From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant and Weekend News Director Shannon McFarlin
Luminary Tribute at Fort Donelson Saturday Night
A Boy Scout was among several volunteers placing luminarias at the cemetery Saturday morning. (Shannon McFarlin photo).
Dover, Tenn.- The annual Luminary tribute at Fort Donelson National Cemetery will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 25. The Cumberland Winds orchestra will present a Memorial Day themed concert.
Parking is limited at the National Cemetery; national park staff will be on hand to assist.
Visitors are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. Visitors may wish to bring a flashlight to assist in getting back to their cars.
PD Makes Arrests
Paris, Tenn.-Paris Police arrested a Paris man on two charges after an encounter with him on Church Street. An officer noted Richard Porter Jr., age 54 of 504 Brewer Street on the dead-end street and determined he did have an active warrant on him for violation of parole. When he asked him to take items out of his pockets, a crack pipe was found. Porter was arrested for the parole violation, for which bond of $5,000 was set, and possession of drug paraphernalia, for which bond of $1,000 was set.
Paris Police also were called to Wal-Mart on a report of a shoplifter in custody there. Arrested was Rebecca Siler, age 31 of 902 John Lee Dr., Paris. Personnel said she concealed several items of merchandise and exited the store without paying. The total cost of the stolen items was $111.
County Schools Budget Affected by Affordable Care Act
Steele Schoeberl presents a recitation from "Crazy in Alabama" for the school board. (Shannon McFarlin photo).
Paris, Tenn.-Like it has at other institutions locally, the Affordable Health Care Act is having an impact on the Henry County Schools budget, according to Director of Schools Sam Miles.
Miles told the board of education at its Thursday night meeting that the county schools received an extension from the county until June 30 on finalizing its budget. “We may have to budget for the worst case scenario”, Miles said, noting that estimations of the county schools meeting all the guidelines in the Act would mean an increase of $140,000 to $650,000 in the budget. “So, we’ll be looking at options in the coming weeks,“ Miles said.
Miles said, “A big part of our frustration with this situation has been from the lack of direction from the state. We want do something fair for employees and that makes sense but it is going to cost usgoing forward.”
Insurance rates have been increasing by a large amount that that “sure is impacting our schools, too”, he said. “I wish we could say we have finalized the budget, but we’re still working on it.”
The board was treated to presentations by Lakewood students during the session. Steele Schoeberl presented a recitation of a chapter from the book, “Crazy in Alabama” by Mark Childress, while students Calista Herrera and Noah Hulbert presented ukelele music with their teacher Jenny Cooper.
Cooper explained to the board that with funds from a Plus Endowment grant, the program was able to purchase ukeleles which allowed 275 students to learn more about string instruments they wouldn’t have otherwise.
The board approved three out-of-state field trips.
--Approved was a trip by the Lakewood Speech team to the national tournament in Birmingham, Ala. Teacher David Weatherly said the team has developed this past couple years as an extracurricular activity. It has become an extremely successful and meaningful activity for the students, he said, and Lakewood students have been competing at a high school level because there are no other middle school tournaments. Eight students will be going to compete against 94 other schools from the U.S. and abroad.
--Approved was the FFA Southwest Trip to Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Teacher Laura Moss aid the group was invited to go on the trip, which will be for eight days.
--Also approved was the FBLA trip to the national leadership conference in Anaheim, Calif., as requested by Teacher Angela Yearry.
Dr. Stacy Byrd provided an update of the MAPS program which offers an option for students to receive a high school diploma. Seventeen students graduated due to the program this year, she said. “Those are 17 students that got a diploma who wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s a classroom full of kids and without that intervention, that wouldn’t have happened.”
Amy Wilson also said some students came in just almost defeated and didn’t see any hope in high school, but they worked hard and hopefully there will be 17 more students in the program.
Miles thanked the personnel in the program and thanked the board for supporting it.
The board also was introduced to new High School Basketball Coach Pete Angelos, who said he is excited about working here. He said 45 kids tried out for the team and 17 will be chosen.
Teacher Jenny Cooper, center, presents ukelele music with students Noah Hulbert and Calista Herrera for the board. (McFarlin photo).
Inmate Charged with Assault on Peace Officer, Contraband
Paris, Tenn.-An inmate in the Henry County Jail was charged with assault on a police officer and possessing contraband in a penal institution following a scuffle in his jail cell Thursday
Jerry Patterson, 43, 1108 Depot St., was charged in the incident. According to the report filed by Dept. Kyle Waldron, he and Deputy Tyler Frey were performing a random cell search and they had determined that Patterson's search would be a lie-down search since a large amount of tobacco was found previously.
According to the report, they asked Patterson to remove his socks and a small bag of what was believed to be marijuana fell out. When Frey reached down to retrieve it, Patterson stepped on it and pushed Frey in the process. Patterson then struggled with the two officers and was placed in a restraint chair.
HCMC Board of Trustees Passes 2013-2014 Budget
Need for more Cardiology Presence Vital Going Forward
Paris, Tenn.- At Thursday night’s meeting of the Henry County Medical Center board of trustees the budget for the 2013-14 year was approved and some resounding points were continuously discussed. Those points were census numbers are down, and the medical center needs more of cardiology presence to keep patients in the county and not going anywhere else.
Chief Financial Officer Lisa Casteel and Hospital CEO and administrator Tom Gee discussed all aspects of the proposed budgets, which include a 2% cost of living adjustment for employees, a 10% price increase across select departments and a proposed total profit margin next year of $830K.
Casteel pointed out that they continued to be satisfied with growth strategies even in tougher economic times for health care. Some of the improvements made to help with growth include the imaging center, expansion of the sleep lab, moving to a retail pharmacy, marketing plans with home health, and the implementation of the Spirit of Woman program, which helped caused mammography patient numbers to increase this year.
Casteel said the sequestration cuts will again continue to impact the budget and hospital’s bottom line, equaling about $450K in deductions for the budget. She said salaries and benefits are running flat basically and bringing billing systems in house has helped with cutting expenses there.
Concerns going forward dealt around the lower census that the hospital has seen along with lack of presence of full time cardiology services. Gee said they are currently working with St. Thomas and other hospitals to get a plan in place of having someone in the community with more full time cardiology presence.
Gee said that heart care continues to be more and more important and obtaining a more full time presence of cardiology is the only significant way to increase the census and keep patients from going to other hospitals. In the EMS report, it was learned that ambulances in Henry County are making an average of about 3.8 trips per day out of the county. Gee said over the course of the year that is over 540 trips to Nashville and over 300 trips to Jackson.
The budget for the next fiscal year also lays out about $4.2M in capital purchases for the medical center. Casteel said that they have put off some of these for a few years but really need to budget for them in the coming year.
More Cuts Proposed for Medicare
More from Thursday night’s Henry County Medical Center Board of Trustee’s meeting saw Administrator Tom Gee explain that additional cuts to Medicare or Disproportionate Share payments have been proposed by the Obama Administration and that will impact the bottom line going forward. These go along with sequestration cuts and Affordable Care Act cuts already in place for the next fiscal year. Gee said as a Medicare Dependent Hospital, we are hopeful that cuts will not be as severe as to other hospitals. He also informed the board that Kentucky has expanded their Medicaid Program and are also implementing a state run healthcare exchange. Hopes are the state of Tennessee will expand the medicare population as well.
In the EMS portion of the meeting, the board approved the budget for next year which shows cutting EMS’s losses in half in the coming fiscal year. CFO Lisa Casteel said revenues have been increasing some and expenses are holding steady and they hope to continue that trend in the coming year. The budget includes a 10% increase for services, the 2nd year in a row the budget for EMS has included price increases.
In the director’s report for EMS, Twila Rose said the new ambulance went into service on May 3rd and already has 7,000 miles on it. She said there was a site visit from Medicare and all went well there.
Henry Thrift Store to Open Friday
In photo (left to right) Amy Williams, Valerie Gutherie, Samantha Murphy, and Missy Blount. (Susan Burton photo).
Henry, Tenn.-Henry School has launched Henry We Care Thrift Store, with its opening this weekend on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 from 9 am to 1 pm.
Missy Blount and Debbie Kennon said, "With the the help of volunteers and Lisa Hopper, owner of Ashley and Codi's consignment shop in McKenzie, we have enough items to open. We are looking for volunteers and donations to keep us going. The store will be open on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm, but more hours may be coming. Our wish list for the store includes a washer and dryer, a dorm sized refrigerator, laundry detergent, and other items to keep our store stocked."
Scam Still Ongoing in Paris
Paris, Tenn.-The Paris Police Department is currently working on several complaints of phone calls from a person claiming that the person answering the phone had won a million dollars and a car.
They then inform them to go to a local store and purchase a card with money on it. The caller then wants the person provide the numbers on the card to the person calling. Once this is done, the caller hangs up and takes the money on the card.
Paris Police remind the public that this is a scam and the department is asking to put the word out so that no one gets duped into giving these people money. Any questions please call Sgt. Ricky Watson 731-641-1478.
Paris Police Cites Two into Court for Marijuana Possession
Paris, Tenn.- Ptl. Jamie James of the Paris Police department responded to 1016 Tyson Avenue in reference to drug activity. According to the police report, a silver jeep had just left according to a witness and officers with the Paris Police Department did find the jeep on highway 79 South and conducted a traffic stop.
The smell of marijuana was present as Ptl. James made contact with the driver and passenger, identified as Ashley C. Belew, age 18 of 300 Paris Harbor Road and Brittany P. McClain, age 19 of 625 Old Union Road. The two girls were asked to step out of the vehicle and Ptl. Amber Roaten searched the girls for drugs.
The report said Belew turned away and put a bag of marijuana in her mouth, then later spit it out. Another bag of marijuana was found in the vehicle. Belew and McClain were both cited into court with charges of simple possession of schedule 6 drug. They have a court date set for June 25th.
Other arrests from recent days include Norman L. Lockhart, age 42, of 502 N. Brewer Street, for two counts of theft under $500, Latasha N. Carter, age 22, of 280 Travis Road, of violation of probation and simple possession, Carter was placed on $5K bond; also arrested was Micheal A. Evans, age 53, of 202 Guthrie, on driving on suspended third offense.
Memorial Day Services Set for Monday
Post commanders lay wreaths at veterans' memorial at the 2011 services. (Shannon McFarlin photo).
Paris, Tenn.-Memorial Day services will be held at 8 a.m. Monday, May 27 at the Henry County Courthouse. Guest Speaker will be Navy Capt. Debra McGuire and the laying of the wreath at the courthouse veterans' memorial will be performed by local Post Commanders.
The prayers will be led by Carlene "Chick" Robertson.
Paris Tri Club Does Well at Nashville Meet
Front row left to right Bennett Cain, Syndey McFarland, Abby Taylor; Second Row Emma Hill, Audrey Hill, Syndey Anderson, Caleb Cain, Charlie Davis, Fisher Lawrence; Third Row Craig Anderson,Gracie Pendelton, Cole Davis, HUnter Lawrence, Keaton McFarland and Cadin Martin. Kylee Perry not pictured. (Photo submitted by Amy Lawrence).
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Tri Club performed well at the Nashville Kids Tri Sunday, May 19. Fourteen local youth participated, with 658 total racers.
Top Performances for the races were:
Abby Taylor 3rd place- 9yr females
Hunter Lawrence 2nd place 10 yr male
Emma Hill 1st place 11 yr females
Cole Davis 3rd Place 12 yr males.
Cole Davis also won the 12 and under age group at the Cedars for Lebanon Sprint Tri on Saturday May 18th.
Distance were 200 yd swim, 10 mile bike and 2 mile run.
Other local adult racers that participated were Amy and Tony Lawrence and Corey Cain all of Paris.
Quinn Chapel Pancake Breakfast is Saturday
Paris, Tenn.-The Quinn Chapel AME Church Mens Club will host the 61 Annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, May 25 beginning at 7 am until sold out. The church is located on 218 E Church St. Paris. The breakfast will be all you can eat pancakes, bacon or sausage, milk, orange juice. The breakfast will be dine-in,carry-out, or delivery in local area. Cost will be $6 adults, $3 children up to the age of 13. Phone number to the church is 731-642-8445.
Farmers' Market Open Friday
Paris, Tenn.-Ranson Goodman, UT Agriculture Agent reminds everyone that the Henry County Farmers Market will be open this Friday, May 24, 3 p.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds.
Products available this week are local, pasture raised poultry, beef, brown egg, baked goods, canned peppers and applesauce and strawberries.
Farmers Market will be open on Friday afternoons until products are more plentiful after which additional days will be announced.
Stewart County Murder Suspects Held in Henry County Jail
Dover, Tenn.-Two Stewart County women were arrested this week on charges of solicitation to commit murder, according to Tthe Stewart-Houston County Times.
Fredia Joann Portune, 72, of Indian Mound, and Jessica Marie Cook, 23, of Big Rock, are being held at the Henry County Jail on $500,000 bond each. Stewart County’s female prisoners must be held in Henry County until the new jail is built.
According to Stewart County Sheriff Deryk Wyatt, investigators with the Stewart County Sheriff’s Office received information that Portune allegedly was soliciting someone to murder her daughter.
With the assistance of the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force, the Sheriff’s Office had a confidential source meet with Portune, according to the news story.
Cook was charged as co-conspirator and Wyatt told the newspaper additional charges are possible. Portune and Cook will appear in court on May 24.
GOP to Meet Thursday Night
Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County GOP will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23 in the first floor courtroom of the Henry County courthouse.
One of the main items of focus for this meeting will be the planning of a fall “Reagan Day” style fundraiser event, according to GOP Chair Kert Blackwood.
Gas Board Approves 13-14 Budget
Plans to Purchase Another CNG Truck
Paris, Tenn.- The board of directors for the Paris Henry County Public Utility District met on Tuesday afternoon and passed the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year. General Manager Tae Eaton said they had worked hard on the budget and was presenting one that is conservative, yet shows the district being aggressive in growing the system throughout Henry County.
The budget includes a 3.35% increase in expenses over last year which mainly lies around plans for installation of over 14.2 miles of main extensions in the upcoming new fiscal year. Board members agreed that growing the system is something that has to be done in order for them to stay competitive and in strong business.
The budget also includes monies for a new toughbook laptop that will be used to help read meters and GIS mapping in the trucks. These toughbooks are specially made to take a beating such as being knocked around in the truck and keep working.
The system also plans to add one more dual fuel CNG truck that uses both gasoline and compressed natural gas to operate. Just a couple of months ago, the district bought its first CNG dual fuel truck and also put in its own natural gas filing station.
In other business on Tuesday, Eaton told the board that cold weather in March and April helped the district see some big numbers and will allow them to finish in the black at the end of the fiscal year. March and April saw a record number of heating degree days and sales helped push numbers for the district to $476K for the year. The board plans to take profits and reinvest in the system’s capital upgrades like the new main extensions in the coming year.
The Paris Henry County Public Utility district board of directors also approved final payment requests of $5K from Sullivan’s Natural Gas Services for some contingency work and also another $5600 to Stigall Engineering for work on the Cottage Grove Metering Station.
Eaton to Serve as Tennessee Gas Association Vice President
Paris, Tenn.- General Manager Tae Eaton also told the gas board he has been asked to serve as the Vice President of the Tennessee Gas Association which will lead in the next few years to him being elected as the president of the Tennessee Gas Association.
Eaton said its humbling personally and a great opportunity to have representation from Henry County and West Tennessee. He said it would require some time away from his duties to run board meetings and other events throughout the year as the TGA meets. The board gave him their stamp of approval and suggested he go ahead and accept the position.
Dickson Chamber President Named as New HC Alliance CEO
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Mayor Brent Greer announced on Wednesday that David Hamilton of Dickson has been selected as the new CEO of the Henry County Alliance with primary duties for economic development, replacing retiring CEO Larry Crawford.
Hamilton will officially start work on Monday July 1st. He has served in Dickson County as the President and CEO of the Dickson Chamber of Commerce for 13 years. Hamilton served in similar positions in Obion and Lincoln County in Tennessee and Taylor County, Florida, as well as four years with the Tennessee Department of Economic Development. He is a native of Obion County and has 30 years of experience in economic development.
Mayor Greer said the search process dealt with an established set of professional qualifications and determined not to deviate from them. Mayor Greer said “We are excited and pleased with the results and looking forward to David coming on board.”
Hamilton added “My family has owned property on Kentucky Lake for over 50 years and I most recently purchased my own house at the lake last year.”
Hamilton helped located several new industries in the Dickson County Industrial Park including Bridgestone APM, Metrican Stamping, Bavarian Polymers and Stainless Steel Structures, all while creating hundreds of new jobs.
Big Sandy Spring Festival Set This Weekend
Leroy Johnson of Paris shows off his antique car at the 2011 Spring Festival. (Shannon McFarlin photo).
Big Sandy, Tenn.-There will be big doin's going on in Big Sandy this long weekend, as the town gears up for its annual Spring Festival. This year's festivities will run from May 23-May 25, with its opening act set for Thursday night, with Country Star T. Graham Brown set to perform at 7 p.m. at the town park. His opening act will begin at 5 p.m. with Judy and the Guys. An autograph session will begin after Brown's performance.
Friday, May 24, is gospel night, with music performed from 5-8:30 p.m., also at the park.
Saturday, May 25, is the big day, with the parade beginning at 10 a.m. and running through the main part of town. Grand Marshals this year are Jean Dobra, Irice Jones and Lillie Parker-Hensley. A memorial service and flag raising begins after the parade downtown, followed by the horseshoe tournament at noon.
Musical entertainment begins at noon and lasts all day, with several local bands to perform and the Fireworks will be the grand finale at dark. Kiddie rides, concessions, mechanical bull, games and other activities will be ongoing Saturday.
Also on Saturday is the annual car show in downtown, which draws people and fancy cars, trucks, cycles and jeeps from all over the area. Contact person is Steve French, 644-2777. Free admission.
Tickets on Sale for SWAG Honors Banquet
Dr. Angela Perry
Paris, Tenn.-The Ladies with SWAG Honors Banquet will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, at the Paris Convention Center (Hampton Inn) and tickets are on sale now.
Keynote speaker is Dr. Angela Perry, a clinical pharmacist who lives in Florida. She is the granddaughter of Ernestine Perry and Elizabeth Knox of Paris.
Tickets can be purchased at the Central Services building on Jones Bend Rd. $10 in advance, $13 at the door.
GED Graduation Set Thursday
Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Adult Education program GED graduation will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at KPAC. Fifty people will be graduating.
PSSD to Use Contracted Custodial Services
System to Save over $39K a year
Paris, Tenn.- At Tuesday night’s Paris Special School District board of education meeting, superintendant Mike Brown recommended the board change to contracted custodial services starting July 1st. The idea of switching to contracted custodial services was brought up last month, but Brown said they have looked at this since last October in a way to save the system some money.
Brown told board members by going with the low bid from the company Service Solutions at a price of $281,536, the system would see over $39K in savings from the price they are paying currently for their custodians. Brown said some other reasons for switching to contracted custodial service includes the system would no longer be responsible for recruiting or hiring custodians, would experience no loss of times, and have a presence of custodians when children are present. Brown pointed out that by hiring Service Solutions, the PSSD will not have to purchase or upkeep equipment or materials either.
The board approved Brown’s recommendation to hire Service Solutions to do custodial work in the PSSD with the idea they will match the current salary the PSSD pays to their custodians should the company hire them to continue to work. Brown noted that any hires made outside of those already employed by the PSSD will be set by the company. Service Solutions will officially begin work in the system July 1st, but the hiring process for them will start shortly.
Board Receives School Safety Report After Consultant Visits
Paris, Tenn.- Brown gave a detailed report to the PSSD board about School Safety after the system hired a highly recognized consultant and expert in school safety, Micheal Dorn, who had worked with the state department of education on school safety.
Brown said he was very pleased with the report and Dorn had done a full walk through and thorough look at all the schools concerning safety issues. Dorn had said having School Resources Officers in every school already was a strong point towards safer schools. Dorn also said having working phones in every room and having buses on site at school in case of evacuations are also good practices.
Dorn gave suggestions on improving a few things such as training the staff to plan and work through emergency situations when they occur. Brown said they plan to sit down with the SROs and Sheriff’s Department to train the staff on certain things to do in emergencies and such. Dorn also said constant supervision of students are also ways to help cut down on possible threatening situations.
Affordable Health Care Act, State Salary Schedule to Impact
More from Tuesday night’s Paris Special School District Board of Education Meeting saw Superintendant Mike Brown discuss how the Affordable HealthCare Act and the state’s new proposed salary schedule for teachers will have an impact on the budget and there continue to be unknowns in both going forward.
The impact of the healthcare issue could be hundreds of thousands of dollars and there continue to be lots of unknowns with it. Brown told the board he has asked a representative from the system’s benefit company to come to June’s board meeting and talk to the board about the law and its possible impacts to the system’s budget. Brown said we do know for sure that health insurance for the system will increase 5.6% beginning in January and that is a 15% increase in the last two years.
Another issue that will cause budget headaches is a proposed new salary schedule for teachers the state department has already approved on first look. Brown said the ultimate goal is to force systems to go into performance based pay increases and no longer include step raises based on years of experience and advanced degrees.
Brown said traditional across the board pay increases will no longer meet the state’s proposed differential pay scale if this passes and goes into effect in the 2014-15 school year. He told the board they have to look at ways to incorporate this and be competitive in hiring and paying teachers in the future.
Weekend Backpack Program Serving 195 PSSD Students
Community Volunteers and Donations Help Expand Reach in first year
Brown told board members about a couple of programs the system had that were going really well. The Weekend Backpack Program had originally started with sending 195 groups of snacks to students in the Pre-K Programs and Free and Reduced Lunch Kindergartens every other weekend in January but they managed to expand that in March. Brown said with community volunteers and donations over $19K, in March they began to put snacks in those 195 backpacks every weekend.
Monies donated will actually roll over to help pay for a good portion of next year’s Weekend BackPack Program, but Brown said cost will be more because they will go the full year, not just half this time. Lakeway IGA sells the snacks to the system at cost and to fill each backpack it cost around $2.57.
The project cost to send these snacks home to every Pre-K student and those Kindergartners every weekend who fall under the criteria will be about $17K. Brown pointed out about $12K will roll over from this year’s donations. He also said the system plans to continue to grow the program and if donations come in and more money is available they would like to expand to include first graders in the future.
PSSD's Day Care Program Continues to Be Utilized By Staff
The board also heard an update on the Daycare Program the system implemented in the 09-10 school year to give teachers who have children a place to leave them at younger ages while they continue teaching. Brown said he believes the implementation of this program has kept some very talented people in the profession, where if it were not offered, they might have chosen to stay home or leave teaching for their children.
The next school year 17 children will be served by the pre school day care which includes ages 2 and a half to 5 years old and 9 children will be in the toddler group which are children ages 1 to 2 and a half. Four full time people are used to staff the PSSD’s daycare program.
American Cancer Society Celebrates 100th Year Wednesday
Local Businesses Offer Specials to Commemorate Event
Paris, Tenn.- Wednesday marks the 100th birthday of the American Cancer Society and some food service businesses in Paris and Henry County are celebrating the occasion with some great deals.
A La Mode Sweet Shoppe will sell gourmet purple cupcakes with buttercream frosting for $1.50 with all proceeds going to Henry County Relay for Life. Pi’s Pizza Kitchen will donate a portion of Wednesday’s sales to Relay for Life. Also Pizza Hut in Paris will give 10% of their entire sales on Wednesday to Henry County Relay for Life, just be sure and tell them your placing the order for Relay for Life on Wednesday.
Paris Police investigate Thefts
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Police Department is still looking for suspects in a burglary that happened on Curtis Street where over $3K worth of items were stolen. The side door of the home was pried open and stolen from inside was a LG LED 55 inch TV, an Xbox 360, and $150 in cash.
Another report from the Paris Police Department stated that a trailer valued at $1500 was stolen from the parking lot of Ridgeway Funeral home this past weekend. Police have no suspects in that incident either.
Deputies with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office went to Chateau Maurice to serve warrants on Tonya Wallace and after a search of her room found two bags of marijuana, a syringe, crack pipe, rolling papers, and other items of drug paraphernalia. Wallace was charged with simple possession of schedule 6 and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam Signs Grocery Sales Tax Relief Bill
Vonore, Tenn.- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam officially signed legislation Monday afternoon to reduce the state portion of the sales tax on groceries from 5.25 to 5 percent. Haslam held a ceremonial bill signing at a grocery store in Monroe County.
In 2012, the General Assembly passed and the governor signed the first step in reducing the state portion of the sales tax on groceries, lowering it from 5.5 to 5.25%.
“We’re lowering taxes and balancing the state budget by managing conservatively, making strategic investments in our priorities and find new ways to make government more efficient and effective,” Haslam said. “The sales tax on food impacts all Tennesseans, and I applaud the General Assembly for passing this important piece of legislation.”
The reduced rate does not apply to prepared foods such as a meal at a restaurant, candy, alcoholic beverages, or tobacco.
HCHS Baseball Tryouts Cancelled for Tuesday
Paris, Tenn.- The wet weather Tuesday has caused Henry County Patriot Baseball Coach Brian Whelp to cancel the high school baseball tryouts that were scheduled for today. The tryouts will be held Thursday at 10:30am.
East Wood Church of Christ to Fill Boxes for Victims in OK Tornado
Task Force One Deployed from Memphis
Paris, Tenn.-The Paris East Wood Street Church of Christ is joining with the Church of Christ Disaster Relief in Nashville for a work day Wednesday for victims of the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado disaster.
The Church of Christ Disaster Relief organization in Nashville called the work day to fill boxes and trailers to ship to Moore.
The East Wood Church of Christ will take a bus to Nashville Wednesday to assist with filling boxes. Any members interested in going, please be at the building tomorrow morning at 6:30 am. Lunch will be provided and the group will return tomorrow afternoon before worship services.
Meanwhile, Tennessee Task Force One, based out of Memphis, was activated to respond to Oklahoma Monday night. The group was deployed early Tuesday morning and is sponsored by the Memphis and Shelby County emergency management agency.
Some 80 personnel will be going to the Oklahoma City area along with four to six K-9 units and several big trucks loaded with essential supplies.
The Task Force operations are coordinated through the Memphis Fire Department and is made up of various emergency response personnel from area fire departments, emergency management personnel, other emergency response professionals and volunteer members from the community.
Dana Relay for Life to Hold Yard Sale Friday and Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- The Dana Relay for Life Team will have a huge yard sale at the VFW on Highway 79 Friday and Saturday May 24th and 25th. Donations from over 40 families will be sold with items such as men, women’s and children’s clothes, shoes, furniture, jewelry, purses, pictures, glassware, books, household items, toys, and much more. They will also have drinks, water, lemonade, chips and popcorn for sale. All money raised benefits Relay for Life.
Sheriff's Office Receives Prevention Award
Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff's Office was this year's recipient of the Prevention Organization of the Year Award. The award is presented by the Henry County Prevention Coalition, which supports drug prevention, anti-drug messages and youth education. In photo, left to right: Captain Damon Lowe, Jill Thompson of the sheriff's office, Sheriff Monte Belew, Coalition Chairman Josh Greer, and Chief Deputy Randy Gean. (Sheriff's Office photo).
Tickets on Sale for Grapes and Gourmet Event
Paris, Tenn.-Tickets are on sale now for the 13th annual Grapes and Gourmet fundraiser June 1 at the Heritage Center, 614 N. Poplar St., Paris.
The Heritage Center Board members and friends prepare appetizers to go along with a fine assortment of wine donated by The Loft. Additional wine donated by supporters will be auctioned to the highest bidder. We hope to see you there. Tickets available at the Heritage Center, Maggies, and Merrison’s as well as Board Members. For more information call the Heritage Center at 731-642-1030.
County Commission Breezes Through Short Agenda
Sheriff Recognizes Correctional Officers
Paris, Tenn.- In a very short meeting of the Henry County Commission Monday evening, the commission passed resolutions on budget transfers talked about and approved by the budget committee last Monday night.
Also at the beginning of the meeting, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Chief Deputy Randy Gean recognized three correctional officers at the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Belew said Correctional Officers week was celebrated earlier in the month and he wanted to show the correctional officers at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office that he appreciated the work they do.
A plaque that will be displayed at the jail was presented to Rob Camper, John McElroy, and Greg Carter for their work as correctional officers. Sheriff Belew said in the last three years the work of these men with state inmates and Stewart County Inmates have put over $3M back into the Henry County General Fund.
Sheriff's Office, TWRA Team Up for 5th Annual Cops Camp
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will team up again this summer to present the 5th annual Cops Camp. The camp will run June 3-6 from 8-4 each day and ages 10-14 are eligible to participate.
The Cops Camp participants will need to be dropped off at 8am and pickd up at 4pm promptly at Paris Elementary School. Campers will receive their Hunter Safety Certification upon completion. Parents must bring current health insurance card and sign a permission slip on the 1st day.
The Cops Camp is limited to 20 applicants and sign ups are at the Sheriff’s Office. For more information call 642-1672.
Nashville Man Arrested in Dickson Co. After High Speed Chase
Paris Police patrol cars damaged in McDonald's Parking Lot as incident begins
Paris, Tenn.- More details were released involving a high speed chase that started in the McDonald’s parking lot early Sunday morning. Ptl. Ryan French of the Paris Police Department responded to McDonald’s on a call of a disorderly person. He spoke with Thelma Easley Jr., who said lasers was coming from IPods and he was in a current battle with the Heavens. Ptl. French did observe a Bible duct taped to his chest.
Ptl. McClure came to assist in the incident and attempted to get Easley to shut off his vehicle and hand over the keys. Easley then threw the vehicle into reverse, nearly striking Ptl. McClure and hitting his patrol car, which moved back striking Ptl. French in the leg.
Easley then rammed into Ptl. French’s patrol car and headed out of the parking lot down Mineral Wells Avenue and on to Highway 641 S., where deputies from the Henry County Sheriff’s office picked up chase to the county line. The police report said Easley was finally stopped by the Tennessee Highway Patrol in Dickson County. Easley, age 66 of Nashville, was charged with driving on a suspended license 2nd offense, evading arrest, and aggravated assault on a police officer. Easley was booked into Humphreys County jail and then taken to Henry County. He has been placed on $20K bond with a court date set for Tuesday.
Sheriff's Office Makes Meth Arrests, Investigates Thefts
Paris, Tenn.- According to a report from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Terry Williams arrested three people on promotion of meth charges on a traffic stop this weekend. Charged in the incident were Donna K. Lockhart, age 36, 1202 Lone Oak Road; Lisa M. Ventrice, age 28 of 820 Curtis Street, and Edward S. Parrish, age 37 of Huntingdon with promotion of meth.
Another report at the Sheriff’s Office said a home on Smith Heights Road was broken into recently and several items were stolen including a Sony TV valued at around $800, a DVD player, some college text books and more. Several pieces of broken glass were strewn about where the suspects broke into the home.
Real Men Really Do Wear Pink
Puryear, Tenn.-Real men really do wear pink. Sheriff Monte Belew and his dog, Sy, (center), flanked by Capt. Damon Lowe and Chief Deputy Randy Gean were looking pretty in pink at the start of Saturday's Puryear Day parade. (Shannon McFarlin photo).
Making the Last-Minute Adjustments
Puryear, Tenn.-Mallorie Jenkins Hutson fixes her daughter Ella's sunglasses just right as members of the Spring Fling Winners float prepared for Saturday's Puryear Day parade. Ella was first maid. (Shannon McFarlin photo).
Camper Wins Chain Saw
Puryear, Tenn.-Roger Camper won the chain saw Saturday in the annual Middleton Lumber guess-the-weight-of-the-log contest at Puryear Day. Camper guessed 5,500 pounds. Presenting the chainsaw is Ricky Middleton. (Photo submitted by Wanda Gallimore).
Children's Theater Auditions Set
Paris, Tenn.-Auditions for The Hobbit,a non-musical, are set for Tuesday, May 21 from 10 a.m. Until 1 p.m. For ages 9-18.
Disneyland The Aristocats auditions are Wednesday, May 22 from 10 a.m. Until noon for ages 5-8.
Disneyland Beauty and the Beast auditions are Thursday, May 30 from 10 a.m. Until 1 p.m. For ages 9-18.
All info is at www.kridercenter.com. More info, they can call 731-924-8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perfect Weather For Puryear Day 2013
Sheriff Monte Belew watches as his 'puppy', Sy, chomps down on a water bottle owned by Stephanie Kennedy. Sy, who is now nine months old, has grown considerably in recent months. (Shannon McFarlin photos).
Puryear, Tenn.-Everyone at the 34th Annual Puryear Day Saturday breathed a sigh of relief that rain did not plague its activities as it has other recent festivals.
A large crowd was on hand for the festivities, beginning with the morning's parade. There was plenty to do all day, with free hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks, and birthday cake available, as were free inflatables for the youngsters to play in. The Great River Road band performed in the evening and a cake auction was held.
Grand Marshals of the parade this year were members of the Middleton family, which operates Middleton Lumber.
Parade winners were announced:
The Mayor's Trophy was given to the Spring Fling Winners' float, with the theme "Wild About Puryear Day".
In the Float category, first place was given to Puryear Baptist Church Vacation Bible School, with second place going to Benchmark Healthcare.
In the cars/trucks category, first place was awarded to the King of Puryear one to two year olds and second place was won by Doug Taylor.
In the tractors category, first place went to Jeff Allen; second to Don Barker and third to Kennedy Farms.
Winning the Walking groups category was Boy Scout Pack 226. James Lacy won the bike category. And Jan Foy and Ann Wilson of Hoofbeats of Hope won in the horses category.
In the 4-Wheelers category, winner was Hayden Hughes and second place was won by the Spiderman 4-Wheeler.
The Mayor's Trophy winners were the Spring Fling Winners and their float, with the theme, "Wild About Puryear Day." (McFarlin photo).
The Puryear Baptist Church VBS float gets lined up for the parade. The float won first place. (McFarlin photo).
Grand Marshals of the parade were the Middleton family, which operates Middleton Lumber. (McFarlin photo).
TBI Lambasts Channel 4, "Without Warning" Group
McCadams says both have 'no regard for the truth'
Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) issued a news release Friday lambasting both the the non-profit detective team “Without Warning” and WSMV-TV (Channel 4) in Nashville for its investigation and reporting of the 2-year-old Holly Bobo missing person's case.
The TBI said the "Without Warning" organization did not investigate the case to law enforcement standards as reported by Channel 4, which aired several segments during its newscasts this month as well as a special documentary which aired May 12.
“The erroneous television reports have led to false leads, public concern and have wasted valuable state resources,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “The most important thing, after finding Holly Bobo and the person responsible for her disappearance, is maintaining the integrity of this investigation should it ever go to trial. In addition, TBI is concerned that WSMV never confirmed any facts reported in the stories with our agency. Never have we seen such irresponsible and unprofessional journalism on an active and open TBI investigation that has been so harmful to the case.”
The 24th Judicial District Attorney General Hansel McCadams, the prosecutor responsible for handling the case, said, “Without Warning and WSMV have had no regard for the truth and their careless use of misleading information has been detrimental to this case.”
TBI refutes several other allegations made in the reports including that the crime scene was contaminated by people, horses and helicopters, that there is dash cam video from a law enforcement vehicle of the subject, and that there were 21 sex offenders registered at the coon hunt that Holly attended shortly before her disappearance, and that an eyewitness was stripped searched. Further, there is no evidence to suggest that Holly Bobo is a victim of sex trafficking.
Multiple TBI Special Agents are assigned to work on the case which they do not consider to be a cold case. There is a $85,000 government and private citizen reward fund for information leading the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Holly Bobo’s disappearance as well as a reward being offered by a Memphis citizen urging the subject turn himself into authorities for $100,000 and a $250,000 reward for Holly Bobo’s safe return. Information about Holly Bobo’s disappearance should be reported to 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463.)
Channel 4 issued a statement, standing by its reporting. "Although the stories have been airing for several weeks, at no point did law enforcement contact WSMV to dispute any of the findings, until this week. Further, WSMV tried unsuccessfully to engage The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in discussions on the detective group findings, but TBI was unwilling to comment for the record until today's strongly-worded news release," it said.
"Channel 4 is committed to fair and accurate reporting in all stories, and is happy to review any concerns raised about the content of those stories. WSMV respects and supports the law enforcement agencies working diligently to solve the Holly Bobo case. We also respect the Bobo family's choice to hire private detectives in their quest for answers in Holly's disappearance.," it concluded.
The Bobo family also issued a statement backing up the efforts of "Without Warning" and Channel 4.
Paris PD Makes Shoplifting Arrests
Paris Police made two shoplifting arrests in recent days. On May 16, Paris Officer Tony Elkins was called to the Dollar General on N. Market Street on a report of a female who had taken several items without paying. Employees gave a description of her, her car and the license plate number.
Patrol Officer Amanda Forrest located the car on North Brewer Street and in the course of the stop, did locate the items from the Dollar Store in her purse.
According to employees, she had place several items from the shelves and put them in her purse, then left without paying for them. Included were a box of hair color, purple dress, shoes, box of Aleve, men’s briefs and flip flops.
Arrested was Priscilla Floyd, age 59 of McKenzie.
Paris Police also were called to Wal-Mart on Mineral Wells Ave. on a report that a shoplifter was in custody. According to the police report, the shoplifter had taken several household items and motor vehicle accessories and tried to leave without paying for them.
Arrested was Robert Sanders, age 24, of 210 Thompson Rd., Buchanan.
Scrap Items Taken
Paris, Tenn.-The Henry County Sheriff’s Office also investigated theft of scrap items from a property on Hwy 641 N. The owner said he saw someone drive out of the driveway and when he flagged him down, the person admitted taking scrap but said he thought the house was abandoned.
The owner said he just wanted the items returned and he wouldn’t prosecute. Deputies did arrest Raymond Lockett, age 35 of 519 Pitt St. for driving without a valid license.
Getting Wet and Muddy at PES Field Day
Paris, Tenn.-Students at Paris Elementary School had a big time getting wet and muddy Thursday at a slip and slide behind the building as Paris Firefighter Jason McCord keeps a steady supply of the wet stuff flowing for them. (Shannon McFarlin photo).
News from past weeks here.