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WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks

Assistant News Director Cassie Walsh

Bethel University Open House is Saturday

McKenzie, Tenn.- Bethel University will host an Open House for prospective traditional undergraduate students on Saturday, March 18th.

Registration for the Open House will begin at 8:45am in the Board Room of the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment. The Open House will begin with the Wildcat Fair at 9:15am, in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp Arena inside the Vera Low Center and Campus tours will follow at 10:15am.

Lunch will conclude the Open House at Noon on Saturday, March 18th. To register for the Bethel University March 18th Open House and events, go to www.bethelu.edu/visit.

Weekend of Events for Irish Celebration in Houston County

Erin, Tenn.- Remember the annual Irish Day Parade in Erin will be held this Saturday March 18th. The Grand Parade leaves from Houston County Middle School at 10am and the Leprechaun parade begins at 10:30am from Erin Church of the Nazarene. Other events planned Saturday include the Erin United Methodist Church Pancake Breakfast from 6:30am to 10am for $6, the Demolition Derby at the Perdue Acoustics Showgrounds beginning at 3pm with the Power Wheels Derby and the Demolition Derby to follow afterwards. For more information or a schedule of events like the Houston County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

In addition to the events Saturday, the Erin Rotary Club’s Irish Golf Scramble will be held on Sunday March 19th at Paris Landing State Park. The event was originally scheduled for March 11th but was postponed due to the snow and cold weather. For more information on the event call Ray Fussell at 931-721-6447.

HCHD Closing Osage Crossland Road Several Days Starting Mon.

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department will close Osage Crossland Road at the Tillman Road intersection for culvert replacement beginning Monday March 20th. Tillman Road will be accessible only from the North. This project could require 3-4 days to complete. Tillman, Hico, Pled Wade, and Martin Mill Roads may be used as alternate routes.

Cottage Grove FD Annual Meeting  Set for Monday

Cottage Grove, Tenn.- The Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department annual meeting will be held on Monday March 20th. The meeting will be held at Cottage Grove Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. The potluck supper starts at 6pm, business meeting begins at 7pm.

TNWR Presents The Amazing Wild Turkey Disc. Series on Sat.

Springville, Tenn.- The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will present “The Amazing Wild Turkey” discovery series from 1-3pm this Saturday March 18th at the visitor’s center, located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville.

Laura French will go over the past history of the wild turkey as well as facts about this very intelligent bird. You will learn about the five different species of wild turkey and participants will get practical experience looking for and reading turkey signs and deciphering different sounds that turkeys make. The program will be very informative and interactive.

Anyone wishing to see live turkeys is encouraged to drive on the refuge as they can often be seen in the open fields or wooded edges along refuge roads, especially in the early mornings or late evenings. Turkeys can also be found along the Britton Ford Hiking Trail.

For more information on the Wild Turkey Discovery Series or any events at the Refuge call 642-2091.

Beer Board Approves Beer Permit for New Establishment

Paris, Tenn.- The City of Paris Alcoholic Beverage Control Board met on Thursday and approved the request for a new beer permit for Roshod Phelps, for a new establishment. The permit was for a class B on premises beer license for his business Club Paris, located at 222 Wood Street.

Maplewood Church Messiah in the Passover Will Be Sunday

Paris, Tenn.- Maplewood Baptist Church welcomes everyone to Messiah in the Passover, a vivid and exciting demonstration showing how Jesus fulfilled the ancient feast of Passover, on Sunday March 19th at 6pm. The demonstration will be conducted by Ari Hauben, a missionary with Chosen People Ministries in Philadelphia.

Messiah in the Passover gives the Christian Community insight in Jewish traditions so the Jewish roots of Christianity can be better understood. The program also helps the two communities understand their common heritage.

Maplewood Baptist Church is located at 8700 Hwy. 218 Bypass. For more information call the church at 642-2022.

HCHS Baseball Loses at Union City 5-2

Union City, Tenn.- Henry County led 2-0 into the later innings at Union City on Thursday but late rallies by the Golden Tornadoes gave them a 5-2 win Thursday night. Henry County is 1-1 on the season. They will be at home Friday against Murray High. Coach Doug Barner said due to the forecast of rain Friday evening, the Varsity game will be played first, at 5:30pm then followed by the JV game if weather holds off.

Reminder: First Christian Church St. Patty's Luncheon is Friday

Paris, Tenn.- The First Christian Church’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon will be held on Friday, March 17th from 11am to 1pm. The First Christian Church is located at 101 S. Poplar Street in downtown Paris.

An Irish baked potato bar will be available along with garden salad, dessert and drinks. A $10 donation is requested to help benefit the Real Hope Youth Center. Dine in and carry out is available.

Second Case of Avian Influenza Detected in TN

Nashville- The state veterinarian confirms that a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has sickened a second commercial chicken breeder flock within the existing controlled quarantined zone in Lincoln County, Tenn.

On March 14, samples taken from the flock tested positive for avian influenza. Following federal laboratory confirmation of H7N9 HPAI, officials began depopulation of the affected premises.

This particular strain of avian influenza is the same that affected a commercial chicken flock earlier this month in Lincoln County. The two premises are less than two miles apart. Due to that close proximity, operators at the second premises were closely monitoring and regularly testing poultry for signs of avian influenza. The swift detection enabled immediate response.

“Wild birds can carry this strain of avian influenza.” State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “Given the close proximity of the two premises, this is not unexpected. We will continue to execute our plan, working quickly to prevent the virus from spreading further.”

On March 4, the first confirmed detection of H7N9 HPAI occurred in a commercial poultry flock in Lincoln County. On March 8, a commercial poultry flock in Giles County tested positive for H7N9 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI). Due to the contagious nature of avian influenza and its threat to domesticated poultry, the best way to contain the virus is to depopulate affected flocks and then disinfect affected premises.

Neither HPAI nor LPAI pose a risk to the food supply. No affected animals entered the food chain. Furthermore, the Tennessee Department of Health confirms that the risk of a human becoming ill with avian influenza during poultry illness incidents is very low. This virus is not the same as the China H7N9 virus affecting Asia and is genetically distinct.

The primary difference between LPAI and HPAI is mortality rate in domesticated poultry. A slight change to the viral structure can make a virus deadly for birds. Avian influenza virus strains often occur naturally in wild migratory birds without causing illness in those birds. With LPAI, domesticated chickens and turkeys may show little or no signs of illness. However, HPAI is often fatal for domesticated poultry.

State and federal officials continue to monitor and test poultry located in the areas immediately surrounding the three affected premises. No other flocks have shown signs of illness.

The state veterinarian has issued a poultry health advisory for Tennessee and recommends the following: 

  • ·         Closely observe your poultry flock.
  • ·         Report a sudden increase in the number of sick birds or bird deaths to the state veterinarian’s office at 615- 837-5120 and/or USDA at 1-866-536-7593.
  • ·         Avoid transporting or commingling birds.
  • ·         Avoid poultry exhibitions, shows or sales.
  • ·         Prevent contact with wild birds.
  • ·         Practice good biosecurity http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov/ with your poultry.
  • ·         Enroll in the National Poultry Improvement Plan www.poultryimprovement.org
  • ·         Follow Tennessee’s avian influenza updates and access resources for producers and consumers at http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/article/ag-businesses-avianinfluenza.

The state veterinarian and staff are focused on animal health and disease prevention. Each year, the Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory tests approximately 22,000 samples from poultry for avian influenza. Since March 3, the lab has tested more than 1,500 samples.

Chilcutt Tells Road Board Governors Improve Act Still Being Discussed

Road Supervisor Richie Chilcutt, middle, tells board members about the changes in the Governor's Gas Tax plan. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- At Wednesday’s Henry County Road Board meeting, Road Supervisor Richie Chilcutt told the board he had spent the last couple days at local government day in Nashville and the Governor’s plan on the Gas Tax has been modified since last month.

Chilcutt said they lowered the gas tax from 7 cents to 6 cents and lowered the diesel tax from 12 cents to 10 cents. The plan also lowers the grocery tax by 1% so it negates the money coming out of citizens’ pockets basically.

Chilcutt advised that the plan is still good for Henry County as it should bring in around $600K to the highway department. The original plan would have brought in over $770K. Chilcutt said the House of Representatives will be the key at the state because they are basically split. If the bill does pass, local bridges will be 100% funded by the state which means about $5M for Henry County.

Board chairman Bobby Milam said this is about as fair as a tax there is, since about 47% of the funds will come from residents of other states who use Tennessee Roads. There has not been an increase in the gas tax since 1989 and Milam echoed that our roads, “are going to need some funds from somewhere soon.” Chilcutt said to generate the same amount of money it would take nearly 13 cents in property taxes.

Chilcutt also told the board that there is also a push from the state comptroller’s office to have a Certified Financial Officer for each county’s School System, Courthouse, and Highway Department which would cost the county money sending these three people to 80 hours of accounting classes. He said they would likely see about $3M spent for all counties that don’t currently have these officers in place. This is in the early debate stages but is being pushed by the Comptroller for the whole state.

The board also approved bids for surplus equipment in the amount of near $5K total. The old culverts were sold for $3K and several old vehicles were sold as well.

Reminder: Living Lands and Water KTNRB at PLSP Friday

Buchanan, Tenn.- Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, a program created by TVA and Keep Tennessee Beautiful, has launched its spring clean ups and the group will be at Paris Landing State Park Friday March 17th with the Living Lands and Water barge. They will meet at noon at Paris Landing State Park Inn. There will be a free luncheon and then volunteers will board boats or clean along the shoreline.

Last year, volunteers retrieved over 14,450 pounds of debris from the Tennessee River including tires, barrels, plastic, and Styrofoam. The event is part of the nationwide Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup. For more information log onto www.keeptnriverbeautiful.org.

Donations Sought for Farmers, Livestock in Panhandle Fires

Paris, Tenn.- Mineral Wells Animal Clinic in Paris is loading a semi flat bed to haul supplies to farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Texas that have lost everything to the wildfires that are ravaging the area and to help keep the animals that survived the fires alive and thriving.

The trailer will be at Henry Farmer’s Coop, 1211 West Wood Street, on Thursday and Friday and people can purchase items and fill the trailer. The Coop is offering 10% off purchases to donate the items to the relief efforts. Items needed are calf milk replacer and bottles or buckets, fence post, barb wire, fencing pliers, gloves, long staples, corner post, feed insulators for t-post, #9 wire, and water. The trailer will head to the panhandle area on Saturday. The semi is donated by Mineral Wells Animal Clinic, Revel Logging, and Mill Creek Land and Cattle.

For more information on the local relief efforts call Michelle Hopkins at Mineral Wells Animal Clinic at 642-5699 and for national efforts visit the National Cattleman’s Beef Association website at www.beefusa.org.

HCSS Applying for Extending Learning Program Grants

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County School System is in the process of applying for a new cycle of grants for the extended learning programs. The purpose of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, CCLC, is to provide opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities that focus on improved academic achievement, enrichment services that reinforce and complement the academic program, and family literacy and related educational development services.

The overall goal for Lottery for Education: After School Programs, LEAPs, is to provide Tennessee students with academic enrichment opportunities that reinforce and complement the regular academic programs.

The Henry County School System will be applying for the CCLC and LEAP grants for Harrelson, Henry, Lakewood, Grove, and HCHS. For more information, questions or comments contact Director of Federal Programs Susan Burton at 642-3101 or email burtons@henryk12.net.

BPU Flushing Hydrants Week of March 20th

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants during the week of March 20th. Customers of BPU could possibly experience air in water lines or discoloration in the water. Customers should check for discoloration prior to doing laundry. If these conditions occur, run water through the facet for a few minutes and the water should return to normal in a short time. If problems continue contact Director of Water and Wastewater Operations Tony Brown at 642-1322 ext. 115.

Man Charged With Rape Held on $25K Bond

Paris, Tenn.- Inv. Jeramye Whitaker of the Paris Police Department has charged Michael A. Littleton, age 40, of 1050 Vance Road with rape. Littleton was placed on $25K bond.

The report at the Paris Police Department stated units were dispatched to 1105 East Wood Street to a report of sexual assault. Sgt. Eric Long met with the alleged victim who said her and Littleton had an argument and he grabbed her and threw her onto the bed pinning her down. The victim said they wrestled for awhile and Littleton forced her pants down and had his way with her against her will. Littleton was picked up on rape charges later on.

Man Charged With Evading Arrest; Thefts Investigated

Paris, Tenn.- Cpl. Brain Davis of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office was on routine patrol on Hwy. 77 and observed Erik Pack, 37, of 3710 Hwy. 77, in a vehicle and knew Pack had warrants for his arrest. Pack pulled into a driveway and began to run when Cpl. Davis activated his lights. After a short chase Cpl. Davis apprehended Pack and added evading arrest to his charges.

Another report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated a home on Old Paris Murray Road had a 60 inch TV stolen. The victim said the suspect made entry thru a piece of plywood over a window in the back door.

Ptl. Dereck Greenhill took a report a theft from Paris Building Supply. The report at the Paris Police Department stated someone cut the fence and gate on the south end of the property and stole a Yahama gas powered golf cart. The cart is about 20 years old and is worth around $4K. There are no suspects at this time.

HCHS Baskeball Banquet Held Tuesday

Paris, Tenn.- The First Baptist Church fellowship hall was the site of this year's Henry County High School's Basketball Banquet held on Thursday night in Paris. The Patriots and Lady Patriots were honored for a successful season which culminated with District 10 - AAA Championship for the Lady Patriots.

Award winners for the boys were
Caleb McCutcheon - Best 3 Point Shooter Award
Chase Bell - Best Free Throw Shooter Award
James King - Best Rebounder Award and Team MVP
Malik Russell - Best Passer Award
Cole Culpepper - Most Charges Taken Award
Cameron May - Most Improved Player and Academic Award
Ethan VanDyke - Patriot Award
Duke Ward - Best Defensive Player Award

Girls Award Winners 
Gracie Ellis - Academic Award 
Allie Jo Shankle - Coach's Award
Gracie Osbron - Coach Buddy Wiggleton Award and Team Leader Award
Emily Gilstrap - Team Leader Award
Natiya Jumper - Team Leader Award

Cottage Grove Has Routine March Meeting

Cottage Grove, Tenn.- The Cottage Grove Legislative Council held its March meeting Tuesday night and learned that Area Wide Communications is currently repairing the box for the tornado siren for the city and should have it complete soon. The Council learned of 9 properties with delinquent taxes totalling $272 and discussed several items about a Public Records policy the state requires municipalities to pass. Mayor David Jackson also discussed several issues with the recycling program in Cottage Grove at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Mike Brown to Retire as PSSD Director June 30th

After serving as Director 10 years and 39 years overall, Mike Brown will retire June 30th (Tim Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Special School District Board of Education met Tuesday night accepted a letter from Director of Schools for the PSSD Mike Brown who informed the board he intends to retire at the end of the current fiscal year June 30th.

Brown has served as Director for the past 10 years and served for 39 years as a Teacher, Coach, Principal, and director. In his letter, Brown thanked all former and current board members and listed items he was very proud of including being fiscally responsible including seeing a significant increase in fund balance and paying for large projects without borrowing; providing mentors, providing safe spaces in all schools, starting the summer STEM camp, and many more. Brown said it has been a pleasure to serve this system.

Chairman of the Board Richard Edwards thanked Brown for his service and said we are sad to see you go. Edwards said our one job as a board is to hire a new director so we have three options: do a search thru the Tennessee School Boards Association where they handle everything including the search and setting up interviews; do a search ourselves and handle it thru the board; and third option is we can name someone without doing a search if we as a board feel they are qualified and board policy doesn’t require a search.

Chairman Richard Edwards set a special called meeting for Tuesday April 4th at 6:30pm to decide on which direction they choose to go in the search for a new director.

Board Approves to Go Ahead With Replacing Inman Gym Roof

Board members discus the need for a roof at Inman Gym. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- The Board also agreed to proceed on putting a new roof on the gym area of Inman Middle School and refinishing the gym floor.

Brown explained the roof would cost around $50-60K and it really needs to be done because it is continuing to leak and could be causing issues with the floor in the future if it’s not addressed. Brown said with money saved on the Inman Athletic Complex we have money to at least put a roof on the gym section of Inman.

Director of Facilities Jason Coffield said the roof is reaching the limit of its 20 year life span and a bad storm with wind or really heavy rain could really cause some major issues.

Brown said they will have to bid everything and get the work started in the spring or summer. Fund balance will be used for the project.

Brown updated the board on the Rhea Project as brick around the building is complete and they are currently working on brick around the bus canopy. They should have the bus canopy mostly finished in other couple weeks. The interior drywall is about 60% complete and first coat of paint is about 80%. The project is ahead of schedule and the budget is good as well. They will begin ceiling grids in mid to late April and will be pouring sidewalks and door stoops in the next month. Brown said furniture bids were all opened Tuesday and they are in the process of going thru those.

The board also received an update on the Inman Athletic Building and all things on the interior have been completed from the vendor Universal Contractors. More will be done on the outside including connecting sidewalks. The cost up to date on the building is over $412K which comes well under the $496K budget.

PSSD BOE Recognizes Spelling Bee Winners

Paris, Tenn.- The Board recognized local Spelling Bee Winners at the meeting on Tuesday night. The Paris Elementary winner was 4th grader Colby England pictured above with PES Principal Chip Gray. Inman Middle School’s winner was Kashaina Newcomb pictured below with Inman Principal Jason Scarbrough. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

The PSSD Board also approved tenure for 2nd grade teacher Julie Webb at Rhea Elementary. She was left off the list last month and Superintendent Brown recognized her Tuesday night.

Budget Committee Approves Transfers for Fluoride In Henry's Water and Mountain Bike Trail at Camp Hazelwood

County Mayor Brent Greer discusses budget transfers. (Tim Alsobrook photo)

Paris, Tenn.- At Tuesday night’s Henry County Budget Committee meeting, the committee approved several transfers including one in the General Fund to help keep fluoride in the water at the City of Henry.

County Mayor Brent Greer had sent a letter to Tennessee Department of Health requesting Henry County be allowed to hold back $6K from fiscal year 2016-17 appropriations so the County could gift that to the City of Henry for the purchase of a scales pump and injector used for fluoridation of the community water system. Mayor Greer said this will replace their dilapidated equipment currently in use. Henry County appropriates $22,120 to the state each year.

Mayor Greer said removing fluoridation from water is a county concern and public health concern as Henry School is served by this water system. Henry School has around 367 students according to the 2013 census, 87% of which are eligible for free and reduced lunch. Studies show nearly 1 in 4 children living in low income families has untreated tooth decay, which is the most common chronic disease of childhood and taking fluoride out of the water would likely make that even worse in Henry. The request to withhold $6K from the state appropriation is a one-time request.

The Budget Committee also approved a request for increase in the other economic and community development line items to accept a state grant in the amount of $10K to use to begin the process of building a mountain bike trail at Camp Hazelwood. Mayor Greer said the County plans to partner with the National Guard who will build the mountain bike trail. Mayor Greer said they hope to begin work on the trail in the late spring or early summer.

Money was moved around in the Circuit Court Clerk budget to replace the shared public access computer. Circuit Clerk Mike Wilson told budget committee members that the computer is used, mostly by law enforcement, but also the public at large to research case history. He said it is a basic computer that allows users to look at data in read only formats. The money was moved from Jury and Witness Fees and was just under $695.

Budget Committee Creates Line Item for donations to "The Shed"

Paris, Tenn.- In the Sheriff’s Office Budget, a new line item was created to help keep up with monetary donations to “The Shed.” Business Director for the Sheriff’s Office Amy Davis explained that “The Shed”, started by Sgt. Michele Brewer to help families in need, is starting to get monetary donations and they need a line item to keep up with those. The money that goes in to this line item will only be used for purchases for “The Shed,” which is an actual shed at the HCSO where clothes and other items used to help those in need are stored. The amount put into the line item was $500.

Also $5K was moved around in the Sheriff’s Office budget after having to go pick up an inmate in Los Angeles that cost over $2400 and another in North Carolina that cost almost $1K.

Other budget transfers included moving money around in the Trustee’s Office as Trustee Randi Allen French has had to travel for West Star Leadership classes; decreasing the unappropriated fund balance in the Solid Waste Fund in the amount of $12K to add for the local match increase due to more grant money being made available from the state to purchase a packer truck.

Carter Allison Receives Life Saving Award from HCSO

Paris, Tenn.- Carter Allison, 2nd grader at Rhea Elementary, was recognized yesterday in front of his classmates by the Henry County Sheriff's Office for his quick response and thinking in helping save his younger brother.s life.

Back on Sunday afternoon March 5th, Carter and his two younger brothers were playing outside at their home along with their dad. Carter's 16 month old brother had gotten close to the pond and fell in. Carter didn't panic, instead alerted their father, then helped him pull his younger brother out of the pond. Carter was given the Life Saving Award and Sheriff's Office Challenge Coin for his efforts. He is pictured with Sheriff Monte Belew, Chief Deputy Damon Lowe, Sgt. Michele Brewer, and K9 Si, who gave him a lick on the face for his work.

Lee Academy Announces Two New Hires

Director of Programs Morgan Wilson goes over information for the Lee Acadmey board. (Lee Academy photo)

Paris, Tenn.- Lee Academy for the Arts is pleased to announce the addition of two new staff members to help meet the objectives and mission of the school as well as explore new creative opportunities to engage the community.

Morgan Wilson has been named Director of Programs and will be responsible for the development of creative and artistic academy classes, programs, workshops, retreats, and community event opportunities at Lee Academy. Morgan splits her time between Lee Academy and W.G. Rhea Elementary School where she teaches first grade. “The historic beauty of Lee is something that drew me in,” says Wilson. “I think this job is perfect for me because it combines my love of teaching kids with my ability to create and organize programs. It’s going to be a great year!”

Sara Simonis has been hired as Director of Marketing and Communications, tasked with promoting Lee Academy through digital, broadcast, and print media as well as acting as the face of the school in the community and surrounding areas. Sara is also an independent contractor in publishing operations and has many years of experience in marketing, advertising, and operations administration. “Henry County and particularly Paris have really shown me the welcoming charm of the South,” says Simonis, who moved to Tennessee with her husband Marc in 2013. “I fell in love with the school right away; the history, the charm, the people, and the creative outlet and opportunities it provides. I’m excited to give back to this community and to see where we can take the school in the future.”

“I am very excited with the recent additions of Sara and Morgan. Their talents and enthusiasm will be great assets to help grow Lee Academy and offer even more creative opportunities to the community," says Robert E. Lee School Association Board of Directors President William Russell.

Lee Academy is a community of people joining together in the spirit of creativity, well-being, and health, inspired and propelled by the Arts. Classes are offered for adults and children, private lessons, studio spaces for artists, opportunities for connection, and so much more. Get involved by visiting www.schoolforthearts.org where you fill find information on current classes, membership and volunteer opportunities, the upcoming 2017 Summer Series including Kids Art Camp, event details, and much more.

Man Charged After Evading Officers Briefly

Paris, Tenn.- Sgt. Jamie James and Ptl. Tyrail Jackson responded to an unwanted person call at 708 Pine Street and when they arrived the front door was open. According to a report at the Paris Police Department, Sgt. James began walking towards the door and noticed a black male kneeling in front of a car parked in the driveway. When the male, later identified as Justin L. Tharpe, age 29, of 426 Harrison St., saw Sgt. James he jumped up and ran off.

Sgt. James and Ptl. Jackson pursued on foot and the at one point Ptl. Jackson saw Tharpe get behind some bushes. Tharpe jumped up, threw something at Ptl. Jackson and continued to evade. Sgt. James finally took Tharpe down after he crossed Tyson Avenue and was at Autozone. Tharpe refused to put his hands up and Sgt. James tackled him. Tharpe was charged with evading arrest, and resisting arrest. He also had an active violation of probation warrant on him.

Woman With Warrants from Houston Co. Found at Hotel

Paris, Tenn.- Another report at the Paris Police department stated Sgt. Jamie James received information that Sandra Burton, age 42 of Big Rock, was staying at the Paris Inns and Suites and she had active warrants for Violation of Probation out of Houston County. Sgt. James went to the room and a woman identified as Jeanne Renee Willis, age 46, of Buchanan, said Burton was not there. Burton was later found hiding in the bathroom and taken into custody. Sgt. James observed two marijuana pipes in plain view at the hotel room and found one more upon a search. Willis was cited into court for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ptl. Tyrail Jackson of the Paris Police Department arrested Allacia Jordan Martin, age 26, 311 Powell St., for aggravated burglary, domestic assault, and aggravated assault. Charges stem from her coming into a man’s home thru a window and beating on him. The report stated the man did have some visible marks on him.

Two different reports at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office told of thefts. One was on Hwy. 69N were entry was made thru the carport door and a 32 inch ceiling fan and Carhart bib overalls were stolen. The other home on Guthrie Road had 19 Oxycodone pills stolen from it. There is a possible suspect in the Guthrie Road theft.

HCHD Closing Osage Crossland Wed and Thurs.

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department will close Osage Crossland Road Wednesday and Thursday March 15th and 16th. This portion of the road is between Whitlock Road and Grooms Road. Grooms Road may be used as an alternate route. The road will remain closed Wednesday night but will be open by Thursday evening. Detour signs will be placed.

PSSD BOE Holding Public Hearing Prior To Tues. Meeting

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Special School District Board of Education will hold a public hearing at the beginning of their March board meeting Tuesday night to discuss a grant application for the construction of a Safe Room at W.G. Rhea Elementary School. The meeting starts at 6:30pm Tuesday March 14th at the PSSD Central Office on Hwy. 641 S.

More Charges Added to Shelby County Duo That Attacked James Hart

        

Elanor Pitts                                   Dallas Hofmann

Paris, Tenn.- New charges have been added to the Shelby County duo that attacked James Hart back in February. Elanor Lynn Pitts, age 29 of Cordova and Dallas Trent Hofmann, age 29 of Memphis were arrested at court on Monday morning and both were charged with civil rights intimidation.

The two were previously charged with simple assault in relation to an attacking James Hart, political candidate who is often on the streets of Paris with a sandwich board sign. They allegedly jumped Hart.

Civil Rights intimidation is used to help protect a person’s right to freedom of speech. Both Pitts and Hofmann were placed on $5K bond.

Paris Thunder Teams Do Well in Tourney

Paris, Tenn.- Three Paris Thunder baseball teams competed in the Swing into Spring wiht a Ring USSSA Tournament at McNeil Park last week. The 10U team placed 1st out of 7 teams. Tournament MVP was Brock Archie and All Tournament recipients were Jerimah Townsend and Maritez Rack.

The 11U team finished 2nd and Hayden Hixon, Ashton Kemp, Brice Donaldson, and Ryan Bradley were named All Tournament Team.

The 9U Thunder team came in 2nd place during the weekend. Carter Swalley, Avery Brown, Cooper Williams, and Turner McSwain were named to the All Tournament team.

January County Unemployment Rates Increase

Nashville- County Unemployment rates for January were released last week and preliminary numbers showed the rate increased in all 95 counties in Tennessee from December to January. The unemployment rate remains below 5% in 12 counties, between 5-10% in 80 counties, and over 10% in 3 counties.

In our listening area, Houston County comes in with the highest unemployment rate in the area and one of the highest in the state. Houston County’s January unemployment rate was at 9.1%. That is up from 7.1% in December and up from 8.9% in January 2016. That means of Houston County’s estimated labor force of 3,270 about 300 were looking for a job in January.

Henry County’s unemployment rate for January 2017 was 7.8% up from 6.3% in December and up from 6.7% in January of last year. Henry County had about 1100 people of its estimated workforce of over 14,060 looking for work.

Carroll County’s unemployment rate for January was 8.4% which is up from 6.9% in December and up from last January’s rate of 7.4%. Numbers equal to 1000 Carroll Countians looking for work in January.

Benton County’s January unemployment rate came in at 8.5% up from 7.1% in December and up from 8.2% last January. 580 of Benton County’s estimated labor force of 6820 were looking for a job in January of this year.

Stewart County’s rate for January was 9.0%, up from 7.4% in December and 7.7% in January of 2016. Weakley County had a 6.7% unemployment rate for January which is up 5.9% from December and 5.5% from January a year ago.

Reminder: Paris Optimist Spaghetti Dinner Set for March 14th

Paris, Tenn.- The 3rd Annual Paris Optimist Spaghetti Lunch and Dinner will be held on Tuesday, March 14th from 11am to 2pm and from 4pm to 7pm at the First United Methodist Church in Paris.

Tickets costs $10 for eat in or carry out and children under 6 years old eat for free. Lunch and dinner include spaghetti, roll, dessert and a drink. To place orders of five or larger please place your orders the Monday before. To pickup your orders at a specific time please call Mooney Appraisal at 642-5779 or you can email lonley.white@gmail.com.

Seasonally Closed Roads/Bays at Refuge Open Thurs.

Springville, Tenn.- - Seasonally closed roads and bays at the Tennessee and Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge will re-open this Thursday March 16th after being closed since November 15th to lessen disturbance to wintering waterfowl on the refuges. The refuge also reminds fisherman to obtain a fishing regulations brochure available at the Headquarters and Visitor Center at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville or online at www.fws.gov.refuge/Tennessee.

Coach Barner Era Begins With 13-6 Win Over Calloway County

Paris, Tenn.- On a cold damp night for baseball in Paris, the Henry County Patriots defeated Calloway County 13-6 to give new head Coach Doug Barner his first victory in as many tries.

It was the first game of the season for the Lakers and Patriots and Henry County's #1 starter Hunter UpDyke was on the mound for the Patriots. After a one-two-three top of the first, Henry County's batters set the tone with a 5-spot in the bottom of the 1st.

RBIs came from up and down the Patriot lineup as 7 different batters contributed to the scoring output. One of the biggest blows was a two RBI double from Will Parrish and a RBI triple from Knox Davis.

UpDyke pitched four innings for the win only giving up two earned runs and had a couple hits at the plate as well. Wesley Bomar and Austin Abbott also threw some innings for Patriots in relief. Henry County's game against McCracken County Tuesday has been postponed.

Visiting Anglers' Fishing Equipment Stolen at Marina

Buchanan, Tenn.- A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated rods and reels and several pieces of bait and tackle were stolen off the boat of one of fishing teams competing in the Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash Event at Paris Landing this weekend. The report stated the angler left the Knights Inn in Paris and went and took his boat to Paris Landing Marina. He dropped it off then ran to get gas and other things in his vehicle. Once he got the boat in the water and was fishing, he noticed three rods and reels he had strapped on the deck missing. He also found some tackle missing. He filed the report once he got back to the Knights Inn to make sure he hadn’t left the items in the hotel room. The value of the items is over $1K.

Warrants Issued After Man Left Scene of An Accident

Paris, Tenn.- Ptl. Amanda Forrest of the Paris Police Department has drawn warrants on Tyler Hearn, age 21, of 1450 N. Market Street, for leaving the scene of an accident, after he drove off from the scene of a two vehicle crash on Friday on Mineral Wells Avenue. Ptl. Forrest had responded to the scene after the wreck and was told someone in a black SUV pulled out and hit the truck involved then pulled away up thru McDonald’s Parking lot and out the back entrance of McDonald’s. Later in the day, the owner of the SUV, Alyssa Thompson, came to City Hall to report the accident. After warnings for filing false report from Ptl. Forrest, Thompson admitted that Hearn was driving the vehicle earlier when the accident occurred. Warrants were issued.

Dep. David Andrews took a report from a woman about her car being stolen. The report said she let a woman borrow it but the woman hasn’t returned the car yet after a couple of days. The vehicle is a Gold Ford Taurus and its estimated value is $5K.

Reports at the Paris Police Department stated over $1K worth of items were stolen from a home on Garland Avenue. Items stolen included rods and reels, hedge trimmers, weed eaters, and other items.

Bethel Student Wins Cabela's Big Bass Bash Event

Bethel University's Evan Owrey in the center after finishing 1st. (Cabelas photo)

Buchanan, Tenn.- Saturday was not necessarily conducive to fishing with an early morning snowfall and temperatures in the 30s, but Bethel University's Evan Owrey didn't mind after he finished 1st in the Cabela's Big Bass Bash Event held on Kentucky Lake with a weight of 8.49 lbs. Owrey beat out 518 other anglers from 84 schools across the nation to win the event. Over $30K worth of cash and prizes were awarded.

Reminder: Paris Swim Team Seeking High School Swimmers

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Swim Team is holding an informative meeting for High School age swimmers that will be in grades 9-12 next school year. The meeting is open to anyone in Paris and Henry County that is interested in competitive swimming. Anyone interested should come with their parents to Paris Elementary School Cafeteria on Tuesday March 14th at 6pm to learn more. For more information call Tony Lawerence at 644-2517.

Henry Students Learn About Local Government

Paris, Tenn.- Henry School's Student Advisory Council had the chance to visit several local government offices last week to see how government works. The student advisory council is made up of 5th graders: Kayleigh Hilt and Michael Tharpe, 6th graders: Parker Scott and Layla Parks; 7th graders Brady Payton and Railey Davis, and 8th graders: Sierra Tucker, Chase Webb, and Ashley Koch. The students are pictured above with City Manager Kim Foster and Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell as they learn about what goes on at Paris City Hall. Below, HC Administrator of Elections DeLaina Green discusses some of what her office does. (Henry School photos)

Huntingdon Youngster Wins Hoop Shoot

Paris, Tenn.- Luke Cooper, age 11 of Huntingdon, won the Regional Hoop Shoot this past Saturday. The event is sponsored by the Paris Elks Lodge and state champions in Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas competed for the Regional. Luke is the son of Leslie and Brooke Cooper. He will travel to Chicago to compete in the National Championships in April. (Elks Lodge Photo)

Murray Woman Arrested for Criminal Impersonation

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department,  Paris Police Ptl. Jeff Smith arrested Kristena Leigh Roach, age 28 of 1505 Belmont Drive of Murray, on Saturday as a fugitive from justice and criminal impersonation. Roach was placed on $1,000 bond.

First Christian's Annual St. Patty's Day Luncheon is Friday

Paris, Tenn.- The First Christian Church’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon will be held on Friday, March 17th from 11am to 1pm. The First Christian Church is located at 101 S. Poplar Street in downtown Paris.

An Irish baked potato bar will be available along with garden salad, dessert and drinks. A $10 donation is requested to help benefit the Real Hope Youth Center. Dine in and carry out is available.

Learn to Make Your Own Sushi at Lee Academy's Sushi Party

Paris, Tenn.- Lee Academy for the Arts wants to invite everyone to a Sushi Party on Saturday, March 18th at 6pm in the lunchroom at Lee Academy. Tickets cost $20 per person, but the Sushi Party is limited to 50 guests.

You will learn how to make your own cooked sushi rolls, but no raw fish or meat will be served. Reservations must be made by Wednesday, March 15th. To reserve your spot please call 644-1157 or 336-0404.

Runway for a Cure Raises $2,700 for the HC Relay for Life

Paris, Tenn.- The 6th Annual Runway for a Cure event held Friday night was a success. Whoa! Susannah blogger and author Susannah Lewis was fabulous as our Emcee. Many in attendance were there simply to see her and she was truly touched by the warm response she received here in Paris.

Mrs. Betty Jane Strutton served as this year's Honorary Co-Chair. She's a four time cancer survivor and such an inspiration! A few donations are still coming in, however $2700 was raised for Relay for Life and the fight for a cure.

The Runway for a Cure Committee thanks all the boutiques, sponsors, donors and vendors. Their contributions and continued support ensure the success of this event year after year. Another huge thank you goes out to the many volunteers including student volunteers for their time and energy.

Purple Passion Fashion at the 2017 Runway for a Cure


The 2017 Runway for a Cure. (Cassie Walsh photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Relay for Life held Runway for a Cure on Friday at KPAC and the audience got to view fashions provided by five local boutiques while supporting cancer research. This year’s Runway for a Cure theme was purple passion fashion.

And the Runway for a Cure wasn’t just about the beautiful spring fashions, but it was about the Henry County Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society to help fund cancer research to find a cure for cancer. Since 1991 there has been a 23% decline in cancer deaths and for every dollar donated to the Relay for Life 75 cents goes towards cancer research.


Dana Allen, Susannah Lewis and Betty Strutton. (Cassie Walsh photo)

The Emcee for the evening was Susannah B. Lewis, of Whoa, Susannah! Dana Allen and Tracey Beasley were the Runway for a Cure co-chairs. And honorary co-chairs were Sherry Porter and Betty Strutton, who even took part in the runway fashion show.  Dana Allen said, “The goal is to have less cancer. And have more survivors and birthdays.”


The 2017 Runway for a Cure winning boutique Sunshine Boutique. (Cassie Walsh photo)

Fashions were provided by Boutique MariMac, My Favorite Things, Oh So You Boutique, Queens of Paris and Sunshine Boutique. After the fashion show the audience got to vote for their favorite boutique and Sunshine Boutique was crowned the winner of the 2017 Runway for a Cure.

The Henry County Relay for Life will be held on at 6pm on Friday, June 9th at the Henry County Fairgrounds, which is located at 101 Fairgrounds Road in Paris. If you want more information or to join the Henry County Relay for Life you can follow the Henry County Relay for Life on twitter or on Facebook. Or you can call Ariell White at (731) 512-5013 or email her at ariell.white@cancer.org.

Paris Man Arrested on Two Counts of Meth

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy James Higgins arrested Westley Brandenburg, age 32 of 316 ½  Aiden Street of Paris, on Wednesday for two counts of selling meth and selling a controlled substance. Brandenburg was placed on $50,000 bond.

Police Make Drug Related Arrests on Friday

Paris, Tenn.- According to reports from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department several people were arrested on Friday on drug related charges. In one report, Paris Police Ptl. Steven McClure arrested Shawn Michael Nieves, age 25 of 542 East Washington Street of Paris, on Friday for driving on a revoked license and possession of drug paraphernalia. Nieves was placed on $750 bond.   

Paris Police Capt. John Brewer arrested Melanie F. Scott, age 41 of 410 Jack Younger Lane of Paris, on Friday for possession of drug paraphernalia and simple possession of a schedule II substance. Scott was placed on $600 bond.

Darkhorse Lodge Breaks Ground on a Peaceful Retreat for Veterans


Chamber Director Mark Johnson, Gretchen Catherwood,Jerry Oleson, and Kirk Catherwood of the Darkhorse Lodge breaking ground on their lodge. (Cassie Walsh photo)

Springville, Tenn.- The Darkhorse Lodge, located at 1845 Swor Road in Springville, broke ground on Friday that will be opened as a peaceful retreat for combat veterans. Each of the rooms will be named for one of the 25 men who lost their lives in combat from the Marine Corps 3/5 Darkhorse Unit.

President and CEO of Darkhorse Lodge, Inc. Gretchen Catherwood, who lost her son in the fighting in Afghanistan, said, “each room will represent one of the brave soldiers from the Darkhorse Unit who lost their life. In addition to those 25, about 200 were severely injured in the area and since 2011 we’ve lost 5 more combat veterans who fought there to suicide.”


Jerry Oleson, Gretchen Catherwood and Kirk Catherwood of the Darkhorse Lodge breaking ground on their lodge. (Cassie Walsh photo)

Darkhorse Board member, Kirk Catherwood said,” Twenty-two veterans commit suicide everyday, that is twenty-two too many and we want to give them a place to relax and talk with other veterans going through similar experiences.”

Fundraisers have been held over the last several months and Catherwood said they have only raised enough money for dirt work, foundations, and plumbing. The Catherwoods and all of their board members vowed that they will continue to have fundraisers all summer and they will have to raise lots more money and do the work in phases.

Catherwood said, “Fundraising for the lodge will go on until they die, because the Darkhorse Lodge will be a peaceful retreat for combat veterans with all of the expenses including housing, food, electricity, internet etc. will be paid for by the lodge.”

Kohler has donated all of the fixtures for the lodge, Campbell Well Drilling in McKenzie donated the well for the lodge and AMB Roofing in Johnsburg, IL is donating the metal roof for the lodge.


Jerry Oleson, Gretchen Catherwood and Kirk Catherwood of the Darkhorse Lodge breaking ground on their lodge. (Cassie Walsh photo)

Once complete, Catherwood hopes any and all combat veterans come and stay and seek companionship at the Darkhorse Lodge. She said it doesn’t matter what branch or service, what war you fought in, your age, or whether you are male or female. “If they fought in World War II, Korea, or Iraq, they are welcome here at the Darkhorse. All combat veterans are welcome and we will take them fishing out at the lake and just have a place for them to relax and talk with fellow veterans.”

For more information on the Darkhorse Lodge, to volunteer, or donate call Catherwood at 731-363-3616 and visit their website to follow progress at www.darkhorselodge.org. There are also two ways you can help the Darkhorse Lodge that won’t cost anything.

You can also help by signing on to Amazon Smile, instead of Amazon, using your Amazon login and password and choose Darkhorse Lodge Inc. as your charity to support and you only need to do it once. You can also help by signing up for a Kroger Reward account online and once you have your online account, click on My Account, click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards and enter your Kroger Plus Card. Then update or confirm your information and enter #78333 as the NPO number and select Darkhorse Lodge from the list and click confirm.

Every time you use the Amazon Smile or your Kroger Plus Card to shop, the Darkhorse Lodge will receive a percentage of the amount you spend.

BPU Crews Working Diligently To Restore Power After Storms

Buchanan, Tenn. - Board of Public Utilities Crews are working to restore power to the Paris Landing Area after storms on Thursday evening.

(Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Wirgau and Stevens Talk Gas Tax Increase and State Parks


Senator John Stevens explaining the options of privatizing state parks. (Cassie Walsh pic)

The main points of the Legislative Briefing with Senator John Stevens and Representative Tim Wirgau included privatizing state parks, finding funding in the budget with the main topic being the Governor’s plan about increasing the gas tax.

Senator Stevens said that if the state increases the gas tax to pay for infrastructure projects throughout the state, then they need to offset the gas tax by decreasing the sales tax across the state. Stevens said, “Why should we put the burden on Tennesseans when we should put the burden of the gas tax on the truck drivers going through Tennessee.” 

Senator Stevens said if the gas tax isn’t increased and they use money from the state wide sales tax revenue to pay for infrastructure projects and we go through a recession the infrastructure project funding will take a hit.


State Rep. Tim Wirgau discussing the gas tax increase. (Cassie Walsh photo)

Infrastructure needs a stable source of revenue to fund and finish the projects and Senator Stevens and Rep. Wirgau agreed that the state should not borrow money to pay for infrastructure projects because infrastructure projects should be paid from a stable source of funding  and not by debt.

Another item of the morning included privatizing state parks and having them subsidized or are the parks able to sustain themselves. When the state parks are subsidized that means the state pays part of the bill, but if the state wants to state parks to sustain themselves then there will need to be significant upgrades to the parks.

But if the parks are subsidized then the state parks will be competing against law enforcement and teachers for funding. Rep. Wirgrau said that state parks should be managed by the managers instead of letting Nashville manage them.

Rep. Wirgau said that when budgets are approved everyone is competing to fund their projects and projects that benefit a part of the state may not benefit the other side of the state. “Middle Tennessee, West Tennessee and East Tennessee are all competing for the same pennies in the budget and what works in East Tennessee doesn’t always work across the state,” said Wirgau.

Wirgau proposed that another way to funds into the transportation budget is to take a percentage of the sales tax of vehicles sold in the state and put that money in the transportation fund.

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 March.

 

News from past weeks here.

 
     
     
 


Tennessee Valley Community Churcy

Paris Country Club

ReMax Realty

Tennessee Valleyn Communityn Church

Peppers

Henry County Mobile Alerts

WMUF Country Coupon Club

 

Joe Mahan Ford

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First United Methodist Church

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