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News & Weather

WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks         

Weekend News Director Blake Stevens

Arrested After Evading Police on Wednesday

Paris, Tenn. - Deputy Blake Jenkins of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department arrested Josh Craig, age 28, of Cedar Grove Road in Big Sandy on multiple charges. Jenkins stopped Craig at Brockwell Auto Sells. When he began to approach Craig, he took off on HWY 218 on his motorcycle. After police chased Craig down the highway, he eventually made a u-turn and surrendered himself at Brockwell. He was charged with felony evading, felony reckless endangerment, driving on a suspended license, and for failure to appear.

Paris Landing State Park to Host Running Tour on December 13th

Paris, Tenn. - Paris Landing State Park will once again be featured in the State Parks Running Tour with the eight mile “Over the River” race planned for 11 a.m. on Saturday December 13th. Walkers can begin the race at 10 a.m.

The course will start at the parking lot of Pairs Landing State Park Inn and approximately half the course is in the park, with the other half on highway 79 crossing over the McWherter Bridge. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will oversee safety on highway 79 and runners will be able to run in the emergency lane and one driving lane while on highway 79.

Runners may register beginning at 9:30am at the park and awards and trophies will be given for various age groups. Paris Landing Inn will sell meal tickets for runners and their supporters for $7.50 each for a buffet lunch.

For more information or to volunteer to help work the race, call the Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce at 642-3431 or go to www.paristnchamber.com. To register for the race or to learn about the Tennessee State Park Running Tour visit www.tennesseerunningtour.com.

Entries Sought for 8th Annual Holly Jolly Christmas Parade

Paris, Tenn. - The 8th annual Holly Jolly Christmas Parade will be held Saturday December 13th at 4:30pm and the event is sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association. Entrants are sought for participation in the Holly Jolly Christmas Parade and all you need is something with four wheels and a bunch of Christmas lights to put on it.

Announcements on the grand marshal of this year’s Holly Jolly Christmas Parade will be coming in later in December. The DPA encourages all organizations, neighborhoods, businesses, and churches to decorate anything from golf carts to floats to pets and come spread Christmas cheer throughout the town.

Trophies will be awarded in the following categories: Best Decorated Float, Most Christmas Spirit, and Best Decorated Golf Cart or Tractor. The coveted Clark Griswold Award will go to the brightest, most lit entry in the parade.

Downtown merchants will be open til 8pm on December 13th so event goers can shop after the parade is over and Santa will be in his house on the court square to visit with all the youngsters. Parade trophies will be awarded on the courthouse steps following the parade.

Entry forms for the Holly Jolly Christmas parade are at Paris City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, and the DPA office at 203 North Fentress Street or log onto visitdowntownparis.com. For more information call Jennifer Morris at 644-4539 or Vickey Roberts at 336-0278.

BPU Begins Evaluation on Johnson Park Sewer Basin Dec. 1

Paris, Tenn. - The Board of Public Utilities will begin a sewer system evaluation of the Johnson Park Basin on Monday December 1st. The work area will be bounded by Market Street to the east, Rison Street to the north and West Wood Street to the south.

All streets containing sewer lines within that area will be surveyed. A pumper truck will be cleaning and vacuuming the lines and a camera truck will be videoing the interior of the sewer pipes. The evaluation will be ongoing through February or March of next year. Residents within the work area who have any questions or concerns during the evaluations are urged to contact Terry Wimberley, director of water/wastewater at 642-1322.

Paris Police to Conduct Safety Checkpoints Thru. Dec. 1

Paris, Tenn.- The Governor’s Highway Safety Office, Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, and Tennessee Sheriff’s Association have joined forced to strengthen and support traffic enforcement nationwide. The program targets three major traffic safety priorities: occupant protection, impaired driving, and speeding.

The Law Enforcement Challenge provides law enforcement agencies with an opportunity to make a significant difference in the communities they serve.

The Paris Police Department has planned enforcement initiative beginning Wednesday and going thru Monday December 1.

BPU Board Remembers Bill Culley; Thanks Pete Lackey

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities board of directors met Tuesday and board chairman David Flowers began the meeting remembering former BPU board member Bill Culley who recently passed away. Flowers said Culley served on the BPU board for 21 years. Flowers said Culley brought great knowledge and was well respected in the community. The board held a moment of silence for Culley. Board member Ralph Anderson said he will miss Bill's friendship and vast knowledge he brought to the board and employees.

At the end of the meeting, the board also said goodbye to board member and city commissioner Pete Lackey who didn't seek reelection in November. The city commission will now have to appoint two BPU board members in the coming months. The seat left vacant by Bill Culley can go to any member of the community, made by the mayor with commission approval. The seat Pete Lackey is vacating must be a Paris City Commissioner, mandated by state law.

At the December city commission meeting, new commissioner Robert Sleadd will take a seat and the commission will elect a mayor amongst themselves. They could look at the BPU board member appointments in December.


BPU Board Approves PrePay Policy for Pay as You Go Electricity

Paris, Tenn.- The board approved the pre pay policy with a go live date of December 22 for customers. It has been tested by some BPU employees and business manager Beverly Underwood said its been an easy software to implement. They have been testing it and talking about its implementation for a few weeks now.

The system allows customers the option of pay as you go electricity, with text or emails sent to customers when the amount of electricity they've paid for is nearly up. Customers can prepay by inserting cash into the kiosk outside the BPU office and the smaller one inside the office. Customers can also choose to pay via debit and credit cards with a small fee.

Electric only customers who choose to go with the prepay service dont have to pay a deposit but any water or wastewater customers will still pay their deposits.


The system is all automated and cutoffs for nonpayment is set up to go off at 11:15 each morning. General Manager John Etheridge said there are no reconnect fees with the prepay system. Customers can sign up for Smarthub and keep up with electricity usage and what they've paid for thru prepay. Board chairman David Flowers issued the remainder that every customer, even those who do not use prepay can sign up for the Smarthub. Etheridge said Smarthub is its own independent website, but customers interested in signing up can call BPU and they can walk them through it.

Etheridge went over the financials and said cash position was better in the Electric Department. He said we are standing steady with number of customers and net incomes.


Etheridge said the water department had a positive net income for the mothe but the waste water net income was negative.

The board Also approved the purchase Cooper Regulators for the Henry Substation. The regulators were purchased from WESCO Utility at a price of $91K. Director of metering and injuring, Jeff Thompson told the board we have had some issues in Henry and this will fix the big issues with some outages that have occurred there in recent months.


Thompson also updated the board on the North Paris substation saying progress is coming along. He said with weather and the holidays it's likely to be after the first of the year before its complete.


Etheridge also said the Electric Warehouse is coming along and the board may hold its December meeting there.


LBL to Open Up No Hunting Zones for Archery Deer Hunting

Golden Pond, Ky.- Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area will open areas typically marked as “No Hunting” zones to archery deer hunting December 1. Kentucky areas will be open to archery hunting through January 19 and include Hillman Ferry and Energy Lake campgrounds. Tennessee areas will be open to archery hunting through January 4 and include Brandon Spring Group Center and the South Nature Watch Demonstration Area in the eastern portion of Hunt Area 16 south of Ft. Henry Rd. Piney Campground will remain closed.

Hunters are encouraged to harvest antlerless deer in these areas to maintain healthy deer populations. Hunting is not permitted within 150 yards of any road, facility, building, occupied area, or within 200 yards of any wildlife refuges.

Hunters must possess all state required licenses and permits for the state being hunted. Deer hunters age 16 and older must purchase a $25 Land Between The Lakes Hunter Use Permit or $35 with a combination Backcountry Camping Permit. Permits can be purchased online 24/7 under Reservations and Permits, Golden Pond Visitor Center and Wranglers Campground year-round, or at stores that sell state hunting licenses.

Hunting in forested areas within campground boundaries, away from campsites, is permitted. Maintenance staff will continue working throughout the winter at facilities. Hunters are advised to use extra caution when hunting in these areas. Camping will be available at Wranglers Campground, at Self-service Camping Areas, and in Backcountry Areas.

For more information go to www.landbetweenthelakes.us/, and click Stewardship, and Hunting, or call 270-924-2065. For information on hunting regulations click on General Hunting Regulations on the hunting page.

Deadline Dec. 5th For Arts Council TPAC Trip

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Arts Council is taking a trip to TPAC to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat in 2015. The deadline to purchase tickets is December 5th. The cost is $85 per person which includes ticket to the play and coach bus ride to and from Nashville. Call the Arts Council if interested at 642-3955.

PHCPUD To Break Record for New Customers this Year

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Public Utility District Board of Commissioners met Tuesday and General Manager Tae Eaton said the district will set a record for new customers at the end of this year thanks to service lines added off the main line extensions. 

Eaton said year to date as of October 31st, they have added 200 new service lines off the main gas line extensions in 2014. He said they currently have 22 on backlog and 5 on hold per customers for November and by the end of the year the company could add a total of 250-60 new gas customers.

Eaton also updated the board on the financials as the district still currently sets in the red with a year to date loss of $648K. He reminded the board that winter is coming and he saw no issue with them getting in the black before the fiscal year is over. “During the cold snap, meters have been buzzing”, said Eaton and “revenue will increase as winter sets in, and we have also managed to get our storage to 99% during the summer and early fall to be ready for the winter.”

In business, the Gas Board approved payments to Dale Murphy Construction in the amount of $50,442 for the main line extensions. Eaton said they have two more sections and then will be done. Payments in the amount of just under $2700 to Natural Gas Piping for the highway 218 Relocation project and $994 to James Plus & Associates for engineering services on the main line extension were also approved by the board.

Eaton informed the board he had been recommended to Governor Haslam to serve on the Utility Management Review Board. Eaton said it was an honor to be recommended and he is one of five to be sent to the Governor, who will make a decision on which one will set on the UMRB board later on.

Christmas By The Lake Is To Be Held This Weekend

Buchanan, Tenn.- The annual Christmas by the Lake Arts and Crafts Festival will be held Friday November 28th thru Sunday November 30th at Paris Landing State Park. Hours are Friday 3-8pm, Saturday 8am-8pm, and Sunday 8am to 5pm. For vendor information call Ranger Brandon Williams at 641-4465.

Bethel U. To Hold Twinkle Ball Dec. 3rd

McKenzie, Tenn.- Tickets for Bethel University’s 3rd Annual Twinkle Ball, the ultimate Mommy and Me Christmas extravaganza, are currently on sale and will continue to be through December 1st. The Twinkle Ball will be held on Wednesday December 3rd from 6-8pm in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment on Bethel’s McKenzie campus.

The Twinkle Ball gives young girls and their mothers the chance to dress up and celebrate the magic of the holiday season. The theme this year is “Twinkle Has Frozen” with most activities centered around the movie, Frozen. Some of the events include manicures by Edge Hair Salon; make and take Olaf character; make your own “Frozen” popcorn ball, silhouette portrait settings, Christmas ornament stations, and more. There will be a photo booth available as well. 

Tickets are $25 for a mother/daughter ticket. Mothers with more than one daughter can purchase additional tickets for $7 each. Tickets can be purchased at the Bethel University Bookstore. For more information call 352-4094.

Theft Reported on Normal Drive

Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated officers responded to Normal Drive in reference to a burglary in progress. Officers arrived and found that the suspect had broken into a neighbor’s home and the two of them had gotten into an altercation, with the suspect stealing the neighbor’s wallet.

Witnesses said the suspect took off in the woods and although a couple of witnesses told officers a name, the report stated no one could positively identified the suspect for sure. Police continue to investigate.

Arrests over the weekend include Dalton G. Jones, 46, of Rutherford, Tennessee for aggravated assault and Tyler Lee Hearn, 19, for domestic assault.

No Lane Closures on TN Highways for Thanksgiving Holiday

Nashville- Thanksgiving travelers will not be slowed by construction on Tennessee roads during this busy travel holiday. TDOT will halt all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state.  All construction related lane closures will be stopped beginning at noon on Wednesday, November 26 through 6:00 a.m. Monday, December 1.

“With nearly a million people expected to travel by car this Thanksgiving, our highways will be busy, especially on the peak travel days of Wednesday and Sunday,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “Halting road work during this busy time will provide maximum capacity and help minimize congestion.”


While all lane closure activity will be stopped, workers may be on site in some construction zones.  Motorists are reminded to drive safely and obey the posted speeds, especially in work zones.  Drivers convicted of speeding in work zones where workers are present face a fine of up to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums. 


“The Governor’s Highway Safety Office and TDOT are partnering with law enforcement across the state for the I-40 Challenge, with the goal of having zero fatalities on the 455 miles of I-40 in Tennessee,” said GHSO Director Kendell Poole. “The Tennessee Highway Patrol will have troopers stationed every 20 miles on I-40, along with increased law enforcement on all highways. We want everyone to have a safe holiday, so remember to buckle up, drive the speed limit, and don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you’ve had anything to drink.”


Some long-term lane closures will remain in place on some construction projects for motorists’ safety.


AAA predicts 46.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday, the highest number since 2007. An estimated 973,710 people are expected to travel by automobile in Tennessee. Nationwide, 89% of all travelers will drive to their destination. In the southeast region, travelers are estimated to journey 549 miles round-trip. Road trippers will pay the lowest price for fuel in five years, with prices more than 40 cents lower per gallon compared to last Thanksgiving.

Updated travel and construction information can be found on the TDOT SmartWay website at
www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway or you may call 5-1-1.  You can also receive traffic alerts via TDOT’s multiple Twitter feeds, including statewide traffic tweets @TN511 or any of TDOT’s other Twitter pages


As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for their destination.  Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.

Lakewood Speech Team Does Well at Calloway Co. Tourney

The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team shows off their awards. (Photo submitted by Coach David Weatherly)

Murray, Ky.- The Lakewood Middle School Speech Team competed in the Middle School Laker Invitational at Calloway County Middle School over the weekend and placed 2nd overall with 14 finalists.

The following students won in their individual events: Natalie Clark- 1st in Declamation and 3rd in Broadcasting; Drew Culbreath- 1st in Prose, 4th in  Poetry; Sylis Allen- 2nd in Poetry, 5th in Duo Improv; Collin Smith- 2nd in Storytelling, 5th in Duo Improv; Jessica Whalen- 2nd in Solo Acting; Janet McFadden-6th in Prose; Casey Burkhart- 6th in Declamation; and Faith Hutson- 6th in Oratory and 5th in Duo Improv.

The team will travel to Western Kentucky Unversity on December 6th to compete in the Jr. Hilltopper Invitational which draws schools from across Kentucky, Tennessee, and other parts of the Eastern United States.

Oliver Mooney Benefit Set Dec. 5th

Paris, Tenn.- A benefit will be held for Oliver Mooney on Friday December 5th. Oliver will be receiving extensive treatment for burn rehabilitation. Mooney is a kindergarten student at Lakewood Elementary.

The event will include a 1-mile walk, a bake sale, a ninja costume contest, the PFD firehouse, silent auction, and massage services. Food will include a chili and hot dog meal. The student walk is at 3:30 p.m. and the adult walk is at 3:45 p.m. Food will be available from 4 until 7 p.m. Activities begin at 3:30. Prices are $4 for children and $8 for adults.

Walk registration forms, meal tickets, and t-shirt order forms can be picked up and turned in at Lakewood Schools or Paris Healthcare Rehabilitation Center.

All proceeds will benefit Oliver and his family.

Unemployment Steadily Getting Better for Tennessee

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development have released preliminary unemployment numbers for the state during the month of October. The rate was at 7.3% in September. The state department reports a decrease in unemployment, putting the rate at 7.1% for October. The national unemployment rate is at 5.8% for the month. Over the year, Tennessee’s unemployment has gone down one whole percentage point from 8.1%. It is estimated that 7,900 jobs were created in Tennessee throughout October.

Free Arts & Crafts Event at Wildlife Refuge

Springville, Tenn. - The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge announces their first ever “Trim a Tree for Wildlife” event that will take place on Saturday, November 29th. From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. the public is invited to the new visitor center at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville to see some exhibits and take part in crafts. Crafts include ornament owls from pine cones and snowmen made from tree slices. The ornaments and crafts make for great Christmas gifts and some can even benefit your backyard animals! The event is free to the public.

The center will be closed at noon on the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. It will be closed each holiday and will reopen the Friday after each holiday.

DPA Candlelight Advent Walk Set for December 3rd

Paris, Tenn. - The Downtown Paris Association is hosting the Candlelight Advent Walk on Wednesday, December 3rd at 6:30 p.m. Worshipers will get a chance to hear the message of Advent throughout decorated churches along historic downtown and progress by candlelight. Rhonda Stanton, chair of the 2014 Advent Walk Committee says “it’s a great opportunity to worship with other churches, enjoy their meaningful decorations of the season and stroll through our charming Victorian town square while visiting with our friends and neighbors.” The event begins at Quinn Chapel AME on Church Street and the final stop will be at First United Methodist on East Blythe Street. There are 6 local church stops altogether. A van will be available for those who do not wish to walk.

For more information, log on to www.VisitDowntownParis.co

Playoffs End after Hard Fought Season of Patriot Football

Paris, Tenn. - The Ridgeway Roadrunners came to play ball when Earl Harrison carried a touchdown from 65-yards at the start of the first quarter. With 4 minutes left, Chase Henderson of Henry County evened the score on a 3-yard touchdown run. Earl Harrison of Ridgeway scores on a 59-yard touchdown run with 11 minutes in the quarter. After a Patriot fumble, Ridgeway scored again. By the end of the first quarter, Ridgeway lead the score 21-7.

At the start of the second, the Patriots picked up two safety points on a bad snap in punt formation from Ridgeway, putting the score at 21-9. Harrison struck again from 41-yards out, making the halftime score at 28-9 Ridgeway.

#97 Gunner Osbron & #4 Cody Hunter attempt to bring down the Ridgeway runner.

(Tim Pharr Photo)

The Patriots returned from halftime ready to redeem the game as Jeremiah Godbott scored on a 38-yard touchdown run only 7 minutes into the third quarter. Ridgeway scored on a 62-yard middle screen, putting them in the lead 35-16.

#9 Jeremiah Godbott breaks free for a 38 yard touchdown run during Fridays game against Ridgeway.

(Tim Pharr Photo)

Ridgeway solidified their win in the fourth quarter when Braxton Conard scored on a 13-yard touchdown run. Chase Henderson closes the ballgame with a long touchdown run late into the 4th quarter. Ridgeway defeated Henry County 48-23.

Child Abuse & Neglect Arrest

Paris, Tenn. - Steven Pendleburg, age 31, and Vicky Beadley, age 27, of Old McKenzie Highway in Paris were arrested on Thursday for Aggravated child abuse and neglect. The charge is considered a class A felony. The Henry County Sheriff’s office reports that the crime took place on November 5th. Pendleburg and Beadley were arrested and placed on a $100,000 bond by Judge Snyder.

Drug Bust on Lone Oak Road

Paris, Tenn. - On Thursday, Paris Police responded to a drug tip on Lone Oak Road. Officers made contact with Steven Perkins. Perkins indicated that he did not consent to his home being searched. Officers noticed marijuana seeds on a table and were able to obtain a search warrant. Officers found a small bag of marijuana in a bedroom and other drug paraphernalia. Perkins, age 19, was arrested at his residence and placed on a $1,000 bond.

Upcoming Events at Land Between the Lakes

Paris, Tenn. - Monthly programs at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area continues on Saturday with a celebration of Cub Scout Day from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Woodworking will take place from 10 a.m. until noon. There will also be a candle making workshop from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and a laser music show at 5:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Land Between the Lakes is hosting a Christmas Tea from 1 p.m. until 3.

North Pole Family Fun Day Is Nov. 28th

Paris, Tenn.- Thanksgiving is next week, and Christmas is just barely a month away and after you’ve stuffed yourself with Thanksgiving meals, kick off the dash to Christmas in downtown Paris Friday November 28th with the North Pole Family Fun Day, sponsored by the Downtown Paris Association.

Santa, Rudolph, and the elves roll in at 10am that morning on the Paris Fire Department’s Fire Truck and that ushers in a day of fun, free activities for youngsters until 2pm.

In an exclusive satellite interview with Santa from the North Pole he said, “I can’t wait to see all the good little boys and girls in Henry County.” Santa, Rudolph, and the elves will take residence in the Gingerbread House on the courthouse lawn and visit with kids throughout the event on the 28th. Henry County High School Band Boosters will be on hand for photos with Santa.

The 4-H club will host a “make and take’ goodie table, with event goers can make their own goodies and take home. Commercial Bank will host a face painting station, where kiddos can have their face painted from 10am until Noon.

Members of the HCHS Speech Team will read the Polar Express at the Old Depot on Fentress Street, now home of Vicky Muzzall’s Tax Service. Miss Vicky will also give away free whistles to all the youngsters who come to hear the Polar Express story.

The North Pole Family Fun Day also has trackless train rides, sponsored by Dr. Blake Chandler of the West Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic, a petting zoo and pony rides courtesy of the DPA, and much more. For a complete schedule of events for the North Pole Family Fun Day and any event in the  2014 Downtown Unwrapped Series of events this season, log onto the website, visitdowntownparis.com.


News from past weeks here.


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