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Monday, March 30, 2015 

Air Evac Maintains Henry County Presence

Flight Nurse Jamie Evans of Obion with the Bell 206 Long-Ranger in Paris on Saturday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Air Evac is actively searching for a permanent location for a local headquarters close to the Henry County Medical Center but in the meantime will be maintaining its local presence, according to Air Evac Program Director Mark Pierce of Paris.

Pierce was one member of a crew of Air Evac staff that landed adjacent to the World’s Biggest Fish Fry headquarters Saturday morning for its opening. Air Evac is one of the fish fry’s new sponsors this year.

Air Evac personnel will be helping to serve fish at the fish tent on Saturday, April 25, and the company is sponsoring the Junior Fishing Rodeo and gate sponsor for the IPRA Rodeo.

As WENK/WTPR reported last week, Air Evac will be locating temporarily at the Henry County Airport and Pierce said, “The airport has been very welcoming to us. The airport is a little out of the way, though, and we’d like someplace closer to the hospital.”

Air Evac will be holding a grand opening when a permanent location is found, Pierce said. He said Air Evac also may hold an open house while they are still at the airport, also.

The Air Evac helicopter that was flown to the grand opening is a Bell 206 Long-Ranger, which Flight Nurse Jamie Evans of Obion said is similar to the helicopter that the company will be using in Henry County.

Several people took the opportunity to get an up close and personal look at the helicopter while he was in Paris.

Air Evac, which is headquartered in Martin, has been serving a large number of customers in Henry County for several years. The company had approached the Henry County Medical Center board will the prospect of locating a base at the hospital. After hearing presentations from Air Evac and Vanderbilt Lifeflight, the hospital board selected Vanderbilt to locate on the grounds of the hospital.

Evans shows the helicopter's interior (McFarlin photo).

Fire Damages Cars In Union City

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Fire Department and Union City Police are investigating an incident early this morning in which several cars were damaged by fire on Church St.

A Fire Department spokesman said this morning his department was called to a housing development at 1538 E. Church St. at 3:47 a.m. on a report of a car fire. When the fire department arrived, the car was fully involved and the fire was threatening nearby residences and other cars.

When firefighters arrived, they found the passenger side door of the 1996 Grand Prix open. The spokesman said the fire originated in the passenger side and items were reported missing from the vehicle.

The fire also damaged three other vehicles which were parked nearby.

Goodwill Expanding Its Hours 

Union City, Tenn.-Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is extending business hours at all 34 of its retail stores, including those in Jackson, Lexington and Union City. 

The change will occur on April 1, when stores will begin opening at 8 a.m. — one hour earlier than in the past. 

New store hours will be 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday.

The sale of donated items in the retail stores operated by Goodwill Industries funds the not-for-profit’s mission of providing employment and training opportunities to people struggling to find or keep jobs.

Lady Pats Win Zaxby’s Tourney

Clarksville, Tenn.-The Henry County Lady Patriots Softball Team is the 2015 Champions of the Zaxby’s Classic Tournament in Clarksville.

The Lady Pats beat Montgomery Central in the championship game by a score of 3 to 1. 

The Lady Pats were operating on all cylinders during the tournament, with six wins and no losses. 

According to Shannon Osbron, the Lady Pats beat Hume Fogg by 9 to 3; beat Todd County, Ky., by 7 to 1 on the first day of the tournament. The team played four games Saturday, beating McEwen 11 to 0, Kenwood by 4 to 3 and Stewart County by 12 to 0.

Julie Medlock pitched three games and Celie Hudson pitched the other three games. Gracie Osbron hit a two-run homer against Kenwood. Celie Hudson had 13 RBIs for the weekend and Gracie Osbron had 11 RBIs.

Hannah Gwaltney hit a game-winning sack fly against Kenwood that allowed Olivia Cate Brogdon to score the game-winning run.

Glow In Dark Easter Egg Hunt Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Library is Paris is hosting a Glow In The Dark Easter Egg Hunt at 7 p.m. Thursday night. The event is free for youngsters age 11 to 18.

Bring an Easter basket or bag and flashlight with you. Prizes include a Kindle, cash and coupons.

The library is located at 400 W. Washington St.

Sunday, March 29, 2015 

South Fulton Student To Receive MSU Certificate

Blake Hopkins, center, with co-workers. (MSU photo).

Murray, Ky. — Murray State University (MSU) will be the first Kentucky university to have a student of the Supported Higher Education Program (SHEP) program receive a certificate in May. SHEP is an opportunity for adults with intellectual disabilities to attend higher education programs without a regular high school diploma.

It allows students with intellectual disabilities to apply for Pell Grants, Federal Work Study and Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) money while attending higher education universities like Murray State.

Blake Hopkins, 22, from South Fulton, Tenn., was the first student in the program at MSU and will be the first to receive a certificate in May.

While at Murray, Hopkins has enjoyed the overall college experience including his Bible studies with the on-campus Intervarsity program and eating lunch in the Curris Center Thoroughbred Room with Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority members. Hopkins is currently taking classes two days a week and is living out his dream working at the MSU Wellness Center on Mondays and Wednesdays, after having an internship there. Hopkins also had an internship at the Murray-Calloway County Hospital Wellness Center and the Family Fitness Center in Murray. In addition, Hopkins has presented on his experience with the CCE program at a state conference.

The initiative at Murray State is called the College to Career Experience (CCE). It allows students to take 6-7 credit hours of selected courses each semester and to choose a field of study based on their interests using the College to Career Experience program. The Kentucky Department of Vocational Rehabilitation also provides funding assistance for the CCE. Sharon Arant is the CCE coordinator at Murray State University. She has received social mentors, tutors and job coaches through the adolescent, career and special education (ACS) department to assist the CCE students.

For more information on the program, contact Sharon Arant at, Pam Matlock at or Cindy Clemson at


Writing Project Accepting Applications

Martin, Tenn. – The West Tennessee Writing Project is accepting applications for the 22nd Invitational Summer Institute, to be held on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday-Thursday, June 1-11. A mandatory orientation will be held on May 9.

The institute is designed to help current teachers find innovative ways to meet standards, learn to apply differentiated instruction, give both teacher-driven and student-driven assessments, and develop critical thinking in students. Chosen applicants will participate in teaching demonstrations, discussions and reading, as well as afternoon writing workshops.

Twelve participants will be selected through an application and interview process. Teachers from all subject areas, grades K-12, are invited to apply. Applications must be received before April 27. All teachers will participate in 52 hours of professional development and will receive 5.2 continuing education units through UT Martin.

Participation in the institute is paid for by a grant from the National Writing Project. Lodging is available on campus in student residence halls, paid for by individual participants. The rate for on-campus lodging is $12 per night.

Applications are available for download from Interested parties may also contact Dr. David Carithers, WTWP director and associate professor of English, at 731-881-7290 or by email at

Saturday, March 28, 2015 

Book Dedicated To Milam; Moore Is Grand Marshal

An emotional Bobby Milam thanks everyone for the honor, as Lisa Stone of the Jaycees looks on. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-This year’s World’s Biggest Fish Fry souvenir book is dedicated to Bobby Milam and the grand marshal of this year’s grand parade will be Paris Native and New York City Actress Summer Crockett Moore.

The announcements were made this morning at the official opening of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry headquarters on E. Wood St. and a large crowd of city and county officials and the public was on hand. The 62nd annual Fish Fry will be held April 18-26.

Air Evac, one of the new Fish Fry sponsors, landed a helicopter near the headquarters and several members of the crew attended the opening. 

Milam is a familiar face to anyone who has attended the Fish Fry or the Henry County Fair and many other local activities. He and his family live in the Elkhorn community and he is the Chairman of the County Road Board, Vice-President of the Henry County Farm Bureau board, a long-time fair board member and is active with the Extension Service and local FFA.

In reading the book dedication, Loria Plunk said, “Bobby is no stranger to Fish Fry as he started frying fish with his Dad, Bob Milam, when he was 21 and stayed with it for about 25 years. He is a friend to the Jaycees and we could not have asked for a better person to dedicate our book to than Bobby Milam.”

An emotional Milam said, “You don’t know how much this means to me. There are so many people who are more deserving in Henry County, but not any who are more appreciative of this honor.”

Milam spoke about his wife, Donna, children Sarah Rowlett, and Russell Milam, and his parents Bob and Ina Milam of Buchanan. “This is my home. This is where I wanted to raise my kids. It’s where I was raised. I had opportunities to leave over the years, but I never will. Henry County is my home.”

His parents, Milam said, “are the best examples of how parents should be. They taught me how to work and they taught me how to love and if you know how to do those things, you can make it in this world.”

Summer Crockett Moore moved to New York City after high school and is an award-winning actress and producer. With her production company, she had produced various theater and film projects, including plays and films. 

Most recently, she is lead producer and one of the female leading actors on the upcoming feature film “I Do I Do”, starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dick Cavett, Eric Roberts and Cathy Moriarty. She also is the team lead on the upcoming family film “Miss Liberty” set to shoot in late 2015 in Tennessee.

Her parents are Larry and Sandra Moore of Paris and her grandparents were Paul and Olivia Crockett.

Chairman of the Fish Fry this year is Patrick Cooper. Also on hand for the opening was Hostess Princess Grace Hassell and her court Addi Cate, Brooke Johnson, Madison Lovelace and Haley Birmingham.

Milam's daughter, Sarah Milam Rowlett and his wife, Donna, watch as he accepts the book dedication. (McFarlin photo).

Hostess Princess Grace Hassell and her court do the honors for the ribbon-cutting. (McFarlin photo).

UTM Radio, Newspaper Staff Win Awards

From left, Blake Stevens, a senior from Brighton; Sheila Scott, a senior from Kenton; (middle row) Ashleigh Burton, a junior from South Fulton; Lyndsey Hayslett, a junior from Union City; (back row) Chance Farmer, a senior from Union City; Toshya Leonard, a senior from Cordova; and Justin Glover, a sophomore from Hermitage. All the students are communications majors. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – Staff members from the University of Tennessee at Martin’s student-run radio station, WUTM 90.3 FM “The Hawk,” and campus newspaper, “The Pacer,” attended the Southeast Journalism Conference, Feb. 26-28, in Atlanta, Ga. WUTM was named the best college radio station in the South for 2014. This is the fifth time the station has won this award since 2007.

Students participated in on-site competitions in a variety of categories, including television and radio reporting, hard news and feature writing, and layout design. Ashleigh Burton, a junior from South Fulton, won first place in the radio news reporting competition, and Blake Stevens, a senior from Brighton, brought home second place for television news anchoring. Burton is the production director and Stevens is the news director for WUTM.

Students also submitted entries to the “Best of the South” competition in November 2014, the winners of which were announced during the conference banquet. The awards are listed below.

WUTM staff members:
· Best radio hard news reporter, first place: Tori Seng, a junior from Union City;
· Best radio news feature reporter, fifth place: Sydney LaFreniere, a senior from Oak Ridge;
· Best radio journalist, sixth place: Stevens.
The radio station also won second place for best college audio news program, or “podcast,” and was named the Best College Radio Station in the South for 2014.

The Pacer staff members:
· Best news-editorial artist/illustrator, second place: Joey Plunk, a sophomore from Bells;
· Best feature writer, third place (tie): Sheila Scott, a senior from Kenton;
· Best newspaper page layout designer, ninth place: Ashley Marshall, a senior from Union City.
The newspaper also placed second in the best college website competition and eighth in both the best college magazine and best college newspaper categories.

For more information, contact Robinson at 731-881-7555 or, or Parrish at 731-881-7558 or

Quota Welcomes Lamb As New Member

Paris, Tenn.-Andrea Lamb, Branch Manager at Commercial Bank & Trust Company on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris, was installed as a new member of the Paris Quota Club this week. She is sponsored by Jane Sinnema.

New Officers will be installed at the April 22 meeting: President Stephanie Tayloe; President-Elect Donna Winders; Vice-President Cheryl Wilson; Recording Secretary Carman Wright; Corresponding Secretary Peggy Owen; Treasurer Pat Bailey; Assistant Treasurer Beverly Wood; Directors Janice Teas, Jackie Jones, Mary Kathryn Moore, Sharon Hale and Brenda Hosford.

Members voted for Quotarian of the Year, which also will be announced at the April 22nd meeting.

The Easter Bake Sale will be from 8am noon on Saturday, April 4, at Mineral Wells Branch of Commercial Bank & Trust Company.

Friday, March 27, 2015 

Biggs Found Guilty Of 2nd Degree Attempted Murder

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-After deliberating for some three hours, a Henry County Circuit Court jury found Guy Biggs, formerly of Buchanan, guilty of a lesser charge of attempted second degree murder. Along with his conviction, Biggs was fined $25,000.

Biggs will be sentenced by Judge Donald Parish on May 8.

Biggs had been accused of criminal attempt of first degree murder of a Paris man in April of 2014. Biggs and his wife, Joyce Biggs, were both charged with attempted first-degree murder and filing false reports in a bizarre incident that began in their Swan Bay home.

The couple had initially claimed that Jason Owen had entered their home, tried to kidnap Joyce and had shot Guy Biggs in the process.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office initially charged Owen in the case, but as the investigation progressed, the Biggs’ claims began to unravel, according to Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew at the time. Charges against Owen were then dropped and the Biggs couple was charged instead.

Charges against Joyce Biggs are still pending.

Testimony during the four-day trial was heard from Guy and Joyce Biggs, Owen, and several law enforcement personnel including Sheriff’s Investigator David Doyle and a number of TBI agents.

The versions of what transpired that day in the Swan Bay home as testified to by the Biggs’ couple and Owen were widely divergent.

After closing statements from Defense Attorney Mike Ainley and Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing Jr. this morning, the jury began deliberating at 1:15 p.m. Their verdict was announced at 4:22 p.m. The jury consisted of nine women and three men.

Planting Trees Across Paris

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris participated in the “Plant 50,000 Trees Across Tennessee” program sponsored by the Tennessee Environmental Council this week. Over 100 trees were planted in Paris parks, including the Atkins-Porter Dog Park and Eiffel Tower Park. In photo are Joel Crosno, Kenny Boyd and Darren Webb. A tree giveaway is schedulef for today (Friday) from 10 a.m. to noon at the Paris Civic Center parking lot. (City of Paris photo).

Unemployment Decreases In All 95 Counties

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-Unemployment in Tennessee decreased in all of its 95 counties in February, according to figures released by the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development. That is in sharp contrast to January, which unemployment increased in all 95 counties.

Statewide, Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for February was 6.6 percent, compared with 6.7 in January.

Closer to home, counties in our local area showed marked decreases from the previous month.

The two counties with the lowest unemployment in February in our area were Henry County, with 7.9 percent, compared to 9.3 percent in January; and Weakley Co., at 7.5 percent, compared with 8.4 percent the previous month.

Obion County was at 9.2 percent in February, compared with 10.3 percent in January. Benton County unemployment in February was 8.7 percent, as compared to 10 percent in January. Carroll County was 9.6 percent, compared to 11.3 percent the previous month. Stewart County was at 9.1 percent, compared to 9.3 percent and Gibson Co. was at 8.4 percent, compared to 9.3 percent in January.

Carroll County is still on the state’s list of top ten unemployment rates.

Statewide, Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in February at 4.8 percent, down from 5.4 percent in January.  

HCMC To Receive $1.2M In Medicare Funds

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Medical Center should be receiving some $1.2M in Medicaid/TennCare funds within the next few weeks.

HCMC Tom Gee told board members at its regular meeting Thursday night that the hospital’s request for additional reimbursement on cost reports for the 2010-2011 years was approved. This has been in the works for several years now,” he said.

Gee also updated the board on the future of Insure Tennessee, noting there has been “little or not movement” in the legislature. “The legislators continue to submit legislation to try and dismantle the Affordable Care Act and even Tenncare. If these pass, hospitals will be further hurt financially.” 

A glitch has arisen even before the Vanderbilt Medical Center Lifeflight locates headquarters on the grounds of the Henry County Medical Center. 

Gee told board members complaints have been received from Dr. Lance Culley and the Cancer Center, which are located adjacent to the proposed site for the helicopter base. Their complaints relate to possible noise and air turbulence, Gee said.

“We are checking with any city zoning issue and looking at alternatives where we might relocate a base,” Gee said.

In other business:

--Gee said hospital administration will be meeting with the hospital contract committee to discuss the hospital acquiring the building where Dr. Eugene Gulish has a medical clinic and the possibility of taking over management of that practice.

--Gee informed the board that construction on the operating room expansion will begin April 13.

Houston County Man Charged With Arson

Nashville, Tenn. – Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) Bomb and Arson Unit announce the arrest of a Houston County man on two counts of arson.

Franklin Rye, 42, was arrested on March 23 and now faces two counts of arson related to two fires he set at the same abandoned house in Houston County.

Investigators discovered Rye had attempted to burn an abandoned home first in October 2014 prior to a scheduled auction of the house and land. Rye set a fire in a barrel on the house’s back porch. After the sale of the house and property, agents found that Rye again tried to set the house on fire by entering the house and lighting a fire with some garbage inside the house.

No one was injured in either fire. The house has been vacant for many years.

“Arson is a crime, even if a fire is started in an empty home or building, and there are no injuries in a fire,” according to Deputy Commissioner for Fire Prevention Gary West.

The SFMO wants the public’s help in reporting suspected arsons. The Arson Hot Line (1-800-762-3017) is a phone line dedicated to receiving information about suspicious and incendiary fires. The phone is answered 24 hours a day and callers can remain anonymous when providing information.
Cash awards are offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction.

Henry County Holy Week Schedule 

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Noonday Holy Week Services will be held from noon to 1 p.m. daily March 30-April 3.This year First Christian Church will be the host church. 

Area clergy will discuss the last words of Jesus Christ, followed by a brief lunch each day.

Monday – Rob Martin, FUMC
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” – Luke 23:34
Tuesday – Simone Travis, Church of the Living God
“Dear woman, here is your son.” – John 19:26
Wednesday – John Dandridge, Quinn Chapel AME
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Mark 15:34
Thursday – Beth Dobyns, Interim Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Tennessee (we will handle lunch this day)
“I am thirsty.” - John 19:28
Friday – Kris Rusin, Holy Cross 
“It is finished!” – John 19:30

Hamfest Is Set For Saturday 

Union City, Tenn.-The 2015 “Ides of March” Hamfest for area ham radio operators will be held Saturday at the Tennessee National Guard Armory in Union City.
The Hamfest will begin at 8 a.m. and is sponsored by the Reelfoot Amateur Radio Club. The Armory is located at 2017 E. Reelfoot Ave.

Hamfest is open to the public and a test can be taken to become a ham radio operator. Food and drinks are available and vendors will be on site.

More information can be found at

Bethel To Perform “Les Mis”

McKenzie, Tenn.-The Bethel University Renaissance Theatre Program will tackle one of the one of the most highly acclaimed musicals of all time “Les Miserables.” The production will be performed both on the Bethel campus in McKenzie and at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center in Huntingdon.

This enormous production will boast intricate costumes, elaborate sets, and most importantly, a talented cast and crew, according to Renaissance Executive Director Matthew Holt.

“This is one of the largest and most well known productions our program has ever tackled,” Holt said. “Our staff is doing a remarkable job at organizing and bringing to life a production of this magnitude.”

Les Miserables will take the stage of  The Dixie Friday April 10th at 7 p.m.; Saturday April 11th at 2: pm; Friday April 17th at 7 p.m. and Saturday April 18th at 7 pm. 

There will be a special “Bethel Only” performance on Thursday April 9th for Bethel Faculty, Staff and Students. Tickets for the Bethel Performance on April 9th can be reserved by emailing or calling the Renaissance office (731) 352-6980. Tickets for this production are $15 and can be purchased on the Dixie website For more information contact the Dixie Box Office at (731) 986-2100.

Three Arrested For Reckless Burning

Gibson County, Tenn. –The State Fire Marshal’s Office Bomb and Arson Unit announce that two juveniles and a teenager pleaded guilty earlier this month to reckless burning charges related to a fire at a Gibson County home.

On February 16, 2015, the two juveniles and a 19-year-old named Dakota Smith said they started a bonfire to keep warm while sledding near an abandoned house at 132 Gibson Cemetery Road in Gibson County. The trio later told investigators they believed the fire had been extinguished when they left the scene. However, a fire heavily damaged the house, which was near the site of the bonfire.

The juveniles pleaded guilty on March 16, 2015 to reckless burning and were sentenced to six months’ probation, mandatory attendance at a fire safety class, completion of 40 hours community service for a fire department and must pay restitution to the victim.
Smith, who is a Humboldt County resident, also entered a guilty plea March 18 as part of a similar plea agreement.

“Carelessness with fire can have serious repercussions,” according to Gary West, deputy commissioner of the Fire Prevention Division, Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. “The best way to avoid an outdoor accident involving a fire is to not start a fire.” 

Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Air Evac Temporary Headquarters At Henry County Airport

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Air Evac announced today it will temporarily locate its Henry County headquarters at Henry County Airport. 

Air Evac Public Relations Specialist Shelly Schneider said they are not ready to announce the exact date that the local headquarters will be operational. Air Evac officials already had announced it would open in April.

For several years, Air Evac has served the local community with headquarters in Martin and recently Henry County Medical Center contracted with Vanderbilt Lifeflight to locate a headquarters on the hospital grounds.

Last week, Air Evac told WENK/WTPR it will continue to be a strong presence in Henry County and provided membership information. Air Evac President Seth Myers said, “We opened our first base 17 years ago; when the Paris base opens in April it will join the regional Air Evac Lifeteam bases in Martin and Waverly in Tennessee, and Mayfield, Kentucky, to give you unprecedented air medical service should you need it.”

Myers said Air Evac is also strongly supported by St. Thomas Hospital, Jackson-Madison Co. General and Skyline Medical Center. amd two out of three patients flown out of Henry County are going to hospitals supporting Air Evac Lifeteam.

Closing Arguments To Be Presented Friday In Biggs Trial
Loud Noise Prompts Mistrial Request

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It was another long--and interesting--day for the Henry County Circuit Court jury in the trial of Guy Biggs, charged with attempted first-degree murder and filing a false report.

Both the state and defense rested their case Thursday afternoon and closing arguments will begin first thing Friday morning.

The courtroom was rattled in the morning by an extremely loud noise which prompted Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing to request a mistrial.

The loud noise--which prompted several in the courtroom to duck and law enforcement officers to begin security measures--turned out to be the chair of one of the defense attorneys which had collapsed.

Judge Donald Parish immediately called for a recess. Upon return to open court, Hessing asked for the mistrial, citing the “metallic sound, close to the sound of a gunshot” that had occurred while Biggs’ wife, Joyce, was on the stand.

Hessing noted Joyce Biggs had testified she was in fear shortly before the loud noise. “The noise, coupled with her prior testimony of fear…I don’t know what affect that will have on her demeanor when she returns to the stand,” Hessing said.

Hessing also noted the affect the noise might have on the jury. “It could have a very real affect on the trial.”

Defense Attorney Mike Ainley said he did not believe the mistrial request was warranted and Judge Parish agreed, noting, “I’m confident in my instructions to the jury.”

Biggs is accused of trying to kill a romantic rival in a bizarre incident last year. Biggs and his wife had initially claimed that Jason Owen of Paris had entered their home at 100 Swan Bay, and tried to kidnap Joyce Biggs and shot Guy Biggs.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office initially charged Owen in the case, but as the investigation progressed, the Biggs’ claims began to unravel, according to Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew at the time. Charges against Owen were then dropped and the Biggs couple was charged instead.

The jury heard testimony from Owen on Wednesday. On Thursday, they heard testimony from both Guy and Joyce Biggs. The accounts by the three witnesses varied in key areas.

After closing arguments are presented Friday morning, the case will go to the jury for its verdict.

Houston County Audit Shows Continuing Problems

Erin, Tenn.-The Tennessee Comptroller’s annual audit of Houston County government contains 13 findings describing weaknesses and deficiencies across several county offices. Seven of the findings also appeared in the previous year’s audit and have not been corrected.

For the seventh year in a row, Houston County funds required material audit adjustments for financial statements to be materially correct at year-end. This year the adjustment totaled $1,073,505 in the General Debt Service Fund. The recurring nature of this finding indicates that management is either unwilling or unable to address the deficiency.

The audit also revealed a $4,453.33 cash shortage in the General Purpose School Fund. This shortage was caused by the actions of a former payroll clerk who issued herself extra checks, and failed to withhold the proper amount of money from her income as ordered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The Board of Education has already recovered some of this amount. This finding has been reviewed with the district attorney general.

Other findings in the audit report include expenditures exceeding appropriations, accounting deficiencies, multiple employees operating from the same cash drawer in the County Clerk and Clerk and Master’s Offices, and a failure to separate money handling responsibilities in several offices. 

“More than half of the findings in this report were also highlighted in 2013,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “I call on Houston County government leaders and its Audit Committee to address the financial practices, internal control and other noncompliance issues reported in this annual audit.” 

To view the audit online, go to:
If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: Follow us on twitter: @TNCOT

Four Arrested In Large Meth Bust

    Robert Hopper Jr.               Larry Dotson                            Dana Miller
Union City, Tenn.-Four people were arrested--three of them from the local area--after officers with the 27th Judicial Drug Task Force interrupted a meth sale transaction between the parties near Sharp Ferry and Elbridge-Obion Rd. in Obion County Monday night.

Officers found three and a half pounds of meth being transferred at the time of the arrest and $52,000 was seized.

Obion Co. Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder said the amount of meth seized was the largest he has seen, with an approximate street value of at least $250,000.

Arrested from the local area were: Robert Hopper Jr., age 40, Fulton; Larry Dotson, age 34 of Hornbeak, and Dana Miller, 43, of Trimble. Also arrested was Edward Henry, 33, Joiner, Arkansas.

Hopper, Dotson and Miller were charged with conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to resale and Henry charged with conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to manufacture, deliver or sale.

A $1M bond was set for Hopper, whose court case on a previous meth arrest in Union City was pending at the time of this new arrest. General Sessions Court Judge Jimmy Smith revoked his previous bond.

Bonds of $500,000 each were set for Dotson, Henry and Miller.

UTM Students Help At South Fulton Clinic

Joyce Washington, adjunct instructor, UT Martin Department of Management, Marketing and Information Systems, speaks to a crowd of students interested in volunteer opportunities with the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center in South Fulton. 

Martin, Tenn. – Twenty students from the University of Tennessee at Martin have partnered with the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center in South Fulton to provide a variety of services not otherwise available to the all-volunteer establishment.

Students will be working with the center to develop fundraising strategy and create print materials and presentations to solicit financial donors and additional involvement from area medical providers. Students will also be providing the center with marketing and branding support, as well as public relations materials. 
The Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center is a Christian-based ministry providing primary medical care to the working uninsured in Weakley and Obion counties in Tennessee and Fulton and Hickman counties in Kentucky. The center has no paid staff and all health-care providers offer their services free of charge. 

“Health care is critical to the future of any community. It is at the core of success for the population of the community, from students to the workforce,” according to Joyce Washington, adjunct instructor, UT Martin Department of Management, Marketing and Information Systems. “Good Samaritan’s work is about providing access to wellness and health care for those who otherwise couldn’t afford it.” Washington is overseeing the student volunteer efforts. 

Others interested in participating in this effort can contact Washington at 731-636-0220 or by email at 

Funding Available For USDA Housing

Union City, Tenn— Funding is now available for all Rural Development Housing Programs. The Union City Area Office serves Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion and Weakley counties. Many individuals have a dream of someday owning their own home. USDA Rural Development is able to help make that dream a reality for many families in rural Tennessee. 

Through the USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Direct Loan program, applicants may obtain 100% financing to purchase a home. The current interest rate is 3% which is on a fixed 33-year term. Some buyers may qualify for payment assistance that may reduce the effective interest rate to as low as one percent – thus reducing the monthly payment. Often, the monthly payment is lower for a homeowner than the amount that they may be paying for rent.

The purpose of the loan is to provide financing at reasonable rates and terms with no down payment. Eligible applicants may purchase an existing dwelling, purchase a site and construct a dwelling, or purchase a newly constructed dwelling. Eligibility criteria for this program must be met and includes such requirements as meeting the income guidelines, have good credit history, be a U.S. citizen and have repayment ability for the home that they wish to purchase. Those interested in the program should contact the USDA Rural Development Office in Union City for information on the eligibility and application process, and to submit an application.

“Many in our rural communities are unaware that USDA Rural Development is also able to assist those individuals who already own their homes with needed home repairs,” according to USDA Rural Area Director Harriett Cannon. The Home Repair program is a loan program with a one percent annual interest rate designed to help the owner remove health and safety hazards and to make essential repairs. Most repairs completed under the program are for roof, siding, window and door replacement, electrical repairs, furnace and air conditioning replacement and other repairs needed to keep the home livable. To qualify for the program, applicants must own and occupy the home and have an income within Rural Development guidelines. The program application paperwork is relatively simple for applicants with no initial cost involved. Those interested in the repair program are encouraged to contact the USDA Rural Development Office in Union City for specifics on the eligibility criteria.

Two Brush Fires Extinguished

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department extinguished two brush fires last night.

Fire Chief Reggie Coles said the first occurred around 7 p.m. in the woods near Earl’s Boat World on Highway 79N. Four trucks and 14 firefighters were on the scene for an hour, he said.

Upon returning to the Fire Station a passerby stopped and said there was another brush fire in the woods on Hamilton Road off of West Antioch Road. Paris Landing units responded and found the second fire in the woods at that location. 

Firefighters were on that scene for  approximately 45 minutes. The cause of both incidents is undetermined at this time. No injuries or dollar loss was reported.

Free Trees Available 

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris has announced that free trees will be available to the public Friday at the Paris Civic Center parking lot, from 10 a.m. until noon. Seedlings of oaks, sumac and elderberry and others will be available.

Henry County Pre-Kindergarten Enrollment

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County School System is accepting applications for Pre-K enrollment for children to attend the 2015-2016 programs from April 7-9. If your child will be 4 years old by August 15, 2015, you may complete an application during registration days.


Harrelson Elementary School
143 Country Club Road
Puryear, TN 38251
(731) 247-3152
Deanna Robinson, Teacher

Henry Elementary School
937 Pioneer Road
Henry, TN 38231
(731) 243-7114
Maureen Boyd, Teacher

Lakewood Elementary School
6745-A Hwy. 79 N
Buchanan, TN 38222
(731) 644-1600
Christy Hendricks, Teacher

H. C. Board of Education
217 Grove Blvd.
Paris, TN 38242
(731) 642-3101
Susan Burton, Coordinator

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Key Players Testify In Biggs' Trial

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Wednesday was a long day at the Henry County Circuit Court trial of Guy Biggs, formerly of Buchanan, accused of criminal attempt at first-degree murder and filing a false report.

Biggs is on trial for his part in a bizarre incident which occurred in April of 2014 in which he and his wife, Joyce, were accused of luring Jason Owen of Paris to their Buchanan home where they reportedly intended to kill him.

The couple initially claimed to sheriff’s deputies that Owen had entered their home and tried to kidnap Joyce Biggs and shot Guy Biggs.

The trial Wednesday lasted until around 5:45 p.m. and included testimony from Owen and Joyce Biggs about what transpired the day of the incident, from their viewpoints. Joyce Biggs was still on the stand when court recessed and will resume testimony Thursday morning.

The jury also heard testimony from several law enforcement witnesses, including Henry County Sheriff’s Office Investigator David Doyle and members of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) forensic science unit Dr. Laura Ann Boos, Kevin Warner, David Holver and Jay Russell Davis II.

Doyle testified that Guy Biggs was concealed behind a partition when Owen entered the Biggs’ home and Joyce Biggs was seated in a chair in front of the partition.

All the TBI agents testified to evidence which they analyzed and their findings. 

Representing the state is Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing Jr. Representing Guy Biggs is Paris Attorney Mike Ainley.

Court officials expect that Guy Biggs may be testifying in his own behalf during the trial, which may last three to four days.

Biggs Trial Is Underway 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The trial for a man accused of trying to kill a romantic rival in a bizarre incident last year is underway in Henry County Circuit Court.

Guy Biggs, who formerly lived on Swan Bay in the Buchanan area, is charged with criminal attempt of first degree murder of a Paris man. Biggs has been held at the Henry County Jail without bond since his bond was revoked.

The trial for Biggs began Tuesday, with the jury seated before the lunch break. Circuit Court Donald Parish is presiding. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney David Hessing Jr. of Paris. Representing Biggs is Paris Attorney Mike Ainley.

Court officials said the trial is expected to last three days. 

Biggs and his wife Joyce Biggs were both charged with the crime and for filing a false report in the incident which occurred in April of 2014. 

The couple had initially claimed that Jason Owen had entered their home at 100 Swan Bay, and tried to kidnap Joyce Biggs and shot Guy Biggs.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office initially charged Owen in the case, but as the investigation progressed, the Biggs’ claims began to unravel, according to Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew at the time. Charges against Owen were then dropped and the Biggs couple was charged instead.

Testimony will continue today from law enforcement, including Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) agents.

WBFF Headquarters Opens Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-It’s that time of year again. Time to think about fish and hush puppies and all that goes with it.

The World’s Biggest Fish Fry Headquarters grand opening will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28. The headquarters is at 1330 East Wood St.

As always, the announcements of the book dedication and the identity of the grand marshal for the 62nd annual grand parade will be made.

Ribbon-cutting and coffee will be provided by the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and new corporate sponsors have been added for this year’s event, which is always held the last full week of April.

Wilkins Hired As Obion Central Coach

Union City, Tenn.-David Wilkins has been hired as the new girls’ basketball coach at Obion County Central High School and you could say that basketball is in his blood.

Wilkins was the head coach at Lakewood Middle School in Henry County for four years and coached at LaVergne High School.

His father Mitch is the girls’ coach at Gibson County, his brother John is the coach for the McKenzie High School boys’ program and his brother Mark is an assistant boys coach at Beech High School.

Wilkins signed an intent to hire form Tuesday morning at Obion County Central and was selected from 25 applicants.

Helping Hand Annual Meeting Set 

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.

UTM Photo Class Offered At Lee Academy

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer an advanced digital photography course from 6–9 p.m., Tuesdays, April 7-28, at the Robert E. Lee Academy for the Arts in Paris. 

This course in advanced digital photography is designed to follow-up the basic digital photography course, but is open to anyone familiar with digital camera operations and basic photography skills. Students will learn the advanced camera skills of a double single-lens reflex camera (also called a digital DSLR) and other digital cameras. Students will be encouraged to capture creative imaging techniques in landscape, wildlife, portrait and close-up photography. Exercises in both low-light and nighttime photography will be held. Roger Hughes, course instructor, will critique the images and provide feedback for each student. 

Hughes is a retired special agent of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, criminal and drug investigation divisions. He studied fine art imaging at the University of Tennessee, Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Limited samples of his work can be viewed at 

Each participant should bring a digital camera, operations manual and tripod. The registration fee is $125 per person. 

For more information, visit or call the Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.

Murray PD Arrests Three On Weapons Charges

Murray, Ky.-Early Tuesday morning, Murray Police officers were dispatched to a convenience store in Murray in response to a van that had been parked on the lot for an unusually long time. 
Upon investigating the van, three individuals were discovered inside: Melodee Johnson, 55 of Sedalia, Michael Brinn, 28, of Mayfield, and James Stovall, 28 of Mayfield. 
A defaced firearm was recovered from the vehicle. All three were charged with Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon. Stovall was also charged with Operating on a Suspended License. All three were lodged at the Calloway County Jail.

Boy Scout Pancake Breakfast

Puryear, Tenn.-Boy Scout Troup 226 in Puryear will hold a pancake breakfast Saturday from 7-11 a.m. at the Puryear Baptist Church, 10060 Highway 641.

The breakfast will include all you can eat pancakes, sausage and beverage of coffee, milk or orange juice. Cost of $7 for adults, $3 for children under five.

Proceeds benefit the scout troup and its activities.

Swimming Lesson Sign-Ups

Paris, Tenn.-Swimming lessons will be held at the Paris Civic Center during April and May and sign-up sheets are at the front desk. The lessons are conducted by the American Red Cross.

Level One classes for April are held April 13-17 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with cost of $35 per child.

Level Two classes are held April 13-17 from 6:45-7:35 p.m. and cost is $35.

Swim lessons in May will be held May 18-22.

For more information contact Liz Burton at 731-363-5212 or Hannah Mallard at 731-336-0654. The swimming lessons are available for ages 4-12 only. 

Area Students Perform In Lyric Opera

Martin, Tenn. – Hearts will break, fortunes will be told and verdicts will be given in the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 2015 lyric opera theatre production, “Two Couples-Two Comical Love Stories,” held at 7:30 p.m., March 27 and 28, in the Harriet Fulton Theatre in the Fine Arts Building. 

Two operas will be presented featuring modern-day conflicts in the lives of college students. Both operas will be performed in English. They are “Bastien and Bastienne” by Mozart and “Trial By Jury” by Gilbert and Sullivan.

The principal cast is as follows: 
· Bastien – Grant Cacy, a sophomore from Lakeland;
· Bastienne – Bridget Huenefeld, a sophomore from Antioch (March 27 cast) and Johna Jackson, a junior from Madison (March 28 cast);
· Colas the psychic – Darius Taylor, a sophomore from Jackson;
· Angelina – Hilliary Lemons, a senior from Newbern (March 27 cast) and Jacie Pride, a junior from Brentwood (March 28 cast);
· Edwin – John Warner, a freshman from Union City;
· The Judge – Wesley Sliger, a freshman from Martin.

Other cast members include Mary Beth Chandler, a freshman from Kenton; Evan Dumser, a freshman from Martin; Kristal Jones, a senior from Finger; Asha Moody, a senior from Pulaski; Alex Moore, a freshman from Ashland City; and Hector Ramirez, a freshman from Fulton, Ky. All the students are either vocal or instrumental music majors. 
Admission is $5 for adults; children under 12 may enter free. Tickets can be purchased at the door prior to the show. 
For more information, contact Dr. Amy Yeung, professor of music, at 731-881-7408 or by email at

Bethel Recital Hour Is Friday

McKenzie, Tenn.– The Bethel University Department of Music will host a Recital Hour at noon this Friday, March 27 in the L.J. Turner Recital Hall in the Marrs-Stockton Music Building. Students and faculty will present prepared musical pieces. The event is free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, March 31, The Department of Music will present the Bethel University Singers and Chamber Choir in concert at First United Methodist Church at 16 McTyeire Street in McKenzie. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m.
For more information about either event, contact Dr. Keith Herris at

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 

Water Rate Increases To Help Finance Treatment Plant

Electrical Department Director Cole Edwards, right, shows the new BPU warehouse to board members. From left, Butch Powers, Board Attorney Steve Greer, Terry Fuller, Ralph Anderson and David Flowers (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities Tuesay approved a new water rate schedule for customers that is needed to help finance a new water treatment plant for the utility district.

Tuesday’s meeting was held at the newly-constructed BPU warehouse on Hwy. 218. Electric Department Cole Edwards took the board on a tour of the facility after the meeting. The new facility includes a large warehouse, training room and offices. Edwards said some landscaping and asphalt work is still needed before completion.

The new water rate schedule, according to Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley, will be much simpler. “We’re moving from a more complicated rate schedule to a more simple schedule. The new rate will have a base charge and a flat rate that makes things simpler in our office and simpler for our customers to follow.”

The current treatment plant has been in operation since 1950 and, Wimberley said, “The technology has not changed since then. We have had no upgrades since then. We’ve just added capacity.” Even though the water treatment plant has been in operation since 1950, he said, the building that the plant is in is even older than that.

Board Member Ralph Anderson said, “I don’t like rate increases but I think we’re facing something inevitable here. It’s either now or later and the more you keep putting it off, the more it’s going to cost. My main concern is that we can provide good safe drinking water to practically to everyone in Henry County.”

Board Member Terry Fuller--who also is a member of the Paris City Commission--said, “I started beating this drum when I was on the board before six years ago. We just have to do it. We have a dinosaur here that’s going to be extinct someday.” 

The new rate schedule is effective July 1. According to figures distributed at the meeting, the base charge begins at $9.85 inside the city of Paris at a cost per 1,000 gallons of $2. In 2016, the base charge inside the city increases to $11 with a cost per 1,000 gallons of $2.25 and in 2016, it increases to $12 and $2.50.

Construction of the new water plant will be performed in three phases. Funding reported available through the State Revolving Loan is $3,450,000, with a total potential for funds through grants that have been applied for of $4,150,400.

In other business:

--The board approved a contract with Jacobs Engineering for installing a new water line for the new McCartney Produce building being constructed at the city industrial park. County Alliance CEO David Hamilton negotiated a fast track project with the state in which the state has verbally agreed to pay $385,000 for the project. 

The new ten inch water line was necessary for McCartney’s new sprinkler system, but BPU General Manager John Etheridge said the water lines will enhance existing infrastructure “and help the city industrial park as a whole”.

 Murray PD Arrests Three On Weapons Charges

Murray, Ky.-Early Tuesday morning, Murray Police officers were dispatched to a convenience store in Murray in response to a van that had been parked on the lot for an unusually long time. 

Upon investigating the van, three individuals were discovered inside: Melodee Johnson, 55 of Sedalia, Michael Brinn, 28, of Mayfield, and James Stovall, 28 of Mayfield. 

A defaced firearm was recovered from the vehicle. All three were charged with Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon. Stovall was also charged with Operating on a Suspended License. All three were lodged at the Calloway County Jail.

Rockabilly Festival Coming To Discovery Park

Union City, Tenn.-   Discovery Park of America has been selected as one of the venues in West Tennessee which will be hosting a series of International Riders and Rockabilly Music and Cultural Festivals this summer.

The announcement was made Monday at a press conference in Jackson.

Discovery Park of America and Abernathy’s are teaming up to bring Rockabilly to Northwest Tennessee the fourth weekend of July. Discovery Park will be joining venues in Jackson, Brownsville and Ripley to provide activities throughout West Tennessee during the month of July featuring music, history, culture and food.

Discovery Park will host the fourth in the series. Rockabilly will come alive in Union City July 24th and 25th as Discovery Park and Abernathy’s provide music, food and fun for everyone, with special events and activities for bikers.  

Event Director Rick Adams said, “We hope everyone comes hungry, as there will be a giant fish fry, hot dog stands, beer tents and dessert trucks available at Discovery Park throughout the weekend! Admission is free, so everyone can bring their own bag chair and come out to the park and enjoy the music, even if they don’t want to eat.”

The series of festivals begins in Jackson July 3 - 5, moves to Ripley July 9 – 11, heads to Brownsville July 16 - 19 and finishes up in Union City July 24 and 25.  

Discovery Park of America is a 50-acre park that has changed the landscape of Northwest, Tennessee.  The park features a majestic and artfully designed iconic building called Discovery Center housing 70,000 square feet of exhibits focused on space, science, military, history and fun.  Entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert Kirkland and his wife Jenny donated more than 142 million dollars to build and provide operating capital for Discovery Park.  To find out more about the park, visit the website at and for more information about the regional festivals, visit  

“Whispering Bill” Returns To The Dixie Saturday 

Huntingdon, Tenn. – Famed songwriter and entertainer “Whispering Bill” Anderson returns to The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center this Saturday, March 28 for the Dixie Live Concert Series songwriters show.

A member of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame, Anderson is one of the most awarded songwriters in the history of country music, a million-selling recording artist many times over, television game show host, network soap opera star, spokesman for a nationwide restaurant chain, and a consummate onstage performer. 

His compositions have been recorded by artists as diverse as Ray Price, Porter Wagoner, James Brown, Debbie Reynolds, Lawrence Welk, Dean Martin, and Aretha Franklin, and his success has covered more than five decades.

“Bill Anderson making his return to The Dixie is like having an old friend come back to visit,” according to Lori Neal Nolen, Executive Director of The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center. “We are excited that he is joining us this year for our annual songwriters show. With all the hits he has written, you will get to hear firsthand the stories behind those and many more.”

The show begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at

“Scam Alert” Registration Open

Paris, Tenn. -Registration is open now for a “Scam Alert” program to be presented in April by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and McDonald’s.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 9 at the Henry County Fairgrounds Enoch Building. McDonald’s will serve breakfast sandwiches at 10 a.m.

The educational 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 free to the public, but registration is encouraged. Sign up for the program by calling the Paris-Henry Co. Chamber of Commerce at 731-642-3431.

TBI: Campus Crime Decreasing

Nashville, Tenn.-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released to the public its 2014 ‘Crime on Campus’ report. Despite recent high profile incidents, the study shows that crime reported by Tennessee colleges has decreased.

The annual study compiles information submitted to TBI by the state’s colleges and universities through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS).
Among the report’s findings:
· Overall, crime reported by Tennessee colleges and universities decreased by 6.3% from 2013 to 2014.
· Reported incidents of Burglary decreased by 34.1% from 2013 to 2014
· Reported Fraud Offenses increased 19% over 2013’s study.
· The reported incidents of Rape increased from 26 in 2013 to 46 in 2014.
· DUI offenses reported by Tennessee’s colleges and universities decreased by 34.9% between 2013 and 2014.
As always, the TBI strongly discourages the comparison of one institution’s statistics to another. The factors impacting crime vary from community to community and rudimentary comparisons will most likely result in inaccurate and generalized conclusions of the relative safety of one campus over another.
The full 2014 ‘Crime on Campus’ report, along with similar studies dating back to 2001, is available online for review at

Children’s Language Classes Offered

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer a linguakidz class from 9 a.m.–2 p.m., April 2, on the UT Martin campus. 

Students will participate in a language course focused on discovering new vocabulary in French and Spanish. Linguakidz is offered to children ages six to 12 and includes four hours of language instruction and lunch. 

The registration fee is $35 per student, plus a $10 supply fee paid on the day of the class. For more information, please visit or call the Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.

Monday, March 23, 2015 

Hardee’s Is Shaping Up

Paris, Tenn.-Construction of the Hardee’s on Mineral Wells Ave. is moving right along, with the signature star and color scheme now visible on the outside walls of the restaurant. With construction down for a few days during the recent ice and snow storms, workers have been making up for lost time lately, working seven days a week on the project. The new Hardee’s is located on the lot which most recently housed Swifty’s gas station. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Search Underway For New Commissioner

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris City Commission is faced with the task of replacing Commissioner Robert Sleadd, who recently resigned due to accepting a new position in Arlington, Texas, and has begun a search for a replacement.

The City Charter does not stipulate a process for replacing a commissioner other than selection by the remaining four members of a person who is qualified to stand for election during a regular election.

Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said, “I have been contacted by a few individuals, but we want the process to be transparent.  Therefore, we are requesting interested individuals to submit Letters of Intent, to the Commission, creating a pool of potential candidates.”

The letter of interest, according to City Manager Carl Holder, “should be no more than one page summarizing your relevant accomplishments, stating your interest in serving and why you believe you would be a good Commissioner.”

Letters of Interest should be forwarded to: Letter of Interest, P.O. Box 970, Paris, TN  38242, by mail only.

“Please do not hand them to a Commissioner or myself or any other official”, Holder said. 

Huge Turnout For Irish Day Celebration

Erin, Tenn.-The town of Erin was a vision of green Saturday for the 53rd annual Irish Day Celebration. The celebration featured leprechauns of all sizes, shamrocks everywhere, plenty of activities and a huge parade filled with floats, school bands, bagpipers and men wearing kilts, such as in this photo by Jean Owens.

February Unemployment Decreases

Nashville, Tenn.-Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for February was 6.6 percent, one-tenths of one percentage point lower than the January revised rate of 6.7 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for February was 5.5 percent, down two-tenths of one percentage point from the prior month.

Economic Summary
Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate increased from 6.5 percent to 6.6 percent while the national rate decreased from 6.7 percent to 5.5 percent. 
Total nonfarm employment decreased 800 jobs from January to February. The largest decreases occurred in administrative/support/waste services, accommodation/food services, and local government. 

Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 60,400 jobs. The largest increases occurred in trade/transportation/utilities, professional/business services, and manufacturing.

HCHS Winter Guard Places Second 

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County High School Winter Guard Varsity team competed on Saturday March 21, at East Hamilton Middle School in Ooltewah, Tenn. (near Chattanooga) and placed second in their class. Coming up next for the Winter Guard is the SCGC Championships on March 28. From left are Winter Guard members Felicity Davis, Olivia Wilson, Shelby McMurray and Megan Milliken. (Photo provided by Sherry Hutchison).

Special Olympics 5K Race Results

Martin, Tenn. – The Special Olympics Unity 5K Race was held on Saturday, March 21st in Martin. It included participants from the upper West Tennessee area.

The mission of Area 7 Special Olympics Tennessee is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Full participation is granted to every athlete regardless of his or her economic circumstances.  

Winners were: 
18 & Under Female - Taylor Hoffman, 38:30
18 & Under Male - Cole Justice, 26:46
18-25 Female - Amy Reddick, 32:19; Courtney Friedrich,39:51; Cristal Jones, 53:07
18-25 Male - Jake Wilson, 30:45; Zach Rogoswki, 32:20
26-35 Female - Felicia Mann, 27:34; Kelly Richardson, 31:49
26-35 Male - Chuck Wheelis, 22:22; Tom Kirk, 30:00; Julius Blackburn, 51:08
46-55 Female - Myra Hoffman, 44:24
46-55 Male - Darrell Blaylock, 29;09; Andy Sliger, 31:52

Overall Male: Chuck Wheelis, 22:22
Overall Female: Felicia Mann 27:34

Special Olympics of Upper West Tennessee appreciate the donations and support from the following sponsors of the event:  UTM SHAPE Club, The Sideline, Martin Kiwanis Club, Monograms & More, Kenton Chevrolet, St. John’s Community Services, Woodmen of the World Martin 291, Dr. Tom Gallien, Scott Taylor State Farm, Farm Bureau Insurance Martin, Westan Insurance Group, Fuller Partners Realty, The Color Shop, Edward Jones Martin, Martin Walmart, and EW James Union City.

Ravioli Supper To Benefit Tomorrow’s Hope

Paris, Tenn.-The Knights of Columbus are holding a ravioli lunch and dinner Thursday, March 26, at the Holy Cross Catholic Church at 1210 East Wood St., Paris.

Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner will be served from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The menu includes ravioli with homemade sauce, salad, drink and dessert for $9 per adult; $20 per family; and children under five years old eat free. 

The event will benefit the Tomorrow’s Hope Clinic in Paris.

Henry County GOP Election Is Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County GOP will hold its reorganization election in accordance with the bylaws of the State Party at 7 p.m. Thursday March 26 at the Henry County Courthouse. Officers will be next two years will be elected.

GOP Chair Kert Blackwood said participants will need to arrive early--6 p.m. is recommended--in order to be checked through the voter verification process. 

Henry County Elections Director Darrin Thompson will be checking voter rolls via computer during the process.

Shoe Collection Drive Underway

Paris, Tenn.-Tomorrow’s Hope Clinic is conducting a shoe collection drive now through May 29.

Tomorrow’s Hope will earn funds based on the number of pairs collected. Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used or new shoes at the clinic at 211 N. Brewer St., in Paris.

Hardwoods Scenic Trail Closed This Week

Golden Pond, Ky. – The Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail will be closed to the public Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27. The trail will re-open Saturday, March 28. Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail runs parallel with US68/KY80 across Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area.

“We will be holding a training workshop for Forest Service employees around our region,” said Kyle Varel, Trails Manager at Land Between The Lakes. “For the safety of our visitors, we will be trying to address as many hazards along the trail as possible.”

All trailheads will be signed and barricaded during this week. The trails staff at Land Between The Lakes apologizes for any inconvenience during this time.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

UTM Offers Affordable Music Lessons For Community

Martin, Tenn. – The Community Music Academy, sponsored by the University of Tennessee at Martin Department of Music, offers affordable voice and instrumental music lessons for all ages.

Participants may choose to receive instruction from apprentice teachers (select, accomplished music students) or master teachers (UT Martin faculty members). Lessons with an apprentice teacher are $15 for a half-hour and $25 for a full hour. Lessons with a master teacher are $25 for a half-hour and $40 for a full hour.

Lessons are available in voice, guitar, upright or electric bass, percussion, woodwinds and brass instruments. The Community Music Academy provides an opportunity for private instruction as students prepare for All-West auditions, solo and ensemble contests, and college auditions. All participants are welcome, regardless of age or experience level. All lessons are taught in the Fine Arts Building, located at 16 Mt. Pelia Road on the northwest corner of the UT Martin campus.

Enrollment is ongoing. For more information or to enroll, visit or email The academy can also be found on Facebook under “UTM community music academy.”


Premera Blue Cross Hacked; Consumers Told Take Steps

Nashville, Tenn. –The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) is alerting Tennessee consumers to take precautions now to protect their personal information after a cyber attack on health-benefits company Premera Blue Cross was disclosed earlier this week.

The Premera Blue Cross hacking attack affected numerous individuals and companies in our area.

The company estimated that 11 million U.S. consumers could potentially be affected by the cyber breach, including more than 16,000 insurance consumers in Tennessee.

Federal law enforcement authorities are in the midst of investigating the cyber attack.

TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak wants Tennessee insurance consumers to protect themselves from possible identity theft and fraud that could occur after the breach.

“We urge insurance consumers who may have been affected to change their passwords, check their credit reports and monitor all accounts that contain sensitive personal information,” McPeak said. “Our insurance regulators are closely monitoring the situation and receiving regular updates about the status of the investigation.”

The attack may have compromised members’ information, which could include names, date of birth, email addresses, addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, member identification numbers, bank account information, and claims information, including clinical information.

Consumers who believe they have been affected by the breach can receive a free two-year membership in credit monitoring and identity theft protection through the company.

Premera will begin informing affected customers via postal mail if they have been affected.

If you believe you may have been impacted and have not received a letter by April 20, 2015, you should call 800-768-5817.

Saturday, March 21, 2015 

Celebrating Integration At Murray State

Murray, Ky. — In the summer of 1955, the first black student enrolled at Murray State University. Mary Ford Holland made history. A yearlong celebration is taking place to celebrate trailblazers, including Holland, who represent the beginning of hope, endeavor and achievement for black students at the Murray State University.

The celebration includes alumni joining the rest of the campus for well-established events, updating their contact information with the university and returning to Murray State in July for a different approach to Homecoming. The summer Homecoming event features a reception and meet and greet on Friday, July 4. On Saturday, participants can take advantage of all of the Murray Freedom Fest events, including a Freedom Fest Parade, Ice Cream Festival, BBQ on the Square, Beer Garden, games and more. Saturday evening join MSU alumni for a BBQ dinner at the Easley Alumni Center and the best seats in the house for the fireworks display beginning at 9 p.m. 

The year of honoring the heritage of black alumni of Murray State also offers the opportunity for graduates to begin making their contributions to the “60 for 60” campaign to support student scholarships, black alumni future events and more.

For more information on the events and to register, go online at and click on “2015 Black Alumni Reunion” under the events tab or call 1.800.758.8510.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Air Evac Outlines Membership Info

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.--Air Evac President Seth Myers said today residents of Henry County and surrounding communities have the right to choose their air medical provider.

“Recently, another company announced an agreement to base a single helicopter at Henry County Medical Center,” Myers said. “According to federal law, one air medical provider cannot unilaterally honor the membership of another, which could lead to tens of thousands of dollars out of your pocket.”

Henry Countians have voiced concerns recently now that Vanderbilt Lifeflight is locating a headquarters on the grounds of Henry County Medical Center (HCMC). Hundreds of Henry Countians already had Air Evac memberships and have been wondering how recent developments will affect them.

Air Evac had approached the HCMC board some months ago with a proposal to locate a headquarters at the hospital. In the end, however, the hospital board favored the Lifeflight proposal over Air Evac.

Air Evac officials said they are locating a headquarters in Henry County, but are not ready to announce where it will be yet.

In a press release, Myers said Air Evac Lifeteam Members in Henry County and the surrounding communities “know their membership comes with peace of mind.”

Myers said an Air Evac Lifeteam membership means residents have access to the highest quality medical care and financial peace of mind. “Household memberships are just $65 per year, and if an Air Evac member is flown for a life or limb-threatening emergency, they have no out-of-pocket costs,” he said.

 Air Evac is also strongly supported by St. Thomas Hospital, Jackson-Madison Co. General and Skyline Medical Center, he said.  Myers said two out of three patients flown out of Henry County are going to hospitals supporting Air Evac Lifeteam.

“Medical professionals will determine if you need an air ambulance, but you need to ask for Air Evac Lifeteam, ensuring that you get the full benefits of your membership,” he said. 

Air Evac members, Myers said, may voice their choice three ways:  
· In the Hospital:  Tell your physician and staff that you are an Air Evac Lifeteam member.
· Family & Friends.  Tell them about Air Evac Lifeteam so they can speak for you if you can’t.
· Emergencies.  If you are able, tell the emergency responders you are an Air Evac member, and have your membership sticker clearly visible on your vehicle.

“Hopefully, you’ll never need Air Evac,” Myers said. “But if you do, our community presence is strong and getting stronger.  We opened our first base 17 years ago; when the Paris base opens in April it will join the regional Air Evac Lifeteam bases in Martin and Waverly in Tennessee, and Mayfield, Kentucky, to give you unprecedented air medical service should you need it.” 

Myers added that Air Evac’s four helicopters mean that regardless of patient flights, training or maintenance, patients will have access to definitive healthcare in their time of need – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Air Evac Lifeteam members are part of the AirMedCare Network, which includes more than 220 medical helicopters across 28 states, including 12 in Tennessee, 15 in Kentucky, five in Alabama, four in Mississippi and nine in Arkansas.

For more information about becoming an Air Evac Lifeteam member, please visit, or call one of our Membership Services representatives at 

About Air Evac Lifeteam
Air Evac Lifeteam, an air medical service, provides rapid access to definitive health care for those who live in medically underserved areas. Flight crews, consisting of a pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic, are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to the scene of an emergency, or provide transportation between medical facilities. Air Evac Lifeteam currently operates 117 bases in 15 states. For more information, please visit, or like us on Facebook. 

About AirMedCare
Air Evac Lifeteam is a membership-supported air ambulance service that is part of the AirMedCare Network. AirMedCare is America’s largest air medical transport membership network, providing emergency access to the highest levels of care for its 1.5 million subscribers. The AirMedCare Network combines the membership programs of four leading air ambulance operators: Air Evac Lifeteam, EagleMed, REACH, and Med-Trans Corporation. For more information about memberships, visit

Vanderbilt LifeFlight Membership Drive Underway

A Lifeflight helicopter landed in downtown Paris earlier this week just prior to the county commission meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A membership drive is underway over the next several weeks to give residents of Henry County and beyond an opportunity to learn about the membership program that will be offered by Vanderbilt LifeFlight, which is basing a headquarters at Henry County Medical Center.

Air Evac, which is headquartered in Martin, also will be establishing a helicopter base in Henry County but is not yet ready to announce the location of the base or other details.

According to a press release issued by LifeFlight, it is partnered with Air Methods Corporation, which it described as “the global leader in air medical transporation.” The EC-135 helicopter will be based at the hospital in Paris.

The Vanderbilt LifeFlight helicopter has an average flight time of 35 minutes to Nashville from Henry County, and 23 minutes to Jackson, Tenn., according to the press release. The helicopter will transport a patient the appropriate tertiary care facility. 

“Air Methods is proud to serve Henry County and its neighboring communities,” David Bowman, Air Methods regional business director, said.  “Through our OmniAdvantage membership program, the residents of Henry County and surrounding counties will have the security of knowing that their family, including the individual, is covered if transported via an Air Methods’ air ambulance, at no additional transport cost.”

There are quite a number of variables that make up the cost of an air medical transport, but the single largest consideration is the cost of 24 hour availability to include salaries, aircraft, scheduled maintenance, medical equipment, insurance, facilities, training, dispatch/communications, and administrative overhead. These costs are by and large fixed in nature and a portion of which must be allocated to each flight. Each flight also consumes fuel, medical supplies, and additional parts/maintenance. Most insurance plans cover air transport.  

Memberships are honored by any Air Methods program or partner throughout the United States, including Vanderbilt LifeFlight.  

The OmniAdvantage membership plan costs $49 annually, providing coverage to the member, their spouse/partner, dependent children under the age of 26, and dependent live-in and insured adults. A special annual rate of $39 is provided to AAA members and groups of 10 or more.  

Air Methods is offering prorated OmniAdvantage membership for any current members of a competing membership program.  Due to federal regulations, Air Methods cannot honor another company’s membership plan. However, membership is not required to utilize Air Methods services, and an individual may have memberships with both companies.

Bowman added, “Our prorated offer means that if a resident already paid $65 for a competing membership program. Take, for example, there are six months left on that membership; the member would be offered an OmniAdvantage plan for $25 for six months and the member would then have two memberships for the remaining six months.”

For more information call OmniAdvantage membership services toll free number at 855-877-2518 or visit .

Here are some frequently asked questions:

When will the helicopter be operational?
The helicopter will be operational this summer, June 2015.

Where will the helicopter be located?
The new base will be on the grounds at Henry County Medical Center.

Will you only transport to Vanderbilt?
No. Vanderbilt LifeFlight operates as a community asset and will transport patients to the closest most appropriate facility.  

Do you offer a membership?
Yes. The OmniAdvantage membership plan costs $49 annually, providing coverage to the member, their spouse/partner, dependent children under the age of 26, and dependent adults that live with them and are insured. A special annual rate of $39 is provided to AAA members and groups of 10 or more.  

Air Methods will offer a prorated OmniAdvantage plan for current members of a competing membership program.  For example: A membership fee of $50 has been paid. There are six months left on that membership. The member would be offered an OmniAdvantage membership for $25 for six months. The member would have two memberships for the remaining six months.

For more information call Omni Advantage membership services toll free number at 855-877-2518 or visit .

Does the OmniAdvantage program cover Air Methods Corporation transports even if I am traveling?

Air Methods serves 48 states across the country. OmniAdvantage memberships applies anywhere that Air Methods Corporation operates, if there is a suitable aircraft and crew available to perform the transport, a physician or other qualified medical professional orders the transport and flying conditions are acceptable.   

What if I don’t have a membership? Will I still be transported?
You do not have to have a membership to utilize air medical services.  Air medical transports are emergent in nature, and we do not screen our transports in advance to ascertain whether a patient is a member. Our mission is to safely transport patients while providing excellent care, regardless of insurance status.

I have a lifetime membership with another company. Will you honor that?
Please call OmniAdvantage membership services toll free number at 855-877-2518. Business hours are 6:00am to 4:30pm PST (8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. CST)

Can I have a membership with two different companies?

McCartney Produce Begins Construction In Industrial Park

Paris, Tenn.-McCartney Produce is officially announcing the construction of a new facility in the City of Paris Industrial Park. 

With an initial investment estimated at $7.8 million, McCartney will build a new 52,000 square feet state-of-the-art distribution facility.  McCartney has a workforce of approximately 100 at its current facility in Paris that they have operated out of since 1953. There have been several expansions throughout the years.  

The new facility is expected to be operational during the 4th quarter 2015 or early 2016.  McCartney Produce distributes fresh produce and related commodities throughout the southeast within a 400 mile radius of Paris. 

 “We are excited for the opportunity to work with Paris and Henry County to expand our operations, increase our workforce, and continue to support our local community. “ according to Jeff Perkins and Joe Porter, on behalf of the owners of McCartney Produce.

Site work is currently under way for the new facility located off Culley Drive in Paris.  The facility is being constructed by ARCO National Construction Company out of St. Louis, Missouri.

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said, “We are extremely pleased that one of our great local industries has decided to expand their footprint in our community through their $7.8 million investment in their new facility in the City of Paris Industrial Park. They have been and will continue to be excellent corporate citizens for Paris and Henry County.”

McCartney Produce Company opened for business in 1947 as a small produce wholesaler delivering to independent grocers and small restaurants.  Their initial delivery area included only two states, Tennessee and Kentucky.  Today, McCartney Produce services a broad spectrum of customers that include single location independents to regional and national chain foodservice and retail customers from their distribution facility in Paris, Tennessee.

Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said, “I am excited that we could assist an established company to maintain their valuable presence in our community. McCartney Produce represents the values that are good for Paris and Henry County. We look forward to their continued growth, expansion and job creation for years to come.”

 The Paris City Commission and Henry County Commission have already approved an incentive plan of tax abatements as well as monies for infrastructure development to assist McCartney Produce in the development of their new facility in Paris. 

Grove Art Show On Display

Paris, Tenn.- E.W. Grove’s 5th annual Art Show will be on display at the school library from March 18 through April 17. 

This year’s show includes 47 entries in four categories: 3-D, paint, drawing, and multimedia.

According to Librarian Amanda Mason, parents are welcome to visit the library to view the artworks during school hours.

The students in the Artist in Training program have worked hard setting up the entire show and getting it ready for viewing. Artists in Training is an after school group of students who pursue the arts and are exposed to a variety of media through the use of guest art teachers. The group was developed and led by Mason.

Instructors in the program include Greg Chandler, Tuva Stephens, Donna Revelee, Dennis Graham, and the Henry County Wood Carvers, who have volunteered their time to teach the students throughout the school year. 

First Bank of Paris will sponsor the prize money of $300 at the awards show which is set for next week. 

Hydrant Flushing Next Week

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Board of Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants during the week of March 23.  BPU Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley said, “Our customers could possibly experience air in water lines or discoloration in the water.  Please check for discoloration of water prior to doing laundry.  If these conditions occur, run water through a faucet for several minutes.  The water should return to normal in a short amount of time.”

If problems continue, please feel free to contact Wimberley at 642-1322, ext. 149.  

Father/Son Baseball Clinic Set

Paris, Tenn.-The 2015 Patriot Baseball Father/Son Clinic will be held from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 4, at the Henry County High School Baseball Field. 

Cost is $45 ($25 for each additional son).

Forms can be printed out here:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Counce Announces Retirement As Patriots' Coach

Coach Counce with one of the Patriots' state trophies. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-An emotional James Counce announced his retirement as coach of the Henry County High School Patriots’ Football Team this morning, effective today.

Counce told WENK/WTPR that, “I love this place. I love the kids and we’ve had a lot of success. But we all come to the point in time when things just have to come to an end. I wish it didn’t. But it’s time to turn over the reins to another generation.”

Counce informed the football team and coaching staff in a tearful announcement this morning. “There were tears and everyone seemed as upset as I was. But all things must come to an end.”

Counce, who is 65, has led the Patriots to two State 5A Championships, in 2011 and 2013, and was at the helm of a very successful football program in Henry Co.

He has coached at Dyersburg and Camden school districts, also.

Counce said he will be living in Dyersburg with his wife as he retires.

He turned over the reins to his son, James Counce Jr., who is an assistant coach for the Patriots.

“As much as I love this school, love the people and the kids,” Counce said, “it’s just time.”

Masquerade Theater Presents Godspell

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Masquerade Theater will present Godspell March 20-22 and March 27-29 at the historic Capital Theater in Downtown Union City.

Friday and Saturday night performances will be at 7:30 and Sunday performances will be at 2 p.m.. Tickets are on sale online for $10 each.

Tickets will also be available to purchase before the performance at the door. This musical will be under the direction of Melanie Hollis and Allison Butner.


Benefit Concert For Reelfoot Ministries

Mayfield, Ky.-The 8th annual Music Fest, a benefit for Reelfoot Rural Ministries, will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 22 at Mayfield First United Methodist Church.

The church is at 214 8th St., Mayfield.

The event will feature “We Were There”, a cantata for Holy Week. The cantata will be performed by choirs and praise teams from Benton First UMC, Broadway UMC, Clinton First UMC, Concord UMC, Lone Oak UMC, Mayfield First UMC, Reidland UMC and Trinity (McCracken) UMCs, as well as a combined mass choir, under the direction of Patty Fejes of Paducah.

Donations will be accepted through a love offering, with ALL proceeds for Reelfoot Rural Ministries, located in Obion, a ministry of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Refreshments will follow.

Argument Over Pool Game Draws Arrest

Martin, Tenn.-A Martin man was arrested for aggravated assault after reportedly hitting another man with a pool cue during an altercation in a bar Tuesday.

Arrested was Logan Boggis, age 21. According to the police report, Boggis was in the upstairs portion of the bar Stables in Martin when an argument developed over how long a pool game was taking.

Boggis reportedly hit the other man with the pool cue and the victim was taken to Volunteer Community Hospital.

Benefit To Help Mason’s Chapel

Murray, Ky.-A benefit concert for the fired-damaged Mason’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Hazel will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 21 at Lovett Auditorium on the Murray State University campus.

Mason’s Chapel was heavily damaged in an arson fire a few months ago and the benefit will help the church renovate, repair and rebuild the church.

Fraudulent Income Tax Claim Filed

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City woman reported someone has used her personal information to file a fraudulent income tax claim in her name.

The woman reported the incident to Union City Police, explaining that she filed an income tax statement with a local company with no problem. But a couple days later, the company called her to report that someone else had already filed one in her name.

The woman said she does not know who filed it or where, but said she believes her personal information was compromised when her insurance company was hacked. She said she already reported the problem to the IRS, which told her to file a local police report.

Free Teen Movie Night Friday

Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Public Library in Paris will host free teen movie night from 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 20. The movie "Annie" will be featured.

Popcorn will be provided. Bring your own drink to the show.

Simple Possession Arrest Outside Bar

Martin, Tenn.-A Lexington, Tenn. Man was arrested on a simple possession charge outside of a bar in Martin Tuesday night.

Martin Police smelled the odor of marijuana coming from a car in which Jordan Parker, age 20, was sitting in the parking lot of the Slide and Ride bar on N. Lindell St. According to the police report, Parker admitted smoking marijuana and gave consent to search.

Officers found a bag of marijuana inside the car.

Bethel University to Host Open House This Saturday

McKenzie, Tenn.-Potential traditional undergraduate students can get a good idea of what Bethel University is all about this Saturday, March 21, by attending an Open House hosted by the Bethel University College of Arts and Sciences Office of Enrollment Services. Held on the McKenzie campus, the Open House will allow students to tour the campus and to meet with campus representatives. Additionally, students will get the chance to interact with current Bethel University students.

The tentative schedule includes registration at 8 a.m., in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment; an 8:45 welcome followed by a Wildcat Fair, campus tours and then lunch. Closing remarks will be at 12:45.

One special event for this particular Open House will be an opportunity to see Bethel's Renaissance Performing Arts Group present "Easter with Renaissance." This is an optional part of the Open House event. Tickets are free, but Open House participants and their guests must RSVP to get these tickets.

Those who wish to attend the March 21 Open House are encouraged to contact Bethel’s Office of Enrollment Services either by phone at 731-352-4030 or by e-mail at

"Easter With Renaissance" This Weekend

McKenzie, Tenn.-- Bethel University invites you to “Easter with Renaissance” this weekend, Friday March 20 at 7 p.m. and Saturday March 21 at 2 p.m. This event will feature all aspects of the Renaissance Program. Join us at the Bouldin Auditorium in the Dickey Fine Arts Building on campus for this incredible concert.

“Easter is a special time for everyone at our office,” according to Matthew Holt, Executive Director of Renaissance. “We are looking forward to this event, but are most excited about what it represents: a celebration of what God has done for us.“

Tickets are $10 for Adults and $5 for Children 12 and under. To reserve tickets at will call, contact the Renaissance Office at (731) 352-6980 or email us at Tickets are available at the Renaissance Office located at 28 Lee Avenue on the square in McKenzie, Tenn., from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Turkey Bay Area To Reopen Friday

Golden Pond, Ky.– Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area, at Land Between The Lakes, will re-open Friday, March 20, at 12 noon. Turkey Bay was closed following two major snow events in February. Soil conditions have greatly improved, allowing the area to re-open to the public.

Turkey Bay staff reminds users to “Call Before You Haul” to check current trail conditions at 270-924-2000 then follow prompts, or check online at under Alerts.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 

California Man Arrested In Bank Shooting

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Humboldt, Tenn. -- A California man is in custody, charged with federal charges of attempted bank robbery and the shooting of a bank employee in at the BancorpSouth bank in Humboldt. The victim was forced at gunpoint from her home and was shot three times and is in stable condition at a Memphis hospital.

Dominic Shawn Williams, age 39, is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and use of a firearm while committing a felony.

Federal Bureau of Investigation officials as well as officials with the Humboldt Police Department and Gibson County Sheriff’s Office appeared at a news conference this afternoon and provided a timeline of the robbery attempt and arrest.

According to FBI officials, Williams forced the victim into her car at her home and forced her to drive to the bank just before 8 a.m. today.

At gunpoint, Williams tried to force her to open the bank vault, but the victim was unable to do so. That is when he shot her three times, then shot out a window in the side of the bank and climbed out of it and into a yard.

Williams was apprehended a short time later by Humboldt Police Chief Rob Ellis after neighbors spotted him in their yards.

Williams will be tried in federal court in Jackson.

Woman Arrested For DUI After Hitting Sheriff's Car

Mayfield, KY – The Kentucky State Police arrested a Hickory woman for DUI after she drove her minivan into Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon’s cruiser in Mayfield on Tuesday.

Valda McClain, age 65, was traveling south on US 45 and failed to stop at the intersection, colliding into the sheriff’s marked cruiser. Moderate damage was caused to both vehicles and no injuries were reported.

McClain was arrested for Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol/ Drugs 1st Offense, Failure of Owner To Maintain Required Insurance 1st Offense, and License to be in Possession. McClain was lodged in the Graves County Jail. The investigation continues by Trooper Johnson Gordon.

ABC Nutrition Accused Of Unauthorized Disbursements
Disbursements Total $732,702

Camden, Tenn.-An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has revealed serious concerns related to ABC Nutrition Program, Inc. (ABC) in Camden, Tennessee. ABC is a non-profit organization that administers federal grant funds received from the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) for the Child and Adult Care Food Program on behalf of 216 daycare homes and 120 daycare centers in ...Tennessee.

Comptroller investigators found that ABC had unauthorized disbursements of $732,702.91 between October 2008 and September 2014. Of that amount, $605,978.69 was used to provide bonuses and extra pay to the managers and employees of ABC. ABC is led by Chief Executive Officer Vivian Parker, and her daughters, Director of Daycare Centers Lisa Carter, and Director of Daycare Homes Tracy Coady.

Investigators also found $27,185.56 was spent on unauthorized construction and improvements to Vivian Parker’s home. The offices for ABC are located in the basement of Parker’s home. Additional unauthorized administrative disbursements totaled $99,538.66 for fiscal year 2014. None of these expenses were approved by DHS.
On February 19, 2015 the Benton County Grand Jury indicted Vivian Parker, Lisa Carter and Tracy Coady on one count of theft of property over $250,000, and one count of theft of property over $60,000.

Comptroller investigators also raised concerns about ABC’s purchasing procedures, travel policies and management oversight. Additionally, investigators noted several of the problems resulted from a lack of oversight by DHS.

“The results of this investigation are extremely troubling,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars have been misspent by this organization over a five year period. This underscores the importance of effective program monitoring and oversight.”

To view the investigation online, go to:
If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: Follow us on twitter @TNCOT
Media contact: John Dunn, Public Information Officer, (615) 401-7755 or

Fuqua, Cisco Honored By Benton County

Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher, right, presents Deputy Wayne Fuqua and Cisco, with certificates of appreciation. Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew is at left. (HCSO photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The tracking team of Henry County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco were honoured by Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher for their help with several recent searches.

Christopher presented the pair with certificates of appreciation for their help tracking down fugitives and for helping to recover an elderly Alzheimer’s patient who had wandered off.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said Fuqua and Cisco’s work on the search for the elderly woman “possibly helped save her life. It was during the extremely cold weather we were having.”

The certificates “are Kenny Christopher’s way of saying thanks to our sheriff’s office for helping provide assistance to them.”

Belew noted Fuqua and Cisco are popular with other law enforcement agencies because Cisco, a bloodhound, does such a good job of tracking.  

Ghassemi Named Secretary of State Communications Director

Nashville, Tenn.-Adam Ghassemi has been hired as the new Director of Communications for the Office of Secretary of State. 

Ghassemi, a Memphis native, has an eleven-year career reporting for television stations throughout the United States. Most recently he worked with WTVF-TV in Nashville. 

Hewill now serve as the general media contact for any issues relating to Secretary of State Tre Hargett, and his office divisions, including Administrative Procedures, Business Services, Elections, Charitable Solicitations & Gaming as well as Publications. 

Blake Fontenay, the office’s former communications director, will assume a new role as coordinator of the Tri-Star Chronicles project. In that capacity, Blake will continue to handle traditional and social media and work on special projects for the Tennessee State Library and Archives. He will also direct a new enterprise in which the State Library and Archives will record the life stories of Tennesseans who have had significant impacts on the state’s history. These histories will be published in text and video formats on the department’s website. 

Dyersburg Railway Worker Critically Injured

Fulton, Ky.-A Canadian National Railway conductor from Dyersburg was severely injured Sunday when he was crushed by a rail car in a switching accident on the tracks in Fulton, KY.

William Moses, age 42, was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, where he remains in critical condition. 

Moses was injured in the accident which occurred around 3:30 p.m. in Fulton. Moses is married and has two children ages 15 and five. 

When the accident occurred Moses was working as a conductor for the CN Railway (Illinois Central).

HC Schools Teacher Named To State Commission

Nashville, Tenn.-A teacher in the Henry County Schools district has been hired to a state commission.

Tennessee House of Representatives Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) has appointed Lauren Nash of Cottage Grove to the State Textbook Commission. Nash has been a first grade teacher at Harrelson Elementary School in Puryear, Tennessee for the past seven years. The appointment was confirmed unanimously by the House and the Senate via a resolution.

“Lauren is in the classroom every single day shaping young minds, and has a unique perspective on what tools are necessary to ensure they are getting the very best education,” according to Speaker Harwell. “Having served in several leadership positions as an educator, she is uniquely qualified and will be an important voice on the State Textbook Commission.”

The State Textbook Commission was revamped in 2014 to include appointees from both the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor. The changes also included more public input throughout the review process. The 10 member commission recommends textbook selections to the State Board of Education, with local schools systems choosing textbooks from the state’s official list.

“I want to congratulate Lauren for being appointed to serve on the State Textbook Commission, and I’m proud that our region will have a strong representative,”  Representative Tim Wirgau (R-Buchanan) said, who carried House Joint Resolution 79 through the legislative process. This is a very important issue, and I look forward to Lauren’s input as a Henry County educator.”

Lauren Nash graduated from Henry County High School, and went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Murray State University. She received her Master’s in Special Education from Murray State in 2011, and the same year was awarded the prestigious “Teacher of the Year” award from the Henry County Educators Association.

Taste Of Zion: Good Food And A Good Cause 

Paris, Tenn.-”A Taste Of Zion 2015: A Soul Food Experience” on Sunday afternoon will feature the best in soul food from the best local cooks and also will be for a good cause.
The event will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at the Central Services building. A good will offering will be taken. All proceeds go to the family of fire victim Shanetta Phelps.
Menu includes: Baked Chicken and Dressing, Fried Chicken Neck Bones, Pig Feet, Chitterlings, Oxtails, Fried Rabbit, Rabbit Stew, BBQ Rabbit , Chicken Dumplings, Beef Brisket, Spaghetti, Baked Ham, and all the trimmings. Plus various kinds of desserts.

Horseshoes For Hope Is Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Horseshoes For Hope fundraiser, postponed a few weeks ago because of weather, will be held from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at First United Methodist Church in Paris.

For $10, you get an open-faced horseshoe sandwich, dessert and drink.

Proceeds will benefit both Hoofbeats of Hope and the REAL Hope Youth Center.

Meth Found During Traffic Stop

Murray, Ky.-Two Murray residents were arrested after meth was found in their car during a traffic stop.

Murray Police officers made a traffic stop at approximately 1:40 a.m. Tuesday on South 16th Street in Murray. Present in the vehicle were Bradley Warner, 27 and Rachael Self, 25, both of Murray. 

During the traffic stop, officers observed controlled substances in the vehicle, and detained them. Warner was charged with Resisting Arrest and Tampering with Physical Evidence. Self was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance 1st Degree (Methamphetamine), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Failure to Wear Seat Belts. Both were transported to the Calloway County Jail

Hiring Event Set Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-Hamilton-Ryker will host a hiring event from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at the Tennessee Career Center in Paris at the Central Services Building. There will be multiple industrial positions available with pay rates ranging from $8-$10 an hour based on experience.

Bring your resume, photo ID, social security card and come dressed ready to be interviewed.

Taste Of Weakley, Obion Counties Is Saturday 

Dresden, Tenn.-The 11th annual Taste of Weakley and Obion Counties will be held Saturday night, March 21, at the National Guard Armory on Highway 22  in Dresden.

The night will feature great food from local restaurants along with silent and live auctions. Tickets are $35. Proceeds benefit the Carl Perkins Center.

Alumni Game Set For Saturday Night

Troy, Tenn.-United Way of Obion County will host an alumni basketball game between Obion County and Union City Saturday night at Obion County Central in Troy. There will be both a women’s and men’s games. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for 18 and under.

Tickets available at the door the day of the event or by calling 445-2981. For more information, go to

Emergency Systems To Be Tested Today

Washington—The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with state and tribal emergency managers and state broadcasting associations, will conduct a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. The test will begin at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and will last approximately one minute.

“The goal of the test is to assess the operational readiness and effectiveness of the EAS to deliver a national emergency test message to radio, television and cable providers who broadcast lifesaving alerts and emergency information to the public,” said Damon Penn, Assistant Administrator of FEMA’s National Continuity Programs. “The only way to demonstrate the resilience of the system’s infrastructure is through comprehensive testing to ensure that members of tribes, and the residents of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, receive alerts when an emergency occurs.”

The test will be seen and heard over radio and television in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, similar to regular monthly testing of the EAS conducted by state officials and broadcasters. The test message will be nearly identical to the regular monthly tests of the EAS normally heard by public. Only the word “national” will be added to the test message: “This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test...”

The test is designed to have limited impact on the public, with only minor disruptions of radio and television programs that normally occur when broadcasters regularly test EAS in their area. Broadcasters and cable operators’ participation in the test is completely voluntary. There is no Federal Communications Commission regulatory liability for stations that choose not to participate.

In 2007, FEMA began modernizing the nation’s public alert and warning system by integrating new technologies into existing alert systems. The new system is known to broadcasters and local alerting officials as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System or IPAWS. IPAWS connects public safety officials, such as emergency managers, police and fire departments, to multiple communications channels to send alerts to warn when a disaster happens. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 

Sales Tax Increase Is Approved At Special Election

Henry County Elections Director Darrin Thompson and Technician Jerry Bailey look over equipment at tonight's election. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With an extremely low turnout, the local option sales tax increase was approved at today’s special election by a margin of 75.25 percent for and 24.75 percent against.

Voter turnout for the special election was 8.04 percent, with 854 voters turning out on election day and 960 participating in early voting. Total number of voters was 1, 814. That’s out of 20,000 eligible voters in Henry County.

The sales tax increase of one-half percent was approved in all 13 precincts in Henry County.

The final tally paralleled the early voting totals which were 74.48 percent for and 25.52 percent against.

PSSD Accepts Resignations From Two Board Members 
Klutts, Cowan Tapped As Replacements

Board President Richard Edwards, middle, presents a plaque to Kim Foster upon her resignation as Board Member Bill Jelks looks on. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Special Schools District (PSSD) board of education accepted with regreat two resignations from long-time board members and looked ahead to appointments of two new members. Board President Richard Edwards said he was ready to recommend two board appointments at the April meeting.

Resignations were accepted from Kim Foster, who will become Paris City Manager in May and Robert Sleadd, who has accepted a job in Texas. 

Foster’s resignation is effective March 21 and Sleadd’s is effective April 1. Edwards presented a plaque to Foster. Sleadd was not present at the meeting to accept his.

Edwards said the resignations were a part of the meeting he had not looked forward to. “We’re losing two great board members and both have been great for our school district.”

Sleadd was absent from the meeting and Edwards read his letter of resignation, in which Sleadd thanked all the teachers and staff of the district “for all you do for our kids”. Sleadd resigned earlier from the Paris City Commission and reportedly will resign from the county school board after graduation.

Edwards said when Sleadd ran for the other two boards “people asked me about that--would that work for a person to be on two school board and I told them if there was anybody that could make it work with no problem, it was Robert Sleadd and it has worked in every sense of the way.”

In accepting Foster’s resignation, Edwards said, “It would be great if you could keep both of your positions (as new City Manager and on the school board).” 

Foster’s letter said she “never worked with a more cohesive, single-minded group of individuals. I’ve enjoyed working every moment with you all.” Foster said she was sorry to have to resign but knew the system is in good hands.

Losing two members the same night is tough, Edwards said, noting he will be requesting appointment at the April meeting of Harry Cowan and Missy Klutts to replace them. 

Cowan was at the meeting and Edwards said, “Harry is no stranger to the PSSD. His wife worked here for 33 years.”

Klutts is the wife of Paris Patrolman Jordan Klutts and they have students in the system.

Both Cowan and Klutts “have a true interest in serving. I feel good about both of these.”

In other business, the board recognized Spelling Bee Winners Amelia Hart of Paris Elementary School and Kester Nucum of Inman Middle School.

Talking Things Over

Paris, Tenn.-Former Henry County EMS Director Mike Shankle, middle, talks things over with Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo and Henry County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins before Monday night’s 911 board meeting. Shankle was honoured by the board for a lifetime of service to the county. Shankle is recovering from a bone marrow transplant. The full story was posted Monday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Murray Juvenile Reported Missing

Murray, Ky.-The Murray Police Department is seeking information regarding a juvenile reported missing from the Murray area since the weekend. 

Harmony Owen, age 15, of Murray was last seen on Saturday, March 14, at approximately 9 p.m. in Murray. 

Owen is approximately 5’2” tall, weighs approximately 90 pounds, has blonde hair and green eyes. Owen may be in the Memphis or Paducah area. 

Foul play is not suspected at this time. Anyone with information regarding Harmony Owen’s whereabouts is asked to call the Murray Police Department at (270)753-1621.

Best Of Show At Photo Showcase

Paris, Tenn.-Michael Grace received this year’s Best Of Show honors at the annual Paris-Henry County Arts Council Photo Showcase for his photo “The Storm”. The complete list of winners was posted on Monday. (Jean Owens photo).

TVA Clearing LBL Rights Of Way 

Golden Pond, Ky. – The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) contractor clearing electrical transmission line right-of-ways in Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will be entering the Wranglers Campground area in Trigg County, Kentucky this week. 

The TVA contractor began the project in the Neville Bay area and is slowly moving north, removing overgrowth that has encroached upon the area beneath the electrical lines. When completed, approximately 75 feet from the center on each side of electrical transmission lines will be cleared to help protect the lines from falling trees. Overgrowth will be removed along approximately 31 miles of electrical transmission lines in Land Between The Lakes.
Land Between The Lakes management asks visitors to take extra safety precautions traveling roads and trails that may cross under the electrical transmission lines during this time period. If you will be camping and/or riding at Wranglers Campground, be sure to stop by the gatehouse to see if any trails cross through the work area.

For more information regarding TVA and their maintenance on power line right-of-ways, log on to their website at

Punch & Paint Offered At Discovery Park

Art instructor Marti Doss explains the mechanics of painting to two young students. (DPA photo).

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America is adding a new class to its lineup.  

Beginning Saturday, March 21st the park will be offering “Punch & Paint,” for anyone age six and up.   Chris Gunlefinger, Assistant Director of Education is responsible for developing classes for Discovery Park members and guests.  He said that the monthly Wine and Paint Class called “The Art Vine” has been extremely popular.  “Most months the wine and paint class is sold-out, which is why we decided to offer another paint class,” Gunlefinger said. “The class will be offered in the afternoon and we will serve small snacks and punch, so that younger people can attend, as well.”.

The first Punch & Paint will be held from 2:30 until 4:30 in the Life Enrichment Center at Discovery Park.  Tickets are on sale now at the ticket counter or by calling, and are limited to the first 24 people who sign up.  This class is offered to anyone age six and up.  The first picture will be entitled, “A View of the West,” and is a landscape picture.   In addition to snacks and punch, all paint and supplies will be provided, and participants can take their finished artwork home.  

The cost of the paint class is $30 for anyone with an annual membership pass to Discovery Park and $35 for non-members.  

In addition to the new monthly punch and paint class, the monthly wine and paint classes, clay classes and many animal education classes, Discovery Park has plans for helicopter rides, singer songwriter events, the second annual cardboard boat regatta, visits from PBS characters, Civil War Days, a Car & Bike show, concerts, WWII Living History weekend, a BBQ cook-off, a chili cook-off, an air show, a beer fest, a wine tasting, a special Alvin York exhibit, a Polar Express event, Santa, an expanded Christmas exhibit and a New Year’s Eve gala, to name a few.  The complete calendar of events for 2015 is now available on the website.  

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  You can see the 2015 Calendar of Events and find out more about the park by visiting the website at .  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.  

Fitness Expo and Wildcat Expo Postponed
McKenzie, Tenn. – Due to extensive inclement weather, The Bethel University Fitness Expo and Wildcat Fitness Classic, which were originally scheduled for March 27 and 28, have been postponed until further notice. Unexpected school closings from the winter storms earlier this year have made drastic changes to all organizations on campus for scheduled events. 

“This decision to postpone our events wasn’t made without careful discussions,” said club advisor Christopher Ray. “We offer our most sincere apologies, but we feel it is better at this time for our organization and for the community to postpone both events. The fitness society hopes the community will continue to support our organization as it aims to bring future quality events to the community in the months to come.” 

Any businesses that had previously contacted the Fitness Society regarding the events will be notified immediately, according to Ray. Current plans are underway for these events to take place during the 2015-2016 school year.  

For questions, please contact Christopher Ray at or at 731-352-6744. 

Cop Impersonator Arrested

Mayfield, Ky.-Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon reports that a Mayfield man was arrested at approximately 12:18 a.m. Sunday morning for impersonating a peace officer and falsely reporting an incident. 

The arrest came after Billy Grooms called Graves County Dispatch to report an incident. Grooms, 65 of Mayfield, called and said that his dog had located some drugs at Fristoe’s Grocery and that he wanted an officer at that location. A deputy was dispatched to the call. Upon his arrival, the deputy spoke with Grooms. Grooms provided the deputy with the operator’s license of another gentleman, which Grooms had detained. Grooms then said that his dog had walked around this subject’s vehicle and had smelled something, which Grooms apparently thought was illegal. 

He said he then obtained the operator’s license of the man in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and called dispatch. Mr Grooms was dressed in a jacket, shirt & hat that indicated that he was a law enforcement officer. 

The deputy then spoke with the operator of the other vehicle. He said Grooms had portrayed himself as a police officer with 40 years of experience. He said Grooms walked his dog past his vehicle & said the dog smelled something. He said Grooms then came to him and demanded his license and said he was a law enforcement officer with 40 years experience. He said Grooms then went to a white van that was parked on the lot and called someone. 

He said he noticed that Grooms had a gun in the vehicle. The story of the operator was confirmed by the two passengers he had in his vehicle. The white van that Grooms was in was lettered with the words K9 Unit Stay Back and had stars on it. Grooms claimed to be an employee of Graves County Jail. Graves County Jailer Haley denied that the subject was an employee. Mr Grooms was arrested for impersonating a peace officer & falsely reporting an incident.

Monday, March 16, 2015 

Getting A Close Look At Vanderbilt Life Flight
Air Evac To Locate Headquarters in HC, Too

A Life Flight helicopter landed at city park in downtown Paris so that county 
commissioners could take a close look before tonight's meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).
By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Commissioners got an up close and personal look at a Vanderbilt Life Flight helicopter before Monday night’s commission meeting. Life Flight will be locating a headquarters in the county, on the grounds of Henry County Medical Center (HCMC).

Personnel with Life Flight landed one of the fleet’s helicopters at the city park at the corner of Wood and Market Streets so that the commissioners could tour it and talk with staff before the meeting.

Once the meeting began, two representatives from Air Evac, which has headquarters in Martin, informed the commission that their company is planning a base in Henry County, as well.

Air Evac approached HCMC initially with the idea of locating a headquarters at the hospital, but after the hospital board heard a presentation from Life Flight, they contracted with the Vanderbilt organization.

Mark Pierce and Glynn Mooney of Air Evac said they are in the process of purchasing a location in Henry Co. “We’re in the early stages”, Pierce said.

Mooney emphasized that Air Evac will continue serving its 4,000-plus customers from Henry County even after Life Flight locates here.

With only two no votes, the commission voted to change its meeting times to 5 p.m. The commission has met at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month for several years.

Following a presentation by County Elections Director Darrin Thompson, the commission agreed to participate in a “convenient voting center” pilot program for 2016. Under the plan, voters could cast ballots at any polling place in Henry Co. that was convenient for them. 

“This applies to election days only,” Thompson said, “not early voting. They will be allowed to vote at any polling location inside the county.”

The elections commission also is looking at combining the polling places in District 5 (high school and technical school) and find a more suitable location that doesn’t have the parking limitations.

Two other counties in the state are looking at the opportunity, Thompson said, “and this will be a great opportunity for Henry County to again be leaders in the state.”

In other business:

--The commission endorsed an effort by the New Johnsonville community to keep jobs at the power plant there. County Mayor Brent Greer said the coal-fired part of the plant will be closed in 2015, which will mean a great loss of jobs, including of many people in Henry County.

“We’re joining them to encourage the TVA to look at possible gas generation out of that plant,” Greer said. “It will certainly save some, but not all, of the jobs.”

Mike Shankle Honored By 911 Board

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo reads the resolution honoring Mike Shankle, right. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Former Henry County Ambulance Service Director Mike Shankle--who is recovering following a bone marrow transplant several months ago--was honored at the Henry County 911 meeting Monday night. Shankle had not appeared at a 911 board meeting for several months.

Shankle was presented with a resolution honoring his lengthy service to Henry County. Shankle’s wife and family members were on hand for the presentation.

The resolution noted that Paris and Henry County have “benefited immeasurably” from Shankle’s guidance and expressed the “high esteem” the 911 board and program feels for Shankle.

911 Director Mark Archer said, “The 911 program wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for Mike. We’re considered one of the best 911 programs in the state and it’s because of Mike.”

An emotional Shankle thanked everyone for the honor and said, “I appreciate this so much. I always liked working with this board. We have an ideal 911 system here.

Board Chairman John Etheridge said, “You are so deserving of all the nice things said about you. Public service has been such an important part of your life.”

In other business:

--The board heard a presentation of the Smart911 program, which allows citizens to provide essential information to 911 about their homes, families, and pets such as allergies, medical information, home layout, number of people living in the home and their names, etc. Citizens can provide as much or as little information on their residences as they want.

Residents enter information online that the 911 program and dispatchers would need to know to handle emergencies for them. Information is entered once the citizens’ phones are registered into the system.

Citizens can even put photos of their pets into the system.

The information also would help with wellness checks by police since citizens can also provide information on protection orders they might have placed on ex-spouses or others, thus helping with safety of officers.

--Archer distributed a map of the new ESN 150 which covers the Henry area which includes both Henry and Carroll Counties. “This was a kind of confused area,” Archer said, “and this solves the problem.”

A meeting was held with Henry Co. Sheriff Monte Belew and Carroll Co. Sheriff on the new ESN and Archer said the new boundaries are already programmed in “and the next step is to get the frequencies into the radios and then we’ll be done.”

Record Number Participate In Big Bass Bash

Anglers set out on Day Two of the tournament. (Big Bass Bash photo).

Buchanan, Tenn.-Nearly 300 collegiate anglers--a record number--participated in the weekend’s annual Big Bass Bash at Paris Landing State Park in search of the behemoth bass of Kentucky Lake.

And one collegiate fisherman found one. Winner of the tournament was Corban Rood of Tusculum College, with a 8.58 lb. bass.

As the first Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series event of the season, the college anglers had high hopes of catching big bass despite the brutal rain and fog conditions starting off the first morning of the Big Bass Bash.

The single fish won Rood $300 in Ranger Boats Wear, a pair of Costa Sunglasses, and a $200 Gift Card to Cabela’s for the Session 2 weigh-in, along with an additional $1,000 Gift Card to Cabela’s for the overall Day One Big Bass.  

Placing second was Sam Carris of Tennessee Tech with a 7.78 pound bass and third was Mike Corbishley of East Carolina State with a 7.53 pound bass.

Others in the Top Ten were:
4. University of Wisconsin, Steven’s Point – Justin Lundborg – 6.77lbs
5. Columbia State Community College – Ben Bates – 6.60lbs
6. University of North Alabama – Ryan Darracott – 6.50lbs
7. Kansas State University – Graham Howard – 6.48lbs
8. University of Alabama Birmingham – Wesley Minor – 6.26lbs
9. University of Louisiana Monroe – Slade Daniel -6.23lbs
10. University of Evansville – Lee Knies – 5.91lbs

PSSD To Accept Two Resignations

Paris, Tenn.-When it meets on Tuesday night, the Paris Special Schools District (PSSD) board of education will be accepting resignations from two board members. 

Assistant Paris City Manager Kim Foster said she will be resigning, pending her job change to City Manager when Carl Holder retires from the position in May.

Board Member Robert Sleadd also is resigning from the board. He has moved to Texas for a job change. Sleadd already resigned from the Paris City Commission. He also is a member of the Henry County Schools board of education and will reportedly resign from that board after graduation.

The PSSD board meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the board office, instead of the usual time of 6:30 p.m.

Lifting Voices In Song

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand for the weekend’s performances of Broadway at Lee, an annual musical theatre production at the Lee Academy for the Arts. This year’s event benefited the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center and featured two performances by local musicians and vocalists. The production was directed by Peggy Williams. In photo, from left, Andrea McFarland, Bill Williams, Kim Lee, Josh Knott, Rachel Chadwick, Doug Braden and Leland Jones lift their voices in song. (Jean Owens photo).

Shots Fired At Paris Bar

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police are investigating a report of shots fired at a Paris bar early Sunday morning.

According to Chief Chuck Elizondo, a fight broke out at 218 West Wood St., involving “a lot of screaming and hollering in the business.” The fight occurred around 2 a.m.

A bullet casing and one live round were found at the business. Details of the incident are sketchy and more information may be forthcoming.

No arrests were made.

MIA Seating Secures $16M Financing For UC Facility

 Union City, Tenn. – Made in America Seating Corporation, a manufacturer of ergonomic office seating, announced it has secured nearly $16 million in financing through a loan from SunTrust Bank and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) equity from SunTrust Community Capital and National New Markets Fund. MIA Seating is part of 9to5 Seating Corp.

The deal represents a significant step towards the company’s goal of investing $39.5 million in its Union City, Tennessee operations. The funding allows for the purchase and installation of equipment and machinery, retrofitting its 100,000-square-foot building and adding 32,000 square feet of office space.  

Made in America Seating’s facility is designed as a vertically-integrated manufacturing center, utilizing state-of-the-art technology that makes domestic production more cost effective. By manufacturing in the United States, Made in America Seating will also be able to respond more quickly to customer needs and improve product quality and lead times. The company is in the process of installing equipment and has begun limited production and trial shipments. The first major shipment from the facility is expected in July 2015. 

“Union City is ideally located near 70 percent of our key markets,” said Darius Mir, CEO of Made in America Seating. “This and other factors, such as rising international transportation costs, are making it possible for us to move jobs back to the United States. The recent financing we received takes us one step closer to a full production schedule and hiring more people.”

“We are proud to work with Made in America Seating so they can open their new facility and bring well-paying manufacturing jobs to Union City,” said Eric Rosen, New Markets Tax Credit program director at SunTrust Community Capital. “The New Markets Tax Credit program is an ideal vehicle for companies like Made in America Seating that are investing in communities that stand to benefit greatly from the infusion of capital.”

Over the next five years, Made in America Seating plans to add more than 500 new jobs. In addition, by 2016 the company expects to begin construction on 200,000 square feet of additional space and install more equipment. Made in America Seating is an affiliate of 9to5 Seating, which operates three manufacturing facilities and has been a leader in the office furniture industry since 1982.
About Made in America Seating
Founded in 2013, Made in America Seating is a vertically-integrated, ergonomic office seating manufacturer. An affiliate of 9to5 Seating, Made in America Seating uses state-of-the-art technology to design high-quality, efficiently-manufactured products priced to compete with the import market. Made in America Seating’s flagship manufacturing center in Union City, Tennessee positions it close to key distribution centers of its major national retail customers. For more information, visit 

Sales Tax Election Day Is Tuesday 
Only 957 Voted During Early Voting

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County voters who have not already voted early--and that would be most of them--will have the opportunity to vote Tuesday at a special election on whether to increase the county’s local option sales tax.

During the early voting period which began February 25 and ended March 12, a measley 957 voters cast their ballots on the issue. And that’s out of 20,000 eligible voters in Henry County.

The issue on the ballot is whether to increase the county’s sales tax by one-half percent. There have been numerous presentations by Paris City Mayor Carlton Gerrell, County Mayor Brent Greer and other officials on the sales tax issue, why the money is needed, how it would be spent and the ramifications if it is not passed.

Man Steals From Tip Jar

Union City, Tenn.-A man was seen on surveillance camera taking money from the tip jar at a Union City sushi bar on Friday.

According to the police report, a heavy-set white male wearing a blue jacket and ball cap was shown on video taking the tip jar into the men’s room at Oya House at 1700 W. Reelfoot Ave. 

When he left the men’s room, he left the tip jar and took the money. There was $10 in tips in the jar.

Michael Grace Wins Best in Show At Showcase

Volunteer Jean Owens admires a photo on display at the showcase Saturday morning while photographers were setting up their works at the library. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Michael Grace was awarded Best In Show for his photograph “The Storm” in this year’s Photo Showcase sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Arts Council. Dozens of local photographers are displaying their works in the showcase, which will be on display until April 2 at the W.G. Rhea Library.

Awards were handed out to the winners at a reception Sunday at the library. This year’s winners are:

Best in Show Michael Grace The Storm 
Downtown Paris:
1st: Beverly Hicks Square Times 
2nd: Christy Casey Shoes 
Honorable Mention: DP Karen Geary MMM…Ice Cream 

1st: Michael Grace The Storm 
2nd: Wendy Leach Jane's Morning 
Honorable Mention: Jane Baars There is always a way 

1st: Jane Baars San Marcos 
2nd:  Christy Casey St. Joe Lead Mine 
Honorable Mention: Architectural Judith Putnam Hark 

1st: Dell Ezell Allegiance 
2nd: Jenny Wood Fishing Buddies 
Honorable Mention: Susan Corbin Diggin in for the win 

1st: Teresa Townley Rolling Thunder 
2nd: Vickie Miller Need for Seed 
Honorable Mention: Judith Putnam Rare Dutch Chimney Storks 

1st:  Melodie Cunningham Electric 
2nd: Susan Corbin Summer on the Rocks 
Honorable Mention: Mary Claxton Ice Flower

UTM Percussion Event At Union City

UT Martin percussion students perform during the 2014 Tennessee Soybean Festival

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin percussion studio will host a “World Bizarre” event from 7-9 p.m., March 20, at the Soleil Garden Center in Union City. The admission fee is $10 and includes dinner and a beverage.

This event is a night of entertainment from around the world, complete with food, drink and door prize drawings. Door prize tickets are $1 each.

The Soleil Garden Center is located at 2317 Nailing Drive in Union City. All proceeds benefit the UT Martin percussion studio.

For more information, contact Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music and director of percussion studies, at 731-881-7418 or by email at

Wildlife Refuge Areas To Reopen Today

Springville, Tenn.-The seasonally closed roads and bays at the Tennessee and Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge will re-open as of Monday, March 16th. These areas have been closed during winter to lessen disturbance to wintering waterfowl on both these refuges. 

This is the time when the crappie start biting and it is a great time to go fishing on the refuge. Fishermen are encouraged to obtain a fishing regulations brochure available online at or Brochures are also available at the Refuge headquarters at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville; or at Cross Creeks Refuge office at 643 Wildlife Road in Dover, at information kiosks located at both refuge offices; at the V.L. Childs Observation Deck; at the main entrance to the Duck River Bottoms area; and at the main entrance to the Busseltown Unit; or in area bait and tackle stores. This brochure has information not only about the use of the refuge, but maps of both refuges that point out the locations of boat ramps and water control structures.

For those that enjoy birding and observing wildlife, there are many opportunities available at both refuges, such as Cross Creeks and the Blue Goose Boulevard Wildlife Drive in New Johnsonville. 

Another good location to view wildlife is at the back patio of the new visitor center which offers excellent views of wildlife overlooking a gorgeous bay of Kentucky Lake. With mounted spotting scopes and staff or volunteer guides nearby, many people find this a great place to start on the refuge. The visitor center is open 8-4 Monday – Saturday and features a state of the art wildlife exhibits. Entrance to the visitor center is free. The visitor center is located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville. 

The V.L. Childs Observation Deck is located just one mile from the visitor center and is a favorite place to view wildlife anytime of the year. Many people start at the visitor center, visit the V.L. Childs Observation Deck and continue to view wildlife as they drive through the refuge towards Swayne Point. Also located near the visitor center is the 2.5 mile Britton Ford hiking trail which leads visitors through a forested area of the refuge.

On the Big Sandy Peninsula, just north of the town of Big Sandy, the Bennett’s Creek Observation Deck is fully accessible. This 120 foot boardwalk leading to a raised observation deck overlooks a bay of Kentucky Lake and two refuge impoundments. Sitting on this deck listening to the ducks chatter offers a peaceful moment that’s hard to beat. Near the deck is the 1.1 mile Chickasaw National Recreation Trail, a great trail to view a diversity of habitats, see the ruins of an old grist mill and walk through the remains of a homestead site of long ago. 

Even though a good number of the waterfowl have left us, there are still plenty coming through to experience. And as they return north, soon the summer migratory birds will come. These birds include the shorebirds and neotropical migratory songbirds such as the indigo bunting, prothonotary warbler, white-eyed vireos, orchard orioles, yellow-billed cuckoos and wood thrushes. Oh what a wonderful time to come visit the refuge!
The refuge manager invites the public to take pleasure in the refuge, but remember to obey all regulations and help make it a safe and litter-free place for all to enjoy. For more information about where to visit or refuge programs, call 731-642-2091.

Hickman Man Arrested After Stabbing

Union City, Tenn.-A Hickman, Ky., man was arrested on aggravated assault charges in Union City after he stabbed his friend during an argument.

Christopher Addy of 1701 King St., Hickman, was arrested. According to the police report, Addy, the victim and two other men were riding around Union City when they got into an argument. They stopped the car at 1203 E. Main St., got out and Addy stabbed the victim in the hand.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Breakfast For Babies Raises More Than Ever

Henry County Trustee Randi French waits on Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo and retired Paris Officer Keith Hopkins and his wife, Pat. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Breakfast For Babies fundraiser raised more money than any previous year Saturday morning with a whopping $2,400. The annual event, which features local celebrity waiters, raises money for the March of Dimes and is held at Ann and Dave’s Kitchen in the Lakeway IGA shopping center.

Bernice Holt of the Henry County March of Dimes said Saturday afternoon she was “just tickled” at the amount raised. “I've been sitting here going over the numbers and going over them again and I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Holt said this year’s turnout was especially good and said the volunteer waiters--which included many county and city officials--did good jobs that garnered big tips.
Holt has the distinction of raising more money each year for the local March of Dimes than any one.

Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson checks on his wife, Cheryl and her mother Jane Warren, and their friend Aaron Dolberry. (McFarlin photo).

Martin Woman Killed In Accident This Morning

Martin, Tenn.-A 23-year-old Martin woman was killed in a one-vehicle accident early Sunday morning.

Whitley Southerland was found unresponsive in her vehicle on Parham Rd. by the Martin Police Department around 3:30 a.m. today.

According to the press release, officers received a call that a vehicle had left the roadway on Parham Rd. and struck a tree. When officers arrived on the scene they found Southerland in the vehicle.

According to the initial investigation victim was traveling northbound on Parham Rd. in a 2007 Nissan Murano when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree.

Martin Police along with Martin Fire/EMS responded to the scene.

Investigators are attempting to reconstruct the accident and the investigation is ongoing.

LBL Offers Spring Break Programs

Golden Pond, Ky. – Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area offers a variety of family-friendly programs for all ages at Woodlands Nature Station on weekdays during most of the spring breaks in the area. 

Spring Break programs will be offered at 2 pm, March 11-April 12. Nature Station is open 10am-5pm Wednesday-Sunday, March and November and seven days, April-October. 
These programs offer families up-close encounters with animals such as snakes, turkeys, owls, and turtles. Many of the Nature Station’s weekend programs during this time period will also be geared towards families with children. 

Purchase an LBL Fun Card this spring for discounted general admissions to our day-use facilities. Fun Cards with 10 visits cost $35 and can be used at Nature Station, Homeplace, and Golden Pond Planetarium in any combination of visits. Check out the calendar of events to learn about programs happening throughout the year at Nature Station and across Land Between The Lakes. 

Quota, Library To Host Women’s Tea

Paris, Tenn.-A Professional Women’s Tea, sponsored by The Quota Club and The W. G. Rhea Public Library, will be held at the home of Quota President, Stephanie Tayloe, 902 Dunlap Street, Paris, TN, from 4-6 p.m. Friday, March 20. 

This is an opportunity to network, make new friends and open new doors.

At this week’s Quota Club meeting, members filled plastic Easter Eggs with candy and these will be sent to patients at Western State Mental Health Institute in Bolivar.

The Easter Bake Sale will be from 8am – noon on Saturday, April 4, at the Mineral Wells Branch of Commercial Bank & Trust Company. Proceeds go to the club’s scholarship fund.
Scholarship applications are due to the scholarship committee on April 8. Scholarships are available for high school seniors and also students continuing their college education. Forms are available at Moody Realty, the Counselor’s Office at Henry County High School and on the school website.

The next meeting on March 25th will be an in-house auction.
Andrea Lamb, Mineral Wells Branch Manager for Commercial Bank & Trust Co, was a guest at the meeting. Those celebrating March Quota anniversaries are: Wanda McCord – 15 years; Martha McFadden – 31 years; Martha Smith – 33 years; Beverly Wood – 36 years and Donna Winders – 3 years; for a total of 118 years of service to Quota.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Union City Falls To Memphis Mitchell At Title Game

Murfreesboro, Tenn.-The Union City Golden Tornadoes’ dream season came to an end tonight with a defeat of the state championship at the hands of Memphis Mitchell. The score was 69-39.

Union City was vying for its sixth state boys’ championship. The two teams were battling for the Class 1A title.

Union City was ranked at the top of the AP Top 10 all season, while Memphis Mitchell was ranked No. 2 all season.

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Paris, Tenn.-Paris City Manager Carl Holder (in red) and City Building Inspector Mike Brown watch as the Wallin building on West Wood St. was demolished Saturday morning. The building was used for years as storage for the separate Wallin Hardware building and had been in a state of disrepair for years when the back end collapsed last week. A private contractor performed the delicate work of bringing down the building without damaging adjoining structures. City workers are clearing the bricks and rubbish from the site, which will be used as a parking lot for the foreseeable future. Bottom photo, a large cloud of dust erupts as the back end of the structure was brought down. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Down On The (Roach) Farm

Union City, Tenn.-How many knew that once upon a time, there was a roach farm in Union City? In the photo, Oscar Beckham tends to his roach farm at 509 N. First St., in 1939. (West Tennessee Historical Society photo).

West Tennessee Special Olympics Set

Martin, Tenn. – The Unity 5K and 1K Fun Run is an event that is hosted by Special Olympics Upper West Tennessee to be held in Martin, Tenn. on March 21. This race is an opportunity to bring the community together and knock down barriers and to give the opportunity to bring awareness to the campaign “Spread the Word to End the Word.”

Individuals with and without disabilities will be participating in the Unity 5K together for a common goal. The “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign brings awareness to the hurtful use of derogatory language and the hurt it causes. The campaign asks people to pledge to stop using the word “retard(ed)” as a slur. The use of the “r” word is offensive and hurtful, according to organizers.

The Unity 5K will help raise awareness of the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign and encourage participants to treat everyone, all the time, with respect. Visit to learn more and to take the pledge to stop using the “r” word.

There is a $20 registration fee and those who want to participate can register online at Just click on the Unity 5K link in the upper right hand corner. Registration forms can also be picked up from The Sidelines in Martin, Tenn. The proceeds from this event will provide support for Special Olympics of Upper West Tennessee that includes Weakley, Obion, Lake, and Henry counties. 

The mission of Area 7 Special Olympics Tennessee is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The experience gives participants continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Full participation is granted to every athlete regardless of his or her economic circumstances.  

Two Arrested For Meth Possession In Huntingdon

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Christopher D. Smith, age 35, and Tonya K. Swafford, age 32, both of Huntingdon, were arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of of Possession of a Schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine and hydrocodone) with the Intent to Deliver or Sell.

Both were also charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Smith and Swafford are being held in the Carroll County Jail with bond set at $100,000 and $75,000 respectively. 

The arrests were made after a drug investigation by Huntingdon Investigator Joey Hedge in which it was determined that drugs were being sold out of the residence occupied by Smith and Swafford. 

A search warrant for the residence, which is located at 10320 Lexington St. in Huntingdon, was obtained by Investigator Hedge and executed on the referenced date by Officers of the Huntingdon Police Department and the Carroll County Sheriff's Dept along with the Sheriffs Dept. K-9. 

Approximately 32 grams of methamphetamine, hydrocodone pills, drug paraphernalia and $1815.00 in cash were seized in the course of executing the warrant.

KSP Arrests Murray Man For Trafficking

Murray, Ky.– Kentucky State Police arrested Magdi N. Mandil, 28 of Murray, on Thursday after receiving a tip that Mandil was trafficking in illegal drugs from his residence. 

After a two week investigation, KSP charged Mandil with Possession of a Controlled Substance 1st Degree, 1st Offense (methamphetamine), Trafficking in Marijuana 1st Offense (less than 8 ounces), Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd Degree (anabolic steroid), Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd Degree (drug unspecified), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Mandil was lodged in the Calloway County Jail.

The Kentucky State Police was assisted by the Murray Police Department and Calloway County Sheriff’s Department. The Investigation continues by Trooper Eric West. 

Registration For West Tenn. Small Business Conference

Martin, Tenn. – The West Tennessee Small Business Conference, originally scheduled for Feb. 19, will now be held from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., March 24, at the First United Methodist Church in Jackson. The conference fee is $75 per person. If five or more representatives from the same business attend, the cost is $65 per person. Registration fees include continental breakfast, lunch and all seminar materials. 

The conference theme is “Growing Your Business in Small Town America”. Michael Angelo Caruso, communications consultant, is this year’s keynote speaker.
Caruso is a professional speaker and communications consultant to companies and organizations all over the world. More information can be found at 

The complete conference schedule is as follows:
· 7:30 a.m. – Registration and breakfast (sponsored by Chick-fil-a)
· 8 – Welcome from Chancellor Tom Rakes, UT Martin; Mayor Jerry Gist, city of Jackson; Mayor Jimmy Harris, Madison County
· 8:15 – Keynote speaker: Caruso, “Effective Leadership – Getting People to do Stuff”
· 9:05-9:45 – Concurrent sessions: “Show Me the Money: Business Plans/Strategic Planning” by Austin Baker, founder and CEO, HRO Partners, Memphis; “Survival vs. The Giants: The 3 R’s – Recruit, Revive and Retain” by Grant Edwards and John Francisco, owners/operators, Chick-fil-a
· 9:45-10 – Break (booth time)
· 10:05-10:45 – Concurrent sessions: “Networking and Marketing (including social media)” by Angela Wallace, director of marketing, YMCA, Memphis and mid-south; “How do we Measure Success?” by John Francisco, owner/operator, Chick-fil-a
· 10:45-11:30 – Concurrent sessions: “Be a Winner: Learn how to Negotiate” by Caruso; “Managing Generational Differences,” a panel discussion led by Cary Vaughn, Love Worth Finding Ministries, panel moderator
· 11:30 – Booth time and networking
· 11:50 – Lunch (sponsored and catered by Chick-fil-a); Luncheon speaker: Ernest Gibson, executive, Chick-fil-a
· 1 p.m. – Optional activity

Advance registration is required by March 19. Participants may register online at, by fax to 731-881-7019, by email to Virginia Grimes, WestStar program coordinator, at, or by mail to WestStar, UT Martin, 321 Administration Building, Martin, TN, 38238. Checks should be made payable to WestStar. Please include the name, business name, complete address and phone number of all persons for whom you are registering.

The First United Methodist Church is located at 200 S. Church Street in Jackson.
For more information, visit the website above or contact Grimes at 731-881-7298.

Friday, March 13, 2015 

Golden Tornadoes Play At State Saturday

Murfreesboro, Tenn.-The Union City Golden Tornadoes will be playing for the state 1A basketball championship at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The Golden Tornadoes will be playing Memphis Mitchell.

The game can be seen online at EPlusTV6 out of Jackson.

The Golden Tornadoes beat Loretto Friday 55-40 in the semi-finals.

Unemployment Increases In All 95 Counties

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-The state of Tennessee’s latest unemployment statistics show a grim picture, with unemployment increasing in all 95 counties in January.

Carroll County, with an umployment rate of 11.3 percent, is still on the state’s top ten unemployment list. Carroll County is ranked 91st. The county’s unemployment rate increased considerably, with its rate in December at 9.7 percent.

Henry County’s unemployment also rose considerably, from 7.8 percent in December to 9.3 percent in January. 

Other counties in our area showed increases of one percentage point. In Obion County, unemployment was at 10.3 percent in January, an increase from 9.3 percent; Benton County was 10 percent in January, up from 9 percent; Stewart Co. was at 9.9 percent in January, up from 8.4 percent; Weakley Co. 8.5 percent, up from 7.4 percent and Gibson County, 9.3 percent, up from 8.4 percent.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in January at 5.4 percent, up from 4.7 percent in December.  

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for January was 6.7 percent, one-tenth of one percentage point higher than the December revised rate of 6.6 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for January was 5.7 percent, also rising one-tenth of one percentage point from the prior month.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

Tickets On Sale For Atlanta Pops

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale now for the performance of the Atlanta Pops Orchestra at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21. 

The program is “Pops and Songs of the South” and it will feature classic Pops tunes by Cole Porter, Andrew Lloyd Weber and Johnny Mercer and a musical journey through the South with popular melodies and songs from Tennessee and the Deep South to the Bayou.

The Pops Orchestra is celebrating its 70th anniversary and is the premier provider of live popular orchestra music programming for the state of Georgia.

Tickets are $25 each and are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, 731-986-2100 and online at Dixie

St. Patricks’ Day Luncheon Is Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon will be held Tuesday, March 17, at First Christian Church, 101 S. Poplar St. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and includes the Irish baked potato bar, Shamrock garden salad and Leprechaun desserts. 

Cost is $10, dine in or carry out. Proceeds benefit local missions.

City Of Martin St. Patrick's Parade Is Tuesday

 Martin, Tenn.-The city of Martin will hold its 4th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 downtown. Organizers are inviting everyone to join the fun-filled family event.

There is no entry fee to participate. To find out more, call 731431-8156.

Tickets On Sale For “Dancin’ And Desserts”

Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale now for the “Dancin’ and Desserts” fundraiser March 21 for the Henry County High School Marching Patriots. 

The event will feature delicious treats, great music and dancing and performances by The Chill Tonics, HCHS Jazz Ensemble, Paris-Henry County Middle School Jazz Ensemble, and Martin Paschall.

Tickets are available at Beasley Antenna, Boutique Marimac, and W. G. Rhea Public Library: $12 at the door, $10 in advance

Tables of eight can be reserved by calling Susie at 731-707-8534. Seating is limited.

Storm Spotter Class

Union City, Tenn.-The National Weather Service will hold a storm spotter training class at the Obion County Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at the Obion County Public Library.

The class will last two hours and features slides, videos and a quiz. It is completely free of charge and all class materials are provided. To find out more, call the library at 885-7000.

Thursday, March 12, 2015  

School Board Learns All About HCHS

Blair Chadwick directs The Madrigals at the outset of the school board meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photos)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting for its monthly meeting at Henry County High School, the Henry County Schools board of education learned about all that Henry County High School has to offer, with presentations from the Student Council and Lisa Fitzsimmons, who is one of the directors of the Patriot XL program that has started this year. Amanda Mason is the Patriot XL director at Grove School.

Funded by a grant, Patriot XL is Henry County’s 21st C Community Learning Center. It provides extra learning opportunities before and after school for students in a variety of areas, including tutoring, study sessions at the library with internet access, homework help, research, group projects, study groups, and ACT prep.

Special activities include Patriot Deputy Dog with which the schools partner with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office animal shelter, sign language, art lessons, Patriot Pinterest, tap dance, orchestra, mad scientist, guitar lessons, outdoor education, fitness, artist in training.

Teacher Suzan Wolski said the aim of Deputy Dogs is to promote adoptions of dogs at the animal shelter by socializing the dogs so they are more adoptable. The program also conducts fundraisers to promote donations to the shelter.

At the presentation was Deputy John McElroy and Rebel. McElroy has been instrumental in Deputy Dogs also.

The grant is for three years and Fitzsimmons said, “There’s something for everyone” in the program.

Members of Student Council also spoke about extracurricular activities offered at the high school and the dual credit opportunities available through the University of Tennessee at Martin and Austin Peay.

Board members were entertained by The Madrigals and the high school improv group “Unscripted”. Snacks were prepared by students from the high school.

In other business:

--The board approved first reading of a student records policy that will incorporate all the district policies involving student records. Dr. Brian Norton said the new policy is at the behest of the Tennessee Department of Education.

--The board presented a certificate to the Family Resource Center, which was recognized by the Paris-Henry Co. Chamber of Commerce as a Volunteer Site of the month.

Deputy John McElroy and Rebel with Teacher Suzan Wolski talk about the Deputy Dogs program.

Sheriff Belew Helps Grove Celebrate PI Day With Pie In Face

Sheriff Belew got a pie in the face--and more. (Kristen Robbins photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Yes, that’s Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew helping the students at Grove School celebrate PI Day--with a pie in the face. And down the front of his the process.

National PI Day is Saturday, but the students at Grove celebrated a little early, on Thursday.

According to Kristen Robbins, “Our students entered their names into a drawing to be able to "PI" their math teachers. Each of our six math teachers got a pie in the face by one of their students.”

Students also were able to purchase tickets for a drawing to be able to “PI” both Belew and Principal Sam Tharpe, Robbins said. That money will be donated to Plus Endowment.


Wallin Property To Be Demolished Saturday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Wallin Building on West Wood Street in Paris will be demolished on Saturday and Paris City officials are asking the public to avoid the area.

As WENK/WTPR reported last week, the back end of the Wallin property collapsed and the city has blocked off the alleys behind the building for public safety.

The building was owned by the late E.C. Wallin and was used by him to store merchandise for Wallin Hardware on the court square in Paris. After Wallin died last year, the property was tied up in estate issues and has several liens against it.

Assistant Paris City Manager Kim Foster said Thursday morning that the city will be demolishing the property on Saturday and will be blocking off at least one lane of traffic. “We’d like to caution the public to avoid that area as much as possible while the work is taking place,” she said.

Goodwill Drive Conducted In FirstBank Branches

Jackson, Tenn. — Sixteen FirstBank branches around middle and west Tennessee are conducting a donation drive for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee to benefit its mission of providing employment and training opportunities for people struggling to find a job.

The drive will last throughout the month of March. Bank employees, customers and the community are encouraged to participate by bringing their donations of gently used clothing, shoes, housewares and other goods into the bank, where clearly marked bins will be set up to receive them.

“FirstBank is very involved in our communities and always take the opportunity to give back when we can,” said Jordan Waldron, FirstBank’s vice president of marketing and public relations, explaining why the bank chose to hold a Goodwill donation drive. “Our goal is to fill as many bins as we can. We know that every little bit helps and makes a difference.”

Participating branches in West Tennessee include:
126 Highway 641 North and 21 N. Forest Ave. in Camden
28915 Broad St. in Hollow Rock
15 University Parkway in Jackson
450 Tennessee Ave. South in Parsons

More information about the FirstBank Goodwill drive can be obtained by contacting Jordan Waldron, FirstBank’s vice president of marketing and public relations, at (615) 248-9761 or More information about Goodwill corporate donation drives is available at Companies can set up a drive by calling (800) 545-9231.   

Farmers Bank Merges With Foundation Bank  

McKenzie, Tenn.-The Farmers Bank of Woodland will merge with Foundation Bank, a division of McKenzie Banking Co. Foundation Bank has offices in McKenzie, Paris, Paris Landing, Jackson and Obion.

Chad P. Wilson is president of McKenzie Banking Co./Foundation Bank and is featured on WENK/WTPR with financial advice every other week.

The Farmers Bank of Woodland has served the Woodland Mills area of Obion Co. for 105 years.

UC To Play In State Championship Today

Mufreesboro, Tenn.-The Union City Golden Tornadoes are in Murfreesboro for the boy’s state high school basketball tournament today.

They meet Hampton this morning at 11:30 a.m. in the quarterfinals of the Class IA tournament.

UC fans will remember Hampton defeated Union City in the state championship game in 1960 when basketball was not classified.

Hampton is in Carter Co. in East Tennessee near Elizabethon. The Golden Tornadoes have won five state championships in boys basketball in recent years.

Martin Man Arrested After Crashing Into Pole

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-A Martin man was charged with several offenses after his pickup truck struck a utility pole and he left the scene of the accident.

Arrested was Jeremiah Bond, age 25. He was charged with DUI first offense, vandalism, striking fixtures on a highway, violation of implied consent and no insurance.

The passenger in his vehicle, Ibrahem Aladal, was injured and was transported by private vehicle to Volunteer Community Hospital.

Martin Police Patrolman Kenny Workman and Sgt. John Miller were called to Oakland St. Wednesday night on a report that a pickup truck had struck a pole and fled the scene. They found the truck in a nearby parking lot and found the front end heavily damaged, windshield busted and blood all over the windshield and passenger seat.

After speaking to witnesses, it was confirmed who the driver and passenger were and officers found both. The passenger was suffering from lacerations on his forehead but refused treatment at the scene and was taken to the hospital by private vehicle.

Officers found Bond unsteady on his feet, smelling of alcohol and unable to speak. He refused to submit to a blood test or take sobriety tests. Upon a warrant signed by Judge Tommy Moore, a blood sample was taken and sent to the TBI lab.

According to the police report, damage to the pole was $2500, while the accident also caused damage to city signs and mailboxes.

TDOT Launches Pothole Repair Plan

Nashville, Tenn. – A series of brutal winter storms followed by heavy rainfall amounts have created an abundance of potholes along Tennessee’s interstates and state highways. With warmer temperatures in the forecast over the coming days, TDOT is launching a massive effort using all available manpower to repair the damaged areas as quickly as possible.

Multiple 5-6 man crews in each of TDOT’s four regions will be patching potholes over the coming days and weeks. Cold mix asphalt is currently being used for repairs. As weather allows, these crews will be making every attempt to use hot mix asphalt which results in a more permanent repair. Full scale paving will be necessary in many locations. Some crews will be assigned to interstates while others will focus on state routes.  

Please note – inclement weather, emergency repairs or incidents may disrupt daily schedules. TDOT does not count potholes, keep a tally of how many potholes have been repaired or the cost of repairs per pothole. These repairs are part of normal highway maintenance operations. 

For the next few weeks, daily pothole patching schedules for each region will be posted at

Motorists should be prepared for short term traffic delays during these repair operations. While every effort will be made to perform repairs during off-peak travel times (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. weekdays), some lane closures may extend into the late afternoon, evening, and weekends. We ask drivers to be patient and to watch out for TDOT crews on interstates and state highways.

Motorists can alert TDOT to potholes via email at or by phone at 1-877-SmartWay. 

Obion County Schools Special Meet

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Schools board of education will hold a special meeting at 7 a.m. Friday at the board office.

Agenda items are making up snow days and making up time lost for support staff due to the recent inclement weather.

The meeting is open to the public.

Stewart Co. Granted Waiver on Make-Up Days

Dover, Tenn.-Stewart County Schools has been granted a request to waive 3 instructional days by the Commissioner of Education, Candice McQueen. Students will need to make up one day on Friday, March 20. Students will have a full week of Spring Break beginning March 30 and will go through Friday, April 3.

Henry County Dems To Meet 

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Democratic Women will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at Paris City Hall. Glenda Carter, West TN Vice President for the Tennessee Federation of Women will be the speaker.
A meeting of the county democratic party will follow at 7 p.m.

Rhea Library To Offer Computer Class

Paris, Tenn.-The W. G. Rhea Public Library in Paris will hold a computer class on Microsoft Office Basics from 5-7 p.m. March 18 at the library. Only seven places available . Must call 642-1702 to reserve a place.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 

Obion Co. Jail Inmate Dies

Union City, Tenn.-A female inmate being housed at the Obion County Jail died Tuesday night.

According to Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder, the woman was 60-years-old and was a federal inmate from Brownsville. Vastbinder said she was being held for other authorities and had been at the local jail since February 25.

The inmate was reportedly fine around 9:25 p.m. when jailers checked on her, but was discovered unconscious a short time later, he said.

She was transported first to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City and County Medical Examiner Dr. Kirk Stone ruled the cause of death as “natural causes”. She has since been transported to Memphis and the county is awaiting official verification of cause of death from the State Medical Examiner’s Office.

The inmate had been arrested on charges of prescription abuse and had a history of medical problems, according to the sheriff.

Willis Announces Retirement From NFL

Patrick Willis announces his retirement at news
conference. (Photo courtesy of Mark Purdy, San Jose 
Mercury News)

San Francisco, Calif.-Patrick Willis, linebacker with the San Francisco 49ers, announced his retirement from the NFL Tuesday at the age of 30. Willis is from Bruceton, Tenn.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon that was aired on national television, Willis said continued injuries have kept him from playing at the elite level he has demanded of himself.

Willis retires from professional football after eight seasons with the 49ers that saw him reach seven Pro Bowls. 

At the press conference, Willis said, “You’ve seen me break my hand on Sunday, have surgery on Monday and play on Thursday with a cast on,” Willis said. “But there’s something about these feet. And those are what made me who I am. They had you all saying, ‘Wow, where’d he come from?’
“I know I no longer have it in these feet to go out there and give you guys that kind of ‘Wow.’”

Willis returns to Bruceton each year to organize football camps for youngsters.

Obion County Joins Lawsuit Against UC

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Commission voted Monday to join the lawsuit that the Obion County Schools board of education filed against the city of Union City over some $250,000 in local liquor taxes that the county claims the city owes its school system.

The city of Union City has maintained that since it owns its own school system, not a special school district, that it doesn’t owe the money to the county.

The vote to join the lawsuit was 15 to 5 with most of the commissioners who live in Union City voting against the motion. Commissioner Allen Nohsey, who served as Union City City Judge, actually seconded the motion to sue the city.

Commissioners Richard Arnold, Jim Bondurant, Norma Fowler, Dwayne Hensley and Sam Sinclair voted against the resolution to sue the city.

Tennessee's "Freedom Summer" On Display At UTM 

Jerry Surette (right), campaign participant, discusses voter registration policies with a family on their porch (June 1964, digital print).

Martin, Tenn. – A photographic exhibit titled “The Other Freedom Summer: An Exhibit of Nick Lawrence’s Images of Fayette County, Tennessee, Voter Registration Drive, June-August 1964” is on display at the University of Tennessee at Martin’s J. Houston Gordon Museum, housed within the Paul Meek Library, through May 31.

The 1964 Mississippi Summer Project, also known as the Freedom Summer, is well-known in historical contexts. However, another voter registration campaign was held that same year in Fayette County. This photographic exhibit chronicles that event, when dozens of students from Cornell University traveled through Fayette County to encourage minority adults to register to vote in the upcoming election. That year, more than 68 percent of Fayette County’s population was black, but this majority accounted for less than seven percent of registered voters. 

One of the participants was recent college graduate Nick Lawrence, a photographer from Cornell University. Lawrence documented the lives and daily routines of the citizens he encountered. Thirty-five of his images are included in the exhibit, documenting the hard-working rural poor and their resolve to advance their right to vote. 

For more information, contact Samuel Richardson, chief archivist and museum curator, or Karen Elmore, senior library assistant of special collections, at 731-881-7094 or online at

CG Approves New City Hall Location, Vice Mayor

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-The Cottage Grove City Council Tuesday signed a lease agreement to temporarily house city hall in a classroom at the Cottage Grove School and appointed Matthew McClure as vice mayor.

Councilman David Jackson presented the lease agreement for the temporary city hall office to be moved into the Cottage Grove School. A motion was made by Matthew McClure and seconded by John Weiher to accept the lease agreement. Moving arrangements will be made at a later date.

Melinda Thatcher was appointed Mayor last month after the resignation of Mayor Mike Waddey, who moved out of the area. McClure was appointed as vice mayor last night.

Council voted to send delinquent tax letters to property owners.  

Thatcher appointed  Jackson, John Weiher, Treasurer Carolyn Kaminski and herself to the 2015/2016 Financial Budget committee.

LBL Board Members Needed

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area seeks new members to fill vacancies on the Land Between The Lakes Advisory Board. Individuals interested in being appointed to this Board need to submit a resume, and include a cover letter that addresses their qualifications for providing advice on environmental education efforts at Land Between The Lakes and their willingness to help promote public participation in the planning processes for land and resource management. A background check will be conducted.

For more information and to obtain required forms, interested individuals can contact Linda Taylor by phone at 270-924-2002, email at, or by postal mail at Land Between The Lakes, 100 Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, KY 42211. Forms are also available online at Cover letter, resume, and completed AD-755 form must be received by Thursday, March 19, 2015. Details may be found in the official letter.

The Land Between The Lakes Advisory Board functions solely as an advisory body in compliance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. As prescribed in the Land Between The Lakes Protection Act of 1998 (section 501), the Advisory Board is comprised of 17 members. Members advise the National Recreation Area on environmental education efforts and promoting public participation in the planning processes for land and resource management.

Large Scale Meth Operation Interrupted 

McCracken County, Ky.-A multi-agency investigation involving the Kentucky State Police, McCracken County Sheriff’s department, Marshall County Sheriff’s department and ATF has lead to the disruption of a large scale methamphetamine operation in McCracken County. After several days of covert investigation, a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle near Exit 11 in McCracken County. During a probable cause search of the vehicle, approximately 1.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine was located along with a loaded 9 MM semi-automatic handgun. 

The investigation revealed that the drugs and handgun belonged to 49-year-old Cary Moss of Marshall County, a passenger in the vehicle. Moss was taken into custody and charged with 2 counts of trafficking in methamphetamine more than 2 grams 1st offense, convicted felon in possession of a handgun and carrying a concealed deadly weapon. He was lodged in the McCracken County jail and the investigation is ongoing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 

City Ramifications Of Sales Tax Issue Presented
Sleadd Resignation Announced

Bobby Travallian, standing, presented a petition against rezoning property on Hillcrest Dr. to the commission. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Paris City Commission City Manager Carl Holder reviewed the impact that both passage and failure of the local option sales tax would have on the city of Paris.

Mayor Carlton Gerrell also announced that newly-elected Commissioner Robert Sleadd and his family are moving to Texas and Sleadd is resigning from his position. Sleadd also is a member of the Paris Special Schools District board and the Henry County Schools board and is expected to resign those positions, too.

Gerrell said he was sorry to see Sleadd resign and noted,  “Their gain is our loss.” Gerrell said the commissioners will be seeking to appoint someone to the position.

Early voting is underway for the sales tax and will continue through March 12. Election day is March 17. 

Holder said passage of the sales tax would allow the city to rebuild its fund balance, replace and purchase needed equipment in public works and public safety, finance city infrastructure projects, such as sidewalk repair and installation of new street lights, improved drainage, and finance improvements to city parks, construction of an addition to the animal shelter ($20,000) and city hall renovations ($400,000). 

Passage also would allow greater potential for regular revenue growth, Holder said:

FY 16 $675,000 (4% growth rate)
FY 17 $690,000 (2.5% growth rate)
FY 18 $710,000 (2.5% growth rate)
FY 19 $725,000 (2.5% growth rate)
FY 20 $745,000 (2.5% growth rate)

Failure of the tax, he said, would require the city to consider several actions, such as cutting personnel and benefits, including vacation leave, longevity bonuses, deductibles, limiting travel and sick leave. Holder said the city also would be required to review its policies on mutual aid in the fire and police departments. 

Personnel cuts would involve reducing staff by five full-time employees, he said.

The end result of all of that would be a reduction in staff morale, Holder said, and a negative impact in other areas.

“Budget reductions to this point have required us to maintain a basic level of operations not allowing for the City to stay current with many improvements in service capacity unless mandated by the State,” Holder said. “We have deferred maintenance and basic infrastructure improvements to the point of being counterproductive.”

The proposed reductions, Holder said, will incrementally lower the capabilities of emergency services by personnel reductions.  The potential lack of participation in the SRO Program would prove very unpopular.

“Personnel reductions in Parks and Civic Center will be unpopular and self-defeating,“ Holder said. “Benefit reductions will have a demoralizing effect on a good work force already underpaid, even by rural West Tennessee standards.”

Restricting travel and education to mandatory only, will severely limit educational opportunities for employees to stay current in their fields, he said.

“In summary,” Holder said, “elimination of positions, loss of benefits, will demoralize the work force as well as incrementally impact operational effectiveness. Cutting back on popular service areas or citizen perceived needs will have a detrimental impact on supportive citizens who value the levels of service provided by the City.”

In other business:

--City Commission approved a recommendation from the planning commission to reject a rezoning request from Dan Hassell for property at East Wood St. and Hillcrest Drive. He requested the property be rezoned from residential to commercial, resulting in the appearance of a large crowd opposing that action at last month’s planning commission meeting.

--The commission approved a certificate of compliance for Marty Lewis to renew his license for Loft Wines and Spirits located at 2315 East Wood Street, Paris, Tenn.

--Downtown Paris Association representatives Kathy Ray, Gaines Hedges and Charles Hopkins presented Holder with a gift of a clock to commemorate his upcoming retirement.

Plans Still Underway To Demolish Wallin Property

The area around the collapse is blocked off to the public. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-As WENK/WTPR reported last week, the back of the Wallin Building on W. Wood St. has collapsed and Paris City Manager Carl Holder announced at Tuesday’s commission meeting that the Wallin family is willing “to quick claim it to us.” 

The building was owned by the late E.C. Wallin and was used for storage for the Wallin Hardware business on the court square. 

Plans are to demolish the property “and maybe turn into parking for downtown use,” Holder said.

City Attorney Fred McLean reminded the commission that there are both state and IRS liens on property “so that limits our ability to get property. We need a written contract before we can begin taking the building down.”

The city has blocked off the property to the public.

Foster Optimistic About Retail Sales

Paris, Tenn.-At Tuesday’s Paris City Commission meeting, City Finance Director Kim Foster said, “We finished calendar year 2014 4.37% ahead of 2013 retail sales.  We also finished 2.34% ahead of 2012, and have now recorded 13 straight months of positive growth.  I am optimistic about our retail sales, but as we begin a new calendar year, don’t forget we will be comparing 2014 against a strong year.”

“Revenues continue to lag behind expenditures in the General Fund.  This especially concerns me since we are in Property Tax “season” and should be making up some of our previous shortfall.  Liquor taxes continue to slip.  Fiscal year to date liquor taxes are 9.5% behind the same time frame in the previous fiscal year.  They are down 24.15% as compared to the same time frame two years ago.”

“On a side note, we will be purchasing salt to replace part of what we have used in the past week.  We were able to get it on the State contract price which is good, but unfortunately we have very little money left in our budget for salt.  Additionally, the weather has caused considerable wear to our streets and pothole patching will be another strain to our budget.”

Big Bass Bash Is This Weekend
265 To Participate

Buchanan, Tenn.-Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash will return to Kentucky Lake March 13th-15th.  As the final day to register for the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley came to a close, record registration numbers were announced. 

Over 265 college anglers are spending their spring break at the event and are traveling from states as far away as Colorado, Michigan, and a total of twenty four states across the nation.

  “It’s exciting to come back to Kentucky Lake and Paris, TN for the Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley,” according to Wade Middleton, the Association of Collegiate Anglers Director and President of CarecoTV.  “This year’s event will be the largest that we’ve ever had in our history  here.  We have collegiate anglers from over twenty-four states choosing to come to Kentucky Lake and Paris, TN during their spring break and go fishing while representing their school’s bass fishing team.”

The event will be held at Paris Landing Marina at Kentucky Lake. The two day tournament will consist of eight hourly weigh-ins and will be giving away over $20,000 in prizes. We look forward to seeing all college anglers at the event, ready to compete and brave the elements.

Last year local universities Bethel and Murray State brought home two of the top three spots and are anxious to compete again. Prizes will be awarded to the ten heaviest bass weighed during each of the eight weigh-in sessions, the overall heaviest bass for each day and overall heaviest bass for the tournament. The tournament will be televised on NBC Sports Network, Pursuit Channel, World Fishing Network, and other regional networks.

 “We are excited to continue to host the Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash event out of Paris Landing on Kentucky Lake,” Henry CountyAlliance CEO David Hamilton said.“This event draws anglers from many colleges and universities and provides an opportunity for these young anglers to experience fishing on one of the nation’s top lakes for bass fishing,” Hamilton added.

Partial funding of the Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley was provided by the Henry County Tourism Authority.

For more information about the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, please visit and on Facebook at

Kayak Tourney At Kentucky Lake This Weekend

Buchanan, Tenn.-Anglers from across the United States will be gathering on Kentucky Lake this weekend as part of both the Big Bass Bash for Collegiate Angler and the 2015 Kayak Bass Fishing Open Series. 

The two day tournament will be held Friday and Saturday and allow fishermen to submit their top two fish from day one and their top three fish from day two.  The overall top five fish will be crowned the champion.

 “I couldn’t be more excited about hosting the Kayak Bass Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake,” Tournament Organizer Chad Hoover said.  “When we looked for an ideal place to host the biggest kayak bass fishing tournament in the country and the Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship for 2016, Kentucky Lake was the clear choice.”

Kayaks give anglers unique access to areas that many other anglers, both powerboat as well as bank-walkers, rarely fish. KBF has declared that all publicly accessible waters within a 50-mile radius of Paris Landing State Park are eligible to be fished in for this tournament.  

As of March 7th 148 anglers had registered and numbers are expected to continue to grow. These anglers will compete for over $7,000 for 1st Place and $14,000 in Manufacturers' Money with $2,500 Big Bass Pot, a Wilderness Systems ATAK Prize package and a trip to Ray Scott's Trophy Bass Retreats up for grabs.

 “This is the first Kayak bass tournament we have hosted on Kentucky Lake and we look forward to having these Kayak anglers visit our area,” according to David Hamilton, CEO of the Henry County Alliance.  “The kayak event isn’t your normal fishing tournament, but it is one of the fastest growing fishing tournaments across the U.S.,” Hamilton added.

  Partial funding of the Kayak Bass Fishing Open Series was provided by the Henry County Tourism Authority.

  For additional information on Kayak Bass Fishing, visit or for more information on this weekend’s event.

Exotic Animals At Discovery Park 

Union City, Tenn.-   It’s not every day that you can see a Pot-Bellied pig, a Burmese python or a Cane toad.  But if you head to Discovery Park of America on March 14th or March 21st the opportunity will be all yours.  

The Natural History Educational Company of the Midsouth (NHECM) is presenting “Exotic & Invasive,” a class focused on the impact exotic (non-native) animals have on the habitat of our native animals.  NHECM provides entertaining and educational wildlife programming for hundreds of schools and organizations throughout the Southeast.  “We are thrilled to have NHECM at Discovery Park of America,” according to Aquarium & Wildlife Coordinator, Kacey Putz.  “Our animal programs are extremely popular, and this one will be exceptional.” 

The cost for attending “Exotic & Invasive” is $3.50 (plus tax) for members and $4.50 (plus tax) plus park admission for non-members.  Tickets are available online, at the ticket counter or by calling the park at 731-885-5455. 

“We have a limited amount of space in our classroom, so we are encouraging everyone to get their ticket early to ensure a spot,” Putz said.  The programs will be held in the Reelfoot Room inside Discovery Center both days. 

In addition to animal education classes the park offers many historical and unique exhibits as well as educational and entertaining attractions.  Discovery Park of America offers monthly wine and paint classes, clay classes and animal education classes.  Park officials say that Discovery Park has plans for helicopter rides, singer-songwriter events, the second annual cardboard boat regatta, visits from PBS characters, a Car & Bike show, concerts, a BBQ cook-off, a chili cook-off, an air show, a beer fest, wine tasting events, a special Alvin York exhibit, a Polar Express event, Santa and an expanded Christmas exhibit in 2015.  The complete calendar is now available on the website.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  To find out more about “Exotic & Invasive”, The Chamber, the Titanic or the park, you can visit 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.  

Registration Open For Shamrock Shuffle 5K 
Benefits Wounded Warriors

Martin, Tenn. – The Shamrock Shuffle for Soldiers and Students 5k will be held at 9 a.m., March 21, to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project and the University of Tennessee at Martin Reading Clinic. The run will begin at The Sideline on Oxford Street and entry is $20 per person, which includes a t-shirt. T-shirts can be purchased separately for $15.

The Wounded Warrior Project assists soldiers living with physical and mental health conditions caused by military service and provides support to their family members and caregivers. The UT Martin Reading Clinic works to improve the reading skills of local K-12 students and is largely funded by local donations.

All ages are invited to participate. The run is hosted by UT Martin business students as part of a service-learning project. 

Registration is available online at by searching events in the Martin area. For more information, contact Kiara Champion at

Chocolate Lovers Take Note

Union City, Tenn.-An event sure to please chocolate lovers will be held Thursday evening at The Gallery Showroom in Union City with the Obion County Chamber of Commerce holds Business After Hours.

Small business vendors will be competing to see who has the best chocolate delight. H’ors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served.

The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at The Gallery Showroom, 1403 S. First St.

Henry County GOP To Meet 

Paris, Tenn.-This Thursday March 12th 2015 at 7 p.m. is the date for the twice postponed Feb. meeting of the Henry County GOP.

The meeting will be in the Chancery Court room of the Henry County Courthouse.

As stated previously Jerry Williams from Lynchburg, Tn., founder of Tennessee Action Council, will be the speaker for this meeting.  

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration

Union City, Tenn.-Pre K and Kindergarten registration at Black Oak, Hillcrest, Lake Road, Ridgemont, and South Fulton Elementary Schools has been rescheduled to Friday, March 20th from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For further information, contact Vikki Hayslett or Diane Terry at the Obion County Board of Education Office.

Area Blood Drives In March

Jackson, Tenn.-The following are dates and locations for Lifeline Bloodmobile blood drives for March:

Monday, March 9
The Highlands, Dyersburg, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
E.W. James, Martin, 12-6 p.m.
Monday, March 16
McKenzie Healthcare and Rehab CTR., 11:30 – 4:30 
Southside Church of Christ, Dresden,12-6 p.m.

Monday, March 23 
Healthquest, Union City, 12-7 p.m.

Monday, March 9, 2015 

Dresden High Student Killed In Wreck

Sharon, Tenn.-A Dresden High School Sophomore died Monday morning in a wreck in Sharon after he hit a patch of ice while driving to school.

According to the report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Bobby Goodman, age 16, of Sidonia, was killed in a single-vehicle accident when the pickup truck he was driving left the roadway, overturned and caught fire.  

The accident happened around 6:50 a.m. Monday on Lower Sharon Road south of Dresden.

Fulton Woman Arrested With Crystal Meth

Dresden, Tenn.-A Fulton, Ky. Woman was arrested in Weakley County on narcotics charges after a traffic stop found $11,000 of crystal meth in her car.

Arrested was Johnna Kay Clark, 53, 35209 State Route 94E, Fulton, charged with possession of meth, possession of marijuana and possession of prescription pills and violation of the light law.

While working on narcotic information in the Mt. Pelia area, investigators from the sheriff’s office came into contact with a 2011 Ford Fusion driving on Littrel Rd. after dark with no tail lights.

Following a traffic stop and with consent to search, investigators found four ounces of crystal meth, less than an ounce of marijuana and several prescription pills. Captain Randall McGowan said street value of the crystal meth is around $11,000. The sheriff’s office seized $469 cash and the vehicle.

Clark was released after posting bond for $25,000.

The Last Of The Snow? Let's Hope

Paris, Tenn.-With the last of last week’s snowfall still on the ground Sunday, Maplewood Cemetery in Paris was especially picturesque. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Jackson State To Locate Campus In Dresden

Aerial photo of Weakley Co. Learning Center, site of new campus. (City of Dresden photo).

Dresden, Tenn.-Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn has announced that the Weakley County Adult Learning Center has been chosen as the site of the Jackson State Community College-Dresden Campus.

Washburn said classes to obtain a two-year associate degree will be offered by the college starting in the fall of 2015. 

He said the Learning Center will be renovated to prepare the facility to house the Jackson State classrooms. At least two classes offered by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAP)-McKenzie campus also will be offered at the Dresden facility.

The Weakley County Learning Center is located off of Highway 22 in Dresden.

UC Man Found Suffering From Hypothermia

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was treated for severe hypothermia and possible frostbite after he was found in a barn where he apparently sought shelter while trying to walk to work Thursday night.

Larry Wynn, age 43, of 1210 Section Line Rd., left for work late the night before, walking to Tyson Foods. His wife notified the Union City Police when he didn’t return home the following morning.

His wife called Tyson Foods and was told her husband had not shown up for work. She walked through the field that Wynn normally took to walk to work and could not find him in the deep snow.

The Union City Police, Obion County Sheriff’s Office and County Rescue Squad searched the area on four-wheelers. Wynn was found by Deputy Jared Willcutt in the barn, suffering from severe hypothermia and possible frostbite. He was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital, where he was in stable condition.

Runway For A Cure Set For Friday

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Runway for a Cure Fashion Show and Silent Auction will be held Friday, March 13, 2015, at Krider Performing Arts Center. 

This event previews the latest spring fashions from local area boutiques including Boutique Marimac, Queens of Paris, Off The Square and Sunshine Boutique from Camden, Tenn. 

Local “celebrities” are featured as models as well as the guest emcee each year. Event Co-Chair Tracey Beasley said, “We are excited to announce Michelle Atkins
as Guest Emcee for this year’s event!”.

Each year the Runway for a Cure Committee selects two cancer survivors as Honorary Co-Chairs to feature in the event. This year’s honorary co-chairs are Amber Lacy and Elizabeth Cronin. Lacy and Cronin will be honored during the evening as well as participate in the fashion show. 

Event Co-Chair Dana Allen said, “Amber and Elizabeth each represent hope, strength and courage. Although each of them are beautiful young ladies, each has faced and fought a battle greater than most can imagine. Our hope is to honor their courage and share their stories with our community.” 

Tickets for Runway for a Cure are $10 each and will be available at the door the night of the event. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Friday, March 13th . 

Several area vendors will be featured as well as a silent auction. All proceeds from Runway for a Cure benefit Relay for Life of Henry County.

UC Man Arrested For Car Theft, Evading

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested and charged with theft of a car, evading police and possible of drug paraphernalia Sunday.

Arrested was Chris Eskew of 513 Nash St. 

According to the Union City Police, the incident began when Eskew stole a friend’s car, car keys and cell phone. While police were searching for him, his mother called the victim and returned the items and told her where to locate the car.

While police were assisting motorists whose vehicles were stuck in snow, they found Eskew in a vehicle. He tried to run away and fell in the snow. Police found a crack pipe in his possession.

UTM Students Attend Model Congress

Martin, Tenn. – Five students from the University of Tennessee at Martin participated in the first annual National Model Congress Conference, Feb. 26-28, at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C. The students represented real-world senators in writing, amending and passing bills through Senate committees and on the Senate floor.

Participants attended workshops and mock committee meetings, acting as their represented senators. The model Congress passed more than 20 bills using the Senate’s unique rules of order and debate. 

Mark Maloney, a senior communications major from South Fulton, received an Honorable Senator Award; and Marabeth Kennedy, a sophomore political science major from Franklin, and John Domanski, a junior political science major from Bon Aqua, both received Outstanding Senator Awards. Domanski served the Congress representing Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D) from Nevada. The UT Martin delegation received an Outstanding Delegation Award, the highest group recognition available.

The UT Martin students were joined by nine other delegations, including a group from Union University. Dr. Anderson Starling, assistant professor, UT Martin Department of Accounting, Finance, Economics and Political Science, accompanied the student participants. The other participating students were Rikki Erwin, a freshman communications major from Brighton, and Elizabeth Sanders, a senior family and consumer science major from Smithville.

For more information, contact Starling at or by phone at 731-881-7226.

UC Store Victimized By Quick Change Scheme

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director  

Union City, Tenn.-The Pocket’s convenience reported to Union City Police that one of its clerks had been the victim of a quick change scheme that cost the store $100.

According to the police report, other Pocket’s stores in the area have also been victimized by the same man, who police are still seeking.

Union City Police said the incident occurred in mid-February, but that the Pocket’s manager at 1605 W. Reelfoot said she did not report it to police earlier because she was waiting to hear from the corporate office to tell her how to proceed.

She told police at least two other Pocket’s stores in the area reported the same man had done the same thing at their stores. 

Southern Woman’s Diary To Be Discussed Thursday

Dover, Tenn.- Fort Donelson National Battlefield and the Stewart County Arts & Heritage Council will host the March 12 discussion of the newly-released book, Diary of Nannie Haskins Williams: A Southern Woman’s Story of Rebellion & Reconstruction, 1863-1890.  The free program begins at 6pm at the Stewart County Visitor Center, 117 Visitor Center Lane, with a book signing to follow. 

Nannie Haskins Williams was a teenager during the Civil War and her diary recounts her feelings about the war, and the changes it brought to Middle Tennessee and to her own life.  Two of the book’s editors, Dr. Ellen Kanervo, Director of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council, and historian/instructor Phyllis Smith, will lead the discussion.

Members of the Stewart County Arts and Heritage Council will provide light refreshments.  For more information, contact Carolyn Darke at 931-232-6253 or the national park at 931-232-5445.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield protects and preserves the remains of the Civil War fort, earthworks, national cemetery, and historic Dover Hotel. For more information, please visit the website: 

Optimist Club Spaghetti Day Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Optimist Spaghetti Lunch and Dinner will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 12 at First United Methodist Church in Paris. All proceeds go to the “Buddy Program”.

Tickets are $8 each, eat in or carry out (children under 6 years old eat free). Meal is spaghetti, roll, dessert and drink. To place large orders (5+), place Monday before for pickup at a designated time. 

Please call Mooney Appraisal, 642-5779, or Bill Williams, 642-5915.

Sunday, March 8, 2015 

Woman Suffering From Hypothermia Found In Woods

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A woman found partially clothed in the woods near Hobby Rd. was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center suffering from hypothermia and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

Sheriff Monte Belew said the victim is a 38-year-old woman who recently moved to a residence on Reynoldsburg Rd. 

Belew said the sheriff’s office was called to the area around 5 p.m. Saturday after a friend of the victim’s knocked on a neighbor’s door to report a woman was in the woods.

Deputies, Henry County Ambulance Service personnel and citizens searched the woods and found the victim. “She wasn’t properly dressed and was suffering from hypothermia,” Belew said.

There is no reason to suspect foul play at this time, but Belew emphasized that the incident is still under investigation.

Paris Firefighters Save Homeowner’s Cat

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.- Paris Firefighters were able to save the owner’s cat during a fire call at 703 Ogburn St. Sunday afternoon. The homeowner was not home when the fire started. The home sustained a considerable amount of smoke damage.

The Paris Fire Department was called to the residence around 4:30 p.m. by neighbors who noticed smoke billowing out of the home. 

Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Wade said smoke was coming out of the windows when they arrived. “We think it started in the area by the stove,” Wade said.

The house is owned by Shirley Diggs.

HC, PSSD Open Monday

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Schools and Paris Special Schools District will be open Monday and following their regular schedules.

Henry County Schools have been closed more than open the last two weeks, due to weather conditions. Director of Schools Sam Miles said, "We will be open Monday, thank goodness."

Big Sandy Student Wins Regional Spelling Bee
Inman Student Is Runner-Up

Jackson, Tenn.---A Big Sandy School sixth--grader is heading to Washington, D.C. for the Scripps National Spelling Bee after she won the West Tennessee Regional Spelling Bee Saturday.

Annalise Wade survived 27 rounds and won with the word “simultaneously”. The national spelling bee is held in May.
The final three contestants include Kester Nucum, of Inman Middle School in Paris; Mouhamed Gaye of Northeast Middle School in Jackson and Wade. In round 24, all three contestants missed their words — orrery, muzak and effete.

By Scripps rules, Nucum and Gaye were brought back into competition after Wade's misspelling. Wade survived three more rounds to win the bee.

Wade’s mother is Kerrie Wade.

Union University, a sponsor of the West Tennessee Regional Spelling Bee, will pay for Wade and one chaperone to attend the national spelling bee.

Waiting For The Boys Of Summer

Paris, Tenn.-The baseball fields at McNeill Park in Paris Saturday morning, just waiting for the boys of summer to arrive. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Lake Barkley Bridge Closed To Traffic

Canton, Ky.-The US 68/KY80 Lake Barkley Bridge at Canton in Trigg County is closed to traffic after being struck by a coal barge at approximately 4:30 a.m Sunday.

WKDZ in Cadiz is reporting that according to the US Coast Guard Louisville Operations Center, the Motor Vessel Marrietta Hines was heading upstream with 15 loaded coal barges when the tow struck a pier on the bridge at Cumberland River mile point 63.1. The second barge on the stern or right side of the tow struck the pier. One coal barge in the tow started taking on water as a result of the impact. The tow boat has moved the damaged barge to shallow water near the bridge.

The Coast Guard asked that the bridge be closed pending a safety inspection of the pier. A Kentucky Transportation Cabinet certified bridge inspector has been dispatched to check the structure and should be on site shortly.

Snow-Covered Fort Donelson

Dover, Tenn.--Fort Donelson covered in a blanket of snow, looking a lot like it did for February, 1862, battle there. With plowing and sunshine helping, the visitor’s center and roadways through the park are now open. (Doug Richardson photo).

Spring Musicale Set

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin’s epsilon iota chapter of the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity will present their spring musicale performance at 5 p.m., March 13, in the Blankenship Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Building.

Performances will include both vocal and instrumental presentations by a variety of soloists and small groups. The Sigma Alpha Iota choir will also perform traditional pieces titled “SAI Garden” and “The Rainbow.” Faculty members Dr. Christa Frye, adjunct instructor of music, and Dr. Liz Aleksander, assistant professor of music, will join the student ensemble.

For more information, contact Bridget Huenefeld, chapter program director, at

Saturday, March 7, 2015 

Remember To Spring Forward

Daylight saving time 2015 will begin on Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m. In other words, So, spring your clocks forward an hour when you go to bed tonight.

And, as always, it’s a good time to change the batteries in the smoke alarms in our homes.

Late Season Cold Spell Boosts TVA Power Demand

Knoxville, Tenn. – March appears to be coming in like a lion rather than a lamb as another mass of cold air targets the Tennessee Valley from Wednesday into Friday.

The Tennessee Valley Authority and local power companies are already working to make sure generation and transmission resources are operating at top efficiency to meet the increased need for electricity.

“Although the temperatures don’t appear to be dropping as low as we saw during the cold snaps in January and February, we still expect a much higher demand for power than we typically see in the first week of March,” said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply. “As we take steps to ensure our system is ready, consumers can also take steps that can save them money on upcoming power bills.”

It doesn’t take drastic action or personal discomfort to save power. Simply turning down the thermostat a single degree can save up to 3 percent on future power bills.

Other quick, common sense tips that consumers can take to lower their electric bill can be found on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website and include:

Keeping curtains open on clear days on the south side of the house, and closed on the north side, to allow the sun to help warm your home, 
Closing fireplace dampers when not in use to prevent warm air from escaping out of your chimney 

Using slippers or area rugs to keep your feet warm if you have hardwood or tile floors rather than turning up your heating system.

While on the EnergyRight website, homeowners can also check out the new eScore program, a partnership between TVA and your local power provider to combine expert advice with rebates on installed improvements and provide an impactful way to reduce utility bills in every season.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

Kentucky Man Charged With Attempt Murder Of Officer

Mayfield, Ky.-A Paducah man is lodged in the Graves County Jail this morning after he was arrested in Mayfield and charged with attempted murder of a police office and a long list of other charges.

Noah Hill, 21, is charged with attempting to run over a Graves County deputy, resisting arrest, fleeing, aggravated DUI, disregarding stop signs, disregarding signals, reckless driving, and possessing an open alcoholic beverage.

Hill drove through Mayfield around 10:30 p.m. Friday at a high rate of speed and ignored directions given to him by the Graves Co. Sheriff Office. In the course of the incident, he almost ran over the deputy. Kentucky State Police Trooper Anthony Harrison finally caught up with Hill, who collided into a snow bank and fled on foot. When Harrison caught up with him, Hill resisted arrest and was tasered.

UTM Offers New Master's Education Programs

Martin, Tenn. -Students seeking a master’s degree in education from the University of Tennessee at Martin will have two new majors and one new interdisciplinary concentration to choose from, beginning in the fall 2015 semester. Graduate students will be able to focus their studies on either student affairs and college counseling or addictions counseling, or can work toward earning a library information specialist PreK-12 license. 

The specialization in student affairs and college counseling will prepare individuals to work in college counseling centers, financial aid, minority affairs and other student affairs services in higher education settings. This degree will help university professionals manage individual student needs within changing college environments by focusing on the development of the student as they grow in a collegiate setting.

The specialization in addictions counseling will prepare counselors to work in a wide range of addiction counseling, treatment and prevention programs, as well as in mental health counseling settings. The successful completion of coursework, post-graduate experiential requirements and state licensure exams will lead to careers as Tennessee licensed professional counselors and alcohol and drug abuse counselors.

The library information specialist PreK-12 concentration is designed to give individuals the necessary training to earn a degree or endorsement as a school library information specialist. In the state of Tennessee, individuals must have a teaching license and pass the required coursework and Praxis exams to qualify as a library information specialist. The initial licensure K-12 program will offer a major in teaching plus the necessary endorsement for individuals who need a teaching license. Licensed teachers can enroll in the degree program and/or the endorsement-only option through the interdisciplinary major.

For more information on admissions requirements for these and other education graduate programs, contact Kimberly Page at 731-881-7128 or by email at 

Henry County Youth Baseball Sign-Ups

Paris, Tenn.-Reminder: Henry County Youth Baseball will have sign-ups at the Paris Civic Center today (Saturday, March 7) from 8 a.m.- 12 p.m. 

Also, due to recent inclement weather, online sign-ups for Henry County Youth Baseball have been extended through Wednesday, March 11 AND players may sign up at Lakeway IGA Monday, March 9 - Wednesday, March 11. Sign-ups will be closed to all except ages 13-15 as of Wednesday. 

Discovery Park To Reopen Today

Union City, Tenn.-Discovery Park of America will reopen Saturday, March 7.

MSU To Resume Normal Operations Today

Murray, Ky. — Murray State University will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Regional campuses will follow the action announced by the local community college. Normal operations for the university will resume on Monday, March 9, 2015.

Staff should report as normal on Saturday, March 7, 2015. All announcements, including updates, will be listed on the Weather Notification page at
The university community is urged to take care and adhere to the National Weather Service advisories and take the necessary safety precautions. If traveling, call 511 for road conditions in Kentucky.

March 7, 2015 and March 8, 2015 will have regular operating hours.

Friday, March 6, 2015 

Just Waiting For Spring

Paris, Tenn.-A lonely snow-covered swing at a house on Richland St. seems to be pining for spring. And aren’t we all? (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Roadways Continue To Be Hazardous
Paris City Hall Opens, UC Stays Closed

Snow blanketing the Henry County Courthouse
during Thursday night's storm.J.C. Ramos photo

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Road conditions in our area continue to be hazardous and law enforcement is asking motorists to stay off the roadways as much as possible.

The snow and ice that melted Thursday afternoon froze again overnight as temperatures plunged to zero and below. 

In Paris, Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said, “The road conditions are extremely slick and hazardous. Do not travel unless absolutely necessary. Paris Public Works, T.D.O.T and Henry County Highway Department Crews are working to clear all roadways. Because of the ice base and 8 inch plus accumulation, it has been difficult. Hopefully the 40 degree temperature and sunny forecast will help clear them by this afternoon.”
Paris City Hall is open for business today and Assistant City Manager Kim Foster said the Civic Center and landfill are open today. However, the landfill will be closed to the public Saturday.

The Paris City Commission meeting that had been scheduled for Thursday night has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, she said.

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer announced yesterday that county government offices would continue to be closed through Friday, as did Henry County Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson.

In Obion County, county government offices are closed and County Mayor Bennie McGuire on Thursday declared an emergency in the county at the request of Emergency Management Agency Director Danny Jowers. 

The Union City municipal building remains closed today.

Across the state line in Kentucky, roads continue to be especially hazardous as parts of 1-24 and the Purchase Parkway in west Kentucky continue to be shut down by accidents and massive traffic pile-ups.

At Fort Donelson National Military Park in Dover, tour routes through the park continue to be closed.

Photo Showcase Postponed

Paris, Tenn.-Due to snow and ice, the Paris-Henry County Arts Council will be postponing the annual Photo Showcase until next week end, March 14-15th. Director Kat Tolley said, "We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."

Snowy Magnolias

Paris, Tenn.-Magnolia trees in Whitehall Circle in Paris seemed take on a dream-like quality at the height of Thursday’s massive snowfall. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Gibson EMC Tax Dollars Benefit NW Tenn

Trenton, Tenn. — Gibson Electric Membership Corporation recently paid $1,165,943 in 2014 ad valorem taxes to the eight Northwest Tennessee towns and counties it serves. The amount of taxes paid was based on the assessed value of Gibson EMC’s infrastructure, including buildings, substations, transformers, poles and lines. 

Gibson EMC paid $277,940 in ad valorem taxes to Obion County.

Gibson EMC President and CEO Dan Rodamaker said that the cooperative’s board of trustees and employees work hard to provide exceptional electric service, but view their job as much broader than that. 

“We want to do everything we can to improve the quality of life for our members,” Rodamaker said. “And we’re glad that Gibson EMC’s tax dollars benefit our communities and our members.” 

Gibson EMC is an electric cooperative, owned and operated by its 35,000 members. The cooperative’s 2,800 miles of electric line stretch across Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison and Obion counties. 

BPU Warns Of Offer

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley said area residents are receiving a mail offer to purchase insurance to pay for water line replacement at their home.  

“For a small monthly fee, the company offers to cover the replacement cost of a failed water line between the house and the meter,” Wimberley said. 
Board of Public Utilities is in no way connected to this offer or this company.  BPU is not promoting the offer.  BPU reminds its customers that water line replacement does not happen often and that homeowners should approach this offer with some amount of caution.”

Ladies Of Lee Concert Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The Ladies of Lee will present a concert of hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church of Paris at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10. The Ladies are a 50-voice auditioned ensemble from Lee University in Cleveland, TN. The concert is part of their Spring Tour. Free admission; a free-will offering will be taken. 

Two Job Fairs Set Next Week

Union City, Tenn.-Two job fairs will be held early next week in Union City.

Manpower will be holding a job fair from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday at the Tennessee Career Center, 204 S. 2nd St., Union City. A variety of positions are available. If you cannot attend, you can apply online at

Hamilton-Ryker will be holding a hiring event from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday at 1430 S. First St., Union City. Bring your ID, Social Security card or birth certificate and resume and dress for success.

Thursday, March 5, 2015 

It's Lonely Out There

Union City, Tenn.-Downtown Union City looked deserted today following the massive snowstorm that hit our area. At the request of Obion County Emergency Management Director Danny Jowers, County Mayor Bennie McGuire declared a state of emergency in the county earlier today. (Photo by Chris Williams).

Henry County Government Offices Closed Friday

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Mayor Brent Greer has announced Henry County General Government offices will remain closed through Friday due to winter weather. Local Law Enforcement and emergency management officials are reporting some roads have improved today, however with the refreeze tonight, roads will become hazardous tonight into tomorrow.

Closures include the County Courthouse, Courthouse Annex, General Sessions Court, Recycling Center, and Central Community Bldg. Persons scheduled for court should call to reschedule. County officials to resume normal operation on Monday.

Mayor Greer wishes to remind residents to continue to use extreme caution on our roads. Snow will remain at least till Saturday when temperatures are expected to climb back above freezing.

Henry County Courts Closed Friday

Paris, Tenn. – Due to the inclement weather conditions all General Sessions Criminal Court scheduled for Thursday, March 5, 2015 is cancelled and the Circuit, General Sessions & Juvenile Court Clerk’s Offices are closed.

Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson said, "Those who had cases scheduled AND are represented by an attorney should check with their attorney for the new rescheduled date.  Those who are representing themselves without legal counsel will be reset for next week on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 9:00 a.m., which is the next regular criminal court date."

All cases involving traffic tickets and citations from local police, sheriff and Tennessee Highway Patrol (Troopers) will be rescheduled for the issuing officer’s next scheduled court date.  Please call the court office to learn of the new rescheduled date on the next open business day.

 Any new arrests occurring this week will be scheduled for arraignment on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 9:00 a.m., the next regular General Sessions Court Criminal date.

Please call the court office for further information, (731) 642-0461 on the next open business day.

Breakfast For Babies Postponed

Paris, Tenn.-This Saturday's Breakfast For Babies fundraiser for the March of Dimes will be postponed until Saturday, March 14. It will be held at Ann and Dave's Kitchen in Paris.

Emergency Declared In Obion County

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County Mayor Bennie McGuire has declared a state of emergency in Obion County.

County Emergency Management Director Danny Jowers issued the following statement: “At my request Mayor McGuire has declared a state of emergency for Obion County. What this simply means is that we are strongly discouraging travel unless it is a dire emergency. This also helps the county in obtaining state assistance in medical services and transportation needs. Stay safe stay home and enjoy your day and I think within 10:days we will see a major flip in our weather pattern.”

Henry County Schools Closed Friday

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Schools will be closed Friday, according to Director of Schools Sam Miles.

Beautiful But Treacherous Winter Wonderland

The "Spanish House"--also known as "the Gardner place" by old-timers--on Ogburn Street in Paris makes a pretty picture in the snow. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

by Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Direcctor 

Union City and Paris, Tenn.-Our area received a blanket of overnight snow measuring from 8-12 inches, creating extremely hazardous driving conditions and prompting closing of all area schools, government offices and many businesses. Events and meetings that had been scheduled for today and tonight have been cancelled across the area, including tonight's Paris city commission meeting and today's visit to Paris by the Lifeline Bloodmobile.

The snow arrived after one inch of ice had already coated everything in the area.

The massive snowstorm is causing state-wide problems, too, with the Tennessee Department of Safety announced early this morning that all state offices are closed today.

In Stewart County, an ambulance became stuck in the snow on an emergency call early this morning. In Henry and Obion Counties, roadways were treacherous but relatively quiet. 

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said, “Things actually were pretty quiet here last night. We had a lot of cars in ditches and one semi-tractor accident, but most everyone stayed off the roads.”

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will be cooking lunch today at the county fairgrounds for all the city and county employees who have had to work especially hard during the storm. Belew said a bigger get-together to thank all the city and county employees will be held later. “This is just a little lunch we’re doing for everybody today,” he said.

In Obion County, the dispatcher at the sheriff’s office said, “We had a lot of cars being abandoned on the roadways because they couldn’t get the tow trucks to where they were.”  

Area law enforcement officials are cautioning motorists to stay off the roadways as much as possible. Conditions are forecast to worsen as the evening approaches, with a wind chill warning to be in effect overnight. Temperatures are expected to be from zero to -5 overnight, which will cause roadways and driveways to freeze.

Stewart County Sheriff's Office cruisers in the height of the storm. (Stewart Co. Sheriff's Office photo).

HC Sheriff's Office To Cook For Workers

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff's Office will provide lunch today for county and city employees who have been working hard in the snow storm. The sheriff's office employees will be grilling at the county fairgrounds over lunch.

Belew said the sheriff's office had planned a bigger get-together for all city and county employees who have worked during recent storms and will be scheduling that later.

HCMC Announces Several Closings

Paris, TN – The Henry County Medical Center has announced several closings today.

The Diagnostic Center has announced it will be closed today, Thursday, March 5.

If you are scheduled for a test at the HCMC Diagnostic Center, please call our scheduling line at 731-644-8486 option 1 to reschedule. We apologize for the inconvenience but want everyone to be safe during this inclement weather

Additional closings for today, Thursday, March 5, include the following:
Eagle Creek Clinic – (731) 407-7013
Signature OB/GYN – Dr. Lakisha Crigler - (731) 644-8214
Paris Women’s Center – Dr. Dennis Wieck – (731) 644-8225
Innovative Orthopedics – Dr. Mark Cutright - (731) 644-8304
Paris Mental Health – Dr. Robert Hamm - (731) 644-8441

Please check out our Facebook Pages for additional information and updated closures. You can also check out our other social media outlets and our website at

TSSAA Games Postponed

All TSSAA state basketball tournament games scheduled for today have been postponed due to extremely hazardous road conditions. Today’s schedule will resume tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in order to allow extra time to for road conditions to improve in the morning.

Scheduled for Friday, March 6th:

12:30 pm – Class A Quarterfinal – Clarkrange v. Houston Co.

5:15 pm -Class AA Quarterfinal – Elizabethton v. Westview

Paris City Government Closed

Paris, Tenn.-Paris City Hall and non-essential city offices are closed today, according to Assistant City Manager Kim Foster.
Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said tonight's meeting of the Paris City Commission is cancelled. He said no date has been set to reschedule.

Obion County, UC Government Closed

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County government offices and the Union City municipal building and government offices are closed today.

Lifeline Visit To Paris Cancelled 

Paris, Tenn.-From Mary Kate Ridgeway of Lifeline Bloodmobile: "Just a note from Henry County Lifeline Blood Board and West Tenn Regional Blood Center that Lifeline in Henry County is Cancelled today. 
As of now, it cannot be rescheduled due to the schedule being full at this point. Stay in and stay safe. The need for blood continues throughout our region."

Security Bank Closed Today 

Paris, Tenn.-From Laurie Russell of Security Bank::"All branches of Security Bank - Paris, will be closed today March 5, 2015 due to inclement weather. If you have an urgent question/issue, please email customer service at: As always, we appreciate your business and apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. We look forward to being able to assist you tomorrow morning."

All State Offices Closed

Nashville, Tenn.-From the Tennessee Department of Safety: "Due to hazardous winter weather conditions across Tennessee, all state offices are CLOSED Thursday, March 5. This includes all state driver services centers. Please use extreme caution if you have to travel today."

Henry County Government Offices Closed Today

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Mayor Brent Greer has announced Henry County General Government offices will be closed today due to winter weather. This includes the County Courthouse, Courthouse Annex, General Sessions Court, Recycling Center, and Central Community Bldg. Persons scheduled for court should call to reschedule. An announcement will be made later when offices will reopen.

Mayor Greer is urging residents to stay home i...f possible and off the roadways. Snow will remain at least till Saturday when temperatures are expected to climb back above freezing.

Henry County received approx 8-9 inches snow on top of 1-2 inches sleet over the night. Roads remain hazardous. Wind chills will remain bitter cold close to zero. No major power issues reported. Emergency Management officials will continue to monitor conditions.

Stewart County Government Offices Closed Today

Dover, Tenn.-Stewart County government officials have announced that all county offices and city of Dover offices are closed today. Stewart County law enforcement officials are cautioning everyone to stay off roadways. Roads are so hazardous that a county ambulance was stuck in snow on an emergency call early this morning.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 

HC Government To Announce Possible Closure Thursday A.M.

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Emergency Management Director Ron Watkins has issued the following announcement: "Due to the winter weather storm event, Henry County Government including the Courthouse, Courthouse Annex, Central Community Building, Recycling Center and General Sessions Court, will make an announcement at 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning regarding closure of County Offices or alternate hours. We encourage everyone to check with local media sources Thursday morning for status updates."

Meanwhile, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said the sheriff's office is working five wrecks as of 5 p.m. and he cautioned everyone to stay off the roads tonight. "It's only going to get worse," he said.

City To Demolish Wallin Building After Back Wall Collapses

The back wall collapsed overnight. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The back wall of the Wallin Building at 214 W. Wood St. in downtown Paris collapsed overnight. 

The city of Paris has blocked off the area and alleyways around the collapse. The back wall had already partially collapsed several months ago. The building is located a half block from the court square.

Paris City Manager Carl Holder said the city will be demolishing the building in the near future.  

The late E.C. Wallin had used the building for storage of his merchandise from his Wallin Hardware Store on the court square. 

Holder said after Wallin died, the building has been “legally tied up in estate issues and has liens against it. The city was trying to work through that, but now that this has happened, we’ll be tearing it down in the interests of public safety and deal with the legal ramifications later.”

The alleyways surrounding the building are closed off. (McFarlin photo).

101.7 FM At 2 Percent Normal Power

WENK/WTPR President and General Manager Terry Hailey issued a statement this morning: “ We appreciate very much the many calls we have received with regard to not being able to hear our 101.7FM station.   It is operating at about 2% of its normal power, meaning that it only gets out about 4 or 5 miles from its transmitter at Standing Rock in Stewart County.   

"We are working to restore it to full power but that hasn’t been easy.  Add to that our engineer Brad Hosford suffered a stroke last Thursday as he dealt with this.   Brad is doing better but won’t be able to return for a while.   We have other engineers working on the problem.   

"In the meantime, I would remind you that exactly the same program can be heard at AM710.   I still love AM radio and this might be a chance for you to listen to it as well.   So, just tune to WTPR at 710 on AM and enjoy the same thing exactly.   It operates from 6AM till 8PM  daily.   You can also find the same programming by going to and clicking “listen Live”…or you can find it at Tune in Radio as well.   Sorry for the inconvenience and we really do appreciate your concern.”

Henry County/Kentucky Lake Promoted on Krappie Kings TV

Paris, Tenn.-Kentucky Lake and Henry County will be featured on an episode of Krappie Kings TV this Saturday, March 7.  The show, which features Extreme Angler Karl Kolonka, will air on the Sportsman Channel –DirecTV and Dish Networks - this Saturday at 7:30 a.m. CST.

The Host, Karl Kolonka, known for his brilliant, bigger than life persona on EXTREME ANGLER TV, which is celebrating 14 years on TV, came up with the idea for this exciting new television series entitled Krappie Kings TV.  In each episode we join Karl as he travels to a favorite fishing destination and hooks up with some of North America’s renowned crappie experts and characters who will share their secrets for catching bigger than life slaps.
 In the Henry County/Kentucky Lake production, Karl teams up with area crappie and StrikeKing Pro Angler Tim Blackley from Hornbeak, Tennessee.  A frequent visitor to Kentucky Lake, Blackley and his co-angler Jackie Vancleave, fish in many of the national crappie tournaments, finishing in fourth place out of 220 boats in the Crappie Master Classic held on Truman Lake.

 “With Krappie Kings TV being filmed on Kentucky Lake out of Paris Landing, this show will promote our beautiful area and Kentucky Lake to millions of household subscribers on the Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network,” according to David Hamilton, CEO of the Henry County Alliance.  Fishtale Lodge and Meo Mios will also be featured on the show.

 Partial funding of the Krappie Kings TV show was provided by The Henry County Tourism Authority.

Citizen’s Police Academy Seeks Applicants

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police Department and the Henry County Sheriff’s Department are now accepting applications for the 2015 Citizen’s Police Academy. Applications will be accepted until March 20, or until the class is filled.

This year’s academy will meet each Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. The first class will meet March 24, at the Henry County Sheriff’s Department and the final class will be Tuesday, May 12. 

The Citizen’s Police Academy offers a chance for citizens who live and work in Paris and Henry County to experience a firsthand view of the operations of our two departments. Graduates are not certified as a police officers but will have a better understanding of what police officers face every day. Instruction will include topics on the use of force, undercover drug operations, K-9 units, patrol units and dispatching.

Applications may be picked up at the Paris Police Department, 100 North Caldwell Street, or the Henry Country Sheriff’s Department, 210 Forrest Heights Road in Paris.
If you would like more information, contact Lt. Tom Lankford at 731-642-2424.

Tickets On Sale For Broadway At Lee

Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale for Broadway at Lee, an annual musical theatre production at Lee Academy for the Arts. This year's event benefits the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center.

Two performances are scheduled with a dinner show at 6 pm., March 14, and a matinee with dessert at 3 pm, March 15. Tickets for the dinner performance are $25 and the matinee $15. The location is the Lunchroom at Lee Academy.

Since there are only 100 tickets available for each seating, those interested need to act promptly.

Tickets are on sale at The Iron Place, 115 N. Poplar Street, Jack Jones Flowers and Gifts, 118 N. Market Street, and Merison's 202 Memorial Drive. Or patrons can call the Heritage Center at 642-1030 and speak to Norma Steele, director, or leave a message.

The production, which features talented local musicians and vocalists, is directed by Peggy Williams. 2015 marks the 4th time this group has given back to their community with an outstanding production

Martin Police Respond to Aggravated Assault

Martin, Tenn.-Officers of the Martin Police Department responded to an aggravated assault late Tuesday night.

Around 9:30 pm officers received a call from East Heights Drive in reference to a domestic disturbance in which a male subject had brandished a handgun.

Officers spoke with two adult females and one female juvenile who stated 21-year-old Dalton Crutchfield came to the residence to speak with one of the victims. Crutchfield and one of the victims became involved in a verbal altercation which then became physical. Crutchfield then brandished a handgun and pointed it at all three victims.

Crutchfield left the premises and the victims called police.

Officers from Martin P.D. and the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office arrested Crutchfield later in the night at his residence.

He is being charged with three counts of aggravated assault and is being held in the Weakley County Detention Center.

“Breakfast For Babies” Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.-Local celebrity waiters and waitresses will be working hard Saturday morning at ”Breakfast For Babies”, the annual fundraiser for the March of Dimes.

The fundraiser is held from 6-11 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at Ann and Dave’s Kitchen on East Wood St. in Paris.

Photo Showcase Opens Sunday With Reception

Paris, Tenn.-The 23rd annual Photo Showcase opens Saturday at the W.G. Rhea Public Library in Paris with a reception from 2-4 p.m. The awards presentation will be held and it is open to the public.

The showcase will be displayed at the library through March.

Photographers in the contest will be setting up their works on Saturday morning in the library.

Tickets on sale For Wine And Paint Class 

Union City, Tenn.-   Have you ever wanted to paint a peacock?  Do you wonder if you have hidden artistic talent?  Do you enjoy doing something new and fun?  If you answered any of the above questions with a “yes,” the Wine and Paint class offered at Discovery Park of America might be just for you!  

Each month Discovery Park offers a paint class called “The Art Vine” in the Learning Enrichment Room (LEC) just off the Cafe in the lobby of Discovery Center.   Each month participants experiment with paint and canvas and paint a unique picture under the direction of art instructor, Hillary Holt.  This month the group will be painting a peacock.  

“These classes are a lot of fun and typically sell-out before the day of the class,” said Chris Gunlefinger in the Education Department at Discovery Park.

Each participant takes their picture home with them at the end of the class.  Class price includes all paint supplies, snacks and two glasses of wine.  Members pay $35 and non-members pay $40 for the experience. 

The next class is March 13th from 6:30 to 8:30 in the LEC room at Discovery Park.  Tickets are on sale now at the ticket counter, online or by calling 731-885-5455.  Space is limited and tickets are sold on a first come, first served bases.  

Winders Speaks To Quota 

Paris, Tenn.-Stephanie Winders, Coordinated School Health Supervisor for Henry County Schools was the guest speaker at the recent Paris Quota Club meeting. She has worked with the Board since 1993. She explained her duties and what her department does for the school system. 

She said there are eight components to Coordinated School Health in Tennessee schools: Physical Education; Health Services; Counseling, Psychological and Social Services; Nutrition Services; Healthy School Environment; Health Promotion for Staff; Family/Community Involvement and Health Education.

Each school has a Healthy School Team and there is Advisory Council that oversees all activities. Henry County has a nurse in each school and 97% of students that visit the nurse’s office return to the classroom.

They provided 160 weekend backpacks last year. They provide hearing, vision, dental and scoliosis screenings in grades K-9. They have community support when performing screenings. Winders said that students are required to have 4.5 minutes of physical education during each block which equals 90 minutes per week.

The Easter Bonnet Bake Sale will be on Saturday, April 4th at Mineral Wells Branch of Commercial Bank and Trust Company. In March, Quota will help the library with a tea for business and professional women in our community.

Leisa Wimberley, who is employed by Paris Housing Authority, was installed as a new member.

MSU Concert Choir Performs Sunday 

Murray, Ky. — The Murray State University Concert Choir will present its spring concert on Sunday afternoon, March 8, at 3:30 p.m. in historic Lovett Auditorium on the campus of Murray State University.

The concert will open with three hymns, arranged or composed by American composers. 

Dr. Bradley Almquist, director of choral activities at Murray State, is the conductor of the Concert Choir. The concert is free and the public is invited to attend.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015  

Paris Businessman Charged with Tax Evasion

Nashville, Tenn. - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and arrest of Dharmesh Patel for tax evasion, theft over $10,000 and forgery, according to a press release from the State Revenue Department.

Patel, 36, surrendered to officials at the Henry County courthouse in Paris, Tenn. on Monday. Patel posted the bond for $20,000. Patel owns J.B. Express Mart on Hwy. 218.

On Monday, Patel was indicted by a Henry County Grand Jury on 18 Class E felony counts of tax evasion, one Class C felony count of theft of property and one Class C felony count of forgery.

The indictments charged Patel with failure to remit $16,482.67 in sales tax due to the state. The indictments also charge that Patel filed false sales tax returns from January 2012 through June 2013.

"The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity," Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts said. "This investigation underscores the Department's ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee's tax laws."

If convicted, Patel could be sentenced up to two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000 for each count of sales tax evasion. He could also be sentenced up to six years and fined up to $10,000 for each count of theft over $10,000 and forgery.

The Department pursued the criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Matt Stowe’s office. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee's revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2014 fiscal year, it collected $11.8 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.3 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the Department, visit

FFA Strawberry Pick-Up Date Moved

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County High School FFA Strawberry Sale pick-up date has been moved to March 10th from 3:30-7 pm at the HCHS Ag Shop.

Any questions, call Laura Moss at 731-336-8304.

Horseshoes For Hope Postponed 

Paris, Tenn.-The Horseshoes for Hope fundraiser scheduled for Thursday, March 5, has been postponed until Thursday March 19, due to the expected ice/snow/sleet. It is a fundraiser for REAL Hope Youth Center and Hoofbeats of Hope.

Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray said, “If you have already purchased your ticket, please hold onto it until the 19th. Please everyone stay safe and off the roads.”

Carter Indicted On First-Degree Murder Charge
Others Indicted For Aggravated Robbery, Child Rape

             Toby Carter                                                Victor Octavius Atkins

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting all day Monday, a Henry County Grand Jury issued 25 indictments on a wide variety of offenses, the most serious of which included first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and rape of a child. 

Twenty-six cases in all were presented to the grand jury, with one ‘no true bill’ issued, meaning no indictment was issued in that case. As usual, most of the indictments were issued for cases involving drug use.

Indicted on the first-degree murder charge was Toby Carter, 38, of 383 Russwood, Buchanan. Carter was arrested in September of 2014 by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and charged in the death of 80-year-old Bobby Dozier of Clarksville. 

Dozier’s body was found on Old Tennessee Trail Rd. He had been staying in a family vacation home in New Concord, Ky., at the time of his death.

Carter is being held in the Henry County Jail on $1M bond.

Victor Octavius Atkins, age 22, Warren St., Paris, was charged with aggravated robbery. Atkins was arrested following the robbery of the Little General/Marathon station on N. Market St. in August of 2014. According to the indictment, Atkins displayed a gun and placed the store clerk in fear in the course of the robbery.

Donald Terry Sanders, age 53, 3765 Vale Rd., Mansfield, indicted on one count of rape of a child and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. The child is between the age of 3-13.

Other indictments issued:

--Conner Jeter, charged with two counts of aggravated assault. He is accused of assaulting a male and a female with a knife on Christmas Day, 2014.

--Dalton Jones, charged with aggravated assault. He is accused of threatening to run over a female victim with a motor vehicle in November 2014.

--Wendell Dean Poore, Jr., charged with aggravated burglary. He is accused of breaking into a home in December.

           Donald Terry Sanders

No-Smoking Policy Adopted At Murray State 

Murray, Ky. — To create a healthier environment for the Murray State University (MSU) community, MSU is joining universities across the country in becoming what is commonly referred to as “tobacco-free.” The university’s board of regents approved a tobacco policy presented by Dr. Bob Davies, Murray State president, at its quarterly meeting today. The tobacco policy officially goes into effect on Aug. 5.

During its December 2014 meeting, the board voted that the university would become “smoke- and tobacco-free,” while creating exemptions for research, cultural, theatrical, religious and other uses. The board of regents delegated the responsibility for drafting a policy to Davies with an implementation to occur during the 2015 calendar year. To assist him in this effort, Davies empaneled a committee to provide advice in formation of the policy, with input from the campus community, and its ultimate implementation. 
The tobacco policy applies to all faculty, staff, students and visitors to Murray State University and its regional campuses in Henderson, Hopkinsville (Fort Campbell), Madisonville and Paducah.

“Murray State University is pleased to be joining over 1,514 campuses nationwide in an effort to create a more healthy environment for all who live, work and visit our campuses,” Davies said. “The development of this policy depended greatly on feedback and contributions from numerous groups on campus. We wanted to ensure that members of the Murray State community had the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns. I specifically thank the Tobacco Policy Steering Committee for the time and energy dedicated to this process. We will now begin the very important work of communicating the policy and continually educating our campuses on the healthy outcomes of eliminating tobacco use.”

The personal use of all tobacco products will be prohibited on property that is owned, operated, leased, occupied or controlled by the university when the policy goes into full effect in August — that also includes vehicles on university property. Tobacco products not only include cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and unlit tobacco such as snuff or dip, etc., but also nicotine-containing products such as e-cigarettes. A small number of exceptions to the policy on tobacco use do exist; for example, an approved, controlled research project.
Murray State is poised to assist employees and students who want to cease using tobacco products. 

Employees have prescription options available to them through the university’s insurance plan, and cessation classes will be offered for students, faculty and staff.
To begin the transition toward the implementation of the tobacco policy on campus, some recommendations will go into effect on March 15. 

The university will follow LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification procedures with the specification that there will be no smoking within 25 feet of building openings and major air intake vents. Additionally, the Zen Garden, located between the Doyle Fine Arts Center and Lovett Auditorium, will specifically be deemed a tobacco-free zone so that all members of the university can enjoy the beauty of the area.

Additional information on Murray State’s tobacco policy can be found online at

New Opening Schedule For LBL

Golden Pond, Ky. – The recently predicted winter weather event due to hit our area mid-week, has prompted Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area to push back the season opening of campgrounds and facilities for the safety of our guests.

The Elk & Bison Prairie will re-open Tuesday, March 3. The following attractions and facilities previously scheduled to open for the season March 4, will now re-open Wednesday, March 11, weather permitting:

North and South Welcome Stations 
Woodlands Nature Station and Homeplace 1850’s Farm 
Developed Campgrounds – Energy, Hillman Ferry, Piney, and Wranglers
Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area will remain closed until weather and soil conditions greatly improve.

Many side roads were not treated following the previous winter weather event and are still ice and snow packed. Please drive slowly and use caution when driving through the area.
Updates and additional information can be found online at, or by calling 270-924-2000 or 800-525-7077. You may also follow Land Between The Lakes on Twitter @LBLScreechOwl or @LandBtwnLakes for updates.

Obion School Board Approves Easement

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Monday night, the Obion County Schools board of education granted an easement for the town of Troy. Granted was a permanent and perpetual 20-foot-wide public utility easement for the purpose of installing a waterline near the Troy water tank.

In other business during the mostly routine session, the board approved first readings of several policy changes requested by the Tennessee School Boards Association involving staff-community relations, textbook adoption committees, extended contracts, supervision and employment.

The board approved a bid from Rogers Heating and Air for $55,875 for five classroom HVAC upgrades at South Fulton Middle and High School. The board solicited bids for the project, but only received one bid.

The board also approved an overnight field trip for the OCCHS band for the All-State Band Clinic in Memphis in April.

National Guard Armory Open House Is Saturday 

Paris, Tenn.-The National Guard Armory in Paris will be holding an open house recruitment day from 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7. The armory is located at 285 County Home Rd.
The activities will be held on the grounds of the armory and includes free drinks, food and giveaways. Equipment will be on the grounds for the public to view.
For more information, call James Dougherty at 644-7370.

"Spring Forward In Victory" Set

Paris, Tenn.-All women are invited to ”Spring Forward In Victory” at Point Pleasant Baptist Church, 13700 Hwy. 79, Buchanan, from 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 6. Registration and the buffet start at 5 p.m.

Sandy Louden will be the speaker and Sandy Clary will be the musical guest.

For more information call 641-6450.

Monday, March 2, 2015 

Three Arrested During Two Raids In Martin


                    Christina Stepp                                    Courtney Thomas

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Three Martin residents were arrested and large amounts of marijuana were seized following the execution of two search warrants Friday by Weakley County law enforcement officials. Cash and a weapon also were seized.

Arrested were: Kelvin Antwon Turner, age 32; Courtney Thomas, age 28; and Christina Stepp, age 35.

Captain Randall McGowan of the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office said deputies from the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the Martin Police, served two search warrants at Lakeview Circle. Teams of officers from both departments served the warrants on two different residences at the same time.

In Lakeview Circle Apartment no. 42, an estimated one pound of marijuana was recovered, along with a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol and $500 cash. Arrested there were Turner and Thomas. Turner is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to resell and Thomas is charged with possession with intent and unlawful possession of a firearm.

In Lakeview Circle Apartment no. 54, an estimated two pounds of marijuana was recovered and Stepp was arrested and charged with possession with intent.

                         Kelvin Turner

Barry James Named President Of E.W. James
Company No Longer Pursuing Sale Of Stores

Union City, Tenn.– E.W. James and Sons Supermarkets announced today that Barry James has been appointed president of the company, effective immediately. The company also announced it is no longer pursuing a sale of the company. E.W. James operates stores in Union City, Paris, McKenzie, Huntingdon, Martin, Ripley, Waynesboro, Dresden and Troy.

James, who is the grandson of the company’s founder E.W. James, brings more than 30 years of industry experience to his new role at the company. With this announcement, company officials and the James family will no longer pursue a sale of the company and renew their commitment to remaining one of the leading local grocers in the 10 markets where the company currently operates in northwest Tennessee and southwest Kentucky.

“As a family-oriented company, I am pleased to welcome Barry back to E.W. James as part of our senior management team,” said Lee Ann James, CEO of E.W. James and Sons Supermarkets. “Like others in our family, Barry started his career working for E.W. James and built his foundation in retail grocery by understanding the importance of providing customers with the freshest produce, meats, and bakery products. Barry used this experience to become a proven leader with a strong track record in our highly competitive and ever-changing industry.”

“My grandfather started E.W. James with the belief that the success of the company depends upon our ability to treat employees and customers as if they are a part of the James family,” according to Barry James.

Mr. James continued, “I realize our dedicated employees and loyal customers have faced a lot of uncertainties during recent years, but I want to ensure them that I am truly committed to the continuation of this tradition where customer service and satisfaction are our number one priority. E.W. James is here to stay, and I will work hard every day to gain their support so our company will remain one of the leading grocers in the communities we serve throughout northwest Tennessee and southwest Kentucky.”

“My grandfather always said ‘The sale is not final until the meal is enjoyed.’ This concept embodies my future outlook for E.W. James, and I encourage everyone to visit one of our stores and see why we want to earn your business and make you part of our family at E.W. James,” Mr. James said.

In his new role as president of the company, Mr. James will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of 13 grocery stores (8 E.W. James stores, three Save-A-Lot stores and two Cash Saver stores) in 10 communities. He will also lead efforts to grow the company by reinvesting in the grocery stores for all markets.

Ms. James said, “We are very fortunate to have Barry assume the role of president of E.W. James, given his dedication, experience and proven leadership. He truly embodies the spirit and essence of what has made E.W. James one of the leading grocers in our region, and I believe our grandfather would be proud to know he is part of the team that will shepherd our company into the future.”

Paris Man Killed In Accident

Paris, Tenn.-A 50-year-old Paris man was killed in a one-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon on Hwy. 69S.

Benjamin C. Colley, age 50, of Paris, was killed after his car struck a tree on the side of the roadway.

The accident was investigated by Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremy Byars. According to the patrol’s report, Colley was travelling southbound on Hwy. 69 when he was trying to negotiate a curve to the left and drove off the right side of the road. He then tried to reenter the roadway and his vehicle rotated clockwise. His vehicle then drove off the right side of the road and struck a tree.

MSU Seeks Funds For MSU Jazz Orchestra Recording
First-Ever “Crowdfunding” Project

Murray, Ky. —Murray State University is launching its first-ever crowdfunding initiative, “Be Bold, Support the Blue & Gold,” in support of the MSU Jazz Orchestra. 

To date, there has never been a recording issued by the jazz orchestra. The crowdfunding project is seeking to correct that by raising enough money to make a recording possible. Crowdfunding donors make their contributions online, giving to projects they consider worthy and donating amounts with which they are comfortable.

For the students in the MSU Jazz Orchestra, participating in the actual recording process is of incredible value, Dr. Todd Hill of Paris, associate professor of music and director of the group, said. “It’s one thing to talk about the way it’s done. It’s another thing to actually do it,” he explained. “And a recording is a great way to show what our students are gaining here while we let people across the country know about our outstanding university and how at Murray State we train our student musicians to be both performers and educators.”

Hill said, “These kids work. Hard. They practice outside of class. They get together on their own and work out musical problems. I love facilitating rehearsals where the students are so fully engaged and are making constructive criticisms and suggestions to one another. They are truly like a family and represent Murray State University in a beautiful and meaningful way.”

Tina Bernot, interim executive director of development said, “Our crowdfunding platform will be run internally off of our MSU alumni website so that we have the control to process all gifts through the office of development and deposit funds directly into the MSU Foundation, thereby eliminating any third parties. We feel it is important to our donors that all dollars come directly to Murray State.”

The “Be Bold, Support the Blue & Gold” crowdfunding campaign will be shared through social media and email and driven by online giving. Donors can help Murray State make history by making a gift to the campaign through the university’s crowdfunding site at The campaign will only last for 30 days, so time is limited in which to make a donation.

Tickets On Sale For "Motown In Motion"

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center will host Motown in Motion at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Hailing from the Motor City, Eisenhower Dance will present a visual salute to the tunes that made Motown Records famous--the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Miracles, Michael Jackson, and others. 

This performance and residency activities are funded in part by the Dance Touring Initiative grant provided by South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. There will be several surprise performances by community members during the performance.

Tickets are  $15 plus tax. Motown in Motion is part of this year’s Dixie Dance Festival happening March 5-7th. Eisenhower Dance Company is presenting the performance as well as facilitating several dance classes and residency programs throughout the week. 

Events for the festival in March include two School Time Performances of Mini Motown in Motion for children, schools and families on Friday, March 6 at 9 and 11 a.m. There are still some seats left for this so please contact the box office to reserve. 

The Dixie will also hold dance classes for Carroll Academy, St. John’s Community Services, P.E. and Health Educators in our area as well as Master classes for dance students during the residency program. 

Of special note is a Chair Dance class conducted by Karen Balzer, Artistic Director of the Jackson Purchase Dance Company. We invite anyone who is in a wheelchair, has limited mobility or who works with those with limited mobility to attend this free class, please RSVP to The Dixie.  

Horseshoes For Hope Fundraiser Set For Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-The second annual Horseshoes for Hope fundraiser will be held from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the First United Methodist Church Christian Life Center in Paris.

Horseshoes are a tasty concoction made of cheeseburgers and fries that will be served at the event, which is a fundraiser for REAL Hope Youth Center and Hoof Beats of Hope.

To learn more call 731-333-1320.

Downtown Paris Scavenger Hunt Is Tuesday 

Paris, Tenn. - Henry County Medical Center Women’s Health Advisory Council and the Downtown Paris Association will be hosting a scavenger hunt for health and wellness in downtown Paris on Tuesday, March 3.

The event involves an afternoon of shopping, health education, food, fun and entertainment.

From 4 to 5 p.m. shoppers can visit local DPA retailers with your “X Marks the Spot” scavenger hunt card and you will be eligible for prizes including gifts from six of the local retailers and a $100 VISA gift card from Henry County Medical Center. 

From 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. the Johnson Agency on the court square will be the site of entertainment, a reception by Cindy’s Catering, goodie bags and prizes.

The event is free, but scavenger hunt cards are limited. They can be picked up in advance at the following locations: Boutique Mari Mac, Butler & Harbor, Jack’s Java, Maggies, My Favorite Things, Off the Square and Henry County Medical Center Pink Petal Gift Shop. 

For more information, you may contact Kathy Ray at 653 – 7274.

UC Business Vandalized

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City business was vandalized overnight Thursday. Union City Police were called to Joann’s Fashions at 130 S. First St. on a report that the front window had been broken.

Employees said when they arrived for work, they saw a beer bottle on the ground in front of the window and then noticed the window broken. Cost of the window is $1,000.

Sunday, March 1, 2015 

Henry County Schools In Session Monday
PSSD Also To Be In Session

Paris, Tenn.-For the first time in two weeks, the Henry County Schools district WILL be in session Monday, barring any other weather-related events.

Director of Schools Sam Miles said most roads in the county district are passable, although a few still are ice-covered in places. He said bus routes will be run upon bus driver discretion.

The Paris Special Schools District also will be in session.

Something New At Discovery Park 

Union City, Tenn.-There’s always something new at Discovery Park of America in Union City. The latest addition is this display that once stood in front of Central Grammar School of Union City. Built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) on the grounds of the former Central School, it was home to grades one-six. Different combinations of grades were later offered, and the school was eventually closed in 2002. These structures were donated by the City of Union City in 2013. (DPA photo).

New LBL Reopening Schedule 

Golden Pond, Ky. – With cooperation of the weather, the Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area was able to reopen the Golden Pond Visitor Center and Planetarium on Thursday. 

Wranglers Campground will re-open Wednesday, March 4, weather permitting.

Due to the recent winter weather event, the following attractions and facilities previously scheduled to open for the season March 1, will now open Wednesday, March 4:
North and South Welcome Stations 
Woodlands Nature Station and Homeplace 1850’s Farm 
Developed Campgrounds – Energy, Hillman Ferry, and Piney
Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area and the Elk & Bison Prairie will remain closed at this time.

Land Between The Lakes’ main roads are mostly clear of ice and snow thanks to the efforts of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). Many side roads have not been treated and are still ice and snow packed. Please drive slowly and use caution when driving through the area.

Henry County Youth Baseball Signups
Paris, Tenn.-Sign-ups for all t-ball and baseball players ages 4 - 15 (as of May 1, 2015) will be February 28 and March 7 from 8 a.m. - 12 noon. at the Paris Civic Center.

Wedding Planning Course Offered 

Martin, Tenn. – A certified wedding and event planning course will be offered from 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 10-April 30, on the main UT Martin campus. 
The registration fee is $995 per person and is offered through the University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies, partnered with Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute.

This course teaches the fundamentals of planning, orchestrating and delivering social events, including weddings, baby showers and anniversary or birthday parties. Participants will be introduced to concise formulas for detailing the personal and professional aspects of any social event.

For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-771-7082 or register online at

Saturday, February 28, 2015 

Urgent Need For Negative Type Blood 

Jackson, Tenn.-Supplies of all Blood Types are low and LIFELINE Blood Services is experiencing a critical need for blood types O negative, A negative and B negative, and O positive. 

Recent weather conditions with ice and snow have forced multiple blood drive cancellations and LIFELINE Blood Services was not able to collect the amount of blood needed during the last two weeks. 

To prevent a significant shortage and possible delay in surgical procedures, we must collect enough blood this week to supply West Tennessee hospital patients! All eligible blood donors urged to give blood this week when the LIFELINE Bloodmobile visits.

The Bloodmobile will be in Henry County from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 5 at First United Methodist Church.

Union City Named Tennessee's 9th-Safest City 

Charlotte, N.C. -, a consumer-centric insurance
marketplace, recently conducted a study to find the safest Tennessee cities
from severe weather threats- and Union City ranked #9.

To find the safest cities, analysts at used a
variety of storm data points to create total score for 51 Tennessee cities
with populations greater than 10,000. Analysts used the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration storm events database to factor in occurrences of
tornadoes, hail and lightning in each area. The total score also took into
account the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System. Data
sources were only available at the county level. Cities were assigned points
based on the information for the county in which the city is predominately

Union City ranked #9 on the list due to having low average occurrences of
tornado events.

The full report can be viewed here.

Murray Police Charge Four With Criminal Syndicate Charges
Murray, Ky.-Following an investigation in cooperation with local retail store security, Murray Police Department investigators have filed charges on four individuals for shoplifting and fraudulently returning merchandise. 

Helen N. Austin, 19, of Mayfield, Joseph Delaney, 21, of Murray, Frances C. Lee, 19, of New Concord, and Causha Wilkey, 22 of Geneva NE were involved in the thefts. Lee is charged with one count of Theft by Deception Under $500, seven counts of Theft by Unlawful Taking Under $500, and one count of Engaging in Organized Crime-Criminal Syndicate. Austin is charged with three counts of Theft by Deception Under $500, three counts of Theft by Unlawful Taking Under $500, and one count of Engaging in Organized Crime-Criminal Syndicate. Wilkey is charged with three counts of Theft by Deception Under $500, three counts of Theft by Unlawful Taking Under $500, and one count of Engaging in Organized Crime-Criminal Syndicate. Delaney is charged with one count of Theft by Deception Under $500, one count of Theft by Unlawful Taking Under $500, and one count of Engaging in Organized Crime-Criminal Syndicate. All four were arrested and lodged at the Calloway County Jail. 

Friday, February 27, 2015 

Mother Nature Not Done Yet

Paris, Tenn.-Mother Nature isn’t done with us yet. An early-morning snowfall enveloped Henry County in another blanket of snow, prompting the Paris Special Schools District to cancel school as the school buses were ready to leave for their morning routes. Henry County Schools already had been cancelled for today. In photo, another layer of snow made for a picturesque scene in Whitehall Circle around 6:30 a.m. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Charges Dismissed In Henry County Fatality

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The State of Tennessee has dismissed charges against a Paris woman who was arrested for DUI after her vehicle struck and killed a Benton County motorcyclist last summer.

Suzanne Fowlkes, 56, of Paris, was arrested for DUI first offense following an accident on May 4, 2014, in which her vehicle struck two motorcycles. Killed in the accident was Michael Wall, age 39 of Eva.

The case was heard Wednesday in Henry County General Sessions Court by Weakley County Judge Thomas L. Moore, who was appointed as a special judge in the matter.

District Attorney Tommy Thomas was appointed as Special Prosecutor. Thomas is the District Attorney General for Obion and Weakley Counties.

According to an audio tape of the proceedings in Henry County General Sessions Court, District Attorney Thomas said the state moved to dismiss the charges based on the evidence presented.

According to Thomas, a surveillance video showed that Fowlkes was attempting to turn onto Hwy. 79 and stopped, “looking both left and right“. He said Fowlkes pulled out in front of the motorcycles, which were “travelling at an excessive rate of speed”. He also said that Fowlkes’ vision was impaired by the sun.

He noted that Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Mounts had interviewed Fowlkes at the scene and she told him she had taken an Ambien the night before. “Based on that,” Thomas said, she was charged with DUI.

Fowlkes blood was drawn and sent away for testing. Those tests showed no alcohol present and “a small amount of the active ingredient of Ambien”, Thomas said.

Based on all of that, Thomas said, the state moved to dismiss the charge. Judge Moore accepted the state’s dismissal.

Wall was wearing a helmet and Fowlkes was wearing her seat belt at the time of the accident.

Vanderbilt LifeFlight To Locate At HCMC

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Following a vote Thursday night by the Henry County Medical Center board of trustees, Vanderbilt Life Flight will be building an air ambulance operation on the hospital grounds.

The vote was split 3-2 and followed presentations by both Vanderbilt Life Flight and Air Evac, both of which were interested in locating on the HCMC grounds. Air Evac, which already has area headquarters in Martin, made a presentation last month.

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee said it appeared the board members voted to go with Vanderbilt Life Flight over Air Evac because of the information contained in the presentations and input from the medical staff.

“I think what they heard in the Vanderbilt presentation and the input from our medical staff regarding the quality of the Vanderbilt Life Flight operation is probably what swayed the votes,” Gee said.

According to its website, Vanderbilt Life Flight has transported more than 33,000 patients to hospitals in Nashville and destinations around the world. It is Tennessee’s largest not-for-profit air medical transport program, providing service via six helicopters (five bases and one helicopter serves as backup), one fixed wing aircraft (airplane) and four ground ambulances. It has kept an accident-free safety record since its inception in 1984.

Life Flight transports to all Nashville hospitals and has immediate access to the region's only Level I Trauma Center, Burn Center and Children's Hospital, all at Vanderbilt.
Life Flight is a key part of a trauma system that includes pre-hospital care, definitive care, rehabilitation and injury prevention. 

According to Life Flight’s presentation, it plans to spend $10 M which will locate a headquarters and helicopter at the local hospital.

Gee said Life Flight will locate its headquarters on the HCMC campus and will be staffed “around the clock. They’ll be ready to go in a moment’s notice.”

Gee: Health Care Situation Nears Critical Stage

Paris, Tenn.-Also at Thursday night’s meeting of the Henry County Medical Center board of trustees, Administrator Tom Gee said the health care situation is reaching a critical stage with small rural hospitals closing recently, including four in west Tennessee.

Gee noted Governor Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee failed to get out of committee in the state legislature last week. The legislature has been taking heavy criticism “from many different fronts and through the media”, he said, noting there appears to be some effort to salvage some sort of health care legislation in the upcoming session “but it is unclear what might be happening behind the scenes.”

“It is very depressing to hospitals, especially those of us in rural areas. Methodist Fayette County hospital announced its closure this past week,” Gee said. “That makes four west Tennessee hospitals plus one in Fulton, Ky., and one in West Memphis, Ark., that have closed this year. I have never heard of that many closures in one region in my forty plus years in healthcare.”

Plans to move forward with both the operating room expansion and Lake Haven geropsych unit for geriatric care are delayed. Due to the older building, the cost of the operating room project “has come in significantly over our planned budget.”

Gee said the hospital is showing a “bonanza year in physician recruitment”, with several doctors, including one from Paris, who will begin practicing in Henry County.

The hospital has commitments from two hospitalists who will join by the summer. Dr, Mengistu Yemane of Manchester, Ky., will be the new hospitalist director beginning in June and Dr. Bill Smith from Fulton Ky., will be the second hospitalist. Dr. Smith is joining following the closure of the Fulton hospital.

Gee said Dr. John Beddies, originally of Paris, will be returning with his family to join Kentucky Lake Urology. Gee said the hospital will begin managing Kentucky Lake Urology and will be employing both Dr. Beddies and Dr. Joe Mobley III. Dr. Joe Mobley Jr. will remain as an independent contractor in the practice as he nears retirement.

Gee also said the hospital is exploring how it can assist Dr. Lindsey Foust, also originally from Paris, in starting a podiatry practice in Paris. She currently is in practice in Louisville.

The hospital continues to seek candidates in OB and psychiatry. Gee said the hospital also is in discussion with one other existing practice about taking over the management of its operations and will bring that information to the board in the near future.

Holt, Harris Work Against Traffic Cameras 

                Rep. Andy Holt                                       Senator Lee Harris

Nashville, Tenn.-- Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, and newly-elected Senator Lee Harris, D-Memphis, have joined in a bipartisan effort to outlaw traffic cameras in Tennessee. Rep. Holt made a lot of headlines a few weeks ago when he spoke out strongly against the use of the cameras and now Senator Harris has joined with his effort.

Rep. Holt noted how unlikely of allies the two men appear. “Senator Lee Harris and I would seem like total polar opposites politically. He's from the big city of Memphis; I'm from a small town in rural Tennessee; He's a Democrat, I'm a Republican; He's black, I'm white; He's in the Senate, I'm in the House. Unfortunately, many would draw a seemingly logical conclusion that we don't like each other-- that we would seek to oppose and discredit one another. Given the national political environment, it is an easy assumption to make,” Holt said.

However, nothing could be further from the truth, Holt said. “Actually, in the few short weeks I have spent with Senator Harris, I have grown to love and respect him. He is brave, bold, responsible, and exactly what the people of Memphis need in a Democratic State Senator. While Senator Harris and I may not find common ground on many policy issues, we are linking arms on a huge issue for many Tennesseans; outlawing traffic cameras in the Volunteer State.”

Sen. Harris was the first Senator to co-sponsor of the "Tennessee Freedom From Traffic Cameras Act", Holt said, noting that “Sen. Harris will undoubtedly be attacked by his city officials, but his resolve to stand for Tennesseans will never be forgotten by me. Democrats and Republicans can work together for the greater good of Tennessee, and I pray we see more of this.”

Holt called the presence of traffic cameras “a festering wound to the free and sovereign people of this state.”

Holt attacked the arguments for the use of traffic cameras: “They generate revenue for the city: Since when did your constitutional rights have a price-tag? Did I mention that the vast majority of revenue is sent to out-of-state companies running the cameras, which has resulted in millions of dollars leaving Tennessee's economy?,” he said.

He also noted the argument that the cameras reduce accidents: “The only studies and data that show this outcome are funded by the cities and companies making millions of dollars off of the cameras, making such studies and data inherently biased. In fact, non-bias, independent studies show that traffic cameras actually increase accidents,” he said.

Rehabbed Bald Eagle To Be Released

Tiptonville, Tenn.-A newly rehabilitated juvenile Bald Eagle will be released into the wild at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 28 at the Reelfoot Lake State Park Visitor Center.

Tennessee State Parks Regional Naturalist David Haggard said, “This is one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of our park ranger job.” 

The public is invited.

Obion Central High Coach Resigns Under Fire 

Union City, Tenn.-Obion County Central High School head girls basketball coach Lyle LaRue resigned under fire after a meeting with school officials.

WENK/WTPR Sports Analyst Mike Hutchens said this is the third coaching change at Obion County Central in five months. Head Football Coach Kevin Goltra was fired and Softball Coach Tommy Victory also resigned.

Obion County Central Athletic Director Craig Rogers said school officials decided “to go in a different direction” and were acting in the best interests of the program.

LaRue had been the coach for six years.

Rogers said the school will begin searching for a replacement immediately.

South Fulton Man Jailed On Multiple Charges

Fulton, Ky.-A South Fulton, Tenn., man is being held in the Fulton County Detention Center on a long list of charges following an incident in Fulton, Ky. Wednesday afternoon.

Danny Ray Wilson, age 50, is charged as a fugitive from justice (with three outstanding warrants from Obion County), theft of a vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, arson of a vehicle, fleeing and evading in the first degree, tampering with evidence, threatening in third degree, receiving stolen property and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

The incident began when Fulton Police had a report of a suspicious person hitchhiking on the Purchase Parkway. Officers located Wilson and he fled, throwing a loaded pistol in the pond adjacent to the former Terry Petty dealership.

UTM Volleyball Coach Resigns

Martin, Tenn. – Darrin McClure, who served as the University of Tennessee at Martin’s head volleyball coach since 2008, has resigned to accept the same position at Union University.

Julia Noe, who recently completed her fourth season as a Skyhawk assistant, will serve as acting head coach while the university begins a national search process to hire a new coach.

“I would like to personally thank Coach McClure for his many years of service to the UT Martin volleyball program,” Skyhawk athletics director Julio Freire said. “He conducted the program with the highest degree of integrity and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

A 2006 UT Martin graduate, McClure posted a 72-146 record in seven seasons at the helm of the Skyhawk program, including a 38-84 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play. He guided UT Martin to three OVC Tournament appearances, advancing all the way to the league’s championship match in 2011, the same year he was named OVC Coach of the Year. In his first season (2008), he led the program to the OVC Tournament for the first time in six years while he also made a tournament appearance in 2012.

McClure, who also served as an assistant coach at UT Martin from 2005-06, coached five All-OVC performers and the only American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American in program history. His team also earned the AVCA Team Academic Award for four straight seasons (2011-14) and had all 14 players on the Honor Roll last fall.

“UT Martin will always be special to me,” McClure said. “I am thankful for the opportunity I was given here and will forever be grateful for those that helped make it possible. I am sorry to leave an exceptional group of young ladies, managers and assistant coach Julia Noe but wish for nothing but continued success for the UT Martin volleyball program.”

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winding Down After Hard Work 

Paris, Tenn.-Volunteers Gayle Griffith and Hut Stigall talk things over Wednesday as things wind down on the last day of the 2015 Helping Hand Radio Auction. The unofficial total raised during the two-month auction was $306,878, with thousands more expected to be donated before the tally is official. The full story on the auction’s last day was published Wednesday. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Bobo Suspect Died In Florida 

Decatur, Tenn. -- Authorities have confirmed the key witness in the Holly Bobo kidnapping and murder case who was reported to have committed suicide earlier this week was found dead in Florida.

The attorney for Shayne Austin of Decatur County told the media earlier this week that his client had committed suicide, but declined to say where.

Authorities have now confirmed that Austin died in a motel room in Bartow, Florida, but said no suicide note was found.

Austin was considered a key witness because he was said to have spent the entire day with Zach Adams on the day that Bobo was kidnapped and had confessed privately that he took part in the crime.

Adams, also of Decatur County, was the first person to be arrested for his part in the case. Bobo was kidnapped from her Parsons home in 2011 and her skull was found last year.

Austin last year had signed an immunity agreement with the state in exchange for information, but his deal was thrown out by former District Attorney Hansel McCadams because the state felt Austin didn’t not live up to his end of the bargain.

Austin was reportedly in Florida working as a contractor.

Voter Turnout Light For Tax Issue

Paris, Tenn.-Voter turnout was low for the first day of early voting Wednesday in Henry County for the local option sales tax referendum.

Henry County Elections Commission Director Darrin Thompson said a total of 110 have voted thus far, with 74 voting Wednesday. The balance of that figure were from absentee votes.

It is expected that turnout will continue to be low for the referendum vote. 

Early voting continues through March 12. Election Day is March 17.

Voters are being asked to increase the county’s local option sales tax by one-half percent. 
Early voting hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturday February 28 and March 7, 9 a.m.-noon.

Chuck Wagon Gang To Perform Saturday

Union City, Tenn.-The Chuck Wagon Gang will appear this Saturday evening, February 28 at the Union City First United Methodist Church.

The event, “Celebrating 75 Years of Gospel Music” will be held at 6 p.m. There is free admission and a love offering will be taken. The event is open to the public. 

To learn more about The Chuck Wagon Gang visit

Murray Police Make ATM Theft Arrest 

Murray, Ky.-On October 18 of 2014, Murray Police Department received a report that a large sum of money had been taken from an ATM at FNB Bank in Murray. 

Pictures were distributed via the media and social media regarding a suspect vehicle. Follow up investigation by Detective Angel Clere led to Thomas Wadley, 42, of Paducah. On February 25, Wadley was charged with one count of Theft By Unlawful Taking Over $500/Under $10,000 for taking money from the ATM. Wadley was lodged at the Calloway County Jail. 

The Murray Police Department thanks the public for its support and assistance in this investigation.

Youth Tennis Camp Rescheduled

Paris, Tenn.-The planned youth tennis camp sponsored by the Paris Parks and Recreation Department has been rescheduled.

Parks Director Tony Lawrence said the camp for children aged 10 and under will be under the Direction of (United States Tennis Association) USTA certified coach J.F. Kirk.

The camp will be held at Atkins Porter Rec Center on Tuesdays and Thursday nights from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. April 14th, 16th, 21st, 23rd, 28th and May 5th, and 7th.

Registration fee is $25 made to Paris Parks and Recreation Department.

Sign up at the Paris Civic Center or call 644-2517

Wedding Planning Course Offered 

Martin, Tenn. – A certified wedding and event planning course will be offered from 6-8:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 10-April 30, on the main UT Martin campus. 
The registration fee is $995 per person and is offered through the University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies, partnered with Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute.

This course teaches the fundamentals of planning, orchestrating and delivering social events, including weddings, baby showers and anniversary or birthday parties. Participants will be introduced to concise formulas for detailing the personal and professional aspects of any social event.

For more information, contact the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-771-7082 or register online at

Wednesday, February 25, 2015  

Unofficial Helping Hand Total for 2015: $306,878

Fred McLean, left, prepares to take to the microphone to auction off the last five slates at the Helping Hand Radio Auction last day today. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-After two months of hard work by a band of volunteers and dozens of local organizations and churches, an unofficial total of $306,878 was raised in this year’s annual Helping Hand Radio Auction.

Helping Hand Treasurer Susan Bell said, “That’s strictly the unofficial total. There will be more to add to it. Several more thousand is still to be donated for this year.”

A total of $7,254 was raised on Wednesday, the event’s last day, in which 16 slates of items were donated on “open to anyone day”. 

As always, the items donated were a good collection of homemade baked goods, casseroles, gift baskets, as well as the large refrigerators and freezers that were donated for the event.

Last year, a total of $351,663 was raised.

A truly homegrown event, the auction each year raises money for a long list of local charities and organizations. 

As is tradition, Paris Attorney Fred McLean served as auctioneer for the last segment of the auction. Also serving as auctioneers during the two-month event were Cindy Snyder, Gayle Griffith, Bill Williams, Bill McCutcheon, Doug Taylor, Ray Compton, Noel Hatman and Junior Staggs.

Each year, the auction is broadcast live every day on WTPR-AM.

Weather Delays BPU Substation, Warehouse

BPU General Manager John Etheridge, right, gives reports as Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley, Director of Electric Department Cole Edwards and Secretary Gini Roberts listen. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Issues with the weather have delayed completion of both the Board of Public Utilities’ new warehouse on Hwy. 218 and its North Paris substation.

Direcctor of Engineering Jeff Thompson told the BPU board at its meeting Wednesday that the substation is “almost there. It would have been done by now if we hadn’t had this weather.” Thompson said the substation “will be energized” in a couple of weeks.

As for the warehouse, Director of Electric Department Cole Edwards said, “We need a weather break to finish up, but the metering department is using the new warehouse as of this morning. We still have paving and a few other things to do to be all finished.”

The next BPU meeting will be held at the new facility when it meets Tuesday morning, March 24.

The only surprise in the monthly reports as presented by General Manager John Etheridge was the negative balance for the wastewater department.

Etheridge said the year-to-date net income for that department is -$32,000, which he said is due to “more expensive sewer backups that we’ve seen lately.” If those had not occurred in recent days, “we would have been break-even”, he said.

The electrical and water departments “are in good shape”, he said, with positive incomes for both month-to-date and expected for the end of the year.

In other business:

-The board approved revisions to the contribution to aid to construction policy and procedures and approved modifications to the new TVA rules and regulations.

PSSD To Follow Same Busing Plan All Week

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Special Schools WILL be in sesson Thursday and Director of Schools Mike Brown said the district will follow the same plan as it did for today. "Everything went really well for today," Brown said, "but our buses still will not be going down the 13 roads that we announced Tuesday."

The roads are: Hill Rd., Palestine Rd., Caledonia Rd. Extended, Old McKenzie Highway, Hidden Acres/Muzzall Rd., Cole Fairway, Terry Lane, Smith Heights, Tanglewood, Logan Rd., McClain Rd., Ross Sawmill Rd. and Guthrie Rd. (660 and above).

Brown said some 25 students are affected and arrangements were made for those students to be picked up or their parent to take them to school.

Finding Those Holly Berries

Paris, Tenn.-Our feathered friends have been even busier than usual on these snowy and frigid days, foraging for food wherever they can find it. Paris Photographer Jean Owens captured this photo of a mockingbird eating holly berries on a recent day. 

Obion County Seeks Liquor Lawsuit Involvement

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Budget Committee has voted to send a prepared resolution to the full county commission seeking to officially intervene in the county school system’s lawsuit against the city of Union City, seeking past liquor-by-the-drink revenue which the school system claims it is due.

The lawsuit was filed in 2014 and seeks $250,000 from Union City.

Obion County is not the only county in Tennessee that found itself in such a predicament. State auditors last year determined that cities across the state were not distributing the tax revenue properly. Other jurisdictions, such as Henry County and the city of Paris, already came to settlements.

County Mayor Benny McGuire said the attorneys involved in the litigation presented a prepared resolution to the county that would allow the county to be part of the litigation. He said the commission will consider the resolution at its next meeting, which is set for 9 a.m. March 9 at the Obion County Library.

Huntingdon Offers Emergency Text Messaging

Lt. Walter Smothers

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Huntingdon Department of Public Safety has announced that the department now has the capability of sending mass text messages to the cell phones of persons that wish to receive them. 

Director of Public Safety Lt. Walter Smothers said the messages will be sent out in emergency situations, such as in the event of severe weather conditions in the area, any evacuations if needed, missing children or missing elderly alerts, road conditions including flooded roads, planned electrical outages and many other potential uses. 

“Not only can the community benefit from this service,” Smothers said, “but the Department could potentially benefit if, as stated earlier, we have a missing child or person, we could have hundreds of eyes on the watch for them instead of just a few officers.”

In order to receive these messages on your cell phone just text the town zip code, 38344, in the message area of a text message and send the message to 888777. Or you can go the the website that is hosting the mass text messaging platform and sign up. The website address is . 

Nixle has informed Smothers that if a cell phone subscriber has no text messaging plan, or a limited plan with their carrier, then standard text message rates may apply.

“The Huntingdon Department of Public Safety is dedicated to providing the best in community protection, awareness and information sharing,” Smothers said. “We thank Nixle for sharing their technology with us and look forward to expanding our efforts to provide more public safety measures.”

West Tennessee 4-H Camp Back On Drawing Board 

Union City, Tenn.-A plan to develop a new 4-H camp for West Tennessee is back on the drawing board.

Governor Bill Haslam’s preliminary budget includes money that would fund purchase of Lone Oak Farms in Middleton (in Hardeman County).

Obion County Extension Office Director Tim Smith was asked to gather information on a preferred site for the new 4H Camp and Conference Center for West Tennessee.

Smith said the money in the preliminary state budget would fund the purchase of the land only.

Quilting Workshop Set For Saturday 

Dover, Tenn.-Break the cabin fever at the Stewart County Library for a Quilting Workshop this Saturday, February 28. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., with a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m.

Deborah and Sara, the Hoopster Sisters are excited to return and discuss quilting techniques during the Civil War. 

Sorry, no pot luck lunch.

TCAT Hosts Chamber Coffee

Paris, Tenn.-Dr. Brad White, left, administrator of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology in Paris and McKenzie, and Assistant Director Willie Huffman, who serves on the Board of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Charles Wilson and the Chamber Coffee this month to the TCAT.

GOP Meeting Rescheduled 

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County GOP meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 26th has been moved forward one week due to inclement weather.
That meeting will now be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5th in the Chancery Court room of the Court House.

Phlebotomy Tech Course Offered 

Martin, Tenn. – A 90-hour training course is available through the University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies for those interested in becoming phlebotomy technicians. The course will meet from 6-9:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 10-May 26, and from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., April 25 and May 9, on the main UT Martin campus. The course costs $1,799 per person, which includes all textbooks and supplies.

This course is designed to prepare professionals to collect blood specimen for laboratory analysis. Students will become familiar with all aspects of blood collection and develop the skills to perform venipunctures safely. Classroom and lab work includes specimen practice, terminology, anatomy and physiology.

The National Healthcare Association certification exam is given at the end of the course. The exam costs an additional $105 and is paid directly to the NHA. The course instructor will arrange exam registration and payment.

There is no outside externship rotation included in this program. 

For more information or to register, call the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 

PSSD Endorses Sales Tax Option Referendum

Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell presents a power point presentation on the sales tax referendum at Tuesday's PSSD meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Following a power point presentation by Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell Tuesday night, the Paris Special Schools board of education endorsed the local option sales tax that will be on the ballot at a special March 17 election.

The school board met a week later than scheduled due to last week’s ice storm.

The early voting period begins Wednesday, March 25, on the issue, which would generate $1.8 M annual and would be distributed to Henry County, city of Paris and the Henry County and Paris school districts.

Gerrell said $900,000 of that amount will be distributed to the schools. 

Key reasons for the need for the sales tax, Gerrell said, are revenue losses of $315,000 annually from the decrease in local liquor sales and that inflation has exceeded revenue growth. 

The county, city and schools have taken steps to balance their budgets, Gerrell said, including a city property tax increase, reducing benefits to staff, no salary increases, deferring capital and property expenses and using rainy day funds.

Gerrell said use of a sales tax is preferable to property tax, which would be detrimental to retiree recruitment, a burden on homeowners, commercial property owners, farmers and would discourage investment in the local community.

PSSD Director of Schools Mike Brown said the district is not at a crisis point yet “but I can foresee in the next two to four years that we won’t be able to maintain the same level of services without increased revenues.”

Board Member Kim Foster--who also is Finance Director for the city of Paris--said the sales tax option is “a no-brainer to me.”

Brown praised the efforts of Richie Chilcutt and maintenance staff of the district in clearing parking lots and making repairs which has enabled the district to open Wednesday “which is probably two or three days earlier than it could have been,” he said.

Brown said 13 roads or parts of roads are still impassable for school buses but that only about 25 students are affected by that. Brown earlier Tuesday gave out a phone number for parents to call so that arrangements could be made to pick up their children at other locations.

In other business:

--Curriculum Supervisor Dr. Leah Watkins reported that a $6,600 grant from Utrust will allow the district to offer a Summer STEM Academy for higher achieving students who score 90 percent or greater on TCAP science and math scores.

The academy will be offered July 13-17 at Inman Middle School for students in grades 3-7 and will include morning and afternoon sessions. Some 60 students will receive invitations to it, she said. “We’re really excited about what we can offer with this,” she said.

PSSD Approves Calendar

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Special Schools board of education approved the 2015-2016 school calendar at Tuesday’s meeting.

The calendar allows for no school on fair day of August 6, fall break October 15-16; Thanksgiving break November 25-27; Christmas holiday December 21-31; New Year’s holiday students return Jan. 5; spring break March 21-25; fish fry day April 29 and May 21 abbreviated day.

Weakley County Man Dies Of Exposure

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Dresden, Tenn.-An 83-year-old Weakley County man died overnight from exposure to frigid temperatures after he fell outside at his home. The man has not been identified by authorities.

The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office responded to 550 Unity Rd. north of Dresden at 10:43 a.m. Tuesday.

The 83-year-old resident was found deceased in his driveway. According to Capt. Randall McGowan, it appeared that the man had been to his mailbox, fell on the ice-covered driveway, slid down a small hill and was unable to get back to his porch.

The man was last heard from about 1:30 p.m. the day before.

Capt. McGowan said it is believed exposure to the cold temperatures contributed to his death. Investigators from the sheriff’s office were assisted by the Weakley Co. Medical Examiner’s Office and the Weakley Co. Ambulance Service.

Dyersburg Police Officer Arrested By TBI
Charged With Stealing From Obion County Couple

Dyersburg, Tenn. – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Dyersburg Police Officer charged with stealing from an Obion County couple.

At the request of 27th District Attorney General Thomas Thomas, TBI Special Agents, with the assistance of officers with the Obion County Sheriff’s Office, began investigating Cara Elizabeth Johnson-Peckenpaugh on February 10th. Johnson-Peckenpaugh is an investigator with the Dyersburg Police Department.

During the course of the investigation, Agents determined that on February 5th, Johnson-Peckenpaugh electronically removed money from the checking account of a Union City couple and used that money to pay her own electric bill to the Forked Deer Electric Company in Halls.

On Tuesday, agents arrested Cara Johnson-Peckenpaugh and charged the 37-year-old with Theft under $500. She was booked at the Obion County Jail and released on her own recognizance. Johnson-Peckenpaugh has been suspended without pay from the Dyersburg Police Department pending an administrative proceeding.

Inmates Graduate From Parenting Class

Sgt. Rob Camper and Lt. Steve Dean congratulate Kayla Odom on her graduation, while Carl Perkins Center Director Catherine Herrera looks on. (Henry Co. Sheriff's Office photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Fifteen inmates of the Henry County Jail were graduated from the parenting class sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Carl Perkins Center during a ceremony Monday night.

The class is a 13-week program taught by Carl Perkins Center staff which teaches inmates positive teaching techniques. Each graduate is awarded a one-hour contact visit with family in the courtroom where the graduation ceremony was held.

Sheriff Monte Belew noted this is the fourth parenting class to be graduated and he praised the “excellent” job performed by the Carl Perkins staff.

Shop Local Week Hopes To Boost Sales Hurt By Weather

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Union City have teamed up in declaring this week “Shop Local Week in Obion County”

Chamber Membership Director Katie Keathley said the two organizations recognize that many of the local businesses have been adversely impacted by the weather conditions last week and into this week “so we’re partnering to try and help boost our local economy.”

Local businesses lost badly needed sales “and our friends and neighbors lost work time and in turn many lost wages as well,” she said. 

By reminding everyone to shop local, she said, “We’re hoping to give our local businesses more business this week.”

Shopping locally not only supports local jobs and conserves tax dollars but also encourages the community and makes Obion County a destination, she said.

Martin Police Chief Announces Resignation 

Martin, Tenn.-Long-time Martin Police Chief David Moore has announced he will be resigning to enter the private sector.

Moore said he has accepted a position as a vice president at Savant Learning Systems, an online training and education program headquartered in Martin.

Moore has worked for the Martin Police Department for 27 years, 11 of which have been spent as police chief. He also is past president of the Tennessee Chiefs of Police Association.

The resignation will be effective April 10. Moore told the media the decision was not an easy one but the opportunity was such that it could not be passed up.

Pharmacy Tech Training Offered 

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer a comprehensive 50-hour training course for those interested in becoming pharmacy technicians. The class will meet from 6-9:30 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, March 9-April 27 on the UT Martin main campus. The course fee is $1,199, which includes textbooks and supplies.

Students will be introduced to dosage calculations, I.V. flow rates, drug compounding, dose conversions, dispensing of prescriptions, inventory control, billing and reimbursement. 

Participants will also review medical terminology specific to the pharmacy, reading and interpreting prescriptions and defining drugs by generic and brand names. 
Pharmacy technicians work in hospitals, home infusion pharmacies, community pharmacies and other health care settings under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. 

Students will take a graded final exam to help prepare for the official certification exam.
For more information or to register for the course, contact ECOS at 731-881-7082 or register online at

Helping Hand Total Is Now $295,340

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $295,340-- tantalizingly close to the $300,000 mark for another year. The auction will conclude on Wednesday.

On Monday, $3,816 was raised by UT Supporters, Open Doors Community Church, Henry County Girl Scouts and the Church in Paris.

On Tuesday, items will be donated by the India community, Lakeway Village, and Peppers Automotive Group. Wednesday will be Open To Anyone Day.

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

Lions Chili Supper Today

Paris, Tenn.-It’s cold outside and what better way to warm up than with a bowl of chili?

The Paris Lions Club is holding its annual chili supper from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at the First United Methodist Church in Paris.

The supper will feature the Lions Club’s famous chili, pie and drink for $10. Take outs are available. Tickets are available at the door.

Bill Jelks of the Lions Club said this event is the club’s biggest fund-raiser of the year.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper Tonight

Union City,  Tenn.-The annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, which was postponed due to last week’s weather, will be held from 5-7 p.m. tonight at the St. James Episcopal Church in Union City. Cost is $5 per person and is all you can eat.

Goodwill Job Fair Set For Thursday

South Fulton, Tenn.-Goodwill Career Solutions has rescheduled its job fair for Thursday, February 26, from 9 a.m.-noon at the South Fulton City Hall.

Job World, Waymatic, A Place Called Home and Letica will be on hand with multiple positions available. Representatives from Bethel University will be in attendance with information about the associate degree programs.

Bring your resume, photo ID, birth certificate and come dressed ready for interviews. To find out more, call 731-8844324.


Area Scams Target Elderly 

Murray, Ky.-In recent weeks, the Murray Police Department has investigated multiple scams targeting elderly victims. 

The scams have similar profiles. In each scam, the suspect has contacted the victim and claimed that the victim has won a large sum of money, in one case $1.2 million, in another $285,000. 

The victim is instructed to send cash as a “claiming fee” via either UPS or the US Mail. In both of these scams, the suspect had the victim’s name and address, making their claim seem more believable. MPD would like to remind the public that often scammers can find your name and address from pubic sources, so just because someone calls you by name, doesn’t mean they are legitimate. 

Furthermore, if you can’t remember entering a contest, it is likely you did not, and it is probably a scam. No contest will charge you a claiming fee to collect your prize; if they ask for one, it is a scam. Never send cash through the mail or other shipping service. If you think something might be a scam, or seems in the least bit suspicious, don’t hesitate to call the Murray Police Department at (270) 753-1621, and we will be glad to help figure out if it is a scam or not.

Monday, February 23, 2015 

Bobo Suspect Found Dead

Nashville, Tenn..-A suspect and key witness in the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo has been found dead in an apparent suicide, according to his attorney.

Austin's attorney Luke Evans confirmed his client's death to WSMV in Nashville today, but would not say when or where the death occurred. He did say, however, that it happened out-of-state.

Austin initially was granted immunity for his full cooperation into the 2011 disappearance of Bobo, who was a 20-year-old nursing student when she disappeared from her Parsons home in 2011.

Bobo's skull was found near a home that Austin had moved into only two days before she was last seen alive.

Because of the immunity agreement, Austin avoided arrest, but earlier reports indicated that the state planned to revoke the immunity agreement.

The state claimed Austin had not been truthful and wasn't cooperating.

Two other men, Zachary Adams and Jason Autry are both charged with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping and are in jail awaiting further court proceedings.

Icy Roadway Causes Propane Tank Rollover

                                                       --Photo by Ron Watkins

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Emergency Management Agency officials, along with several other county first responders, were on the scene of a United Propane Gas propane truck rollover accident Monday afternoon.

Due to icy conditions on the roadway, the propane truck rolled over on Sherry Lane south of Paris. According to EMA Director Ron Watkins, the 2500 gallon tanker was not leaking following the accident.

Watkins said United Propane Gas Co. officials were on the scene of the accident, along with the following agencies: Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Paris Fire Department.

HCHS Band Appearance At UTM Cancelled 

Martin, Tenn. – With Henry County Schools not in session Tuesday, the appearance of the Henry County School Band with The University of Tennessee at Martin wind ensemble has been cancelled.

Winter's Grip Continues In Our Area

Lady McFarlin makes the first paw prints Sunday on the blanket of snow that still envelopes Maplewood Cemetery in Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-Tennessee remains at a Level II-State of Emergency as winter’s grip continues in our area and across the state.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) confirmed 22 weather-related deaths in the state due to the weather emergency. Three of those deaths have occurred in our area: Two Henry Countians died of hypothermia and a Benton County woman died of a weather-related traffic fatality.

Weather forecasts indicate that the deep freeze will continue through the state this week. Public schools in our area are still closed into a second week, while all of our area universities reopened this morning.

As temperatures rose over the weekend, melting snow and ice led to flooding problems, which caused several roadways to close in the counties in our area. Frigid overnight temperatures through this week will cause more problems with frozen roadways and sidewalks.

Here is the list of weather-related fatalities as of February 16 compiled by TEMA:

Tennessee has 22, confirmed, weather-related fatalities:
• Benton County – One (1) fatality: 64-year-old female, motor vehicle accident 
• Hamilton County – One (1) fatality: 63-year-old male, hypothermia related 
• Haywood County – One (1) fatality: 40-year-old female, motor vehicle accident
• Henry County – Two (2) fatalities: 
- 64-year-old female, hypothermia related
- 61-year-old male, hypothermia related
• Hickman County One (1) fatality: 67-year-old male, dialysis patient, unable to get to treatment 
• Knox County – Four (4) fatalities: 
- 30-year-old male, motor vehicle accident
- 75-year-old male, fire
- 68-year-old female, fire
- 47-year-old male, fire
• Moore County – One (1) fatality: 73-year-old male, hypothermia 
• Overton County – One (1) fatality: 38-year-old female, motor vehicle accident 
• Roane County – One (1) fatality: 44-year-old male, hypothermia related 
• Sequatchie – One (1) fatality: 85-year-old male, hypothermia related 
• Sevier – Two (2) fatalities, 
- 70-year-old female, weather related;
- Male (age unknown), weather related
• Shelby County – Three (3) fatalities: 
- 48-year-old male, hypothermia related
- Male (age unknown), hypothermia related
- (Demographics unknown), hypothermia related
• Sumner County – One (1) fatality: Male, 60s, weather related
• Williamson County – Two (2) fatalities: 
- 34-year-old female, motor vehicle accident
- 10-year-old male, motor vehicle accident

Cattle Need Special Care During Cold Weather 

                                                     --UT Extension Photo

Knoxville, Tenn. — February’s cold temperatures require the state’s livestock producers to make adjustments to their regular management procedures to keep their animals healthy. Cattle health, in particular, is of great concern as the state ranks 13th in the nation in beef cattle production with a statewide herd of approximately 864,000 beef cows. 

Justin Rhinehart, University of Tennessee Extension beef cattle specialist, recommends cattle producers adjust their feeding regimes to fit the conditions in their area to help their animals weather the cold. “For a 1,200 pound cow with a dry winter coat, the TDN, or energy requirement will increase 1 percent for every degree drop in wind chill below 32 degrees F. If the cow is wet, the increase in energy requirement is 2 percent for every degree below 59 degrees F,” he said. “Basically, this means cows will increase their hay intake and producers need to make sure they are putting more hay out than usual and refilling feeders more frequently.”

It is recommended producers feed the highest quality hay they have on hand. “Most of our hay in Tennessee does not have enough energy to accommodate this increased feeding requirement during extremely cold weather, so feeding an additional energy source is recommended,” he added. The expert recommends supplementing hay by adding grain and oilseeds, like corn or cottonseed, commodity feeds like soyhulls or dried distillers grains (DDGs), or commercially produced feed supplements.

There is a downside to changing the feeding regime, however. “Be careful not to provide too much of some of these supplements, as it could lead to digestive issues,” Rhinehart said. He recommends that supplements be hand-fed daily rather than provided as “free-choice.”

In addition, producers should not feed more that 5 to 6 lb/head/day of corn, DDGs or whole cottonseed. They should gradually increase the supplements to the maximum over a few days, Rhinehart said.

For those who have access to a Master Beef Producer manual, Chapter 5 provides a thorough description of managing cattle nutrition during cold stress. Others should contact their local county UT Extension agent for additional information. Other resources include the UT Extension website: Just click on the top link to “publications” and enter the search term “beef” or “cattle” to see links to UT Extension resources. Additional resources are also available online at the national extension website:

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and outreach through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.

Conference Performance Cancelled Tonight

Martin, Tenn.-Tonight’s performance by Actress Florence Roach at the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 15th annual Civil Rights Conference has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Roach is from Memphis.

However, the remainder of this week’s conference is still scheduled. Mark Updegrove, director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m., Feb. 26, in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center. 
A presentation titled “50 Years of Juvenile Literature – Focus on African American Civil Rights” is scheduled for 12:15 p.m., Feb. 24, in the Paul Meek Library Media Center. Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music, and her percussion students will present “Roots of Rhythm” at 7:30 p.m., Feb 24, and again at noon, Feb. 25, in the Harriet Fulton Theater of the Fine Arts Building. Also at noon, Feb. 25, there will be a black writers roundtable discussion in the Hortense Parrish Writing Center. 

The final day of the conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a presentation by Dr. Rebecca Miller Davis, assistant teaching professor of history, University of Missouri, Kansas City, titled “Crossing the Bridge: Selma and Voting Rights.”  

Sunday, February 22, 2015 

Snow And Ice Lingering On

Union City, Tenn.-This aerial view from Discovery Park of America says it all: gray, overcast skies with snow and ice still enveloping the ground and roadways. With Saturday's torrential rains, road conditions worsened in our area, causing flooding and road closures. (Discovery Park photo).

With Three Days To Go, Helping Hand Total Now $291,524

Paris, Tenn.-A whopping $20,236 was raised Saturday by the Tennessee Valley Community Church, bringing the grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction to $291,524.

There are only three more days in the auction left to go.

Monday’s items will be donated by UT Supporters, Open Doors Community Church, Henry County Girl Scouts and the Church in Paris.

The auction is broadcast daily over WTPR-AM 710 beginning at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays. The auction runs through February 25.

Still Openings At February Kids' Craft Event

Union City, Tenn.-There are still a few spots left in the February Kids’ Craft event at Obion County Library on Wednesday afternoon.

The event is for children in grades kindergarten through sixth and it celebrates Chinese New Year. The children will make and take home a dragon mask, drum and snack.

The event will be held from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 25. Registration fee is $2. Call the library at 885-7000 if you are interested.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Henry County Roads Closed Due To Flooding

Paris, Tenn.-With a build up of snow plus torrential all-day rain Saturday, flooding has become a problem in Henry County. As of 4 p.m., a few roads are closed due to high water.
Lone Oak Road has been closed by Cherokee Plains Mobile Home Park and Poplar Street Behind Paris Building Supply may also be closed because of high water. Fairgrounds Rd. behind the Dana Corp. also is closed. Reynoldsburg Rd. also is experiencing high water, with road closed signs posted.

TVA Posts Record Usage

Knoxville, Tenn. – Arctic temperatures that averaged in single digits across much of the Tennessee Valley on Thursday, Feb. 19, resulted in record electricity demand of 694 gigawatt-hours for the 24-hour period.

That’s the most energy ever required over a one-day period during February in Tennessee Valley Authority history and the third most overall for a 24-hour period. The all-time one-day record occurred last winter when demand reached 703 gigawatt-hours on Jan. 7, 2014.

With rising temperatures on Friday afternoon and over the weekend, energy demand is expected to decline but remain above normal levels. While the need to conserve power has diminished, consumers should still consider following the simple tips found on TVA’s EnergyRight website to save on their own electric bills, including:

Lowering your thermostat a degree or two. 

Opening blinds on the south side of your home during sunny days, but closing them during cloudy periods and at night. 

If not using your fireplace, ensuring that your fireplace flue is closed.

Big Sandy Woman Killed In Accident

Big Sandy, Tenn. -- A Big Sandy woman was killed in a one-vehicle accident in Benton County Friday.

Rena Camp, age 64, was a passenger in a pickup truck that overturned after leaving the roadway near Big Sandy. The driver, Phillip D. Camp, age 64, was injured.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the truck was traveling eastbound on Lick Creek Road about seven miles northeast of Big Sandy when the accident occurred, the report states.

The dispatcher at the highway patrol said the report does not indicate the extent of the driver’s injuries.

“Roots Of Rhythm” To Perform Tuesday

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin percussion ensemble will perform “Roots of Rhythm” at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 24, and at noon, Feb. 25, in the Harriet Fulton Theatre on the UT Martin campus. The performances are part of the UT Martin 2015 Civil Rights Conference. 

“Roots of Rhythm” is an engaging and interactive world music performance that depicts the evolution of music as traced through the migration of rhythm within the slave trade. The program includes musical styles from Zimbabwe, Guinea, Trinidad, Brazil and the United States. Dr. David Coffey, professor of history at UT Martin, will give a short presentation prior to both performances. 

The public is welcome to attend these performances at no cost. For additional information, visit or e-mail Julie Hill at

Helping Hand Total Now $271,288

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is $271,288, with the $4,440 raised Friday by the Springville community, Paris Healthcare, Henry County Republican Party and Paris Community of Christ.

Saturday’s items will be donated by the Tennessee Valley Community Church. 

The auction is broadcast daily over WTPR-AM 710 beginning at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays, the auction begins at noon. 

The auction runs through February 25.

Friday, February 20, 2015 

Henry County Law Enforcement: Stay Off The Roads

A semi ran off the roadway on Hwy. 79S near the Paris Winery Friday afternoon, one of many weather-related traffic incidents reported. (Kayla Nation photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County law enforcement is cautioning motorists to stay off the roads as local roadways have become slick and dangerous.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said at 5 p.m, “The streets are still frozen, it is now raining in Paris and causing extremely slick and hazardous road conditions.”

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said even the major highways, such as Hwy. 79S, Hwy. 79N, Hwy. 641N and S, have frozen over again and are dangerous on which to drive. Belew said, "Even the major highways that were already cleared off have frozen over again."

Belew was helping at the scene of a wreck on Hwy. 79N and said, “79 is almost down to one lane right now. Cars are driving off the road, into ditches.” 

Dispatcher Greg Carter at the Sheriff’s Office said the county roads are very hazardous. A semi drove off the road on 641S near the Paris Winery about an hour ago and roadway has now been cleared.

“All the county roads are bad, but 641N is especially bad right now,” Carter said.

The bottom line, they said: Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

The Paris Civic Center closed at 5 p.m. tonight and the county’s court offices closed at 2 p.m. today.

Civic Center Closes At 5 p.m.

Paris, Tenn.-Due to hazardous conditions on local roadways, the Paris Civic Center announced it was closing at 5 p.m. today.

Snowy Scenes May Soon Disappear 

Paris, Tenn.-With temperatures expected to rise to the 40s this weekend, pretty scenes like this will disappear from our area. Frigid temperatures this week have allowed the snow to linger and create postcard-worthy scenes such as at the historic “White House” in Whitehall Circle now owned by Dr. James Hudson. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

HC Court Offices May Close Early

Paris, Tenn.- Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson and Chancery Court Clerk Mary Burns announce the court clerks’ offices may close early today due to the National Weather Service’s Winter Storm Warning for Henry and other neighboring counties for today and into the night.

Forecasts include a range of rain, sleet, ice and snow – all of which could make driving very difficult and unsafe. In order to allow employees time to make plans and travel h...ome safely, the Court Clerks’ Offices in Henry County will close earlier today than normal. “We do not want anyone to become stranded or travel in unsafe conditions if we can avoid it, Wilson said.

Wilson said, “Mary and I encourage those having business with the courts today to come early this morning. You may even want to call us before you come to make sure we are still open.”

“We do not know the exact time we will close but if the forecast we’re getting now are accurate, it appears between 10:00 a.m. – noon we may begin to see some type of precipitation fall. We will close once precipitation begins, says Wilson.”

“We thank you for your patience and indulgence. We rarely close early but this impending bad weather condition makes it unavoidable,” Bruns said.

If the storm does not develop, the court offices will remain open.

Chuck Todd To Speak At MSU Next Week 

Murray, Ky. — Chuck Todd, NBC News’ political director and the moderator and managing editor of Meet the Press, will be the speaker for Murray State University’s 2015 Presidential Lecture Series. The event is scheduled for next week on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium on campus.

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

Meet the Press is NBC’s flagship Sunday morning public affairs program and the longest running broadcast in television history. Journalist Chuck Todd is the face of the well-respected show and a self-described political junkie. Todd has earned a reputation as one of the most passionate journalists and sharpest analysts in American media. When he was appointed to Meet the Press, influencers and competitors praised him as “a tireless reporter” with “an encyclopedic knowledge of politics” and the ability to “break down barriers and get people off of their talking points.” 

The Presidential Lecture Series is sponsored by the Student Government Association, the president’s office and the MSU Foundation.

Early Voting On Sales Tax Issue Begins Feb. 25

Paris, Tenn.-For voters in Henry County, the early voting period for the upcoming special election on a local option sales tax referendum will be held from February 25-March 12. Election day itself is March 17.

Voters will be asked whether the sales tax should be raised by a half-cent from 2.25 percent to 2.75 percent.
There will be plenty of opportunities for voters to cast ballots. The Henry County Elections Commission will be open from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. It also will be open two Saturdays during the early voting period--on February 28 and March 7. The office will be open from 9 a.m. until noon on those Saturdays.

The Elections Commission is located in the county courthouse annex on West Washington St. in Paris.

TVA Meets February Record Peak Demand 

Knoxville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority broke an all-time February power demand record Thursday morning with an estimated 32,109 megawatts at 7 a.m. EST, when the average temperature across the region hovered at 7 degrees.
In its 82-year history, this is TVA’s highest ever demand for the month of February. The previous record was 31,045 megawatts set on Feb. 5, 2009, when the Valley-wide temperature was 15 degrees. TVA’s all-time power demand record is 33,482 megawatts on Aug. 16, 2007.

Meeting the demand required the combined effort of TVA’s employees and generating facilities, coordination with the Valley’s 155 local power companies and large industrial customers, and the cooperation of businesses and households to conserve.

"It took a team effort of literally millions of people across the Valley to safely keep the lights and heat on, and we greatly appreciate the support of everyone who participated," said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply. "Reliably providing electricity is a key part of TVA’s mission of service and consumers across the area should know they contributed to fulfilling that mission this morning.”

Although the highest demand period may have passed, temperatures across the Valley are not expected to rise above freezing until at least Friday afternoon and the need for power remains high. While the bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time, the public is being asked to continue to conserve power wherever possible through noon tomorrow.

TVA and many local power companies are continuing to lower the thermostat at their facilities, turn off unnecessary lights and equipment, and delay energy-consuming activities until Friday afternoon. Consumers can follow these same simple steps to save power now, and money on their energy bills later.

Additional energy saving tips can be found on TVA's EnergyRight Solutions website at and by taking advantage of the new eScore home energy evaluation program sponsored by TVA and local power companies.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

15th Annual Civil Rights Conference Next Week

President Lyndon B. Johnson (far right) meets with Martin Luther King Jr. (center) and other civil rights activists Jan 18, 1964. (LBJ Library Digital Collections)

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin’s 15th annual Civil Rights Conference, Feb. 22-27, will focus on the theme “LBJ and the Great Society at 50.” Mark Updegrove, director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m., Feb. 26, in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center. 

In addition to his duties as library director, Updegrove is also an analyst for ABC News and a contributing editor for PARADE Magazine.  

The week’s activities will begin Feb. 22 with viewings of Lee Daniel’s “The Butler” at 6 and 9 p.m., sponsored by the UT Martin Student Activities Council. Florence Roach, an actress and producer from Memphis, will perform at 7 p.m., Feb. 23. Roach is most recently noted for portraying a maid in the 2011 film “The Help.” This is Roach’s fourth appearance at the conference. 

A presentation titled “50 Years of Juvenile Literature – Focus on African American Civil Rights” is scheduled for 12:15 p.m., Feb. 24, in the Paul Meek Library Media Center. Dr. Julie Hill, associate professor of music, and her percussion students will present “Roots of Rhythm” at 7:30 p.m., Feb 24, and again at noon, Feb. 25, in the Harriet Fulton Theater of the Fine Arts Building. Also at noon, Feb. 25, there will be a black writers roundtable discussion in the Hortense Parrish Writing Center.

The final day of the conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a presentation by Dr. Rebecca Miller Davis, assistant teaching professor of history, University of Missouri, Kansas City, titled “Crossing the Bridge: Selma and Voting Rights.” The day will continue with presentations by Dr. Henry Parker, professor, UT Martin Department of History and Philosophy, and Dr. Laurie Green, associate professor of history, University of Texas at Austin. Green is also an Organization of American Historians distinguished lecturer. Parker will speak on “One Man’s Fight for Equality” at 11 a.m., and Green will discuss “Hunger and Race in Memphis” at 1 p.m. Tammy Wade, Head Start program manager, will then present a history of Head Start and its importance in the lives of poor children at 2:30 p.m. Updegrove will speak at 7 p.m.

All events will be held in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center, unless otherwise noted. Events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Renee LaFleur, assistant professor, Department of History and Philosophy, at 731-881-7534 or by email at 

LBL Closed Until Further Notice

Golden Pond, Ky.-Until further notice, all Land Between The Lakes facilities – including Wranglers Campground and Turkey Bay OHV Area – are closed due to winter storm. The Trace from the South Welcome Station to the state line is open but almost impassable without a 4X4. The state have put up signs at South Welcome Station warning of the road conditions. Unnecessary road travel is discouraged.

Bull Blowout 2015 Begins Today 

Murray, Ky. — The Bull Blowout 2015 is bringing its action to Murray again on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20-21. The event will take place in the William “Bill” Cherry Agricultural Exposition Center at Murray State University, starting nightly at 8 p.m.
Featured events include bull riding and barrel racing. There will also be activities for children beginning at 7:30 p.m. that include a calf scramble (up to 10 years of age) and mutton busting (up to 6 years of age).

Tickets are available at the door and are $14 for the general public, $12 for Murray State University students with a valid ID, and $5 for children age 12 and under.
Parsons & Milam Rough Stock Contractors and Promoters of Buchanan, Tenn., are hosting the event. For more information, contact them at 731.642.8346.

Helping Hand Total Now $266,848

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is $266,848, with the $5,000 raised Thursday by Maplewood Baptist Church and Grace Episcopal Church.

Friday’s items will be donated by the Springville community, Paris Healthcare, Henry County Republican Party and paris Community of Christ.

The auction is broadcast daily over WTPR-AM 710 beginning at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays, the auction begins at noon. 

The auction runs through February 25.

Thursday, February 19, 2015  

Florida Couple Arrested For Series Of Area Burglaries

Surveillance photo of Danielle K. Thompson taken at a Union City bank.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Milan, Tenn.-A Florida couple wanted for a series of burglaries in our area is being held on $250,000 bond each at the Gibson County Jail after being apprehended in Milan.

Shortly after area law enforcement distributed a surveillance photo of a female who had committed several burglaries in McKenzie, Gleason, Dresden and Union City, the female and her male accomplice were arrested in Milan after trying to cash a stolen fraudulent check.

The two who are arrested are Danielle K. Thompson, age 19, of Mulberry, Fla.; and Jamar Hanchell, 26, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The dispatcher at the Milan Police Department said additional charges most probably will be added by the other jurisdictions as the case progresses.

On February 12, a vehicle was burglarized in front of a business in McKenzie. The burglar stole the victim's purse, cell phone and banking information from her vehicle. Later, that same day another vehicle was burglarized in front of a local business in Gleason.

The burglar reportedly also stole that victim's purse, drivers license and check book from her vehicle. Entry was gained into both vehicles by shattering side windows. A white vehicle, with tinted windows, was observed leaving the scene of both burglaries.

On February 13, the female in the surveillance photographs was observed trying to pass a forged check at a bank in Union City. This check had been stolen from the vehicle in Gleason. The suspect used the identification that was stolen from the vehicle in McKenzie when she attempted to pass that check.

Later that day the suspect used the Gleason burglary victim's identification to obtain money from the victim's checking account at a bank in Dresden, Tennessee.

Pretty, But Really, Really Cold

Tiptonville, Tenn.-Our area is experiencing bone-chilling temperatures this week, but if you are looking for a positive side to the frigid misery, it would be the beautiful pictures created by the ice sculptures at Reelfoot Lake State Park. The ice sculptures are created by frigid temperatures and wind. (Susan Jones photo).

TVA Asks Consumers to Help Conserve Energy During Cold

Knoxville, Tenn. – With the coldest temperatures in more than a year expected to arrive overnight Wednesday, the Tennessee Valley Authority and local power companies are working to ensure the availability of safe and reliable electricity.

Conserving power where possible is a first step. All consumers – residential, commercial and industrial customers ̶ are being asked to join in, especially during the coldest period from Wednesday night through noon on Friday.

“As we have done through the last several rounds of cold weather, TVA will use all of our available generating sources to meet the expected high power demand, which will likely peak on Thursday morning,” said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply. “As consumers of TVA power, we all can step up to help reduce power consumption and lower our own power bills at the same time.”

Saving power in cold weather doesn’t require drastic actions. Simply turning down the thermostat even a single degree can save up to 3 percent on future power bills.

Beginning today, TVA will be following its own advice by lowering thermostats at its office buildings and other facilities, and many local power companies are doing the same.

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

•Opening the blinds on the south side of your home during sunny days, but keeping the blinds closed on cloudy days and at night.

•Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment during peak power use times early in the morning and early in the evening.

•Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.
TVA’s bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time. Wednesday evening’s peak power demand is expected to exceed 30,000 megawatts, as regional temperatures are forecast to drop into single digits. The biggest peak demand will likely occur Thursday morning with electric loads reaching nearly 33,000 megawatts. In comparison, demand was 32,751 megawatts during the height of the cold wave on Jan. 7, 2015.

Icy Magnolias

Paris, Tenn.-Something you don’t often see in the South and most people don‘t want to see: icicles on the Magnolia trees. This photo was taken on a slippery walk on Park Street in Paris. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Fort Donelson Visitor Center Open Today

Dover, Tenn.-The Visitor Center of the Fort Donelson National Battlefield and the Fort Donelson National Cemetery will reopen to visitation at 10:00a.m., Thursday, February 19.
Due to continued ice covered roads, the park tour route will remain closed until determined clear and safe for vehicular traffic.

HCHS To Perform “The Foreigner”

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School presents the comedy "The Foreigner" this weekend at the Krider Performing Arts Center (KPAC).

Showtimes for The Foreigner are Friday, February 20 at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, February 21 at 2:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 22 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door. For reserved seating, you can purchase tickets at Henry County High School. Ticket prices vary from $6-$12. 

Helping Hand Total Now $261,048

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is $261048, with the $4,606 raised Wednesday by the VanDyke/Routon communities, Spring Hill Baptist Church and VanDyke Church of Christ.

Thursday’s items will be donated by Maplewood Baptist Church and Grace Episcopal Church.

The auction is broadcast daily over WTPR-AM 710 beginning at 12:30 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays, the auction begins at noon. 

One more week to go in the annual auction, which runs through February 25.

UT Martin To Offer ACT Prep Course

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies will offer an ACT preparation course from 8 a.m.–noon on Saturdays, Feb. 28–April 11, on the UT Martin main campus. There will be no class on April 4. 

Students will participate in an intensive ACT preparation course taught by Ron Ramage, UT Martin adjunct instructor and teacher at Obion County High School. Students will learn to complete test problems based on question frequency, difficulty, substantive knowledge, curriculum and alternative test-taking strategies. Participants will also learn how to maximize their scores and develop time management skills. 

Students will begin the course by taking an official off-record ACT test. After receiving feedback, instructors will guide students through the exam based on their areas of need. At the end of the program, students will take another off-record exam. Once participants receive their post-test data, instructors will meet one-on-one to provide personalized study plans in preparation for the real exam. 

The registration fee is $225 and includes two textbooks, two official ACT tests and a diagnostic report. Students may bring an ACT-approved calculator, if desired. For more information about the course or to register, visit or call the Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015  

A Cold Blast From The Past

Paris, Tenn.-Paris has experienced serious winter storms before, such as this storm in early February 1951, when the temperature dropped 21.5 degrees below zero. In photo, Attorney Fisher Neal steps across a mound of snow graded into the center of Market Street. Note the old City Hall behind Neal's shoulders. (Photo from Henry County Memories: A Pictorial History of Henry County, Tennessee.)

Second Henry Countian Dies Of Exposure This Week

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.-A second Henry Countian has died of exposure to the cold weather.

On Wednesday morning, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare request of a resident on Summerfield Drive in Springville. According to a press release from Capt. Damon Lowe. A concerned neighbor had called and had not been able to make contact with the home owner.

Deputy Blake Jenkins arrived to find Brenda Cox, age 64, lying at the foot of her front door steps.

Upon further investigation, it was found that Ms. Cox was deceased. Henry County Corner Danny Tucker did respond and pronounced her dead at the scene.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Technicians were called to the scene along with members of the criminal investigation division.

Sheriff Monte Belew said, “It appears that Ms. Cox had fallen down the set of her front steps and was unable to get herself back up. Ms. Cox did have some medical conditions and used the aid of a walker to get around. Ms. Cox was not dressed to be outside and as the result of her fall and the elements of the weather, Ms. Cox did pass away from exposure to the cold.”

Sheriff Monte Belew stated, “This was a terrible accident and we hate that it happened. With the temperatures being well below freezing and the forecasting of below zero, we ask that you check on your neighbors.”

 Belew said, “If you cannot make contact with a relative or neighbor, to give the Sheriff’s Office a call at 642-1672 and we will be glad to send an officer out to assure that all is well.”

Earlier this week, James Nored, age 62, of Paris, was found dead outside and he also had died of exposure to the elements.

Henry County Warming Center To Open Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriffs Dept and Henry County Emergency Management plan to open the Inman School community shelter located at 400 Harrison St, Paris, tonight around 5 pm for a warming shelter. 

The Sheriffs Dept and Paris Police will provide patrol security. EMA Director Ron Watkins said, “Individuals planning to use the facility should bring blankets,sleeping bags and snacks for added comfort.”

Forecast tonight is sub zero wind chills of zero degrees to twelve below zero.

Trip To Civil Rights Museum Postponed

The Henry County Office on Aging trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis that was scheduled for Friday, February 20, has been cancelled due to weather-related issues across the region. The trip has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 26. 

Director Reggie Caldwell said, “We are still leaving from the central community building at 7a.m. The cost of the trip will $20.00 per person. This is for the cost of the bus. The office will paid 1/2 of the admission if you are a senior citizen.”

Cost of admission to the museum is $13 per adults and senior citizens is $11. Senior citizen is classified is 55 years old and older. Henry County Office on Aging still has seats available for the trip. If you need info, please call 731-642-2919 or 731-644-3193.  

Mayfield Couple Arrested For Endangering Child 
Mayfield, Ky.The Graves County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Mayfield couple for wanton endangerment after an 11-month-old child was brought into the emergency room at the Jackson Purchase Medical Center with symptoms similar to those experienced by meth users.
Arrested were Gregory Pannell, 32, and Stephanie Gregory, 23, of 608 Rogers Loop, Mayfield.

Deputy George Workman contacted the Cabinet for Families and Children and a worker responded to the hospital. Deputy Workman and the cabinet worker interviewed the two adults and through the investigation learned that the couple had smoked methamphetamine in their bed around noon on February 16. They admitted the child was in the bed with the two at the time. 

Pannell advised he had just started using methamphetamine again recently because he had just graduated from drug court in January of this year. 

A search warrant was served at this residence by the drug division detectives on February 17. They were able to find methamphetamine inside the residence. The locations they found the drugs were accessible to the child. 

Deputies made arrests for the drug related charges at that time. Deputy Workman then responded to Graves County Jail and brought the additional charge of wanton endangerment in the first degree. 

Gregory was also additionally charged with three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for three long guns that were found inside the residence at the time of the search.

The eleven month old child was released to family members after being treated at the hospital.

Picture-Perfect Snowfall

Tammy Wallace captured the scene of a picture-perfect snowfall in downtown Union City Tuesday. (Main Street Union City photo).

Henry County Applies For CDBG Funds 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-- Henry County Commissioners Tuesday night authorized the submittal of an application for $500,000 in CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds on behalf of the Paris Board of Public Utilities. The application will be submitted to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

The county will commit local funds in the amount of $153,000 through an SFR loan via BPU, which will constitute a total cost of $653,000.

BPU Assistant General Manager Terry Wimberley explained before the meeting, “If awarded, the funds will be used for phase 1 construction of a new water treatment plant. Specifically, the CDBG grant funds have been assigned to construct a new clearwell. The clearwell is the reservoir that holds treated water prior to being distributed to the system.”
In other business, it was the Henry County Commissioners’ turn Monday night to view the power point presentation prepared by county and city of Paris officials urging passage of the upcoming sales tax referendum.

The power point was presented by Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell. Henry County voters will consider passage of the local option sales tax increase from 2.25 to 2.75 percent at a special election in March.

Henry Shop Destroyed By Fire 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Henry, Tenn.-A former tractor dealership in Henry was destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon.

Henry Volunteer Fire Department Chief Keith Qualls said Tuesday afternoon that his department was called to the scene on Pioneer Rd. around 1 p.m., by which time the fire was fully involved.

He said the metal structure is owned by Gene Page, who used it as a shop.

Qualls said the metal building collapsed during the fire. 

Cause of the fire is still undetermined, he said.

Inclement Weather Brings UTM Event Changes 

Martin, Tenn. — Inclement weather has made schedule changes necessary for the following University of Tennessee at Martin events and activities. 

•The West Tennessee Small Business Conference, originally scheduled Feb. 19 in Jackson, is rescheduled for Tuesday, March 24, at First United Methodist Church in Jackson. Participants already registered do not need to take further action. For new registrations, go to, or contact the WestStar Leadership Program for more information at 731-881-7298.

•Scholar Prospect Weekend, originally scheduled for this weekend, will be rescheduled. The weekend is sponsored by UT Martin Honors Programs. For information, call 731-881-7436.

•Weather-permitting, the Vanguard Theatre opening night production of “You Can’t Take It With You” will be held at 8 p.m., this Friday, Feb. 20, in the Harriet Fulton Theatre located in the university’s Fine Arts Building. Performances are also scheduled for 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, and 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 22. Thursday’s opening performance was cancelled, so an additional Saturday matinee is scheduled at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children and can be purchased at the Vanguard Box Office two hours before each performance.

Ole Miss Red And Blue Classic Cancelled

Martin, Tenn. – Due to weather concerns and field conditions in the Oxford, Miss., area this weekend, the University of Tennessee at Martin softball team’s trip to the Ole Miss Red and Blue Classic slated for Friday, Feb. 20-22 has been cancelled.

With the five-game, three-day tournament cancelled, UT Martin head coach Donley Canary has made adjustments to the upcoming schedule.

A trip to fellow tournament participant and regional rival Southern Illinois has been scheduled for April 21. While scheduled matchups against Middle Tennessee (March 25), Memphis (Apr. 15) and Bethel (Apr. 22) have been converted into doubleheaders to make up for the cancellations.

The Skyhawks will return to action on Friday, Feb. 28 when they host the Hampton Inn Skyhawk Classic at Bettye Giles Field. The two day tournament will play host to Southeastern Louisiana, Northern Illinois and IUPUI, with all games being played at Skyhawk Park on campus.

HC Schools, PSSD Out Rest Of Week 

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Schools and Paris Special Schools District have announced they will be out for the rest of this week due to weather conditions. Henry County Schools Director Sam Miles said he will call the media Sunday evening with the announcement as to whether schools will be in session Monday.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015  

State Of Emergency Declared In Tennessee
National Guard In Paris Called Out To Help Motorists

The snow is creating pretty scenery, such as at the home of Ray and Noragene Harding in Paris, but it makes for treacherous driving. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has declared a state of emergency in the state and member of the National Guard 212th Engineering Co. in Paris have been activated to help stranded motorists on highways.

With the state of emergency declared, all state government offices will be closed today-including state driver services centers.

Ice-covered roadways froze over again overnight causing road conditions to continue being hazardous and slick. 

Several county government offices in our area are closed today, including the Obion County Courthouse, Carroll County Courthouse and all Benton County government offices. The Benton County Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday night has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, February 19. Camden City Hall also is closed Tuesday.

In Henry County, however, the courthouse and county offices are open. Tuesday night’s county commission meeting will be held at a different time. The meeting was originally set for 7 p.m. and will be held at 5 p.m. instead.

All schools and universities in our area are closed today, as is the Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council offices and all the HeadStart programs in the nine-county area.

Discovery Park of America is closed Tuesday, as is the Paris Civic Center.

The Paris Police Department and Public Works issued the following statement Tuesday morning: Travel advisory for all city roads, slick and hazardous. Public works are out in force spreading brine and removing snow and ice from roadways. When the precipitation has ceased and the City's main streets and roads have been cleared City crews will begin maintenance of the City's secondary streets.

They warn motorists to stay off roads unless it is an absolute emergency.
In Paris, tegular Tuesday sanitation pickup will be as scheduled on Tuesday. Pickup for Monday's regular route still to be determined for pickup sometime this week.
If you require additional information regarding Public Works Services please call: 731-642-0473.

Channel 5: Rep. Holt Operated Hog Farm Without Permit
Holt Denies Special Treatment

Dresden, Tenn. -- Republican lawmaker Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden operated his huge hog farm in Weakley Co. for years without a permit and received special treatment from state regulators, according to an investigative report from Channel 5’s Ben Hall that aired Monday night.

According to the report, Holt pumped more than a half million gallons of hog waste into a creek and improperly dumped dead hogs and contamination the creek for more than a mile.
NewsChannel 5 determined that one state inspector was told by his managers to look the other way. An inspector from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) wrote that upper management at TDEC discouraged enforcement action, according to Channel 5.

Holt is the powerful vice chair of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee who often criticizes over-regulation and big government.
According to NewsChannel 5 Investigates, despite Holt’s claims of heavy government regulation, the state ignored "serious" environmental violations on his farm and let him operate for years without a permit.

Channel 5 aired several photos taken by t state inspector showing dead hogs -- not properly buried -- on a visit to Holt's farm in 2011, and photos of hog waste being pumped out of an overflowing lagoon and into a nearby creek. It turned the creek black a mile away.
Holt and TDEC Commissioner Robert Martineau denied that Holt received special treatment. Holt also said that he is not in the hog business anymore as of late 2014.
TDEC oversees environmental regulation of large hog farms and other confined animal feeding operations in Tennessee.

However,  a full month into 2015, Sky5-HD flew over Holt's farm and found another exposed hog carcass, this time surrounded by buzzards.

Hall asked Holt, "How old is that carcass?"

Holt's answer: "I don't know, but we're out of the hog business -- there's no doubt about that whatsoever."

Holt claimed that the buzzards dug up the month old carcass.

BPU Provides Tip To Prevent Frozen Pipes

The weather forecast for the next few days includes highs that are below freezing and lows in the single digits.  With extreme cold temperatures comes the possibility of frozen water pipes.

Here are helpful hints from the Paris Board of Public Utilities as you think of preventing frozen water pipes in your home:
· Make sure the foundation to your house or mobile home is air-tight and that foundation vents are closed
· Disconnect garden hoses
· Leave a small stream of hot and cold water running from an inside faucet (when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit)
· Make sure you and your family know the location of your home’s water shut-off valve.  If a pipe bursts, shutting off the water promptly can help minimize damage.

These extra precautions will far outweigh the inconvenience of frozen pipes and the cost of having burst pipes repaired.  

UTM Baseball Schedule Changed

Martin, Tenn. – The baseball series between the University of Tennessee at Martin and Western Michigan University scheduled to be played this weekend at Skyhawk Field has been altered because of unplayable field conditions, head coach Rick Robinson announced today.

The series has changed from four to three games and will now be played at Lake Point Sports Complex in Emerson, Ga. The first game of the series will take place on Friday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. CT while a doubleheader will follow at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 21. The changes were necessary after Winter Storm Octavia swept through the Martin area late Sunday evening.

UT Martin enters this weekend’s series with a 1-3 overall record. In their season-opening tournament at Jackson State, the Skyhawk offense registered 46 hits and cranked four home runs, both of which lead the Ohio Valley Conference through the first weekend. Senior first baseman Nico Zych leads the OVC in hits (nine) and doubles (three), hitting .563 in the season’s opening weekend. The UT Martin starting outfield of Taylor Douglas (.412), Andrew Castillo (team-high five runs scored) and Fletcher Johnson (team-best four RBI’s) also performed well.

The Skyhawk pitching staff rang up an OVC-best 34 strikeouts in the season’s first four games. Senior left-hander Carter Smith earned his second career adidas OVC Pitcher of the Week award after allowing only one hit with eight strikeouts over five shutout innings in the Opening Day victory over Texas-Pan American. Patrick Bernard (scoreless four-inning save on Opening Day) and Alex Martin (seven innings, one run on three hits, career-high 10 strikeouts against Texas-Pan American on Feb. 14) each gave the Skyhawks commanding performances on the hill.

Western Michigan enters this weekend after a three-game sweep at UAB. The Bronco offense hit .161 with four runs in the three-game series but junior catcher Brett Sunde posted team-highs in batting average (.364), slugging percentage (.455) and on-base percentage (.417). On the mound, Western Michigan starters Chad Mayle and Keegen Akin combined for a 1.80 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 10 innings while Jacob Piechota was responsible for a pair of scoreless appearances out of the bullpen.

Live stats will be provided for all three games of this series at this link:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Area Roadways Still Hazardous

Most secondary roads have not been plowed, such as Walnut Street in Paris, and remain hazardous and slick. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Snow has fallen steadily much of Monday afternoon in our area, preceded by sleet and as temperatures fall overnight, the roadways will be even more slick and hazardous.

Area law enforcement officials are cautioning motorists to continue to stay off the roadways. Schools and universities in our area have already cancelled for tomorrow, including Union City, Paris, Henry County, Obion County, Stewart, Benton, Houston, Carroll, Weakley, Dyersburg County Schools. In addition, University of Tennessee at Martin and Murray State are closed for Tuesday. The Obion County Courthouse also is closed. 

The Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council offices in Dresden and All County Service Centers in the nine Northwest Tennessee Counties will be closed due to extreme weather conditions on Tuesday, Feb. 17. This also includes all HeadStart and Early HeadStart locations in Northwest Tennessee area. 

Always watch our website at for the complete list of cancellations.

In Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear has declared a statewide emergency to allow local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in public safety and recovery efforts.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said, “Because this is a national holiday, there has been minimal traffic on the streets. The travel advisory stands as earlier reported, slick and hazardous. Only travel when absolutely necessary. Both schools systems have cancelled school for tomorrow.”

Elizondo said, “Public works is working to clear the main roadways and will get to residential, secondary roads as soon as possible. Parking lots are solid ice and extremely dangerous for foot traffic. With extremely cold temperatures, the roads will refreeze tonight. Please stay home and keep yourself and your families safe.”

Given the current road conditions, and the possibility of more snow, the Murray Police Department has requested the public to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. According to a press release, “The street department is working hard to clear the streets of snow and ice, but this will take some time, particularly if more arrives. Delaying any unnecessary trips until later will give the road crews more time to remove the snow, and decrease the likelihood of motorists being stuck or involved in a weather related collision.”

Helping Hand Total Now $252,933

Paris, Tenn.-With a few hardy souls making their way to the Henry County Fairgrounds Monday morning, a total of $1,916 was raised for the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction.

The grand total now stands at $252,933.

Donating items on Monday was Point Pleasant Baptist Church, the 4-H Clubs of Henry County, Henry County Postal Employees and Eiffel Gardens.

Donating items on Tuesday will be Paris City employees, the Como community, the Paris Board of Public Utilities and Project Help.

UC Man Knocked Over By Car

Union City, Tenn.-A 78-year-old Union City man was knocked over by a car in the Walmart parking lot Sunday.

According to the police report, Billy Vaughn declined medical treatment after being knocked over by a car driven by Wanda Parnell of Union City. 

Parnell told police she was attempting to turn around in the lot and looked back and didn’t see anything behind her. She began backing up and heard a noise and realized she had hit someone who was walking behind her.

Vaughn said he hit his head when he was knocked down but declined treatment by the ambulance service.

Parnell was cited for lack of insurance.

Paris Man Dies Of Exposure
Found Outside During Storm

Paris, Tenn.-A 62-year-old man was found dead on a Paris city street last night.

James L. Nored, 62, whose last known address was the Greystone Apartments in Paris, was found deceased outside at 804 Cooper Street.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said Nored apparently died of exposure. Elizondo said his relationship to the residents at the home is unknown.

Elizondo said it appears Nored fell down and was overcome by the cold.

Area Law Enforcement: Stay Off Roadways

Whitehall Circle in Paris this morning as snow and sleet continue to fall. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Our area did not receive the minimum of six inches called for in the overnight snowfall, but what we did receive was a potent mix of steady snow and sleet that has made travel extremely hazardous.

And, it’s not over yet. 

Henry County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins said the winter storm warning continues until 6 p.m. today and several more inches of snow and even more sleet is expected to fall.

And because temperatures in the area will not rise above freezing, the current snowfall will not be one of those that disappears in the afternoon, like most do around our area. 

Watkins said, “We won’t be over freezing the next several days, so this snow will be staying with us.”

Predictions are for more freezing rain that will be changing to all snow as the afternoon progresses, Watkins said. “The Weather Service is predicting three to six inches of snow by the end of the day.”

Law enforcement in our area is warning motorists to stay off the roadways, but no one put it quite like Weakley County 911 Director Jamison Peevyhouse did this morning. He warned people to stay off the roads but said if you insist on venturing out, make sure to take $100 with you to pay for the wrecker service.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo warned motorists to stay off the roads unless it is an absolute emergency. All city roads are slick and hazardous, he said, and the city’s public works department “is out in force spreading brine and removing snow and ice from roadways.” Because current temperatures are around 18 degrees, he said, brine has little effect until temperatures hit 25 degrees. 

A few traffic accidents have been reported in Paris, he said.

Roadways in Obion County also are hazardous this morning, as they are to the north in our neighboring Kentucky counties. The Graves County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement this morning, “The roadways in the area are all snow covered as more snow continues to fall. If you do not have to get out today, please don't. Road crews are working as hard as they can to clear roadways but with snow still coming down it is hard for them to make any headway. Collisions have been reported on several Graves County roadways but no injuries have occurred.”

Union City Mayor Terry Hailey ordered city hall closed today. Obion County Schools already have been closed for Tuesday.

Several closings were announced this morning, including Murray State University, the Bethel University main campus and its Paris campus, the University of Tennessee at Martin--all of its campuses. At Bethel’s main campus, the cafeteria will operate on the brunch schedule: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-5:30 p.m.

Several Downtown Paris Businesses Closed

Paris, Tenn.-Several businesses in downtown Paris are closed, according to Gaines Hedges of the Downtown Paris Association. The list includes: The Toggery, My Favorite Things, Butler and Harber, Jack Jones, Jack's Java, Boutique Mari Mac, Off the Square, Paulette’s, Ala Mode and The Iron Place are closed. Perkins Drugs and Gifts is open along with Take me Back Cafe.

 New State Largemouth Bass Record Set

Nashville, Tenn.-It's official! The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) announced Sunday that Gabe Keen's 15.2 lb. largemouth bass caught yesterday on Chickamauga Lake beat the previous state record of 14.8 lbs, set by James Barrett in Lawrence County back in 1954. 

Fort Donelson Closed Monday 

Dover, Tenn.-Fort Donelson National Battlefield will be closed on Monday, February 16, 2015, due to the impending winter storm. As posted earlier, events commemorating the 153rd anniversary of the surrender of the Fort are cancelled.

BIG: The Musical Set At The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Dixie Players will perform “BIG: The Musical” for four shows this weekend and next weekend at The Dixie Center For The Performing Arts in Huntingdon.

The Players will be performing four shows: 7 p.m. Friday, February 20; 2 p.m. Saturday, February 21; 7 p.m. Friday, February 27; and 7 p.m. Saturday, February 28.

The musical is based on the classic 1987 motion picture fantasy starring Tom Hanks. The Cast includes local community members: Kassie Arnold, Campbell Cary, Gracie Blount, Jalia Brodie, Jimmy Fitzgerald, Joe Fitzgerald, Shana Fitzgerald, Jack Higdon, Lisa Wimberly Higdon, Spencer Higdon, Reese Hopper, Addyson Kemp, Ariel Lowe, Cheyenne Lowe, Nathan Martin, Bryan Meade, Chase Palmer, Anna Claire Patel, Morgan Phelps, Emma Renfro, Jadrea Romines, Juliet Romines, Alysia Shear, Lilly Sumrok, Andrew Taylor, Curt Taylor, Natalie Taylor, Bobby Traywick, Lydia Warren,  and Dan Webb.

BIG The Musical is produced with special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) and is the Theatre for Young Audiences.

Scott Conley is director, with Josh Randle assistant director and Andrea Cottrill as musical director.

Tickets are $15 each and are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon, by calling 731-986-2100, and online at

UTM To Present “You Can’t Take It With You”

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Vanguard Theatre will present the Pulitzer-winning story of the Sycamores and the Kirbys in “You Can’t Take It With You” on Feb. 19-22. The curtain will open at 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday in the Harriet Fulton Theatre in the Fine Arts Building on the main UT Martin campus. 

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets go on sale Feb. 16 and may be reserved or purchased from Sycamore 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through the Department of Visual and Theatre Arts by calling 731-881-7400. Tickets are not sold from noon-1 p.m. 

Tickets may also be purchased two hours before each performance at the main theatre box office located in the lobby area outside of the Harriet Fulton Theatre. Support the Arts (STARTS) contributors may reserve their tickets through the department beginning Feb. 13.

For more information on the Vanguard Theatre troupe, contact Doug Cook, chair, Department of Visual and Theatre Arts, at 731-881-7400.

Sunday, February 15, 2015  

HC Emergency Center To Open Tonight

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-The Henry County Emergency Management Agency command center will open around 8 p.m. tonight to monitor the winter storm that is expected to hit our area overnight.

Henry County EMA Director Ron Watkins said the latest predictions are that Henry County will be hit with from 6-10 inches of snow overnight “and some observers are calling for a foot of snow”.

The dispatcher at the Obion County Sheriff’s Office said they have been told to expect some six inches of snow in that area.

How much snow does develop for our area will depend on “how this thing tracks”, Watkins said.

“The snow won’t start until around midnight and the winter storm warning is supposed to be in effect until 4 p.m. tomorrow,” Watkins said.

Added to that will be high winds and sub zero wind chills, Watkins said. He cautioned everyone to stay off the roads as much as possible. 

Deadline Nears For Turkey Hunt Permits

Golden Pond, Ky.– The deadline for Turkey Quota Hunt Permit applications at Land Between The Lakes is February 28, 2015. Hunters may apply online, 24/7, at or by phone until 4pm February 27. If applying by phone, call 270-924-2065, 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday. Application fees are $5 online and $7 by phone. Three quota hunts in both the Kentucky and Tennessee portions of Land Between The Lakes require prior application. Hunting is not permitted between these dates.

Kentucky Quota Hunts:
· April 11-12; Youth hunt (for hunters under age 16)
· April 14-15; Adult hunt
· April 18-19; Adult hunt
Tennessee Quota Hunts:
· April 11-12; Youth hunt (for hunters 6-16 years old)
· April 14-15; Adult hunt 
· April 18-19; Adult hunt

Hunting provides recreational opportunities within the region and helps maintain healthy wildlife populations. 

To improve the quality of quota turkey hunts, Land Between The Lakes reduced the number of quota permits for each hunt. Applicants can check the quota hunt website,, beginning March 18, to see if they were drawn.

The non-quota hunting season, which does not require prior application, runs for fourteen days, April 20-May 3 in Kentucky. Two seven-day hunts occur in Tennessee April 20-26 and April 27-May 3. Hunters harvesting a turkey in either state on a Land Between The Lakes quota hunt may now hunt the first week of the Tennessee non-quota hunt. As always, a state license and Land Between The Lakes Hunter Use Permit are required. Hunter Use Permits may be purchased online at

The Land Between The Lakes Recreation Map is available showing hunt area boundaries, and may be purchased at facilities for $3 or viewed online for free at Hunters will find the official 2015 Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) online, or can pick up a printed copy at Golden Pond Visitor Center.

Helping Hand Total Is Now $251,017

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $251,017, with Saturday’s total $7,401 raised by the Henry County Medical Center and its employees.

Monday’s items will be donated by Point Pleasant Baptist Church, the 4-H Clubs of Henry Co., Henry Co. Postal employees and Eiffel Gardens.

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

TVA Redeems 2011 Securities

Knoxville, Tenn. ̶ The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Friday it will redeem all of its 2011 4.25 percent electronotes due March 15, 2031. These securities are identified by the CUSIP number 88059TFD8. Approximately $14 million of the notes are currently outstanding.

The notes will be redeemed at 100 percent of par value on March 16, 2015. The redemption price and any accrued interest will be paid to eligible holders through The Depository Trust Company. 

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Gream Arrested Following High Speed Pursuit 

Two Sheriff's Cruisers Damaged In Chase

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Damage was caused to two Henry County Sheriff’s Office cruisers--including one driven by Sheriff Monte Belew--during a high speed chase that took officers over several Paris streets and county roads before the suspect was finally apprehended Saturday afternoon.

Arrested was Brandon Gream of 3563 Old McKenzie Hwy., Paris. He was charged with violation of the sex offender registry, intentional tampering, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, felony evading, resisting arrest and driving on a revoked license.

Gream’s bond is set at $25,000.

Gream’s booking into the Henry County Jail was delayed until early evening because he was being treated in the emergency room at Henry County Medical Center all afternoon.

The incident began at 11:34 a.m., when Deputies Sgt. Lance Perry, Cpl. Milton Webb, Brian Davis and Blake Jenkins went to 104 W. Magnolia St. in Paris to serve an arrest warrant on Gream for violation of the sex offender registry.

While at the residence, Webb observed a tan car starting to turn onto the street and immediately turned back. Webb followed the vehicle which traveled on the wrong direction on a one-way street.

After determining that Gream had been known to drive a car of that make and model, Webb activated emergency equipment. When the lights and sirens were activated, Gream accelerated toward N. Market St.

All units then joined in the pursuit. The pursuit led officers northbound to N. Market, Guthrie Rd. and Old Paris Murray Rd. Once they reached Old Paris Murray Rd., Gream continued to evade officers by heading south.

Sheriff Monte Belew told WENK/WTPR that at this time, Paris Police were notified and they laid down spike strips on the roadway, but Gream drove around them.

According to the police report, Gream continued driving recklessly with no regard for the safety of the public back onto North Market. When he reached the court square, Gream turned on Washington, then Poplar, Blythe, Dunlap, Veterans Drive, and Mineral Wells Ave., while running stop lights, stop signs and traveling in the wrong lane.

Gream continued onto Memorial Dr. at an extremely high rate of speed still ignoring the rules of the road.

After crossing Hwy. 218 onto Hwy 69S, Sheriff Belew joined in the pursuit. As the chase continued, Webb said Gream was still throwing his hands around and slamming on the brakes.

At this point, Belew said, Gream deliberately slammed on the brakes, causing Webb to crash his cruiser into the rear of Gream’s car. Webb’s cruiser was damaged; it is one of the sheriff office’s newly-purchased cruisers.

Webb’s air bag deployed and he was unable to continue. Belew and Jenkins continued the chase, which ended a few minutes later when Belew performed a pursuit intervention technique with his vehicle.

Belew told WENK/WTPR, “After a short struggle, Deputy Blake Jenkins and I were able to apprehend him.” Gream continued to resist arrest and Belew deployed his taser on him. Gream was then taken into custody.

Suspect Still In ER Following Henry County High-Speed Chase
Sheriff's Cruisers Damaged

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 
Paris, Tenn.-The suspect in Saturday afternoon’s high speed chase that resulted in damage to two Henry County Sheriff’s Office cruisers--including one driven by Sheriff Monte Belew--is still being treated in the Henry County Medical Center emergency room as of 4:15 p.m. 

Belew told WENK/WTPR the suspect deliberately backed into Deputy Milton Webb’s cruiser during the incident and the air bag deployed, but that Webb is not injured. The cruiser Webb was driving was one of the new ones and it is damaged.

Belew’s car also was damaged during the pursuit, which began on Magnolia St. in Paris and ended on Hwy. 69A. 

More information on the incident will be released later this evening after the suspect has been booked into jail.

TBI Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting In Carroll County

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

McLemoresville, Tenn.-A 27-year-old man was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting in Carroll County Friday night and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident.

TBI Spokesman Josh DeVine told WENK/WTPR Saturday afternoon, “At the request of 24th District Attorney General Matthew Stowe, TBI Special Agents continue to investigate the officer-involved shooting of 27-year-old Matthew D. Belk. The incident occurred Friday night on Terry Road, near its intersection with McCollough Road, just outside the town of McLemoresville.”

DeVine said, “Earlier in the evening, Carroll County Sheriff's deputies responded to a domestic call at Belk's home, but he had left the home prior to the arrival of deputies, who later observed and stopped a vehicle matching the description described by the complainant. Belk subsequently exited the vehicle with a firearm in his hand, after which one deputy fired, striking and killing Belk.”

Officers were uninjured in the incident. Devine said the TBI will continue to investigate the incident and turn over its findings to Stowe for his review.

MSU’s Shoe Tree One Of The Most Romantic In U.S.

Murray, Ky. — While the possibility of romance should not be a prime consideration in choosing which college to attend, it can be one of the most important outcomes of four years spent on a campus. It’s not unusual for students to find a significant other while pursuing a college degree, then follow on the heels of graduation with a marriage.

Murray State University counts among its most cherished traditions the “Shoe Tree,” so named because each half of a married couple nails one of their shoes to it. While no one can say for sure when or how the tradition began, it lives on — even through a lightning strike that burned up the original tree. A replacement was quickly designated because love conquers all.

And in a fitting nod to the upcoming celebration of Valentine’s Day, Murray State’s Shoe Tree was just named third in the top 25 Most Romantic College Traditions by College Ranker. 

Standing a short distance from historic Pogue Library, the Shoe Tree is always full of mismatched shoes. But why do couples do that? It’s a no brainer — it brings good luck to you. The caveat? You have to have met while you were both students at Murray State, where you then fell in love and later got married. And if down the road you start a family, baby’s shoe can go up there, too.

For the complete list of “romantic” rankings, go online at…/best-romantic-college-traditions. More information on Murray State University can be found at

Henry County Jury Summons Mailed Out

Paris, Tenn.- Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson announced that the next term of Jury Duty in Henry County will be March – June 2015, and the summonses for that session were mailed Friday.

The two hundred and fifty (250) potential juror’s names are chosen at random using the Department of Safety’s driver license records.  In Henry County this has been the source for the mailing for over 35 years.  

The mailing will contain an official summons and documents explaining the jury duty process.  More information can be obtained by calling the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office at (731) 642-0461 or by visiting and clicking on the ‘Jury Duty’ tab.

According to Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson, “We are very fortunate in Henry County to have very few jury trials.  We typically have between 3-6 jury trials per year so the burden on our jurors is very moderate.” He also noted that the mailing occurred on Friday the 13th.  “Wee apologize for it being a Friday the 13th mailing.  That was not on purpose,” he said

Jury Duty Scam Caution:  Please also be aware of potential jury duty scams.  The Henry County Court System will not call you and ask you for your social security number or for any of your credit card numbers. Do not provide any of this information to anyone claiming to represent the court system. This scam has happened in eleven states including Tennessee. If you receive a call like this please hang up and do not share any personal data.

Youth Tennis Sign-Ups Open Now

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Parks and Recreation Department will be holding a 10 and under tennis camp under the direction of USTA (United States Tennis Association) certified coach J.F. Kirk. 

The camp will be held at Atkins Porter Rec Center on Monday and Friday nights from 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 2nd, 6th, 9th, 13th, 16th and 20th. 

Registration fee is $25 made to Paris Parks and Recreation Department. 

Sign up at the Paris Civic Center or call 644-2517.

Quota Celebrates Anniversary

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Quotarians celebrated Quota’s founding in 1919 at their noon business meeting at Lee Academy Lunchroom on February 11.  Those celebrating Quota anniversaries are Peggy Owen – 32 years; Suzanne Richter – 14 years; Emily Walker – 11 years and Becki White – 3 years; for a total of 60 years of service.

Kayla Nation was recognized for her work on the Evening of Chocolate.

President Stephanie Tayloe named Martha Smith as chairperson for the Nominating Committee to elect 2015-2016 club officers; the Board selected Beverly Wood and the club selected Bethel Williams to serve on the committee.

Richter announced that Quota scholarship applications are available at Moody Realty, the counselor’s office at Henry County High School and are also available on the Henry County School website (  The deadline for submitting applications is April 7, 2015.  Scholarships are available for current high school seniors and continuing college students.

Stephanie Winders, Safety Coordinator for the Henry County School System, will be the speaker at the next meeting on February 25.

Helping Hand Total Is Now $240,522

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $240,522, with Friday’s total of $3,094 raised by St. John’s CDS, the Humane Society, World’s Biggest Fish Fry, the Prevention Coalition and the Literacy Council.

Saturday’s items will be donated by the Henry County Medical Center and its employees.

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

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sheriff Office, TWRA Provide Free Wood Duck Boxes

Sheriff Monte Belew, his dog Si, Chief Deputy Randy Gean and Deputy John McElroy with members of the inmate crew and the free boxes. (Investigator Adam Jenkins photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to provide free wood duck boxes to the public.

The TWRA is supplying the wood and the sheriff’s office Inmate Garden crew is constructing the boxes.

Sheriff Monte Belew said some 150 boxes have been constructed so far and more are being constructed.

For more information call the sheriff’s office at 642-1672 or TWRA Officer Reggie Cole at 731-697-7008. The free wood duck boxes can be picked up at the sheriff’s office at 210 Forrest Heights on the west side of Paris.

Photo: Sheriff Monte Belew, his dog Si, Chief Deputy Randy Gean and Deputy John McElroy with members of the inmate crew and the free boxes.

Obion County Men Charged With Thefts

         Terry Gooch                                            Jonathan Ray

Samburg, Tenn.-Two Samburg men have been arrested by the Obion County Sheriff’s Office in connection with a series of thefts near Reelfoot Lake.

Arrested on multiple charges were Terry Gene Gooch, age 33, and Jonathan Marvin Ray, age 21.

The thefts started before Christmas and continued into the middle of January and involved four locations with merchandise valued at over $20,000.

The break in the case occurred when a deputy initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle that contained some of the stolen items.

Gooch is charged with three counts of burglary and three counts of theft of property over $1,000. A hold for him also was issued by Lake County in connection with the theft of a four-wheeler.

Ray was driving the vehicle which contained the stolen property and was charged with burglary and theft of property over $1,000.

Tickets On Sale For Lee Academy Fundraiser

Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale for the upcoming performance by National Banjo Champion Dan Knowles and his Chill Tonic Band Saturday, February 21, at the Lee Academy for the Arts.

This is the third annual fundraiser for the Lee Academy and it will be held at 7 p.m. 

Also on the bill are performances by The Shepherd Family, Anna and Jon Eaton, the Wheelhouse Rousters, Tyler Andel and Ed Smith.

Knowles said he’s excited about the event and the lineup keeps growing.

For more information, call 642-3411 or 644-1157.

More Charges In Child Pornography Case

Murray, Tenn.-In a continuing investigation into child pornography, Murray Police Department and Calloway County Sheriff’s Office have each filed additional charges against Jeffrey D.Carter, 36, of Murray. 

Two counts of Use of a Minor in a Sexual Performance and Two counts of Unlawful use of Electronic Means to Induce a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity were filed by each agency, for a total of eight additional counts. 

Carter is currently lodged in the Calloway County Jail. This joint investigation between the Murray Police Department and the Calloway County Sheriff’s department is ongoing.

Lecture On US-Iran Relations Set At UTM

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin’s annual Phi Kappa Phi Muriel Tomlinson Lecture will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 17, in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center on the main UT Martin campus.

Dr. Richard Garlitz, UT Martin associate professor of history and philosophy, will present a lecture titled, “Friends Like These: The Legacy of the 1953 Coup on United States-Iranian Relations.” 

His research examines the roles that American colleges and universities played in international development during the first two decades of the Cold War, especially as part of the U.S. government-sponsored Point Four Program.

Garlitz completed undergraduate work in history and English at Purdue University. He received a master’s degree in history from Ball State University and a Ph.D. in history from Ohio University. He joined the UT Martin faculty in 2008 and teaches courses on American foreign relations, the Middle East and world history.

The Muriel Tomlinson lecture is presented each spring semester in honor of Dr. Muriel Tomlinson, a UT Martin faculty member and chair of the Department of Modern and Foreign Languages from 1959-76. Tomlinson created the campus language laboratory and was a supporter of the ideals of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Becky Cox, associate professor of educational studies at 731-881-7134 or by email at

Long-Time Attorney Hired By Public Defender's Office

Union City, Tenn.-A long-time Union City attorney has left private practice and began working Thursday for the 24th Judicial District public defender’s office.

Damon Campbell has been hired as a full-time assistant public defender, leaving his private practice of some 36 years. He had worked in the Conley and Campbell law firm in Union City.

District Public Defender Joseph Atnip said Campbell will work out of the Union City office and will handle mostly Obion County criminal cases.

UC Business Burglarized

Union City, Tenn.-Money, a gun and other items were stolen from a Union City business overnight Wednesday.

The burglary at The Gallery at 621 E. Reelfoot Ave. was discovered Thursday morning when employees came to work.

The back door glass had been shattered and the business was ransacked, according to the police report. An undetermined amount of money was stolen, as was a pistol and other items.

McKenzie Man Arrested For Leaving Scene 

Dresden, Tenn.-Weakley County sheriff’s deputies arrested a McKenzie man for leaving the scene of an accident--intoxicated and on foot.

Arrested was Clayton Mitchell Travis, age 42. Deputies found him intoxicated and walking away from an accident on Blaylock Store Rd.

In the process of the arrest, Travis reportedly became disorderly and tried to kick out the window of the cruiser. According to the police report, Travis continued the behavior at the jail and kicked an officer, at which time another officer used a taser on him.

Once in a holding cell, a search of Travis’ clothing revealed him to be in possession of marijuana.

Travis was charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication, resisting arrest, and possession of drugs.

Thursday, February 12, 2015 

Commercial Development On Volunteer Drive Approved

Brent Owens of Owens Construction displays a drawing of the proposed strip mall. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A commercial development on Volunteer Drive that will include a strip mall to be called The Shoppes at Emerald Lake was approved Thursday night by the Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission.

The development is located across from Fred’s Discount Store.

Owens Construction submitted the major site plan for the property. The plan calls for a 24,000 square foot retail building plus an additional 1,800 square foot retail building in the rear of the principal structure.

Wyatt Owens of Owens Construction said he is planning for a restaurant to open in the mall, as well as other businesses. “But I have nothing committed as of now. Everyone I have talked to wanted me to have something to show them first before they committed,” he said.

The entire area is approximately 41 acres and four acres are proposed for the development at this time.

According to the plan, to facilitate future development, a road is proposed to the existing pond to the north of the proposed building. A total of 130 parking spaces are proposed.

At the outset of the meeting, a public hearing was held on the city’s proposed sign ordinance. Larry and Andrea Miller of Miller Estate Sales had questions about fair enforcement of the ordinance. Harold Bass said the sign ordinance needs to be simplified so that the public knows what it is expected.

In other business:

--The planning commission also approved a major site plan for Guinn’s building addition on East Wood St. The addition would be a 4,608 square foot structure to their existing building at 1710 E. Wood St. The total site area is 7.14 acres and the proposed addition will consist of .25 acres. 

Planning office staff indicated that the northeast corner of the proposed building is encroaching into a designated floodway and that needs to be addressed.

--Another major site plan for Eddie Roberts’ building addition at 415 Mockingbird Lane also was approved. Roberts is proposing a 2,592 square foot addition to the east side of his existing building. To avoid encroaching into the required 30 foot setback, Roberts will acquire an additional 12 foot from the adjoining property owner to allow him ample space for his addition.

--A minor subdivision plat for Mockingbird Lane was approved for Tammie Roberts and the Bass Group. Roberts will be adding a 12 foot strip to the rear of the property from Bass.

--A minor subdivision site plan was approved for Carolyn Griffey’s property at 901 E. Wood Street (at corner with Lake Street). The plan called for a 5 foot sidewalk with an eight inch curb on the west side of the building adjacent to Lake Street.

According to the proposal, the sidewalk would provide a safer route for pedestrian traffic along Lake connecting Wood Street.  Improvements would be built in conformance to city specifications.

Planning Commission Rejects Rezoning Request 

Residents of the Hillcrest Drive neighborhood presented their concerns at the meeting. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Presented with vocal opposition from some 20 neighbors, the Paris Muncipal Regional Planning Commission Thursday night unanimously rejected a request that would have rezoned as commercial a residential neighborhood at the corner of Hillcrest Dr. and East Wood St. 

The rejected rezoning request was for property owned by Dan Hassell at the corner of East Wood St. and Hillcrest Drive. 

According to Hassell’s application, the property is “no longer suitable for new constructed residence (because of high traffic). Would like to request rezone for possible future business opportunity.” The property is adjacent and on the same side of the street to Holy Cross Catholic Church. 

Before hearing from the neighbors, Board Members Terry Wimberley, Rachel Terrell and Gayle Griffith indicated their opposition the rezoning request.

Wimberley said, “I believe the property owners in this room would say this is still very viable as a residential area.” Terrell said, “Neighborhoods were here first. They made a large investment in their homes and have the right to protect their properties.” Griffith said, “I’m personally concerned with this. Hillcrest Drive is a great subdivision and I don’t think this is good for this neighborhood.”

Bobby Travillian presented a petition with the signatures of a large majority of property owners in the Hillcrest neighborhood objecting to the rezoning. “Right now we have a safe secure neighborhood and we want to keep it that way.” Travillian said, “The neighbors are opposed to anything commercial on this lot.”

Hassell said the lot is wooded and he maintained it would not be viable for another residential property. Hassell has purchased the home and lot next to it and is renovating the property, which he said is increasing the property values for that neighborhood.
“I’m trying to make the neighborhood nice,” he said. 

Arthur Lodge said, “We have viable neighborhood. We have block parties; we help each other. When you buy a house in Paris, your property should be protected. We bought a residential home and we have a covenant surrounding it.”

New Springville Utility District Water Tower Dedicated
Late Amon Evans Recognized For Leadership

USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode presents Denise Evans with a plaque and photo montage honoring her late husband, Amon Carter Evans. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Springville, Tenn.--Local, state and federal officials gathered at the Springville Utility District water tower Thursday afternoon to celebrate the tower’s completion and to celebrate the life of the late Amon Carter Evans, who spearheaded the drive to bring a safe, reliable water supply to residents of the Springville area.

USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode presented a plaque to Evans’ widow Denise, as well as a photo montage of the progress of the project and Henry County Mayor Brent Greer presented Evans posthumously with the county’s Loyal Patriot Award, its highest honor.

The new water tank holds 150,000 gallons of water and almost every household in the Springville area is now online with the new water supply. The district will be totally complete this summer, with four additional miles of water line in progress that will serve the Lakeview Manor area and sections of Winsett. Copeland and Elkhorn Roads.

Denise Evans thanked all of the officials who worked with her husband to bring the project to fruition and looked back at the nine years that the project has been ongoing from the beginning to the present.

Amon Evans said he would “do everything in his power” to ensure that the Springville area had good clean water. “And if he said he would work on something, you knew he would work on it every day.”

Evans died in 2011 and in 2012, the first water lines were laid for the project, beginning in Sandy Beach, she said. “Since then 30 miles of water lines have been laid and the water tank is up.”

Denise Evans noted that a project of this scale “is unheard of nowadays. I’m so happy to have been a part of this and I know that Amon would be thankful to all of you.”

Former Henry County Commissioner Mary Warren said, “I wish Amon could be here to see this. It’s a beautiful sight. Amon was just the right man for the job.”

Greer agreed, noting that Evans, who was a former owner of the Nashville Tennessean, was a crusader and fighter for justice all his life. Henry County had a great gift when he decided to move to our community.”

Goode said, “We’re here to celebrate the Springville Water District but we’re also here to celebrate a great human being.” With Evans at the helm of the project, Goode said, “it truly was a partnership of all the state, local and federal agencies involved and it took a man like Amon to get all those agencies together.”

USDA Rural Development’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provided $2,788,500 combined with funding from Delta Regional Authority, EPA, the state of Tennessee, the Springville Utility District and the Sandy Beach Water Association to construct 30 miles of water distribution lines.

On hand for the dedication were several Henry County commissioners, Utility District President Lowell Wilson, Secretary Scott Steele, Board Member Eddie Martin, as well as Matt Varino, field representative for Senator Lamar Alexander, and Heather Waggoner, field representative for Congressman Steven Fincher, and Jason Griffin of Jacobs’ Engineering.

With the new Springville Utility District water tank in the background, Henry County Mayor Brent Greer, middle, presents Denise Evans with the Loyal Patriot Award in honor of her late husband Amon. To the right is Lowell Wilson, president of the utility district. (McFarlin photo).

New Sheriff’s Office Vehicles On Patrol

Deputies Blake Jenkins and Wayne Fuqua and K9 Cisco with new vehicles. (HCSO photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The 15 new vehicles approved for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office by the Henry County Commission are now being used in daily patrols. 

Along with the new vehicles, the public will see the new black and gold designs on the patrol cars. According to Captain Damon Lowe, the sheriff’s office wanted new designs and moved to a more modern appearance for the new vehicles.

The new vehicles were purchased from local dealers. The designs on the vehicles were done by Sign and Trophy of Paris.

As presented to the county commission in 2014, Lowe said, by buying the new vehicles, the county will save a total of $150,000 over a three-year period by cutting maintenance and equipment costs. The vehicles were paid for over a period of three years by a secured loan from a local bank, Lowe said, with an interest rate of one percent.

The sheriff’s office will not be purchasing any additional vehicles for the next three years.

Of the 15 vehicles purchased, three are Ford 150 trucks to be used by the K9 officers Sgt. Ricky Wade, Deputy Terry Williams and Deputy Wayne Fuqua and their canine partners.

Second Person Arrested In Champion Family Murders 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Cadiz, Ky.-A second person has been arrested in the case involving the murders of the Champion family and an acquaintance last year in Trigg County, Ky.

Ryan Champion of Cadiz was arrested in October of 2014 for the murders of his mother, father and sister, Lindsey, Joy and Emily Champion, as well as Vito Riservato, at the Champion home.

On Wednesday, a special Trigg County Grand Jury indicted Ann L. Plotkin, age 41, of Hopkinsville, for three counts of complicity to commit capital murder for her role in the murder case.

Detective with the Kentucky State Police presented the case to the grand jury. Plotkin was arrested Wednesday afternoon at her home. She was charged with an additional count of resisting arrest which occurred when the KSP was executing the indictments.

Plotkin is not implicated in the kidnapping charge that Champion is facing, nor is she implicated in the death of Riservato.

Ryan Champion remains in the Christian County Jail, where Plotkin was also taken. 

The investigation continues by Kentucky State Police Detective Brett Miller.

Meanwhile, Ryan Champion’s attorney, Tom Osborne, has filed a notice to withdraw from the case. 

Champion is scheduled to appear in Trigg County Court Friday for a pre-trial conference. Osborne’s withdrawal is expected to delay the case.

Former State Employee Indicted For Theft 

Dyersburg, Tenn.-Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments charging a Halls, Tennessee, woman with theft. 

At the request of 29th District Attorney General Phillip Bivens, TBI Special Agents, working with investigators with the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury, began investigating Susan Scearce on January 26, 2012. 

At that time, Scearce was a Deputy Electrical Inspector who worked as a contract employee with the Department of Commerce and Insurance. During the course of the investigation and upon completion of an audit by the Comptroller’s office, Agents developed information that Scearce forged inspection documents and charged excessive prices for permits.

On February 9th, the Dyer County Grand Jury returned indictments against Susan Scearce, 56, charging her with two counts of Theft over $1,000. Scearce was arrested on February 10th and booked at the Dyer County Jail. She was released after posting a $1,000 bond. 

Birds Of Prey At Discovery Park Sunday

Kacey Putz of Discovery Park presenting a Birds of Prey program. 

Union City, Tenn.-     It is a fact.  All people, young and old, male and female, enjoy seeing the live animal exhibitions at Discovery Park of America.  And there will be another opportunity as “Birds of Prey” come to the park this Sunday, February 15th.  The Birds of Prey classes are exceptionally well attended according to Discovery Park’s Aquarium and Wildlife Coordinator, Kacey Putz.  “People really enjoy seeing these birds up close and personal,” she said.  

This Sunday the park is offering two opportunities to see the Birds of Prey program.  It will be presented at 1:00 and again at 2:30 in the Reelfoot Room.  On hand this week will be a Red Tailed Hawk, a Bald Eagle, a Screech Owl and a Great Horned Owl.  The instructor will share interesting facts about the birds as the birds move around the room, allowing guests to get a “bird’s eye view.”  The program is free with park admission.  

Birds of Prey land at Discovery Park only two weeks after the opening of Discovery Park’s first major traveling exhibit:  Titanic, the Artifact Exhibition, and only two days after the opening of the park’s newest permanent exhibit, The Chamber.   Both the Titanic and The Chamber will be open to the public during Discovery Park of America’s regular hours:  Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  After gaining admission into the park, a visit to The Chamber is free.  The cost of visiting the Titanic Exhibition is $7.00 for a non-member; $6.00 for Discovery Park members, anyone 65+ and groups of 20 or more,  and $5.00 for school groups and children ages four through 12.  Anyone three and under can go through the Exhibition with a paying adult, free of charge.   

 In addition to classes like “Birds of Prey,” the park offers many historical and unique exhibits as well as educational and entertaining attractions.  Discovery Park of America offers monthly wine and paint classes, clay classes and animal education classes.  Park officials say that Discovery Park has plans for helicopter rides, singer-songwriter events, the second annual cardboard boat regatta, visits from PBS characters, a Car & Bike show, concerts, a BBQ cook-off, a chili cook-off, an air show, a beer fest, wine tasting events, a special Alvin York exhibit, a Polar Express event, Santa and an expanded Christmas exhibit in 2015.  The complete calendar is now available on the website.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  To find out more about Birds of Prey, The Chamber, the Titanic or the park, you can visit 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.  

UTM Scholarship Opportunities

Martin, Tenn. – Students who begin classes at the University of Tennessee at Martin Parsons Center in the fall 2015 semester will have access to new scholarship opportunities, thanks to the Parsons-Decatur County Higher Education Foundation.

The Kick Start Scholarship will award all traditional students who qualify for the Tennessee Lottery Hope Scholarship $250 during their first fall semester. Students who maintain a 2.75 GPA into the spring semester will also receive $250, totaling a $500 award. 

Those who continue to meet lottery scholarship requirements into their sophomore year of study will then be eligible to receive the new UT Martin Advantage Scholarship, which will award each eligible student $500 during both the sophomore and junior years, totaling a $1,000 award. 

Funding is also available to high school juniors and seniors who enroll in dual enrollment courses through the UT Martin Parsons Center. High school seniors who receive the lottery scholarship will also receive the Jump Start Dual Enrollment Scholarship, which offers $200 toward two dual enrollment courses for the 2015-16 academic year. This brings the cost of two courses to $100 total. High school juniors receiving the lottery scholarship will receive an additional $75 toward two dual enrollment courses, reducing the total cost to $25. Students may choose to take two courses during the fall semester or one course each in the fall and spring semesters.

For more information, contact Dr. Kelli Deere, UT Martin Parsons Center director, at 731-847-3880 or by email at

Helping Hand Total Is Now $235,751

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $235,751, with Wednesday’s total of $3,186 the Paris Landing community and resort areas, Country Club Estates/Nelson/Shady Grove, Salvation Army, Stockyards Meat, and WRAP.
Thursday’s items will be donated by the Elkhorn community, State Employees of Henry County, REAL Hope Youth Center and Henry Farmers Co-Op.

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

Wednesday, February 11, 2015  

Paris Ranks 2nd In Top 10 Places To Retire
Union City Is Rated 9th

Eiffel Tower Park in Paris is a draw for tourists. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris and Union City, Tenn.-Paris ranks 2nd and Union City is 9th in the Top 10 places to retire in Tennessee by SmartAsset, a financial technology company.

To find the best places to retire, SmartAsset gathered data for a study and considered four main factors that affect the quality of life for retirees.

“First, we looked at state and local tax rates, considering two types of taxes: income and sales. We calculated effective rates based on a typical retiree, earning $35,000 annually (from retirement savings, social security or part-time employment) and spending their disposable income on taxable goods. Next, we determined the number of doctors’ offices, recreation centers and retirement centers per thousand residents in each area. Finally, we found the number of seniors in each area as a percentage of the total population,” a SmartAsset spokesman said.

“In our final analysis, we ranked each county and city on these three factors, and calculated an average ranking for each area, weighting the three factors equally. The areas with the lowest average ranking are the best places to retire,” the spokesman added.
Paris ranks No. 2, with statistics including 15.8 percent taxes, three doctor’s offices per 1,000 people, .2 recreation centers per 1,000 people, .7 retirement centers per 1,000 people and 16.1 percent of seniors.

Other cities in the top 10 in Tennessee are No. 1 Crossville, No. 3 Winchester, No. 4 Savannah, No. 5 McMinnville, No. 6 Brentwood, No. 7 Sevierville, No. 8 Lawrenceburg, No. 9 Union City, and No. 10 Maryville.

David Hamilton, CEO of the Henry County Alliance, is excited about the honor.
“Henry County offers a great setting for retirees.  We have a strong medical community, low taxes, beautiful Kentucky Lake and a low cost of living,” he said.

“America’s retirement population is growing rapidly and many retirees are looking to relocate in order to enjoy better weather and lower taxes. Activities that many retirees enjoy include shopping, dining, exercising and traveling. The benefit of retirees to Henry County is they are like ‘permanent tourists,’” he said, adding “With every retiree recruited, more jobs are needed, particularly those outside of manufacturing. Businesses that often see the most job growth include medical and financial, which are typically higher paying jobs.”

Springville Utility District To Be Dedicated

Springville, Tenn.-USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode will join state, local and federal officials on Thursday afternoon for the dedication of the Springville Utility District project that is providing safe, reliable public water supply to the residents of Henry County.

Dedication ceremonies will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the Springville Utility District Water Tank at 1301 Poplar Grove Rd..

The ceremony also will recognize the tireless efforts of the late Amon Evans, who served as the president of the district through the process.

Bluebird Program Saturday At Refuge 

Springville, Tenn.-The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, the Friends of the Tennessee NWR and the Paris Lowe’s store are all joining together to provide a free family event Saturday at the new refuge visitor center. 

Called “For the Love of Bluebirds”, the event will be held from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, February 14, at the new visitor center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville. This event, which happens to be on Valentine’s Day will feature a short program about the eastern bluebird, its history in this area when their population numbers experience drastic decline and how bluebird boxes changed everything.

Local bluebird experts Mitz and Lora Ann Bailey will return to the refuge with their informative program about how you can make a difference while attracting bluebirds as well as other birds to your backyard. Participants will also be invited to build their own bluebird box and get tips on how to best hang it in your yard to attract bluebirds.

The annual sponsor of this event is the Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge who coordinate all the preparation work, as well as providing plenty of extra hands and cordless drills for the day. This year the Paris Lowe’s store has teamed up with the refuge to provide all the lumber and hardware needed to construct 100 boxes. The store will also have many of their expert employees on hand to assist with the construction process. Visitors are also invited to bring their own cordless drill if they prefer.

According to Refuge Ranger Joan Stevens,“This event will be tailored for families with children or for people looking for something fun to do with visiting relatives. Who doesn’t love a bluebird or want to see one in your yard. So come on down, check out the new interactive exhibits, shop at the Blue Heron Bookstore and take home a bluebird box to hang in your yard.” 

Whereas the new refuge visitor center is always open Monday - Saturday from 8:00 – 4:00 pm, please note the event is only from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Entry to the event and to the visitor center is free. The refuge would like to thank the sponsors of this event, the Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and the Paris Lowe’s Home Improvement Store. For more information about this event or the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge please call 731-642-2091.

Forrest Is Topic Of Fort Donelson Program 

          Author Brian Wills

Dover, Tenn.-Fort Donelson National Battlefield is observing the 153rd anniversary of the Civil War battle there during the entire month of February. Coming up this Saturday is a presentation by Dr. Brian Steel Wills, who will share his thoughts on Nathan Bedford Forrest and his Civil War legacy. 

The program will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Donelson visitor center. Copies of Wills’ biography of General Forrest will be available for him to sign.

Wills is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, after a long tenure at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. 

He is the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War, including a new volume - The River Was Dyed with Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow. His other titles include: A Battle From the Start: The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest 

His new Forrest work was chosen as both a History Book Club selection and a Book of the Month Club selection.  

UC School Board Welcomes New Member

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Schools board of education members welcomed a new member at the board’s meeting last night.

School board members unanimously approved the appointment of Scott Gilliam to serve on the board. He will replace Dr. John Clenenin, who had recently resigned after moving out of the ward he was serving.

Gilliam will serve until the next election in two years. A formal swearing-in ceremony for Gilliam will be held next week.

Murray Man Arrested On Child Pornography Charges
Murray, Ky.-A Murray man has been arrested on child pornography charges following an investigation by several law enforcement agencies. Arrested was Jeffery Carter, age 36.

On February 6, the Murray Police began an investigation into an individual obtaining images of child pornography. During the investigation, detectives were able to use police databases and other law enforcement tools to locate a possible suspect Jeffery D Carter, who was in possession of these pornographic images of children.

 On February 10, detectives with the Murray Police Department, along with Calloway County Sheriff's Office and Kentucky State Police executed a search warrant at Carter's residence in Murray. 

Detectives located numerous items that are believed to contain child pornography images. These items were seized and Carter is charged with two counts of Possession/View Matter Portray Sexual Performance by a Minor. 

The Murray Police Department and the Calloway County Sheriff's Office each charged Carter with one count. The Calloway County Attorney's Office also assisted in the investigation. Carter was arrested and lodged at the Calloway County Jail. This investigation is ongoing and more charges are likely

CG Council Swears In New Mayor, New Member
Cottage Grove, Tenn.-With the resignation of Mayor Mike Waddey, the Cottage Grove Legislative Council Tuesday night sworn in new Mayor Melinda Thatcher.

Waddey had announced earlier he was leaving his post and Cottage Grove to accept a preaching job elsewhere. Member John Weiher read his resignation letter and Vice Mayor Melinda Thatcher accepted the position of mayor.

Thatcher then declared a vacancy on council and David Jackson was appointed to fill the seat. Jackson was then sworn in.

Thatcher appointed John Weiher as Special Events Coordinator. 

Matthew McClure will be the contact person to sell the recycle bags for the community. They are $10 a roll. His contact # is 782-3121.

Council and community members were encouraged to contact any cell provider and request they place a cell tower in the area.

The financial reports for December and January were read. Street State Aid fund revenue was $200.28 and expenses were 134.21 in January and February revenue was $215.51 with no reported expenses. The General Fund revenues for December were $4,220.59 and expenses were 2,155.00 while January revenues were $1,264.50 and expenses were $1,413.13. The motion to accept was made by Matthew McClure and seconded by John Weiher.

Helping Hand Total Is Now $232,565

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $232,565, with Tuesday’s total of $3,532 raised by the Sunnyside/Countrywood; Scenic Hills/Castleton Cove; the Henry Co. Food Bank, Extendicare of West Tennessee; and Ladies with Swag.

Wednesday’s items will be donated by Paris Landing community and resort areas, Country Club Estates/Nelson/Shady Grove, Salvation Army, Stockyards Meat, and WRAP.

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 

Discovery Park To Open Exhibit On Historic Torture Devices 

Union City, Tenn.- Discovery Park of America hopes to shed light on a dark past with the opening of a new exhibit called The Chamber.  

On Friday, February 13th The Chamber will be open to the public.  The Chamber is a unique exhibit featuring items used in executions and torture dated back to the 1400’s during the Spanish Inquisition period.  The new exhibit is located in The Enlightenment Gallery and will be available for viewing during normal park hours of 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.  

Discovery Park visitors who attend the Valentine’s Wine Tasting event on the evening of February 12th will be the first to see the new exhibit.
 The History Channel was the catalyst for the new exhibit according to CEO Jim Rippy.  “Last year we received a call from the History Channel about a new series called Museum Men,” Rippy said.  “The History Channel offered to give us three items from the Spanish Inquisition period and an army tank if we would allow them to film two of the :30 minute shows at Discovery Park.”  

The three items from the Spanish Inquisition time period and acquired by the park from Creative Arts and featured on the History Channel show are: The Breaking Wheel, The Rack, The Brazen Bull.

In addition to these three items, guests who visit The Chamber will see a guillotine from the French Revolution period.  The guillotine was used from 1792 until as recently as 1977 as the State’s preferred method of execution.  There are other more contemporary items of torture and execution in the exhibit as well.

Both the ongoing Titanic exhibit and The Chamber will be open to the public during Discovery Park of America’s regular hours:  Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  After gaining admission into the park, a visit to The Chamber is free.  The cost of visiting the Titanic Exhibition is $7.00 for a non-member; $6.00 for Discovery Park members, anyone 65+ and groups of 20 or more,  and $5.00 for school groups and children ages four through 12.  Anyone three and under can go through the Exhibition with a paying adult, free of charge.   

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  To find out more about the new exhibit, The Chamber, the Titanic or the park, you can visit 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.  

Carroll Lake On TFWC Agenda

Nashville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a one-day meeting when it returns to Nashville and an update will be provided on TWRA’s Carroll Lake. 

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, February 12 at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building.

 An update will be given on TWRA’s Carroll Lake. Heavy rains caused the gates used to control water levels on the 100-acre lake to be damaged beyond repair. The damage was included as part of a Federal Disaster Declaration.

Since the flood, the damaged gates have been removed and Carroll Lake has remained completely drained. Two public meetings have been held in Huntingdon and McKenzie to discuss the lake’s future.

Mitchell Photography On Display At The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn. - The Jack Mitchell Collection is on display in the Ballroom Gallery of The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center from now through April 26.

The series of photographs are the works of Jack Mitchell who is best known for his images of famous dancers, writers, musicians, actors and artists. He was a Florida native who found his way to New York City. There, his photography studio was visited by the artistic elite of his time. 

In addition, his works are held in several permanent collections including at the Smithsonian Institution. 

Coinciding with The Dixie Dance Festival, a reception will be held from 5 - 7 p.m. on March 7 with a Gallery Talk at 5:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public. 

After the reception, a performance of “Motown in Motion” will be presented by Eisenhower Dance starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $15 plus tax. The Dixie’s Ballroom Gallery is open Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and to ticketed patrons before and after all performances. For more information about this and upcoming art exhibits, contact Laura at

New ECD Commissioner Speaks At UTM

Martin, Tenn.-Randy Boyd, Tennessee’s new commissioner of Economic and Community Development, was introduced in a town hall meeting of West Tennessee economic development leaders, elected officials, chamber representatives and others Feb. 6 at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Gov. Bill Haslam named Boyd in December as the new ECD commissioner. Boyd, a successful entrepreneur, spoke briefly and then joined in an exchange of ideas with the group for enhancing the region’s economic development. Before taking his current position, Boyd took a leave of absence from his company in 2013 to serve Gov. Haslam as a volunteer special adviser on higher education in developing the Drive to 55 and the Tennessee Promise initiatives. Boyd was named a 2014 University of Tennessee Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. 

Helping Hand Total Now $229,033

Paris, Tenn.-The grand total raised so far in the annual Helping Hand Radio Auction is now at $229,033, with Monday’s total of $4,473 raised by the Henry community, Henry Beta Club, Life Church Paris, Senior Citizens Center and Father and Son Fellowship Association.

Tuesday’s items will be donated by Sunnyside/Countrywood; Scenic Hills/Castleton Cove; the Henry Co. Food Bank, Extendicare of West Tennessee; and Ladies with Swag.

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

Vendors Sought For Fitness Expo

McKenzie, Tenn. – As part of The Bethel University Fitness Society’s Fitness Living Awareness week, the Fitness Society will be hosting the first-ever Bethel University Fitness Expo on Friday, March 27th in the Crisp Arena from 10am-2pm. 

The expo will feature fitness personalities from across Tennessee and around the United States showcasing their products and expertise in the fitness world to Bethel students, faculty, staff, and the community. 

If you have a fitness-related business (gyms, fitness centers, health clubs, supplement companies, healthy restaurants, health food stores, personal trainers, etc.) and you are interested in setting up a booth, contact Christopher Ray via email at or by phone at (731) 352-6744 Monday-Fridays from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. You can also contact the Bethel University Fitness Society President Bethany DeBok at Please use the subject line Bethel University Fitness Expo when contacting Christopher or Bethany. Booths will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a $10 charge for setting up a booth. Lunch will be provided, or you can bring your own. 

 Admission to the Expo is $5 for the community, $2 for any collegiate student (non-Bethel, must have school ID) and free for all Bethel students, faculty, and staff with school-provided ID. Kids 10 and under are free with parent or guardian. 

6pm – 5am

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