From News Director Tim Alsobrooks
TN Tourism Has Record Breaking Economic Impact Again
Sevierville, Tenn.- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett today announced Tennessee tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached an all-time high of $18.4 billion in 2015, up 3.7 percent over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association. The announcement took place at the Sevier County Courthouse near the iconic Dolly Parton statue. Mountain Rukus from Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede provided music.
For the 10th consecutive year, tourism topped $1 billion in state and local sales tax revenue, reaching $1.6 billion, up 7 percent over 2014. Tourism-generated jobs for Tennesseans reached 157,400, an increase of 2.9 percent.
Top five counties include Davidson ($5.686 billion), Shelby ($3.196 billion), Sevier ($2.031 billion), Hamilton ($1.016 billion), and Knox ($1.014 billion), who were acknowledged during the event for all achieving more than $1 billion in travel expenditures. All 95 counties in Tennessee had more than $1 million in direct travel expenditures; 19 counties saw more than $100 million each.
Tennessee is ranked in the Top 10 destinations in the U.S. for total travel, with more than 105 million in total visitation, a 3.9% increase over 2014, as reported by D.K. Shifflet & Associates.
“The hard work of Tennessee’s tourism industry, strategically led by the Department of Tourist Development and the Tennessee Tourism Committee, continues to produce record results,” Gov. Haslam said. “More travelers from around the world are visiting Tennessee each year, and the $1.6 billion in sales tax revenue and growth in jobs is good news for every Tennessean.”
“It’s appropriate that today’s announcement takes place next to a statue of Sevier County’s own Dolly Parton, who graces the cover of this year’s Tennessee Vacation Guide,” said Commissioner Triplett. “Dolly’s music has played a major role in making Tennessee ‘The Soundtrack of America.’ People come to Tennessee for a variety of reasons including the music, but it’s the authenticity and Southern hospitality that our communities and partners deliver every day that keeps people coming back. The tourism industry’s continued economic impact growth is a result of visitor satisfaction.”
The Tennessee Tourism Committee, appointed in 2011 by Gov. Haslam, is made up of tourism leaders in both the public and private sectors. The Committee is chaired by Colin Reed, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., and co-chaired by Jack Soden, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., and Sande Weiss, president of Music Road Resort.
For more information, contact Molly Brown, public relations media manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, at 615-289-7495 c. or by email at Molly.Brown@tn.gov.
Thefts, Drugs Keep Officers Busy
Paris, Tenn.- Lt. Ean Reed of the Paris Police Department arrested Jakeil Daquon King, 21, of Dyersburg, for theft of merchandise after he appeared to have stolen some beer, wine, and a comforter set from Walmart.
The report at the Paris Police Department stated the loss prevention employee advised a man had walked out of the store with items and got into a White Dodge Caliber. Lt. Reed spotted the vehicle and made a traffic stop in Burke’s Parking lot. With a description from the loss prevention employee matching King’s Lt. Reed found the items that were not on a receipt and charged him with theft. He was placed on $750 bond.
Another report at the Paris Police Department stated EMS requested assistance as they were providing medical assistance to a resident on East Wood. The EMS employee advised that drug paraphernalia was in plain sight. Ptl. Zachariah Carper and Ptl. Jamie James responded and found a spoon, syringe, and liquid in a coke can that appear to have been ingested.
Carol Bennett, age 50, of the address admitted the items were hers and she was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Ptl. Jamie James of the Paris Police Department arrested John K. Teague, age 28, of Murray at a wreck scene Monday after dispatch revealed him to have a suspended driver’s license. Teague was charged with driving on suspended and violation of financial responsibility law.
Dep. James Higgins of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office took a report from a resident of Lakeview Drive who had a laptop, State Championship Ring, and Class Ring stolen from his home. The value of items was $1850 according to the report. There are possible suspects and investigation is continuing.
Chamber Coffe Held at TN Valley Assoc. of Realtors
Paris, Tenn.- The Tennessee Valley Association of Realtors served as the Chamber Coffee host Tuesday morning. Executive Jennifer Owen and President Brian Foster welcome Chamber members to the Coffee. (Chamber photo)
HCHS Golf Splits in Murray
Murray, Ky.- The Lady Patriot and Patriot Golf teams competed against Calloway County and Stewart County on Monday at The Oaks Golf Course in Murray. The Lady Patriots defeated Stewart County by shooting an 81 while the Lady Rebels shot a 98. Individually for the Lady Pats Sydney Williams shot a 37 and Leah Bell a 44.
The Patriots lost the match against Calloway County and Stewart County. Henry County shot a 187. Stewart County won with a 164 and Calloway County had a 172. Individually for the Patriots Eli Ridgeway had a 43, Eli Todd a 47, Cameron May a 48, and Cole Culpepper a 49.
City of Paris Announces Labor Day Closings
Paris, Tenn.- The City of Paris has announced closings for the upcoming Labor Day Holiday. City Hall will be closed Labor Day, Monday September 5th and all emergency services will be on regular schedule.
The Public Works Department will be closed Labor Day. Monday and Tuesday’s sanitation routes will be run Tuesday September 6th. The Landfill be will be Monday September 5th and reopen Tuesday at 7am.
The Animal Shelter will be closed Labor Day and will reopen at 11:30am on Tuesday September 6th.
The Paris Civic Center will close for Labor Day on Monday and reopen at 6am Tuesday September 6th.
Grove FCCLA Hosting School Supply Drive for La. Schools
Paris, Tenn.- Grove FCCLA is hosting a school supply drive this week to help several schools, students, and teachers in southeast Louisiana. Schools suffered major damaged not only were homes and personal belongings lost, but also school supplies. The drop off locations are E.W. Grove School, Lakewood Elementary, and the Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce. The School Supply Drive last until Friday September 2nd.
Items needed include binders, loose-leaf paper, dividers, page protectors, pens, pencils, calculators, notebooks, crayons, colored pencils, markers, composition books, plastic folders with pockets and brads, pencil sharpeners, staplers, staples, dry erase markers and boards, sharpies, backpacks, tissues, Clorox wipes, paper towels.
Teacher supplies needed also include bulletin board borders and letters, stickers, rulers, classroom posters, file folders, tape, tape dispensers, etc.
For more information or to help with the drive contact Janet Pearce at Grove School at 642-4586 or by email a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entries Being Accepted for 3rd Annual FTNWR Photo Contest
Buchanan, Tenn.- Entries are now being accepted for the 3rd Annual Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge “Wildlife Awaits” Photography Contest. The contest is sponsored by the Friends Group, Dr. Danny Kimberlin and Dr. Gene Guilish, to help raise awareness of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and the many photo opportunities it offers.
Entries will be accepted until September 15th and can be hand delivered or mailed to the Visitor’s Center, located at 1371 Wildlife Drive, Springville, TN. Winners will be announced at a reception to be held at the Visitor’s Center on Saturday October 8th.
The entry fee is $20 for up to 15 entries in 5 categories. There is a separate youth category and participants under 18 are free. Prizes paid out are $50 1st place; $30 2nd place; $20 3rd place in each category. Best of Show will win $100.
Entry forms can be picked up at the Visitor’s Center or obtained online at www.fws.gov/refuge/tennessee or from the Refuge or Friends of the Refuge’s Facebook page.
Proceeds from the entry fees are used to assist with funding projects and activities that take place on the refuge, such as trail projects, Discovery Series events, and awarding grants for busing students to the refuge for field trips. For more information call Vickie Miller at 731-247-3288.
Reminder: Paris Swim Team Tryouts Tues. Aug. 30th
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Swim Team will hold try-outs on Tuesday August 30th between 3-5pm at the Paris Civic Center. The try-outs are open for any swimmers ages 5-18.
For the try-outs, swimmers age 8 and under must be able to swim 25 yards freestyle and 25 yards backstroke unassisted. Swimmers age 9 and up must be able to swim 50 yards freestyle and 50 yards backstroke unassisted.
The Paris Swim Team is part of the Mid-South Swim Conference and they compete against teams in the Memphis area. The competitive season runs September thru February. There is one swim meet per month on a Saturday or Sunday. Dues are $25 each month.
The first practice will be Tuesday September 6th. Practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Swimmers ages 5-8 practice from 3-4pm and age 9-18 practice 4-5pm.
For more information on the Paris Swim Team like the team’s Facebook page or call Coach Sarah Luffman 615-202-3670.
W.G. Library Pre-School Story Hour Starts Sept. 8th
Paris, Tenn.- The W.G. Rhea Public Library’s Story Time begins on September 8th and will run on Thursdays at 10am. Preschool Story hour follows the Paris Special School District Calendar, only meeting when school is in session. There are always plenty of songs, fun, crafts, and games for the youngsters. Call the Library for more information at 642-1702.
Busy Weekend for Law Enforcement
Paris, Tenn.- Paris Police are looking for suspects who broke into a salon on Hwy. 69 North over the weekend and stole over $1K worth of items. According to the report Ptl. Amanda Forrest responded to the scene where the suspect entered the shop thru a previously broken window. The owner said the window had been broken before and she had put a board up over it to secure it. The board was pushed out and entry was gained into the business. Items stolen include 100 bottles of nail polish, several hair styling tools, shampoos and conditioners, and a police scanner.
Paris Police are also investigating a theft of a blue pitbull and a JVC stereo from a home on Hardy Street over the weekend. The victim advised he believed his ex-girlfriend may have taken the items and she could be in Clarksville. The dog and stereo are valued at over $300.
A car parked at Maverick was entered and several items were stolen according to another report at the Paris Police Department. The vehicle was unlocked and the victim found her purse open and all its contents strewn about. Missing items included a credit card, $60 in cash, and some medicine. There are no suspects.
Dep. Blake Jenkins of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic issue on Kirks Trading Post Road and ended up later arresting Steven Dykman, age 28, of 220 Payton Drive for domestic assault and aggravated burglary. When Dep. Jenkins arrived, a woman said Dykman had kicked in the door of her home then left the scene. A neighbor said the two had been arguing and Dykman had tried to forcefully enter the home in the early hours of the morning. Dykman was later found and arrested.
Dep. Jenkins also responded to a theft on Buchanan Road over the weekend where a mega force generator, stainless grill, and two man ladder stand were stolen. The house was not being lived in and items were being readied for auction. The garage was broken into and items were stolen from there. There are no suspects.
Dep. Brian Davis of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to two sets of storage units were the locks were cuts and some items were strewn about and missing. One unit at Hwy 641 N. had the lock cut and several pieces of furniture were taken along with other things. Another storage unit on Hwy. 119 had two units with the lock cuts, but it didn’t appear that any items were missing at the time. Investigation is continuing.
HCHS Cross Country Competes in Smyrna
Ryan Patrum runs during the race on Saturday.
Smyrna, Tenn.- The Henry County Cross Country Team competed at the Voyles Classic in Smyrna this weekend. In the Men’s Varsity, Henry County’s Titus Winders placed 5th out of 267 runners with a time of 16:11. Silas Winders came in 22nd at 17:08 and other finishers for Henry County included Cole Davis, Zach Cutright, Jarrett Hays, Cooper Smith, and Devin Pritchett. The team placed 7th out of 37 teams.
The Lady’s Varsity Team competed and Madison Aiosa and Madison Caldwell competed against 206 other runners. The Men’s JV squad also competed.
Madison Aiosa running in the event.
Puryear Man Arrested for Theft
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Brian Davis arrested Adam F. Kennedy, age 37 of 340 Morris Road of Puryear, on Saturday Aug. 27th for theft of property over $1,000. Kennedy was placed on $2,500 bond.
Rhea Library Closed Thursday Sept. 1st
Paris, Tenn.- The W.G. Rhea Public Library will be closed to the public on Thursday, September 1st for the Annual Regional All Staff Day workshop.
September is Library Card month. Each adult and each child who sign up for their first free Rhea Library card will get a chance to win a Walmart gift card worth $25.
Arts 'Round the Square Entry Deadline Wed. Aug 31st
Paris, Tenn.- The deadline for the Paris Henry County Arts Council’s Arts ‘Round the Square is approaching fast. The event is Saturday, September 24th and the deadline to register is Wednesday, August 31st. Entry forms and rules can be found on the Paris Henry County Arts Council website, www.phcarts.com or at their office at city hall. There will be awards for winners in each category.
For more information about this event of the arts council visit www.phcarts.com or contact their office at 731-642-3955.
Whitlock Road Closure Monday Aug. 29th
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department will close Whitlock Road on Monday August 29th for culvert replacement. The closure will be two-tenths of a mile east of Birds Creek Road. The road will be open for afternoon traffic.
Great Turnout for Lee Academy Arts Jam Benefit Concert
Paris, Tenn.- There was a great turnout for the Lee Academy for the Arts 2nd Annual Art Jam benefit concert which ran from 4- 7pm on Saturday August 27th.
(Cassie Walsh photos)
Live performances from local musicians Izzy Arthurs of Paris, Derek Fields of McKenzie and Brinn Black of Nashville all performed at the event. Derek Fields, a McKenzie singer songwriter also performed at the event. Fields a soul, blues, rock and country musician has been performing music for the past 20yrs is currently cutting his 1st album.
Izzy Arthurs of Paris Performing (Cassie Walsh photos)
Derek Fields of McKenzie Performing (Cassie Walsh photos)
The main headlining performance for the Art Jam benefit concert was a performance by the Bethel Bluegrass band from Bethel University's Renaissance program.
The event held booths that featured children's activities, which included a gymnastics course, face painting, a craft station, and a booth for kids to create pop art by throwing paint filled balloons at a canvas covered wall.
(Cassie Walsh photos)
(Cassie Walsh photos)
Several other booths included a henna booth by Delia McDevitt who gave free henna tattoos and there was also a booth where free braids were offered by Jaspé salon. The Paris Landing group also had a booth where they showed live birds and animals.
Delia McDevitt giving a Henna tattoo (Cassie Walsh photos)
Perry's BBQ served the food for the event. And donations collected at Saturday’s 2nd Annual Art Jam went to the Lee Academy for ongoing programs and building projects.
Briarpatch Road Closure Mon. Aug 29th & Tues. Aug 30th
Como, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department will close Briarpatch Lake Road between Midway Road and Hwy 40 N in the Cottage Grove-Como area on Monday August 29th and Tuesday August 30th for culvert replacement. The road should be opened on Wednesday August 31st.
County Unemployment Rates Released
Paris, Tenn.- County Unemployment Rates for July 2016 were released on Thursday August 25th, and showed that rates decreased in 73 counties, increased in 11, and remained the same in 11 counties.
Carroll, Weakley and Houston counties ranked among the highest with Carroll at 7.1 percent and Weakley at 7.9 percent and Houston at 7.5 percent. For the month of July, Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 3.7 percent, decreasing from 3.8 percent the previous month. Knox County was 4.2 percent in July, decreasing from 4.3 percent the previous month. The Hamilton County rate was 4.9 percent, unchanged from the previous month. Shelby County was 5.6 percent, down from 5.8 percent the previous month.
Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for July was 4.3 percent, increasing two tenths of a percentage point from the previous month’s revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for July was 4.9 percent, remaining unchanged from the previous month.
Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for June was 4.1 percent, remaining the same from the previous month’s revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for June was 4.9 percent, up two tenths of a percentage point from May.
1st Quarter Highlights from the Patriots vs. Mustangs Game
The Patriots scored a touchdown in the 1st quarter, before the game was cancelled due to the weather conditions. The score at the end of the 1st Quarter was HCHS 7 and Houston 0. The game was cancelled, Houston declared no contest and the winner of the game will be decided by the TSSAA on Monday.
#2 Savon Stewart throws a pass during Friday nights game with Houston.
HCHS #2 Savon Stewart (Timothy Pharr photos)
#3 Lukas Reynolds cuts back on his way to a 17 yard touchdown run.
HCHS #3 Lukas Reynolds scores a TD (Timothy Pharr Photos)
A host of Patriot defenders smother a Houston back.
(Timothy Pharr Photos)
HCHS Patriots vs Houston Mustangs Football Game Cancelled
Paris, Tenn.- The HCHS Patriots vs Houston Mustangs football game on Friday night was cancelled due to inclement weather. Germantown declared no contest and the game was cancelled and will not be made up.
The TSSAA will convene on Monday Aug. 29th to decide the outcome of the HCHS and Houston football game.
ESN122 Billing Notice for Fire Services to be Sent out Aug 31st
Paris, Tenn.- Property owners within the ESN122 area of Henry County, just outside the Paris city limits, should expect to receive their annual fire protection subscription billing from the City of Paris in the next few days. The notices will be mailed on Wednesday, August 31st. Payment is due by September 30th.
Fires in the ESN122 district, which is just outside the city limits, are covered by the Paris Fire Dept. Unlike city property owners who pay city taxes, property owners in ESN122 pay no taxes for this service. Annual fees have been established for residents in the ESN122 district based upon their appraised property values. The amount charged for fire service is based on information from the Henry County Assessor of Property and from the State of TN Division of Property Assessments.
This year the billing amount will strictly follow the city ordinance as adopted in 2008. A copy of the municipal code will be included with the billing or a copy can be picked up at the City business office at City Hall.
Property owners inside ESN122 who fail to get a notice from the city, or who get a notice and no longer own the property in question, are asked to contact the City of Paris business office at City Hall on 100 N. Caldwell St. or call the office at 731-641-1402.
Puryear Man Arrested for Aggravated Burglary
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy James Higgins arrested Kevin George, age 30 of Puryear, on Thursday Aug 25th for aggravated burglary. George was placed on $10,000 bond.
Good Turnout for Farmer's Market on Friday
(Cassie Walsh photos)
Paris, Tenn.- The Downtown Paris Farmer’s Market started at 3pm on Friday even despite the cloudy afternoon skies. Items that are available at the Farmer’s Market include several varieties of corn, peppers, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, USDA Farm Raised meat and poultry, local honey, local canola, and more. The Farmer’s Market is downtown at the corner of Ruff and Market Streets Tuesdays and Fridays from 3pm until its sold out.
Teams Sought for Boss Hoss BBQ Burnout Sept. 15-17
Buchanan, Tenn.- The 8th Annual Boss Hoss Burn Out BBQ Cook Off is set for September 15th thru 17th at Paris Landing State Park and cooking teams are being accepted now. The Boss Hoss Burn Out BBQ Cook Off is in conjunction with the 17th Annual Mid-South Motorcycle Festival and Boss Hoss Rally. The event is sponsored by the Paris Landing Tourism League.
There will be a $500 guaranteed payout, and that is subject to increase depending on the number of sponsors and teams entered. Teams will be judged in 3 categories: Chicken, Ribs, and Pulled Pork. 1st Place wins $100, 2nd Place $75, 3rd Place $50 and $50 and trophy goes to Best Team Spirit.
For more information log onto www.visitparislanding.com or call Sara Jo Sutherland at 731-819-6362.
News from past weeks here.