From News Director Tim Alsobrooks, Assistant and Weekend News Director Alex AuBuchon
Patriots Down West Creek in Game 1 of District Tournament
Clarksville, Tenn.- The Henry County Patriots baseball team opened up the 10-AAA District Tournament Friday with a big 5-0 win over the West Creek Coyotes.
Jared Pugh pitched a complete game shutout for the Patriots, and Drake Walker had a huge night at the plate with four hits and two RBIs.
THP Steps Up Enforcement for Cinco de Mayo Weekend
Nashville- Monday is Cinco de Mayo, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol is rolling out aggressive enforcement to target and curb driving under the influence.
State troopers in this area will be actively patrolling roadways all weekend and into Monday, focusing on potentially dangerous areas according to historical crash data.
Several sobriety, driver's license, and seatbelt checkpoints will be established throughout the state of Tennessee; however, no THP checkpoints are scheduled in our area.
The crackdown is part of the Tennessee Highway Patrol's "Drive to Zero Fatalities" campaign running throughout 2014.
Last year, according to THP data, there were eight fatalities in Tennessee traffic crashes during the Cinco de Mayo holiday period.
As of May 1st of this year, there have been 16 fewer traffic fatalities than at this point in 2013.
Nearly 500 Show up to Cast Ballots on Last Day of Early Voting
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Administrator of Elections Darrin Thompson dubbed Thursday as an 'awesome day' as 495 citizens came to cast their ballot just ahead of Tuesday's primary. The total number of ballots cast so far during the early voting period is 2755. In the last couple of elections the turnout during Early Voting has represented close to 50%, or even a little better of what the overall turnout will be. Forecast for Tuesday's primary suggest a good turnout, with plenty of sunshine and highs in the low 80s.
Polls will be open from 7am to 7pm at all precincts on Tuesday. We will bring you live election results on Tuesday night starting at 6:30pm with coverage on WLZK 94.1FM.
City Commission Contracts Out IT Support
Finance Director Kim Foster discusses the IT Tech Support contracting as city attorney Fred McLean, Administrative Assistant Willete Ray, and City Manager Carl Holder listen. (Tim Alsobrooks photo)
Paris,Tenn.- At Thursday night’s Paris City Commission meeting, commissioners agreed to contract out IT Tech support for the city’s computers and technology equipment with Shelton Maye at a cost of $17.50 per hour on an as needed basis.
Finance Director Kim Foster discussed in detail the city’s needs for IT Technical Support. Foster said the areas of biggest concern include support for aging equipment in an environment where technology is a vital part of how accomplish jobs each day; the lack of appropriate level of technical knowledge among current staff; lack of security for electronic data; lack or organization of equipment and software; and neglect of the website, as far as updates, improved design, and expansion of available information.
Foster explained to commissioners that up to this point, each department has dealt with their IT tech support needs in different ways, some of those which work well, some don’t. Maye would not provide IT support for the Civic Center and Paris Police Department, because their current solutions are working for them.
Foster said the plan is to have Maye review all computers and equipment within the city, compile an inventory, complete a diagnostic review, do any preventative maintenance need, make sure there is adequate security on all equipment, install necessary updates, and generally provide uniformity and consistency across the board. Maye estimated it would take about 140 hours, spread over three months to complete this initial project. He will be working part time and during hours when he could have uninterrupted access to individual computers.
Once the initial project is complete, the city will contract with Maye for ongoing support and preventative maintenance. Foster said she also wanted to incorporate website development and maintenance to Maye’s responsibilities. He estimated about 15 hours per week to accomplish those jobs.
The total cost for the initial project is $2450 with ongoing cost estimated at $1137.50 per month. Foster pointed out these estimated are only for Maye’s time and not purchase of any software or hardware that needs upgraded. Foster advised commissioners the fees for IT support are included in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
Removal of Trash Containers Ordinance Passed
Citizens required to remove container from curb by 6pm day after collection
Paris, Tenn.- More from the City Commission meeting saw them approve an ordinance pertaining to the removal of trash containers that are placed at the street for curbside pickup by the Paris Public Works Department.
The ordinance calls for refuse containers to be placed at the street for curbside pickup no earlier than 24 hours prior to the day such curbside pickup is scheduled. The ordinance also states that the containers shall be removed from the curbside and returned to a location immediately adjacent to the house within 24 hours after curbside pickup occurs.
City attorney Fred McLean drafted an ordinance that allows for removal off the refuse containers by 6pm the day after the curbside collection was scheduled. McLean said the ordinance goes into effect immediately.
Retail Sales Up over 7% from February 2013
Paris, Tenn.- Finance Director and assistant city manager Kim Foster reported to the commission that February Retail Sales were up 7.35% from the same month last year. Foster said even with 2013 being an especially weak year for retail sales, this year’s February sales were still ahead of the February 2012 retail sales by 2.3%. She advised the commission that the city had positive growth in four of the last five months.
Foster told commissioners overall the city is ahead of budget in both revenues and expenditures, with the revenues out pacing expenditures currently. She said the trend won’t likely continue however as summer is a ‘dry spell’ for revenues.
In other business Thursday night, commissioners also approved a resolution to adopt the updated basic emergency operations plan, approved an ordinance to change the number of members of the Planning commission from 8 to 7 on first reading, and on first reading a rezoning request from Wyatt Owens to rezone property located at Volunteer and Jim Adams from R-3 to B-1. Owens is proposing to develop his 32 acres and the commission approved it on first reading and referred it to the planning commission.
Budget Hearing Set for May 19th at 6pm
Paris, Tenn.- City Manager Carl Holder set a tentative budget hearing for 6pm on May 19th as staff has been working on the budget process as the Fiscal Year draws to a close. Holder said the budget will include numbers with a variable note bond issue through TML Bond Pool that can be utilized to fund the City Hall renovations.
Holder said there will be options from small renovations to building a new city hall structure. Also at the budget hearing, the commission will look at existing bond debt which will diminish by $50K annually in two years and then by another $230K in four more years.
Charges Against Marquice Tharpe Dropped Thursday
Paris, Tenn.- The charges against one of the Ogburn Park shooting suspects were dropped Thursday at a preliminary hearing in General Sessions Court. Marquice Ramone Tharpe, one of two suspects named in the shootings which injured three people, including himself, back on April 13th appeared Thursday on charges of attempted first-degree murder.
Judge Snyder determined that probable cause was not deteremined by the state to charge Tharpe.
Tharpe turned himself in shortly after a press conference last week, where Paris Police named him and Markia D. Patton, of Paris as two suspects. Patton remains at large at this time.
Oakland Fire Department Responds to Shed Fire
Paris, Tenn.- A report at the Sheriff’s Office stated a shed behind a home at 585 Woodbird Place had smoke coming out of it early Wednesday morning and the residents called the Oakland Fire Department to report the fire. The homeowner grabbed a garden house and had most of the fire extinguished before Oakland Fire Department arrived on scene. The damage was contained to the left rear of the shed, investigator David Doyle will open an investigation into the cause of the shed fire.
Another report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated that a vehicle was stolen from Russwood Church’s parking lot during church service Wednesday night. The owner of the car, which was a Lincoln Navigator, had left the doors unlocked and the keys in the console and came out to find it was gone. The vehicle is valued at $35K and has been entered as stolen.
An arrest sheet at the Henry County sheriff’s office stated Lt. Steve Dean arrested Patrick L. Thomas, of 655 Rison Street, on the warrants that were issued earlier this week by the Paris Police Department for aggravated assault. Thomas was placed on $10K.
Other arrests were Tony Neal Goode, for aggravated burglary and theft, placed on $40K. and Aron Michelle Brisendale, 27, of 1145 County Club Road for simple possession of schedule 6 and simple possession of schedule 4. She was placed on $3500 bond.
Wednesday Sees Largest Turnout So Far for Early Voting
Paris, Tenn.- Early Voting is coming to a close for the May primary and Wednesday was the biggest turnout day so far with 364 people coming to the Election Commission office and voting. The office was opened extended hours until 7pm, and Administrator of Elections Darrin Thompson said between 50-60 people took advantage of the extended hours to vote after 4:30pm.
With Wednesday's turnout, the total so far for Early Voting is 2260. Thursday is the last day of Early Voting with hours being from 8:30am to 7pm.
Paris Parks and Rec to Sponsor Summer Youth Tennis
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor the Summer Youth Tennis Program starting May 13th. The Youth Tennis Program will be held at Eiffel Tower Park Tennis Courts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Age groups will be 10 and under, which will meet from 4-5pm Tuesday and Thursdays and 11-13 year olds will meet from 5-6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost for four sessions is only $25.
Equipment will be provided if needed, but there is limited availability so anyone interested is asked to sign up early. There will be a tournament at the end of the sessions for the kids to participate in and game schedule will depend of the number of kids participating in the program.
J.F. Kirk will be the instructor and he has over 40 years of teaching experience and was a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association for 30 years. For more information on the Summer Youth Tennis Program sponsored by the Paris Parks and Recreation department call Tony Lawrence at 644-2517.
Rhea PTO To Sponsor 5K@Rhea on May 10th
Pre-registration Deadline for T-shirt is Friday
Paris, Tenn.- Rhea Elementary School PTO is proud to sponsor the 5K@Rhea and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk on Saturday May 10th. Registration is on going and in order to guarantee a T-shirt, you must pre-register by Friday May 2nd. Cost is $15 for pre-register and $20 on the day of the race. Race Day registration will start at 7:15am, with the 1 mile start at 7:45 and 5K start at 8am at Rhea Elementary.
Any children under 12, accompanied with a paying adult can participate for free in the event. Checks should be made payable to Rhea PTO, contact Rhea Elementary for more information, again pre-registration deadline is this Friday.
Lifeline Bloodmobile at FUMC Thurs. Noon-6pm
Lifeline Bloodmobile will be at the First United Methodist Church from Noon to 6pm on Thursday May 1st. There is a urgent need for O negative, B negative, and A negative blood in our area. It takes 500 donors each week to keep the area in supply of blood that is needed across 13 counties in West Tennessee.
Be sure and have a photo ID with you when you go to give blood.
Eiffel Gardens Wins Americare Honor Club Award
Paris, Tenn.- Eiffel Gardens Assisted living facility received an Honor Club Award recently. Americare gives these awards to facilities that show outstanding employee, resident, and community relations and business operations. Pictured above is Administrator of Eiffel Gardens Linda Zanaty with resident ambassadors Dorothy Brannon and Chester Robbins.(Chamber photo)
West Creek Beats Patriots 13-1 on Diamond
Paris, Tenn.- West Creek scored 6 runs in the first, 5 after two were out, and cruised to a 13-1 win against the Patriots Wednesday night in the last regular season home game. Evan Pugh started the game for Henry County and due in part to three errors and tight strike zone, allowed 6 runs, after almost escaping the 1st with just one run.
The Patriots used a host of pitchers including Drake Walker and Perry Atkins as a tune up for the upcoming district tournament. The game had no bearing on the Patriots seeding as they will be the #4 seed. Henry County will play Friday at 4:30pm, more than likely against West Creek again in round one of the district tournament, which is double elimination. The game will be played at Clarksville High School.
Be Local Scavenger Hunt Continues Next Two Weeks
Dottie Kendall won a Be Local T-shirt after finding a clue at Joe Mahan Ford last week. (Chamber photo)
Paris, Tenn.-The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Be Local Committee’s Scavenger Hunt continues over the next couple of weeks. Players will be able to collect clues for four weeks in different businesses and turn in the completed answer sheet to the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce by 4:30 pm on May 13 for a chance to win $1000. The winner will be drawn from all the correct submitted entries on Friday, May 16th.
This week clues will be at My Favorite Things, K and B Supplies for Success, Butler and Harber, Boyd’s and Merison’s.
Next week stops will include the Iron Place, Great Wall Buffet, A la Mode Sweet Shoppe, Tomorrow’s Hope Thrift Store and Street Dynamics.
If you haven’t played yet, you can still join in and play. Clues are still posted for the previous weeks at business and all that information can be obtained by calling the chamber at 642-3431 or via their website at paristnchamber.com.
HC Historical Society to Meet Thursday
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Historical Society will meet at 6pm on Thursday May 1st at the Paris Henry County Heritage Center. Johnny and Jane Gibson will give a presentation on their family heritage entitled, “Historical Ramblings.”
David Webb will give an update on the Trail of Tears signage project that may begin as early as this fall. Webb has worked closely with National Park Service Staff to plot, as closely as possible, the original Trail of Tears route through the county known as the Benge Route. The Trail of Tears came thru Henry County along the Reynoldsburg Road area, to Market Street, turning west onto Rison Street, and then on Jones Bend Road.
Annual dues of $5 are due by September 1st for the 2014-15 membership year. You can pay at the meeting or mail them to Donna Winchester, treasurer, at 715 Old Union Road, Paris, TN, 38242.
Early Voting Totals Near 1900
Extended Hours Wed., Thurs
Paris, Tenn.- On Tuesday, 251 Henry Countians stopped by the Election Commission office to cast their ballot for next week’s May 6th primary. That brings the total number of ballots cast so far to just under 1900, at 1896. Early voting will run Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30am, until 7pm. Henry County Administrator of elections Darrin Thompson said, “having extended hours the last couple of days worked well last year and it gives citizens who may not be able to leave work to come vote a chance to do so after work.”
Cottage Grove Council Votes to Pursue Retail Business
Board to Discuss with Boyds to locate a business in former Sec. Bank Building
Cottage Grove, Tenn.- Meeting in special called session on Tuesday night, the Cottage Grove Legislative Council voted to pursue an agreement with PMB to locate a Boyds General Retail Business in the former Security Bank Building. The city of Cottage Grove will spend money to renovate the building to prepare for a retail business to be located there.
Also at Tuesday night’s special called meeting, the future site of city hall was discussed as well, but no decisions were made by the council.
9th Annual Rosie Baker Scholarship Benefit is Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County Medical Center Home Health and Hospice are sponsoring the 9th annual Rosie Baker Scholarship Benefit on Saturday May 3rd. The start time for the annual event has been pushed back and will begin at 9pm Saturday night and end about 1am at the Paris Convention Center.
Johnny Mac and the Heart Attacks will provide entertainment and tickets are only $10 and will be sold at the door. You can also purchase tickets in advance at the Home Health office on East Wood Street.
They will also take orders for commemorative T-shirts again this year at the Home Health office. Colors of shirts are charcoal gray, Black, Purple and cost $12 with big and tall sizes $15.
The Rosie Baker Scholarship was established by family and friends of Rosie, who was a longtime employee of HCMC, before losing her fight with cancer. Two students will receive $1K rewards in her honor.
Students must be pursuing a healthcare degree of some kind to be eligible for the scholarship along with having a financial need. The scholarship is for Henry County High School students only, for more information on it, call Becky Allen at 642-7600 or 693-8333.
HCSO, PLVF Team Up to Offer Free Smoke Alarms
Buchanan, Tenn.- The Henry County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department and the State Fire Marshall’s office have to up to offer free smoke alarms to citizens in the Paris Landing area.
The smoke alarms have a ten year lithium warranty, but must be installed by either Paris Landing Fire fighters or deputies with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.
Any citizen in the Paris Landing area that wants a smoke alarm for free contact Investigator David Doyle at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 642-1672 or Lt. Woody Case of the Paris Landing Volunteer Fire Department at 644-9360.
Second Suspect Charged With Murder in Holly Bobo Case
Decaturville, Tenn.- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has charged a second suspect with murder in the case involving the disappearance and murder of Holly Bobo in 2011.
A special grand jury met Tuesday afternoon in Decatur County and returned indictments of especially aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder against Jason Autry, 39, of Holladay, in Bobo's disappearance.
District Attorney General of the 24th Judicial District, Hansel McCadams, and TBI Director Mark Gwyn led a press conference just after 4pm to announce the indictments.
Home Sweet Home B & B Holds Chamber Coffee
Paris, Tenn.- Home Sweet Home Bed & Breakfast hosted the April Chamber Coffee on Tuesday morning. Pictured above are Robert Newcomb, First Bank and former Chamber President Dr. Jeff Seaton. (Chamber photo)
Highway Department Closes Roads for Bridge Repair
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Highway Department has closed Red Top Hill Road .4 mile east of Blood River Road for Bridge Repair and Whitlock Road has been closed 3 miles west of highway 641N, also for bridge repair. Both Roads are closed until further notice, motorists should use alternate routes.
Warrants Drawn for Theft; Aggravated Assault
Paris, Tenn.- Sgt. Josh Frey of the Paris Police Department responded to Prater’s Taters in reference to theft Monday. According to the report at the Paris Police Department an employee of the store, Lisa Wilson, 29, of N. Poplar Street, admitted to taking three pills that weren’t hers and a total of $40 in cash. She had taken $20 from the cash register and $20 from the tip jar. Sgt. Frey advised her he would be drawing warrants on her for theft.
Another report at the Paris Police Department stated Ptl. Ryan French will be issuing warrants for the arrest of Patrick L. Thomas, 32, of 655 Rison Street for aggravated assault after an incident where Thomas and his brother had gotten into an argument, then a fight. The report said a bat and knife were grabbed both Thomas, then his brother said he went over and picked up a revolver and pointed it at him. Thomas then left the residence and had not been arrested as of yet.
Fish Tales Rescheduled for Sunday May 4th
Paris, Tenn.- The 2nd annual Fish Tales that was scheduled for Sunday as part of World’s Biggest Fish Fry Week, has been rescheduled for this coming Sunday May 4th at the home of Peggy and Jimmy Williams, 1315 E. Blythe Street in Paris. Everyone is invited for a tour of a beautiful garden, food, and listen to tall tales and music. There is also an activity for younger kids. Call the Arts Council at 642-3955 for more information.
Gas Board Agrees to Split Costs of Metering Station Upgrades
Paris, Tenn.- At their April board meeting, the board of directors for the Paris Henry County Public Utility District voted to approve a recommendation from General Manager Tae Eaton to spend $40K and split the cost with ANR Pipeline for upgrades on their side of the Cottage Grove Metering Station.
Eaton told the board ANR had requested the district to help with cost in order for them to get the upgrades at the metering station done quicker. Eaton said eventually once the customer load for the Paris Henry County Public Utility District grew large enough, ANR would go through with the upgrades on their own.
Board members questioned if the district should split the cost with ANR since they would eventually do the upgrades. Eaton said his main concern was that is something happened to the other station, the current pipelines at Cottage Grove couldn’t handle the load pressure and service would be interrupted to customers of the district.
Eaton said by going ahead and splitting the cost with ANR on the upgrades, it would benefit the ratepayers of the PHCPUD. Eaton said, “I highly recommend we go ahead and spend the $40K and get these upgrades completed. The money is there and our customers will benefit.”
The board also agreed to split the cost of the relocation of gas lines involved with the State Hwy. 218 extension. Eaton said he felt like the district could be a good neighbor and help split these costs with the county and city. Eaton said the district would contribute up to 50% of cost towards the project of relocating gas lines.
Wet Spring Causing Delays on Installing Service Lines
Paris, Tenn.- More from the April Gas Board meeting saw general manager Tae Eaton report that there are still over 30 new gas service lines on backlog, mostly because wet weather has kept them behind schedule. Eaton said 12 are on hold because of requests of customers and they continue to get more gas service line requests everyday. Eaton said the propane shortage this winter seems to have caused more people to switch over to Natural Gas.
Financials for the district were reported and net profit for March was $343K bringing the Year to Date Net profit up to over $420K. Cold weather in March is the main factor in the increased sales. It has also caused the district to dwindle down their gas in storage to less than 1% capacity. Eaton said they are injecting gas back into storage currently and the price is about $4.50. He said he felt as the closer to summer it gets, the price should drop lower and they should be able to get the storage built back up and lock in better prices for rate payers.
Paris Rotary Club's Ham Breakfast Will Be Saturday
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Rotary Club will hold their 41st Annual All you can eat Country Ham Breakfast Saturday May 3rd from 6-11am at Paris Elementary Cafeteria. It’s all you can eat Clifty Farms Country Ham, scrambled eggs, grits, biscuits and gravy and coffee or juice. Tickets are $8 and can be obtained from any Rotary Club member or at the door. Monies raised benefits Rotary Club charities.
Early Voting Ends Thursday: Extended Hours Wed., Thurs.
Paris, Tenn.- Early Voting continues until May 1st. Hours of operation will be 8:30am to 4:30pm Tuesday and the office will be open extended hours for early voting on Wednesday and Thursday until 7pm. So far over 1500 people have already cast their ballot.
Drug, DUI Arrests Made, Thefts Reported
Paris, Tenn.- Cpl. Jim Sanders of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mario Allen, 25, of 117 Blakemore Street for possession of schedule 6 and schedule 2 drug and driving on a suspended license after witnessing the car he was driving speeding and making a traffic stop. Cpl. Sanders had knowledge of Allen being on state probation and K9 Droid was called to the scene and alerted on the car. Marijuana and pills were found and he was duly charged.
Deputy Frankie Scott of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office charged Shaquille M. Hayes, 20, of Loncola Street for DUI after finding him in the McDonald’s parking lot with marijuana shake on his shirt. The report at the sheriff’s office said that
Deputy Scott went to the vehicle after someone called in that someone was smoking marijuana in the car. Deputy Scott could smell a strong odor of marijuana and observed shake on his shirt when he talked to him.
A report at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office stated that a storage unit at Royal Oak Drive was broken into and almost $1500 worth of items were stolen out of it this weekend.
The report said the owner said the lock was cut with bolt cutters and several items were taken including Duck Decoys, two Yeti coolers, a pressure washer and some waders. There are no suspects in the theft.
Winders Brothers Race at Eastern Relays
Louisville, Ky.- Henry County competed at the University of Louisville Eastern Relays this past weekend with Titus and Silas Winders coming in the top ten in the a special middle school meet held Friday night. Titus came in 3rd overall with a time of 4:56. He is now ranked 5th in Tennessee for the middle school mile and 28th in the nation out of over 6600 people in the middle school mile. Silas Winders came in 9th in the middle school mile.
High school results included in the boys 3200 meter race Javan Winders finished 6th in his heat and 29th overall at a time of 9:30. The time now ranks him 8th overall in TN for Division 1 Triple A.
In the Boys High School 1 mile race Javan Winders came in 3rd in his heat and 10th overall with a time of 4:27. There were 66 runners in the race.
Multiple Rounds of Severe Weather Likely Monday, Tuesday
Paris, Tenn.- Henry County and the surrounding area remains under a Tornado Watch until 8am Monday and a Flash Flood Watch until Tuesday at 7pm as warm air and a saturated atmosphere is making conditions favorable for a possible severe weather outbreak Monday afternoon, evening, and again early Tuesday.
The area will most likely see storms with heavy rainfall, hail, and strong damaging winds. It's also possible that we might experience development of tornadoes especially Monday afternoon and evening. Some of the tornadoes could be large and long tracking, meaning they could stay on the ground for several miles through different cities and counties.
Please monitor the weather today and be prepared to take cover if warnings are issued in the area.
Fish Fry Attendance Totals Released
Fish Tent, Rodeo Far Above Last Year's Totals
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris - Henry County Jaycees recently released attendance totals for the Robert E. "Bobby" Cox Memorial Fish Tent and the IPRA Pro Rodeo, and thanks in large part to outstanding weather, attendance at both events dwarfed last year's Fish Fry.
6,542 people went through the Fish Tent during the four days it was open, an increase of over 1500 people from 2013.
Rodeo attendance over the three-day event was 2,329, up 965 from last year's Fish Fry.
Concrete numbers aren't available, but the attendance at the Grand Parade Friday morning was significantly higher than last year, due in large part to the exceptional weather.
Red Cross Ready to Respond to Severe Weather
Nashville - Red Cross volunteers and staff across the Tennessee Volunteer Region in West Tennessee are on standby and ready to respond to assist anyone who may be affected by the dangerous severe weather outbreak that is forecasted to strike over the next three days.
“The Red Cross wants to encourage everyone to understand the importance of being prepared and to know what to do in the event of a tornado or flood that may be caused by this storm system,” said Joel Sullivan, Regional CEO of the Tennessee Volunteer Region.
Red Cross mobile apps provide expert, emergency information when and where you need it. These free apps for iOS and Android devices provide instant access to local and real-time information, so those affected know what to do before, during and after a flood or a tornado. The content is available in English and Spanish based on the user’s language settings on their mobile device. The app also includes location-based, audible NOAA tornado, flood and flash flood watches and warnings – even if the app is closed.
Other features of the apps include:
- One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to send a message letting family and friends know that they are out of harm’s way;
- Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
- Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm to let others know where you are;
- Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
- Real-time recovery resources for returning home and cleaning up; and
- Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
The Flood and Tornado Apps, along with the others, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
Guides on what to do before, during and after a tornado or severe storm are also available on redcross.org. You can use checklists to gather supplies and make sure your family has a plan, and even get clarifications on severe weather myths and facts.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and helps people get ready to respond to emergencies by providing these preparedness apps for free.
The Red Cross needs the help of the public to continue this lifesaving effort. Those interetsed can make a donation to the Red Cross by going to redcross.org, texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.
Henry County EMA Releases Weather Briefing
Paris, Tenn.- The Henry County Emergency Management Agency released a briefing Sunday morning on the potential severe weather outlook from Sunday evening to Tuesday evening.
According to HCEMA Director Ron Watkins,
Henry County is under a slight risk for damaging severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, although the threat will present with thunderstorms.
The HCEMA is expecting 3-5 inches of rain with this three day event through Tuesday. Flash flooding may be an issue with some roads becoming impassable. Trees and power lines may also cause issues with roadways and potential power outages.
The National Weather Service says round two of severe weather may occur early Monday morning which could affect work and school traffic.
A detailed forecast is as follows:
Sunday: moderate risk of tornadoes and damaging severe thunderstorms will remain mainly over Arkansas and will move into the West Tennessee area Monday morning around 5AM. It is currently forecasted that moderate risk will stay mainly to Henry County's south; however, this could change.
Watkins currently doesn't feel that the situation warrants opening all Henry County tornado shelters, but the agency will open the Inman Safe Shelter if they determine it is necessary.
We will provide up-to-date information as this storm system develops.
Man Treated For Injuries in Wimberly Road Fire
Paris, Tenn.- The Paris Fire Department responded early Sunday morning to a house fire on Wimberly Road in Paris in which one resident was treated for smoke inhalation.
PFD received the call at 3:17AM Sunday and responded approximately 15 minutes later with three units and six firefighters.
According to reports, the homeowner, Joseph McNutt, had been cooking on his stove and left it unattended. A grease fire ignited and quickly spread througout the kitchen. Despite being advised multiple times by 911 dispatch to leave the residence, McNutt attempted to fight the fire himself. He was transported by EMS to the Henry County Medical Center ER where he was treated for smoke inhalation.
Firefighters managed to contain the fire to the kitchen area, and had the blaze extinguished by approximately 4 AM.
The Paris Fire Department estimates property damage at $20,000 with $8,000 in contents damaged.
Jewelry Theft at Pot o' Gold Pawn
Paris, Tenn.- Several items of jewelry were stolen from Pot o' Gold pawn shop recently, according to Paris Police Department reports.
Staff are unsure when the items were taken, but the theft was reported Thursday afternoon.
Items taken include a wedding ring set valued at $100, a gold necklace valued at $200, a ring valued at $200, and a star sapphire ring without a value released.
The Paris Police Department has a list of Pot o' Gold employees as potential suspects in the theft and is currently investigating the incident.
Also, Patrolman Jamie James of the PPD made a drug arrest early Friday morning, according to reports.
While on patrol, James investigated a truck parked at Regions Bank with the engine running. The driver was asleep with a bottle of pills in one hand and his bank card in the other.
James investigated the pill bottle, which contained some of the written prescription as well as four Adderall pills not on the prescription label.
The driver, Josh Sullivan, age 27 of Mansfield was cited for simple possession of a Schedule II substance.
State Unemployment Data Shows Decrease in 86 of 95 Counties
Nashville - The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently released detailed unemployment data for the month of March.
Unemployment rates decreased in 86 of 95 Tennessee counties including Henry and surrounding counties.
Henry County's unemployment rate fell 0.5% last month to 9.6%, a full percent drop from March 2013.
Benton County's unemployment rate also fell 0.2% last month to 9.7%.
Carroll County saw a 0.4% drop in their unemployment rate last month, to 10.3%.
Weakley County's unemployment rate dropped a full percent last month, down to 9.6%.
Stewart County saw a 0.7% decrease, to 10.5%.
Houston County's unemployment rate fell 0.5% to 9.4% for the month of March.
Each of these unemployment rates, however, is well above the state average of 7.0%, which is itself above the national average of 6.8% unemployed.
Henry County Students Receive Annual Rotary Awards
Pierce Atkins (L) and Holly Dial (R) received this year's Bill Caldwell Good Citizenship Award from the Rotary Club. Both students will attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville this fall (Photos provided by Linley White).
Paris, Tenn.- Two Henry County High School seniors recently received the Bill Caldwell Good Citizenship Award from the Paris Rotary Club, and a third received the Dan Paschall Senior Award.
According to Rotarian Linley White,"The Bill Caldwell Good Citizenship Award is designed to recognize the students that consistently exhibit the kinds of behaviors we want to see displayed in our schools and in our communities.
We want to recognize students who are always prepared in class, have their homework finished on time and volunteer whenever volunteers are needed.
Furthermore, we want students who are ready to help others, always play fair and treat everyone with respect and dignity. Honoring model students with this award will inspire and encourage others to strive to be better citizens."
This year’s male and female Bill Caldwell Good Citizenship Award recipients are Pierce Atkins and Holly Dial. Both students will be attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville this fall.
HCHS senior Ebony Wade also received an award at the event, the Dan Paschall Senior Award. Wade is the daughter of Tracy A. Mathis and will graduate Henry County High School on May 30. Her area of focus is child development and textiles.
Rotarian Bo Caldwell presents HCHS senior Ebony Wade with the Dan Paschall Senior Award (Photo provided by Linley White).
Small Fry Parade Caps Off Fish Fry Festivities
Jack, Jude and Jace Hendricks and Max and Tagg Burns all rode in this sandbox-themed float in Saturday morning's downtown parade. The float was named the third most original and third best decorated entry (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- A large crowd lined the streets of Downtown Paris Saturday morning to take in even more gorgeous weather as well as all the sights of this year's World's Biggest Fish Fry Small Fry Parade.
Twelve groups participated in Saturday morning's parade, ranging from floats to decorated bicycles and wagons to large marching units like the First Presbyterian Pre-K program and Joyland Preschool.
All entrants in the parade received a participation ribbon, and trophies were awarded to various entries in several categories.
Taking top honors in this year's Small Fry Parade were Griffin and Gavin Strang -- their incredibly elaborate Batman and Robin-themed float featured a miniature cityscape and was voted Best Decorated Float, Most Original Float, and Best Character / Costume.
Gavin and Griffin Strang's float featured a dummy policeman with motorcycle as well as an Eiffel Tower, suspension bridge, and other elaborate pieces of art and architecture (Alex AuBuchon photo).
All the winners at this year's Small Fry Parade are as follows:
Best Decorated Bicycle / Wagon
1st: Eva Colmen and Noah Lassiter
2nd: Fletcher Mooney
Best Character / Costume
1st: Griffin and Gavin Strang
2nd: Britian, Brevin, Charly, Grady and Mary Mabel Hutson
3rd: Felicity Bright
Most Original Float
1st: Griffin and Gavin Strang
2nd: Henry County Litter Program
3rd: Jack, Jude and Jace Hendricks and Max and Tagg Burns
Best Decorated Float
1st: Griffin and Gavin Strang
2nd: Henry County Litter Program
3rd: Jack, Jude and Jace Hendricks and Max and Tagg Burns
Best Marching Unit
1st: Joyland Christian Preschool
2nd: First Presbyterian Pre-K
Also taking place on the Court Square Saturday were this year's Catfish Races; a large crowd gathered on the courthouse lawn to watch all the festivities.
The students and staff of Joyland Christian Preschool were voted the top marching unit in Saturday's Small Fry Parade (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Early Voting Totals in May Primary Near 1,500
Paris, Tenn.- Early voting is still underway for the May county primary election in Henry County, and the Henry County Election Commission continues to see a great turnout.
According to Henry County Administrator of Elections Darrin Thompson, 57 voters on Friday and Saturday brought the total amount of early ballots cast to 1,498.
Offices up for election in the County Primary include the Circuit Court Clerk and County Trustee. The early voting period ends Thursday, May 1st with the election to be held the following Tuesday, May 6th.
Beautiful Weather for 61st Annual Grand Parade
The Jr. Queen "Glitzy Girls" float featuring Junior Queen Arabella Guilfoose, First Maid Lily Ann Morris, Second Maid Sophie Singleton, Third Maid Keira Sanks, and Fourth Maid Katie Elizabeth Barnett tows along its General Manager's Choice award (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Paris, Tenn.- An overcast sky early Friday morning gave way to beautiful conditions for the 61st Annual World’s Biggest Fish Fry Grand Parade.
A massive crowd was on hand to soak up the sunshine as well, both alongside the parade route AND in the parade. The Paris – Henry County Jaycees had a huge turnout for participation in the parade; well over 100 cars and nearly 30 floats ran the parade route Friday, along with six bands and dozens of law enforcement and rescue vehicles.
This year’s Parade Grand Marshal, Cody Nance, led the parade in a Premier Nissan-provided truck alongside his wife Jordan and two children, Addie Jewell and Wyatt Wes.
Dozens of local, regional, and national politicians were on hand at Friday’s parade as well – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam marched in the parade, and U.S. Attorney for West Tennessee Edward L. Stanton III was among the dignitaries at the grandstand.
Six bands marched in Friday’s parade; Bethel University marched in exhibition and the Henry County High School and a combined Henry County Middle School band were the host bands for the event. Competing in the parade were Glencliff High School from Nashville, McKenzie High School and Camden Central High School.
Students from Harrelson, Lakewood, and Henry Schools marched in a consolidated Henry County Middle School Band in Friday's parade (Alex AuBuchon photo).
Awards were presented to outstanding floats in several categories as well as a General Manager’s Choice award presented by this year’s WBFF General Manager, Chris Martin.
The Manager’s Choice recipient was the WBFF Junior Queen pageant winners’ float, “Glitzy Girls”. The float featured Junior Queen Arabella Guilfoose, First Maid Lily Ann Morris, Second Maid Sophie Singleton, Third Maid Keira Sanks, and Fourth Maid Katie Elizabeth Barnett and had a unique pink and silver crown design as well as a swing. “Glitzy Girls” also won Most Beautiful Float.
Other float winners in their respective categories include:
Most Original Float
1st: 2014 WBFF Tiny Tot Royalty “Royal Princesses”
2nd: Henry County Litter Program “Don’t Litter – Save Our Earth”
3rd: 2014 WBFF Little Prince and Princess “Swing Into Spring”
Best Club or Church Float
1st: Point Pleasant Baptist Church “Jesus is Love”
2nd: Life Church “Living the Good Life”
3rd: Cub Scout Pack 222 “Riding High with Cub Scouts”
Most Beautiful Float
1st: 2014 WBFF Junior Prince and Princess “Glitzy Girls”
2nd: 2014 WBFF Miss Teen “Hope Anchors the Soul”
3rd: 2014 WBFF Miss Preteen
Best Out-of-Town Float
1st: West Tennessee Strawberry Festival
2nd: Junior Miss Dresden
3rd: Little Mr. and Miss Gleason
The Paris Police Department and Henry County Sheriff’s Department handled traffic and security at this year’s parade with increased patrol from years past, and according to dispatch at both departments, no incidents related to the parade were reported.
Fish Fry festivities will continue with the Fish Tent open at the fairgrounds until 9 PM Friday and from 11 AM until 9 PM Saturday. The Belle City Carnival will be open until midnight both Friday and Saturday with $20 armbands until 5 PM.
The Tiny Tot Royalty float, featuring Queen Irelynn Beecham, First Maid Charlotte McQuistion, Second Maid Ainna Marie Elliott, Third Maid Kaylei Teigue, and Fourth Maid Bailey Mann, won Most Original Float in Friday's parade (Alex AuBuchon photo).
News from past weeks here.