From News Director Tim Alsobrooks
Weekend News Director Blake Stevens
PLSP to Host National Narcotic Drug Detector Assoc. Convention in April
Paris, Tenn.- Paris Landing will once again be host to the National Narcotic Drug Detector Association this spring and Terry Uetrecht, representative of the Assocaition, and Sgt. Ricky Wade, with the Henry County Sheriff's Office recently worked out some of the details with others about the convention. The group will bring over 150 police officers and their canines to Paris Landing in April. (Photo provided by the Chamber)
Warrants Lead to Drug Arrest
Paris, Tenn.- Deputy Stacey Bostwick of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department went to an apartment at 706 Mandaylay Rd. in an attempt to serve a warrant and ending arresting a man on drug charges.
Once Deputy Bostwick arrived he saw a small amount of marijuana on the table along with some electronic scales. Further search of the home revealed more marijuana. Paul Robert O’Donnell, age 24, was arrested on the active warrant and charged with possession of a controlled substance in a penal institution, possession of schedule six with intent, and possession of drug paraphernalia. O’Donnell was placed on $2500 bond.
Another report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated a home on Rabbit Creek Road had several items stolen that were behind some storage sheds. The report said no one lived in the home anymore at the address, but two storage buildings were on the property and several items that were behind the sheds were taken including wagon wheels, stainless steel shelves, and more. The locks on the storage shed were not messed with. The total value of items taken is over $1K.
Space Heater Likely Cause of Paris Landing Fire Sunday
Firefighters Brian Hinson (back to camera) and Johnathan Flood work the scene at the homeon Lakeview Cove Sunday afternoon. (Reggie Coles photo)
Buchanan, Tenn.- The Paris Landing Fire Department responded to a fire call at 25 Lakeview Cove for a structure fire on Sunday afternoon around 2:45. Once on scene, firefighters found the house was fully involved. They managed to extinguish the fire eventually, but it was ruled a total loss, with damage estimated at $50K.
Chief Reggie Coles of the Paris Landing Fire Department said the owner was outside working on his truck and a neighbor came up to him saying he saw smoke. The suspected cause of the fire was a space heater. Four trucks and nine firefighters were on scene for around two hours Sunday afternoon.
Historic Low Number of Fire-Related Deaths in the State
Nashville, Tenn. - Fewer accidental fire-related deaths occurred in 2014 than any other year in Tennessee history. Fire records indicate 72 accidental fire deaths in the state throughout 2014, compared to 98 in 2013. That is a 27% decrease from the year before and a 51% decrease from 2003.
Tennessee has had one of the highest fire mortality rates in the United States. The cause of the positive change in fire fatalities is believed to be more awareness of fires, fewer structure fires, more smoke alarms, and outreach from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The main cause of fires in Tennessee is cooking-related. THE SFMO encourages all Tennesseans to practice safe cooking habits. Based on reports from more than 700 fire departments across the state, there were over 400 less structure fires in 2014 than the previous year. Compared to 2011, there were over 1,200 fewer fires.
Final fire fatality figures for 2014 are still pending.
SIMA Sends Winter Weather Tips to West Tennessee
Milwaukee, Wisc. - The Snow and Ice Management Association have revealed a few tips for surviving winter weather this season.
The first of four tips is to wear the right shoes. It is best if the shoe has a flat bottom and visible heavy tread.
Next, be prepared. You are encourages to have an ice scraper as well as a brush inside your vehicle. Being prepared also means having a full tank of gas and checking tire pressure, battery levels, and oil. It is also important to charge your mobile phone before leaving your home. A winter car kit including kitty litter, a blanket, water, and a shovel could be helpful.
Tip #3 is to slow down. The chance of sliding increases when you have less time to stop.
Lastly, be informed on the weather conditions. Know local road hazards before heading out. These tips were released due to the two back-to-back snow and ice storms that hit the East Coast and Mid-West regions of the country affecting winter weather in our area.
For more information on how to stay safe during sleet, ice, and snow you can log onto SIMA.org.
175 Families Benefit from Local Food Bank
Paris, Tenn. - The Second Harvest Food Bank along with the Antioch United Methodist Church, the Paris Landing Fire Department, and the Paris Landing Senior Citizens Center distributed food to 175 families on Saturday.
It is estimated that the food weighed around 28,000 pounds.
Six UTM Students to Attend Super Bowl
Martin, Tenn. - Six lucky students from the University of Tennessee at Martin have been chosen to work hospitality events at both the Pro and Super Bowls at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The group will be the 10th group selected out of UT Martin’s sport business program.
Pictured (l-r) are Courtney Caton, a sophomore from Huntingdon; Ross Landreth, a senior from Selmer; Ian McGrew, a senior from Troy; Davis; Dakota Shanes, a sophomore from Bon Aqua; Jamison Matney, a senior from Bon Aqua; and Rachel Robison, a senior from Springville. Caton, Robison and Shanes are marketing majors, while Landreth, Matney and McGrew are sport business majors.
The students will facilitate pre-game events, fan activity, and post-game hospitality. They will also work with the leader of the event, Dexter Davis, a UTM professor with managing player appearances at the Super Bowl. This job includes helping out with the arrival and departure and coordinating autograph signings and escorting of the players around the venue.
The six were required to submit a resume and cover letter to Davis and they conducted a formal interview with him. Davis says he treats the application like a real job because of the opportunity that the NFL will bring.
Computer Workshop on January 30th
Paris, Tenn. - The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is hosting an educational workshop from West Kentucky and Tennessee Telecommunications next Friday, January 30th. The workshop will offer expert advice on virus-causing programs including malware and spyware and what to do if your computer becomes infected. The group will also discuss ways to increase technical security for small businesses. If interested in attending, you are asked to RSVP with Jennifer Brake at 615-428-8618 or by email at Jennifer@reedpublicrelations.com.
Unemployment Continues to Drop in Tennessee
Nashville, Tenn. - Burns Phillips, the Commissioner of Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development reports a third consecutive decrease in the unemployment percentage for the state. The unemployment rate for December is at 6.6%, compared to November which was 6.8%. Nationally, the unemployment percentage is at 5.6, which has also decreased from last month.
Overall, the state has dropped an entire point in unemployment from last year. This is due to the creation of 66,200 non-farming jobs in the sectors of business, trade, mining, utilities and construction.
Henry Man Arrested on $20,000 Bond
Paris, Tenn. - On Friday, officers from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office arrested Dossie Melton, age 53, of Lumber Road in Henry. Melton was reportedly arrested on Deer Haven Lane for criminal trespassing as well as driving on a revoked license. His bond was placed at $20,000 and his court date is scheduled for January 27th.
Wirgau, Stevens See Insure TN as First Big Issue to Tackle
Rep. Wirgau and Sen. Stevens answer questions during the Chamber's Legislative Luncheon. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)
Paris, Tenn.- State Representative Tim Wirgau and State Senator John Stevens were guest speakers at a Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon on Friday and both thought Governor Haslam's plan to expand insurance options for Tennesseans was a very important issue that would be tackled first when they go back in session.
Rep. Wirgau, who is staring his 5th year as a representative serving Henry, Benton, and Stewart Counties, handed out slips for the large crowd that was on hand at Lee Academy for the Luncheon. The slips asked if the person thought the state should vote for or against the Insure Tennessee plan.
This is the slip Rep. Wirgau passed out to the crowd to gather their thoughts on the Insure TN plan and take back with him with the session starts up. (Alsobrooks photo)
Wirgau said,"my job is to represent you, it's not about Tim Wirgau, it's about the constituents and what is best for the people I serve."
Rep. Tim Wirgau discusses the Insure TN Plan. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Wirgau said the Governor's health plan is a chance for the state to capture some money that is leaving Tennessee and to help those who will meet the federal poverty guidelines for vouchers to purchase health insurance. Wirgau said the governor has called a special session for February 2nd to begin discussion on the Insure Tennessee plan.
Wirgau also talked about the committees he serves on which include being newly elected to the chairman of the local government committee. He said it was an honor to be elected chairman of that because local government means so much to him. Wirgau will also serve on the health committee, fiscal review committee, and business and utilities committee.
Senator John Stevens, (R-Huntingdon), also felt that the Governor's Health plan was key issue going forward. He said he has some questions that he has raised as they go forward to make sure the longterm financial health of the state is considered as well as the health of our citizens.
Sen. John Stevens speaks on the need to reduce state prisoners in our local jails. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Stevens said, "it seems like when we as state legislators negotiate with the Federal Government, they change their minds and leave us out to dry on things."
In addition to Insure Tennessee, Stevens said he'd like to see the state crack down on our crime and drug addiction issues that are effecting our local jails. Stevens said, "we need to seek longer sentences and when it comes to drug addictions, get these people help and assistance they need to kick the habits." He added, "we have to try to reduce the state prison populations in our local jails."
Stevens serves on the 24th district in the State Senate, representing Henry, Carroll, Benton, Weakley, Obion, and Gibson counties. He serves on the Ways and Means Committee and Judiciary Committee.
Both Stevens and Wirgau then talked and answered some questions from the crowd. They said that a gas tax bill has not come before them yet after U.S. Senator Bob Corker, (R-TN), had brought up the issue a few weeks ago. Wirgau said, "it has not come before us yet, but I'd rather see it happen at a state level than a federal level so we can control the dollars and we know there are road projects that need to be done."
CEO of the Henry County Alliance told Chamber members on hand the chamber plans to hold another legislative session at the end of the term.
Some of those in the crowd included Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, Jamey Tosh, of Tosh Farms, County Commissioner Kreg Kyle, and Chief Randy Gean. (Alsobrooks photo)
PHC Arts Councils Presents Love and Laughs Feb. 14
Buchanan, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Arts Council presents an evening of “Love and Laughs” with comedian Larry Weaver at the Paris Landing Conference Center on Valentine’s Day, Saturday February 14th. Tickets are $15 each and they do offer some package deals with Paris Landing State Park for dinner and an overnight stay.
Any business or individual that is interested in being a sponsor may do so as well and get a VIP table for 8, special VIP up front seating, and acknowledgement in printed and radio ads for the event for only $400. It is tax deductible for personal or business. For more information on the night of “Love and Laughs” call the Arts Council at 642-3955 or visit the website at www.phcarts.com.
News from past weeks here.