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WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks

TN NWR Hosting "The Amazing Wild Turkey" Discovery Series on Saturday

Springville, Tenn.- The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will hold their Discovery Series, “The Amazing Wild Turkey” this Saturday March 17th at 1pm at the Refuge Visitor Center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville.

The program will feature Steve Blount, veteran turkey hunter, as he walks you through past history and life history facts about this very intelligent bird. The five different subspecies of wild turkey will be discussed and participants will get practical experience looking for and reading turkey signs and as well deciphering the different communication sounds turkeys make.

Anyone wishing to see live turkeys should drive the refuge area, especially during early mornings or late evenings as they can often be seen in open fields or wooded areas. Sometimes wild turkeys will also be found along the nearby Britton Ford Hiking Trail which opens to the public beginning March 16th.

Entry to the event and to the visitor’s center is free. For more information call 642-2091.

Total Racer Experience for Incoming MSU Students Fall 2018

Paris, Tenn.- Murray State University has unveiled the Total Racer Experience contest for students who choose to live on campus for the fall 2018–spring 2019 academic year. 

Students must complete their on-campus housing application and pay the appropriate deposit by April 15 to be eligible for the contest. The Total Racer Experience package consists of $50 in dining flex dollars to be used at various on-campus dining locations, a parking permit upgrade, free textbook rentals and a Racers gift pack. One grand prize winner will be selected from each on-campus housing facility to be awarded the Total Racer Experience beginning next fall. Every student who secures on-campus housing with a paid deposit by the April 15 deadline will also receive a free Murray State t-shirt. 

Students who have already secured their on-campus housing for the 2018–19 academic year and paid the appropriate deposit have been entered into the contest.

Students can complete their housing application and view additional contest details at murraystate.edu/tre. 

BPU Flushing Hydrants Next Week

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants during the week of March 19th. Customers of BPU could possibly experience air in the water lines or discoloration in the water. Customers should check for discoloration prior to doing laundry and if there is discoloration, run the facet for several minutes and it should return to normal. If problems continue call Tony Brown, Director of Water and Wastewater at BPU at 642-1322 ext. 115.

Lady Patriots Celebrate Successful Season at Annual Banquet

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Lady Patriots held their annual basketball banquet Thursday night at First Baptist Church’s Orr Fellowship Hall in Paris.  Coach Cliff Curd honored seniors and Team Captains Emily Gilstrap and Gracie Osbron for their 4 years of outstanding accomplishments including being members of 2 District 10 AAA Championship teams and Osbron for becoming the All-Time Leading Scorer in school history with 1,699 career points.

Other Lady Patriots winning Season Team Leader Awards were Kelli Chipman for Best 3 Point Shooting Percentage at 44%, Caroline Hudson for Best Free Throw Percentage at 82%, Elaina Wood for Most Rebounds with 202, Emily Gilstrap for Most Assist with 144 and Gracie Osbron for Most Points (531), Most Steals (82) and Best Field Goal Percentage (51%) in a season. 

Recognition for individual game achievements (Team First Awards) went to Emily Gilstrap (Assist), Kelli Chipman (Steals), Elaina Wood (Rebounds) and Gracie Osbron (Assist and Rebounds)

The 2017-2018 Buddy Wiggleton Award went to Emily Gilstrap and the Academic Award went to Elaina Wood with a 102 GPA.  The Lady Patriots ended the 2017-18 season with a record of 25-6 and the District 10-AAA Regular Season and Tournament Championships.

Valerie Godina Named NW TN Teacher of the Year

Henry, Tenn.- In front of her students and peers, Henry Elementary School teacher, Valerie Godina, was given the news that she has been chosen to represent the Northwest Tennessee CORE region, grades 4-8, as Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year program recognizes and honors outstanding teachers in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Education recognizes teachers who care about children, who devote their professional lives to enriching the lives of Tennessee students, and who demonstrate exceptional gains in student achievement.

A total of 27 teachers, three in each CORE region, one in each grade band, were selected  in the state. Region-level Teachers of the Year finalists will now complete additional components of an application process and then one region-level Teacher of the Year will be selected from each of the eight CORE regions, plus Shelby County and its municipalities. The Tennessee Teacher of the year will be selected from the finalists and will go on to compete in the National Teacher of the Year.

Mrs. Godina teaches middle school Science and is the after school program, Kid's Corner, Director She has been with the Henry County School System for six years. When asked about her selection as Teacher of the Year for her region and grade band, Godina stated, "I'm the most fortunate person in the world to be able to do what I love to do each and every day." She then told the student-filled gym how much she loved them and thanked the administration for allowing the opportunity to teach the students in Henry County.

MCU Finds Drugs on Traffic Stop

Paris, Tenn.- Inv. Derrek Colley and Sgt. Jeramye Whitaker of the Paris Police Department and Metro Crime Unit have charged Justin M. Simmons, age 34, of 308 Peachtree with possession of schedule two with intent, possession of schedule 4 with intent, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Simmons was placed on $35K bond.

A press release from Capt. Ricky Watson of the Paris Police Department stated officers for the Metro Crime made a traffic stop and the driver of the vehicle James Adams, was driving on a revoked license. Officers were given consent to search Adam’s vehicle and found 37 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 62 grams of high grade marijuana, and digital scales.

Simmons was a passenger in the vehicle, who had active warrants for violation of probation, claimed ownership of the drugs. Another occupant of the vehicle Sabrina Adams, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia for having a meth pipe in her possession.

The Metro Crime Unit was assisted by Paris Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Puryear Police, and the TBI.

Cpl. David Andrews of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of two calves from a residence on Hwy. 140 S. The owner of several heads of cattle had loaded up many to sell and left two calves there to be sold at a later date. He came back to realize the calves were gone. There is a possible suspect and investigation is continuing.

Charges Added After Drugs Concealed Found at Jail

Paris, Tenn.- In a separate incident, Inv. Jermaye Whitaker of the MCU stopped a vehicle on Old Paris Murray Road this week because of broken tail light. The driver was identified as Michael Trent who stated he was on the way to the jail to turn himself in on failure to appear warrants. He also had a revoked license.

The passenger was Hayley Hutchinson who told officers she had used from syringes in the vehicle and handed them over to Paris Police. Search revealed a small bag of methamphetamine, loaded syringes, and measuring spoons in her wallet. Hutchinson was charged with simple possession of schedule two and possession of drug paraphernalia.

At the jail, Trent was found to have three bags of marijuana, pills, and some meth concealed in his buttocks. Trent was then charged with possession of schedule two and six with intent, and simple possession of schedule three, and introduction of a contraband into a penal institution. Cash on Trent’s person was seized as drug proceeds.

No Caucus for the HC Dems; Powell Resigning As Chairman

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Democratic Party will not be having a caucus due to lack of interested candidates for any of the seats up for Election this August. Daniel Powell, who has been chairman of the party has also announced he will be resigning from the chairman position.

HCSO Donates Deer Hides to Elks National VSC

Paris, Tenn.- The Elks National Veterans Service Commission presented the Henry County Sheriff's Office with a certificate of appreciation for their donation of deer hides from the Deputies for the Hungry program. These hides are used to make wheelchair gloves and therapy kits for Veterans. (HCSO photos)


Lee Academy Presents Richard Garey as Mark Twain Himself This Saturday at KPAC

Paris, Tenn.- Lee Academy for the Arts presents America’s Premier Mark Twain, Richard Garey, this Saturday night March 17th at the Krider Performing Arts Cetner at 7pm. Garey will be joined by the Shepherd Family, Dan Knowles, and the PSSD Strings orchestra for musical entertainment.

Garey has been featured on CBS’s Good Morning America, PBS’s All Things Considered, and in live events throughout the United States and Canada for over 30 years. Twain’s humor, philosophy, and stories come to life in each performance.

This is a fundraiser for Lee Academy and tickets are $15 each. They are available in advance at Jack Jones, Merison’s, Security Bank in Buchanan, the DPA office, Lee Academy, and from any Lee School Board member.

LBL To Hold Prescribed Burns in March

Land Between the Lakes, Tenn./Ky- Forest Service wildfire officials plan to conduct prescribed burns within administrative sites and select open lands at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in March 2018.

Officials will burn dry fuels to improve forest health and habitat diversity when weather conditions outlined in the prescription are met. 

“Approximately 449 acres are included in the planned prescribed burns,” says Todd Lerke, fire management specialist at Land Between the Lakes. “Prescribed fire is weather dependent. We must have the right conditions to meet land management goals, with the least smoke impact to surrounding communities.”

Administrative sites planned for prescribed burns in March 2018 include, but are not limited to, a portion of the Elk & Bison Prairie.
Wildfire is a natural occurrence that benefits plants and animals while reducing the risk of large wildfires. Prescribed burns often target high use areas to reduce accumulation of dry fuels and to recycle nutrients back into the soil. Prescribed burns in March will include open lands identified for prescribed fire wildlife and ecosystem management but not burned in March 2017.
Land Between the Lakes will notify local media outlets on days when prescribed burns are scheduled. Notices can be found at www.landbetweenthelakes.us/alerts-notices or by calling toll free 800-525-7077 or in Kentucky call 270-924-2000.
To learn more, call Fire Management Specialist, Todd Lerke, at 270-924-2092.

City Hall Renovations Progressing

The front office at City Hall has a brand new look. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- For the first time since it was built in 1961, Paris City Hall is undergoing some major renovations. The major work begin at the first of the year and Henson Construction won the bid on the project and have been using some local sub-contractors as the work progresses.

Work has continued without much of a hitch, as City Hall only closed a half a day two different times to allow employees to move around as construction was done in one area of the building or the other.

Community Development Director Jennifer Morris said, “things never really stopped, we have all worked around the construction work and we kept having citizens come in and pay taxes, bills, and other things. It’s going to look really nice when it’s all done.”

Paris Police Officers Jordan Klutts and Jermaye Whitaker with their make-shift offices in the meeting room while work is going on back in the Paris Police Dept.

Currently major work is going on in the Police Department as Officers have moved their desk and materials to the old meeting room area while the Police Department is being updated.

The City Hall courtroom being renovated.

The courtroom is getting a bit of a maker over with new technology going in as some other changes are being made. Morris said, “we knew we wanted to update with more technology so the media table will have power stations for computers, we have better sound system, and video will be available on the TVs as well.”

A true break room and filing room have been added and some doors between places were sealed up that haven’t really been utilized in years. Morris said, “We’ve added so much more space in these front office and with the addition of a true filing room it is a huge help with all the paperwork we have, something we desperately needed at City Hall.”

Work will continue throughout March and as of now the April City Commission meeting will be held at the Chamber. Finishing touches on City Hall will come later this Spring. More pictures of some of the renovation is on our WMUF/WLZK Facebook page.

DECA Students Do Well at State; Advance to Nationals

Paris, Tenn.- HCHS DECA students placed well at the DECA State Convention in Chattanooga March 6-8. They now advance to DECA National Competition in Atlanta in April. Pictured L to R: Natalie Clark (Public Relations Project), Kester Nucum (Marketing Communications), and Savanah Hunt (Public Relations Project).

Natalie & Savanah were in a team event together, and Kester participated in an individual event. Kester took a test, and completed 2 role play scenarios in front of a judge. And the girls had to take a test, and present their project (Henry County Literacy Campaign) to a judge. (Brian Welp photo)

First Christian Church St. Patty's Luncheon Planned for Friday

Paris, Tenn.- First Christian Church will host their Annual St. Patty’s Day Luncheon this Friday March 16th from 11am to 1pm at the Church at 101 S. Poplar St. It’s a $10 donation for baked potato bar and shamrock salad and you can dine in or carry out. Proceeds raised from this year’s events benefit The Shed.

Drug Arrests Made, Thefts reported

Paris, Tenn.- Capt. John Brewer of the Paris Police Department has charged Corey DeWayne Teague, 42, of 606 East Wood Street with violation of probation, evading arrests, and simple possession of methamphetamine. Paris Police had issued warrants on Teague after responding to an incident he was said to be involved with a couple days ago.

Inv. Jeramye Whitaker of the Paris Police Department and Metro Crime Unit charged Michael B. Main, age 38, of 55 Hidden Acres Road, for driving without license, vandalism, and resisting arrest.

Trooper Josh Wade of the Tennessee Highway Patrol charged Nicholas A. Melton, age 29, of 3575 Old Stage Road for DUI, violation of implied consent, possession of legend drug, and driving on revoked license. He was placed on $2500.

A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated Dep. Kyle Waldron took a report of 4 stolen car batteries from a home on North Drive. There are no suspects at this time and the value of the batteries is under $1000.

Another report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated a Yamaha ATV valued at $5K was stolen from a home on Lakeview Drive. There are no suspects at this time.

Dr. Norton Releases Statement on Student "Walk Out"

Paris, Tenn.- Director of Henry County Schools Dr. Brian Norton has issued a statement regarding students in Henry County being involved with the "walk out" that was planned Nationwide to remember the fallen victims of school shootings this year.

Dr. Norton said, "Today is not about Henry County School System involving itself in a political debate…rather, it is about preparing for a safe and orderly student walkout should we have students to participate in this national event. Our schools spent much time preparing for today to ensure a safe and orderly demonstration should our students choose to participate. 

We recognize that our students do not lose their First Amendment Right at the front door of the school house but we also realize the school does not shed its responsibility to protect our students. The learning opportunity for our students today will be seen in how those with differing opinions treat one another. We live in a world where this lesson needs to be taught…we see far too often those with differing ideology can’t even be cordial but instead, choose to be hostile.

So, that is what I hope our students learn today. We will not debate the political purpose of today’s walkout…that is left up to the individual.  We will support the opportunity for students to participate in this demonstration; however, we will not tolerate students harassing one another for having differing opinions and beliefs."

HCHS Speech Team Showcase Thurs. 7pm at Little Theatre

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County High School Speech Team will present its annual showcase for the public this Thursday March 15th at 7pm in the Little Theatre at Henry County High School. National qualifier Natalie Clark will be speaking along with NSDA state semi-finalists Charlie Raymer adn Pierce Rose as well as team president Noah Hulbert.

The 7 member cast of Noel Coward's farce "Blithe Spirit" will also perform its 45 minute version of the play, which will be entered into the Tennessee High School Speech and Drama League District competition on Friday. The admission price for Thursday's showcase event is $5, with money raised helping the team fund the upcoming competition in White House, TN.

Road Board Approves Bid for New Tractor from B&G Equipment

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Road Board met on Tuesday night and approved a bid for a new tractor from B & G Equipment in Paris. The bid was on a Massey Ferguson 4710/87PTO for over $45K. B & G was the low bid from four total bids and met all the specs required by the Highway Department. Tennessee Tractor, McKeel Equipment, and Chattanooga Tractor and Equipment all submitted bids.

The board also approved Murray Paving, Inc. for state aid resurfacing contingent on them meeting all Tennessee Department of Transportation specs and criteria. Murray Paving’s bid of $73.65 per mile for all roads was the low bid and would save the department around $45K.

Road Supervisor Richie Chilcutt also informed the board that three bids were taken on state-aid bridge work. Dement Construction came in with the lowest bid. Chilcutt said the county would be reimbursed 100% for this since it was state-aid work.

Chilcutt also reported the wet weather this last half of winter has really put the department behind and they’ve been trying to do lots of things this last week or so since it has dried up some. Potholes from the ice and snow back in January are still a major problem on many roads throughout the county and Chilcutt said they are working on fixing them. He said as soon as the asphalt company opens up in April they will be able to put a bigger dent in them.

Erin St. Patrick's Day Celebration Culminates Saturday

Erin, Tenn.- Events started last week and will culminate on Saturday March 17th with the Grand Parade for the 56th Annual Irish Day Celebration in Erin. The theme for this year’s event is “When I-rish Upon a Shamrock.”

On Thursday March 15th, Yellow Creek Baptist Church will host a Homecoming Jubilee Gospel Signing at 6:30pm. The carnival runs from thru Saturday with family night on Wednesday and Thursday and dollar night on Friday.

Friday March 16th the Irish Potato Bar will be offered at Signature Health Care in Erin from 10am to 2pm for $7 per plate. The Irish Banquet and Silent Auction will be Friday March 16th at 6pm at Houston County High School in the Forum. There is social hour at 5pm and banquet and auction starts at 6pm. Tickets are $30 and are available in advance at Erin City Hall. Friday night at 7pm live music will be performed at the Perdue Acoustics Show Grounds on Front St.

Saturday March 17th the Erin United Methodist Church will hold their Pancake Breakfast from 6:30-10:30am. The leprechaun parade will start at 10:30am from Erin Nazarene Church and the Grand Parade starts at 11am from Houston County Middle School. There will also be a Demolition Derby with the Power Wheels for kids starting at 3pm and main derby to follow. Admission is $10. There will be plenty of food and craft vendors on hand downtown during Saturday as well.

For more information on the events during the 56th Annual Irish Day Celebration visit www.houstoncochamber.com.

Bethel U. Career Day For Students and Alumni is Thursday

McKenzie, Tenn.- Bethel University’s Office of Career Services will hold its annual Career Fair for students and alumni this Thursday March 15th from 10:30am to 1pm at the Board Room of the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment.

Several companies from around the region will be in attendance. Those attending should dress in professional attire and bring multiple copies of their resumes. For more information, contact Rachel Brooks at brooksra@bethelu.edu or call 352-4246. 

Freedom Fellowship Church Holding BBQ Fundraiser Sat.

Henry, Tenn.- Freedom Fellowship Church will hold a BBQ fundraiser this Saturday March 17th from 4-8pm at the Henry Civic Center to raise money to send kids to summer church camp. The menu consists of a plate of BBQ, baked beans, potato, salad, slaw, dessert, and drink for $8. For more information call Faye at 336-5792.

K9s Rowdy, Adora Track Down Two Men After Evading Arrest

Dep. Stacey Bostwick, with Rowdy and Sgt.Wayne Fuqua with Adora along with suspect Christopher Patterson. (HCSO photo)

Paris, Tenn.- Two men are now in custody after crashing their vehicle and fleeing on foot, thanks in part to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office hosting a K9 school this week. The press release from Capt. Adam Jenkins said Trooper Jeremy Byars with the THP attempted to stop a vehicle on Whitehead Road when the vehicle crashed and the two suspects fled on foot.

The HCSO was hosting the K9 school and Sgt. Wayne Fuqua with Adora and Dep. Stacey Bostwick with Rowdy initiated a track on both suspects. K9 Rowdy was able to track one of the suspects, Jeremy Groves and Sgt. Brian Davis took him into custody.

Sgt. Fuqua and Adora initiated the 2nd track and about half a mile later, Sheriff Monte Belew was able to take Christopher Patterson into custody. Search of the vehicle revealed a handgun and hydrocodone pills. Both suspects were transported to jail.

Groves was charged with evading arrest, DUI, driving on suspended license, reckless driving, and unlawful possession of a handgun. Patterson was charged with evading arrest and simple possession.

Vale Community Center Hosting St. Patrick's Day Fundraiser

Hollow Rock, Tenn.- There will be a St. Patrick’s Celebration benefitting the Vale Community Center this Saturday March 17th from 3-7pm. The center is located at 26165 Hwy. 114 just north of Hollow Rock. Musical entertainment will be provided by “A Touch of Grey” and the meal will be Irish Stew, Bread, Dessert, and Drink. Price for the meal is $7 for adults, children under ten for $4. Wear your green to the event to be eligible for door prizes. For more information or to donate call 731-415-3935.

HCHS Tennis Team Takes Match with Northwest

Paris, Tenn.- The HCHS Varsity Tennis Team took home their 1st TSSAA official Matrix tennis match of the season, Monday, with a clean sweep of Northwest High School. Both Boys and Girls didn't drop a match to earn an 9-0 victory. 

Tori Starks played the #1 position in singles with an 8-3 win, then paired with Sam Hopwood to win their doubles match.  

Jaden Wimberley played the #1 position in singles for the Boy's and won his match, easily, at 8-0, then paired with Clay Durham to capture another perfect match at 8-0. 

HCHS's next match will be Wednesday, at home, against Union City High School.

HCHS Jazz Ensemble Side by Side Concert is Tues. Night

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Jazz Ensemble will present their Side-by-Side Concert Tuesday March 13th at the Krider Performing Arts Center at 6:30pm. Special guest will be the UT-Martin Big Band. The Paris Henry County Middle School Jazz Ensemble, made up of students from Lakewood, Harrelson, Henry, and Inman will perform. Henry County High School Jazz Ensemble will also perform, combined with the UT-Martin Big Band to close out the concert. Admission is free to the public.

UT Martin Installs Drug Take Back Drop Box

Pictured with the county’s newest drug take-back box, located inside the UT Martin Department of Public Safety in Crisp Hall, are (l-r) Lt. Charles Jahr; Suzanne Harper, director of the Weakley County Prevention Coalition; Dr. Deborah Gibson, UT Martin professor of health and human performance and a member of the Weakley County Prevention Coalition; and Scott Robbins, director of the Department of Public Safety.

Martin, Tenn.- The University of Tennessee at Martin now has a drug take-back box installed at the Department of Public Safety in Crisp Hall. This sealed container is provided by the Weakley County Prevention Coalition and allows students, employees and community members to safely dispose of prescription drugs and other unwanted or expired pharmaceuticals.

The coalition has also trained UT Martin campus police officers in the use of nasal Naloxone, a drug used in the event of an opioid overdose, whether intentional or unintentional. Gov. Bill Haslam recently stated that three Tennesseans die each day from various kinds of opioid overdose, and local law enforcement is partnering with the Weakley County Prevention Coalition to keep area citizens and students from experiencing fatal overdoses.

These steps come on the heels of University of Tennessee System President Joe DiPietro’s third annual State of the University address Feb. 28, which focused largely on the state’s opioid epidemic. DiPietro promised to put the “might of the UT System” behind combating the crisis statewide.

According to the Weakley County Prevention Coalition, enough painkiller prescriptions were written in Weakley County alone for each county resident to have 1.3 prescriptions in their name in 2016. Statistics from 2017 have not yet been made available.

The drug take-back boxes accept all prescription and over-the-counter medications; veterinary medications; medicated ointments, lotions or drops; liquid medications in leak-proof containers; inhalers; and pills in any packages, including glass, plastic, Ziploc baggies or foil packs.

Items not accepted include illegal drugs or narcotics; needles or syringes with needles; blood sugar equipment; thermometers; IV bags; bloody or infectious waste; or personal-care products such as shampoo and non-medicated lotions.

The UT Martin drug take-back box is the fifth permanent location in Weakley County. The others are located at the Martin Police Department, the Greenfield Police Department, Sharon City Hall and the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office in Dresden. Other local boxes can be found at the Henry County Sheriff’s Department in Paris, and at the police departments in Union City, Troy, South Fulton and Paris.

To find a drug take-back box near you, visit tdeconline.tn.gov/rxtakeback.

Those who are not comfortable bringing their unwanted or expired medications to a take-back box are encouraged to drop off their items during a Drug Take Back Day, which are held twice each year. The UT Martin campus will host a Drug Take Back Day on April 27 at the campus Department of Public Safety.

The Weakley County Prevention Coalition also distributes lock boxes for parents to use when keeping medications away from children and teenagers. For more information, contact the coalition at weakleyprevention@gmail.com.

PSSD BOE Holds Safety Work Session

HC Sheriff Monte Belew and Chief Dep. Damon Lowe discuss safety and security measures at the PSSD. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Special School District Board of Education held a safety workshop Monday evening with board members, Principals, School Resources Officers, and other staff members present to discuss some concerns with safety and security.

Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Chief Deputy Damon Lowe were on hand and made a presentation, similar to what they did last week at the Henry County Board of Education meeting.

Sheriff Belew said we have the capabilities with camera systems to view all schools in the PSSD from the Sheriff’s Office and even on the phones of Sheriff Belew and Chief Lowe.

Sheriff Belew said, “we’ve had multiple calls on metal detectors, and again it’s a very costly endeavour. This has been more effective in major metropolitan areas.”

He said we want to have a joint meeting with all SROs and all principals to get on the same drill and have students know the same coding, words, and something simple to plan and do drills to practice for intruders and such.

Sheriff Belew said the arming of teachers is a hot topic but it is something they feel could help in case of intruders. Right now, PSSD or HCSS can’t arm teachers, but a bill is in the legislature that would open it up to all schools across the state.

Sheriff Belew once again reiterated the fact that the teachers who want to be armed, who are capable, trained, and have went thru testing on firing weapons would be armed if they go this route if and when the new law passes.

Sheriff Belew said, “we want to present a harder target and have all our SROs, staff, and administrators trained on how to react, should something occur. We at the HCSO are here for our school systems and we will do anything to enhance school safety.”

Other discussion at Monday night’s workshop had each principal and SRO give safety walk-throughs at each school in the system. PSSD Superintendent Dr. Norma Gerrell had asked all of them go thru the schools and check on any potential issues.

Rhea Principal Sandra Paschall said they have done some additional safety drills with the construction going on to make sure all students knew which way to go for emergency drills. SRO of Rhea Sgt. Michelle Brewer said most of the issues that come up thru the walk-through have already been addressed with unlocked doors, etc. Dr. Gerrell also said they plan on putting the magnetic entrance button in the front office to add extra layers of security and allows staff to control who all comes in and how quickly they come in.

Paris Elementary Principal Chip Gray said our first layer of security in the office area at PES is a great setup. We didn’t see any glaring issues with safety concerns after the walk-through. All certified and classified staff have completed AED training at PES as well.

Gray said, “the partnership with the Civic Center adds a layer of issues because the community access to our school and we are meeting with Parks Director Tony Lawrence to hash out possible issues and find solutions to that. We have discussed having the ident-a-kid program for people who enter the Civic Center during school hours as well.”

Principal Gray did say he would be more than willing to go thru training and be willing to carry firearms should that be allowed to happen.

PES Principal Chip Gray and SRO for PES Sgt. Eddie Crosser talk about ways to improve safety.

PES SRO Sgt. Eddie Crosser built a one-step lock to make the locking of doors quicker at the school where shutting the door and flipping the lever attached at the door instantly locks it without dealing with keys. It releases and locks with one motion in order to meet fire codes. The apparatus isn’t fully approved but the Department of Homeland security is coming to Paris Elementary to look at the apparatus on Tuesday.

Inman Principal Jason Scarbrough and SRO Sgt. Dennis Vaughn went over their walk-through as well Monday night. Once a week Sgt. Vaughn, and principal and assistant principal walk thru to check things. Scarbrough said Maintenance Supervisor Jason Coffield has done an excellent job in finding keys to fit doors at each classroom and it allows them to do lockdowns where they couldn’t before.

Sgt. Vaughn discussed ideas that he had received talking with students, staff, and teachers. They have worked on wearing badges and keeping their keys in the badge to lock doors quickly.

The Board heard from IT Director Charles Archer on the cameras and technology at the system to help with security and safety. The new BPU fiber optics has made us able to extend our network to the 911 office and Sheriff’s and it allows us to do high quality video streams between us all. Dr. Gerrell said the system has purchased some insurance for cyber security.

Archer talked about the great video system that allows the Sheriff’s Office and Paris Police Department have constant video access in and around all the schools in the system.

Maintenance Supervisor Jason Coffield spoke at the workshop as well and what his crew has done in checking doors, locks, and several other things that could be seen as safety hazards.

Safety Coordinator Sherry Wagner discussed a safety training with Dr. Gerrell earlier this month. They plan to spend Friday morning with Principals going over the things they suggested to check. She said they have an email address and notes posted with those email addresses at the school were people can report safety issues like loose bricks, etc. Ms. Wagner receives the email and then lets the appropriate people know if something needs to be fixed.

At the end of the workshop, Dr. Gerrell said we need to empower our staff to know how to call and follow a drill and that is something we will be working on. We will also be practicing drills for live scenarios for different possible things our staff could encounter.

Dr. Gerrell said, “we have to keep safety at the forefront and call drills more on the spot and be more prepared not just compliant.”

Saturday Morning Fire Destroys House in Huntingdon

Huntingdon, Tenn.- On Saturday March 11th at approximately 8:50 a.m. the Huntingdon Fire & Rescue responded to a call about a house on fire at 228 Clark Street. Upon arrival the older model frame home was completely engulfed, according to Walter Smothers, Director of Public Safety.

After extinguishing the fire it was determined that it had started by a space heater that was being run on an extension cord. Half of the outlet it had been plugged into had melted. Also of note there was a gallon of paint in close proximity to the heater.

The residence was occupied by Ms. Valerie Buck, however no one was at home at the time of the fire. Found inside the home was a smoke alarm that had been donated and installed by Huntingdon Fire & Rescue in December 2015.

Although badly melted and damaged it was still emitting its audible alarm. This should remind everyone of the importance of having working smoke detectors. The Huntingdon Fire & Rescue is furnished these smoke detectors by the state and will donate and install them to needy residents.

TVA Opens Up Public Comment Period on Proposed Rate Changes

Knoxville- The Tennessee Valley Authority kicked off a public comment period on March 9, 2018, seeking input on a draft Environmental Assessment that explores potential environmental and economic impacts of its proposed rate change.

The rate change would revise the structure of wholesale electric power rates to better align wholesale rates with the underlying costs to serve the 154 local power companies who serve TVA’s service territory. As proposed, the standard service energy rate would be reduced and a grid access charge would be established to recover the same amount. The result would be revenue neutral for TVA.

To ensure a full range of issues are addressed, TVA invites members of the public, businesses, employees, environmental organizations and community leaders, as well as federal, state and local agencies, to comment on the proposed rate change EA, which can be viewed online at TVA’s website.

The public comment period will run 30 days, closing on April 9, 2018.

“We are very focused on keeping rates low for everyone and providing more bill stability over the course of the year,” said Cass Larson, vice president of Pricing & Contracts.

“In fact, we cut more than $1.5 billion annually in costs over the past few years to protect consumers and keep power bills as low as feasible for years to come.”

TVA welcomes the public’s comments on the draft EA. Comments must be received or postmarked no later than April 9, 2018. Comments may be submitted by email or mail to Matthew Higdon at mshigdon@tva.gov or 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11D, Knoxville, TN, 37902. Please note that any comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the project administrative record and will be available for public inspection.

Three Arrested On Search for Woman with Active Warrants

Paris, Tenn.- Dep. Dalton Watson of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office went to a house on 79 South to locate a woman on active warrants and ended up making three arrests while there.

The report stated Dep. Watson arrived to find the front door open and he could see a female sitting inside. When he knocked, Tristen Hepner, 22, of 1002 Dunlap St., came to the door to answer and said the woman he was looking for, Stephanie Mitchell, age 29, of 5100 Hwy. 79N, wasn’t there. Also at the home was Steven Miller and Kory Ray along with Donald Gallimore, age 57 of Camden. As Dep. Watson continued to search the home, he found a baggie with some crystal meth and then came upon a locked door.

Sgt. Wayne Fuqua had come to assist Dep. Watson and used a tool to pry open a locked bedroom door, where Mitchell was found. Consent was given by Mitchell for officers to search the entire house and they came upon a duffle bag with crystal meth, silver spoons with residue, 42 syringes, and other drug paraphernalia. Gallimore claimed ownership of the duffle bag and was charged with possession of schedule 2 and possession of drug paraphernalia. Further charges are also pending in the incident.

Hepner and Mitchell were both taken into custody as well for active warrants with further charges pending.

Puryear Man Charged With Drug Possession

Paris, Tenn.- Inv. Derrek Colley of the Paris Police Department charged Jeffery Mancell, age 46 of Puryear for driving on a suspended license, possession of schedule 2 with intent, possession of schedule 2, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mancell was placed on $20K bond.

PSSD BOE Holding Safety and Security Workshop Mon. Night

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Special School District Board of Education will meet on Monday at 6:30pm for discussion and workshop on Safety and Security in the school system. No official action will be taken by the board.

Man Arrested for DUI Over Weekend

Paris, Tenn.-  According to a report at the Paris Police Department by Patrolman Zachariah Carper, Brian Offord, age 46 of Sulfur Creek Rd in Big Sandy, was arrested and charged for DUI over the weekend. The report states that city units were dispatched to the area of Memorial Dr. in reference to an older model Ford F-150 driving recklessly.

Upon Ptl. Carper’s arrival, he observed a vehicle matching the description pull into Kroger parking lot and conducted a traffic stop. Upon making contact with the driver, the officer detected the odor of alcohol coming from the pickup. Offord was asked to exit the vehicle in order to request consent to perform the standardized field sobriety tests. When Offord exited the vehicle the odor of alcohol became stronger. When asked, Offord admitted that he had consumed 2-3 beers prior to driving. Offord consented to taking the field sobriety tests, all of which he failed. Patrolman Carper then read and explained the Tennessee Implied Consent advisement to Offord, who agreed to give a blood sample. Offord was transported to Henry County Medical Center to give the sample, then to Henry County Sheriff’s Office without incident. His bond was set at $1,500.

Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Winners

Paris, Tenn.-  The Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash wrapped up Sunday afternoon with the overall heaviest fish weighing in at 9.22 lbs., caught by Brian Pahl from Bethel University. Brian took home around $5,000 worth of prizes from Cabela, Power-Pole, as well as many other companies. Ty Cox, from Blue Mountain College, took 2nd overall with a bass weighing in at 8.94 lbs. Chet Reaves, from Auburn University, came in 3rd overall with a bass weighing in at 7.62 lbs.

(Jessi Lane photos)

Brian Pahl, Bethel University, 1st place overall winner.

Ty Cox, Blue Mountain College, 2nd place overall winner.

Chet Reaves, Auburn University, 3rd place overall winner.


Angler's huddle under tents to keep out of the rain at Sunday's awards ceremony.

Spring Gospel Meeting at East Wood Church of Christ

Paris, Tenn.-  East Wood Church of Christ invites you as a special guest to its Spring Gospel Meeting, being held March 11th -14th. Their guest speaker will be Paris native, James Malone, who is preacher at Washington Avenue Church of Christ in Jonesboro, Arkansas. There was a bible study Sunday morning, potluck dinner and worship service on Sunday, as well as an evening service, and there will be a worship service at 7pm each evening Monday-Wednesday, March 12th-14th. Bus transportation is available for those in need. For more information, please call 731-642-2861.

Cabela's Collegiate Big Bass Bash Underway

Paris, Tenn.-  Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash is underway this weekend. Nearly 475 collegiate anglers have made their way to Kentucky Lake for the event. The tournament kicked off Saturday morning and will continue on Sunday, with the final weigh-in at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Bethel University Angler Ricky Harris, shows off his 7.42 lb bass at Saturday's weigh-in.

(photo Jessi Lane)

HCMC ED Physician Receives Recognition

Paris, Tenn.-  Henry County Medical Center announced that Steven Hedlesky MD, of the Emergency Medicine Department, recently received recognition for achieving board certification for 30 years in his field. Dr. Hedlesky has marked 30 years of being board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Because board certification is a voluntary process, this landmark reflects a dedication to the specialty of Emergency Medicine, the recognition of the value of board certification, his devotion to continuous learning and the provision of quality care to all patients. For more information visit www.hcmc-tn.org.


Paris Women's Center "Expecting" Two New Additions

Paris, Tenn.-  Paris Women’s Center is expanding its care family with the addition of two new OB/GYN’s that will begin practicing in the clinic this summer. “We are pleased to have two new OB/GYN’s joining both Dr. Wieck and Kristian Elliott in the Paris Women’s Center,” said Lisa Casteel, HCMC CEO. “Having four outstanding providers in one office will allow our patients to be able to receive the best of care right here at home.”

Dr. Pamela Evans, whose clinical specialties include general obstetrics and gynecology, gynecological surgery, urogynecology surgery and laparascopic and robotic surgery, will be joining the clinic. Dr. Tucker Whitfield, who is both a fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, will also be joining the clinic this summer.

For more information on both Dr. Evans or Dr. Tucker or to learn more about Paris Women’s Center, please go the website at www.hcmc-tn.org and click on Paris Women’s Center, or give them a call at 731-644-8225.

McDonald's Grand Re-opening/40th Anniversary Celebration

Paris, Tenn.-  McDonald’s celebrated their grand re-opening, as well as their 40th anniversary Saturday morning with a ribbon cutting as well as Cub Scout Pack 28 raising the American Flag. They also had prize drawings, giveaways as well as a free photo booth.

(photos Jessi Lane)

Chris Grant speaks to the crowd at the Grand Re-Opening of McDonald's Saturday morning.

Kristine Kenworthy cuts the ribbon at the Grand Re-Opening of McDonald's Saturday.

Mason Bond, son of Rodney Bond, enjoys the new PlayPlace at McDonald's Grand Re-Opening.

Paris Woman Charged with DUI 4th Offense

Paris, Tenn.-  According to a report at the Paris Police Department by Patrolman Steven Dean Jr., he was traveling eastbound on East Wood St. when he observed a vehicle cross the center line of the road multiple times. Ptl. Dean also clocked the vehicle traveling at 52 MPH in a 40 MPH zone and conducted a traffic stop. Upon making contact with the driver, Lisa McCaig, age 54 of Nobles Rd., the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol. Ptl. Dean asked the suspect to exit the vehicle and perform a field sobriety test, which she did not pass. McCaig was then placed under arrest for DUI 4th offense. McCaig was transported to Henry County Medical Center where her blood was drawn, then transported to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office where she received a bond of $15,000.

Woman Arrested on Shoplifting Charges

Paris, Tenn.-  A report at the Paris Police Department by Lieutenant Ean Reed states that on Thursday, units were dispatched to Wal-Mart in regards to a shoplifter. Lt. Reed arrived at the scene where Anita Esposito, age 46 of Buchanan, was being held by security for changing the bar codes on items in an attempt to deprive the store of the value of the merchandise. There were a total of 8 items at a value of $108.79. All items were recovered by security. A check with dispatch of Esposito showed that Esposito has a history of failing to appear for citations, so Esposito was transported to the HCSO and booked for shoplifting. Esposito was held on a $1,000 bond.

Diane Black for Governor Meet and Greet Luncheon Held at HCMC

Paris, Tenn.-  The Diane Black for Governor Meet and Greet Luncheon was held Friday afternoon at the Board Room of the Henry County Medical Center. Diane Black is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District, currently running for the seat of Governor of Tennessee. Congresswoman Black stated that as a registered nurse with more than 45 years of experience in the field, it is very important to her to understand the needs of rural hospitals.

Congresswoman Diane Black speaks with Vicki Hoover at Meet and Greet Friday afternoon.

(photo Jessi Lane)

TN Dept. of Health Warns of Phone Scam

Nashville- The Tennessee Department of Health has been notified by several people in Tennessee and other states of a potential scam in which people are contacted via telephone by a caller asking for health insurance information. The calls appear to come from the Tennessee Department of Health central office.

The scam reportedly involves a person who calls potential victims from a number that displays as the Tennessee Department of Health. When the calls are answered, the scam artist asks for personal information including health insurance information from those contacted. In some instances, the caller states he or she is calling on behalf of BlueCross BlueShield.

The Tennessee Department of Health does not contact people by phone to request personal information such as health insurance information and warns everyone not to share any personal information in this manner. When patients are making appointments for services at a local health department, the health department clinic staff member may ask who the patient’s insurance carrier is, but will not ask for policy numbers or other details over the phone. Health department representatives do not contact people who are not patients to request such information.

TDH has notified law enforcement about this matter. Anyone with questions or concerns about an unauthorized release of or request for health insurance or other personal information should contact his or her local law enforcement agency. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members who receive a call are also advised to contact the BlueCross Compliance Hotline at 1888-343-4221.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s Division of Consumer Affairs reminds consumers to never give personal information such as name, address, Social Security number, credit card information or medical information to a stranger over the phone. If consumers believe they have been the victim of a scam, the division urges them to report what happened to federal or state agencies. Contact the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs at (800)3428385 or (615) 741-4737, or visit www.tn.gov/commerce/consumer-affairs.html to file a complaint.

Chamber Hosting BizTech Road Show Tuesday March 20th

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is set to host the Biz Tech Roadshow. Created by theCO and Adelsberger Marketing, this traveling workshop is coming to Henry County to talk about social media and technology. The group will be at the Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, March 20th from 11:30am- 2:00pm. Lunch will be provided.

"Social Media is key to business in 2018 and has been for a few years. We are helping people understand its importance and make use of it to grow their business," added Kevin Adelsberger, Owner of Adelsberger Marketing. 

In addition to the Social Media workshop, theCO will bring the Mobile Innovation Lab that is packed full of the latest technology like drones, 3D printers, and Virtual Reality demonstrations.

“We are thrilled to bring this team to Henry County and have them share their expertise to our community,” commented Travis McLeese, Executive Director of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. “This event will serve as the kick off for our new Grub Club Program.” 

There is no cost to attend the event and it is open to the public, but will require an RSVP to attend. Please email RSVP to tmcleese@paristnchamber.com. The Chamber of Commerce is located at 2508 East Wood Street in Paris. For more information call (731) 642-3431.

HCSS Pre-Registration for Kindergarten is this Week

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County School System’s 2018-19 school year kindergarten pre-registration dates have been set for March 12-16. Henry, Harrelson, and Lakewood Elementary Schools will pre-register students who will be 5 years old on or before August 14th, 2018.

Harrelson’s pre-registration will be March 12-16th from 9am to 1pm. Thursday March 15th there is a Kick-Off Event from 5:30pm to 7pm where parents can come and register their children.

Henry School will hold registration from 9am to 1pm during the week.

Lakewood will hold their pre-registration from 8am to 2pm each day from March 12-16th with extended hours on Tuesday March 13th from 8am to 5:30pm.

Parents of students who will be going into Kindergarten next school year need to contact your child’s school and make an appointment to pre-register them next week. For more information call the Instructional office at 642-9733 ext. 1321.

Lady Pats Spring Sprint 5K Will be March 24th

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Lady Patriots Softball team will hold their 5th Annual Spring Sprint 5K Run/Walk on March 24th. Entry fee is $20, pre-registration deadline is March 10th. You can also register the day of the race at 8am, race starts at 8:30am and will be held at Paris Elementary School. Trophies will be awarded to the top male and female finishers and the top 3 finishers in each age bracket. For more information call any softball booster club member.

HC UT Extension and HC Health Dept. Partnering Up for Cancer Education Workshops

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County UT Extension Office and Henry County Health Department are offering a free workshop on Cancer: Thriving and Surviving. The program will be begin on Monday March 26th and will run 6 weeks.

It is designed for people with cancer and caregivers to learn basic skills necessary to self-manage their disease and work effectively with their health care professionals. The program is conducted by two leaders certified by Stanford University Cancer: Thriving and Surviving trainers. Classes will be held each Monday for the 6 week session from 10am to Noon. Classes will give a self-management approach to cancer education and gives survivors and patients the knowledge, tools, and confidence to take day by day control of their health and treatment decisions.

For more information, or to sign up for the program, call the UT Extension Office at 642-2941.

TWRA Sponsoring Hunter's Safety Field Day March 17th at HF

Paris, Tenn.- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will host a Hunter’s Safety Field Day at Holley Fork Shooting Complex on Saturday March 17th beginning at 8am. The field day is for students who have completed the online course. Students can sign up online at tnwildlife.org. For questions contact TWRA officers Steve Brewer at 615-308-5775 or Greg Barker at 731-336-9665.

American Legion Hosts Fish Fry Through March

Paris, Tenn.-  The American Legion is hosting a fish fry, every Friday in March from 4:30-7:30pm. The cost will be $10.00 and the meal will include cat fish, fries, hush puppies, white beans, slaw, dessert and a drink. The fish fry is sponsored jointly by the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, The Legion Auxiliary, and the Legion Riders Post 89. Proceeds will go to support the needs of our veterans of Henry County and surrounding areas.


News from past weeks here.


Tennessee Valley Community Churcy

Paris Country Club

ReMax Realty

Tennessee Valleyn Communityn Church


Henry County Mobile Alerts

WMUF Country Coupon Club


Joe Mahan Ford

Patriots Football

First United Methodist Church

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