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WMUF/WLZK News                                                               

From News Director Tim Alsobrooks 

Assistant News Director Barron Robinson

 

Murray State Offering Sign Language Class

Murray, Ky.- Murray State University’s College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) is now offering courses in American Sign Language (ASL).  The courses are primarily taught by deaf educators via Skype or an in-classroom setting. 

Bringing ASL courses to Murray is largely due to the passion and initiative of Nancy Strong, an administrative assistant with the COEHS. Strong’s passion is now being brought to the University with the assistance of Murray State educators such as Max Williamson.

Williamson has worked with Strong to develop sign language courses in accordance with ASL standards. While an interpreter program is not provided by the University, these new courses will transfer to other universities should students choose to further their ASL education. At Murray State, both first and second-level ASL courses are offered. A third-level ASL course will be offered for the first time during the fall 2016 semester.  Pending enough student interest, a fourth-level course will be provided in the spring of 2017.  Eventually, the third- and fourth-level courses may be offered online via video sessions.

Those interested in learning more about American Sign Language courses may contact Murray State University’s College of Education and Human Services at 270-809-3817.

UTM Offers Variety of Classes In April

Martin, Tenn.- Community members may choose from a variety of classes offered through the University of Tennessee at Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies during the month of April. Participants may enroll in one or more classes in advanced digital photography, conversational Spanish, French cooking, financial skills, and dads and daughters ballroom dance.

Advanced digital photography is designed for those who already have a basic understanding of camera aperture, shutter speed and manual modes. Participants do not need to have taken basic digital photography through UT Martin to participate, but should be prepared to handle advanced photographic composition and exposure. The class will include the use of lenses and filters, the in-camera histogram and important focusing techniques. Classes will meet from 6:30-9 p.m., Tuesdays, April 5-19. The fee is $99 per person.

“Hola! Conversational Spanish” is interactive and will help participants feel more comfortable using basic Spanish phrases. Classes will meet from 6-8 p.m., Tuesdays, April 5-26. The fee is $65 per person or $95 for a couple attending together.

“Smart Money, Smart Kids” is a course designed to help parents teach their children about money management. Each meeting will focus on age-specific explanations and activities to help teach children at various levels. The course is directed by Sherree Sinclair, certified public accountant, Public Consulting Group. The class will meet from 6-8 p.m., Thursdays, April 7-21. The cost is $125 per household, which includes “Smart Money, Smart Kids” membership materials.

Dads and daughters ballroom dance is a great activity for fathers and daughters from 8-12 years old. Classes will be held from 9:30-11 a.m., Saturdays, April 9-30. The fee is $125 per father/daughter pair. Guests will be welcomed during the last class meeting.

Valerie’s French cooking class will introduce participants to basic French cooking skills while preparing a group meal. Students may choose to participate in the cooking or simply observe. Dinner will be from 6-9 p.m., April 12, and will be facilitated by Valerie Hendley, director of the International Language Center. The cost is $25 per person plus a $10 supply fee payable to the instructor during class.

For more information on any course or to register, contact the UT Martin Office of Extended Campus and Online Studies at 731-881-7082 or visit the course website at http://www.utm.edu/departments/ecos/nondegree.php.

HCSS Accepting Pre-K Registration March 28-April 1

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County School System is accepting applications for Pre-K enrollment for children to attend the 2016-17 school year. If your child will be 3 or 4 years old by August 15th of this year, you may complete an application during registration days.

Registration days will run March 28th thru April 1st and applications will be available at Harrelson Elementary, 143 Country Club Road in Puryear. Deanna Robinson is the teacher and applications can be picked up 7:30am to 2:30pm. Harrelson does not accept 3 year olds.

Applications can also be picked up at Henry Elementary School, 937 Pioneer Road in Henry. Teacher is Maureen Boyd and the applications can be picked up from 7:30am to 2:30pm; Lakewood Elementary, 6745-A Hwy. 79N., Buchanan, from 7:30am to 2:30pm, Christy Hendricks is the teacher.

Applications are also available at the Henry County Board of Education Office located at 217 Grove Blvd. between the hours of 8am to 4pm.

RFL Events Coming Up in Early April

Paris, Tenn.- PML’s Relay for Life Team will have the Jimmy Church Band in concert on Saturday April 2nd at the Quality Inn Paris Convention Center. The concert starts at 8pm and its Bring Your Own Beer. Tickets are available at the front office of PML or by calling 642-7398 ext. 221. You can also call Kelly Cherry at 336-0314 after 4pm. Tickets are $20 per person and for 8 or more advance tickets you can have a reserved table.

Another Relay Event coming up is the First United Methodist Church’s Relay for Life Yard Sale will be held Saturday April 9th inside the Christian Life Center and will be held rain or shine. To donate items call Elaine Martin at 642-3052.

For more information on Relay for Life Events, to start up a team, or to get involved call Joyce Bass at 707-0506, Tracey Beasely at 225-1729, or Dana Allen at 336-3719.

31rst Annual WMUF/WLZK/WRQR Peddler Easter Egg Hunt Sat.

Paris, Tenn.- The 31st Annual WMUF/WLZK/WRQR Peddler Advantage Easter Egg Hunt will be held at Ogburn Park at 10am on Saturday March 26th. The hunt will be held rain or shine for ages 0-10 and participants must have a hunting license to be able to hunt.

Hunting licenses are available at various locations. Listen to our radio stations or pick up a Peddler for a list of hunting license locations. Kids are encouraged to bring their own baskets or bags to collect candy in. Commercial Bank will be offering face painting from 9am to 11am at Ogburn Park on Saturday.

Deputies Continue to Search for Two Robbery Suspects

Paris, Tenn.- One woman, possibly involved in a robbery, was arrested and two people remain at large as possible suspects in the same robbery that occurred on Wednesday evening. A report a the Henry County Sheriff's Office stated that Dep. Wayne Fuqua and Dep. Chad Lowery responded to a residence on Hwy. 641 N., where a woman said she was robbed while talking with a man outside her home.

The report said the victim was talking to a man outside of her home and there were several bags on the ground near her and her vehicle as she had just returned from shopping. A man and woman then got out of a green Chevy pickup truck that the man she was talking to arrived in.

As the man held the victim against her will, the woman gathered the bags and put them in the pickup truck. Items were scattered all over the yard and some money from the income tax check that the victim just cashed was stolen.

Later in the evening, Sgt. David Powell noticed a truck matching the description of the one involved In his report, Sgt. Powell met the truck on Paris Whitlock Road and turned around to follow it when it turned into a driveway on Hwy. 69.

Sgt. Powell noticed a woman getting out of the truck and heading towards a house next door. He also reported hearing someone running in the woods near the truck. He found nothing inside the truck but took the woman, identified as Sarah E. Pettigrew, age 28, of 711 Gwen St., into custody. She appeared to be intoxicated according to the report. Dep. Frankie Scott arrived on scene to assist as Pettigrew began become hostile and kicking at the doors and windows of the patrol unit. She also spat on Sgt. Powell and Dep. Scott and finally a chemical spray agent was used to subdue her.

Deputies searched the area but couldn't find the other suspects. Pettigrew was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault on an officer, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication. She was placed on $5K bond.

Chamber Golf Tourney Planned for April 1st

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Membership Appreciation Golf Tournament will be held Friday April 1st at the Tennessean Golf Club in Springville.

The format is a four person scramble and cost is $250 per team for Chamber members and $300 for non chamber members per team. Price includes lunch, golf fees, and cart.

Lunch will be served at 11am and tee off is at Noon. There will be team prizes of $600 for 1st place, $300 for 2nd, $200 for 10th and $200 for Last Place. Individual prizes of longest drive and closest to the pin wins. Joe Mahan Ford will also sponsor a Hole in One vehicle giveaway.

For more information on the golf tournament call the chamber at 642-3431.

The Chamber is also collecting items for door prizes and goody bags for the Membership Appreciation Golf Tournament. Any business that would like to donate items for goody bags need to do so by this Friday March 25th.

Quota Easter Bake Sale Set for March 26th

Paris, Tenn.- The Quota Club of Paris will hold its famous Easter Bake Sale on Saturday March 26th from 8am to Noon at the Commercial Bank Branch on Mineral Wells Avenue. Cakes, pies, cupcakes, loaves of homemade bread, and an assortment of Easter treats will be on sale to benefit the Quota Scholarships. 

Puryear Baptist Church Live Cross Scene On Display Nightly

Puryear, Tenn.- Puryear Baptist Church will have their annual live cross scene each night until Friday night from 6:30-7:30pm. The church is located on Hwy. 641 N. in Puryear. Everyone is invited to drive by or stop and be part of the testimony as church members portray the crucifixion of Christ.

TDOT Halts Road Construction for Easter Weekend

Nashville- The Tennessee Department of Transportation will suspend all interstate construction work this Easter weekend in anticipation of increased holiday travel.

TDOT crews and contractors will stop all road construction work that requires lane closures beginning Thursday, March 24 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, March 28 at 6:00 a.m. This will provide maximum roadway capacity to motorists expected to travel across the state this holiday weekend.

Motorists will still encounter some long term lane closures on construction projects that will remain in place. While lane closure activity will be stopped, some workers may be on-site in construction zones and reduced speed limits will still be in effect. Motorists are urged to adhere to all posted speed limits, especially in work zones, for their own safety. Slower speeds are necessary in work zones due to the temporary layout of the roadway and will be enforced.

From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel. 

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

Senator Corker Visits Paris

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R)-TN discussed many topics in an hour session at the Chamber on Wednesday. (Tim Alsobrooks photos)

Paris, Tenn.- United States Senator Bob Corker was in Henry County on Wednesday and spoke to a crowd of local officials and chamber members at the Paris Henry County Chamber of Commerce.

Senator Corker told the crowd he has meticulously stayed out of the current presidential race but in his observations he has noticed that people are angry, frustrated, and have an uneasiness about them concerning their government.

Senator Corker talked about sitting thru the budget process and called it “a total hoax, a joke.” He said discretionary spending only makes up about 25% of the budget and the other 75% is basically on autopilot.

Corker talked about how wages have been stagnant. “Hard working Americans are not seeing wage increases, in fact they’ve seen their real income decline. There seems to be a structural issue with the economy.”

Corker also said even though the use of technology is wonderful, in some cases it is taking jobs away from citizens. He said “there is already a car that drives itself in the works, next they’ll have a big rig truck that does that and someone then is out of a job.”

Corker discussed several issues such as trade agreements, saying the Trans Pacific Partnership has some things that will need to be worked out before its passed. He said China is trying to write their own rules when it comes to trade and it can’t continue to happen. Corker said the United States has 4.5% of the world’s population and 22.5% of the economic output.

Corker also talked about the entitlement programs that is continuing to hinder the economy. He said we have to come across the aisle and work on this issue, both democrats and republicans are not touching the issue but it must be addressed.

Senator Corker was overwhelmingly elected to his 2nd term as U.S. Senator from Tennessee in 2012. He currently serves as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Corker has also served on the banking, housing, and urban affairs committee and is a former mayor of Chattanooga.

Teen Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt Thurs. at W.G. Library

Paris, Tenn.- The W.G. Rhea Public Library will host a Teen Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt for ages 11-18 Thursday March 24th at 7pm. Teens are encouraged to bring an Easter basket and a flash light. Prizes to be given away include a Kindle, cash, and coupons. The hunt will be held inside the library. Registration is required by calling the Library at 642-1702.

Man Flees Police, Later Apprehended

Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated that Dep. David Andrews went to 655 Rison Street to serve warrants on Robert S. Jumper, age 18, of the address. Jumper had warrants out of Weakley County and ran out the back door of the home.

Later, Dep. Stacey Bostwick observed Jumper on a bicycle under the pavilion at Ogburn Park. Jumper took off again evading from three patrol units. Officers were finally able to box him in and he was charged with the two warrants and in addition was charged with resisting stop, frisk, and halt. Jumper was placed on $1K bond.

While at the Rison St. residence, Dep. Andrews did end up making an arrest after a search of a vehicle with two guys in it. William E. Wilson, age 29, of 405 Hudson Avenue was charged with simple possession of schedule 6.

Woman Charged With Drug Possession After Traffic Stop

Paris, Tenn.- Cpl. Eric Long of the Paris Police Department made a traffic stop on Hwy. 69N for a headlight violation. The driver of the car, Jessica Lynn Evans, age 34, of 1784 West Wood St., was found to have a suspended driver’s license. A search of the vehicle found drug paraphernalia. Evans was charged with suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of financial responsibility. She was placed on $1500 bond.

Biggs Violates Probation, Arrested Again

Paris, Tenn.- Joyce Anne Biggs, age 26 of 1202 Lone Oak Road was arrested Tuesday and found to be in violation of probation. She is now being held with out bond, according to an arrest sheet at the Henry County Sheriff's Office.

Fields Waives Preliminary Hearing in Court Tues.

Paris, Tenn.- A man charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals back in January waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday in General Sessions Court. The case now moves to Circuit Court for further consideration on Monday April 4th.

James Robert “Frog” Fields, age 51, of 331 N. Cherry St., was charged by Dep. Stacey Bostwick of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office back in January. Dep. Bostwick arrived at the scene where a cat was stabbed multiple times and still had the steak knife sticking out of it. Fields was found in the bathroom covered with cat hair and blood was everywhere on his hands.

Fields said the cat scratched him and he thought he killed it with the knife. Fields is being represented by local public defender attorney Jeff Fagan.

HCHS Speech Team Excels at District Tournament

Clarksville, Tenn.- The Henry County High School Speech Team competed in the High School Speech and Drama League District Tournament this past weekend. Seven individuals qualified for the state tournament at Walter State Community College in Morristown in April. The one act play also qualified for the state tournament.

Individual first place winners were Griffin Paschall, Jayna Nance, and Tia Mikeska. Second places went to Noah Hulbert and Aaron Hernandez in their events. 4th place trophies went to Natalie Clark and Charlie Raymer and Mikali Mounts placed 5th in her event.

The team’s one act play entry won first place and Charlie Raymer was named best actress in the entire competition. Also named to the All-Star cast were Noah Hulbert, Taylor Bush, Austin Hosford, and Aaron Hernandez.

Patriots Beat West Creek 9-3, Sweep Season Series

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Patriots baseball team is scoring runs in bunches in the early part of the 2016 season and Tuesday night was no different as they beat West Creek 9-3. The win puts the Patriots at 4-1 on the young season and more importantly 2-0 in District 10-AAA play.

Patriot backstop Parker Piskos had a huge night at the plate with a double and two, 2-run homers. Piskos finished with 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored on the evening.

Hunter Updyke pitched for the Patriots earning the win after 5 and 2/3 of 1 run baseball. Updyke struck out 7 and walked 3 on the night to earn his 2nd Win of the season.

Jared Pugh and Perry Atkins also had two hits apiece. RBIs were collected by Pugh, Cody McSwain, Evan Harrison, Tyler Bomar, and Woodrow Young.

The Pats will host McKenzie on Friday with a Noon first pitch. WLZK 94.1FM will broadcast the game beginning at 11:30am.

PPD Issue Warrants for Theft On Melissa Crane as Search Continues

Paris, Tenn.- A woman missing since March 3rd now has active warrants on her from the Paris Police Department.

Paris Police Chief Chuck Elizondo said in a press release Tuesday that Paris Police continue to search for Melissa Crane, who was reported missing March 3rd and on Monday March 21st, Paris Police also issued warrants on Crane for theft over $500 and under $10K.

The charges stem from theft from a local business that has occurred since August 2015. Officers continue to search for Crane to determine her safety as well as serve these warrants. Anyone with any information on her whereabouts is urged to contact the Paris Police Department at 642-2424.

Crane was last seen driving a maroon Ford Taurus with license plate number TN tag 5DD1932.

Etheridge Announces Retirement; BPU Board To Seek New GM

Paris, Tenn.- For only the third time in the last 65 years, the Board of Public Utilities Board of Directors will be tasked with finding a new General Manager for BPU.

Current GM John Etheridge made it official on Tuesday morning at the BPU board meeting that he was retiring effective October 1st of this year. Etheridge has been with BPU for 35 years, serving the last 10 as General Manager. He thanked the board, employees, and community for their support in the role, and wanted to give the board ample time to search for the next General Manager.

BPU Board Chairman David Flowers told board members he asked John to develop a description of job duties for a General Manager and advertising for the position would go out immediately in local media and industry publications and websites. Flowers set April 15th as a submission deadline for applying for the GM job.

Flowers said, “we have very good internal applicants, but want to open the job open and do a thorough search for our next GM.” “This is a bit of a historic moment.”

Since the early 1950s, the BPU has only had three General Managers, Jimmy Hufffman serving 30 years and Charles Perry serving 25 years as GM. Flowers said BPU board members will review all applications, narrow it down to a top 3 and go from there. Hopes are to hire someone at end of May, negotiate contracts in June and have them ready by July 1st.

BPU Accepts Lone Bid for Voltage Regulators For Lone Oak Sub

Paris, Tenn.- In other business on Tuesday, the BPU board learned there were no findings in the BPU Defined Benefit Pension Plan Audit report. The report was prepared by Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC.

The board also approved a lone bid from Utility Sales Agency for 3 Siemens single phase voltage regulators for the Lone Oak Substation as they are rehabbing it.

Jeff Thompson, director of metering and engineering, said they tried hard to get another bid and WESCO with Cooper manufactured regulators usually bids and the BPU has used both companies before. Cooper did not get a bid in until one hour past the deadline. The Cooper bid was actually lower, but board members decided to go with Siemens since they have been a partner with BPU for years and got the bid in on time and it was in the amount of just under $94K.

At the beginning of the meeting , BPU customer Robert Haynes spoke to the board about their policy on returned check refundable deposits. He questioned the $350 deposit on two returned check fees, saying it was very hard for customers to afford that. Haynes also said he and several people he talked to weren't aware of the policy.

After two returned checks, customers have an option to go pre-pay or pay a deposit that is refundable. Board chairman David Flowers said the board would discuss the issue with management and Etheridge would be in contact again with Haynes.

Patriots Whip West Creek 16-3; Seek Sweep Tues. at Home

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County whipped West Creek Monday night for its first District 10-AAA win of the baseball season. The Patriots pounded out 12 hits and beat West Creek 16-3.

Cody McSwain went 2-4 with 4 RBIs, Parker Piskos had 3 hits and 2 RBIS and Perry Atkins had 3 RBIs as the Patriots scored early and often during the game.

Patriot Southpaw Jared Pugh pitched a complete game as the ten run rule was called after the 5th. Pugh gave up only 2 earned runs and struck out 7 batters.

Henry County hosts West Creek Tuesday night at home looking for the sweep of the season series. The JV team plays at 4:30pm and the Varsity plays at 6:30pm. We will broadcast Tuesday night’s game on WLZK 94.1FM starting at 6pm with the pregame show.

MSU Women's Center to Host Take Back the Night Rally

Murray, Ky.- The Murray State University Women’s Center will host the annual Take Back the Night rally on Monday, March 28 at 6 p.m. at the CFSB Center. The event brings together students, faculty, staff and community members in a collaborative effort to stand against sexual violence.  

During the rally, two survivors will share their experience of sexual violence and urge attendees to support individuals in their own lives who have been impacted by sexual violence. A moment of silence and a musical performance will be held in honor of survivors as a show of support for their healing. Murray State president Bob Davies will give the Call to Action, addressing how each person in attendance can be a part of stopping sexual violence.

Immediately following the rally, a resource and activism fair will be held on the track around the CFSB Center. Attendees will connect with campus and community resources such as the Title IX Office, University Counseling Services, the Women’s Center, the Merryman House and the Purchase Area Sexual Assault Center.  Additionally, attendees can engage in activism activities such as writing a letter of support to survivors, dedicating a ribbon to a survivor, decorating a t-shirt for the Clothesline Project, and more. 

Through education, advocacy, prevention programming and support, the Women’s Center strives to reduce sexual violence on Murray State’s campus and provide a safe environment for those who have been impacted by violence to seek help.  

All attendees are encouraged to bring a donation of art supplies in support of the Purchase Area Sexual Assault Center (PASAC).  Expressive therapy incorporates a variety of art techniques to help the survivor process and communicate about their trauma.  

For more information regarding these activities email msu.womenscenter@murraystate.edu or call 270-809-3140.

Bethel Receives Loan from USDA-RD

McKenzie, Tenn.- USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode presented awards Friday to Bethel University President Walter Butler and National Campus and Community Development Corporation Chairman Greg Eden to commemorate their partnership that will benefit students of the University located in rural West Tennessee.

“This is an example of the promising, sustainable results of building partnerships with community organizations, businesses, foundations, universities, faith-based and other groups to help challenged communities shape a future based on local assets and regional strengths,” Goode said.  “Growing the economy by investing in our rural communities and increasing opportunities for families are keys to our nation's future.”

A Community Facilities Direct Loan used to purchase five campus facilities will separate real estate functions from the educational and operational functions of the University.  Bethel University is a four-year institution founded in 1842 located in rural Carroll County with satellite campuses in Jackson, Clarksville, Nashville, Memphis and Paris.  Carroll County is one of 53 counties in Tennessee designated for support under USDA’s StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity initiative.  StrikeForce aims to increase investments in rural communities through intensive outreach and strong partnerships with community leaders, businesses, foundations and other groups that are working to combat persistent poverty.

“In our most recent Farm Bill, education in particular, college and technical college were highly-emphasized, and working with Bethel University, NCCD-Bethel Properties and Raymond James has provided our agency an opportunity to invest in the future,” USDA RD National Office Loan Specialist Terence McGhee added. “As a regional coordinator for 13 states, I strongly believe this project will serve as a model for many higher education projects throughout rural America, a topic that continues to be a priority of the agency.”

Others participating in the event include Sen. Alexander Field Representative Matt Varino, Rep. Fincher Chief of Staff Scott Golden, Carroll County Mayor Benny McBride, Huntingdon Mayor Dale Kelley, McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland, USDA RD Assistant to State Director Harriet Cannon, Union City Area Director Joel Howard, Community Programs Director Keith Head, Public Affairs Specialist Thanh-Thanh Pham and various University Board of Trustee members.

USDA Rural Development is moving investments to rural America with housing, business and infrastructure loans and grants to create jobs and strengthen rural economies with an emphasis to assist areas of persistent poverty.  Since 2009, the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 230 communities in all 95 counties of Tennessee, investing more than $6.6 billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees, and grants.

For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Northwest Tennessee contact the Union City Area Office at 731-885-6480 x 4.  Visit us online at www.rd.usda.gov/TN.

LBL to ReOpen Turkey Bay Thurs.

LBL - Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area will re-open Thursday, March 24th at 8am, following a recent trail-damaging, rain event.

Management appreciates everyone’s support during the temporary closure. While inconvenient, such temporary closures allow staff to address safety hazards and repair damaged areas, ensuring future riding at Turkey Bay.

To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at www.landbetweenthelakes.us or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000. Photos are available on Flickr for downloading at https://www.flickr.com/photos/lblkytn/sets.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

WBFF Headquarters Opens Saturday at 10am

Paris, Tenn.- The Headquarters of the 63rd Annual World's Biggest Fish Fry will open at 10am this Saturday March 26th at a new location this year. The Headquarters will be in front of the Paris Inns and Suites at 1299 East Wood Street, behind where the grandstand area is set up on parade day.

During the Grand Opening of WBFF Headquarters on Saturday the dedication of this year's Souvenir Booklet will be revealed along with who is the Grand Marshall for the Grand Parade to be held on the Friday of Fish Fry Week. The Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting and the headquarters is provided by Dinkins Homes, Champion Homes, and Paris Inns and Suites.

County Comm. Approves PILOT Agreements

Members of the Cub Scout Troop 28 were on hand and Gage Starks led the commission in the Pledge of Allegiance. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Commission met in regular session on Monday and approved two PILOT or payment in Lieu of Taxes agreements. CEO of the Henry County Alliance David Hamilton was on hand and told commissioners these will help maintain and increase employment in the county.

The first PILOT agreement was for Dana Sealing Products, abating property taxes on the industrial equipment for a period of 7 years provided that combined full time employment by Dana and any of its related or affiliated entities located at the same site be maintained at 470 jobs during the lease term. This agreement will induce Dana to expand its operations and make capital investments in industrial equipment. Hamilton said Dana has added about 60 jobs and could add 25 more in the next couple years.

The second PILOT agreement was for Eurotranciatura, USA LLC, formerly Tecumseh. This agreement is to abate the property taxes for industrial equipment for a period of 10 years, provided that Euro creates a minimum of 50 full time jobs during the initial 5 years and maintains them for the balance of the term of the lease. Hamilton said Euro also has added 60 jobs and will be purchasing the building formerly owned by Tecumseh solidifying their staying power in the county.

County Approves Application for CDBG for BPU

County Mayor Brent Greer explains the CDBG to commissioners Monday evening. (Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- Commissioners also approved a resolution to authorize the submittal of an application for a TN Department of Economic and Community Development Small Cities Block Grant Program. The BPU is applying on behalf of the county to make improvements to the water system. The grant amount is $525K and $128K is the local match provided by the county thru a State Revolving Fund Loan via BPU. The total project cost is $653K.

Commissioners Approve Quit Claim of County Roads

Paris, Tenn.- In other business Monday night, Commissioners approved a resolution to Quit Claim Caledonia St. The quit claim is for a section of a 20 by 251 foot strip of land at the intersection of the roads which serves as a driveway for Wilbur Farmer. The board also approved a quit claim for the west end of Allen Drive for three residents in that area.

App Software Being Used to Geotag Fire Hydrants

The 911 board hears about the Fulcrum software. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County E911 board met on Monday afternoon and 911 Director Mark Archer and Assistant Chad Howard discussed a program concerning fire hydrants in the city and county.

Howard said all city fire hydrants are logged, but all the vital information is not currently known about them. The ones in the county are not all even identified as of yet.

Howard said Fulcrum is a data gathering app that will make a geotag of that location from a cell phone that is placed at the hydrant. It will allow photos of the fire hydrants to be taken and organizes information based on questions asked after fire firefighters get to their software.

911 is paying the monthly fee and once all data is gathered it can be turned off. The app will be helpful to allow volunteer fire fighters to find and service this hydrants. They hydrants have color codes that will let it be known when they need maintenance. Howard said when all the hydrants are geotagged and in the system, they can quit paying the monthly service fee.

911 Board Hears About Bills at Legislature

Paris, Tenn.- Archer presented the 911 board with some bills proposed at the state legislature level that could have an impact on 911. One of those dealt with the 911 surcharge collections. The bill says that 911 surcharges shall be, whenever possible, its own separate line item on a customer’s bill via landline or cell phone carrier bill.

Prepaid customers pay the 911 surcharge up front during the purchase price of their device. The bill also says the department of revenue will remit the 911 surcharges to the local districts within 30 days to allow the local board to use.

Archer said they want to move 911 collections to the Department of Revenue. As of now, telephone companies can’t be audited, but moving it to the Dept. of Revenue allows a paper trail. The DOR will charge less than 2% in administrative fees. The bill also calls for an increase in 911 fees on customers.

Board members discussed the issue and really wanted to see funds stay with 911 and Archer said he would pass thoughts of the board to state representatives in the form of a letter. Archer was against a fee increase on customers right now.

Another bill that is being considered is one that is pushing $6M to push thru Smart 911 to all districts. Smart 911 allows citizens to go online and sign up to provide more details to dispatcher including medical information, pets, pictures of family members, and more.

Archer said the financial strain on local districts would be great, including costing Henry County E911 between $10-12K a year. Attached to the Smart 911 bill is aid to the Volunteer Fire Departments. Archer said of course we support our Volunteer Fire Departments but can’t support the push for Smart 911 because of the financial burden.

The 911 Board learned about a training program from 911 dispatchers. Archer said two new training computers were purchased and installed at the Paris Police Dispatch and Henry County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch. All dispatchers have their own log ins and a curriculum can be created and taken online. Also TNCNECT and ESRI training opportunities were discussed.

PLFD Easter Egg Hunt Set for Sat. at PLSP

Buchanan, Tenn.- The Paris Landing Fire Department and Paris Landing State Park Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 2pm Saturday March 26th. The egg hunt location will be behind the Public Swimming Pool Parking Lot at the State Park. The Air Evac Helicopter is scheduled to be on hand as well. No pre-registration is required, the hunt is for ages 12 and under.

BPU Plans Power Outage Tuesday for Portion of Hwy. 140 E.

Buchanan, Tenn.- The Board of Public Utilities will shut off power on Hwy. 140 E. from the 6085 address to the Buchanan Post Office. The outage includes Cowpath Road. The outage will be from 12:30pm to 2:30pm as BPU crews change out a power pole.

Man Charged With Theft After Stealing Dog

Paris, Tenn.- Sgt. Ean Reed of the Paris Police Department charged a man with burglary from an automobile after he stole his ex-girlfriends dog. The report at the Paris Police Department stated Sgt. Reed responded to Walmart where damage was reported to a vehicle with deep scratches in the hood.

Sgt. Reed spoke to two individuals who saw one’s ex boyfriend Jacob Willoughby, age 23, of 402 Tanglewood Lane inside the store. When they came out they noticed the scratches and a small white fluffy dog that was inside the car was also missing.

The security footage was viewed and showed Willoughby in his red truck drive up next to the car and appear to scratch it then take the dog from inside. The woman said Willoughby did have an extra set of keys to her vehicle.

Sgt. Reed and Dep. Frankie Scott of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office went to Tanglewood Lane and found Willoughby outside near his truck and asked about the incident. Willoughby said the dog was running around and he picked it up and brought it home. Willoughby was finally charged with burglary.

Vandalism Found at Oak Hill Church

Paris, Tenn.- Cpl. Wayne Fuqua of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office was on routine patrol and noticed the vandalism at Oak Hill Church on Hwy. 69N. The report said someone had spray painted the door, headstone, and basketball goal. There are no suspects at this time.

Another report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated a home on River Oaks Drive was broken into when someone made entry thru the South side window. Nothing appeared to be missing except three popsicles as the wrappers were found on the ground near the rock garden. Police have no suspects.

Spring Hill Rd. Closed Tues. For Culvert Replacement

Paris, Tenn.- Spring Hill Road will be closed Tuesday March 22nd for culvert replacement. The closure will be 2 tenths of a mile Northwest of Deerfield Lane at 911 #1600. The road will be open for afternoon traffic.

Henry Students Raise $900 for St. Jude

Henry teachers taking turns shaving Principal David Kibbler's head. (Photos sent by David Kibbler)

Henry, Tenn.- Henry Elementary students raised $900 in honor of Ms. Paula Boyd, Lakewood School secretary, who is currently battling cancer, to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

For their efforts, students and teachers got to take turns on Friday shaving Henry Prinicipal David Kibbler's hair off. Henry Elementary School PTO organized the fundraiser.

Henry's Maddie Parks enjoying buzzing Principal Kibbler's hair.

Search Begins for Next UTM Chancellor

Knoxville- Nominations are being sought for the next chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Martin.

The UT Martin chancellor serves as a member of the UT System leadership team, reporting directly to the University president, and as chief executive officer of the Martin campus. The chancellor is responsible for promoting continued development of UT Martin's academic, research and service programs while striving to build a national reputation of excellence. The position is appointed by the president and elected by the UT Board of Trustees.

“As a University System, we’re on track to meet our most important goals,” said UT President Joe DiPietro. “And UT Martin plays a very important role in fulfilling our mission to serve the state and people of Tennessee, especially first-generation college students and West Tennessee businesses and communities.

“I’m grateful to Dr. Bob Smith for his outstanding leadership as interim chancellor and devotion to addressing critical issues and strategic priorities,” DiPietro said. “Because of all he’s accomplished in the last nine months, I am confident we are well-positioned for a successful search.”

Smith, who led award-winning innovations in enrollment management, improving retention and graduation rates, and strengthening academic quality as president of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, was selected interim chancellor in April 2015 following Tom Rakes’ decision to step down as UT Martin chancellor and return to teaching. 

The search committee, chaired by UT Chattanooga Chancellor Steve Angle, met for the first time today to discuss the search process, timeline, expectations of qualified candidates and position requirements.

The committee includes members of the UT Board of Trustees and UT Martin faculty, staff, student and community leaders:

  • Debi Adcock, administrative specialist, UT Martin
  • Ruby Black, professor of nursing, UT Martin
  • David Coffey, chair of the Department of History and Philosophy, UT Martin
  • Teresa Collard, associate professor of communications, director of the Women’s Center, UT Martin
  • Charley Deal, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations and annual giving, UT Martin
  • Brian Donavant, UT faculty trustee, interim executive director of extended campus and online studies, UT Martin
  • Joe Exum, chair of the UT Martin Chancellor’s Round Table, UT President’s Council member
  • Crawford Gallimore, UT trustee; chief financial officer, Hamilton-Ryker Company
  • Jennifer Greenwood, professor and interim chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, UT Martin
  • Bud Grimes, chief communication officer, UT Martin
  • Richard Helgeson, dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, UT Martin
  • Sam Lewallen, president, Simmons Bank
  • Roberto Mancusi, associate professor of music, Faculty Senate president, UT Martin
  • Petra McPhearson, interim vice chancellor for finance and administration, UT Martin
  • Miranda Rutan, UT student trustee studying marketing and graphic arts, UT Martin
  • Elizabeth Sanders, graduate student in family and consumer sciences, UT Martin
  • Vicki Strickland Seng, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, UT Martin
  • Candace Tate, alumna, UT Martin
  • Margaret Toston, vice chancellor for student affairs, UT Martin
  • Todd Winters, dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, UT Martin

Linda Hendricks Harig, UT vice president for human resources, is serving as an adviser to the committee. Ashlie Czyz, director of HR programs and executive recruiter, is serving as executive recruiter.

More information about the search, including the job description, is available on the search website. The position is expected to be filled by the end of 2016.

Henry County Received Clean Audit Report

Paris, Tenn.- Henry County government leaders and elected officials were recognized for a significant achievement by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury for the clean audit report Henry County received. The audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015 contained no audit findings. Only five Tennessee counties audited by the Comptroller’s Office can claim this distinction.

Henry County’s previous annual audit included three findings, all of which have been corrected. Leaders have made a commitment to identify and reduce risk through a strong system of internal controls.

“I applaud everyone associated with Henry County government for this excellent report,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said, “Henry County joins a select group of Tennessee counties that can claim to have one of the strongest systems of county government in the state.”

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office audits 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Henry joins Weakley County, Sullivan County, Blount County, and Tipton County as the only counties who have received clean reports in fiscal year 2015.

Cottage Grove Baptist Church To Hold Potluck And Election

Paris, Tenn.- The Cottage Grove Baptist Church Fellowship Hall will host the annual meeting of the Cottage Grove Volunteer Fire Department, and the Whitlock/ Jones Mill/ Airport Stations will be held at 6:00pm March 21st, beginning with a pot luck supper with the annual business meeting to follow at 7:00pm.

All members are encouraged to attend this event as it helps make it a better Volunteer Fire Department for your county. Business of the Department will be conducted as well as the election of the Board of Directors.

Lee Academy To Hold 30th Annual Artist Showcase

Paris, Tenn.- The entry forms for the 30th Annual Artist Showcase at the Lee Academy for the Arts should be received in the Paris Henry County Arts Council Office by Friday, March 25th. The entry fee is $10 per piece, and each artist may enter up to three pieces in any category.

Youth Photographers, age sixteen and under, may enter in a general youth category and will not be charged an entry fee. The categories of each entry are as follows: Oil and Acrylic, Drawing, Watercolor, Mixed Media, Fiber Art, and Pottery/3-D. Cash Prizes will be awarded in each category. For all entry rules stop by the Paris Henry County Arts Council Office.

Murray State Alumni Easter Egg Hunt March 21st

Murray, Ky.- The Murray State University Alumni Association will host the third annual Easter egg hunt on Monday, March 21st, taking place at the Sid Easley Alumni Center. Registration and photos with Dunker Bunny begin at 5pm and the egg hunt starts at 5:30pm.

Alumni and current students, along with members of the local community are invited to bring children ages newborn to ten years old to participate in the fun. There will be approximately 1,500 candy-filled eggs hidden in the Alumni Plaza and children will be divided by age groups. Parking will be available in the Stewart Stadium parking lot.

The Alumni Association will email participants’ photos following the egg hunt. For more information on the Racer Easter egg hunt contact the Murray State University Alumni Association at 800.758.8510.

Crime On Campus Report Released To The Public

Paris, Tenn.- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released it 2015 Crime on Campus report to the public. The annual study compiles crime data submitted to TBI by the state’s colleges and universities through Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System.

These report’s found that crime reported by Tennessee colleges and universities decreased by 7% from 2014 to 2015. Of all 2015 offenses reported 29% were categorized as Larceny/Theft. Assault Offenses increased slightly, by 1.4%, between 2014 and 2015. The overall category of Sex Offenses-Forcible increased by 26.6% in 2015, which includes an increase in the number of reported rapes from 51 in 2014 to 56 in 2015.

The TBI as always strongly discourages the comparison of one institution’s statistics to another. The factors impacting crime vary from community to community and rudimentary comparisons will most likely result in inaccurate and generalized conclusions of the relative safety of one campus over another. The full Crime on Campus report is available online at tn.gov.

Suspended License Leads To Arrest On East Wood Street

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report at the Paris Police Department Patrolman Derrek Colley observed a red Chevy Impala being driven on East Wood Street by Leaha Gaylord age 24 of East Moline IL. The vehicle having a passenger side brake light not working warranted a routine traffic stop.

Upon speaking with Gaylord and running her driver’s license status through dispatch, Colley was advised that the license was suspended in the state of Illinois. Leaha Gaylord was placed under arrest for driving on a suspended license and transported to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office without incident. Gaylord was placed on a $1,500 bond.

Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship Kicks Off

Paris, Tenn.- The Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship was lucky to have great weather at the event held at the Henry County Fairgrounds with a turnout of over 200, showing this sport is growing and has plenty of support in this area. There were multiple vendors set up with everything from fishing gear to decals for your vehicle.

Large turnout for the Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship (photos by Barron Robinson)

The local brewery Perrylodgic attended the event Friday evening serving up free cold beer to anyone of age that attended. With the likes of Kristen Kelly and Jimmy Stanley putting on a great performance at the fairgrounds brought even more people in attendance to the event.

Kristen Kelly starting to perform

The national championship of kayak fishing kicked off Friday and will be going through Sunday to find out who was lucky and skilled enough to catch the largest bass possible at Kentucky Lake.

It's a sport that all anglers can get into and not hurt the wallet by buying a kayak and not an expensive boat, you still use all the same gear you can carry in this sport. The top 3 initial winners for Friday were Tom Michael coming in 3rd, Guillermo Gonzalez in 2nd, and Jay Wallen finishing in 1st.

Jay Wallen (on right) who won 1st in the initial part of the Championship

Henry County Schools Reassignments For New School Year

Paris, Tenn.- The current Assistant Principal at E.W. Grove School, Dr. Michele Webb who has served for 8 years at Grove will assume the role of Principal at Henry County High School. She currently serves as a Tenn. Department of Education trainer for Integrated Leadership Courses.

Prior to her service at Grove, Dr. Webb served as special education teacher in Haywood County and as director of education with Sylvan Learning Centers in Jackson, Tenn. and Florence Al. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Union University, most recently completing the Doctorate of Education in 2013.

Mrs. Maria Cox, a graduate of Henry County High School in 1995 will assume the role of Principal at Dorothy & Noble Harrelson School where she has served as Assistant Principal for 9 years. She has also served as an academic coach and teacher during her 17 year career, Mrs. Cox received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

The academic coach for Lakewood Elementary and Lakewood Middle School Mrs. Felicia Bates will assume the district-wide position of Director of K-3 Instruction. Her new position will align with the state initiative, Read to Be Ready, which is to have every third grader reading on grade level.

Mr. Daniel Armstrong will assume the role of Director of Professional Learning and Teacher Induction while stepping down as the current Principal of Dorothy & Noble Harrelson School.

His newly created district-wide position will focus on coordinating, planning and implementing a program of professional learning for all certified staff as they make the instructional shifts associated with new Literacy and Math standards. Mr. Armstrong served as a Tenn. Department of Education state-wide facilitator and instructional literacy coach for middle school teachers for the past three years.

DUI Arrest In Paris On East Wood Street

Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Paris Police Department patrolman Tyrail Jackson responded to a driving while intoxicated call. Jackson spotted a 2010 Hyundai Sonata in the parking lot of Captain D’s. The driver Kelly L. Nelson age 53 of Mt. Juliet ran over the parking block onto the grass and sidewalk and proceeded to pull out in front of another driver making them slam their brakes and honk their horn to avoid hitting Kelly Nelson recklessly pulling onto East Wood Street.

When initiating the stop at Lepanto’s Restaurant Nelson tried to take off from Jackson while he was walking up to her vehicle, Jackson was able to reach inside the vehicle and put it in park and remove the keys. After pleading with Nelson to finally step out of the vehicle she visibly had an open container of vodka in her lap. Nelson unsteady on her feet only stated “no, I want my lawyer” when asked to do a Field Sobriety Test.

Nelson was placed under arrest for DUI, she was advised of the Tennessee Implied Consent Law and asked if she would give blood for testing which she said no to as well. Nelson was charged with DUI first offense and Violation of Implied Consent Law, her bond was set at $5,000.

Scenes From Friday's Emergency Drill at HCHS

Paris Fire Trucks and EMS were on scene in front of HCHS during the drill. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)

HCHS Principal Lennis McFerrin talks on the walkie talkie as accountability measures are taken on by administration and staff. (Alsobrooks photo)

Paris, Tenn.- A mock tornado casualty drill was conducted at Henry County High School Friday morning as a major planning exercise for the High School, Henry County Medical Center, Henry County EMA, Paris Fire Department, Paris Police Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, 911 Dispatch, and the Rescue Squad was conducted.

In the scenario played out Friday morning, an EF3 tornado hit the high school and caused damage to “C” building. 50-60 people were injured and treated on scene or taken to the ER. Students deemed as uninjured were taken to Patriot Stadium and bussed to the Henry County Fairgrounds where accountability procedures where taken by administration and staff.

All agencies involved said the drill went very well and it was good to practice this type of scenario.

Buses lined up at HC Faigrounds ready to take students back after the drill. (Alsobrooks)

Injuries are treated at HCMC after patients were taken there from the scene. (Tory Daughrity photo)

 

Operation Targeting Sexual Exploitation Of Minors Conducted

Henry County, Tenn. - An operation targeting sexual exploitation of minors over the internet and human trafficking was conducted in Henry County on March 15th and 16th.

The TBI, in conjunction with the Henry County Sheriff's Office, Paris Police Department, Metro Crime Unit, Jackson Police Department, Puryear Police Department, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, did lead to six arrests over the two day operation.

Investigators were able to identify and apprehend five sexual predators who were using social media to target underage victims of sexual exploitation. One suspect was charged with solicitation of prostitution.

Arrested were:

Drake Gamlin, age 19, of Paris, for Solicitation of Statutory Rape of a Minor

Isac Butler, age 23, of Dresden, for Solicitation of Statutory Rape of a Minor

William Evans, age 29, of Sharon, for Solicitation of Statutory Rape of a Minor

Norman Ellis, age 43, of Obion, for Solicitation of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (Class B Felony); Solicitation of Aggravated Statutory Rape of a Minor

Donald Roach, age 46, of Decaturville, for Solicitation of Prostitution

Zachary Huey, age 21, of Kenton, for Solicitation of Statutory Rape of a Minor

Sheriff Belew stated, "This is the first time this type of investigation has been conducted in Henry County. Five of the suspects that were arrested were traveling from out of town to an undisclosed location to commit the sexual crime. I cannot stress enough the importance of parental monitoring of internet and social media. The investigation was very successful and will be conducted again in Henry County."

Reminder: Organizational Meeting for 1976 Grads Mon. March 21

Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County High School Class of 1976 is planning its 40th reunion this year. The first organizational meeting concerning the reunion will be held on March 21st at 6pm at the Henry County Communications Center and 911 Office on Brewer Street. All 1976 grads are invited.

BPU Flushing Hydrants Week of March 21

Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Board of Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants the week of March 21. During the process, BPU customers could possible experience air in water lines or discoloration of water.

Customers should check for discoloration prior to doing laundry. If these conditions occur, run water thru the facet for a few minutes and it should return to normal. If the problems persist, call BPU at 642-1322 ext. 149.

 

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