee Gore and Imari Thompson.

Juniors: Andrew Minor, Aubrey Buttrey, Tanner Beasley, Dakota Noble, Shan Patel, Jackson Griffey, Ashley Martin, Alexander Watkins, Zachary Word and Alexander Nanney.

Sophomores: Calista Herrera, William Brown, Olivia Boyd, Alyssa Brown, Rudi Wimberley, Colin Harris, Alexander Boyd, Ethan Jackson, Gracie Clayton, Elizabeth Wood, Shannon Watson, and Sydney Wyatt.

Paris City Commission Sets Work Session

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris City Commission will hold a budget work session at 6 p.m. Monday night, May 11, in the large meeting room at City Hall. Upcoming 2015-2016 fiscal year budget recommendations will be presented and discussed. The public is welcome to attend.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Is Saturday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Henry County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, May 9, at the recycling center at 450 Recycling Drive.

Henry County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins said, “Now is a great time to discard all those chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, paint thinner, etc. Don’t throw it away--bring it to our event.”

Watkins said the agency is pleased to offer the event and encouraged people from other communities to attend.

The event was established as a means to provide a safe way to dispose of household hazardous waste, Watkins said. He noted that many of the items that people place in the trash can actually injure sanitation workers or others.

Accepted items at the event include motor oil, scrap metal, oil-based paint, aerosols, pesticides, rechargeable batteries, used automobile fluids, pool chemicals, mercury thermometers and thermostats, Tvs, computers, old appliances, plastics and more.

Items that will not be accepted include medical and infectious waste, ammunition and explosives, radioactive materials, smoke detectors, etc.

Call 642-5170 for more info.

Vanderbilt Medical Again On “100 Greatest” List
To Locate Headquarters in Henry County

A Vanderbilt LifeFlight crew at an accident scene. (Vanderbilt LifeFlight photo).
Nashville, Tenn.- Vanderbilt University Medical Center has once again been named among the “100 Great Hospitals in America” by Becker’s Hospital Review and is the only health facility in Tennessee to make the list.

Vanderbilt provides all medical staffing, patient care and clinical services for Vanderbilt LifeFlight, which will soon open an emergency air ambulance base in Henry County, Tennessee. 

Vanderbilt LifeFlight, which takes the great clinical services and patient care offered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center directly to the patient, will transport to any medically appropriate hospital. 

Vanderbilt LifeFlight is the only air ambulance service in the region that carries life-saving blood on each helicopter, and administers blood in more than ten percent of the trauma patients. Vanderbilt Trauma Center is the only Level 1 center in Tennessee to be an American College of Surgeons verified trauma center. Verification from the ACS goes beyond state-level requirements and affirms that Vanderbilt’s Trauma Center is among the best in the country. Receiving care at a Level 1 Trauma Center can lower risk of death by 25 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients who survive their injuries and arrive at Vanderbilt alive have a 95 percent chance of survival.

According to Becker’s, hospitals included on the list are “some of the most prominent, forward-thinking and focused health care facilities in the nation and are home to many medical and scientific breakthroughs, provide best-in-class patient care and are stalwarts of their communities, serving as academic hubs or local mainstays.”

Vanderbilt LifeFlight currently provides hospital-based emergency air medical transport services throughout Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, with remote helicopter bases in Lebanon, Tullahoma, Clarksville, Smyrna and Mt. Pleasant, Tenn.

To create the list, the Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team analyzed data from numerous sources, including U.S. News & World Report, Truven Health Analytics’ 100 Top Hospitals, HealthGrades, Magnet Recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the Studer Group and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program to establish this year’s list. Hospital nominations were also accepted and evaluated by the Becker’s editorial team.

Volunteers Sought For Living Lands And Waters

Buchanan, Tenn.-Chad Pregracke, who was recognized as CNN’s “Hero of the Year” in 2013 for his work cleaning up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, is now bringing his barge-based Living Lands and Waters efforts to the Tennessee River, including a stop at Paris Landing, scheduled for May 17-19. Local volunteers are sought for the event.

 The “Tennessee River Tour,” sponsored by TVA, will include educational workshops, river cleanups, open houses and other conservation based activities, all designed to make people aware of the value and importance of the Tennessee River. 

Tammy Pregracke, Chad’s wife and business manager, said the Tennessee River tour will serve the same basic purpose as the work done on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, to raise awareness of the importance and impact of the resource, “the ecology and the economy.” She also said that one of their missions is to “highlight the work” of local groups who are already engaged in environmental stewardship.

Pregracke started contacting government agencies in his teens and decided by his early twenties to create Living Lands & Waters.  The group has worked with over 60,000 volunteers to collect over 6 million pounds of debris.

Volunteers may register at 

LBL Squirrel Season Begins May 9

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area’s 2015 spring squirrel hunting season will open May 9-June 14, in Tennessee and May 16-June 19, in Kentucky. 

Hunters must have a valid Kentucky or Tennessee state hunting license for the state in which they are hunting. Hunters age 16 and older must also have a Land Between The Lakes Hunter Use Permit. These are available online, 24/7 at or North and South Welcome Stations, Golden Pond Visitor Center, and wherever Kentucky and Tennessee state hunting licenses are sold. 

Hunters must abide by all applicable regulations and stay within legal hunting areas. The Tennessee daily bag limit is 10 with a possession limit of 20, and in Kentucky, the limits are 6 and 12, respectively. Hunters are strongly encouraged to use a tick repellent containing permethrin during these seasons.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

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

Geranium Sale This Week

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris & Henry County Health Care Foundation will be having a Geranium sale on Thursday, May 7 and 8, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. or until all plants are sold. 

Locations to purchase the Geraniums are First Bank, 1068 Mineral Wells Ave and the Henry County Medical Center patient parking located at 301 Tyson Ave. Plants are $7.50 each. Pre-Order to secure yours before they are gone by May 5 at 5 p.m. to or fax order form to 731-644-8360.

May Bloodmobile Visits In Our Area 

The following are locations and times for Lifeline Bloodmobile visits during the month of May in our area:

Thurs., May 7
First United Methodist Church, Paris, 12-6 p.m.
Mon., May 11
E. W. James, Martin, 12-6 pm.
Wed., May 13
First United Methodist Church, Gleason, 1-6
Fri., May 15
First Bank Camden, 12-5 p.m.
Mon., May 18
Southside Church of Christ, Dresden, 12-6 p.m.
Tues., May 19
Baptist Memorial Hospital, Union City, 12-4 p.m.
Wed., May 20
Henry County Medical Center, Paris, 9-11:30 p.m. and 12:30-4 p.m.

Wounded Warrior Bass Tourney Registration

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Annual Wounded Warrior Bass Tournament will be held Saturday, May 9, Safe Light to 1 p.m. at Paris Landing State Park and Marina. To register, or for more information, go to 

Monday, May 4, 2015 

Sam Miles To Retire; Special Meeting Called 

Paris, Tenn.-After a lengthy career in education, Henry County Director of Schools Sam Miles will be announcing his retirement at a special called meeting of the board of education at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Miles has been Director of Schools in Henry County for five years.

The meeting will be held at Grove Tower and will include preliminary discussion of a transition plan for the selection of a new Director.

The meeting is open to the public.

Suspect Sought In Time Warner Robbery

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Fulton, Tenn.-The Time Warner office in South Fulton was robbed at gunpoint this morning and police are seeking the suspect.

The suspect is described as a black male, 5 foot 5 to 5 foot 8, wearing shorts, tennis shoes, a t-shirt, ball cap and sunglasses. A handgun was used in the robbery. The suspect covered the gun with a white bag as he entered the office.

Anyone with information is asked to call the South Fulton Police at 731-479-1311 or Obion County Sheriff’s Office at 731-885-5832.

The city of South Fulton sent out an alert to the public via its text and email system informing the public of the robbery.

Boat Fire Explosion Victim Airlifted To Vanderbilt

Wendy Leach captured a couple of photos of the boat fire. We
published a second photo she took on Sunday.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Buchanan, Tenn.-Tennessee Wildlife Resources Officers (TWRA) District 12 Boating Officer Joe Campbell this morning confirmed that the woman injured in Sunday’s houseboat explosion was airlifted following the accident to the Vanderbilt Medical Center.

“I don’t know what her condition is, but one of our TWRA officers is going to Vanderbilt to check on her this morning,” Campbell said.

Campbell said the investigation into the explosion is ongoing. “We do know that the fire happened right after the boat had taken on fuel. After the engines were cranked, the fire started toward the back of the boat,” he said.

Quick actions by the staff of the Paris Landing Marina lessened the impact of the fire, Campbell said. “They were able to push the boat away from the fuel dock and the other boats or the accident could have been a lot worse,” Campbell said.

The houseboat is permanently docked at Paris Landing Marina and is owned by Jason Rhodes of Clarksville. Campbell said the when the fire occurred four people were on the boat and four people were waiting to get onto the boat. The woman who was injured was a family member, he said.

Campbell said Norman’s Marine Service has containment booms to contain the gas and fuel in place at the scene and the houseboat will be removed from the water shortly.

Campbell offered a safety message to boaters. “Now that the boating season is underway, we want to advise everyone to use caution when fueling your boat at a marina. When you open the engine compartment after fueling, if you smell any gas vapor, you need to have it checked by a mechanic. You also need to have a working fire extinguisher in place and close by.”

Warrants Issued For Martin Break-Ins

                 Terrence Ball                                                  Marlon Jones

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Martin, Tenn.-One Bradford man is in custody and another is being sought by the Weakley Co. Sheriff’s Office in connection with residential break-ins in the Martin area in mid-April.

Warrants were issued for Terrence Marquez Ball, age 18, and Marlon Cornell Jones, age 26, both of Bradford. Jones is still being sought.

According to Investigator Randall McGowan, the break-ins occurred on Pierce Rd. north of Martin and Summers Rd. south of Martin on April 14 and 15.

Warrants were issued for aggravated burglary, theft over $1000 and vandalism. The vandalism charge is the result of damages to the doors of the residences.

McGowan said the arrests were the result of cooperation between investigators at the Weakley, Gibson and Carroll County sheriff’s offices and also helped solve break-ins in Gibson and Carroll County.

Some of the items taken from each house were recovered by investigators from houses in the Martin and Bradford areas, McGowan said.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Marlon Jones is asked to call the Weakley Co. sheriff’s office at 364-5454.

Parisians’ Artwork Displayed At West Tenn Center

Humboldt, Tenn.-A reception was held Sunday for five Paris artists whose artwork will be on display at the West Tennessee Regional Art Center through the month of May. The center is located at 1200 W. Main St. and is open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays is open with reservations for group tours. From left are: Martin Paschall, Ann Stapp, Dan Knowles, Becky Hedges and Michael McClure.

BBQ Business Cooking Structure Gutted

--(Photo by Walter Smothers)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The structure used to cook the barbeque at Big Max’ BBQ in Huntingdon was destroyed by fire Sunday, but the Huntingdon Fire and Rescue was able to keep the fire from spreading to the restaurant itself.

Huntingdon Director of Public Safety Walter Smothers said the fire department received the call around 8:40 a.m. that there was a fire at Big Max’ on West Main St. 

Around 9 a.m., Fire Marshal Steve Price radioed that the fire had been knocked down. Smothers said the fire appeared to have been started from excess grease in the meat that was cooking.

The cooking structure was gutted by the fire, but the firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire to prevent it from spreading to the restaurant adjacent to it.

Cooking Out For St. Jude

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Members of the Huntingdon Fire & Rescue take it easy while waiting for the food to cook at the cookout Saturday for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Huntingdon Director of Safety Walter Smothers said the weather was perfect “and the support from the public was terrific.” The fundraiser cleared over $1400 that will be presented to the hospital. “ We want to thank Cash Savers Store Manager Jackie Streetman for hosting our event and the help extended to us during the cookout and made the event so successful,” Smothers said. (Walter Smothers photo).

Two Fulton Men Arrested After High-Speed Chase

Fulton, Ky.-Two Fulton men were arrested on various charges after a high-speed pursuit on the Purchase Parkway on Saturday.

Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon reported that on Saturday, May 2nd at approximately 10:55 PM, Deputy Richard Edwards attempted to stop three motorcycles for speeding on the Jackson Purchase Parkway near the 21 mile marker. 

The motorcycles failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated where speeds exceeded 120 mph while traveling South on the Parkway towards Fulton. Deputy Edwards was able to stop two of the motorcycles at the 14 mile marker but one of the bikes that was carrying a female passenger was able to elude deputies after the pursuit was terminated. The Kentucky State Police as well as other units from the Graves County Sheriff’s Office and the Mayfield Police Department arrived to assist. 

William Larvick, 31 of Fulton, was arrested by Deputy Edwards after standardized field sobriety tests were conducted and he was found to be operating under the influence of alcohol. He was taken to the Graves County Jail on the charges of reckless driving, speeding 26 mph or more over the speed limit, wanton endangerment 1st degree, fleeing or evading police 1st degree in a motor vehicle and DUI-1st with an aggravating circumstance. KSP carried the arrest on the other subject that was stopped. 

On May 3rd, Deputy Edwards gained information that the operator of the motorcycle that was able to elude deputies was Zachary Browning, 26 of Fulton. Deputy Edwards was able to make contact with him at which time he turned himself into Deputy Edwards and was arrested. He was transported to the Graves County Jail and charged with reckless driving, speeding 26 mph or more over the speed limit, wanton endangerment 1st and fleeing or evading police 1st degree in a motor vehicle.

Sunday, May 3, 2015 


Clarksville Woman Injured When Boat Explodes

The house fire fully engulfed. (Photo by Wendy Leach).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-A Clarksville woman was badly burned in a boat fire at the Paris Landing Marina around noon today.

Tammy Hinson of the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department said the call came to the fire department close to noon and by the time firefighters arrived, the boat was engulfed in flames.

She said the boat belonged to a Clarksville couple and that it was a 43 foot houseboat.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency personnel are investigating the cause of the accident.

 “We’re not 100 percent sure what happened yet, but we understand that something occurred while the boat was refuelling and the boat was able to get away from the dock away from the other boats when it exploded.“ No other boats were damaged in the accident, Hinson said.

The boat owner’s wife was burned in the fire and was transported to Henry County Medical Center, Hinson said. “I heard them saying she might have to be life lighted to Vanderbilt but I’m not sure about that,” Hinson said.

Belew said the sheriff's office and state park personnel responded to the accident along with the firefighters and said the area is being blocked off due to potential hazards and the ongoing investigation.

Information on whether the victim was transported by air to Vanderbilt was not available from the hospital.

Hinson said, “We’re not 100 percent sure what happened yet, but we understand that something occurred while the boat was refuelling and the boat was able to get away from the dock away from the other boats when it exploded.“  No other boats were damaged in the accident, Hinson said.

The boat owner’s wife was burned in the fire and was transported to Henry County Medical Center, Hinson said. “I heard them saying she might have to be life lighted to Vanderbilt but I’m not sure about that,” Hinson said.

TWRA officials were unavailable for comment this afternoon.

The boat explosion could be seen for miles around, as seen in this photo taken by Kristian Elliott after her boat had pulled away from the marina. 

House Trailer Is Total Loss

The house trailer was completely destroyed by fire. (Reggie Coles photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department has had a busy day today, first extinguishing the houseboat fire at Paris Landing State Park marina and then a house trailer fire on Buchanan Resort Rd.

Assistant Fire Chief Tammy Hinson said the firefighters were called to the trailer fire at 340 Buchanan Resort Rd. around 5 p.m. The trailer was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived and is a total loss, she said.

“The trailer next to it was starting to smoke, but we were able to extinguish that,” Hinson said.

The house trailer has not been lived in for some time and had no electricity, she said. The small trailer park where the trailer was is owned by a lady from New York.

The fire is still under investigation, she said.

Full House For Rotary Breakfast

Paris, Tenn.-There was a full house from the moment it opened until it shut down for the morning: a huge crowd was on hand for Saturday’s 42nd annual Paris Rotary Club Country Ham Breakfast. It seemed every one from Henry County was at the breakfast, which served heaping plates of country ham, eggs, grits, biscuits, two kinds of gravy and beverage. Top photo, Harold Bass, Bruce Reed and Larry Miller cut up pieces of ham, while bottom photo, Tory Daughrity, Pam Hessing and Jimmy Madison serve the meals. The annual event funds the Rotary Club’s many charities. (Shannon McFarlin photos).


Chamber Seeks Business Of Year Nominations

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the Business of the Year, which will be recognized at the Chamber’s annual membership banquet in June. Chamber members are encouraged to nominate themselves or another business. The form is available online at

Chamber President Chip Anderson, West Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic, said “We are happy to have any business nominated for their contributions to our community, extraordinary customer service, dedication, innovation or entrepreneurial spirit.”

DEADLINE – MAY 29, 2015

Business of the Year

1. Must be a member in good standing of Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

2. Must have been in business in Henry County for at least three years.

3. Must demonstrate a commitment to good and ethical business practices.

4. Must demonstrate innovation in products or services.

5. Must demonstrate community leadership and involvement.

6. Must maintain a responsible and rewarding workplace environment, reflecting training and motivation of employees.

7. Must demonstrate extraordinary customer service.

The judges will consider:

1. What has made the difference between success and failure for this company?

2. What differentiates this company’s products and services from its competitors?

3. Potential for growth.

4. Staying power – a substantiated history as an established business, including number of years in business, sustained expansion, steady growth in net worth, growth in number of employees, increased sales


A nomination letter

Biography of the manager or owner

News clips, recognition within specific industry

Testimonials/Reference letters

For more information, contact the Chamber office at 731.642.3431.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Martin PD Seek Suspect In Aggravated Assault, Kidnapping

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police are seeking the public’s help in finding a 25-year-old man who is accused of assaulting and kidnapping a woman and her daughter at knife-point early Saturday morning.

The suspect is Derrick Nicholson of Meridian, Miss. He is described as a black male, approximately 5’11” tall, weighing approximately 200-210 pounds, bald head. He was last seen wearing a t-shirt, blue jeans and blue house shoes.

He is wanted on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated domestic assault, aggravated burglary, theft of property and vandalism.

At approximately 3:30 am Saturday morning Martin Police officers responded to the area of Lindell St. when notified by dispatch that a Weakley County deputy was in pursuit of an individual who had just assaulted two subjects.

Officers learned that Nicholson had kicked the door in at 308 Raven St. and assaulted, then kidnapped a female and her daughter at knife point.

The two victims were able to escape Nicholson on Church St. and flag down Weakley County Sergeant Danny Browning. Sgt. Browning pursued the vehicle to Summer St. where it crashed, hitting a residence on Summer St. When officers arrived Nicholson had fled on foot.

A search of the area was unsuccessful and officers continue to search for Nicholson.

If anyone sees this individual please contact Martin Police immediately.

World's Biggest Fish Fry From On High

Paris, Tenn.-If you’ve ever wondered what the World’s Biggest Fish Fry looks like from the air, now you know, courtesy of a Vanderbilt Lifeflight helicopter.


Paris Artists To Exhibit At Strawberry Festival

Art work by Dan Knowles on display at Humboldt.

Humboldt, Tenn.-The Tennessee Strawberry Festival Invitational Art Exhibition will hold its public reception, Sunday, May 3, 2-4pm.

Five artists from the Paris/Henry County, Tennessee, area have accepted our invitation to exhibit representative samples of their works in a variety of media.

This year's featured Invitational artists include: Becky Hedges, Dan Knowles, Michael McClure, Martin Paschall, and Ann Stapp, all of Paris.

Also on display in the Upstairs Gallery, during the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival and throughout the month of May, works by Red Grooms from the Center's primary permanent collection (generously donated by Gertrude and Dr. Benmamin Caldwell).

Fish Fry Parade To Air Again Sunday

Martin, Tenn.-For those who missed the first airing last weekend, the World's Biggest Fish Fry parade will be broadcast again at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3, on WLJT Channel 11.

WLJT also will air the 36th annual Tennessee Iris Festival Parade at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 2, and at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 10.

The 78th annual West Tennessee Strawberry Festival parade will air at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 9, and at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 17.


Martin PD Participates In SAFE Campaign

Martin, Tenn.-The Martin Police Department will be partnering with the Tennessee Governors Highway Safety Office for the 2015 Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) campaign. The SAFE campaign is designed to increase seat belt and child passenger safety restraint usage in Tennessee. Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to participate in the campaign by planning and implementing occupant protection initiatives in their communities.

The SAFE campaign will be ongoing now through July 31st. Agencies participating in the voluntary campaign become eligible to win one of two fully-equipped police vehicles at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Challenge in August.

Last year, Tennessee reached its highest seat belt use rate in history at 87.71%. “We are excited to see that more people are making the right choice to buckle their seat belt,” said Governors Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. “However, historically weve seen that approximately fifty percent of our fatalities statewide are unrestrained. This shows us that we still have work to do. Partnering with law enforcement to back up our educational messages is the best way for us to achieve additional increases in seat belt use.”

This is the second year that the Governors Highway Safety Office has sponsored this campaign. Last year yielded the following results:

· 1,718 child restraint violations

· 30,147 seat belt citations

· 773 other seat belt enforcement activities

The data shows that an increase in safety belt use directly impacts the number of fatalities on Tennessee roadways,” said Martin Police Lt. Eric Reed. “The visibility generated by this campaign, not only in enforcement but the educational announcements as well, help keep the citizens of Martin, and the rest of Tennessee, safe.”


Arts Council TCAP Lineup Set

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris/Henry County Arts Council has announced that the lineup for its bus trips to see Broadway shows at TCAP in Tennessee for this year.

The season includes: Cinderella, Phantom of the Opera and Disneys Beauty and the Beast. Check the shows at .

Arts Council seats are Orchestra Section, middle section, middle row--dead center for the best views of these amazing Broadway productions.

Cinderella is Saturday, October 24th and is $100. Phantom of the Opera is Saturday, March 19 and is $121 per person. Finally, Disneys Beauty and the Beast is Saturday, June 4th and is $95. These prices included your ride to and from Nashville on a charted bus. For more information, contact the office at 731-642-3955.   

Friday, May 1, 2015 

Holder Feted At Retirement Reception

Retiring City Manager Carl Holder, left, listens as City Councilman Terry Fuller reads a proclamation in his honor. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Outgoing Paris City Manager Carl Holder was honored at his retirement reception Friday afternoon in various ways--with proclamations, plaques, presentations and humor. At times, his reception seemed more like a roast than a solemn occasion and that was just fine with him.

Kim Foster, who has served as City Finance Director for several years, will step into Holder’s place come Monday. A large crowd of well-wishers were on hand at the reception, which was held at the Lee Academy for the Arts lunch room.

Proclamations of appreciation were presented to Holder by City Councilman Terry Fuller, representing the city of Paris; County Commissioner Paul Mathenia, representing the county; and State USDA Rural Development Director Bobby Goode. Holder also was presented with the county’s Loyal Patriot Award, the highest award the county can bestow on a private citizen.

Remarks were presented by numerous folks, including City Attorney Fred McLean, who said in his 38 years as city attorney that Holder was the best city manager the city of Paris has had, as well as serving the longest tenure of any city manager.

BPU General Manager John Etheridge, former Paris Mayor John VanDyck, City Councilman Gayle Griffith, Paris Police Lt. Tom Lankford spoke about Holder, as did private citizen Jack Spencer, who thanked Holder for what he has done for the local handicapped community. Planning Commission Chairman Jim Hayes presented Holder with a gag gift wrapped in a heavy package with ‘dynamite’ written on the outside.

Holder said he has been pleased to work for the city of Paris and work with its employees and citizens. “I have enjoyed it so very, very, very much,” he said.

City Councilman Gayle Griffith (in blue) leads applause for Holder. (McFarlin photo).

Cherry Jones To Star In PBS Civil War Drama

"Mercy Street" filming on location at Laburnum House in Richmond. ( photo).

Richmond, Va.--Paris Native Cherry Jones will join an illustrious cast of the new PBS Civil War drama “Mercy Street” that will begin airing in the winter of 2016.

“Mercy Street” is the first American drama to air on PBS in more than a decade.

In addition to Jones, it will star Josh Radnor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Gary Cole in the period hospital drama. “Mercy Street” will be added to the popular PBS Sunday night lineup that will include the final season of “Downton Abbey”.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Mercy Street” will follow the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposing sides of the Civil War: New England abolitionist Mary Phinney and Confederate supporter Emma Green. The Green family’s luxury hotel in Alexandria, VA, has been transformed into Mansion House, a Union Army hospital tending to the war’s wounded. 

The series is being shot in the Richmond and Petersburg, VA areas, and is inspired by memoirs and letters from real doctors and nurse volunteers at the hospital in Alexandria, the longest occupied Confederate city of the war.
Here is the cast of new Mercy Street:
· Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Returned, Smashed, The Spectacular Now) as Nurse Mary Phinney, a feisty New Englander and widow who is a newcomer at Mansion House Hospital.
· Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Liberal Arts, Disgraced) as Jedediah Foster, the civilian contract surgeon who grew up in a privileged Southern slave-owning household as the son of a wealthy Maryland landowner.
· Gary Cole (Veep, The Good Wife, Entourage) as James Green, Sr., patriarch of the Green family, struggling to maintain his family business while living in an occupied city.
· Cherry Jones (24), guest star, as Dorothea Dix, known as “Miss Dix,” the formidable superintendent of Union Army nurses.
· Norbert Leo Butz (Bloodline) as Dr. Byron Hale, an old-school army surgeon who lives life by the book. While Hale has an eye for the nurses, he has an ongoing relationship with Nurse Anne Reading.

Brick Repairs Underway

Paris, Tenn.-Workmen have been busy working at the Hessing and Hessing law office building on W. Wood St. in Paris, pointing the brick on the front of the building and structural masonry repair on the corner. Incoming Paris City Manager Kim Foster said the corner repair was necessary as a result of the recent demolition of the Wallin building that was right next door. Foster said the pointing on the front is routine repair and was more cost-effective to perform both jobs at the same time. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Irises Abounding Everywhere

Paris, Tenn.-Irises are everywhere in our area right now--in towns and in the country. Although this rustic scene may look like it’s way, way out in the country somewhere, it was taken on Manley St. in Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Goodwill Job Fairs Set Next Week

Union City, Tenn. — In celebration of Goodwill Week May 4-8, the Goodwill Career Solutions center at 1430 First St. in Union City will host seven events, including a job fair for at least 22 employers and a LinkedIn workshop. 

Every year during the first full week of May, Goodwill agencies across the United States and Canada celebrate the power of work through local promotions. This year, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee plans about 140 events, including dozens of job fairs, at the 27 Goodwill Career Solutions centers across Middle and West Tennessee. Gov. Bill Haslam has issued a proclamation recognizing Goodwill Week statewide.

The job fair in Obion County will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at the National Guard Armory, 2017 E. Reelfoot Ave., Union City. 

Participating employers include Greenfield Products, Hamilton-Ryker, Job World, Manpower, Tyson Foods, Cox Oil, Coca-Cola, Trinity Marine, Thunderbolt Broadcasting, RHA West TN, St. John’s Community Service, Waymatic, Lowe’s, A Place Called Home, Cox Oil, Marquette Transportation, Haws Memorial Nursing Home, Center Point Business Solutions, Aid and Assist at Home, Fulton County Transit, the U.S. Army National Guard and Pilgrim’s Pride. More than 180 jobs will be available, and pay rates range from $7.25 to $18.20 per hour. 

Representatives from these companies will be on site and interviews are possible, so job-seekers should dress for success. Job candidates are encouraged to bring a resume, photo ID, Social Security card or birth certificate. 

Representatives from Bethel University’s Success and Associates programs, Dyersburg State Community College, the University of Tennessee at Martin, Freed-Hardeman University and West Tennessee Business College will also be on hand to discuss educational opportunities at their institutions.

When: Wednesday, May 6
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: National Guard Armory
2017 E. Reelfoot Ave.
Union City, Tenn.

A Learning LinkedIn workshop will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 5, at the Union City Goodwill Career Solutions Center. Participants will learn to use the online social medium as a job search resource, including how to create a professional profile, find job postings and network with employers.
When: Tuesday, May 5
10 – 11 a.m.
Where: Goodwill Career Solutions
1430 S. First St.
Union City, Tenn.

Other Goodwill Week activities in the Obion County area will include an Interview Skills Workshop, a Drug Free Workplace seminar, an Email Basics class, a Business After Hours meet-and-greet and a Job Seeker Appreciation Event. For a detailed list of events taking place across Middle and West Tennessee during Goodwill Week, visit

 Quota Officers Installed

Paris, Tenn.-At the Paris Quota meeting last week, Pat Bailey was named Quotarian of the Year and Becki White was named Region 9 Volunteer of the Year. Officers also were installed during the meeting.

White installed the 2015-2016 club officers using the rainbow theme.  Each officer was presented a white carnation tied with the color of ribbon of their office.  

Installed were: President – Stephanie Tayloe; President-Elect – Donna Winders; Vice President – Cheryl Wilson; Corresponding Secretary – Peggy Owen; Recording Secretary – Carman Wright; Treasurer – Pat Bailey and Directors – Janice Teas, Jackie Jones, Mary Kathryn Moore, Sharon Hale and Brenda Hosford.  The president appointed Assistant Treasurer – Beverly Wood and Parliamentarian – Martha Smith.
The next meeting will be “Derby Day” on May 13th, and members are reminded to wear hats or pay a $2.00 fine.

Dartin Downtown Set to Take Off May 16 

Paris, Tenn.-First United Methodist Church Relay for Life Team and the Downtown Paris Association (DPA) will present Dartin Downtown Saturday, May 16th.. This is a certified 5K Run as well as a one mile fun walk. 

Registration will be held in FUMC parking lot at 101 East Blythe Street from 7 to 7:45am. 

The 5K Run begins at 8:00am and the one mile walk starts at 8:30
Medals will be presented to the Top 3 finishers in each age division for the 5K and special door prizes including two handmade quilts will also be presented. 
Registration Fee is $15 prior to the race (postmarked no later than May 9th) and $20 on race day. Register by May 9th to be guaranteed an event t-shirt.
Contact Sharon Sabin @ 731-336-8579 or the church office for more info.

Cases Of Equine Infectious Anemia Confirmed

Nashville, Tenn.—The state veterinarian is advising horse owners of four confirmed cases of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) in West Tennessee.

Four horses stabled at three locations in Henderson County recently tested positive for EIA. A second round of screening confirmed the positive results. State officials are now testing additional horses that stabled with or live near the infected horses.

“We take EIA very seriously,” state veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “Early detection and containment are critical to preventing the spread.”

EIA is a viral disease most commonly transmitted by biting insects. At this time, there is no vaccine or treatment. Although an infected horse can run a low-grade fever or become lethargic, often there are no clinical signs. A horse remains infected throughout its lifetime and can pass the disease to other horses. Owners of EIA-positive horses have two options: lifetime quarantine of the animal or euthanasia. 

A yearly Coggins test will screen for antibodies that are indicative of the presence of EIA. State law requires a negative Coggins test for any horse that is transported from its home farm to any event or other location.

To ensure the safety of your horse, make sure its Coggins test is current and that your animal does not have close contact with any horses that are not up-to-date. Cleanliness in and around your barn and a manure management plan can also help reduce the fly population.

The state veterinarian and staff are focused on animal health and disease prevention through disease testing and surveillance. 

Tennessee normally experiences a few cases of EIA each year. For more information, contact your local veterinarian or the state veterinarian’s office at 615-837-5120.

Reward Offered For Church Fires

Brownsville, TN — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Nashville Field Division, Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Lauderdale and Haywood County Sheriff’s Offices are offering a $5,000 reward for any information regarding the fires that occurred on January 7, 2015 at the Trinity Methodist Church and the Cowboy Non-Denominational Church that may lead to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons involved in the fire. 

On January 7, 2015, fires occurred at the Trinity Methodist Church, 5659 Nunn Road, Brownsville, Tennessee and the Cowboy Non-Denominational church, 5880 Henning Orysa Road, Henning, Tennessee. A thorough scene investigation was conducted by ATF and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office. In addition to the fires, an attempted break in occurred at the Springfield Baptist Church, 237 Springhill Road, Ripley, Lauderdale County. 

The samples taken from the fire scenes were sent to the ATF laboratory for analysis. The ATF Laboratory determined the presence of ignitable liquids from the samples taken from the church scene. The laboratory report combined with the scene examination concluded the fires were intentionally set. 

ATF, Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office, Lauderdale and Haywood County Sheriff’s Offices are conducting this investigation. Anyone with the information about the incident should call ATF at 888/ATF-FIRE or the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office at 800/762-3017.

ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating fires and crimes of arson. For more information about ATF, go to

Library To Host Legal Clinic 

Paris, Tenn. - The W.G. Rhea Public Library will host a Free Legal Clinic. (Walk In Clinic Only) on Tuesday, May 5th from 10 a.m. to Noon.

The library is located at 400 West Washington Street in Paris. The event is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the Tennessee Bar Association and West Tennessee Legal Services, Inc.

Legal assistance is not for criminal matters, only civil.
For more information, please contact the library at 731-642-1702.

Thursday, April 30, 2015 

Making A Sweep At HCHS

Paris, Tenn.--Mayfield Police Officer Jamie Levey and his K9 partner Sawyer were among several officers in Henry County this week for the National Narcotic Detection Dog Association national training conference that put what they have learned into practice today at Henry County High School. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said a portion of the 140 handlers here this week did a sweep of the high school. Paris Veterinarian Dr. Michael Boley spoke at the conference this afternoon. The public can view the final competition at the conference from 7:30 a.m.-noon at the Don Ridgeway Conference Center at Paris Landing State Park. (Henry County Sheriff Office photo).

McKenzie Home Destroyed By Fire; No One Injured

The height of the early morning blaze. (McKenzie Fire and Rescue photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McKenzie, Tenn.-A McKenzie home was a total loss following a fire in the early morning hours Wednesday, but no one was injured in the blaze.

McKenzie Firefighters were called to the home of Tracy and Marcia Webb at 108 Como St. near the Bethel campus at 3:45 a.m.

When firefighters arrived, the flames had already engulfed the roof over the garage, according to a spokesman from the McKenzie fire department. He said the couple was home when the fire started, but were not injured.

Mutual aid was provided by the Gleason Fire Department and Carroll County fire department.

The spokesman said it appeared the fire started in the attic, but the cause has not been determined. Fire personnel stayed on the scene for five hours.

Union City Man Injured Escaping From Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was transported by air ambulance to The Med in Memphis following injuries he suffered jumping from a roof to escape a house fire.

The fire caused extensive damage to the home of Marti Eakin Doss at 403 W. Florida St. 

Doss’ grandson Joey Eakin jumped from the roof of the home while neighbors were trying to get a ladder for him. Union City Fire Chief  Kelly Edmison said Eakin sustained glass cuts from the window from which he escaped “and injuries from jumping to the ground, obviously.” 

Edmison said the cause of the fire is unknown “but we do know it started in an upstairs bedroom”. Eakin was asleep when the fire started and escaped from the second story window and onto the roof. 

Edmison said the department received mutual aid from Martin, South Fulton and Reves. “We had reports that others might possibly be in the house and when you are trying to stop a fire and do search and rescue at the same time, it gets pretty difficult. That’s why we called for additional help.”

He said the firefights “did a fantastic job clearing the fire and conducting the search. Our guys did a great job.”

Damage was centered on the second floor and to a portion of the roof, Edmison said. 

The fire began around 12:50 p.m. and crews stayed on the scene until mid-afternoon. 

Carroll Lake To Be Restored To Fishing Lake 

Dry Carroll Lake. (Photo by Steve McCadams).

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting at the Holly Fork Shooting Complex in Paris, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has voted unanimously to amend its budget to allow repairs of Carroll Lake near McKenzie.

Carroll Lake has been empty since the summer of 2014 when severe flooding damaged spillway gates at the 100-acre recreational lake. 

Carroll County Mayor Kenny McBride was at the meeting and has worked with McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland, State Rep. Andy Holt and other local officials to restore the lake.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to send an appeal to FEMA asking for sufficient funds to repair the spillway gates.

McBride told The McKenzie Banner that the National Guard and the West Tennessee River Basin Authority are available to excavate the lake to make it deeper and remove silt that has accumulated in it for years.

The action by the Fish and Wildlife Commission will effectively restore the lake to the popular fishing lake that it formerly was.


Paris Couple In Custody; Drugs, Cash, Gun Seized

Metro Crime Unit with confiscated materials: from left Paris
Police Officer Jamie James with Herrum; Henry Police Chief
David Andrews, Paris Sgt. Ricky Watson and Sheriff Sgt. Jamie
Myrick. (HCSO photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A young Paris couple is in custody and cash, drugs and a gun were confiscated following a search of their home by the Metro Crime Unit.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has provided updated information on a search conducted at 715 N. Poplar St. Wednesday. Korey Rick, age 22, and Brooke Myers, age 24, both of 715 N. Poplar St., was arrested on a variety of drug charges.

Rick is being held on $125,000 bond and Myers is being held on $75,000 bond.

With the help of the K9s from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Paris Police, confiscated at the scene was some $6,500 in cash, a loaded gun, meth, marijuana and assorted pills.

According to the press release from the sheriff’s office, Metro Crime officers had the home on surveillance following reports of a “wanted fugitive” in the residence. Officers found the meth in packages and wrapped ready for sale.

Rick was charged with felony possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of meth with intent to manufacture and possession of a controlled substance. Myers was charged with possession of a firearm, possession of meth with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew applauded the Metro Crime Unit, which he said “works cases non-stop and this is just another example of what happens when we have these joint efforts with the sheriff’s office. Paris, Henry and Puryear Police.”

                 Korey Rick                                                    Brooke Myers

Woman Victim Of Hit And Run

Union City, Tenn.-A 28-year-old Union City woman was the victim of a hit and run accident Wednesday on the 1600 block of West Reelfoot Ave.

According to the police report, the victim was riding her bike and was struck by a gray four-door car. Both the victim and the car were driving eastbound. The victim was riding her bike on the outside lane of the roadway.

The victim was knocked down and had injuries to her left wrist and leg.

She rode her bike to the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital and was treated for her injuries.

Union City Police have not found the driver of the car.

Dana Relay Car And Bike Show Registration Open

Paris, Tenn.-On Saturday, May 9, Dana Corporation’s Relay for Life Team will host the 3rd Annual Car & Bike Show in the parking lot at Dana Corporation (across from the National Guard Armory) in Paris. This event begins at 8 a.m and wraps up at 3 p.m.

Pre-registration fee is $20.00. Registration day of show will be $25.00 from 8 to 11 a.m. Free dash plates will be given to the first 50 entrants.
Judging will take place from 11 a.m.-2:p.m.and awards will be presented at 3:00p.m.

Concessions will be available. Proceeds benefit Relay for Life. 
For more information on this event, please contact Dave Smith @ 731-415-0997 or email to:

In the event of inclimate weather this event will be held Saturday, May 16th

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Henry County Hosting National Drug Dog Conference
Public Can See Them In Action Friday

A handler and his K9 conduct an automobile search at the Henry Co. Fairgrounds. (Henry County Sheriff's Office photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-No, it’s not your imagination. You’ve been seeing a lot more police dogs around the area than usual this week.

Some 140 K-9s and their handlers from all over the country have converged on Henry County for the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association national training conference. And on Friday, the public will have the opportunity to see the training in action when the competition portion takes place from 7:30 a.m.-noon at the Don Ridgeway Conference Center at Paris Landing State Park.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said the conference is a “win-win” situation for everyone since it is a boon to the local economy and provides valuable training for K-9s and their handlers. “A lot of the officers have brought their families here while they’re training and that’s really been a boost for our economy,” Belew said. “Everything has gone really well and everybody is having a good time this week.”

Belew said Henry County acquired the rights to play host to the national conference after representatives of the sheriff’s office travelled to Amarillo, Texas, “and gave them a sales pitch, showing them everything we have to offer here. A whole lot of the credit goes to Deputy Ricky Wade, who is an active member of the organization. He did a lot of work on bringing them here.”

A grant from the Henry County Tourism Authority also was utilized to finance and publicize the conference, he said.

On Friday, Belew said, “We’ll have an area set up for visitors to watch the dogs going through their paces, seeing what they can find. It ought to be very interesting for the public to see.”

The K9s and their handlers have been training at various sites around the county this week, including Paris Landing, Henry County Fairgrounds and the former Paris Suites motel. The itinerary for the conference has included training in detecting narcotics in various scenarios: in luggage, home searches, classroom searches, packages, automobiles, and high, medium and low searches.

Belew said the 140 officers that are in Henry Co. for the conference represent 25 states and 125 dog teams. “It’s been really valuable for those of us with K9s. We’re learning a lot and the instructors are giving us pointers on how to do better,” Belew said.

“We’re just honored at being able to host this,” Belew said.

Scam Alert For Henry County

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Emergency Management Agency has issued a notice warning that persons are calling area residents claiming to be selling ads for the Courthouse for a directory and ads for a magnet for Henry County Emergency Management. The Courthouse/Emergency Management is not connected in any way to these callers. They are asking for $200 for advertising. Latest report they were calling local farmers in the Cottage Grove area.

Crappie Tournament Raises $7,300 For Carl Perkins Center

Participants bring fish in for weigh-in. (Photo submitted by Catherine Herrera).
Paris, Tenn.-The second annual Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse-Tosh Farms Crappie Tournament held over the weekend raised $7,300 for the center. Center Director Catherine Herrera said she was very pleased with the tournament, especially considering the windy weather over the weekend.

Herrera noted that $1,250 in prize money was awarded, with $1,200 of that donated back to the center by the winners.

Here is the list of winners:

Big Fish: Devon Gregson/David Gregson 1.89 lbs.
1st Place: Devon Gregson/David Gregson 11 lbs.
2nd Place: Doug Muench/Tommy Crane 10.35 lbs.
3rd Place: Mark Arnold/Alex Arnold 8.99 lbs.
4th Place: Rodney Blackburn/Brian Gordon8.22 lbs.
5th Place: Larry and Vanice Parker 7.99 lbs.
6th Place: T.J. Todd/Brian Hatch 7.50 lbs.
7th Place: Donald Barnes/Terry Peoples 7.38 lbs.
8th Place: Scott Watson/Shawn Puckett 7.36 lbs.
9th Place: Keith Lovins/Randy Lovins 7.12 lbs.
10th Place: Greg Lovins/Eugene Stephens 6.5 lbs.
Our last place team of Lisa Odom and Amanda McCabe won a $50 for a weight of .86 lbs.

Herrera said prizes given away by the center at the tournament included: Southern Pro Tacklebox to Joe Turner; Hummingbird depth finder to Mike Ross; and Trolling Motor to Randy Lovins.

Tourism Board OKs Puryear Day, Junior Olympics, Writers Confab

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At its meeting Monday, the Henry County Tourism Authority approved grants to three organizations for local events, including a modified Puryear Day event to be held May 16 and the Tennessee Junior Olympics to be held at Holly Fork Shooting Range, also in May.

Approved was: $5,000 for Puryear Day; $37,500 for the Tennessee Junior Olympics Championship over two weekends in May and $6,500 for the StrikeKing Lure Co. Writers’ Conference. 

According to Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton, a request for $7,500 for the Scott Martin Challenge was delayed until next year. That request was for filming a television show for regional and national networks at Kentucky Lake in 2016.

As requested by Puryear Councilman Bryan Hall (who is also a deputy with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office), the Puryear Day activities this year will include gospel singing, inflatables, street dance and kids’ activities.

The traditional Puryear Day, including a parade, were cancelled last year when the Puryear Lions Club announced it could no longer continue sponsoring the event due to the age of the Lions Club members.

As requested by Jamie Orr, the Tennessee Junior Olympics Championship will be held May 1-10 and is sponsored by the Henry County Youth Shooting organization.

The event will be a qualifying event for Tennessee qualifiers to advance to the nationals in Colorado Spring, Colo. Orr wrote on his request form that because of the increased number of participants, it will be held over two weekends instead of one.

Hamilton said the StrikeKing Lure Company brings all of their pro staff to Paris to conduct photo shoots and interviews with about 15 outdoor writers. “We get a lot of publicity in the articles and support from these writers,” he said.

Houston County Archives Receives State Grant

Secretary Hargett, middle, with Houston County Archivist Melissa Barker; Rep. Reedy; and Houston County Mayor George Clark.

Erin, Tenn.– Secretary of State Tre Hargett presented grant monies to the Houston County Archives Monday. He said the grants from the Tennessee State Library and Archives “mean that every county in the state has the opportunity to preserve important pieces of our rich history.”

The Houston County Archives received $2,000 to purchase oversized map cabinets and polyester sheets.

“This is a great investment for Houston County that will help us preserve our history," according to Rep. Jay D. Reedy (R-Erin). 
"I'm so proud to see the Houston County Archives get this grant. It will go a long way in preserving and teaching our history," Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) said.

Dixie’s Annual Derby Day Is Saturday

Huntingdon, Tenn. – If you enjoy bluegrass music, horse racing, good food, and family fun, plan on watching the “fastest two minutes in sports” at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center Saturday, May 2.

The annual free community event, sponsored by Huntingdon Animal Clinic and Carroll Bank and Trust, invites families, businesses, and groups to tailgate outside The Dixie before watching the Kentucky Derby on the big screen inside the Hal Halbrook Theatre.
Iron Horse Bluegrass, formed in 2000 in historic Muscle Shoals, Ala., is the featured entertainment at this year’s Derby Day. 

Music starts at 3 p.m. Doors to The Dixie open at 4:30 p.m., and race coverage begins at 5.

If you would like to host your own tailgate party, contact The Dixie for a free application or download an application from Individual patrons are welcome as well, just bring a lawn chair and join us for a fun filled day of live outdoor music. Awards will be given for Best Hat, Best Derby Attire, and Best Tailgate, so wear your finest Kentucky Derby attire and enjoy a fun afternoon with family and friends.

For more information, contact The Dixie at 731-986-2100.

Walk With Ease Classes To Begin 

Paris, Tenn.-Reservations are being taken for the Walk With Ease classes that will begin May 4, sponsored by the UT Extension Office in Henry County.
The classes are held for six weeks in the mornings and cost $10. For reservations and for schedules, call 642-2941.

Free Legal Clinic To Be Held

Paris, Tenn.-A free legal clinic will be held Tuesday, May 5, at the W.G. Rhea Library in Paris. The clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the Tennessee Bar and West Tennessee Legal Services.

Legal assistance for criminal matters will not be provided.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 

Proposed Ordinance Would Block LifeFlight Location Near HCMC

A crowd of interested parties were at Tuesday night's meeting. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--Meeting Tuesday evening in special session, the Paris Regional Municipal Planning Commission recommended the city commission approve an ordinance which regulates proposed heliports in the city limits of Paris.

Ironically, the ordinance met with opposition from both a citizen who is opposed to Vanderbilt LifeFlight air ambulance locating on land behind the hospital and opposition from Vanderbilt LifeFlight itself.

The ordinance was drafted by City Attorney Fred McLean and City Development Director Jennifer Morris after studying ordinances from other cities in the region with heliports. After presentation to the city commission next week, the proposed ordinance would require two public hearings.

Two companies are locating headquarters locally: Vanderbilt LifeFlight and Air Evac. Vanderbilt LifeFlight is in the process of negotiating a contract with Henry County Medical Center and had wanted to locate its headquarters on Kelley Drive, directly behind the hospital.

Air Evac has already opened a temporary headquarters at Henry County Airport and is looking for land within the city limits for its permanent headquarters.

The proposed ordinance contains a distance requirement that states no heliport shall be located within 1,000 feet of any religious facility, school, hospital, library or public park or within 1,000 feet of any lot, tract or parcel upon which a residence or dewelling is located.

That requirement was opposed by Richard Walters, who lives on Volunteer Dr. as not being long enough. He recommended 1,500 feet.

The requirement was also opposed by Vanderbilt LifeFlight officials because it would effectively block them from locating on Kelley Drive. Patrick Campbell of Vanderbilt LifeFlight said, “We want to locate a heliport facility on Kelley Drive. Essentially what your proposed ordinance would do is block us from locating there and we don’t know of any other land that would be available to us.

“We had planned to locate here in this summer,“ Campbell said, “and could not do that with that requirement”.

Other requirements in the proposed ordinance state that the landing area where a helicopter will depart from and land must be constructed of either asphalt or concrete with adequate drainage. It also states if such heliport is to be located at ground level it shall either be located in an enclosed area which does not permit public access or be completely enclosed by a fence or wall.

It also states that the total area of the facility and its design must meet standards of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

Walters insisted he wasn’t opposed to Vanderbilt LifeFlight having its local headquarters but is concerned with the increase in the numbers of helicopters landing at the hospital as well as noise abatement, which he said is not addressed in the ordinance.

After a lengthy presentation by Walters, Commission Chairman Jim Hayes said the ordinance as written “is not going to cause you a nuisance. You’re unnecessarily worried about something you don’t need to be worried about.”

Walters said he was going to get up a petition to be signed by others who are against regulations in the ordinance, especially the 1000 feet rule.

Hayes said, “Thinking something is a problem and it being a problem is sometimes is a long ways apart.”

HCMC Director of Operations Stan Seay said the hospital doesn’t want to double the number of helicopter flights into the medical center, either, but “wants timely response for emergency cases. This is a win-win when we have competition in the community.”

Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell, who is a member of the planning commission, said the decision will be a tough one for the city commission. “We have to weigh the needs of the community,” he said.

Planning Commission Member Terry Wimberley said, “A lot of work has been done by our staff trying to accommodate the flight folks and get them as close as they can to provide service to our patients. We have a body here that has a responsibility for a balanced approach and I feel good about sending this to the city commission because it’s a balanced approach.”

Air Evac Official Mark Pierce was in attendance, but did not speak publicly on the issues.

Richard Walters, standing, makes a point during the meeting. (McFarlin photo).

BPU Approves New Loan Regulations

BPU Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley, left, tells BPU Attorney Steve Greer and Board Member Butch Powers about the wastewater treatment plant on Seymore Rd. during Tuesday's meeting. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting at the Paris Wastewater Treatment plant on Seymore Rd., the Paris Board of Public Utilities board of directors approved resolutions involving amendments to the Revolving Loan Fund rules and regulations.

After the meeting, a tour of the facility was conducted. Etheridge said until recently the board only met in the meeting room at the BPU headquarters on Washington St. "We've been trying to meet at all of our facilities," he said.

There have been several changes to the requirements for a Rural Utilities Service (RUS) loan application since the last application submitted by the BPU, according to BPU General Manager John Etheridge.

In one change, the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) will not lend more than 75 percent of the total amount that is needed for a project. The maximum amount of a single loan may not exceed $360,000 (changed from $150,000).

According to the information presented to the board, the maximum interest rate for loans made from the RLF is the prime rate as published in the Wall Street Journal 30 days prior to loan closing. The BPU board will determine the interest rate for each loan based on the financial strength of company, loan collateral, economic impact and power usage.

The board also approved a low bid of $252,000 from Substation Products for the rebuilding of the district substation. Etheridge said the rebuilding of the district substation was the third major project previously approved by the board with costs to be paid from bond sales monies. This project was delayed until the North Paris substation could be built and energized.

Etheridge said the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been negotiating a change in the structure of the Local Power Companies’ wholesale rates and TVA has approved three retail rate changes to cover the cost of the increased rates.

“Our rate analyst has recommended the 12-month rolling approach to cover increased costs.” Etheridge said. “We concur because this rate is the only one that will provide definite recovery of additional costs. In 99 percent of the cases that will cover our costs but won’t put any money in our pocket.”

In other business:

--The board approved the audit performed by Alexander Thompson Arnold for the BPU 2014 Roundup program.

--The board approved delinquent account write-offs for the third quarter of the current fiscal year in the amount of $21,799.

Photo: BPU Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley, left, tells BPU Attorney Steve Greer and Board Member Butch Powers about the wastewater treatment plant on Seymore Rd. during Tuesday's meeting. (McFarlin photo).

Iris Festival Ongoing This Week

Dresden, Tenn.-The city of Dresden is celebrating its annual Iris Festival this week, with numerous activities ongoing every day. There is something for everyone, including a pet show, baking contest, bingo, community sings, 5K run, cemetery walk and more.

The highlight of the event is always the Iris Festival parade, set for 10 a.m. Saturday.

For a full schedule of events, see the website at

Howard Tapped As NW Tenn Development Director

Union City, Tenn.-State Rural Development Director Bobby Goode has announced that he has selected  Joel Howard to be the new Area Director in Northwest Tennessee. Howard is a rural West Tennessee native and graduate of UT Martin with a bachelor degree in Agricultural Business. 

Howard has been working with Rural Development for 10 years and has been working most recently in the Jackson Office in Business and Community Programs. 

Obion County Trustee Seals Retiring

Union City, Tenn.-Long-time Obion County Trustee Lori Seals announced she will be retiring as of May 31.

Seals served 25 years as Deputy Trustee and 11 years as Trustee. Her retirement was accepted by County Mayor Benny McGuire.

The commissioners will be appointing a replacement for Seals and that appointment would serve until the next election in 2016. Commissioners are accepting names of candidates for the position.

Martin Police Investigate Oxford St. Fire

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police and Fire Departments were called to 236 Oxford St. around 5:30 am this morning morning in reference to a structure fire. When they arrived on the scene the residence was fully engulfed and firefighters fought the blaze for about three hours. There was nobody home at the time of the fire.

State Bomb and Arson has been called in to assist Martin Police investigators.

Rotary Breakfast Is Saturday 

Paris, Tenn.-The 42nd annual Paris Rotary Club All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast will be held this Saturday morning at the Paris Elementary School cafeteria. 
Breakfast will be served from 6-11 a.m. and tickets are $10.
Meals are country ham, eggs, grits, biscuits and gravy and beverage. The event benefits the Rotary Club charities.

First UMC Spring Luncheon Is Friday

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Spring Luncheon at First United Methodist Church will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the church. In addition to the luncheon (which you can eat in or carry out), there will be a plant and bake sale.

Johnson Chapel Gospel Jubilee

Paris, Tenn.-Everyone is invited to the Johnson Chapel UMC Gospel Jubilee that will be held at 4 p.m. May 2.Bring a lawn chair and get ready to listen to a wonderful variety of gospel singers.

Spaghetti Dinner for Police Sargent

McKenzie, Tenn.-A spaghetti dinner is Saturday, May 2, at Cathy’s Café in downtown McKenzie to benefit McKenzie Police Sgt. Kim Barker.

Barker is suffering with Stage 4 cancer. He previously served as interim chief of the department. The dinner will raise money for his cancer treatments and care.

The dinner is 5 to 6 p.m. The price is $7.00. An auction will follow the meal at the restaurant. Any donations are appreciated.

Huntingdon Fire and Rescue Fundraiser For St. Jude

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Members of the Huntingdon Fire & Rescue will be having a hamburger and hotdog cookout fundraiser for St. Jude's Childrens Hospital from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday May 2nd at the parking lot at Cash Savers grocery store on East Main St. in Huntingdon. 

For $6 you can get a grilled hamburger or hot dog, chips and a drink, and the satisfaction of knowing you made a contribution to a truly worthy cause. Please come by and support our firemen in their efforts to help others.

Monday, April 27, 2015 

Hostess Princesses, Past And Present

Paris, Tenn.-Past Hostess Princesses from the World’s Biggest Fish Fry held a rare get together at a reception Saturday at Maggie’s in Downtown Paris with current Hostess Princess Grace Hassell. It is reportedly the only time former Hostess Princesses have gotten together and as you can see from the photo, some still have their tiaras. From left are: Sheila Jackson, Ramay Woody Winchester, Janice King, Grace Hassell, Gerry Scholes (owner of Maggie’s), Cindy Knott, Julie Paschall Taylor, Cheryl LeCroy Wilson, Kim Ward, Tess Gray Kilcrease, Karamaneh Winchester. (Photo by Mike Wilson).

Crappie Masters Qualifier This Weekend

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail will hold a national qualifier and Tennessee State Championship, sponsored by Stren, May 1, 2 on Kentucky Lake at the Buchanan Resort.

Sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Marine and Nitro Boats, Humminbird, Minn Kota, and Henry County Tourism Authority, the tournament will qualify anglers for the 2015 National Championship to be held on Kentucky Lake, Paris, Tennessee, September 23-26.

 Late registration is on April 30,  at Quality Inn 1510 E Wood St Paris, TN 38242.Registration and voucher pick-up will begin at 5 PM with the rules meeting beginning at 6:30 PM. 

 Weigh in will be at Buchanan Resort 785 Buchanan Resort Rd, Springville, TN 38256. Anglers will fish from 7AM to 3:30 PM and must be in line by 4:30 PM both days. The weigh in is open to the public.
A free kids fishing rodeo will be held on Saturday, May 2 at Buchanan Resort 785 Buchanan Resort Rd, Springville, TN 38256. Kids will register from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM and will fish from 9-10:30 AM. All kids will receive a prize. Kids will need to bring their own poles and bait.

Smith To Serve As Interim UTM Chancellor

Martin, Tenn. -- Robert M. Smith, who led award-winning innovations in enrollment management, improving retention and graduation rates, and strengthening academic quality during more than nine years as president of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, has been selected to serve as interim chancellor at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Smith, former dean of the UT Martin College of Arts and Sciences and co-creator and former executive director of the UT Martin-affiliated WestStar Leadership Program, becomes interim chancellor on June 1. 

Current UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes announced earlier this month he would step down as chancellor on May 31 and return to teaching as a professor in the College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences.

UT President Joe DiPietro will formally announce Smith’s appointment and introduce him to the UT Martin community in a visit to the campus on Friday, May 1.

“We are fortunate to have a leader and higher education expert of Dr. Smith’s caliber and one with such significant ties to UT Martin returning to guide the university through this transition,” DiPietro said. “His transformative leadership at Slippery Rock University has been recognized by some of the nation’s most prestigious higher education associations, and I look forward to working with Dr. Smith and the UT Martin faculty, students and administration during this interim period.”
 While Smith was a dean at UT Martin from 1987 to 1999, he co-established and served as executive director of the WestStar Leadership Program from 1989 to 1999.  

Martin Woman Arrested After Hiding in Kentucky Shed

Water Valley, Ky.-A Martin woman who was hiding and yelling inside a shed in Water Valley is in the custody of the Graves County sheriff’s office on multiple charges.

Mechell Whiteman, 48, was charged with burglary, public intoxication and resisting arrest. 

Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon said that on Friday, April 24 deputies responded to a residence on KY 943 in Water Valley in reference to a suspicious person. 

A 15-year old and her siblings were at home alone and reported an unknown person was in their shed close to the residence. While deputies were on the way to the residence, the children reported that the subject was yelling and screaming. 

Upon arrival deputies located a white female in the shed and she became very belligerent. The female was taken into custody. The female refused to give deputies or deputy jailers any identification. The female was lodged in Graves Co Jail as Jane Doe. 

The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and assisted in identifying Ms. Whiteman. Ms. Whiteman has a twin sister by another name.

Vehicle Stolen

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating the theft of a vehicle that was being repaired.

The blue Alpha Sport 4-wheeler was being worked on and had been parked by a shed on Third St. According to the police report, a neighbor reported hearing a dog barking at 2 a.m.

Open Air Services For Trinity  

Paris, Tenn.-It was chilly and overcast, but many members of the congregation of Trinity United Methodist Church bundled up for the outdoor service Sunday morning. Trinity Church was destroyed by a fire Thursday morning and Sunday’s service was held in the parking lot of the church. A prayer service was also held in the parking lot Friday night and WENK/WTPR published an article and photos on that service Friday. Trinity’s church council will meet tonight at the Paris District Office on E. Wood St. to make a decision on where the church will meet temporarily. In photo on stage are: from left, Dr. Joseph Geary, Rev. Jolinne Downey, Jimmy Tubbs, Richard Clark, Ervin Dutton, Deborah Beasley, Andrea Archer Dutton and Linda Mangrum. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Show Stoppers At Parade

Paris, Tenn.-The Camden High School band members Aleah and Daniel Sharum provided the show-stopping moment of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Parade Friday morning. Aleah Sharum provided a trumpet solo while her brother, field commander Daniel Sharum, directed. The performance was met by a rare standing ovation from the dignitaries stand on the parade route. The Sharum siblings are the niece and nephew of Pam Ingle of Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo). 

Planners Set Special Meeting

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at Paris City Hall.

Items on the agenda include discussion of regulations for heliports, request to close a portion of South Caldwell St., and a request for density change on East Blythe St.

The meeting is open to the public.

Things That Go Boom

Union City, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand over the weekend for a Civil War Reenactment at Discovery Park of America. The event included a Civil War wedding fashion show. (Photo by Amy Keathley).

Relay Bluegrass Gospel Sing Is Saturday 

Paris, Tenn.-Dana Corporation’s Relay for Life Team is set to host the 2nd Annual Bluegrass Gospel Singing on Saturday, May 2, at the Paris Convention Center. Local favorites Wire and Wood will perform. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the music begins at 6 pm. Tickets are $5.00 and will be available at the door.

The Dana Corporation Relay Team will sell concessions including burgers, hot dogs, and ribeye steak sandwiches. Luminarias will be available to purchase for a $5.00 donation in honor or in memory of someone touched by cancer and cancer survivors may register for this year’s Relay event. A silent auction will also be held during the evening. 

Come early for dinner and enjoy a great evening of music and fellowship. Proceeds benefit Henry County Relay for Life.

For more information contact Martha @731-333-0195 or Marsha @731-336-6207.

ABC Board To Meet; New Restaurant Opening

Paris, Tenn.-The Alcholic Beverage Commission (ABC) will hold a meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, at Paris city hall and will consider three agenda items.

The Oishii restaurant in the Kroger shopping center on Mineral Wells Ave. is seeking a beer permit for Class B on-premises sales. The restaurant is located at the present location of the Great Wall Restaurant. 

The board also will conduct a beer regulation violation hearing for the Smoke Shack, also located in the Kroger shopping center. There also will be a presentation on responsible beverage training from Erica Rawls of the Henry County Prevention Coalition.

The public is invited to attend.

Houston County Archives To Receive Check

Erin, Tenn. – Secretary of State Tre Hargett will present a grant check in Houston County today, alons with Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) and Rep. Jay Reedy (R-Erin).

The presentation will be held at 10:30 a.m. and Hargett will present a $2,000 check to the Houston County Archives to purchase an oversized map cabinets and polyester sheets.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Look At Pet Parades From The Past

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd of kids line up in downtown Paris in front of Commercial Bank and Trust for the pet parade that was held with the World's Biggest Fish Fry. The photo is undated, but one of the former downtown theaters is on the next block. Photo is from the Tennessee State Archives.

Checking On The Youngsters

Paris, Tenn.-With her Dad Dan Hassell, Hostess Princess Grace Hassell looks in on her little brothers Jack and John Luke before the Small Fry Parade. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Goodwill Job Fair Set For Tuesday

Martin — Goodwill Career Solutions will host a job fair from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, at Martin City Hall for Manpower, which seeks to fill more than 20 positions in Martin, Trenton and Union City.

Openings include general labor, machine operator and forklift operator. Rates of pay range from $8-$15 per hour based on experience. Martin City Hall is located at 109 University St. in Martin.

Representatives from Manpower will be on site, so job-seekers should dress for success and be prepared to complete an online application and to interview. Job candidates are encouraged to bring a resume, photo ID, Social Security card or birth certificate. 
This event is one of a handful of job fairs taking place during the week of April 27. A complete list of job fairs taking place at Goodwill’s 29 Career Solutions centers can be found at

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bruceton Couple Rescued By Jaws Of Life

Fireman Tim Bennett makes the final cut with the Jaws of Life to remove the roof from the Blazer and allow the extraction of the occupants, Paramedic Gary Allen (back to camera) waits to move inside the vehicle and administer aid. (Walter Smothers photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Two people trapped in a wrecked vehicle were extricated by the Jaws of Life following an accident in Huntingdon Friday afternoon.

The victims were identified as Robert and Polly Dicus of Bruceton, ages 77 and 78. The driver of a second vehicle, a Dodge truck, also involved also sustained heavy damage. It was driven by 29 year old Desiree Taylor of Buena Vista and also occupied by her five year old son. According to investigating officer Lt. Angie Barker, both Ms. Taylor and her son escaped injury because of being properly seatbelted and in a proper child seat. 

The Dicus couple were transported to an area hospital. The press release from the Huntingdon public safety office does not indicate their conditions.

Members of the Huntingdon Fire and Rescue and the Police Department responded to the crash on Veterans Drive just east of the Hwy 22 south interchange. According to a witness, a 2000 model Chevy Blazer came off the ramp from Hwy 22 headed east in the right lane on Veterans Drive. 

According to the press release, a 2008 Dodge Ram truck was in the left lane and was overtaking the Blazer when the driver of the Blazer made an abrupt turn left in an apparent attempt to cross over to the west bound side of the highway. 

The driver of the Dodge truck tried to stop but struck the Blazer, sending it into a rollover. The vehicle came to rest and the two motorists inside were entrapped. 

Members of the Fire & Rescue were able to use the Jaws of Life rescue tool to cut away the roof of the Blazer and assist the paramedics with extracting the two people inside. 

Director of Public Safety Walter Smothers said, “As I watched the rescue effort I found it ironic that just an hour before I had submitted the final report to FEMA on the grant that had bought us the Jaws of Life tool, and the implements to use with it. I am proud of the efforts of our Fire & Rescue workers at this crash, and their proven dedication to increasing their ability to help save lifes by becoming certified to use this equipment. It also made me thankful once again for the support for our grant that came from U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. The Huntingdon Public Safety Department would like to acknowledge the help of Tennessee Highway Patrol members Sgt. Kevin Brown, Trooper Mark Jackson .Trooper Shane Steele, and the help of Carroll County Deputy Sheriff Chris Byrd.”

Small Fry Parade Has Something For Everyone

Jack, Jude, Jace, Max and Tagg took home three trophies. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The team of Jack, Jude, Jace Max and Tagg took home three trophies at the Small Fry parade today. With their “Horsing Around at the Fish Fry” float, the boys with their cowboy hats and fancy duds won Best Character/Costume, Most Original Float and Best Decorated Float.

It was another perfect day for a parade, this time giving the youngsters their time in the spotlight.

The parade had everything: a mini-pig whose full name is Willie Beau Fitz and who won first place with his handler Will McDaniel in the coolest pet category. Willie Beau is owned by Lisa Fitzsimmons.  

Second place in the coolest pet category was Buster the lhaso apso, who was in the parade with his owner Barbara Omar to Walk for a Cure for Arthritis. Omar said the little dog has arthritis himself.

As it does each year, the small fry parade is presented with all the pomp and circumstances of the grand parade, with large crowds lining the court square in downtown Paris, an escort by the Paris Police and Paris Fire Departments, and Hostess Princess Grace Hassell and her court handing out trophies.

The complete list of winners were:

Best Decorated Bike/Trike: Happily Ever After”
Best Character/Costume: first place, Jack, Judge Jace, Max and Tagg; Eva Coleman; and the kids from Tennessee Valley Community Church.
Most Original Float: first, Jack, Jude, Jace, Max and Tagg; second Landry Flowers; third, TVCC.
Best Decorated Float: first, Jack, Jude, Jace, Max and Tagg; second, TVCC.
Best Marching Unit: first, Joyland; second, First Presbyterian; third, TVCC.
Coolest Pet: first place, Will McDaniel and Willie; Buster and and Vadale.

Landry Flowers with Evan Flood, getting ready for the parade. Landry took home a trophy. (McFarlin photo).

Will McDaniel and Willie Beau Fitz, winners of Coolest Pet. (McFarlin photo).

The crew from Joyland won first place marching unit. (McFarlin photo).

Main Street Union City Raises $10,000

Looking over the items up for auction. (Photo by Amy Keathley).

Union City, Tenn.-Main Street Union City held its annual fundraising auction at The Venue at Center Point Business Solutions in Union City Thursday night. 

According to Main Street director Phyllis Rauchle, they raised over $10,000 thanks to the help of many local businesses and community members.

All proceeds from the event go toward Main Street projects with an emphasis on downtown revitalization.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Solemn Prayer Service Held For Trinity Church

Some 300 people gathered for the prayer service for Trinity Church. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Some 300 people attended a solemn and emotional prayer service in the parking lot of the Trinity United Methodist Church Friday evening. The church was destroyed by a fast-moving fire Thursday morning.

Words of comfort and prayers were offered by the church’s outgoing minister Rev. Jolinne Balentine-Downey and incoming minister Rev. Dennis Vance, along with Dr. Joseph Geary, the new Director of Connectional Ministry for the Memphis Conference of United Methodist Churches.

Several ministers from other local and area churches were also in attendance.

Charter Member Carleen “Chick” Robertson, who is the oldest active member of the church, encouraged everyone to “stick together. We’ve just got to stick together.”

Sunday church services will be held at 11 a.m. in the church parking lot if the weather cooperates, but in case of inclement weather, it will be held at the First Methodist Church Christian Life Center gym in Paris.

Carleen "Chick" Robertson, center, oldest active member of the church, urged everyone to "stick together". Standing to her right is Dr. Joseph Geary of the Memphis Conference of United Methodist Churches. (McFarlin photo).

Fish Fry Parade To Be Televised

The World's Biggest Fish Fry will be broadcast on WLJT public television twice: at 9 p.m. Saturday, April 25 and at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3. WLJT is on Channel 11 on Charter Cable.

Picture Perfect Day For A Parade
30,000 In Attendance

Fish Fry Royalty: Hostess Princess Grace Hassell and her court. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-You couldn’t ask for a more picture perfect day for the 62nd annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry grand parade.

The skies were blue, the floats were colorful, the bands were excellent and there were smiles all around.

An estimated 30,000 people lined East Wood Street for the parade, which included 58 entries and six bands (Henry County High School, Henry County Middle School, Bethel University, McKenzie High, Glencliff High and Camden Central High School).

Local and county officials from all over the area were in attendance, enjoying the parade from the dignitaries’ stand. Plenty of area communities were represented with floats: McKenzie, Huntingdon, Dresden, Gleason, Martin.

Grand Marshal of the parade was Summer Crockett Moore, a Paris native who is now an actress in New York City.

Winner of the General Manager’s Choice was the Catfish Queens made up of the fish fry’s Junior Queen and Court.

Other winners:

Most Original, first place Catfish Rodeo; second Mermaids; third Up, Up and Away.

Best Club or Church: first place Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby; second Point Pleasant Church; third VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

Most Beautiful: first “A Day In Paris” Miss Pre-Teen; second, Legos; third, Candyland Cuties.

Best Out-Of-Town: first Junior Miss of Dresden; second Bopping Beauties of Gleason; third Dresden Senior Royalty.

Plenty of area communities were represented with floats: McKenzie, Huntingdon, Dresden, Gleason, Martin.

General Manager's Choice Catfish Rodeo Queens. (McFarlin photo).


From Obion County, County Mayor Benny McGuire, Elections Administrator Leigh Schlager and EMS DIrector Danny Jowers. (McFarlin photo).

Every parade needs a chicken on a bike. (McFarlin photo).

McKenzie Band Wins Top Honors

Paris, Tenn.-The Sweepstakes trophy was awarded to the McKenzie High School marching band at today’s World’s Biggest Fish Fry marching band competition.

The band won first place in senior red class and drum major awards also.

Camden Central High School won first place in the white class and for best color guard. The Camden band also provided a show stopper performance during the parade with a trumpet solo.

Glencliff High School of Nashville won second place in senior red class.

The Bethel University band performed in the competition in the exhibition class

The Henry County High School Marching Patriots and Henry County-wide band hosted and were not eligible for awards.

Road Rage Incident Draws Arrest

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Martin man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault by Union City Police after a threatening altercation with a gun.

According to the police and investigative reports, James Christian Bevis of Martin was charged with threatening another man with a gun in a road rage incident.

The victim reported a man in a gold Lincoln had pulled up beside him near the Taco Bell, honking his horn and cussing him out. The victim said he saw the man draw a black and chrome pistol and appear to be chambering bullets in it. He did say the man never pointed it at him.

Police tracked down the perpetrator and found a Ruger SR9 handgun in his possession. Bevis told police he was mad because the other man cut him off in traffic.

Trinity Church Fire From On High

Paris, Tenn.-The crew from Air Evac captured this photo of the Trinity United Methodist Church Fire from the air Thursday. (Photo submitted by Mark Pierce of Air Evac).

Trinity Church Service Set This Evening 

Paris, Tenn.-The Trinity United Methodist Church on Wilson Street will hold a prayer service at 5:30 p.m. today in the church parking lot. The church was destroyed by fire Thursday. The cornerstones on the building remain and this one on the front of the church is especially poignant: "Trinity Methodist Church Erected 1961. Jesus Christ himself being chief cornerstone." (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Henry County Has Lowest Unemployment In Local Area

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News DIrector

Nashville, Tenn.-County unemployment rates for March 2015 were released today and show a better unemployment outlook than previous months. Unemployment rates decreased in 88 counties, increased in five and remained the same in two.

In our local area, Henry County has the lowest unemployment rate, at 7.1 percent, down from 7.9 in February. 

Once again, Carroll County remains on the list of the counties with the highest unemployment, listed at No. 88 with 9.1 percent unemployment. The good news there is that Carroll County’s unemployment in February was 9.5 percent. Obion is back on the list, with 9.2 percent the same as in February.

Other area counties: Weakley’s unemployment is listed at 7.3 percent, down from 7.5. Stewart is at 8.4 percent, down from 9.1 percent and Gibson is at 8.1 percent, down from 8.5.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in March at 4.4 percent, down from 4.8 percent in February. Knox County was 4.7 percent in March, down from 5.1 the previous month. The Hamilton County March rate was 5.4 percent, down from 5.9 in February. Shelby County was 6.7 percent in March, down from 7.2 percent the previous month. 

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for March was 6.3 percent, three-tenths of one percentage point lower than the February revised rate of 6.6 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for March was 5.5 percent, unchanged from the prior month.

Hospital Board Still Mulling Air Ambulance Contract

Paris, Tenn.-With the city of Paris still formulating rules and regulations for air ambulance heliports in the city limits, the Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees took no action on its pending contract with Vanderbilt Life Flight.

At its meeting Thursday night, Hospital Administrator Tom Gee noted that both Vanderbilt and Air Evac have been promoting their subscription services locally. He said both are offering discounts to HCMC employees.

Gee said construction of the operating room expansion began April 13.

Insure Tennessee “is most likely dead for this year’s legislative session”, Gee said. “Unfortunately, the state will now lose any chance of 100 percent matching funds from the federal government. Fortunately, the governor’s budget cuts to hospitals for this year have been eliminated due to the assessment fee covering these costs.”

Gee said the hospital has extended an offer to Dr. Paul Locus, an obstetrician from Texas. He said it is expected he will begin in summer. “We will have a concern about adequate office space for him to locate near the hospital. Constructing or buying space may be prohibitive to us given all the other acquisitions we have underway.”

The hospital also continues to try to recruit Dr. Lindsey Foust, a Paris native who wants to return to her practice podiatry.

Public Advisory For Allergen In State

Nashville, Tenn.—The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is issuing a public advisory in the Memphis area for an undeclared peanut allergen in chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies produced and packed by Backermann’s Bakery of Whiteville, Tenn. 

On April 17, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture conducted routine retail food product sampling in West Tennessee markets. The department’s test results for two products—Backermann’s Bakery chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies with best by date of April 24, 2015—showed positive for the presence of a peanut allergen not disclosed on the product labels. 

The products have been distributed throughout the Memphis area. As of the date of this release, Backermann’s Bakery has contacted its distributors to issue a recall. If the products are found in additional Tennessee stores, the department will embargo these products with best by dates of April 24, 2015, as adulterated and/or misbranded pursuant to the Tennessee Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

As a precaution, the department is alerting consumers with peanut allergies as to the possible presence of peanut allergens in these products. The department is requesting that retail locations remove these products from their shelves and contact their distributor.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 

Long Day For Paris Firefighters

Paris Fire Captains Barry Farmer and Richie Bomar rope off the destroyed church late Thursday afternoon. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Late Thursday afternoon, Paris Firefighters were still on the scene of the fire that destroyed the Trinity United Methodist Church earlier in the morning.

Captain Barry Farmer said firefighters still do not know the cause of the fast-moving blaze but said it “definitely” began in the attic.

Farmer said firemen will stay on the scene into the evening to continue spraying water on areas of the church still smouldering.

Henry County Sheriff Deputy M.L. Bailey is a member of the church and was a member of the building committee for the 1980 addition. Bailey was surveying the damage and said the original portion of the church was built in the 1950s and other additions were built in the 1960s and 1980s.

The cornerstones still remain on the church foundation. The cornerstone in the front of the church reads: “Trinity United Methodist Church, 1961. Jesus Christ Himself Being The Chief Cornerstone.”

The blaze at its height in the morning. (McFarlin photo).

Church Meeting Moved

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris District United Methodist Women's Mission Study scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, April 25, at Trinity United Methodist Church has been moved to Paris First United Methodist Church. 

WENK/WTPR Coverage Of Fish Fry Parade

Paris, Tenn.-Remember, if you can’t get to the World’s Biggest Fish Fry grand parade Friday morning or live out of town, you can listen to it live on our website at 

Just click on the “Listen to it live” icon on the top right of the website.
As always, we have three on-air personalities that will be broadcasting live from the parade: Susan Jones, Mary Kate Ridgeway and Brad Hosford. And, News Director Shannon McFarlin will be taking plenty of pix and conducting interviews and her coverage will be on our website after the parade Friday morning.

Trinity United Methodist Church Destroyed By Fire

The smoke and heat was intense at the blaze. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Trinity United Methodist Church on Wilson St. in Paris was destroyed by a fast-moving fire Thursday morning.

The first call to 911 that smoke could be seen coming from the church was received around 10:30 a.m.

Paris Fire Captain Barry Farmer said when fire units arrived, flames were coming from the attic. The fire moved fast through the sanctuary and church offices. The steeple collapsed around 10:50 a.m.

The fire spread to an adjacent building containing the pastor’s office and church members, police officers and other emergency personnel were working hard to remove church property from the building as fast as they could.

Farmer said from the scene the investigation is still ongoing and firefighters ‘have no clue’ yet how the fire started.

The fire could be seen from miles away and the heat was intense.

Church members cried watching the fire destroy their church and shared stories of attending the church since they were children.

Firefighters were still on the scene at noon.

Emergency personnel from the Paris Police, Henry County EMS and Sheriff's Office were on the scene to block off the area to traffic. Dozens of people watched as the fire consumed the building. Personnel from Ridgeway Funeral Home brought water for the firefighters.

Firefighters move quickly to remove the flags in front of the church before they were destroyed by the blaze. (McFarlin photo).

Black smoke could be seen for miles around. (McFarlin photo).

Real Men Do Wear Aprons

Paris, Tenn.-Ross Paschall is ready to serve up some freshly-made hush puppies at the opening of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry tent Wednesday night and his apron says it all--”Real Men Wear Aprons”. Paschall was one of the volunteers from the Buchanan Masonic Lodge working last night. Thursday night activities include the arts and crafts show, carnival fish tent and IPRA rodeo. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Welcoming Everyone

Paris, Tenn.-David “Tater” Hays of the Paris-Henry County Jaycees, center, welcomes everyone to the fish tent and thanks everyone for their hard work Wednesday night. At left is Fish Fry General Manager Patrick Cooper and at right is Dan Hassell, father of Hostess Princess Grace Hassell. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

General Assembly Outlaws Speed Cameras

Nashville, Tenn.-- The Tennessee General Assembly Wednesday voted to outlaw unmanned speed cameras used to issue traffic tickets. Followed by a 29:1 Senate vote in favor of the ban, the House voted 74:16:1. 

"My office has received thousands of phone calls and emails in support of this legislation from across the state. The outcry from the public is palpable. I was really honored to have more than thirty co-sponsors on this legislation. Especially Senate sponsor Todd Gardenhire," said chief sponsor Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden).

Multiple judges from across the country have thrown out traffic camera tickets due to their unconstitutional nature, Holt said. "Tennesseans are tired of having their constitutional right to face their accuser sold to private out-of-state companies." 

The original intent of the bill was to outlaw red light cameras and speed cameras. However, the bill was stripped of some of its elements through the committee process. Currently, the ban only outlaws speed cameras. However, school zones and a s-curve roads will still be able to utilize the cameras.

Holt says he will continue to work toward outlawing red light cameras next year. 

"It's very rare that you get everything you want. However, I am really happy that we were able to take a step in the right direction. We're not going to quit fighting for our constituents' rights,” he said.

Proponents of the cameras argue that they are a safety measure. However, Holt says the evidence proves otherwise.

"The truth is, almost all studies showing that cameras improve safety are sponsored by the very companies and municipalities that make millions of dollars off of them. Virtually every non-biased, peer reviewed study shows that the cameras actually have either a negative effect, or no change at all regarding safety. At best, the evidence is inconclusive. Regardless, we have to realize that we cannot sell our rights for the guise of safety."

HB1372 awaits Governor Bill Haslam's signature. 

Woman Places Child In Trash Can, Strikes Officer 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City woman was arrested on assault charges after she placed a toddler in a trash can and striking an officer.

Arrested was Christy Lynn Hobbs, age 39 of 1076 Highland Ave. 

Officer Brandon Adams responded to a call of noises being heard and found Hobbs with a water cut-off key and large kitchen knife. According to the police report, Hobbs initially told Adams her husband was in the attic and that the child was in the trash can.

During the incident, Hobbs began yelling and pounding the pavement, calling to God, and approaching Patrolman Adams more than once. She did not comply with his order to her to put her hands behind her back. She called the officer “the Devil” at one point and struck him in the chest.

Hobbs was pepper sprayed and handcuffed and the child was taken from the trash can. The child initially was placed in DCS custody, then handed over to a relative.

In his report, Officer Adams noted the incident was recorded on body camera, which all Union City officers wear.

Hobbs was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital.

TVA Proposal Would Allow Johnsonville Plant To Continue
New Johnsonville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority has released a draft Environmental Assessment on a proposal that would allow the Johnsonville Fossil Plant site to continue to provide steam for cogeneration use after the coal plant closes.

The draft study considers the environmental effects of the two alternatives under consideration: A) take no action or B) add a heat recovery steam generator that would take heat from an existing gas turbine and convert it to steam for an offsite customer.

The factory, which makes titanium dioxide for the coatings, paper and plastics industries, has long relied on byproduct steam from the Johnsonville power plant for its manufacturing process. It is a cogeneration relationship unique among TVA’s coal plants.
But with TVA retiring the last of Johnsonville’s 10 coal units by the end of 2017 under a clean-air agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, a new steam source had to be found.

TVA proposes to continue providing steam by constructing and operating a heat recovery steam generator integrated into one of 20 gas-fired combustion turbines that will continue to make electricity at the Johnsonville site.

Comments on the draft Environmental Assessment, including the alternatives and affected environmental resources considered, will be accepted from April 20 until May 20, 2015. Comments may be submitted online at the web address below or mailed to Ashley Farless, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1101 Market St., BR 4A, Chattanooga, TN, 37402.

Sketch Crawl Is Set For Saturday

 Paris, Tenn.-Grab a sketch book, pencil or pen and head to Historic Downtown Paris this Saturday, April 25th for the Spring Sketch Crawl. Sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association, the biannual event runs from 10:00 am until noon and is open to anyone who enjoys drawing.

This crawl has a great reputation among seasoned artists and doodlers alike,” according to DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray. “It's all about taking time to sit down and record what you see downtown, and with this weekend's Catfish Races, Small Fry Parade and beautiful court square in bloom, there's plenty to sketch.”

“We begin on the north side of the court house, across from the Golden Dragon Restaurant and sketch whatever turns our fancy, that's within our vision,” according to Ann Stapp, who will be leading the crawl. “After 30 minutes, we move to the next side. If you can only participate for a half-hour or an hour, that's fine, too,” she said. Stapp described the morning as “a fun and creative time that is open to all levels.” 

After the event, participants are welcome to join Stapp for a Dutch treat lunch at the Golden Dragon. “It's a nice time for folks to share their work with the group if they'd like. With the artists' permission, I photograph the sketches for the DPA. They post it on their Facebook page  and to highlight the artists' work and to encourage others to join us at our fall sketch crawl.

Along with pen and paper, Stapp encouraged participants to bring a folding chair. She invited those with questions to call her at 731-336-2963.

Arrest Follows Foot Pursuit Through Murray

Murray, Ky.– Following a foot pursuit through streets and neighborhoods in Murray, Kentucky State Police arrested a fugitive from Murray on Wednesday.

KSP Troopers and Kentucky Probation and Parole Officers received a tip on the location of Joshua M. Colson, 22 of Murray. Mr. Colson has been a fugitive since February of 2015, when the Kentucky Parole Board issued a warrant for his arrest. 

Upon locating Colson, Colson ran away from officers on foot. Troopers and Parole Officers began a foot pursuit that went through numerous city streets and neighborhoods of Murray. Colson was arrested and charged with Fleeing or Evading Police 1st Degree and was served with the Parole Board warrant. Colson was lodged in the Calloway County Jail.

Trooper Jody Cash continues his investigation. KSP was assisted by the Murray Police Department and Kentucky Probation and Parole Officers. 

Free ACT Prep Course

Paris, Tenn.-W.G. Rhea Public Library in Paris will host a free ACT Prep Course from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 28. Space is limited. Registration required by calling 642-1702, extension 0.

Business Window Broken

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating vandalism to the Helping Hands store at 430 N. Miles St. According to the report, police responded to an alarm and found the front window broken out. Investigation revealed nothing disturbed inside but a piece of concrete had been thrown through the window.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 

Fish Tent Officially Opens To Large Crowd 

Dan Hassell with hush puppy from his daughter Hostess Princess 
Grace Hassell. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With the toss of the first hush puppy from Hostess Princess Grace Hassell to her father, Dan Hassell, the World’s Biggest Fish Fry fish tent officially opened Wednesday night.

People started lining up an hour before the tent even opened. A lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes by numerous volunteers to ensure that everyone receives a heaping plate of fried catfish, hush puppies, white beans, slaw (a choice of two kinds), French fries and onion slices.

Volunteers in the kitchen area will be starting work early every day through Saturday, serving many roles: thawing the catfish, breading the fish, breading the hush puppies, making the slaw, and putting the fish and hush puppies in the large fryers. 

Fish Fry General Manager Patrick Cooper, Jaycees Official David “Tater” Hayes and Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell welcomed the crowd to the fish fry. Gerrell said, “I was to thank the Jaycees for the work you do every year. It’s so impressive and kudos to you.”

Several dignitaries were on hand for fish tent opening, including city and county officials, as well as former State Senator Roy Herron of Dresden. Herron also is the past Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

A large crowd was on hand at the Henry County Fairgrounds again for all the activities, including the carnival and the Christian concert with People of the Earth.

Activities Thursday include the carnival, fish tent, arts and crafts show that opens at 5 p.m. and the IPRA Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. 

Former State Senator Roy Herron of Dresden shows what all
 the shouting is about with a plate of home-cooked food. (McFarlin photo).

Cooking hush puppies the old-fashioned way. (McFarlin photo).

Breading catfish, from left: Barry Jones, Chris Damesworth, Madeline Hosford, Jacob Parris. (McFarlin photo).

There’s A Whole Lot Of Slaw Going On
Perfect Start To WBFF Carnival

Slaw Masters Tater Hayes and Drew Williams mix up a whole lot of vinegar slaw while County Commissioner Don Jones looks on. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The skies were blue and the weather was perfect Tuesday night for the first night of the carnival and officials of the World’s Biggest have their fingers crossed that the rest of the week stays that way.

The midway was full of excited children, teenagers and even adults way before the rides were set to begin at 5 p.m.

As always, the fish fry is a time for riding the new rides, visiting with your neighbors and strolling down the midway hand-in-hand. And then there is always the food--blooming onions, deep fried oreos, cotton candy, candy apples, funnel cakes, corn dogs and lemon shake-ups.

Volunteers Drew Williams, Tater Hayes, and Kreg Kyle mixed up a massive amount of vinegar slaw Tuesday night to get it ready for the opening of the fish tent Wednesday night.

The first hush puppy will be thrown out by Hostess Princess Grace Hassell when the fish tent opens at 5 p.m. Fish dinners are $12 all you can eat (and carry-outs available) and $8 for children aged 12 through 6.

Also on tap for Wednesday night is the Christian Concert at 7 p.m. by People of the Earth, admission $5 and the carnival is again open from 5-11 p.m.

Now That’s A Big Ball Of Foil

Paris, Tenn.-It started as a small ball of foil 15 years ago and it has now grown to over 100 pounds. World’s Biggest Fish Fry Volunteer Tater Hayes has been collecting all the foil used at every fish fry for 15 years. Hayes always rides along with the ball of aluminum foil during the grand parade. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Hayden Awarded Lombardi Service Award

Martin, Tenn.-Hamilton-Ryker has announced that Jennifer Hayden of Paris is the recipient of the company’s 2014 Lombardi Service Award. Hayden is branch manager of the Paris office and has worked for Hamilton-Ryker since 2007.

The award is given in recognition of excellent service to customers, associates and employees.

“I am very honoured to be chosen” for the award, Hayden said. “Excellent customer service has always been my number one priority and I’m thankful I work for a company that allows me to be involved in the community.”

Regional Director Ronnie Cook said Hayden does a great job managing the Paris office and provides clients with great customer service.”

Civil War Days At Discovery Park This Weekend

Union City, Tenn.- History will come to life on the Great Lawn at Discovery Park of America April 24 -26 as the park hosts its first “Civil War Days” Living History Encampment. 

In collaboration with Columbus Belmont State Park, Discovery Park’s Education Department has solicited the help of the Kentucky Orphan Brigade (KOB) and The Army of Tennessee (AOT) to create a weekend long opportunity to see how life was for both the Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War. The event is sponsored by Dixie Gun Works of Union City. 

“If you hear a loud BOOM” April 24th through the 26th, it will probably be a cannon firing at Discovery Park,” organizer Chris Gunlefinger said. “We plan to have artillery demonstrations every hour.” According to Artillery Commander Chris Fisher with the AOT, the artillery demonstrations are extremely popular. “If we need to have them more often than every hour, we will,” Fisher said. 

Visiting the Civil War Encampment April 24th through the 26th is free with park admission. Guests will be able to stroll through the tents and talk with the historians about the Civil War and its history. “The people who participate in these Living History events have great knowledge about the Civil War and its battles,” Steven Henderson of the KOB said. 
Additionally, Dixie Gun Works, the sponsor of the weekend, will set up a sutler store. Sutlers followed the Army around and sold them goods like tobacco, coffee and sugar. As the sponsor of this weekend’s event, Dixie Gun Works will be selling goods from their sutler store on The Great Lawn. Dixie Gun Works employees Margaret Miller of Union City and Jo Laster of Troy, as well as Margaret’s husband, “Skip”, will be dressed in period clothing and selling wares from the sutler store throughout the weekend. 

In addition to living historians dressed in authentic Union and Confederate clothing, artillery demonstrations and the sutler store, there will be candle making demonstrations, soap making demonstrations and an Antebellum Fashion Show at 12:30 on Saturday, April25th. 
CEO Jim Rippy said that Civil War Days represents a desire by the park to offer more educational events and opportunities to the public. According to Rippy, there will be a World War II encampment May 23 through the 25th sponsored by Union City Coca-Cola and an Alvin York Exhibit from October 1st through December 31st, sponsored by Centerpoint Business Solutions, which will also appeal to historians or anyone interested in history or learning more about specific wars or battles. “ 

Organizers are thankful for the help of Cindy Lynch from Columbus-Belmont State Park in Columbus, Ky. “We couldn’t have done this without Cindy’s help,” Gunlefinger said. Columbus-Belmont State Park has an annual Civil War event in October. Plans are already made for this year’s event at Columbus-Belmont October 9TH – 11TH, including battles at 2:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, a Ghost Walk on Friday evening, a Civil War Ball on Saturday night and more. 

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN. You can see the 2015 Calendar of Events, including upcoming educational and entertaining events, by visiting the website at . The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.

Main Street Auction Is Thursday 

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Main Street’s biggest annual fundraiser is this week. The Main Street Auction is Thursday, April 23 at 5:30 p.m. All you care to eat for $5 with live auction beginning at 6 p.m.
Main Street officials said they have tons of new and exciting items for the silent and live auctions this year. 
Main Street is responsible for many downtown projects, including the spring and summer flower plantings and the Christmas tree lighting program. 
Main Street was recently awarded a Community Development Block Grant which will be used for improvement on local down town store fronts.

World's Biggest Fish Fry Poster Winners

Paris, Tenn.-The following is the list of winners of the annual WBFF fish fry contest. The posters are displayed in the fish tent through the fish fry.
1st Place Brady Shannon
2nd Place Jack Hutson
3rd Place Jericka Barnhart
1st Caroline Cherry
2nd Madison Hutson
3rd Hope Conger
1st Alyssa Ingram
2nd Joseph Jenkins
3rd Luis Ibarra
General Manager's Choice
Noah McClure

Register Now For Fancy Nancy Tea Party

Paris, Tenn.- Registration for the annual Fancy Nancy Tea Party at the W.G. Rhea Public Library begins Thursday April 23. The event itself is held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 9, and will be open to the first 30 girls who enter.

The Fancy Nancy Tea Party is open for girls ages 4-8 years old. This year it will be an art-themed party. A $5 deposit is required once you register your child at the Library beginning Thursday, but that will be refunded to you on the day of the event. 

One adult female must accompany the child to the Fancy Nancy Tea Party. 

The party will start at the Library where the girls will make paint a masterpiece then get make-overs for the big limo ride to Lee School for the Tea Party. Girls are encouraged to wear their favorite fancy outfit. For more information call the W.G. Rhea Public Library at 642-1702.

LBL Quilting Bee This Weekend 

Golden Pond, Ky. — The Homeplace 1850’s Farm will hold a Quilting Bee on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26. Visitors will learn more about quilting and help complete a hand-made quilt started by the farm family. Visit with the blacksmith on the farm at 1pm both days. From 1-3pm, visit the Homeplace kitchen for sweet treats made on a wood stove. All activities will be held at the Homeplace 1850’s Farm in the Tennessee portion of Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.

“We will be piecing a replica Triple Irish Chain quilt. Everyone can add a stich or two,” Cindy Earls, Lead Interpreter at the Homeplace, said. “Children can learn to quilt on a smaller frame. On Saturday, we’ll demonstrate how a quilt is put on a frame. On Sunday, visitors can help us hang a quilt in the Single Pen House.”

Visitors are encouraged to meet their new baby pigs and wander the farm with its period animals, crops, and gardens. Historic interpreters are available to answer any questions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

And The World's Biggest Fish Fry Carnival Begins

Paris, Tenn.-Large crowds were on the midway starting early Tuesday night for the opening of the carnival at the World’s Biggest Fish Fry. Young and old alike were having fun on all the favorite rides--as well as some new ones. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Parade Guidelines Released

Police Chief Chuck Elizondo

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo has issued a press release detailing guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants, visitors, emergency responders and public safety officials during Friday morning’s grand parade at the World’s Biggest Fish Fry.

·       Parking is allowed on the South side of the parade route at midnight.
·       Leave cell phone number on the vehicle dash in case of illegal parking.  We will call before we tow.
·       No bikes, ATV’s, skateboards, skates, mini bikes on route unless part of the parade or authorized i.e. Jaycees, EMS, Rescue Squad and Law Enforcement.
·        No pets on the route unless part of the parade.
·        No candy thrown from parade entrants but may be carried to them.
·        No poppers to be sold or thrown on parade route.
·        Make sure private drives and intersections are kept clear.
·        When the parade ends, make sure all vehicles are moved.  If left unattended in a traffic lane, they will be towed.
·        Vendors must have a permit to sell on the parade route.
·        Backpacks will be checked for content on the route.

Nissan Smyrna Plant To Produce 2016 Maxima

Nashville, Tenn. – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today joined Gov. Bill Haslam and Nissan executives at the announcement that the auto manufacturer would produce the 2016 Nissan Maxima at its manufacturing plants in Smyrna and Decherd, which Alexander said is “one more example of how Nissan has transformed Tennessee's economy."

“When Nissan came to Tennessee more than 30 years ago, there were almost no auto jobs in the stat...e – now three decades later, about one-third of our manufacturing jobs are auto-related, auto suppliers have located in 80 counties, and our family incomes are higher,” Alexander said. “I want to thank Nissan for providing opportunities for thousands of talented Tennesseans, such as Nissan Vice-President for Manufacturing in Smyrna, Randy Knight.”

In 1978, during his walk across the state to become governor of Tennessee, Alexander spent one night at the home of Billy and Lillian Knight in Rutherford County. Mrs. Knight told Alexander that her biggest fear was that her three sons would never be able to find good jobs nearby and that she would never see her grandchildren. Two years later, as governor, Alexander helped recruit the Nissan plant to Rutherford County. Two of the Knight sons found jobs at Nissan and one of them, Randy, is Nissan's vice-president for manufacturing today.

Tennessee is now at the center of the most productive and efficient part of the American auto industry, Alexander said. According to the Tennessee Department of Economic Development, the state continues to be recognized for its automotive sector. In 2013, Business Facilities named Tennessee No. 1 for Automotive Manufacturing Strength for the fourth consecutive year, as well as No. 4 for Auto Parts Suppliers. Alexander said the Nissan announcement will help to continue the state’s auto success as the best state for new auto jobs.

Holt: Common Core Likely To Be Repealed

Nashville, Tenn.-- Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, announced today that the Tennessee State Senate is likely to pass a bill that he co-sponsored that will repeal Common Core.

“Yesterday, in a bipartisan vote, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted unanimously (97:0) to repeal Common Core,” Holt said in a press release. “The Tennessee State Senate will take up the measure today, and is expected to pass the bill.”


"This legislation is a template for all states to begin a much needed journey of separation from federally generated standards and an invitation to embrace each states' own constitutionally delegated authority to serve its citizens at its own will," according to chief sponsor Rep. Billy Spivey (R-Lewisburg). "As our founders and God surely intended."

The bill reads, in part, "WHEREAS, these new Tennessee academic standards shall be adopted and fully implemented in Tennessee public schools in the 2017–2018 school year, at which time the previously adopted set of standards shall be rescinded."

"I set out on a mission to do everything in my power to repeal Common Core in State of Tennessee this year," said Holt. "In addition to repealing Common Core, this bill puts even more control back in the hands of families, local schools and the State of Tennessee, which is exactly where it belongs."

HB1035 also increases accountability by mandating that all standards committee appointees be confirmed by the House of Representatives and Senate.

"Both Democrats and Republicans in my district are strongly against Common Core," said co-sponsor Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro)." I am proud to have had the opportunity to amend this legislation in order to ensure that the was indeed to completely rescind Common Core from the State of Tennessee. Tennessee families, teachers and legislators will now be able to create their own standards, and for that I am thankful."

The Calm Before The Storm

Buchanan, Tenn.-A great blue heron flies off a ledge at the Paris Landing State Park beach a short while before a thunderstorm arrived. The Ned Ray McWherter bridge is in the background. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Dancing In The Streets

Paris, Tenn.-There was a chill in the air, but that didn’t stop a large crowd from dancing in the streets during the World’s Biggest Fish Fry kick-off street dance Monday night in downtown Paris. In photo, the Ray Lewis Band gets in a little practice time before the dance. The carnival begins today at 5 p.m. and the Country Dance will be held from 7-10 p.m., both at the fairgrounds. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

WTPR Annual Parade Broadcast Friday
With Coverage On Website, Facebook

Brad Hosford interviews Governor Bill Haslam at last year’s parade, surrounded by security. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.--As we have every year since--forever?--WTPR will broadcast the World’s Biggest Fish Fry grand parade live this Friday morning. 

Starting at 9:30 a.m. and continuing until the last horse has trotted past the dignitaries’ stand, you can hear all the action on WTPR 710 AM, and hear it world-wide at

Our team of commentators will be there live--Brad Hosford, Susan Jones and Mary Kate Ridgeway--and our News Director Shannon McFarlin will be taking photos and conducting interviews which will be posted on our website and on both of our Facebook pages.

Our website is at You can find us on Facebook at either WENK/WTPR or KF99-KQ109.

UTM Athletic Director Named To NCAA Committee

Indianapolis, Ind. – Julio Freire, athletics director at the University of Tennessee at Martin, has been selected as one of 12 members on the NCAA Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee.

Freire was nominated by Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Beth DeBauche and was one of 400 nominees for a spot on one of seven committees in the NCAA’s new governance structure. 

“It is obviously a tremendous honor and responsibility but more importantly it is a platform to help not only our university and the OVC but all mid-major institutions,” Freire said. Freire is in his second season as UT Martin’s athletics director. “I am thankful to Commissioner DeBauche for the confidence to nominate me and to the NCAA for selecting me.”

Freire is one of four athletic directors on the prestigious panel, which is comprised of representatives from each divisional subgroup.

The Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee will ensure that appropriate oversight of women’s basketball is maintained, will enhance the development and public perception of the sport and make recommendations related to regular season and postseason women’s basketball. 

The Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee will supervise qualifications and/or selection procedures for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. 

Junior Ranger Day At Fort Heiman Saturday

Dover, TN –   Fort Donelson National Battlefield will celebrate the National Junior Ranger Day with children’s activities including stream cleanups and other environmental programs on April 25, 2015.  Programs are free, but reservations are required.    Activities will be held at Fort Heiman, Calloway County, KY. Prizes and materials will be provided.  In case of inclement weather, activities will be held on May 16, 2015.

Working with partners at the Four Rivers Watershed Watch, Jackson Purchase Foundation, Calloway County Cooperative Extension Office, Calloway County Conservation District, the Kentucky Orphans Brigade Reenactors, and other volunteers, the national park will host a historical reenactment of daily life at the Fort, various water stewardship programs, stream clean-ups, and short hikes around the historic fort.  The Calloway County 4-H club will also assist the park staff and volunteers with a sustainable landscape project using native plants.  Programs begin at 10 am.  Materials and tools will be provided.

There are 401 national parks throughout the country and each one tells an important part of the American story. Some commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders, and all provide a place to have fun and learn. Plan your visit at 

Fort Donelson NB commemorates the 1862 campaign for Forts Henry, Heiman, and Donelson.  The national park protects the natural and cultural resources, including the historic Dover Hotel, earthworks, fortifications, and national cemetery.  To see a listing of all events for 2015, visit the park’s website:

“I Am Strong” 5K This Weekend

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin ROTC program will host the “I Am Strong” 5K race beginning at noon, April 25, in front of CrossFit Martin, near the new E.W. James.

Participants can register until the day of the race for $20 per person. Groups of five or more registrants will be offered a special discount. T-shirts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Interested parties can register online by visiting and searching “I Am Strong” in the Martin area. Participants can also obtain a registration form by contacting Mercee Eubank by email at

The race is being held to celebrate 99 years of the Army ROTC program nationwide and to raise public awareness of the consequences of sexual harassment. 

Carl Perkins/Tosh Tourney This Weekend

Buchanan, Tenn.-The annual Carl Perkins Center/Tosh Farms Crappie Tournament will be held this Saturday, April 25, at Paris Landing State Park. Start time is 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weigh-ins.

The tournament benefit’s the Carl Perkins Child Abuse Prevention Center of Henry County and is supported by the Henry Co. Sheriff’s Office. 

The Big Fish Contest ($250 prize) is sponsored by Kreg Kyle. Tournament payouts begins with first place $500.

Contact info 731-642-8455/

UC Police On Patrol Prom Night

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Police Department will increase patrols throughout Union City during Prom Night, Saturday, April 25, in an effort to deter underage drinking.

Police Chief Perry Barfield said, “Officers will be keeping a close watch on prom participants to make sure they aren’t drinking and driving. Our overall objective is safe teen driving and awareness for not only the prom season, but a lifetime of good decisions behind the wheel.”

The Police Department will be conducting saturation patrols from 8-11 p.m. and sobriety checkpoints from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Monday, April 20, 2015 

County Commission Approves HCMC Loans
For Orthopaedic Surgical Building, OR Expansion

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee, at left, speaks to county commission. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Commission Monday evening approved resolutions which will allow the Henry County Medical Center (HCMC) to purchase the Orthopaedic Surgical Building on Kelley Drive and to expand the hospital’s operating room. The county approved loan agreements for the projects with HCMC but almost unanimous votes, with Commissioner Wes Bradley abstaining.

The approvals followed presentations by HCMC Administrator Tom Gee and Chief Finance Officer Lisa Casteel about the projects and funding requests.

Gee noted that the hospital has a “robust process on deciding where we want our institutions to go and we do not take these decisions lightly.”

Acquisition of the Henry County Orthopaedic Clinic, Gee said, “will allow us to maintain this practice in the community. Dr. (Eugene) Gulish will ultimately be retiring and the location adjoining the hospital will allow us to increase the hospital footprint.”

Additionally, there is no more space in the hospital’s medical arts building and this will allow us to expand more hospital offices into that space. 

Dr. Gulish and Dr. Heather Gladwell have offered to building--which is 20,500 square feet--for $3.2 M, he said, and that includes all the furnishings and equipment. Three appraisals of the real estate have already been conducted: two for $3.5M and one for $2.45M.

The expansion of the hospital’s operating room is necessary to accommodate the 18 surgeons at the hospital who perform 390 surgeries a year each, Gee said. That project will cost $1.8M.

“This will be an excellent investment opportunity, an excellent opportunity for us to grow and to expand our services and bring other specialities here,” Casteel said.

 Gee noted that four hospitals in West Tennessee have recently closed “because they have not taken the steps we have. Hospitals of the future in West Tennessee need quality of care and robust medical specialties. We have a full range of services for our community and that increases our viability.”

Gee said HCMC “is a strong medical center. We have the same problems as other hospitals, but we have positioned ourselves better than 95 percent of the hospitals out there. The volume of people that goes through our medical center is almost 500 a day. We are a big medical center; we’re a big business and a big medical provider.”
County Mayor Brent Greer said, “I will say that the medical center has met its debt in all occasions. This loan is in compliance with their model debt policy as well as the county’s.”
Resol to allow couty on behalf of medical center to incur the debt paid for by the revenues of medical center   brent  I will say the medical center has  met its debt in all occasions  this loan is in compliance with their model debt policy as well as the county’s

In other business:

--The commissioners approved a continuous five-year reappraisal cycle. “At this time we want to stay on the same cycle we have been on,” Greer said. 
 --Commissioners approved issuance of general obligation high school refunding bonds. Greer said, “we have the opportunity to call on one of our school notes. We have three years left on this present bond and our bond agent Raymond James determined we have a good opportunity to bid this out to a local bank and we feel we can save $100,000 in payments over the next three years and allow the county schools to save $30,000 a year on their debt service.”

PSSD Welcomes Two New Board Members

Board President Richard Edwards, left, delivers the oath to new members Missy Klutts and Harry Cowan (standing) while Board Member Amy Cathey looks on. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Special Schools Board of Education welcomed two new board members--Harry Cowan and Missy Klutts--to the board at its Monday night meeting. Both Cowan and Klutts were elected unanimously and took the oath of office at the outset of the meeting.

Cowan will be serving in Robert Sleadd’s position and Klutts will be replacing Kim Foster. Sleadd resigned to accept a position in Texas and Foster will be the new Paris City Manager beginning in May.

Board Chairman Richard Edwards said, “I want to welcome you to our board. You have a lot to learn but remember when each of us started out we had lot to learn, too.”  

Upon recommendation of the board’s insurance committee, the board approved a three-year contract for property liability and workmen’s compensation with Public Risk Insurers.

Edwards noted that the district has always done business with Tennessee Risk Management, but determined that a contract with Public Risk would cost $10,000 lower for the same coverage.

 “We’ve done our research and the bottom line is that our current carrier is approximately 10,000 a year higher,” Edwards said. “Public Risk Insurers have turned out to be very reputable company and they insure other systems and we’ve not heard any problems with them.”

The bid for Tennessee Risk management was some $129,000 and Public Risk was $119,000.

 In other business:

The board heard reports from Inman Music Teachers Jessica McLeese, Gioia Fazzini, Lucy Presson and her assistant Josh Hayes on how well the students have been doing at competitions this year, receiving top scores pretty much across the board.

--Director of Schools Mike Brown reported there will be changes to the KIDS club which meets during the summer and after school. Brown said when he began as director eight years ago he reduced the price of the KIDS club because it has such a healthy fund balance. After eight years, it is time to make adjustments to try to reduce costs.

This summer’s KIDS club will charge $15 (one dollar more) and in the fall will return to charging $5 a day during the school year. In the summer, the KIDS club goes from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and includes two snacks and a lunch.

911 Board Purchases New Vehicle

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At a short and sweet meeting of the Henry County 911 meeting Monday morning, board members voted 5-1 to purchase a new vehicle for the agency.

911 Director Mark Archer had spoken at the last month’s meeting about the need for either a new vehicle or major repairs, including another transmission replacement, for the vehicle currently in use by 911.

The 911 agency currently is driving a 2008 GMC Acadia which has 100,000 miles. The transmission on the vehicle has already been replaced three times and another transmission would cost $4,200.

Three bids were received from local vendors for a new vehicle, he said.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo was a lone dissenter, noting that in the police department fleet patrol cars are fixed until they cannot be fixed any longer.

Board members voted to purchase the low bid, at $20,843, from Peppers Chrysler at 2440 E. Wood St., Paris. The Peppers’ bid was for a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, at $26,843, minus the trade-in for the Acadia at $6,000.

The other two bids received were from Joe Mahan Ford for $21,762 ($27,762 minus the $6,000 trade-in) and Peppers Toyota for $30,848.

OC Students Say “Thumbs Down” To Distracted Driving

Union City, Tenn.-High School students in Union City, South Fulton and Obion Central will have the opportunity to receive first-hand experience in the devastating effects of texting and driving by operating an interactive driving simulator that  illustrates the effects of distracted driving and driving while impaired.
The Union City Police Department, in conjunction with the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, will showcasing the simulator this week, starting at Union City High School until Wednesday and then moving to the other schools later in the week.

It’s part of the “Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving campaign and is paid through a grant from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office.

According to the “Teen Crash Rate Ranking” for 2014, Obion County had the 49th worst ranking in Tennessee, with 251 crashes.

Reminiscing About The Fish Fry

Paris, Tenn.-It’s the week that many wait for all year long--the World’s Biggest Fish Fry. It’s a time for good catfish, hush puppies and parades (small fry and grand), but mostly it’s a time to meet old friends and reminisce. And what better way to do that than to remember fish fries past with old photos? This photo shows Mrs. Ted McDonald and Charley Payne getting ready to do some cooking at the 1956 fish fry, when the events were still held downtown. (Tennessee State Archives).

Paris Radio Shack To Close

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris RadioShack, which had just recently relocated to the Walmart shopping area, will be closing for good in the near future.

The national RadioShack chain of stores had filed for bankruptcy in February after hard times for the chain had already closed many of its stores. However, a U.S. bankruptcy court approved a plan to save RadioShack’s remaining retail stores. Under the plan, some RadioShack stores will survive by sharing store space with wireless carrier Sprint. The stores will carry both the Sprint and RadioShack names.

Only about 1,740 of RadioShack’s more than 4,000 stores have survived the bankruptcy, according to Wired magazine.

RadioShack was founded in 1921.

UTM Students Display Works At Regional Center

In photo, students displaying works, from left front row: Alex Stover, a junior from Sparta; Rachel Melton, a freshman from Sharon; Chara Brown, a junior from Linden; Carly Christiansen, a senior from Cordova; Beth Crocker, a junior from McKenzie; Jacquelynn Blackmon, a senior from Martin; (back row) Caitlyn Dowland, a sophomore from Bradford; Michael May, a senior from Camden; Melanie O’Neil, a senior from Dickson; Ethan Appleby, a junior from Savannah; and Aaron Burks, a senior from Fulton, Ky.  Not pictured is Mary Kathryn Day, a senior from Dyersburg. All the students are fine and performing arts majors.

Martin, Tenn. – Twelve student artists from the University of Tennessee at Martin were chosen to participate in the 14th annual “Artists of the 21st Century” exhibition, sponsored by the UT Martin Department of Visual and Theatre Arts and the West Tennessee Regional Art Center in Humboldt.

College artists from all southeastern states were invited to submit material. Artist Andrea Steele served as this year’s juror and reviewed more than 110 submitted art pieces from six states. Of the 24 works chosen for display, 12 were created by UT Martin students. 

Students included in the exhibition are Ethan Appleby, a junior from Savannah; Jaquelynn Blackmon, a senior from Martin; Chara Brown, a junior from Linden; Aaron Burks, a senior from Fulton, Ky.; Carly Christiansen, a senior from Cordova; Beth Crocker, a junior from McKenzie; Mary Kathryn Day, a senior from Dyersburg; Caitlynn Dowland, a sophomore from Bradford; Michael May, a senior from Camden; Rachel Melton, a freshman from Sharon; Melanie O’Neil, a senior from Dickson; and Alex Stover, a junior from Sparta. All the students are fine and performing arts majors.

Christiansen was awarded the Best of Show prize as the juror’s pick for top piece in all categories. Brown was awarded third place in the 3D category.

All the selected works will be on display at the West Tennessee Regional Art Center until 4:30 p.m., April 24. The center is located at 1200 Main Street in Humboldt. The gallery is open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, and admission is free.

For more information, contact Bill Hickerson, WTRAC director, at 731-784-1787.

Warrants Issued For UC Man Following Assault 

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police have issued five warrants for the arrest of Demone Bufford of 616 Exchange St., Union City, following a domestic altercation early Sunday morning.

Police responded to a woman screaming at 1326 Webster St. and found Bufford standing over the woman. Officers drew a pistol and told Bufford to step away from the victim. Bufford ran out the back door and officers were unable to locate him.

Investigation determined Bufford parked down the street and waited for the victim to return home and then broke into her home.

Warrants have been issued for aggravated burglary, domestic assault, stalking, evading arrest and possession.

Quota To Participate In Catfish Races

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Quota will once again participate in the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Catfish Races Saturday, April 25. Martha McFadden will write the fish story and Jane Sinnema will race the fish. The event is always held on the courthouse lawn and benefit’s the Literacy Council.

President Stephanie Tayloe announced that May 13th will be “Derby Day” and everyone will wear a hat to the meeting.  Anyone not wearing a hat will be fined $2.

Quota made $1,322 for Helping Hand this year.

Lisa Miles of J.C. Educational, was a guest with Donna Winders at the meeting.

Quota Anniversary is Brooksie Wimberley with 2 years of service.

Quota is planning to present 10 scholarships in May, 2015.

The next meeting will be on April 22nd..  The program will be the installation of 2015-2016 club officers and the announcement of the Quotarian of the Year.

Demo Derby Results

Paris, Tenn.-The rain held off Saturday night long enough for the annual Demolition Derby at the fairgrounds for the World’s Biggest Fish Fry. 

Here are the results:

Compact 1st Place: Donald Smith
Compact 2nd place: Zachary Sullivan

Pro Mod 1st Place: Michael Blakely
Pro Mod 2nd Place: Corey Parrish

Old School 1st Place: Wes Gargus
Old School 2nd Place: Austin Page

Astronomy Day At LBL

Golden Pond, Ky. — Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area and the West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers (WKAA) will host National Astronomy Day on Saturday, April 25, at the Golden Pond Planetarium, located at the Golden Pond Visitor Center, from 12-4pm.

Enjoy free, full-dome, digital, surround sound planetarium shows at 10 and 11am, and 1, 2, 3, and 4pm. A Star Party will take place at the Observatory after dark, weather permitting.

“The planetarium offers a variety of shows and provides an exciting way for our visitors to learn more about astronomy,” Rob Milner, Planetarium Interpreter, said. “We teach visitors about the planets and how the sun affects earth’s climate and environment. We also open the observatory for people to safely observe the sun through our solar telescope. We will have a variety of activities that visitors of all ages will find both entertaining and educational.”

At various times throughout the day, astronomy club members will explain how you can get started in astronomy. Visitors will learn tips on observing the night sky, buying your first telescope, and safely viewing the sun.

National Astronomy Day promotes and encourages astronomy as a science and hobby. For more information or directions to the Golden Pond Visitor Center, visit, Friends of Land Between The Lakes at, or Western Kentucky Amateur Astronomers at

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Where Did The Quiet Go?

Big Sandy, Tenn.-Local Photographer Charlie Allen captured this black and white photo of a couple of fishermen in the Big Sandy River. Note the man standing in the boat is texting on his phone. Allen asked, “Where did the peace and quiet go?”

HCMC To Make Presentation At Commission Meet

Paris, Tenn.-A lengthy agenda appears on tap for the Henry County Commission when it meets Monday night. Among the highlights is a presentation from Henry County Medical Center seeking a $5M loan request. The commissioners will consider that request as well as approval of purchase of land and improvements to 1015 Kelley Dr. (offices of Drs. Gulish and Gladwell) by Henry County Medical Center.

The commission meets at 5 p.m. at the courthouse.

New Members To Be Elected 

Paris, Tenn.-When it meets in regular session Monday night, the Paris Special Schools Board of Education will be electing two new members to replace Robert Sleadd and Kim Foster.

Board President Richard Edwards at the March meeting had recommended Harry Cowan and Missy Klutts to fill those positions.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the PSSD offices, preceded by an insurance meeting at 5:30 p.m.

The Place To Be

Buchanan, Tenn.-Paris Landing State Park was a popular place Saturday with fishermen, boaters and geese, with a steady flow all day taking advantage of the beautiful weather. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Drowning Update: Man's Body Recovered

Benton County, Ky - The Marshall County Rescue Squad has confirmed it has recovered the body of an elderly man who drowned in Kentucky Lake.

The man, who has not been identified, fell into the water at Kentucky Dam Marina around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses had said the man fell into the water when his chair broke, sending him off the back end of the boat.

Ready, Set, Glo!

Union City, Tenn.-Over 450 runners participated in Friday night's "Glo For A Cure" 5K in Union City. CAM Electric set up a 60' Glow Tunnel with black lights that illuminated all the runners during the race. According to organizer Laney Rogers, the annual race raised $16,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. (Photo by Brent Callicott).

Hushpuppy Dash Winners Announced

Paris, Tenn.-The World’s Biggest Fish Fry was kicked off this morning by the annual Hushpuppy Dash 5K, held at Henry County High School.

Winners have been announced:

Men’s Overall winner with fastest time was Barry Sandefer, 21:32. Other male winners: 10 and under Bryant Bell; 20-24 Seth Dean; 30-34 Travis Trout, 35-39 Gideon Gielis, Masters (over 40), Dan Hassell; 40-44 Monte Belew; 45-49 Mark Wardlaw; 50-54 Ray Allen; 65-69 Randy Prince.

Women’s Overall Shelby Beloate 27:15; 10 and under Karsyn Dempsey, 11 to 14 Hailey Prince; 20-24 Aida de la Fuente; 25-29 Skye Prince; 30-34 Mandi Parish; 35-39 Kim Dempsey; Masters Jan Neumann, 40-44 Wendy Orr; 50-55 Kathy Sadler; 55-59 Diane Allen; 60-64 Gloria Barrett.

Saturday, April 18, 2015 

Chancellor Search Discussed At Open Forum

UT President Joe DiPietro fields questions at forum. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. — University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro told an audience Thursday that an interim UT Martin chancellor could be named before the university’s May 2 commencement. Members of his staff joined DiPietro as he discussed the current and future status of the chancellor’s position during a 1 p.m. open forum in UT Martin’s Watkins Auditorium. The forum was open to the university and community.

Dr. Tom Rakes, university chancellor since 2007, announced Monday that he is stepping down from the position and will return to teaching effective May 31.

DiPietro thanked Rakes and his wife, Dr. Glenda Rakes (education professor), for their service and acknowledged the uncertainly that comes with leadership change. “This wasn’t something that came to light in an immediate sense from the standpoint of process, but instead it was a decision Tom made,” he said. The president said talks are underway with several individuals about the interim appointment. He reported “significant interest” in the position but has conditions under which candidates will be considered.

“One, I feel it’s very important, whoever takes the interim role, that they do not want to pursue the job permanently,” he said, adding, “I need somebody in this role who’s not a caretaker but instead who’s going to actively be engaged in managing this university. There are things that need to be done.” Declining enrollment is among DiPietro’s concerns for UT Martin, and he expects the interim chancellor to find ways to reverse this trend.

“We’re looking for somebody in the interim role, as well as the permanent role, who really believes in shared governance,” he said. “Martin has an incredible track record of (shared governance).” He gave the example of the faculty senate’s having “a seat at the chancellor’s cabinet,” which is rare at other universities, and the interim chancellor needs to respect this Martin tradition.

“We need an individual who has plenty of experience … and has managed hopefully through some of the issues you all face,” he said. The person selected for the interim position could expect to serve for up to a year as the search for a permanent chancellor proceeds.

DiPietro said a national search will be conducted, and he is not opposed to internal candidates applying for the permanent position. He plans an inclusive search committee that involves faculty, staff, students, a UT Board of Trustees member and a community representative.

“It will be an open process when we get to the campus phase of the search, and it’ll occur in two steps,” he explained. Hotel or fly-in interviews will be the first step to determine which persons will be brought to campus for public interviews, which could begin in the fall. However, DiPietro would not commit to a search timetable, wanting first to have the interim chancellor in place and the campus functioning smoothly before campus interviews begin.

A decision on whether to use a search firm has not been made. He invited nominations for both the interim and permanent positions and asked that nominations for the interim position be made within the next week.

DiPietro then answered questions from the audience, one asking about student involvement in the search process. He said that student representation on the search committee could come either from the Student Government Association or a student member of the UT Board of Trustees, but either way, students will have a voice in the search.

Pedestrian Struck By Car in Martin

Martin, Tenn.-A female pedestrian was struck by a car on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus Friday. The juvenile driver was cited and the victim was transported to Volunteer Community Hospital for treatment.

Martin Police officers responded to 538 University St. and found the victim lying on the grass with a leg injury but conscious.

The juvenile driver did stop to render aid. The juvenile was cited for failure to yield and no insurance. She was released to her guardian.

LBL Field Trip Grant Deadline Nears

Golden Pond, Ky. – Educators interested in planning a field trip to experience the Land Between The Lakes outdoor classroom should apply for an Educational Field Trip Grant by April 30, 2015. Information about Field Trip Grants can be found on the Friends of Land Between The Lakes website, 

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 2015-2016 school years. Grant amounts awarded depend on school matching funds, number of students, and number of planned programs.

Land Between The Lakes’ programs support Kentucky’s and Tennessee’s State K-12 Curriculum guidelines for science, arts and humanities, and social studies. “Our programs offer students a hands-on experience to connect with nature,” according to Richard Lomax, Environmental Education Specialist. “A field trip to Land Between The Lakes helps students gain a better understanding of science and history in an outdoor classroom. We make learning fun! It’s an experience they’ll always remember.”

The U.S. Forest Service, Friends of Land Between The Lakes, Bicentennial Volunteers, and Calloway County Homemakers sponsor the school grant program. For more information about the Educational Field Trip Grant, visit or call 270-924-2091. Results of selected recipients will be posted online by June 30, 2015.

Martin PD Investigates Rash Of Car Burglaries

Martin, Tenn.-The Martin Police Department is seeking the community’s help in stopping the rash of car burglaries that have plagued the city since the beginning of the year. 

Since February 2nd Martin Police have investigated 21 car burglaries at various locations across the city. Individuals are entering vehicles parked in public locations, driveways, and along city streets, stealing personal items left in vehicles.

Martin Police ask all residents when they leave their vehicles please lock them up and take any and all valuable items out of the vehicle. Also if you see anyone suspicious in your neighborhood or someone looking in vehicles try to get a description of the individual and call police immediately. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

World’s Biggest Fish Fry Begins Saturday

Fun on the midway at the carnival from the 2014 fish fry. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It’s that time again. Time for catfish, hush puppies, catfish races, carnival rides and parades: both a grand parade and a small fry parade.

The 62nd annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry begins Saturday with three events: the Hushpuppy Dash 5K at 8 a.m. at Henry County High School; the horse and mule farm pull at 10 a.m. at the fairgrounds; and the demolition derby at 7 p.m., also at the fairgrounds.

Other highlights during the week: the free street dance will be held from 7-9 p.m. Monday, April 20 in downtown Paris with the Ray Lewis Band; the carnival begins Tuesday at 5 p.m.; the fish tent opens Wednesday at 5 p.m.; the grand parade will be held at 10 a.m. Friday down East Wood St.; the small fry parade is at 10 a.m. Saturday downtown with the catfish races at 10:30 p.m. downtown.

Hostess Princess Grace Hassell will throw out the first hush puppy at 5 p.m. Wednesday to officially open the fish tent.

This year, the fish fry souvenir booklet was dedicated to Bobby Milam and the grand marshal of the parade this year is Summer Crockett Moore.

Here is this year's schedule:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

8 a.m. (register 7 a.m.) 5k Hushpuppy Dash - entry fee $20 or $15 preregister HCHS

10 a.m. Horse & Mule Farm Pull - weigh in at 7 a.m. Fairgrounds $5

7 p.m. Demolition Derby Entry Fee $40 Gate Admission $10 6-10 $5 under 5 free Fairgrounds

Monday, April 20, 2015

7 -9 p.m. Kick-off/Street Dance - FREE Ray Lewis Band Downtown

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

5 - 11 p.m. Carnival - Belle City Fairgrounds

7 - 10 p.m. Country Dance - $5 Commonwealth Fairgrounds

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

5-9 p.m. Fish Tent - Adult $12 Children 6-12 $8 ALL YOU CAN EAT Sponsored by Holley Credit Union Fairgrounds

5 - 11 p.m. Carnival - Belle City Fairgrounds

7 -9 p.m. Christian Concert - $5 People of the Earth Fairgrounds

Thursday, April 23, 2015

5 - 8:30 p.m. Arts & Crafts Show Fairgrounds

5 -9 p.m. Fish Tent - Adult $12 Children 6-12 $8 ALL YOU CAN EAT Sponsored by Holley Credit Union Fairgrounds

5 -11 p.m. Carnival - Belle City Fairgrounds

7:30 p.m. IPRA Rodeo Family Night $5 sponsored by AT & T Fairgrounds

Friday, April 24, 2015

10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Arts & Crafts Show Fairgrounds

10 a.m. Grand Parade Sponsored By Boyd's, Street Dynamics, Merrison's, One Stepp Tire & Automotive, Eagle Buildings and Mid-South Family Classifieds East Wood St

11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fish Tent - Adult $12 Children 6-12 $8 ALL YOU CAN EAT Sponsored by Holley Credit Union Fairgrounds

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Carnival - Belle City Fairgrounds

5 p.m. - midnight Carnival - Belle City Fairgrounds

7:30 p.m. IPRA Rodeo - $10 adult/$8 child Sponsored by Revel Logging, LLC Fairgrounds

Saturday, April 25, 2015

10 a.m. Small Fry Parade Downtown

10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Arts & Crafts Show Fairgrounds

10:30 a.m. Catfish Races Downtown

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Jr Fishing Rodeo - free Williams Lake

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Carnival - Belle City Fairgrounds

5 p.m. - midnight Carnival - Belle City Fairgrounds

11 a.m. -9 p.m. Fish Tent - Adult $12 Children 6-12 $8 ALL YOU CAN EAT Sponsored by Holley Credit Union Fairgrounds

7:30 p.m. IPRA Rodeo - $10 adult/$8 child Sponsored by Revel Logging, LLC Fairgrounds

Sunday, April 26, 2015

1-6 p.m. Carnival - Belle City Fairgrounds


Jammin’ For A Cure Moved To High School

Paris, Tenn.-Due to the potential weather incoming this weekend, Jammin’ for a Cure will be hosted at Henry County High School in the Main Gym, according to Henry County High School Patriots Band Director Mike Nelson. It will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 18.

“Please invite all your friends and family to attend the event and support Relay for Life,“ he said. “The Relay for Life Junior Committee will be selling drinks, snacks, apparel, and luminaries to honor or remember a loved one who has been in the fight to battle cancer.”

The Junior Relay Team is teaming up with the HCHS music department and will be performing musical selections by:

The HCHS Madrigals
Concert Band
Percussion Ensemble
Jazz Ensemble
Clarinet Quartet
Saxophone Quartet
And the All County Middle School Jazz Band

There will be guest speakers, good food, and music. 

Reminder: Free Dump Day Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Landfill will hold a free dumping day from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday April 18th.

Brush, demolition debris, and yard trimmings must be separated from solid waste. No construction waste, household garbage or tires will be accepted.

No admittance after 3 pm. All vehicles must have the contents securely covered and secured. For questions call the Landfill at 644-1737.

Refuge Program : “What’s That Animal Track?” Is Saturday

Springville, Tenn.-Are you fascinated by nature’s creatures and wondered what animal was recently here? Wish you were better at reading animal sign? Then join us for this month’s Refuge Discovery Series as we take a closer look at “What’s That Animal Track?“ at 1 p.m. Saturday April 18 at the new Refuge Visitor Center at 1371 Wildlife Drive, Springville.

Actually the program will look into more than just animal track identificatio...n and will focus on reading animal signs in general. Ranger Joan Stevens will be discussing animal sign including tracks, scat, rubs, scrapes, chews, nests and more. Participants will then get to practice their new knowledge with a short “animal sign safari” around the refuge grounds interpreting the signs of our local animals. Participants will also be invited to make an plaster cast of a local animal track to keep as a souvenir of their trip to the refuge.

The Refuge Discovery Series is a monthly free program held at the refuge that attempts to connect people with nature. For more information about upcoming Refuge Discovery Series programs or about the refuge in general, please call the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 731-642-2091 or see the website at or on facebook at

UC Police Investigate Assault

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating an incident in which a Union City man was assaulted with bricks and a bird bath.

Police found the victim on the front porch at 620 Martin Luther King Dr., bleeding profusely and holding a rag to his face to stop the bleeding. He would not tell officers what had happened except to say that two or three men had assaulted him.

Following the blood trail, officers determined the assault began at an open garage at 624 Martin Luther King Dr. and he ran to his cousin’s house for help. He refused treatment from the fire department ambulance but did go to the emergency room in a private vehicle.

Officers found bricks and a metal bird bath along the blood trail and observed that his cousin’s windows also were broken.


Thursday, April 16, 2015 

Hostess Princess Court Visits State Capitol

Nashville, Tenn.-As they always do, the World’s Biggest Fish Fry Hostess Princess and her Court had a good time ‘on the hill’ when they visited Nashville this week. During their visit, they spent time with Rep. Tim Wirgau, above, and toured the sights at the capitol. The 62nd annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry is from April 18-April 26 and the fish fry kicks off West Tennessee festival scenery. Also pictured are WBFF Officers Patrick Cooper, Stephanie Cooper and Lisa Stone. (Tim Wirgau photo).

Special Olympics Go On Despite Weather

Paris, Tenn.-Because of the rainy weather Wednesday, the annual Special Olympics event was moved indoors to the Henry County High School. Because of the limited space and the large crowd of students, parents and community members who always attend to root on the athletes, the event was held in shifts. (HCHS photo).

Three Area Firefighters To Graduate From Academy
Firefighters Represented From Paris, Martin

State Fire Academy Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

Bell Buckle, Tenn. – Twenty firefighter recruits from eight fire departments across Tennessee--including two fire departments in our area--will graduate at 9 a.m. April 17, from the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy (TFSCEA).

Locally, graduates include Craig Barrow from the Paris Fire Department and Josh Wilson and Daniel Myers from the Martin Fire Department. Barrow began in Paris about a year ago and Wilson and Myers are new recruits.

Friday’s graduating class is the 33rd to complete the Recruit Firefighter class since TFSCEA opened in its Bedford County location in 2001.These students have performed a variety of training exercises such as victim rescue, hazardous fuel spills and multiple live fire simulations.
In addition to classroom training situations, this class faced weather challenges due to February’s winter storm. While the hazardous winter weather forced students to miss a week of classroom and drill field practice, they ultimately completed courses and homework assignments using online tools and monitoring from instructors. They later moved to the drill field to demonstrate to the instructors what they had learn while off campus.

Fire departments represented in the graduating class include:
Humboldt Fire Department Lebanon Fire Department
Loudon Fire Department Manchester Fire Department
Martin Fire Department Paris Fire Department
Smyrna Fire Department Williamson County Rescue Squad

The 20-person class contains one “open enrollee” student. This student is not presently affiliated with a fire department but is planning a career in the fire and emergency services field.

A representative from the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce will make a presentation of a “Challenge Coin” to each graduating student during the graduation ceremony.

Cottage Grove Looks Ahead To Freedom Fest 

Dan and Betty Paschall enjoy the parade at a previous Freedom Festival. (Shannon 
McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Cottage Grove Legislative Council learned Tuesday night that paperwork for the upcoming annual Freedom Festival has been completed. Council Member John Weiher said he has completed the paperwork from the Tennessee River Resort Act (TRRA) which helps with financing the festival.

As always, the festival will be held on the 4th of July and includes a parade. The Great River Road band will perform this year.

“City of Cottage Grove” logo t-shirts are now available for purchase at the Boyd’s store in Cottage Grove. 

Vice Mayor Matthew McClure suggested the city display the former bank’s surplus property at the Freedom Festival auction for interested buyers to see.

There was no update on the Habitat for Humanity project. Weiher reported needing a site location confirmation on the information kiosks.

McClure is still working on the street light progress. McClure and Council Member David Jackson will be working on the remodeling details for the move of city hall into the Cottage Grove school building classroom. Jackson gave an update on the security alarm with a projected cost of $250.

Weiher also gave a suggestion of a tail gate party and movie event to be tied in with the recycling revenue with a tentative date of May 23. A tail gate decorating contest was discussed. More details will be discussed at the next meeting.

Shelley Lane presented the council with a property purchase request for land around her home on Locust Street. No action was taken at that time.

Matthew McClure is getting bids on sidewalk repairs for the Ball residence.

David Jackson will be contacting a contractor for a city hall roof leak estimate.

The council requested a statement of current insurance coverage for any city hall building insurance in force now. A motion was presented by David Jackson and seconded by John Weiher to approve an insurance bid for the new location.

Don’t Forget The Permit When You Burn

Nashville – The recent winter storms were hard on Tennessee’s landscape. Heavy ice brought down limbs and trees across the state. Brush pile burning is one of the best ways for landowners to clean up woody debris from the storms. 

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is reminding citizens that outdoor burning requires a permit through May 15. 

“Burning woody debris from the ice storms is an efficient way of getting rid of such material,” State Forester Jere Jeter said. “However, it is very important that citizens be safe when conducting a debris burn. Obtaining a burn permit in advance of outdoor burning is our way of making a landowner aware of when, where, and how it is safe to burn.”

If you are burning a leaf or brush pile that is smaller than 8 feet by 8 feet in size, log on to to secure a permit. 
For a larger burn, apply for a permit by calling your local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Phone numbers can be found by visiting

Burn permits are free. Residents should check with their city and county government for any local restrictions.
Once you have obtained a burn permit, remember these tips: 
Develop a bare-soil perimeter around the fire. 
Notify neighbors and local fire departments in advance. 
Have a leaf rake and access to water for fire control. 
Be aware that wind can blow the fire in the wrong direction. 
Stay with the fire until it is extinguished. It is illegal to leave an open fire unattended.

In 2014, debris fires that got out of control were the leading cause of wildfires in Tennessee, burning 5,366 acres statewide.
Burning debris without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine and jail time.
Arson was the second leading cause of wildfires last year but accounted for the most acreage damaged, with 7,800 acres burned. Wildland arson is a class C felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline toll-free at 1-800-762-3017.

For tips on safe debris-burning practices, fire prevention and home protection, visit 
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry works to conserve, protect and enhance forests that cover half the state and provide jobs, timber, clean water, wildlife habitat and recreation. Visit for more information.

UC Woman Arrested For Aggravated Assault

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City woman was arrested for aggravated assault after she cut her husband with box cutters Wednesday. According to the police report, her husband pulled into their home at 811 W. Reelfoot Ave. and the wife began to cut his tires and when he tried to grab her hand she cut him.

Arrested was Aletha Morris of that same address. The victim was taken to the emergency room for treatment.

Carroll County ISO Rating Improves

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Owners of real estate in rural areas of  Carroll County should experience a reduction in the cost of their homeowners’ insurance following significant improvement in the ISO rating for the Carroll County fire department.

Carroll County Mayor Kenny McBride and County Fire Chief Terry Bradshaw announced the good news to area insurance agents at the Carroll County Office Complex. Carroll County will move to a new ISO rating June 1, benefiting the insurance rating of properties within five miles of a rural fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant or ‘dry’ hydrant, they said.

McKenzie Hospital Acquires Medical Clinic Departments

McKenzie, Tenn.-In a move mirroring what has been happening in the Henry and Obion County medical communities, the McKenzie Regional Hospital has acquired the diagnostic imaging and sleep laboratory departments of a local physician practice, the McKenzie Medical Center, on April 1.

McKenzie Medical Center will continue as a medical clinic, while the McKenzie Regional hospital will expand its services to the tri-county area. The new department will be named McKenzie Regional Hospital Outpatient Diagnostic Center and is located at 205 Hospital Drive behind the hospital.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Union City Man Charged With Embezzlement

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man has been arrested on embezzlement charges from a local business.

Union City Police arrested Jeremy McCadney, 611 Lilac St. and he was transported to the Obion County Jail.

An investigation determined that McCadney had been ‘sweet hearting’ items at the store for six months. According to the police report, he had been scanning items, then voiding them so that the amount on the register did not equal the amount of merchandise the customer leaves the store with.

Police said the amount is yet undetermined but will be over $500.

UTM Chancellor Position Discussed During Open Forum April 16th

MARTIN, Tenn. — An open forum to discuss the current and future status of the chancellor’s position at The University of Tennessee at Martin will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, April 16, in Watkins Auditorium located in the Boling University Center. University officials will join UT President Joe DiPietro as he offers an update and answers questions about the position’s status in the coming weeks and months.

Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor since 2007, announced Monday that he will step down from the position and return to teaching effective May 31.

The open forum is expected to last about an hour. University students, faculty and staff and the public are invited to attend.

Union City High School Named Top School By ACT

Union City, Tenn. - Officials at the ACT corporation informed Union City High School that it is the top school in the state of Tennessee.

Five criteria was used by ACT that cover students in grades eight through 12. This honor means that Union City High School is the top school in the state for college recruiter readiness.

Principal Wes Kennedy made the announcement to the Union City School board on Monday night.

Union City has 21 students who have scored 30 or higher on the ACT this year. UCHS will now compete with 29 other schools for national high school of the year.

Cottage Grove Looks Ahead To Freedom Fest

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Cottage Grove Legislative Council learned Tuesday night that paperwork for the upcoming annual Freedom Festival has been completed. Council Member John Weiher said he has completed the paperwork from the Tennessee River Resort Act (TRRA) which helps with financing the festival.

As always, the festival will be held on the 4th of July and includes a parade. The Great River Road band will perform this year.

“City of Cottage Grove” logo t-shirts are now available for purchase at the Boyd’s store in Cottage Grove. 

Vice Mayor Matthew McClure suggested the city display the former bank’s surplus property at the Freedom Festival auction for interested buyers to see.

There was no update on the Habitat for Humanity project. Weiher reported needing a site location confirmation on the information kiosks.

McClure is still working on the street light progress. McClure and Council Member David Jackson will be working on the remodeling details for the move of city hall into the Cottage Grove school building classroom. Jackson gave an update on the security alarm with a projected cost of $250.

Weiher also gave a suggestion of a tail gate party and movie event to be tied in with the recycling revenue with a tentative date of May 23. A tail gate decorating contest was discussed. More details will be discussed at the next meeting.

Shelley Lane presented the council with a property purchase request for land around her home on Locust Street. No action was taken at that time.

Matthew McClure is getting bids on sidewalk repairs for the Ball residence.

David Jackson will be contacting a contractor for a city hall roof leak estimate.

The council requested a statement of current insurance coverage for any city hall building insurance in force now. A motion was presented by David Jackson and seconded by John Weiher to approve an insurance bid for the new location.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Davis Is Sentenced Following Plea

Paris, Tenn. – Circuit Judge Donald Parish dismissed the jury Tuesday morning following a plea of no contest to the charge of aggravated assault by the defendant Walter Davis in Henry County Circuit Court.

On Monday night, Davis entered the no contest plea after the jury had already been empanelled and after opening statements by the attorneys and some testimony was presented.

Following his plea, Davis was sentenced to three years to be served on supervised probation.

Proceedings came to halt Monday afternoon when episodes of potential misconduct involving inappropriate witness behavior in violation of court rules came to light.

Following hearings to determine the extent of the violations, the District Attorney General Matt Stowe and Neil Thompson, the lawyer for Mr. Davis, reached a plea bargain.

Bethel Commemorates Sexual Assault Month 

McKenzie, Tenn. – Bethel University has been holding several events during April that commemorate Sexual Assault Month. 

Students and organizations are taking part in the Clothesline Project. The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program started on Cape Cod, MA, in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. With the support of many, it has since spread world-wide. Students and organizations painted t-shirts for the school’s own project.

The students also made banners with handprints of participating students as part of a domestic violence campaign known as “These Hands Aren’t Made for Hurting.”

Cook Named Employee Of Year


Martin, Tenn.-Hamilton-Ryker has named Ronnie Cook of Greenfield as its 2014 Employee of the Year.

Hamilton-Ryker President Kelly McCreight said, “Trustworthy and honest are two words that describe Ronnie.”

Cook has worked for the company for 15 years, beginning as a staffing coordinator. He was recently promoted to Regional Director of several west Tennessee offices, including Martin, Paris, McKenzie, Union City and Mayfield.

Kids' Events At Obion County Library

Union City, Tenn.-This week is National Library Week and the Obion County Library has two events for kids lined up.

On Wednesday, Kids' Craft will be from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Kids will plant seeds in a coffee can, decorate it and take it home and make a bird's nest snack.

On Thursday, the American Girl Club will meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m. for ages 6-12. Bring you American Girl doll for a study of her country with snacks and crafts. Each month the club will meet. $3 for supply fee.

Space is limited for both. Call 885-7000 for reservations.

Fit Fest Is Saturday


Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Fit Fest will be held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. this Saturday, April 18, at the Obion Co. Fairgrounds.

The event will include a live band, pedal cars, community walk, bounce house, Zumba, BMI screenings, and refreshments.

The event is sponsored by the UT Extension Service and Obion Co. Health Department.

Monday, April 13, 2015 

Henry County Jury Trial Underway

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A jury trial is underway this week in Henry County Circuit Court for Walter Davis of Springville, charged in a 2012 stabbing.

The jury was seated and opening statements began in the early afternoon on Monday for the trial, which is being heard by Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish. The trial is expected to last two or three days.

Davis was arrested in November of 2012 and charged with aggravated assault following an incident at his Lakeview Manor home in Springville.

According to the original police report, Davis and another man were involved in an altercation during which the victim was stabbed three times and required hospitalization at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Sheriff’s investigators said the afternoon began at the Big Sandy ball game and the parties left for drinks at Davis’ home and the two argued. After the stabbing, a car carrying the victim was stopped by Paris Police in the city limits and the victim was found to be suffering from stab wounds to his abdomen and side and a gash to his head. The victim was transported to Vanderbilt and survived.

The state is being represented by District Attorney Matt Stowe. Davis is represented by Huntingdon Attorney Neil Thompson of Springville.

UTM Chancellor To Step Down

Martin, Tenn. — Dr. Tom Rakes, University of Tennessee at Martin chancellor since 2007, will step down from his position and return to teaching, effective May 31 of this year. 

Rakes held various administrative positions during his 23-year tenure at the University of Memphis through 1995. He came to UT Martin in 2002 from the University of Louisiana at Monroe where he was provost and vice president for academic affairs and interim president. 

Rakes came to UT Martin to serve as vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of educational studies. He was named provost in 2005, followed by his election as chancellor two years later by the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.

The university has registered notable growth during his administration in online enrollment and the completion of over $100 million in capital and maintenance projects. Academic successes by students and student-athletes both in competition and in the classroom also marked his time at UT Martin. 

“The university is solid financially, and the main campus infrastructure and extended-campus centers are in excellent condition,” Rakes said. “I am proud to have been a part of this university. I believe this is an exciting time for UT Martin and look forward to seeing the campus move forward under new leadership.”

UT System President Joe DiPietro described Rakes’ service as chancellor as a time of major milestones.
“His leadership was key to the outstanding success UT Martin had in the system-wide, $1 billion Campaign for Tennessee, in which UT Martin became the first UT campus to meet its campaign goal, $43 million, and continued its fundraising success until the campaign’s official conclusion in 2011 with a total of $57,254,633 raised for UT Martin. 

Watkins Wins New Car At Golf Tourney

Paris, Tenn.-Kevin Watkins won a new car from Joe Mahan Ford by hitting a hole-in-one during the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce's golf tournament at the Tennessean golf course. (Chamber photo).


Gibson Electric Rates Will Not Increase In 2015

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Trenton, Tenn. — Gibson Electric Membership Corporation CEO Dan Rodamaker has announced that the utility will not increase its distribution rates in 2015. He said the utility’s $3.5 M substation project in Woodland Mills will help the cooperative meet members’ long-range capacity needs and maintain a high level of service.

Rodamaker made the announcement at the Gibson EMC’s 79th Annual Members’ meeting at Obion County Central High School in Troy.

Rodamaker said, “Part of the reason we have been able to hold your distribution rates steady since 2009 is that we’ve had a growing and repeating flow of revenue from our fiber optic middle mile transport business. It also has provided a communications system connection between our member service centers and our substations, and it has enabled electronic meter reading.”

“All of this has strengthened our ability to operate more efficiently, manage controllable costs, and provide better and more reliable service.,” he said. “We’re continually looking for ways we can improve service,”  

Board Chairman Steve Sanders told the crowd, “As a member, you not only have access to electricity, but you also are a part-owner and you have a voice in the co-op’s operation through the trustees you elect.”

Rodamaker congratulated Gibson EMC’s employees for earning a “91” rating on the American Customer Satisfaction Index or ACSI, a system used nationally to rate performance and customer satisfaction among electric energy providers. Rodamaker explained that Gibson EMC’s 91 rating is nine points higher than the average of 82 for other Touchstone Energy Cooperatives for the same time period and it is 16 points ahead of the national utility industry average. 

He said that Gibson EMC was even recognized at the 2014 Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association Annual Meeting for having the highest ACSI score of a large utility in the country. “We have a great group of employees,” he said, “but we also recognize that you, our members, gave us this favorable rating. We are honored and more committed than ever to providing you with the reliable, affordable, safe and friendly service you deserve.”

The featured performers, Kimberlie Helton and Eric Wood, entertained the crowd with a repertoire classic country and rock music. Members were served free barbecue and hot dog dinners, toured exhibits and participated in the business meeting.

This year’s scholarship winners in the short story contest: Hannah Ervin, Lake County High School; Annima Jones, South Fulton High School; Scott Shepard, Crockett County High School; and Austin Cloyd, Peabody High School.

Tickets On Sale For “April In Paris” 

Charles Hopkins of The Toggery readies his booth. (DPA photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale for Friday‘s “April in Paris” fashion event and luncheon at the Paris Country Club. The event benefit’s the Downtown Paris Association (DPA).

The show and luncheon feature local models in popular spring fashions from downtown women’s clothing boutiques including Maggies, Off the Square, and Boutique Mari Mac, as well as men’s fashions from The Toggery. 

While fashion is the drawing card, this is a selling event, according to DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray. Several members will have booths featuring gifts, accessories and personal services, including The Iron Place, Jack Jones Flowers and Gifts, The Travel Agency, Jaspe’ Salon, The Felix and more. Fashion sponsors will also have booths featuring their merchandise for sale.  There will also be ten door prizes awarded during the luncheon.

With plenty of hearty dining options, Ray encouraged men to make this a fun lunch date and freshen up their wardrobes, too. Guests may choose two of the following: a cup of soup, a wedge salad, a house salad, a Cesar salad, grilled chicken sandwich, a chicken quesadilla or a hot ham and cheese sandwich with coffee or tea. The Paris Country Club will offer wine and bar selections at an additional cost. 

Tickets to “April in Paris” are $15 per person and may be purchased from participating DPA members, the Downtown Paris Association, 203 N. Fentress Street or by emailing or calling 731-653-PARIS (7274).

UC Business Robbed

Union City, Tenn.-An auto dealership in Union City was broken into last week and cash taken from the cash drawer.

According to the police report, Mid-Town Motors at 2118 W. Reelfoot was broken into and $1,300 was stolen from the office area. According to the report, entry was made through a sliding glass bay door.

Essay, Art Contest Winners Announced

Contest winners are announced at Heritage Center Sunday. (Gaines Hedges photo).

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand Sunday afternoon for the announcement of the winners of the History Essay Arts Contest at the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center. The winners’ essays and art works will be on display at the center through April 28.

Essay Winners grade 6 - 8 were: first place, Anna Minor, grade 6 at Inman, “Continuing The Tradition; second place Drew Culbrath, grade 7 at Lakewood, “Dr. E.W. Grove”; third place Kashaina Nucum, grade 6 at Inman, “Henry County Courthouse-Heart of Paris” and Honorable Mention to Callie Hart, grade 6 at Inman, “World’s Biggest Fish Fry.”

 Art Winners for grades 3-5: first Seth Allen Battoe, grade 5 at Paris Elementary; second Jessica Knott, grade 3 at PES; third, Allyson Morton, grade 3 PES. Honorable Mentions to: Shane Austin Rogers, Hannah Lorene Wofford, Emma Mae Caldwell, Allison Skye Williams, Neely Clay Clendenin, Avery Grace Bean, Roman Allen Pierce, Emma Jane Murphy and Dre Hepner.

Art winners grades 6-8: first place Meg Gardner, 7th grade Lakewood. Second place to Hannah Nicole Hutson, 8th grade Lakewood, 3rd Place tie to Billie R. Lassiter, 8th grader at Lakewood and Pamela Breanne Lowe, 8th grader at Henry. 

Honorable Mentions went to to Katelyn Rose Buie, 6th grade Lakewood, Trevor Alexander Frisch, 7th grade Inman, Alexis Jordon Bostick, 6th grade Inman, Natalie Hope Clark, 8th grade at Lakewood, Graci Beth Ellis, 8th grade Lakewood, Wesley Papaleo, grade 7 at Inman, Ivy Wang, grade 6 at Inman, and Adam Millete, 7th grade at Lakewood.

Art winner for grades 9 – 12 was Dylan Patrum, a 9th grader at E.W. Grove School.

Civil Penalties Assessed Against Solicitor

Secretary of State Tre Hargett
Nashville, Tennessee – Secretary of State Tre Hargett has announced civil penalties totaling $57,500 have been imposed on an Arkansas-based solicitor who wrongly represented multiple Tennessee law enforcement organizations. 

An anonymous tip sparked a year-long investigation showing, Gaylon Boshears of Little Rock, Ark., illegally operated the soliciting organization “Southern Sports & Events Marketing” across Tennessee. Boshears is also tied to “Arkansas Sports & Events Marketing” and “East Coast Marketing Group.” 

The Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming found that Boshears, his organizations or agents working on his behalf, violated the Tennessee Charitable Solicitations Act by not registering as a solicitor, failing to file proper notices or financial reports and not producing documents requested by the Division. 

“It is crucial that professional solicitors follow the law when raising money for non-profits in Tennessee. Proper disclosure ensures transparency,” said Secretary Tre Hargett. “Failure to abide by these rules means donations from hardworking Tennesseans may not end up where they were intended.” 

Investigators found Southern Sports & Events Marketing engaged in at least seven unapproved charitable solicitation campaigns. 

Boshears conducted two solicitations for the Hendon-McClanahan Lodge #54 of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) based in Murfreesboro, Tenn. One was to promote and produce a basketball game between FOP members and Tennessee Titans Alumni at Siegel High School on November 8, 2014. The other event, “Titans Alumni Flag Football,” happened in 2013.

Boshears’ organizations held fundraising campaigns for the Columbia Police Explorers of Columbia, Tenn. between 2011 and 2014 called “Titans Flag Football,” “Comedy Magic Show” and “Comedy Hypnotic Show.” 

Southern Sports & Events Marketing also held an event called “Titans Alumni Basketball” for the LaVergne Fraternal Order of Police of LaVergne, Tenn. in 2014. 
It is important to note the Hendon-McClanahan Lodge #54 of the Fraternal Order of Police, Columbia Police Explorers and LaVergne Fraternal Order of Police did nothing wrong in the hiring of Boshears or his organizations as professional fundraisers. 

Boshears has previously paid a civil penalty assessed for similar practices, and could have represented other law enforcement organizations across the state.

Anyone with information about this or other cases should contact the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming at (615) 741-2555 or 1-800-861-7393. 

Paducah Man Arrested On Possession Charge

Union City, Tenn.-Union City police arrested a Paducah man Saturday and charged him with possession of marijuana. 

Chedwick Brown was arrested at the Nash Street Ball Courts where he was found with a mason jar with 28.3 grams of marijuana next to him. $1,731.25 also was seized as drug proceeds.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Artist Showcase Winners Announced
Paschall Pottery Piece Wins Best Of Show

William Hickerson looks over the painting by Dan Knowles while judging the showcase Saturday morning. Knowles' painting "The Puppet Master" won Best of Show. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Martin Paschall’s pottery piece, “Donut Vase” was named Best in Show of this year’s Paris-Henry County Arts Council Artists Showcase at a Sunday reception that kicked off the showcase that will be on display at the W.G. Rhea Library until the first part of May.

The showcase is sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Dennis Wieck. Music at the reception was performed by Arts Council Member Larry Conger

The judge for the showcase was William Hickerson, executive director of the West Tennessee Regional Art Center in Humboldt.

The full list of winners is:

Pottery 3/D: First place, Justin Pierpoint for Crotalus Horridus; Second Robyn Neubauer for serving tray; and Honorable Mention Justin Pierpoint for Garden Explorer.

Drawing: First and Second Place, Michael McClure.

Mixed Media: First Doreen Bates.

Oil/Acrylic: First Ann Stapp for Till Cows Come Home:; Second Donna Revelee for Rocky’s Perch and Honorable Mention Dan Knowles for Puppet Master.

Watercolor: First Becky Hedges for Grandma Saved The Buttons; Second Filiz Griffin for The San Blas Maiden and Honorable Mention Filiz Griffin for Reenactment

Fiber Arts: First Doreen Bates for For Quilting Out Loud; Second Elaine Conger Smokey Mountain Dreams and Honorable Mention Jane Baars for Painted Desert.

Youth: First and Second Place Jesse Wells. Honorable Mention Julia Hendricks.

Another Victory For Lady Patriots Softball

Murray, Ky.-The Henry County High School Softball Team has scored another big victory, winning the Murray High School Spring Break Bash tournament.

Connor Boley Signs With Bethel

Connor Boley, seated front, with his parents, grandparents and siblings. (Photo submitted by Michael Boley).

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School Senior Connor Boley signed a letter of intent to attend Bethel University on a basketball scholarship Friday.

On the HCHS basketball team, he averaged 14.4 points per game and eight rebounds. He averaged 40% from the 3 point shot, and 75% from the free throw line and he had over 900 career points. He was the only four-year letterman as a senior, starting games from even his freshman year.

Boley earned a 3.8 GPA and was a member of the National Honors Society for two years, was as a Boys State representative, and senior class officer.

At Bethel, he will be majoring in pre-veterinary medicine.

Boley is the son of Michael and Melissa Boley.

Percussion Master Class Offered

Martin, Tenn. Dr. Andy Smith, assistant director of Indiana Universitys bateria, will present a master class for percussionists from 2-3 p.m., April 15, in the Percussion Rehearsal Hall at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Smith will emphasize Afro-Brazilian rhythms in contemporary samba-jazz and lead a discussion on how African-derived rhythm concepts work in contemporary music. He will also focus on the transference of skills between genres for the total percussionist. Attendees will gain practical knowledge applicable to music performance and composition for any genre or skill level.

Smith earned a doctoral degree in music from Indiana University. In addition to his regular teaching duties, Smith also serves as a percussion instructor for the Tennessee Governors School for the Arts, hosted at Middle Tennessee State University.

The master class is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music, at 731-881-7418 or by email at

Saturday, April 11, 2015 

Discovery Park Founder Robert Kirkland Dies
Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Union City, Tenn.-Robert Kirkland, founder of Discovery Park of America, philanthropist and the owner-operator of the Kirkland’s chain of stores, died this morning at his home.

Discovery Park Marketing Director Mary Nita Bondourant said today, “It is with sadness in our hearts that we announce that Discovery Park of America’s founder, Robert Kirkland passed away this morning at 7:15 in his home.”

Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy said, “Today marks a very sad day as I lose a life-long friend, Robert Kirkland. We have been friends for as long as I remember and I will miss him. Robert has been a great friend to me, to this community and to this region. We have him to thank for many wonderful things that have happened in this area.” 

A Celebration-of-Life will be held at Discovery Park of America on Wednesday, April 15th. 

Discovery Park will close on Wednesday to the general public. Visitation with the family is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the Celebration of Life Service will begin at 2, with remarks from lifelong friend Jim Rippy and several family members. There will be no additional ceremonies after the Celebration at Discovery Park. 

Arrangements are being taken care of by White-Ranson in Union City.  

Mr. Kirkland’s family has requested that all memorials be made to Discovery Park of America’s Education Department for scholarships for children who might not be able to afford to come to the park. 

Kirkland was born in 1938 in Newberry, S.C., but Union City has been home since he was a year old. Kirkland grew up the son of retailers who owned and operated a Ben Franklin five and dime store for three decades, stretching from the 1940s to the 1970s. Kirkland helped out around his parents’ store in Union City, and at an early age developed a keen business sense that would guide his future career.

A triple-threat athlete Union City High School, excelling in basketball, football and track, Robert Kirkland was elected student body president his senior year and graduated in 1956. He enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and for the next four years studied accounting, business and economics.

Kirkland married his wife, Jenny, in 1965. 

The couple operated the Ben Franklin store in Nashville until he learned about an opportunity to acquire a local John Simmons retail store, which sold gifts and home décor items. Partnering with his cousin Carl Kirkland, Robert opened two more stores in Tennessee and then expanded to North Carolina. Eventually the chain grew to 13 stores in the Southeast and the company was rebranded as Kirkland’s.

Despite their success in Nashville, Robert and Jenny missed Union City and in 1971 moved back home for good. Robert continued to perfect his business model, traveling the globe on purchasing trips to determine future trends in retail markets, and the fast-growing Kirkland’s chain expanded to 300 stores.

During this period, Robert formed CBK Ltd., with his cousin Carl. The company sold gift items and home décor throughout the United States and around the world, all shipped from a Union City distribution center. 

Robert continued to broaden his business portfolio and began including real estate, embarking on an increasingly successful series of commercial property acquisitions and sales. By the late 1990s, he and Jenny decided that the time had come to step back a bit, sell their business holdings and concentrate on philanthropic efforts.

Establishing the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation, the couple focused their energy on improving conditions for young people in their Obion County community in Northwest Tennessee.

They funded the Promethean Foundation, which provides free daycare services for at-risk children from birth to age five in Obion County. And the couple partnered with local high schools and the Union City Rotary Club to provide funding for eight students each year to travel to Europe and explore new cultures and languages. Robert and Jenny also continue to invest in numerous programs to benefit the young people in their community.

Midway through the first decade of the 21st Century, the Kirklands began discussing a vision for a large-scale project that would bring the world to Union City. Donating more than $100 million to transform this vision into reality, Robert worked with the world’s leading architects and designers to create Discovery Park of America. A generous endowment ensures that the facility will have sufficient operating and expansion funds in perpetuity.

Opened in 2013, the interactive learning facility offers an extraordinary glimpse of the history of the world, from the Paleozoic Era to modern day space travel. Sprawling over 50 acres, the site is home to a three-level Discovery Center, a log cabin village, an early 20th Century town and magnificent landscaping.

During its inaugural year, Discovery Park of America has welcomed more than 300,000 guests from across America and around the world. The facility continues to add new exhibits and features a series of traveling exhibits and special programs throughout the year.

Tennessee Mules Honored In State Online Exhibit

As Columbia, Tennessee celebrates Mule Day, let us remember the Paris Mule Days. This photo was taken in 1939 on the court square.

Nashville, Tenn.-They have served in war zones across the globe, including the Boer War in Africa at the turn of the 20th Century to World War I in the 1910s. In World War I alone, their losses numbered in the tens of thousands. And wherever they have served, they are regarded as sure footed, sturdy and hard working.

They are Tennessee mules - and they have been highly valued during wartime throughout much of our country's history.

Through April 12, more than 200,000 people are expected to visit Columbia for the Maury County town's annual Mule Day celebration. While much of the focus will be on the important role mules have played in Tennessee agriculture, their wartime contributions are noteworthy as well.

Thanks to their hardiness and adaptability, mules have played a role in American military conflicts for decades. In the Civil War, for example, a mule-drawn wagon train was credited with resupplying Union troops at the Battle of Gettysburg, possibly preventing the troops from suffering a devastating defeat in one of the conflict's key battles.

Columbia's mules were so prized that the British army purchased many of them for the Boer War and World War I.

As for the stereotype about mules being stubborn, that's open for debate. Some of the animals' defenders say the horse-donkey hybrids just have an innate sense of self-preservation that keeps them from taking undue risks or working past their capacity.

You can learn more about mules, military and civilian, by visiting the "Got Mules?" online exhibit at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The exhibit documents the history of mules in America dating all the way back to Christopher Columbus. It can be found online at

"Columbia's Mule Day is one of Tennessee's great events," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "Mules have been a big part of our history, serving important roles in farming, the military and cultural life. I encourage people who want to learn more about mules and the part they have played in our history to check out the State Library and Archives' online exhibit."

Neese Speaks To UTM Awards Banquet

Martin, Tenn.-NewsChannel 5 Meteorologist Charlie Neese spoke to the UTM Communications Awards Banquet Thursday. Ashleigh Burton of Fulton won the WENK/WTPR award. (Brent Hinson photo).

Giving Back To Military Warriors

Paris, Tenn.-Master Dinh, who teaches Tae Kwan Do at Quest Fitness in Murray, has donated his presentation stipend for this year’s Save A Heart Day at Grove to the Military Warrior War Foundation. In photo, Grove Principal Sam Tharpe and Vice Principal Michele Webb present the stipend to Christian Dinh and his team. (Jeannie Johnson photo).

Friday, April 10, 2015 

Save A Heart Day At Grove

Air Evac Flight Paramedic Brandon Ferguson shows a company helicopter to students. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Students at Grove School in Paris learned a lot and seemed to be having fun doing it at the “Save a Heart Day” held all day Thursday.

Students rotated through several stations that were set up throughout the school campus. The stations were designed to teach them about heart health and health-related topics, including exercise, drugs and alcohol, distracted driving, teen pregnancy and abstinence. Students also had the opportunity to be certified in CPR.

Air Evac from Martin was on hand with one of its helicopters and students were able to tour the chopper and learn first-hand about the Air Evac operation from Pilot Dan Abbott of Camden, Flight Paramedic Brandon Ferguson of Murray, Flight Nurse Randy Rushing of Medina and Program Director Mark Pierce of Paris.

Christian Dinh, who teaches Tae Kwan Do at Quest Fitness in Murray, taught the basics of the martial art to both students and teachers. Tony Black of the Jackson Parks and Recreation spoke about teen’s choices with drugs and alcohol.

Henry County EMS Director Twila Rose (seated in ambulance) tells students about the local ambulance service (McFarlin photo).

Christian Dinh shows students the basics of Tae Kwan Do. (McFarlin photo).

Henry County Native To Oversee Channel 5

Nashville, Tenn.-A Henry County native has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager of NewsChannel 5 in Nashville.

Lyn Veazy Plantinga of Cottage Grove has been station manager and her promotion is effective immediately.

Platinga has taken over from longtime Channel 5 general manager Debbie Turner, who was recently named Vice President of TV operations at E.W. Scripps and will oversee the company’s 33 stations in the United States.

E.W. Scripps has merged its operations with Journal Communications, which owns NewsChannel 5. According to The Nashville Post, the two companies also spun out their newspaper assets into a new publicly traded company, Journal Media Group.

Plantinga had been station manager at Channel 5 since 2006, before which she was national sales manager and assistant news director.

In a statement, Scripps officials said Plantinga helped develop NewsChannel 5’s nationally acclaimed investigative unit, which recently won its second Peabody Award.  

Off-Duty Jailer Subdues Suspect Stealing His Vehicle

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-When an off-duty Fulton County Jailer saw his vehicle being stolen in Union City, he did the only thing he could think to do. He jumped into the vehicle, subdued the culprit and handcuffed him.

Unfortunately, he could not subdue the suspect before they ran into a tree.

Michael Thompson of 717 Lilac St., Union City, was arrested for theft and placed in the Obion County Jail.

According to the police report, officers were dispatched to Sign Depot at 235 Westgate on a report of an auto theft in progress Thursday afternoon. When they arrived, they found Thompson already seated on the asphalt in handcuffs.

Jailer Ricky Parnell told officers he had gone into the business and left his SUV unlocked. While in the business, he saw his SUV pulling out of its parking spot. He rushed outside and jumped into the vehicle, which struck a tree, damaging the passenger side.

According to the report, Thompson admitted trying to steal the vehicle.

UTM Remains One Of Safest State Campuses

Martin, Tenn. — The 2014 Crime on Campus report released in March by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows that the University of Tennessee at Martin remains among the safest four-year public universities in the state. 

UT Martin was among the safest universities for group A crimes per 1,000-campus population. Group A crimes are more serious and include assault, burglary, drug-related offenses, sex offenses and homicide. For index crimes, which include violent offenses against persons, UT Martin ranked lowest per 1,000-campus population.

Additionally, for group A and index crimes committed, the university’s Department of Public Safety had the highest clearance rates for cases solved. The statistics also show that UT Martin had the least number of reported offenses among four-year Tennessee Board of Regents and UT institutions.

“Campus safety is everyone’s concern, and I am pleased that the results of ongoing efforts to maintain a safe campus environment are reflected in this report,” said Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor. “Our Department of Public Safety does an excellent job of educating our university community about crime awareness and safety.”

Scott Robbins, UT Martin director of public safety, attributes the positive report to the people associated with the university and who live in the region. 

“Good people live and work at the university and in the Martin community,” Robbins said. “It’s these people who help us maintain a safe learning environment for our students, employees and visitors.”

Republican Party Plant Sale

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Republican Party will be holding a plant sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Foundation Bank at the corner of Wood St. and Volunteer Dr.

Questions can be directed to Betsy Phillips, Secretary of Paris/Henry County Republican Women at 731-336-4090 or at or Rebecca Griffey, President of Paris/Henry County Republican Women, at 731-407-8181 or at 

Former LeBonheur Employee Arrested For Fraud

Memphis, Tenn.– Special Agents in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit have obtained indictments for a former hospital employee accused of using patient identities and forging physician signatures to commit TennCare fraud.

After receiving information from TennCare’s Office of Inspector General, TBI Special Agents began investigating Fannie M. Randolph in November 2013. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that on multiple occasions from December 2012 through September 2013, Randolph, while an employee of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Room, used patient information to illegally obtain controlled substances and in some instances, utilized the TennCare benefits of the patients to pay for the fraudulent prescriptions. Additionally, Agents developed information that Randolph forged the signatures of physicians to obtain prescription medications. When the allegations surfaced in 2013, the hospital notified TennCare and terminated Randolph’s employment.

On Tuesday, the Shelby County Grand Jury returned indictments for the 52-year-old Bartlett woman, charging her with eight counts of Identity Theft and six counts of TennCare Fraud. On Thursday, Randolph turned herself into the Shelby County Jail, and was subsequently released after posting bond.

Thursday, April 9, 2015 

Proposed Heliports Raise Concerns For Planners

City Fire Marshal Greg Andrews, right, presents information on possible fire regulations involving heliports. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--In an effort to be proactive, the Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission Thursday night began the process of developing regulations governing the construction of heliports within the city limits.

Two air ambulance companies--Air Evac and Vanderbilt Lifeflight--are planning to locate headquarters in Henry County.

Air Evac opened its temporary headquarters at Henry County Airport on Wednesday and Air Evac officials have said they are actively seeking a permanent headquarters in the Paris city limits.

Henry County Medical Center has indicated it intends to contract with Lifeflight for a local headquarters and hospital officials have eyed the open field along Kelley Drive behind the hospital (adjacent to the Cancer Center and Culley Clinic) as its locations.

Richard Walters and his wife attended the meeting to voice their concerns about Lifeflight locating its headquarters in their neighborhood. Paris Fire Marshal Greg Andrews also attend to address fire regulations and concerns.

City Attorney Fred McLean presented a power point presentation which raised issues that the planning commission will need to consider: flight paths to and from the air ambulance headquarters, what plans are for growth, whether fuel will be stored there, how big of an area will be needed and what will be located there, size of aircrafts to be used, how big the touchdown pads and lift-off areas will be, lighting that will be used, the general layout of the helipad, wind indicators, drainage concerns, how much turbulence would be generated in the take off and landing, etc. etc.

Both McLean and City Development Director Jennifer Morris said the city right now has no regulations governing heliports at all.

McLean noted that right now the planning commission has more questions than answers to address and that neither Air Evac nor Vanderbilt Lifeflight have presented any information to the planning commission.

Likewise, he said, the hospital board has not contacted the city officially with its plans.

“Neither company has come to us with what they’re planning and it would be nice if they would,” McLean said. “We need answers, like, ‘Are they going to store fuel on the premises and be that close to residences?’ Other key concerns would concern the ‘rotor wash’ or the downward flow of air, which can affect nearby pedestrian traffic, dumpsters, portable equipment or other items that are nearby that can be thrown large distances, he said. “And that would bring up liability concerns for us,” McLean said.

Morris said the city needs to find a model ordinance dealing with the same situation “that we can tweak”. She also said several of the heliports the city has heard of are located in industrial areas away from residential areas.

McLean emphasized, “We do not want to slow down either one of these operations, but we don’t want to be hasty, either”.

Walters said, “Why don’t they just go to the airport--everything is already out there. This just sounds like an inside deal just to get Vandy in here.”

Assistant City Manager Kim Foster said, “Whatever we do, we have to realize that what we decide today will affect us ten years from now.”

Morris said she will bring something for the planning commission to consider by its next meeting.

In other business, the commission unanimously approved revisions to the sign ordinance that will be presented to the city commission at its next meeting. She noted a public hearing will be held by the city on the revisions before anything is approved.

Honoring A Firefighter

A tribute to late Firefighter Ricky Owen was set up on Veterans' Drive. (Tyler Cox photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris and Springville Fire Department’s ladder trucks were set up on Veterans’ Drive today to honor the late Ricky Owen as Owen’s funeral procession passed underneath. An American flag was placed atop the ladder trucks.

Lt. Brandon Bell of the Paris Fire Department said the display “was a way for us to pay our respects, to make it nice for him and his family.”

Owen, age 46, died on Monday. He was a captain with the Springville Volunteer Fire Department and served on the Henry County Rescue Squad.

A large contingent of Henry County firefighters, rescue squad members and law enforcement officers were in attendance at his funeral, held at Ridgeway Funeral Home. Many firefighters accompanied the funeral procession to the Poplar Grove Cemetery in Springville.

USDA Home Loan Program Reaches Record High
First State Bank Honored

Officials with USDA Rural Development and First State Bank gather for presentation.

Union City, Tenn. — USDA Rural Development announced today that the agency's home loan guarantee program reached a record high in Tennessee as private lenders used the program to help 6,700 families and individuals buy a home in rural areas in fiscal year 2014. The total private/public investment topped $817 million dollars in Tennessee leading the nation in Guaranteed Loan production.

First State Bank was recognized today as a “Top Lender” for 2014. “Our top ten lenders accounted for 46 percent of the total dollars obligated in FY 14,” according to Housing Program Director for Tennessee Don Harris. “First State Bank is a valued partner with USDA Rural Development and has been a consistent top performer in Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) loan production for several years.”

"Homeownership builds strong communities," Harris said. "Our private lending partners have done an outstanding job using this program to increase the number of affordable loans they can make for families across the state."

The Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan program offers 100 percent financing with no mortgage insurance premium required at highly competitive rates. The program is basically self-funded and allows private sector lenders to make more loans to qualified buyers providing eligible applicants with the financial assistance to obtain adequate housing in rural areas. Existing Guaranteed or RD Direct loan borrowers may refinance their homes under the GRH loan program as well and may provide an opportunity to obtain a lower interest rate.

Homeowners looking to alleviate unsafe conditions, make repairs, or add needed space may be eligible for a RD home-repair loan. The interest rate on these loans is fixed at one-percent and payments may be spread over as much as 20 years to keep the monthly payments affordable.

Visit USDA online at

Gibson County Man Indicted For Violent Burglary

Trenton, Tenn.-Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments for a Gibson County man accused in connection to a violent burglary at a home in Trenton. 

On January 17th, at the request of 28th District Attorney General Garry Brown, TBI Special Agents began investigating a burglary that occurred the same day at a home on Twin Creek Road in Trenton. 

During the course of the investigation, Agents, working alongside investigators from the Gibson County Sheriff’s Department, developed information that Justin Schriener and Autumn White-Smith broke into the victim’s home and attempted to rob him at knifepoint. A struggle ensued, during which the victim sustained multiple stab wounds from which he has since recovered.

On Monday, the Gibson County Grand Jury returned indictments for Schriener, charging the 31-year-old Trenton man with one count of Especially Aggravated Burglary, one count of Attempted Especially Aggravated Robbery, and one count of Tampering with Evidence. Authorities in Gibson County previously charged White-Smith with Accessory After the Fact and Tampering with Evidence. Schriener is currently incarcerated in Kentucky on unrelated charges. 

Don Teal Named Martin Police Chief

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Long-time Martin Police Captain Don Teal has been named the new police chief for the city of Martin.

Teal was promoted to the office Wednesday night and will begin serving as chief on Monday.

Teal has been with the Martin Police Department for 32 years--spending his entire career with the department. 

He said to WENK/WTPR this morning, “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve the community. I’m very proud. I want to say to the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen how appreciative I am of the trust and confidence they have place in me, but also the confidence they have in the training and experience in their own department that they named a new chief from within the department.”

Teal will replace long-time Chief David Moore, who has been with the department for 26 years. Moore earlier announced his pending retirement to pursue a private sector career.

Several Events Set For Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Paris-Henry County office of the Carl Perkins Center for Child Abuse Prevention will be holding several events.  

Director Catherine Herrera said, “This is a nationwide effort to bring about awareness regarding child safety.  Our county is, unfortunately, not immune to the horrors of child abuse.  We have fielded, along with law enforcement and DCS,  over 110 cases of severe abuse in our county alone in 2014.“

Herrera said, “The mission of the Exchange Club-Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse is to provide support to families in prevention and dealing with child abuse in West Tennessee and to help both parents and children meet practical needs of preserving and improving the quality of family life.”
This year's theme is "Super Heroes”, she said. “We are asking the community to be an everyday super hero to protect children from harm:  sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and drug exposure.  We have several events already scheduled and would so appreciate your help in bringing about awareness because that is the best way to curb abuse.

Several events will be held this month:

April 7 will be Stewards of Children training for DCS workers.  Stewards of Children is a prevention training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.  The program is designed for organization that serve youth and for individuals concerned about the safety of children.  It is the only nationally distributed, evidence-based program proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child protective factors.  This will be at 9 a.m at the center at 204 N. Brewer Street.

April 10  An appreciation luncheon at the Chancery Court on the Square from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  This is to show our appreciation for all the law enforcement, child protective service workers, city and county officials, court staff and volunteers. Mayor Brent Greer will be there to read a proclamation regarding child abuse prevention month.
April 16  Stewards Training for teachers and school staff at the center from 4-6:30 P.M.  It provides two continuing education credits.

April 25 Second Annual Carl Perkins Center-Tosh Farms Crappie Tournament at Paris Landing marina.  The weigh in will be held until 4 p.m. with hooks coming out of the water at 3 p.mYou can email the center at for an application or call 731-513-0574.
April 27 Stewards Training for the public, and this will also provide two continuing education credits which would benefit day cares, social workers, nurses, law enforcement and emergency services.  This will be at the Center at 6 pm

April 30—Showing of The Legend of the Knights produced/directed by Brett Culp.  This is a documentary about real life every day super heroes.  The Comic Guy will have a display with refreshments.  This is open to the public.
Every Friday in April we will be wearing our Child Abuse Prevention t-shirts and hope to get businesses involved so people will take notice.  Individuals and businesses can order t-shirts through the Center office and orders will be delivered to our office.  We even have a special one for teachers! Even if community members don’t have a t-shirt, they are encouraged to wear blue every Friday in April.

Union City Man Attacked
Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police are investigating the assault of a 24-year-old Union City man who was taken by private vehicle to the local emergency room.

According to the police report, the victim “was obviously in severe pain” with abrasions to the head, side and shoulder. He also suffered from bruised ribs.

The victim told police he had been jumped by several individuals at the intersection of 5th and Church Streets and was struck in the face and hit with what could have been a 2 x 4.

Pickle Ball To Be Offered

Paris, Tenn.-Something new will be happening at the Paris Parks and Recreation Department: Pickle Ball.

Pickle Ball is a sport similar to tennis, but on a smaller scale, according to Parks Director Tony Lawrence.

The new sport will be offered locally beginning April 21 at the Atkins-Porter gym from 9-11 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The gym is located at the corner of Highland and Walnut Streets in Paris.

Any questions about playing contact Lawrence at 644-2517 or email Mary Barr at

Paris To Be Featured On CBS Morning Show

Paris, Tenn.-Paris, Tennessee, will be featured on the CBS News Saturday morning, April 11.

Peter Greenberg, the Travel Editor for CBS News will host a segment called “April in Paris” sometime between 8 and 10 am. It will feature different cities named Paris across the United States. 

The Downtown Paris Association office was contacted about the upcoming program to let it know that Paris Tennessee was selected to be one of the Paris’s featured during the segment. 

DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray said, “It is always exciting to share information about this wonderful community. I am so proud that we are among the Paris’ chosen for the program.”

Helicopter Rides At Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-Have you always wanted to ride in a Helicopter? Now is your chance. Helicopter rides over Discovery Park of America will be available from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, April 11.

There are a limited number of tickets, so call 731-885-5455 to purchase yours. 

Animal Shelter To Expand Hours

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris has announced that the Paris-Henry County Animal Shelter has expanded its hours.

Assistant City Manager Kim Foster said the shelter now will be open on Saturdays and during the lunch hour on week days.

Beginning Saturday, April 11, the animal shelter will open from 11 am until 3 pm. Also, beginning Monday, April 13, the shelter will be open Monday through Friday 11:30 am until 5 pm.

“We are pleased to now be offering Saturday hours, as well as being open during the lunch hour at the animal shelter to try to better accommodate the working public,” Foster said.  

The shelter is located at 445 Recycling Drive.

Artist Showcase Reception Is Sunday

Paris, Tenn.-The reception and awards event for the 30th Artists Show Case is this Sunday, April 12th, from 2-4pm at the W.G. Rhea Library. 

The showcase is sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Dennis Wieck. Music will be performed by Arts Council Member Larry Conger and light finger foods and punch will be served. Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 

Air Evac Base In Henry County Base Opens Today

Paris, Tenn.-Air Evac Lifeteam is increasing its coverage in Tennessee with a new base that opened today in Henry County. The temporary base is located at the Henry County Airport.

Air Evac officials said the new base will ensure even more residents in the region will have access to lifesaving medical care.  

Air Evac Lifeteam is the nation’s largest independently owned and operated air medical service, and its crews provide on-the-scene medical care, rapid medical transport, and transfers between medical facilities. An Air Evac Lifeteam crew, which includes a registered nurse, paramedic and pilot, is on call at each base 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Air Evac Lifeteam President Seth Myers said he is excited to serve Henry County and surrounding residents.

“The Henry County base, along with our bases in Waverly and Martin, Tenn., and Mayfield, Ky., give area residents access to a higher level of care,” Myers said. “Henry County residents now have four bases in a 35-mile radius of Paris.”

Mark Pierce, program director for the Waverly and Henry County bases, said he has been overwhelmed by the support Air Evac has received.

“We’ve received so much help from Henry County Mayor Brent Greer and Airport Manager Don Davenport,” Pierce said. “The employees of Henry County Medical Center, HCMC EMS, sheriff’s department, police department, fire department, the Paris Henry County Rescue Squad and 911 Dispatch have been so supportive.”

Pierce said that citizens of Paris and Henry County have a tremendous resource when it comes to their healthcare needs.

“Henry County Medical Center and Henry County Medical Center EMS provide excellent care and service, and we hope to complement that with our newest Tennessee base,” he said. 

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said is thankful Air Evac decided to establish a base in Henry County.

“Our citizens and patients of Henry County Medical Center will truly benefit by Air Evac’s commitment to further enhance the level of healthcare and emergency services in our community,” Greer said.

Don Davenport, Henry County Airport manager, said he is glad to have Air Evac in Henry County.

“I am a member, and this is a great service to the community,” Davenport said. “We’re glad to have them locally.”

Although membership is not required, Air Evac members who are flown for a life or limb-threatening illness or injury have no out-of-pocket expenses beyond what is covered by insurance. There are currently more than 21,000 members in Henry and surrounding counties. Membership in the AirMedCare Network, of which Air Evac Lifeteam is a part, is just $65 per household per year. For more information about becoming a member, please visit, or call 1-800-793-0010.  

Air Evac Lifeteam currently operates 118 bases in 15 states. For more information, please visit,or  like us on Facebook. 

The Majestic Bald Eagle

Big Sandy, Tenn.-Bald Eagle sightings are becoming more and more prevalent in our area, with nesting areas at Paris Landing State Park and Fort Donelson National Battlefield Park, among others. Charlie Allen of Paris spotted this Bald Eagle near Big Sandy on a recent day.

Trial Date Set For Paris Man On Impersonation Charge

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A trial date has been set in Obion County Circuit Court for a Paris man charged with impersonating an attorney.

Ramiah Tamah McDougall, age 32, was indicted by an Obion County Grand Jury on a charge of impersonation of a licensed professional following an incident at the Obion County Courthouse in October of 2014.

McDougall is a familiar face at area courthouses. Henry County Court officials have complained previously he has been impersonating an attorney locally, as have officials at other area county courthouses.

In Henry County, McDougall has a lengthy criminal record which includes assault, domestic violence, resisting arrest and drug possession.

The Obion County jury trial is set to begin June 29. Previously, Circuit Court Judge Jeff Parham denied McDougall’s motion for a change of venue.

According to court records, McDougall presented himself as an attorney and was representing an Obion County jail inmate in General Sessions Court. Court officials were suspicious of him since he was unfamiliar to court personnel and after questioning, he was arrested.

Revisions to the Obion County Courthouse security were made following the incident since McDougall was passed through the security checkpoint.

Orange County Chopper Bike At Discovery Park 

Discovery Park CEO Jim Rippy with the Guthries. (Discovery Park photo).

Union City, Tenn.-Have you ever wanted to see one of the one-of-a-kind specialty motorcycles made by Orange County Choppers?

Now is your chance. The newest addition to the Discovery Park Transportation Gallery is a SONIC bike on loan from Penny and Al Guthrie from Dyersburg. The motorcycle will be on display at Discovery Park indefinitely.

Discovery Park of America is a museum, park and garden located in Union City, Tennessee. The park sits on 50 acres of land off of Everett Boulevard, Union City.

UC Council Authorizes Lawsuit

Union City, Tenn.-Union City City Council has authorized a lawsuit against Bruce Green Builder Contractors and American Safety Casualty Insurance Co. as a result of defects in the new Carey Counseling Center located in the Cloys Industrial Park.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, it was reported that efforts to resolve the problems with the new building have proved futile and the lawsuit is being filed as a last resort. The litigation will be heard in Obion County Chancery Court.

Council also agreed to continue participation in the 27th Judicial Drug Task Force.

In other news:

--The city hired two animal control officers Amanda Hayslett, a former employee of the Reelfoot Animal Clinic and Tim Wilson, a breeder and kennel owner who has experience in animal control at Dyersburg. The two are now operated the animal shelter.

Jason D. Williams To Perform

 Union City, Tenn.-Entertainer Jason D. Williams will perform at the Union City Civic Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11.

Tickets are $20 and are available at Lanzer’s Printing in Union City or at the door. For more information see

Sheep Shearing At The Homeplace

Golden Pond, Ky. – The Homeplace 1850’s Farm at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will host a day dedicated to working with wool on Saturday, April 11, from 10 am-4 pm. 

Invited artist, Gary Larson, will give the Homeplace sheep their first “haircut” of the year, 1850’s style.

“The sheep are ready to shed their wool from the past year and that means new fleeces to wash, tease, card, spin, and dye, “ according to Cindy Earls, Lead Interpreter at the 

Homeplace. “We will show each step it takes to process our sheep's raw wool into yarn, which we can knit or weave into clothing. Visitors get hands-on helping with every task.”

Programs are ongoing from 10am to 4pm and are included with regular admission to the Homeplace: Ages 13 and up $5; Ages 5-12 $3; Ages 4 and under are free.

Charges Pending Against UC Driver

Union City, Tenn.-Charges are pending against a Union City driver who was found unconscious in her vehicle after losing control of her SUV and landing in the front yard and driveway of a private residence.

Laura Williams, age 30, of 537 Nash St. was transported to the Baptist Memorial Hospital Friday after the accident.

According to the Union City police report, officers were called to 1121 S. Third St. on a report of an accident. They found Williams sprawled half out of the passenger side door of her vehicle, face down on the seat and unconscious.

Officers found a partially-full bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey, prescription medications and a small amount of marijuana in her vehicle.

Charges are pending awaiting the outcome of blood tests.

MSU President To Be Installed Friday

Murray, Ky. — Dr. Robert O. Davies will be officially installed as the 13th president of Murray State University (MSU) during an investiture ceremony on Friday, April 10, at 2 p.m. on campus in Lovett Auditorium. Everyone is invited to attend the event.

Traditionally, an investiture ceremony directs attention to the mission of the university and its ongoing importance to society while affording a new president the opportunity to present a personal vision for the institution.

The investiture features university representatives, government officials, including Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, and delegates from other universities.

Davies began his official duties at the university on July 14, 2014. Prior to that, he had served as the president of Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.

Following the investiture ceremony, a reception will be held in Pogue Library’s Wells T. Lovett Grand Reading Room. Everyone is invited to attend both the investiture and the reception. For those who cannot attend, the investiture will be streamed live online at
More information can be found online at

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 

Helping Hand Distributes $309,640 To 75 Organizations

Butch Powers accepts a check on behalf of Henry County Boy Scouts Troop 80 from Helping Hand President Susan Hayes, as Secretary Mary Kate Ridgeway looks on. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-There were a lot of happy people at Monday night’s annual Helping Hand organizational meeting, as checks totalling $309,640 were handed out to representatives of 75 organizations.

As Helping Hand President Susan Hayes said, the best way to fill up a room is to distribute checks and the meeting room at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology was full.

The money is raised each year at the Helping Hand Radio Auction during the months of January through February to benefit local organizations in the categories of health and well being, youth, education, community improvement, emergency funds, safety, and the county’s volunteer fire departments.

The top five organizations raising funds at the 2015 auction were honoured with plaques: First United Methodist Church, $30,948; First Baptist Church, $28,338; Tennessee Valley Community Church, $20,234; Security Bank, $12,735; and Henry County Educators, $7,669.

The top five communities raising funds also were honoured: Pleasant Hill community, $20,858; Cottage Grove community, $11,441; Whitlock, $8,331; Clifty, $6,231; and VanDyke/Routon, $4,696.

Hayes told the crowd at the meeting, “Each one of you is important to Helping Hand because you’re part of the organizations that benefit Helping Hand. And there isn’t anybody in Henry County that doesn’t benefit from Helping Hand.”

She said, “It’s all about a lot of early mornings and late nights. But it’s exciting and I love it each year. Every year I think Henry County can’t do it again, but every year Henry County comes through.”

Treasurer Susan Bell noted that this year’s auction was plagued by a lot of bad weather, including severe snow and ice storms “but we didn’t miss a day. We were all there every day.”

Three new board members were elected to the Helping Hand board: Gloria Madison, Hut Stigall and Andy Collins.

The Helping Hand Radio Auction is broadcast daily each year on WTPR.

Faye Turner of Pleasant Hill community accepts a plaque from Treasurer Susan Bell. Pleasant Hill raised more money for Helping Hand that any other community. (McFarlin photo).

Carroll County Jailer Investigated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Huntingdon, Tenn. -- A Carroll County Jailer has been fired as the sheriff’s office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are investigating a possible excessive use of force involving an inmate.

TBI Public Affairs Officer Josh DeVine confirmed this morning to WENK/WTPR that it  has launched an investigation at the request of District Attorney Matt Stowe.

DeVine said, “It’s not possible for us to release specifics of the investigation at this time. All I can say now is that we were asked by District Attorney Matt Stowe to begin an investigation two weeks ago on an incident involving an assault against an inmate.”

Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson confirmed his office is investigating the incident. Dickson would not release the jailer’s name but did say he has been fired.

DeVine also declined to release the jailer’s name. 

The inmate in question is Demetri Partee and he was originally jailed on drug charges. Partee is now being held in the Gibson County Jail.

He reportedly was injured when he was tazed while being restrained.

Owner Of Damaged Pier Offers $1000 Reward

Paris, Tenn.- The owner of a wood pier dock in the Country Junction area is offering a $1,000 reward for help in finding the party who damaged it.

According to a press release issued by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred March 7 or 8, resulting in someone striking the dock, causing extensive damage.

The owners are offering the reward to whoever gives information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible.

Call the Henry County Sheriff's Office with any information at 642-1672 or the Henry County Hotline at 642-0929. 

PES To Hold Cookout, Bake Sale

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Elementary School will be holding its bake sale and spring cookout on Friday, April 10, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Parents are invited come to the cookout to enjoy lunch with your child, and pick up a great baked goodie for dessert. The public is also invited to attend. 
The bake sale will be set up in the school gym. The event is sponsored by the Parent Teacher Organization.

"Save A Heart Day" Reset For Thursday 

Paris, Tenn.-The “Save a Heart Day” that was postponed due to a winter storm in February will be held all day Thursday at Grove School in Paris.
Students will rotate through several stations designed to teach them about heart health. 
One station that has been added to the rotation since February is one on heart-related emergencies led by Air Evac. Weather-permitting students will have the opportunity to view an Air Evac helicopter up close, along with an ambulance.
Students also will have the opportunity to be certified in CPR, learn about distracted driving, teen pregnancy and abstinence, exercise and drugs and alcohol.

Kids’ Fishing Rodeo Set Saturday 

Buchanan, Tenn.-A kids’ fishing rodeo will be held Saturday, April 11, at Paris Landing State Park Marina. The rodeo is presented by Crappie USA and Cabela's King Kat Trail.  

Sign-ups are from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. with the tournament from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. It is for children 12 & under and all participants will be eligible to win one of six $1000 scholarships. Winners will be drawn a the Crappie USA Classic. Please bring your favorite fishing pole and live bait is allowed. 

Tickets Still Available For “Les Miz”

McKenzie, Tenn.– Tickets are still available for the Bethel University Renaissance Theatre Program’s presentation of “Les Miserables,” one of the most highly acclaimed musicals of all time. “Les Miserables” will take the stage of the Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center beginning this Friday, April 10 at 7 p.m. There will also be a 2 p.m. performance on Saturday, April 11. Some tickets are still available for both shows, and they can be purchased for $15 each on the Dixie website at Two additional performances will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 17-18. Tickets can be purchased for these nights as well. For more information contact the Dixie Box Office at 731-986-2100. 

Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 65 million people worldwide, “Les Misérables” is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The true modern classic is based on Victor Hugo’s novel and features one of the most memorable scores of all time. This enormous production will also boast intricate costumes, elaborate sets, and an astonishing cast and crew. 

Reminder-Scam Alert Meet Is Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-Reminder: the Scam Alert educational program will be held Thursday, April 9 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds' Enoch Building. 

This program is to inform the public of deceitful scams in our region. Learn the indicators of a scam and what to do if you have been targeted by scammers. 

The program is sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, Chamber and McDonald’s. The program is free to the public but registration is encouraged. 

Breakfast sandwiches will be provided by McDonald's at 10 a.m. Please call the Chamber of Commerce to register at 731-642-3431 or email

Chamber Golf Tourney

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce will host its annual golf tournament on Friday, April 10 at The Tennessean Golf Course located at 900 Olde Tennessee Trail. 

Lunch will be served at 11 a.m and tee off will be at noon. Please call the Chamber for more information or email 

Monday, April 6, 2015 

Hank Williams Biopic Closer To Release
Cherry Jones Featured In Movie

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

New York City, New York-Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the worldwide rights to “I Saw The Light”, the biopic on the life of Hank Williams.

The movie should be of special interest to people in West Tennessee, however, since three of the people involved in the film or with Williams’ life have deep roots in Henry County. Actress Cherry Jones is featured as Hank Williams’ mother; Singer Rodney Crowell, who is Executive Music Producer for the film has family roots in the Buchanan area; and Hank Williams Jr. lives in the Buchanan area.

The movie stars Tom Hiddleston has the country legend and Elizabeth Olsen plays his wife, Audrey Mae.

When the casting of Cherry Jones in the movie was announced several months ago, Jones told WENK/WTPR that it is a “teeny tiny role” that was filmed in Louisiana.

To channel Williams’ iconic sound, Hiddleston spent a month at Crowell’s home in Nashville.

On his Facebook page, Crowell said, “During the month of September 2014, our house in Tennessee became the base camp for Tom Hiddleston’s steady transformation into Hank Williams. I’d been hired by a film company — whose vision of shining a gritty light on the life and times of Hank Williams piqued my interest no end — to produce the music and assist their leading man in finding his way into the heart of one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time.”
No release date for the picture has been set, although it is expected to be released in 2015.

Cannon Named Assistant State Director 

Nashville, Tenn.- USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode has named Harriet Cannon as the Assistant to the State Director. Cannon will serve in the Tennessee State Office and manage the Administrative Programs Division.

Cannon is a familiar face to many in our area. During her 32 years of service with USDA Rural Development, Cannon has served in a number of West Tennessee posts. She is leaving the Agency’s Union City Office where she served as Area Director for the past 5 years. Cannon served as Area Director in the Covington and Jackson Offices prior to her stint in Northwest Tennessee.

"Harriet brings a wealth of hands-on experience to her new management role,"  Goode said. "Having worked in offices across the state, she has a good grasp of how to meet the needs of our customers and staff."

A strong community volunteer, Cannon served on the Exchange Club - Carl Perkins Child Abuse Prevention Center’s Board of Directors as President for two terms and chaired their major fundraising event for 6 years. In addition, she served in leadership positions for the Covington Exchange Club, and currently serves on the Dyersburg State Community College (DSCC) Advisory Board and Annual Fund Campaign and the Advisory Board for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) in Covington. 

A resident of Covington, Tennessee, Cannon is married to Lenard Cannon. They have two children, daughter Caroline, a nursing major at UT Martin and a son Jon Michael, a senior at Covington High School.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Tennessee contact the Tennessee State Office at 615-783-1300, or 800-342-3149. Visit us online at

Fort Donelson To Ring Bells

Dover, Tenn.-In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the surrender by Confederate General Robert E Lee to U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomatox Court House, Fort Donelson will ring bells on Thursday, April 9.

Bells will be rung for four minutes at 2:15 p.m. from the Dover Hotel, where Grant received the surrender of Fort Donelson on February 16, 1862.

Local churches and others are invited to join in the bell-ringing.

Koestner To Speak On College Sexual Assaults

McKenzie, Tenn. – Katherine Koestner, a national expert on student safety and wellness issues, will speak at Bethel University Wednesday night, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Crisp Arena. 

The event, sponsored by the school’s Department of Housing and Student Life, is part of a month-long celebration to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. The event is free and open to the public, and high school students as well as church youth and adult groups are encouraged to attend. 

Koestner has presented to more than one million students in the U.S. As the first victim of date rape to speak out nationally and publically about her experience at The College of William and Mary, she appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine in June of 1991. HBO made a movie about her story in 1993. 

She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Geraldo, NBC Nightly News, CNBC Talk Live, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Later Today, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, MTV, Lifetime Television, Italian TV, The Jane Whitney Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, and dozens of other news programs. She has given interviews for the Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Journal of Higher Education, and countless other national and regional publications. 

UTM Offers Community Shredding Event

Martin, Tenn. – The Jackson Police Department will sponsor a community-wide shredding event for sensitive documents from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., April 10, between the Boling University Center and the Paul Meek Library on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus. 

“Believe it or not, people will go through your garbage and steal your personal identifiers and set up credit cards and other accounts. So those types of documents need to be destroyed and disposed of securely,” said Sergeant Sipes, investigator, Jackson Police Department Identity Crimes Unit.

UT Martin students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to bring any documents they would like to have shredded and disposed of securely. 

For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of Public Safety at 731-881-7777. 

Vasquez To Deliver Waterfield Lecture

Murray, Ky. — The 38th annual Harry Lee Waterfield Distinguished Lecture in Public Affairs at Murray State University will feature Dr. John Vasquez of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the speaker.

Vasquez will give his presentation, “Liberals, Neo-Conservatives and Democratic Peace: A Critique and an Alternative for American Foreign Policy,” on Wednesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the Curris Center Ballroom. Admission is free and MSU students, faculty and staff, as well as community members are invited to attend.

Vasquez earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Syracuse University, and a Th.M. and A.B. from Boston University. He has been the Thomas B. Mackie Scholar in International Relations and professor of political science at the university since 2005, teaching courses in international relations, international conflict and crisis diplomacy.
The Harry Lee Waterfield Distinguished Lecture in Public Affairs at MSU is hosted by the department of political science and sociology. For more information on the lecture, call 270.809.2661.

Landfill To Hold Free Dump Day

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Landfill will hold a free dumping day on Saturday, April 18. Brush, demolition waste and yard trimmings must be separated from solid waste. No construction waste, household garbage or tires will be accepted.

The landfill will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  There will be no admittance into the landfill after 3:00 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.

Sunday, April 5, 2015 



UTM To Present “Language Of The Soul”

Martin, Tenn. – Students in the University of Tennessee at Martin K-12 dance education licensure program will present their spring ensemble performance, “Language of the Soul,” at 8 p.m., April 9-10, in the Fine Arts Building’s Harriet Fulton Theatre. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Children 12 years and younger are free.

This performance will feature new student choreography. Student choreographers include Leslie Howard, a senior from Saulsbury; Corey Smith, a senior from Dyersburg; Bria Evans, a senior from Antioch; Jenna York, a junior from Dickson; Erin Windham, a sophomore from Nolensville; Emily Summerville, a sophomore from Wingo, Ky.; D’Angelous  Stevenson, a senior from Memphis; Ciera Fielding, a junior from Jackson; and Jayla Brown, a sophomore from Memphis. 

Reshonda Batts, a senior from Memphis, and Fielding will perform new solo choreography created by Sarah McCormick, assistant professor of dance. 

All the students are dance education majors except for Howard, who is a dance minor, and Summerville, who is earning a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. The K-12 dance education licensure program is part of the Department of Visual and Theatre Arts.

Tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information, contact McCormick at 731-881-7335 or by email at

Reminder: Helping Hand Meeting Is Monday

Paris, Tenn.-The Helping Hand Radio Auction annual meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 6 at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology on S. Wilson St. in Paris. 

Checks from this year’s auction will be distributed at the meeting. Checks will be handed out to 75 local organizations. 

As usual, the top fundraising communities and organizations will be honoured. This year, three new board members will be elected.

Persons attending are asked to park in the rear of the building.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Up Close With The Lunar Eclipse

Paris, Tenn.-One of our readers Bobby Battles shared with us this photo of this morning's lunar eclipse. He said it was taken around 6 a.m. this morning from Paris.

Dye The Easter Eggs, But Don’t Handle The Chicks

Nashville – Those Easter baskets are often filled with candy and colorful eggs. However, there is one type of gift you should avoid during the holiday—baby chicks and ducklings.

Live poultry commonly carry Salmonella germs. When humans handle the birds, the bacteria can spread. Exposure to Salmonella commonly causes extreme abdominal upset. In severe cases, the illness can be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 400 people die each year with acute salmonellosis.

Children, the elderly, and people with other health conditions are most susceptible to a severe reaction.

“Live poultry may have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies even when they appear healthy and clean,” Tennessee Department of Health Epidemiologist Tim Jones, MD said. “Those germs can also get on cages, coops, feed and water dishes and other items where the birds live and roam and can be found on the hands, shoes and clothing of people who handle the birds or work or play around them. We recommend families leave handling of live poultry to people trained in their appropriate care.”

This is the time of year when chicks and ducklings arrive at local feed and farm stores. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Department of Health aim to educate customers on the risks of handling poultry, as well as the long-term commitment required for proper animal care.

“We're working with feed suppliers and businesses to ensure the safety of the animals and people who may come in contact with them,” State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “Our goal is to support backyard flocks and youth poultry projects like the 4-H Chick Chain while also informing the consumer.”

Do not let children younger than five, elderly persons, or people with weak immune systems handle chicks, ducklings or other live poultry. If you do come into contact with a bird, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after.


TBI Training Academies Taking Applications

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is taking applications for two separate training academies, one of which is being offered for the first time, to college students.

The Criminal Justice Academy is a valuable one-week learning experience geared toward college juniors and seniors who are interested in a career in criminal justice or forensic science. The Academy will be held during the summer of each year, and will be offered at no cost to those who are accepted. The Criminal Justice Academy will have an emphasis on acquainting students with all facets of Bureau activities, and how this integrates within the State’s criminal justice system. Students will have the chance to process mock crime scenes and participate in mock court scenarios. For students who are considering a career as a TBI Special Agent, this program will afford them the opportunity to correlate their classroom studies with the career-related experiences from the Academy.

College students in Tennessee interested in applying for the Criminal Justice Academy can find the eligibility requirements and application form on the TBI website at

There is no cost for the training, food or lodging. Applications for the Criminal Justice Academy are being accepted through April 30, 2015.

Applications are also being accepted for the 2015 TBI Leadership Academy. This Academy is geared toward individuals who already have at least five years of law enforcement experience, including supervisory experience, who are interested in developing management and leadership skills. The training, meals and lodging are offered at no cost to participants. The two-week course is hosted at the Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and is held in September. Applications for the Criminal Justice Academy are being accepted through June 30, and are available on the TBI website at

The Training Division within the TBI conducts classes for more than 8,500 members of Tennessee law enforcement every year. These topics range from Fingerprinting, Child Sex Abuse, Prescription Fraud, Death Investigations and Methamphetamine 101. The Division also spearheads the TBI Basic Criminal Investigation School which is attended by all Special Agents as well as members of the Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee Department of Safety, Tennessee Bomb and Arson, Tennessee Department of Revenue, and District Attorneys General.


UTM Offers Advanced Photo Class

Martin, Tenn. The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer an advanced photography course on the fundamentals of composition from 6:30-9 p.m. on Tuesdays, April 14-28, on the UT Martin Campus.

This course in advanced digital photography will give participants a broader understanding of advanced composition and exposure. Students will learn concepts that professional photographers use to achieve creative and eye-catching shots, including the use of different lenses, filters and critical focus techniques.

Dr. Tom Gallien will instruct the course. To view examples of Galliens work, visit his website at

The registration fee is $99 per student. For more information about the course please visit or call the Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.

David Robey
8am – 12pm

Copyright © 2005- WENK Stations Group. All Rights Reserved.
WENK Stations Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer
This site designed and maintained by AIMS Computer Systems