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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Kicking Off The Holiday With Golf Cart Parade

Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison poses with Molly and Maggie Robinson of Martin. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-People from all over the state were on hand for the annual Buchanan Resort Golf Cart parade this year. This year, everyone got an extra special treat seeing Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison home for the holiday weekend and most everyone wanted their pictures taken with her. Robison's parents, Rusty and Pam Robison, own Buchanan Resort. She was crowned Miss Tennessee June 20 and will compete in the Miss America pageant on September 13.

Best of Show this year was won by the family of Pattye Kelley of Dyersburg, which included a birthday cake for America, a little Lincoln reciting the Gettysburg Address and little Statue of Liberty. Second Place Most Original was won by Jeff McClung and family of Whitehouse; First Place Junior won by Connie and David King family of Clarksville and Second Place Junior by the family of Jennifer Chastain of Guthrie, Ky. 

Former Henry County Clerk all dolled up for the holiday. (McFarlin photo).

Best of Show winners: the Pattye Kelley family of Dyersburg. (McFarlin photo).

KSP Identifies Woman Who Left Suspicious Package 

Murray, Ky-The Kentucky State Police have identified a 46 year female from Marshall County as the person responsible for leaving a suspicious package on Chestnut Road, in front of the United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office, in Murray on July 1. 

Through the investigation Troopers were able to determine her identity. During her interview on July 2, it was determined the female was in need of mental health treatment and she was transported to a local mental health facility where she remains. 

No charges have been filed against the female. Trooper Brian Hill continues the investigation. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Remembering Eaker's Café

Paris, Tenn.-Now that the former Eaker's Café has been torn down, we thought our readers would like to take a stroll down memory lane and recall how the popular restaurant looked in its early days. Located on 69S, Eaker's was one of Henry County's hot spots, popular for its food and hospitality. In this photo, Eaker's still had gas pumps in front and had a separate building to sell live fish and 'sporting goods'. In recent years, it has been called Cookie's Family Diner. After two fires in a year, the building was torn down last week.

Farmers Market Comes To Downtown Paris

Paris, Tenn.-The City of Paris and the Downtown Paris Association are cooperating to bring the Farmers Market to downtown Paris. 

The location will be at the parking at the intersection of Ruff Street and N. Market St. The corner parking lot will be available for Farmers Market vendors only, but the adjacent City lot to the immediate west will be available for customer parking.

The market was approved last night by the Paris City Commission.

The Market will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. until the produce is sold out. The opening date is Tuesday, July 7th and will operate through the current growing season.

Downtown Paris Association Executive Director Kathy Ray said, “We are very happy to be able to bring the Market to Downtown, and we appreciate the city’s assistance.”

Carl Holder, Farmers Market Project Coordinator for the DPA said “We appreciate the assistance of the UT Extension Service in helping line up vendors as well as advising us in general how to get the market up and running with a good chance for success. We really hope the change of venue will improve opportunities for vendors and the buying public”.

Up until now, the Farmer’s Market has been located at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

Hank Williams’ Movie Release Date Announced

Cherry Jones photo by Roddy McDowell

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-The release date for the new movie based on the life of Hank Williams Sr. has been announced.

"I Saw The Light" is coming to theaters Nov. 27. 

The movie has roots in Henry County, with Cherry Jones of Paris portraying the mother of the music legend. Additionally, Hank Williams Jr. makes his home in Buchanan. Rodney Crowell was musical director for the film and he has family roots in the Buchanan area, as well.

Tom Hiddleston, who was in “The Avengers“ and “Thor“ stars as Williams.

Jones described her appearance in the movie as “an itty bitty part” and said all her filming was done in Louisiana. Parts of the movie were filmed in middle Tennessee and Hiddleston spent a month in month in the Nashville area living with Crowell preparing his musical voice for the role.

The movie also stars Elizabeth Olsen as Williams’ first wife, Audrey.

Accident Details, Victims' Names Released  

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City Police Department has released more details and the names of those injured in a one-vehicle accident Thursday in which the car involved flipped over and down an overpass embankment.

August Crystal, age 47, of Troy, was airlifted to The Med in Memphis with head injuries. He was a passenger in the car driven by his sister, Helen Martin, age 56, also of Troy.

Crystal is listed in fair condition today at The Med.

Patrolman Chris Cummings said Crystal was sitting in the back seat unrestrained when the accident occurred around 10 a.m. Thursday.

Martin was transported by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City.

Cummings said the car was southbound on Hwy. 51 and went off the roadway as it approached the bridge over Barham Rd. The car went into the median, hit a grass slope and went airborne.

The air ambulance landed in the nearby industrial park and ambulance personnel transported Crystal from the accident scene to the helicopter for transport to The Med.

Cummings said the accident is still being investigated.

Refuge Road Closures Announced
Springville, Tenn.-The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is scheduled for road improvement projects at the Duck River Bottoms area beginning on July 6th and continuing until this fall. 

During this time Haul Road leading to the Duck River sub-headquarters will be temporarily closed to public traffic. This will include the temporary closing of Pintail Point Observation Deck and public access to the subheadquarters office.

The refuge regrets the inconvenience to visitors and will strive to keep road closures brief. Please call the refuge office at 731-642-2091 for updated information on these area road closures.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

City Approves Helicopter Landing Zone Ordinance

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee, standing, addresses the city commission. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-With one dissenting vote, the Paris City Commission Thursday night approved an ordinance governing helicopter landing zones in the city limits.

The vote followed lengthy discussion at the meeting and other lengthy discussions at previous meetings.

City Manager Kim Foster said the proposed ordinance was revised to include a definition of ‘helistop’ which city officials felt better described what the Henry County Medical Center already offers.

Two air ambulance companies are locating temporary and/or perhaps permanent headquarters at the Henry County Airport. Air Evac, which has already established a customer base in the local area for several years, has already set up temporary headquarters at the airport and is looking for permanent headquarters closer to the hospital. Vanderbilt Lifeflight will be establishing a headquarters at the airport in August.

As approved by the commission, a helistop would “provide a minimal service landing pad facility for landing and takeoff of helicopters used to board or discharge passengers or cargo. For hospitals this equates to patients and/or organs or critical supplies. A helistop shall not include refuelling, maintenance or repair facilities. Tiedown facilities may be available so that a single helicopter may be stored on the landing pad.”

The sticking point of discussion was the choice in the last sentence between ‘may’ or ‘shall not’. Voting no on the ordinance was Commissioner Gayle Griffith.

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee said he would prefer as little restriction as could be for hospital operation. He repeated his contention that no helicopter would stay on the pad longer than would be necessary, but said helicopters often must be there for extended periods while patients are being stabilized.

Gee said anything that the hospital can do to decrease the response time and save a person’s life is what the hospital wants to do. “We would like for the city to help us be a viable operation. We really don’t want our hands tied from the least response time.”

Gee also said he doesn’t see why it would be a problem to have a helicopter on the paid, at the ready for emergency calls anyway.

Mayor Carlton Gerrell said, “All the people who have contacted me on this issue, except just a few who live near the hospitral, have said they want it to sit on the pad for quicker service. I’ve asked others to come to the meetings and say what they feel, but nobody who is for it will come and talk. This is not about services, it’s about what is best for citizens. On the whole, people want it as fast as it can be done when they need help.”

In other business:

--The city approved a move of the Farmer’s Market to the downtown parking lot at Ruff and Market Streets. The Farmer’s Market will be there Tuesday and Friday afternoons, as it is now at the fairgrounds.

--Parks and Recreation Director Tony Lawrence reported on activities in his department. “On any given evening, McNeill Park is the busiest place in Paris,” he said. “And we’ve had tournaments there every weekend this summer”

The Tower Triathlon earlier this month had 93 participants, with only 18 of those being from Paris. The rest were from all over the state and Paducah.

Civic Center utilization is up, with numbers high for all activities, especially Silver Sneakers and water aerobics, he said. Rentals of facilities also is up, with the Civic Center, Atkins-Porter Recreation Center, park pavillions, and the Gerald Howard Pool being booked solidly.

Lawrence complimented Rhonda Stanton of KPAC for all the events, plays and programs held there on a continuing basis.

--Citizen Ray Hooper complimented the people who work at the city animal shelter. He said, “It’s one of the cleanest facilities I think you’ll ever find.”

Decatur Co. Clerk Staff Resigns Over Court Decision

Decaturville, Tenn.-Three employees at the Decatur County Clerk’s Office have resigned rather than issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

According to The Tennessean, Clerk Gwen Pope and Deputy Clerks Sharon Bell and Mickey Butler have all announced they are resigning because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages.

They said that decision clashes with their religious beliefs and their resignations are effective July 14.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said earlier that the state would follow the Supreme Court’s decision.

Drew Baker of the Tennessee Equality Project told The Tennessean that Decatur Co. is the only county in the state that has said it won’t issue same-sex licenses.

Man Seriously Hurt In Union City Wreck

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.--A man was airlifted from the scene of an accident on Hwy. 51 in Union City this morning after the car he was in flipped over and down an overpass embankment.

A woman in the car was also injured and reportedly transported by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City.

Details of the wreck are sketchy since the police report was not completed Thursday afternoon, but officers from the police and fire departments reported that the car flipped over from the overpass and landed behind Titan Tire on Everett Blvd.

Fire Chief Alan Herbenhahn said, “Our guys stabilized the male victim before he was airlifted.”

The air ambulance landed in the nearby industrial park and ambulance personnel transported him there for transport to an area hospital.

With the police report not being complete, the identities of the couple in the accident were not yet available.

Big Sandy Man Eludes Henry County Deputies

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff’s deputies and two K-9s spent over three and a half hours Wednesday night searching in the woods for a man wanted on warrants out of Benton and Henry County, but were unable to take him into custody.

In response to a report of a reckless drive on Hwy. 54, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper realized that Christopher Cutting of Big Sandy had active warrants on him. 

According to Sheriff’s Capt. Damon Lowe, Cutting ran out of his car and took off, running into the woods.

Several deputies, including Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco and Deputy Terry Williams and his K9 Droid searched the area for several hours to no avail.

A clerk at Benton County General Sessions Court said an active warrant is out on Cutting for probation violation. An active warrant is also out on him for probation violation in Henry County.

Coach Maddox Resigns

Union City, Tenn.-Union City High School head baseball coach Jeremy Maddox has resigned to take another job.

Maddox has taken a job as an assistant coach at Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson.

 Pick Me! Pick Me!

Paris, Tenn.--Mr. Bond The Science Guy had a lot of volunteers from which to choose during his program at the W.G. Rhea Library Wednesday. The popular Mr. Bond conducts experiments to entertain and educate the young people--and their parents--who always crowd the library when he appears during the summer reading program. In bottom photo, Mr. Bond shows how to use nail polish remover to shred styrofoam cups. The last summer reading program will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 8, with pizza and an animal presentation. (Photos by Shannon McFarlin)

Peppers Automotive Group Donates To Relay  

Paris, Tenn.-The Peppers Toyota, Chevrolet, and Dodge Automotive Groups collectively held a benefit for Relay for Life of Henry County. Peppers donated 
$50 for each car sold during the month of May to Relay for Life. Tuesday, checks totaling $9,350.00 were presented in front of Peppers Toyota. 

“We cannot thank everyone at Peppers Automotive Group enough for their generous support.”, according to Molly Jackson, Relay for Life Event Chair.

Daron Harrison with Peppers said, “Peppers is pleased to support Relay for Life of Henry County. We hope to continue and grow this event next year.”

On hand for the check presentation were from left, Dana Allen, Relay for Life of Henry County’s Publicity Chair, Donna Stines, American Cancer Society, Daron Harrison representative of Peppers Automotive Group, Molly Jackson, Relay for Life of Henry County’s Event Chair, and Arielle White, American Cancer Society. (Tammy Beasley photo).

KSP Investigates Suspicious Package in Murray

Murray, Ky. Kentucky State Police received a call from Calloway County Dispatch at 5:20 p.m. July 1 of a suspicious package on Chestnut Road, in front of the United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office, in Murray, KY.    

Kentucky State Police and Murray Police Department officers secured the area while the Kentucky State Police Hazardous Device Unit examined the package and its contents.  Inside the package was political propaganda and other similar items about recent government actions.  It is the believed the package was intentionally placed in front of United States Marine Corps Recruiting Office to create public panic.  

The package and its contents were collected to undergo further examination by the Kentucky State Police.   

Traffic disruption was minimal and easily rerouted.  As a precautionary measure, only one business was asked to close early due to its close proximity.   Other businesses were already closed or were asked to keep customers inside and away from direct line of site of the package. 

Assisting the Kentucky State Police was, Kentucky State Police Hazardous Device Unit, Paducah Bomb Squad, and Murray Police Department.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident they are asked to contact the Kentucky State Police as 270-856-3721. 

Mahan Recognizes Cox For Company Service

Paris, Tenn.-Jeff Mahan, Joe Mahan Ford, recognized Andy Cox and his twenty-five years of service to the company during Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce coffee at the facility, which was recently recognized as Business of the Year by the Chamber.

Kids’ Summer Camp Set For The Dixie

Huntingdon, Tenn. - Help your child develop and hone their creative skills at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center for the final summer camp of the year 2015. 

Children's Music Camp - Monday-Friday, July 13-17 for ages 4-18 months with an adult 10-10:45 a.m.; 19-36 months with an adult 11-11:45 a.m.; 3-4 years with an adult 1:30-2:15 p.m.; Kindergarten-1st grade, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Parents attend the first lass and last 15 minutes of each class. Cost is $85, and students will explore the building blocks of music - fast/slow, high/low, loud/quiet, and steady beat - through a variety of hands on activities. Learn new songs, sing old favorites, play rhythm instruments, meet animal puppets, dance, laugh, and snuggles.

For infants, classes will include songs and rhymes, lap bounces, finger plays, baby-safe instruments, and group dances. For the toddlers and preschoolers, classes will add "big kid" instruments like tambourines and rhythm sticks, and children will learn how the need to move, jump, twirl, march, and run works hand in hand with musical development. 

School age children will be introduced to more advanced songs, use rhythm instruments to tell stories, and enjoy games designed to encourage pitch matching and improvisation. In all age groups, colorful props like balls, books, scarves and puppets add to the fun. Most importantly, classes are all about the joy of making music.

Cost is $85, and instructor is Laca Tines.

Applications and scholarship forms for all summer camps are available at The Dixie box office in downtown Huntingdon and online at Classes fill early, so return your applications as soon as possible.

For more information, including special instructions for each class and rules for camp, call 731-986-2100 or visit


Office On Aging Trip Plans Graceland Trip

Paris, Tenn.--The Henry County Office on Aging will celebrate Elvis Month during August with a trip to Graceland in Memphis.

The date for the trip is August 27, and the bus will leave from the Central Community Building at 7 a.m.

According to Office on Aging Director Reggie Caldwell, the group will stop on Brownsville for breakfast and the tour of Graceland begins at 10:30 a.m. Tours last two and a half hours. After the tour, the group will eat in Memphis for lunch and then return to Paris.

Cost of the trip is $38.50 per person for the cost of admission and bus fare.

Caldwell said the tour is a Platinum Tour, which includes everything at Graceland except the tours of the airplanes.

Deadline is Friday, August 21, to sign up for the trip. For more information, see Caldwell or Senior Center Coordinator Barbara Pearson or call 642-2010 or 644-3193.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 

Martin PD Identifies Wal-Mart Suspects

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police have identified both individuals involved in the felony theft at Wal Mart on June 15 and one of the suspects has been arrested, according to Police Chief Don Teal.

Arrested is: 21 year old Marquisetin D. Williams of 212 Gurley Drive in Dyersburg.  Warrants have been issued for David L. Ray Sr. of 1411 Todd Ave. Dyersburg. 

After releasing photos of the two individuals and vehicle they were driving, the Martin Police Department was provided information through Crime Stoppers and along with corroborating information from the Dyersburg Police Department which led to the identification of the two individuals.  

At the time of the theft, Teal said, “The individuals remained in the store for approximately 45 minutes. While inside the store the two individuals took two desktop HP computers, two Vizio, 32” televisions, and an undetermined number of Clear talk cell phones. In obtaining the Clear talk cell phones one of the individuals was able to manipulate the security feature of the display to be able to remove the items,” Teal said.

The individuals then made their exit out of a fire exit door located on the east side of the building near the automotive center.

“Fabricated Testimony” Draws New Charges For Biggs

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-New charges have been added to the list of charges already filed against Guy L. Biggs, who currently is awaiting sentencing for attempted second degree murder in Henry County Circuit Court. 

But this time, according to Henry County Sheriff’s Investigator David Doyle, the new charges against Biggs “are an example of the Stolen Valor claims that occur throughout this country.”

New charges of aggravated perjury and tampering or fabricating evidence were filed today by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, along with the 24th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

According to Doyle, the new charges stem from testimony presented by Biggs during the criminal trial in March. Biggs had been on trial for attempted first degree murder and filing a false report. After a four-day trial, Biggs was found guilty of the lesser charge of Attempted Second Degree Murder.

During the trial, Biggs had testified under oath that he had an extensive military history with “extraordinary training, experience and commendations”, Doyle said. After the trial, according to Doyle, “It was determined his trial testimony was materially false and he in fact did not have the military credentials to which he had testified.”

Biggs also filed with the Henry County Court a falsified military document to support the experience, training and commendations to which he had falsely testified, Doyle said.

Sentencing for Biggs has now been re-set for July 13, at which time prosecutors will present evidence to the court regarding Biggs’ testimony and the new charges. Biggs, who is being held in state prison awaiting sentencing, will be served the new warrants and will be arraigned on them at a later date.

Doyle said the sheriff’s office and District Attorney’s office “intend on prosecuting Guy Biggs for his actions to the fullest extent of the law”.

LBL To Host Old-Fashioned July 4th

Golden Pond, Ky.– People wanting a more traditional celebration on the Fourth of July, will find one full of historical fun at the Homeplace 1850’s Working Farm and Living History Museum in Land Between The Lakes. 

Celebrate Independence Day from 1-4pm on Saturday, July 4th, with races, skillet tossing, horse shoes, old-time music, toys, and games. Special guest, Kentucky Statesman Henry Clay, portrayed by George McGee, will entertain visitors with antics of 1850’s politics. Admission is $5 ages 13 and up; $3 ages 5-12; free for ages 4 and under, and includes all the day’s activities and programs.

The Kentucky Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities fund the Henry Clay program. 

“On July 4th, the whole family can step back-in-time at the Homeplace and learn the history behind the most important holiday as celebrated in the 1850s,” according to Ellen Bravard, Interpreter at the Homeplace. “Relive a time of political speeches and community-wide picnics. We welcome everyone to join us under the shade trees, have a cool slice of watermelon, and lend a hand making ice cream using a recipe from The Homeplace History and Receipt Book. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets to make a day of it.”

The Homeplace 1850’s Farm represents a two-generation farm. Visitors see interpreters in period clothing going about their daily chores. Artifacts, restored historic structures, and traditional seasonal activities take visitors back in time to relive history before the Civil War.

Women Charged With Meth Possession

Trenton, Tenn.-Two local area women were arrested on drug charges last week by the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office and West Tennessee Violent Crime and Drug Task Force in connection with a meth operation.

Arrested were Laurent Luther, age 30, of Springville; and Goldie Hairrell, age 39, of Cedar Grove.

According to a news release, the two women were arrested when officers found them sitting in a car in Trenton and a K9 officer indicated a positive response to a search outside the car.

Officers then searched the car and found paraphernalia used to smoke meth and a substance which they believed to be meth underneath a seat, according to the release.
Police also found $7,416 in the car.

Both Hairrell and Luther were charged with possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bonds of $20,000 each were set for them. Both women will appear in Gibson County General Sessions Court in Trenton.

Fireworks Prohibited In Paris City Limits

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo has reminded the public that fireworks are prohibited within the city limits of Paris.

According to Municipal Code 7-401:, “The manufacture, distribution, sale, storage, possession, use, or discharge of any fireworks is expressly prohibited within the corporate limits of the City of Paris, Tennessee.”

Violators will be cited and fireworks will be seized, Elizondo said.

Record Number To Attend UTM Vet School

Associate Professor Jason Roberts with students. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – Eighteen students from the University of Tennessee at Martin have been accepted into veterinary school programs beginning this fall. This number breaks the previous record of 10 students, set in 2013.

“The large number of students accepted to veterinary school exemplifies the quality of instruction through experiential learning from our animal and veterinary science faculty,” according to Dr. Todd Winters, professor and dean, College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. “Great students result from great faculty, and with this success our student numbers in this area should continue to grow.”

Seven students have been accepted into the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Students attending at the flagship campus are Andrew Jordan, of Lewisburg; Brandon Newton, of Greenbrier; Kaylee Penick, of Martin; Zachary Ragland, of Whitehouse; Leslie Serrano, of Drummonds; Kelley Wigington, of Adams; and Jason Wolf, of Sevierville. Four students will attend Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate. Those students are Kathleen Alford, of Dyersburg; Mallory Martin, of Union City; Jamie Franks, of Hohenwald; and Emma Sanders, of Chattanooga. 

Lauren Cain, of Thompson’s Station, and Katherine Sanders, of Franklin, will both attend Mississippi State University. Laura Croom, of Greenfield, will begin her studies at Auburn University, and Crystal Climer will study at the University of Missouri. Danielle Fuller, of Pocahontas, has accepted a position at Kansas State University. Trey Drinkard, of Old Hickory, and Justin Goodrum, of Hornsby, will both travel to the island nation of St. Christopher and Nevis to attend Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Goodrum graduated from UT Martin with a bachelor’s degree in 2010 before pursuing graduate studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

“I am proud of these students and how hard they worked, both in the classroom and in experiential learning opportunities, to accomplish their goal of attending veterinary school,” said Dr. Jason Roberts, associate professor of animal science. “I know they are well prepared for the challenges they will face while in veterinary school.”

The UT Martin pre-veterinary curriculum is a concentration under the animal science major, housed in the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources. For more information on this degree program, contact the department at 731-881-7211. 

Paris Youth Football Sign-Ups

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Youth football league is holding sign-ups at the Paris Civic Center: July 11th - 9:30 a.m. -noon  and July 18th - 9:30 a.m.-noon

Try outs will be at Barton Field 9:45 a.m. August 15th  

Cost $40.00 per Participant. Must be 9-12 yrs. as of Sept 1st. Nine year olds must weigh 70lbs.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Paris Hardee’s Opens Wednesday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-You can expect a crowd when the long-awaited Hardee’s Restaurant opens at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The new Hardee’s Restaurant is located on Mineral Wells Ave. and management has been shifting into high gear the last couple of weeks, with employee training and practice runs inside the restaurant and at the drive-through window.

Staff was putting last-minute touches on the outdoor landscaping Tuesday evening.

After tomorrow, the restaurant will be open 24 hours a day and offers a menu that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner items, from biscuit sandwiches to charbroiled burgers and grilled pork chops.

County Commission Approves Budget, Tax Rate

Henry County Commissioners zipped through tonight's recessed session. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Commission held a record-setting meeting Tuesday night: record-setting for its length, which was only seven minutes.

The commission adopted the Fiscal 2016 budget and the certified property tax rate of $2.06, which decreased from $2.17 after county reappraisal. The budget includes a 2.4 percent cost of living raise for employees across-the-board. The meeting was recessed from last week’s regular meeting.

The county general fund totals $11,337,314, with other categories which includes law enforcement at $4.6M; and non-profit organizations at $97,375. 

Seventeen non-profit organizations receive funds, including the county’s volunteer fire departments, Aspell Recovery Center; St. John’s Community Development Services; Henry County Fair Association; Henry County Youth Baseball; JACOA (council on alcoholism); Kentucky Lake Girls Assn. Lee School Assn. Paris-Henry County Arts Council, Paris-Henry County Rescue Squad; Paris-Henry County Heritage Center; Paris Soccer; Tenn Technology Center, TARP, Carl Perkins Center, Sisters With A Goal and Habitat for Humanity.

Benton County Men Convicted Of Child Rape
Big Sandy Man Sentenced To 35 Years


                 Brian Webb                                                    David Corbitt

Camden, Tenn.-A Benton County Jury on Monday convicted Brian Lee Webb, age 25, of Camden, of one count of rape of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault. The charges involved a minor less than eight years of age.

Assistant District Attorney General Bruce Griffey, along with Assistant District Attorney General Carthel Smith prosecuted the case before Circuit Court Judge C. Creed McGinley.

Webb’s sentencing is set for July 23.

Webb is the second child rapist prosecuted by Griffey in this term of Court. David Alan Corbitt of Big Sandy, Tennessee was convicted of rape of a child on May 26th, and sentenced June 26, to thirty-five (35) years -in the State Penitentiary by Judge McGinley. Corbitt will not be released from prison until the year 2050.

District Attorney General Matthew F. Stowe expressed his sincere thanks to Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher his deputies and staff as well as Camden Police Chief George Smith, his officers and staff. Chief Investigator Bryant Allen with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office investigated, arrested and charged David Alan Corbitt.

Chief Investigator Alex Latimer with the Camden Police Department investigated, arrested and charged Webb. Stowe said both organizations were instrumental in removing these child predators/rapist from the Benton County, Camden, Tennessee area for many years. Stowe again reiterated his policy that elevates these types of cases to the highest of priorities. Stowe cautioned anyone committing this horrible crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and his Assistants will seek maximum punishment allowed by law in all cases.

Any further inquiries can directed to General Stowe’s Office at 731-986-5031.

Thile Set To Become Host Of “Prairie Home”

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

St. Paul, Minn.-As Garrison Keillor, the long-time host of “A Prairie Home Companion” continues easing into retirement, it has been announced that Chris Thile of Murray will slowly take over the helm of the show.  

Thile is a frequent guest on the show and has substituted for Keillor twice during the 2015 season.

Thile is an internationally-known mandolin virtuoso and began his career with the band Nickel Creek. He then joined The Punch Brothers. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.

In 1995, the Thile family moved to Murray, Kentucky where Chris' father Scott Thile accepted a position at Murray State University as a musical instrument technician.

Keillor and his character Guy Noir will continue to be heard on radios across the nation. He will reportedly co-host “Prairie Home” while Thile learns the ropes, eventually turning it over to Thile at some point in 2016.

“Chris is my man, and I’m eager to stay home and read books,” Keillor recently told The Berkshire Eagle.

“A Prairie Home Companion” is a live variety show that began in 1974. It is usually broadcast from Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

Suspects Turn Themselves In

Union City, Tenn.-The two young men who had been sought by Union City Police for their involvement in a shooting last week have turned themselves in.

After pictures of the two were publicized by area news agencies, including WENK/WTPR, both Reshun Moses, age 19, and Malik Garrett, age 18, both of Dyersburg, turned themselves in to Union City Police yesterday. Both are lodged at the Obion County Jail.

They were wanted on charges in connection with shooting injuries suffered by two 15-year-old girls at an early-morning party in Union City.

Fireworks, Parades And More For 4th of July

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
Fourth of July is almost here and that means celebrations, parades and fireworks all over our area.

From Cottage Grove to Union City to Paris Landing, there will be fireworks on Saturday, July 4, to ring in the celebration of our nation’s founding.

The 40th Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival will be held Saturday with the traditional parade beginning at 10 a.m. Grand Marshal is in memory of Firefighter David Lampkins, who died a few weeks ago. Prizes will be awarded for Best of Parade, Best Float and Most Patriotic.

At 10:30, the ice cream and burgers are served, with hay rides, the cake walk, arts and crafts booths, the country store, and games. Under the guidance of Tammy Wood, the country store features games and homemade, homegrown and canned farm goods.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the turkey/trap shoot is held, with archery at 1 p.m. From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the quarter pitching game will be held, from noon to 2 p.m. is the auction, 3-4 p.m. bingo.

The country ham giveaway is at 6 p.m., live music from the Great River Road Band begins at 6 p.m. and more games and drawings will be held until 9 p.m. when the fireworks display begins.

For further information, contact John Weiher at 782-3657, Larry Neimi at 782-3559, or Tammy Wood at 336-4163.

Discovery Park in Union City will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with free entrance after 5 p.m. There will be rides, live music by several bands, live historians strolling the grounds and a huge fireworks display at 9 p.m.

At Paris Landing State Park, fireworks begin at dark in the swimming area by the pavillion. The fireworks display is sponsored by the World’s Biggest Fish Fry committee.

Here are a few other nearby locations and events featuring fireworks.  
Bee Spring Lodge
Where: 573 Bee Spring Road, Benton, KY 42025
When: June 27th at dusk 
Calvert City Ameribration
Where: City Hall, 861 5th Street, Calvert City, KY 42029
When: July 4th at dusk 
Freedom Fest
Where: Court Square in Murray, KY 42071
When: July 4th at 9:30pm – Visible from Highway 641N near Kroger and Central Park 
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
Where: 113 Administration Drive, Gilbertsville, KY 42044
When: July 4th at dusk from the Old Beach 
Lake Barkley State Resort Park
Where: 3500 State Park Road, Cadiz, KY 42211
When: July 3rd off the Beach Boat Dock 
Moors Resort & Marina
Where: 570 Moors Road, Gilbertsville, KY 42044
When: July 3rd at dusk (very limited parking available)

Broadway Singers Fundraiser Set Thursday

Paris, Tenn.-A fundraiser for the Henry County High School Travel Speech Team and Youth Orchestra will be held Thursday.

The Broadway Singers will present “Thank God for Music. Thank God for Country” at the First Baptist Church in Paris at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2.

Tickets for dinner and concert $25 on sale at Merisons, Jack Jones Flowers and Gifts, The Iron Place.

Library To Close For Fourth Holiday

Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Library will be closed Friday and Saturday this week for the Fourth of July holiday.

LBL Quota Deer Hunt Applications 

Golden Pond, Ky.– Applications for the 2015 Quota Deer Hunts will be available July 1-31. The hunt application link can be found online at, on the Land Between The Lakes official homepage, or you can apply by phone at 270-924-2065. The application fee is $5 online or $7 by phone. After applying, applicants can check back in late-August to see if they were drawn.

Quota hunts provide unique recreational opportunities within the region and help maintain a healthy deer population. Deer harvested on Land Between The Lakes are bonus deer and do not count toward statewide bag limits. All quota hunt permits will be either-sex permits. There is a one (1) antlered buck limit on Land Between The Lakes regardless of whether it is taken in Kentucky or Tennessee during archery season or a quota hunt.

Both adult and youth hunts will be available. The Youth Hunt is for hunters under age 16 in the Kentucky portion, and 6 through 16 years old in Tennessee. Youth hunters must possess a state-approved hunter safety card according to state regulations. Youth not required to have a hunter safety card must carry a signed safety verification form available on the official Land Between The Lakes website. Each youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old who meets hunter safety requirements.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Henry County Arson Suspect Caught In Obion County

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Arson suspect Jesse Maynard of Big Sandy was arrested by Obion County law officials near Hornbeak when the vehicle in which he was a passenger had car trouble.

Maynard, age 23, of 352 Rample Creek Rd., Big Sandy, was wanted for setting fire to two cars the morning of June 24 at 260 Nobles Rd., Buchanan, around 7 a.m. in the morning.

Obion County Chief Deputy Kent Treece said Maynard “was in a vehicle with another individual that had car trouble while travelling through Hornbeak. The vehicle had the road blocked and a deputy and the Hornbeak Police officer went to check on the car.”

The driver did not have a license “and when they checked Maynard, they found that he was wanted in Henry County,” Treece said. “He was arrested and held at our jail until Henry County came and picked him up.“

At the time of last week’s arson, Henry County Sheriff’s Captain Damon Lowe said   witnesses saw a male exiting a black Ford pick-up, put a chain around his hand and walk to a vehicle and pour gas on it, then set it on fire. 

Two vehicles ended up being destroyed by fire, when the blaze spread to another vehicle.

UC Police Seek Individuals Following Shooting

          Reshun Moses                                  Malik Garrett

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police have issued warrants for two individuals wanted in connection with the shooting incident at an after-hours party in Union City on Sunday, June 21, which resulted in injuries to two 15-year-old girls.

Warrants have been issued for Reshun Moses, age 20, of Dyersburg, on charges of attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and aggravated assault; and Malik Garrett, age 18 of Dyersburg, for knowingly keeping or maintaining a building for the purpose of using marijuana, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Police were called to 202 Railroad Rd. on a report of gun shots around midnight. According to the police report, the building was being rented for a party and shots were fired outside.

The two girls were shot and injured with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Union City Police are asking anyone with information on the subjects’ whereabouts to contact the police department at 731-885-1515 or Crime Stoppers 731-885-TIPS (8477).

"Mimosa Trail" Graces Kentucky Lake Area

Buchanan, Tenn.-Thanks to the late Christine Reynolds of Paris, the first cabinet member in Tennessee, the beautiful mimosas are a common sight around Paris Landing State Park and Hwy. 79N. Reynolds is responsible for “The Mimosa Trail” along the highway from Paris to the state park. In photo, mimosas frame the view of the Ned Ray McWherter bridge at the park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Crash Victim’s Condition Is Upgraded

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR

Henry, Tenn.-The condition of the motorcycle driver who was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center following a crash Saturday morning has been upgraded to critical but stable.

William Buie of Paris was southbound on Hwy. 79 near Henry when the accident happened. A car reportedly pulled out from Pioneer Rd. and collided with Buie. Buie suffered multiple injuries and the Air Evac helicopter landed on the highway to make the transfer to Vanderbilt.

As we reported in earlier articles, the driver of the second car was treated at the scene by Henry County EMS.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Mounts investigated the accident, but has been unavailable for comment for a full report of the accident.

Rural Ministries Raising Money For School Supplies

Obion, Tenn.-Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM) is collecting school supplies now through July 10 for low-income families it serves in Northwest Tennessee and Southwestern Kentucky.

The agency of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, which offers many services, will distribute school supplies this year July 14 through Aug. 13.
"We encourage your church, small group or Sunday School class to take on a service project by collecting supplies for these children," according Rural Ministries’ Rev. Robert Craig.

Last year he said the agency helped 612 children with school supplies.

Craig said there are many reasons parents and guardians of their service area need help with school supplies. “Summer utility bills, rent, groceries and the need for school clothing greatly limit resources families have during this time of the year,” he explained.
School supplies needed are listed below or RRM is happy to receive funds to purchase supplies. 

Supplies may be delivered to RRM at 6923 Minnick-Elbridge Road in Obion, Tenn. OR to the Memphis Conference office at 24 Corporate Blvd., in Jackson, Tenn.

For more information about school supply collections, contact RRM at (731) 538-9970. For more information about RRM, visit

A partial list of school supplies includes: notebook binders, backpacks, big pink erasers, composition notebooks, ear phones, dry-erase markers, plastic folders, Kleenex, nap mats, pencil boxes, pens, pencils, coloring pencils, hand sanitizers, post-it notes, flash drives, etc. For the complete list, see the Reelfoot Rural Ministries’ website or Facebook page.

Donations Sought For Funeral, Child Care Expenses For Family

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Martin, Tenn.-Friends of the family involved with last week's murder/suicide in Weakley County have established a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for funeral expenses and care of the children left without a mother.

Alexandrea Bevis, age 27, was shot several times and killed by her husband while their children were on the front porch. Alexandrea's mother carried the children to safety.

Alexandrea's husband, James Bevis, age 32, killed himself in the house following a stand-off with local law enforcement.

Alexandrea's parents are now raising the children. Friends of the family have posted information of the GoFundMe website: "I am raising money for a dear couple whom now will be taking care of their two small grandchildren. There are also expenses for the funeral of their daughter whose life...was cut short. This was a tragic loss and the children are now without a mother."

The link for the GoFundMe page is:

UT Approves Lowest Tuition Increase in 30 Years

Martin, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved the lowest tuition percentage increase in more than 30 years during its annual meeting June 25 in Knoxville. Undergraduate tuition will increase by 3 percent at UT campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin as part of the $2.13 billion budget for fiscal year 2016. The increase is effective for the 2015 fall semester. 

The last time all three campuses increased tuition for undergraduates by 3 percent was in 1983-84. UT Knoxville and UT Martin increased tuition by 3 percent in 1997.

UT Martin instate tuition and mandatory fees will now cost undergraduate students an additional $302 annually, which includes a student-supported $50 per semester activity fee for athletics. New tuition and fees will be $4,163 per semester or $8,326 for a full academic year. Full-time undergraduate enrollment is a minimum of 12 credit hours. 

Tuition and mandatory fees for instate graduate students will increase $340 per semester for a total of $4,824 per semester. Graduate students will pay a total of $9,648 per academic year starting this fall. Full-time graduate enrollment is nine hours per semester.

Fall semester classes begin Aug. 24 for the main campus and UT Martin centers in Jackson, Parsons, Ripley and Selmer. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

2015 Fair Book Dedicated To Late Jerry Lemonds

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--Life is often bittersweet and one such example is this year’s Henry County Fair Book dedication.

The 2015 Fair Book is dedicated to Farmer and Fair Volunteer Jerry Lemonds. The dedication was presented to him on May 9 and Lemonds died the day after.

Long-time Fair Board Member Deneicia Gregson said, “Sometimes in life you are lucky to know a truly one-of-a-kind good guy. Jerry E. Lemonds is just that type of person and we were proud to dedicate the 2015 Fair Catalogue to him. We know there will never be another like him. God threw the mold away.”

Lemonds was born in 1962, to the late Ernest and Marsceale McDaniel Lemonds. His brother, Tommy, lives in Paris.

Lemonds was a cattle farmer and owner/operator of Lemonds Lime Service. Gregson said he loved the life of farming.

“Jerry volunteered at the fair for many years,” she said. “He enjoyed the Junior Livestock Day and the Demolition Derby the most.”

The fair this year will be held August 3-8. The fair books are being distributed to local banks and businesses and also can be picked up at the UT Extension Service office on Hwy. 79S.

Now This Is The Life

Buchanan, Tenn.-A fisherman just takes it easy, along with some fowl friends, at Paris Landing State Park Saturday afternoon. Weather was perfect for being outdoors and the park was busy with fishermen, boaters, and picnickers. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

MSU Appoints New Director Of Libraries

Murray, Ky.-Murray State University has announced Ashley Ireland has accepted an offer to serve as the dean of University Libraries, pending approval from the board of regents during its August meeting. Ireland replaces Dr. Adam Murray, effective July 1,

as she transitions from her current position as director of user and instruction services in the University Libraries, which she has held since 2012.

Ireland received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Sociology as an honors graduate from Murray State University in 2005. She then continued her education receiving a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of Kentucky in 2007. She returned to Murray State University in 2008 where she assumed an assistant professor role as a reference librarian and library liaison to the Hutson School of Agriculture and the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Awarded in 2013 as an outstanding researcher for the University Libraries, Ireland was later promoted to an associate professor role in 2014. She has represented Murray State at several competitive and intensive professional development opportunities, as noted by the Association of College and Research Libraries' Immersion Program in 2010. Utilizing her multiple talents with research and library initiatives, Ireland led Murray State University's team in the Assessment in Action project that recognized the retention efforts the library provides to our students. She has also been asked to chair national committees in her discipline.


Belew, Lowe Speak About Scams

Sheriff Monte Belew speaks to Quota. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Captain Damon Lowe spoke to the Paris Quota Club about scams at its recent meeting. Belew’s mother, Jackie, and Chief Deputy Randy Gean were guests for the meeting, which was held at Lee Academy of the Arts.

Belew told about the check scam and the grandparents scam and how to avoid being a victim. Belew said “If it sounds too good to be true; it is. No one is going to send you a check in the mail when you have not entered a contest or played the lottery.”

Lowe told about the IRS scam and the phone spoof scam. Lowe said that IRS will not call and ask for information and if you get a phone call that you dont know the number; dont answer. Also, if you get a phone call showing your own number; dont answer.

2015-16 club yearbooks are available for $5 each and Geraldine Sykes has tickets for the handmade quilt that was donated by Wanda Hughes. Jane Sinnema told that the club will sponsor a birthday party at Henry County Nursing Home at the end of July.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Late Firefighter Commemorated At Ceremony
Firefighters' Prayer Adorns Memorial

Plaque and commemorative bench at the entrance of Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Family members and firefighter friends of the late Firefighter Jimmy Conger were present Saturday afternoon for a ceremony at the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department honouring his service.

Conger was killed in the line of duty for the department in 1976. Chief Reggie Coles said Conger was killed in the first structure fire the department ever had. The location of the fire was the former Eagle Gift Shop located where Hooks and Horns is now situated on Hwy. 79.

A decorative commemorative bench was presented by the fire department in Conger’s memory and now has a permanent spot near the flagpoles at the entrance of the fire department on Hwy. 79.

The bench has a concrete plaque with Conger’s name and the date of his death inscribed. The bench is inscribed with “The Firefighter’s Prayer” which reads:

The Firefighter's Prayer
When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;
Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.
And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life;
Please bless with your protecting hand
my children and my wife.

Motorcycle Driver Critical Following Wreck

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Henry, Tenn.-The driver of the motorcycle who was airlifted following a collision with a car this morning is in critical condition in Vanderbilt Medical Center.

William Buie of Paris was southbound on Hwy. 79 when the accident happened. A car reportedly collided with Buie at Pioneer Rd. The driver of the car was treated at the scene by Henry County EMS.

The Air Evac helicopter landed on the highway to make the transfer of the victim to Vanderbilt.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Mounts investigated the accident. The accident happened around 9:30 a.m.

Collegiate Big Bass Bash To Be Held At Paris Landing 2016

San Antonio, Texas-The Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series has announced that the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley will be held on March 11-13, 2016 on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tennessee. 

The 2015 event, which brought 300 anglers to the Paris Landing area last year to compete in the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley, featured over $25,000 in prizes and giveaways and the 2016 collegiate event promises to be even bigger.

"We look forward to going to Paris Landing and Kentucky Lake every year because this is one of those lakes that is just absolutely incredible when it comes to largemouth and smallmouth fishing," according to Wade Middleton, Director of the Association of Collegiate Anglers and President of CarecoTV. "In the big bass format where even a two pound fish can earn a check, anglers have the chance to win in eight possible weigh ins and just one cast can win the whole event and the college anglers know that, therefore they travel from many states to fish this event."

Due to the diverse format of the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley, anglers mark this event on their calendars as a "can't-miss" tournament. Over twenty states were represented by over ninety colleges in the 2015 Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Berkley to get the chance to raise a Kentucky Lake giant above their heads on the stage and earn thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. 

So mark your calendar this year for March 11-13, 2016 for the Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Presented by Cabela's at Kentucky Lake's Paris Landing!
To see additional coverage on our Facebook, click here: 

Canning Classes To Be Offered

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Extension Office will offer Canning College 101 in July and registration is open now.
The classes will be held 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 and Thursday, July 23, at the extension office. The classes cost $40 for one class or $65 for both.
They will be taught by Family and Consumer Science specialist Michele Atkins. 
Space is limited, so call 642-2941 to register.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Names, Details On Murder-Suicide Released

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-The Weakley County Sheriff’s Office has released more information on the murder-suicide that occurred earlier today near Martin, including the names of the deceased.

Pronounced dead at the scene were Alexandrea Bevis, age 27, and James C. Bevis, age 32.

Weakley County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Bevis’ home at 950 Hwy. 431 between Martin and the Obion Co. line around 12 p.m. today. A 911 caller reported a woman had been shock by her husband near the back of the house and that the husband had then gone into the residence and that he was still armed.

Deputies arrived at 12:04 p.m. Captain Randall McGowan of the sheriff’s office said after attempts to contact the husband by phone failed, tear gas was fired into the house. Deputies entered the home and found the husband had killed himself with the same 9mm handgun he used to kill his wife.

Mrs. Bevis had been shot several times, McGowan said.

Two small children were on the front porch at the time of the shooting, but were carried to safety by Alexandrea Bevis’ mother before the deputies arrived.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Martin Police who provided officers to help with entry into the home, as well as the Weakley Co. Medical Emergency Medical Services, Martin Fire Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“Pastor Protection Act” Proposed By Terry, Holt After SC Ruling

              Rep. Andy Holt                                             Rep. Bryan Terry

Nashville, Tenn.— On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of gay marriage. In reaction to that decision, Tennessee State Representative Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) announced that he is working to draft the “Tennessee Pastor Protection Act” along with State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) as the primary co-sponsor.
“It comes as no surprise that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage. I have had multiple constituents concerned with how the ruling may impact their church and their religious beliefs. If the issue is truly about equality of civil liberties and benefits, then this ruling should have minimal legal impact on churches,” said Terry. “However, if the issue and the cause is about redefining marriage to require others to change their deeply held religious beliefs, then the concerns of many will be valid.”

The bill will be designed to protect all religious clergy from performing same sex marriages, as well as, providing legal protection from being forced to perform same sex marriages on church property. 

“To my friends of faith, to those who endear the principles of social conservatism, and to those who ascribe to the original intent of the ‪Tenth Amendment, we must never give up,” declared Holt. “The Court has made it clear that they have no intention to uphold the principles of separation of power. It's more important now than ever that we stand and resist the abuse of our own government and that is exactly what I plan to do by lobbying for the Pastor Protection Act with Rep. Terry.” 

Holt says he has no plans to recognize the Court’s ruling as being valid. “God is the ultimate Supreme Court and he has spoken. Marriage is between one man, and one woman,” said Holt. 

Terry worries that the ruling will set off a chain reaction in judicial activism. 
“The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Article 1 Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution states that personal freedom of religion is protected and that no human authority can interfere in the rights of conscience,” noted Terry. “Under normal circumstances, I would expect the Court to honor the Constitution of the United States and Tennessee, but, as recently confirmed by activist judges, we no longer are under normal circumstances.”

Two Dead In Weakley County Murder-Suicide

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Weakley Co. Sheriff Mike Wilson confirmed to WENK/WTPR this afternoon that two people are dead as a result of a murder-suicide that happened earlier this afternoon near Martin.

Wilson said the sheriff’s office was called to the scene at a home on Hwy. 431 right outside of Martin around 12:30 p.m. “When we arrived, we found the wife deceased,” Wilson said. “The husband was in the house and we tried to make contact with him, but he did not respond. When we went in, we found him dead of a gunshot wound.”

Wilson said the names of the deceased will be released shortly in a press release.

Haslam: State Will Comply With Supreme Court Ruling

Nashville, Tenn.-Statement of Gov. Bill Haslam on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Tanco case today allowing marriages by gay couples:

“The people of Tennessee have recently voted clearly on this issue. The Supreme Court has overturned that vote. We will comply with the decision and will ensure that our departments are able to do so as quickly as possible.”

Tanco v. Haslam is the lead case in the ongoing dispute of same-sex marriage in Tennessee. A U.S. District Court granted a preliminary injunction requiring the state to recognize the marriages of the plaintiffs, three same-sex couples. The court found the equal protection analysis used in Bourke v. Beshear, a case dealing with a comparable Kentucky statute "especially persuasive". On April 25, 2014, that injunction was stayed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Tanco was appealed to the Sixth Circuit, which reversed the district court and upheld Tennessee's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions on November 6.

On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court consolidated this case with three others and agreed to review the case. Oral arguments were heard on April 28, 2015. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, allowing same sex marriages.

UC Police Continue To Investigate Church Threats

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police Chief Perry Barfield said his department is working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to track down the origin of threats that were posted toward Union City churches earlier this week on the website

“We’ve had a few leads, but we haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact location or origin of the threats,” he said. 

The threat posted said, “I’m gonna shoot up a white church. I’m white. Let’s see if this makes news. The only question is…which church. Am I gonna pick Calvary maybe? Second Baptist seems like a pretty good predominantly white church. How about the Catholic Church on Reelfoot. Tune in to see. Wednesday services will test who will die for god.” 

Barfield said things were quiet at all three churches for Wednesday night services, with extra patrols from local law enforcement. “Actually we’re in close proximity to all the churches as a precautionary measure,” Barfield said.

Air Methods Joins Air Evac At HC Airport

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Medical Center Administrator Tom Gee announced that Vanderbilt/Air Methods will be locating a local headquarters at the Henry County Airport since the city of Paris is developing zoning restrictions which would not allow the company to build a secondary pad and hangar on hospital grounds, as was planned earlier.
Air Evac earlier this year located its local headquarters at the airport, as well, while continuing to look for a permanent location within the city limits of Paris.

“Since we will not be able to rent land to either Air Evac or Air Methods,” Gee said, “all efforts to develop a contract with either service have been called off.”

The hospital had wanted to develop a second helipad for one of the companies which would be located behind the hospital on land near the Cancer Care Center.

Gee said the Paris city commission is reviewing definitions of heliports versus helipads and will further develop its zoning requirements. “It appears that the hospital’s service will be grandfathered in and we should not see any impact on our current services.” What that means is that the hospital can continue to operate the helipad that is located near the hospital’s emergency room.

But under the ordinance, Vanderbilt/Air Methods would not be allowed to have a secondary pad and hangar on the hospital grounds. 

Gee provided a summary of his appearance before the Paris City Commission recently for its public hearing on the heliport zoning ordinance that was being considered.

“I think I was able to clear up any misinformation regarding our intentions for air ambulance services with the exception of one neighbor who continues to try and restrict the hospital’s ability to have a full service heliport at our present location,” he said.

In other business, the board also approved purchase of a Robotic Arm interactive Orthopedic System totalling some $1 M as requested by Dr. Blake Chandler. The equipment is designed to help with surgeries involving total hip replacement and partial knee replacement.

Gee also reported that the hospital experienced a major sewer problem with a broken pipe above the cafeteria serving line last week, according to Hospital Administrator Tom Gee. 
He said the problem caused the hospital to close down the serving line for a period of weeks and it should be back open this week.

“Unfortunately, the cost of repair is below the deductible on our insurance,” he said. Watlington Brothers Construction, which is managing the expansion of the operating room at the hospital, have been helpful “in getting us back up and running.” Gee recognized Denisa Cate and the Food Service Staff for continuing service with no break and Stan Seay and the Plant Operations staff “who acted quickly to get the situation under control”

Gee also told members of the board at Thursday night’s meeting that the saga involving Medicare and Tenncare continues in the state.

Gee said the state has put out a request for bids for the State of Tennessee employees’ health insurance. “They are planning to use the same proposed episodes of care as they are implementing for Tenncare and appear to be requiring managed care organization who bid on this to offer this in their commercial contracts as well.,” he said. “Hospitals are becoming critical of this approach because episodes of care or bundled payment plans are considered only a bridge to more comprehensive population health management.”
Gee said the state is beginning the implement a rate variation equalization process that was passed by the legislature last session. “If you will recall, we were supposed to get an increase in our Tenncare rates for outpatients since we were being paid under the minimum rate corridors for the state as a whole,” Gee said. “This fell apart last year when Methodist Health in Memphis refused to sign their agreement to give up revenue they were being paid above the rate corridors.”

The board also approved capital requests totalling $233,854 for items for surgery, nursery, nursing administration and plant operations.  

McKenzie Man Suffers Fatal Heart Attack Before Crash

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A McKenzie man died before his truck crashed in Henry County early Thursday morning.

According to the dispatcher at the Tennessee Highway Patrol this morning, John Leegan, age 67, of McKenzie, suffered a heart attack before the crash. He said that was the ruling of County Medical Examiner M.L. Bailey.

The accident happened around 6 a.m. on Hwy. 79 near Henry. The driver was thrown from his Ford F-150 truck as it rolled over on the highway.
The fatality was the second in Henry County over a two-day span. As we reported earlier, the first fatality occurred Wednesday on Buchanan Resort Rd., killing Anthony Chadwick, age 57, of Buchanan.

Fundraiser For Family Of Trooper

Murray, Ky.-The owner of the Station Burger Company in Western Kentucky will be raising money at each of their locations in Paducah and their location in Murray as a fundraiser for the family of Kentucky Trooper Eric Chrisman who died in a wreck while on duty this week. 

The collection will take place during business hours on Friday, June 26th. Each store will have a collection bin located in the store to collect donations. The proceeds will be presented to the family of Trooper Chrisman to help with expenses associated with his passing.

Stowe: District Attorneys Improve Financial Records

Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference achieved one of its best financial operations for fiscal year 2014 as noted in the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s recently released annual Review of Funds report. The greatest improvement was in administrative practices of Judicial District Drug Task Forces.
“This is one of the best annual reports we have issued on Tennessee’s Judicial Districts,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “I would like to compliment the District Attorneys General Conference for its efforts to improve financial operations by offering training and education on these important issues.”

Auditors listed only three findings and recommendations on the report, compared to 20 findings in FY 2012. Judicial District Drug Task Forces operate in 26 of the 31 judicial districts. The operations of the offices of the District Attorneys General and the Judicial District Drug Task Forces are audited annually by the Comptroller’s Office. This year’s audit found no flaws in the 24th Judicial District, which covers Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin, and Henry counties.

“I’m especially proud of the improvement the report shows in the accounting practices of the 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force in light of some of the historical problems we have experienced,” said District Attorney General Matt Stowe. “The Comptroller has given us what amounts to a clean bill of health for the last fiscal year, and I intend to see that things stay that way.”

The Review of Funds report can be viewed at

TCAP Results Show Students' Gains

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today announced Tennessee students made significant gains in all high school subjects and in the majority of subjects in grades 3-8.

High school scores on the 2015 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) continued to show strong growth for the third consecutive year, increasing in all seven tested subjects across English language arts, math and science. Since Haslam took office in 2011, 131,000 more students are on grade level in math, and nearly 60,000 more students are on grade level in science.

This year all individual grades and subjects showed gains in math, resulting in nearly 22,000 more students on grade level than last year. In particular, students continued to make meaningful increases in Algebra II. In 2011, less than one-third of students were performing at grade level in Algebra II. More than 54 percent of students in 2015 performed at or above grade level, nearly doubling the number of students meeting or exceeding the mark in this subject. 

“Nothing is more important than getting education right. We are asking Tennessee students and teachers to do more than they ever have before, and the results continue to show growth,” Haslam said. “The scores also show us where we need to focus our efforts as we continue our work helping Tennessee students graduate high school, obtain a postsecondary degree and be successful in the workforce.” 

Black, Hispanic, Native American and economically disadvantaged students made gains in all high school subjects in 2015. Black, Hispanic and Native American students also made gains in both 3-8 math and reading, narrowing achievement gaps with peers. While high school students and seventh and eighth graders made gains in literacy, the state average in literacy declined in grades 3-6. 

“We have seen reading scores remain relatively flat in early grades over the past five years, yet we know this is one of the most critical skills we can equip our students with for success in life,” McQueen said. “It’s our job to ensure that Tennessee students are prepared to take advantage of opportunities after graduation, and we must continue to find ways to support teachers in their efforts to reach all students.” 

Complete results are available at For more information, contact Ashley Ball with Education at (615) 532-6260 or

Benton County Man On Run

Camden, Tenn.-Warrants have been issued in Benton County for a man who took off after telling deputies he would turn himself in.

Brandon Craig is wanted on three counts of identity theft. Benton County deputies said he was using stolen credit cards.

Call the Benton County Sheriff's Department's anonymous tip line at (731) 441-3519 with information.

Thursday, June 25, 2015 

Dorena-Hickman Ferry Halted Due To High Water

Hickman, Ky.The Dorena-Hickman Ferry has halted service due to high water on the Mississippi River.

Keith Todd of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said floodwaters are preventing vehicles from reaching the Kentucky Landing and made it impossible for vehicles to negotiate the ramp onto the ferry. KY 1354 is closed due to high water near the landing.

Based on present river level predictions, the ferry is expected to remain closed for several days. We will attempt to provide timely notice when the ferry is able to resume normal service.

The Dorena-Hickman Ferry connects KY 1354 at Hickman, Kentucky, with Missouri Route A and Route 77 near Dorena, Missouri.

In addition to providing a critical transportation link between Kentucky and Missouri for daily commuters and farmers, the ferry serves as a tourist attraction for the region and provides a convenient route between Southeast Missouri and the popular fishing and recreation areas around nearby Reelfoot Lake in Northwest Tennessee.

The Dorena-Hickman Ferry Operates from the Hickman Landing with regular river crossings during daylight hours. Passage for passenger vehicles is $14 with additional tolls for trucks, motor homes, and vehicles pulling trailers. There are discounts for vehicles making return crossings.

Missouri and Kentucky have the geographic distinction of being the only border states that are not directly connected by a road. The only direct route between the two states is the Dorena-Hickman Ferry.
The Dorena-Hickman Ferry operates at Mississippi River navigation mile point 922.0.

For more info on the Dorena-Hickman Ferry and a schedule of operating hours go to Motorists can also check on the ferry’s operating status by calling (731) 693-0210.

Driver Killed In Crash

Paris, Tenn.-The driver of a truck was killed in an accident on Hwy. 79 S near Henry early this morning, but the Tennessee Highway Patrol has not released the accident report.

The driver of the Ford F-150 was thrown from the truck as it rolled.

The THP indicated earlier today they had not contacted next of kin and would release the report when it is complete.

Grim Reminder Of Seat Belt Importance

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police Department has placed a grim reminder that seat belts do save lives on a vacant lot on Mineral Wells Ave. A truck that was involved in a roll-over accident was placed in the strategic location to remind motorists to put on their seat belts. Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said the teen driver of the truck did survive because he was wearing his seat belt. The Paris Police will be stepping up seat belt enforcement during the July 4th holiday, beginning today through July 6. (Paris PD photo).

FBI Academy Meets At Paris Landing

Capt. Ron Johnson, left, speaks with Bill Kay of the FBI, Sheriff Monte Belew and Tipton Co. Sheriff ‘Pancho’ Chumley. (Sheriff's Office photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-The FBI Training Academy conference at Paris Landing State Park had a busy but fruitful day Wednesday, with a banquet address by Governor Bill Haslam and an afternoon presentation from Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol. 

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew co-chaired the event this week with Trenton Police Chief Will Sanders. 

Belew said it was an honor to have the governor address the group at Wednesday night’s banquet. He said Capt. Johnson, who became a national figure during the riots at Ferguson, Mo., spoke to the group about what the law enforcement officials there did right and did wrong during the unrest that following the shooting death of Michael Brown earlier this year.

The FBI Training Academy gathering is for alumni of the Academy. Belew is a graduate of the FBI Training Academy, which he attended a few years ago.

Young Superheroes Defy The Heat

Paris, Tenn.-It takes more than a little heat to deter superheroes. A large group of youngsters gathered at the W.G. Rhea Library Wednesday for a ‘Super Hero Training Camp”, at which they displayed feats of strength, fancy footwork through an obstacle course of life preservers, made bubbles, shot villains with silly string, shot arrows at targets and more. In top photo, Henry County FFA June Dairy Month Chair Kasey Pickle, back in blue, is showing the exploding milk trick, while bottom photo, Library Director Connie McSwain, right, shows youngsters how to make bigger bubbles. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

Mother Faces Charges In Death Of Baby

Camden, Tenn.-A Benton County Grand Jury has indicted Tiffany Hilliard on charges of aggravated child abuse and neglect following the death of her infant last year.

Earlier this year, Westlee Yates was sentenced to 48 years on murder charges involving the death of Hilliard’s seven-month-old son.  

Hilliard is not charged with murder, but with being complicit by leaving her child alone with Yates, who was her boyfriend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fatality Reported In Henry County

Springville, Tenn.-A 56-year-old man was killed Wednesday afternoon when the vehicle in which he was riding went off the side of the road, hitting several mailboxes before hitting a tree.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Anthony E. Chadwick was a passenger in a truck driven by Daxon E. Ferguson, age 33.

According to the report, the accident happened around 12:45 p.m. when Ferguson was driving a Ford F-150, ran off the side of Buchanan Resort Rd. in Springville, hitting the mailboxes and the tree.

The truck was pulling a trailer at the time of the crash, according to the report.

Benefit For Long-Time Firefighter, EMT Tammy Hinson Set
GoFundMe Account Set Up

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-A benefit will be held for Assistant Paris Landing Fire Chief Tammy Hinson, who has undergone serious surgery. The benefit will be held from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, July 12, at Matt’s Pub on Hwy. 79.

Hinson is a 24-year veteran of the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department and a 20-year EMT for the Henry County Emergency Medical Service.

Paris Landing Chief Reggie Coles said, “We’re trying to do all we can for Tammy. Her family and her fellow firefighters are trying to raise as much as we can to help her.”

An account has been set up for Hinson’s medical expenses on the GoFundMe website. A goal of $7,500 has been set.

According to the account written about Hinson on the website, “She has given countless hours of the last 20 plus years helping anyone in need at any given time. Much of which was done on a completely volunteer basis. Now we are asking for some assistance for her. Her career as an EMT came to an abrupt end after suffering an injury just over a year ago. Since then she has faced multiple infections, hospitalization and surgery. Some of which were related to her injury, some not.

“Recently she has suffered several complications due to infections and surgery with the most recent ending in the loss of her right leg below the knee. With no employment or health insurance we are extending a request for help with medical expenses and equipment for her when she is released from the hospital.”

The link is at:

Suspect Sought In Vehicle Arsons

Two vehicles destroyed by arson this morning. (Reggie Coles photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warrant for the arrest of Jesse Maynard of Paris, wanted for the arson fires this morning of two vehicles.

The Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department was called to 260 Nobles Rd. , Lot 10, around 7:09 a.m. this morning on a report of vehicles on fire.

Henry County Sheriff’s Captain Damon Lowe said witnesses saw a male exiting a black Ford pick-up, put a chain around his hand and walk to a vehicle and pour gas on it, then set it on fire. 

Two vehicles ended up being destroyed by fire, when the blaze spread to another vehicle.

Paris Landing Fire Chief Reggie Coles said the vehicles that were destroyed were a Chevy pickup and a Dodge car.

Walking Down Memory Lane At Paris Police Department

Police Chief Chuck Elizondo looks over the display of photos. 
(McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-If you’re ever in the mood to take a stroll down memory lane, the lobby of the Paris Police Department is a good place for it.

The Police Department has been collecting photos of most of the town marshals and all of the police chiefs that have worked for the city of Paris, along with photographs of the entire police forces representing several years.

The photographs are on permanent display and were framed by Fitzhugh Framing.
Police Chief Chuck Elizondo is a history lover and said he enjoys looking at the photos and reading up on local history, especially the history of the police department.

Before Paris became a city, town marshals were the overseers of law enforcement and were elected to one-year terms, Elizondo said. Beginning in 1882, they were P.R. Orr, Lee Hill, R.A. Foster, E.H. Blanton, John J. Lowery, L.W. Posthwait, J.M. Doty, Gus Edwards and R.H. Mills.

In 1897, a new charter changed the position from town marshal to chief of police, Elizondo said. The newly-created council appointed the chief of police and as R.H. Mills was then the town marshal, he was appointed the first police chief, serving from 1897 to 1909.

After Mills, the city’s police chiefs were: Jeff Phillips, Earn Butler, Clark Ray, Earn Butler (again), W.G. Smith, Clark Ray (again), Lawrence King, Lon Looney, Treamon Cooper, Luther Ellison, F.F. Wells, Loren Fitzgerald, R.T. Bowden, William Nichols, Richard Dunlap, Tommy Cooper and Elizondo.

Tammy Walker at the Police Department is still collecting photos for another permanent display the department is planning on the history of the police department. Anyone with old photos of the department or officers can call Walker at the police department at 642-1413. Walker will make copies of the photos and return them to the owners.

Other locations in Henry County where the public can view permanent displays include the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, which has photos of all the county sheriffs on display; the Henry County Courthouse annex, which displays the County’s Sports Hall of Fame; and the Central Services building, which has photographs and murals of the history of the former Central School and the school’s sports heroes. 

Police Department photo taken in 1981.

Paris Police Department, taken in the 1970s, with Chief Dunlap crouching in front.

Fireman Who Died In Line Of Duty To Be Honored

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department will hold a ceremony Saturday afternoon to commemorate one of its firefighters who was killed in the line of duty in 1976.

Chief Reggie Coles said Jimmy Conger was killed September 8, 1976, in the first structure fire the department ever had. The location of the fire was the former Eagle Gift Shop located where Hooks and Horns is now situated on Hwy. 79.

The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Paris Landing fire station on Hwy. 79 near the state park. Coles said Conger’s family will present the department with a concrete commemorative bench in his memory. It will be placed near the flagpoles on the grounds of the fire department.

Cole said Conger’s family and some of the department’s original firefighters will be present.

Union City Churches Threatened

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Most of the postings on the website are usually taken with a grain of salt but law enforcement agencies in Obion County are taking notice of a threat that was posted on the site this week, threatening to cause harm at three Union City churches.

The threat said, “I’m gonna shoot up a white church. I’m white. Let’s see if this makes news. The only question is…which church. Am I gonna pick Calvary maybe? Second Baptist seems like a pretty good predominantly white church. How about the Catholic Church on Reelfoot. Tune in to see. Wednesday services will test who will die for god.”

Union City Police officials said they are investigating the threat but would not make public comments on it while the investigation is in progress. Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder was in a meeting Wednesday morning and unavailable for comment.

Soggy Cruise-In

Paris, Tenn.-Singer Olivia Faye of Murray performed at Tuesday night’s monthly cruise-in in downtown Paris, flanked by umbrellas. Rain and thunder kept the crowd relatively small for the event, which is sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Insects, Butterflies Focus Of Saturday Program

Springville, Tenn.-The next Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Discovery Series program will focus on Insects and Butterflies and will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday June 27th at the new refuge visitor center at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville. 

Entomologist Glenn Lee will present a program showing many interesting specimens of the insect world. Participants will also be instructed on using butterfly and sweep nets to collect insects and butterflies for identification.

The Refuge Discovery Series is a monthly free program held at the new refuge visitor center and sponsored by the Friends of Tennessee NWR that attempts to connect people with nature. For more information about upcoming Refuge Discovery Series programs or about the refuge in general, please call the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters at 731-642-2091 or see our website at or on facebook at 

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, encompassing 51,358 acres of water, forests, farmland and grasslands, is located on and around Kentucky Lake. Established in 1945, the refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as an important resting and feeding area for wintering waterfowl and other migratory birds. The refuge’s three units, the Duck River, Big Sandy and Busseltown stretch along 65 miles of the Tennessee River.

Union City One Of Stops For Air Race Classic

Union City, Tenn.-Continuing the tradition of Amelia Earhart, the 39th annual Air Race Classic will include Union City this week.

The annual all-women’s cross country race began in Fredericksburg, Va., with 53 planes and 123 pilots this year.

One of the 10stops on the race is the Everett-Stewart Regional Airport in Union City, according to Airport Manager Jo Ann Speer.

The public is invited to join local officials in welcoming them at the airport. The race ends Thursday in Alabama.

The purpose of the classic is to encourage and educate current and future women pilots and increase public awareness of general aviation.

Kentucky State Trooper Killed In Crash

Grand Rivers, Ky. - A Kentucky State Police Trooper was killed Tuesday evening in a crash near Grand Rivers while the trooper was responding to a reckless driver complaint.

According to KSP Public Affairs Officer Stu Recke, Trooper Eric K. Chrisman was responding to the complaint, driving on US 62 around 6 p.m. when he failed to negotiate a curve. 

Chrisman’s cruiser crossed into the eastbound lane, into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer being driven by Richard A. Burnham Jr., age 53, of Benton. The cruiser was hit on the driver’s side.

Chrisman was pronounced dead at the scene by the Livingston County Coroner.

Burnham was taken by troopers to the Marshall County Hospital where he was treated and released. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts.

Chrisman was 23 and lived in Eddyville while assigned to Lyon County. He was originally from Lawrenceburg. 

 KSP is continuing to investigate the crash.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 

Paris Approves New Tax Rate, Budget

City Manager Kim Foster explains aspects of the budget to Commissioners Terry Fuller, Jackie Jones, Mayor Carlton Gerrell, Administrative Assistant Kathy Horner and Finance Director Traci Pillow. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in special session Tuesday morning, the Paris City Commission approved its certified tax rate for Fiscal 2016 of .7114 cents per $100 of assessed property.


City Manager Kim Foster said the city received notice of the new rate this morning from the city. She said since the city already had decided to roll back around eight cents, the property tax rate for Paris will be .6314 cents per $100 of assessed property.

In other business, the commissioners approved the resolution from the Paris Board of Public Utilities to refinance its 2004 bond issue. Foster said the resolution will not involve any new debt, it just allows BPU to take advantage of a lower interest rate.

Commissioners also approved an amended sign ordinance which approves changes in allowed billboard size in the city limits. Commissioner Jackie Jones complimented Economic Director Jennifer Morris, Building Inspector Mike Brown and other personnel who helped draft the lengthy sign ordinance and rules. “I know it took a lot of work,” she said.

Commissioner Gayle Griffith said, “You did a great job. Now we’ve got to enforce it.”

Commissioners also approved the next fiscal year budget, which includes in summary some $275,000 in street repairs and $300,000 in city hall renovations that are planned, as well as $500,000 in erosion control for Bailey Fork.

The commission held a public hearing before the second readings on all the ordinances, but no one from the public was in attendance.

Stowe Elected To Leadership Position

Nashville, Tenn.-District Attorneys from across the State met in Nashville last week and unanimously elected 24th Judicial District Attorney Matt Stowe to serve on the Executive Committee of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference.

“I am humbled by the trust and confidence of the district attorneys across the State who elected me to this post,” Stowe said. “I intend to use my new position to draw attention to the plight of our... rural communities – which face an ever-growing problem with meth, crime, and violence – and to secure additional resources for the law enforcement officers and prosecutors of this District.”

Working together with District Attorney Ray Crouch of the 23rd Judicial District, who was elected to the Executive Committee during the same session, Stowe pledged to work steadfastly to provide good government and to ensure that the voices of all West Tennesseans would be heard in Nashville.

Stowe lives in Camden. He graduated in the top one percent of his class at Harvard Law School in 1996. He went on to work for United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He also taught criminal law at Cornell Law School in 1999.

Stowe served as outside counsel to President George W. Bush from 2000-2004.

Stowe served as Deputy Solicitor General of Texas from 2004-2006, assisting then-Solicitor General (now U.S. Senator) Ted Cruz. There, he managed an office of more than a dozen attorneys and handled numerous death penalty cases.

After three years in private practice, he returned to West Tennessee where he worked for Judge John Everett Williams on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.

BPU OKs New Traffic Signal Rate 

General Manager John Etheridge, left, goes over reports at today's BPU meeting. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-At its regular meeting Tuesday morning, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) board approved an alternative traffic signal rate that will save the city of Paris some $50,000 a year in the long run.

BPU General Manager John Etheridge said he and Paris City Manager Kim Foster discussed how to minimize the cost. He said the city of Paris pays BPU a percentage of the value of installation of traffic signals “and we were looking at doing different things here. This is something we’ve never visited before and we decided we would get creative.”

Instead of the city paying 12 percent of the cost “we’re taking it down to six percent. The city has been paying $85,000 a year for this and we’re spending $25,000 a year and that’s not fair,” Etheridge said.

In the future, BPU will bill the city “just for what it costs”. Etheridge said TVA approval was required and has been tentatively approved by it. “While this is not to our advantage, it is fair.”

In exchange, the city has agreed to take on some of the cost for fire hydrant maintenance. BPU will continue to provide labour, he said.

BPU Member Terry Fuller--who also is on Paris City Commission--said, “We’re very excited about this. This will help us in our budgeting and will pay dividends in the long run. We’re very appreciative of John and it’s something that never was looked at and it should have been long ago.”

The board also approved the low bid from Aubrey Silvey Enterprises of Carrollton, Ga., for $327,000 for the district substation demolition and rebuild. The other bid from Service Electric of Chattanooga was for $746,250.

Director of Engineering and Metering Jeff Thompson said the project will be complicated and involves tearing down and rebuilding. It also will involve salvaging parts that are still good.

The low bid “is reasonable,” he said. “It’s a project that we need to get on and stay on and that’s why we’re recommending a contractor do it rather than our own forces. Our guys could do it but they couldn’t get on it and stay on it all the time until it’s done.”

In other business, the board approved managerial budgets for Fiscal 2016 on second reading. 

Former Eaker’s Café Torn Down

Paris, Tenn.-Another Henry County institution has disappeared. The former Eaker’s Café at 1880 Hwy 69S is being demolished. Eaker’s was a real hot spot for dining and socializing for decades. In recent years, it operated under the name of Cookie’s Family Diner and the building was damaged by two fires that occurred there last year. Demolition work is being conducted by Kuykendall Excavating of Whitlock. Property owners were unavailable for comment on any future plans for the property. (Charlie Allen photo).

Parisian Serving On Board USS Ronald Reagan

San Diego, Calif.= Hull Technician 3rd Class Alexander Holmes, a native of Modesto, Calif., foreground, and Hull Technician 3rd Class Thomas Briers, a native of Paris, Tenn., construct a cellphone locker aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Reagan is homeported on Naval Base Coronado in San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Nelson/Released)  

Frontier To Upgrade Broadband Network In Weakley County

Dresden, Tenn.-Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn has announced that Frontier Communications plans to upgrade the broadband network in the county.

The Federal Communications Commission announced earlier this week that Frontier Communications had accepted Connect American Fund Phase II Subsidies to upgrade its broadband network over the next six years. Frontier will be receiving $2,126,605 in subsidy to upgrade its broadband network in Tennessee including Weakley County, according to Washburn.

Under the Connect American Fund Phase II program the subsidies will be used to improve internet service network capabilities to where up to 10 megabyte per second download speed and 1 megabyte per second upload speed can be obtained, which in many cases is over three times the current bandwidth speed being offered in Weakley County.

“I have been in a number of meetings over the past few months where one of the issues affecting the ability of Weakley County and Northwest Tennessee to expand existing industry or attract new industry and internet reliant business was the lack of reliable high speed broadband or internet access in this area,” Washburn said. 

In fact, he said, the lack of reliable high speed broadband service was one of considerations whether a company was going to expand here or relocate to another area just last week.

“To be frank,“ Washburn said, “before becoming Mayor of Dresden, I did not realize how important reliable high speed broadband access is to many businesses and industry. I have since learned that to some businesses and industry their very livelihood and existence is dependent upon such access and their decisions regarding where to do business depends largely upon the ability to access high speed broadband through a reliable provider without having excessive outages.”

In a message Washburn posted on his Facebook page, he noted legislation in Tennessee this year which allow municipalities in the state to expand Internet service beyond their electric service limits. Sponsors of the bill in the legislature decided to table the bill until 2016 after there appeared to be a lack of support for the bill among state legislators including those representing Northwest Tennessee counties, which are currently among the most underserved in Tennessee, he said. 

“However, most citizens I talk to will tell you that they want more choices for internet service and competition among internet providers.”

Frontier provides internet and phone service in most areas of Weakley County, but excludes the Greenfield and Gleason areas that are served by AT&T telephone.

“That news was good for Weakley County from the perspective of one concern that hampers the recruitment and retention of business and industry is in the process of being addressed,“ Washburn said. “However, six years to complete the program is a long time particularly for an area of the state that has been playing catch-up for reliable service for too long.”

Henry County Fair Set For August 3-8

Paris, Tenn.-The 2015 Henry County Fair is scheduled for August 3 – 8.  “Our award winning Henry County Fair is a major community event in Henry County and around 40,000 attend each year,” Henry County Fair Association President Larry Ray said.

Any businesses or groups interested in having booth space in the Commercial Building during the Fair should contact Larry Ray at 642-1833.

Obion County Library Activities

Union City, Tenn.-Two activities for children are coming up this week at the Obion County Library. On Friday, June 26, “Badge On” will be held in the morning in which children celebrate local heroes by making badges and stethoscopes. For ages 6-11. $5 fee. Call 885-7000 to sign up.

On Saturday, June 27, Jenny Virgin will read stories to the children at 11 a.m.

Monday, June 22, 2015 

911 Program To Provide Defibrillators In Community

911 Board President John Etheridge, back, asks a question of 911 Director Mark Archer, front, as members Twila Rose and Chuck Elizondo look on. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County 911 program will be supplying defibrillators to be placed at several strategic locations in the community.  As approved by the 911 board Monday evening, $11,000 has been budgeted in fixed assets for it.

911 Director Mark Archer said he plans to place three defibrillators at the Paris Police Department for its patrol cars, one at Paris City Hall, two at the Henry County Courthouse, and one at the W.G. Rhea Library.

The defibrillators cost $1,100 a piece and Archer said, “This is a good will gesture for the community. This isn’t part of what we do, but I feel it’s needed for the community.”

In response to a question from Board President John Etheridge, EMS Director Twila Rose said the defibrillators “last about forever. Sometimes you have to change a battery, but that’s all. They just go forever.”

Rose also said there will be no training needed for personnel at the various locations. “You turn on the machine and it tells you what to do”, Rose said. 

Paris Fire Chief Michael Williams said the fire department has three and Sheriff Monte Belew said he carries one in his patrol car and there are others at the sheriff’s department, as well. “It’s an invaluable tool,” Belew said.

The board approved a 2015-2016 budget which includes income of $450,491.96 and $439,099 in expenses.

The budget also includes a two percent cost of living merit raise for Archer, at a cost of $1,100.

The board approved Archer’s request to offer a full-time job as Information Technology Manager for Chad Howard, who already is working part-time for 911. The beginning salary would be $24,000 and his employment package would include insurance, raising it to a total $34,804.

Other items in the budget include laptop replacements for EMS of $21,000; renovations to the 911 equipment room to include a new area wide cabling/ladder system amounting to some $21,000; an IP phone system for wireless phones to be used in emergencies $7,910; purchase of interactive map for website $6,340; furniture to set up the tech office, $2,000; computer system for tech office, $4,000; Arcvie software, $2,500; Arcview software and training for mapping, $2,320; computer vehicle mounts, $2,000.

It also includes “impact payments”  to city of Paris ($25,000); and sheriff’s office ($12,000) to help with hiring dispatchers at those locations.

 In other business:
The board approved allowing Archer to run for the position of West Tennessee representative for TEMA. Archer said several counties have asked him to run. 

Etheridge said, “Mark has been very effective in benefiting the local 911 districts. This will take time away from here, but I’m all for it.”

Holt: Companies "Sneaking In" Extended Camera Contracts

Dresden, Tenn.-Rep. Andy Holt has issued the following statement on the use of traffic cameras and recent contract extensions by area municipalities.

"This last legislative session, I was asked by countless constituents to sponsor legislation to outlaw traffic cameras across the state of Tennessee. After carefully reviewing the research on traffic cameras, I came to some very disturbing conclusions. We are told the cameras are for safety, not revenue. We are told if you aren't breaking the law, you have nothing to worry about. It's all an elaborate scheme.

"Virtually every study cited by city officials to build a case that traffic cameras improve safety are actually funded by the very companies and municipalities making millions of dollars off of them. When these studies are reviewed by independent agencies, they are found to be highly flawed and manipulated. The truth is, studies that best adhere to scientific research methods find that cameras are actually associated with an increase in crashes and injuries. If not for safety, then what for--?

"Money. Research from the University of Tennessee shows the cameras are used to generate revenue. In fact, University of Tennessee researchers said municipalities purposefully remove state sanctioned signs warning drivers about the cameras (required by law), shorten yellow light times and increase speed limits just before the location of cameras in order to increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket. What happens to all of that money? Flowing to Arizona and Australia, where the two camera vendors Tennessee uses are located, the vast majority of it leaves the local economy. Yes, you read that correctly- Australia. In a single year, Gallatin and Murfreesboro collected more than $1.4 Million in traffic camera fines. The cities sent almost $1.1 Million of that money out of state and country to pay ATS and RedFlex.

"Corruption, bribery and backroom deals also surround the cameras. A federal investigation was launched against RedFlex, Tennessee's largest traffic camera vendor, last year. Just this month, Redflex officials pleaded guilty in a federal bribery case involving multiple states. The ongoing case shows Tennessee officials were likely involved in accepting bribes to install cameras across the state.

"Traffic cameras have flipped our justice system on its head. When a camera issues a citation, it cites the car, not the individual driving the car. This places the burden of proof on the individual rather than the government. With this precedent, government can accuse you of anything it likes without having any evidence you committed the crime. In committee last session, a Chattanooga police chief testified in favor of the cameras, but was at a total loss for words when presented with the fact that the cameras are unconstitutional, contradict state law, and the laws themselves that allow them in Tennessee are purposefully crafted to try and deny people their constitutional rights.

"Have you ever received a traffic camera ticket? It comes on an "official letter" from the city. However, it's actually not the city. It's RedFlex or ATS using the city's letterhead. Call any of the numbers on the "citation" and you get an operator in Arizona or somewhere half way around the world. Strangely, as if trying to hide something, you won't see a RedFlex or ATS logo anywhere on the letter. In fact, it's literally impossible to even speak with an official from the city that is accusing you of breaking the law. Did you know that state law actually prohibits any negative actions being taken against your credit report, driver's license or insurance if you choose not to pay the ticket? In fact, there is no enforcement mechanism at all. However, if you didn't commit the crime, and choose to exercise your right and not pay the ticket, these companies then begin to threaten you on a daily basis. I have literally sat in on calls and listened to them blatantly lie to the great people of Tennessee in order to collect their illegally issued fines. Let me be clear, if you don't pay the ticket, there is nothing they can do to your credit, license or insurance rates. Do note that I am not encouraging people to break the law, but am simply informing you of your rights because if I do not, you will be lied to and coerced.

"For the above reasons, I decided to take a stand. My original bill sought to restore your constitutional rights by outlawing these cameras in all forms. RedFlex and ATS fought tooth and nail to defeat the bill. We were only able to outlaw speed cameras this year. However, the Constitution prohibits the State from voiding a contact, so RedFlex and ATS decided to sneak into multiple cities and quietly extended their contracts 20+ years just days before the law was signed. Almost seventy-five percent of the State House and all but one State Senator voted in favor of outlawing the cameras. These companies and cities purposefully ignored the voice of the people in favor of profit. The people of Tennessee deserve better, and I will continue to fight on their behalf."

Representative Andy Holt is a Republican lawmaker from Dresden, Tennessee representing Weakley, as well as, parts of Obion and Carroll counties.

Alexander Calls For Removal Of Flag

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on whether the Confederate flag should be flown in front of the South Carolina statehouse:

“It is up to the people of South Carolina, but I hope they remove a flag that many see as a symbol of racial intolerance. The flag to fly is the American flag because it is a symbol that this is one country and we are all Americans.”

TWRA: Reelfoot Spillway Will Be Operational

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-Officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) strongly disagree with assertions made recently by Senator Bill Sanderson and Rep. Andy Holt that the new Reelfoot Lake spillway may never open.

At a legislative breakfast in Union City recently, both called the spillway project “government at its worst”. Both also said the new spillway which has never been operational is still awaiting an operation manual and that the TWRA does not want to operate it.

Dave McKinney, TWRA Chief of Environmental Sciences, told WENK/WTPR “The State of Tennessee is confident the new spillway will be an essential component of the management and conservation of Reelfoot Lake for the foreseeable future.” He also said, “Maintenance and operational management of the new spillway will be the responsibility of the State.”

The state of Tennessee, “primarily the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), along with Federal partners - the US Geologic Survey (USGS) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) - are continuing the cooperative project to put the newly constructed Reelfoot Lake Spillway into service to control water level and lake surface elevations,” McKinney said.

He said the ongoing project is in the middle of Phase II, with a complicated Phase III still ahead.

The new spillway to help manually keep water in and out of Reelfoot has been under construction for several years at a cost of $20 million in state and federal funds and has been a source of controversy among politicians and landowners on both sides of the Tennessee-Kentucky state line that is nearby Reelfoot Lake.

“Currently, lake levels are controlled by a 1940’s era drop-log structure,” McKinney said. Generally referred to as the “existing spillway,” the 1940’s structure is completely functional and is controlling water level, lake surface elevation, and outflow within existing guidelines.”

McKinney said, “There is general agreement that it is time to carefully make arrangements to replace the existing spillway with a new structure capable of controlling water level, lake surface elevation, and outflow for the foreseeable future.”

McKinney outlined the three phases involved with the project. “The first phase, construction of the basic structure of a new spillway, is complete.”

“The second phase, completing those tasks necessary to make the new spillway operational, is nearing the mid-point. The second phase work includes extensive hydrologic function assessment, installation of a guage and sensor network to provide reliable real-time information for surface inflow into Reelfoot Lake, lake surface elevations and fluctuation, and outflow from the new spillway. Phase II activities also include design and production of specialty items necessary for reliable operation of the six release gates. All hydrologic function information, including predictable gate release rate and volume, is being incorporated into an operational guidance protocol.”

The third and final phase of this project, McKinney said, “will be the transfer of water level and Reelfoot Lake surface elevation control from the existing 1940’s era drop-log spillway to the new spillway. The transition phase will be done with extreme care and will take as long as necessary for the State-Federal partnership to have absolute confidence that the “existing spillway” can be taken out of service.“

McKinney said, “As with the existing spillway, operation of the new spillway to control water level, lake surface elevation, and outflow, at the conclusion of the transition phase, will be managed by the USFS. Maintenance and operational management of the new spillway will be the responsibility of the State.”

The State of Tennessee, McKinney said, “is confident the new spillway will be an essential component of the management and conservation of Reelfoot Lake for the foreseeable future. It is fully expected that the reliability and predictability of the existing spillway will transition to the new structure. Water level, lake surface elevation, and outflow management will be consistent with and unchanged from existing guidelines.”

Haslam To Be In Paris, Camden This Week 

Nashville, Tenn.-Governor Bill Haslam will be in our area three times on Wednesday, according to his weekly media schedule.

On Wednesday, June 24, he will make a TDOT grant announcement at 2 p.m. at the Benton County Courthouse in Camden, followed by another TDOT grant announcement at 3 p.m. at the Trenton City Hall.

In the evening, Haslam will appear at the FBI National Academy Associates Conference Awards Banquet at Paris Landing State Park Inn in Buchanan at 7 p.m.


Norris Is New Highway Patrol Trooper

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-A young McKenzie man who worked for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office was one of 45 trooper cadets to be graduated into the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Tyler Norris worked part-time for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. Norris will work as a trooper in the Memphis district.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol graduation ceremony was held at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville. 

The 45 new state troopers, also known as Cadet Class 615, took their oaths of office after completing 20 weeks of intense physical and classroom training at the THP Training Center. Forty-six percent of the graduating class had previous law enforcement experience and 31 percent are veterans.

Bethel University also presented one $5,000 scholarship to Trooper Isaiah Lloyd. Trooper Lloyd will serve in Anderson County of the Knoxville District. 

“Each one of you has earned this incredible honor of being chosen to serve as a Tennessee state trooper,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. You are the best of the best, chosen from more than 1,600 applicants. Congratulations on this accomplishment, and represent us well as one of Tennessee’s finest.” 

Trooper Mariah Woodman was named the top cadet and presented the Calvin Jenks Memorial Award for Excellence for his leadership, work ethic and academics. She is the first female to earn this honor. The award was named in honor of the late Trooper Jenks, who was killed in the line of duty in January 2007. Trooper Woodman will serve in Crocket County in the THP’s Memphis District.

As part of their community service, Cadet Class 615, whose motto is “Sacrifice Self, Honor Others,” participated in two blood drives with the American Red Cross, collected over 900 canned goods for donation, and gifted funds to the Frankie Watson Memorial Scholarship Fund ($1,000) and Sgt. Joshua Mabe’s family ($350), who was killed in an off-duty farming accident in Hancock County on June 6. 

The new graduates will now advance to a maximum of 10 weeks of field training.

34 Animals Seized From UC Residence

Union City, Tenn.-Thirty-four animals were seized from a residence at 1102 Russell St. in Union City, on Friday, and the owner was arrested for animal cruelty.

Arrested for cruelty to animals was Leslie Oliver, age 57.

Union City Police and Animal Control Officer Amanda Hayslett received a search warrant for the residence and during the search discovered that the residence was unfit for animals to live in and wasn’t safe for anyone to live in. According to the police report, the residence was full of feces and urine and animal diseases could not be prevented from spreading from one animal to the other or to neighborhood animals.

Through an arrangement worked out between the Union City City Manager and the Dyer County Animal Control office, Dyer County agreed to take all the adult cats, which total 29 and Hayslett took two cats and three dogs.

According to the report, the search was videotaped by the officer’s body camera.

Lakewood Speech Team Earns Awards At Nationals

Dallas, Tex.-The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team competed in the National Speech & Debate Association Middle School National Tournament and brought home some hardware.

The tournament was held June 17-19 in Dallas, Texas, with over 120 schools participating.

Lakewood Speech Coach David Weatherly said, “The tournament is billed as the largest academic tournament in the world and is in its 90th year. Over 800 students from all 50 states and five different countries from around the world participated in the international event during the week. The events in which each student participated had anywhere from 80 to over 100 participants each.“

The Lakewood team had several students advance to the final rounds of competition in their individual events. Final rounds include the top six in their respective events. 

Those placing in the final round from Lakewood include Sylis Allen, 5th place in both Prose and Poetry Interpretation and Natalie Clark, 6th in Declamation. Placing in the semi finals (top 12) was Drew Culbreath, 9th place in Prose Interpretation and placing in the quarter finals (top 24) were Allen in Declamation and Clark in Prose Interpretation. Also participating and helping with the teams effort in the tournament was Abigail Littrell. 

The team also received a prestigious School of Excellence award for placing in the top 5 overall in the nation among the 124 schools in attendance. Weatherly had two privately tutored students participate in the tournament as well. 

Paris and Steele Schoeberl are coached independently outside of school and in the tournament Steele Schoeberl placed 3rd in the nation in Prose Interpretation, 11th in Dramatic Interpretation and finished in the top 24 in Humorous Interpretation.

Two Juveniles Struck By Gunfire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Two 15-year-old girls were shot and injured during a melee that followed a party in Union City early Sunday morning.

Police were clled to 202 Railroad Rd. on a report of gun shots around midnight. According to the police report, the building was being rented for a party and shots were fired outside.

Two 15-year-old female juveniles were hit with gunshots and were injured with non-life-threatening injuries. Both were treated and released.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Union City Police or Crimestoppers at 1-731-885-TIPS or 1731-885-8477.

Pedestrian Seriously Injured In Accident

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police are investigating an accident early Saturday morning in which a pedestrian was seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle.

Police Chief Don Teal said at approximately 12:45am, Martin Police were called to University St. in the area of Wendy’s to investigate an accident involving a pedestrian.

Investigation shows that 24 year old Quinton A. Jones of Martin was crossing University St. in front of Wendy’s when he was struck by a maroon 2000 Buick Century driven by 21 year old Ashley N. Fox, also of Martin, who was traveling eastbound. 

Paramedics were called to the scene and the victim was transported to Volunteer Community Hospital with serious but no apparent life-threatening injuries. 

Accident reconstructionist Lt. Phillip Fuqua responded to the scene to investigate the accident. 

No charges have been filed at this time and the accident is still under investigation. 

Paris Cruise-In Set Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.-The monthly cruise-in in downtown Paris will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on the court square. Free admission to all, plus door prizes. 

Perry's BBQ will have food and drinks for sale. Cajun Sno-Cones will be available. Live music will be performed by Olivia Faye.

Downtown Paris Association President Gaines Hedges said, “Bring a chair, your camera and a friend or two. All types of vehicles welcome.”

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hannah Robison Wakes Up As Miss Tennessee

Hannah Robison crowned Miss Tennessee. (Dana Allen photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Jackson, Tenn.-Hannah Robison of Buchanan woke up today for her first day as Miss Tennessee and her family, friends and all of Henry County couldn’t be more proud.

Robison said she was blessed and honoured to have won the crown. Robison will go on to compete in the Miss America pageant.

Robison is 21 and a senior at UT Martin, majoring in chemistry with a minor in psychology. Her platform is “Campaign Against Pain: Arthritis Awareness”. She competed in the pageant as Miss Scenic City. She is the daughter of Rusty and Pam Robison.

A crowd of family and friends from Henry County were on hand to see her win the pageant, held at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in Jackson.

Robison won both swimsuit and talent preliminary competitions during the week-long event. She won the talent competition for her piano performance of “El Cumbanchero”.

First runner-up in the pageant was Miss Tipton County Grace Burgess; Second Runner-Up Miss Smoky Mountains Christine Williamson; Third Runner-Up Miss Lexington Cassidy Sheppard; Fourth Runner-Up Miss Chattanooga Stephanie McKain. People’s Choice was Miss Memphis Madison Snipes.

Fire Hats Always Attract A Crowd

Paris, Tenn.-Nothing attracts a crowd of kids like fire trucks and police cars with their lights flashing and there was plenty of that at the 2nd annual Junior Physician Assistant Day at the Bethel Paris campus Saturday morning. In top photo, Paris Firefighter Craig Atkins hands out fire hats to a crowd of children, while bottom photo, Bethel Physician Assistant Karen Dolezal shows firefighting equipment to the children. Paris Police and Henry County EMS were also there and children could have physician assistants give their dolls a check-up.

Area Students Graduate From TBI Academy

Nashville, Tenn.The inaugural class of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Academy graduated Friday, in a ceremony held at the TBI headquarters. More than 100 college students from across the state applied for the Academy, and 21 students representing 20 different colleges in Tennessee attended the week-long training. Several are from area universities, including Bethel, UT Martin, Martin Methodist, and Austin Peay.

Area students who were graduated included Jordan Farris of Bethel; Kaley Blankenship from UT Martin; Saranda Smith, Martin Methodist; and Joseph Bishop and Kiera Vaden, both of Austin Peay.

The Criminal Justice Academy was developed for college juniors and seniors who are interested in a career in criminal justice or forensic science. The course was held at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy in Bell Buckle. Students spent part of the time in classes learning about ethics, investigative skills and interrogation. TBI Special Agents also instructed them on how to use crime scene equipment and tactics used in investigating crime scenes. Students used those skills to work their own mock crime scenes during the week, and on Friday morning, they presented the results of their investigations.

During today’s graduation ceremony, TBI Director Mark Gwyn praised the students for the hard work they put into their week-long study, and says he started this Academy as a way to look for future leaders.

There was no cost to the students for their training, food or lodging. College students in Tennessee interested in applying for future courses at the Criminal Justice Academy can find the eligibility requirements and application form on the TBI website at

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hannah Robison Wins Miss Tennessee

Jackson, Tenn.-Henry County, Tennessee, has a Miss Tennessee winner.

Hannah Robison of Buchanan was named Miss Tennessee tonight after a week of competition and preliminary rounds.Robison is the daughter of Rusty and Pam Robison and was competing as Miss Scenic City.

She won two preliminary rounds for Miss Swimsuit and Miss Talent prior to the finals

Runners up in the competition were: First, Miss Tipton County; Second, Miss Smokey Mountains; Third, Miss Lexington and Fourth, Miss Chattanooga.

NWS: Hurricane-Force Winds, But No Tornado

Uprooted tree on Caldwell Street near Lee Academy for the Arts. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins said the team from the National Weather Service in Memphis have determined that Henry County was hit by hurricane-force winds, but there was no tornado.

Watkins said, “The guys from the weather service estimated we were hit by winds of 85 mph and at some points 100 mph, but they felt it was mostly straight-line winds. They said we may have had a microburst and that accounted for the debris doing in different directions and the twisted trees and the trees broken in two.”

Watkins earlier had surmised that he believed Henry Co. was hit by a small tornado, considering the extensive damage.

The team from Memphis “spent a couple hours here and we went all around and they looked at everything pretty extensively,” Watkins said.

Watkins: Appears To Be Small Tornado

Three vehicles were smashed by a tree broken in two at the home of Larry and Sandy Carter on N. Poplar St. A red car is hidden under the rubble. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-With the light of day, damage from Friday evening’s storm appears much worse than believed yesterday.

A trailer was destroyed, a porch was blown off a house, cars are smashed, 100-year-old trees are uprooted and trees have damaged multiple roofs. Most of the damage is centered in the west Paris area.

Henry County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins said Saturday morning he is still waiting for the National Weather Service team from Memphis to arrive to do an assessment of the damage, to determine officially whether Henry County experienced a tornado or straight-line winds.

But Watkins said he believes the widespread damage was caused by a small tornado. “From the evidence I’ve seen, I’m thinking it was a small tornado. From the debris path and the trees that were twisted in different directions.”

Clean-up that began during the night continues this morning by county crews, BPU and private companies. The storm caused some minor electrical outages, but power has been restored.

On North Poplar Street, there is a path of fallen and broken trees that have damaged homes and destroyed cars.

At the home of Larry and Sandy Carter, a tree that is over 100 years old broke in two, falling on and destroying three of their vehicles. “Honey, I couldn’t see across the street with all the rain and the wind,” Sandy Carter said. “And when that loud boom happened, I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”

A few doors down the street at 720 N. Poplar, Tina George and her son Wesley Huffer were left without a porch on their home. The porch blew off the house and parts of it landed in neighbors’ yards and down the street. While speaking to WENK/WTPR, they were able to find their porch swing, in pieces, in a gulley across the street.

There is much damage in the area around the Lee Academy for the Arts. 100-year-old trees on Caldwell St. were uprooted. A large tree on Lee Street fell on the home of Mark Brown and also fell on his neighbor’s shed. Another large tree on College St. at the home of Jon Herbison was broken in half, skimming his home.

More damage was in the Irvine St. area where a tree fell through a roof and a trailer was totally destroyed on Guthrie Rd., with multiple trees down in those areas.

No injuries were reported. 

Tina George and Wesley Huffer at 720 N. Poplar St., where the storm blew off 
their porch. (McFarlin photo).

Tina George finds part of her porch and her porch swing across the road. (McFarlin photo).'

The crew from H&B Tree Service working at the home of Mark Brown on Lee St. (McFarlin photo).

Watkins Issues Updated Storm Damage Report

 Montage of storm damage by Ron Watkins.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins issued a report on the severe damage caused by Friday evening’s storm that blew through Paris and Henry County.

Watkins said a total of 19 homes were damaged, with no injuries reported.

Watkins updated the reports he provided WENK/WTPR as he was surveying the area last night during the storm. As we reported last night, one trailer on Guthrie Road was destroyed, but no one was home when it occurred. 

Watkins said four homes received 25 percent damage from trees on homes and/or wind damage; 14 homes received 10 percent, or minor damage.

The hardest hit areas were North Poplar St. in Paris and the Guthrie Road area two miles north of Paris, in the 1200-1400 block.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Henry County Hit Hard By Storm; Trailer Destroyed

Trailer at 1409 Guthrie Rd. destroyed during the storm. (Sue Leuci photo).

A tree went through the roof at this home on Irvine St, in Paris. (Kayla Nation photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.--Henry County was hit hard by the storm that came roaring through Friday afternoon, destroying one mobile home, causing trees to fall on houses and blocking roadways.

Henry County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins was surveying the damage this evening and reported a mobile home in the 1200 block of Guthrie Rd. is completely destroyed, but its inhabitants are all right.

Watkins said he has called the National Weather Service in Memphis and is waiting to hear back on exactly what type of storm it was that hit Henry County--whether a mild tornado or straight-line winds.

He said a tree fell on a house on Irvine Street in Paris and another tree fell on a house on at 1409 Guthrie Rd. “I couldn’t get to that one to see how much damage it caused because of the trees blocking the road,” Watkins said. “The BPU is out there working on it and clearing it right now, so I’ll be going back out there.”

“We have other trees on a house on Lee St.,” Watkins said. “So far, from what I’ve seen, we have houses on Guthrie and Irvine Street with 50 percent damage; six houses with 25 percent damage and 10 others with moderate damage.”

The dispatcher at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said west Paris was especially hard hit, with trees down on Market and Wood Streets too, along with trees down on McIntosh Rd., near India Rd.

Watkins said the county highway department, BPU, county sheriff’s department and Paris Police are all out clearing roadways.

A tree down at the Covington house near the library in Paris. (Photo by Kayla Nation).

Maureen Stack took this photo of damage caused by falling trees at her home on West Wood St. in Paris.

Ashia Jones Dismissed From UTM Team

Martin, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin head women’s basketball coach Kevin McMillan announced today that Ashia Jones will not return for the 2015-16 season.
“It is an honor and a privilege to represent UT Martin, not just on the basketball court but in any walk of life,” McMillan said. “Ashia is in good academic standing and has not had any legal troubles whatsoever but she has not been able to abide by the standards we set for our program on a consistent basis. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

Jones is coming off an All-American and Ohio Valley Conference Female Athlete of the Year season as a sophomore in 2014-15. The 6-1 native of Covington, Tenn. led the OVC and ranked fourth in the nation with 23.4 points per game while becoming the third-fastest player in program history to reach 1,000 career points – accomplishing the feat in 57 games.
Jones was named OVC Player of the Year as a sophomore, following an OVC Freshman of the Year campaign in 2013-14. She tied the UT Martin single-game scoring record with 44 points at Murray State on Jan. 31, 2015 on her way to breaking the program’s single-season scoring record (772 points) as a sophomore.

Trinity UMC To Have Temporary Home At Holly Fork

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Beginning Sunday, June 21, Trinity United Methodist Church will be holding its Sunday School and Worship Services at the Holly Fork Shooting Complex on Hwy. 79S until the church can rebuild.

Trinity UMC was destroyed by fire in April. On its first church service after the fire, the congregation met outdoors in the church parking lot. Since then, the congregation has been meeting at the First United Methodist Church in Paris, in its Family Life Center.

The Trinity services will be held at the new building that was recently constructed at Holly Fork. The new building had been constructed as a classroom and meeting space.

According to long-time church member Kayla Nation, the Oak Grove United Methodist Church near Jackson held its last church service last Sunday and donated several items to Trinity, including tables, chairs, altar, refrigerator, brass cross and offering plates, and a pulpit.” It was so good of them,” she said.

Sunday School will be held at  10 am with worship services  at 11am.,, with new minister Rev. Dennis Vance Jr. in charge.

FLW Tournament Underway At Paris Landing
Expo Set Saturday At Walmart

Anglers take off from the Paris Landing marina. (FLW photo).

Buchanan, Tenn.-Another prestigious fishing tournament is underway on Kentucky Lake at Paris Landing State Park this weekend. The FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) Walmart tour is being held June 18-20, at Paris Landing, with an Expo open to the public at Paris Walmart on Saturday afternoon.

Anglers from all over the country are competing for $120,000 in the tournament, which is sponsored locally by the Henry County Alliance.

Fishermen launch from the Paris Landing Marina at 7 a.m. each morning, with weigh-ins held at 3 p.m. at Paris Landing today (Friday) and the final weigh-in at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Paris Walmart.

The FLW Expo will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Walmart parking lot, which will feature a lot of giveaways, exhibits, outdoor activities and the opportunity meet competitors.

Coverage of the tournament will be broadcast in November on NBC Sports Network.

Robison Wins Talent Portion Of Miss Tennessee

Jackson, Tenn.-Hannah Robison of Buchanan was named winner of the talent portion of the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant during preliminary rounds Thursday night in Jackson.

Robison is the daughter of Rusty and Pam Robison of Buchanan and is competing as Miss Scenic City.

Robison, 21, won the talent portion for her performance of "El Cumbanchero" on the piano.

The finals will be held Saturday night.

Twin Fawns Born At Woodlands Nature Station

Golden Pond, Ky.– Woodlands Nature Station has announced the birth of twin fawns to one of the white-tailed deer living at the nature reserve.
The two tiny deer, with coats of ruddy brown and ivory white spots, are extremely small--the size of dinner plates. They are very difficult to see at this time because their mother cautiously hides them at the bases of trees or along fallen logs, blending in with leaves and duff on the forest floor. For now, the fawns will hide most of the time. As they grow older, in a few weeks, they will begin moving around and be easier to spot in the enclosure.

Read more about Nature Station’s twin fawns on the official website then click on Stories.

Thursday, June 18, 2015 

Johnson Named Person Of Year; Mahan Is Business Of Year

Mark Johnson accepts Person of the Year as Emcee Susan Jones looks on. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd was on hand applauded the choices of Realtor Mark Johnson as Person of the Year and Joe Mahan Ford as Business of the Year at Thursday night’s Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce banquet.

Johnson is owner of The Johnson Agency and has a long career of civic involvement, including as a former Chamber and Jaycee President. Johnson is active in downtown Paris improvements as well as an accomplished musician and songwriter.

In announcing the award, last year’s Person of the Year Carlton Gerrell spoke of how humbling the honor is. “When you read the names of all the past Persons of the Year you realize just how humbling an experience this is.”

Johnson, Gerrell said, “doesn’t say no when he is called on by his community. He always figures out a way to get the job done.”

The announcement was an emotional one for Johnson, whose first word was “Wow…This is very humbling. When you have an honor like this, it makes it all worthwhile. There are a lot of people involved in any person’s success and I see a lot of people in this room who helped me.” Johnson especially cited his father, Jimmy, and his late mother Cookie, “for being such a part of me”.

Everyone in this situation, he said, needs a mentor, citing Joe Mahan as the man he counted on for advice. “Joe had been a former Chamber President and I spent a lot of time in his office asking for advice.”

Johnson said, “You guys don’t know how much this means to me and how much I love doing what is involved with all this. And Paris and Henry County are the greatest places on earth to call home.”

In presenting the Business of the Year Award, last year’s honoree Tim Boyd noted that Joe and Diane Mahan arrived in Paris in 1943 from Arkansas, where the owner of a dealership there suggested that Joe buy the Paris dealership.

He noted the hard work involved in building the Paris dealership, which has been a family affair from the beginning. Boyd noted that in 1979 when interest rates were sky high and things were rough for car businesses, “Joe has credited his wife with helping keep the business going.”

Boyd noted that Joe Mahan encouraged his son, Jeff to work somewhere else for five years after college and Jeff noted, “He started calling me and saying when are you coming back?”

Boyd noted that both Joe and Jeff Mahan have been Chamber Presidents and are the only father-son duo to have that honor.

In accepting the award, Jeff Mahan said, “We are truly grateful for this award tonight. And I have to say to my parents, I’m glad you picked Paris, Tenn. 43 years ago. There’s no better place to have a business. Another reason it was a great choice is because of our employees. They work hard and take care of us and take care of our customers’ needs.”

Chamber President Chip Anderson passed on the red jacket to new Chamber President Tony Lawrence. Lawrence is Director of the Paris Parks and Recreation Department and noted how little by little he has become more involved with Paris and learning about its history and the history of West Tennessee through Leadership Henry County and Weststar.

“I encourage all of you to get active and not just sit on the sidelines,” he said.

Tim Boyd presents Business of the Year to Jeff, Diane and Joe Mahan, as Chamber President Chip Anderson looks on. (McFarlin photo).

Suspect In Stabbing Is Arrested

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris man was arrested this morning on a charge of criminal attempt to commit murder.

Robert L. Boyd, Jr., age 48, of 204 Wynn St., was taken into custody around 9 a.m. today by Sgt. Ricky Watson, Investigator Greg Underwood and Patrolman Derrick Greenhill.

Boyd had been wanted for the stabbing of a woman Tuesday night on Wynn St. According to the original police report, Boyd and his girlfriend had been arguing all day and a witness found her lying in the living room, bleeding.

The victim told officers that Boyd had stabbed her several times and offices said she had obvious stab wounds on her face and arms. Henry County EMS arrived and took the victim to the hospital.

Hospital staff informed officers that the victim had been stabbed at least six times and possibly seven. She was stabbed above the left eye, upper back, left shoulder, back of the neck, right arm, nose and possibly in the back of the head.

The victim was then transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Boyd has been booked into the Henry County Jail on a bond of $150,000. His first court date is June 23.

Giving The Confederate Monument A Makeover

Inmates Antonio Ford and Larry Holley placing limestone around the base of the
 monument. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Inmates from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office were working hard on a very hot day Wednesday to clean up the area around the Confederate Monument in front of the Henry County Courthouse.

The inmates were under the supervision of Volunteers Mike Garner and Joe Oliver. Garner said the work is removing the unsightly weeds that had been growing up around the base of the monument.

“We pulled up the weeds and grass and put down limestone around the base, around three inches deep,” Garner said. “That way there won’t be any more weeds, but the leaves will blow off of it, too, and it will keep it a lot cleaner and a lot more eye-appealing.”

Another plus, Garner said: “The county won’t have to keep spraying this area for weeds. It will just make it more clean and more presentable.”

Garner and Jimmy Williams have also been designing and working on the corner gardens around the courthouse. Garner said one corner is still in need of a sponsor, so if any business or organization is interested in sponsoring a corner, they should call the county commission office at 642-5212. “We’ve already done the work on it for this year, so all they have to do is sponsor it,” Garner said.

Volunteers Joe Oliver, left, and Mike Garner, oversee and work on the project. (McFarlin photo).

A Bit Of Magic In The Air

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd of kids, parents and grandparents were on hand at the W.G. Rhea Library in Paris Wednesday morning to be entertained by Professional Magician Larry Mink as part of the summer reading program. Mink brought kid volunteers from the audience to help him perform magic tricks. In photo, Peyton Mowell helps Mink with the magic tricks. Programs are held every Wednesday and movies every Friday during the summer program. Next Wednesday the Super Hero Training Camp will be held. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Sheriff’s Office Produce Give-Aways

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will be holding  produce give-a-ways at the front of Kroger Shopping Center on Friday, June 19th and June 26th.  The give-a-way will start at 8 a.m. and will last until all produce is gone.

The produce comes from the sheriff offices’ two inmate gardens.

Paris Woman Charged With Aggravated Child Abuse

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris woman was arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse and neglect after she gave birth in May to a child who tested positive for narcotics.

Arrested was Tracy Watson, age 29, of Old Union Rd.

According to Paris Police Sgt. Ricky Watson, the local Department of Childrens’ Services has been working on this case. The narcotics in Mr. Watson’s system were prescription drugs and a check was done on her prescription history. During the time of her pregnancy, there were no valid prescriptions for narcotics issued to her, according to the press release.

She was charged under the statute known as Haley’s Law. A bond of $150,000 was set and her first court date is June 23.

McKenzie, Huntingdon Extend Traffic Camera Contracts

McKenzie and Huntingdon, Tenn.-Traffic cameras may not be popular--or even effective--but both the McKenzie and Huntingdon Councils extended their contracts for traffic cameras in their towns.

A July 1 deadline is looming for municipalities in Tennessee to enter or renew such contracts for equipment such as speed cameras. A bill recently signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam bans local governments from using speed cameras, but officials can grandfather any contracts entered into before the law takes effect as long as they do it by July 1.

In McKenzie, the renewed contract is for 20 years, with mutual options to cancel at any time with 90 days notice.

In Huntingdon, the contract is extended to May 31, 2037.

Paris Commission Special Meeting

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris City Commission has called a special meeting for noon Tuesday, June 23, at city hall to consider the 2016 tax rate and budget, approve BPU’s request for refinancing the 2004 bond issue and amend the sign ordinance. The meeting will be preceded by a public hearing.

Hamlett Hired As Carroll Co. Elections Director

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The Carroll County Election Commission has hired Peggy Hamlett as the new administrator of elections.

The process of selecting a new administrator to replace retiring Vince Taylor has often been contentious and partisan over recent weeks.

Hamlett, age 59, is currently employed as a paralegal for the law office of Charlie Trotter in Huntingdon. Hamlett earned a PHD from Texas A&M and has had an extensive work record.

Eleven people had put their hats in the ring for the position and after interviews, the field was narrowed down to Hamlett, Russell Bush and Monte Cunningham.

Hamlett is a Republican and owns Hamlett Heritage Bend Poultry Farm near Atwood.

The interview process was conducted over two days and even before the vote, election commission members and observers at the meeting entered into a disagreement over the voting process.

Starting pay for Hamlett will be $35,000 with an increase to $61,000 after she passes the state certification test.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 

Former Benton County Animal Control Officer Indicted

Camden, Tenn. – A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the State Comptroller’s Office has resulted in a former Benton County animal control officer being indicted on charges of theft and misconduct.

 At the request of 24th District Attorney General Matt Stowe, TBI Special Agents, working alongside investigators with the State Comptroller’s Office, began investigating Holland Marie Craig on January 26th. During the course of the investigation, Agents discovered that from July 2013 through July 2014 while Craig was working as a Benton County animal control officer, she collected more than $3,600 from customers and county funds. The investigation revealed that Craig did not properly deposit the money, and instead used the funds for her own benefit. Craig’s employment with Benton County was terminated in July 2014.


On Monday, the Benton County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Craig, 30, with one count of Theft of Property over $1,000 and one count of Official Misconduct. The Bruceton woman was taken into custody today without incident with the assistance of the Benton County and Carroll County Sheriffs’ Departments. Craig was booked into the Benton County Jail, where her bond was set at $10,000.

Martin PD Seek Two Suspects In Walmart Burglary

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police are seeking the public’s help in locating two individuals who stole several items from the Martin Walmart around 2:15 a.m. Monday. Martin Police have released video surveillance photos of the two individuals as well as the SUV they were using.

According to Police Chief Don Teal, the individuals attempted to hide their faces from the entrance cameras as they entered.

“The individuals remained in the store for approximately 45 minutes. While inside the store the two individuals took two desktop HP computers, two Vizio, 32” televisions, and an undetermined number of Clear talk cell phones. In obtaining the Clear talk cell phones one of the individuals was able to manipulate the security feature of the display to be able to remove the items,” Teal said.

The individuals then made their exit out of a fire exit door located on the east side of the building near the automotive center.

Teal said the individuals were in a SUV, 4 door vehicle that appears to be tan in color. The vehicle is believed to possibly be a GMC or Chevrolet vehicle. The vehicle appears to have a sun roof and the rear window on the drivers’ side of the vehicle appears to be broken out.

If you recognize either of these two individuals please contact the Martin Police Department at 731-587-5355 or Crimestoppers 731-587-2661.

Mansfield Garage Destroyed By Fire

Mansfield Fire Chief Wayne Webb and Assistant Chief Darren Webb at the scene. (Photo by Cheryl Webb).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Mansfield, Tenn.-A garage and its contents were destroyed during an early morning fire in Mansfield today, but the Mansfield Volunteer Fire Department was able to save the two-story home that sits just a few feet away from the garage.

Firefighters were called to 45 Beane Lane scene at 12:45 a.m. and called for mutual aid from the Paris Fire Department, which provided water. Firefighters stayed on the scene until 4:45 a.m.

Assistant Fire Chief Darren Webb and other firefighters are back on the scene this morning to check for hot spots. Webb said he still is investigating the cause of the blaze. The property is owned by Dorothy Spillers.

LBL Nature Station Nets Environmental Award 

Lexington, Tenn.-The Nature Station at the Land Between The Lakes received an award for Environmental Education from the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) at its annual gala in Lexington.

KAEE recognized the outstanding achievements of individuals, organizations, agencies, community efforts, schools and businesses in the field of environmental education. 
The Woodlands Nature Station at Land Between The Lakes has been in the process of transforming itself of the past decade from a natural history museum to a center for community and regional environmental education, as well as a hub for nature viewing for Land Between The Lakes. 

To draw visitors back into the woods, the Nature Station's attraction host forty native wildlife exhibits including a partnership with the US Fish & Wildlife Service with a captive breeding pair of red wolves. The wildlife are all rescued and their conservation story is incorporated into every program. Dotted amongst the wildlife exhibits are themed native gardens hosting 200 native plants and trees. but one of the most unique elements are the backyard wildlife demonstrations such as 200 hummingbirds a day during the summer, an active maternity colony of little brown bats, monarch way station, and 170 birds documented in the backyard.

These attractions have given educational opportunities to over 45,000 visitors per year. Approximately 8,000 local school children have the chance to be surrounded by nature without the distractions of modern life. Another 1400 students from assisted living, day care, and economically challenged programs receive conservation messages through our outreach programs.

The Nature Watch Series was created to attract folks with interest in wildlife diversity to enjoy the immense opportunities to study wildlife throughout the region. Projects like The Hummingbird Fest, approaching its 20th year, create opportunities to excite people about conservation and encourage more environmental literacy.

The main goal for Nature Station has been "More Kids in The Woods". Since 2004, we have been reaching out to regional schools with curriculum based programming from preK to high school, trying to meet their goals in student learning.

Another goal for the Forest Service for the Nature Station is partnering. Successful partnerships include Tennessee National Wildlife Resources, Fort Donnellson National Battlefield, River Discovery Center, KY state parks, KY Fish & Wildlife Resources and Wild Turkey Federation.

UC Budget Includes Pay Increase; No New Taxes

Union City, Tenn.-Union City’s City Council last night passed on second and final reading the budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. It contains the plan for city services that includes a two percent increase for city employees and contains no increases in taxes or fees.

The city also approved the budget for the Union City Schools system. School Director Gary Houston told council that Union City’s enrollment is up and that it has been a year of academic, athletic and extracurricular excellence.

Council also approved an amendment to its agreement with Redflex, the provider of red light and speed cameras for the city. The amendment moves the effective date for the contract up to June 30 so it will be grandfathered and not subject to the new state law prohibiting speed cameras as of July 1.

As usual, Mayor Terry Hailey voted no.

Two Area Teachers On Governor’s Cabinet

Nashville, Tenn. – Teachers from Union City and Dyer County have been selected to serve on the first Governor’s Teacher Cabinet.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced 18 Tennessee teachers had been selected. 
Among those are Lance Morgan of Union City Schools and Jessica Murrayof Dyer County Schools.

The cabinet will meet quarterly with Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen to share real-time information from the classroom, advise on policy considerations and provide a direct line of communication to schools and communities.
Directors of schools were asked to nominate one teacher from each of their districts, and 18 classroom teachers were selected from across the state based on the following criteria: focused on student achievement, encourages collaboration among colleagues, demonstrates leadership, solutions-oriented and relentlessly pursues excellence. 

Teachers will serve two-year terms on the cabinet. The first meeting is planned for July.

Money Woes Cause Friction In Weakley Co. Government 

Weakley Co. Mayor Jake Bynum

Dresden, Tenn.-A Weakley County Commissioner is charging there is a cover-up over the finances in Weakley County government which he said show major discrepancies.

Commissioner Roger Vancleave said there is a major discrepancy between the debt service loan balances on June 30, 2014 and July 1, 2014.  In a statement, Vancleave said, “By March 19, some new commissioners noticed a major discrepancy in the Debt Service School Bond Loan, which showed a loan balance of $1,860,000, whereas the new budget showed the loan balance” of zero.

According to the Dresden Enterprise, both County Mayor Jake Bynum and Director of Finance Shawn Francisco have said it is a mistake, but not evidence of a cover-up or wrongdoing.

Bynum said there is no money missing from the budget, only a discrepancy between fiscal years.

Books Donated To Library By Quotarian

New Member Mary Walters pinned by Emily Conroy. (Martha McFadden photo).

Paris, Tenn.-At the recent meeting of the Paris Quota Club, 2015 Quotarian of the Year Pat Bailey announced she has chosen two books to donate to the W.G. Rhea Library. The books are “The Emperor of All Maladies” and “Celebrating Nurses”.

Club members voted to donate to the Family Resources’ Back to School Blast, which is set for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 30 at the Central Services Building on Jones Bend Rd.

Wanda Hughes has donated a quilt, which was handmade by her late mother and tickets will sel for $5 each or three for $10. It is a queen-size quilt and tickets will be on sale until December 2015.

2015-2016 Quota yearbooks are available for $5 each. 

New member Mary Walters was installed by Vice-President Cheryl Wilson. Emily Conroy is her sponsor.

Those celebrating Quota anniversaries are:  Rena Barker – seven years; Mary Alice Campbell – 21 years; Norma Steele – seven years and Carman Wright – seven years; for a total of 42 years of service.
The next meeting will be on June 24th with Sheriff Monte Belew as guest speaker.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 

PSSD Eyes Rhea Renovations, Passes Continuation Budget

Cary Henson of Henson Construction, standing, presents the timeline for Rhea renovations to board members and school officials, with Architect Ben Witt at the computer. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Special Schools District looked ahead to the future at a planning session on proposed changes to Rhea Elementary School following Tuesday night’s regular meeting. The changes are designed to add classrooms, move the bus entrance, and build a new cafeteria.

Under the plan, 28 new classrooms will be constructed on the Wilson Street side of the building, a new cafeteria will be constructed in the middle of the complex and the bus entrance will be moved to the Lone Oak Rd. side of the facility.

The front entrance would stay where it is now. While the new cafeteria is being completed, students would temporarily eat in the enclosed courtyard section (where the reading program is located now). The current gym would stay where it is.

Architect Ben Witt of Ross Witt Architecture firm in Bartlett showed the board the changes on schematics projected on a screen.

Cary Henson of Henson Construction in Jackson said the Rhea Phase II from design though construction would be projected from August 2015 though August 2017. Phase III would go from May 2017 through June 2018 with occupancy August 2018.

Board Member Bill Jelks asked, “Is this an ambitious schedule or is it doable?” Henson said the proposed schedule is doable.

District Maintenance Supervisor Richie Chilcutt presented a list of other projects that are needed district-wide, the most important of which, he said, include roof repairs at Inman.

Director of Schools Mike Brown reviewed district finances and proposals for paying for the proposed construction and renovations. Utilizing a bond of $10M, he said, could be paid back in 10 or 20 years. He said he would prefer paying it back in 20 years because the payments “would be well within our ability to pay back”.

Brown said, “I will give you a more concrete proposal in July. We need a little time to dig deeper into this but in general terms I think we can make this thing go.”

During the regular meeting, the board approved a continuation budget until the final budget can be presented at the July meeting. The budget will be adopted at the August meeting and will be retroactive to July 1.

Brown noted that the board’s earlier decision to change its insurance coverage to Limited Plus GAP, the district saved approximately $8,500.

Brown also said sales tax revenue has increased by $70,000. “That’s gone up beyond our expectations”.

In other business:

--Board President Richard Edwards asked the board to think of a plan which could be in place for next year in case winter storms require the district to close for as many days as it did this past year. He noted nine days were missed due to weather.

Making up the days involve two options, he said, “and they’re both horrible. Either during spring break or at the end of the school year.” He asked the board to bring ideas to the July 21 meeting.

--The board approved a new application for the Coordinated School Health program that includes an expansion of after school programs to all the schools. Sherry Wagner said the program will not be receiving any new revenue.

--The board extended its agreement with Battelle For Kids, for which PSSD has been serving as fiscal agent at no cost. Dr. Leah Watkins said the costs for such resources normally would be from $500-$700 per day. “This is a very good resource for us,” she said.

Photo: Cary Henson of Henson Construction presents the timeline for Rhea renovations to board members and school officials, with Architect Ben Witt at the computer. (McFarlin photo).

Reward Offered In Theft From Business

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A $1000 reward has been offered for information leading to the recovery and prosecution of individuals who stole a trailer from a Paris area business.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is investing the theft of the 2006 Ford F-250 and a 16 foot enclosed trailer that occurred on Highway 218 bypass from JSBC Services, which performs pressure washing services.

The theft took place around 3:30 a.m. June 15. Once the suspects stole the truck and trailer, they then used them to steal a Kubota zero turn lawn mower from another business. The Ford truck is wrapped with the businesses’ information on the sides of it (JSBC Services) and is light blue and white in color.

The enclosed trailer is solid white in color.

The business owner of the truck and trailer is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the recovery of the property, arrest and conviction of the suspects involved.

Anyone who may have seen this vehicle in the early morning hours of June 15 or has any information is asked to contact Investigator David Doyle at the Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672 or the tip line at 642-0929.

Veterans, Kids Join To Help Veterans’ Home

Kids and veterans work on the donation jars at the library. (Marsha Fowler photo).

Paris, Tenn.-The State of Tennessee Library Theme for the 2015 Summer Reading Program is “Every Hero Has A Story”. In conjunction with it, the W.G. Rhea Public Library will be sponsoring a program to bring recognition and funding to the Tennessee State Veterans’ Home in Humboldt.

The students of the summer program at Rhea School have always been involved in the library’s summer reading program and once again, they are playing a big role this year. They have volunteered to help the library prepare donation jars for donations to the Veterans’ Home and to distribute the jars throughout the community.

Local veterans will join the children in helping decorate the donation jars. As they work together, the children will learn about veterans and what it means to be a veteran.
Library Director Connie McSwain said the brightly-colored donation jars will be distributed throughout the county. If you or your company is interested in helping with the project, contact Connie at 642-1702 or

Two Men Arrested In Graham Park Sting

               Ernest Woodward                                             Norman Barlow

Union City, Tenn.-Two Union City men have been arrested so far in the ongoing sting operation taking place in Graham Park in Union City.

In a press release issued Monday, Union City Police Chief Perry Barfield announced the department has been conducting an undercover operation in the park due to an increase in complaints of suspected activity involving solicitation of same-sex prostitution and other elicit behavior. He said the plainclothes operation will continue.

Arrested were Ernest Keith Woodward, age 45, of 611 North 5th St., charged with sexual battery, forcible fondling and prostitution. According to the police department, Woodward has already appeared in court, pleading guilty to attempted sexual battery. The prostitution charge was dismissed.

Also arrested was Norman Barlow, age 70, of 735 East Church St., charged with indecent exposure, solicitation of prostitution and public indecency in a restroom.

Police said a third man has been arrested in the sweep, with a charge of smoking marijuana in the park.

Refuge Visitor Center To Close Friday, Saturday

Springville, Tenn.- The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge announces the new refuge Visitor Center will need to close down temporarily on Friday and Saturday, June 19-20, for lobby construction repair work. 

The Visitor Center will reopen as normal beginning at 8 a.m. Monday June 22nd 
Joan Stevens of the Refuge Center said, “We regret this inconvenience to the public. For more information please contact the refuge headquarters office at 731-642-2091.”

Magician To Perform At Library

Paris, Tenn.-Magician Larry Mink will perform at the W.G. Rhea Library as part of the summer reading program. The program begins at 10 a.m. and is free.

Police Auction Set

Union City, Tenn.-A public auction of vehicles seized by the Union City Police, Obion County Sheriff’s Office and 27th Judicial District will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 18, at the Obion County Fairgrounds. Other miscellaneous items also will be on sale.

Monday, June 15, 2015 

Fuqua, Cisco Locate Missing Special Needs Child

Deputy Fuqua and Cisco find missing boy in hay bale. Photo courtesy of Henry County Sheriff's Office.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Clarksville, Tenn.-It was another success for Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Fuqua and his K9 Cisco, as the tracking team has been credited with locating the missing special needs boy who was missing from the Clarksville area.

Fuqua and Cisco found the sleeping boy hiding in a hay bale today after a two mile search through heavy woods, creeks and fields. The boy had been missing for some 15 hours, according to Capt. Damon Lowe of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department.

The boy, Joseph William Huffman was last seen at his residence in the 700 block of Cloud Drive.

Cisco is a bloodhound and is in demand from law enforcement agencies in the area. Fuqua and Cisco have helped in several other critical situations, including locating a murder suspect in Martin last year.

Lowe said the Clarksville Police reached out to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 7 a.m. today for help in locating the child.

“The child missing was a special needs child that was 12 years old but with the mentality of a 5 year old,“ Lowe said. “The boy had been missing since 5:30 Sunday afternoon when he was last seen near a swimming pool by some of his friends. The child was 4 foot tall and weighed about 50 pounds and was last seen in his swimming trunks.”

An all-out search for the missing boy was conducted by the Clarksville Police Department along with other local agencies and over 50 volunteers and the use of the Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter. “They had been searching all through the night and had not been able to locate the child,“ Lowe said. “To add to the fact that the child had ran off, his family said that he had been known to hide.”

Deputy Fuqua and K-9 Cisco arrived at the location and they were able to use a blanket from the child’s bedroom as the scent article. Lowe said. “They began the search from the swimming pool area where he was last seen by anyone. Cisco was given the item to smell and he turned and started the search. The search went almost 2 miles in distance that included heavy woods, creeks and fields.”

Across the last field. Lowe said, Cisco lead Deputy Fuqua to a large round bale of hay. “Wayne said that Cisco rounded the hay bale and stuck his nose into the hay and put his nose on the missing child. Fuqua said there is no way anyone could have seen the child as he was covered up in the hay.”

According to Lowe, “Deputy Fuqua woke the child up and found him to be ok. He was given a bottle of water and the Clarksville officers that were assisting Wayne notified everyone that the child had been located.”

Lowe said, “It only took Cisco 30 minutes from the time he got the scent, including a couple of short breaks due to the heat, to locate the missing child.”

The Clarksville Police was grateful for the help and the assistance they were given by Sheriff Monte Belew in allowing Deputy Fuqua and his partner Cisco to travel to Montgomery County to assist in this search.

Sheriff Belew said that he was proud of Wayne and Cisco for doing such a great and swift job in finding the lost child in such a timely manner, as during the day the heat index has been near the 100 degree mark.

Lowe said, “Sheriff Belew said that K-9 Cisco is in the running and maybe even leading for the Officer of the Year award !"

Fuqua and Cisco approaching missing boy. (Sheriff's Office photo).

              Fuqua and Cisco


Commission Recesses For Budget Second Reading
Miles Awarded Loyal Patriot 

County Mayor Brent Greer, left, presents Sam Miles with Patriot Award, as Commissioner Dell Carter looks on. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-After first reading of the 2016 Fiscal Year budget Monday night, the Henry County Commission recessed to convene again on June 30 for the second and final reading.

Henry County Mayor Brent Greer said the new budget proposes no property tax increase and includes a 2 ½ percent cost of living increase for county employees. Greer told the commissioners, “We are presenting you a budget  that will ask you to use $263,000 from the fund balance and that is a little less than usual.” 

Greer also presented the Loyal Patriot Award to retiring Director of Schools Sam Miles. The Loyal Patriot Award is the highest award that can be bestowed on a citizen in Henry County.

In presenting Miles the award, Greer said, “This is for what you’ve done for our children since you’ve been superintendent.” Miles expressed surprise at the award and said, “It’s been a pleasure and a blessing to work in Henry County.” Miles also introduced the commission to incoming Director of Schools Dr. Brian Norton.

On the subject of the budget, Greer noted that the county is still waiting to receive its certified reappraisal rate from the state. “It should be just a matter of days. The rate is 2.197 now, but we just don’t know what the adjustment will be.”

There has been growth in Paris and Henry County with several new businesses opening up, Greer said, “so there might actually be growth in the amount received, but I doubt it will be any less.”

On the subject of reappraisals, Greer noted there is a lot of misinformation in the public about that subject and the effect the county voting a one-half cent increase in sales tax last year. “Just because your assessment is up,” he said, “it doesn’t mean you will pay more for taxes. Your tax revenue will be the same. It’s important we continue to state that because of all the misinformation about it.”

Also within the budget, Greer said, the county will continue to pay 100 percent of employee premiums in individual insurance coverage.

 In other business:

--Greer reported the county is converting its insurance coverage from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to United Healthcare. “I’m very comfortable with this recommendation. Our employees will see the same deductible and out of pocket with just be an additional $5 for office visit, from $20 to $25.”

He noted that by changing to United Healthcare the county will see substantial savings of some $100,000 than if it had stayed with Blue Cross. “We’ll be paying more than we did last year, but still less than if we stayed with Blue Cross,” he said.

--The commission approved an amendment in the wording of the appeals process for the Adult Oriented Establishment Board, which places the burden of cost on the establishment appealing a decision instead of the county.


A Hot Time At Camden Race Track 

Camden, Tenn.-Race fans in the grandstands were silhouetted by the setting sun on a hot Saturday night at Camden Motorsports Race Track. Several area men race at the dirt track, with Nathan Bedwell of Lexington winning the Pure Street Race, Tyler Cox of Paris coming in sixth in the Modified Open Wheel and Don Smith of Puryear coming in fifth in the Mini. Cox won the race at the Lexington track the previous weekend. (Charlie Allen photo).

Conley Arrested Again For Public Intoxication

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris woman who was arrested last month after she was wrestling naked with a county probation officer while drunk has been arrested again by Paris Police for public intoxication.

Teresa Conley, age 49, was arrested over the weekend after officers responded to a call at 1420 Valleywood Dr. Witnesses told police the woman was walking without shoes and appeared to be intoxicated. When police arrived, she was sitting on rocks by a creek and according to the police report, a strong odor of alcohol was apparent and officers found an empty small bottle of Jim Beam in her purse.

She was charged with public intoxication and her bond was set at $500.

The earlier arrest occurred in late May and at that time, Conley listed her address as 1200 Palestine Rd.  

Sting Operation In Graham Park Draws Arrests

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Due to an increase in complaints of suspected activity in Graham Park involving solicitation of same-sex prostitution and other elicit behavior, the Union City Police Department over the past two weeks has been conducting an undercover operation along with concentrated patrol efforts in several areas of the park.

Police Chief Perry Barfield said the department utilized plainclothes officers and a variety of monitoring equipment during the operation. The sting resulted in arrests for solicitation of prostitution, public indecency, attempted sexual battery and misdemeanor drug possessions.

Barfield said the department’s efforts to rid Graham Park of such problems will be an ongoing effort. The department also encourages visitors to the park to report any actual or suspected activity in order to better facilitate these efforts.

Convicted Felon Arrested On Handgun Charge

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Union City Police arrested a Dyersburg man on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and reckless endangerment early Sunday morning in front of a Union City nightclub.

Arrested was Kenan Parker, age 31, of 904 Scott St., Dyersburg.

Officers were called to the Fly Club on East Main St. on a report of gunshots and found a large crowd standing in front of the club, appearing to be fighting. Officers broke up the fight and were told a person was shooting a gun in the parking lot.

While officers were walking toward the car, Parker exited the vehicle and walked toward the building holding a black semi-automatic handgun in his hand. While officers were trying to arrest him, he attempted to hide under the car.

Drug, Weapons Found During Search

Paris, Tenn.-Drug charges were filed against a Paris couple after a search of their home on Salem Circle in Paris on Friday. Weapons charges also are pending.

According to a press release from Sgt. Ricky Watson, the Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police, Henry County Sheriff’s deputies, Henry Police and Puryear Police conducted the search and found a pound of medical grade marijuana, digital scales and drug paraphernalia. Officers also took weapons from the home and additional charges are pending.

Arrested were Dustin Foust and Adrianne McNutt. Foust’s bond was set at $25,000 and McNutt‘s bond was $12,500. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Former Dresden Mayor Dies

Dresden, Tenn.-Former Dresden Mayor Mike Pentecost died around 4 a.m. Sunday at Methodist Hospital in Memphis after reportedly suffering a major medical event at his home in Dresden. Pentecost was mayor for 12 years.

Pentecost was 73 years old and served as alderman before his election as mayor.

On his Facebook page, current Mayor Jeff Washburn praised Pentecost for his public service as an alderman and mayor. "Pentecost, as an employee of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, was one of the most knowledgeable individuals about municipal government that I have ever met," Washburn said. "He was able to move Dresden forward during his tenure as Mayor and led the city through a period of prosperity leaving the city in very good financial condition upon retiring as Mayor. Following his retirement, Mike continued to serve his community through his church, First United Methodist Church, and several charitable endeavors.”

Pentecost until his death Sunday was one of five living former Mayors for the City of Dresden.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced when completed. Bowlin Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements.

Pentecost is survived by this wife, Sarah Ann Pentecost; a daughter, Lynn, and his mother, Mrs. Opal Pentecost, as well as other relatives.

Cancer Survivors’ Dinner Draws Crowd

A large crowd on hand for Cancer Survivors' Dinner. (Photo courtesy of Carole Walsh).

Paris, Tenn.-To celebrate the 17th Birthday of the Relay for life in Henry County a “Survivors’ Dinner” was held last week at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

According to Carole Walsh, who is involved with both the Cancer Society and the Elks Lodge 816, approximately 185 persons were served dinner and music was furnished by Martin Paschall.

Seventeen years ago the late Rosie Baker was fighting the disease of cancer, and had heard of community events for raising money to fight this disease. In 1980”s she heard of the Relay for Life Event in Tacoma, Washington, where a colorectal surgeon decided to personally raise money for the fight against cancer by running marathons.

In May 1985 Gordy Klatt had spent a 24 hours circling a stadium track running and walking. This interested Baker as it had spread to many states; she than went with a friend to Murray, KY to find out what the Relay was all about. She was very impressed.

By 1998 Baker had put together a committee, had sponsors and teams lined up for Henry County’s first Relay for Life. The first all-nighter took place at the Henry County High School Patriot Stadium. As the event grew it was moved to the local National Guard Armory and then back to High school before coming to a rest at the Henry County Fairground.

Walsh said she looked into the history of the event and found that the Paris Elks Lodge 816 had teams at the Relay serving food and walking track all night, for the 1999 and 2000. In 2001, they started cooking a free meal for the cancer patients, survivors’ and their care givers.

The survivors Dinner for the year of 1998 and 1999 was catered and the cancer patients and survivors paid for their own meals. In those years it was held at one of the churches and then in 2000 it was held at the Elks’ Lodge on West Wood Street.

At that time, starting in 2000 the Elks had decided to take the burden of the cost of meal and decided they would provide the meal at no cost. The meal was furnished by the lodge and member Al Walsh volunteered his wife to make the desserts and donated them to the meal.

In April 2005, Baker lost her battle with cancer but not before she had inspired literally hundreds of Henry Countians’ to join the fight, according to Walsh.



Area Troopers Honored By KSP

Troopers Cory Hamby, Mark Franklin and Detective Brett Miller. (KSP photo).

Lexington, Tenn.The Kentucky State Police held their annual awards ceremony this week and trooper and a detective with ties to the local area were honoured at the ceremony.

Detective Brett S. Miller of Mayfield was named 2014 Kentucky State Police Detective of the Year. Miller was selected as the overall recipient among 15 other KSP detectives across the state. A 10-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police, he is assigned to KSP Post 1 in Mayfield.

Trooper Cory Hamby, a Paducah resident, was named 2014 Trooper of the Year for the Post 1 District. During 2014, Trooper Hamby issued 682 citations. He arrested 24 individuals for driving under the influence, investigated 48 motor vehicle collisions, investigated 57 criminal cases, and made 129 criminal arrests.

He is assigned to the west squad with Graves County as his primary county of assignment.

Senior Trooper Mark Franklin received the Citation for Meritorious Service. This award is bestowed upon officers of the agency who distinguish themselves by an act of meritorious service.

Trooper Franklin received this award for his actions on July 7, 2013, in Fulton, Ky. Franklin responded to an apartment complex near Fulton to assist local law enforcement officers with an armed subject. After arriving on scene, Franklin coordinated efforts with local law enforcement officers to evacuate the tenants of the apartment complex for their safety. During the incident, the offender fired a pistol at officers on scene. Trooper Franklin returned fire and was able to take the offender into custody. Trooper Franklin’s quick action preserved the lives of two local law enforcement officers as well as countless others within the apartment complex. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Henry County Relay Raises Over $82,000 This Year

Cancer Survivor Chick Robertson was ready for the Survivors' Lap, despite the 95 degree heat. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-Relay for Life 2015 wrapped up bright and early Saturday morning at 5:00 a.m. with a large group of dedicated volunteers still walking the track at sunrise.

According to the information supplied by Relay Publicity Chair Dana Allen, over $82,468 has been raised with donations still coming in and final totals still being verified.

Most Funds Raised:
1st place - Dana Corporation $21,000+
2nd place - First United Methodist Church $13,000+
3rd place - UPS $7500
4th place - Henry County Educators $5400+

A total of 1761 luminarias were purchased this year. These are lit at dusk and light the track during the evening as part of a moving tribute to those lost and touched by cancer, as well as their caregivers.

Following are the outstanding teams and individuals recognized for their efforts in the fight for a cure:

Best Team Theme: Susie's Soldiers - 2015 marked the 30th birthday of Relay for Life, so each campsite decorated in a birthday theme.

Best Food:
1st place - Henry Co. Sheriff's Dept. for their bacon wrapped deep fried hot dogs.
2nd place - Lawnmasters - BBQ Fried Pies
3rd place - First United Methodist Church - Fruit Cobblers

Teamwork Award: Dana Corporation. This team embodies a successful team through strong leadership combined with team members working together like a well oiled machine! They always work together to make every event successful.

Rookie Team of the Year: Susie's Soldiers

The Rosie Baker Award: Debra Stoope. Debra is not only a cancer survivor but has been a supporter of Relay for Life since the inception in Henry County. The Relay Committee recognized Debra for her "Relay Spirit" which strongly resembles her friend, one of the original founders of Relay for Life in our area, Rosie Baker.

The Perseverance Award: Linda Anderson. Linda is the sister of Joyce Bass (Team Captain of the Bass Lipford Relay Team since 1999). Linda has traveled from Memphis every year, for 17 years to Relay with her family in memory of their family lost to cancer. Linda Anderson is the true definition of perseverance.

Our Hero Award: Jeri Smith. Jeri is a cancer survivor and still currently undergoing treatments. The Relay Committee recognizes her for not only her outstanding efforts but as the embodiment of why we all Relay for Life.

Most Luminarias Sold:
1st place - Bass Lipford Team (417)
2nd place - Dana Corporation (355)
3rd place - First United Methodist Church (244)


Cancer Survivors release balloons in the air after their lap is completed. (McFarlin photo).

Wolfe Named West Carroll Head Football Coach 

Carroll County, Tenn..-West Carroll High School will have a new coach this year and it’s someone who is already a familiar face at West Carroll.

Camden Assistant Football Coach Josh Wolfe was named as the new head football coach at West Carroll on Friday. Wolfe is a graduate of West Carroll High School and Lambuth University.

He has served as assistant at Camden for eight seasons.

Flag Day Ceremonies At Elks Lodge

Paris, Tenn.-In honor of Flag Day, the Paris Elks Lodge 816 will hold at ceremony at 2 p.m. to retire old flags. The Cub Scouts and Boy Scout conduct the ceremony and burn the old ragged flags. 

LBL Listening Session Set In Dover Tuesday

Dover, Tenn.-Land of the Lakes National Recreation Area will hold a public listening session on Tuesday, June 16, from 6 to 8:30 pm at the Stewart County Visitor Center in Dover, Tennessee.

Members of the public will be able to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns at this public gathering with the Forest Service leadership team that manages the area.

Land Between The Lakes’ hosts this public listening session in hopes to develop and strengthen relationships with members of the public willing to work together on future projects. Stewart County Visitor Center is located at 117 Visitor Center Lane, Dover, TN 37058. For directions, call 931-232-8290.

More listening sessions may be scheduled. For more information, contact Jan Bush at 270-924-2016. The public may comment or share information at any time by emailing or mailing comments to: Land Between The Lakes, Attn: Leadership Team, 100 Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, KY 42211.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

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

Tennis Camps Begin

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Parks and Recreation Department is offering Beginners Tennis for children ages 10 and under. The sessions began this week at Eiffel Tower Park’s tennis courts and continue over several weeks. 

Cost is $25 and sessions are from 6:30-7:30pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays through 25th.

Parks Director Tony Lawrence said a tennis camp for 11-13 year olds will be held in July.

Cost is $50 for 10 sessions and the camp begins July 6th, he said.

Deadline for signups for the tennis camp is July 2nd.

That camp will be held at Henry County High School Tennis Courts and they will meet each week night Monday through Friday from July 6th-17th from 6pm-7:30 pm.

Call the Paris Civic Center at 644-2517 to register.


Friday, June 12, 2015 

Henry County Relay Is Underway

Paris, Tenn.-Cancer survivors set off on the survivors' lap at tonight’s annual Henry County Relay for Life event, despite the 95 degree heat at 6:30 p.m. A large crowd is at the Henry County Fairgrounds and will be until the early morning hours. A full schedule of activities is planned to keep everyone awake and active. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Day Care Operators Among Those Charged With Drug Operation

                 Lakeisha Smith

Murfreesboro, Tenn. –Investigators have arrested 22 people from the mid-state, accused of being involved in a large-scale drug operation. One of the people involved is the former director of Wilson County Human Resources, and others were operators of day cares. Two more of those charged used a tire company to distribute drugs.

Investigators from The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Drug Investigation Division, theRutherford County Sheriff’s Office, and the Murfreesboro Police Department have obtained indictments for 22 individuals accused of being involved in a large-scale drug operation.

Beginning in July 2014, the three agencies embarked on a cooperative, large-scale effort, involving numerous overtime hours and resources, to develop information related to the sale and distribution of heroin and cocaine throughout Middle Tennessee. Those implicated in the operation include the now former director of human resources in Wilson County, Christina Woodward, and those affiliated with two in-home care centers in Rutherford County. Ms. Keisha’s Kids was operated from the residence of Lakeisha Smith and Jamarr Kuilan. Angels Day Care was operated from a residence in which Eric Patton lived. The day care’s operator was not implicated in the case. Additionally, the investigation revealed Rawle Cecil Chapman and Latrisha Lashaun Chapman used their affiliation with Church Street New and Used Tires to distribute drugs.

On June 3rd, the Rutherford County Grand Jury returned indictments for 22 individuals on a variety of charges related to the drug operation.

Songwriters Entertain On The Square

Paris, Tenn.-A steady breeze cooled off the music fans who showed up for Thursday night’s Songwriters Night on the court square in Paris. In top photo, Big Bob Darby and the Holtgrewe Brothers were among the musicians providing entertainment, along with Mike Holden and Mark Johnson of Paris and Fate McAfee from Nashville. Bottom photo, Patrick Perry of Perry’s BBQ grilled up some burgers and chops. The finale for Downtown Paris Week is Saturday, with carriage rides and kids’ karaoke is on the square from 1-3 p.m. (Photos by Shannon McFarlin).

Fincher To Visit Local Area Next Week

Jackson, Tenn. - Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-Frog Jump) announced upcoming Mobile Office Hours in Tennessee's 8th Congressional District that will include visits to Union City, Paris and Huntingdon.

Mobile Office Hours are an opportunity for constituents to meet with the Congressman's District staff to receive assistance with federal agencies and departments.

"My staff and I are dedicated to working for the constituents of Tennessee's 8th Congressional District," Congressman Fincher said. "We realize it's not always possible to get to one of our dedicated District offices, so we're taking this opportunity to come to you. I invite anyone who is currently encountering any issues with a federal agency or department to meet with my staff at our mobile office locations or any of my five District offices located in: Jackson, Arlington, Dyersburg, Martin and Memphis."

Mobile Office Hours are open to the public and no appointment is needed. Hours and locations are as follows:

All Times: 12pm - 1pm CDT
June 17th, 2015 - Paris, Tennessee
Henry County Courthouse
Washington Street, Paris, TN 38242
Staff: Heather Waggoner
July 8th, 2015 - Union City, Tennessee
Obion County Chamber of Commerce
214 East Church Street, Union City, TN 38261
Staff: Heather Waggoner
July 29th, 2015 - Huntingdon, Tennessee
Huntingdon City Hall
Lexington Street, Huntingdon, TN 38344
Staff: Heather Waggoner

Reminder: Henry County Relay Is Tonight

Paris, Tenn.-As we reported earlier this week, the Henry County Relay For Life is tonight at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Opening Ceremonies will begin at 6:30 with the Survivor Lap. Several artists/groups are scheduled to perform during the event including Progressive Baptist Church Voices of Praise Choir, Little Elvis and local favorite Vince Dodd. 

A full schedule of activities will keep everyone entertained and awake until the early morning hours.

The Relay for Life Committee and Teams are selling Luminarias in honor or in memory of someone touched by cancer. Each name will be read during the Relay for Life event and each will be honored with a candlelit bag which will light the track as dusk falls. Luminarias are available for a minimum $5 donation. For more information contact any Relay Committee or Team member. Luminaria forms and bags may be purchased or picked up at Beasley’s Satellite on the Lake Highway in Paris.

For more information, please contact Molly Jackson, Relay for Life Chair, at 731-336-9134.

Pepsi Building Dedicated To Price

Paris, Tenn.-Former Senator Roy Herron served as master of ceremonies for the dedication of the Pepsi MidAmerica facility to long time employee Ricky Price, who has been with the company for 41 years. The event was held Tuesday at the local Pepsi headquarters at 55 Culley Drive, Paris. (Chamber photo).

Tennessee Man Arrested On Murder Charge In Kentucky

Wingo, Ky.- Kentucky State Police apprehended a man wanted for first-degree murder and child abuse at a residence in Wingo, Ky. Thursday night.

Zachary Thacker, 28, of Sumner County, Tenn., is a previous Graves County resident and was located at a residence in the Wingo community and apprehended without incident. 

Thacker was charged with fugitive from another state and was lodged in the Graves County Detention Center, where he will await extradition proceedings. Kentucky State Police was assisted by the Graves County Sheriff’s Office in the apprehension of Thacker. Trooper Cory Hamby with the Kentucky State Police is the case officer for the investigation pertaining to Thacker’s fugitive status. 

HCMC Earns State Marketing Awards 

From left, Steve Parker, Marketing Rep/Physician Liaison; Community Educator Angie Dotson; Marketing and Special Projects Coordinator Meagan Hart; Director of Marketing and Public Relations Tory Daughrity; Healthcare Foundation Reps Amy Odom and Tina Umstead.

Paris, TN – Henry County Medical Center recently earned seven awards in the Tennessee Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations' annual Prism awards competition.

HCMC received two Prism awards and five Certificate of Merit awards.  HCMC received the two Prism awards for the following programs:
· Social Media Program - #tuneintuesday - In 2014, Henry County Medical Center began developing a video provider directory to showcase our physicians on a more personal level.  The videos of the physicians who have participated to date were embedded into their directory profile on our website,, and were also released on our YouTube channel,   
· Cooperative Partnership – Passport to Paris event - HCMC is a member of the Spirit of Women Network.  Taking one of their health programs, HCMC partnered with the Downtown Paris Association (DPA) to offer women an opportunity to enjoy the best of Paris, TN with two educational sessions, a luncheon, and a fashion show.  

Additionally, HCMC received five Certificate of Merit awards for the following submissions:  Event Marketing Promotions for the Spirit Girls Tweens and Teens Tea, the 8-5-2-1-0 Direct Mail piece, the updated website; and the television and radio commercials for Innovative Orthopedics – Dr. Cutright.

“The Marketing team at HCMC is truly honored to receive these awards for the work we did in 2014,” according to Tory Daughrity, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at HCMC.”  “Our focus this past year has been on updating our website, developing marketing platforms for the physician practices, and expanding our Spirit of Women marketing activities and initiatives.”
For more information, please visit or call 731-644-3463.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 

Stranded Boaters Rescued On Kentucky Lake

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Boaters who became stranded on Kentucky Lake near the Ned McWherter Bridge were rescued this afternoon by the Henry County Rescue Squad and one of the people on the boat was transported to the emergency room at Henry County Medical Center suffering from heat exhaustion.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said the boat was stranded on the lake for an extended period of time. “I’m not sure what the cause was, but their motor was off and they couldn’t get to shore. We got the call and dispatched the rescue squad, which found them and towed them to Paris Landing Marina.”

Belew said there were several people on the boat and one was suffering from heat exhaustion and received treatment from the Henry County EMS.

The boat was stranded about a mile north of the McWherter bridge, he said.

Temperatures today were in the 90s, with high humidity.

Planners Okay Downtown Long-Range Plan Process

Building Inspector Mike Brown gives a presentation to the planning commission.
 (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-Meeting in a short and sweet session Thursday night, the Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission gave the green light for city officials to begin the process of applying for Certified Local Government Designation.

The designation is part of the city’s long-range plan for downtown Paris that has an eye to preserving its buildings, applying for grants, conducting an inventory of the condition of downtown buildings, pursuing an expansion of the Back Alley Paris project and review and evaluate downtown infrastructure.

Economic Development Director Jennifer Morris said, “We’re in the process of filling out the application and will be sending it in soon.” She said the local historic zoning board will need to begin meeting regularly again as part of the overall process.

Building Inspector Mike Brown said he and Historic Preservation Consultant Ed Smith have been conducting visual assessments of downtown buildings and the shape they are in.  “We’ve met three times so far and will meet next week. We’ll have inventory of buildings and it will be digitized and done with mapping software. That will facilitate grant applications and even federal relief applications along down the road.”

Morris said a major step in the long-range plan will be to zone the downtown and surrounding areas of the city with the Historical District Overlay.

In other business:

--The commission approved a minor site plan for the UPS Center on Hwy. 641S that will allow it to add a 376 square foot modular structure at the rear of the existing building.

--The commission approved an amendment to the sign ordinance governing the minimum size of billboards and that will be sent to the city commission for its special June 23 meeting, where it will have first reading.
--The commission also approved a revision to the entrance at the CVS development on Mineral Wells, modifying the curb to create more of a flare.

Nicholson In Trouble With Martin Police Again

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-A Martin man who kidnapped a woman and her daughter in Martin last month and was tracked down in Mississippi is again in trouble with the law.

According to Martin Police Chief Don Teal, Derrick Nicholson, age 26, address unknown, was arrested again Wednesday on two counts of aggravated burglary, criminal trespass, domestic assault, vandalism and theft in an incident involving the same woman.

According to the police report, Nicholson kicked in the front door of the victim and stole her wallet. The victim, who once had a romantic relationship with him, said he was sitting on her front porch and she asked him to leave when he kicked in the door.

Martin Police located Nicholson inside a vacant residence directly behind the victim’s house on Raven Street. Nicholson told officers where he had thrown her wallet.

In the earlier incident, Nicholson had been extradited back to Weakley County and those charges were dismissed against him.

New Vandalism At Paris City Cemetery

A tombstone pushed off its base. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-It’s happened again. Vandals have destroyed tombstones in the historic Paris City Cemetery. 

The cemetery is the final resting place of the city’s founding fathers (and founding mothers), many of whom are prominent in the town’s early history. 

As in previous cases, the vandalism has occurred in the back portion of the cemetery where it is difficult to see from the road.

Some half dozen of the older tombstones have been destroyed in various ways: one has been uprooted and laid on its side; one pedestal stone has been pushed off its base and others have been shattered with sharp objects such as rocks.

The vandalism is not as widespread as occurred a couple of years ago when numerous tombstones were damaged. At that time, the city of Paris and Henry Co. Monument Co. worked together to repair the damage.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said officers do regularly patrol local cemeteries and will step up patrols at the City Cemetery. “But we can’t be everyone at once, so if people see or hear anything suspicious going on at a local cemetery, they need to pay attention and call us.”

The city of Paris does have cameras in local parks, including Eiffel Tower Park, McNeill Park and Ogburn Park, but doesn’t have the funds to place cameras in all the cemeteries, too.

Phone number for the Paris Police is 642-2424.

Tombstone uprooted from the ground. (McFarlin photo).

Providing History Of Downtown Paris

Paris, Tenn.-Ray Harding of Paris gives a tour of historic downtown Paris Wednesday morning as part of Downtown Paris Week this week, providing some history of the Henry County Courthouse. Downtown Paris Association (DPA) Executive Director Kathy Ray is in foreground. Downtown Paris activities continue Thursday night with Songwriters’ Night on the court square from 6-7:30 p.m. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Three UTM Students To Compete For Miss Tennessee

From left: Courtney Caton, of Huntingdon; Hannah Robison, of Paris; and Shelby Dotson, of Rutherford. (UTM photo)

Martin, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin will have not one, but three students competing in the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant June 17-20 at the Jackson Civic Center in Jackson. Two are from our local area: Hannah Robison of Paris; and Courtney Caton of Huntingdon.

Shelby Dotson is representing the university as Miss UT Martin. Dotson is a junior from Rutherford majoring in elementary education, grades K-6. She is active on the UT Martin campus as a pep leader and as a member and Panhellenic Conference delegate for Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. Dotson supports Relay for Life and hopes to use her position to “help create a world with more birthdays.”

Hannah Robison, a senior chemistry major from Paris, is serving as Miss Scenic City. She is active on campus as a general chemistry recitation leader for the UT Martin Department of Chemistry and Physics and is an alumna of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. Robison’s personal platform is Campaign Against Pain: Arthritis Awareness, and she is also an advocate for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. She previously worked for the UT Martin branch of the West Tennessee STEM Hub and has created her own STEM Day at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the state, where she conducts science experiments with hospital patients. Robison previously competed for the Miss Tennessee 2013 title, where she won the swimsuit preliminary award and placed as second runner-up overall. 

Courtney Caton will compete in the pageant as Miss Mid-South. She is a junior marketing and business management double major from Huntingdon. She is using her position as Miss Mid-South to promote the March of Dimes Foundation, which seeks to promote stronger, healthier babies and pregnancies. Caton created a service initiative called “Miracles in Small Packages” to deliver care packages to babies and families receiving neonatal intensive care in West Tennessee hospitals.

The final night of competition will be televised live on EPlusTV6 in Jackson and available online via live stream at 
For more information on the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant, visit 

Henry County Farmers Market Opens Friday

Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Farmers Market will open at 3 p.m. Friday June 12th at the UT Extension Office at 1120 Tyson Ave.

Produce that will be available Friday are: cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, onions,
green tomatoes and cabbage

After Friday, the Farmers Market will return to its normal location at the Henry County Fairgrounds. The market hours this year will be: open Tuesdays and Fridays at 3 p.m. until sold out.

Trinity UMC Benefit Set For Monday

Paris, Tenn.-A benefit for Trinity United Methodist Church in Paris, which was destroyed by fire April 23, will be held at Tom’s Steak House from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, June 15.

Tom’s normally is not open on Mondays and will be open just for this event. Tom’s is located at 2501 E. Wood St. in Paris.

Annual Pickin’ Party Is This Weekend

Dover, Tenn.-The 17th Annual Pickin’ Party will be held at the 1850s Homeplace in the Land Between The Lakes near Dover this weekend, June 13-14.
For two days, experience the best of old-time music through workshops, jamming sessions and energized performances of folk, string band, old-time fiddle, banjo, and bluegrass music. Bring your banjo, guitar, fiddle, or harmonica and join in on the fun during open mic sessions. There will be childrens’ activities, too.

Festival and farm admission is $7 ages 13 and up, $5 ages 5-12, and free for ages 4 and under.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call 1-800-LBL-7077 for more information.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015 

Getting Up Close To Trucks and Local Heroes

Paris Firefighter John Roaten shows the inside of a fire truck to Bradley Parrish. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A large crowd of kids and their parents took part in the “Touch A Truck-Meet A Hero” event this morning as part of the Summer Reading Program at the W.G. Rhea Public Library.

Children had the opportunity to meet Paris Police Officers, Paris Firemen, members of the Paris Public Works, Henry County Emergency Medical Services and the local National Guard--as well as check out all their vehicles, big trucks and even bulldozers.

While there, children were able to sit in all the vehicles and try out the various horns and sirens--and even the public address system in the police car, much to their delight.

The summer reading program features free events each Wednesday. Next up on Wednesday, June 17, a magician will perform for the kids. There also are Popcorn and Movie events on Friday morning and evenings for all ages of children and teens. Schedules are available at the library.

A long line waits to sit in the inside of the police car, with Patrolmen Eric Long and Kyle Belyew. (McFarlin photo).

Critical Care Paramedic Jim Parris and Advanced EMT Anna Glick show the workings of an ambulance. (McFarlin photo).

Chillin’ Out With The Chill Tonics

Bo and Cash Caldwell harmonizing. (McFarlin photo).

Paris, Tenn.-A good-sized crowd was on hand Tuesday evening on the Henry County Courtsquare to hear the Chill Tonics perform a variety of bluegrass, country and down-home music, including “Rocky Top” as part of Downtown Paris Week. Playing with the Chill Tonics were Sam Knott, Bob Darby, Mark Johnson, Bo and Cash Caldwell. Downtown Paris Week continues today with historic downtown tours that begin at 11 a.m. The Songwriters’ Evening begins at 6 p.m. Thursday night on the square. (Shannon McFarlin photos).

The Chill Tonics: Sam Knott, Bob Darby, Mark Johnson, Bo and Cash Caldwell. (McFarlin photo).


UC Man Charged With Animal Cruelty

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man was arrested for cruelty to animals after the city’s Animal Control Officer Amanda Hayslett found a mother dog and her six puppies on his property sick and emaciated.

Arrested was Johathan Watford, age 34 of 2910 Greenleaf, and charged with animal cruelty and no vaccinations for his animals.

Hayslett was on another call when she noticed the dogs in Watford’s yard. The mother dog was very skinny, with ribs, hip bones and back showing. One of the puppies was barely moving. She offered the mother dog food and she ate it immediately as did the puppies.

Hayslett seized the dogs and took them to the Reelfoot Animal Shelter immediately. The sickest puppy was barely alive, with a temperature of 96.4 (normal is 101.5). The puppy had a seizure and the veterinarian euthanized it to put it out of its suffering.

All the dogs were severely emaciated had hook worms and the mother dog also had heartworms.


DPA Brochure To Be Distributed Statewide

Paris, Tenn.-The State of Tennessee Tourism Department has notified the Downtown Paris Association that the DPA brochure has been approved for 21 Welcome Centers and Visitor Centers across the state.

The DPA publishes a Downtown Paris Association brochure funded by membership dues received each year. The brochure theme is Shop Eat Live Downtown Paris and includes Sites to visit in and around Paris. It also provides important contact information about the Downtown Paris Association to include physical address, mailing address, email address, website, Facebook, and telephone number.

“It is a first class brochure and it is produced locally. The DPA has distributed over 9,000 brochures since January of this year. With this new area of distribution, we will order another 26,000 to be distributed before the end of the year. The brochure is available for viewing on our website at The brochures are available in hotels, banks, doctor’s offices, and many local businesses. The DPA is very proud to bring this brochure to our community each year.” Ray said.

If you need brochures at your location you may contact Kathy Ray, Executive Director, at 731-653-PARIS (7274) and pick them up at the DPA Office at 203 N. Fentress Street.



HC Schools Summer Food Program Schedule

The Henry County School System’s summer food service program is underway on the following schedule:

Food will be available at no charge to children 18 years of age or younger at each of these sites during the hours listed. Food must be eaten at the site.

The following meals will be served Mondays-Fridays through July 31 with the exception of July 3:

• 8-10 a.m. — The only site serving breakfast will be Henry County High School, 315 S. Wilson St. in Paris.
• 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — HCHS and Harrison Meadows Brookfield Apartments, 430 Harrison Lane.
• 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — Church of the Living God, 719 Gwen St.
Lunch will also be served at Crestview Manor Apartments, 700 Mandalay Road.
• 12-1 p.m. — Central Community Service Center, 55 Jones Bend Road Extended in Paris.
• 12:15-1:15 p.m. — Cottage Grove Baptist Church, 395 Cedar St., Cottage Grove.
• 12:30-1:30 p.m. — Puryear Methodist Church, 114 W. Chestnut St., Puryear.


TWRA Joins Fight To Save Monarch Butterflies

Beautiful local Monarch butterfly. (Photo by Richard Graves).

Nashville, Tenn.-Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is among several organizations launching a campaign to help save the monarch butterflies by providing seed packets for native wildflower gardens.

The monarch numbers have declined by more than 90 percent over the last 20 years, and these seeds will grow a mix of native, nectar-producing flowering plants and milkweeds that are necessary to support healthy monarch populations.

Interested individuals, school groups, homeowners' associations and other organizations can contact Pandy English in the TWRA Environmental Services Division at (615) 781-6643 to participate.

For more information, go to


Cottage Grove Council Hears Concerns

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Tuesday night, Cottage Grove’s Legislative Council approved the 2016 budget on second reading for both the general fund and state street aid fund.

Dorothy Miller addressed the council with questions about overgrown sidewalks and trees, the absence of the tornado siren sounding on the morning of the council meeting, the free 911 signs for the city residents, the sheriff’s department setting up a radar for speeding vehicles, more information on the city’s events being publicized, and drainage on her property. Several issues were addressed by the council.

The council determined that the Main Street sidewalk repair had been completed.

There was a building renovation update for city hall and the council voted to complete the insulation and ceiling tile process.

The recycle bags are still available through Matthew McClure and will be available at the city hall office at the school by appointment by calling 247-3987.

The Cottage Grove T shirts are available at the Boyd’s store in Cottage Grove. There are several colors and styles. There was no kiosk update.

David Jackson made a motion to send a letter to a resident to inform them of their responsibility to securely cap or fill in the open hole from the cistern on their property and to trim trees and bushes.


TDOT and THP Prepare for 2015 Bonnaroo Festival

Manchester, Tenn. – Since 2002, the small Middle Tennessee city of Manchester in Coffee County has hosted one of the most popular live music events in the country - the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

Held on a 700-acre farm, the festival is a four-day, multi-stage event that showcases a diverse assortment of musical styles and performers. Thousands of people from all over the country make the yearly trip to attend the festival, and Manchester becomes their temporary home for several days in June. As in years past, over 80,000 music lovers are expected to attend this year’s festival, which kicks off Thursday night, June 11, and winds down Sunday night, June 14.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation and Tennessee Highway Patrol are gearing up for the extra traffic expected in the area. TDOT and the THP are working closely with the Manchester Police Department, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department and festival promoters to keep traffic moving on I-24 while also getting Bonnaroo attendees to their destination.

This year, Bonnaroo will officially open all its gates on Wednesday evening June 10 at 8 p.m. CDT to allow more time for vehicles to enter the campgrounds. State Troopers will be on-the-job 24 hours a day, beginning Wednesday night, patrolling on the ground and by air.

TDOT HELP units will assist with traffic management during the festival and will aid any motorists who require assistance. In addition to having HELP trucks on-site, TDOT and other agencies will be taking the following steps beginning June 10 through June 15:
Efforts will be concentrated on keeping I-24 traffic flowing.

Exit 111 (SR 55) will be used as the main festival exit. Exits 97, 105, 112 (temporary exit on westbound side only), 117 and 127 are alternate exits if congestion occurs on the interstate. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Second Suspect In Perkins Drugs Burglary Is Arrested

One of three surveillance photos of the pair released last week by Paris Police. 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police have arrested the second suspect in the Perkins Drug Store burglary that occurred in the early morning hours of June 4.

Arrested today at 1:53 p.m. was Brandon Blankenship, age 22 of 706 Mandalay Rd., Paris. He was charged with burglary and his bond is set at $12,500, and his first court date is June 11 in General Sessions Court.

Blankenship was arrested by Paris Officers Corporal Jeramye Whitaker and Ptl. Tyrail Jackson.

Arrested earlier for the burglary was Coty Neil Hollingsworth, age 20, of Spirit Lane. His bond was set at $3,500.

The arrests of the pair were the result of an investigation by Investigator Greg Underwood and tips from the community.

Paris Police released photos of the pair kicking in the front window and entering the drug store on the afternoon after the burglary. WENK/WTPR posted the photos on our website and Facebook pages.

Bass Mortality Rate At Triton Tourney Raised Concerns

Dead bass dotted the shoreline at the state park after the Triton tournament. (Andy Salmon photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-There has been a lot of buzz lately on fishing websites and social media about dozens of dead bass that washed ashore or were dumped at Kentucky Lake during the Triton Owners Tournament at Paris Landing State Park two weeks ago.

Photos showing dozens of bass carcasses on the shorelines near the state park began appearing on Facebook and other social media sites after the tournament was over and commentators on fishing websites and blogs began expressing concern over fish care during the tournament.

An official with the American Bass Anglers (ABA), which monitored the tournament, told the Bassfan website that proper protocols were followed during the tournament. He did acknowledge the potential for delayed mortality in an event the size of the Triton tournament, with some 400 boats participating. 

According to the ABA website, 1,924 bass were weighed in, with 1,881 released alive.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Association (TWRA) Fisheries Biologist Tim Broadbent told WENK/WTPR that it appeared a “perfect storm of circumstances” took place at the same time to create the bass mortality rate during that tournament.

“On the Saturday of that tournament, the weather was very rough and the release boats were not able to get out as far as they were supposed to,” Broadbent said. “When you have that many boats, every tournament is going to have a certain percentage of mortality and it’s unfortunate that the Triton tournament had more than usual.” 

BassFan quoted an ABA official who said that TWRA officers were present and assisted with fish care during the tournament, but Broadbent said that was incorrect. “TWRA had no official presence at the tournament. The ABA was responsible for fish care.”

Broadbent said at the time of the Triton tournament fish were spawning “so they were stressed anyway and then you had the change in weather and the rough waters so it was a perfect storm of circumstances.”

No similar incidents were reported during this past week’s Bassmasters BASSfest, Broadbent said. “The Bassmasters have been doing a super job. Actually, the fish that were caught were being taken to the Henry County Jail for use there.”

Reminder: Special Downtown Events This Week

Paris, Tenn.-As we reported earlier this is Downtown Paris Week and several special events will be taking place, including tonight’s performance by the Chill Tonics from 5:30-7 p.m. on the court square. Perry’s will be serving up BBQ.

On Wednesday, downtown Paris tours will begin at 11 a.m. and noon, starting in front of Jack Jones Flowers. Thursday, Songwriters on the Square will be held from 6-7:30 p.m on the court square. On Saturday, carriage rides and kids’ karaoke is on the square from 1-3 p.m.

The full schedule was published on our website and Facebook pages on Friday.

Grove School Homecoming Set For This Weekend 

Paris, Tenn.-The Grove High School Homecoming 2015 will be held Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13 and is open to all graduates of the former Grove High School.

June 12 is an open day for old friends to get together at their leisure.

On June 13, there will be a breakfast gathering at Ann and Dave’s Kitchen in the Lakeway Shopping Center on Highway 79N beginning around 9 a.m. 

Grove graduates then will meet at Weston Hall on Grove Hill from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for an open house. Event Organizer Don Laster of the Class of ‘52 said at 11:48 a.m. there will be a live reenactment of the infamous Civics Class ‘whooping’ that was administered on an entire classroom of students.

A dinner will be held at Tom’s Steak House on Hwy. 79N beginning at 6 p.m.

Union City Stand-Off Ends Peacefully 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-A stand-off with a suspect with a gun threatening to harm his family was resolved peacefully Monday afternoon by Union City Police and the suspect is in the Obion County Jail.

Arrested on a charge of aggravated domestic assault was Leo Goodwin, age 76, of 1209 Fairway Ave., Union City.

Police were called to the home around 1 p.m. on the report that Goodwin was threatening his family with a gun. Officers secured the area and after some 10-15 minutes, his wife and son were able to exit the house and were taken to a safe area.

According to the police report, Goodwin remained in the home for some 10-15 minutes alone, finally emerging into the front yard without his firearm. Officers found the gun inside the home and it was a .22 caliber Remington.

The wife told police that Goodwin was upset with music that their son was playing. The son told police that his mother yelled at him that his Dad had a gun and he could see his Dad with the gun behind her.

Police officers explained to the victims what domestic violence options they have and the wife said she will pursue an order of protection.

All Union City police officers are equipped with body cameras, which were activated, including when Goodwin was being questioned.

Britton Ford Hike Is Saturday

A view from the Britton Ford hiking trail. (Photo by Shannon McFarlin).

Springville, Tenn.-A nature hike in the Britton Ford Trail area of the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge in Springville will be held Saturday, June 13.

The Ranger guided nature hike along 2 mile Britton Ford Hiking Trail will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday. For those wanting to join in, good walking shoes and a little insect repellent would be advised. Bring your own binoculars to look at birds or borrow a pair from the refuge. 

Total hiking time should be about 1 1/2 hours. No need to RSVP, but for more information please contact the refuge office at 731-642-2091.

HCMC Names Dr. Yemane As Hospitalist Director

Paris, Tenn. – Dr. Mengistu Yemane has been hired as the Medical Director for the Hospitalist program at Henry County Medical Center.

Dr. Yemane is a specialist in internal medicine.

Originally from Ethiopia, Dr. Yemane came to the United States in 1992 and began practice in internal medicine in Maryland and then Somerset, KY.  He joined the hospitalist program at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, then moved to Machester, KY where he was the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Hospitalist Program at Manchester Memorial Hospital.  He is married to Azeb and has two grown children, Ruth and Leeya.  

“I wanted to work for a hospital that serves the community, a non-profit facility dedicated to patient care,” he said.   

A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in caring for patients in the hospital.  

MSU Approves Dr. Tim Todd As Interim Provost

Murray, Ky. — The Murray State University board of regents approved the selection of Dr. Tim Todd as the interim provost/vice president for academic affairs on campus, effective July 1, at its meeting on Friday, June 5. Todd is replacing Dr. Jay Morgan, a Paris native, who is leaving the position to take an appointment with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Todd joined Murray State as a faculty member in organizational communication in 1995. Three years later, he was named the assistant provost, and then in 2002 was elevated to associate provost. Since 2006 he has served as the dean of the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business at MSU.

HC Health Care Honored With Bronze Award

Paris, Tenn. – Henry County Healthcare Center & Plumley Rehab has been recognized as a 2015 recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care. The award is the first of three distinctions possible through the National Quality Award Program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living 

The program honors centers across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality care for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by AHCA/NCAL with a National Quality Award,” according to Sandra Ray, Administrator at HCHC.  “Improving the lives of the residents and families we care for every day is what brings us joy.  This award symbolizes the dedication and commitment we have to the quality journey.” 

The program has three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Centers begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision and mission statements and an assessment of customers’ expectations. Bronze applicants must also demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained Examiners review each Bronze application to determine if the center has met the demands of the criteria. As a recipient of the Bronze - Commitment to Quality Award, HCHC may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the criteria required for the Silver - Achievement in Quality Award.

Monday, June 8, 2015 

Library Amphitheater Dedicated

Union City, Tenn.-At a ceremony Monday morning, the new outdoor amphitheater was dedicated at the Obion County Public Library. Speakers included USDA Rural Development Director Bobby Goode, State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherill and Library Director Michele Barnes. (Amy Keathley photo).

Prohm To Leave Murray State For Iowa

Murray, Ky.-Bad news for fans of Murray State basketball. Murray State’s Coach Steve Prohm will be leaving soon.

The Iowa State Cyclones have hired Prohm to replace Fred Hoiberg, according to both ESPN and CBS Sports.

Prohm, 40, was 104-29 in four seasons since taking over at Murray State. He led the Racers to the NCAA tournament in his first season and was undefeated in Ohio Valley Conference play this past season before losing in the conference tournament.

Prohm was passed over by Alabama in April in favor of former NBA head coach Avery Johnson,but he wound up being the selection to replace Hoiberg, who left for theChicago Bulls.

Iowa State, the two-time defending Big 12 tournament champion, is projected to be a top-10 team and a challenger to Kansas next season in the conference.  
Prohm coached current NBA player Isaiah Canaan, who helped lead the Racers to a 32-1 record in 2011-12.

Casting For A Cure Raises $3,500 This Year

Evan Blakeman of McKenzie with his catch. (Steve McCadams photo).

McKenzie, Tenn.-A huge crowd was on hand for the annual Casting for a Cure fishing tournament hosted by Steve McCadams. For the second year in a row, the tournament was held at the McKenzie Park following the destruction of Carroll Lake by flooding.

This year, $3,500 was raised for the American Cancer Society and plenty of kids came away with good fish--from bluegill to tilapia to catfish--as well as trophies.

Special engraved plaques and bicycles are awarded to the youngster catching the most and biggest fish in four separate age brackets. In the 5 and under bracket it was Delta Baker of McKenzie who landed a 2.82 pound catfish to earn big fish honors while Nichali Powell and Kade Clanton, both of McKenzie, tied for most fish.

In the 6-8 year old age bracket it was Sky Ann Shaddon of Paris winning big fish for a 2.88 pounder and Cordell Orgain of McKenzie with the most fish. Joey Clark visiting from Illinois landed a 4.18 dandy for big fish in the 9-12 age bracket and Cole Ballard of Jackson had the most fish.

Taking big fish of the rodeo and winning the 13-15 age bracket was Colton Higdon of Greenfield with a lunker channel catfish weighing 4.50 pounds. Most fish in the older division went to McKenzie’s Tristian Hood.

McCadams also gives special recognition each year to the youngster traveling the longest distance to participate in the rodeo and kids from Illinois and Georgia almost won. However, this year’s winner was a young angler traveling all the way from North Dakota!

Each year the event benefits The American Cancer Society and Carroll County North Relay for Life. McCadams thanked local merchants and volunteers manning the concession stand cold drinks, chips, hotdogs and hamburgers were close at hand to go with the fishing.

“I look forward to this each year and reminisce with old friends while making a few new ones,” according to McCadams, a native of McKenzie who participated in rodeos back in the early 1960’s at Carroll Lake when the Jaycees held them.

“I’m already planning next year’s rodeo as I leave the event thinking about how we can have a bigger and better one next time around,” McCadams said. “We plan for the first Saturday in June as it coincides with National Fishing Week and Free Fishing Day in Tennessee. Mark your calendars for June 4, 2016!”

Henry County Relay Set For Friday

Paris, Tenn.-Relay for Life is quickly approaching. The 2015 event is set for Friday, June 12th at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Opening Ceremonies will begin at 6:30 with the Survivor Lap. Several artists/groups are scheduled to perform during the event including Progressive Baptist Church Voices of Praise Choir, Little Elvis and local favorite Vince Dodd. 

Relay Publicity Chair Dana Allen said, “Relay for Life is a community event and we are blessed to live in one of the most generous communities in West Tennessee. We hope to see everyone at the Fairgrounds on June 12th because every dollar donated truly makes a difference to those impacted by cancer as well as those yet to be diagnosed.”

Funds raised here in Henry County fund patient support programs including free lodging at Hope Lodge facilities in Nashville and Memphis, she said. In addition groundbreaking research supported by our funds raised is being performed each day in Tennessee at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Vanderbilt University in Nashville. 

“Our hope is that one day no one has to hear those words, “you have cancer”, Allen said.

The Relay for Life Committee and Teams are selling Luminarias in honor or in memory of someone touched by cancer. Each name will be read during the Relay for Life event and each will be honored with a candlelit bag which will light the track as dusk falls. Luminarias are available for a minimum $5 donation. For more information contact any Relay Committee or Team member. Luminaria forms and bags may be purchased or picked up at Beasley’s Satellite on the Lake Highway in Paris.

For more information, please contact Molly Jackson, Relay for Life Chair, at 731-336-9134. 

Union City Church Vandalized

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City church was vandalized over the weekend when numerous vehicles of various types tore up the back yard of the church.

Union City Police were called to Friendship Freewill Baptist Church at 1304 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. on a report of vandalism.

Rev. Eugene Coleman reported the damage to the police and according to the police report, it was apparent that multiple cars, trucks and possibly ATVs had “knowingly damaged the property” by doing doughnuts, causing ruts through the back yard.

Rev. Coleman requested extra patrols during evening hours.

Rhea Summer Reading Kicks Off This Week

Paris, Tenn.-The W.G. Rhea Public Library Summer Reading Program kicks off this week. The program is designed for children through the age of 18.

In addition to reading books all summer, each week will involve a Wednesday event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each Friday night there will be two showings of movies for smaller children from 10-11:30 a.m. and for teens from 7-9:30 p.m. 

This Wednesday will spotlight trucks and local heroes who drive them.

Other Wednesday programs are Wednesday, June 17, Magician Larry Mink; Wednesday, June 24, Super Hero Training Camp with outdoor games; Wednesday, July 1, Mr. Bond the Science Guy and Wednesday July 8, Closing show with animal aviators and pizza.

Man Injures Self With Machete During Attack

Union City, Tenn.-A man injured himself with a machete while he was trying to attack his wife, according to Union City Police.

Police were called to 831 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive around 4 a.m. Saturday on a report of a machete attack.

The victim said her husband grabbed a machete out of the closet and threatened her. She ran out onto the porch and called police.

When officers arrived, they found blood all over the floor where her husband had accidentally injured himself with the machete. He was treated by ambulance personnel and taken to jail.

Arrested was Bruce Alexander Hughes, age 43.

Super-Duper Summer Program For Special Needs

Paris, Tenn.-Super-Duper Summer is a program through the Krider Performing Arts Center (KPAC) and the Paris Parks and Recreation Department for school-aged children and youth with special needs.  

Ten sessions will combine arts enrichment activities and active play for a wide variety of rich experiences during the summer.  Local musicians, artists, dancers, and sports leaders are planning activities in conjunction with KPAC staff to engage the creative spirit and exercise fine and gross motor skills.  

Sessions are from 9 to 11:30 a.m.  Lunch is provided for class participants at 11 a.m..  The cost is $40 per child.  Families with financial need may apply for assistance, however.  Session dates are as follows:

   Monday, June 22            Wednesday, June 24
   Monday, June 29            Thursday, July 2
   Monday, July 6               Thursday, July 9
   Monday, July 13              Thursday, July 16
   Monday, July 20              Thursday, July 23

For more information contact Rhonda Stanton, KPAC Manager, at 731-644-2517 ext 3702 or at

Ricky Price To Be Honored

Paris, Tenn.-The dedication of the Paris Pepsi MidAmerica headquarters will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 9. Pepsi MidAmerica will be honoring Ricky Price for his 40 plus years of service. BBQ, cake and Pepsi will be served.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Evers Takes Home BASSfest Trophy

Buchanan, Tenn.-Edwin Evers of Oklahoma took the lead he had Saturday evening right to the winners’ trophy, winning the Zippo Bassmasters BASSfest tournament. The final weigh-in was Sunday afternoon at Paris Landing State Park.

Evers won with a catch of 97 pounds 4 ounces.

Coming in second was Kevin Van Dam with 94 pounds 4 ounces; third, Brett Hite with 91 pounds 9 ounces; fourth Timmy Horton with 88 pounds 8 ounces and Fred Roumbanis with 87 pounds 9 ounces.

The presentation of the winners’ trophy capped off a successful tournament that began Tuesday on Kentucky Lake at Paris Landing and brought hundreds of visitors from all over the country to the local area, not only for the tournament itself but for the activities surrounding it, including a carnival, petting zoo, arts and crafts festival, visits with the pros and more events.

For more information and the entire leader board, see

Amphitheater, Summer Reading Program Open Monday

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Public Library will hold the grand opening for its amphitheater at 9 a.m. Monday, June 8, followed by the kick-off for its Summer Reading program.

The kick-off will include the Union City Balloon Guy, games and more. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.

Carolina Conner of the library said, "If you registered online you can pick up your packet and if you haven't registered yet you can do that too."

BASSfest Concludes Sunday Afternoon

Buchanan, Tenn.-The camel in the petting zoo has been making friends since he arrived at Bassmaster BASSfest tournament ongoing at Paris Landing State Park. Other free attractions include a carnival, arts and crafts fair, displays, games and giveaways and it all continues today until 5 p.m. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Two From Fulton, Mayfield Officer Injured In Crash

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Mayfield, Ky.-A 19-year-old mother and baby from Fulton and an officer with the Mayfield Police Department were treated and released following a three-vehicle collision Saturday night in Mayfield.

The Graves County Sheriff’s Office was called to investigate the collision since it involved a Mayfield city officer. 

The incident began when Amber Buzzell, age 35 of Wingo, was proceeding through an intersection at the same time that Mayfield Police Officer Phillip Burnett came through responding to an emergency call on Cuba Rd. He had his vehicle’s lights and sirens activated. The force of the impact of the two vehicles caused both to slide into another vehicle which was sitting stationary, also waiting to come through the intersection.

The operator of the third vehicle, Anna Girard, 62 of Mayfield, was not injured. A juvenile passenger in her vehicle was not injured either. 

Buzzell and her front seat passenger, Tony Buzzell, 38 of Wingo, were not injured. Tony Buzzell did have to be extricated from the vehicle by the Mayfield Fire Department. 

Two back seat passengers in the Buzzell vehicle, Catlin Grogan, 19 of Fulton, and her five month old son were transported to Jackson Purchase Medical Center by Mayfield/Graves County EMS. They were both treated and released. Officer Burnett was also transported to Jackson Purchase Medical Center by Mayfield/Graves County EMS where he was treated and released. 

All involved parties were wearing seat belts and the five month old child was restrained in a child safety seat. The minor injuries of those involved were a result of their seat belt usage combined with front and side impact airbags in the vehicles.

The investigation into the collision is continuing by Captain Jeremy Prince. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Mayfield Police Department, the Mayfield Fire Department and Mayfield/Graves County EMS.

USDA Helps Rural Residents Purchase Homes 

Nashville, Tenn.- — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off National Homeownership Month by highlighting USDA’s ongoing role to help residents of America’s small towns and cities purchase homes in rural areas.

“Owning a home is one of the best ways American families enter the middle class,” Vilsack said. “USDA has helped provide homeownership for rural Americans for more than six decades. This year, we are marking the 50th anniversary of USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing program and are celebrating the 50,000th home built through it.”

The Mutual Self-Help program provides grants to help organizations carry out housing construction projects in rural areas. These organizations supervise groups of very-low- and low-income individuals and families as they construct their own homes. The group members provide most of the construction labor on each other’s homes and get technical assistance from the organization overseeing the project. By working with trusted local organizations, this program helps people get affordable, clean and safe homes of their own.

Since 2009, USDA invested more than $117 billion to support rural homeownership. In 2014 alone, USDA invested more than $19.9 billion to help nearly 140,000 rural families buy and maintain homes.

Listed below are Rural Development programs that support rural homeownership:

· Direct home loans for low- and very-low-income applicants. Payment assistance is provided that can lower the loan interest rate to as low as one percent.

· Loan guarantees for moderate-income families. The agency works with private-sector lenders to back the lenders’ loans.

· Home repair loans and grants to help rural homeowners make improvements or repairs. Examples include making homes accessible for people with disabilities or removing health and safety hazards such as poor wiring or plumbing.

USDA Rural Development is moving investments to rural America with housing, business and infrastructure loans and grants to create jobs and strengthen rural economies with an emphasis to assist areas of persistent poverty. Since 2009, the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 230 communities in all 95 counties of Tennessee, investing more than $5.4 Billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Tennessee visit us online at


KPAC Young Artists Chorus Set To Begin

Paris, Tenn. -Krider Performing Arts Center (KPAC) Young Artists Chorus features ten sessions over five weeks designed to develop singing skills and to provide positive summer fun. 

Directed by Allin Montford, who holds his degree in music education from Bethel University, each 1.5 hour session will explore vocal techniques across a varied repertoire.  Some selections will include a bit of light choreography.   Tuesday and Friday rehearsal sessions are 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. beginning June 16 and end in a final concert, Saturday, July 18 at 3:00 p.m.  The participation fee is $45 and includes and includes the performance T-shirt.

Registration forms are available at Paris Civic Center or online at

Deliver forms to Paris Civic Center or mail to:  

Krider Performing Arts Center, 650 Volunteer Drive, Paris, TN  38242. 


Rehearsal Sessions

Tuesday, June 16                           

Friday, June 19

Tuesday, June 23                           

Friday, June 26

Tuesday, June 30                          

 Friday, July 3

Tuesday, July 7                               Friday, July 9

Tuesday, July 14                             Friday, July 17


PerformanceSaturday, July 18 at 3  p.m.

For questions contact Rhonda Stanton, KPAC Manager, at 731-644-2517 ext 3402 or

Saturday, June 6, 2015  

Evers In Lead Going Into Last Day Of BASSfest

Buchanan, Tenn.-Edwin Evers of Talala, Oklahoma, maintains his lead on Kentucky Lake at the Zippo Bassmasters BASSfest ongoing at Paris Landing State Park. He's got 72 pounds, 4 ounces. Behind him are Derek Remitz Fishing, 69-11; Pro Angler Brandon Lester, 69-8; Fred Roumbanis, 69-2; and Brett Hite Fishing, 68-11. The tournament concludes Sunday afternoon.

Sunday Schedule For BASSfest:
Sunday, June 7th
6:15AM – Take Off @ Paris Landing State Park Marina
8AM-5PM - Arts & Crafts Show
12PM-5PM - Kids’ Carnival
12PM-5PM - Static Displays
o TN. National Guard
o State Parks – Bald Eagle
o Air Evac
o U.S. Fish and Wildlife Center
o Land Between the Lakes
o Fort Donelson/Stewart County
3:15PM – Weigh In
*All Activities at Paris Landing State Park Day Use Picnic Area unless stated otherwise.

I-69 Project Stalled; Reelfoot Spillway May Never Open

Union City, Tenn.-At a legislative breakfast in Obion County Friday, State Representative Bill Sanderson (R-Kenton) said that the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has advised him the planned 1-69 section is currently sitting for bid-letting in August, pending federal dollars available. The section is to the south of the portion already construction (the area from the old lake road to the former Hampton Inn in... Union City area).

He said presently the federal government only authorizes spending through July and that TDOT has said it is ready to move the project forward when the funds are available, but that depends on what Congress does between now and the end of July.

On another topic, both Sanderson and State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) said the Reelfoot Spillway that has been constructed for several years now but which has never been operational is still awaiting an operational manual.

Both said the TWRA does not want to operate it and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is afraid of a lawsuit from property owners whose land might be flooded by its drainage channel.

Both agreed that the spillway may never open. They called the spillway project “government at its worst”.

WENK/WTPR several months ago published an article about the delays and governmental finger-pointing that have marked the Reelfoot Spillway project.

Plenty To Do At BASSFest This Weekend

Buchanan, Tenn.-There’s plenty of activity at Paris Landing State Park this weekend, with the Zippo Bassmasters BASSfest ongoing. In photo, Henry County Clerk Donna Craig and County Trustee Randi French are among many volunteers helping visitors navigate their way to the tournament site and weigh-ins, along with the carnival, petting zoo and arts and crafts festival. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Mason and Mylan Brazel get to know Molly McFarlin at the arts and crafts festival. Brazel’s mother Kait is one of the vendors at the festival. Their father is stationed at Fort Campbell. (McFarlin photo).

Some 74 kids enjoyed the Kids Fishing Rodeo along the shoreline Friday morning. (McFarlin photo).

USDA Seeks Applications For Housing Grants

Nashville, Tenn.— Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is seeking applications for grants to make housing repairs for low- and very-low-income rural residents. The grants are being provided through USDA Rural Development's Housing Preservation Grant program.

“These grants help rural homeowners and rental housing owners repair and improve their properties,” Vilsack said. “Funds may be used to resolve health or safety issues, make accessibility modifications for people with disabilities, or make energy-efficiency improvements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower utility costs.”

Eligible applicants for Housing Preservation Grants include town or county governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes, and non-profit and faith-based organizations. USDA does not provide funding directly to homeowners under this program. For additional eligibility information, see page 28943 of the May 20, 2015 Federal Register. “This program provides funding to local organizations that knows the needs of their community and wants to help,” said Tennessee State Director Bobby Goode. 

Last year, USDA provided Housing Preservation Grants for 107 projects in 46 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Three Tennessee organizations received more than $136,000 to help rural families repair and rehabilitate their homes. 

USDA is making up to $3.3 million in grants available in Fiscal Year 2015. Pre-applications are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on July 6, 2015.

USDA Rural Development is moving investments to rural America with housing, business and infrastructure loans and grants to create jobs and strengthen rural economies with an emphasis to assist areas of persistent poverty. Since 2009, the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 230 communities in all 95 counties of Tennessee, investing more than $5.4 Billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in visit us online at

TBI Arrests Attorney In Murder For Hire Plot

Jackson, Tenn. – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested a Collierville attorney accused of trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.

At the request of 25th District Attorney General Mike Dunavant, TBI Special Agents began investigating Fred Auston Wortman III on June 4th. Several days earlier, a concerned citizen contacted law enforcement and reported that Wortman contacted him to find someone to kill his estranged wife. Today, Wortman met with a TBI Agent, who posed as a potential hitman, and supplied him personal information about his wife and a down payment for the murder.

TBI Agents, with the assistance of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, arrested the 39-year-old Collierville man and charged him with one count of Solicitation of First Degree Murder. At the time of this release, Wortman was being held in the Fayette County Jail on $15,000,000 bond.

Friday, June 5, 2015 

One Of Perkins Burglary Suspects Arrested

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police have arrested one of the suspects in the burglary at Perkins Drug Store early Thursday morning.

Paris Police arrested Coty Neil Hollingsworth, age 20, of Spirit Lane in Paris. 

Hollingsworth’s bond is set at $3,500 and his court date is June 9. Hollingsworth’s arrest came one day after Paris Police released surveillance photos showing two suspects kicking in the front window of the store and entering it.

According to Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, Hollingsworth’s arrest is the result of an investigation by the Police Department that included tips from the community.

Hollingsworth was taken into custody at 510 North Brewer St. in Paris at approximately 12:15 p.m. today by Investigator Greg Underwood, Officers Amanda Forrest and Christopher Page.

One suspects remains at large and is being sought by officers. An arrest is expected, Elizondo said.

The surveillance photos were published on our website and Facebook pages Thursday.

Proud Of That Catfish

Paris, Tenn.--A huge crowd was on hand today for the Kids’ Fishing Rodeo and other activities at the Zippo Bassmasters BASSfest at Paris Landing State Park. Seventy-four children participated in the kids’ fishing rodeo and many fish were caught. In photo, TWRA Officer Clay Riley takes a photo of Zach Olson and his 15 inch catfish while TWRA Officers Nate Thompson and Joe Campbell look on. The carnival, arts and crafts festival, petting zoo and displays will be ongoing through Sunday at the park, near the pool and pavilion. The tournament itself is also ongoing through Sunday, near the marina. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

A Bird’s Eye View Of BASSfest

Buchanan, Tenn.-The crew at AirEvac air ambulance service took this aerial view of the scene at the Zippo Bassmasterss BASSfest that is ongoing at Paris Landing State Park through Sunday. Huge crowds have gathered at the park for all the activities including many free activities near the pool and pavilion through Sunday. Air Evac has a temporary location at the Henry County Airport and is a fixture at many local activities.

Former Coach “Buddy” Wiggleston Dies

McKenzie, Tenn.-Former Henry County High School and Bethel College Coach James “Buddy” Wiggleton, age 68, died Thursday at Jennie Stewart Medical Center in Hopkinsville, Ky.

Funeral Services will be Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Cedar Avenue Chapel of Brummitt-McKenzie Funeral Home, with J.C. Poppelwell officiating. Visitation will be Saturday, June 6 from 4 – 8 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. until service time.

He was born January 29, 1947 in McKenzie, to Joe and Nellie Merritt Wiggleton. He was a member of McKenzie First United Methodist Church and he had a long history as a coach and teacher. He coached the Bethel Lady Wildcats, taught at Henry County High School and coached Henry County Lady Patriots and also taught and coached at Henry Middle School. In addition to basketball he coached Henry County High School Golf.

Mr. Wiggleton is survived by his wife Lana Hopper Wiggleton, two sons Scotty (Jill) Wiggleton of Hopkinsville, KY and Jamie (Catherine) Wiggleton of Hendersonville, TN, three grandchildren, Jenna Suzanne Wiggleton, Emma Jo Wiggleton, and Joseph Samuel Wiggleton. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Peggy Jo Hervatine.

Brummitt – McKenzie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. For more information please call (731) 352-4848 or visit our website at

Big Sandy Working With USDA To Help Families


Debbie Wright, City Recorder for the Town of Big Sandy is on the left, Mrs. Beatrice Pickler is center, and Mary Hickman, USDA Rural Development Area Specialist is on the right. 

Big Sandy, Tenn— Big Sandy City Recorder Debbie Wright set out earlier this year with a goal to find a way to help very low income homeowners in Big Sandy and the Benton County area obtain affordable financing to complete necessary home repairs. 

Wright contacted Mary Hickman, Area Specialist for USDA Rural Development for help. “The Town of Big Sandy is proud of the relationship with USDA, and I have personally worked with Mary Hickman for almost 30 years. I hoped we could work together to accomplish this goal,” Wright said.

Working with USDA Rural Development, Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), and Northwest Tennessee Development District (NWTDD), families have received assistance with necessary repairs to their homes. These repairs have included things such as floor repair, and repairing or replacing central heating and air units, windows, and roofs.

Mrs. Beatrice Pickler is a homeowner who has benefited from this partnership. “I can finally live comfortably in my retirement,” she replied when asked what this assistance meant to her. “Mrs. Bea is a retired nurse and truck driver. She has worked very hard and deserves this opportunity,” Wright said. 

To celebrate USDA’s Homeownership Month an informative meeting, Let’s Build a Better Future Together, is scheduled for Monday, June 15, 2015, at 6 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center in Big Sandy. Anyone interested in learning more about the USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants program is encouraged to attend.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Northwest Tennessee contact the Union City Area Office at 731-885-6480 x 4, or online at 

Two $5,000 Richardson Scholarships Awarded 


Paris, Tenn.-The Richardson Family Henry County Educational Foundation Scholarship was founded in 1997 to honor Dr. John Richardson, a Henry County native, and this year’s two students received $5,000 Richardson Scholarships each. They were presented at the Paris Rotary Club meeting Thursday.

Alma Hernandez, daughter of Jesus and Veronica Hernandez, received one of the scholarships. This was the second time Hernandez has received the Richardson Scholarship. She is attending the University of Tennessee majoring in biochemistry.

Also receiving a $5,000 scholarship for the first time was Ryan Mahan, son of Jeff Mahan and Mel Mahan. Ryan is a graduating senior from HCHS 4.0 GPA. He will be attending The University of the South in Sewanee Tennessee this fall as a pre-med major.

Special guest of Mr. Richardson at the meeting was Steve West of Memphis. Mr. West is the former senior legal counsel for the Methodist Healthcare Systems.  

Dr. John was a lifelong educator and held a Doctorate in Education from New York University. The Paris Rotary Club administers the scholarship. Representing the Richardson Family was Dr. Robert “Bobby” Richardson, renowned pioneer heart surgeon and his Daughter in law, Dawn Richardson.


Downtown Paris Week: Something For Everyone

Ray Harding, middle, gives a downtown tour during last year's Downtown Paris Week. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Paris, TN – Downtown Paris Week, June 7-13 continues to grow with seven days of fun, food, music, history and of course, shopping. The festivities are sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association (DPA) and have become an annual event. 

“This is our Fourth Annual Downtown Paris Week and we feel it encompasses everything that is wonderful about our downtown,” according to DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray. 
A different event and theme is planned for each day from June 7-June 13, emphasizing different aspects of Paris life, such as music, dining, worship, and history.

Sunday, June 7 – Worship Downtown Day is an opportunity for our community to visit one of six, historic downtown churches for Sunday services. Whether it's First Baptist, First Christian, First Methodist, First Presbyterian, Grace Episcopal or Quinn Chapel AME, the churches of downtown are welcoming and inspiring. 

Monday, June 8 – Dine Downtown Day celebrates the eateries of downtown Paris. On a day when many local restaurants are closed, the downtown kitchens are hopping places. Enjoy a delicious snack, a full meal or dessert at A La Mode Sweet Shoppe; Jack's Java; Paulette’s; Perry's BBQ or Take Me Back Cafe. While there, register to win a prize from the Downtown Paris Association. Top off that meal with a little exercise and culture, the Downtown Art Walk. Throughout the week, a number of local artists will display their work in downtown shops. 

Tuesday, June 9 – Music on the Square brings bluegrass, country and gospel music to the east side of the court house lawn with the Chill Tonics. The music flows from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. And because great music calls for great food, Perry's will serve BBQ on site. BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair). 

Wednesday, June 10 – Heritage Day offers the answers to those burning Downtown questions, like “how many times did the court square really catch on fire?” Ray Harding leads FREE walking tours through downtown at 11 am and noon beginning outside Jack Jones Flowers. The Henry County Heritage Center opens at 10 am with an exciting exhibit, “Downtown Paris History”. Visitors will see vintage downtown photos and other historic documents.

Thursday, June 11 – Songwriters on the Square showcases local musicians going “round robin” with favorite tunes that they've penned themselves. The event runs from 6:00-7:30 pm on the east side of the court house. Come hungry; Perry's BBQ will be selling BBQ, sides and drinks. BYOC.

Friday, June 12 – Government Day and Downtown Extra Value Days is a “tip of the hat” to the government workers who serve our community. In addition, many stores will offer sales throughout the weekend, just in time for Father's Day. Register for in-store prizes at many shops.

Saturday, June 13 – Carriage Rides and Kids’ Karaoke on the Square is from 1 pm to 3 pm. Kids Karaoke will take place on the east side of the Court Square so come downtown and have a fun time singing Karaoke tunes. Downtown Paris Week caps off with FREE carriage rides. Commercial Bank, FirstBank and Security Bank invite you to enjoy a June afternoon from a different vantage point, in a horse drawn carriage. Rides depart from the corner of Washington and Poplar Streets between 1 pm and 3pm.

“This is our Fourth Annual Downtown Paris Week and we feel it encompasses everything that is wonderful about our downtown,” according to DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray. 

Gov. Beshear Celebrates Governor’s Cup Award in Fulton
Union City Area Cited For Economic Development
Fulton, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear hoisted Kentucky’s historic Governor’s Cup trophy Thursday in Fulton at the Pontotoc Community Center. 

Gov. Beshear joined community officials to celebrate Site Selection magazine naming Kentucky the top state for economic development projects per capita last year. The nationally acclaimed publication also ranked the Fulton/Union City, Tennessee area among the nation’s top micropolitan areas in business creation. 

“It’s an honor to receive the Governor’s Cup, but it’s the meaning behind the award that’s so significant,”  Gov. Beshear said. “Think about where we were seven years ago when Kentucky’s unemployment rate was 11 percent and business growth was at a near standstill. We’ve come so far. Our statewide unemployment rate is now 5 percent, and the Governor’s Cup is further proof of the fruits of our labor. This success would not have been possible without this community’s dedication to supporting businesses, creating jobs and making Kentucky a better place for all of us.”

The Fulton and the Union City region have played a significant role in growing Kentucky’s economy, he said. Since January 2008, the region announced 5 new and expansion projects, which are projected to create 383 jobs and $43.3 million in new investment.

Major projects include: 
· Kayser Automotive (2013): 121 jobs, $17.5 million investment
· Riverine Fisheries (2014): 110 jobs, $18.7 million investment
· MVP International (2013): 150 jobs, $5.3 million investment
The unemployment rate in Fulton County continues to decline. In April 2014 the county rate was 8 percent. The rate for April 2015 is 6.5 percent.

The Fulton County area is also seeing an increase in tourism. A report released recently showed that the economic impact of Kentucky’s tourism industry topped $13 billion in 2014, with growth in every tourism region of the state. Fulton County’s 2014 tourism economic impact was $7.6 million, a .3 percent increase from previous year. The county’s 2014 tourism employment was the equivalent of 71 jobs. 

For more on Kentucky’s Governor’s Cup and Fulton/Union City’s award, visit

National Trails Day Celebrated Saturday By TVA

Knoxville, Tenn. ̶ The Tennessee Valley Authority is a proud participant in National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, but the number of things to see and do on public lands and waters in the Tennessee Valley are far too many to limit to a single day.

With activities ranging from canoe trips to children’s fishing clinics to trail walks, TVA has an array of outdoors events planned across the Valley from Friday, June 5, through Saturday, June 27.

Each explores the natural wonders of specific locations as well as the broader vistas of more than 150 miles of trails maintained by TVA.

To find the time and location of the events nearest you, simply go to the special website at and click on any map icon. Activities for each event are described and contact information for TVA organizers are listed.
Those participating are urged to come prepared with water, snacks, insect repellent, sun protection, gloves, closed-toed shoes and long pants when appropriate. Safety always comes first, so life vests are required for any water-based activities and helmets are needed for biking events.

The variety of outdoor activities planned for National Trails Day ̶ hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing, wildlife education and resource management ̶ also offer great opportunities to participate in TVA’s summer-themed photo contest. 

Maps and information about every TVA trail can be found at
National Trails Day, a registered trademark of the American Hiking Society, is a nationally recognized trail awareness program that inspires the public to discover, learn about and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities, clinics and trail stewardship projects.

Tickets For Chamber Banquet On Sale

Paris, Tenn.-“Now Is the Time” will be the theme of the 65th annual membership banquet of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, scheduled for 6 pm on Thursday, June 18th at the Event Center at the Henry County Fairgrounds. 

The Chamber’s Business of the Year and Person of the Year awards will be presented, along with the installation of officers. Tony Lawrence, Paris Parks and Recreation, will receive his red jacket as he becomes the new Chamber president.

Chamber President Chip Anderson will deliver his remarks on the past year and said, “We welcome everyone to join us as we celebrate our service to the community and prepare for our new year.”
Tickets are $25 each. A table of six is $140. Call the Chamber office at 642.3431 to purchase tickets. 

 Listening Sessions Set For LBL

Kentucky Dam Village, Ky., and Dover, Tenn.– Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will hold a public listening session on Thursday, June 11, from 6 to 8:30 pm at Kentucky Dam Village Convention Center in Gilbertsville, KY. Members of the public will be able to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns at this public gathering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service leadership team that manages Land Between The Lakes.

There also will be another listening session from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 16 at the Stewart County Visitor Center in Dover.

“This is an ongoing process for us to listen and gain a better understanding of public concerns,” according to Jan Bush, Public Affairs Officer at Land Between The Lakes. 
“Everyone’s ideas, concerns, and opinions matter to us.” This meeting serves as part of Land Between The Lakes’ outreach to develop and strengthen relationships with members of the public willing to work together on future projects. For more information, contact Jan Bush at 270-924-2016.

Kentucky Dam Village Convention Center is just south of the main lodge on U.S. Hwy 641. For directions to the Convention Center, please call 270-362-4271, or toll free at 800-325-0146.

North Carroll Relay Is Saturday

McKenzie, Tenn.-The annual Carroll North Relay For Life will be held from 5-11 p.m. at McKenzie City Park.

A full schedule awaits participants, including the kickoff at 5:30 p.m. with dancing by Sandra and Kailey’s Dance Studio; Opening Ceremonies at 6 p.m. with Emcee Trent Johnson and singing of the National Anthem by Anna Eaton.

During the evening, music will be provided by The Anna and Jon Band, Witness and Band of Individuals, there will be a Womanless Beauty Revue, luminaria ceremony, speakers and awards.

Thursday, June 4, 2015  

Jackie Jones Sworn In As First Female City Commissioner
New Police Officers Introduced

Jackie Jones is sworn in by Finance Director Traci Pillow. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A standing-room-only crowd was on hand at Thursday’s meeting of the Paris City Commission for the swearing in of Jackie Jones as the first female city commissioner. Jones received a standing ovation following the swearing-in and City Commissioner and former Mayor Sam Tharpe congratulated Jones on the historic milestone. “In the history of our city, she is the first woman ever to serve in this capacity.”

The meeting also saw another milestone, as it was the first for new City Manager Kim Foster serving in her new role. Foster is the first female to serve as city manager.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo introduced the commission to two new police officers hired at the department: Chris Page and Demeras “Tyrell” Jackson. A third officer who has been hired, Kyle Belyew, was not present at the meeting.

The three were hired from a field of 32 candidates and Elizondo said the three exemplify the high standards shown by the local department and are all excellent additions. Jackson is 25 and attended Lane College and the University of Tennessee at Martin and was a standout on the Henry County Patriots football team. Page is 27, married with a family and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and has worked at both the Davidson and Henry Co Sheriff’s Offices.

City Building Inspector Mike Brown gave a departmental update and applauded the work being done by newly-hired Codes Enforcement Officer Darren Webb. Webb was hired in August “and has proven to be an asset to the department and the city”, with a high success rate in mitigating violations of city ordinances. Webb also has helped the department get back on track with demolitions of abandoned and neglected structures.

Brown said the building department is working with Historic Preservationist Ed Smith of Paris to create an “inventory” of downtown buildings, along with as assessment of their current conditions and features.

Somewhat aligned with that, the commission referred to the planning commission a recommendation from Foster and City Development Director Jennifer Morris to apply for designation as a Certified Local Government which would allow the city to apply for grants that will enable it to develop long-range plans to preserve downtown buildings, inventory the buildings and their conditions. Along with that would be the establishment of the entire downtown area as an historical district.

Upon recommendation of Foster, the commission approved first reading of the 2016 fiscal budget and approved a new tax rate of .73 cents per $100 of assessed property. Foster said, “In accordance with State law we are required to pass our property tax rate prior to adopting our budget as this rate determines our property tax funding.  This year is a reappraisal year for Henry County resulting in property values being adjusted to reflect fair market value.  Also by State law, we cannot use the reappraisal process as a means to increase property tax revenues, so once the reappraisal process is finished the State will provide us with a revenue-neutral tax rate.  For several reasons, the State is running behind in getting the reappraisal process completed so they are unable to give us our certified tax rate at this time.  The ordinance that is attached has been worded in such a way as to allow us to go ahead and pass the ordinance with the current tax rate reflected, and language that denotes that we will adjust our rate to match the certified rate once we receive it from the State.  This ordinance also says that we will reduce the certified rate by eight cents.  This reduction was committed to as a trade-off for passing an increase to our local option sales tax.”
The 2016 budget includes:
· Recommended salary adjustments for all employees at a total cost of $112,000.
· 41% increase to the normally budgeted amount for asphalt at a cost of $80,000.
· Participation in an Industrial Wellness Program administered by HCMC at a cost of $10,500.
· Capital equipment budget doubled at a cost of $337,000.
· A one-time payment to the BPU of $57,000 which will result in a yearly savings of $20,000.
· A budgeted addition of $55,000 to the General Fund balance.  This was originally budgeted to be over $110,000 but was reduced based on the recommendation to make the one-time payment to the BPU.

In other business:

The commission approved on second reading a water rate increase request from the Paris Board of Public Utilities The rate increase has been discussed at length at BPU meetings and a public hearing was held May 19, to which no one from the public attended.

The commission approved amendments to the sign ordinance.

Police Chief Chuck Elizondo, right, introduces new officers Demeras Jackson and Christopher Page as Administrative Assistant Kathy Horner looks on (McFarlin photo).

Helipad/Heliport Discussion Takes Center Stage

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee addresses the city commission. (McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-At a marathon Paris City Commission meeting Thursday night, the lion’s share of discussion occurred during the public hearing for a proposed zoning ordinance governing helipads and heliports within the city limits.

Once again, Richard Walters, who lives in the Volunteer Drive area, voiced his lengthy opposition to the idea of Henry County Medical Center locating a helipad or heliport on the hospital grounds near Kelley Dr. His opposition involves noise and wind levels from helicopters and what he views as decreased property values if a heliport is situated there.

Mayor Carlton Gerrell reminded those in attendance several times that the city commission would be discussing the zoning ordinance itself, not any contracts that air ambulance companies may or may not have with the hospital. “Our job as a commission is to talk about where helicopters should and can land and what sort of zones we should have in the city.”

Several people were on hand at the meeting to discuss both sides of the issues and several said they wanted Walters to speak for them.

Richard Sinclair, a paramedic at HCMC, said his father, Robert Sinclair was a county commissioner and member of the hospital board for many years. He said “I don’t want to see my Dad’s vision to not continue. What we have is great and I hope the planning commission and city commission don’t limit us”.

HCMC Administrator Tom Gee said the helipad/heliport at the hospital “is integral to our service”. Helicopter services have existed at the hospital for 30 years, he said. 

Sound levels of helicopters landing and taking off are “way below” street noise, highway noise, motorcycle and mower noises “and the transitory sound only lasts 45 seconds. I measured it today.” He also disagreed that helipads/heliports decrease property values. 

“All we’re asking is for you to allow us to continue with the current heliport that we have,” Gee said. “We would like to maintain our ability to operate as we have.”

Gee said, “We originally hoped to locate a heliport on Kelley Drive and this ordinance would prevent that and we’re fine with that. We’d just like to continue with what we have.”

Commissioner Gayle Griffith said he believes in the free enterprise system. “I’d love to see both Air Evac and Vanderbilt locate at different locations here. I’m in favor of competition.”

The end result of all the back-and-forth was a recommendation by City Attorney Fred McLean that the ordinance should use the term “helistop” rather than helipad or heliport because it better defines what the hospital uses now. “We also need to make clear that the hospital can use what they current have.”

Commissioners decided to refer the ordinance back to the planning commission for a redefinition of terms.

Surveillance Photos Of Perkins Break-In Released

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police have released surveillance photos of the suspects breaking into Perkins Drug Store early Thursday morning. The photos depict the two suspects in the process of breaking the front window and climbing through it into the store.

As we reported earlier, the alarm at Perkins Drugs went off at 4:46 a.m. and officers were on the scene by 4:50 a.m., but both suspects were already gone.

The suspects are both young white males. One is wearing a jacket and jeans and the other is wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. 

Lt. Tom Lankford said the inside of the store had been ransacked and an inventory of merchandise in the store is being completed which will indicate how much was stolen. Lt. Lankford said pill bottles were strewn about inside the store.

Lankford asked that anyone with information on the burglary and suspects call the police department on its confidential tip line at 641-1411.

Governor’s School Students Visit Hoofbeats Of Hope

Cottage Grove, Tenn.-Students from the Tennessee Governor’s School meeting currently at the University of Tennessee at Martin visited the Hoofbeats of Hope therapeutic riding program at Cottage Grove. In photo is Nona Holland riding Baylee and explaining to the students how therapeutic riding helps her. Standing to her right is Hoofbeats Director Jan Foy. The Governor’s School for the Humanities and the School for the Agricultural Sciences began this week and will continue through the month of June. (Angela Wilson photo).

Perkins Drug Store Burglarized

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Employees at Perkins Drug Store in downtown Paris have been busy today completing an inventory of merchandise in the store to determine how much was stolen during a burglary there early Thursday morning.

Paris Police Lt. John Lankford told WENK/WTPR the burglar alarm at the drug store, located at 110 E. Washington St. went off at 4:46 a.m. and officers were at the scene at 4:50 a.m.

“There were no suspects seen when we arrived, but the store had obviously been ransacked,” Lankford said. 

The front window of the store was busted out and pill bottles were on the floor inside the store. 

"The people at the store are doing a detailed inventory of everything in the store and we won't have a good idea of how much was stolen until they complete that," Lankford said.

Lankford asked that anyone with information on the burglary and suspects call the police department on its confidential tip line at 641-1411.

Tennessee Free Fishing Day Is Saturday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-There are many people who say that a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at the office. 

For those who agree with that, Saturday is your lucky day. 

Tennessee’s annual Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 6, and anyone may fish free without a license in the state’s public waters. And there are several free fishing rodeos for children on that day in our area.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provides the free day in hopes of increasing interest in fishing. The day allows everyone the opportunity to try out the sport, especially children. 

To that end, there is a special opportunity for children this month. Children ages 15 and younger may fish without a license beginning on Free Fishing Day through the following Friday (June 12).

The TWRA is among several organizations planning special fishing events, primarily for youngsters, and annually stocks several thousand pounds of fish for various events.
Here is a list of Free Fishing Day events across Tennessee. 

In Henry County, a free fishing rodeo will be held at Paris Landing State Park at 10 a.m. Friday.

On Saturday, June 6, there are several free fishing events for children in our area: Steve McCadams’ Casting For a Cure at the McKenzie park; Martin Annual Fishing Day at the Martin Recreation Complex; Reelfoot Youth Fishing at the Reelfoot Refuge in Obion; and the Eva Fishing Rodeo at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park in Eva.

Old 23rd Restaurant: Home-Style Food, Atmosphere

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Big Sandy, Tenn.-For people who want the whole dining experience--home-cooked, old-fashioned good food in an historic, homey setting, the newly-opened Old 23rd Restaurant is for you.

It is located at 10030 Lick Creed Rd., a few short miles from the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and is situated in the woods that touch on the refuge grounds. The restaurant is in the old homeplace of the family of the late Sol and Bell Christopher.

The full name of the restaurant is The Old 23rd Restaurant at Christopher Manor and the name of full of meaning. It not only honors its roots in the Old 23rd District that was home to many Henry and Benton Countians, but it also honors the Christopher family homeplace.

The old log home was built in the 1800s and Owner Linda (McDaniel) Zanaty is a great-grand-daughter of the Christophers. 

She has been emphasizing ‘homestyle’ in the restaurant, both in the ambiance and the food that is served. The restaurant is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 4-10 p.m. and the menu changes daily and is made from scratch with old family recipes.

The Old 23rd is also open for special events, including weddings, showers, private gatherings and business meetings.

The old log home was completely restored and has on display many of the items from the old homestead, including items from the L&N Railroad in Paris, where many of the family members worked.

The restaurant was featured in an article on the latest issue of Paris! Magazine and has a Facebook page.

To contact the restaurant, call 731-593-2385.

Knoxville Fisherman Ahead On Day One Of Bassfest

Ott DeFoe with Day One catch. (Bassmasters photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-Day One of the Zippo Bassmaster Bassfest tournament on Kentucky Lake saw some big catches, but none as big as handled by Ott DeFoe of Knoxville.

DeFoe came in number one at the end of Day One with a catch of five bass that weighed 26 pounds, seven ounces.

Coming in second was Andy Montgomery of South Carolina with a catch of 25 pounds, four ounces. Third was Edwin Evers of Oklahoma with 24 pounds and Kevin VanDam of Michigan was fourth with 23 pounds, nine ounches.

According to Bassmater, most of the best bass were caught before 10 a.m.

There are hundreds of fishermen in our area, both professional and collegiate, for the Bassfest tournament, which will end Sunday. 

Friday will be a big day for the tournament, which plenty of free activities for young and old, including a kids fishing derby, a petting zoo, carnival and arts and crafts, all of which will be set up by the pavilion/pool area on the north side of Paris Landing State Park.

Stolen Car Results In Several Charges

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
Union City, Tenn.-What began as a stolen car case resulted in a long list of charges filed against a 34-year-old Trimble woman in Union City Wednesday.

Arrested was Susan East Escobar, 330 Obion St., Trimble, for possession of a stolen car, DUI 3rd offense, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a revoked license.

Union City Police were notified by the Newbern Police Department to be on the look out for a stolen car that was possibly being driven by Escobar

A Union City officer had heard that Escobar was working at Food Plaza on W. Reelfoot Ave. and he went to the business to inquire. A phone call was made to Escobar from the business and she arrived there in the stolen vehicle.

According to the police report, there was a strong odor of alcohol and Escobar admitted drinking several beers, as well as using crack. An open 24 oz can of beer and a crack pipe were found in the vehicle.

A check of Escobar’s driving history found that she had been convicted of DUI in Newbern and Dyersburg.

REAL Hope Golf Tournament Is Saturday

Paris, Tenn.- The 7th Annual Hope and Opportunity Golf Tournament will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 6, at the Tennessean Golf Course in Springville. Check-in begins at 7 a.m., with shotgun start at 8. The tournament is sponsored by REAL Hope Youth Center.

Player registration is $60 per person and teams of four are required. Fees include cart, green fees, and lunch. 

Grand prize is $1,000 presented to the lowest scoring team. All money raised will benefit R.E.A.L. Hope Youth Center. For more information on registration call the Tennessean at 642-7271.

North Carroll Relay Is Saturday

McKenzie, Tenn.-The annual Carroll North Relay For Life will be held from 5-11 p.m. at McKenzie City Park.

A full schedule awaits participants, including the kickoff at 5:30 p.m. with dancing by Sandra and Kailey’s Dance Studio; Opening Ceremonies at 6 p.m. with Emcee Trent Johnson and singing of the National Anthem by Anna Eaton.

During the evening, music will be provided by The Anna and Jon Band, Witness and Band of Individuals, there will be a Womanless Beauty Revue, luminaria ceremony, speakers and awards.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 

State Will Pursue Death Penalty In Bobo Case

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Decaturville, Tenn.-All three of the defendants in the Holly Bobo kidnapping and murder case appeared in court this morning and learned that the state will seek the death penalty in their cases.

Special Prosecutor Jennifer Nichols said in court the state will seek the death penalty due to aggravating circumstances involved in the crime. Nichols was appointed to serve as prosecutor after District Attorney Matt Stowe recused himself from the case earlier this year after a public disagreement with the TBI about the Bobo case.

All three defendants--Zachary Adams and his brother John Dylan Adams and their friend Jason Autrey--appeared in Decatur County Circuit Court for arraignments on revised indictments.

All are now charged with premeditated murder and murder in the perpetration of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated murder.

Holly Bobo was kidnapped from outside her home in Decatur County in 2011 and the case has been marked by delays throughout the course of the case, including the withdrawal of Stowe from the case and problems experienced by defense attorneys in the case.

According to documents filed with the court as published in The Jackson Sun, the prosecution is seeking the death penalty for all three defendants because "the murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel in that it involved torture or serious physical abuse beyond that necessary to produce death;" because it was committed by the suspects for the purpose of "avoiding, interfering with, or preventing a lawful arrest or prosecution;" and because the murder was "knowingly committed, solicited, directed or aided" by the defendants while each defendant had a substantial role in the murder, kidnapping and/or rape.

Judge Creed McGinley told those gathered in court he will consider issuing a gag order if information on the case continues being leaked to the news media.

Attorneys Jennifer Thompson and Matt Maddox represent the Adams brothers. Attorney John Herbison represents Autrey.

Herbison was suspended for practicing law late last year due to an ethics violation. His former law partner Fletcher Long was convicted earlier this year of extortion. Both represented Autrey and both also represented one of the defendants in the Vanderbilt rape case.

The next hearing date is August 26.

Union City Man Arrested For Disorderly Conduct At Business

Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man is charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and public intoxication after allegedly causing a scene at a local grocery store.

Police were called to the Sav-A-Lot store on a report of erratic behavior and found Michael Glen Thompson, age 21, sitting on the ground. According to the report, officers said he appeared under the influence and lunged at officers as they tried to talk to him. 

Thompson then reportedly ran into the store, punched an arcade game, ice box, ran through the aisles and knocked down a customer. 

Officers deployed a taser in order to stop him. He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital, where he continued to be combative and was restrained in the bed.

Hundreds Of Fishermen Gather For BASSfest
Plenty Of Activities For The Public

Hundreds were on hand for last night's registration at the fairgrounds. (Chamber photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The huge Bassmasters BASSfest tournament begins this morning and a large crowd was on hand for Tuesday night’s registration and dinner for the anglers who are gathering in Henry County this week’s tourney.

The tournament begins this morning at Paris Landing State Park and runs through Sunday, with daily weigh-ins around 3 p.m. The tournament runs from today through Sunday, June 7.

Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton said 124 professional anglers have registered, along with 124 marshals and 260 college anglers.

For the most part, the college anglers will be hosted at the Lick Creek/Dover City Park and the Stewart County Sheriff’s Office has asked that local fisherman should use another launching area while the tournament is ongoing, either Dover Landing, Dyers Creek, Blue Creek or one of the other launching spots.

The registration and dinner was held at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

The tournament is bringing hundreds of anglers and their families into the area and the tournament organizers have that in mind, with plenty of free activities for the public and the families to participate in. 

On Friday, several activities are planned for Paris Landing near the pavilion area on the north side of the park. There will be a kids’ fishing rodeo, petting zoo and carnival, as well as an arts and crafts show.

The fishing rodeo begins at 10 a.m. and the petting zoo and carnival will be set up by the Paris Landing pool early Friday morning. The arts and crafts show will be set up at least by 10 a.m., or even earlier than that, Hamilton said.

Union City Council Approves $62.7M Budget

Union City, Tenn.-The Union City City Council Tuesday night approved on first reading the budget for the next year which is effective July 1. Budget total is $62.7M and includes a two percent salary increase for city employees and contains no increases in taxes or fees.

The budget includes $15.1M in the general fund; $6.3M in water and sewer funds; $24.7M for Union City Electric; and $16.5M in funding for the Union City School System.

The budget also includes an estimated $142,000 in hotel/motel taxes, 42 percent of which goes to the Obion County Industrial Development Corporation; 39 percent to the Obion County Chamber of Commerce; 14 percent to MainStreet Union City; and five percent in the general fund.

Council also agreed to repair a drainage problem at First Christian Church for $6,000; approved an intermunicipal agreement between Union City and Woodland Mills regarding wastewatger treatment and accepted an audit proposal from Alexander Thompson Arnold of Jackson for the annual audit at $24,150.

The city also will begin renovations on the public works building on Fifth Street at a cost of $240,000.

Hometown Walk of Hope Set For Saturday

Union City, Tenn.-The 2015 Obion County Hometown Walk of Hope will be held Saturday, June 6, at War Memorial Stadium in Union City.
Opening ceremonies begin at 4 p.m., followed by the parade of teams and survivor reception.
Through the evening, there will be plenty of activities, including a corn hole tournament, obstacle course, pedal car races, lip sync contest, kids’ talent contests, womanless beauty revue and more.
The events continue until the final lap at midnight.

Burton Awarded Alumni Scholarship 

Paris, Tenn.-Cindy Turner (right) awards the Class of 1982 Alumni Scholarship to Liz Burton, who will be attending the University of Memphis this fall. Turner encourages all alumni of Henry County High School to form a scholarship committee for their class. To donate to the 1982 scholarship fund, send a check payable to HCHS Class of 82 and mail to Don Oliver, PO Box 426, Arlington, TN 38002.


White Lightning Bike Race Set For Sunday

Golden Pond, Ky.– Endurance-Plus will sponsor the White Lightning mountain bike race Sunday, June 7, at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. 

Online registration will be available at through June 4 at 11pm. Online registrants will receive $10 off race day price. Onsite registration will be available Sunday, June 7, beginning at 7:30am.

“The challenging terrain on Canal Loop makes it a very popular trail with the mountain biking community,” according to Kyle Varel, Land Between The Lakes Trails and OHV Assistant Manager.

Races cover 11 miles of varied terrain along Canal Loop Trail and are scheduled throughout the day. The first race begins at 8:45am. The event will be divided into several different classes and distances based on experience.

For more information on the White Lightning Mountain Bike Race, visit, contact Justin Harrison at 270-703-1893, or email 

 Discovery Park Receives TripAdvisor Award

Union City, Tenn.– Discovery Park of America has announced it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. 

Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience. 

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Discovery Park and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” according to Mary Nita Bondurant, Marketing Director at Discovery Park. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by one’s customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”

Obion County Legislative Breakfast Set

Union City, Tenn.-The Obion County Chamber of Commerce will host a Legislative Breakfast on Friday morning at the Obion County Public Library.

Guest speakers include State Representatives Bill Sanderson and Andy Holt and State Senator John Stevens.

The event is free and open to the public. It begins at 8:30 a.m., with a light breakfast served. 

Murray Men Charged with Trafficking 

Murray, Ky.-Three Murray men were arrested on trafficking and drug paraphernalia charges after Murray Police noticed a vehicle obstructing traffic in front of a residence on South 15th St.

While attempting to locate the owner of the parked vehicle, evidence of controlled substance activity was noticed in the residence. A search warrant was obtained. 

As a result of the search warrant, a quantity of marijuana, over $2000 in cash, and two weapons were recovered. 

Kenneth Crawford, 23, Brandon Barron, 22, and Ricco Washington, 21 of Murray were charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance Within 1,000 Feet of a School and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and lodged at the Calloway County Jail.

TBI Arrests Prison Inmate For Threats Against DA

Lauderdale County, Tenn. – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments for an inmate in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction in connection to a mailed threat targeting an Assistant District Attorney General.

On February 18th, TBI Agents began investigating an incident which occurred at the Sevierville office of District Attorney General James Dunn. Earlier that day, an employee of the office opened a letter from inmate Mark Rhodes, which contained a suspicious white powder and threats targeting an Assistant District Attorney General who previously prosecuted a case involving Rhodes. During the course of the investigation, Agents, working alongside investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, developed information verifying Rhodes as the individual who sent the letter from prison.

On Monday, the Lauderdale County Grand Jury returned indictments for the 43-year-old, charging him with one count of Distribution or Delivery of a Substance as a Hoax, one count of Retaliation for Past Action, and three counts of False Report. Rhodes is currently in custody at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning. 

Tennessee Ridge Woman Being Sought After Colliding With Home

Tennessee Ridge, Tenn. – Houston County law enforcement are looking for the driver of a pickup that rammed into a mobile home in Tennessee Ridge around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The suspect then reportedly walked away from an emergency room where she was being checked out.

The mobile home is located across from the Tennessee Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. No one in the mobile home was reported injured.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has identified Conny Archambault of Tennessee Ridge as the suspect being sought.

The impact of the collision did damage the trailer and moved it forward several inches.
Archambault appeared to be uninjured at the emergency room, but impaired. She reportedly struck a mailbox, crossed the roadway and then hit the mobile home.
Warrants for DUI have been issued for her.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chase Produces New Charges For Paris Man

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police had their hands full Monday night, trying to arrest a Paris man who had a capias warrant on him issued by a Nashville court.

When all was said and done, Robert Andrew Jenkins, age 30, was arrested on the original warrant, plus two counts of aggravated assault for trying to run over two Paris police officers, felony evading arrest and driving on a revoked license.

The incident began when Paris Sgt. Josh Frey received a report that Jenkins was at the Finish Line car wash on Tyson Ave. and that there was a capias warrant for him from a Nashville Circuit Court.

Frey observed Jenkins at the car wash and notified Patrolman Derek Colley to park at Pocket’s gas station while Frey stationed himself on Pine St. near the car wash.

While Frey approached Jenkins on foot, Jenkins saw Colley’s patrol car and got into his car and locked the doors. Jenkins wouldn’t open the doors or window for Frey and Frey said he was attempted to bust out the window when Jenkins began backing out.
In Frey’s report, he noted there were two passengers in the car and both of them were trying to get out of the car. 

In the process of backing out, Jenkins almost hit Colley, who had to jump out of the way. In the next few moments, Jenkins then began spinning his tires and drove toward Frey, who also had to jump out of the way.

Jenkins stopped to allow one passenger out of the car.

Frey and Colley lost sight of Jenkins and while Frey was looking on Tyson, a person flagged him down at American Cash Pawn Shop on Tyson. Frey found Jenkins again behind the pawn shop and Jenkins accelerated and drove onto Tyson again.

At this point, Trooper Adam Jenkins joined the chase, along with Henry County Sheriff’s deputies. Officers were able to box Jenkins in on Veterans Drive and Jenkins finally came to a stop.

Officers helped the other passenger out of the car and Jenkins was cuffed after being ordered onto the ground.

Jenkins was taken to the Henry County Jail and a bond of $30,000 was set.

You Can Get Everything You Want…
At Yoder’s Country Store And Morning Sun Market

Norman Yoder displays the Yoder's Country Store totes for sale. (McFarlin photo)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-There’s a whole lot going on at the new and much-expanded Yoder’s Country Store on Anderson Road just off of Highway 54.

The former Miller’s Country Store has the same unique, old-fashioned quality, but with Owner Norman Yoder and Manager James Yoder, the enterprise has a whole new look and atmosphere with shelves and shelves of both new products and old favorites.

Both Norman and his son James are big believers in promoting locally-made and homegrown goods. “Those are our big theme goals,” James Yoder said. Norman Yoder also owns Yoder’s Brothers store on Briarpatch Lake Rd.

And now located behind the Country Store is the Morning Sun flower market and produce stand, which is operated by Yoder’s son-in-law and daughter Galen and Kay Shrock.

Yoder’s Country Store has a newly-designed layout which you notice as soon as you walk in, not to mention much more merchandise. You also notice the friendliness of the staff members, who have a smile and a hello for everyone.

A deli with a wide variety of fresh selections, with 38 different cheeses, wide variety of deli meats, fresh lettuce, tomatoes and dressings are available.

The deli makes homemade sandwiches of all kinds, including delicious reubens, boneless rib, pulled pork, grilled chicken. They also make sandwiches from any of the ingredients in the deli counter. Homemade soups and chili are served in the cold months.

There is an area in the store where patrons can sit and eat their meals, if that is their preference, with coffee and drinks nearby. 

Another change in the new store is an expanded dairy department and a new fresh meat case. 

The Yoder’s also have fresh milk in bottles, delivered fresh by JD’s Country Milk, a Mennonite company from Russellville, Ky., large selection of homemade jams and jellies, flavoured butters, whole wheat, all-natural and gluten-free products, spices, and a very large selection of a wide variety of candies. 

There always are free samples of crackers, chips and dips at the store.

At the Morning Sun Market, the Schrocks also are hands-on in their management of the greenhouses and shop that offer a wide variety of flowers, plants, vegetables that can’t be found anywhere else locally. Fresh produce also is offered in season.

The market formerly was located on Hwy. 54 in front of 54 Lawn and Garden.

You can contact Yoder’s at 644-7535 and Morning Sun at 924-8111.

Violet Hostetler tends to flowers at Morning Sun Market. (McFarlin photo).

Hundreds Attend Cardboard Regatta

Union City, Tenn.-Hundreds of people were on hand Saturday to witness the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat at the second annual Cardboard Regatta at Discovery Park of America.

Discovery Park Marketing Director Mary Nita Bondurant said, “Hundreds came out to enjoy the race” and had a good time watching the people and their cardboard contraptions trying to navigate the pond.

Bondurant said, “There was excellent support by the community. It was bigger and better than last year, and we expect it to just continue to grow!”

Winner of the regatta was Vaughn Electric in a vessel called “The Lightning Bolt”. Other winners were:

2nd Place Winner- King- Snuggle Bunny 
3rd Place Winner- Kizer Pharmacy- Dope Floats
Van Gogh Award- Friends in Lowe's Places- S.S. Hammer Saw 
Spirit Award- The Village- General Jackson 
Titanic Award- Higher Ground Coffee Company- Kaffee Valhalla

Martin Gunshot Appears Self-Inflicted

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director
Martin, Tenn. -- Martin Police Chief Don Teal said Tuesday morning all indications are that the gunshot victim found in a residence in Martin Monday afternoon was the victim of a self-inflicted wound.

The 24-year-old man was seriously injured from a gunshot to the upper left portion of his chest, Teal said.

“Every indication is that it was self-inflicted and that’s both from his own statements and the evidence at the scene,” Teal said.

As WENK/WTPR reported Monday, the victim was found lying on the living room floor at his Elm Street resident around 12:30 p.m.

Teal said the victim was airlifted to a Cape Girardeau, Mo., hospital.

Obion County Schools Honor Retirees

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Union City, Tenn.-Meeting in regular session Monday night, the Obion County Schools board of education honoured its retirees with a reception before the meeting. Some 25-30 personnel, from both the professional and support staff, retired at the end of the school year. They were honoured with certificates and gifts at the reception.

In business during the meeting, the board approved a bid of $2,128.93 a month for waste disposal from Republic Services for the 2015-2016 school year. The Republic bid was the lowest of three bids accepted. Other bids were solicited from: Freedom Waste Service, $3,515.96 a month; and Red River Waste Solutions for $2,544.60 a month.

The board also approved a bid from American Paper and Twine Co. for the district’s paper products for the new school year. The bid was the low bid and was for $23,800 a year.

Other bids were solicited from Contract Paper Group for $24,780; JD Distributors $25,100; Howard D. Happy $25,200; and Lanzer’s for $26,600.

In other business, the board appointed members to the Student Disciplinary Hearing Authority. They are: Dale Hollowell, Nancy Hamilton, Vikki Hayslett, George Leake, Cynthia Rainey, Linda Crigger (representing the high school as an administrator) and Travis Johnson (representing the elementary level as an administrator).

The board also approved allowing athletic practice during the school day. The state requires the approval of the policy on an annual basis. Football and basketball are the only sports that practice during the school day; all other sports practice after school. 

West Tennessee Hospitals Continue To Be Distressed

Paris, Tenn.-Tennessee Hospitals continue to be distressed, with several already closing.

At Monday’s meeting of the Henry County Medical Center, Administrator Tom Gee said, “As debate continues on Insure Tennessee hospitals continue to be distressed particularly in West Tennessee. According to the most recently available data, of the 20 hospitals in West Tennessee outside of Memphis, four have closed and seven of the remaining 16 are losing money.”

Gee said, “It is interesting to note that in our State Senator’s District 24, all eight of his hospitals (including HCMC) lost money in 2013 and two closed this year”

The hospital board approved the budget for the new year and Gee reported construction of an expanded operating section at the hospital continues on or ahead of schedule. The new recovery room should be ready for occupancy by early July.

Physician recruitment is going well, according to Gee, with Dr. Worrell beginning his pediatric practice in Paris and HCMC, Dr. Paul Locum has accepted the OB opportunity and will begin practice in July. Gee said the hospital is talking to East Wood Clinic about renting space for him. The hospital had discussed purchasing Dr. Lance Culley’s building, but he is asking double the offering price. Gee said the hospital could build a new building next door for less than buying his space.

Two new hospitalists will be on board by July: Dr. Mengistu Yemane will be the new director; Dr. Nelson Smith also is hired. Dr. Yemane is from Kentucky and Dr. Smith from Florida.

Dr. Beddies and Dr. Mobley III are now HCMC employees, operating their practice out of Cornerstone and Dr. Lindsay Foust should be available to come to Paris to practice podiatry in the fall.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Business Owner Arrested For Aggravated Assault

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Henry County car dealer was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly brandishing a weapon while repossessing a vehicle Friday afternoon.

Arrested was Adam S. Brockwell, age 31 of 1005 Chickasaw Rd. He was arrested at his business, Brockwell Auto Sales on Highway 79 North.

According to the report by Henry County Sheriff’s Deputy Hayley Ramos, Brockwell was arrested for pointing a handgun--a .380-caliber Diamondback pistol--on a man while trying to repossess the vehicle.

Ramos said in the report that during the incident, Brockwell pushed the man into the car, pulled out the pistol, pulled the slide back and pointed the gun first at the man’s chest, then at his neck, and then at his head. Brockwell also allegedly got into an argument with a female during the incident.

Brockwell told deputies the other man yelled and spit at him. He admitted pushing the man and pulling out a gun, but said he did not point it at him.

Brockwell was transported to the Henry County Jail and was released after posting the $20,000 bond. He was ordered to have no contact with the victims. His first court appearance is set for Tuesday.

Martin Man Shot; Investigation Continues

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-A Martin man was found shot in his home and was airlifted to an area hospital this afternoon.

Martin Police were called to the home on Elm Street around 12:30 p.m. on a report of a gunshot.
Captain Don Teal said, “When officers arrived they found the victim lying in his living room floor with a gunshot wound to the upper chest. The victim was conscious and responding to emergency personnel at the scene.”

The victim was first was transported to Volunteer Community Hospital in Martin, then airlifted to an unknown location at time of the report.

Officers spoke with numerous individuals at the scene but no one witnessed the shooting. Investigators are attempting to determine if the shooting was self-inflicted. 

A weapon was recovered at the scene and the incident is still under investigation.

Local McDonald’s Employee Wins Scholarship, Award

Gary Hooker with Local McDonald’s Manager Debbie Falberg

Paris, Tenn. – Henry County High School senior Gary Hooker, a McDonald’s restaurant employee at Paris, was recently awarded a $2,500 McDonald’s National Employee Scholarship Award as well as the $1,000 local Paris McDonalds Employee Scholarship. He is the first local recipient of the National Scholarship. He is among several McDonald’s restaurant employees nationwide selected to receive this honor for their outstanding employee contributions, scholastic achievements and community involvement. 

“McDonald’s continues to provide me with opportunities to learn and grow,” Hooker said. “This restaurant offers flexible hours, which allow me to work my schedule around my academic and other responsibilities. The experience will serve me in my college classes and beyond.”
Gary Hooker, who joined the McDonald’s restaurant team in December/2013, currently a 4.0 GPA student, marches in the band and is a member of the National Honor Society. He plans to attend George Mason University in Washington D.C. this fall to major in Psychology and pursue a career in becoming a Psychologist. 

Kris Kenworthy, Owner/Operator of McDonald’s in Paris recommended Hooker to receive this scholarship.

“Gary exemplifies the qualities of a true leader,” according to Kris Kenworthy.  “He has done an outstanding job both in the restaurant and in school, using lessons from both to reach his goals.”

Kids’ Activities, Arts, Crafts Part Of BASSfest This Week

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-There will be plenty for kids to do at this week’s huge Bassmasters BASSfest set to begin at Paris Landing State Park this week--and it’s all free.

On Friday, there will be a kids’ fishing rodeo, petting zoo and carnival. And that will be the same day that the arts and crafts show will be set up.

The fishing rodeo is set for 10 a.m.-noon Friday, June 5, at Paris Landing in the pavillion area on the north side of the park. 

Henry County Alliance CEO David Hamilton said the event is free. “All the kids have to do is bring their rod and reel and we provide the stink bait.”

Hamilton said a petting zoo and carnival will be set up by the Paris Landing pool early Friday morning. The arts and crafts show will be set up in the pavillion area by 10 a.m. “probably earlier than that”, Hamilton said.

Busy Paris City Commission Agenda On Tap

Paris, Tenn.-A full agenda will be on hand at this week’s meeting of the Paris City Commission. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 4, at city hall and is open to the public.

Police Chief Chuck Elizondo will introduce three new police officers to the commission, the commission will enact on second reading an increase in water rates and an ordinance governing helicopter landing zones.

The commission will consider the procedure for designating downtown Paris as an historic zone and first reading will be held on a property tax ordinance and the new budget.

Casting For A Cure Is This Weekend

McKenzie, Tenn.-Hungry fish are calling and Steve McCadams has the cure, in more ways than one.

McKenzie’s City Park Lake is the place to be for great fishing fun when the 15th Annual Steve McCadams “Casting For A Cure” Kids Fishing Rodeo returns on the morning of Saturday, June 6.

The popular event is free and open to boys and girls age 15 and under. Registration will be held from 7-9 a.m. on-site at The Barn, a pavilion adjacent to the lake. Kids will fish from 9-11 a.m. An awards presentation will follow the weigh-in.

“After last year’s flood destroyed Carroll Lake on the eve of the rodeo we had to postpone it at the last minute,” McCadams said. “We already had stuff set up but Mother Nature dealt us a severe blow. The future of the event looked grim.”

“I looked around for an alternative site and thanks to the assistance of Mayor Jill Holland and the McKenzie City Parks and Recreation staff we pulled it off a month or so later. The little lake worked out great and we’ll be back again, returning to our traditional first Saturday in June,” McCadams said. 

The lake will be stocked with catfish courtesy of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency who will again partner with McCadams for this special event which benefits The American Cancer Society. McCadams himself is a cancer survivor.

“Each year I ask folks to make a donation to help introduce a kid to the great sport of fishing and battle cancer at the same time. Thanks to donors who open their hearts and pocketbooks we make sure every kid goes home with some sort of door prize. I’d like to think we send them all home a winner,” according to McCadams.

“After the expenses of the event, I donate whatever is left to ACS and it helps the Carroll County North Relay for Life’s total. A concession trailer complete with hamburgers, chips and cold soft drinks donated by local merchants and Pepsi will be on site and operated by local Relay volunteers.”

Kids are asked to bring their own bait and tackle. However, a few loaner rod and reel combos will be available.

Special prizes such as engraved plaques and bicycles will be awarded in four separate age brackets for the youngster catching the biggest and most fish. Age brackets will be 5 and under, 6-9, 10-12, and 13-15.

The rodeo will coincide with Free Fishing Day in Tennessee.

“I fish a lot throughout the year but this is indeed my favorite fishing day,” said McCadams, a native of McKenzie who has been a professional fishing and hunting guide on Kentucky Lake for over 39 years. “I made a promise to myself to keep this rodeo going back when I was undergoing chemotherapy. Seeing small fish deliver big smiles to these kids not only fosters future fishermen but brings awareness to the battle on cancer.”

Make plans to attend and bring those young anglers to a fun filled morning. If you’d like to support the event and perhaps honor a survivor or rekindle a memory of someone special send your tax-deductible donation to Steve McCadams, 655 Anderson Drive, Paris, TN 38242. All donors will receive a receipt from the Jackson office of the American Cancer Society.

For additional information on the rodeo contact McCadams at 731-642-0360 or via email at 

BASSfest Begins At Paris Landing This Week 

Paris, Tenn. — When the second annual BASSfest celebration gets underway Wednesday, June 3, 124 of America’s best bass anglers will be focused on one goal: winning the lion’s share of the $850,000 prize purse.

And fans attending the event June 3-7 will have a multitude of options to keep them entertained for days.

The Zippo Bassmaster BASSfest at Kentucky Lake presented by A.R.E. Truck Caps will feature an outdoors expo, a carnival for kids, an arts and crafts show and more. On Friday, June 5, Bassmaster University will offer must-attend seminars for participants taught by Bassmaster Elite Series pros and B.A.S.S. staff.

Fishing fans and their families can join in all the fun for the five days. All B.A.S.S. events are free. Following are things to see and do at BASSfest in Paris.

1. Take off with the anglers. On Wednesday and Thursday, June 3-4, the full field of 124 competitors — including 111 Elite Series anglers and 13 from the Opens Series — will blast off from Paris Landing Marina at 6:15 a.m. to fish Kentucky Lake. And, on Saturday and Sunday, the top anglers will take off from the same dock in hopes of earning the $100,000 first prize.

2. College teams clash. While the pros compete, college anglers will also battle on Lake Barkley June 3-5 in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Wild Card presented by Bass Pro Shops. Takeoff will be at 5:30 a.m. at Lick Creek Recreational Area, with the weigh-in on Friday on the main event stage at Paris Landing State Park. The weigh-in will determine which teams will head on to the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops July 9-11 on Lake DuBay on the Wisconsin River.

3. Watch us — live! On Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., be sure to log on to and follow the competition with the new Bassmaster Live on-the-water coverage. Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders from The Bassmasters television show, and B.A.S.S. emcee Dave Mercer will be on-hand with commentary.

4. Entertain the kiddos. Kids can have hands-on fun at the petting zoo at Paris Landing State Park, before taking a whirl on the rides at the kids’ carnival, complete with cotton candy and other carnival foods.

5. Enjoy live music. Following the weigh-in Friday, fans can enjoy live music from three different singer-songwriters. Philip White has written songs for country music greats such as Rascal Flatts, Reba Macentire and Blake Shelton. Monte Holmes, who has penned songs for George Strait, will perform as well, followed by Scotty Emrick, who wrote well-known lyrics for Toby Keith, Billy Currington and more.

6. Check out the outdoors expo. More than 125 national and local exhibitors, including a variety of food and beverage vendors, will be on hand starting at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday and noon on Sunday. Locally, be sure to stop by the Tennessee National Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Center and Land Between the Lakes booths, plus more.

7. Score lots of freebies. Minn Kota will register fans to win a great Minn Kota product. One lucky fan will win an Evan Williams Bourbon Cooler prize pack on Sunday. And Carhartt will offer chances to win Carhartt-branded prizes with a spin-to-win game.

8. Kids’ fishing fun. Let your children join in the fishing competition fun Friday with catfish races starting at 1:30 p.m. and a kids’ fishing rodeo.

9. Get crafty. Visit the arts and crafts show at the event grounds, featuring more than 80 vendors.

10. Try your luck. Toyota fans can try their luck and win prizes in the Toyota Dice Roll game. You can also charge your cellphone — for free! — in the truck bed of a Toyota Hiring Our Heroes Tacoma. Enter to win a Bass Pro Shops gift card with the Tundra Puzzle Block Challenge, find out more about Bonus Bucks and take photos with anglers from the Toyota Fishing Team.

Union City Man Arrested For Animal Cruelty 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 
Union City, Tenn.-A Union City man faces animal cruelty charges after his dogs were found in malnourished and deplorable conditions.

Arrested was Corey Williams, age 33, of 813 E. College St.

Animal Control was called to the home and Officer Amanda Hayslett found two dogs--a pit bull and a brindle--without shelter, food or water. Both were malnourished and sick.

According to the police report, one of the dogs had a dog house but it was on its side and the dog couldn’t get in it. The other dog had no shelter at all. Bowls were set out but there was no food nor water in them.

Hayslett took the dogs to the shelter and gave them food and water. Both ate the food out of the bowls even before she had placed them on the floor. Both had ribs, back, and hips visible. The pit bull was the most sickly, very weak, with its head and ears bloody and scraped. 

Hayslett took the dogs to the vet, who has been caring for them. The dogs have more hookworms than can be counted, their ears are infected and their eyes are in bad shape.

Young Man Seriously Injured In Accident

Martin, Tenn.-A 22-year-old man was seriously injured Friday when he lost control of his motorcycle and he was ejected onto the roadway in Martin.

Rhett T. Stephens of Lewisburg Tennessee was taken to Volunteer Community Hospital Friday afternoon around 3:30 pm with serious but non- life threatening injuries after he lost control of his 2006 Kawasaki. 

When the accident occurred, Stephens was headed west on West Peach St. and slid to a stop near 121 W. Peach St.

The accident is still under investigation by Martin Police.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Historic State Photos Displayed At Bass Pro Shops

Memphis, Tenn.-Since its grand opening last month, the Bass Pro Shops superstore in downtown Memphis has earned high praise from those who have toured the facility.  

Bass Pro Shops' new location is more than just a place where people can buy hunting and fishing gear. Located in The Pyramid, once the city's main venue for sports and entertainment events, the store is part of a complex that includes a restaurant, a bowling alley, an archery range, a man-made cypress swamp and a hunting lodge-themed hotel. 

What visitors might not realize as they browse through 535,000-square-foot building is that many of the striking photographs of nature scenes that they see along the walls come from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. 

Jeff Harper, a graphic designer for Bass Pro Shops, said details like interior decorations are so important to store development that they are discussed in a planning process that sometimes begins a year or two prior to the opening of new locations. 

"We like to regionalize our stores as much as possible," Harper said. "That way, they are uniqure and tie into their communities a little bit better." 

Harper said Bass Pro officials looked at hundreds of images on the Tennessee State Library and Archives' website. Many of those photos were selected for the store and the hotel. They depict scenes showcasing Tennessee's natural beauty as well as people enjoying outdoor activities. 

"The photos we selected and ultimately used were perfect for what we were looking for," Harper said. 

Bass Pro maintains its own photo archives, which produced some of the decorative images found in the Memphis store. However, Harper said it's been a common practice to search state and local libraries to find location-specific photos for Bass Pro locations across the country. 

Harper credited the Tennessee State Library and Archives for its assistance on the project, particularly in meeting some of the tight deadlines required to get the location open on schedule. 

"We are honored that Bass Pro Shops has chosen to use photos from the State Library and Archives collections," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "I'm thankful that the State Library and Archives was able to make a significant contribution to a project that's going to be so important to the future of downtown Memphis." 

To find photos at the State Library and Archives, search online at: or contact the public services division staff at (615) 741-2764. 

Governor’s Schools Open At UTM

Martin, Tenn. – The Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities and the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences both begin this weekend and will continue through the month of June. The University of Tennessee at Martin is the only institution to host more than one governor’s school program.

Both programs bring selected high school students from across the state to UT Martin to take college courses and participate in a variety of activities. Interested students must complete an application process and receive an invitation to attend.

The Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities is the original governor’s school program, founded in 1986. Participating students may select from courses in art history, English, philosophy, history, music and political science. The Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences exposes students to courses in natural resource management and animal science. 

For more information, contact the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities at 731-881-7579 or the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences at 731-881-7211.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Law Enforcement Believe Armed Robberies Connected

Surveillance photo of the Martin robbery suspect. (Martin Police photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Weakley County, Tenn.-Police Departments in Martin and Sharon believe they are looking for the same person as suspect in two armed robberies which occurred there within a few hours of each other on Thursday evening.

The first armed robbery occurred around 9:45 p.m. at the Sav-A-Lot in Martin, followed by another armed robbery at the Sharon Dollar Store a few miles away around 11:10 p.m.

As WENK/WTPR reported Friday, the Martin robbery occurred when employees were taking trash out the back door and an armed man approached them, ordered them to the safe and then ordered them to place the money in a duffel bag.

In the Sharon robbery, the suspect is reported to have approached a van belonging to an employee’s parents and got inside with them, holding him at gunpoint until it was time for employees to leave the store.

The suspect reportedly then forced the parents and employees into the office, again demanding money from the safe.

According to Sharon authorities, $2,000 was taken from the Dollar General, but Martin authorities said an undetermined amount of cash was taken from the Sav-A-Lot.

The suspect is described as black male, 5’11” to 6’2” tall, wearing a dark mask, gray windbreaker, blue jeans, tan work boots and dark gloves.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call the Martin and Sharon Police Departments.

Drug Take Back Event Collects 75 Pounds Of Medications
New Resource Also Available To Public

Sheriff Monte Belew andh Coalition Coordinator Erica Rawls
with Ed and Linda Farmer of Springville. (HCSO photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-Saturday’s Drug Take Back event sponsored by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and County Prevention Coalition Saturday was an unqualified success, with 75 pounds of pharmaceuticals collected.

Coalition Coordinator Erica Rawls said, “We had a really good day.” She also reminded the public that permanent drop off boxes for medications that are not needed or used anymore are located at the Paris Police Department and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office lobbies.

Sheriff Monte Belew also said anyone who cannot get to those locations may call the sheriff’s office at 642-1672 and a deputy will come to your home and pick it up for you.

Rawls said, “That’s a pretty big deal. We’re the only county that offers that resource to the public.”

Today's event was held at the McDonald's back parking lot.

Naked Woman Arrested 

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris woman was arrested for public intoxication after she was found naked and wrestling with a probation officer on Forrest Heights near the state probation office.

Teresa Conley, age 48, of 1200 Palestine Rd. was arrested by Paris Patrolman Jeramye Whitaker around 2 p.m. Friday.

According to the police report, when Whitaker arrived at the scene he found Conley nude and wresting with the probation officer of a nearby residence.

Whitaker found some clothing and covered Conley. He said she was combative and belligerent and smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on her feet. She was taken to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office for booking

Paris Landing Swimming Pool Open For Season

The lifeguards at Paris Landing pool are ready for summer. (Paris Landing photo).

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Paris Landing pool is open for the season through August 2. Hours of operation are 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $4 per person, ages three years and older.

Pool passes are available for $115 per family and $55 per individual.

Swimming lessons are available June 2-June 12 from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. The cost is $55 per child, $90 for two children from the same household, $25 per child with a pool pass and $45 for two children from the same household with a pool pass.

Water aerobics are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 16 through July 9 from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. The cost is $32 per person and $16 per person with a pool pass. Pre-registration is required for swimming lessons and water aerobics. 

The pool is available for rent for $100 for two hours and $45 for an additional hour. Contact the park office at 731-642-0118 to register for swimming lessons, water aerobics or pool rental. 

There is a public swimming area on Kentucky Lake. There are no lifeguards on duty. However, it is a protected swimming area with a picnic area and restrooms nearby. 

Swim Beach Temporary Closures :

June 3-7: The swim beach area will be closed June 3-7 for Bassfest. It will reopen on June 8.
July 4: The public swim beach area closes in the early afternoon to allow for preparation for the fireworks display at 9 p.m.

Dr. Kent Brantly To Speak At Freed-Hardeman

Henderson, Tenn.- Dr. Kent Brantly, medical missionary and Ebola survivor, will speak at Freed-Hardeman University’s 51st annual benefit dinner Dec. 4 in Loyd Auditorium, according to an announcement by FHU President Dr. Joe Wiley.

The event, which generates funds for scholarships, is typically the state’s largest single night fundraiser.

Brantly, who served as a medical missionary at ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, last year found himself fighting on the front lines of the battle against the deadliest Ebola outbreak ever to occur. In early July 2014 Samaritan’s Purse, the organization for which Brantly worked, took over responsibility for the clinical care of Ebola patients for the entire nation of Liberia. He was appointed medical director for what would become the only Ebola treatment unit in all of southern Liberia.

After Brantly was diagnosed with Ebola July 26, he became the first person in the world to receive the experimental drug Zmapp and the first person with Ebola to be treated in the United States when he was evacuated to Emory University Hospital. As a survivor, Brantly considers it his privilege and duty to speak on behalf of the people of West Africa who continue to suffer from Ebola.

Brantly, a graduate of Abilene Christian University and Indiana University School of Medicine, is currently the medical missions advisor for Samaritan’s Purse. He and his wife Amber, along with their two children, now live in Texas.

General admission tickets to the dinner are $150 each; sponsorships begin at $600. To learn more about purchasing tickets or becoming a sponsor, go to

Friday, May 29, 2015

Armed Robbery Reported At Martin Sav-A-Lot

Martin Police released a photo taken by surveillance camera during the robbery.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Martin, Tenn.-Martin Police are looking for the suspect in an armed robbery that occurred at the Sav-A-Lot grocery store on Hwy. 43 around 9 p.m. Thursday night.

According to the press release from the department, employees were taking trash out the back door when they were approached by the suspect who was brandishing a weapon.

The suspect then forced them to the safe and told them to empty the cash into a duffle bag. The suspect then fled with an undetermined amount of cash.

The suspect is described as black male, 5’11” to 6’2” tall, wearing a dark mask, gray windbreaker, blue jeans, tan work boots and dark gloves.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call the Martin Police Department.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Hardee's

Paris, Tenn.-Workmen have been hard at work the last couple days adding the new 
signage to the Hardee's restaurant that will be opening soon on Mineral Wells Ave. in Paris. A sign in front says the restaurant is now hiring. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Area Counties Post Sharp Unemployment Decreases

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Nashville, Tenn.-County unemployment rates for April 2015, released by the State Department of Labor and Statistics show the rates decreased in 94 counties and increased in one county. 

In our area, Henry County posted the lowest unemployment in April, at 6.1 percent, with Weakley not far behind at 6.4 percent. The highest rate of unemployment in our area was posted by Obion County, with 8.3 percent.

In fact, all of the counties in our area showed marked decreases in unemployment rates from March. But Obion and Carroll Counties are still on the state’s list of top 10 counties with the highest unemployment, with Obion in 92nd place and Carroll in 90th place out of the state’s 95 counties.

A look county by county:

Henry County is at 6.1 percent unemployment, down from 7.1 percent in March; Weakley is at 6.4 percent, down from 7.3 percent; Stewart is at 7.2 percent, down from 8.4 percent; Benton is at 7.3 percent, down from 8.2 percent; Carroll is at 8 percent, down from 9.1 percent and Obion is at 8.3, down from 9.2 percent.

McWherter Museum Grand Opening Is Thursday 

Dresden, Tenn.-The grand opening and ribbon-cutting of the Ned Ray McWherter Museum will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 4. The late Governor McWherter’s son, Mike will be on hand for the ribbon-cutting along with his family, according to the museum Facebook pages. 

The museum is located inside the Weakley County Library at 341 Linden St. in Dresden. A museum has been located there for several years, but has been recently revamped and reopened beginning the first of May.

The museum highlights the life of former Governor McWherter, whose political career spanned his time as State Representative, Speaker of the House and then Governor for two terms.

The Museum is open during normal library hours Monday through Friday and on Saturday mornings.  

Refreshments will follow the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

David Johnson Chorus To Perform In Paris

Paris, Tenn.- The David Johnson Chorus will perform at the First Baptist Church along with Scott Shepherd, music minister at First Baptist, and Blair Chadwick, choral direc tor at Henry County High School.

The presentation is at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 6, at the church, located at 313 N. Poplar St., Paris. No admission will be charged.

The Chorus will present "Oh What a Savior!" in a program of music that is unlike any it has done in its seventeen-year history. It will be presented entirely a cappella, a style that the Chorus is known for and it will praise the most significant set of events--the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“This may very well be the most beautiful and moving program of music that we have ever presented,” according to Director David Johnson.

For more information, visit the DJC website,, or their Facebook page.  You may also contact their general manager, Gail Dyer, at 731-514-0167.


Thursday, May 28, 2015 

Missing Woman’s Death Investigated As Suicide

Dover, Tenn.-Stewart County Sheriff Deryk Wyatt has confirmed that the death of an Indian Mound woman who was missing for several days last week is being investigated as a suicide.

The body of Heather Newman, age 28, was discovered Friday in the Land Between the Lakes area.

Law enforcement and family had been searching for Newman since she went missing last Tuesday, May 19.

Stewart County authorities posted Newman’s description, photos and description of the vehicle she was driving on Facebook and Wyatt said someone spotted her blue Ford Expedition in the LBL and reported it.

Paris Quota Awards Ten $1000 Scholarships

In photo: (top row L-R): Whitney Rawls, Shannon Evans, Andrew Bingham, Imari Thompson, (Front row, L-R): Justin Ramos, Daniel Arnold, Mallory Norwood and Rachelle Hale. Not pictured were Scarlett McSwain and Jacob Hunter. (Photo by Martha McFadden)

Paris, Tenn.-Ten $1,000 scholarships were presented to five 2015 graduating Seniors and five continuing college students at Quota’s meeting on May 27th at noon at the Lee Academy Lunchroom.

Students receiving scholarships were:

Whitney Rawls, daughter of Mark and Tina Rawls, who was awarded the Martha McFadden Schoolship and will be attending UT Martin majoring in physical therapy.

Shannon Evans, daughter of Marty and Tara Evans, attending UT Martin majoring in criminology. Her grandmother Carolyn Scarborough also attended with her.

Andrew Bingham, son of Pam Bigham, who was awarded the Mary Sue Looney Scholarship and is attending Murray State University, majoring in Nursing.

Imari Thompson, son of Maurice and April Thompson, who was awarded the Pearl Routon Scholarship and plans to attend Belmont University, majoring in Speech and Drama.

Justin Ramos, son of Michael Ramos and Melissa Hollingsworth, who is attending Campbell University, majoring in Physical Therapy.

Daniel Arnold, son of Kenny and Sandra Arnold, who plans to attend U.T. Martin, majoring in Nursing.

Mallory Norwood, daughter of Charlie Norwood and Natalie Veazey Norwood, who plans to attend Murray State University, majoring in Physical Therapy.

Rachelle Hale, daughter of Steve and Sharon Hale, who plans to attend Murray State University, majoring in Nursing.

Jacob Hunter, son of Rebecca and David Bullion, who plans to attend U.T. Chattanooga, majoring in Electrical Engineering.

Scarlett McSwain, daughter of Greg and Heaven McSwain, who is attending U.T. Knoxville, majoring in Sports Management. McSwain is in Oklahoma City, playing with the Lady Vols in the Women’s College World Series. Her mother attended the luncheon and accepted the scholarship for her.

Quotarians congratulate all of the scholarship recipients and their parents for a job well done.

Dresden Farmers Market Opens For Season

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

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

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

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

Fort Donelson Brings $16.2 M To Area

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

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

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

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

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

Donation To St. Jude’s 

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

Cardboard Regatta This Weekend

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

Sammie’s To Offer Free Meals To First Responders

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

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

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

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

Children’s Day On The Farm is Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hell’s Angels Member Arrested Again

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Hazel Woman Transported To Vanderbilt Following Accident
Paris Woman Also Treated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caylee Hall Wins Kentucky Opry

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

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

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

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

Henry County GOP To Meet

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

Vale Fire Department Being Rebuilt With Volunteer Labor

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

Bringing History To Life

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

Free Kids’ Fishing Derby Is Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

Restless Heart To Appear At Discovery Park
Advance Tickets On Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quinn Chapel Pancake Breakfast Saturday

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

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

Obion Man Runs Over Wife’s Foot With Lawn Mower

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

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

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

Drug Take Back Event Set

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

Rhea Library Remains Closed

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 

BPU Approves Engineering Agreement, Eyes Budget

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris BPU Honored With National Award

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

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

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

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

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

UC Woman Charged With Aggravated Assault

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

Arrested was Kim Adcock, no address given.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Serene Day Of Sailing On Kentucky Lake

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

Watson Graduates From Law Enforcement Academy

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

KSP Looking For New Leads In Officer Murder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TVA Photo Contest Set

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, That’s A Lot Of Razor Refills

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

Historical Society To Meet

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

HCHS Softball Tryouts Rescheduled

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

Water To Be Off In Glisson Road Area

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

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

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

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembering “The Ultimate Sacrifice”

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honoring Our Veterans

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

Henry County Memorial Day Service Moved

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


UTM ROTC Program To Remain Open

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Expected Storms Affect Memorial Day Events 

Discovery Memorial Day Ceremony Moved Inside 

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

Stewart County Memorial Day Event Moved To Visitor Center

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

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

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

Murray Student Establishes Autism Scholarships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Downtown Cruise In Is Tuesday

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

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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Paris City Pool Renamed For Gerald Howard

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two From Paris Sought in Robbery

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

Ahart is lodged at the Calloway County Jail.

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

Paris Hosts USTA Tournament

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

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

Catfish Place Coming Down

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

HCMC Patients Can Access Records Online

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 22, 2015 

Update: Missing Indian Mound Woman Found Dead

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris Man Arrested In TBI Sweep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit for more information.

Missing Stewart County Woman Located

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

The announcement was made shortly before noon Friday.

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

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

Firefighters Battle Hay Fire

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

No Matter The Temperature, PES Students Enjoy Field Day

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

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

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

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

Search Continues For Missing Woman


By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOP Scholarships Awarded

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

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

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

Henry County Memorial Day Service Set

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

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

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

HCHS Students Can Earn College Credit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris Pool Swimming Lessons Offered

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Library Closings Announced

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

New Report Shows State Economy Growing

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

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

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

Thursday, May 21, 2015 

Dr. Brian Norton Hired As Director Of Schools

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other business:

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

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

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

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

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

 Search And Rescue Bloodhound Missing

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

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

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

Stewart County Graduation Parking Changes

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

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

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

Stewart County Woman Missing

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

Fort Donelson Memorial Day Events Set

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

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

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

Rhonda Vincent Set to Record DVD at Bethel

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

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

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

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

Kentucky Man Arrested For Attempted Murder Of Officer

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

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

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

Five Arrested In Connection To Aggravated Burglary

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

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

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

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

Wildlife Celebration This Weekend

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

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

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

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

Carroll County Memorial Day Events

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dylan Adams Now Charged In Bobo Murder, Kidnapping

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

Dylan Adams is being held in the Weakley County Jail.

Discovery Park To Commemorate WWII

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

129th Army Jazz Band To Perform Free Concert 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big Sandy Spring Festival Is This Weekend 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris Quota Celebrates “Derby Day”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State Files Suit Against Phony Cancer Charities

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

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

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

“Johnny Green” Story To Be Told

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

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

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

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

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

UTM Memorial Day Program Is Friday 

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

Living Lands & Waters: Cleaning Up The Environment

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conger Arraignment Held

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.

Paris Pool To Be Named For Howard

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

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

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

Church Fire Cause Still Being Investigated

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

Fort Donelson Visitors’ Center To Receive Upgrade

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First United Methodist To Host Ice Cream Social

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

Honoring Public Works

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

UTM Kid College Set For Paris Elementary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sheriff’s Shootout Winners Announced

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

Awards were given to:

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

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

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

Cottage Grove School Graduation

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

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

Register Now For Speech, Acting Workshops

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

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

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

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

Paris Landing Programs Set

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

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

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

Monday, May 18, 2015 

Commission Approves HCMC Board Increase

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

 UC Man Charged With Assault

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

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

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

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

Biggest Marijuana Seizure In Henry County History

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watson said Conger has residences in Arizona and Henry County.

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

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

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

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

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

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

              Isaac Conger

Martin Couple Killed In Obion County Accident 

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Union City Teacher Seriously Injured

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

Paris FFA Wins State Contest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


When: Tuesday, May 19
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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

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

Sunday, May 17, 2015

National Chemical Landmark Dedicated At MSU

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

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

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


Relay Yard Sale And Grill Out Set

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

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

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

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

Henry County Schools Early Dismissal Thursday

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

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Heavy Rainfall Turns Park Into Swimming Area

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

Paris Police Destroys Drugs; Importance Of Fines Stressed


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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 15, 2015 

Baby Bald Eagle Born At Fort Donelson

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eagle Fest 2015 This Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

Bethel Renaissance Records With David Phelps

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

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

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

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

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

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

TBI Warns Of Counterfeit Pills

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

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

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

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

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

Pick Tennessee Offers Chance To “Fill Your Grill”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free Computer Class To Be Held 

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

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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Discussing “Back Alley Paris”

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

HCHS Students Rewarded With Discovery Park Trip

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

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

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

Paris-Henry County Citizens’ Police Academy Graduates

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

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

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

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


18-Year-Old Indicted For Vale Arsons

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

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

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

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

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

Martin Residents Graduated From Police Academy

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

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

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

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

Board Meeting Set To Interview Dr. Norton

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

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

UC Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty

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

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

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

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

Puryear Day Pancake Breakfast Set

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

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

UC Civitan Club Selling Vidalia Onions

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

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Awards Given To Watson, Redditt, James

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Naifeh Found Guilty Of Vehicular Homicide

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sentencing for Naifeh will be held June 29.

Attorney In Bobo Case Found Guilty Of Extortion

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Puryear Day Set For Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry County Students Recognized 

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

Dorena-Hickman Ferry Closed Temporarily

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

Jeep Jamboree Returns To Turkey Bay 

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

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

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

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

Cottage Grove Looks Ahead To Freedom Festival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Murray Man Charged With Assault

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, May 12, 2015 

“Back Alley Paris” Brings Past To Life

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris Man Arrested On Drug Charges

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

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

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

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

Hazel Couple Charged With Kidnapping, Assault

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

Long May She Wave

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

Salary Increases In Paris City Budget

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tennessee River Tour Stop At Paris Landing This Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yates Pleads Guilty To Child Murder

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

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

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

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

Special Populations Fishing Tournament Set

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

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

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

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

Bethel University Ranked 2nd in Nation  

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

The site said the following about Bethel University:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ribs, Ridin’ And Rockin’ For Relay

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

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

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

Vale Fundraiser For Fire Department 

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

Gerrell To Speak To Democratic Party

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

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

Monday, May 11, 2015 

Westbook Appointed As County Trustee

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

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

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

Westbook has been Deputy Trustee for 11 years.

Fugitive In Martin Kidnapping Found By U.S. Marshals

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yocum Hired As UTM Head Volleyball Coach

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

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

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

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

Discovery Park Hits 400,000th Visitor Mark

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

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

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

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

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

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

29,000 Pine Seedlings Planted In LBL

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

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

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

Odor Leads To Drug Charges

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets On Sale For “Phantom Tollbooth”

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

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

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

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

Enroll Early For Kid College At UTM

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

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

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

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

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

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

UC Couple Shot At During Burglary Attempt

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

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

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

UC Police Investigate Break-Ins

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

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

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

Sunday, May 10, 2015

“Back Alley Paris” Announcement Set For Tuesday

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

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

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

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

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

Hands-On Training For Citizens Academy

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

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Eddyville Man Shot, Injured By KSP Trooper

Photo taken at the scene by the KSP.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hard Work Pays Off For Local Army Veteran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HCHS Honors Students

Students with their awards. (Pam McCord photo).

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

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

The following are some of the award winners:

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

Mary Peyton Boyd Scored a 34 on the ACT

Lauren Gilbreth Scored a 34 on the ACT

Ryan Mahan Scored a 33 on the ACT

Lee Gore Scored a 32 on the ACT

Holly Peavy Scored a 31 on the ACT

Davis Wells Scored a 31 on the ACT

Kathryn Nation Scored a 31 on the ACT

Jesse Hudgins Scored a 31 on the ACT

Zach Peoples Scored a 31 on the ACT 

FBLA 1st Place State Winners Picture 

Liz Burton & Davis Wells in Banking and Financial Systems

Nate Kendall & Carson Ray in Business Financial Plan

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

FFA State Champion Dairy Handler

Ashton Thompson

FCCLA 1st Place State Winners

April Hovis Gold Award for Illustrated Talk

Olivia Perry Gold Award in Reciting the Creed

Friday, May 8, 2015 

Investigation Into Missing Man's Death Continues

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

Deaths of Two In Obion Being Investigated

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Missing Man Found Deceased In Container

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

The body has been sent to Nashville for an autopsy.

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

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

Governor Beshear To Speak At MSU Graduation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathryn Nation Receives Full Scholarship

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

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

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

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

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

Quilt Show Coming To Heritage Center 

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

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

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

UC Business Burglarized

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

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

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

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

UC Police Investigate Robbery Attempt

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

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

Legislative Luncheon Set

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

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

Thursday, May 7, 2015 

Paris City Commission Appoints First Woman
Jackie Jones Selected

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

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Webb congratulated Jones on her appointment after the meeting.

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

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

In other business:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miles Announces Retirement; Norton To Be Interviewed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ambulance, Car Collide

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

Lady Patriots Are District Champs 

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

Working On Next Leg Of 218 Bypass

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

UC Man Faces Long List Of Charges After Foot Chase

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Large Animal Rescue Class To Be Held

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robison Graduated With Honors

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

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 

Charges Against Smith Bound Over To Circuit Court

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

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

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

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

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

Smith is one of four people charged in the crime. Others are William Tomlin, Diane Tomlin, and Michael Wayne Allred. Tomlin was charged with arson, while the other three were indicted on charges of conspiring to help Tomlin commit the crime so that Smith could collect insurance money.

Hearings for the Tomlins and Allred will be held Friday, according to Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson.

Gasoline, Burn Pile Make Bad Combination

Paris Firefighters discuss the cause of the fire with residents. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-A Paris man was cited for violation of the city burn law following a fire this morning to the exterior of a home at 1925 Bell Ave.

Some $5000 worth of damage was caused to the exterior of the home, including melted siding on three sides of the residence. 

When firefighters arrived, they found the siding on the house on fire and a man trying to extinguish it. Fire Marshal Greg Andrews said property owner Robert Frazier was cited following the incident. Frazier owns a building near the home as well as the home, which he was renting out to a couple.

Andrews said the fire started when Frazier was attempting to kill weeds around the home by spraying gasoline around the foundation of the house. Andrews said Frazier also had lit a burn pile near where he had sprayed the gasoline, which ignited the fire.

Meet Me At The Y

Paris, Tenn.-Among the other delights at Eiffel Tower Park II in Paris is a group of trees shaped like a “Y”. So much so, in fact, that the disc golf station where the trees are located is also called “The Y”. There also are a trout pond and walking trails in the park. (Shannon McFarlin photo).

Pillow Hired As New Finance Direcctor
Commission Ready To Nominate New Commissioner

Finance Director Traci Pillow. (City of Paris photo).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Paris, Tenn.-The city of Paris has hired Traci Pillow as the new Finance Director to replace Kim Foster, who now serves as City Manager.

Pillow has worked for the city for five years, most recently as Assistant Finance Director. She is a native of Paris and moved back after living in middle Tennessee for several years.

She will be presenting her first report as Finance Director at Thursday’s meeting of the Paris City Commission. There is a lengthy agenda on tap for Thursday’s meeting and it includes the probable selection of a new commissioner to replace Robert Sleadd, who resigned at the beginning of the year. Candidates were interviewed Monday and the agenda states nominations may be taken from the panel for a new commissioner.

Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said the commission interviewed "four very qualified candidates and I think we'll be ready to select someone Thursday night."

Other items on the agenda include presentation of the proposed ordinance governing heliports in the city limits, a request by the Paris Board of Public Utilities to increase water rates and an update on the police department from Police Chief Chuck Elizondo.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at city hall and is open to the public.

Libation Station Now Open

Lauren Jones works behind the mahogany bar. (DPA photo).

Union City, Tenn.- Get ready to whet your whistle and fuel your engine as Libation Station is now open at Discovery Park of America (DPA) in Union City.  Following the May 1st opening, Libation Station will be open most Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. throughout the summer, and is sponsored this year by Davis Wealth Services, Williams Country Sausage and Snappy Tomato Pizza.  

Libation Station, which is located at the antique train Depot on the grounds at DPA, offers free appetizers and live entertainment most evenings.  “While we have adult beverages, we still want to create a family type atmosphere,” CEO Jim Rippy said.  “We also have regular beverages available.  Some people come out just to hear the live entertainment and enjoy the view,” he added.   

“Last year, individuals and couples came to Libation Station to listen to live music while their children or grand children fished at the Final Flight Reelfoot Landing,” Rippy said.  

Walking and fishing privileges for DPA members also began May 1st.  Because of staffing, summer walking and fishing privileges for members go along with the opening of Libation Station.  “When Libation Station is open, members are welcome to come out and fish or walk the grounds,” Rippy said.  The best way to know if Libation Station is open is to check the website.  (Libation Station is closed on some evenings when there is a major park event and in cases of inclement weather.)   

Libation Station is managed by Event Director Assistant, Lauren Jones, who said that DPA members requested a May opening.  “We were planning to open on June 1st, but we had so many requests to open in May that we decided to open early.”  Jones has been busy lining up the talent for the summer.  To find out who is providing entertainment, you can visit the park’s website and click “Calendar.”   

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City, TN.  You can see the 2015 Calendar of Events, including upcoming educational and entertaining events, by visiting the website at .  The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art and fun.  

Small Business Basics Graduates Thirteen 

From left: Carlene Rivers, of Martin; Chole’ Stout, of Dresden; Stacey Sain, of Paris; Martin; Klides; (back row) Roy Corley, of Jackson; Kirk Hamlin, of Ramer; Brian Hawkins, of Jackson; Jason Martin, of McKenzie; Travis Brock, of Martin; and Fuqua. Not pictured are Oscar Hurtado, of Martin, and Nicki Zolfagharbik, of Paris.
Ramer; Brian Hawkins, of Jackson; Jason Martin, of McKenzie; Travis Brock, of Martin; and Fuqua. Not pictured are Oscar Hurtado, of Martin, and Nicki Zolfagharbik, of Paris.

Martin, Tenn. – Thirteen West Tennessee entrepreneurs from the local area participated in the Small Business Basics Boot Camp hosted in April by the Tennessee Small Business Development Center and the University of Tennessee at Martin Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center. 

Participants graduated from the course April 28 and include:  Carlene Rivers, of Martin; Chole’ Stout, of Dresden; Stacey Sain, of Paris; Martin; Klides; Roy Corley, of Jackson; Kirk Hamlin, of Ramer; Brian Hawkins, of Jackson; Jason Martin, of McKenzie; Travis Brock, of Martin; and Fuqua; Oscar Hurtado, of Martin, and Nicki Zolfagharbik, of Paris.

The boot camp is a four-week program designed to serve as a guide to small business development and entrepreneurship. Participants were exposed to a variety of topics, including writing a business plan, financing a business, banking practices, marketing strategies and pitching a business loan. The goal of the course is to help new entrepreneurs begin their small business ventures or for new, existing businesses to obtain new skills for success.

Landy Fuqua, REED Center director, instructs the course with the help of special topic speakers. This year’s guests included Beau Pemberton, an attorney from Dresden, who spoke on legal matters for the small business owner; Darlene Adkins, lecturer of accounting at UT Martin, who spoke on best accounting practices; and Hollie Holt, a certified business counselor at the REED Center, who spoke on best marketing practices, including the use of social media.

“Anyone wanting to start or thinking about starting a business should invest in all of the courses that the REED Center/TSBDC has to offer,” said Joyce Klides, of Martin. 
“The Small Business Boot Camp taught me so many things that I didn’t know before about starting a business. It has changed my perspective on the business world,” added Brittany Martin, of McKenzie. 

UC Resident Earns Two Degrees At UTM

Mallory Martin (center),  with Erica Carroll (left) and Amanda Waldon, licensed veterinary technicians and laboratory instructors for the UT Martin veterinary health technology program. (UTM photo).

Martin, Tenn. – As the old saying goes, “If at first, you don’t succeed – try, try again.” Mallory Martin, a Union City resident, proved that adage true this year and crossed the commencement stage May 2 with two degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin and an acceptance letter to veterinary school at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn.

Martin, the daughter of a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency agent, grew up surrounded by animals. “Ever since I knew what a vet was, that’s what I wanted to do. I’ve just never changed my mind,” she said.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, with a concentration in animal science, in May 2014, but was disappointed to learn she had not been accepted to veterinary school.

“I was devastated when I didn’t get in the first time, but Dr. (Jason) Roberts (assistant professor of animal science) calmed me down and told me, ‘Just keep trying and work hard, but don’t work so hard that you get burned out and you don’t have a life, because that will hurt you more in the long run,’” Martin said. With this advice in mind, she began work on plan B.

At the encouragement of Roberts, Martin returned to UT Martin to complete a second bachelor’s degree in the veterinary health technology program. Martin says the hands-on experience in the veterinary health technology program helped in her second round of applications to veterinary school, ultimately convincing the selection board at Lincoln Memorial University that she has the academic and practical experience to succeed in their program. 

The UT Martin veterinary health technology program is a four-year curriculum, but Martin was able to finish in one year, thanks to prerequisite classes from her first degree. She will be part of the second graduating veterinary class at Lincoln Memorial University, which began its program in 2013. 

Martin will complete her required six-week internship at Auburn University this summer before beginning veterinary courses in August. She plans to return to the Obion County area to work in mixed-animal practice after her schooling is complete. In the meantime, she and her fiancé, Hunter Allen, will wed in September. Allen is set to graduate from UT Martin in December 2015.

Martin may not have reached her goal on the first try, but with personal dedication and the advice of a few good teachers, she should receive her doctorate of veterinary medicine in 2019. It all goes to show, there is more than one way to reach the stars.

HCHS Announces Academic Top 10

Paris, Tenn.-Henry County High School has announced the Academic Top 10 for this year.

They are:

Seniors: Mary Peyton Boyd, Lauren Gilbreath, Jillian Dupras, Sakura Horiuchi, Holly Peavy, Anna Martino, Ryan Mahan, Parker Hatcher, Lee Gore and Imari Thompson.

Juniors: Andrew Minor, Aubrey Buttrey, Tanner Beasley, Dakota Noble, Shan Patel, Jackson Griffey, Ashley Martin, Alexander Watkins, Zachary Word and Alexander Nanney.

Sophomores: Calista Herrera, William Brown, Olivia Boyd, Alyssa Brown, Rudi Wimberley, Colin Harris, Alexander Boyd, Ethan Jackson, Gracie Clayton, Elizabeth Wood, Shannon Watson, and Sydney Wyatt.

Paris City Commission Sets Work Session

Paris, Tenn.-The Paris City Commission will hold a budget work session at 6 p.m. Monday night, May 11, in the large meeting room at City Hall. Upcoming 2015-2016 fiscal year budget recommendations will be presented and discussed. The public is welcome to attend.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Is Saturday

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Paris, Tenn.-The annual Henry County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, May 9, at the recycling center at 450 Recycling Drive.

Henry County Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Watkins said, “Now is a great time to discard all those chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, paint thinner, etc. Don’t throw it away--bring it to our event.”

Watkins said the agency is pleased to offer the event and encouraged people from other communities to attend.

The event was established as a means to provide a safe way to dispose of household hazardous waste, Watkins said. He noted that many of the items that people place in the trash can actually injure sanitation workers or others.

Accepted items at the event include motor oil, scrap metal, oil-based paint, aerosols, pesticides, rechargeable batteries, used automobile fluids, pool chemicals, mercury thermometers and thermostats, Tvs, computers, old appliances, plastics and more.

Items that will not be accepted include medical and infectious waste, ammunition and explosives, radioactive materials, smoke detectors, etc.

Call 642-5170 for more info.

Vanderbilt Medical Again On “100 Greatest” List
To Locate Headquarters in Henry County

A Vanderbilt LifeFlight crew at an accident scene. (Vanderbilt LifeFlight photo).
Nashville, Tenn.- Vanderbilt University Medical Center has once again been named among the “100 Great Hospitals in America” by Becker’s Hospital Review and is the only health facility in Tennessee to make the list.

Vanderbilt provides all medical staffing, patient care and clinical services for Vanderbilt LifeFlight, which will soon open an emergency air ambulance base in Henry County, Tennessee. 

Vanderbilt LifeFlight, which takes the great clinical services and patient care offered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center directly to the patient, will transport to any medically appropriate hospital. 

Vanderbilt LifeFlight is the only air ambulance service in the region that carries life-saving blood on each helicopter, and administers blood in more than ten percent of the trauma patients. Vanderbilt Trauma Center is the only Level 1 center in Tennessee to be an American College of Surgeons verified trauma center. Verification from the ACS goes beyond state-level requirements and affirms that Vanderbilt’s Trauma Center is among the best in the country. Receiving care at a Level 1 Trauma Center can lower risk of death by 25 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients who survive their injuries and arrive at Vanderbilt alive have a 95 percent chance of survival.

According to Becker’s, hospitals included on the list are “some of the most prominent, forward-thinking and focused health care facilities in the nation and are home to many medical and scientific breakthroughs, provide best-in-class patient care and are stalwarts of their communities, serving as academic hubs or local mainstays.”

Vanderbilt LifeFlight currently provides hospital-based emergency air medical transport services throughout Tennessee and Southern Kentucky, with remote helicopter bases in Lebanon, Tullahoma, Clarksville, Smyrna and Mt. Pleasant, Tenn.

To create the list, the Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team analyzed data from numerous sources, including U.S. News & World Report, Truven Health Analytics’ 100 Top Hospitals, HealthGrades, Magnet Recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the Studer Group and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program to establish this year’s list. Hospital nominations were also accepted and evaluated by the Becker’s editorial team.

Volunteers Sought For Living Lands And Waters

Buchanan, Tenn.-Chad Pregracke, who was recognized as CNN’s “Hero of the Year” in 2013 for his work cleaning up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, is now bringing his barge-based Living Lands and Waters efforts to the Tennessee River, including a stop at Paris Landing, scheduled for May 17-19. Local volunteers are sought for the event.

 The “Tennessee River Tour,” sponsored by TVA, will include educational workshops, river cleanups, open houses and other conservation based activities, all designed to make people aware of the value and importance of the Tennessee River. 

Tammy Pregracke, Chad’s wife and business manager, said the Tennessee River tour will serve the same basic purpose as the work done on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, to raise awareness of the importance and impact of the resource, “the ecology and the economy.” She also said that one of their missions is to “highlight the work” of local groups who are already engaged in environmental stewardship.

Pregracke started contacting government agencies in his teens and decided by his early twenties to create Living Lands & Waters.  The group has worked with over 60,000 volunteers to collect over 6 million pounds of debris.

Volunteers may register at 

LBL Squirrel Season Begins May 9

Golden Pond, Ky.– Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area’s 2015 spring squirrel hunting season will open May 9-June 14, in Tennessee and May 16-June 19, in Kentucky. 

Hunters must have a valid Kentucky or Tennessee state hunting license for the state in which they are hunting. Hunters age 16 and older must also have a Land Between The Lakes Hunter Use Permit. These are available online, 24/7 at or North and South Welcome Stations, Golden Pond Visitor Center, and wherever Kentucky and Tennessee state hunting licenses are sold. 

Hunters must abide by all applicable regulations and stay within legal hunting areas. The Tennessee daily bag limit is 10 with a possession limit of 20, and in Kentucky, the limits are 6 and 12, respectively. Hunters are strongly encouraged to use a tick repellent containing permethrin during these seasons.

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.

To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000. 

Geranium Sale This Week

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris & Henry County Health Care Foundation will be having a Geranium sale on Thursday, May 7 and 8, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. or until all plants are sold. 

Locations to purchase the Geraniums are First Bank, 1068 Mineral Wells Ave and the Henry County Medical Center patient parking located at 301 Tyson Ave. Plants are $7.50 each. Pre-Order to secure yours before they are gone by May 5 at 5 p.m. to or fax order form to 731-644-8360.

May Bloodmobile Visits In Our Area 

The following are locations and times for Lifeline Bloodmobile visits during the month of May in our area:

Thurs., May 7
First United Methodist Church, Paris, 12-6 p.m.
Mon., May 11
E. W. James, Martin, 12-6 pm.
Wed., May 13
First United Methodist Church, Gleason, 1-6
Fri., May 15
First Bank Camden, 12-5 p.m.
Mon., May 18
Southside Church of Christ, Dresden, 12-6 p.m.
Tues., May 19
Baptist Memorial Hospital, Union City, 12-4 p.m.
Wed., May 20
Henry County Medical Center, Paris, 9-11:30 p.m. and 12:30-4 p.m.

Wounded Warrior Bass Tourney Registration

Buchanan, Tenn.-The Annual Wounded Warrior Bass Tournament will be held Saturday, May 9, Safe Light to 1 p.m. at Paris Landing State Park and Marina. To register, or for more information, go to 

Monday, May 4, 2015 

Sam Miles To Retire; Special Meeting Called 

Paris, Tenn.-After a lengthy career in education, Henry County Director of Schools Sam Miles will be announcing his retirement at a special called meeting of the board of education at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Miles has been Director of Schools in Henry County for five years.

The meeting will be held at Grove Tower and will include preliminary discussion of a transition plan for the selection of a new Director.

The meeting is open to the public.

Suspect Sought In Time Warner Robbery

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Fulton, Tenn.-The Time Warner office in South Fulton was robbed at gunpoint this morning and police are seeking the suspect.

The suspect is described as a black male, 5 foot 5 to 5 foot 8, wearing shorts, tennis shoes, a t-shirt, ball cap and sunglasses. A handgun was used in the robbery. The suspect covered the gun with a white bag as he entered the office.

Anyone with information is asked to call the South Fulton Police at 731-479-1311 or Obion County Sheriff’s Office at 731-885-5832.

The city of South Fulton sent out an alert to the public via its text and email system informing the public of the robbery.

Boat Fire Explosion Victim Airlifted To Vanderbilt

Wendy Leach captured a couple of photos of the boat fire. We
published a second photo she took on Sunday.

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Buchanan, Tenn.-Tennessee Wildlife Resources Officers (TWRA) District 12 Boating Officer Joe Campbell this morning confirmed that the woman injured in Sunday’s houseboat explosion was airlifted following the accident to the Vanderbilt Medical Center.

“I don’t know what her condition is, but one of our TWRA officers is going to Vanderbilt to check on her this morning,” Campbell said.

Campbell said the investigation into the explosion is ongoing. “We do know that the fire happened right after the boat had taken on fuel. After the engines were cranked, the fire started toward the back of the boat,” he said.

Quick actions by the staff of the Paris Landing Marina lessened the impact of the fire, Campbell said. “They were able to push the boat away from the fuel dock and the other boats or the accident could have been a lot worse,” Campbell said.

The houseboat is permanently docked at Paris Landing Marina and is owned by Jason Rhodes of Clarksville. Campbell said the when the fire occurred four people were on the boat and four people were waiting to get onto the boat. The woman who was injured was a family member, he said.

Campbell said Norman’s Marine Service has containment booms to contain the gas and fuel in place at the scene and the houseboat will be removed from the water shortly.

Campbell offered a safety message to boaters. “Now that the boating season is underway, we want to advise everyone to use caution when fueling your boat at a marina. When you open the engine compartment after fueling, if you smell any gas vapor, you need to have it checked by a mechanic. You also need to have a working fire extinguisher in place and close by.”

Warrants Issued For Martin Break-Ins

                 Terrence Ball                                                  Marlon Jones

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Martin, Tenn.-One Bradford man is in custody and another is being sought by the Weakley Co. Sheriff’s Office in connection with residential break-ins in the Martin area in mid-April.

Warrants were issued for Terrence Marquez Ball, age 18, and Marlon Cornell Jones, age 26, both of Bradford. Jones is still being sought.

According to Investigator Randall McGowan, the break-ins occurred on Pierce Rd. north of Martin and Summers Rd. south of Martin on April 14 and 15.

Warrants were issued for aggravated burglary, theft over $1000 and vandalism. The vandalism charge is the result of damages to the doors of the residences.

McGowan said the arrests were the result of cooperation between investigators at the Weakley, Gibson and Carroll County sheriff’s offices and also helped solve break-ins in Gibson and Carroll County.

Some of the items taken from each house were recovered by investigators from houses in the Martin and Bradford areas, McGowan said.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Marlon Jones is asked to call the Weakley Co. sheriff’s office at 364-5454.

Parisians’ Artwork Displayed At West Tenn Center

Humboldt, Tenn.-A reception was held Sunday for five Paris artists whose artwork will be on display at the West Tennessee Regional Art Center through the month of May. The center is located at 1200 W. Main St. and is open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays is open with reservations for group tours. From left are: Martin Paschall, Ann Stapp, Dan Knowles, Becky Hedges and Michael McClure.

BBQ Business Cooking Structure Gutted

--(Photo by Walter Smothers)

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director 

Huntingdon, Tenn.-The structure used to cook the barbeque at Big Max’ BBQ in Huntingdon was destroyed by fire Sunday, but the Huntingdon Fire and Rescue was able to keep the fire from spreading to the restaurant itself.

Huntingdon Director of Public Safety Walter Smothers said the fire department received the call around 8:40 a.m. that there was a fire at Big Max’ on West Main St. 

Around 9 a.m., Fire Marshal Steve Price radioed that the fire had been knocked down. Smothers said the fire appeared to have been started from excess grease in the meat that was cooking.

The cooking structure was gutted by the fire, but the firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire to prevent it from spreading to the restaurant adjacent to it.

Cooking Out For St. Jude

Huntingdon, Tenn.-Members of the Huntingdon Fire & Rescue take it easy while waiting for the food to cook at the cookout Saturday for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Huntingdon Director of Safety Walter Smothers said the weather was perfect “and the support from the public was terrific.” The fundraiser cleared over $1400 that will be presented to the hospital. “ We want to thank Cash Savers Store Manager Jackie Streetman for hosting our event and the help extended to us during the cookout and made the event so successful,” Smothers said. (Walter Smothers photo).

Two Fulton Men Arrested After High-Speed Chase

Fulton, Ky.-Two Fulton men were arrested on various charges after a high-speed pursuit on the Purchase Parkway on Saturday.

Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon reported that on Saturday, May 2nd at approximately 10:55 PM, Deputy Richard Edwards attempted to stop three motorcycles for speeding on the Jackson Purchase Parkway near the 21 mile marker. 

The motorcycles failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated where speeds exceeded 120 mph while traveling South on the Parkway towards Fulton. Deputy Edwards was able to stop two of the motorcycles at the 14 mile marker but one of the bikes that was carrying a female passenger was able to elude deputies after the pursuit was terminated. The Kentucky State Police as well as other units from the Graves County Sheriff’s Office and the Mayfield Police Department arrived to assist. 

William Larvick, 31 of Fulton, was arrested by Deputy Edwards after standardized field sobriety tests were conducted and he was found to be operating under the influence of alcohol. He was taken to the Graves County Jail on the charges of reckless driving, speeding 26 mph or more over the speed limit, wanton endangerment 1st degree, fleeing or evading police 1st degree in a motor vehicle and DUI-1st with an aggravating circumstance. KSP carried the arrest on the other subject that was stopped. 

On May 3rd, Deputy Edwards gained information that the operator of the motorcycle that was able to elude deputies was Zachary Browning, 26 of Fulton. Deputy Edwards was able to make contact with him at which time he turned himself into Deputy Edwards and was arrested. He was transported to the Graves County Jail and charged with reckless driving, speeding 26 mph or more over the speed limit, wanton endangerment 1st and fleeing or evading police 1st degree in a motor vehicle.

Sunday, May 3, 2015 


Clarksville Woman Injured When Boat Explodes

The house fire fully engulfed. (Photo by Wendy Leach).

By Shannon McFarlin WENK/WTPR News Director

Buchanan, Tenn.-A Clarksville woman was badly burned in a boat fire at the Paris Landing Marina around noon today.