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WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks         

Weekend News Director Nicki Marr

 


Patriots Sweep Doubleheader at Huntingdon, Move to 6-1

Huntingdon, Tenn.- Henry County swept a doubleheader at the Huntingdon Tournament on Thursday in not so ideal baseball weather. It was rainy, cool and wet, but the Patriots bats continue to be red hot, beating Adamsville 15-1 in the first game. Hayden Walker had 3 RBIs and Perry Atkins had 2 RBIs in the game.

In the second game the Patriots battled to beat Trenton Peabody by a final score of 7-5. The hitting attack was led by Jared Pugh who had three hits and three RBIs. Hunter Updyck had 2 RBIs and Hayden Walker pitched 6 innings striking out 3.

Henry County plays Huntingdon in the tournament at noon on Saturday.

Guy Biggs Testifies as Jury Trial Continued Thursday

Paris, Tenn. - Jury members heard testimony from Guy Biggs Thursday, as the trial continues.

Michael Ainley, Guy Biggs attorney, began questioning this afternoon by introducing exhibit photos of the entry scar and exit scar to Guy Biggs upper chest. Also entered as exhibits were the admission summary and discharge summary for Biggs.

Biggs exited the witness stand and along with Ainley, reinacted his accounts of the event in question. Biggs testified he was sitting in his chair and a half with an ottoman in front of him, tv to his left, and the door of the home to the right. Biggs stated that his wife, Joyce, who testified yesterday, was somewhere to the right of him, when Jason Owens entered the home. Biggs testified that Owen came within 5 or 6 feet of him (demonstrated by a tape measure) and told Joyce to “Pack her stuff she was coming with him and that he (Guy) was going to die tonight.” Biggs stated that Guy was pointing a handgun at him, that he could recall it was silver and that Owens was wearing a black glove. He also stated that Owens was holding the gun in his left hand.

Biggs testified that he told Joyce to take refuge in the bathroom and not to come out. Biggs stated that Owen told him to turn down the tv, that he had something to say. Biggs stated that he reached for his remote caddy, which also housed a pistol. He reached for the pistol and cocked it. He testified that when Owens heard this, that he fired the round that struck Biggs. In a reaction, Biggs fired one shot, which missed Owen and lodged in the door of the home.

Biggs also testified that when he fired the shot, Owen turned around and crashed through the front door. Biggs says he got up from the recliner and went to the front door to make sure that Owens had left. He then stated he went back to the recliner and yelled for his wife to call 911. To which she did, and that call was heard by jury members in yesterday’s testimony.

Biggs stated that he and his wife, Joyce, gave a statement to the police the next day. He stated that he willingly gave a written statement to detectives, as to his account of the events. Joyce Biggs also agreed to give her statement at that time.

Testimony continued as Briggs described his military career, in which he has received a Purple Heart and a Silver Star. Biggs testified how he jointed the Army in 1996. He attended Basic Training, where he ranked Expert in M16’s and grenades. He then attended AIT and became a Weapons Specialist. Where he was ranked Expert in sniper rifles. Biggs went on to attend Paratrooper school and then Ranger school.

Biggs testified that he was deployed to Iraq, where he was wounded in his side and arm by a grenade. This tour earned him a Purple Heart. While healing, he attended HALO school. He was then deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months, his testimony continued as to his last mission, for which he received a Silver Star.

Defense continued their line of questioning by asking approximately how many rounds Biggs had fired in a handgun in his lifetime, to which he replied, maybe 1000.

Ainley wrapped up questioning with the discussion of the marriage of Guy and Joyce Biggs. Biggs described how he now remains incarcerated, due to violating the conditions of his bond by seeing his wife. He was arrested 2 days before his pretrial at her home.

He also testified that before they were married that he discussed his financial situation with his now wife and also took out a $500,000 life insurance policy, made payable to his wife in the event of his death. Biggs stated that his wife was well aware of his extensive coin collection, said to be valued at several million dollars. Biggs testified he believed that they were reconciling their marriage and going to make it work.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing began his cross examination of Biggs late Thursday afternoon. Testimony is likely to continue into Friday, however, a decision from the jury could still be a possibility this week.


Hosp. Board Discusses LifeFlight Contract
, Air Amublance Services

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustees met on Thursday night at the Healthcare Center.

CEO and Hospital Administrator Tom Gee discussed that both Air Evac and Vanderbilt LifeFlight are making plans to locate in Paris. Air Evac plans to be in Paris by the first part of April. A representative of Air Evac told WMUF/WLZK news that for the time being they will be operating out of the Henry County airport as they continue to look for land to build a base on.

Gee said there have been some complaints about locating the base on the proposed site near the Cancer Care Center due to noise and air turbulence. Gee said he has turned things over to the city planning and zoning areas to see if there are alternative areas to relocate a base.

The board discussed the Air Methods/Vanderbilt LifeFlight contract that was just received. Board members thought it was vital to hold the company to the idea of providing the bigger helicopter that they talked about during the discussion in February. Board members also said the company should be operational in 90 days once the contract is signed.

Board member James Travis questioned why they only wanted the contract to go for three years. He said if we are going to lease land and have a base built, three years doesn’t seem like a long time to get it running and having staying power.

Gee said the main issue is having the choppers here and with both companies going to be placing bases here, in the long run competition between them will likely see who stays around Paris and Henry County in the long run. The board discussed the possibility of making it a 5 year contract. Gee will bring a contract back to the board in April.


Board Approves Purchase of HC Orthopedics Building

Paris, Tenn.- The board approved the purchase of the Henry County Orthopedics and Sports Medicine building. CFO Lisa Casteel said the Hospital already leases space on the bottom floor and it makes financial sense to purchase the building instead of build new. The cost is $3.2M, which includes all of the equipment inside as well. The board approved the purchase contingent on some finalization of provisions with Dr. Gulish and Gladwell on how they will run the office.


HCMC To Receive $1.2M in Reimbursement

Paris, Tenn.- Also during his administrative comments, Gee said the medical center did get approval for the additional reimbursements on cost reports for the 2010-2011 years. The funds should become available in the next few weeks and amounts to about $1.2M.

Gee also reported that there has been little or no movement on Insure Tennessee in the legislature. He said legislators continue to submit legislation to try and dismantle the Affordable Care Act and even TennCare and if these pass hospitals will be further hurt financially.

In physician recruitment, a visiting OB physician came to Paris this week and one issue we seem to be having is finding suitable office space near the hospital.

Construction on the OR 7 project is moving along and they should begin construction in mid April. Gee said they are also ready to take bids on the conversion of 3 West for Lake Haven.


Healthcare Center Could Add More Private Rooms

Paris, Tenn.- Sandy Ray, director of the Healthcare Center,  gave a report to the board on the Healthcare Center. She said the private rooms they recently opened and are doing well for patients. She said they are working on a plan to try to open more private rooms if its feasible. Ray said they have certain issues to work around but will try to have more private rooms open if at all possible which seems to be a big hit with patients.

The Healthcare Center was one of only 4 centers in Tennessee to receive an award in quality service. She said they rated on quality, patient care, and other issues and only four received the award in the entire state.

Ray said census is low, but that is the norm everywhere in Tennessee. She said we are at least 75% occupied right now which is very good numbers compared to other areas. She said the issues stem from TennCare discrepancies and other states don’t seem to have occupancy issues.


State Fire Marshal Charges Houston County Man with Arson

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

Franklin Rye, 42, was arrested on March 23, 2015 and now faces two counts of arson related to two fires he set at the same abandoned house in Houston County.

Investigators discovered Rye had attempted to burn an abandoned home first in October 2014 prior to a scheduled auction of the house and land.  Rye set a fire in a barrel on the house’s back porch. After the sale of the house and property, agents found that Rye again tried to set the house on fire by entering the house and lighting a fire with some garbage inside the house. No one was injured in either fire. The house has been vacant for many years. 

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

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

Cash awards are offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction.


State Comptroller: Houston County Audit Shows Continuing Problems

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

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

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

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

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

To view the audit online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/la/

If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. Follow us on twitter: @TNCOT

Media contact: John Dunn, Public Information Officer, (615) 401-7755 or john.dunn@cot.tn.gov


Patriot FB Lift-A-Thon Postponed For Thursday

Paris, Tenn.- Patriot Football Coach James Counce, Jr. said the football Lift-A-Thon scheduled for Thursday has been postponed because of expected rain. It will be rescheduled for Friday. The Freshmen will have their lifts at 5pm and the Varsity will lift at 6pm over at Patriot Stadium.


Reminder: Fish Fry Headquarters Opens Up Sat.

Paris, Tenn.- The Grand Opening of Headquarters of the 62nd Annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry will be held at 10am Saturday morning at 1330 East Wood Street. The Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce will provide coffee and have a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the Headquarters.

The home Fish Fry Headquarters will be housed in is provided by Dinkins Mobile Homes and Champion Homes and the lot is provided by Wyatt Owens. At the grand opening of headquarters on Saturday morning the souvenir booklet dedication will be announced along with the Grand Marshal of the Grand Parade of this year’s Fish Fry.

Speaking of the World’s Biggest Fish Fry events are schedule to run from April 18th thru the 26th. The Paris Henry County Jaycees are working hard once again to make sure the Fish Fry has something for everyone. To see a schedule of events like the Official World’s Biggest Fish Fry Facebook page.


Jr. Queen Royalty Float Fundraiser To Be Held Friday

Paris, Tenn.- There will be a Jr. Queen Royalty Float Fundraiser held this Friday March 27th. Ribeye Steak Sandwiches will be for sell for $8 at the Sears Parking lot on Mineral Wells Avenue from 10am to 2pm. Delivery is available for orders of 5 or more. Call 336-2400 or 336-1891 for more details or to place orders.


City of Paris to Give Away Tree Seedlings Friday

Paris, Tenn.- The city of Paris will be giving away free tree seedlings on Friday March 27th at the Paris Civic Center from 10am until Noon. There are oaks, sumac, elderberry, and more types available.


PLVFD Responds to Two Fires Wednesday Evening

Buchanan, Tenn.- The Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department responded to two brush fires on Wednesday. Chief Reggie Coles said the first call came in around 7pm Wednesday night for a fire in the woods off of Hwy. 79 near Earls Boat World. Four trucks and 14 firefighters were on scene and extinguished the fire in about an hour.

Upon returning to the Fire Station, a passerby alerted the department that they had seen another fire in the woods on Hamilton Road off of East Antioch Road. Units went back out and found a fire at that location. No injuries or dollar loss came from either fire and the cause is still undetermined at this time.


Jury for Biggs Trial Hears Testimony from Joyce Biggs Wed.

Paris, Tenn.- Jury members heard nearly three hours worth of testimony from Joyce Biggs Wednesday afternoon as the Guy Biggs trial continues.

Judge Donald Parish is presiding over the case and Assistant District Attorney Paul Hessing spent the time with Joyce on the witness stand recreating the day before and the night of the incident where herself, her husand Guy Biggs, and Jason Owen was involved.

Originally Guy and Joyce Biggs told officers that Jason Owen had shot Guy, but after investigation, charges against Owens were dropped and charges of criminal attempt of first degree murder on Guy Biggs and both Guy and Joyce were charged with filing a false report were brought forth. The incident occurred in April of 2014.

Joyce Biggs told of the night of the incident in which she and Jason Owen had gone to the marina and then returned to her home at 100 Swan Bay Estates Road in Buchanan. She told Owens that she didn't mean everything she had said to him earlier and that Guy had made her say things. Joyce was having an affair with Owens at the time of the incident.

Biggs testified that Owen did not have a gun as the two of them went inside the house. She said she went in and went to place something in another room and saw her husband Guy who told her to go. Joyce then said she went into the bathroom and within a span of 5 or 10 minutes, heard two gun shots. After the 2nd shot, Guy yelled to her to come quickly and that he had been shot.

The jury and court then heard the 911 recording of the night of the incident and when the 911 dispatcher asked her what happened, Joyce said that Jason Owen had shot her husband.

Testimony in the case will likely continue Thursday and a decision from the jury could come this week.


USDA Announces Housing Funding Availability

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

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

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

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

USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. Since 2009, the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 230 communities in all 95 counties of Tennessee, investing more than $5.4 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Northwest Tennessee contact the Union City Area Office at 731-885-6480 x 4, or 800-342-3149 x1497. Visit us online at www.rd.usda.gov/TN.


UT Martin to Offer Advanced Digital Photography At Lee School

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

The course in advanced digital photography is designed to follow-up the basic digital photography course, but it is open to anyone familiar with digital camera operations and basic photography skills.

Students will learn the advanced camera skills of a double single-lens reflex camera and other digital cameras. Students will be encouraged to capture creative imaging techniques in landscape, wildlife, portrait and close-up photography. Exercises in both low-light and night time photography will be held. Roger Hughes, course instructor, will critique the images and provide feedback for each student.

Hughes is a retired special agent of the TBI, criminal and drug investigation divisions and studied fine art imaging at the University of Tennessee, Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Some samples of his work can be viewed at www.nwtpc.org.

Each participant should bring a digital camera, operations manual, and a tripod. Registration fee is $125 per person. For more information visit www.utm/edu/departments/ecos/nondegree.php or call the Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082.


Fish Fry Headquarters Set to Open 10am Sat.

Paris, Tenn.- The Grand Opening of Headquarters of the 62nd Annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry will be held at 10am Saturday morning at 1330 East Wood Street. The Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce will provide coffee and have a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the Headquarters.

The home Fish Fry Headquarters will be housed in is provided by Dinkins Mobile Homes and Champion Homes and the lot is provided by Wyatt Owens. At the grand opening of headquarters on Saturday morning the souvenir booklet dedication will be announced along with the Grand Marshal of the Grand Parade of this year’s Fish Fry.


Pats Win Slug Fest Over Kenwood 16-10

Paris, Tenn.- It wasn't the prettiest or most efficient victory, but Henry County out slugged Kenwood on Tuesday night at home 16-10. The win moves the Pats to 4-1 on the season and 2-1 in District 10-AAA play with the sweep of the Knights.

The Patriots started off with 5 runs in the first, but Kenwood stormed back with 6 runs in the 2nd. The Patriots scored 2 runs in the 3rd to lead 7-6, but Kenwood once again answered scoring 3 times in the 5th inning to go up 9-6. That lead didn't last long as the Patriots scored 5 more runs in the bottom of the 5th. The Knights grabbed a run in the 6th, but Henry County got 4 more runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Perry Atkins came in the last two innings and pitched well putting out the fire and sealing the deal for the Pats victory.

Jared Pugh had three hits on the night including a big two run triple to break the game open in the 6th. Josef Neumair also had a couple of hits and Alex Pope had two RBIs. Cody McSwain turned in some nice plays at 3B on the evening as well.

The Patriots are scheduled to play on Thursday in a tournament at Huntingdon and again on Saturday at Huntingdon. The next home game is Tuesday March 31st against Clarksville High.


BPU Board Approves New Water Rate Structure

First Step in Eventual New Water Plant Construction

Scenes of rust and cracked structure are common at the current Water Treatment plant (Photos by Tim Alsobrooks) .

Paris, Tenn.- At Tuesday’s Board of Public Utilities Board of Directors meeting, the board took the first step in what eventually will lead to the construction of new water plant. The board approved a new water rate schedule that will go into effect on July 1, of 2015, with increases set for this year, and again on July 1st of 2016 and 2017.

General Manager of BPU John Etheridge informed the board that in order for the BPU to proceed with possible funding for the new water treatment plant, as they have discussed for over a year, the water rate structure must be approved.

Director of Water and Wastewater Operations Terry Wimberley said this is a new, simpler structure on water rates that will include a base charge then a flat rate charge based on the number of gallons a customer uses. He said those who use less water, will pay a little less on the base charge then they are paying more.

The structure starts with a base charge of $9.85 then a $2 per 1K gallon usage in 2015 for Paris residents. In 2016, the base charge goes up to $11 and the cost per 1K gallons raised slightly to $2.25. In 2017, the base rate increases to $12 and the cost per 1K gallons is $2.50.

Board member Ralph Anderson said that no one ever really wants a rate increase, but we are facing some issues at the water plant that have to be addressed before its to late.

The water rate increase is just part of the funding for the Water Plant construction, which will be done in three phases. The BPU is seeking an RUS Loan and Community Development Block Grant money from the county and city to pay for the construction of a new water plant.

The current plant is 65 years old and seismic studies have shown it would have significant issues should an earthquake occur. The project would cost about $3.4M and Wimberley said plans are to start design in July of this year. The project will be done in three phases and phase one should be complete by October of 2016.

Visible cracks are showing their age at the treatment facility where water is eventually made safe to drink and stored in the Clearwell tank. (Alsobrooks photos)

Damon Dowdy, Water Plant Manager, said the building and facility is definitely showing wear and tear. Cracks were visible in the treatment areas and leaks in the clearwell, where citizens get their drinking water, have developed as well. Dowdy said we still use some of the original equipment that was here when the building first was opened in the 1950s.

The water coming from the Water Treatment Plant is fine and 100% safe to drink, but the way the water is treated is antiquated and the stability of the structure, especially if a disaster like an earthquake hit, is a huge concern.

The board gave Etheridge the authorization to sign the RUS Loan Application for the project but before its decided if they will go that route it will come back to the board.

The Clearwell tank, where water is stored before going into homes as drinking water, has huge cracks and leaking problems. (Alsobrooks photos)

Equipment that was around in the 1950s is still being used in some parts of the water treatment plant (Pictured above). Also the system of treating the water with lime and alum powders is outdated. Once the new plant is built more streamline techniques of treating the water will be included in the design. (Alsobrooks photos)


BPU Meeting Held at New Electric Warehouse

This is the training room at the new Electric Warehouse where Tuesday's BPU meeting was held. (Tim Alsobrooks Photos)

Paris, Tenn.- Tuesday’s BPU Board meeting was held at the new Electric Warehouse, located on the highway 218 bypass. Director of Electric Operations Cole Edwards said everything is looking good and running fine so far at the new warehouse and work is nearly complete. There is still some landscaping work to be done and another layer of asphalt to be laid, but other than that work is complete.

The office area and training room is 6500 sq. feet and the warehouse area is 16,500 sq. feet. A tour of the building was given to the board after the meeting.

The front of the office to the new warehouse, located on Hwy. 218 (Alsobrooks photos)

In other business on Tuesday, the board approved a contract with Jacobs Engineering for work on a new water main line that will supply better water pressure for the new McCartney facility that is being built along the rest of the City of Paris Industrial Park. During the discussions the county had with McCartney, they were concerned about the water pressures in the area and CEO of the Henry County Alliance David Hamilton worked with the state on a Fast Track grant to help with utilities cost in the area. The money will be reimbursed to BPU from the State’s Fast Track program.

The board learned that the North Paris Substation is complete and they are currently going thru standard testing right now. Plans are to energize the substation late this week or early next week. Once the North Paris Substation is energized, some repair and rehab work can be done to the India Road substation.

Etheridge reported that pay as you go electricity continues to do well as 111 customers have signed up for it. Board chairman David Flowers said he told a customer about it and saw that the ability to pay for what you use and not worry about a deposit has helped some customers.


TBI Releases Crime on Campus Report for 2014

Paris, Tenn.- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released its annual ‘Crime on Campus’ report detailing crimes committed on college and university campuses throughout the Volunteer State.

Overall the crime reported through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System or TIBRS decreased by 6.3% from 2013 to 2014. There were over 6300 offenses reported in 2014, compared to over 6700 reported in 2013.

Reported incidents of burglary decreased by 31.4% from 2013 to 2014. DUI offenses reported by Tennessee’s colleges and universities decreased by nearly 35% between 2013 and 2014.

There were some areas that crime on campus increased from 2013 to 2014 however included Fraud Offenses which jumped 34% and rape increased from 26 rapes reported in 2013 to 46 rapes reported in 2014 on college campuses in Tennessee.

Some specific numbers in the report showed there were 6 arsons on Tennessee campuses in 2014, over 600 assault incidents, over 900 drug offenses, over 2K cases of larceny and theft offenses reported on campuses in 2014, and 9 kidnapping and abduction cases reported.

The report shows females were victimized 50% of the time and males 48.1% of the time. The report also shows the number of victims who were of white and non Hispanic race were victimized nearly two times that of Black and African American victims and about 25 more times than any other race.

The full 2014 ‘Crime of Campus’ report is available at the TBI’s website at www.tbi.tn.gov and under the news link.


Patriot Father/Son Baseball Clinic to Be Held April 4th

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County High School Baseball coaching staff, current and former players will host the 2015 Patriot Baseball Father/Son Clinic on Saturday April 4th from 9am to Noon. Registration and check in will begin at 8:30am at the high school baseball field. The cost is $45, $25 for each additional son. It is for boys ages 7-13.

The purpose of the clinic is to not only improve your son’s baseball skills and ability but to give the coaching staff and players an opportunity to see future Patriots.

It is not required to have a father or other relative participate in the camp, but it’s the goal of the coaching staff to get both involved and hopefully pick up some things throughout the day that can be applied to your son’s game. It is limited to one parent/relative per player.

Participants will learn fundamentals for each infield and outfield play, hitting mechanics, proper throwing and pitching mechanics, bunting fundamentals, catching fundamentals, and parent hot stove discussion including recruiting, camps, showcases, travel baseball, and handling their sons before during and after games.

Players are asked to bring their own glove, hat, cleats, baseball or jogging pants, and catching gear. Players may also bring their own bats, but there will be some bats available.

Applications are available at Henry County High School and entry by March 27th gets the player a T-shirt. Sign ups will continue until April 4th.


Red Cross to Hold Swimming Lessons at Paris Civic Center

Paris, Tenn.- The American Red Cross will hold swimming lessons at the Paris Civic Center in April and May. The sign ups are currently at the front desk at the Civic Center.

Level One Classes for April will be held April 13th thru 17th from 5:30pm to 6:30pm and the cost is $35 per child. Level Two Classes will be held April 13th thru 17th from 6:45pm to 7:35pm and cost is again $35 per child. The Swim Lessons in May will be held May 18th thru 22.

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


Patriots Pound Kenwood 14-5 For District Road Win

Clarksville, Tenn.- After the last couple of games, Henry County has seemingly found their bats. After beating Dresden 21-1 on Friday, the Patriots backed that up with a 14-5 District 10-AAA road win at Kenwood Monday night.

The Patriots had several players with two hits, including starting pitcher Jared Pugh, who drove in two runs. Pugh also pitched six strong innings with 9 strikeouts to get his 2nd win. Cody McSwain also had two hits on the night. Casey Pope and Evan Harrison added a RBI in the victory. The Pats scored 6 runs in the 7th inning to blow the game open.

Henry County is at home against Kenwood Tuesday night, looking for the sweep in the series. We will broadcast the game on WLZK 94.1FM beginning with the pregame show at 6pm. First pitch is set for 6:30pm.


Woman Charged with Reckless Endangerment After Car Chase

Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Paris Police Department stated that city units responded to a car chase down Dale Street in the early hours of Sunday morning. Sgt. Ean Reed and Ptl. Jamie James stopped two of the cars involved and began investigating the situation. One of the drivers, Kendra Bomar, age 27, of 402 Cherry Street, said the other driver Jordan Henry, 23, of 206 Wynn Street, had been into an altercation with her and put her baby in the back seat and tried to leave.

Police then spoke to two witnesses who, according to the report, said that Bomar threw the baby in its car seat into the back of Henry’s vehicle. They kept arguing and Henry eventually tried to leave and Bomar tried to get in and pull the baby back out of the car.

Henry’s statement echoed those of the witnesses, saying she followed him in her car once he left and even tried to run him off the road a few times.

Bomar was charged with reckless endangerment and placed on $3K bond. The baby was turned over to Henry, who is the biological father and the Department of Children Service’s is doing a follow up investigation.

A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated that $300 was stolen  from a wallet that was hidden in a compartment in a vehicle. The victim gave police a possible suspect who denied taking the money.

An arrest sheet at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated that Rocky A. Foster, age 34, of 1703 Hagler Ridge Road for possession of schedule two with intent, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on revoked license, and driving with possession of methamphetamine. Foster was placed on $50K bond.


City Commission Seeking Letters of Interest from Commission Candidates

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

In a press release from the city Monday morning, it laid out that the city charter does not stipulate a process for replacing a Commissioner other than selection by the remaining four members of a person who is qualified to stand for election during a regular election.

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

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

Letters of Interest should be forwarded to: Letter of Interest, P.O. Box 970, Paris, TN 3842. Holder said letters should be mailed and not handed to a Commissioner, himself, or any other official.


Henry County High School Track And Field Results

Benton, KY. -Henry County High School Track and Field competed Thursday, in Benton, Kentucky at the Marshall County All-Comers Track Meet.

Kaity Beth James, placed 3rd overall in the 1600 meters, with a time of 5:54. Madison Aiosa, placed 6th overall in the 400 meters, with a time of 1:09.74. Julie Shankle, placed 11th overall in the 400 meters, with a time of 1:11.74. Kayla Osbron, placed 13th overall in the 200 meters, with a time of 30.44. The 4x800 meter relay team, consisting of Anna Martino, Alexis Harrison, Julie Shankle and Madison Aiosa, placed 7th overall, with a time of 12.21.

Seniors Kayla Osbron and Kaity Beth James continue to lead by example with strong performances. New comers Madison Aiosa and Julie Shankle are gaining momentum and should be on the podium in the next few weeks.

Jared Atkinsson, placed 4th overall in the 200 meters, with a time of 25:04. He also placed 10th overall in the 100 meters, with a time of 12:34 and 3rd overall in the long jump, with 18’3”. Nathaniel Owens, placed 6th overall in discus with 104’4”, 13th overall in shot put with 32’11” Hayden Hargett, placed 14th overall in the 200 meters, with a time of 25:74. The 4x800 meter relay team took 5th place overall, Javan Winders, Titus Winders, Ryan Pantrum, and Justin Bond, with a time of 9:43.

The boy’s team continues to ride on the broad shoulders of the three team workhorses, Jared Adkisson, Javan Winders and Nathaniel Owens. The sprinters are starting to look sharper and the distance crew are making strides as well. For a freshman, Nathaniel Owens is already making throws that haven’t been seen in Henry County for a long time. He is currently the only thrower on the team.

Coach Stephanie Winders works with the sprinters and jumpers. Coach Scott Owens works with the throwers. Coach Lance Winders works with the middle and long distance runners.

The next meet will be back at Marshall County on Saturday, March 28th for the Invitational of the South, which most likely will see 20-25 teams competing.


Paris Landing Fire Department Responds To Golf Cart Fire

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Paris Landing Fire Department responded to a call at 250 Davis Road in Springville, in report of a golf cart on fire.

The resident of the home was filling the golf cart with gas, went to start it and the golf cart began to smoke and caught fire. The golf cart was parked in the garage of the home. Damages were valued at $1500. No damages to the home or garage were reported.


Special Olympics Unity 5K Race Results

Martin, Tenn. - The Special Olympics Unity 5K Race was held on Saturday, March 21st in Martin, Tennessee. 

 

18 & Under Female - Taylor Hoffman, 38:30

18 & Under Male - Cole Justice, 26:46

18-25 Female - Amy Reddick, 32:19; Courtney Friedrich,39:51; Cristal Jones, 53:07

18-25 Male - Jake Wilson, 30:45; Zach Rogoswki, 32:20

26-35 Female - Felicia Mann, 27:34; Kelly Richardson, 31:49

26-35 Male - Chuck Wheelis, 22:22; Tom Kirk, 30:00; Julius Blackburn, 51:08

46-55 Female - Myra Hoffman, 44:24

46-55 Male - Darrell Blaylock, 29;09; Andy Sliger, 31:52


Overall Male: Chuck Wheelis, 22:22

Overall Female: Felicia Mann 27:34

 

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

 

The mission of Area 7 Special Olympics Tennessee is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Full participation is granted to every athlete regardless of his or her economic circumstances. The ultimate goal of Special Olympics is to help persons with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large by offering them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition. Special Olympics also increases the public's awareness of participants’ capabilities and need.


Springville Man Arrested For Possession, Driving On Revoked

Springville, Tenn. - According to a report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Rocky A. Foster, age 34, of 1703 Hagler Ridge Road in Springville, was arrested and charged with Possession of a Schedule II drug with intent, drug paraphernalia and driving on a revoked license. Bond was set at $50,000.


Knights of Columbus To Hold Ravioli Lunch And Dinner

Paris, Tenn. -The Knights of Columbus will be holding a Ravioli Lunch & Dinner benefiting Tomorrow’s Hope Pregnancy Medical Clinic on Thursday, March 26th.

Meals will be served at Holy Cross Catholic Church Family Life Center, located at 1210 East Wood Street in Paris.

Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Dinner to be served from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Take-outs are available. Lunch delivery will be available for 5 or more meals.

The meal includes Ravioli with homemade sauce, salad, drink and dessert. $9.00 per adult. $20.00 for a family (Includes parents and dependent children) Children under 5 eat free.


"Scam Alert" Program To Be Held At Henry Co. Fairgrounds

Paris, Tenn. -The Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and McDonald’s present “Scam Alert” on Thursday, April 9th, at the Henry Co. Fairgrounds Enoch Building, from 10 a.m. to Noon. McDonald’s will serve breakfast sandwiches at 10 a.m.

This educational program is to inform the public of deceitful scams in our region. Learn the indicators of a scam and what to do if you have been targeted by scammers.

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


UT Martin Distance Runners Compete In Memphis Invitational

Memphis, Tenn. -The University of Tennessee at Martin distance runners complete its second track appearance of the spring schedule over the weekend at the Rhodes College Track & Field Invitational in Memphis.

Junior Justin Morgan kept with the theme of the 2014-15 season breaking yet another school record in the men’s 5,000 meter run, finishing sixth overall with a time of 15:06.38. This just adds to several other school and personal best marks for the Skyhawk speedster. His time of 15:06.38 broke the program’s previous record of 15:36.9 set by Justin Cacaro in 2010.

Three runners dazzled on the women’s side, led by the freshman Kiana Hope who posted a new personal best with a 19:08.39 finish in the women’s 5K. Narrowly trailing her teammate was junior Hayley Doty who finished with a time of 19:19.97 in the field.

Joining in the fun of setting new personal bests was sophomore Emily Pett with a time of 20:12.67. Freshman Chelsea Bear posted the Skyhawks third sub-20 minute finish with a time of 19:57.39.“In just a few short weeks the team has already seen major improvements across the board,” said UT Martin head coach Peter Dalton. “Justin continues to excel and the ladies ran well together, led by a solid freshman debut in the 5,000 meters for Kiana.”

UT Martin will return to competition next weekend with a quick trip to the Vanderbilt Invite on Saturday, March 28.


Skyhawks Men's Hoops Advance To CIT Elite Eight

Spartanburg, SC. -The University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team shook off a slow start and took command of the final five minutes of the contest at USC Upstate, winning by a 60-49 margin in the second round of the 2015 CollegeBasketballInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

The Skyhawks took their first lead of the game with 5:37 left to play, ending the game on a 14-3 run. In the process, UT Martin won its second postseason game in less than 48 hours and its third postseason game in the history of the program. The victory also resulted in UT Martin’s sixth 20-win season and second in its Division-1 History. (since 1992)

Twymond Howard led the Skyhawks (20-12) with 15 points, while adding seven rebounds and three steals. Deville Smith added 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals, while Alex Anderson scored seven of his 13 points in the game ending14-3 spurt. Marshun Newell narrowly missed a double-double (nine points, eight rebounds) for UT Martin, who shot 28.3% but made four of its nine three-pointers in the final 7:48

After USC Upstate made a pair of free throws, Anderson buried another huge three-pointer at the 3:54 mark to extend UT Martin's lead out to 52-48. After a defensive stop, Smith knocked down a triple from the right side to push the Skyhawk lead out ot 55-48, with three minutes remaining.

From that point forward, the Spartans would only score one more point while the UT Martin duo of Newell and Anderson hit five of six free throws in the final 51 seconds to ice the victory.


Rhea's "Taking It To The Streets" To Be Held At Crestview Manor

Paris, Tenn. - Rhea Staff and Volunteers present another installment of “Taking it to the Streets,” on Tuesday, March 24th beginning at 5:30 p.m. The location will be Crestview Manor, located at 700 Mandalay Road in Paris. This is a community outreach to build relationships and encourage reading for all ages. Books will be read to children, as well as some reading tips for parents. Treat bags will be handed out, door prizes given away and food and drinks will be served. Everyone is welcome and the event is free, with guaranteed fun for all.


Vehicle Stolen From Front Yard On Depot Street

Paris, Tenn. -According to a report at the Paris Police Department, Cpl. Jeramye Whitaker responded to City Hall in regards to a complaint of vehicle theft.

A 1996 Blue 4-door Buick LaSabre, tag #39DD960, was stolen from the front yard of a home at 701 Depot Street. The vehicle was taken sometime between March 15th at 6 p.m. and March 16th at 6 p.m. The owner of the property had given warning that the vehicle would be removed from the property, but after speaking with that individual, that was not the case.

Police are still actively investigating.

In an unrelated incident, a report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, stated that Deputy Hayley Ramos arrested Ralph Vulpitta III, of 640 Lampkin Road in Cottage Grove, for Theft of Property over $500 and Burglary. Bond was set at $20,000.


UT Martin Presents Dr. Pamela Martin To Speak On Issues Of Soil And Society

Martin, Tenn. - Dr. Pamela Thomas, associate director in the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Services soil science division, will speak as part of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Academic Speaker Series at 7: 30 p.m., Wednesday, March 25th. The event will be held in Watkins Auditorium of the Boling University Center.

Thomas will give a presentation titled: “International Year of Soils: Issues of Soil and Society.” Before beginning her current position in 2014, Thomas was a soil scientist with Virginia Tech Soil Survey Program in the tidewater area, and later served as the coordinator of the Virginia Tech soil survey laboratories. Thomas has also held positions in state offices in Virginia and South Carolina. Her research focuses on soil genesis and interpretation.

Thomas holds three degrees from Virginia Tech. Her lecture is sponsored by UT Martin Honors Programs and is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Lionel Crews, Director of UT Martin Honors Programs, at 731-881-7436.

W.G. Rhea Library To Offer Social Media Computer Class

Paris, Tenn. - W.G. Rhea Public Library will be holding a Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) class on March 25th from 5-7 p.m. 6 slots are available. Must reserve a space and the class is free. For more information, call 731-642-1702.

The computer lab at W.G. Rhea Public Library will be closed to the public on Wednesday, March 25th, all day due to maintenance needs. It will be open for the social media computer class Wednesday night.


Community Music Academy Offers Private Music Lessons

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

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

Lessons are available in voice, guitar, upright or electric bass, percussion, woodwinds and brass instruments.

The Community Music Academy provides an opportunity for private instruction as students prepare for All-West auditions, solo and ensemble contests, and college auditions.

All participants are welcome, regardless of age or experience level. All lessons are taught in the Fine Arts Building, located at 16 Mt. Pelia Road on the northwest corner of the UT Martin campus.

Enrollment is ongoing. For more information, or to enroll, visit www.utm.edu/communitymusic or email communitymusic@utm.edu The academy can also be found on Facebook under “UTM Community Music Academy.”


Paris Police Investigate Burglary

Paris, Tenn. - According to a report at the Paris Police Department, Patrolman Nicholas Oatsvall responded to a burglary call at 1005 Bode Street. A neighbor notified the resident that a suspicious vehicle was leaving her home. The resident was at work and asked the neighbor to check on the home. When things weren’t as they should be, the resident left work and upon entry, found the 48” Sony flat screen t.v. and Xbox limited edition to be missing, valued at $493. The door to the home had been pried open with a metal object. No arrests have been made at this time.


Tennessee's Unemployment Rate For Feb Decreases

Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced that the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for February was 6.6%, 1/10 of a percentage point lower than the January revised rate of 6.7%

Over the past year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate increased from 6.5% to 6.6% while the national rate decreased from 6.7% to 5.5%

Total non-farm employment decreased 800 jobs from January to February. The largest decreases occurred in administrative/support/waste services, accommodation/food services, and local government.

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


HCSS Kindergarten Registration This Week

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County School System will hold Kindergarten Pre-registration for the upcoming 2015-16 School year March 24-26th at each elementary school.

Packets will be available at each school containing pre-registration information and other informative materials. Contact your child’s school for more information. Call Harrelson at 247-3152, Henry at 243-7114, or Lakewood at 644-1600.


Puryear Boy Scout Troop to Hold Pancake Breakfast March 28th

Puryear, Tenn.- The Puryear Boy Scout Troop 226 will host a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday March 28th from 7am to 11am at the Puryear Baptist Church Family Life Center. The church is located at 10060 Hwy. 641 N.

Donations of $7 are accepted for adults and $3 for children under 5. Bring the family and enjoy a pancake breakfast and support the local Boy Scouts.


BPU Flushing Hydrants Week of March 23rd

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants during the week of March 23rd. Director of Water/Wastewater Operations Terry Wimberley said BPU customers could possibly experience air in water lines or discoloration in the water next week. He said customers should check for discoloration of water prior to doing laundry. If these conditions occur, run water through a faucet for several minutes. The water should return to normal in a short amount of time and if problems continue call 642-1322 ext. 149.



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