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WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks 

Assistant News Director Barron Robinson

 

Como Mobile Home Destroyed By Fire

Como, Tenn.- A doublewide mobile home, located on Herrondale West Road, was destroyed by an early evening fire on Thursday, according to Como/OreSprings Fire Chief Michael Surratt.

Chief Surratt said Paris Fire Department was dispatched to the fire and the Como department didn't hear the tone because of their equipment was working right, but once Paris was dispatched, they responded and was the first department on the scene.

He said, "the front of the mobile home was fully involved when we got there and began to attack, Paris Fire Department arrived quickly thereafter, and Henry Fire Department provided mutual aid."

The home belonged to Daniel Smith, who is married with two kids, and all managed to escape without any harm during the fire. Chief Surratt said they managed to keep the fire contained and from spreading to other buildings like a shed nearby. Firefighters were on scene for about 3 hours Thursday evening. He said later in the evening he sent a firefighter out to check and some hot spots had developed. A pumper and three firefighters went back out to the home and contained the hot spots until about 1:30am Friday morning.

Henry Passes Continuation Budget

Board members discuss business Thurs. Night (Barron Robinson photo)

Henry, Tenn.- The Henry Mayor and Board of Alderman met Thursday night and passed a continuation budget for the upcoming fiscal year which begins July 1. The audit for the current year has not been complete yet and they can’t get numbers concrete for next year’s budget until that is done. A continuation budget allows the city to operate using 1/12th of line items into the first part of the new fiscal year.

Mayor Gross said the members of the board and himself were thanked for their hard work to getting the Dollar General Store to locate at Henry. Plans are for it to open the middle of next week.

Citizens on hand did express concern about mowing properties around the railroad and the board agreed saying some of the properties had been tied up in property tax sale, but once sold they could move forward.

Much discussion was held concerning property at 816 Meadows Road in regards to sewer connection. The property has been hooked to the city’s sewer for 10 years, but because of no sewer tank at the location, the city hasn’t collected revenue. Public Works Director Ed Bush told the board the sewer tank and system would cost the city around $3K because the old system was hooked up to the wrong property. The issue was finally tabled and the board will decide in July whether to pay for the sewer system connection at the property or pursue legal action.

The board voted to put more signs down every 500 feet along the fence of the sewer line to let people know where it was. The board of alderman also voted to approve the use of a Shell Gas Card, to allow city employees to fill up at Shell stations instead of driving all the way to Paris to the Henry Farmer’s Coop to fill up gas for mowers and city vehicles.

Hot, Humid Weather to Settle In Over the Weekend

Paris, Tenn.- Summer isn't officially here yet, according to the calendar, but this weekend is definitely going to feel like it. Temperatures for the next several days will be between 92 and 96 degrees with heat index values reaching 100 or more. If you have to be outside for lengthy periods of time be sure and stay hydrated, drinking plenty of water. Also make sure to take plenty of breaks and get in the shade as often as possible.

Also during heat waves check on your neighbors, pay attention to small children and the elderly, and make sure any pets that are outside have plenty of cool water to drink and a shady place to get to if they are on a chain or leash.

Farmer's Market Opens Saturday at 8am

Paris, Tenn.- The Downtown Paris Farmer’s Market will open for the first time at 8am on Saturday as part of Downtown Paris Week. Some vendors will have different fruits and vegetables that are in season for purchase. After Saturday’s initial Downtown Farmer’s Market, the market will be open at 3pm Tuesday and Fridays for the remainder of the summer and into the early fall as produce is available.

Gates Open at 4pm; Opening Ceremonies at 6pm for RFL

Paris, Tenn.- Remember gates open at 4pm this afternoon for Henry County Relay For Life at the Henry County Fairgrounds. The opening ceremonies and survivor and caregiver lap will be held just shortly past 6pm. There is plenty of activities and food and events will wrap up just after midnight. More information on Relay for Life is on our website at wmufradio.com.

Reminder: Lineman Rodeo Kicks off Friday Afternoon

Buchanan, Tenn.- Opening ceremonies for the 19th Annual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo begin at 1:30pm Friday afternoon. Alley French will sing the National Anthem and County Mayor Brent Greer will make some remarks. Competitions will begin at 2pm. There is a kid zone area and food vendors on site at the Lineman Rodeo which continues Saturday.

Songwriters On the Square Well Attended

Even a warm steamy evening didn't keep a good crowd from coming out to the courtsquare for more tunes and tales from local songwriters Thursday evening. Vince Dodd helped coordinate the event and songwriters included Alan Knowles, Mark Johnson, and Michael Holden. The event is part of Downtown Paris week. (Kathy Ray photos)

Site Plan for BPU Water Plant Approved by Planning Comm.

Paris, Tenn.- A major site plan for the Board of Public Utilities new water treatment plant was discussed by the Paris Municipal Regional Planning Commission at their regular June meeting on Thursday night.

The site plan proposed is totally redeveloped for what will be the new water treatment plant on West Blythe Street. The first phase components of the site plan include a pump station, clearwell, and electric pad along with new fencing, a new access road, among other things.

The site plan was submitted to the City’s consulting engineer for review of MS4 requirements and they submitted the findings to Jacob’s engineering, who is the engineer for BPU and they continue to work to amend the plan.

Staff recommended submitting a minor subdivision plat to remove the existing property lines within the development and create one tract. Community Development Director Jennifer Morris also said with the two sets of engineers working thru the MS4 requirements, the planning commission could approve the major site plan contingent on these issues getting worked out.

Drive Thru Approved for El Vallarta Mexican Rest.

Staff describes the drive thru area for planning commission members. (Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- Planners approved a plan for an addition to add a drive thru window at El Vallarta Mexican Restaurant on Mineral Wells Avenue. It proposes a 420 sq. foot addition that will add a roof to the patio as well. Community Development Director Jennifer Morris said they’ve actually added more parking on their plat that was originally set forth and all is ok with drainage, setbacks, and any other potential issues.

A minor site plan for an accessory building for First Methodist Church was approved by the planning commission at the meeting Thursday night. The plan calls for a 16 ft. by 30 ft. accessory building to be located to the south of the main church building. This is in the parking area of the property owned by the church on McNeil Street. Accessory buildings in all districts are required to be 5 ft. from any property line or any structure of the property and this proposal meets all requirements and was approved.

Planners approved a minor subdivision plat for property located at the corner of Jane Street and East Wood Street. The plat proposes to combine four tracts, three tracts owned by Land is Forever Trust and one tract owned by the Patels. With all tracts combined, the new tract will be 3.94 acres.

Another minor subdivision plat to divide a 2.71 acre tract into two tracts on Crutchfield Lane was approved Thursday night. The property is located in the planning region and requires a septic system since sewer is not available in the location. There are two separate systems for existing structures, but both are located in the same area and the plat provides an easement for the septic system as well as 50 ft. easement for ingress and egress.

Housekeeping Issues Approved by PC

Paris, Tenn.- In other action, planners approved a couple of housekeeping issues including a resolution that will streamline the process of minor subdivision approvals. The resolution allows staff to review Minor Subdivision plats with the signature of the Planning Commission Secretary as opposed to placing the plats on agendas for approval. The procedure is already followed by the County Mayor and County Planning Commission and would help avoid some delays waiting for another planning commission meeting to come around the next month.

The other housekeeping issues was to approve an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to allow Public Utilities as a special permit use in all zones.

Greenfield Man Wanted for Rape By PPD Arrested in WC

Paris, Tenn.- A Greenfield man wanted for rape of a child by the Paris Police Department was apprehended in Weakley County and then extradited to Henry County and charged. Randy Lee Nelson, age 35, of Greenfield, was charged with rape of a child and placed on $200K bond, according to an arrest sheet at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. There was no reports to go along with the arrest Thursday morning.  

In other incidents, Cpl. Wayne Fuqua of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office charged Wesley Paige, age 37, of 345 Harrison Street, for simple possession of schedule 6 and public intoxication.

A report at the Paris Police Department stated a lawnmower was stolen from a home on North Highland Street. The value of the mower was around $250 and there are no suspects.

Quota Welcomes New Member Patricia Stephens

Pat Stephens with her sponsor Jackie Jones. (Martha McFadden photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Quota Club met June 8th at Lee Academy Lunchroom and welcomed Alexander Watkins, who had received a scholarship in May but was unable to attend that meeting. Alexander is a 2016 graduate of Henry County High School and will be attending Ole Miss in the fall. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA, an ACT score of 32, and was a member of the top 10.

New quota member Patricia Stephens was installed. She was sponsored by Jackie Jones.

Quota will host the G.E.D. reception after graduation on June 28th at Paris Elementary School’s Cafeteria. 2016-17 club yearbooks were available for $5 each and will be available at the next meeting.

Barrs Chapel Women Holding Great Pretenders Show

Paris, Tenn.- Barrs Chapel Women of Faith are sponsoring the Great Pretenders Show at the Little Theatre at Henry County High School this Saturday June 11th. Over 20 great acts will perform and Mike Wilson, Henry County Circuit Court Clerk, will serve as master of ceremonies. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $5 from any member of Barrs Chapel Women of Faith or $6 at the door Saturday evening.

Rhea's Changing Landscape

Paris, Tenn.- Work has picked up at Rhea School since the school year finished last month and we've had a stretch of dry weather. Landscape work has been done around the front of the building as new construction is coming this summer to add classrooms and more to the building. Construction will continue up until and after school begins for the next school year. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Heritage Center Quilt Show Begins June 14

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Heritage Center will be hosting a quilt show beginning June 14th and running thru July 2nd. There will be a large variety of handmade quilts from Paris and surrounding areas on display. Admission is free and the exhibit will be during the Heritage Center’s regular hours Tuesday thru Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. The quilt show is sponsored by Henry County Monument Works and Security Bank and Trust Company.

TBI Releases Hate Crime/School Crime Reports

Nashville- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released two reports this week, detailing the volume and nature of crime identified as hate crime and crime occurring in the state’s schools. The annual studies compile crime data submitted to the TBI by the state’s law enforcement agencies, through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System, or TIBRS.

Findings from the “Tennessee Hate Crime 2015” report show that number of victims of reported bias-motivated offenses increased 48.1% in 2015. Males were victimized by a higher rate than females 57% to 43%, according to the report. The number of damage, destruction, vandalism, offenses indicated as a being a hate crime increased nearly 5% from the previous year according to the report.

TBI’s School Crime Report 2013-2015 shows the number of offenses occuring in schools decreased 15.6% from 9,961 offenses reported in 2013 to 8,408 reported in 2015. Simple assault was the most frequently reported offense at 36.4% of all reported offenses. Males were reported to be the offender nearly 64% of the time and the highest frequency of school crimes occurred in the month of April.

Full reports along with similar studies dating back to 2001, are available online for review at tn.gov/tbi/article/recent-publications.

Quinn Chapel AME Pancake Breakfast Is Sat. June 11

Paris, Tenn.- Quinn Chapel AME Church will hold their 64th annual pancake breakfast on Saturday June 11th from 7am until its all sold out. The event is sponsored by the Men’s Club of Quinn Chapel and it is all you can eat pancakes, sausage, juice, coffee, and milk. Cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children under age 13.

Dine-in, carry out, and delivery will be available. For delivery call 642-8445. Quinn Chapel Church is located at 218 East Church Street in Paris.

Songwriters on the Square Thurs. During Downtown Paris Week

Paris, Tenn.- Downtown Paris Week continues on Thursday evening with Songwriters on the Square. Local artists who have penned their own songs will come and share the songs and stories from 6-7:30pm. Perry’s BBQ will be on site to sell food as well during the evening.

Atkins Porter Neighborhood-Wide Yard Sale Set for Sat.

Paris, Tenn.- There will be yard sales galore in the Historic Atkins Porter Neighborhood this Saturday, June 11, according to Rachel Terrell, vice-president of the Historic Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association (HAPNA). The event, which includes 20 participants, is sponsored by HAPNA.

“Most of the sales will begin at 8:00 am and will run until 1:00 pm, however some participants may be starting and stopping at different times,” said Terrell, who added that there will be refreshments for sale at some homes.

The historic neighborhood lies within the boundaries of Dunlap, Veterans Drive, Tyson Avenue and East Wood Street. In addition, there is a map highlighting participants’ addresses on the association’s Facebook page (Atkins-Porter Neighborhood) and hard copy maps will be available at sale sites. There will be plenty of signage, as well, according to Terrell.

“I see this yard sale as a fun, annual activity that will encourage more people to come enjoy our shady streets, cool old homes and friendly neighbors,” said Terrell.

The neighborhood association was recently reactivated after the City of Paris began the Preserve Paris Program in conjunction with the USDA. “We have monthly meetings at the A.P. Rec Center on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm and invite all interested individuals to join us,” said HAPNA President Ed Roberts.

The rain date for the event is Saturday, June 18. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page or call 731-336-2917.

The Historic Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association is dedicated to preserving the history, integrity, safety and sense of community of the Atkins-Porter neighborhood.

Poles Up for Lineman Rodeo at Paris Landing

Paris, Tenn.- Paris Landing State Park will be the site for the 19th annual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo Thursday thru Saturday. Action begins Friday with the opening ceremonies at 1:30pm and competitions at 2pm. The lineman rodeo challenges lineman with knowledge, skill, and safety. Several local lineman from BPU will be competing this weekend. (Kathy Ray photo)

Woman Charged with Child Abuse and Neglect After Baby Tests Positive for Meth

Paris, Tenn.- A press release from the Lt. Ricky Watson of the Paris Police Department stated that Metro Crime Unit officers arrested Ashely Jones for aggravated child abuse and neglect on Tuesday. The arrest stemmed from a drug test of her 9 month old child in which the child tested positive for methamphetamine.

The arrest is the 2nd time in less than a year that Jones was arrested for aggravated child abuse and neglect. A bond of $50K has been set and she will appear in General Sessions Court on Thursday June 9th for arraignment.

Contracts for JT's General Store Signed

Cottage Grove, Tenn.- Cottage Grove Mayor Melinda Thatcher and CLarry Nemi sign contracts for JT's General Store which will be housed in the former Boyd's building and former Security Bank building. The contract is for one year rent free. The tenative opening is July 1 for JT's General Store. (Carolyn Kaminski photo)

HC RFL Set for Friday Evening at the Fairgrounds

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Relay for Life will take place Friday evening June 10th at the Henry County Fairgrounds. This year’s relay event will be a little different as it will not be an all night affair, as it will close around midnight.

Gates will open at 4pm Friday and survivor registration begins in the Enoch Building. There will be a silent auction and music by DJ Landon during that time as well.

The Celebration ceremony starts at 6pm with the welcome, invocation, presentation of the colors and pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem and then laps for Survivors and Caregivers.

At 7pm Friday evening, Ervin and Andrea Dutton and Marley Trosper will entertain and a 7:40pm minute to win it games will be played. At 8pm Cooper the Band will perform and at 9pm Relay for Life Bowling begins and the luminaries will be lit along the track.

The silent auction closes at 9:30pm, the Remember Ceremony and Empty Chair Presentation starts at 10pm, and there will be a digital scavenger Hunt at 10:30pm along with a dance party. At 11pm, there will be a lip sync battle as well.

As always 2016 Relay for Life Teams will have plenty of great food at Friday night’s celebration. Ranging from grilled burgers and hotdogs, chili cheese fries, nachos, deep fried honey buns, sour candy, fruit cobblers, smoked turkey sandwiches, popcorn, bbq fried pies, bbq ribs and chicken, and fried oreos, there are plenty of great choices.

KY Lake Beekeepers Meeting, Field Day This Week

Paris, Tenn.- The Kentucky Lake Beekeeper Association will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday June 9th at 7pm at the Henry County Farm Bureau Office. Everyone is invited to attend.

The Kentucky Lake Beekeeper Association will also have a field day on Saturday June 11th at 9:30am on Elkhorn Nobles Road. Baker and Dottie Kendall will host, for more information call 363-3523.

Music on the Square Well Attended Tues. Evening

Paris, Tenn.- A large crowd come out Tuesday evening to enjoy Music on the Square, as Downtown Paris week continues. The Old Spirits entertained with a great variety of music and the weather cooled off just enough to make the evening plesant in the shade on the east side of the Henry County Courthouse.

Event goers brought out their lawn chairs and Perry's BBQ sold sandwiches on site. Events continue Wednesday for Downtown Paris Week as Ray Harding leads walking tours of downtown Paris at 11am and Noon, leaving from Jack's Java. (Kathy Ray photos)

Community Job Fair Planned for Tues. June 14th

Paris, Tenn.- Benton Weatherford Broadcasting, WMUF, WLZK, WRQR, the Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Ryker, Express Employment, and Manpower will host a community job fair on Tuesday June 14th from 10am to 2pm. The job fair will be held at the Paris Convention Center behind the Quality Inn.

Several local businesses have already signed up to participate and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology will provide a bank of computers to allow applicants to submit online applications for jobs onsite at the job fair.

Gary Benton, General Manager of Benton Weatherford Broadcasting said, “we are organizing this as a community service, local employers may reserve a table to meet applicants and there are no fees.”

KPAC KIXX Offers Summer Session

Paris, Tenn.- KPAC KIXX hip hop dance will offer a six week summer session for youngsters. This is a high energy class that will keep young artists moving while developing strength, rhythm, flexibility, concentration, and coordination. Sessions are 4:30pm to 6pm under the direction of Lissa Marie Lopez.

Students ages 7 and older are invited to join KPAC KIXX for the summer session that will run 12 weeks on Tuesdays and Thursday mostly beginning Tuesday June 14th. Fee is $50 and includes the performance T-shirt. A performance will be held on Sunday July 24th at 3pm at KPAC. For more information call 644-2517. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.

American Legion BBQ for the Troops Sat. June 11

Paris, Tenn.- American Legion Post 89, located at Paris Landing on East Antioch Road, will host a BBQ for our Troops Saturday June 11th starting at Noon. There will be chicken, pork ribs, or pulled pork plates with all the fixin’s.

They are asking for a $10 donation and its open to the public. There will be a silent auction, raffle items, and a beer garden. They are asking for a whole side of ribs or pork butts to pre-ordered and pre-paid at $20 each.

All proceeds from this event goes to purchase and ship well need supplies to our deployed Military and local Veterans in need. Call 644-1922 for more information.

Air Evac Assists PLSP With Jr. Ranger Day

Buchanan, Tenn.- Paris Landing State Park is holding its annual Junior Ranger Camp this week. Air Evac helped on Monday June 6, 2016 with the camps safety day.  Air Evac taught all the Junior Rangers about wilderness first aid.  (Brandon Williams photos)

Patton Charged with Animal Cruelty Thanks to Social Media

Paris, Tenn.- A man who hit a dog with his fist is now facing animal cruelty charges from the Paris Police Department after his actions were captured on social media.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo sent out a press release Tuesday stating city units were dispatched to a call on Aden Street in reference to animal cruelty and Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker responded. A resident showed him a video on Facebook of a black male hitting a dog with his fist. Cpl. Whitaker was able to identify the subject as Isreal Patton, who resides on Wynn Street.

Cpl. Whitaker then went to Patton’s home and spoke to him about the incident. Patton said he was drunk when he hit the dog, but did admit to doing so. Animal Control Officer Mark Mead was called to impound the dog and Patton, age 51, was charged with animal cruelty and was set to appear in court Tuesday morning.

Drug Raid in Buchanan Nets Several Arrest

Paris, Tenn.- The Metro Crime Unit and other agencies conducted a drug raid at 40 Oak Hill Road in Buchanan Monday evening and netted several arrest, according to arrest sheets at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning.

Arrested were the following Eddie R. Bryan, age 24 of 12 Morningside Village, for possession of schedule 2, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on revoked driver’s license; Steven A. Baker, age 33, of 126 Broken Arrow Drive, for possession of drug paraphernalia; Savannah Lyn Brown,a ge 22, of 1629 West Wood St, for possession of drug paraphernalia; Ashley Jones, age 25, of 610 Timberlake Road, for violation of probation, possession of drug paraphernalia, and simple possession of schedule 2; Zach D. Evans, age 24, of 40 Oak Hill Drive, for possession of drug paraphernalia; Nicholas Blaylock, age 34, of Mayfield, Kentucky, for possession of drug paraphernalia; and Kathy A. Wilbanks, age 47 of Dover, for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Man Charged With Meth Possession After Traffic Stop

Paris, Tenn.- Ptl. Amber Roaten of the Paris Police Department made a traffic stop on a passenger not wearing a seatbelt, and ended up charging Kevin E. Dodd, Jr., age 25, of 717 Powell Street, with schedule two with intent and violation of warrants.

The report at the Paris Police Department stated that Ptl. Roaten pulled the vehicle over and Dodd denied consent to search. Sgt. Michael Ramos and K9 Kenzee came to the scene and Kenzee alerted. Warrants came back on Dodd and he was arrested, then a search of his person found plastic baggies filled with what turned out to be crystal methamphetamine. Dodd was placed on $25K bond.

Reminder: Splash And Dash Set for This Sat. June 11

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Parks and Recreation Department is teaming up with USA Triathlon for the Splash and Dash at Eiffel Tower Park on Saturday June 11th. The cost is $25 for USAT members and $35 for non USAT members.

The event will be held entirely within Eiffel Tower Park and will have chip timing and participant medals. Top 3 racers in each age group will also get an additional prize.

Racers 7-10 years old will swim 100 meters and run 1K, or 6 tenths of a mile. Racers age 11-15 will swim 200 meters and run 2K, or 1.2 miles.

For more information on Splash and Dash call Parks Director Tony Lawrence at 644-2517. Participants can register online at parissplashanddash.racesonline.com. Saturday's event starts at 8am.

Downtown Paris Week Continues Tues. With Music on the Square

Paris, Tenn.- Downtown Paris Week continues and Tuesday is Music on the Square with the Old Spirits playing country, rock, and bluegrass music from 5:30pm to 7pm. Perry’s BBQ will be selling BBQ sandwiches. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the evening.

Parks Board Learns of Upcoming Cap. Projects

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Parks and Recreation Board met on Monday in regular session and Parks Director Tony Lawrence informed board members that the first reading of the budget had passed the city commission and there were several capital requests for the Parks Department.

Lawrence said the first project they will tackle is resurfacing the basketball courts at Ogburn Park. He said they plan on tearing up one of the 3 courts and resurfacing two courts to make them top quality. The price tag on the resurfacing is around $72K and he said tearing up the third court to make two nicer ones will not impact usage any.

The next big project Lawrence said the Parks Department would be completing is renovations to the bathrooms at the baseball field at McNeil Park. He said they plan on extending the building to add more restrooms and they will do the work in house.

Lawrence also updated the board on some things going on with the Parks Department. They have added recycling bins to McNeil Park to help with all the bottles and plastic that is sold from the concession stand, the Parks Department will be matching money to the tune of $10K put in by the Friends of McNeil Park; and Sunday a Disc Golf Tournament was held at McNeil Park that was well attended. The staff added the disc golf course to McNeil recently and it turned out really nice. Lawrence also said that the Gerald Howard Pool at Eiffel Tower Park has been busy so far this season. The Parks Board welcomed Bill Jelks as a new member Monday night.

Kids Zone Part of Lineman Rodeo Fri., Sat.

Paris, Tenn.- BPU and Paris Landing State Park will host the 19th Annual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo this week and one of the big attractions will be a kids zone with plenty of games and events for youngsters.

The kids zone area will be near the State Park Swimming pool and will run Friday 1-4pm and Saturday 8-1. Events include corn hole, tight rope walk, paint with squirt guns, Plinko, photo booths, duck pond, sand digging, and ball pit for smaller kids. There will be a cellphone selfie scavenger hunt, and of course fishing and hiking at the State Park. The kids zone area is free to kids of all ages during the Lineman Rodeo.

BPU Promotes Tony Brown to Director of Water/Wastewater

Paris, Tenn.- Tony Brown has recently been promoted to Director of Water/Wastewater Operations for the Board of Public Utilities.  He will assume the role on October 1, 2016.  The position came open as a result of Terry Wimberley being named the General Manager effective October 1. 

Tony is a native of Henry County.  He is married to Jennifer and they have two daughters, Alyssa and Emily.  Tony came to the BPU from Dana Corporation in March 2011.  Since that time he has served as Lab Tech/Storekeeper/Engineering Aide for the water and wastewater departments. 

Tony holds both the Grade 2 Water Distribution and Grade 2 Wastewater Collections state certifications.  Tony’s grandfather, J.T. Burton, held those same certificates through his utility work with the city of Puryear. 

Tony has the knowledge and leadership skills to be successful in his new role.  BPU is happy to welcome him to our management team. 

Bethel's PA Program Top 18 Nationally After Challenge Bowl

McKenzie, Tenn.- Bethel University’s Physician Assistant Program was among the top 18 schools at the National Medical Challenge Bowl, held during the American Academy of Physician Assistants annual PA conference in San Antonio, Texas. A total of 80 eligible teams competed with Bethel besting 62 of the 80 groups.

The Challenge Bowl started at the 1991 AAPA Annual Conference. It has been held as an annual event every year since. Several states have followed this tradition and hold annual state competitions that use the same format as the national competition. Bethel University has won the Medical Challenge Bowl at the state level for the past three years, and this is the second year the school has competed at the national competition.

The Challenge Bowl is a mashup of a medical game show, rave, and Big 10 football game. Three PA students to a team answered the medical related questions that were asked on a variety of subjects including physical diagnosis, microbiology, anatomy, OB/GYN, pulmonary, cardiology, primary care, emergency medicine, and surgery. Only AAPA student members currently enrolled in an accredited Physician Assistant program with a registered student society are eligible to participate.

Those students representing Bethel included Warren Starrett, Lauren Elkins, Huyen Khuong, Leslie Townsend, and Justin Claire. Trent Scates, a member of the Bethel PA Program faculty, served as coach and mentor for the team.

Bethel University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the state of Tennessee. In 2017, the school, which is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, will celebrate 175 years of service. Bethel University offers bachelor’s, master’s and associate degrees through a variety of learning platforms including traditional face to face instruction and online as well. Of late, the school has been recognized for a number of its programs. Bethel’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program (which is a face-to-face program) was recently recognized as one of the top 6 programs in the nation for employment in rural settings.

For more information about Bethel University, go to www.bethelu.edu.

Child Abuse Charges Brought on Man After Yelling at Kids

Paris, Tenn.- Sgt. Clyde Sulcer and Cpl. Jim Sanders responded to a complaint on New Boston Road where a man in a silver van had started chasing and yelling at some neighborhood kids. The report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated that the officers found the vehicle in question at 5925 Hwy. 69 and saw a man on the front porch that was later identified as Jackie D. McBee, age 64, of that address.

Cpl. Sanders asked McBee what he was doing around the kids and he said he wasn’t near any kids. Cpl. Sanders could smell an odor of alcohol on McBee. The report said he became aggressive and irate and then said the kids made him mad, so he yelled at them. Cpl. Sanders eventually charged McBee with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of child abuse and neglect.

In another report, Sgt. Lance Perry of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office observed a vehicle and knew the driver had prior driving on revoked convictions. John Martin Bucy, age 50, 320 Rabbit Creek Road, was arrested for driving on revoked license 18th offence.

Man Arrested for Pub. Intoxication After Urinating in Parking Lot

Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Paris Police Department stated that Cpl. Eric Long observed Cody Hays Dye, age 19, of 505 Lankford Road, urinating in the parking lot of Twice Daily and then get into the back seat of a vehicle. Cpl. Long stopped beside the car and helped Dye back out of the car and could smell alcohol on him. Dye was charged with public intoxication and underage consumption.

Youth Villages To Hold Adoptive Parent Info Session June 6

Paris, Tenn.- Youth Villages, located at 412 Tyson Avenue, will hold a free foster and adoptive parent information session on Monday June 6th at 5:30pm. The session is open to anyone interested in learning more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent. Call Catherine Herrera at 731-641-4148 for more information.

TDOT, THP Prepare For Bonnaroo This Week

Manchester, Tenn.- Once again, the city of Manchester, Tennessee will host the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, which is one of the most popular live music events in the country.  Since 2002, the four-day, multi-stage event has featured a diverse assortment of performers and musical styles on a 700-acre Middle Tennessee farm that for several days in June becomes the temporary home for thousands of people from all over the country.  As in years past, over 80,000 music lovers are expected to attend the 2016 Bonnaroo festival, which kicks off Thursday night, June 9, and winds down Sunday night, June 12.

With 80,000 festivalgoers converging on the festival site, the area in and around Manchester always sees increased traffic throughout the festival.  As Manchester prepares to welcome a multitude of visitors, 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.

“TDOT has once again coordinated with our partners at THP and other agencies to ensure safe, efficient travel during the Bonnaroo festival,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer.  “The main objective is to keep through traffic moving smoothly on I-24 while getting festivalgoers safely into and out of the Bonnaroo site.  Because of advance planning, we feel certain that we can successfully minimize traffic delays throughout the weekend.”

This year, Bonnaroo will officially open all its gates on Wednesday evening June 8 at 8:00 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 Thursday evening, patrolling on the ground and by air.

“The Tennessee Highway patrol is committed to reducing crashes and saving lives on Tennessee roadways”, Colonel Tracy Trott said.  “Our troopers will take a zero tolerance approach as they enforce the laws during this event.  We believe that the efforts of THP along with TDOT and that of all of our partners in public safety are contributing to reducing traffic related incidents and fatalities.”

During Bonnaroo 2015, Troopers logged nearly 6,800 man-hours, worked 23 traffic crashes (0 fatal, 8 injury, and 15 property damage crashes), and wrote 531 citations and issued 38 warnings.  A breakdown of all THP-issued citations during last year’s festival period is included in this release.

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 8 through June 13:

  • 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.
  • TDOT maintenance units will be posted throughout the festival region, and maintenance personnel will be on call all weekend.
  • TDOT will provide variable message signs to warn drivers of delays.
  • There will be no construction-related lane closures on I-24 near the Bonnaroo festival area between 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 8 through 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 13.
  • Median crossovers will be guarded to prevent motorists from parking in the crossovers and blocking emergency vehicles.
  • Festival traffic will be kept in the right lane and/or on the shoulder of the interstate, allowing through traffic to utilize the left travel lane unimpeded.
  • Emergency vehicles will use county roads that will be kept at low volume.
  • Bonnaroo promoters issued early news releases to the trucking industry and other sources to alert the traveling public to festival times, location, and alternate routes.
  • Temporary communication towers are in place to improve emergency communications.

During the festival, motorists should call 511 from any mobile or land line phone for traffic updates or visit the TDOT website at www.tn.gov/tdot where they can also find information on alternate routes.  From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest traffic information and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic.  TDOT is also on Twitter.  For statewide traffic tweets follow TN511 or for regional traffic information follow Nashville511, Chattanooga511, Memphis511 and Knoxville511

Also, drivers should keep in mind that if they need the assistance of a state trooper while traveling anywhere in Tennessee, they can simply dial *THP (*847) from their cell phone.  They will be automatically connected to the nearest THP dispatch office and the operator will send a state trooper to their location.

Dr. Tony Brannon Elected by AAAE

Paris, Tenn.- Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State University, was recently elected as a senior fellow by the American Association for Agricultural Education. 

According to the posted nomination guidelines, “the purpose of the Senior Fellow award is to recognize those members of the association who have made exceptional and sustained contributions to the profession and who have more than 20 years of active service at the university level. No more than three Senior Fellows may be elected in a calendar year.” 

Brannon has served as dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture since 2004 and has served on the faculty at Murray State since 1988. This award comes from the nomination of a peer and the recommendation of former students and colleagues. 

One supporter wrote, “Dr. Brannon has risen through the ranks of teacher educator, department head, and now dean of the school, but he has never taken his focus away from the success of his students and his faculty members. I believe that there could be no finer example of what I hope to represent to those around me as a leader.” 

The senior fellow is a highly coveted rank that must be voted on by a national delegation and is esteemed as the highest lifetime achievement honor that is bestowed by the organization. 

“It means a lot to know that my colleagues from across the nation have judged my contributions as worthy enough to have been named a Senior Fellow,” said Brannon. “As the only recipient of this award ever selected from a non-land grant school, I humbly accept it on behalf of Murray State University, our past and present Agriculture and Agricultural Education faculty and staff, and all the hard working, underappreciated teacher educators and administrators at the non-land grant schools across the country.” 

Brannon’s accomplishments that were highlighted at the recent awards ceremony included the growth of the Hutson School of Agriculture by a measure of fourfold, his research publications related to agricultural education, his continuous service to the FFA and the profession, and his focus on seeing the Murray State Hutson School of Agriculture rise to its prominent national status.

Lego Robotics Camp Available for ages 5-14 at UT Martin

Martin, Tenn.- Children ages 5-14 can participate in a variety of robotics camps this summer at the University of Tennessee at Martin. WeDo Robotics Camp is open to children ages 5-7, and the NXT Extreme Games Camp and Advanced NXT Extreme Survival Challenge are for ages 8-14.

WeDo Robotics Camp will be offered from 9-11 a.m., June 20-24. Campers will design, build and control motorized robots. They will also program the robot, add sensors to complete challenges and work in teams. Students must have completed kindergarten to participate.

The NXT Extreme Games Camp will be held from 1-4 p.m., June 20-24. Competitors will learn to build basic robots and modify them to complete a variety of tasks, which may include greeting other robots, escaping from a cage, following a winding course, kicking a ball into a target, climbing a mountain or racing off-road. Two-member teams will design, build and program robots for each challenge. The teams will test their designs and reprogram the robots to improve over time.  

The Advanced NXT Extreme Survival Challenge is for students who have completed previous LEGO NXT or EV3 courses. Campers should have the ability to program the motors and sensors. The challenge will require teams to build and program robots to survive on an island. The camp will be held from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., June 27-28, and 9 a.m.-noon, June 29. Students should bring lunch and a drink. Two-member teams will design, build and program robots and modify them for each challenge.

The registration fee for both camps is $155 per person, which includes the camp T-shirt. Robotics kits will be provided for use during camp and will be available for purchase by those who are interested. Laura Sterrett, lecturer at UT Martin, will instruct the course.

For more information or to register, contact the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082 or visit the course website at http://www.utm.edu/departments/ecos/courses/children/robotics.php.

Champion A Cause With Color 5k Run

Paris, Tenn.- The rainy morning didnt stop a great turnout for the Champion A Cause With Color 5k Saturday morning. With more than fifty people showing up for the 5k in the stormy weather these people sure believe in what they are there for. With the help of local support for the Color Run and it being such a fun event it will surely bring more people out each year. All proceeds goto the Relay For Life and to help combat Malaria in Africa.

Ann And Dave's Relay For Life Event

Paris, Tenn.- Ann and Dave's are giving a portion of their proceeds to the Henry County Relay For Life until 11am. There is a bake sale, shirts for sale, luminaries, and RFL signs. There are survivors also working, waiting tables, and cleaning in support of this event. With Elizabeth Cronin, Alonna Tosh, Amber Hill, Virginia Allen, and Debora Stoop being the survivors working Saturday morning.

Downtown Paris Week Set for June 5-11

Paris, Tenn.- The Downtown Paris Association will celebrate downtown Paris, which might be 193 years old but still is vibrant and thriving, with a week long celebration June 5-11th. Downtown Paris Week 2016 will have something for everyone including food, sales, music, art, and more.

Sunday June 5th, is worship downtown day, a chance for you to come and visit one of the six historic churches located in downtown Paris which include First Baptist, First Christian, First Methodist, Grace Episcopal, First Presbyterian, and Quinn Chapel AME Churches. The Paris Henry County Heritage Center’s Historic Home tour also takes place Sunday afternoon 1-4pm.

Monday June 6th is Dine Downtown day and patrons are encouraged to visit one of the downtown eateries such as Take Me Back Café, Linda’s Uptown Pizza, LL’s Bar and Grill, Perry’s BBQ, or enjoy a snack from Jack’s Java. At each restaurant, register to win prizes from the Downtown Paris Association. After lunch, get in some exercise with the Downtown Art Walk as several local artists will have their wares in downtown shops throughout the week.

Historical Signing Day Of The Rural Economic Opportunity Act

(Barron Robinson photos)

Huntingdon, Tenn.- Friday morning, a historical day at the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center in Huntingdon. Governor Bill Haslam along with City and County Mayors, Chambers members, Congress, State workers, Legislative and people from all over Rural West Tennessee were proudly in attendance for the ceremonial signing of the Rural Economic Opportunity Act of 2016. Governor Haslam signed a $25,270 to The Dixie Carter PAC helping the growth of Huntingdon and rural Western Tennessee.

This bill establishes the PREP fund as a separate account in the general fund. The PREP fund will be composed of funds appropriated by the general assembly and gifts, grants, and other donations received by the department of economic and community development. Monies in the fund will be awarded as grants to counties where the grants will have a direct impact on employment and investment opportunities in the future as determined by the commissioner of economic and community development.

New commitments made by the commissioner of finance and administration for grants from the PREP fund must not exceed the appropriations made for the purposes of the program. It lowers the threshold for employers in rural communities to attain certain grants and tax credits for adding employees.

Governor Haslam was proud to be back at Dixie with Tennessee having more jobs than ever and being below the national average for unemployment in the State’s history. This bill was established to “level the playing field” for rural communities like Huntingdon compared to the larger cities in the State. These rural areas have been struggling because the growth in these towns have not had the funding and the backing of the State with how fast larger cities have been growing.

With this bill, the Rural Economic Opportunity Act, these rural towns will have many more opportunities for Entrepreneurs, Industrial sites, and even Tourism making West Tennessee more attractive for all citizens to travel to, work and live at. This is a very conservative way to move forward and helps everyone from the bottom up to move forward and bring more business and jobs to rural Tennessee. The Rural Task Force is looking at new initiatives and larger programs for the progress of rural West Tennessee.

Murray Man Charged With Marijuana Possession

Paris, Tenn.- Sgt. Michael Ramos of the Paris Police Department charged Kadeem T. Willis, age 24, of Murray, with possession of schedule 6 with intent, simple possession of schedule 6, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a firearm as a felon on Thursday morning.

The report at the Paris Police Department stated that Sgt. Ramos received a word from dispatch that a female called and was very upset saying drugs were being sold from room 220 at Knights Inn. Sgt. Ramos and Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker responded and a black male, identified later as Willis, told them they were there for him. Sgt. Ramos could smell marijuana in the room and asked to search. Willis said his girlfriend had left the scene and had a gun and refused search.

Once a search warrant was obtained, 30 baggies of marijuana packaged for sale, a set of scales, a loaded gun that was stolen out of Kentucky, and about two pounds of marijuana was found.

Willis said the marijuana belonged to his girlfriend, but refused to call her and get her to confess. He was then arrested and charged and placed on $30K bond.

McKenzie Man Pleads Guilty of Sex Charges

Paris, Tenn - Kevin Smothers of McKenzie appeared in Henry County Circuit Court on Tuesday, on charges that were placed on him while employed as a teacher with Henry County High School.

Judge Donald Parish, after Smother plead guilty of sex charges brought on him concerning four students at the high school, sentenced Smothers to one year in Department of Corrections on each count of solicitation charge, with no fines Range 1. On the charge of criminal attempted statutory rape, Judge Parrish sentenced Smothers to three years, with no fines, Range 1.

Smothers will be serving the sentences concurrently, as well as being on supervised probation by the state. He was also ordered to register as a sexual offender, and he will remain on the list for 10 years.

Charges stem from an investigation that took place in October of 2015, when reports of Smothers having inappropriate relations with a female student while employed at the high school. As the investigation continued, further charges were brought on Smothers.

After criminal information was revealed, Smothers appeared in Henry County Circuit Court on Tuesday for a special session, where he plead guilty and was arraigned.

BPU, PLSP Hosting 19th Annual Lineman Rodeo June 9-11

Buchanan, Tenn.- Paris Landing State Park will host the 19th Annual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo next week June 9-11th and the public is invited to watch and be a part of the event.

Lineman from Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Indiana will compete in different events testing their excellence in safety, skill, and knowledge. Local lineman from BPU will be well represented in the competitions as well.

A shuttle bus will take event goers from parking areas to the different events going on and this year’s rodeo at Paris Landing has the largest number of competitors to have ever registered for a TVA Lineman Rodeo.

Cole Edwards, Director of Electric Operations for the Board of Public Utilities, said over 1000 people are expected to attend and all hotels in the area are full. There will be a kid’s zone available on June 10th and 11th with things such as face painting, climbing, and more. Local food vendors such as Perry’s BBQ, Mama’s Kitchen, Cash’s Pizza, the Jaycees, and Friends of Paris Landing State Park will be selling food during the Lineman Rodeo.

Opening Ceremonies will be at 1:30pm on Friday June 10th as Alley French sings the National Anthem. Competitions will continue Friday afternoon and again beginning on Saturday June 11th in the morning hours.

In conjunction with the Lineman Rodeo there will be a Motorcycle Ride on Thursday June 9th. The ride will start at Paris Landing State park and go thru LBL’s backroads. The tour includes a ferry ride across Kentucky Lake and will be a four hour, 100 mile scenic route. Lunch starts at PLSP at 11:30am and kickstands go up at 1pm. For more information on the ride call Josh McCaslin at 642-1322 or email jmccaslin@parisbpu.org.

A golf tournament will be held also on Thursday June 9th and it’s open to the public. It starts at 11:30am at Paris Landing State Park’s Golf Course. To register contact Charlie West at 336-0870.

Luminarias For RFL On Sale Now

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Relay for Life is set for Friday June 10th at the Fairgrounds. Luminarias are on sale for $5. Luminarias bags will be lit and will line the track the night of Relay in honor of or in memory of a cancer survivor. The luminarias can be purchased in honor of care givers also. For more information on purchasing luminarias, contact Tracey Beasley, Joyce Bass, or Dana Allen.

 

News from past weeks here.

 
     
     
 


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