From News Director Tim Alsobrooks
Assistant News Director Cassie Walsh
City Passes Ordinance Prohibiting Recreational Activities in Public Streets
City Manager Kim Foster and City Atorney Fred McLean discuss the ordinance prohibiting recreational activities in City Streets. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- At Thursday night’s Paris City Commission meeting, the commission took the first step in prohibiting recreational activities in the public streets and right-of-ways, coming from a recommendation from the City’s insurance carrier’s risk management department.
City Manager Kim Foster said this stems from an incident in another city where the city was held responsible for an accident resulting from a recreational activity taking place in its street.
The ordinance prohibits athletic equipment such as basketball goals, soccer goals, field hockey goals, corn hole boards, bases, nets, netting, or any equipment used in a sporting activity, from being used in or adjacent to public streets where it creates an obstruction to the flow of vehicular traffic and creates a danger for pedestrians.
The ordinance says no athletic equipment shall be placed or erected in the public street and no person shall enter into the street to play or engage in any athletic or recreational activities.
City Attorney Fred McLean said, "this just puts into code, you're not supposed to play in the streets, streets are for cars, just to help protect the City should something happen."
The ordinance levies a $50 fine for any violation of the ordinance and for each of those violations. The ordinance must be approved on 2nd reading at the April commission meeting.
Financials Show Continued Retail Sales Growth for Paris
Paris, Tenn.- Finance Director Traci Pillow went over the financials which showed December retail sales showed an increase of 6.3% compared to December of 2015. Pillow told commissioners the City ended the calendar year ahead by 3.01%, which means there has been positive growth in retail sales three years in a row.
General Fund revenues were over expenditures by $13,062 in January which was good according to Pillow because she said the City spent around $200K on equipment including two Police cars and a tractor and boom mower for Public Works. Revenues are ahead fiscal year to date by over $403K.
Solid Waste revenues exceeded expenditures by $24,410 in January and revenues are ahead by over $267K fiscal year to date.
The City hired one new full time employee for Dispatch due to retirement and moved the KPAC manager from part-time to full-time. The City issued 6 new business licenses in January as well.
Commission Updates Definition of Beer To Match State
Commissioners look over the resolutions at Thursday's meeting. (Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- The commission also adopted an ordinance on 2nd reading to reflect the new state definition of beer. The ordinance reflects the state law change that anything that has a maximum weight by volume of 8% alcohol to be classified as beer. That is up from 5% alcohol by weight and went into effect January 1st at the state level.
The City Commission approved a resolution to show as public notice the City’s intent to issue bonds for the energy efficiency project with Trane for the purpose of conservation of energy. The resolution will be submitted to the state as part of the process.
The commission also approved three appointments to boards Sabra Fuller on the County Board of Equalization, Clint Davis on Parks Board, and Billie McKee, replacing Hoza Hutcherson on the Parks Board.
Commissioners approved a new certificate of compliance for Marty Lewis, owner of The Loft Wines and Spirits, located at 2315 East Wood Street.
Foster Updates Commissioners on Various Projects
Paris, Tenn.- City Manager Kim Foster updated the commission on various projects at the end of Thursday’s meeting including letting commissioners know three more structures were demolished in February, two with City resources. Four more demolitions are currently pending.
The plan for outdoor restrooms at the Downtown Park continues to move along and plans are for June construction with completion by September. The Tourism Enhancement Grant will pay for the majority of this project.
Foster said the Hillcrest Cemetery acquisition was completed in February and the City has begun selling lots.
Three water slides at the pool at Eiffel Tower Park are being sought as bids will be accepted on the construction of those March 10th. The slides will be put around the outdoor pool. Foster also informed commissioners Lowe's is going to work with the City and upgrade the restrooms at the Eiffel Tower Pool with a grant.
HCHS Criminal Justice Students Do Well at Skills USA Comp.
Paris, Tenn.- On
February 17th, Henry County High school criminal justice students;
Klarice Walter, Kelsey Throgmorton, Alexandra Conca and Courtney Bowden
competed in the SkillsUSA mid-west regional competition at the Tennessee
College of Applied Technology in Paris. The contests in which the
students participated were Crime Scene investigations and Criminal
During the Crime Scene investigation event a 3 member team of
students were required to process a mock crime scene and properly
collect the evidence. The criminal justice event required a single
student to answer a call and handle that call as a patrol officer would
in real world circumstances.
West Tennessee high schools participated in the competitions with the
top 3 schools in each event qualifying to move on to compete in the
Tennessee State Leadership and Skills Conference taking place in
Chattanooga, TN in April. Henry County was one of the top schools in
each category and will be moving on to the State level. Congratulations
to these students on their hard work and dedication!! Good luck at
State! (Skills USA Photos)
TN NWR to Host Bluebird Program Saturday
Springville, Tenn.- The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of the Tennessee NWR will host an event featuring one of Tennessee’s most beloved birds, the Eastern Bluebird. The refuge discovery series will be held this Saturday March 4th from 1-3pm at the Visitor’s Center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville.
The event features a short program on the Eastern Bluebird, its history in the area, and the how bluebird boxes changed everything in regards to their population.
Local bluebird experts Mitz and Lora Ann Bailey will return to the refuge with their informative program about how you can make a difference while attracting bluebirds as well as other birds to your backyard. Participants are also invited to building their own bluebird box and get tips on how to best hang it in your yard to attract bluebirds. The event will also offer those willing to help install bluebird boxes along Wildlife Drive to help establish a new bluebird trail at the refuge.
Joan Howe, refuge manager, said, “this event will be tailored for families with children or for people looking for something fun to do with visiting relatives. So come on down, check out the interactive exhibits, shop the bookstore, and take home a bluebird box.”
For more information on the program call 642-2091. The refuge visitor center is always open Monday thru Saturday 8am to 4pm.
Hobb's House Trivia Night Fundraiser Will Be Mon. March 6
Paris, Tenn.- Cottage Grove Methodist Church and Palmersville Baptist Church will host a trivia night at Carmack’s Fish Barn Monday March 6th at 6pm. Cost to enter is $10 per person and teams of 6 will be organized from the entrants. 1st prize will win $120. There will be popcorn and drinks provided. All money raised goes toward the building fund for the Hobb’s house in Cottage Grove. For more information call 336-9348 or 225-4495.
Arbor Day Tree Giveaway Set for Friday March 3
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Soil Conservation District will be giving away trees on Arbor Day, Friday March 3rd. The tree give-away will be at the USDA Service Center, located at 408 North Market Street. Virginia Pine, Sawtooth Oak, Native Sweet Pecan, American Plum, and Hybrid Chestnut will be given away beginning at 9am Friday and will continue while supplies last.
TN Strawberries Getting Early Start
Nashville- Seasonal eating is catching on. Farmers have responded to that trend of eating local foods when in season with efforts to extend the growing seasons of their crops. In Tennessee, one fruitful example of farmer ingenuity is the arrival of local strawberries in March.
Some farmers jumpstart Tennessee’s famous strawberry crop with greenhouses and high tunnel houses. High tunnels resemble open greenhouses, but are passively heated and ventilated with crops grown directly in the soil. Strawberries set in these protected places during January will be ready to pick this month. That’s about 7 weeks earlier than traditional field berries.
The recent warm temperatures have accelerated activity in field-grown plants too, so even field-grown berries have the potential to arrive earlier than usual. The maturation process can be slowed if more typical cool weather returns, or stopped by a hard freeze.
Some frost and freeze protection for Tennessee berries is necessary almost every spring, so farmers are ready to take crop-saving measures. With recent mild weather prompting early growth, strawberries may be more vulnerable and more dependent on those methods.
Growers who use cloth row covers to help plants fight cold conditions have had to remove them in recent weeks to prevent heat buildup. If the forecast calls for frigid weather, those covers will have to be painstakingly reapplied. Some growers also use overhead irrigation to supplement frost protection, covering berries in ice to protect them from even colder winds.
Tennessee’s strawberry season usually runs from approximately mid-April in West Tennessee until the end of June in upper East Tennessee. To prolong the season on their own farms, many enterprising growers cultivate several varieties. Some varieties mature early and others ripen later, so farms with a selection keep customers returning for each new harvest.
Local strawberry growers, farmers markets and retail outlets with local strawberries can be found on the Pick Tennessee mobile app and at www.PickTnProducts.org.
25th Annual Photo Showcase Set for Lee Academy March 5
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Arts Council, along with Dr. and Mrs. Danny Kimberlin, invites everyone to participate in the 25th Annual Photo Showcase. All amateur and professional photographers are welcome to enter and categories are Nature & Scenic, People and Events, Wildlife & Animals, Architectural, Computer Composting and Complex Enhancing.
In addition to those, the Downtown Paris Association will be sponsoring a Downtown Paris Category. Cash prizes will be awarded in each category. Forms can be completed at www.phcarts.com or picked up at the Arts Council Office at Lee Academy.
Each photographer may enter up to three framed photographs which must include a hanging wire. Minimum size is 8 by 10 and maximum size is 24 by 24. Name, address, and phone number must be on the back of each photo and all photos must be suitable for public viewing.
Photos taken by Tony and Emmy Award-winning Actress Cherry Jones will be on display and auctioned off during the upcoming 25th annual Photo Showcase as well.
In between movies and Broadway plays, Jones has been a shutterbug herself for quite some time and takes photos at the locations to which she has traveled. Several of her signed photos have been selected for the display and auction.
Jones is a Paris native and has won two Best Actress Tony Awards and one Best Actress Emmy Award. She currently is appearing in “The Glass Menagerie” in London. Her Broadway performance in “The Glass Menagerie” previously earned her another Tony nomination.
All entries must be received at Lee Academy this Saturday March 4th between 9 and 11am. An awards presentation and public reception will be held at Lee Academy at 2pm Sunday March 5th. Entries must be picked up on Friday March 31st.
Paris Thunder Baseball Hosting USSSA Tourney at McNeil This Weekend
Paris, Tenn.- Paris Thunder baseball, a travel baseball organization structured as a farm system to develop and train competitive baseball players, will be hosting the first USSSA sanctioned baseball tournament at McNeil Park March 4th and 5th. Around 30 teams from Western Kentucky and Western and Middle Tennessee will be participating. First and Second Place teams in each age bracket will receive a ring at the tournament’s completion. Tournament age class brackets will range from 7U to 13U and the Paris Thunder 9U, 10U, and 11U teams will be competing.
The competition is expected to draw around 1400 visitors to Paris and Henry County over the weekend. Like Paris Thunder Baseball on Facebook for more information.
Henry Woman Dies In Fire
Henry, Tenn.- An elderly female, Jane Cole, was found dead in her home at 1555 Lumber Road in Henry Wednesday morning after the home caught fire according to Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew.
Deputies and the Henry Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and found the home in flames. After putting the fire out, fire fighters did find Cole's body near the front door area of the home.
Sheriff Belew said, "she had made it to the front door, but didn't make it out the security door and succumbed to the fire. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult situation."
The power was out at the home when the fire occurred due to the early morning storms that came thru the area. Inv. Gary Vandiver of the Henry County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigator on the case. County Coroner Danny Tucker assisted at the scene as well. Tennessee State Bomb and Arson came to the fire scene to help deputies also according to Sheriff Belew.
MSU Receives $130K Grant to Promote Career and Tech Education
The College of Education and Human Services at Murray State University was recently awarded a $130,000 grant for a project entitled “Mathematics in the Context of Career and Technical Education.” These funds are provided by Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education and made possible by the U. S. Department of Education’s “Improving Teacher Quality Grant,” issued under the authority of Title II, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Dr. Kemaly Parr, director of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at Murray State, played a pivotal role in securing this grant through a process that began in September 2016.
This particular academic program provides students the opportunity to pursue careers in business and marketing education, family and consumer sciences, and engineering and technology education.
Parr has spent her time at Murray State developing a strong network of CTE educators in the region, including those at partner school districts, those at career and area technical centers and faculty within other colleges and schools at the University. These connections help to bring a wealth of invaluable experience and knowledge to the University’s CTE program and will be key in satisfying the objectives of this project.
“The goal of the approved project proposal involves building teams among CTE welding and machine tool teachers and mathematics teachers,” Parr explained.
Those teams will then translate into an increased ability to facilitate math instruction for students through a meaningful context while providing secondary students the chance to receive dual credit for secondary and college coursework through collaboration with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).
This project is directly in line with the philosophy of meaningful math instruction promoted by Ms. Cindy Kramer, a mathematics expert from the Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology. The project also has the full commitment of Dr. Brian Parr from the Hutson School of Agriculture, who is not only a technical and math-in-CTE expert but also has served as the lead facilitator for the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, implementing similar professional development activities in five states over the past twelve years.
Representing the West Kentucky Community and Technical College is Ms. Lorry Beth Wilson, who is a specialist in dual-credit experiences and is a former secondary CTE teacher. The initial partner for secondary CTE is Mr. Larry Garrity, who serves as principal of the Webster County Area Technical Center.
“Garrity is fully supportive of this project and has served as a partner with Murray State in other initiatives,” stated Parr. “Additional participants, including 36 teachers and over 500 students, will be solicited from all 18 western Kentucky school districts.”
Project goals will be accomplished through ten days of professional development for math and CTE teacher teams and sustained contact between teachers, investigators and educational specialists during the 2017-18 academic year. Project-related activities will be conducted by faculty members from Murray State University in conjunction with the assistance of consultants from the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education.
Results of these efforts will include a set of lesson plans designed to emphasize the mathematics essential to the CTE curriculum and provide an effective means of delivery. This project will empower mathematics teachers by providing a context for application of mathematical principles already available through the CTE departments on their respective school campuses. Further, this project will test the idea that significant gains in mathematical achievement can be attained by students who participate in a contextualized, mathematics-enhanced CTE curriculum.
To learn more about this initiative and the CTE program at Murray State, please contact Dr. Kemaly Parr at firstname.lastname@example.org or 270-809-2854.
Early Morning Storms Bring Down Trees, Power Lines
2700 Without Power as of 8am
Paris, Tenn.- Damaging straightline winds in upwards of 60-70mph have knocked out power to about 2700 people in Henry County and also downed trees, poles, and power lines all over the county.
Cole Edwards, Director of Electric operations for BPU, said 32 different outages were ongoing as of 8am Wednesday morning and they started between 5:15am and 5:30am. He said at least 6 poles were down and outages were scattered all over the county, with the southern half of the county have a few more. Edwards said all crews are out and it would be an all day event getting everything repaired.
The Henry County Sheriff's Office and Henry County Highway Department were out after early cleaning up downed limbs and trees as well. Several school systems in our area opened two hours late because of the timing of the storms moving thru.
HCSS, PSSD Opening Late Wed. Because of Storms
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County School System is opening two hours late and the Paris Special School District is opening 1 hour late on Wednesday due to the timing of a severe weather that is impacting our area Wednesday morning. Damaging winds are the main threat and have been reported at 70mph with this storm that will pass thru early Wednesday morning.
Preserve Paris Input Meeting Well Attended
City Manager Kim Foster discusses some of the goals of Preserve Paris set forth last year. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris, Tenn.- A Preserve Paris Community Input meeting was held at City Hall on Tuesday to discuss how to move forward with the neighborhood revitalization program in 2017 and many interested citizens showed up to be part of the initiative.
City Manager Kim Foster showed the crowd a slideshow of what all had been accomplished so far with Preserve Paris including the Clean Sweep Days in May at Lee Neighborhood and later on for Atkins Porter. Foster said after the clean sweep day, the reuse day was very well received by the community where people get rid of unwanted items by moving them to the curb and allowing others to come pick up the items.
Foster said, “the reuse day was really successful as people got rid of old refrigerators and more and other members of the community were able to get those items.”
The City put out dumpsters to help as well during the Clean Sweep and Reuse Days. Other positives from Preserve Paris included a church group coming last summer to paint houses and Foster said they are coming back to Paris this summer to help home owners with painting. Another positive from the Preserve Paris is some neighborhood associations have started back up and are working to help improve their neighborhood.
Foster said, “thru this program we have raised awareness and the citizens seem to be buying into it.”
The City has demolished 23 blighted structures since July 2016 thanks to the County’s tax sale to help clean up neighborhoods. Foster said a new codes enforcement officer has been hired and she is doing a fantastic job so far.
Members of the community discussed different topics including recycling in the City of Paris. Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell said, “it’s something I’d like to see us have, but the cost to implement is pretty steep.” Mayor Gerrell said they’ve looked at some ideas with the recycling bags getting bought and using that system. Foster added, the County continues to put into the recycling program and expenses are large.
Foster said the City has looked at some putting some money out in the form of an in-house grant that our neighborhood associations can obtain to do work in their own areas. Foster said if a neighborhood came up with a plan on signage, the City could help out with purchasing those signs.
Citizens asked about grant money thru USDA Rural Development. Foster said there is money available for some sidewalks, but the tricky thing with grants is that red tape sometime add up to more money than if the City would have done a project without the grant.
Questions about out of county and out of state residents coming to use the Paris Henry County Landfill were raised and after discussion, Foster said we will look at raising rates for those with out of county license plates.
Foster said overall Preserve Paris has been great and we will continue to go forward as long we have support from the community going forward.
HCBOE Work Session On Facilities Brings New Issues to Forefront
Director of Schools Dr. Brian Norton, Jerry Hartsfield of TLM look over possible plans for the high school. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Board of Education held a work session in regards to Facilities Planning on Tuesday afternoon to discuss which direction to move on the Henry County High School project. Representatives from TLM, the Architects in charge of the project, were on hand at the work session. The meeting produced new ideas including scraping the large entrance addition at Gamlin Gym; finding more space for practice and storage for the band, and moving along with athletic complex plans that doesn’t include an astroturf field.
Director of Schools Dr. Brian Norton went over some of the plans discussed on the project. Starting with the library, upgrades included replacing carpet with tile, new flooring, seating, and modernizing the library with more technology upgrades.
Dr. Norton said part the plan includes replacing all the windows in buildings A, B, C, to be more energy efficient and safer. The plans include replacing 140 classroom doors that lead to hallways
The board discussed the front entrance on Gamlin Gym, which is estimated at $700K. Dr. Norton said, “I’m not sure we will ever get away from using the cafeteria as an entrance as well, because we use it for concessions.”
The board seemed to think upgrading the entrances with better lighting, signage, and not going with full scale entrances to save some money here.
Akers also told the board upgrades around the gym includes some work on the bathrooms around the gym with new vinyl covering for the floors, and other upgrades. The plan also includes new electrical wiring in the gym and possibly putting in air conditioning the in the gym. Dr. Norton said replacing the gym floor is also a necessity.
One addition to plans the board discussed at the meeting Tuesday was major upgrades to the boys and girls visiting locker rooms at Gamlin Gym. The upgrades include new sinks and showers among other things.
The work session discussed ways to add more practice room and storage for the band, which Dr. Norton said is growing. They looked at room under the bleachers at Patriot Stadium, adding an area on the other side of the field house, behind the kitchen and other areas. The board recognized that finding room for around 160 or more band students is vital for the future at HCHS. TLM will work up some ideas and options for the band including a free standing building or expanding additional space and get back with the board.
More discussion held Tuesday at the work session was the possibility of a new cafeteria, building a Tornado Safe Space room if a FEMA/TEMA grant is available.
Moving to the outside and looking at sports complex facility upgrades, the list included a Spring Sport Locker and restroom facility, visitor’s bleachers at the stadium to seat at least 800, building a bigger concession stand with expanded restrooms to help serve the visitors’ side. The plan outside includes resurfacing the track
Early in the meeting, Dr. Norton reminded board members the building of the bus garage and maintenance garage was already approved and the final projected cost was at $1.9M, which is up slightly from the $1.7M projected a year ago, as they’ve run into a few more issues. Architects TLM did tell the board they will always try to run under budget. They said there could be savings on the site preparation costs on the maintenance building where it has cost a little more on the bus garage. Site work on the project would begin as soon as good weather sets in.
Maintenance Supervisor John Akers gave a brief update on what exactly was going on at the bus garage. He said the original pad at the existing garage was staying to help with drainage, the office area pad was going to be busted up and removed.
Board Discusses Possible Future Board Offices
Paris, Tenn.- Towards the end of the work session, Dr. Norton brought up the idea of purchasing a building on Hwy. 79, the current Promiseland Bookstore, which could serve as the future board offices, boardroom, and other learning facility. Dr. Norton said this just an option as Grove Tower continues to age. He said, “we don’t necessarily have a desire to move, but we have issues here that will eventually have to be addressed as far as making it more structurally sound, which would be a huge investment.”
Board members discussed how it’s a lose lose situation, because so much history is at Grove Tower, but the cost to improve its structural deficiencies are a big issues. The board will likely discuss it more at the March school board meeting.
Two Arrested for DUI on Traffic Stop
Paris, Tenn.- Ptl. Tyrail Jackson of the Paris Police Department charged two people with DUI after stopping the vehicle for a taillight violation. The report at the Paris Police Department stated Ptl. Jackson was patrolling on Grove St. and observed a Gold Nissan with a busted taillight. He pulled the car over and made contact with the driver, Dave Wayne Smith, age 48, of 510 Harrison Meadows Apts. Smith smelled of alcohol and admitted to Ptl. Jackson of having 2-3 beers. A check thru dispatch revealed that Smith was driving on a revoked driver’s license as well. Smith was charged with DUI and revoked DL.
The passenger, Donna Mia Jackson, age 48, of Harrison Meadows Apt. admitted that she was drinking and Smith was her designated driver. Jackson was charged with DUI by consent.
In another incident, Ptl. Jordan Klutts of the Paris Police Department has charged two men with aggravated burglary. Robert L. Williams, age 37, of 1023 Depot Street and Oneal Oscar Williams, age 43, of 612 Depot. Street, were both charged and placed on $10K bond.
T.A.R.P. Hosts February Chamber Coffee
Paris, Tenn.- The T.A.R.P. Center for Independent Living was the Chamber Coffee host for February on Tuesday morning. Mary Wright participant with the program told her story of assistance by TARP in helping her get catarac surgery. T.A.R.P assists disabled individuals with training and assistance in acquiring equipment as well as daily life skills training.
Donna Shields, one of the staff with T.A.R.P. welcomes guests to the chambers coffee held at T.A.R.P facility across from Save-a-Lot grocery in Paris.
Board Chairman Matt Wermer and board member Jerry Stephenson listen as excutive director Denise Wardle speaks to chamber members and answers questions about the T.A.R.P. program. Training, Advocacy, Referral, Peer Support from which comes the name T.A.R.P. was founded by Wardle's brother Bob Leonard. The work to assist individuals with disabilities continues to grow. More information can be found at www.tarp1.org. (David Jackson photos)
Information Released in Mon. Afternoon Fatality Wreck
Paris, Tenn.- Tennessee Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Lt. Brad Wilbanks released information relating to a two car crash that left one young Big Sandy man dead and another man injured Monday afternoon.
Trey N. Lightfoot, age 18, of Big Sandy was killed when his 1998 Honda crossed the center yellow line and hit another vehicle head on at Hwy. 69 S. near the Manleyville Road intersection.
Lightfoot was traveling southbound, according to the fatality report, and crossed the line striking the other vehicle, a 2012 Dodge pickup, driven by James Burke, age 79 of Big Sandy. Burke was also injured but there is no word on the extent of those injuries at this time.
Trooper Allen Webb worked the scene along with the Henry County Sheriff's Office, EMS, and others.
Gas Board Learns About SCADA, Detecting Leaks
Paris, Tenn.- At the February meeting of the Paris Henry County Public Utility District board of directors last week, Operations Manager Binh Chau made a presentation on the district’s System’s Control And Data Acquisition software, or SCADA, and all the uses of technology to help maintain all going on in the District.
Chau discussed the SCADA and showed board members some of the things that can be done. He said they have recently added flow monitors on the lines and can now tell how much gas is going thru the pipe. The system sends out automated alerts to employee’s cell phones and tablets. Chau said this allows us to be more proactive, rather the reactive and attack issues quickly should they arise. Chau told board members the SCADA gives a great overview of the health of our system.
Chau also discussed the GIS mapping that the system recently contracted out to Austin Peay State University after being with GeoJobe for several years prior APSU is saving the district money and taking it to the next level with the GIS mapping. The software allows much more interactive work on cell phones and tablets and can be monitored from the vehicle, the warehouse, or the main office. Austin Peay offers unlimited on-site visits and call training to the district. Chau said we save money and get great service and APSU uses the field work to build better classes on GIS that are well rounded and prepare students for the field better.
Chau also went over how they detect leaks on the software system and discussed the District’s Facebook page to help with current public relations. Chau told the board they are currently revamping the District’s website and will relaunch it sometime in late March or early April.
Warm Winter Hurting Gas Company's Financials
Paris, Tenn.- General Manager Tae Eaton told board members that a warm winter has definitely impacted the District’s bottom line and he said if March is warmer than normal they could very likely finish the fiscal year in the red. Just as with other utilities, two years of financials in the red in a row, warrants a hearing with the State Board and they set rates. The District was in the black at the end of last year.
The board briefly discussed possibly raising rates, but Eaton said a normal March could help put the District in the black. He said they will trim about $30K per month in expenses over the next three months to try to help the bottom line as well. The board decided to hold off on raising rates and see what March holds. Eaton did say they are in slightly better shape right now being $516K in the red, compared to last year when they were $562K in the red.
The board also approved Alexander Thompson Arnold to do the 2017 Audit for $12,085, an increase of about $300 from last year and approved a payment to Revell Construction for the main line extensions in the amount of over $171K. Eaton also discussed continuing with Revell on the main extension contract at the current price. Eaton said it was a win-win situation as the District saves money and Revell keeps a customer and work. Board members agreed that Revell does great work, but asked Eaton to check with lawyers to make sure the contract doesn’t have to be bid back out. Eaton will look into and let the board know in March.
Reminder: Preserve Paris Input Meeting Tues. 5:30pm
Paris, Tenn.- The City of Paris will hold a follow up meeting for Preserve Paris on Tuesday February 28th at 5:30pm at the City Hall Courtroom. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the two clean sweep days held in 2016 and see what worked well and what needs to be tinkered with.
The City is seeking feedback from those events and also ideas about which direction Preserve Paris should go in 2017. Preserve Paris is a neighborhood revitalization, preservation, and clean-up project that started in 2016. Last year Clean Sweep Days, where the entire neighborhood was cleaned up, happened at the Lee School and Atkins Porter neighborhood. Everyone is invited to the meeting on February 28th to give ideas and feedback.
Two-Vehicle Crash Claims Life of One Man
Springville, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Department responded to a
two-vehicle accident on Highway 69A on Monday afternoon. In which one
man has died and another man was transported to the Henry County medical
No further information is available at this time. More information will be released by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
HCHD Opens Up Osage Crossland Road Monday Afternoon
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department closed Osage Crossland Road on Monday February 27th for culvert installation. The closure was 3 tenths of a mile southeast of Pled Wade Road. The road is now open for Monday afternoon traffic.
4 Arrested After Cooper St. Drug Operation Found
Paris, Tenn.- After a couple days of surveillance, Sgt. Jamie Myrick witnessed a likely drug deal at a home on Cooper Street and pulled in the driveway Friday night to confront the suspects and execute a search warrant. Five subjects were detained as Sgt. Myrick called for backup, Ptl. Jordan Klutts and Ptl. Dereck Greenhill of the Paris Police Dept. arrived to assist.
As Ptl. Klutts kept the suspects at bay, Ptl. Greenhill and Sgt. Myrick began to search the home for other suspects and drugs. According to the report, on the front porch a blunt was seen and a raw marijuana odor was present inside the home. Officers found a total of 6 baggies ready for resale between the home and the vehicles in the driveway. Also found upon searching was several pipes, digital scales, and they seized over $1100 in cash from some of the suspects.
Arrested were Christopher Bryson, age 22, 3065 Old Springville Road, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of schedule 6 with intent; Stephen Fitzgerald, age 32, of 700 Cooper Street, possession of schedule 6 with intent and possession of drug paraphernalia; Latasha N. Carter, age 26, of 700 Cooper Street, schedule 6 with intent, and possession of drug paraphernalia, and Richard Fitzgerald, age 58, of 700 Cooper Street, for allowing his home to be used as a place to use, store, and distribute felony amount of marijuana.
Officers Busy Over the Weekend
Paris, Tenn.- In other incidents from the weekend, Cpl. Jim Sanders of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office charged Joyce A. Biggs, age 27, of McKenzie, for violation of probation. She is currently being held without bond.
Dep. Dalton Watson responded to a small fire on the carport of a UpChurch Drive home. He used a fire extinguisher to get the fire out and firefighters responded to the scene and put out more embers on the fire.
Dep. Frankie Scott charged Brenda Michelle Helms, age 43, of 903 Manley Street with being in custody of a stolen vehicle, after her sister reported a car stolen from Brownsville, Texas. Helms said she went with her sister to work a carnival for a few days and then wanted to come back home. The car was parked at a residence on Foundry Hill Road.
Carmack's To Host Benefit Dinner Monday Night
Cottage Grove, Tenn.- Cottage Grove Methodist Church, Palmersville Baptist Church, Derkson Buildings and the communities are teaming up to build a new home for Jennifer Hobbs and her brother John. There will be a benefit fund raiser Monday night at Carmacks Fish Barn in Cottage Grove from 5-8pm. Available meals for purchase include a 3 piece fish dinner, chicken strip dinner, or a 21 piece shrimp dinner. Cost of meals are $12, drinks included, $6 for child’s plate. All proceeds go towards the building of the home. A bake sale will also be conducted.
Winders' Runners Busy this Weekend
Milan, Tenn.- Former HCHS standout Javan Winders and teammates broke the record in the distance medley relay this past Saturday in competition finishing in 9 minutes and 58 seconds. Javan ran the 800 meter leg and was named First Team All Conference.
Lance Winders took 1st overall in the 4th Annual Charlie Reagan Memorial 10K run at Milan this weekend. Lance finished in 38:23. The race is held to honor former runner Charlie Reagan who lost his life in 2011.
Get Your Tickets for Lions Club Chili Day Feb.28th
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Lions Club Chili Day is set for Tuesday, February 28th at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall from 11am to 7pm. Tickets for the Chili Day cost $10 per person. Dine in and takeout is available. All you can eat chili is dine in only. The Chili Day features the famous Lions Club Chili, dessert and drinks.
Paris-HC Rescue Squad Takes Part in K-9 Cadaver Training at KY Lake
Millie, 7-year-old Labradoodle, alerting her K-9 Handler, Robin Moore, that there are human remains in the area. (Cassie Walsh photos)
Buchanan, Tenn.- The Cumberland K-9 Search and Recovery Team came up to Kentucky Lake on Sunday, where they worked with the Paris Henry County Rescue Squad to help train the K-9’s to search for cadavers on land and water to get ready for their NAPWDA certification test that is coming up in March in Montgomery County.
In the NAPWDA certification test, the dogs must hit on a minimum of 13 out of 14 targets in the test in order for the canines to be certified. The K-9’s are trained to find cadavers in open woods, vehicles, ruble piles, in the water and underground.
Millie finds the cadaver, which is placenta, placed in the water. (Cassie Walsh photos)
Currently the Cumberland K-9 Search and Recovery Team has six dogs that are training to search for cadavers in water and they have one dog that is training to search by air and scent. The Cumberland K-9 Search and Recovery will have three dogs re-certify and four dogs that will certify in search and recovery.
Robin Moore, Captain and K-9 Handler from the Cumberland K-9 Search and Recovery, said that their canines are trained to search for cadavers and the dogs will not alert to animal remains since they are trained to only react to human odors and scents.
The teams also worked on training their K-9s to get water certified, which means that a boat operator, the handler and the K-9 will go out in a boat to search for human remains. And the boat operator and the handler will watch the K-9’s body language and listen to the dog bark which will let them know that the K-9 can smell human remains in the area. Only 25% of all K-9 search and recovery dogs are water certified.
River, a 14 month old British Labrador, alerts to a cadaver that is buried in the woods. (Cassie Walsh photos)
Some K-9’s will alert to the scent of human remains through body language, while others will alert through sounds or both. Canines that are trained in search and recovery can be purebred or mixed breed depending on the trainer’s preference. All of the dogs’ wear life jackets in case of emergency and when the dog jumps in the water the boat the boat operator will shut off the engine as a safety measure in protecting the K-9.
River tracks through the woods and alerts to a cadaver that is buried in the water. (Cassie Walsh photos)
When the K-9 is out on the water they are unable to follow their noses so they have to smell surface of the water in order to find the cadaver, but the dogs usually don’t get a hit on the exact place the cadaver is located they just find a smaller search area where the cadaver is located. Only 25% of all K-9 search and recovery dogs are water certified.
Robin Moore, Teresa Dabbs, Krista Tucker, Jon Tucker, Rob Camper and Ngatotata from the Cumberland K-9 Search and Recovery Team attended the cadaver training at Kentucky Lake. And Carol Tedford, Chris Jones, Kenny Medlock and Danny Tucker from the Paris Henry County Rescue Squad also assisted in Sunday’s K-9 cadaver training.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Department sponsored the Cumberland K-9 Search and Recovery cadaver training at Kentucky Lake on Sunday since they work closely with the HCSO and other police departments that might need their services.
Winners Announced for This Year's Krider Idol
The 12 Krider Idol contestants waiting to see who won. (Cassie Walsh photo)
Paris, Tenn.- Twelve talented musicians competed in this year’s Krider Idol which was held at KPAC on Saturday night.
Iris Shepherd, Anyla Teague, Thomas Holcomb, Sloane Russell and Gideon Shepherd all competed in the 9-12-year age group. And in the 9-12-year age group, Iris Shepherd won.
In the group division Meridith Roberson and Jordan Shepherd, Zoe Pouliot and Lynn Chau, and Iris and Gideon Shepherd competed on Saturday. In the group category, Meridith Roberson and Jordan Shepherd won.
Seven talented musicians competed in the in the 13-18-year age group. Noah Smith, Jordan Shepherd, Zoe Pouliot, Meridith Roberson, Riley Jenkins, Winifred Jones and Lynn Chau all competed to win in the 13-18-year age group. And in the 13-18-year age group Noah Smith won.
McKenzie Man Arrested for Theft and Assault
Huntingdon, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy John Krezinski arrested Michael W. Welch, age 37 of 68 Paris Street of McKenzie, on Friday for aggravated assault and shoplifting. Welch was placed on $10,000 bond.
Paris Woman Arrested on Possession Charges
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Sgt. David Powell arrested Jo Anne Grayson, age 47 of 5100 Highway 79 South of Paris, on Friday for three counts of simple possession of a schedule II substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Grayson was placed on $4,000 bond.
PSSD Closed on Monday, February 27th Due to Illness
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Special School District will be closed on Monday, February 27th due to illness. The Paris Special School District hopes that this extended weekend will stop the spread of the various illnesses that have affected their students and staff.
Paris Woman Arrested on Multiple Possession Charges
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Paris Police Ptl. David Beauvais arrested Heather Michelle Sands, age 30 of 909 Minor Street of Paris, on Friday for two counts of reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, two counts of possession of a schedule IV substance with intent and possession of a schedule II substance with intent. Sands was placed on $75,000 bond.
Lady Patriots Fall to Station Camp in a Close Match Up
Paris, Tenn.-In the first round of the Region 5-AAA Tournament after coming back from a 20 point deficit, the Lady Patriots lost to the Station Camp Lady Bisons on Friday 73 to 71. Gracie Osbron led the Lady Patriots with 30 points, Emily Gilstrap had 15 points and Caroline Singleton had 10 points. The Henry County Lady Patriots finish the season 21-7.
HC Trustee's Office Open Saturday for Property Tax Payments
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Trustee’s Office will be open on Saturday, February 25th from 8am to 12pm for people who need to pay their property taxes which are due on Tuesday, February 28th.
You can make payments at the Henry County Trustee’s Office which located in the Henry County Courthouse Annex, at 213 W. Washington Street. Normal office hours are 8am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Outside the entrance to the Annex, there is a secured night deposit box for payments.
You can still pay your property taxes after the February 28th deadline, but from the first day of each month beginning March 1st, interest and penalty will accrue at a rate of 1.5 percent per month, which will be added to your tax amount.
If the Post Office fails to postmark your payment by the dates due it is considered a late payment. This applies even if you mail your payment on time. Online property tax payments made through the BIS system are recognized by the county as paid on the date of the online transaction.
PSSD Closing School on Monday, February 27th
Paris Special School District Superintendent of Schools Mike Brown said that although the District wide numbers have not fallen below 88% attendance on any day, we do have one school that has been affected more drastically.
Eight out of the 11 teachers are absent across the district especially the Paris Elementary teachers. Although the subs, educational assistants, and other adults do an amazing job, the ability to deliver instruction at the level that is expectant for our students has become increasingly difficult.
The central office on Highway 641 South in Paris will remain open and the administrative staff will also be on site to work collaboratively with our custodial service to perform deep cleaning and to disinfect our classrooms.
Mike Brown also wanted to caution our PSSD families that school is not the only place where sickness can be spread. The PSSD is encouraging our families to use caution at all public venues this weekend as a way to help make sure that when the students can return on Tuesday. The extra day should help many of our students and adults fully recovered and they are ready for learning to take place.
Closing school is a difficult decision because it affects so many more families than just those who are currently sick. Please know that they monitor attendance daily and the PSSD is always trying to make the best decision for our students and our adults and I will continue to do so when we return next week.
HCSO Takes Part in Annual Seatbelts are for Everyone Campaign
Henry County, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) for its annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) campaign. This statewide initiative is designed to increase seatbelt usage and child passenger safety restraint usage through the implementation of occupant-protection programs, public events, and checkpoints throughout local communities across Tennessee. The SAFE campaign begins February 1, 2017, and concludes on August 1, 2017.
Sheriff Monte Belew comments, "The Sheriff’s Office is conducting a concentrated effort to monitor and enforce seatbelt usage to insure the safety of motorists on our roadways. Safety is our goal and priority."
2017 will be the fourth year that the THSO has sponsored the SAFE campaign. Last year yielded the following results: 1,717 child restraint violations, 21,562 seat belt citations and 723 other seat belt enforcement activities.
"In 2015, Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate was 86.23%," said THSO Director Vic Donoho. "Last year, we saw that average raise to 88.95%. Through increased education, enforcement, and community involvement, we're striving for ninety percent or higher."
This year, participating agencies will pay special attention to nighttime seatbelt enforcement. Tennessee has seen a disproportionate percentage of unrestrained fatalities between the hours of 6pm. and 5:59am. Historically, approximately fifty percent of Tennessee’s traffic fatalities are from people who are not wearing seat belts. That percentage increases to nearly sixty when nighttime crashes are examined.
District Governor for Rotary Visits Paris Rotary Club
Chuck Barnett, District Governor for Rotary, speaking to the Paris Rotary Club. (David Jackson photo)
Paris, Tenn.- The District Governor for Rotary, Chuck Barnett, visited the Paris Rotary Club on Thursday. Barnett encouraged club members to find younger men and women to serve with the clubs. He pointed out that Paul Harris, one of the original founders of Rotary, was only 37 years old when he and a few other business friends formed the first club in Iowa.
Barnett noted that over the years Rotary has continued to grow and become the most well-known service organization in the world with its greatest service project seeking to eradicate Polio from the world. That goal has been supported by the Gates Foundation to the tune of several million dollars and has seen the effort widely successful but still just a little short.
Barnett, a member of the Gallatin Rotary Club became a member in 2002 but, as he put it, "I became a member but didn't really become a Rotarian until a little later." His emphasis being that until you really get involved in the Rotary service projects you're not really a Rotarian. He encouraged younger members of the club to become more involved in service projects. As the motto of the Rotary Club suggests, "Service above self."
HCHD Closing Osage Crossland Road Monday
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department will close Osage Crossland Road on Monday February 27th for culvert installation, weather permitting. The closure will be 3 tenths of a mile southest of Pled Wade Road. The road will be back open for afternoon traffic. In case of inclement weather, the closure will bbe Tuesday February 28th.
Red Cross Life Guard Training Courses Planned for March
Paris, Tenn.- A Red Cross Lifeguard Training Class will be offered in our area where participants can become a certified American Red Cross Lifeguard and be trained in Lifeguarding, First Aid, CPR, and AED.
Participants must be 15 years of age or older and must pass a pretest on March 8th which includes a 300-yard swim, a timed 10lb. weight test, anda two minute tread test using only your legs.
Participants must also be present at all classes and here is the schedule. Wednesday March 8th, 6-8pm, Bethel University Pool; Thursday March 9th, 5-9pm at Paris Civic Center Pool; Friday March 10th, 5-9pm Civic Center Pool; Saturday March 11th, 9am-6pm at Civic Center Pool; and Sunday March 12th 2-6pm at Bethel Pool.
Cost of the class is $200 and the certification is valid for 2 years. For more information or to register for the class contact Sarah Luffman at 615-202-3670 or email email@example.com. Participants should bring swim suits, towels, and pencils to every meeting.
Street Light Audit to Begin Tues. Feb. 28th
Paris, Tenn.- A press release from City Manager Kim Foster stated that representatives with Tanko Lighting will begin the physical audit of every street light within the City of Paris on Tuesday February 28th. Foster said this is part of the energy efficiency project with Trane where the the City of Paris will be replacing every street light with LED lights.
Foster said in the press release reps from Tanko will be walking thru the City and examining each individual pole and light and they should be wearing reflective clothing and will have identification confirming they are with Tanko. Their vehicles will also be marked with the company logo. The physical audit will take 3-4 weeks to complete.
The City of Paris currently uses High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights for many of their streetlights and the plan is to replace those with Light Emitting Diodes, or LED that are more energy efficient, have longer life spans, and produce a better color and quality of light than HPS lights.
The LED lights will be a cooler, white light, where HPS lights are more orange colored. The LED fixtures appear to be dimmer, but they create a more even pool of light while the HPS fixtures tend to produce a bright spot directly underneath the fixture. The LED light stretches across the roadway.
The City began this LED conversion project to reduce its energy consumption and maintenance costs associated with street lighting. The project will replace over 2500 streetlights throughout Paris. The HPS streetlights will be recycled in accordance with Federal and State guidelines.
For more information on the LED Streetlight Conversion project call the City Business Office at 641-1402.
St. Jude Children's Toy Drive Going on in Henry County
Paris, Tenn.- Several area businesses and government agencies are drop off locations for the Healthy Child Challenge Toy Drive that has been started in Henry County to help put smiles on faces of children at St. Jude’s Hospital. They are seeking new toys to be dropped off between now and October 31st of this year and toy lists can be picked up at the drop off locations.
Drop off locations are: The Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Joe Mahan Ford, West Side Storage, Pot O Gold Pawn Shop, Premier Nissan, Hulme’s Sporting Goods, Lake Realtors, and the Northeast Henry County Public Utility District.
All monetary donations should be made to St. Jude thru their website at www.stjude.org, or by calling 1-800-822-6344. For more information on this Healthy Child Challenge Toy Drive, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder: VITA Taking Appointments for Tax Help
Paris, Tenn.- Remember the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA site continues to work on Tuesdays from Atkins Porter from 9am to 4:30pm. Anyone who is a senior citizen, disabled, or with income $54K or less will be able to have their taxes completed and filed for free thru VITA’s tax preparers.
To make an appointment, call weekdays, except Tuesdays, at 642-4178. The number will not be in operation on Tuesdays. Be sure and bring proof of identification, social security cards, and all tax pertinent information with you when you come for you appointment. E-filing and Earned Income Credits can be done thru the VITA preparers. VITA will be open Tuesdays thru February and March.
News from past weeks here.