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WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant News Director Cassie Walsh

Cutest Pet Update: We have a winner!  Check it out.

Puyear Man Killed at Home Accident Thursday

Puryear, Tenn.- A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated a Puryear man was killed in an accident at home when he fell from working on a television tower.

Michael Channell, age 70 of Stokes St., was working on the tower when it separated and fell along with him, according to the report from Dep. James Higgins. The report said he hit his head on something and CPR was attempted unsuccessfully by the Puyear Fire Department.

PLSP Has Plenty of Activities for Fourth of July

Buchanan, Tenn.- Paris Landing State Park will once again hold their fireworks display on Tuesday July 4th around 9pm. Events begin a at 4pm with music acts, food, vendors, and free arts and crafts. Everyone is invited to attend.

New Laws Go Into Effect Saturday Including Improve Act

Nashville- Saturday is not only the start of the new month, the new fiscal year for government, but it also signals when brand new laws go into effect as enacted by the State Legislature over the past year. In all, 133 new laws were passed by the Legislature this year and here are some of the highlights of what new ones begin July 1st.

One of the most debated bills that goes into effect on Saturday is the Tennessee Improve Act, aimed at helping road infrastructure. Not only will the taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel go up, but vehicle registration will also be going up. Tennesseans will pay an extra $5 per vehicle in registration fees for most vehicles. Private and commercial vehicles like buses, limos, and taxis will see an extra $10 per vehicle in registration fees, and semi drivers and heavy trucks will be paying $20 more per vehicle in registration fees beginning Saturday. The increase is projected to help fund a $10B backlog in road work in all 95 counties.

Senate Bill 0469 prohibits a homeowners association from adopting or enforcing a provision that prohibits, or has the effect of prohibiting, a property owner from displaying the United States Flag or an official or replica flag of any branch of the United States Armed Forces on the property owner’s property.

Senate Bill 0921 enacts the Tennessee Hearing Protection Act, which deletes the prohibition on possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of a firearm silencer, basically meaning silencers are no longer illegal.

House Bill 0439 requires each school safety team to conduct at least one armed intruder drill per year, amending previous legislation that required it less often.

House Bill 0393 expands the offense of theft to include new home construction contractors who fail to refund amounts paid under contract under certain circumstances or deviate from or disregard plans or specifications in any material respect that are contained in a new home construction contract.

Senate Bill 1180 enacts the Tennessee Infants Protection Act which prohibits abortion of a viable fetus except in a medical emergency and requires testing to determine viability if a woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant.

Senate Bill 1286 requires the Department of Safety to pay from existing budgeted funds a monthly amount to a retired highway patrol officer for the medical care of the retired canine to whom the officer was assigned if the canine is given to the care and custody of the officer upon retirement.

County Comm. Approves Budget, 3 Cent Tax Increase

Paris, Tenn.- Meeting in reconvened session Thursday evening, the Henry County Commission passed the budget for the upcoming fiscal year and passed a 3 cent property tax hike. The tax rate will now be $2.09 per $100 of assessed property. That equals around $7.51 extra per year on the average home.

Thompson's Recognized for Rotary Presidency

Paris, Tenn.- Former Paris Rotary Club President Dan Jackson presents outgoing President Darrin Thompson with a plaque thanking him for serving as Rotary President. (David Jackson photo)

Tomorrow's Hope Open House Well Attended

Paris, Tenn.- Tomorrow's Hope Pregnancy Medical Clinic held a ribbon cutting and open house at their newly remodeled facility on Wednesday.

Tomorrow's Hope was established in June of 1999 and was housed behind the Gas Company on Blythe Street along with Lab Corp. We operated out of 3 rooms and shared a bathroom with the lab. In 2003 we moved to 211 North Brewer Street still just as a non-profit crisis counseling center. We had outgrown the old facility. In 2006 the Board of Directors voted to become a medical clinic serving women who thought they were pregnant by offering them free pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds.

Dr. John Stitt from Hopkinsville, Kentucky became our Medical Director and we hired a medical professional to perform our pregnancy test and ultrasounds. Today we offer pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, options counseling, adoption referrals, parenting classes, personal counseling,Anger management classes, material assistance and referral.  We currently run with 5 employees including our thrift store manager, 8 board members and over 30 dedicated volunteers.

(Chamber photos)

KSP Transfers Control of MSU Explosion Investigation to Ky Fire Marshall's Office

Murray, Ky.- Kentucky State Police have transferred control of the explosion scene on the campus of Murray State University to the Kentucky State Fire Marshall’s Office. Based on preliminary investigation, the explosion is believed to have been related to a natural gas release. After consulting with state and federal prosecutors about preliminary findings, the incident is believed to be non-criminal in nature. However, the investigation is ongoing and is expected to take a significant amount of time.  

KSP confirmed with Vanderbilt Medical Center this morning that Dakota Fields is still in stable condition.  

Further inquiries should be directed to the Kentucky Fire Marshall Office at 502-564-5525. The point of contact at their office is Ricki Gardenhire, Public Information Officer.  Inquiries related to Murray State University should be directed to Dr. Adrienne King, MSU Vice President of University Advancement at 270-809-4894.

TDOT Halting Road Construction Ahead of July 4th Holiday

Nashville- Road construction won’t slow motorists across Tennessee over the July 4th holiday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, June 30th through 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5th to provide maximum roadway capacity for holiday travelers.

“We anticipate Tennessee’s interstates and state routes will be especially busy this July 4th holiday,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “To help those traveling in Tennessee reach their destinations safely and without unnecessary delays, we are suspending lane closures for this holiday travel period.”

Motorists will still encounter some long term lane closures on construction projects.  While lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in construction zones and reduced speed limits in work zones will still be in effect.  Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.

AAA projects a record breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend, an increase of 1.3 million more than last year. Over 37 million will travel by automobile. In Tennessee, AAA estimates over 872,000 will travel during the holiday, with over 782,000 driving to their destinations.

From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel.  As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination.  Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.

In 2016, the Tennessee Department of Transportation lost three workers in the line of duty. All three were struck by passing motorists. Those tragedies bring the total number of TDOT lives lost to 112. We don’t want to lose another member of our TDOT family. We’re asking you to WORK WITH US. Click on the WORK WITH US logo to learn more.

Statement from MSU President Bob Davies

Murray, Ky.- Murray State University Presdient Bob Davies issued a statement in regards to the explosion that occurred at Richmond Hall on Wednesday afternoon:

As many of know, one of our residential halls, New Richmond, suffered from a tremendous explosion at 4:53pm on Wednesday, June 28.

 I want to thank all of our first responders, the multiple police departments, firefighters, EMTs, and others who went and helped as best and as quickly as possible. In the immediate hours following the event, the cooperation and coordination of law enforcement agencies, University officials and other critical services was exceptional. 

 There has been one reported injury requiring hospitalization.  Mr. Dakota Fields earned his bachelor’s degree in business in 2014 from Murray State as well as his master’s degree which he earned this past May.  I know Dakota from his exceptional work as a student leader, residential advisor, and this last year as serving as residential hall director.  Dakota recently accepted a position at Western Illinois University where he is going to assume greater responsibilities as a residential complex director overseeing several halls on their campus.  We wish you a very speedy and complete recovery, Dakota.

 We are blessed and fortunate that all students who are participating in the Governor's Scholars Program, the Commonwealth Honors Academy and the Adventures in Math and Science programs have all been accounted for and being assisted. All summer school students living on campus have also been accounted for and relocated to other residential buildings on campus.

 I want to thank all of the Murray State faculty, staff and community members who acted quickly and offered their unconditional and unwavering support.  This includes the vice presidents and campus leadership who acted quickly and professionally to ensure the safety of our campus and those on it. I also want to express my sincere appreciation for the numerous calls and messages from around the state, from our Governor, elected officials, fellow university presidents, and the numerous members of the Murray State family—our alumni, students and their families, our fans and other loyal supporters.

 The incident at New Richmond is devastating in many ways as it makes us aware of the fragility of many things in our lives.  At the same time, based on the response of many, the work of our team, the joining together to ensure safety and security demonstrates too the power of our Racer community. 

 Over the next days, weeks and months, we will learn more about what happened and also what will become of Richmond Hall.  Regardless, we will remain, as always, strong as Racers.

PLSP Movies at the Pool Friday and Saturday

Paris, Tenn.- Paris Landing State Park will hold Movie Nights at the Pool Saturday and Sunday July 1st and 2nd from 8-10pm. Admission is $10 and includes a hot dog, chips, and drink. Lifeguards will be on duty and you can swim and watch a movie outdoors at the Paris Landing State Park pool. July 1st Finding Nemo will be shown and on July 2nd Finding Dory will be the movie. For more information call PLSP at 641-4465.

First Presbyterian Church Indoor Yard Sale is Fri., Sat.

Paris, Tenn.- First Presbyterian Church will hold an Indoor Yard Sale Friday June 30th from 9am to 2pm and Saturday July 1st from 9am to Noon. The Yard Sale will be at the Fellowship Hall and there are many unique and interesting items.

Victim in MSU Explosion Airlifted to Vanderbilt

Murray, Ky.- The victim from the explosion has been flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN. He is still considered to be in stable condition.

KSP Investigators and those assisting them are awaiting clearance from a structural engineer before beginning to process the scene of the explosion.

The next update is expected to be tomorrow morning, sometime after 9:00 a.m.

The investigation is continuing by Kentucky State Police. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentucky State Police Post 1 at 270-856-3721 or anonymously at 1-800-222-5555.  Citizens may also report tips anonymously through the KSP app.  The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android applications and can be easily downloaded free of charge through Apple and Google Play stores.

PHCPUD Finishes Fiscal Year in the Black Thanks to Cuts

Paris, Tenn.- The Board of Directors for the Paris Henry County Public Utility District met this week and General Manager Tae Eaton went over the financials as the District’s fiscal year ended at the end of the May. Eaton said they managed to end the year at $296K in the black and after talking with many gas companies around the region, PHCPUD was one of few.

Eaton said, “with not having much of a winter, we are very lucky to finish in the black, it is primarily due to great work by our department heads to cut expenses over the last few months.”

The state will send letters to utilities who finish in the red for two years in a row and can come in after that and began to dictate rates and whatever to get the utilities out of the red. Eaton said it is just a good idea to try to avoid that possibility and we did so by remaining in the black again this fiscal year.

The board approved $250 per employee as a contribution from the company to the employees Tennessee Consolidated Retirement Services 401K contributions.

Eaton reported that gas prices are steady right now around the $3 mark and look to be steady into the near future at least if not longer. The District has around 43% storage capacity and will let that dwindle over the summer and began to build again in the fall.

PHCPUD One of 3 Distributors in Nation to Achieve Gold SOAR

Paris, Tenn.- The Board received a letter from the American Public Gas Association congratulating the Paris Henry County Public Utility District on being only one of three Natural Gas Distributors in the nation that are a Gold SOAR Recipient. SOAR, or System Operational Achievement Recognition honors Natural Gas Distributors that demonstrate commitment to excellence in four areas: system integrity, system improvement, employee safety, and workforce development.

Distributors are awarded points based on a scoring in the program and there are Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels. Eaton told the board that winning the Gold SOAR award was a testament to the staff and employees at the PHCPUD and how they are so good at all aspects of the job. The District will officially be honored at the APGA National Conference in San Francisco in July.

PLSP Summer in Park Concert Series Continues Sat.

Buchanan, Tenn.- The Paris Landing State Park Summer in the Park Concert Series will continue this Saturday July 1st as the Sonja Hopkins Band will be playing Blues and Gospel Music from 7-9pm. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy the concert while overlooking Kentucky Lake.

Latest Update from KSP on MSU Explosion

Paris, Tenn.- Kentucky State Police are still on the scene of the explosion in Murray, Kentucky.  KSP is being assisted by Kentucky Office of Emergency Management, State Fire Marshall’s Office, and the ATF.  Damage to New Richmond is most severe on the South side of the building.  

Murray Fire Department has concluded their search of the building and have turned over control of the scene to KSP.  Preliminary indications are that everyone has been accounted for.  KSP Investigators will work through the night to investigate the cause of the explosion.  

The injured person confirmed is Dakota L. Fields, age 26, of Murray, Kentucky.  He is still listed in stable condition.  

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentucky State Police Post 1 at 270-856-3721 or anonymously at 1-800-222-5555.  Citizens may also report tips anonymously through the KSP app.  The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android applications and can be easily downloaded free of charge through Apple and Google Play stores.

Breaking News: Explosion at MSU Dorm Injures At Least One

Murray, Ky.- An explosion at the New Richmond Dorm on the Murray State University campus has injured at least one according to multiple Kentucky news agencies. Extensive damage has been reported on the building, and some other buildings near the explosion also suffered some broken windows. Several Emergency Agencies are on the scene and working the incident including the Kentucky State Police, Calloway County EMA, Calloway County Sheriff's Office, and Fire and Rescue. More information will be released when it becomes available. An alleged gas leak is the possible cause of the explosion.

Latest update: KSP continues to work the scene along with multiple agencies and the one person injured was transported by ground to Murray Calloway County Hospital and is in stable condition.

KSP Seeks Help In Locating Stolen Vehicle

Hazel, Ky.- The Kentucky State Police Post 1 is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a stolen car. The car, a silver 2014 Ford Focus hatchback, was reported stolen on Monday from Briensburg Road in Marshall County.  

Over the past three days, the vehicle has been seen on surveillance in Marshall County, Calloway County, McCracken County, and Henry County, TN.  It was most recently seen in the Hardin, KY area around 8:15 a.m. today.  

At the time of the theft, the vehicle had Kentucky registration of 381WXG and also had a Betty Boop license plate on the front bumper.  It is unknown at this time if either or both plates are still on the vehicle.  

The vehicle is believed to be occupied by a white male and a white female, both in their early-to-mid 20’s. Preliminary investigation has indicated the identities of the two occupants, but warrants have not yet been obtained.  The couple is possibly armed and should not be approached.  

If you see this vehicle, you are asked to contact the Kentucky State Police Post 1 at 270-856-3721.  Citizens may also report tips anonymously through the KSP app.  The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android applications and can be easily downloaded free of charge through Apple and Google Play stores.

Milan Man Charged with Attempted First Degree Murder

Paris, Tenn.- A Milan man is currently being held on a $300K bond in the Henry County jail with attempted first degree murder charges. Trey R. Price, age 21, has been charged with attempted first degree murder and was booked into jail by Sgt. Wayne Fuqua of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday evening.

Capt. Ricky Watson of the Paris Police Department said this arrest is in relation to the shooting in the Walmart Parking lot a few weeks back where a victim and a suspect were injured. Capt. Watson said this is still an ongoing investigation but both suspects are now currently in custody. Cowan turned himself in to police.

County, City Officers Issue Assault Warrants

Paris, Tenn.- Sgt. Wayne Fuqua of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office issued warrants on Cody E. Darling, age 19, of 400 Mays Bridge Road for aggravated assault after responding to the Emergency Room. The victim said Darling stabbed her in the side of the head and hand with a knife. Darling hasn’t been arrested as of broadcast time.

Paris Ptl. Steven Dean, Jr. has issued warrants on Harold Cowan, Jr., age 26, of 1018 Reynolds St. for aggravated assault after he allegedly hit another man with a baseball bat. Ptl. Dean responded to the ER and victim said he went to Cowan’s residence at Cowan’s request and when he walked into the front door Cowan hit him with the baseball bat. Cown, Jr. is now in custody.

In a another report at the HCSO, Dep. Frankie Scott of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a theft report from Lumber Road. The report stated that a man had someone staying with him a few days and then noticed some money he had in the freezer was missing. About $5K was stolen from the hidden money and Dep. Scott is continuing to investigate with a possible suspect.

The Metro Crime Unit arrested Quinton E. Harris, age 33, of 706 Mandalay Road, for possession of schedule 6 with intent. He was placed on $1K bond.

County Comm. to Reconvene June Session to Approve Budget Thurs.

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Commission will reconvene its June session Thursday at 7pm to approve the budget and property tax rate for the new fiscal year. The budget proposed includes a 2% COLA for county employees and a proposed 3 cent tax hike, taking the property tax in Henry County to $2.09 per $100 of assessed property. On a $100K home, the tax rate equals a little less than $8 extra per year for Henry County residents.

City of Paris Announces Closings for July 4th Holiday

Paris, Tenn.- The City of Paris has announced closings for the Fourth of July holiday. The Public Works Department will be closed Tuesday July 4th and Tuesday and Wednesday sanitation routes will be run on Wednesday.

The Landfill will be closed Tuesday July 4th as will the Animal Shelter, City Hall, and Civic Center. All will reopen Wednesday July 5th.

Cottage Grove Freedom Festival Set for Tues. July 4th

Cottage Grove, Tenn.- The 42nd Annual Cottage Grove Freedom Festival is set for Tuesday July 4th and the City of Cottage Grove welcomes everyone to come and attend a day full of fun activities.

Maurice Jones, World War II Vet, is the Grand Marshall of the parade which begins at 10am on July 4th. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will present the Colors in the parade as well. The sounding of the Tornado Siren will signal the start of the Parade.

The Motorcycle Run begins at 10:30am, with registration starting at 9am. The Turkey and Trap shoot will go from 9am to 1pm. There is also game booths opening after the parade, a Firehouse International Kitchen, concessions, hay rides, cake walks, bounce castles, water slides, Zip Lines, a Zombie Paintball Target Shoot and more.

The Country store opens at 11am that day with a dollar a spin for homegrown and canned farm goods. There will be an auction from 1-2pm, an acoustic band from 2-4pm, bingo from 3-5pm, and live music from 6-9pm. At 8:45pm, there will be a drawing for a 12 gauge shotgun and a 50/50 drawing. The evening will culminate with fireworks at 9pm. For more information on the Cottage Grove Freedom Festival call 782-3657 or 782-3559.

Quota Deer Hunt Applications at LBL Available July 1-31

Golden Pond, Ky.- Deer season may be a little ways off but hunters can apply for Quota Deer Hunts at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area from July 1-31st. Potential applications will find the application link and additional information at https://landbetweenthelakes.us/seendo/outdoor-rec/hunting/.

Hunters may call 270-924-2065 to apply by phone as well Monday thru Friday from 8am-4pm. Application fees are $5 online and $7 by phone. Quota deer hunt dates for the season at LBL are in Kentucky: Youth Quota Hunt October 28-29, for age 15 and younger, and the Adult Quota Hunt: November 18-19. The Tennessee Youth Quota Hunt at LBL is set for October 21-22 for ages 6-16 and the Adult Quota Hunts are November 10-11 and 25-26.

Quota hunts provide unique recreational opportunities within the region and help maintain a healthy deer population. LBL features both adult and youth quota hunts and all quota hunt permits will be for one deer, either sex. There is a one antlered buck limit on Land Between the Lakes.

All hunters must carry on their person the following items: LBL Quota Hunt permit, LBL Hunter Use permit, appropriate state hunting licenses, deer permit, and hunters safety card.

BPU Board Approves Bid for Rehab At Johnson Park Basin

BPU Board members look over bids for the Rehab work at Johnson Park. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Board of Directors for the Paris Board of Public Utilities met in regular session for June on Tuesday morning and approved bids for Johnson Park sewer basin rehab project. General Manager of BPU Terry Wimberley said we are finally ready to act on this project after discussing it for some time. Ten contractors picked up the plans for the rehab of the Johnson Park basin and three turned them back in.

The board approved the low bid, Norris Brothers Excavating, from Crossville, TN, for $2.9M. Wimberley reminded board members the estimate was around $3M and this comes from part of the $5.1M State Revolving Fund loan that finally was awarded to the BPU. Wimberley said they had checked references and work from Norris Brothers and thought they would be a good fit to do the work.

The Board also approved a Resale Rate Schedule Substitution Agreement with TVA in regards to a change in outdoor lighting. Wimberley explained that they added a new 199 watt LED floodlight as an option for outdoor lighting so that was placed on the rate scheduled agreement. Seven old lighting fixtures that are no longer offered were taken off the agreement and a $15.50 charge per month was added to customers who have street lights on their account. Wimberley said 6 customers are affected which are the City of Paris, Cottage Grove, Henry, McKenzie, Puryear, and the County of Henry.

The board approved the pension plan restatement as a housekeeping issue and also approved a list of funding for professional services that they use every year. Wimberley said, “BPU uses technical consultants, advisers, and legal assistants different times throughout a normal year, and this is a blanket board action to approve these for routine services; if we ever have bigger capital projects those are still brought to the board on an individual basis for approval.”

BPU Approves Departmental Budgets for New Fiscal Year

Paris, Tenn.- Budgets for all departments for the 2018 Fiscal Year were approved Tuesday as well by the BPU Board. The budgets were discussed in detail at May’s meeting and Wimberley quickly gave highlights again Tuesday morning.

The Electric budget comes with no rate increase, a healthy net income projected at $800K and some small cash growth. The Electric Department budget has very little capital project spending this coming fiscal year.

The Water Budget shows year 3 of 5 for rate increase that will add an extra $70K to the budget. It includes a change from May as they decided to purchase a new dump truck instead of a backhoe, which was a difference of $8K less in the capital equipment. Director of Water and Wastewater Operations Tony Brown said, “we’ve continued to have mechanical issues with our dump truck so we decided to purchase a new one and take out the purchase of the backhoe for this year.”

The Wastewater Budget includes year 2 of 3 of a rate increase that will add an extra $86K in revenue. All budgets were approved.

Federal Charges Brought on Felons from Henry County

Jackson, Tenn.- Jeffrey Whitehead and Keenan Kendall were sentenced to a total of 149 months in federal prison for being felons in possession of a firearm six (6) firearms. Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentence Tuesday.

According to information presented in court, on January 5, 2016, members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the home of Jeffrey Whitehead, 29, because of suspected marijuana distribution from the home.  Upon execution of the warrant, Whitehead, who was present, told the officer that he had marijuana in the house and a few firearms.  Whitehead told officers that he knew he was not allowed to be in possession of any firearms. A search of the home and Whitehead’s truck revealed 45.4 pounds of marijuana, $4,500 in cash, and digital scales, along with six firearms. 

On January 27, 2017, according to information presented in court, officers with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the home of Keenan Kendall, 40. A search of the home in Paris, TN revealed two sets of digital scales, marijuana and a loaded firearm. 

On June 22, 2017, the Honorable J. Daniel Breen sentenced both Whitehead and Kendall.  Whitehead received a sentence of more than 7 years in federal prison and received a total of 3 years supervised release to begin after his incarceration. Kendall was sentenced to nearly 5 years in federal prison and received a total of 3 years supervised release to begin after his incarceration.

These cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Henry County Sheriff’s Office; and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who have all worked jointly to address gun-related crimes through aggressive investigation and prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor Eskridge prosecuted these cases on the government’s behalf.

HC Election Office Closed Until Thurs.

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Election Commission office is closed Tuesday and Wednesday while staff is in Nashville at the TACEO seminar. The office will reopen for regular business hours Thursday July 29th.

County Unemployment Rates Decrease for May

Paris, Tenn.- The Department of Labor and Workforce Development released May 2017 County Unemployment rates last week, and following the state’s lowest unemployment rate in nearly 20 years, the rates decreased in 94 counties and remained the same in one county. Rhea County, is the only county in the state with an unemployment rate above 5%, at 5.1%.

In our listening area, Houston and Benton Counties came in with the highest unemployment rate as Houston County’s was 4.5% for May 2017 and Benton County’s was 4.2%. The rates for both Houston and Benton Counties decreased both from April to May of this year and from May last year as well.

Henry County’s unemployment rate for May 2017 came in at 3.4%, down from 4.3% in April and down from 4.9% in May 2016. That means of Henry County’s 13,710 estimated labor force, 470 were looking for a job in May.

Carroll County’s unemployment rate for May was 4.0%, down from 5.3% in April and down from May 2016’s rate of 5.9%. 470 Carroll Countians were also looking for work in May, out of an estimated labor force of 11,640.

Stewart County’s rate was 4.0% and Weakley County’s rate came in at 3.5%, both decreased from April of this year and May of last year.

Busy Week at W.G. Rhea Library's Summer Reading Program

Paris, Tenn.- Activities this week at the W.G. Rhea Library Summer Reading Program include Jill Thatcher, ventriloquist and puppets at 10am Wednesday. At 1pm Wacky Wednesday, there will be Spaghetti and Marshmallow Tower Building. On Thursday at 4pm, it’s Ladies Tea Time and a 6pm come with the family and see what you can build with a box. Friday is the last day to register for the summer reading program. At 10am Friday, there will be Family Movie The Lorax, and at 6pm the Teen Movie is Power Rangers. Call the Library for more information on the Summer Reading Program.

Reminder: Farmer's Market Opens at 3pm Tues.

Paris, Tenn.- The Downtown Farmer’s Market will be open Tuesday at 3pm with several different varieties of produce include cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, peppers, canned jellies, and more. The Farmer’s Market is open at 3pm Tuesdays and Fridays.

Wanted New Johnsonville Man Apprehended by Paris Police

Paris, Tenn.- A New Johnsonville man wanted as a fugitive from Carroll, Benton, and Humphreys Counties was arrested by Paris Police at the Terrace Woods Travel Lodge in the early hours Monday morning. The press release from the Paris Police Department stated the PPD received information from a concerned citizen regarding a subject at the Terrace Woods Lodge that the citizen believed was wanted for Murder in another jurisdiction.

Officers were told the subject was sitting in a dark colored vehicle in the parking lot and two subjects were inside the car when they arrived. The driver identified himself as John Smith, but couldn’t give supporting information for that identity. During a pat down of the driver’s outer clothing two hypodermic needles were found on his person. Further search of the immediate area found his state issued ID card which showed him to be James Paul Hill and officers were aware of his active warrants for attempted 1st degree murder in Carroll County and other warrants in Benton and Humphreys. The passenger in the vehicle was taken into custody for drug paraphernalia that was found on his person during a pat down.

Officers then went to room 108 to attempt to make contact with the vehicle owner, Samantha Hollowell of Camden. The press release said the room smelled strongly of burned marijuana and consent was given by occupants to search the room. Jennifer Hisey of Camden, was found to have several pills in her purse that were identified as a schedule Four narcotic and Hisey was charged with simple possession.

Additionally, Officers were able to tie James Paul Hill, to the room, and show that the three female occupants were aware of his identity and his fugitive status. Hollowell, Hisey, and Brittany Corbitt, of Camden, were all charged with accessory after the fact of a felony for their roles in aiding Hill in attempting to elude authorities and avoid prosecution.

Hill was charged with simple possession of schedule 6, criminal impersonation, unlawful drug paraphernalia, and placed on $2K bond here in Henry County. Sheriff Monte Belew said this morning Hill is in the jail and will serve a sentence here, and both Carroll and Humphreys County have expressed intent on wanting Hill for crimes in their counties as well.

Ptl. Tyrail Jackson was the lead officers and was assisted by Ptl. David Beauvais, Ptl. John Baxter, Sgt. Jamie James, and Lt. Ean Reed.

Tourism Authority Approves Funding for Multiple Events

Henry County Tourism Authority (Cassie Walsh photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Tourism Authority met on Monday morning where the board approved funding for several different events.

The HC Tourism Authority approved to give the Kentucky Lake Triathlon $8,000 in funding. Over 200 athletes will be competing in the Kentucky Lake Triathlon which will be held on July 8th. This is the 4th year that Henry County has hosted the KY Lake Triathlon.

The board also gave recognition that $5,000 was already approved for the Cottage Grove Freedom Festival which will be happening on Tuesday, July 4th.

The board also approved to give Boss Hoss $20,000 in funding for their annual event which is held up at Paris Landing State Park. David Hamilton, HC Alliance CEO, said that Boss Hoss is one the best events of the year at the state park.

The HC Tourism Authority also approved to give the Downtown Paris Association $12,000 in funding for all of the events that they put on each such as Eye Full of Paris, Arts ‘Round the Square and other events that they do throughout the year.

Tourism Authority Approves Funding for Lee Academy Catfish Project

Paris, Tenn.- The HC Tourism Authority approved to give Lee Academy for the Arts $2,500 in funding for a catfish mold for a catfish project they are going to do. Lee Academy will develop 10 catfish and artists from Lee Academy will decorate the catfish which will be on display throughout the county.

The catfish artwork will be sponsored by local business for around $700 and the $2,500 in funding from the HC Tourism Authority will be used to purchase a one time mold for the catfish, which they can use to create more catfish artwork around Paris.

Mansfield Man Arrested for 4th DUI, Springville Man Arrested for DUI

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office,  Paris Police Sgt. Jamie James arrested Matthew Ruddell, age 34 of Mansfield, on Saturday for driving under the influence forth offense. Ruddell was placed on $15,000 bond.

In another report, Trooper Caleb Cooper arrested Scott Marlott, age 53 of Springville, on Saturday for driving under the influence and child endangerment. Marlott was placed on $2,000 bond.

Downtown Cruise-in Set for Tuesday, June 27th

DPA photo

Paris, Tenn.- The Downtown Cruise-In will be held on Tuesday, June 27th on the east side of the Court Square from 5:30pm to 7pm. All classic cars are welcome and Rockin’ Randall French will be performing. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the good times and classic cars.

Two People Arrested on Drug Charges

Paris, Tenn.- According to reports from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Paris Police Sgt. Jamie James arrested Kevin Hatley, age 27 of Camden, on Sunday for simple possession of a schedule IV substance. Hatley was placed on $1,000 bond.

Paris Police Ptl. Amber Roaten arrested Justin Moore, age 35 of Paris, on Sunday for simple possession of a schedule II substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to appear. Moore was placed on $1,500 bond.

Wanderlust Jr. Class is Mon. July 10th Through Fri. July 14th

Paris, Tenn.- Instructor Jane Etheridge will be teaching the Wanderlust Jr. class at Lee Academy will be held on Monday, July 10th through Friday, July 14th from 6pm to 8pm.

In the Wanderlust Jr. class your child will learn about multiple cultures and travel destinations through dance, games and crafts.  The cost of the class is $100 and the class is open to kids ages 8 to 11 years old.  For more information please contact Lee Academy.

HCHS Takes Home 2nd Place in Bassmasters High School National Championship

Tommy Floyd and James Gibbons from South Florence High School won the 2017 Costa Bassmasters National Championship with a total weight of 43lbs 3 ounces. (Cassie Walsh photos)

Buchanan, Tenn.- On the final day of the Costa Bassmasters High School National Championship HCHS Shawn Burkhart and Gavin Gordon, along with help from their Coach Jake Lawrence, won 2nd place with a total of 42lbs 15 ounces, just behind Tommy Floyd and James Gibbons from South Florence High School who won the 2017 Costa Bassmasters National Championship with a total weight of 43lbs 3 ounces.

HCHS Shawn Burkhart, Coach Jake Lawrence and Gavin Gordon won 2nd place with a total of 42lbs 15 ounces in the 2017 Costa Bassmasters National Championship. (Cassie Walsh photo)

Floyd and Gibbons will split a $5,000 scholarship and Coach Gary Mason from Bethel University offered Floyd and Gibbons a three year scholarship to Bethel along with a spot on the Bethel University fishing team.

Tommy Floyd and James Gibbons will split a $5,000 scholarship as Coach Gary Mason from Bethel University offered Floyd and Gibbons a three year scholarship to Bethel along with a spot on the Bethel University Fishing Team. (Cassie Walsh photos)

Gordon and Burkhart had 22lbs 11 ounces on day 1 of the tournament and they caught 20lbs 5 ounces on day 2 of the tournament despite getting a rule violation early in the day, but Gordon and Burkhart still came out in 2nd place. This was the first year HCHS had a team entered into the tournament. Gordon and Burkhart also get to split a $3,000 scholarship for coming in second place.

HCHS Shawn Burkhart and Gavin Gordon won 2nd place with a total of 42lbs 15 ounces in 2017 Costa Bassmasters National Championship. (Cassie Walsh photos)

Congratulations to Shawn Burkhart and Gavin Gordon from the HCHS Fishing Team on finishing 2nd place in the Costa Bassmasters High School National Championship.

Police Arrest Puryear Man on Multiple Drug Charges

Puryear, Tenn.- According to reports from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office,  Cpl. Forrest Kemp arrested Adam Franklin Kennedy, age 38 of Morris Road of Puryear, on Wednesday for possession of schedule IV substance with intent to sell, possession of legend drugs and public intoxication.

On Wednesday morning, deputies found Kennedy sleeping inside his vehicle near a field near Conyersville Road. Over 39 pills including Diazepam pills were found on Kennedy. Kennedy was placed on $15,000 bond.

Thatcher and Puppets Coming to Rhea Library on Wed. June 28th

Paris, Tenn.- Jill Thatcher Ventriloquist and Puppets will be performing at the W.G. Rhea Public Library on Wednesday, June 28th at 10am and admission to the show is free.

Put on your construction hat with Jill Thatcher and her puppet friends, as Arlo the snail and his friends learn about sharing and kindness.

Inspiring the Future Physicians of Henry County

One of the Junior Physician's Assistants helping with a surgery demonstration. (Cassie Walsh photos)

Paris, Tenn.- Bethel University and the Bethel University Physician Assistant Program held their Junior Physician Assistant Day on Saturday and kids got to see what it’s like to be a physician for a day.

Kids got to take a tour of the Paris Police Dept. car, Paris Fire Dept. truck and take a look inside the AirEvac helicopter. At the Junior Physician Assistant Day kids got to check vital signs such as blood pressure, while they helped assist physicians in surgery.

Taking a tour of the one of the trucks from the Paris Fire Department. (Cassie Walsh photos)

The children also learned 911 Education and had a CPR lesson. Kids also got to take  pictures with Doc McStuffins, a Teddy Bear Clinic, and each child who attended the event got stethoscope and other goodies.

Getting to take an inside look at a Paris PD cruiser while talking with Policer. (Cassie Walsh photo)

Money raised at Saturday’s Junior Physician Assistant Day benefited St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Coffee Cans Filled With Drugs Leads to Two Arrests

HCSO Photo: Sgt. Ricky Wade and Nitro, Sgt. Jamie Myrick and Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and his K9 Si, going through the coffee cans which contained large amounts of marijuana, a felony amount of “Ice”, a pistol and drug paraphernalia.

According to a press release, the Henry County Sheriffs Office has charged Alvin D Hassell and Alyssa Carter, both of Henry County, with possession of schedule II with intent, possession of schedule VI with intent and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The investigation stemmed from the post office receiving a suspicious package and notifying law enforcement. A search warrant was drafted and officers, in conjunction with the US Postal service were on scene as the package was delivered to 3703 Hwy 79N #4. K9s Si and Nitro both alerted on the package.

 During  the search Deputies found 9 Folgers coffee cans containing large amounts of marijuana packaged inside the coffee grounds, a felony amount of "ice", a pistol, and several drug paraphernalia items.

The HSCO would like to thank the TBI, Metro Crime Unit, Paris Police Department and the U.S. Postal Office for their assistance in the case.

AmVets Hog Roast Set for Sunday, June 25th from Noon to 4pm

Springville, Tenn.- The AmVets and the Sons of Amvets Post 45 will hold their Annual Hog Roast on Sunday, June 25th from Noon to 4pm at the post located at 14335 Highway 79N. The Annual Hog Roast includes BBQ with all the fixins for only $10 per plate.

You can pre-order whole Butts to go for $30. There will be Cowboy Karaoke with Bill “Cowboy” Duncan. For more information call 731-336-4123.

HCHD Closing Anderson Drive Mon. June 26th for Culvert Work

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department will close Anderson Drive on Monday June 26th at 8am for culvert replacement. 9-1-1 numbers 900 and above on Anderson will not be accessible for the duration of the project as there is no thru street beyond this point. The road will be back open for evening traffic. The Henry County Highway Department is sorry for the inconvenience.

Entries Being Accepted for Chamber's Water Run

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual Water Fun Run, “Rollin on the River”  on Saturday July 15th as event goers use watercraft to visit Buchanan Resort, Breakers, Paris Landing State Park, Cypress Bay, Pleasant View, Cypress Springs, Fat Daddy’s Leatherwood, and Mansard Island.

At each stop, you get a stamp and the number of stamps equal the number of cards you get at the end as you try to build the best poker hand. $500 apiece will be awarded to the person with the best Poker Hand at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm at the Water Run. Final check-ins are at Paris Landing State Park.

Entries are being accepted now and cost is $20 to play if you pre-register and $25 the day of the event. All watercraft are welcome and applications can be picked up now at the Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce, located on East Wood Street, or online at paristnchamber.com. Call the Chamber for more information at 642-3431.


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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